Street festivals, a birthday party, a meet up for brunch and a country concert? Statistically to the average consumer that sounds like a good portion of one paycheck out the window. To this frugal fury fighter, it was a call to arms to refresh and test my skills, and man did I respond.
Friday night we were in what I consider my favorite neighborhood in Chicago, Andersonville, for the start of Midsommar Fest, my favorite street fest in the windy city. Our friends gathered for a birthday celebration to listen to the best 80s cover band in the country, 16 Candles. Needless to say I was stoked, but not enough to bust the budget. I was happy to pay the $10 suggested donation at the gate to get in for my wife and I, and immediately upon entering we noticed that there was a convenience store that remained open. We went inside to buy a few bottles of water for a few Washington’s, which was less than sticker price at “fest vendors,” and met up with our friends to enjoy the night. Once the gathering moved to a local bar my wife and I happily spent $10 on a pair of drinks and spent the rest of the night enjoying the time and company with our friends. To get home we used our existing transit passes and took public transit home, avoiding cab fare.
On Saturday we were back in Andersonville and met up with a friend of my wife’s and her adorable children for brunch at Svea, an awesome Swedish restaurant where I whole-heartedly indulged with the, “Viking Breakfast,” we even invited my nephew along, our treat. Our side of the bill came out to $50 including tip. After brunch we got to enjoy the more family friendly side of Midsommar Fest including hanging out in the kids’ section of the Swedish American Museum, all for free. When my wife and I made our way back to our place to get some R&R from the burning Chicago sun, we popped in a few movies rented for free from the library and enjoyed a homemade lunch courtesy of our kitchen J.
Saturday night though would prove the pinnacle of my frugal practices. Months ago I had heard that Brad Paisley was headlining this summer’s country concert at Wrigley Field. Now I’m not a big fan of retail shopping, nor am I a fan of over paying a reseller. So we decided to take advantage of the situation. Wrigley is an open air stadium in the middle of a neighborhood. So once the sunset we grabbed our blanket, carried our beach lounge chairs and setup shop on a side street to listen in. It was comforting as there were a few dozen others spread out on the street listening in, but I could feel their eyes of envy as they sat on the hard sidewalk and I in my comfy beach chair! Things just kept going our way that night as a couple camped nearby left early and bequeathed to us a few unopened leftover drinks on their way out.
Sunday we spent relaxing and basking in the glow of a event filled weekend that cost us less than $80 in Chicago. So yes you can have fun on a budget and to be honest, it’s even more fun to find weird ways to do it J