February 26, 2012

FREE Pancakes from IHOP

Free food! It's pancake day on February 28, so go to IHOP for a free short stack. No coupon necessary for this one. Here are the details from their page.

Flip for Free Pancakes!
February 28, 2012

Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $8 million to support charities in the communities in which it operates. On February 28, 2012, guests from around the country are invited to celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes.* In return for the free pancakes, guests are asked to consider leaving a donation for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals© and other designated local charities.

It's not only tasty, but it's for a good cause!

February 19, 2012

Swagbucks Birthday Bash

If you haven't yet joined Swagbucks, now would be the time. They always start new members off with 30 Swagbucks just for joining. In conjunction with their 4th birthday bash on February 27th, they are offering a bonus for new members. This week, you'll get 140 Swagbucks just for signing up.

Search & Win

When you register, enter code BIRTHDAYBASH12 for the bonus bucks.

I have earned $860 since I joined Swagbucks a little over 2 years ago. Sure, that's not a fortune, but it's decent. I get my payouts in Amazon gift cards, then use that to take advantage of all the Amazon deals for everyday household items and also for our Christmas shopping.

If you haven't already joined, do it! Click that picture above or this link, and don't forget the code for the bonus bucks. Then, you can follow the earnings strategy described in this post.

Some other important info:
I recently wrote up something for a friend on my earning goals, and how I do it in just a few minutes in the morning.  If your goal is 5 of the $5 Amazon gift cards each month, it's easily attainable with just 75 Swagbucks per day.  My goal is to try to get 200 per day so that I can get another $50 AGC every other month and boost my earning.  Here's a quick morning:
  • 75 SBTV (that's the max of 25 wins)  **  Right now, they're allowing 50 wins for 150 Swagbucks.
  • 20 search wins (I can always win twice a day, sometimes three times)
  • 2 daily bucks for checking out NOSO
  • 1 buck for answering the daily poll
  • 5 survey disqualification (if you try to do a survey but aren't qualified, you get 1 buck for trying)
  • 2-5 Ad Rewards videos (this is one of the offer walls, you watch videos and get 1-2 bucks)
  • 2-4 Gambit videos (another offer wall)
I don't do a lot of the big special offers, but just looking around every morning on the offer walls will find a few good easy point offers, like signing up for a newsletter or liking some business Facebook page.  I can do this while I have my coffee in the morning.

If you do qualify for surveys, you're getting 50-300 Swagbucks for those. 

February 17, 2012

FREE Sample of New Tide

I'm one of Tide's most loyal customers, so you can bet I'm dying to try this new product. It's everything combined into one packet you drop into your washer. You can't buy it in store yet, but you CAN go to Tide's Facebook page and request that they send a free sample. I'd bet that you'll get some good Tide coupons in the package with it, so it's all win.

February 14, 2012

FREE Sample at Crabtree and Evelyn Stores

This is one of those samples you can only pick up in store, and it's only for tomorrow, February 15. No coupon necessary, but you can see more information on their Facebook page.

February 13, 2012

FREE Cookie from Quiznos

Here's another great food freebie! Print this coupon to get a free cookie from Quiznos for Valentine's Day.

February 11, 2012

Random Amazon Deals 2/11

I was trying to put together a post about one thing, then would find something else good, then something else. They don't fit into one neat category, so there you have it.

These two Lock & Lock sets are way marked down today only.  I love this stuff, and the prices are awesome.

Some great DVD deals:

All You, 12 issues for $12! If you're like me and don't shop in the only store where you can purchase these, it's a great opportunity. You'll make up for the whole year's subscription with the first issue's coupons. The articles are great, too.

There is shipping on this, but it would be a great gift for just over $20.

Grammy Award Winning artists are being featured right now in the music store. They're having lightning deals all week long in preparation for the Grammies, with most albums being $6.99-$7.99 during their run. You can see all the stuff HERE, and they also have this great disk of 22 awesome Grammy nominees for $9.99.

There is also a whole list of $5 MP3 albums of past Grammy winners.  I thought I had posted this earlier, but I didn't.  If you send any album to anyone, you can take $2 off--even the $5 ones!  That means you could buy and send some really great albums for only $3.  What a Valentine's Day gift.  Click here for more information.

One last thing: want to watch some new movies for free?  Amazon is doing a test market for previously unreleased movies.  What a fun opportunity to influence what movies get made.  12 Princesses looks great!  It's a retelling of a Grimm Fairy Tale.   

February 10, 2012

Weekend Sales Roundup

It looks like there are some great savings opportunities this weekend if you're headed to the mall OR shopping online.
  • Justice has 40% off everything in store and online.  You can use coupon code 754, no coupon needed in store.
  • Old Navy has 20% off mens and womens clothes with code ONBIG20 through 2/12.
  • Gap has 25% off your total order with code GAPCOLOR, it's today only.
  • Kohls has an extra 40% off clearance this weekend, and print this out for 20% off on top of that, or use SMS4742 online.
  • Carter's has 40% off the whole store, and 20% off $40 or more with coupon code SUNNY12.
  • The Children's Place is having a good sale, and get an additional 15% off with coupon code T2G2012.
  • Don't forget to stop in at Bath and Body Works if you're in the mall tomorrow!  They're having a party and giving away some cute gift bags.

Don't forget to shop through ebates or mypoints if you're shopping online.  I just got my Big Fat Check from Ebates for just over $33 from all of my Christmas shopping.  Read more about both places by clicking the links.  It doesn't cost you anything to join, and the money you make can help.

FREE Aveda Samples

I've posted this one before, but it's good through June 30. I also found a second one. The samples are free in store, or you can get them free with a $30 online purchase:

Print both and take them in!

February 9, 2012

February 8, 2012

Price Points -- Snack Items

I think this is an important concept to have in mind, especially when you are looking to buy items in bulk or to form a stockpile.  I've posted before some of my ideas about stockpiling common household goods and groceries, but I think it's an important thing to consider.

Very often, warehouse stores can have better prices on items that you purchase in bulk, but you still have to do the math.  Once you get your price point in mind, you'll be able to quickly figure out if the item is worth buying.

My general price point on snacks is 25 cents per serving, though I will go up to 50 cents per serving if the item is organic or a favorite healthy snack.  I have specific foods that I know the kids will eat, and I also like to buy up items for when we have to provide a snack for the class.  24 items at a time can really eat into a tight grocery budget.  Often, large bags can be a much better cost, and I usually prefer less packaging. With the requirement of individually packaged snacks for school, they are nice to have on hand.

Here's an example, and this is one I'm buying today:

Goldfish, individual serving packages.  There are 60 per package, and Amazon has them for $17.76 today.  Though it doesn't quite hit my 25 cent threshold, it is a pretty great deal and I will have 2-4 days' of school snack and a few for the house.

These beat the quarter ratio--$15.33 for a total of 72 granola bars make them 21 cents each. The Quaker chewy bars are 29 cents each, but another favorite.

Now, this is one of our favorite snacks to have for lunch boxes or snacks on the go. It will never get to 25 cents a serving, but it gets special circumstance because it has no added sugar and is made with nothing but fruit. It's also a HUGE favorite. I buy them up whenever I can get them for under $24 for 48 packages. Right now, strawberry flavor only are $21.73 with subscribe and save.

34 cents each for organic fruit bars. We like these as well, and $10.19 for 30 is great.

What's your price point?  I don't have a warehouse store membership because we didn't think there was enough savings to justify the membership fee.  Adding to the confusion, these items fit my rule for items delivered to my home--Subscribe and Save always includes free shipping.  My Amazon shopping money all comes from Swagbucks, so I am a little freer with it.

I also really think that everyone has to have their own price list.  In my case, my grocery shopping choices are fairly limited.  My stores will not double coupons.  In the area where I live, we're not going to buy $600 worth of groceries for a handful of pocket change, but we do the best we can.

FREE Quaker Oatmeal Squares Sample

Well, they posted this a few days ago on Facebook, and I signed up but didn't bother posting. A lot of time the Facebook freebies go so fast that they aren't worth the effort of opening a new post on Blogger.

Today, Quaker posted AGAIN that their free sample is still available. Since it would seem that they have a million to give away, click on over HERE to get yours. This is our favorite cereal, but we eat it as a treat. I love that whenever they send a free sample, they stick in a nice $1 off coupon so we can buy more.

FREE Better Homes and Gardens!

This one will go fast, but sign up HERE to get a free 24 month subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.

You'll also be able to get 12 free issues of Ski magazine.

February 7, 2012

Winter Festivals

If you're starting to get cabin fever, there are still a few fairs and festivals in the winter. I've mentioned Travel Iowa a few dozen times, but it really is a great place for all of your local travel needs. Does anyone else think the term staycation is overused? We just like to get out and do things on the weekends.

So, there are several cool events coming up, and I've added them to the free fun calendar on the right side. I find my events in my (did I mention it's FREE?) Iowa Travel Guide, but also by checking out Travel Iowa's website and blog.  If you hit that link, it will take you to a place where you can search by date, but also by the part of Iowa where the event occurs.  You can further sort it down by choosing only certain types of events.  You can also order your own free guide or look at a PDF online.

  • The Extreme Winter Festival in Storm Lake sounds like a great opportunity, especially if you're wanting more rugged sports activities.  I did notice some indoor kids' events and an ice sculpture contest on the list if you're a little more laid back.
  • Kids at the Creek looks like an enjoyable (not totally free) event for family fun.  Located at the beautiful Honey Creek Resort, a whole day of activities for $2 includes: Carnival, inflatables, games, Minute to Win It challenges, Wii Competition, activities, crafts, cooking with Chef and much more! Prince and Princess Contest begins at 4pm.  Feb. 12.
  • The Color the Wind Kite Festival looks like so much fun!  It's set for February 18 in Clear Lake.  Check for more information HERE.
Those are my favorites in the upcoming events category.  Have a fun activity to recommend?  Let me know.

February 6, 2012

February Caseys Pizza Coupons

Here are the Caseys coupons for February.  I like the drink and slice for $1.99.

Remember, you need to click their link to print these.  The picture's just to pretty up the post.

February Amazon Grocery Deals

We'll start with the "clippable" click coupons.  They're always listed in my Amazon post on top, but I'll include them here as well.  I understand people in NY state may not get as many as those of us in other places.  The key here is that the coupons change when you refresh, so if you don't see one that is mentioned, refresh till you do.

The Managers' specials are HERE.

Now for the coupon codes and markdowns!  Remember there's already the 15% with Subscribe and Save, so the coupon code is just added to the per cent off.  You can see all the deals right here .  I'm seeing a lot of Valentine's Day specials, but if you look carefully, you can find some good ones.

So far this month, I see some good deals on Kashi.  No coupon needed, just click this link for all of the Kashi products that are marked down.  A few of my favorites are coming down under $3 per box. 

The coupon codes don't seem to be happening as much as last year, so I think the best Amazon grocery deals are going to be fleeting.  I check them daily, so I will post when I find the great ones.

February Amazon FREE Downloads

I'll start with the Kindle bestsellersThe 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.

You can get any kind of book for free!   There are a lot of good ones that I've not seen before, so I'll post the ones that seem interesting to me.  Be sure to check them out for yourself.

Here also is the Kindle Daily Deal.  This changes (obviously) every day, so bookmark this page.

The top Kindle books for $3.99 and under.  While they aren't free, it's nice to have a good cheap list to work from once you've downloaded and read EVERY free book there is.  (Is that possible?)

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.   Find your favorites, or try out some new artists.  When it's free, anything goes.

 Don't forget the cheap MP3s for the month.  Since this is a free post, I'll just post the link to the February $5 whole album downloads

And just one more FREEBIE!  You need a FREE android app every day, right?  Bookmark this page, too.

February 4, 2012

BOGO Dinner at Panda Express

Looks like you could print this coupon a few times, and it's good through March 1.  Click the link, this is just a pretty picture.

30% off at The Children's Place This Weekend

I always like these big coupons, and this one is good for the whole weekend.

It looks like they've got some good markdowns on their spring apparel, with some REALLY cute dresses.

February 2, 2012

Winter Wandering -- High Trestle Bridge

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.

Recently featured on the cover of the 2012 Iowa Travel guide, the High Trestle Bridge has been on my list since it opened last April.  We didn't get there over the summer, so I had already planned it for next spring.  With the recent warm weather, we made a trek out there one fine day in conjunction with a Sample Sunday at Prairieland Herbs and Picket Fence Creamery.

(Obligatory cute animal photo--The calf from Picket Fence Creamery.)

The High Trestle Bridge is part of the longer High Trestle Trail that stretches from Woodward to Ankeny, Iowa.  The trail is 25 miles long, perfect for a bike ride.  We're still using training wheels at my house, but we like to get out for a walk.  The bridge can be accessed from either end, making it around a 2 mile hike to get from the access point to the other side and back.

It's been a dry winter.  There's not much water in the Des Moines River right now.

On our January Sunday evening, we encountered many people--riding bikes, roller blades, or just walking like us.  We made it there right before the sun set, meaning we were able to see the bridge in daylight, watch the sun set as we walked across, and then enjoy the lights on the way back to the car.

West end of the bridge:

Do you have a favorite spot?  We're always looking for more places to go.