News: Great American Dine Out- Coupons, Offers, and more!  

The Great American Dine Out starts next week. Here are some of the best offers. Dine out and help out!

  • Joe's Crabshack will give you a coupon for a free slice of key lime pie if you donate $1, or a free order of crab nachos if you donate $5 anytime in September. The coupons are valid Oct. 1-Dec. 31.
  • T.G.I. Friday's will give you a $15 coupon book if you stop by and donate $5 through Sept. 27.

And more offers, just in time for the weekend!

  • Baja Fresh has coupons, too, good through Sept. 24. You can get $2 off an order of $7 or more and $5 off an order of $15 or more.


News: Hearst Magazine Subscribers: Watch Out for This Scam  

I just received this in my email:

Dear Marie Claire Reader,

We have recently learned that a sweepstakes company using the name Town & Country
(but which is not affiliated in any way to Town&Country magazine) has been calling
subscribers to inform them that they are the winners of an online sweepstakes. The caller
may leave a voice message with a call-back phone number and a claim number as winner
identification.  Those who call back are greeted with “Town&Country” and then asked to
provide credit card information in order to claim the prize.

Hearst Magazines (Country Living, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Food Network Magazine,
Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, O, The Oprah Magazine,
Popular Mechanics, Redbook, Seventeen, Town&Country, Veranda) does not operate this way.
Sweepstakes winners are first contacted by email and no personal or financial information is
ever requested other than verification of mailing address. The names of confirmed winners are
posted online as stated in the sweepstakes official rules.

We apologize for any inconvenience this scam may have caused any of our readers.  Please be
assured we value each one of you and therefore feel it important to notify you of this situation.


Liberta Abbondante
Sr. VP, Consumer Marketing


News:Free Toys R Us gift bag + printable coupon

Toys R Us is opening new stores across the country. And they are giving away gift bags, to the first 100 people in line! Plus, print out an exclusive coupon. To find a location near you, put in your zip code- Here's all the info.


News: Keeping Couponing Legal Guidelines

From the CIC (Coupon Information Company) web site. Good guidelines to keep in mind:

Strictly prohibited

Please don’t do any of the following activities. The penalties, criminal or civil, can be severe.

  1. Photocopies. Do not photocopy coupons. This is counterfeiting and is a criminal offense.
  2. Coupon Decoding. Each coupon is a contract and should be used only for the item described in writing on the coupon itself. Using a coupon for any product other than the one intended is a type of fraud similar to shoplifting.
  3. Buying coupons. When a person buys coupons, they may be inadvertently purchasing stolen property or counterfeit coupons. Even if there is not a direct criminal penalty involved, both coupon buyers and sellers open the door to potential litigation when they buy or sell coupons because they are in violation of the “nontransferability” clause printed on all coupons distributed within the United States. The transfer makes a coupon void. Coupon sellers often include legal disclaimers stating that they are selling their time, a service, or even envelopes that just happen to contain coupons instead of the coupons themselves. Such statements are invalid and do not offer any legal protection. Rather, such statements suggest that the sellers know that their coupon sales are inappropriate and wrong.
  4. Stealing newspapers. This is theft, whether it is for personal use, resale, to supply an organized criminal enterprise, or any other reason, and can result in felony charges. In addition to the criminal penalties, the theft of newspapers often causes harm to hard working, small entrepreneurs who operate on very thin profit margins—usually a few pennies per newspaper. The theft of even a small number of papers may have a strong impact on their financial picture as consumers, no longer confident that they will receive the contents of their newspapers, will cancel their subscriptions or avoid certain newspaper boxes.
  5. Buying “extra” coupons from your newspaper carrier or some other newspaper employee is probably a violation of the carrier’s employment agreement and/or contractual agreements with his/her supplier and can result in termination.
  6. Reselling Stockpiles. Coupons are intended to give individual consumers a good deal, not provide a method for people to set up unauthorized grocery stores or flea markets in their garages, basements or backyards. Such sales usually violate the terms and conditions of the coupons themselves and may be in violation of local health codes. As a consumer, do you really want to buy a product that has been stored in a stranger’s basement for weeks, months or even years?


  1. Dumpster diving. If the dumpster is on private land, the “diver” can be arrested for trespassing. If the materials retrieved from the dumpster are meant for recycling, the “diver” can be arrested for theft. Dumpsters are not generally designed with “divers” in mind, and persons can fall in, get trapped, or suffer personal injuries if they venture into these containers. The CIC, for reasons of safety, strongly recommends that no one enter into dumpsters.


Be on TV- Wife Swap

I wish I could do this, but my son isn't old enough. Maybe one of you will make it and be $20,000 richer!


Are you a frugal mother? Does your family know how to save money? Would you like the chance to show the rest of America how your family lives?

Whether you ARE A MOM, HAVE A MOM, ARE MARRIED TO ONE, OR JUST KNOW ONE who sounds like this , contact us today!

Families Chosen receive a $20,000 Honorarium; Refer a family chosen and get $1000!!!

TEL: 212-404-1469


Lucky New Yorkers- AOL settlement

One of the most exciting things I read today was about the AOL law suit. According to the article "AOL is also required to provide fee refunds for up to four months of service to all New York consumers who claim harm based on improper cancellation requests and pay New York state $1.25 million in penalties and costs." New Yorkers, you are in luck! Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this applies to AOL customers in other states. Get your claim form here.

I signed up for AOL last winter and it took a good 6 months to get it cancelled. Meanwhile, they kept trying to charge my checking account, until I closed the account and cut them off at the source! I can't stand AOL, they have burned so many people.


Be on TV- Share Your Money-Saving Tips!

This is an excellent opportunity to share your wisdom with the world!

Here is the press release from the Today show:

Are you the world's biggest cheapskate?
NBC's ‘Today' show is looking for all penny pinchers. See details below
NBC's “Today” show is working on a special series called "Today's Cheapskate Week." We're devoting 5 days to finding the biggest bargains in the U.S. We're going to cover fashion, home, groceries, coupons and more. In addition, we're searching for America's biggest cheapskates with the thriftiest tips and we want you! So if you or someone you know is great at pinching pennies we want you to tell us about it. We also want to see your best money-saving tips.

Here's how to apply to participate in our series:

Set-up your video camera to face you, or have someone hold it, look at the camera and tell us why you're the biggest cheapskate in the U.S. Then show us some of your best tightwad tips. This should be something visual.

Or if your spouse, friend, relative or co-worker is America's biggest penny-pincher – we want that too! You must include that other person in your tape and show us why they are the cheapest person you know. It's good to keep your stories concise – aim for 2 minutes or less!

Since home video tapes can have technical problems, we suggest recording the same material several times. So do a few takes.

Any video format is fine, but we like to avoid Hi-8. That particular format is often troublesome for our editing machines.

When finished — please send your tape to:

Margaret Pergler
Today Show - Producer
30 Rockefeller Center
Room 568E-2
New York, NY 10112


Your tape MAY air somewhere between Aug 15th and Aug 19th, 2005. (Due to tight deadlines and constant show changes, we will not be able to notify you in advance. So get those VCR's or DVD recorders ready!)

Please note: Your videos and any of their content may be edited and used by NBC in all media WILL NOT be returned. Any materials you send in conjunction with this project become property of NBC.


The Burger King Saga...

I love when there are new promotions, especially when it's involving credit! This week, I went to Burger King for their new "Fantastic Four" promotion. I didn't get my Amazon cash card either time. I went back and asked for it and after waiting for 20 minutes, finally got the card. It was very annoying that they aren't including it in the bag or on the tray of food, like they should. My impression and I hope I'm wrong on this, is they aren't giving them out at all! The promotion is being prominently advertised as well, so I'm very surprised that two different Burger Kings messed up.

So, just a warning, if you order large or king size for the Amazon cash card, be sure you get it before you leave! It will be interesting to see if this is a widespread problem...and how quickly they fix it. Customers shouldn't have to waste their time to remind Burger King to give them their Amazon cash card.

Here's how to get a card for free: You can request cash cards by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope (#10 envelope) to: Official Cash Card Requests Box 1286 Elmhurst, IL 60126-1286 "Typed, computer-generated or otherwise mechanically reproduced outer envelopes are NOT allowed." Contest goes until 7/31/05 or while supply of cards lasts.