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What I’ve learned in college

I decided a while ago when I graduated I would write a post sharing all my little secrets I’ve discovered while in Lawrence. Some are better than others, but I have used all of them numerous times in the four years I’ve lived in Lawrence. Enjoy.

1. Buy shampoo downtown in the barber shops. My favorite, Downtown Barber Shop, 824 Massachusetts St., has liters of most high end brands for $10 flat, including tax. They have Biolage, Back to Basics, Redken, Bedhead and tons of other brands. I bought one product, Perfect 10, for $20 from the salon where I normally get my hair cut, and found it later for $10 at Downtown Barber Shop. It is definitely the cheapest place in Lawrence to buy high quality hair car

2. If you order take out at El Mezcal, you get FREE chips and salsa to go! That was one of the happiest discoveries I made. Of course they’re complimentary when you eat in, but I didn’t think they’d give them free to go. I got two bags of chips and 2 containers of salsa. Their homemade chips lasted me almost a week and their salsa is awesome.

3. Daily drink specials on The Guide. Enough said. Monday Funday at Free State. Thursday night $2.25 schooners at Louise’s. also has a super easy-to-navigate guide. Also, Tuesdays are $6 pitcher night at 23rd St Brewery – ALL of their beers, not just a selected few. Best beer special in town.

4. Renting movies: Family Video has the cheapest prices, and the older movies are two for $1. But if you can’t find what you need there, Hastings is only about $1-2 more per new release, and if you return it the next day, you get a credit of about $0.50 – $1, depending on the release date of the movie you rented. Of course, if you only want a new release, Redbox is cheapest, but they have a small selection of new releases.

5. Free hotdogs outside the Alumni Center the Friday before home football games. If they ever change this tradition, I will be sad.

6. Salads in the Underground are cheaper when you order a “Made for you” salad. They are $3.99/lb or something like that, rather than the more expensive price. They will put whatever you want in there for you, and it’s cheaper! Don’t know why, but it works.

7. Incense @ Creation Station is $0.10/stick. It has saved my tiny apartment from smelling like a cat litter box many a time. On that note, let me say that Airwick plug-in air fresheners work WAY better than Glade plugins. 🙂

8. Starbucks internet. Did you know that if you register a Starbucks card online (like the kind you might get as a gift card or that they have at the register) you get 2 hours of free internet at Starbucks each day. I had always thought you had to have T-mobile or something to use their “Hotspot” but, apparently, that is not the case. I discovered about a month ago if I could have been using their internet all this time, for 2 hours a day, if I had just registered my card and kept $10.00 on it. Would have been nice to know sooner. I wonder why they don’t publicize that better?

9. For the cheapest cup of coffee, La Prima Tazza and Signs of Life have great bottomless cups for $1 and some change. Always bring your own cup into Tazza, it gets you like 40 cents off your purchase, even for specialty drinks too!

10. If you’re a woman who gets your hair done, you’ll appreciate this. Many women would never leave their hairdresser, and I completely respect that. I can’t tell you how many times I have ventured away from mine in attempt to “save money” by coloring my hair myself or having a friend help, and have ended up going right back to the pros for saving grace. Truly, nothing ruins a day like a bad hair color or cut. But — if you are one of those women or new students in the Lawrence area who is looking for an affordable place to try, try Shear Perfection, 2311 Wakarusa Drive, and ask for my friend Kristi Rudman. She is amazing. She has good taste herself, so she won’t do anything too wacko to your hair (unless you ask, of course) and has young, hip style, without being “hipster.” The best thing is the prices. A semi-permanent color or highlights are $40. A cut is something like $30. And she gives the best head massages when she washes your hair! Also, every several months she does a special and offers any two of either a manicure, hair cut, highlight or an eyebrow wax for a discounted price.

11. If you’re hear near beginning or end of the summer, The Downtown Lawrence Outdoor Film Festival shows movies on a “big screen,” which is the side of the parking garage on New Hampshire, across the street from the Arts Center. The movies are classics and usually include Tracy or Hepburn. Tons of people bring blankets and lawn chairs and set up shop for a couple hours in the beautiful downtown Lawrence night air. Just one of the perks of living in a vibrant town with people who care about keeping downtown hopping. Grab a seat early across the street at Bourgeois Pig’s patio and enjoy the show.

12. Cielito Lindo has the best patio in Lawrence (now being challenged by The Oread terraces, of course)

13. Weavers has a home shop downstairs – I didn’t know this until a few months ago! So elusive. Killer sales.

14. The Mirth has no corking fee – bring your own champagne and some friends for a mimosa brunch!

15. On campus? Eat at Impromptu Cafe. They’re awesome, inexpensive, and under-appreciated. Your lunch may cost you $2 more than a comparable one from The Underground or The Market, and you aren’t eating food court food.

16. Pay your parking tickets on-time – or don’t get them at all. Your life will go much easier.

If you have suggestions of little secrets or fun things you’ve learned about Lawrence or KU, share in the comments!

Thanks to James Huckaba for contributing to this list!