Frugalista

contests Archives

Another Chance to Win Aquaphor Prize Packs

 

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Didn't win that nice box of Aquaphor products when I was giving it away? And now winter's even closer with its nasty, dry-skin-inducing chills?

Don't despair! Head on over to Parenting Squad, where I occasionally write, and enter to win one of two prize packs. Just like it was here! But now it's there!

While you're over there, check out all the parenting tips and news written by parents, for parents.

Winners of the Buxr Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered the Buxr giveaway this weekend while I was at my brother's wedding. The consensus seems to be that Buxr looks like a useful site for finding deals, or at least it will be when there are more members participating.

The winner of the $100 Amazon gift card is Moodygirl, who said:

"I just registered and it seems like a good idea; they didn't seem to
have as many deals as the more established sites but I imagine once
word gets out and their search engine rankings get better, it might be
competitive. I like that it rewards members for their efforts.

I posted about it on my blog:
http://quiltznhoez.blogspot.com/2010/10/buxr-different-kind-of-saving-community.html"

The five runners up, who each win a Buxr travel mug and a tote bag, are:

thepennywatcher

jll

Miffy

Sara

tcarolinep

I'll be notifying the winners by email.

Weekend Giveaway: $100 Gift Card and Buxr Swag -- CONTEST CLOSED

It's only Thursday, but I'm leaving town any minute so let's crank up the weekend giveaway machine. You'll have until Monday at 2 p.m. (aka when the dust from my brother's wedding settles) to enter this one.

This week's giveaway sponsor is Buxr, a community where members get rewarded for sharing deals. I like this idea very much. There are lots of good deal communities out there, like Couponers Wanted, but all the participants get for their trouble is status within the group. Of course, that reward -- or the impulse toward helping the community, to be more generous -- seems to drive quite a lot of hard work by these good people.

Still, wouldn't a little bonus coupon be nice to sweeten the deal?

Today, Buxr is helping me give you guys a deal sweetener: One lucky entrant will win a $100 Amazon gift card. 5 slightly less lucky people, but still pretty lucky, will win a tote bag and a travel mug from Buxr. So, six winners.

Here's are the ways you can enter. You can do up to one of each for up to 3 entries:

1) Register at Buxr, try it out, and comment here with your opinion of the site.

2) Tweet this post on Twitter, with @carriekirby in the Tweet. No need to leave a second comment, just Tweet it.

3) Post on your own blog with a little review of Buxr. Links to this post and to Buxr.com would surely be considered relevent. Email me the URL at carrielynnkirby AT gmail.com, or leave the url in your one comment on this post. (Don't leave more than one comment, please.)

Start ... now! Good luck!

P.S. There's an affilliate link in this post. Yep.

SORRY, THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. SEE THE WINNERS LIST HERE.

McDonalds Monopoly 2010 -- Cheapest Ways to Play

 

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My husband, normally not one to be sucked into games and prizes, not to mention someone with a normally healthy disdain for fast food, has an longstanding love affair with McDonalds' Monopoly game. I indulge it. For me, it brings back memories of our first year together, back in college, when we first put that game board up on the fridge and carefully pasted on the little properties.

So, since McDonald's Monopoly 2010 started today, let's look at the cheapest ways to participate:

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Winners of the Dominick's Just for U Contest

The 8 winners of the Dominick's Just for U $25 gift card giveaway are:

Adrianne, dphamm, tcarolinep, JohnKWilson, celma11, spaunan, JNM78 and OPMOM708.

I will email you all to get your mailing addresses. Congrats!

Dominick's Just for U Review and Giveaway

Gather round while I tell you about my experience trying out Dominick's Just for U personalized savings program -- then comment for a chance to win one of eight $25 gift cards!

I just logged into my Dominick's account to try out the Just for U personalized savings program. Since I already had a sign in to the Web site with my card number entered, I didn't actually have to sign up for Just for U. The personalized deals just popped up, and I could hit a button to add them to my card just like I add regular coupons to my card.

The free eggs was the first thing I added to my card -- 12 Lucerne Grade A eggs.

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Winners of the Animal Towers Mastermind Games

The three winners of the Mastermind Animal Towers games are srfagan, amy and bargain jen. Thanks to them and the rest of you who shared your ideas for finding toys and games for cheap.

(Did I tell you that in addition to its clothing sale this weekend, Parenthesis in Oak Park is also doing a big toy sale on Saturday? 124 S. Euclid, 8 a.m. to noon. Just another cheap way to buy toys and games, since we're on the subject.)

rfagan commented:

 "I second going to consignment sales. I also troll the clearance shelves all year long - got some good stuff at the Target 75% off sale a couple of months ago and got 90% off a bunch of summer stuff at CVS the other day."

amy, who commented:

"I agree with the Aldi suggestion. There's a great resale event at the First Pres. of RF church in June every year too. Gotta get there early, though."
 
and bargainjen, who commented:
 
"Thrift stores!"
 
Winners, if you haven't already, email me at carrielynnkirby AT gmail.com to give me your addresses so I can get the prizes mailed out to you. And thanks to Pressman Toys for providing them.
 
If you didn't win this time, don't despair -- I'll put up another contest later this week.

Weekend Giveaway: Mastermind Towers Game - CONTEST CLOSED

It wouldn't be Friday without a weekend giveaway at Frugalista, right? This weekend I'm giving away three of this kid's game, Animal Towers Mastermind.

 

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Pressman Toys sent me Animal Towers to try out with my kids. I had Epu play with them, and I got no complaints. Nutmeg, age 6, not only had no trouble mastering the game -- it has to do with cracking a code -- but she was delighted to beat her dad fair and square on the very first round. Pebbles, age 3, needed more hand-holding during play.

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Winners: Aquaphor Gift Sets

The two winners of the Aquaphor Gift Sets contest were EchoTides and IrishDancer. Congratulations!

EchoTides said:

"I have never purchased this but I would love to win it! Winter is coming and I always have chapped lips during the winter months. This would be a great time to have the Aquaphor lip repair!"

Irish Dancer said:

"No Auqaphor deals here, just have to splurge as it's the best thing for my kids eczema in the winter. My son also gets wicked chapped lips in the winter so we use it there too. Great giveaway!!"

To those who didn't win, don't despair -- I'm setting up another giveaway over on Parenting Squad.

By the way, I tried the new Aquaphor gentle wash and shampoo on my kids last night. As per cosmetic testing protocol, I applied it to their eyes, fed it to them, etc., and noted any adverse reactions. Just kidding! (Oh man I am going to get myself in trouble with so many different people, aren't I? There is nothing funny about animal testing.)

OK, in reality, I asked my husband Epu to use it on the three kids, and he reported that it was fine. It lathered nicely both on the skin and in the hair, and when it accidentally got in the 3-year-old's eyes (accidentally, I swear!) she reported that it didn't sting. We all appreciated that it is frangrance-free.

 I looked up all the ingredients in it in the Environmental Working Group's database and most of them are rated on the good end of the safety scale, with just a couple ingredients in the mid-range and no "red zone" extra-cancer-causing ingredients. Since this product is new, it's not listed in the database by name, but I'm betting it would score slightly better than what we use now, Aveeno Baby Wash, which gets a 4 out of 10 score (10 being the most dangerous) from EWG.

So, you know, pretty good stuff for kids with sensitive, eczema-prone skin like mine. Hope Eucerin puts out lots of coupons and Extra Bucks/Register Rewards deals for it.

Frugalista Giveaway: Free Aquaphor Sets - CONTEST CLOSED

Oh, Aquaphor. You are not the cheapest product in the drugstore, no you're not. But I still buy you, because my daughter has eczema and because we all have dry Scandinavian skin and winter's coming on.

So, in the spirit of helping you acquire things that are well nigh impossible to get free even after coupons, I'm giving away two boxes of Eucerin Aquaphor products, courtesy of, you guessed it, Aquaphor. They were at BlogHer, where they gave me a tube of not-yet-on-the-market lip balm. Since I am a lip balm addict, this pretty much won my heart forever. Yes, there's the two-bit whore, and then just above that there is the lip balm whore, because that stuff will sell for $4.49 a tube.

 

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Here's what the two winners will receive: That $4.49 lip balm pictured above, plus a tube AND the (sucking in breath) $14.99 tub of Aquaphor healing ointment, the very stuff I put on my daughter's eczema. (In a way, it's like winning a lock of Elvis' hair, or at least Blago's.) Finally, you get a tube of New Aquaphor Gentle Wash & Shampoo for babies.

Here's what you have to do: Leave a comment about the best price you've ever gotten for this stuff after coupons and sales. Or if you haven't bought it before, you know, comment about whatever you feel like commenting about.

As most always, you can get a second entry by Tweeting this entry. Include @carriekirby so I know you did it. And that's it -- 2 entries per person, please.

Contest closes at 5 p.m. Monday, and the winners will be announced Tuesday.

Good luck!

Oh, p.s.: You can still get a free sample of that Eucerin Daily Skin Balance lotion on their Facebook page.

COMMENTS ARE CLOSED AT 28 ... I'LL ANNOUNCE TWO RANDOMLY DRAWN WINNERS SOON. THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Be the Prizewinner of Chicago, Ill.

 
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Are you a prize winner? The Frugalista must admit she has never been big on entering contests, ever since being burned signing up for a sham contest back in college. It resulted in a very shady credit card phishing phone call, and I became contest-shy.
 
There are still scams out there to avoid. However, nowadays the Internet and our whole marketing-drenched world is bursting with legitimate contests. And since I've been writing lately about holiday shopping with "fake" money, the opportunity to win prizes that might be used as gifts can't be ignored.
 
Here are some promising giveaways going on now, plus sources for finding them on the regular. Some would make good gifts, others would make good fun for you:
Free Cubs tickets. Visit YouSwoop Monday through Thursday next week for three chances to win pairs of Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals tickets. Maybe the Cubs will shut out the Redbirds again, for what it's worth.
 
Free cheesecake. Eli's gives away one free cheesecake each month to winners who enter here.
 
Free Ricky Gervais. Enter the Chicago Reader's video contest and win tickets to see Gervaise live at The Chicago Theatre. 
 
Free jewelry. Win a $5,000 gem shopping spree from OneWed.com (you don't have to be a bride to enter.)
 
Where to find giveaways:
 
Find more Chicago Reader promos on their Web site or by following @chireaderpromo on Twitter.
If you really want to get into prize winning, there are whole blogs devoted to listing new contests as they are offered. Try Contest Beat. Or Prizey, a directory of blog giveaways. And, let me know what you think of it or if there are other contest blogs you like better because, like I said, this is not an area I'm all that into.
 
Finally, did we just go through an entire week without giving anything away here on Frugalista? My goodness, people are going to stop comparing me to Oprah if I let that stand. (I'm pretty sure that's a common comparison. See, Oprah and I were both journalists before we became media personalities. Heh.)
 
Tune in later today for one little weekend giveaway. Hint: It's a box of Aquaphor products.

Free 5" Eli's Cheesecake Today Only

 

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Only today, Thursday Sept. 16, you can get a free 5-inch cheesecake at Eli's Cafe and Retail Store. Instead of a coupon, you need to show them a Tweet.

Huh?

Well, Eli's is on Twitter. Their handle is @elischeesecake. Last night they sent out this tweet:

We have an even better offer! Show this tweet at Eli's Cheesecake Cafe tomorrow for a Free 5" Cheesecake #elicake Thanks Marc!

I just contacted Eli's to confirm that this offer is good today, at their headquarters at 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive.

How to show them the Tweet? Well, first go to www.twitter.com/elischeesecake. Scroll down. Right now the Tweet promising free cheesecake is near the bottom of the first page, but if they send out more tweets throughout today, it will move to the second page. You should be able to find it.

They just answered my question (via Twitter, of course) about how to show the Tweet:

elischeesecake

@carriekirby You can show today's tweet on your phone or print screen a hard copy. Free 5" Cheesecake at Eli's today when you do!

If anyone out there gets free cheesecake today, please report back!

You could also win a free cheesecake by entering here -- they give one away every month.

Photo from Eli's Cheesecake.

CONTEST CLOSED Frugalista Challenge: Share Your Cheap Gift Tip and Win a $100 Gift Card

 

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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED AND NO MORE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED. WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY MONDAY AT 5 P.M.

There are two ways to approach frugal gifting: Either you give what's expected and spend less than others spend, or you go beyond what's expected and spend the same amount that others would shell out for a more standard gift.

Me, I do a little of both, often splitting the difference. But one group of people I never hold out on is my readers. Because, guess what? It's Thursday, time for a giveaway!

Today's Frugalista Challenge is frugal gifting. Because, it's holiday shopping time already. Seriously? Seriously, because shopping frugally takes more planning. I'm going to share my tips for giving presents that cost less, then you leave a comment sharing your best frugal gifting tip, or what you want to try in the future to cut back on gift expenses.

Your comment is your entry to this week's $100 drawing, provided by 8Coupons.com. See the bottom of the post for more details on the prize. You can get a second entry by Tweeting this post; make sure to inlcude @carriekirby in your Tweet so I can tally it.

Continue reading...

Frugalista Challenge: Tell Us How You Save on Nightlife and Win $100 -- CONTEST CLOSED

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THIS CONTEST IS OVER. COME BACK NEXT THURSDAY FOR ANOTHER $100 GIVEAWAY.

Sometimes the Frugalista feels like Cinderella. Do the grocery shopping! Get the bills paid! Run to the ATM to pay the cleaning lady!

(That is how the fairy tale goes, right?)
So for this week's Frugalista Challenge, I want to focus on something we don't talk about enough here: Getting out and having fun. And then, I want to give you $100. Lucky for me, 8coupons.com is providing a $100 gift card that I can give one lucky winner.
So, first my top 10 tips for saving money on the high life, and then, you comment with your favorite Chicago-area bar bargain. That could be your favorite happy hour, the spot with the consistently generous pours (hint: the Lincoln Square Lanes bowling alley, above the hardware store), or the bar with the free pool on Thursdays. Anything goes.

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Frugalista Challenge Grocery Week Contest Winners

Thanks to all who took the Frugalista Challenge last week and shared how they are saving money on groceries. We have 3 contest winners to congratulate tonight.

The winner of the $100 grocery gift card provided by 8coupons.com is juneann, who commented:

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Win $100 Gift Certificate to a Local Photographer

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Jyipp Photography is offering a $100 gift certificate toward photo services to one lucky winner today. All you have to do is "like" her Facebook page and comment on this post.

I know Jamilla personally and she is an amazing photographer. She's based in Oak Park, but she'll come to you on location. It's not too early to think about those Christmas card photos!

Photo copyright Jamilla Yipp.

Frugalista Challenge Thursday Drawing: Share Your Chicago Grocery Savings Tips

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED. BUT READ THE COMMENTS BECAUSE THEY ARE CHOCK FULL OF TIPS ABOUT SAVING ON GROCERIES AT LOCAL CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD GROCERY STORES.

OK, pretend it's Monday. Because we are just getting started on this week's leg of the Frugalista Challenge: Get your grocery spending under control. But the good thing about not getting your week started until Thursday? Thursday night, of course, is the start of the weekend, so we get to start off with party time!

Where's the party? Right here at Frugalista, of course. Another $100 gift card drawing, that is, sponsored by 8coupons.com.

All you have to do is share a tip for saving money on groceries in the Chicago area in the comments of this post. Maybe you know a little neighborhood store with low, low prices. Or you know just when your local Dominick's marks down the meat. Or you belong to a buying co-op or CSA you want to recommend. Anything, so long as it's helpful and local.

(8coupons.com, the sponsor of this giveaway, is a deal map site that helps you find local deals. Hence, my insistence on keeping it local.)

Like last week, you can also get a second entry for Tweeting this post. Please make sure you have @carriekirby in your Tweet so I can count it.

Your prize will be a $100 gift card for the Chicago-area grocery store of your choice. If your store doesn't sell gift cards, we'll send you a $100 Visa gift card instead.

I'll close entries at Friday on 5 p.m. Central Time. Then I'll use Random.org to choose a winner. Then, I'll go to a tequila party.

Ok ... go!

Contest Winner: thredUP Pro Membership

The winner of the thredUP Pro Membership is Sara, who said:

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"For me it's kind of the same as the grocery stockpile philosophy. I buy good clothes, even if it's not my son's current size, when it's cheap. So if I see something good on the Gymboree clearance rack, and I have a coupon, I'll buy it even though he won't wear it right away. So...no "back to school" shopping necessary, as I've been hitting the school resales and store sales, well, all along."

Sara, me too! You'll be hearing from me via email.

$100 Frugalista Challenge Winner

The winner of last week's Frugalista Challenge, wherein we shared how we are clearing out clutter at a profit, is ... JenK!
JenK's comment was, "Our local CPS school is hosting a tag sale on Saturday so I'm rounding up stuff from the basement, garage, playroom...I've been collecting little by little hoping to have a garage sale, but after reading your post (and commenting), I got scared off. This sounds like a good solution -- all I have to do is show up."
JenK will receive a bank gift card worth $100 to spend wherever she wants. But surely she will spend it on something local and frugal, the values espoused by this site and by 8coupons.com, which provided the prize. 
This week has gotten a slow start on the blog front -- I had to drive 3 hours today among other things -- but stay tuned because it's going to be a good one. This week's Frugalista Challenge theme is reining in grocery spending. We'll have two more giveaways this week on that theme. I'll post the official coupon policy of a grocer we all know and love. And of course I'll share some tips both new and old on grocery savings.
I'm looking forward to what I'll learn from all you on this dear-to-my-heart topic!

KellyV Took the Frugalista Challenge and Won Uncrustables

Reader KellyV took part I of the Frugalista Challenge, culling unwanted possessions and using them to generate (wanted) funds, tax write-offs or karma. Here's her sorted stuff:

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And here's her plan:

"We have moved five times in the last five years and you would think that would have helped us get rid of stuff. Instead, we just packed it up and moved the boxes with us each time. Now we bought a house and are settled for awhile and I just want to get rid of the things I don't need. This picture is a small start, but I'm motivated to keep going now! I love your blog!

I plan on putting some stuff on Craigslist and taking kids clothes to Once Upon a Child, but mainly I just want to get rid of it so I will be donating it to a church and a resale shop that supports a hospice care. I tried gazelle.com and my stuff is too old."

For sending in this photo, Kelly got herself an entry into the Frugalista Challenge $100 giveaway and a coupon for a free 4-pack of Smucker's Uncrustables. Send me a photo and you'll get an extra entry and a prize too. Or just comment here for an entry to win the $100 gift card.

The First Frugalista Challenge Prizewinner

As I posted earlier, this week's Thursday drawing will be for readers who have taken up the Frugalista Challenge, step one of which is to unload some of your clutter at a profit or at least not at a loss.

(At a loss would be calling 1-800-GOTJUNK, or lost time sitting in front of your house all day trying to sell it, or the time you lose every day by doing nothing and letting clutter encumber your life.)

Here is the photo sent in by reader Starburst.

 

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Starburst says:


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Restaurant Gift Certificate Winner

Random.org picked No. 2 as the winner of the "what's your favorite restaurant" giveway from 8coupons.com. Which made things awfully convenient for me because I only had to read down to the second comment:

"We love The Hopleaf.....great selection of beer and the best mussels ever!" That comment was from Anne B., who should have received an email by now notifying her of this electrifying event.

(On a personal note, Epu would agree and he has been trying to get me to go to the Hopleaf with him for years.)

Actually, I read farther than comment No. 2. Thanks to all 41 of you who shared your favorite restaurants. Wildfire came up a few times, and I have never even heard of it, so now I'm really curious to try that one.

How to Triage Your Stuff for Profitable Disposal, and How to Win $100 Here Next Week

We had a failed block sale here on Frugalista Street this summer. The weather was against us. But going through the exercise of sorting and pricing all that stuff, getting up at dawn to set it up on tables and then sitting in front of my house all day waiting for customers -- it all made me realize something.

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With a few exceptions, most people don't make enough money on garage sales to make them worth their time. The comments I got about my sale fail post confirmed that.

There are far more efficient ways to get rid of clutter profitably. I've been thinking about clutter clearing lately because a) Amy Guth is taking the Frugalista Challenge and one of her goals is to wisely clean out some stuff, and b) The Trib reporting about the hoarding disorder is enough to make anyone look around and say, Gee, couldn't we have a less cluttered house?

So, today, I bring you instructions on how to triage your stuff in order to efficiently and profitably dispose of it. Next week, a list of good businesses or organizations to help you get rid of your stuff advantageously.

And what about that $100? Here's the deal. Just like this past week, next week I'll be doing a giveaway on Thursday -- a gift certificate or bank card worth $100. But this week, I'm making you work (a little) to enter. Follow my triage steps over the weekend or at least before Thursday, and take a picture of your triaged stuff. Send me the picture so I can post it. You'll also have a chance to enter by leaving info about what you're going to get rid of in the comments, but those who send in their photos will get two extra entries for doing so.

(UPDATE: I will send at least some small prize to EVERY person who sends me a photo of their triaged junk. I got lots of free product coupons at BlogHer.)

These triage instructions are just for sorting. Next week, I'll put up a post about where to unload your electronics, kids clothes, adult clothes, books and furniture once you've sorted it.

The Triage Steps:

1) Go through your house, storage space or garage with a big basket, bag, whatever, and dump in everything you want to get rid of. You might want to carry a second bag for outright trash, just to speed things along.

2) Move any electronics into a separate bin and set aside. These you can almost definitely sell, and next week's post will suggest where.

3) Separate any children's clothing into two bags: high-end brands in good condition, and run-of-the mill or stained stuff. The every day stuff you'll probably want to donate or trade, while the high-end stuff can be resold.

4) Separate adult clothes into current designer/vintage, current fashionable, and out-of-style/average. The first two have potential resale value.

5) Put all books, children's and adults, into one bin. Throw in CDs, video games and DVDs, too.

6) Tag any unweildy or heavy items like furniture.

7) Throw all leftovers that don't fit into any category into a box.

People, I am doing some triage myself this weekend! Now that I've posted it, you will hold me to it. My photo is coming next week, as well as my list of places to dispose of this stuff, and, of course, on Thursday, the next $100 giveaway!

$100 8coupons.com Giveaway Is Closed, and Head's Up About Next Week's Giveaway

There were 41 entries to this week's giveaway, a $100 gift certificate to the Chicago area restaurant of your choice, sponsored by 8coupons.com. I'll choose a winner using a random number generator and announce the winner sometime between now and Monday.

Next week's $100 giveaway is going to require a little more effort out you. Remember the Frugalista Challenge? No? It's ChicagoNow Radio co-host Amy Guth's push to put the advice here and on Fantabulously Frugal in Chicago into practice for one month.

But I'm not letting Amy get away with having all the fun. I'm issuing a series of Frugalista Challenges to you guys too. The first challenge -- one that Amy's dealing with too -- is clearing stuff out of your house without paying 1-800-GOT-JUNK to haul it away or wasting stuff that could be valuable.

Coming soon: A post about triaging your stuff for most profitable disposal.

If you want to enter to win next week's $100 giveaway, you'll wanna read this upcoming post to get my instructions.

Winners: Two $25 Ebay Gift Cards

Thanks for playing, everyone! I really appreciate those who shared my contest post on Twitter and Facebook, because the more people who view this site -- and click through to buy daily deals, etc. -- the more time I can afford to spend working on it. It's win-win!

The winners of the two $25 Ebay gift cards are:

Sara (@gmnama1031)

Anne (@dawilson2002)

I'll be emailing you lucky winners directly to get your mailing addresses. Congrats!

To those who didn't win this time, don't despair! I have more contests coming very soon.

Ebay Gift Card Giveway Is Over

I got 21 entries for the two $25 Ebay gift cards, and I will use a random number generator to pick two lucky winners on Monday. Or Tuesday. I'm still at BlogHer so bear with me.

Thanks for playing!

Win a $20 Groupon Gift Card

I want to thank all you readers who have registered for Groupon and YouSwoop (and a few of you who have signed up for Living Social) through Frugalista -- thanks to you I have earned some cash and racked up quite a number of Groupon credits. I will toast you when I'm at the Marion Street Cheese market and (today's deal) Briejo -- two Oak Park establishments where I recently bought gift certificates with my credits.

And now is when I give back, by letting you know about Groupon's fun little contest right now. Tell them a "little-known fact about August," and you could win a $20 gift card. They're looking for the funniest response here, not the most astute or little-known.

Good luck!

Spend a Month Rent Free - And Get Paid $10,000 - at Science and Industry

 

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I've always been fascinated by schemes that allow you to live and eat free for awhile. In college I tried to get into one of those monthlong medical studies as much for the free room and board as the stipend. (I was rejected because my veins were too small for the constant bloodletting.)

But here's a much more interesting opportunity for a rent-free month -- and it comes with a $10,000 paycheck!

The Museum of Science and Industry is running a contest to choose someone to come live there for a month. Free board, free food, and yes, a $10,000 check at the end. (Plus "a package of tech gadgets (and) an honorary lifetime membership to MSI," according to the Web site.)

You don't actually have to live on display, it seems, but you do have to blog about the experience and use social media. They give you a to-do list each day. The winner would check into the museum this fall. 

Even though I have 3 little kids at home, I am totally tempted to apply for this! OK, it woudln't actually save me money, since I already have a mortgage that I pay whether I'm at home or not. And I'd have to cut into my $10,000 stipend to fund a major increase in childcare. And I suppose it would get old real quick to live amongst the huge crowds that clog the museum so many days.

And yet, I dunno ... it still sounds fun. And, $10,000 for one month is not a bad salary, for blogging.

Should I apply? Will you?

Win Free Groceries for a Year at the New Meijer in Orland Park

Meijer is opening a new store in Orland Park, and to celebrate they're giving away free groceries for a year. Good deal.*

WHAT: Win free groceries for a year -- one $100 Meijer gift card for each of the next 52 weeks

WHERE: The new Meijer store in Orland Park, 15701 71st Court at the corner of Harlem and 157th Avenue

WHEN: July 15, 2010 and continue through August 11, 2010

You can enter every time you visit the store during those dates.

* Lucky for us frugalistas, we actually know how to feed our families on $100 a week. For other customers, this should be called, "win half of your groceries free for a year," lol.

Old Country Buffet Prizes This Weekend

 

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I know most of you are probably taking Mom to Old Country Buffet this weekend, right?*

If you are for reals, the company behind the buffet has a contest for you. If you visit May 9 or May 10, you're guaranteed to at least get a buy one, get one free coupon for your next visit as long as you follow the instructions below. The big prizes are a cruise, a spa day or a $50 gift certificate.

When you get to Old Country Buffet, they should give you a card with a unique code on it. When you get home and put that code on the contest Web site, Then you find out what you win and how to redeem the prize.

* If you are going to a buffet this weekend, check out this old favorite from the days of zines: Busting the Buffet, from the zine Hey! Hey! Buffet! For more amusement, see the FAQ of Old Country Buffet, which specifies that no, you do not get a discount if you have had a surgical procedure that prevents you from gorging yourself.

Chicago Mother's Day Contest With a Mystery Prize

The good news: This fabulous portrait studio in Lincoln Square, Jookie, announced a Mother's Day contest on its blog. Entries are due by 7 a.m. tomorrow.

The bad news: They never announced what the prizes will be. Last year's prizes sound pretty good, though, and since this contest was announced but received virtually no promotion online, I imagine the odds of winning are pretty good. (Then again, maybe a lot of people from the neighborhood entered at the store.) I'd bet that Jookie would at least come through with a free photo session, even if they never managed to line up any other prizes.

Here are the deets from Jookie's blog, and I will update if I am able to get any more info from Jookie:

For 2010, we want your Top 10 List for why your wife is such a great mom.  And they don't have to be hand-written this year, but we will be passing them on to your wives or partners after the contest is over, so hand-written would still be nice!  And be creative, of course.  Maybe it's a photo essay or a video of you listing your top ten favorite things in an imaginative way.

All entries should be received by 7 am Thursday, May 6, 2010, to allow us time for choosing the winning list in time for Mother's Day 2010 on Sunday, May 9.  Entries may be emailed to info@jookiekids.com or mailed to 4656 N. Rockwell Street, Chicago, IL 60625.  Be sure to include your wife's name and your contact information.  Please note, that by participating in this event, you give us permission to post your list and name on our website in order to promote our Mother's Day celebration. This promotion is open to ALL dads and partners, even if you aren't a current jookie client.  So feel free to pass this email on to any dads you know.

We are still working on this year's prizes that the winning dad will be able to give to his hard-working wife, but last year the prizes included a one-hour massage to Bloom Yoga Studio, a Cut and Color at Lather Chicago salon, and Dinner for Two at Sola.  Combined, these were over a $300 value.  We included complimentary sessions to jookie as well.  So start working on your lists, dads, and we'll announce this year's prizes as soon as we have them ready.

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