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Nine classes that will save New Yorkers money in the long run

The cost of living in NYC certainly isn’t getting any cheaper, so you might as well look for a few creative ways to save

By Annalise Mantz

It’s all too easy to be lazy in the on-demand economy. You can pay someone else to wash your laundry, schedule grocery delivery instead of going to the store, hire one of the many cleaning services in NYC to scrub your apartment, order takeout and delivery instead of cooking… the list goes on and on. Outsourcing every little want and need might be convenient, but it sure ain’t cheap. And in a city where the price of everything from rent to subway fare to a cup of coffee seems to be constantly on the rise, couldn’t we all use a little extra cash? Instead of relying on Postmates and TaskRabbit, learn all the skills you need to do it yourself (and start saving in small ways every day) with these useful classes in NYC. Your wallet will thank you later.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to classes in NYC

Classes that will save New Yorkers money in the long run

Cooking classes
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Knife Skills at the Institute of Culinary Education

Learning how to handle a knife properly is the first step in learning to cook. Being able to wield a sharp knife with ease not only keeps you safe, but also makes you faster and more efficient in the kitchen. This course will cover slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing and more—everything you need to know to become a pro.

cooking classes in Los Angeles
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock/Kzenon

Culinary Boot Camp: Skills Intensive at Home Cooking New York

Go for broke with this all-encompassing six-week cooking class. Your instructor will cover everything from choosing the right cuts of meat to seasoning techniques to whipping up quick pan sauces to basic baking skills. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to throw together a home-cooked meal worthy of any New York City bistro.

Summer roll
Photograph: Courtesy CourseHorse

Upgrade Your Desk Lunch at Natural Gourmet Institute

Know what makes a sad desk lunch even sadder? The knowledge that you just wasted $12 on a lackluster salad that you don’t even want to finish. Packing a lunch doesn’t always sound more exciting, though—who’s to say last-night’s leftovers will work for today’s lunch? Learn to save money without skimping on taste in this vegetarian meal-prep class.

Apartment garden
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/

All About Containers: Veggies and Herbs at the New York Botanical Garden

Even the tiniest studio apartment has room for a container of basil—maybe even enough space to grow some tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers, too! It doesn’t get more locally sourced than that. Join a class at the New York Botanical Garden to see how it’s done.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Lyle Vincent

Purple Square Coffee
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One-Day Coffee Workshop at Joe Coffee

Do the math: If you’re spending $2 for your daily cup of coffee, you’re wasting a whopping $60 a month. Double that number if you frequent high-end cafes instead of your local coffee cart. The obvious solution here is to start brewing your own coffee. Take one of Joe Coffee’s day-long workshops to find out how to extract the most flavor from your beans so you don’t have to sacrifice on quality.

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

Hem and Button Workshop at M Avery Designs

Asking the tailor to repair every missing button and tiny rip gets expensive. Plus, it’s just a waste of time: After you learn the basics of hand-stitching in this introductory sewing class, you’ll be able to take care of minor repairs in just a few minutes. Bonus: If you have something that needs hemming, bring it to class to practice on. See, you’re already saving money!

Personal finance classes
Photograph: Courtesy CourseHorse

Understanding Your Credit Score at Brooklyn Brainery

Think of your credit score as an SAT test for your money. The higher the score, the better your chance of getting accepted for a credit card, new lease or home loan. It might not be the most fun subject, yes, but everyone has to deal with it. Get the lowdown on what your credit score means and how to improve it in this easy-to-understand class. We promise: It will be much less painful than your high school SAT prep course.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Bike Maintenance 101 at Recycle-a-Bicycle

There’s really no reason not to start biking: you’ll save on subway fare, reduce emissions and squeeze in some extra exercise. Of course, if you have to take your bike to the shop for every flat and broken spoke, you’re not going to save any money in the long run. Sign up for one of the hands-on maintenance classes through Bike New York to find out how to keep your wheels in good working order.

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House and Home Classes at New York City College of Technology

Homeowners should consider these classes a requirement and any renter who’s ever dealt with a less-than-prompt super could probably benefit from the skills, too. Once you know how to patch a wall, stop a leaking toilet, change a light fixture and fix a million other little things around the house, you’ll never have to pay someone to do it for you again. (Or miss work because the plumber can only come between 9am and 5pm on a Wednesday.)

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