Friday, March 13, 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. Free Rent: Often times, leases expire in the spring/early summer. Before you resign for another year or while you are out shopping, it is important to note that real estate agents and landlords are bowing down to the renter's/buyer's market. You absolutely MUST talk to them about a reduced rent and/or free month's rent before committing to anything. As a real estate agent told me this week, "Everything is negotiable these days." Happy apartment-shopping!

2. Cheap Date: Nothing says "hot" like stumbling around the city with a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" t-shirt on backwards. Well, bring that equally "hot" special someone to the World's Largest Pub Crawl, running in NYC this Saturday, March 14, 15, and, course, St. Patrick's day. Admission is $20 for a one day pass, but if you trust your beer goggles and think you might want to hang out with that special someone again, I recommend splurging on the 3 day pass for $30. Admission gets you entry to over 100 participating bars in the city, $1 Bud products, $3 well drinks, and for the Leprechaun lushes out there, $4 Jameson shots. Chicago Recessionista's can mimic this crawl without having to leave their bar stool - O'Donovan's offers a $20 brunch that includes 4 hrs. of unlimited cocktails, mimosas, "Fat Mary's," and more. Drink up!

3. Free Intelligence: Eventually, when you sober up, you may have to actually talk without slurring to your St. Patty's date. Instead dwelling on the recap of your holiday debauchery, I suggest subscribing to online podcasts of University lectures. Submitted from schools like UC Berkeley, Duke, and Cambridge, you'll impress your date so much with your extensive knowledge of the how black holes function in the universe that he/she may just want to hang out with you again...sober, next time.

4. Free Money Management: For those Recessionistas not familiar with Mint, get on board already. No, I am not referring to the breath-freshening delight! This site helps you to link up all of your accounts (credit cards, loans, rent, etc.), monitoring your spending (Mint is smart enough to figure out that the pair of Christian Louboutin shoes you bought last month blew a third of your monthly budget), and helping you improve your awareness of your spending habits. It will even sent you notifications via email when you have a bill due. Now, that is refreshing!

5. Free Pot O' Gold: Actually, who wants a cast iron, impossible to carry pot of coins, when you could have a free iPhone? Interested in receiving cool technologies and gadgets for free? Check out Gift Monkey, a website that will lead you to the end of the rainbow. You sign-up, refer a few friends (SPAM - what better way to get back at that annoying ex!), and they send you the free items from the offer. You'll be so thrilled, you will likely shout out uncontrollably, "They're Always After Me Lucky Charms" in a terrible Irish impersonation. We forgive you.

Recessionista Tip of the Day: Napoleon once said, "In victory, you deserve Champagne, in defeat, you need it." Whether you think you deserve or need it, do not use the Recession as an excuse to rob yourself of your favorite vino. Robin, our Recessionista out of Atlanta advises, "wine distributors will sell off high quality wines at low prices at the end of the month to meet their numbers. If you can find a store that passes on the savings (meaning, no markups beyond normal profit) it's worth checking out discount bins around the end/beginning of the month and asking the owner about good deals." A Toast to Robin!

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