Travel Blogger Eats for Free in NYC!!

Blogging Your Trip, Budget Travel, City Travel, Food & Wine, Lost Girl of the Week, New York City, Websites and Blogs — By on March 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm

by Jennifer Baggett
LG Executive Editor

As I sit here in my office, polishing off an $8.50 Lenny’s tossed salad and $2.25 organic tea while a space heater melts the slush off my boots, two thoughts cross my mind: 1) I need to run, not walk, out of this steel gray city and not look back til Spring and 2) it’s slightly tragic that the cost of my lunch alone was more than 1/3 of The Lost Girls’ daily budget when we were on the road. Fortunately, Amanda, Holly and I are planning a trip to China in April (our first one together since returning from our RTW adventure – yay!) so that assuages my wanderlust enough to get me through the day.

But trying to eat on the cheap in one of the most expensive cities in America? Well…considering my insatiable addiction to dining out, an utter lack of cooking skills and the extensive list of take-out numbers I already have programmed in my cell, that just seemed way too daunting a task for this New Yorker. But as luck would have it, one of my favorite Lost Girls of the Week, Courtney Scott, recently set out to prove it could be done. Embarking on a culinary challenge of epic proportions, Courtney managed to satisfy her every hunger whim for an entire week (and counting) without spending a single cent.

For a detailed account on how she accomplished such an extraordinary task and the current state of her stomach, check out the below.

Bon (Free) Appetit!

Courtney Scott on: Free Eats Week
I’ve passed my one week mark, still feeling good, and finding a plethora of diverse snacks to satisfy almost all of my cravings. I’d still love to find a nice fat eel and avocado roll, but hey, Free Eaters can’t be choosers! Health-wise, this week’s diet has run the gamut. On the nutritious side, I’ve eaten locally grown apples, organic corn salad, braised fennel, hummus and even freshly pan-seared tilapia. On the more glutinous side, well, the list is long: Dark chocolate, gelato, pizza, artisinal cheeses, cured meats, chips, brownies, and to-die-for bread pudding. I think my fat intake has even been upped this week, despite the small portions!

I haven’t bought any groceries, ordered takeout or paid for a restaurant tab in nine days, allowing me to put more money towards my looming college loans. Although I began this experiment out of curiosity, I’m saving a heck of a lot of cash-o-la and may not shutting down my Free Eats operation any time soon! Through this week’s research I’ve discovered dozens of free and cheap specials around the city, and will continue to share my tips as the list keeps growing.

As any New Yorker can attest, New York City is a miserable place to save money. Those who choose to reside here often sacrifice savings to pay astronomical expenses, but we do it to experience the magic of the greatest city in the world. Free Eats Week was a reminder to myself that, with a little perseverance, creativity and an open mind, there are alternative ways to save…and have delicious fun in the process!

For extensive coverage and up-to-the minute updates on Courtney’s Free Eats Week, visit

Free Eats Week has also been featured on:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

About Courtney: Courtney Scott is a vibrant freelance travel journalist and on-air personality based in New York City.

As a correspondent she has appeared on national television including MTV’s Total Request Live and The Rachel Ray Show. She has been a contributing editor for CondéNet’s Jaunted: Pop Culture Travel Guide, and her travel writing has been featured on,, The Lost Girls and

Courtney’s photo coverage of this summer’s garbage crisis in Naples, Italy and prostitution rise in Treviso, Italy captured the attention of Peter Greenberg who featured her photography in his New York Times Best Seller, DON’T GO THERE!

Courtney experienced incredible success during her career at MTV Networks, lived in New Zealand and Italy and has explored four continents. She has survived a harrowing boat crash on the Mekong River, hitchhiked across Milan in a windowless truck, danced the Haka with Maori natives and interviewed Hollywood celebrities on the red carpet.

She focuses her writing on what she knows best: independent travel, budget travel, women travel, food, culture, lifestyle and entertainment. Through her writing she has inspired young professionals across the world to begin exploring life outside the corporate cubicle. She is driven by the connective power of travel journalism and will continue to motivate, educate and entertain through her writing.

Contact: Blog:

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    1 Comment

  • University says:

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