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CheapWeek: Barcocina, Breakroom Brewery and PIQNIQ
CheapWeek,

CheapWeek: Barcocina, Breakroom Brewery and PIQNIQ

6/1 – CelebriTEA and Noodles & Company

Last week I hit “CelebriTEA” status at Argo Tea. I’m kind of in love with the place, and they love their customers back with a pretty awesome loyalty program. After 25 visits, I’ve earned $1 off all purchases before 9am (perfect for right before work), a free birthday drink, $5 in credit after every 10 visits, and a free looseleaf tea gift. The perks are all pretty awesome, but I wish I had more of a choice over which looseleaf tea I got to choose. I ended up picking the oolong formosa, which was one of the four options. Stay tuned for a post featuring Argo Tea and some other awesome tea spots in Chicago!

CheapWeek: Barcocina, Breakroom Brewery and PIQNIQ

Also, a couple of weeks back, I was participating in a twitter chat with Noodles & Company Just for tweeting at them, they sent me two free entree coupons. I’d encourage you to follow your favorite companies on Twitter… they tend to offer exclusive social media promotions. I once got a free pair of shorts from American Eagle by following their tweets and checking in on Foursquare. Here’s a very basic Twitter list I’ve compiled of companies to follow.

6/2 – Barcocina

Today I checked out a new Lakeview restaurant – Barcocina. It opened up just as I was moving out of the neighborhood! But a good excuse to come back at any rate.

CheapWeek: Barcocina, Breakroom Brewery and PIQNIQ

It’s got a cool vibe and is an excellent bar to check out now that summer’s happening in full force (garage-door openings for the win). If you like upscale Mexican cuisine and inventive cocktails, you’ll love Barcocina. Look out for a post on Choose Chicago’s blog soon.

CheapWeek: Barcocina, Breakroom Brewery and PIQNIQ

6/3 – Breakroom Brewery

CheapWeek: Barcocina, Breakroom Brewery and PIQNIQ

One of my best friends from high school was in town this week and we decided it would be awesome if a reunion included a trip to a brewery and a Blackhawks game. Breakroom Brewery is about a mile down the street from my boyfriend and just opened fairly recently. It has a garage door front (similar to Barcocina) and a plenty of TVs and a projector to enjoy the Blackhawks game. The beer was delicious – I tried three different varieties. The food was also pretty scrumptious. We tried the scotch egg, which was a first for me. The burgers and beer-soaked fries hit the spot.

6/4 – RCN Event

CheapWeek: Barcocina, Breakroom Brewery and PIQNIQ

Today I went to one of my favorite speaker events to date. RCN hosted speaker Patrick Schwerdtfeger for the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce. This event was an incredible value at $20. First of all – amazing buffet breakfast. Then a book Schwerdtfeger wrote called Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed. I’m almost done with it and have gotten so many good ideas for promoting and updating the blog! But before reading the book, I was inspired by the talk and met some interesting people. RCN gave some other cool freebies away – a USB hub, a portable computer mouse, and an external battery charger. I’ll be on the lookout for more events like this. If your company is awesome and invests in your professional development (or you’re looking for a great networking opportunity), you need to be on the lookout for events like this. I talked to a friend today about writing such a feature, so look forward to some networking event roundups in the near future!

6/5 – Protein Bar Party and Annoyance Improv Show

CheapWeek: Barcocina, Breakroom Brewery and PIQNIQ

As a follow up to a post I wrote about Salads in the Loop, I was invited to Protein Bar’s VIP summer sampling party. Basically, they let us test new menu items and created some ridiculously good cocktails with their favorite ingredients that you wouldn’t normally be able to get. I tasted some new BBQ chicken entrees and finally tried the Avo-Matcha smoothie (the perfect afternoon pick-me-up), and even met one of Protein Bar’s investors! He actually just wrote a post for me about credit card rewards after we struck up a camaraderie.

After the party, I went with my best friend Nico to the Annoyance Theater. It was my first time there and I had a blast. Nico’s show Grounded is in the small theater, so it’s a very intimate experience. I hit up the bar afterwards and got a ridiculous amount of chicken nuggets for $5. Two thumbs up from this Cheap Ass.

6/6 – PIQNIQ

Today I attended my first PIQNIQ music festival at Tinley Park. The suburbs are hard to get to if you don’t have a car/want to thoroughly enjoy yourself alcohol-wise at a festival. We took the Metra from the Lasalle Street Station. An $8 weekend pass covers you for the full weekend. Metra prices have been raised exponentially since I commuted last year… and it’s only going to get worse. Save your train travel for the weekend whenever possible. And follow my festival tips for maximizing your experience (and money!).

6/7 – Moving

So this whole week my boyfriend (and his brothers! thank you guys!!) has been helping me move, one carload at a time. Today my parents came up with some of the bigger furniture pieces, kitchen stuff, and childhood memories. I’ve been neglecting Chicago Cheap Ass because this has been taking so much of my time and energy. But it’s finally done! Well… minus organization. I’m so relieved.

Don’t just read about good deals – get them yourself! Find of-the-moment updates by liking Chicago Cheap Ass on Facebook.

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game
CheapWeek,

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

5/11 – Cosi and Geja’s Cafe

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

If you read last week’s #CheapWeek, You’ll know that I’ve been systematically trying the best salads the Loop has to offer for a future post. Today I went to Cosi and had their Baja salad for free! Blogging definitely has it’s perks. They sent me a few extra free entree cards, so I’ll be back soon!

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

Today was a great day for food. Beatrix had a text offer for BOGO cookies. These things are as big as my hand (and way more delicious).

I’ve had my eye on this set of pantry organizers for awhile. They’re $100 for a set of 10 different sized containers, and I was just waiting for a good reason to pull the trigger. Even Amazon couldn’t offer a better price. Then I thought outside of the box… They have these organizers at Bed Bath & Beyond, and Bed Bath & Beyond always has 20% off coupons. Score! The moral of the story, if you’ve got your eye on a product that never goes on sale, find a place that has non-exclusionary sales.

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

I owed my boyfriend a nice dinner out and it just so happened that a Groupon I bought for Geja’s Cafe was about to expire. After he took me to RPM Italian last week, it was only fair that I should return the favor with a romantic date night experience. The restauranteur behind Geja’s Cafe came into Groupon while I still worked there, and I was inspired by his passion for the restaurant. Anyways, we had a blast. The food was incredible. I’ve never been to a fondue restaurant before so it was a treat. The Groupon covered $65 worth of the food, and Spring Rewards kicked me back an additional $15. It would’ve been quite expensive, but careful planning made it less so.

5/12 – Postmates Panera Deal and Cemitas Puebla from DoorDash

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

Postmates has awesome freebie deals all the time, I’m guessing, as an attempt to raise awareness for the brand and acquire new users. This week, they offered free Panera “You Pick 2” and I happen to have a lot of free delivery credits available. Lunch never tastes as good as when it’s free.

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

I was not feeling awesome today, and was lazier than usual, so I decided to pull the trigger on checking out DoorDash. GiltCity frequently has free offers to try new companies, and I managed to score $15 off. DoorDash apparently also gives you a free $5 credit on your first order. So I got a cemita from Cemitas Puebla and some kick-ass guacamole and chips with delivery for free! My delivery guy was a little late (though nothing ridiculous), so they proactively credited my account with another $10. Great customer service, all around – I will use it again.

5/13 – Free Ubereats from DMK and Sopraffina

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

This week was one of the best weeks for free food to date. I hope you have an account with Uber, because they’ve been sending out free promo codes for their new service, UberEats. If you haven’t heard about it yet, basically, Uber curates a menu each week with selected items from a couple restaurants each day. You might have read about how much I love DMK Restaurants – so I used my free promo on a patty melt they offered this week. Also a turkey sandwich from Sopraffina. Just paid $5 after saving $20!

5/14 – Krewella concert!

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

So every once in awhile, something truly amazing happens. This time, it was Krewella coming to Chicago for a free show, sponsored by Pandora. But that’s not all. There was a FREE OPEN BAR. And, we left the show with a free portable phone charger. Yes, there are miracles.

Also worth noting is my second blog post for Choose Chicago went live today. Check it out of you want an in-depth look at Wine Festivals coming to Chicago this summer.

5/15 – Rest

I spent today recovering from the craziness from the rest of the week. Nothing terribly exciting happened, but it was a much needed break.

5/16 – Cubs Game

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

One of my best friends from college came to Chicago to visit this weekend, and wanted to check out a Cubs game. It was the first one I attended of the season, and I was trying to find the best price for tickets. I ended up waiting until the last minute, when what I should’ve done was wait until a day or two before. Tickets costed $35 where I could’ve got them for $20. Oh well, live and learn. My sources tell me that since school is out, tickets will be harder to get at great prices closer to the game, so plan accordingly!

5/17 – iO Theater

#CheapWeek: Krewella, UberEats, and a Cubs Game

My beautiful best friend is making her way up in the modeling/acting/improv world and I was privileged to see her in her element. I went to see her student show at iO Theater, and it was only $5 for multiple acts of student talent. Check it out! They have good food and drink to complement the comedy.

Don’t just read about good deals – get them yourself! Find of-the-moment updates by liking Chicago Cheap Ass on Facebook.

chicago cheap ass (1)
Food,

Free Food: 6 Chicago Email Newsletters to Follow

There are a lot of opportunities for free and cheap food in Chicago. An easy way to find out about these opportunities is by following Chicago Cheap Ass on Facebook for of-the-moment updates. You could also refer to this definitive guide of Chicago email newsletters to have free food delivered straight to your inbox. No spam here, people.

1. Corner Bakery Cafe

Corner Bakery Cafe chicago email newsletter

A recent email promotion from Corner Bakery Cafe

I’ll admit that Corner Bakery Cafe is not a place I often seek out on my own, but often consume at networking events and office parties. There are tons of different types of things to eat, they readily post nutrition information, and they offer free coupons all the time. Recently I’ve gotten coupons for free soup, free pastries, and even a free meal. Click here to sign up for their Chicago email newsletter.

2. Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company

A recent email promotion from Noodles & Company

Noodles is one of those places I can’t justify going to on a regular basis because I’m pretty accomplished at making pasta dishes for myself. I know that pasta is a high-margin dish at any restaurant and I wouldn’t be much of a Chicago Cheap Ass if that was how I spent my money while dining out. That being said, getting an email from Noodles is always a delight because more often than not they have coupons for free or BOGO noodle bowls (sometimes other entrees are included as well). Click here to sign up for their Chicago email newsletter.

3. Panera

Panera Bread

A recent email promotion from Panera

Panera skimps more on the freebies than Noodles & Company and Corner Bakery, but just today I got an email that said I can get free coffee the entire month by using MyPanera card. Every once in awhile, they’ll give away coupons of soup and sandwich combos or free baked goods. Definitely worth it if you like their food at all (and are close enough to one of their locations). Click here to sign up for the MyPanera card and loyalty program.

4. Au Bon Pain

Au Bon Pain

A recent email promotion from Au Bon Pain

ABP’s email newsletter is cool, because right off the bat you get a free reusable coffee cup. On top of that, they send out dollar-off coupons regularly, and always have freebies like cookies or drinks to give away. If you work close to one (ABP is primarily in the Loop and River North-ish), you’re going to want to click here to sign up for the Au Bon Pain Chicago email newsletter.

5. Lettuce Entertain You – Beatrix and Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba

Lettuce Entertain You

Recent text club promotions from Lettuce Entertain You

Lettuce Entertain You is the first member of this list to operate primarily in Chicago (with some outliers in the suburbs and other neighboring states). They have their own loyalty program that costs money to join (it’s worth it, but I’ll come back to that in another blog post), but also text clubs that don’t require you to be a member of the loyalty program to use. If you like free tapas, you should sign up for Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba’s program by clicking here and finding the “Text Club” option on the sidebar.  If free coffee, fresh-squeezed juice, and bakery items are more your style, click here for Beatrix’s text club.

6. Spring Rewards

I wrote a post about Spring Rewards and you should check that out for some of the best free food possibilities under the sun. Pairing their loyalty program with a Groupon offer at a participating restaurant means you can dine fine on a budget.

I know I said “definitive” guide at the beginning of this post, but I plan on coming back and updating as I discover more great Chicago email newsletters to follow.

If there’s a Chicago email newsletter you receive that Chicago Cheap Asses would love, let us know in the comments!