Happy Friday the 13th

Grumpy cat meme Friday the 13th best day ever

Friday the 13th has always been a lucky day for me. Here’s how my last Friday the 13th went:

In the morning, I had the opportunity to tour and meet employees in different areas of my company I don’t usually interact with. Getting to know the amazing people I work with better and see the interesting work they do is always one of the highlights of my work.

One of my colleagues was celebrating her 30th work anniversary, so next stop was cake and refreshments.

It was a beautiful warm September day so I enjoyed a quick walk at lunch,  then we treated our writer’s group to an ice cream during a mid-afternoon break. Definitely not your typical day at work!

I came home to a beautiful puppy with lots of tail wags and the aroma of homemade stew wafting through the air in the crock pot.

Friday nights we’re usually whipped, but Clare had a hockey practice in Napanee at 8:30, so we packed up the car and hit the road.

Just as I was thinking how tired I was and was wishing I could have stayed at home, we drove into a packed parking lot.

In a serendipitous twist of fate, Clare’s practice landed on the same night in the same area as a free exhibition game between the Kingston Frontenacs and Ottawa 67s. I caught the last half of the game, which turned out to be a barn burner. The Fronts were down 4-1 in the third, scored two goals within 10 seconds, then with one minute left in the game, pulled their goalie and scored to tie the game 4-4.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

This week’s #HappyAct is to channel the good fortunes of the universe, and have a Happy Friday the 13th.

7 Ways You Can Score Free Stuff

Family with free t-shirt and hatsWith cauliflower costing $7 these days, finding ways to save money is a smart strategy. Finding ways to score free stuff is even smarter.

Last night we were at the KROCK Centre watching the Kingston Frontenacs Game beat the Niagara Ice Wolves. It was blue and white night, and after the whistle, they were throwing Maple Leaf t-shirts into the crowds. Home Depot held a drilling competition during one of the intermissions and were giving away free hats. We scored on both fronts at the Fronts!

Then on the way home, we’re in the Tim Hortons drive thru and they made a mistake on our order so we scored an extra two donuts and hot chocolate. It was a banner night in the Swinton household.

Scoring free stuff is great on the pocketbook, but it’s also just pure fun. Here are seven ways you can score free stuff:

  1. Attend a sports event. At the last three or four games we’ve been to, we’ve scored free t-shirts and hats. You don’t have to spend a mint either on the admission ticket. Last year we went to the Queen’s-Ryerson men’s and women’s double header basketball game and scored free t-shirts.
  2. Shop at Costco. Sure, you may wind up a few hundred dollars in the red when you leave the place, but if you try all the samples, you’ve basically scored a free meal.
  3. Sign up for a charity walk or ride. Many charity events, like the Big Bike for Heart and Stroke give you a free gift for different pledge levels—a win-win for everyone.
  4. Look for introductory offers for organizations. As an outdoorsman, Dave takes out an annual membership to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. They have this amazing introductory offer where you get a tackle box full of lures, a reel, fishing line and more.
  5. Watch for 2 for 1 coupons on items, especially if it was something you were going to buy anyway. If you don’t need the second item, tuck it away for a gift.
  6. Attend a trade show or fair. These are goldmines for scoring free stuff!
  7. When travelling, research which local attractions are free or have free days. When I was in Washington last year I was surprised to learn that all of the Smithsonian museums are still free to the public. This may not technically qualify as free stuff, but with the high cost of vacation travel these days, finding free things to do is a fantastic score.

This week’s #HappyAct is to see what you can score for free this week. Just be prepared for the inevitable argument when your nine-year old insists on wearing her new Maple Leafs t-shirt to bed when your Canadiens loving spouse bans all blue and white in the house. What’s your best free stuff score? Leave a comment!