Happy Birthday… Freebies!!

We talked last week about some fun tips to throwing a great party without breaking the bank. This week, I want to talk about the fun ways you can treat YOURSELF for your birthday!!

This year for my birthday, one of my friends came and took me out to lunch. I am always checking my favorite restaurant apps for deals our coupons or whatever. Well, low and behold… I had a FREE pastry from Panera just for having a birthday!! Thank you!! Don’t mind if I do!!

This is what kind of spawned this post idea. I know there are LOADS of places that offer freebies for your birthdays, but wouldn’t it be nice if that information was all in one place so you could reference it whenever your big day came around?? The following is the BIG, Bad Daddy, Holy Smokes, List of all Lists, of BIRTHDAY FREEBIES!! (bookmark this page so you can always use it as a reference)

FOODIE FREEBIES

Applebees – Free Birthday special

Arby’s – FREE Birthday Shake!

Auntie Anne’s – Free classic pretzel.

A&W – Free Birthday Float

Baja Fresh – Free Treat!

Baskin Robbins – Free Birthday Scoop

Ben & Jerry’s – Free Scoop!

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – Free Mini Pizookie (MY FAV!!)

Black Angus Steakhouse – Free B-day Steak Dinner

Blimpie – Free 6″ Sub

Bob Evan’s – Free kid’s birthday meal

Boston Market – Free Dessert

Bruegger’s Bagels – Free Treat

Buffalo Wild Wings – Free Dessert

BURGERFI – Free Shake

Burger King – Free BK Kids Hamburger Meal

California Pizza Kitchen – Free Dessert

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – Free appetizer

Carvel – Free cone

Cheesecake Factory – Free Ice Cream

Chick-fil-A – Special Birthday Offer

Chili’s – Free Dessert

Cinnabon – Free Minibon

Cracker Barrel – Free Birthday Buffet

Culver’s – Free Sundae

Denny’s – Free Grand Slam breakfast

Dippin’ Dots – Free Dippin’ Dots

Dunkin’ Donuts – Free Beverage

Edible Arrangements – Free Assortment

Einstein Bros Bagels – Free Sandwich

Firehouse Subs – Free medium sandwich

Friendly’s – Free Birthday Sundae

Fuddruckers – Free birthday burger

Great American Cookies – Free gift

IHOP – Free Meal

Jack-in-the-Box – Free Dessert

Jamba Juice – Free Small Smoothie

Joe’s Crab Shack – Free Birthday Surprise

Krispy Kreme – Free birthday donut

Longhorn Steakhouse – Free birthday treat

Macaroni Grill – Free dessert

Marie Calendar’s – Free gift

McDonald’s – Free Kids Happy Meal

Moe’s Southwest Grill – Free Entree

Noodles & Company – Free noodle bowl

Nothing Bundt Cakes – Free Bundtlet

Olive Garden – Free appetizer or dessert

Orange Julius – Free drink

Outback Steakhouse – Free special birthday gift

Panda Express – Free birthday special

Panera – Free pastry

Pei Wei – Free small plate

P.F. Changs – Free dessert or appetizer

Pinkberry – Free yogurt

Pizza Hut – Free cinnamon sticks

Qdoba Mexican Grill – Free burrito

Quiznos – Free cookie

Red Robin – Free burger

Rita’s – Free birthday surprise

Ruby Tuesday – Free burger or garden bar entree

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Free Birthday dessert

Sbarro – Free XL NY Slice

Smokey Bones – Free desesrt

Sonic Drive-In – Free Birthday surprise

Sprinkles – Free cupcake

Starbucks – Free beverage or treat PLUS 15% discount at StarbucksStore.com

Steak ‘n Shake – Free kids dinner

Subway – Free lunch

Sweet Tomatoes – Free lunch or dinner meal

Texas Roadhouse – Free Appetizer

TGI Fridays – Free dessert

The Melting Pot – Free Chocolate Fondue

The Old Spaghetti Factory – Free Kid’s Birthday Meal

Tony Roma’s – Free Meal

Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Free Birthday surprise

Waffle House – Free waffle

Whataburger – Free Justaburger

Wingstop – Free order of seasoned fries

Yard House – Free Dessert

Yogurtland – Free Birthday Frozen Yogurt

There are also several places who will give you additional discounts for your big day. These may not necessarily be “Free”, but hey, a deal is a deal, right!!?

Bakers Square – Free slice of pie with entree purchase

Benihana’s – $30 certificate

Brio Tuscan Grille – $10 Birthday coupon

Cold Stone Creamery – BOGO Ice Cream coupon

Dairy Queen – BOGO Blizzard Coupon

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit – BOGO Sandwich

Jason’s Deli – Free $5 Gift Card

Menchie’s – $5 coupon

Red Lobster – Birthday Coupons (varies)

GIFT YOURSELF!

These retailers and entertainment venues also have freebies and coupons to offer you! Go snag yourself a gift and then treat yourself to a little entertainment too!! What a fun day!!

AMC Cinema – Free birthday popcorn

American Eagle Outfitters – 15% off coupon

Anthropologie – Birthday coupon for 15% off

Aveda – Free Gift

Barnes & Noble – Free cupcake for the kids

Best Buy – $5 birthday reward

Charming Charlie – $5 voucher

Chuck E Cheese’s – Free tokens

Cinemark – Free concession

CVS – Free $3 in ExtraCare Bucks

DSW – Free $5 Gift Certificate

Express – Free birthday offer

Famous Footwear – Free Gift

IKEA – Free Birthday Meal & Free $15 item!

JCPenny – Free Birthday Gift

Kohl’s – $5 Yes2You Reward

Lancome – Free Birthday gift

Land’s End -20% off

Office Depot/Office Max – Free birthday reward points

Old Navy – Free birthday surprise

PetCo’s Birthday Club – Free birthday treat (for your pet of course)

Redbox – Free movie or game rental

Regal Entertainment Group – Free movie admission

Sephora – Free Gift

Smashbox – Free cosmetics

Swagbucks – 50 Free Swagbucks

The Body Shop – $10 rewards during your birthday month

The Children’s Place – Surprise Gift

The Container Store – Free birthday sticky pad

ULTA – Free gift

Victoria Secret – Free gift

World Market – Free birthday surprise

WHOOOO WEEEEEE!!! That is a LONG list of freebies and goodies! I hope you were able to find a few things that make you truly “happy” on your big day! If you know of any more to add, please let me know.

Big thank you to the following sites for helping me compile this list!!

Financebuzz | Deal News | Penny Hoarder | Good ol’ fashioned Google searches

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Black Friday Done Right!

 
Black Friday Done Right!
 
You guys!! How is Black Friday already happening NEXT WEEK! Does it feel like it has come a little earlier than normal this year? Or is it just me??
 
I have chatted with a few of you after the coupon classes about my best secrets and tips for getting the most out of Black Friday deals. Well… I decided it was time to share these tips with EVERYONE!
 
First thing you need to know is that not everything you see advertised for Black Friday is a good deal! Remember… those ads are ADVERTISING! If you are super excited to go buy something in the ad that means those marketers have done their job and done it well!
 
Decorations!
Do not buy decorations on Black Friday unless the store does like what Target did last year where you got a $25 gift card for spending $75 on holiday decor. Otherwise… wait until AFTER the holidays and scoop up goodies for next year at up to 75% off! Such a better deal if you wait a bit.
 
Winter Clothing!
I know it seems like a perfect time to snag a nice big puffy jacket, but the best deals will arrive in JANUARY! If you NEED to get jackets for the kiddos, you might save about 50% off Black Friday which isn’t a TERRIBLE deal, but if you hang tight until after the first of the year you can grab some even better deals!
 
Fitness Equipment!
You may be tempted to get a jump on your New Year’s Resolutions, but really the big sales hit AFTER New Year’s. Don’t get sucked in just yet. Take advantage of the extra few weeks and fill up on all the sweet things!! You have my permission. 🙂
 
Furniture!
Just to keep with the theme here… New furniture is released in February, so in January furniture stores will be looking to clear some floor space. That’s a great time to pop into your favorite furniture store place and then… ask to see the old floor models or the items that have a slight flaw or imperfection. If you know your kids are going to chew the legs of a dining room table anyway, why not get one pre-chewed for a song!?
 
Toys!
Yes, toys! These are some of the most advertised items on Black Friday, but typically stores put these items on deeper discounts closer to Christmas. Again… they need to clear those shelves. You DO run the risk of stores running out of “THE” toy of the season, but hey… kids need to learn about disappointment sometime, right?! HAHA! I’m only half kidding. Plus, if you were really planning ahead, you would have scooped up some major clearance items back in July!! What? You didn’t… well… now you know how to plan for next year. 

 

Anything Outdoors-ey!
I’m not sure that’s a word, but you know what I mean. Patio furniture, grills and those sort of items. Those best deals happen around Labor Day or as soon as summer is over. Same theory as getting Christmas decorations AFTER the holiday. Summer is just one long holiday, so next summer if you want to gift a grill, buy it early and try and keep it a secret for 4 months. Good luck.
 

 

Want some great tips for snagging those best deals??
 
#1 – Do your homework!
Most retailers have their Black Friday ads out right now! Look up your favorites, Kohls, Target, Walmart, GameStop, JCPenny, Amazon, and start making your Christmas list right away! Some of these stores are offering their BF Deals right NOW! Avoid the crazy and still start saving.
 
#2 – Get there early!
Some stores may be offering an extra bonus for their first few shoppers. If you are willing to stand in line, you could snag some extra cash, rewards, or even high end products. Throw on an extra layer of clothes and you may come home with a bonus!
 
#3 – Bring a friend…or 2…or 3!
My most successful Black Friday was when I went out with four of my friends. We each had copies of each other’s lists. We started at one store, and two of us stood in line while the others quickly gathered everyone’s items. When they were brought to the front of the store, we traded places! Two of us went on to the next store even to get a head start on deals down the street. We leapfrogged our way through a fun night of savings! We were extremely tired, and cold, but all our Christmas shopping was done in one day! This is CRAZY fun, but make sure the friends you bring along have the same eye for deals that you do! 🙂
 
#4 – Bring your coupons!
Did you know that some retailers offer coupons for non-food items for Black Friday?! Check the Coupon Database for items before you head to the store.
 
#5 – Stick to your BUDGET!

 

There may be some other items that catch your eye. Beware! These items could end up breaking your budget. If you are typically an impulse shopper, then go ahead and add a few extra bucks to your budget just in case. Make sure you have planned ahead for this special day.
 
GREAT BUDGET TIP… Plan out the stores you want to shop and plan the amount you will spend at each of them. THEN check your local grocery store and see if they sell gift cards for those stores! If you have a set limit to spend at the store, then you can easily make decisions to buy or cut back. ANNNDDD…. if your grocery store offers a rewards program or gas reward program, then you can double dip on the savings!! Whoot whoot!!
 
 
SHAMELESS PIG… I mean PLUG…
If you want more fun budgeting tips like this one… tune in to my Webinar tomorrow night, November 15th at 7:00PM (eastern time) for even MORE ways to get control of your spending!

 
With your registration you will automatically receive my Ultimate Budget Planning Kit that way we can walk through it together on Thursday! Fun, right?! I will ALSO open the webinar up for a live Q&A after we have discussed the REALLY coooooolll budgeting tool I’m sending you for the low, low cost of $10 :). Not bad, right!?
This kit will be sold in my Saving Shop after the webinar, but it NOT be this low of a price!
 
 
Have fun this Black Friday!!
But remember that while these deals may be spectacular, they may not be worth giving up valuable family time. You can always find another deal, but time with loved ones is priceless!
 
I hope you have a very happy and fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday!!

 

 

Sources: 

Dealnews.com | Nerd Wallet | My Own Crazy Experiences

Summer Shenanigans on the Cheap!

It. Is. Almost. SUMMER!! Is anyone else freaking out about this!?!? By this time next week I will have all 5 kids… at home… all the time! Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE my children, but unless I figure out how to keep them busy we will all have three long months together. So… it’s time to get serious about making some plans. Fear not! We can all have a rad summer filled with fun memories without spending a ton of money! 

 

Google is My Superpower

Your first step to a memorable summer is to do a little research. Search for free activities in your area and make a list. Literally… type in your google search bar: free activities in (fill in your town). Make a list of all the details including address, phone number, and available dates. When you finish your search of free activities, do another search for “cheap activities in (your town)”. There is probably someone else who has done the hard work of gathering all this info… it’s your job to find it!! 

 

It starts with a plan

My most successful summers with the kids have been when we had some kind of consistency. Print out a blank calendar for the next 3 months (HERE is one that is cute and FREE). These are your practice sheets. Write in pencil, move things around, scratch off bad ideas, etc. Write down EVERYTHING that is going on over the next few months and then fill in activities from your Google search. Set up certain “Days” like this as well. Make Monday YMCA day; Tuesday is movie day; Wednesday is beach day; Thursday go to the library; Friday is an adventure day; whatever works for you! The kids will LOVE and thrive on some sort of consistency and you won’t be scrambling to make plans.

 

Get a Group Rate

As you are making plans and doing your research, you may notice a few venues that cost a little bit of money, but if you get a group together, then you all can get a discount. Start gathering your mamma friends and make a list of a few options and a few dates. Sometimes a “group” is 10 or more people. Our family almost counts as a group all by ourselves (hahaha). All it takes is one brave mamma to coordinate and make a few quick phone calls. 

 

Some of the BEST Cheap Activities

To help you get the ball rolling, I have found a few ideas you can use to get started. Click on the links provided and make sure they are available in your area. If you have any other fun ideas, let me know and I will update this post for everyone!

Regal Summer Movie Express. They offer $1 movies every Tuesday and Wednesday during the summer. The movies are always G or PG so super kid friendly. Our Regal near us does not offer this which I just cannot believe… and trust me… I have written to a few people… but when we lived in Vegas this 2 hours a week was a lifesaver and something my kids looked forward to every week. 

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse – $1 per show OR $5 for 10 movies! The closest one to my family is 30 miles away, but guess what?? With travel and movie time that is now 4 glorious hours of quiet once a week! Bring it on!! 

Libraries or Community Rec Centers – In some areas they may offer family nights for free or a nominal fee. Do a search for “outdoor movies” in your area. Or, you can usually search your rec center activities online and sort by price. Most libraries also do a summer reading program. Get your kids involved and make it a weekly trip to report on their reading and maybe get a prize at the end! Keep reading charts visible and make reading a priority this summer! 

Get Outdoors – Take a hike, go to the beach, go to a local swimming pool or splash pad. It’s summer for crying out loud! Soak up that vitamin D. Just make sure you you pack some sunscreen (that you bought with a coupon of course).

Get Crafty – Michaels, Joann, Lakeshore Learning, Home Depot,  all have FREE kid activities on the weekends! Why not add a few stops to your Saturday errands and get the kids imaginations running. 

Plan a theme day – If you need to switch up your routine, think of adding a little spin on your day. We used to go to to the Natural History Museum all the time, but one day I decided to spice things up and make a whole day around “Dinosaurs”. We had Fruity Pebbles for breakfast, went to a park that had a sandpit with some dino decor, popped into the museum for a little fun, then came home and ate dinosaur chicken nuggets for dinner. The final piece of the day was a little “Jurassic Park” right before bed (because I love to terrify the kids right before they fall asleep). That last one may have come to bite me in the rear, but this was WAY before “The Good Dinosaur” was made and I had enough of “The Land Before Time”. Whatever you decide, go all in with your theme. It will be a blast to plan and so much fun for your kiddos. 

 

Invest in Fun! 

You will likely have to invest a little bit of money in your summer fun, but you don’t have to go full boar and spend hundreds of dollars on day camps for your kids. Instead, look at spending that money on family memberships that you can use throughout the year. SET A BUDGET! If you can only afford one membership this year, start saving now to add a little more fun for next summer. Or buy a membership once every three months. That way you aren’t saddled with a big bill each summer. 

Children’s Museums | Natural History Museums | Zoos | Rec Center Memberships

 

Use What is in Your Backyard! 

Wherever you live… YOUR CITY IS AWESOME! Get to know the fun things that are offered right in your own backyard! It may take a little digging, but with a little bit of time invested you could quickly fill up your summer calendar and get to know some really cool (and sometimes free) things right in your area. 

 

I wish you all the best this summer!! If you have any other fun suggestions on how to make the next three months fly by, leave a comment or send me an email (livelifeonlessinfo@gmail.com). We can get through this together!! 🙂 

Happy Mom’s Day! Last Minute {and cheap} Gift Ideas!

mothers-day-01

Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful women out there! Whether you have kids of your own or you know some young people, your example and influence is something to celebrate!!
If you are looking for some fun last minute gift ideas for your mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, friends… here are a few I found that will be easy on your wallet as well.
Makebreak Mothers Day Box, Saturday May 5, 1 to 3pm
This weekend at Michaels craft stores, you can help your kiddos make a frame that you would actually put up in your house :-). OR send hubby with the kids so you get a picture frame AND a break at the same time – WIN!
Michaels
Also this weekend at Joann, your kids can make a cute card for FREE! Joann Fabric stores do a FREE kid craft every 2nd Saturday of the month! Just go ahead and put it on your calendar… right now… go on….
If you are in a crafty mood, here are a few cute crafts you can whip up for that special lady in your life. You might even have some of the things on hand. If you don’t the supplies should not cost very much.
Thumbprint Heart Charm Pendants at thatswhatchesaid.com
Thumbprint Heart Pendant Necklaces | That’s What She Said
Last-minute Mother's Day gift ideas: DIY Ring Holder by Mama Papa Bubba
Hand-Shaped Ring Dish | Mama. Papa. Bubba.
A Gradient of Fruity Flowers | OneCraftyThing.com
Make your own edible bouquet | One Crafty Thing
Beautiful DIY Bird Nest Necklace in under 30 minutes
Bird Nest Necklace | Busy Creating Memories
Image result for Grandkid subway art
Grandkids Subway Art | My Computer is My Canvas
All else fails… Go for CHOCOLATE! But make sure you check to see if there are any coupons out there :). Search the Coupon Database for “Chocolate” and see if you can’t find some yummies just about any mom would love!
I wish there was more I could do to show my love and appreciation for the wonderful women in my life who have been my example and who have taught me how to be the mom I am today. My best Mother’s Day advice: Take care of yourself and remember that YOU are the PERFECT mother for YOUR children… no matter what! {HUGS}
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