Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bargain Shopping ~ Computer Tips ~ Coupons ~ Financial Info ~ Freebies
People Hunting ~ Real Estate ~ Reference ~ Surveys ~ Travel/Entertainment


MyBargainBuddy and DealCatcher ~~ Check here first!

Now I was trying to stay in alphabetical order, but with the economy what it is these days...I gotta skip bargain shopping and just head to FREE! So if you want to just stick with 'plain, old free', you only need to know one thing ...


He's also got a sweepstakes section, a GREAT coupon section, and a section titled 'Money', listing what's on sale at your local discount stores, matched with the right coupons! And as good as some of the bloggers are at pointing out the great coupon deals, they are not trained in sifting through bad freebies. If you stick with FreeStuffTimes, you will not end up with an in-box full of spam and no freebie!

Other Coupon and Deal Sites:

salescircular - see free after rebate section! (mostly computer software)

coupons.com , eversave , smartsource , couponnetwork , redplum , sweetfinds , cellfire , P&G e-saver , shortcuts , mysavings , wow-coupons , thokalath , stingier , All You , spoofee , walletpop , dealoftheday , hip2save , couponcravings , vocalpoint , printablecouponsanddeals , recyclebank , couponcabin , couponmountain , anycoupons , couponheaven , dealtaker , slickdeals , bargainbriana , southernsavers , thriftymama , dealseekingmom , sundayads and free shipping codes.

Brick and Mortar coupons here.

Also, when using an on-line coupon code remember to always check that your code is doing what you intended before hitting the last 'I'm buying it' button. If the code isn't working and you buy it anyway, odds are you're out of luck! I usually stick with clearance items and sort items by price - low to high. Some websites do put clearance with their regular items, some keep them separate. When in doubt, head for clearance!

More must read tips can be found at CommonSenseWithMoney (east coast) and Chief Family Officer (west coast).


Magazines: Check the free section first though!

$5 magazines from Hearst Publications , ValueMags and BestDeal magazines.


MyPoints , ShopAtHome and Ebates

can help maximize savings. If you shop 'through' these sites you get either points towards gift cards or cash rebates. You can also find what you want on any website on their list, put it in the shopping cart to save it, and then go back through one of these websites to check out. Most websites will save the items in your cart even if you close the browser. And even if you don't do much shopping, just clicking on their emails (first two websites only) will still add up to free gift cards or cash back!


More Deals!

Meritline and Target Deals of the Day
great prices and lots of free shipping
Vista Print
free business cards - pay only shipping!


computer COMPUTER TIPS computer

Free computer classes of all types.

blogger.com - free blogging! Which I discovered thanks to Ashley at Memoirs from my Kitchen.

wordpress is also a very popular free blog. My favorite blog (when she finally posts!) is MoneyMateKate.

trendmicro housecall - free virus/malware/spyware scan

Total cost of this website: $11.18, plus $70 for four years of renewal fees!
Free GoDaddy hosting, which comes with their advertising at the top, and free CoffeeCup HTML editor.

I paid for the domain name and for private registry. If you don't have a lot of computer experience I would recommend upgrading to a higher level package. They have very reasonable fees and user-friendly programs!



You should be able to get at least two coupons out of all of them by hitting 'back' on your browser or the backspace key and then hitting 'refresh'. Some coupons will give you two anyway, some will give you one, and some will give you all you want. And I always check my shopping/fast food receipts to see if I've got a sweepstakes entry opportunity or a survey for free food!

Note: some stores do not take internet coupons, but there is a way to turn some internet coupons into snail mail coupons. I tried it with a 'bricks' coupon, which is one of the most common types. After clicking the link and loading the coupon for your printer, there will be a 'help' link at the bottom of the screen. Clicking on that may give you the option of requesting a coupon via snail mail.

Want more coupons? If you pull up coupons.com or smartsource or any of the other major coupon links, you can choose from whatever is being offered in your own zip code or you can try other zips. Another great place to find coupons is your neighborhood recycle bin! But if you STILL need more coupons (lol), try a clipping service. My favorites? Ebay, Kuntry Klippers and CouponsThingsbyDede.

Some people prefer printing coupons in browsers other than Internet Explorer. The most common ones? Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari (all free).

And for those couponers with a GROWING stockpile of items, here is a guide to expiration dates and information on building a basic pantry.

Advil PM , Air Wick , All You , Aquafresh , Arm & Hammer
Dawn - from Home Made Simple (mailed) , Drug Coupons & Rebates , Dryel
EatBetterAmerica - Total and Fiber One, Yoplait, Muir Glen, etc. , 8th Continent Soy Milk
Glade , Green Works
John Frieda , Just for Men Hair Color
Kashi cereal sign up , Kellogg's , Kix , Kraft promotions
Lea & Perrins , Libbey's , Listerine for kids
Making Life Better (Unilever) , Malt-o-Meal , Motrin
Naturally Savvy , Nestle Drumsticks , Nestle Evaporated Milk, Toll House morsels, cookie dough , Nestle Family , Newman's Own
Olay - Dawn Hand Renewal and Total Effects
Pampers , Pantene , Purina Puppy Chow
Reach/Listerine , Renuzit , Robitusson , Ronzoni Quick Cook
Seventh Generation , Silk PureAlmond , Simple and Delicious , Snackpicks coupons , Sudafed
Theraflu , Tylenol , Tylenol Cold , Children's Tylenol Plus
Wyeth - Alavert, Advil, Robitussin, Dimetapp, Fibercon, Primatene, Thermacare, Anbesol, Centrum, Preparation H, Caltrate


And check your fast food receipts for free surveys and sweepstakes!

Carl's Cool Kids
Carl's Jr.
Marie Callender's
Orange Julius BOGO
Shari's free slice of pie
Sonic sign-up
Taco Del Mar Sign up for coupons!
Wendy's sign-up


money_dollar FINANCIAL INFO money_dollar

SavingAdvice - lots of money and budget saving tips. Other good sites are Frugal Living and Better Budgeting. My favorite two are MSN Money and MSN's Smart Spending.

Unclaimed money for all states. You can also check on missingmoney.

For current or former California residents: SearchTheVault

Utility refunds, insurance refunds - all kinds of things you'd never even think about are in there. But unless you search correctly you might not find it. Leave out location entirely. Insert surname and if necessary (common surname), insert initial of first name.


coins FREE coins

Please read 'freebies about' first if you're a novice freebie hunter. Lots of spam will come if you sign up at the wrong places and you won't even get the freebie! They suggest a separate email address for this but even that can get unbearably overloaded. Here's my 'nutshell' version: If an item is being offered from the company that actually sells it or from a website you know and trust - great. If it's a marketing company, or doesn't show you clearly who and where they are, you probably won't get anything but spam.

But there are lots of things for free! And you can get free samples from just about anybody. Find the company website and look for coupons, offers and promotions.

freebies.about , dealigg , games to donate rice , mysavings , swagbucks , burger from Red Robin, heyitsfree , stuff for science teachers, annual credit report , freecycle , and savingadvice.

Microsoft on-line classes , Office Team free resources, dialing '511' for travel conditions , 1-800-FREE-411 (directory assistance), finding upcoming events near you, movies and television.

More Free ...

My Kids Eat Free
More Kids Eat Free Restaurants
Gerber backpack for newborns from Nestle
Walmart free samples and coupons



PeopleFinders , USA-People-Search , ZabaSearch , Google , MSN white pages , Switchboard , Classmates

Peoplefinders or usa-people-search are great starting points, or just 'google' or web search a name. Web information isn't always accurate or quite up-to-date, but this first site may give you an idea of what cities/states a person has lived in. Zabasearch will often give you an address and an estimate of age. MSN white pages may give you a current address and/or phone number. I like to cross-check information from several places to find consistent information. And I am not suggesting that you should pay for information from any of these sites. Only ONE time have I ever paid for any information ($3 for an obit) and the next day I found the same information for free!

Name search example: Susan Louise Jones , Susan L. Jones , Susan Jones , Sue Jones , Sue L. Jones , S. Jones

One person, at least six ways to search. May well give you six different answers! And maybe this person really goes by the name 'Louise'. Searching a birth name versus the name someone normally uses may give you information under one name or both.

Another place to find info is the local newspaper for the town where you think someone lives. Just type their name in the search box and see if anything comes up. To find a newspaper just search, for example, 'Dallas newspaper' (leaving out the quotation marks). Here are a few to get you started. I like to read them just for fun!


SF Chron , NY Times , Houston Chron , Reno-Gazzette, Denver Post , Orange County Register , Miami Sun

Finding email addresses:

I have found several old friends - even one abroad, by discovering where they work and then using the company's style of email address but inserting the name of the person I'm seeking. First, pull up the company website and see how they format email, usually at least found in the 'contact us' section. It may be something like 'john.doe@xxx.com'. Insert whatever their name is instead. It works!

Ancestry.com - Information on birth, marriage and death.

Free downloadable genealogy charts (scroll past the google ads).


flag_green REAL ESTATE flag_green

Trulia- searches everywhere. Each region of the country has their own multiple listing service website, also known as the 'MLS'. Trulia will show you many of the listings but you can also hunt for the MLS for the region you'd like to see. Realtor.com is another website although still not as comprehensive as the actual MLS.

Zillow - real estate valuation and information.



Birthday Calculator - fun facts about your birth day
Breast Cancer Awareness Blog
Care2.com - petition site
Dogdetective - for cats too - lost and found pets
Mouseprint.org - exposing deceptive advertising
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Monkeysee - instructional videos made by experts
Nolo.com - legal info and forms
Pet Airways - fly your pets safely!
Swapagift - buy, sell gift cards
Worldclock - time and weather around the world


pink flag SURVEYS pink flag

Microsoft On-Line Research Panel , e-Rewards (by invitation only) and Craigslist under 'ETC'. There are a variety of ways to join the websites listed by invitation only. MyPoints and InBoxDollars send out invitations as well as a few other websites.

Now these are not big money makers but if you keep at it eventually it adds up! And when they say 'paid', it doesn't mean they are necessarily paying cash. It may be something you don't want, or something that requires spending more money to redeem. Please read carefully!


Easy Sweeps!

Sweetie's Sweeps

On-line Sweepstakes



For travel or event discounts be sure to check Travelzoo and their top 20 list!

Latest Sales and Specials here.

The other big money savers are entertainment books from entertainment.com and gift certificates from restaurant.com. The best deals that I've found to buy entertainment books are through emails from InBoxDollars or MyPoints. You pay the latest sales price plus get cash or points back.

Lastly, great travel info from Frommer's.


Hope you find what you're looking for!

questions, comments, suggestions?
email to:

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