We’ve talked about fun, free things to do in Athens, but what if you’re in the mood for a day trip? The rest of the state has fun, free activities that are worth checking out too. If you head to Atlanta and don’t want to battle parking and traffic, MARTA tickets are just $2 a person. So pack a lunch and set out for one or more of these exciting attractions:
- Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta has free live music at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 5:30-8:00 on Wednesdays. The fourth Saturday of each month is free family fun day, with games, educational activities, workshops and prizes.
- The Center of Puppetry Arts offers Jim Henson: Puppeteer and Jim Henson: A Man & His Frog, free of charge every Thursday from 1-3 p.m.
- The Georgia State Capitol allows you to do a self guided tour to learn about the lawmaking process and the building’s history, observe the House and Senate in session, and and see the Georgia Capitol Museum. Bonus prize: they have a stuffed two headed snake!
- Visit the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta to learn all about the Federal Reserve. Hopefully this will help your kids learn the value of money, and that it doesn’t grow on trees.
- Buckhead has a free shuttle service called The Buc that stops at 26 different locations around the area. The Tech Trolley is a free shuttle around Midtown. Both of these would be great hop on, hop off free people watching.
- The King Center offers information about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a tour of his birth home, the church where his father preached, Ebeneezer Baptist Church, and his final resting place.
- Fernbank Science Center offers free programs at 4:00 and 5:00 on the first Thursday afternoon of the month. There’s no need to make a reservation, just show up 10 minutes before the program starts. Happy savings!
My family was recently inflicted with the dreaded stomach flu so I thought it was time for an article about saving on medications. Obviously prevention is cheaper than treatment, and hand washing is always free, but if you do get sick here’s how to take care of yourself and your budget.
-Be prepared. There’s nothing like lying on the bathroom floor with the stomach flu and realizing that your Pepto expired. In 2005. Keep a current supply of over the counter meds that you typically use, like cold meds, pain relievers, antacids, and allergy medications. Make sure they’re current or they won’t do you any good.
-Stock up when meds are on sale. It’s just like creating a food stock pile, only it’s harder to gauge how much you’ll need. If pain relievers are on sale at your local store, use a coupon to bring the price further down, and buy one to keep on hand. Check the expiration date and only buy what you think you might use before it expires. Unless it’s free after the sale and coupon there’s no need to stock up on a ton. Unless you’re sick you can’t use it up before it expires.
-If you’re in a pinch and you need a medication immediately, compare prices on the national brand versus the store brand. The product is the same and sometimes they are even manufactured by the same company. If you’re loyal to the national brand check the manufacturer’s website or your Sunday newspaper inserts for coupons. If you feel up to it you can always check to see if any of your local stores are running a sale on the items.
-If you’re shopping at a pharmacy or drug store ask the pharmacists if there is a generic or alternative medication that works as well as the one you’re looking for. Sure, it sounds simple, but sometimes there are cheaper medications that can be substituted with the same effectiveness. You can also ask if there are any herbal remedies to treat your ailment; they can be cheaper than the traditional treatments. Happy savings!
How much do you spend on your cable bill? If that’s a bill you’d like to cut back on there are several options to reduce your monthly cable bill. Some people are choosing to cut back or cut out their cable bill in favor of Netflix or HuluPlus.
~Netflix has more than just movies. In addition to documentaries, new releases, and musicals, you can get entire seasons of hit TV comedies, dramas, cartoons and mini series. You typically can’t get the current series, but you can catch up on old seasons and watch lots of new and old shows that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. There are thousands of movies and TV shows to choose from.
~Netflix has two payment options. For $7.99 a month you can watch unlimited movies instantly over the internet on your computer, TV, or game console like Wii or PS3. For an additional $7.99 a month you can also get DVDs in the mail. You can check out one DVD at a time, ship it back for free, then get another shipped to you. The benefit for that plan is that you have access to a broader range of shows and movies, some of which aren’t available instantly.
~You may be familiar with Hulu and HuluPlus. Hulu.com is a website that allows you to watch up to 5 recent episodes of hit shows and popular classic shows on your computer. Hulu is free to use but HuluPlus is $7.99 a month. With HuluPlus you can watch unlimited new episodes of current TV shows the day after they air. It’s a lot like recording your favorite show on DVR and having it available to watch the next day.
The downside to both of these is that you can’t get your local or national news programs, and not all shows are available. If you’re considering one of these options check out what shows they offer before you commit. If your favorite isn’t offered, check the show’s website to see if you can watch online. Happy savings!
I was introduced to the consignment circuit when I was pregnant. I was hooked when I got a $169 jogging stroller for just $15 and I’ve been a fan ever since. Gently used clothes, toys and gear for your baby and child at sold at huge discounts. The best part is that since little ones grow so fast, “gently used” is sometimes “never used”, and you can find many items in new or like new condition. Here are some of the upcoming sales in our area:
Cornerstone Church on Lexington Road will host their annual consignment sale February 2-4th. Thursday night admission is $5 and Friday and Saturday admission is free. See www.cornerstonekidsale.com
Kidsignments, the largest children’s consignment sale in Georgia, will be February 14-18th at the Gwinnett County fairgrounds. I’ve been to this one twice and it is absolutely overwhelming. See www.kidsignments.com for hours and rules.
If you’re not ready to brave Kidsignments just yet, check out Lollipop Kids in Jefferson February 16-18th at the Jefferson Civic Center. See www.lpkidssale.com for directions and hours.
WeeCycle Consignment sale will be February 23-26 on Spout Springs Road in Flowery Branch. See www.weecycleconsignment.com for more details.
Kindermarket at the Athens YMCA is March 1-3. Check www.athensymca.org for more details as the date approaches.
Fairytale Finds Upscale consignment sale is also March 1-3 at Manders Crossing in Watkinsville. Thursday night there is a $5 entry fee. Friday and Saturday are free. More details are available at www.fairytalefinds.com.
Make sure you check each sale’s website before you go. They often have hours limiting children or strollers, and sometimes there is a fee for the premier sale day. If you’re willing to risk all the top items being picked over many also offer 1/2 off items on the final sale day. Bring a shopping bag or laundry cart to carry your items around in, as they won’t have carts. If you’re willing to drive a little distance to get great bargains for your kids, check out www.kidsconsignmentsales.com/ga.htm for a complete list of many sales across the state. Happy savings!
Have you heard about Woot? I hear about it all the time, not because I’m Athens Savvy Shopper, but because my mom is obsessed with it. She’s always telling me about the great deal for the fun thing she saw on Woot. I figured if Athens Savvy Shopper’s mom knows about it you should too.
~Woot is a website that sells a different product each day. It’s Amazon meets Daily Deals meets Ebay. There’s only one item for sale each day and it’s offered at a discount until all the items are sold out.
~You can sign up by going to Woot.com. Once you create a login and password, you can choose if you’d like to get daily emails alerting you of each day’s deals.
~Woot also contains a community forum where Woot members can post questions and opinions about each product, as well as a section where members can post various other deals they’ve found. You can choose to read these or ignore them and it doesn’t effect your purchase.
~There are several subsections of the Woot brand with their own sites: Kids.Woot!, Home.Woot!, Sellout.Woot!, Shirt.Woot! and Wine.Woot! Each has different content each day. Deals.Woot! shows all the deals from each of the sites each day.
~Each day’s deal is live until it sells out or until midnight. Another item will be on sale the next day, and the process repeats itself. If you miss a deal one day you can’t go back and get it later.
~Woot! doesn’t disclose how many of each item are left before they sell out. As long as the “I want one” button is on the deals page, the items are in stock. If they’ve sold out the “I want one” button will be replaced with “sold out.”
~Sometimes companies will use Woot to promote a new product, and you can be the first to get one. Woot refers to this as a Launch Event.
~If you aren’t too sensitive, read the FAQs at Woot. They are unapologetic in their procedures and some of the answers are down right hilarious. For example, one FAQ about item limits says “There is a maximum of 3 units purchased per order… You can’t have them all. You have to share with the other boys and girls. ” It’s all about saving money and having fun. Isn’t that what we all want? Happy savings!
The holidays are over. For many of us, that means the thrill of the year’s best bargains has come to an end. No huge sales, no power hour madness, no early bird specials. Cue the violin, maestro. When each gift has been given and each bow has been unwrapped, at least there’s always food deals to keep us afloat until the next one day sale.
I was going to compile a list of regular weekday restaurant promotions and deals around town for this week’s article but it’s already been done. Local blogger Erin Haag created Mommy Octopus, a couponing and money saving blog, and also Couponing in Athens, a website specifically for saving money in Athens. Erin and I email back and forth about deals from time to time (Hi Erin!) so I asked her if I could include some highlights from her list, found at CouponinginAthens.com. Here they are, for your money saving pleasure:
- Buffalos: $2 Martini’s
- Cici’s Pizza on Atl Hwy: Kids Eat Free with a drink purchase from 4pm-close, Limit 2 per Adult Buffet purchase.
- Your Pie: Kids Eat Free with paying adult
- Barberitos: Kids Eat Free 4pm-9pm (Epps Bridge, Five Points, and Watkinsville)
- Brett’s: $2 Kids Meals and create your own sundae bar (yum!)
- La Fiesta Westside: Dollar Tacos
- Moe’s: Kids Eat Free with adult purchase
- Zaxby’s: $.99 Nibblerz
- Dominics: Kids Eat Free with paying adult
- Mirko’s: Free pasta Monday-Buy a sauce and a drink and get the pasta for free
- Buffalos: BOGO Wing Night for wing sizes 6-24
- Brett’s: $2 Kids Meals
- Beef O Brady’s: Free Kids Meal with adult meal purchase from 4pm-8pm, 2 for 1 appetizers 9pm-close
- Zaxby’s: Family Deal For $20
- Dominics: Kids Eat Free with paying adult
- Your Pie: Pizza and drink $4.99
- Papa John’s: large 1-topping pizzas for $4.99, carry-out
- Taco Stand in Watkinsville: jumbo tacos for $.99, limit of 5
- Buffalos: $2.50 Margaritas
- Zaxby’s: 99 Cent Kids Meal with adult meal purchase
- Barberitos: Kids Eat Free (Downtown location Only)
- Dominics: Kids Eat Free with paying adult
- Dickey’s: Kids Eat Free
- Fox’s Pizza: Kids Eat Free
- Buffalos: 1/2 off wine and sangria
- Beef O Bradys: 4pm-close $.49 Wings
- Earth Fare: Kids Eat Free with paying adult
You won’t find too many specials on the weekends because businesses know you’re more likely to be dining out then. Take advantage of these if you’re planning on going out and see how much you can save this week. Happy savings!