Tag Archives: freebies

Sign up for a FREE 6-week trial of Blockbuster by Mail

Blockbuster_logo.svgI personally use Netflix, but this deal is almost too good to pass up. Today first-time users can enroll in a six-week trial of Blockbuster by Mail ($26 value) for free!

Just go to Blockbuster.com, sign up for an account, and use the promo code groupon. Pay attention to the expiration date, though! If you forget to cancel your subscription at the end of trial period, your account will automatically renewed and charged for a month of service.

You can read the terms and conditions here.  Enjoy!

My favorite sites for free music online

online-musicphoto by abletoven

Are you always looking for new music? I listen to music for hours at a time when I’m working, so I get sick of my iTunes playlist very easily. Luckily, I don’t have to spend a ton of money at the iTunes store to find great new music. There are a ton of resources online for free music.

Here are my favorites:

NPR Music

NPR is my absolute favorite form of free entertainment, but their music channel is particularly nice when you’re looking for something mellow and unobtrusive. (As much as I would love to listen to This American Life while working, it would probably be a little distracting.)

It’s also my favorite way to stay on top of new music. You can stream stations live, listen to particular playlists in their archives, or sign up for weekly free podcasts with new music and playlists. If you’re into folky rock or new world music, you’ll love their playlists. (I also recommend signing up for the This American Life, Fresh Air, and any of NPR’s other podcasts if you’re interested in news, current events, human interest stories, and generally good reporting.)

Pandora Radio

Pandora Radio is an amazing free service that allows you to build personalized radio stations by selecting artists and songs that you already enjoy. I’ve discovered a lot of great music by plugging in my favorites and listening to what the station recommends. You have some degree of control as it allows you to build multiple stations and skip a certain number of songs every hour, but you can’t choose a specific song or artist and listen to it. Listening to Pandora reminds me of what it’s like to listen to a great mix tape that I made years ago — I don’t remember what’s on it, but every song is a pleasant surprise.


I’ve only recently started using Last.fm, but it’s similar to Pandora in that it offers recommendations based on your music preferences. Last.fm has some additional features that are really cool, though.

It offers a community aspect that Pandora lacks. You can find other users with tastes similar to your own, and discover new music through their playlists. Last.fm also allows you to search for specific artists and listen to playlists with only their music, which Pandora doesn’t allow. So far I’ve found that Last.fm is perfect when I’m in the mood to listen to a specific song or artist, or listen to a playlist of specific artists.

iTunes Music Store

Most of the songs on iTunes are available for purchase. Sometimes (rarely) I find an artist I really enjoy on a free site, and I pop over to iTunes to buy more music from them or maybe even download an album. iTunes also offers some free downloads, though. In addition to the free single of the week, they have a huge list of free downloads from lesser known artists. Just look in your iTunes store under “Free Music & Videos.” If you’re looking to permanently add to your music collection instead, then you’ll like iTunes.

What about you? What are you favorite places to find music?

Time to redeem MyPoints … what to do?

Never heard of MyPoints? Well, where have you been? It’s a free rewards program that requires very little work for a great payoff.

After signing up, you’ll receive about 3 or 4 emails every day. All you have to do to earn points is read through them quickly and click on the “Get Points” link to credit your account. Each email is worth 5 points.

You can also shop through their portal at a ton of online retailers to earn 1-4+ points for each dollar you spend. Just go to MyPoints, click on “Shop,” find your retailer, and click on their link through the site. Other retailers offer special points bonuses for taking advantage of offers, signing up for newsletters, or joining online communities.

Once you’ve acquired about 1500 points or so, you’ll be eligible to redeem them for $10 gift cards to a huge assortment of retailers, including Target, Starbucks, BP, Amazon.com, and more. Once you have 3500 points, you’ll be eligible for $25 gift cards. Finally, 7500 points will earn you $50. Some retailers offer $75-$100 gift cards for 12000+ points.

It’s part of a new trend that I absolutely love: marketers paying YOU for your time and attention. For our whole lives we’ve been inundated with advertising and marketing messages that don’t pay us a dime. It’s about time we get rewarded for listening to the messages they’re sending out.

You can visit the site yourself if you want more information about MyPoints. If you’re not already a member, drop me an email so I can send you a referral link! I’d love to pick up some points for telling you about the program.

I always click through my emails and check MyPoints before making online purchases to see if I can earn some points. I’ve been able to earn about 3500 points or $10 every three months or so for very little work. I’ve acquired almost 8000 points since my last points redemption in April. That’s enough for about $50 worth of gift cards.

With the holidays coming up, I know that the most responsible thing to do is use these points for a Target or Amazon gift card so I can cut down on my holiday spending and supplement my gift budget. We’ve also got a huge drive ahead of us back to Indiana, and a $50 gas card could help us out.

Last time, I used my points for a Starbucks card so I could treat myself to gourmet coffee without affecting my budget. Because this is “free money,” I’m so tempted to use it for something frivolous. It’s not like snowflakes because I can’t pay off debt with a gift card. However, I could potentially put $50 extra toward debt that would have been spent on holiday shopping or gas for our trip to Indiana for the holidays.

I’m torn. I know that every little bit counts, but I also like being able to treat myself without throwing off my budget. I don’t have enough will power to say that I never treat myself even when it is coming out of our budget. If I take opportunities like this to treat myself, then I’ll be less likely to use our regular income for frivolous things.

I look at $50 and it just seems so small when it’s used for holiday shopping or a tank of gas. But when it’s used for something fun, it seems like an huge amount of money. I’m not sure what to do.

My question for you: Do you use MyPoints to supplement your budget with necessary purchases like gas and gifts, or do you use it to treat yourself?


Freebies are starting to arrive

I’m struggling for ideas this evening (and I’m more than a little distracted by the Democratic National Convention, I must admit), but I wanted to write a quick post anyway.

I didn’t start signing up for freebies until about a month ago. Now that they’re finally starting to fill up my mailbox, it’s really fun!

This week I received a sample of True Lemon (quite a tasty, calorie-free way to flavor unsweetened iced tea!), a Pond’s Clean Sweep facial cloth, and a coupon for $4 off Purina ONE dog food (the only brand we buy … frequently switching dog food by buying what’s on sale can upset your dog’s stomach). The Purina coupon was supposed to be printable, but I just couldn’t get the coupon-printing program to cooperate with my Mac. (That happens to me with printable coupons all the time … Does anybody else have that problem?)

Before I started receiving freebies, the mail was more of a hassle than a cause for excitement. It was mostly junk mail since I’ve opted to go “paperless” for most of my bills and statements. We do receive a number of magazines every month, but for the most part the mail was boring.

I love having something to look forward to now that I’m receiving freebies! It’s never much, usually just enough for one use, but it’s still a fun way to perk up the day!

Welcome to the new and improved Living Well on Less!

I spent hours agonizing and stayed up way past my bedtime last night, but here’s the new and improved site! I registered a domain name, designed a logo, and moved everything over. I’m happy with the WordPress blog, but I did made a few mistakes along the way.

After researching prices for web hosting with the major sites, I decided I just wasn’t comfortable dropping $100-$200 to register a domain and host a site. I discovered that WordPress offers a domain registration option for only $15 for a year. No monthly hosting fees. It seemed to be the best option for someone like me with little experience managing a blog. So I decided to go for it.

It was only AFTER I started building my site that I realized that I have no control over the template with a WordPress blog, and there are strict limits on what I can add to my sidebars. For instance, no ads, which is fine with me because I’m nowhere near ready for a step like that. Unfortunately, though, I can’t really add any HTML whatsoever, so no Entrecard, which I did want to add. Bummer.

I’ll be able to switch to another host in 60 days, so that’ll give me some time to get the hang of managing a blog before I take full control. By that point, I’ll probably feel better about committing to a hosting service. In the end it’s probably for the best. But I’m still kicking myself for jumping in without doing all the research. Oops.

My next step was designing a logo. I really wanted something personalized, but I didn’t have any design software. Photoshop, which is my absolute favorite, costs about $650. Um, no thanks. However, Adobe offers a free 30-day trial of Photoshop. Perfect! So I downloaded it, designed my logo, and saved it as a jpg file. For free. I’m pretty excited about that. I’m also pretty proud of my first logo design. What do you think?

I’ve never done anything like this before, so I was bound to make some mistakes. Hopefully I won’t make too many more before I finally get the hang of it.

I hope you like the new layout! I’d love for you to leave me a comment and let me know you’re reading. :)


Free Starbucks

Right now when you register a Starbucks gift card with their rewards program, they’ll send you a coupon for a free Starbucks beverage of your choice any size. I registered two Starbucks cards that we received as wedding gifts and received my coupon about a week later.

Once you’re registered, you’ll get free refills on regular coffee during your visit, a free tall coffee with whole bean purchases, and free flavor shots when you use your card. You’ll also receive special promotional offers and freebies by email. When the new Vivanno smoothie came out, registered Starbucks cardholders received one free during a two-day promo.

You can register your gift cards here.