The Top 2019 Tax Day Freebies ~ Free Stuff!

7:15 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

One of the few days throughout the year you can score freebies from your favorite restaurants, convenience stores, coffee shops and more!  It’s 2019 TAX DAY Freebies time!   Some of these deals will need a coupon others it is just asking for them when you head into the store.

Boston Market – $10.40 Special Tax Day Meal – Half chicken meal and a drink.  4/10-4/15.  No coupon necessary.

Bj’s Restaurant – Half off a Large Deep Dish or Tavern Cut Pizza, plus free delivery. Deal is good every Monday.

Cici’s Pizza – $4.15 for an Adult buffets when purchasing a drink on 4/15 only.  Print coupon for tax day deal.

 

FireHouse Subs – Get a FREE Medium Sub when you purchase a free medium sub, chips, and drink. 4/15-4/17. Show coupon on smart phone or print to receive free tax day deal.

Great American Cookie Company – Stop in  and receive a free Chocolate Chip cookie on Monday 4/15.
No Purchase Necessary!

Hot Dog on A Stick – One free Turkey hot dog or veggi dog all day 4/15/19.  No Purchase Necessary!

Noodles & Company – Sign up for NoodlesREWARDS and get a ceal for $4 off any online order of $10 or more in celebration of Tax Day 2019.

Office Depot/Office Max – Free 5# of shredding through April 27.  Print coupon and present

 

 

 

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It’s been a cold winter and time to find ways to reduce our natural gas consumption to reduce the monthly bill. There are several things that we have tackled to help our reduction of gas usage and ultimately lowering our expenses. Truthfully, some ways are effective where others seem like a waste of time. Over the years we have tried a few ways to reduce the winter heating bill, but without being consistent the efforts didn’t make any noticeable difference. That changed this winter because of consistency.

The first thing was obvious which is lowering the thermostat as much as we could tolerate. It was down to 60 degrees at night and never went above 65 degrees during the day. It did reduce the bill but quite frankly we were borderline freezing the entire time. This heavily reduced temperature was not going to work for us. However, one caveat is I think we slept better with the temperature very low at night. Now we are keeping the night thermostat set to 62 degrees and it seems to be the perfect night temperature. We are more comfortable with this temperature if we use flannel sheets too. If you don’t have flannel sheets, instead put a blanket on the cold cotton bottom sheet to keep warm. The fuzziness and thickness of the blanket keeps us snugly. It reminds me of camping when it’s super cold out but the fuzzy inside of the sleeping bag keeps us snugly warm.

What Worked to Reduce Our Heating Bill

We kept socks on but not just socks – they are wool socks. Yup…socks! Several years back everyone in the house got a pair for Christmas. It wasn’t until this year that the realization of how incredibly warm they kept our feet became real. Our toes were never cold when wearing them.  In the past, our house temperature was up higher, so the effectiveness of the wool socks wasn’t noticeable.

These wool socks are not scratchy like wool can be. The other way we saved was buying one 5 pair package of the men’s wool socks instead of the women’s wool socks. They were about $1.50 less per pair than the lady’s socks albeit not as pretty. It’s certainly a personal choice and I’d encourage you to do what best suits you and yours. It’s another way of saving is by not getting the “fancy” wool socks. 😊

Windows, of course! But this way is different.

Our windows played a big role in our house gas usage and being warm. It wasn’t by replacing them but strategically opening and closing the curtains at the right time during the day. During the day the curtains were opened only when it warmed up a bit outside or the sun was shining in giving natural heat. Now the trick for this to be effective is closing them up at the right time later in the day. We closed the curtains just before dusk and prior to the start of the evening cold. One extra step we did was in our daughters’ room we pinned a heavy beach towel over her windows. It was under the curtain, so it didn’t show. We used simple push pins to hold it up. We were finding her room to be so cold because the sun doesn’t shine in the direction of her room in the winter months and this extra insulation helped to keep the chill out of her room.

One weird trick that seems to work was lighting a candle and getting near the doors and windows. It wasn’t to light our way but to see if the flame was moved by any outside air coming through poorly sealed places. The bonus to this is when fixing the drafts and sealing the openings this will prevent bugs finding their way in too! There were several places that we used spray foam insulator at the windows and under the sink where pipes came into the house. We found a few doors that needed new seals. The sockets in our house had air blowing in through them. The fix we used were these little foam insulation pads that are designed for the outlets.

A couple of other things that quickly helped us save on the gas consumption was turning off the pilot light on the fireplace that was on 24/7 and turning down the water heater slightly.  Leaving the laundry room door open while doing laundry seems to warm up the hallway and after using the oven, I always leave the door open.  This always reminds me of when we were living in Wyoming in a house that was so cold our pillows would stick to the wall because of ice buildup. I would sit at the oven with its door open while it was on just to get my feet warm.  Also, I would put my chair on the floor heater and sit there as often as I could! I would NOT recommend either of these strategies to stay warm.

One very effective routine we have is to let heavy items semi-dry before putting them in the dryer. We use this trick with our heavy body towels, jeans, blankets, and sheets. We clip them to a pant hanger and let them hang inside the laundry room or outside until they are about 75% dry and only slightly damp. At this time, we put them in the dryer to finish up drying. We get the fluffing benefits of the dryer without the items being in the dryer long. This technique greatly reduces the time the dryer is on and the items are not stiff like only line drying can cause. Plus, I have a mental thing about needing the sheets to hit a high temp to make sure they are sanitized.

 

What do you think?
Will either of these ideas help with gas consumption?

First, does putting a dry towel in with wet items help?  I had someone tell me this technique will help the clothes dry faster and reducing the drying time.  To me, it won’t reduce the humidity level in the dryer at all because the same moisture is still enclosed in the dryer. What do you think? Yeah or Nay?

And the other question that I could never confirm to be helping us to save is, when using the gas dryer will there be a gas savings by drying loads of clothes back-to-back?  This would mean doing one wash load after another and never letting the dryer cool down.  Somewhere along the years I had heard this concept but could never determine it helped.  It makes sense that the dryer is hot and putting the next load into the dryer means metal of the dryer is warm, but does that equate to gas savings? I don’t know and that question has yet to be answered.  If by chance it does save, I think it may be so slight that it’d take years to influence lowering the gas usage in our home. What do you think?

Our overall cost reduction from this year to last is about 15%.  Next year will show us our true savings providing we can keep up our efforts.  Then, we will know the effectiveness of all these changes and if we want to keep them up.

 

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Homework Help with Dad

Now that school has started, you may be experience the dread of nightly homework.  These tips and ideas may help you get on track and schedule.

THREE MAIN TIPS:

  1. REWARDS for good behavior- Rewarding good behavior is just as important if not MORE important than punishment for bad behavior. Helping out around the house, playing nicely with their siblings, a good report card…all of these are examples of good behavior and should be rewarded. Make sure the child knows exactly why they are being rewarded, so that they’ll know that this is how they are expected to act.
  2. TIMEOUTS! –the secret to these is consistency and fairness. I would recommend giving a warning before a timeout, and if the bad behavior continues follow through EVERY TIME with the necessary time out. Empty threats teach children that sometimes they can get away with acting out
  3. CONSEQUENCES– if the child makes a mess THEY should be responsible for cleaning it up. You can help, or show/tell them how to do it. But it’s important that THEY take responsibility for THEIR actions.

 

Extra Tips for HAPPY children:

  • AFFIRM your child’s self-worth is based on the person he is, and not to compare himself to others
  • DEVELOP a mission statement for your family that focuses on- mind, body, heart, and spirit
  • Constantly remind your kids that you LOVE them just the way they are
  • GRADES are not a reflection of the type of person your child is; if your child is struggling in a subject get them the necessary help without making them feel stupid.
  • Have your kids teach YOU what they’re learning about (in school)
  • LISTEN to your children; give them your full attention and respond accordingly
  • CONTROL how much television your children watch; there’s no need for children to have access to television 24/7, especially younger children
  • Computers should be used for homework and other NECESSARY things on school nights. If children are spending a great deal of time on the computer for fun activities, it’s a hard habit to change.  Limit fun time for  after homework completion rewards or weekends only.

Adapted from Stephen Covey 7 Habits

Mr. Cameraman (a.k.a as my dear husband Mike) was a 7 Habits class facilitator and our kids were required to read 7 Habits of Highly effective Teens in school last year.  The principles Stephen Covey conveys will enhance your life and relationships.  It is worth applying his habits.

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freeze yogurt

Great deals on yogurt are awesome and it’s worth stocking up.  But it is dairy and certainly has an expiration date.    When buying yogurt (or any dairy for that matter) checking the expiration dates and purchasing the product with the longest expiration will give extra time to use up the products.  But then what?    The best solution — freeze the yogurt cups!

Search the Free Coupon Finder for yogurt coupons!

Amy wrote and said ~

I was going through my fridge (and coupons) and realized that I have a TON Activia 4 packs that I got free the past couple weeks at Target and have coupons for realllllly cheap ($.50) YoBaby 4 packs that are on Price Cut this week…..so I will stock up. But the expiry dates are only 1 month or so out (MAX), and I would hate to pass up, or have the products go to waste. So I was looking into freezing them and found a great post and thought I would share, and your readers may like it too!!

 

Officially, this what the manufacturers like Stoneyfield and Dannon say:

Does freezing yogurt destroy or alter the effectiveness of the live cultures?
You can freeze a cup of yogurt. A cup of yogurt that has been frozen and thawed will have a different look and texture than fresh yogurt. The cultures become dormant when frozen, but once thawed either in the refrigerator or by your body heat when ingested; they will become live and active once again. There will be a few cultures that do die, but there are so many billions in our products, that it is truly insignificant.

Can DANNON Yogurt Be Frozen? It’s okay to freeze yogurt overnight to pack in a lunch for the following day. However, it won’t be as smooth and creamy as yogurt fresh from the refrigerator. The yogurt may undergo some changes in texture and/or taste. Because some individuals do not find these changes to their liking, it is recommended that you “test freeze” a couple of tablespoons in a small cup before freezing a large quantity. When freezing DANNON Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt, be sure to stir before freezing for the best results.

So that’s good news, many of the cultures come back to life. ZOMBIE YOGURT.

how to freeze yogurt

And I found a tip for those small kids cups of yogurt, stab a Popsicle stick through the top before you freeze it and you’ll have a frozen yogurt Popsicle for the kids!

The main concern I found when reading up on the subject was that plain yogurt and the like tend to separate, though they can be stirred, and tasting it with a spoon may make it apparent it was frozen previously, using it in a recipe would make it not as noticeable.  HOWEVER I think most people are referring to the fruit and sweetened type of yogurt and those are much more stable when frozen and/or thawed.

We’ve had great success freezing cups of yogurt and Go-Gurts, and nothing I’ve found suggests that freezing doesn’t extend the expiration date.

Remember, your household freezer doesn’t keep stuff good as long as a “deep freeze” or a freezer that is only rarely opened. Temperatures are maintained when the door is nearly always shut and the food stays good longer.

So that’s about it. I love feeding my family yogurt because it is so healthy for our “gut” and keeps life moving “regularly”. It is a really good snack too!

Amy is a stay-at-home mom in Sunny So Cal with her wonderful husband, one amazing son and 2 small dogs. She loves saving money with coupons and pays it forward by teaching classes on how to use coupons the RIGHT way!

Find yogurt coupons in the Free Coupon Finder!

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Do you have a great tip or idea you would like to share with the Tip Resource readers?
Please contact me and share your ideas! 

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So, I have to tell you about a legitimate way to earn gift cards while you are out and about shopping.  Shopkick is not new but I recently started using it so I can earn gift cards to a couple of store (Target and Starbucks are my 2 favorites).

There are not many app where  you can truly earn cash that are real and easy to use!  Shopkick is one of the few I have found.  It is super easy and my kids are old enough to use it too!

You can earn $5 in a week without a purchase. First, download the Shopkick app, turn on bluetooth. When you walk in to the store, or sometime near by with the bluetooth on you will get “kicks” (points).

You can scan the products listed in the app for that store for more “kicks” and there is no purchase necessary. It seems on the weekend the “kicks” value are higher. Plus earn for online shopping too.   If you purchase items on the list, submit your receipt for more “kicks”.

It’s SO simple to redeem your rewards for a gift card! The app lets you know you have a reward ready and once you have 500 “kicks” you can redeem $2 gift card. However, I wait for 1250 “kicks” to get the $5 gift cards. Weekly I get a $5 gift card.

There are many places to get your gift cards from:  Walmart, Starbucks, Eagle Outfitters, Lowes, Target, Ebay, Cheesecake Factory, Gamestop, Old Navy, Itunes and more.

Sign up here for Shopkick & start earning your gift cards! 

 

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Free On Your Birthday – Retail Deals

Nothing is better than celebrating your birthday with free deals sent from your favorite retailers.  Get these birthday freebies and make this year birthday even more special.

See more FREE On Your Birthday Deals!

 

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