Tag Archives: Redbox

750 Calories Later

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Workin’ on My Slice of the Pie

I am as tight as a tick… and it is GLORIOUS.  For my readers who don’t know me personally, I totally just gave away the fact that I’m from the country.  Hee hee.  My daddy would be proud.  Tonight, I took advantage of the two-day promotion at Pei Wei.  An online order with the promotional code “BIRTHDAY” (not mine – I’m 29 and holding from here on out) knocked off 20% of the total bill.  I was able to get two meals for $13.15, after tax.  Not bad.  And worth all 750 calories…

Don’t worry, I’ve got tomorrow night’s dinner and date night this weekend covered, too – BOGO FREE at Tijuana Flats (good only tomorrow) and BOGO FREE at Draft (expires 7/31/11).

Speaking of dinner, are you in need of groceries?  Tired of losing that list on a sticky note and trying to remember what was on it?  Hello, FREE Out of Milk app!  Thanks to that doll of a friend, Bluefish, my life just got easier.  And when you get back home with your organic peanut butter, did you know that storing the jar upside down prevents the oil from pooling at the top?  Thanks Trader Joe’s employee!

While we’re on a roll in the organization department… if I need to send e-invitations or e-cards, I typically use Hallmark (though the FREE pool of e-cards is quickly dwindling) and Evite.  Watch out!  Thanks to Samantha, Chavon’s matron of honor, I have been introduced to Punchbowl.  This service provides both FREE e-cards and e-invitations that are adorable.  The best part?  Clicking on the mailbox and watching your “card” open.  Even lets you customize your stamp!

I am sad to report that Borders is closing for good.  The going out of business sales have already begun at all stores, with items up to 40% off.  I am thinking of early Christmas gifts!

An Apple a Day

Hate that harsh chemical smell of your nail polish remover (and worry about skin contact)?  Try Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover with Soybean Oil and Lavender. ($12)

Show up for FREE yoga classes and get your stretch on at North Regional Library on 8/4 and 8/23 at 7pm.  Howie is hilarious and uses phrases like, “Isn’t that savory?”  Who knew retired dentists were so flexible?

Whether it is a craving after too much partying or the “meat” of your Midol and chocolate sandwich…  When ordering pizza, you can still go the healthy route:  Ask for thin crust (less bread equals less calories); pile on the veggies (less room for cheese equals less calories); steer clear of pesto (has more calories than tomato sauce); if adding meat, choose ham or chicken over sausage or meatballs (less fat); and blot your pizza with a napkin.

Bling Bling

Take advantage of Ornamentea’s Try-It-Tuesday class on 8/2.  Learn a technique and leave with a cute accessory, all for $3!

I’m super excited to share my news – I am now on Etsy!  My collection of TIT pieces was overflowing and I’ve even started making jewelry at home, so I compiled everything and created my very own StrawberryBlossoms store.  Hooray!

Girls Just Wanna Have…

Need a creative birthday gift?  Scentsy’s warmer of the month, Cupcake, is 10% off through July.

Rent 2 Redbox movies at the same time between now and July 31, verify your email address at checkout, and receive a FREE one-night DVD promo code good between 8/1 – 8/14.

Attend Raleigh’s FREE ComeUnityNow Festival on July 30 10am-10pm in City Plaza. Stop by the Logan’s Trading Company tent to get a coupon.

State Fair tickets go on sale at 10am on 8/1. You’ll be able to buy them online on the fair’s website at a discounted rate. Advance price tickets for adults ages 13 to 64 will be $6 (instead of the regular price of $8). The price is $2, instead of $3, for kids ages 6 to 12. And ride tickets will be $10 for a sheet of 18. They’ll sell for $1 per ticket during the fair. The advance price is good from 8/1 to 10/13. Tickets for concerts in Dorton Arena also go on sale on 8/1 (Tift Merritt performs on 10/16!). The State Fair runs 10/13 to 10/23, this year.

I have been thinking of incorporating this slight change to Fashion Cents on a Dime.  There are four areas of life that remain high on my list of priorities – saving money, health, making jewelry, and having fun, and I’d like to touch on each area during most blog posts.  Who doesn’t want to be rich, feel fabulous, look fabulous, and have fun doing all three?

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Post Pink

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I think I have recovered from the Race for the Cure!   The 5k of a parade of pink, survivor smiles, and friendly neighbors is well worth the 90 degree temps.  Many thanks to Team Pink Floyd for each member’s participation and motivation – 32 registered walkers and runners and 92 t-shirt orders is something to brag about!  And thanks to Andrea who has become my annual sidekick.  3.1 miles go by quickly with great conversations and lots of laughs.

Speaking of 90 degree temps, I have been busy doing all kinds of fun, summery things. From dining al fresco with the Hoovers in their backyard and Andy on the patio at Armadillo Grill to tending to my tomato babies on the deck to doing laps in the neighborhood pool to redeeming BOGO 1/2 off coupons at Goodberry’s to playing horseshoes with William and the gang.

At Chavon and Ken’s honeymoon shower, I won an Island Margarita Bath & Body Works hand soap (my favorite brand!) for decoding a word jumble.  But the best part of the shower was meeting Chavon’s nephew, Jeremiah.  I could just eat him up!  I finally used up all my beloved Bumble & Bumble hair cream that costs an arm and a leg and have tried Suave Professionals Captivating Curls from Target.  Nothing like spending $2.74 and getting similar results like that of a product that was $25!  I highly recommend this mousse cream for anyone with curly hair.  Love the cream factor and the yummy smell.  Andy’s decision to become a barista on a part-time basis at Starbucks has been lovely!  He gets free drinks while on the clock, 30% off products when off the clock (hello Chai Tea Latte!), and gets a free tin of Tazo green tea each week for yours truly.  Talk about earning extra money AND saving money.  The Tazo tea is awesome with hints of lemon and spearmint.  Recently, I was at K-Mart attempting to use a $4.99 coupon, but was told by the associate that I’d have to become a Rewards Member before using the coupon.  She said the process would only take 2 seconds… and she was right.  I provided my name, phone number, and zip code and was set.  Once registered, a customer earns 10 points for ever $1 spent.  This applies to Sears and Land’s End purchases, as well.  Andrew and I purchased $5 footlongs from Subway (this time, I actually saved my second half for lunch then next day) and redeemed a $4 coupon at Olive Garden.  Andrew used my Stein Mart coupon for 20% off of a pair of khaki shorts.  Remember Relish Cafe from my last post?  Well, they now offer a brunch menu, which began this weekend.  I cannot wait to sample some of the breakfast items.   I’ve done a few TIT classes at Ornamentea with Bluefish – a bird nest charm and a daisy drop wristlet ($2.00 each).  We also stopped by during First Friday and made a pair of hammered spiral earring… for FREE!   Every project offered on First Friday is always FREE.  You might have to browse for a few minutes until a seat at the craft table is available, but it is well worth the wait.  I know I’ve told you about how fabulous Watkin’s Shoe Repair on Peace St is, but honestly…  I took my pair of wedge sandals in on my lunch break to have the strap on one shoe repaired.  It was obvious that they were swamped, but the lady helping me stopped what she was doing and fixed my shoe while I waited.  I was there all of 10 minutes and she charged me only $3.  Now, that’s customer service.  With Alex’s birthday coming up in just a few weeks, I found a nice, thick Thomas the Train book for him for only $5.99 from Costco!  If you are in need of groceries and a child’s birthday gift, stop by.  Grace Ann told me about FREE yoga classes offered at the North Regional Library and at the Ladies Fitness and Wellness Center.  I’d never had a male yoga instructor before, but he was great.. and funny.  Yes, it is possible to laugh in a pretzel position.  (www.youcallthisyoga.org)  Did you get your FREE doughnut on National Doughnut Day?  I treated myself to an original glazed doughnut from Krispy Kreme – totally FREE!  Andrea tells me the newest flavor is cookies and kreme.  Must… have… willpower.  I received more FREE gift cards through Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Are they your insurance provider?  Just sign up online and tally your fruits and veggies consumed and your exercises performed and choose your FREE gift!  I redeemed an $8 AutoWash coupon and finally had Sally cleaned.  It is amazing how much younger she looks when she is shiny!  Andrew and I enjoyed BOGO FREE pizzas at Brixx (after 11pm on weekends, 10pm during the week).  I visited Ikea for the first time with Chuti.  Oh… my… goodness.  I fell in love!  If I had extra money, I would re-do every room in my townhouse, using all Ikea products.  Get your best shopping buddy and head to Charlotte for a fun day trip.  I purchased 2 each of a six-pack of matching plastic plates, bowls, and cups for Troy and Warren (think Roy G. Biv minus one) at $1.99 each, a fleece blanket for Christmas for Troy for $3.99, 3 huge chocolate bars for $2.49, and 3 rolls of cookies for $4.  You’ll receive a small discount for using your debit card.  Chuti gave me her discount and I gave mine to the person in line behind me since you can’t use it during the same transaction.  One word of caution:  do not eat at Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe in Concord Mills.  Eeeeek!  Since I’ve signed up to receive texts from Redbox, I received a one day FREE rental code and watched “The Dilemma”.  No need for you to spend money on it.  Have you seen the trailer?  Then you’ve seen the movie…  We finally received the $100 toilet rebate for purchasing and installing a Water Sense toilet.  Now, we have a toilet that was only $38, after the rebate, and uses less water with each flush – a win-win.  Andrew and I also redeemed a BOGO FREE coupon at Tijuana Flats. Sign up for their emails!

I know I was just going on about doughnuts, but… Have you heard about the new Food Pyramid?  (You know I have to always share health-related FYIs.)  The USDA has created a new Food Pyramid which is no longer a pyramid.  Suggested foods include vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy, with the focus on vegetables and fruits.  (www.choosemyplate.org)

Upcoming Events:

While you are playing outdoors with your kids or hiking with friends, download Smithsonian’s FREE app, Leafsnap, to help identify plants for added fun and education.

Visit your local library’s website for FREE classes and clubs for adults, events for teens, and projects and story times for babies and toddlers.

Selected kids’ books are BOGO 1/2 off, online only, through Barnes & Noble.  Also, buy 2 kids’ DVDs, get the 3rd FREE.

Don’t forget Sam Moon offers cute and affordable hair accessories, jewelry, and handbags for kids!  (http://www.sammoon.com/dev/product.asp?cat=kids)

Now!  Selected Dave Ramsey books, CDs, and DVDs on sale for $10!  (http://www.daveramsey.com/store/index.ep)

Also, enter to win Dave’s Rainy Day Cash Giveaway.  (http://www.daveramsey.com/specials/rainy-day-cash-giveaway?ectid=dd1106.1_1)

Borders selected paperbacks are BOGO 1/2 off.

For Father’s Day, Stein Mart is offering selected ties for $10.99, and wallets and boxers for $9.99.

Through June 13 at 6pm, Snapfish offers FREE overnight shipping for orders $30 or more.  Enter code “FAST4DAD” and select “Overnight”.

June 14 – make a pair of Confetti Dusters earrings at Ornamentea for only $2.  Do you have kids?  They also offer Monday Youth Classes and Kids Work Wednesdays.

Through June 16 at Ruby Tuesday, get a FREE garden bar add-on with the purchase on any adult entree.  (http://pages.rubytuesdayrestaurants.com/0611_Facebook_FGBCoupon/)

June 16 – From 11am until 1pm, Blueberry Day at the State Farmers Market offers everything blueberry from recipes to activities.

June 18 – Cary’s Polar Ice House will have an Open House from 1-4pm, with FREE ice skating, games, prizes, food, and a visit from Stormy, the Carolina Hurricane’s mascot.

June 18 – Borders’ will hold its “Cars 2” release party at 2pm.  Best for ages 3-8.

Through June 20, Perfumania offers BOGO 1/2 off cologne as a Father’s Day promotion, plus FREE shipping on orders of $25 or more.  (www.perfumania.com)  Not sure about cologne?  Shop by interest online through Bed, Bath, & Beyond, or by price range online through Kohl’s or Lowe’s.

For a midweek treat, each Wednesday between June 22 and July 27 Redbox is offering 50 cents off select family movie titles (PG-13 and under) when reserved online.

Through July 5 – Barnes & Noble’s online story time book is “Ladybug Girl at the Beach” by David Soman and Jacky Davis.

Through July 6 – Bruegger’s offers its Bottomless Mug Half Year sale.  Get FREE refills of coffee, tea, or soft drinks for 6 months for $99.

Through July 9 – The Kroger in Wakefield Commons is closing, but clearance deals have already begun (examples are 50% off of cosmetics and 20% off of light bulbs).

July 1 – FREE Independence Day concert with fireworks – Festival Park, Fayetteville – 8pm

July 3 – FREE Independence Day concert with fireworks – Lake Benson Park, Garner – 8:30pm

July 4 – FREE Independence Day concert with fireworks – Koka Booth Amphitheater, Cary – 7:30pm

July 9 and August 13 – Second Saturdays combine arts and heritage with food and fun at all 37 museums and historic sites across the state.  (http://www.ncdcr.gov/2ndsaturdays.asp)

I am looking forward to this weekend in Newton Grove.  On Saturday, Daddy and I have planned a canoe trip (please don’t turn us over this time, Daddy!).  On Sunday, the whole family will celebrate Father’s Day with a nice meal and gifts for Strawberry.  Hopefully, there will be some free car maintenance in it for me!  I have been missing NG since hearing one of mama’s stories, last week.  She got 2 pints of fresh local blueberries for $5, straight out of the back of a farmer’s truck, plus a free scoop of homemade blueberry peach ice cream.  Now, that describes summertime.  Speaking of blueberries, I came across a recipe for a blueberry cream smoothie.  For those of you who have read a few of my blog posts or who know me personally, you know that a recipe must fall in the “recipes for dummies” category for me to even consider trying one.  Here goes:

Blueberry Cream Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh blueberries

4 scoops frozen vanilla yogurt (I suggest Fage’s Total 2% Greek yogurt, with 20 grams of protein.)

1/2 cup milk (I suggest 2% milk.)

Directions:

Combine blueberries, frozen yogurt, and milk in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into chilled glass and garnish with blueberries.

Voila!  Enjoy.

Snowballs in Spring

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I’m an aunt… again!  No, Morgan isn’t yet a big sister.  I love to call myself “aunt” whenever my close friends have babies.  Congratulations to Ambie and Josh!  I can’t wait to meet their sweet bundle of joy, Daniel Troy.  (And, this is even more reason to visit them in sunny FL!)  How was your Cinco de Mayo?  Your Mother’s Day?  Your past few weeks?  I hope you’ve been seeing snowballs in spring… debt snowballs.

Doing things outdoors, like walking around the lake, attending Jimmy’s birthday pig pick’n, and grilling out with William and his friends, has made me think of lazy summer past times… and the new organic apple acai smoothie at Smoothie King.  As the temperatures creep up to the 90s and the neighborhood pools open, we begin to dream about vacationing with our toes in the sand and drinks with tiny umbrellas.  Sure, Stein Mart’s swimsuits (www.steinmart.com) are 30% off and Kohl’s (www.kohls.com) are up to 50% off, but consider Dave’s latest article before you’ve taken two baby steps back – “Does your vacation match your budget?”  (www.daveramsey.com)  Speaking of summer, Wal-Mart has a pink double knock out rose-bush in a 3 gallon container for $16 and an 18 gallon beverage container with handles in red, orange, blue, and green for $5.97 – just the things you need for deck parties.  (www.walmart.com)

I was excited to read “The Budget Family Weekend: Atlanta” in the April 2011 edition of “Southern Living” magazine. (www.southernliving.com)  A family of three saved money on dining by purchasing a picnic lunch from our beloved Trader Joe’s (www.traderjoes.com), enjoying it in Piedmont Park, and having breakfast at the very lovely Flying Biscuit Cafe (www.flyingbiscuit.com).  I was so glad to learn that two of my favorite places made the savings cut!  Also in the same magazine edition, Mia James restores her Baton Rouge home and had these five steps to guide anyone on home purchases:  1) Buy only what you love; 2) Use a signature color palette; 3) Make antiques the focal point; 4) Choose art with your heart; and 5) Pick furniture that will work in multiple spaces.  I know I’m always in a hurry to complete a room, but it is wise to be sure about your purchases so that you’ll use them for years to come and will get your money’s worth.

These past few weeks have flown by!  I did a few of the TIT projects at Ornamentea – a Coreopsis Bangle on 5/3 with Bluefish and Joanna and a Pearl Cocktail Ring on 5/17 with Bluefish.  Nothing like FREE Hershey’s Kisses and FREE hot tea to help you focus on a jewelry project.  While I was there this past Tuesday, I bought beads for one of the two pairs of earrings that I’ll make for Peggy’s birthday.  I just hope she likes them!  (www.ornamentea.com)  I completed my two continuing ed real estate classes.  I don’t know what intrigued me more – real estate taxes and form changes or listening to my teacher’s Texas accent.  If any agents/brokers need to fulfill some credits, Legacy Real Estate school offers pre-licensing, post-licensing, and continuing ed classes ($45/class) at lower rates.  (www.legacyrealestateschool.com)  I saved money in the food area by taking advantage of the Moe’s (www.moes.com) Cinco de Mayo promotion (two meals were $9 and change), having the two for $20 special at Chili’s (www.chilis.com) with Chuti (definitely splurge on the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie), and making nachos at home.  At least this didn’t require me to turn on the oven.  I saved $5 per ticket purchasing two Cape Fear Beer Fest tickets (www.capefearbeerfest.com) for Mama and Daddy, as a Father’s Day gift.  Tickets were $35 rather than $40 when purchased prior to 5/15, if a promotional code was used.  I just googled this code and found that a local radio station published “encore”.  Easy as pie!  I bought Miss Morgan nature bracelets (butterflies, insects, and plants) from Blockbuster, on clearance for $.99.  (www.blockbuster.com)  Andrew and I bought Mother’s Day flowers from Trader Joe’s for the mothers in both of our families.  Potted begonias (white, pink, or red) were only $2.99 and cut cream-colored hydrangeas were only $5.99.  The Red Room (the master bedroom in Show Stopper red) is now complete!  All that’s left to do is purchase a small rug to cover the paint stain on the floor.  Until then, I’ll just tell my guests to be snobby and look up.  I joined Moolala (www.moolala.com), which is similar to Groupon and Living Social.  The only difference is that Moolala gives members 2% back on every deal purchased.  Andrew and I tried two new places that I must share with you.  Pronto Pasta (www.prontopasta.com) offers fast and fresh soups and pastas.  Try the quinoa with spinach pesto and tomato basil soup.  Thanks Bryan!  Relish Cafe & Bar (www.relishraleigh.com) serves comfort food with a twist.  Dig in to the Italian mac & cheese skillet.  Thanks C-dub!  Thanks to Sarah, I have a new gem on my list to try – Gigi’s Cupcakes.  With flavors like Champagne and Kentucky Bourbon Pie, this is a must.  Be sure to read “Gigi’s Story”.  (www.gigiscupcakesusa.com/raleighnc)  I babysat sweet Alex.  He spoke partly in Thai while I perfected my Southern accent.  Why is it so mesmerizing to watch a child take everything out of my purse, then put everything back in all the wrong places?  I could just squeeze him.

Some Things to Look Forward to:

For a limited time while supplies last, Borders offers 40% off CDs and DVDs, in stores only.  (www.borders.com)

Through 4pm today, take the Hen-side the Beltline Tour D’Coop, the 6th annual Raleigh garden tour of hens and coops.  Admission – a non-perishable food item or cash donation to Urban Ministries of Wake County.  100% of the proceeds will be donated.  (http://tourdcoop.com)

Through 5pm today, the Magic Wings Festival is held at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.  Admission – Adults $12.95, children ages 3-12 $9.95, children under 3 FREE.  (www.ncmls.org)

Through today only, get $5 off a $25 purchase at Dollar General.  (http://dollargeneral.com/coupons/Pages/index.aspx)

Also through today only, Old Navy offers $1 flip-flops.  Limit 5 per customer.  Bring in your old flip-flops to be recycled.  Also, get $5 off a $35 purchase.  (http://oldnavy1.m.delivery.net/w/webView?cid=22462892314&mid=1945212391&pid=789178&vid=131&ee=YmlybWluZ2hhbWjhcmdhaW5tb21AZ21haWwuY29t&si=&mv=H&bv=H&oc=H&sc=&k=1pyPNd)

Through 5pm tomorrow, Raleigh’s Museum of Life and Science hosts Astronomy Days.  FREE admission.  How cool is this in conjunction with Pope Benedict XVI’s first papal call to space?!  (http://naturalsciences.org)

Through tomorrow, the musical version of “Stuart Little” is being performed at the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre.  Tonight’s show is at 7pm ($15) and tomorrow’s matinée is at 3pm ($10).  Senior and student tickets are $12.   (www.nract.org)

Through tomorrow, Artsplosure 2011, the Raleigh Arts Festival, is held in Moore Square and City Plaza.  Admission – $5 per person.  (www.artsplosure.org)

Through tomorrow, the Got to be NC Festival is at the State Fairgrounds with food, rides, and live entertainment.  FREE admission and FREE parking.  The Smurfs will make an appearance today, through 5pm!  (www.ncagfest.com)

Through tomorrow at Earth Fare, get a coupon for a FREE pound of shrimp with any $10 purchase.  (www.earthfare.com)

Through 5/23, Borders is holding its Customer Appreciation weekend.  If you are a member, check your email for the 50% off coupon for one item and the coupon for 50% off one large cafe beverage.  If you aren’t a member, sign up!  It’s FREE.  (www.borders.com)

Through 5/25, Redbox is offering texted discounts on movie rentals.  Each day, text DEALS to 727272 to receive a new daily discount code, offering anywhere from $.10 to $1.50 off your rental.  Andrew and I did this last night and received $.50 off our rental for “The Next Three Days”.  (www.redbox.com)

Through 5/28 at Ulta, Rejuvenating Bath & Shower Gels and 3 in 1 Shower Smoothies are buy 2 get 2 FREE (mix and match).  Includes yummy smells like Mandarin Mint and Chocolate Milkshake.  (www.ulta.com)

Through 6/7 in conjunction with Barnes & Noble, Ree Drummond performs an online reading of her children’s book, “Charlie the Ranch Dog.”  A new online story begins on 6/7.  (www.barnesandnoble.com)

Through 6/15, get $1 off McDonald’s new McCafe Frozen Strawberry Lemonade.  (http://cdn.eyewonder.com/100125/769897/1478424/coupon_landing_page.html)

5/22-30, Sherwin Williams paints and stains are 30% off.  (www.sherwin-williams.com)

On 5/24, Ornamentea’s TIT project is Ruffle Ear Drops for only $2.  (www.ornamentea.com)

On 5/26, the Midtown Beach Music Series spotlighted band is The Magnificents.  6-9pm.  North Hills Commons.  FREE  (www.northhillsraleigh.com/news/3758)

On 5/28 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Biplane.  (www.lowes.com)

From 6/1 – 9/5 for kids 12 and under, Borders offers a “read 10 books get 1 free” promotion with its Double-Dog Dare Challenge.  (http://media.bordersstores.com/pdf/formDoubleDogDare.pdf)

At the 6/4 game against the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Durham Bulls (players, coaches, and Wooley Bull) will be going pink to show their support in the fight against breast cancer.  $12 gets you a ticket, a Bulls baseball cap, and a pink Komen for the Cure bracelet.  $2 from every Komen Go Pink $12 package sold will be donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation.  Enter promotional code “KOMEN”, for online ticket purchases.  (www.dbulls.com)  Kohl’s has also joined in the fight against breast cancer, offering $5 and $10 Food Network breast cancer merchandise.  Shop for a cure.  (www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landingpages/foodnetwork_new/WomensCauseMerchandise.jsp?om_mid=_20110428_BCMerch)  Our Race for the Cure team, Pink Floyd, has grown to 28 registered walkers/runners, 60 team t-shirt orders, and over $1,000 in donations!  There’s still time to make a difference.  (http://www.info-komen.org/site/TR/RacefortheCure/DUR_NCTriangleAffiliate/16677936?pg=team&fr_id=2137&team_id=152919)

On 6/11 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Goofy Golf.  (www.lowes.com)

Beginning 6/14 through August, Raleigh Grande 16 Movie Theatre presents the 2011 Free Family Film Series, offering a FREE movie every Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10am and a $4 drink and popcorn combo.  (www.carolinacinemas.com/raleigh/announcements.php)

On 6/18 in historic downtown Burgaw, is the 8th annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival.  Admission is FREE.  (www.ncblueberryfestival.com)

On 6/25 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Waving Flag.  (www.lowes.com)

On 7/9 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Tow Truck.  (www.lowes.com)

On 7/23 at 10am, the Lowe’s Build and Grow FREE project for kids is Binoculars.  (www.lowes.com)

Check out the NC Museum of Art’s new FREE mobile app.  (http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2011/05/north-carolina-museum-of-art-launches-first-ipad-app-free-video)

Salon Blu offers New Talent Mondays and Tuesdays, with men’s cuts for $19, women’s cuts for $29, and cut and color combos for $79.  Salons are located in midtown, Brier Creek, and North Raleigh and have won awards including Best Hair Salon in Wake County (Independent Weekly 2008) and Trendiest Salon (Social Magazine 2008).  (www.salonbluhair.com)

Raleigh’s new Contemporary Art Museum has opened its doors.  General admission is $5, but FREE for members, children 10 and under, members of the military, and NC State students, faculty, and staff.  (http://camraleigh.org)

Here’s a new savings website:  www.southernsavers.com.  Thank you Jenny!

Are you in need of a gift?  Check out Sam Moon’s latest collar necklaces in funky styles and lovely colors.  (http://www.sammoon.com/dev/product.asp?cat=jewelry&tempcat=Trendy_Style⊂=sub)  For a young child, I always love Kohl’s Cares books and stuffed animals.  At only $5 each, 100% of the net profits will be donated to kids’ health and education initiatives nationwide.  The latest?  “Llama Llama Red Pajama” and “Llama Llama Misses Mama” books with llama and zebra stuffed animals.  (www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landingpages/kohlscares/kidscausemerchandise.jsp)

Keep your eyes open for treats for Father’s Day, which is less than a month away.  Scentsy is offering “manly” scents such as Amber Road and products such as the Magellan warmer to mask the man cave.  (http://scentsy.net)  If he is an NCSU graduate or fan, take a look at NC State’s online store, where purchases are shipped in 3 days.  (www.ncstateshop.com)  Through 5/23, enter promotional code “BOOK4MAY” to receive a $15 8×11 custom photo book through Snapfish.  (www.snapfish.com)  Or do like Andrew and buy something functional.  He found a fun pen/fan combo for himself at Stein Mart for only $5.  (www.steinmart.com)

Well, I’m off to get ready for Chavon’s bridal shower.  She and Ken didn’t register for the typical types of gifts that most engaged couples register for (china, towels, etc).  They have everything they need, so Chavon’s matron of honor is hosting a Honeymoon Shower.  Guests will bring gifts that can be used by Chavon and Kendrick while they are honeymooning in a beachy setting.  How fun is that?!

Hot Pink Gnome Pajamas

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 As I sit on the couch in my hot pink gnome pajamas, I am ready to catch some ZZZZs, but I simply cannot go to sleep without sharing all of the deals that will be available to you tomorrow.  The North Carolina Symphony (http://ncsymphony.org) is offering a BOGO deal on Copland and Rachmaninoff orchestra tickets.  You’ll get a FREE Starbucks coffee at Barnes and Noble (www.barnesandnoble.com) simply for trying out the new Nook Color.  From 9-11am at participating Target stores, kids can enjoy a FREE Dr. Seuss storytime in honor of his birthday.  Home Depot offers a FREE kids’ workshop from 9am-12pm and Lowe’s offers a FREE Build and Grow kids’ workshop at 10am.  Borders is also hosting a FREE birthday party – this one for Elmo at 2pm.  There will be lots of games, stories, and music for the kids.  If you need a snack after all of the fun, stop by Food Lion and pick up some red seedless grapes at 99 cents per pound.  Or if you are looking for more of a meal or relaxing drink, check out Raleigh Specials Tonight (www.raleighspecialstonight.com) for more deals.  While you are online, don’t forget to check out the “Your Ticket to Savings” section in each month’s Time Warner Cable email newsletter.  You are allowed to choose and print 4 discounts per month.  Then, go to Facebook and like Soy Joy to receive a free bar in the mail.  Sure, spring is around the corner, but the nights are still a little nippy.  Snag your little one a Disney fleece throw for $5.99 (regular price $19.50).

On Wednesday, I read that if you have a Borders discount card, Quail Ridge Books (www.quailridgebooks.com) will honor it with a FREE Quail Ridge Readers’ Club discount card good for one year.  Also on Wednesday, I had my yearly eye exam.  I can’t believe how excited I was to pay $50 towards my bill by using a Visa gift card (a Christmas gift).  Of all the trendy things I could have purchased, and I made such an adult-like decision.  Yay me!

On Thursday, I completed an online survey from my eye appointment the previous day and received a $10 gift certificate towards my next purchase.  (Thank goodness for this because I still have to buy contacts!)  I used a coupon at the local Kroger on my lunch break and got 3 Secret deodorants for the price of 2.  I scored another FREE rental at Redbox by liking them on Facebook.  I’ll have to let you know what I think of “Taken”.  After a pizza and martini catch up session with Chavon, I was surprised with a Queen’s Greatest Hits CD.  Thanks Andrew!  It’s the little things…

On Friday, I learned about the Snapfish deal – order at least $5 in photo gifts and receive a $25 gift certificate to Restaurant.com.  This deal ends on Monday (2/28).

And here are some things to look forward to…  On March 2 at GAP, buy any pants and get any top FREE.  March 4 is Free Fryday at Chick-fil-A.  Come in from 2-4pm to get a FREE medium order of waffle fries when you mention that you’d like to try the new Heinz Dip & Squeeze.

I’ll leave you with another subject that is near and dear to me – health.  Recently, I read an article on 15 ways to burn more fat.  Try to add a few of these to your lifestyle and see if you notice any change in your waistline:

1.  Don’t diet – Eat more nutrient-dense food

2.  Go to bed earlier

3.  Eat more protein

4.  Go organic when you can

5.  Get up, stand up – During long period of sitting, take periodic standing breaks

6.  Drink cold water – The body has to work harder to heat the water

7.  Eat the heat (peppers fire up your metabolism)

8.  Eat breakfast

9.  Drink coffee or tea

10.  Eat more fiber (fruits and veggies)

11.  Eat more iron-rich foods (shellfish, lean meats, beans, spinach)

12.  Get more vitamin D (tuna, eggs)

13.  Drink milk

14.  Eat watermelon

15.  Stay hydrated

Pointy Toe Boots

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 Ugh.  So, I have a good excuse this time for not writing in so long.  Did you ever read the “Bubble Gum Monster” as a child?  In this book, Sam saves pieces of old, chewed bubble gum and, before long, the pile has turned into a monster that is sticking to everything.  Well, my adult version of this is the “Laundry Monster”.  I am totally serious when I tell you that I procrastinated until I had five… yes, five… loads of laundry to do at once.  It is a miracle that I wasn’t going to work wearing only my pointy toe boots!

Well, the desserts for the luncheon on Thursday were a hit.  (Thank goodness for Costco!)  If the old saying is true – “The way to man’s heart is through his stomach.” – then, I’m in big trouble.  Maybe I can overcome this flaw by charmingly and gracefully finding restaurant deals.  That same day, I signed up to receive The Flying Biscuit newsletter via email.  Imagine how thrilled I was to be rewarded with a BOGO coupon just for signing up.  I subscribed to Redbox and got a code for a free DVD rental, as a result. I also joined Living Social (www.livingsocial.com) and Twongo (www.twongo.com).  Both function like Groupon, in that you are emailed daily deals in your area.

On Friday, I celebrated the end of the work week with a BOGO coupon to Bruegger’s (tuna salad… mmmm) and by using yesterday’s code for a free DVD rental through Redbox.  If you have not seen it, “Salt” is a roller coaster ride from start to finish.

Saturday was a day of fun from dress shopping and lunch with Chavon and her girls to game night with Andrea and Rob.  It is so refreshing to know that spending time with friends doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg to be enjoyable.  I was super excited to learn that the sash I will wear at the wedding is only $15 at David’s Bridal.  So, that plus a solid black cocktail dress (hello Steinmart!) is well within reach.  Only 6 months until the big day…  The game night menu consisted of another giant pizza from Costco (this time, the tomato basil mozzarella), Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn, and Trader Joe’s maple cream cookies – a yummy, healthy, and affordable meal.  Note to self – less wine equals more wins.

On Sunday, Andrew and I enjoyed a nice visit with his grandmother and father.  I love going to her house on Sundays because I don’t have a subscription to the N&O and she always saves the boatload of coupons that comes in the Sunday paper.  Oh, how I loved hearing her say to take any coupons I wanted.  I clipped everything from Sherwin Williams to Suave to Tide.  Later that night, we were able to use a BOGO coupon at The Diner (tuna salad again!) and even received a free triple berry milkshake because the wait was a little longer than usual.  Score!

So, here’s the big question of the week – How was your Valentine’s Day?  Did you take advantage of the free raspberry cheesecake cookie at Subway or the dozen roses for $9.99 at Trader Joe’s or the free Redbox rental (the Valentine’s Day code was listed on their website) or the BOGO half off Massage Envy gift cards?  Whatever you did, I hope it was lovely.  I was lucky enough to receive a treat at work – roses, chocolates, and a card.  I was very surprised.  To avoid long lines and crowded restaurants, Andrew and I decided to celebrate the holiday later.  I attended my yoga class that night and scored on a BOGO deal at Cafe Carolina.  (Their Cafe Carolina Signature salad is a must – complete with strawberries and mandarin oranges.)

On Tuesday, I made my first ever appointment at an Ulta Salon.  I am super excited about becoming strawberry blond tomorrow.  The prices are affordable and the salon service counts towards the points system, so cross your fingers that I’ll be pleased with the results.  I also did my weekly three mile trek with Grace Ann.  The gossip and the exercise does a body good.  After walking, I grabbed a sandwich from Panera Bread (If you guessed tuna salad, you are right!) and was given a loyalty card to receive deals via email.  Also, I learned that day from my friend Bluefish that from 5-7pm on Tuesdays, Chick-fil-a offers a FREE 4 count kid’s meal with the purchase of any combo.

Today, I was checking out Ornamentea’s website (www.ornamentea.com) for classes and saw that the project offered from 6-9pm on the first Friday of each month is FREE.  This coordinates with Raleighwood’s First Friday event in which many downtown businesses offer specials and extended hours to encourage art, music, and dining appreciation.  Also, head over on any Tuesday for Try-It Tuesdays.  You’ll leave with a cute project, having learned a simple technique and all for about $2.  I registered my Panera card from last night and… drum roll… was rewarded with a FREE coffee, hot tea, or soda automatically loaded to my card.  Call me crazy, but I think I’ve found an inexpensive and natural moisturizer – EVOO.  A co-worker told me about her neighbor, who uses extra virgin olive oil externally in the morning and at night and has beautiful skin (http://www.naturalskincaresecrets.com/olive-oil-skin-care.html).  My Aunt Caroline suggested that I wear a rosemary sprig behind my ear and a garlic necklace.  C-dub sounds skeptical of my idea…  I just hope I don’t leave a trail of grease behind me.  Tonight, Andrew and I cashed in on the BOGO deal (from signing up to receive the newsletter) at The Flying Biscuit Cafe.  The smoked salmon scramble was scrumptious.

I’ve recently added a new email subscription feature that allows you to subscribe to the blog.  If subscribed, each time a new post is added or the blog is updated in some way, you will receive an email notification.  While I am adding items for you to do, here are two items to put on your calendar:  now – half price Valentine’s candy; and on 3/1 – FREE pancakes at IHOP.  For National Pancake Day, IHOP is serving up one complimentary short stack per person in hopes for a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The timer on the dryer just buzzed and I’m up to my ears in hangers, baskets, and lone socks.  Sounds like that Tide coupon is going to come in handy….

Here’s to One Wabbit That Isn’t Pesky

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Thursday marked the start of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit.  This year symbolizes sensitivity and wealth earned with hard work.  This is our year, baby!  It is written in the stars that through hard work, our debts will be paid down and our wealth will increase.  Here’s to one wabbit that isn’t pesky.

My Chinese New Year began with interesting news.  Driving to work that morning, I heard a commercial for NCSU’s new online MBA program (www.mgt.ncsu.edu/mba).  The program, which launches this fall, offers students the opportunity to earn an MBA via online methods.  In the past, NCSU offered an MBA offered via online and in person methods on a full or part-time basis.  The program that begins this fall will allow students to participate fully online with the exception of one three day residency in Raleigh and one overseas trip.  This is a wonderful opportunity for those who can’t commit to a traditional schedule.  Thanks to my alma mater for providing such a convenient program.

On Thursday night, I visited my cousin Thomas (aka Sweet T, aka T Rex, aka LL Cool T).  His mother was kind enough to buy him a new leather recliner.  Every bachelor knows that his palace isn’t complete without a throne.  And his takes the cake – black, leather, and as soft as a cloud.  Being the avid recycler that I am, I asked if I could rescue his old green hand-me-down to have rebuilt and recovered.  This chair is the Chair and a Half style and proved to be just that in weight.  My cousin and Andrew had no problems moving it from Thomas’s townhouse to Andrew’s car, but getting it from Andrew’s car into my townhouse was another story.  We ended up ‘rolling’ it up the stairs, with him on the verge of a breakdown and me laughing hysterically (an involuntary reflex during times of stress).  I thought he was going to lose it when it first appeared that the chair wouldn’t fit through the guest bedroom doorway.  I thought suggesting to him to “lift with his knees” was considerate.  Apparently not…

Eeeek!  Friday brought a headache, sniffles, and sneezing.  Note to self:  eat more super foods.  Those of you who know me well, know that I refuse to take medicine.  So, I am treating my symptoms with hot tea and rest.  To my relief, I have recovered tremendously since last night at this time.  With no groceries in the house (ever), I bundled up and enjoyed a BOGO dinner at A Slice of NY Pizza.  Our total bill was just over $8!  Afterwards, we rented “Date Night” through Redbox for $1.  Steve Carell and Tina Fey do not disappoint.

As part of the healing ritual, I slept until noon on Saturday.  Andrew and I enjoyed another BOGO meal, this time at Sunflower’s (www.sunflowersraleigh.com).  Healthy and fresh sandwiches of every combination…  need I say more?  In preparation for the Superbowl (let’s go…. commercials!), I braved Costco for some supplies.  For you last minute shoppers, Costco is offering a HUGE pepperoni pizza at the automatic $3 discounted price (no coupon needed) of $6.99.  Other honorable mentions are Little Sweets mini cinnamon rolls (32 for $5.99), Silk vanilla soy milk (3 half gallons for $6.99), and Kirkland’s organic creamy peanut butter ($7.79 for 2 28 ounce jars).  Tonight’s meal was a BOGO Mexican dinner at La Rancherita, totaling just over $13 for two even after tip.

As I watch Food Network at 2am (a bad idea), it dawns on me that it is now officially Superbowl Sunday.  May your chili be hearty and your wings kickin’.  And, ladies, his testosterone level will return to a semi-normal state in just a few hours…

Zhen Bang!

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What a gorgeous weekend – and 65 on Wednesday!  These temperatures have me looking forward to spring.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the warm weather and lots of savings during the past week.

On Monday, I purchased my first bottle of buckwheat honey from Fresh Market (www.freshmarket.com) – another super food marked off my list!  Because it is so dark, the flavor and scent are very strong.  I add one teaspoon to my hot, green tea each night.  To mask the strong flavor, I also add cinnamon to taste and… voila!  Monday also brought the debut of our family photos.  I must say, they are too cute.  On my list of things to do this week is to select the poses that I’d like to purchase.  On Monday night, Andrew and I were able to use a $10 coupon at Peking Garden (www.pekinggardenraleigh.com) – talk about a surprise in the mail.  The pad thai with tofu was zhen bang!

Tuesday night was my regular night with Grace Ann – walking and dinner.  I think of the Mexican dinner (www.elrodeogrill.com) as a reward for our three mile stint, and the $6 coupon made the meal even more enjoyable.  Try the veggie wrap with vanilla vinaigrette……mmmmm.  Grace Ann introduced me to the Regal Crown Club.  By joining, you earn rewards for going to the movies, like free movie tickets, popcorn, and drinks!

On Wednesday, my mother told me about Triangle Restaurant Week (http://trirestaurantweek.com).  She heard about the event on the news.  January 24 – 30, participating restaurants offered $15 lunches and $20 or $30 dinners.  For restaurants like Mura, Ruth’s Chris, and Gravy, these prices were greatly discounted, but not enough to fit into my budget.  Missed it?  No worries, the event happens again June 6 – 12.  Wednesday brought good news.  I applied to be an examiner (www.examiner.com), and was accepted!  This way, I’ll be able to write about the same subject matter that I blog about, and will be able to share with more folks searching for ways to save money.  I am super excited about this new opportunity!  On Wednesday night, Andrew and I used a $1 coupon to… you guessed it… Shish Kabob.  My tuna salad gyro was a perfect after-gym meal.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Pei Wei (www.peiwei.com) offered a card, redeemable for a free Korean BBQ meal.  So, I picked up mine on Thursday night.  While in Brier Creek, Andrew and I used a BOGO free coupon at A Slice of New York Pizza (www.slicenypizza.com).  One (huge!) slice of roma tomato hit the spot.

This weekend brought the NHL All-Star Weekend, a two day event covering seven city blocks, and all free!  Two thumbs up to the city of Raleighwood for hosting such events that attract visitors and stimulate cash flow.  I did not attend but I’m sure my hockey nut friends Rob and Andrea can fill us in with all the details!

On Friday, I purchased soymilk for the first time – the Trader Joe’s vanilla version.  It is super tasty, with 5 grams of protein and 1 gram of dietary fiber per serving.  Friday night, Andrew and I rented “Dinner for Schmucks” for $1 through Redbox.  Steve Carell is a genius.  I laughed the entire time.  Hysterically.

On Saturday night, Andrew and I were able to use another surprise BOGO coupon, received in the mail.   We had a great date night at Johnny Carino’s (www.carinos.com) and I was able to get an inexpensive and healthy meal of angel hair with artichokes and, later, a strap for my yoga mat.

Tonight, Andrew and I visited Lowe’s again and learned about the WaterSense high efficiency toilet rebate program.  Certain high efficiency toilets qualify for a rebate of $100!  There is no limit to the number of qualifying toilets purchased and the rebate program lasts as long as the money is available to reward participating customers.  So, not only would the purchase allow you to save water with each flush, but you’d only pay $38 per toilet (for the model that I am considering)!  I hope to make this transition very soon.

Here’s to a fabulous and inexpensive week!  I’ll let you know how the new Pei Wei Korean BBQ dish is.  There is at least one fun and free event in the near future – the Superbowl (and the commercials)!