Free Shipping Day is Thursday December 18, 2014, and 839 stores are signed up (so far!) to give customers free shipping for orders taken on the 18th. They say delivery will be by Christmas Eve for addresses in the continental United States. All Free Shipping Day offers will be revealed on this website at 12:01am EST on Thursday, December 18, 2014.
Online merchants taking part include Cabelas, REI, The Body Shop, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Office Depot, Levi’s, American Eagle, Sheplers, J.Crew, Bass Pro Shops, Harry & David, Omaha Steaks, and a whole bunch more.
Participating Free Shipping Day merchants offer free holiday shipping with no minimum order. Others may have exclusions – for example the items must be in stock or oversized items are excluded (because Santa’s sleigh can’t deliver in time, I suppose.) Some also offer special discounts with Free Shipping Day. Check the details of each merchant’s offer on the Free Shipping Day website.
I’m always nervous of free shipping so close to Christmas as my Christmas tree has been left with holes under it in the past when the package didn’t roll in till after the Big Day. Now I generally pony up to pay shipping if it’s someone’s main gift, to avoid disappointment. However, the Free Shipping Day folk have said that many merchants pay for expedited shipping to get it to shoppers by Christmas Eve.
I’d always encourage you to shop from local businesses, but if you shop online at the national retailers anyway, perhaps to send gifts to distant friends or relatives, Free Shipping Day is a chance to save a few dollars on gifts.
Comments Off on Holiday Twinkle Light Parade
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 family-friendly event is a holiday favorite and a must-see for all.
This year the Twinkle Light Parade takes place on Saturday December 6, 2014 at 5:15 p.m.
Expect to see floats, lowriders, AFD fire trucks and classic cars, equestrian clubs – even a small train – all dressed up for the holidays. The City of Albuquerque reckons there will be more than 1,000 walkers, plus all the usual high school marching bands I love watching. The bands are always festive and smart, and the kids are so very brave as they march through the cold. Santa Claus and Mrs Claus usually roll by in the Twinkle Light Parade too. (Santa, of course, is used to the cold.)
The Twinkle Light Parade starts glitzing with more than 300,000 twinkling lights at 5:15 pm on December 6, 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 90 floats (cars, horses, bicycles, 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. At time of writing, it’s looking a bit rainy out there, but the Twinkle Light Parade will sparkle on no matter what – it’s a rain or shine event.
Comments Off on Coronado State Monument Christmas at Kuaua
Coronado State Monument’s free Christmas event for all the family creates a festive glow and includes cider and biscochitos! The monument’s name was changed just over a year ago. Don’t forget that it is now called the Coronado Historic Site.
The Christmas at Kuaua event at Coronado Historic Site lights up the luminarias on the evening of Sunday December 7, 2014, from 5 pm.
The evening’s activities include a Santa’s Workshop for kids to make a Christmas tree ornament. That is followed at 6 pm by Native American storytelling, traditional Pueblo dancing, and music. Amidst the luminarias and Christmas lights, they’ll have a lovely bonfire too, assuming the weather conditions are right.
Admission is free, and to help everyone keep warm (with or without a bonfire) the Friends of Coronado will also provide free hot apple cider and biscochitos.
Coronado Historic Site Christmas at Kuaua gets festive:
- When: Sunday December 7, 2014
- Time: From 5 pm
- Where: Coronado Historic Site (a.k.a. Coronado State Monument) in Bernalillo
- Price: Admission is free!
Coronado Historic Site is just off I-25, at exit 242, in Bernalillo.
Comments Off on Free Holiday Music to Download
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.
Comments Off on Bugg Lights Christmas Display
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.
Comments Off on Twinkle Light Parade & Nob Hill Holiday Shop & Stroll
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.
Comments Off on Free Casa San Ysidro Holiday Celebration
Celebrate Noche de Luces at the historic Casa San Ysidro. It’s free for all the family on December 7, 2013.
Casa San Ysidro in Corrales is part of the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, and tours (only offered on specified dates/times) generally cost $4 for adults. In any case it’s closed during December and January. UNLESS….you get in the holiday spirit and join them for the free Casa San Ysidro Noche de Luces event this Saturday, December 7 from 5 – 8 pm.
Casa San Ysidro celebrates the holiday season by welcoming one and all to enjoy its decorations of farolitos and holiday greens. The free event includes a craft activity, a display of traditional New Mexican artifacts, and music by Breaking Blue in the grand sala. They will also be serving hot cider and cookies. Tra-la-la! Wrap up warmly as much of the activity is outdoors.
Casa San Ysidro Noche de Luces celebration takes place:
- When: Saturday December 7, 2013
- Time: 5 pm – 8 pm
- Price: Free admission for all
Casa San Ysidro is located at 973 Old Church Road in Corrales.
Home Depot trades in used and broken Christmas lights for discounts on new sparkly lights – you need to take advantage of the deal by November 17!
The Home Depot Christmas light trade-in for old lights is such a great idea. Every year Mr Cheap pulls down last year’s lights from the box on top of the wardrobe, I plug them in, they don’t work. We plug them in to another socket, they still don’t work. We change the fuse in the plug. They still don’t work. I go through the whole strand checking every bulb is screwed in tight. They still don’t work. By now it’s Easter.
Sometimes it feels as if I might as well just throw away all the lights when I take the tree down, instead of carefully storing them for next year. But if we did that, we wouldn’t be able to trade the lights in for a discount!
With The Home Depot’s Christmas Light Trade-in you can take used or broken incandescent holiday light strings to The Home Depot store for recycling. In exchange you receive a discount of $3 to $5 on a new purchase of energy-efficient LED lights. Home Depot reckons that the Energy Star qualified lights use up to 65% less energy than incandescent lights. The discount options are:
- $3 off Home Accents’ Holiday LED lights
- $4 off Martha Stewart Living or GE LED lights
- $5 off EcoSMART or Light Show LED lights
Find all the details in the Christmas Light Trade-In PDF. Each customer can take in up to five old incandescent light strings for a maximum of five discounts, by November 17, 2013.
Time to check out your holiday lights people… where did you put them? Sparkle on!
Comments Off on Big Ho-Ho-Ho Holiday Wishes!
I’m wrapping up for the year here at ABQ on the Cheap… and I mean that quite literally. I still have to wrap all my gifts for Mr Cheap! So we’ll be back in the New Year, unless I spot a super special deal in the meantime that I can’t resist sharing.
Thanks to you fantastic readers for hanging out with us here at ABQ on the Cheap, and thanks especially to everyone who took the time to comment or send a message. I love receiving your emails with deal tips or just a few friendly words.
Here are a few last-minute seasonal items, and I wish you and yours a very joyful holiday and a wonderful New Year. After all, the best freebie any of us can have is the love of our friends and family – enjoy!
Don’t forget to download your free holiday music to add sparkle to the Christmas parties, and if you’re struggling with last-minute gifts, check out the e-cards and gift cards post with discounts and free bonus cards, or send free $10 restaurant certificatesas gifts for family and friends to January 1.
Send kids of all ages a free personalized holiday phone call or email from Santa, with details tailored to the recipient. You can also send a message via Google+. It’s quite a lot of fun just to create the message.
You can also track Santa’s progess from the North Pole as he travels around the world, and play holiday games in the Kids’ Countdown Village. I’ve been watching Santa’s progress but he doesn’t start his holiday rounds until December 24. I know the feeling. You can also track Santa in Spanish.
Paula Deen’s Holiday Hosting Guide is a free recipe and holiday eBook with cooking and hosting tips, including edible gifts, table decorations and ornaments to make – plus some that are easy for kids. There’s a lot of good advice and holiday ideas packed in the 36 page PDF, and free recipes include Christmas Morning Casserole, as well as some recipes and ideas more targeted to Thanksgiving, but still relevant for Christmas.
These New Mexico Holiday Free Recipes for tamales, posole, empanadas and biscochitos from the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau might also come in handy. The recipes are from Flying Star Cafe, Jane Butel, and other feastly locals.
FELIZ NAVIDAD! We’ll be back with more Albuquerque freebies, discounts, and deals in 2013.
Comments Off on Gift Card Discounts, Free Bonus Cards Update
Get free bonus gift cards and gift card discounts for the 2012 holidays. Here’s our updated list of gift card and gift certificate deals for local Albuquerque and national chain restaurants, shops, travel, and more! Here’s one way for Santa to give a little and get a little… Use the freebie or savings to treat yourself, or for an extra stocking stuffer.
If you’re a regular customer of any of these businesses, it might be worth buying the cards to use yourself on future visits, with a free perk attached.
Restaurant Gift Cards
10% off Chili’s gift card orders of $100 or more. The eGift cards can be purchased in any denomination from $5 to $100 per card, as long as they add up to $100 or more to get the 10% discount. The discount is shown on the payment page. The card is valid at Chili’s Grill & Bar and Romano’s Macaroni Grill.
Cold Stone Creamery Free $5 Bonus when you buy $30 worth of Cold Stone gift cards online.
Scalo Northern Italian Grill gives a free $5 voucher when you spend $50 on a gift certificate, until December 31. I was there recently for Happy Hour – ooh, yum!
High Finance Restaurant and Sandiago’s Mexican Grill at the Tram discounted gift cards in December give you a $25 gift card for $20, a $50 card for $40, or a $100 card for $80. The cards are valid at either restaurant.
Applebee’s Free $10 Gift Card when you buy $50 worth of gift cards either online at the link or in restaurants, for a limited time.
Buca Di Beppo $10 Reward Card when you buy $50 worth of gift cards. The free bonus card can be used between January 1 and February 10, 2013.
Bravo! $20 Bonus with every $100 you buy in gift cards until December 30. The free bonus card can be used between January 1 – March 17, 2013.
PF Chang’s $20 Bonus Card with every card with every $100 purchased in P.F. Chang’s gift cards until December 31. The free card can by used between January 1 and March 31, 2013.
Red Lobster gives a $5 off bonus coupon when you buy a $25 gift card.
Denny’s $5 Bonus Card when you buy a $25 gift card.
California Pizza Kitchen $20 Rewards Card with the purchase of $100 in gift cards. The bonus Rewards Card can be used from January 7 – March 3, 2013.
Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse has a Buy-Five-Get-One-Free deal on gift cards. You get a free gift card of the same value when you buy five gift cards.
Flying Star Cafe is giving a bonus 10% in free gift cards when you buy $250 (or more) worth of gift cards this holiday season. This is what the server told me when I ordered dinner (with a $5 discount thanks to my latest reward voucher from my Frequent Flyer card – ha!). Ask at Flying Star Cafe locations.
Bailey’s on the Beach Free Gift Card deal – When you purchase two gift cards at the Nob Hill restaurant, get one free Bailey’s on the Beach gift card.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill gives you a free $5 bonus card when you buy a $25 gift card.
FireHouse Subs coupon when you purchase a gift card of $10 and they’ll reward you with a free dessert, until December 15.
Black Angus Steakhouse Free $5 bonus card when you buy a $50 gift card.
Olive Garden $5 Bonus Card when you buy $25 or more of Olive Garden gift Cards in a single transaction until December 31. The freebie $5 card can be used from January 1 to February 13, 2013, against the purchase of two adult entrees.
Lone Star Steakhouse buy $25 worth of gift cards and get a coupon for $5 off your meal in January.
TGI Friday’s Free $5 Bonus Card when you buy $25 worth of gift cards.
Outback Steakhouse Free $20 Bonus Card with the purchase of each $100 worth of gift cards.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen Free $10 Reward Card with the purchase of $50 worth of Pappas Gift Cards until December 24. (The free reward card is then valid from January 1 – February 28.)
Landry’s Restaurant Free $10 Reward Card for every $50 worth of Landry’s gift cards you buy.
Chipotle free food with a $30 or more gift card purchase through December 31. Take the purchase receipt into the restaurant by January 31, 2013, and choose a free burrito, bowl, order of tacos, or salad.
The Taco Bell Gift Card Promotion is a free menu item worth up to $5 when you buy $20 worth of gift cards.
50% Off Gift Cards for first-time Saveology customers only are available at these links for:
* Papa John’s Pizza
* Burger King, Applebees, Dunkin Donuts, Boston Market, Landry’s, Domino’s Pizza, and Subway
* Red Lobster and Olive Garden
These are national deals so select National if they ask you to pick a city while ordering. Click the screen outside the box requesting your email address if you want to see the deal before signing up.
Del Taco gift cards come with free food! Basically, for each $25 value on the card you get a coupon valid for a free Del Taco Combo Meal, so it’s one free meal on a $25 card and four free meals with a $100 card. If you opt for the online exclusive $100 Black Card you get a free $25 Gift Card instead.
$5 Texas Roadhouse Certificate when you buy gift cards worth $30 or more online at their website.
Carl’s Jr Freebie Get a coupon for a free Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich with a minimum $5 gift card purchase.
CiCi’s Pizza Free Buffet with every purchase of $25 worth of gift cards.
Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes free meal pass with every $50 gift card purchased by December 31.
Genghis Grill Free $5 Gift Card when you buy a $25 gift card.
Orange Julius Free Smoothie when you buy a $15 gift card in December.
Red Robin $5 Bonus Bucks Reward when you spend $25 on a gift card. The bonus bucks can be redeemed between January 1 and February 28, 2013.
Pay $10 for a $25 Restaurant.com Gift Card to email or print instantly, or for physical cards delivered free by mail. Customize cards with a gift message, and the recipient chooses from thousands of participating restaurants nationally to redeem their certificate. Note that there a minimum spend in restaurants, so your recipient will have to top up a little, but they’ll still get $25 off their check. The discounted Restaurant.com gift cards are available for other amounts too, including $2 for a $5 card, $20 for a $50 card, and $40 for a $100 card.
Shopping and General Gift Cards
The Children’s Place free $10 eGift Card for every $40 worth of eGift Cards you send. The offer is valid until December 31.
Groupon Gift Certificates are a good way to make your gift money go further. Each certificate is usually worth at least double the face value to the person who redeems it, and there are plenty of restaurants, and other deals and experiences with local Albuquerque businesses they can choose from!
For every $20 worth of Thrift Town Gift Cards you buy, they’re handing out a set of bonus coupons for $20 of savings. The offer is good till December 31, 2012, while supplies last.
Bonus Bed and Breakfast Free $25 Gift Card with every 1oo you spend on a B&B gift card in December, using the promo code: BBCHEER25 at checkout. You can then use the card you buy and the additional freebie on a single BedAndBreakfast.com reservation. Participating B&B’s that take the gift cards in Albuquerque include Los Poblanos, Bottger Mansion, Chocolate Turtle, Mauger Estate, and several more, plus B&Bs in Santa Fe, Taos, and elsewhere. Find all the 4,000+ inns nationwide where you can use the gift cards at the BedAndBreakfast.com free bonus card promo page.
50% Off Gift Cards for first-time Saveology customers only are available at these links for:
* Sears, iTunes, The Children’s Place, and Bath & Body Works
* Old Navy
Godiva Chocolate Free $10 Reward Card when you spend $50 or more at Godiva through December 24, 2012. If you’re a real mad chocoholic, the deal is two $10 reward cards when you spend $100, three $10 reward cards with a $150 purchase, and four $10 reward cards when you spend $200 or more.
Amazon Gift Cards No discounts here but their email gift cards, customizable with your own photo if you choose, are about the easiest way to send love if you’re running late on mailing gifts. Or they’ll mail an Amazon physical gift card to the recipient in a greetings card, with free one-day shipping!
NOTE: If buying a card to be mailed to recipients, check delivery dates with each merchant if you want it to arrive by Christmas.
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–Tania. FYI This post contains some affiliate links to plug you straight to those deals.