Archive for July, 2010

Back-to-school shopping primer: Your strategy to save

Back-to-school shopping primer

Comparison shop: Just about every store you step into will have a sale going on this weekend. But, you can maximize those savings by looking for printable or mobile coupons and by using search engines to do some comparison shopping. There’s no way you can remember exactly who had the lowest price on the cute pair of shoes your daughter wanted or the must-have plaid shirt your son has been begging for. Price Grabber through eDeals allows you to compare prices from store to store. PriceFight.com lets you know instantly if a price drops on a product.

Yowza!! uses GPS technology on your iPhone to help you find the best online coupons for stores in your area. With the RedLaser application, you can video scan a bar code to compare prices on products.

Use coupons: Why pay full price when you can use coupons for online and in-store shopping. You can save hundreds on back-to-school shopping this way. Among the most popular: RetailMeNot.com, FatWallet.com

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50% off Braves tix | Last weekend for Zoo Atlanta special | 50% off ‘Cats’ | Yellow Jacket Fan Day

50% off Braves tickets

The Atlanta Braves return to Turner Field next week to take on the New York Mets. Tickets range from $6 to $14 with this 50 percent off special through Travelzoo.com. Upper Box seats are $6 after the discount; Outfield Pavilion tickets are $12 and Golden Moon Pavilion tickets are $14. The games are Aug. 2-5, and Aug. 9. To purchase tickets at this price, use promo code TRLZOO when you click here.

Final weekend for ‘Beat the Heat’ at Zoo Atlanta

I can’t help but smile and coo when I see photos of the new baby giraffe at Zoo Atlanta. She is not on exhibit full-time — perhaps she’s getting those long legs under her — but you could have an occasional sighting. Whether it’s the giraffes or other animals attracting your attention, remember that this Saturday and Sunday (July 31 and Aug. 1) are the final days of the zoo’s Beat the Heat promotion. Arrive before 10:30 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday and get $5 off your ticket. For a family of four, that’s $20 off. …

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What would you do with an extra $500?

A CNN report asked regular people a simple question: “If I gave you $500, how would you spend it?”

The answers ranged from buying a new pair of shoes to paying on a student loan to saving it for a rainy day.

While I would be very tempted to use the money to go on a trip, it wouldn’t take me long to decide to spend it on bills.

What would you do with your $500 gift?

Follow me on Twitter @atlbargains or on Facebook at AJC Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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$7 tickets to Atlanta Botanical Garden | Christmas in July sale at Horizon | 50% off Concentrics restaurants | Half-off Coca-Cola Film Fest

The Canopy Walk at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Photo credit: Erica George Dines

The Canopy Walk at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Photo credit: Erica George Dines

$7 tickets to Atlanta Botanical Garden

Halfoffdepot.com has a terrific deal today for tickets to the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden. The Garden is now featuring the Canopy Walk. Regularly-priced $15 tickets are $7 with the Halfoffdepot.com. The side deal is a 50 percent off offer for the Coca-Cola Fox Film Festival showing of “The General” on Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Summer Swag means 50% off at Concentrics Restaurants

It’s time to get your swag on. Concentrics Restaurants has already kicked off its Summer Swag promotion. That means all of its restaurants — eight in Atlanta — are 50 percent off through Sept. 6. Participating restaurants include TAP, Parish, One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks, Bakeshop, Murphy’s, Lobby Bar and Bistro and Room. The maximum discount is $25 except at Bakeshop, where the max off is $10.

Christmas in July at the Horizon Theatre

To save on holiday theatrical …

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As unemployment rises, so does the number of uninsured drivers in Georgia

When hard times hit, consumers often go into survival mode. For many, that means making tough decisions and possibly eliminating what at any other time would be considered essentials.

One example: car insurance.

According to the Insurance Research Council, the number of uninsured drivers rises most dramatically during economic difficulty. While Georgia’s percentage of uninsured drivers held relatively steady from 2005 at 11.9 percent to 2007 when it was 11.6 percent, that number has likely rocketed since. The results of national research show that for every 1 percent rise in unemployment, uninsured drivers rise by0.75 percent.

If that trend holds true in Georgia, where according to the Georgia Department of Labor unemployment from November 2007 to June 2010 has spiraled from 4.2 percent to 10 percent, then 15.95 percent of people on the rode are driving around with no coverage. The IRC anticipates the national average for uninsured will be 16.1 percent when its …

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National Cheesecake Day | 74% off Museum membership | Free passes to “Countdown to Zero”

National Cheesecake Day

Friday, July 30, is National Cheesecake Day. Want your slice? Consider:

The Cheesecake Factory has the “Any Slice, Half Price” promotion. Choose from more than 30 flavors, or try the new Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. That sounds divine! Yes, you’ll have to workout a bit harder to burn the calories, but the temporary indulgence is likely worth it.

Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro has an equally tantalizing offer. Buy any slice of cheesecake, and get one of equal or lesser value free. If one isn’t enough, you can get $10 off a whole cheesecake.

FREE passes to “Countdown to Zero”

Having already been shown at the Sundance Film Festival, the TED Conference and the Cannes Film Festival, “Countdown to Zero” is being shown free on Sunday, Aug. 1, at 2 p.m. at the Landmark Midtown Arts Cinema. The movie highlights the “global nuclear threat and spells out, in chilling terms, the danger facing everyone if nuclear weapons end up in the hands of …

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Dorm room decorating on a budget

Cutline here for full room.

Feel right at home in your dorm room by making a few, small touches. Photo credit: Rana L. Cash, AJC

Bare walls, cold floors and flat mattresses do not provide the essentials for an engaging learning environment. On top of that, a boring dorm room is likely to make homesickness even worse. But before you slip into a freshman funk, take action. Whether mom and dad are sparing no expense in your college send-off, or you’re braving your new world on a tight budget, you can add splashes of decor to the place you’ll call home for at least one year.

There are countless dorm decor companies out there. Dorm Suite Dorm is just one. Owner Sheri Corey, who attended Dunwoody High School before moving to Birmingham, stopped by Agnes Scott College in Decatur to turn a drab space into a model of comfort.

“When you’re sending your girls off for the first time, you want it to feel like home,” said Corey.

Corey said parents spend an average of $600 through her company on bedding and other …

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Financial planners answer your questions: How to refinance when your home has lost value

We’ve pulled together some of Atlanta’s most respected certified financial planners to answer your questions each week. Do you have questions about credit? Want to know how to better manage your finances? How to save for emergencies? Plan for aging parents? Save for retirement? These questions and countless others will be handled each week by a group of pros.

Today, Cass Chappell from Chappell, Mayfield and Associates answers a question from Tammy of Stone Mountain

Cass Chappell

Cass Chappell

Q: I have lived in my home since 2002 and currently owe a first and second mortgage.  The first mortgage is financed through an online bank which doesn’t offer 30-year fixed rates (only five- or seven-year mortgages).  My first mortgage has recently renewed so I have one year at a rate in the 3 percent range.  I have excellent credit and should have no problem qualifying for a new mortgage but the value of my home is my biggest hurdle against refinancing.  Because my home is located in a …

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Getting your money’s worth: Do you use everything you buy?

I’m enjoying this 10-part series on The Simple Dollar about the biggest mistakes the blogger ever made with money.

I’ve chronicled the same here in this space. My transgressions range from lending someone my credit card for an emergency that turned into a maxed-out disaster, to neglecting my bank accounts and co-signing on a loan. We’ve all done some things with money that we’d take back in a heartbeat.

The Simple Dollar today talks about buying…stuff. Movies that went unwatched. Books that were never read.  Barely-worn clothes in the closet.

First, I used shopping as a substitute for actual entertainment and other experiences. Instead of enjoying the things I already had, I devoted time and energy into the acquisition of more things. A much more worthwhile use of that energy would have simply been directed towards enjoying the already-acquired items.

Sigh. We can all relate. What have been your most regrettable mistakes when it comes to money? What would you change, if …

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Freebie on National Lasagna Day | Six Flags discount | Back-to-school sales round-up

Free lasagna on National Lasagna Day

Who knew? July 29 is National Lasagna Day and if that means free lasagna anywhere, I’m not complaining. In search of a freebie, I found this one at Buca di Beppo in Alpharetta. A free lunch-sized portion is yours with the purchase of a small or large sized pasta or entree. It is only valid for dine-in guests. Along with that free offer found in Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution was a coupon for $10 off any purchase of $20 or more through Aug. 31. Of course these two offers cannot be combined.

Spaghetti Warehouse — UPDATE: It appears Spaghetti Warehouse in Atlanta closed down recently.

More lasagna! Here’s a coupon for a $4.99 lasagna meal at Spaghetti Warehouse to be used on Thursday.

Six Flags Over Georgia discount

It’s a good things the kids in my house like Cocoa Pebbles cereal. Inside the box of Post cereal I found a coupon for FREE kids admission to Six Flags with the purchase of a full-price general admission ticket. The park …

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