eugene on the cheap

It’s A LU’AU!


On May 20, 2011, EOTC

Students of LCC’s American Design Drafting Association, are throwing a luau today from 2-6pm. This event is being held at the longhouse on LCC’s main campus (4000 E. 30th Avenue).  There will be performances by Kumu Iwalani and Island Arts will feature traditional and contemporary hula as well as a steel drum performance by Brad Hirsch. Educational information on Pacific Island culture and boat culture will be presented as well.

The luau is FREE and open to the public. A dinner of pit-roasted kalua pork, shoyu chicken and sticky rice, cabbage and macaroni salad will be served for a suggested donation. Call 541-915-2386, if you would like more information on this event.

via FREE LU’AU! | Eugene On the Cheap.

Off To Market


Off To Market
from Lindsey Asay | Eugene on the Cheap

If you have never been to the Saturday Market, then well……you’ve never truly experienced Eugene. Saturday April 2nd, the Saturday Market returns to downtown Eugene for its 41st year. On May 9th, 1970,the first Saturday Market opened, in rainy weather, with a volunteer co-ordinator and 29 vendors. Today the market has over 800 active members who sling their wares every Saturday, rain or shine from 10am to 5pm.

I used to be one of those people, setting up the booth at 7am in the damp, taking it down in the dark (long live Get Fried Rice). Working and cooking with my family and friends. People watching, eating, exploring and simply enjoying the overall market experience. Those Saturdays now feel like a lifetime ago, that is until I set foot on the Park Blocks at 8th & Oak, smell the food and it all comes right back.

The market is more than great people watching (seriously….it’s good stuff), but a great way to spend a day out on the cheap. There are eighteen food booths in the food court, ranging from Thai to pizza. For under $10 you can get a Tia Burrito (1/2 pound of Toby’s seasoned tofu, tomato sauce and shredded lettuce packed into a corn tortilla) and drink from Toby’s Tofu Palace or a big slice of Dana’s homemade, hand-crafted cheesecake and a hot chocolate.

After grabbing your food of choice, wander over to the Market Stage and take a seat. There are six sets of music and other performances that take place weekly on the Market Stage. Take your kids to the 11 o’clock hour, for performances devoted weekly to children and/or by children. This year’s firstSaturday Market kicks off with performances by Chip Cohen at 10am, Rich Glauber at 11am , Acoustic Etouffee at noon, Accordians Anonymous at 1pm, Conjugal Visitors at 2pm followed by Zambuko at 3:30pm. Did I mention these shows are free? These shows are FREE!

If you wake up Saturday not sure of what the day holds, put on jeans and a hoodie and head to the market. A day of good (cheap) food, free music, and shopping under the sun sounds pretty good to me. I just may see you there!

Off To Market | Eugene On the Cheap.

Good Karma AND a Frog Suit


Good Karma AND a Frog Suit

Henry David Thoreau once said “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life”. I find this interesting coming from a man who wrote a book about simple living and embracing your surroundings. Wealth may open more doors, but I think embracing your surroundings and your community is fully experiencing life…..and Spring is the perfect time to do it!

March 20th marked the first day of Spring.The always welcomed transition between Winter and Summer.  The days get longer, the sun a little warmer and we can swap our parka for our rain-boots. What better way to get some much-needed Vitamin D and embrace your surroundings than to volunteer! Volunteering is not only a great way to give back to your community, but it’s also a cheap way to have fun and experience something new.

Nearby Nature is a great place that always needs volunteers (check theirwebsite for more info).  If you are unfamiliar, Nearby Nature is a non-profit education organization established in 1992 that hosts school programs and summer camps, leads nature walks and keeps Alton Baker park looking so nice (they can’t do anything about the goose poop..sorry). Volunteers can lead nature walks, help with classroom visits and day-camps, build garden beds, pull ivy, paint murals, plant trees, post flyers, take pictures, do litter patrol, help with fundraisers….you name it!  You can even dress up like a turtle or frog… know you want to.

Mt. Pisgah Arboretum is a well-known hiking spot for locals.  Did you know that it was originally established as an international arboretum to feature trees from around the world? Me either.  The arboretum boasts an impressive 7 miles of all-weather trails, 23 bridges and 209 acres of diverse ecological habitats.  All of which need caring for year round. If you are an avid weekend hiker/visitor of Mt. Pisgah, consider spending some of that time as a volunteer. They host weekend work parties and are always looking for help. Take a look at their website for more info.

Willamalane Parks and Recreation is in Springfield, but their reach extends far beyond. Willamalane operates and maintains such facilities as Splash!, Wildish Community Theater as well as 19 sports fields, 21 playgrounds, nine waterfront areas, and 11 miles of hiking and biking trails. They offer hundreds of recreation programs to kids, teens, adults and seniors in our community and rely heavily on volunteer support. Willamalane has so many volunteer positions available, they are too many to list.  Read more on theirwebsite’s volunteer page.

If good karma and new experiences aren’t reward enough, some organizations thank volunteers with perks. TheScience Factory for instance gives those that volunteer regularly a Museum membership (Supporting Membership is $150) and free t-shirt. That is on top of the satisfaction you’ll find as you are engaging and inspiring young minds. Various volunteer opportunities are available depending on your skill level and time commitment, they are listed on the Science Factory website.

These are just a few places where you can volunteer your time. There are many more volunteer opportunities available in the Eugene/Springfield area. Next time you visit your favorite local park, library or non-profit, take a minute to ask about volunteering. Whether you do it for the free t-shirts, the sense of community or because you’ve always wanted to dress up in a frog costume……your community (and wallet) will thank you!

Nearby Nature
622 Day Island Road
Eugene, OR 97401
Mount Pisgah Arboretum
34901 Frank Parrish Rd.
Eugene, OR 97405
Willamalane Parks & Rec Adult Activity Center
215 West C Street
Springfield, OR 97477
The Science Factory
2300 Leo Harris Parkway
Eugene, Oregon 97401


Good Karma AND a Frog Suit | Eugene On the Cheap.

No Pot of Gold Needed


No Pot of Gold Needed

Tomorrow, a large majority of Eugene will be wearing green of a different kind. Celebrated on March 17th internationally, Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday commonly known for shamrocks, leprechaun’s and green beer.  So much so that it is in fact one of the leading days for alcohol consumption in the United States. In the spirit of  St. Patrick and all that is green and frothy, here are some places for you to raise a glass to the patron saint of Ireland….on the cheap of course.

Luckey’s St. Patty’s Day Extravaganza! The celebration includes The Irish Sessions with Patrick O’Kelley, the Eugene City Firefighters Pipes and Drums, Jesse Mead, open Irish jam session, traditional Irish music by Mathew Hayward-Macdonald, , Toad in the Hole and Sid and Fancy.  The Extravaganza kicks off at 6pm and tickets are only $10! and Sam’s Place are hosting a St. Pat’s Pub Crawl.  If a pub crawl sounds good on St. Patty’s Day meet at 7pm at Sam’s Place. Starting at 8pm crawl your way to Downtown Bar-muda triangle, O’Donnell’s, and The Wetlands. Cost is $10 per person and includes a drink before leaving Sam’s. Seating is limited so hurry to Sam’s Place to reserve your spot!

If you’ve never been to McShane’s,this St. Patrick’s Day is the day to go! Located off Highway 99 near Lane Community College, the three-story restaurant and bar offers St. Patrick’s Day-themed events. They kick things off at 11 a.m. and go all day, with traditional Irish music and the reading aloud of Irish limericks (always a crowd pleaser). Enjoy their special seven-item selection of traditional Irish dishes while listening to Medium Troy & Basin and Range at 8pm.

Other Eugene favorites on March 17th include Under the Big Top Tent” at O’Donnell’s Irish Pub. Normal Bean Band will be playing for the 3rd year in a row at this annual Irish celebration.  Diablo’s/Downtown Lounge is throwing their very own Big Leprechaun Funk Jam, the jam is FREE and starts at 9pm. Stop by The Cooler for a St. Patrick’s Irish Festival, featuring Pipin’ Hot Bag Pipers, the Irish Echo Band, Eugene Firefighters Pipes and Drums, & Nimrod band playing throughout the evening…all for $5.

Whether you are crawling, dancing or driving tomorrow night….please do it responsibly. I can’t afford to lose any readers.

933 Olive St. Eugene
Sam’s Place
825 Wilson St. Eugene, OR 97402
McShane’s Bar & Grill
86495 College View Eugene, OR
O’Donnell’s Irish Pub
295 Or-99 N Eugene, OR 97402
Diablo’s/Downtown Lounge
959 Pearl St. Eugene
The Cooler Restaurant and Bar
20 Centennial Loop, Eugene, OR 97401


>>> No Pot of Gold Needed | Eugene On the Cheap.

Confucius Would Never Pay a Cover


Confucius Would Never Pay a Cover

Confucius said that music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. I’m not sure he’d feel the same after hearing what some consider music today, but he was right. People need music. Regardless of what type of music we prefer as individuals, we share a common interest. To discover music, to create music and according to the music industry….to pay for music. Not even Confucius could have predicted the $50 – $200 concert ticket prices we see today.

Human nature may not be able to survive without music, but can we survive emptying our wallets for it? I don’t think we should have to, and neither do some of our local businesses. More bars and restaurants are offering live music nights with NO COVER. know Sixth Street Bar & Grill as a great place to watch the game and have a drink. Did you know it is also the new home for acclaimed musician Mark Alan? A long-standing favorite of the now closed Joe Fed’s , Mark Alan plays live music every Thursday at 8:30pm. Come early to get a good seat and enjoy this gifted singer/songwriter as well as Sixth Street’s special Thirsty Thursday food and drink menu.

Mac’s restaurant and night club is Eugene’s home of the blues. Located inside Eugene’s landmark Veteran’s Memorial Building, Mac’s offers No Cover Wednesdays.  Every Wednesday from 6-9pm enjoy the musical stylings of Mike Brewer & The  Brewkettes or Natty-O and T-Bone Stone. While listening to these great guitarists enjoy a burger and brew for $8.

Cornucopia Bar is best known for their exceptionally yummy burgers. On Tuesdays they are also known for their great live music.Every Tuesday you can catch Jesse Meade a 29-year-old singer-songwriter.  Influenced by such musicians like Ray Charles and Hank Williams, Meade offers up his own finger-style acoustic guitar playing. He shares the stage with occasional guest appearances by some of Eugene’s best solo and acoustic acts. You can catch Jesse from 9:30pm-1:00am while enjoying $2 Oakshire Frog’s Wort IPA’S and $3 TIC-TAC’S from 10:00-12:00pm.

If you prefer a different atmosphere when enjoying your music, bars and restaurants aren’t the only ones dishing it up for free.  University of Oregon’s Beall Concert Hall offers a variety of free concerts such as Oregon Composers Series, Suzuki Strings as well as the Campus Band.  Check the event calendar for dates. The Hult Center offers free music on occasion such as SHOcase: Eugene Opera in the lobby, check their website for more info.

If you’d rather play than listen, Eugene is host to several free jam sessions around town.  Here are a few:

  • Bluegrass Jam, Tuesdays at 9pm, Sam Bond’s Garage
  • Irish Jam Session, all ages, 7pm, Eugene Suzuki Music Academy
  • Rooster Blues Jam with Skip Jones Every Tuesday at 7:30pm – 2:30amBlack Forest
  • Thursday’s Mac’s Midtown Blues Jam hosted by Jerry Zybach & Lloyd Tobert 7pm Mac’s at the Vets Club

Regardless of if you go to play music or to listen, your bank account will thank you!

Sixth Street Grill
55 West 6th Avenue Eugene, OR 97401-2605
Mac’s at the Vet’s Club
1626 Willamette St, Eugene, OR 97401
Cornucopia Bar
207 East 5th Avenue Eugene, OR 97401
Sam Bond’s Garage
407 Blair Boulevard Eugene, OR 97402
Eugene Suzuki Music Academy
170 West 12th Avenue Eugene, OR 97401
Black Forest
50 East 11th Avenue Eugene, OR 97401-3538


Confucius Would Never Pay a Cover | Eugene On the Cheap.

Traditions, Taiko and Dim Sum


Traditions, Taiko and Dim Sum
by Lindsey Asay – Eugene On The Cheap

February 3rd was just another Thursday for me…coffee, computer, repeat. For others it marked the 1st day of the Chinese New Year, the year of the Rabbit. If you didn’t get to celebrate, stop kicking yourself, the Oregon Asian Celebration can help. Entering its 26th year as Oregon’s longest running Asian festival, the annual celebration returns February 19 -20 to the Lane Events Center in Eugene.

The theme for this years event is “Nurturing Traditions”. According to David Tam, the event chairman, the theme is all about providing popular Asian cultural activities for festival-goers and nurturing the next generation to experience and appreciate cultural traditions. With more than a dozen Asian heritages represented at the event, there is no shortage of activities for adults and kids alike. Ranging from performances by Portland Taiko, one of the West Coast’s premier taiko drumming groups, to cooking demonstrations and over 75 vendors showcasing sushi making supplies, bonsai plants, jewelry, clothing and more.

If drumming and shopping aren’t your idea of a good time, don’t worry. There will also be performances by 15 different martial arts schools, more than 20 Asian food vendors tempting your taste buds, an Asian heritage exhibit of Lane County, a preview of a three-day anime convention experience with popular video games and karaoke and Asian craft demonstrations by more than a dozen artisans. You can finally learn how to make that life-mask or ukulele like you’ve always wanted.

Kids can pick up a Passport to Adventure booklet (while supplies last) at the entrance, to take around the event. There will be clues to various passport destinations, find the destination and get your passport stamped! If you have a younger child, pictorial clues of the passport stamp will be up to make it easier. Once the passport is completely stamped, children can visit the Eugene Springfield Asian Association Youth (ESAAY) booth to receive a prize.

With so much to do and only $4 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under, this event is a not-to-miss for those on a budget. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. both days (Feb. 19 & 20). The event closes at 7:00 p.m. on February 19 and at 6:00 p.m. on February 20.

I’ll see you at the ukulele making booth!

26th Annual Oregon Asian Celebration
Lane Events Center
796 W. 13th Avenue, Eugene OR 97402
Saturday-Sunday, February 19 & 20
Hours: Saturday– 10am-7pm
Sunday– 10am-6pm

Traditions, Taiko and Dim Sum « Eugene On the Cheap.

Love is Great, but it Doesn’t Pick Up the Check.


by Lindsey Asay – Eugene On The Cheap

In 1967 the Beatles declared to the world that love is all we need. Almost fifty years later, that sentiment still may ring true for some. For the rest of us however, we need a few other things, especially on Valentine’s Day. Expectations run high on this “holiday” of love. If the size of your pocketbook doesn’t equal (or even come close) to the size of your love for that special someone, here are a few affordable options for you and your valentine.

Campbell House InnCampbell House Valentine’s Day Dinner

Five course dinner to share with someone special. From 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm. Cost is $49. Call 343-1119 for more info or to make reservations (reservations required). 252 Pearl Street Eugene, OR 97401.

Wildish Community TheaterA Valentine Evening

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a viewing of  ”Sleepless in Seattle,” chocolate, champagne or sparkling cider and light hors d’oeuvre. Evening starts at 7p.m and is only $3! Phone the Wildish Community Theater at 541-736-4444 for more info. 630 Main Street Springfield, OR.

Whiskey River RanchValentine’s Sweethearts Ball

Enjoy dinner, champagne, a rose, dessert and live entertainment from Taste. Starts at 6p.m. and lasts till midnight, the event is only $30 per couple. Whiskey River Ranch located at 4740 Main St. Springfield, OR 97477. Ph.541-744-1594.

If these options are still out of your price range, don’t worry. It isn’t how much money you spend or what you do that matters. It’s who you spend that time with! So grab a bottle of your favorite bubbly (or sparking cider), a warm blanket and settle in for the evening. I’m sure you’ll figure out what to do next!

Fossils and Flower Power


Fossils and Flower Power
by Lindsey Asay – Eugene On The Cheap

Most people have heard of the Louvre, the Met and the Guggenheim. If you’re a Oregonian, then you’ve also heard of the Oregon Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA). Few of us have had the chance to visit the Guggenheim, but as Oregonians we can all remember back to that 4th grade field trip to the Lane County Historical Museum.

If you haven’t been back since the age of ten, this is your chance. Museums are a great family day out or date night alternative that is both inexpensive and educational. Open year round, the Oregon Air and Space Museum offers the kid in all of us the chance to explore various aircraft and artifacts depicting the history of aviation and space technology. Admission is only $7 for Adults, $3 for kids ages 6-17 (kids 5 and under are free).

If you prefer culture to cockpits, there is the Lane County Historical Museum. Once known as the Lane County Pioneer Museum, this local landmark opened its doors in 1951.The museum houses a variety of collections of national and local significance dating from the early 1800s to the present.

Their goal is to preserve, collect and display Lane County’s rich heritage. The current exhibit (appropriately named Tye Dye and Tofu) takes a look at how mainstream Eugene became a counterculture haven in the mid 1960′s to 70′s.

Who knows, you just may see your parents or yourself in one of the many photo’s on display! General admission is only $3 for adults, $2 for Seniors and kids under 15 are free.

The University of Oregon campus is home to not one but two..yes two..museums. The Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art both offer a variety of exhibits .

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History, located near Hayward Field, is where past meets present. Oregon’s primary repository for anthropological and paleontological collections, the museum is home to nearly 1 million ethnographic and archaeological objects and close to 100,000 fossils and biological specimens from Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and around the world. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m with free admission to the public each Wednesday.

The University’s other museum offering, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) is one of six museums in the state of Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums. Offering an impressive collection of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and American art on permanent display to the public. JSMA is also home to contemporary art, as well as an extensive photography collection that began in 1965. Boasting such works as Polaroid prints by Andy Warhol and chlorophyll photographs by Binh Danh, the collection is a must see. So is the exquisite reflecting pool in the Campbell Memorial Courtyard.

JSMA also hosts special exhibits as well as the Interactive Discovery Gallery for kids, on the first floor and free to the public. General Admission for Adults is $5 but if that is still to steep, there are specials to be had. Try Two-for-Tuesday (buy one regular priced admission and receive a second admission free), pay-what-you-wish every Wednesday (from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.) or free general admission to everyone the first Friday of each month!

Happy exploring and don’t forget to pick a buddy!

Oregon Air & Space Museum
90377 Boeing Drive – Eugene, Oregon 97402
(541) 461-1101

Lane County Museum and Historical Society
740 West 13th Avenue, Eugene, OR
(541) 682-4242

University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History
1680 E. 15th Ave. Eugene, OR 97403-1224
(541) 346-3024

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
1430 Johnson Lane Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 346-3027

via Fossils and Flower Power « On the Cheap.

No Such Thing As a Cheap Seat, Just Cheap Tickets


No Cheap Seats

No Such Thing As Cheap Seat, Just Cheap Tickets
by Lindsey Asay, Eugene On The Cheap

If you’ve driven anywhere near the U of O campus in the last year, then you’ve seen it.  How could you not. Matthew Knight Arena, the newest member of the Duck Athletic franchise of buildings is open for business. Host to the University of Oregon Men and Women’s basketball teams, this impressive arena with its unique court is definitely a must see.

Not an Elton John fan? Not a basketball season ticket holder? Not to worry.  The Duck women’s basketball team has the answer. General Admission tickets for all remaining Saturday home games are only $2 a ticket! You can see their schedule and buy tickets here.

Take a friend, take the kids, take a break from the movies and go support your Ducks for less money than it costs to park downtown.

via No such thing as a cheap seat, just a cheap ticket. « On the Cheap.

A Taste of Adventure


A Taste of Adventure
by Lindsey Asay – Eugene On The Cheap

If you’ve ever wanted to get a taste of Capitello Wines, Brigadoon Vineyards, Patchwork Cellars or Shadow Mountain Vineyards, now is your chance. Thanks to Travel Lane County , Wineries without Walls is back! This event (Feb. 8th) is your chance to sample these great local wines, from wineries without tasting rooms.

3312 Gateway St., Springfield, OR 97477

This is just one of the offerings from Travel Lane County’s Adventure Center. They also offer free wine and food tastings from 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday.

If you’d like more information on what has to offer, check out their calendar of events for more info or to submit your own event.

Happy Tasting!

via A Taste of Adventure « On the Cheap.