Frugal Ramblings

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Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on May 10th: Donate Your Non-Perishable Food Items

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If you were able to eat a healthy breakfast this morning or make a nourishing dinner for your family last night, you are very fortunate as one out of every six Americans struggles with hunger. But here’s your chance to help! Tomorrow, May 10th, the National Association of Letter Carriers is calling everyone to help “Stamp Out Hunger” with the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Stamp Out Hunger is the largest one-day food drive in the nation and will help feed millions of families in all 50 states!

This is a perfect time for you to go through your stockpile and donate as many non-perishable and unexpired food items as possible to support this cause!  SO…grab your cans of soup, non-glass bottles of Juice, canned fruits and veggies, bags of pasta, cake & brownie mixes, etc. and place all these items in a bag. Then be sure to leave them at your mailbox this Saturday, May 10th as part of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Your letter carrier will pick up your items and deliver them to local food banks or pantries.

Let’s help make it a success by clearing off our shelves for those in need. I guarantee that you will be able to re-stock those shelves at little to no cost with all the great deals we’re sure to score in the next few months. Are you with me?! :)

(Thanks, Family Savings!)

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Tallgrass Talent Group Job Opportunity: Product Demonstrators Needed to Host In-Store Sampling Events

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If you’re looking to earn some extra money and enjoy engaging with people, take note of this job opportunity! Tallgrass Talent Group is currently looking to hire Product Demonstrators to run in-store sampling events in grocery stores across the country. Representing major brands from top marketers (many of the same big names you see advertised on TV), Tallgrass Talent Group helps marketers launch new products, introducing those brands to customers across the U.S. in national retailers and major regional grocery chains.

Tallgrass Talent Group is currently looking for people who are outgoing and are willing to engage shoppers as they pass by, demonstrating foods, electronics and general merchandise products to shoppers in local grocery stores and retailers.

Requirements:
-Most jobs consist of 5 to 6-hour shifts typically on the weekends
-Must be out-going, energetic and willing to serve as the “face” of the brand
-Have the ability to interact actively and informatively to the general public
-Punctual and reliable attendance is required
-Ideal candidate is food safety certified or willing to obtain certification

Click here for more information and the Tallgrass Talent Job description and to apply (note that a photo is required as some assignments entail promotional modeling where reflecting a brand image is part of the assignment; your social security number will also be required as this is an employment position).

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Walt Disney World’s FREE Dining Promotion Starts Today (Save $400-$900) + Hip Tips

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If you are planning a Disney trip, now is time to consider making reservations as Walt Disney is offering up their very popular FREE Dining promotion. This limited-time promotion allows you and your room-mates to eat completely free with the purchase of a non-discounted 6-night/7-day Magic Your Way package on select dates.

To take advantage of this FREE Dining, purchase a non-discounted Walt Disney World Resort and Ticket Package at select hotels during the following dates: August 31 – October 3; October 26 – November 1; November 9 – November 20; December 12 – December 23. Your arrival date must fall within one of these date ranges above to qualify for FREE Dining; the remaining days of your trip can fall outside of these dates and you will still receive the Free Dining for your entire stay.

* Some resorts are excluded, such as All Star Movies, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Campsites at Ft. Wilderness, 3-bedroom villas, Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Art of Animation Resort, and Villas at The Grand Floridian. Excludes gratuity and alcoholic beverages.


Hip Tips to Maximize the Value of Disney FREE Dining

Guest Post by Julie Harrington-Travel Planner

If you are lucky enough to score FREE Dining at Walt Disney World, then let’s make sure you are maximizing the value of the Disney Dining Plan. Here are some tips to get you a bigger bang for your dining credits.

Disney Dining Plan Options

Disney Dining Plan (the most popular dining plan!) which includes 1 table service meal, 1 quick service meal & 1 snack per person (age 3 & over) per night of your stay. Plus, you also receive a resort-only refillable mug.
Deluxe Dining Plan includes 3 meal credits, 2 snack credits and resort-only refillable mug per person (age 3 & over) per night of your stay.

When using a table service credit at a sit down pre fix menu restaurant, order the most expensive meal on the menu (obviously, be sure it is also something you would like to eat ;) ). The best part of the dining plan is not having to worry about what you are ordering since all entrees on the menu are included when using the Disney Dining Plan.

Split quick service meals. Portion sizes at Disney are rather large so two children can easily share an adult entree at a counter service restaurant. This means you only have to use one of your credits for a meal, leaving you with another credit to use at another time. Sometimes even two adults can share a counter service meal.


Enjoy a light breakfast or lunch? Your daily snack credits can easily be used to purchase a snack that will satisfy you as a meal. For example: Egg Roll in Adventureland, French Onion Soup at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom, Cheese Pesto Sticks at Landscape of Flavors. To spot snack items that qualify for the Dining Plan, just look for the special logo on the menu.

Upgrade your dining plan to the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan to have more dining credits to use for Dinner Shows, Signature Dining Experiences or a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table. All require 2 table service credits each.

All quick service meal credits give you an entree, dessert and drink. If you are utilizing your resort refillable mug at your resort, then grab the large bottle of water for your drink with your dining plan credit and bring it to the park with you. Then there will be no need to worry about buying a bottle of water while in the park.

If you’re feeling full after your quick service entree and won’t be eating your dessert right away, bring it back to your resort and put it in the fridge to have when you are wanting a snack later. You can also do this for your table service meals (just ask the dining staff).

If you want to do more dining than what is included in your Dining Plan, you may have to pay out of pocket for a meal or two. I recommend that the meal you pay out of pocket for is a breakfast and preferably a quick service breakfast. Always make sure your dining credits are being used for your most expensive meals.


Does your child have a “must see” character that they want some one on one time with? Character dining is a great way to make sure you get that special moment for your child. Character dining at Disney World can be expensive. However, table service meal credits on the Disney Dining Plans allow you to dine with the characters for 1 table service meal (excluding Cinderella’s Royal Table).

Is your family filled with big eaters & picky eaters?! Consider dining at one of the buffets or family style buffets to give everyone in the family what they want. Your big eaters will have full access to as much food as they would like at the same meal credit that your picky eaters have. And your picky eaters can just grab what they enjoy and pass on the other items.

Having the Disney Dining Plan allows you to book certain dining that typically needs payment in full at the time of reservation, using just a credit card to hold the reservation. This can give you the extra time to save for the cost of the meal.

One of the most priceless values that the Disney Dining Plan offers you is convenience. Your vacation, including your meals, is budgeted ahead of time. There is no need to sit down at a meal and stress over what to order for fear of exceeding your family’s vacation budget.

Remember that even though you are getting FREE Dining, it is not always the best option for your family. To make sure you are getting the best deal for your vacation, use a Disney Travel Specialist who knows the in’s and out’s of Disney discounts.


If you haven’t already, head over here and sign up to get the latest news and special offers from Walt Disney.

And if you’ve been considering an upcoming vacation on a Disney Cruise Ship, click here to snag a FREE Disney Cruise Line Vacation Planning DVD – this DVD will include an overview of all Disney cruises, an inside look at the ships and ports, and information on dining, activities, staterooms and much more.

(A BIG thanks to Julie Harrington-Travel Planner with Family Time Getaways for all these awesome tips! If you need help planning an upcoming Disney vacation, you can contact Julie via email julie@familytimegetaways.com or follow her on Facebook.)

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Credit Cardholder Perks: One Reader’s Experience

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If you have a credit card, are you aware of all the perks and benefits available to you as a cardholder? Hip2Save reader, Kayla, was pleasantly surprised at what she discovered about her Discover Card when she ended up with an expensive pair of too-large rainboots that came with a no-return policy. Check out the email that she sent me last week…

I just found out about an awesome free perk of having a Discover Credit Card! I recently bought a pair of expensive rain boots on sale. The company suggested ordering a size down since they run large. When my order arrived, I was disappointed to find the boots were still too big! I contacted the company to do an exchange, but was told since it was a final sale item there would be no returns or exchanges.

I reached out to Discover Card to see if they could help and come to find out I have Return Guarantee! All I have to do is fill out a claim form, mail the boots to them at my expense, and they will send me a check for the purchase price! The boots do have to be in the original packing and I need my receipt.

I figure spending the $10 or so on shipping is better than being stuck trying to sell them on eBay or wearing three pairs of socks to make them fit. The Guarantee covers purchases up to $500 and you can claim up to $2,500 a year. It’s good for up to 90 days after purchase. Works for in-store and online purchases and it doesn’t matter what the stores return policy is. Just wanted to share, in case it helps other Hip2Savers!

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Spread the Word about Your Business…

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With both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day right around the corner, I thought it might be fun once again to create a place for all of you to share your small and/or home-based businesses (i.e. Etsy, Avon, Scentsy, etc.) with other readers and/or to offer Hip2Save readers a special discount on products that you sell. I have posted something similar in past years and it has always been quite a hit!

OK, so have at it and feel free to share your small business with the Hip2Save community! :)

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Are YOU Earning a Living Wage?

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Are YOU Earning a Living Wage? Use the interactive graphic above to find out!

First, adjust the slider at the bottom of the graphic above to match your wage. Then on the left, select how many adults and children are in your household. Finally, select a state to see where you fall between a poverty wage and a living wage. You can even zoom in on a particular state by selecting the state and then clicking on the plus sign that appears in the corner.

* States that are brighter mean that you would earn closer to a living wage in that state.
* States that are darker mean that you would earn closer to a poverty wage in that state.
* The light blue triangle above the wage slider shows the minimum wage for that state.
* The dark blue triangle below the wage slider shows the federal minimum wage.
* The box above your wage listing shows how many hours a week you would have to work just to earn a living wage.

Interesting Facts

- Making minimum wage with one child is unlivable in all 50 states (assuming a 40 hour workweek)
- Of the states listed, HI and D.C. are the most expensive, requiring 56.2 hours of work per week just to get by.
- South Dakota, North Dakota, sections of Montana, and Eastern Washington are some of the most livable places in the United States if you are single and making minimum wage.
- For a married couple making $12 an hour, much of the Midwest and rural Pennsylvania are livable.

(Thanks, AccountingSchoolGuide.com!)

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“Like” a Brand on Facebook, Sign up for Email Newsletter, Enter Contest = Void Your Right To Sue

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UPDATE (as of 4/21/14): General Mills has reverted back to their prior legal terms, which contain no mention of arbitration. Check out this TODAY.com article for more information,

UPDATE: The New York Times just released a new article entitled “General Mills Amends New Legal Policies” which states that the new legal policies do not apply to people who access the General Mills Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

How many times a week do you “like” a brand on Facebook, sign up for a newsletter or enter a contest sponsored by a brand? If you’re like me, then your answer is probably 3-5 times or more per week!

According to an article in the New York Times entitled “When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue“, brands like General Mills are adding new language/terms to their website/Facebook pages which will prevent you from suing the company in the future. As an example, General Mills updated its privacy policy on Tuesday (you may have noticed this announcement on the General Mills website – look for the gray bar at the very top!) and added new Legal Terms found here.

Key updates to the General Mills Legal Terms include:

• New provisions relating to any disputes. These new provisions contain an agreement to resolve any and all disputes you may have with General Mills or any of its affiliated companies or brands contain through informal negotiations and, if these negotiations fail, through binding arbitration. This includes disputes related to the purchase or use of any General Mills product or service. All arbitrations will be conducted on an individual basis; you may not arbitrate as a member of a class. Claims may not be brought in court (with the limited exception of small claims court in certain circumstances), nor may you participate in any class action litigation. (See Section 3, “Binding Arbitration.”)

• New provisions about how you become bound by these legal terms and how you can opt out of them. Your use of any of our sites or services, or participation in any other General Mills offering, means that you are agreeing to these Legal Terms. You may terminate this agreement at time by notifying us by email of your intent to do so, but only if you also cease to participate in any of our offerings.

What are your thoughts on these changes? Does this make you hesitant to participate in contests and/or to print coupons when you are required to agree to these types of legal terms?

(Thanks, Jill and Amanda!)

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30 Things to Hide in Easter Eggs Besides Candy

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30 Non Candy Egg Filler Ideas Hip2Save

Do you get tired of filling all those Easter Eggs with candy? Me too! Along with your help (thanks to all you Facebook fans who contributed to this post!), here are some other items you can use to fill those Easter Eggs.

30 Things to Hide in Easter Eggs Besides Candy

* Chuck E. Cheese coins
* Hair Bands/Hair Bows
* Play-doh Eggs (purchase at stores like Target and Walmart)
* Crayons
* Seeds to grow flowers in the Spring

mini nail polish for easter egg filler Hip2Save

* Erasers
* Stickers
* Chapstick
* Mini Nail Polish
* LEGOS
* Earrings/Rings/Bracelets
* Coupons for “fun” things to do together
* Little plastic dinosaurs and/or chicks

healthy snacks for easter eggs Hip2Save

* Goldfish
* Fruit snacks and yogurt covered raisins
* Tattoos/Stickers
* Bouncy Balls
* Balloons
* Mini Glow Sticks
* Small container of Bubbles

Small toys, cars, and glow sticks for Easter Eggs Hip2Save
* Money/Lottery Tickets
* Plastic Army Men
* Hot Wheels/Matchbox Cars
* Squinkies
* Silly Putty

Bubbles, Earings, and bows as Easter Egg Filler Hip2Save
* Mini Carrots
* Puzzle Pieces
* Fun shoelaces
* Rainbow Loom loops
* Directions to the prize egg

Do you have any additional ideas to add?

Photographs above taken by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 small kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime!

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Walmart To Carry Wild Oats Organic Products (Over 100 Items) = 25% or More Savings for Customers

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Walmart

Heads-up for all you Hip2Savers who prefer natural and organic products! Walmart just announced that stores across the country will start carrying Wild Oats Organic Products later this month offering up everything from organic salsa and pasta sauce to quinoa and chicken broth (over 100 different items!). And according to Walmart, these Wild Oats Organic Products are 25% cheaper when compared to national brand organic products and so they have the potential to really cut down your grocery bill. See an example below and read the full article here.

 What are your immediate thoughts? Are you brand loyal when it comes to organic products or do you make choices based on price? Does this announcement make you more likely to shop at Walmart if you don’t frequent Walmart now?

(Thanks, RL!)

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What Would YOU Do in this Situation?

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I received the email below from a reader and thought that all of you could offer her some great advice and encouragement!

Hello Collin,

I’m reaching out to you because I am really concerned and angry with my area Walgreens, Walmart, and other stores in general. I don’t know if it is because I live in a highly touristy area or just because extreme couponing in Fort Lauderdale, FL is a bit hard… especially at Walgreens! Where do I begin??

First of all, I’m a paralegal and I have a deep experience on policy analyst. I’m mentioning this because I want you to know that I understand Walgreens policy completely, but the cashiers & managers (assistant manager in general) are so ignorant when it comes to the coupon policy of the store! It doesn’t matter how many times I explain it to them and show them their own coupon policy, they refuse to do it.

At first I thought maybe it was my attitude, so I approached in a more friendly way, but I realized it’s not. I used to enjoy extreme couponing and it was a stress reliever, but now I get really stressed just by walking into the store knowing that I have to deal with them. At the end they always end up saying ” I won’t accept this coupon because it is not going through” or ” I don’t want to lose my job” or ” typing the coupon manually is illegal”. HOW DO YOU WIN THE WHO IS RIGHT BATTLE ON COUPON POLICIES?

What would YOU do in this situation?

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