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
Posted: August 20th, 2014

Several of my co-workers with kids in college were talking today about how some places of higher learning charge for things like parking even if you don’t have a car on campus.

One of the parents had told me that her son’s college automatically charges every student a $75 parking fee. But someone at the school happened to mention to her that by filling out a certain form, carless students can get the money back.

So it’s probably a good idea for you, and your child, to sit down and review the fees you’re being charged in case any of them don’t apply and you might be able to get out of paying them. Also, ask around among other students and parents to see if they know of any fees you can get out of and how to do it.


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Posted: August 20th, 2014

Back when I was in college, the mini fridge in my dorm helped me save money in a couple ways.

First, I could bring food from home that cost less than it did in campus stores. Second, I could chill a 2-liter bottle of pop purchased for 99 cents at the grocery store at home and drink that all week instead of putting 50 cents in a vending machine each day for a can of soda pop.

If you have a kid heading off to college, here’s a chance to get them a little fridge without having to pay for it.

Danby is giving away three of the appliances in its back-to-school promo. The grand prize is a Danby compact fridge plus an iPad and a $100 Visa gift card to stock the fridge. Second place is a fridge and $100 gift card. Third place is a fridge and $50 card.

But don’t count on winning this freebie before the start of school. You can enter once a day through Sept. 30 and the rules say it will take two to 10 weeks to deliver the prizes to the winners. Go to

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Posted: August 20th, 2014

My brother Dan and sister-in-law Julie enjoy yoga. They asked me to go once and since I’m always willing to try something new, I went. It was nice, but not for me. I feel better after whacking a tennis ball around a court for 90 minutes.

But if yoga is your thing or you want to find out if it is, here are a couple freebies.

Lululemon has two free online videos of yoga classes you can try. Go to

We are Yoga is giving away a yoga sticker when you sign up for a newsletter. Go to

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 19th, 2014

A couple of my recent freebies contained food for my cats. Now I’m trying to get some for me.

One opportunity this week is the Good Cook Noodle Maker and Instant Noodles Giveaway, which ends Saturday.

According to the official rules, it appears as if the first 30 eligible entrants beginning daily at 3 p.m. Eastern time will win a noodle maker and 24-pack of instant noodles worth about $13.50 total.

You can enter once a day and it looks like you’ll want to do it as quickly after 3 p.m. as possible. Go to

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Posted: August 19th, 2014

The weekly summer Mid-Day Art Break at the Erie Art Museum, 20 E. Fifth St., is winding down, with only two performances left.

The events take place every Wednesday through Aug. 27  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.

This week’s performance is by Zack Orr.

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

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Posted: August 19th, 2014

If you can’t tell a cardinal from a blue jay, there’s a free app for that. (But here’s a hint first — the cardinal is the red one, the jay is blue. ;-) )

The Merlin Bird ID app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helps you to identify 400 North American species of birds.

The free app is available from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

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Posted: August 18th, 2014

Palmolive is giving away a $2,000 gift card plus nine baskets with $275 worth of kitchen items in each.

The Palmolive Dish Liquid Sweepstakes runs through Oct. 11 and you can enter once a day.

Nine weekly winners will be selected at random to receive a Palmolive Kitchen Essentials Basket with 10 items including 75 ounces of Palmolive, a blender, a toaster oven, cookware, dinnerware and cutlery.

One grand-prize winner will get a $2,000 Walmart gift card.

To enter, go to

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Posted: August 18th, 2014

Only two of the 8 Great Tuesdays remain, meaning you’re almost out of chances for free summer concerts on Erie’s bayfront.

The shows begin each Tuesday through Aug. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Burger King Amphitheater at Liberty Park.

This week’s performance will be by the Groove.

Go to or call (814) 455-7557.

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Posted: August 18th, 2014
The fall 2014 edition of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review is this week's Faith page giveaway.

The fall 2014 edition of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review is this week’s Faith page giveaway.

The Erie Times-News Faith page has a magazine to give away this week. It is the fall 2014 edition of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review with articles on happiness, soothing rage and starting your day the Buddhist way.

To enter the drawing, send your full name, address, city, ZIP and the keyword TRICYCLE on a postcard to Faith, c/o Dana Massing, Erie Times-News, P.O. Box 6215, Erie, PA 16512-6215 or in an e-mail using the blue link above.

One entry per person please. Deadline is noon Wednesday. Winner will be chosen at random from entries received.








To see last week’s bookmark winners, go to

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Posted: August 17th, 2014

The Erie Art Museum is offering an early-bird discount for fall classes. Register before Sept. 2 to receive $10 off each class, according to an e-mail I received.

New courses include art quilting and handmade hardcover bookmaking, according to the e-mail. To see the schedule or learn more, go to or call (814) 459-5477.

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