Feb 142014

Charleston on the Cheap is looking for an editor and publisher. If you’d like to run a business as Charleston’s top maven of deals, discounts and free events, send your credentials to Teresa Mears, publisher of Living on the Cheap. The ideal candidate has experience in journalism or marketing, knows the city well and has an interest in owning and operating his or her own small business. Charleston on the Cheap is part of Living on the Cheap, a collective of website publishers who work together and adhere to a set of journalistic and ethical standards.

Apr 232014

Through Wednesday, April 23, Chili’s is offering customers a free dessert with the purchase an adult entrée. Dessert options at Chili’s include the new Cinnamon Molten Cake, Molten Chocolate Cake, Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie, Brownie Sundae and Cheesecake (options may vary by location).

This deal is for dine-in customers only. You’ll need this printable coupon.

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Apr 232014

Through May 4, Longhorn Steakhouse is offering customers a discount on lunch or dinner. The first deal is good for a $3 discount on two adult lunch entrées (Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). To get the discount, you’ll need this printable coupon.

The second deal is good for a $4 discount on two adult dinner entrées or a $2 discount on one adult dinner entrée. You’ll need this printable coupon to get the dinner discount.

FYI, I had a little bit of trouble getting the coupons to come up in Internet Explorer, so if you get an error message, try another browser (I had no trouble with Chrome).

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Apr 212014

Ice cream is always a sweet treat. However, it’s even sweeter, when it’s a good deal. From Tuesday, April 22, to Thursday, April 24, Baskin-Robbins is scooping some savings, as part of its Scoop Fest 2014. For $1, get a kids scoop; for $2, get two scoops; and for $3, get three scoops at participating locations. The combinations are endless, as you can choose from the ice cream shop’s famous 31 flavors, including classics like Mint Chocolate Chip, Very Berry Strawberry, Pralines ‘n Cream, Jamoca Almond Fudge and so many more — 27 to be exact. Plus, you can also sample its new The Amazing Spider-Man 2 flavor. For locations, click here. Price and participation may vary.

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Apr 212014

America’s Best Idea — our national parks — is even better when they’re free! Mark your calendar now for entrance fee-free dates for the coming year. On these dates, FREE entrance is available to 133 National Parks across the country that normally charge a fee. During the free-free days, the parks waive entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservations, camping, tours, concessions and fees collected by third parties are not included in this promotion.

2014 National Parks entrance fee-free dates

  • January 20, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 15-17, Presidents Day weekend
  • April 19-20, opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25, National Park Service Birthday
  • September 27, National Public Lands Day
  • November 11, Veterans Day

Here is just a sample of what you can do during Free Entrance Days in the National Parks:

  • Cabrillo National Monument in California lies at the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, just west of the city of San Diego. The Visitor Center features the “Age of Exploration” exhibit, films, and ranger-guided programs with interesting insights into the history of Cabrillo. Features of the park include views of the harbor and city of San Diego, whale watching in January and February, and birding is popular year round.
  • Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah has famous fossil finds, dramatic river canyons, mysterious petroglyphs and endless opportunities for adventure. Kids can earn a special Junior Ranger Paleontology badge by completing age-appropriate activities.
  • Yellowstone in Montana is our nation’s first National Park. Popular activities include picnicking, fishing and hiking. The park features the largest active geyser field in the world, including Old Faithful, along with amazing wildlife. Be sure to consult the Yellowstone National Park Trip Planner.
  • The Grand Canyon in the northwest corner of Arizona and close to the borders of Utah and Nevada, provides many opportunities to learn about nature, science and history. Take a tour with a park ranger. Visit one of the many Information Centers. Watch a park orientation film (it starts every half hour from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily). Use your cell phone for a fun way to learn about the park and listen as park rangers give two-minute audio tours at points of interest on the South Rim. (During winter, South Rim roads are open, but are snow-packed and icy in places. Call 928-638-7496 for updated road conditions recording.)
  • Padre Island National Seashore southeast of the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. The park protects 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats teeming with life. It is a safe nesting ground for the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle and a haven for 380 bird species. It also has a rich history, including the Spanish shipwrecks of 1554.
  • Everglades National Park in Florida is America’s third largest National Park at 1.5 million acres. The park provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther. Popular activities include photographing birds, hiking and observing wildlife, and ranger-guided tours.
  • Especially for Kids. At participating National Parks, kids can participate in the Junior Ranger program. Participating parks provide a FREE booklet that describes all sorts of age-appropriate activities in the park. When they’ve completed the tasks, they are awarded an official Junior Ranger badge.

Entrance fees to extremely popular parks are in the $20 to $25 range for private cars. Many of the smaller parks, historical sites and recreational areas have lower fees, and 265 sites are always free. Another way to save if you’re planning a trip that includes multiple national parks, is to consider the $80 annual pass that provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other Federal lands – more than 2,000 in all.

Find a Park by going to the National Park Service website and using the search tool or interactive map. You can search for parks in your state or parks that feature activities you like, such as camping, fishing or hiking, as well as educational programs and historic sites.

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