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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TGIM BOGO sundaes at Ben & Jerry's.

That's a lot of acronyms for one header... but what it means is that every Monday through the end of August, you can BOGO sundaes at Ben and Jerry's. No coupon necessary, just mention the offer, and how the other sundae is for "your friend" who's "waiting in the car." It is certainly not the second course in your all-ice-cream Monday-night fat banquet.

More birthday freebies.

Since my own birthday is right around the corner, I thought I'd post another list of birthday freebies out there on the Internets. Lots and lots of free meals, free desserts, free beauty products, free movie rentals, and more! And don't forget, you get free admission to Disneyland on your birthday... I wish I'd known about that one last year, when I actually went on my birthday.

Free sample of Aquafresh Extreme Clean.

Lately I've been feeling a little guilt about travel-size toiletries, which certainly are wasteful and non-green in the sense of their product-to-packaging ratio. But I do travel a fair amount, and these really are so much better than full-size toothpaste tubes that don't fit in my toiletry bag, especially when the TSA decides that toothpaste is a terrorist weapon and Must Not Be Allowed in order for freedom to fly the American skies.

< / justification >

Well, anyway, get yourself a free sample coupon (or two, apparently, if you hit the back button and redo it) and "take the feeling of clean to the extreme."

Free Nakano rice vinegar.

Well, it doesn't actually say that you get a free bottle, but the place where I read about this freebie claims you get a recipe booklet, color recipe cards, and coupons for FREE Nakano Natural or Seasoned Rice Vinegar (up to $4 value) and $0.50 off of Holland House Cooking Wine when you sign up for the recipe club.

I mainly use rice vinegar for whipping up sushi rice, but apparently there's a whole recipe booklet's worth of other applications, including using it as a light salad dressing. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that one.

500GB Toshiba hard drive for $90.

Okay, I don't know if this counts as a bargain per se, but it is a pretty good deal if you were considering getting a portable hard drive: the Toshiba 500GB portable hard drive for $89.99 at Looks like it has pretty good reviews, and I like the sleek ribbon design on the black case.

I paid more than this for about half as much storage capacity about a year ago, so obviously the prices are getting better and better. By this time next year, they'll be throwing these things in with boxes of Cracker Jack.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Smell like Gwen Stefani, for free.

Are you a lover of Harajuku? Get yourself a free deluxe sample starting July 7 at Nordstrom. Here's how:

"Starting July 7, 2009, bring the August 2009 cover of Seventeen or a printout of the homepage to any Nordstrom fragrance counter to receive a deluxe sample of Harajuku Lovers Fragrance in all five scents: Baby, Music, Lil’ Angel, Love and G (approximate retail value: $0). Ten thousand (10,000) will be given away. One per person. Giveaway ends August 10, 2009. While supplies last. Once all fragrance samples are distributed, there will be no substitute product given away."

No word on how deluxe this sample is, so I wouldn't rush out and buy a copy of the magazine just to get it, but you can always print out the homepage and give 'er a try that way. I like that they're so brutally honest about the value of their perfume, too.

30% off a book, CD, and DVD at Borders.

Another day, another Borders coupon... get 30% off a book, a CD, and a DVD with this coupon through July 2. Perfect for stocking up before you blast outta town on that holiday weekend road trip! I just wish they sold cases of fireworks, too.

Seattleites: Free summer concerts at City Hall.

Summertime is time for getting out of the office at lunch! And if you're going to haul your sandwich to a scenic spot, you may as well be entertained for free while you're at it. Head over to City Hall each Thursday through September for a free noontime concert or performance. They're all outdoors in the plaza, so you can set up your portable grill and condiments table and make the most of your lunch hour.

Okay, I haven't actually heard of any of these groups, but when was the last time you got to hear tri-lingual psychedelic India grunge, a zany a capella quartet, or an 11-piece Cuban timba dance band?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Free Bare Escentuals 10-day sample & buki brush.

It must be Mineral Makeup Week, because I have another offer here for you... take this coupon to any Sephora counter inside JC Penney and get a 10-day sample of mineral foundation, plus a free mini "buki brush."

(Sorry, Seattleites, the closest location to us is Portland.)

They did a similar promotion a while ago but I was out of town or something and wasn't able to cash in on it, so hopefully I'll get to snag myself a free sample this time. I don't really wear foundation, but I do like mineral eyeshadow and blush, and more importantly, I like buying makeup.

Free Chocolate Friday for all!

You know the drill, people... step right up and get your free Mars candy bar. One per email address per week, four coupons total per household.

I feel like I've already requested more than four coupons, but it just let me sign up again, so maybe they're not checking that carefully. On an unrelated note, I now weigh more than I ever have in my life. Maybe lifting the candy bars to my mouth will burn some extra calories.

Free Baja Fish Taco at Long John Silver's, July 14.

I have to say, it's not like I eat at Long John Silver's regularly (or ever), but I didn't recall them having much of an emphasis on health. Didn't they sell fried corn balls called "hush puppies"? Well, times have changed, and Long John Silver's seems to be updating their menu too. Now they have things like "Freshside Grille" meals and... Baja Fish tacos.

The taco is a mere 99 cents, but you can do better than that and get a free one on July 14, from store opening to 2:30 p.m., at participating stores. Try not to get sucked into the Sweet Buttery Hermit Handfuls while you're picking up your free fish taco, though. Now that's the LJS I remember.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Etsy special: mineral eyeshadow for $2!

I have the Bare Escentuals basic eye kit (in sensible neutrals), but I wanted to try something a little more fun and colorful for summer. Of course, there's no need to put money in The Man's pockets when you can shop on Etsy, so I had my beauty spree courtesy of The All Natural Face.

You probably already know that mineral cosmetics are supposed to be much better for your skin than the usual chemical-laden ones you find in stores, and her products are vegan and do not use any artificial ingredients. No bismuth, no talc, no carmine, no silk powder, no d & c lake colors and no parabens.

But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice color or sparkle! Gold Dust is an intensely shimmery metallic gold eyeshadow, and Evening Orchid is a rich, glimmering purple. And they're a deal - 3 generous sample jars for $6, and mine came with 2 mini-brushes and a bunch of mini-samples of various products in tiny baggies.

Right now, she's having an "Independence Day" sale to celebrate independence from corporate America. Use code "Independence Day Savings" and save $5 off $30 or more; $10 off $55 or more; $15 off $90 or more; $20 off $110 or more; and free shipping on orders over $100. Oh, and did I mention that my order somehow made it from Massachusetts to Seattle in 3 days?

If you're looking to try out mineral makeup but don't want to spend a ton of money on the fancy kits, there are alternatives! Or if you just want a new eyeshadow to match every swimsuit. ;)

QFC sharpens your knives for free.

File this under "completely unexpected free services," I guess... QFC stores will sharpen your knives for free in the butcher department. They don't really advertise this service, it's just kind of for people in the know. Which now includes me, and you.

"The QFC on the north end of Broadway has always been particularly helpful, and Jeff, one of my favorite butchers, does most of the sharpening at that location. He says, 'All QFC stores provide knife sharpening as a free service, but we don't do bread knives or anything with a serrated edge. You can drop off your knives three at a time and pick them up the next day.'"

Not sure how I'd feel about blithely dropping off my $100 Global santoku and hoping it'll be there the next day, but if you're feeling adventurous (and dull), maybe give it a try...

(Thanks for the tip, Brian!)

BOGO smoothies at Jamba Juice.

This coupon says "summer's not even close to being over yet." Well, duh... it hasn't even STARTED here in Seattle. Regardless, you can take a friend to Jamba Juice and BOGO some giant, icy fruit smoothies to cool down. It's good through July 12, so you have plenty of time to use it before summer is over.

30% off coupon at Borders, plus free 12-oz beverage.

Yep, it's time for another Borders coupon... this time it's 30% off one item, either in-store or online (there's a promo code on the coupon if you're ordering online).

Aaaand another coupon for a free 12-oz beverage (not just coffee!), in case you're thirsty again. This one starts June 26 and goes through July 2, so you can enjoy a treat starting tomorrow.

Ben and Jerry's brings free ice cream to Seattle in July.

Mailbox freebies are one thing, but sometimes you want the bargains to come to you. Say no more! I have personally arranged for Ben and Jerry's to visit Seattle on several dates in July to deliver YOU free samples of their Flipped Out ice cream.

Here are the dates:

  • 7/11 - Sat. - Victor Steinbrueck Park
  • 7/12 - Sun. - Seward Park
  • 7/13 - Mon. - Westlake Park

Mark your calendars, or RSVP on Facebook via the link. YOU'RE WELCOME.

(Thanks to tipster Elaine!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Free mini cupcake at Sugar Rush Baking Company.

Sure, Cupcake Royale may support legalizing gay cupcakes, but at the end of the day, we West Seattleites want our free cupcakes. That's why you should print out this coupon for a free mini cupcake at Sugar Rush Baking Company, located inside Coffee to a Tea at the West Seattle Junction. (And actually - shhh - I think Sugar Rush cupcakes are superior to Cupcake Royale!)

Plus, if you should happen to accidentally purchase a dozen more mini cupcakes while you're there, they'll wrap them up adorably in an egg carton! Now that's what I call recycling.

Dollar Days and 25% coupon at Borders.

Borders is currently having a Dollar Days sale... unfortunately, you can't browse it online, but it claims to include the following:

  • books, book lights, tote bags for $1
  • bath and body, CDs, journals for $3
  • history, biography, fitness books for $4
  • CDs and DVDs for $5
  • toys and former bestsellers for $6
  • gift books and games for $10

There's also a coupon for 25% off any one item, if you don't find what you're looking for in the bargain bins.

Free paint starting June 25.

This is one of the stranger freebie offers I've seen, but starting tomorrow, June 25, you can sign up for a free quart of Glidden paint, any color. A quart isn't very much, so they're probably hoping you'll start a project, run out, and be forced to buy more or suffer a half-painted chair or something... but if you have a small project that requires paint, this might be worth checking out.

I once saw an interesting home-decor project that involved buying a bunch of thrift-store frames in different patterns, painting over them with two or three complementary colors, and then creating a wall collage of art or favorite photos, so maybe I'll try that with my free paint. What are you thinking about using your paint for? Leave it in the comments!

Free menopause kit for the aging woman in your life.

When is a freebie not just a freebie? When it's also a backhanded, thinly veiled insult. Offend the mature lady in your life by signing her up for a free menopause kit, complete with informational brochures, fiber samples, and more insulting goodies.

Although, come to think of it, I'll be turning 30 in a couple of weeks... and I do like fiber. Maybe I should sign myself up. Fertility is overrated, anyway.

Free sample of Joico 'poo.

Just in case you ran out of all your other free Head & Shoulders and Dove samples, you can sign up here for free samples of Joico 'poo. Those models look pretty intense, so who knows, maybe using their 'poo will give you brightly colored, geometric hair, too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Join the HTN on Facebook!

Were you aware that Hard Times Newsletter has a Facebook page? You should probably join immediately. That way, you can quickly see the day's freebies and offers, check out user-submitted freebie sites and tips, and get your very own hobo-themed officer title! Yes, in the HTN Army, everyone is an officer. Join, join, join!

$1.50 off Kashi cereal and TLC bars.

I know this sounds unusually hippie-ish of me, but Kashi's TLC bars really are good - not only are they tasty (both the chewy trail-mix style and the crunchy Nature Valley-esque ones), but they have lots of protein and fiber, so they're actually pretty good for you. The only downside is they're usually fairly pricy, but this $1.50 off coupon should take a big chunk out of the cost.

I hear they're on sale at Target for $2.58 this week, so after the coupon they'll be about $1 for a box of six bars, which is a really good deal! (You do need to download the lame coupon printer, but what's a spyware or two among friends?)

Free Colgate extreme toothpaste.

I'm not sure why toothpaste can't just be mint-flavored paste anymore - it all has to be Intense Whitening Glacial Thunderblast Fluoride EXXXtreme Pronamel Action nowadays. Back in my day, we scrubbed our teeth with a peeled twig dipped in salt, and we liked it!

Anyway, if you're ready to embrace the future, get your sample of Colgate Maxfresh Peppermint Ice and feel the wintry blast of clean teeth.

Free Kiss My Face shower/bath gel.

Sign up for your free bottle of Kiss My Face shower/bath gel and get ready to relaaaax. This aromatherapy gel "contains Ginseng, Gotu-Kola, Ivy, Lavender, Rosemary, and other soothing ingredients complimentary to a relaxed lifestyle. For a bath, pour into running warm water. For a shower, apply liberally to the skin and massage muscles and joints."

I've never tried KMF bath stuff, but I have sampled their beauty products before and liked them, so this might be a gateway sample into a whole new world of toiletries!

Free baseball taco at Del Taco.

I don't fully understand this promotion, but evidently there is a sporting team known as the Angels, and whenever they make a "goal" or a "slam run" in the "second inning," Del Taco will shoot out a coupon for a free taco. Hey, it's almost enough to make me like this "foot-ball" stuff!

Good through June 25.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Free Redbox movie rental code.

These Redbox movie rental codes are getting rarer and rarer, but here's the current one, good through June 23: rbxthxu6.

If you're not familiar with what Redbox is or how it works, check out this quick guide from

50% off and free gifts at e.l.f.

You may already know of e.l.f.'s bargain-priced beauty products, and currently they're having a special on their mineral makeup - with promotion code 5FOR5WOW, you can save 50% on mineral makeup.

Also, their current anniversary sale special is pretty good too - with an order of $10 or more, you can get 5 free $1 items using coupon code 5FOR5FREE. Plus, get a $5 gift card with any purchase. The savings just keep rolling in!

Free Pinkberry yogurt on June 26!

Oh, how I wish we had a Pinkberry here in Seattle... so you lucky dogs who happen to live near one will just have to enjoy the free small frozen yogurt on June 26. The new flavors are coconut, passionfruit, or you can blend the two of them into a Tropical Swirl.


Mini-library book sale June 27-28.

If you live in Seattle, you probably know about the mind-blowing twice-yearly book sale, put on by the Friends of the Seattle Public Library, that's so big it gets crammed into an airplane hangar and STILL doesn't quite fit.

This weekend, they're having a "mini-sale," which is not as big as the usual extravaganza, but still probably worth stopping by. This is part of the Best of the Northwest craft show, and admission is free, so why not pay it a visit?

Mini Book Sale: June 27-28, 2009
Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM- 6 PM
In Hangar 30, Warren G. Magnsuon Park
7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, 98115

The Friends will be having a mini book sale in conjunction with the Best of the Northwest event produced by the Northwest Arts Alliance on Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28. Best of Northwest is one of the premier arts and crafts shows in the area. Admission is free. The Friends booth will have a varied and plentiful selection of fiction, non-fiction, and children's books, including some "Better Books." We hope you can join us for this special summer sale!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Free TCBY for Dad on June 21.

Well, the Father's Day freebies are slowly piling up... now TCBY is jumping into the fray by offering a free cup or cone to dads on Sunday, June 21. At participating locations only, of course, so you may want to check before dropping by for a treat. Your dad would approve of calling ahead to make sure, anyway - it's the responsible thing to do.

Free Chocolate Friday, once again.

Blah blah free chocolate today blah blah.

I feel like a lab rat pushing the button with my little paw each Friday morning to get the treat... but I still keep doing it. And I don't even LIKE M&Ms! It's diabolical, I tell you.

Free Tropical Smoothie Cafe smoothie on June 19, National Flip Flop Day.

June 19 is National Flip Flop Day, apparently, which means you can wear your flip-flops into a Tropical Smoothie Cafe and get yourself a free 24 oz smoothie today.

Sadly, even if it weren't overcast and rainy here in Seattle today, we can't cash in on this offer (or even wear flip-flops), as there are no WA locations. But our fellow savers in other states should definitely take advantage of the icy, blended fruit goodness on our behalf.

BOGO Bath & Body Works for dads and dudes.

Just in time for Father's Day, Bath & Body Works is having a BOGO sale on some of their manly bath products. You can also order an online gift card and have it sent right! to! their! inbox!, so in case you've been procrastinating on that Father's Day gift, there's still time to assure the father figure in your life that he could smell better.

Free "I Love Coffee" coin purse.

Do you want to shout your love of coffee to the world? Let this free "I Love Coffee" coin purse do it for you, and hold your spare change for your next cup at the same time.

This is a promotion by Back Alley Coffee, so you'd think their logo would be somewhere on the coin purse, but... no? Well, I guess we'll find out in 4 to 6 weeks.

40% off one item at Borders.

Borders sends us yet another excellent coupon, this one for 40% off the list price of any one item. There's a whole list of restrictions, but you can use it for non-book items like CDs and DVDs if you're so inclined. I was planning on taking a little road trip this weekend, so it occurs to me that this would be a perfect time to get some music for the drive...

BOGO breakfast at Denny's.

Aching for a Moons Over My Hammy? Your wish is granted: use this coupon for a free meal when you buy one meal and two drinks. It's good 7 days a week from 5:00 am to 11:00 am, so maybe this Father's Day, you should turn the tables on your dad by forcing him out of bed early "to build character" and showing him how much you were listening to all his practical, money-saving advice. He'll thank you for it eventually... if you give him both coffees.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Free Scott TP and butt wipes.

Oh, they don't call them butt wipes - but really, "natural" flushable wipes that come packaged with toilet paper? We can put two and two together, if you'll pardon the expression.

I mocked this type of TP freebie before when Cottonelle did it... until a strange series of events led to me being out of toilet paper and actually needing the sample roll. It's not a very big roll, but it might be nice to stash in your purse or take camping in case of, uh, emergencies.

Free sample of Vaseline Aloe Fresh for Costco members.

Sadly, I can't take advantage of this one, because I'm not a Costco member. But if you are, you can use your ID number to get a free sample of Vaseline Aloe Fresh lotion. Without even having to fight a crowd of shoppers jostling around a little sample table in the middle of the family-size-beef-jerky-carton aisle!

Free Slurpee on 7-11 Day.

I know, this is super advance notice on this one, but the beauty of it is, the link is a Facebook event page, so you can RSVP and then it will remind you closer to the date, even if I get lazy and forget.

July 11 is 7-11 Day, and they're celebrating as usual by giving away free Slurpees! No coupon necessary, just show up and express your willingness to dye your tongue a color not found in nature with a drink called Ice Age 3 Glacial Extremeberry.

Free 12 oz blended coffee drink at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Another freebie that I'm posting out of the goodness of my heart, since it's not available in this state... you can get a free 12 oz. Ice Blended Coffee Drink at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on July 1 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Vote for your choice of three drinks by June 22, and the winning drink will be given away for free on July 1.

Just to be sassy, I voted for Instant Karma, the nutty creme caramel flavor. If karma actually worked, then I would start getting freebies from places that actually have locations in the state where I live.

BOGO coupon at Sweet Tomatoes.

The BOGO offers just keep coming from Sweet Tomatoes... buy one meal and two drinks, get one free now through June 30 with these two coupons. Man, I wish we had them here in WA! Someone out there will just have to have my free all-you-can-eat salad and soup for me, I guess.

Free Dove Hair Care samples.

Step right up, folks, and get your free Dove Hair Care samples right here. They've offered this promotion before, but in case you missed it then, you can choose samples of Heat Defense Therapy or Intense Damage Therapy, depending on how you like to viciously abuse your hair.

Personally, I enjoy blasting my hair with a blow dryer each morning, then ironing it flat with white-hot ceramic bars, so I guess that would be... Heat Defense Therapy.

(Thanks for the tip, Irene!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Return of Burt Day Celebration Bag.

For those of you who missed out on the original Burt Day Celebration Bag offer, it's back! And now they even specify EXACTLY what you'll get in yours (which sounds pretty similar to mine):

6 Regular-Sized Products:

  • Lip Shimmer Merlot
  • Lip Shimmer Toffee
  • Replenishing Lip Balm
  • Beeswax Lip Balm
  • Spearmint & Lime Body Wash (4 oz)
  • Nourishing Body Lotion (3 oz)

12 Mini-size:

  • Baby Bee Buttermilk Bath
  • All-in-One Wash
  • Lip Gloss Red
  • Lip Gloss Nude
  • Natural Skin Care for Men Soap
  • Peppermint Soap
  • Citrus Spice Soap
  • Baby Bee Buttermilk Soap
  • Orange Essence Facial Cleanser
  • Peppermint Foot Lotion
  • Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar
  • Therapeutic Bath Crystals

4 Special Gifts:

  • Bamboo Poof
  • Burt's Bees Gardener's Gloves
  • Red Wristlet Bag
  • Lip Balm Clip-On

Items may vary. All sales final. No returns or replacements.

Plus, you can use promo code BURTDAY to get free FedEx shipping on your order. Be prepared, it does take a while to get to you, but the honey-filled bee goodness will be worth it when it arrives!

Free Johnson's Naturals baby gift pack.

Regardless of your age, you too can be as smooth as a baby's bottom courtesy of Johnson's Naturals. Sign up for a free gift pack, which looks like it contains some pretty good stuff, and proceed to enjoy "an exclusive blend of Vitamin E for skin soothing benefits, olive leaf extract for skin beneficial antioxidant effects, and skin essential minerals that plays a key role in skin metabolism and cell water balance."

I think Mom needs this more than Baby does, but who am I to quibble?

BOGO 2-piece meal at El Pollo Loco.

El Pollo Loco returns with another crrrazy coupon for you. This time, you get a free 2-piece chicken meal with the purchase of a 2, 3, or 4-piece chicken meal of equal or greater value. And, you know, Father's Day is coming up on Sunday. Just saying.

Free samples of Emeril's Original Essence.

Admit it, you've always secretly longed to fill your nostrils with the heady, spicy tang of Emeril's essence. Now you can, in the privacy of your own home... for free! Sign up for your free samples of his manly, culinary essence and let the feasting begin.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Free root beer float on June 19 at A&W.

Summer is the time for delicious, icy root beer floats! And especially floats that you do not have to pay for. Achieve these goals on Friday, June 19, when you celebrate A&W's 90th anniversary with a free root beer float (at participating stores, from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m.).

Doesn't look like a coupon is necessary - just saunter in there and claim your free small float. Also, if that doesn't satisfy your urge for 1950s-esque food, you can return on Sunday, June 21, to get a Papa Burger for a mere 99 cents. Yep, that ought to adequately repay your dad for bringing you up for 18 years.

Free sample of Great Value cereal bars.

As someone who does not enjoy getting up in the morning, I've become a big fan of cereal bars, which shave a few minutes off my weekday a.m. routine by allowing me to have breakfast at my desk. So I'll be signing up for a sample of these Great Value cereal bars.

The minimalist packaging design makes me wonder, though: are these Walmart's own generic product? Remember when generic food had a plain white or yellow label and just said BEANS or CORN or ABJECT POVERTY in a grim, sans-serif font? Now they've taken all the shame out of buying generic, and that's why we're in this terrible economic climate.

Borders 6-in-1 super-coupon is back.

Borders is bringing back the 6-in-1 super-coupon this week, from now through Thursday, June 18. Here's what's on it:

  • $20 off of 1 Rosetta Stone Software
  • $10 off of list price of 1 hard cover over $35
  • $10 off of 1 tote bag
  • $5 off list price of 1 or all of the following: 1 dvd, 1 cd, 1 game, 1 business book, 1 history book, 1 booklight, 1 lap desk
  • $2 off list price of any or all of the following: 1 sports book, 1 humor book, 1 fiction book, 1 kid's book, 1 water bottle, 1 magazine
  • Buy one pastry and get a free small beverage

$10 off a tote bag is pretty good, since they have some cute Paperchase designs for under $20. I liked the $2 off a magazine coupon from last time, too... this could be my excuse to indulge in Real Simple or In Style, two of the few magazines I don't already subscribe to.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Free summer mixtape from Nylon magazine.

Is it just me, or are there a ton of these free-music-sampler download offers floating around this week? You'll never need to pay for music again! Well, anyway, check out Nylon magazine's free iTunes playlist download. 22 free songs include tracks by Of Montreal, Santigold, Crystal Castles, Phoenix, and more. Perfect for your next road trip or day at the beach!

Free Sundiwear stickers tell you when to reapply SPF.

Looking to avoid a painful, icky sunburn this summer? Perhaps the perplexingly-named Sundiwear can help. Their magical stickers can be applied to skin, clothing, hats, etc. When the yellow design turns red, it's time to reapply your sunblock and a new sticker. No more guesswork or squinting at the sky to decide whether it's REALLY sunny enough to require a new application!

They're normally $4.99 for a package of 20, and if you decide to buy a package, it will come with a promo code, which you can use to give them feedback online and get another package free. Two packages might be enough to keep you peel-free for the rest of the summer!

Free canvas tote with $10 purchase at Cost Plus.

With so many free reusable-tote offers out there, it's not clear to me why you'd want one that required a $10 purchase, but maybe you needed some new handwoven bamboo placemats anyway or something. In Cost Plus's defense, cotton canvas totes ARE nicer, and more genuinely eco-friendly than those omnipresent polyester-mesh totes you see everywhere, which are still spun from synthetic fibers.

Anyway, spend $10, get a free canvas tote at Cost Plus. Occasionally they just flat-out offer them for free in their weekly ad, too, so keep an eye peeled if you're assembling a set.

Free keychain flashlight.

I have a mini flashlight on my keychain, and I love it. It's great for illuminating your car door at night so you don't fumble the keys and scratch the paint, or for lighting your way on uneven terrain, or looking for something you dropped at the movie theater. Now you can get your very own free mini keychain flashlight! It won't be as cute as mine, but then, mine wasn't free.

Free Chocolate Friday, everyone!

Yes, it's Free Chocolate Friday once again. I've become strangely blasé about this offer, maybe because free chocolate is starting to seem a little ho-hum and everyday... but I'm still signing up for my full ration of coupons. Remember, you can sign up once each Friday per email address, with a total of four coupons per household. So that's four for home, four for work, four at your parents' house when you go to pick up your mail, four more at your dentist's office... okay, maybe not that last one.

Free 12 oz beverage at Borders with coupon.

Borders comes through again on an overcast Friday morning with a free 12 oz beverage (not just coffee!) coupon, good through June 18. No purchase necessary, but it would probably be nice to toss some change into the tip jar. I've used these coupons before and they're very cool about them. Plus, maybe you can find something you like for 20% off while you're sipping on your free java.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

20% off everything at Borders.

Borders sends out coupons all the time - really, all the time - but usually they're pretty specific or limited to one kind of item. Not this time, though! Their new coupon is good for 20% off your entire purchase, including the blank books and gifty stuff that doesn't generally qualify for the discount. So go nuts! With all of Borders to choose from, you can find something for your dad, right?

Free Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream.

Crabtree & Evelyn makes schmancy beauty products for ladies who have more money than I do, but I like their smelly lotions and whatnot. Now you can score a free 50mL hand cream of your choice (and 15% off your entire purchase) when you take this coupon into a store.

Click here to find a store near you; Washingtonians, you can find local stores here.

40% off Father's Day gifts at Barnes & Noble.

Scrambling for a Father's Day gift this year? Use promo code M8R9H8E to save 40% off one item in the Father's Day section at Barnes & Noble. From "Gadget Man" to "Money Manager" to "Sports Nut," they've got it all covered, so you can pigeonhole your dad into the paternal stereotype of your choice.

Yankee Candle clearance sale.

Yankee Candles is having its semi-annual clearance sale! Stink up your house with large jar candles at $15 or 2/$25, medium jar candles at $12 or 2/$20, 50% off gift sets, and dollar deals.

I've found some pretty good deals at these events, but the shipping is kind of painful because candles (especially the glass jars) are so heavy to ship. However, there is a store at Southcenter where you can score most of these same deals AND have the instant gratification of getting your smelly Rose Blossom Peachwood Island Kitchen fix right away.

Museum of Flight free on Father's Day.

Is your dad an aviation enthusiast? Give your father wings with a free admission coupon to Seattle's Museum of Flight on Father's Day, June 21.

The coupons are available at Bartell Drugs in the Seattle area; I saw them at the photo processing counter while picking up a 4GB flash drive for $10. The coupon doesn't appear to be a BOGO, either, so maybe dads flying solo can just head on down for a quiet afternoon at the museum. I went last year when they had the stewardess uniform exhibit and found it surprisingly awesome, though, so you might want to consider tagging along with your paw.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Free samples of Nescafe Tasters Choice instant coffee.

Perhaps you've seen Nescafe's recent ad campaign, in which they make bitchy swipes at how Starbucks is dumb and stupid and ugly for introducing their (actually awesome) VIA instant coffee, when Nescafe has been doing it FOREVER and are the MASTERS OF THE INSTANT COFFEE UNIVERSE. Frankly, their ads have a whiff of desperation to them, as do the stacks of multi-pack samples they've been handing out on the streets here.

But in case you haven't gotten to try it and are curious, you can sign up for free samples of Nescafe's single-serve packets, which look hauntingly similar to the hated VIA packets. I tried the "gourmet roast" flavor, which looked like kitty litter and tasted like dishwater, and am not convinced. But, you know, maybe your grandma would like some, or you know a thirsty cat lady in your neighborhood.

Earn $$$ for searching with Swagbucks.

I just found out about Swagbucks from, which is a good freebie site in and of itself. Apparently Swagbucks is "Google + prizes" - you use their search engine and they randomly reward users with prize draws. You can also earn points through searching that you can eventually cash in for things like Amazon gift cards.

Signing up for an account gets you 3 Swagbucks, and using promo code FREECODE will get you another 3, for a total of 6. A $5 Amazon gift card costs 45 points, so you'd be well on your way to earning your first reward right there.

It seems this is on the up-and-up, so give it a try and report back in the comments if you like it.

99-cent iced coffee at 7-11 during June.

Instead of grabbing a Slurpee on your next 7-11 run, why not take advantage of their special June promotion and get an iced coffee for 99 cents? Now available in mocha and Fronch vanilla.

On the same page, you can sign up for their "cool deals" email list and they promise to send you coupons for... who knows what. I decided to give it a try, so I'll let you know if anything good comes shooting through the pipeline.

Free Minute Maid frozen novelties.

Depending on where you are, the weather may not be obliging you with sunny, hot afternoons that demand frozen treats. But trust me, it's summer out there, and that's why you need to get your coupon for a free box of Minute Maid frozen novelties. Besides, it says it will take up to 4 weeks to arrive in your mailbox, so by the time it finally gets here, it should be hot enough for frozen fruit bars.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Free SubPop sampler and time machine back to 1996.

Remember when eyeball-exploding background images and animated GIFs were all the rage? Step back in time and get some free music, courtesy of Sub Pop Records. The landing page is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to those dark ages of web design, but I still can't look at it for more than 30 seconds at a time. *quease*

(Thanks, Irene and AJ!)

Free Nexcare bandages.

This is one of the stranger freebies I've come across lately... but okay, let's say your free Havianas give your tender winter feet painful blisters, so you need some freebie band-aids. Now you can try two free Nexcare "give" bandages for all your diamond-shaped wound needs.

Weirdly, these say "GIVE" in big blue letters across the bandage. I think they're supposed to be applied to the arms of blood donors - kind of like that fluorescent-colored webbing they wrap around your arm to pop the vein out, so you can enjoy bragging rights and sympathy for the rest of the day. "Ooh, could you help me lift this bag? I would do it myself, but I just donated blood and I'm feeling a little weak..."

Anyway, you can look like a better person until your grubby free bandage peels off.

Free Havianas for the first 3,000.

Summertime means flip-flops, and evidently Havianas are the ones to have. Seventeen is giving away free pairs to the first 3,000 people to sign up, which means you should act fast if you want some flippies.

Go here to enter, BUT REMEMBER to click where it says "No purchase is necessary to enter." By default, they'll sign you up for a trial subscription (which you can cancel, but that's just more hassle), so make sure to click the "click here" link to get a signup form that doesn't automatically subscribe you. Of course, you'll want to check "no" to the "can we contact you" boxes down at the bottom of the form, too.

When you submit, it doesn't say whether you made it, it just thanks you for signing up... so we'll see if I get a pair of flip-flops or a teen girl magazine in the mail.

Energizer Energi To Go® phone charger, $-0.01.

Attention, Motorola and Blackberry owners: have you ever had your phone die on you at a crucial moment, and wished with all your heart that you had just a SMIDGE of extra power to help you make that essential call? The AA-battery-powered Energi to Go can make that happen for you in a pinch.

Click here for the offer page and a list of compatible phone types. Use coupon code: Energi2009 to get free shipping. Once you've received the item, there will be a keyword and serial number in the package, and you'll take a short survey and get a $10 rebate. The charger is $9.99, the rebate is $10, so you're actually making a penny on this deal.

This might be a handy thing to tuck into your glove box or your bag, in case you're traveling or on the road when your phone unexpectedly dies. The last time my phone died completely, I was stuck in a parking lot with a dead car battery, frantically trying to get AAA on the phone, and I would have been plenty thrilled to have a battery-operated power source on hand.

1-year Popular Science subscription, $5.

You know, Father's Day is coming up pretty soon... and all dads like science. That's a scientific fact, and if you subscribed to Popular Science, you would already know that. But if you don't, you can sign up for a one-year subscription for a mere $5. That's a year of edutainment for about the cost of one coffee drink at Starbucks (as those money-saving articles like to say)!

Of course, I get my dad a Goodwill gift card, because thriftiness runs in our blood. But he has gifted me with BOGO subscriptions before, so I know he'd appreciate this offer.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Free silent movie tonight at Seattle's Paramount Theatre.

So you don't have any plans for tonight, you say? Well, maybe you just THOUGHT you didn't, because HTN tipster AJ advises us that tonight's silent movie at the Paramount Theatre is totally free!

Tonight's film is "Flesh and the Devil," starring Greta Garbo, and based on their summary, it sounds like a thrillingly polygamous menage-a-trois type deal. Plus, the movie may be silent but they have that Mighty Wurlitzer Organ to spice things up sonically. Tix are usually around $10-13 for these events, I believe, but tonight you can enjoy a century-old entertainment form for EVEN CHEAPER than it was back in the day! Save your nickel for the penny-candy counter.

Free bottle of Country Bob's sauce.

Country Bob's Sauce, you say? All-purpose, you say? Well, I'd be a fool NOT to sign up for this offer, wouldn't I? Country Bob's sauce is suitable for hamburgers, steak, chicken, fries, and BBQ, per the website. You can wash windows with it, paint your house with it - possibly even baptize your babies with it, since the website says "JESUS IS OUR C.E.O."

The only catch is that the free-bottle coupon offer is only good where Country Bob's magic elixir is sold, and since they're based in Illinois, that may mean it's not available out here on the West Coast. But you Midwesterners, feel free to sauce it on up.

Free hummus T-shirt.

Yeah, you read that right, it's a free hummus T-shirt. Well, actually it's a promotional T-shirt for Tribe hummus, but, you know, maybe you're into that.

I've bought Tribe hummus before and it's pretty darn good, I must say, though a little pricier than other brands in your deli case. Still, with a free T-shirt to sweeten the deal, this might change everything. Though I'd be more excited about a coupon for a free thing of hummus, really.

Advanced saveology with your Free Chocolate Friday.

For those of you not content with amateur-hour stuff like Free Chocolate Friday, here's a greater challenge: Rite-Aid is offering a BOGO sale on their candy bars through June 13. Apparently this means that you can stack your free manufacturer's coupon on top of that, thus getting TWO candy bars for free. I haven't tried it myself - it seems awfully ambitious - but if you're up for it, it would be a rich, chocolatey mountain of free.

Free downloads from Barsuk Records.

Normally these free download offers get a resounding "meh" from me, because I assume they're lame also-ran bands whose music wouldn't need free giveaways if it were worth buying. But this one could actually be good, as it's a sampler from Barsuk Records, former home of Death Cab for Cutie. It includes tracks by Menomena, Mates of State, John Vanderslice, Viva Voce, and the Long Winters, as well as, yes, DCFC.

The offer is through Amazon, so you'll need to download their free MP3 widget in order to import them to your iTunes or what have you, but it's quick and simple and then you'll get free music!

Get a free Gatorade, lose 750 lbs.*

Are you a man who's interested in men's health? Now you can sign up for a free bottle of Gatorade (redeemable at Walgreens only). The catch is, you have to forward Walgreens "men's health tips" on to five lucky man-friends, who then will presumably be swamped with junk emails from Walgreens until the end of time.

Still, on the bright side, if you've been looking to prune your Facebook list, handing out people's email addresses to corporate mailing lists is a quick way to lose yourself some unwanted weight, if you know what we mean.

*150 lbs. x 5 angry friends = 0 regrets!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Seattle Special: Free custard at Capitol Hill's Old School Frozen Custard.

Reader tip alert! This Saturday, the brand-new Old School Frozen Custard at 1316 E. Pike St. is celebrating with a custard free-for-all. Free cones for everyone on Saturday, June 6, from 3 to 10 pm!

I've never had frozen custard, but devotees claim it is the bee's knees and even better than plain ol' ice cream, so I guess I'll have to try it myself. Even better, the weather is supposed to be cold and crappy tomorrow, which should cut down on the long line of hot, sweaty hipsters.

Free Crystal Light On-the-go at Target.

A two-step freebie, but a freebie nonetheless... when you go here, you can get coupons for $1 off one package of Crystal Light (page 1) and $2 off two packages of Crystal Light (page 2). Aaaaand it just so happens that Target sells 3-packs of Crystal Light On the Go (the portable single-serve packets) for... $0.99.

I've been trying to drink more water in these hot summery months, but it gets old, and a little touch of fruity flavor is most welcome when trying to choke down those 64 oz per day. With these coupons, I can get three free packages in one trip! And you should too. Plus, as I just found out this week, Crystal Light is good more than two years after its expiration date, so you can basically keep it around forever.

Burt's Bees lip balm giveaway - now more random.

Apparently enough people complained about the unfair head start that the Burt's Bees giveaway was handing to East Coasters by having a daily limit of 1,000 AND having the giveaway start at 9:00 am EDT (i.e., 6:00 am PDT for us chumps). So they've changed the rules of the game a bit.

"The giveaway starts anytime between 9 a.m. and 12 noon EDT but no one knows exactly when! To equal the odds and give you the fairest chance at a free balm, we've randomized the giveaway to start anytime between 9 a.m. and 12 noon EDT. It could be anytime. For instance -- it may be 9:15 AM one day, 10:25 AM the next, or 11:51 AM the day after! We don't know either - and that's what makes it fun! And if you don't get it one day, you'll get your chance. The balm giveaway goes through June 20, 2009."

So now they're forcing you to keep checking back and refreshing your browser all morning until their "randomizer" starts the daily allotment. This has some sinister overtones to me, but I guess it's fairer than just screwing the West Coast every day. Anyway, you have about two more weeks to score a free lip balm, so go to it.

Free Sunsweet healthy snack samples.

Growing weary of all these donut and ice cream freebies I keep posting? Get in touch with your healthy side with this Sunsweet offer for free healthy snack samples. Choose from the following kinds:
  • 1 oz. Jumbo Red Raisins
  • 0.9 oz. Snack Pack Prune
  • 0.9 oz. Snack Pack Cherry Prune
  • 1 oz. Mediterranean Apricot

But go there first thing in the morning, because there are a limited number per day, and once they're gone, they're gone!

Free donuts at Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme for National Doughnut Day.

Yes, it's finally here... NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY! Get your free nut of dough at Dunkin' Donuts (with purchase of beverage) and Krispy Kreme (no purchase necessary). Sugary fats for all - this is America!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Free iced tea tasting at Peet's, June 6.

Not to worry, you (benighted) non-coffee-drinkers, the HTN is looking out for you, too. Stop by Peet's Coffee on June 6 from 11 am to noon* to try a free sample of their new iced tea flavors:

  • Hibiscus Breeze Tea Cooler Caffeine-free Hibiscus C Blend herbal tea with all natural lemonade.
  • Jasmine Lime Tea Cooler Jasmine Fancy green tea with all natural limeade.
  • Summer House Iced Tea Mildly sweet and brisk with a smooth toasty finish.

*Some locations, apparently including Seattle's, are doing this today, June 4, from 1 to 2 pm, so it's worth contacting your local store if you really don't want to miss out.


25% off any one item at Borders.

Yep, it's another Borders coupon... but this one is nice because it includes the other items that are generally left out of the "book" coupons (gifts, blank books, stationery, bath products, etc.). It's good through June 7, so if you have any gift-giving occasions coming up this month, now might be a good time to head down to your local Borders and check it out.

$100 for opening a Chase checking account.

$100 for opening a checking account? Yes, that's how desperate Chase is for new business. What you do is you go to this site, enter your email, and they send you a coupon, which you take to a local branch and open up your account with.

Of course, there are a few caveats:

1) You have to deposit $100 into it.
2) The $100 can't come from another Chase account or an affiliate.
3) Within 60 days, you have to either make 5 debit card purchases, or set up direct deposit.
4) You have to keep the account open for 6 months or they take the $100 back.
5) If you don't set up direct deposit and you don't make at least 5 debits a month, you get hit with a fee.
6) Cash bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT (i.e., you pay taxes on it next year).

That's a lot of trouble, especially remembering to make the debit purchase (because you probably already have direct deposit set up in your REAL checking, right?). Still, a hundred bucks is a hundred bucks.

Free Orange Julius smoothie, June 19.

Yeah, I know this is waaaay in advance, but I'll try to post a reminder closer to the actual day. June 19 is free Orange Julius Day with the printable coupon. Make sure you print that thing and take it with you, because apparently they're going to be sticklers about it.

I haven't had an Orange Julius in probably over 10 years, but this is actually for Light Smoothies, which come in three flavors: Tropical Sunlight, Berry-Pom Twilight, and Strawberry Delight. They all have "light" in the name, get it? Get it? No, but do you get it?

(Seattleites, the closest one is in the Seattle Center by the EMP...)

Free Juicy Juice sippy cup or water bottle.

Does baby want his sippy cup? Now baby can HAVE it... for free! Or a water bottle, evidently. Sign up for Juicy Juice's mailing list and you can get a free, cheerful lime-green sippy cup or a 14-oz water bottle with captive lid.

I know a few accident-prone friends who might appreciate having their adult beverages served to them in a spill-proof, break-resistant cup, but surely everyone can use a water bottle, right? Even one with a little kids' juice logo on the side?

Free Glade Summer Scents candle tin.

Sniff, sniff! The first 10,000 people to sign up here will get a free gift pack of Glade Summer Scents candle tins. This actually sounds kind of interesting, if difficult to picture:

"The unique candle melts into a pool of scented oil, quickly releasing fragrance into the room. When the oil is gone, the candle goes out, so there’s no mess. Each tin candle is portable and unbreakable, so now you can enjoy Glade® Scented Oil Candles fragrances any place you choose, from your living room to your kitchen and bathroom. And because the tins are refillable, you can choose from a variety of Glade® Scented Oil Candles fragrances."

I like non-messy candles, so if I'm one of the lucky 10,000, I'll let you know how it works. Nothing like an open flame indoors in summer to really make things cozy.

Today only, 8GB flash drive + PC game for $14.99.

I am not one of the cool gamer kids, but even I can recognize a deal: today on, buy an 8GB Dane-Elec flash drive for $14.99 (plus $5 shipping) and it comes pre-loaded with your choice of violent PC game.

There are four color choices, with associated games:
  • Red: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Lockdown
  • Camouflage: Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
  • Black: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory
  • Blue: Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
I can't say I care about the bonus game , but $14.99 is a great price for an 8GB flash drive just by itself. I have a Dane-Elec flash drive, which I call "the blue bean," and I love it for its colorful rubberized exterior and gosh-darned cuteness. Here's a better link so you can see the actual drive up close.

Anyway, if you've been looking for super-tiny portable data storage or you frequently swap music and videos with friends, then these guys can't be beat.

BOGO meal at Sweet Tomatoes.

Some more good coupons for those who are lucky enough to have a Sweet Tomatoes location near them... two BOGO offers when you buy a meal and two drinks. One is valid through June 7 and the other is valid June 8-11, so there's plenty of time to plan a soup/salad/bread binge.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Massive list of free museums around the U.S.

Going somewhere this summer? Do a little advance planning and maybe you can snag some free deals, even on vacation! HeyIt' has compiled a big list of museums that offer free admission around the country. They use a few simple abbreviations, which are explained up at the top.

But, you may notice, the list is incomplete! They need your help to make it even awesomer. So if you see that your state's listing is missing a museum, or has inaccurate information, do your part as a citizen of the free world and update it, won't you?

Free Worstercestershirster sauce and BBQ sauce.

Time to start up with my grilling-related freebies again! If you're mulling over which sauce to dump on your charred meats this summer, visit this site to get a free sample of Lea & Perrins® Thick Classic™ Worcestershire Sauce and Jack Daniel's® Barbecue Sauce. You can't click the link, you have to copy/paste it, so here it is:

I've ordered quite a few samples from Walmart (boo) and I have to say, they're very quick and right on it - they usually tell you it will take about four weeks, but my samples always get here faster than that. So you won't need to wait too long to start saucing up your butt roast.

Free To Go Drinks samples and contest.

I'm not sure what To Go products are, but by the looks of them, they seem to be pricey, schmancy hippie health drinks and powdered drink mixes. Well, anyway, find out for yourself when you enter to win one of two To Go gift baskets, and the first 3,000 entries also get a free sample pack.

Looks like this is sponsored by a fancy-schmancy hippie health parenting magazine, so beware of the junk mail you might be signing up for with this offer... unless you like organic flax teething soy biscuits, I guess.

Free iced coffee at Au Bon Pain today, after 2:00 pm.

Personally, I like my coffee hot and in the morning, when I'm barely awake and pawing groggily for alertness. But I realize an afternoon coffee can be refreshing too, particularly in iced form, so if you're one of those people, get yourself to an Au Bon Pain today, June 3, for a FREE iced coffee after 2:00 pm. No purchase necessary, no coupon required!

Find your closest location here, but don't bother looking if you're in Washington... no bon pains here. Je suis desolee.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

$5 off $25 at Borders.

Borders just sent out another coupon... this one is for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more. That's not a bad deal if you hit it right on the minimum-purchase nose, but remember, you must be a Borders Rewards member to use the coupon (however, it's free to sign up).

Also, they apparently have a "buy 4, get the 5th book free" offer going on, which is not as good of a deal, but if you have a lot of June gifts to buy, it could be a deal.

Free Carefree pantyliners and carrying case.

I consider pantyliners to be pretty much a scam product all around, and unnecessary for just about everyone. BUT if you enjoy using them and you'd like to have a discreet carrying case to convey them around with you, then this offer is for you. Sign up here for a free sample of Ultra Protection Liners and a carrying case.

Actually, the case is pretty cute. I could probably use that for lip gloss or pens or something. HOW WOULD THEY KNOW?

50% off coupon at Michaels.

Okay, now that the weather's finally nice, you probably have better things to do than sit inside perfecting your "Breezin' Into Fall" scrapbook page, but just in case you've got a project in mind, here's a 50% off one regular-priced item coupon for Michaels. It says "members only," but I haven't known them to have a secret coupon cabal, so I'm thinking it's probably just something that went out to people on their mailing list.

In case you haven't been into a Michaels lately, they also have seasonal decor, candles, and junk like that, so just because you don't want to paint a birdhouse doesn't mean there's nothing there for you.

Free sample of Velvet Milk Aloe Butter Mask.

Well, that seems like a lot of unrelated words strung together into a phrase, but I gather the Velvet Milk Aloe Butter Mask is some sort of moisturizing body cream, especially for the hands and feet. When you sign up to win a 16 oz bottle, you'll get a free sample. Butterlicious!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Prescription glasses for under $20? Thanks, China!

I've been toying with the notion of getting a pair of backup glasses online for a while, but the risk factor always pulled me back. As any glasses wearer knows, you often have to try on dozens of pairs to find one that looks good and fits right - what are the chances of picking one sight unseen and having it fit correctly? To say nothing of the many opportunities for fail in transcribing your Rx, measuring PD, choosing the right lens material, etc. etc. etc.

After hearing good word of mouth from a friend, I decided to try Zenni Optical, because unlike many online glasses sites, they actually had a frame that fit my special-needs face. My frame was $12.95, which included single-vision lenses and A/R coating, plus $4.95 shipping. That's it! I'm pretty pleased with my glasses, which came in a hard plastic case with a cleaning cloth and were less than 1/5 of the cheapest glasses I was considering from an optometrist. For this price, I'm thinking about ordering another pair with tinted lenses as spare sunglasses.

Be advised, this is not for the impatient. The website claims a two-week shipping time, but my glasses took about 3.5 weeks to get here. I wasn't in a hurry, but if you just sat on your only pair of glasses, this is not the speediest option. Also, most glasses will need a bit of adjustment just to fit your face correctly, so you'll have to go to an optometrist and sweet-talk them into doing that for you if need be. (Most are happy to do it for free, because they want you to come back, but it could be a bit awkward explaining that no, you're not their customer, but you want them to fix your cheapo made-in-China glasses free.)

I've heard that Goggles4U and Optical4Less are also good. 39DollarGlasses started it all, and they have an excellent FAQ page that will address your fears about ordering specs online, including a good page on measuring your PD (answer: have an eye doctor do it). If you're willing to put the work in and take a risk, you can save a lot of $$$ with online glasses!

Free coffee tumbler from Case.

Weren't you just saying that you needed another promotional coffee travel tumbler in your kitchen cabinet? I was at Goodwill this weekend and let me tell you, the world does NOT have enough used go-cups cramming the shelves at thrift stores. We need to remember what made this country great and start demanding copious quantities of hot beverage vessels!

Go to Case Construction's website, enter promo code CASETLC, and you can sign up to receive your free manly coffee tumbler. Feel your masculinity being enhanced as you gaze at the pictures of bulldozers and steamrollers while doing so.

Free jewelry from Park Lane.

Hmmm... I have to admit, I'm a little suspicious of this one. It's one of those "party" money-making schemes, like Mary Kay or Pampered Chef, where you make your commissions by roping too-polite-to-decline friends into watching your frenzied product demonstrations and pity-buying some $30 moisturizer from you.

When you complete the survey for Park Lane jewelry parties, they'll send you a "free sample" of their jewelry. Now, it would make sense for them to send you something you could wear IF you were planning on signing up as one of their sales-bots, but for Sally Saver off the street? I'm guessing they'll send you one clip-on earring, so you can see (but not wear) the quality. But don't take my cynical word for it - maybe they'll send you something awesome.

Get clean with $30 worth of free coupons.

Cleaning my house is not a great interest of mine, so I don't think I'll be using this one personally, but if you like to not wallow in filth, you may want to sign up for this coupon book with $30 of coupons from the likes of Febreeze, Swiffer, Mr. Clean, Cascade, Dawn, and more. Then you can come clean my house to express your gratitude.

Free movie rental Monday with Redbox code.

Redbox fans may remember that their awesome promotion, in which they released a promo code each Monday good for a free one-night DVD rental, is being scaled back this summer and will eventually disappear altogether. So take advantage while you can: today's code is FM63H7.

If you're new to Redbox, check out this handy guide from It's actually still a pretty good deal even without the free rental code, especially if you like minimizing human interaction, like me.

Free museum day this weekend, courtesy of B of A.

Remember, this weekend (and every first full weekend of the month) is B of A's Museums on Us program. Present your debit card, credit card, anything with a B of A logo on it this weekend at participating museums, and your admission is free!

Seattleites, here are the participating locations in Washington:

Free culture this weekend, courtesy of Big Banking - what will they think of next?

Free bar of handmade soap.

What's better than free bath products? Well... not much. Sign up for your free sample of handmade soap and prepare to dive into a blue cloud of glycerin lather. Not sure what constitutes a "sample" - I've gotten some pretty lame mini-slivers from actual soapmakers that aren't even big enough to hold in your hand to lather with - but if you like being clean, why not give it a shot?

Free '09 Entertainment Book when you pre-order '10.

Ah, it's that time of year when Entertainment Book starts to get antsy about all the copies laying around in its warehouse, and the deals start getting better and better... now they're offering a free copy of the 2009 edition when you pre-order the 2010 edition. Of course you already ordered your '09 version MONTHS ago (right?) to take maximum advantage of the savings, but maybe you'd like to share with a thrifty friend who doesn't yet know the ways.

Remember, the Entertainment Book year starts in November, and they take their sweet time mailing them out, so you'll have less than five months to use the '09 version's coupons if you go with this offer. But it also pays for itself with just one BOGO museum ticket coupon (in Seattle, includes EMP/Sci-Fi, Burke, Pacific Science Center, Wing Luke, Museum of Flight, MOHAI, and the zoo, plus more), and then everything after that is pretty much delicious free icing. (The discounted movie tickets are pretty handy, too.)

Free entree and more from Pick Up Stix.

It's so depressing to see good freebies that I can't use because the companies don't have any locations in my state, but because I care, I continue to pass them on anyway. This page of pretty good coupons for Pick Up Stix includes a free entree, $5 off a $20 purchase, a $5 chicken wok combo and more.

Find a location here, unless you live in Seattle, and then don't bother.

Free boozy tote bag from Pacific Rim.

Everyone needs another reusable shopping tote, right? Right! Actually, this looks like one of the old-school, lumpy cotton canvas ones, back when bringing your own shopping bags was weird and creepy, not hip and trendy. I remember using one very much like this as my library bag - though not, of course, with the witty wine slogan.

Save water, drink Riesling! Save plastic, use cotton! It's FOR THE PLANET.

Possibly-free Kindle version of Cook's How-to-Cook Library.

This freebie baffles me a little, because it's listed as "free" and many of the Amazon customer reviewers reference it as free, but it's clearly NOT free when you look at the product page.
Cook's Illustrated magazine has written this How-to-Cook Library, subtitled "An illustrated step-by-step guide to foolproof cooking," which sounds pretty useful (though I'm not sure I'd want to take my pricey Kindle into the kitchen to be doused in gravy and melted butter). Its Kindle price is $9.99, but as recently as 3 days ago, people were commenting about being able to review it for free. Did the freeness vanish on June 1?

Well, if you get it to work, whip up a rack of lamb with those little paper crowns to celebrate.

50 albums, $5 each, at Amazon.

Remember when people used to get their music by purchasing it on Compact Discs? Take a walk down memory lane with this hand-picked assortment of 50 albums for $5 each on Amazon. Most of it is junk, as you might expect, but there are a few things worth buying on there, especially if you're facing the age-old dilemma of getting your subtotal up to $25 for free Super Saver Shipping.

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