Free Chick-fil-A on Cow Appreciation Day

July 2, 2014 by  
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Free Chick-fil-A on Cow Appreciation DayI can’t quite believe it’s been a whole year since I last encouraged you to dress up as a cow in order to get free food.  Here we are, all sane and rational people, and yet so many people love this Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day freebie every year! They’re all crazy at Chick-fil-A (in a nice way), and it seems we’re as nutty as they are.

So, here’s the deal. Get a Free Chick-fil-A meal for Cow Appreciation Day at all locations on Friday July 11, 2014,  if you show up fully dressed as a cow. They’ve even got a kit to show you how! (Hey, that rhymes.)

Or if you go partially dressed as a cow, sporting a cow spotted hat, vest, purse or other accessory, you’ll get some kind of free entree item instead of the full combo meal.

The freebie is valid at breakfast, lunch or dinner and there are various options on the combo meals available, all including a beverage. Details on those menu items are in the FAQs at the link. If you take a child in cow costume, they get a free kid’s meal. And they will of course be scarred for life if they are not enthusiastic about cavorting about as a cow. So you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons there regarding the free meal versus years of therapy :-)

To go FULLY dressed as a cow from head to hoof, Chick-fil-A gives you a starter kit for the full Cow Appreciation Day. I have to confess that even though I’ve looked at it several times, I’m still not sure how to transform myself into a cow with it. But you readers are much cleverer than me, and the photo above may help.

This  brilliant bovine day of beauteous bargains is ONLY on Friday July 11, 2014.

So put your best hoof forward, practice moo-ing, and chew the cud at any Chick-fil-A location. If you don’t know the one nearest you, check out the Chick-fil-A locations map.



Free Composting Classes

July 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Events, Freebies

Free composting classes and vermicomposting classes too? I’ll need my rubber gloves for this one!

As far as I’m aware, there are three advantages of composting.  Firstly, it’s a good way to dispose of veggie peelings and other food and organic waste, including leaves and cut grass. (The smart people at the Open Space Visitor Center tell me that food waste is the single largest and least recovered waste stream in the USA.)

Secondly, composting is great for mulching and aeration if you’re into organic gardening, rather than buying commercial fertilizers. And last but not least… it’s free!

I’m no gardening expert. (Mr Cheap has the green thumb around here. With the exception of my lovingly-tended herbs, I usually only have to look at a plant and it withers… even if I have my make-up on.) But I’ve planted a strip of green beans, kale, Swiss chard, and broccoli this season, all nourished by our own compost, and they’re doing pretty well so far. Fingers crossed!

If you’re interested in learning about composting, Bernalillo County Extension Master Composters offer a bunch of free composting classes for all ages at various locations, including vermicomposting or composting with worms.

Although the classes are free they usually require registration before the event, so check details at the link to see where to phone or email to register for each class, as well as full info on times and locations.

Updated dates for summer 2014: These are the upcoming free composting classes for the next few months, but check the schedule in case of additions or changes:

  • July 23 : Home Composting in the Desert 6:00 pm (UNM Continuing Education)
  • July 26 : Home Composting Basics 10:00 am (Palo Duro Senior Center)
  • August 7 : Home Composting Basics 5:00 pm (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • August 9 : Composting with Worms (Vermicomposting) 10:00 am (Palo Duro Senior Center)
  • August 17 : Home Composting Basics 1:45 pm (Albuquerque Tomato Fiesta)
  • August 30 : Home Composting Basics 10:00 am (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • September 11 : Composting with Worms (Vermicomposting) 5:00 pm (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • September 18 : Home Composting Basics  5:30 pm (Loma Colorado Public Library)
  • September 27 : Composting with Worms (Vermicomposting) 10:00 am (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • October 9 : Bucket Composting with Bokashi Method 5:00 pm (Los Volcanos Senior Center)
  • October 15-November 8 : Master Composter Training Wednesdays and Saturdays (Bernalillo County Extension Office)
  • October 25 : Bucket Composting with Bokashi Method 10:00 am (Los Volcanos Senior Center)



Free Movies Under the Stars

June 26, 2014 by  
Filed under Freebies, Kids, Movies

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Free outdoor Movies Under the Stars for all the family on four Fridays this summer, ending on August 15 2014.

City of Rio Rancho free outdoor movies this summer 2014 are shown on a super-size inflatable screen at dusk and all the movies are family-friendly. The  Movies Under the Stars screenings are all at Cabezon Park and they start at dusk, so grab your picnic, and a blanket or folding chair.

These are the six Friday dates for this summer:

  • June 27 – Little Giants
  • July 11 – Wings of Life
  • July 18 – Dolphin Tale
  • July 25 – The Lego Movie
  • August 1 – E.T.
  • August 15 – The Nut Job

Take your picnic or your popcorn, but no alcohol is allowed.

Obviously the outdoor movies depend on the weather and programs may change, so you can check this City of Rio Rancho link  to find out any updates on Free Movies Under the Stars.



Santa Fe Opera Free Insider Days

June 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Arts, Freebies, Music, Weekend & Day Trips

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Santa Fe Opera free summer talks and backstage tours, and they even throw in the coffee and muffins! Weekly until August 23, 2014.

Santa Fe Opera Free Insider Days give a behind-the-scenes view of the opera on Saturday mornings this summer 2014 through August 23.   Turn up at the Santa Fe Opera – I love that beautiful building high on the hill – and enjoy a free coffee and muffins reception hosted by Opera Guild members, followed by a talk by an Opera staff member, then a backstage tour.

Yep, you’ve got to get up early, they start at 8:30 am. But it’ll be worth it for the Santa Fe Opera free Insider Day experience, and of course the views are just gorgeous.

  • When: Saturday mornings until August 23, 2014
  • Time: 8:30 am coffee and muffins and talk, followed by the tour
  • Where: meet at The Santa Fe Opera Box Office
  • Price: FREE!

If you’d rather go on a weekday, regular Santa Fe Opera backstage tours take place each day at 9 am Monday to Friday until August 22, 2014, with a walk around the costume shop, scene shop and other areas to learn how they put the whole spectacle together. For that you pay $10 or $8 for seniors. Children and young adults aged up to 22 years go free! Again, you meet at the box offices and you don’t need to book in advance.

Santa Fe Opera directions: it’s located at Exit 168 of US Highway 84/285 seven miles north of Santa Fe.



Free Bee & Pollinator Awareness Day: June 22

June 21, 2014 by  
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Free honey tasting, meet beekeepers, and learn all about making your garden bee-friendly, or even keeping bees yourself, at the Bees, Bats, and Butterflies event on June 22, 2014.

Oh yes, it’s a free bee freebie!

So no, you don’t get free bees, but when you buzz down to the Bee, Bats and Butterflies Pollinator awareness day at the Open Space Visitor Center on Sunday June 22 between 10 am and 3 pm, you do get to taste honey and see a bee hive. You can also learn about pollinator-friendly plants to grow in your garden, and meet an Albuquerque beekeeper to find out how you could do it yourself.

Other activities for adults and kids include:

  • Put on a beekeeping suit and have your photo taken (sounds fun! How will anyone know it’s YOU though?)
  • Make a native bee house
  • Make pollinator plant seed balls
  • Make rolled beeswax candles
  • See the Wings of Enchantment Butterfly Life Cycle display
  • 10:30 am: Presentation on the Butterfly Life Cycle, Wings of Enchantment
  • 11:30 am: Bats as Pollinators presentation by William Gannon, a UNM Biologist
  • 1 pm: Mead Making presentation with Phil Grosfblatt
  • 2 pm: Basics of Beekeeping Presentation

They are also promising pollinator plant giveaways. See all the Bee, Bats, and Butterflies Pollinator Awareness Day info at the link.  The bee celebration takes place:

  • When: Sunday June 22, 2014
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Open Space Visitor Center
  • Cost: Free!

This is part of the National and New Mexico Pollinator Week, an initiative to raise pollinator awareness of species vital to our food systems and economy. We love the bees here at Albuquerque on the Cheap, and if you’re interested in keeping bees yourself, don’t forget to check out the Albuquerque Beekeepers Group which is a great resource for anyone interested in urban beekeeping.

Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW (between Montano and Paseo del Norte).



Water Exercise Classes: $2.50 or Less

June 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Spas & Health, Sport & Leisure

Cheap water exercises classes in AlbuquerqueWater exercise classes at City of Albuquerque swimming pools are just $2.50 each, or even cheaper if you splash out on a 10 lesson punch card!

I love water aerobics – you keep your cool, get fit, reduce stress with a good splash around, and they’re usually a lot of laughs.  Well, I’ve noticed that people laugh at ME anyhow.

The water exercise classes at Albuquerque swimming pools are super value too – just $2.50 a splash or save $4 on ten classes when you buy a punch card for 10 classes for $21. Classes are ongoing,  so you can twang into your Lycra and join in at any time!

Participating swimming pools offer various schedules of morning and evening classes:



Free Holiday Music to Download

December 22, 2013 by  
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Free holiday musicFrom classic Christmas songs to new versions, country, pop, and jazz… here’s a Santa’s sack of festive free holiday music for your party playlist.

If you’re looking for a little holiday atmosphere while you work / cook / PARTAY! then here are some Christmas 2013 freebies to download for your listening pleasure.  Some of the holiday music may only be free for a limited time so download soon if you want them.

Previewing these festive tunes put me in the mood to wrap tinsel round my head, which always makes Mr Cheap nervous that I’ll start chasing him round the house with a sprig of mistletoe.

25 Days of Free Holiday Music Freebies include Carole King, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Twisted Sister, a Raffi song for children and more. The free MP3s from Amazon through Christmas are periodically updated with new additions.

Free Holiday Music from Country Stars including Kelly Clarkson (Run Run Rudolph), Trace Adkins (Silent Night), Jewel (Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!) and more, courtesy of People magazine and iTunes. You need iTunes to download, or get it free at the link. The holiday country music is available till January 15,  2014.

20 Holiday Favorites 2013 The Green Hill album offers 20 traditional favorites performed mainly as instrumentals by various artists. (From Amazon, as are the rest below.)

Green Hill Christmas Music Sampler by Beegie Adair and friends, with 12 easy-listening and jazzy tracks of holiday favorites – just the ticket for a mellow dinner party.

Free Must-Have Christmas Masterpieces with four tracks that are just what it says in the title, performed by the International Childrens’ Choir, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and other such luminaries. Individual tracks are 99 cents, but it’s free to get the whole MP3 album.

Christmas Anthem by Albuquerque locals Landon Smith & The Real Matt Jones.

Joy to the World by The Citizens is an amped-up version of the old classic. Great for a party!

Christmas Train by Carey Bell is really rocking! It’s great.

Do You Hear What I Hear by Blue Sky Riders (Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman, and Gary Burr). I’m not usually so keen on this song, but the gutsier country style of this version twangs my heartstrings.

Ave Maria a piano rendition of this beautiful song by Nicholas York

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – a nice upbeat version by Big Daddy Weave

Come Darkness, Come Light is a mellow piece from Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Twelve Songs Of Christmas album.

O Holy Night/ Ave Maria/ Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – a 9-minute-long Gaelic medley by Gaelic Irish Song Masters.

Auld Lang Syne/ O Come All Ye Faithful/ The First Noël – more than 8 minutes of these popular tunes in a medley by Gaelic Irish Song Masters.

Or get the full Celtic Christmas Meditation: Christmas Songs for a Relaxing Holiday album for free, by the Gaelic Irish Song Masters.

Greensleeves (What Child is This) The Old English folk tune is performed by Tony Elman.

The Nutcracker Suite Waltz Of The Flowers by Tchaikovsky – a magic and sparkly harp piece that’s perfect background for Santa’s little elves when they’re wrapping gifts.

Rock On by Blondie has nothing to do with Christmas, but I’m including it just because it’s cool. Typical Blondie style with a classic rock song.

Oh yes, did we mention that they’re all FREE?

If you still need to buy holiday music after all that, Amazon has tons of 69 cent holiday MP3s to download, and loads of Holiday MP3 Albums under $5.99 including The Muppet’s Green and Red Christmas ($1.99), Michael Bublé’s Christmas ($2.99), A Mary Christmas by Mary J. Blige ($3.99), plus Rod Stewart, Andy Williams, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and more music for adults and kids.

If you know of any Albuquerque or New Mexico bands with free downloads by iTunes or MP3 that we can import to our various music playing devices, please let me know.  I’d love to update the list with more locals!

And thanks to Mr Cheap for letting me chase him with mistletoe.

–Tania. Note: I’ve given my Amazon affiliate links to plug you straight to the free music.


Free Meet A Wolf

December 12, 2013 by  
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Meet a friendly wolf (or two!) and celebrate the “Howl-i-days” on Sunday December 15, 2013.

This free wolf encounter event is one to note on your calendar for Sunday if you’re as fascinated as I am by these beautiful and mysterious beasts. Meet the real thing for yourself in a Wolf Meet and Greet presentation on December 15 at 12:30 pm at the Open Space Visitor Center.

Stephanie Kaylan of the Wanagi Wolf Fund will take at least two of her friendly wolves or wolf-dogs along. Hokshila the timber wolf will be there, and Bindi the wolf too. I know from experience that Stephanie is a very lively and interesting speaker on the subject of wolves and their relationship with humans. In fact, you can read my profile of her in a series I wrote of Albuquerque Insider Profiles  for their Re:Discover Albuquerque project.

The family-friendly event is free, although donations to the non-profit Wanagi Wolf Fund are welcome as this is a holiday fundraiser.  There will also be a photo-op with a wolf for a donation. You can shop for wolf calendars, stocking stuffers and wolf-fur filled ornaments, and check out the raffle.

It’s usually wise to arrive early to be sure of a seat at the beginning of the presentation, as late arrivals are not always  guaranteed admission.

Interesting note: Wanagi is Lakota for “The one who guards and protects the spirits of those who have passed onward.”

  • When: Sunday December 15, 2013
  • Time: 12:30 pm
  • Where: Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center
  • Price: Admission is FREE but donations to the Wanagi Wolf Fund and Rescue are very welcome.

Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard NW. (East of Coors at the end of Bosque Meadows Road, between Montano Boulevard and Paseo del Norte.)



Bugg Lights Christmas Display

December 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Attractions, Holiday Events, Kids

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The Bugg Lights Christmas Display twinkles on selected evenings until December 24, 2013.

Albuquerque’s traditional show of the Bugg Lights Christmas Display is free to visit through the holiday season, although it’s not open every evening – see the schedule below.  The intricate display featuring animals and popular characters was originally created by the Bugg family (talk about one-upmanship on your holiday lights!) but has found a home for the last several years at Menaul School.

You can also see Santa Claus and enjoy festive entertainment with a different line-up of performers each evening including Sunset Mesa Choir, Dukes of Albuquerque, First United Methodist Church Choir, Folklorico del Valle, and more.

Although the Bugg Lights Christmas Display is free and open to all, you gotta bet your big black Santa boots that they do accept donations.

The Bugg Lights Christmas Display 2013 is on show on the evenings of:

  • Friday December 13 and Saturday December 14, at 6 pm to 9 pm
  • From Friday December 20 every night through Monday December 23, at 6 pm – 9 pm
  • Christmas Eve, Tuesday December 24, at 6 pm – 10 pm

The Bugg Lights Christmas Display is located at Menaul School, 301 Menaul Boulevard NE, just east of the Broadway intersection. Access the campus from the Menaul entrance.



Twinkle Light Parade & Nob Hill Holiday Shop & Stroll

December 4, 2013 by  
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You’d have to be walking around with your eyes shut not to know about this already. But hey, we’re all busy people. Maybe you forgot about it. Or maybe you just flew into the Duke City and never knew about it in the first place.

This year the Twinkle Light Parade and Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll are both combined again in Nob Hill on the same day: Saturday December 7, 2013.

The Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll runs from from noon to 10 pm on December 7, when everyone hobnobs in Nob Hill with street performers, mariachi groups, and carol singers to get us into the festive spirit.  They close Central Avenue off to cars between Girard and Washington between those hours, so pedestrians can wander at will along historic Route 66. Of course there are lots of shopping opportunities, with many boutiques staying open late, some stores offering discounts, and a lively atmosphere in the restaurants.

  • There will be photo ops with Santa Claus – he usually rolls by on the Twinkle Light Parade too.
  • A jolly trolley from Albuquerque Trolley Co. will run free shuttle rides along Central between noon and 4 pm.
  • Albuquerque Film & Media Experience will show a free outdoor screening (bundle up!) of the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 7:45 pm. That’s at 3712 Central Ave, between Hermosa and Solano.
  • O’Niell’s Pub will serve free coffee and cider on the enclosed patio.

The Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll map gives all the skinny and shows what’s happening where.

If you download the PDF of the Nob Hill Shop and Stroll program you’ll find a few coupons too, although not as many as in previous years.

  • 10% off one item at Gertrude Zachary
  • $10 off at Yanni’s Mediterranean Grill when you order two entrees (valid to January 1, 2014)
  • 10% off at Yanni’s new Lemoni Lounge (valid to September 1, 2014)

The Twinkle Light Parade starts glitzing at 5:15 pm on December 7, traveling west along Central Avenue from Washington Street to Girard Boulevard.  Bleachers will make it easier for everyone to watch the parade. The City of Albuquerque reckons that there are more than 100 floats (cars, horses, anything they can gussy up with sparkly lights) in the parade this year. I do so love this festive event, but dress warmly – I’ve nearly frozen my tootsies off watching the parade in previous years.



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