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Recent Articles

Tuesday 02/09/2016
Posted: February 09, 2016 - 7:15 am
College students: Where to get *free* help with your FAFSA

The Great FAFSA Fill Out is happening Saturday, Feb. 13, at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke.

Monday 02/08/2016
Posted: February 08, 2016 - 7:15 am
Mountain View Humane offers $20 cat spays in February

Both the Roanoke and Christiansburg locations are offering $20 cat spays during the “Beat the Heat” campaign. 

Thursday 02/04/2016
Posted: February 04, 2016 - 12:55 pm
Elizabeth Arden warehouse sale dates for February 2016

After skipping the month of January, the Elizabeth Arden warehouse sale has returned this month in Salem.

Wednesday 02/03/2016
Posted: February 03, 2016 - 7:15 am
Free for kids this weekend: Harry Potter Night, Tons of Fun

Two events stand out from all of the events marked “free” this weekend, and both are happening in southwest Roanoke County.

Monday 02/01/2016
Posted: February 01, 2016 - 7:15 am
3 shopping tips for the next big snowstorm

Did you find yourself trapped in the house last weekend, wishing you had thought to buy (______) in the grocery store frenzy?

Thursday 01/28/2016
Posted: January 28, 2016 - 7:20 am
Second Saturday Divorce Workshops for women now in Roanoke

We interrupt my posts full of deals and feel-good freebies for some news about a difficult topic: Divorce.

Wednesday 01/27/2016
Posted: January 27, 2016 - 7:15 am
In case you flaked: Restaurant week specials continue this weekend

Did Jonas interfere with your Downtown Roanoke Restaurant Week plans?

Tuesday 01/26/2016
Posted: January 26, 2016 - 7:20 am
Where to find Big Red, the beloved Texas soda, in Roanoke

This is the cream soda I remember from my native Texas: Cotton-candy sweet, bright red and so popular that it’s on tap all over the Lone Star State.

Friday 01/22/2016
Posted: January 22, 2016 - 12:56 pm
How to get discounted tickets to Kazim Shrine Circus

Need more clowns in your life?

Wednesday 01/20/2016
Updated: January 20, 2016 - 6:24 pm
J.Crew postpones 4-day warehouse sale in Lynchburg due to snow

Updated Jan. 20: 

Monday 01/18/2016
Posted: January 18, 2016 - 7:45 am
Don't read if hungry: Downtown Roanoke restaurant specials ahead

An impressive lineup of restaurants offer lunch specials and dinner tasting menus during Downtown Roanoke Restaurant Week, which continues through Sunday, Jan. 24. 

Wednesday 01/13/2016
Posted: January 13, 2016 - 7:45 am
Chill out with *free* yoga in downtown Roanoke

If “yoga more often” and “save money” are on your New Year’s resolutions list, you’re in luck.

Tuesday 01/12/2016
Posted: January 12, 2016 - 7:45 am
Purge electronics at free recycling event in Roanoke

Are you cleaning out your house, too?

Monday 01/11/2016
Posted: January 11, 2016 - 7:45 am
What sparks your joy? (And I have some life-changing news)

I plan on reporting on what I learn about decluttering over the next few months. The first big challenge: What to do with all of the discarded stuff?

Tuesday 01/05/2016
Posted: January 05, 2016 - 5:55 pm
Sam's Club offers free health tests Saturday (no membership required)

Resolved to improve your health in 2016?

Monday 01/04/2016
Posted: January 04, 2016 - 1:35 pm
This YMCA deal might get your heart rate up

This is definitely the time to take advantage of gym membership sales; however, don't do what I do: Join and never go. Seriously, our family YMCA membership is a donation at this point.

Thursday 12/24/2015
Posted: December 24, 2015 - 11:05 am
A Christmas miracle for fans of Pie Lady chicken pies

What a wonderful surprise on Christmas Eve!

Tuesday 12/22/2015
Posted: December 22, 2015 - 11:50 am
15 new things from '15 for out-of-towners

Every year my sisters and their husbands return to Roanoke during the week between Christmas and New Year's, and every year I search for cool new things to showcase Roanoke's progress. I've p…

Monday 12/21/2015
Posted: December 21, 2015 - 11:05 am
Deal alert: Rodeo tickets in Salem for $10

Need a last-minute stocking stuffer?

Thursday 12/17/2015
Posted: December 17, 2015 - 7:45 am
Free this weekend: The only snow we might see for awhile

Dickens of a Christmas, the Grinch and plenty of caroling are on the free list.

Tuesday 12/15/2015
Posted: December 15, 2015 - 3:15 pm
Beyond toys: 15 Roanoke experience gifts for kids

Instead of gifting toys, how about making memories?

Monday 12/14/2015
Posted: December 14, 2015 - 2:45 pm
I'm loving these 5 inexpensive coworker gift ideas

Last year, I wrote about the most playful holiday gift I've ever received from a coworker: A tiny jar of Play-Doh.

Posted: December 14, 2015 - 11:45 am
Never gift me this. Ever.

There are some things I dislike for no good reason.

Friday 12/11/2015
Posted: December 11, 2015 - 1:00 pm
Photos: Festive downtown Roanoke storefronts

Thanks to all the merchants who entertain us with imaginative holiday storefronts. I snapped a few photos on a quiet evening in downtown Roanoke. Hearing Nat King Cole's version of "Silent Ni…

Thursday 12/10/2015
Posted: December 10, 2015 - 5:45 pm
Free health tests and flu shots at Rescue Mission on Friday

This is a bit last-minute, but free health screenings — and free flu shots — are available to the public Friday, Dec. 11, at the Rescue Mission in southeast Roanoke.

Posted: December 10, 2015 - 7:45 am
Love the Santa photo opp at Dickens of a Christmas ... but it's NOT free

Bah humbug!

Wednesday 12/09/2015
Posted: December 09, 2015 - 3:05 pm
Use digital coupons from Kroger? Then you'll want to see this

Kroger has rolled out a new website called 25 Merry Days, where you can download special digital coupons each day until Christmas.

Posted: December 09, 2015 - 12:30 pm
5 shopping events you should know about this weekend

Only a couple weeks left until Christmas ... perhaps these local-ish shopping events will help?

Posted: December 09, 2015 - 7:45 am
How to get a free dozen of Krispy Kreme doughnuts

There are just two steps to get free doughnuts at Krispy Kreme on Saturday, December 12, or 12/12 ... the Day of the Dozens.

Tuesday 12/08/2015
Updated: December 08, 2015 - 3:47 pm
Poll: What's the best brownie mix?

It's National Brownie Day ... although I doubt Kroger timed its brownie recall for the occasion.

Posted: December 08, 2015 - 7:45 am
What's a good holiday gift for teachers? Just ask teachers

I'm so grateful for the women of Roanoke Mommies Online, a group on Facebook that offers lots of support to new moms, including pediatrician reviews, best places for inexpensive birthday parties .....

Monday 12/07/2015
Posted: December 07, 2015 - 2:10 pm
Is Aldi cheaper than Walmart?

Aldi offers 'drastically cheaper' prices than Walmart, according to a price check by Business Insider.

Updated: December 08, 2015 - 10:29 am
Purrrfect gift ideas: Meet-and-greets with Cesar Millan, Daniel Tiger

Two new civic center shows popped up Monday, both offering meet-and-greet opportunities. Is there a super fan on your gift list?

Friday 12/04/2015
Updated: December 04, 2015 - 11:55 am
Pssst ... this Aldi cookie dough tastes homemade

Update (11:50 a.m.): An Aldi associate reports these have sold out in Roanoke. * Sad trombone *

Thursday 12/03/2015
Posted: December 03, 2015 - 11:20 am
Prep the halls! J.Crew warehouse sale in Lynchburg before Christmas

Good news if you'd like to gift J.Crew this holiday season.

Posted: December 03, 2015 - 7:45 am
Free weekend events begin with Dickens of a Christmas

This is my favorite week of the holiday season ... when the decorations are fresh and before the endless Christmas music and cookies outstay their welcome.

Wednesday 12/02/2015
Updated: December 02, 2015 - 3:31 pm
Have you shopped the Bizarre Bazaar in Richmond?

I first heard about the Bizarre Bazaar through my Facebook friends, and I fell in love with the name immediately. 

Posted: December 02, 2015 - 1:00 pm
Elizabeth Arden warehouse sale dates for December 2015

Holiday shoppers: We have the December dates for the Elizabeth Arden warehouse sale in Salem.

Posted: December 02, 2015 - 11:15 am
What's the best Hokie gift to welcome football coach Justin Fuente?

Usually, my holiday challenge is buying a novel Hokie gift for my father-in-law, who already owns everything in Virginia Tech colors.

Tuesday 12/01/2015
Posted: December 01, 2015 - 2:00 pm
Where can I buy a Mill Mountain Star ornament?

This question was just asked today in one of my Facebook groups.

Updated: December 09, 2015 - 5:23 pm
Where to get photos with Santa (most are free)

Grab your cameras: The list of free photo opps with Santa is here again.

Monday 11/30/2015
Updated: November 30, 2015 - 12:53 pm
The coolest Cyber Monday sale in Roanoke is ...

Half-price annual memberships to the Roanoke Pinball Museum.

Tuesday 11/24/2015
Updated: December 22, 2015 - 12:32 pm
Show your love for Roanoke with these experience gift ideas

I love Roanoke.

Monday 11/23/2015
Posted: November 23, 2015 - 12:27 pm
A reader asks: Who will fry my turkey? We have an answer ...

You still have time to pay someone else to fry your Thanksgiving turkey.

Thursday 11/19/2015
Posted: November 19, 2015 - 12:15 pm
Shoptimist: My finds at the Aldi opening

Curious about what you'll find at Aldi? Roanoke's newest grocery store opened Thursday, Nov. 19, in the former Books-A-Million space on Hershberger Road. The German chain is known for its lo…

Wednesday 11/18/2015
Posted: November 18, 2015 - 6:15 pm
Aldi opening, RIOT Rooster among weekend shopping events

Shopping is the story this weekend.

Posted: November 18, 2015 - 10:55 am
Coldwater Creek closeout sale coming to Roanoke hotel

The stores are gone, but you can still buy Coldwater Creek fashion at a special sale in Roanoke County this weekend.

Tuesday 11/17/2015
Posted: November 17, 2015 - 11:50 am
YMCA members: Ready for your (free) underwater photo?

It's always a good sign when I scream "COOL!" in the newsroom.

Monday 11/16/2015
Posted: November 16, 2015 - 12:45 pm
This homemade gift idea is so cute you could EAT IT UP!

How to make gingerbread house kits.

Posted: November 16, 2015 - 11:15 am
Baby on board? Fly more gracefully with these 5 essentials

Stuff you can buy or borrow to help make your air travels easier.

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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