McDonald’s: Free Breakfast 4/21 for STAAR Students & Teachers

mcdonalds oatmealHouston-area teachers and students in 3rd – 8th grades can receive free breakfast from McDonald’s April 21, 2015, in preparation of the STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) Test. Between 6 am – 9 am, students can choose an Egg McMuffin or Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, apple slices, plus either 1% low fat milk or apple juice box. The free breakfast items are all 300 calories or less — and registered dietitian approved.

Coupons are not needed for the free breakfast, but a parent or guardian must be with them. Siblings (not in grades 3-8) and parents will need to pay for their breakfast.

All locations in greater Houston are involved in the free breakfast from Livingston to Galveston, Sugarland to Conroe, and everything in between.

Teachers are included in the free breakfast offer, with a valid teacher ID. Last year, nearly 25,000 Houston students received a free breakfast from area McDonald’s in prep for the STAAR test. This offer also is available in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.

Tax Day Freebies & Deals in Houston 2015 {Updated}

Tax Day Freebies 2014Businesses are gearing up for Tax Day deals and freebies. It’s always a favorite list here at Houston on the Cheap! This list will be updated as more freebies & deals are announced.

Boston Market — The food retailer is offering Buy One Individual Meal, Get a Second Individual Meal Free in honor of Tax Day. This offer is for dine-in and carry-out purchases. Valid April 15 only. No coupon is required. Limit 3 BOGOS per person.

Carmike Cinemas — Popcorn bucket owners can get free popcorn refills April 15 at Carmike Cinemas. Valid for Tax Day only, April 15.

Clay’s Restaurant — Snag a 1040 Special at Clay’s April 15: Get a Clay’s Cheeseburger, fries + tea or soda for $10.40. Print or display on mobile to get this deal. Located at 17717 Clay Road.

Entertainment Book — Save big April 15 on your local Entertainment Book! Get the Houston Entertainment Book for $10.40 ($35 value) with discounts on local restaurants, entertainment, services, travel and more.

Great American Cookies — Folks can get a free regular Sugar Cookie at Great American Cookies April 15, thanks to its Tax Day promotion. No purchase is necessary — or proof of taxes filed! Nine locations in Houston.

Hard Rock Café — Houstonians can earn a free Legendary Burger from Hard Rock Café  just by “singing for their supper.” Folks simply select their favorite song and perform it live on the restaurant stage. The promotion is April 15, 7 pm – 9 pm pm. It also will extend Happy Hour till 9 pm with drink specials for all: $3 domestic drafts, $4 house wines and well drinks, and $5 house margaritas. Located downtown at 501 Texas.

HydroMassage — Get a free massage at participating HydroMassage locations across the United States April 13-17, 2015.  One location is participating in Houston this year: Planet Fitness, 10701 Jones Road. No call ahead is needed there. Just print out this coupon for this free deal.

Kona Ice Houston — Enjoy a cup of free tropical shaved ice from Kona Ice Houston April 15 for its National Chill Out Day promotion. Visit the Kona truck located outside Frost Bank, 2443 Westheimer between 2 pm – 4 pm April 15.  This is just one example of how Kona Ice is encouraging folks to Flavor Our World and give back.

Schlotzsky’s — On April 15 only, get a free small Original sandwich with purchase of a 32 oz. drink and chips. No coupon required.

Sonic —Sonic Drive-In is offering half-price Cheeseburgers all day April 15.

Texas de Brazil — Patrons get $10 off each dinner at Texas de Brazil (up to 8 per table) in honor of Tax Day! Valid April 15 only. Mention to server to get this deal. Located at CityCentre, 822 Town & Country at Beltway 8.

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50% Off Papa John’s Pizza on Rockets’ Wednesdays

papajohnsAll season, Papa John’s is offering a special half-price deal tied to its partnership with the Houston Rockets. Customers can get 50% off their pizza every Wednesday when the Houston Rockets play. Today is the last day of regular season to take advantage!

Head online to papajohns.com and use promo code ROCKETS. This is valid at participating Houston-area Papa John’s.

VERTS Katy Opens March 21 w/ Free Food

verts katy march21VERTS Kebap is opening its 6th Houston location this weekend. This fast casual restaurant from Austin built its concept around the döner kepab, Germany’s favorite street food.

VERTS opens in Katy March 21 at its Grand Opening, 11 am – 8 pm. Don’t miss free food all day (one full-size entree per person), live DJ music, and a raffle to win free kebaps for a year. The Katy location is at 1453 S. Mason Road.

Never been to VERTS? You’re in for a treat! The kebap is similar to a panini-pressed sandwich filled with vertically roasted meats, veggies, and yogurt-based sauces.

National Ravioli Day & Other Pasta Deals March 18

National Ravioli Day is later this week on March 20 — but folks are celebrating early this year. Check out these specials:

ravioli day 2015BRIO Tuscan Grille — Celebrate 50% off any ravioli dish March 18 for National Ravioli Day. Choose from ravioli items including Crispy Cheese Ravioli, Ravioli di Bello, Ravioli alla Vodka, and Cheese Ravioli al Forno. Dine in only. BRIO is located at CityCentre and The Woodlands.

Buca di Beppo —  This isn’t truly a deal for National Ravioli Day, but it’s a new coupon. Take advantage of the $40 Meal Deal where Four Can Eat for $40. Get your coupon online. Located on Buffalo Speedway and in Conroe.

Spaghetti Warehouse — Imagine a 4-course meal for just $12.99! It’s called Warehouse Trios with choice of soup/salad, appetizer, entree, and dessert. Not a National Ravioli Day deal, but a great deal right now! No coupon required. Spaghetti Warehouse is located at 901 Commerce.

Free Menchie’s February 6: National Frozen Yogurt Day

Menchie'sMenchie’s is celebrating National Frozen Yogurt Day February 6 by giving away free 6oz. per person 4 pm – 8 pm. Sounds like a perfect afternoon!

Find Houston locations online.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt is offering a Buy-One-Get-One Free February 6. Simply claim the offer from its Facebook page and show the email at the store.

Get the offer at Orange Leaf Facebook.

El Pollo Loco #2 Opens in Copperfield

This is a sponsored post by El Pollo Loco. All opinions are my own.

El Pollo Loco CopperfieldEl Pollo Loco opened its second Houston location the week of Thanksgiving in Copperfield, located in NW Houston off Hwy 6 and West Road. The response has been overwhelming, according to Kristie Smith, Houston area marketing manager.

“We’ve had a great rush of people coming to the restaurant at all hours of the day — it’s been fantastic,” Smith says. “Businesses and residents alike have been so kind and supportive.”

So what makes El Pollo Loco unique to the Houston area? Smith says the centerpiece of El Pollo Loco’s menu is their fresh whole chicken, marinated in special herbs, spices, garlic and fruit juices, and then fire-grilled to perfection.

El Pollo Loco chicken“Our Grill Masters are trained and certified through a four-stage, slow-grilling process that takes nearly an hour,” Smith relates. “They use a cleaver to expertly chop the golden brown, finished chicken to order for individual or family-sized meals.”

The company refers to El Pollo Loco as “QSR-plus” — a quick-service restaurant (QSR) with the “plus” translating to better service, better food, and better environment.

“We are very excited that we are able to provide new job opportunities in Copperfield,” Smith says. “We want to be good neighbors in the community and do our part to support schools, churches, and other organizations in the community.”

Copperfield will celebrate its Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting the week of December 15. Sign up online for My Loco Rewards eClub to get a free chips and guacamole! Plus you get a freebie on your birthday — and whenever they feel a little crazy!

El Pollo Loco plans to open future locations in Katy, Humble, and Spring in 2015.

I am compensated to be a blog ambassador for El Pollo Loco. All opinions are my own.

Black Friday Freebies and Dining Deals in Houston

Black Friday HoustonAre you out scoring deals for Black Friday this year? Take advantage of these Houston-area freebies and dining deals for Black Friday 2014:

Painting with a Twist — Get 50% off $45 gift certificates Friday, November 28, for Black Friday. Limit 2 per person. Check specific hours at each location. Open 10 am – 2 pm in Cypress, Katy, Sugar Land and 10 am – 3 pm in The Woodlands and Kingwood.

Houston Ballet — Save 25% off Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker performance December 7, 7:30 pm. Orchestra and orchestra rear seats are $60 ($80 value). Online purchase only. Ends November 30, 11:59 pm.  Click here to purchase tickets, use code 2463 and select 12/7 at 7:30 pm.

Houston Symphony
Save 50% off select tickets for eight different Houston Symphony performances:

Mozart and Shostakovich: January 18, 2015
Sutton Foster: Broadway’s Leading Lady: February 1, 2015
Graf Conducts Schumann: February 20, 22, 2015
Copland and Dvorák: March 15, 2015
U.K. Rocks: From The Betles to Coldplay: April 2, 2015
Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch: April 24, 26, 2015
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1: April 30, 2015; May 3, 2015
The Paintjam Concert Experience (World Premiere); May 22, 24, 2015

*Offer expires Sunday, November 30 at 11:59 p.m. Call Patron Services Center at (713) 224-7575 and use promo code 13960, while supplies last.

Buy 8 Holiday Houston Symphony Gift Passes and save 50%! For just $188 (or $23.50 per pass), you will get 8 Holiday Gift Passes to be redeemed for concerts of your choice. Call (713) 224-7575 and use promo code 13959 while supplies last.

Entertainment Book: Get 40% off the 2015 Houston Entertainment Book! Price is $21 ($35 retail). This deal is November 28 only.

Target: Save 10% off Target gift cards November 28 till noon.

Top Golf: Get a $20 bonus gift card with every $100 eGift card purchase online through December 1.

Barnes & Noble: Save an extra 30% off one item all weekend at Barnes & Noble. Print coupon here.

Half Price Books: Get coupons for Black Friday — $5 off $25 or $15 off $50. Print coupons here.

Walgreens: Free 8×10 photo at Walgreens. Use code BIGPICFREE.

Dining Deals

JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers: Follow JerryBuilt on Twitter Black Friday for a free or half-price burger! The secret word will be shared in a tweet every hour on the hour. The first person that says the secret word at the start of the hour will receive a free burger. Others who share the secret word that hour will receive a half-price burger. Stay up to date on Twitter at @JerryBuiltHGB.

Outback Steakhouse: Get a free Bloomin’ Onion Friday, November 28, just by sayin’ Bloomin’ Onion with any purchase. One per table. Available for dine-in, take-away lunch or dinner.

Cloud 10 Creamery: Indulge in a special concoction at Cloud 10 Creamery — available only November 28! The $3 ice cream candy bar features cereal crunch, milk chocolate, caramel, fudge cake coated with dark chocolate.

Olive Garden: Take advantage of $5 off two entrees at Olive Garden. This is valid November 28 only. Get coupon here.

Chili’s: Choose your favorite of four coupons at Chili’s for Black Friday only: free kid’s meal, free dessert, free appetizer or free fajita upgrade.

Veterans Day Freebies in Houston 2014 {Updated}

Veterans Day freebies in HoustonHouston-area veterans and active military personnel can enjoy free meals and services on Veterans Day, as a special thank you for their service. Here are a few Houston-area restaurants and organizations offering veterans and/or active military free food, haircuts, and more.

FREE FOOD

**Applebee’s: Free meal November 11 for veterans and active military personnel. Choose from one of seven entrèes. Proof of military service required.

{new} ** Baker St Pub: Veterans and active military can get free Fish & Chips November 11 at Baker St. Pub. Must be in uniform or present proof of service. Six locations in Houston.

{new} Black-Eyed Pea: Veterans and active military get a free dessert at Black-Eyed Pea November 11.

**Bullrito’s: Veterans get a free meal November 11 at Bullrito’s.

**California Pizza Kitchen: Active or retired military can get a free entree from a special Veteran’s Day menu at California Pizza Kitchen November 11. The menu includes pizza, salad, and pasta. Dine-in only. Must show military ID, proof of service, or be in uniform.

**Champps Americana: Veterans and active military personnel can get an all-American burger and waffle fries for free November 11. Valid military ID or proof of military service required.

**Cracker Barrel: Veterans get a complimentary Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola® Cake dessert November 11 during lunch and dinner as a thank you for their service. 10% of sales of this cake November 11 go to USO.

{new} ** D’Amico’s Italian Market Café: Veterans can get a free Spaghetti & Meatball entrée November 11. Located in Katy.

**Denny’s: Active, inactive, and retired military personnel can enjoy Build Your Own Grand Slam® November 11 from 5 am – noon at Denny’s. Valid military ID is required.

{new} ** DoubleTree by Hilton: Veterans and active military can stop in any DoubleTree Hotel in Houston Tuesday for a free chocolate chip cookie. A reservation is not required to get the free cookie.

{new} ** eT Craft Burgers & Beer: Active military and veterans can get a free burger at eT Craft Burgers & Beer November 11. Both Houston locations: downtown tunnel and Hwy 290/1960.

{new} ** Fox & Hound Sports Tavern: Active military and veterans get a free classic cheeseburger and fries November 11. Two Houston-area locations: 11470 Westheimer and 12802 Gulf Freeway.

**Golden Corral: Golden Corral will provide a free dinner buffet and beverage Monday, November 17, from 5 pm – 9 pm for Military Appreciation Monday. This is for military heroes, past and present. Golden Corral has served more than 4 million free meals to military since it started Military Appreciation Monday 13 years ago.

**Hooter’s: Veterans and active military personnel get a free meal up to $10.99, November 11. Drink purchase required. Must present military ID or proof of military service.

**Lasagna House III: Free meals for veterans November 11 with proof of service. Available at 1960 & I-45 location.

{new} ** LongHorn Steakhouse: Veterans and active military members will receive a complimentary Texas Tonion appetizer and non-alcoholic beverage with proof of service.

**McCormick & Schmick’s: Veterans can enjoy a free meal at McCormick & Schmick’s Sunday, November 9. Veterans will choose from a special menu with 10 entrée options.

**Menchie’s: Veterans and military personnel can receive a free 6 oz. cup of frozen yogurt at Menchie’s November 11 with military ID or dressed in uniform.

**Mytiburger: Veterans get a free Mytiburger November 11. Located at 2211 W. 43rd.

{new} ** Olive Garden: Olive Garden will provide a free entrée from a special menu to active duty military and military veterans, which features seven of the restaurant’s most popular items. Plus, guests get unlimited homemade soup or salad and breadsticks.

**Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt: Active and retired military personnel get a free cup of frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf November 11, up to 11 oz.

**Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin’ Onion appetizer and beverage at Outback Steakhouse for military, November 11. The restaurant also is giving a military discount worth 15% off the total bill November 12 – December 31, 2014 to Military Mates, active or retired military and their family.

{new} ** Sherlock’s Baker St Pub: Veterans and active military can get free Fish & Chips November 11 at Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub in Clear Lake. Must be in uniform or present proof of service.

**Spaghetti Warehouse: The Italian eatery is encouraging folks to take a veteran to lunch or dinner for free with its Buy-One-Get-One-Free coupon. Order one of its 11 Spaghetti entrees or Incredible 15-Layer Lasagna and receive a second one for free. Download the coupon from the Spaghetti Warehouse Facebook page or show mobile version on phone. Coupon posted November 4. Valid November 11.

**Starbucks: Veterans, active duty service members and spouses can enjoy a free tall brewed coffee on November 11.

{new} ** Stadia Sports Grill: Active military and veterans get a free dessert Tuesday, November 11. No purchase necessary. Valid military ID or proof of military service required. Four Houston-area locations: Sugar Land, Pearland, Westgreen, and The Woodlands.

**Texas Roadhouse: This Texas favorite is opening for lunch Tuesday, November 11, just to provide free meals to veterans, retired, and active military. These folks will get a free meal, including drink. ID is required.

{new} ** TGI Friday’s: Veterans and active duty military can get a free lunch 11 am – 2 pm November 11 at TGI Friday’s.  This is valid on select items. Must show ID.

{new} ** Zoës Kitchen: Veterans and active duty military can get a free entree at Zoës Kitchen November 11 with proof of ID. Family members can get 10% off.

FREE SERVICES & EVENTS

{new} ** Houston Museum of Natural Science: Veterans and active military can get a free ticket to D-Day 3D: Normandy 1944 through November 11. Pick up your ticket at the HMNS box office or Gallery Furniture locations. Must show military ID, one per person. Military can bring guests at the discounted $8 rate. Special thanks to Gallery Furniture for underwriting this military freebie.

**City of Houston: The City of Houston is hosting its annual Veteran’s Day Salute November 11. The 10 am event at Houston City Hall (901 Bagby) features a Veteran’s Job Fair, Health Fair, ceremony and parade. The parade kicks off at 11:30 pm. Free parking is available in the Theatre District parking, Tranquility Garage, entrances 2 and 5 only from 9 am – 12:30 pm.

**Great Clips: Active and retired military can get a free haircut November 11, or pick up a card to use anytime before 12/31/14. Folks who get a haircut can pick up a free haircut card to share with a veteran or active military personnel.

{new} ** Hermann Park Railroad: Veterans and active duty military personnel can take a free ride on the Hermann Park Railroad November 11, as a “thank you” for serving our country. Train rides are open 10 am – 5 pm, weather permitting. Check in at the Kinder Train Station podium with military ID.

**Houston Humane Society: Pets for Vets allows active and retired military to adopt a pet for free at Houston Humane Society November 8-11. Located at 14700 Almeda.