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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Free Software

We've told you about free PhotoShop alternatives before, and suggested you check out all the options they find on Lifehacker. Well, now there's yet another source for free software: AlternativeTo. [via VeryShortList]

Currently in beta, AlternativeTo allows you to search by platform as well as the specific gajillion-dollar software title you are trying to approximate with a free app.

[Photo by marblegravy]

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fish Tacos

What a delicious summer dish! Here's a quick, cheap, & easy recipe from Martha Stewart's "Great Food Fast". (You probably already have a lot of the ingredients in your kitchen cabinet.)

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper
1/4 small red cabbage thinly shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 scallions thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 jalapeno chile, halved lenghtwise, one half minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound tilapia fillets (or other firm white fish) cut into 16 equal strips
8 flour or whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream and lime juice; season with salt & pepper. Transfer half the mixture to a container; set aside for serving. Toss the cabbage, minced jalapeno, and scallions with the remaining sour cream mixture. Season again with salt & pepper.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and remaining jalapeno half over medium-high heat; swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In two batches (starting with any larger pieces), cook the fish until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard the jalapeno.

3. Warm the tortillas.

4. Fill the tortillas with slaw, fish, and cilantro leaves. Drizzle with reserved sour cream mixture.

Image pulled from the Food Network website.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We Love NPR

It's clear that we here at Recession This! are big fans of NPR, probably because they're smart and they offer a lot of free stuff, like their podcasts, which cover many topics from news to entertainment. My ipod podcast list looks like a love letter to NPR. (My husband says "If you love it so much why don't you marry it?" To which I reply, "Maybe I will." And then he says, "Well, go ahead." And then I say... you get the picture.) I've recently added Planet Money, and I'm hooked. I was reluctant at first; all this recession business really gets me down. Plus, there is so much I don't understand that I didn't want to listen to a podcast that would make me feel even more confused. Fortunately, Planet Money breaks down the economic crisis in an average of twenty minute easy to understand episodes. And, they keep in mind that many of their listeners probably did not study money in school, so it's very audience friendly. The hosts are pretty cool, too. If you want to make heads or tails of our crazy financial world then I highly recommend starting with Planet Money.

Image taken from NPR's website.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Get rid of your car

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!

We all know, driving less is better for the environment. And it's definitely better for your budget. Recession This! readers in NYC and other large cities are probably aware of car sharing companies but perhaps you haven't given it a try. Recently, multiple options for car sharing have become available in NYC. New York Magazine had an article in March comparing 2 new companies (Connect by Hertz and Mint) to the more established Zipcar. Recession This! has not tries either Connect by Hertz or Mint so we can't compare ourselves but several of us are happy Zipcar members.

A Zipcar membership allows you access to over 1670 cars in the 5 boroughs & New Jersey and anywhere else they are available. You can add family members or friends or significant others to your account. There are several different payment plan options depending on how often you want to use the cars. Each plan includes tax, gas and insurance while you drive. For details on how the program works, check out Zipcar's comprehensive site.

I'm here to encourage you to give it a try. We use a Zipcar about once every 2 months to pick up and drop off at our storage unit (the curse of the tiny NYC apartment), drop off stuff at Goodwill (for a tax credit!), take a day-trip out of NYC, pick up free furniture from friends and even to stock up at Trader Joe's in Queens.

If you're curious, Recession This! can offer you $25 in driving credit when you sign up for Zipcar - another way to save a little money! Click the button above or click here to Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Recession Pampering

Many of you ladies (and some of you men) may be assuming that you have to give up your spa pampering and treatments now that the recession has gotten us all. Never fear - there are still ways to frugally indulge yourself and stay pretty (or handsome)!

Recession This! found this great article about facials on a budget at Skincare-news.com. It's packed with money-saving tips and informational links.

Also, look for your local Spa Week, when local spas feature specials and deals on all kinds of services and products.
Check out SpaWeek.com for more information on deals near you. Don't miss the Steals & Deals page for recent offers and monthly specials.

Consider doing a DIY Manicure or DIY Pedicure at home. Look for deals at an online drugstore or your local drugstore.

Stay pretty frugal and frugally pretty!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tattoo You

According to the Christian Science Monitor, contrary to conventional wisdom, one non-essential expense Americans are not choosing to forgo is a tattoo:
"Just last week one of my coworkers tattooed an 83-year-old woman getting her first tattoo."

So, if you're looking to pick up a new trade, consider skin-inking recession-proof. But if needles make you squeamish, consider these other alternatives. [from MSNBC.com]

[Photo by King Taco]

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Splendid Cheap Eats

Hey Recession This! readers - one of my favorite NPR Podcasts is The Splendid Table hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.

Lynn has an infectious love for food of all sorts. She starts each episode with a conversation with Jane and Michael Stern authors of Road Food (an essential book for any road trip). Lynn then has a few features with guest foodies or reporting from important food places & events and she finishes up by taking listeners calls with food and recipe questions.

Even if you don't listen to the show, The Splendid Table website is a great resource for recipe ideas and quick fixes.

And recently, The Splendid Table added a new feature called Splendid Cheap Eats, a collection of Lynn's recipes that use inexpensive ingredients.
The recipes are organized by category and then by main ingredient. Recipes run the gamut of familiar comfort food like Macaroni and Cheese to more adventurous fare like Turkish Braised Eggplant. There's even a recipe for Beer Can Chicken - a perfect summer cook-out recipe. No one can resist the chicken that sits up on the grill!

Happy cheap eating!

photo of The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper from The Splendid Table store

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Recessionist Nirvana

Thousands of people are unemployed or underemployed thanks to the recession. If you are one of the many who are scrabbling for a new job, we at Recession This! feel for you -- many of our friends and loved ones are out there with you.

However, if you are out there struggling to replace the job you had with one at the same salary, you might want to read today's post at The Simple Dollar. It explains that "...the magical amount of 'enough' income is much lower than many people think."

While this is not a tip on how to, say, save money by using your freezer*, hopefully it will help you stress less while on the job hunt and help you decide on a job you want to do, versus one that pays what your last (probably crappy) job paid.

*Like how we snuck that tip in anyway? From NYTimes via Lifehacker]

[Photo by J. Star]

Friday, May 1, 2009

NPR Challenge: How Low Can you Go?

NPR's All Things Considered has been running a challenge for professional chefs and home amateurs alike: How Low Can you Go - Feed a group of four for less than $10.
I've heard several of the on-air features listening to the NPR Food Podcast.

So far, they have interviewed and featured recipes from 4 chefs:
Gina and Pat Neely do Mac & Cheese for $9.
Navy Chef Michael Edwards makes a skate dinner.
Chef Ming Tsai prepares Chicken and Corn-Fried Rice.
and (my favorite of the 4) Spanish Chef Jose Andres makes a Chickpea and spinach dish.

The links above take you to a transcript of each interview with the chef as well as the recipe and comments from listeners. The pages also have a link to listen to the story - I have to recommend that you give them a listen, especially the Jose Andreas segment.

AND you too can join the challenge! If you have a great recipe for a meal that can feed 4 people for $10 or less, submit it to All Things Considered here. Let us know if you have enter the challenge and we'll feature your recipe here on Recession This!
Bonus: at the $10 challenge page you can see all of the recipes submitted by listeners in the comments.

Good luck and happy recession cooking!
Image from NPR's How Low Can You Go challenge page

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, ReGoogle

Finding yourself with random stuff lying around your house taking up space that you don't want to send to the landfill, but can't sell or foist upon Goodwill? Google a way to repurpose it!

For example, I have a bunch of old mouse pads (culled from the day job) that I could not think of a new use for. A quick Google (actually, I used Goodsearch and gave to my favorite charity without spending my own money [See this previous RT! post]) and I found these myriad ideas:
  • Bases for houseplants, etc. to protect your furniture [from Craftster]
  • Pads for table & chair legs [from Reader's Digest]
  • PDA sleeve and insoles [from eHow]
For general inspiration, you can also do a flickr search or Goodsearch image search of "repurpose" and see what others have come up with. Some folks, like Scavengerjo, even make art of things that have no other life left.

Also check out Brooklyn-based RePlayGround for tips and for kits to help make new things out of old trash.

What do you have sitting around your house that could find new life as something useful?
[Ode to the Modern Housewife by Scavengerjo]

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You Know Why? Chicken Thigh!

Chicken thighs are cheap and delicious. And, thanks to Real Simple, you can eat them in this cheap and delicious recipe. What makes this recipe great, aside from the heavy cream, is the number or ingredients you probably have on hand. I always seem to have frozen peas and white wine around, for example, so there wasn't much left to buy at the store. And, since the ingredients aren't fancy you can go to a regular ol' grocery store and buy 'em for less. Bust out the slow cooker that's gathering dust in your cabinet and get to cooking!


1 1/2 pounds baby new potatoes (about 16)
8 small skinless chicken thighs
3 leeks (whites and light green parts) cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt (I use regular old Morton's)
1 10 ounce package of frozen peas
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon

Place potatoes on the bottom of a 4 - 6 quart slow cooker. Add chicken, leeks, wine, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Cook, covered, until chicken and potatoes are tender, on high for 3 to 4 hours, on low for 6 to 7 hours.

Transfer the chicken and all but 4 of the potatoes to plates. Using a fork, smash the remaining potatoes into the cooking liquid to thicken.

Add the peas and cream and cook just until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon over the chicken and sprinkle with the tarragon.

Feeds 4.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Recession Fitness!

You no longer have an excuse to sleep in on Tuesdays. Starting May 5th certified personal trainer Abby Sweitzer is offering running classes for FREE. Don't have an expensive gym membership? Don't need one! This one hour a week work out is enough to motivate you to create your own training program and it won't cost you a dime -- o.k., you might have to buy some decent running shoes. Aside from that, just throw on an old t-shirt and shorts and get ready to run!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bonus Earth Day Post

Now that you've shrunk your bills (see previous post) check out this free book download from Grist.org. Register with Grist for free and get tips on how to live green every day (because, as we've said time and again, living greener usually means living cheaper too).

Not only will you get the free e-book, but you will also be registered for a free trip to Bonnaroo '09!

[Photo by SouthernPixel]

Bill Shrinkage

Shrink your bills! Not by wading into a cold pool with them, but with BillShrink.com

Enter a few generic details about yourself and your cell phone or credit card bill, and they offer alternatives that save you money. For instance, I plugged in info about my rewards credit card, and they offered me 32 alternative credit cards that would save me more money/give me greater rewards.

Found the link in an MSNBC article about saving $1K on your cell phone bill; check that out here.

[Photo by 99 James Nguyen]

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where to Hide Your Money

In these tough times, you are probably holding onto any money you can get and/or still have. AOL has a list of some crazy places to hide money (actually, some make sense to me), though it seems the best idea is to stuff it in your bra like this woman did -- it could save your life.

And check out this post for the worst places to hide money (especially if you live in a crack-addled neighborhood). [via Bloggingstocks.com]

Why not play with those bills before you hide them? Check out how to at the Origami Resource Center.

[Photo by nathangibbs]

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Quick Tip: 6 Things to Stop Buying to Save Money

From Yahoo! comes a quick list of things you don't really need to buy that will help save your pocketbook (and the planet):
  1. Air fresheners
  2. Bottled water
  3. Dryer sheets
  4. DVDs and books
  5. Trash bags
  6. Wrapping paper
Odds are, as a reader of this blog, you have already cut one or more of these things out of your budget -- perhaps more! And if someone gives you a hard time about buying less, tell them it's not your fault that the economy is in the toilet.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Paranoia is Healthy

Just in case you didn't have enough to worry about, now it seems you have to be especially worried that "ATM skimmers" aren't stealing your PIN and taking what little money you have left.

According to Consumerist.com, here are some tell-tale signs to look for:
  • Slots that don't fit (and can be removed!)
  • Multiple mirrors - one could be hiding a camera that records your PIN
  • Strange ATM error messages
  • Trouble inserting or removing your card
  • The ATM looks different from the other ATMs around it
  • Dummy brochure boxes with hidden cameras on them
Read full article here (especially if you live in New York City).

[Photo by ohad*]

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mythbusting the Stimulus

Don't be expecting one of these in the mail.

A timely article clearing up some confusion about the Obama administration's stimulus plan courtesy Kiplinger.com. They list 7 Misconceptions, but I am guessing the most pressing for the readers of this blog are:

#1: You will not get the stimulus in the form of a check, but rather in the form of tax withholding adjustments (a little more take-home pay). (You can also watch a short video explaining this benefit here.)

Of course, that's if you are fortunate enough to still have a job. If not, read #5 and #6 about COBRA benefits (talk to your employer, not the government, about having to pay only 35% of the cost and the length of that perk). And read #7 about the number of weeks you can receive unemployment payments.

Read the full article here. [via Yahoo! Finance]
[Photo by Bright_Star]

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Gastronomic e-newsletter TastingTable today offers a run down of daily (relative) deals at various NYC eateries. Get sloppy with BBQ and beer at Hill Country on Mondays, or BYOB to Alto in Midtown.
So if you somehow still have the cash to go out to eat, check it out here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Picture = 1K Words

In case you haven't heard enough words explaining the Global Financial Mess (or you haven't listened to the NPR programs on the subject, no matter how many times we tell you to) check out the entries at GOOD magazine's contest to create an infographic on Making Sense of the Financial Mess. The winner is here and you can see all the entries here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Vulture Alert - Otto Tootsi Plohound (Shoes)

This one is for the ladies:
walking past Otto Tootsie Plohound (which always sounded like an 80s synth-pop collective to me) I noticed that all shoes were going for $29.99 a pair, with two pairs going for $50.
So, ladies, if you have some money squirreled away and need/want some fancy-shmancy shoes, now is the time.
According to New York magazine online, the store is closed (and it looked dark at 10:30 this morning), but there were still shoes on display and those mark-down signs in the windows.

[Photo by Lip Kee]

Monday, March 30, 2009

Recession Education from This American Life

Check out a slightly different take on the recession from the good people at This American Life: Scenes From a Recession
(It's not all about the money or evil bankers like this one or these two.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Free Book Chapters

The book I Will Teach You To Be Rich hits stores (online and off) today, but you can check out even more of it for free online. If you decide to buy the book today, send in your receipt because the author is giving away stuff like free Kindles.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Free Book Chapter: Optimize Your Credit Cards

Ramit over at iwillteachyoutoberich.com has a book coming out in less than a week, a nuts-and-bolts approach to things the Average Person can do to save -- and even make -- money. On his website he is offering the first chapter on Optimizing Your Credit Cards for free. Check it out here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Free Theater

The 52nd Street Project offers writing and acting programs to kids. The plays the kids write are performed by professional actors in New York, and, I have to say, it's some of the best theater out there. The shows are FREE and the productions are well produced. Get tickets here for the performances in April. After seeing the show you'll probably want to volunteer with them. You can get more information and an application here.

The 52nd Street Project
Playmaking Shows Spring 2009

Can Do flyer
Can Do!
Plays on the Bright Side
The 52nd Street Project 2009 Spring Playmaking Shows

Featuring ten short plays by the kids of Playmaking
Performed by:
Eliza Baldi, Jeremy Beck, Reg E. Cathey, Jackie Chung,
Billy Crudup,
Danyon Davis, Emily Dorsch, Steven Goldstein,
Donnetta Lavinia Grays,
Patrice Johnson, Jordan Mahome,
Elizabeth Marvel, James McDaniel,
Martha Plimpton,
Jeanine Serralles, Cynthia Vance & Elliot Villar

Directed by:
George Babiak, Michael Bernard, David Costabile,
Megan Cramer, Liz Flahive, Reg Flowers,
Kathleen Foreman,
Sonia Manzano, Niegel Smith & Rebecca White

Music by:
Andrew Sherman

Friday, April 3 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 4 @ 3:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 5 @ 3:00 p.m.

The Public Theater
The Anspacher Hall
425 Lafayette Street
between Fourth & Astor.


Reservations required:

Monday, March 9, 2009

More Ways to Cut Costs

Yahoo.com has a good little list of ways to cut down on all the things we love that get us through the day. It's all the things you know, but a great reminder none-the-less. I'm stocking up on fruit and I'm only drinking coffee made in the office. Yesterday I heard on the news that you can save $1000.00 a year by making your own coffee. Wow.

Recession Blues? Stay Positive!

Do not watch the news. Just don't. Turn off MSNBC, CNBC, FOX, and any other so-called news program with talking heads screaming about recession / depression / apocalypse / the earth imploding any minute now if the Dow Jones drops one more point.

We know we're in crisis, ok? And, the best way to get out of this is not to listen to the cranks on the tube. Instead, take a deep breath, recognize that this, too, shall pass, put a smile on your face and a song in your heart, and add one or more of the following activities to your ever growing list of recession-friendly fun:

1. Spend more time in the park. Talk to people. Pet dogs, play with babies. I promise, one hour in the park will lift your spirits for the rest of the day.

2. Surround yourself with positive people and insist that you not talk about the recession for the whole day. Obvious, I know, but sometimes if you don't remind yourself it's really easy to get sucked in to negativity.

3. Join a church or other community group that's focused on positive thinking and community service.

4. Speaking of community service, what better way to contribute to society than to volunteer somewhere? Be a mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters or at the 52nd Street Project; volunteer at the Humane Society; find out what projects the city has going on; plant a garden.

5. Chant, meditate, do yoga. Clean out your physical and mental closet.

6. Think of your own ways to stay positive.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Vulture Alert

The Circuit City at Union Square was pretty picked over when we stopped in there last week, but the Virgin Megastore in Times Square is still packed with CDs, DVDs, video games, clothes, and even fixtures being sold at a discount.
Virgin is also closing its Union Square location and one in San Francisco. (Union Square is still listed as open on the Virgin web site.)

Sign of the end times? Sure. But if you want some cheap music and/or movies, the time to snatch them up is now.

[Photo by Lip Kee]

Thursday, March 5, 2009

TONIGHT: Free Learning Annex Teleconference + Planet Money

The Learning Annex, purveyor of random seminars of all kinds, is offering a free 14-day trial of their classes.

Tonight, they are offering a free, 45-minute teleconference: "Get Out of Debt Now with Dave Ireland." Ireland is allegedly offering tips on paying off all your debts in 1-3 years, and even paying off your 30-year mortgage (if you have one) in 4-5 years.

Hey, it's free!

From the Learning Annex web site:
"Dave's financial techniques make perfect sense. He has taught thousands how to become debt free and, in this economy, Dave can help you avoid the "debt disaster" that is plaguing millions of Americans.

Dave Ireland is a retired Eastman Kodak Executive with a Master's Degree in Accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has written numerous books, newspaper and magazine articles on personal finance, including The Monthly Payment Trap and Invest in Your Debt. "

And if you need any more impetus to sign up, listen to last week's This American Life, "Bad Bank" another collaboration between them and the Planet Money people. (You know, the same team who taught us all we needed to know to intelligently freak out last fall.)

[Photo by Jessamyn]

Friday, February 27, 2009

Money Free Weekend

Broke? Not-yet-stimulated? No reason to stay in and bored this weekend; The Simple Dollar has a list of "100 Things To Do During A Money-Free Weekend" filled with great ideas. Some highlights:

#14. Make decisions about and write out your will.
A bit morbid, but death's the only certainty other than taxes. And, while we're being morbid, save your loved ones cash by opting for a green burial (they're cheaper!).

#16. Organize a walking tour. If you live in NYC, check out the walking and MTA tours in Time Out.

#20. Start a blog on a topic that interests you. Or share a bunch of ideas with an existing blog (hint, hint).

#27. Try out some great open source and free software. Check out Lifehacker or our previous post.

#37. Cut your own hair. Maybe not such a great idea...

#47. Learn a foreign language. Search YouTube for videos or check out Babbel.com.

#57. Turn on the water sprinkler. Another idea we're not so sure about...

#68. Write a letter to your future children or grandchildren. You know, the ones whom you left everything to in #14.

#84. Explore a blog you like. How self-serving can we be?!

Have a great weekend!

[via Simple Dollar]
[Photo by Pesterussa]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Free PhotoShop Alternatives

Got some great party photos you want to edit, but don't have the right software and can't afford to pay for PhotoShop? Stay on the right side of the law with these free alternatives:

SumoPaint is an online application from Finland:

Or you can download a freeware program called Gimp.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Think Outside The Moving Box

It may not seem like it, but spring is approaching and spring is traditionally moving season in New York. Hopefully you found a desperate landlord willing to offer you cheaper rent than your current place. If you are that lucky, continue the savings by packing up in cheap(er) reused cardboard boxes.

You can search for free or cheap boxes posted on Craigslist, or
set up an account at FreeCardboardBoxes.com.
Boxcycle.com also hooks you up with sellers near you who will sell you boxes cheaper than U-Haul (although they have a messageboard of their own you can search for reused boxes).
UsedCardboardBoxes.com allows you to buy discounted stacks and shipping kits and have them shipped directly to you.

Of course, don't forget to save on boxes by packing less stuff in the first place: figure out what you don't need and sell it on Craigslist!

Photo by Mr. Greenjeans
[via IdealBite]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Top 10 Recession Stocks

It's common knowledge that the best time to buy stocks is when the market's down, since it will eventually (hopefully) go back up.

According to The Motley Fool the following are the Top 10 Recession Stocks:
  1. Southwestern Energy
  2. Goldcorp
  3. Apple
  4. Gilead Sciences
  5. Priceline.com
  6. ITT Educational Services
  7. Strayer Education
  8. McAfee
  9. Flowers Foods
  10. Range Resources
You should check out their website for a full explication of what exactly "Recession Stocks" are, as well as further investing advice. We at Recession This! certainly are not qualified to recommend any stock purchase or activity on your part of any kind. But if you somehow are lucky enough to have money to invest right now, this post is a good place to start (and all but 2 of these stocks are currently priced under $100).

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blackberry Without Blackberry

Don't have a Blackberry, want the Blackberry experience but can't afford the upgrade from your plain ol' cell phone? Then look into push e-mail.

We'll admit, we don't know that much about this stuff and are only aware of it thanks to a tech-savvy pal. But if you need it and can't afford to pay for it, check it out. Some providers suggested by our source are emoze and funambol.

[Photo by John W. Macdonald]

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Decrease Credit Card Debt with Multiple, Earlier Payments

If you're carrying a balance on your credit card, check out this post at Consumerist.com for details on how paying more than once a month -- even small payments -- helps beat down the interest and ultimately save you money. They also have links to spreadsheets that will help you calculate a payment schedule.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

$aveNYC Tax Refund Savings Account

El Alcalde Bloomberg announced today that some New Yorkers may be eligible for a savings account that they can open with their tax refund. You get 2 to 3 percent interest on the savings, and if you save for at least a year, the City will match 50% of your savings (up to $250).

Search the nyc.gov site or call 311 for the "select Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites" where you need to go to be eligible (not everyone will be, of course) to receive this benefit.

Read the full release here.
Or, if you have 17 minutes to kill, watch the video (low bandwith) (high bandwith)

Photo by Gracey Stinson via MorgueFile.com

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quick Tips: More Free Ringtones

We know, we know: you bought your iPhone before the economy went in the crapper. That's why we're not blaming you for the expense. But at least save some money on the ringtones.
Last October we posted this how-to on making your own ringtones with iTunes. Now, via Lifehacker, we have a plethora of resources for making free ringtones. (Works for non-iPhone cell phones, too.)

Photo by Andalusia via MorgueFile.com

Friday, January 23, 2009

We Are Not Alone: UK in Recession

Although the Recession This! team saw this coming as early as July, today the news is on the BBC wires that the United Kingdom is now officially in a recession. This is the first recession to hit Britain in about 18 years, and the worst quarter-to-quarter decline in almost 30 years.
Take whatever comfort you can in knowing that our friends across the pond are now saying "Please, sir, may I have some more?"
[via ForeignPolicy.com]
Photo from New York Public Library digital collection

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Get Yer Nerd On for Free

For the rest of January and February, you can browse the content of Edinburgh University Press's journals to your nerd heart's content. [via About.com's Medieval History guide -- I'm a huge nerd too, obviously.]

Photo by Kevin Rosseel via morguefile

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cross Country Drivin'

Now that Obama is officially president and is going to start cleaning up the place, maybe you will want to take a road trip across this great land of ours. Use rental car comparison site Vroom Vroom Vroom to get the best price on your rental. And they even pony up the money for carbon offsets for your rental. [via Thrilllist]

Don't forget to properly inflate your tires for the best gas mileage!

If you need to fly, check out this previous travel post. For other tips on saving on flights or rideshares, check out this previous travel post.

Photo by Clarita via Morguefile.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Denim Deals

Last year I discovered Uniqlo's great and reasonable jeans -- and I've been spreading the word. Though normally some of the cheapest jeans around at about $40, now most of their styles are on sale -- starting at $19. Their fantastic skinny jeans (I couldn't believe they fit so well) are $29! Get to Soho, ladies! And gents! (The men's jeans are winners too. And they even have men's skinny jeans... is that a good thing?)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Free Suze Orman book

We could all use some advice from an expert financial counselor and who better that Suze Orman to tell you how best to manage your money in these recession times? I've always been a fan of Orman's since reading 9 Steps To Financial Freedom way back when. I could barely pay my then-Astoria, Queen's rent, which is why I picked up her book in the first place. Now, Oprah has Suze's new book on her website which you can download for free for one week which started January 8th. So, get crackin' and get to feeling better about our economy -- or at least your place in it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fill Your Fridge To Save Money

Save energy -- and thereby money on your utility bill -- by filling up your fridge and freezer as much as possible. They are more efficient when they are filled (keep things loose in the fridge so air can circulate, pack 'em tight in the freezer). [via Ideal Bite]

If you don't have that much food, you can fill up old bottles or covered pitchers with water (I use a 1 liter tonic water bottle leftover from a party).

Once you fill it up, set the fridge to 40 degrees and the freezer to zero. Vacuuming the coils also helps efficiency which saves money.

It's a little thing, but along with other energy-saving habits, you may be surprised at the savings on your energy bill!

(PS: In a power outage, a full fridge will stay cold twice as long as an empty one, so you don't have to spend money replacing your food)
Photo by Noel Clark