Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Never be afraid to ask for a deal!

In January, I wrote a post about emailing companies to let them know what you think of their product-whether you love them or hate them. If you have not read that post, check it out here. For today's Thrifty Thursday, I want to talk a bit about that and expand it our a bit to just say never be afraid to ask for a deal!  That old saying that is never hurts to ask is SO true in getting deals and living frugally! This is something I have really learned from my husband.

Let me explain.  Last week for Thrifty Thursday, I wrote about cheap dating.  We were very frugal in our dating, and I was always good with that. But I will tell you something, I was NEVER someone that would ask for a discount, would barter, or would even try to ASK for a deal, an upgrade, or a special service.  It just never occurred to me.  That all changed on our honeymoon.

Wes is 9 months (or 1 pregnancy) younger than me, and when we got married I was the only one old enough to rent a car. So, upon arrival in Florida, we headed over to the car rental place, where I started to check in and get our cheap car (the absolute cheapest we could get). Before they assigned us the car, Wes said "Hey! It's our honeymoon! Do you have any honeymoon specials?" Initially I was pretty surprised that he would ask about that, but the guy behind the counter smiled a huge smile, and upgraded us 2 car levels for free AND discounted the price overall! It was like magic!

Wherever we went the rest of our honeymoon, we made sure to mention it was our honeymoon, and got TONS of freebies! Free Parking, Free passes to the water park, free upgrades, free desserts and appetizers-ALL kinds of stuff!

So, my first tip for you is to tell people about special occasions! People often want to help you celebrate. That is why  restaurants have birthday deals and anniversary deals. Which reminds me-sign up for birthday and anniversary clubs at local restaurants, or stores that have them.  That is tip 2!

Now another tip I have learned from Wes since our honeymoon is that you should never be afraid to ask for an upgrade! Often hotels or car rental places (for example) have lots of people reserve the cheapest option, and their upgraded options are just sitting there unused. So, often if you ask a bout a free upgrade, they will give you one.  It never hurts to ask-the worst case scenario is that they say no and you get exactly what you ordered! So, tip 3 is Never be afraid to ask for an upgrade!

The last thing I want to mention in this post is what I talked about in the post here: Telling companies what you think of their product whether good or bad. You can read about some of my experiences with that by reading that post, but let me just say here, that you should be willing to write to companies (email is the usual way I go these days) and let them know what you think of their product! I have written to many companies to let them know why I appreciate their product, and I have occasionally written to companies to let them know why I was disappointed by their product/service. Often the company you notify will send you coupons or freebies in the mail in response! So, Tip 4 is to Tell companies what you think of their product or service!

What other tips do you guys have to go along with this? Have any of you had experiences where you were able to put any of these things into practice? Please share your experiences or tips with us all!

Next week's Thrifty Thursday will focus on how the "cheapest" is not always the best option, using the example of  The Castaway Hotel from my honeymoon-trust me, you will not want to miss this one!!


Disney's 50 Days of Music: Day 18: Following the Leader

Today's download is "Following the Leader" from Peter Pan. I just downloaded mine from the link in their Facebook status!

My sister said she cannot get these downloads to work. Is anyone else having trouble? When I do it each day, there are 2 links in their status, and I click on the first link as that one will take you to the song download (the second link will take you to iTunes where you can buy the whole album if you so desire).  Once I click on it, a new window opens and because of my computer security, a yellow line appears across the top of the new window saying Internet Explorer blocked the download for my safety. I right click that and tell it to download, then I choose to save it, and put it in my mp3 folder on my desktop.  That is how it works for me. Just thought I would share in case you were all having trouble!

If you have not done so yet you can either become a friend on Facebook, a follower on Twitter or text Disney Music at 66937 so you can get your free downloads.


FREE Ice Cream Sundaes @ Walmart Saturday May 22

This is another awesome freebie this Saturday May 22. Walmart is having a Joy of Ice Cream event where you can get a free ice cream sundae at a Walmart near you. Just stop by between 11:00AM - 4:00PM. Their website says:

Come have a free ice cream sundae* with Breyers new and exclusive flavors, and Blue Bunny Premium Ice Cream and new All Natural Frozen Yogurt topped with Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, Reddi-wip, and Fresh Strawberries.

*While supplies last.

Please click here to find a participating store near you.

Thanks The Freebie Blogger.


SLC: Half off Sweet treats and Cafe eats at Les Madeleines

Today's Salt Lake City Groupon is $5 for $10 Worth of Sweet Treats and Café Eats at Les Madeleines.

As with all the deals, make sure you check out the fine print before purchasing. To sign up for Groupons, click on my referral link here (this does NOT commit you to buying any deal-you choose what you buy) and to see the Salt Lake City page, including today's deal, click here.

Not sure what Groupons is? Then click here to read all about it!


Omaha: 51% off Golf Simulation

Today's Omaha Groupon is $17 for One Hour of Golf Simulation at Beyond Golf Sports and Spirits in LaVista ($35 Value).

As with all the deals, make sure you check out the fine print before purchasing. To sign up for Groupons, click on my referral link here (this does NOT commit you to buying any deal-you choose what you buy) and to see the Omaha page, including today's deal, click here.

Not sure what Groupons is? Then click here to read all about it!


NEW Stoney Brook HyVee Kids Club FREEBIES + grand opening stuff

Well, I finally made it over to the New Hy-Vee at Stoney Brook and 144th Street, and all I can say is WOW! That is one heck of an upgrade from the store at Oak View mall (which is the one Stoney Brook is replacing).   Also, I want to mention that I LOVE Grand Openings-while I was there yesterday, they announced a quick 30 minute (or while supplies last) sale on ground beef for only $1.49/lb. I stocked up on that (there was plenty to share around). Awesome!

I have already told you about the sales going on this week, and about the FREE Hot Dogs at the Gas Station on Saturday May 22, but I will repeat that information at the end of this post.

Right now though I want to tell you about the Kids Club at the new Stoney Brook Hy-Vee. First of all, membership in Kids Club is FREE. When I walked in yesterday, they had a table set up to sign kids up, and each of my kids got a pretty good sized bag of popcorn (in a sealed plastic wrapper), and a sucker. And in the future, if you sign your kids up for the Kids Club, the kids will get:
  • 6 free cupcakes on their birthday
  • Monthly kids offers mailed to them
  • Eat FREE on Tuesdays with an adult meal purchase at any of the following eating locations in the store: Italian, Chinese Express, Kitchen, Deli, or Salad Bar
  • Special Activities every Saturday from 10 am- 2pm
  • FREE treats every time you visit the store
The FREE treats are awesome! Here they are listed by department:
  • Italian: Free kids slice of cheese pizza (What?! Sounds like lunch to me...) 
  • Chinese: Free piece of Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Kitchen: Free piece of candy
  • Deli: Free slice of Cheese
  • Bakery: Free cookie
  • Meat: Free picture to color
  • Pharmacy: Free sticker
  • Front End: Free sucker
  • Customer Service: Free toy
  • Floral: Free balloon
As a reminder here are some of the grand opening sale prices going on now through Sunday May 23:
  • Yoplait Yogurt 6 oz $.37 (limit 12)
  • House of Raeford Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts 2.5lb bag $3.77 (limit 4)
  • Hy-Vee Canned Veggies 12 count  $3.97 (making them $.33 each-limit 4)
  • Pepsi Products 6 pack 24 oz bottles $1.97 (limit 2)
  • 85% lean Ground Chuck $1.98/lb
  • DiLusso: Buy 1 lb sliced meats, get 1/2 lb cheese FREE
  • Driscol Strawberries 4 lb package $3.96
  • Totino's Pizza $.88
There is also a Hy-Vee gas station at the new store, and this Saturday, May 22 from 10am-4pm you can get a FREE hot dog just for stopping by!



LOTS going on in Omaha on Saturday (May 22)

Isn't that a beautiful picture? I took it at Lake Zorinsky.

Speaking of Lake Zorinsky, there is yet another event this Saturday (May 22). From 10 AM to 2 PM the Omaha City Parks and Recs department will have their Spring into Summer celebration at Zorinsky Lake (3808 S 156th St). There will be live music and a climbing wall, and you will be able to buy Summer Swimming pool passes and register for summer programs.

Looks like Saturday will be a busy day for me (and of course Wes is on call). Look at all the options I have: The Old Navy Flip Flop Sale, the church kids activity, the free hot dogs at the new Stoney Brook Hy-Vee, the Village Point events, and this parks and recs activity, I will be running around all day! If my son is feeling up to it by then anyway...