Free Stuff

Free $20 to Spend at ThredUp Online Clothing Thrift Store for Kids and Women (Expires Soon)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on July 18, 2014

We haven’t talked about this online thrift store in a while and so we thought we would mention this option for clothing for kids and women right now – why? Well, because they are also running a promotion where instead of getting $10 to spend for free, you get $20!!  So read the information previously posted and enjoy double gently used clothing for free :) 

We’ve mentioned ThredUp before on our site.  In fact, we also mentioned it as a tip to save that was featured in the July 2012 issue of ALL YOU magazine (pictured above)!

This a no-brainer kind of used clothing opportunity by not only allowing free membership, but they are giving you a FREE $20 to spend on their site for trying them out! This is FANTASTIC news, especially if you are a family of 7 with 5 little kids like us who go through clothing so quickly! This free $20 will make for some free clothing. You will need to pay shipping, which ranges from $2.99 on up.

 

thredup-shirts-feb2014

Registration is easy and FREE. It is important that you verify your registration by checking your email immediately after and clicking on the link to verify your FREE membership and to get your free $20 credit to spend to and enjoy the freebies or really, really low clothing deals you can get!

We have shopped at ThredUp a total of 5 times, and we showed pictures of the first two times.  Each time, it has just been kids clothes, but they do sell women’s gently used clothing as well and so I have purchased many of my own clothes the past year from here too. Click on the links below if you would like to see what we got the first two times!

The prices were right, they were in EXCELLENT shape and exactly as described.  I have no complaints…which can be tough when you are buying used kids clothes.

As far as the prices go, I would say that the prices are obviously far below retail and comparable to higher end consignment or thrift stores.  I often spend time in cheap thrift stores and can rarely find nice children’s clothing as it is picked through and the very worn stuff is usually left.

This is a great time to get some back to school clothing shopping done as well as most all of the clothing offered is very gently used, higher end clothing.

Head to ThredUp HERE and register for a FREE $20 credit

*Important note, for some reason, the $20 credit does not show up until you have items in your cart and begin the checkout process – then it shows up.  Hopefully that helps to clear confusion!

The $20 credit is for first time ThredUp buyers.

Also, you can share your referral link with your friends via email, Facebook, etc. and you will both be rewarded with credits! Just click on the “My Account” tab and then click on share to send your friends a $10 credit and get some credit yourself for doing so!

 

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Alex & Cassie
 

Opportunity to Earn Cash or Amazon Gift Cards Through Opinion Outpost (Open Now, So Apply Soon)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on July 8, 2014

It’s been a while since we have shared a extra money making opportunity with you all.  Well, a legitimate survey opportunity has opened up again for new applicants.

So, if you are looking to earn some extra money from home, we would suggest giving something like this a try! You can get paid in either cash or in gift cards. As a side note and tip from us: you will get paid more and quicker if you opt for gift cards instead of cash.  Amazon gift cards are the way we like to go as we do buy a lot of our household, diapers and groceries on Amazon and so this would pay for some of it!

We have talked about this company before when they were open – Opinion Outpost. But as a reminder, here’s what we have to say about them:

This is a decent survey company and one worth trying out.  Their sign-up process is pretty simple as it is just one fomr like what you would fill-out for a free sample, and then you will receive an email confirmation and need to fill out a demographic questions which is very short. That’s it to get started, so it is quite simple compared to most. 

What is Opinion Outpost? Opinion Outpost conducts surveys because businesses, governments, public bodies, and similar organizations are interested in the views and attitudes of the people who use their products and services. The more they know about what customers and citizens think, the easier it is for them to improve and adapt what they supply. Take Surveys to give your opinion and shape the future.

It takes a little longer to earn cash as it does to earn Amazon gift cards.  You can cash out your Amazon gift cards when you hit $5, which happens pretty quickly! So you could earn a couple of these a week with little time!  You can also go the cash route and cash out once you get $10 – cash is paid via PayPal.  You could probably do a few of these per month with a little bit of your time.  We think that Amazon would be a better route for us as this is just as good as cash.  Yes it won’t pay your electric bill, but if you snatched a $5 Amazon gift card a few times per month,  it can help with your grocery bill (Amazon has great food and household deals), diapers, Christmas, or other necessities which means that the money you save can go towards another bill or financial goal!

Here’s how to get started – we just went through the steps and it was just a couple of minutes:

  • Register through this link HERE by filling out a very short contact form
  • Then you will see the first Thank You window letting you know to watch for your email in order to confirm your registration and to start earning cash or gift cards.

  • Then click on the link in your email.

  • You will then fill-out a second short form that asks the demographic questions that all survey companies ask so that they can connect you with the right surveys.

  • Then you are ready to start taking surveys and earn!

*Please note, that since the demographic form is quite short, you will often fill-out the first page of each survey to see if you qualify further for that survey.

They do this because let’s say that Verizon Wireless hires Opinion Outpost to do a survey of smart phone users (as an example), when you start the survey, you will probably be answering questions that would be related to the smart phone survey.  Ultimately, you may or may not qualify for that survey if you don’t have a smart phone, etc.   This is just an example, but any company for any product/service will have surveys.  There are even cereal and other food ones.  If you don’t eat cereal, or a certain type of cereal, then you will not qualify for that specific survey, etc.

They do this as it would be near impossible or a never-ending registration process to answer every type of possible question.  This means that you will probably only qualify for about 20% of the survey’s in your account.  This is a common thing with every survey company.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying so that you can get in on those 20% or so surveys that you are able to take and earn money too!

Head to the Opinion Outpost Site through this link HERE to quickly register.

As a note, we did want to mention something important – you will not get rich, be able to quit your day job or make a fine living doing surveys – they can pay a bill or two a month with diligent survey taking. So if you plan to spend 15+ minutes a day or a few times a week, it can be a big help to you and your family. Either way, it is worth giving it a shot!


See our master list of Ways to Earn Extra Income: Over 100 and Counting

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Alex & Cassie
 

Over 45 Summer Kids Activities Ideas That Are Cheap and Free To Have Frugal Summer Fun

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on June 4, 2014

over-45-free-and-cheap-summer-activities-for-kids

As Summer break has begun for many, you may be looking for free ways and ideas to enjoy the summer with your kids! We love the summer time and our most popular and favorite activities are the free awesome splash pad at our close-by local park and hiking! Both of these are free and our kids would be happy doing just these two things all summer. But there are a lot more things that you can do and many that we also plan to do!

Outdoor fun for the kids and family:

  • Free fishing – Enjoy FREE fishing days in the month of June and other summer months all across the country meaning that you do not need a fishing license to fish!   Check out the list Free Fishing Days 2014 HERE to find out what dates are available in your area.
  • National Marina Day for some local water fun on June 14, 2013. Details are on the National Marina Day site HERE.
  • U-Pick Farms – Such a fun activity for kids to be involved in picking raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches and more ; Pickyourown.org is a great resource to find U-pick farms; prices should be lower when you pick them yourselves, too. So, it’s a win-win-fun for the kids and cheaper, fresh berries and produce
  • Visit a local Farmer’s Market - They offer more than just fresh produce to buy – you could find free entertainment/music, little craft activities for the kids and more; Visit LocalHarvest.org and search “Farmers Markets” on the right side to find a Farmer’s Market near you.
  • Free Concerts and Movies in the Parks - Check with your local city or town (or surrounding areas) to see their schedule of free concerts and movies in the parks; bring along chairs or a blanket and a picnic lunch/dinner for some great frugal family fun. To find these, check in your local newspaper, your local city’s or county’s websites for the calendar of events or even follow their Facebook page for the low-down on the community movies and concerts in the park.  Plus you may see other ideas or activities going on in your area too! 
  • Festivals or State or Small County Fairs – There are often free or inexpensive admission options with fun entertainment, kids activities and play areas, variety of food options (or bring a picnic lunch or dinner and drinks to make it more frugal) for one or all of these. Many fairs offer completely free admission or days in which there are free or discounted admission.  Our kids (and us!) love the fairs and especially love to see the animals!
  • City or county parks - Check out the local parks in your area to find those which offer free wading pools or splash parks; also, make sure to check the list of events as many Parks and Recreation departments will offer free (or inexpensive) activities for kids in the summer-gardening ideas, crafts, nature walks, etc. Keeping up with your local city on Facebook is a great way to be notified of events and free things that they have going on. By following our local city on Facebook, we discovered when they are having national trails day with lots of local hiking with fun extra incentives done by the city that we wouldn’t have otherwise known about.
  • State or National Parks – These also may offer free guided nature walks (or other kid-friendly activities) – check out the list of events on their website before your visit the park. Also, check out the Fee-Free National Park weekends this summer at all National Parks.
  • Minor League Baseball Games - In your local area, keep an eye out for promotional games and tickets.  We can often go to our local games for buy one get one free with different promotions.  Sign-up for your city’s baseball newsletter or follow the Facebook page. Also check the individual Minor League Team websites to see if there are any special events or family specials going on thru the summer at the ballpark.
  • REI’s Passport to Adventure Program – An incentive program for kids ages 5-12 to encourage them to get out with their families on bike rides, hikes, nature walks and more. They can earn a free prize by documenting their activities for the summer. You can also find out some great information about local hikes, walks, bike trails and more on their website. Find out more about the REI Passport to Adventure Program HERE.
  • Free local attractions or even special summer discounted days – If you have special attractions in your area, check the websites of those attractions or the city, county or state sites calendar of events to easily find any discounted or free days available.
  • Summer camps from local fitness centers and YMCA – Check the websites of those attractions or the city, county or state sites calendar of events to easily find any discounted or free days available for sports camps or other fun active activities in your area.
  • Visit the local or community pool on the discounted days or get a summer pass –Many community and local pools will offer a discounted day or a multi-visit pass for cheaper.  Call or visit your community pools sites to find those extra discounts.
  • Save on amusement/theme parks - If you are visiting a theme or amusement park, don’t miss our 25 Ideas to Save on Amusement and Theme Park Tickets HERE.
  • Don’t forget movie night - If you or a friend have a projector and a sheet, schedule a outside movie night and invite your friends!  If you want to add a fun dimension to it, if you and your friends chip in you can rent a cotton candy machine; what kid doesn’t love cotton candy?
  • Schedule with your friends to have fun playdates throughout the summer – If you or your friends have a trampoline, pool and even a swingset it can be a fun way for the kids to get together and play while the adults enjoy some time of relaxing as well. Or take advantage of other things on this list with friends!
  • Go to the drive-in Theater – this is typically the most affordable way to see movies that just came out in the theater without paying 2 arms and 2 legs.  For example, our local drive-in only charges for 12 and up and it is only $6 for two movies.  So our whole family can see 2 just released movies for $12! We can also take our own concessions, which saves us even more!
  • Go on local hikes to explore the sites and nature in your own backyard - You can find a list of family friendly trails close to where you live on Local Hikes site HERE.
  • Go Geocaching- this is one of the most popular family summer activities.  We actually plan to try this out this year! See the details of all of the free fun on the Geocaching official site HERE.

Indoor Fun:

  • Find free roller skating across the nation – Wow, this brings back memories from our childhoods!  This is a new program and you can check out the list of roller skating rinks that are currently part of the Kids Skate Free program HERE that are participating now.  If there is not one in your area, they have a letter already drafter that you can send to your local rink to ask them to participate.
  • Free bowling – There are many bowling great ways to bowl for free across the nation as part of the Kids Bowl Free summer program.  Check out the details and locations on  the Kids Bowl Free site HERE.
  • Museum / Science Center Time - Check out your local museums or science centers’ websites to see if they have any free (or discounted) admission days during the month and put those on your calendar. Your local library may also have free family passes to museums or cultural centers.
  • Free and cheap movies – Many theaters are offering their Summer Movie programs for cheap from the National theaters.  Check out Regal Theaters HERE, and Cinemark Theaters HERE. Plus, since there are hundreds of local theaters across the country, we suggest calling or going to the websites of the local theaters in your area for even more FREE or cheap movies this summer!
  • Free admission for Military to Museums - Active-duty military members and up to 5 members of their family (spouses, sibling and children) can have unlimited visits to over 600 museums nationwide as part of the Blue Star Museum Program. This will be starting Memorial Day, 2014 and running thru the summer, ending on Labor Day, 2014.
  • Free and cheap museum entrances for all – There is a possibility that you have many local museums that are free in your area or offering promotional days in the summer.  One museum in our area offers $2 Tuesdays for a whole month in the summer, when the admission is normally $10-$14.  Our family only goes there this time of year. See our previous post on the topic of Free Museum Entrances HERE.
  • Free bowling for Kids - Check out Kids Bowl Free HERE where kids can get 2 FREE bowling games every day during the summer (shoe rental not included).
  • Free library programs – Your local library is a great resource for free kids activities throughout the summer. They may have free puppet shows, movies, kids concerts, craft days, etc. Also, make sure to check out their Summer Reading programs for great incentives to keep your kids reading.
  • Lowes has their build and grow clinics for kids to build a fun activity – You can see their calendar of Lowe’s Build & Grow Clinics HERE.
  • Free or cheap kids crafts - Michaels has free or cheap kids craft projects and classes in-store all summer.  You can visit the Michaels site for the free kids craft project classes schedule.
  • Free kids building workshops - Similar to Lowe’s, Home Depot also has a kids free building workshops. You can see their schedule of projects on the Home Depot Kids Free Workshops site (they will add the kids ones as they become available).
  • Join in the Pottery Barn Kids Activities this summer – Most are free and some are a small fee from crafts to exploring science and more!  See the Pottery Barn Kids summer schedule for events!
  • If you have a membership to a local museum or attraction, visit the reciprocal attractions – For example, we have a membership to our local zoo.  Our membership gets us free admittance on certain days to other local attractions.  Check out what is included on yours and make plans to visit those other places too!  It can be challenging to do this during the busy school year, so summer is a perfect time!
  • Vacation Bible School - Enroll your kids in a Vacation Bible School program at a local church. They typically last a week and are several hours a day, filled with songs, crafts and more to keep your kids entertained and meeting some new kids. They are usually free or inexpensively priced for children to attend.
  • Local church summer activities – Similar to Vacation Bible Schools, churches will also offer fair/carnival days, or other summer fun type activities.  Call around or visit the websites of the local churches to find out the calendar of events for churches in your area.

Fun around the House:

  • Summer Reading Programs – This is definitely a family favorite as Alex and I remember loving these reading programs at our local library!  They are available all over the country from your local libraries to some national chains. You will want to check the list of Kids Summer Reading Programs 2014 HERE for the full list!
  • Shaving Cream Fun - Get a cheap can of shaving cream (if you coupon, you might have a stash you got for free); Spread it out on an outdoor table and let your kids go at it, making fun designs and being silly. When they’re done, just spray down the table {and them, for that matter!}
  • Outdoor water fun - Invite friends or family over for some fun on a hot day – get out the sprinklers, slip and slide, water balloons, squirt guns. It really doesn’t take much for outdoor water fun!
  • Movie time at home - Rent a movie from the library or cheap or free from Amazon, Redbox, Netflix for a marathon movie morning or a family movie night.  Even organize a summer movie exchange with friends and neighbors.  Facebook is a great outlet for setting up groups for this purpose.
  • Board games, role-play and dress-up creative play. Playing these outside makes it even better!
  • Make homemade ice cream- a yummy treat for a hot summer day; check out these how-to’s and recipes at Allrecipes.com.
  • Have some giant box fun – Go to Furniture and Appliance stores and ask for the big boxes that they will be throwing away.  Take them home and let your kids create their own playhouses with them! My parents did this when we were kids and it was some of the most fun and memorable summer activities we had!
  • Go on a Staycation – we have done this many times and we encourage you to do the same! You can read about our Staycations HERE.
  • Go on a backyard camping trip -Just like the real thing with tent and all!
  • Make some extra income as a family or for your kids to earn too – Our girls are doing this this summer! They have started a scrapbooking business and will be selling at local craft and farmer’s markets.  Be sure to check out our Over 100 Ways to Earn Extra Income to help you get some ideas! You can also see the summer money making idea HERE with a 500% profit margin.
  • Take the time to read out loud to all of your kids – We feel that this is a super important and beneficial activity that you can do this summer.  Several times per week, sit down with all of the kids and read out loud for 30 minutes! This encourages learning, a love of reading, quality time together and learning to just sit and pay attention.

Also, be watching as we are going to have quite a number of fun summer activities and ideas for at home play all summer long! You can keep up with this on our Thrifty Kids link and our Fun for Kids Pinterest Board

Use your time in the summer for some educational opportunities too! One area to consider is to educate your children on the topic of finances.  Here’s some ideas:

  • Complete the family financial focus worksheet and budgeting.
  • Implement a Summer Be Intentional Challenges with your family so that you can make the most of your summer and start of the new school year with harmony, efficiency and happiness!
  • It can be a good time to get them involved with couponing too!  They can learn everything from cutting and counting (for the younger kids) and organizing in groups and categories (for the older kids).  There are so many more skills even such as addition/subtraction practice and the challenge of getting as much as they can with the family’s grocery budget on items your family would eat (obviously for the older kids on this one!) while at the same time build those life application skills from preschoolers all the way through high school! Plus you will enjoy the help from coupon cutting to grocery shopping trip planning and implementing!

What ideas do you have? 

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Alex & Cassie
 

10 Rewarding Free Summer 2014 Reading Programs for Kids

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on May 28, 2014

free-summer-reading-programs-rewarding-results

If you are looking for a fun and rewarding summer reading program this summer for your kids, then check out this list of options below:

  • Barnes and Noble Summer Reading: earn a free book between May 20 and September 2 when you read 8 books.
  • Chuck E. Cheese – Earn 10 FREE tokens every time your child reads for 2 weeks in a row.  Just fill out the form and bring it in to claim your free token. There are also lots of other free rewards charts for more free tokens.
  • Half Price Book Feed Your Brain: During the months of June and July, if a child reads or a young child read to for 300 total minutes, they could win a $20 gift certificate.
  • H-E-Buddy: H-E-B Grocery Stores will send your kids a package of cool prizes after they read 10 books. You do not need to live near a H-E-B grocery store to take advantage of this.  Just fill out the form and mail it in. The package arrives in 3-4 weeks.
  • Showcase Theatre Bookworm Wednesdays: Kid earn free admission to a movie just by reading and completing a short book report
  • Pottery Barn Kids- Receive a free gift when your child completes their reading challenge of 8 books. 
  • Scholastic Summer Challenge: Offers a chance for kids to log their reading times into their system to compete for the World Record!
  • Sylvan: Sylvan Reading Adventure is ongoing, so it’s not specifically a summer program, but it’s worth mentioning if it will get your kids motivated. Reading Adventure lists books to read, and when kids take short quizzes about the books, they earn points. The points can then be traded for small prizes, like temporary tattoos or eBook downloads.
  • TD Bank: Young readers can earn a $10 deposit after they read 10 books.
  • Finally, check with your local library for region/area specific programs offered either through the library or local businesses.  We have found another 4-6 just in our small local area!

 

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A picture of us reading at home out loud with all 5 kids snuggled around on the couch!

Of course, just sit down and read out loud to your kids! It is so rewarding for both you and them! It is also increasingly important to their development and your relationship with your child!

See more Thrifty Kids ideas!

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Alex & Cassie
 

Free Customized Disney Parks Map

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on May 28, 2014

disney-maps-

We wanted to let you know about this new cool Disney Parks freebie! You can order a customized map from your favorite Disney Park or get one from all of the parks. It’s a fun way to remember each family member’s favorite spots!

It is a new thing that Disney is doing for it’s guests, it is quite cool and totally free!  I also think this would be a fabulous memory creator in a memory box or even in a scrapbook.

I kinda get giddy about free stuff like this.  :)

We found this on the Disney site and you can get yours by clicking on the picture below.


Once you have clicked on the Get Started button on this image provided, it is quite simple from there:

  1. Once you are on the site, sign in or create a Disney account
  2. Once you’re logged in, check each box next to any and all attraction you’d like to add to your map – choose from Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios™, and/or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
  3. Then pick a theme for your map
  4. Finally, you can have your map mailed to your home for FREE  and it will arrive in 2-4 weeks for home delivery!

See more Free Stuff

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Alex & Cassie