New This Week


Clearance-hunting again at Jewel-Osco

I headed over to Jewel today to get some of the Two Day Sale items, and I ended up spotting some good sale and clearance items to share with you. First, I was planning to buy the 21.6oz. Gain dish detergents…  

Menards rebates

My Menards rebate was lost in the mail

I’ve been a fan of Menards rebates for many years. Who doesn’t love things that are completely free after rebate? While some of my readers have had Menards rebates go missing, I never had an issue with this until…  

coupon inserts

New Super-Couponing Tips column: Why “Balanced Couponing” is fraud

“A friend of mine told me she learned a new way to use coupons called ‘Balanced Couponing.’ She said she spends much less time planning coupon trips and is taking home more free stuff than ever. Can you teach us…”  


Save with Pampers and help your baby sleep until morning

Was the “Spring Forward” transition rough for your family? It’s certainly tougher on babies and toddlers than it is on us. This year, Pampers is raising awareness of the challenges Daylight Savings Time presents for babies…  

Shopping and Savingnext >< prev

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 3/23/17 – 3/29/17


.33 Dannon yogurt cups, .92 Clorox toilet bowl cleaner, $1.75 Palmolive dish soap, $1.50 Prego pasta sauces, $2.99 OxiClean laundry detergent, $2.99 Pledge furniture polish, $4 Quilted Northern bath tissue  

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 3/22/17 – 3/28/17


.75 Bush's baked beans, .75 Zatarain's rice, $1.17 Kellogg's cereals, $1.25 Ken's salad dressing, $1.42 Gain dish detergent, $1.63 Go-Gurt, $2 Simply Orange juice, $3.49 Bounty Basics and Charmin Essentials  

Coupon Matchups: CVS Deals of the Week 3/19/17 – 3/25/17

CVS pharmacy

FREE Colgate mouthwash, .74 Kleenex, .74 Palmolive, .98 Arm & Hammer laundry detergent, $1.25 Dove haircare, $1.99 Hershey's snacks, $2.04 Maxwell House coffee, $2.50 Revlon ColorSilk haircolor  

Coupon Matchups: Walgreens Deals of the Week 3/19/17 – 3/25/17


.66 Herbal Essences and Aussie haircare, .74 Butterball turkey bacon, .74 Palmolive dish detergent, $1.25 Prego pasta sauce, $1.23 Barilla pasta, $1.24 Crest mouthwash, $1.25 Progresso crumbs, $1.99 All or Snuggle  

Coupon Matchups: Target Deals of the Week 3/19/17 – 3/25/17


$2-$3.99 Mrs. Meyer's cleaners, $2.50 M&Ms, $3.33 Pepsi 12-packs, $4.49 Banana Boat and Coppertone sunscreen, $5.99 All or Snuggle, $12.32 Angel Soft bath tissue, Buy 5 Get $5 Cleaning sale, Buy 3 Get $10 Cleaning sale  

Rebate and Coupon Deals: Menards 3/19/17 – 3/25/17


Menards 11% rebate returns this week: .44 Rugged Wear gloves, .55 Schick Quattro razor, $1.28 Swiffer Duster starter kit, $1.29 Cottonelle flushable wipes, $1.72 Kleenex hand towels, $1.99 Chi Chi's tortilla chips  

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 3/16/17 – 3/22/17


.50 Old Orchard juice concentrate, .66 Pillsbury biscuits or cinnamon rolls, .66 Totino's Party Pizzas, .66 Purina cat treats, $1.49 Kellogg's cereals, $1.50 SeaPak shrimp, $2.44 Beefsteak rye  

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 3/15/17 – 3/21/17


.75 Manischewitz matzo ball soup mix, .75 Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, $1 Dole Mixations fruit cups, $1 Well Yes soup, $1.50 Mrs. Butterworth's syrup, $1.55 Oreos, $1.95 Butterball turkey bacon, $1.99 Lucerne butter  

Clearance Febreze at Jewel — and Febreze Air lost nearly an ounce!


I went to Jewel this afternoon, and I spotted a bunch of Febreze products are on clearance. Febreze Air Effects sprays are rebranding to Febreze Air, so I figured the Air Effects would be dropping in price soon...  

Looking for a new vehicle? Let Kelley Blue Book help your path to purchase


A couple weeks ago, our family headed to the Chicago Auto Show. It's always fun to look at new cars! After blogging about our adventures, readers expressed interest in my own path to purchasing a new car...  

In search of pancakes: Bargain-hunting at Walgreens


Earlier this week I stopped into my local Walgreens to pick up some pancake mix. A reader also tipped me to the fact that many Walgreens stores are resetting right now and have lots of grocery items on clearance...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: March 2017

coupon inserts

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, you can pull them out and recycle them, as all of the coupons have expired...  

Current National Catalina offers: March 2017

Epson Catalina

Here's a list of national Catalina offer for March, including brands like Barilla, Enfamil, Gerber, Glade, Hamburger Helper, Vicks...  

2017 freezer deal at Ultra Foods: Buy freezer, get food FREE!


Beginning March 1st, while supplies last, both Ultra Foods and Strack & Van Til stores in Chicagoland have a freezer deal running: Buy a 5.0 cubic foot Haier chest freezer for $169.99 and get $230 worth of FREE food...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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!  

Home and Stylenext >< prev

A budget book for my daughter’s college life


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...  

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 black leather trenchcoat

My black leather trenchcoat

I've owned this black leather trenchcoat for more than 17 years, but the coat is older than I am. This coat has a story, and this seems as good a time as any to tell it...  

We put a glass top on our wooden kitchen table

glass top table

Whenever you have something new that you've invested some money in, aren't you inclined to try to keep it as nice and new-looking for as long as possible? We discussed getting a piece of glass cut for the tabletop...  

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?"  

College apartment bargains and finds


In addition to buying a few new things to decorate her soon-to-be space, she's also been scouring local stores, resale shops and rummage sales to pick up the rest. She was so proud of some of her recent finds...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

We couldn’t throw our old couch away


Something strange happened when we tried to get rid of our old couch. Our family room couch has seen better days. I bought this sectional when I was in college -- one of my first "grown-up" purchases...  

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...  

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!"  

Foodnext >< prev

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!  

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...  

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...

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..."  

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...  

Travelnext >< prev

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


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


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 [...]

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...  

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...  

Three days in the Dells: A weekend away that’s close to home!


Ever since I was a child, I've enjoyed going to Wisconsin Dells for vacations, long weekends or short getaways. Our family recently spent a long weekend in the Dells, and there are truly so many things to do in this area...  

A Midwest Spring Break Staycation

oh yes kiss

Our children are on Spring Break, and we're staying in the Midwest "staycationing." In the past two days, we've visited a museum, gone bowling and played at an amazing arcade...  

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!  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

Make Thisnext >< prev

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...  

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...