Thursday, March 5, 2009

Weekly Top Five Freebies and Cheapies

Every week, I scavenge the Internet, US cities, nay, the world to bring you, my beloved, the best freebies and cheapies that life has to offer. (P.S. I promise to include at least one "date" offering for my penny-pinching friends who know that lack of income should never mean lack of love!)

1. Cheap Date: One of the easiest ways to make it through a first date without sweat stains under your arms is to kick off the night with a few libations. Unfortunately for New York City dwellers, this can mean a $30 -50 bill for the two drinks you both indulge in before dinner. Fortunately, there is Welcome to the Johnson's, a bar straight out of the 1970's, with decor and prices to match. PBR's, running a mere $1.75, are served in a can, the pool table seems transported from your uncle's basement, and somehow the television that your Grandma sold at the rummage sale two decades ago has made its way here. All of that, and you will find the bartenders (see Shye, above - photo by the lovely Angie Cope) to embody Lower East Side sexy. Just don't let your date catch you checking them out!

2. Cheap Smells: Not to be confused with smelling cheap, offers sample sized containers of exclusive fragrances for a mere $3 (Guys, I know, I know - you can practically buy 2 PBRs at Welcome to the Johnson's for that price, but trust me, the ladies love this type of thing.) If your taste in fragrance is a little more mainstream, stop by Sephora - they will make you a sample of your favorites for free.

3. Free Trivia: You are enjoying your PBR with your date (who, by the way, smells awesome because he/she picked up their free vile of fragrance at Sephora earlier) when the conversation starts to dwindle. We have all been there, but, thanks to, you don't have to suffer through an awkward turtle moment. For instance, think of how impressed your date will be when you explain the difference between Celsius and Kelvin, and watch he/she swoon when you tell them 9 Things they never knew about H. Ross Perot. Give Facebook a break and check it out.

4. Cheap Omiyage: The Japanese have this fabulous tradition of Omiyage, the art of gift giving. Even when they go on a first date, gentlemen are expected to bring a small gift as a sign of honor Take a cue, my friends - go to for inexpensive homemade gifts that you don't have time to make yourself. Surprise a date, charm a hostess, or make your boss's day, and it is still cheaper than a bottle of wine. Domo Arigato!

5. Free Shopping Spree: Before your fabulous date, you will clearly need to find a new outfit. Notice I said "find" instead of "buy." Recessionista Kristi from DC suggests grabbing your best friend or trusted fashionista and playing "Dress-up." This involves your best friend and newly appointed personal stylist looking through everything currently in your wardrobe, even items collecting dust (hello, lace bodysuit circa 1990), and creating new, fabulous looks for you by mixing and matching pieces you already own. This is guaranteed to break you out of your everyday black turtleneck rut.

Recessionista Tip of the Day: Student loans - these are the two words that kill any one's jello shot buzz. Wouldn't it be great if you could just make your day to day purchases and slowly but surely the loan would disappear. Your wish is my command, Recessionista! Check out, a site that contributes a percentage of your purchases back towards paying off your loans. Now, that's smart!

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