San Francisco Bay Area

3 New or Noteworthy Things with Freecycle.org: Growth, Mobile Access, and Browser Plug-ins

Posted on June 7, 2009. Filed under: Home & Garden, San Francisco Bay Area, Software & Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

freecycle_logo

Freecycle.org is a “globally local”  online network helping millions of people to recycle and keep stuff out of landfills. This nonprofit gifting movement enables individuals to gift items in their local communities rather than to throw them away.  If you’re not already familiar with Freecycle™,  I wrote an article back in July, 2008 about how Freecycle works.  Here is a very cute Flash slide show about using Freecycle (click on a slide to advance it)

So what’s new and noteworthy with Freecycle.org?

1. The Growth of Freecycle

According to Freecycle.org, it has now  expanded to more than  6.5 million members and over 10,000 volunteers who devote their time and energy to this worthy cause.  Freecycle creates a circle of giving in each of its local communities around the world.  Members are gifting over 20,000 items every day.

The Freecycle Network™ is currently growing at the rate of over 45,000 new members each and every week.  In 2007, Yahoo first noted that Freecycle became the third most searched environmental term on the planet just behind “global warming” and “recycling” and ahead of “earth.”

2.  Freecycle.org Has Gone Mobile – “No Computer Required”

In May,  2009 Freecycle announced it is now available to use on mobile devices following an agreement with Nokia, the world’s largest mobile device company.  The move expands the global gifting network beyond the constraints of the computer to
people’s mobile phones in over 85 countries around the world.

Founder, Deron Beal states that, “The goal is to make it easier to give an item away than to throw the item away, thus keeping good stuff out of landfills and helping Mother Nature. Nokia’s design and support of our new mobile phone functionality makes it easier than ever – no computer required!”

You can access Freecycle’s mobile website simply by typing mobile.freecycle.org into your mobile phone’s browser.

3.  Freecycle Now Has Support for Browser Plug-ins

These plugins are free software which make it easier to use Freecycle groups and get your messages right the first time. There are two versions of this plugin for the two most common browsers: Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. You can find out more and download the plug-ins on the wiki page here.

The project is a collaboration between Edward and Nigel Mundy,
moderator on Eastbourne Freecycle.

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Meetup.com – Connect with Like-minded People

Posted on June 3, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, Low Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Software & Technology, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Meetup.com is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face.  Meetup leverages online technology to allow like-minded people to self-organize to get together offline.

Meetup groups exist in over 4000 cities and 100 countries, making it a truly local and global phenomenon.  Other key statistics as of this posting:

  • Monthly visitors: 5 million
  • Members: 4.7 million
  • Monthly RSVPs: 1.7 million
  • Monthly Meetups: 102,000
  • Local groups: 46,315
  • Meetup Topics: 4,916

Meetup members are creating impact in their communities via activism, volunteerism, social interaction and just good clean fun.  Meetup is free to join and if you don’t see a group focused on what you’re interested in near where you live,  you can start one or join a waiting list.  Categories and example types of groups include:

  • Arts & Entertainment (Book Club, Dance, Movie Fans)
  • Business & Career (Networking, Entrepreneur, Small Business)
  • Community & Lifestyles (Personal Growth, Vegetarian)
  • Culture & Languages (Law  of Attraction, Spanish Language)
  • Health & Support (Meditation, Fitness)
  • Hobbies (Travel, Dining Out, Scrapbooking)
  • Internet  & Technology (Web Design, Digital Photography)
  • Parenting & Family (Stay at Home Moms, Play Groups)
  • Pets & Animals (Dog Rescue, Small Dog Breeds)
  • Religion & Beliefs  (Spirituality, Metaphysics)
  • Science (Alternative Energy, Consciousness)
  • Sports & Recreation (Adverturers, Hiking, Mountain Biking)

Depending on the nature or location, some group get togethers and activities might cost money, some are free.  For example, if you join a movie buff group, and the group is meeting to see a new film, you would be expected to pay your own admission at a theater.  If you join a Board Gamers group,  they may meet at a local restaurant (so there may be a minimum dollar order required for use of the space) or meet in a host’s livingroom  (where snacks or refreshments may or may not be served, BYO or something to share).  If you joined a local women’s clothing, shoe and accessories swap group, you’d have to bring gently used items or that NWT outfit, two sizes too small that you never wore to swap.  Gotta love that closet shopping.

Maybe I’ll see you at one of the Meetups!

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Smithsonian FREE Museum Day: Saturday, September 26, 2009

Posted on June 1, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, For Parents, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Save the date!

The participating museums around the country are not listed yet, but once again, Smithsonian is sponsoring a FREE museum day, on Saturday, September 26, 2009.  Check back here for more details and how to get your museum pass.

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Target sponsoring FREE Admission Passes to Museums Across U.S.

Posted on May 31, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Free Admission Passes To Museums Across The Country
Target is sponsoring free entry to select museums and activities on certain days in Arizona, California, Colorado, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington

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Visit the Intel Museum – free admission and free classes for kids

Posted on April 29, 2009. Filed under: Education, Entertainment, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , , , |

Fun Filled Explorations at the Intel Museum

If you live in or are visiting the San Francisco Bay area or Silicon Valley, visit the kid friendly Intel Museum.

Explore what it’s like inside an ultra-clean, highly automated silicon chip fabrication facility (fab); travel through Intel silicon history from Intel’s first microprocessor, the 4004, to today’s processors based on Intel’s 45nm High-k silicon technology; write your name in binary code; “get digitized” by creating a digital postcard; and more!

Experience the exciting world of silicon technology at the Intel Museum. Explore binary code,circuits, robots and more with fun filled classes! After your class, take a self guided tour of the Intel Museum to learn how silicon is at the heart of an ever expanding, increasingly connected digital world, changing the way people work, learn, play, and communicate.

Participate in hands-on Saturday science classes designed especially for children such as:

  • Schematics, Switches, and Circuits (ages 9 and up) Learn to decode schematics and understand basic circuitry as you build items such as a cool doorbell chime or active burglar alarm.
  • Binary Beading (ages 7 and up) What is binary code and how do computers use it? You’ll find out and have a chance to code your initials in a beaded key chain.
  • Musical Greeting Card (ages 7 and up) Learn about open and closed circuits while making a musical greeting card you get to take home.
  • Build a Remote Control Rover (ages 9 and up) Successfully build a circuit and you’ll be able to test drive and race a remote control rover.

Class times (check website for updated info):
Tuesday and Thursday Sessions: 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Saturday Sessions: 10:30 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Space is limited, reservations required. To make a reservation, call (408) 765-0503 or send an e-mail to museum@intel.com. Include child’s name, age, and telephone number and date and time of the session you would like your child to attend. Reservations close 48 hours in advance of the class. Parents must remain in the museum during the class. Classes last approximately45 minutes.

Admission and parking are free.

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Sign up for Goldstar Events – get discount and free tickets to sporting events, theater, concerts, comedy clubs, spa treatments and more

Posted on January 28, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, Low Money Fun, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

It’s free to sign up for Goldstar to get email updates and access to first-rate live entertainment tickets at half-price or better in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Diego, Orange County, San Jose and more!

How does the Goldstar service work?
When you sign up and become a member of Goldstar, you will tell Goldstar what kinds of live entertainment you like and the areas where you live, work and play, or are traveling to, and they’ll deliver dozens (or even hundreds) of half-price offers to comedy, music, theatre, sports, spas and more.

Goldstar will then tell you about event offers that match your preferences. Members get a weekly email summary of events with Goldstar’s special pricing, and if you also sign up for email alerts, you get late-breaking event offers tailored to you.

It doesn’t cost anything to join, and you can do it in just a few seconds. You’ll be getting out to great live entertainment and having a good time with friends and family right away.

To give you an even better idea of how you can save money and do fun things by joining Goldstar, here are some examples of discount events that were included in my most recent email alert for where I live in the San Francisco Bay area:

– SAP Open: World-class Men’s Tennis Full Price: $48.00 – $62.00    Goldstar Price: $29.00 – $40.00
This year’s tournament features defending champion Andy Roddick, plus Juan Martin del Potro, James Blake, and more international tennis stars

Stars on Ice! Iceskating’s Superstars Full Price: $45.00 Goldstar Price: $25.00 See the best of skating from Olympic and World Champion skaters performing their best routines. Sasha Cohen, Todd Eldredge, Ilia Kulik and many more skating superstars

Giants baseball game tickets Full Price: $17.00 – $35.00   Goldstar Price: $10.00 – 20.00

FREE admission to acts at local comedy clubs instead of full price $12.00 – $17.00

Extranomical Adventures’ Wine Lover’s Tour:
Customizable Full-Day Wine Tasting
Full Price: $129.00    Goldstar Price: $64.50 Sample the wines of Napa and Sonoma Wine Country on a full-day tour. The Wine Lover’s Tour is a semi-private, semi-customizable tour, which will visit 4 to 6 wineries.

discounts on local spa services like massages and facials

half price tickets to various plays and concerts at multiple local and regional theater companies and venues.

If you like live entertainment but settle for a movie or DVD more often than you’d like, you might be interested in joining Goldstar Events. Join now for free today by clicking here and you’ll never say you’re bored and there is nothing to do again.

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Earth911.com – how and where to recycle almost everything

Posted on January 7, 2009. Filed under: San Francisco Bay Area, Software & Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Earth911.com is your one-stop shop for all you need to know about reducing your impact, reusing what you’ve got and recycling your trash, including:

  • Paper
  • Metal
  • Hazardous
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Household
  • Garden
  • Construction

They’ve Got the Hookup

In their recycling database, they can help you find over 100,000 recycling locations across the country. With information provided by local governments, industry insiders, organizations and everyday consumers, you can recycle hundreds of products from packing peanuts to computers. They know where you need to go to get things done.

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eXerciseFriends.com – 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 eXerciseFriends.com 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 eXerciseFriends.com 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 eXerciseFriends.com Network is the easiest way to find a like minded friend to exercise with!

The eXerciseFriends.com 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 eXerciseFriends.com Network.
  • Exercise friends will help to get you off the couch.
  • The eXerciseFriends.com Network is for every shape, every activity & every age. Basically, this eXerciseFriends.com Network is for everybody.
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CitySkoop.com – find local sales, specials and promotions,

Posted on November 19, 2008. Filed under: Bargain Shopping, Cooking and Eating, Entertainment, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Low Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , , |

CitySkoop.com

Shopping SalesRestaurant PromotionsSpa & Fitness Deals

Sign up for FREE to win a $400 gift card!

WHAT IS CITYSKOOP.COM? CitySkoop.com is your source for local sales, specials and promotions.

Find Clothing & Furniture sales up to 80% off, Restaurants offering half price wine and food nights, discounts on Spa & Fitness services, Hotel specials and much more!

WHY SIGN UP? Membership is FREE and gives you the following benefits:

  • Deal Alert Newsletter – be the first to hear about hot deals
  • Save listings to your private folder
  • Email listings to your friends and family
  • Chance to win a $400 Gift Card* to a local business
    • Currently your choice of Best Buy, Mastro’s Steakhouse, The Palm or Bloomingdale’s

WHAT YOU’LL FIND

  • Food & Drink Promotions – Half-off wine nights, special holiday meals, happy hour specials, drink specials, Restaurant Week menus and more!
  • Shopping Deals – Sample sales, trunk shows, warehouse sales, holiday sales and more for Women’s Clothing, Men’s Clothing, Kids & Toys, Sporting & Outdoor and Pets.
  • Body & Beauty Deals – Spa discounts, special spa packages, salon discounts, yoga and pilates deals, fitness center discounts and more!
  • Home & Garden – Furniture sales, floor sample sales, lighting discounts and home and garden decor deals.
  • Travel – Hotel and Resort discounts, airline deals and promotions.
  • Online Shopping Deals – Clothing sales, electronics discounts, sporting goods sales, shoe sales and more!

WHERE CITYSKOOP IS LOCATED Look for them in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and San Diego. Coming soon to Las Vegas, Boston, Miami and Atlanta.

Membership is FREE, so sign up today!!

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Grocery Outlet and salvage grocery stores

Posted on October 11, 2008. Filed under: Bargain Shopping, Cooking and Eating, San Francisco Bay Area | Tags: , , , , |

Shop at  salvage grocery stores and feed a family of four on $3 a day.

A salvage grocery store is a store that usually sells all the groceries returned by a supermarket to their warehouse. Why were they returned? Sometimes due to a case getting dropped or punctured which ruins one or two cans or boxes. Sometimes due to a manufacturer overestimating how many of an item to produce. Sometimes due to a label change or warehouse closing. For whatever reason these excess goods must be sold. Items whose packaging is compromised are discarded and the rest sent out by the truckload to end up for sale at your local salvage grocery store.

Headquartered in Berkeley, California, Grocery Outlet currently encompasses over 133 independently operated stores in 6 Western States.  Click here for their store finder page. Typically, Grocery Outlets are located in cities large and small and in all kinds of neighborhoods. . I have shopped at the store in Redwood City and also the two in San Jose.  I love shopping here, every trip is like a treasure hunt.  My big score last trip was all kinds of Nestle morsels (dark chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, etc.) for only $1.50 per package in anticipation of my holiday baking. On top of their discounted prices, they also take manufacturer coupons.

The only downside is that when you find something you really like, it might not be there again. I bought some packages of Aidell’s Ginger and Mango turkey sausage cheap . I grilled them at a BBQ with some friends.  Everyone raved about the sausage, it was fantastic.  I went back to buy more, but alas, it was all gone. I can’t even find it at any of the regular grocery stores near me.

There is a great downloadable brochure on feeding a family of four on $3 per day on the Grocery Outlet  web site with menus and recipes.

Last night, Inside Edition had a story about getting groceries for less by shopping at salvage grocery stores. You can read it here:

Here is a directory listing of State by State U.S. Discount and Salvage Grocery Stores

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