Thursday, July 28, 2011
Back To School & Time To Save
I am feeling very random today so I am going to scatter a few tips.
OFF TO COLLEGE
Do you have a student on the way to college? If so, it is time to have the MONEY TALK!!!!!! Eeek, right?! I am so glad I still have a few years yet. If you haven't yet, sit down with your child and discuss finances and expectations. Get those expectations in order. As well as you are able, help your child figure out what expenses they will incur and figure out a budget. Make sure everyone understands what expenses, if any, you will be handling or helping your child cover. If it appears your child will need a part time job to cover the social side of college, you can help them right away with that hunt. One good thing to encourage is for them to look into campus jobs right away. They go fast so encourage your child to look into that right away. On campus jobs are nice, because you can often work them around your class schedules. Either way...have the talk.
I was recently reading the latest issue of All You magazine (have I mentioned how much I love this magazine?), and it reminded me of something that I wanted to remind you of. Whoever you are. ;) Many of these things I have been aware of for years, because I have been getting freebies for years, but they aren't always something that comes to mind for the newer freebie hunter. So here ya go:
1 - It is typical to be asked for your name, address and phone number and even birth date. If they ask for more personal information like a social security card or a credit card number...stay away.
2- Read the fine print. Every now and then you may see an offer where it says you can get a free product, but then it asks you to participate in three special offers. Don't bother. Really, really, really don't bother. All You advises that if an offer looks too good to be true...it probably is. Bummer I know.
3- Check out the website. Sometimes I see free offers and I have just never heard of the product. I check out the website, and it looks hinky or badly put together. It could be a phishing site in which case I would rather not have the free coffee or whatever.
4- This is an etiquette thing for me. I do not order a free sample from a small company unless I really am interested in the product. I don't just grab it for free because it is for free. Some small businesses are trying to generate buzz. That doesn't mean you should take advantage.
5- When in doubt on a company. Google them. Check Facebook.
6- This was a big one. Avoid unsolicited ads. If you are emailed a great deal from a stranger, you probably want to stay away. If something just pops up while you are visiting a website, move on. More often than not, you are better off avoiding these invitations.
7- There are some great sources out there for free samples. When starting out. Stick with them. One of my faves is HeyItsFree.net. You can also find great freebies on message boards and social sites like Cafemom.com. I search the web and use reliable sources. If I am unsure of a product, I definitely will not post it.
8- I've said it before, and so does everyone else. Set up a separate email address for your freebies. You can get a free email at gmail.com. This is one of the best ways to not flood your regular email box with unwanted solicitations.
GROCERY SHOPPING ON VACATION
My husband and I check out LifeHacker.com, and we seriously love it. They have great tips on all things techie which suits my husband, and some serious gems for a saver like me. My favorite was Jenny's number. Being a child of the 80s made me think of this idea as sheer genius. We hit lots of different grocery stores when we travel, and sometimes we do not have a loyalty card with a particular store. Most stores simply ask for a phone number, and apparently many people register with fake phone numbers. One of the most easily remembered numbers is from an old 80s song "867-5309 Jenny." LifeHacker suggests using the local area code and punching in Jenny's number to get the grocery store discount. Seriously...genius. By the way, they got this idea from Parent Hacks.
Tyndale publishers announced that they would be launching Digital First ebook titles. To kick start this new venture, they have five fabulous ebooks that for a limited time are absolutely free. You do not have to own a Kindle or Nook to enjoy these titles. Follow this link for Tyndale's post of eReader options. The available books are:
Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman (AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)(CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)
40 Days Without Food - Divine Goodness To A Starving Soul by Russ Masterson (AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)(CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)
Cash Burn by Michael Berrier (AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)(CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)
Reinventing Leona by Lynne Gentry (AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)(CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)
Delivery by Diana Prusik (AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)(CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)
Here are some other great eBooks for you to check out.
The Outsider: A Novel by Ann H. Gabhart (BARNES&NOBLE)(AMAZON)(CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)
Surrender The Heart by MaryLu Tyndall (AMAZON)(CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)
Through The Fire by Shawn Grady (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)(AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)
All Through The Night by Davis Bunn (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)(AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)
When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances by Carol Kent (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)(AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)
Taken by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)(AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)
Leadership Prayers by Richard Kreigbaum (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)(AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)
Veiled Freedom by Jeanette Windle (CHRISTIANBOOK.COM)(AMAZON)(BARNES&NOBLE)
And for the cooks:
Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Dip & Spread Recipes from Gooseberry Patch (AMAZON)
While supplies last, sign up for a free sample of Huggies Snug & Dry diapers.
LINK: Huggies Snug & Dry
If you haven't had a chance yet, sign up for a free sample of Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner. I asked my hair dresser about Garnier, and she said it was one of the best shampoos that you can get outside of a salon.
LINK: Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner
Rewards Gold has another opportunity to receive a free subscription to Forbes magazine. You sign up, refer a friend, do a survey and some reviews, and the magazine is yours.
LINK: Forbes Magazine
Get a sample of Dove Daily Treatment Conditioner while supplies last. I am so glad that Dove has gone beyond just soap. :)
LINK: Dove Daily Treatment Conditioner
FreeCCM has a fabulous line up of great Christian music for you to download this week including music from Caedmon's Call, Chris Rice, Out of Hiding, Fee, Stephen Cole, VOTA and Addison Road.
LINK: FreeCCM Free Christian Music Downloads
Here are two more BLOCKBUSTER Express codes good for a $1.00 rental. They expire on August 1st, so you may want to take advantage of them ASAP.
Find a BLOCKBUSTER Express kiosk near you