WAF’s Five for Friday – reservations made easy, a surprising online auction, French for the masses…

Five fabulous finds we think you’ll like…

j0443800 1. Eat out a lot, or just want to make 40th birthday reservations in advance? OpenTable.com allows you to make restaurant reservations online with a few simple clicks. Sign up, select your city and Open Table asks you what type of food you’re looking for, how much you’d like to spend and when you want to be seated, and voilà (see fab find #4b) you’ve got reservations. And since OpenTable has live Internet connections into the restaurants themselves, availability information is up-to-date, and your reservations are confirmed. And of course the best part is it’s free!

2. Thought getting real deals on online auctions was a thing of the past? Everyone knows about Ebay and Amazon, but Goodwill, yes that Goodwill, has it’s own online auction. Shopgoodwill.com is the country’s first Internet auction site created, owned and operated by a nonprofit organization. Participating Goodwills from across the country offer art, antiques and collectibles as well as the usual new and nearly new (and sometimes crappy) items that have been donated. The best part? Proceeds go towards continuing Goodwill’s efforts to help people overcome barriers to employment and become independent members of their communities. Go Goodwill!

3. Speaking of shopping online – Whether you’re ordering new business cards or shopping for negligee, never pay full price for anything again!   Retailmenot.com provides coupon and promo codes for over 50,000 stores. Sample discounts include $15 off at Victoria’s Secret, 15% off weekly car rentals at Enterprise and a free with purchase offer from Sephora. Not all discount codes are valid, but the site includes a handy little feature next to each coupon code which displays the user success rating. Next time you’re about to check out online, look around for a field marked promo code. If the site you’re shopping on has that field, you might be able to find a coupon code online.

4. ¿Hablas español? Vous parlez français? Neither do we, but that could change with the help of StudySpanish.com. With free Spanish tutorials on everything from pronunciation to cultural notes, you’ll be on your way to español de discurso in no time. And, if you’re planning to celebrate your 40th in Paris, The French Assistant is your answer to getting up to speed before the big trip. Both sites are free!

5. A sweet treat without the guilt – We’re always on the lookout for healthier alternatives to refined sugar and while we’re fans of honey and agave nectar, if you’re watching calories and sugar intake, stevia might be a great alternative for you. Studies suggest that stevia – a natural sweetener extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant – can help stabilize blood sugar levels in the body, making it a safe alternative for people with diabetes. The problem? Most of it tastes like crap – bitter crap to be exact. Then a friend turned us on to Body Ecology’s Stevia Liquid Concentrate. At $19.95 for a 2oz. bottle, it’s not cheap, but if you’re watching your sugar intake for health reasons or you just can’t stomach another bitter cup of tea, this might be the brand of stevia for you. You can read more about it and purchase a bottle here.

Spread the word! Share this week’s Five for Friday finds with friends (whew! say that five times fast) by clicking any one of the Share and Enjoy icons at the end of this post.  You can also fan us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.  And check out last week’s Five for Friday as seen in the Chicago Sun Times!

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Blogger, self-proclaimed-philosopher, voracious eater and opinion sharer.

  • yoda

    I use SweetLeaf brand of stevia!