Category Archives: Tips from the book

Cheap Airfare

If you’re looking for cheap airfare, it’s not far away.  These days, there are tons of ways to find good fares.  For starters, there’s skyauction.com.  This site allows you to bid on airfare, hotels, and trips just as you would bid for a TV on ebay.  Direct fares are also available through the site but the best deals are found by bidding.  Bidders can scan the site to see what auctions are ending and jump in at the last minute to secure a cheapo flight.

Kayak.com is also a nice little site.  The site allows you to run multiple airfare searcheson popular booking sites like orbitz, cheatickets, travelocity, hotwire, priceline, etc. so you don’t have to go through them one by one.  Kayak also informs you when the best times to buy tickets will be.  If fares are set to increase next week, a graph will show how costs of your travel is about to rise – convincing you to book now before that happens.  The reverse is also true.  If rates are set to fall for your journey, the fare graph will convince you to hold off on buying until the rates drop.

The drawback to Kayak.com is that it doesn’t search the real discount carriers like Spirit Air, Southwest Airlines, or Virgin America – now offering coast to coast travel for around $220.   To take advantage of these airlines, sign up for their newsletters.

Spirit recently ran a $99 sale to Costa Rica I took advantage of only because I get their newsletter.  The fare lasted 24 hours so if I wasn’t addicted to my crackberry, I never would have gotten to Costa Rica for $200.

Last but not least is Priceline.com.  You’ve all seen the commercials; you can get cheap airfare and hotels on this site but you have to be a bit savvy.  The site seems to inflate the prices of things so that when you bid on a fare, you think you’re bidding much lower than you are.  Example: I searched for airfare from Boston to DC and got a rate of $200.  When I checked Orbitz, I got a rate of $160.  I had planned on bidding 30% under the Priceline rate, $140, but that would have really been a bid of about 12% under the real fare, $160.  So be sure to get the rates on a site outside Priceline before bidding on something.

Happy Travels.

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Don’t Waste Your Money on Amazon.com

If you’re like most people, you buy a book new, read it, shelve it for a few years, and throw it away when you move into a new place and are trying to cut down on the junk you have to box up. Sound like you? There is an alternative.

The company is called Better World Books. It is a non-profit organization that organizes book drives – book donations – across the country. People donate used books for free and the company sells them on their website, to libraries, and through other distribution channels cheaply. On their website, www.betterworld.com, the average book costs $3.00. Profits from sales fund third world literacy programs.

Betterworld.com host a couple million titles, including textbooks, so you’ll likely find what your looking for unless it is brand new.

Free Movie Tickets

Freemoviescreenings.net lists links to movie studios’ offering free tickets for flicks. Most links allow users to print out tickets – though some require personal information.

Ladies Eat Free at News bar

News 24-7 near Chinatown hosts a ladies’ night every Wednesday where women eat for free. A three-course meal (salad, entree, and dessert) is served from 5-10 p.m. in the bar.

Free Food in Boston!

On the first Wednesday of every month from 5 to 7 p.m., the food shops in the FANEUIL HALL MARKETPLACE offer free samples.

Where to buy cheap furniture in Boston?

Generally speaking, the three best places to find cheap furniture around Boston are along Route 9, which becomes Huntington Ave, on Harvard Ave in Brighton/Allston, and at the Ikea in Stoughton, MA (781-344-IKEA)–about 30 minutes from Boston.

However, you can find everything super cheap, albeit in varying degrees of used, on http://www.craigslist.org.  Since so many people are constantly moving in and out of apartments and dorms in Boston, amazing deals may be found on this website by those in a rush t drop their stuff and get out of town.

Specific places are listed in Broke in Boston: A Guide to Living Cheap in the City 

Need a Pool to Cool Off?

For $10, you can spend the day at Puopolo Park/Mirabella Pool in the North End. The park sits on the Harbor, across from the Navy Yard. 475 R. Commercial St.

For $15, you can buy a pool pass for the year, but you have to buy in mid-May.