Money Saving Websites and Apps for a Night Out

10 Jul

Lets face it. Every so often we all need a night out. Whether it’s to celebrate an important any occasion, relieve the stress of a workday, fulfill the promises of going to [insert name here]‘s birthday party in which we kick ourselves for RSVPing in the first place or meet our weekend warrior quota, the bill could cost you a pretty penny. Alas, I present to you the only list you need guaranteed to save you money on your night out. Reap the rewards of these websites and smart phone apps and you may not have to starve yourself until your next paycheck.

Online voucher websites have been making a big splash around the internet with flash deals on many bars and restaurants (plus discounts on retail, services, classes and events for a low-budget date). When finding a deal of your interest, remember to read the fine print. Some deals have restrictions such as “food only”, a set gratuity, or are only redeemable on certain days. I compiled a list of websites I check regularly for the best deals.

Smartphone Apps with money-saving deals come in handy when you are already out and looking for a deal on the go. You can pull up an existing online voucher purchase for easy access and use or even get a free reward or discount for a check-in. Most of these apps come with a searchable database where  all the closest deals to your location are pinpointed for you to choose which makes saving money both easy and convenient. Still not convinced at how much you could save? Read RyanWritesDaily’s mini blog series “How to Survive in NYC on $20 a Week” to see it in action!

Groupon Mobile App: Now, all your online vouchers you’ve previously bought are available and redeemable right on your phone. Save ink, paper, and of course, money! Another added feature for convenience is the Groupon Now deals. Find a list of deals for food, shopping, and services that you can redeem at this very moment. Great for that last-minute mani/pedi before a date or a quick bite with friends.

Scout Mob App: Very similar to the Groupon Mobile App except the deals you find on this app are totally FREE. Save up to 50% on your restaurant bill, haircuts, and many other services that you can find based on your location on the go.

The Level Up App: Consider this the new way to pay when you’re out. Link a credit or debit card to your account, and you’ll receive a personalized bar code that can be scanned at participating restaurants and businesses. The more you use the Level Up app for purchases, the more credits you’ll receive redeemable for future purchases. Think of it as a payment and rewards system where you’ll have nothing to lose. This app is currently available in many major cities throughout the US.

Savored App: Save and multi-task with this app. The savored app allows you to make free restaurant reservations right on your mobile device plus based on the your reservation time, you’ll save up to 40% on your total bill. Yes, ladies and gents, this includes drinks!

Yelp for Mobile: Besides reaping the rewards of accessing the Yelp site on the go for deals and reviews, you also can utilize the added feature of check-in offers.  Instead of purchasing a deal, you receive a deal just for easily checking in through the Yelp for Mobile app. Depending where you check in, the offer can be anything between a discount on your bill or even a free drink/shot/app/dessert.

Happy Hour Finder App: Ahh, happy hour. Possibly, the only reason why we go to that 9-5 job. Once 5pm hits, you know that brain of yours immediately shuts down. So, use this handy app for finding a list of specials around your area to get that very well needed drink with co-workers or friends. Use this app anytime and any day to find specials close by because hey, Jimmy Buffet taught us that it’s always 5 o’ clock somewhere!

ShopKick App: No need to add another mini key chain rewards card to the bulky collection you have. The ShopKick App is the only shopping rewards program you’ll need that will give you even better rewards. You get points (called “kicks” in the ShopKick App) for purchases you make at participating stores and even for just walking in. Redeem your points for many rewards like a gift cards, gas cards, movie tickets and more.

Now that you have been informed, prepare to live like kings and queens! Got any more techie savings tips? Feel free to post in the comments section.

Tickle Your Tastebuds This Weekend!

25 Jun

Suffering from the Monday blues? Spice up your weekend calendar with these events, and you’ll have something to look foward to make it through the work week.

FirstCrush Beta Launch Tasting Party

FirstCrush Wines and New York Vinters has teamed up to put together this wine tasting event Friday, June 29th, 2012 from 6pm-9pm to help you personalize your wine style. It’s only $20 to get in which includes the 3-hour tasting, hors d’oeuvre , 20% off a personalized wine subscription, and a raffle for a magnum bottle of 2005 Haut-Bailly Pessac-Leognan ($200 value). What a yummy way to start the weekend, and no need to wake up the next morning wondering where all your money went!

Six Flags Great Adventure First Annual Craft Beer Festival

Over 30 different breweries will be posted up in Bugs Bunny Land for you to sample as much as your little heart desires! An all-you-can-eat buffet is included with your pass and also a discount into the amusement park. Got a designated driver? They can still enjoy all the festivities without the beer sampling for only $19.99! Also, if you’re coming from the city, NJ Transit has a bus that goes straight to the park. Click here for more details, and remember to drink responsibly because rollercoasters and beer spins do not mix.

Brewery, Winery and Distillery Tour

Urban Oyster put together a tour of the Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Winery and the Brooklyn Distilling right in Williamsburg, Brooklyn this Sunday, July 1st, 2012 from 12:00pm-3:00pm. Now, this is a Sunday Funday you don’t want to miss! You will learn the history behind these tasty potions and, of course, you get to taste the final product. What makes this an even sweeter treat is that lunch is included with this $65 deal. Can’t make it this Sunday? No need to frown over a pint of that ordinary beer. This tour will be going on every Sunday this July.

Svedka Open Bar Social

If you just cannot wait for the weekend, Chelsea Chamber of Commerce will be holding an open bar social sponsored by Svedka Vodka at the Vault by Pfaff’s Tuesday, June 26th, 2012. Open bar and food is from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Yes, you heard it, open bar AND food! If you happen to be a member, it’s only $15. For those of you where are not, it’s still an amazing deal at $30 for this eat, drink and network rendezvous.

Key Lime Pie for a Hella Good Time!

20 Jun

Summer has finally made its way in with a bang and a major wave of heat. Bust out the bikini tops and short-shorts because she’s here to stay! Lets face it, with heat this much of a bitch, she has to be a girl. Nothing beats the heat like a ice cold cocktail and some chilly treats. So, channel your modern day Betty Crocker and add this recipe to your summer solstice party.

Tipsy Key Lime Pie

Ingredient:

For crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

*Tip: speed up the process by purchasing premade graham cracker crust.

For filling

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup fresh or bottled Key lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons of lime zest
  • 1 shot of Pinnacle Key Lime Whipped flavored vodka (or more. Hey, no judgement here!)

For topping

  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press into the bottom and sides of a well greased 9 inch pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge.

3. While the crust is chilling, with an electric mixer beat the egg yolks thoroughly for about 3 minutes.

4. Gradually add the condensed milk and beat until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes).

5. Add the lime zest, lime juice and vodka. Mix thoroughly.

6. Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust and bake for 10 minutes, or until the filling is set.

7. Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

8. When ready to serve, prepare the topping by beating the whipping cream until soft peaks form. You may add a little granulated white sugar for extra sweetness.

9. Place topping onto the filling of the pie, serve and get saucy!

Belmont Stakes: Yes, I Will Have Another!

14 Jun

After my first experience at the Belmont Stakes this weekend, I learned a few things:

1) If you are going to go out of your way to sneak a bottle of wine in, remember to bring a bottle opener.

2) Mingle and you may run into a very nice couple from Brooklyn willing to share their vodka and fruit puree elixir.

3) It is a MAD HOUSE leaving after the big race, and when desperate times call for desperate measures, you may need to play Mr. and Mrs. Smith and steal someone else’s cab.

In all honesty, I absolutely love the extravagant hats and the posh fashions, but eye injuries rose severely in Elmont, NY that day (See hat for visual). Our society would surely crumble if this were normal everyday attire. Mr. Smith was only the victim to this twice, but he was a very good sport about it. Regardless, an amazing time was had!

These lovely ladies played the style off well with simple elegance. Natural wedged sandals, light summer dresses, and of course, the hats! Though one opted-out on the head fashion, I love the contemporary patterned dress matched with a red chunky necklace for contrast. Kudos to you, fashionistas!

Ready to steal the style? Etsy.com has an extensive collection of both vintage and homemade chunky necklaces that will make any outfit pop. Never be afraid to experiment with different colors when pairing accessories to your wardrobe. Adding a little contrast can actually go a long way to liven up your outfit.

An Intern’s Guide to Survival: Office Attire

12 Jun

I was inspired to write this article after my man had called me to let me know that the new summer interns had arrived at his office and one intern in particular looked like she just came in from a night of partying. Tisk, tisk! I didn’t think I need to ever point out that hot shorts and low-cut tops are NEVER office appropriate. For those of you who need some refresher ideas for a new summer office wardrobe and for those who were contemplating what top to wear with their sequins mini to their first office meeting, follow along and keep in mind that some of these items are already lying around in your closet.

TIP #1 – WIWTC, YOUR NEW HOLY ACRONYM. When constructing your work outfit the night before (’cause who has time the morning of?), Ask yourself this as you pick up that mini dress: “Would I wear this clubbing?”. If the answer is yes, it is most likely not work appropriate.

TIP #2 – YOUR BLAZER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. Every woman should have this versatile and beneficial jacket in their wardrobe. It can also be very useful for those after-office get togethers or Friday night happy hours. Lets say that you have a nice tank top in mind or a tailored dress you’d like to wear. A blazer will instantly make you look polished and professional during the day. Take it off, and you are ready for the night! Blazers come in many different styles and even short-sleeved for those sweltering summer work weeks.

TIP #3 – GIVE YOUR FEET A REST. Your precious feet will never survive in platform peep-toe heels in the 9 to 5 world. Stick to a comfortable closed-toed fashion flat or kitten heel for a professional look yet “walking on clouds” feel. Stick to a solid neutral or matte color and save the neons for the weekend. Patterns may get tricky. You never want to be too loud at the office. If the rest of your outfit is a solid color, a simple patterned heel is easier to get away with.

Festivals, Races, and Tastings. OH MY!

5 Jun

As the weather starts to warm up and my ghostly complexion hibernates until winter, outdoor events and tastings come in full bloom and graces us with their presence. The best thing about living in the city is that there is ALWAYS something to do. In fact, there is so much to do that I am basically booked for this month that just barely started. Here is a sneak peek at my to-do calendar and feel free to experience any of these events yourself. Can’t come out? Don’t fret, I’ll keep you informed on all the juicy details in a future post.

Belmont Stakes 2012

I can barely keep in my excitement typing about this! Now, as a Jersey girl, I can definitely call myself the queen of outrageous fashion. I rock my neons, my elaborate collection of animal prints, and my gaudy jewelery (not all at once, obviously), but the fashion at the Belmont Stakes is on a whole other level. Seersucker suits, Sundays best and  colossal hats are the main attractions here besides the races, of course. I will be shooting the best outfits throughout the day, but no need to wait for my post. General admission is only $20-$25 a piece. So, see it for yourself and root for your favorite pony.

Wines of Chile: The “Tapestry of Terrior”

Tuesday, June 12th, Wines of Chile will be hosting their grand tasting showcase at the Metropolitan Pavillion of over 60 premium wineries and over 300 wines to try. Wanna know the best part? It’s only $25! I suggest you grab your wallet and order tickets now because this is one stellar deal. As a lush for Chilean wine, I will be reviewing a few of my favorites and for those who enjoy the dryer side, my man will be reviewing his favorites as well.

The First Annual Bacon Bash Food Festival

Yes, you did read that correctly. Now, I am a firm believer that bacon makes everything better, and this goes for anything from salads, to sandwiches and even baked goods. This LivingSocial deal entitles you to admission, 5 food tastings plus 2 craft beers of your choice right in the heart of Times Square for only $22. Check out the main page at TasteTheBest.com for more info. Now, lets only hope that they serve bacon-infused craft beer so my dreams may finally come true. As you can tell, my inner glutton is quite the beast, I mean, boar.

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