New This Week


New Super-Couponing Tips column: Outdated phone can’t use apps

“Apparently four years old is ancient in smartphone terms, because I use an app for couponing at a large chain drugstore. Recently the app said it needed an update, so I updated it, and guess what?”  


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…  

Shopping and Savingnext >< prev

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 3/30/17 – 4/5/17


.67 Well Yes soup, $1.24 Kellogg's cereals and FREE milk, $2.53 Softsoap refills, $3.49 Tide, $4.99 Persil laundry detergent, $6.97 Pampers jumbo pack diapers, $20/$5 P&G Health & Beauty Catalina  

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 3/29/17 – 4/4/17


.57 Michelina's entrees, .75 Annie's mac and cheese, .83 Scotties facial tissue, .99 Finlandia butter, $1 Herbal Essences haircare, $1.13 Bertolli pasta sauce, $1.25 Suave body wash, $1.75 wipes or bleach, $1.99 Fairlife milk  

Rebate and Coupon Deals: Menards 3/26/17 – 4/9/17


.49 Suave body wash, FREE Radians safety glasses, FREE shelf brackets, FREE Spic & Span gloves, FREE Tool Shop claw hammer, $1.18 Welch's fruit snacks, $1.88 Blackburn's jelly, $2.99 cutting board set or wine rack  

Coupon Matchups: CVS Deals of the Week 3/26/17 – 4/1/17

CVS pharmacy

FREE + moneymaker Garnier Fructis haircare, .59 Renuzit cones, .99 SoftSoap body wash, $1.29 Scope mouthwash, $1.44 Silk milk, $1.55 General Mills cereals, $2 M&Ms, $2.58 Brawny, $3.66 Huggies diapers

Coupon Matchups: Walgreens Deals of the Week 3/26/17 – 4/1/17


.69 Kleenex, .74 Palmolive, .99 Brut or Sure deodorant, .99 Purex Crystals, .99 Brut or Sure deodorant, .99 Colgate oral care, $1.28 Kellogg's cereals, $1.50 Blue Diamond almonds, $1.50 Blue Diamond almonds  

Coupon Matchups: Target Deals of the Week 3/26/17 – 4/1/17


.40 Yoplait yogurt, $2 Starburst jellybeans, Buy 3 Get $5 cleaning/paper sale, Buy 2 Get $5 P&G sale, Buy 4 Get $5 haircare sale, $4-$5.50 Bath towels, $9 Room Essentials sheet sets, $10 Yoga mats  

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  

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...  

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."  

Home and Stylenext >< prev

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...  

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...  

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...  

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.  

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...  

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...  

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?"  

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?  

How does my garden grow? With stinky deer repellent spray


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...  

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...  

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 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

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...  

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!  

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...  

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 [...]

Travelnext >< prev

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...  

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 [...]

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...  

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 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?  

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...  

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?  

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!  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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...