Getting through the pain

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Anxiety about the state of the economy is like the weather: everyone complains, but no one does anything about it. Well, stop your nail-biting and get out there and save some money by enjoying all the riches of Brooklyn on the cheap.

Here is a Brooklyn Paper roundup of the best places to have fun, but not put a dent in your already totaled finances:

If it’s Monday…

There is no better dinner deal in the city than the $6 bowl of goulash — plus a Happy Hour pilsner — at Cafe Steinhof on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope. This only-on-Monday special fills the bar and the two dozen tables with paprika lovers, so you’ll have plenty of people with whom to commisserate.

Hollywood magic

Everyone loves to lose himself to a big-screen classic, but who can afford an $11 ticket just to get some Hollywood-style entertainment? Thankfully, there’s the venerable Cobble Hill Cinemas, where every Tuesday and Thursday, all seats — not just matinees! — are just $6.50. “People go to the movies to escape what’s stressing them out,” said Sara Mulry, a manager. “And we’re just trying to help them out.”

Free pool party

If even those half-priced movie tickets in Cobble Hill could still knock you below the poverty line, how about some free pool at two local joints? Superfine in DUMBO and East River, a proud dive in Williamsburg, have free tables all night long. That’ll save you a bundle in quarters so you can keep your clothes clean for interviews.

Brews for blues

When the going gets tough, fancy French wine and expensive single malt Scotch are more likely to add to your woes than relieve them. That’s when wiser heads turn to cheap cold beer. Here are the best places to drink a lot, but not spend a lot:

• At Smith’s, a Park Slope mainstay since 1931, a pint of Budweiser goes for $1.75. Manager Jerry O’Brien said he knows why the joint is so popular: “We have the cheapest beer in town.”

• At the Levee, they sell cans of Carling Black Label lager for a buck every day from 5–8 pm! There are also free cheese puffs and a $4 “Sportsman Special” that gets you that Carling plus a shot of Evan Williams.

• If you’re not afraid to drink “crap” beer, seek out the “Crapacopia” at Floyd, where a bucket of six, fairly lousy domestic beers goes for $12. The bar also offers free bocce.

Nice wheels

Let’s face it, you can’t afford gas, so you’ll need a cheap way to get around. That’s where Recycle-a-Bicycle comes in. The DUMBO shop takes top-of-the-line donated bikes, refurbishes them, and sells them back on the cheap (about $200 for a $500 bike, with a 30-day warranty). You’ll feel green, build muscle tone on your way to work every day and you can even get that magnanimous glow from the knowledge that sale proceeds go to public schools around the city.

Frugal for fruit

Call it the Poor Man’s Fairway or the Century 21 of food, but tucked in a gritty spot under the Gowanus Expresssway lies Rossman’s Fruit and Vegetable. With excellent produce at fire sale prices, Rossman’s is still one of Brownstone Brooklyn’s best-kept secrets. “It’s so cheap that some restaurant owners shop there!” raves one regular customer. “You can get a three-pound bag of mesclun for $2.99! And four cucumbers for $1.”

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