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updated 8/19/2005 10:49:46 AM ET 2005-08-19T14:49:46

Where can you find unusual, creative and unique products and ideas that are true bargains and that cost you nothing to almost nothing? Laura Fenton, a senior editor with Quick and Simple magazine, was invited on the “Today” show to share some free and nearly free deals.

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Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival, Bucyrus, Ohio
This festival packs in three days of family-fun and more than 27 tons of the finest sausage cooking over open pits. In 2001, Ohio Magazine voted the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival the "Best Food Festival." The festival celebrates this small Ohio town's German heritage with more than just bratwurst. It has more than 100 more delicious foods made from local family recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation dating back to "the old country."  The town of 20,000 people expects crowds of over 100,000 to attend this year.

The town is recognized the world over as the “Bratwurst Capital of America.” Bucyrus Bratwurst is different because the recipe varies from maker to maker, and has been given the special touch, which makes it unique. Tons and tons of open fire roasted bratwurst are consumed. Round this out with three parades, continuous free entertainment, a fabulous crafts show, art show, rides, games, beer gardens and plenty of warmth, friendship and hospitality. There's even a Queen Bratwurst pageant.
For more information, call 419-562-BRAT

Gap and free iTunes
During the month of August, the Gap will host the find your Favorite Fit" event - an invitation for customers to try on the new jean fits.  From August 8 through 31, each customer who tries on any pair of Gap jeans will receive a free download of their favorite song from the iTunes Music Store. Additionally, as part of the promotion, many jeans styles will be available at the great price of just $39.95.  

Kiehl's
The company started in 1851 and is now a cult favorite and a major brand thanks in part to its sampling program. To try before you buy, just stop by one of the 150 retail outlets and ask for free goodies or go to kiehls.com.

Home Depot's kid’s workshops
Kid’s Workshop is an award-winning program that has been offered at The Home Depot stores since 1997.  The workshops are free, how-to clinics designed for children ages 5 through 10, available on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon at all The Home Depot stores. Children, accompanied by an adult, use their skills to create objects that can be used in and around their homes or their communities.  

Through the years these useful projects have been items such as wooden birdhouses, toolboxes, fire trucks and mail organizers, as well as more educational projects, such as window birdhouse, bughouse, or Declaration of Independence frame kit.

The workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety, while at the same time helping to instill a sense of accomplishment and build self-esteem. Additionally, the program allows for invaluable one-on-one time between adults and children. 

Along with their newly constructed project kit, each child receives a kid-sized orange apron similar to The Home Depot associates' apron, and an achievement pin.   

Yankee Give-Away
Here's another for the kids and sports fans! Sunday, August 28th the first 18,000 kids 14-years-old and younger can receive a limited edition American Girl doll Yankees road uniform. The uniform is grey and comes with a cap that fits any American Girl doll.

Loews Theaters Free Movie tickets

See one hit movie after another only with Loews double feature where moviegoers get two blockbuster films for the price of one.  Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation brings back the double-feature offering patrons the chance to see two current hot summer films for the price of one.  This program will be rolled out in select markets and theatres across the country beginning on the August 19th weekend and will run through the Labor Day holiday weekend.  For complete listings and show times, patrons can visit enjoytheshow.com.

Freecycle.org
Freecycle.org is a website that links people who want to discard household belongings to people in their area who want or need them. The only rules: everything offered must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages – and it is free to join! With a single e-mail, anyone can join a free cycle group and begin posting donations or requests. A match is made, often within minutes, when someone replies, then giver and taker privately arrange the exchange. Among the most popular discards are items not usually accepted for recycling or routine pickup, including bulky furniture and appliances, and obsolete durable goods, such as baby clothes and computers. This cyber flea market claims more than half a million members in nearly 1,700 cities and towns from Nebraska to Nepal, and is growing. List moderators note that participation cuts across all socioeconomic groups, especially in large U.S. and Canadian cities. The largest group, in Portland, Ore., has nearly 11,000 members.

Happy straps
Now women can be confident their bra straps will stay in place all day. You can hide bra straps or keep falling straps securely in place. No need to spend money on being specialty fancy bras. Just wrap the thin Happy Strap around the shoulder straps in the back and wa-la! 
Price: $6 for 3 straps

Bagborroworsteal.com
This Web site lets consumers rent new designer handbags at the fraction of the price of new ones. Consumers can pick designers like Fendi, Burburry, Gucci, Prada, Dooney and Burke and more. The concept lets shoppers keep abreast of trends without shelling out money for three of four different bags each season. Bagborroworsteal.com memberships range from $20 to $100 a month and shoppers can keep their bags as long as they want. 

Users must pay a $10 shipping fee to deliver the bag and send it back for the new selection. A $20 membership fee allows users access to emerging designers, a $50 membership gives them access to get some well-known designers and the $100 membership fee allows shoppers to peruse the entire Web site. If a member falls in love with a handbag rental, bagborroworsteal.com will even let them buy it at a discounted price. The company takes into account how many times a bag has been rented when determining the price, but says it is much lower than a department store. There's even a free two week membership!

They would hope that you attempt to return the bag much in the same way you received it. There understand that there will be wear and tear from actual everyday use and there is no additional fee assessed in these instances. However, if the bag is abused, broken beyond everyday wear and tear, or lost, your account will be charged a reasonable repair or replacement fee. Some bags, however, are not easily replaceable and up to full retail replacement fee can be charged.

Sunburst Trout Company Caviar (sunbursttrout.com)
This is all how you define bargain. This American caviar is a fraction of the cost of others. This is Rainbow Trout Caviar from Sunburst Trout Company located in the Pisgah National Forest. This caviar is elegant yet very affordable. It is used by some of the top chefs in New York City, and has been chosen as oscetra-like in some blind taste tests. The flavor profile is layered into three sections. The first taste is salty, a taste from the sea, then there is a nutty quality with a pop in your mouth, and lastly, there is a buttery finish. Incidentally, trout caviar is extremely high in Omega-3, therefore, a very healthy choice.
Price: $14 per ounce

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