Feature Friday: Castle Island

Castle Island

Every Friday, I feature a fun and budget-friendly option in the Greater Boston area. The “Feature Friday” is typically mentioned on the Cheap Eats list, Free Things to Do in Boston, or Discount Attractions. However, there’s so much budget-friendly ideas on my pages, I thought it would be fun to feature something budget-friendly and different each week. Also, each Feature Friday is something I have personal experience with or took advantage of recently! Enjoy!

Castle Island is a 22-acre park located in South Boston and connected to mainland. Castle Island is also home to Fort Independence, a granite fort, available for tours during select times.

There is so much to do at Castle Island for free from walking, biking, swimming, airplane watching, and much more. My dog Connie loves Castle Island!

Food and grills are also allowed, which makes for a great and budget-friendly meal. If you don’t feel like bringing food, Sullivan’s is at Castle Island is available for food and isn’t too expensive.

There is also a parking lot which offers free parking if you do decide to drive to Castle Island. The MBTA Bus Route 5, 7, 9, 10, or 11 will also .

For more information about Castle Island, please visit here.

For more Feature Friday posts please head here. To subscribe to Boston On Budget’s nightly newsletter, please enter your e-mail here.

Cheap Weekend Fun in Boston for Labor Day Weekend!

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Here’s some fun and cheap things to do this extra long weekend:

Saint Anthony’s Feast: August 29-31, 2014 in the North End. Enjoy the feasts of all feasts in the North End this weekend.

Boston Arts Festival: August 30-31, 2014 at Christopher Columbus Park. Enjoy a diverse art festival with performing arts, interactive art activities and more. Free.

Labor Day Fireworks: Saturday, August 31, 2014 at 9pm. Enjoy free fireworks from Fan Pier on the South Boston Seaport.

Magic Family Film Festival: Saturday, August 31, 2014 at the Prudential Center courtyard at dusk. Enjoy a free outdoor movie screening every Saturday night at dusk. This week’s free outdoor movie is The Little Mermaid!

Sunday Parkland Games: Every Sunday through September 28, 2014 from 3:30pm-6pm in Cambridge. Free Sunday games along the banks of the Charles River every Sunday in the summer.

ICA: Saturday, June 28, 2014. The ICA is free for families (with children under 12) the last Saturday of every month, except December.

Frank Hatch Day at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: September 1, 2014 starting at 11am. On Labor Day the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is offering free timed admission until 4pm.

What are you up to this long weekend?

Free Friday Events in Boston for August 29, 2014!

Fun Free Fridays and Boston Events 2014

This is my last Free Friday Event roundup of the summer! I hope you enjoy it and your Friday too!

Highland Street Foundation Free Fun Friday Schedule

Free Fun Fridays take place every Friday with free admission to great attractions in Massachusetts thanks to the Highland Street Foundation.

Free Outdoor Movie Screening in Boston

More Friday Events in Boston and Beyond

Let me know if there are any great Friday events that I missed in the comments below!

Don’t forget to sign up for Boston on Budget’s nightly e-mail for suggestions right into your inbox!

Groupon Promo Code + Discount Duck Tour Tickets Available!


Check Groupon First

Daily Deal site Groupon is offering a 15% discount on local events and activities with promo code FUN15 at checkout. The promo code is valid until today, August 26, 2014 with a max discount of $50.

There are a lot of fun things to do in Boston on the list including discount Boston Duck Tour tickets and a Bonus Harvard Tour for $29 a person. After the discount, tour tickets are less than $25 per person! (You can also find more duck tour discounts here if you are looking for other discounts.)

Updated to add: After this post was published, LivingSocial released discount duck tour tickets for $24 and it includes the Harvard Tour too with similar terms as the Groupon deal, so you may want to check that deal out too. Use promo code LABORDAY20 to save 20% until September 1, 2014 before midnight.

There’s a lot of fun and discounted activities in the Greater Boston area on the list. To see all the Groupon deals, please head here.

*Disclosure: This post contains my affiliate links and if you have any questions, please see my disclosure policy. However, you may want to book through a cash back site like Shop At Home for 10% cash back.

Money Saving Monday: Save on College Textbooks

Money Saving Tips

*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

Okay, I must admit I graduated college too many years ago now (sigh) and finished graduate school over a year and half ago, so I may be a little out of touch of the very best ways to save money on textbooks. If you have any tips I may have missed, please let me know in the comments below!

1. Plan ahead: This is very important. Don’t wait to the last minute to purchase your book because the most expensive books are most likely to be left. Yes, you may want to wait until after you receive your syllabus to see if you will use your textbook or not, but chances are you will. Buy the book ahead of time and pay attention to the return policy. You usually will have seven days or so to return the book if you won’t need it. Also, if you plan to buy books cheaper online, you will need to plan ahead to make sure the book arrives in time.

2. Do a price comparison: Make sure to do a price analysis between the school bookstore and the online marketplace. Sometimes the school bookstore was cheaper (and more convenient) but often times I could find the book cheaper online. Also, make sure to price out different websites, because some websites have free shipping and some don’t, which could change the overall price of the book.

3. Rent textbooks: Often times you can rent a book instead of purchasing a book at a much more affordable rate. Keep in mind you do need to return the book back and cannot sell it back for additional money. This is a great option for new edition books that are pricey and renting reduces out of pocket expenses. College bookstores and online bookstores do textbook rentals so make sure to do a price comparison on textbook rentals too.

4. Amazon Student: I love Amazon Prime for the free 2-day shipping which is great for last minute textbooks. Better yet, Amazon Student is cheaper than Amazon Prime with similar benefits. If you haven’t checked out Amazon Student before, you can even get a free Amazon Prime membership trial which is perfect for a semester of books at free and quick shipping. Also, it is pretty easy to sell back Textbooks to Amazon for Amazon gift cards. Don’t sit on your textbooks though, because they lose value fast so make sure to exchange them sooner than later.

5. Borrow Textbooks: Another option is to borrow textbooks from a roommate or friend in your class. Also, check your college library because sometimes you can borrow a textbook from the library for the day or a short period of time which is perfect for assignments or classes where the textbook isn’t absolutely necessary.

Do you have any tips to save on college textbooks?

To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.

Giveaway: Boston Sports Club Gym Membership

Boston Sports Club

Are you looking for a new gym and/or looking to check a new gym soon? Boston Sports Club has 25 locations in the Greater Boston Area with many locations directly in Boston too.

I am giving away 5) Free 1-Week Memberships for BSC at a $75 value for first-time visitors. The passes expire December 31, 2014 so you have plenty of time to use them.

If you are interested in the free one-weel BSC membership, please leave a comment below with your favorite workout by Thursday, 29, 2014 at noon and five people will be randomly selected. I will send you an e-mail within 48 hours for a mailing address for the free membership pass if you are a winner.

So, what is your favorite workout?

Good luck!

Happy 98th Birthday National Park Service (+ Free Admission!)

Happy Birthday 2

On Monday, August 25, 2014 the National Park Service turns 98 years old! To celebrate, all entrance fees to all National Parks will be waived on 8/25/14!

There are 401 National Parks so take in some nature and history on Monday for free to celebrate their birthday!

For more information or to find a national park, please head here.

Shakespeare at Fenway on September 19, 2014 with Free Tickets!

Shakespeare at Fenway Free

Please note that all free tickets have been claimed and are no longer available.

On Friday, September 19, 2014 at 7:30pm, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is celebrating their 20th anniversary with a performance of famous Shakespeare scenes at Fenway Park for the first ever Shakespeare at Fenway.

There’s a limited number of complimentary tickets available and more information and tickets can be found here. There are also better seats available for a fee if you’d rather.

(I requested my free tickets already and didn’t have to pay a ticket service fee or anything. I also received the confirmation in my e-mail right away.)

Will you be there for the first ever Shakespeare at Fenway Park?

Image Credit