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Posts about Holiday shopping

Veteran's Day restaurant and retail deals

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: November 11, 2013 - 8:45 AM

Carrie Rocha of Pocket Your does a nice list of Veteran's Day deals every year. In addition to the list below, Dock 86 is offering 10% off with a military ID at its Little Canada and Rogers locations.

Restaurant Offers

5-8 Club (MN) — Free Burger
All veterans will be served a free burger all day at any 5-8 Club location (Champlin, Maplewood and Minneapolis). Please present your military ID at the time of ordering.

Applebee's Veterans Day

Applebee’s — Free Entree
Veterans and active duty military enjoy a free Applebee’s Signature Entrée. Find an Applebee’s location near you.

Bakers Square/Village Inn — Free Breakfast
Show your military ID or proof of military service to receive a free breakfast at Bakers Square or Village Inn, no purchase necessary. Choose from three Buttermilk Pancakes, a Belgian Waffle or three slices of French Toast. Find a Bakers Square location or a Village Inn location near you.

Bar Louie — Free Lunch or Dinner
Veterans and active military get free lunch or dinner (up to $12 value) on Sunday or Monday at Bar Louie with proof of military service. Find a Bar Louie location near you.

Boston Market — Free Whole Chicken w/Purchase
Veterans can purchase a Family Meal and get a free whole chicken with purchase. Must show military/veteran ID.

Buca di Beppo — Free Pasta
Through 11/11, Buca di Beppo is offering a free individual pasta for veterans and active duty military. Choose from Spaghetti Marinara, Fettuccine Alfredo or Baked Ziti. You must have the coupon that was sent to Buca eClub members (I can’t provide the link here). Find a Buca di Beppo location near you.

California Pizza Kitchen — Free Pizza
All veterans and active military can have a free pizza at California Pizza Kitchen. Enjoy any pizza from the menu when you bring in your military ID or proof of service, or just show up in uniform. Find a California Pizza Kitchen location near you.

Champps Veterans Day

Champps Americana — Free Burger + Fries
Veterans and active duty military enjoy a free handcrafted burger and fries all day. Show proof of service to receive this offer. Find a Champps location near you.

Cheeseburger in Paradise — Free Burger + Fries w/Purchase
Veterans and military personnel with appropriate ID (there’s a list here) get a free All-American Burger with Fries with beverage purchase of $1.99 or more at Cheeseburger in Paradise. Find a Cheeseburger in Paradise location near you (there are none in MN).

Chili's Veterans Day

Chili’s Bar & Grill — Free Entree
All veterans and active duty members get a free entree from a special menu at Chili’s. Must show proof of service.

Denny’s — Free Pancakes
Veterans enjoy free all-you-can-eat pancakes from 6am-2pm at Denny’s. Includes active, non-active or retired military personnel. (Thanks, Cha-Ching on a Shoestring!)

Einstein Bros. Bagels — Free Bagel & Shmear
All active, inactive and retired military personnel get a free bagel & shmear on Veterans Day at Einstein Bros. Bagels. No coupon necessary, just tell the cashier you’re a veteran. Limit 1 per guest. Find an Einstein Bros. Bagels location near you.

Famous Dave’s — Various Deals
Various Famous Dave’s locations nationwide are offering discounts for former and current military personnel (discounts vary according to location). Minnesota locations are offering a free Two Meat Salute or 10% off (depending on location).

Fazoli’s — Free Entree w/Purchase
Servicemen and women in uniform or with valid military ID will receive a free “Pick Your Pasta” entree with purchase of a drink from November 8-11 at Fazoli’s. Find a Fazoli’s location near you.

Golden Corral Veterans Day

Golden Corral — Free Dinner
Any person who has served in the U.S. military gets a free dinner at Golden Corral on Veterans Day from 4-9pm, no ID required. Find a Golden Corral location near you (there are none in MN).

Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Hinckley (MN) — Free Buffet
Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley will show their appreciation for military veterans a free lunch or dinner at the Grand Buffet. Lunch is served from 10am-3pm and Classic Dinner Buffet is served from 4-8pm at Mille Lacs, while lunch is served from 9am-3pm and Classic Dinner Buffet is served from 3-8:30pm at Hinckley.

Green Mill Veterans Day

Green Mill Restaurant & Bar — 50% Off
Veterans and active duty military save 50% on any entrée on the menu at Green Mill all day. Proof of military service includes uniform, military ID, military earnings statement or veterans organization member card.

Hooters — Free Meal
All veterans and active duty military receive a free meal (up to $10.99 value) with drink purchase at Hooters. Must present military ID or proof of military service. Find a participating Hooters location near you (there is one in the Mall of America).

Hy-Vee — Free Breakfast
Hy-Vee locations offer a free breakfast for veterans during regular breakfast hours. Find a Hy-Vee location near you.

IKEA — Free Entree
Active, reserve or retired service members get a free entree at IKEA this weekend (Saturday-Monday) when you show some form of military ID.

Krispy Kreme Veterans Day

Krispy Kreme — Free Doughnut + Small Coffee
Present your military ID or wear your uniform to receive a free small doughnut and small coffee at Krispy Kreme. Find a participating Krispy Kreme location near you.

Little Caesars — Free Crazy Bread
Active, retired or honorably discharged members of the military to get a free order of crazy bread at Little Caesars. Find a Little Caesars location near you.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant — Free Meal
Veterans receive a complimentary entree from a special menu on Sunday, 11/10 (note the date difference). All veterans must show official verification.

Menchie’s — Free Frozen Yogurt
Veterans and active duty military get a free cup of frozen yogurt (up to 6 oz.) on Veterans Day at Menchie’s with valid military ID or proof of service. Find a Menchie’s location near you.

Olive Garden Veterans Day

Olive Garden — Free Entree
All veterans and active duty military get a free entrée at Olive Garden. Family dining with them will also receive 10% off their meal. Find an Olive Garden location near you.

Outback Steakhouse — Free Bloomin’ Onion + Beverage
Veterans and active military can get a free Bloomin’ Onion and a beverage at Outback Steakhouse. Plus, starting 11/12 get a 10% military discount through the end of the year.

Perkins — Free Breakfast
Select Perkins restaurants are offering a free Magnificent Seven meal with presentation of any military ID on Veterans Day. Please note that not all Perkins restaurants are participating, so you’ll need to call ahead to see if the one you want to go to is. Find a Perkins location near you.

Red Lobster — Free Appetizer
Get a free appetizer with military ID from Monday-Thursday at Red Lobster.

Red Robin — Free Burger + Fries
Red Robin is giving away a free Tavern Double burger and bottomless Steak Fries to all veterans or active duty military who show their military ID, proof or service or who are in military uniform. Find a Red Robin location near you.

Starbucks free coffee Veterans Day

Starbucks — Free Coffee
All former and active duty service members and their spouses get a free tall brewed coffee at Starbucks, limit 1 drink per customer. Find a Starbucks location near you.

Texas Roadhouse — Free Lunch + Beverage
Active, former or retired military get a free lunch and soft drink/tea at Texas Roadhouse. Select 1 of 10 lunch features from their special Veterans Day menu. Be sure to bring your military ID, Veterans Affairs Card or discharge papers. Find a Texas Roadhouse location near you.

T.G.I. Friday’s — Free Lunch
TGI Friday’s is honoring all veterans and active duty military service members with a free lunch from 11am-2pm. Find a T.G.I. Friday’s location near you.

TravelCenters of America Veterans Day

TravelCenters of America — Free Meal
All CDL drivers who are also military vets get a complimentary meal of your choice (up to $15 value) at full-service restaurants in Travel Centers of America locations. Present proof of service at time of payment.

Treasure Island Resort and Casino (MN) — Free Buffet
Veterans and active military receive a free buffet at Tradewinds Buffet at Treasure Island Resort and Casino. Visit the Island Passport Club and show your military ID or discharge papers along with your Island Passport Club card (it’s free to join) to receive your special offer.

Retail Store Offers

Albertville Premium Outlets (MN) — Free Coupon Book
Members of the military, veterans and their families can show their IDs at the on-site Information Center all year long to receive a free VIP Coupon Book.

Bed, Bath & Beyond — 20% Off
Show your US military ID to get 20% off your entire purchase at Bed, Bath & Beyond from 11/9-11/11. Exclusions apply.

Big Lots — 10% Off
Veterans receive 10% off their entire purchase at Big Lots on Saturday, 11/9 (note the different date). Find a Big Lots location near you.

Cabela’s — Hometown Heroes Employee Discount
All veterans, active duty military and reserves as well as law enforcement, firefighters and EMS personnel get the employee discount at Cabela’s on 11/11 and 11/12. Just present your service ID at checkout to receive the discount which is good on virtually everything in the store.

Cost Plus World Market — 20% Off
US military veterans and spouses can show a valid form of ID to get 20% off your entire purchase at Cost Plus World Market this weekend (11/9-11/11). Excludes alcoholic beverages. Find a Cost Plus World Market location near you.

Great Clips Veterans Day

Great Clips — Free Haircut
Come in to Great Clips for a haircut on 11/11 and get a free haircut card to pass along to a U.S. veteran. Find a Great Clips location near you.

JCPenney — 20% Off
All current and former military personnel and family members get an extra 20% off at JCPenney through 11/11. Must present military ID or proof of services as well as this printable coupon.

Lowe’s — 10% Off
Veterans receive a 10% discount at Lowe’s on Veterans Day weekend.

The Redpear Salon (MN) — Free Haircut
Veterans and active duty military get a free haircut from 11/6-11/13 by showing your military ID at The Redpear Salon in Coon Rapids.

Sport Clips free haircut

Sport Clips — Free Haircut
Many Sport Clips locations will offer free haircuts to active-duty service members and veterans with valid proof of service. Find a participating Sport Clips location near you. (Thanks, Sea of Savings!)

Walgreens — 15-20% Off
Veterans Discount Day is 11/11 at Walgreens – veterans and active duty military save 20% off all Walgreens, W Brand and Nice! products and 15% off almost everything else. Find a Walgreens location near you.

Other Offers

Free Admission to National Eagle Center (MN)
The National Eagle Center in Wabasha offers free admission to all veterans and active duty service members from 11/9-11/11. There will be a flag raising ceremony on Saturday at 9:30am, and all attendees will receive free coffee and donuts.

national parks free entrance day

Free Admission to National Parks
More than 100 national parks that usually charge an entrance fee are offering free admission to everyone on Veterans Day weekend, November 9-11. Fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees. Find a National Park near you.

Free ARMagnets
In honor of Veterans Day, is giving away free military ARMagnets (a $23.95 value). Click on the Specialty tab, then select Army, Air Force or Marines ARMagnet. Use the coupon code VET2013 at checkout and your order will be free, flat-rate shipping of $10.00 not included. (Thanks, Brent!)

Free Car Washes
Veterans and military personnel can get a free car wash at various locations nationwide on November 11 as a part of the Grace for Vets program. Find a participating car wash near you. For our Minnesota readers, there are 37 participating locations in the state.

Free Night’s Stay at Select Bed & Breakfasts and Hotels
Select inns and B&Bs are offering a free night’s stay to active and retired military and one guest each. Space is limited, so be sure to make your reservation as soon as possible.

Nickelodeon Universe Veterans Day

Free Passes to Nickelodeon Universe (MN)
The American Red Cross and Mall of America/Nickelodeon Universe are donating a total of 1,500 free passes to Nickelodeon Universe theme park for access from 11am-4pm on Saturday, 11/10 (note the different date). Each family may request up to 4 passes (you can do so online right now) and tickets can be picked up starting at 10am.

Free Showing of Honor Flight
Present your military ID at Marcus Theatres to see Honor Flight free on Veterans Day. Find a participating Marcus Theatres location near you.

Free US Armed Forces MP3 Album
Get a free download of The Bands and Ensembles of the US Armed Forces Veterans Day Honor album from Amazon.

Free Veterans Day Event in Wayzata (MN)
Check out the Veterans Day salute at Heritage Park in Wayzata from 11am-2pm on Sunday (note the different date) with a patriotic ceremony at noon. Flags will be provided.

Free Veterans Day Program at Stans Museum (MN)
Saturday, 11/9 (note the different date) from 12-2pm there will be a free Veterans Day program at the Stans Museum in Shakopee. Check out patriotic crafts for kids from 12-1pm and a presentation by Tom Melchior from 1-2pm.

In Their Own Words Veterans Day

Free Veterans Museum Admission + Meal (MN)
In Their Own Words Veterans Museum in Perham, MN will have a free meal for veterans and their families as well as museum tours and drawings at 11am on Veterans Day.

Thanks to The Coupon Project and Military Wives Saving for some of these deals.

Your turn: What other Veterans Day freebies or discounts do you know of? Please leave a comment (including a link would be super helpful!) and we’ll add it to the list.

About Carrie Rocha

I am passionate about helping people live within their means so they can get out and stay out of debt. I live in Minneapolis, MN with my husband and two little girls.


  1. Hi Carrie,

    Great list you have here. We have some additions for you and your community! Our company is assisting in the roll out of 15 new deals for Veterans Day. The deals are nationwide and most extend well past Veterans Day.

    You can see all 15 new deals by going here:

    Or see the 30+ deals we’re protecting by going here:

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m happy to help. And thank you so much for your consideration on including these deals.

    Have a great day.

How cheap can we get for Father's Day?

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: June 13, 2013 - 9:30 AM


You probably know that Americans will spend less on Father's Day than Mother's Day. About 40 percent less, according to the National Retail Federation. We plan to spend about $120 this year on Dad compared to $168 for Mom last month.


But have you noticed how much lower the bar is set for dad? Pawn America is running television ads with owner Brad Rixmann suggesting that everything Dad likes can be found second hand at a pawn shop.


Local blogger Carrie Rocha of Pocket Your Dollars suggests a whole bunch of freebies and deals to take advantage of for Father's Day. Pottery Barn Kids and American Girl let kids make their own Father's Day cards. Ikea offers a free breakfast and TCBY a free yogurt.

if it's used or free, it's got Dad's name written all over it.


Labor Day deals: Angie's List, Cooks of Crocus Hill, local thrift stores

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: August 31, 2012 - 4:49 PM


Nearly every thrifter (thrift store shopper) knows of the 50 percent off sales on most holidays. Check your favorite store, but the big ones such as Unique, Savers and Arc's Value Village offer 50 percent off most items except new merchandise on Labor Day.

One of the best deals at the State Fair is the low price on Angie's List memberships. Get one year for $15, regularly $39. Multi-year memberships are $28 for two years, three years for $41 and four years for $54. I have yet to see a better deal during the year. The deal is offered through Labor Day at booth #51 in the Grandstand.

Cooks of Crocus Hill is having a storewide 20 percent off everything sale on Saturday and Sunday in St. Paul and Edina and Saturday through Monday in Stillwater. Exceptions: sale items, classes, electrics and cropshares.

Get 30 percent off online at Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy through Monday. Use discount code FALLCALLS.

Memorial Day sales and discounts

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: May 24, 2012 - 2:34 PM


Bargain hunters know that Memorial Day weekend sales aren't as enticing as the ones on July 4 or Labor Day, but there are deals worth checking out. Here's a list to start the weekend.  

Thursday, May 24, Dunn Bros coffee shops are giving away a Nut Goodie candy bar with a coffee purchase while supplies last at all locations between 3 and 6 p.m. Fifty cents will also be donated to PACER to benefit anti-bullying campaigns.

The weekend weather looks a bit dicey but Valleyfair honors military heroes Saturday through Monday by offering free admission to any member of the armed services, active or veteran. Members of the military can also purchase discounted tickets for members of their immediate family for $28.50 each (regularly $43). A valid military ID must be presented at the window to receive the offer. FYI--the same discount will be honored July 4.

Shoe Zoo in Minneapolis, a kids and women's shoe store begins its summer sale on Thursday, May 24. Save 10 to 80 percent on brands such as Naturino, Umi, Aster, Teva, Primigi, Skechers, Converse, Geox, Keen, Saltwater, New Balance, Lelli Kelly and Havaianas.

Garden sales: At least one garden sale is remaining the same this year. Jan Ehrlich, a sales rep for garden supplies, will hold a sample sale with discounts of 50 to 75 percent. Quantities are limited, but the selection includes cast stone animals and gnomes ($7 to $50, regularly $15 to $100), small to extra-large glazed pots ($4 to $80, regularly $10 to $180), 3- to 6-foot trellises ($6 to $20), cocoa moss hang- ing baskets, urns, topiary towers, arbors and selected herbs and perennials. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Ehrlich's home (330 8th Av. N., Hopkins, 952-934-6179). Cash and checks are accepted, but there will be no early sales.

The Wolf Garten/BlueStone garden tools sample sale in Golden Valley will not be held this year, but next year looks likely, said a sales rep.

Linder's has dropped its half-off-everything sales at the flower marts, but various sales at the marts will begin throughout June.

On Monday, stores such as Value Village, Savers, Salvation Army, Unique and Valu Thrift discount almost everything 50 percent. One exclusive feature at Value Village, with stores in Brooklyn Center, New Hope, Richfield and St. Paul, is its new rewards program ($10 to join but you get it back in an immediate $10 store credit). Get 10 points for each dollar spent, 200 points for each month you donate, and 400 for volunteering at one of the stores. Get $10 off anything except sale items for signing up and $10 more after 2,500 points have accrued.

At Premium Outlets in Albertville check out the holiday weekend deals listed on the website store by store or call your favorite one for details. Here are some highlights valid through Monday: 10 percent off factory-renewed products at Bose, 20 percent off storewide at Le Creuset (starts Friday), 30 percent off everything at Loft Outlet, 40 percent off the entire store at New York & Company, and 50 percent off the entire store at Puma.

You have until Memorial Day to save during Menards 11 percent off everything sale. Get the most bang for your buck by buying sale merchandise you need. If an item isn't on sale this week, consider waiting until Sunday for the new sale flier. Getting the 11 percent off requires you to send in a form and the original receipt for a store credit voucher.

You can still get the discount without the hassle of the mail-in rebate by taking Menards' 11 percent flier from Sunday's paper and asking Home Depot to match it. Sometimes the Depot will just take off the discount immediately, and sometimes it will give you the savings in a gift card. It depends on the cashier. Generally, if you purchase more than $50 worth of merch, you'll get a gift card. Purchase less than $50 and you'll get an immediate discount. It's because Home Depot doesn't allow gift cards under $5. Lowe's will not match Menards' rebate discounts but will match their regular or sale prices.

For a list of Memorial Day discounts,try one of the sites such as Gift Card Granny, which lists more than 140 nationwide. Check the comments for updates.

Presidents' Day deals in stores and online

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: February 20, 2012 - 4:25 PM

Anyone who can make a blanket statement that Presidents' Day deals aren't that great just isn't paying attention. Like any holiday, some are better than others. Here's a sampling:

Patio furniture at Home Depot. Save 50 percent on 43 choices, including 8 sets (multiple pieces) and many individual pieces. The best part? Free shipping to your home or store and free returns.

Bedding at Crate & Barrel: Save 20 percent on all bed linens, including Marimekko.

Pet supplies at On many products, EntirelyPets charges less than national pet store chains. The prices on Feliway diffusers, for example, are much cheaper than at PetSmart or Petco. use discount code CASHMONEY for an extra 15 percent off through Monday.

Clothes Mentor women's consignment stores: An extra 20 percent off everything Monday only.

Opitz Outlet: An extra 10 percent off everything at the women's and men's designer clothing outlet on Monday. Ten percent isn't much but Opitz rarely offers an extra discount.

J An extra 20 percent off online with discount code FABFEB.


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