Sunday, January 31, 2010

Abundantly free apps...

Last week a close friend got an iPod Touch for her birthday, my husband, knowing how badly I had been wanting one finally gave the OK to use all the Ones I had saved all year to go get one. I opted for the 64G iPod Touch because I love all the applications that are out there and wanted to be able to make my grocery list and play any game I want if I get stuck waiting in the car or a waiting room. I knew there were a lot of apps but really, I was ill prepared for the actual vastness of how many there are!

In doing some research I found a wonderful site called TouchMyApps that has been so very helpful! I went though their lists of free apps and was stunned at the great offerings. One of my all time favorites is CardStar. I had mentioned this in a prior blog, you can put in all your reward card info and not have to carry all the cards around with you anymore, I was so excited that this was the first app I downloaded. My 2nd recommendation would be YPmobil, you can set the Yellow pages to your area and there is so much more in this app than just name, address and phone number! Along with all that you get local events with detailed information, browsing by category, a white board for your up coming plans and notes as well as being able to save your favorite places, there are even review of places that you select and an email function to send the info to a friend.

For shopping information both Walmart and Target have apps available. I downloaded Targets app which shows their weekly ad, clearance and registries. There is also a built in gift finder, store locater and a search feature. The thing I really enjoy about this app is being able to go into the weekly ad categories and narrow it down to all the items that are offering a gift card with purchase.

If you love games there are a lot of free games as well. There are the card games Uno and Black Jack as well as a multi level game called Dungeon Quest.

Today I am going to be looking at my TV apps, there is one for Direct TV which I have as well as one for TV Guide. I also found one for the Internet Movie Database, a site I use all the time.
Hope this gives you some ideas on what is available and actually useful for free apps and inspires you to spend some time looking at the fun stuff that is out there, the iPods and iPhones cost enough, you shouldn't have to shell out the big bucks for the apps too.

Have a great week everyone!!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Got a free weekend?

Hey, check your free Pillsbury calender, the weekend is finally here, time to relax a little and maybe find something fun that doesn't cost a dime.

Start your morning out with a warm breakfast complements of B & G Cream of Wheat, they are giving away a free sample of their new Health Grain Cream of Wheat. If you prefer something totally organic you can get a sample of Barbaras Bakery cereals.

Its important to brush you teeth well after you eat so why not do it with a free sample of Oxyfresh toothpaste? Did you know that a large part of bad breath is attributed to food particles left on the tongue? You can get a free Tongue cleaner or a free flossing toothbrush from OraSweet and take your oral health care to the next level. Remember to keep some toothpicks in your purse, you can get some free from Flix. Step into the shower and transport yourself to another place, Hussana is a line of natural bath and beauty products from the UK, why not indulge in a free sample and try a little something from Europe? Looking for more of a spa experience? Cloud 9 Salon Spa is offering a free sample bar hand made blue spa soap. To help keep you clean from head to toe, Head and Shoulders is offering a free sample of their shampoo to use in your morning shower. When you step out of the shower try Escada's new fragrance Marine Groove. Its also important to remember to take your morning vitamins, you can get a free sample of Emergen-C in a variety of flavors, just click on the free samples bubble in the upper corner.

OK, so you have to do a few things around the house, like take out the garbage, Sam's Club is giving away samples of Glad Force Flex trash bags. Hills Science Diet is offering free samples of their dog treats to help your best four legged friend enjoy the day with you, for dinner your dog can try a sample of Rachel Ray's new dog food Nutrish. And speaking of your four legged friends, why not take a little time today to help ensure their safety by putting up free emergency stickers in your windows and filling out a wallet card from ARF? Need to head out to the grocery store? Try the new Gold Bond hand sanitizer to keep healthy and flu free. On your way home you can stop in at Taco Bell and get a free Fresco Taco for lunch. Need to get a little laundry done in between putting your feet up? Try Gain's new scents with a sample of the dryer sheets and a coupon for $1.00 or 1.50 off your next purchase.

Chores done, its time to sit back with a nice cup of tea. Grab a sample of the Golden Tea Companies tea and relax and enjoy for a bit. If you like your your tea on the sweet side there is a free sample of Sun Crystals, a combination of sugar crystals and stevia. Like a little lemon in your tea? Try new True Lemon real lemon crystals. Prefer a cup of coffee instead? No problem, bew up a taste of Dunkin' Donuts coffee and see what you think. You may want to try a free sample of Splenda's new flavors for coffee in Mocha or Hazelnut. Would you like a little snack? How about trying Mariani Dried Plums? Just go to the Mariani site and enter the promo code SUPERFRUIT and fill in the required information.

Got your drink, got your snack, enjoy them with a copy of your free Remedy Life magazine or just relax and enjoy listening to your new Coldplay free down load from the world wide site for the band. Maybe now is a good time to drop a note to an old friend and let them know your thinking about them. You can get a free printable card at Greetings Island for almost any occasion, you can even print one that is blank inside and write your own greeting with your new free pen from Uni-Ball, you need to order this from them right after noon to be sure to get one. Want to include a picture of the kids or something you did over the holidays? Print it on your free photo paper. If a vacation is in your future, you can get free travel information on any state at Travel Guides Free and start dreaming and planning.

Ahhh, time to think ahead to spring, maybe plan a little vegetable garden project. You can get a free gardening planting guide to fit your needs at Vegetable Gardening online. After you have an idea of what your garden will look like you can get ideas from your Burpee Seed catalog, be sure to mark the things you like with your Post-it Durable Tab markers. Gardening prices a little too high? Check out The Dinner Garden for some free seeds, you will get the perfect amount without the waste from the large size packages, they will mail them anywhere in the US and now is the time to get things started. Need to remember what you planted where? Try AgriMarkers free and see what you think.

Need an idea for dinner? Check out the free recipes at The Campbell's Soup Kitchen and get inspired, they have great ideas for stuff you already have in your kitchen. And what fun would it all be if you didn't have a little something for dessert? You can get a free 3 pack of Lindt Truffles and a fun DVD of secret recipes at Master Chef Quentin Ulrich's site. If your great dinner gives you a little heart burn remember to take your free sample of Prilosec before you head off to bed knowing that you had a great day and spent next to nothing, and no need to stress about work knowing you have your free stress ball waiting for you!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Prevention for pennies...

Not too long ago I had my email hacked into and it sent out a virus to a lot of folks in my address book, luckily I was able to get the problem corrected and no one got a virus from the malicious attack, but it did drive home the point of being safe no matter what you do. McAfee is running specials on their 2010 anti virus software of 50% off until January 31st. They have different software bundles depending on your computer usage. You can check out all the coupons for McAfee at WOW coupons.

I am a member of Life Lock and love the peace of mind and security it brings, I used to be an insurance agent and we had a few clients who had their identities stolen and I can not begin to tell you what a nightmare it was for them! Life Lock is offering a 30 day free trial and a 10% discount. This is one program I highly recommend because it can save you a ton of money and a lot of heart ache if you ever need their services.

Not a lot of folks still write checks at stores but they are still handy for paying the bills. A common check scam is something called check washing. The thief gets a hold of your checks, usually in the out going mail, and soaks them in a solution that literally washes off your writing. They keep your signature on the check then write in what ever they want for the rest. Right now Uni-ball is giving away free pens that are designed to prevent check fraud. You have to be over 18 and live in the lower 48 states. They are giving away 10,000 pens each day on a first come first served basis starting at noon Central time. This promo is set to go through April 30th.

Once the bills are paid remember to shred any papers with your personal information that your not going to need for your taxes. Office Max offers a shredding service that is available in their stores and is priced per pound, this is great if you have a bunch of stuff that you need to get rid of now, if you don't already own a shredder you can find one at Staples that will cross cut up to 8 sheets, regularly $49.99 but right now there is a $20.00 rebate, bringing the final cost to $29.99.

Do you have a home office? Does the door lock? You would be amazed at how many people answer no to having a lock on an office in their home. If your house should ever get broken into the last thing a bugler wants is to spend MORE time getting an interior door open. A good quality lock will be a deterrent to a thief and stop any snooping by children, maintenance workers or acquaintances. Home Depot is having a sale on all their door hardware right now and if you order on line they have free shipping on orders over $49.00.

These are all easy things you can do yourself that will help keep you and your family safe. Have a wonderful week everyone.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snacking on cash...

I was in the grocery store the other day and about fell over when I saw the price potato chips have risen to and got to thinking about the 2 most popular snack foods, chips and popcorn. A box of Old Dutch potato chips was on SALE for a whopping $3.48 and Orville Rednbacher's microwave popcorn was also $3.48 on sale. In the Orville Rednbacher's package there are 3 bags of popcorn, that makes each one $1.16 when in comparison you could by a 30oz jar of the same popcorn for popping for about $5.00 with no coupon. Breaking down the cost for the jar with 7.5 servings the popcorn the cost is about .65 cents and there are no carcinogens in it. You can make the popcorn as per the instruction on the jar which takes really no more time than microwave popcorn, you can also microwave on the fly in a bowl with a plate over it and just put a thin layer of kernels in the bottom of the bowl and microwave away, or you can make your own microwave popcorn to bring to work and have the best and freshest popcorn in the office.

Fresh Microwave Popcorn:

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter
Popcorn salt or table salt, to taste
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese or other cheese sprinkle

Pour the popcorn in the paper bag and fold the top of the bag over twice to close. (Each fold should be 1/2 inch deep; the kernels need room to pop.) Seal the bag with two small staples (no more, no less), making sure to place the staples at least 2 to 3 inches apart.

Put the bag in the microwave and cook on high power for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the pops are 5 seconds apart.

Remove the bag from the oven and open it carefully, avoiding the steam. Pour the popcorn into a bowl and drizzle it with butter, then toss with salt and cheese, if desired.

That brings me to the potato chips. A 5 pound bag of potatoes at my local market is $2.98, already less then the box of chips, but lets keep going... of that I only need about 5 potatoes or about 1/2 the bag, so my equivalent cost is $1.49 for a box of homemade wonderful tasting no preservative chips. You can also substitute sweet potatoes for an extra gourmet touch.

Classic Homemade Potato Chips Recipe:

4-6 white potatoes
vegetable oil (for deep frying)

Wash and scrub the skins of your potatoes well. Remove potato skins. Using a paring knife or food processor, cut thin round or oval slices. Remove any bad spots. Fill a large bowl with cold tap water and soak your slices in the water for 30 minutes. Remove slices from water and pat them dry with paper towels. Turn your deep fryer on and set the temperature at 350 degrees. When the oil has reached the desired temperature, place a handful of slices into the frying basket and drop down into the oil. Deep fry your slices until they are crisp and lightly browned. This usually takes 2-4 minutes. Remove the basket from the oil and let drain over the deep fryer for 2-3 minutes. Line a large plate with 3-5 thick paper towels. Pour the chips onto the plate and use a separate paper towel to blot off excess oil. Season with salt if desired.

**If you like your potato chips seasoned with Old Bay or any other spices, place some the spice in an old salt shaker. Shake the desired amount on the chips. Wait 1 minute, flip the chips over and season the other side.

There are a ton of different recipes on line for a lot of the snacks we like to purchase in the grocery stores, its worth the time to find some that sound good and try, they are healthier and far less expensive, they can also provide something fun the whole family can help put together on the weekends to have on hand.

Hope this gets you all thinking.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Sitdown meal deals...

Ok, we covered the fast food options available, time for the sit down options for when you have a little more time. One of the easiest ways I can think of for sit down meal savings is with gift cards. You can purchase them at a discount at a variety of places and if you find a coupon to use at the restaurant you can save even more. Here are some site that have cards with examples of the savings:

Plastic Jungle has Applebees cards at up to 11% off face value.

Ebay has a whole category dedicated to Gift certificates, narrow your search to restaurants and you can find some good deals, a Ruth Chris $100 card just sold for $90.01 with free shipping, that's 10% off. Make sure to watch the shipping charges at eBay though, they can be very high with some sellers.

Gift Cards Again has a $100.00 Outback Steak House card available for $91.00, a 9% savings.

ABC Gift Cards currently has Baja Fresh certificates for 10% off and Planet Hollywood certificates for 12& off and free shipping on all orders.

Of course there is always the popular where you can find discount certificates for pennies on the dollar. These are an awesome value. They have a promotion going until 1/12/10 11:59pm, if you enter coupon code CHOW you will get an additional 50% off.

There are a lot of printable coupons available now for area restaurants;

Boston Market has $3.00 off when you sign up for their email news letter.

California Kitchen is offering a free kids meal on their birthday month just for registering with them.

Chili's has a coupon for a free chips and queso when you join their email list.

Chuck E. Cheese's has a few coupons available through February 3rd for those nights out with the kids, deals include 1 large pizza, 4 soft drinks and 25 game tokens for $18.99 and buy 60 tokens get 40 free.

Godfathers Pizza has 5 current coupons including one for a buy one get one medium pizza.

The Melting Pot will give you a free chocolate fondue for joining their mailing list (This would be great for valentines day!!)

Be sure to check all your local papers as well, they usually have some great deals as well. Have a great start to the week everyone.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Frugal fast food fare...

OK, so things have slowed down a little since the holidays but there is still plenty to do and sometimes you just need to eat on the run. That doesn't have to break the bank or keep you on the dollar menu though, here are some great coupons that you can print and keep handy in your car so you have them when the need arises.

Taco Bell has a couple of offers, first is a free taco with the order of a drink, the second is a free fresco taco.

Not to be outdone by the competition, Taco Johns is offering a free Potato Ole when you join their Taco John Maniacs group.

Arby's is offering a free Roast Beef Sandwich with the purchase of a soft drink.

Subway has a LOT of printable coupons out right now and they are all specific to each city. You can check to see if there is one to print near you at

If you have a little time or are looking for something easy to bring home for dinner Pizza Hut is running their special of any size pizza with any toppings for $10.00.

Hope this gets you though your busy weekend. Sit down places will be first up next week. Have a great weekend everyone.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Frugal fashon...

Want to update your wardrobe a bit for the new year without blowing your whole budget at once? There are a lot of sales going on now on winter clothes because now is the time that stores start making room for the Spring fashions.

Old Navy has a 60% off sale going on right now. I found a cute hoodie for $9.99, puffy coat for 29.99, and a cable-knit sweater for $9.99. If you are an Old Navy card holder you get an extra 10% off on Tuesdays, remember to use coupon code TUESDAYS when you shop on line with your card. Old Navy also does a deal on an item of the week, this week its button up shirts for $12.00, be sure to check it out, sometimes they have really great bargains.

J Crew is having a sale and offering an additional 20% off your total with coupon code EXTRA20, they are also offering free shipping for orders over $150.00. I was able to find a very nice pair of their Downtown trouser cords that would be great for work or going out; on sale for $49.99, with the extra 20% off they would be $39.99. The original price for these trousers was $79.99 so that a savings of 50%!

J.C. Penny currently has a ton of jeans on clearance, everything from casual to dressy. There is a pair of a.n.a. stacked pocket jeans for $17.99-$19.99, regularly $40.00-$48.00.

Newport News is running their New Years sales event with items up to 70% off. If you are a club member you get an additional 10% off your order and if you are a first time buyer at the site and sign up for the email updates you will get another 15% off your first order, that a HUGE savings! The red sweater that is on the splash page comes with the free ruffle scarf and is on sale for $29.00, it was originally $49.00, add in the additional savings for being a first time buyer of 15% and your cost would be $24.65. There is a one time additional fee of $25 to join the Newport News club, but if you order from them even a few times this will cover the cost to join. I was able to find quite a few additional different coupon codes for this site at

Woman Within is having their winter sale with items up to a whopping 80% off. Plus, use coupon code WW40108 for an additional $21.00 off of a $60.00 purchase and if you sign up for their email news letter they will send you a coupon right away for free shipping. That's a lot of clothes for very little cash. I found a really nice fleece cape jacket by All American Comfort for $19.88 that was regularly $79.99, that 75% off.

For the guys JoS. A. Banks is having their men's sale right now with 60%-70% off sale items. They have a beautiful full length wool top coat for $158.00 that was regularly $395.00 and there is free shipping for all orders over $175.00.

Eddie Bauer has their 50% off sweater sale going on, I found a men's half zip sweater for $19.99, regularly $39.50-$44.50. I also found a coupon for 50% off a stainless steal water bottle with any purchase, regularly $18.50.

Hope everyone is settling into the new year nicely, have a wonderful week!