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Got a tip for your fellow cheapskates? Send it to hardtimesnewsletter@gmail.com!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Free book from Crown Publishing.

A free book? Yes, it's true... you can sign up to request a free advance copy of one of three novels:
  • Breaking Out of Bedlam by Leslie Larson
  • Prima Donna by Megan Chance
  • True Confections by Katharine Weber

They all sound pretty fun, actually, but I'm naturally drawn to the first title, which is about an old lady who gets stuck in an old-folks home by her heartless children, and decides to pout herself to death... until hijinks ensue! I could use a good hijink after the holiday stressfest.




Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cheerios: Win a free box, or get a $1 off coupon that makes it free.

Cheerios is offering 50,000 free boxes of cereal in their new giveaway promotion thing, and you could be a winner by signing up! Plus, everybody gets email coupons good for $1 off a box of cereal, and my sources tell me that the last time they ran a similar promotion, they simultaneously had a sale where Cheerios were $1, effectively making them free, too.

I like Cheerios, especially the fancy fruity flavors and the frosted strawberry ones, which are particularly nutritious. That's the kind of commitment to a healthy lifestyle that I'm willing to make around this time of year.


New Year's Day: Free small coffee at White Castle.

White Castle is calling this the National Hangover Day promotion... because it's New Year's Day, get it? So you'll be hung over from your New Year's Eve celebration and therefore wanting a free small coffee. Which you can get. With this coupon.

No word on whether the smell of tiny, machine-pressed lukewarm beef patties will help to settle the churning bile in your stomach, but hey, why not give it a try?


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Free $35 cleaning supplies coupon book.

Okay, I know a book of cleaning-supply coupons is about as exciting as a gift certificate to the dentist, but freebies are thin on the ground this week and I'm a desperate woman. So sign up here for your coupon book, with $35 in valuable savings. It's a Procter & Gamble offer, so you can be pretty sure it will be for all their products, but if you have some post-holiday, post-guest purging to do, this might be a small incentive.


Free Taco Bell Fresco Taco.

I'm still catching up from being out of town for the holidays, so I may be a little late to the freebie party on this one, but Taco Bell is giving away one million coupons for a free Fresco Taco. I don't know what that is or how it differs from a regular, non-fresco taco, but the lady in the picture looks mildly pleased to be holding one, so there's that.

You can only print the coupon once and you have to do it the first time you click on it, so click wisely after you follow the link.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Amazon: Health 1-year subscription for $5.

Did you miss me, fellow frugalists? I was off celebrating the holidays in thrifty style, but I'm back now, so let's get right to it! Amazon is still blowing out the $5 one-year magazine subscriptions, even though Xmas is over now. The current offer is Health for $5.

Obviously that's not something I'm terribly interested in, given the amount of cookies I've gobbled in the last week, but in case you're feeling a tad remorseful about your holiday eating habits, here's an inexpensive way to pretend to yourself that you're doing something about it.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Free coffee and tea at Peet's on Dec. 24.

If you're still rushing around shopping for gifts on Xmas Eve, you could probably use a break. Peet's would like to offer you some free brewed coffee or tea in their stores, all day long on Dec. 24. No purchase necessary! Though I'm sure if you felt like buying some coffee gifts while you were there, they wouldn't turn you away.

Find a store near you.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Borders: 30% off any item.

I know, I know, there's nothing new or exciting about a 30% off coupon from Borders, but believe me when I say I have been ALL over the Internet today and there are no good freebies to be had. I guess everyone's hunkering down for last-minute Xmas errands or something, but it's dead out there.

Let me know if you find anything great in your own online browsing, because it's been pretty slow here...


Monday, December 21, 2009

Info: Bonus gift cards with gift cards.

HeyItsFree.net has compiled a BIG holiday list of bonus gift cards that you get when purchasing last-minute, emergency gift cards to a bunch of different stores. Be sure to read the explanatory info up at the top that tells you about the terms, because "bonus" cards work a little differently from gift cards and can have more restrictions and expiration dates.

Still, there's a ton of different stores and restaurants on there, so this might be the perfect panic present for that hard-to-buy-for relative or die-hard Applebee's fan.


Krispy Kreme: Buy 1 doz donuts, get 12 free-donut gift tags.

This freebie is a little complicated to explain, but bear with me. When you buy a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts through Dec. 25, you'll get a dozen free gift tags, and the gift tags are actually coupons (good in January) for a free donut. Sooo, it's kind of like getting a free dozen donuts, individually. But of course you're going to share them, right?


Free sausage biscuit from Waffle House.

Nothing says "season's greetings" like a faceful of sausage biscuit, and that is why Waffle House is presenting you with a coupon for a free sausage biscuit this holiday season!

Sadly, we have no Waffle Houses here in Seattle, so I'll just have to imagine there's a piping hot sausage biscuit in my stocking come Xmas morning. Sniff, sniff...


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Borders: 30% off one item, through Dec. 21.

I probably don't even need to post this, because I'm sure you all have finished up your holiday shopping long ago, and there's nothing left to do but put up your feet by the fire and enjoy some enhanced cocoa... but I'm feeling crazy, so I'mma put this 30% off one item Borders coupon up anyway.

Who knows, perhaps some tardy elf out there can use it. Not you, of course. But someone.


Amazon: Last-minute $5 magazine sale, new titles!

Fear not, the Amazon $5 magazine subscription sale rolls on, now with a new batch of magazines to choose from. Take a gander at these $5 beauties:
  • Sunset
  • Health
  • Coastal Living
  • This Old House
Plus these for $10:
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • In Style
  • Essence
It's never too late to give magazines, because they don't start for 6-8 weeks anyway and delays can be blamed on the publisher. Handy holiday hint.


Friday, December 18, 2009

IKEA: The IKEA Sale starts Dec. 18.

The IKEA sale starts today! I know, the very mention of IKEA during the holiday season sends chills down your spine, but speaking as someone who spent pretty much all of last Saturday there, the holidays are an oddly tranquil time to go. Shoppers are all off at more gift-oriented department stores buying presents - not too many people exchange FJELSENLAKK dressers for Xmas. So it was surprisingly uncrowded and low-key, even for the $1 meatball special in the cafeteria.

There are also one-day-only specials starting Dec. 26, but by then there probably will be bloodthirsty bargain-hunting crowds. Still, if you have clumsy New Year's guests, you can't beat 25-cent champagne glasses.


Bath & Body Works: Free lip item with any purchase.

Now that you've gotten all the holiday shopping for others out of the way (I mean... you do, right?), it's time to start spending on yourself! Or, okay, I guess you can get a last-minute gift if you HAVE to. Bath & Body Works is offering a free lip product with any purchase, through Dec. 20. Choose from C.O. Bigelow or Liplicious products - I'm a big fan of the minty C.O. Bigelow glosses myself.

I'm puzzled yet intrigued by this shapeable foaming soap, so maybe that will be my qualifying purchase. Find a store, get your lip stuff!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seattle: Free wine, chocolate at SAM Shop today.

Truly sophisticated holiday shoppers enjoy artisanal jewelry, sophisticated Euro housewares, and... free wine and chocolate! The Seattle Art Museum will be offering at least one of those tonight, Thursday the 17th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Six local jewelry-makers will hold a trunk show in the museum store, and the store itself will be open till 9:00 pm for holiday shopping. Free wine and chocolate sweetens the deal and impairs your judgment, so watch out.

Actually, museum stores tend to have pretty cool stuff, and I've gotten some good gifts at the SAM store over the years. They have interesting jewelry, nice notecards and stationery, and a decent selection of children's books and educational toys (from what I can tell), so if you're in panic shopping mode, you could do worse than to hit this event tonight.




Borders: 30% off any item.

Apparently the 30% off any item coupon is the clear favorite this year, because that's far and away the coupon that Borders is releasing most frequently. So here's one more, good through Dec. 21, that will get you through any last-minute holiday shopping surprises that may have come up a week before Xmas. Yay!

Use promo code BSL7022B when shopping online.


Free PDF book: Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker.

The Internets is determined to make sure you have enough recipes to feed everyone this holiday season. If you have a slow cooker that's been gathering dust on a shelf, dust it off and download this PDF book of crockpot recipes.

I know what you're thinking - mushy brown meat that falls apart into watery broth - but slow cooking can actually be good, and Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker has lots of party-oriented recipes for appetizers, hot dips, even desserts. I got this book for a slow-cooking friend of mine last year, so I'm personally vouching for it, and it's free, so what do you have to lose?

If you don't have a Kindle, you can still download it using the free Kindle for PC - in fact, according to the comments, it might work better in the PC version. On the right-hand side, under the big "Buy now with 1-click" button, there's a teeny tiny link that says "Available on your PC." So get cookin'!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Info: McDonald's to offer free wi-fi, starting Jan. 2010.

First Borders, then Barnes & Noble, and now McDonald's becomes the latest giant retailer this year to announce free wi-fi at all its locations. Well, to be precise, McDonald's free wi-fi starts in January 2010, replacing the $3-for-2-hours charge that they had had in place.

Evidently McDonald's sees itself as not merely a fast-food chain, but a "destination" where aspiring young authors will come and write their fictionalized memoirs on their netbooks, or something. Judging by the downtown Seattle McD's, they've already got the market cornered on people loitering for hours, but I guess the idea is to get people with fixed addresses in the door.


Info: Thurs., Dec. 17, is Free Shipping Day.

Okay, holiday slackers, this one's for you. Tomorrow, Dec. 17, is Free Shipping Day, in which 700+ online merchants will be offering free shipping AND delivery by Xmas Eve. Some may have minimum purchase restrictions, but according to the site, over half will have just plain free shipping, no minimum order required.

Check the site tomorrow to find out all the details, but you can see a list of participating merchants now and decide where to shop. Retail rewards the lazy, that's all I can say! Back in my day, we exchanged clods of dirt wrapped in old newspaper, and we didn't wait until the last minute, either.

(Courtesy of HeyItsFree.net)


Facebook: Free SBUX playlist on iTunes.

Starbucks has jumped on the free-music-download bandwagon and is offering a 20-song playlist when you become a fan of iTunes on Facebook. I haven't downloaded the actual songs yet, but here's what they say about it:

"Enjoy your free 20 song Starbucks 'Pick of the Week' Sampler from iTunes. This free sampler features music from Sting, Moby, Iron & Wine, Metric and more."

Sounds like there's some potentially good stuff there, and actually I have liked the SBUX compilations I've heard in the past, so I'm willing to give it a listen. I'll update more when I find out exactly what the songs are...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Seattle: Rosebud's Sweet 16 party, free apps, 12/16.

The Rosebud, on Capitol Hill, is turning 16 this year, and they're celebrating tomorrow, Dec. 16, with a Sweet 16 party! That means free appetizers in the bar for you from 4:30 to 8:30, plus a 3-course meal for $16 if you choose.

I hate their website, but the bar is pretty cool and they do a decent brunch, so there's every reason to think that free apps would be delicious there.


Free Olay Quench lotion after rebate.

Well, it's shaping up to be a real rebate week, it turns out. Between the Kraft $10 rebate and the free Alouette Brie and Seattle's Best coffee, you could pretty much stock your holiday party with the free food a-flying around. But you need some you rebates, too. So here's one for Olay Quench body lotion. Buy any size except trial size, fill out the rebate form, and send it off by February 12, 2010, to get yours. Trust me, nothing chaps your hands like wrapping and packaging up presents for weeks on end - you'll need it come January.

UPDATE: I just picked up a thing of Olay Quench and it looks like full-size bottles run from $7.99 to $9.99. That was at a drugstore, so it might be slightly cheaper at Target or something. At ten bucks, it's kind of an investment on your part, so make sure you send in that form quickly and keep a copy for your records!


Cheryl & Co: 6 free cookies, plus $10 gift card.

This feels like one of those "not really free" freebies since shipping is required, but who knows, maybe it's worth it. Cheryl & Co. is offering an introductory freebie: 6 free cookies, plus a $10 gift card, for free - you just pay $6.95 shipping.

In case you're wondering what you can spend that $10 gift card on, there are a handful of things for under $20. The best deal is probably this $15 gift box, but some of the pricier items have free shipping, so there's that. Anyway, only you know if this "freebie" is free enough for you, but I thought I'd put it out there.


Borders: 30% off any item.

Not to freak you out or anything, but I just wanted to quickly note that there are TEN DAYS TILL XMAS. I just finally mailed out my last packages today, sooo... I'm hoping they get where they need to go on time. I hope my mailman sprinkles a little Xmas magic over them.

If you're a bold soul who hasn't yet finished holiday shopping, Borders has a 30% off coupon for any one item. Use promo code BSL7022B to order online. At this point, though, online orders are cutting it pretty close, so you might want to just take that coupon into the old-fashioned bricks-and-mortar store if you want to make sure those stockings are full*.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Seattle: Free crepe, copyediting test.

You know, I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but when I see a typographical disaster like these coupons for free Nutella crepes at Mobatta Crepe Cafe, I'd rather red-pen it than fill it out. Starting with big old X's on that lame clip art.

But enough grinching. If you're near downtown, pop into Mobatta Crepes on 2nd Ave. between Cherry & Columbia, give them one of these filled-out forms, and you'll get a free Nutella crepe! I hear their goal is to give away 50,000, which is a whole lotta Nutella, Mobatta.

(Courtesy of the Seattle Times Freeloader)


Free California Flatbreads at Jamba Juice, Dec. 15.

Jamba Juice is giving away more of their California Flatbreads tomorrow, Dec. 15, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. They have pretty dumb names, such as Tomo Artichoko and MediterraneYUM, and I hope it's not the kind of thing where you have to actually say the dumb name rather than just pointing and going, "That one." Because free isn't free when you have to order with flair.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Amazon: 25 Days of Free MP3s.

I can't keep track of all the free holiday music out there on the Internets this year! Amazon offers a musical advent calendar of sorts - a new, free MP3 every day in December till Xmas. I'm especially fond of Lady Gaga's filthy version of "Christmas Tree" from Dec. 6.

You need the free Amazon MP3 downloader widget, but the nice part is that it will automatically import to iTunes when it's done.


Free PDF book of mason jar gift how-tos.

Well, this year I barely had time to click "Buy Now" on Amazon for my holiday shopping, but assuming I ever have the time to make some down-home hand-crafted gifts of love for my friends and family, I'm going to check out this PDF book of 34 Ideas for Gifts in a Jar.

There's the usual brownies-in-a-jar and cakes-in-a-jar, but also soup mixes, gingerbread and pumpkin bread baked in the jar, honey bath scrub, and edible chocolate bath scrub (!). There's also something called Cranberry Hootycakes, but you might want to stay away from that one. Just a feeling I have.


Denny's: Free Peppermint Pancake Puppies.

Here's a word-association game: if I said "Peppermint Pancake Puppies" to you, which of these would you think of?

a) The hot new toy for tween girls this holiday season.
b) My drag queen name.
c) A cartoon team of anime characters with adorably cute superpowers.
d) A godawful concoction of "deep-fried balls of pancake batter, dusted with sugar, to be dipped in syrup."

The correct answer is D, as in Denny's. They're offering a coupon for a free order of Peppermint Pancake Puppies, good through Mon., Dec. 14. That's tomorrow, so you definitely don't want to delay and miss out on your share of the PPPs.


Old Navy: 30% off any one item.

Old Navy has a coupon for 30% off one single item, good through Dec. 19. I needn't remind you that we're on the home stretch of holiday shopping, but this would be a good way to knock out at least one more gift... assuming your loved ones enjoy bargain-priced clothing staples.


Amazon: Oprah magazine $5 for 1-year subscription.

Amazon featured this sale once before, but just in case you missed it, it's back! $5 for a 1-year subscription to O, the Oprah Magazine. You know, I don't know if you heard, but she's quitting her talk show in 2 years, so you might want to start collecting these monthly compilations of O-wisdom to comfort you once it's off the air. I can't promise these will immediately triple in value as collector's items, but... it only makes sense, right?


Friday, December 11, 2009

Seattle: Free downtown holiday decorations.

If you're around downtown Seattle this holiday season, check out some of the free attractions that local businesses and hotels offer for your amusement. I make a point to visit them and take grainy, blurry pictures each year, but I assure you they're much better in person.


  • Teddy Bear Suite and more at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Dec. 1 - Dec. 26 2009. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Over 130 adorable stuffed bears and children's books with a bear theme in a decorated suite (a new theme each year) at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. Sometimes they have free cookies and coffee in a meeting room on the mezzanine level. There's also a huge, lavish gingerbread house with a new theme each year, on display in the lobby. Free.
  • Gingerbread Village at Sheraton Seattle, 1400 6th Avenue. Nov. 23, 2009 - Jan. 3, 2010. A collaboration of Seattle Sheraton's culinary team and Seattle's most skilled architectural firms team up for a multi-structure, oversized gingerbread display, plus decorated trees. This year's theme is "A Reel Christmas." Free.
  • Winter Train and Village at the Seattle Center House. Dec. 1, 2009 - Jan. 1, 2010. 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm or 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm. The Center House at Seattle Center is home to an early 1900s miniature village. Train enthusiasts and miniature lovers will enjoy the snow surrounding the buildings, lights, and depot. You can also pay a few bucks and be the conductor of your own little train through the village. Cost: $2 suggested donation (cash only).




Kraft: $10 rebate when you buy 10 - gulp - cheez items.

Here's a freebie that may be hazardous to your health... unless your family has a tradition of stuffing stockings with Easy Cheese and Chicken in a Biskit. Kraft is offering a $10 rebate when you buy 10 of their participating items between now and January 31, 2010. You don't have to buy them all at once, so you can shop around for the best deals.

Seriously, though, that's a lot of salty flavored crackers and spray cheese. Be safe this holiday season, kids.


Free NYLON winter playlist via iTunes.

NYLON magazine did a pretty good summer playlist earlier this year, so I'm curious to check out their new freebie: a winter music playlist (not to be confused with holiday music!). Download the sampler for free via iTunes and get ready to rock out with your frost out along with Dan Deacon, Animal Collective, Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, and a bunch of other bands I'm too square to know about.

Extra credit: NYLON magazine is just $7 for a 1-year subscription at Amazon right now ($10 plus an additional $3 off), if you're looking for a way to thank them for all this music. I just learned that NYLON means "New York/London," though, so you might feel a little judged each month when this hipster look book arrives in your dowdy mailbox.


Borders: 30% off any item.

Man, these Borders coupons are coming faster than I can use them - and that's saying something. Here's another one for 30% off any item. What more can I say? Those "free beverage" coupons have been pointedly absent of late, on the other hand... mine must have gotten lost in the (e)mail.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Seattle: Free snacks at Kathy Casey Food Studio on Dec. 12.

Seattle foodies (and those in need of foodie-gift ideas), head over to Kathy Casey Food Studios in Ballard this Saturday, December 12th, from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. for a free open house. She'll be signing copies of her new book, Sips & Apps, and offering samples of some of the recipes therein. Apparently these include Bacon, Blue Cheese, & Pecan Cocktail Cookies; Lamb "Sliders" on Homemade Rosemary Buns; and Croque Monsieur Puffs.

There will also be plenty of tasty gourmet gifts on offer, so whether you're just feeling nibbly or you need to do some shopping, head over if you're in Ballard this weekend.

(Courtesy of the Seattle Times Freeloader)


Free holiday music from iTunes.

Grinch if you will, but there's no music like holiday music to wrap presents, trim trees, and write out holiday cards to. And now you have no excuse, because iTunes is offering a free holiday playlist for you to download! It has everything from Barry Manilow to Weezer to Stephen Colbert and something called the Mexicani Marimba Band, so really, there's something for all tastes on here. Put that in your stocking and stuff it.

For you traditionalists, there's also a handful of free tracks from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Classy!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

International Delight make-up coupon for Facebook fail.

Did you try to cash in on the Facebook coupon promo for International Delight creamer, but were unable to print because of technical difficulties? International Delight is making good with this make-up coupon for a full-size bottle of their flavored coffee creamer. Just fill out your mailing address and they'll send you a coupon by mail within a few weeks (allowing time for the holidays).

Not sure if they'll be double-checking your name against their Facebook fans list, but just in case, you might want to join their fan list anyway to be on the safe side.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

$1 card from Burger King with free passive-aggression.

Kinda sorta feeling a pang of guilt over excluding that acquaintance/Facebook friend/coworker you smile at but don't really like from your holiday gift list? Burger King will help you make the empty gesture that means so much this season. For $1, you can send your recipient a paper holiday card with a $1 bill inside. (The bill is intended for them to purchase a cheeseburger or something that's $1 at BK - advertising alert!)

I kind of like "Thinking of you a little bit this holiday season," but there's something satisfying about "Because I care deeply about someone who looks kinda like you," too. Nothing welcomes the holidays like a passive-aggressive slap in the face and a crisp dollar bill!


Old Navy: 60 gifts for $6 and under.

Strapped for cash this holiday season? Or just have a HUGE family to shop for? Old Navy has you covered with 60 gifts for $6 or under. It's mostly basics, although I have to say this little pom-pom tasseled fleece hat is pretty darn cute. Wait... it's for babies? Damn. Why are the things I like always for toddlers? Like they need performance fleece.


Facebook: Free Stacy's pita chips.

Oh man, I love Stacy's pita chips. Actually, I love all pita chips, but they tend to be pretty pricey at $3 or more for a kiiiinda small bag. But a free bag, now we're talking!

Become a Facebook fan of Stacy's and go to the tab to fill out the online form, and they'll send you a coupon for a free bag of pita chips. This offer is good for the first 65,000 fans, so you shouldn't have any trouble... unless I go back and sign up 64,000 more times. Which I may do.


Borders: 30% off any item, in-store or online.

Now through Dec. 14, get 30% off one item, in-store or online, using this coupon. Or shop online with promo code BSL7021A. Like Amazon, they're offering free shipping on orders over $25, though I still prefer Amazon myself... but Borders does have a pretty good selection of beauty-type gifts, blank books, candles, Xmas cards, and so on, all of which are eligible for this discount, so it's nice for non-media gift shopping too. I mean, if you like brick-and-mortar stores.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Burt's Bees Premium Grab Bag - now $20!

Last week or so, I mentioned the Burt's Bees grab bag for $25 + free shipping. Well, the deal has just gotten even sweeter... now they're offering 20% off and free shipping with coupon code BURT20, so it's down to $20. I'll say it again: this would be a lovely gift as is for someone very lucky, or it would be great to split into several smaller gifts or stuff a bunch of stockings with. There are men's and unisex items in there, too, so don't assume it's just girly smelly junk! (Although it mainly is.)


Pinkberry: BOGO frozen yogurt. Brrrr.

I know, I know... the last thing you want right now is a chilly, creamy frozen treat. But if you did, for some reason, need two Pinkberry yogurts, here's a BOGO coupon for you. Sadly, I think we still don't have any Pinkberrys here in Seattle (though there are some knockoffs and rival chains), so I won't have to make the terrible, brain-freezing decision myself.


Seattle: Holidate with the Girls at U-Village.

Now that it's the holidays, you'll be hearing from every charity in the world wanting you to sponsor children, feed lonely hobos on Xmas, and cure diseases. But how many charities give you a discount shopping pass, free cocktails and appetizers, and a bag full of goodies? More cosmos and less address labels, Doctors Without Borders.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 8 and 9, you can attend the U-Village Holidate With the Girls. For $25 you get a reusable shopping pass good for 20% off at the participating stores (there's a list on the page, but it includes Papyrus, Fireworks, Gap, and Barnes & Noble - that's practically your whole holiday shopping list right there!), a drink ticket, snacky appetizers, and a gift bag full of samples, coupons, and full-size products from merchants in the shopping center.

I've been to this a couple of times, and while it's not as lavish an affair as it used to be (though the price tag has gone up), it's still fun, and all event proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House. So if you haven't started your holiday shopping and you'd like an excuse for a charitable shopping date with the girls, sign up!


Free Alouette baby brie with mail-in rebate.

When I think of Alouette, I think of that delicious flavored soft cheese spread that a friend and I used to gobble after school in the higher-metabolism days of my youth. But Alouette evidently also makes Brie wedges, and they want you to try one for free!

Just buy the cheese before Dec. 31, save your receipt and the UPC code, send it in by January 10, 2010, and soar away on a magical wedge of creamy herbed goodness.


BOGO sweaters at Ann Taylor Loft.

Brrrr! Speaking as someone who saw ice on her morning commute, I can tell you that it's definitely time to cozy up with a nice sweater... or two. So this BOGO sweater deal at Ann Taylor Loft will come in quite handy. Buy any regular-priced sweater and get another for equal or lesser value free! Usually I'm a traditional cable V-neck girl, but for sheer cuddly coverage, you can't beat a classic turtleneck.


Friday, December 4, 2009

e.l.f. 27-piece makeup kit FREE with any purchase.

Cosmetics company e.l.f. is offering a free 27-piece makeup kit with any purchase. Use promo code LOYAL at checkout and it will automatically be added. You still have to pay their $7 shipping fee, but many items on their site are just $1, so basically you can get the makeup kit, plus another full-size item, for $8.

They also have some great stocking stuffer kits for $3, which would be quite handy for any Secret Santas or office gifts or "Oh! You got me a present? I... left yours in the car. I'llberightback" moments that we all treasure during the holidays.


Free Splenda, with or without flava.

What could be better than Splenda, the fake sugar? How about Splenda with flava? Apparently they now make the artificial sweetener with both hazelnut and mocha flavorings. "Each packet conveniently contains the perfect touch of sweetness and rich flavor for one cup of coffee," so there you have it!

Okay, I'm curious. What the heck, Splenda, hook a sister up. WITH FLAVA FO' HER JAVA.


Free Estee Lauder lip gloss Dec. 5.

Estee Lauder is giving away a bunch of free lip glosses tomorrow, Dec. 5, at every single Estee Lauder counter nationwide! (Scroll down the page to the header "Come Get Beautiful") Find a location here.

"It’s your day to look and feel beautiful. Visit the Estée Lauder Counter—be sure to bring a friend—and you’ll receive a free Lip Gloss (we’re giving away 130,000 nationwide!)*, plus a free 2-minute hand massage using the body lotion of our #1 fragrance, Beautiful."

It doesn't say that it's a crappy tiny mini-sample, but even if it was, it's free! I don't know about that hand massage, though. Free cosmetics is one thing, but free swine flu — I'll pass.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Borders: 30% off any item.

Yes indeed, it's... a Borders coupon! For 30% off any item! No, this is not the same one as the coupon I posted a few days ago. Yes, they put out a lot of coupons. No, I do not know why. You're welcome.


Free Pillsbury 2010 calendar.

Already despairing of the gauntlet of fatty, sugary holiday binge eating you'll be running from now until January 1? Well, why not start early on shooting your New Year's resolutions in the foot by signing up for this free Pillsbury calendar. Torture yourself with a year's worth of luscious, colorful photographs of home-baked treats - complete with recipes! - as you try to rationalize that the cheesy asparagus hors d'ouevres count as a serving of veggies.

I can hear my Wii Fit screaming from here.


Free hot beverage at 7-11.

7-11 has this coupon running for a free coffee, cappucino, hot chocolate, or tea, but apparently some users have been complaining that the less-than-service-oriented employees of 7-11 have been reluctant or grumpy about honoring it.

If you're dubious about the PDF, you can get your own free drink coupon anytime by going to http://www.the711club.com/ and playing the slightly creepy "hot Brazilian" game there. FYI, I did succeed in taking the guy in the pirate shirt home, so hands off the puffy sleeves, they're mine.


Seattle: Free wine, cheese, 10% off at Husky Deli, Dec. 4.

West Seattleites know and love the Husky Deli, in the West Seattle Junction, for its huge thick sandwiches, fancy gourmet foods and sweets from around the world (where else can you get Kinder Eggs AND butter oil in the same place?), and its delicious ice cream and the milkshakes made thereof.

On Friday, December 4, those of you who don't yet know the delights of Husky Deli (and devoted fans, too) can come to a holiday open house from 5:00 to 9:00 pm (they never update their site, so you'll just have to trust me on this - I got a flyer). Sample wine, cheese, deli meats, and sweet treats from their catering menu as well as various vendors. All purchases made during the open house will get a 10% discount, too! I've got my eye on this sheet of English toffee that comes with a tiny hammer to break it up with. A TINY HAMMER. I could just die.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Free Aveeno tote bag from Martha Stewart.

You can get a free Aveeno tote bag when you fill out this online form here. I know it looks a little shady, but there's a link to it on Martha Stewart's website (scroll down), so I think it's legit. You could use another tote bag in your life, right? Right!

(Courtesy of HeyItsFree)


Southwest holiday fare sale.

Southwest is having a last-minute fare sale for the holidays, with fares as low as $59 one-way. Purchase by December 3, 2009, 11:59 pm PDT, and travel December 17, 2009, through January 3, 2010.

Sorry, Seattleites, there's nothing for us this time around. Alaska Air rules Sea-Tac.


Cosmo, Oprah Magazine, Esquire, Elle, etc., $5 subscriptions.

Man, $5 magazine subscriptions are THE hot ticket this year! At this rate, I expect to be seeing a dozen or so new subscriptions in my mailbox come January. Here's another promotion with a batch of $5 magazines - some we've seen before, like Esquire, Elle, Seventeen, and Woman's Day, but some I think are new, like O for Oprah Magazine or the Food Network magazine. Anyway, there's something for everyone, so go nuts!


Barnes & Noble: Buy a $100 gift card, get a $10 gift card free.

Barnes & Noble is jumping on the bonus-gift-card bandwagon with their own offer: spend $100 in gift cards, get a $10 bonus gift card free. The best part is, the bonus gift card is emailed to you on Dec. 26, so there's no question of having to give it to someone else - you'll just have to use it on yourself. Coincidentally, that will be right when the post-holiday sales fire up, too. Discounted calendars and next year's Xmas cards, anyone?


Amazon: Free Xmas music every day till Dec. 25.

If there's one thing everyone wants more of this holiday season, it's Xmas music! Amazon senses your need and comes to the rescue with 25 days of free music. Every day, a free download; today's is "Snow Angels" by Tori Amos.

Personally, I like "Rockin' Around the Xmas Tree," but I guess it couldn't hurt to shake up my holiday playlist a little.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Seattle: Free snacks, cheap wine at BOKA, Dec. 2.

BOKA, the restaurant inside the Hotel 1000 in downtown Seattle, has a pretty great happy-hour menu: half off their deelish appetizers, or rather, "Urban Bites." But free is even better than cheap, and on Dec. 2, they're offering free snacks and a talk by contemporary art curator Michael Darling, who will speak on Seattle Art Museum's current special exhibition, "Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act."

Wine by the glass will be sold for $3, with proceeds going to Seattle Art Museum. HINT HINT.

SAM in the Studio takes place from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., Dec. 2, at 1000 First Ave., Seattle.

(This tip from the Seattle Times Freeloader!)


Seattle: Buy $25 Goodwill gift card, get $5 bonus card free.

Goodwill shoppers, act now and get a little something extra in your stocking this year. Starting Dec. 1, buy $25 worth of Goodwill gift cards and receive a bonus $5 gift card, while supplies last! Available in-store only.

Also, put it on your calendar: December 26 is Goodwill's After Christmas Blow Out Sale - 50% off ALL color tags (excludes white tags and Outlet stores). That's more fun than standing in the returns line at Old Navy, right?


Borders.com: Free shipping, no minimum, 30% coupon.

Borders is offering free shipping on all online purchases right now with coupon code ISG5234F. That's handy if you just need one or two things, although free shipping tends to be pretty slow. There's also 50% off priority shipping with code PRIORITY, if you need it faster.

And their Cyber Monday special continues: BOGO 60% off. Depending on how you played it, that could average out to about 30% off two items, but personally I'm holding out for the next 40% off coupon. Go on, Borders. Take your time. My disposable income and I can wait.

UPDATE: Here's a 30% off any item coupon, good through December 7.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Seattle: 25-cent beers at the 5 Point's 80th b-day party, 12/8.

Back in 1929, when I was young, beers were a quarter, men wore hats, and children respected their elders. On Tuesday, December 8, you can recapture at least one of those golden moments at the 5 Point's 80th birthday party. From 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., they'll offer these specials:


  • 2 eggs, bacon, and toast for 25 cents
  • Hamburger and fries for 20 cents
  • The Blue Plate special for 30 cents
  • 25 Cent Pabst Blue Ribbon beers!
(Thanks, Michael!)


Cyber Monday airfare from Jet Blue and Virgin America.

I've never heard of Cyber Monday airfare, but I guess it makes sense - after all, everybody books their air travel online nowadays, and there's bound to be plenty of flying happening between now and January 1. Jet Blue and Virgin America are offering a special Cyber Monday sale on selected flights.
  • Jet Blue: One-way nonstop flights for $39, $69, $99. Sale fares are available for purchase on Monday, November 30, 2009, only, between 12:01 a.m. MST to 11:59 p.m. MST.
  • Virgin America: Book by December 8 and fly with WiFi, movies, and more for as little as $39 each way. Travel is valid between December 3, 2009, and May 23, 2010.

Not a lot of selection for outbound Seattleites, but maybe you can persuade some out-of-state friends to come and visit you for the holidays...




Sunday, November 29, 2009

Burt's Bees: $25 grab bag + free shipping.

The Burt's Bees grab bag is back, just in time for the holidays! This one contains 8 regular items, 11 mini items, plus 4 free gifts, as well as a free Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil AND free shipping with code FREESHIPFRIDAY.

8 Regular-Sized Products:
Lip Shimmer Merlot
Lip Gloss "Pucker Berry"
Beeswax Lip Balm
Lip Gloss "Zesty Red",
All In One Wash (4 oz)
Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar (3.5 oz)

11 Mini-Sized Products Including:
Baby Bee Buttermilk Bath
Rosemary & Peppermint Soap
Natural Skin Care for Men Soap
Peppermint Soap
Orange Essence Facial Cleanser
Peppermint Foot Lotion
Therapeutic Bath Crystals

4 Special Gifts:
Yellow Cotton Bee Socks
Burt's Bees Shower Cap
Lavender Eye Mask
Lip Balm Clip-On

Treat someone to a giant gift if you're feeling generous, or be thrifty and split it out into mini-gifts or stocking stuffers! There's plenty to share...

Entertainment Book: Now $19.99!

Oh, the Entertainment Book just keeps getting cheaper and cheaper... it's now down to $19.99 for all books with free shipping. AND Ebates.com is now offering a whopping $9 back when you buy a book! I'm excited just thinking about all the money you'll save. Mine is already on the way!


Entertainment Weekly: 1-year subscription or renewal, $10.

Amazon is not kidding around about these magazine subscription deals this year. The latest deal is $10 for a one-year subscription (or renewal) to Entertainment Weekly. That's 95% off list price and a heckuva lot cheaper than any of the postcards that fall out of my issues each week.

As always, there is no shipping charge for magazines, BUT they count toward your $25 Super Saver Shipping total, so if there's something else you've been looking at, this could bump your cart up over the limit. And, need I even mention that it would make a great holiday gift?


Free bag of Seattle's Best coffee with mail-in rebate.

Why settle for a mere free-coffee-drink coupon when you could have a whole bag full of free coffee? Excellent point, Seattle's Best Coffee. Mail in this rebate form with your receipt (dated before 12/31/09) and UPC, and they'll send you a check for the purchase price. Seattle's Best Coffee is available at grocery stores and Target, but please note that purchases from Seattle's Best Coffee Cafes (i.e., the Borders coffee shops, I'm thinking) are NOT valid, so be careful where you buy.


Cyber Monday, Green Monday... Brown Monday?

Yeah, I have to say I'm among the vast numbers of people who apparently haven't heard of Green Monday (the actual busiest online-shopping day of the year - sorry, Cyber Monday) or Brown Monday (because retailers start slashing prices to shovel holiday crap out the doors?). Learn about these fascinating industry terms, plus clear up some misconceptions about the actual best-selling shopping days, at this interesting Consumerist post right here.


Cyber Monday: Borders, BOGO 60% off.

Well, now that Black Friday is out of the way, it's time to move on to CYBER MONDAY, and Borders is first out of the gate with a BOGO 60% off promotion. That is, buy any one item storewide, get the second one 60% off. Use promo code BCM1219B to shop online.

This one's actually good through Tuesday, Dec. 1, so you've got a little bit of time to shop. But not forever.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Denny's Grand Slam BOGO.

Would you rather be feasting on bacon and pancakes than jostling with other snarling, angry shoppers for the last electric tie rack? Denny's understands, which is why they're offering a BOGO Grand Slam deal with printed coupon. Good today only, November 27, so quit while you're ahead and go have a delicious greasy breakfast.


Glamour: $10 one-year subscription plus tote.

And just to finish off my trifecta of HSN magazine deals, here's one for Glamour, including a one-year subscription and a stripey tote for $10. Of course, it's hard to beat the crazy-go-nuts deals over at Amazon today, but it's nice to see that other places are trying.


SELF: One-year subscription plus tote, $10.

You know, I've never really looked at the Home Shopping Network for magazines, but their prices aren't bad and the subscriptions all seem to come with giveaways right now. Get a one-year subscription to SELF magazine, plus a tote bag and a Body Bonus guide, for $10.


Allure: $10 one-year subscription plus beauty bag of samples.

Just continuing the magazine subscription theme here, the Home Shopping Network has a deal on Allure magazine: $10 for a one-year subscription plus a bag of beauty samples. The makeup bag is pretty cute, and here's what's in it:

  • Samy Fat Hair - Thickening Shampoo
  • Elysee - Firmance Pycnogenol Firming Serum
  • Cosmedicine - Medi-morphosis Self-Adjusting Exfoliator
  • LipFusion - Pucker up
  • Italian Beauty - Risarium Black Rice Platinum Ultra-Renewing Face Serum
  • AHAVA - Mineral Botanic Velvet Cream Wash (Honeysuckle & Lavender, Bamboo & Pansy)



Black Friday: 20% off sale items at J.Crew.com.

Aha, J. Crew has a Black Friday online discount for you too. 20% off all sale items with coupon code EXTRA20. Free shipping with orders of $150+, too. Which, believe me, is not that hard to do at J. Crew.


Black Friday: 40% off your entire Ann Taylor online order.

I see retailers are trying their hardest to keep everyone at home and ordering online today. Which is fine with me, because that's where I prefer to be, too. Ann Taylor is offering 40% off everything in their online store with coupon code TURKEY. Good through November 27, so snag yourself some holiday party wear or a few nice gifts for the ladies in your life...


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Amazon Black Friday: More $5 magazine subscriptions.

Honestly, at this rate I'm going to have lifetime subscriptions to every magazine I've ever even thought about reading. Amazon is offering another handful of $5 one-year subscriptions to the following:
  • Real Simple
  • SmartMoney
  • People StyleWatch
  • Popular Science
  • Travel & Leisure
  • Food & Wine
  • House Beautiful
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Southern Living
I should just get everyone on my list a magazine subscription this year and be done with it, like I keep threatening to. It's never been a better deal to do so!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Threadless Black Friday sale: all t-shirts $9!

Threadless has some Black Friday savings for you, too: all T-shirts will be $9 from 12:01 am on November 27 to 11:59 pm. Everybody wears T-shirts, and this will give you a great excuse to sequester yourself away from any pesky relatives this holiday weekend. "I'll be back in an hour. Hey, do you want an Xmas present this year or not?"

The good designs and sizes tend to sell out pretty quickly, though, so you might want to hover over your computer around midnight LIKE A HAWK for maximum deal-nabbing.


Entertainment Book: 30% off this weekend + $6 rebate through Ebates!

A ha! As much as I enjoy the Entertainment Book, you're a fool if you pay the full $35 list price for it. Up until now, the best deal out there was a $5 gift card with purchase at Borders (which they're still offering), but this weekend only, you can get 30% off ALL Entertainment Books and free shipping! That makes them $24.50, which is a pretty good price for this early in the year (their coupons are valid from November to October, so the 2010 version just came out).

I've said it before and I'll say it again: as soon as you use one BOGO museum admission coupon and BOGO dinner offer, you've made your money back, with a year of savings ahead of you! One thing that I found surprisingly awesome last year was the movie ticket coupons. I always kept a couple in my wallet, and considering that they knock a few bucks off per ticket, it adds up pretty quickly.

Ooh! AND I just found an extra $6 cash back offer on the Entertainment book at Ebates. If you don't already belong to Ebates, consider signing up (that's my referral link) - it's free and you make cash back on all your online purchases, which they send you in quarterly checks. That sweetens the deal even more...


Free taco from Del Taco.

Really, that just about says it. Print the coupon, get a free classic taco. Good until December 8, so you have plenty of time to cash this one in.


IKEA: $1 meatball meal.

Earlier this week, I posted about IKEA's Black Friday sale, but they have a new offer out that's good on November 27 only: $1 meatball madness!

"$1 for 10 meatballs! Offer valid Friday, November 27, 2009, after 11am only! Enjoy 10 mouthwatering Swedish meatballs for just $1 - regularly $4.29! Includes 10 meatballs, mashed potatoes and cream sauce. Not valid at IKEA Hicksville, IKEA Houston and IKEA Direct. See your local IKEA store for details."

I'll leave you to make your own delirious, sleep-deprived meatball-and-cream-sauce jokes, but just know that the Swedes are on your side this Black Friday.


Borders.com: 25% off everything + free shipping.

Borders is throwing their hat in the Black Friday ring with a new online coupon code for 25% off everything in your order and free shipping over $25. Use coupon code BDC6959X and gloat about getting your holiday shopping done in your PJs with a cup of coffee, while the chumps are huddled outside Macy's at 4:00 am for some $10 electric nail clippers.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Info: Black Friday ads and what not to buy.

Black Friday mania is heating up, and with those 4:00 am "doorbusters" only going to the lucky few who are first through the door, you'll want to make sure you're in the right place. Black-Friday.net has all the info you want: dozens of Black Friday ads for everything from Apple to Zales, plus online deals and links to hot items.

On the other hand, Slate has an interesting article about which Black Friday specials aren't worth their SUPER UNBELIEVABLE EXTRA LOW SLASHTACULAR prices. If you were toying with the idea of getting an e-book reader, netbook, or other high-tech gadget this year, read this before you set your alarm.

I used to get dragged out at the crack of Black Friday dawn by my shopaholic relatives, and now that I have a choice in the matter, I never will again. But if your sleep is worth that extra $20 off an HDTV, by all means, go ahead.


Borders: 50% off selected items, Nov. 25 only.

Borders is having a special fine-print sale tomorrow, November 25, in-store only... print this coupon and get 50% off the items listed, if you can read them. The best deals on here are the $4.99 DVDs - there are a few titles I wouldn't mind owning, and for such a wee price, you can wow your recipients with a big fat stack (or a very oddly-shaped stocking).

I'm noticing some overlap with Amazon's Black Friday DVD Sale, which I'm sure is a complete coincidence, but the net result is that you should play one against the other and make them battle for your love. And, more importantly, your cash.


Free earrings, courtesy of Seventeen.

This one will probably go fast, so hop on: a pair of free earrings, courtesy of Urban Original and Seventeen magazine. Fill out the online form and use promo code earrings to get yours!

The freebie is good through January 5 or until supplies run out, but the freebie just went live this morning, so you have a good chance of getting yours if you hustle.


Bath & Body Works: Free item with any $10 purchase.

Oh, they are crafty, these mall shops, trying one tactic and another to lure you into the stores this Black Friday weekend. Like Bath & Body Works, which wants to offer you a free item of your choice with any $10 purchase... in-store only.

Don't fall for it! Stay cozy at home in your pajamas this weekend, gnawing on a turkey leg and shopping online, the way the good Lord intended.


Ulta: $5 off $10.

Ulta is pretty open-handed with the coupon codes, and here's their latest: $5 off a $10 purchase. Use promo code 31877 and avoid brick-and-mortar stores like the Black Friday plague they are!

Good through Dec. 31, 2009.


Seattle: Free Mighty-O donuts for piratical kids on Nov. 28.

Just in case your kids need a leetle more sugar this weekend to help endear them to the extended family, Mighty-O Donuts is here to help. November 28 is Pirate Donut Urchin Day or something at Mighty-O, wherein all children dressed as pirates get a free donut. The details:

"Come join us at Mighty-O Donuts on Saturday, November 28th, 2009 from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm for the launch of our Spiced Rum Cake Donut. Any child that is dressed as a Pirate will receive a free mini-donut of their choice."

You parents might want to slosh a little extra spiced rum on your donut, though. Yarrr.

(Tip from the Seattle Times Freeloader, a new column listing freebies in Seattle.)



Seattle: Free McDonald's mocha and caramel frappes.

So apparently the Mcdonald'ses of Western Washington have banded together to form a fellowship of the fats, and they even have their own website and secret handshake and NO BURGER KINGS ALLOWED BECAUSE THEY HAVE COOTIES. Currently, they have a freebie offer on their website: a printable coupon, good through Dec. 8, for a free small mocha or caramel frappe.

Wisely, they've decided to hedge their bets with some fine print about how it's up to each location whether they participate, require a purchase, etc., so as always, it's wise to call before you go and verify that your desired location will indeed give you a free sugary coffee treat.

This tip is from the Seattle Times Freeloader, a new column listing freebies in Seattle. But I think we all know the HTN is O.G. since '09.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Update: Glominerals free mineral eyeshadow.

Back in October, you may recall a Facebook freebie for glominerals, a mineral makeup company - they were offering free eyeshadows to anyone who became a fan by a certain day. As often happens, the response way exceeded their expectations, but they did eventually get around to honoring all the submissions, and I just received my free sample today!

You didn't get to choose a color and I'm not sure if everyone received the same thing or not, but I got a small 1.4 g (0.05 oz) jar of Playful, which you can sort of see is a very light, shimmery pink. The picture was taken in my bathroom, which is not a portrait studio, so it's a little lighter and less yellowy in real life.

Did you sign up in time for the Facebook offer? And if so, did you get your glominerals sample yet? Speak up in the comments!

Oh, and if you missed out but are still curious to try, they also included a coupon code for 30% off liquid, loose, or pressed powder. Use promo code FBPROMO to make it happen.


Info: Why there's no such thing as a free Snuggie (and how to spot scams).

HeyItsFree.net is a good, reliable site for freebie offers, one that I check regularly, and they also have some good information on the business of freebie-ing, like this new article on how the author investigates and dismisses scammy freebie offers.

If you're a savvy Internet user, you can probably spot a scam pretty quickly, too - even if you don't know what you're looking for in so many words, you can tell if something "feels" wrong or not legit. But this article has some useful, concrete tips for verifying the ownership of a site and identifying shifty, skeezy business tactics that should make you suspicious about giving away your personal information.

Be cautious, be safe out there! The Internet is a dangerous place, and it's not known for free Snuggies.


Black Friday: IKEA free breakfast and sale.

IKEA is crazy enough on a regular weekend day, so I can't even imagine what Black Friday looks like there. Probably like Hell on earth, I would imagine. If you're foolhardy enough to attempt it, here's what you can expect to get:
  • Free breakfast and coffee to all store guests (a $1.98 value)
  • Friday 11/27 Deals - Svalka wine glasses $1.99, TV/storage bench $99, Corner TV bench $89, side table $29, shoe cabinet $49.99, CD tower $29, coffee table $59
  • Saturday 11/28 - Queen or King back sleeper combo $14.99, sofa $199
  • Sunday 11/29 - 20-piece flatware set $9.99, kitchen cart $19.99
  • All 3 days - $2.99-$4.99 gift wrap, bags, ribbons 99¢

As a matter of fact, I'm planning on staying well away from all stores for the whole nutty BF weekend, but if there's one store that I'm absolutely not going anywhere near, it's IKEA. Um, but have fun!




Avon: Holiday Treat Parade, $12, + free shipping today.

Got some stockings to stuff this year? Let Avon help you with their 16-piece Parade of Holiday Treats. Actually, I'm a little divided on holiday-themed Xmas gifts, because by the time you receive them on Xmas, the holiday's over, but lip gloss is good year round, I suppose.

Here's what you get for $12:
  • 4 Holiday Hand Creams - Each, 1.5 fl. oz. Comes in the following brands (one of each) - Avon Basics Silicone Glove, Avon Basics Vita Moist, MOISTURE THERAPY Intensive and SKIN SO SOFT Soft & Sensual. A $3.96 value.
  • 4 Avon Kids Holiday Bath Time Body Paints Each, 1.7 fl. oz. Comes in Bubble Gum, Green Apple, and two Coconut Custard. A $7.96 value.
  • 8 Winter Treats Lip Balms Keep lips soft and stockings full. Each, .15 oz. net wt. Comes in two Frosted Cookie, two Wintermint, two Candy Cane and two Cinnamon Spice. A $7.92 value.

Remember, they also have plenty of 99-cent mini items, so if this isn't quite enough for you or you want different things, you can bulk up your order with bubble bath, shower gel, body lotion, and lots and lots of lip balm.

With coupon code GOBBLE (good through midnight November 23, which is today), you'll also get free shipping with a $5 minimum order.




Subway: Free animal lunch tote with kid's meal purchase.

These are way better than the dumb cardboard Happy Meal box! Get a free wild animal lunch tote when you purchase a kid's meal at Subway. I think the cheetah one is pretty rad because it appears to be attacking a city, but all of them are cool. I can't tell if the sideways ones are insulated, but they look like they might be.

Not to get all Martha Stewart on you, but this might be a cute/novel way to wrap an odd-sized gift in something that's actually useful. Plus, you get to eat the kid's meal. Okay, fine, or you could give it to an actual child.


Black Friday: Old Navy super sale.

Are you ready for this flurry of Black Friday discounts and specials at Old Navy? I don't think I am, but here we go:
  • Thursday, Nov. 26: $10 off $50 with coupon code 10OFFSITE (or print a coupon for in-store here)
  • Thursday, Nov. 26: 50% Off All Outerwear
  • Friday, Nov. 27: $15 All Adults Jeans & Sweaters, Kids Frost-Free Jackets, Free LEGO RockBand Software with $20 Purchase
  • Saturday, Nov. 28: $5 Fleece Blankets and Thermals for the Family, $2 Holiday Stockings, Entire Store on Sale

Last year I scooped up some cashmere sweaters on sale and that was pretty cool, but if you're shopping for a crowd or a family, Old Navy basics are a heck of a deal.




Cost Plus: $5 off $20 or $20 off $50 with coupon.

No need to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to get started on your holiday shopping... at least, not at Cost Plus. They have coupons for $5 off $20 or $20 off $50, good through November 25. These appear to be in-store coupons only, so you'll actually have to drag yourself to a physical store like in olden tymes, sorry.


Black Friday: Free medium soda at Target.

I was at Target over the weekend and let me tell you, just finding a parking space and getting in the store left me worn out. So just imagine what a clusterdisaster it'll be during the Black Friday rush! If you're among the shopping hordes and you need a little sit-down, print out this coupon for a free medium soda and park yourself on those comfy molded plastic booths while you watch the swirling vortex of crazed humanity around you.

Good November 27 and 28 only, but I have no doubt there will be plenty of other holiday specials coming down the pike, so stay tuned.


Amazon: Black Friday DVD sale starts now!

Amazon is kicking off Black Friday early this week - right now, in fact - to get a head start on vacuuming up your retail dollars this holiday season. Check out their Black Friday DVD sale this week to see what deals you can score!

It's rather complicated, but basically certain DVDs will be on sale for specific 4-hour windows of time, and they are updating the list with prices now. So once you see something you know you'll want, schedule yourself a reminder on your calendar and get ready to pounce!


$5 one-year subscription to ESPN.

Okay, I have to admit that for me personally, a subscription to ESPN Magazine ranks slightly below Vegetarian Times. But maybe you like sports and sporting events. Or maybe there's someone on your holiday gift list who does, and you like saving 96%. Now that I can get behind!

Get a one-year subscription for a mere $5 through November 26 and, um, hit a holiday home run? Ouch. That was unnatural.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Free sample of Millstone coffee.

Walmart comes to the rescue again on this chilly, rainy night with a free sample of Millstone coffee. As I've mentioned before, I grudgingly have to admit that Walmart is pretty on top of their sample game - the samples come quickly and never get lost in the postal abyss. Looks like there are some tasty flavors to choose from, too, although I'd give that recipe for Hot Apple Spice Coffee Punch a wide berth.


Avon: Pre-T-day sale and free shipping with $5 order.

Avon calling! Again! Just wanted to let you know that we're offering free shipping on $5 orders! Again! So, um, don't hesitate to place your traditional Thanksgiving makeup order! Okaythanksbye!

Use promo code GOBBLE to get your free shipping. Good through November 23.


Virgin Mobile Slash $29 at Walmart.com.

OK, I know this may not be relevant to you fancy iPhone and BlackBerry owners, but Walmart has a special deal on the pay-as-you-go Virgin Mobile Samsung Slash. It's $29 + $0.97 shipping, which is a remarkable discount off the $79 price tag on Virgin's website.

If you're holding out for the texter-friendly XTC or Rumor2, I bet there will be holiday markdowns a-coming, so hang in there.


Borders: 30% off any book.

Oh yes, Borders coupons are back! Not that they ever really went anywhere, but, you know... here's another one. 30% off any book (not any item) this time.

Remember, if you're like me and plan on doing a giant entertainment-media holiday order to knock out 65% of your gift shopping, consider taking Borders up on its offer to give you a $10 gift card free when you buy $50 in gift cards. Whether you use 'em to choose your own items or divvy 'em up and hand them out as gift cards, you'll come out ahead! $10 ahead, to be exact.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Audible.com: Free audiobooks until Nov. 26.

Planning to travel this Thanksgiving? Nothing helps you block out your relatives' nagging like a pair of headphones clamped over your ears. Download a free audiobook from Audible.com now through November 26 and enjoy the sweet, sweet sound of a total stranger's voice, who will absolutely not nag you about when you're going to get married and make some grandkids.

This offer is good for new members only, and it says no credit card is required, but you might want to check the fine print anyway. I'm kind of curious about the novelization of Where the Wild Things Are, by Dave Eggers.

(Thanks, Jake!)


Tulle: 50% off sitewide + free shipping on Black Friday.

Tulle is having a big ol' Black Friday sale at its online store - 50% off everything sitewide, plus free ground shipping! I've got my eye on this colorful wool coat, and I've been admiring this blue tulip dress for some time now, so if you want to grab a deal on November 27 starting at 12:00 am, you'll have to get through me first.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Redbook, Marie Claire, SPIN, Esquire, etc.: $5 one-year subscription.

Oops, I guess I spoke too soon! There are LOTS MORE $5 magazine subscriptions available on Amazon. Check it out:

For the ones that say "auto-renewal," don't panic if you're a new subscriber; just look in the drop-down menu and choose the regular one-year subscription. If you already subscribe, you can add an extra year on and Amazon will forward that info to the publisher.

Check out the Holiday Discounts page for the full list. Magazines for everybody this year!


Good Housekeeping: $5 one-year subscription.

I have to say, Amazon has been quite generous with these super-cheap magazine subscriptions. There have been plenty of decent titles for just $5 a year. The latest one is Good Housekeeping, which is $7.97 for a one-year subscription, BUT has an extra $3 off right now, bringing the total to a paltry $4.97.

This deal is good until November 30, so order now for the holidays and send your recipients a gift card telling them what they've won. I know Good Housekeeping doesn't exactly set your mailbox on fire, but surely you know a kindly maternal figure who enjoys reading about 50 Best New Holiday Cookies, right?


Free IMOOI handbag with $100 purchase.

I know, I know, that doesn't exactly sound like a deal, but hear me out. IMOOI is a fancy-pants design company that makes nifty Euro jewelry with stainless steel and acrylic, resin, and wood inlay. I like the necklaces in particular because many are reversible, so it's two, two, two necklaces in one! (They do have cufflinks for the men, too.)

Anyway, they're not cheap, BUT they're having a pre-holiday shopping event in which you get to pick out a free handbag with a $100 purchase (before taxes). The bags run $50-60 each, so, you know, that's a pretty good value. Get a pair of earrings for you, a pair for your best friend, and as for the handbag... well, I won't tell anyone if you don't.

Use the free handbag code which corresponds to the name of the bag: NEBULA, OLA, ECHO, KIMONO. Offer expires Saturday, November 28, 2009, or while supplies last!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Seattle: There is such a thing as a free lunch!




Seattleites, who says there's no such thing? Get your free lunchin' freebies for the week here:
  • Free coffee all day Nov. 18 at Street Bean Espresso, Belltown
  • "Free Fry Friday" at Pike Street Fish Fry (next to Neumos), Nov. 20 -- free boats of fries and $2 pints of Fat Tire and Mothership
  • Free two-course dinner at Grand Cru Wine Bar on Wednesdays and Saturdays (pay only 18% tip) -- must make reservation online or by phone

Courtesy of Eat All About It. (Thanks, Tiffany!)




Macy's: $10 off $25 coupon, 11/17 and 11/18 only.

Macy's has a pretty great coupon out that's good today or tomorrow, Nov. 17-18, only: $10 off a $25 purchase of sale or clearance items. They're proclaiming it their Biggest One Day Sale of the Year, and maybe it is. All I know is, if there's something you've had your eye on at Macy's that's $25 or more, now is the time to go fight with other thrifty ladies for it!


Free $50 AmEx card for driving a Cadillac.

Wait, what? So Cadillac is going to give you a $50 AmEx gift card just for the grueling labor of... test-driving one of their luxury cars? It's a rough life, you know?

Okay, they're going to collect your personal information and probably run a credit check on you while you're out tootling around in their Escalade. And yes, you are giving them permission to contact you at the number you provide (although it is very easy to accidentally enter the wrong phone number when you're typing quickly). And there might be an element of time-share captive-audience endurance while you wait impatiently for them to finish their pitch and cough up your gift card. BUT STILL.

I recommend not showering, and wearing your oldest, holiest, paint-stainedest clothes, maybe mention that you're coming down with swine flu. The worse you look, the quicker they'll want to give you your gift card and get you out of their showroom!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Opinion Outpost: Earn cash or Amazon credit for surveys!

It's been a while since I mentioned Opinion Outpost (that's my referral link), so I thought I'd talk about them again since we're going into the holidays. No, I'm not an official spokesperson or anything, but I noticed today that I've made $85 so far through them, which isn't too bad for killing time on the Internet! And I'll be cashing out to do some Xmas shopping pretty soon, you betcha.

Basically, it's a survey site that's free for anyone to join, and you can earn cold, hard cash - OR Amazon e-certificates, which are redeemable instantly, a pretty awesome new development (previously, you had to wait and they would mail you a check, which you can still do if you want the cash). You earn points for completing - or partial points for being disqualified from - surveys, and if my shaky math works out, it's about $0.10 per point. So a typical survey might get you 20 points, or $2, which doesn't sound like a lot, but it adds up pretty quickly and they're easy to polish off in a couple of minutes while you're waiting on hold or whatever.

There are plenty of other good survey sites besides Opinion Outpost out there if you look for them, many of which pay in cash. Just remember, a legitimate site will never charge you to join up, will explain its rewards system clearly, and won't require you to participate in any "special offers" or "premium memberships." If you're going to waste time in front of your computer, you might as well be making money, right?

Free California Flatbreads at Jamba Juice, Nov. 17.

I didn't really know Jamba Juice served food, but apparently they're branching out, and November 17 is your chance to sample the new California Flatbreads for free. Swing by from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, but don't be late, because they're only giving away 150 flatbreads per store! Find a participating store near you here.


ThinkGeek: $5 off $25 or $10 off $30.

ThinkGeek has all the coolest gadgets, toys, and caffeinated soap for your favorite nerd. They do tend to be a tad pricey, but when you're saving $5 off a $25 purchase or $10 off a $30 purchase, that sweetens the deal.

Coupon code: 9HBB($5 off orders of $25 or more or $10 off orders of $50 or more)
Coupon code: UMASSFLOSS09($10 off $29.99 or more)

What will you geek out on?


Borders: Get $10 when you buy $50 in gift cards.

Borders must be desperate for sales this year already, because they're offering a pretty good deal: buy two $25 gift cards and get a $10 gift card free. (Essentially, they're offering you 20% interest on a loan of $50, albeit payable in Borders-only currency.) They probably intend for you to give the two $25 cards as gifts and maybe keep the $10 for yourself, but here are some other things you could do:


  • Use the two $25 cards and purchase five $10 cards - now you have six $10 gift cards to use as office gifts, stocking stuffers, or thank-you enclosures
  • If you know you're going to be buying $50 worth of books/CDs/DVDs as gifts, order them and spend them at Borders yourself to get $60 worth of stuff for $50
  • And don't forget to use the constant flow of 25--40% off Borders coupons to maximize your buying power!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Drugstore.com: Free B&W tote bag with purchase of specially marked items.

You were just saying you needed another tote bag, right? Well, drugstore.com comes to your rescue with this offer. Buy a qualifying item and get a black-and-white tote bag from More. Qualifying items include a 16.8 oz. Jergen's body lotion for $5.19 or Vitafusion 70-count gummi vitamins for $4.12, so you don't have to spend a ton to get the free bag. You'll still have to pay shipping unless you meet the free shipping purchase requirement, though.

Clinique Bonus Time at Nordstrom.

I do love Clinique Bonus Time, but the trick is to keep an eye on the various stores that offer Clinique gift sets, because they always change up the bags and the products and you have to make sure you're getting the best one. The last bonus at Macy's wasn't that great, but this one at Nordstrom looks pretty good:
  • Liquid Facial Soap in Mild (1.7 oz.)
  • All About Eyes (0.17 oz.)
  • Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Cupid (0.06 oz.)
  • Travel-Size Colour Surge Eye Shadow Quad in Pink Chocolate
  • Lash Doubling Mascara in Black (0.14 oz.)
  • Long Lasting Lipstick in Pink Chocolate (0.14 oz.)
  • 3-Piece Makeup Brush Set

I'm not terribly impressed with the product name "Blushing Blush Powder Blush," though. It reminds me of that stupid cat from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, who could only say the word "meow" and the occasional friendship-related word. Blush blush receive blush free gift set blush, blush minimum purchase of $25 blush! Mew.




Thursday, November 12, 2009

Aveda: Free Rosemary Mint body wash sample.

Print this email and bring it in to your local Aveda store for a free sample bottle of Rosemary Mint body wash. Oh man, if you like mint, you'll love this stuff... I smelled it when I was there cashing in some other freebie, and it smelled GREAT. They have a whole line of shampoo, lotion, etc.

You can also get the free bottle online with a purchase of $40, and they are encouraging you to do all your holiday shopping with them, so I guess that's an option to consider.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

50 free photo cards + free shipping.

This freebie comes from HeyItsFree.Net, evidently by way of freebies4mom, but either way, you'll want to get in on this one: 50 free 4x8 or 5x7 photo cards with free shipping! Use promo code freebies4mom-1109 before November 30.

You can also get 100 free photo prints when you create a new account and use the promo code prints, but that has to be in a separate order, so you'll have to place two orders to wring the maximum value out of them.

Photo gifts are everywhere this year! Take advantage of technological magic freebies for your holiday correspondence needs.


Cost Plus: BOGO coffee bags + double coffee-card punches.

Cost Plus wants you to be alert! And caffeinated! So much so that they are offering a BOGO special, today only, on their coffee bags! They have 25 flavors to choose from, including some festive-sounding flavors such as chocolate peppermint!

Also you can get double punches on Wednesdays on your coffee card when you join the Coffee Club! You'll get a free bag of coffee for every six that you purchase! And you will be entered into a drawing for a year's supply of coffee! That's a pretty good deal if you drink a lot of java!

CAFFEINE!!!


Body Shop: $15 grab bags worth $50+ each.

Will I never learn? I guess not. I am such a sucker for the mysterious allure of the grab bag, where anything awesome could be in there... even though I have been burned before. It's just too titillating to imagine all the wonderful prizes that could be in there, even though logic tells me that the items are probably just junk they couldn't unload at regular prices.

If you're a brave soul, you can get a grab bag from the Body Shop for $15 that is guaranteed to have a retail value of $50 and might be worth as much as $75. At the minimum, each bag contains:
  • 1 Full-size 1.7 oz Body Butter
  • 1 Spa Wisdom™ Product
  • 1 Mini Gift
  • 1 Accessory
  • 1 Makeup Item
  • Some of the bags will contain additional surprise items.

There's a limit of 2 grab bags, and with a $30 purchase you also get free shipping with coupon code WEL103. Could be a fun what-the-hell gift for your favorite makeup-loving birthday girl!




Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free airport wi-fi through 1/15/10, courtesy of Google.

In its ongoing quest to take over all aspects of my modern life, Google has announced that it will thoughtfully be providing free wi-fi at 45 airports through January 15, 2010. You can see a list of participating airports here; Seattle users, rejoice in the knowledge that SeaTac's free wi-fi will continue indefinitely!

There's also a contest, in which you can win prizes by submitting a photo of yourself using the free wi-fi in any participating airport or on a Virgin America flight, starting November 16, 2009. I guess you could use your iPhone to take a picture... of yourself... using your iPhone? Well, whatever, I'm sure it will all work out somehow.


Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin' Onion and beverage for vets on Veterans' Day.

The Veterans' Day freebies just keep rolling in... this one is for the Outback Steakhouse, where veterans and active servicemembers will receive a free Bloomin' Onion and beverage (probably not an alcoholic one, alas) by showing their military ID.

If I were a veteran, I'd just spend the whole day rolling from restaurant to restaurant, claiming my free Applebee's meals and Krispy Kreme doughnuts and so on, but unfortunately, I don't get the day off. See, I make sacrifices for my country too.


Krispy Kreme: Free doughnuts for vets on Veterans' Day.

What better way to recognize our country's veterans than by presenting them with free Krispy Kreme doughnuts? There is none.

Free doughnut of any variety for your favorite vet (or active servicemember) on Veterans' Day. It doesn't say whether a military ID or other proof will be required, but you should probably not try to sneak your eight-year-old daughter on this one.


$10 when you exchange $40 at Coinstar.

Wow, I wish I'd known about this promo last weekend when I took all my coins to Coinstar. Sigh! But you can still take advantage of it. Round up $40 worth of coins and have them counted at a Coinstar kiosk and converted into a gift card, and you'll receive an extra $10 certificate by mail, through December 6. Remember, there are no coin counting fees if you have your money converted into a gift card, and they have some pretty good ones, for Amazon and iTunes and the like.

Find your closest machine here and start lugging those cloth sacks with big $ signs on them.



Borders: 30% off any item.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's the coupon you've been waiting for... 30% off any item, in-store or online at Borders!

Well, okay, maybe it wasn't the coupon you've been waiting for. But it's the one you're getting.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Amazon: 1-year Cooking Light subscription, $5.

I know sometimes Amazon's weekly magazine deals seem like cleaning out the closet - let's see, what have we here, five years of back issues of Vegetarian Times? - but honestly, this one is really good: a 1-year subscription to Cooking Light for $5.

As it happens, I already subscribe, but you can tack on an extry year to your subscription for the same price, so... guess what I'll be doing. Yep, I'm dedicated to singlehandedly keeping print journalism alive.


Vets eat free at Applebee's on Veterans' Day.

Veterans' Day falls on a Wednesday this year, which is a little inconvenient for me in that it doesn't work out to a 3-day holiday weekend, but, you know, that's fine. Just like a veteran, I'm willing to make sacrifices for my country.

Even if you have to work, treat your favorite veteran to dinner out at Applebee's, where vets eat free on November 11. Just show your military ID and choose from the Three-Cheese Chicken Penne, Fire Pit Bacon Burger, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Chicken Tenders Platter, 7 oz. House Sirloin, or Oriental Chicken Salad.

On an unrelated note, I saw this footnote at the bottom: "Burger patties are grilled to your choice of pink or no-pink." What happened to good old medium rare vs. medium well? Do they just not do that anymore? Back in my day, etc. etc.


Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic: 30% off + 5% to charity.

What's better than 30% off? Why, 30% off and 5% going to charity, of course! Click here to support Teach for America and here to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (and I'm sure there are more participating charities out there). Print out the coupon and present it at the register, and you can use it as much as you want from November 12-15. In-store only, but hey, it's for a good cause...


Friday, November 6, 2009

Free 12-oz drink at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Nov. 12.

Okay, lucky readers in CA, AZ, or TX, this one's for you: on Nov. 12 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, get a free 12-oz holiday beverage at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Choose from a 12-oz Peppermint Latte or Ice Blended® drink, Pumpkin latte or Ice Blended® drink, or Winter Dream Tea® Latte. Find a store near you and curl up with a delicious hot bev!


Borders: 25% off one item, in-store and online.

25% off one item, Borders? You're slipping here. I'm not angry, just disappointed.


Bath & Body Works: Buy 3, get 3 free, plus $3 shipping.

Calling all gift baskets! Restock your bath-products cabinet instantly with this sale at Bath & Body Works: buy 3 and get 3 free, plus $3 shipping. Or throw 'em in a cute little tray or basket and you've got yourself a holiday gift DONE. Smell like the holidays!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Update: Free almond tin.

So you may remember from a while back - August, to be precise - there was a freebie for an empty almond tin. I think it was by the National Almond Association or some such. Well, I finally got mine, so I thought I would post a picture of it so you guys can see it if you're curious. It turns out that it's much smaller than I thought - I guess one serving of almonds isn't very many, since the tin is supposedly sized so it fits one portion perfectly, for your to-go snacking pleasure.

I'm actually not a big almond snacker, so I think I'll use it for pills or paper clips or loose pieces of gum or something. You know, whatever I want to eat 23 of at once.


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