station http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4993/all en-US How to get half-price dining from your local TV station. http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-formula-that-gets-you-half-price-dining <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-simple-formula-that-gets-you-half-price-dining" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/news.jpg" alt="this just in half price meals" title="this just in half price meals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="208" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="rteindent2">Did you know that your local TV and radio stations regularly receive gift certificates as &ldquo;payment&rdquo; for air time? Believe it or not, retailers and restaurants are actually exchanging hundreds of gift certificates for exclusive air time on the networks. Then, the stations turn around and sell those certificates to viewers for half-price. They win. You win. And I&rsquo;ll show you where to find them online. </p> <p>I stumbled across this quite by accident. A friend of my wife sent her a link to a local TV station selling $50 gift certificates to a local restaurant for just $25 a piece. Being a cynical shopper, I was hesitant to believe it. It screamed of &ldquo;buyer beware.&rdquo; But, as it turns out, it&rsquo;s completely legit. And after my usual digging around on the intertubes, I found out the back story. <a href="http://www.businessreport.com/news/2008/jun/16/value-meals-and-deals/">Stephanie Riegel, of BusinessReport.com</a>, reported last June of this growing new trend among the TV and radio stations. <br /> <em><br /> The company that came up with the concept is the Cleveland-based IncentRev, and it&rsquo;s a coupon broker that facilitates the on-air promotions. Essentially, it works like this: A retailer&mdash;say, a new restaurant&mdash;&ldquo;buys&rdquo; exclusive air time with the station in exchange for 100 gift certificates, which the station then promotes on air for half-price. Viewers can buy the gift certificates on a first-come, first-serve basis by accessing the station&rsquo;s Web site. All parties involved say it&rsquo;s a win-win arrangement. Viewers get a bargain. A small retailer essentially receives free advertising. And IncentRev, which does all the paperwork, and the station split the money. </em></p> <p>So, that's the back story. Like Stephanie points out, everyone's a winner in this deal. The restaurants and retailers get some pretty inexpensive air time. The stations get some extra cash. And the viewers get 50% discounts. However, you no longer need to watch or listen to the stations to access the deals. By doing a simple substitution in the web address I was forwarded, you can see deals in your own area, right now.</p> <p><strong>Call letters + web address = big savings. <br /> </strong></p> <p>I live in Colorado, and my local Fox affiliate's call letters are KDVR. When I put that in front of INCENTREV's web address, I get the following link: <a href="http://kdvr.incentrev.com/">http://kdvr.incentrev.com/</a></p> <p>I did a few others at random, just for kicks.</p> <p>If you live in Ohio, you could try this one: <a href="http://wtte.incentrev.com/">http://wtte.incentrev.com/</a></p> <p>Here's one for Mississippi: <a href="http://wlox.incentrev.com/">http://wlox.incentrev.com/</a></p> <p>And one for Rhode Island: <a href="http://wwli.incentrev.com/">http://wwli.incentrev.com/</a></p> <p>You see how easy the formula is. You can find a complete list of call letters for TV stations in your area <a href="http://www.shgresources.com/resources/tv/">right here</a>. And <a href="http://www.shgresources.com/resources/radio/">this one features radio</a>. Just click on your state and you'll get the info. Please note, note every station is running promotions or has signed up with IncentRev, so if the web address doesn't work just keep replacing the call letters until you find a deals page. There may be several in your state.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE: An even quicker method.</strong></p> <p>Wisebread reader Daniel pointed this out in the comments and it's super-quick. Instead of trial and error, type in your state, and or your city site followed by :incentrev.com into Google. Example: indiana site:incentrev.com.&nbsp;I found three local stations with offers not only from restaurants but indoor sky diving and Salsa classes. If anyone out there has top-notch web skills, maybe you could program a simple interface - just type in the name of your city and state and click &quot;find.&quot; I'm sure it's easy enough if you know html. Which I don't I'm afraid.</p> <p><strong>Any catches?</strong></p> <p>Well, they do have a limited number of certificates for a restaurant or retailer, usually between 100-150. And they also go on sale at a certain time, and get snapped up fast. Tomorrow I'll be logging on at 9am to grab half-price certifictaes for a great Mexican restaurant in my area. Other people have also mentioned that TV and radio stations are becoming bogged down with anchors and DJs selling you all kinds of stuff, thanks to these certificate deals. But I really don't care. I don't watch them,&nbsp;I just go straight to the site to see what's available.</p> <p>So, there you go. Find your local deals page, log on at the right time and bag yourself some cheap eats. Bon appetit. </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-formula-that-gets-you-half-price-dining">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-kids-eat-free-restaurants">Best Kids Eat Free Restaurants</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worlds-most-affordable-michelin-starred-restaurants">The World&#039;s Most Affordable Michelin-Starred Restaurants</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-barbecue-hacks-to-master-this-summer">10 Barbecue Hacks to Master This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">How Water Can Save You $977 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink call letters discount local meals news restaurants station Thu, 08 Jan 2009 19:18:18 +0000 Paul Michael 2720 at http://www.wisebread.com Will gas top $4 a gallon this summer? I say yes. http://www.wisebread.com/will-gas-top-4-a-gallon-this-summer-i-say-yes <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/gasstation.jpg" alt=" " width="314" height="210" /></p> <p>Before you go jumping all over the place and pointing out that I have done no real market analysis to back up my prediction, I would like to point out: <em>I have done no real market analysis to back up my prediction</em>. This is just a gut feeling.</p> <p>Like a good, Birkenstocked liberal, I was listening to <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10057771">NPR</a> on my commute home today, and it was announced that <em>gas prices had just topped $3 a gallon in the US</em>.</p> <p>This wasn&#39;t exactly news to those of us living on the West Coast. <a href="http://q13.trb.com/news/kcpq-042307gasprices,0,6354426.story?coll=kcpq-news-1">Our gas prices</a> topped $3 a gallon a <a href="http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/03/gas_prices135.html">couple of months ago</a>.</p> <p>This time around, prices are being blamed on reduced output at refineries, although no clear-cut reasons are being given for the reduction.</p> <p class="blockquote">Refineries operated at 87 percent capacity last week, below pre-Hurricane Katrina levels in 2005. They produced 8.9 million barrels of gasoline per day, while the country has been consuming 9.2 million barrels per day, or 1.6 percent more than this time last year.</p> <p>NPR had the audacity to quote someone, I believe it was a AAA representative, as claiming that the refinery difficulties stem from refinery technician lay-offs in the 1980s. I&#39;ve never been good at economics, and my memory of the 80s is sort of clouded by hairspray fumes and Madonna lyrics, but something about that explanation struck me as disingenuous. Lots of companies had lay-offs in the 1980s, but most major corporations have managed to rehire people, you know, over the past couple of decades.</p> <p>Also, it&#39;s not as if gasoline demand increases are unpredicatable - summer&#39;s coming, so prices are expected to increase, but the increase started much earlier this year than last. It would seem to me that oil refineries have had twenty-odd years to correct their personnel reduction.</p> <p>A slightly more plausible explanation that encompasses a broader range of possible reasons for the gas price hikes:</p> <p class="blockquote">Conspiracy theories aside, a number of factors are preventing more supply from flowing into the U.S. market. The overall picture is a system under such strain that any outages or disruptions ricochet quickly into retail prices. Because of high costs and a lack of public support, refiners haven&#39;t built an entirely new plant since 1976. While they&#39;ve been expanding existing plants, the industry isn&#39;t keeping pace with growing demand. Any additional stresses -- hurricanes such as Katrina or the persistent power outages -- curb output. Add to that a shortage of skilled workers and government rules mandating cleaner fuels, and the reasons behind scarce supplies emerge. </p> <p>I love how they manage to turn something like <em>suspecting that oil companies are greedy for profits</em> into <em>a conspiracy theory</em>. Nice touch. The thing about conspiracy theories is that they are, on occasion, correct. I remember how, when I lived in the Silicon Valley back in 1999-2002, and we were experiencing those &quot;rolling blackouts&quot;, most everyone was grumbling about how suspicious the entire thing was. NPR and mainstream news outlets called it a &quot;conspiracy theory&quot; back then, too, but it turned out to be, well, <strong>a freaking conspiracy</strong>.</p> <p>As someone who does care deeply about the over-consumption of fossil fuels, even I understand the importance of maintaining an afforadable fuel supply to the US economy until alternative infrastructure can allow us to rely on other means of moving ourselves from one place to another. For those of us with fewer options other than driving, gas prices are very important. I&#39;m curious as to why the media isn&#39;t delving more into this topic, really investigating why prices are going up the way they are right now.</p> <p>Lots of people believe that this current supply reduction has everything to do with the kind of accidentally-on-purpose reduction in output that occured during the <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/01/eveningnews/main620626.shtml">well-engineered energy &quot;crisis&quot;</a> that we experienced in California back in 2000 and 2001.</p> <p>It looks as though certain Congressional minds are at least <a href="http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-nygas075202867may07,0,7099839.story?coll=ny-nynews-print">pretending to care about the whole thing</a>.</p> <p class="blockquote">The recent hike in gas prices has prompted Sen. Charles Schumer - who has received plenty of calls from those motorists - to call for a federal investigation into the oil refineries that make the gas.</p> <p>He said he thinks the hefty prices could have resulted from oil companies being lax on maintenance, thus short on capacity.</p> <p>&quot;The looming question is, are they putting money into maintenance and keeping up refineries as they should?&quot; Schumer asked. &quot;Or are they happier with lower production and higher prices?&quot; </p> <p>Me, I&#39;m going to call it now. Gas prices well above $4 a barrel on the West Coast and averaging $4 a barrel nationally, before July. That&#39;s what I&#39;m putting my money on. I&#39;ll be happy to eat humble pie if I&#39;m wrong (note to self - dig up good recipe for frugal humble pie).</p> <p>Next up: What to do about the rising cost of gasoline. Does it make sense, from an economic standpoint, to take the bus (if that&#39;s even an option)?</p> <p>(Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/xopher/">xophersmith</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-gas-top-4-a-gallon-this-summer-i-say-yes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-bank-of-gasoline-0">The Bank of Gasoline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-will-you-do-when-gas-hits-4-per-gallon">What will you do when gas hits $4 per gallon?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fill-your-tank">Fill your tank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation consumers crude oil drive cars gas pump gasoline price per barrel refineries station Tue, 08 May 2007 06:30:14 +0000 Andrea Karim 605 at http://www.wisebread.com