Frugal Ramblings

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BIG News: Allergy Relief Rebate Offer Will Be Fulfilled for All Qualifying Submissions

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Wow! BIG News for all of you who submitted for the Allergy Relief Rebate Offer. You spoke up and they listened – YAY! Check out what Zyrtec just posted on their Facebook page:

(Thanks, Ashley, Sharon, and Kim!)

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What do YOU do when a Rebate is Denied?

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Did you submit for the recent mail-in rebate that offered up a FREE $20 Visa Gift Card with the purchase of 3 select allergy products? If you did, you may have received an email stating that McNeil Consumer Healthcare simply ran out of Visa Gift Cards and would be offering you $50 in valuable coupons instead.

So how did YOU receive this news?

Did you shrug your shoulders and think to yourself: “Oh well! You win some, you lose some!” Did you pick up the phone and contact the company and/or send an email? Or are you like one Hip2Save reader who emailed me and stated “I personally will be returning every unopened package of Zyrtec in my home and switching to another brand.”

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No Coupon Inserts in the 5/25 Sunday Newspaper

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Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 9.17.59 PMHeads up – there will be NO coupon inserts in the newspaper tomorrow, May 25th. This is a great excuse to spend the day with people you love and put coupon clipping on the back burner.

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 3.29.31 PM(My sis and I… and Piper with her cousin, Hudson)

On a side note, I went with family this weekend up to Stanley, Idaho (about 3 hours from Boise). I absolutely LOVE living in the state of Idaho. Seriously… breathtaking views and such friendly people! :) I have also been enjoying the time I’ve gotten to spend with each of my kiddos this weekend. They are growing up so fast and it’s so much fun to smile and laugh with them… and really just be present in those special little moments life throws our way.

Oh and I’m also proud of all of us adults for running a 10K race AND the kiddos for running a shorter race in these beautiful mountains I get to call home…

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FREE Kids’ Summer Reading Programs

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If you are looking for ways to entertain your kiddos this summer, you may want to check out these free Summer reading programs! What a fun way to keep their minds sharp plus, they can earn rewards along the way!

Book IT! by Pizza Hut Summer Reading Program

Starting June 1st-August 15th, each time your child reads 5 books, they can enter to win prizes. There is a total of 50 prize packages consisting of a tote bag, Pizza Hut gift card, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books and More! Go here for more information.

Book IT! by Pizza Hut for Homeschooling Families

Through September 1st, head on over here and fill out the form to request free BOOK IT! materials for the 2014-15 Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program. Even sweeter, I’ve heard that the BOOK IT! Materials may include coupons for FREE Personal Pan pizzas as they have in previous years – which would be a nice bonus! :)

Sylvan Book Adventure

Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline and then come back to take a quiz on what they’ve read. Prizes can be earned for their reading success. Head over here to register and learn more.

Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge

Starting May 15-July 17th, families are invited invited to read each book with them at their FREE weekly story time. Kids will receive a prize after they finish reading 8 books on their list! Contact your local store or go here for more details.

Barnes & Noble

To reward your children in Grades 1-6 for reading during the summer, Barnes & Noble is offering up a Summer Reading Program that rewards kids with a FREE book after they have read 8 books of their choice. To participate, your kiddos will need to:

*Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal found here.
*Take the completed Reading Journal to their local Barnes & Noble store between May 20th and September 2nd, 2014.
*Chose a FREE Book from the selection on the Reading Journal list at your local store. It’s that easy!

Half Price Books

Children 14 and under can earn $5 in Half Price Books Back to School Bucks when they join the Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program! They will need to read for at least 15 minutes each day in the months of June and July, or have a grown up read to them. Download the reading log found here to record your child’s progress. Then turn it in to receive $5 in Half Price Books Back-to-School Bucks. The $5 discount card can then be applied to the pre-tax amount for a future purchase valid until 8/27/14. Limit one coupon per person, per visit. Go here for more details. 


Chuck E. Cheese

Each time your child reads for 2 weeks in a row, they will earn 10 FREE tokens at Chuck. E. Cheese!  Head on over here to print the form. Valid through 12/31/14 at participating locations. Food purchase required for redemption. Limit 1 of any free token offer per child per day. 

TD Bank Summer Reading Program

If you have a TD Bank near you, your kids can earn $10 to be deposited into their new or existing TD Bank Young Saver Account when they read 10 books.  Participating kids need to:

1. Read 10 books this summer.
2. Print out the Summer Reading Form
3. Write down the names of the books they’ve read
4. Take the form to the nearest TD Bank
5. Watch $10 be deposited into a new or existing Young Saver Account

Valid June 1st through August 31st, 2014. Must be 18 years of age or younger to participate. Bring form of ID for child for new account opening. Go here for more details.  

Do you know of any other free or cheap activities for kids this summer? If so, share them with us in the comments below! :D

(Thanks, Steff, Steph, Fiorella Freebies for a Cause, Free Stuff Times and Saving Dollars & Sense!)

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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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