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Free Books For Top Commenters

I have a bunch of books lying around that I’ve been meaning to give away and I thought I’d reward some of the more frequent commenters on this site (such as the commenting machine that is Tim), so if the following folks could email me their #1, #2, and #3 (plus their address) choices from the following three books I’ll try to match it up with them.

The choices are: The Big Money by Frederick Kobrick, The Single Best Investment by Lowell Miller, and The Maui Millionaires by David Finkel and Diane Kennedy.

The winners are:

Please let me know by this upcoming Friday what your choices are (if you don’t want the books and want me to donate it to my local library, let me know too).


Scheduled A Lasik Plus Consultation (with Bonus Free Eye Exam!)

A while back I started researching lasik eye surgery because I was starting to get tired of the whole contact lens routine. Well, today I learned that LasikPlus is offering a free eye exam along with their consultations so I figured I’d give it a shot. My current contact lens prescription expires in April of next year (they’re typically good for two years) and I was interested in lasik so I might as well get a free eye exam out of it.

I’ve lately heard a lot of ads on the radio about Lasik, mostly from TLC Laser Eye Centers because they’re in the D.C. area and performed Tiger Woods’ lasik procedure, and it’s piquing my interest more and more. In fact, a couple people at my work just had the procedure done and it sounds like it’s come a long way from when they first started doing it. While you still can’t drive yourself home right after the procedure, apparently your vision is pretty much back to normal by the next morning and 100% (20/20) within a couple days. Considering your eye just had a piece sliced off and reattached, that’s a pretty quick recovery time if you ask me.

What I’ve tried to do is search online for reviews about LasikPlus but couldn’t really find anything. I did discover that they, along with practically every other company that sells big ticket items, is offering 0% financing for 18 months, haha, everyone is jumping on the “instant gratification” bandwagon. If you have any information about LasikPlus (or lasik in general) or you’ve used them, I’d really be interested in what you thought… the idea of getting a laser to the eye is pretty scary so I’d like to be armed with as much information as possible.


Free Show Tapings

You ever wonder what it takes to get into the television audience of any of your favorite shows? I always think of those cooking shows where the camera pans the audience of starving attendees and wondered what it took to be a part of that evil evil experience. Or, what about getting onto a show where the participants get all sorts of free goodies from guests? Television tapings are almost always free and usually the demand is much more than the supply of tickets so you have to be patient (or able to wake up early and be lucky) if you want to get to see a show, but invariably, from what I’ve heard, a lot of these shows are very entertaining between the actual taped segments (during the commercials). I scoured the websites of all the major television studios (and some of the bigger name shows individually) and here are their ticket policies:

Oprah – As you’d expect, the demand far exceeds the supply and they do most of their stuff on the phone so be patient.

ABC – The View and Good Morning America in New York; According to Jim, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Dancing With the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live and more in Los Angeles.

NBC – Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Saturday Night Live in New York. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Last Call with Carson Daly, and others in Burbank, CA.

Food Network – For Emeril Live, there is a once a year lottery (info from last lottery) that gets announced on the website. There isn’t any other information for tickets to other live tapings so you’ll have to navigate to each show’s page for more info.

Rachael Ray – She’s blowing up! Getting on her show is fairly straightforward so follow the link for more details.

Martha Stewart – That link may not work in the future but basically navigate to, find her show section and there is a Get Tickets link where you can find out more details.

CBS – Want to see the Price Is Right before Bob Barker calls it quits? Check out their ticket information page. How about Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson? All you have to do is navigate to the page on CBS’ website that is for the show and there should be ticket information if it’s available.

I was unable to find any official information on the TBS or CW websites for their policies.

There are smaller private outfits that offer tickets to shows as well including Audience Unlimited (NBC links to them but they are not affiliated with NGC) and TVTix, so do some searches online and you should be able to find something.

Oh, and if you know of any other resources for scoring free ticket information, please do share!


Win You Call The Shots by Cameron Johnson

I have several copies of You Call The Shots by Cameron Johnson (read my review) to giveaway and you can be one of the lucky winners! To make this more than just a “leave a brief comment, win a prize” contest, I’m going to ask that you list one topic you wish personal finance blogs would write more about. It can be as specific or as broad as you want, as long as it’s interesting. Be funny, be creative, be outlandish, but don’t just leave a “I hope I win” comment before next Wednesday and you’ll be in. Laffy taffy type jokes are an acceptable substitute as long as they haven’t appeared in the 500,000 unique visitors contest comments before.


Win A 256MB USB Key from H&R Block

This contest is now over.

H&R Block gave me five 256MB USB keys to give away right before I left for China and so I didn’t get the opportunity to list the competition and be able to mail them out so I’ll be holding the competition right now. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and be sure to leave your email address in the form, I’ll pick five lucky winners at the end of the week and send along your shiny new USB keys.

Good luck!

 Free, Shopping 

Skip Blockbuster, Netflix, Rent New Movies With Red Box

Now, what trumps any of those three options is your local public library but usually the selection is limited to older movies (not the new releases) because that’s usually free (tax dollar supported, but incrementally free) and free is better than paying. But, barring an awesome library system where you get the newest releases…

Many of my friends have a Netflix account and there have been weeks we’re I’ve gone over their houses and the stacks of Netflix movies haven’t even been moved, let alone been watched. That’s the main knock against services like Blockbuster Online and Netflix, if you’re busy and don’t watch movies, then why pay $20 a month to basically hold onto the few movies that you do watch?

That’s me. I know that if I ever signed up for one of those services, and I’ve used their trials, I’d be just like my friends with stacks of movies that might get watched within a week or two of receiving them. Maybe. Do I really want to pay Netflix $4.99 to be able to hold onto one movie a month and borrow a maximum of 2 a month (that’s their latest promotion)? Of course not… not when I can hit up a Red Box vending machine, likely with a Red Box free day movie rental coupon code, and get the movie the day that I want to watch it. If I don’t have a code, it’s a whole dollar!

The only negative is that selection will vary (thought you can check online at so sometimes if you want a particular movie, you might not be able to get it but that’s hardly a huge price to pay to watch a movie for a buck.


Free Subscription to New York Times Select

If you have a valid university email address, you are eligible to get a free subscription to New York Times Select ($50 value) via this signup link. After you enter your email, they will send you an activation email with a link that you must click. From there, it’s a little confusing because they send you to a login page, from there you need to click on the Upgrade button to upgrade to the New York Times Select subscription. The next page is just your typical signup page and after that you’re all set. Free New York Times Select, just like that.

Not much beats free, so enjoy!

(Dang, I was beat to the punch by a lot of places, including the Consumerist, this is what you get for being busy)

 Credit, Free 

Citi Credit Protector $100 Check Arrived

Just an update to those of you who had been asking me whether my $100 gasoline reimbursement check had arrived from Citi Credit Protector – yes it has (today actually).

And in fact, if you want to check on the status of it at Rebate Status. What’s funny is that I had been trying to check the status but since they keyed in my last name wrong (they transposed some letters in an obvious typo), it wasn’t showing up. My fiancée’s rebate status had been updated accurately and showed up as CP Email Gas Coupon ($100), mail date of February 1st.

At the time of the mailing (or within days of the mailing), I had already canceled Citi Credit Protector so I do not believe membership is necessary to be eligible for the promotion. My fiancée is still part of the Credit Protector program and working off their $50 promotion.

Gotta love them credit card insurance promotions!

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