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Deals of the Week: Save $100 on an iPhone, Plus Other Great Freebies

Turn to our new weekly blog to learn about the best bargains around

posted by Leah Ingram, September 27, 2012 More by this author

stretching a dollar

Leah Ingram is a lifestyle and frugal-living expert and the author of Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier on Less. She is also founder of the money-saving blog, Suddenly Frugal, and writes for magazines and websites including Good Housekeeping and Babycenter.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suddenlyfrugal


stretching a dollar
iStockphoto/ThinkStock
Has your bank account or retirement portfolio taken a hit? I know mine has. If so, you're probably on the lookout for ways to save money without sacrificing your quality of life.
 
For the past five years, I’ve been sharing tips on how to do just that in my blog, Suddenly Frugal, and in my two books on frugal living. Now, Next Avenue has brought me onboard to write its Deals of the Week blog, which will run every Friday and feature the latest discounts and freebies that I think you’ll want to know about.
 
(MORE: 66 Ways to Save Money)
 
My goal is to leave you saying: "Wow, Leah opened my eyes to creative ways that can save me a lot of money."

Now, on to this week’s bargains:
 
Save $100 on an iPhone
 
Of course you’ve heard all about the new Apple iPhone 5, which came out last Friday. It isn't cheap: The iPhone 5 price starts at $199 and goes up to $399. And the phones are back-ordered into October.

Well, I'll be getting a new iPhone soon, and I've found a way to save more than $100 on my purchase. You can, too.
 
My plan is to buy not the iPhone 5, but instead the previous version — the iPhone 4S with Siri — directly from Apple’s site for $99. (The cell service for it is offered by AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.) That’s because Apple just slashed the price of this model by 50 percent.
 
If I were to buy the iPhone 4S directly from my wireless carrier, though, I’d have to pay $199. That’s the same price as the iPhone 5, which is not discounted at the Apple store or website, or anywhere else.
 
Free Museum Day, September 29, 2012
 
Smithsonian magazine is offering a free museum day: Saturday, September 29, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and at participating museums in all 50 states. You don’t have to be a subscriber to take advantage of this freebie. Just visit the magazine’s website and download the free tickets — one for yourself and one for a guest.
 
(MORE: How Your Expenses Change in Retirement)
 
The museums you can visit for free include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the International Center of Photography in New York City and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Smithsonian’s site lets you search by state for museums near you.
 
Freebies at the Library
 
The American Library Association has designated September as Library Card Sign Up Month, so this is a good time to take advantage of all the freebies you may be able to get at your local library, including electronic books for your Nook, Kindle or iPad.
 
You might even be able to “borrow” free seeds to plant in your garden. The San Francisco Public Library’s Potrero Branch, for example, is a seed-lending library. According to an American Libraries article, five seed libraries in California and Connecticut let members “check out” seeds, plant them, and then return the seeds after harvesting so others can use them next season.
 
You might also be able to take free cooking classes at the library — a tasty way to save money indeed.