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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: October 2009

Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty

Great Steals and Deals around town and online to save you the big bucks and help you keep more of your hard-earned money!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Varying degrees of success...


Ever wonder what it takes to succeed at something? I stumbled across the list below and got a real kick out of some of the college degrees famous people have earned. Some will surprise you:   

Adam Sandler    -   Fine Arts
Alex Trebek     -  Philosophy
Andy Griffith    -   Music
Angela Bassett   -  Drama
Arnold Schwarzenegger   -  Physical Communications Art Garfunkel
Barbara Walters  -   English  
Barry Manilow    -   Music
Bill Clinton    -   Foreign Service
Bruce Lee   -   Philosophy
Cindy Crawford   -  Chemical Engineering
Clarence Thomas  -   English
Colin Powell   -  Geology
Conan O'Brien   -  American History and Literature
David Letterman   -  Telecommunications
Dick Cheney  -   Political Science
Donald Trump   -  Economics
Garth Brooks   -  Journalism/Advertising
George Clooney   -  Broadcasting
George W. Bush   -  History
Harrison Ford   -  Philosophy
Janet Reno   -  Chemistry
Julia Roberts   -  Veterinary Studies
Kevin Costner   -  Business Administration
Margaret Thatcher   -  Chemistry
Michael Crichton   -  Anthropology
Michael Jordan   -  Cultural Geography
Mick Jagger   -  Economics
Will Ferrell   -  Sports Information
Willard Scott   -  Religious Studies 

So, why did I want to share these with you today? Because I wanted to make a few points. You'll notice that some of the famous people listed above went on to achieve great things in their chosen field, while others did something completely different from their educational pursuit. You may have travelled down one of life's paths, planning for a specific destination, only to find that it wasn't what you thought it was going to be.  

You may be currently working in a profession that you don't enjoy or one that simply doesn't pay as much as you thought it would. You may even be out of a job right now.  Or you may have set aside your occupation for a time in order to stay home to raise your children.   I know that in between diaper changes you often ask yourself if you're succeeding at anything.  I've learned that, despite your best plans, life throws lots of twists and turns at you. 

Whatever education or training you’ve had in the past has probably prepared you to be the great homemaker that you are today.  It involves economics, housekeeping, time management, operations, banking, taxi driving, cooking, and juggling dozens of other tasks!  A happy home takes real work.  One of my favorite quotes is "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

Look at that list above again. Wow, who knew Cindy Crawford had beauty AND brains?! What did it take for those people to succeed? Persistence. Talent. Time. Hard work. Tenacity.  You have all of those things too!  Another diaper.  Another day. You can do this!

Now, to reward you for all that you do, enjoy this week’s freebies from companies who recognize how great you are:

Free Bagel Fridays from Noah's (Expires 11/3)
Print coupon and get free bagel at Noah's on free bagel fridays before 11am (This reusable coupon is good until 11/3/2009)

Random Samples from Ritter Pen
Request catalog or random samples. Simple form.

New Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Body Wash Sample

Get a free sample of new Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Body Wash from P&G brand Sampler.

Become EcoSMART Product Tester
This is a new promotion from EcoSmart: The First 1,000 to Comment (Starting 10/21/2009) Will Become EcoSMART Product Testers! EcoSMART is the world leader in organic pesticides and bug sprays.
Visit this offer and leave a comment on their blog.

Free Subscription to Creative Ideas Magazine from Lowe's
Receive Lowe's exclusive bi-monthly printed publication full of great ideas for your home and garden.

Free 8x10 portrait at Target Portrait Studio
Printable coupon for a Free 8x10" portrait at Target Portrait Studio. No sitting fees.

Free TLC CHEWY Bar Sample from Kashi
Allergen Information: Kashi
TLC Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars contain wheat, almond, soy, peanut and milk ingredients, and may contain traces of other tree nuts.

Fill out the form for your free sample of Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bar.

Complimentary Subscription to Islands Magazine
Added: 10/23/2009 in category: Magazines
Islands magazine focuses on the islands of the world from the major travel destinations. It explores island lifestyles, culture and history through its regular departments. Features specifically cover such island-related topics as the arts, food, sports, nature and books. This subscription to Islands was purchased on your behalf by and available at Valuemags

32 Free Classroom Magazines
Added: 10/21/2009 in category: Magazines

You may get up to 32 different magazine samples for free

Free Food for Veterans at McCormick and Schmick's (11/08)
Added: 10/21/2009 in category: Food
"To Veterans Who Have Served in War and Peace" On Sunday, November 8, 2009, Veterans may receive a COMPLIMENTARY entree from a special menu.

Free Admission to Comedy Central Show (NYC)
Added: 10/21/2009 in category: Free Stuff
The show will tape November 4th through November 9th, 2009. Select a ShowTime and register.

Free Sample of a New Granola Nut Clusters
Added: 10/24/2009 in category: Free Samples
Get a free Nature Valley trail mix bar plus a new granola nut clusters when you sign up for the Eat Better America newsletter.

Free Sample of EverPure from Loreal
Click on EverPure image and sign in or register. Various coupons and sweepstakes available also on the same page.{userdata//d+d//|diagnostic|main:mylorealoffers|media:_blank|nav|overlay:_blank}

Free $5 Coupon for Neutrogena's Complete Acne Therapy System
Register to receive a free $5 coupon for Neutrogena's Complete Acne Therapy System

Free TENA product samples
Select TENA Protective Underwear, TENA Briefs, TENA Serenity Light Pads, TENA Male Guards or TENA Underpads.

100k Chocolate Dipped Fruit Giveaway (facebook)
Edible Arrangements is giving away 100,000 boxes of their chocolate dipped fruit. The coupon for the FREE box of dipped fruit will be delivered to your email within 1-2 days of your submission. It does not happen instantly. This offer is on their facebook fan page. Promotion ends 11/16/009


Sister Thrifty

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween Savings that aren't SCARY

I've never liked scary movies and I have never read a single Steven King novel, although I hear he is an excellent writer. I just don't like being scared. I started reading those popular "Goosebumps" books with my kids, but quickly convinced them to switch to Calvin and Hobbs comics. Give me a good ole musical comedy any day!

Don't get me wrong, I really like Halloween and all of the free chocolate, but when it comes to costumed trick or treaters, I'd rather give my precious Snickers bar to a cute Tinkerbell toddler than a prepubescent goul with blood and guts rolling down his cape. My boys think I'm a dork because instead of decorating our front yard with cool, creepy tombstones and vampires, I display happy pumpkins and harvest designs. I'm just not going to spend my hard-earned money on yucky plastic decor that gushes with fake blood. EESH.

If you’re a chicken like me and you think spending money is scary enough, you just might want to try a Freddy Kruger whack at these Halloween savings:

• Free Mattel Toy: Bring your child (dressed in a Halloween costume) to Sears on Halloween and they will receive a FREE Mattel toy! No purchase necessary, but while supplies last only.

• Free “Boo”rito at Chipotle on Halloween: Must be dressed as a burrito or Chipotle-like.

• Free Halloween events at Bas Pro Shops: check out their web site for schedule

• Free YoCrunch yogurt coupon: trade in our candy wrappers! One submission per household. Mail your candy wrappers to:

Shaina Zalma


9507 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 300

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

• Free Halloween crafts:

• Free Halloween decorating idea and costume ebook

• Free Halloween printable designs:

• Free Halloween stationery, screen saver, cell phone apps and more:

• Free Halloween games and puzzles:

• Free pumpkin carving stencils and patterns for all ages:

• FREE GRILLED CHICKEN AT KFC on October 26 – Kentucky Fried Chicken launches another FREE Grilled Chicken promotion. Don’t worry Oprah is not involved in this one…you will get your free chicken this time, they promise!!! Visit KFC on October 26th (Monday) for your FREE KFC Grilled Chicken! Over 5,000 locations will be a part of this promotion so call your local KFC ahead of time to make sure that they are indeed participating in the promotion.

• And lastly, once you’ve taken all of those pictures of your cute trick or treaters, you can put them in a FREE hard cover photo book from Cozi! IF you are a member of , log in and you’ll get a code for a FREE 8×8 Hard Cover Photo Book from Shutterfly! These photo books are valued at $29.99!!! FYI- Your code is valid thru November, 15, 2009! If you aren’t a member yet you can sign up (it’s free) and you’ll be able to get a $10 off coupon code for the same photo book! All you have to do is complete your checklist, “Getting Started”, by November 4th to get your code!

Happy Halloween!


Sister Thrifty

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fun freebies!

I love free stuff! I actually dream about getting free stuff and wake up with a big smile on my face. One thing I hope to share with you each week is where to find lots of great things for free. For starters, here are a few fun web sites where you can find all kinds of useful things at no cost: (a forum organized by locality where people share) (get freebies to donate to your kids’ school!)

Free stuff is great, but how do you differentiate between a free sample from a legitimate company that's trying to solicit new customers from a data harvester that will lead to lots of spam and never send you any freebie? Here are a few questions to ask about a site before you give them any of your information.

1) Who runs the site?
If there is no contact information or just a free email address, be suspicious - most places WANT customers to be able to contact them & order things, and real businesses don't conduct transactions via hotmail or other free email servers.

2) Does the site look shoddy?
Even small companies want to maintain a professional appearance. If a site has spelling mistakes or just an overall amateur appearance, be skeptical - it may have been thrown together that same week using a template & free stock images. Spam sites appear out of nowhere, collect as much data as possible in a short time, and then vanish before the authorities catch them. If a site is full of Google or popup ads, another warning bell should be ringing. If you were promoting something, would you have advertisements for a competitor on your site?

3) Why are they giving away things for free?
A retailer or wholesaler may give something free as an incentive to get customers to buy more. A manufacturer may give something away for free to promote brand awareness & attract new markets. If a site isn't selling any products, it doesn't produce any products & it isn't an advertiser for a company that makes those products, how would it earn money by spending thousands on merchandise & shipping? Why would you buy 50,000 coffee cups then mail them to people all over the world that you were never going to hear from again?

Here are a couple of sites where companies can be checked out for validity:

Have fun getting all your freebies this week!


Sister Thrifty

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Exploring the World for Less

Happy Columbus Day tomorrow! (October 12, 2009) I know, it's not the biggest holiday in this country, lacking such things as beloved Columbus Day carols, festive decorations and traditional meals to commemorate the day, but it is definitely worth celebrating. The story of Christopher Columbus is inspiring, as that great man's historic voyage teaches us to explore, search, and dream big.

We often discover new horizons while aiming for something completely different. Christopher Columbus never did accomplish his original goal - to find a western ocean route to Asia. Instead, he achieved something even greater - he ushered in a new era in world history by opening up the Americas to exploration.

Traveling around the world and going on vacation isn't as expensive as you might think. The Internet has enabled us to become our own travel agents, often offering better deals than if we called the hotel or rental car company directly. Some of my favorite web sites to find travel steals and deals are: , , , , , and

It’s easy to be influenced by a glossy brochure or fancy web site that claims a certain hotel is the absolute best, but if you want to hear what “real” people have to say about specific travel destinations, check out their opinions posted at

Before purchasing, compare prices and do a "Google" search for "discount code" with the name of the hotel chain, car company, airline, or tourist attraction you specifically want. Joining the "frequent flyer" clubs or hotel member clubs will often get you better rates, and those points you rack up with each stay will get you free vacations in the future! Your credit card might get you even more points, so find out which travel services they partner with. AAA membership pays for itself once you see all of the discounts you can get on hotels, cars, restaurants and even theme parks.

A flexible traveler can really score big. For example, airlines routinely over-book their seats, knowing that a certain percentage of travelers will simply not show up for the flight. If everyone does show up then there will be more passengers than seats so the airline will then ask for volunteers who are willing to be bumped. By doing so they may offer you travel vouchers for future flights, meals, and even a paid hotel room if there isn’t another flight until the next day. It’s a little bit of a hassle, but if the airline is desperate they’ll keep sweetening the deal until someone says yes!

I love the idea of free vouchers so much that my family now arrives at the gate before anyone else just to make sure we’re the first in line to offer up our seats. As soon as the gate attendant opens the desk we ask them if the flight is full and let them know we’re willing to offer our seats and be bumped to the next flight. More and more passengers have caught on to this hidden gem, so that’s why we’re so intent on being first in line. If you’re a large family you could save quite a bit in savings! You need to be flexible and think quickly. During the busy holiday season (best time to get bumped), my family of six was offered 2 bumped seats. One of my son’s and I volunteered and got to spend the night in a free hotel and extend our vacation an extra day!

Here are a few more ways to see the world for less:

To vacation within driving distance, check out the "One Tank Wonders" at To find the lowest price of gas in your area, go to

Skip the tourist traps and save money by adding some volunteer work at your destination! The following organizations offer meaningful service opportunities and lower your destination costs during a “Volunteer Vacation”:

Swap a pricey hotel stay for a visit in someone else’s home with a “Home Exchange” vacation:

You can stay in a very inexpensive hostel and meet some fascinating people:

When you volunteer to drive one of those big RV’s one way it helps the company return their vehicles and you save tons of moola:

If you’re interested in touring a zoo, aquarium or museum on your trip find out if they have discounts for:

• Free Founder’s Day

• Annual Pass (good for almost all other destinations across the country)

• Group discount

• Scout discount

• Stroller Club

So, in honor of Columbus Day, dream big. Think big. Imagine the impossible. See the world. And enjoy the journey!

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Staying Healthy for FREE

In today's crazy economy we need to be even more careful with our precious pennies. "Deals That Are Nifty" is intended to be a sharing forum where we can give each other the "head's up" on great bargains, managing our money, stretching our dough, saving more and spending less. I'd love to hear about all of the great deals you've found, so feel free to post comments!
This week, I thought I'd talk about one of the most important things in the world....MOM! When Mom is happy and healthy, then all is well with the world. Moms truly are the heartbeat of their families, so it's important to take care of yourself. The bad economy doesn't mean you have to skimp on your health. Here are a few no-cost screenings that everyone can afford:
* October 16th is National Mammography Day. I know, that's just about as much fun as sticking toothpicks in your eyeballs, but it's gotta be done. You can find a clinic that offers free testing at While you're thinking about "the girls" you can exercise for free at one of the many Breast Cancer Awareness runs/fitness walks around the country.
* Your heart is full of love for your family, so let's keep it healthy too. You can get free heart-health screenings year round at participating clinics nationwide found at
* You're probably outside a lot, watching the kids' soccer games, serving as lifeguard at the pool, and taking the dog on walks, so let's make sure your skin is healthy too. Skin cancer is one of the easiest types of cancer to get, but also to prevent. To find a clinic that offers free skin cancer checks year round go to
* You kiss your kids goodbye when they get on that school bus; now it's your turn to get on the bus. Walgreens sponsors a tour bus that travels around, offering free health testing for bone density, glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and body composition. To find out when it will be rolling into your town check out
Moms, the world needs you, so take a few minutes for yourself and be healthy!
Sister Thrifty

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