Archive for February, 2012

Where to find spring break deals

Spring break is just around the corner, and it’s not only for college kids anymore.

Just because your college days are a dwindling landscape in the rear-view mirror doesn’t mean you’re willing to pay tuition-sized bills on vacations. The best way to save is to do some research, then choose your destination based on the specials. Are flights to Orlando on sale? How much are hotels in Nashville? Then work backward to build your trip.

Here are a few resources to aid your search:

Airline tickets: It can be difficult to land a deal, especially when prices fluctuate based on fuel and other factors. User-friendly aggregator Bing.com (click the travel tab) will not only give you a price alert when your trip goes on sale, but also has a price predictor to help you guess if the price is likely to go up or down based on historical data.

When booking your flight, use SeatGuru.com. Plug in your flight number and the guide will give you a seat map of the plane, allowing you to avoid …

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Family: BOGO at Medieval Times

What say ye, knights of the mommies’ table?

Take advantage of this deal from Medieval Times, which is offering one free child’s admission with the purchase of one full-price adult admission through March 4. Use code KFWEB when you place your order through the website. Adult tickets are $51.95 and kids are regularly $35.95, before the code. Kids must be 12 and younger and some restrictions apply. Not available on group rates. Medieval Times, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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Wes Moss: Is your money earning zero percent?

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

Wes Moss hosts 'Money Matters' Sunday mornings on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB

Wes Moss hosts 'Money Matters' Sunday mornings on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB

Interest rates are currently so low that money sitting in checking or savings accounts is earning a zero percent return – or less.

To understand your real rate of return, you must account for inflation. If inflation is at 2 percent, meaning the cost of goods as a whole are rising by 2 percent a year, then money sitting in savings earning zero percent is actually losing 2 percent. Over the course of a decade, that would amount to a loss of more than 20 percent.

The Federal Reserve has promised to keep interest rates ultra-low until the economy gets back on its feet – that means rising housing prices, lower unemployment, increased wages and a healthy increase in inflation. The Fed thinks this will take until at least 2014.

So how can you grow your …

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$25 off Spartan Sprint

Looking to up your fitness game to extreme levels? Consider tackling the extreme 5K Spartan Sprint next month and save with this deal.

TourDeFIT.com has partnered with Spartan Race to bring you a $25 discount when registering online for the Spartan Sprint in Conyers on March 10. Aren’t familiar with Spartan Races? View the video above.

The discount is available through the close of registration on March 7. Simply use promo code TOURDEFITGA at the Spartan Race website here. Regularly $95 through Feb. 22, $100 through March 7.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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My big, fat, bargain wedding: caterers

This is the second part of a series on wedding planning on a reasonable budget. I hope you will join me on this journey of orchestrating the ideal wedding — without overspending.

If you’ll recall from my first MBFBW blog, I looked for venues that would allow us to bring in our own vendors, so my next step was to nail down a caterer.

My specifications:

  • Someone else is baking the wedding cakes, so I didn’t need them from the caterers
  • I needed a company who could flip the ceremony space for me.
  • If the caterers didn’t provide bartenders, I would need to hire two separately.

I started with some basic internet research (The Knot’s caterer listings can get you started), and then sent emails to companies in my price range.

Believe it or not, some caterers failed to email me back promptly. Instead of stressing out about this, I just moved on to the next company.

Early on in the process I saw some menus from an Atlanta caterer online — and didn’t like them. But it was clear these …

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Coupon Mom: Save on pet food, chicken, salad

Savings to make you smile

Colgate: Get free toothpaste at CVS when you combine promotions. Colgate Total (4.2 ounce) is on sale for $2.75. Use the 75-cent coupon from the Feb. 12 SmartSource circular to pay $2 at the register and you will get a $2 ExtraBucks reward. Your net cost before sales tax will be free.

Deals on cat food

9 Lives: CVS has 9 Lives cat food (four-pack cans) on sale for $1.25 each, regularly priced at $2.99. Use the coupon for $1 off three four-packs from the Jan. 8 RedPlum circular to pay 92 cents per pack.

Lunch, dinner necessities

Meat, lettuce and cheese: Kmart’s Dinner Meal Deal this week is a healthy, inexpensive and quick dinner or lunch option. When you buy Oscar Mayer grilled chicken strips (6 ounce) for $2.99, you will get a free bag of Fresh Express iceberg garden mix (12 ounce, regularly $1.49) and a free bag of Westfield Farms shredded cheese (8 ounce, regularly $1.99). Limit one per transaction.

Sweet snacks

M&Ms: Rite Aid has M&Ms (8- to …

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BOGO 50% off from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Kanji Segawa in Robert Battle's Takademe. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Kanji Segawa in Robert Battle's Takademe. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

Turn off those “Dancing with the Stars” reruns and get some face time with dancers up close this week.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Fox Theatre with its hip-hop and modern dance pieces today through Sunday.

In addition to Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, you’ll get to watch Takademe, a high-flying and humorous solo; and Home, a hip-hop work set to gospel house music.

On Saturday, for each full-price ticket you buy to the 2 p.m. matinee, you can get a second ticket for half-price. Tickets start at $25. Following the performance, participate in a free Q&A session with select Ailey dancers.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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80 percent off boutique bridal event

Find some fresh inspiration for your wedding planning.

Join Divine Occasions at its boutique bridal event, Fresh Bridal Experience, on Sunday, Feb. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Ambient Plus Studio. From scrumptious big day bites and cakes to bridal fashions and wedding decor ideas, couples can experience an intimate yet fun planning experience.

Tickets are regularly $10, but Atlanta Bargain Hunter readers get 80 percent off with coupon code AJCDEAL by registering here. (You’ll pay a $1.24 transaction fee.) Also, the first 50 brides at the door will receive a swag bag filled with goodies. Code valid until Feb. 26.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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Clark Howard: Plan ahead to land a good deal on airfare

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

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

ClarkHowardEvery day I’m asked, “When is the best time to buy an airline ticket, and what’s the best website to use?” I’ve got some new answers to share with you.

The Airline Reporting Corporation, which is like the back office of ticket selling for the nation’s airlines, has continually monitored data over the last four years and found that the magic time to buy a ticket is generally six weeks before you travel.

Now, this is a general rule; it’s not true for every ticket. But overall, if you’re looking for a cheap fare, why not give it a try? If you book way in advance or too close to travel, you’re likely to overpay.

Yet what the findings don’t take …

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Jessica Shops: Save on cosmetic, laser treatments

More beauty for your buck

Cosmetic savings: Navigating beauty treatments can be perplexing and costly. But if you want to put dollars toward methods that make a difference, the latest and greatest in laser treatments is the Cynosure Fractionated Affirm Laser at Bella Medspa in Atlanta. It can be used to reduce wrinkles, scars, pigmentation and more. Jessica Shops’ Atlanta Bargain Hunter readers will receive a 50 percent discount (regularly $1,200). Visit bellallc.net to book. And when it comes to pesky “problem areas,” melt away fat with the Mesotherapy and Carbossi treatment “cocktail” at Body Medical Contouring in Johns Creek. Get 10 percent off your treatment by mentioning JessicaShops.com (starts at $350).

Swoon for shoes

Chinese Laundry: Looking for shoes that are stylish and comfortable in eye-catching fabrics and colors? Take a look at the boots, pumps and wedges from Chinese Laundry. Already reasonably priced, coupon code CL15REG323 will save you 15 percent …

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