Entries in Cheap (4)


New Hampshire Airport Offers Holiday Travelers $12 Flights to Boston, NYC

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LEBANON, N.H.) -- Just in time for the end of the busy holiday season, Cape Air and a regional airport in New Hampshire are promoting flights to Boston and New York for $12.

In attempt to qualify for federal grant money by flying out at least 10,000 passengers this year, the airport and Cape Air, its only airline, are offering holiday travelers the last-minute steal of a deal – $12 each way.

“We’re basically sold out,” said Trish Lorino, director of marketing and public relations for Cape Air. “That’s the highest number of enplanements for Lebanon Airport in quite a long time.”

The promotion, introduced on Christmas Eve, is an attempt to reach 10,000 enplanements – a term to describe people flying out of an airport - for Lebanon Airport, a small, regional airport in the upper valley of New Hampshire. Once the airport hits the 10,000 mark, the FAA will give $1 million in grant money to help fund projects for the community airport.

“The typical projects would be safety, runway and taxiway projects, and equipment purchases,” said Rick Dyment, manager of Lebanon Airport. “We would be able to improve the city’s airport with these funds.”

With the last-minute push to entice holiday travelers, Cape Air expects to hit that 10,000 level within the next day or so.

“By us [Cape Air] lowering that fare, it was our attempt to support the airport and get them to the 10,000 enplanement level,” said Lorino. “The timing was ideal because it was a holiday week and people had flexibility and the freedom to travel.”

Prior to the economy-friendly offer, a round-trip flight from Lebanon Airport to Boston’s Logan Airport would cost travelers an average of $130. One-way flights to Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., would cost flyers $160.

The $12 fare reflects the fees and taxes on the individual flights.

Upon landing in White Plains,  passengers are offered ground transportation to 35th Street and 8th Avenue in midtown Manhattan – a service that’s included in the $12 fee. Free parking at the New Hampshire airport is also available.

“The total time from Lebanon Airport to midtown Manhattan is two and a half hours,” said Dyment.

“You can fly from Lebanon Airport to Boston in 55 minutes and then connect to other airlines in Boston.”

But the deal won’t last long. Cape Air’s offer is only good through the end of the year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Retailers Justify Price Hike with Cheap Stitching, Buttons

Jochen Sand/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Parents and kids shopping for that new outfit for the first day of school may be surprised by the sudden price hike at some popular stores.

Retailers are raising prices on clothing during this back-to-school season by an average of 10 percent to offset the rising costs of labor and materials.

Many retailers are worried that more of their customers are cash-strapped and will balk at the higher prices, so they are using creative ways to pump up their profits.

"Let the consumer trickery begin," said Brian Sozzi, a retail analyst for Wall Street Strategies.

Some stores are adding cheap stitching or buttons to justify the hike, while others are using less-expensive fabric and calling it a new look. Those embellishments can add pennies to $1 to the cost of a garment, but retailers can charge $10 more for them, according to Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst with market research firm The NDP Group.

"Stores are making consumers believe they're getting more for their money," said Cohen. Abercrombie & Fitch, one of the most popular brands among teens, is one of the retailers raising prices. This year the brand is advertising a "Redesigned 2012" jean collection that features "softer" jeans with "the perfect amount of stretch." They are priced between $78 and $88, $10 more than they were last year.

Eric Cerny, a spokesman for Abercrombie & Fitch, declined to comment, but reiterated what executives recently told investors -- increases will happen in September and the chain will not sacrifice quality to achieve cost reductions.

Sozzi examined the jeans and said he believes they are thinner and "of cheaper quality." The extra stretch, he says, could mean the company is saving costs by using less denim.

Production and labor costs are expected to rise 10 percent to 20 percent in the second half of the year, even though they have remained low for almost two decades. Costs can quickly add up -- raw materials account for 25-50 percent of the cost of garments, while labor accounts for 20-40 percent, according to analysts.

After the price for girls' corduroy pants almost doubled, Lands' End, based in Dodgeville, Wis., raised the price of the pants from $7 to $34.50. The company also added buttons and extra stitching to dress them up.

"Consumers are going to notice the price differences," said Lands' End spokeswoman Michele Casper. "But they are also going to get a lot of added benefits so they know they're not getting shortchanged."  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Times Are Tough! Ideas for Fun, Affordable First Dates

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's summer and love is in the air. While true love might not cost a thing, dates are another matter. Given the uncertain economy, it's important to stretch your dating dollars.  Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments and ABC's Good Morning America personal finance contributor, has dating tips that will help you have a good time without breaking the bank.

Q: How much should I spend on the all-important first date?
A: Mellody thinks ... You shouldn't spend more than you can afford. A Recent survey found out that more than 50 percent of men spend more than $50 on their first date. Make a budget for your dates and do not exceed that. There's no need to be lavish in order to impress your date, and don't forget that going all-out financially on the first date heightens your date's expectations for future get-togethers, making it hard to spend less on other dates.

Q: How much should women spend on a first date?
A: Mellody thinks ... Women usually have it easier when it comes to spending money on the first date, but where they really go overboard is on getting ready for it. Fifty-three percent of women say they spend money on buying new dresses and grooming for first dates. This is unnecessary. Wear the clothes and jewelry that you own.

Q: Do you have any cheap-date ideas?

A: Mellody thinks ... You can have a date for virtually nothing. Many museums in major cities have free or discount days where you can impress your date with your knowledge of art. Many cities and towns have free concert series in their parks. Don't forget about the attractions of the great outdoors. Hikes in parks and other outdoor activities are easy to do, free, and are a great way to have your date's undivided attention.

Q: Who should pay on the first date?

A: Mellody thinks ... This is always a controversial question. In my own, old-fashioned, personal opinion, the man should definitely pay for the first few dates, but there are a number of factors to consider. Who invited whom to go out? The younger generation is more likely to be OK with going Dutch. If you've been dating someone for a while and you earn more, you might consider paying, although you shouldn't do that to the exclusion of your other financial obligations, including student loans, credit card debt and living expenses.

Q: What is a great, free date activity that will really impress my date?
A: Mellody thinks ... You can consider taking your date to volunteer. For example, take your date to work in a soup kitchen, or help build a home in a community, or help out at a pet shelter. This might not be best for a first date, though, but it might be a good, cheap option for, say, a third date. This idea might not be for everyone, but it could be a great way to spend quality time with someone you are trying to get to know, and it will look great in the eyes of your date.

Q: I just want to take my date out for drinks, or dinner. Is there a way to do that economically?
A: Mellody thinks... Taking someone for dinner or drinkers can be expensive, but many restaurants are now offering special promotions, such as one deal per week, half-price appetizers or discounted drinks. Some restaurants even offer different daily specials. Don't be afraid to take your date to these places, especially if they are discounting something he or she really enjoys. There are good websites, such as Metromix, that you can check to learn more about restaurant promotions in your area.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Driving This Weekend? Three Keys to Finding Cheap Gas

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At least 35 million people are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day Weekend, choosing cheaper hotels and restaurants because of high gas prices. If gas prices will determine if you're going to get behind the wheel, here are some tips on how to find the cheapest way to fill up your car's tank.

Fill Up On Fridays: Using mapping firm Esri, ABC News looked at prices at more than 5,100 gas stations in four areas of the nation: Chicago, Boston, Orange County and Jacksonville. In April, when the average price of gas shot up 30 cents, ABC News found that filling up on Friday saved the most money. In three of the areas, gas prices increased most on Saturdays.

Go to Warehouse Clubs: Gas prices at warehouse clubs like Sam's, Costco, and BJ's are at least 3 percent lower than the average gas station. With gas prices hovering at nearly $4 a gallon, you could save nearly $2.25 every time you fill up at a warehouse club.

Choosing the Right Location: On the way to the beach, the countryside, or the big city, it might seem easiest to fill up along the highway, but that could cause you more pain at the pump. ABC News found that finding a gas station just one minute from a highway can save you 11 percent or about $7 to fuel your trip. Also, avoid filling up downtown.

With gas prices hovering near $4 a gallon, Americans are already feeling the effects of gas prices well before the summer driving season kicks off this Memorial Day weekend. Gas prices are the highest they've been since August 2008. The national average for retail gas prices is $1.07 per gallon more than last Memorial Day Weekend.

There are some signs of relief. The national average for unleaded regular gasoline was $3.81 on Thursday, 9 cents less than it was last week.

Pump prices this weekend are expected to drop even more because oil prices are down about 12 percent since the beginning of the month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio