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The Everything Guide to Belt-Tightening


Cut-Rate Luxuries

They’re hardly necessities, but they make the cheaply lived life a little sweeter.

Prince Edward Island Oysters
City Crab charges $12.50 for six at its raw bar, but the same oysters, known for clean, lettucelike flavors, are available at Chelsea Market for half the price (the Lobster Place, 75 Ninth Ave., nr. 16th St.; 212-255-5672).

Blended Scotch
Sure, that $196 bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label comes in a silk-lined box. But the delectably smoky, amber-colored Duggan’s Dew looks equally alluring in a $2 tumbler (Warehouse Wines & Spirits, 735 Broadway, nr. Astor Pl.; 212-982-7770).

Classy Champagne
Balthazar lists a glass of crisp, delicate Georges Gardet Champagne for $12. Uva Wines sells a bottle for $29. For an extra $10, they will wrap it and send it anywhere (199 Bedford Ave., nr. N. 6th St., Williamsburg; 718-963-3939).

Cashmere V-neck

The classically designed, supersoft (and famously cheap) sweaters at Uniqlo give the basic $395 V-necks at TSE a run for their money (546 Broadway, nr. Spring St.; 917-237-8800).

Antique Dinnerware
At this price, a 100-plus-piece set of nineteenth-century French porcelain is a major steal. Put in a lowball bid at the February 5–6 Interiors auction at Christie’s (20 Rockefeller Plaza, nr. 49th St.; 212-636-2000).

Status Watch

Opt for a classy vintage Gruen, which shares the same clock- case design as the $20,000 Patek Philippe—the Rolls-Royce of watches (Central Watch Band Stand, 45th St. passageway of Grand Central Terminal; 212-685-1689).


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