New This Week


Make more of mealtime with Unilever and Jewel-Osco’s $30/$10 sale

If you’re in the mood to change up your dinner plans a bit, Jewel-Osco is having a “Buy $30, Save $10 Instantly” sale on a variety of Unilever products and brands beginning April 26, 2017. You can stock up…  


“Sale” spotting: Save big on saffron at Fresh Market

Leanne is in Florida, and she shopped at Fresh Market over the weekend. She shared this photo and says “When Fresh Market has a sale they go deep!” There’s so much going on here! Where to begin…  


New Super-Couponing Tips column: Raincheck policy casts gloomy forecast

“Last month the whole chain changed their raincheck policy, and it is not good. If something sells out during a sale, you can still get a raincheck, but they no longer let you use coupons with that raincheck!”  


Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3: Road to the Races” comes to Schaumburg

Does your family love all things Disney Cars? Disney’s Cars 3: Road to the Races tour is currently traveling around the United States and is currently at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg through 4/23…  


Did you know that you can see your mail before it’s delivered?

The United States Postal Service has a free program where you can view your mail before it’s delivered. You may not be aware, but the USPS already photographs every piece of mail you receive…  

Shopping and Savingnext >< prev

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 4/27/17 – 5/3/17


.75 Del Monte Fruit Refreshers, .75 Kleenex, .99 Colgate toothpaste, $1.17 Old Orchard juices, $1.25 Nature Valley bars, $1.29 Finish Jet Dry, $1.49 Annie's organic snacks, $1.66 General Mills cereals, $1.74 Fiber One bars  

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 4/26/17 – 5/2/17


.17 Yoplait yogurt cups, .27 Maruchan Yakisoba or bowls, .75 RedGold canned tomatoes, $1 Puffs tissues, $1.15 Ragu pasta sauce, $1.50 Ice Mountain water, $1.75 Mr. Clean, $2 Dean's ice cream, $2 Keebler crackers  

Coupon Matchups & Rebates: Menards Deals of the Week 4/23/17 – 5/7/17


FREE air conditioner foam weatherseal, FREE aluminum gutter, FREE Splash car wash, FREE Touchscreen wipes, FREE Value shelf, .97 Guidesman outdoor drink holder, .99 Iodent toothbrush 6-packs  

Coupon Matchups: Walgreens Deals of the Week 4/23/17 – 4/29/17


.74 Palmolive, $1 Quaker Real Medleys oatmeal cups, $1.39 All laundry detergent, $1.50 General Mills cereals, $1.97 Butterball ground turkey, $2 Purex laundry detergent, $2.99 Downy Unstopables  

Coupon Matchups: CVS Deals of the Week 4/23/17 – 4/29/17

CVS pharmacy

.46 Trident gum, .99 Colgate toothpaste, .99 Xtra laundry detergent, $1.50 Garnier haircare, $2.33 Belvita breakfast biscuits, $2.50 Nivea body wash, $3 Clairol haircolor, $4 Nivea lotion, $10.99 Zantac  

Coupon Matchups: Target Deals of the Week 4/23/17 – 4/29/17


$1.42 Smart Ones entrees, $2.49 Ice Mountain water, $3.49 Quilted Northern, $6.49 All, Buy 2 Get $5 P&G sale, Buy 2 Get $10 Pampers and Huggies diapers  

Coupon Matchups: Meijer Deals of the Week 4/20/17 – 4/26/17


.50 Friskies cat treats, .50 Old El Paso foods, .50-.66 Pillsbury rolls, .66 Herbal Essences haircare, .75 Green Giant frozen vegetables, .75 Old Orchard juice concentrates, .75 Progresso soup, .80 Michelina's  

Coupon Matchups: Jewel-Osco Deals of the Week 4/19/17 – 4/25/17


$1.48 General Mills cereals, $1.50 Cabot cheese, $1.50 Lysol wipes, $1.75 Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, $2 Almond Breeze milk, $2.25 Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, $2.99 Tom's of Maine toothpaste  

Sugar-Coke lovers: It’s Kosher Coca-Cola time for 2017!


It's no secret that I am a die-hard Coca-Cola lover and that this blog has been fueled by Coke for close to a decade now. Passover 2017 has begun, and Coca-Cola's delicious Kosher-for-Passover Coke is back...  

What’s inside the Spring 2017 Walmart Beauty Box?


Walmart's Beauty Boxes are FREE with a $5 flat fee to ship them to your door. Walmart issues four Beauty Boxes per year. I got my Spring 2017 box this past weekend, and here's what's inside:...  

Expired coupon inserts to remove from your files: April 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: April 2017

Epson Catalina

Here's a list of national Catalina offer for March, including offers from Align, Almay, Carnation, Cottonelle, Drano, Earth's Best, Gerber, Gorton's, Huggies, Secret, Simple, and more...  

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...  

My Menards rebate was lost in the mail

Menards rebates

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...  

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...  

Home and Stylenext >< prev

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!"  

An “expensive” jewelry lesson and a bargain-priced professional dress


I bought a new dress recently to wear to a work-related speaking engagement, and while I like the dress very much, I thought that it needed a piece of jewelry to accessorize it a bit...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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...  

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?"  

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 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...  

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

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...  

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..."  

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!  

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...  

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...  

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...  

Travelnext >< prev

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!  

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...  

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...  

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?  

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...  

What’s in your trunk? Three things to carry at all times…

Trunk backpack

I believe everyone should be prepared, even minimally, for a situation in which you may not reach your destination due to weather or other complications. What's in your vehicle's trunk right now? At a bare minimum, I recommend you carry...  

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...  

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... 

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...  

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...  

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?  

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...