Thrifty District: Music

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

If you’re a music fiend like me, you find a way to fit music in your budget– but if you don’t keep an eye on your spending, it can easily get out of control. But is there any way around just buckling down and buying $200 concert tickets or $18 CDs?

Oh yeah. Especially in DC, you can definitely go see great live music and get your hands on CDs for less than you think. 

Used CD Stores: Don’t waste your time at Best Buy or Target, paying full price for CDs that you can get for much cheaper at used CD stores. Check out Melody Record Shop in Dupont, CD Warehouse on M St, or Red Onion Records in Adams Morgan for some fantastic bargains.

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Dave Allan’

Mix CDs: My absolute favorite way to get new, cheap music is to make and trade mix CDs. If you’re in need of some new tunes, ask friends whose music taste you trust if you can share part of your collections. I’ve had the best success with college friends and especially those who live in far away places, since what people are loving on the west coast is often pretty different than us east coasters.

Concerts: This is the trickiest one, because it really depends on what you like. If you only like Top 40 bands, then you are going to pay to see them live. But if you have an open mind or more eclectic tastes, then you’re in luck. The Kennedy Center has a free concert on their Millennium Stage every day, with no tickets required. If you’re willing to spend a little bit of money, check out the Black Cat, which has a ton of shows every month for under $10. Other venues like The Red and the Black have free or super cheap shows, often fun local bands. Just click through or google some names on the schedules– you might be surprised.

Jasmine is a Spin magazine contributor who is completely obsessed with music and all things new and different. She’s lived in the DC area since 2006, and still has plenty to discover about this great area! Find out why she loves DC.

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