Since The BF and I LOVE to travel, we’ve been really worried about how much the bad economy is going to impact our travel. Just this year, we’ve been to San Francisco, Costa Rica, New York, Los Angeles, Taiwan, Yosemite, San Diego, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Niagara Falls, western Virginia, New Orleans, and we have upcoming trips to Hong Kong, Macau, and Vietnam at the end of the year! Needless to say, we’ve decided to figure out more cost effective ways to save money while traveling.

So I’m starting a series called Wandering Cheap. Really, it’s more of a public challenge for me to make sure we’re being as cost efficient as possible!

A budget weekend in Philadelphia, PA for two:

1. Day 1: $67

Liberty Bell/ Franklin Square = $0:

We definitely had to see both these historical sites! Luckily for us, it was free! Apparently, all those years of paying taxes has come in handy.

Shopping at South Street = $0:

Since we arrived in Philly in the afternoon, we decided to roam the streets a little. A great place to window shop and people watch, South Street is full of energy and entertainment! Read here.

Dinner for 2 at Dmitri’s = $47 including tip:

After, we headed to Dmitri’s, a tiny Greek seafood place, with the. Most. Amazing. Scallops. Ever. r. r. r. r. The portions are huge there, so the two of us, shared one entree (Grilled Scallops), and a side of grilled veggies and another side of grilled octopus. No drink, just water. It was a perfect amount of food for us and we didn’t have leftover traveler’s guilt (you know, when you’re traveling and you have tons of leftovers but can’t take it home).

Drinks/ Dessert at Dolce = $20:

Actually, we both regretted getting this afterwards. The dessert was terrible at Dolce (microwaving, seriously?) and the drink was just… eh. We decided there that we were going to stop ordering drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic) and desserts at restaurants. Live and learn.

2. Day 2: $22

Philly Cheesesteak at Jim’s Steaks =$8:

I actually did a LOT of research on Yelp to see which sandwich place had the best cheesesteak. Even though the Travel Channel covered Geno’s and Pat’s, the reviews were so bad for both the places that I really didn’t want to waste that money or stomach space. So, I narrowed it down to Tony Luke’s and John’s Roast Pork. Only to realize that neither of those places opened on the weekends! Go me.  So, which exploring South Street, we saw a MASSIVE line at Jim’s Steaks and decided that that must be the place. We opted to share one sandwich (which was definitely enough to share) and we cried cheesey goodness afterwards.

Two scoops of ice cream at Bassett’s Ice Cream = $4:

Afterwards, we headed to Reading Terminal Market. Originally, I hoped to eat at some of the food vendors here, but my gluttenous belly was already resting on my knees. SO, I opted for 2 scoops of moosetracks ice cream at Bassett’s. Diet? What diet. Again, The BF and I shared.

Mutter’s Museum =$10 each/ $20 for two:

This is the coolest museum IN THE COUNTRY. Believe me, I’ve been to a lot of museums and I think this is the one museum where every other sentence that came out of my mouth started with “WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”. A physicians’ museum, or a macabre museum, this small museum has a collection of old equipment used by early doctors, jars of “parts” from patients, and more “parts” of the weirdest stuff that can possibly happen medically to patients. Dried intestines from a man who was constipated for 20 years of his life and died with 40 lbs of poo in his body? Check. Skeleton of conjoined twins sharing ONE head w/ 2 bodies? Check. Dried up lady in a glass box? Check. Lady with horns growing out of her whole body? Check. I don’t have any pictures from inside the museum, since it’s not allowed, but I have more than enough memories to ensure that I’ll be taking my multi-vitamin everyday til I die. YOU MUST GO.

Walking down Ben Franklin Parkway = $0:

There are tons of museums down this parkway! But we really just wanted to enjoy the beautiful fall day and run up Rocky’s Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We attempted to check out and exhibit at The Franklin Institute of Science, which was a beautiful building, but opted out after finding out that it cost $22 per person (Seriously?). However, it is free to walk through the atrium and see a large statue of ole’ Ben chilling in marble. Definitely worth checking out.

Searching for Murals = $0:

With over 2,800 murals, Philadelphia is FULL of beautiful wall and street art and definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

By this time, we had to head home, but our grand total for two days excluding gas, car rental, and hotel was $99! Not too bad for two people! I learned a lot from this experiment and I’ll definitely be much more frugal next time (re: no more alcohol and desserts =P)


Day 1: Liberty Bell/Franklin Square = $0, Window shopping = $0, Dinner at Dmitri’s = $47, Drinks at Dolce = $20

Day 2: Philly Cheesesteak at Jim’s Steaks = $8, Bassett’s Ice Cream = $4, Mutter’s Museum = $20 for two people, Walking down Ben Franklin Parkway = $0

Total: $99 for two people, $49.50 per person.

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