Tag Archives: money

Groupon Coupons & Ebates- a better way to shop

Recently, because I do more on-line shopping, I have signed up to get notifications from sites like groupon, and ebates and use all the sites together.  I have found that if I am going to buy something anyway, if I check on-line sites like groupon and coupon sites, and use them in conjunction with Ebates, I get money back and discounts for things I am going to buy anyway.

But, I did not know that groupon had a coupon site to sites or stores where you are shopping anyway like Target, Walgreens, and so many other stores.  Even your cell phone carrier may have a coupon on groupon coupons.  I have promoted AT&T wireless before, and groupon has a coupon site for AT&T and other carriers as well!  Go here and you can search for your favorite stores on Groupon Coupons.

So, if you are going to shop for things anyway or buy new mobile devices, you might as well use groupon and groupon coupons.  I also double my benefits by making sure my laptop and phone has Ebates active (learn more and sign up here for Ebates), for all purchases I make at groupon, and the stores/sites that groupon provides coupons and deals for.  What a great way to save some money while shopping for the things you need.  Sign up for Groupon here and check out all of Groupon’s coupons and if you want to sign up for Ebates, use this link and we both get money back.

Disclaimer: I was compensated for posting about Groupon Coupons and providing this information.  I was not compensated by Ebates or other corporations for the information contained herein.  The opinions expressed her are my own and not attributed to Groupon, US Family Guide, or any other company.

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Frontier Airlines Changes effective April 28, 2014

Thanks for the notice, Frontier… or not!  Here we go again.  The discount airline is now skimping and turning European on us.  But, I am not so sure the European airline model works in a country like ours that is so widespread from coast to coast.

I wrote about FRONTIER a couple of years back when Frontier first sent out some mass changes including charging for sodas, and bags.  Now, take it a step further.  All seats are either $3 or $5, but the last row is free.  Oh, thanks!  I also wrote another FRONTIER post a long time ago when they were previously owned by another company and were not assigning seats to us lowly Economy travelers.  Well, all that is out the airplane window now.  Now, you have to join some club and still pay $20 per carry on bag.  This would be for bags that go into the overhead compartment.  Otherwise, it is $25.  Even if you book on frontier.com, it is still $25!  You are still allowed one personal item.  Gee, thanks, Frontier.  No judgment on how big that “personal item” should be, right?  Wait for it… wait for it… there is.  The guidelines are on their website.  Make sure you measure before you go!  Also, you still pay for checked bags.  Annoyed yet?  It gets better.

Their entire program is overhauled and now, you do not even get a calendar when you try to book to use up those pesky miles/points you have built up over the years.  Yep!  You just get an error message that there is nothing available.  Try again and again, but their website is more frustrating than ever.  If flying the “friendly” skies wasn’t bad enough, another airline bites the dust.  The sad part for me is that they are still Denver-based and I live in Denver, so my choices are down to SOUTHWEST, SOUTHWEST, and SOUTHWEST.  That about sums it up for me.

Some more information for you to consider is in-flight meal/beverages.  They charge for everything and the TV isn’t free either.  Southwest has teamed up with Direct TV to give you some limited free TV  – super nice when you have kids in tow.  Buckle up folks, and enjoy the wild ride as you turn over your money with all the hidden charges and fees.  Sure, you may able to get a cheap flight to Omaha or a destination you can drive to, but be prepared to pay for everything – every single thing including choosing a seat.  Since normal seats are $3 per seat and some up front are $5, calculate that per person and then double it for a round trip.  And remember, deregulation of the Airline industry in the 70s permitted you, the consumer, one very important thing- CHOICE!  It’s time to exercise that choice.  In a free economy, all we have is our voice.  Exercise it and take your business elsewhere if you do not like this.  You are not tied to travel with them. Of course, I can’t say that I like very many airlines anyway.  Don’t even get me started on United – they are the worst airline I have ever flown and hope to never fly again.

In tough economy times, it is equally tough to find good deals on travel, and traveling shouldn’t have to be this hard or miserable.  While the discount model may work overseas where flights cross-country are 2 hours long, and cost 20 Euros round trip, it is tougher here in a country where we are so spread out we have no choice but to fly from city to city (often in the same state).   Good luck finding what works for you, and just say no to airlines that mistreat you, or that do not fit that mold.

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The 4-1-1 on Wireless & Data Plans

photo courtesy of East Chapel Hill Observer (ECHO) Click here to view article

So, here’s the scoop.  “Like, OMG” you will not want to miss this post and will want to bookmark it before you head out to change phones, or plans.  The different plans and services out there will make your head spin and what I went through may make you think twice about ever switching your wireless service but read on… you will not regret it.

This is your 4-1-1 – everything you ever wanted to know about the following three companies when it comes to mobile, wireless service:  AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.  So, I ventured out in April, as if I needed another distraction in my life – at a time when I didn’t have time and things were not going well is when I decided to add more to my plate and took on changing of my wireless service.  Huge mistake!  Huge! GIANT!  It ends well, but the road was rocky and entailed some restocking fees.  All in all, it was okay and an experiment but alas, a bit inconvenient at a time when I really didn’t have extra time to throw around.

I have had AT&T since March 4, 2010- before then, I was a loyal T-mobile customer since my days with Deutsch Telekom (yes, I was stationed abroad in Germany) and when I returned state-side I went to T-mobile for my cell phone.  I had an old antiquated cell phone but I loved T-mobile and the price was right.  I had what I needed for the time in question- cell phone calling, very limited to NO texting (who texted back then? HELLO!), and some data but not really – who had the nerve to call it data back then anyway.  Before my Germany days, I was a loyal Sprint customer for several years – remember when cell phones were first introduced? Yowsers— we’ve come a long way folks since 1997, huh? In 2010, I wanted to try the new Iphone 3GS so, I took the huge leap and decided to try out Apple products even though I despised Apple and kinda still do – a little.  Okay, Okay, I was a computer science undergrad major and Mac products were not on the top of my faves list.   In any case, I did it- I switched from T-mobile to AT&T after 8 years of loyalty just for the stinking IPhone.  I have to say, I was hooked to the Iphone despite its poor battery life, expensive accessories, piss poor software known as Itunes, and general bulkiness of said phone.  Ah well — there are pros and cons but I love having the Internet and the world at my fingertips.

Despite what plan or company you choose mentioned here, keep in mind that almost all of the companies require 2-year contracts and I don’t know about you but that pisses me off a bit because contracts drive me nuts and they are binding, blah blah blah and yeah, they lock you down.  That makes me mad because I am a mind-changer (ha) but in any case, unless you want to do pay-as-you-go (my husband does it and is fine with it), you will want to know some of these features and facts before you run out and change plans.  Keep in mind as I learned, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and all the companies have pros and cons that come attached to their contracts as well.

AT&T prices for data, messages, and voice- almost looks identical to Verizon's offering

Data- AT&T had some great plans back in 2010 when I got the Iphone 3GS and I was “grandfathered in” when AT&T decided to change all its data plans and screw new customers last year.  So while I had unlimited data, (and trust me when I say 3G on the AT&T network with the Iphone is UBER FAST because I have compared it to other the networks I mention above), new AT&T customers are paying about as much as they would on Verizon – of course, both Verizon and AT&T have limited their data plans and Sprint is the only one that offers unlimited data and 4G on some pretty awesome droids which can be FREE after you enter into the 2-year agreement.  All companies including T-mobile offer the 4G network which I hear is super cool but alas, the IPhone only operates on 3G on Sprint, and Verizon.  AT&T is the only one that offers the 4G network for Iphones 4 and higher but I really do not see much of a difference for the iphone on the 4G network versus the 3G.  If you have Iphone 3GS, then you are stuck with the 3G network but trust me, when I say, I have compared all three- Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T on the 3G network and AT&T is the fastest.  You can stream movies, shows, and videos on the Iphone with no issues.  Sprint 3G works just as fast but you have to all 5 bars.  If you have less than 5 bars or try to stream movies and shows at peak hours, it will not work!  Not even a little.  In any case, as far as data goes, the cheapest is Sprint with their 100% unlimited data plans and they are reasonably priced.  Below are some snapshot of prices for data and voice plans with all three.  Keep in mind that these prices do not take into account, corporate, government, or military discounts.  Please call business care for each company to find out what the specific discounts are.  I found the most expensive service to be Verizon and no unlimited plans.  Of course, the new AT&T is comparable to Verizon in that there are no unlimited data plans any longer.  So, looking at the AT&T chart above, Verizon’s 450 minute voice plan is $39.99 and add to that either of the following data plans for Verizon’s network:  5G for $50, 2G for $30 and you could do the 75 MB plan but that is only for basic phones (not smart phones) and that runs $10.  The truth is all you really need 300 MB unless you are streaming video, etc., then you should consider 2-3Gs but anything 5G and over is a lot.  The best thing is to get a 2-3G data plan and check your usage for a couple of months to help you decide what is best for you. If you are under the old AT&T and were “grandfathered in” I would recommend not leaving AT&T because their data speeds in some instances are faster than Verizon’s even.  I would do the same for voice and messaging.

Sprint plans which are bundled with voice, data, and messaging

Voice- Of course, with any positives come some cons… for me, with AT&T while data is very fast and reliable, I do drop a lot of calls at random times and even when I report dead zones or dropped calls, it seems very predictable where the calls are dropped and I can almost tell someone on the phone with me.. “hey I am about to lose you… so I will call you back.”  I know, that is just not good but it’s Colorado.  Sprint and Verizon seem more reliable for the calls and no dropped calls but then again, the cons are higher prices (Verizon) and possibly low data speeds if you have the Iphone or Ipad.  For voice on AT&T, 450 minutes rollover + unlimited mobile to mobile and 5000 nights and weekend minutes are $39.99.  Verizon offers the same 450 mins but nights start at 9pm and there are no rollover minutes.  Messaging-wise, I have an old plan that AT&T no longer offers at 200 minutes for $5.00 and overage text messages are only 10 cents.  Unlimited text messaging like Verizon on AT&T is $20 which I find a bit steep especially if the usage by month does not reach 200 generally.  Verizon does offer 1000 text messages (which is a lot) for $10 which I think is a great deal.  I remember at one time AT&T offered 500 for $10 but all their plans have changed now.  As far as messaging, I love that Sprint offers unlimited text messaging with all their bundled plans – see below.  For $79.99 (which includes the $10 fee for smartphones) you get it all!  450 mins but anytime mobile-to-mobile minutes, plus unlimited data and messaging.  That is the best deal I have seen!  So if you are not using an Iphone or don’t care about your download speeds, Sprint’s your best value!

source: fightback.com

Overall Customer Service– I am very happy with AT&T and was sad to leave it for even a few days but Sprint had some great customer service when I dealt with them  too!  If I had more bars for Data, 3G in my office, I have no doubt Sprint would have worked out for me and my needs and their prices are just right for what they give you.  Verizon’s customer stores are always busy too but they seem more guarded with their information.  For example, when I called them and asked about corporate discounts, I got transferred like 3 times and no one could tell me what the discount was then they disconnected me “by accident”.  In the store, the Verizon guy looked up the discounts for me but then didn’t give me a brochure with all the information on it like AT&T and Sprint did.  It was all hidden and weird.  They may be the most reliable 4G network but I did not get the same touchy, feely feeling there that I got with both AT&T and Sprint.  No one explained the accessories and the discounts or all the features of the phones and droids that were on display.  Since I do not have a brochure, I could not even share it here so I am just comparing where I can and trying to point out the differences but mainly the plans for Verizon are almost identical to the new AT&T plans and just as pricey.  I know many Coloradans love Verizon because of its reliability and coverage.  That being said, the east coast friends love either Sprint or T-mobile’s coverage better, and then I have friends on the west coast who swear by AT&T so again, it depends… but once you find something right for you, don’t think the grass is greener on the other side – it isn’t and everyone doesn’t have the like the same thing and what may work for one person may not work another.

Bottom Line: When it comes to cell phones, wireless devices and smart phones and PLANS, it’s important for you to love the one you’re with!

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Freebies and Discounts for Tax Day 2012

Taxes stink but you can drown your sorrows or your refund in these great deals, discounts, and freebies for Tax Day. Some are right on the big day, April 17, and others are through April 15. So check below, click the links, print the coupons (if necessary), and then, enjoy! When I did a Google search for Tax Day 2012 Freebies and Discounts, this website popped up. So I want to give credit and thanks to “Pocket Your Dollars” as well. But ,there are additional Denver-specific ones too. If I learn about more discounts I will add them and in the meantime, if you know of any great tax day deals or for the week of TAX DAY, April 16 – please post them and share here. THANKS!

FOOD & DRINK

AMC Theaters is giving away free small popcorn with this coupon from April 13-15. Not bad considering you know how I feel about AMC theaters 🙂

Arby’s
Just like last year, Arby’s will have a coupon for free value curly fries on April 17 – check their Facebook page starting Friday, April 13, for the coupon. Print it and voila! Free fries!

Boston Market BOGO
Buy 1 individual meal and a fountain drink and get another individual meal free at Boston Market with coupon.

Bruegger’s Discount
Bruegger’s is offering a great discount for a BAGEL BUNDLE which is their dozen bagels and two cream cheeses for $10.40 when you present their coupon available on their Facebook page. The offer is valid April 13-17.

Chili’s Discount
Get a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of an adult entrée when you present this Chili’s coupon in printed version or on your smartphone. Coupon is valid from April 16 through April 18. And, if you are active on social media, check-in to Chili’s on four square every time you go for specials like free chips and salsa. So, you can have it all when you combine your coupons which Chili’s graciously lets you do.

Cinnabon Bites
Get your two free bites on Tax Day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (includes their mall locations).

Ernie’s Bar & Pizza (Denver): buy two ten-inch pizzas for the price of one, or get half-off a twenty-inch pizza on tax day only.

Qdoba Get a $5 chicken or vegetarian entree with this coupon from their Facebook page. Valid now through Tax Day, April 17th.

Papa Murphy’s Pizza
Get a large pepperoni pizza for $5 at Papa Murphy’s on April 17 or upgrade to family size for only $2 more.

P.F. Chang’s Discount
Save 15% on most everything on its menu* (excluding alcohol and happy hour items) on April 17. No coupon needed. *good on carryout orders too. Make sure that you ask for the discount because it may not be automatic.

Red Robin HOT ends April 15 Kids eat free between April 10-15, with every adult entree purchased but you need a coupon. Click here for the coupon and thanks to “Saving with Brandi” for the coupon on this great deal! This great deal ends April 15 so act this weekend!

Sonic Happy Hour
Happy Hour is going on all day on Tax Day with half-priced drinks and slushies. Yum!

OTHER DISCOUNTS (FREEBIES):

BabyLegs.com – 50% off Sitewide, when you use coupon code TAX50 at checkout

Office Depot
Office Depot is letting customers make 25 single-sided black and white copies and offering up to 5 pounds of shredding for free through April 16. No coupon is necessary, and the offer is valid in stores nationwide. I learned about this offer from Pocker your Dollars so thanks to them!

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Just Between Friends Semi-Annual Sale in Denver, April 19-22 & FREE admission

Print this coupon out for free admission

Have you heard the news?  Just Between Friends (JBF) is having its semi-annual sale in Denver, at the National Western Complex (I-70 and Brighton Blvd) from April 19-22, 2012.

SELL, SHOP AND SAVE at Denver’s Largest Kids’ Consignment Sale.
Want to make money selling the great items your kids no longer need? Love saving money on everything for kids ages newborn through pre teen?  Then you need to get to Just Between Friends of Denver April 19-22!
Consignor, Volunteer and Barter registration is open NOW.
• Sell your items: set your own prices, and get a great check 2 weeks later!
• Volunteer and be one of the first to shop, and make 70% on what you sell.
The event is now upstairs in the Expo Hall at the National Western Complex.

JBF is a great organization and you can read more about it here but it was started by moms for moms and over the years has evolved in a nationwide phenom.

Below is a schedule of events and don’t forget to print out the coupon above and get in for free on April 19-22!  Act now if you are going to consign, or wish to volunteer, get in touch with the organizers, but definitely, this is a not to miss event if you have babies, are expecting or having kids of all ages. Click here to read more about Denver-specific dates and information on consignment and purchase.

SCHEDULE:  *Private Presales: 4/18  for Consignors, Volunteers, First time Parents, Military and Teachers.  Must qualify and register in advance to attend.  Register here.
*Prime-Time Shopping Presale:  4/18 at 6p.  $15 admission per adult

SALE SCHEDULE:  OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
THURSDAY, APRIL 19    10A-7P     $2 ADMISSION
FRIDAY, APRIL 20          10A-5P     NEW MERCHANDISE
SATURDAY, APRIL 21    10A-3P     25% OFF MOST ITEMS
SUNDAY, APRIL 22         9A-3P       50% OFF MOST ITEMS*
*FREE PARKING FOR HALF-PRICE SALE: Compliments of Colorado Parent Magazine

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