Kevin is a graduate of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, where he studied marketing. Find him on Twitter and Google+

Oct 292014
IHOP is one of several restaurants with freebies this Friday

IHOP is one of several restaurants with freebies this Friday

It has probably already occurred to you that today’s email revolves around a certain theme. And no, it isn’t pumpkin spice. Every post today has a different deals take on Halloween. After all, cramming everything into one post would just be a tiresome read. And even with falling back an hour due to Daylight Savings Time ending this weekend, nobody has time to wade through that long of a post. Therefore, all the restaurant-related deals for Halloween are housed here in this roundup post. Happy Halloween, and enjoy:

Kids Eat FREE

Not surprisingly, most of these deals have one thing in particular in common – the kids eat dinner for FREE.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: From October 31 through November 2, you can enjoy a FREE kids meal with the purchase of any adult entree. Since you’re likely going to be busy trick-or-treating Friday night, Carrabba’s extends the freebie through the full weekend.

IHOP: From 7 a.m. until 10 p.m, children ages 12 and under can enjoy a FREE “Scary Face” buttermilk pancake at participating IHOP restaurants. The meal comes with whipped topping for the eyes and smile, plus a strawberry nose. The waitress will hand your kid a kit of toppings (candy corn and mini Oreo cookies) to finish the look. There’s no purchase necessary, Mom, but yah, you have to dine in.

Olive Garden – Of course, Carrabba’s is matched by Olive Garden in the constant battle for top Italian family restaurant, and we don’t play favorites. Olive Garden’s FREE kids meal does require a coupon, which you can get by clicking here. Costumes are welcome for the kids.

Outback Steakhouse – Halloween means FREE kids meals in the restaurant down under. Kids will get a FREE meal with the purchase of any adult entree.


Grown Up Restaurant Deals

Of course, not all Halloween restaurant deals involve kids meals. If you want to leave the candy bowl sitting on the porch and go enjoy an adult evening, here’s two great places to do so:

Edelweiss – You can join the restaurant at the German American Klub for a ghoulish time with some freaky Friday night dinner specials. While supplies last, you can wear a costume to claim a FREE beer boot stein. There will be plenty of treats to go around Halloween night.

Nightmare on Meridian – Okay, this one isn’t a single restaurant. It’s a pub crawl downtown at restaurants including Tiki Bob’s, Howl at the Moon, Revel Nightclub & Lounge, Subterra Lounge, Buffalo Wild Wings, Taps and Dolls, Tow Yard Brewery, Kilroys Bar & Grill, and Social. It’s quite possibly the hottest Halloween Pub Crawl around, and is perfect for adults who want to have a wild and fun time in costume on the town. You can purchase tickets online for  $25 (plus a $3.18 fee). Considering that price buys your admission, three drink tickets, FREE cover, and entry into the costume contests at participating locations, it’s a pretty awesome price. If you wish to indulge further while you’re there, you can enjoy drink specials at each of the participating restaurants.


Trick or Treat, the Indoor Way

Some of our malls have already held their Halloween activities, but count on these locations to participate in the trick-or-treating activities on Friday:

Castleton Square Mall: 6 to 8 pm, merchants throughout the mall are giving out candy treats the the kiddies.

Greenwood Park Mall: Kidgits Halloween takes place from 6 to 8 pm. The program has planned some special activities for the younger set.

Washington Square Mall: Come bring your family for safe, dry, warm trick or treating at participating stores. There will be music and fun times for all. (Children older than 13, no masks please.)



Oct 292014
Not scary Halloween

Enjoy the less frightening side of this beautiful time of year.

There are enough Halloween-related events and opportunities going on this month that listing them all in one post would be impractical. Nobody wants to wade through a novel, so we decided to split the list in two. If you like the thrill of being scared out of your mind, we advise you to check out our Scary Halloween Roundup. If you love the Halloween season but aren’t a huge fan of being terrified, here’s the roundup for you:

Zoo Boo – As long as the bears and tigers stay on the other side of the fences, there’s nothing particularly scary about Zoo Boo. From 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday  between now and Halloween, you and your kids can enjoy Zoo Boo for FREE after you pay the normal zoo admission price. The little ones are encouraged to dress up in costumes and bring goodie bags for trick-or-treat through the Zoo grounds.

Children’s Museum Creepy Carnival – This one could be a crossover between our two lists, as the Children’s Museum is offering their annual haunted house. This one can be scary, but they offer lights-on hours for a more kid-friendly experience. Tickets to the haunted house are $7 at the door, but you can buy them in advance at participating Marsh Supermarkets for $6.

Hops of the Dead Halloween Arcade Party – If you are over the age of 21, you’re probably too old to trick-or-treat. However, you’re never too old for the fun of an arcade. From 7:00 p.m. Friday October 31 through midnight, you can enjoy a FREE arcade party at Indiana City Brewing. Costumes are strongly encouraged as you enjoy fresh pours of craft beer while playing a bunch of arcade games set to FREE play.




Safe Night Halloween Trunk or Treat – The Indiana State Fairgrounds are holding their annual trick-or-treat session on Halloween night. From 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, October 31, kids aged 12 and under can trick or treat for FREE. Just remember that kids must be accompanied by an adult.

Mall Trick 0r Treat: We know that at least a couple of the Simon Mall locations in town are holding safe trick-or-treating at participating stores. We have heard from Greenwood Park Mall and Washington Square Mall at this point. It looks like the trick-or-treat hours are from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and the malls kindly request that any kids aged 13 or older not wear masks if they participate.




If you get to the end of Halloween and you have a ton of extra candy left over, you don’t have to throw it in the drawer and hand out stale candy next year. Cheapsters are all about saving money, but there’s an even better idea out there. Plenty of local dentists are participating in the Halloween Candy Buy Back program. You can check out the the list of participating offices near you by entering your zip code at the linked website. The idea is that for every pound of candy you give the dental office, they will pay you money in return (generally $1 per pound). The dentists then send that collected candy to our troops overseas. It’s a way to make a buck or two off the candy you didn’t use this Halloween, plus it benefits a good cause.

Oct 292014
Scary Halloween

Maybe we’ll look for good local dental deals next month?

Halloween is truly held at the perfect time. It’s early enough in the fall season that there’s rarely snow on the ground, but it’s getting colder quickly and you can pretend that the shiver running down your spine is from the cold weather and not from the spooky decorations.

Of course, some Cheapsters embrace that spine-tingling sensation of fear, seeking out the most thrilling scares they can find. If you’re a big fan of the more macabre side of Halloween and don’t want to wait until October 31 to be scared silly, check out the discounts on these opportunities around Indy:

Haunted Angelus House – Over 13,000 square feet of horror await you at the Haunted Angelus House, located at 8829 E. Washington Avenue. By day, the Angelus is a nonprofit group home giving around-the-clock service and a safe place to live to children with physical and mental disabilities (so, your money goes toward a great cause here). By night this time of year, however, the Angelus strives to be Indy’s best haunted attraction. Open dates that fall on Sunday through Thursday, the House is open from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, they stay open until midnight. Adults cost $20 while kids aged ten and under cost $10. Be advised that this one is rated as “Very Scary,” so it’s not for the faint at heart.

FriteLodge – Located at 7525 Acton Road, FriteLodge opens its doors from 7:00 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays leading up to the big Halloween night. Admission at the door costs $10, but we recommend you use the online coupon and pay just $8 for your pants-wetting fun. All proceeds collected at FriteLodge are donated to local charities, so again they scare because they care (and yes, that was shamelessly ripped from Monsters, Inc.)

Hanna Haunted Acres – Featuring five separate haunts (two of which are new in 2014), Hanna Haunted Acres is Indy’s premiere Halloween attraction. They are located at 7323 E. Hanna Avenue, and always open at “dark.” Sunday through Thursday, they stay open until 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, they don’t close until midnight. A Combo Pass will give you a ticket for one time through all five attractions, which is probably the best deal. You can pay $29 at the door, but dedicated Cheapsters will buy tickets online for only $27. Here are the five attractions to look forward to:

  • Hanna Haunted Hayride
  • Saw
  • Hooded (new in 2014)
  • Outbreak (new in 2014)
  • Scarecrow’s Revenge

Haunt Out Hunger – 3650 E. Thompson Road offers an opportunity every Friday and Saturday leading up to Halloween to fight hunger in our local communities while enjoying a scary outdoor walk. The walks take place from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and it’s FREE to participate. They ask, however, that you bring at least one canned food item to donate (all donations will be delivered to the Hunger, Inc. local food bank). The theme this year is Twisted Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes.

Haunted Trails at Cool Creek Park (Hamilton County) is open October 28, 29 and 30 from 7 to 10 pm  for just $5 per person. There is a fright-free zone with non-scary activities for the 12 and under crowd available as well.

We will continue to add to this list and send it out to you with updates as the month rolls along and we hear of other scary opportunities. Keep screaming, Indy.

Oct 262014
Veterans Day

To all our active military and veterans alike – thank you for your service.

We will be celebrating Veterans Day on Tuesday, November 11 this year. Many of you will already know this, but Veterans Day owes its roots to World War I. The Allied Nations and Germany stopped fighting when an armistice went into effect on November 11, 1918. While the Treaty of Versailles would officially end the war, November 11 was the day “the war to end all wars” finished. Armistice Day was a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but the fighting of World War II caused Congress to rename it Veterans Day.

We have fought multiple wars since then, but the idea on Veterans Day remains the same. We take a day to reflect on what the brave men and women of the military have done for us, and to thank them for their many sacrifices. Part of that gratitude means that our veterans and active military can enjoy FREE or at least discounted meals for Veterans Day at a long list of restaurants. Be prepared to show ID or proof of service in all cases. We will update this post between now and the big day as a reminder with any new additions we hear about, but here is the list as of now:

Applebees – Vets and active military can enjoy a FREE signature entree on Tuesday, November 11. This Thank You Meal menu includes favorites like the 7-oz. sirloin, the American Standard all-in burger, Three-cheese chicken penne, Fiesta lime chicken, Double crunch shrimp, Chicken tenders platter, and Oriental chicken salad.

Cheeseburger in Paradise – Active and retired military personnel who dine in, purchase a beverage, and present their US Uniform Services ID (or Current Leave and Earnings Statement or Veterans Organization Card) are welcome to a FREE All-American burger with fries at Cheeseburger in Paradise on Tuesday, November 11.

Golden Corral – Vets and current military are welcome to a FREE dinner buffet between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Monday November 17.

Hooters – All Veterans and active military can enjoy a FREE entree at Hooters on Tuesday November 11.

McCormick and Schmick’s – The seafood restaurant downtown is celebrating Veterans Day on Sunday, November 9. Come in two days before the official holiday and you can choose from a list of ten FREE entrees.

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt – Veterans can visit one of the three Menchie’s locations in town on Tuesday, November 11 for a FREE six-ounce frozen yogurt.

On the Border – On Tuesday, November 11, veterans and active military can choose from more than 150 possible meal combinations as they enjoy the Choose 2 or Choose 3 “Create Your Own Combo” for FREE. There are three choices for soup/salad, three kinds of tacos, three kinds of tostadas, five kinds of enchiladas, and other classics (including empanadas, chicken flauta, pork tamale, and cheese chile relleno).


That is the confirmed list so far for 2014. Many more restaurants than that offered Veterans Day perks in past years, and while we haven’t heard that they are NOT continuing those specials this year, we also can’t promise they are back this year. The following restaurants offered deals last year, and might do so again. We will keep an eye on them and move them to the above list if and when we confirm they are happening again in 2014:

  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill
  • Champps Americana
  • Little Caesar’s
  • Longhorn Steakhouse
  • Max & Erma’s
  • O’Charley’s
  • Olive Garden
  • Red Lobster
  • Red Robin
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • TGI Friday’s
Oct 262014
Uno Spooktacular

Happy Halloween, Cheapsters.

We plan to send out our final reminder of Halloween goings-on (both scary and non-scary options) with our Weekend Roundup this Thursday morning. This event would qualify, but it would be too late if you don’t hear about it until Thursday. Pizzeria Uno is holding its Spooktacular Halloween Party from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 28.

This party isn’t technically open to the public – it’s meant to only be for those who have received invitations. Anyone already signed up as an Uno Insider will have received an email that serves as your invitation to the party. We encourage you to sign up as an Uno Insider yourself, as you won’t only receive invitations to parties. You’ll also be sent coupons and promotions that aren’t available to the general public. If you sign up and still aren’t sent an email invitation, we’re using the email they sent us as the picture for this post. Just grab it and print it off to present Tuesday.

If you attend the Uno Spooktacular, you can look forward to the kids eating for FREE. They are encourage to wear their favorite costumes to the party, so you’ll see plenty of festive outfits. Additionally, there will be pumpkin decorating, coloring sheets, treat bags, and plenty of fun to go around. We’ll see you at Uno for some early Halloween fun.

Oct 262014
Sub Zero

Mondays are better with coupons from PinPoint Perks.

It’s tough to say whether the economy is turning around. Depending on which polls you believe, unemployment might be expanding or shrinking. These are uncertain times, but one fact remains clear regardless. It’s always a good idea to save money with coupons when and where possible. Saving a couple bucks here and a few more there may not seem like that much, but those small savings add up over time.

PinPoint Perks makes these kinds of savings easy, as you can print individual coupons off from an ever-growing list of companies. This week, we’ll highlight five businesses who are new to the PinPoint Perks partnership. Just follow the links to access the coupons that we will list in this post. With no further ado, here’s this week’s PinPoint Perks roundup:

Sub Zero – Welcome to Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt on Mass Ave. in Downtown Indianapolis. To place your order, pick your size, base & add any mix-ins. SubZero uses Liquid Nitrogen at -321 degrees Fahrenheit to instantly freeze your custom ice cream.

Sub Zero’s coupons include FREE waffle bowl, $1 off large sensation, and lunch combo for only $7.

Los Cabos Mexican Grill – At Los Cabos Mexican Grill in Indianapolis, IN, they want to give Castleton a great dining experience with efficient service and a festive atmosphere. Their waiters and chefs are committed to serving Mexican-style cooking with the freshest ingredients and spices.

Los Cabos’ coupons include $4 off purchase over $20, $10 off purchase over $50, $1 off drink purchase, 50% off entree, $2 off lunch entree with drink.

Royal Foot Spa – Enjoy a relaxing foot and body massage at Royal Foot Spa in a clean and professional environment. Conveniently located at 116th St. and Allisonville Road in the Kroger plaza.

Royal Foot Spa’s coupons include half-hour cupping massage for only $30, $5 off foot massage, $20 off 2-hour combo massage, $15 off 1-hour full body massage, and $10 off 1-hour combo massage.

Yoya Frozen Yogurt - Welcome to Yoya Self Service Frozen Yogurt in Indianapolis. Stop in and try the low-fat yogurt topped with fresh fruit toppings or many other yummy toppings. In the mood for something different? Try their Bubble Tea & Smoothies.

Yoya’s coupons include 10% off your purchase, buy one and get one for 50% off, FREE smoothie, and FREE bubble tea.

Holy Guacamole – Holy Guacamole offers a range of Mexican food from nachos and quesadillas to burritos, enchiladas and classic tacos. They use only the freshest ingredients and offer fresh salsas. Visit them soon in the Greenwood Park Mall food court.

Holy Guacamole’s coupons include $1 off breakfast, lunch, or dinner, $2 off breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and buy one get one FREE.

Oct 262014
Murphy's Pubhouse

Here’s your four-leaf clover for Monday.

It takes more heart to make it through a Monday than any other day of the week. Coming off the weekend, you’re abruptly back in the routine of waking up early to tackle your day. We encourage you to soldier through, however, because those with the heart to make it through Monday can reward themselves with a hearty meal at Murphy’s Pubhouse.

Located at 116th and Olio Road in Fishers, Murphy’s Pubhouse is a family-friendly sports pub that serves all the classics. You’ll find burgers, pizza, wings, and more at this fun restaurant. On Monday evenings, however, we want to draw your attention to the theme for Cheapsters. It’s Steak Night, and it’s exactly what it sounds like.

On Monday evening, you can enjoy two steak dinners for $25. You’ll have your choice of Ribeye or New York Strip, and the steaks will be partnered with potatoes and your choice of soup or salad. Enjoying a steak dinner for two for only $25 is somewhat rare in this town (pun intended), unless you’re eating at a place with questionable meat. Never fear, however, because there’s only one question regarding Murphy’s Pubhouse – why aren’t you already there?

Oct 262014
online course

Continuing your education with help from the Internet.

Have you thought about continuing your education through an online course? The idea of committing to studying for a class on top of your normal routine can be daunting. However, taking an online course can still serve as a great learning experience while being more adaptable to your schedule.

We post monthly Coursera updates that list available online courses from various prestigious universities around the country. Rates on the online courses will vary based on the length of the class and the institution offering it, but the following is a listing of the online courses starting in November, 2014:

  • The Music of the Beatles (Six week course beginning November 2 from University of Rochester)
  • E-learning and Digital Cultures (Five week course beginning November 3 from the University of Edinburgh)
  • Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence (Eight week course beginning November 3 from Case Western Reserve University)
  • Evolution: A Course for Educators (Four week course beginning November 3 beginning November 3 from American Museum of Natural History)
  • Analyzing Global Trends for Business and Society (Seven week course beginning November 3 from University of Pennsylvania)
  • Understanding Research Methods (Six week course beginning November 3 from University of London)
  • An Introduction to Global Health (Five week course beginning November 4 from University of Copenhagen)
  • Conditions of War and Peace (Four week course beginning November 4 from the University of Tokyo)
  • International Organizations Management (Five week course beginning November 10 from University of Geneva)
  • Performance Assessment in the Virtual Classroom (Five week course beginning November 10 from University of California, Irvine)
  • Cryptography (Six week course beginning November 10 from University of Maryland, College Park)
  • Arts and Culture Strategy (Six week course beginning November 10 from University of Pennsylvania)
  • How to Change the World (Six week course beginning November 11 from Wesleyan University)
  • Algorithms, Biology, and Programming for Beginners (Eight week course beginning November 11 from University of California, San Diego)
  • Process Mining: Data science in Action (Six week course beginning November 12 from Eindhoven University of Technology)
  • Recovering the Humankind Past and Saving the Universal Heritage (Eight week course beginning November 24 from Sapienza University of Rome)


Check back in next month for a more extensive rundown of the online courses starting in December.

Oct 222014
Gobble up all the fun this weekend before Halloween next weekend (Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but we just liked this picture).

Gobble up all the fun this weekend before Halloween next weekend (Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but we just liked this picture).

There is a sort of tension in the air. Everyone is on edge, with nervous energy pulsing as we are all waiting. Are we waiting for the adrenaline rush of Halloween? Well, yes, but before that we’re anxiously awaiting the end of the work week and the start of another glorious weekend. If you want to start your Halloween celebrations early this weekend, we know of a couple possible plans. If Halloween isn’t really your favorite holiday and you want to enjoy your weekend a different way, we’ve got you covered too. Hopefully, all our Cheapsters can find something they’ll enjoy on the cheap from this weekend’s Top Five Cheap/FREE ideas:

Beard and Brew Preliminaries – Coming up on November 1, Noblesville will hold a Beards and Brews Championship to celebrate the best facial hair in town. In order to qualify your sweet beard for this championship, however, you’ll need to attend one of the preliminary contests. One of those was already held, but you can still attend a preliminary contest at Grand Junction Brewing or Fountain Square Brewing. Both start at 7:00 p.m. Thursday October 23. Every preliminary contest will name a bearded representative in four categories: Best of Show, Longest Bear, Thickest Beard, and Most Creatively Groomed Beard. We’ll give you more details on the Championship round next week, but make sure you attend a preliminary contest this week if you want to have a shot at winning.

Black Cat Ball – If you’re hoping to start Halloween early, you won’t want to miss the Black Cat Ball in Brownsburg. From 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday October 24 at Eaton Hall (61 N. Green Street in Brownsburg), you’re invited to enjoy fun for the whole family. There will food, games, costume contests, prizes, music, dancing, family photos, and more. Best part of all, admission is FREE for this event.

Hubler Keeping Kids Safe – Parents and children of all ages are invited to this event, which is dedicated to child safety. Time is critical when you’re dealing with the nightmare of recovering a missing child. Hopefully it’s something none of our Cheapsters will ever have to experience, but Hubler is hosting an event in which you can help prepare for such a situation. You can have FBI-quality digital fingerprints and photographs taken of your children in case of an emergency, as well as ask questions and learn tips on how to keep your children safe. The event lasts from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday October 24 and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday October 25.

SaturDAISY at Holliday Park – If you have a green thumb and want to meet some like-minded people, we have arrived at the final Saturday of the Holliday Park Garden work days. If you’re interested, you can join the staff and volunteers from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday October 25 at 6363 Spring Mill Road. You will be caring for the gardens and grounds of the park. It’s a great way to make the most of your Saturday morning if you love the outdoors.

Pinocchio’s Spooktacular – From 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday October 25, Pinocchio’s Ice Cream at 1011 N. State Road 135 in Greenwood is having a Halloween party of their own. If you show up in costume, you’ll enjoy FREE toppings all day. In addition, you can look forward to the following schedule of other fun events:

  • 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.: Prize Wheel
  • 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Face painting
  • 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: Cornhole tournament
  • 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Live music
Oct 222014
Augustino's Halloween

Happy Halloween from Augustino’s.

We couldn’t really lump this post in with our weekend roundup, because the event isn’t happening this weekend. Augustino’s Halloween Wine Dinner takes place on Thursday October 30, which means it’s about a week away. We didn’t want to wait to tell you about it until Monday, however, as the seats for this awesome event are filling up quickly. This is one of the most popular dinners of the year at Augustino’s, and you won’t want to miss it.

As for the details, it’s $40 per person for a five-course meal. That looks like a hefty price tag for a Cheapster, but keep in mind everything that goes into that price. For $40, you’ll wine and dine from the following menu:

  • Greco di Funi paired with an Apricot Canapé with a Sage Sauce and Mascarpone, served with a Toasted Garlic Crostin
  • Scagliola Dolcetto paired with “Red Pepper Cauldrons” stuffed with Guanciale Pasta Fagioli
  • Scagliola Mati Barbera paired with “The Salmon from the Blackberry Lagoon!”
  • Grilled Salmon with a Blackberry Glaze served atop a Roasted Corn Salad with Green Peppers, Feta and Quinoa
  • Goggiano Fiurin Ruché paired with “The Jack O’Lantern’s Revenge” Pumpkin Beef Roulade with Fresh Plums, Goat Cheese and Walnuts, served beside Plum & Goat Cheese Risotto
  • Scagliola Moscato paired with our “Apples that are NOT Poisoned!” Baked Stuffed Apples with a Star Anise Caramel Sauce & Pear Bread Pudding doused with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

The fine meal begins at 6:30 p.m., and we encourage you to RSVP early before all the plates and wine goblets are taken. The Halloween Wine Dinner has been a big fan favorite for seven years, and it will sell out before you can say, “trick or treat.”