Frugal Food: Festivals

If you’re not careful, dining out in college is a surefire way to blow your weekly budget.  But who has the time/will/culinary skills to cook at home EVERY night? We’ll get to cheap, creative recipes soon, but if you’re like me and enjoy letting someone else do the cooking, sit and stay awhile.  I LOVE trying new restaurants and foods and ADORE saving money in the process (obviously). So where can you get outstanding food for cheap? Food fesitvals of course! Whether you’re in smalltown America or taking a bite out of the Big Apple, food festivals are a great way to grab some local grub and find out more about your community.  Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Ferragosto Festival on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.  Sometimes referred to as the “Real Little Italy” of NYC, Arthur Avenue is lined with fantastic Italian restaurants, bakeries, butcher shops, delis and even a homemade pasta shop.  Enough with the tour guide schpeal, let’s get to the food! My family came down to celebrate and we ate our fill of homemmade mozarella, sausage and peppers, calamari and gelato. All for less than what we would spend at our local greasy spoon.  Here were a few of my Ferragosto favorites:

teitel bros. cheese wheels

cahill’s sausage and peppers from vincent’s meat market ($8)

peaches and wine ($5)

vincent’s grilling up their fresh sausages

my steak, peppers and onions sandwich with diet coke ($8)

A doo-wop group (they were great!)

A Few Frugal Festival Tips:

~Browse community websites, newspapers, event sites and social networks to find out about food festivals in your area.

~When manuevering your way through a food festival, it’s best to do a walk through or two before deciding what you want. If you simply start at the beginning you may miss out on some great finds.

~STICK TO A BUDGET! If you budgeted for ten dollars, only bring ten in cash that way you can’t spend anymore than you wanted to.  Also, most festivals only accept greenbacks.

~Once the money’s gone, enjoy the free entertainment rather than browsing the stands, you’ll be less likely to make unnecessary purchases.