There are a lot of great things about NYC life, but the high rent prices and cost of living is definitely not one of them. Still, millions of people are able to enjoy the benefits of living in New York City, despite not earning a fortune in wages. For the uninitiated, it can seem impossible to imagine being able to do anything in New York once all of your cash is spent on rent and food, but the reality is that, if you know what to do, you can actually do an awful lot in New York whilst still saving your pennies. Here is some of the best of NYC life on a budget.

For Free

Parklife
One of the best things about New York are the parks throughout the city. Everyone knows about central park, and it is a fantastic park, but nearly 14 percent of the city is covered in parks, so there are a lot of other options to pass the time. Here are a few of the best.

Free Theater
And the free entertainment in public parks does not end there. The Public Theater hosts Shakespeare in the Park every summer, bringing high art to anyone for absolutely no cost.

Free TV
And if theater isn’t your thing, one of the best advantages of living in NYC is the fact that so many great live TV shows are based here, ones that need live audiences and allow you to attend for free. There are even more great options now as the two big late night shows—on NBC and CBS—recently moved back to (or stayed in) New York.

Workout for Free
If the most obvious free workout isn’t for you (running or cycling in the park), here is a list of gyms that will offer you free passes for anything from one to seven days. If you do like running, there are a lot of free running clubs throughout the city.

Free Internet
There are also an ever-increasing amount of free wifi hotspots across the city, and you can find a list here.

For Cheap

Get Groceries Where It’s Cheap
It’s just a fact that buying groceries is going to be cheaper if you go to the Bronx rather than Manhattan.

Or Buy Them Online
There are a lot of places that will allow you to order your groceries online, including non-perishables on Amazon.

Skip the Taxis
If you can walk, walk. It’ll save you the cost of a taxi or subway fare, and it’ll be healthier. If you have to go a long distance, always choose the subway over the convenience of a taxi or Uber.

Work Out at a Rec Center
Instead of paying the high price for a gym membership (once your free trials have run out), sign up for a membership at a recreation center and it’ll be a lot cheaper than a gym.

Get a NYC ID
NYC life has many perks, but a big one is the various benefits that come with being a resident with an IDNYC. You can get discounts and free access to museums and other places around the city.