Tuesday, December 15

Safeway's Free Food for 12 Days til Christmas

You wouldn't know unless you stopped by a Safeway to check out their in-store circular but it turns out that for the 12 days leading to Christmas Safeway will be giving out free groceries. You need to spend a minimum of $20 in order to qualify for the free product of the day. Today I received free eggs, which I was quite pleased about seeing they were on my shopping list anyway.

Here is the full list of free items.

Monday, December 7

DAR Open House

What: The 8th Annual DAR Christmas Open House
Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Time:5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

DAR Memorial Continental Hall,
17th and D Streets, NW, Washington, D.C.
6 blocks south of the Farragut West (Orange/Blue) or Farragut North (Red) Metro stations

Admission:Free to the public. Reservations are not required.
Bring your friends and family to the eighth annual public holiday open house!
  • Visit the National Christmas Tree across the street at the Ellipse then get out of the cold and join us for refreshments, cookies and a taste of history
  • Experience the elegance and Christmas splendor of Memorial Continental Hall, a Registered Historic Landmark
  • Tour our 31 period rooms depicting scenes of early American life
  • Explore the DAR Museum Gallery, featuring "Wedgwood: 250 Years of Innovation and Artistry"
  • View other smaller exhibitions on historic Revolutionary War documents as well as famous DAR members
  • Enjoy Christmas caroling from area choirs
  • Have a chance to win DAR door prizes

Wednesday, December 2

Free movie at the Capitol Visitor Center


The 800 Mile Wall:
The Human Cost of Border Enforcement
Thursday, December 10, 2009
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
CVC, North Congressional Meeting Room

With Special Guest Speakers:

Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva


John Carlos Frey
Director, The 800 Mile Wall

National Hannukah Menorah Lighting

This is a fun thing to do every few years. In addition to watching Rabbis light the national menorah, you can eat free latkas and get free menorahs & candles. Thanks Chabad!

While you're down there, be sure to check out the christian firepit to escape the cold..what's that called again...the burning Yule-Tide log! Fun times all around.

National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony

Date and Time: December 13, 2009, 4 p.m.

Location: The Ellipse, near the White House (at the NW end, near Constitution Avenue), Washington, DC.

Admission: Free tickets are required for reserved seats. Standing room is available to all. (202) 332-5600.

Festivities at the lighting ceremony include musical performances and hot latkes and donuts. This year's celebration will feature the US Air Force Band. The menorah will be lit each night of Hanukkah.

Official Website


Friday, November 27

Restaurants.com plus Ebates = Amazing Deals

Take advantage of restaurant.com's sale today. You can buy $25 dining certificates for $2 using the promotion code SAVE. Do this through your ebates account and earn an additional 20% cash back on anything you spend. Do this with your AmEx Blue card and earn 1.25% cash back on top of the rest!

I often wondered if anyone ever found enough percentages back that they end up paying nothing...

Wednesday, November 25

Amazing CVS Black Friday Deals!

This Thursday through Saturday, CVS is having three days of free products with so much overage you won't know what to do with yourselves! Overage, if you're new to this, means you have a coupon and the item is free (via extra care bucks) so you're coming out a dollar ahead of where you started.

As you know, you need to have a plan of attack before going. This will help you to minimize the amount of money you need to spend and will maximize the amount of products you get at no cost.

Here is my plan of action for tomorrow at 7 AM. As you see I already have $8.99 in bonus bucks for the free contact lens solution so that's a nice starting point which will help me reduce the amount of trips to the check out line. I only need to go to the check out line to exchange bonus bucks for products four times tomorrow.

Careful with self check out when you get things 100% for free because the machine, like the workers, are in disbelief and have trouble processing what just happened.

Please remember to go early tomorrow since many stores only stock a few of the free items. I mean go early unless you live in Rosslyn....

I have $8.99 in extra bucks

First Round

Universal Remote: 6.99, get 6.99

Colgate Acti Flex Manuel Toothbrush: 2.99 (1.99 with coupon), get 2.00

Pay nothing, get 8.99 in extra bucks

Second Round

Bic Soleil Razor $6.99 (4.99 with coupon) get $5

Degree: $4, get $4

Pay nothing, get $9 in extra bucks

Third Round

Shcick Razor $8.99 (7.99 with coupon), get 8.00

Mars Bar $1.59 (plus get one free), get 1.59

Pay.58, get $9.59 in bonus bucks

Fourth Round

St. Ives Body Wash: 3.99 (2.99 with coupon), get $3.00

Vaseline: 7.99 (6.49 with coupon), get 7.99

Hershey’s Bliss Bar .89 (plus get one free), get .89 back.

Pay .78, get 11.88

Ice Skating in DC

Tis the season to go skating. But where?

1. National Sculpture Garden on the Mall near 7th Street. This is open from mid-November until mid-March. They've been having technical difficulties opening the rink so make sure to check the website before you go.
Cost= $7 plus $3 to rent skates.

2. Pershing Rink across from the Willard is currently closed and is asking guests to use the National Sculpture Garden's rink.

3. The Kettler Capitols Rink is open for free skating and is located above the Ballston Mall. The cost is usually $8 admission plus $3 to rent skates, however if you are able to go on a Tuesday between 2:15 and 3:15, Arlington County sponsors the rink and it's only $1 including skates! The pros of this location is that it's an indoor rink and you have space to skate and practice your spins, unlike at the small and crowded Sculpture Rink.

4. Pentagon Row Rink is at the Pentagon Metro and is open from Nov 1 through mid-March. Admission is $8 for two hours and $3 to rent skates.

5. Fort Dupont Ice Arena is by far the most affordable ice rink in the area, as it's a non-profit. Located at 3779 Ely Place, SE, you can take metro to Minnesota Ave and then U6 to Ely Place and you're there! They charge $4 adult admission and $3 to rent skates. They also offers free skate rentals and lessons to kids 5-18 years old. Here is their public skate schedule from Nov 6- Dec 20:
Fridays, 12:00 - 1:50 pm
Saturdays, 4:30 - 5:50 pm
Sundays, 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Free Audiobook download

A free audiobook download (no CC required) - lots of good titles to choose from. This Amazon.com offer expires November 26th so choose fast and choose wisely!

Tuesday, November 24

See Butterflies For Free

Many things in the Smithsonians are free of charge. However, the butterfly exhibit in the Natural History Smithsonian is $6 a person.

If you're interested in spending time with the butterflies at no cost, go on a Tuesday. You can pick up your free tickets starting at 10 AM at the butterfly box office on the second floor of the building. The tickets have the time of your entry listed on them.

Hours of Operation:

Regular Hours
thru Fall & Winter

Butterfly Pavilion:
First Entry: 10:15am
Final Entry: 5:00pm*

Holiday Hours
November 27, 28 & 29
December 25 - Closed
December 26
thru January 3

Butterfly Pavilion Holiday Hours:
First Entry: 10:15 AM
Final Entry: 6:00 PM*

Monday, November 23

Watch Money Being Made

After over eight years of living in Washington, DC, I finally took my first tour of the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This is where they print our paper currency (did you know our bills are 25% cotton and 75% linen). There are two US BEPs, one in Texas and the other right here in DC.

The tour lasts maybe 45 minutes and they begin the tours every 15 minutes. The the thing is you have to do this on a weekday since they are closed on weekends.

It's a pretty neat tour since all of the printing rooms have glass tops so you can watch every step of the process of money being made.

Free Samples. Tomorrow Only. (my favorite sign).

To get your tour, stand in line at the tour office on 14th and C Street, SW.

Sunday, November 22

Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center

I recently realized I have never written about the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. Every night at 6 PM, thank to Target, the Kennedy Centers offers free performances ranging from Irish Step dancing to Jazz to Lesbian poetry. You can look at the schedule of what's going to be on the stage in advance on their website.

You can get to the Kennedy Center by taking a free shuttle that leaves every 15 minutes from Foggy Bottom Metro and takes you to the Kennedy Center's front doors.

While the majority of the shows are in the back foyer of the Center, sometimes you'll get lucky and the show will be in one of the theaters.

For example...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Norwegian Visions: Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Håkon Kornstad
Håkon Kornstad [Add this event to your Microsoft Outlook calendar.]
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten
Double bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and saxophonist/flutonettist Håkon Kornstad have established themselves as two of the most driven young musicians on the world jazz scene. On their recent album, Elise, the duo uses unique Norwegian hymns as a basis for their improvisation. Created in 1995, Norwegian Visions is a cultural partnership program initiated by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Saturday, November 21

Politics and Prose

Near Comet Ping Pong, on the border of DC and MD is the 25- year old book store, Politics and Prose. Quite different than Busboys and Poets, offering social justice events and open mic, or Kramers, offering a chance to socialize over a great piece of pie, Politics and Prose has a different author every day and night come in to speak about their recent book. In fact, Julie Andrews did a book reading there with her daughter earlier this week. Their book reading events are free- so enjoy!

To see their event calendar and which authors are coming up, click here.

Their address is: 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW, a 15 min-walk from the Van Ness Metro or they have a small parking lot for customers.

Thursday, November 19

Terra Cotta WARRIORS @ Nat Geo

You may have recently walked over some warriors on the metro grounds recently. Well, these were an ad for a really neat exhibit at the National Geographic. Sadly, for the first time Nat Geo is charging an entrance fee because these life-size warriors are pretty expensive to ship.

While the normal cost is $12 for adults, I present good news for us frugal people below!

Free Wednesdays presented by The PIMCO Foundation

With generous support from The PIMCO Foundation, 200 free day-of tickets will be available for the 6:00 p.m. exhibition viewing every Wednesday. Tickets will be distributed at 5:30 p.m. with a limit of two tickets per person.

Wednesday, November 18


I know I've written previously about the magical ebates.com but now that I just received my second "big fat check" in the mail I realized I had to insist all of my followers join now.

Basically many websites link themselves to ebates and when you are going to buy anything online (airline ticket, computer memory, blinds, clothing) if you click through to the website through ebates, you get 2-10 percent cash back!

To join click this link: http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=gLRlWG0ngWiOGXPRtcqOXQ%3D%3D . You even get $5 in your account just for joining!

Tuesday, November 17

Oh Metro how you failed me....

The other day I walked into a metro station, swiped my card, and then received a call that a friend was nearby and would give me a ride home. So I left the station without using Metro. My friend suggested I call Metro to ask for a refund since they can easily see my card's history and that I entered and exited the same station within minutes.

I tried doing this today and learned about their unjust policy.

The only reason Metro will issue a refund is if your train is more than ten minutes late because of Metro's mistake. If you enter and leave the station by mistake they will not issue you a refund.

I'm quite disturbed by this policy and think we should call call to issue a complaint: 202-637-1328.

Tuesday, October 20



Make your day extra sweet with the perfect lunchtime treat. Stop by for free pie and the chance to win great prizes. All are invited.

Tuesday, October 20th from 11:30am - 1:30pm
Outside of the Marriott at Metro Center (12th & H, NW) and the JW Marriott (14th & Pennsylvania, NW)
(Supplies are limited so stop by early!)


(Copy and Paste the info above or use the Forward to a Friend link to invite your friends and colleagues to attend)

Just for stopping by either location, you can enter to win great prizes -- such as Roundtrip Airfare.

In addition to the pumpkin pie you'll be tasting, we are offering four other delicious flavors -- apple, sweet potato, pecan and a creamy chocolate cheesecake. Each pie purchased through Slice of Life will provide one full day of meals for a neighbor in need. Buy Your Pies!

Sunday, October 4

Travel Internationally for Free!

My husband Shawn and I avid travelers and love to go abroad. This past summer we went to Argentina but I didn't pay for my ticket. I got it free with American Airlines points. Last summer Shawn and I both went to a wedding in Los Angeles. Again both of our tickets were free because of our American Airlines points. We don't travel enough to have earned these points ourselves. We got them through the Citi American Airlines credit card.

Every year we both get credit card offers for Citi American Airlines. Basically they waive the credit card fee for the first year and if you spend $750 on the card in the first four months you get 30,000 bonus miles in your account. I sign up for this card, get the 30,000 miles, and then cancel. Every year I do the same thing. It costs 60,000 miles for international travel so every two years Shawn and I get a free international trip!

Some friends have stated that they are concerned that this plan will hurt their credit score. I definetely would not suggest this idea for my friends who have credit card debt or are about to purchase a home or who only have a $3,000 available in credit to them. However, your credit score is affected by your available credit to debt ratio. So if you have 50,000 available in credit and only have a $1,000 balance that you pay in full each month opening and closing one card a year probably isn't going to be detrimental to your score.

Decide for yourself. Know your credit score. Don't carry credit card debt. Buy your first home before the $8k first-time homebuyer credit expires this November!

Free Birthday Treats in the Washington, DC Area!

My birthday was this past week and I will be celebrating the entire month due to all the birthday meal free entree coupons I've received.

Here is a list of the free birthday treats I take advantage of every year.

Benihana's: Free entree (up to $30 value) for the month of your birthday. What you need to do: Join their online chef's table. The Benihanas in the Georgetown mall closed so you need to go to the location in Bethesda or Dulles.

Mei's Asian Bistro
: This place is located in Arlington and they will mail you a free entree for the month of your birthday (up to $15). I received mine by signing up for their birthday club at Mei's. Their address is 2424 Washington Blvd, just a few blocks from the Claredon Metro.

Bangkok Bisto
: Bangkok is located in Georgetown on Prospect and Wisconsin. This is the one place that will only give you a free entree (up to $12.99) on your birthday only. You just need to come in with an ID that has your bday on it and one other person (who has a different birthday than you!).

Capitol Restaurant Concepts, which ownes Neylas, Georgia Brown, Old Glory, J Pauls, Pik a Pita, and Paolo's, will give you a free appetizer along with your entree purchase. This deal is for anyone who signs up for their email list and isn't for your birthday. Sign up here.

Unos Chicago Grill also offers a free appetizer with the purchase of two entrees and other offers throughout the year. Sign up here.This offer is for signing up for their email list. For your birthday you will get a coupon for $10 off a $$25 purchase.

Ted's Montana Grill offers birthday people on their listserv a free cookie and ice cream dessert. However for a better value, you can usually get buy one get one free entrees at Ted's through their website email offers and more discounts through restaurants.com. Sign up for their email list here.

For dessert, you can sign up for MaggiMoos email list to get free ice cream on your birthday (value for a few weeks past your birthday too. Thee is a Maggi Moos in Adams Morgan on 18th Street.
You can also sign up for Cold Stone Creamery e-list to get free ice cream with one mix-in on your bithday month. Sign up here.

I suggest creating a junk email account for all these email lists and checking it your birthday month so you can take advantage of all the free food!

Let me know what I missed!


Saturday, August 15

$25 in Free Groceries!

Go to Shoppers now through Aug 23 to participate in this offer. If you buy $25 in participating Kraft grocery products (included is their many cheeses and CPK pizzas) and you will receive a $5 off coupon for your next purchase and a $20 rebate form. Just don't forget to fill out the rebate form!

Click here to see the list of qualifying items.

Friday, July 24

Visit a Farm and Buy Local

On July 25 and 26 from 10-4 take part in the Montgomery County Farm Tour.

This is a great chance to visit local farms and buy fresh, local produce.

In addition, several participating farms will feature pony rides, music, and more fun times besides the food!


Participating Farms

4320 Damascus Rd.
Laytonsville, MD

22222 Davis Mill Rd.
Germantown, MD

16820 Black Rock Rd.
Germantown, MD

21804 Woodfi eld Rd., Route 124
Gaithersburg, MD

15604 Sugarland Rd.
Poolesville, MD

18901 Peach Tree Rd.
Dickerson, MD

28600 Ridge Rd.
Mount Airy, MD

16760 Whites Store Road
Boyds, MD

8125 Comus Rd.
Dickerson, MD

5511 Muncaster Mill Rd.
Rockville, MD
Saturday ONLY

14526 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Spring, MD
Saturday ONLY

15200 Mt. Nebo Rd.
Poolesville, MD
Saturday ONLY

23400 Ridge Rd.
Germantown, MD
Saturday ONLY

Thursday, July 16

Spring Cleaning and "New" Clothing

This Saturday from 12-5 at the Renaissance Mayflower's Cabinet Room there will be a fashion swap event. Bring in your old clothing and pick out something new from what others bring. Anything left over at the end will be donated.

To RSVP, e-mail rsvp@fashionfightspoverty.org.

Wednesday, July 15

Coupons for DC Restaurants

I just discovered the Washington Post has a deals and discounts website where you can print coupons for local restaurants, travel, home services, and more! Check it out here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/dealsdiscount/restaurants/.

Monday, July 13

Newseum Discount

Normally $21, for the month of July tickets have been discounted to $17.76. Sometimes Express (the free newspaper given out at metro stations) has $3 off coupons but if you have been wanting to visit this museum now is a great time!

Here is their website: http://www.newseum.org/tickets/about.aspx?item=tickets_splash&style=a

In addition, during Apollo weekend July 18-20, kids under 18 can go for free. 3 kids can get in with purchase of one adult ticket. Read more here: http://www.newseum.org/events_edu/apollo/.

Sunday, July 12

Source of Free Goods!!

I recently learned about freecycle.com, a network where people are giving away free items to prevent waste and encouraging reusing goods. This is like the free section of craigslist amplified. There are over 17k members in Washington, DC. The thing is to join you need to either work or live in city limits. To join visit freecycle.com and type Washington, DC.

Saturday, July 11

FREE Slurpees today!!

Who doesn't love a Seven Eleven slurpee? My personal fav is coke mixed with cherry. mmm. Anyway today, it is 7/11 so that means free slurpees from 7 AM until 11 PM. Enjoy the day, free cake, free slurpee, and free corcoran!

Read more here:

Visit the Corcoran for FREE

Through the end of August, you can visit the Corcoran Art Museum for free!! Take advantage of the special made possible due to a generous donation.

It's open 10-5 Saturdays and usually costs $10.

Corcoran Gallery of Art
500 Seventeenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

For more information, click here: http://www.corcoran.org/freesummersaturdays/

Happy Birthday Old Town

Today is Alexandria's 260th birthday so from 4-10 PM at Oronoco Bay Park at 100 Madison St there will be much festivity including exhibitors, fireworks, and birthday cake!;:

For more information visit Alexandria's website at:http://alexandriava.gov/recreation/info/default.aspx?id=12678&linkidentifier=id#birthday

More info is pasted below.

233rd USA/ 260th Alexandria Birthday Celebration
Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St. from 4-10 pm
(Rain Date for fireworks only July 12)
Sponsor: City of Alexandria

4-7:30 pm

6 pm

7:30 pm

8 pm

8:30 pm

9:30 pm

Community Exhibitors, Children’s Activities, and Food & Beverage Sales

Performance by the Alexandria Singers (Pops Chorus)

Town Crier announces William D. Euille, Mayor
Presentation of Park and Recreation Commission’s CIVIC Awards
Poetry Reading by Mary McElveen, Alexandria’s Poet Laureate

Distribution of Birthday Cake by the Mayor and members of City Council

"Big Band Sound," with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra
Kim Allen Kluge, Music Director

Grand Finale fireworks display, featuring Tchaikovsky's “1812 Overture”
Cannon support by the United States Marine Corps, Basic Training School, Quantico, VA

Oronoco Bay Park has lawn seating, and participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Food, such as ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, shaved ice and kettle korn are available for purchase, but everyone is welcome to pack a picnic supper.

Friday, July 3

Visit Artomatic- it's free and the last weekend


Artomatic is a month-long art festival in DC that is free to the general public celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Monument Realty and the Capitol Riverfront BID have provided a brand-new 275,000 square foot building to host Artomatic, right next to the Nationals Stadium. The event features nine floors of visual and installation art, theater performances, dance and comedy, three music stages, street performances such as fire dancing and drum troupes, and a film screening theater. Workshops and seminars are held all month long and special events such as the Washington Post's Peeps diorama finalists, the Zombie Prom, Box Racing, body paint shows, and a no-holds-barred Art in Fashion Show.

With four stages, four bars and a lounge on each floor, the 10th Anniversary Artomatic is bigger than ever. 52,500 people attended Artomatic last year, and 70,000 are expected this year. Over 1,000 visual artists and 600 performing artists are exhibiting this year.

55 M Street, S.E.
(at the corner with Half Street)
Washington, DC 20003
Metro stop: Green Line, Navy Yard, Ballpark exit
Free admission. Donations accepted.

May 29 – July 5, 2009

Early close on July 4, at 10:30pm

Fridays and Saturdays: Noon – 1 a.m.
(except for special events. See calendar).
Sun, Wed & Thu: Noon – 10 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

Saturday, June 27

Smithsonian Folklife Festival This Weekend!

This weekend and next Smithsonian is hosting its annual Folklife Festival on the National Mall. This year's festival features Wales, Las Americas, and African American culture and food.

Click here to read more: http://www.festival.si.edu/

Monday, June 22

Secret Giving away Diamonds!

I was sent this email by my friend who works for P & G today.

So here is the story, in case you hadn’t heard…. We did this promotion on Secret where we put 10 fake diamonds in Secret Flawless deodorant sticks. If you find one, you win a real diamond worth $15,000! Unfortunately however, the contest ends in 8 days and so far we’ve only had ONE WINNER!

So we are trying to get the word out! Check your Secret Flawless! Tell your friends, family, everyone! Look for Secret Flawless with a diamond sticker on the cap, and check the ones you already have! You or someone you know could be a winner and not even know it! Just go to www.secretdiamondgiveaway.com and enter the SKU to see if you’re a winner. (The SKU is the number just below the bar code.)

And FYI—there’s still plenty that haven’t been sold yet, so you might want to stock up. You’re going to need deodorant anyway, right?

The brand team even put together a little video to get the message out there. Take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlYYW3QVG-Y

Please pass along to family and friends! Update your facebook status, tweet it—anything to help spread the word! After June 30, the contest ends and no one can win, so help us out and get the word out!


- Win a flawless $15,000 Diamond and smell great - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlYYW3QVG-Y

- HURRY, only 8 days left to win a flawless $15,000 Diamond from Secret - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlYYW3QVG-Y

- Wear Secret. Win a Diamond. Check it out - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlYYW3QVG-Y

- Flawless diamonds and 100s of other prizes still left from Secret - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlYYW3QVG-Y

Thursday, April 30

Open Embassies this Weekend!


This Saturday from 10-4, 30 embassies will open their doors to visitors with free performances, food samples, and more. I went last year and there is a free shuttle that takes you from embassy to embassy provided by Cultural Tourism DC. You can pick up the shuttle and a map of participating embassies on Saturday at 1900 Mass Ave.

This is also a great time to learn about what free events the embassies offer throughout the year (ie free tango lessons at the Argentine Embassy!).

Wednesday, April 29

$.31 per scoop at Baskin Robbins!

Today is Baskin Robbin's 31 cent scoop night! This is happening from 5 -10 PM. Not as good as Ben and Jerry but still not a bad deal!

Saturday, April 25

New Coupon Source

I recently learned about CVS's new magazine called Reinventing Beauty. This magazine is on sale near the pharmacy section of my CVS and costs .99. I wouldn't normally pay this amount, however, it turns out they are stocked with coupons!

I ended up using a $1.50 off softsoap moisturizer coupon from the magazine and since the softsoap was pay $4.99 get $4.99 in bonus bucks, I basically got the magazine for free and made $.50 in overage from this deal. Plus now I have all the other coupons.

Tuesday, April 21

33.3% off at Bed Bath and Beyond

So many exciting frugal activity this fine April day.

So you all should know about the 20% off BBB coupons that come out periodically and never expire.

Well today BBB mailed out $10 off a $30 purchase in their catalog. This means you can get 33.3% off instead of 20% off. My advice is that you travel to a local apartment building and rip out all these coupons from the recycle bin. If you want to spend $90 on a wedding gift in the future you can buy 3 $30 items and only spend $60! Since these never expire, today we should all stock up on these items!


Hi everyone,

It's Tuesday, April 21 and that means today is FREE CONE DAY at Ben and Jerrys. Free scoops will be given out between 12 and 8.


Sunday, April 19

Priceline Negotiator!

So my good friend Lina is getting married in Connecticut this May. She secured discounted rates at a local Marriott for $99 a night. I was about to pay this price when I remembered my in-laws telling me how fabulous Priceline Negotiator is. I have never used it before but decided to take a risk.

When you go on Priceline and look up the hotel, it gives you a price of $179 a night. However, then I clicked the negotiation feature and told them I wanted to stay at a 3 star hotel in the area of the wedding. They told me the average price for a three star hotel in that area was $165 so I told them I was willing to pay $52.

You have to commit to whatever hotel they give you since you put your credit card number in at this point.

Anyway I clicked on negotiate and the hotel where all the wedding guests are staying came up and they accepted by $52 offer!

I had just saved around $50 thanks to Priceline (and my inlaws)!

Thursday, March 12


Shoppers is selling 5 boxes of 2009 matzah for $2. This is unbelievable!! Even if you're not Jewish you should get some because it's such a great deal! Okay- don't. But if anyone is reading this and is unemployed, you should buy them all and sell them for $5 each near GW.

Tuesday, March 10

Free Kashi Meal

The seven whole grains on a mission want you to try a free meal on them! Just fill out this link and your coupon will be sent to you! Bon appetite!

Wednesday, March 4

Almost Free Candy!!

CVS has valentine's candy on sale at 90% off. This means you can get pez dispensers with three refills for $.15. You can get hollow chocolate dogs for $.30. The list goes on but please don't miss this amazing chance to rot your teeth!

Sunday, March 1

More Grocery Sales

Greetings all,

Shoppers has decided to extend its coupon deal another week! Visit them to double your $1 coupons and to triple your coupons $.50 or less.

Safeway also has amazing deals right now- with a $10 off $50 purchase coupon in their circular as well as discounts like $.97 eggs and free soda.

Go forth!!

Sunday, February 22

Shoppers is Tripling Coupons!

Shoppers is tripping coupons $.50 and less and doubling coupons between $.55 and $1.00. I went yesterday and received a ton of free products with this sale and received "overage" when my coupon's value was greater than the item.

Shoppers is in Alexandria off of Route 1/Jefferson Davis Highway (right past Crystal City if you're coming from Rosslyn).


Saturday, February 21

Home Depot and Lowe's

My husband and I are remodeling our bathroom. We've been to Home Depot and Lowe's (and some ridiculously priced higher end stores) and have determined (just as we did when we redid our kitchen a few years ago) that Lowe's has the best variety. Anyhow we were just about to go out today to purchase all the parts for the new bathroom when my dad told me that Lowe's and Home Depot both offer 10% off coupons when you join their "moving-in" club!

Here is the link to register for the coupon at Lowe's.

Here is the link to register for the coupon at Home Depot.

Monday, February 9

Dry Clearn Only

I do not go shopping for clothing much but when I do my one rule is not to buy anything that is dry clean only (okay I also have a rule to only buy clothing on clearance). To stop myself from purchasing dry-clean only items, I do not allow myself to even try on the article of clothing, for I will then be tempted.

If you try it on anyway (just to see), remind yourself that what ever it costs is really more than double that price factoring in all your trips to the dry cleaners.

Since my husband and I only go to the dry cleaners twice a year, the dry clean only products I already own only are worn twice a year. Grrr.

All this is not to mention how bad for the environment dry cleaning is! Just buy cotton!

Sunday, February 8

Conserve Convserve Conserve

I want to extend my thoughts from my last "pea-sized amount" blog entry to discuss how to conserve in some other basic areas. I realize we're not living through the great depression but that doesn't mean we should use more than we need to. Here are some more things you can stretch out to make last longer:

1) Bounce sheets: If you use static sheets in the dryer, cut them all in half after you buy them. You don't really need the entire sheet per load so make them last twice as long!
2) Laundry detergent: I was brought up being taught to fill the laundry detergent cup only half way up. My clothing gets cleaned and smells great! Be suspect of companies telling you how much to use- they are out there to sell more!
3) Face Cleaning Sheets- If anyone uses the dry face washing sheets that you wet to wash your face (which I recommend for traveling to avoid liquids), the sheets are huge! Unless you are a giant or are really dirty, cut the sheets into quarters.
4) Dish Washing Liquid: Again, don't fill up your soap area to the brim. No need. Try filling half and give it a test! Another way to get the item at half price...

Thursday, February 5

Pea-Sized Amounts

Does anyone look down after brushing their teeth to find large amounts of toothpaste in the sink? If so, you are using too much toothpaste. I realize that photos of toothpaste show a pretty peanut length amount of paste but really all you need is a pea-sized amount.

If you switch from a peanut sized amount to pea sized amount it's as if you just got the toothpaste for half off!!

Please keep this in mind when using other products (ie shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash).

Wednesday, February 4

Buy Generic?

When you're at the grocery store, do not be swayed by the pretty packaging used by brand name companies. Buy the store brand! You'll save a lot of money (and anyway has anyone else mistaken the new Tropicana marketing look for store brand anyway? what were they thinking?).

The exception to this generic rule is when you have coupons that the grocery store will double or triple. Since there are only coupons for brand name items, by taking advantage of doubled coupons, you can often get brand name goods for much less than the generic price, or even for free.

If you are without coupon, do buy whatever is cheapest!

Finally, a word on how to determine what is cheapest: Do not only look and compare prices. Compare prices per ounce. Some stores will calculate the price for ounce for you and list this on the price tag but at other stores you need to whip out your cell phone's calculator to determine the best value yourself.

I am always amazed by people who come up behind me as I'm busy doing my calculations and just grab a product off the shelf and walk away. These people do not even look at the price or spend a few seconds scanning for sales. It is mind boggling and challenging for me not to stop them in their tracks. Please do not be one of those people! Plus if you don't stop and think about how much the item costs, you won't realize when the store overcharges you for the item!! If you have read my previous posts you will see that most grocery stores will give you the item for free if they over or under charge you.

Monday, February 2

Free CDs and Books!

I recently learned that Arlington libraries give out free books and CDs!

Check out:

Central Library
1015 N. Quincy St.
Arlington, VA 22201

If you park in the garage (free), and enter the elevator lobby area from the parking garage you will find free books and CDs for the taking! They do this on both P1 and P2.

Sunday, February 1

Happy Super Bowl Sunday

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday and a great Safeway sale, I'd like to encourage you to go out and make some guacamole today!

Hot house tomatoes are on sale for $1.47 a pound and Hass avocados are $.77 each. These are incredible prices!! Don't forget to pick up some fresh garlic and a few limes to mix in.

Saturday, January 31

My philosophy

My loyal readers know me by now and may be wondering- with all this coupon cutting and life focus on savings money- where is all the fun?!

While besides the fact that I find saving money to be fun in and of itself, much of the fun in being frugal is the freedom is allows. Because I spend so little, I save a lot. This allows me to purchase the big things that matter to me when I want them. I never feel like I can't afford something, which is a wonderful feeling.

Friday, January 30

Skip the Soda

Ever since I was a child I was taught that when going out to eat, you drink water. Through today when I go out to dine, I still only get water (free water- not bottled water). Every venue, including places such as Cosi, give you free water upon request. At soda fountains, free water also includes seltzer water which can be found on the water tab that says "soda."

Avoiding soda not only helps your wallet but helps your heath and teeth as well.

Luckily I married a man who also believes in this philosophy!

Thursday, January 29

Things You Shouldn't Pay For

Here is a family picture of some of my Colgates.
I realize my linen closest looks look I robbed the back of a Colgate truck but truth be told all these Colgates came to me costing between $.50 and negative $.50 each.
I get my Colgates for free by taking advantage of when they are on sale at CVS combined with CVS extra care bucks on Colgate weeks combined with coupons ranging from $1.00-$1.50. When this combination strikes I go crazy.
Other items you should never pay for are the items that are often free at CVS and Walgreens - including contact lens solution, foundation, powder, nail polish, fash wash, mouth wash, etc.

Wednesday, January 28

Learn to Enjoy Cooking

Cooking is a fun and creative outlet after a hard day at work. Learn to appreciate the different ways to cook the same vegetable or meat with fantastically different results. Watch Food Network and emulate Alton. When you cook at home you are able to eat healthier since you care about your health and most restaurants do not.

When making dinner, make double the amount that you need that night in order to have leftovers for work the next day. Pack the leftovers in Tupperware so they are ready to go the next day. Doing this is usually cheaper than buying pre-packaged meals such as Lean Cuisine, etc.

Have fun with it and experiment! Get a husband/wife so you have someone to cook for and you'll enjoy it even more. If you married an alpha cook, read this New York Times article to help betas deal.

Tuesday, January 27

Rewards Cards- Use them!

I admit I have a fair amount of 'rewards cards' tags on my key chain. One you should get if you ever purchase new books is the borders card which often gives you 20% or 30% off discounts for new books.

Another card I love is the Cosi card. The Cosi card requires you to buy 10 entrees and you get the 11th free. This is a lot of money on signature salads to earn your free salad. Few tips- only go there when you are having a business lunch so that it may be reimburseable. If you must go with friends, ask your friends if they too have Cosi rewards cards- if not ask them to swipe yours! This way you will reach your reward much faster.

Monday, January 26

Getting a Hair Cut?

When I first moved to Washington, DC I was flabbergasted with the cost of haircuts. An $80 cut means the tip alone is more than I used to pay for the entire haircut.

The amount Stephanie likes to pay for a haircut=$12.00.

I've dealt with this problem in several different ways since moving to Washington back in 2001.

1) Often I wait until I return home to visit my parents in the suburbs of Chicago where there are hair places that still charge $8-12 for a haircut.
2) I always clarify the price before I start the process. I've found that you may think you are paying one price for the cut and think they're "throwing in" a 5-minute blow dry or the pre-rinse but then the cost ends up being $20 more than expected. Don't be embarrassed about seeming frugal- ask the stylist if what they are doing is included in the basic "cut" price!
3) Look for online coupons for salons before getting your hair cut.
4) Consider only getting your hair cut once a year. Choose a short cropped look for the summer and then spend the rest of the year growing it out. Because you are only paying for one cut a year, you can splurge and find a place that charges $30 instead of $12.
5) Wait two years before getting a haircut and then donate your hair to Locks for Love. You need 10 inches to be able to donate your hair for wigs for children who can't grow hair. There are certain salons who will cut your hair for free if you are doing it for Locks for Love. This is really a win-win situation for everyone.
6) Are you thinking about getting your hair colored? Don't.

Sunday, January 25

Go Out and Avoid Cover

Do are you in the mood to meet some new people at a bar, maybe dance a little, and avoid paying a cover on weekends? Try Lucky Bar, Madhatters, and Cafe Citron (all in Dupont Circle) to save the dough and get your groove on!

Saturday, January 24

What to do with that raise

Did someone mention raise?!

Okay so if you're not dealing with a salary freeze, you received some type of increase- either a raise or a cost of living increase. Do you really need the extra money? As you may have figured out by now, once you get accustomed to a higher living style it is really difficult to go back. Thus, keep your living style to the basics and put your raise in a 401K account. You won't really miss the extra trip to a restaurant and you'll be thankful when you are able to retire earlier.

Friday, January 23

Shoppers is Tripling Coupons!

For the next seven days Shoppers in Northern Virginia is tripling coupons up to $.99. This is not as great as their previous deals (tripling up to $2.00) but it's still something!

Thursday, January 22

Buying Books for School

I'll let you in on a little secret.

In college I ended up making a profit off of my books.

I believe in buying used books for my classes, even if they are one edition old. When possible I also check out my books from the library (either the school library or public libraries). When I finish using my books I sell them (unless I loved the book).

My alma mater had a book sale at the end of each semester and any book that did not sell (and was not picked up by the student selling it) was sold for $1. I would purchase many of these books and sell them online for their used value.

Be creative and you won't need to spend cash on books either.

Wednesday, January 21

The Best Buy at the Grocery Store

Hint: What was Beethoven's favorite fruit?

You guessed it! Ba-na-na-na! (Sorry for the corniness- (corn is most affordable April through August!))

Bananas are so cheap I can hardly believe it every time I head to produce.

For $.39-$.59 cents a pound you get all that scrumptious potassium!

Plus if you let it sit out for too long, you can make banana bread.

PS Can anyone name the university with the adorable banana slug as their mascot?

Tuesday, January 20

Travel from DC to NY for $2 RT


Now how will you return home?

I feel like everyone knows about Chinatown buses to get from Washington to New York for $40 (roundtrip) but there is a relatively new company called BoltBus which is pretty incredible.

Basically Bolt's tickets range from $1 (yes they offer at least one $1 seat per bus) to approx $25 each way to NY from Washington. The best part of Bolt though is not that it can be cheaper than Chinatown buses but that these buses have wireless internet free of charge!

Bolt also has a reward program - travel 8 times, get a free trip.

Bolt also travels to Philly, Boston, and Cherry Hill. Check out their schedules here.

While you're at it, save your company money and take Bolt instead of Amtrak! Plus those work trips will count towards your rewards.

Monday, January 19

Read your Employee Manual

About once a year I re-read my company's employee manual. While long, you should make sure to know of all the benefits your company offers, many of which you may not have been told about. Some things that may not be in your manual but you should ask HR about include: tuition reimbursement, gym membership, and discounted movie tickets.

Sunday, January 18

Fun with your Friends

On a typical weekend evening my husband and I go to dinner parties or entertain at our home.

Cooking dinner for friends is much more affordable than going out to dine.

I encourage people to have a game collection at home for fun activities. Some of my favorite games are Apples to Apples, Taboo, Trivial Pursuit (couple teams), and Cranium. Do you have any to add to this list?

Saturday, January 17

FREE Inaugural Event at the Lincoln Memorial

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is pleased to announce the producers and initial talent lineup for WE ARE ONE: THE OBAMA INAUGURAL CELEBRATION AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL, the Opening Celebration for the 56th Presidential Inaugural, to be presented exclusively by HBO on Sunday, January 18 (7:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT). The event will be free and open to the public, kicking off the most open and accessible Inauguration in history.

The special will be executive produced by George Stevens, Jr. (The Kennedy Center Honors), and produced by Don Mischer (Olympic Ceremonies) who will also direct the special, and Michael Stevens (The American Film Institute Salutes) who is also writing the special, and will be a production of The Stevens Company in association with Don Mischer Productions.

Musical performers scheduled for the event include Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am, and Stevie Wonder. Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. The Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson will give the invocation. Rob Mathes will be the music director and arranger for the backing band, which will support all of the artists. Additional performers will be announced as they are confirmed.

Friday, January 16

Save money on Waxing!

Two years ago my husband used his credit card points to buy me an epilator. An epilator is an electronic tool that pulls hairs out from their roots. I use this on my upper lip once a month and save the money I used to spend getting this area waxed. Although epilators can cost around $60 (you can do better than this price), it pays for itself after you miss that waxing appointment 6 times.

Did I mention it hurts just a bit? Well, ice helps, plus the skin gets used to it.

You can also use this product for legs, arms, etc.

Thursday, January 15

90% Off Wrapping Paper!

Visit a CVS near you to receive 90% off their holiday wrapping paper! Now is the time to save up for next year! It's maddening to see how expensive wrapping paper is otherwise- really? it's enough paper to wrap 3 boxed shirts? wow!

Wednesday, January 14

Free: Bottles of Suave

Today, January 14, 2009, Suave is giving one bottle of any Suave Product (ie shampoo, lotion, styling aids, etc) to every woman in America!

To claim your coupon, visit: http://www.suavenomics.com/.


Tuesday, January 13

Going out to Dinner? WAIT

Did you check for coupons online first?

I never go out to dine without checking their website for special offers. Often if you join their e-clubs they will give you free appetizers, desserts, or buy 1 get 1 entree free. Example.

You can also find great dining discounts from the Entertainment Book (wait for 50% off and free shipping halfway through the year), NPR membership (donation more than $120), and Restaurant.com (wait for restaurant.com to have an 80% off sale)!

Monday, January 12

Tiny $300 Laptop

If you are starting graduate school, I would recommend purchasing a laptop. Last December I bought an eee PC for $299 from Amazon (including shipping0. This little laptop weighs 2.2 pounds and fits inside all of my purses. It is only 8.9 inches. It gets internet, word processing and other programs, and games.

Today eee PCs are a little more expensive ($320) but have double the ram and a much larger screen. This picture is of the newer version of the eee PC.

I also take this tiny laptop to work meetings and office retreats. The battery power on mine lasts around three hours when I turn the internet signal off and 2 1/2 hours when it is on.

Sunday, January 11

Custom Framing

I really believe that custom frames are the biggest rip off out there.

If you have ever paid to get something custom framed, you know the cost is ridiculous. Stores across the board charge hundreds of dollars for framing - and that is after the common "50% off discount".

Here are my custom framing tips-

1) Don't. Instead buy a pre-made frame and purchase a custom mat that will allow your painting, diploma, etc, to fit snuggly in the frame. If you go to a place like Michael's, remember to bring a 40%-off-any-product coupon from your Sunday paper.

2) If you don't want a mat and still want a custom frame, try buying it online and doing the assembly yourself. You can save big bucks.

Saturday, January 10

Rebates: To do or not to do

I was recently asked if I thought rebates were worth the hassle.

Here is my opinion- if you have forgotten to redeem rebates more than twice in your life, I would advise against rebates. Business Week had an article back in 2005 that claimed only 60% of rebates were redeemed. That is, of course, why companies love them.

If you are organized rebates are definitely worth it. Now days some companies such as Walgreen's and Rite Aid make rebates easier to redeem by allowing you to submit a claim online using your receipt. This makes sending away for your money much easier and allows you to track your rebate check online.

When I need to snail mail a rebate form I always make copies of everything before I seal the envelope and keep the copies on my desk until I receive the check. This way I don't forget about it and can call the processing center in case my check never arrives.

Friday, January 9

You Paid WHAT for your Wedding Dress?!

For those who want the perfect dress for the perfect day, no matter the price, knock yourself out. For those who want a great dress without spending thousands of dollars for something you'll wear once, read on!

Three great places to find a deal on your wedding dress:

1. Filene's Basement- Filene's has a Running of the Brides event that travels the country every summer. This is a great chance to get last year's styles for a super discounted price. Bring friends and get there early.

2. Find a local consignment shop (such as I do! I do! in Maryland) that sells used dresses at super discounted prices.

3. Go to craigslist and buy a used dress straight from the seller. Maybe you'll get lucky and won't even need alterations on the used dress!

Notice I did not include 'family hierloom' on this list. No offense to our parents but really? Lace from the neck to the wrist? Keep your mom's taste in mind when deciding if you should keep your dress for your daughter to wear in 30 years from now.

After the wedding, wash the dress in your bathtub with soap, rinse it off, let it airdry, and then sell it on craiglist for what you paid for it. I used the craigslist method and earned $50 from my wedding dress (it was a good deal for the buyer as she didn't need alternations and I did!).

Thursday, January 8

Cheap Ways to Get to Dulles and BWI Airports

For those needing to get to Dulles Airport for the holidays, save yourself the cab fair and take the 5A from L'Enfant Plaza or Rosslyn Metro to Dulles. This express service is only $3 each way. The bus comes every 30-50 minutes. Go to wmata.com to plan your trip. If you get back too late the bus will stop running so check the bus schedule before booking your flight.

For those needing to get to BWI, take metro to Union Station and buy a MARC train ticket to the Baltimore Airport Station for $12. There are free shuttles to the airport terminals.

Safe Travels & Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, January 7

Trash the Gym Membership

If you live in Washington DC, there are so many ways to get a free workout around the city that leaves no excuse for paying for gym membership. Try these alternatives:
  1. Go to your nearest metro and run up and down the escalators.
  2. Truth be told, there are plenty of super long escalators in the Washington Metro System. Stop standing on them and start walking up them to burn the calories.
  3. Buy a bike and use it! DC and the surrounding areas have incredible bike trails. Save a ton of money by biking to work (my bike ride from Rosslyn to Farragut West area is only 20 minutes). Or else just bike on weekends on the trails around town.
  4. Want an arm workout too? Declare yourself the official water cooler replacer at work and make friends at the same time.

Tuesday, January 6

Free CVS Extra Bucks!

CVS has an online advisory panel to give them tips about their policies and products throughout the year. As a thank you for taking part in some of these surveys, you will be rewarded with free extra bucks ranging from $5-$15. Click here to become a CVS Advisor.

Remember, once you have extra bucks, only spend them on products that give you the same amount of extra bucks back. This will lead to many free products throughout the year! Just watch out for the expiration dates.

Monday, January 5

"This is Nordstrom's, My Dear"

So the holidays are over and you have gifts you love... and gifts you don't.

If you are thinking of returning gifts when you don't have the receipt, make sure you know the store's return policy.

For example, if your receipt-less gift is from Target or Macys, don't waste your gas- you're fu*ked.

If it's from Nordstrom's, be prepared to get cash back (upon request).

Sunday, January 4

Trash Diving!

First to clarify from the title- there is no actual diving involved here. I did engage somewhat with actual trash diving in my college days (it was worth it- I went to Georgetown-- good expensive trash) but now days it's more like trash walking. As you know, I live in an apartment complex where people throw away really nice furniture and electronics all the time. The two places I look for such items are 1) the outside trash area where people place such items in front of the trash bins and 2) in the recycling/trash rooms on each floor.

My husband and I keep some of the things we find and sell other items on craigslist. The 27 inch bedroom television we use is a 2005 Sony that we found in the trash (so we sold our 2003 bedroom television for $100), and my beautiful Ethan Allen desk is from our trash area. We've taken in, cleaned up and sold other items including carpets, bed frames, lamps, desks, etc.

The best part isn't even the money that we're making- it's that we're helping the environment and helping someone get something they need at a discounted price.

Saturday, January 3

Marry in Financial Harmony

I cannot stress how important it is to marry someone who agrees with your financial values and priorities. If you are very careful about how you spend money and marry someone who loves to shop we're looking at many fights and years of frustration.

At the same time it's healthy to marry someone not quite as frugal as you may be. Instead of getting frustrated the two people can learn from each other. One can learn the value of saving, compound interest, and delayed gratification and the other can learn to have more fun and relax a little when it comes to money.

There are degrees of saving and spending so I would never recommend an extreme saver to marry an extreme spender. Money is one of the main reasons for divorce!

If you are on the same page financially, it will also make it much easier to share bank accounts and credit cards, if you are so inclined!

Friday, January 2

Save on your Energy Bills with a Small Investment

If you live in a house or apartment where you need to pay for your energy bills, it makes sense to purchase a programmable thermostat. These nifty devices allow you to set the thermostat so that your house is automatically set 8 degrees cooler/warmer (depending on the season) during working hours. This feature can save you hundreds of dollars a year while helping the environment.

If you decide to purchase a programmable thermostat at a place like Home Depot, make your purchase through your ebates.com account so you can receive 6% of your purchase back in cash!

Thursday, January 1


I was at my friend's the other day when she sat down to pay a few credit card bills. I watched in disbelief as she took out her check book and stamps!

We are in our 20s. We are internet savvy. There is no reason any of us should be paying our bills with checks and $.42 stamps- unless you are trying to keep USPS alive and well out of principle.

Credit cards all have autopay features. All of my credit credit payments are automatically deducted in full from my bank account the last day it is due. This means that I am able to collect interest on my money until the last possible second and all I need to do is make sure I remember to transfer enough funds from money market accounts (ie paypal or emigrant direct) back to my bank account in time for the autopay deduction.

To set up autopay on your credit cards, go to your credit card website and link your account to your bank. Then call the credit card company to tell them you want to pay in full via autopay each month and they may send you paperwork to sign and send back in. This can take a month but it's worth it in the long run.

Also, if you are still getting credit card statements in the mail, tell your company you only want to receive electronic statements- you'll help the environment and I received a $5 statement credit as a thank you after my first year of receiving only online statements from Citibank.