Living Large on a Budget in Ottawa
Despite not being as expensive as larger cities in Ontario, such as Toronto, living in Ottawa can still be quite costly. As such, living smart often means living on a budget - but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun!
Get your fresh food at the Byward market near closing time
If you’re looking to get some fresh produce while supplies last, check out the Byward market 20 minutes before closing. As vendors begin to close up their stalls for the day around 4-5pm, prices begin to drop dramatically. Take advantage of the sale and stock up on fruits and vegetables! For fresh produce all year round, Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Lansdowne Park is the place to be.
Ditch the gym membership and workout outside
None of us use our gym membership as much as we should, but when it’s nice outside, why spend $60 a month when you can take advantage of the fresh air. Ottawa is filled with parks and trails to help you on your fitness journey. Check out this list of 10 places to workout outdoors.
Experience the amazing food truck scene in Ottawa
Soak up the best of Ottawa’s summer weather by trying out the amazing food from Ottawa’s food trucks. Most dishes are between $5 to $9 and with a large variety of cuisine options, you’ll always find something new to try. Find your closest food truck now by using the street food app.
If food trucks are closed, you can still find amazing food for under $6
Cheap food doesn’t have to be unhealthy, and it doesn’t have to be a greasy mess that will fill you up and give you instant regrets. Here are just some of our favourite places for cheap eats in Ottawa.
Don't be afraid to buy used clothes or books
Ottawa has amazing used book stores and used clothing stores. Black Squirrel Books and Espresso Bar is a used bookstore, and even better, it has a cafe that sells mean vegetarian donuts from Doughboy Doughnuts. If you’re looking for clothes, Value Village often has great deals on lightly used clothing. For a list of more great opportunities to spruce up your wardrobe, check out this article on 10 of Ottawa’s best vintage and consignment clothing stores. Thrifting has always been a trend, and oftentimes, you’ll be surprised at what you can find.
Watch out for free events, or just free things to do in the city
There are normally plenty of free things to do in Ottawa. The Rideau Canal, one of Ottawa’s most well known attractions, is absolutely free and one of the best ways to kill time in the winter. Certain museums in Ottawa are free at specific times, including The Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum on Thursdays from 4 pm to 8 pm; The Canadian Museum of Nature and the National Gallery of Canada from 5 pm to 8 pm; and the Aviation and Space Museum daily from 4 pm to 5 pm. Some government buildings, such as the House of Commons, the Senate, and the Supreme Courthouse are also free to visit when booked in advance. Reserve your tickets here.
Ottawa always has at least one festival to check out, and most are either free or cost around $5. For updates on free events, check out our events pages and visit this page for a list of festival dates in Ottawa.
You should live large on your birthday, even if you're broke
It’s your birthday, so treat yourself! There are a ton of places that offer free food on your birthday, and many of them only require that you show your ID. Take advantage of the deals today by checking out this list of 16 Free Things You Can Get In Ottawa On Your Birthday