greenbackgrazers


Its my birthday….and it’s free!!!!!
March 29, 2014, 8:51 PM
Filed under: couponing, Fun on a budget, Life style

Hello my super saver friends!  It’s that time again, yes my birthday and I would like to give you all a gift.  Actually several.

The list this year will begin; for the sake of my local readers,  in the Mont/Bucks County of Pennsylvania.  Then onto the Philadelphia region and nationally.  I will also include a category for kids birthdays.

Keep in mind that you should read the offers first before agreeing.  Some are good only on your actual birthday, where as others are good for a week or even a month.  On occasion, you will find you must enroll 30 days prior to your special day.   Choose wisely.

1) Applebees:  Sign up and get a special treat on your birthday.

2)Carrabba’s – Join the Amici Club and receive offers for complimentary menu items and a special offer on your birthday.

3) Chili’s: Sign up for the email club for free chips and queso as well as a birthday coupon.

4) Country Buffet: Buy one, get one entree for signing up and a coupon for your birthday

5) Cold Stone Creamery: Buy one, get one free coupon for your birthday.

6) Cracker Barrel: Sign up and get a free dessert on your birthday.

7) Dairy Queen: Join

the Blizzard Fan Club for an extra-special coupon on your birthday and surprise on your anniversary.

8)Dave & Buster’s: Get $10 “Bonus Game Play” with purchase of $10 game play just for signing up, plus $5 free game play on your birthday.

9) Dunkin Donuts: Sign up for Dunkin’ Perks and get a free medium beverage upon sign-up and another free medium beverage on your birthday.

10) Friendly’s: Join the BFF Club for a free 3-scoop sundae and birthday offers.

11) Houlihan’s: Free appetizer for joining and free entree for your birthday.

11) IHOP: Join the Pancake Revolution and receive a free meal within 24 hours and a free birthday meal.

12)Longhorn Steakhouse: Join the Western Hospitality Club and receive special offers plus a coupon for a free dessert on your birthday.

13)  Melting Pot: Become a member of Club Fondue, and you’ll receive a complimentary box of Signature Chocolate-Covered Strawberries with the purchase of any Big Night Out, Four-Course Classic or the combination of any two individual entrees and a cheese fondue. You’ll receive this same offer for your birthday.

14) Medieval Times: Join the Birthday Fellowship and the King’s Court to receive a free admission on your birthday.

15) Old Country Buffet: Free entree for signing up and another for your birthday.

16) Old Navy: Sign up for Old Navy emails (all the way at the bottom of the Old Navy homepage) to sign up for coupons and a special birthday treat.

17) Orange Julius: Sign up for a buy one, get one free drink.

18) Outback Steakhouse: Join Outback Rewards and get a free Aussie-tizer with the purchase of two entrees at sign-up and something special on your birthday.

19) Panera Bread: Get a MyPanera card from a Panera associate, register the card online, and you’ll start to receive special discounts, freebies and a birthday reward.

20) Red Lobster: Join the Fresh Catch Club and get a special birthday gift!

21) Red Robin – Yum! Sign up for the e-club to get a free burger and bottomless fries on your birthday.

22) Rita’s: Join Rita’s birthday Club to receive a special birthday treat.

23) Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Offers a $5 discount on any entree when you sign up for their newsletter as well as a birthday treat.

24) Ruby Tuesday: Join “So Connected” and enter your birthdate to join the birthday list. You’ll get a buy one, get one free entree coupon for signing up and a free burger on your birthday!

25)  Sephora: Become a Beauty Insider and get a complimentary birthday gift.

26) Smashbox: Sign up for their rewards program and receive free beauty products during the month of your birthday!

27)  Sonic: Sign up to be a Sonic Cruisers member for a surprise on your birthday (choice of free medium Tots, regular CreamSlush Treat or medium drink).

28) Starbucks: Get a free handcrafted beverage or one free food item of your choice on your birthday.

29) Texas Roadhouse: Join to receive delicious gifts and other fun stuff.

30) T.G.I. Fridays: Sign up for the Give Me More Stripes Guest Recognition Program for a free dessert or appetizer upon sign-up, an $8 coupon good for free food when you spend $100 or more on food, and a special treat on your birthday.

31) Uno Chicago Grill: Free birthday treat for signing up.

32) Victoria’s Secret: Sign up for the mailing list to receive a coupon for $10 off a $10 purchase.

33) ACE Hardware: Sign up for ACE Rewards and get a $5 off coupon on your birthday.

Regionally

1) DSW: Join DSW’s rewards program and receive a $5 gift certificate on your birthday.

2) CVS: Register for a CVS ExtraCare Card and get $3 in ExtraCare Bucks every year on your birthday.

3) American Eagle Outfitters: Sign up for AERewards and get 15% off during your birthday month.

4) Friendly’s: Join their BFF Club and get a free three-scoop sundae just for enrolling, as well as free birthday offers for your entire family.

5) P.F. Chang’s: Sign up for their email updates and get a free dessert on your birthday.

6) ChicK-fil-a- free meal on your birthday.

Nationally

1) Waffle House Regulars get a free meal too.

2)  if you’re in California, snag a trip to Catalina Island.

3) Cinemark will give you a free concession (read: popcorn) if you sign up for their email list.

4)  Ice cream you can have FREE DIPPIN’ DOTS

5) Missouri residents can receive a free lottery ticket by signing up for the email list.

6) If you’re on Foursquare, check to see if people have left tips re: free birthday drinks, appetizers, etc. at your local spots.

7)  And, since humans aren’t the only ones with birthdays, sign up your pet for Petco’s Birthday Club for special treats and savings.

International

1)If you happen to be in South Africa, enjoy a trip on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.

2)Delta will give you $100 off a trip booked through one of their vacation packages during your birthday month.

Kids

California Pizza Kitchen: Free CPK kids’ meal for his or her birthday and a $5 discount for signing up.

Burger King: Free kids’ meal on his or her birthday when you join the kids club.

Olan Mills Portrait Studio: Sign up for the Birthday Club and get a free package on your child’s birthday (ages 3 and younger).

Ringling Brother’s Barnum & Bailey Circus: Free ticket for children 12 months and under. Does not expire. See details here.

Sonic:  Kids ages 12 and younger can sign up for the Birthday Club for a coupon for a free Wacky Pack Kids Meal on their birthday.

Toys”R”Us: Sign up kids 10 and under for Geoffrey’s Birthday Club for a free party planner with a special offer, a birthday greeting card and $3 gift, an in-store celebration (including a birthday crown, a balloon, and an in-store announcement), and even a birthday call from Geoffrey himself.

Walmart: Free 8×10 custom collage for signing up for emails from Picture Me Portraits.

Disney: Register for Disney Movie Rewards and you’ll receive a credit for a free Blu-ray movie on your birthday.

Barnes & Noble: Sign up for their Kids’ Club and your child can receive a cupcake on their birthday.

Bashas’: Register your child in their Birthday Club and they’ll receive a free cake every year through age 10.

Bob Evans: Sign your children (12 and under) up for theBob Evans Birthday Club and the’ll receive free kids’ meals on their birthday.

California Pizza Kitchen: Sign your children (10 and under) up for the CPKids Birthday Club and they’ll receive a free meal during their birthday month.

Chuck E. Cheese’s: Join their email club and receive special offers and freebies for your child’s birthday.

Kmart: Join their Birthday Club and get a $5 gift card for your child’s birthday, plus a birthday gift pack.



How to Save Money on Produce and Meat
June 13, 2012, 8:31 AM
Filed under: couponing, Financial tips, Healthly Living, Holiday Fun, Life style

Summer is the best time for fresh fruit and grilling out on the Bar-b-q and spending time with family and friends.  This year we have watched as prices for these items have soared and it seems that we might have to forgo those extras this year.  But not so fast…I have a few tips that will help you save at the checkout and bring home the tastes of summer you cherish.

Produce:

1) Tomatoes- rather than buy the cherry tomatoes buy the larger round ones these can be up to a $1 cheaper.  You can also grow your own whether you live in an apartment or condo, rent or own this is a cheap and easy alternative.  Just ask at your local nursery personnel for hints and tips.

2) Corn- unshucked corn is cheaper (it also lets the kids help preparing dinner).  Buy on the day you want to eat it, my husband’s family used to have a farm and he says that corn becomes less sweet the longer it sits around.

3) Mushrooms- instead of Portobello mushrooms, buy Creminis they are smaller versions of the Portobello.  In some stores it may save you as much as $3.

4) Strawberries-Here is a great idea, pick your own usually that saves you half the price.  It is also a fun way to spend time with the family.  Check in your area for some farms and stands where they advertise this feature.  It saves you money and creates lasting memories for your children.  A little hard work never hurt anyone:)

5) Salad greens – Don’t buy the bagged versions, Buy by the head.  To make it last and stay fresh longer up to a full week, wash the leaves and dry throughly.  Then store in a plastic bag that you have punched holes in with a fork.

5) At roadside stands, buy your stone fruit that is slightly bruised.  While you discard the bruised portion you still save about half of what the unblemished cost.  Buy at roadside stands as a rule for all produce this will be like buying direct.  No middle man in this case the store.  Fresh fruits and veggies have the most nutritional value anyway.

Meats:

1) Buy the “market grind.”  Rather than the national brands it is often a higher quality and is local.  It usually costs about a dollar less per pound.

2)  This one I had never heard.  Buy a 2 lb ham from the refrigerator section.  take it to the Deli counter and have them slice it.  You will get more meat and can use for sandwiches it will also cost about $1 less per pound.  Check with your store not all grocers will do this.

3) stock up on b-b-q  meats and rolls and ice cream around holidays these items are usually 60-70% off and using coupons always helps.

4) Buy a chuck roast it is cut from the same muscle as rib-eye, and tastes similar.  Ask the butcher to cut 2 steaks out of the first 4 inches of the eye of the chuck roast, then have him grind the rest into hamburger.  You could save almost $10.

Other products:

1)  Salsa- Shop the international isle.  Lesser known Latin brands are up to 30% cheaper than our national brands.

2)  Make your own marinades and dressings.

3) Buy hot dog and hamburger rolls at dollar store or discount stores.

 

 



Seven Ways to Save

1.  Save money with the library

Normal = Pay for things that the library offers for free

If you can get past the frequently outdated décor, public libraries are home to a wealth of resources. Of course you can borrow books instead of buying them, but they also often have subscriptions to high cost services or publications like Hoovers or Valueline. Our local library has grown a huge collection of popular CDs and DVDs over the last few years. So, it can be a cheap (free) ways to catch a few good movies. If you must be “Normal” and buy used at least.

2. Simplify your wardrobe

Normal = Buying clothes that you like without looking at the wardrobe as a whole

Don’t buy clothes that will only work as one outfit. Look for clothes that you will be able to wear with many other things, creating multiple outfits. Instead of buying that green and purple striped coat that will only go with one or two outfits, you could get a solid color gray that will work most of what you wear. Spend less money on the trendy items that won’t be in style long, and spend more on quality items. You really can do this and still be stylish at the same time. Simplifying your wardrobe is just one way you can save money on clothes.

3.  Make money with your clutter

Normal = Garage sale or throw away clutter

It is easier than you may think. eBay and Amazon.com make the process a breeze. Sign up for an account, take a few digital pictures, post it, and watch the buyers come to you. HINT: The biggest key I have noticed is selling brand name items and taking a few seconds to think, “If I wanted to buy this item, how would I search for it?” If you do this, you will be much more successful.  Of course, some of your junk won’t be worth the effort of selling it online. For that stuff – maybe garage sale, maybe just save yourself the hassle and give it to the thrift store.

4. Maintain stuff

Normal = Buy new, don’t maintain, it breaks, then buy new as cycle repeats again and again.

Even if you buy the best stuff, if you don’t maintain it you will not save you as much money as it could. You’ll then spend less on buying new stuff. When you buy something worth maintaining, take a few minutes to read the maintenance manual, and create a maintenance checklist that you can attach to the item. For important things like your car’s oil changes or tune-ups, put them in your calendar. To make it even easier schedule most of your maintenance all on one day with a Car Day.

5.   Saving energy = Saving money

Normal = wasting energy

Even though, “Being green is so IN right now,” the “normal” thing to do is waste energy. So not only will everyone think you are cool, ;) but you can save money as well. Check out these 10 Energy saving tips.

  • Use compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of traditional bulbs. Kiplinger’s mentions that, “if every U.S. household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, the emissions savings would be comparable to taking three million cars off the road for a year.” Supposedly the bulbs pay for themselves (from the energy savings) over the course of a year or so.
  • Add extra insulation to your water heater. If you have a water heater built before 2004, you can wrap it with an insulating jacket and save about $30 a year on your water heating bill.
  • Have your furnace tuned every two years and you will, “save about 1250 lbs of carbon dioxide and 10% on your heating bills.”
  • Lower the temperature on your thermostat. For every degree that you lower your home’s temperature during the cooler months, you can subtract about 5% from your bill.
  • Use cold water to wash your clothes and you can save 50% of the energy that you would use if you used hot water. I honestly don’t know what effect this has on the clothes themselves, so I will have to check with my wife on that one :)
  • Get a programmable thermostat. This wonderful tool allows you to program the temperature of your house on an hour by hour basis. So, it can be cooler when you are gone or asleep and warmer when you are around.
  • Use a weatherstrip around your front and back door and you can save about $30 a year on energy costs.
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees (Fahrenheit for the international folks). Even if you don’t have a temperature gauge on your water heater, they suggest turning it down, “until the water feels hot, not scalding.” My husband always says this to me all the time.
  • Adjust your lawnmower to the 3-inch setting. They say that longer grass holds moisture longer, so you will not have to water as much.
  •  Wash your own car.  This saves you gas to the wash and money paying for something you can do yourself.  Unless you live in a place with no outside hose.  In this case take it to a friend’s house or if you must pay someone, this time of year lots of kids hold car washes to raise money for sports or trips.  Plus it makes you feel good and encourages the kids to work for the money and help.

6. Buying used stuff always saves money

Normal = Buy new

This is one of my favorite creative ways to save money. I wish we had this when I was in college, I have discovered that you could get textbooks for free, by buying and selling them at Amazon.  Send out an email to family or friends, or just ask around. You might be surprised. I was about to buy a printer, and then found out my mom just bought a laser printer and didn’t need her old inkjet.  Freecycle.org and craigslist.org are also good places to look. And of course, you can always check out garage sales and thrift shops.

7.  Go out to dinner for half price

Normal = Go to the same few restaurants all the time and pay full price

I love to try new restaurants, but since it is quite an expensive hobby – it is nice when you can save a few bucks. Enter the Entertainment Book. This wonderful tool costs about $25, but will pay for itself quickly if you use it a couple of times. It is available for most large U.S. cities and has thousands of coupons to participating restaurants – most of which are buy-one-get-one-free. This is one of my favorites ways to find new places to eat and save money in the process. Also consider Groupon.com or Restaurant.com and www.livingsocial.com who sells $25 gift certificates (with restrictions) for $10 to thousands of restaurants across the country.  Also check your mailers in the Val-pac and local mailers.  You can find lots of new places you haven’t tried yet!



Couponing
April 26, 2012, 8:29 PM
Filed under: couponing, Financial tips, helpful household hints

Okay readers, so here are a few more tips about couponing.  While on this journey to save money I have discovered a few tips and tricks. Some I have heard from others and others I have leaned by trial and error.

1)  Giant doubles your coupons automatically your coupons (unless the coupon says do not double).

2)  shop in the middle of the week because stores jack up prices later in the week as most people shop on weekends.

3) Hold on to coupons.  Don’t use them right away, I have heard that stores raise prices in the beginning of month when coupons come out to compensate for their use.

4) Don’t drive too far out of your way.  You will lose the savings from the coupon or price difference.

5) You don’t have to buy name brand everything, some things it is okay to buy store brand.  If you need something branded get on the internet and search by product name.  Almost every one has a web page and printable coupons you can use at any store.

6)  Collect coupons from Val-Pac, local newspapers, and mailers.

7) Shop warehouses for things you can store in bulk like toilet paper, paper towels, and other dry goods.   Often these places have coupons as well when you walk in.



Couponing: Part Deux
March 16, 2012, 10:02 PM
Filed under: couponing, Financial tips

Good evening!  I am so excited to share with you more about your adventures in couponing!  Yesterday, I sat down and went through all the circulars and compared them with my coupons that I had clipped earlier in the week.  I had a notebook in hand and spread out the circulars and my coupon file.  If you’d like to do this too, you’ll need a notebook, pen, circulars from your local grocery stores, and a book to put your coupons in.  For this I used a simple, small, 100 page photo book I found for $1 at a craft store.  It gave me plenty of room to organize my coupons.

1) Organize your coupons.  Group by item first.  I group items such as cleaning products, with sub sets of kitchen products, bathroom cleaners, dusting, etc.  Then caned foods, dry goods, personal care items, etc.

2) Make a list of what items you need from the store.  Only pull the coupons for what items you need.  You may wind up with many coupons for one item in different brands.  As you search the circulars you may find that another brand may give you a better price with a coupon.

3)  Next with your note-book make a chart of each item and its’ price  at each store.   Write down the price in column.  Once you have finished collecting and comparing the prices.  See which one is the best price.

4)  Now convert your chart into lists.  Make a list of your items and which stores have the best price.  I put my coupon with each list.  This kept me from buying things that weren’t on the list, or ones I didn’t have coupons for.

In the end after discovering that with all the circulars; most of the items I wanted were at three stores.  I started at the farthest one first and worked my way back towards home.  While this did take time, as it was my first foray into the world of cuponing, I belive it was worth the trip.  I wound up saving $35 in coupons!   Next I am going back to my discount store and compare to see how much I saved and if I’ll continue to do well.  I hope this has helped you.  Please feel free to ask questions:)  Thanks for reading!