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Friday, April 30, 2010

May 1 is Free Comic Book Day.

This is a new one on me, but apparently it's been going on for a while for those who are more in the know. Saturday, May 1, is Free Comic Book Day, where comic book shops around the world will be having giveaways and signing events.

Seattle's portion of this event takes place at Fantagraphics down in Georgetown, but there's stuff happening all over, so find a participating store near you.

Swagbucks: earn Amazon gift cards just by searching!

Today is a painfully slow day in the freebieverse, so I'm going to do what I normally do when things are slow: talk about Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a search-and-win website that awards you points for searching online and completing special offers, which you can use to buy merchandise and (more importantly) gift cards from Amazon, Paypal, Starbucks, and more. You can sign up here (full disclosure: that's my referral link and when you sign up and earn points, it awards me points, too). Read my online review of it if you want to learn more.

I earn enough points for $25 worth of Amazon gift cards a month, enough for a little personal shopping spree every month.

Plus, if you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you'll see the Swagbucks widget. This little gadget tracks SB promo codes that are available on the SB blog, Twitter, Facebook, and more, so it's a handy thing to check throughout the day. If you like free stuff, then I think you'll like Swagbucks!

Free sample of Lacoste Essential Sport men's fragrance.

Seems like it's been a while since we did something just for the mens, so here's an offer for a free sample of Lacoste Essential Sport men's fragrance. I have no idea what that smells like, mind you, but clearly it's both sporty and essential, so you probably can't go wrong with this one.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Facebook: Free Noah's bagel when you become a fan.

Oh wait, it's not "become a fan" anymore, it's "liking" something... well, you know what I mean. Indicate your approval of Noah's Bagels on Facebook and get a coupon for a free bagel & shmear. Good through May 2, so don't wait too long!

(Thanks, Jill!)

Borders: 40% off one item.

IT LIVES! The rare and mythical 40% off Borders coupon has reared its mighty head once more, scattering rainbows and stars when it shakes its mane. True, Borders has been handing out 33% coupons now and then, but 40 just sounds so much nicer. Why, it's practically half off!

I've been talking Borders up as an unexpected source of girly gift items for Mother's Day, and now it's time to take my own advice. Mother's Day is May 9, and if you live in a different city or state, you're going to want to get those greeting cards and macaroni necklaces off in the mail pretty soon...

30% off everything at Old Navy through May 2.

Old Navy wants you to buy TONS of spring and summer clothes, even though the weather may not seem to require that just yet. (Although I did just get a swimsuit, using the power of the Internet to save me from fitting rooms.)

30% off everything in the entire store through Sunday, May 2. This deal can't be combined with other offers or promotions - so, for example, if there's also a 2-for-$10 deal on tank tops, you can't get the two-fer pricing AND the 30% discount on top of that - you must choose one or the other. But you can live with that, right?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Seattle: Bellevue Goodwill Designer Labels sale, 4/30-5/1.

Seattleites, if you love Goodwill's annual Glitter Sale, then you might want to check out the Designer Label Event this Friday and Saturday, Apr. 30 and May 1, at the Bellevue Goodwill. It's a two-day sale — from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — of about 4,400 gently worn pieces from such brands as Ferragamo, Prada, 7 For All Mankind, Narcisco Rodriguez, Jimmy Choo, and Christian Louboutin.

Unlike the Glitter Sale, which is mostly for the ladies, this event will have more stuff for men and kids — but it's all designer labels, so while things may be marked up to 90% off, they still won't be, like, $2. However, the shelves will be continuously stocked both days, so there will be things to see no matter when you go.

I can't say I'm particularly fetishy about designer labels, but a bargain's a bargain, so this one could be fun to check out.

Jack in the Box: Free Deli Trio w/purchase.

Sorry, Seattleites, this one's not for us, so if you had your heart set on a grilled Deli Trio sandwich, look away. Jack in the Box is offering a coupon for a free Deli Trio sandwich with any purchase. The offer is good through May 2, unless you're one of the excluded cities listed on the coupon, in which case it is NO GOOD WHATSOEVER.

Too bad - that sandwich looks kind of warm and toasty.

Reminder: 31-cent scoops at Baskin Robbins tonight.

Tonight, April 28, Baskin Robbins is having their 31-cent Scoop Night, where a single scoop cone will be just 31 cents from 5:00 to 10:00 pm. (i.e., after you finish all your vegetables). There's a limit of three scoops per person, so please try to restrain yourselves.

Find a store and remember, it's "participating stores only," so it may be worth calling ahead.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Take a survey, get 2 loaves of bread.

This intriguing offer got dropped off in the HTN inbox... take a survey and get coupons for two free loaves of bread. The survey is very short and just asks you about your favorite brands and what's most important to you in a bread product. One survey offer per household.

I gave it a try, so I'll let you know if I open my mailbox one day and two piping-hot, fresh loaves of bread come tumbling out.

Borders: 33% off one item.

Yes indeed, it's another 33% off coupon at Borders. I haven't been buying too many books lately because I've been taking full advantage of our public library, but I might have to make an exception for this one, since Mother's Day is bearing down like a freight train and I have multiple maternal relatives to buy for. (Don't forget, Borders has a pretty good selection of girly gifts, stationery, blank books, fancy pens, and the like, too.)

This one's only good through April 28, though, so use it or lose it.

$25 gift certificate for $2.

I'm of mixed minds about the thing, but I know some of you out there are fans, so I thought you should know you can get a $25 gift certificate for $2 with promo code MEAL.

If you're not familiar with this, how it works is you buy a "gift certificate" for a participating restaurant, which is actually more like a coupon because it usually excludes alcohol and requires a minimum purchase. For example, many of them require a $35 total purchase to apply the discount. You're still getting $25 off your bill, but with all the restrictions, I think it's effectively more like you're purchasing a coupon for $2.

Still, there are a lot of participating restaurants, so if you see one you've been meaning to try anyway, it could be a good deal. Just make sure to read all the fine print on each offer, and be ready to possibly get a sniffy reception when you present your gift certificate/coupon.

Facebook: Free bagel & schmear at Einstein Bros.

Here's a little Facebook nosh for you: become a fan - excuse me, like - Einstein Bros. on Facebook and you'll get a coupon for a free bagel and schmear. Good from April 26 to May 2.

If you're having trouble with that link, try just printing off this image, which is the actual coupon.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Free Caress Silky Fragrance Infusion sample.

I realize that in a consumer society already glutted with too many things to buy, companies are in a never-ending race to make their products sound like the absolute most... but honestly, these names are getting a little out of control. I'm starting to think they have a Personal Care Product Name Generator, or maybe a chart where they just pick one word out of columns A, B, and C.

Column A: Smoothing, Refining, Youthening, Renewing, Defining, Silky, Extra, Radiant

Column B: Diamond, Fragrance, Enchantment, Defense, Glow, 24-Hour

Column C: Moisturizer, Creme, Butter, Infusion, Potion, Concoction, Slurry

See, it works. Renewing 24-Hour Creme! Radiant Glow Butter! Caress Silky Fragrance Infusion!

Amazon: SPIN Magazine, $5 for one year.

Amazon's back with another deal of the week: a one-year subscription to SPIN magazine for just $5. I can't even remember the last time I peeped into an issue, and the Amazon peanut gallery is decidedly mixed about the magazine's quality, but if you're a fan or know someone who is, that's pretty darn cheap.

Don't forget, the 50% off sale is still going, too, through April 30.

Free Pretzel Time pretzel today!

Yes, today is the long-awaited National Pretzel Day, and Pretzel Time/Pretzelmaker is celebrating by offering free soft pretzels for all. Customers are "encouraged" to sing a snippet from a song of their choosing in exchange for said pretzel, but since I think I can guarantee that those bored mall employees don't want you to sing any more than you do, you can just mention Pretzel Day and get a free one.

Find a participating location here. Seattleites, rejoice: Southcenter has not one but two locations. Mall shoppers must really like their soft pretzels.

Free PowerBar Gel Blasts sample.

To me, "Gel Blasts" sounds like something you'd put in your dishwasher for extra shine, but I guess it's actually an energy replacement science food for athletes, or something. Try your free sample of these fruit-flavored sugar chews and prepare to excel at sports like never before.

Or something.

Free sample of Grandma Bowser's dog biscuits.

Here's another offer for our furry friends: a free sample of Grandma Bowser's dog biscuits. Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and enter your information there to receive your sample.

I think the Cheese & Bacon flavor sounds pretty good, but it's not about me... it's about your faithful canine who likes to snack. Sign up for your freebie!

Friday, April 23, 2010

UK freebie! Send in your used-up Bic pen, get $10. (I can't find the pound symbol on my computer.)

I doubt that anyone actually reading this blog will be able to take advantage of this promotion, but I'm just so proud of myself (or "chuffed," as the Brits say) at finding an international freebie that I had to post it anyway. I do know some peeps in the UK, so maybe if you do too, you can pass the word along.

You know how those cheapie Bic plastic pens seem to last friggin' forever? If you can manage to kill one (try creating a reproduction of a Vermeer masterpiece), mail in the empty pen corpse and they will send you a cheque (hee!) for ten pounds. Then you can put it in your chequing account.

Britons... they're just like us!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Borders: 33% off one item + a free book (maybe).

Well well well, look who's shaking things up a bit. Borders has yet another 33% off coupon - the second one this week - but there's a twist: when you spend $30 or more (presumably in a single purchase) from April 23 through May 1, you'll get a coupon for a free book up to $15 in value. But there's a catch: that coupon must be redeemed from May 14-20, and it requires a $30 purchase (including the $15 free book). Confused? Here's an example:

1. On April 23-May 1, buy your mom $30 worth of cat calendars. Receive your coupon.

2. On May 14-20, come back and buy two $15 cookbooks, and one of those will be free with the coupon.

If you've got several purchases to make in the next few weeks anyway, this might be worth it for you, but don't automatically get sucked in by the strings-attached "free book" part. It's nice to see that Borders is trying something new, but I think they're making this more complicated than it needs to be.

Trade 5 plastic bags for a free reusable tote at Target.

Target wants you to recycle, and to use reusable shopping bags instead of an endless stream of disposable plastic ones. Send five of your plastic bags to this address and get a coupon for $1 off a reusable bag at Target.

New York Avenue
Trenton, NJ08638

Target has plenty of reusable bags to choose from, and the basic model is 99 cents, so you're essentially trading in 5 plastic bags for a nice, new, sturdy, reusable one that will last for years. Plus, Target - and many other stores - give you $0.05 off your purchase every time you use a reusable bag. Every little bit helps!

Origins: Swap your cleansing product for theirs, free, April 22.

Here's an Earth Day freebie offer that comes with a caveat... Origins posted on their Facebook page that if you bring in your current facial cleanser product, they'll trade you for either an Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash or an Origins Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea.

HOWEVER, some FB users have reported that individual stores aren't participating, demand two of your products for one of theirs, or refuse to honor the offer if you've tried their facial cleansers before, so if you try this one, keep your expectations low. And pretend you ain't never heard of no fancy frothin' Or-y-gins face warsh before.

(Thanks, Mary!)

Amazon: 50% off already-cheap mags.

As if Amazon magazine sales weren't cheap enough already, they've sweetened the deal with an extra 50% off selected titles. Use promo code APRMAG50 to snag your deals.

There are plenty to choose from, but here are some highlights:

And you know, these would make excellent (and economical) Mother's Day gifts. Well, maybe not Maxim. But the others.

O.b. trial pack in cute little case.

Talk about truth in advertising... they're calling this the "cute trial pack" and they're totally right. Register for your free sample pack of o.b. tampons, which comes in an adorable little hot-pink floral case.

They're trying to put an environmentally-friendly angle on it, i.e. their tampons are better because they don't have as much wasteful packaging and so on. But really, just look at that case!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Free Sample Showcase super-box from USPS.

It's a sample showcase from the USPS! You have to fill out a short survey to qualify, but as HeyIt' comments, "I know for a fact that females with 0-3 kids who make $75,001-$100,000 qualify." HINT HINT. Apparently the site might be a little fussy due to traffic, but hang in there until you get it.

The thank-you graphic that displays after you finish seems to imply that you'll be getting Dove chocolate bars, Reese's peanut butter cups, Secret deodorant, Shower to Shower body powder, Taster's Choice instant coffee, Aveeno skin care, and Grill Mates seasoning, so that's got to be something for everyone, right? Plus, it's like a whole Xmas stocking of freebies all in one!

(Thanks, Hey It's Free!)

Starbucks gives 10-cent discount for BYOM (bring your own mug).

Sure, Starbucks celebrated Tax Day by offering a free coffee to anyone who brought in their own reusable mug or go-cup. But did you know they always offer a 10-cent discount for customers who bring their own vessels?

Their goal is to serve 25% of the beverages made in their stores in reusable serveware or tumblers by 2015. Judging by the number of people I see in my building stopping at the lobby's Starbucks and bringing paper/plastic cups directly upstairs to their desks, that seems rather optimistic, but good luck with that!

Anyway, save the planet, save a dime. Then donate that dime to Greenpeace.

31-cent scoops at Baskin Robbins on April 28.

Yes, it's chilly and rainy outside... so who wants ice cream?! On April 28, Baskin Robbins is having their 31-cent Scoop Night, where a single scoop cone will be just 31 cents from 5:00 to 10:00 pm. Oh, and the fine print says there's a limit of three scoops per person, so no ice cream for dinner for you.

Find a store and remember, it's "participating stores only," so it may be worth calling ahead if you've got your heart set on a chilly dessert or three.

Free sample of Eucerin Daily Skin Balance.

Make no mistake, Eucerin Daily Skin Balance is MUCH MORE than just a moisturizer. It's a scientifically advanced formula that strengthens and supports your natural skin barrier, aka "your body's front line to the world."

It's a WAR against skin dryness, and this lotion is (wait for it) THE BOMB!

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Don't forget your free sample.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Burt's Bees toothpaste sample is back.

The Burt's Bees toothpaste sample offer has returned, so if you didn't get yours the first time, get a free sample here. They show a few different kinds, but you'll be getting the Multicare with Fluoride (0.5 oz). You can also opt to get a $1 off coupon if you're already a fan and just want to buy a full-size tube.

Free reusable tote from Nursery Water.

I was torn about whether to post this one because it just sounds like the odds of being able to get it are slim, but I'll let you make the call. Every day at noon Eastern time (thus, 9:00 am here on the West Coast), Nursery Water gives away 100 free reusable folding totes. They do it every day, so if you miss it today, you can always try again until the offer expires.

I've put myself on a reusable-tote moratorium at the moment, because I really kind of have a lot. They're a very popular giveaway item these days, and while I do seem to have hundreds of uses for bags to put crap in, it's not all that earth-friendly to amass a mountain of these plastic bags. So get one if you need one, and think of the planet!

(Thanks, Freebies4Mom!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Borders: 33% off one item.

All right, Borders, you win. Well played. You have, quite simply, put out more percent-off coupons than I have witty descriptions for, or even lame jokes about. All that is left now is for me to announce that Borders is offering 33% off one item, now through April 22.

Oh, the agony of defeat.

Free John Frieda 'poo + conditioner samples.

John Frieda is quite the 'poo provider in the sample world, and they're back again with another freebie for their Root Awakening line. This sample is through, and as I've mentioned before, their sample system is really fast and good, so you should be getting your 'poo in the mail in no time. Believe me, it pains me to compliment anything about Walmart, but I have to grudgingly concede that they've got it together with the samples.

Free Pretzel Time pretzel on April 26.

Pretzel Time/Pretzelmaker would like you to know that April 26 is National Pretzel Awareness Day, and they are celebrating by offering free soft pretzels for all. Customers are "encouraged" to sing a snippet from a song of their choosing in exchange for said pretzel, but since I think I can guarantee that those bored mall employees don't want you to sing any more than you do, you can just mention Pretzel Day and get a free one. WITH OR WITHOUT SALT!

Find a participating location here. Strangely, Seattleites, Southcenter has not one but two locations. Mall shoppers must really like their soft pretzels.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Reminder: Seattle Friends of the Library book sale, April 16-18.

Ack! There's so much going on this weekend already, but I have to make a point of visiting the Friends of the Library book sale. Over 200,000 items will be on sale, and most books are just $1 each! They'll also have videos, CDs, audiobooks, art prints, rare books, and more. Definitely bring some boxes or bags with you, because you'll have an armload before you know it and you won't want to stop!

Here are the dates:

  • Friday, April 16: 6:30 – 9:30 p.m: Member Preview and Rare Book Auction. Members may buy up to 25 items each.
  • Saturday, April 17: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 18: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This is one of my favorite events for stocking up on reading material, so I never miss it. Support a good cause and get yourself some amazing deals on books!

Facebook: Free pretzel M&Ms.

The last M&Ms I tried (coconut) weren't that great, but this new flavor sounds pretty promising: pretzel M&Ms! Become a Facebook friend and get a free bag. There were about 22,000 free samples left when I signed up just now, so if you hurry, you can get one.

I got a weird error message when I signed up, saying that I had already requested one, but don't worry, this is just a glitch - others have reported the same thing and then they got an email confirming that their sample was on the way.

Seattle: Free giveaways every day at Unicorn Booty.

You like unicorns, don't you? And you like booty? Then you should probably visit Unicorn Booty, a PR website that partners with different LGBT-friendly businesses for a daily contest giveaway. You can enter to win by commenting on the day's product - today's prize is Tacky Smack, decor decals for your walls.

Learn more about Unicorn Booty here and what they're all about. Sounds like a cool idea, so let's hope it sticks around and shares many delightful prizes!

Reminder: Free fries at Jack in the Box today.

Don't forget, free small fries for everyone today, April 16, at your local Jack in the Box. It doesn't look like any coupons are necessary - just stop in, claim your fried potatoes, and enjoy.

Free Wienerschnitzel chili dog.

Technically, you're supposed to belong to the Wiener Lovers' Club in order to use this offer, but don't we all belong to the Wiener Lovers' Club in one sense or another? Think about that, why don't you.

Print this coupon for a free Original Chili Dog. Valid through 4/30/10 at participating locations in AZ, CA, CO, LA, NM, NV, TX, UT, WA, and Guam.

Hallmark: BOGO cards 4/16, as long as they're $3.49.

This offer is so annoyingly specific that I almost didn't post it, but who knows, maybe someone will find it handy. Hallmark is offering a BOGO deal on their cards today, April 16, as long as both cards cost $3.49. There's also a bunch of fine print, which you can see if you click on the green banner on their homepage.

I think it's intended for you to get a head start on Mother's Day, but honestly, I don't even know when Mother's Day is this year, so I am way behind. Also, I like cards that cost 99 cents, so you don't NEED a coupon, but that's just me.

Free Harry & David Moose Munch w/coupon + 20% off.

Harry & David's Moose Munch is one of those things that I try to forget exists, because it's dangerous knowledge. But having seen this coupon for a free 10-oz box, I can't un-see it, so I'm just going to share it with you because misery loves company.

Seattleites, there is a store at Bellevue Square, so if you're over that way before May 9, print this coupon and collect your free box. There's also a 20% discount with promo code DISCOUNT20, but you have to go to a physical store to get the Moose Munch.

iTunes: Free "Planet Earth" episode 1 download.

I love "Planet Earth"! Even if you're not super-into nature shows, this groundbreaking documentary series about our environment is one beautifully filmed how-did-they-get-that-shot moment after another... and Oprah's "Life" just pales by comparison to Sir David Attenborough's buttered-crumpet voice. Download the first episode for free at iTunes and see if you don't agree. (You have to have iTunes installed, but it's free.)

I actually own the series, which is available for a pretty good price over at Amazon, and if you really agree with me on the Oprah thing, you can pre-order the David Attenborough version of "Life," without her cornball script that tries to turn animals into courageous single moms. Bleh.

Reminder: Free Target reusable bag on April 18.

I'm sure you've got this one marked on your freebie calendar, but just in case it slipped your mind, Target is giving out 1.5 million reusable shopping bags on Sunday, April 18 to kick off Earth Week. The bags are pretty cute - bright green with a fun eco-design - and they look pretty spacious and sturdy. I use Target's regular reusable 99-cent shopping bags, have had mine for several years, and regularly get compliments from checkers at other stores on the cute design.

I'll take any excuse to go to Target, really, so the greenwashing of my rationalizations is just eco-icing on the shoppers' cake.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Borders: 33% off one item.

Speak of the devil! I'm breaking the music-events-in-Seattle streak here and now with, you guessed it, yet another Borders coupon. Back in my day, 40% coupons used to walk the land, but 33% is about as good as it gets nowadays, so print away... and don't forget, Mother's Day is coming.

Cupcake Royale: BOGO Roseanne Cash tix w/purchase.

I'm a little confused about this offer because of how it's worded, but I think it explains how cupcakes are your gateway to free music. Rosanne Cash, Johnny's eldest daughter, will be playing the Moore Theatre on May 1 as part of NPR's All Things Considered. AND "if you a buy a cupcake from any Cupcake Royale location from Friday, April 16, through Sunday, April 25th, you can bring a friend to the show for free."

Looking at their Facebook page, that seems to mean that Cupcake Royale is selling tix to this event directly, and with the purchase of a cupcake, you can get BOGO tix to the show.

Sometimes themes seem to emerge with freebies, and today's theme seems to be "music events in Seattle." So, uh, sorry, everybody else... we'll get you tomorrow.

Seattle: Free stuff on Record Store Day, April 17.

This Saturday, April 17, is Record Store Day, and Seattle is ready to celebrate! Visit a neighborhood record store to pick up freebie vinyl, CDs, posters, promo items, etc., courtesy of record labels, artists, and indie record stores.

Every store will have slightly different items, so check out the list and plot your trip to make sure you get all the goodies you want. It's mostly for vinyl nerds, but there are some CDs and other items, including free cupcakes and in-store performances. Rock on!

(Thanks, Elisha!)

Seattle: Bumbershoot 2010 to offer "lite" $22 recession tickets.

If you avoid Bumbershoot like the plague because it's too expensive, too crowded, and the main acts suck anyway, here's a solution for you: this year, Bumbershoot is offering $22 "economy" tickets that give you admission to everything except the mainstage headlining shows. (They'll be $30 at the door.) The standard ticket for all events including mainstage shows will be $40 advance ($5 more than 2009) and $50 at the door (same as 2009).

So what does your $22 get you? Admission to the grounds, art exhibits, music, comedy shows, literary panels and discussions, and other performances. If you hate paying a premium to subsidize a big-name band you're not interested in anyway, this is a cost-effective way to see the sights and get the experience, while still having some cash left over for $8 beers and $10 hot dogs.

World Kitchen: Under $1 sale.

World Kitchen is having a sale with dozens of items that are $1 or under... and this is good stuff, not just dollar-store crap. Here are a few examples:
  • Sushi molds, chopsticks, rice paddles
  • Pyrex glass bowls
  • Ekco coffee scoops, measuring spoon sets, cheese slicers, parchment paper
  • Corn skewers, party picks, kitchen tongs

Shipping starts at $7, but if you're picking up an assortment of kitchen gadgets, you can still save some $$$ while stocking up.

Starbucks: Free coffee offer is working!

I just stopped by the 3rd and Pike Starbucks in downtown Seattle, and they are indeed doing the free-coffee-in-your-reusable-cup offer. It's not advertised and they're not making a big deal out of it in-store, but if you ask, they'll give it to you. No purchase is required, although I felt a little obligated to buy a tiny sparkly sugar donut for 75 cents.

On the way, I peeked into the downtown post office, where about 25 people were standing grimly in line waiting for the gate to go up. I guess they're all waiting to get their tax returns off today. I will spare them (and you) the wagging finger, but that's that much less time that they could be off getting free coffee, cupcakes, ice cream, tacos, food, and MOAR today.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2010 Taxtacular on April 15!

Tax day sucks (assuming you haven't filed your taxes and gotten your refund long since, which I am sure all HTN readers have prudently done), but at least there are tons of freebies around to brighten a bleak day. I'm posting this one day in advance to give you time to plot your tax day freebie route, because there really are that many!

There are probably even more to discover, so get out there and make it a tax-tastic day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 30% off one item, through April 15.

Well, this one isn't specifically a tax day special either, but I'm gonna include it in my super-huge taxtacular because it's good on April 15. Save 30% at with the promo code, good April 14 and 15.

Note: this one isn't an in-store coupon, so don't print it out and get all huffy when they won't redeem it at a physical store. I'm sure there will be an in-store coupon any minute now, though.

McCormick & Schmick's: $10.40 entrees on April 15 + $10.40 gift card.

Now THIS is a relevant tax day promotion (Boston Market, I'm looking at you). McCormick & Schmick's is offering $10.40 entrees in the bar on April 15, and you also get a gift certificate for $10.40 off a future meal.

Don't worry, tax professionals, you get your day too... specifically, April 16. Show your business card and you'll get a free dessert, as well as a $10.40 gift certificate of your own.

Man, this tax day extravaganza is gaining a life of its own! I hope I can remember all the freebies out there when it's time to pull them all together for your tax day freebie checklist.

JetBlue: Fare sale from $29.

JetBlue is having another fare sale starting at $29 one-way. There's not much here for Seattleites, although you can fly to Boston for $129 each way, but take a look if JetBlue has more of a physical presence at your local airport than it does here.

Maggie Moo's: Free ice cream pizza on April 15.

I told you I wouldn't let you forget about this one! Maggie Moo's is offering a tax day special, too: stop in to any participating location from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. on April 15 for a free slice of their new ice cream pizza.

Boy, you're going to be busy on Thursday, what with all the discounts, freebies, and events flying around! Don't worry, I'll post a big Tax Day Roundup later this week so you won't miss any of them.

Boston Market: BOGO individual plates.

Boston Market is jumping on the tax day wagon with their "Tax Break" promotion: buy any individual plate and get the second one free. I'm not exactly sure that that makes sense, because I don't think the IRS is known for giving BOGOs on tax returns, but I guess it doesn't need to make sense to be a delicious bargain.

Good April 15-18.

Jamba Juice: BOGO drinks w/coupon.

Jamba Juice is celebrating their 20th anniversary (who knew?) by offering this coupon for a BOGO drink. Buy any drink on the menu and get a second of equal or lesser value for free!

Good through April 25, so you have some time to hunt down a participating location.

Starbucks: Free coffee April 15 when you bring your reusable cup.

Help save the earth and get a free coffee! Bring your reusable go-cup to Starbucks on April 15, and they'll fill it with piping-hot, planet-loving brew for free. Starbucks goes through 3 billion paper cups and 1 billion plastic cups a year - not including all those bottled and canned drinks they sell.

I bet that would be 0.5 billion if they didn't always double-up on the paper cups to provide insulation and a heat buffer between your delicate hand and the scalding-hot coffee. Maybe I'll put that in the suggestion box while I'm enjoying my free coffee on Thursday.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Borders: 40% off DVD and Blu-Ray boxed sets.

This coupon doesn't thrill me, but then again I don't have a Blu-ray player, either, so maybe you'll find it more useful than I. Get 40% off DVD and Blu-ray boxed sets (limit 2), good through April 15.

If I told my BF about this, he'd probably take it as a divine omen to start collecting "Star Trek: The Next Generation" boxed sets, so let's keep it between ourselves, shall we?

Jack in the Box: Free fries on Fryday, April 16.

Yeah, you heard me. FRYDAY. I said it.

Free small fries for everyone on Friday, April 16, at your local Jack in the Box. It doesn't look like any coupons are necessary - just stop in, claim your fried potatoes, and enjoy.

It's Fast Food Week at the HTN! Gulp.

Facebook: Free Kraft mac & cheese when you become a fan.

Feels like it's been a while since my last Facebook post, so here's one to start off the week: become a fan of Kraft on Facebook and fill out the form to receive a coupon for a free box or cup of mac 'n' cheese.

Actually, now that I look at it, your choices are CHEESY EXPLOSION CHEDDAR EXPLOSION, EXTREME CHEESE EXPLOSION, and GRILLED CHEESE EXPLOSION. None of those sound like things I'd want happening in my kitchen or my mouth, but I might want them on a T-shirt. Just saying, Kraft.

KFC: Free drink when you buy a Double Down sandwich.

Here's a freebie that I actually hope you don't take me up on, because it's kind of gross. KFC is introducing their new Double Down sandwich, a bunless sandwich made with two chicken breasts, bacon, Monterrey jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, and the Colonel's special sauce. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that the "bread" slices are fried chicken patties? Just look at the picture.

There's already a huge backlash against the poor thing, although at 540 calories and 32g of fat, it is, sad to say, NOT the worst fast-food sandwich out there. Which really isn't saying a lot, and I still hope you don't ever go anywhere near this thing, because you're going to need a lot more than one soda to flush it out of your system.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Amazon $5 magazine subscriptions.

Amazon is having another $5 magazine subscription sale right now, but unfortunately their link is kinda busted, so I'm not sure what the full list includes. But I do know that it involves these:
That "two years for the price of one" sale is still rolling, too, so don't forget to check that out if you're setting up some b-day or Mother's Day gifts in the next month or so!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Seattle: 20% off at the new Blick Art Supply on Capitol Hill.

You may or may not know that the new Blick Art Supply just opened yesterday (at Broadway and Pine, where Everyday Music used to be), but what you wouldn't know unless you actually went there is that they're having a special offer for their opening weekend: join their members discount club FREE (normally $10) and get 20% off your purchases this weekend!

After this weekend, the regular discount is 10% off your purchases, which is still pretty nice. But if you were planning on buying an easel or that super-sized Sculpey set, now's your chance to score the real deal.

The grand opening is April 22, and they will be having free demos, DJ sets from Emerald City Soul Club, and probably some other sales, so stay tuned!

Seattle: Meet designer Jason Wu, free dessert & champagne, April 15.

I'm no couture expert, but even I know the name of Jason Wu, the young Asian-American designer who created Michelle Obama's inaugural gown. Next Thursday, you can meet him here in Seattle at the downtown Nordstrom store, as he presents his new fall 2010 collection.

The event is Thursday, April 15, from 1 to 3 p.m. Customers are invited to mingle with Wu and shop the collection. Dessert and champagne will be served and there will be informal modeling of the clothes.

If I go, that will probably be the most fashionable I will ever be, in my whole life.

Free TCBY waffle cone.

Apparently, if you join the TCBY email club, they'll email you a coupon for a free waffle cone. Then the only challenge will be... finding a TCBY. I think I saw one a few years ago, the last time I visited Nevada...

Free pint of Benjamin Moore Aura paint.

Hey crafters, want a free pint of Aura paint for your next project? Sign up for your coupon, valid at participating retailers. Good only in AL, GA, FL, KY, PR, NC, TN, SC, though, which is kind of a bummer.

Celebrate friendship with BOGO Borders and Panda Express.

Friendship is a priceless gift, so why not nurture those relationships with your cast-off freebies? I mean, "share these offers with your very best buddies."
  • Buy a 2- or 3-entree item plate and get a free single item at Panda Express. And don't worry if your friend keeps looking back and forth from your overflowing plate to their paltry scoop of sweet 'n' sour - they're probably just speechless with gratitude.
  • 30% off Borders coupons for you and a friend. I'm not sure how this differs from, say, just printing the normal coupons twice, since it's not like they have unique identifiers on the coupons that are specific to your account. But when you hand your friend their coupon, they won't be able to forget your gesture. No, I mean they really won't be able to - it's printed across the top.

Sounds like someone's got a freebie friend date with their BFF!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Seattle: Capitol Hill throws an Elliott Bay Books party, 4/15.

This isn't really a tax-day freebie, although it is happening on April 15. Elliott Bay Book Co. just recently moved from downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill (10th & Pike), and Capitol Hill is throwing them a welcome-to-the-neighborhood bash on April 15 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.

Word on the street is that there will be live music, a beer garden, and snacks courtesy of Via Tribunali, Café Vita, Pike Street Fish Fry, and Quinn's. Should be a fun event, weather permitting, so if you're in the neighborhood or just reeling from sending in your taxes, stop by!

Tax Day freebie roundup.

Tax day is coming up on April 15! After you've slogged through the paperwork, reward yourself with a bunch of tax day freebies designed to soothe the pain.

If you see another tax day special, leave it in the comments!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Walgreens: Buy Frixion pens, make $4.

This one is a little elaborate, but if you like Frixion erasable pens (my editing classmates really loved them for hard-copy markup), here's a way to not only get them free, but get paid $4 to buy them.
  • Buy 3 packages of Pilot FriXion pens at $1.19 each. Use $1/1 coupon found in Walgreen’s April Coupon Book (found near store entrance).
  • Pay around $.60 out of pocket.
  • Send in the rebate found on the pen packages. It says you’ll get a $4.50 rebate.
  • Make $3.90!

Rebates aren't exactly instant gratification, but if you have the patience to fill them out thoroughly and wait for the check, it's fun to get free money in the mail. This one seems like a good deal, although I hear the pens have been flying off the shelves, so you may have to hit a Walgreens or two in order to find them.

(Thanks, HeyItsFree!)

Target: Free reusable bag on April 18 w/purchase.

Target has been mighty busy in the freebiesphere this week. First there was that Suave sample the other day, and now they've announced they're giving out 1.5 million reusable shopping bags on April 18 to kick off Earth Week. The bags are pretty cute - bright green with a fun eco-design - and they look pretty spacious and sturdy. I use Target's regular reusable 99-cent shopping bags, have had mine for several years, and regularly get compliments from checkers at other stores on the cute design.

Of course, green may not be all that green, says the New York Times. But never mind about that - we're doing it for the planet!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

John Frieda: Free samples of Smooth Start 'poo, conditioner, serum.

Well, this is a nice little 3-in-1 freebie offer - you get samples of John Frieda Smooth Start 'poo, conditioner, AND anti-frizz serum. That's a perfect little set to throw in your overnight bag for a weekend trip, or even to keep on hand for emergencies. And goodness knows I need all the help I can get with de-frizzing my awful hair in this super-moist climate.

Free "sample" from Suave.

And speaking of freebie surprises, here's a mysterious offer from Target for a "free sample from Suave." What is it? Not important! It's a FREE SAMPLE FROM SUAVE.

I mean, that probably narrows it down to shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, or a hair styling product, but why ruin the fun? Just sign up and see what you get.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Freebie surprise!

When I checked my mail today, I had a huge, heavy padded mailer envelope waiting for me from Aveeno. This was confusing, because I hadn't signed up for any Aveeno freebies lately - but wait! There was that email I'd gotten a couple of weeks ago, offering a free full-size bottle of Aveeno Stress Relief lotion to the first 5,000 respondents - but by the time I saw the email, two hours after it was sent, the offer had long since expired.

Or had it? Apparently not, because they sent me a 12-oz bottle of Stress Relief lotion, along with a somewhat perplexing card that implied that I'd received the offer at my gynecologist's office while giving birth. Well, whatever. I may not have offspring, but I have stress that needs to be lotioned away. Do they make this stuff in bathtub sizes?

Free movie ticket when you buy 4 bags of Hershey's.

I usually buy candy that I don't like (i.e., Hershey's) for my office candy jar, so that I'm not tempted to eat it. At last, there's something in it for me! Get a free movie ticket when you send in this form and 4 proofs of purchase from 10-oz or larger bags of Hershey's candy.

They ran a similar promotion before, except you had to get these specially marked bags that had a promotional label on the front, and surprise surprise, those bags mysteriously disappeared off shelves WELL before the end date of the offer. This one just seems to be any bag of Hershey's Kisses, Reese's peanut butter cups, Hershey's miniatures, or York peppermint patties.

Now if only a candy-centric holiday had just occurred, so that we could stock up on four bags of qualifying candy at 50% off or more. Huh. Too bad.

Cinnabon: Free mini cupcakes on April 15.

Cinnabon is declaring that "Tax Day Bites," and is marking the dread occasion with free mini cupcakes for all. Stop by your participating Cinnabon to pick up your two free Cupcake Bites from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. But only after you've dropped that tax return in the mail, of course!

If your love of cinnamon buns has you waxing poetic, you can also participate in their essay contest for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Just tell them why your life needs Cinnabon frosting in 500 words or less, and the prize could be yours.

Free Chavrie goat cheese when you join the club.

This is not the first free-goat-cheese offer we've had here, and I'm pleased that cheesemakers are so proactive about promoting their goaty wares. I do actually like, and purchase, goat cheese when hostessing, so I don't feel bad at all about gobbling up this coupon for a free goat cheese log.

You do have to sign up for their "For the Love of Goat Cheese" club, but it sounds like that's just an e-newsletter that you can have sent to your junk email. What should I make with my free goat cheese? Maybe a spinach and mushroom goat pizza?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Amazon: 2-year magazine subscriptions for the price of 1 year.

Amazon's latest magazine sale is a little different - this time, they're offering a two-year subscription for the price of one year. Some highlights:
  • Good Housekeeping - 2 years, $8
  • Marie Claire - 2 years, $8
  • Esquire - 2 years, $8
  • O Magazine - 2 years, $18
  • Cosmo - 2 years, $15
Plus other photography, home, yoga, animal, and more magazines. You'll just have to check it out for yourself!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Denny's: Free Pancake Puppies Sundae w/purchase.

OK, this is an actual offer, but I'm mostly posting it because it grosses me out. First Denny's introduced something called Pancake Puppies, which sounded more or less like an excuse for dousing donut holes in syrup and having them for breakfast. Now they've taken it one step further and created the unholy beast that is the Pancake Puppies Sundae. That would be donut holes shivering atop a bowl of ice cream, doused in hot fudge and whipped cream.

They're also advertising their new $2/$4/$6/$8 value menu. You get your free sundae when you order an item off that menu, or just any old entree. PANCAKE PUPPEHS!

Good through April 9.

Free sample of Orville Redenbacher Cheddar Cheese Popcorn.

Well, this offer is a bit confusing, but for some reason they decided to have separate links depending on what state you live in. Why can't one freebie form work for all? I don't know, but find your state here and follow the correct link to the form for a free sample of Orville Redenbacher Cheddar Cheese popcorn.

This doesn't include all states (again, NEEDLESSLY COMPLICATED), so I hope yours is one of the lucky ones on the list.

Borders: 30% off one item.

Don't forget, Borders doesn't just have books and music - they also have a surprisingly large selection of stationery, toys and games, candy, bath & body products, and gift wrap. So if you're still scrambling to fill an Easter basket for your favorite bunny, that 30% off coupon might come in handy.

Seattle: Free gardening classes, composting kits.

The City of Seattle wants you to go green, and they will accept no excuses!
  • Free "Green Kitchen" Kit - Evidently you'll be receiving coupons for free Green Kitchen Kits are in your CurbWaste & Conserve newsletter, which arrives in mailboxes this week! (This may be more for homeowners - I live in an apartment building and don't recall ever getting one of these.) Starting April 15, you can redeem your coupons for free Green Kitchen Kits, including an EcoSafe Kitchen Collector, compostable bags for storing food scraps, a food scraper, a CFL light bulb, and a reusable shopping bag, at various neighborhood service centers.
  • Free Gardening Classes - Starting April 3, the City of Seattle will be offering free gardening classes. Savvy Gardener classes will focus on native plants and food gardening, encouraging gardeners to make choices this spring that will help them save water during Seattle’s typical dry summers. Check out the class schedule here.

(Thanks, Laura P.!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Become a fan of HTN on Facebook!

Just a reminder that you should join the Hard Times Newsletter fan page on Facebook. Get daily updates on the latest freebies, plus the chance to post your own freebie finds and wallow in the exclusivity of being part of an elite fellowship. Join today!

Free Butterfinger bar when you "file a claim."

Ugh, sometimes these cutesy promotions get on my nerves. Butterfinger wants to give you a free candy bar... but only if you "file a claim" for "Butterfinger Bar Insurance." Whatever the heck that means.

OK, so I guess what it is, is that you just fill out the form to receive a coupon for a free Butterfinger. BUT if you feel creative, you can also write a little story about how someone laid a finger on your Butterfinger, which they choose to call a "crime report." If you do this, your story could be posted on their website and you're entered to win some fabulous prizes, like an iPhone or a year's supply of Butterfingers. One bar is just about a year's supply of Butterfingers for me, so I think I'm good with just the coupon.

Facebook: Befriend Cupcake Royale, get a free cupcake.

Again, no April Fool's joke, Seattleites... when you become a fan of Cupcake Royale on Facebook, you'll get a coupon for a free lemon mascarpone cupcake w/coffee purchase. Once you're a fan, go to their Wall Photos and it's #63 of 64, or just scroll down their wall until you see the coupon thumbnail. Then print that sucker off and use it before April 4!

I do know some cupcake-lovers who are non-coffee-drinkers, so hopefully they'll be cool about letting you substitute tea, a carton of milk, etc. for that coffee.

Free men's Dove Body Wash. For men!

Between the free Kotex packs and flowery body lotions, many free samples seem to be somewhat, shall we say, lady-oriented. Finally, though, there's a sample for MEN! Get your free sample of Dove Body Wash for dudes.

I'm not sure if guys will go for a body wash that says "Dove" and has a little picture of a bird on it, but maybe the hipsters are comfortable enough with their shower masculinity not to care. Prove me right, fellas!

Waffle House: Free hashbrowns w/coupon.

Waffle House seems to put out good coupons pretty regularly. There's no minimum purchase required, even! Which is bittersweet for me, because we don't have any Waffle Houses here, but hopefully you can take advantage of this on my behalf and get your free order of hash browns.

Of course I'm sure they'd like you to buy something while you're there, and waffles are tasty. Just saying.

Honest Tea: Coupon for BOGO bottles, print it today!

Normally the whole "it's April 1, but this isn't a joke" line kind of annoys me, but I guess Honest Tea's name makes it sort of relevant. Anyway, they're doing a BOGO promotion on their bottled tea drinks. Buy any 16.9 fl. oz. bottle of Honest Tea or Honest Ade and get one FREE! Coupon must be downloaded by 11:59 PST, but you have a month to use it (expires 4/30/2010).

I'm not a big buyer of bottled convenience drinks (ask me about my feelings on the value of bottled water), but one time someone gave me an Honest Tea, so I actually have tried this brand. I thought it was pretty awful, but if you like organic hippie tea that's sweetened with only honey, maybe this is your bag.

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