Archive for the ‘NYC Student Guide’ Category

Flip Flop Shops: A West Coast Vibe Amidst a Frozen City

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

A West Coast Outpost

The message of Flip Flop Shops, located in Greenwich Village on 61 E 8th street, is  simple: free your toes.

While this can be taken literally, store manager Kyle Bremer likes to take a more philosophical approach: New Yorkers are usually rushing about from place to place, staring at their feet. Flip Flop Shops is there to provide a sort of west coast outpost with a vibe of free-spirited living, free of obligation, where they can let go of their tension and enjoy the atmosphere.

This atmosphere is readily apparent when entering Flip Flop Shops: a coconut machine fills the air with the scent of coconuts all day, the staff is in beach getup, and there are beach balls strewn about.

The point is to transport people from the frozen concrete in the middle of December to an environment where they would actually be using the flip flops.

Expert Service and Selection

Of course, in the summer, Flip Flop Shops gets more foot traffic with beach season and tourists coming in, but the vibe year round is great customer service. This means being attentive and running the business effectively while still being as laid back as possible with customers.

Since Flip Flop Shops sells only one type of footwear, employees need to know the products inside and out. Pick two pairs of flip flops off the shelves and the small, closely-knit team will be able to describe you their function and the differences between the two pairs.

Kyle notes that when your only business is flip flops, your knowledge must dictate this, as well as your inventory.

Flip Flop Shops caters to a wide range of customers, from someone who wants a pair for the gym to someone who’s traveling abroad to someone looking for orthotic-based flip flops. That means carrying everything from your basic rubber Havaianas to brands endorsed by the orthopedic association to provide arch support.

Kyle, a collegiate and high school runner, says that most flip flop wearers who have a lower foot arch land on the outside of their heel and as their foot rolls forward, it also rolls inward, causing the arch to collapse. This destabilizes your ankle and causes a lot of pain on the outside of your leg.

Kyle’s know-how stems from working at a specialized running store that specifically fit runners in the community, where he learned a good amount of biomechanical knowledge and how the feet work.

In the online shopping era, Amazon can, most of the time, offer something cheaper. The only difference between Flip Flop Shops and online retailers is customer service.

This is where Flip Flop Shop excels. If they don’t have a particular size in stock, they will special order it and give the customer a discount. If they see a customer who’s interested in something, they’ll give them a 10% coupon to make sure they come back.

Kyle recounts a story of a customer who was looking for a specialized style that Reef technically doesn’t manufacture anymore, so he spent two weeks working with Reef to see if they had any of those units being returned to them from other businesses. Finally, he found the flip flops. Every two days or so he called the customer and informed her of any updates. In the end, Kyle still gave her a discount.

A customer once reminisced that shopping at the store was like shopping in the late 50s and early 60s, simply because the employees were so attentive. Where in a regular shoe store, you’d pick out your own shoes, ask for a certain color, have a rep bring the pair and then vanish, Flip Flop Shops employees are fitting you and providing recommendations, not to mention asking how your day is going.

Kyle can tell you that the last customer is going to the Bahamas for the second time, that she was thinking of getting a pair of Havaianas to match her bathing suit but they hurt her feet so he set her up with a pair of Cobians, which are good for the water and have better arch support, and that she wanted a pair with a black top and brown base.

It’s something that allows you to connect with customer, more so than, “here it is, do you like it or not?” according to Kyle. Customers feel more comfortable purchasing something in store they can get $10-15 cheaper online because it’s worth it for the service they’d never get at an online retailer.

Military Origins

Dave Dequeljoe, owner of the Village location, has a great relationship with Kyle. Dave is a very laid back guy, as Kyle describes, which is surprising since he comes from a military background, taking the principles of being a serviceman relevant to a business and leaving out the principles that are not.

Specifically: whether you’re managing the store or the guy mopping up, do it 100%, because that’s when you can go home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled. Even if you’re emptying trash cans, if you’re doing your best, you can feel like you’re accomplishing something and that you’re part of a team.

How Will Flip Flop Shops Help Students?

Flip Flop Shops used to give all NYU students a discount on the inventory, but now they provide a 10% discount to students nationwide. So even if you’re coming up from USC, you’re still getting that discount.

In the spring, Flip Flop Shops will be doing a program where they will give students a few hundred business cards, with a number on the card corresponding to the person who’s giving them out, so when a referred student comes into the shop to buy some flip flops, not only do they get 10% off, the number on the card and the amount of the sale goes into an excel spreadsheet. At the end of the month, the student who gave the business card to his friend gets 10% of sales.

Flip Flop Shops understands that college is about having a good time and keeping your budget to a minimum, and if they can save you a few bucks here and there, that’s great.

Kyle believes more businesses should do this—if students are paying to better themselves and further their education, why not save them some money?

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Aleksandr Smechov, Baruch College.

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The High Line

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Looking for something free to do in Manhattan?  We recommend checking out the Chelsea High Line.  You can easily walk the entire park in less than 45 minutes — that is, if you don’t want to sit and read a book or take photos along the scenic pathway.

The High Line, now one of NYC’s great urban parks, used to be a dilapidated historic railroad.  Once used for the commerce and distribution of  meat, milk, and produce,  the historic infrastructure became a voided space in Manhattan in 1980 as the last train delivered frozen turkeys to Greenwich Village.

Since 1980, the elevated railroad was left to natural forces and was devoured by New York’s wild plants and vegetation.  Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the architects who designed the renovation and reuse of the High Line in 2003, wanted to incorporate the wild plants  into the renovation design.  The intentionality of preserving the wild plants lead to the final re-use design of a public park.  While walking in the park, one can still see the original train tracks amongst the wild trees, grasses, and flowers.

The High Line at 14th Street

Since it’s opening in 2009, The High Line has been made itself accessible to the public in three phases; the third and final phase will be opened in 2014.  Right now, the High Line stretches from West 30th Street to Gansevoort Street along 10th Avenue.  We recommend walking the entire Highline from from West 30th and 10th Ave down into Greenwich Village.  This is a fantastic way to clear your mind and enjoy the last bit of summer!

After the walk, why not pick up a bubble tea on your way back to school?  Be sure to get your discount by using this coupon —

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Eliza Moore, Brooklyn College

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Spoken Word

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

No matter how many years pass by, my initial assumption that beginning a new academic year will start of easy always seems to prove itself wrong.  I always seem to anticipate that the first class will be dedicated to playing a name-game as a means to ‘ease’ me and my fellow classmates into a new semester.  We have all played them — games in which a student tells a little about himself or herself and then listens to other students and faculty try to describe themselves — they are often contrived, witty, and awkward.  In the past, name-games have usually aided the possibility to zone-out for the first week or two of the academic semester.

I’ve always hated name-games; this past week, I gave huge sigh of relief when the professor said that instead of playing another name game, she was going to assign each of us a passage of William Carlos Williams’ “Spring and All” to read out loud in class.

You ask yourself, how reading out loud to the class could be better than a name-game?  But my fellow student, it is!

Reading poetry out loud in front of a bunch of strangers could seem daunting unto itself, but in my humble opinion, it is a more productive exercise to really learn about everybody in the class in comparison to a contrived name-game.  In fact, one of my professors once said that reading out loud “is like getting naked in front of everyone…”   This analogy couldn’t be any more precise.

Sure, you might embarrass yourself: you could mispronounce “ignominious,”  you might read a meaning that wasn’t intentionally structured in the original poem, you might just freeze up and panic and not be able to say anything at all,  but this is all apart of the awareness that manifests while reading out loud, in particular, reading poetry out loud.

If you are one of the lucky-ones to be able to take it easy the first few weeks of the semester, I would recommend finding one of many venues in NYC that hold some sort of an “open mic” or “speak easy night.”  These poetry spots are usually free of charge and are a great space to be exposed to an underground-sort-of-assembly where an exchange of radical ideas truly manifests itself.

Calendars for spoken words are easy to find online; but the best venues are the ones that you stumble upon while walking down the street.  If you have a favorite place to hear and participate in poetry readings, be sure to comment below.

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Eliza Moore, Brooklyn College

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The Things I Miss The Most

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I’ve been out of New York City for almost a week now (with many more to go), and I’ve realized I miss a lot of things I wasn’t expecting.

CITY SOUNDS

My college is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so the only thing you hear is students talking, partying, playing their instruments. And crickets. I honestly miss the sound of people going places, the subway rumbling beneath the sidewalk and the soles of other New Yorkers’ shoes scurrying off to start their days. I miss being able to hear the fireworks from Coney Island (every Friday night until autumn hits) from my house. I miss the constant buzz of excitement, the sense that things are always happening.

Coney Island

GRAFFITI/STREET ART

 There is an amazing street artist of the name De La Vega that puts his creative stamp on the city. The first time I saw his work was on the sidewalk by my high school, on the Upper East Side. It was a very simplistic chalk drawing of a fish with the words: BECOME YOUR DREAM written in bold letters.

SINGLE-FOOD STORES

I know this probably sounds weird, but when you have to eat all your meals in a single dining hall, you realize how unique NYC food is. While I do miss the bagels and the pizza, one of things I miss the most is actually all the stores that sell only one item. S’MAC (East 33rd Street or East 12th Street), for example, sells only mac and cheese. (I promise it will be the best mac and cheese you’ve ever tasted.) Wafels & Dinges (trucks located around the city, one stationary cart on the Great Lawn in Central Park, new café in the East Village) sells only waffles with a variety of delicious toppings to smother them in. If you’ve never tried a Liége wafel with spekuloos, you haven’t really lived. And, my personal favorite, Pommes Frites (2nd Ave between 7th and St. Mark’s) serves only french fries with a menu full of interesting and strange sauces to dip them in (try the pomegranate teriyaki mayo, one of the best/weirdest). Savor these!


COOL SUBWAY STATIONS

I’ve visited cities with subway stations that are clearly cleaner than the ones we have in New York City. But none have been more creative or alive. A lot of the street performers/musicians are actually painfully talented in the way only the undiscovered can be. But people set aside, the stations themselves have a lot of personality. On the NQR train platform at Herald Square, for example, there are green pipes that hang from the ceilings. If you put your hands over different holes, different sounds come out. Just a little something fun to do while waiting for the train. My favorite of these stations is, of course, Grand Central. But not for the constellation-covered ceiling or the analog clocks or even the shops. I love Grand Central for the whisper gallery. There are four columns, and when you speak into one of them, the person standing at the opposite column can hear what you say.

Whisper Gallery, Grand Central

BEING SELF-RELIANT WITH TRANSPORTATION

As intimidating as the MTA subway and bus system may seem, you will eventually learn to navigate them like a native. I really miss being able to hop on a train and go anywhere, all by myself. (Up in Vermont, where I am, I have to rely on friends with cars.)

THE BENCHES IN CENTRAL PARK

The benches in Central Park have the most lovely, funny, and witty engravings on them. These are for and by your fellow New Yorkers. Read them all.

Central Park, Upper West Side

 

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Katie Yee, Bennington College

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Back to School and Summer Wrap-Up

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

This is my last year at NYU. It’s amazing how quickly these four years flew by.

I spent my summer at home, where I had a part-time job and a lot of time to write. I ended up in the city a few days a week, too. The summer was an experiment in seeing if I can balance my time at home with my time with friends in New York.

I’ve only dormed at NYU, which is not the norm here, but it’s been nice. I moved in last Sunday and was immediately busy. My sketch comedy team produced and directed two sketches this week; plus, I had work and I was showing my brother around the city. He moved here for college too. It’s been busy, but fun.

Because it’s my last year, I’m looking for more internships. After interning for different TV shows for a year and a half, I decided to take some of my junior and senior years to focus on my academic requirements. Hopefully after I finish the last of my required classes, I’ll be able to spend more time in a hands-on environment.

Additionally, this semester I’m focusing a lot on my craft. I’m taking another screenwriting class, and I am hopefully producing more of my work, whether it be stage or video. Not only are the connections via internships important, but the creative content you produce as a student too.

I’m looking forward to making the most out of my last year at NYU.

Embrace the start of your school year!

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Erin O’Brien, NYU.

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Write For Campus Clipper

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

 

Scenario 1: You’ve lived in New York City for the past year or two—or maybe your entire life. You’ve mistakenly taken the 4 train instead of the 5. The initial awe and shock of seeing street performers has worn off. You can successfully navigate through the tiny, winding streets of Chinatown and know where to get the best and cheapest bubble tea. You avoid the Thanksgiving Day Parade like the plague. You scoff at foreign friends’ suggestions to see Times Square or the Statue of Liberty. You know where the next Starbucks is without consulting your iPhone app (let’s be honest, thoughthe answer to this is usually one block from the last). You have funny stories about tourists and run-ins with celebrities, and you have much sought-after thoughts about what to do on Saturdays.

Scenario 2: You stepped off the plane at the LaGuardia airport just a few days ago. You’re reading this blog because you’re crazy excited but also a little terrified about living in this insane city. You want to record your first year experience and be part of a community of people who are making mistakes, making progress, and making a difference.

Scenario 3: You feel strongly about New York City. Maybe you’re like Walt Whitman. Maybe you just want to write poems about how wonderful everything is here. Maybe you want to rant about how the MTA messed up your morning commute again. Either way, you feel the need to share your stories, your sage advice, and your city with other people.

If any/all/a combination of these scenarios reminds you of yourself, you should seriously consider writing for Campus Clipper! We want to hear your regrets, your triumphs, and every experience in between!

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Katie Yee, Bennington College

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Why is the Campus Clipper Student Guide Right For Me?

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

As a college student in New York, you’re constantly busy. You probably have an internship, a job, a social life, essays to write, homework to do, an on top of that, classes that you actually have to go to sometimes. The one big thing you’re definitely avoiding while taking care of all of these other things? Your finances.

It’s difficult! New York is an exciting city, and you’re extremely lucky that you get to spend your four years of college here. You might be a person who likes to go to concerts, or see your favorite comedians, or you might just enjoy going to a bookstore and splurging on books. Whatever your vice may be, there’s too much to do and see while you’re living here.

Campus Clipper is the best way for a student to not have to skimp on the fun stuff. You’ll get savings on things like school supplies, copy shops, textbooks, food, even spas and dry cleaning. That way, when your favorite band comes to town, you don’t have to say no.

The best thing about Campus Clipper: it’s free! We’re going to provide our new fall student guide and coupons absolutely free of charge. So whether you need props for your student film shoot, or a little relaxation time with friendsCampus Clipper is the best choice for your Manhattan lifestyle.

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Erin O., NYU

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New You– Summer ‘Do

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Ready for an updated look? There’s no better time than now! Listen, New York gets hot in the summer. The kind of hot where it feels like we’re forever alternating between sticky heat waves and solid weeks of rain; not the best recipe for a good hair day, I know. My hair is thick and curly, which in summer months best translates to massive and frizzy. I’m used to wearing my hair up in a bun almost all the time over the summer, and it’s less because of the heat than because my hair just gets unmanageable.  I was determined to fight back this year, and so I looked into upscale hair salons hoping that there would be some difference between the fancier places and my usual local ones. What I wound up trying was Salon Ziba, downtown by NYU. I want to talk a little about my experience there. (Spoiler Alert: great haircut, great people, great price, happy Laura.)

I walked in and immediately felt that this salon was out of my normal price range: chic and modern where my old place was more drab and uninspired. But I spoke a little bit with the owner, Alonso, and he explained to me that the salon’s goal is to deliver high-end, profession haircuts and styling for an affordable price. Alonso told me that his inspiration came partially from his own haircuts 25 years ago before Ziba opened. He said that he was very happy with how they looked and the great care that he received, but also that he was annoyed at having to pay up to $75 for a trim. When he started Salon Ziba at its first location in midtown, he kept this in mind and aimed to keep the prices low without sacrificing quality. As a low-income college student, I was particularly excited to hear this news.

The employees treated me like a princess. They offered me tea or coffee as they walked me to the back to get my hair washed. When it came time to pick a cut, my stylist asked me what I wanted and had his own advice about what I should do. (I’m on a mission to grow my hair out long, so what I really wanted was a look that would not only frame my face nicely at its current length, but also look just as good in a year.) What he recommended was that I angle it more at the front since my face is almond shaped, and that I try a center part for a more fierce look than my old side part. After I let him do his thing, he asked me if a wanted a blow-out. This is a first for me! My stylist was really nice and he showed me just what he was doing so I could try it at home.

Five days later on a humid day, curls are still intact.

I walked out of the salon that day feeling beautiful and renewed. They all gave me a lot of attention and good advice to help my hair grow faster. And the best part? The whole thing, wash cut and style, cost me $48. That only about $10 more than I pay for just a haircut at the place I used to go to. Guess I have a new regular hair salon!

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Laura DeFrancisci, Manhattan College. Check out my Blog!

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College Concerns and Worries

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

As young adults, we are prone to taking a “trial and error” approach to life. We know one of the many goals associated with college is the promise of a better life. We also know getting through college is a mission itself, filled with all types of twists and turns we never see coming. Here are a couple of concerns you may or may not have experienced, and some pretty good solutions to help keep your stress leveled.

 

Finances

 

Money will always be a major issue. Unless you hit the lottery or were born into royalty, you’re probably counting every penny you spend. Everything from getting to school to the afternoon snack craving can become a problem.

As college students we tend to want to blow our money on the first things we can think of. Saving is a minimal priority. HelpSaveMyDollars.com’s creator Scott Gamm developed a theory stating fifty percent of college students have 4 or more credit cards. An even more shocking statistic is that eighty percent of students fail to pay off their credit card bill.

The key is to keep an eye on your money and always track what you are spending. I’ve written an article entitled “College Savings Doesn’t Mean College Boredom” in which I talk about having fun in New York the cheapest way possible.

 

 

Social Life

Balancing school and anything else can prove to be quite complicated. Whether it’s a job or an internship, you will find you don’t have much time for anything else. Twenty three percent of full-time undergrads, who are 24 or younger, work 20 hours or more a week. With hours like that plus the 15 hours or more you plan to spend in classes and on after class activities (labs and group projects anyone?), you won’t have much time for anything else.

Although having any kind of social life can seem like an extra burden, it’s not impossible and is more than healthy for a college student. Someone paying you a visit after you come home from work is one way that comes to mind (because you know . . . you’ll be too tired to go out and all). Someone can come meet you at your job after your shift. Meeting people at school is also a good way to kill two birds with one stone. Trust me . . . you’ll be spending A LOT of time with these people, so you might as well get to know them. You might like them.

 

Professors

 

We’ve all heard it before, “I have to take Professor (place name here). He’s an easy A” or “I don’t want Professor (alchy). He’s always drunk.”

Okay . . . maybe the last one is just me, but you get the idea.

There are those out there who simply don’t care who ends up teaching them a specific course, but for many of us, there’s that one professor that just gets us. Early registration is the key to getting the professors you want, the classes you want, at the times you want to take them. Some schools even give you cash stipends for early registration, which is even more of an incentive.

Personally, I never understood math until I had this one professor. She never let me (or anyone for that matter) leave class until she was sure we understood the material. This may seem like torture but I didn’t fail a test that whole semester . . . . . So I guess it worked, at least in my case

 

Personal Problems

 

We all have lives outside of college and many times it’s hard for our personal issues to not get in the way. Students with children have to constantly worry about their kid as it will always be one of their top priorities. Students can be involved in relationships that just swallow up their time (and if this is you, you should really learn how to prioritize) among other things.

I’ve been in three different living situations ever since I started school and I’m working on a fourth and hopefully my last for a while. Going to school and not knowing if I’ll even have a home to come back to has definitely been one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with in my life. All the “stay focused” and “keep your eyes on the prize” speeches never made any sense until I reached this period in my life.

Even though life can overwhelm you at times, it is important to know why you enrolled in this first place. It’s easy to forget why we started on this journey when all the unnecessary crap is constantly thrown in our face. Whatever the issue is, it’s important to know you have the strength, the tools and the support to get through whatever you’re going through. Also, you ARE working towards a better future and that’s more than most people can say.

 

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Carlos L., Monroe College. Read my blog!!  Follow me on Twitterand Facebook :)

Click here to download the Campus Clipper iTunes App!

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College Savings Doesn’t Mean College Boredom

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Being broke is not fun. Your friends are out having the time of your lives and you’re stuck at home due to lack of funds. Although a night out on the town doesn’t need to cost much, you can only get so far with a wallet full of hopes and dreams. With that being said, here are a couple of tips to help turn you into the thrifty man or woman you always knew you could be . . . I’m talking borderline parsimonious.

Saving and budgeting doesn’t just factor into one aspect of your life—it should greatly affect ALL aspects. College savings are important because you are on your own and you want to prove that you can live on your own. Managing your money is the first step to being able to do what you want when you want.

Transportation tends to be one of the biggest expenses in the city. Whether because of gas prices or MetroCards, a large amount of our money goes into getting from place to place. How can this be cut down? Skateboarding, rollerblading, and biking have gotten quite popular. Commuter cycling has doubled since 2005, and there are bike sharing programs around the city whose memberships are substantially cheaper than a monthly MetroCard.  Carpooling to class can be a great way to not only make friends but save money, and, if all else fails, you can walk.

Thrift stores are more popular than they have ever been.  Places such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill can provide you with basic t-shirts and jeans as low as $2. Venture to the nook and crannies of some of Manhattan’s shopping districts and you’re bound to find a Buffalo Exchange or a Beacon’s Closet. These thrift stores sell name brand clothing for ridiculously cheap prices. If you’re a fan of vintage styles and trendy clothing then these stores are for you.

Cheap dates are usually the next thing on your mind since you have the ability to actually make it and the clothes to step out in. Magazines such as <em>The L Magazine</em> and <em>Village Voice</em> are always advertising free movie screening and shows. MyFreeConcert.com is one of my favorite websites for not only concerts but also art exhibits and fun (and, more importantly, free) nights out.

After running around the city you’ve probably worked up quite the appetite. Luckily, the Campus Clipper is here to help. We offer deals across the city, helping students keep the green in their pockets while taming the growling in their stomachs. The $9.99 all-you-can-eat lunch buffet at Bombay Talkie is highly suggested, or if you and a friend need a caffeine boost, there’s a coupon for a free cappuccino or latte with a purchase from The Bean.

So there you have it: proof that you can have fun in the big city and keep a majority of your cash at the same time! Now go out, have fun and be frugal.

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Carlos L., Monroe College. Read my blog!!  Follow me on Twitter and Facebook :)

Click here to download the Campus Clipper iTunes App!

Follow Campus Clipper on Twitter or keep current by liking us onFacebook.

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book.

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