Home LifestyleCareer Hoboken Residents Share Where They Choose to Splurge + Save Money

Hoboken Residents Share Where They Choose to Splurge + Save Money

by Ashley Feinstein Gerstley
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With rising prices on everything from gas to groceries, it’s a great time to check in on your budget. Budgets get a bad rep. They bring up feelings of restriction or can feel like they are limiting our fun. But having a plan deserves a rebrand. When we plan, we have more peace of mind. We can consciously build on the things that are important to us, and even splurge. We get to spend money on those things guilt-free because we know they work with our overall budget. That’s a tremendous gift. While revisiting our budget might mean we need to be more selective about where we spend our money if we have the ability and financial privilege, we can still build in splurges and treats. If you are looking to be more strategic with your budget here in Hoboken, we have you covered. We asked some savvy Hoboken residents to share where they shop when they are looking to save money and where they shop when they’re looking to splurge.

If you are looking to build a budget and generally get more financially savvy, check out Hoboken author Ashley Feinstein Gerstley’s new book, Financial Adulting 

hoboken residents hare local spending budgets

Meet the Experts

Dining Out

When You’re Looking to Save

“I love everything about Elysian Cafe–the vibe, the food, the drinks, and the fact that their faces don’t drop when they see I’ve shown up with kids. In fact, kids eat free on Tuesday nights with the purchase of an entree. Such a deal. OR! A cheese pizza at Hot House is $11 and you can hang out in the secret back garden while you eat it.” – Kate  

Greek Town – we order the quick, delish takeout at least once a week.” – Kris

“As a small business owner, I love supporting other local spots! If me being a fitness foodie (yes it’s a thing) stimulates the local economy then I’m all for it! When I’m looking for a quick meal near my shop, my nugget and I always stop in at La Casa. I’m Afro-Latina so I always get the Latin flavors I love and it’s great if you are on a budget.” – Alyza

“Another place I love to stop by on cheat day is Diesel & Duke. It’s definitely budget-friendly and the poutine fries are delicious!” – Alyza

Northern Soul in Hoboken – love how kind they are (ALWAYS) to my kids and honestly, the food is just so consistently good.” – Cat

“A vegan slice and Tony Boloney’s with a salad from home!” – Raakhee

“Ali Baba is a hidden gem in plain sight — located uptown on Washington Street and has mezza platters between $5-$11. I also love Empanada Cafe in downtown Hoboken — can’t be beaten price or taste-wise for Argentinian empanadas.” – Jen

“In Jersey City — a vegan meal at Subia’s is my go-to for quality food on a budget.” – Jen

Read More: New Jersey Ranked #10 Least Stressful State To Live In 

When You’re Looking to Splurge

“A night at Antique Bar and Bakery when we order all the things. Recently I ordered the $45 Antique and Chill special that is offered on grubhub.com and it was enough food for me and my husband–and I totally ate the rest of the bread pudding for breakfast the next morning. So, really, kind of a steal.” – Kate 

“For a delicious celebration, my first choice is always Antique Bar and Bakery. I love the cocktails, the charred veggies, and every little bit of the eclectic decor. I always leave happy and full.” – Raakhee

Chickie’s in Jersey City – the restaurant recently opened and the food is insane. So are the cocktails!” – Cat

The Cupcake Carriage is awesome. My daughter loves the treats and it’s such a cute truck. I also notice that I have a lot of food on this list so clearly I have a problem and probably should budget better (ha!) but you seriously can’t go wrong in North Jersey by shopping local.” – Alyza

Olivia’s – working so close to this spot is dangerous. I love the small plates, drinks, and whole vibe.” – Kris

“Anthony David’s is a fun/easy splurge with a group since the restaurant has rolled out the wine + cocktails menu. And you can rent the back room and really make a night of it with a group.” – Jen

“In Jersey City, Battello’s waterfront views are hard to beat, and 15 Fox Place in the Journal Square area is go-to. At 15 Fox, we do an annual friendsgiving type of night with a bunch of Hoboken friends. It’s $90+ tip/per person, but it’s an EXPERIENCE. You get served 6 courses of off-menu Italian food inside of a cozy home — plus, it’s BYOB, so you can bring all the wine.” – Jen


When You’re Looking to Save

“If you ever need to find me, it’s a good idea to check Moran’s. I’ll probably be there. The drinks are perfect, the beer is cold and Lenny and the crew are some of my very favorite people in Hoboken.” – Raakhee

Hoboken Beer + Soda Outlet – that counts, right? Also, the team there is the actual nicest.” – Kris

“A cider at Northern Soul or wine on tap at Grand Vin during happy hour” – Kate 

Pet Shop – I’ll never say no to a cheap beer.” – Cat

“PS Wine Bar in Jersey City is the hidden gem that you need to know about — it’s below the main level with delicious organic wines, and you can even order tater tots (or other menu items) from the Pet Shop kitchen upstairs!” – Jen

When You’re Looking to Splurge

Antique Bar & Bakery. They can do no wrong.” – Kris

Bin14 – I don’t get there nearly enough for leisurely drinks, but sure can dream about them.” – Cat

“A bottle of something Italian at Bin14.” – Kate  

“I don’t do it too often, but Bin 14 has some awesome wine pairing meals like the upcoming 3-course Rose tasting on April 23.” – Raakhee

“Anthony David’s + Antique Bar & Bakery’s mixology in Hoboken, and The Kitchen Step in Jersey City. Madame Claude Bis also has incredible wines and is a cozy spot in JC.” – Jen 


When You’re Looking to Save

“Drinking a latte at The Hive while the kids hang in the (very cute) playspace for five bucks each while I catch up with a friend.” – Kate

“When it comes to entertainment, there’s nothing more fulfilling than catching a show at Mile Square Theater, our powerful local theater.” – Raakhee

“The Hoboken Museum is a fun uptown outing that is a donation for entry. You can learn all about Hoboken’s storied while supporting a local non-profit. There are also walking tours to do like the Frank Sinatra walking tour or the Hoboken Walking tour. We also created a bucket list of fun things to do in Hoboken + Jersey City on Hoboken Girl — a lot are free or affordable!” – Jen

Movies in the park! This was one of my favorite things to do pre-COVID and I can’t wait to take my kids this year.” – Cat

“The free concerts in SW Park! We live up the block so pop over there anytime they have the concerts in the park during the warmer months.” – Kris 

When You’re Looking to Splurge

The Sunday football is a fave for wifey and me is Hudson Hall. The wings are incredible. I get my protein fix there for sure!” – Alyza 

“Any of the experiences at Hudson Table–the chef’s table, the hands-on cooking lesson, or the rooftop brunch with live music. Best enjoyed while a babysitter watches the kids at home. – Kate

“Can a day at Sojo count as entertainment? Chilling out like that is thrilling beyond measure.” – Cat

“Concerts! I love going to live shows, especially in the summer. Also – do vacations count because I love those. ” – Kris

“Beyond the Plate Food Tours is a unique way to discover delicious food around the neighborhood while meeting friends. I also love a good day trip to King’s Spa in Palisades Park.” – Jen

Events at Hudson Table. My husband and I recently went to an Iron Chef-style brunch competition and it was the most fun day date, and not to mention delicious.” – Kris

Self-Care + Beauty

When You’re Looking to Save

Dashing Diva nail stickers from Target, which look like gels but I can do them myself for less than $10.” – Kris

Moonlight Spa is truly one of the best deals in town: $45 for a 60-minute foot massage. It’s my go-to after a wild week at Hudson River Athletics, another one of my favorite places in town. Pro tip: Moonlight has gift cards; the perfect gesture for a friend who needs a pick-me-up.” – Raakhee 

“A haircut at the Salon at Hobokenthis place is such a hidden gem. Owner Giovanni is an experienced editorial hairstylist and his cuts are beautiful, on-trend, and grow out really nicely, giving you more time between appointments. Price is $100 to $150. Not inexpensive, but it’d be much more in the city for the same level of skill plus the commute.” – Kate 

For self-care, I always go to my girl Suite Tee. She literally has the best vibe for nail care in my very humble opinion. Obviously, I go to SW3AT for infrared sauna therapy.” – Alyza

“Moonlight Spa – incredible! And they have a second location called Alley Spa now in Hoboken. For sauna, I love Sw3at Sauna — there are locations in both Hoboken + Jersey City.” – Jen

When You’re Looking to Splurge

“After seeing a mom friend’s glowing complexion—courtesy of Maggie at EC Beauty Studio—it’s clear that regular facials, starting at $150, are worth the investment. A bigger, longer-lasting splurge: The same friend sees Alexis at Evolve Med Spa for injectables.” – Kate

“A Diamond Glow facial at Evolve MedSpa.” – Kris

“No question: 90-minutes with Massage by Dusty. Dusty is kind, loving and her hands are straight magic.” – Raakhee 

“Dr. Strell at Aesthetic Medicine is a FIND. I have jaw pain and so get botox for TMJ. A lot of friends go here for aesthetics as well, and it’s truly a hidden injectibles gem! – Jen


When You’re Looking to Save

“The sale section at Washington General Store is a must-visit. The whole store makes me happy and snagging sale candles, well, that’s always a win.” – Raakhee

“I realize this is niche — book shopping — but Little City Books is my go-to spot for books, as is Symposia. Little City is perfect for gifts, and Symposia for finding books for super affordable prices.” – Jen

“For clothes, I always love a good trip to Mint Market or Margo Market. Margo’s a bit on the more splurgy side, BUT everything is sustainable and bought with the environment in mind, so it feels valuable. St. Mary’s Advocates Thrift Shop is another sustainable option I love — and you sometimes can find designer goods for really affordable prices!” – Jen

“ I get quite a good discount at The Hive, so that’s where I tend to shop for gifts I may need.” – Kris

See More: Volunteering Opportunities In Hoboken + Jersey City | Spring 2022

When You’re Looking to Splurge

“Brooke + Bel – my lifestyle doesn’t really command fancy dressing, but for special occasions, I’ll stop there first.” – Cat

“Peper + Parlour – a friend and customer recommended this shop to me and I love it! They stock such cool basics and gorgeous accessories.” – Kris

“Athleta is my go-to for all the things; work clothes, working out clothes, and everything else in between.” – Raakhee 

“Brooke + Bel has amazing clothing, as does Margo Market (mentioned above!) — either for a casual-yet-chic work or happy hour look. For homewares, UNJUMBOLD has incredible artisans’ work and home decor pieces. I recently splurged on a throw blanket from UNJUMBOLD that I cannot get enough of.” – Jen

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