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Cutting Costs When Dining Out (and It Includes Wine!)

14 Aug

I do believe that one of the easiest ways to save money is to not dine out, but as I said before, I also try not to deprive myself.  Everyone has to enjoy life sometimes.  I try to limit myself to eating out once a week.  And it is difficult, because more often than not, socializing seems to revolve around food.  But when I do, I do my best not to pay full price.  This is how my friends and I cut corners when we went out for dinner last week.

There is a free service called Blackboard Eats that has 30% off deals in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco.  Subscribing is free, and if they list a deal for a restaurant that you want to frequent, you sign up for a unique passcode that you give to your server and usually have about 2 months to use.  Couldn’t be simpler.  I’m sure they get some kind of commission from the restaurant.  Last year, they tried charging $1 per passcode, many frugal people like me just stopped signing up for them, and they quickly went back to their free system.

I had a BBE 30% passcode for a Mexican place I’d been wanting to try called Tinga.  This was the damage for 3 people:

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BlogHer ’12 – Part Two: What I Spent While I Was There

10 Aug

My flight arrived at JFK at 5:30 am on Thursday morning.  While I never have any problem sleeping on planes, it was still only a 5-hour flight, and it was really 2:30 in the morning Los Angeles time.

Thursday

Right next to my baggage claim carousel was a Dunkin’ Donuts.  This was clearly a sign, as there is no Dunkin’ Donuts within a 50-mile radius of where I live.  The only way we can get DD coffee in southern California is to find it in a grocery store and brew it yourself.  So, hell yes, I was going to get me some.  I got an almond-flavored iced coffee for $3.78.

To get to Manhattan, taking a cab from the airport didn’t make frugal sense since I was traveling alone.  Flat fare to get into Midtown is $45, plus any tolls and tip.  If I had been able to share a cab with one or two others, it might have been worth it.  I was originally looking for a group van or Super Shuttle to take in for about $15-20.  After reading too many horror stories about pretty much all the companies on Yelp, I opted to take the AirTrain.  From there, I transferred to the E line, which took me to the 53rd and Lexington stop, 5 short blocks north of my hotel.  It took about an hour and 15 minutes, but I took my time because it was the crack of dawn anyway.  When my BFF came in on Wednesday evening, it took her over 2 hours in a cab because of rush hour.

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