Fort Worth on the Cheap Rss

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$5 Off State Fair Coupon Packages$5 Off State Fair Coupon Packages The State Fair of Texas begins on Sept. 30, but it's never too early to think about getting ready! Right now, you can save $5 off food and ride coupon packs by using the coupon code DMCOUPON5 at checkout....

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Free Gift from Tiny PrintsFree Gift from Tiny Prints Through Tuesday, August 9, Tiny Prints is offering your choice of two free gifts: One notebook or one 5x7 easel art. Use the code PICKONE at checkout to get your freebie. A small shipping fee will apply....

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Free Notepad, Address Labels, Prints from ShutterflyFree Notepad, Address Labels, Prints from Shutterfly From now through Aug. 5, Shutterfly is offering your choice of three free gifts: two 8x10 prints, one 5x7 notepad or one set of address labels. Use the code SUMMERCHOICE at checkout to get your discount....

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Hawaiian Falls Tickets - Now Cheaper Than EverHawaiian Falls Tickets - Now Cheaper Than Ever Time to start planning your end-of-summer hurrah! AdPages has just put out a new, even cheaper deal on their Hawaiian Falls admissions - just $60 for a pack of 4, which works out to $15 per ticket. Previous...

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Free 8x10 From WalgreensFree 8x10 From Walgreens From now through Aug. 2, Walgreens is offering a free 8x10 enlargement to all customers. Simply enter the code FREEDEAL731 at checkout to get this special offer. Other photo deals available right now...

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Fourth of July Events

Category : Uncategorized

fireworksHere’s a roundup of free or low-cost Independence Day celebrations on the western-ish side of the Metroplex:

July 3:
The Arlington Highlands shopping center will hold an Independence Day celebration, which includes fireworks, at 7:30 p.m.  No charge. Visit for more info and driving directions.

There will be an Old Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden at 8 p.m. Enjoy fireworks while listening to patriotic music from the FWSO. Visit for tickets.

Come to Granbury for their 35th annual Old-Fashioned 4th of July celebration, which actually starts on the 3rd with a car show and other events. The full schedule is here.

In Weatherford: Fireworks show at the Canyon West golf course.  The family-friendly festivities begin at 5:30 p.m., with fireworks appearing around dusk. It costs $20 per carload of people.

Not fireworks, but still a cool way to enjoy the holiday weekend: Jake’s Loft in Southlake will offer free snow cones and live music from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

July 4:
“Fort Worth’s Fourth,” the city’s celebration, is scheduled from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on the Trinity River behind LaGrave Field. Free admission. Visit if you’d like to know more.

July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza in Grapevine at Lake Grapevine. Begins 9:30 p.m. Free admission. Link to event is here.
The FWSO’s Old Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic also repeats this night (see July 3 listing above for details).

Fireworks over Lake Granbury at dusk, other events earlier in the day; see this schedule for details.

Southlake is having a “Stars & Stripes” celebration from 5-10 p.m. at the Southlake Town Square. A complete schedule of activities is here.

Flower Mound will hold a Children’s Independence Day Parade from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dress up your kids’ bikes and trikes and include them in the parade. More info is here. Flower Mound’s fireworks display will begin at dusk at Flower Mound High School, with the gates opening at 7 p.m. Free music from the Flower Mound Symphony, too.

Quad Cities Family 4th & Fireworks Show in Haltom City begins at 7 p.m. at Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum. Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 p.m. For full details. including a list of what you can’t and can’t bring, go here.

In the Mineral Wells/Palo Pinto County area, there will be a fireworks show at Possum Kingdom Lake. You can watch the show from Camp Grady Spruce on the lake’s east side at the end of Park Road 36. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and no one will be allowed in after 8:45 – so get there early! Tickets are $5 each, kids 3 and under are free. Bring your own food or buy some there.

This post may be updated with further events. If I’ve missed anything, e-mail me at fw [at]

Photo courtesy of James Jordan via a Creative Commons license.

BOGO Smoothies at Jamba Juice

Category : drinks, food, free

jamba1Jamba Juice’s Summer Bliss is Back campaign continues…and they’re currently offering a free smoothie when you buy one. Click here to print your coupon.

To become a Jamba Insider and get specials via e-mail, click here.

Free Drink from Seattle’s Best in Borders…Again

Category : food, free

CoffeeBorders is rewarding customers again with a coupon good for a free 12-oz beverage at its Seattle’s Best cafes. Click here to get your coupon. It expires July 2. Thanks to Freebies4Mom for giving us the heads up on this deal.

The last time I tried to use this coupon, I was asked for my Borders Rewards card. Click here to learn more about the program. If you don’t have a rewards card (it’s free to sign up), you may want to go to the cashier before you head to the cafe and get a card.

Make Money Mystery Shopping

Category : Uncategorized

You could get paid to shop as a mystery shopper.

You could get paid to shop as a mystery shopper.

I love shopping. I love making money, too…so I have more money to shop with. So I guess it’s only natural that I’m a part-time mystery shopper for several companies. I have found that you will not get rich as a mystery shopper, but it can be a nice second income, and you may even get some free items in the process. Here are my tips for a successful mystery shopping career:

1. NEVER pay money to mystery shop. Many ads will offer to hook you up with mystery shops for a fee. Don’t do this. There is lots of info available online about reputable mystery-shopping companies, and you don’t have to pay any money to get it.

2. Sign up. There are a ton of companies out there. The ones I like are Sinclair (, Customer Service Experts (, and Shoppers’ Critique ( Go to their websites and sign up as a mystery shopper. You may have to jump through a few hoops and answer some test questions to get registered, but it’s not that hard.

3. Check frequently for opportunities. Most companies will email you with shops in your area when they’re available. They can go quickly, so look at your e-mail frequently. The first to respond usually gets the shop.

4. Take it seriously and follow the rules. If you commit to doing a shop on a certain time and date, and in a certain manner, then do it. Flaking out on a job is the quickest way to ruin your reputation as a mystery shopper. Also, some shops have rules about how you conduct the shop; sometimes you are not allowed to bring kids, or you must be under a certain age. Don’t skirt the rules, thinking no one will ever know. Many times, stores have cameras at the registers, and you can get busted that way.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for a bonus. I do a lot of my mystery shopping in a relatively small town. There’s one particular company that often approaches me to do a shop in a nearby town that’s even smaller. They don’t have many shoppers there and have trouble filling the void. So when I get offers for that town, I ask for a bonus. Sometimes I’ll get as much as $20 over and above the regular shop fee. So if you notice that a scheduler has trouble filling a shop that’s a few towns away from you, offer to do it for a bonus. Doing this helps absorb the extra gasoline costs and the extra time I must take to do the shop.

6. Enter your data quickly. When you’re done with your shop, usually you will be asked to log into a secure website and enter your observations. Don’t put off doing this – most stores are very eager to get the results of the mystery shop, and delaying it will only irritate them. I aim to enter all my shops within 24 hours.

7. Consider MSPA certification. Sometimes, demand for a particular shop is high, like shops at high-end retail outlets and restaurants. If you want to stand out from the crowd, consider getting certified by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. You can get a Silver certification by paying a small fee pf $15 and taking a quiz (you get study materials beforehand). They also have Gold, which costs $99, but in my experience, most mystery shopping companies don’t care whether you’re Gold or Silver – just that you’re certified. And some don’t care about MSPA certification at all. But some do. Visit for info on how to get certified.

8. Don’t expect to get rich. I would say I make an average of $12 per month from mystery shops, not counting the value of the merchandise I bring home and am reimbursed for. I could probably make more if I lived in a larger metro area.  But I still think it’s a fun moneymaker.

Photo courtesy of Dan4th via a Creative Commons license.

Earn Prizes with Homescan

Category : Uncategorized

Since so many of my readers are interested in getting the most out of their purchases and stretching their household budgets, I thought I’d tell you about another program that I’m a part of: A.C. Nielsen’s Homescan program. This program has been around forever, and it helps companies determine what products consumers are buying. If you’re chosen to be a part of the panel, you’ll receive a small handheld scanner, which you’ll then use to scan all of your household purchases. Once a week, you hook the scanner up to your computer and submit your data to Nielsen.

I admit that being an active Homescan member does take a little time. You have to take the time to scan your groceries before you put them away, and scanning non-barcoded items with the reference card can be a little tedious. But the company does reward you with gift points, which you then trade in for prizes. There are also other point-earning opportunities like surveys and special panel memberships. This can help you get your point total up, and help you get your gifts faster. The prizes range from inexpensive water bottles to iPods – and, of course, the more expensive the gift, the more time it’s going to take to earn it. I’m hoping to cash in my points towards the end of the year and buy some toys for my two boys.

Panel membership is limited, and Nielsen only takes a certain number of participants from each geographic area. I do not know if they are currently seeking Homescan families in North Texas. If you are interested in joining Homescan, visit You may be accepted and sent a scanner right away, or you may be placed on a waiting list. When I joined a year ago, I only had to wait about 4 weeks before getting an e-mail that notified me my scanner was on its way.

Good luck, and happy scanning!

Melting Pot Discounts on July 4th

Category : dining, entertainment

meltingpotIf fireworks aren’t your thing, consider going to The Melting Pot in Arlington on July 4. On Independence Day, they’ll be offering $10 off their “Big Night Out” package, plus a surprise free gift to all who come and celebrate with them. (Big Night Out is a 4-course dinner menu for two people.)

You may wonder why I’m telling you now. It’s because the restaurant is advising that you make your July 4 reservations NOW. Spots are quickly filling up.

Did you know that The Melting Pot also has lots of other specials? Every Monday is Family Fun Night, with a $22 menu for adults and a $7 menu for kids. On Thursdays, you can enjoy 20 percent off your meal if you’re a Tarrant County resident. On Wednesdays, wines under $100 are half price. For complete info, see the homepage here.

Sundance Square Discounts

Category : Uncategorized

Sundance Square PMS Vector Logo RegisteredI know it’s nearing the end of the month, but I thought I’d remind you to check out the June issue of Sundance Square’s Insider Newsletter – it’s packed with info about events in Sundance Square this month, as well as some great coupons. This month, they’ve got $1 off at Billy Miner’s, 2-for-1 admission at City Streets, and a BOGO deal at Schakolad, plus more. Click here to see the newsletter. If you want to get it in your own e-mail, the subscription link is here.

Try Glidden Paint for Free

Category : free

paintNeed to do some touchups around the house? Paint a doghouse or small bookshelf? Then click this link right now. For a limited time, Glidden is giving away a free quart of paint just for the asking – in the exact shade you request! They actually mail you the paint rather than just sending a coupon. I’m going to use this for a section of my dining-room wall – my 1-year-old’s highchair is right there and there are a lot of food stains.

Hurry! Offer’s only good while supplies last.

Photo courtesy of basykes through a Creative Commons License

Free This Weekend: June 26-28

Category : Free This Weekend

Have some pre-Fourth fun this weekend with these events:

Enjoy a free dance performance at Trinity Park Pavilion courtesy of the Ballet Concerto Summer Dance Concert, taking place Saturday, June 27, at 8:30 p.m. The event will also repeat on Sunday, the 28th. The dancers will be performing dances from such works as “Carmen” and “Bolero.” Visit for more info.

Kids ages 8 to 12 can compete in the “Super Saturday Smackdown” at Borders in Fort Worth (at the corner of Hulen and I-30, near Central Market), a trivia game that tests kids’ knowledge of classic summer reading titles. The competition begins at 2 p.m.

Like shopping? There will be an Antiques, Collectibles & Home Decor Flea Market on Saturday, June 27, at Will Rogers Memorial Center, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Over 200 dealers will be hawking their wares. Free admission.

Come to the Amon Carter Museum to view their current exhibit – a collection of African-American art. This is an ongoing exhibition. Visit for details.

Check out the selection of locally-grown produce at the Cowtown Farmers Market, open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon in the Edelweiss parking lot. If you stop by their information booth and give them your e-mail address, you’ll get a FREE tote bag to bring your treasures home in. There are also farmers’ markets in NRH, Grapevine, Grand Prairie and Pantego, see for listings.

Celebrate the dog days of summer this Saturday (6/27) at the Bath House Cultural Center in Dallas – they’re having a Summer SolstiCelebration, which includes an “Egyptian Solar Ritual” at noon and a “Sunset Seasonal Circle” when the sun goes down. The event begins at noon and ends at 10 p.m. Admission is free unless you want to attend the the Earth Rhythms shows – then it’s $5 per person. Full info at

Barnes & Noble on Hulen & Overton Ridge has storytime at 11 a.m. every Saturday (Fridays too). The B&N in Sundance Square also has a Saturday storytime at 11.

Cheap Summer Movies in Southlake

Category : entertainment, family

The Metroplex abounds with outdoor movie events this summer – but let’s face it – who wants to sit outside on days with highs that top 100? If you’re heat-phobic like me, you may want to check out the Summer Movie Fun series at the Harkins Southlake Town Square theater. Now through August, you can buy a pass good for 10 weekday movies for just $5. (Note that this is $5 per person – you can’t use a 10-movie pass to get five people in twice.) The kid-oriented movies run Mondays through Fridays at 9:45 a.m., and when you buy your pass, you’ll commit to coming on a particular day of the week.

If you don’t want to commit to a season pass, you can buy tix at the box office for just $2 apiece.  Some of the movies scheduled for the summer include Nim’s Island, The Tale of Despereaux, and Horton Hears a Who. For more info, call the theater at (817) 310-0345.

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