KanesStrikeOut Get A Free Pizza

I love this promotion and its back again this year. When the Tampa Bay Rays strike out 10 or more batters in a home game, their sponser Kanes Furniture offers a free Papa Johns personal pizza, for a limited time.
 
So HURRY -  the Rays struck out 10 players on May 15th, so within 24 hours you must click HERE and register and print out a certificate, and then within 3 days bring it to a Tampa area Kanes furniture store customer service desk and they will give you a little card that you redeem at Papa Johns. You have to get your butt into Kanes within 3 days of a strike out, but the card for a free pizza is good until November. At least thats how it worked in previous years.
 
 
 

Ten Tips to Earn Swagbucks

I'm sure a lot of you have joined Swagbucks for free by now and are on your way to your rewards. But did you know there are lots of ways to earn points besides just searching on your swagbucks home page?
 
Did you know that every Friday is MEGA Swag Bucks Day? SwagBucks has increased your chances of scoring BIG Swagbucks on Fridays. Swagbucks is a fabulous program that rewards you with AWESOME prizes just for doing your everyday searches online.

Since I've joined Swagbucks I have earned tons of $5 Amazon gift codes. Don't have a Swag Bucks account? Why not sign up today and earn 30 SwagBucks to get you started. 
 
Here are some tips to get more swagbucks everyday.
 
 -Make http://www.swagbucks.com/ your homepage, or add it to your favorites. Doing this will help you remember to use the swagbucks search engine everyday. Did you know that you can win multiple swagbucks each day? I usually do searches throughout the day and try to use different computers. I have two words that I enter and ALWAYS win at least once on each computer with those words. So if you find a word that works for you, try it regularly. Keep in mind though, don't over search. The swagbucks search engine is designed to detect weird search patterns. If it feels you're searching too frequently you will be shown the rules screen. I've never seen the screen but have heard about it happening to others.
 
1. If you are using your personal computer, install the toolbar to make your searches easy to do.
2. Make it a point to do some Swagbucks searches on Fridays for sure. On Fridays, you can win as many as 100 Swag Bucks in one search.
3. Become a fan on Facebook and a follower on Twitter. Swagcodes are released daily through these sites.
4. Do the Daily Poll every day to earn 1 swagbuck.
5. Do the Special Offers (click RED square) every day but just select NO THANKS for each offer, click through a few until you are awarded from 1 to 3 SBs.
6. Earn Swagbucks by using the Swagbucks Shop and Earn site. By using this portal site to shop you will earn 1 swagbuck for every $5.00 spent.
7. Trade-in your old cell phone and electronics and exchange them for swagbucks!
8. Set up a Google Reader page, and install the widget on your feed page, or install it on your blog. Lots of codes are posted on the widget.
9. Check the Swagbucks Blog for clues and codes, usually there are codes a couple times a week posted there.
10. Check this forum discussion for codes that are currently active that other users have posted.
Give it a chance. It took me a while to develop routines of doing my searches through Swagbucks and figuring out how and where to find swagcodes.

Frugal Dental

A couple days ago I went to the dentist to investigate a little tenderness in my back molar when I bite hard stuff, like granola. They did a full set of x-rays since I didn't have a set on file. I decided to go ahead with it since they are valid for 5 years and I really wanted to know what the deal is with my bum tooth. All these dental decisions were a little easier to make since I had recently signed up with www.Dentalplans.com (my referral code is 65A21S68) in case you sign up too.
 
Since the insurance options offered by my employer are pretty un-frugal, we checked out other options. DentalPlans.com is not insurance, but is a discount dental plan designed for individuals, families and groups looking to save money on their dental care needs. Participating dental care providers have agreed to accept a discounted fee from plan members as payment-in-full for services performed. As a plan member, you simply show your membership card when visiting any participating plan provider to receive most dental services at discounted fees.
 
My DH had a chunk of his tooth fall out earlier this year and had to make an emergency visit to the dentist. We didn't have any insurance or dental plan, so the expense looming was not cool. I quickly searched the internet and found www.dentalplans.com and my dentist participates, so I signed up and we were covered for the dental appt two days later. I think the plan cost about $140 for a year of family coverage, less than the price of two cleanings for the year. As it turned out he needed a root canal and crown which would have cost over $2000 with out any plan. With our discounted fees, it came to 1/2 that for $1000.
 
Now with my deal, it turns out I have a cracked tooth. When I bite down on the old filling it pushes the crack open and I feel some tenderness. There is no pain yet, but I need to get the tooth ground away, replace it with a core and a crown, for the estimated price of $700. Without the dental plan, it would cost about $1200 for the core and crown. So this year it is definitely paying off to have this discount plan.
 
So if you can't afford the dental insurance provided by your employer, I would suggest investigating a discount dental plan, its worth it.

Too Much of A Good Thing

This week there are tons of great deals at Publix, my favorite store to shop with coupons. There's moneymakers on Olay products (ends today in FL), free Fisher snacks, free Nivea body wash, free Schick Hydro Edge razors and a good deal on Sorrento Cheese Sticksters. The problem is that ALL the stores are out of stock of ALL these items.
 
I'm fortunate to live by 2 close stores within a mile of my home, plus there are 2 other stores that are out of the city in small new developments that usually have better stock than in town. Earlier this week I was able to find some coupon booklets and some product, but yesterday was frustrating. This couponing frenzy is getting too popular. Too many people know how to do it and some are not exactly shopping with integrity by clearing out the shelves. I'm sure every store in Tampa has orders into the main warehouse in Lakeland, but I'm also sure the warehouse is out of stock.
 
It would be nice if stores could anticipate our coupon shopping desires, but it seems like they don't.  I know some bloggers have contacted their store managers ahead of time to ask to see the sneak peek of the ad to help the store. They offer to alert the store about products they may want to stock up on before the sale due to increased demand by coupon shoppers with match ups. This seems like a win-win deal, but I'm not sure I want to step right under the radar by being the local coupon expert to my stores.
 
So, I've scaled back on my couponing chatter, especially to neighbors and co-workers who shop in my neighborhood. I don't want to create competition for the inadequate supply of some products the store stocks. Its real easy to tell if there is another couponer in your store because the moneymakers are always gone, and the good deals are nearly gone. I know rain checks are an alternative, but that is not quick or easy to shop that way, or under the radar. Plus stores won't give out rain checks for advantage buy items. I've started "rolling" my gift cards into new gift cards with my overages and I really don't want to explain how it all works to the store managers, as they may stop giving overage on items with coupons. IMO its ethical to get overage since the store gets reimbursed for full face value of the coupon, but some people don't understand and its better to just stay low profile.
 
So if any of you have any ideas on how to get your stores to keep adequate stocks, I'd love to hear it. Until then, my motto is shop early, shop often.
 

Frugal Racing Road Trip

This past weekend we drove 1200 miles on a road up to Darlington, SC to attend the NASCAR races. Its a trip we do every year because we are race fans, plus its close enough to drive to. The problem with attending out of town NASCAR races is that its possible for the race to rain out and be postponed until the next day. The Darlington Southern 500 is run on Friday night and then Saturday night, so Sunday is free to drive/travel home, or be the makeup date for a postponed race.
 
This year the weather was sunny, hot and breezy - so no delays. Anyway, back to the road trip.  We attend this race every year so we actually renewed our tickets last year so that expense was already taken care of. But they were not particularly cheap, the Busch race was $35 each and the cup race was $94 each. We have premium seats right on the start finish line, twenty rows up so we can see the entire track and we have the end seats so we can run up and down the stairs to get food and use the restroom. Plus when the big fat sweaty smelly guy sitting next to you stands up (and your nose is in his butt space), you can squish over into the aisle to get away from it. So the tickets put us back $264.
 
For frugal hotel expenses, we used our government id to get the cheap rate of $70 for each of three nights at the Marriott Residence Inn. This was a great deal to stay at a nice hotel with free newspapers, free hot breakfast and a full kitchen. The race weekend is an event weekend and all hotels within 100 miles are booked at full rate. We are lucky that this hotel was less than 10 miles to the track, and we know the back way to get there so we didn't experience the hours of frustration sitting in traffic that most race fans go through. The trick to getting the government rate at the hotel, is to book it online as soon as allowed for the next year, before the venue realizes that its race weekend. Unfortunately, most of the racing travel packages, and race teams and media all like to stay at the nice hotels too, and the Marriott actually called me last year to try to get me to cancel my reservation because they needed it for a team. I refused and they actually honored the reservation.  That's exactly why I always book our stay at least two hotels, in case one cancels us to get a full price paying customers. So the hotel cost us $235.
 
We drove so we could bring all our beverages and the kitchen sink too. The wonderful thing is I've been using my overage from shopping at Publix to get free or cheap beer. We also had free bottled water from coupons, and really cheap Powerade from recent sales and coupons. So we consumed 36 bottles of water, 60 beers (5 12 pks), a 12 pk of Diet Mt Dew soda, and a 6 pk of Powerade. Total cost $0.
 
Since this is a regular road trip for us, we know where we want to eat. We get a $50 gift card from the charge card and eat at Outback the first night for free. Then for lunch we get Zaxbys wings, and dinner is a Schlotzky's sandwich we bring to the track. The other wonderful thing about going to NASCAR events is that you can bring in soft coolers of beer and beverages, plus a bag for your scanner radio, peanuts and food. We brought everything in and didn't spend a penny at the track. Parking is even free on site. But we opt to pay the local dude $20 to park in his yard for a shady spot, and a quick getaway at the end. So in the end parking cost $40, and meals were $48. We also bought a pizza on the drive up there so we could eat in the car, for $10. Our Einsteins bagels were free with the facebook coupon, and I had a birthday card for free Starbucks we got free too.
 
Our gasoline for the trip was all paid using BP gas cards we got at Publix, so they were already paid for in March. Our average mileage was 31 mpg for a cost of $112 worth of gas, but I'm not going include that in this trips expense.
 
So our entire trip expenses totalled $600 for a 4 day weekend out of town. If we had had paid the regular hotel rate, had to pay for our beverages, food and gas the cost of the trip would have been $1517. So I'm proud of our frugal trip. The great thing is that I don't feel like we were being frugal, we got everything we wanted, and never hesitated on an activity due to expense.
 
Now thats the way to travel.
 

Publix Sneak Peek 5/13-5/19

Wander on over to True Couponing for a sneak peek at the new Publix Ad starting this Thursday. I'm excited to get some VIGO yellow rice (even though there are no coupon matchups), and some Post cereals.

Friday

Well this weekend I'm in Darlington, SC at the NASCAR races so I'm surfing via unsecured internet and via my Sprint cell phone as a modem. Y'all who travel and try to stay connected know the difficulty of trying to upload 2MB photos over a 115 kbps cell phone connnection. It doesn't really work. I know I need to upgrade my cell phone - its the same one I've had since 2006. I'm just so darn afraid of them switching me off my wonderful SERO plan for $30/month for unlimited everything. So, I hang on to the old phone.

Anyway, all you new Friday Followers, I'm trying to check out your blogs and follow and stuff but have to admit my laptop is even older (2005 Inspiron 700m), and maybe is contributing to my troubles. I doubt it though because this little baby is AWESOME (I hear so many people say that these days - like AHHH summmmmm).

What I'm trying to say is, don't give up on me - I'll be back in the saddle on Monday.

UGH.

Earn Amazon Giftcards

One of the easiest ways I get Amazon Gift Cards is by doing my searchs on the internet using Swagbucks search bar. There are other great gift cards and swag you can choose if Amazon doesn't float your boat.
 
If you haven't joined Swagbucks yet, this is the week to do so because you can get 50 swagbucks just for joining. It only takes 450 to earn an Amazon gift card and I promise if you search daily you can have one earned in time for the next payout on the 16th (Two payouts per month on the 1st and 16th).
 
Just click Swagbucks and enter the code SWAGNATION5. This offer ends Friday, May 7th.
 
If you are a member, this week is also DOUBLE swagbucks week which means you can win twice as much every day. So if you usually search and win 3 times, you can win 6 times each day!.

Use Your Stockpile to Help Seacoast Oil Crisis

One way you can help with cleanup of the Gulf oil spill is to donate some of your stockpile items to help volunteers clean oil off birds and turtles coated with oil.
 
The SANCTUARY NEEDS DONATIONS for a possible impact on Florida's beaches from the Gulf Oil Spill:  The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary and Avian Hospital's trained staff is on stand-by to assist with the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis, with over 300 volunteers on call if needed.  It is asking for more volunteers to be on emergency call and donations to the avian hospital at 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, Florida. Volunteers would need to receive hazardous materials training. 
The sanctuary is the largest wild bird hospital in the U.S. based on the admission of over 8,000 injured birds each year. It is set up to immediately triage and stabilize fluids to oiled, malnourished, or injuried birds. The birds would then need to be  transported to a hazardous materials cleaning site.  The Sanctuary has received thousand's of emails and calls from around the world from concerned groups and individuals. 
The Sanctuary staff and volunteers were a significant workforce in the disastrous Tampa Bay 1993 oil spill and has experienced avian care staff on standby to assist Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.  To report oiled wildlife affected by the Gulf oil spill please call the Wildlife reporting hotline at 1-866-557-1401.
Needed donations of linens, kennels, towels, sheets, Dawn detergent, toothbrushes (new), paper towels, bottled water and gatoraid.  Please bring the items to the sanctuary at 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores.  For a complete list and more information, please see www.seabirdsanctuary.com or call 727-391-6211 for more information.
Seabird Sancutary Oil Crisis Needs Flyer
 
Here are some coupon sales going on now to purchase some of these items:
- Family Dollar has Reach Cystal Clean toothbrushes for $1 and there was a $1 coupon in the 3/7 RP, so they are free
- Walgreens also has Reach Toothbrushes on sale for $0.99 and the same coupon can be adjusted down to use to get for free
- Publix has Dawn Plus Dishwashing Liquid, or Ultra Dawn, 19 or 24 oz bottle, 2/$5 thru Wednesday 5/5/10.
     -$.25/1 Dawn Ultra, Any – P&G's Home Made Simple
     -$.20/2, $.25/1 Dawn, Any Size – 03-07-10 PG
- Publix has Kleenex Cottonelle Toilet Paper Double Roll, Ultra or with Ripples, or Aloe & E Giant Roll, 12 roll pkg, $6.49 thru Wed 5/5/10.
   
  -$.50/1 Cottonelle Toilet Paper (2) 4 packs or (1) 12 pack or larger – 04-18-10 SS
     -$1/1 Cottonelle toilet paper 12 pack double roll – All You, April 2010
- Publix has Brawny Paper Towels, Pick-a-size 2 ply sheets or Big Rolls, 6 or 8 ct pkg, or Pure White, 8 roll pkg, $6.49
   
  -$1/1, $.50/1 Brawny Paper Towels, Any 2-Roll Or Larger Package – 03-14-10 RP

Frugal Jury Duty

So today's the day I do my civic duty and attend jury duty. I called last night to see if I was one of the excused jurers but no luck, no one was excused early. Its been a while since I've served jury duty, a couple years. In the meantime, the county of Hillsborough, FL has a new upgraded courthouse and of course wonderful new jury accomodations. I remember that jury duty can be a long day waiting around without much to do. But no more. They have wonderful tables and carrolls with 2 plug ins each, plus free wifi for the laptop or cell phone, or itouch. Its unsecured but I won't have to use my sprint phone as a modem which I was prepared to do.
 
Anyway, here's how to prepare for a frugal day of jury duty.
  • Last night I froze a 1/2 bottle of water and then this morning filled it the up with water so I have some ice water throughout the day. Although, I may have to sneak it since no food or drink is allowed in the jury auditorium.
  • I brought a cooler sleeve and packed my frozen water bottle to act as my ice pack to keep my Diet Mt Dew cold until lunch.
  • I brought a Healthy Choice Fresh Mixer meal from my stockpile. I've never had them but I think all I have to do is add water and microwave, and eat with my spoon. (No metal forks allowed in the building). I haven't seen a microwave yet, but I'm sure this place has one.
  • I brought my laptop, a book and a newspaper, plus an ipod shuffle and ipod nano so 1000 songs ought to get me through the day. Although now, I'm listening to the online WMNF 88.5 my favorite morning show, public radio.
  • Brought a sweater in case it gets cool in here.
So, here's to hoping I don't get picked. I never have because I know the right answers.