Read This & Save A Bundle

Where to go, what to buy, and how to outfit your wardrobe, your home, and your life without going broke.



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Enrichment & Entertainment

Just because you’re cutting back doesn’t mean you’re relegated to nights at the dining-room table doing jigsaw puzzles.

Get Our Hook-Up

We told you that, in this issue, we’d bring you the best deals in the county—and we meant it. Exclusively for Westchester Magazine readers and fans, the Westchester Broadway Theatre (914-592-2222) is offering to knock $9 off the price of the ticket to see its new musical, Nine. (Prices are normally $62 to $75, plus tax and tip.) If you loved the Daniel Day-Lewis film version from this December—or if you never got around to seeing it—you can see the stage production of the Kopit/Yestin musical in person (which is more exciting anyway). Just visit the box office and tell them “Nine off Nine.” You must purchase these tickets by phone or in-person to get the discount; it doesn’t work online. ➜ Savings: $9 per ticket.

Be a Matinee Idol

You love the cinema: the big screen, the smell of popcorn, the laughter of a crowd. But with tickets hovering around $11 a pop—yikes!—that movie habit will put a serious dent in you wallet. Here are some ways to get big-screen thrills for small(er) change.

Head to the Friday Night Film Series at Westchester Community College (914-606-6700). Spring for a $48 subscription, and you’ll get to see a series of superior foreign films—plus enjoy introductions and post-film discussions at no extra charge. With six films in the series, it works out to about $8 per film. ➜ Savings: $18 for six films.

If you live close to Irvington, you’d be wise to check out the Irvington Town Hall Theatre’s “Best Of” Film Series (914-591-6602). At just $7 a ticket, you’ll get to see a prime-time film at matinee prices. In the past, the series has featured The Horse Boy and Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight. ➜ Savings: $4 per ticket.

When you just have to see the latest popcorn flick at the multiplex, get up early. Head to the first show of the day and catch matinée prices. By far, the best matinée deals comes courtesy of AMC in Port Chester (914-510-1000). Not only does the theater give the steepest discount on shows before noon—tickets are $6 instead of $10.50—but, if you loathe being an early riser, on the weekends AMC also will give you a break on all shows between noon and four pm, when tickets are $8.50. ➜ Savings: $4.50 per ticket on shows before noon, $2 per ticket on shows between noon and 4 pm.

Day at the Museum

Even the stairways at the Neuberger Museum have a view of world-class artworks.

Head into the City to a museum like MoMA, and you’ll be shelling out $20 for admission alone. Even here, museum tickets cost $5. We can do better.

Bide your time. If there’s an exhibit that catches your eye at the Neuberger Museum of Art (914-251-6100), plan to visit on the first Saturday of the month. Not only is it free, as part of the Family First Saturdays series, but you’ll also find all-ages themed gallery walks, lectures, and art projects that you can enjoy without reaching for your wallet. ➜ Savings: $5 per adult admission.

They say the early bird catches the worm, and at the Katonah Museum of Art (914-232-9555), it’s true. Brew a pot of coffee, because the museum is free from 10 am until noon. ➜ Savings: $5 per adult admission.

Top the Chef

Do all the celebrity TV chefs and reality cooking competitions inspire you to take up the spatula? Get a taste for the chef’s life at the once-a-month cooking demonstrations at La Panetière (914-967-8140). There, a distinguished guest chef takes his students through the process of creating a dish. You don’t get to cook, but you get the recipe to take home—and, more important, a three-course lunch is included. The demonstration costs $30—a pretty good price considering that the restaurant’s prix-fixe lunch usually costs $25 without a demonstration. Classes take place at 11:30 am on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Play with Clay

Real pottery classes can cost more than $400. If you’re interested in trying to throw a pot but aren’t sure if you want to shell out money for an entire course, visit one of the Clay Art Center’s “Check It Out” days (914-937-2047). There, you’ll get a one-day, three-hour class at which you can make two or three projects from start to finish. The staff at the Center will fire the pots for you, and then you can return to pick them up—all for just $50. The next two “Check It Out” days are March 7 and April 17. ➜ Savings: $350.

Be a Joiner

If you’re a Cheers-style regular at one of our county institutions, becoming a member may involve an initial investment, but it could save you money in the long run. We scoured for the best membership deal out there, and we think we’ve found the place that’ll give you the most for your dues: Historic Hudson Valley (914-631-8200). With your $60 individual membership—check out the website for family and other membership packages—you’ll receive:

It’s never too early to become a member and get a free ticket to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze.

Free general admission to Historic Hudson Valley’s sites: Washington Irving’s Sunnyside ($12 regularly for an adult ticket), Philipsburg Manor ($12 regularly), Van Cortlandt Manor ($12 regularly), and the Union Church of Pocantico Hills ($5 regularly).

Free tickets to The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze and Legend Evenings ($15 normally) for those in your membership package, plus access to an early reservation period.

■ Free admission to special events, including the Sheep-to-Shawl festival, hands-on heritage crafts day, the Pinkster Festival, Animals & Acrobats, Independence Day celebrations, “From a Child’s Perspective” tours, River Day, the Green Corn Festival, Children’s Book Day, and Thanksgiving Weekend. These events are usually $12 for a single adult ticket.
■ Four guest passes for free general admission to the sites.
■ Discounted admission to Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate ($13 admission instead of $23.)
■ A 10-percent discount at the museum shops.
■ A 20-percent discount for Summerweek living history day camp.
➜ Savings: Assuming you use the four guest passes to bring along some friends, the membership pays for itself in one visit. If you fly solo, the membership pays for itself in five visits. The more you go, the more you save!

Discover the Sea And the Stars

How’s this for a cheap Friday-night date? The planetarium at the Hudson River Museum (914-963-4550) gives a free showing every Friday at 6:30 pm. Afterward, stroll the rest of the gallery—the museum offers free admission from 5 until 7:30 pm on Fridays. ➜ Savings: $2 per planetarium ticket, $5 per museum admission.

Learn to Draw

If you’re looking for an outlet for your creativity, there’s nothing quite like a life-drawing class: transforming the live model standing before you into the art on your canvas. We did an unscientific average of the cost of local life-drawing classes, and most of them work out to a little less than $40 per session—plus an additional model fee. Visit the Pelham Art Center (914-738-2525), however, and you’re likely to spend half that. The Center’s fall figure-drawing class was a mere $147 for seven sessions. That works out to about $21 per class, plus a $50 model fee. ➜ Savings: $17 per session.

Prep for the Big Test

According to the Wall Street Journal, about two million students spend $2.5 billion a year on SAT test preparation and tutoring. That works out to about $1,250 each, whether it’s spent in one shot on a big, group class, or in $100-per-hour increments on private tutoring. Since that money is better spent on more important things in college—beer—here are a few ways to save on test prep.

If your budding scholar is from a low-income background or will be a first-generation college student, there’s no better prep destination than Let’s Get Ready (646-808-2760). That’s because no one can beat Let’s Get Ready’s price: free. The program, founded by Scarsdale High School alumna Eugenie Lang, has high-scoring volunteers tutor other students at no cost. Each program runs for about nine weeks and includes 30 hours of instruction and three practice tests. ➜ Savings: Routhly $1,250.

What are those big test-prep companies charging you for? Some tips and strategies, sure, but mostly access to old SAT practice tests. What you may not know is that you already have access to all those tests—all you need is a library card. Westchester Library System offers access to sample questions in all subjects featured on the SAT—and offers some online test-taking courses, too. Just log on at westchesterlibraries.org/node/861. ➜ Savings: Roughly $1,250.

Not only is the SAT a big financial investment, but prepping requires a big time investment, too. That is, it would if you didn’t sign up for Wilson DailyPrep (914-861-2085), which requires just six minutes a day. Six questions arrive by e-mail every day, and answers and feedback are doled out almost immediately. But the real draw is the low cost: just $59 per month, but we’d spring for the $299 package deal that includes nine months of questions. ➜ Savings: Roughly $951.

If you simply must go with one of the big tutoring chains, but you’re still looking to save, skip Kaplan and the Princeton Review. Both Sylvan Learning (888-EDUCATE) and the Huntington Learning Center (800-CANLEARN) offer private tutoring that comes in south of the $100/hour mark. Huntington is $83/hour (plus $195 for an initial diagnostic test), and Sylvan is only $75/hour. It doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up once you realize you’re in for a year of prepping. ➜ Savings: About $17 to $25 per hour.

 

 

 

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