July 29, 2010

Cheapout at the Iowa State Fair

I posted earlier about my love for the fair, and the Iowa State Fair is my all-time favorite. It's been featured in the book "1000 Places to See Before You Die," and I think it would take the whole 10 days to be able to see everything there is to see.  The fair can get expensive, so I want to show all the ways that you can do it for less.

 Cheapout on Ticket Costs
  • Kids 5 and under are free every day!
  • Half price admissions--the last day of the fair (August 22) and every day after 5 pm.
  • Pre-purchase your tickets and buy bundles online.  An adult admission to the Iowa State Fair is $10 this year, but only $7 if you buy them early.  I just went to look for the information on this, and TODAY is the last day to have the tickets mailed to you.  You can still do the pre-purchase, but you'll have to pick up your tickets when you get there.
  • You can also buy tickets at some Dahls and Fareway stores or purchase them through Iowa Lottery machines, though they will add a $1 "convenience" fee.
Cheapout on Activities
  • Skip the midway, and focus on the free activities.  There are more than enough free things to do at the fair.  If you do want to go to the midway, buy a Fair Play pack ahead of time.
  • Here are a lot of activities your kids can do beforehand to get excited about the fair.  There are coloring pages and scavenger hunts, or you can make your own list up.
  • Sign up for Blue Ribbon Kids.  It's free, and it allows you to gain access to more free activities.  Here's the list of Blue Ribbon activities.
  • The Paul Knapp animal learning center is my little one's favorite.  She's very young and still remembers the day we watched a litter of pigs being born.  They have expectant mothers of many different species having babies throughout the course of the fair, plus eggs hatching.  Even if you aren't able to witness the miracle of birth firsthand, they have tons of brand new baby animals and videos showing the births that have already occurred.  

  • We also love Little Hands on the Farm.  The children get a chance to go around a path and harvest crops, then turn their crops in at the market for a dollar, which buys them a healthy snack.  They also get a free hat.

  • Don't forget all the stage shows!  There are areas specific to kids, such as the Fun Forest, but the other free events can still be fun for kids.  Mine love the talent show.

  • There are animal barns all over, and you can certainly go through each and every one of them.  I love the Avenue of Breeds, because you'll see a few of each type of animal all in one place.  You can't forget the big boar.  That's where you'll find him.  The big bull will be in the cattle barn and the big ram will be in the sheep barn.
  • The DNR building has aquariums and an outdoor pond with ducks, geese and turtles.  They also have many fun activities and coloring pages.

  • There is also a free Petting Zoo (though you buy food to give them).

  • One last link to some more free events, the wild west show looks like a lot of fun.

Cheapout on Food

This really isn't all that possible, since the food is all expensive, but there are free food samples to be had.  There are also some less expensive and healthier options, though sometimes we save money on everything else so that we can have the money to spend on fair foods.   Here are some ideas:

  • Free samples at the Agricultural Building.  This is also where you see the Butter Cow, and it's a can't miss activity.  While you're there, get a hard boiled egg on a stick or try some ostrich meat.  There will be representatives from every industry with samples to taste.
  • For good food, your best bets are the Cattlemans tent for good, Iowa raised beef, or pork chop on a stick at the Pork producers booth.  Dinner Bell is great for homemade breakfast, and Stockman's Inn for a better sit-down meal.
  • This link lists all the foods available at the fair and where to find them.  There really are healthier options (The Salad Bowl) and some vegetarian options.
  • We all know why you're really going to the fair, though, so here is a list of all the foods on a stick at this year's fair.
  • Look here for a complete list of foods. 
Enjoy!  I hope to see you all there.

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July 27, 2010

Ames Public Library Fun Events

The summer is starting to wind down, and many kids in our area only have about 3 weeks left before returning to school, but there are many great events still going on. Be sure to check out the calendar on the right side of my blog for daily activities.

I wanted to highlight a few in our area here.

First, the Ames Public Library.  They have mad science tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, and many other great opportunities coming up in the next few weeks.

Iowa’s Mad Scientist will present an exciting water-themed IMPACT SHOW! Geared for all ages, this show is both educational and entertaining! Come join in the fun!
Wednesday, July 28
                      3rd-6th Graders & Their Families           1:00-1:45pm
                      Families of All Ages                                   2:30-3:15pm
Location: Farwell T. Brown Auditorium

Check out these special programs presented by participants in APL-Y, Ames Public Library’s youth summer volunteer program.
  • Wild About Weather (3rd-5th Graders)
    Monday, August 2, 3:30-4:15pm, Community Room
  • Reader’s Theater (1st-3rd Graders)
    Tuesday, August 3, 1:00-1:45pm, Farwell T. Brown Auditorium
  • Surfing at the Beach Party (Families with Children of All Ages)
    Thursday, August 5, 2:00-2:45pm, Farwell T. Brown Auditorium
  • Seaside Sisters (Families with Children of All Ages)
    Thursday, August 5, 7:00-7:45pm, Farwell T. Brown Auditorium
  • Seal Splash (Families with Children of All Ages)
    Friday, August 6, 10:00-10:45am, Farwell T. Brown Auditorium
Rick Eugene will enthrall you with his feats of magic that include lots of audience participation. Two shows for your convenience.
Thursday, August 12
12:00-1:30pm & 5:00-6:30pm
Location: Farwell T. Brown Auditorium

9-year-olds and up, learn how to make balloon critters during this hour of hands-on activities. Space is limited so pre-registration is required. Sign up at the Youth Desk.
Thursday, August 12, 2:30-3:30pm
Location: Community Room

My next post will be about the Iowa State Fair.  There are a lot of ways to make it cheaper and maximize your fun if you are ready early.
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July 26, 2010

Freebies and Coupons!

In addition to some online savings, there are also some good new coupons coming out. Be sure to check the coupons every week at Target.com, coupons.com, smartsource.com, and here are some I found in my email today.

Monday Deals 7/26

Here we go with another round of deals.  It seems a lot of places are picking up the Cyber Monday thing and running with it.  It used to be the Monday after Thanksgiving, but I think more stores are hungry to capitalize on the online shopping in order to increase profits in a pretty lean market right now.  As I am starting to go through emails, I noticed a lot of stores with deals today.
  • Woman Within -- 50% off your entire order, today only.  Use code WW46246.
  • Levis.com -- and extra 20% off clearance, no code needed.  This is also today only.
  • Toys R Us cyber Monday sale.  Check out the Babies R Us deals at the same link.  This is the link to their school supplies deals, through 7/31.  There are also BOGO board games on that sales flyer.
  • Oh my!  Bath and Body Works is having the Great American Handsoap sale, with 5 for $15 or 7 for $20 on their antibacterials.  I love these, and I always stock up when they have the great deals.  They also have a great bag filled with products for $20 when you spend $30 or more. Be sure to check out their clearance deals and the B3G2 on lotions.  One more!  Get a free handsoap with this coupon (in store only)
  • 30% off at Gap, Old Navy or Banana Republic with code SAVE30 (through 7/27) and get free shipping when you spend $100. Get 10% cash back if you shop at Old Navy through Ebates!  This makes a huge savings.
  • Amazon's school supplies deal.  Spend $100, get a $20 credit for your next order.  You know I have the Amazon love, but I think the deals aren't there.  If you don't have access to Target and Staples, this might be the way to do it.  It all just comes right to your home, and the $20 credit will help.
There are more deals at your favorite retailers.  I may add more as the day continues, so check back.

July 23, 2010

School Supplies Primer

School supplies can be a big pain to gather without spending an arm and a leg, so I thought I would share my methods. I've discussed the school supplies deals previously, mentioning Target and Staples as my favorite places for shopping.  We're lucky this year, in that the list isn't quite as extensive and detailed as it was for kindergarten.

Here's our list for this year, and I'll post how I've gone about it.
  • Backpack - we still have a good one, but Staples is doing them free after rewards starting SUNDAY!  If you need one, definitely take advantage of this deal.
  • Composition notebook - these are 25 cents each at Target this week.
  • Ticonderoga wooden pencils - I see they are $1.50 for 12 at Target, but I am waiting this one out for a better deal.
  • Glue stick - Target has 2 Elmer's glue sticks for 25 cents this week.  
  • 3-Ring binder, 2 inch size - we're going all out for this, as soon as we can find a fancy notebook that size.  Every once in a while, you have to splurge.
  • Pencil end erasers - we got a package with 16 pencil toppers and a lucky pink eraser for 50 cents at (you guessed it!) Target.
  • Tissues - a good bargain hunter has these in their stockpile.  :)
  • Colored pencils - Crayola were $1 at Kmart, but Target price matches now.
  • Thin markers - again, Crayola $1 at Kmart, but price-matched at Target.
  • Thick markers - same deal, same Crayola
  • Yellow highlighter - 9 cents at Walgreens this week.
  • Thin black Sharpie - we got a multi-pack of different colors at Walgreens for $3.99, so we get to keep the colored ones for our craft projects here.
  • Thick black Sharpie - same price, same deal.
  • Plastic folder with prongs and pockets - we haven't purchased this yet, still waiting for a slightly better deal.
So, in two stores (though I could have price-matched the Walgreens items at Target) I have almost filled the school supply list and stocked our art cart.  Target also has Elmer's school glue and Crayola 24 packs of crayons for 25 cents, so we bought a few for home.

Total spent: $4.09 plus $7.98 for all the Sharpies (could be considered $1 for only the 2 we needed for school), plus another $2 for extra crayons, glue and glue sticks for home.  Remember, if you don't need the backpack from the Staples deal, you can purchase it to donate.  We have several places with drop boxes, and I think I usually see one by the door at Staples.  We'll also end up sending in some extra glue and crayons for the class.

What supplies are on your list?  Need some help hunting down a deal?  Keep watch on Staples' good deals.  This week, along with the backpacks, you can also get 1 cent copy paper and pens, 25 cent gel pens, packs of 6 highlighters, and Really Useful Boxes (for storing your stuff).  Look at the Sunday ad HERE for the rest of the Staples deals for next week.

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July 22, 2010

Target (Back in) Black Friday

Well, here's a great time! As if the Target clearance weren't tempting enough, they are now having a sale tomorrow (Friday, July 23) only! Here is a link to the page explaining the sale, but it is online only.

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Amazing Amazon Back to School Savings!

Amazing is a great descriptor for this clothing sale that Amazon is having.  First, they have the clearance clothes.  Through Monday, save an additional 20% off clearance.  This requires no code, it will just show up when you check out.  It's not just for kids, though that tends to be my focus.  If you need something for any age range, they've got it in there, with some really good name brands.

Kids Clearance
Mens Clearance
Womens Clearance

In addition to that, you can save $10 off $50 with code 10SCHOOL or $25 off $100 with code 25SCHOOL. Code info.  Remember that you could possibly break up your order to take advantage of the most savings.  Don't forget, the clothes have to be sold through Amazon to qualify for the promotion, and you'll get free Super Saver Shipping with any order over $25.

Here's a quick example of the type of savings you can find:

Winter coat with matching scarf, $30, was $60.  The two pieces of the Adidas suit were $38 and $34, marked down to $16.78 and $13.24.  The two dresses were $58 and $62, marked down to $15.80 and $28.83.  The jeans are $21.85, marked down from $49.50.

This brings your total to $126.50
 20% off that is $25.30
$25 from the code
NEW Total $76.20

The original total would have been $301.49.

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July 21, 2010

Ames Free Event and Cheap Ice Cream Thursday

I've posted about the Tune in to Main Street event on Main Street in Ames before. It's also posted in my calendar for every Thursday evening.  They have free popcorn from Wells Fargo, a bounce house and sidewalk painting along with other kids' activities, free music, and some good food stands.

This week, there's a special added bonus to get you out to Main Street. Go in and visit Temptations on Main from 5-8pm tomorrow for $1 ice cream cones! All proceeds will go to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) of Central Iowa.

Go on out for some free/cheap family fun!  There's also the Farmer's Market downtown going on at the same time.

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Back to School Clothing Deals!

Get 25% off at Gap with code GAPBTS25 through Sunday.  Looks like a good deal if you're back to school clothing shopping right now.

The Childrens Place is doing 40% off many items, plus save an extra 15% with code F6ADKVW77A.

Old Navy also has an extra 50% off clearance in store only, so you can go that route if you have a store close to you.

Dockers has everything 30% off your entire online order with code FF2010 --this one ends today!

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July 20, 2010

Great Free Golden Book Activities

This looks fun! Find a 4 pages of printable activities HERE, and then friend them on Facebook HERE and get even more activities, including Toy Story printables.

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Coupons and Deals for July 20

Here's another round-up of deals from my inbox.
  • Office Depot BOGO deals for this week can be found HERE.  If you have an OD near you, you will be able to use this printable coupon.  There are more coupons HERE.  If you don't, never fear!  My Points has a great point deal for OD, which could amount to a similar savings--depending on the amount you spend, you could earn 5000 points.  Free shipping on orders over $50 also applies.
  • Get 70% off at Restaurant.com with the code TASTY.  This should let you get a $10 gift card for around $1.20.
  • 30% off new arrivals at Old Navy with code ONNEW30.  Be sure to shop through Ebates or My Points.
  • New Borders coupons.
  • Get $10 off $50 from Philosophy.com with coupon 10off50.
  • BOGO luggage sets at Kohls.  Use code SAVE15AD to get an additional 15% off.
I will be back with more later.

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Another Cheapout--Buy Christmas Gifts Now

Right now is the perfect time to stock up on toys and games for future gift giving.  Target has a huge toy clearance going on right now, along with their summer items and the big baby items like car seats and cribs.  When these items get to 75% or even 90% off, you can buy a few $20 items for $5 or less.  Use the items to stock a gift closet for emergency birthday party invitations or save them for Christmas for your own kids.

Also right now (as in this week only) Kmart has an additional 50% off their clearance items.  This will include a lot of summer clothes, toys, and household items.  I want to tell you that Kmart has similar clearance deals online, but their website is so hard to negotiate that I can't even find stuff to link.

Kmart is also offering 20% off their store brand clothing for any people who are currently unemployed.  It should be a good opportunity to save money while dealing with the crippling effects of the current economy.  This is not a limited time thing, so pair the 20% off with the upcoming sales tax holiday to maximize it. 

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July 18, 2010

It's Fair Season!

We've got the Story County Fair starting up soon, and we love going to the fair. When I went to double check the dates for the fair, I found a comprehensive list of all the county fairs in Iowa.  I know people who have never been to the fair, but it was a big part of my life growing up in rural Iowa.  If you have never been, go and check it out.  You won't be disappointed. 

I put the dates for the Story County Fair into my calendar, but I also wanted to highlight some of the best events. 
  • Every day of the fair, they will have kids' activities from 9-11 am, and again from 6-7:30 pm.  Our experience was that each day they had something new and fun for the kids to do.   This happens in the Community Building basement.
  • Saturday the 24th should be a great day for smaller children.  They will have the small animal shows beginning at 11 am, with dog and cat shows and a rabbit hopping show in the afternoon.  There is also a petting zoo that day from 3-7 pm.
  • Go try out the food!  The Methodist church has a stand with tons and tons of homemade pies, and the food prices are so reasonable!  Get a corn dog for $1.50, a walking taco for $2.  They even have root beer floats for dessert for only $1.50.  They will be serving all day long, with homemade breakfasts starting at 6 am.
  • Check out the full schedule HERE.  And did I mention that admission to the fair is FREE for everyone?  Couldn't be better.

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Forgot a title for this one...

As I mentioned earlier, the Back to School deals are heading into full force now, and will keep going until school actually starts.  The best thing to do is arm yourself with your school supplies list and buy only the loss leaders each week.  If you're going to Target (or Toys R Us or Staples) anyway, just pick up a few items each week as the sales go on.  I don't like to make special trips just to save money, but I'll go if I am in the neighborhood.

Consider when you are looking at these deals that some of these items will end up being 10 cents, 25 cents, or even a penny at some stores.  Find the deal that works for you, based on what stores you have, or how cheap is cheap enough.
I'll try to highlight deals as I find them:
  • This week, Toys R Us has buy 1 get 2 free (yes, 2) on Crayola markers, crayons, colored pencils, and papers.  This could be a really great deal, but Target had 24 packs of crayola crayons for 25 cents last week.  
  • TRU also has free lunch kits with the purchase of backpacks.
  • Here are some Nexcare bandages coupons.  I've found you can get the bandages nearly free with $1 off.  You should be able to print two of each coupon.
  • If you need kids' uniforms, Amazon has Dockers uniform pieces for 60% off.  Always free shipping with $25 spent.
  • Babies R Us coupons
  • Office Depot printable coupon for $10 off $25, or use code 96192896 online for $10 off $50.  Looks like Office Depot is going to be doing rewards like Staples, offering $3 back for used ink cartridges.
  • Oh, Staples!  25 cent and $1 deals on school supplies, see ad for complete list and a $50 off coupon for a computer, but some of my favorites: pencilcases for 25 cents, glue for a penny, $1 markers, backpacks for 50% off (though wait for the full rebate from Staple Rewards for a free one in a few weeks.
  • Three good Borders coupons, good till tomorrow only:  33% off, 47% off Jennifer Weiner books, and 50% off a short list of books.
  • Also, be on the lookout for the latest issue of Parents magazine.  It has a 20% off coupon for Pampers diapers on Amazon that will match up well with their current deal of 30% off. This is a great time to stock up on diapers and wipes, with free shipping right to your home.  (the first link is for my post about the deal, and the 30% off link shows all the diapers involved in the deal.)
I hope these deals help you out!

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July 15, 2010

A Whole Jumble of Good Stuff

We're having some summer illnesses and other family emergencies run through our house this week, but I have found a few things to report.

First, always remember to check the calendar, especially my local readers. There are a whole lot of VERB events for kids coming up in the next few weeks, along with some great events at Reiman Gardens.  We're particularly excited about the rock climbing, but you can get free frisbees if you attend any two of the frisbee golf events.

For all my readers, remember to go back and check out my summer sanity savers posts if you're reaching the end of your sanity with the kids at home. There are a lot of great ideas for cheap and free entertainment.  I try to have something to do every day, because our behavior and whining gets worse the longer we stay in the house.

Now on to some coupons, deals, and freebies:
  • $1 Tresemme Coupon
  • Keen clogs, $24.99
  • Through 7/18, use code BODYBUCKS to get $5 off any purchase at the Body Shop.  There are a whole lot of products that are $5, meaning you could get something free.
  • Use code OSPWW through 7/22 to get 20%  off your entire order from WomanWithin.com.
  • Summer warehouse clearance at Barnes and Noble.
  • Friends and family 25% off coupon for Borders.
Sending this one the way it is.  I may be back with more later.

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July 12, 2010


How about a great batch of freebies for a Monday? Right now, it's pouring down rain, severely hampering my afternoon plans. A few cool free things should brighten my day.
  • Free Schick Hydro.  You have to mail in the rebate form, so it's not immediately free.
  • Free entrance to Hershey Park for Chevy owners.
  • Free tape measure pen
  • Free sample of Nexcare bandages 
  • Free mommy contact cards!  Hope this link will work for you.
  • Free reimbursement of the cost of Eclipse gum.  Did you buy some?  They got in trouble because they claimed it kills germs, so they have to pay people back.
  • Then you can get a free sample of Dentyne gum from Facebook.
  • Free tickets to Chuck E Cheese.  You just play the game and get up to 30 tickets, and they let you keep trying.
  • Free sample of Gas-X
  • Free Beauty Rush lip gloss from Victoria's Secret, in store.
  • Free Travel Wash, just take the quiz.
  • Free sample of Propel.  Gotta love the Facebook samples.
  • I thought 10 freebies were enough, but I keep finding "just one more."  This one just came into my inbox a few minutes ago, 25 free 4x8 cards from See Here, use code cards-36 through July 17.
Remember to check back on some of my other freebie posts for any you may have missed.  Some will still be active, some of these will be gone by the end of the day.  It's always a gamble.

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Sales Roundup

Right now is when you can get some great deals on summer clothes or other summer items. Even though we're only halfway through the summer, Target is already doing their summer clearance. In fact, the outdoor furniture is long gone and they've put school supplies in place.

Here are some other sales I've found:
  • Ann Taylor LOFT has some awesome clothes that most of the time are way out of my price range.  They do have some really great sales, so right now, take an extra 50% off sale priced items with code SALE50.
  • Today only, Babies R Us is having a Cyber Monday (I know, what the heck?) sale with 20% off thousands of items.  I'm not in need of any baby things, but some of these might interest you.
  • Lands End is having a summer sale with up to 60% off summer items and free shipping.  Use code JULY20 and PIN 5810 to get these deals.  Shop through MyPoints to get 5 points per dollar and a 250 pt bonus.
  • Through July 22, Old Navy is having a fundamentals sale.  ALSO, this week only, get 10% cashback at Old Navy when you shop through Ebates.  That makes a great deal even better.  If you haven't signed up through Ebates yet, they also are giving a $5 signup bonus to new members.
  • Kohls is also having a 2 day sale, Monday and Tuesday only.  Use code NEW4298 for 10% off.
  • Crocs outlet is having a sale, and some of the items have free Jibbits.  Use code FABSAVE10 for 10% off.
  • Print some coupons to save on some Newmans Own products. 
  • Added: Last day for Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale, all clearance panties are $2.99.  OOPS, use code CLRPANTY.
There are a lot more great deals, but I'm going to have to come back later with those.  Happy saving!

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July 10, 2010

Back to School Deals are Starting!

Seems like they just got out of school, but Staples is jumping the gun with some great deals on back to school items. Other stores will be quickly following suit, so get your lists ready for the penny and free after rebate items. Remember, you can always pick up extras to donate to the school, through your church, or other programs.
  • For Staples, first you should print out this lovely $5 coupon.  Then you can also print out more good coupons for Staples HERE.
  • Then you can pick up their 1 cent deals starting Sunday: 2 pocket folders, 8 pack of yellow pencils, and reams of paper.
  • Here are some $1 deals: pens, staplers, pencil boxes, 2 packs of scissors, 4 packs of glue sticks, and colored pencils.  Look HERE for their ad for Sunday.
  • Keep your eyes out for the next big deals.  They will have these regularly until school starts.
There will be free after rebate backpacks within the next couple of weeks, so hold off on the backpack buying till then.

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    July 9, 2010

    Great Bunch of Organic Coupons!

    If you like to buy these brands, the coupons can help defray the cost a bit.  There are three pages of coupons HERE for some of the following brands.
    • Pure
    • Clif
    • Nasoya
    • Lifeway
    • Helios
    • And many others.  Check them out and print quickly.  Remember, most coupons will allow you to print 2 per computer.

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    July 8, 2010

    Free Rockstar Energy Drink

    Print out a few of these, and get all the energy you need.  This coupon is good at Kum & Go through 7/13/10.

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    July 6, 2010

    Updates on Favorite GPTs

    Don't exactly know what a GPT is? Here's a refresher post that will help explain.

    How can you make money online, legitimately?  There are tons of ads and spam emails that claim they will pay you hundreds or thousands per month.  It's right to be leery of these, because they are almost all scams.  I've found a lot, through a lot of research, and I've reviewed many sites on here.  I'll highlight some different types of pay sites and explain some of the pros and cons.

    To start with, what does GPT mean?  It means Get Paid To...

    You can get paid to read and click emails.  These are my favorite because of how easy they are.  As I go through all my emails every day, I click them all open, then close all the tabs.  The drawback?  Because they are so easy to do, the amount they pay is fairly low.  The three main sites I use for this are MyPoints, Inbox Dollars, and Free Ride.  You can read my reviews on each by clicking the links, and I will do the review on Free Ride later this week.

    These sites also have other faster ways to earn within their sites, like signing up for email newsletters, printing coupons, clicking around on the site.  Inbox Dollars has recently added coupons to their site, and they are paying 10 cents per coupon you print and use.  This can really add up, or at least pay for the ink and paper you use.

    You can get paid to answer surveys.  These pay much more, but obviously require more time than the email ones.  I also love that the different survey sites send us products to test.  I did go into the survey sites in depth on another post, and you can read it HERE.

    You can get paid to search online--you know, like googling?  Swagbucks is my favorite of these types, and some people also like Blingo.  I never had any luck with Blingo, and if I don't make any money right away, I usually lose interest.  You can read my review of Swagbucks HERE.  A recent development with Swagbucks is that they've added a survey section.  You can now earn 150 or 200 SB for a 15 minute survey, along with the other ways I outlined in my earlier review.

    I have had a lot of people sign up for Swagbucks through my link, and I'm surprised at the people who haven't really earned anything yet.  It is so easy.  I search for stores, coupons, and other things that interest me at least 10 times per day, so the earnings can really add up fast.  I started at the beginning of January, and I have already cashed in for $260 in Amazon and Paypal money.

    You can get paid to shop online.  I love this one.  If you are going to shop online, find a way to make it pay.  There are several sites that have online shopping portals.  You click through them, they earn affiliate money from the store, and they give you a portion of their earnings.  Swagbucks, MyPoints, FreeRide, Inbox Dollars, and Ebates all have different amounts and different ways that they pay out.

    Can you get rich?  Probably not, but the money you make can be used to save for Christmas presents, buy your groceries, or just supplement your fun money.

    Do you have a favorite site that I haven't mentioned here?  I'd love to learn about it.  Do you have a site you're interested in but don't know enough about it?  Ask, and I (or one of the other readers) can help you out with some first hand knowledge. 

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    Toys R Us Deals

    Toys R Us is having a two day outdoor sale, with $20 off bikes, 20% off pools, and $50 off Power Wheels, among other things.  There are tons of good markdowns, so click HERE to see the complete list.  This sale is for Wednesday and Thursday, and in store only.

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    Garden Art Fair

    This sounds like a fun event at Reiman Gardens this coming weekend:
    Visit Reiman Gardens for the 8th annual Garden Art Fair on Sunday, July 11, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event features over 55 Midwest artists and their original garden and nature inspired artwork including photography, sculpture, stained glass, pottery, handmade jewelry, watercolor paintings and more.
    There will be live musical performances including David Wilder and Stephanie Harper. Food and beverages will be sold by the Reiman Gardens’ CoHorts and The Master Griller from Earlham, IA.

    The Garden Art Fair is free for CoHorts’ members and ISU students with ID. There will be a special one day reduced admission for the general public which is $6 for adults and seniors and $2 for children ages 4-17.
    For more information and to see a sample of the artists’ work, please visit www.reimangardens.com.

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    July 5, 2010

    Monday Deals

    I'm slowly working my way through my inbox, but I've found a few gems to share.
    • Artscow (a photo processing store I've posted about previously) has a great deal for the holiday weekend, one code that adds a TON of freebies to your account. Compact Camera Leather Case, CD Wallet, Memo Pads x3, notebooks x3, Bookmark, Memory Card Reader, Measuring Tape. INDDAY10 gets you all of those items free, you pay shipping in most cases.  
    • Another good code from Artscow is NEWAPRON for a photo apron for $9.99 with free shipping.
    • This coupon should get you 50% off any item at Michael's through July 10.
    • $15.69 (and free shipping!) for Infant sized New Balance shoes.
    Will be back with more!

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      Sports Illustrated for Kids $5 for a year!

      I just got back from a weekend away, and am trying to catch up. I've found one quick deal that I will share, then I will come back later with a lot more. I noticed that the 1 year subscription WITHOUT auto-renewal is the same price, even though the one that comes up in the link has the auto-renew.


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      July 2, 2010

      Great Kids' Ride-On Deals!

      I noticed this at the top of the movers and shakers list on Amazon, its sales have increased 1000% today.  Looking to see if it was a great deal, I noticed tons of other great ride-on toy bargains, so I thought I should share.

      If you look on the Wheelbarrow link, you will see the following deal.  Buy any Fisher Price items from this list... and get this cute little Fisher Price vehicle free.  It looks like some of the items are $11-15 each, the same price as the freebie car.  A lot of the Fisher Price items are 30% off right now as well.

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      Firecracker Bargains

      I'm going to be very busy this weekend with the 4th coming up, but I notice there are a lot of great sales and coupon codes out right now. I'll leave you with a roundup of all the deals from my inbox.
      • 20% off everything and free shipping from Woman Within with code WW45388 through July 5.
      • JCPenney huge online sale and free shipping over $49 with code 49FLARES.
      • Not a sale, but I don't have time to make another new post.  Free Kindle app for the PC.  And some Pride and Prejudice free, which should link you to the other free classic books.
      • Some Toys R Us coupons, and they're doing free lunch kit with backpack purchase.  I was in Target today and they have the school supplies out already! 
      • Don't know if you can stack coupons at Kohls.com, but they sent me two codes.  TOPSECRET will give you 20% off everything, and SEND2ME for free shipping when you spend over $75.
      • Two good Borders coupons HERE and HERE
      • July Casey's coupons for the locals.
      • Use code GAPJULY4 for 25% off at gap.com
      • Old Navy's having a huge sale, and $1 flip flops July 3 only.  Print this coupon to take in.
      • Quizno's coupons 2 sandwiches for $5
      • Kmart will be doubling coupons--with a bunch of caveats--7/4-7/10.  Just the first 5 coupons you use, and only health and beauty.  It looks like the Ames store is included in this event.  HERE is the list for other stores.
      Everyone have a safe and happy 4th of July!  I'll be back on the 5th with more deals.

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      July 1, 2010

      By Request, Some Diaper Deals

      I have a friend with triplets who wants to know how to save money on diapers. I know of a few different deals going on right now at various places, so I want to share.

      I know everyone has a different preference for diapers.  I never had luck with anything but Pampers and Luvs, but I think it depends on the baby which works best for you.  Some people get really good deals at the warehouse club stores, but I find much better deals combining coupons with sales at different stores.  If you've read my blog for a while, you know my discount department store of choice is Target.


      At Target right now, they have the big boxes for $29.99 each, and you get a $10 gift card when you buy two of them.  This is on Pampers and Huggies, but the Huggies coupons are HUGE right now.  Target has store coupons for Huggies that can be stacked with the manufacturer's coupons.  I find that if you have enough of the coupons, it's a better deal to buy the smaller packs because you save the same amount off with the coupons.  As an example:

      The "jumbo" packs (usually around 20-40 diapers, depending on the size) are $9.99 right now.  There are various $1-$3 off manufacturer's coupons available from the Sunday paper and printables, PLUS a $3 Target coupon.  Stack those together, and you've got a bag of diapers for $5 or under.

      Printable coupons for Huggies:
      • $3 off Huggies, $2.50 off Huggies Natural, $2 off wipes at this link  (hit the back button to print another set)
      • These two printables may work if you haven't printed them yet.  HERE and HERE.  (hit the back button to print another set, too)
      • Coupons com printables can be found on the banner above the post.  I made it so you could just open up their coupons, check the ones you want, then print.  Scroll through them all to make sure you find them.  There were 3 different Huggies diaper and wipe coupons up there earlier.
      There were also a lot of Huggies coupons in recent Sunday ads.  I collect coupons I will use and save them to match the sales, but if you don't have a ton of them, you are able to buy coupons through ebay and (my favorite) The Coupon Clippers.  While it seems silly to pay for coupons, paying 10 cents to save $1.50 makes good financial sense in some situations.

      Also, Amazon has a couple of deals going on for Pampers and Luvs.  Right now, there is a coupon code that gets you 15% off the total, AND you can get an additional 15% off when you do their subscribe and save.  You can set up the regular shipment of diapers for any length of time you want, and you can cancel it whenever you like.  The best part?  They ship them right to your house with free super saver shipping.  Check out the deals by clicking on your brand and checking the message about special offers.

      I know I posted this before, but I wanted to hit it again while it's still available.  I've read that if you do this offer, they will also offer you a 3 month free membership to their Prime shipping, which saves you so much money and time on shipping.

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      New Month, New Amazon Deals

      The first of the month excites me for many reasons, but I really love the new Amazon deals and freebies. Because I watch Amazon a lot, I know that if there's anything I want from them, it's only a matter of time before it gets hugely discounted.  I load up my cart with things that interest me and I wait. 

      I know I have fellow magazine lovers.  I love to have a wide variety of magazines for when I'm supervising the kids outside.  It's hard to get enough time to read a book, but one article at a time, I can finish a magazine.  There are also some great coupons to be found in many of the magazines.
      • Looking at the magazine deals, I see Popular Science is $5 for 1 year, but only through July 3.  You should be able to buy multiple years for the same $5, and that's about as good as the price will ever get.

      • The rest of the deals are new and through the end of July.  They are all either $5 or $10 off at checkout, so the price under them doesn't reflect the discount.  Some are 2 year subscriptions for that very low price.

      Entertainment Weekly, $15 for one year or $30 for two.  Popular Photography is $9 for 1 year, Marie Claire is $7 for two years, Sports Illustrated will be $28.95 for a year, and Eating Well will be $14.97 for TWO years.  There are more great deals at $5 off and $10 off, so check them out.  These are just my favorites.

      Don't forget to check out the free Kindle book downloads.  They've lowered the price on the Kindle itself, so if you've been waiting it may be the right time for it.  There are literally thousands of free books available for download, so check out the list from low to high price

      There are also loads of free MP3 downloads and they have $5 whole album downloads often, so take a look down this list as well.  I have been able to get some great new albums for $5 or lower just from their deals page.

      I'll be back with more new items for July soon.  Hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as we are, and continue to check the calendar for free events.

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