Don’t Pay Chicago’s Parking Meters! 10 better ways to spend your money

It’s sad but true. In five days parking meters in Chicago’s loop will rise to $6.50 an hour. That’s a 75 cent increase from the already astronomical $5.75 per hour. Metered rates in the rest of the city will increase by 25 cents. All meters are scheduled to be adjusted by the end of February 2013. Additionally, the privately run Chicago Skyway will escalate its toll for cars by 50 cents to $4. Think public transportation’s the answer? Just remember that beginning in 2013 both the CTA and Metra are increasing their fares for passes and 10 ride tickets. Snow buried parking spaces, soaring gas prices, higher fare rates, and hilariously obnoxious parking fees may move many to consider a hermit lifestyle. Instead, why not spend your money in a better way? Here are some suggestions rated by cost – in parking meter hours.

150 gold hoops

Where: The Green Goddess Boutique (Lincoln Park)
1009 W Armitage Ave
What: Viv & Indrid, Large 14k Gold Hoop Earrings
These 14K gold filled wrap hoops feature gorgeous gold metallic beads. Perfect for work and evenings in the city.
Cost: 23 hours (about a full day’s worth of parking in the loop)


Koons by Jeffrey Campbell

 Where: Lori’s Shoes (Lincoln Park)
824 W Armitage Ave
What: Koons by Jeffrey Campbell (shown in Mint Silver)
Cost: 20 hours


DV Cat Dress

Where: Penelope’s (Wicker park)
1913 W Division Street
What: Taupe Cat Dress by Dolce Vita. Pair it with leggings.
Cost: 11.5 hours


Spa Forever

Where: Spa Forever
1917 N Damen Ave
What: 60 minute Swedish massage by the best Bucktown has to offer
Cost: 11 hours



 Where: 1148 Cosmetics (Oak Park)
106 N Marion
What: Makeup and Eyelash Application. Doesn’t every girl need a glam squad?
Cost: 10 hours (a full work day + parking during happy hour)



Where: Smuve Skincare Studio
111 N Wabash Ave #1709, Chicago IL
What:Full Leg Wax. Think you might need it? Then, you need it.
Cost: 9 hours (parking for a full day at the office)



 Where: Spifster – Nail Artist
2201 S Halsted
What: The Supreme Spif (Nail design on all five fingers of each hand)
Cost: About 5 hours (enough time for a shopping spree on Michigan)

 Xray Leggings

Where: Akira (new location in Hyde Park)
1539 E 53rd Street
What: X-ray Leggings in Black. Just in case Tim Burton is casting extras in Chicago.
Cost: About 4.5 hours (barely enough time for parking during dinner and a movie)



Where: The Violet Hour
1520 N Damen Ave
What: A single serving from a large bowl of ‘The Fall of Man’ punch prepared for you and three of your friends. The famous concoction is made with El Dorado 5yr Rum, Ron Pampero, Spiced Fig Syrup, Oloroso Sherry, Amaro Sibilla, Lemon, and Plum Bitters.
Cost: About 1 hour (parking during a manicure)


Big Star

Where: Big Star
1531 N Damen
What: $3 Taco de Pescado. Beer battered tilapia, chipotle mayo, cabbage, cilantro, and lime. This, my friends, is the recipe for simplified perfection and it’ll only cost you half an hour. Big Star is just across the street from Violet Hour and part of the same restaurant family.
Cost: Half an hour


Sources: Photos from the respective website of each business.
Cartoon of terrified woman from