Tips From Slate Readers on How to Consume Culture on the Cheap

Slate's Culture Blog
Sept. 23 2011 3:51 PM

Tips From Slate Readers on How to Consume Culture on the Cheap

95796145
Photo of the Staten Island Ferry by DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

On Wednesday, I published a Slate essay that provides eight tips for consuming culture without going broke. I offered up numerous options for scoring free movie tickets, suggested that Slate readers volunteer to clean up at various performances in exchange for free admission, and alienated Graydon Carter by suggesting you share your Vanity Fair subscription with friends and neighbors. I also asked readers to submit their own ideas for accessing entertainment and culture on a cheapskate’s budget. You did not disappoint.

Commenter Lindsay, for instance, writes that she decided to usher at two different local theaters—now she scores seats to countless plays in exchange for about an hour of stuffing programs and some time picking up trash after each performance. Meli Dinglasa left a comment on Slate’s Facebook page suggesting meetups as a great way to score all sorts of free entertainment. Ashley Fears, meanwhile, advises fellow readers to simply ask for what they want when it comes to cable service. “I just called Comcast and asked if they would give me the same deal they were offering students [starting college in Boston],” she notes. No problem. Now Ashley receives free HBO and Showtime.

For those in New York, Sonia Sharma suggests taking a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry and snapping some great photos of the Statue of Liberty. Several readers sang the praises of the public library. No argument from me there. Libraries maintain a hefty reserve of books, magazines, CDs, e-books, and DVDs that you can check out free of charge. Deirdre Costello notes that some libraries also offer museum passes. Valerie Chism adds that libraries host various readings and performances that are of no charge to the public.

The best comment award goes to Sally Barry, aka “The woman with the coolest local public library ever.” She writes: “My library also loans out art—paintings, etchings, sculptures—you can decorate your home with new artwork and change it several times a year. They also loan fishing rods.” Magazines and fishing rods? It really doesn’t get any better than that.

Matthew J.X. Malady is Slate’s Good Word columnist. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjxmalady.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

A Simple Way to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.