The Cutting Edge: Recession Specials


T.G.I. Fridays is one company offering great recession-friendly meal deals. (Source:

For consumers clutching their purse strings and wallets, companies are hoping to loosen that grip with unprecedented steals and deals. Jolted by a dismal job market and a modest rise in consumer spending (less than 1% in January), customers have the upper hand when it comes to everything from getaways to shampoo.

Check out these great deals that you can take advantage of:

Setting Sail

Ahoy. Summer’s right around the corner, and if you’re fortunate enough to afford a getaway, check out Carnival Cruise Line’s Early Saver program. With up to 25% off select bookings on three- to 16-day cruises, you can save at least $200 per person. And it gets better: An Early Saver rate protection feature guarantees a fare adjustment if Carnival advertises a lower rate after you’ve booked.

Here’s another cruise offer from Costa Cruises. If you’re looking to take the little ones on an excursion, Costa will let your children sail for free with its Kids Sail Free special, saving you at least $200 per child. You can also save 60% on a cruise to the Mediterranean with Costa’s “So Much More Amore” promotion. With fares starting at $449, coupled with free upgrades and a $200 onboard credit per cabin, Costa might be giving Carnival a run for its money. For anyone with a little financial security, these two offers are a catch.

Let the Games Begin

Ticket prices for sporting events are also obscenely cheap if you know where to look., an online marketplace for ticket buyers and sellers, offers a bevy of discounts. “The most obvious trend we have seen over the last six months has been the increased affordability of tickets for large national events, [including] the World Series and the Super Bowl,” says Joellen Ferrer, a spokesperson for StubHub. Tickets to a Denver Nuggets game start at $1, and those for select Miami Heat games start at four bucks. You can take the entire family out for less than $30. When’s the last time that happened?

Hand Me Some Popcorn

Movie theaters are also jumping on the “recession specials” bandwagon. The Carpetbagger reports that Carmike Cinemas, which operates 2,276 screens in 36 states, is offering 16-ounce sodas and 46-ounce popcorns for $1 each on Tuesdays. Sounds like a relaxing after-work treat.

Meal Deals

Looking for a quick meal on a dime? T.G.I. Fridays takes the cake with its Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) promotion and its $9.99 menu. Everyone loves a BOGO, and at T.G.I. Fridays, when you buy any regular priced meal, you get an additional meal for free. Or (because options are a must) you can order shrimp or a juicy sirloin steak off the Top Ten $9.99 menu. The drawback: The offers cannot be combined.

One last tidbit I came across was a list