Archive for December, 2008 – find a workout buddy or activity partner so you can keep your diet and fitness New Year’s resolution

Posted on December 29, 2008. Filed under: Health & Beauty, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

It’s that time of year.  If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to exercise more,  get in shape, improve your health, lose weight, expand your social network or meet new friends and activity partners, then this free to register site may be a good resource for you.

The Network is designed to help people from all across the United States & Canada find other people in their local area to exercise within any healthy activity.

Why Join?

  • You need to find a friend to exercise with you in your favorite activity!
  • A friend that will keep you motivated in a fun and positive way.
  • Friends challenge and push you to succeed no matter your skill level.
  • Connecting with friends in the Network is FREE.

Why Do I Need Exercise Friends?
The number one reason most people don’t start (or end up stopping) their exercise fitness clubs & gyms, people usually post a 3×5 card on a cork board in their gym describing their availability, fitness level and workout preferences. Finding a friend can be cumbersome, as your best friend could be waiting for you on a cork board in another gym routine is they lose motivation. One of the primary ways the fitness and health community suggest to stay motivated is to have friends that exercise with you. They help keep you motivated when you’re not (and vise versa). The Network is the easiest way to find a like minded friend to exercise with!

The Network makes it easy to see who wants to be contacted about working out and exercising. They are the leading online service that quickly and easily matches and introduces workout friends to each other based on activity, skill level, age, and personality.

  • Friends motivate! Once you’re there it is easy to exercise.
  • Find a workout / fitness partner on the Network.
  • Exercise friends will help to get you off the couch.
  • The Network is for every shape, every activity & every age. Basically, this Network is for everybody.
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Merry Christmas from the BudgetMaven

Posted on December 24, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

ElfYouself! You can make and email your own animated holiday greeting card starring you and your family members for free courtesy of OfficeMax and JibJab. If you want to download and keep it, it will cost $4.99.

You can check out my disco version here (yep, that’s really me):

Merry Christmas everyone!

p.s. the link to the free online video version will expire January 15, 2009.

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December 18th is Free Shipping Day

Posted on December 16, 2008. Filed under: Bargain Shopping, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Holiday shopping procrastinators now have a day designed especially for them. The inaugural Free Shipping Day ( – which is set for December 18, 2008, and will be an annual event – is a reward for people who wait until the last minute to cross those final gifts off their list.

On Free Shipping Day participating merchants give free shipping to online shoppers with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.

Retailers have embraced the idea, which was hatched by Luke Knowles, founder of (, a one-stop destination for consumers to find online retailers that offer free shipping deals. Participating merchants include brands like Bloomingdale’s, Brookstone, Circuit City, Coldwater Creek, Crate & Barrel,, Nordstrom, Sur La Table, Target and Zappos.

Black Friday, which is the frenetic time when consumers descend upon stores the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, which commemorates the Monday after Thanksgiving when people return to their offices and surf the Internet for deals, are now a part of American pop culture. Knowles believes it is natural that Free Shipping Day will also become part of our nation’s holiday shopping vocabulary.

“Simply put, Free Shipping Day is the last chance for many people to buy gifts and get them delivered to the intended recipient in a nick of time,” Knowles explained. “We are a nation of procrastinators, so I think that Free Shipping Day will become a popular annual event.”

There is also a need among retailers for an event like Free Shipping Day, Knowles believes.

“Numbers show that online shopping dramatically slows after December 12th. Free Shipping Day will encourage people to continue buying items online later into the month of December,” Knowles said. “Free Shipping Day has the potential to increase pre- Christmas online sales by hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years.”

Next year’s Free Shipping Day will be selected in January 2009, Knowles says. There is no cost for retailers or shoppers to participate.

“Every year, we will consult with participating retailers to determine the latest possible day in the Christmas shopping season that they can offer free shipping and guarantee delivery by December 24th,” Knowles said. “Free Shipping Day will typically fall somewhere between December 17th and 19th.”

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Time and Money Saving Tips and Services on Holiday Shipping with the USPS

Posted on December 10, 2008. Filed under: Bargain Shopping, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Order Flat-Rate Boxes.  Check holiday mailing dates.  Request free package pickup.  All at a time and day convenient to U.S. Postal Service customers. One click does the trick at

Here are some time-saving tips and free services to help make the holidays a little brighter:

FREE package pickup: Don’t fight Mother Nature. Stay inside where it’s nice and warm and let the Postal Service do what it does best — pick up and deliver mail. Prepare Priority Mail and Express Mail packages then notify us online at that they’re ready to be picked up. Free package pickup is available from home or office, regardless of the weather. Unlike other shipping companies, there is no fee for the service.

FREE eco-friendly boxes and envelopes: Send a very “green” holiday message across town or around the world when sending Priority Mail and Express Mail packages and envelopes. The U.S. Postal Service is the only mailing or shipping company in the nation to achieve “Cradle to Cradle”SM Certification for human and environmental health. These supplies are 100 percent recyclable. To make it even easier, the same box can be used for domestic or international mail.

FREE shipping supplies: Tape, labels, international mailing products, even customs forms are available online at — at no charge. Chose from a variety of Priority Mail and Express Mail envelopes and packages, including the popular Flat-Rate Box, and Priority Mail boxes for mailing videos, DVDs or CDs.  Stop wasting time searching for a cardboard box or abandoned shoe box. Everything you need is online and can be shipped to your home or office.

FREE military CareKits: The Postal Service has created a special mailing and shipping kit designed specifically for military families sending packages overseas. Each CARE KIT contains two Priority Mail boxes, six Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes, eight Priority Mail labels, one roll of Priority Mail tape and eight customs forms with envelopes. Call 1-800-610-8734 and ask for the CARE KIT.

For your convenience and courtesy of the USPS, here is a shipping options fact sheet:


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Free Shipping Coupons and Coupon Codes to over 850 Stores

Posted on December 7, 2008. Filed under: Bargain Shopping, Personal Finance | Tags: , , | is the premiere free shipping resource on the internet. It is a site with one simple goal, to save online shoppers money by providing them with a list of trusted online retailers who are offering free shipping coupons.

Smart online shoppers have always known the cost of shipping can make the difference between a good deal and a great deal.  But finding out which online retailers are offering free shipping deals has not always been easy, and it can be very time consuming.  Here you can find free shipping coupons and coupon codes to over 850 Stores.

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25 Days of Free Holiday Song downloads from

Posted on December 3, 2008. Filed under: Entertainment, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

25 Days of Free Holiday MP3 Song downloads

For your listening pleasure and if you want to put together a holiday music compilation, every day through December 25, Amazon is unveiling a new holiday song available to download free for a limited time. Check back daily to see what’s next.

Here is a link to yesterday’s free download of the song Elf’s Lament by the Bare Naked Ladies (one of my very favorite bands!)  For the more traditional tunes, also download the free Amazon Holiday Sampler featuring artists like Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, the Beach Boys, and more,

Subscribe to The Amazon MP3 Download weekly newsletter to find out about free song downloads, new releases and hot digital music deals first.

Thanks Amazon!

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