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Welcome to Burien Library Reading Audience

November 11, 2013

cheapbastardsseattle3Thanks one and all to those of you who attended my reading at the Burien Library on Sunday. I hope you’re enjoying your new Starbucks gift cards.

At this point, it’s important for me to point out that I had absolutely nothing to do with it and didn’t even know that people who filled out evaluations might get one. Heck, I didn’t even know there would be gift cards. I knew my talk on Cheap Eats was part of the King County Library’s “A Place At the Table” series, I just didn’t know that some libraries pass out gift cards.

How cool is that? To come to a lecture about how to save money and actually get something free? The library was so nice, a staffer even gave me one.

Although I’ll be doing two more readings at King County Library in the next week or so, I can’t tell you if there will be more Starbucks cards or not (you may want to call ahead and ask), but I can tell you about the deals we talked about yesterday (which I promised to post today).

The Cheap Bastard loves the Australian Pie Company not only because it’s a great place to get savory pies for cheap, but also because it’s where he used to get Tim Tams from Australia.

CHEAP STUDENT EATS. Cafe Alki and the Alhadeff Grill are both part of the South Seattle Community College’s Culinary program and both offer great deals with the Alhadeff Grill charging only $13.95 for a three-course meal. The only disadvantage: It’s only open from 11 to 12:50 when school is in session.

EAT AT A DEPARTMENT STORE. IKEA has a lot of great deals including kids eat free Tuesdays, you can feed a family of four for $9.99 on Wednesday, you can get roasted chicken with mashed potatoes for $1.99 (normally $3.99) on Thursdays and fish and chips on Friday for $1.99 (normally $4.99). If you’re a member of IKEA family, you get free coffee. Also, an audience member said you can get breakfast for 99 cents.

COME ON GET HAPPY (HOURS) ALL DAY LONG — The Tin Room’s happy hour runs from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and also starts back up again at 10 p.m. with a flank steak sandwich for $1.99 or pizza for $6.99.

The Hi-Life’s not-so-early bird breakfast runs from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and all of the dishes on it are $5.75. There are late night happy hours at 5 Spot, Peso’s Kitchen & Lounge, Hattie’s Hat and Toulouse Petit. Toulouse Petit has 30 items on its happy hour menu for $5 or less and from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Tuesdays it has a special it calls meange a tois with five dishes selling at $3 each.

Some restaurants also have all day happy hours on certain days like Dragon Fish where you can get great sushi starting at $1.95 from 3 p.m. to 1 am on Monday. The Greek House also has a happy hour that goes from 3 to 6 p.m. and from 10 to close featuring avgolemeno Soup for $5, small $3. Pita pizzas are $4.

COUPONING FOR DOLLARS–Don’t forget about Groupon, Amazon Local and Groupon Deals. Groupon currently has a coupon for $10 for $20 worth of food at Casa Durango. Also, restaurant.com allows you to buy gift certificates for restaurants far below face value. You can spend $10 to get a $25 gift certificate for participating restaurants. There are restrictions, of course, and you have to spend more than $25 but with regular deals on the site, you can often shave a lot off your bill. I found two deals close to Burien on restaurant.com. You can pay $2 for a $5 off coupon for El Nuevo Veracruz. There’s a minimum purchase of $10.50, but that brings the price down to $7.50. At Elmer’s Bar and Grill you can buy a $10 gift certificate for $4 with a minimum purchase of $15. Buy two burgers for $18 and pay only $12.

SPECIAL DEALS AND EVENTS. Dine Around Seattle is in full swing. It’s a program where you can get a three course meal at one of the city’s 50 favorite restaurants for just $30. I couldn’t find any places in Burien that participate, but Fresh Bistro in Seattle does and Brass Tacks in Georgetown. If you want to save even more, you can get a 3-course lunch for $15. That runs from Nov. 3 through 27th Sunday through Thursday. There’s also Seattle Restaurant Week with even more restaurants featuring three course meals for $28 and lunches for $15.

Also, pay attention to holidays and special events. Veterans Day is coming up and that’s a big one for freebies….if you were or are in the military. Here’s a quick list of restaurants that are offering freebies. Applebee’s Free signature entrée, Chili’s free entrée from special menu, Denny’s bottomless stack of buttermilk pancakes from 6 a.m to 2 p.m., Famous Daves BBQ free entrée in Everett, Puyallup, Silverdale, Tacoma and Tukwila on the 11th, Golden Corral free buffet 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Ikea, Free entrée, Krispy Kreme free donut and small coffee, Little Caesars free crazy bread, McCormick and Schmicks free entrée from special menu on Sunday, Olive Garden free entrée, Outback Steakhouse free bloomin oninon and coke, Red Robin Free double burger and bottomless steak fries, Sizzleer, fre entrée before 4 pm. Monday, Starbucks free tall coffee, the Melting Pot, free chocolate fondue dessert with purchase at Bellevue, Seattle and Tacoma, Tony Roma’s will give out a free voucher for next visit. There are also free car washes, free zoo admissions, national park visits, overnight stays. You can find a longer list on my blog

September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day and Krispy Kreme gives away free single glazed donuts to people who talk like a pirate and a free dozen to people who dress like a pirate. This year, Yogurtland celebrated National Frozen Yogurt Day on February 4. Menchie’s celebrated on February 6th.

CHOCOLATE TALK. You can get factory seconds at Seattle Chocolates in Tukwila or Mocha Roca and other treats at Brown & Haley outlets in Fife and Tacoma. Theo’s often puts samples of its chocolates in the lobby before tours are done, but you don’t have to be on a tour to try them.

OTHER DEALS. Here are the deals that you guys mentioned during the reading.

CASE DISCOUNTS — Some stores offer bulk discounts when you order products by the case.

A CHEAP EATS DEAL GETS CHEAPER. Restaurant.com often has sales throughout the year where the amount you pay for a gift certificate can drop even further. People who buy gift certificates from restaurant.com often get such special offers via e-mail.

JUST 4 U — If you shop somewhere frequently, it makes sense to enroll in a store loyalty program. If you join Safeway’s Just4U program, you’ll even get personalized deals based on your buying habits. I got a Chocolate Chai Latte, which was just so-so, but it was so cheap, I kept buying it when I would have spent more on a more expensive beverage. When the deal stopped at the end of the month, I went back to making coffee at home.

OH THANK HEAVEN–On July 11th every year, participating 7-11s give away free 7.11 ounce Slurpees.

SCRUMPDILLYICIOUS THANKSGIVING — The Burien Dairy Queen will be closed, but an audience member said the restaurant will be giving out burgers at lunchtime on Thanksgiving.

FRED MEYER’S COUPON SECRET –Although Fred Meyer checkers won’t volunteer the information, if you ask if there are coupons that might cover the stuff you’re buying, they’ll let you know…as long as they know. The person who mentioned the deal said checkers know the coupons inside and out. I haven’t always found this to be the case. The older checkers do indeed know their stuff, but I’ve noticed that the younger checkers don’t seem to be up on the latest ads. One additional note: If you know there’s a coupon deal going, but you didn’t keep your weekly ad from the Sunday paper or there’s not a coupon available at Customer Service, you can ask your checker and they will scan coupons that they have at the register.

PUNCHING OUT AT THE BREAD STORE–The more the price of bread goes up, the better the deal bakery outlets are. There are a number of them throughout King County for Oroweat, Franz and Gai’s. Most also have bread cards where you get a stamp each time you buy a loaf. Buy a certain number and you’ll get free bread. Some also feature double stamp days, senior discounts and the occasional freebie.

SEATTLE CHOCOLATES SECRETS — The outlet at Seattle Chocolates also sells other products that the factory produces for other companies and samples them in the store. The store has had the occasional deal on Frangos.

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