Posts filed under 'discounts deals & freebies'
I love to poke around College Fashion now and then. Authoress Zephyr has a great mix of coupons & deals, fashion tips, and style debates, and without her I still would not know that Anna Sui is debuting a line at Target!
With a move to a new climate coming up, I’m thinking a lot about new clothes and the back-to-school shopping trips my mom used to take me on (I miss those days, Mama!). And since we’ve all got to pinch some pennies these days, I thought I’d make a list of my top places to find great clothes on the cheap.
Thrift Stores. Are you guys sick of hearing about thrift shops yet? I’d stop talking about them, but some of them are SO amazing. If you can find one in an upscale neighborhood (click here for reviews and locations) you might be surprised how nice the cast-offs can be. Yes, it is more of a treasure hunt than a quick stop at Macy’s, but you end up feeling really accomplished when you find something great. Also, Goodwill bookstores have SUPER cheap books in really good condition.
Your best bet for: Vintage, quirky, and high-end at low-price
Off the Rack Stores. Yes, you have to take some time to search the racks for what you want, but rack stores like Marshalls (Coach bags for $50!), Ross, and Nordstrom Rack mean nearly-broke college kids can still wear Lucky jeans.
Your best bet for: Brand names
Kohls. My 12-year-old brother-in-law has been singing the praises of Kohls at least a year now–and I have to admit, that kid is pretty well dressed. So my sweetie and I finally stopped by the other day, and I was stunned that their clearance racks are so AMAZING. The hubs scored some non-dorky solid tees for $2 a piece, and I found some great Candies jeans for $15. Not bad. I also like Aeropostale for similar beachy-cash looks that don’t break the bank.
Your best bet for: Beachy, Casual, & Fun
H&M. I first met H&M in San Francisco, and fell in love with its hip clothes and reachable prices. Its trendy and fun, but I can still buy a pair of pants without feeling uber guilty. I also like Forever 21 (their products tend to last better than Old Navy’s) and occasionally Charlotte Russe.
Your best bet for: Trendy
And one more tip: A tailor can usually work wonders for a pretty good price, so if you have different proportions than the mannequins at the store, get something that fits in the most difficult spots and have a tailor fix the rest.
photo by lamprinh
July 8th, 2009
Now that it’s summer and you finally have time to read (I mean non-textbooks) and clear out your Netflix queue, it’s probably a lot more tempting to spend down your summer savings on paperbacks and DVDs.
I used to buy used books & movies off of Half.com, but with shipping even that can get pricey. In the past few months I’ve relied on our local Goodwill bookstore for cheap books (they’ve been in really good shape, too!), but I’m thinking of trying out the online book-swap (or DVD-swap) scene.
How it Works
There are quite a few sites that offer swap services, and they’re all (basically) free. Most of them work like this:
- You sign up for their website (for no charge).
- You list 10 books/movies/CDs/video games that you have and are willing to trade.
- You list 10 books/movies/etc.that you want to get.
- You mail a book/movie/etc. you have to someone who requests it. They give you feedback when they receive it.
- You earn points (ways to earn vary, but usually sending a trade out to someone else means you earn a given number of points).
- You trade in points for books/movies/etc. that you want. Someone mails it to you, and you give them feedback.
You should check out each individual site for specific details on how trades work-some function a little differently than this.
Where to Trade
I haven’t used one of these sites yet, but after some research (via Google and some of my other daily blog reads) I came up with several options:
* found via The Simple Dollar
So far I’m leaning toward SwapTree, because it has a good rep (as far as I could tell) and it lets you trade all kinds of things. If you’ve used any of these, please share your feedback!
photo: silence by benedeki
July 10th, 2008
Oh, I just love free things, don’t you? So why waste time jabbering… on to the list of fantastic free software!
Free Operating System: Ubuntu (ubuntu.com)
Tired of messing around trying to get your copy of Vista to work right? If you’re ready for a change, you might want to try the free operating system, Ubuntu-it has several editions, frequent updates, and free tech support. It also has its own web browser, word processor, instant messenger, and other free software.
Free Office Software: OpenOffice (openoffice.org)
Need a word processor, spreadsheet software, or a way to build databases–without handing over the hard-earned cash from your last paycheck? OpenOffice is your new (FREE!) best friend. With familiar formatting to other (pricier!) office productivity software, it can usually read any files you may have created/saved in that other office suite. Did I mention it’s free?
Free Sound/Music Editor: Audacity (audacity.sourceforge.net)
Audacity lets you record and edit music or other sound, and supports Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV, and AIFF sound files. You can cut, copy, splice, mix, change speed, add effects, and much more, and… yep, it’s free.
Free Multi-Platform Chat Software: Trillian (download here)
Need any easy way to be able to talk to friends using AIM, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, MSN and IRC all in one place? Trillian–a free, skinnable software that supports all of the above–may be the perfect solution to your problem.
Free YouTube Downloader: YouTube Downloader (download here)
A basic interface that lets you download YouTube files and convert them to other files that you can play on your computer, iPod, phone, etc., so you can take them anywhere. (Just keep it legal.)
Free Spyware/Adware Remover: Ad-Aware (lavasoft.com/products/ad_aware_free.php)
One of download.com’s top downloads, Ad-Aware is a great addition to your computer-safety campaign. The free home edition (here) helps keep your computer free of ads and spyware.
Free Photo-Editing/Organizing Software: Picasa (picasa.google.com)
Google’s done it again–for free of course–with this handy photo editor & organizer. Even the most disorganized student should be able to find photos now: Picasa combs your computer for image files & helps you decide where they belong, plus offers the capability to edit and add effects to photos or share them online.
Free PDF-Maker: PrimoPDF (promopdf.com)
Super-easy free software that creates PDFs out of hundreds of file types from images to web pages to office software documents.
Free HTML Editor: HTML-Kit (htmlkit.com)
Whether you dabble in web design or are learning HTML for a course, HTML-Kit is a great free tool–bunches of helpful features, hundreds of free plugins, and even tech support if you need it. I’ve been using it for years and am a big fan (plus it sure beats Notepad!).
Free Budgeting Software: Mint.com (mint.com)
Still trying to figure out how to budget? Mint has been a big hit with financial bloggers and magazines alike: it helps track your spending, shows detailed graphs of where the money goes, and helps you learn how you can save. It can even remind you when bills are due!
What are your favorite software freebies?!?
photo: Free Running by nookiez
June 19th, 2008
I was out sick last week, which meant a whole day on the couch resting & drinking OJ. Since we don’t have cable, I tried to get creative with keeping myself entertained and ended up finding a bunch of places to watch good TV online, for free:
The first place I always look is the network websites of shows I like to watch. The following all have full episodes, but if I’ve missed a channel you watch a lot, make sure you check their site!
- ABC (abc.go.com) Features episodes of shows like Dancing With the Stars, Pushing Daisies, Grey’s Anatomy, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Lost. Some are in HD!
- NBC (nbc.com) Shows like The Biggest Loser, Law & Order, Heroes, and The Office.
- Fox (fox.com/FOD) Episodes of Bones, Cops, House, The Simpsons, and many more.
- ABC Family (abcfamily.go.com/abcfamily/path/section_Videos/page_Video) Lots of free episodes here, including shows like Kyle XY, Grounded for Life, and one of my dad’s favorites, Eek the Cat.
- Discover (video.discovery.com) Features shows from three different channels (Discovery, Animal Planet, & TLC). Currently they have shows like What Not to Wear and The Alaska Experiment. They usually offer episodes of only 4 shows at a time, and rotate which shows are offered every couple of months.
- Bravo (video.bravotv.com/player/?id=0 ) Bravo only occasionally offers a free full episode of shows like Top Chef or Project Runway, but if you’re a true fan its worth a look.
For a more eclectic mix of shows-especially older ones-check out other video sites like these:
- AOL’s In2TV (television.aol.com/in2tv) AOL’s free full episode player has a plethora of shows: from classic cartoons like The Jetsons, The Flintstones, and Bugs Bunny to old-school faves like Gilligan’s Island and Growing Pains. No new shows here, but lots of fun nostalgia to catch up on.
- Hulu (hulu.com) Hulu offers a long list of free TV shows AND movies with minimal commercial breaks (seriously, only about 30 seconds!). Shows range from old-school favorites like The Addams Family, Mary Tyler Moore, and Doogie Howser, M.D. to more current shows like Scrubs, Hell’s Kitchen, and Prison Break. They also have lots of movies like Dude, Where’s My Car, Sideways, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Meet Joe Black.
- TV.com (tv.com) Here you can find bunches of full episodes of shows like Bionic Woman and 30 Rock, plus other TV show clips.
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photo: Green Retro TV Isolated with Clipping Paths by CraigPJ
June 12th, 2008
Honestly, even though I’ve graduated, I still get pretty excited about a free meal. I’m starting to think that feeling never really goes away. So, whether you actually need to get food for free to stay in budget, or you just want a good free-slice-of-pizza pick-me-up, here are a few ways you can find free food on and around your college campus:
Free Food at the Cafeteria
One of the most sure-fire ways to get free food is to put in some hours working at an on-campus cafeteria. A lot of them offer free food as a benefit (it doesn’t come out of your pay or anything). I worked at the caf for about 6 months my sophomore year, and got free food every time I worked-not leftovers, either, but an actual fresh hot meal. Nice.
Be on the lookout for this any time you’re at a local restaurant or eatery of any kind-especially the smaller non-chain places. One local pizza place down here gives you a super-cheap deal if you show your ID, other places you can get a free drink.
Also, check for student discount coupon booklets. We have a free one for San Diego colleges called the Student Dollar Stretcher.
Clubs, Films, and Seminars
Most people know that the best way to draw a college crowd is free food-I’ve seen clubs offer everything from pizza to boba, and all you had to do was go to a meeting. There are also a lot of one-night seminars or film showings where free food comes in to play-they want the room full, you want a free slice of pepperoni with double cheese-it’s a match made in heaven!
Did you know there are actually websites that track free food events on college campuses? One called Hungry Hungry Coeds tracks free food offerings for a random smattering of schools-from Georgetown to UT Austin-and the upcoming free food events. (They’ve also got a pretty funny page of tips about how to get the optimal experience out of foraging for free food at school.)
**update** Wisebread recently posted a great blog article with lots of other ways for college students to eat for nothing. Make sure to browse through the comments there, too–they have some good ideas!
Photo: pizza by André Montejorge
February 5th, 2008
A lot of kids get pretty excited to use P2P software like LimeWire when they get to college—away from Mom and Dad’s watchful eyes. I’m sure you’re aware that sharing copyrighted music and videos is illegal, and you’ve probably heard that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is tracking down students who pirate music. They even try to get your school to work against you by matching your name to your IP address for them.
The other issue with P2P software is that, if you aren’t careful, it can give anyone access to your personal files, which may contain credit card numbers or your Social Security number. You may not think so now, but that is a big deal. If someone gets a hold of those numbers, they can potentially use your credit card or steal your identity—and that could really mess you up, even later on in life.
Luckily, there safer options—you can often get free music and videos legally. Check out these spots to download, watch, or listen to free, legal music & video:
Ruckus is a website that offers totally free album downloads to college students. They offer music from current popular artists like Kanye West and Boys Like Girls to older hits like Bruce Springsteen. Not every school is signed up for Ruckus, but you can always petition to have it offered at your school by submitting a request on the website.
iTunes offers free album tracks every week, both from little-known artists and from more popular artists like Colbie Callait. They also have quite a few TV shows that you can download for free—usually the pilots (first episodes) of new shows, but sometimes other episodes as well.
TV Network Sites
Networks often post full episodes of their most popular shows for free on their websites. For example, you can watch full episodes of popular shows like Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, Heroes, and more on the ABC Full Episode Player and the NBC website.
MySpace.com is a great place to find free music. Most popular bands have music you can listen to for free in their music players, and some—from the up-and-comers to the basic garage bands—let you download and keep their songs for free.
Know of more places to get free, legal music? Email me or add a comment below!
October 11th, 2007