Freebie of the Week: The O.C. Bargainista will be using her free $30 Benihana birthday gift certificate Friday after submitting this column, and urges you to go to benihana.com and sign up for your own birthday gift. The certificate will arrive in your birthday month, is good for $30 worth of regular menu items, and is a lot better than the usual free milkshake offerings (it's also a lot less painless, if you're lactose intolerant like the Bargainista!). The closest Benihana is at 4250 Birch St., Newport Beach.
Malls are the place for discounts now
Stop by your local mall for post-Christmas discounts that are far steeper than in years past, as retailers cut down on inventory. For example, Charlotte Russe is selling the majority of their wares for $5, $10 and $15, and nearly all items at Claire's Accessories are 50% to 75% off.
What's one more pair of shoes?