Feature Friday: Staying and Eating In

Skinnytaste stuffed shells edited

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!

Typically I share fun and inexpensive things to do around the city and highlight it on this series post weekly. However, I’m cheating this week because I’ve been under the weather for a few weeks and haven’t been able to do much fun stuff around the city. (Don’t worry I’m slowly starting to feel better, hopefully, and better content should arise soon).

There’s a lot of great cheap eats and things to do in Boston, but staying and cooking in can be fun. Sometimes making a meal at home can be fun and save you a lot of money.

I like to meal plan and figure out meals before the start of the week to save money (and I’m more likely to cook if I know what I’m making). Since I’ve been sick lately, I also like to make bigger portions when I feel like cooking and freeze them for days I don’t feel as well. This is a great way to save time and money as well as saves on take-out orders.

The image above is stuffed shells (I love this recipe) and it makes much more than my family of two can eat, so I usually have about two freezer meals and maybe even a lunch the next day.

Do you have a favorite meals to make that are budget-friendly when you feel like staying in?

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Feature Friday: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum!

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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!

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is an unique art museum in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston. The museum opened in 1903 and the building was designed to emulate a 15th century Venetian palace. If you haven’t been to this museum before, it’s definitely worth it.

Admission to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is $15 with visitors 17 and under free. However, there are many different ways to get discounted or free admission to the museum. Here’s some of the best ways:

  • Free admission on your birthday and/or third Thursday evening events during your birthday month. If your birthday falls on a Tuesday when it’s closed, you can visit on Monday or Wednesday for free.
  • Visitors under 18 are free
  • If your name is Isabella, you can get in free… for life.
  • EBT: Show your EBT card & photo ID and receive $2 admission for up 4 adults.
  • Free admission for college students at participating universities (or $5 admission with current student ID)
  • Free admission for military families year round with proper ID
  • Discounted pass at $5 per person (up to 4 people on weekdays & 2 people on weekends/holidays) with Boston Public Library card, available at Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury and Central Library

In addition to the above discounts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner will occasionally have free days, which I will share on the blog. (I went to one this summer and it was so easy to get in and fun to explore the museum!)

On Monday, October 13th, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (along with other local museums) will be free for Opening Our Doors 2014! This is a great way to check out the Isabella Stewart Gardner for free!

Have you been to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum before? What is your favorite art museum in Boston?

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Feature Friday: Discount Boston Parking with Mobile Apps!

SpotHero

Update: The free $5 referral code below is no longer working. Please try jyko6z for a free $5 credit! Thank you.

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!

Boston Parking and budget-friendly doesn’t always fall in the same sentence, especially if you can’t find a free street spot. I like to have a parking back up when ever possible, and SpotHero is a perfect parking back up for me.

SpotHero is a mobile parking app that allows you to find, book, and pay for parking all on the app. You do not need cash to pay for a parking garage in Boston since your credit card info is on the app.

Not all parking garages in Boston participate, but it’s a great way to figure out current parking rates for the time frame you want and to find cheap parking options.

If you haven’t tried SpotHero before, you can register though my referral link for a free $5 credit. I’ve parked for a rate as low as $8 before for a few hours, so just $3 for parking for the evening after the promo code!

Have you used SpotHero before? What is your favorite way to get cheap parking in Boston?

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Feature Friday: Free Wine Tastings at Urban Grape!

Urban Grape Free Wine Tastings

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!

Do you like drink for cheap or, even better, free in Boston? Wine tastings are a great way to sample different wines for free.

Urban Grape in the South End has different wine tastings each week that are free and open to the public. Better yet, some wine tastings are more than wine too. The wine tasting I went to also had different craft beer to taste in addition to wine.

The wine tasting was a great way to break up a date night with something free thrown in before or after dinner.

Urban Grape Free Wine Tastings are Thursday and Friday 5-8pm and Saturday 3-6pm. For more information or for the upcoming event schedule, please head here.

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Feature Friday: Boston Public Library Free Museum Passes

BPL MOS Pass

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!

This tip been mentioned on the blog many times before, but I wanted to highlight my experience this week as a Feature Friday post!

The Boston Public Library offers free and discount museum passes to many local attractions in Boston and more with your Boston Library card. Any Massachusetts resident can become a BPL cardholder. I went to a local branch with my Massachusetts ID and received my BPL card in a matter of minutes.

Your Boston Library Card can give you free admission and discount admission to many different museums and attractions in the Boston area. For more details about the various discounts and more, please head here.

Once you have a BPL card and know what museum you want to visit, head over to the BPL website to reserve a museum pass. (You can also do this in person or over the phone as well.)

In order to request a museum pass online, you need to enter your library bar code which is the set of numbers on your BPL card. You also need to enter a pin number which is a personal pin number created by you. If you forgot your bar code, just hit the forgot pin number button that appears.

Once you enter your information for the pass you want, that’s it. You just need to head to the library that you picked to grab the pass.

I took advantage of free admission to the Museum of Science for up to 4 guests with my BPL card.

It took a few minutes to request the pass online and about 5-10 minutes extra to stop at the library before heading to the Museum of Science. If I didn’t request the library passes, I would have spent $92 at the Museum of Science for admission for myself and 3 guests. Pretty great deal.

I didn’t need to wait in line to exchange the pass for tickets and just needed to hand the usher my library pass at MOS. However, your experience may vary on museum and library pass.

As mentioned, any Massachusetts resident can take advantage of this offer, but you do need to be present to pick up the museum pass at a Boston library. However, your local library in your own town may also offer similar (or better) local discounts to your favorite attractions.

For more information and all terms, please head here.

Have you taken advantage of your BPL card for free museum passes before? How was your experience?

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Feature Friday: College Student Discounts and Savings!

college discounts

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!

I know I am no longer a college student, but I wanted college discounts and savings to be highlighted as a Feature Friday post this week.

One of my favorite ways to save money in college was to get involved and take advantage of so many free student activities. Free comedians, free coffeehouses with musicians, free game shows with awesome prizes, free food and much more are available constantly through your college. Make sure to follow your local Student Activities department on Twitter or Facebook to stay connected.

Free Entertainment is definitely a great college perk and you don’t have to go too far for it. Also, if you get involved in clubs and organizations, you may also receive free perks, swag, free food at meetings, etc. It’s also a great way to meet new people too.

If you are looking to get off campus, your college ID card is a great way to save money too. There are so many local restaurants, attractions, retailers and more that will give college students a discount with a valid college ID. Often times college discounts are not advertised so make sure to ask if they have any discounts for college students.

There are also many college discounts that are advertised and I compiled a list of them all in Boston as well as national deals too. All college discounts in Boston and beyond can be found here and make sure to leave a comment if I missed anything.

What is your favorite college discount?

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

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.

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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!

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