New Jersey on a Budget


Food and Fun at Half the Cost!

New Jersey may be one of the most expensive states to live in the United States but spending the day in Garden State doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a few different ideas for good times and even greater grub for a day anywhere in NJ when you may be strapped for cash!


Take a walk on the beautiful Jersey Shore

While the shores of Seaside Heights may come to mind due to its role as a backdrop on “Jersey Shore,” there is more to this idea than just orange-colored tourists and partying. The Jersey Shore is defined as “the coastal region of the U.S. state of New Jersey.”

Anywhere from the northern shores of Atlantic Highlands to the southern New Jersey beaches of Wildwood and Cape May can be considered the Jersey Shore! Walking on any of these boardwalks is free all year round. Take in the relaxing view of the coastline while soaking up the sun any time of year with a breathtaking walk on any of the shore’s clean and beautiful beaches.

Access to the beach is cheap during the summer. Prices and hours vary based on location but seeing the view during dawn or dusk is free and amazing.

Enjoy any of New Jersey’s beautiful parks and reservoirs.

New Jersey is known as the Garden State – there are parks everywhere! These public parks are beautifully maintained and are free. Some parks even host events during the year for families to enjoy.

Monmouth County Parks System is perhaps one of the biggest groups of parks in the state. With over 30 park areas to explore, you can enjoy nature walks in almost every town in Monmouth County. From the 1,200 acres of land and nature in the Manasquan Reservoir to the beachside Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, you and your family can discover all the natural beauty this central NJ county has to offer. The entire state of New Jersey has over 50 protected areas that are also recognized as parks. No matter where you go, there is always a free park to explore the outdoors nearby.

Discover more with “free” New Jersey Museums

Maybe it’s raining and you’re not sure what to do. Perhaps you want to take the family somewhere that they can learn a little something. You can solve both those problems without breaking your wallet with a trip to one of the many free museums in NJ!

While some might ask for a donation, there are many museums all over the state of New Jersey that graciously allow visitors to walk in for free. Since NJ is such a historical place, there are many museums at your disposal to cater to any interest. If you’re an art junkie, you can choose from a variety of free art museums including the Princeton University Art Museum located at the prestigious Princeton University or drive to Middlesex County for the Barron Art Center.

History lovers can pick from a variety of places to go such as the Brigantine History Museum, African American Heritage Museum, or Atlantic City Historical Museum. There are even a few museums for those with more unique hobbies and interests – see the Rutgers Geology Museum, Keyport Steamboat Museum, or the New Jersey Museum of Boating. New Jersey’s history is rich – these museums are only a reflection of what the state has to offer.


Leave some breadcrumbs for Hansel N’ Griddle

Hansel N’ Griddle is a Central NJ staple that delivers to your door. With locations in Denville, New Brunswick, Hoboken, Red Bank, and Somerville, you can stop by this deliciously cheap establishment. Hansel N’ Griddle offers everything from breakfast to their special “crisps” (quesadillas), delicious burgers, smoothers, and more! Breakfast is cheap and usually delivered quickly. We recommend the French Toast – it starts a $5.50 and comes with three of their homemade Texas toast creations.

Strike a hole-in-one at the Historic Windmill

Since 1963, The Windmill n Long Branch NJ has been serving up delicious fast food for all Jersey Shore tourists. From delectable burgers and hot dogs to their famous cheese fries and onion rings, you can experience heaven on earth! Getting great, cheap eats such as this one is priceless.

Kick Back with Cheesesteaks at Donkey’s Place

If you’re looking for a South Jersey establishment that will leave you and your wallet full, try Donkey’s Place in Medford or Camden NJ! Their simple menu is small but delicious. Having been voted multiple times as one of the best sandwich places in America, you just must try it for yourself. For only $8.44, you can enjoy one of their signature, high quality cheesesteaks and add one some French friends for just $4.50.

If you’re planning a day in NJ, you don’t have to spend a fortune. In fact, there are a ton of things to do in NJ for any type of interest or personality. Click here for a great list of other inexpensive activities, attractions, and eats in NJ.

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