Thursday, May 28, 2009

Find the Lowest Gas Price

I hate filling up my tank at the nearest gas station and then driving a mile down the road and seeing a station where the gas was 20 cents cheaper per gallon. Imagine what that does to the Bargain Queen!

If this is true for you, then copy this link and put it on your desktop:

This is the very, very best link I have found to find the current prices for gas stations in your area. This means if you are driving down the road in Walla Walla, Washington, you can find the best price. (Which, by the way, is currently found at the 76 Station on 9th Avenue in Walla Walla.)

Thanks Bargain Babe for pointing me to this great link that I could share with my bargain buddies.

Swap-o-Rama-Rama - Summer 2009

I've written about this before, but I need to make sure that my readers really GET this and GO!

One of the very best clothing bargains ever is Swap-o-rama-rama. You take a bag of your good condition clothes that you don't need/want anymore and trade them for someone else's good condition clothes that they don't need/want anymore. PLUS there are sewing machines and designers to help you "pimp" your new items. It is just the VERY best.

One time, my daughter got a pair of brand new knee high Liz Claiborn black leather boots from Paris. We knew where they came from because the person that brought them to swap saw the boots in my daugher's arms and told us the story. She was glad to see that they had gone to a good home.

OK.... so, there are actually two swaps this coming weekend. One is in Santa Monica, California and the other is in San Mateo, California at Maker Faire ( There is also another one coming up in LA on July 11th.

The swaps are not just in California. Click here to find listing of scheduled swaps. If there isn't one in your area, you might want to see if you can get one scheduled. It is well worth the effort.

Get the info on these swaps at:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Birthday Freebies

Birthday Freebies

If you copy this list on your site, please put a link back to HIF as a thank you and a link to my site as well.

The Birthday Freebie List

QUICK UPDATE: I’ve noticed that many of these offers not only send you a free coupon on your birthday, but will also send you a coupon the very day you sign up for the club AND at every one year anniversary of you signing up. Throw in all the free coupons they send around your birthday and you can get multiple meals a year for free :)

LAST UPDATE: 03-27-2009 - If a restaurant’s name is blue, then click on it to sign up for their eClub and get the freebie coupon e-mailed directly to you.

Many of these offers and coupons will only be e-mailed to you, so be sure to sign up in advance!

And remember, all deals are up to the specific restaurants and thus some might not participate. So if you’re standing in the middle of Taco Bell screaming for a free taco and they aren’t budging, don’t come crying to me! Also, feel free to add / refute any places you do / don’t see here!


Acapulco - Hiffer Crystal sent in this e-mail: “100% free meal for your bday! No purchase necessary! They send out the coupons about a week before your bday via email and best of all the coupons don’t have a unique barcode on them, so I use them several times at different locations every year! Plus they can be used on any meal including the most expensive ones!”
Alfy’s Pizza - Free mini pizza for kids 12 and under.
Amato’s Sandwich Shop - Join the Tamatos Club and get a free birthday sandwich.
Applebees - Free dessert. They also have a newsletter, but no word if it sends out a birthday coupon or not.
Arby’s - Sign up and get coupons year round, including on your birthday.
Atlanta Bread Company - They have a VIP eClub that you can sign up for, gaining you a free cookie on your birthday.
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels - They’ll send you monthly coupons all year long if you sign up for their newsletter, so it’s pretty safe to guess you’ll get a birthday treat.
Austin Grill - Sign up and get a free meal.
Bakers Square - Sign up for the eClub and get a free pie.
Bandido’s - Free entree
Baskin Robbins - Get a free ice cream treat if you sign up for their Birthday Club.
Beaches Restaurant - Free meal
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream - Become a Chunk Spelunker and you can get some free ice cream!
Benihana’s Japanese Restaurant - Free dinner with 3 other paying guests. (So bring your friends!)
BD’s - Join Club Mongo and get a little something something on your birthday!
BJ’s Restaurants - Free Pazookie!! (otherwise known as a delicious dessert.)
Black Angus Steakhouse - Receive a complimentary dessert for joining the BA Prime Club and a free steak dinner for your birthday!
Bob Evans - Free kids meal for anybody under the age of 12.
Bob’s Big Boy - Free hot fudge ice cream
Boston Market - Free kids B-Day meal coupon for kids under 12 and coupons online for their various entrees.
Bonanza Steakhouse - Yet another free birthday surprise that I can’t figure out what exactly is! Oh well, just join their club and find out when they e-mail you.
Bruster’s - I’m not sure what the freebie coupon they send you is worth, but I know one comes since their own “contact us” page mentions that Sweet Rewards members get a birthday treat.
Buca di Beppo - Sign up for their eClub and get a free dessert.
Buffalo Wild Wings - Free dessert with a $5 purchase. (click on the tree house in the upper left corner on their site!)
Burger King - Free kids meal to all kids club members.
California Pizza Kitchen - Free kids meal during the month of their birthday if you register first.
Captain D’s - Join their D’s Club and get a coupon for $3 off any meal, among other freebies.
Carrows - Free cake plus a free dessert now just for signing up.
Cattlemen’s - Free dessert and cowboy hat (I’d go just for the cowboy hat!)
Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse - Sign up and get a free dessert plus points for every dollar spent.
Chevy’s - Free dessert and sombrero (First a cowboy hat, then a sombrero…heck yeah!)
Chicken of the Sea- Join their Mermaid Club and they’ll send you a free birthday gift. I’m just hoping it’s not a tuna-flavored cake or anything…
Chili’s - Free dessert if you join their club.
Chips N Giggles - Free meal
Claim Jumper - Free dessert if you join now.
Coldstone Creamery - Join now and get a free creation on your birthday. (My…God…Is…This…Delicious…)
Country Buffet - Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get not only a free meal on your birthday, but a free meal just for signing up!
Cracker Barrel - Free dessert
Culvers - Free sundae as well as a few printable coupons when you first sign up.
Dairy Queen - Free ice cream coupon via e-mail for kids 16 and under. They also have a Blizzard Club for adults with the same offer.
Damon’s Steakhouse - Here’s a little trick. All you have to do is make a new email address, sign up, and within 24 hours they will send you 10 bucks off your meal, with the purchase of another comparably priced meal. So every time you and a friend go, you can get $10 off no matter what. Plus, they send you a few coupons for your birthday!
Del Taco - Get two free soft tacos now and a free premium milkshake on your birthday.
Denny’s - Free meal & sundae to kids under 10 as long as you sign up ahead of time.
Don Pablos - Free $10 gift certificate after joining the Don Pablo Habanero Club.
Einstein’s - Free meal
El Chicos - I’m told you get a free dessert, but I haven’t been able to confirm this.
El Torito - Hiffer Crystal sent in this e-mail: “100% free meal for your bday! No purchase necessary! They send out the coupons about a week before your bday via email and best of all the coupons don’t have a unique barcode on them, so I use them several times at different locations every year! Plus they can be used on any meal including the most expensive ones!”
Famous Dave’s Barbeque - Free meal with advance signup.
Farrelli’s Pizza - Join their Fire Club and get free coupons e-mailed to you before your birthday.
Fazoli’s - Join their eFamily and get a coupon for a free desert.
Fire Mountain - Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get a free meal on your birthday.
Firehouse Subs - Sign up and get an email for a free sub.
Flat Top Grill - Join their E-mail Club and get a coupon for a free stir fry on your birthday.
Friendly’s - Free ice cream cone if you join their birthday club.
Fuddruckers - Free ice cream sundae
Glory Days Grill - Free sundae on your birthday if you sign up in advance.
Gold Star Chili - Get a free dessert on your birthday, plus a free treat on your anniversary of joining up AND a free appetizer just for joining.
Golden Corral - They used to have a Birthday Club, but it’s since been removed. Anybody have an update on this place?
Gordon Biersch - They say you get a special “e-gift” on your birthday, which kayce e-mailed me to say is a Buy One Get One coupon for an entree.
Hard Rock Cafe - Free dessert
Hometown Buffet - Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get not only a free meal on your birthday, but a free meal just for signing up!
Hooters - Free song & T-shirt (Pretty soon here I’m going to have an entire outfit!) If you live on the west coast, there’s even a Hooters Club for you to join up with.
Houlihan’s - Free coupon for an entree during your next visit up to a week after b-day (Kinda complicated…but free!)
Joe’s Crab Shack - Free cake if you join their club.
Juice It Up - They promise to give you a “birthday gift” but their website doesn’t say what it is. Might be worth signing up for though.
Keg Steakhouse and Bar - Hiffer Jospeh reports they’ll give you a 10oz. prime rib dinner with Caesar salad during your birthday month, Sunday-Thursday only. You might want to call ahead to confirm this though.
Keva - The Keva Klub promises free coupons around the time of your birthday.
Krispy Kreme - Free half dozen glazed donuts and a coffee mug with either coffee or soda in it! You might want to sign up ahead of time.
Logan’s Roadhouse - Free song and slice of cheesecake.
Lotus - Free meal
Macaroni Grill - Free dessert plus an OPERA-style “Happy Birthday” song, which is always…fun?
la Madeleine - Yet another on-line birthday club that will send you coupons for free food around your birthday.
Maggianos - $10 off purchase of $20 if you sign up in advance.
Mainstreet Ventures (Large chain of different restaurants, click to see if any are near you.) - Up to 50% off your meal. It’s based on the number of people in your party. For example, 2 people dining = 50% off. 3 People dining = 33% off, 4 people dining = 25%, etc.
Marble Slab Creamery - Kids can join the Marble Slab Kids Club and get a free ice cream cone on their birthday up to age 12.
Marie Calenders - Free dessert
Memphis BBQ - Coupon good for a free Rack of Ribs & strawberry shortcake, but you must sign up on their website 24 hours in advance.
Mexican Village - Free meal
Moe’s Southwest Grill - Signup for their newsletter and get a coupon for a free burrito. They also have a birthday club for kids under 10.
Mongolian’s B.B.Q. - Signup for their Club Mongo and you’ll get a coupon for a free birthday meal.
Noodles & Company - Signup for their newsletter and they’ll send ya a coupon for a free meal right around our birthday!
Not Your Average Joe’s - Sign up for their e-mail club and get a coupon sent to you for a free entree on your birthday!
O’Charley’s - I remember getting quite a few free desserts over the years from them! They have an E-News club that you can sign up at to get the coupons.
Old Country Buffet - Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get not only a free meal on your birthday, but a free meal just for signing up!
Olive Garden - Free dessert if you sign up?
On The Border - Free appetizer if you sign up.
Outback Steakhouse - Free dessert or appetizer
P.B. Loco - Sign up for their newsletters and you’ll receive coupons periodically for free stuff, as well as coupons for free stuff when your B-day rolls around.
Perkin’s - Free bakery goodie on birthdays for kids under 12.
P.F. Chang’s - Free cake or cheesecake via their e-mail list.
Poncho’s - Free meal, dessert & picture
Provino’s Italian Restaurant - Free $10.99 meal and ice cream dessert
Qdoba Mexican Grill - Join their eClub and get a free burrito on your birthday, as well as free chips n’ salsa just for joining up..
Quizno’s - Join their mailing list and get a free birthday gift (I think this means coupons?)
Red Lobster - Free slice of cake if you join their Overboard Club.
Red Robin - Free Hamburger if you sign up for Eclub.
Rock Bottom - Free appetizer for Mug Club members.
Round Table - Free personal pizza
Ruby Tuesday - Sign up in advance and they’ll send you something!
Ryan’s - Join the Mega Bar Meal club and get not only a free meal on your birthday, but a free meal just for signing up!
San Francisco Over - Sign up in advance and you’ll get a coupon for a free birthday treat.
Schlotzsky’s - Get a free sandwich if you sign up ahead of time.
Smoky Bones - Members of the Bones Club get a free meal or appetizer, not sure which.
Spaghetti Warehouse - Signup for a free meal & possibly free appetizer?
Sonic - An advertising company for Sonic, they’ll send you coupons for free Sonic goodies if you sign up. Also, get a free Wacky Pack Kid’s Meal on children’s birthdays if you register here.
Souper Salad - Join their Souper Salad Club and they’ll e-mail you a coupon for one free birthday meal which can be used within a week or your birthday.
Steak-N-Shake - Free dinner for “birthday club” kids.
Swiss Chalet - Get a free appetizer just for joining the Rotisserie-mail plus a free birthday surprise.
Taco Bell - Free combo meal of your choice.
Texas De Brazil - Sign up for their e-club and they’ll send you a $40 gift certificate! This place can be pricey, but it’s soooo worth it.
TGI Friday’s - Free birthday dessert plus free appetizer just for signing up!
The Fox and Hound - Free appetizer just for joining plus free entree on your birthday.
The Loft - Free meal
The Old Spaghetti Factory - Kids 12 and under get a free meal.
The Palm - 3lb lobster, but you must be a member first and follow a few rules.
The Pasta House - Free dessert
The Vine Tavern - Free meal
Todai Sefood Buffet - Free coupon or voucher for free meal next visit.
Tony Roma’s - Free dessert if you sign up for Romo Rib Expert Club first.
Uno’s Pizza - Sign up and get a free personal pizza on your birthday
Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop - Free dessert and drink
Wendy’s - Free kids meal
Wingstop - Get 5 free buffalo wings on your birthday.
Zaxby’s - Join their Z-Mail club and you’ll get a coupon for a free meal, whether or not it’s your birthday! Kids can sign up here for their Kid Club and get not only a free meal, but a free cookie on their birthday!
Z’ Tejas - $15 coupon for the month of your birthday if you register first.

Zio’s - Free dessert


Bear Mountain - Free skiing/riding
Belleayre Moutain - Free skiing/riding
Brunswick Bowling - Join the Bonus Zone and get a free game of bowling on your birthday.
Chuck E. Cheese’s - Hiffer Pat wrote in to say her granddaughter got 20 free tokens on her birthday! Their website promises a birthday special as well, so I’m pretty sure this is legit.
Dave And Busters - $5 game card credit
Disney Theme Parks - Free admission to either Disney Land or Disney World on your birthday in 2009.
Food Pavilion Grocery - Free movie rental
Harkins - Free movie (Some say they got free movie, others only got free popcorn)
Hollywood Video - Free video rental if you sign up in advance.
Ringling Brothers Circus - Sign your newborn up for a free ticket to the circus that never expires. Then just save it until your little one has a birthday later on and give it to them!
Safeway Grocery - Free movie rental
Snow Summit - Free skiing/riding
Ten Ren - Hiffer Bethany sent in a tip that her local Ten Ren has a sign offering a free Bubble Tea on your birthday with photo identification.
Toys R Us - Sign up ahead of time and once your child’s birthday rolls around, they’ll get a personalized letter in the mail. Plus, bring your child into any Toys R Us and they’ll get a hat, balloon, have their birthday announced over the loudspeaker, and then be greeted by all the employees while they walk around!
Various Strip Clubs - Free lap dances (Don’t ask me how I know this!)

Service / Other:

Auto Zone - Free oil change (Some Auto Zone’s don’t do oil changes, so call ahead.)
Aveda - Sign up at least 28 days before your bday and get a free Personal Blends Pure-Fume
Boz, the Green Bear - You can join Boz’s Birthday Club in advance and your child will receive a personalized postcard in the mail as well as links to download special birthday coloring pages and other random stuff that small kids seem to enjoy.
Bright Ideas - Design and print out free invitation cards for your birthday party!
Captain Dizzy’s Carwash - Free car wash
Frosty Paws - Ok, so what if this freebie is for dogs. Pets like free stuff on their birthday too! Sign up for their Birthday Club and Fido will get a tasty frozen treat come his special time of the year.
Hallmark - 20% off coupon for one item.
Target - They send you a free Birthday Mailer, full of free gifts, tips, and coupons. You sign up to six of your children who will all receive a mailer on their birthday!
The Children’s Place - Register for their Birthday Club and receive 15% off on yours and your child’s birthday.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Recipes for Ingredients you Have on Hand

Unexpected company and no time to go shopping?

How do you whip up an appetizing dish with what you have on hand?

This is a fabulous website that provides you with recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand. You simply list what you have in your freezer, pantry and fridge and you get recipes for tasty dishes.

I listed carrots, chicken and what the heck, cinnamon and couldn't believe it when a recipe for cinnamon carrots came up. I was just joking!

I love this site. Happy cooking ... and eating ;-)

Save Money on your Air Conditioning Tip #1

Most people don't pay any attention to their air conditioning system until it isn't working. If you want to save money, you need to pay attention to your system when it IS working.

In order to know when your air conditioner is not working normally; you need to pay attention to it when it IS working well. Only then will you know what "normal" is.

Here are several easy steps you can do so you have a baseline for your system:

1. Listen to your air conditioner. Notice what it sounds like when it is running. Listen to how it sounds when it turns on and off.

2. Time your system. How long is it on and how long is it off. Notice how the timing changes based on the "heat load." Heat load is not just how hot it is outside. Heat load can also be affected by running major appliances (especially the oven) and how many people are in the house.

3. Discover where your air conditioning system drains off the water created by running an air conditioner (condensate water.) If your house is cool and it is hot outside, the system will be creating water that will be draining off. If you don't see the condensate coming out where it normally does, then it is coming out someplace where you don't want it to come out.

4. Put your hand over the unit (about a foot above the fan) while it is running. How warm is the air that is coming out? It should be warm, not cool.

If you pay attention to the above four items, then you will notice if there is a change or not.

As with any repair, early detection reduces the damage and therefore the cost of returning your system to normal operation.