New This Week

money on scale

New Super-Couponing Tips column: Why don’t more stores double?

“I would like to know if the supermarkets will ever go back to double and triple coupon days of old. It seems to me it would boost sales for stores and boost the economy in the communities.”  


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…  


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…  

Shopping and Savingnext >< prev

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 12/8/16 – 12/14/16


.65 Campbell's soup, $1.49 Post cereals, $1.49 Snyder's pretzels, $1.66 Pillsbury cookie dough or pie crusts, $1.75 Marie Callender's meals, $1.99 Michael Angelo's entrees, $4 Garnier Nutrisse haircolor  

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 12/7/16 – 12/13/16


.38 Red Star yeast, .68 Michelina's entrees, .75 Swiss Miss hot cocoa, .79 7-Up 2-liters, $1 Kedem sparkling grape juice, $1 SuperPretzel and SoftStix, $1.12 Lucerne cream cheese, $1.24 Brownberry bread, $1.38 Chips Ahoy  

Coupon Matchups: Walgreens Deals of the Week 12/4/16 – 12/10/16


.74 Butterball turkey bacon, .74 Swiss Miss cocoa, .75 Progresso soups, $1.25 Prego pasta sauce, $1.99 Jimmy Dean sausage roll, $1.99 L'Oreal Advanced haircare, $2. Blistex Bliss Flip lip balm, $2.49 Cottonelle  

Coupon Matchups: CVS Deals of the Week 12/4/16 – 12/10/16

CVS pharmacy

FREE Edge or Skintimate shave gel, $1.99 Revlon Super Lustrous lip, $2 Colgate Total mouthwash, $2.44 Downy fabric softener, $2.49 Wonderful pistachios, $2.99 Bauducco Panettone, $3.99 Schick razors  

Coupon Matchups: Walmart Deals of the Week 12/2/16 – 12/17/16


.66 Birds Eye frozen vegetables, $1.48 Reynolds oven bags, $1.48 Swanson chicken broth, $1.48 Vanity Fair napkins, $1.54 Angel Soft bath tissue, $1.88 Mean Green spray cleaner, $3.18 White Cloud bath tissue  

Rebate and Coupon Deals: Menards 12/4/16 – 12/10/16


11% rebate is back this week. Get an 11% rebate on everything in the store: $1.76 Splash windshield washer fluid, $1.77 7-Up 6-packs, $2.99 Valvoline Synthetic Blend motor oil, $4.44 Ray O Vac batteries  

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 November 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...  

Current National Catalina offers: November 2016

Epson Catalina

Catalina offers for November 2016 include Barilla, Dreamfields, Glade, Kleenex, Uncle Ben's, VitaminWater and more...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: November 2016

coupon inserts

It may be 72 degrees in balmy Chicagoland today, but November has arrived! Here's a list of all of the coupon inserts that have expired within the last two months.  

Have you signed up for Jewel-Osco’s Gas Rewards?


We headed over to Jewel to pick up a few things and see how many Gas Rewards points we could rack up in a quick trip. I don't know how "quick Jewel trips" are put together in your house, but here's how it went...  

What advice would you give to Melinda?


I receive a lot of email from readers, but this email from Melinda struck a chord with me. With permission, I've changed identifying details in it to share with you. What advice would you give to Melinda?  

I won a family trip, but I can’t go! Can you?


Earlier this month, I entered a contest to win an "Ultimate Staycation" trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and guess what? I won! As much as we'd love to go, we simply can't swing this, so I'm giving it away! Can you go?  

Jewel-Osco’s O Organics line: Organic for All™


Recently, Jewel-Osco invited me to a bloggers’ event to experience, eat, and cook with O Organics foods! The event took place at Kendall College, Chicago’s leading culinary institute... changing to phone number authentication

cellphone announced today that they are moving away from the coupon-printing plugin in favor of a phone-number authentication system. You will be required to authenticate your device with a text message...  

What’s inside the Fall 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 Fall 2016 box this week, and here's what's inside...  

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;

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...  

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...  

Home and Stylenext >< prev

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...  

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...  

The Clean Dishes Challenge: Battle of the Dishwasher Detergents


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...  

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!"  

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...  

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?"  

Putting two new HD television antennas to the test


Our existing roof-mounted antenna is old and has multiple broken elements from tree branches falling into it over the years. Antennas Direct offered me two antennas to review, and I was really surprised...  

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...  

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 quest to find a great deck stain

deck stain

As anyone with a deck knows, they are not maintenance-free. This time around, I wanted a deck stain that would last for many years without the disappointing results of the last stain I used...  

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?  

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!  

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...  

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...  

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...

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...  

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

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...  

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 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...  

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...  

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...  

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?  

Day-pack essentials for theme park trips

Swiss day pack

Whether our family's headed to Disney, Universal, Six Flags or another destination, I always bring what my family affectionately calls my "black backpack" on all of our theme park trips. I don't like carrying a purse when we're in theme-park commando mode. A few years ago I discovered the perfect small, yet durable sling-style backpack...  

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...  

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...  

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 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...  

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... 

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...