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  I S S U E  #4    T I G H T W A D   E - Z I N E
February 2000 -- http://www.tightwad.com
In this issue ~
1. Tightwad Site Update - Valentine Issue / Links / Tips
2. Hot New Deals - Savings Sites / PerfectCents Sponsor 
3. Free Stuff - FREE Valentines / Snakums / Ricky Martin Photos / & More
4. Savings - Deep Discount Stores / FREE Online Auto "Lemon" Check
5. Weird Stuff - Gary Coleman Web-a-Thon / Gobbler Motel / Urban Myths
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The goal of this FREE newsletter is to give you time sensitive information on MONEY, SAVINGS, & DEALS in a quick reading and quick transmit format. We will also keep you updated and informed on the progress of our web site at tightwad.com
~ Why not spread the savings and forward this issue to your friends? ~
To get a FREE SUBSCRIPTION to this tightwad E-zine:
Simply type "subscribe" in the subject line & send an email to: mailto:webmaster@tightwad.com?subject=subscribe
Welcome to the fourth edition of TIGHTWAD.com's Informational E-Zine.
Have you sent in a tip yet?  Feel free to e-mail an original frugality tip. You don't need to be Ernest Hemmingway, any tip will do.  I'll edit for space and clarity and publish it. You'll get the credit.  e-mail me at:  editor@tightwad.com

T I G H T W A D    U P D A T E 

Visit the TIGHTWAD.com Valentine Page and find creative ways to express your TRUE LOVE without spending a fortune.  Remember: You can't spend your way into love... but statistics show you can spend your way out!  Money concerns are frequently cited as one of the foremost reasons for relationship breakups. A touch of exciting romantic creativity saves a fortune in re-tread valentine spending.

This new year's celebration was the safest ever.  True tightwads were scouring the net for Y2K travel deals.  This year was a great example for using the news media hype to the tightwad advantage.  Since everyone stayed home from fear of violence, cut-rate parties and travel deals were the rage.  Many Y2k parties simply had to fold due to lack of attendance, those that survived had last minute deals and well policed fun.  The best trip I ever had was to London in 92, just after the terrorist threats when everyone canceled trips and vacations to Europe.  The package was 1/3 the advertised cost:  The plane was mostly empty:  The tour guide was the best, since the other guides were laid off:  The cities were pleasantly empty:  Security at the airports was at an all time high:  Tour management upgraded to better hotels for free:  And the local stores all had sales!  I find myself in the weird position of hoping for more media terrorism hype so I can go to Europe again!  Tightwads live by flexibility and contrarian mobility.  When everyone is pushing, shoving and crowding ahead in the fast lane, we cruise by them all in the slow lane!  Do you have a Y2K or contrarian savings story?  Tell me so I can publish it to encourage others!

Don't forget to drop us some tips for new frugal or freebie sites so we can add those to our INFOTENSIVE SUPERLINKS

You may have noticed that we have been doing our best to avoid publicity.  With the exception of a few search engines, (Listed #2 at the Google Search Engine) we have not announced our site, while we are putting together some essential sections of Tightwad.com.  Even so, we have been featured on South Texas ABC Affiliate KRGV-TV  COOL SITES, and Pat Veretto's Frugal Living at about.com:  PURE GOLD SITES (http://Frugalliving.about.com)  Our Tightwad editor was also featured on the ZD-TV Money Machine (14.5 million viewer show)  See the live interview at: http://www.zdnet.com/zdtv/moneymachine/personalfinance/story/0,3666,2410798,00.html?
If you haven't been to our new tips archive, you should check it out.  Check here: http://www.tightwad.com/tipsarc.htm We will be adding more new tips on a monthly basis.  Don't for get the new tips at our Tightwad Tips Section.  E-zine readers have a section of new T-wad tips that are unavailable to anyone else:  Click here: http://www.tightwad.com/Freetips/html  These are only for our loyal E-zine readers to access.  Check back issues of our E-zine at:  http://www.tightwad.com/e-zine.htm

On December 22nd Tightwad.com experienced over 1000+ new visitors. (Highest hits were during the 5pm PST hour.)  We would like to know about the publicity that generated this traffic.  We are offering a $10.00 Blockbuster Video Gift Card for the first TWO people who correctly tell us about the publicity that occurred on 12/22/99. Please tell us the type and location of the media coverage including call signs and program name or any related web site information. Your odds of winning are extremely good, probably better than 1 in 50 since only a new subscriber will most likely have the answer.  The Blockbuster gift card is good for video rentals and store merchandise. The winners will be publicised in our next edition. Leave your return e-mail and full name so I can respond to the winners.
E-mail: mailto:webmaster@tightwad.com?subject=contest


Here's a quick listing of some savings and coupons sites that have been popular with our visitors:
FreeShop (click here)  This is the MOST POPULAR SITE for FREE stuff as rated by our visitors.
ShoppingList (click here)  Forget the newspapers. Search local zip codes for local sales & find $ saving "loss leaders."
CyberRebate (click here) Created by two "regular guys" for mail-in rebates, many are actually FREE after rebate.
Valuepass Coupons (click here) Features coupons for retailers like Radio Shack, Mrs. Fields, Linens-N-Things, Staples, etc.
CoolSavings Coupons (click here)  A popular large site, they also have big names like Kids-R-Us, Etoys and others.
DirectCoupons Newsletter (click here) Send you a weekly e-mail with deals, coupons and savings from the internet.
ECoupons & ERebates (click here) Good local searches by zip code for coupons, and good rebate deals.
Amazon Media (click here) Find TIGHTWAD books & reviews on Amy Dacyczyn or other frugal authors.
StoreSearch (click here) Over 100,000 online stores linked to help find what you want.
AllAdvantage (click here) Get paid to surf the web. Average check $47.44. Multi-level credit. Use id: CGP-342.

I can not stand how phone companies keep messing with people.  AT&T has just advised me that they will be charging me $3.00 per month fee, if I avoid making long distance calls.  Or... if I would like, they will raise my rates and not charge a fee.  Effective immediately.  This comes on the heal of a huge increase for phone card calls, which I frequently use, since I make personal calls from work.  Now it's at least a buck, if I use my phone card from a hotel, work place or anywhere!  It appears that the competition is successfully pushing AT&T into desperation. NOW I'M MAD... AND, YES... It's personal!  After considering a great many companies, I picked PerfectCents (click here) to fight these blatant price gougers.  Now before you consider any other phone company or phone scheme you should know a few things:  Most of the simple dial plans like the (10-10-#-#-#) which you dial before your area code and phone number, advertise heavily on television and tell you that they are 10 +/- cents a minute per call, but what they quietly say in small letters is they charge a hidden monthly fee from $3.00 to way way more. Many plans automatically cancel your long distance carrier, and substitute themselves.  Some phone cards have outrageous per minute billing rates, while advertising phone card convenience.  The BEST overall plan is Perfect Cents.  I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't use them. They don't "slam" or "cram" you, and there is no need to change your long distance carrier.  You can stay with AT&T or MCI or anyone.  There are no monthly hidden access fees.  Perfect Cents is useable anywhere as a phone card, but the huge phone card charges do not apply!  Perfect Cents even has an automated time voice prompt to help you measure your phone use.  They offer monthly plans for as low as 5.9 cents per anytime minutes. That means there are no special higher rates if you call before 5pm or some restricted time.  You can choose a monthly plan according to your phone use.  And guess what? If you don't use some of your monthly time, it rolls over to the next month, so you don't lose any time!  Billing is via a credit card on a monthly cycle and their are no additional fees.  It's not too good to be true, its just a great deal!   Check out the FAQ's on their site like I did, then get an account.  You'll never regret it: PerfectCents (click here)

Most e-mail allow you to click your e-mail and browse any of the links mentioned here, but if you have trouble, go to our site and look at our e-zine archive at: http://www.tightwad.com/e-zine.htm  Our home page also has a purple "Save-O-Matic" box that has some of the links mentioned in this newsletter. Click on what is interesting and link over to savings!

F R E E   S T U F F

Just in time for valentine's day... Send your FREE valentine's cards online from:  http://www.postcardmaker.com/  This site has a fantastic selection of animated graphics and easy to select options for making online cards to send to people.  Dozens of occasions for each month and thousands of neat creative animated graphics are available.  If you would prefer sending a simpler, and faster virtual valentine card try:  http://www.bluemountain.com/eng/valentine/index.html  Blue Mountain Graphics are one of the web's best. For something cute try a Disney card at:  http://disney.go.com/dcards/listing_valentines.html  or search for your own card from thouands of e-card sites at:  http://www.cardcentral.net

Want to make your niece or nephew's face light-up with joy?  Register a freebie to them.  I register the first and last name of my niece or nephew and their address, then I register my own name as their middle name.  Like this: "Jimmy UncleFrank Citizen" or Suzy AuntieMaria Citizen" or a name that only they will recognize like "Jimmy Nano Citizen", where they would recognize "Nano" as from you.  In a month or two you'll get an excited call from the kids about the goodies they got for free.  Nothing makes a kid feel more important then to get something in the mail.  Especially, when it was a loving thought from a family member.  Speaking of FREE... I got my FREE can of Campbell's soup did you?  My daughter just got her FREE fruit leather as advertised in an earlier e-zine.  FREE always tastes better. Yum. Fruit leather:  http://stretch-island.com/free-stuff.htm

Yummy!  Be one of the first 100,000 to enjoy a sample of these new snacks.  Fill out the form if your under 18 and get ready for FREE FOOD!  If you're too young, you'll need parental permission.  Check here:  http://www.snackums.com/index.asp The various Kellogg's sites are really very entertaining and on one site you can get a FREE Colorful Fruitiful Froot Loops screen saver.  Click here:   http://www.toucansam.com/registration/treasure/screen.html  The sites also have other exciting Kellogg's games stuff... all designed to make your kids whine, wheedle and beg you for sugar coated cereal spending.

The newest Latin Singing Sensation to sell-out concerts everywhere is Ricky Martin.  By filling out a form with his fan club you can receive a variety of information and pictures from this former Menudo member (Remember them?). Maybe this one's for your niece?  Click here for exclusive photos: http://www.rickymartinmanagement.com/english/fanclub/fanclub_frame.htm

Petopia, the pet owners paradise, is offering an attractive free photo frame for people who fill out a short online form. USA residents only - click here:  http://www.petopia.com/register.asp?tab=0&subtab=0

Panache is a lotion & fragrance store in Capitola-by-the-Sea near the beautiful California Monterey Bay.  By simply filling out an e-mail with the address of some interested friends, you can receive 1 oz. of body glitter lotion.  for more information.  Click here: http://www.montereylotions.com/

Get a new mouse pad any where in the world, every year!  This attractive pad is an advertising medium for various web sites, but lives to serve your mouse.  Fill out a short on-line form and get a free pad. Click here: http://www.hotmat.com/register.htm
You might also try  http://www.freemousepads.com/ They also offer free mousepads with advertisers. They order when they get a bunch.

Here's a company that will send you a catalog and a FREE sample mocha mix.  Fill out your address on the online form and give your favorite flavor. FREE CHOCOLATE MIX (Click Here)

REMINDER:  Many companies offering freebies get inundated with thousands of requests and suddenly pull their freebies. Many are time sensitive, so check it them out now... not later.  In addition, of all the thousands of FREE offers on the internet, we concentrate primarily on free samples that include free US postage.  Sometimes we'll include rare great deals that are outside our qualifications, but most just require a U.S. address and filling out an online form .
More free stuff in our next e-zine.


This Christmas, when I wasn't making my gifts, I enjoyed shopping (before the season) at several national store chains that feature overstock, irregular, discount, closeout, or liquidated merchandise.  I have not yet completed my list of these chains, but here are a few of my favorites.  Tuesday Morning (Click Here) features 50% to 80% off department store merchandise. It is a seasonal store and gets routine shipments at different times of the year.  The discounts are REALLY good.  My personal favorite is Factory 2 U (Click Here) which is located in several areas.  Their web site is new and you may have to check the phone book for a local store. The products are big name, top of the line, and the discounts are VERY substantial.  I picked up a nice (embroidered with characters) Disney Baby outfit (pants, shirt, etc.) that was on sale for about $4 from the already  discount price of about $8. I estimate the value at about $18-$30 at major department stores. I also got an electronic toy for  $5, that I had just seen on sale at a discount store for $18. and listed full price at major stores at about $27. I hope to compile a list of similar stores for our site in the future.

Here's the service that the used car dealers don't want you to know about!  Carfax Vehicle history Service will give you a FREE lemon check on your vehicle!  Using the 17 digit VIN# of your 1981 or later vehicle Carfax checks it's database for: Odometer fraud, flood damage, major accidents, insurance claims, and other vehicle checks.  They use information reported to insurance companies, state motor vehicle records and smog emissions files and well as dealer and auction databases.  A complete on-line report is available for a charge of $19.95 or less for a short report. Knowledge is power... especially if someone's pushing a dud on you. Checkout:  http://www.carfax.com/index.htm (click here)

W I E R D  S T U F F

You almost have to think that this site was designed by a former disgruntled agent for Gary Coleman, the washed-up child star of the Different Strokes T.V. show. This site is a scream satire on the star and besides generally wasting time, will put tears to your eyes.  Lots of graphics and games. http://www.welovegary.com/ (click here)

Another very funny site was e-mailed to me around Thanksgiving... It's called the Gobbler...  At first I just was mildly amused, until I began to take the page by page tour of this ACTUAL MOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER....Yes, it's a real turkey..it makes you wonder if the architects were on acid, while creating this place!  Take a few minutes to really see this.  I actually had tears from laughing so hard. Be sure to click on the "Lets Go Gobb'lin" button.  The narration is hilarious. http://www.lileks.com/institute/motel/index.html (click here)

I don't know anyone who hasn't gotten an e-mail from someone... that just seems too good to be true.  Like the one that was supposedly from Disney Company.  Disney was going to pay me good money or a trip to Disney World, just by simply forwarding the e-mail to my friends.  Yeah Right!  (I did believe it)  Then there was the warning to beware the free drink, because it could lead me to a bathtub full of ice and missing kidneys from the kidney thieves! Wow. So bizarre, it has to be true... NOT.  There's really only one defense against these lies, and it's the truth!  Now what I do with a suspicious e-mail is to go to a set of sites on urban hoaxes and check out everything.  If it sounds too good to be true, these people have already done the research.  Some deals really are valid!  Most are not.  One of the best is the Urban Legends Reference Pages (http://www.snopes.com/, operated by the The San Fernando Valley Folklore Society.  As you listen to the tune of "Heard it on the Grapevine" you can search their extensive database of hoaxes and fake virus scares.  Another comprehensive site is the Urban Legends Archive at: http://www.urbanlegends.com/  Also  http://www.urbanmyths.com/   For the expert on computer virus myths see the computer virus myths page at:  http://www.kumite.com/myths/  An interesting service is also offered by  http://www.hoaxkill.com/ who will reply with hoax info for all the folks who have been spammed with a bogus e-mail. Don't be sucked in with an offer that's too good to be true. Check it out!

Don't forget to stop by our site and see more interesting stories at our front page.  http://www.tightwad.com
Owen@tightwad.com  (ISSUE #4 T-WAD E-ZINE)

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