New This Week


How to use your Jewel-Osco Fuel Rewards at the gas station

Have you been using your Jewel-Osco Fuel Rewards? Jewel’s website instructs you to enter your MyMixx phone number at the gas pump, but in reality, there are a few more steps involved…  


New Super-Couponing Tips column: Co-branded products present confusion

“Scope mouthwash now says ‘Crest Scope’ on the label. If I have a coupon for any Crest item, can I use it on Crest Scope? I have also seen Glad Trash bags with Febreze or Gain scents. Can I use a coupon…”  


(Almost) free February fun: The Field Museum and Chicago Auto Show

Our kids were off school yesterday for an extended Presidents’ Day weekend holiday, so our family headed into the city for some almost-free fun at the Field Museum and the Chicago Auto Show…  


Improving a great beach bag (with a not-so-great logo)

I attended a blog conference and brought home an oversized canvas beach bag featuring the logo of one of the conference sponsors. However, last year, that company became embroiled in a bit of a scandal…  


Review + Giveaway: Spa goodies from Waxing the City and Ten Friends

Recently, I attended a bloggers’ beauty day at Waxing The City in Oakbrook Terrace. Two lucky readers will win spa goodies from them and a FREE blowout and style from Ten Friends Blow Dry and Style House!  


Have you won anything with Jewel-Osco’s Monopoly?

Jewel-Osco’s annual Monopoly game kicked off a week ago. After our first week of Monopoly, our family had brought home 60 Monopoly game pieces. Here’s what we received…  

Shopping and Savingnext >< prev

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 2/23/17 – 3/1/17


.25 McCormick seasoning packets, .75 Kleenex, $1 Dole Mixations fruit bowls, $1.38 Dannon Activia yogurt, $1.41 Kellogg's cereals, $1.50 Celestial Seasonings tea, $20/$10 Garnier sale = possible FREE Garnier  

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 2/22/17 – 2/28/17


$1 Brown & Serve sausage, $1 Ken's salad dressing, $1 Well Yes soup, $1.25 Speed Stick, $1.39 Kellogg's cereal, $1.49 Quaker oatmeal and cereal, $1.50 Chips Ahoy cookies, $1.50 Hefty slider bags  

Rebate and Coupon Deals: Menards 2/19/17 – 2/25/17


The 11% rebate returns this week: .13 Suave body wash, .92 Glade room sprays, $1.72 Hormel pepperoni, $2.11 Downy fabric softener, $3.83 Hefty trash bags, $8.14 Angel Soft bath tissue, $10.45 Gain Flings  

Coupon Matchups: Target Deals of the Week 2/19/17 – 2/25/17


.80 Chobani yogurt, $6.49 Iams cat food, $7.49 Purina Cat Chow, $8.49 Beneful dog food, $8.49 Purina One cat food, $8.65 Iams dog food, Buy 2 Get $5 P&G sale, Buy 3, Get $10 cleaning sale, Buy 4, Get $5 beauty sale  

Coupon Matchups: Walgreens Deals of the Week 2/19/17 – 2/25/17


.74 Butterball turkey bacon, .75 Bumble Bee tuna, .75 Progresso soup, .99 Scope mouthwash, $1.29 Nice eggs, $1.45 Butterball ground turkey, $1.50 Belvita breakfast biscuits, $1.74 Nature Valley granola bars  

Coupon Matchups: CVS Deals of the Week 2/19/17 – 2/25/17

CVS pharmacy

.93 Garnier Whole Blends haircare, $1.29 Scope mouthwash, $1.49 Quaker Oatmeal Squares, $1.66 Kellogg's cereals, $1.94 Downy, $1.94 Tide Simply detergent, $2.12 Nabisco cookies, $2.94 Tide Pods, $5.24 Maxwell House  

Have you won anything with Jewel-Osco’s Monopoly?


Jewel-Osco's annual Monopoly game kicked off a week ago. After our first week of Monopoly, our family had brought home 60 Monopoly game pieces. Here's what we received...  

Super-Couponing workshops announced for 2017

Teaching Super-Couponing Workshop

I'm happy to report that I'm hard at work securing Super-Couponing workshop dates for 2017, and here's what's currently on my schedule...  

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 2/16/17 – 2/22/17


.33 Dannon yogurt, .40 Yoplait yogurt, .66 Herbal Essences and Aussie, .67 Well Yes soup, .98 Barilla pasta, $1.99 Belvita breakfast biscuits, $1.99 Purex detergent, $4 Cottonelle bath tissue, $4.99 Luvs diapers  

Current National Catalina offers: February 2017

Epson Catalina

Here's a list of national Catalina offer for February, including brands like Annie's, Barilla, Community Coffee, Edwards, Gerber, L'Oreal, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles and more...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: February 2017

coupon inserts

It's Groundhog Day! Here's a list of all of the coupon inserts that have expired within the last two months. If you have any of the following inserts in your files, you can pull them out and recycle them...  

A fun CVS Coca-Cola (and more) stock-up trip


I headed over to CVS Pharmacy this morning to pair their $30/$10 ExtraBucks sale with my stash of free Coca-Cola 12-pack coupons from all the end-of-2016 Coke Rewards points deals...  

January means toy clearances! Here’s what I’ve found…


January is a great time to find clearance toy bargains! So many stores drop prices on toys into the 50-70% off range. On Thursday, I devoted a few hours to running around town and looking for deals...  

RedPlum issues new warning to coupon buyers and resellers


"These booklets are intended for individual home or newspaper distribution. If you are buying or selling these booklets in bulk, you are likely trafficking in stolen property, which is illegal under state and federal law."  

Is this enough bargain laundry detergent for a year?


So, over four deals, I now have nineteen bottles of laundry detergent (and eight bottles of stain remover, and three tubes of toothpaste!) that I paid $15.63 for. This represents an incredible 832 loads of laundry!  

Welcome to couponing. Here’s how to get started.


Whether you're a longtime reader, new to couponing, or someone who's taken a break from saving with coupons, this is a great time to commit to saving even more money in the new year. Here are some tips to get started...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: January 2017

coupon inserts

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here's a list of all of the coupon inserts that have expired within the last two months. We have a lot of expired inserts to pull with the year's end...  

Current National Catalina offers: January 2017

Epson Catalina

Catalina offers for January 2017 include Barilla pasta, Bob Evans sausage, Carnation Breakfast Essentials, Chef Boyardee, Colgate, Glade, Huggies, Jell-O, Philadelphia cream cheese, Plum Organics, Post...  

Target Christmas clearance 70% off: What we found


Target dropped its post-Christmas clearance items to 70% off yesterday, so we headed out this afternoon to look for deals. We spotted a lot of holiday-specific Star Wars items in the clearance aisles...  

What’s inside the Winter 2016 Walmart Beauty Box?


Are you a member of Walmart's Beauty Box program? These boxes are FREE with a $5 flat fee to ship them to your door. Walmart issues four Beauty Boxes per year. I got my Winter 2016 box last week...  

2017 Coupon Insert Schedule

coupon inserts

Which weeks will we have coupon inserts in the newspaper? Here's a 2017 guide compiled by Coupons In The News of insert schedules for SmartSource, RedPlum, and Procter & Gamble...  

Post-Christmas neutral gift wrap clearance sales


If you're headed out after Christmas to shop the clearance sales, don't forget one of my favorite tips: Stock up on clearance gift wrap, and look for paper designs that are neutral and can be used for other occasions...  

How to request Amazon ship your gifts in concealed boxes


I've bought quite a few items from Amazon, and they've been showing up in their original packaging with an address label slapped on..! Amazon does give shoppers the choice to receive an item in its original box or not...  

New flavors of MorningStar Farms® Veggie Bowls


MorningStar Farms has new varieties of MorningStar Farms® Veggie Bowls available in stores now. These veggie bowls are complete meal solutions that are quick and simple to prepare...  

Home and Stylenext >< prev

The Clean Dishes Challenge: Battle of the Dishwasher Detergents


Is your dishwasher not getting your dishes as clean as it used to? If it isn't, you might be surprised to learn that your dishwasher may be fine -- the actual problem could be with your detergent...  

This weed torch is my favorite garden tool


Every year, our family plants a vegetable garden, and every year, despite my best intentions, there comes a point in time when the garden becomes more than a little overrun with weeds...  

My quest to find a great deck stain

deck stain

As anyone with a deck knows, they are not maintenance-free. This time around, I wanted a deck stain that would last for many years without the disappointing results of the last stain I used...  

Putting two new HD television antennas to the test


Our existing roof-mounted antenna is old and has multiple broken elements from tree branches falling into it over the years. Antennas Direct offered me two antennas to review, and I was really surprised...  

An Easy Bake blast from the past


A commercial for the children's Easy Bake oven came on television. My youngest son watched as the girl on the screen baked up a mini cake, and he said "Why don't they make something like this for boys?"  

Kitchen and bathroom cleaning with Mean Green


One of my readers asked me to tackle a "dirty microwave" and see what Mean Green could do. In preparation, I stopped wiping down the inside of our microwave for (yuck!) two months. All in the name of research, I assure you...  

Our daughter’s college journey: Weighing costs and education


"Have you shared any tips from shopping for colleges with your oldest daughter?" I've been receiving a few emails and messages asking about the path we chose for our daughter's education. and I'd be happy to share...  

College apartment-hunting with our daughter


When we started looking at apartments, we were pleasantly surprised to see how reasonably priced off-campus living is at Eastern. We began apartment hunting in March by looking at several properties online...  

Why don’t they make bed sheets like this any more?

Bed sheet with a mitered corner

I found this delightful vintage package of two cotton fitted twin-size bed sheets for $1.99 that were made sometime in the 1950s! These sheets have no elastic -- they're truly a "fitted sheet" with a mitered corner...  

My laundry room cocktail bar

Laundry cocktail bar

The top of my washer is truly a laundry cocktail bar. I rotate brands and varieties of detergent based on what I'm washing. Whenever I suggest this to people, it's like a proverbial light goes off -- "What a great idea! I never thought of that!"  

My deck stain report: One year later


I detailed my deck refinishing project in 2015 and had high hopes for the deck stain I chose. Since that time, I've had curious readers writing to ask how my deck currently looks. How did it weather over the past year?  

My love for old Corning Ware dishes

Corning Ware

If I ever wrote a second blog, it would be an ode to my favorite cookware, Corning Ware, and all the things I do with it. My mom got me hooked on Corning Ware when I was a 20-something setting up my first house...  

Foodnext >< prev

Recipe: Campfire Dutch Oven Apple Dump Cake

Campfire dump cake

Dutch ovens are great for making "Dump Cakes," meaning, you dump everything into the oven, close it up, and let it bake. My boys made their own Dump Cake during our weekend campout -- so simple and so delicious...  

The Most Perfect Hawaiian Pizza

Coconut water pizza crust

When we visited Kauai in August, everyone in our family was enamored with the pizza we enjoyed in Hanalei. It featured a multigrain crust made with coconut water. For this recipe, I wanted to incorporate coconut water and coconut oil...

Recipe: Ridiculously Easy 5-Minute Tortilla Soup

tortilla soup

This "Ridiculously Easy 5-Minute Tortilla Soup" is one of my favorite slow-cooker recipes to make! Aside from opening cans and dumping them into your slow cooker, you can have this simmering in a pot in less than five minutes...  

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes – make it at home!

Artisan bread

This week, by reader request, I added a Recipes section to the Forum here on the blog. And, reading the recipes readers have been posting inspired me to share this one with you all. Around fall of last year, I came across this Instructable online for “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.” It seemed [...]

A year’s worth of Survival Soup for under $300? I tried it.

survival soup cup

“Have you seen the recipe for a survival soup for preparing for disasters? It says you can store a year's worth of soup ingredients for four people for under $300..."  

Octopus Flowers, “Cobra Skin,” and Watermelon Tuna: My gastronomic dining experience

Cobra Skin

Chef Adam Melonas prepared a gastronomic dining experience that lasted over three hours. Adam specializes in progressive cuisine, or what some call molecular gastronomy. It is an art of presenting foods in ways you've likely never seen...  

Making a jar of cake-mix “upsizer”

Cake Mix Upsizer

It's getting difficult to find a cake mix that hasn't been reduced from 18.25 ounces to 15.25 ounces. This week, two things came up that made me want to work on a solution of sorts to this issue...  

Sweet & Tangy Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

This one's a family favorite in our house -- the kind of food that everyone runs to the table to eat once I serve it up!  

Travelnext >< prev

Taking the RV from Indiana to Minnesota


We woke up to a sunny day in Middlebury, Indiana. The KOA campground we stayed at has a lot of amenities to enjoy, including mini golf, bicycle and paddleboat rentals. They had a large swimming pool...  

Top ways to save on your Walt Disney World vacation


I'm always happy to answer questions on where to stay, resort amenities and dining. Learn about Disney resort rooms for under $100 per night and a special "Buy 4, Get the 5th day FREE" offer on park passes - just $64.59 per day!  

Our 2016 Walt Disney World trip: More Disney days, more fun!


We had such a wonderful time on this trip, and I still can't believe we went to Disney again, nearly one year to the day from our previous trip. Would it surprise you to learn that I am already thinking about our next trip?  

Our 2015 Walt Disney World trip – Part 2: Staying on-site, staying off-site, and tips for buying Disney souvenirs up to 70% off


We split our stay between Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and the Downtown Disney Hilton Lake Buena Vista. You also won't want to miss these tips for buying Disney parks merchandise and souvenirs up to 70% off... 

Day-pack essentials for theme park trips

Swiss day pack

Whether our family's headed to Disney, Universal, Six Flags or another destination, I always bring what my family affectionately calls my "black backpack" on all of our theme park trips. I don't like carrying a purse when we're in theme-park commando mode. A few years ago I discovered the perfect small, yet durable sling-style backpack...  

Jill’s Bucket List: 24 hours in the Riot House


When I look back at 2016, this year was filled with many surprises for me. During a blogger trip to Los Angeles, I stayed at the Riot House, the most famous rock and roll hotel in the world...  

Disney’s VIP Tour and our 24-hour Disney honeymoon


Recently, I confessed that my husband and I had never taken a vacation without our children -- ever. We travel pretty frequently, but we never planned a just-us trip...  

Disneyland in one day… with preschoolers.


For a fresh perspective on Disneyland, I sent my sister and her family on assignment for my blog. Lynn is a public school teacher and mother of two preschoolers. This was her first trip to a Disney park with her children...  

The All American RV Blogger Tour: Indiana to Utah


I and 15 other bloggers took part in the All American RV Blogger Tour! This was a first-of-its-kind event designed to send bloggers on a cross-country journey from Indiana to Utah...  

The staycation that turned to a… vacation?

Indianapolis Zoo

How far from home do you have to drive before your staycation qualifies as a vacation? Our friends invited us down for a visit to the Indianapolis Zoo. My boys were up for a little road trip...  

Go west, Disney dreamers! Disneyland on a budget

Cars Land

We were due for a Disney trip again, but several elements came together to lead us to consider Disneyland in Anaheim, California over heading in the Orlando direction...  

Our 2015 Walt Disney World Vacation – Part 1: MagicBands, Memory Maker, park days and downtown days


My family and I were privileged to head back to Walt Disney World for the Flower and Garden Festival. So much has changed since our previous stay at Walt Disney World five years ago...  

Make Thisnext >< prev

Building a kitchen countertop extension


Our daughter's new apartment really only has one issue -- limited counter space and no place to put a microwave or other small appliances. I got the idea to build a countertop extension for her kitchen...  

Our ultimate one-minute theme park tailgating setup

tailgating at six flags

Our family has had a fun summer of enjoying days at the zoo, water parks, and theme parks. My kids actually look forward to our lunchtime tailgating, as we can completely set it up in under one minute...  

Pooh to Pikachu

Pooh to Pikachu

This year, when I asked my son what kind of cake he wanted, he said "Pikachu." The popular Pokemon character is certainly cute, but how to best capture him in cake form? Many of my cakes take shape...  

Easy kids’ craft: Make a can candle

Can candle

I believe I was around 7 or 8 years old when we made tin can candles, and so I did a quick web search to see if my juvenile memories of it were correct. Incredibly, I couldn't find anything online about how to make these...  

Mending my family’s clothes: How to fix worn jeans “invisibly”

Worn jeans

While I could put patches over these ripped knees, I also don't want my kids to be self-conscious of an obvious repair job. I want to share how I've been able to extend the life of my sons' jeans by patching them invisibly...  

How to make a large utility tote for less than $20

How to make a utility tote

If you've been wanting a large utility tote without spending too much, and you have minimal sewing skills (like me!) read on and learn how you can make your own large utility tote from one yard of fabric for less than $20...  

The eighteen-year-old quilt

T Shirt Quilt

I came up with the idea to make a quilt for her eighteenth birthday. And for the past thirteen years, I've been saving our daughter's favorite shirts as she outgrew them. Everything from T-shirts and sports jerseys to pajamas...  

Here’s an idea for leftover wax from your wax melter


The wax melt packaging recommends that you pour the melted wax back into the clamshell packaging to dispose of it. Being frugal, I couldn't simply throw the wax away. So, we're reusing it in a creative way...  

Making a jar of cake-mix “upsizer”

Cake Mix Upsizer

It's getting difficult to find a cake mix that hasn't been reduced from 18.25 ounces to 15.25 ounces. This week, two things came up that made me want to work on a solution of sorts to this issue...  

Make your own “Slushy Magic” at home!


To recreate the Slushy Magic effect, it's important to understand how it works. Each cup comes with three plastic ice cubes filled with salt water. Salt water freezes at a lower temperature than plain water does...