Friday, January 7, 2011

Saving Money

One of my new year’s resolutions is to find new ways to save money, and many websites offer money-saving ideas, even when traveling.

Blackboard Eats
provides free coupons for restaurants in New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. If you live in one of these cities, or happen to be planning a trip, you can sign up for free and get one of the 30% off pass codes, sent to your phone, to use on your travels. We have gotten a couple of these to restaurants we already frequent, so there has been no downside. One caveat: you get just one code, good for one visit, and they are limited.

jDeal has discounts on Kosher restaurants, hotels and more, just in New York right now, but expanding to Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Israel, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The site is geared towards Jewish consumers, but anyone can eat a Kosher restaurant, and the discounts range up to 50% off. Like Groupon, you buy a discount coupon; unlike Groupon, you won’t find deals on cheeseburgers or pork cheeks.

Use those gift cards. My kids get a ton of gift cards, and when they lose them, the money is gone. A free way for them to keep track of their cards is to download them to an iPhone or other Smartphone, using the free SWAGG app. You just show at checkout. If you don’t have a Smartphone, you can still download the gift cards to your web browser and shop online. Did I mention that this is all free?

Another cool thing - you can exchange your gift card, free, if it is one of SWAGG’s participating retailers. Let’s say your tween suddenly hates Wet Seal. She can swtich to American Apparel. Or use it to buy her mom flowers at 1-800 Flowers. Well, a mother can dream, right?

Finally, New Jersey based Daffy's Daffy’s offers discount designer clothes, but this store saved me when I took my niece to Philadelphia. She had forgotten her pajamas, and right across the street from our hotel, a large Daffy’s had a good selection of socks, underwear and PJs. Daffy’s also has a number of stores in New York City, and if you are lucky enough to be traveling someplace warm, they have swimsuits on sale..

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