Where can a cheapskate get a free car wash on his/her birthday? I made more than a dozen calls to find three and will do a follow-up for those I left out if you contact me. The Downtowner Car Wash (520 E. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-222-7045, www.Downtownercarwash .com/coupon.cfm) offers a free Gold wash ($21 value) within a week of your birthday. The Mermaid Car Wash (901 Louisiana Av. S., Golden Valley, 763-544-9700) allows a free Pelican wash ($13 value) on your birthdate only. Dan's Nicollet Carwash (5925 Nicollet Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-869-5812, www.danscarwash.com) offers its Great wash ($13 value) if you sign up at the website and sign up for the e-mail birthday club. Just missed your birthday? Try the inexpensive $3 drive-through wash at Jim's Chicago Service (5400 Chicago Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-823-9913). It isn't brushless, but it's cheap.Target lightens up
I heard from many Target supporters after my recent articles about Target vs. Wal-Mart. Clearly, Target wants to keep you as customers and win some of the defectors back. Target's new policy on returns without a receipt starts Friday. Shoppers can now return, without a receipt, multiple items that total $70 within a year. The old policy was two unreceipted items within a year as long as each was less than $35 in value. Still not good enough? Then avoid the situation by paying with a credit or debit card, a check or a gift card (keep it even with a zero balance). Target's receipt lookup system is a big advantage that Wal-Mart doesn't offer.
Target is considering a return to its ad-match policy, too. Stores in Medina and downtown Minneapolis will match current ads from a competitor. Target dropped its ad-match policy in 2002. There are a few exclusions, similar to Wal-Mart's, but if all goes well, Target plans to expand it nationwide by fall.Cheap and free entertainment at the U
Reader Diane Smith sent in this money-saving tip at the University of Minnesota. "My husband and I often take advantage of the excellent and usually free entertainment choices at Ted Mann Hall, Ferguson Hall and the Rarig Center. Additional choices include art exhibits, lectures and cultural events. These venues host undergraduate and graduate individual music recitals, symphony concerts, jazz ensemble concerts, choral concerts and other music, dance and theater performances. Most of these events are free, and often the audience is composed of some other students and the performer's family. My impression is that anyone is a welcome addition to the audience." For an events calendar, go to events.umn.edu.