Freebies & Deals

Great College Bargains

Written on July 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm , by

College can be pricey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save. We rounded up some of our favorite deals below.

Books

Visit chegg.com for better deals than at your school bookstore, or download the free Amazon App to scan barcodes and compare prices.

Dorm Supplies

PBteen gives students 10% off their order with an .edu email address or a valid college ID. pbteen.com 

Electronics

Apple Education offers special education discounts and a financing option that allows students (or parents) to pay for Apple software, Mac computers, and select accessories over time. apple.com

Best Buy sends coupon codes for deals on MacBooks and other tech devices to students who enter their .edu email address. bestbuy.com 

Other

The free College Discounts app (iTunes and Google Play) gives students deals for popular local businesses around campus. The app currently features more than 50 colleges.

5 Smart Ways to Score Freebies

Written on July 8, 2014 at 11:01 am , by

By Anna Davies

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but by being creative, you can turn up plenty of ways to get a meal (and gym membership, theater tickets or groceries) without opening your wallet. “Not only have people become more savvy about finding bargains, but businesses have realized the value of their relationships with their customers, who can act like an informal marketing department,” explains Clare Levison, author of Frugal Isn’t Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better. Try these real reader strategies to score—and save—big.

“Like” a Great Service

Following a business you love on Facebook or Twitter can be an excellent way to get insider info on special sales. But for even more deals, ask the company how you can help. Gina Lincicum, 41, a mom of three in Washington, DC, became a mystery shopper for a local restaurant chain. “I earn a free meal, plus $10 or so for filling out a questionnaire about my experience that usually takes 10 minutes to complete. I keep track of my mileage to and from the restaurant for my taxes, so I get a little money back that way too.”

Swap Skills

Think beyond trading carpooling for babysitting duties:  Bartering can also be  used to score major discounts on dental appointments, music lessons and other small-business services. Hope Hunt, 39, from Williamsburg, Virginia, saves $674 a month on tae kwon do and gymnastics lessons for her four children. “I work in technology, so I offer website design, blog setup and networking support in exchange for lessons,” Hunt explains. Not sure what you can offer? Look around and see what’s not available.

Volunteer

Tickets to museums, aquariums and theater performances can be scored for nada by giving your time, explains Laura Wallis, a mother of two and creator of the money-saving site Momsgonnafindout.com. “Check local attractions,” she suggests. “Usually nonprofits will be happy for an extra pair of hands.” Often you’ll have to attend a training session and make a specific time commitment, so this is a great strategy if you’re truly passionate about an organization. Bonus: If your teen has a volunteer-hour quota at school, joining you helps her while giving you two a chance to hang out.

Join a Focus Group

Offering your opinions on brands can be valuable if you’re savvy about sifting through opportunities, explains Wallis. “Some pay people in product, but others offer $20 to $150 an hour for your time.” Sign up at paidfocusgroup.net. Once you’re approved, you may be inundated with responses, so create a secondary email address and alternate phone number (such as a free Google Voice number that directs to voice mail). “Some focus groups are conducted via email or telephone, so you may not need to live in the area to participate,” says Wallis.

Complain the Right Way

It’s tempting to fire off an angry email—or unleash a few all-caps Tweets—when you’re confronted with subpar service. But taking a few deep breaths before eloquently explaining why you were disappointed helps you and the company in the long run, says Adi Bittan, CEO of OwnerListens, which offers an app that lets customers send private, anonymous feedback to business owners. “When consumers are legitimately dissatisfied, they will frequently get money back, gift certificates, samples or replacement products.” However, Bittan cautions that vague complaints aren’t likely to go far—even if you have a large following on social media. “Companies want to make things right, but they’re also wise about people using their social networking platform only for freebies,” Bittan says. “They can easily tell, based on a person’s social media history, when someone is making up a problem in order to save money.”

 

Game On!

Written on June 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm , by

Take a break from the heat and save on summer fun at the bowling alley or arcade.

 

Brunswick Bowling Student Ball Pass: One free game a day for kids, June through August, if you become a Bonus Zone rewards member.

Kids Bowl Free: Two free games a day, plus adults can get a family pass for $25.

Dave & Buster’s Arcade: New members of the rewards program earn $10 in games and receive monthly emails with discounts.

Father’s Day Savings

Written on June 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm , by

Celebrate the main men in your life with an array of discounts on last-minute gifts.

 

• Don’t settle for a store-bought greeting with 30% OFF at Cardstore.
*Code: CCG4530
*Expires 6/24

• Create a personalized photo book for 40% OFF at Snapfish.
*Code: BKS40
*Expires 6/15

• Get 10% OFF orders over $75 at Kmart.
*Code: KMART10PSAVINGS

• Score up to 70% OFF select products at Amazon.

• Find shorts and shirts 40% OFF at Target.

• Rent one movie and get 50 cents OFF the second at Redbox.
*Expires: 6/15

• Receive a $5 eBonus Card when you purchase a $25 Chili’s gift card.
*Expires: 6/18

• Collect a $10 bonus card when you purchase a $50 P.F. Chang’s gift card.
*Expires: 6/15

Explore These Savings

Written on June 6, 2014 at 10:28 am , by

Warm weather and the end of school are the perfect motivation for quality family time outside. Score deals in honor of National Great Outdoors Month.

• Get outfitted in sturdy athletic shoes, 60% OFF at Amazon, before heading out on a hike.

• Stock up with 15% OFF recreation gear, clothing, tents and more at outdoors megastore REI using code RTVGP.

• Avoid sunburn with $1 OFF Coppertone Sunscreen.

• Allergy season is in high gear—stay healthy with a FREE Sample of Zarbee’s All Natural Seasonal Relief.

• Sleep under the stars in Target Sleeping Bags at a 10% discount.

• Things can get messy in nature—save $1 OFF Two Purell products.

• “Like” Nexcare’s Facebook page and you’ll receive a FREE Sample of Bandages, handy for outdoor cuts and scrapes.

• Keep fleas, ticks and mosquitoes at bay with a range of products available for 15% OFF at PetSmart.

Summer Reading Rewards

Written on May 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm , by

Just because the school year is winding down doesn’t mean your kids should put away their books. Encourage them to keep reading with four fun programs. Don’t worry, cool swag is involved!

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge: Dare your kids to break the world record for minutes read. They can enter their times online, then play games and collect digital prizes like sample chapters and virtual badges.

Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program: Kids collect HPB Bookworm Bucks if they read for at least 15 minutes every day in June and July.

TD Bank Summer Reading Program: Reading literally pays off: When kids in grades K-5 complete 10 books, $10 is added to a new or existing Young Saver bank account.

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program: Kids earn a complimentary book after reading eight.

Memorial Day Savings

Written on May 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm , by

Kick off summer with awesome shopping steals!

• Up to 20% off at Macy’s
*Code: MEMDAY

• Extra 15% off at JCPenney
*Code: SUNNYDAY

• 40% off regular-price items at Gap
*Code: EVENT

• 40% off at Banana Republic
*Code: BRHEAT

• 20% off select styles at Aldo

• Extra 30% off sale pieces at J.Crew
*Code: PACKME

• Extra 20% off clearance items at Lord & Taylor
*Code: MEMDAY

• Up to 70% off select styles at H&M

• Up to 60% off select products at Pottery Barn

• 10% off $100 at West Elm
*Code: SUMMER

Sleep Your Way to Savings

Written on May 16, 2014 at 11:22 am , by

 

 

You’re not the only one struggling to catch enough zzz’s—two-thirds of all women have trouble sleeping at night. Ease your way to plenty of shut-eye with these five free remedies.

• Fall asleep to ambient soundtracks, record your movements and sounds throughout the night, and be woken up with a gentle alarm when you download the FREE SleepBot App.

• “Like” the Anti Snoring Center’s Facebook page to receive a FREE sleeping mask.

• Purchase Dream Essence’s Sleep Mask and receive a FREE Sleep Booster Herb Sachet to help you breathe in the calming effects of lavender and chamomile.

• Your brain waves will be soothingly lulled into a deep sleep with these FREE MP3 tracks.

• Learn whether it’s time to upgrade your mattress for a better snooze with a FREE Tempur-Pedic Information Kit.

Find more tips for getting enough rest here.

Mother’s Day Savings

Written on May 9, 2014 at 12:19 pm , by

 

We’re celebrating 100 years of moms! President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation declaring Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1914. Say thanks for everything she does—or drop hints on last-minute gift ideas—with great online deals.

• $10 off at FTD Flowers

• 20% off at ProFlowers
*Use code GRAND20 at checkout.

• 20% off at Shari’s Berries
*Use code GRAND20 at checkout.

• Up to 50% off at Shutterfly

• 20% off select items at Amazon

• Free shipping at Things Remembered
*MUST order by 4 p.m. EST today 5/9.

• $10 off $50 or $25 off $100 at JCPenney
*Use code LOVEMOM.

“Like” These Food Savings

Written on May 2, 2014 at 3:02 pm , by

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best deals on the Web! We love a bargain as much as the next person, so check back every Friday for our favorite family-friendly discounts.

 

Turns out your Facebook newsfeed is good for more than just #TBTs and catching up with friends. Tons of brands offer incentives with one simple catch—“like” their company page. Start clicking now!

• FREE sample of Seattle’s Best Coffee House Blend

• FREE Mrs. Dash Sensational Seasoning Mix

• $1 off any two Breyers flavors

• $1 off any two packages of Triscuit crackers

• $1 off Mini Babybel cheese

• $1 off Back to Nature foods

• $1 off Werther’s Original Sugar Free Candy

• $1 off GoGo Squeez Applesauce on the Go

• 55 cents off any Hidden Veggie Pasta

• 30 cents off any Haribo Gummy products

Mixed Bag of Savings

Written on April 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm , by

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best deals on the Web! We love a bargain as much as the next person, so check back every Friday for our favorite family-friendly discounts.

 

From swimwear markdowns to a National Pretzel Day giveaway, there’s something for everyone in this week’s roundup of free stuff and discounts.

 

• With the summer months fast approaching, don’t miss the chance to get 15% off swimwear and cover-ups at Target.

• What a way to welcome May! Carvel will be giving out free junior cones from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the first of the month.

• It’s worth a try! Sign up for a free sample of Calvin Klein’s Beauty fragrance.

• Satisfy your office supply needs with a variety of Staples coupons. Act fast—they expire tomorrow.

• April 26 is National Pretzel Day! Stop by the nearest Pretzelmaker tomorrow for your free soft pretzel—salted or unsalted.

• Try a free 30-day trial of Daily Burn, complete with workout videos and a built-in support system.

• Who’s up for brunch? You have until Sunday to save 20% on Build Your Own French Toast at Denny’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Bargains

Written on April 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm , by

Get reading—it’s National Library Week! Download an array of FREE reads. Check out our list of e-books below.

 

 

Classic eBooks at Open Library

eBooks at Project Gutenberg

Easter Recipes for the Slow Cooker eCookbook

“JIFFY” Recipe Book

Flower Craft Ideas eBook

Australian Lamb Recipe Book

Gardener’s Idea Book

Gooseberry Patch Fall Favorites Recipe Booklet