Archive for March, 2011

Free cheese fondue from The Melting Pot

Get your fondue forks ready.

In honor of National Cheese Fondue Day (who makes these things up?), The Melting Pot is giving away free cheese fondue April 11 through April 14. I’m telling Atlanta Bargain Hunter readers early because you must make a reservation to get this deal, and seats are limited.

For more details on how to get in on this cheesy action, visit the reservations page, find your unique code for the location near you and call the restaurant to secure a spot. Each cheese fondue serves two. Locations in Midtown, Duluth, Kennesaw and Roswell.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

See a great deal I should know about? Email me at You can also follow me on Facebook or on Twitter @atlbargains.

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$79 beach vacation | 50 percent off Macy’s boots

beach (Large)$79 beach getaway

If you’ve been waiting for that perfect spring break deal, it’s here. Pack up your sand buckets, shovels and sunscreen. This week through Half Off Depot get 4 days and 3 nights in Daytona Beach, Florida for $79 (regularly $327). This special is valid for one of two different beachfront hotels, so  book yours early to get an oceanside view!

50 to 65 percent off boots

If you’re truly a bargain shopper, you know that now’s the best time to stock up on your winter wardrobe. And Macy’s is helping the ladies out this week with 50 to 65 percent off women’s boots! Shop from ankle to over-the-knee heights, sizes 5-11. Calvin Klein, Guess and BCBG are just a few of the brands on sale. Shop the whole sale here.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

See a great deal I should know about? Email me at You can also follow me on Facebook or on Twitter @atlbargains.

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Clark Howard: Extend the life of your disposable razor

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

ClarkHowardYears ago, a listener called my show after I had talked about the razor wars, when Gillette or Schick rolled out their latest model with 14 blades or whatever it was at the time. I was making fun of their marketing ploys and high prices back then by talking about my cheap disposable razors.

The caller said he was an engineer and that he had the real money-saving secret when it came to razors. He told me that drying my disposable razor after each use would make it last for months. Blades degrade from moisture, he explained, not from the actual friction or wear of shaving my stubble every day.

So I tried blotting my disposable razor dry on a towel after each use. That’s not the way he suggested I dry it, but I opted for a lazy man’s approach and it has worked for me. (Others recommend using alcohol or a little drying …

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Half-price spa treatments, fitness classes

spa (Large)Sometimes to feel healthy you need a good scrubbing, slathering, zapping, hydrating, peeling or massaging. Enter SpaFinder’s Wellness Week.

As part of a nationwide effort to promote healthier and happier lives, spas and fitness centers throughout the Atlanta area are offering half-price deals and free community wellness programs through Sunday. Participating businesses are reducing prices by half or offering flat-rate $50 deals on everything from massage, wraps and facials to nutritional counseling, acupuncture, Pilates and more. ($50 for a month of studio classes at The Body Bar Group Fitness Studio, for example, is a great deal!)

Businesses in the Atlanta area participating in Wellness Week include: Salon D’Allure (Alpharetta), Invigo Day Spa (Marietta), Heavenly Touch Wellness Center & Spa (Duluth), Dr. Q Cosmetics (Decatur), 29 Spa at The Mansion on Peachtree (Atlanta), and Woo Skincare and Cosmetics (Atlanta). The full list of participating businesses and deals is …

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Save money on eating out

nosh1225 3 (Large)Eating out is one of the first luxuries people cut out of a budget when money gets tight. But it seems many are not only starting to eat out again but also ordering dessert!

There’s tons of “well, duh” advice out there on how to save money on eating out (Use a Groupon! Only drink water!), but here are a couple extras you may not have come across.

  • If you have kids, Kids Eat For should be your go-to when it comes to taking the family out to eat. It has a chart of Atlanta restaurants that offer free or cheap children’s meals each day of the week, and you can even search by zip code.
  • Combine your savings. If you buy a Groupon for a restaurant featured on Open Table, you can then schedule your reservation through Open Table to redeem dining points. 2,000 points equals a $20 Open Table Dining credit toward a restaurant of your choice.

Yesterday I came across this Alpha Consumer article on smart ways to split the check when you’re out with the group. Here’s a bit from the …

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Free tax preparation help

If you want some free help filing your taxes this year, you’ll find it in quite a few places — including Canton on Wednesday.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association is hosting a free tax training workshop on Wednesday with Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) to highlight the IRS and Georgia Free File programs.

Now in its ninth year, the IRS Free File Alliance is a partnership between the IRS and 16 electronic tax software companies to provide free online federal tax preparation and e-filing to lower- and moderate-income taxpayers (you had to make less than $58,000 in 2010 to qualify).

Twenty-one state tax agencies, including the Georgia Department of Revenue have formed similar partnerships enabling eligible taxpayers to electronically prepare and file both their federal and states taxes for free. Hundreds of thousands of Georgia are eligible for this service.

Following the 10:30 a.m. briefing, participate in a tax training workshop from 11:00 a.m. to noon to learn how …

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Spring break attraction discounts

Kimberly Smith / AJC staff

Kimberly Smith / AJC staff

Spring break is at your fingertips, and summer’s not far behind. You can’t wait to relax, spend time with the family … and potentially spend an absurd amount of money to usher your kids or other relatives to every major Atlanta attraction.

Do not fear. Here are some deals on seeing the sights this spring break:

Six Flags Over Georgia: Visit the park’s website right now to buy one ticket, get one free. That makes it $25 for adults and $17.50 for kids, which is especially cost-effective for large parties. You will, of course, see Coca-Cola cans and grocery store coupons with other offers later in the season. The price of a season pass will start dropping sometime after midsummer.

Atlanta Fair: Ride the Ferris wheel, experience zero gravity or get aggressive in the bumper cars — but make it a priority to go to the fair at Turner Field in the middle of the week. Adult tickets are only $3 (regularly $5-$8) if you enjoy the funnel cakes Mondays through …

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Say ‘less!’ to the dress

Frugal brides and grooms get creative to keep their wedding days special

Cassie Pirkle and her fiancé, Morgan Shealy, design their own “save the date” cards. Pirkle found lettering she likes from an online sample, and Shealy will draw and scan the design. They plan to marry in November. Bita Honarvar

Cassie Pirkle and her fiancé, Morgan Shealy, design their own “save the date” cards. Pirkle found lettering she likes from an online sample, and Shealy will draw and scan the design. They plan to marry in November. Bita Honarvar

Metro Atlanta’s average cost is $24,544.

New car price tag? Nope. Down payment on a house? Wrong. Lottery winnings? Not even close. $24,544 is the average cost of a wedding in the Atlanta area, honeymoon not included, according to Anja Winikka, senior editor at, a wedding planning site.

And Atlanta is below the national average of $26,984, Winikka said.

“Say Yes to the Dress” and other reality TV shows might lead one to believe everyone goes into debt over their wedding, even in these tough economic times. But it’s not necessarily so.

Many Atlanta brides-to-be are planning dream weddings for less than what others spend on just the dress.

“We’re seeing …

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Wes Moss: How do you define being rich?

Certified financial planner Wes Moss provides personal finance advice and accessible investment strategies. His guest post appears here weekly.

Wes-Moss-032011-USE-THIS-VERSIONI know it’s easy to get lost in all of the retirement planning numbers and rules of thumb — like “own your age in bonds” or “buy term insurance and invest the difference” and “save 15% a year.” Sorry, but I’ve got one more number for you, and it happens to be the simplest way in the world to think about where you stand in funding your post-work life.

Ready? The number is 1, and it’s the key to the “rich ratio.”

Any ratio above 1 is fantastic. A ratio less than 1 means you’ve got some work to do. Here’s how it works: Take the monthly income you will have coming in [Social Security + pension], including what your nest egg should produce, and divide it by what you expect you’ll need to spend each month to live the retirement you want: have ÷ need = rich ratio

Example 1: Charlie needs $10,000 per month to support his rock star lifestyle …

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Inexpensive cocktail hour coming your way

Is your cocktail hour spot lacking some pizazz? Or charging an arm and a leg for food?

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, which just opened a new patio, offers “5 for 6 ’til 7” bar specials available on the patio as well as in the bar area each night from 5 to 7 p.m. Each item on the Dunwoody restaurant’s special menu is $6 until 7 p.m.

The special includes five cocktails, five wines by the glass and five full-portion appetizers, such as tenderloin carpaccio, seared ahi tuna and sweet chili calamari. Fleming’s Prime Burger is also included in this selection.

The “5 for 6 ‘til 7” bar menu features three new additions this season: the 99-calorie Tickled Pink cocktail made with Belvedere vodka and Mionetto Prosecco, Guinness Drought (two bottles for $6) and roasted mushroom ravioli. 4501 Olde Perimeter Way, Atlanta. 770-698-8112.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

See a great deal I should know about? Email me at You can also follow me on

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