Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Free Night of Theater!

Big thanks to my husband's mom for raising him to always tolerate and usually enjoy most any cultural event I drag him to. I do watch a lot of sports for him, so it works out pretty well.  And since the hubby appreciates free things almost as much as I do, we're HUGE fans of the Free Night of Theater. Last year we got two free tickets to Shakespeare Tavern- which freed up some funds to eat dinner there and have a beer during the show. It was a great night! 

So here's how to score two free tickets to a variety of upcoming shows...
All you have to do is go to the website and order your free tix. Pretty foolproof.  The key is that the ticket window opens at 2PM TOMORROW, so go to the website tomorrow afternoon for your first choice! There are a decent amount of theaters participating: Alliance Theater, Georgia Shakespeare,  Dad's Garage, etc. and though a lot of them are on Thursday nights, there are a variety of dates between Oct 15 & 30th.  Let's go be cultured for free!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Free beer and people who know about it.

If you haven't been to Hop City Beer & Wine in Midtown (1000 Marietta St.- basically behind Georgia Tech) you should probably go- right now... or as soon as humanly possible! They're a great store with people who know about beer and wine. They'll help you find a beverage that you'll love -and that's in your price range! The selection is extreme- seriously my husband was so happy it was a little ridiculous. Not only are they a great store, but they sponsor FREE tastings!! Um yeah, that means free beer. They have the tastings across the street at the Octane Coffee Bar (1009 Marietta St) which is a cool, comfortable coffee shop that also serves beer & wine- which is awesome. It's definitely a tasting, so you don't get full size beers, but it was fun sitting at the bar learning about the beers from the beer reps and we weren't disappointed with the amount we got to sample.  It's a perfect FREE happy hour treat. There's a free Hop City tasting at Octane TOMORROW! Wednesday Sept 30 5-7PM. Not that it really matters what kind of beer, but it's good stuff from Belukus Brands- Youngs Double Chocolate Stout & Blanc de Brussels!  

Don't worry, if you miss tomorrow's free tasting, there are more free tastings at Octane on October 7 & 14!  And they seem to do them pretty often... which is AWESOME! Free beer makes me smile. 

Monday, September 28, 2009

$1.50 for a Movie?? Cheap Dates Rock.

This is my first "Cheap Night Out" post. I might do one once a week or less or more.. I obviously have a well-thought out plan. :) 

The classic dinner & movie is getting to be RIDICULOUSLY expensive.  So let's create a viable and more creative alternative. It starts with a new theater. There aren't many cheap theaters in Atlanta, but I LOVE Picture Show at Merchants in Marietta (East Cobb County).  Tickets are $1.75 each .. all the time... except on Tuesdays when they're $.75 and for matinees which are $1.25. Awesome!

So let's assume you're not messing with the classic date night that much and you're going out on a weekend night, so that's $3.50 for 2 tickets and then what. I guarantee you're going to want to do something after you see a movie at Picture Show, so instead of dinner before hand, do a movie & go out afterwards. It's just more entertaining to see a movie at Picture Show- the crowd is more interactive, people laughing or clapping inappropriately- you'll want to debrief the whole experience afterwards. Though it's not a fancy place, I've never found the seats sticky or the place creepy in anyway. If you go knowing it's a cheap theater, you'll love it! 

Ideas for going out afterwards... So you've made the trip out to East Cobb, now what? Here are two recommendations. Everyone loves ice cream, but make yourself look like you know all the local & best spots and go out for gelato Roma's Gelato & Italian Ice. You'll turn left on Roswell from the theater and keep going until you turn right at Piedmont & it's in the shopping center on the corner. Around $3 a person gets you YUMMY gelato. And you can ask to sample flavors till you find what you like- which will be all of it. 

If you prefer a drink to a frozen treat, I recommend Suburban Tap. It's right around the corner from the theater. Have a beer, catch up on sports scores on their tv's & if you go to a 7ish movie on a Saturday, you'll be there to catch team trivia which is ALWAYS fun. I can't vouch that they're drinks are especially cheap, but it's not an expensive place and it has that local-bar-with-loyal-customers feel. If you do want to eat, here's a $3 off $20 or more coupon

So go live it up in East Cobb & enjoy your movie!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My sick shirt

So, you all know the feeling- you wake up in the morning and feel the tickle in your throat. Your head hurts, you can't breath through your nose, etc. You're sick. You can deny it- "Oh I'm just starting to get sick, but I'm not sick yet." Yeah, whatever. You're sick. When I wake up like that- like I did today- I'm obviously going to wear my sick shirt.

Yeah, I have a sick shirt. It's an older banana republic t-shirt- light blue, with a boatneck and just perfect. It's comforting, simple and adds a feeling of being well-put-together that I'm going to lack b/c I'm blowing my nose every 2 minutes. I can pair it with a shirt or nice pants if I'm going to work, or like today, it's obviously with jeans. I've even rocked it with track pants when I've felt awful but need to look enough like a human to go to the doctor's office or run to the drugstore. I only wear the shirt when I'm sick, because it's the sick shirt. 

So I'm sick and decided to try a natural cure. Have you ever searched the internet for natural cures? There are like a million. I decided to focus my search to the use of apple cider vinegar. Basically, I've been taking dayquil liquid which tastes really bad, so I think apple cider vinegar is a better option. I just gargled with some apple cider vinegar and water and it actually tasted good. I have no idea of it'll help, but I'm trying it. I think I'll try some vinegar & honey "tea" later. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Store brands are great...

I love store brands & am a HUGE believer that you really do save a lot of money by buying generic, store brands. There are a ton of things that I buy store brand and there's no difference to me- and sometimes the store brand is better. Target brand Archer Farms is delicious AND last time I went I was able to find little red tags with great discounts on some of their Archer Farms frozen stuff b/c they discontinue products to control inventory (a bag of frozen veggies & calzones- good stuff). Also, I'm obsessed with Publix brand ice cream. I bought Publix Irish Cream ice cream once and got totally addicted- even think their packaging is pretty. 

BUT there are just some times where store brand doesn't cut it. We all have our loyalty items. My biggest by far is Classico Tomato Sauce. I love it! It's what my food-loving family raised me on and other sauces seem to taste too ketchup-y to me. I've been mixing it up lately, trying some of the other brands that try to look like classico and they're really just not as good. So what do you do when you're trying to hunt down a good deal on a specific brand/product?

Coupon Databases! It's exactly what it sounds like- a searchable list of all the coupons that are available. Some good coupon databases: A Full Cup & Hot Coupon World. There aren't a ton of coupons out there right now for my Classico, but when it's on sale, I can turn to the coupon database, make it as cheap as possible and stock up!

Happy couponing!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saved by the coupon code!

When I know I need clothes or am running low on shampoo, I can be on the lookout for deals, promotions, coupons, etc... but that's not always the case. There are times when you just need to buy something at the last minute. For me, it's usually buying something online and usually at like midnight... like 36 hours before you need the item in your hands. 

So what am I to do when my frugalness is challenged by my procrastination? Turn to coupon codes! So let's say I just realized it's the day before Mother's Day and neither mom or mom-in-law have gifts yet. This is obviously a hypothetical situation since both of them could be reading this :) but if it was real, I'd be looking to go online and quickly order flowers so they can be delivered ASAP. In one extra step, I can easily save 15-25%... so what's the extra step?
  • Go to You can search for a specific store or in the above completely made up example, you can search flowers and then click on the flowers related coupon category on the right and it'll pull up all the current coupon codes. So right now, there are a bunch of discounts, including a code for 25% off at Teleflora, which means it's an instant $10 off! 
  • Do a Google search for "storename coupon code".   This works well when you're getting someone a wedding gift and they have three store options- a quick search can tell you which store you should buy from. And there are a ton of great sites like Retail me not that can pretty instantly save you money or at least get you free shipping!
Once you have the coupon code, you just enter it when you're checking out and you're all set. Mother's Day (or the next special occasion I forget about) is saved by the coupon code!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to be selfish & still donate to charity!

Always using coupons and shopping for deals, frees up some funds to donate to worthy causes... which is awesome, but there's still only a set amount of money, so here are some ways to give to charity that benefits the organization AND you!
  • Use your normal activities to help raise money: There are often promotions where money goes towards an organization just for buying a certain thing at that time that you would have bought anyway. Here's a GREAT example of doing what you'd normally do and helping others... This week is Share our Strength's Great American Dine Out. There are a TON of Atlanta restaurants who have committed to donate money during the week of Sept 20-26 (THIS WEEK) to Share our Strength, which fights childhood hunger in the US. Go to their website to find restaurants near you and be sure to ask the restaurant how they're participating to see if there's a set menu or item you need to order, if it's just a blanket donation they're making of their sales this week, etc. 
  • Go to charity events to network: People always say it's "who you know" that gets you new jobs, promotions, new clients, etc... so get out there and meet important people. A weeknight charity event with an auction, open bar & food, is a great place to meet high-up folks! This Thursday, September 24th, 21st Century Leaders -a youth leadership development organization- is having an event called the Fete at the Foundry. At the event, Atlanta's 40 under 40 (as named by the Atlanta Business Chronicle) are announcing this year's 20 under 20... so that means that the $35 ticket price gets you shoulder to shoulder with a TON of important folks that the ABC thought were the best of the best, all while supporting impressive young leaders, plus enjoying the usual food, drinks, music & auction. Awesome! Bonus: if you can't make the event, they're also raffling off a vespa & a MacBook Pro, so you can make a straight $20 donation, but it comes with a chance to win something really cool. 
  • Make your fun social activity one that help a cause: My great example of this is all day beer & music festivals that also benefit charities like the upcoming HOToberfest on October 3, 2009 at Glenwood Park. Seriously, $30 gets you in the beer garten to sample 110 beers from around the world AND the event is focused around sustainability and care of the Earth, so funds raised go to great earth-friendly organizations like Trees Altanta & Upper Chatahoochee Riverkeeper. For as much as you'd spend at a bar that night, you get an all afternoon activity that helps great causes and help educate you on things you can do to enjoy the Earth and good beer! That's happiness pie.
  • Jump in to help!: I love me a charity gala with floor length dresses, huge auctions, dancing, good food & free drinks... but even with a lot of coupon using, I cannot easily justify $150+ a ticket. The FrugalFab solution is to volunteer! Find an organization you like and an event that is super fru-fru and tell them you'd like to help.  Be ready to put in the time- usually greeting people for at least the first hour or helping with the auction & check out during the last hour. Most organizations will let you be a normal guest during the times you're not set to help, which means like half the time, you're partying on someone else's dime and you don't have to feel guilty because your manpower helped the event be successful and raise money for the cause!
I'll continue to highlight nonprofit charity events that I think are a great way to put your money to good use!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Free samples are my friend

Before I got hugely into using coupons and hunting for every deal I could find, I was into signing up for free samples.  Free stuff is awesome- especially things like food & laundry detergent that you'll definitely use. There are some really good sites that give you legit free samples from companies that are truly looking to give you the item and not just trying to get you to fill out "free" offers or spam your email address.  Here are some great places to start: my three fav sites AND my three favorite current freebies!

Mommy Saves Big- This is an awesome site. You'll have to click on the Free Samples section since they also have online discount codes, printable coupons, etc. 
  • Currently my favorite free sample from Mommy Saves Big is Free Betty Crocker Potatoes. Now you do have to sign up for the Betty Crocker newsletter, but they don't spam you. It'll let you truly unsubscribe and you can always get another email to use just for samples. I do that and like having all the e-newsletters from companies in one spot so you can scan for coupons and good recipes. 
A Cheap Chicks Ray of Sunshine- If you're worried about spammers and bogus freebies, Cheap Chick is your girl. She is always on the lookout for legit freebies and does "Forget it freebie alerts" to let you know which companies to avoid. She also has a coupon database.
  • My current favorite freebie on Cheap Chick is a free Evil Ronald McDonald Mask from PETA because it proves that there are all sorts of random freebies available online! Don't worry, she does have a lot of less obscure free stuff too!
Free Sample Freak- Brandie posts great freebies and has a very happy & colorful blog. 
  • My current favorite freebie from Free Sample Freak is Free Burt's Bees Acne Solutions because Burt's Bees is awesome and I've heard good things about their acne stuff!
Much more on free samples to come in future blog posts! :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mall Coups!

I am hoping to do some shopping this weekend. If you are too, here are some great deals!

Going to the Mall? Check out the great food court coups and more at! Discounts at the Mall of Georgia, Perimeter Mall, Atlantic Station & Town Center Mall. Oh & the Taco Bell at Lenox & Cumberland Mall, too.
  • Now on Hip and Savvy, most are food court coupons, but there are a few hidden coupons to be aware of! Like the Perimeter Mall coupons have coupons for Wildfire & Maggiano's- two great restaurants at the Mall, but not in the mall. The Perimeter Mall coupons also have a 15% off watch repair, which is handy.
Here's an AWESOME printable Ann Taylor 40% off any full price coupon. I am excited to use that one!

It's pink & paisley!

Seriously, I am not a very girly girl, but I am excited to rock out my new pink & paisley coupon box. I love paisley and actually have a cat named Paisley (and another cat named Argyle- for not being a fashionista, I have a thing for fabric patterns with cool names). I'm definitely not finished organizing the coupons yet, so there will be more pics of the inside to come. 

Now I will feel cool using my coups. Hopefully. That is the goal. Oh and to save more money because I can actually find the coupons I want to use!

My dad is my coupon hero

Growing up, my dad had a black index card box that I estimate has saved him like 1 million dollars (that's a loose estimate). He would not only clip coupons every Sunday, but he had (and still has!) his coupon box organized by aisle in his grocery store. He has a definite system. It's awesome. 

So with all that awesomeness upbringing, I went to the store Wednesday to buy a box to hold my coupons. This should be a simple endeavor, but suddenly I got very concerned about how my coupon box would look to others. I suddenly wanted to look cool- and am choosing to express my coolness through my coupon organizer which is possibly the least cool thing, um ever. So after going to three stores, I came home and scoured my house for cool boxes. I think I've found a suitable box- it's a makeup box so as bonus, there's a little mirror in the top and elastics to hold a pen & mini scissors! I'm still working it out, so hopefully later today I'll post pictures of my makeup/coupon box.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bonus Virtual Coups: The Basics

I know, I know, Publix is cooler than Kroger. But the Kroger Card makes shopping at the Krog fun, frugal & fabulous!

Bonus coupons are a lot of the reason why my Kroger Card is so dear to me. You can literally load coupons onto your card so there's nothing to clip, no wasted paper (yey for the environment) and you can use them on top of printed coupons, so you can save a ton. All you have to do is register you card # with these sites and then choose your coups. This takes like 2 minutes and can be done all online, so it was designed for the lazy & cheap... like me!

Shortcuts is my favorite because it also has coupons for Kroger brand items. Really, store brand and bonus coupons is happiness. Cellfire often has some of the same coups as Shortcuts, which means you can get both the cellfire coupon, the shortcut coupon & a paper coupon together. There's also PG&E Saver which I don't like as much as the others because I don't really buy name brand, but it has a lot of decent deals.

I'll be talking about these sites a bunch, so check them out and I'll highlight deals I like on future posts.

Great tailgating coupon:
.65 off Kroger Cornitos OR Tortilla Chips from Shortcuts - that ended up being .35 for a bag of tortilla chips... during football season! 

Ok so my first real post is about virtual coupons because I just don't have a good coupon organizing system. Somehow, just putting them all in my purse is not working- don't ask me for a pen b/c I'll never find it! Anyway,  my paper coupons are in total disarray. Tomorrow I'll post on my new coupon organizer!

OMG I have a blog

Why am I starting a blog? Really, a lot of reasons. It makes me happy inside to use a coupon, I love living in Atlanta and simply adore good deals, especially on food and beer. You'll notice that I mention food and beer a lot in my blog, because well, I like to eat & drink... kinda a lot. :)  

I'm thinking this will be a mixed bag blog: part coupon blog- where my posts are short and mostly directing you to the most recent awesome deal I've found, part this-is-my-life blog- where you'll learn too much about me and I'll share my crazy perspective on things going on, and part sweet & sour mix- as all good cocktails are. As a young adult working full-time and attempting to be a good wife, I don't have the time I'd like to devote to couponing, so my version is a doable level of coupon-obsession and money-saving things & places I recommend.  Enjoy!

And follow me on Twitter: