Monday, July 29, 2013

2013 Tax Free Weekend in Chattanooga

Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday
The first day of school for Hamilton County is August 8, 2013. Any good shopper knows that Tennessee’s Tax Free weekend is usually right before school starts and this year is no exception. For 2013, it begins on Friday, August 2nd at 12:01am and will end on Sunday, August 4th at 11:59pm. Many of the local stores will be open for special hours that weekend. Also, most will have unbelievable deals. So make sure you take advantage of the sales in combination with the savings on sales tax. Below is a listing of the stores and their hours for this exciting weekend.

There are a few rules, as always when the government is involved, so be sure you know them before hitting the sales to ensure a hassle free experience.  A quick overview of the rules is listed below the store hours.

Stores and hours for Tennessee Tax Free Weekend (Friday, Aug 2-Sunday, Aug 4)

  • Hamilton Place Mall, Friday and Saturday 9:00am to 10:00pm, Sunday 11:00am to 7:00pm
  • Old Navy, Friday and Saturday 7:00am to 10:00pm, Sunday 10:00am to 8:00pm
  • Kohls, Friday and Saturday 9:00am to 11:00pm, Sunday 9:00am to 9:00pm
  • Staples, Friday 8:00am to 9:00pm, Saturday 9:00am to 9:00pm, Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm (Staples is advertising a few penny items with a minimum $5.00 purchase)
  • Office Depot, Friday 8:00am to 10:00pm, Saturday 9:00am to 10:00pm, Sunday 10:00am to 8:00pm
  • Sports Academy, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8:00am to 10pm
  • Payless, Friday and Saturday 10:00am to 9:00pm, Sunday 12:30am to 5:30pm
  • Target, Friday and Saturday 800am to 11:00pm, Sunday 8:10am to 10:00pm
  • Walmart, Open 24 hours

Rules and Regulations

Items that are tax free include:

$100 or less per item.
Items such as shoes, belts, pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, socks, underwear, hats, ties and coats are eligible.
Items such as accessories, jewelry, sports or recreational equipment or clothes worn for a trade or business are exempt from tax-free.

School Supplies:
$100 or less per item
Includes typical school supplies, lunch boxes and art supplies
Not included are computer equipment, such as compact discs, ink cartridges, printers, instructional material and reference books.

Includes laptops, desk and tablet computers
Does not include computer parts, PDAs, storage media, video game consoles and printers.

For all tax exempt items, there is no requirement that purchases be made only for students. If an item is tax exempt, anyone may make the purchase tax–free.

For more information on tax exempt items, visit Tennessee's Dept of Revenue website.

Downtown Chattanooga by Brad Snoke

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chattanooga: Domino’s Pizza and iPoll

Sunset on Market Street Bridge
Chattanooga, TN by Brad Snoke
Today was a typical Monday so when I got home the last thing I wanted to do was cook fish and rice for supper. I was thinking that a quick and easy meal such as Kraft Velvetta Cheesy Dinners would be perfect. I really like the Nacho Supreme variety and had just caught them on bogo at Publix. My husband started questioning me about the redemption rules for iPoll (I will explain that one in a bit). I told him that he needed $25 to get any good stuff but not to get the Domino’s pizza card because I had two already. I thought he was going to jump out of his chair. He definitely wanted pizza for dinner tonight.
Time to Eat – A review of Domino’s Pizza

We went online to Domino’s website to order our pizzas. We chose their Medium 2-Topping Handmade Pan Pizzas for $7.99 each. Ordering was very easy and took only a couple of minutes. We noticed the advertisement for the special we wanted and hit the “Order now” button. We chose our toppings (pepperoni and mushroom for the first, double pep for the second) and the amount of sauce (extra of course). When it came time to pay, we just put in the code for my gift card and that was it. The last page was a bar that allowed you to watch your pizza’s progress. It actually documented who did what to the pizza and when they did it. It was really cool to know who was bringing the pizza and when they left the store.
Domino's handmade pizza by Brad Snoke

The pizzas arrived within 30 minutes (we only live a few miles from the pizza store) and were piping hot. The driver was friendly and appreciated the tip we gave him. We were overwhelmed by the look of the pizzas and had thought that heaven had arrived when we took our first bites. I must say that it was one of the best pizzas I have had in a long time. It was so delectable that we called the manager to compliment him. I will definitely order these again.

iPoll-Making money from home (sort of)

Now to explain the iPoll reference from earlier…I enjoy hobbies that work my brain (hence the online blogging) and I have many of them. One of them is online surveys. Online surveys are a great way to work the brain while sharing your thoughts on products, stores, and services. iPoll, in particular, is a website and mobile app that offers a variety of surveys for money. Once you reach a certain dollar amount ($10 is the lowest level), the money can then be turned into magazine subscriptions or gift cards. Better yet, if you do not need extra money or services you can donate your money to a wide variety of charities.  So far this year, I have earned $35 through paypal and $50 in Domino’s gift cards.

All in all this was a great Monday night in Chattanooga. What more could you ask for then free pizza that was absolutely fabulous. 

Sunset-Enterprise South Nature Park
Volkswagen Plant, Chattanooga by Brad Snoke 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting “Things to do in Chattanooga”.  This blog is where you can read up on all the fun and interesting things to do in Chattanooga.  Feel free to comment or tell your story about Chattanooga.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chattanooga: Yard Sales, Redbox and the Times Free Press

Chattanooga Diary: 7-14-2013
Market Street Bridge and Chattanooga Skyline by Brad Snoke
I have made the decision to write an online diary about my boring, mundane life in Chattanooga. This strange idea was the outcome of two articles in the Chattanooga newspaper, the Times Free Press. One was an announcement of an upcoming project sponsored by the Times Free Press titled “Help us film a day of life in Chattanooga”. The Times Free Press was asking their readers to film one minute of their lives and upload it to YouTube. They will take the films and create a larger one about life in Chattanooga. The other article was “Vast war letter collection shows sacrifice”. This article by Gillian Flaccus announced the opening of a new center in Orange, California that will house over 90,000 wartime letters written by Americans participating in a variety of wars from the American Revolution to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both of these articles highlighted the idea that the details of everyday life can be interesting and of some importance. So as you can see, it is not that I am narcissistic and so self-absorbed that I think people today care about what I do or how I spend my time.  I do think that it will tell people what life in this town is like (both now and in the future) and just might help them decide that Chattanooga is a great place to live, work and play.

I determined to take advantage of the warm July weather this weekend and hit the yard sales that were about town. My original list consisted of sales in Ooltewah, East Brainerd, Cleveland and Ringgold. My husband and I started early with the East Brainerd sales and we purchased something at the first three sales we stopped by. When our stomachs started growling, we hit the Gunbarrel Chick-fil-a, which was wonderful as usual. One stop that was of particular interest was an estate sale at the old Brainerd Hills swimming pool across the street from Brown Acres Golf Course. I had seen this worn-out, empty building and swimming pool many times and was so interested in getting a closer look. For some reason, it always makes me think of the resort from “Dirty Dancing”. Strange, I know. We walked up the hill and made our way into the side area where the pool could still be seen. The lady hosting the sale had a large number of items that had been used by the swim club during its heyday. I purchased four wooden-looking salad bowls for a quarter-a-piece. I would have loved to see this place when it was being used.

Glass Bridge in Downtown Chattanooga by Brad Snoke
We decided to hit the sales in Ringgold, but after the first stop we decided it was time to call it a day. Since I had been looking for an old sheet (for my dog to lie on) and had not found one, we went to the Goodwill Store in East Ridge. I found exactly what I needed and of course we had to make reference to “popping tags” to the sales clerk. I am sure he rolled his eyes because you know that every other customer must say something about it. For those of you who do not know “popping tags” is a line from the hit song “Thrift Shop” by Maclkemore & Ryan Lewis.

The other highlight of the weekend was a movie marathon that included “Identity Thief”, “The Call” and “A Good Day to Die Hard”. We rented the movies from the RedBox at the Walgreens located on the corner of Gunbarrel and Shallowford Road, near Hamilton Place Mall. It was busy as usual but it did not take too long to get the movies. “Identity Theft” starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy was not as funny as I thought it would be but it was alright. I absolutely loved the scene where the Chattanooga skyline morphs into St. Louis’ skyline. “The Call” (Halle Berry) was fabulous. It has been a long time since I have been that frightened and the ending knocked me off my feet. It was perfect. “A Good Day to Die Hard” (Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney) was actually pretty good for an action adventure movie.

I finished up the weekend being a typical grownup doing chores and grocery shopping. I am hoping that next weekend will include a hike at the Nature Park at Enterprise South. We shall see what the weather and life brings.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting “Things to do in Chattanooga”.  This blog is where you can read up on all the fun and interesting things to do in Chattanooga.  Feel free to comment or tell your story about Chattanooga.