Wednesday, January 20, 2010

**FREE $10 Coupon book from Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker has a free coupon booklet available here. You have to sign up for their newsletter to get it.

Thanks For the Mommas.

Lots of FREEBIES (but it looks like you pay Shipping) from Vista Print

Vista Prints just emailed me a "Last Chance" Deal for a bunch of free items but it looks like you have to pay shipping. I have not gone through this offer yet, but I have ordered from Vista before so this should work. Check out the link here to see if there are things you want. I know I have my eye on those flip books pictured above! I will have to wait though because responsibilities are calling...

**FREE Cream of Wheat Sample

Cream of Wheat is offering samples-you get to choose the kind you want. Click here to sign up.

Thanks Mojo Savings.

Dave and Buster's deals!

Dave and Buster's will give you $10 in free play just for signing up for their Rewards club. You can sign up here. They also have 1/2 price games on Wednesdays for a limited time and $15.99 Eat and Play combo. I have never been there before, but there is one close by-sounds like Wes and I might have to have a date night!!

Thanks The Freebie Blogger.

FREE year-long meal planner from Mueller pasta (in some stater)

Mueller pasta will send you a year-long weekly meal planner if you click here and sign up. Offer only available in Alabama, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia.

**Email Companies that you love or hate, let them know what you think

One of the frugal blogs I love and check out everyday is Couponing to Disney. Not only does she have great deal ideas & Freebies, but she pays for Disney trips with money from "smart shopping"!! (How much do I love Disney?!) One program she started is her 5-a-Day program. You can read all about her project here but basically, she emails 5 companies a day to compliments or complains to them about their product.

I bring up her amazing program (which she obviously put A LOT of time and effort into), because it brings up a great bargain/coupon tip. That is that often if you just email a company and let them know about your experience with their product, whether good or bad, they will often send you coupons or freebies. I do not email companies everyday, but if I have a genuine experience, whether good or bad with a product or company, I always write. To be honest, if I have a bad experience, I am far more likely to write. Let me tell you about a couple experiences I have had.

This one was quite a while back, but here it is. I went to my local Hyvee with my brand new debit card. I had never used it and I was anxious to do so (as I never truly believe it will work until it does). Well this time my fears were confirmed as it did not work. I was embarrassed, but told the checker that I would just pay on my credit card (Curses, I hate having to do THAT). But before I could even get my card out, the manager on duty came over yelling at me about how my card would not work and I was going to have to do something else. There were people I know there and she made an already embarrassing situation MUCH worse. On my way out the door I took note of the general managers name, phone number and email, and the second I got home, I called and emailed him. Within an hour I had 2 phone calls from the store, and 2 emails of apology. 2 Days later, a $25 gift card and a handwritten apology letter from the mean manager came in the mail.

Over the weekend, my husband and I had plans across town from Cheeseburger in Paradise, but wanted to try eating there even though it was out of the way. However, to make our across town plans, we thought we would need a reservation. As it turns out, they do not take reservations, but they do take call ahead seating and they assured us on the phone that if our whole party was there by 6:45, we would be seated right then. When we arrived (with a minute to spare) and told her our name and that we called ahead, the hostess told us we would have to wait 20-25 minutes and I questioned her about the promise on the phone. She snottily said "Oh you called ahead?" (we had already been over that once) Then after a couple more minutes of her realizing that we were on her list (and she had screwed up) she said, "I guess we might be able to get you in in about 10-15 minutes." I was pissed as it was already 5 minutes past our seating time and could not make our plans if we waited. I told her we would not wait or ever return there. She LAUGHED at us and said "K, 'Bye!" After this rude, terrible service, we went to Chipotle where we had GREAT service, GREAT food and a salvaged quick meal before our plans. When I got home I emailed both Cheeseburger in Paradise and Chipotle. I got an apology from Cheesburger in Paradise corporate office saying I would hear from the exact location soon. Nothing from Chipotle yet.

Last night I emailed Huggies to let them know that using another brand of wipes recently reminded me why I always use Huggies, and I thanked them for maintaining high quality products for my babies. This morning I had an email from them thanking me for taking the time to email them and letting me know they had sent me coupons in the mail.

You can and should be an opinionated consumer. Do not be afraid to let a company know about your experience with them. You might get some benefit out of your letter which is ideal, but for me, I just like to have my opinion heard. So, go out there and email the companies that make your life easier or the ones that do not. Be proactive though and tell the companies what you think! After you do, let me know if you hear back!

***Update: In response to the emails I sent in these examples, Cheesburger in Paradise sent an appology letter and an invitation to return and let them make up for it-there was a $25 gift certificate included.

Huggies mailed me 3-$2 off coupons. And since this email I have emailed and gotten free and high value coupons from Kikkoman and Stacy's Pita Chips as well.***

"Food Should Taste Good" giveaway at Recipe Lion

I may have mentioned before that I love to cook and I love, LOVE recipes. That being said, I am on the newsletter email list for Recipe Lion. I really like getting their newsletters which are full or recipe ideas and deals they think might be of interest.

Today's newsletter had a giveaway in it that I wanted to share with you all. They are giving away 3 "Food Should Taste Good" prize packages which include a 5-flavor sampling of Food Should Taste Good Chips, including Yellow Corn, Cinnamon, Potato & Chive, Lime and Multigrain. If you want a chance to enter, click here to fill out the form.
(I was not compensated for this opinion, but I will get a second entry in this giveaway for blogging about it.)

Join Geoffrey's Birthday Club

I got an email this morning from Toy R Us reminding me to sign my kids (under age 10) up for Geoffrey's Birthday club so they can get a birthday surprise. And really, who doesn't love a birthday surprise? Click here to sign up!