Cheap in Erie
By Dana Massing Erie Times-News staff blogger
I am a grandchild of the Great Depression and a survivor of more recent recessions. Through my grandparents and parents, I've learned to spend wisely and to save while still being able to live life well. I want to share my discoveries with you and hear yours.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1729
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category
Posted: August 26th, 2014

The summer Mid-Day Art Break at the Erie Art Museum, 20 E. Fifth St., ends this week.

The final event is Wednesday   from noon to 1 p.m. with live music on the museum’s Fifth Street patio. You also can catch a free guided tour of the museum at 12:30 or 1 p.m.

Members of Gannon University’s Erie Chamber Orchestra will present music from the silent film era.

Learn more at or by calling (814) 459-5477.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 25th, 2014

There are plenty more Tuesdays in 2014, but this week is the last of the 8 Great.

The free summer concerts on Erie’s bayfront in the 8 Great Tuesdays series end tomorrow with Rick Magee and the Roadhouse Rockers and Jake’s Blues.

The last show begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Burger King Amphitheater at Liberty Park.

Go to or call (814) 455-7557.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 23rd, 2014

When I held a party or picnic, I used to fill a cooler with cans of soda pop and ice to keep them cold. But at the end of the event, I found I was usually going around and picking up a bunch of opened cans that still had liquid in them. Sometimes, I’d swear someone had opened a can, taken a single sip and abandoned the beverage. Each ounce of pop I poured down the drain was money out of my pocket.

So I started buying 2-liter bottles instead of cans. The bottles were cheaper, but presented a couple new problems to be solved.

First, the end of the night would come and I’d realize that I had three or four open bottles of the same kind of pop like Coke and it would go flat before I had a chance to drink it all myself. So I started putting out only one or maybe two bottles at a time. I’d keep the others chilling in the fridge, to be pulled out as the earlier bottles were emptied.

Second problem was that instead of partially full cans at the end of the night, I’d find partially full cups of pop that people had poured from the bottles. My solution to that was to buy smaller cups. Instead of 12-, 16- or 18-ounce cups, I look for 6- or 8-ounce ones.

My guests are welcome to fill the smaller cups as many times as they like from the 2-liter bottles and I find myself tossing out less soda when the picnic or party is done, which means less money wasted for me.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 22nd, 2014

I enjoy visiting museums but admission can sometimes be pricey, depending on the place.

Smithsonian magazine has an annual event that can help.

Museum Day Live! will be on Sept. 27 this year. You can go online and get a special ticket good for free admission for two people at participating venues across the country. I saw dozens just in Pennsylvania, including the Erie Art Museum.

For more information, including the list of museums, or to get your ticket, go to

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 22nd, 2014

Don’t delay if you watch to hear music among the grapes. The Summer 2014 Concert Series at Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards lasts only two more weeks.

“Music in the Vineyards” takes place Saturdays through Aug. 30 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Penn Shore, 10225 East Lake Road, North East Township.

Admission is free. Take a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.

This week’s performance will feature beach music by Key West Express.

Learn more at or call (814) 725-8688.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 21st, 2014

The My Life My Call website, which describes itself as a place dedicated to giving young people the information they need to make the best choices about sex and relationships, is offering free T-shirts for students in grades six to 12.

The site says the My Life My Call campaign was developed by a nonprofit dedicated to the health and well-being of Central Virginia’s young people but I didn’t see anything saying the T-shirt was limited to students in Virginia.

To see if you can get one, go to

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 21st, 2014

While I wouldn’t be opposed to a trip for two to Las Vegas, the idea of 16 hot fudge sundaes is equally appealing. I could get either if I win a McDonald’s sweepstakes.

The promo is awarding five grand prizes of a trip for two to Las Vegas including airfare, two nights in a suite, two tickets to the Latin Grammy Awards on Nov. 20, $300 spending money and a $50 McDonald’s Arch card.

There are 150 first prizes of a $20 McDonald’s Arch card.

At $1.25 each, I could get 16 hot fudge sundaes with a $20 card. Or perhaps mix in some cheeseburgers or Chicken McNuggets.

For your chance to win, go to

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 21st, 2014

Brit Petfood USA is giving samples of Petit Healthy Snack Cleans Teeth.

The offer is available while supplies last for U.S. residents only.

Go to and click on “Giveaway.”

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 21st, 2014

Here’s a sale that could benefit both you, if you find any good bargains, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Proceeds will benefit the association, sale organizers said.

First Presbyterian Church of Waterford, 112 West Third St., will host the rummage and bake sale and silent auction Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Call (814) 796-4110 to learn more.

If you know of a rummage, garage, next-to-new or similar sale at a church or nonprofit organization, e-mail the details to me using the blue link above. Make sure to include the sale dates, hours and address, along with a telephone number or web address where people can get more information.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 21st, 2014

I like apps, when they’re free. Here’s one I came across today that not only is free, but can help you save money.

GasBuddy will show you the prices of gasoline at nearby stations. You can search by zip code or city. The results show not only the price but the station name and its address. You can get the results in a list or shown on a map.

My first look at the map version (which I like better) for Erie, showed prices ranging from $3.35 to $3.59. Buying from the cheaper station could save you nearly $4 if you have a 16-gallon tank. The app also indicates how long ago the listed price was reported.

Since I just got this app, I haven’t had a chance to check how accurate the prices are.  If you know of any similar apps, send me the details and I’ll share.

Posted in: Uncategorized