Lunch for under $10 in Bay Ridge: Ben’s Pizza & Restaurant

Ben’s Pizza & Restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.

Living in Bay Ridge and staying within a budget is a major challenge but it can be done.  Before going out to lunch in the vicinity of 70th through 86th Streets on Third or Fifth Avenues it pays to do some research.  I find Yelp! helpful because the reviews and price guides help me narrow my focus in the area.  Another thing you can do is compare the menus in the windows of the restaurants and spend some time walking in the area.  Many restaurants also put boards outside featuring their daily specials.

Today I treated myself to pizza at Ben’s Pizza and Restaurant.  I had one slice each of the Fresh Mozzarella and Grandma pizzas.  With a can of seltzer lunch cost  $7.50  The pizza came drizzled with a little bit of olive oil that added a beautiful touch of green color to the red sauce and white cheese.  The crust was crisp but not dry and all the toppings stayed put.  The sauce was sweet. and the cheese mild.  The pizza was very light and I did not feel like I’d indulged too much by having two slices.

Ben’s is located at 8125 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.  They offer free delivery and also do catering.  I highly recommend stopping here if you’re looking to enjoy pleasant service, and good pizza.


Please note:  I am not affiliated with any of the places I blog about nor do I receive any form of remuneration.


Little Rugs, Imported Jams & Marmalades, and Household Items

Deal 99 Cents and Up
7019 Third Avenue
Bay Ridge
Brooklyn, NY 11209

Open 7 days a week.
Nearest subway line:  R Train to Bay Ridge Avenue/4th Avenue

I moved into my new apartment in Bay Ridge two weeks ago. During the process of packing I decided to leave many small household items behind. They were old and not worth putting into a box that would increase the count of boxes I already had. More boxes meant extra charges for the move. At that point I decided it made more sense to buy the smaller items needed at local 99 cent stores and variety stores in my new neighborhood.

Deal 99 Cents and Up has a good selection of reasonably priced rugs in small sizes that are perfect in the kitchen, bathroom and at the front entrance way or in a hallway.

My personal preference for small rugs goes towards those with dark background colors and designs consisting of flowers or fruits. This enables me to move them around the apartment so that the look can be varied when the mood suits me. The flowered rugs serve well in the kitchen, bath or entrance way.

The rug shown here is 100% nylon, made in Turkey and measures 18″ x 26″. It cost only $2.99 and comes in other colors with harmonizing borders and design. The ones with a dark red background also caught my eye but I went for this one because it works so well in the kitchen as well as by the entrance door to my apartment. It looks lovely against the polished wood floor or the lino in the kitchen.

Among the grocery items available at Deal 99 Cents and Up are imported marmalades, fruit preserves and jams that are very affordable.

This jar of Orange Marmelade is imported from Italy. The paper cover tied with string around the lid has the lable “L3 2 Mele, Prodotto Artigianale” on it. The marmalade is light, with a sweet orange flavor that is not at all bitter or too sugary. It cost just $1.98

I also got a jar of Frenchie brand Peach Jam, imported from Egypt. The jam is sweet but not in the way American jams are. It tastes good on pancakes and even better on a croissant. The price is $1.49 a jar.

Both the marmelade and peach jam make my tea time an enjoyable one. I recommend checking out the other fruit jams available here as they are all reasonably priced and add that little extra special quality to tea time treats.


Please note: The jams and marmalade written up here are all fresh and not past expiration date.

New Neighborhood and New Shopping Adventures…coming soon!

I am moving, at long last, into a new apartment in mid-September. Once I’m settled in I will begin a new adventure in bargain shopping throughout Bay Ridge, Upper Dyker Heights and when there is time, Bensonhurst.

This little blog has been neglected since earlier this year due to the prolonged efforts to secure a new place to live and downsize the amount of possessions I can bring to my new studio apartment.

During this time I’ve rethought the formatting and presentation for the blog. There will now be photos of the stores along with complete contact and location information at the start of each posting. If there is public transport nearby I will also make mention of that.

I’m very excited about the new apartment and locale. Stay tuned…there will be more postings come the autumn. In the meantime, there is one more posting about a favorite food store and deli in my current neighborhood of Boro Park.

The Ozark Trail Water Bottle

I have at long last found a water bottle that does not leak and can be clipped onto my Messenger Bag when I go out and about on my Saturday morning walks.

Ozark Trail 1-Liter Water Bottle.

I filled the bottle with tap water and kept it in the refrigerator overnight before using. Then on the next morning, I placed the bottle into the covering and went out for about 4 hours. The water remained cool (not cold) and there was no leakage. The soft yet sturdy handle makes it easy to hold a bottle this large. The clip is sturdy and remained in place all the time I was out and walking around.

This water bottle and cover are made by Ozark Trail. I’ve looked the brand up on line and found that it is still available at Wal-Mart stores but no longer available on-line. The price at Wal-Mart is about $3.88

I got mine at Deals and Discounts at 6910 5th Avenue, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY. The price was $2.99 Since there’s no Wal-Mart in my immediate location I was very pleased to find this product at Deals and Discounts.

Unexpected finds at the 99 Cent Stores

Sometimes when I shop 99 cents stores I remember the variety stores and 5 & 10 cent stores my Mom told me flourished during the Great Depression.  I have memories of Woolworths, Lamstons and Kresge in Bay Ridge while I was growing up, as well.

These shops catered to working families and offered affordable merchandise without the crowding and often higher prices of the department stores.

While it’s true the quality of items from today’s 99 cent stores isn’t always up to what was available back in the day at Woolworth’s I think they fill the same needs for a similar group of shoppers today.

I love to have one or two special tea cups or coffee cups to set a mood during certain times of the year.

My late Mother enjoyed her coffee and hot chocolate in special mugs for the Christmas or winter season.  We went out shopping for such mugs one cold February afternoon around 2003.  While on 11th Avenue in Dyker Heights we stopped by Galina’s 99 Cent Store*.  Galina was a warm and personalble saleswoman.  We liked to browse around her store because sometimes we found incredible buys such as these cups with a pattern of geese on them.

We decided that these cups were just right for us so we bought them without any hesitation.  Each cup was 99 cents and the saucers were 99 cents each.  This selling strategy was still not common in our local 99 cent stores but the cups sold with saucers for 99 cents total were not as fine as these.

When we got home we examined our purchases more closely and discovered our cups and saucers were poreclain!

I was in Bay Ridge one Saturday morning to see the periodontist.  His office is around 75th Street near Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge.  I arrived too  early and went for a walk on Fifth Avenue for a quarter of an hour.  I called my Mom when I saw these cups and saucers.  It was exactly the kind of old fashioned tea cup she had been looking for so I bought two for us.

Although the design is not hand painted and these cups and saucers are not porcelain we were still very happy with the old fashioned appearance they had.  These tea cups became part of many happy afternoon teas I shared with my Mom during the last 5 years she lived with me at home before she had to move to a nursing residence.

I am glad that we were able to make these purchasaes and that such humble objects from such unexpected places became part of the special times and memories I now have of our life together.

That’s why I continue to shop 99 cent stores.  In part it reminds me of the shopping and hunting trips my Mom and I used to make.  It also reminds me that it isn’t the price of something alone that makes it special and valuable.

Note:  I am not affiliated with any shop or manufacturer.

*Galina’s 99 Cents Store is no longer in business.

New Utrecht Avenue Shopping: Dessert Bowls

I did very well in my search for four small glass dessert bowls.  I wanted something very simple and small.

These dessert bowls are just right and a great vallue for the price of 99 cents each.  I got them at Chen’s Discount Store on 55th Street and New Utrecht Avenue.

To create the impression of the dishes being part of a dessert set I added the saucers from my prettiest tea cups.  This is also a good way to put to use saucers that no longer have matching tea cups after the cups break or chip.

Note:  I am not affiliated with any manufacturer or store.

Gift Shopping at the Supermarket

I found one way to beat the high cost of buying gifts.  Instead of shopping at Hallmark or Card & Gift shops, I go to the supermarket.  Right after Christmas 2012 there were price reductions on many high quality cookies.  I knew that my coworker, who celebrated her birthday in early January, loves chocolates.  So I got her a box of LU’s Petite Ecolier biscuits during the sale at my local Pathmark Supermarket.

To better add to the impression that this was a gift, I bought a small gift bag at Jembro.  The Wonderland Card Shop on 11th Avenue and 65th Street still sells a nice range of Hallmark cards for 99 cents. I worked toward color coordinating all elements of the gift bag and that worked out very well.

At Chen’s Discount Store on New Utrecht Avenue and 55th Street I found a birthday cake candle to add to the gift bag.

The total combined for all items was way under what I would have spent had I decided to go with the higher priced boxes of chocolates at Wonderland Gift Shop.  It takes a little more time to shop like this but the challenge of putting it all together can be very enjoyable if one keeps an open approach.

Note:  I am not affiliated with any manufacturer or store.