Open Mic 11/1/12

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Open Mic is a post every Thursday that is a mini-version of a discussion board. You can leave a comment with whatever coupon, money-saving or debt reduction tips or questions you have and other readers chime in and answer.

When you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be able to choose whether you’d like to be emailed follow-up comments or not. Getting comments via email is a great way to stay connected without having to visit the site a bazillion times (although I don’t mind if you come a bazillion times).

As always, I look forward to hearing the voice of the Pocket Your Dollars community. Read through the Open Mic archives here.

Your turn: Leave a comment with your money-saving, coupon or debt reduction question, thought or suggestion.

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  1. JoAnna says

    Through tomorrow you can get up to 101 free prints on Shutterfly when you use the code word "spooky". You do have to pay shipping–the best deal is to order 99 prints as your shipping cost will be $4.99 ($0.05 /print). Perfect timing as we need to print some Disney pictures :)

    1 print $1.79

    10 – 19 prints $1.99

    20 – 29 prints $2.49

    30 – 49 prints $2.99

    50 – 74 prints $3.99

    75 – 99 prints $4.99

    100 – 149 prints $7.49

  2. julie says

    Saturday is the bridal gown sample sale at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Has anyone ever attended the sample sale? How early should you get there and what was your experience like? positive or negative?

  3. tag says

    So now that Halloween is over, what do we know about Black Friday & Cyber Monday. Does anyone have any solid resources for the best deals?

    • JoAnna says

      You can sign up to receive Black Friday updates, info…from this site:

      They post ads when available (and take them down or don't post them if the store has asked them to not have them posted).

      • Therese S. says

        BFADS have been sending out updates for the past couple weeks. It's a site you can trust with legitimate circulars from major stores.

  4. Sally says

    I received a coupon book in the mail yesterday from rainbow that begins today. Will PYD be doing a match up for the book?

  5. Diane says

    Does anyone know of any good indoor play places that are good for 2-3 years old now that it is getting cold. I live in Eden Prairie. Thanks!

    • Nate says

      Edinborough is probably the biggest one nearby. The EP community center has a small one that is pretty good. Of course EP Center has the small one in one of the rotunda areas… it's nice and free, but can get very crowded.

    • Sarah says

      Pump-it-up has a location in EP and they have pop-in play times for little kids. Legacy Gymnastics in EP also has open gyms from time to time. My Gym near Rainbow has open gym times also I believe. The Crosstown Lifetime has a FABULOUS play area for kids. It's worth the membership just for the day care room in the winter if you ask me. I have 5 kids so I'm always looking for places to let them run. Saint Andrew's Church opens their gym for free on Fridays (look up Fabulous Fun Fridays on their website). Pax Christi Church opens their gym once a month for free play time. It's called Angel Hour. Don't forget the indoor playplaces in McDonalds. The one in Chanhassen is better for the younger crowd. The library in Chan. has a lot of toys if you need another indoor day idea.

      Are you a stay-at-home mom, even part time? If so, there is a great Mom's club in EP. They play tons of montly events and there are lots of 2-3 year old activities usually listed. Let me know if you'd like more information. I also live in EP and created the Mom's club activity calendar for 2 years. I'm pretty aware of what to do around here with little ones!

  6. Sandi says

    When do Halloween costumes go on clearance? This was my child' firs Halloween, and I'm trying to keep an eye online as to discounted Halloween costumes for next year, but I'm not seeing any steep savings. (I heard 75% is average.) Any great resources? I usually shop online, but can go to a store. (It's just frustrating if things aren't on sale.) :)

    • says

      Call your Menards and see if they have anything left. I went to Menards the week before Halloween and found my nephew's costume for 50% OFF already! I bet anything they have will be dirt cheap, if they have anything. What types of costumes and sizes are you looking for?

    • Olivia says

      Saver is having a sale this week.

      Halloween Red Tag


      Nov 1 – 2, 2012

      Get 50% OFF

      Nov 3 – 4, 2012

      Get 75% OFF

    • Sarah says

      Call Walmart. I haven't been in a while, but I got a bunch of stuff one year at 90% off. I think I went the day after halloween. This was years ago in California. The Prop Shop in Eden Prairie had all their costume stuff on sale for $1 yesterday. Try calling some thrift stores maybe?

      • Sara says

        Went to both Walmart & Target today. Both had stuff at 50% off and it was already getting picked over with not a ton of stuff left.

    • Sarah says

      It really depends more on the baby's skill and readiness. I start with soft foods at 6 months. I mix it up a little firmer with rice cereal by 7 months. By 7.5-8ish months they are usually onto Cheerios and by 9 months they are able to eat a banana while I hold it. Some kids are ready sooner, some later. Can your baby move food around in his or her mouth? Is he/she interested? Can he/she pick up food and put it in his/her mouth? Those are all signs that he or she is ready.

  7. Christine says

    Anyone know of any good deals for skiing/snowboarding this winter. Was thinking of going up north Duluth/Lutsen for a long family weekend….any suggestions on places, etc.

    • ella says

      There are guidelines available for when you can add solid foods, and there is an order to introducing foods carefully one at a time, rice cereal first, other foods that could cause allergies or other issues much later (like eggs, nut products, honey, dairy, etc.). But as already stated it depends on each baby's readiness. Once they are ready for solid foods it's best to start with foods that dissolve easily and can be gummed, and low sugar foods- once they taste the sweeter foods, like bananas, applesauce, etc., they may prefer those over vegetables, etc. Another thing to watch for is amount of sodium. Regular Cheerios is relatively high in sodium.

  8. ella says

    Star Trib Half Price Steals is offering skate session punch cards for John Rose Oval (Roseville, MN) outdoor or indoor ice arena for half price. 5 punch card for 13.75, that's only 2.75 per session, a very good deal!

    If you have friends/family that like to speed skate, figure skate, or play indoor or outdoor hockey, this would make a nice gift paired with some hot chocolate and warm woolies, etc. The outdoor Oval ice opens on Nov. 9 and they have Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday skates. Deal ends tonight.

  9. Amy says

    What is a good price for a Keurig machine? My hubby has it on his wish list and I want to start watching for them. THANKS!!

    • brendaw says

      It depends on which model you want. I 've had mine for almost 3 years now and love it. The only complaint I've heard model wise is not to get the single (mini?) model because you have to add water each time you make a cup of coffee. The other ones have different reservoir sizes and multiple cup sizes. I think around $120-140 is about "normal" for the middle models. There have been good sales this fall already (including rebates) so keep your eyes open. We even found an elite model for my parents at Rainbow a few years ago for $80.

    • kimm says

      Amy, I have an extra one that I was going to return to Kohl's. I bought it within the rebate period, and the rebate needs to be mailed by 11/28. It is the Keurig Elite 40. Regular price $149. I paid $102.83 after discounts & tax. It is eligible for a $25.00 rebate. Let me know if you're interested in buying it from me. (The last day to purchase for the Keurig rebate was 10/28, so if you buy one at a store now, it won't be eligible for the rebate). I'm in Forest Lake and work Down town Mpls.

  10. says

    Diane, how old is the baby in question and what is she or he eating now? My nephew and daughter started on solids when just breastmilk obviously wasn't keeping them full long–they started becoming fusy soon after eating and wanting to eat again. I have heard a good benchmark for first solids is this plus having doubled their birth weight. First solids would be things like baby rice cereal, but like ella said, start with one food at a time so you can see what baby is allergic to, if anything. Also, since wheat tends to be an allergen, you might want to start a little later with the Cheerios.

  11. says

    Have you noticed couponing getting better? I admit, I quit shortly after Extreme Couponing started because I got to stores and there was nothing left so many times, then there were so few deals it was hard to roll RR and EBs. My sister noticed more deal items left at work (she works at a drug store) rather than running out on the first morning, and sure enough, I am able to get the deals I came in for again.

    I am back in with couponing!

    • Sandi says

      I have! Many more high-value ones…and more availability of coupons in general. I think the grocery store deals are great, too (and yet there is plenty of product, or certainly more in back.) Meeting our grocery budget is much easier!

  12. brendaw says

    You just missed the ski & snowboard sale at MOA (Oct 22nd wknd). We go most years (were out of town this time) and usually are able to get bogo coupons or free lift tickets, etc.

    I highly suggest checking out They are getting more midwest resorts than they had a few years ago. Last year we went to Spirit Mt for around $22 per person for a full day weekend (reg 40–50ish). We've used them in Colorado as well and have never had a problem at any resort.

    Lutsen is pricey. They didn't used to be so much and we haven't been up there in some time because of the cost. I checked for early Dec and it was around $150 per adult (13+) to stay onsite (ski in/out) two nights & ski 2 days.

    Like I said, we had fun at Spirit Mt last year. We stayed at the Black Bear Resort & Casino. I can't remember the exact price, but it was reasonable. Nice pool area & a kids arcade too. Dh & I had a prime rib dinner in the steak house for about $10 each.

    I also suggest signing up for email lists or facebook pages for all of the local ski areas. They will post various specials that can be helpful if they fit your schedule.

  13. Sandi says

    Thanks for the suggestions! I went to Menards tonight, and costumes were 75% off! I snagged one that was a 2T-4T (had two costumes in the bag to accomodate sizing), plus two more for later, plus a fairy wand and a princess crown, all for $15.77 with tax!!!! That's way better than what I was seeing for just one costume! Thanks a bunch; looks like I'm set for a few years (plus have some for friends and grandkids!)

      • Sandi says

        Jennifer, thanks for the reminder! I don't shop at Menards too often, so I forgot that part! In that case, I'll be getting about $1.86 back, so that makes it about $14 for everything.

  14. says

    Christine – Once you have a place or two in mind, I'd recommend keeping an eye on the various daily deal sites (Living Social, Crowd Cut, Groupon, Plum District, etc.) as they often have various package deals for the Duluth/Lutsen area.

  15. Sherry says


    Will Rainbow be doing more unlimited coupon days? I would love to know how corporate feels about the first two days


    • cynthia says

      I am curious too. I went the first day but not this week due to it being a crazy day. I am anxious to hear what they think and what they will do moving forwards.

        • Kristina Scott says

          I've been told by 2 managers its just a trial to see if it will get people to be satisfied with one transaction so the lines will move faster. I think they moved slower but I hope they'll decide to make it a regular thing. I was told to email or write the company to thank them so they'll see the appreciation!

  16. Denise says

    Hi! Just wanted to let Rosemount/Farmington area people know about a great deal I got at the apple orchard off of hwy 3. I'm not sure of the name of the orchard, they are located just north of the golf course. I picked up a 21 lb bag of Cortland apples that were seconds for only $5! That is a great deal, Cortlands are great for apple sauce. I was able to use every apple, as I needed to peel them anyway. I made lots of applesauce and froze it.

    • Patty says

      Denise was it the Apple Side Orchard? I looked it up & call the # listed but it was disconnected. Are they open this weekend? Thanks!

          • Denise says

            I'm not sure of the name, I'm sorry! You can't pick the apples, they are picked for you. It was off of hwy 3, between Rosemount and Farmington, it has signs by the road that say apple's for sale, not sure if there is a sign with a name.

  17. Heather says

    I usually buy my costumes at The Kids Rack in Champlin before halloween and they are already $5-10 a piece. I always have good luck there, and they are really helpful if you call or facebook them.

  18. krista says

    Christine, Mt LaCrosse down in La Crosse WI (about 3 hrs south) has a super cheap Saturday night family deal. From 4-9 PM on Saturday the first parent pays $35 (includes one free rental), and spouse and each child pay just $7 for lift ticket and $7 for rental (snowboards are $13). If you get there at 4 it's still light out. The hill is moderately sized. I would compare it to Welch. We try to go a couple times each year.

  19. Sarah says

    There is a Boutique at the Anoka County Fairgrounds with a bunch of vendors, crafts, live music and food. Some of the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer 3 Day walk. Should be a great time if you are in the area! It is from 11:00 – 4:00 on Saturday!

  20. Bri says

    Anyone one have ideas for an affordable birthday party for a 7 year old girl? It gets pretty cramped in our house, so I like to go somewhere else that has things for them to do. There will probably be 8-10 girls. Thanks!

    • JoAnna says

      I watch the group deal sites (Crowd Cut, Living Social, Plum District…) all year long. This year her party was at a dance studio and next year it will be at a paint your own clay item studio. If you don't have time to watch for deals check out a nail/hair salon (or even the teaching schools). There are the jumping places (Pump it Up, spendy though), trampoline places (seems dangerous to me but sounds fun). You could try local dance studios, too.

  21. gc says

    The local hotels let us rent their swimming pool areas on Sunday afternoons….like $25 to $50. Call around and ask. Go look at the pool before you plan it, remind everyone to bring a towel. They all have had an adjoining room to serve cake in.

  22. Salome says

    AAA & New York and Company

    Not sure if this was mentioned before but NY and Co. is having a 40% sale on everything. If you have a AAA card then you get another 25% off on clothing. Not sure when the sale ends.

  23. Jennie says

    The Eden prairie community center has an excellent play structure for toddlers. They also have open gym times. I think the price was about $5 per kid but it is half price in the afternoons and evenings. It's much less crowded then the EP mall play structure and nicer. My kids were afraid of edinborough at that age and I think it cost about $10 per kid so much more expensive.

  24. Amy says

    The JCPenny in Southdale had much of their clearance clothes ringing up at a quarter…yep, just 25 cents today!!!!

  25. sarah says

    I just had my 5 year old daughters at a kids hair place. It was $20/girl and $10/boy. They got their hair and nails done, and got tatoos. They all ended up with pink and purple up-dos! The boys for punk-rock styles, black nails, and extra tatoos. The place I went to (in Chanhassen right next to Dominos pizza) had a party room. We got pizza and set out crafts for the kids who were waiting for their hair or nails to be done. They did 3 kids at a time, but no one minded waiting. Party bags were even provided. It was a low-key party and I needed that as I had a 6 week old in tow along with my other kids (aged 11, 8, and 2). 8-10 girls might get a little expensive, but it's a good idea to know about.

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