Entries from July 20, 2014 - July 26, 2014

Friday
Jul252014

Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake

One bite of this cheesecake and you'll swear it's from Cheesecake Factory!

 

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
whipped cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs with the melted 
butter and 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well enough to 
coat all of the crumbs with the butter, but not so much as to turn the 
mixture into paste. Keep it crumbly.
3. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about two-thirds of the way up 
the sides of a springform pan. You don't want the crust to form all 
of the way up the back of each slice of cheesecake. Bake the crust 
for 5 minutes, then set it aside until you are ready to fill it.
4. In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and 
vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
5. Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and continue 
to beat until smooth and creamy.
6. Pour the filling into the pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. The top will
turn a bit darker at this point. Remove from the oven and allow the 
cheesecake to cool.
7. When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the 
refrigerator. When the cheesecake has chilled, remove the pan sides 
and cut the cake into 8 equal pieces. Use dental floss to make a
clean cut. 
Serve with a generous portion of whipped cream on top.
Serves 8.

Friday
Jul252014

Free $10 Target Gift Card w/ Household Purchases

Starting July 27th, Target will be offering a FREE $10 Target gift card when you purchase four participating household products! Included in this sale: Gain & Tide laundry detergent, Bounce dryer sheets, Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels, Downy fabric softener & Glad trash bags! 
Friday
Jul252014

Weekend Events: July 26-27, 2014

Barnes & Noble
Through July 27th, attend the DC Comics Spectacular with giveaways, offers, activities, and more!

Bass Pro Shops
From July 26-27th, attend the Free Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Family Event.

Brunswick Zone
Throughout the month of August, bowl for 50 cents at a Brunzwick Zone to raise money for America’s veterans. Dates and times for Brunswick Bowl for Freedom vary by location.

Cinemark Theaters
Participating Cinemark theaters have their Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse promotion and are offering up 10 tickets to select G or PG-rated movies for ONLY $5 when purchased in advance at the Box Office (that makes each movie only $0.50!). OR, if you’d rather only purchase a few tickets to select shows, you will pay just $1 per ticket at the box office! Head on over here for more details, showtimes, or to find a participating theater near you.

Chuck E. Cheese
Go here to print various coupons for your area. Also, check out their printable Rewards Calendars. Take the completed calendars to Chuck E. Cheese and receive 10 free tokens as a reward.

Disney Store
The Disney Store is having their “Summer Play Days” and having fun-filled events each day through September 1st, including Art of Animation, Trivia Time, Story Time, and Showtime. Also, you can stop by every week to receive a character button. Go here for more details.

Home Depot

On August 2nd, attend the FREE Kids hands-on workshop where kids can build a Mini-Crate Pencil Holder. Be sure to register now as spaces are limited.

Kids Bowl Free
At participating bowling alleys across the country, Kids Can Bowl Free all Summer long (up to 6 kids)! Just head on over here and click your state on the map to find a participating location near you. Note that you may want to register your children now (even if you have done this in the past) so your kiddos will then be able to get 2 FREE games of bowling per day.

Lakeshore Learning Store

On Saturday, July 26th from 11AM-3PM, kids can make a FREE Make & Shake Noisemaker! Go here for more details.

Lowes Build & Grow
Attend the various Build and Grow Clinics in July at 10AM. Go here for a list of upcoming clinics. Registration opens a few weeks before each clinic’s date.

Michaels
Purchase your supplies and meet in the classroom Monday, July 28th from 6-8PM for a FREE Intro Into Paper Crafting Class. Also, you can attend various Kids Club events including the Summer Passport for Imagination for only $2 per child. Sessions starting every half hour from 10AM-11:30AM. Go here for details.

Microsoft Retail Stores
Through August 29th, Microsoft retail stores are hosting FREE YouthSpark Summer Camps for kids ages 8-13 throughout. Go here for more details.

Redbox
Now through Sunday 7/27, enter code M9J3GGN3 to score a FREE rental whenever you rent one.

Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres
Many participating Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theaters have begun their 9-week Summer Movie Express 2014. Moviegoers of all ages can climb aboard to enjoy a selection of G or PG-rated films for only $1 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting at 10AM. Head on over here for more details and to find a participating Regal theater near you.

Thanks Hip2Save!

Friday
Jul252014

35% Off Coca Cola at Target

Through tomorrow, July 26th only, you can head over here to load a 35% Off Coke, Diet Coke or Coke Zero 20 oz Bottles Cartwheel offer. Note that there is a limit of 2 per guest.

Plus, go here and click on the Name of the Coke bottle to get started – then just share a virtual bottle of Coca-Cola with your Facebook friend to score a Target mobile coupon valid for Buy 1 Get 1 Free Coca-Cola.

Friday
Jul252014

Teacher Back to School Discounts

From July 25th through the 31st,Walmart is offering Kindergarten-12th grade teachers a 10% savings eGift Card via email on select classroom supplies!

*Visit Walmart and purchase your classroom supplies in the Stationery & Craft departments

*Register your receipt HERE by August 15th
*Receive your 10% savings eGift Card via email within 2 weeks

Office Depot/Max is offering MaxPerks Teachers 20% off a qualifying in-store purchase + a FREE Reusable Tote! Not a MaxPerks member? Head over here to join now! To find your nearest location and the date for which you location is participating, head over here and enter in your zip.

Friday
Jul252014

19 Things Tourists Overpay For

tourist shopping

It's almost a given that tourists overpay for things. Sometimes it's because we don't know the actual (local) cost, or are unaware of negotiating tactics. Sometimes we think we're getting a good deal, but are actually unwittingly crippling local economies.

And before you think, "I'm fine with overpaying, the money means more to them than me," think again. In some countries, the potential profits are so disproportionately high for locals that working in the tourist sector — even just selling cheap souvenirs to tourists — means a higher income than highly trained (and necessary) doctors, for example. This can shake economies negatively such that there's no incentive for locals to sustain their own infrastructure in aspiring towards valuable and necessary careers in their own country. If everybody wants to work in the tourism industry, and hard times hit the tourism sector, the local economy suffers unduly. (See also: 9 Travel Expenses You Forgot to Budget For)

And sometimes, it just sort of sucks to get ripped off.

Whatever your motivation, your goal should be to get a fair deal. Here's how.

1. Souvenirs

Often, those little "local" trinkets were mass produced somewhere else for a song, and are being sold for "locally handmade" prices. Check out a few markets and shops before you buy; if you see identical stuff, it's not as special as it may seem. If you still want it, make sure it's priced (or negotiated down) accordingly. If you're in a foreign language country and you want to negotiate, learn a few phrases in the local language; you'll endear yourself much more to the vendor.

2. Hotel Laundry

$10 for a clean shirt? You've got to be kidding. Chuck some shampoo in the sink and hand wash that puppy. Or better yet, pack enough clothes to make this a non-issue. Who wants to spend vacation time fighting stains?

3. Taxis

Some dodgy taxi drivers will take you on the (not so) scenic route, if they're charging by the mile and it's obvious you're not familiar with the territory. Ask a local (such as hotel staff) how much a taxi should cost to your destination and how long it should take, and either pre-negotiate the fee with the driver, or if it's a metered cab, confirm with them how long it will take to get there.

But the best way to avoid overpaying a taxi driver? Take public transportation instead.

4. Airport Junk

Almost everything at the airport is overpriced, especially after clearing security, since they have you hostage while awaiting your flight. Eat before you go, or take food with you. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it at the fountain after clearing security. And for goodness sake, don't impulsively browse airport shops.

5. Currency Exchange

You can't avoid currency exchange fees and commissions, but you can minimize them by avoiding airport currency exchange counters, and if you're using a credit card, decline the vendor's offer to charge your card in your home currency (which comes with extra hidden fees). (See also: 37 Hidden Travel Fees You've Probably Paid But Shouldn't Have)

6. Flights

We don't always overpay for flights, but if you're like me, you're afraid you do. Just in case, use a site like Yapta to track prices and ensure you get the best price — even after you've bought your ticket. (See also: How to Get the Lowest Price on Airfare Even After You Buy)

Don't forget about free or highly discounted flights with frequent flyer miles and mystery shopping.

7. Guided Tours

Many guided tours have higher overhead than necessary. Research the cost of average tours before traveling, and go local if you want a more local scoop. Also keep in mind that some cities (especially in Europe) offer "free" guided walking tours whose guides operate only on tips, meaning they're incentivized to make sure you have a great experience. (See also: How to Tap Into the Local Scene While Traveling)

8. Minibar

Hotel minibars are categorically overpriced. Avoid overpaying by walking down the street and buying what you want locally.

9. Room Service

If you want to splash out and get (often mediocre quality, and always overpriced) food delivered to your room, go for it. Otherwise, you'll get better food at better prices in your hotel restaurant — and even better-priced food down the street.

10. Water

In some countries the local water isn't potable, but you don't need to buy bottled water. Some hotels have water coolers for you to fill your own bottle, or you can filter or sterilize water yourself, for example using a SteriPEN.

And if you're in a country with potable water, there's no excuse for overpaying and creating waste with bottled water. Fill reusable bottles at fountains, or if you must buy bottled water, avoid overpriced concession stands in touristy areas.

11. Restaurant Gratuity

Few countries have such rich tipping policies as in North America. In most places servers are paid proper hourly wages, and tips are nice but not expected. And even if it's expected it's not 18% plus. Research tipping etiquette before you travel.

Also beware of automatic gratuity being added to your bill. Before you chuck on an extra tip, read the fine print to ensure you're not double-tipping.

12. Hotels

Hotels aren't your only option for accommodation; hostels have comfortable options including private rooms, and for a more local experience, you can get free accommodation with hospitality exchanges, home exchangeshouse-sitting, and more.

13. Meals

Restaurants in tourist districts are usually overpriced. If you want to (or need to) eat in that area anyway, lunch is a cheaper option than dinner, with a similar (if not identical) menu and portions.

14. Food at Concession Stands

Concession stands in parks, tourist areas, and amusement parks are consistently overpriced. Avoid overpaying by bringing your own food, or buying snacks at a local shop down the street.

15. Cell Phone Roaming

Taking your cell phone abroad with your home SIM card could result in hundreds of dollars of roaming charges, even if you don't use the phone. Avoid this entirely by having an unlocked phone and buying a local SIM card, or using an international SIM card with no roaming charges. (I'm currently using one from G3 Wireless that works like a charm.) And failing that — make sure your emails and Internet notifications aren't being pushed to your phone! It could cost you hundreds.

16. Airplane Meals

Don't assume meals are provided in the fare, even on long flights. Confirm whether meal service is included with your ticket, and if not, buy your meal at the airport. You're still paying more than you should, but it's less than you would if you wait until you're on the plane.

17. Car Rentals

Look for alternatives to renting cars like car sharingride sharing, or using a vehicle delivery service. If you must rent a car, remember that rates are negotiable, and you can usually get a free upgrade simply by asking for it.

Also remember to check your credit card's automatic insurance policy so you can waive the comprehensive (and expensive) insurance offered by the car rental agency. (See also: 5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards)

18. Foreign ATM Withdrawals

There are two things to be aware of when using foreign ATMs. One is that you should use bank-affiliated ATMS so you don't incur the extra fee (ranging from $1.50 to $5) charged by private ATMs. The other is to avoid withdrawal charges levied by your home bank (usually $5 per withdrawal).

Some banks automatically refund ATM charges or offer free foreign ATM withdrawals. Check your bank's terms and conditions, and if necessary, upgrade your account to include free foreign ATM withdrawals (and maintain any necessary balance to avoid monthly charges for the upgraded account). (See also: Using Your Credit Card While Traveling)

19. Baggage Fees

Baggage fees are becoming increasingly common when flying; avoid charges for overweight or checked bags by traveling with carry-on only (check out this sample carry-on packing list). And if you need extra carry-on room, check out this sneaky little trick.

Remember to Have Fun

Don't be so concerned about overpaying that you forget to have fun. I remember once getting really upset that I couldn't negotiate my desired price with a taxi driver — before realizing I was squabbling over the equivalent of less than a dollar. Be aware of the exchange rates, and don't sweat the small stuff (too much).

What else have you overpaid for while traveling? Share your experience in comments!

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Written by Nora Dunn and published on Wise Bread. Read more articles from Wise Bread.
Friday
Jul252014

Kid Cuisine FUNtastic Sweeps: Win Movie Tickets

Through September 29th, head on over here to enter in the Kid Cuisine FUNtastic Sweepstakes for a chance to be 1 of 7,500 winners to score a FREE pair of kids movie tickets (up to a $16 value)! 
Friday
Jul252014

Target Mobile Coupons List

Here is a list of all the Target Mobile coupons that are currently available.  Text each word to 827438 to receive your coupons.  Click the bold words to take you to a list of all the coupons that are available for each set. 

 

  • BABY3 (expire 7/26) delivered once a month
  • CARE (expire 7/26)
  • DECOR (expire 7/26)
  • PETS (expire 7/26)
  • CLEAN (expire 9/7)
  • PACKITBACK (expires 10/4)