Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Diva is Sabbatical

I may be the Diva on a Dime, but that doesn't mean that I don't have bills...and rent...and college loans...and...

So I'm still on sabbatical (it's a fun word to use, isn't it!?), which I've dedicated to finding full-time employment through my social media experiment, For Hire. You should check it out (and tell everyone you know, especially those who may be hiring). And, as always, you can follow me on Twitter at @thedivaonadime--in addition to my useful tweets for savvy city-dwellers (especially you Frugal Bostonistas), you'll find some interesting tweets related to social media and PR and The Job Search, with an entertaining mix of my random thoughts and experiences.

I also urge you to check out Shoestring Magazine for some of the best budget advice around.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Welcome Back...And Welcome Home

The Diva is back. And certainly still living on a dime.

While I haven't been as active in my Diva-endeavors these past few months, the deals have never stopped finding me. I like to think of it as karma, a reciprocation of The Golden Rule--and probably a little (or lot of) effort on my part mixed in. That Diva-on-a-Dime-mentality--originally taught to me by my savvy-but-certainly-never-cheap mother--doesn't simply disappear. It's not a yo-yo diet or fad. It's a way of life, a mentality. And for me, it started with learning the art of The Price Adjustment at The Gap, and that markdowns always happened on Wednesdays.

Three Diva Deals for the price of one
My favorite deal these days--and one I will certainly rank among my Diva All-Time Top Ten--is the price I negotiated on my new digs (I'm nearly settled...Must do a bit more organizing, then comes the decorating and couch-hunting).

And when I reeled-and-dealed my way to a rent price that's only $25/month more than what I used to pay (and that was with a roommate, in a 4-floor walk-up, in a not-as-great-as-where-I-live-now area of town), more deals discovered me.

1. A sophisticated Back Back studio (Did I mention outdoor living space and steps from the Charles River?) at over $250/mo. less than the original asking price. Yep, it's called putting in an offer lower than the asking price... If it's not September (when 1/3 of Boston--the students--move in), there's a good chance a landlord will be willing to bargain with you. Don't try bargaining with a management company, however. I tried. Hard. With my old building. They wouldn't budge in the slightest.

2. A dozen wine glasses. For free. And sparkling clean. One investment (or Christmas gift I was going to request) was a set of nice wine glasses-- some for red, some for white, and perhaps some champagne flutes. But, last week, while my friend Phil and I popped open a bottle of bubbly, preparing to toast to my new place, I asked him to grab 2 glasses from my crate of bubble-wrapped dishes (note, bubble wrap was free too--I reused wrapping that was used in a shipment at the boutique I've recently picked up some hours at), he answered, "Why?" "Well, so, um, we can drink this," I said. He stared at me, saying, "You have wine glasses right here." I jumped for joy--they had been left by the previous tenant (I am guessing...) and the cleaner who was at my apartment earlier had washed them.

3. A $50 clock radio/ipod player for $30. CVS had marked the price under the display wrong. When it rang up at $50, I inquired, then spoke with the manager, who effortlessly offered to give me the price I thought it was. An unexpected--and stellar--purchase and deal.

There are many more stories and deals to come, but for tonight the Diva must get her beauty sleep.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Beat the humidity with an ice cold margarita on the cheap.

As Tori Spelling said on NBC's The Today Show this morning, "It's Hump Day!" After explaining to Kathy Lee that Hump Day can mean more than just the obvious, I started pondering on what the perfect summer Hump Day drink would be-- and where a Diva-on-a-dime could find the best deal on that drink.

Here's what I found:

Drink: Margarita
Why? On a humid afternoon like today, there's no better way to cool off (well, unless you have access to a pool or boat). Plus, the salt will help to replenish your overheated body.
Where? Masa Restaurant (439 Tremont St., South End).
Deal: $5 each, all of July.
Pair with: July's $24.95 three-course summer menu. And if you'd prefer sangria, Masa is offering $5 pitchers all July as well.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dinner in under 10 minutes and $3

This, I am quick to admit: I may be a Diva-of-many-trades, but a domestic Diva I am not. Until, that is, I found a hidden treasure at Trader Joe's (899 Boylston St., Back Bay).

A bag of frozen mushroom risotto may not sound appealing, but, as I enjoyed my dinner, I was utterly convinced this wasn't what I heated up on my stove top four minutes prior, and rather, something I'd enjoyed in Italy two years ago.

It gets better, too: One bag of Trader Joe's brand mushroom risotto was $2.79, with three servings, 140 calories per serving. This "domestic" Diva had two dinners out of this find. There's a few other varieties of risotto, too, if mushrooms don't float your boat.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Everything (makeup) is a dollar

Why Nordstrom's latest makeover to one brand may save you tons on your makeover-- or makeup-- needs.

Nordstrom has recently bought the makeup line ELF (eyes-lips-face) and has plans to repackage the the product with their own name and label. As a result, makeup with ELF packaging is getting the boot, and most of the items are available for $1 on ELF's web site.

For orders over $15, enter CAROLINA to save $7.50. For Divas who spend over $75, free shipping is included.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Got the Tuesday blues?

I've got just the remedy: Sushi, tequila, and salsa dancin'.

Beginning tonight, and EVERY TUESDAY through August 24, Sushi-Teq (510 Atlantic Ave., Theatre District) will have complimentary tequila tastings (one of its 69 varieties) and free salsa dancing lessons. It's from 6-8 PM. And did I mention there's outdoor (and waterfront) seating?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A few words of wine-buying wisdom...

...From some of Shoestring's finest bargainistas

Eat & Drink: Bargain Booze Buying Basics
Tue, Jun 2, 2009 1:59 PM
Shoestring Magazine

From perfectly timing your purchases to working it at your local wine shop, take this guide to the bank with our tips for buying — and saving on — all your adult beverages this summer.

read more