Saturday, June 11, 2011

Best of the Blog-o-Sphere

I've seen a ton of inspiring posts this week by other amazing bloggers.

Crystal at The Thrifty Mama shows you how to make Aloe Vera Lemonade.
I'm going to mix some up tonight and I'll let you know how it goes. I've heard Aloe is really great for acid reflux, which just about everyone in my family has.

In Real Toys for Real Kids, Lisa at Granola Catholic lists some great toys and activities to inspire creativity in kids.

6 Top Salads for Summertime will get your mouth watering at Life As Mom.

Both my kids have asthma, and during the thick of allergy season, this Quick Homemade Vapor Rub from Crunchy Betty has really helped their breathing. (Note: Should not be used on children under 1; always check with your pediatrician before starting any new treatment.)


In case you missed it.. .

Here are some of the most popular posts from this week:

12 Completely Free things to do with Kids in the Summer!

Make your Own Hummus: Guest Post

Amazon Natural and Organic Deals

Great Deals for Dad


Natural and Organic Coupons

There are a lot of great printables this week for natural and organic food. Here they are:

$1 off any Kashi Product when you sign in and leave a comment
*Deal Idea: Buy Kashi GoLean Protein & Fiber Bar -- $1.49 at Wegmans
Use $1 off coupon
Final Price= $.49

$.50 off 1 Seventh Generation Product
$.50 off 1 Seventh Generation Baby Product
$1 off 1 Seventh Generation Laundry Product

Did you get this month's Kiwi Magazine? I was happily surprised to find some coupons in my issue. Here they are:
$3 off 1 Natural Balance Pet Foods
$1 off 1 Peanut Butter & Co Peanut Butter
$.75 off 1 Florida Crystals Organic Agave Nectar (I'm going to see if I can sub this for corn syrup in my Rice Krispies Scotcheroos!)
$.55 off 1 Florida Crystals Sugar Product

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Father's Day Round Up!

Father's Day is next Sunday, June 18. If you're planning any online shopping, now is the time to do it! Here are the best deals for Dad from around the web.

**New: $15 for Men's Heath Magazine Subscription

Sports Illustrated -- One-Year Subscription plus Free NFL T-Shirt (32 teams available)!

Borders: 40% off 1 item Exp. 6/13

$25 Gift Card at for only $2!  Use the code DEAL at checkout.

25% off all Men's items at Gap, plus free shipping on orders over $50 Exp. 6/12

Father's Day Blu-Ray Coupons (search under Home Entertainment):
$5.00 Off X-Men Trilogy on Blu-ray™
$3.00 Off The Day After Tomorrow on Blu-ray™
$3.00 Off Man on Fire on Blu-ray™
$3.00 Off Die Hard on Blu-ray™
$3.00 Off Fight Club on Blu-ray™
$3.00 Off Platoon on Blu-ray™
$10.00 Off The Mel Brooks Collection on Blu-ray™
$3.00 Off Master and Commander on Blu-ray™

Quiet Strength (eBook) by Tony Dungy for just $0.99 on Amazon. (Thanks, MoneySavingMom!)

$25 reward card when you spend $50 on men's apparel at Sears. Exp. 6/19. 
If you are shopping online at, use code SEARSJUNE15  to get 15% off your order. Free shipping on orders over $50. (Thanks, Hip2Save!)


$5 Friday: Moroccan Grilled Chicken

With the toddler sick and the pre-schooler bouncing off the walls because I can't take his sister out (she's contagious!), I kind of forgot about making dinner tonight. Good thing it's $5 Friday because this is a quick, easy, healthy, and cheap meal that requires little to no forethought!

Moroccan Chicken
1 tsp Cumin ($.10)
1/2 tsp Sea Salt ($.05)
1/4 tsp cinnamon ($.05)
Pinch of paprika -- smoked if you have it (cost negligible)
4 chicken breasts pounded thin ($1.50)
1 tbsp vegetable oil ($.25)
1 pkg couscous ($2.39)
1 pkg frozen or fresh spinach ($.99)

  • Stir the first 4 ingredients together and use as a dry rub on the chicken breasts. Pan-sear in oil 8-12 minutes until done, turning once OR cook on the grill. 
  • Prepare couscous according to directions
  • Add spinach to the pan and cook until it cooks or wilts
  • Add couscous to the pan and stir everything together
  • Season to taste
Total Cost= $5.33

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Wegmans Tweeting Fresh Produce Alerts!

If you shop at Wegmans, and have a Twitter account, you can now learn when fresh local produce will be delivered to your store!

Here's a sample tweet from yesterday: 

Organic strawberries from Gingerich Farms arriving at our store in  Friday!

Follow them @WegmansLocal

Am I the only one who is excited about this?

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Amazon: New Natural & Organic Deals

Use Subscribe & Save at Amazon to get the following items at a deep discount today on Amazon. I'm definitely going to stock up on the Eden Organic Beans, as they're the only brand I know of that doesn't use BPA in the can liners. And you can use the Garbanzo beans to make your own hummus!

Garden of Eatin' Tortilla Chips, Nacho Cheese, 9-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12) Reg. $40.56
Now: $18.49 ($1.54/bag)
Eden Organic Black Beans, No Salt Added, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12) Reg. $26.32 Now $15.20 ($1.27/can)
Eden Organic Kidney Beans, No Salt Added, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12) Reg. $26.32 Now $15.20 ($1.27/can)
Eden Organic Garbanzo Beans, No Salt Added, 15-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12) Reg. $26.32 Now $15.20 ($1.27/can)
Cascadian Farms Organic Fiber Right Chewy Granola Bars, Dark Chocolate Almond, 5-Count Bars (Pack of 6) Reg.  $24.97  Now $12.81 ($2.14/box)
Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain, Steel Cut Oats, 24-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4) Reg. $23.96 Now $17.44 ($4.36/pkg)
Bob's Red Mill Organic 7 Grain Pancake & Waffle, Whole Grain Mix, 26-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4) Reg. $17.44 Now $11.85 ($2.96/bag)
Madhava Organic Agave Nectar - Light, 46-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 2) $15.56 ($7.78 each)

You can see more natural and organic deals at Amazon here and here.
If you don't use a lot of coupons, these deals are much better than the grocery store prices I've seen recently -- and you don't have to leave your house!

Remember, you can always cancel Subscribe & Save after your order ships; if you don't, you will continue to be shipped the item at regular price.

(Thanks, Saving Naturally!)

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25% off Old Navy Men's Store

Here's a coupon you can use in-store with the Old Navy groupon.

Go to the Old Navy Facebook page and click on The Guy Gallery to print out your coupon for 25% off any 1 men's item.
This coupon expires June 19.

Just in time for Father's Day!

**Update: You can save paper and ink by requesting to have this coupon texted to your smartphone!**

(Thanks, I am That Lady!) 

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

$11 for Robeez at

These are so adorable. Both my kids had Robeez when they were early walkers and they loved their soft-soled shoes. The pair above is only $11 with  free 2-day AND free return shipping! also has a HUGE variety of kids' shoes on sale, from See Kai Run to Pediped to Keen. Most of the prices I saw are below $25. I have my eye on these Pedipeds for Emma. Only $21.97!


FREE Father's Day Card at TinyPrints!

I just took advantage of this great offer:  Make your own FREE Father's Day photo card using code FREEFD at checkout. 
You can pay the additional $.44 to have it sent to the recipient's house, otherwise it will be sent to you.
This offer expires June 13.

I have a weird thing about paying for greeting cards -- mostly that they're so dang expensive -- so I'm loving this deal. As a bonus, TinyPrints uses 30% post-consumer waste in their paper products. It's a win-win!

(Thanks, Organic Deals!)

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Father's Day Deals at Amazon

Father's Day is Sunday, June 18.  I'm the first to admit I have no idea what I am getting my husband for Father's Day. Well, I have a couple of ideas, but none that fit in our budget! He would love a new grill, but I have to find a good deal first.

If you have AmazonPrime with free 2-day shipping, you can order as late as Thursday June 16 -- although I would say Wednesday just to be safe.  If you don't have AmazonPrime, Saturday the 11th is the last day to order your Father's Day items.

Here are some of the best deals I've found on Amazon for Father's Day.

***Update: Amazon has a variety of  Jos A Banks  Buttondown Sportshirts on sale for $9.98. These will sell out quickly!
$20 off your $100 DeWalt Tools Order
$25 off Bosch Cordless Tools

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FREE Download: Your Weekly Schedule

Have you ever had a week when everything ran smoothly, the kids behaved, the house stayed reasonably clean, and the shopping and cooking went seamlessly?

No? Me either.

Typically I can only keep one room at a time clean, one or both children are running around screaming, and I peek in the crockpot at 5 pm to realize I never actually turned it on that morning.

Clearly, we can all use a little organization in our lives. When I first became a stay-at-home mom of one infant three years ago, I was craving some sort of structure to my days. I had recently been teaching high school and on a strict schedule: If it was 10:04 on Tuesday, I was teaching English 10 Honors, for example.

In an attempt to incorporate some structure into my days with a newborn, I created a weekly schedule that really helped me focus my efforts around the house, and thus gave me more time to do the things I wanted to do -- like shower.

For the first time, here is a free PDF of my weekly schedule. It is loosely based on some of the FlyLady's routines, but I've customized it to be more manageable for me. Basically, I wanted to make sure meals were planned, each room got at least a once-over every week, and I could keep track of my to-do list.  It is heavier on the cleaning chores earlier in the week, because it seems like I am more motivated then -- by the weekend, the last thing I want to do is clean!

I hope you enjoy this FREE download. I'd love to hear how it is working for you!


Night at the Movies as Low as $4!

Today on LivingSocial, Fandango is offering a deal on movie tickets: $9 for two tickets.  If you are a new sign-up to LivingSocial, you'll get a $5 credit, making today's deal only $4!  That's so low you'll even be able to afford a babysitter.

Sign up here if you haven't used LivingSocial before.

The Fine Print:

  • Voucher can only be redeemed online at
  • Limit 1 per customer
  • Both tickets must be purchased for same movie and showtime
  • Not good on iMax or 3D showings


Wegmans: BBQ Sauce for $.99

Wegmans just released a new coupon for $1 off Wegmans Barbecue Sauce. Regular price is $1.99, making these just $.99 after the coupon. Everyone in my family LOVES the Memphis flavor, so I'll be stocking up for the summer.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cascadian Farms Cereal $2.94/box at Amazon

Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Crunch Cereal, 10.3-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4) is only $11.76 at Amazon when you use Subscribe & Save. That comes out to $2.94 a box, shipped.
You get free shipping with Subscribe & Save and can cancel at any time after your order ships.

(Thanks, Organic Deals!)


20% off Coupon at Old Navy

This is what I've been waiting for! Old Navy has a 20% your entire purchase coupon good toward your purchase on Women's, Women's Plus, and Maternity.  If you purchased last week's Old Navy Groupon, you could score some amazing deals.  I desperately need shorts but have been waiting for a coupon code to stack with my Groupon.  You could potentially score $20 worth of clothing for $6!

Use ONLADIES20 at checkout.
This deal expires 6/9

**UPDATE** I just found out that the Groupon is only in stores, and the 20% off code is only online. I'm betting, though, that Old Navy will send out some coupons on or around the 4th of July, so I'm going to wait until then to use my Groupon. Don't wait too long though because it expires July 30!

(Thanks, I am THAT Lady!)


Free Downloadable Cookbooks

There are over 40 free cookbooks and recipes available to download to your Kindle, phone, or computer on Amazon today. 

 Some of the cookbooks available are downright awesome, like "Mrs. Child's" The American Frugal Housewife, written, I would guess, around 1870. I'm also interested in checking out Twenty-five cent Dinners for the Family of Six.  I'd love to see how those recipes translate to 2011 prices!

Here's a partial list of the books that are available:
There is definitely some fascinating information in these books!

(Thanks, The Thrifty Mama!)

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Free Smoothie at Barnes & Noble

Heading out to Barnes & Noble this week? Use this B1G1 Free Smoothie Coupon!

B&N has a great kids' area and my kids love to go there and play with the big train table. Now I might even get them a Smoothie since it's two for one!

Coupon Expires 6/13/11.

(Thanks, Money Saving Mom!)

5 MORE Easy Ways to Win Swagbucks

Imagine if you reached into the pocket of an old pair of jeans and found a $50 bill inside!
That’s how I felt when I realized today that I have earned enough Swagbucks to order $50 worth of  Amazon gift cards.  Now I just have to have the self-control to save them until the holidays instead of frittering them away on Glee downloads. 

Swagbucks is a search engine that gives you points - swagbucks -- for using their search function. I use Swagbucks on a daily basis, and it is definitely paying off!
Sign up for Swagbucks and begin earning HERE.
Read on for more ways to win:
1. Print and Redeem Coupons  -- Yes, you read that right, you actually earn swagbucks by printing coupons directly from and redeeming them at your normal store. Swagbucks’ coupons are the same ones you will find on, so if you need some printables, definitely print them from the Swagbucks site. To find them, just go to the “Earn” drop-down menu and coupons is the first item.

2. Watch Swagbucks TV -- This item is located at the bottom of the “Earn” drop down menu. Basically, you can pick the genre (I usually choose entertainment or fashion, what can I say, I’m shallow) and watch videos from 1-5 minutes in length. Once you hit about 10 videos, you will earn 3 swagbucks. This is great if you’re killing time, but I usually have them playing in the background on mute while I am working in another window.

3. Recycle your old phone -- If you have an old cell phone laying around, you can type in the model into “Trade In” and it will tell you how many swagbucks you will be awarded for sending in your old phone for recycling. They will even give you a pre-paid shipping label!

4. Order a Daily Deal -- Both Groupon and LivingSocial have a presence on Swagbucks. If you search for Daily Deals and order it through your logged-in swagbucks page, you’ll earn 100+ points for that purchase.

5. Any online shopping -- Swagbucks is partnered with over 100 online stores including Target, Kohls,, and If you purchase your order through your swagbucks page, you will earn from 100-500 swagbucks!
If you missed the first post on 5 Easy Ways to Win Swagbucks , check it out HERE.


Family Fun magazine for $3.50/year

Today on, you can get a one-year subscription to Family Fun Magazine for $3.50 by going here and entering code DISNEY at checkout. If you really like Family Fun, you can get three years for just $10.50.

If you've never used Tanga before, be aware that as more people purchase the deal, the price may start creeping up as the day goes on. If you like this deal, be sure to nab it now!

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New Starbucks Ice Cream Coupon!

Since today is supposed to be one of the hottest days of the year everywhere in the country, here is a coupon to cool you down! has just added a $.75 off Starbucks Ice Cream coupon.   Here are two ways to use it:

Starbucks Ice Cream BOGO $4.99
Use 2 $.75 off 1 Starbucks Ice Cream 
Final Price= 2/ $3.49 or $1.75 each

Wegmans -- $2.99
Use 1 $.75 off 1 Starbucks Ice Cream (doubled)
Final Price= $1.49 each

(Thanks, Happy Deal, Happy Day!)

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

$10 for $20 at from Dealpulp

Today only Dealpulp is running a great special: $10 for $20 at has a HUGE selection of shoes for men, women, and kids. 

I've been on the lookout for summer shoe deals for kids, and Shoebuy has a selection of Keens and Crocs for kids on sale for $25.45 - $32.95. That means if you can score a pair of Keens for $22.95 and Crocs for $15.45 after this deal -- and if you buy the wrong size, has free shipping BOTH ways! 

Tuesday's Grocery Round-Up 6/7

I had a great Wegman's trip this week -- I didn't use a ton of coupons, but I was able to get my entire order under $40, which is definitely a first. I've been trying to do a lot of pantry cooking lately, plus I am stocked up pretty well on meat, so I think we'll be good with meals until next week.
 I did take advantage of the Ball Park hot dog deal, mostly for my husband  -- when I am happy with tortellini salad for dinner, he likes a little something else to round it out. I know they're not healthy, but he likes them. After the coupon, they were $1.50 per package of 8.  I have to say, if meat is that cheap I always wonder what is in it!
I also found a $1 off Wegman's brand suncare item in the health & beauty department; I used it to buy a stick of baby sunscreen for $1.99 down from $2.99. With 2 very fair children, it's always good to keep some sunscreen in my purse.
Finally -- I plan on making a potato salad this week, and I was happily surprised to realize that organic russet potatoes are the same cost as regular -- both $3.99 for 5 lbs.

Here's what my trip looked like:


A Deal and a Recipe!

Today at Amazon, you can get Kellogg's Rice Krispies Gluten Free Cereal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, 12-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4) for $11.92.  Make sure to check the Subscribe & Save option and use code GFRKMAYI.
Ok, I get that $2.98 per box of Rice Krispies isn't a rock bottom price. But I'm SO tempted to buy them because then I can make these:

I just made the Rice Krispies Scotcheroos this weekend, and they were literally gone in 60 seconds. Just for fun, here's the recipe:

1 c light corn syrup
1 c white sugar
1 c peanut butter
6 c Rice Krispies
1 c chocolate chips
1 c butterscotch chips

1. Place corn syrup and sugar into 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Mix well. Add Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated. Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Let stand until firm. Cut into 2 x 1-inch bars when cool.

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12 Completely FREE things to do with Kids this Summer!

1. My absolute favorite thing to do with my kids is go to the library.  Almost all library systems have free storytimes for younger kids and free book clubs for older kids. 

2. If you are a Bank of America customer, you can get FREE admission to a selection of museums around the country during the first full weekend of every month. This summer, it’s July 2 & 3, August 6 & 7, and September 3 & 4. See this list to see if there is a participating museum near you.  

3. At Home Depot, they offer FREE make & take programs for young kids on the first Saturday of every month.  They are most appropriate for 5-12 year olds. Examples of recent projects are a valet organizer and a mini-toolbox.

4. Many cities and towns offer free concerts at a beach or a park. This is a great way to expose younger children who might not be able to sit through a symphony at the concert hall to high quality music.

5. Also, many towns and libraries offer free movie nights at local parks. Check your town’s website for more information.

6. Head over to the nearest lake, pond, or large puddle with a bag of stale bread and feed the ducks and geese. We did this two weeks ago and I was amazed by how fascinated my kids were with this simple activity.

7. Speaking of animals, the local pet store is a great place to go and browse with kids. There are often a variety of birds, small fuzzy creatures like guinea pigs, fish, and puppies. We go to the pet store all the time for a free, quick activity. My husband calls it “the poor dad’s zoo.”

8. Call your local fire department and see if they offer any open houses. Last August the fire department down the street from us had a completely FREE day for neighborhood kids to learn about fire safety and sit in the big fire trucks. The kids LOVED it. Some of the older kids were even allowed to climb up the tall fire ladder.

9. Too hot to play outside? Go Bowling! AMF bowling centers offers 2 free games per day to children under 16. Just sign up for their email alerts and get your free coupons!

 10. Live near a Bass Pro Shop? They offer a free summer camp program. From June 4 to July 10, there are a variety of free family activities daily, from crafts to cookouts to casting.

11.  Make your own play-dough and create all sorts of fun shapes, animals, and play food!  This recipe is no-cook, so everyone can help!

 12. From big cities to small towns, it is impossible to miss the variety of festivals that abound in the summer months. Check your municipality’s online calendar for more details. They’re usually free to enter, but it’s hard to leave without buying some of the uniquely delicious festival food!

I'm sure there are a TON more fun, free things to do with kids! Please add your favorites in the comments!