The $20 Project: South Philly Sunday

I live on a budget, so when assigned the $20 project, I had no worries. I decided to wait for the prime opportunity to spend it: supplying myself with at least part of a meal for a week, along with some entertainment. I knew the perfect place to obtain these goodies: my neighborhoods in South Philly, including the Italian Market, South Street, and Queen Village.

Though the Italian Market (official name is “9th St. Curb Market”) is open Tuesday through Sunday, I usually don’t have a chance to get there on a weekday. So, I set out on this beautiful, crisp, blue-skied day to fetch me some veggies for a pot ‘o soup. Luckily, I had the kitchen staples for this soup, so I didn’t have to buy everything. I strolled south on 9th St., comparing prices at the various produce stands. This is what I got for $3.25: 4 tomatoes, 2 garlic bulbs, 3 large yams, 2 red bell peppers, 1 onion. I hit the Spice Corner (904 S. 9th St.) for allspice ($1.49). Where else can you get these deals?

On my return north on 9th, I spotted a craft fair. To be exact, it was the Art Extravaganza on the Piazza (pictured above, at 9th and Montrose, by the mural). Here I found handmade goods, such as knitted neckwarmers and earrings made of electrical wiring. Cute! As I browsed, I enjoyed my caramel latte from Gleaners Cafe Gallery, bought across the street ($3.25). The most adorable surprise of my day was the Hershey’s Kiss on top of my lid, with a flag that read “Let’s go out.” So anxious to drink the hot stuff, I burned the roof of my mouth!

Loaded down with my produce, I thought I’d check out this little junk shop (antiques?) a half block north of Christian on 9th (sorry, I didn’t get the name!). On the sidewalk, they had all types of stuff: jewelry, buttons, appliances, movies on VHS. I thought I could find a movie I liked there. Requested The Money Pit, and they actually had it! ($2).

I headed to South Street in search of vegetable bouillon cubes, comparing at Essene Market (719 S. 4th St.) and Chef’s Market. I picked them up for $2.09 at Chef’s Market. Then I was hungry, so headed across the street to Maoz (248 South Street), where I got falafel with hummus in a whole wheat pita for $3.86. For more entertainment, I found a table outside of a store with $1 items. I got a platic dinosaur! This left me with approximately $3 to spend. I remembered that I needed votives and headed over to my local CVS (421 S. Second St.), where I got them for for $1.99.

This left me with a dollar, and I really wanted to go home and make my soup of the week: Roasted Yam and Garlic. So, I saved it for later! It took me the rest of the evening to roast all those veggies, anyway.

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