New This Week


Kohl’s crazy FREE appliance deal is back again!

My longtime readers know that Kohl’s often does crazy-cheap appliance rebate deals, and they’ve got another one going right now! Through October 2nd, grab these Toastmaster appliances as low as FREE after all discounts!


I’m covering the O Organics: Organic For All event

I’m in Chicago today to cover the O Organics: Organic For All media event for Jewel-Osco! I’ll post a full writeup and update once I’m home, but if you’d like to follow along in real-time, you can follow my adventures on social media…  


One morning, two Menards, five deals. (Okay… six!)

I went to Menards this morning to grab some sale, coupon, and rebate deals. Today was all about bargain-priced cleaners, motor oil, and of course, free toothbrushes! I spotted a great price on coolers too…  


New Super-Couponing Tips column: A reader’s shopping challenge

“My wife gave me a challenge this evening to find the best deal using two 50-cent coupons to purchase two containers of a popular laundry soap. At my local box store, I found that a 150 fluid ounce container cost $9.47…”  

Shopping and Savingnext >< prev

Current National Catalina offers: October 2016

Epson Catalina

Catalina offers for October 2016 include Abound pet food, Aveeno, Enjoy Life, Glade, Red Gold, Terra, Ziploc and more...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: October 2016

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 in your files, you can pull them out and recycle them... nbsp;

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 9/28/16 – 10/4/16


.50 Buddig Premium lunchmeat, .50 Chobani Greek yogurt, .67 Ragu pasta sauce, .75 Progresso soup, .79 Barq's, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up 2-liters, $1.32 Kellogg's cereal, $1.37 Perdue breaded chicken  

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 9/29/16 – 10/5/16


.25 McCormick seasoning packets, .50 Ragu pasta sauce, $1 Dole Fruitocracy, $1 Dole Mixations, $1 Totino's Party Pizza, $1.26 Mrs. T's Pierogies, $1.38 Yo Crunch yogurt, $1.49 General Mills cereals, $1.50 Dole juice  

Coupon Matchups: Walmart Deals of the Week 9/25/16 – 10/1/16


.74 Gillette Satin Care shave gel, .77 Ragu pasta sauce, .88 Noxzema razors, .97 Bic razors, $1.48 Softsoap pumps, $1.54 Angel Soft bath tissue, $3.18 White Cloud bath tissue  

Coupon Matchups: Walgreens Deals of the Week 9/25/16 – 10/1/16


.39 Campbell's condensed soup, .44 Wrigley's gum, .75 Totino's Party Pizza, $1.21 Quaker cereals and $1.38 oatmeal, $1.30 Prego pasta sauce, $1.49 General Mills cereal, $1.50 Pantene haircare, $1.50 Tazo tea  

Coupon Matchups: CVS Deals of the Week 9/25/16 – 10/1/16

CVS pharmacy

.49 Colgate toothpaste, .88 Softsoap, .99 Colgate mouthwash, .99 Little Remedies, $1 Suave body wash, $1.24-$1.49 Post cereals, $1.49 Gold Emblem Abound snacks, $1.67 Hershey's snack size, $1.75 M&Ms, $2.44 Tide Pods  

Rebate and Coupon Deals: Menards 9/25/16 – 10/1/16


FREE Panel carrier, FREE Shaw floor cleaner, .50 Fisher peanuts, .75 Fisher trail mix, $1.19 Sprayway glass cleaner, $1.27 Snuggle dryer sheets, $1.49 Palmolive dish liquid, $6.04 Klement's summer sausage  

Great prices on clearance bedsheets at Meijer


I spotted some good bedsheet clearance prices at Meijer: Room & Retreat XL Twin sheets are just $5 per set! Black Label 600-count full size sheet sets are $17.50, marked down from $69.99 per set...  

Rebate and Coupon Deals: Menards 9/18/16 – 10/1/16


FREE Easy View glare blocker, FREE Gutter screen, FREE Interlocking storage jars, FREE Pizza cutter, FREE Safety goggles, FREE Scratch repair stick, $1.24 Energizer batteries, $4.99 3-piece cutting board set  

Smile: You’re on checkout camera!


My local Walmart store had recently installed a bank of self-checkout machines. After scanning my items and inserting payment, I stood at the machine waiting for my transaction to finish, and that's when I saw it...  

Meijer Mperks savings for entertaining a crowd


I headed over to Meijer today to pick up a bunch of sale items that currently have Mperks electronic coupon offers too: Lots of meats, snacks, sides, and other ingredients perfect for entertaining...  

Summertime clearances all over town


Over the past week, I have seen some great deals on outdoor gear and summertime supplies at multiple stores. This is such a great time to pick up seasonal bargains on things as many warm-weather items are deeply discounted...  

Jewel-Osco partners with Hunger Is initiative


For the month of September, Jewel-Osco is supporting the national Hunger Is initiative to aid childhood hunger relief efforts. We are very fortunate that in our home, there's never a question that there will be food on the table...  

Current National Catalina offers: September 2016

Epson Catalina

Catalina offers for September 2016 include Axe, Band-Aid, Barilla, Cottonelle, Fixodent, Glade, Heluva Good, Huggies, Jell-O, Kleenex, Magnum, Milo's Kitchen, Morning Star Farms, Nature Valley, Nestea, Scrubbing Bubbles & more...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: September 2016

coupon inserts

It's September! 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... nbsp;

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


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


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


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.


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...  

Home and Stylenext >< prev

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...  

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!"  

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...  

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?"  

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...  

Back to College: Is your student ready?


I can't believe back-to-school time is upon us again, and for our family, this time of year brings even more impact, as our oldest daughter is moving to college today. National College Move-In Week begins August 14th, 2016...  

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 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...  

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...  

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...  

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.  

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...  

Foodnext >< prev

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!  

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..."  

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: 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...  

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 [...]

Travelnext >< prev

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...  

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!  

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...  

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...  

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... 

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...  

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 [...]

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...  

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...  

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...  

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...