Date Night Deals

Between weekend travel, weddings and summertime spending, my wallet’s been aching a bit lately. It wasn’t until I went to Yelp Corfu, a new Mediterranean tapas place on Cross Street, and saw a $20 for $30 Yelp deal that I remembered how often I used to rely on Groupon, Living Social and other deal sites for affordable date nights (and girls’ nights out!).

I used to always open and read those daily deal emails. I loved them. In fact, I loved them so much that I kept signing up for more. Groupon, Living Social, Capitol Deal, Yipit, Woot. It got out of control. So I slowly stopped checking them, forgot about them, and that was that. But when I saw the Yelp deal for Corfu–which is supposed to be great, by the way–I started poking around my old haunts to see what kind of bargains I was missing out on.

Thought you all might be in the same boat so I figured I’d share my findings. In no particular order:

Two-hour social painting event from Paint Nite. Was $45; now $25.

BYOB ceramics classes at the ClayGround Studio. Was $40; now $21.

Comedy magic show for two at Illusions Bar and Theater. Was $32; now $16.

$16 for $30 worth of Thai food at Thai Yum. 

$16 for $30 worth of Turkish food at Cazbar.

Two pints of Belgian beer, fresh steamed mussels and one row-nut dessert at Rowhouse Grille. Was $32; now $15.

$15 for $30 worth of sushi and more at Sticky Rice.

$10 for $20 worth of Southern-inspired food at Myth and Moonshine.

$25 for $50 worth of comfort food at Langermann’s.

Bottle of wine with cheese and a shared plate at Silo.5% Wine Bar.

$20 for $40 worth of gourmet pub food at Heavy Seas Alehouse.

$20 for $30 worth of Mediterranean tapas at Corfu.

$10 for $20 worth of seasonal American cuisine at Liv2Eat.

**When buying a deal, be sure to read the fine print on how/when the voucher can be used as well as when it expires. Also remember to tip on the bill amount BEFORE the applied discount.**

Of course, Baltimore’s Restaurant Week also starts on Friday, so that’s another way to try a new spot without breaking the bank. If you haven’t already made your reservations, get on it!


Friday Five: Things I’m Excited About Right Now

Happy Friday, everyone! Summer’s in full swing and I’m doing my best to enjoy it while it’s here, so I thought I’d list the top five things I can’t wait to do.

  1. Artscape. This can’t-be-missed Baltimore event is the largest free arts fest in the U.S. The festival runs today through Sunday and includes live performances, elaborately decorated “art cars,” a ferris wheel, a video game exhibition and an artists market. I’ll be heading there this afternoon to get a head start on the weekend. I’m excited to check out some live music and hopefully pick up a few locally made goodies. Abby wanted me to give a shout out to her friend’s band Slow Lights, which will be playing at the North Stage at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Be sure to stop by!
  2. Amy. I’ve heard that Amy, a new documentary about Amy Winehouse, is a really well-done, powerful look into Amy Winehouse’s career and personal life. I have mixed feelings about watching somebody’s downfall on the big screen but after seeing that it got a score of 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, I think I have to go.
  3. RAMEN! I’ve long lamented the lack of quality pho/ramen in Baltimore. Yes, I know there are a few spots. One left me disappointed; another seems to never be open when I have a craving.. SO. I literally yelped when I saw a posterboard sign on Charles Street promising pho, ramen and banh mi is on its way. Mi & Yu is slated to open in early August. I hope it lives up to the hype!
  4. Day trippin. A big-budget vaca is just not in the cards this year, so I’m hoping to take a few day trips instead. So far, I’ve spent a day in Annapolis (Side note: If you haven’t been to Iron Rooster for all-day breakfast, get your booty over there. Homemade. Poptarts.) and walked through the Grounds for Sculpture in Jersey.  I think several of the suggestions on this Baltimore magazine article look fun, especially canoeing out to Roosevelt Island.
  5. Which brings me to this weekend–girls’ staycay! Abby and I are meeting some friends in D.C. for a staycay, thanks to an awesome hotel deal we found on Jetsetter. We’re planning on spending all day by the pool, then heading out for a nice dinner. We might even stop by the National Building Museum’s Beach exhibit.

Hope you all are making the most of the second half of summer. Would love to hear in the comments what you’ve got planned! Linking up Heather to see what else the blog world is excited for this weekend.

TONIGHT! Flicks from the Hill

The American Visionary Arts Museum’s Flicks from the Hill series kicks off tonight with a free showing of Jaws! There are several outdoor film series in the area, but AVAM’s continually sits at the top of the list. Here’s why:

  • No more craning your neck. If you’ve ever been to an outdoor movie or concert, you know that one of the WORST things is when the person in front of you sets up camp in their REI folding chair, leaving you stuck craning your neck the whole night to see around them. Flicks from the Hill is, well, on a hill. The slant of the hill should guarantee a clear line of sight.
  • Pre-festivity festivities. On movie nights, Baltimoreans can get into the museum for FREE from 5 to 9 p.m. (Be nice and consider making a donation!) Admission is usually $15.95, so this is a great deal. Tonight, the museum is hosting a premiere party that includes food from Encantada, The Green Turtle, Two Boots Pizza, and Sip Kitchen & Wine Bar, as well as beer from Max’s and a live DJ. Tickets are $15 online.
  • Movies you actually want to see. The series starts strong with tonight’s showing of Jaws and only builds from there: The Truman Show, Labyrinth, Big Fish, and more.  See the full schedule below.
  • Dinner to go. This week, the event hosts food trucks Slainte on Wheels and The Green Bowl, so come hungry. Or, if you’re like me, grab a baguette and some meats and cheeses and call it charcuterie night.


July 9: Jaws

July 16: The Truman Show

July 23: Labyrinth

July 30: Big Fish

August 6: Awakenings

August 13: Searching for Bobby Fischer

August 20: Beasts of the Southern Wild

August 27: The Wizard of Oz

**Flicks from the Hill starts at 9 p.m. at Federal Hill Park.**

Bmore Interested has a great list of all the outdoor movie series around Baltimore. I’ll add one more to that list–Luigi’s Italian Deli in Hampden, one of my fave lunch spots, recently opened a BYOB outdoor patio and their outdoor film series starts Saturday.

Fourth of July events in Baltimore

For me, the Fourth of July in Baltimore is all about cornhole, barbecues and watching the fireworks from a rooftop deck. I love the views of the water, the cheersing between balconies and ESPECIALLY looking down at streets below, knowing that I’ve avoided the dreaded holiday traffic.

If you find yourself without a rooftop party this year, here are some of your best bets for places to celebrate in the city:

Fourth of July Celebration. 7 to 10 p.m. The celebration at the Inner Harbor starts off with live music from the U.S. Navy Band Cruisers, followed by a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. Watch the fireworks from anywhere with a view of the harbor, including Fed Hill, Fell’s Point, Harbor East and Canton Waterfront Park. Inner Harbor, Baltimore. Free.

The Glorious Fourth…An Old-Fashioned Fourth of July! Noon to 4:30 p.m. Head to Fort McHenry for a patriotic walk through the national monument, complete with fife and drum music, cannon firing, a musket salute, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Fort McHenry, Baltimore. Admission fee is $7 for adults 16+.

Independence Day Celebration. 6 to 10 p.m. The Baltimore Museum of Industry has a fab view of the Inner Harbor’s fireworks, and this event features food from Kooper’s Chowhound food truck, drinks, ice cream from the Miss Twist Truck and parking.You can also bring your own picnic. Baltimore Museum of Industry pavilion, Baltimore. $55 for advance tickets; $60 for day-of tickets; $7 per person for walk-ins at the gate. Discounts for BMI members.

Picnic at the Top! 7:30 to 10 p.m. Watch the fireworks–with a spectacular view–from the Top of the World Observation Level overlooking the Inner Harbor. Event includes food, nonalcoholic beverages, kids’ activities, a DJ and a photo booth. World Trade Center, Baltimore. $50 for adults; $25 for kids ages 3-12.

Baltimore July 4th Fireworks Dinner Cruise. 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. You might spend a bit more for this event, but you can’t beat the view OR the premium open bar + buffet. Dance the night away aboard this harbor cruise, then finish the evening with fireworks. Leaves from Inner Harbor, Baltimore. From $129/person.

AVAM’s July 4th: Visionary Pets on Parade! 10 a.m. The inspiration for this post’s photo, enter your pet in this parade to compete for tropies like Most Patriotic, Most Visionary, Owner/Pet Lookalikes, and Least Likely to Succeed as a Pet. If you thought it couldn’t get any better than that, stick around for a “Pet Talent (Or Not) Show” and a game of pet musical chairs. American Visionary Arts Museum, Baltimore. Free.

Rusty Scupper’s July 4th Crab Feast. Times based on your reservation. Another venue with a great view of the harbor, Rusty Scupper will host an all-you-can-eat buffet with #1 jumbo male crabs, shrimp and more. Be sure to make reservations in advance. Rusty Scupper, Baltimore. $99 for adults; $49 for kids 10 and younger.

What did I miss?? Let me know in the comments.

My strange obsession

So, I’m that person.

You know, the one in the grocery store poring over her plastic organizer, pulling out her phone every five minutes, taking way too long to decide between Charmin and Quilted Northern. I’ve always been a bargain hunter but it wasn’t until I moved in with my boyfriend (and we decided I’d handle the groceries while he handles the utilities) that I took it to the next level. Yessir, we’re talking coupons.

It started out simply enough. “Hey, there’s a coupon for that brand of hummus we like!” And I won’t say I’m one of those extreme couponers–I’ve made it a point to avoid the laminated binders–but I’ve definitely started to take it more seriously once I realized just how much there is to save. Once you start couponing, you realize what an idiot you’ve been for paying full price. Think about it: Why would you pay $9 for a bottle of laundry detergent when you can almost always get it for under $1, or even free?

So, here we are. I’m the weird coupon lady that all my friends make fun of, and that all the people stare at in the aisles of Harris Teeter. And I’m OK with that, because I save a TON of money.

I think there are a few really big misconceptions about couponing. One is that everyone has these insane stockpiles of products they’ll realistically never use. Another is that couponers end up buying really unhealthy groceries–Hamburger Helper or Jimmy Dean sausages. The truth is, it is what you make of it. I try to eat pretty healthily (OK, I’ll admit I throw a pint of gelato in the cart every now and then). I rely on coupons to minimize the cost of toiletries, cleaning supplies and other household essentials so that I’m left with a lot more money to buy fruits, veggies, meats and other fresh foods.

This week is Super Doubles at Harris Teeter. HT usually doubles coupons up to $1 (meaning a $.50c coupon becomes $1, $.75c becomes $1.50, etc.), but on Super Doubles week, coupons are doubled up to and including $2. So if you have a $2 off coupon, it becomes $4 off. It’s pretty much a feeding frenzy for my kind of people.

If you’re curious about couponing, The Krazy Coupon Lady offers a much better guide than I could ever write. Once you read that and learn what a “matchup” is, click over to Southern Savers for a great weekly guide to shopping Harris Teeter’s sales.

In the meantime, let me show you the best of my scores this week.

IMG_20150627_141721390 (2)

VIC sales are the usual Harris Teeter deals you get by giving your Harris Teeter card; eVIC sales are Harris Teeter deals you get by signing up for their online sales site; coupons are mostly from with a few Red Plum/newspaper coupons mixed in; iBotta rebates are from an app that gives you cash for buying certain products.

(Disclaimer, if you are an actual so-called “crazy couponer,” I’m sure you could have done much better than I did, but keep in mind I do minimal planning and don’t buy coupons in bulk.)

Wheat Thins Garlic and Herb toasted pita chips

3.15 – .$.65c VIC sale –  $2.50 eVIC sale – $1 iBotta rebate = FREE + $1 moneymaker

Pantene Pro-V shampoo and conditioner (2 shampoos; 1 conditioner)

$3.65 each x 3 = $10.95 total – $5/3 eVIC coupon – $2/2 coupon (doubled to $4) = $1.95 for all 3; $.65c each

7th Generation handsoap

BOGO at $3.49 making sale price $1.74 – $1 iBotta rebate = $.74

7th Generation dish soap

$2.50 – $1 off coup (doubled to $2) – $1 iBotta rebate = FREE + $.50 moneymaker

OxiClean laundry detergent

BOGO at $8.49 making sale price $4.49 – $2 off coupon (doubled to $4) = $.49c

Colgate Total toothpaste

$3.99 – $.99 VIC sale – $1 off coupon (doubled to $2) = $.99

7th Generation laundry detergent

$8.99 – $2 coupon (doubled to $4) – $3 iBotta rebate = $1.99

Olay body wash

$4.99 – $1 VIC sale – $1 coupon (doubled to $2) = 1.99

Cortizone Anti-Itch cream

$3.99 – $1 off coupon (doubled to $2) = $1.99

7th Generation cleaning wipes

$6.69; VIC sale for $4.99 – $1 off coupon (doubled to $2) = 2.99

Playtex Gentle Glide tampons 

$5.19 – $1 off coupon (doubled to $2) = $3.19

Venus razors (4 count)

$11.69; VIC sale for $7.49 – $2 off coupon (doubled to $4) = $3.49

Secret Clinical Strength deodorant 

$7.97 – $2 off coupon (doubled to $4) = $3.49


TOTAL AFTER VIC SAVINGS (not including eVIC specials/coupons) = $67.79


Not pictured deals include Energizer batteries ($4.99 to $.40c), a banana (free), Wholly Guacamole ($2.99 to $.99) and Angel Soft toilet paper ($6.75 to $2.97).

Super Doubles continue through midnight on June 30. Click over to Southern Savers to see what kinds of deals you could get this week.