Retail reporter and coupon queen Sue Stock offers news and shopping tips on her blog, Taking Stock. We run excerpts here. For her full report, or to share a tip, visit: takingstock.newsobserver.com.
Starbucks for service
Starbucks will reward anyone who pledges to do five hours of volunteer work with a free tall brewed coffee.
I like the idea of promoting volunteerism, but I hope folks follow through on their pledges and actually do the work instead of just collecting the freebie. Visit http://pledge5.starbucks.com/ to read about the pledge.
Subway by cell?
Subway stores in Manhattan are piloting a program in which customers can order online or by text message. Now I'm always running around like crazy, but I'm still not sure if this is necessary. But what do I know? Other companies like Domino's have found online ordering to be very popular.
Teens for jeans
If you have a teen who has too many pairs of jeans in the closet, here's an interesting opportunity: Starting today and running through Feb. 22, Aeropostale stores will be collecting gently worn jeans that they will donate to 500 youth shelters. Anyone who donates a pair will get an additional 25 percent discount off a new pair of jeans if they want, though no purchase is necessary. To find out more, visit the Web site, teensforjeans.com.
Spice it up
A local couple has started an online company selling dry spices and herbs. The husband is the executive chef at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Cary. If you want to check it out, the business is online only right now. You can find it at www.spicecubed.com.
Win a shopping trip with me and $100!
Here's your chance to win a shopping trip with yours truly! (I know, it's so exciting!)
This is a contest being run by our N&O Zone department, which means you must subscribe to the print newspaper to be eligible to enter. One lucky winner will receive the opportunity to go grocery shopping with me and a $100 gift card to the store of your choice (Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Lowes, Kroger, Whole Foods or Wal-Mart). Enter at www.newsobserver.com/zone through Feb. 8. Good luck!
Upromise a partner of Food Lion now
If you have a Upromise account, you should know that the online savings program has partnered with Food Lion. So you can earn credit when you shop at Food Lion, too. If you have an existing Upromise account and a Food Lion MVP card, you need to link your card with your Upromise account. Log into your account and click on "My Account" and then click on "Add Grocery Cards."
If you are not familiar with Upromise, read my description on my blog. The link is on the left side of the page.