10 Ways to Live More Frugally in Pittsburgh

Clipping coupons is one of those tips that’s a no- brainer when economic times are tough. But if you live in Pittsburgh, there are other ways to make your money go a little further.

Libraries. Allegheny County residents can save even further by taking advantage of one of the best regional library systems in the country, and borrow books and videos for free.

Bus schedules. Despite recent service cutbacks by the Allegheny County Port Authority, our region still has a decent public transportation system. You just have to pay close attention to bus routes and schedules.

Parks. Pittsburgh’s city parks have a lot to offer, year-round, and are a great way to have family fun without spending a lot of money. Whether it’s a free movie night on Flagstaff Hill at Schenley , or romping with your pet at Frick , there’s a lot to do outside!

Community events. There are over 130 separate municipalities around Allegheny County, more than any county in the United States. What that can mean is that there is always a lot going on in terms of community events, as each neighborhood will have entertainment. Watch the events sections in the local newspapers and media websites for cool, inexpensive stuff to do.

Save on gym memberships. Instead of paying out the wazoo for a gym membership, consider the $10 per month membership offered by Planet Fitness, which has three locations in the area.

Consignment, discount, and thrift stores. Forget paying $50 or more for a pair of jeans. Pittsburgh has wonderful thrift stores, including 15 Goodwill locations. If you’re looking for lightly-used designer merchandise for children, there are four Plato’s Closet stores in the region. For overstock deals, go to one of the six Gabriel Brothers locations.

Grocery store perks. Both Giant Eagle and Shop N’ Save have a perks program where you can earn use your advantage card to get discounts on food and gas. When you combine this with coupons, it can be a real advantage.

Get thee to a nunnery. According to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, there are at least 210 Catholic Churches in the region. That doesn’t include all the other religions, but does offer a sense of how many spaghetti dinners, fish fry dinners, and pierogi festivals are going on around here at any given time. Nobody cooks like Pittsburgh’s Catholic grandmas, and you can eat out inexpensively while helping a church.

Bike trails. If you like to bike, using your bike for transportation is becoming more common in our region despite the hilly terrain. Places like Squirrel Hill even have painted bike lanes.

Farmers markets. This is a great way to buy fresh produce, grown locally. Buying your produce from one of Pittsburgh’s Farmers Markets can often be less expensive than grocery store produce, which most times is both imported (which drives up costs) and not as fresh.