May 31, 2011

6 Months of Newsweek for only $5!

This is for today only, but what a great deal!  Six months of Newsweek for $5.

They've also got all seasons of Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives on sale for anywhere from $13-20.  This one's also a one day sale.

May 30, 2011

Pantene Coupon Book

This coupon booklet came with the Pantene special buy from Target.  You'll be looking for the large bottles (25.4 oz) of Pantene with the small bottle (6.7 oz) attached.  They are on sale this week at Target, and there are some great coupons to make it a good buy.

  • $1/1 Secret
  • 50 cents off one Safeguard bar or liquid hand soap
  • $3/1 Olay facial cleanser or facial moisturizer
  • $1/1 Olay body wash or bar soap
  • 50 cents off one Ivory bar soap, body wash or liquid hand soap
  • $2/1 Clairol hair color
  • $1/1 Venus razor
  • $1/1 Covergirl product

Charmin Sensitive Coupon Book

This comes in select packages of 18 double rolls Charmin Sensitive at Target, it's a huge coupon booklet with high $$ coupons.  Here they are:

  • $2/1 Venus Embrace Razor or Venus Embrace Disposable.
  • $3/1 ANY Tide Stain Release Free
  • $1/1 Charmin Freshmates
  • $3/1 ANY Tide Free and Gentle Detergent
  • $2/1 Gillette Clinical deodorant or any 2 deodorants
  • $1/1 Secret Clinical 
  • $2/1 Gillette Body Wash
  • $2/1 Prilosec OTC
  • $2/1 ANY Charmin Sensitive
  • $2/1 Pampers Swaddlers, Swaddlers Sensitive, Extra Protection, or Cruisers Diaper BOX
  • $1/1 Bounce Free and Sensitive
  • $2/1 Olay facial moisturizer for sensitive skin
  • $5/1 Align Digestive Care
  • $1/1 Metamucil
  • $1/ 3 pack Puffs
  • $1/1 Head and Shoulders Product
These have expiration dates in 2013, so you can hold onto them until the perfect sale.

Awesome Target Deals!

As always, I am not a coupon "expert" nor am I an extreme couponer.  I do use coupons a lot, stack them when I can, and use strategies for an effective stockpile.  I was running low on some items, and the perfect storm of stockpiling had finally arrived.
  • I had P and G coupons from the May Brandsaver, and they were set to expire soon.
  • I had a Target/P and G coupon book from the Sunday paper in the beginning of May with coupons I could stack.  Click to see the list.
  • I had another great P & G coupon set from the last time I bought Charmin.
  • Target was having a sale on P & G products and offering the $5 gift card with the purchase of two items.
I do not make a huge stockpile in my home, but I do like to have a few months' supply of the items we use a lot.  If you watch your store and keep track, you'll notice that things go on sale in cycles.  I know that Target will run this promotion every couple of months.  Instead of buying out every package of toilet paper that they have on the shelf, then filling my garage, I buy enough to get me to the next time.

So, here's the lowdown.  If you have the Target coupons to match, you can stack the Target coupons with the Brandsaver coupons or any others you might have.  Purchase 2, get $5 gift card as well.  It gets better!  In my Target, all the packages of Charmin Sensitive came with a huge pack of high value coupons.  Buy two, get the coupon pack, and go back in for more!
2 packages of 18 double rolls Charmin, $9.99 each
2 coupons for $1 off Charmin
2 coupons for free Freshmates with purchase of Charmin
$5 gift card back
$24.98, less coupons
$17.98, less $5 gift card
$6.49 per package and two free packages of Freshmates!

Don't forget to look for the ones with coupon books.  The new coupon book has coupons for $2 off one pack of Charmin, making this deal even better.

Pantene also has some sets where you got a smaller bottle free with the larger one, and those also have coupon books in them.  They are on sale for $3.79.
2 packages of Pantene, $3.79 each
$3 off 2 coupon from P&G
$1.50 off 2 coupon from Target P&G
$7.58, less coupons
$3.08 for two large bottles and two smaller bottles

The Pantene coupon book did not have more Pantene coupons, but it does have some really good health and beauty coupons.  I'm doing separate posts on these so this doesn't get too long and complicated.

More good buys from Target this week (stackable coupons and $5 gift cards galore!) include Iams, Tide, Tide Stain Release, Bounce dryer bars, Downy, Puffs, Pedigree, Pampers and Huggies.

May 29, 2011

Half Price Book Summer Reading Program

If you're looking for more great FREE things to do with your children this summer, you can also check out my previous blog posts labeled SSSS (summer sanity savers series.)  Be sure to click read older posts to see all of them.

I will be adding this to my blog post with all the summer reading programs, but thought it would be worth its own post as well.  Everything we can do helps with keeping our kids learning and retaining what they learned over the summer.  Free books are always a good motivator for them and for us.

Here's the lowdown on Half Price Books' Feed Your Brain

How kids 14 and under can participate:

  1. Get a Feed Your Brain Reading Log PDF and set a goal to read each day for at least 15 minutes or more throughout June and July. Grown-ups may read aloud for kids who are still learning.
  2. Join us for our Feed Your Brain kick off on Sunday, June 5 at 2 pm for the Biggest Storytime of the Summer at your local Half Price Books.
  3. Add up your minutes and have your parent or guardian initial at the end of each week.
  4. Check-in at your local Half Price Books store to find more great books to Feed Your Brain throughout the summer!
  5. Did you read 600 minutes or more? Turn in your completed reading log at Half Price Books July 25 – August 7 to receive your $5 Back-to-School Bucks summer reading reward!
  6. Do you think you’re a Top Reader this summer? We’ll award one top reader per age group with a TOP READER prize, a $20 HPB Gift Card!*
Straight from their page HERE.

FREE Dove Conditioner

Here's another good sample. It's Dove conditioner, which looks like it would be a good one to have around.  Click here to sign up for the free sample.

May 28, 2011

Amazon Grocery Deals, 5/28

OK, it's the end of the month, so most of the May grocery deals are getting ready to go away. If you didn't get a chance yet to use all the coupon codes, check them out in my May post before 5/31.  I'm going to go through and highlight the best deals for today.

Use code KELLOGG6 to save a total of 35% off these cereals already marked down.

Peanut butter and tomato sauce! The staples. TOTALUNI works for both to bring them down to an additional 30% off these low prices.

And the Ragu. Remember, TOTALUNI for 30% off additional. At least for right now, these 7 sauces are all on sale. It's 4 large jars for this price!

These Coffeemate Creamers are a total of 55% off when you use the code CREAMER7.  If you can be patient, that is.  It looks like these three left in stock are going to be shipped in 1-2 months.  It's a lot of creamer for better than half off.

I may come back to add to this post later today, but check things out for yourself.  If you see anything great, leave it in comments and I'll get it added.

FREE Miracle Whip

Looks like a good sample, and kind of a fun video campaign as well. Click on over for your free mayo.

May 27, 2011

Amazon Deals for Friday, 5/27

I'm short on time, but there are some good sales on Amazon just in time for Memorial Day.  I'm going to do the best I can to point you in the right direction, though I might not have time for as many individual items.
  • These shoes are more than 50% off, and free shipping over $25.
  • Shoe Metro shoes are an extra 10 and 15% off with code SM10OFF1 (2 or more) or SM3SHOES (3 or more)
  • These items are all an additional 20% off at checkout, no code needed.
  • 70% off these Steve Madden items.
  • An extra 30% off these items from ALDO.
  • An extra 20% off these items when you use code AFASHION
And the Friday Sale.  Well...the Friday sale is a lot of good coffee deals.  If you like Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf brands ($8.40 for 2 bags!), Keurig, and others, check it out.  Not much else but coffee this week.

Have a great Friday!

Good Mail

Every once in a while, a whole bunch of freebies come in the same week, reminding me why I like those freebie posts. So here are some of the best things we've gotten over the past week or so (linked if they're still available):
  • Free stationery for my 7 year old.  The girl makes cards all day long, so she was thrilled.
  • Free Arby's sandwich and free bagel
  • Free sample of Brez.
  • Free Shout Color Catcher
  • Free 6 pack of Nescafe samples
  • Zyrtec coupon 
Those are all I can remember off the top of my head, but it's been a good week.  You can look back through all my posts labeled freebies and see what you can still get.

Here's one new one I found this morning!  Get 3 free Atkins bars and a weight loss kit.  It looks like you have to join their club, but it's also free.

May 26, 2011

FREE Dog Food

I apologize for my lack of posting, and I know I owe a Wednesday Wandering. Yesterday I was unable to get into my blogger account all day long, and today I'll be on the run for work all day. I will be back posting on Friday, but I'll leave you with a free sample of Rachael Ray's dog food

It's called Nutrish.  I want to like her, but the way she shortens words drives me nuts.  There, I said it.  Apologies, controversy, and freebies all in two short paragraphs.  What more could you want?

May 24, 2011

FREE Tapas from Macaroni Grill

Here's a good freebie!  If you're wanting to try them anyway, get some free Tapas from Macaroni Grill.  I love tapas, though I haven't tried them at MG.  Give it a try, print out this coupon and use through 5/27.

Amazon Kids' Shoes Sale

These kids' shoes are an additional 20% off when you spend $70 or more, making for some pretty good deals.  See the link for all the shoes that are included in the deal.  You can sort for only the brands you like, or you can sort by price.  Some of the best prices.

I love that there are Stride Rite, Teva, Crocs, and Reebok shoes all in the $10-15 range.  Just remember for them to be included, they have to be sold through Amazon.  That's the biggest frustration with shoe shopping, there are 12 different sellers for each brand.  Enjoy the search!

FREE Skincare Samples

This looks nice.  Free samples of 3 different skin care items from Naturopathica.

While you're at it, you can get this free sample of Angelica protective lotion.

FREE Entertainment at the Iowa State Fair

Frequent readers may know that I LOVE the Iowa State Fair.  I know I dedicated several very long posts to the Fair last year, and most of the information is still relevant, so check out how to Cheapout at the Iowa State Fair, and also a little more information I added later.  I will probably go through and make sure all the links are still good in the next couple of weeks, but today I just wanted to share that they've released the FREE stage shows information.

Who do you love?  Check out the schedule here, and I'll share some of my favorites.  Tell me who you've seen, who you love, who you're looking forward to.
  • The Georgia Satellites!  
  • Mr. Stinky Feet, Jim Cosgrove!  My kids adore him, and we have one of his DVDs that is getting worn out. 
  • The Oak Ridge Boys, can you believe it?  Only on 8/11, so make your plans.
  • Jason Brown is a local boy to my neck of the woods, and I guarantee you'll love him.  He's doing four shows.
  • You can never go wrong with local legends the Nadas and the Blue Band. 
  • Confederate Railroad, remember them?
  • And finally, Jay and the Americans, famous (in my mind, anyway) for one of my favorite songs.
Not sure why that video is so small.  I hope it works.

May 23, 2011

Swagbucks Memorial Day Event

Looks like a good week if you're a Swagger...  hmm, not sure if that's right.  If you use Swagbucks, they are promising a Memorial Day extravaganza.  They've got special collector's bills, and if you get them all before Thursday, you'll get an additional 20 bucks in your account.  These usually come through searches, so get searching!

Thursday also looks like a good day to be near your computer, because they're promising big search wins and multiple codes totaling another 40 bucks.

And finally, if you haven't already joined Swagbucks, you can join through my link here.  You'll get 30 bucks just for signing up.  If you sign up before Memorial Day, you can get an EXTRA 50 swagbucks with code MEMORIALDAY.  Don't know what Swagbucks is all about?  You can read up on how it works in my blog post.

FREE Steak Seasoning

Here's a great freebie for grilling season.  Get a free sample package of steak rub for your angus steaks.

A Few Good Kid Freebies

Some of these might be fun to have:
  • Red Robin has a free package of Heinz tomato seeds.  Grow your own ketchup (or is it catsup?)  They have some other fun kids club activities on the page.  Now that I am trying to get the direct link, it shows being out.  You can still download a free kids cookbook, though.
  • Free "Are You Smarter than a Curator?" bumper sticker.
  • Free Historical Thinking poster.
  • Free 3D glasses.
  • FEMA will send out some disaster preparedness activity books, but you have to write to them to request it. 
  • Another one they have to write in for, a grab bag of collector's pins.
  • Barnes and Noble kids club has a lot of great benefits, including a free cupcake.
  • Kmart also has a kids club, with $5 in birthday bucks.
  • Free Healthy Habits activity book from Lysol.
That should be enough to stay busy for a little while this summer.

May 22, 2011

FREE Chocolate Milk Sample

How about something to mix in your milk? You just need to share this on Facebook or Twitter in order to receive the sample.

FREE Cheesecake

Who doesn't love free cheesecake? This looks like you need to subscribe to their email list to get, but the coupon is a legitimate link.  Enjoy a free slice of cheesecake with your meal from The Cheesecake Factory.

May 21, 2011

Huge Pile of 3M Coupons

This looks great! They always email coupons, but usually only one at a time.  This mailing has a ton of great coupons, including $1 off Scotch tape, packing tape, and glue sticks.  In some stores, this could make it free or close to it.  Check here to print your coupons.

FREE Sport Wipes

Here's another good free sample from Playtex.  I'm not really sure what sport wipes are for, but maybe it will say on the package when you get it.  Click HERE for the freebie.

$10 from Dave and Buster's

Here you go!  sign up on their site, and get $10 in free game play from Dave and Buster's.  This is good through the end of May.

May 20, 2011

Dollar General -- GREAT Coupons

Here's a good one, though the coupons all expire tomorrow.  You should be able to stack some of these Dollar General coupons with the manufacturer's coupons, then use the $5 off $25 to make the deal even better. 

FREE Fish Oil Sample

This is a great freebie! A whole week's worth of Fish Oil supplements from Nature's Bounty.  I have signed up for and received a few different samples from them over the years, and they usually come with some really great coupons.  Click on over to Nature's Bounty's page and order some for yourself.

Amazon Friday Sale, 5/20

Looks like there are a lot of great deals to be had in the Friday sale today, so check it out for yourself HERE.  You'll notice they have a lot of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf coffees on sale, 2 of the 12 oz. bags for $14-16.

Decent, you say.  $7 a bag is just all right.  Then you take of the 15% for Subscribe and Save, and it gets a little better.  Scroll down a bit, and you'll see the coupon code, COFTEAL3, which will get you ANOTHER 25% off.  The cool thing about Amazon is that both discounts come off the sale price, so you save 40%.  Now, we're looking at two bags of really good gourmet coffee for $8-$10.

There are also a TON of K-cups for your Keurig, $12 for 24 and $25 for 48, bringing the cost of a cup of coffee down to 50 cents.  Not bad!

The Solofull Cups above ^^^ have a coupon, SOLOFIL2, that will allow you to get free coffee when you buy any three.

The other section of the Friday sale, I often ignore because they aren't anything that interests me much.  There are some really good prices on items, so check these out.   The tool sets might make good Father's Day gifts.

You can also look at my May grocery deals post to see all the monthly coupon codes and deals. The gluten free promotion is really good, and I still haven't managed to do a dedicated post about all of those deals.

Not a part of the Friday sale, but there are two great Skippy peanut butters on sale again!  6 jars of natural creamy or super chunk for a little over $9 is a great deal! Use code TOTALUNI to save a total of 30%.

FREE Name Labels from Avery

It's time for another great Facebook freebie!

Like Avery on Facebook, and they will send you two free samples and a rebate coupon for some sticky name badges.  You never know when these will come in handy.

May 18, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings -- Blank Park Zoo

 It's Wednesday again already, so where shall we go today? The Blank Park Zoo is another of our favorite destinations in central Iowa.  Though the zoo is a lot smaller than many zoos, we find that makes it perfect for a day trip.  We usually get there at 10 am when it opens, have a picnic lunch, then leave between 1-2 pm.  They have many great events, and it's also good to just visit for an hour or so if you only want to visit a specific area.  A tour...

We tend to follow a certain circle when we go to the zoo.  We begin in the Discovery Center, which is completely indoors.  An hour easily could be spent inside if you need something to do on a rainy or cold day.  There are some aquariums, a small rain forest area, birds, sloths, tamarins, and red pandas.

After you get outside, they have flamingos, tortoises, fun-loving otters, and lemurs to enjoy.

My kids really love the Australia exhibit.  It is currently under construction but expected to re-open this summer.  Visitors are able to walk through on a trail, with emus, swans, and wallabies right next to you, sometimes walking or hopping right across your path.

See the baby in the pouch?

The next area you will find is a petting zoo with many critters.  We sometimes skip this area to save time, and sometimes we spend hours in there.  They also have a big play structure for burning off excess energy.  Just outside of the petting zoo, there is the most fun interactive display for prairie dogs.  The kids love this one!

After the prairie dogs, you can watch the sea lions and penguins, then on to the big cats!  They're housed partially indoors and partially outdoors, and close enough that you can really watch them--and they can watch you.  

Stop and see the gibbons and their antics and go on the Africa walk, with several animals from safari.  We love the giraffes.

After Africa, you can visit the Japanese macaques, bald eagles, and feed the parakeets.

We carry a membership to the zoo and the science center.  The dual family membership is a pretty good deal at $159 for both places for a family for a year.  We tend to go often when we have a membership, and we've found that the reciprocity saves us a lot of money when we visit other cities.  (Nearest our area, the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Henry Doorly Zoo, Lincoln Children's Zoo are included.)

I always post the zoo's events in the free fun calendar.  Most events are free with your paid admission, and they schedule events often.  During the summer, every Wednesday is Zoo Brew for the over 21 crowd.  Looks like they've replaced the Friday Family nights with Adventure Days.  You can see the Adventure Days themes HERE.  The first one is this Saturday!

  • Butterfly garden planting: 10 a.m. - Noon
  • Plant Seeds to take home and grow: Noon - 5 p.m.
  • IPTV will be handing out Curious George seeds and activity sheets.
  • Lite 104.1 will be onsite broadcasting live from 10 a.m. - Noon.
  • Make a fish ornament and learn about ocean conservation.
  • Several other crafts and games throughout the day.
The other new item we're excited about is the dinosaur exhibit.  It doesn't start till May 27th, so no photos of that area yet.  It looks like members will get a preview on May 26th.  Yet another reason to belong.

With summer approaching, I am going to start covering some of the best places to go in and around Central Iowa.  If you want more information about a particular place, you can contact me through the comments here and place a request.  If you have more information to share about a particular place, let me know and I will get it added.  Look for a new post every Wednesday, unless I get too busy or forget.  Check the "wandering" tab for more of the posts in this series, or the SSSS tab for more ideas for entertaining the short people in your home.

May 17, 2011

FREE Kids' Stationery Set

This looks like a great freebie, but snatch it up quickly. Just click on the link, enter your email address, then click "get my cards."  They'll take you through the checkout process, but the total is $0 so no credit card information is needed.

I had mine mailed to the artsy older kid, who will not only love the kit, but also getting good mail with her name on it.

Amazon Leapfrog Deal

These are some great educational materials, and Amazon has a pretty good sale right now. Maybe they'd make great summer tutoring materials to get your young ones ready for kindergarten or keep their skills sharp for next year.  Letter Factory is probably the best video there is for teaching the beginnings of phonics skills to young ones.

What I see for good prices, Letter Factory alone is under $10, but they have some great bundles under $20 for a few DVDs, flash cards, and CDs.  Here's the link to all the ones that are on sale.

Free or Cheap Kids' Movies for the Summer

If you're looking for more great FREE things to do with your children this summer, you can also check out my previous blog posts labeled SSSS (summer sanity savers series.)  Be sure to click read older posts to see all of them.

I already posted one under the free reading programs, but I'll also put it in this post along with the others I've found.  If your area has free or low cost movies, let me know in the comments and I'll get it added here.  Seems like most have gone to $1 per show, but that's still a good price.
  • Regal Theaters has their Summer Movie Express, and it looks like it also includes some United Artists and Edwards Theaters.  Check on the link to see if your theater is included.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 am, select G and PG movies will be only $1.  Wouldn't you know?  None in Iowa.
  • Cinemark has their Summer Movie Clubhouse, with 10 movies for $1 each (or pre-buy tickets to all shows for only $5).  Interestingly, even though there are Cinemarks in Ames, this only includes the theater in Jordan Creek Mall.
  • AMC Theaters has discontinued their Summer Movie Camp.  Boo.
  • National Amusements, as mentioned in the reading program post, has free movies if your child brings a book review.
  • These Clearview Cinemas are also East Coast only.  Check out the info HERE.
  • Great Escapes (why are none of these in my area?) has some freebies.  You'll need to click on your individual theater for their schedule.
  • Rave Motion Pictures also has free movies, still not in my area.
If you know of others, let me know so that I can get them added.

May 16, 2011

Ongoing FREE Kids' Workshops and Events

If you're looking for more great FREE things to do with your children this summer, you can also check out my previous blog posts labeled SSSS (summer sanity savers series.)  Be sure to click read older posts to see all of them.
I usually post about different activities, either through a blog post or through the free fun activities calendar on the right side of the page.  I thought it would be a good resource to have a comprehensive link to each store's activities calendar as well.  Here goes:
  • Bass Pro is one of our favorites for summer, weekend, and holiday events.  They seem to have so many, and the stores always seem to have a good aquarium to visit along with it.  Their full summer schedule hasn't been released yet, but look for it at THIS LINK.  They say the kickoff will be June 4.
  • Kids Bowl Free is a national event that occurs in a lot of bowling alleys across the country every summer. 
  • Lego Stores worldwide have monthly events for your little builder.  Check out their events page HERE.
  • Home Depot has kids' workshops the first Saturday of each month.  Just show up between 9 am and noon at your local store.  You can look at the projects HERE.
  • Lowes has their Build and Grow clinics on the second and fourth Saturdays of most months.  You are encouraged to pre-register.  You can pre-register and also see the project at this link.  In our area, there have been many times where the clinics sell out.
  • Michaels does a lot of classes.  Here's their event calendar, which includes events for the US and Canada.  Most classes/workshops are free, but they occasionally have a nominal materials fee.
  • Pottery Barn Kids stores also have free kids activities.  They have a book club (story time) every Tuesday morning at 11 am, and many other themed activities.  Check out their schedule HERE.
Where do you go?  Which ones have you tried?  I'd love to hear if you know of any more opportunities for free fun.

May 15, 2011

FREE Legos Magazine

I've posted this before, but it is available again.  If you have a Lego lover in your home, head on over here to sign them up for Club Lego.  They'll get a free magazine, and you'll get a schedule of fun store events.

May 14, 2011

Community Coffee $2 per Bag!

I think you could do this with any variety they have, but I just did this deal with decaf.   It takes a couple of steps, but it worked well for me.

  • First, you click on the Amazon Coupon page.  
  • Look for the coupon for $3 off 3 bags of Community Coffee.  
  • Click that coupon, then choose the variety you want.  
  • On that item, there will be a place that says, "clip this coupon" under the price.  
  • Be sure to choose the Subscribe and Save option to get another 15% off, then check out. 
  • I had to click on the item in my cart, go back, and choose S&S.  Remember that you can edit or cancel your subscriptions at any time.

Items: $13.82
Shipping & Handling: $0.00
Subscription Discount -$2.07
Your Coupon Savings -$3.00
Your Coupon Savings -$3.00

Total Before Tax: $5.75
Estimated Tax: $0.00
Total: $5.75

That is three 12 ounce bags of coffee for $5.75, not even $2 per bag.

Summer Reading Programs -- FREE Books

If you're looking for more great FREE things to do with your children this summer, you can also check out my previous blog posts labeled SSSS (summer sanity savers series.)  Be sure to click read older posts to see all of them.

I went searching for more programs, and found several.  I know there are other stores who do these types of reading programs, so I will add more to this post as I locate them or the store releases it.

  • Summer Break with Book it! is sponsored by Pizza Hut.  Your child gets entered into a contest to win a prize pack when they read five books.  There are also a lot of fun activities and some book suggestion lists.

  • Looks like this is only available in New England, but kids will get to watch free movies if they read books.  Through National Amusements Theaters, they will have a free movie every Wednesday if you bring a book report with you.
  • I already talked about the Borders Double Dog Dare program in another post, but I want to collect all the programs in one place.  Just have your child read 10 books and fill out the form, then they get a free one.
  • Barnes and Noble also has a summer reading program called Imagination Destination.  Kids can read 8 books and write them in the book journal, then turn it in for a free book.   Read the details and print the journal HERE.
  • Scholastic had a great page last year with a ton of resources.  This year, they have Keep Kids Reading All Summer Long, with book lists by age and a lot of great articles for parents and teachers.  This one would award schools whose students have the most minutes of reading.
  • Half Price Books has the Feed Your Brain program. 
  • Pottery Barn Kids has their own program, with a reading list of childrens' books that have won awards.  Get a free book if you complete either of the two lists.

    I will keep looking for more programs, but please let me know if you find something.

    May 13, 2011

    Arby's Freebie

    Here's a chance for a coupon for a free chicken salad (love these) from Arby's. You will need to like them on Facebook, and then you can print a coupon for a free grilled chicken and pecan Market Fresh sandwich with purchase of a 22 oz drink.

    The coupon is good through May 15.

    Barnes and Noble Summer Freebie

     If you're looking for more great FREE things to do with your children this summer, you can also check out my previous blog posts labeled SSSS (summer sanity savers series.)  Be sure to click read older posts to see all of them.

    Well, I can't post about Borders and not include Barnes and Noble in the mix.  They also have a summer reading program.  Kids can read 8 books and write them in the book journal, then turn it in for a free book.   Read the details and print the journal HERE.

    Do you know of any other good programs?  Tell us about them.

    Borders Summer Freebies

    If you're looking for more great FREE things to do with your children this summer, you can also check out my previous blog posts labeled SSSS (summer sanity savers series.)  Be sure to click read older posts to see all of them.
    We did this last year, and thought it was a great incentive for summer reading.  I was on Borders webpage printing off this 40% off coupon and noticed that they are starting up their Double Dog Dare reading program again.  Just have your child read 10 books and fill out the form, then they get a free one.

    While I am typing about this, it reminds me of my Summer Sanity Savers posts from last year.  This was on the list of how to work on improving reading.  You can read that post HERE, or click on the SSSS tag to read the series.

    FREE Sample of Emeril's Spices

    Click HERE for a free sample of Emeril's BAM! seasoning.

    May 12, 2011

    McDonald's $1 Off Frozen Drinkies

    Mmmm, smoothies, frappes, and lemonade slushies, all for $1 off. Go to McDonald's Facebook page and get a coupon. Print judiciously, because this coupon doesn't expire till June 15.


    Friday Facebook Freebies

    Two good ones. It's good and bad when they schedule their freebies. Good, because you know when to go and find them, bad because so does everyone else. Give it a try, though. Watch these two pages for a great freebie offer:
    • Tide has on their Facebook page: "Don't forget to stop back this Friday 5/13/11 when we will be giving away 20,000 samples of the Tide Stain Release every day for a whole week! This is their main page, and here is the link to the giveaway.  Looks like you can just keep checking back daily for a new deal.
    • Then you can get some free hair coloring from Natural Instincts.  This is also supposed to go live on Friday.
    Good luck!

      Old Spice Facebook Freebie

      I don't know what it is, but Old Spice is giving away something today.  Go to their Facebook page, like them, and then you'll be notified when whatever freebie they're doing goes live.  Since my friend already owns the Old Spice Guy, I guess my chance at that is slim.

      May 11, 2011

      Wednesday Wanderings -- McFarland Park

      With summer approaching, I am going to start covering some of the best places to go in and around Central Iowa.  If you want more information about a particular place, you can contact me through the comments here and place a request.  If you have more information to share about a particular place, let me know and I will get it added.  Look for a new post every Wednesday, unless I get too busy or forget.

      McFarland Park is a great park located northeast of Ames, with a lot of fun opportunities.  It's a new experience every time you go, with different plants and trees and animals to see.  There are hiking trails (easy ones) around a beautiful lake:

      a huge area of prairie grasses

      and woodland forests.  
      My kids love the playground.  

      There is also a nature center, a butterfly garden, and even a stargazing observatory.

      I have posted a few times about their different activities for children and adults, and they feature prominently on my free fun activities calendar on the right.  Here is the post I made about their online (free!) educational resources.  Here is a post that I did on how to extend the fun anywhere you go.

      Focus one time on plant life, once on animal life, have a scavenger hunt, or just go out and enjoy the beauty of nature.

      Look for events starting back up soon.  I just looked at my calendar and saw two events toward the end of May.  There's a star party on May 21st, and a prairie walk on the 26th.  June 17th is the first Naturalist's Lunchbox, which is a story time and picnic lunch.

      Here's an interesting map of all the parks in Story County.  I think we've visitied most of them, but I found a couple we've missed.  It looks like this map might work for looking up county parks wherever you live in Iowa.

      BOGO 31 Flavors

      Facebook is just the place to go for all freebies. I know I say this often. Go to the Baskin Robbins Facebook page, like them, and print out a coupon for BOGO ice cream.  This coupon is good through May 15.

      May 10, 2011

      Short Notice FREE Meal

      Kids eat FREE at Chili's--today!  You'll need to print this coupon out and take it in, and it's only good today.  The fine print says "Limit 2 kids meals per adult" so this could be a very cheap evening out.  It also says that it's good for multiple redemptions per table. 

      FREE Redbox Rental May 12

      You just have to like them on Facebook to get the code, and it is only good on May 12, but a free movie is still a great deal.

      May 9, 2011

      FREE Haagen-Dazs

      I really need to get one of these stores near me, because I LOVE their ice cream.  There is a huge list of all the participating stores on their Facebook page, but on May 10 from 4-8 pm, get a free scoop of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.   No coupon needed, just come on in with your appetite.

      FREE Bagel and Cream Cheese from Bruegger's

      It's been brought to my attention that this coupon might not be legitimate.  You can get this coupon emailed to you by joining Brueggers club at THIS LINK.  Do that instead so you don't get in trouble or embarrassed. 

      edited again to remove the fraudulent link at Brueggers' request. 

      Print  for free bagel and cream cheese from Bruegger's.  It says one per person per visit, so go every day till May 16. 

      Amazon Grocery Deals 5/9

      The grocery posts seem to get the most attention around here, so I will do them when I can.  You can always look at my May grocery deals post and see the links to the pages of items included and coupon codes for the month.

      For today, and remember that these deals come and go almost as fast as I can find them, here is the best of what I see. USe code KELLOGG6 for 35% total off the Raisin Bran:

      NOODLE48 for a total of 30% off these noodle bowls.

      TOTALUNI for 30% total off the peanut butter and sauces.  Check out all of the deals included for this Unilever code at this link.

      You'll also need to do Subscribe and Save to get the first 15% off, but you can adjust your subscription any time after you order.

      FREE Instant Watch from Amazon

      Well, here's a cool development. First, if you have Amazon Prime (the kind you pay for, not the free kind from Amazon Mom)  you get to watch everything on this list for free.  EVERYONE can watch these TV shows and movies for free, so check out the link with the whole list.  Here are a few of my favorites, including season 6 of Dr. Who and a ton of MTV shows.

      May 8, 2011

      Starbucks Happy Hour

      This is already going on, and will continue through May 15. Get a half price Frappucino at Starbucks every day between 3-5 pm.  Read about the Happy Hour HERE.

      May 7, 2011

      FREE Mum for Mom

      Theisen's (pronounced like Tyson's chicken, for your little FYI of the day) is giving away a free 3.5" mum to all moms on Mother's Day, so stop in and pick up your freebie.

      May 6, 2011

      Amazon $8 Dumbo Coupon and get $16 off Dumbo and Lion King!

      OOH! Another great Disney movie is coming out, and again, Amazon has an $8 coupon to go with the pre-order. Check out the coupons page for information about Dumbo.  There are also coupons for Spooky Buddies, if you're into the golden retriever movies.

      The Lion King $8 coupon has turned into an "if you buy it and one other movie, get $8 off."  Here's what I would do.  Clip the $8 Dumbo coupon linked above, then add Dumbo to your cart.  Add the Lion King from HERE, and you should get a total of $16 off.   Remember their pre-order low price guarantee.  You'll get the lowest price no matter what it is when you order.


      Amazon Deals for Friday, 5/6

      I've found a lot worth sharing this morning, and I haven't even gotten to the groceries yet.  It looks like a great Friday for Amazon deals.

      • Don't forget to check out the comprehensive Amazon May grocery deals post for all of the grocery coupon codes.  I will focus on the things I think are good deals, but often I don't know a good deal on the products I don't buy.
      • Another good post to check is the Amazon Mom Mother's Day deals post.  They are set to expire 5/8, so not much time left.
      • Kindle deals!  $25 gift cards with the purchase of the 3G wireless or the extra large Kindle DX.  Be sure to load them up with free books and games.
      • Here's the link to the Friday sale, and if you're a Keurig user, you're in luck.  They have so many K-Cups on sale that I couldn't begin to post links for all of them.  Click that Friday sale link, then the grocery tab, and see for yourself. They also have a bunch of cups for the Nescafe Gusto. I just saw this machine yesterday for the first time. Use code DOLCEGU7 for an extra discount on these.  

      • Some other good grocery deals I see include some great gifts for mom.  This Community coffee one is great, because there's also a $3 coupon in the grocery coupon link.  It says it's only for the 3 packs, but try it and see.  Either way, $11 for 6 bags of coffee is awesome.

      • Last couple of good sale items.  Super low DVD and Blu-ray sale HERE.  
      • This XBOX360 deal probably ought to have its own post, but check it out!  Order a machine, and get a $50 Amazon credit AND 1600 Xbox Live points.  That's $70 of free games when you buy the Xbox 360 console. 

        May 4, 2011

        Wednesday Wanderings -- State of Iowa Historical Building

        With summer approaching, I am going to start covering some of the best places to go in and around Central Iowa.  If you want more information about a particular place, you can contact me through the comments here and place a request.  If you have more information to share about a particular place, let me know and I will get it added.  Look for a new post every Wednesday, unless I get too busy or forget.

        I asked my kids what I should feature for the next Wednesday Wandering, and they both said, "Historical Building!"   This is one that we really love, and we really love that it's FREE to go.  Located in the East Village of downtown Des Moines, it's easy to get there from I-235.  There are also some really great shops and restaurants in the area if you want to extend your trip.

        My four-year-old says she loves "all of it, everyfing, every room."  I was thinking that she would say the mammoth, but she refuses to name a favorite part.  There are three levels with plenty of rooms to love, and every bit has information about Iowa history.

        Some displays are just for looking, but there are a lot of interactive areas to keep visitors entertained.  Churn some butter, push a plow, find out what it was like to live long ago.

        My seven-year-old says her favorite part is the crafts, of course.  She's my arty one.

        You can check out the schedule of events (which almost always includes crafts) by looking HERE.  I usually post events in my free fun calendar when I know about them.  There are scavenger hunt pages for older kids to make their visit a little more meaningful, coloring pages for younger children, and lots of fun.

        The Historical Building is not open on Mondays, but it is open from 9 am-4:30 pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 12-4:30 pm on Sunday.  Stop by the gift shop to see unique Iowa gifts, or stop and eat at the Baratta's cafe located in the building.

        There is a picnic area outside if you want to pack your lunch.

        If there's a place you'd like to recommend or somewhere you want to learn more about, please post in the comments and let us know.  I think we may have gone everywhere in the state, but we might have missed something.

        Amazon Snack Deals 5/4

        These should be some great snack deals--while they last. Some say there are only a few remaining.  Remember to use subscribe and save, though the first and last one don't have that.  The juice is 4 8 packs for around $9, so a pretty decent price.  The apple and strawberry banana are the only two that are that cheap, and they say they won't ship right away.

        Some gluten free or organic snacks.

        May 3, 2011

        Kmart Free Samples

        They have a bunch of good free samples on Kmart's webpage, so go and get some great freebies.  For this month, they have:
        • Zantac
        • Prilosec
        • Carefree
        • Nescafe
        • Purex
        • Lanacane
        • Brez
        • Shout
        • Miracle Whip
        • Dove
        Click HERE to see them all.

        Amazon May FREE Music and Kindle Books

        Free books, free music, what is better than free?

         I'll start with the Kindle bestsellers.  The free bestsellers are in the list on the right, but if you also look on the left, you'll see many books for under $5.  Did you know you don't even have to have a Kindle in order to read these free books?  Amazon has reader apps for many different types of devices.  You can download that HERE--free.

        Here are a few of my favorites, but there's the top 100 list above, and many more freebies to be had.

        There are also several free games out there for the Kindle.

        On to the free music...  You can start here on the bestsellers list.  The top 100 free downloads are in the list on the right.  Some are singles, and some are entire albums.  Here are some of my favorites:

        Check out this list, which is free singles from new artists on the rise.  You've got nothing to lose by checking them out, and I've discovered some great music this way.

        Some that aren't free, but are a great price.  See the whole list of 1500 $5 Albums for May.

        Keep checking back on that bestsellers list.  They have a million freebies.