New This Week


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…  


New Super-Couponing Tips column: Better to make or buy laundry detergent?

“Do you think it’s worth making your own laundry detergent? A friend of mine swears by doing this, and there are quite a few recipes online to do so. I have a hard time believing she is saving money, and it’s a lot of work to grate and boil soap flakes…”


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…  


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…  

Shopping and Savingnext >< prev

Coupon Matchups: Walgreens Deals of the Week 1/22/17 – 1/28/17


.64 Campbell's soup, .74 Butterball turkey bacon, .74 Palmolive dish detergent, $1.49 General Mills and Post cereals, $1.49 Scope, $1.66 Quaker cereals, $1.75 M&Ms, $1.99 Schick razors, $2.50 Revlon haircolor  

Coupon Matchups: CVS Deals of the Week 1/22/17 – 1/28/17

CVS pharmacy

.83 Kleenex, $1 Nivea Lip Care, $1.24 Kellogg's cereal, $1.25 Softsoap body wash, $1.49 General Mills cereals, $1.50 Garnier Fructis haircare, $1.50 M&Ms , $1.94 Downy, $1.94 Tide Simply Clean, $2.99 Schick razors  

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 1/19/17 – 1/25/17


.43 Glade sprays, .50 Combos, .50 Pom Wonderful juice, .50-.$1 Old Orchard juices, .66 Renuzit cones, .75 Campbell's Spaghetti-Os, .75 Chex Mix, .75 Hamburger Helper, .75 Knorr sides, .75 Progresso soup  

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 1/18/17 – 1/24/17


.38 Annie's Mac and Cheese, .69 Lucerne eggs, .65 Westpac vegetables, .75 Chex Mix, .75 Del Monte canned tomatoes, $1 General Mills cereals, $1.25 Betty Crocker fruit snacks, $1.66 Dannon Light & Fit  

Coupon Matchups: Target Deals of the Week 1/15/17 – 1/21/17


$2.04 M&Ms, $2.99 Tresemme products, $3.24 Softsoap refills, $3.33 DiGiorno pizzas, $5.49 Huggies wipes refills, $5.98 Gillette razors and cartridge deal, P&G Buy 3 Get $10 Sale  

Rebate and Coupon Deals: Menards 1/15/17 – 1/21/17


$1 Kellogg's Pop-Tarts, $1.33 Cleaning vinegar, $1.49 Special K cereal, $1.54 Colgate 360 electric toothbrushes, $1.76 Cheetos or Fritos, $1.72 V8 juice, $2.94 RayOvac 16ct. batteries, $13.34 men's and women's snow pants  

Coupon Matchups: CVS Deals of the Week 1/15/17 – 1/21/17

CVS pharmacy

.66 Trident or Swedish Fish, .49 Palmolive, $1.49 Crest mouthwash, $1.49 Equal sweetener, $1.49 Honey Bunches of Oats, $1.66 DiGiorno pizzas, $1.66 Pop Tarts, $1.79 Radiance Platinum vitamins, $2.99 Gillette razors  

Coupon Matchups: Walgreens Deals of the Week 1/15/17 – 1/21/17


.74 Dawn dish detergent, .74 Puffs tissues, .75 Carmex, .99 GoGo Squeez, $1.24-$1.49 Dole fruit bowls, $1.45 Glade products, $1.50 Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, $1.50 Ziploc, $1.67 Domino sugar, $1.75 Windex  

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!  

ONE DAY ONLY: Working scenarios for Jewel Unilever double dip


I'm back from Jewel, and I finally had success double-dipping the Unilever Buy $15, Save $5 and Unilever Buy 2 Get 1 FREE sales. These sales ONLY overlap for one more day, TODAY, 1/3/16.  

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...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: December 2016

coupon inserts

It's December! 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...  

Current National Catalina offers: December 2016

Epson Catalina

Catalina offers for December 2016 include Benadryl, Glade, Iams, Lucerne, McCafe, Nestea, Pepcid, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles, Spice Islands, Uncle Bens...  

About those free gift bags at Menards this week…


My mom told me to look through the free-after-rebate Christmas gift bags at Menards for ones that weren't specifically Christmas-themed! (We're both fans of buying neutral-looking gift wrap and bag designs...)  

TJ Maxx has $9.99-$14.99 Cubs World Series shirts


We Cataldos have been on a continued hunt for 2016 Cubs World Series gear! After one of my readers spotted Cubs World Series T-shirts at JC Penney, I was ready to plunk down $27.95 for a shirt...  

Take a new look at Dove and save


Dove's Take A New Look program launches today. To celebrate, Dove is offering a new Buy 2 Save $2 electronic coupon! Download and save at Jewel-Osco on the Dove products you enjoy, or try something new...  

Home and Stylenext >< prev

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 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...  

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...  

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?"  

Free Wi-Fi in the woods

tree on ground

We have a three-trunked weeping willow tree on our property, and over the years, one of the trunks has split from its siblings and progressively leaned over to rest on the ground. It was time to cut this tree trunk away...  

Repairing my favorite leather boots


I love boots, and I wear them throughout the fall and winter seasons, but I was fed up with how quickly my synthetic boots were wearing out. 2014 was the year that I decided I was done buying plastic boots...  

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?  

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...  

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...  

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.  

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...  

Foodnext >< prev

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...  

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: 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...  

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!  

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: 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...  

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...  

Travelnext >< prev

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... 

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...  

A bargain-priced idea for luggage organization

Travel bags

A few months ago, when I went on the All American RV Blogger Tour, one of the gifts I received was a set of Eagle Creek Pack-Its, which are small zipper bags that you can use inside a suitcase to organize socks, underwear and other items: The lightweight bags are made of nylon. After using [...]

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 [...]

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...  

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!  

Devil’s Tower and a drive to Utah

Devils Tower

Our campground host let us know we'd likely see both wild turkeys and deer outside our cabin windows in the morning. My husband woke up and stepped outside onto the deck, where he took this photo...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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...