We're all watching our family budgets these days. Whether shopping with coupons or looking for two-for-one deals, we're taking advantage of all sorts of offers and savings that help us stretch our dollars.
This column will be dedicated to giving you five great local deals each week that will help your family’s bottom line; and since we do the scouting for you, you can save time as well as money.
You are a big part of this column. Let us hear about the deals you've seen. Just add them to our comment box. Then come back each week and see what we've uncovered together.
This week, Frugal Family reporter Carolyn Cunningham scoured our local sources to come up with great deals at Goodwill, free Zoo Atlanta family passes, free gardening help, roller skating specials and free fitness and lunch while cleaning up in Hiram:
1. Free Zoo Atlanta Family Pass
Deal: Free excursions to Zoo Atlanta are available through many local libraries in partnership with the Georgia Public Library Service. Adults with valid library cards can check out the Zoo Atlanta Family Pass at any participating public library branch throughout the state, including Paulding.
One Zoo Atlanta Family Pass is available for checkout in each participating public library. The pass may be checked out once per year, per card, per household, and is valid for two adults and up to two children.
The Family Pass also includes a library loan of the WSB-TV-produced DVD, "Animal Explorers." The pass is not valid for fee-based events or programs and may not be combined with other discounts or promotions. Standard general admission will apply to families with additional children; children must be accompanied by an adult.
Good through: Ongoing.
2. Goodwill Store in Hiram
Deal: Of all Goodwills in North America, Goodwill of North Georgia has the fastest-growing retail program with around 4 million customers, 1.5 million donors, 35 stores and more than 55 donation centers. As many of you know, Paulding's only Goodwill store is in Hiram on U.S. 278 near Ga. 92. This store also is a donation center.
The only other Goodwill donation center in Paulding is close by—also in Hiram at 5337 Wendy Bagwell Parkway (also U.S. 278), Suite 105, at Greenfield Road. These donation hours are the same as the retail hours listed below, except for being open an hour earlier on Mondays through Saturdays. Profits are used to fund job training and employment services.
Location: 4749 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway, Hiram.
Hours: Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
3. Sparkles Spring Break Specials
Deal: Every day this week, Sparkles is open from 1 to 9 p.m. in Hiram. On Friday, Spring Break Skate lasts from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The weekly Friday Night All-You-Can-Eat Pizza Buffet and Teen Night begins at 7:30 p.m. and continues until 11 p.m.
Saturday hours will be 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday hours are 2 to 7 p.m.
Costs: $5 plus $3.50 for skate rental; $10 for Friday night pizza buffet; $8 plus $3.50 skate rental on Saturday; $7 plus $3.50 skate rental on Sunday.
Location: 4054 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway (U.S. 278) near Ga. 92 next to Walmart, Hiram.
4. Free Gardening Seminars
Deal: The Paulding County UGA Cooperative Extension Service will host two free Lawn and Garden Seminars this month and next at 6:30 p.m. The first is “Spring into Gardening!” on Tuesday. Topics will include organic gardening and environmentally friendly pest control.
The other seminar will be held Tuesday, May 3. “Caring for Your Lawn” will concern soil fertility, fertilization and weed identification and control.
While the programs are free, registration is requested since seating is limited.
Paulding County Cooperative Extension is an Equal Opportunity organization, operating as a part of the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Paulding County government. Their purpose is to bring current research and information to Paulding County residents in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family consumer sciences and 4-H and youth.
Location: Paulding County UGA Cooperative Extension Office, 530 West Memorial Drive, Dallas.
Contacts: 770-443-7616 or email Mary Carol Sheffield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Free Lunch with Clean-up
Deal: Free lunch will be provided for a good cause on Saturday, April 16, in Hiram. The City of Hiram is seeking clean-up volunteers to meet at Ben Hill Strickland Sr. Memorial Park, Pavilion 2, at 9 a.m. that day.
Once assigned to a group, volunteers will move to the clean-up areas at Ben Hill Strickland Park, the Historic Downtown area and several residential areas. The final selection of clean-up areas will be determined by the number of volunteers.
Work should be completed by noon. Participants should bring yard gloves. Water and garbage bags will be provided along with the free lunch. The rain date will be Saturday, April 30.
Location: Ben Hill Strickland Park, 372 Oak St. at Ga. 92.
Contact: Cynthia Geyer at email@example.com to volunteer.