Friday, February 27, 2009

Have The Taste Of Italy Delivered


I just love lasagna. I love making lasagna. It’s the cleaning up after I’ve made lasagna that I’m not real fond of. That’s why I was EXCITED when I saw Amanda A Stay At Home Mom's Point Of View is giving away Pizza Hut Lasagna and breadsticks.

What? You didn’t know that Pizza Hut has lasagna now? Close your eyes. Imagine layers of lasagna noodles and real ricotta, Parmesan and Romano cheeses smothered in Italian-seasoned meat sauce and freshly oven-baked with a layer of melted cheese. Oh I can almost smell it. How about you? Pizza Hut even brought their new Tuscani Lasagna all the way to Italy where it received rave reviews.

Come on now. You know you want it. I know I do. So check out Amanda A Stay At Home Mom's Point Of View and learn how you and your family can be sharing that lasagna soon.

Good luck! Contest ends February 27, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Global Networkers

is a prescription eyewear website offering an extensive range of high quality, affordable frame and lens packages. The site offers its budget-conscious and style-savvy shoppers a fast, simple and efficient way to browse an extensive online catalogue, and enables them to purchase eyewear from the comfort of their own homes.

As a manufacturer, supplier and retailer of optical supplies, EyeBuyDirect is not only involved in every step of the eyewear production and distribution process, but has also developed an efficient, streamline approach to the optics supply chain.

Like everyone else I'm watching every penny but when you need glasses you need glasses. That's why I'm impressed with the fact that they only take about ten days to ship.

You might be nervous about ordering glasses online. I know what you're thinking. Hey how will I know what these will look on me. By using their EyeTry feature, you can upload a photo of yourself to virtually try-on your desired frames and choose the style, size and color that you like the best.

Want to win some glasses from eyebuydirect? Just check out Just a Mom's Take On Things She's giving away a Pair of glasses from EyeBuyDirect

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Manga Carrabba’s Italian Grill

I recently won a gift certificate for $50 from Carrabba’s Italian Grill. I’ll have to be honest. My husband and I both love Italian food but don’t generally like chain Italian restaurants. When I lived just outside of DC I sometimes drove all the way to Baltimore to eat at one of the great Italian Restaurants in Little Italy. You were guaranteed never to leave the table stuffed and mumbling something about how you ate too much. This didn’t mean that you regretted eating too much, rather it was an acknowledgement of having done so. I can still close my eyes and almost taste the home made canola from one of the bakeries there.

For Darryl and I always seem to find a favorite restaurant no matter where we live. There is a recipe for perfect Italian restaurant which is part food, part atmosphere, part service, and some je ne sais pas. I do know when I’ve found it though.

I had never been to Carrabba’s before but Darryl had been once before on a working dinner. We went to have a late lunch so that we wouldn’t have to rush. Before we went though we checked out their menu on line. It was a difficult choice but we were both in the mood for a nice steak dinner.

When we arrived at the Carrabba’s in Kennesaw, Georgia we didn’t have a long wait. Within five minutes we found ourselves sitting in an intimate booth. Big points for booths as Mr. Thrifty and I prefer booths especially in Italian restaurants. Our waiter came right out and took our drink order. I was in the mood for a glass of Sangria.

We both ordered a steak. I ordered the Filet Scampi and my husband ordered a Filet Fiorentina. Steaks and other items from the Wood Burning Grill come with a choice of house salad or soup and two sides. We both chose the house salad with its creamy parmesan dressing. For my sides I decided to try the spaghetti pomodoro and the cavatappi amatricina. Darryl decided to try the garlic mashed potatoes as one of his sides. While we waited for our salad our waiter brought out a basket of bread and seasoned olive oil.

The lighting was low and Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra played in the background. We had come hungry but didn’t stay that way long. Our salad came out to the table pretty quickly. I don’t eat much red meat so for me steak is a real treat. I just didn’t know what a real treat I was going to have. My steak was so tender it almost melted in my mouth.

Now, I’m really being won over. Great food, a friendly server, and the servings were abundonza!!!! I wound up taking half of my meal home. You see I HAD to save room for dessert. We had a coupon for a desserts sampler. It included three desserts from a special menu. This gave us a chance to try their Sogna di Ciccolata, Dessert Rosa, and Cannoli. Oh YUM on the Cannoli. It was just as good as the ones I used to eat back in Baltimore.

The Managing Partner Michael Shroeder even came by our table to talk with us. This made our meal even better. In small family run Italian Restaurants you often meet the owner. He usually comes by to talk to you and ask you how your meal was. I seldom experience that in most chain restaurants. This is definitely a place we would LOVE to come back to visit.

Free Pancakes at IHop


I just love Pancakes and my favorite place to go for them is IHop. So what could be better than IHop pancakes? How about FREE IHop pancakes? On Feb 24, IHOP is offering free pancakes from 7 am to 10 pm at participating IHOPs. You'll get one free short stack of three buttermilk pancakes. There is a limit of one free short stack per guest for dine in customers only. code

Friends Eating Asian Food

Restaurant new code: DINE 80% off. This means you can buy a $25 restaurant certificate for $2! You have a year to use it from the day you buy it. You print it from your computer. Check by zip to see which restaurants participate in your area. Read the fine print. Some require a minimum number of people in the group, some a minimum purchase. I always call the restaurant first to make sure they will accept it before I purchase the coupon. I've used them several times with no problem whatsoever.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Win A Trip to Sea World - Read Here And Learn How

manta and Izea is sponsoring a contest for a trip for FOUR to Sea World. Why do I want to take my family to Sea World and Ride the Manta? Well those are two separate questions really aren’t they?

First of all I haven’t been to Sea World in some ten years. I can still remember this trip and it’s one that the boys and I still have fond memories of. As a matter of fact we bought one of those Sea World picture frames and in that frame is a picture of us having the time of our lives at Sea World.

Since I’ve been there are so many more opportunities to interact with the residents of Sea World. There is the SeaWorld Orlando's Beluga Interaction Program. You can actually get close enough to touch and interact with Beluga whales. You will also learn about the habitats and lifestyles of these animals.

They’ve also started the SeaWorld Orlando's Sharks Deep Dive. Now I’m not one to dive into the water with sharks but you don’t have to worry because you’ll be protected in an authentic shark cage. You can see over 30 sharks of more than five species—some more than nine feet long and come in contact with sharks so close you can touch them.

I’m also interested in the SeaWorld Orlando's Marine Mammal Keeper Experience caring for dolphins, beluga whales and sea lions. Work side-by-side with marine mammal experts and understand what it’s like to care for these amazing animals during a day. For an animal lover like me this would be a dream come true.

When the boys and I went we loved the Journey to Atlantis ride. Actually it was love at first splash and they wanted to go on that ride a few times. Wouldn’t you know it, they have a brand new ride coming this year called the “Manta”.

If you are a coaster fan then I’m sure you will want to know the stats:

Manta Stats
• Type of coaster: Steel flying coaster
• Height: 140 feet
• First drop: 113 feet
• Top speed: 56 mph
• Track length: 3359 feet
• Ride time: 2:35 minutes
• Height requirement: 52 inches

When they board Manta, passengers will probably sit in seats facing forwards. Once the ride ops check the restraints, a mechanism will likely tilt the seats 90 degrees clockwise, and riders will leave the station facing the ground in "flying" mode--although their knees will be bent. As with most flying coasters, Manta will probably take longer to load and unload than conventional coasters. Unlike any other flying coasters, however, Manta will have a compelling and unique ray theme. Passengers will be placed four across in cars shaped like rays. The rays will have wingspans of 12 feet.

The first drop will swoop down 113 feet and reach a top speed of 56 mph. As it curves at the bottom of the hill, Manta will skim along a lagoon and its wings will create a plume of water spray that will be quite a sight for riders and onlookers (and might soak them as well). The ride will include four inversions that will send passengers twisting and turning before returning them to flying mode.
The park says that even coaster wimps who have no intention to ride will want to check out Manta's pre-ride queue. Viewing tanks, enhanced by waterfalls and other themeing, will offer underwater glimpses of a variety of rays as well as sea dragons, sea horses, and many other species of fish.

I believe I answered why I want to go throughout this post but most of all, if I win I will be able to take my sons on a trip to recreate one of their favorite childhood memories before my youngest leaves for Iraq.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Free Valentine Events from All Over

Valentine’s Day is here. How are you spending yours? Mr. Thrifty and I were very lucky this year. I won two passes to Medieval Times for Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been before and I’m so excited. I won that prize by writing an essay for a local radio station contest. I would encourage my readers to try entering essay contests because your odds of winning are higher because so many people don’t enter them..I had also written an essay for a radio contest to try to win a marriage renewal at Stone Mountain that’s scheduled for today. I didn’t win that but I won’t stop entering contests because of it.

We also won an evening for two at the High Museum. This was from our local newspaper. This was a random draw and not an essay contest. Which brings me to my second point, check your newspaper and local radio stations for free and inexpensive things to do today. When I was a struggling divorced Mom with two sons, I checked the local paper and listened to radio stations and learned about things like, free concerts, free admissions to local museums, free admission to state parks, etc. With the advent of the internet you can find even more fun things to do with your family. I’ve plucked some out for you.

I was born in DC and I love all the free activities that are always available there. So I will start with some great ideas for spending Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart.

Chocolate indulgence: Nothing says Valentine’s Day like chocolate. Spend Valentine’s Day weekend at the National Museum of the American Indian’s Power of Chocolate festival, learning about the history, medicinal properties and cultural influence of chocolate. Events include dancers, demonstrations and interactions with cacao growers. The event takes place Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 14-15, 2009, from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day at the National Museum of the American Indian, which is located at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue SW.

Make it a movie night: Catch a flick or three. The National Gallery of Art is presenting a free viewing of “CinĂ©-Concert: Show Life” on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 4:30 p.m. in the East Building Concourse Auditorium. This German film is an “obliquely romantic tale of unrequited love between a waif and a knife thrower, a Madame Butterfly scenario filled with dance and cabaret.” The National Gallery is located at Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Afterward, head over to the National Geographic Society headquarters for a complimentary reception before an 8 p.m. presentation of “Departures,” a Japanese film that is a contender for this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar. Tickets to the movie are $8, but hey, the popcorn’s free. National Geographic is located at 1600 M St. NW.

Lincoln love: Show some love for Abraham Lincoln by checking out the original Emancipation Proclamation on display from Feb. 12-16 at the National Archives. If you go on Feb. 14, be sure to check out the screening of “Young Mr. Lincoln” at noon in the William G. McGowan Theater. It’s free. The Archives are located at 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.


I live just outside of Georgia now. It’s an exciting city and is often referred to as the New York .

Click here to discover some free Valentine’s Day Activities.

Raleigh NC

What’s more romantic than a carriage ride?
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance will be providing free horse drawn carriage rides on Fayetteville Street. Under the twinkling lights of Fayetteville Street, couples, friends and families can take advantage of the free carriage rides. The rides will go up and down the four blocks of Fayetteville Street and then loop around the capitol block or Moore Square. The carriages can be accessed at two locations on Fayetteville Street, one at 150 Fayetteville Street for rides around the capitol and the second at 219 Fayetteville Street for rides around Moore Square.
Dates & Times:
6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
For more information call (919) 890-3000


I’ve never been to Denver but this would be a great way to spend Valentine’s Day.
Free Day at the Denver Zoo
Date: Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009
Location: Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St.
Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
What: Free admission for Colorado residents.
Contact: 303-376-4800

This isn’t happening Valentine’s Day but it’s still a great way to spend the day.

Free Day at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Date: Monday, Feb. 16, 2009
Location: Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York St.
Time: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
What: Free admission for Colorado residents.
Contact: 720-865-3500

Do you know of another celebration anywhere in the United States? Let others know. Please post information about any local festivities here. Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Chance to Go Back and Do It Over

Mortarboard and Diploma

I don’t listen to much Country. This is not an assement of that genre just a statement. There are some Country songs and artists I really love. So forgive me if I don’t get this exactly right. It’s my understanding that Montgomery Gentry has a song called “Back When I Knew It All”. Although I’ve never heard the song, I understand the chorus says: “Lord I’m learning so much more than back when I knew it all,”

I guess that’s why the University of Phoenix has partnered up with Montgomery Gentry on a contest giving away a scholarship to the University of Phoenix. Since I’ve already paid my dues to the College of Hard Knocks I took an interest in this contest. At my local radio station you have to tell them in 500 words or less, what you would do with the chance to go back and do it over. You may be granted a scholarship from the University of Phoenix to further your education and change your life.

Here are some stations offering this contest:

Check your local country radio station to see if they are sponsoring this contest too. One winner will be selected. This is a great time to get a degree.

Dove Hair Repair Challenge

Print out the form for a money back guarantee on Dove Conditioner "Dove Hair Repair Challenge" up to $8.

Free Sample of Celine Dions Perfume

Get a free sample of Celine Dions perfume. This offer is limited

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pr0-X $25 rebate

New Olay Professional Pro-X is a scientifically advanced line of skin care that gives you younger-acting, younger-looking skin in 28 days. Guaranteed. And from now until March 8, 2009, you’ll receive a $25 rebate with the purchase of $50 worth of Pro-X products. Simply download and complete the form and mail it back to us along with the original dated sales receipt(s). All requests must be postmarked by
March 23 2009.

Free Samples from P&G

Click here for free samples from P&G.

Get a free sample of Head & Shoulders (10mL SAMPLE SIZE)
Get a free sample of Pantene® Pro-V Expressions shampoo and conditioner (SAMPLE SIZE)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Free Krispy Kreme Valentines

Share the love with Krispy Kreme. When you purchase a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts you will receive 12 Krispy Kreme Valentines. The deal gets even sweeter because each Valentine includes a coupon for a free donut. If you join “Friends of Krispy Kreme” they’ll send you a coupon for a free glazed donut.

Be sure to check back here on Thrifty Maven to learn about thrifty ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy A Free Grand Slam At Denny’s

On Tuesday, February 3, every guest at Denny’s from 6AM to 2PM will receive one free Grand Slam breakfast. A Grand Slam breakfast is 2 eggs, 2 sausage, 2 bacon, and 2 pancakes. This is a dine in only offer. Every customer will get a free coupon book with eight coupons: four BOGO, two 25% off, 1 free dessert, and 1 free order of pancake puppies.

If you don’t have time to wait for a table because the boss wants you there by 9 or else, there’s good news. Each restaurant received 500 rain checks for guests who aren’t able to wait on Tuesday. Speak to the manager to see if you can get a rain check.


Free Ticket to Universal Studios

Get a Free Ticket to Universal Orlando- first 100,000. Even if they have reached 100,000 you can still enter their contest to win a trip. While The Universal Heroes Free Ticket Giveaway has ended, there's still time to enter The Universal Heroes Trip A Day Sweepstakes for the chance to win one of 28 free trips to Universal Orlando® Resort. A winner will be drawn for each day throughout February.

Simply fill out the fields and click Submit. If you're a lucky winner, we'll use this information to contact you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Thrifty Maven's Got A Giveaway

As some of you know, I'm trying to garner a following for my thrifty maven blog. We are hoping that having a few contests to drive traffic to the site and hopefully they will be interested in coming back again and again. This time we are giving away some headbuds. Those are the things you use to listen to your Ipod. I hope you will come visit and enter the contest.