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Archive for the 'Money Saving Tips' Category

New York City. Home of $ticker $hock?

So you wanna come to the Big Apple?? You start your research for hotels and?What?? Are they kidding?? Where do they get the nerve to charge that!!?

Ok, NYC can be an expensive place.? However it?s also a place with only a?myriad of choices.? So take this little romp with me down the avenue less traveled and you?ll have a ball without breaking the bank.

Lodging: Think out of the box and try a NYC style ?B & B? rental instead of a hotel. We don?t have those oh so quaint Victorians here, but you can opt for an apartment rental, hosted or unhosted.? You?ll either get a room in someone?s home or a whole, furnished apartment to yourself.? These offerings run the gamut from the most basic to the most luxurious and are located all over town.? This is especially good if you are traveling with a group.? The prices are lower than most hotels and you?ll have more space plus a kitchen.? One agency that books these is Prices range from $80 ? $300 per night.

Entertainment: There are countless choices of? things to do in the city, totally free, especially outdoors in the summer.? You can catch everything from movies to concerts to Shakespeare in the Park on a warm summer night por nada.? Go to for listings.

If a Broadway show tickles your fancy, there is an alternative to standing on line at the TKTS booth.? Go to and become a member for free.? This will allow you access to their discounted tickets page.? You can pick them up at the theater, so purchase the same day if you like.

Dining: So many deals, so little time!? ?Here?s the skinny: Go to or and sign up for the NYC deals. In the weeks & months before your trip keep a close eye for restaurant offerings among so many others.? These deals are the real deal at up to 80% off.? You buy them on the day they are offered but can use them for up to year.? Just make sure it is valid for the dates you?ll be here

Shopping: Who doesn?t want to take advantage of being in the Fashion Capital of the world?? Here?s a tip: It?s also the bargain capital! The Carlisle Collection, the shop at home company, has a little known outlet store tucked away in an unassuming midtown office building.? Go to 423 W55th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.? The basement and the 5th floor are where the action is, at up to 80% of regular retail.

Do you love that easy, unconstructed feel that Eileen Fisher does to perfection?? Check out the Boutique at 314 E 9th St, between 1st?and 2nd Avenues in the East Village.? Almost every item they carry is discounted up to 60% off regular retail.

Got a hankering for Hermes?? Check out La Boutique designer resale shop at 1045 Madison Avenue, between 79th and 80th Street.? Ring the bell and ascend the wooden staircase to the 2nd floor.? You find all the top names starting at about 1/3 or regular retail.? Such a deal!

Hmmm.? So what to do with all the money you?ve saved?? How about a $12 cappuccino, with tax & tip, in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel, at 59th Street and 5th Avenue?? Wait!? Where are you going?? Don?t run away!

Eat in Midtown for a Buck? Hell Yeah!

Warning!? Only the tightest of tightwads should read this post.

Of course we love to shop, but a girl’s gotta eat sometime!? You could sit down in one of the 26 seats at Masa in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle.? ?There, you’d??spend 3 hours having the most extraordinary dining experience; one you will remember for a lifetime.? At the end, you’ll? plunk down a mere $300-$500.

Or not…

In a city of extremes, we’re going to the other right?here & right now.? We’re talking about eating for?one American dollar?in Midtown Manhattan. That?s right.? One dollar.

You can visit no less than 4?pizza joints where a slice ranges from?99 cents to 1 dollar.??Bros Pizza can be found at the SE corner of 40th St. & 9th Ave. and the SW corner of 38th?St. & 8th Ave.? ?Slices are $1; you can get 2 & a drink for $2.75.? They also have a location on St Mark’s Place between 2nd & 3rd Aves. in the East Village.? The Z Deli on 8th Ave. between 48th & 49th Sts. is serving up 99 cent slices, as is a no name counter on 9th Ave. at the corner of 41st St.

But I’m lactose intolerant, you say!? Then how about some chicken?? Piece of Chicken at 362 W. 45th St. in from the SE corner of 9th Ave offers real southern fried chicken for $1 a piece.? Or you can get 2 pieces and a side dish for $4.? The most expensive item on their menu is a smothered pork chop with rice?and?two greens for $6.50.

I’m a meat-n-potatoes girl, you opine!? Will ya settle for a dog-on-a-bun?? Most of the hot dog carts along 8th Ave. from about 46th St.?through the?50s sell them for $1 each during the day.

But I want more healthy fare!? Then how about?a salad?? The magic number at Stiles Farmers Markets seems to be $1.??Head of romaine lettuce or bunch of?broccoli, an avocado, or pound of tomatoes… all sell for a buck each.? You can spend $5 and make a salad for a whole group.? There are also lots of fruit for a dollar or less a pound.? Of course, prices change here, but I’ve found them consistently the lowest around.? They have 2 locations: 352 W. 52nd St., between 8th & 9th Aves. and 569 9th Ave., between 41st & 42nd Sts. (right next to the 99 cent pizza joint).

So…mangia!? And let me know how you liked your cheap eats.

Every Tuesday a new NYC spa will offer a service for just $25 at SpaSally’s

Below is a press release for a new site giving great deals.? Looks pretty good to me.? I think I’m going to try this massage.? I LOVE Ayurveda!

$25?Abhayanga Massage & Dry Brushing

?Tuesday February 16th, 2010.? New York, NY ? Every Tuesday a new NYC spa will offer a service for just $25 at?SpaSally’s The deals can only be purchased on Tuesdays, but can be used any day within a year. When the clock strikes midnight the deal is gone. The $25 spa deal can only be purchased online at

?This Tuesday?s $25 deal is:

?$25 Abhayanga Massage and Dry Brushing at FineLiving New York Ayurveda

40 minutes (67% off – regularly $78.00)

?Abhayanga a-bh-yan-ga, an Ayurvedic Body Massage with Herbal Oils, is a very beneficial massage. Oils and strokes are chosen according to body type and condition. This 30 minute massage can benefit your body in many ways like removing stress and fatique and stregthening the immune system. It also includes 10 minutes of dry brushing or silk gloves exfoliation, which is fantastic for your skin.. Happy Valentines Day to you!

?Or upgrade to:

?$50 Abhayanga Massage and Dry Brushing

70 minutes (55% off – regularly $113.00)

Thirty minutes not enough? Go for the hour body massage with the 10 minute dry brushing! Treat yourself or someone else you love with this Ayurvedic experience that cares for your body inside and out!


?$75 Abhayanga Massage and Dry Brushing

100 minutes (52% off – regularly $158.00)

The Ultimate Abhayanga massage and dry brushing! Face it, sometimes an hour is not enough.. 90 minutes of massage and 10 minutes exfoliation..This is the one where you really let it all go.

Review of $59 Photo Facial at Serena Spa

So how good could a facial that usually costs upwards of $150 or more be at $59?? In a word…Good.

First let’s explain a little bit about a Photo Facial or IPL for the uninitiated.? It is a laser treatment that can remove sunspots, sun damage, age spots, redness.? It can even out skin tone and is said to improve wrinkles.? IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light.

I went for sunspots(because I hate to call them age spots) and to even out my skin tone.? Normally it takes about 5 treatments spaced 3-4 weeks apart to see results.? It can cost from $150 -$300 per treatment.? It is done in doctor’s offices also, however it is legal for an aesthetician to perform the procedure.

I’ve been looking at the website for this particular spa for a while.? Now that I live in NYC it was very convenient for me to try them out.? I looked online for reviews and found 2, one very negative & the other positive.? I thought I would see for myself.

Location: Centrally located at 127o Bdwy at 32nd St, in the heart of Herald Square and at the tip of Koreatown.? As such this is an Asian spa.? It is on the 5th floor of a large office bldg.

Layout and ambience:? At $59 you know this is a no frills type of place, however it was freshly painted, nicely decorated and very clean.? It’s small, with a reception area and treatment room with 2 tables separated by a curtain.? There was no other clients there when I was there.? It there were it might have been a bit tight.? There was no “receptionist” per se; the woman who checked me in also performed the facial.? I’ve found this sort of arrangement at many a small spa, some that charge double or triple the price.? It doesn’t bother me at all.? The woman who worked on me was very sweet, polite and accomodating.

Treatment:? Many places that do an IPL do not do a complete facial treatment with it.? They just use the laser and then you are done.? Not so here.? You?get a complete facial with deep cleansing, extractions and mask after the laser plus a little massage on hands and arms.? It was a decent facial with a medium amount of time spent doing the IPL treatment.? I have had other IPLs, some a bit longer some about the same.? Whether this was a sufficient amount of time with become evident after my 5th treatment when I will see whether the spots are gone or not.? The only thing I did not like about the treatment is that after the IPL, they did not remove the heavy gel substance with damp towel.? It was only wiped off with a dry cotton pad.? As that gel, necessary for the laser to work, is very thick, I did not like the feeling of only wiping it off.? Right after that a peeling mask was applied.? It was a cooling mask which was refreshing after the laser, but I still would have preferred some water being used to clean my face before it.? I told the aesthetician that and she said she would do that for me next time. The whole procedure took and hour.

Does IPL hurt?:? A little bit.? It’s kind of like a rubber band snapping on your skin.

Results:? I will not know for sure if the sunspots will be gone until about 3 1/2 months from now, however I do know that IPL is very effective in treating this, so I am confident they will be.? As for how my skin looked immediately?afterwards…Reports are good.? I asked a couple of people who had seen me the day before if my skin looked different.? Both said yes, it looked better and more refreshed and wanted to know what I did.? I thought it looked better too.

Would I recommend this spa?? Yes.?? I will definately go back there for more IPL.? Would I go there for just a regular facial.? Probobly not.? I like a little more of a calming ambience for that.? I would also go there for the microdermabrasion and laser hair removal, as they are both also $59.? Plus, if you buy a package of 5 treatments at once the price is $50 each.? You CANNOT beat that with a stick!

Serena Spa
127o Bdway, bet 32nd & 33rd Sts

Sample Sales 101

December is here and brrrrr, it?s cold outside.? Bundle up to visit those sample sales.? And of course tis the season for sample sales?lots & lots of them.? December is the biggest month of the year for these, one of our favorite forms of shopping in New York.

What is a sample sale?? So glad you asked!

At least twice a year, spring & fall, designers & manufacturers create a new line of clothing. In order to sell these new designs to department stores & boutiques a sample line is manufactured for the salesmen & showrooms to show to buyers.? As the garment industry works six months in advance of the stores, the fall line is created in the preceding spring & the spring line is created in the preceding fall.? So..When the fall season is upon us the manufacturers are through with their fall samples.? All the clothes for that season has been sold, cut, manufactured & shipped to the stores. What do they do with this sample line?? They offer it to us, the consumer, at sample sales.

In the past,? ALL of these sales were referred to as a ?true sample sales?, meaning they offered only the sample line.? A sample line is created in only one size, hence only one size of cl.? This is more times than not, NOT the case currently.? Most sample sales nowadays will stock all the sizes that that particular line carries.

?How can this be, if samples only come in one size?? So glad you asked!

Now most sample sales will also offer ?overstock?.

What is overstock? So glad you blah, blah, blah!

Overstock is the merchandise a company will manufacture over and above what they need to fill their orders.? Why would they do that you ask?? Ok, so you didn?t ask.? I?ll tell ya anyway.? If a store sells out of an item & wants more, the manufacturer doesn?t have the time cut & sew it on the spot.? They have to have it ready to ship.? Hence, overstock.? What ever of that is not sold can go into the sample sale.

So if you see an advertisement that says this is a ?true sample sale? you?ll know it will offer only one size.? Make sure you find out what size that company?s samples are made in, so you don?t waste your time.

Some good sales happening this week

alice + olivia Sample Sale Up To 70% Off?

12/8/2009 – 12/11/2009?? Tue-Fri 8am-8pm

?80 W. 40th St.? (btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.)? 2nd Floor?? (212) 840-0887

12/4-12/9 Theory women’s sample sale… 261 W. 36th St., nr. Seventh Ave., second fl. (212-947-8748); F (11-7), S-Su (11-5), M-W (11-7).

Stop back to get the skinny on how to find the best sample sales, how to get the best deals at those sample sales and most importantly, how to hide the new purchases from your hubby! ( Oh sure like you?ve never done it!)

And remember?PLEASE shop responsibly!