Category Archives: NOVA

Help Others Learn: Salon Services for a Fraction of the Cost

Many students leave the prestigious Graham Webb Academy for top of the line salons or come back now and then to touch up their skills in contemporary hair trends. Graham Webb lets you take advantage of their learning process!

I’ve heard rumors that the only setback is that hair services can take a little longer because students are supervised. Basically, you participate in the learning process but services are no less professional than a top-of-the-line salon but way, WAY less expensive.

As a returning full-time student myself, I’ll be sure to look into Graham Webb for my next haircut. Located in Rosslyn, Va., Graham Webb isn’t far at all for those living in Northern Virginia or the city.

Hair isn’t all they do: Graham Webb does manicures make-up applications and manicures for $10 each. Take a look at the great prices on client services offered by Graham Webb students.


Five Guys Fries; Washingtonion’s Best Burger

Five Guys was completely a phenomenon to me when I first moved here. In North Carolina, there were similar cheap but delicious burger joints but nothing quite compares to this.

How many fries can you stuff into a lunch bag-sized paper bag? A lot! Five Guys serves up a whopping serving of fries for under $3. Though I’ll be honest, I don’t eat beef, I’ve heard really good things about Five Guys. I go with my friends for the fries though and they’re a great deal!

Check out the store locator for a Five Guys in the D.C. area closest to you.
Read a review of Five Guys. 

Bike from Georgetown to Gravelly Point to Old Town

Having a bike in D.C. is great fun. If you have one already, you’re all set for free fun. If not, check out this information on renting bikes for a day. Start at Big Wheel Bikes in Georgetown if you don’t have a bike because here, you can rent a simple bike for $25 per day. If you do have a bike, I’d recommend starting at Gravelly Point in Arlington, along the Potomac, because the parking is better and the views are nice.

The Mount Vernon Trail goes all the way to Washington’s Mt. Vernon estate but for those seeking a leisurely ride, Old Town is a great turn-around point. Along the way, stop for a packed lunch at one of the memorials.

Read the Wikipedia article on Gravelly Point. 

How to Rent for Less, Still Walk Outside at Night

Like I said earlier, living near the Metro will often cost a little more rent-wise but so will sitting in hours of traffic in total gas and car upkeep expenditures. When moving to the D.C. area, this is a decision many have to make: cheaper rent or convenience.

Cheap places can be found in the city, though often you’ll sacrafice any sort of yard, a washer and dryer, parking for a car and much less favorably, your safety. Living in Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda can sometimes be as expensive as the city but never underestimate the power of Craigslist.

The site will let you search Northern Virgina, Maryland and D.C. and I’ve used to to find both of my rentals in D.C.

When I first moved here, I was bound and determined to live in the city but my new roommate, who had lived in the D.C. area for over a year, explained to me how much more we could get for the money in Northern Virginia. In general, I now have to agree with her.

I’m only 4 miles from the city and without traffic, can get all the way to Dupont in a half hour. Living in Arlington, I still have access to great restaurants and bars for times when I don’t feel like going into the city but all of the city fun at my fingertips, all for only $550/month (I share a 3-bedroom house with two other roommates). How did I find this great deal? Craigslist! Give it a shot.

Being open-minded is essential to finding the right place for yourself in the D.C. area. Be willing to look at up to 10 places before deciding on one; you never know what kind of deal you might run across.

Wanna Drink? Choose Happy Hour

Drinking in D.C. can become an expensive habit unless you drink six packs alone in your house and in that case, you may have a problem.

Anyhow, occasionally in D.C. some student with a ton of time on their hands will circulate a large Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that lists happy hour (food and drink) by neighborhood and day of the week. That might sound obscure, but it’s true…keep an eye out. In the meantime, try this site to keep abreast of all the latest deals. While DC Happy Hour isn’t an extensive as this “mystery list,” it’ll do for now.

Virtually every neighborhood in the D.C. area has a few bars that offer food and drink specials, often with extras like free pool too! When I first moved here, I didn’t realize how much of a 9 to 5 city D.C. really was until I got my first 9 to 5 and started trying to commute in during rush hour and over lunch; happy hour in D.C. isn’t any different so skip out of work a half hour early and do yourself a favor: be there by 5!

Sushi for Less: Cafe Asia Happy Hour

Cafe Asia, with locations downtown and in Rosslyn, Va., has the cheapest quality sushi I’ve found in the D.C. area.

Try their happy hour Monday through Saturday, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. for $1 Nigiri sushi and $2 select draft beers. Get there as early as possible because in my experience (I’ve only been to the Rosslyn location) lines get pretty heavy after 5 p.m. because of the work crowd.

Non-happy hour menus are relatively cheap at Cafe Asia too. They’ve got a reasonable selection of delicious and unique salads that are huge; definately enough for a meal.

The Merits of the Metro

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, it’s rumored, keeps the Metro cleaner than any other public transportation in the country. I agree, yet, many people still don’t use the Metro often. When looking for places to live in the D.C. area make sure to take proximity to the Metro into consideration if you plan on saving money by using it often. In practice, this makes rents a little higher, but in the long run, using your car less saves money.

Park your car at a Metro lot and take the rail train into the city if you’re not close enough to walk to a station. This still saves you more money than if you were to drive (especially during the weekday). Parking garages in D.C. start at about $15 per day, if you’re lucky.

Use the Metro Trip Planner to figure out the quickest and cheapest way to get into the city.