Google Express Free Trial

Google Shopping Express car 1

Google Express has now expanded to Boston. If you are unfamiliar with Google Shopping Express, it is a same-day delivery service on orders of $15 or more. It is comparable to Instacart, but with a lot more stores to choose from and prices on products seem to be cheaper.

Not all Boston neighborhoods are included in the launch (Dorchester, West Roxbury, etc.) but some neighborhoods outside Boston (Somerville, Malden, Arlington, etc.) are included.

Membership costs $95/year or $10/month or you can pay as you go at $4.99 per order. Also, according to Google, there are no hidden markups so you would pay what you would pay in-store. It may be a great option if you have limited time, lack of transportation options and/or hate shopping.

You can sign up for a free 3-month trial of Google Express if you are interested. Please make sure to read all terms to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

For more information about Google Express, please head here or to sign-up for a free trial, please head here.


Money Saving Monday: Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

Money Saving Tips

*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

Sometimes the little changes can make a big impact on your budget. The cost of heat can add up this winter. If you have the opportunity to make changes to your living quarters, you may want to switch to a programmable thermostat if you haven’t already.

Programmable Thermostats regulate the temperature in your house base on the schedule you set, so if you are not home for several hours the temperature in the house will decrease.

The cost of a programmable thermostat ranges, but you can find programmable thermostats starting at $20 or so (amazon aff. link).

Switching to a programmable thermostat is a little change and a little investment at first but it can save you 10-20% on your energy bills.

Do you have a programmable thermostat in your home?

To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.

31 Budget-Friendly Halloween Events in the Greater Boston Area 2014

Halloween Events in Boston

Are you looking for some budget-friendly Halloween fun in the Boston area? Here are 31 suggestions of fun things to do to celebrate Halloween without breaking the bank!

1. 20th Anniversary of Pru Boo: October 26, 2014 from 11-1pm at the Prudential Center. Wear your cutest costume and trick or treat for charity. Face painting, kid concert, pumpkin decorating and more. $4 donation towards nonprofit partner.

2. Halloween Happenings at the Cambridgeside Galleria: October 30, 2014 from 4-6pm. Enjoy trick-or-treating and grabbing a bag of goodies at the Cambridgeside Galleria. Please bring a canned good.

3. 2nd Annual Halloween Event at Legacy Place: Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 11-1pm. Compete in a costume contest, enjoy trick-or-treating, partake in seasonal crafts and more at Legacy Place on Saturday! Free, but please bring a non-perishable good for the Greater Boston Food Bank.

4. Halloween Happenings at Chestnut Hill Square: Sunday, October 26, 2014 from 12-3pm. Head to Newton for Halloween arts & crafts, music, goodie bags, and more. Please bring a canned good.

5. Trick-Or-Treat At The Street: October 25, 2014 from 1-4pm at The Street in Chestnut Hill. Enjoy a fun afternoon for Halloween Festivities with trick-or-treating, crafts, music, free treats and more for everyone in the family!

6. South Shore Plaza Boo-Bash: October 25, 2013 from 12-3pm at Macy’s Center Court at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree. Enjoy Halloween inspired activities, swag bag giveaways and more!

7. Halloween Boo-Bash: Saturday, October 25, 2013 from 12-3pm at Square One Mall in Saugus. Enjoy special store offers and fun arts & crafts. $1 per child donation and must register at Guest Services.

8. Spook-tacular Halloween Party: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 from 4-7pm at Uno’s at Burlington Mall. Head to Uno’s at the Burlington mall in costume for pumpkin decorating, treats and more! Kids also eat free during the event.

9. Fun Fright Night at Patriots Place: Friday, October 24, 2014 starting at 3pm at the NRG Plaza. Enjoy hayrides, face painting and more. There will also be a free movie showing of Ghostbusters at sundown.

10. Trick or Treat at Patriots Place: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 12:30opm and 5:30pm at Patriots Place in Foxboro. Wear your costume and trick or treat around Patriots Place for goodies!

11. Wilson Farm Spooky Hayrides: Almost daily at Wilson Farms in Lexington. Enjoy a family-friendly spooky hayride at Wilson Farms… or two!

12. Punkin’ Fest: Friday, October 24, 2014 from 4-10pm at the Lawn on the D. Pick a Punkin’ from the D Street Punkin patch and participate in fun Halloween activities!

13. Halloween Party at Castle Island: October 26-27, 2014 from 12-4pm at Fort Independence. There will be a lot of fun on Castle Island with a haunted castle, storytellers, magicians, refreshments, and more! Free, but children MUST be accompanied by an adult. Weather permitting.

14. Halloween Story Time and Parade: Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 10:30am at the Make Way for Ducklings store at Faneuil Hall. Enjoy stories and songs celebrating Halloween, for children of all ages.

15. Trick or Treat to the Beat: Sunday, October 26, 2014 from 5-6:30pm at the New School of Music in Cambridge. Enjoy family friendly musical activities for all ages!

16. Boston Public Library Halloween Events: Check out your local Boston Library for fun Halloween events crafts, Halloween story time, movies, and more.

17. Salem Haunted Happenings: Events daily in Salem, Massachusetts. Is there a better place to celebrate Halloween than Salem, MA? Check out some great Haunted Happenings all month.

18. Pumpkin Float: Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 5:30pm at DCR Pope John II Park in Dorchester. Bring a carved pumpkin (no bigger than 8 inches) and watch it float on Davenport Creek!

19. Halloween Night Hike: Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 7-9pm in Dorchester. No flashlights allowed through a spooky walk through the forest! (Costumes and Strollers not recommended).

20. Pumpkin Fest: October 19, 2014 from 4:30-6:30pm at Boston Common Frog Pond. Check out floating pumpkins, luminaries and fun family activities!

21. Carnival of Curiosities: Sunday, October 26, 2014 at SoWa in the South End. End the outdoor season of SoWa with a bang with a costume contest and much more! (First place receives $250!!)

22. Trick-or-Treat at the Market: Thursday, October 30th from 3-7pm in Watertown. Trick-or-treat in costume as well as enjoy other Halloween activities!

23. Halloween on the Harbor: Friday, October 31, 2014 from 7-10pm. Head to the Seaport District in costume to collect goodies and prizes at local establishments! $5 donation.

24. Paint, Drink and Be Scary: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 7-11pm at The Paint Bar on Newbury Street. Enjoy a fun Halloween party at the Paint Bar. Admission is $4 online or $5 at the door and $5 each for painting projects.

25. Halloween Weekend Pub Crawl: October 25, 30, 31st and November 1st at Boston bars. Let someone do the planning for you at this Halloween pub crawl. Complimentary tickets available at Goldstar Boston (affiliate).

26. Boorito at Chipotle: October 31, 2014 from 5pm-Close at local Chipotle restaurants. Stop by your local Chopotle on Halloween night dressed in costume and score a $3 boo-rito, bowl, salad, or tacos for $3.

27. Scary Face Pancakes at IHOP: October 31, 2014 from 7am-10pm. Kids can get free scary face pancakes at IHOP on Halloween!

28. Kids Eat for Free at Salvatore’s: October 27-November 1, 2014 at all Salvatore’s locations. Kids (12 and under) in costume eat for free at Salvatore’s during Halloween week!

29. Faneuil Hall Pet Parade: Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 12-3pm at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Watch, enjoy, and possibly dress up your pet for this annual pet parade!

30. Howl-O-Ween Pet Party: Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 11-1pm at the Seaport Hotel. Mix and mingle with other pet owners and pets and enter the pet costume party! Free and open to the public.

31. Bootiful Costume Party: Saturday, October 25, 2014 at your local Petco. Dress up your pet for a chance to win prizes!

Please me know in the comments below if I missed any fun and budget-friendly events in the Greater Boston area for Halloween!

Happy Halloween!


Feature Friday: How to Save Cheering on Your Favorite Boston Sports Team

A Playoff Patriots Game at Gillette Stadium

Every Friday, I feature a fun and budget-friendly option in the Greater Boston area. The “Feature Friday” is typically mentioned on the Cheap Eats list, Free Things to Do in Boston, or Discount Attractions. However, there’s so much budget-friendly ideas on my pages, I thought it would be fun to feature something budget-friendly and different each week. Also, each Feature Friday is something I have personal experience with or took advantage of recently! Enjoy!

Last year the New England Patriots had the highest ticket price in the NFL and the second largest overall expense to attend a game at Gillette Stadium. It was almost $300 per person to attend a game last year, on average, which is not very budget-friendly.

I have to admit that one of my splurges are attending Patriots games and other Boston sporting events. (I think rewarding yourself here and there for items that are important to you is important to do.) However, I typically don’t spend near $300 for myself at a game. Here are some tips for saving at Patriots games and more:

  • Buy tickets at asking price (or below) directly from the source when they go on sale, especially from the Patriots because they tend to sell for a lot more from third party sellers
  • Attend less desirable games to find lower ticket prices (Bad/cold weather games, bad opponents, awkward date/times, etc.)
  • Travel and park with a group of friends in one car and split parking costs or look for other inexpensive travel options. (For example: $40/4= $10 per person for parking at a Gillette Lot)
  • If you do plan to eat and drink at the game, eat at home, tailgate for the game, or find an inexpensive dining option. Try not to eat in the stadium whenever possible to avoid high drink and food prices.

If you do like to attend Pats games at least once a year and don’t have a ticket hookup, I’d recommend signing up for the Patriots season ticket waitlist. It is $100 per seat when you sign up, however, you can put that towards season tickets if you do go that route. The best thing about being on the Patriots waitlist is access to the ticket exchange.

The NFL ticket exchange is a great way to buy tickets from other fans at face value or below. Sometimes it can be tricky to find tickets for high demand games in advance, but you can usually find tickets for a few games, as well as last minute tickets to the high demand games.

Although the waitlist isn’t for everyone, it definitely works well for myself and my family and has already paid for itself. One year we were able to find playoff tickets below face value because the weather was less than ideal. It definitely has saved us a lot of money and we’ve gone to a lot of great games!

However, if you do not want to be on a waitlist and couldn’t get tickets at face value when they went on sale, finding last minute tickets to games are a great way to avoid high ticket prices. You just need to be flexible.

Do you have any tips to save on Patriots games or your favorite Boston Sports Team?

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Cheap Weekend Fun in Boston for October 18-19, 2014!

Cheap Weekend Events in BostonThere’s a lot of fun and inexpensive things to do in Boston this weekend! Here’s a few ideas:

Head of the Charles Regatta: October 18-19, 2014 along the Charles River. Watch the world’s best crew teams at the banks of the Charles River for the ultimate two-day rowing competition for the 50th Anniversary.

A Cappella Competition: October 18-19, 2014 from 12-4pm at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Be part of the audience as 16 A Cappella groups across New England battle to be the best!

2nd Annual Mayor’s Pumpkin Fest at Frog Pond: Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 4:30-6:30pm. Enjoy the Mayor’s Pumpkin Fest with floating pumpkins, music, family fun activities and more!

Fort Point Open Studios: October 17-19, 2014. Celebrate 35 years of Open Studios in Fort Point with more than 150 artists opening their doors to visitors.

Revere Beach Fall Festival: Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 11-2pm at Revere Beach. Pick out a pumpkin with your family and decorate it! (Pumpkins are free thanks to generous donations!)

Meet and Greet With Tedy Bruschi: Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 1:30-2:30pm at the Woburn Mall. Meet Tedy Bruschi and enjoy pizza slices at Papa Gino’s for .54 and large cheese pizzas for $5.40!

Haunted Happenings in Salem: Fun events daily in Salem, MA. Salem has a lot of haunted happenings this October including a free movie night sponsored by Radio 92.9 every Saturday night.

Chocotoberfest at Taza Chocolate: Every Saturday in October from 1-4pm at Taza Chocolate in Somerville. Celebrate fall with a tasting of goodies! Free to attend.

Please let me know in the comments below if I missed any fun and budget-friendly things to do this weekend!

Where to Get Free and Low-Cost Flu Shots in Boston

Flu Season Ahead Sign

It is flu season and a great way to stay healthy (and save a lot of money on medicines) is to get your flu shot. Some employers and colleges will have flu clinics, but there are many places to receive a flu shot this season in and around the Greater Boston area.

Most insurances will cover flu shots or will reimburse you for the cost of the shot, so make sure to check with your insurance company first.

My favorite website to find free and low-cost flu shots is this one because they tell you up front if you will be turned away if your insurance does not cover the shot, and a lot of times you will be able to shot if insurance doesn’t cover.

Also, check out the Boston Public Health Commission Flu Finder to find a flu clinic in Boston.

You can also receive a flu shot at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and more. Flu shots are typically around $32 at pharmacies, however, prices may vary. You may find flu shots a little cheaper (around $25) at Wal-Mart or Target if you live near one.

I know CVS is offering a 20% shopping pass to encourage you to receive your flu shot there, so it’s a nice little perk if you need to pick up something at CVS anyway.

Please let me know if you know of any free flu clinics in the Greater Boston area or have any flu shot tips in the comments below!


Free B&B Rooms for Vets for Veteran’s Day!

Free B&B Rooms For Vets

Veteran’s Day is coming up  next Month and select Bed & Breakfasts and Inns are giving servicemen and women a free night stay on or around Veteran’s Day. Please note that free rooms are filling up FAST, so you may want to book your reservation soon or tell a friend to do so!

Please head here more information or to find a participating B&B. Thank you for your service!

Money Saving Monday: Take Advantage of Free Fun

Money Saving Tips

*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

Taking advantage of free fun is a great way to save money whether you are taking advantage of a free attractions in Boston, walking around a park, or enjoying a game at home.

There’s a lot of fun things to do for free or little to no cost. Sometimes hanging out with friends at home can be just as fun as going out to a bar, and a lot cheaper.

Also, there’s a lot of festivals, concerts and events in Boston that charge nothing. There’s really a lot of fun things to do in the city without spending a lot for entertainment.

Planning ahead is a great way to save money on entertainment but sometimes you can stumble upon great and free events too.

Taking advantage of free fun is a great way to save money while still having fun!

What are your favorite ways to find free fun?

To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.