Dollars & Sense columnist John Ewoldt searches the Twin Cities and beyond for bargains and strategies to spare you time, money and hassles.
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Posts about Back to school

Cooking classes are a great deal in community ed programs

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: September 7, 2010 - 2:48 PM

  In today's Dollars & Sense I mentioned that adults are skipping classes about saving money in local community ed programs and having more fun in classes about fitness, dancing and cooking.

And no one has cornered the market on cooking classes in the Twin Cities like Jeff Sandino. He teaches single session classes for around $40 that would cost nearly twice that much in for-profit cooking schools. His menu of class offerings can be found on his website, including Brunch, Oriental Favorites and Southern Italian Family Style. Attendees learn about techniques, make and eat the food, and sometimes have enough left over to take home.

Sandino also offers cooking classes in people's homes for a family or a group of friends. He can be reached at 952-681-2574.  

Free haircuts to the first 100 guys who call in

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: August 4, 2010 - 1:08 PM

The MensDept., a tony styling salon on Washington Avenue S. near downtown Minneapolis, is offering free haircuts to the first 100 men who call in and book an appointment between now and September 30. To schedule, call 612-339-2222.

Haircuts at MensDept. are normally $32 or $50. The offer is available only for new clients.

Levis for $10 shipped

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: August 3, 2010 - 9:55 AM

Gals and guys who like the classic styling of Levi's jeans will appreciate the extra 50 percent off clearance prices going on now. Use code CC50JUL to get the additional savings. Also get free standard shipping.

Here are some sample deals:

• Levi's Women's Skinny Boot Jeans for $9.95
• Levi's Women's Button Down Skirt for $9.95
• Levi's Men's Regular Fit 505 Jeans for $9.95
• Levi's Men's Slim Straight 514 Jeans for $14.95
 Levi's Men's 501 Original Jeans for $24.95
• browse The Levi's Store for more buying ideas


A great deal if you like L.L.Bean and you have an Amex credit card

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: July 19, 2010 - 3:18 PM

I just went to American Express' Daily Wish program to sign up for exclusive sale offerings. It's free to sign up, but you must be an American Express credit cardholder. The deal that Amex is offering tomorrow seems worthy of mention, but here is lineup for the next few days.

Tuesday, July 20

• Outfit the whole family in L.L. Bean for less – the classic backpacks are perfect for lugging textbooks on the bus. Purchase a $100 gift card for half-price or a $50 gift card for $30 and stock up on the essentials.

Wednesday, July 21

• Growing kids mean growing feet, and buying a new pair of shoes each year can get expensive. To help with your family’s footwear needs, is offering $50 back when you spend $100 or more, or you could nab an additional 30% off on all sale items.

Thursday, July 22

• New grads going off to college will undoubtedly need their own laptops and printers, too. Send them off to their new dorms with a Sony VAIO EB1RGX/BI Notebook for just $529 (regularly $949.99) and a Canon imageCLASS MF3240 laser printer, copier, color scanner and fax all-in-one for $109 (regularly $199.99).

I don't know what time the sales start. I assume I will get a reminder email, but there are only a limited number of gift certificates for sale (50 $100 certs and 80 $50 certs at L.L. Bean).

Anyone else already a Daily Wish member and want to comment on how good the deals are or how difficult it is to nab one?



Sixty minute massage for $30

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: May 26, 2010 - 12:17 PM

If you're not heading outta town for the holiday weekend, why not start it with a massage on Friday evening? I think one of the best deal on massages in the Twin Cities is at CenterPoint School in Dinkytown (1313 SE 5th St., Mpls., 612-617-9090). They normally charge $40 for a 60 minute massage, but you can print a $10 off coupon to make it the best deal I've ever seen from CenterPoint. 

I have gotten more than a dozen massages at CenterPoint since I wrote an article about massage schools last year. I think CenterPoint students give first quality massages that I enjoy as much as ones I've had from more experienced masseuses/masseurs. 

But here's the rub, if you will. All clients are being worked on in a large room separated by glorified shower curtains. yes, it's totally private and you never see anyone else, but you can hear their conversations. It's a bit disconcerting the first time, but people try to talk in soft tones and piped in New Age music softens it a bit.  One other nit: Parking in the adjoining lot costs about $1.50 per hour, but I have not had trouble finding free on street parking within a block or two. You can buy the parking coupons at the massage desk.  

The coupon is valid only on Friday, May 28 between 1 and 9 p.m. (The school is closed this Saturday.) Deep tissue, full-body Swedish and Shiatsu massages are available on Friday. The east-west Shiatsu/Swedish massages are not available this weekend. You can specify a male or female student, but it might make getting a specific appointment time more difficult.

Coming in June: Spa clinic massages including aromatherapy, salt and sugar exfoliation, heated stones, foot relaxation and paraffin baths. Since some of the spa sessions are 75 minutes, prices are slightly higher.


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