Browsing Tag

spring rewards

#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.

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Dating, Life,

Top Ten: Cheap Chicago Tinder Dates

Many of my friends have been in situations where they’re planning a first Tinder date but are unsure of what to do. Keeping in mind that they might end up not even liking the person, it’s important to find cost-effective solutions to get to know someone.

Cheap Chicago Tinder Dates

  1. Go to the beach.

    Cheap Chicago Tinder Date - Beach

    From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/npvphotography/3785601544

    While going to the beach is limited to the (few) summer months in Chicago, this is actually a nice, low-key way to get to know someone new. You can BYOB (at your own risk!) instead of paying an expensive bar tab. You may also get to see what your date looks like in a swimsuit. Win-win all around. For those who like to multi-task, the beach is a great opportunity to soak in the sun and play a game of beach volleyball, so that even if your date sucks, you can cross gym and tan off your list for the day (the only thing left to do is laundry!).

  2. Go on a picnic.

    Cheap Chicago Tinder Date - beach

    From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenilio/

    Ok, it might sound lame to you, but there are so many beautiful parks in Chicago. There’s the Chicago Botanical Garden, Millenium Park, and more. You can even visit the Lincoln Park Zoo to make it look like you really planned things out. If you’re a foodie, make some delicious sandwiches to really impress your date. Have them bring the booze. Sharing is caring (and cost-effective).

  3. Go on a bike ride.
    Cheap Chicago Tinder Date - Bike

    From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesbondsv/9041673199

    Most Chicagoans already have a bike, but Divvy day passes are only $7 and are a good excuse to explore Chicago while getting a cardio workout. I highly recommend riding the lakefront path for a picturesque view of Lake Michigan. You can even tie in the picnic or beach idea if things are going well and you want to extend the date.

  4. Improv shows.

    Cheap Chicago Tinder Date - Improv

    From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/houseofsims/2968543327

    There certainly is no shortage of improv shows in Chicago. They make for a great first date because they help break the ice. Tickets range from free to $20 per person, but everyone has an improv friend looking for audience members (just ask!). I suggest getting your buzz on before going in (ideas for happy hour coming up!), and buying something to sip on once you get to the theater. Here are a couple solid options for improv shows:
    Second City
    iO Theater

  5. Go to the Movies.
    No, I’m not talking about the typical expensive movie theater route. See a post I wrote awhile back about cheap movie-seeing alternatives.
  6. Check out a concert.

    Cheap Chicago Tinder Date: Concerts

    From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzy/4546469482

    Depending on how discerning your tastes, Chicago has plenty of shows in the $10-20 range any night of the week. Another option worth looking into is Jukely, which offers “unlimited” concerts for $25/month. To guarantee a plus-one, you can pay $45/month for “unlimited” concerts for two. Jukely represents a lot of Chicago music venues, so there’s bound to be something you (and your date) will enjoy. Plus you’ll seem like a badass for having concert ticket hookups.

  7. Go out to eat (or drink).

    Cheap Chicago Tinder Date: Eat

    From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/trippchicago/

    Let’s talk about a unique approach to the standard first date plan. Before planning a date, check out SmallTabs, which has aggregated happy hour specials from almost 500 bars in Chicago. You can organize your options by day of the week and Chicago neighborhood.

    Also worth mentioning are some cool bars that will give you an extra bang for your buck. Check out Guthrie’s to test your date’s hand at various board games. Headquarters, which has two locations (River North and Lakeview), pairs free arcade games with craft beers and specialty cocktails.

    Another option for saving a few bucks your meal is to sign up for Spring Rewards. Spring Rewards allows you to be a Cheap Ass on the sly.

  8. Batting Cages, Mini-Golf, etc.
    If the idea of getting your date hot and sweaty gets you going, consider doing something active. Sluggers tends to run Groupon deals all the time for their batting cages. And, although I haven’t personally been there, Diversey Range seems to have decent pricing for mini-golf ($10 per person).
  9. Art Gallery Openings.
    Cheap Chicago Tinder Date: Gallery

    From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rotofugi/3332381118

    A rather unique approach to a first date is attending an art gallery opening. This is a good way to open up and get into your date’s head. It also makes you seem cultured. Plus, there’s usually free wine.

  10. MuseumsArt galleries and museums? You must be a really classy date. Several of Chicago’s finest museums have free days once a week/month/etc. Check out Choose Chicago’s list that breaks down where and when to go.

So the next time you go on a first Tinder date, stand out from the crowd and do something interesting. Or at least save some money before you decide if your date is worth it.

What cheap Chicago Tinder dates have you gone on that you would recommend?

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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!

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Food,

Spring Rewards – Chicago’s New Restaurant Loyalty Program

There’s little more annoying than having to keep track of endless cards, apps, etc. just to rack up points at your favorite businesses. My purse simply doesn’t have room for physical representations of all the businesses I frequent. But what if I told you that you could start racking up loyalty points at hundreds of Chicago’s favorite restaurants simply using your credit card?

Spring Rewards

Select different loyalty programs to join in a list segmented alphabetically and by neighborhood.

Spring Rewards is an awesome concept that allows you to connect your credit card to their program to track purchases and earn points. Some restaurants give welcome incentives like $5 or $10 credited back after your first meal with them as a Spring user. Others offer Groupon-esque deals where you pay a certain amount of money (say $5) for a certain amount credited back to you ($15 for example) upon purchase. The caveat – these deals tend to expire quickly after purchase so have a plan in place for when to use them.

Spring Rewards deal

An example of a deal you can purchase from Spring Rewards

As a relatively new company, Spring isn’t perfect. I’ve had to contact them on more than one occasion about a purchase not counting towards loyalty points or credits on my account. As they’re working out the kinks, you have to be proactive about making sure credits are applied. On the flip side, I’m pleasantly surprised when I get a text message from a place I didn’t realize was a part of Spring, and my purchase counts toward future rewards.

PRO TIP: A lot of these businesses (Hutch, Geja’s Cafe, Rockit Ranch, to name a few…) have Groupon offers than run simultaneous to the limited-time Spring offers. You can easily use both at the same time to double-dip for discounts.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Spring Reward’s website and sign up with the credit card you use most for dining. You’ll be glad you did.

Have you used Spring Rewards? Tell me about your experience in the comments.