Roanoke Times: Shoptimist



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Thursday 10/01/2015
Updated: October 01, 2015 - 10:31 am
Free (indoor) things to do around Roanoke this weekend

Obviously, we're glued to Kevin Myatt's weather reports for the latest on Hurricane Joaquin and potentially flooding rains, which have already prompted cancellations for outdoor events in our region.

Wednesday 09/30/2015
Posted: September 30, 2015 - 7:25 pm
Stock up report: Chicken breasts at Kroger, canned food at Food Lion

Even if you don't use coupons very often (like me), stockpiling your most-used groceries at the lowest prices is one of the best ways to save money.

Posted: September 30, 2015 - 1:15 pm
Hokies and Cavs: Show me your beautiful spirit fingers!

You know what I mean ... nails painted all the colors of your alma mater.

Posted: September 30, 2015 - 11:20 am
Sonic serves half-price ice cream Blasts on Wednesday

Sonic Drive In's occasional treat sales continue Wednesday, Sept. 30, with half-price Blasts.

Posted: September 30, 2015 - 8:15 am
5 takeaways from my trip to Aldi in Martinsville

The discount grocery store is set to open in Roanoke in November. I got a sneak peek in Martinsville. 

Monday 09/28/2015
Posted: September 28, 2015 - 5:35 pm
Latest Sam's Club deals include free membership for new moms

A couple of news flashes for folks who are looking into a new Sam's Club membership.

Posted: September 28, 2015 - 2:10 pm
Where to get National Coffee Day freebies on Tuesday

More perky news on this rainy Monday: Chains nationwide are offering free java on Tuesday, Sept. 29, which is National Coffee Day.

Posted: September 28, 2015 - 11:25 am
J.Crew sample sale returns to Lynchburg warehouse

Perhaps this might "prep" up your soggy Monday?

Monday 09/21/2015
Posted: September 21, 2015 - 8:15 am
If you shop these stores, then Plenti rewards are worth the work

Plenti is a free loyalty program that lets users earn rewards for purchases from a variety of businesses.

Friday 09/18/2015
Posted: September 18, 2015 - 8:15 am
Stock up report: Pillsbury tubes at Kroger, paper products at Target

What to stockpile at the grocery stores this week.

Thursday 09/17/2015
Updated: September 18, 2015 - 8:18 am
5 free things to do this weekend (some in pirate costume)

Ahoy, matey ... I found some free booty for the weekend.

Posted: September 17, 2015 - 8:15 am
How to get free Krispy Kremes, Long John Silver's on Talk Like A Pirate Day

A couple of restaurants around Roanoke are offering fried freebies for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is Saturday, Sept. 19.

Wednesday 09/16/2015
Posted: September 16, 2015 - 2:15 pm
Never Ending Pasta Pass back at Olive Garden, TGI Fridays serves Endless Apps

Attention, marathon eaters.

Posted: September 16, 2015 - 1:05 pm
Did you know these Kohl's shopping secrets?

I have shopped the Kohl's in Roanoke a grand total of three times since it moved into Hunting Hills Plaza four years ago, so I'm definitely no expert.

Posted: September 16, 2015 - 8:15 am
Watch *free* movies during Latino Film Festival at Grandin Theatre

Wednesday events aren't included in my lists of weekend freebies, but I didn't want you to miss the very first Latino Film Festival.

Tuesday 09/15/2015
Posted: September 15, 2015 - 1:20 pm
Roanoke County offers 'Little Known Secrets of Paying for College' seminars

Frankie Butler emailed an update on Oct.  2: The Oct. 21 class has filled up, and a Nov. 10 class was created to accommodate the wait list, he said. Call 540-772-7529 with questions.

Updated: September 15, 2015 - 10:51 am
Donate $2, get free food at Country Cookin

Country Cookin, the regional chain of restaurants based in Roanoke, is raising money for a couple different causes by offering some freebies.

Monday 09/14/2015
Posted: September 14, 2015 - 11:45 am
Groupon offers extra 25% discount on local deals

Groupon regularly offers extra discounts on their deals, but 25 percent is probably the highest I remember.

Friday 09/11/2015
Posted: September 11, 2015 - 10:05 am
Sam's Club offers free health screenings Saturday (no membership required)

This month's free health screenings at Sam's Club focus on diabetes.

Thursday 09/10/2015
Posted: September 10, 2015 - 4:05 pm
Olde Salem Days among free things to do this weekend

Olde Salem Days is the biggest free-admission event happening in the valleys this weekend. The 34th annual arts and crafts festival is expected to draw anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 shoppers depen...

Updated: September 10, 2015 - 6:19 pm
Friday: Free sandwich at Mission BBQ for fire, police, first responders

Mission BBQ at Towers Shopping Center in Roanoke is honoring Sept. 11 by giving away free sandwiches to fire, police and first responders on Friday.

Posted: September 10, 2015 - 8:15 am
Stock up report: Cheez-Its at Kroger, diapers at Target

Even if you don't use coupons very often (like me), stockpiling your most-used groceries at the lowest prices is one of the best ways to save money.

Wednesday 09/09/2015
Posted: September 09, 2015 - 2:05 pm
Now's the time to shop if you want to gingerbread your house

You'll need the bouncy balls of summer in order to create giant lollipops.

Posted: September 09, 2015 - 10:56 am
Starbucks alert: PSL is here (and now inside Target stores)

The popular seasonal drink (now made with real pumpkin) returned nationwide Tuesday.

Updated: September 10, 2015 - 2:58 pm
Don't forget to re-enroll in Kroger Community Rewards to support your school

The Kroger Community Rewards program benefits schools and other charitable causes.

Tuesday 09/08/2015
Posted: September 08, 2015 - 11:10 am
Get half-price cheeseburgers at Sonic on Tuesday

At least the work week is starting out with a cheesy deal.

Friday 09/04/2015
Posted: September 04, 2015 - 3:05 pm
Yeah, baby, yeah! 5 kids shopping events you should know about

Labor Day weekend seems an appropriate time to round up some upcoming sales for babies and children, so here goes:

Posted: September 04, 2015 - 8:15 am
Stock up report: Maximize savings during Kroger Mega Event

Even if you don't use coupons very often (like me), stockpiling your most-used groceries at the lowest prices is one of the best ways to save money.

Thursday 09/03/2015
Posted: September 03, 2015 - 12:45 pm
Free weekend events include Brad Paisley concert at Virginia Tech

How will you say goodbye to summer this holiday weekend? 

Wednesday 09/02/2015
Posted: September 02, 2015 - 2:28 pm
Updated: How to get meet-and-greet tickets to Wild Kratts Live, Sesame Street

Update (Sept. 2, 2:25 p.m.): The Berglund Center has just announced ticket information for the Wild Kratts show, which is happening Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Berglund Performing Arts Theatre.

Posted: September 02, 2015 - 1:50 pm
Elizabeth Arden warehouse sale dates for September 2015

We have the September dates for the Elizabeth Arden warehouse sale in Salem.

Posted: September 02, 2015 - 8:15 am
Learn how to shop for old in *new* Antiquing 101 class

Antiquing 101 will help us identify antiques and learn how they are appraised, even teach us how to bid at a live auction.

Tuesday 09/01/2015
Posted: September 01, 2015 - 5:25 pm
Amazon to let Prime members download videos

Shows will be downloadable to Apple and Android phones and tablets, including Amazon's Fire devices — but not desktops or laptops.

Posted: September 01, 2015 - 2:45 pm
How to cook a $1 steak from Dollar Tree

Have you seen the ribeye steaks at Dollar Tree?

Monday 08/31/2015
Posted: August 31, 2015 - 1:05 pm
10 ways to share your Hokies love with cake and chocolate

That's my father-in-law, Lem.

Thursday 08/27/2015
Posted: August 27, 2015 - 2:05 pm
Free things to do around Roanoke, NRV this weekend

The best things in life truly are free, including sharing good times with loved ones.

Posted: August 27, 2015 - 12:35 pm
Sara Lee, Great Value, Kroger bread recalled due to possible glass fragments

Brands affected include Sara Lee, Kroger, Great Value, Nature's Harvest, L'Oven Fresh and Bimbo.

Posted: August 27, 2015 - 8:15 am
Stock up report: Yogurt at Kroger, cookies at Walmart

Even if you don't use coupons very often (like me), stockpiling your most-used groceries at the lowest prices is one of the best ways to save money.

Tuesday 08/25/2015
Posted: August 25, 2015 - 2:13 pm
This week's free and cheap food: IHOP, Sonic, Olive Garden

I've updated the list with deals at Target and Sonic.

Posted: August 25, 2015 - 12:15 pm
Latest Berglund Center lesson: Prepare for $5 parking

In the past year, I've learned some valuable lessons about attending events at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, including:

Monday 08/24/2015
Posted: August 24, 2015 - 1:15 pm
ICYMI: Largest antique mall in the country in our back yard?

I've spent the morning catching up on a bunch of retail news from the weekend, and I zeroed in on nuggets especially for bargain hunters.

Posted: August 24, 2015 - 11:15 am
How to get BOGO tickets to Fall Home Show (and a 'grand' coupon)

The 20th annual Fall Home Show is coming to the Salem Civic Center September 26-27, and the hosts are offering buy-one-get-one-free tickets for a limited time.

Posted: August 24, 2015 - 8:15 am
J.Crew warehouse sale coming to Blacksburg

It’s prep rally time, Hokies!

Thursday 08/20/2015
Posted: August 20, 2015 - 3:47 pm
Stock up report: Pop-Tarts at Food Lion, Eggos at Kroger

Even if you don't use coupons very often (like me), stockpiling your most-used groceries at the lowest prices is one of the best ways to save money.

Posted: August 20, 2015 - 12:12 pm
Good idea: Save cheap crayons for stocking stuffers

These kinds of ideas tickle me pink.

Posted: August 20, 2015 - 8:15 am
Your weekend of *free* events is cleared for takeoff

Play a real version of 'Angry Birds' Thursday at the Taubman Museum; watch a free screening of 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' Friday at Daleville Town Center.

Wednesday 08/19/2015
Posted: August 19, 2015 - 10:55 am
Sonic serves slushes for 79 cents on Wednesday

Our crime reporter Amy Friedenberger is on top of breaking news of all kinds, including the latest deal from Sonic.

Posted: August 19, 2015 - 8:10 am
Roanoke needs more train whistle

Perhaps I'm not invited to enough parties, but this train town could be doing more with wooden train whistles.

Tuesday 08/18/2015
Updated: August 21, 2015 - 11:27 am
Real pumpkin still won't make me drink Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Update (Aug. 21, 11:25 a.m.): The PSL will be available nationwide Tuesday, Sept. 8, according to NBC News.

Posted: August 18, 2015 - 8:05 am
How to survive the J.Crew sample sale in Lynchburg

Prepping for a day at an amusement park is exactly the best strategy to conquer a J.Crew sale. 

The Shoptimist
Stephanie Ogilvie

I'm a bargain-hunting mom who values time as much as money. Read more about my favorite stores and shopping style. Share your questions, tips and story ideas at I'm on Twitter, too: @smogilvie.

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