Living the Life at Half Price

Living the Life at Half Price

Monday, March 28, 2011

AMC Movie Tickets Discounted AGAIN!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a deal for discounted AMC movie tickets from Goldstar.  The deal was for a 4-pack of tickets for $30 plus a $4.50 service fee, which worked out to be $8.63 per ticket.  I was pretty happy with this deal, and bought two of them.  Compared to the normal $13 that Manhattan movie theaters charge, it was a good deal.  However, today BuyWithMe is offering an even better deal: $24 for 4 movie tickets to an AMC theater.  That's $6 a ticket.  It puts the Goldstar $8.63 ticket to shame (though I don't regret getting the Goldstar tickets since they don't expire and I've already used some).  The only catch with the BuyWithMe offer is that the tickets are for "AMC Silver" tickets, which means you can't use them for a movie for the first two weeks after it's released.  Which isn't a big deal to me, but it may be to you, if you're like my boyfriend and like seeing movies as soon as they come out.  So, even though I've stockpiled AMC movie vouchers, I can't say no to this deal from BuyWithMe, and you shouldn't either (if you don't mind waiting)!

Bloomingdale's Friends & Family Sale

Well it's that time of the year again... the Bloomingdale's Friends and Family Sale (I've started to lose count over how many of these sales they have a year--it seems like they're pretty frequent, doesn't it?).  Anyway, you know the drill-- 20% off most of the store, with some designer exclusions.  The sale starts in stores on Wednesday, but items are available for pre-sale now, and the online sale starts today.  The sale runs til April 3.  For F&F novices, you generally don't need the actual coupon to get the discount--they offer it to everyone, but I've included it anyway.  If you're purchasing items online, use the code SPRINGFF at checkout.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Support Japan Through Fashion!

So today's post isn't about any deals, but I wanted to take a moment to share some of the ways you can support the Japan relief effort through fashion.  A lot of designers have either created specific items whose proceeds will go towards the relief effort, or have set up donation plans.  Tory Burch is one example.  She's designed a shirt for $29 available on Rue La La.  100% of the net proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to support the efforts in Japan.  

Tory Burch t-shirt on Rue La La
Ralph Lauren has also designed the Japan Hope Polo shirt, where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the United Way to help the relief effort.  The polos are available in navy, black, and white, and cost $98. 

Join The Global Relief Effort For Japan

Other designers are donating a portion of their sales to the effort.  Diane von Furstenberg is donating 10% of sales from her U.S. stores and to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.  Coach is donating about $5 million outright.  A lot of other stores and designers have set up donation programs where they will match donations.  For a more comprehensive list, click here.  If there was ever a time to justify doing a little shopping, this is it, so show your support!

DVF Loves Japan

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

David Yurman Sample Sale Tomorrow

I think everyone and their mother knows David Yurman jewelry (my mother certainly does), so you will all be excited to learn that there will be a David Yurman sample sale starting tomorrow and running through Sunday, March 27.  Since it's hard to find David Yurman discounted, the sample sale will afford some rarely encountered deals on the jewelry (though supposedly the DY outlet at Woodbury Commons offers comparable deals).  The discounts are expected to be as follows: 30% off silver jewelry, 40% off gold jewelry, and a few items at 60-70% off.  The sale is located at the Altman Building at 135 W. 18th Street.  Sale hours are 3-8 on Thurs, 10-7 on Fri and Sat, and 11-5 on Sun.

Good luck at the sale!  Your wrists will be thanking me!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Sale Alert

I'm taking a little break in the Dominican Republic until Monday, but I couldn't leave you hanging over the weekend without sharing at least some discount opportunities.  The first is the Give and Get program, where you will get 30% off from March 17-20 at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, and 5% of what you spend will be donated to a non-profit.  (FYI, I chose the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society).  Just click here to get both online and in-store coupons.
The second thing I wanted to share was the James Perse sample sale, which is taking place this weekend at the Chelsea Market.  Samples will be only $10 and the other price should be as follows:  tanks- $15, skirts- $30, pants- $60, short sleeves- $25, long sleeves- $30, coats- $80.  Compared to the normally ridiculous prices for James Perse items, these are great prices for his soft cotton separates, so you should definitely hit it up!  If I weren't going to be laying on the beach in the DR all weekend, I totally would (sorry, I had to rub it in a little).  Chelsea Market is located at 75 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Street.  Sale hours are 10-7 on Sat., and 10-4 on Sunday.

Good luck!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I caved and bought the bag.  Thought I'd share.  I'm now cut off from shopping.

Skip the Lauren Merkin Sample Sale, and Head to for Better Prices and Friends & Family Sale!!

So yesterday I made the trek over to Chelsea in hopes of snagging a discounted Lauren Merkin clutch.  Well, I achieved my goal, but not with the same success that I had hoped/expected.  I wound up purchasing a metallic version of the Iris clutch for $125 (normally $350+).  It was a bit of a compulsion buy, because I had been going into the sale with the hopes of getting an Allie clutch.  While I like the bag I purchased, it's not filling any gap in my wardrobe, which is what I try to do when I go to these sales.  There were Allie clutches there, but the price range was $150-$175, which was much higher than I was expecting, and I wasn't feeling any of the colors at that price.  In fact, the $150 price amounts to a 40% discount, which is good, but if you read my blog frequently, you'll know that LM has on more than one occasion hosted a 40% off sale on her site. AND, as I am writing this, I have stumbled upon a BIG Lauren Merkin Sale on  And I'm majorly regretting my purchase, because I'm seeing the Allie bag in the color that I wanted, on sale for $137.  Some of the other colors are even less.
Yellow Snake-print Allie-- $150 at the sample sale, $96 (after 25% discount) at Endless!
Not only are the bags on sale, but until March 18, Endless is having a Friends & Family sale, and everything is an additional 25% off, bringing the bag I want to about $103!  (Just enter the code MARFFEVT at checkout).  I'm so hitting myself now, because I really want to buy it, but am having trouble justifying buying TWO Lauren Merkin clutches in two days (I'm also trying to decide if I need a new pair of shoes!).

I will say that for some of the older styles, like Louise and Eve, and some of the smaller clutches like Georgie, the sample sale prices were $80-$90, and those prices are hard to beat--Endless has a somewhat limited selection of bags that low.  If you're in the market for one of those, and the Endless prices are higher, I'd recommend heading to the sale.  Otherwise, save yourself the stress of sample sales, and check out Endless if you're looking to stock up on clutches, or if you just need a new pair of shoes!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why Rent When You Can Own?

My DVF dress on Rent the Runway 
I had mentioned a while back that I had scored a black DVF cocktail dress for $77 on massive sale at Bloomie's.  Well, I just wanted to take a moment to gloat, because I was perusing Rent the Runway, and came across the same dress for rent (I will discuss RTR in another post).  The rental price was $50.  So for $27 more, I actually get to own this dress, and wear it as many times as I want, while the less savvy masses are paying $50 to wear it once.  Because, clearly, the masses are going on RTR to rent this dress.  I feel validated and just wanted to share.  But there is a lesson here--if you're contemplating renting one of the lower-end dresses on RTR, do a quick online search, because you may be able to buy that dress on sale for close to the rental price!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lauren Merkin Sample Sale

It's that time of year again... the Lauren Merkin Sample Sale!!  Apologies for those non-Lauren Merkin fans--I know I write about LM deals fairly often, but that's because there are 2 sample sales a year, plus there are frequent steep discounts on their website.  What can I say, Lauren Merkin just gives me a lot of material! Anyway, the sale's details are below.  I haven't been to a LM sample sale in a while, but based on my past experiences, I'd definitely recommend them.  Sometimes there's a wait to get in, but there's usually a lot of inventory and the selection includes current styles.  Clutches usually range from $90-$125 or so,  but samples of course, are even cheaper.  I've skipped the last few sales, but I think I'm going to make an appearance at this one!
To make the prices even better, for $15, Refinery 29 is offering "VIP" early access to the sale tomorrow (from 8-11 am), along with a 25% discount on all merchandise purchased tomorrow, and bagels from Vic's Bagel Bar.  I think this can be a very good deal if you know for sure you'll be purchasing something, and even better if you can make it for the early access times (though you can use the discount at any time tomorrow).  Otherwise, the discount isn't that great (since most of the bags are in the $100 range, if you just get one, you'd really only be saving about $10), and I hate going somewhere and feeling obligated to buy something (I already have to contend with sample sale compulsion buys as it is).  So as much as I'm tempted to buy this deal, I'm going to refrain, and hopefully just buy myself a cute "Allie" clutch tomorrow sans discount.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Making My Own Sales, Thanks to Piperlime and Ebates!

After getting home from work yesterday, I was greeted by a little box from Piperlime that made my day.  What was in that box?  These:

Enzo Angiolini "Cristle"

So pretty!  These shoes are kind of flashy, and are so not me--they're even more sparkly in person--but when I saw them in the store, I kind of fell in love.  I know that sparkly shoes have been popping up everywhere lately, probably spurred by Mr. Louboutin (see below), and to be honest, I haven't been a fan-- as they kind of reminded me of cheap Halloween costume versions of Dorothy's Ruby Slippers.

At $595 and $895, respectively, these shoes are definitely not Halloween costume prices, and to be honest, I actually prefer mine!

But for some reason, these shoes grabbed me.  Unfortunately, the store didn't have my size, nor did any other store in Manhattan.  I didn't mind though, because I was certain I'd find them online, and I was almost as sure that I'd be able to find them at a substantial discount.

I was partially right.  Fortunately, Piperlime had my size in stock (it was the only online retailer that did).  Unfortunately, they were not on sale.  Nonetheless, since they weren't on sale anywhere else, I knew it was unlikely that I'd get a better price on the shoes and decided to go ahead with the purchase.  However, I had noticed on Piperlime's homepage an offer for 15% off your first purchase if you signed up for their email updates.  Since I had never purchased anything from Piperlime before, I went ahead and signed up, and immediately received the promo code, and got my discount!  If you're in the market for new shoes and can't find them on sale, I'd definitely recommend signing up for Piperlime and taking advantage of this deal!

I was pretty happy with my 15% discount, but I always try to maximize my deals, so I checked Ebates, and Piperlime was on there!  For those of you unfamiliar with Ebates, it is "a great Web site that pays you cash back every time you shop online (up to 26% back!) Ebates works with 1,200 stores . . . so you are sure to find your favorites."

I had signed up for Ebates a while back, but hadn't had the chance to use it yet (I'd either forget, or the online stores I purchased from weren't participants).  This was the perfect opportunity to try it out.  The cash-back amount differs with each store.  At Piperlime, it was only 2%.  So I'll be getting a whole $1.78 back for this purchase.  But it's better than nothing!!  And it can add up.  Sites like Travelocity and Expedia are on it, and if you book a vacation using Ebates, you could get a decent amount back (I'm still hitting myself for not booking my Hawaii vacation with Ebates)!

So all in all, I wound up saving about $15 on my new shoes.  I'll take it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Milly Sample Sale Update

I really should call this post "Random Assortment of Brands Sample Sale Update."  Anyway, yesterday I checked out the sample sale I wrote about on Monday, and I was extremely disappointed.  I don't even want to glorify the sample sale with a full review, because it was that terrible, and I think a simple "skip it" should suffice. My main impetus for attending the sale was my hope of scoring some cute Milly dresses at a big discount.  However, the selection was entirely samples (which I expected, but I had hoped they'd be in better condition), and I swear, they must've dug these samples out of a closet from the late 90's.  Even if they were in good condition, you couldn't pay me to wear most of these items.  I suppose the prices were good compared to normal Milly prices-- with dresses at about $80, but definitely not worth it for what you would be getting.
On of the Free People shirts at
the sale.  At Bloomie's for $88
As for the other brands, the Free People merchandise consisted of new items, some of which are currently retailing in stores for full price.  All of the Free People merchandise was 60% off the retail price, which is a pretty good deal.  The selection was somewhat limited, which is my only gripe.

The Joe's Jeans selection was OK, but I didn't really investigate much because the jeans were priced at $80, which I know I can find at stores like Filene's Basement and Loehmann's.  I didn't even bother trying any on, because I have a tendency to second-guess my jeans purchases after bringing them home, and I like the option to return, which you don't get with sample sales.

I've already spent too much time on this post, so I'm not going to go into much detail about the other items.  Besides the brands I mentioned in Monday's post, the sale also had some Josh Brody and Julie Brown, along with a smattering of other companies.  Overall it was a waste of my time, and unless you love Free People, I wouldn't bother going.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Yet Another Excuse to Spend Money- Chloe and See by Chloe Sale on Beyond the Rack!

Just wanted to take a moment to let you know that in about 10 minutes (at 11 am) Beyond the Rack will be hosting a Chloe and See by Chloe sale (looks like they'll be selling bags and accessories, though it's not clear).  I obviously don't know anything about the prices or the selection, but my educated guess is that whatever is on there will sell out quickly.  So if you read this on time, I'd recommend checking it out!

Chloe and See by Chloe - Handbags
Beyond the Rack

More Excuses for Me to Spend Money-- Milly, Free People, and Joe's Jeans Sample Sale!

So just as I decided I should cut back my spending a little, I learned that starting tomorrow, there will be a sample sale for one of my favorite labels, Milly (I've shared my love for this brand with you before).  Actually, it's going to be a joint sample sale with a number of labels, including Free People and Joe's Jeans (those are the ones I care about).  I didn't know much about the other brands, so I did my due diligence and checked out their sites.  Here are they are, along with my thoughts on them (because my guess is that you probably won't know much about them either): 1) Alternative Apparel (kind of an American Apparel wannabe, I think); 2) Michael Simon (generally high-end knitwear, geared towards an older clientele); 3) Zara Terez (some cute clutches, handbags); 4) Strands by Stacy (looks like beaded jewelry); and 5) Apart (doesn't look too exciting).

I have no idea what the prices will be like at this sale, or how good the offerings will be.  To be honest, I'm a little wary about the quality of the selection.  There will only be samples (as opposed to overstock items) for Milly and Joe's, which may mean limited or damaged selection at great prices, or vice versa.  However, the Free People selection is supposed to be "current spring merchandise," which sounds promising.

The sale will take place Tuesday and Wednesday (March 7-8) at Clothingline, which hosts many sample sales (including Theory's).  It's located at 261 West 36th Street, between 7th and 8th.  Hours are 11-7 on both days.

Friday, March 4, 2011

More Great Restaurant Deals to Follow Union Square Cafe!

Following up on my earlier post, thanks to Eater, I have learned that Sunday's deal at Union Square Cafe is just the tip of the deal iceberg!  For the following three Sundays,  Gilt City will offer deals at Gramercy Tavern and Maialino ($50 for a $200 credit), and at The Modern ($10 for a $50 credit).  My stomach will be thanking me this month! 

Bon appetit!

$200 Gift Certificate to Union Square Cafe

If you've been looking for a reason to treat yourself to a dinner at a nice restaurant, Gilt City will give you one this Sunday.  At noon, Gilt City will be offering $200 gift certificates to Union Square Cafe, one of the most esteemed and iconic restaurants in New York City.  The best part?  These gift certificates will only cost you $50.   That's a huge discount, especially considering the restaurant still does not have trouble filling reservations.  AND, as a bonus, if you haven't joined Gilt City yet, by using the link I've provided, you will get an additional 20% off! Quantities will be limited, so make sure you get it quickly (but not so quickly that I can't buy one myself!)!  
Photo courtesy of Yelp

Thursday, March 3, 2011

HauteLook, Hot Prices!

So believe it or not, I made my first online sample sale purchase today on HauteLook.  I bought an Isabel Lu t-shirt, which I'm very excited about, though a little worried since I can't return it, and I've never tried on anything by Isabel Lu before.  At least I got a good price!  The shirt's price was $16, though after tax and  shipping $7.95(!), it came out to over $25.  Which is still good, considering the shirt retails for $121.00.  

The one thing that kind of irked me is HauteLook's shipping policy; or rather, lack thereof.  I could not find out how much shipping cost until I was checking out.  I searched the site, and it doesn't say a word about how much shipping costs.  So I don't know if it's based on the price of the item, if it's a set flat rate, or if it varies by the designer on sale.  I really hope the rate isn't based on the item price, considering the shipping price for my shirt was about 50% of the its cost.  My guess is that shipping varies with the designer/manufacturer.

Some of the sale offerings.  I purchased the shirt on the left.
This purchase was a little out of character for me.  I'm usually hesitant to buy clothing online that isn't returnable or where you have to pay for return shipping.  Especially when I'm unfamiliar with the designer's sizing.  However, I was lured by the low prices of the items for sale, and the fact that the retail prices are normally so high did little to hinder the sale's pull.  Although I haven't taken the plunge until now, I have been impressed by HauteLook's pricing on previous sales.  To give you an idea, there are some Isabel Lu shirts currently on sale at Bluefly, (some of which appeared in the HauteLook sale), and they're all in the $65-$75 range, whereas all of the shirts in HauteLook's sale ranged from $16-$34.  So, if I have a positive experience after reecving my shirt, you can bet I'll have a hard time saying no to HauteLook's sales in the future! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lord & Taylor 15% Off Promo Code

Just wanted to let you know that Lord & is offering 15% off most regular and sale items with the promo code "OHMY" (there are some of the normal exclusions, so check the website for more details).  The Home Store is 10% off, and sale fine jewelry is 20% off with the code.  

This may be the excuse I need to start my spring shopping...

Some of the dresses I've been eyeing

More Movie Discounts!

So I love how I wrote this whole post yesterday on Goldstar's discount movie ticket offer, and then today LivingSocial decides to offer an even better movie ticket deal!  For the next 23 hours, you can buy a voucher for two movie tickets from Fandango for just $9.  That's $4.50 a ticket!  The only catches are that you have to buy the tickets through Fandango, the movie can't be IMAX or 3D, and the voucher expires June 6, 2011.  Each customer can only buy one voucher (which is probably a good thing for me, considering the large quantity of movie vouchers I've amassed in the last two days).  This deal is the perfect way to supplement yesterday's AMC deal so you can see movies in a different theater without having to pay full price!

P.S.  I promise this is my last post about discount movie tickets!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Discount at AMC Movies!

Growing up, my mother would always buy at least one Entertainment Book every year.  For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the Entertainment Book is this thick book of coupons for local businesses that comes out annually.  It usually costs $35 (but you can currently get it for $17.50 on their site).  Anyway, while we usually would only utilize a handful of the coupons in the book, my family would more than make back the money spent on the book through its movie coupons.  It would always provide coupons for local movie theaters for a substantial discount (somewhere in the ballpark of $5 off, give or take).  However, as the years have progressed, the Entertainment Book has included less and less movie coupons, and smaller discounts.  And this year, there are no AMC coupons (the theater I most often frequent)! 
So what's a girl to do when there are no coupons left?  I'm certainly not going to pay full price ($13--can you believe how expensive movie tickets are these days?!?!?).  Instead, I'm going to purchase a few 4-packs of the AMC Gold Experience courtesy of Goldstar.  Goldstar is offering these 4-packs for $30 plus a $4.50 service fee.  That works out to $8.63 per ticket.  The tickets never expire and I believe they can be used at any AMC theater nationwide.  However, this package is only available for purchase until tomorrow, March 2, at 11 am, so act fast!

(For those of  you unfamiliar with Goldstar, it is a service that provides discounts for local events or ticketed experiences, like plays, booze cruises, museums, concerts, etc.  Sometimes I have found better deals elsewhere, but not always, and it's a good way to learn about events going on around the city.  It's definitely worth checking out!)