NU student creates blog for free, cheap Evanston eats

Elizabeth Byrne, Assistant Campus Editor

When Communication junior Lindsey Weiss walked into Chase Bank one day to get laundry quarters, they noticed free coffee sitting out in the waiting area for bank customers. They said it was so exciting to their “cheap miserly self” that they decided to create a blog highlighting similar opportunities to snag free and cheap goods around Evanston.

“There are so many opportunities on campus and off campus to get free and cheap things that people either don’t know about or aren’t taking advantage of,” Weiss, who uses “they/them/their” pronouns, said. “I started this blog as a way to organize my own knowledge of where to get all these free and cheap things and figured while I was there compiling these resources, … I might as well make these publicly available to anyone who wants to know.”

Weiss said they founded their Tumblr blog, “Free & Cheap Evanston,” on Nov. 9. According to the blog’s description, it is divided into four different categories: free, cheap, fancy and temporary. Weiss said they used this system to better organize the information they received.

Medill sophomore Zoe Johnson said she was excited to contribute to the blog, even if she would only have a small impact.

“I don’t think that this blog is going to be a substitute for the meals that you eat daily,” Johnson said. “But I think if you’re in the situation where you don’t have the spare cash to have coffee, which is something that you don’t need but you want, you still have a way of getting that.”

Johnson added that the blog may be especially helpful to students who have financial need and could benefit from having access to free coffee, free breakfast and more.

Communication junior Michael Kelleher said he saw the blog through a Facebook status Weiss posted and thought it would be useful because of the high cost of living for students in Evanston.

“It’s a great idea because it’s something that everyone can use,” Kelleher said. “It’s useful information to have, especially if you need something that you don’t really have the money for.”

The blog’s current target audience is NU students who are looking to save money, Weiss said. However, Weiss said they would like to expand the blog so that it reaches the “often overlooked” low-income population of Evanston.

Weiss added that they hope people reading the blog also contribute to it so that it will reflect the “collective knowledge” of people in the Evanston area. Weiss said they hope people collaborating to share resources on the blog will in turn translate into community building and economic justice.

“It’s kind of a simple, jokey, stunty concept to be honest,” Weiss said. “But I think and hope that it can have real, material ramifications in how we interact with the town of Evanston.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @lizbyrne33