O.C. Bargainista: There's no place like free movies

Freebie of the Week: Click your ruby red slippers July 12 and transport yourself to the outdoor community plaza of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, 601 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, for the kick-off of this summer's Free Movie Mondays series.

The first film in the lineup is "The Wizard of Oz;" organizers also have planned a costume contest. The best costumes will earn prizes like tickets to the Orange County Fair, Broadway show swag and more. The contest begins at 7:30 p.m., and the movie starts at 8 p.m. Setup begins at 5:30 p.m.; bring low, portable seating, snacks or picnic suppers. Sorry, no barbecues or similar food-preparation methods. Future films include "Some Like It Hot" July 19; "Oliver!" July 26; "Dirty Dancing" Aug. 2; and "Mad Hot Ballroom" Aug. 9. For more information, visit ocpac.org.

Movies just for the little ones

Another fun free flick option also has families cheering. Blessed with one or more children, but no air conditioning? Fear not — the Metro Pointe Stadium 12 theatre at 901 S. Coast Drive, Costa Mesa, is offering free family G- and PG-rated films all summer. Showtime is at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; tickets are only distributed on the day of the show. Up next Tuesday is "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," followed by "Surf's Up" on Wednesday. Films later this summer include "Monsters Vs. Aliens," "Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie," "Where the Wild Things Are" and many more. For more information or a full schedule, call (714) 428-0962 or visit regmovies.com.

Give me tacos or give me death

Another freebie we're excited about is the Fourth of July at SOL Cocina, 251 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach. The restaurant is offering "Liberty & Tacos For All," with a complimentary SOL signature carne asada street taco for anyone who pops in between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.; no purchase is necessary. The taco is prepared with Meyer Prime beef, grilled with garlic and coarse salt. As a bonus, Cerveza Pacífico beer will be available for $3. Stop and stay awhile. For more information, call (949) 675-9800 or visit solcocina.com.

Finally, something easy to swallow

Holy bargain glassware, Batman! IKEA Costa Mesa, 1475 S. Coast Drive, is ending its Summer Sale with a few exceptional deals this weekend. Stop by today for a six-pack of their Vanlig 7-ounce glasses for 99 cents. (No, that's not a typo.) The glasses are stackable, dishwasher-safe and, yes, actually made of glass. Saturday, the Dombas wardrobe in a medium-brown finish is $49.99; Sunday, score the cool Karaby entertainment center with piers and bridge for $49.99; and Monday, the Lack TV bench in walnut finish is $19.99. Kids eat free in the in-store Swedish restaurant through Monday. For more information, call (714) 444-4532 or visit ikea-usa.com.

Be patriotic in style

Love designer clothes but hate designer prices? Check out the Red Balloon Warehouse Outlet at 1612 Babcock, Costa Mesa, for the best in kids and women's designer apparel at surprising prices. Women's labels include Velvet, Da-Nang, Miss Sixty and Hudson; kids' include Monkey Wear, Charlie Rocket and Rare. Also available are styles for both moms and kids from labels like Juicy Couture. Call in advance, as hours are atypical. For more information, call (949) 631-3925.

Have a hot sale tip, or know about a great local business that you think deserves a little attention? Contact the O.C. Bargainista at candicebaker@gmail.com. And remember — never pay retail!

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