Friday, February 27, 2009

Islands in L.A.

Looking for something free to do tonight?  Check out Pocketo's "Islands in L.A." art show.  I was first exposed to Pocketo at the San Diego Comic Con and was immediately struck by their style.  Stop by their space tonight for a live art show and coffee & pastries from Urth Caffe.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Free Movies

High prices at the movies got you down?  The Skirball Cultural Center has come to the rescue.   Tuesdays at 1:30 pm the Skirball shows a classic movie for free.  In March and April the center is honoring Katharine Hepburn by showing Woman of The Year, Adam's Rib, Pat & Mike, and The Philadephia Story.  Check the schedule for dates.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Discount Dining

Two tips today for those who like to eat well:

DineLA Restaurant Week has been extended through February.  Restaurants across town are offering 3 course, prix-fixe meals at bargain prices.    Beverages and gratuity are not included and there are some restrictions.  For details and to make a reservation log on to

Not into prix-fixe?  Check out Screw the Recession - they advertise special nights at local restaurants when the menu will be offered at a 50% discount.  RSVP on their website and join their facebook page. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

March in Palm Springs

Right now, the Parker Palm Springs is offering a deal on rooms booked by tomorrow, February 25th.  Their "Beware the Ides of March" special is available from February 27th until March 31st.  Weeknights will cost you only $95 and weekends are at a rate of $249 a night.  This is an amazing deal for the Parker and the perfect reason to head out to the desert.

National Pancake Day

How in the world did I just find out about this one??  Today IHOP is offering a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes to their customers.  All they ask in return is that you consider making a donation to the Children's Miracle Network.  This free pancake offer is available until 10 pm this evening.  I always loved having breakfast for dinner.

Monday, February 23, 2009

How Green is Your Garden?

Along with the rate of unemployment, the cost of food is rising these days.  The last time most of us planted a vegetable garden was back in kindergarten.  It might be the time to paint that black thumb green.  Sarah Newman has written a column for the Huffington Post about "7 Ways to Grow Your Own Food and Save Money,"  with tips for the most novice gardener.  

Not into planting?  Sarah also suggests picking fallen fruit, fruit that is on public property and free to you and I.  Need to know where to find said fruit?  Head to, a group that goes out into the world and maps public fruit trees and the seasons of said fruit crop.  If you live in the LA area you can find our maps here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another Reason to Love Jet Blue

Do you want to book travel,  but are afraid you might be losing your job?  Go ahead and purchase a flight on Jet Blue.  If you lose your job, Jet Blue will refund your money. is reporting that Jet Blue is changing their refund policy on flights leaving between Feb. 1 and June 1.  Their Promise Program requires that the refund is requested in writing, 2 weeks prior to the intended departure.

Click here for more details.

Little Bit of History

To celebrate HISTORY's 50th installment of their documentary specials they are offering 50% off all their programming available on ITunes.  For the low cost of $1.99 you can learn all about The Dark Ages or the History of Jokes.  This offer is good through March 2.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tasty Delight

Still don't have a dinner reservation for tomorrow night? How about a romantic dinner for two? Here's a great salad that can be made as either a first course or a whole meal, if you add shredded chicken.  

Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 lb. Strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 12 oz. Bag of Spinach
3/4 cup Toasted Chopped Walnuts

Dressing -  Puree 3/4 c. of strawberries.  Add lime juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  In large bowl, toss with remaining strawberries, spinach, and walnuts.   

To make a meal, add 2 cups of shredded chicken.  If preferred, substitute toasted almonds for walnuts.

Have left over strawberries?  Wash and dry them completely.  Dip in melted chocolate and let cool on wax paper.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Date Night!

For a low cost date, nothing beats a great romantic movie.  Here are my top Valentine's picks for this weekend.

Today 2/12
Harold and Maude @ New Beverly Cinema
He's Just Not That Into You (21+) @ Arclight Sherman Oaks

Friday 2/13
Breakfast at Tiffanys, Roman Holiday @ Aero Theatre
Romeo and Juliet (1968) @ Egyptian Theatre

Saturday, Valentine's Day, 2/14
From Here to Eternity, Casablanca @ Aero Theatre
Harold and Maude @ Angel City Drive-In
Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet (1996) @ Egyptian Theatre
The Philadelphia Story @ Alex Theatre
She's Out Of Control @ New Beverly Cinema (Midnight Screening)

Sunday 2/15
Adam's Rib, Pat & Mike @ Aero Theatre
Now, Voyager; Jezebel @ Egyptian Theatre
Saturday Night Fever, Flashdance @ New Beverly Cinema

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Public Displays of Affection

If you're going to be spending money on flowers this Valentine's Day, don't get ripped off.  Here are a few ideas for you, especially if you live in the LA area.  

Don't buy your flowers from the shop that's charging you $75 and up for red roses.  While it requires a little more leg work, head to either your local thrift store or the 99 cent store and find a unique vessel for the flowers.  I found these while roaming around a local thrift store:

Next, head to your local Trader Joe's right after they open at 9 am and buy a few bunches of your favorite flowers.   If you have a little more time on your hands, I recommend making a trip down to the LA Flower Mart, but make sure you bring cash, because not all vendors except credit cards.  Once you cut and arrange your flowers in the vase, find a piece of ribbon, yarn, or string about 18 inches long, tie it around the arrangement, and v'oila! 

If this seems like too much work, I have another idea for you.  Balloon bouquets are fairly inexpensive and make quite a display of affection.  Head to your local party store, like Party City, and have them build a latex/mylar arrangement just for you!  It shouldn't cost more than $20 - $25, depending on what you choose.

My final suggestion:  Head to your local home & garden store (Home Depot, Lowe's, Osh, Armstrong Garden) and purchase a potted plant.  I recommend a small rose bush, gerber daises, or an orchid.  These plants will last longer than cut flowers and generally cost under $15.

And remember, no matter what you spend, it's all about the presentation.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Biggest Hallmark Holiday of them All!

At one time or another we've all had the same conversation:  "To hell with Valentine's Day!  It's the biggest rip-off of all time!  Who needs expensive meals, over priced flowers, and indulgent chocolates just to say 'I Love You'?"

Rather than have us all throw our hands up in protest, I'm determined to find a more creative solution.  This whole week will be dedicated to low cost Valentine's Day ideas that will hit your loved one's heart, not your wallet.

Ready Made magazine online has an idea worth stealing,  a Valentine's Day card made from office supplies.  I know that this blog is aimed at those of us that don't have a job, but don't tell me you never "borrowed" some supplies.  Don't think you need to have a lunch hour to make their "Lunch Hour Love Letters."

For a limited time only, is offering 100 roses for $29.99.  This deal seems a little too good to be true, but you certainly can't beat that price.  They will deliver via UPS or DHL for an additional fee depending on the zip code and your choice of delivery date.  

Feeling more creative? Or don't want to pay those bloated shipping charges?  Tomorrow we'll focus on budget displays of affection.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Friends with Fringe Benefits

When thinking of ways to save, donating money doesn't usually come to mind.  Here is the exception:

Right now, KCRW is having a membership subscription drive.  A donations of $50 or more gets you their Fringe Benefits card, which gives discounts at over 900 retailers - including theaters, restaurants,  museums, and stores.  The fun doesn't stop there.  With your donation you get to choose a member premium (listen to 89.9 FM for details), entered in their daily drawing for a new MacBook, their subscription drive sweepstakes for a trip to Australia, and a another contest for a VW Jetta.  Did I mention that your donation is also tax deductible?

Still not sold?  For a donation of $100, KCRW was offering two tickets to Flight of the Conchords at the Greek.  Had you purchased them from Ticketmaster, it would cost well over $110.