Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Free Flick Fridays

Snowed in and out of things to watch on TV? We've reminded you about free on-demand movies (probably) included in your cable package before. Now Tribeca Film Festival has a blog highlighting some of the better movie picks on hulu (it's not just for catching up on Glee). All that's missing is the popcorn.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Extra Coin from Coinstar

Now through December 6th, you can get an extra $10 (in rebate form) when you turn in your coins to a CoinStar machine.
As always, there is a fee to turn your coins into cash, but the fee is waived if you turn it into a gift card from one of the participating merchants (e.g., iTunes, Amazon, etc.) -- and hey, now you have a gift card for that hard-to-shop for niece or nephew!

Get the promo details here. CoinStar machines are usually located in a Duane Reade or Whole Foods stores; find the one nearest you here.

Via MyFrugalAdventures.com
Photo by Chris_Jones

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Best Deal in NY?

Recession This! isn't quite dead yet, and when I stumble upon a deal like this, it makes me happy to have a place to spread the word. Went out for drinks with friends at the Film Center Cafe over the weekend and we were all bowled over by the $4 hotdogs and fries. For four bucks, you get 2 Hebrew National dogs (with some lovely sauerkraut) AND a heaping pile of fries -- the perfect late night soak-up-the-booze snack. And this place isn't a dive -- it's served on a real plate (a square one which adds to the fancy) and the rest of the menu is affordable too. A few people (okay, including me..) weren't even that hungry but just couldn't pass up the deal! I will be back with hungry and drunk people in tow (okay, maybe just me).

Film Center Cafe is at 9th Ave and 44th St.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

When the Lights Go Out

You probably already know that compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, save you loads through increased energy efficiency (60-80% less energy usage than conventional bulbs) and longer life (6 to 15 times longer).

But what do you do with CFLs when they do die? There's mercury in there, so you can't just throw them out. Well, intrepid reporter Jody found out that The Home Depot recycles CFLs!

Also: once you've phased out those old batteries with rechargeable batteries, bring the old batteries to Whole Foods to recycle them (bins at the exit door, next to the #5 plastics recycling bins).

Don't forget these other energy/money-saving tips!

[Photo by Schodts]

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Metrocard math

Back in the salad days when you were working full-time in New York and taking the subway every day, you probably just plunked down the $80+ for a 30-day unlimited Metrocard because it was the best deal, right?

Nowadays, there are stretches where you don't get on the subway or a bus for days at a time. Your hours have been cut to a few days a week (or you're out of a job entirely) and you stay at home or at least in the neighborhood most of the time.

But which Metorcard should you buy for those times when you do need to travel? If you put at least $8 on a regular Metrocard, the 15% bonus means each trip costs only $1.96 (the bonus does not increase the more cash you put on the card, so long as it's more than $8). Here's a breakdown of the minimum number of rides you need to take for the unlimited Metrocards to be a better value:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Save Ink, Save Money

Green Print sounds pretty amazing but I haven't tried it yet-- it's software that allows you to print only the pages you need (especially handy when printing things from the web)-- eliminating those annoying extra pages with just a few lines, or deleting images or ads that waste your ink. It also calculates the amount you save by not printing the extra pages.

More on the company here, including the scary statistic that printer ink costs $40 to $80 an ounce, compared to Dom Perignon at only $5 an ounce.

(I hope we haven't posted about this before -- it seems like the kind of thing Franke would have discovered!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Your Friends and the Recession

Money is never an easy topic to discuss, even when the economy isn't spiraling out of control. And, talking about money with friends is typically a big fat no-no. But, what happens when your friendships are suddenly effected by differences in your incomes? This great article on Slate got me thinking about my friends with and without money, and if I've felt like any relationships were in jeopardy because of the recession. Fortunately for me, most of my friends are poor artist types, so we're all in the same boat. But, I do have friends in other places who own homes, have kids, can afford to go on vacations. Maybe the reason we're still friends is because weLink don't see each other often. If those people lived nearby, maybe we wouldn't be as close.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fix Healthcare to Fix the Economy

It's common knowledge that one of the biggest reasons people go into credit card debt is funding skyrocketing medical costs with their credit cards because our health care system is broken. People on the left of the politcal spectrum have been saying this long before Sicko* came out. But even conservatives, like John Maudlin, are seeing that one way to fix our economy is to fix health care. Maudlin compares the ratio of expenditure of Gross Domestic Product to Life Expectancy among several countries and comes up with these figures:
"According to the Economist the total US spend on healthcare is 15.4% of GDP including both state and private . With that it gets 2.6 doctors per 1,000 people, 3.3 hospital beds and its people live to an average age of 78.2
  • UK - spends 8.1% of GDP, gets 2.3 doctors, 4.2 hospital beds and live to an average age of 79.4. So for roughly half the cost their citizens overall get about the same benefit in terms of longevity of life.
  • Canada - spends 9.8% of GDP on healthcare, gets 2.1 doctors, 3.6 hospital beds and live until they are 80.6 yrs
  • France - spends 10.5%, 3.4 docs, 7.5 beds and live until they are 80.6 [years old]
  • Spain - spends 8.1% , 3.3 docs , 3.8 beds and live until they are 81 [years old]
  • As a whole Europe spends 9.6% of GDP on healthcare, has 3.9 doctors per 1,000 people, 6.6 hospital beds and live until they are 81.15 years old.

...in many cases...the healthcare system is better in the US than in some other countries BUT US citizens must therefore get ill more often than any other country in the West in order to achieve the truly appalling statistic that they are the 41 longest living nation on earth with France, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Andorra, Holland, Greece and Sweden all featuring in the top 20 longest living nations and the UK and Germany at 22.

This is the big failure of the US system. It is unforgivable. You may get a better chance of recovering from certain diseases but as a whole you will die younger in the US than most developed countries. ... Something is severely broken."

Check out the full article here on InvestorsInsight.com.

Of course, economic growth is stifled because many people put off treatments they can't afford and stay sick, only to get worse and lose their ability to work altogether. Or those lucky enough to be employed and have health insurance stay in dead-end jobs for fear of losing their coverage.

Kinda makes you want to write your congressperson, doesn't it? Check out this post from Consumerist.com for the most effective way to communicate with your elected representatives.

*Watching Sicko is the movie version of this argument, so check it out.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Summer means lots of things, and one of those things in NYC is cheap theater. See professional fully staged productions of awesome new plays for a measly $10.00 a pop. With eight plays to choose from, new shows every week, and superb casting (Ally Sheedy -- that's all I'm saying) you can escape the heat for a couple hours and get your culture fix. All shows are at The Public Theater, which is real close to lots of cheap eats, so take a date to dinner and a show; I'll bet you'd spend a total of $40.00 on everything if you do it right, and your date will be so impressed with your dating skills in this recession-filled world.
Check it out here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Housing Works Street Fair This Saturday

Even if you're cutting back on spending, you still need to buy clothes sometimes. And if you've been really good, you deserve to treat yourself to some books and music. Head down to SoHo for Housing Works's bi-annual Open Air Street Fair extravaganza this Saturday, June 6th (rain date June 7th).

This festive, all-day shopping bazaars take place on the quaint (closed to traffic) cobblestone Crosby Street outside of the Bookstore Café and features tens of thousands of $1 books, CDs, and - perhaps the biggest bargain of all - $20 bags of all-you-can-stuff clothing from Housing Works Thrift Shops.

And there's food! Sliders and sweets from The Works. and beer from Puck Fair will be served!

Best of all, all profits from the Open Air Street Fair pay for Housing Works’ services for homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS. In 2007/2008, the two street fairs attracted more than 50,000 people and generated more than $45,000 for those services.

Check out the Housing Works website for full details.