Open Mic 12/13/12

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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.

Two tips: 1) If you are reading this via email or an RSS feed, click on the title “Open Mic” to come back to the site and leave a comment and 2) If you are concerned about your privacy, just reference yourself by your initials and know that I will not >share your email address with anyone else.


    • Amy says

      Many Caribou locations in the NW Metro are offering Beans for Troops. Buy a bag of Reindeer Blend Coffee and it gets given to our local troops and veterans!

  1. Therese S. says

    HELP! I had a beautiful painting fall from my entryway and the glass and frame broke. The print and matting is still in one piece.

    This painting is huge…about 4 1/2 feet by 3 feet.

    Can anyone recommend a frame shop that won't be too expensive. I went to Michael's thinking that they would be cheap and they quoted me $2000 (not including their 50% discount).

    I'm hoping not to pay over $800

    • Fun Mom says

      Try contacting someone that does window glass repair in homes and offices. Sometimes they will replace picture glass and put it back together for you. I had to do this on a large picture I have. (my son…). I think I paid $25.00 – $35.00

      • Sally says

        I don't know if this true or not, but I heard somewhere that Michael's & Joanne's are owned by the same Co. & they will take each other's coupon's. Can anyone verify this?

  2. says

    The Holiday Station on Schmidt Lake Road is offering a free 12 pack of pop with purchase of a 50.00 gift card. I am not sure if all stations are doing this. I look forward to this promo because it seems that gas cards are seldom included in store promos. (This just started today.)

    • JoAnna says

      Do you know if the pop/gift card deal was for the buy anything Holiday gift card and the gas only Holiday gift card?

    • dime time says

      since it hadn't started yet, i was doubting we would see it this year, as i seem to remember it running all of december in the past, or at least more than 12 days before Xmas. considering i fill up at holiday every week just about (on double coupon day, no less,) buying a few of these now is a no brainer.

    • JoAnna says

      I don't have a mac but have you tried different web browsers? I can't print with Chrome (using our desktop or our laptop) but I can print with IE (using the desktop and laptop).

      • Jenell says

        Jen- I have the same problem. It worked for a while, but now I believe when I did the lastest ISO update the RedPlum & Target coupon activators aren't compatible with their software. I would love to hear from Apple users on advice or a way to get them to work too.

        • Crystal says

          I have the same issue because targets site and smart source keep telling me my java is not up to date. I try to install it and it still doesn't work. My husband and I looked into it and it appears that it's not working because I have not upgraded to the newest Mac operating system being that my computer is 4 years old. My husband said I can get the operating system upgrade for $20. We haven't done it yet but that appears to maybe be the problem with mine.

  3. Shannon B. says

    Does anyone shop at the Rainbow in Uptown on Lagoon Avenue? Do you find them to be less than friendly to couponers? In particular–the evening weekend staff. I complained about a woman in customer service one time, and the next time I came in she had the security guard follow me around the store. Last weekend when I went to customer service to get my milk coupon that didn't print she closed the window, walked away and refused to help me. Candace another customer service person saw what happened and came over to help me.–Kudos to Candace. I would like to complain to corporate again, but the last time I did it seemed to make things worse. Any suggestions?

    • Sheepy says

      I shop there sometimes, maybe once a month. I've never had a problem, but I don't do any major shopping there because of the condition of the store.

      I did work at a Rainbow (Midway) for six years. The only time I had anyone followed was if I thought they were stealing or they were so drunk I was afraid they would cause a problem. We couldn't have someone followed if we just felt like it, we had to have a specific reason.

      I don't know that it could really get anyworse, but complaining to corporate will make no difference at all. Complain to the store manager.

    • Mikey says

      I would think Candace would be able to direct you to the store manager to express your concerns. Or you can call or look online for store manager info and then either speak to him/her by phone or in person. I'd be sure to mention that Candace can confirm your concerns, etc. hope it goes well. I would think the manager would want to know about this. If it's happening to you, it may be happening to others. Not good public relations for a store.

  4. Tracey says

    Has anybody purchased a carpet shampooer instead of renting one?

    Don't necessarily want the cheapest one, but one that works well

    and is easy to use. I have the Kohls 30% off, so I was going to look

    there, but open to going elsewhere too.

    • Sheepy says

      I have a Hoover SteamVac. I've had it 9 years and it still works. I first bought it because I had an elderly cat who got sick often towards the end of her life. It works well but I always use it immediately on any stain, I try not to let it dry. I also do the high traffic areas twice a year.

      I didn't realize that if you use it too often, it can stretch out the carpet. You can only tell by my bathroom, the carpet it a little smashed.

      • Sheepy says

        This reminds me—I have vinyl flooring in my bathroom. I had bath rugs with rubber backing on them, and some of the rubber came off onto the floor. It has hardened, so I can't get it off with Goo Gone. I tried scraping it with a putty knife and that didn't work, either. Anyone have any ideas? I've lived here a long time, but I don't think they are going to consider this normal wear and tear. They will have to paint, which is expected, and I think they need to replace the carpet, which they might consider normal, but there is no way a new bathroom floor would be excused.

  5. ella says

    One of a pair of glass kitchen cupboard door inserts has broken. It was a waterfall style art glass that so far I have not been able to find a match. I've had two estimates from a local glass shop and a kitchen store- over $200 PER door for a similar style, and would have to change both glass panels out for them to match. Does anyone know where I might find reasonably priced art glass around the Twin Cities?

    • Christine says

      Try Lamonts (sp.) glass in Woodbury. Its off of Wooddale Drive. You have to call before you go, its only staffed certain hours. I'm not sure on their prices, but we have used them in the past for custom glass.

  6. Christine says

    I am looking for the best deal on 2 grocery items.

    Parkay – For some reason this is the only kind of Margarine that works with all my cookies and sweets I bake this time of year. I don't use butter because I think it makes the cookie taste burnt.

    Hazelnuts – I need a small amount of Hazelnuts for a cookie I am trying this year.

    Any ideas on the best place to get these items?


      • Mikey says

        I got blue bonnet at mike's discount foods in fridley last week priced at 2/$1. Expires in January sometime.maybe that would work.

        • says

          I also use only Parkay for baking (or half Parkay/half butter). I think Rainbow has it for 1.50 this week. We also just got coupons for .30/1 or .75 on 2. Not a great deal but with doubling 10 coupons on Sat, I'll be buying some.

          • carol says

            Didn't that RB Parkay sale end Wednesday, as they started new sales on Thursday this week? I just bought Parkay for the 1st time in years with the doubled 75 cent off 2 q, making them 75 cents each.

  7. Bree says

    I know this is a very broad topic, but I'm wondering if anyone has advice on finding scholarships for college. Trying to find anything to help with education expenses for a current freshman at St Thomas.

    It seems like all of the websites/resources I know of are so overwhelming since they are for nation-wide scholarships, or they are so specific (I.e. must be a student at some small school in Vermont, or something like that…)

    He is First-generation student, from a low-income family, so I would think there are so many scholarships out there, but we're not having luck finding any for him to apply for.

    Does anyone have advice or has had success with any local (MN, twin cities, etc) resources?

    Thanks sooooo much! Appreciate any help :)

    • Heather says

      One of the best resources might be to go and talk to the librarian at the high school they attended. I would also look at the companies that family memebers work at. If he is going for a specific degree look for those associations and call them or search websites.

      • Sherri says

        My son is in his second year at the U. He has talked extensively with a guidance counselor who has recommended several scholarships. This person's only job at the U is to help students get scholarships! I'm sure St. Thomas has people who can help.

        Good luck!

    • Terri says

      If you have not already done so, I would also make an appointment to speak in person with a financial aid counselor or the director of the financial aid office at St. Thomas. They have a vested interest in keeping you there. Most college finanicial aid offices also have lists of outside scholarships in their office that can be applied for. I worked in college admissions for many years and I will tell you that it is often worth your time and money to go back after you receive your financial aid award if it is not enough for it to work out for you to attend school there.

    • Kari Mc says

      Try the (high school) website – the counseling center often posts available scholarships. Also, contact your credit union (if you or your son are a member). Some churches or faith based organizations offer scholarships. College professors are a great resource as well and its a good idea for the student to develop a relationship with their advisor because most scholarships require at least one letter of recommendation. There is actually a lot of money out there..Good Luck!

    • dime time says

      i paid $2.99 at target the other day, and target is generally competitive on groceries, so i think you got a decent price. considering milk was $3+ gallon once upon a time, i'm happy if i can pay $2.69/gallon.

    • JoAnna says

      We buy milk (bread, eggs, butter) at Kwik Trip. They have had sale where milk in a bag is $0.99/half gallon but that isn't going on right now. They are usually lower than the grocery store.

    • Aubrey says

      Ah….I miss those wonderful MN milk prices. I know $2.69 may seem like a lot to you, but I currently live in PA and just paid $3.97 for a gallon yesterday – so $2.69 seems like a dream. Count your blessings, it could be worse!

      • Mikey says

        Yes, I know. It seems like just last week I was buying it at Costco for $1.99/gallon so I was a bit surprised by the jump in price. Costco is usually very competitive as well so maybe I'd better realize it's just going up along with everything else. Our oldest went to college in Ohio and I still can't believe how much more expensive some of the grocery items were there.

    • Betty says

      I bought milk for $2.49/gallon at the CVS in Eagan yesterday. It wasn't an advertised sale in their flyer but when I went to fill a prescription, I saw the sign for $2.49 milk at the door entrance. Milk with a coupon is also $2.49/gallon at Rainbow this week.

      • carol says

        CVS had it 2.19/gal last week (limit 2). I bought 1 at the beginning of the week & one at the end (both as part of purchases using $10 off $50 purchase qs, so that made them even cheaper).

  8. dime time says

    I bought two cases of Coke Zero at Rainbow yesterday (double the peelie on them and they were $3.99/case.) My receipt says I qualify for a free plush bear form Coke, and to go to to claim it. I can't figure out how I'm supposed to claim the bear. Anyone know the steps? Googling for help last night didn't do the trick.

    • JoAnna says

      You need to create a My Coke Rewards account if you do not have one already. Is there a code on your receipt? You would then enter the code (on the main page) in the upper left hand corner where it states "enter your code". Hopefully that code will get you to the free bear.

      • dime time says

        i have an account, but i haven't logged in on the main page. i'll try logging in to see if the offer shows up.

        but there is no special code on my receipt.

        thanks for your help.

  9. ella says

    i'm looking for Christmas ideas for father in law who is in 90s and in a retirement apartment, located on other side of country. We are unable to visit him this Christmas, and he can't travel. He uses a walker, gets most of his meals in resident's dining room. I am sending some Christmas goodies that were a tradition in his family, and a few family photos. He isn't very tech savvy- but I wondered if an e-reader would be something he might enjoy? Other ideas are magazine subscription, maybe a monthly gift of flowers or chocolates, or? something he would look forward to. He doesn't need any more clothes, and isn't able to do much in way of hobbies (was an avid gardener so I take him a plant or flowers whenever we visit). His long time companion/wife passed away last spring. Any thoughts?

      • Amy says

        What about a monthly/semi monthly delivery of flowers? I have seen monthly flower clubs online before, but maybe a local florist is willing to work with you on their local specials. My mother lives in southern MN and we call the local Hyvee grocery store and have them deliver a few batches of the "weekly special" on occasion. It is normally around $15 a month.

        I like the idea of a magazine subscription too, you can find good deals here usually as Carrie posts the specials. I also like the postage stamps and cards and calling card idea too. If you make cards, you could send him some of your creations. My Mom enjoys sending cards to her friends that I make (even though I am an adult, I think my Mom still enjoys showing off her kids artwork ;))

      • Betty says

        For someone age 90, if his vision is good, a "real" paper edition of a magazine would probably be most welcome. Something else you might consider…….my mother-in-law just turned 90. I took photos at her birthday party of all her guests,etc. and had these photos placed on a fleece blanket that Walmart sells in their photo department. I put a caption about her being "covered" with warm wishes from all those who love her. She says it's too pretty to use but does have it on her guest bed as the top quilt and looks at it often. This is the size of a nice throw blanket so if you made one with family photos on it and if your father-in-law would use it, it serves two purposes–1)he knows his family is thinking of him and 2)he can use it to stay warm while reading in his favorite chair. Just an FYI–my mother-in-law is not an emotional person but absolutely loved the blanket because it keeps on giving and it is a novelty to show anyone who stops by to visit. Also, Walmart will ship it directly to his address if you wish.

    • Sara says

      How about a bird feeder. Bauchmans has some beatiful hummingbird feeders, and others of course. If he does not have a small porch for this type of feeder they also have ones that can be attached to window's.

      • Mikey says

        Another idea is a photo calendar with family photos on each month. I think those are pretty easy to put together with all the digital camera stuff out there and going to Target or Walgreens, etc. That way he gets to enjoy it all year long.

        • says

          I second the photo calendar. I used to have them made for my grandma when she was in a nursing home. I used pictures of her great-grand-children and pictures of things that were meaningful to her (ie: her house). It was a great conversation starter for visitors and staff who came in to her room.

  10. Sally says

    I know this is probably a stupid question but I want to know how to include a link to use here or in emails. I'm pretty good on the Computer and have never had a reason to it. Any help would be appreciated.

    • SAK says

      No question is stupid…we all appreciate help when needed. All you need to do is left click on the link then select 'copy'. Then go to your message (e-mail or blog post) and left click again and select 'paste'. Hope that helps.

  11. Sally says

    I want to personally Thank Carrie for her help yesterday I had w/Saveology. I was stressing in high gear and sent her an email, she responded immediatly & even gave me a free 11×14 canvas. I was so upset I thought I could not get mine through Saveology in time for xmas. Kudos Carrie. You made my day.

  12. SAK says

    Thank your for all the great advice here on Pocket Your Dollars! I'm hoping I can get some more on where to host my family reunion next July. Looking for a good deal and minimal drive from the cities.

    We alternate years betweeen three states and next year I'm hosting here in MN. I'd love to provide a fun "lake" getaway for the group but that means most lake toys must be provided. (Last time it was in MN we stayed at Heartland Conf. Center in WI but an easy drive from the cities/airport as well as for WI families. It was nice but the accomodations were very tight for our growing family.) The location next year needs to sleep 11 adults and eight kids (7 under the age of 7). We are a young and active group! I've searched VRBO but I'm still finding limits based on distance from the airport and family size accomodations . Any advice or suggestions?

      • SAK says

        Hmm, I'm not sure since two families will be flying in and we'd have to rent all their equipment and supplies (not enough to share between the rest of us that will be driving). I like the state park idea though. Something I should price out for comparison. Thanks!

    • MBK says

      Clamshell Beach Resort near Nisswa, MN has large cabins that can fit multi-families. They have smaller ones too, if that would be an option.


      Brookside Resort at Two Inlets Lake, near Itasca, has TONS to do. A bit of a drive, but worth it!!

    • Sheila says

      We have visited a place in Paynesville for a few summers with extended family and really enjoyed it! They have a main building or you can rent cabins (which are like huge houses) or smaller houses. They are on a lake and offer an indoor pool and activities for the kids! It's a close drive from the cities and a great family place. We've stayed 2 times for a whole week in the summer. The name of the place is, BugBee Hive Resort and their website is: check it out, they usually rent for a week so the rates listed are for the week- but in some cases, they might rent for less than a week. Really a fun place and so relaxing! My boys love the beach area and the huge water trampoline/ jumper. I will warn, you thou, the fishing in Lake Koronis is not very good.

  13. Lisa says

    Hi folks. So the closing of the FL Rainbow is humming me out. I am considering making the drive to the Shoreview location. Can anyone provide some store info (FRIENDLINESS; how well it is stocked; how quickly you can check out; etc)?

  14. tag says

    I talked to a Guidance Councelor when I went back to college and ended up with $$$ for tuition, books & living expenses. Surprise! Granted, I was a non-traditional student and a woman but I remember not being eligible for First Gen. scholarships. They are there. Best wishes.

  15. Allison says

    Hi Bree,

    I was a first gen student, who did the whole scholarship process and suceeded in obtaining funding for school. Please contact me, I have some thoughts on how I can help. Thanks!


  16. amy says

    Looking for a FREE place for my daughter to visit Santa AND allow me to take photos. We got all dressed up to go to Southdale's Santa, but they requested we don't take any photos & charge $29.99 for their smallest package.

  17. Dee Dee says

    I can help you and well within your budget. I own Frames to You, Inc. in Osseo and am certified by the PPFA (Professional Picture Framers Association) with 28 years of experience. Half of my business comes from restoration of pictures that are brought to me by companies that deal with homes that have fires or water damage. I'm located in Suburbia Center 324 5th Ave SE, (763)488-1544.

    Michael's and Joann, Etc. are not owned by the same company. Keep in mind that just because you are offered a coupon doesn't mean you are getting a discount off of regular prices. Prices usually are discounted off of inflated prices. It pays to shop around and find out what you really are getting for your money.

  18. Bree says

    Thank you ALL for your time and help!! I found all of the comments to be very helpful and I am so appreciate of your willingness to offer advice!

    Many thanks!!!

  19. Sara says

    Sorry this is a day late, but just saw it.

    Go to the Target list. It also says in the Target update today that there is a 10 gift card with 50 spent.

    All Barbie Toys & Games – Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off (both toys must be from the same brand)

    $10/$50+ Barbie Toy Purchase printable

    Advertised toys (though more are included in the sale) include:

    I Can Be Doll Assortment $11.99

    Fashionistas Ultimate Closet (20 pc.) $22.99

  20. Bonnie says

    If you look at the state parks some do have camper cabins for rent. You would need pillows blankets and cooking equipment, but no tent. They have a table for eating at indoors and a picnic table outdoors. Each one has a screened in porch, fire pit and some have electricity. They book quickly so you might want to look sooner rather than later. I did a lot of these with my kids when they were younger, and they had lots of fun. Some parks rent bikes canoes etc for extra fun.

  21. says

    Hi! I heard Carrie on KTIS this morning referencing over 100 restaurants that were offering additional gift cards with the purchase of a gift card. She mentioned that the info was on the website, but I can't find it. Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks!

  22. Penny says

    Please help! Last week I went to Byerly's for the bake sale and got everything except for the jam/marmalade for 99 cents that was out of stock. The store gave me a raincheck and said I can come back this week and use both the raincheck and coupon. I had the coupon on my phone but forgot to print it out. A new coupon that came out this week and I can't access last week's coupon anymore. Any suggestions on how would I go about getting the item without having a physical coupon?

    • Kristin says

      Hi Penny,

      I was just cleaning out my purse yesterday and still have a coupon for the jam that I never used! I could send it to you if you'd like. Merry Christmas!!

      email me your address:

      kristinjforster @ hotmail

  23. brendaw says

    Last year we got my 78 yr old mother in law a subscription to Netflix for movie delivery. We set it up with our credit card and she logs in & orders movies. She's really enjoying watching "older" movies and new ones too. In fact, she liked it so much she asked us to continue it this year again (and she doesn't ask for anything.)

  24. Jen says

    Well, I tried to print Target coupons in a firefox browser, but it still didn't work. Hope someone has a magic fix for us Mac users!! :)

  25. Jessica says

    The RB ad for 12/13-12/19 just came out and I thought parkay was on sale……you can get it for 1.50 and after doubled it is 75 cents. At least that was in the shopping list print out yesterday.

  26. Jessica says

    OK I saw your post and wasn't sure what you were talking about till I went and looked! I am totally bummed because I live in Northern MN and the closest RB to me is FL……now what am I going to do? Totally bummed about this……….:(

  27. Kristen says

    I just came across a couple prescriptions that I meant to link to my CVS pharmacy rewards thing. I can't find it on their website anymore, anyone know if CVS is still doing the pharmacy rewards for prescriptions and if they are how do I add myself to my card. I had both of my kids on there, but hadn't had a prescription for myself until recently.

  28. Mikey says

    I like the Shoreview Rainbow. On double days I usually go early in morning or later in eves. Sometimes things are gone, but I usually plan ahead with a few extra coupons. I have never had a problem with the cashiers or customer service personnel. I find them all nice and friendly. Get to know them and smile. It makes for a nicer day for all. When I go in the eves, the younger gentleman who seems to do everything (stock, cashier) goes out of his way to help me find things when I can't seem to locate them. Very helpful.

  29. Beth says

    Really late I know…. but Santa will be at the Cabela's in Rogers Sunday 12/16 from 11-3. They allow you to take as many photos as you'd like and actually give you a free photo that they take!

  30. Shelly says

    Does anyone know if Kohls typically participates in Free Shipping Day by giving free shipping on any order? I know right now I have stuff in my "cart" , and it is saying free if I go over $50. Thanks to anyone still reading Open Mic and answering!

    • says

      They ARE participating in Free Shipping Day. All they've emailed me to-date is that the free shipping on orders $50+ runs through 12/24. If they have a better offer we'll certainly write about it tomorrow.

  31. C Herman says

    Our family of over 50 people stayed at St John's Univ. in Collegeville. (north of St Cloud a few miles) We rented "apartments" so we were able to do cooking etc. Their people were so helpful and priced reasonably.

  32. Sally says

    SAK, I know how to cut & paste, however I don't know where to find the link. I went to and tried to find the link & couldn't. Thanks for trying o help. BTW, my initials are SAK too.

  33. Sally says

    I almost had a meltdown when I found out about the store closing. I just moved to Forest Lake last March & have saved so much money since then. I suppose our only option is Shoreiew approx. 12 miles away. I spoke to alot of the employees on Sat. and some are going to Shoreview.

  34. Sue says

    Have a quick question regarding the "updated" coupon policy at Walgreens. does Walgreens no longer allow you to combine a manufacture coupon and a store coupon, as is one of their store flyer coupon books? Tried to combine a Citracal coupon with one from their Answers books, I picked up by the Pharmacy. The person at the register said I could only use one coupon. She said with the new Balance Rewards program, we can't stack coupons. Seems that I had done this just a few weeks ago, so I'm a little confused. thanks

  35. Jackie says

    If your student knows what major they want to go into it may be helpful to speak to professors in that major. I wanted to be a teacher and found lots of scholarships specifically written for future teachers.

  36. Kristine says

    I have a bunch of men's health, surfing and ESPN magazines, we have already read through.

    Was wondering if anyone had ideas to were I could

    Donate them for others to enjoy.

    Or if anyone would like them, let me know.

    I would hate to just throw them away when others could enjoy and read too. Thanks for your ideas :)

  37. Julie S says

    Disassemble your picture. Take the frame to Ace Hardware, and ask them to cut a piece of glass to fit. (Or you can measure it, if you don't want to bring it to the store.) Take the frame, picture, mat, and glass to Michael's. They will re-assemble it for a small fee. I can't remember the exact details, but I did this with a picture this summer. The picture was poster size (maybe 24"x36"). The glass cost less than $20, and it was somewhere around $15 to have Michael's reassemble it.

    (BTW, I always take my stuff to the Michael's in HarMar mall in Roseville… The framer there is wonderful and gave me this piece of money-saving advice!)

  38. Paige says

    I thought I heard somewhere that target does price match, and something else where if it goes on sale after you bought it you can get a refund on the difference? Is this true?

    For instance I bought a cologne that was on sale last week for $23.99, (at target) now this week its on sale for $17 (at target) could I go to customer service with my receipt and the ad and would they give me the difference?

  39. Michelle says

    Have you tried Safari? I can usually get that to work for everything but and I know our operating system is an older one.

  40. Shelly says

    Yes, Target does price match if you bring an ad in (for the exact brand). And Target will give you the refund of the difference for something that goes on sale. They've always been so good about that. It used to be for up to a month after you purchased something, but I think it's 2 weeks now. They'll quickly be able to get you that $7 refund with your receipt!

  41. Katie says

    Don't forget! There's always the Maplewood location as well and it's really not any further than Shoreview (I live in Hugo). Maplewood you can take the freeway pretty much there (35e to 36) and avoid all of the stoplights along 96! Between Maplewood and Shoreview, I'm very indifferent. Both seem to have friendly staff, are pretty clean, and the stock is really hit and miss at both of them – just depends on the item and the day. Another + for Maplewood… you can get much more of your shopping done in the area with the mall, Target, etc nearby! :)

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