Garden Party: Look who (finally) decided to show up!

Garden beans

Our garden has performed somewhat erratically this summer. We’ve had lots of cucumbers, a steady supply of small tomatoes, and… until recently, not much else. My zucchini plants never produced a single fruit. My pole beans have climbed everything in sight, with leafy green vines that produced nothing. I was beginning to wonder if we’d […]

New uses for old products: toothpaste and a muffin pan

shower clean

Just for fun, I thought I’d share a couple of new ideas for products you already have around the house! Earlier this week, I ran into one of my blog readers at our local CVS, and he said that he’s reached the “toothpaste saturation” point. Even when it’s free, he’s done buying because he’s just […]

How does your garden grow?


If it’s like mine… slowly. Despite regular watering, our garden has not been as bountiful as it has in past years. The heat and drought are doing some strange things to the garden. I have zucchini vines crawling all over… with no zucchini on them. Green beans climbing high up poles… but no beans on […]

Another great Sears Outlet trip: This outfit was $10!

Bargain Sears outfit

Lately, I’ve been feeling some mad love for Sears Outlet, and the funny thing is that I’m not really a “regular” Sears shopper much at all. But when you need to buy something, versus the ongoing clearance-bargain-hunting that I also like to do, the odds are heavily stacked in your favor that you’ll find something […]

$1.99 brand-new Mossimo bikinis at… the Goodwill Store?


My son’s desire for some Hawaiian shirts to wear this summer led us to the Goodwill Store today in Huntley, Illinois. And, while he found three shirts at great prices today, my daughter also scored some brand-new Mossimo bikinis, with the tags still on them… for $1.99 each?! Oh, yes! Here’s a tip that I […]

Spray-on suncreen warning: Don’t use before grilling


This is scary, but I’m reposting in case this helps anyone. Here’s a story about a Boston man who applied Banana Boat spray-on sunscreen and then went out to use his grill. The grill’s flames ignited his skin anywhere he had sprayed the sunscreen. The flames spread everywhere the sunscreen had been applied, and he […]

Laundry detergent packs: Are they working for you?

Laundry basket

Last month, I blogged about some issues I was having with the new laundry detergent packs not dissolving during each wash. Some of my blog readers were experiencing non-dissolving issues with them too. Cleveland’s ABC News 5 recently did a consuemer-advocate story about laundry pods and packs. They asked me to share my experience with […]

A great way to get FREE produce…


… a few months from now! We always enjoy growing a garden in our backyard. Aside from a small investment (seeds, fertilizer, sprays) it’s a great way to get lots of free produce that is grown organically without pesticides. Plus, it’s a lot of fun for our kids to see where food comes from. One […]

Adventures in Laundry: “Hand-Wash Only”

Hand Wash laundry

Occasionally, amidst all of the coupon blogging here, I like to share a few Cataldo-family misadventures. This is one of those days… Two weeks ago, our very nice, less-than-two-years-old, front-loader high-efficiency washing machine stopped working. It showed a water level sensor error code on the screen and… that was it. Without boring you with all […]