Freebie Corner: Free Frankenweenie tote and glowstick at Subway, plus more

Published: Sunday, October 21, 2012 @ 10:56 AM
Updated: Sunday, October 21, 2012 @ 10:56 AM

Here we go again, it's time to grab your free stuff and some great deals. You can also get easy free instructions on how to make Halloween decorations in time for the big day!

Try making the pumpkin luminaries from items you probably already have in your house. If that isn't crafty enough for you, try making purses, backpacks and cases out of duct tape. That should keep you busy for a while.

If your over 21, you can get a free drink shaker to use for the holiday season get-togethers. If you want to do some holiday shopping, try going on a Monday or Tuesday to take advantage of the free food deals listed. Don't forget to pick up a free Frankenweenie Halloween tote bag the kids will be sure to love. It even comes with a free glow stick!

Freebie #1: When your shopping at Ikea keep these days of the week in mind and get some free food while your there.

  • Monday: FREE breakfast until 11:00am Regular price 99¢. Limit one per person. 
  • Tuesday: Kids Eat FREE! 11:00am to close. Kids 12 and under choose one combo meal valued at $2.49. Limit one per child.
  • Wednesday: FREE dessert (up to $2.99 value) with a purchase of any hot entree ($4.99 and up). 11am to close.

Freebie #2: If your crafty you'll love this free ebook. Learn how to make bags from duct tape! Use "Duck Tape Bags" to make a messenger bag, camera bag, back pack and more. Offer for Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle you can download the free ereader for your computer or mobile device to get the book.    

Freebie #3: Get a free drink shaker from Black & Mild. You must be 21 or older to enter this site (tobacco products). Log in or register then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "My Offers" to claim yours.

Freebie #4: "17 Halloween Props & Decor Crafts" free ebook. Includes; plastic pumpkin luminaries (made from plastic soda bottles), pumpkin patch garland, witch teapot Halloween pumpkin and more. You have to enter your email address to access the ebook.

Freebie #5: Mrs. Dash is giving out 20,000 samples per day at noon EST until 11/29/12. Giveaway includes 4 Mrs. Dash sample packets of the same flavor, of either Original, Table Blend, Garlic & Herb or Extra Spicy [net weight .02oz (.6g) each] and a coupon for 75¢ off any Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blend good through 3/31/2013. There is a limit of one sample offer per household.

Freebie #6: Get yourself a free sample of Pantene Pro-V Silky Moisture Whip. Log in or register atVocalpoint to get your 2-oz. can of Pantene Pro-V Silky Moisture Whip. I recommend registering with them since they offer great freebies several times a year.

Freebie #7: Get a free Frankenweenie tote and glow stick! Grab lunch at a Subway , when you buy a Subway Fresh Fit for Kids meal you get a free tote and glow stick. Offer valid while supplies last.

Rebate Offer: Get $5 from Totino's! Buy 4 specially marked items and enter the codes on their site.Unique codes are located inside specially marked packages of Totino's® Party Pizza. You can have a $5 check mailed to you or have it sent to your PayPal account. One offer per household and you have to enter your codes by June 1, 2013.

Upcoming Freebie: If Sbarro reaches 100,000 likes on Facebook by November 1st they will donate 50,000 lunches to food banks. PLUS they will unlock a free pizza day to all of their fans. "Like" them and watch their wall for updates on the offer.

Don't forget about that rebate offer if you buy Totino's. They are usually about $1.25 each so using the rebate would make your 4 pizzas free. We all like free! 

Jackie lives in Seattle, her blog is Free Hot Samples. Where there are hundreds of freebies and deals up for grabs.


6 legit money-saving hacks for apartment renters

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 12:42 PM

Each one of these tips will help you save a little money when it comes to renting an apartment Check out rentals in the chilly months. Choosing the second floor of a place with three levels of units saves dramatically on the utility bill If you're responsible for the electric bill at the apartment, hack away at it Get renters insurance Make an inexpensive deck tile upgrade that merely rests on the bathroom floor and can be used at your next place Make time to schedule a walk-through at the empty apartmen

From the moment you start searching for an apartment until your last goodbye to the landlord, there are numerous fees, utility costs and more than can make having your own place a little more expensive than you planned.

RELATED: Don't phone it in: 5 hacks for getting the best mobile phone plan

There are several money-saving hacks to trim some of those added costs, according to frugal bloggers, lifestyle pro's and real estate experts.

Each one of the tips below will help you save a little money so that you can save toward splurges and bigger goals− like homeownership.

Apartment hunting got you down?(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Check out rentals in the chilly months.

While November through February offer fewer rental options, you can strike a deal for a lower rent more often and more easily in the winter months, according to Lifehacker. Landlords have to look harder for tenants in these slow apartment hunting months, so they might be more willing to take less rent or a lower deposit, or to offer a few extra services than what you'd get in spring and summer.

Choose floor No. 2. 

While conventional wisdom indicates saving money by opting for a floor that's higher in the building, that cheaper rent could push your other bills higher, according to the Wise Bread blog. Choosing the second floor of a place with three levels of units saves dramatically on the utility bill -- far better than getting a nominal rent break. The best insulated floor of three is the second, which is particularly important if you'll be paying for air conditioning in the sunny South.

Power down on the electric bill.

If you're responsible for the electric bill at the apartment, hack away at it, real estate website Trulia advised. Be sure to identify energy sappers like appliances that use a remote control or an external power supply or have a continuous display, Trulia said. All of them continue to use electricity even after they're turned off. To save as much as $150 on your power bill annually, invest in a smart power strip and plug in such devices as TVs, cable boxes and game consoles to cut off "phantom power" at the source.

Save on renters insurance

You could always save on renters insurance by forgoing it altogether, but that leaves you open to losing all you own, according to The Balance. Instead, get the insurance, but economize by exploring professional discounts if you are in a profession such as police officer, firefighter, teacher or nurse or are a credit union member or retiree.

If you haven't already chosen where to rent, you may want to opt for apartments near a fire station, in a low crime area or in a newer building to further reduce your renter's insurance.

Make a movable bathroom floor upgrade

A lot of the most affordable apartments, and even some of the pricier ones, have unattractive, cold or warped bathroom floors. To keep from losing your deposit by altering the actual bathroom floor, consider making an inexpensive deck tile upgrade that merely rests on the floor and can be used at your next place, too, suggested. And instead of cutting tiles to fit that specific floor, fill in the hard-to-fit nooks and crannies with black river rocks.

Walk through on your way out. 

Make time to schedule a walk-through at the empty apartment before you're gone for good, Wise Bread recommended. Look at the place with your apartment manager, and review any charges you might incur against your deposit and any outstanding bills. While it's tempting to avoid the face-to-face even if you've had a wonderful rental experience, having the supervisor sign off on notes from your conversation lays the groundwork for protests far better than waiting to get the refund in the mail.

5 reasons why retirees need to know their credit score

Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 @ 1:19 PM


You've entered your retirement years. Finally, you no longer have to worry about getting up early in the morning for work, dealing with traffic, job stresses, or worrying about your credit score. 

We were with you until that last one.  

Statistics suggest that you will enter retirement with a higher than average credit score. A December 2016 report from Experian shows the average VantageScore credit score of Americans aged 70 and above was 730, while Baby Boomers (ages 50 to 69) averaged 700. Both compare well to the overall average score of 673.  

However, you shouldn't take your score for granted. MoneyTips wants to give you five good reasons why your credit score is just as important in your retirement years as it was in your working years.  

>> Raise Your Credit Score With A Phone Call

1. Existing Debt – Are you still paying on your mortgage? Do you have an outstanding auto loan, or even a student loan where you are a co-signer? Do you continue to use a credit card? Creditors periodically assess your situation and retain the right to raise your interest rate, lower your credit limit, or otherwise alter your credit terms on existing accounts based on a lower credit score, among other factors. 

2. Reduced Insurance Rates – The same credit report information that is used to calculate your credit score is also used by insurance companies to help determine your insurance rates (based on the risk that you present). Gerri Detweiler, Head of Marketing Education for Nav, relays the story of her fiscally responsible father: "He got a notice from his insurance agency that he didn't get the best rate on his auto insurance because of his credit score. And it wasn't because he doesn't pay his bills on time; it's just that he doesn't have much credit." Don’t let that happen to you!  

>> In-store credit could hurt your credit score

3. Moving/Downsizing – Even if you own your home outright and are happy living there, circumstances may change as you age. You may have difficulty maintaining your home, decide to move closer to your grandchildren, or you may need to take out a loan to renovate your home and make it more senior-friendly. In any of those cases, you will need a decent credit score to qualify for the loan that you will need.  

4. Traveling – Do you plan to see the world upon retirement, or will you be making frequent trips to see the grandchildren? Regardless of your reason for travel, a good credit score will be required for you to qualify for credit cards that offer the best travel perks along with a low interest rate. You may find that it pays to upgrade your credit card.  

5. Emergency Expenses – At some point during your retirement, you may face a large and unexpected expense – and cash reserves only go so far. Uncovered medical expenses are especially troublesome as you age. It's wise to have available credit to serve as a buffer to absorb that expense, and since you are likely to carry a balance for some time, you need a good credit score to qualify for the lowest possible interest rate on that balance. 

>> Virtual People, Real Lessons: How Card Use Affects Credit Score

MoneyTips hopes that you are entering retirement with reasonably good credit and all you have to do is continue with the responsible financial behavior you normally exhibit. If not, it's even more important that you work on your credit score in retirement. Check your credit score regularly, keep a few lines of credit open (but not too many), keep your credit utilization low, and make sure that you make your payments on time – and enjoy your retirement while you are at it.   

Photo © 


5 cheap purchases that cost you more in the long run

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 10:07 AM

Skimping on the following five purchases can end up costing you in the long run Trying to save a few dollars per light bulb doesn't pay off Cheap interior paints often require more coats than pricier paints and don't hold up as well over time You spend six to eight hours a day lying in bed so buying the cheapest model isn't a good idea A laptop is a purchase that's worth saving up for whenever possible Car insurance is one of those expenses where you don't want to skimp on coverage

Saving money often involves finding a way to pay less for something that you want or need. But sometimes the old adage about being "penny wise, pound foolish" applies, as the cheaper way out can end up costing you.

RELATED: Save money, stop fraud: 4 things to watch on your credit card statement

For certain purchases, spending more money up front can help you save in the long run.

Skimping on the following five purchases can end up costing you in the long run:

Lightbulbs are 25 cents each at the ReStore. Nicole Villalpando/American Statesman(American-Statesman Staff)


Trying to save a few dollars per lightbulb doesn't pay off, according to The Simple Dollar. When comparing incandescent bulbs, CFLs and LEDs, the site found that the approximate cost for each bulb was $1 for incandescents, $2 for CFLs and $8 for LEDs.

The savings for just one bulb over a 23-year period can be more than $150 if you switch to CFLs or LEDs. Multiplied by the number of bulbs in your home, this total becomes even more significant.

Exterior of small American house with blue paint and red entrance door.(irina88w/Getty Images/iStockphoto)


If you're starting a home painting project, you may be tempted to pick up the cheapest paint you can find in a shade you like. According to Consumer Reports, that's a big mistake.

Their tests found that economy grades of both interior and exterior paints don't perform as well as their more expensive counterparts. Cheap interior paints often require more coats than pricier paints and don't hold up as well over time. Economy exterior paints also don't weather as well as more expensive paints made by the same brand.

RELATED: 5 items that are cheaper on Amazon


You spend six to eight hours a day lying in bed, so buying the cheapest model you can find isn't a good idea, according to Money.

Money recommends identifying what you don't like about your current mattress, trying many different types in stores by lying on each for a minute or two and being prepared to invest in one that suits your needs and preferences.

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)


A laptop is a purchase that's worth saving up for whenever possible, according to Business Insider. Otherwise, the site says, you're walking into "the tech equivalent of a minefield."

Inexpensive Windows laptops often aren't as fast as their more expensive counterparts, and they're usually bulky. You may also find a short battery life, clunky keyboard and lots of useless pre-installed programs that make your computer function even more poorly.

Car insurance

Car insurance is one of those expenses that you pay for again and again without a payoff for months or even years. While you should shop around to get a good deal, Consumer Reports warns against skimping on liability coverage.

This pays for bodily injury and property damage that you cause. If you buy only enough coverage to meet your state's mandated minimum requirements, you leave yourself open to extremely costly claims that could jeopardize your life's savings.

Save money, stop fraud: 4 things to watch on your credit card statement

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 3:06 PM

Here are the most crucial things to watch for on your credit card statement Review your statement every month to catch these errors early and correct them Set up reminders or even automatic bill pay to avoid late payments Read your credit card statement carefully to get interest rate specifics and start addressing them To set a personal deadline for paying off a credit card, find a reliable credit card repayment calculator

With credit cards, what you don't know can cost you. 

Luckily, most of what you need to know is right at your fingertips − your credit card statement. Review it with a critical eye, and you'll save money, correct errors and even stop fraud. 

RELATED: 5 things to know about your FICO score

Here are the five most crucial things to watch for on your credit card statement:

Your transactions: Credit card companies do make errors. Review your statement every month to catch these errors early and correct them, advises, a nonprofit financial education group. Each monthly printed statement should include a detailed list of activity from that billing cycle. If you get online statements, you can usually see transactions before and after the bill's closing date, too. also recommended keeping credit card paper or email receipts to compare to your monthly credit card bills. If you see something that's not correct, act immediately to protest. You are only protected when you report a discrepancy within 60 days of getting your credit card statement.

And don't just go after the big, noticeable fraudulent charges, the blog warned: "It's actually the small ones that are the most likely to creep into your statements unnoticed. Thankfully, federal law says that cardholders are never responsible for more than the first $50 of any fraudulent charge, and nearly all card issuers waive this requirement by offering zero liability policies."

A company that studies the industry reports that store charge card generally have higher interest rates than other cards. Charges for some go up to 30 percent.

Late payment warning disclosure: Don't skip this. Credit card issuers are required to post a late payment warning disclosure explaining precisely what will happen if your payment is late, according to the Balance. First you should understand that late means after 5 p.m. on the payment due date. The disclosure should also include the amount of any late fee and possible penalty APR if you don't make the minimum payment by the due date. According to the Balance, late payments are limited to the lesser of your minimum payment or $25, or a maximum of $35 if you've already been late on a payment within the past six months. 

However, the late payment disclosure doesn't tell you about the effect of late pays on your credit report. It's up to you to know that once a payment is 30 days past due, the past due account status may be reported to a credit bureau. Once you bring your account current again, your bills and online account will show that you're caught up, but your credit report will retain the late payment record for seven years.

Credit card issuers are required, by law, to send your monthly credit card statement at least 21 days before your minimum payment is due. Of course, if you opt to save paper and postage and receive only online bills, you are responsible to make sure you log onto your bill and pay. According to, one way to improve your odds of paying either type of credit card bill on time is to set up reminders or even automatic bill pay.

Any notices of changes to your interest rate: Read your credit card statement carefully to get interest rate specifics and start addressing them, according to When you trigger the penalty rate with a late payment or going over your credit rate, the company may notify you that your rates will increase. You must be informed at least 45 days ahead of the rate change activating, which is another reason to make sure you check your online statements reguarly -- monthly at the very least.

If you catch this increase notice quickly and it's due to a single late payment, suggested trying to contact your card issuer to request a one-time waiver of the late fees and penalty interest rates. And since the credit card company isn't permitted to impose the penalty rate unless you've been 60 days delinquent on your payment, according to the Balance, make sure to verify that you've been that late and protest if your records show you haven't.

To see a sample notice of interest rate change, check out the interactive credit card statement at the non-profit's website. to familiarize yourself with the terms commonly included on a real statement.

The minimum payment warning: Minimum payment copy is now required by law. The disclosure is listed within your statement, detailing the sometimes horrifying amount of time it will take you to pay your balance, including interest charges, if you stick to making only the minimum payment. Make sure to read this every month, the Balance advised. This may encourage you to up your payment to avoid paying maximum interest. If you are trying to pay off more than one credit card, comparing minimum payment warnings will also let you know which card to focus on first.

To set a personal deadline for paying off a credit card, find a reliable credit card repayment calculator like the one offered at