Woman eating popcorn
Photo: Thinkstock
More money-saving tips on everything from traveling to home decor. And don't miss our updated 2008, 2009 and 2010 guides with more than 75 tips for getting the most out of your money.

Thrifty Tourism

Traveling between Boston, New York, Baltimore, Philly, and D.C.? Bolt Bus fares start at $1.

While you're back east, check out Tony winner La Cage aux Folles: at two hours, 40 minutes and starting at $37 per ticket (a mere 23 cents a minute!), it's Broadway's best value.

Consider a weekend in tiny Deal, New Jersey: Mayor Harry Franco says, "We've got the lowest beach fees on the Jersey shore—and that's a big deal."

Free Fun

Too commitment-phobic for Netflix? Sony's Crackle.com lets viewers screen nearly 300 full-length movies, from The Age of Innocence to Zombieland, on their home computers.

Websites like Hype Machine and Elbows corral the best of the music blogosphere and let you check out songs for free. (Try Eric Clapton's bluesy cover of "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" or Lyle Lovett's jaunty piano ditty "No Big Deal.")

Most deals in literature involve selling your soul to the devil (Doctor Faustus, Dorian Gray, Rosemary's Baby...), but if it's free shipping on used books you're looking for, rest easy—many sellers on AbeBooks.com will happily oblige, no eternal damnation required.
Stack of pancakes
Photo: Thinkstock

Family Values

Every Tuesday, Tex-Mex chain Chevy's feeds kids for free at most locations (ChevysFreshMex.com).

Children will love the free weekly story time at Pottery Barn Kids (every Tuesday from 11 to 11:30 A.M., PotteryBarnKids.com) and the free craft sessions at educational supply store Lakeshore Learning (every Saturday from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M., LakeshoreLearning.com).

To stretch your clothing dollar, join the Sears KidVantage program, which lets you exchange worn-out children's items from Sears for new garments of the same size—no questions asked.

Tasty Tidbits

A Starbucks "tall" is not the smallest of all—the coffeehouse honors off-menu requests for its eight-ounce "short cappuccino," which costs up to 30 cents less.

AMC Theaters lets you cash in points for popcorn, and the Purple Points program from high-end confectioner Vosges Chocolates can turn the dollars you spend into a tour of Paris.

Each February IHOP holds its famed National Pancake Day and has given away more than 10.1 million buttermilk pancakes since starting the event in 2006.

Want to fill up on the cheap at home? A satiety index published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition says the most filling food is the humble—and eminently affordable—boiled potato.
Photo: Thinkstock

Teachable Moments

Take Home Depot's free clinics on everything from installing a ceiling fan to planting a vegetable garden (HomeImproverClub.com) or Williams-Sonoma's free cooking classes (register at your local store).

Here's a capital idea: Any student who resides in the District of Columbia is eligible for college tuition grants from the U.S. government (Osse.dc.gov). The rest of us can access free online video classes from Yale and MIT.

Ready to hit the books? Many university libraries hold sales near the end of each term. And any ivory-tickler near South Orange, New Jersey, should make sure to hit the annual piano sale in March at Seton Hall University (973-275-2966 for info).

Headache-Free Zone

If you hate ATM fees, let AllpointNetwork.com help you find machines that won't leave you feeling nickeled-and-dimed.

Can't stand your electronic clutter? Send BuyMyTronics.com your old cell phones and other gadgets and they'll send you a check.

Bummed out by your birthday? Look on the bright side: You can get $5 off shoes from retailer DSW and free ice cream from Baskin-Robbins and Cold Stone Creamery.
Dog pulling on a chew toy
Photo: Thinkstock

No Pay Per View

If you're looking to share your creative vision with the world, go to RedBubble.com to post your art, writing, and design work—you'll gain free feedback, build contacts, and make online sales.

If you'd rather contemplate than create, museums in every major American city host free days (visit their sites for info) or merely suggest a contribution—meaning you can pay what you like to enter.

Other art havens are always free, like Washington's Smithsonian galleries or the Getty in Los Angeles.

Zero Breaks Allowed

Give your office a superhero makeover with the Virtually Indestructible Keyboard and Virtually Indestructible Mouse (Grandtec.com).

Treat your canine sidekick to the Ol Reliabowl pet feeding dish, a chew-resistant dog bed from TheUncommonDog.com, and tough toys from KongCompany.com. Then treat yourself to shatterproof wineglasses and a pen that lasts seven years.

As for that wallet you'll no longer be straining? Visit Hammacher.com to pick up a model made of unrippable sailcloth.

Even more ways to save: Don't miss our updated 2008, 2009 and 2010 guides with more than 75 tips for getting the most out of your money.


Next Story