Thursday, November 29, 2012

Free Gift Cards at the Shops at Montebello: Friday Free Days, 11/30, 12/7, 12/14

Visit the Shops at Montebello mall on November 30, December 7, and December 14 and make the line at Guest Services to get a free $10 gift card! The first 100 people in line by 6pm will get a gift card.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting: Santa Fe Springs, Saturay, 12/1

Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 1
5:00 - 8:00PM

Town Center Green
11710 E. Telegraph Rd.
Santa Fe Springs, 90670

Performances and crafts. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

From the city's newsletter. To see more activities in Santa Fe Springs click here.

Free Photo with Santa at Bass Pro Shops

This promotion is a little way from home, but nearly everyone I know has at least one family member that lives in the Inland Empire. Next time you head out there for a visit make an extra stop at Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga.
Everyday from now through Christmas Eve children can experience Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops. Every child takes home a free photo with Santa and can participate in crafts, games, and activities.
Bass Pro Shops
7777 Victoria Gardens Lane
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Join the YMCA by 12/31 and pay no registration fee! Save $75!

Join the Montebello-Commerce YMCA this holiday season and pay no registration fee!

The Shops at Montebello is sponsoring the joining fee of any new member from now through December 31, 2012.

Visit the YMCA Gift Wrapping Center, where you can get your gifts wrapped for free(!), at the mall to pick up a flyer. Take the flyer to the YMCA when you register. New members must be registered by 12/31/12.

Or use the flyer for a trial membership. The same flyer is good for one free week of YMCA membership for individuals or families.

The YMCA Gift Wrapping Center can be found across from the elevator at the Shops at Montebello Mall.

See the calendar below for operating hours. For more information please contact the YMCA, 323-887-9622.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Wishes Tree Lighting Spectacular: Showing Nightly at the Disney Store

You can experience a little bit of Disney magic every evening at the Disney Store's nightly
Holiday Wishes: Tree Lighting Spectacular!
Five minutes before the appointed time an announcement is made and the countdown begins.
The lights in the store dim and the Holiday Wishes show is projected onto the main screen in the gazebo, the upper walls of the store, and the trees within the store.
The show features "wishing" scenes from Disney movies. Near the end guests are invited to make their own wish, blow it toward the trees and the trees are illuminated with Christmas lights.
The entire show lasts about five minutes and is very entertaining for kids and Disney fans.
This event is shown nightly at the Disney Store in the Shops at Montebello Mall. Monday - Saturday at 7pm and Sundays at 5pm. I'm sure it can be found in all remodeled Disney Stores as well.

Coinstar Promotion: $40 in coins = $50 gift card

Coinstar is offering an additional $10 in gift card value with a $40 coin deposit.
Turn $40 in coins into $50 e-gift cards for Old Navy, iTunes, or Dell.
Offer is valid Monday, November 26 - Sunday December 9, 2012.
Visit to find a machine near you.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Guide to JCPenney "Merry Christmas America!" Button Collecting & Game

**There has been a lot of traffic from Russian sites to this page. I'd appreciate it if someone who found this page from a Russian site could explain what is drawing the interest.
These are the 50 buttons featured on the JCPenney "Merrry Christmas America!" web page.
Each button has a code on the back. Enter your email and the code on the JCPenney web page and within moments you'll receive an email if you have a winning button or not.
You do not have to register unless you win a prize. Only an email address* or facebook account* is required to input the code to see if it's a winner. The odds of winning are pretty good. The $5 and $10 holiday certificates have a 1:8 chance of winning. 2 codes per person and email account per day.
*Users of AOL & Hotmail email accounts, and people who sign into the game using their Facebook profile have reported very long delays of 72 hours or sometimes more, in receiving emails from JCPenney for this contest.
If your button is not a winner, this is the email you will receive:

 If you get a winning button, this is what the email looks like:
Click the "Claim My Gift Now" button and enter your mailing address and phone number. You will not receive your prize immediately. The FAQ page says, "The elves are working day and night to get the gift out to ASAP."
If you write a question in to the contact link you'll get a message that says, "You will receive ANOTHER email that contains the certificate with a bar code, via the email you registered with. This is your Holiday Certificate. You will get this within 48 hours of filling out the redemption form."  
After a day or two this is the email you will receive:
$5 &; $10 Holiday Certificates cannot be combined. One certificate can be redeemed per transaction.
FYI: These buttons are not part of the giveaway. They are on JCPenney in-store signage and displays only.
There was a promotion with a large penguin button that was hidden in every store. The person who found the button won a gift card. I heard from people online that the button was hidden in plain view, such as on a mannequin's sweater.
For more information visit JCPenney's "Merry Christmas America!" page.
Happy Collecting & Good Luck!

iPod Touch 5: Best Price & Promotions

I received a call from my sister asking me to look into best prices and promotions for the new iPod Touch 5th Generation, 32GB. I learned that Apple has an agreement with retailers and the prices pretty much the same across the board. $295 - $300 plus an additional $25 or so in sales tax.

I found two promotions. One can get you $60 in free groceries and the other can get you $50 off.


1.  Go to Albertsons and buy $300 in Macy's gift cards. With every $100 purchase of Macy's gift cards you will get a $20 coupon for free groceries. Details about the Albertons promotion is here. After paying you'll have $60 in coupons for free groceries.

2. Visit the iPod kiosk at the Macy's. In Montebello, there is a kiosk in the Macy's Home store in the kitchen appliances section.

3. The kiosk accepts Macy's gift cards along with credit cards for payment. You'll need to swipe a credit card to cover the tax.

4. Remember to go back to Albertsons and use the free grocery coupons within the week. Better yet, save yourself a trip and after buying the Macy's gift cards, turn back around and go grocery shopping right then.

BONUS: The kiosk also sells iPads and accessories.

AMAZON.COM PROMOTION: has a $50 gift card offer if you sign up for an Visa card. $50 will automatically be deducted if you apply and qualify for an Visa Card. You may have to search around the site to get the link, I found the link to apply for the card after I put the iPod into my shopping cart. Free shipping.

Albertsons Gift Card Deals = Free Groceries!

Albertson's is running their awesome gift card promotion again!
Purchase $100 in any combination of participating gift cards and get a coupon for $20 in free groceries. Offer valid now through Thursday, November 29, 2012.
Participating cards are: Applebees, iTunes, Macy's Sears, Regal Theatres, Lowe's, Groupon, Macaroni Grill/On the Border/Maggiano's, Bass Pro Shops, Kohls, and AMC Theatres.
This is a great opportunity to stock up on gift cards for the holidays. Or if you have the funds, buy the cards for later use in 2013.
The fine print says, "Limit one coupon per qualifying and 1 coupon per redeeming transaction." I interpret that as the register will only print out one $20 free grocery coupon at a time. If you want to buy more than $100 in gift cards, you have to make multiple transactions. Also, they will only accept one $20 free grocery coupon at a time. If you have more than one $20 free grocery coupon you may have to separate your order into different transactions, ask the cashier though, sometimes they will override the computer. Also the free grocery coupon expires one week after it's been printed out, don't let it expire, use it immediately!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shutterfly: Free Calendar, pay only $6 shipping!

Shutterfly is offering a free wall calendar with the code CALENDAR2013, simply enter the code into your account and pay $6 shipping. The code is only good through Friday, November 23, 2012.

I love these calendars. Not only can you customize the calendar with 12 large photos or collages for each month, but you can add photos and comments on the date boxes too!

I made one for my in-laws and put pictures of my kids on their birthdays, pictures from weddings on anniversaries, and pictures from this year's holiday on next year's holiday. It was a huge hit! They loved it!

BONUS: Use the code, BLACKFRIDAY, to get 10 free cards!
Code valid through Sunday, 11/25.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Friday 2012 at the Shops at Montebello Mall

The Shops at Montebello is gearing up for Black Friday shoppers by offering great promotions!
Mall entrances open at 10pm, stores open at midnight!
Promotions offered on Friday, November 23, 2012 only unless otherwise noted.

    Spend $200 at the Shops at Montebello and receive 4 tickets to your choice of the Aquarium of the Pacific ($103 value), Universal Studios ($320 value), or Six Flags Magic Mountain ($180 value). Bring receipts to the Guest Services desk at Center Court for redemption. Promotion valid 11/23-12/16 or while supplies last.  Sorry, this promotion has been cancelled. It has been replaced with Friday Free Days.
The first 500 people at Center Court will receive a Shops at Montebello travel mug!
Enter for a chance to win prizes from mall retailers every hour from midnight-8am at Center Court.
 Live DJ entertainment, coffee and pastries at Center Court. Midnight-8am.
Enter for a chance to win one of three 3 day/2 night Disneyland Resort vacations for a family of four, contest sponsored by with  92.3 FM.
Take a load off at the Relaxation Station, midnight-2pm.
Kids can have fun at a Kid's Zone where they can enjoy crafts, entertainment, and snacks. Open 2-6pm.
Get three gifts wrapped for only a $5 donation at YMCA's gift wrapping station. Open 10am-5pm.
Purchase a $50 Visa Gift Card at Guest Services and receive a Free Holiday Teddy Bear. 
Dollars for Scholars Bonus Points, earn quadruple points for your school of choice by logging receipts from midnight-6am and triple points 6am-10pm. Earn 1,000 points with the purchase of a Visa Gift Card at Guest Services.

For more about Black Friday at the Shops at Montebello, visit Guest Services at Center Court or click here.

Waiting for JCPenney to open.

Too much excitement.
Line to enter the Disney Store.
Can't get enough about Black Friday? Read my Top 10 Shopping Tips and my Notes from Black Friday 2011 which includes times people lined up at stores in Montebello. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting: Old Pasadena, Friday, 11/23

Old Pasadena comes alive with holiday festivities on Friday, November 23 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Live reindeer, 20 tons of real snow, a magical tree-lighting ceremony, Santa’s arrival and more!  All activities are family friendly and free!
Everything kicks off at 4:00pm with Old Pasadena’s own winter wonderland, located on Holly Street between Raymond and Fair Oaks. Kids can play in 20 tons of real snow, see live reindeer fresh from the North Pole, create in a kid’s craft area, and enjoy live music in this spectacular children’s winter playground. 
Venture over to One Colorado at 6:00pm when Santa arrives to light the dazzling 30-foot Christmas tree and the 2013 Rose Queen makes one of her first public appearances.
At the Tree-Lighting, everyone is asked to bring an unwrapped toy or book for a toy drive. Children and adults who donate an unwrapped toy or book anytime between 6-8pm will receive a FREE photo with Santa at One Colorado on November 23rd.
For more information visit:

Children's Christmas Event: Homestead Museum, Industry, Saturday, 12/1


Holiday Sonata Event: Uptown Whittier, Saturday 12/1


Thursday, November 15, 2012

When should you line up for Black Friday?

Thanksgiving is one week away and CBS news is reporting that people are already lining up for Black Friday sales. It's really early to line up for Black Friday. I'm sure many people who have never experienced the wonder of Black Friday wonder, "What time should I line up?"

Last year I took notes about how many people were in line at certain stores in the chance that it would be helpful to someone out there.

With the exception of Kohl's all the stores mentioned are in Montebello, CA.

Tuesday before Thanksgiving: people line up at Best Buy with tents.
Thanksgiving Day:
6pm: Toys R Us 25 people in line. At Sears there is 1 person in line.
8pm: Toys R Us ~200 people in line. Sears has 5 people in line. I drive by Best Buy and see a long line and the several cars pulling into the parking lot.
9pm: Toys R Us opens. A limited number of people are allowed in a time, see note below. At Sears 6 people are in line.
10pm: Sears 10 people in line. Line to enter Toys R Us continues.
11pm: Shops at Montebello Mall open its doors. Line to enter Toys R Us continues. At Best Buy the entire parking lot for the shopping center is full. Shoppers are parking in the street and searching for the end of the line to enter.
Midnight: The stores at the Shops at Montebello Mall open, thousands of people shop. Line to enter Toys R Us continues.
3:00: Line to enter Toys R Us is gone, customers can now walk in without waiting. I heard from others in line that there were what seemed like thousands of people waiting in line at Best Buy.
3:45: Sears opens 15 minutes early, 200+ are in line to enter, the store allows a limited number of customers in at a time.
5am: The Shops at Montebello Mall is nearly cleared out of shoppers, many stores stand empty with sales associates waiting in doorways armed with flyers about their current promotions.

6am: At Kohls in Alhambra, CA store has been open a few hours and I am able to leisurely browse the sales floor. The items I want are available and the line to pay takes 5 minutes.

7am: CVS opens. There are only two customers shopping the Black Friday sales. 

Black Friday Shopping 2011 was much more organized than in the past:

Toys R Us: Customers and allowed to enter at 9pm and as we enter a sales associate asks, “Who is here for the TV? Who is here for the Xbox?” Customers who reply, “Me!” are given a ticket to purchase the item and can go directly to the registers. Only a few hundred people are allowed to enter the store. When the store reaches capacity the line to enter is stopped and customers are allowed to enter only as customers exit. Inside some customers rush over to the crowded electronic section while others leisurely browse the aisles. The line to pay is clearly defined by tape marked on the floor. One sales associate has the job of standing at the end of the line holding balloons so customers can see where to line up. I was about #200 in line, I know exactly what I want, I'm one of the first ones at the main registers to pay and I'm out of the store by 9:15.
Sears:  A manager asked for customers that wanted appliances to enter first and stand in an appliance line. She then asked for the customers that wanted electronics and asked them to stand in an electronics line. In each line there were about 5 sales clerks, as many as there are registers, each associate is assigned to work with each one of us. When an associate finished working with a  customer they worked with the next customer in line. It was a very calm.

Shops at Montebello Mall: My sister went to the mall just after midnight. She said Macy's was packed with people, the shoe department was a nightmare, as was the kid's toy area upstairs. The big advertised specials were easily found in the center aisles. The rest of the mall was kind of empty, some stores just had regular sales, but nothing special. She didn't have any trouble finding a parking spot.  In 2010 the Disney Store had a line to enter and the line to check out at the Children's Place was 45 minutes long.

Benefit from my experience and read my TOP 10 BLACK FRIDAY TIPS here.


Thanksgiving 2012: Montebello Pie Price Comparision Chart

Just in time for Thanksgiving! I've compiled a price comparison of the most popular pies available at restaurants in Montebello.
Pies at Broaster Kitchen.

IKEA: Black Friday Weekend, Toys 50% off!

IKEA is hosting a Black Friday sales weekend.
Here are my two favorite sales:

My kids love playing in any tent like contraption. They make tents out of the couch cushions and blankets at least once a week. The circus tent at over 3 feet wide and 4 feet high is roomy enough for a couple of kids to play inside. For only $8, it's a great gift for families with 2 or more children. The price is only available on Sunday, 11/25.
The soft toys were on sale for 50% off from Friday, 11/23 though Sunday, 11/25. I absolutely adore the IKEA soft toys. All are designed for imaginative play. There are puppets, play sets, stuffed animals, dress up hats, and dolls. This is a good time to shop for Christmas presents but also for any birthdays for the coming year. My personal favorite is the DUKTIG set of play food. There are five sets of play food, a fruit basket, vegetable basket, breakfast set, dessert set, and a fish set. All are on sale for $4 each. To see all the toys and soft toys IKEA offers, click here.
Play Food Sets from the DUKTIG collection at IKEA. Only $4 a set on Black Friday weekend.
For shoppers spending $100 or more at IKEA on Black Friday weekend, stop and have a meal in the restaurant. Save your restaurant receipt and the price of the meal will be deducted from your total at the register.
I love IKEA, not only for their sales but for how the store is family friendly. I see a trip to IKEA as a free fun family outing. To read about my previous trips to IKEA, read my previous post here

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Free Diabetes Health Screening with $5 CVS Bonus!

Local CVS pharmacies are hosting Diabetes Awareness Events throughout the Los Angeles area.

Participants will receive glucose, blood pressure, and BMI testing, along with nutrition assessments, and consultations with health care professionals.

All participants will receive a $5 coupon redeemable at CVS pharmacies!

Click here for more information about the event.

Local health screenings are available at CVS pharmacies in Whittier, Downey, Montebello, and Pico Rivera. More screenings are available, check the calendar for dates, times and addresses.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New Play Area at the Shops at Montebello Mall!

Wow! The Shops at Montebello is remodeling the play area!
Sponsored by the Montebello Bus Lines the new play area will feature a replica Montebello Bus, a hybrid car, and other "green" elements for ages 4 and under to enjoy all year round.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony, lemonade, face painting, balloon art, and free giveaways to the first 500 children.
The Grand Opening celebration is on Saturday, Dec. 1 @ 1:00PM.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Community Rummage Sale: OLMM Church, Saturday, 11/10

Community Rummage Sale

Saturday, November 10

7:30AM - 3:30PM

Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church Parking Lot
820 N. Garfield Avenue, Montebello

Shop or sell. Spaces are available for rent, call 323-725-7578, x313 for information.

Gift Card + Free Groceries Offer: Albertsons

Get a coupon for $5 in groceries when you purchase any multi-pack of gift cards at Albertsons.

Multi-packs range in cost from $30-$60. A coupon for $5 off your next grocery purchase will print out with your receipt at purchase. Last day to get this promotion is Monday, 11/12/12. The $5 off coupon expires one week after being issued.

Albertsons carries multi-pack gift cards for:

Applebees, Chilis, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, TGI Fridays, Starbucks, McDonalds, Cold Stone, iTunes, Best Buy, Game Stop, Regal Cinemas, AMC Theatres, Fandango, Visa, and MasterCard.