Update (1/19/2016): Left town for a while (found a cheap flight to Montreal on AirCanada). Ate Chinese food for Christmas. Started taking more photographs. Confirmed that I am an incorrigible collector of useful information about free and cheap events. Decided I can’t throw in the towel when it comes to Madison on the Cheap. Contemplated changing this Facebook page to a group so people would receive more updates (but discovered some problems with this idea and abandoned that plan). Decided to redesign, reinvigorate, and reinvent the main Madison on the Cheap website during 2016 (and re-installed the seasonal snowflakes — longtime readers may remember them). More about plans and process later. Right now, I’m declaring AN END TO TO THE FACEBOOK HIATUS and will resume posting there.

Update (11/4/2015): Effective immediately, we are no longer going to be posting to Facebook. The reasons are quite similar to those that convinced me to put the Madison on the Cheap website on hiatus in 2013.

Update (9/22/2013): Izzy the Intern (and his long-suffering boss) still post to Facebook. Follow the Madison on the Cheap Facebook page.

Things change

After almost four years and 4,300+ posts, it’s time for a hiatus. My career is moving in a different direction: I need to re-focus my time, energy , and attention on other projects, including creating websites for clients, writing feature stories, and tackling a book proposal that has languished too long on the sidelines.

Although I will not be posting new items to Madison on the Cheap, it will, for now, continue to have a presence on the Internet so that people can still access some of the “evergreen” material that includes some of our most popular pages – including lists of Madison-area cooking classes and thrift shops; and our annual list of lutefisk dinners in Wisconsin. I also want people to have access to the excellent and very popular “Change from a Twenty” restaurant reviews written by Deb Nies, whose energy and enthusiasm – and contributions to organizing a wide variety of events for good causes in our community – are inspirational.

[click to continue…]

If you’re planning to do a lot of online shopping, you should consider joining Ebates — it’s free and members receive cash back on their purchases. Right now, for instance, you’ll receive 10% back on purchases from Old Navy, The Body Shop, and Gap; 6% back on purchases from J. Crew and Lands’ End; and up to 20% at other online stores.

Plus, after you make your first $25 purchase (within the first 90 days after you sign up) Ebates will give you a free $10 gift certificate for Target, Home Depot, or your choice of several other stores.

Sign up now for Ebates and start earning cash back on your online purchases.

If you’re 55 or older, join the Uno Pizzeria & Chicago Grill Double Nickel Club and you’ll receive 30% off your meal every Wednesday. Ask your server for a membership card.

Offer not valid towards alcohol, Two for You specials, Take Out Deals, Snack Hours or other special offers.

[click to continue…]

Computers contain a number of toxic and hazardous materials, including lead, cadmium, mercury, and flame retardants. Businesses and households are prohibited from discarding these materials into landfills.

If you live in the City of Madison, you can’t just leave that old computer at the curb if you want to discard it. You’ll have to pay a $10 fee for each CPU, monitor, or laptop you want to dispose of and deliver it to one of two recycling centers. Similar restrictions apply in many other municipalities.

Fortunately, there is an excellent way to recycle your computer equipment FREE. [click to continue…]

It’s time to start thinking about Halloween: Meet The Pumpkin Lady and be inspired by her patterns

September 21, 2011

The Pumpkin Lady® (Lisa Berberette) has spent the past 13 years carving pumpkins “for the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, and had the honor of being an expert judge for the Food Network’s Extreme Pumpkin Challenge.” She’s also “carved pumpkins on a chilly October morn in Times Square for Good Morning America and […]

Read the full article →

Senior citizens 62 or older can buy a lifetime pass to National Parks for $10

September 4, 2011

If you are age 62 or older and a US citizen or permanent resident, you can apply for a lifetime Senior Pass to the National Parks Service for just $10. That’s for a lifetime of admission to the more than 2,000 sites that the National Parks Service manages, including Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Grand Canyon. […]

Read the full article →

We’ve made changes to Madison on the Cheap

May 29, 2011

In response to reader feedback, we’ve installed a plug-in that will open a new tab (or window, depending on your browser) when you click on a link in one of our posts. We believe this will make it easier for you to navigate between web pages without having to click on your “Back” arrow to […]

Read the full article →

Learn another language FREE with the Mango Languages program available at public libraries

January 26, 2011

There are many reasons why you may want to learn a second (or third) language — and the Madison and Middleton Public Libraries want to help you succeed in doing so. These libraries now offer FREE access to the Mango Languages learning program, which teaches practical conversation and cultural awareness for the world’s most popular […]

Read the full article →

Download 16 Heavy Metal tracks free at Adult Swim

November 15, 2010

Adult Swim is offering a FREE download of “16 tracks of rare or unreleased metal from the heaviest bands in existence.” Featured bands include Black Tusk, Red Fang, and Withered. The entire album download is an MP3 ZIP file. It’s about 146MB, so it will take a bit of time to download if you don’t […]

Read the full article →

Download a free Travel Wisconsin™ iPhone app

October 27, 2010

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has developed its first iPhone and Android application to provide Wisconsin visitors and residents with an “on-the-go” resource to “find fun in Wisconsin.” The Travel Wisconsin™ app is available as a FREE download from the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.

Read the full article →