Freebie of the Week: "All the world loves a fair," including us. Which is why we're thrilled the Orange County Fair is offering so many complimentary ways to savor the sights, sounds and smells of one of the county's oldest traditions. Opening day is today; free admission and parking will be granted from noon to 1 p.m. every Thursday, kids 12 and younger get in free. Planning to go on a Wednesday? For free admission, one carnival ride and some good endorphins from helping out charity, bring five canned food items on July 21; one new children's book or three gently used children's books on July 28; five gently used clothing items on Aug. 4; or one new school supply item valued at $3 or more Aug. 11. Our other favorite bargain: $1 fair food tastings from noon to 4 p.m. on Fridays. Your waistline may not thank you, but your taste buds will. Deep-fried Twinkie, anyone? For more information, call (714) 708-1500 or visit ocfair.com.
Don't be mousy with these crafty savings
Crafty divas are having mixed emotions about the closure of the Tall Mouse craft store in Laguna Niguel. On the one hand, the store was one of the best locations in the area for scrapbooking, floral and bead supplies. On the other, Tall Mouse has opened its first-ever outlet store at 13233 E. South St., Cerritos. Head north to find savings of up to 80% on overstocks and seconds. Other Tall Mouse locations are open for business as usual. For more information, call (562) 865-0800 or visit tallmouse.com.
Make a concerted effort to get to a park
Newport Beach is getting ready for its annual Concerts in the Parks. First up is the Hutchins Consort, a string octet that will play everything from classical to jazz at 6 p.m. July 25 at Grant Howald Park, on Fifth Avenue between Goldenrod and Iris avenues in Corona del Mar. At 6 p.m. Aug. 8, the U.K. Beat will bring 1960s British classics from acts like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to the Bonita Canyon Sports Park, at Bonita Canyon Drive and Mesa View Drive. For more information, visit newportbeachca.gov.
A night of repairs
The beauty world is abuzz about Estée Lauder new promotion, America's Night to Repair. From 5 to 9 p.m. July 22, anyone who visits an Estée Lauder counter anywhere in the country (including those at department stores at Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza) will get a free 10-day supply of Advanced Night Repair Eye or Face Serum (while supplies last). No purchase is necessary; one freebie per customer; attendees are asked to find the company's Facebook page and make reservations there.
Walk the greens to celebrate
The birthday promotions continue with a goodie: The Tustin Ranch Golf Club has announced it will give a free round of golf, free lunch and free range balls to guests who come in on their birthday. The free round can include a full 18 holes or a twilight round, Monday through Sunday, subject to availability. Birthday golfers can bring in up to 11 friends at the club's member rate as well. Sign up for the club's Birthday Club at tustinranchclub.com, or schedule a birthday tee time and present proof of identity and birthday at the Golf Shop upon check-in.
Have a hot sale tip, or know about a great local business that you think deserves a little attention? Contact the O.C. Bargainista at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember — never pay retail!