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Reuse and recycle to get more for your money

Here's a cute video from YouTube's Howcast channel featuring a slew of helpful tips.

Ever wondered what to do with old mouse pads? How about all that junk mail? Howcast has answers:



---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Give your furniture the old switcheroo


Want a home makeover, but don't have the cash?

Who needs new furniture when you can artfully rearrange the stuff you've got? Moving things around makes a room feel fresh and can give your spirits a lift. The best part is that it doesn't cost a dime.

Among several interior design software tools available on the Better Homes and Gardens Web site is Arrange-A-Room, an awesome, free program that helps you try out room configurations without having to lug heavy furniture around the room.

All you do is pick your room shape and size, add furniture and colors and voila! You've got a pretty good idea of what you're dealing with. The site also have lots of great tools to help you try out paint colors, new kitchen cabinetry and other improvements before making a purchase.

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Now TWO kids eat free at Boston Market


As "kids eat free" deals go, Boston Market's latest is pretty darn awesome.

From now until October 31, all day long and every day of the week, two of your kids will receive a free meal for every adult meal purchase of $6 or more. If you buy a family meal, you can get four free kids' meals! But wait, it gets even better: they define "kid" as anyone 14 years old or younger!

Kids meals generally cost around four bucks and include an entree, small side, cornbread and a drink. Find your closest Boston Market here.

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Free rentals for "A" students

School's out for summer and Family Video is kicking it off right by offering one free rental for every "A" on a student's report card.

Inkheart Dragon Shopaholic  Phoebe JonasBros  Princess

Students in kindergarten through college can bring a report card to any Family Video location until July 12 to receive rental vouchers for every report card "A." The vouchers are good for a one-night rental of any game or movie in the store.

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Buying Concert Tickets? Do it Wednesday and Save Money

Concert promoter Live Nation is making Wednesday June 10 "No Service Fee Wednesday." Live Nation is dropping the service fees on all tickets bought between 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. That will mean a savings of from $9 on less expensive tickets to $12.85 on the pricier ones.


For example, a lawn seat for June 26's Def Leppard concert with Poison and Cheap Trick, regularly $29.50, will sell for $17.40. A $6 parking fee will still be included in the ticket price. All listed pricing will reflect the service fee deduction.

"If you're planning on seeing a concert this summer, Wednesday will be the time to buy the ticket because it's going to be a whole lot cheaper," said Jimmy Koplik, Northeast Chairman for Live Nation.

A similar promotion last Wednesday, which applied only to lawn seat tickets bought online, drove a 500 percent increase in sales. Today's promotion is expanded to customers buying tickets online and over the phone.

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Whiter Shade of Pale? Get a Free Tan.

Even the best of us succumb to the warmth of a tanning bed in the midst of weather like this.


Tanning Bed is letting everyone tan free through tomorrow, Feb. 21. Check the Web site for details. 


---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Dunkin' Donuts to Pay for Sabres Parking, Metro rides

As part of Dunkin' Donuts' "You Kin Do it!" advertising campaign, the company (complete with a giant cup of coffee mascot) has been surprising NFTA riders in Erie and Niagara Counties with free ride tokens, and has been choosing parking garages at which to surprise Sabres fans with free game parking.

Until now, Dunkin' Donuts has announced the times and dates, leaving people to wonder where the street team would arrive. Now they're announcing when AND where they'll be performing the giveaways:

Saturday, Jan. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m., Dunkin’ will pay for parking for the first 300 cars entering the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramp garage on the corner of Washington   and Exchange Streets (under HSBC Bank).

On the following dates and times, the first 1,000 metro riders at the selected stops will receive free one-way metro tokens:

Tuesday, Jan. 20 – 7 to 9 a.m., Portage Road Station, 1124 Portage Road, Niagara Falls

Monday, Jan. 26 – 7 to 9 a.m., Ellicott Street station, Downtown Buffalo

Monday, Feb. 2 – 7 to 9 a.m., along Main Street (in front of M&T Bank/Fountain Plaza), Downtown Buffalo

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

DIY: Turn Old Plastic Bags into Yarn

Do you knit or crochet? Then you know how pricey yarn can be.

This video from the Saginaw News in Michigan shows how you can turn that abundance of plastic grocery bags you've got at home into yarn! Check it out. What do you think? It seems like an interesting way to keep the kids busy, as well as a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle.

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

How to win big at CVS

When the economy gets tough, the tough play "the CVS game." My wife's coworker, Matt, has been pioneering this game. Use the right combination of sales, coupons and Extra Care Bucks to score great deals on everyday household items. You'll pay little or nothing, and sometimes CVS will even pay you, he says. But it takes practice.

For example, he recently picked up four packs of rechargeable Duracell batteries. CVS is having a sale: spend $20 dollars on batteries and get $15 back, with a limit of three.

$65 − $10 off $50 (extra care coupon) = $55
$55 − $45 (extra care bucks you get back) = $10.

Here is a link that explains his general winning pattern with a sample order at the end:

-Joseph Popiolkowski

Stingy or Stealing?

Sophia Petrillo was notoriously and hilariously cheap.

The brilliant matriarch of the classic 1980's sit-com "The Golden Girls," played by the late Estelle Getty, would come home, unsnap her famous wicker purse, and unpack a glorious bounty of filched booty.

She brought home pork chops from all-you-can-eat buffets, dinner rolls from restaurants, fancy linen napkins from people's homes, salt and pepper shakers from the senior center cafeteria.

It was cute when she did it, but how ethical is it in real life? Do you ever ask for extra Splenda packets at the drive-thru window so you'll have extra at home? Have you ever grabbed a handful of straws or barbecue sauce with your takeout? What do you think of people who smuggle cookies from the Chinese buffet?

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

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