Saturday, July 31, 2010

Touch-a-Truck - Saturday August 21st Rob Fleming Aquatic Center Parking Lot from 9-11 a.m.

Touch-a-Truck - On Saturday August 21st everyone is invited to  get up close with all kinds of BIG trucks at Rob Fleming Aquatic Center Parking Lot from 9-11 a.m. Free!

I heard positive reviews about this event. I also heard that it gets hot, so this could be a good day to go play at Rob Fleming after. Bring lots of water and sunscreen. I heard they have Firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, tractors and more!

The Chocolate Bar: Deals

I just saw them on Food Network.

Here are the deals I found!

25% off their Chocolate Pizza (in store only)

Kids (12 & under) get a small single scoop of ice cream for $1.00 after 6:00 PM on any day at both locations.

I want to try their cakes!

Rice Village
Address:  2521 University Blvd

River Oaks
Address: 1835 West Alabama

Friday, July 30, 2010

Guide: Ways to save money at the Houston Zoo

Ok, how many posts today are about the Houston Zoo? I guess it is on my mind.

Here are some tips about saving money at the Houston Zoo, and tips for first timers.

First, parking is free at the Houston Zoo. I suggest coming near to when they open to find easy parking. If you arrive at peak parking times, parking is hard to find. To avoid a long walk, you can park near one of the train or metro stops, and ride in.

Save $1 when you ride METRO to the Houston Zoo! Present any current METRO bus or METRORail ticket at the admission booth to receive your discount on an adult ticket. (One offer per person).

Go to their website for more details:

I haven't ridden the Metro yet, so I can't tell you much about it. Anyone have feedback?

I have parked at the science museum (HMNS) and ridden the train to the zoo. You are forced to get out at the zoo to buy the ticket anyways so it is natural to go in.

2nd: Food.
The food in the zoo isn't that great and is overpriced. My advice is to eat before you go so you aren't hungry and bring a snack and drinks. There are so many fabulous restaurants in Rice Village or on Westheimer, so this is a good excuse to go explore Houston eateries. Also, you can go eat at Au Bon Pain, which I posted about yesterday. ABP is a short walk from the zoo when you go through the Medical Center entrance (only open on weekends).

Can I bring food and beverages to the Zoo?
Absolutely! It's long been a Zoo tradition for guests to bring their own coolers. 
All we ask is that you follow a few simple rules and be mindful of our animals and their home. Be sure to pick up all trash and pack out what you bring into the Zoo. You may NOT bring:

  • Glass bottles
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Plastic straws
3rd: Wagons. They charge between $8 and $11 to rent a wagon or a stroller for the day. So, an obvious way to save is to bring your own. If you must rent one, you will see where to do it when you get inside the zoo. If you return it back to them, you get $1 back. Be sure to save your receipt if you plan to do that. The biggest negative about these rentals is that you can't take them to the parking lot, and for us that seems to be the hardest part of the walk.

4th: Avoid the gift shops. Cute stuff but more than what you would pay in other places you can get toys. The hardest one to avoid is the one where you get off the train.

Tips: Go to Meet the Keeper Talks. There is a schedule in the front or you can download the IPhone App
The last time I was there, I learned the reason Giraffe's tongues are black (a natural sunscreen because their tongues are out of their mouths a lot).

I highly suggest wearing sunscreen and bringing your own water.

Enjoy your trip to the Houston Zoo!

Interesting: Houston Zoo Free Day Q and A

In case anyone is interested in why there is a change:

Q: Is the Houston Zoo changing its free day schedule?

A: Yes.  Effective September 1, 2010 the Houston Zoo will offer free admission to our guests on the first Tuesday of every month from 2 p.m. until closing.  During the months that Daylight Saving Time is in effect, the Houston Zoo closes at 7 p.m. (last admission at 6 p.m.).  During Central Standard Time, the Houston Zoo closes 6 p.m. (last admission at 5 p.m.).
Q: The Houston Zoo previously observed 5 free days each year.  Why are the free days changing?
A:  We saw two important reasons to change our free day policy.  For one, with our original schedule our 5 free days each year fell on recognized holidays.  Since parking is limited in Hermann Park, the holiday free days resulted in severe traffic congestion in Hermann Park, the Museum District, and the nearby Texas Medical Center. 


This resulted in a traffic management issue for the Houston Police Department and for METRO Police who had to be called in on overtime duty.  The traffic congestion also created potential delays for emergency vehicles on their way to emergency rooms at Ben Taub and Memorial Hermann hospitals. 
With only five opportunities each year for free access, the Zoo frequently saw very high attendance and required additional Zoo personnel for guest relations and crowd control.  Frankly, we heard from may of our guests that visiting the Zoo on a holiday free day with the traffic congestion and the big crowds meant that the day at the Zoo wasn't the best it could be. 


Q: But it still seems that people are losing opportunities for free Zoo attendance with the shift to weekdays instead of holidays.
A:  We believe that by spreading out the opportunity for free admission to 12 times each year instead of only five over crowded holidays that our guests will have a better experience when they visit and enjoy each visit more. 
Q: Does this mean the free admission programs for active duty military personnel and Lone Star Card holders will be eliminated?
A:  No.  The Zoo will still maintain those free access programs.

Museum District Day 2010: Sept 25 10am - 5pm

Website with details: Museum District Day 2010

I went last year. I would highly suggest not participating in this event. Why?
1st. I have never seen such crazy crowds before. We wanted to go to the Houston Children's Museum and the line to get in was 2 blocks long. (No way was I going to wait in line for with a toddler.)
2nd. We rode the shuttle for an hour and finally got off and walked 6 blocks. I suggest riding the train instead for transportation. Good luck finding parking. We paid for parking in the science museum.
3rd. Most of the museums are free everyday. I suggest waiting till school is back in and going during a week day in September/October. Most museums are empty.
In general, I avoid museums on the weekends.

Last year, we ended up going to the butterfly exhibit in the HMNS. Because that is a pay exhibit, it wasn't too bad. (one free admission coupon for being an HMNS member)

If you go, then go to less popular museums. I heard the MFAH was doing lots of kid crafts that day.

That's nice that the Zoo is starting a monthly free day. I suppose they saw that there is lots of demand. I also avoid the Zoo during the summer because it is crowded and hot. If you go, then go during an off peak time. They are open from 9am till 7pm. Members get early admission once a month.

Museum District Day 2010

Get ready to enjoy a free day in the Houston Museum District on Saturday, September 25 from 10 AM to 5 PM. Board a free shuttle bus at any of the 17 participating museums and spend the day exploring favorite museums and discovering new destinations. Seventeen museums will waive their general admission fee to offer the community the valuable opportunity to enjoy the District's diverse displays of art, science, nature and history. The 14th annual Museum District Day will feature fascinating exhibitions, hands-on activities, demonstrations and performances throughout the entire day.

The Houston Zoo will not be free on Museum District Day 2010. The Houston Zoo will offer guests free admission effective September 1, 2010 on the first Tuesday of every month from 2 p.m. until closing. For more information, visit the houston Zoo Free Day Q&A page. We also encourage you to take a minute to check out our FAQ page with helpful hints on how to get around, where to park, shop and eat in the district.

Complete Listing of Free Museums in the Houston Museum District!

Free Times

There are many free opportunities in the Houston Museum District!

  • Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum
  • Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
  • Holocaust Museum Houston
  • Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
  • Houston Center for Photography
  • The Jung Center of Houston
  • Lawndale Art Center
  • The Menil Collection
  • Rice University Art Gallery
  • The Rothko Chapel


General Admission Only

  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum - FREE Monday 10 am - 5 pm
  • Children's Museum of Houston - FREE Thursday 5 – 8 pm
  • The Health Museum - FREE Thursday 2 – 5 pm
  • The John C. Freeman Weather Museum - FREE Thursday 12 – 4 pm
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science - FREE Tuesday after 2 pm
  • Houston Zoo - FREE Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Columbus Day, New Years Day & the Friday after Thanksgiving
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston - FREE Thursday 10 am – 9 pm

Of course, they all like donations, and if you become a member, you get free admission as part of your membership.

Houston Museums: Free Admission September 25

Register here:

1940 Air Terminal Museum


Buffalo Soldiers National Museum


Dunham Bible Museum


Holocaust Museum Houston


Houston Center for Contemporary Craft


Houston Museum of Natural Science


The Health Museum


Health Museum: Free 2 - 7 p.m. every Thursday

Free Family Thursdays at the Health Museum

     Beginning June 3, Free Family Thursdays during Summer 2010 will be sponsored by H-E-B and hours will be extended to 7 p.m.  The extended hours will run through September 2. 

Enjoy free general admission to the museum from 2 - 7 p.m. every Thursday, and pay only $3.00 per person to see Animation Featuring Cartoon Network! (new exhibit)

Pull Ups on Amazon: $14.66 Shipped

Link to all eligible diapers and wipes

I ordered Huggies Pull-Ups Learning Designs Training Pants, Boys, 4T-5T, 44-Count.  Free shipping and automatic 30% discount when you sign up for subscribe and save. You can cancel the subscription after you make an order if you don't want them to continue sending you the item. .

Item(s) Subtotal: $20.94
Shipping & Handling: $13.60
Promotion Applied: -$6.28
Free Shipping: -$13.60
Total Before Tax: $14.66
Estimated Tax: $0.00
Grand Total: $14.66

that is $0.33/pull up

I saw they also had 3T-4T 52 ct for $0.20 less, and girl versions on sale, too. ($0.28/pull up)

From Amazon: Save 30% and Get FREE Two-Day Shipping on Select Diapers and Wipes For a limited time, save 30% when you sign up for Subscribe & Save delivery on select diapers and wipes sold by Plus, get Free Two-Day Shipping compliments of Amazon Prime.

Chuck E Cheese

Attached are the best coupons out there for CEC, including 100 tokens for $10. If you just want to order pizzas then there is a coupon for $9.99/large cheese to be used or use the Any pizza, 4 drinks, and 40 tokens for $18.99. These are all pdfs and reprintable.

If you will have more than 4 people you can reserve your birthday party online at and get extra tokens for having a birthday party on a Sunday.

Mom-A-Thon before The Woodlands Mom Expo

From Lori, the organizeri:

Join the mommy community and get in the spirit by sharing your positive affirmation on your journey of motherhood. Please post to this site to share locally as well as nation wide, as we motivate, inspire, and encourage moms in reminding them that what we do matters. Visit and post to:

Borders: Free Backpack if you spend $40

Through August 5, you get a free backpack at Borders when you spend $40 or more.

33% Off the List Price of One Item (Borders Rewards Members):
Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off the List Price of All Kids' Toys (Borders Rewards Members):

Thursday, July 29, 2010

CVS Update

Common Sense With Money did a great CVS update here

I haven't gone this week yet because I keep telling myself I have to bring my cvs card in order to get the extra $4 ECBs that are free when you go to their website.

They really are having a good diaper sale if anyone needs them. I was going to go for the free U pads and the little swimmers. Well, I have till Saturday..

Update: 4 ABP is Houston

Au Bon Pain: The best sandwich I have had in a long time!

Wow, I just discovered that there is an Au Bon Pain in Houston.
Yesterday, I had the best sandwich that I have had in a long time. It was a goat cheese mushroom thing on a sundried tomato bread. I love ABP. I used to eat it all the time when I was in the Boston area (think summers during hs). Overall, it is healthy and good quality. Not cheap, but sometimes it is worth it to pay for quality! My sandwich was $5.99. They have great baked goods, too. Some of the healthy things for snacks were hummus and cucumbers, boiled eggs, and a mozzeralla tomato salad. We had fun dipping bread into our Tomato basil soup (part of combo with the sandwich).

They are right near the playground in Herman Park and that train stop. It is in the Medical Center on the second floor of 6400 Fannin Street. The hallway in front of ABP seems to be connected to all the buildings in the area.

Here is the address and info:

Au Bon Pain

6400 Fannin Street, Houston -

(713) 795-0144

Another Houston Deal Site

I just found it. The one that caught my attention was 10% off at Three Brothers Bakery.. Tempting..

Target Toys Clearance at 75% off

Anyone go to Target today to check to if the toys have been marked down to 75% off. I don't think I will be able to make it out soon. Let me know if there are a lot of goodies left.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Borders: My trip tonight July 25, 2010

I went to Borders tonight because of all the great promotions going on.

We filled out our summer reading form and picked out "Hoot," which has a retail value $6.99, for free.
We found 10 books for $1 (mostly paperback readers. There was only 1 board book that I got really excited about because it was a counting book about colorful butterflies). (The teacher's discount doesn't apply to the $1 kids books).
and 4 books for $3.99 that I used my teacher's discount card on so they became $2.99.
I purchased the $50 gift card, and received a $10 gift card. It says the $10 GC is only valid for certain dates in August. I used the $50 GC on today's transaction. I have $25 left on it, which I am sure I will use. That GC never expires.
I had the 40% off coupon with me, but nothing caught my attention. (I almost got a melissa and doug puzzle that we don't have, but then I said we have too much stuff and resisted). The guy tried to ring it up in one transaction instead of two because he thought I could use all the discounts together. The 40% off didn't go through because of the free book. I calculated the difference saved would have been $0.60 so I passed on doing another transaction because I had my little one with me and we had already been standing in line for a bit.

I saw they had bargain bins in the front at B1G1 free. I didn't really go through them. Also, most of their bargain kid books were the same from a couple months ago.

I heart Borders!

Another great nature preserve: Peckinpaugh Preserve

It looks like another great place to go hiking. It is located off Old Riley Fuzzel Rd at 1209 Old Riley Fuzzel Rd
Spring, TX 77386

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My "Your Baby Can Read" DVDs came today!

Woohoo! My "Your Baby Can Read" DVDs came today!

If anyone else wants me to hook up with the same deal I got, let me know. If we get a lot of people to go in on it, it becomes cheaper since we are buying direct from the wholesaler in China!
If not, 5 DVD set for $50. Nice!

Mother Goose Time at South Branch Library

We were regulars from when my little one was 4 months old until he was almost 2 (and yes it is technically for 0-18 months olds! I had a group of friends and none of us graduated till the end of the spring semester). We loved it. It was the first activity that we really started to do together. The first 25 minutes is structured time. Everyone sits around in a big circle, and Miss Marianne leads the group in Nursery Rhymes and Finger plays. Every day there were some sensory activity. It was usually scarves or egg shakers. Plus, she often had stuffed animals to show during the songs about animals. At the end of the first part of class, Miss Marianne would bring out a big basked filled with toys and books for the kids to explore while the moms sit back and socialize. I made friends with the other regulars. After Mother Goose time, we would push our strollers to Market Street for lunch. Did you know that Berryhill and Johnny Rockets do Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays!

Mother Goose Time became so popular that they split it up into two classes: Crawlers and walkers at 11am on Tuesdays and not yet crawling on Wednesdays at 9:30am. I heard last year that they had to implement a ticket policy because it would get too crowded, which means you had to come early to get a ticket. (that's a good way for everyone to come on time, too, since it is a little distracting for people to go in and out) Mother Goose Time only happens during the school year. During the summer they have other activities going on. Check out the website for the calendar. Also, don't forget about the summer reading program. Go to South Branch and fill out a list of the books you have read to your little one to get an awesome bag of goodies! It is well worth it. I believe the program ends next week, so go asap.

I have also heard that all of the libraries in the area do activities for kids of all ages so check back when school starts for times. At south branch they have an 18month-3 year old class where they read 5 books, sing songs in between the books, and do coloring sheets at the end. They also have the next age groups up, but I haven't been to those yet so I don't know the details.

So in summary, go to your local library and check out what they have to offer.

ps. We also would ride the trolley or go play in the maze next to south branch when they got bigger. The Trolley is still tons of fun!

pps. Shout out to my buddies from Mother Goose Time. I miss you guys!

New library e-mail newsletter: First 200 get Free Yard Sign

Copied from their website:

Sign up today for the e-News library email newsletter!

Announcing the new library e-mail newsletter! Now you can always stay up-to-date on the latest library news. Don't worry about your inbox filling up—the library E-Newsletter is a low frequency e-mail list with messages sent only once or twice a month. Be the first to find out about cool new programs, new features on the library website, and more!

The first 200 library customers to sign up for the e-mail newsletter will receive a free "Library Supporter" yard sign! Sign up for the new library E-Newsletter today!

Walgreens: My Trip 7/22/2010

2 14 ct Always Pads.

It was B1G1 50% off at $3.79 for the first and $1.90 for the second. I had the free Always coupon that I got last month to use up. It was only up to $3.50. I also had a $1 off Always coupon.

So, total OOP was $1.25. Woohoo!

My best advice for couponing at Walgreens is to do small purchases and to be super organized.

World Market: Free Music Download up to 3 Tracks

World Market: Free Music Download up to 3 Tracks

Just enter your member id here:

ps. you can get a free member id in the store. And you get a discount for joining World Market.


I wanted to go today and check it out, but I ran out of time. I will do my best to go soon and give y'all a report on what is there. Don't forget to fill out your 10 book summer reading list to get a free book. Also, they are doing their half price drinks from 3-5 Monday-Thursday and the download ebook reader app and get a free Coffee promo.

Remember my post here:
This fits the quarterly theory.

Build a Bear: Any animal, outfit & shoes only $29.99

You can argue about whether this is a good deal or not. It is a good deal if you have expensive taste and prefer the more expensive animals and expensive clothes.

July 23 - August 5: Buy any animal, outfit, & shoes for only $29.99 View online | View on mobile
Shop online too!  Special $29.99 packages available now. Share this with friends: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on MySpace
Build-A-Bear Workshop®
New Arrivals Best Sellers Exclusive Animals Find a Store Gift Cards
July 23 - August 5: Get Any Make-Your-Own Animal + Any Outfit + Any Shoes for ONLY $29.99! (IN STORE ONLY. Excludes stadium stores. Price does not include tax. Not valid on previously purchased merchandise. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Accessories sold separately. While quantities last. Outfits and accessories vary by store.)
Shop online too! Now through August 5: Find great $29.99 packages!

Disney Update: $5 Shipping with code shiptoday

Thanks Becky for the update!

Also $5 shipping with code shiptoday.

Disney: 20% OFF for Friends & Family - Starts Tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Disney: 20% OFF for Friends & Family - Starts Tomorrow!

Nice! They usually have a sale section in the back, so 20% off meets sale is a good deal!

A Special Offer for Friends & Family - Save 20% On Your Entire Purchase - Apply Promo Code: DISNEYFAN - Click here

View this email as a web page
Toys | Kids Clothes | Adult Clothes | Home & D├ęcor | Art & Collectibles | Pins | Sale |  Find a Store
A Special Offer for FRIENDS and FAMILY 20% off Your Entire Purchase - Starts Tomorrow
Shop Online Find a Store
FREE Personalization Sitewide - Apply Promo Code: FREEPZ | Shop Now
Figurine Play Sets - Now Only $8.50 | Shop Now
Disney Rewards® Visa® Card
Fall Preview | Toy Story Shop | Disney Parks Merchandise |  Facebook  Twitter

Here's how to redeem your Friends and Family Promotion Online:

  1. Place at least one eligible item in your Shopping Cart.
  2. Type the Promotion Code DISNEYFAN into the Special Offers and Discounts field, then click Submit.
  3. The Promotion will be automatically applied, if eligible.
  4. Continue Shopping or Begin Checkout.

Friends and Family Promotion Restrictions: * Offer is valid 12:00 am PT, 7/22/10 to 11:59 pm PT, 7/25/10. Offer valid only on a single purchase at Disney Store retail locations in North America or orders placed online at Limit one coupon or promotion code per Guest. Offer excludes shipping & handling charges, gift cards, Publications & Memberships, Media & Electronics, Disney Theme Parks passes & merchandise, Art & Collectibles, personalization, gift wrap, gift boxes and items not in stock. Cannot be combined with other offers. No adjustments to prior purchases. Prices subject to change without notice. Products subject to availability. For online purchases, merchandise must be exchanged for identical item or returned at discounted price with valid packing slip. For in-store purchases, returns and exchanges subject to discount taken at time of redemption. Not valid on purchases from or purchases from Disney's Soda Fountain and Studio Store or any World of Disney location. Coupon or Promotion Code may not be redeemed for cash. Coupon or Promotion Code may not be sold, altered, duplicated or copied and will not be replaced if lost, stolen or corrupted. In-store coupon must be relinquished at time of purchase. Use of Coupon or Promotion Code is acceptance of its terms. Offer may be canceled or modified at any time. Void where prohibited.

Cast Member: ORPOS Stores scan barcode at any point throughout the transaction.
GSA Stores scan coupon barcode immediately after pressing TOTAL to issue % DISCOUNT by TRANSACTION.

Here's how to redeem your FREE Personalization Promotion:

  1. Place at least one or more eligible personalized items in your Shopping Cart.
  2. Type the Promotion Code FREEPZ into the Special Offers and Discounts field, then click Submit.
  3. The FREE Personalization Promotion will be automatically applied, if eligible.
  4. Continue Shopping or Begin Checkout.

Free Personalization Promotion Restrictions: ** Offer expires 11:59 pm PT, July 21, 2010, or while supplies last, whichever is earlier. Valid only on select Personalized merchandise. Offer excludes Disney Parks Authentic merchandise. No adjustments to prior purchases. Personalized items may not be returned or exchanged unless damaged or defective. Offer valid on orders placed online at Not valid on phone orders or purchases from or Disney Store retail or outlet locations. Discounts based on original retail prices. Intermediate markdowns may have been applied. Disney E-Commerce reserves the right to cancel or modify this offer at any time.

Figurine Play Sets Promotion Restrictions: † Limited time offer, while supplies last. Valid only on select merchandise. Merchandise must be exchanged for identical item or returned at discounted price with valid packing slip. Offer valid on phone orders placed online at and Disney Store retail locations. Not valid on purchases from or Disney Store outlet locations. Discounts based on original retail prices. Intermediate markdowns may have been applied. Disney E-Commerce reserves the right to cancel or modify this offer at any time. Void where prohibited.

$50 Statement Credit Restrictions: ‡ This offer is limited to a one-time award of a statement credit for new cardmembers upon approval of your application for a Disney Rewards Visa Card and first purchase/first use of the card. First purchase/first use includes purchases, balance transfers, any checks that are used to access your account, and excludes cash advances. First-time cardmembers only. You must use the phone number, website or application (if provided) contained herein to be eligible for this offer. You may not be eligible for other new cardmember premiums if you respond to this offer. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for statement credit to post to your account after first purchase/first use of the card.

In some instances, an application may require additional time to process and the account may not be available for immediate use.

Disney Rewards® Visa® Card available to U.S. residents only, 18 and older  (except in Alabama and Nebraska – age 19 and older) and subject to credit approval.  Restrictions and limitations apply.  Disney Rewards Visa Card is issued by Chase Bank USA, N.A.

This email was sent to Please do not reply to this email as this address is not monitored.

This email contains an advertisement from Disney E-Commerce, 3805 Furman L. Fendley Hwy., Jonesville, SC 29395. To unsubscribe from all types of future commercial email from Disney E-Commerce regarding its products and services, click here.

Questions or comments?
Please contact us at Disney E-Commerce
3805 Furman L. Fendley Hwy.
Jonesville, SC 29395
(800) 328-0612

All marks are the property of their respective owners. © Disney. All Rights Reserved.