Hi, Jinley and WELCOME TO MBB! The first thing that struck me about your post was the word "Manhattanite," which leads me to wish you VERY GOOD LUCK on leading a frugal lifestyle! I've allus heard that Manhattan was one of the most expensive places to live, but maybe you can find some little hidey-holes that aren't in an alley, so I do wish you the best of luck!
The advice and tips and money saving hints you can get here should prove invaluable. I think you should prolly start a blog, or at least a thread here at MBB ("My Manhattan Meanderings") or some such. . .I think we'd all be interested in hearing of your successes!