Entertainment on the cheap

Where to go without breaking the bank
By JEFF INGLIS  |  January 15, 2009

You've paid your rent and your tuition, and bought your books and groceries. Yes, you're broke. But that's no fun. Now what?

Fortunately, Portland is rife with budget-friendly activities and events. Some places have weekly specials — we've compiled a bunch here — and there are plenty of others, as well as venues with occasional deals. Here's what to look for, and when.

Look your best
JONATHAN DOUGLAS SALON AND SPA (345 Fore St., jonathandouglasspa.com) has $99 "economy crunch packages" combining several services for one price. Choose "The Feel Good," with a basic manicure and pedicure, shampoo, haircut and style, and a brow wax, or unwind with "The OohLaLa," a one-hour Swedish massage and a "Get Acquainted" facial.

O2 SALON AND SPA (605 Congress St., 02salonandspa.com) has "recession packages," too, including a 30-minute massage and a pedicure for $80 (a $10 savings).

STUDIO ONE LTD. (151 Middle St., studioone-portland.com) is giving new clients 15 percent off services by Kate and Robin.

Each week GOODWILL STORES (244 St. John St., in the Union Station plaza; find others goodwillnne.org) mark many of their clothes and accessories (and other items) as half-price with special tags.

And on Wednesdays, the SALVATION ARMY STORES in Portland (49 Alder St. and 30 Warren Ave.) have half-price specials on marked items.

Refuel the engine
For a quick pick-me-up, grab a "recession special" coffee at FREAKY BEAN COFFEE COMPANY stores in Westbrook (855 Main St., freakybean.com), Scarborough (264 US Route 1, and 2 Cabela Way), and South Portland (740 Broadway) — it's 99 cents for a small drip coffee and $1.99 for a small latte.

Also calling its deal a "recession special" is BRIAN BORU (57 Center St., brianboruportland.com), which offers lunch for $7. That includes a soft drink; if you want to upgrade to a local draft beer, add just $2.95.

O'NATURALS in Portland (83 Exchange St., onaturals.com) has specials just about every night, under their "economic bailout plan." If you work at nearby businesses, stop in on Mondays for 20 percent off (show your business card, nametag, or pay stub); Tuesdays they give 20 percent off with a college ID. Wednesdays are family night, with a free kid's meal if you buy an adult one. Thursday two guys can go in and buy one meal and get a second free; Saturday the same is true for two women. And Friday is "date night," when any couple gets 20 percent off.

On-the-go diners will want to stop by the new JOE'S NEW YORK PIZZA (420 Fore St., joesnypizza.com) to check out their slice-salad-drink combo deals.

At ANTHONY'S ITALIAN KITCHEN (151 Middle St., anthonysitalian.com) you can buy one dinner and get the second at half price on Friday and Saturday nights.

Westbrook's Italian-cuisine standby, Casa Novello (694 Main St., 207.854.9909), has two-for-one entrees on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Back in Portland, SHAY'S GRILL PUB (Monument Square, shaysgrillpub.com) has a $4 quesadilla special on Mondays.

Every day is special at the EMPIRE DINE AND DANCE (575 Congress St., portlandempire.com), with a $6 burger deal that includes fries. Bring a friend — it's two small burgers, not one big one, so it's perfect for splitting.

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