Hi! I’m M, from Deardebt.com. I’m climbing crawling my way out of $81,000 in student loan debt and currently live in Portland, Oregon. I’ve paid off roughly $34,000 but still have years of repayment left to go. I’m committed to paying off my debt, while also having fun in this fabulous city. I refuse to let myself stay at home all day, get depressed, and not spend any money simply for the sake of frugality.
Life is too short.
I can make my debt payoff a priority, while still enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Luckily, here in Portland that is pretty easy to do.
Here are my favorite things to do for $5 or less:
Mr. Green Beans (N)- Honor coffee bar. Just drop your bills in the bin and grab some coffee. $2 if you use their cup, $1 if you bring your own.
Aalto Lounge (SE)- Best patio in Portland in my opinion. During happy hour cocktails are $2. So is grilled cheese. TWO DOLLARS. I’ve come here for dinner and drinks and paid $6. Incredible deals, great music, good food and drink.
Tabor Space (SE) – A non-profit coffee house that serves coffee on a donation basis. Great space to work or meet friends. They also have wonderful free or low-cost events.
Mt Tabor (SE)—Go hiking or biking. Look at the views. Great place for runners or dog owners. Free!
Living Room Theater(SW) -I love this movie theater so much. It’s classy, fun, and you can drink in the theater. Price is usually $9, but on Monday and Tuesday it’s only $5!
Taqueria Francisco (SW)- $1.50 for a taco. If I’m hungry and downtown, I’ll get 2 or 3 tacos and I’m good to go. No frills, no fuss, just cheap, delicious food.
Yoga on Yamhill (SW)- A donation based yoga studio. You read that correctly. They have classes every day, at all times and the instructors are fantastic. While most yoga studios are $8-$15 a class, this place is a rare gem. Get there early.
East Side Deli (SE/SW/N) Happy hour beer is $2.75 for a pint of good draft beer. Not PBR.
Tea Chai Te (SE/NW)- Great tea place with a wonderful variety of teas. If you go to the Sellwood location, you can sip your tea in a converted train. It’s pretty rad.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (SE)– A wonderful, quaint nature reserve in Portland! Free!
Springwater Corridor (SE)- This awesome bike path goes from Portland all the way to Boring (what a great name, right?) I rode the entire corridor last summer and it kicked my butt. It’s free, fun and a great way to get exercise.
The fact of the matter is, there are plenty of ways to have fun while being frugal, especially in this city. You just have to keep your eyes open to it!
What are your favorite frugal activities? If you are in Portland, what would you add to the list?
Note: Special thanks to Kathleen. I met Kathleen in January 2013 and she single-handedly was responsible for me starting a blog. I was a passionate lurker reader of her blog for a while, and I was so inspired by her writing that I wanted to share my story. I emailed Kathleen and she agreed to meet with me and chat about starting a blog. The rumors are true; she is as sweet as can be, and so very helpful. I started a blog right away and now I am so happy to have a supportive network of friends in Portland through blogging. Thanks a million, Kathleen.