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Monday, Dec 22, 2014

Free and Cheap

A deals blog by Janine Dorsey

Janine Dorsey loves to save money: it doesn’t matter if it’s hers or someone else’s. She rounds up all the best deals and freebies to be found in the Tampa Bay area -  in shopping, dining, entertainment and more – to help you save, too.

Gift cards with bonus offers make great last minute buys

Published:   |   Updated: December 22, 2014 at 01:05 PM
By Janine Dorsey

Gift cards are a great option for sending love to friends and family near and far.

All the better if you can get some of that love back for yourself in the form of a bonus deal!

Bonus gift cards are available at participating locations and in some cases, on the companys’ websites.

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Free coffee in January with refillable Starbucks tumbler

Published:   |   Updated: December 22, 2014 at 10:39 AM
TBO.com staff

It’s like Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper of the coffee world.

Treat yourself or a caffeine-loving friend to a double-walled tumbler from Starbucks for the holidays and they’ll get it filled with free coffee every day in January.

Just bring the 16 ounce Made Greener Coffee Refill Tumbler to any participating Starbucks location every day during January 2015 for a free grande brewed coffee.

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Free tow offered for drivers who get too ‘happy’ over holidays

By Janine Dorsey

If the holidays get a litle too ‘happy,’ don’t drive and risk a DUI or worse. Just call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO for a confidential tow within a 10-mile radius to a safe location.

The program is provided as a service by AAA and is free for drivers in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, and not just current auto club members.

The free ride is offered during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays beginning Wednesday, Dec. 24 through 6 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1.

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See the circus at a discount with Valpak

By Janine Dorsey

Looking to take your kids to see the circus at a discount? Valpak has you covered.

For a limited time, the coupon company has an offer available to save up to 25 percent on tickets to see the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey show slated to appear Jan. 1 - 4 at Tampa’s Amalie Arena.

Tickets must be purchased in advance, and not on the day of show and are available for performances on Friday, Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 3 11 am. and Sunday, Jan. 4 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

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Clearwater libraries waiving fines with food donations

Published:   |   Updated: December 18, 2014 at 10:22 AM
By Janine Dorsey

Kept those borrowed library materials a little too long? Here’s your chance to get forgiveness from the fines.

Clearwater Public Library branches are offering an amnesty period for overdue materials in exchange for a donation of non-perishable foods through library closing Wednesday, Dec. 24.

Anyone who currently has a fine from overdue materials can bring in any non-perishable food items to a Clearwater library branch circulation desk with the overdue materials, if available.

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Artistic, creative folks can score two free Renaissance Fest tickets

Published:   |   Updated: December 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM
By Janine Dorsey

Put your creativity to work for you to earn two free admission tickets to the 2015 Bay Area Renaissance Fest by building your own fairy house or painting a mural.

Fairy houses are diminutive dollhouses that wood nymphs or other mythical creatures would find right at home.

Murals are being sought to decorate the Mermaid’s Lagoon area of the festival and should be of a family-friendly nautical theme.

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Tampa Bay holiday blood drives offer various rewards

Published:   |   Updated: December 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM
By Janine Dorsey

Eligible donors, age 16 and up, who are feeling well and healthy can share the gift of life and score a bit of reward this holiday season at various blood drives around Tampa Bay.

Bloodmobiles will be on-site at the following locations during the holidays:


WFLA - Channel 8 call center blood drive: Thursday, Dec. 19 from 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

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Donate an Ikea toy or book, get a free zoo ticket

Published:   |   Updated: December 16, 2014 at 09:44 AM
By Janine Dorsey

Tampa’s Ikea store is in the giving mood this holiday season.

Through Jan. 3, when any soft toy or children’s book is purchased from the store, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1 to children’s education through UNICEF and Save the Children.

The giving increases when an Ikea soft toy or book is then donated at the store in the donation bin during the promotion period. The donor will get a free child’s admission ticket to Lowry Park Zoo.

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Free bucket of range balls daily for kids during holidays

Published:   |   Updated: December 15, 2014 at 12:35 PM
By Janine Dorsey

If there will be golf tees in their stockings and clubs under the tree for your kids this holiday season, the little duffers may be interested to hear about an offer from Ace Golf.

Ace Golf is offering a free golf practice program for kids ages 5 -15 every day from Monday, Dec. 22 until Sunday, Jan. 4.

Parents just need to register their kids at either the Ace Golf Range located at 820 S. Kings Ave, Brandon or 12910 Boyette Rd., Riverview.

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Guided downtown walking tour features holiday theme

Published:   |   Updated: December 15, 2014 at 12:30 PM
By Janine Dorsey

Stretch your legs, get in some exercise and load up on holiday cheer all at once when you ‘Do The Local Motion’ this Friday, Dec. 19.

From noon - 1 p.m., the Tampa Downtown Partnership will lead a free guided walking tour featuring an office building lobby holiday décor ‘tour of trees.’ The event will include Christmas carols sung by the Rampello Downtown Partnership School Choir.

Tours are free and no pre-registration is required. Interested walkers are invited to gather in their comfortable shoes at Lykes Gaslight Square, located at 410 N Franklin St., Tampa.

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