Pick a Pumpkin: 5 Ways to Save Money on Fall Pumpkins

Saveonpumpkins_mainOne of the best things about this time of year is the pumpkins. Pumpkins are a fun and colorful symbol of the fall harvest and autumn festivities. They are great for cooking and baking, including making homemade pumpkin pies. Pumpkins also make ideal decorative pieces in and around your home, because they can potentially last for months. If you want to save some money for caramel apples and Halloween costumes, follow our tips to buy pumpkins for less.

  1. Buy pumpkins by the pound. It is often cheaper to purchase pumpkins priced by the pound versus a set individual price, particularly if you are interested in larger sizes. You may find pumpkins by the pound at the grocery store, home improvement store, or some pumpkin patches and roadside stands. If you check your local sales papers, you can determine which store has the best price.
  2. Buy from roadside farmer’s stands and individual growers. Pumpkin patches Pumkin_Standare loads of fun as a family activity, but they can also be costly. Particularly if you’re only interested in purchasing pumpkins, consider other outlets for more competitive pricing. Local farmers may utilize seasonal roadside stands to sell their harvest quickly. Or you may find individual homes or farms displaying priced-to-sell homegrown pumpkins in their front yard.
  3. Buy them undecorated. I am pretty lazy and uncreative, so there are few things I love more than buying a pumpkin that’s already painted and decorated in full fall fashion. Although this is an easy option, it’s not a cheap one, even if you only purchase a small pumpkin. If you’re looking to save money, it’s wiser to purchase a natural pumpkin and decorate it yourself.
  4. Buy reusable versions for decoration. In order to save money, I have purchased reusable pumpkin alternatives that can be used for decoration year after year. I find this to be more cost-effective than purchasing real pumpkins every year. Instead of painting or carving pumpkins, you can purchase decorative pumpkins that feature the desired decorative accents and put them away each year.
  5. Don’t carve them. Jack-o’-lanterns are a fun part of fall. But once you cut into the pumpkin, it slowly begins to rot, especially when exposed to sunlight and/or warm temperatures. If you want your pumpkin to last longer instead of having to purchase new ones before the end of the season, choose to paint or decorate without carving it. You can replicate the jack-o’-lantern look with paint. If you avoid cutting into the pumpkin, it can be preserved all fall long. I often purchase pumpkins in September and am able to use them all the way through to Thanksgiving because I choose not to carve them.

Pumpkins make fall fun. When you follow these tips, you’ll be able to purchase plenty of them at a price that fits your budget — and when you use your FreeShipping.com membership, you can enjoy free shipping, exclusive coupons and discounts, and 10% cash back at over 1,000 top online retailers.

Save on Fall Necessities with FreeShipping.com

If you’re looking for other items to make your fall complete, Celebrate Express may be just what you need.Pumkin_celebrateexpress

Interested in fall decorating ideas? Check out Celebrate Express’s Country Harvest or Orange and Black Bash looks. Get your Halloween on with a variety of decorations, costumes, and accessories. Celebrate Express even has supplies to help you with your pumpkin carving and decorating, including carving and push-in kits. Celebrate Express will help you to make the most of fall at budget-friendly prices.

Don’t forget to share these money-saving tips with others!

Posted in Instant Free Shipping, Free Shipping, Retailer Savings, FreeShipping.com Member Benefits, FreeShipping.com, Fall savings, 10% Cash Back, Holiday savings, Money-Saving Tips, Home decorations, Family Entertainment, Fall, Autumn, Halloween | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

5 Frugal Tips to Save Money on Fall Family Fun

fallfun_mainThere’s so much fun to be had in fall. It’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy special family time together. Festivities abound indoors and out. Fall is also exciting because it’s so easy to celebrate the season without overspending. Find out how to enjoy all that fall has to offer while keeping it budget-friendly.

5 Ways to Enjoy Fall on a Budget

  1. Enjoy fall’s colors. One of the most significant aspects of fall is the array of bright colors to be found in nature. You will find trees decked out in orange, yellow, and red. There’s also plenty of color to be found in the bounty of fall harvest fruits and vegetables. Take some time to get outdoors and enjoy all of autumn’s vibrancy by going on a walk, hike, bicycle ride, or drive. It costs so little to enjoy so much richness.
  2. Pick some produce. fall_minipumpkinFall is about the harvest of produce that suddenly becomes available in force. A great way to enjoy this season and the bounty it offers is to pick some produce. Get out to an orchard, and pick some apples. Look for fruit or vegetable festivals. Take the kids to pick out pumpkins or squash to be used for cooking and/or decoration. Particularly if you eat the produce, it is a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy the treasures of the season. Take advantage of the opportunity to try out some new recipes.
  3. Craft from nature. Autumn is a great time of year to use all that nature has to offer and incorporate it into handmade creations. Use twigs, leaves, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, bark, and more to create natural crafts that will bring the outdoors in. Get the kids involved to make memories that will last for a lifetime. Since you will be using primarily natural elements, the expense will be minimal, but the joy will be priceless. Utilize these crafts around your home to add an organic feel to your home décor.
  4. fall_cameraCapture the moment. Savor the season by snapping some pictures of fall’s glory. This is a great time of year to capture some memories by taking photos of your family to be used for Christmas cards, photo books, or photo gifts. I know one family that heads outside every fall and takes photos of their growing kids. The colors of fall provide a naturally rich backdrop for even amateur photographers. You’ll be making memories while you capture memories, and if you take your own photos, you will find serious savings over professional portraits.
  5. Catch a flick. On those chilly fall evenings, few things will bring a family together better than a good movie. Keep it seasonal by watching an autumn, Halloween, or Thanksgiving-related movie. During this time of year, you may find these types of movies playing on network or cable TV. Raid your DVD collection for any films that may fit this time of year. Some of my favorite flicks to watch around this time of year include The Nightmare Before Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Pop some popcorn, and snuggle with the family under a blanket.

Fall is such an enjoyable time of year, and there’s so much to do that costs very little. Looking for more autumn activity ideas? Check out Real Simple’s Fun Fall Activities Checklist to get your wheels turning.

FreeShipping.com Can Help Keep Your Fall Frugal

As you’re thinking about taking advantage of all that fall has to offer while saving money in the process, don’t forget to utilize your FreeShipping.com membership. When shopping online, there’s no better way to shop savvy than by taking advantage of FREE shipping, exclusive coupons and discounts, and 10% cash back.

fallfun_bestbuyNeed a new TV to watch movies or football with your family this fall? Get high-quality electronics and superior selection at reasonable prices when you shop Best Buy. You can also find some great fall movie options, as well as audio electronics, music, home theater equipment, and much more. When you shop at Best Buy, you will have something to do even on those rainy and dark fall days.

fallfun_alibrisAnother excellent way to spend your fall is with a great book. Alibris is a go-to online resource for used and new books. Pick some books that are perfect for this time of year, and get your read on. Share a scary story with your family. Or if you’re ready to try out some new recipes with all of the produce you picked, check out their assortment of cookbooks. In addition to a large selection of books, they also offer music and movies to keep you busy all autumn long.

We hope these tips will help you to enjoy your fall in full while keeping it frugal. Don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends!

Posted in 10% Cash Back, Autumn, Fall, Fall savings, Family Entertainment, Family Fun, Food, FreeShipping.com Member Benefits, Meal Planning, Meals, Money-Saving Tips, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bundle Up Your Home for Fall: 5 Strategies to Save Money by Weatherproofing

Weatherproofing_mainFall is a wonderful time of year, but it can mean falling temperatures and rising heating costs, as warm daytime temperatures give way to cool nights. Before the temperatures really drop, now is the best time to bundle up your home to prevent cold drafts and costly heating bills. Weatherproofing your home is an excellent way to stay warm and keep heating costs low.

5 Ways to Keep Your Home Warm for Fall and Beyond

  1. WeatherproofingCaulk_SideCaulk it up. Want to make sure all of those holes and cracks are sealed? Get a tube of clear caulk and a caulk gun. For a minimal investment, you can prevent chilly drafts and rising heating expenses. Make sure to fill in any cracks that may exist around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and light switch plates. Using some caulk is a cheaper alternative to replacing windows or doors.
  2. Wrap up those windows. Want to ensure that fall’s cool breezes do not invade your home? Seal up your windows using some clear plastic wrap and tape. You can use your own or buy a kit designed for this purpose. Just make sure that you’re done opening the windows for the season before sealing them up. Wrapping your windows can save you from having to replace them altogether.
  3. Weatherstripping is your friend. Even if you shut your front or back door, cold air may still be getting into your home. Weatherstripping can help to ensure a tight and snug fit around your doors and windows, thereby eliminating chilly drafts. If your doors and windows already feature weatherstripping, inspect to ensure it is in good shape and is creating an adequate seal. If your doors and/or windows lack weatherstripping or have old weatherstripping, you may want to install new weatherstripping to protect your home from the onslaught of cold weather. New weatherstripping can eliminate the need to replace older doors or windows.Weatherproofing_Furnace
  4. Service your furnace. So far, we’ve shared various other strategies to lower your heating costs, but one of the most important ways to save money on heating is by servicing your furnace. Having it looked at by a HVAC professional can ensure that your heating unit is running safely and efficiently. If you plan to do this yourself instead, don’t forget to change out the air filter and to vacuum out the unit to remove excess dirt. If you have a wood-burning stove or wood fireplace, you should consider having a professional come to properly clean out these units. Servicing these heating units can prevent the need for costly service or replacement down the road.
  5. Remove and/or cover A/C units. If you have window air conditioning units, you should remove them and close up the windows. If you have air conditioning units installed in your home’s walls, you should cover them up both on the inside and outside to prevent cold air from creeping in. This will save you money on heating, as well as protect your A/C units from potential damage due to freezing temperatures, snow, and ice.

Just by taking these simple steps, you can save hard-earned cash as cold weather approaches. Take some time to investigate problem areas in your home and resolve them to cash in on savings all fall long. It may take a little bit of work, but you’ll thank yourself for it later.

FreeShipping.com and Lowe’s = The Perfect Money-Saving Combination

Weatherproofing_lowesAs you’re thinking about weatherproofing your home for autumn, don’t forget to put your FreeShipping.com membership to use to find additional savings. With free shipping, exclusive coupons and discounts, and 10% cash back, there’s countless ways to save. When you shop Lowes.com using your FreeShipping.com membership, you’ll get everything you need to weatherproof your home without spending a fortune.

Lowes.com carries caulk, air filters, insulation, weatherstripping, air conditioner covers, and whatever else you need to prepare your home for colder days ahead. Looking for a helping hand? Check out Lowe’s How-Tos, including Weather Strip Your Windows and Weather Strip Your Doors.

There’s no need to fear fall when you’ve bundled up and prepared your home. Now you can enjoy all that the season has to offer! ;)

Posted in 10% Cash Back, Autumn, Energy Savings, Fall maintenance, Fall savings, Family Savings, Free Shipping, FreeShipping.com Member Benefits, Home Maintenance, Home savings, Member Benefits, Money-Saving Tips, Utility bills, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Search and Compare Prices Quickly and Easily at FreeShipping.com

We hope you’ve checked out the newly renovated FreeShipping.com website. In addition to streamlining our members’ access to savings and increasing the cash-back benefit to 10% at over 1,000 top online retailers, we’ve also significantly upgraded our search tool. As a FreeShipping.com member, you can now search for any item you want — and then compare prices for that item at every retailer in our 10% cash-back network!

How to Search for General Products

If you want to look for a wide range of products — wedding gifts, for instance — just type “wedding gifts” into the search field, then click the Enter key or the search icon. A search like that will generate a huge number of results, all of which include prices at participating retailers.

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From there, you can click the “GO” button on any panel to see product details at a single retailer or to compare prices at multiple stores.

You can also narrow down any list of search results by using the four filters in the left-hand margin:

  • Price: Enter the minimum and maximum amounts you’re willing to pay.
  • Category: Restrict the search results to certain types of products.
  • Brand: Select the names of specific manufacturers you like — and/or the ones that make your favorite products.
  • Store: Choose the exact retailers that sell the products you seek.

Feel free to use a combination of filters to help you find whatever you’re looking for. (Of course, you can always ignore the filters altogether and browse through the entire results list.)

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Once you find the exact offer you want, click “GO” to reach the specific retailer’s FreeShipping.com page, then click any “Visit Store” button on that page to reach that product page on your chosen retailer’s website. (Remember: To earn 10% cash back and qualify for shipping and return shipping rebates, you have to make your purchase in the browser window that opens when you click a FreeShipping.com button link.)

How to Search for Participating RetailersCK3_FScom

If you want to shop at a specific retailer in the FreeShipping.com network, just type that retailer’s name into the search bar, then click the Enter key or the search icon.

On the results page, just click the link to visit that retailer’s FreeShipping.com page, check out its current coupon offers, and start shopping.

How to Search — and Compare Prices — for Specific Items

If you’re looking for, say, a microwave oven, you can enter “microwave oven” in the search field to see a results page like this:

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You can also search much more specifically. Maybe you want the exact same 1.6-cubic-foot, over-the-range, stainless-steel version that you saw at a friend’s house. If you enter “1.6 cubic foot over the range microwave stainless steel,” you’ll get a results page like this:

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You can even search by using a specific item’s stock-keeping unit (SKU) number!

Once you find the exact item and price you want, click the specific “Visit Store” button to buy that item at your chosen retailer, or click a “Coupons Available” link, if applicable, to check out coupon offers at that retailer before you shop.

Our new search tool make it easier than ever to search for and compare prices instantly on anything you might be in the market for, whether it’s your favorite item or just a recurring household need. We hope you make the most of our recent upgrades. If you’re not a member yet, we invite you to try FreeShipping.com now — risk-free for 30 days!

 

Posted in Misc

Frugal Fall Harvest: 3 Strategies to Save Money on Autumn Produce

FrugalFallHarvest_mainOne of the most special aspects of this time of year is the bountiful harvest of produce that becomes available. As the growing season approaches an end, you will find all sorts of delightful fruits and vegetables that are ripe and ready to be enjoyed.

If you’ve spent all summer tending to your own garden, you may not need to spend money on buying produce anytime soon. But if you’re in the market for some of the season’s bounties without paying more than necessary, we have some tips that may help.

3 Ways to Save on Fall Fruits and VegetablesFrugalFallHarvest_Sign

  1. Shop farmers’ markets and food co-ops. Autumn abounds with farmers’ markets, pumpkin patches, and apple festivals. These seasonal set-ups are excellent places to find produce of all sorts. Other year-round sources of produce can be food co-ops, in which you get a grocery store experience without the inflated grocery store prices.
  2. Buy what’s in season. Supply and demand dictates that whatever is more plentiful at the moment will be sold at a cheaper price. This is especially the case when it comes to perishable produce. Because most of the harvest becomes ripe around the same time and stores are flooded with the shipments that won’t last long, they will offer the best prices on what they have the most of.
  3. Shop the sales. This goes hand-in-hand with buying what’s in season, but allowing some flexibility in what you buy will save you the most money. The store may have a great sale on apples one week and grapes the next. Plan your meals and snacks around whatever is on sale at the time you shop to enjoy the savings and variety that comes with it.

Find More Fall Savings with FreeShipping.com

When you’re looking to save, you can’t forget about the ultimate savings resource: FreeShipping.com. When you sign up as a member, you immediately get access to free shipping, exclusive coupons and savings, and 10% cash back. With so many benefits, you can’t go wrong! Not a member yet? Don’t delay—sign up today!

With a motto like “Save Money. Live Better,” you know you can trust Walmart for the savings your wallet desires. Walmart has an extensive assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables at prices that are hard to beat. They’re always looking for new and innovative ways to save you money, like their Savings Catcher program, which will pay you the difference if another retailer has a lower price. Another offering worth mentioning is the unveiling of their Grocery Delivery and Pickup program. Available in select markets, you can shop online for your groceries and then pick it up at the store for free. You can also have it delivered if you prefer.

There’s so much to love in autumn, especially all of the wonderful fruits and vegetables. Celebrate the season by eating and saving well. Know someone who would appreciate these tips? Don’t forget to share this post with them!

Posted in 10% Cash Back, Autumn, Fall, Fall savings, Family Savings, Food, Free Shipping, FreeShipping.com Member Benefits, Home savings, Meal Planning, Meals, Member Savings, Money-Saving Tips, Savings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fall Fitness: 3 Frugal Tips to Save Money on Autumn Exercise

fallexercise_mainBathing suit season may be wrapping up, but that’s no excuse to let your body go. Fall is an ideal time to get in shape and boost your metabolism by doing exercises.

There are many reasons for this. First of all, summer provides a wealth of outdoor activities that allow you to get exercise, whether done for that reason or not. As the weather cools down, so might your activity level, but regular exercise can help to make up for that. Second, the cold weather and extra food consumption during the fall often cause people to become sluggish and to gain extra pounds. Circumvent fall weight gain by getting started on a sustainable exercise program now. And that leads me to the final reason fall is a great time to get in shape: Fall is a busy time filled with events and gatherings with family and friends. Surprise them with how great you look by taking the initiative now to tone up and lose weight. It will give you new confidence if you’re at your own personal best.

Need some help keeping your budget in shape while you do some autumn exercises? Have no fear! We have some tips to help:

3 Thrifty Tips to Get in Shape on a Budget

  1. Do double duty. fallexercise_dogwalkGetting in shape need not be an exercise in futility. Did you ever consider that you burn calories just by doing normal work around the house? Get 2 things done at once by combining exercise and routine tasks, including fall gardening, raking leaves, mopping, vacuuming, cleaning out your garage or basement, taking the dog(s) for a walk, etc. You’ll be pleased at your accomplishments in more ways than one, and it’s an inexpensive way to get exercise.
  2. Bundle up and enjoy the cool weather. Although nights may get cooler, fall, especially earlier in the season, is still a good time to enjoy the great outdoors. Put on an extra layer and enjoy the outdoor opportunities for free exercise, including jogging in the park, hiking on trails, riding your bicycle, rollerblading, or going on a simple walk around the neighborhood. There are some individuals who exercise outside all year long, so don’t let a little chill in the air scare you.
  3. Buy secondhand exercise equipment. Fall may be in the air, but you may still see some lingering garage and estate sales. Take advantage of these sales to find used exercise equipment at a greatly reduced price. Many sellers may be looking to free up space in their home or garage and to clean up before the holidays arrive. That motivation may make them more likely to give you an excellent deal. Other places to check out include flea markets, classifieds, Craig’s List, Freecycle, and local online selling groups. Thrift stores, consignment shops, and secondhand exercise equipment stores are also good resources to find reduced-price exercise equipment and supplies.

Don’t Forget to Shop FreeShipping.com for Frugal Deals

Still looking for more tips on how to exercise during the fall without spending more than needed? Well, you should know that FreeShipping.com is an easy way to get what you need at fantastic savings! With no-cost shipping, exclusive and stackable coupons and discounts, and 10% cash back, FreeShipping.com makes it so simple to save!

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Want to work out like a champion? Check out Champion for authentic and sturdy sports apparel. Since 1919, Champion has been providing athletic apparel for men, women, and kids designed to keep you comfortable and cool. They have devoted themselves to unbeatable service and customer satisfaction.

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Looking for women’s workout clothing that is both attractive and tough? Athleta offers high-performing athletic clothing that works hard and looks good. Part of the Gap Clothing brand, Athleta offers apparel suitable for yoga, running, dance, and the gym. They also have comfortable clothing in other categories, like dresses, swim wear, and shoes.

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Get your fitness fix with help from Gaiam. Do you need yoga mats, clothing, balance balls, workout videos, or wellness products? You will find products for the entire family from Gaiam with an emphasis on natural living and striving for a healthy mind, body, home, and planet. Not only will you find a product line designed to improve your health and well-being, but they also feature a free trial of Gaiam TV transformation network that provides streaming videos to support your goals.

We hope this post inspires you to start an exercise routine this fall that works for you and is sustainable for the long haul. When you follow our tips, you will save money in the process. Like these tips? Show it by sharing this blog post with your family and friends!

Posted in 10% Cash Back, Exercise, Fall savings, FreeShipping.com, FreeShipping.com Member Benefits, Healthcare, Healthcare savings, Member Benefits, Money-Saving Tips, Personal care | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Packing a Lunch: 3 Thrifty Tips to Save Money on Making School Lunches

schoollunch_mainSchool days are here again. If you’re the parent of school-age children, not only does this mean more work for you, it can also mean more expense. Amongst all of the school supplies and new clothes, making lunches to send to school with the kids can really take a bite out of your budget. With a little smart thinking and planning ahead, you can provide tasty and nutritious school lunches without spending a fortune.

3 Ways to Serve School Lunches on a Budget

  1. Skip single-serving foods, and buy in bulk instead. It’s so convenient to buy pre-packaged, individual serving food items, but there’s an extra cost for that convenience. Instead of buying these single-serving foods, buy the same items in bulk, and split them up yourself. It’s a little more work, but your budget will reap the positive rewards. Instead of buying small bags of chips, buy a large bag, and divide it up. Buy a large bottle of juice, and fill up a reusable cup. Apply the same concept with snacks, cookies, pretzels, water, canned fruit, pudding, gelatin, etc.schoollunch_containers
  2. Invest in reusable containers. Instead of buying plastic sandwich bags or brown paper bags to use for lunches, invest in some reusable items. I purchased reusable, insulated lunch bags for my kids with their names printed on them. They keep foods cold, can be easily wiped off, and can be used over and over again. They save us money and are more eco-friendly than comparable options. You can also buy reusable cups or a Thermos, sandwich containers, eating utensils, divided containers, and other food storage products. Using these reusable items instead of disposable ones will make school lunches a little easier on your budget and the environment.
  3. Plan your lunch menu around sales and coupons. Shopping the sales is a great way to save when making school lunches. Look for items that are on sale each week, and plan your menu around those. Not only does this save you serious coin, it can also provide some variety for your kids when it comes to eating. When you combine sale prices, reward card discounts, and coupons, you’ll be pleased at how inexpensively you can provide quality lunches for your school children.

If done correctly, packing a lunch can actually be much cheaper than buying a lunch out. Think outside the (lunch) box to find creative ways to save.

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FreeShipping.com Can Help You Save on Money-Saving Containers

As one of our money-saving tips, we mentioned why it makes sense to buy reusable lunch containers. We are happy to inform you that FreeShipping.com can help you save money on those containers when you shop online using your membership. As a member, you have access to free shipping, exclusive coupons and discounts, and 10% cash back. It’s such a hassle-free way to save on ALL of your online shopping!

The Container Store is one of my favorite places to shop for all things organizational. They have devoted their entire inventory to making storage simple. For back-to-school shoppers, they have a special section on their website called Lockers & Lunches designed to make sure all of your classroom needs are met. Need a little assistance putting together lunches? Check out The Container Store’s article Pack a Lunch Your Kids Will Eat. Then check out their Lunchtime Essentials for a full selection of lunch carriers; food and beverage containers; and utensils and ice substitutes. You’ll find countless attractive and practical options that will make putting together lunches a snap.

Here’s to delicious school lunches on a dime all school-year long!

Posted in 10% Cash Back, Back-to-school, Back-to-school savings, Fall savings, Family Needs, Family Savings, Food, Free Shipping, FreeShipping.com Member Benefits, Home savings, Meal Planning, Meals, Money-Saving Tips, Savings, School savings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,