Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Hope you enjoy your day!
I can’t believe it is the last weekend of November! I am sending the Cheap Weekend Fun post a day earlier since I’m sure you all have better things to do tomorrow!
Here’s some fun things to do this weekend in Boston for the last weekend of November!
29th Annual Boston Tuba Christmas Concert: Saturday, November 29, 2014 from 2-5pm. Come check out over 150 tuba players wow the crowd with holiday classics! Free.
Small Business Saturday: Saturday, November 29, 2014. Get out and support your favorite local business with Small Business Saturday! AMEX Cardholders can also receive a free $10 statement credit with registration (this may be limited).
Blink: November 22, 2014 to January 4, 2014 at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Enjoy a light and sound extravaganza with music of the Holiday Pops.
Jordan’s Enchanted Village Begins: November 15, 2014 from January 5, 2015. The Enchanted Village is up and running for the season so come relive childhood memories! Free.
Cultural Survival Bazaar: November 28-30, 2014 from 10-6pm in Cambridge. Shop direct from artisans and free trade vendors and more. Free admission and parking.
Harvard Museum of Natural History: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency.
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency
ICA: Saturday, November 29, 2014. The ICA is free for families (with children under 12) the last Saturday of every month, except December.
MIT Museum: The last Sunday of every month September through June the MIT Museum is free!
There will also be FREE PARKING this weekend in Boston, so save those quarters! However, the time limit will be still be enforced on Friday, 11/28/14 and Saturday, 11/29/14 as well as additional Saturdays this holiday season.
Good luck if you are participating in Black Friday or shopping this weekend and I hope you get all the deals you were hoping for!
Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and weekend!
One of my least favorite things about Thanksgiving is the traffic. Okay, it’s my least favorite thing.
MassDOT encourages travelers to check the latest winter weather forecast and plan ahead. There is expected to be a high volume of traffic on highways and the airport this year. Highways are typically busiest on the Tuesday and Wednesday before and on the Sunday after the holiday.
If you are on the road this year, starting at 10pm on Thursday, November 27, 2014 through 5am on Friday, there will be free coffee at state service plazas in Massachusetts.
In addition to service plazas, Cumberland Farms is offering its Farmhouse Blend or Bold coffee, hot chocolate, cappuccino, or tea – any size, hot or iced – for FREE all day on Thanksgiving!
For more about these offers or for MassDot travel tips or free coffee, please head here.
Happy Holidays! City of Boston to offer drivers two hours free parking at meters on select days this Holiday Season. http://t.co/0ytpiGhzGv
— City of Boston (@NotifyBoston) November 25, 2014
On Select dates this holiday season, the City of Boston will be offering free parking at metered spots throughout the city. Although you can save those quarters, time limits will still apply.
For example, if you park in the Back Bay at noon, you must leave at 2pm. However, if you arrive at 7pm, you can stay longer than two hours since the time limits are over at 8pm.
The dates for free parking in Boston this the holiday season are as follows:
- Friday, November 28
- Saturday, November 29
- Saturday, December 6
- Saturday, December 13
- Saturday, December 20
For more information about free parking in Boston, please head here.
Will you be taking advantage of free street parking this holiday season?
If you are looking for a Black Friday shopping alternative but still want to save money, you may want to visit the Zoo New England on Friday, November 28, 2014!
You can grab half-off admission at both Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA from 10am to 4pm on 11/28/14 for the entire family!
For more information about half-price day at the zoo, please visit here.
*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!
Take advantage of price matching this holiday season. Not only will you save your sanity, you will also save some gas money!
Some of the big retailers will price match the price tag of a competitor. For example, if Walmart has a My Little Pony on sale for $10 and Target has it for $15, you can receive the $10 price at Target without leaving the store to head to Walmart.
Like everything in life, there are sometimes terms and restrictions. None of the big stores (that I am aware of) will price match from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, so you won’t be able to save the Black Friday hassle with price matching.
However, some stores will price match Amazon, so you can receive the Amazon price without waiting a few days for the product to arrive, which is really nice!
I will admit that I am not an expert when it comes to Price Matching; however, I will take advantage of it this holiday season if it helps save me money and time for a product I am eyeing!
TheKrazyCouponLady.com has a great infographic and information about price matching from the big retailers and more. If you want more information about price matching, I’d recommend checking that out!
Have you price matched before? Do you have any tips to share?
To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.
If you are a college student, you may want to take advantage of Frog Pond’s College Night! College Students will receive $2 admission on Tuesday nights from 6-9pm with a college ID (weather permitting). Just show up to get this college deal!
I will keep you updated if I find any big ice skating discounts or free ice skating again this year in Boston! I have my fingers crossed! If you find any before I do, feel free to leave a comment and let me know!
If you are college student, will you take advantage of college night this winter?
This Friday I wanted to feature something that I think a lot of people may be interested in: Ways to make extra money for holiday spending. I like to try out different ways to earn money (mostly online or through mobile apps) and I wanted to share my personal experience and favorites with you. I figured this would be especially helpful during the holiday season when money may be extra tight.
Please note that everything listed below are websites and apps that I use regularly and are all easy to use. I like to use these sites throughout the year and then cash out my earnings near the holidays to help with the extra expense. None of the suggestions below will get you rich but will hopefully pay for a holiday gift or two.
Shopkick is really the perfect app for the holidays. If you are unfamiliar, it is a shopping app that gives you points for checking into stores. You don’t even need to buy anything, and the best part is there’s often extra bonuses, points and missions, especially during the holiday season. For example, if I walk-in to Best Buy with the app open, I will receive 80 points! This can add up quickly, especially if you are at the mall and/or do missions on top of check-ins.
You can redeem your rewards straight from your smartphone and use your gift card from your smartphone. If memory serves me right, these gift cards get loaded to your account fast too!
My Holiday Progress: $50 in Gifts Cards, with kicks remaining for next time.
Mobee is another great app for people who are out and about a lot! Mobee is a mystery shopping type app that pays in rewards for reviewing different restaurants, fast food chains, retailers, and more. The surveys are usually pretty quick and different missions pay different amounts, but you can easily select missions on the go. If you sign up, use my referral code RWLH for 300 points. You can make a donation to charity at 350 points and earn gift cards at 500 so you are already really close to redemption after sign up!
You can redeem points for rewards with a good variety of gift cards and more. Gift Cards may take a few days to reach your e-mail attached to your Mobee account.
My Holiday Progress: $75 in Gift Cards
Ebates, Shop At Home, etc:
If you haven’t signed up for a cashback site yet and plan to do any online shopping, please do. Cashback sites are insanely easy to use and the savings can add up quick if you make a large or a lot of online purchases! The two I use often and like a lot are Ebates and Shop At Home.
If you are not familiar, you sign up for account and then search for the store you will be making a purchase from. If I am going to buy something at Kohl’s, I will search for Kohl’s and see they offer 6.5% cashback for my purchase. I click the link that takes me to Kohl’s, and then I act like a regular shopper and make my purchase. If I spent $100 at Kohls, I will receive an e-mail from the cashback site within a few days stating I earned $6.25. I will get this money every quarter in my PayPal account, but there’s other payment options too! This definitely adds up, especially for savvy online shoppers!
Depending on the Cashback website, typically these get paid through PayPal or by check every Quarter. You won’t receive the cashback before the holiday season is over but it will be nice extra money in 2015. However, Ebates offers a $10 gift card after first purchase for new users so you may receive it soon depending on when you sign up!
My Holiday Progress: $0 (because I didn’t save it for Christmas and the next check is after the holidays)
Swagbucks is a website that pays you to do certain things on the internet from taking surveys, searching the internet, participating in polls, printing coupons and more! I mostly use Swagbucks for the occasional search and coupon print but points can add up!
You can redeem Swagbucks for Gift Cards and more, and it takes a few days to receive the gift card in your inbox. I like redeeming for Amazon Gift Cards because they are only 450 points!
My Holiday Progress: $30 Amazon Gift Card
Ibotta, Checkout 51, Snap by Groupon, SavingStar, etc.:
The above are all coupon apps and websites that gives you cashback in your account when you buy certain items, mainly grocery and household items. For example, if there’s a coupon available for $1 off any milk, I would submit my receipt through the app to get the $1 back. I can use the same receipt for many different offers. (SavingStar works a little differently since it can be attached to your reward card so you would get that money automatically). Sometimes I hate uploading the receipts, but it really takes less than a minute and some of the offers are really worth it. I already have over $20 from Snap and I’ve only had it for a month since you can get multiple savings for one item on certain offers.
Depending on the company, there may be a minimum limit of $10-$20 before you can redeem. Most are offered through PayPal with other payments available, however, I haven’t redeemed these yet since most are fairly new to me.
My Holiday Progress: Roughly $70 between the four sites
Discover Credit Cashback:
It’s not for everyone, but I like to use my credit card for purchases to receive cashback to save for Christmas. You do need to be careful if you use your credit card for everything since you want to make sure you pay off your credit card each month to avoid charges. There’s a lot of different options for cashback cards and you may prefer air miles over cashback. I do like using my Discover card and there’s options for 5% cashback but there’s really a ton of credit card options. I recommend doing a lot of research to see if cashback credit cards are a good fit for you and your spending habits.
Depending on the credit card, there many be certain terms or restrictions. With Discover I can use my cashback directly on Amazon purchases, gift cards, statement credit and more!
My Holiday Progress: Roughly $140
Total Earned for Extra Side Money to put Towards Holiday Gifts: $365!
My extra side money total for the holidays might not seem impressive, but I didn’t put a lot of time and effort in these earnings either. I also cashed a little throughout the year at certain sites, so I may have been able to get a little more spending cash for the holidays.
I also really hate and avoid survey sites and things that are really tedious like Amazon’s MTurk, but it is an option if you are a bit more patient. If you are interested in taking surveys, the only one I really liked was Pinecone Research and they paid $3 per survey and paid timely.
All the websites and apps used above were routine and didn’t take too much extra time. I recommended an app (that I no longer recommend) to my father-in-law and he earned five times more than I did with a lot more effort and a little more trial and error. You can definitely have more success than me, or earn less depending how active you are.
If you use any of these websites and apps, how did you do this year? Did you save your earnings for holiday gifts too?
What are your favorite ways to earn side money for the holidays?
Please let me know in the comments below if I missed any of your favorite ways to earn a little extra side money online or through mobile apps!
*This post does contain some affiliate and referral links if you sign up through my link. However, I do use and recommend these sites whether or not you sign up through my link. If you have any questions, please see my disclosure policy. Thanks!