Happy Fourth of July weekend! Driving to Brier Creek for dinner last night, I was surprised with a good thirty minutes of fireworks. Lots of people pulled onto the side of highway 70 to take a moment to enjoy the show. But the Triangle has much more than fireworks in store for those of you interested in celebrating:
- Through today, Earth Fare has whole seedless watermelons for only $2! Must present coupon. (www.earthfare.com)
- Through today, buy one entree get one FREE at Draft Carolina Burgers and Beers. (http://www.draftraleigh.com/eblast/IndepDay063011/exports/coupon.pdf)
- Today at Lake Benson Park, Garner celebrates with live music, the NC Symphony, kids’ activities, and fireworks (9:30pm). Gates open at 5pm. FREE
- Today at South Park in Fuquay Varina, live music, kids’ activities, and fireworks. Gates open at 6pm. FREE
- Through Monday, July 4, select beach towels are 60% off at Kohl’s. (www.kohls.com)
- Through Monday, July 4, Party City has lots of patriotic items (cups, table covers, plates) buy one get one FREE. (www.partycity.com)
- Through Monday, July 4, Bruegger’s will donate $1 from every Big Bagel Bundle purchase (a baker’s dozen bagels and two tubs of cream cheese) to Home for Our Troops. And if you are feeling brave and don’t mind the food coloring, red, white, and blue bagels are options. (http://www.homesforourtroops.org/site/Calendar/1306420942?view=Detail&id=108221)
- Through Monday, July 4, Whole Foods offers a $20 bundle meal deal including approximately one pound of wild-caught Sockeye salmon, a family size mixed green salad, a six-inch apple pie, and thirty-two ounces of Santa Cruz organic lemonade – a $13 savings! (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/storespecials/NRL_specials.pdf)
- Through Monday, July 4 (10-6pm daily), Durham’s Festival for the Eno offers live music, garden expos, arts, and children’s activities. Admission is $15/person. (www.enoriver.org/festival/index.html)
- Through Monday, July 4, Perfumania offers 10% off select items plus FREE shipping on orders $25 or more plus three FREE samples with every order. Use coupon code “JULY4TH”. (www.perfumania.com)
- Through Monday, July 4, get 20% off of any one sale item at Stein Mart. (http://f.e.steinmart.com/i/24/2075620050/6_29_July4_Coupon.pdf)
- Through Monday, July 4, paints and stains are 30% 0ff at Sherwin Williams. (www.sherwin-williams.com)
- Through Monday, July 4, 16.6 pound bags of Kingsford charcoal briquets are buy one get one FREE at Lowe’s. (www.lowes.com)
- Monday, July 4, live music, sports competitions, arts and crafts, and mini-golf will be held at the State Fairgrounds beginning at 5:30pm. Fireworks begin at 9:45pm. FREE
- On Monday, July 4, look for the NC Symphony (7:30pm show) and fireworks (immediately following) at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. FREE
Here are some other events to look forward to:
- On Tuesday, July 5, try Ornamentea’s Try-It-Tuesday project for only $2! (www.ornamentea.com)
- Through Thursday, July 7 , get a FREE dessert when you purchase two entrees at Rocky Top Hospitality restaurants. (http://www.rockytophospitality.com/eblast/Rockytop_062911/couponIndep0711.pdf)
- On Thursday, July 7 and Tuesday, July 26, join the FREE yoga classes at North Regional Library. Classes start at 7pm. (http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/locations/northregional/default.htm)
- Through Friday, July 8, get 99 4″ x 6″ prints for 99 cents at Snapfish. Use coupon code “JULYPENNY99”. (http://www.snapfish.com/snapfish/storepage/storePageId=store-summer-penny-prints)
- On Friday, July 8, visit any Chick-fil-A store dressed like a cow and get FREE “chikin”. (http://www.cowappreciationday.com/)
- On Saturday, July 9, Logan’s offers a FREE terrarium class at 10am. (http://www.logantrd.com/2011/terrarium/) Also, during the month of July, buy two hostas get one FREE. And, here’s a coupon for 25% off of anything red, white, or blue in the Gift Room (through 7/31). (http://www.logantrd.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/RWB-July-Coupon-2011.jpg)
- On Saturday, July 9, chat with bead maker, Lynn Burcher, from 11-3pm at the Museum of History. Make a paper bead and sample some treats. (http://ncmuseumofhistory.org/wgo/programs.html#july)
- Check out Sam Moon’s newest arrival, the Shell Flower Ring, for only $5! Available in turquoise, black and grey, fuchsia and clear, or pink and beige. (http://www.sammoon.com/items_amj.asp?sub=sub101&cat=jewelry&tempcat=LRINGS&tbl=LRINGS&img=6232011_mg_3765&id=2428)
- Take a look at the latest Kohls Cares items for only $5 each – any Clifford plush animal character or one of four Clifford children’s books. (http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landingpages/kohlscares/kidscausemerchandise.jsp)
- Every Saturday from 1-4pm, World Market offers FREE wine tasting. (www.worldmarket.com)
- At Ulta every Monday through Wednesday with a level 1 designer, get a color, cut, and style for just $50 – a $40 savings! (www.ulta.com)
- To give your meal a different feel with new “lamps”, gather wineglasses, scrapbook paper, LED tea lights, scissors, and double-sided tape. Go to www.goodhousekeeping.com/candlelamps and get a template for a shade. Easy and adorable. Found in the May 2011 issue.
Enjoy your holiday and be safe, but no matter how you celebrate, try this new Grilled Bananas recipe from Whole Foods. This could be successfully paired with a burger, beer, or ice cream. Mmmmmm.
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?!
How was your Easter? I had a lovely time in Newton Grove (or Circle City, as my Daddy likes to call it). On my way down on Sunday morning, I ran by the new Whole Foods on Six Forks Rd and grabbed two fruit tarts for $4.99 each for Sweet Thing and Uncle Carl, and a lavender bunny cake for $6.99 for Mama and Daddy. They were a hit! And I loved that my family was eating products made with ingredients like cage-free eggs, natural butter, and unbleached flour. (www.wholefoodsmarket.com) I was able to spend the entire afternoon relaxing and visiting and chatting. I love using Hallmark’s FREE e-cards to surprise friends and family on holidays (my favorite this year was ‘Candy Wrappers’, a rapping chick and bunny duo), but I also picked up seven Easter cards and one birthday card at Kroger for $8.18. (www.hallmark.com) Of course, my folks never let me come back to Raleighwood empty-handed. Mama saved her recent collection of “Good Housekeeping”, “Southern Living”, and “Redbook” magazines for me, and Daddy had three baby tomato plants waiting. The simple gifts are always the sweetest. Looks like the Easter Bunny wasn’t empty-handed, either, in DC… Apparently, he brought Obama’s birth certificate.
Since last week, I walked my dog, downward-facing, at one of my two FREE yoga classes offered each week. Both classes break for the summer, so I need to get in the habit of practicing on my own. Instead of paying for gym membership fees, Andrew and I have opted to take part in FREE outdoor activities now that the temperatures are soaring and the days are longer, like walking around Lake Lynn with Chuti, Scott, Alex, and Chela. (Can you imagine how excited I was to hear almost-two-year-old Alex say my name?!) (http://www.raleighfree.com/lake_lynn_park.html) Andrew and I took a road trip to Goldsboro to the Wings Over Wayne air show on Sunday. My absolute favorite trick was the snow white exhaust from a jet forming a humongous heart in the bright, blue sky. Afterwards, we had dinner at the local Outback. I was able to get my favorite Signature Side Salad (the blue cheese pecan chopped salad) in an entree size, at NO additional charge ($3.99). Andrew’s father, Dale, gave me a FREE Adele CD. Love, love, love it. Think Macy Gray meets Amy Winehouse. We redeemed a $4 off coupon at Red Lobster. I had one of my favorite dishes (a tuna salad salad) at one of my favorite places (Shish Kabob) for only $5.50. I used the last of my $50 gift card to Goodberry’s that I paid only $25 for. I will miss those late night frozen custard runs. I racked up at Trader Joe’s: salsa, spicy black bean dip, gorgonzola crackers, fig cereal bars, pita chips, 2 pounds of pink lady apples, blue corn tortilla chips, apricot and raspberry shortbread cookies, oat and wheat bran cereal, 2 cans of no salt added albacore tuna, 4 bananas, and tea tree oil facial wash…. all for $32.49. No coupons, none needed, and still not cooking! (www.traderjoes.com) I destroyed my Citipass book. It was starting to look mangy from all of the missing coupons and pages, so I put it out of its misery and ripped out all of the remaining pages. For the coupons that I wouldn’t use, I made piles for various friends and passed the rest around my office. (http://raleighcitipass.com/) On Monday, Andrew and I took advantage of PF Chang’s tax day special (15% off all orders) and dined on Mandarin Chicken and Buddha’s Feast for $17.47. On 4/19, I did Ornamentea’s Try-It Tuesday project (Fabulous Floral Earrings) with Bluefish. We wrapped pastel flowers and beads around copper-colored hoops. On 4/26, Andrea and I did the Try-It Tuesday Comfy Summer Bangle project. I made mine for Miss Morgan, with purple beads, of course. (www.ornamentea.com) It’s that time of year again – time to take continuing ed classes to keep my NC real estate license active. Of all the schools (HPW, JY Monk, Fonville Morisey, etc), Legacy offers the most affordable classes at $45 per class versus $50-$65 for other schools. (www.legacyrealestateschool.com) I know it is only April, but I have already ordered my first Christmas gift, for Andrew’s grandmother! I also found a cute gift for Brian, whose birthday is not until August. With such passion for the ‘Pack, this family is easy to shop for. (www.ncstateshop.com) Tonight, Chavon, Andrew, and I joined tons of other folks at Brio for $2.95 appetizers in the bar. Don’t let the price fool you; these appetizers are hearty. Try the margherita flatbread and ravioli. (www.brioitalian.com)
In response to the devastation caused by last Saturday’s tornadoes, folks at work donated items to the Red Cross. (www.redcross.org) I shopped at Costco, which allowed me to buy in bulk and use coupons from this month’s coupon booklet for 5 out of 8 items purchased, saving me $11.75. I donated 90 33-gallon Kirkland trash bags, 36 jumbo rolls of Cottonelle toilet tissue, 12 rolls of Kirkland paper towels, 2 loaves of Nature’s Own bread, 4 packs of 320 Lysol wipes, 35 half-liters of Deer Park bottled water, 152 Ziploc gallon size freezer bags, and 2 48-ounce JIF creamy peanut butter jars, all for about $81. We also held a bake sale to raise $565 for Christina Alvarez. You may have read about her story on WRAL. (http://www.wral.com/weather/story/9474504/) She lost two nephews, a son, and an infant daughter when a tree crushed her home. Donations can be made at the McDonald’s at the corner of Six Forks and Wake Forest roads. In times like these, a high school classmate’s recent Facebook status comes to mind, “Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.” It is my hope that Kewana’s thoughts touch your heart and encourage you to give time, money, or needed items.
From Thursday until Saturday, Andrew and I enjoyed a mini vacation in Richmond, Virginia. Andrew’s childhood friend, Quincy Latimore, plays minor league baseball and we always try to watch as many games as possible. He plays for Altoona Curve, which happened to be the away team playing against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, that weekend. (http://altoona.curve.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t452) Quincy is sweet enough to offer FREE tickets to his games, which we gratefully accepted for both Thursday and Friday nights. I thought I was a damn good sport (no pun intended) on Friday night when we finally left the ball field at 11:30pm, after 5 hours and 15 innings, wearing a sweater and three light jackets (I could barely bend my arms, like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”), holding an umbrella in 48 degree temps. Ugh. At least Altoona won… While vacationing, we received 15% off of our meal at Quaker by simply showing our hotel room key and enjoyed complimentary breakfasts (including divine Earl Grey tea… mmmmm). Admission to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was FREE and I scored Sweet Thing’s birthday gift of Renoir greeting cards for $13.95 and an adorable bird mobile for the guest bedroom at $6.95. (http://www.vmfa.state.va.us/Default.aspx) We were super excited to find a Costco near our hotel, which saved us money on gas. On our way home on Saturday, we stopped by downtown to attend Richmond’s Earth Day street festival, with live music and a gorgeous view from the top of the pedestrian bridge.
Some Things To Look Forward To:
Today 4/29 – Whole Foods One Day Sale – organic strawberries $1.99/lb (www.wholefoodsmarket.com)
Today 4/29 – FREE Midnight showing of “Princess Bride” at NCSU’s Witherspoon Student Center (http://www.ncsu.edu/cinema/index.html)
4/29-30 – 25th Annual NC Pickle Festival (Mt. Olive) – FREE admission (www.ncpicklefest.org)
4/30 – Designer’s Downtown Market (http://www.designersdowntownmarket.com/)
4/30 – 18th Annual Spring Daze (Cary) – FREE admission (http://www.townofcary.org/Departments/Parks__Recreation___Cultural_Resources/events/festivals/springdaze.htm)
5/1 – American Tobacco’s “Explore… Create… Move” (Durham) – a 4 part series for kids featuring an expert leader and a theme – $5 registration fee (http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/goaskmom/blogpost/9500062/)
5/1-8 – Sherwin Williams – 25% off paint (www.sherwin-williams.com)
Through 5/2 – Lowe’s 4 for $10 Spring Essential Sale (www.lowes.com)
5/2-3 – FREE 7pm and 9pm showings of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” at NCSU’s Witherspoon Student Center (http://www.ncsu.edu/cinema/index.html)
5/3 – $2 Try-It Tuesday Coreopsis Bangle project at Ornamentea (www.ornamentea.com)
5/6-7 – North Carolina Symphony – $20 tickets to “Blues in the Night” – code SPRING* (http://www.ncsymphony.org/?link=1&trid=380)
Through 5/8, $3.50 off any $10 purchase at Ulta (http://search.ulta.com/nav/marketing/couponwk1260640e/0?n=ulta&CID=ET_wk1311_Mon_SH_TStore_TN_x_x_x&ET_LID=Coupon&RID=358350579)
5/12-14 – North Carolina Symphony – $20 tickets to “Composer Portraits: Mahler” – code SPRING* (http://www.ncsymphony.org/?link=1&trid=380)
Every Thursday through 8/25 – Midtown Music Concert Series – FREE (http://www.northhillsraleigh.com/)
20th of Every Month – Shop Local Raleigh – $20 on the 20th (http://shoplocalraleigh.org/care/$20-onthe-$20th-Promotions)
Beginning Every Tuesday – Half price rolls at Carolina Sushi and Roll. Check under “Events” for a list of the discounted items and also under “Coupon” for a buy one get one half off deal. Tell Edward and Nahbi that Andrew and Amanda sent you. C-dub and I dined their recently for only $11! (www.carolinasushiandroll.com)
Borders Bargain Blowout – BOGO FREE (www.borders.com)
Bed, Bath, & Beyond now offers wedding invitations and stationery, online. FREE shipping on your FREE printed samples. (http://invitations.bedbathandbeyond.com/index.jsp?utm_source=e&utm_medium=e&utm_term=e&utm_content=BridalInvitations&utm_name=BridalInvitations)
Vestique – fabulous styles at affordable prices. Be sure to read “Our Story”. (www.vestique.com)
Hamlin Drug Company – FREE deliveries to downtown Raleigh for prescriptions, which are by Segway (www.hamlindrug.com)
Taste of Home – $5 cookbook sale (http://www.shoptasteofhome.com/$5-Cookbooks/5CBK,default,sc.html)
Food Network Breast Cancer Merchandise – all items $5 or $10 – 100% of the net profit is donated (http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/landingpages/foodnetwork_new/WomensCauseMerchandise.jsp?om_mid=_20110428_BCMerch)
FREE legal assistance by the North Carolina Bar Association to those affected by recent storms (http://www.wral.com/news/local/noteworthy/story/9496873/)
$1.00 off any cream cheese tub at Bruegger’s (http://www.wired-differently.com/bei/dlz/11/042511/nodup_x111005.jpg)
JC Penney – $10 off a $25 purchase (http://f.jcpenneyem.com/i/2/95827765/welcomemain.html)
Happy Royal Wedding Day! I am super excited to see Kate’s gown and to view the festivities on tv. Get prepared by purchasing a big, fancy hat and perfecting your royal wedding guest name (Lady or Lord + your grandmother’s or grandfather’s first name + the name of your first pet + the name of the street where you grew up).
Lady LaRoyce Midnight Rosin Hill
Is it the pollen that’s making everyone so crazy?! Just this week, I spilled coffee in the car and put my contacts in the wrong eyes. If this wasn’t bad enough, there were pigs stopping traffic on I-40 and, now, Donald Trump is toying with the idea of running for President. Unbeweavable…
Pollen or not, the warmer weather has gotten me in the mood for butterflies and flowers. So, I rummaged through the bins in the attic and found my darling Easter egg tree and rabbit that talks and moves its cottonball tail. Just in time for spring, I signed up to receive FREE “Creative Ideas” magazines and various newsletters (e.g. weekend projects, energy solutions) through Lowes. (www.lowes.com/subscribe)
I finally visited the new Whole Foods on Six Forks Rd and fell in love. What other store can brag this way? “Water in our toilets comes from our 10,600 gallon cistern, which harvests rainwater.” My family rolls their eyes even more now that I have ventured further into greenness by trying my first organic/green glass cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, shampoo, and facial cleanser. When you’re there, grab some 2% Fage yogurt and get an easy 17 grams of protein! And say hello to Dwayne with the ponytail. But skip the bacon and egg Easter candy – a chocolate egg with a bacon and chocolate truffle center. I can’t give my honest opinion since my anti-pig stance prevents me from tasting the stuff, but even my cousin Tommy, who owns a bacon wallet and bacon wall clock, turned his snout up to it. The hot bar and salad bar offer tons of choices for $7.99 per pound. Monty suggests getting no bone-in meat and to limit starches, as these increase the weight and price of the plate. But don’t leave without a white chocolate raspberry brownie.
Still chipping away at the ol’ consumer debt, like with my federal income tax refund, I put all of my state income tax refund towards my credit card with the smallest balance. I am proud to say that the smallest balance is now under $1k! I just might have to crack open a bottle of Three Wishes to celebrate! (Three Wishes wine is carried by Whole Foods at $2.99 per bottle.)
Recently, I used a manufacturer’s coupon for $1.50 off of Tide laundry detergent, redeemed an Asian Grill Groupon coupon ($10 for $20 worth of food), and enjoyed a FREE appetizer at The Flying Biscuit Cafe. I was unable to use a Filtrate coupon at Target because they didn’t have the size air filter I needed, but Filtrate filters were on sale $2 off AND a register coupon printed for $3 off a Filtrate filter. Imagine my luck! Nikki, Dave, Andrew, and I were able to redeem coupons for $1.50 off our dinner buffets at Sweet Tomatoes.
I finally tackled the organize-the-pantry project. I purchased from Walmart three plastic containers – $2.64 for the large one and $1.97 for two smaller ones – to separate light bulbs and batteries. No more cardboard boxes and bulky packages. My daily planner was bursting at the seams with coupons, so I invested in a purple expanding file to house them. I found this at Walmart, also, for $4.47.
Dave Ramsey is now on Twitter! (www.twitter.com/daveramsey)
Twisted Fork offers BOGO desserts every Friday night. (www.thetwistedfork.com)
Borders Central Raleigh’s store (Six Forks Rd and Wake Forest Rd intersection) Final Days Sale is still underway. Prices have been slashed 60-80%.
Got an extra $25? Check out Kiva – a nonprofit organization that connects people around the world through lending to alleviate poverty. (www.kiva.org)
LL Bean offers FREE shipping – no minimum price and no expiration date. (www.llbean.com)
Get $5 off of a “Real Simple” magazine subscription (through Bed, Bath, and Beyond). (https://subscription.realsimple.com/storefront/subscribe-to-real-simple/site/sm-bbbem5offb0411.html?xid=bbb4.5email5dollarsoff&link=1003290)
Borders now has cuddle toys made from soy. Just in time for Earth Day, buy a Greenzy’s stuffed animal and the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in your honor. (www.greenzys.com)
During the month of April, kids 12 and under eat FREE everyday from 4-10pm at IHOP. With the purchase of an adult entree, receive one FREE kid’s meal from the Just for Kids menu.
The Midtown Farmer’s Market is now open (April – November). Enjoy local entertainment while purchasing from local farmers every Saturday from 8am-12pm. (www.northhillsfarmersmarket.com)
I mentioned in my last post that Sherwin Willliams would have another paint sale 4/8-10. Unlike last time, this sale is for 40% off (versus 30%)!
Through 4/10, get a coupon for $5 off of a $40 purchase when you like CVS on Facebook.
Harris Teeter has one pound of strawberries on sale for $1.25 through 4/12.
Don’t fee like slaving in the kitchen on Easter (4/24)? The Flying Biscuit Cafe is open from 7am-10pm. The menu offers something for everyone at reasonable prices.
On 4/8-10, WRAL’s SmartShopper (Faye Prosser) will be conducting two classes at The Southern Women’s Show – Let’s Bake a Meal Deal and Cut Grocery Bills. Each class will be taught on all three days during the event. (www.southernshows.com/wra)
Logan’s Trading Company is holding Logan’s Spring Fling on 4/9. There will be promotions throughout the store (buy any 3 packages of bulbs and receive 25% off; Easter egg surprises from 11-2pm with Logan’s bucks, coupons, and candy) and FREE classes – Square Foot Gardening at 9am and Japanese Maples at 3pm. (www.logantrd.com)
The 13th Annual Lebanese Festival occurs 4/9-10 at the NC State Fairgrounds. Admission is $2 for adults and FREE for children age 6 and under. The Arabian Night Party on Saturday night is FREE for all. (www.tlanc.org/documents/lebFestival2011_UPDATED.pdf)
Ornamentea’s Try-It-Tuesday $2 class on 4/12 features a Domed Disc Necklace.
On The Border has begun its Cinco de Mayo Countdown Party, unveiling a new, introductory-priced drink each Thursday in April from 4-7pm. Tonight’s drink was a CoronaRita – a frozen House Margarita infused with an ice-cold Coronita. (www.ontheborder.com)
The 2011 Fourth Annual Planet Earth Celebration is on 4/16 from 11am-5pm. This FREE event is hosted by Burt’s Bees and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science. (www.raleighearthday.com)
Subway’s Customer Appreciation Day is also 4/16. From 7am-10pm, buy one footlong sub, get one FREE.
4/16 is the North Carolina ‘Cuegrass Festival. The Pit sponsors the event with barbeque and bluegrass music. Your $5 admission fee is donated to North Carolina farmers via Animal Welfare Approved (AWA). (http://cuegrass.com)
On 4/17, Target hosts its Earth Day Exclusive – a FREE reusable bag (with purchase) to the first one million guests. When you use a Target reusable bag 10 times, you’ll keep 25 plastic bags out of landfills.
At Starbucks on 4/22, bring in your own travel cup and receive a FREE coffee or tea as an Earth Day promotion.
4/29-5/1 is the 2011 Fayetteville Dogwood Festival. To enter the festival is FREE, with individual event prices varying. (www.faydogwoodfestival.com)
The Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival is on 5/7. Like the Dogwood Festival, entering is FREE, with individual event prices varying. (www.hamandyam.com)
I’m hoping for a fabulous weekend, beginning with waking up Saturday morning to find the federal government still operating. I’ll be busy attempting to remove the high heel shoe shaped paint stain on the carpet in the master bedroom. The walls look amazing in their new Showstopper Red, but the spotted tan carpet is questionable. Oh well, I can always buy a rug!
Wasn’t it Sheryl Crow who sang that a change would do you good? Well, Sheryl would be proud of me. Since I last wrote, I’ve had my hair cut and dyed, began reading “Oprah”, started painting the master bedroom Showstopper red (two out of four walls), and changed my blog theme to “Bueno”. That’s my version of spring cleaning!
I’ve still been pinching my pennies. I found a “Jungle Babies” book at Barnes and Noble for $4.88, just in time for Jeremiah’s birthday. (Barnes and Noble is having great sales on Easter books for children.) I tried Chipotle for the first time ever with Chavon and, boy, was I impressed – great food at great prices and super healthy. (www.chipotle.com) Did you hear about the new Whole Foods store opening in North Raleigh at 8710 Six Forks Rd? I signed up to receive email newsletters from them. Check out the “What’s on sale?” icon in the top, right-hand corner of the local store’s website. (www.wholefoodsmarket.com) I tried Tijuana Flats with Grace Ann and have gone back twice since! I enjoyed BOGO coupons 2 of the 3 times. Think of a cross between Moe’s speedy service and Armadillo Grill’s trendy atmosphere. (www.tijuanaflats.com) Andrew and I enjoyed a FREE appetizer at Brixx, a BOGO deal at El Rodeo Grill, and $6 off at Shish Kabob. Brixx offers an awesome late night special of all appetizers and pizzas BOGO when ordered after 10pm Sunday through Thursday, and after 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights. (www.brixxpizza.com) I also redeemed a coupon for a FREE fruit and maple oatmeal cup at McDonald’s. Through Living Social, I donated $5 to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake Pacific Tsunami fund and Living Social matched my donation 100%, totaling $10. And, just today, I purchased from Lowe’s a Schlage doorknob/deadbolt combo at 30% off. Andrew purchased a wireless router for $49.99 ($10 off) at Target, which will save $11.95 per month on the Time Warner Cable bill as a home networking charge.
Speaking of painting, Sherwin Williams runs a sale on paints and stains about once every month and a half or two months. This past weekend, I was able to get 30% off. Remember, you can buy paint when it is on sale and have it injected with the chosen color at a later date, in order to get the sale price. The next sale will be April 8-10. (www.sherwin-williams.com)
Ulta is offering a BOGO MicroZone Skin treatment through 4/2. $20, 20 minutes, immediate results. (www.ulta.com)
Like Old Navy on Facebook and get a coupon for 15% off a single item purchased through 4/7. Also, like Suave Professionals on Facebook and receive a coupon for a FREE Suave Professionals product. You’ll receive the coupon in the mail in 6-8 weeks. (www.facebook.com)
Borders Final Week to Save – with the central Raleigh store closing (404-101 E. Six Forks Rd), get 50-70% off everything in the store. At all other Borders stores that are remaining open, 4/16 is the Springtacular special kids’ event for children ages 3-8. There will be FREE storytime, games, and crafts. Show your Borders eReading app and get a FREE small brewed coffee in the cafe. (www.borders.com)
The Race for the Cure registration fee will be $25 through 4/1. This is part of the early bird special, which expires on 4/2. Once expired, the fee increases to $30. Join Team Pink Floyd and help save some tatas! (www.komennctriangle.org)
Get a free men’s Dove sample delivered in 4 weeks. (http://see.walmart.com/dovemencare)
Sign up for the new Living Social Raleigh-Durham Family edition to receive deals on family fun outings such as visits to museums, zoos, and aquariums. (www.livingsocial.com)
We all love Trader Joe’s, but now that spring is in the air (well, it was and hopefully it will be back soon), stop by for amazing deals on gorgeous flowers – just a few examples are $4.99 for cut tulips and $2.99 for potted begonias. (www.traderjoes.com)
For all you folks with kids, Barnes & Noble is offering a grand deal on “Parents” magazine – a one year subscription (12 issues) for just $1. Enter code K4M8W9D at checkout. (www.barnesandnoble.com)
Continuing to support those affected by the Japan crisis and those interested in staying up-to-date, Time Warner Cable is allowing the FREE viewing of channel 880 TV Japan to digital customers through 3/31. (www.timewarnercable.com)
Shop for a good cause… For every pair of shoes purchased from TOMS, a pair of new shoes will be donated to a child in need. This is part of their “One for One” movement. (www.toms.com)
Too sick to leave home? Kerr Drug now delivers prescriptions for FREE. (www.kerrdrug.com)
In the mood for some Italian food, but don’t have much cash? Hungry Howie’s has 10 inch subs for $6.99 and salads for $4.99. And, they are open until 3:00am on Friday and Saturday nights – just in case you stay up late playing a mean game of Uno. (www.hungryhowies.com)
Love coffee? Check out It’s a Grind. With fun names like Nutty Cow, their drinks are tasty and cheaper than our beloved Starbucks. (www.itsagrind.com)
In a recent issue of “Reader’s Digest”, there was a list of popular gadgets and the 2011 price prediction. Not seeing these amounts yet? Wait a little while and pay less! Blu-ray Player – $39; Kindle eBook Reader – $99; 55-inch HDTV – $599; Full-size Digital SLR Camera – $299; 15- to 16-inch Dual-core Laptop – $199; Portable GPS – $40; and iPhone 3GS – $49
Lowes feeds kids’ curiosity with FREE Build and Grow clinics every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. (www.lowes.com)
Feeling creative? Stop by Ornamentea today between 10am and 8pm to give the Lovely Leather Necklace a whirl. (www.ornamentea.com)
So, as the weather finally warms up, think about what to plant in your garden. No yard? No problem. Many veggies grow nicely in pots on decks or porches.
Health.com recently rated the Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants. The list includes Panera, Jason’s Deli, Noodles and Company, Chipotle, and… McDonald’s?? Yep. McDonald’s is making changes to the menu to make it easier on the ol’ waistband. I am excited to learn that so many of our inexpensive favorites made the cut!
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….