For those who want to be Super Frugal, I've included these tips on how to save even more money when you're out and about in Ottawa and in the National Capital Region.
- The Ottawa Public Library has a partnership program with several Ottawa museums, which allows you to borrow passes for each museum in the program. You can request a pass the same way you request a book, and once your turn comes up you can keep the pass for one week, and use it every day if you wish. It may take a few months for one of these regular passes to get to you, but the Austin family emailed me to let me know that there are also Express Museum passes! These are available at the front desk of many library branches on a first-come first-serve basis. If you click on the available locations link found under each type of pass on the library's website, you can see which Express passes are available right now at your local branch.
The following passes are available:
Thanks to Lynne for submitting this tip, and to the Austin family for emailing me about the Express passes!
- Elementary school teachers can visit most museums in the city for free by showing their Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontario membership card. Teachers can also visit the Museum of Civilization (excepting special exhibitions or Imax presentations) and the War Museum for free by showing their Ontario College of Teachers membership card. (Unfortunately, the Museum of Nature doesn't offer any special discounts to teachers.)
- Save money when attending events or visiting city attractions by bringing your own packed lunch or dinner. Most museums offer decent lunchroom facilities where you can bring in your own food, for example.
- Take the bus! It can save you a lot of money on parking, especially if you're heading downtown. OC Transpo offers a DayPass for $7.50. The DayPass is valid for the whole family on weekends and statutory holidays (a family can include up to six people, with a maximum of two who are 12 or older) and can be purchased on the bus (exact change is required). Note that the DayPass is only valid for one person Monday through Friday. The DayPass is valid as full fare on regular and express routes, and a top-up of $1.00 or 1 ticket is required on rural express routes. The OC Transpo website has a decent travel planner to help you plan your trip.
- If you don't want to take the bus, the World Exchange Plaza located at 111 Albert Street in the downtown core offers free parking on weekends. The World Exchange Plaza is just a short walk away from Parliament Hill and many other downtown sites. Free parking is also available on weekends at City Parking Lots and meters located within the downtown core. Note however that the parking lot at City Hall charges a flat rate of $3.75 on weekends.
- Check out Attractions Ontario for coupons to various Ontario attractions. The coupons are updated at the beginning of each month. Ottawa Kiosk also offers coupons for various Ottawa attractions.
- If you purchase tickets for an event at a venue that uses Ticketmaster® or CapitalTickets.ca® for online and phone purchases, save money on service fees by instead purchasing the tickets in person at the venue box office. If you buy online or by phone, you'll pay service charges even if you print out the tickets yourself or pick them up at the venue Will Call before the show!
If you have any SuperFrugal tips that you think I should include in the list, please email me at contactme(at)frugalfunottawa(dot)ca.