Believe it or not, there's actually an upside to the sucky economy: Normally expensive stuff is super-discounted because retailers need to sell it. Meaning, you get amazing deals. Here's how to take advantage.
Ordering this fancy dish at a restaurant is usually a real splurge. Not these days though. Fewer people are traveling this year (because of money issues) to places like Maine and Canada, where the lobsters are caught, so there is more supply on the market.
2. Flat-Screen TVs
In recent months, hi-tech flat screens have come way down in price, so now's the time to pick one up. Manufacturers have figured out how to make better products for less money and flat screens are literally thousands of dollars less than they were a short time ago. Check out brands like Insignia, Vizio, and Dynex; they make really budget-friendly models.
3. Exotic End-of-Summer Vacations
Here's a secret that can save you big: Airfare prices usually drop after August 18th because that's when most people go back to school. In other words, fewer people are traveling, so airlines lower their rates to entice customers. "In addition, as a consequence of the economy, flights to formally expensive places like Ireland, Spain, Geneva, and Moscow are now unusually cheap," says George Hobica, creator of Airfarewatchdog.com. For more amazing travel tips, check out Luxe Travel on the Cheap!
4. Spa Treatments
These days, the money-conscious (as in, everyone) aren't exactly indulging in personal pampering. So to get customers into the spas and salons, tons of Websites list special discounts all over the country. Just go to a discount spa Website (try Lifebooker.com, SpaFinder.com, or Spavelous.com) and type in your zip code to find what offers are available in your area. Then, call to make an appointment and mention the site.
5. Luxe Cocktails
A cool glass of bubbly is super-refreshing on a summer day. But think outside of Champagne and Prosecco. Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine that is just as tasty and can be found at really affordable prices. Plus, you can drink it many ways. "Because it has more bubbles than Prosecco, it's better for making sparkling cocktails like Kir Royales or mimosas," says Lyle Kula, DWS, wine consultant in New York City. Get Cosmo Cocktails recipes here!
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.