Sometimes I'm in the mood for dressing up and painting the town red, while other nights I crave a good drink at a welcoming bar. Finding your "home base" bar is as important as choosing the right school for your kids. All of my selections deliver perfect atmosphere and affordable prices.

DTUT
1744 Second Ave., Yorkville

Where else are you going to find $2 beer every day of the year? From 4-8 p.m. Monday through Friday they have additional specials like $4 beers and $5 wines. DTUT is a unique stop that doubles as a coffee shop during the day and a craft beer bar at night. The vibe is eclectic with vintage furniture, reclaimed wood and local artist displays. There are over 30 bottles on the beer menu in addition to cocktails. The best part? They serve s’mores, and chocolate and cheese fondues starting at $14.

Peculier Pub
145 Bleecker St., Greenwich Village

There are always $5 draft selections at Peculier. Save $1 on those drafts and score $5 well drinks from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. This 30-year-old dive bar has spacious tables and an amazing beer list of 350 bottles and 27 drafts. I love that the menu is always reasonable with sandwiches starting at $6. On Thursday nights show your New York State student ID for discounted pricing all night long. The staff is notoriously friendly and the pub grub better than average. Get the appetizer sampler to taste three fried goodies for $8.

St. Dymphna's Bar
118 St. Mark’s Place, East Village

Daily $5 beer deals are common at St. Dymphna's, but stop by from 12-8 p.m. and you’ll save an additional dollar. Most entrées are under $13 and appetizers are just $8; try the truffled mac & cheese ($12) or the shepherd’s pie ($10). A full Irish breakfast ($12) is served every day until 5 p.m. The vibe is lively, yet homey and quirky at the same time. It's the type of place where you can hang all day.

Monica DiNatale is a Deals Expert and Author of “365 Guide New York City,” a treasure trove of restaurant deals and bar specials in New York. Monica has been featured as the Dining Expert for PIX 11and Good Day New York and has hosted segments for The New York Chocolate Show and The New York City Craft Beer Week Festivals. “365 Guide New York City” is available in paperback and e-book.