New This Week

collegegirl

New Super-Couponing Tips column: College choices and costs

It’s been somewhat eye-opening for me to discuss college choices with other friends. One friend told me that there was no way she could consider a public university for their son. “State universities simply accept too many people…”  

Shopping and Savingnext >< prev

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 8/25/16 – 8/31/16

Meijer

.75 Annie's mac and cheese, $1.12 Ball Park franks, $1.49 Post cereal, $1.50 Totino's Pizza Rolls, $1.62 Nabisco crackers, $1.94 Juicy Juice, $2.33 Quaker cereal and oatmeal, $2.49 Silk milk, $2.99 Tyson chicken nuggets, $3.49 Gorton  

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 8/24/16 – 8/30/16

Jewel-Osco

FREE Noosa Sweet Heat yoghurt, .55 Dannon Oikos yogurt, .71 Dannon Light & Fit or Triple Zero yogurt, .75 Snack Artist pretzels, .78 Quaker Chewy and Snackwich bars, $1.25 Armour meatballs, $1.99 Stayfree products  

Rebate and Coupon Deals: Menards 8/21/16 – 9/5/16

Menards

FREE Aurora makeup remover, FREE gutter screen, FREE magnetic pick-up tool, FREE Paint brush, FREE Spic & Span wipes or dust mitt, FREE Splash car wash, FREE Tool Shop saw blades, .99 DAP Alex Plus caulk  

Coupon Matchups: Walgreens Deals of the Week 8/21/16 – 8/27/16

Walgreens

.50 Herbal Essences or Aussie haircare, .74 Dawn dish liquid, .74 Crest and Oral B, .89 Nice eggs, .99 Colgate toothpaste , .99 Sure and Brut deodorant, $1.50 Snack Factory pretzel crisps, $1.50 Twizzlers, $2 Dove haircare  

Coupon Matchups: CVS Deals of the Week 8/21/16 – 8/27/16

CVS pharmacy

FREE Paper-Mate pencils, .49 Caliber school glue, .50 Suave hair care, .74 Palmolive dish liquid, .75 Campbell's condensed soup, .99 CVS floss picks, $1.29 Scope mouthwash, $1.47 General Mills cereals, $2.94 Tide Pods  

School Supply Deals: Office Depot & Max 8/21/16 – 8/27/16

erasers

FREE Bic mechanical pencils or Velocity pens, .01 Office Depot ream paper, .10 Scholastic school glue, .10 Slider pencil box, .50 Office Depot poly comp books, .50 Office Depot poly folders, $1 Bic Brite Liner Flex  

School Supply Deals: Staples 8/21/16 – 8/27/16

staples

FREE Bic pens, .75 Staples poly notebooks, $1 Bic Wite Out, $1 Elmer's school glue, $2 Accel 1-subject notebook, $2 Ticonderoga pencils, $2.50 Mead Five Star notebook, $3 Bic Round Stic pens  

Meijer Mperks tips & tricks for new users (and old pros!)

mperks3

Whether you're a new user of Meijer Mperks electronic coupons or an old pro, here are a few tips to help you maximize your savings with Mperks! It's worth reading the terms of each offer you load...  

I don’t think Kmart’s long for the world

caprifishing

My closest Kmart is more than 45 minutes away, and there simply isn't much in the way of sale enticement to encourage visiting the store on a regular basis anymore. That said, back in June, we stopped at the Rockford Kmart...  

Current National Catalina offers: August 2016

Epson Catalina

Here is a list of Catalina offers for August 2016. Most of these are believed to be national offers, though in each product's case, I am noting the store that the alert printed at. If a Catalina is known to be a store-specific offer...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: August 2016

coupon inserts

August already? 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...  

Why you shouldn’t support printable coupon resellers

printtopage

The same process that makes it easier to save coupons as PDFs for future printing also makes it easier to save them en masse and send the PDF files digitally to someone else. This spawned a new “industry” of resellers...  

It’s July: Summer’s over.

endofseason

Summer officially began on June 20th, but at least as far as one retailer is concerned, summer is apparently over -- less than two weeks later! Yesterday we went to Meijer and were greeted with this sign...  

Current National Catalina offers: July 2016

Epson Catalina

National Catalina offers for July 2016 include Cottonelle bath tissue, Mars ice cream treats, Gerber, Huggies, Tradewinds, Windex, and more...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: July 2016

coupon inserts

July is here! Here's a list of all of the coupon inserts that have expired within the last two months...  

Meijer Mperks: Have you signed up?

mperkstopper

If you shop at Meijer and aren't taking advantage of the discounts available through Meijer's Mperks ecoupons, you're missing out on savings on everything from groceries to clothing! It's free to sign up for Mperks...  

“Unicorns” in the wild: A new name for counterfeit coupons

unicorn01

"I know you say never to buy coupons, but the CIC says if they have the gold foil strip, they are real. I have bought some online and they have the gold CIC hologram, and they worked at the store. As long as I stick to the gold ones, I'm okay right?"  

Current National Catalina offers: June 2016

Epson Catalina

National Catalina offers for June 2016 include Dove body wash, Tradewinds Iced Tea, Ice Mountain bottled water, Aveeno, Kikkoman, L'oreal and more...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: June 2016

coupon inserts

Can you believe it's June? Here's a list of all of the coupon inserts that have expired within the last two months...  

Shippers beware: My UPS Store lost package saga

riobox

I recently had an issue shipping a package from my local UPS Store, and the saga that ensued seemed so incredible to me that I wanted to share it with you. I had done some work for a colleague that was extremely time-sensitive...  

CVS/pharmacy says goodbye to long receipts

CVS pharmacy

Do you love or hate CVS' long paper receipts? (I have to confess, I actually like them, because I never lose them in my purse!) If you're not a fan, though, CVS has announced that you'll soon have the option to choose a digital receipt...  

Walmart eliminates price-matching from 500 locations

Walmart

Price-matching fans, your days may be numbered if you ad-match at Walmart. Walmart has announced that as part of an overall price-lowering strategy, they will eliminate ad matching at 500 store locations...  

Thanks for more bargain bed pillows, JC Penney

jcppillowsheader

I never let a good $10-off-$10 coupon go to waste (and neither should you..!) JC Penney is particularly good about sending these out, at least to me – and they never fail to get me in the store...  

The return of the Trial-Size Dawn detergents

dawnheader

You may remember that last year, I reached out to Proctor & Gamble to inquire why some 9-ounce bottles of Dawn dish detergent were marked “Trial Size,” while other identically-sized 9-ounce Dawns were not...  

Home and Stylenext >< prev

Summertime chores? These kids are cleaning up.

cleaningtable

I enlisted the help of my boys to clean up some areas that seem to get dirty and grungy no matter what we do. They were actually looking for chores to do, so I tried to pick some semi-enjoyable ones...  

I hate my front-loading washer. Here’s how I “hack” it.

laundry mess

I've written at length about my misadventures in laundry with my front-loading machine before, but if the laundry's really dirty, it often comes out of the washer nearly as dirty as it went in...  

My deck stain report: One year later

bondsonetimeoneyear

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?  

A budget book for my daughter’s college life

budgettop

While there are plenty of software solutions for personal budgets, there's something to be said for the simplicity of a budget book -- and she liked the idea of a book that would also organize her bills...  

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...  

Our daughter’s college journey: Weighing costs and education

collegegirl

"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...  

How does my garden grow? With stinky deer repellent spray

stinkydeertop

Are you growing a garden this year? A new pest recently entered our yard: a beautiful doe who loves to eat our green bean and soybean plants. Don't get me wrong -- she's a very pretty deer, but...  

Meat Claws are my new favorite kitchen tools

meat claws

I picked up a pair of Meat Claws recently and couldn't wait to try them out! I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets, and the package promised that they would "shred meat easily." My sons told me I looked like Wolverine.  

Goodbye to the wedding dresses

wedding dress

One of my friends reached out and said she didn't want to keep her wedding dress anymore. She wasn't sure if it was worth trying to sell it. "You're good with money -- do you think it's worth anything?"  

A wasp-free climber and swingset makeover

wasps everywhere swingset

For whatever reason, wasps have decided to make our children's backyard swingset their home. The number of wasps living in every concealed crack and crevice in this thing was astounding...  

The Clean Dishes Challenge: Battle of the Dishwasher Detergents

dishwasher

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...  

Back to Campus decorating and organization

athomestoreheader

As our daughter counts down the days until she moves into her first apartment at college, she’s been busy thinking about the kinds of things she’d like to bring along to help with organizing and decorating her first place...  

Foodnext >< prev

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...

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...  

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...  

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..."  

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 [...]

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...  

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...  

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

RV

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...  

Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse

Mount Rushmore

I cannot fully express in words how beautiful Mount Rushmore is in person. It's breathtaking. I remember seeing it as a child and being in awe of how beautiful it is. My boys, ages 6 and 9, were also completely enamored...  

My search for the perfect family camping tent

Large Ozark Trail tent

I love to camp. My parents were (and still are!) avid campers. My earliest childhood memory is camping in my mom and dad's big blue canvas cabin tent. Incredibly, that big canvas tent is still around...  

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

chipdale

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?  

Rushmore Cave and Ziplining in the Black Hills

Rushmore Cave

Rushmore Cave is located in Keystone, South Dakota and has been entertaining visitors since the 1920s. Unlike the national park caves, Rushmore Cave is more of an adventure destination with multiple activities...  

Visiting the Mall of America

Mall of America

The Mall of America is home to the largest indoor theme park in the United States, Nickelodeon Universe. There are 30 rides inside the mall, as well as a high ropes course and a mini golf course...  

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...  

Driving across South Dakota

Beautiful South Dakota

Our RV tour's scheduled stops for the day included a visit to the Mitchell Corn Palace, an on-your-own lunch, and an ice cream social at the legendary Wall Drug, which my boys were very excited about...  

Walt Disney World 2016: Social Media Moms, Animal Kingdom at Night, Star Wars Awakens

epcotheader

After our 2015 Walt Disney World experience, I told my children, "I hope you keep these memories for a lifetime, because we'll probably never do Disney quite like that again." How wrong I was. Two years in a row?  

My must-have when traveling with carry-on luggage

Suitcase

One of my favorite travel tips when I’m traveling with carry-on luggage? Always take a second, lightweight tote bag with you that’s slightly larger than the “personal item” you carry on. You just may need it to comply with the airlines’ “One carry-on, one personal item” rule. I typically travel with a rolling carry-on suitcase [...]

The All American RV Blogger Tour: Indiana to Utah

Jukebox

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...  

Top ways to save on your Walt Disney World vacation

disneyvacation

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!  

Make Thisnext >< prev

Building a kitchen countertop extension

countertopextensiontop

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

Firestarter

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!

Slushy

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...