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21 Ways To Survive In Portland On A Budget

Experience the best of living in Portland without breaking the bank.

Kris Norton

144 articles, 0 comments

1. Invest In A Good Bike

bicycle

Source: Travel Portland Facebook

Portland is one of America’s most bikeable cities, and getting around on a bike is free transportation and exercise in one.

Join the bike commuter rush on Hawthorne between 8-9 a.m. and you’ll realize how awkward you would feel driving.

2. Eat Well At Home

farmers-market

Source: Travel Portland Facebook

If you think eating healthy has to be expensive, think again. Local and organic produce and foods alongside Oregon wines, freshly baked goods, and artisanal creations can be found at the Portland State Farmer’s Market along with other local markets for discounted prices.

3. Don’t Fear The Food Trucks

food-truck-client

Source: Food Trucks Portland Facebook

With over 500 food trucks to be found in the city, there are no shortage of ways to enjoy a good meal for under $10. A porchetta sandwich from People’s Pig and pierogis from Eurodish are just a couple of options you could be enjoying right now.

4. Lay Your Own Eggs

chickens

Source: Oregon Live

Well, you won’t be laying them. But the chickens in your backyard could. Chickens are popular pets in Portland and the city allows you to keep up to three of them. But note: no roosters allowed.

5. Get Free Entertainment From Mother Nature

city-view

Source: Travel Portland Facebook

The skies might not always be blue but you can always count on Portland to be as green as it gets. From all of the moss to the endless landscape of parks, there’s always somewhere to go to escape the city and get back to nature.

6. Being Cultured While On A Budget Is Possible In Portland

bw-artwork

Source: Portland Art Museum Facebook

Don’t miss free days at the Museum of Contemporary Craft every first Thursday of the month from 11-8 p.m. and also at the Portland Art Museum on the fourth Friday of the month from 5-8 p.m.

7. Take Advantage Of Free Activities For Kids

kids-playing

Source: Portland Children’s Museum Facebook

Every kid in Portland loves the Portland Children’s Museum and parents love that admission is free the first Friday of every month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. And sign up for the Oregon Zoo’s email updates to find out when they feature their special free admission days for residents.

8. Hop On The Street Car

streetcar

Source: Wikipedia

Portland was one of the first in the country to reintroduce streetcars back in 2001. A two hour ticket will only cost you $1 or you can get an all-day pass for just $5 and will get you around Portland without having to worry about traffic, gas, or parking.

9. Shop Local And Actually Get More Bang For Your Buck

portland-street

Source: Travel Portland Facebook

With so many great places to shop in Portland, no sales tax makes a pretty big difference in those receipts. Shopping local helps keep all that money in your community’s economy, too, which is great for everyone.

10. Find A Cheaper Way To Enjoy Craft Beer

craft-beers

Source: Widmer Brothers Brewery and Pub Facebook

Portland is known for its stellar craft beer scene, and it doesn’t always come cheap. But you can still enjoy some time out on the town with a good brew without emptying out your wallet by taking the free tours of many of the local breweries for tastings at places like BridgePort Brewing Company and Widmer Brothers Brewery Company.

11. Think About Getting A Home Security System

dog

Source: Portland Dog Parks Facebook

If you’ve heard that Portland has a high crime rate, it’s actually true. You don’t have to walk around feeling unsafe, though, as most of the crime is property related.

Get a guard dog or invest in a security alarm. It will help keep your stuff safe, give you peace of mind, and even knock a few dollars off of your homeowner’s insurance.

12. Keep Away The Blues By Facing Them Head-On

mermaid-costumes

Source: Lucky Labrador Brewpub Facebook

There are plenty of ways to break up the overcast in the city with fun events and festivals. Check out the Worst Day of the Year Ride, which takes place in Mid-February which is listed as the year’s worst weather day, for a 16-mile fun bike challenge course which ends with beer and a bowl of soup at Lucky Labrador brewpub.

13. No Need To Contain The Science Excitement

dinosaur-exhibit

Source: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Facebook

Kids and adults alike love the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry with a variety of exhibits and hands-on fun. But the icing on the cake is that admission drops to just $2 every first Saturday of the month from 9:30 to 5:30 p.m.

14. Savor A Cup Of Coffee In Its Intended Form

Forget that $8 kitchen sink Frappuccino at Starbucks. Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ high quality coffee will make you never even want to drop the extra dollars for all the extraneous mix-ins.

15. Don’t Worry About Buying Razors

beards

Source: Portland Beer Company Google+

Have you seen the price of razors lately? Who needs them when you live in a city so big on facial hair?

Grow yours out and maybe you can even join the Portland Mustache & Beard Club or the Stumptown Stash & Beard Collective.

16. Spend As Much Time Outdoors As Possible

waterfall

Source: Black Watch Sasquatch Facebook

With so many great outdoor activities that cost next to nothing after equipment, there’s no excuse to be bored in Portland.

Hiking, foraging, mushroom picking, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, beach combing, and mountain biking are just a few ideas to get you moving this weekend.

17. Get Your Own Clams

beach

Source: Langdon Cook

Cutting your hands while digging Pacific razor clams from the coast is well worth having a plate full of them for dinner for free.

18. When You’re Hungry, Donuts Will Keep You Alive

giant-donut

Source: Travel Portland Facebook

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t live off of donuts. Whoever tells you that is just jealous that they don’t have Voodoo.

And don’t believe the snobs who tell you that Voodoo is overhyped, either. They’re just mad that they’re standing in a four hour long line for a $35 brunch.

19. Have A Job Lined Up

cityscape

Source: Travel Portland Facebook

If you’re moving to Portland from outside of the area, don’t just make the jump blind. You’re going to want to have a job sealed so that you can hit the ground running here.

It’s not that there are no jobs in Portland – they’re just mostly taken and sometimes slow to come by.

20. Take Public Transportation To The MAX

portland-max

Source: Wikipedia

Navigating Portland without a car is easy. And when you need to get out to places like Washington Park, PSU, or the airport, the MAX is an awesome light rail system that will get you there. Tickets are $2.50 for a 2-hour ticket, $5 for a day pass, or $25 for 10 tickets.

21. If It’s An Option, Buy Instead Of Rent

home-listing

Source: Oregon Live

Buying isn’t always an option for everyone. But with home values in Portland averaging around 35 percent higher than the Oregon average, buying a home instead of renting can be a huge investment, both financially and for your future in Oregon. See homes in Portland that you can buy right now.

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posted on: May 19, 2015
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