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Broke as a Joke: WPB on a Budget

Money. Scratch.  Dosh.  Clams.  Coin.

Call it whatever you want, but it's always nice to have some jingle in your pocket!  Alas, sometimes one is faced with the sad story of champagne taste on a beer budget.  That's no problem in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhood, because if you can look under the couch cushions or in the floorboards of your car and scrape up a measly $5, then you can experience an entire day of cheap-n-cheerful meals, services, and nightlife!  Get ready, Your Royal Tightwad, and let us commence our budget-friendly sojourn.

Hollywood Grill
1.  Hollywood Grill

     1601 W North Ave
      P: (773) 395-1818

Rise and shine with a delightfully inexpensive breakfast at the Hollywood Grill!  Mondays through Fridays (with the exception of holidays), hungry cheapos can dine on a meal of eggs and bacon or sausage, french toast or pancakes, or a three-egg omelet with toast for only $3.99.  Enjoy free parking, as well as complimentary people-watching!

Reckless Records

2. Reckless Records

    1532 N Milwaukee Ave
     P: (773) 235-3727

Next, walk four blocks west and two blocks south on Milwaukee to Wicker Park's legendary Reckless Records to ransack their always-stocked .99cent CD bins. Cheap tunes are always appreciated by, well, everyone, and you never know what gems you might find for pocket change.

3. University of Aesthetics

    1357 N Milwaukee Ave
    P: (773) 661-0025/(773) 661-0800

After you have absconded with your new music, head south three blocks to the University of Aesthetics and enjoy a lip or chin wax for only $5.

4. Ipsento
    2035 N. Western Ave
P: (773) 904-8177

Now that your chin is a smooth a baby's butt, head west to Western Ave and McLean to Ipsento Coffeehouse (2035 N Western Ave, 773.904.8177, www.ipsento.com) and nab one of their hand-selected teas for $3.25.  The China Breakfast black tea's caffeine content is so rich, it's worth about a million dollars.  See what I did there?

 5. Li'l Guys & My Pie

    2010 N. Damen Ave.
    P: (773) 394-6900

You're probably famished after saving all that money.  Take yourself east four blocks to Lil Guys and nourish yourself with a small dinner salad.  Enjoy a combination of seasonal fresh greens  topped with carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, croutons, and your choice of dressing, all for just $3.25. A lotta green for NOT a lotta green!

6. Subterranean

    2011 W North Ave

  P: (773) 278-6600

Finally, make a deposit in the bank account of cool at the weekly Reggae Gold dance party at the Subterranean on Thursdays, where ladies get in free (hint: try to be a woman on Thursday evenings) and dudes cough up only $5.  Once you are inside and feeling the good vibes, indulge in $3.50 Red Stripes or break out a good old Abe L and nab a rum punch for $4.50.

So there you have it, Moneybags!  A wonderful day all over Wicker Park and Bucktown for a few measly bucks.  I mean, why do you think they call it BUCKtown?!

Copyright 2011.Written by Stephanie Sack, owner of vive la femme, a Bucktown-based agency dedicated to colorful culture, exceptional events, and sparkling marketing for Chicago's small businesses.  Oh, and she is also a plus-size fashion expert, personal stylist, and curvy closet remixer