How to Coupon

How to Save Money at Vons

Posted on Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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grocery-bagYou can end up saving a lot of money on groceries if you know how to get the best discounts. Vons has a loyalty program that gives members access to plenty of coupons. The saving techniques that are described here can be applied to other grocery stores that have their own loyalty cards.

Get the Loyalty Card
Vons has a customer loyalty program called Just For U. It is free to sign up for. Members get special savings on products from all over the store. You will see price tags that say one price, and then list a lower price for members.

Download Coupons
Members of the Just for U program get access to special digital coupons that non-members cannot get. Visit the Vons website, pick out the coupons that you want to use, and add them to your membership card. When you get to the cash register, those coupons will automatically be scanned and used.

Check the Receipt
Usually, the cashier will hand you two things after you have paid for your groceries. One is a receipt. Flip it over and see if there are coupons printed on the back of it before you recycle or shred it.

The cashier will also hand you a couple of catalina coupons. They are usually connected to brands that you purchased that day or that you have bought a lot of in previous shopping trips. Many people throw these papers into a grocery bag and forget all about them. Be aware of these coupons, use them, and save money.

Bring More Coupons
Members of the Vons Just for U loyalty program can use coupons that come from other sources. Some people don’t realize that, and think they can only use the ones that are connected with the program. Not so! Go ahead and print out the coupons that you want to use from your favorite coupon resource. Bring all of them with when you go grocery shopping. The more coupons – the more savings. Be sure to check out Safeway Coupon Matchups each week too to see which coupons you can match up with that week’s sales to save you the most.

Bring Your Own Bags
Will you be doing your grocery shopping in a town or city that has a plastic bag ban? Bring some canvas reusable bags with you to the store. Doing so will prevent you from having to spend five or ten cents on every paper bag that your cashier needs to use to put your groceries in. Those bags sound inexpensive until you add up the extra cost, week after week, that you could have easily saved.

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Save on Back-To-School Immunizations

Posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Immunization SavingsThe end of summer vacation is upon us. It is time to make sure your kids have the immunizations that their school requires. Some schools will allow students to begin a new school year without having the required shots, but will require all students to be immunized by a certain date. If you have been hesitating to get your child immunized due to financial difficulty, there some frugal (or free) options available.

If You Have Insurance
Did you get your health insurance through the Marketplace? For many, this means you purchased a plan through Healthcare.gov or through your state’s health insurance Marketplace. Those health plans are required to cover vaccines for children ages 0 through 18 without any cost-sharing requirements. The thing to watch out for is that you must use an in-network provider.

The immunizations that are included are:
* Diphtheria, Teatnus, Pertussus
* Haemophilus influenzae type b
* Hepatitis A
* Hepatitis B
* Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine for females
* Inactivated Poliovirus
* Influenza
* Measles, Mumps, Rubella
* Meningococcal
* Rotavirus
* Varicella

If You Are Uninsured
Your child may be eligible for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. It provides vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them.

To qualify, the child must be younger than 19 years of age. The child must also be one of the following: Medicaid-eligible, Uninsured, Underinsured, and/or American Indian or Alaska Native. There may be a small fee for the immunization.

Another option is to ask your child’s school if they will be holding an immunization clinic. You might need to register your child for it. The immunizations offered there might be free or very low cost. Some schools will have made arrangements with local health clinics in order to offer parents low-cost immunizations and sports physicals for their children.

Don’t forget to check the local pharmacies! Many are advertising now that they can provide back-to-school immunizations. If you have health insurance, make sure that the pharmacy is within your network before you get the immunizations. If the pharmacy is out of network, you may end up paying more for the immunization that you would at a pharmacy was in-network.

CVS and Walgreens typically offer back-to-school immunizations around the start of a new school year. If you use a different pharmacy, it is possible that they will offer the same thing. Sometimes, pharmacies will offer special coupons to parents who have their children immunized there.

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Quick and Easy Ideas for Dinner

Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Grilled cheese istockThe start of a new school year is also the start of a lot of scheduling. Parents might need to help their children with homework, or monitor the child to make sure it gets done. There are after school programs to attend. Somewhere in there, you are going to need to feed your family some dinner. Here are some quick and easy dinner ideas for families that are crunched for time.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
You may already know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. If not, AllRecipes has one for you to use. It makes 2 servings and is ready in 20 minutes. You will need:

* 4 slices of white bread
* 2 slices of Cheddar cheese
* 3 tablespoons of butter (divided)

Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Generously butter one side of a slice of bread. Put that piece of bread, butter side down, on the skillet. Put one slice of cheese on top of the bread. Butter another piece of bread and put it (butter side up) on top of the cheese. Flip the sandwich a few times until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly browned.

Parents may want to serve this with some tomato soup. It’s a good way to get some veggies into this meal and doesn’t take very long to heat up.

Quick and Cheesy Sausage Rotini
Kraft has a recipe that is ready in 25 minutes. Think of this one as a fancier version of the traditional macaroni and cheese. You will need:

* 3 cups rotini pasta (uncooked)
* 1 pound Italian sausage links (cut into bite size pieces)
* 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained) (15 ounce can)
* 1 onion (chopped)
* 1/4 cup Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
* 3/4 cup Kraft Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)

First, cook the pasta as you normally would. At the same time, start cooking the sausage in a large non-stick skillet. Put it on medium high heat for about 10 minutes (or until done). Drain it, and put the sausage back in the skillet.

Add the tomatoes, onions, and dressing. Cook it for about 5 minutes (or until the onions are crisp-tender). Stir as needed. Drain the pasta when it is done. Toss the sausage mixture and 1/2 cup of cheese and the pasta so it mixes together. The rest of the cheese can be added on top.

Unsure about the best way to cut the sausage into bite sized pieces? Kraft recommends that you use clean kitchen shears to do it.

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Tips for Choosing a Backpack

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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backpacksThe start of a brand new school year often requires the purchase of a new backpack. The one your child wants might not be the one you want for him or her. How can you decide which backpack is best? Here are some criteria that people use when choosing a backpack. It is up to you to decide which ideas take priority.

On Sale
How is your financial situation? Every year, children are expected to start the school year with a long list of supplies. Parents who have many children may find the expense to be difficult to manage. One way to save money is to choose a backpack that is on sale.

Do some “homework” and compare the price of the backpacks at different department stores. Check to see what the office supply stores are selling backpacks for. Sometimes, Toys R Us has a sale on backpacks.

Safety First
The Back Clinics of Canada point out that children can suffer from over-weighted, poorly-sized, backpacks. This can result in shoulder and neck pain, lower back pain, and weakness. They suggest parents select backpacks that do not put tremendous weight on the spine.

They suggest that your child’s backpack should sit at the lower part of the back. The top should end just below the top part of your child’s shoulder blades. Backpacks should not weigh more than 10% to 15% of a child’s body weight. Encourage your child to use both straps of the backpack when he or she is wearing it. Wider straps are better than narrow ones.

Size Matters
Ideally, you want a backpack that fits your child. One that is too large could cause your kid to carry more weight than he or she should be carrying. Smaller ones might not fit things like three-ring binders or spiral notebooks.

The size of the pockets on the backpack matters, too. If your child will be carrying a laptop back and forth to school, he or she needs a backpack that can safely hold it. Smaller, zippered, pockets are great for storing a cell phone in. Those pockets make it easy to access the phone when needed.

Be Cool
Your child insists upon having a backpack with his or her favorite character on it. Unfortunately, that backpack is expensive, or isn’t the most “back-friendly” selection. What to do?

One option is to fight this battle and pick the backpack that you feel is best for your child’s health (or for the family’s budget). Another option is to give in. Some kids can be more motivated to go to school if they have a cool backpack.

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Favado: Coupon Matchups for Your Favorite Stores on your Phone!

Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2014 at 8:54 am
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Favado

Do you want to have your favorite stores’ deals & coupon matchups right on your phone or tablet? Do you want to save at a store that maybe we don’t cover on this site?

Download our favorite couponing app - FavadoFavado can easily save you as much as 70% when you shop! Favado takes your top 10 favorite stores in your area and gives you weekly coupon matchups right on your mobile device. When your weekly shopping day comes around, turn on your app, browse through your favorite stores’ matchups, add the items you want to buy to your shopping list, and then email the list to yourself. The email you receive will have a list of all the items you want to buy as well as any coupons that you will need to get the deal. If it’s a printable coupon or digital coupon, the links to those coupons will also be included in your email. All you need to do is clip and print your coupons needed for your shopping trip, load digital coupons to your accounts and you’re set to shop!

You can also set up a Favorite Items List of the items you buy most often. Your Favorite Items list allows you to compare prices on a specific item across all of your stores. This is a great way to save the most on the items you buy often.

Sign up for your FREE Favado account today by clicking on this link, creating an account and then downloading it onto your mobile device. Start saving like never before! Let us know if you have any questions!

 

 

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Tips for Saving Money at Starbucks

Posted on Thursday, August 14th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Starbucks Gift CardEveryone has their own way of treating themselves on a difficult day. For many people, that treat comes from Starbucks. Others like to visit Starbucks for a quick coffee before work. Either way, frequent visits to Starbucks can get expensive. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips that will help you save money at Starbucks.

Try a Smaller Size
The same drink at Starbucks gets a little bit more expensive the larger the size you order. If you typically get a Venti, try a Grande instead. Or, go for a Tall instead of a Grande. You may find that you don’t miss the extra amount of drink. Over time, that small change can save you dollars.

Get the Card
Visit the Starbucks website and join their loyalty program. It is called “My Starbucks Rewards”. People who have a registered Starbucks card earn stars every time they make a purchase. Those stars add up and can be turned in for a free drink (or food item). You also get a birthday gift from Starbucks every year. You get a free drink or treat and a coupon for 15% off a purchase at Starbucks.

Watch for the Treat Receipt
Every so often, Starbucks offers a special deal called a “Treat Receipt”. One way to find out when it is going on is to check the Starbucks website. This offer is perfect for people who visit a Starbucks for a hot coffee before work and then like to return after work for a cold drink.

The “Treat Receipt” offer works the same way every time. Go into a Starbucks in the morning and make a purchase. Bring that morning receipt back to the Starbucks after 2:00 in the afternoon on the same day. Get a Grande cold beverage for just $2.00. The current deal is going on through August 17, 2014. There will be others!

Bring Your Own Cup
You get a small discount when you order a drink from Starbucks and have them put it into a cup (or mug) that you brought from home. Bring your favorite one! Or, take a look at the tumblers, cups with lids, and mugs that are currently on sale at Starbucks. Get into the habit of bringing it with you before you head out the door for coffee. Every little bit of savings counts.

Split a Sandwich
Consider splitting one of the packaged sandwiches that Starbucks sells with a friend or family member. This works well if neither one of you are big eaters or if neither is “starving” at the moment. You may find that half a sandwich, and a drink, is enough. One of you can pay for the sandwich today, and the other can return that favor by purchasing the sandwich next time.

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Time Saving Breakfasts

Posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 1:41 pm
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Breakfast cereal bowlThe new school year is just a few weeks away. Soon, your family will be doing the “morning rush” as everyone tries to get ready and eat breakfast in a very short span of time before leaving the house. Every minute counts! Make your morning a little less stressful with these time saving breakfast ideas.

The “Traditional” Options
If you are really crunched for time, there is nothing wrong with serving your kids a quick bowl of cereal with milk. It takes seconds to prepare and a few minutes to eat. Heat up a frozen waffle or a Pop Tart if you want a super fast hot breakfast. Granola bars are great when you (or your kids) literally have to eat and run.

Yogurt and Granola Parfait
Real Simple has a quick breakfast recipe that feels like a dessert. It takes just a minute or two to prepare. This recipe is for one serving, so repeat is as needed. You will need:

* 1/4 cup granola
* 1/2 cup plain yogurt
* 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.

You will also need one parfait glass for each serving. (A regular glass will probably do if you have nothing else.) Put the granola in the bottom of the glass. Spoon the yogurt on top of it so that it covers the granola. Drizzle the teaspoon of maple syrup on the top.

English-Muffin Breakfast Pizza
Got a little more time to spare in the morning? Try this recipe from Food Network. Kids that aren’t especially motivated to get ready for school could find themselves with a new inspiration to hurry to the table when there is pizza for breakfast.

This recipe is for one serving, so repeat as needed. It takes 5 minutes to prep and 12 minutes to cook. You will need:

* 1 whole-wheat English Muffin (split into two pieces)
* 1 small tomato (seeded and diced)
* 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 thin slice Canadian bacon (1/2 ounce, diced)
* 1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese (shredded)
* Chopped fresh basil for garnish.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with foil. Put the English muffin halves (cut side up) on the baking sheet. Top each one with tomato and drizzle on some olive oil. Sprinkle the Canadian bacon over the tomatoes and top with mozzarella. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (or until the cheese is beginning to brown).

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Things to Buy in August

Posted on Thursday, August 7th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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clothes, jeansThe very best time to buy something is when it is on sale. Each month has specific annual sales that you should keep an eye out for. What do you need to buy right now? Check this quick list to discover if it is one of the things that you should definitely buy in August.

School Supplies
You probably could have guessed that school supplies are on sale in August. This year, the back-to-school sales started at the end of June! Some schools start the new year in the last week of August, and others wait until the first week of September. Stores will be trying to unload their stock of school supplies right now. You can get what your children need for school at a low price. Do some price comparisons for the best deal possible.

Adults who don’t happen to have children, and who are not students themselves, can also benefit from the school supplies sales. Does your office (or home office) need more paper, pens, three-ring binders, or post-it notes? Replenish your supplies this month.

Children’s Clothing
The August sale on children’s clothing goes hand in hand with the sale on school supplies. That works out well for parents who need to buy their kids some new clothes for the upcoming school year. It can also help parents whose children attend schools that require a uniform. Some of the larger department stores will carry school uniforms right now. Again, this sale is predominantly designed to help stores get rid of stock before the season changes.

One of the best types of clothing you can buy right now is jeans. Stores that sell clothing, whether for children or adults, increase their stock of jeans right before the new school year starts. After you finish buying your kids some new clothes, head over to the adult clothing sections to take advantage of the sale on jeans.

Labor Day Sales
Labor Day is celebrated on September 1, every year. It is seen by many as the official end to summer vacation. Stores see it as a three-day weekend in which to have a huge sale on summer clothing and swimsuits, back to school supplies, items for the pool, and patio furniture. Stores that carry none of those items will still have big sales all through Labor Day weekend.

You might want to check a store’s website instead of stopping by in person. The same sales are often accessible online and in the “brick and mortar” store. There is potential that there will be some website exclusive sales.

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Reuse Last Year’s School Supplies

Posted on Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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School SupplyIt is almost time for parents to receive the back to school supplies list from whomever their children’s new teachers will be for the upcoming school year. Many parents don’t realize that these lists do not actually require you to purchase new supplies. It is perfectly acceptable to reuse some of the school supplies from last year. Save money by using up what you already have.

Shop at Home
Dig through your children’s rooms, the junk drawers, and the place where you store art supplies. Collect up all the pencils. Take a moment to sharpen all of them. How many did you find? It might be enough to send to school with your child. Does the new list of school supplies include one of those hand-held, small, pencil sharpeners? You have one, and it works, so there is no need to purchase a brand new one.

Next, go on a hunt for crayons. Many schools require elementary school students to have a standard box of 8 crayons. Look for one of each of the following colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple (or violet), brown, and black. Put them into a resealable plastic sandwich bag. Your child now has a pack of crayons for school.

Backpacks are Durable
Unless your child is extremely rough on backpacks, it can generally be used for more than one school year. Check it for holes and make sure the straps aren’t fraying or falling apart. It may need some cleaning and freshening before it is ready for a new school year. Wipe it down with a damp washcloth. You might consider using Febreze to remove odor from an old backpack (or one that has been stored in the garage or shed all summer long).

Binders Instead of Spirals
Some students will be asked to bring a number of spiral notebooks with them to school. Often, these binders do not get completely used up. Take the old ones from last year and pull out the paper that hasn’t been written on. Cut off the extra edges to give the paper a straight edge. Put all of these stray sheets of paper into a three ring binder.

The “leftovers” from two or three spiral notebooks can equate to one brand new notebook. Use divider sheets to separate each subject from the next one. You can add more paper to it later, as needed. What about the pages from old spiral notebooks that are blank on one side? Collect them up to be used as scrap paper.

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Ways to Save Money at Kohl’s

Posted on Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at 7:00 am
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kohlsKohl’s is a great place to shop for everything from back to school clothing and supplies to coffee makers and crockpots. One of the things that attracts frugal shoppers to Kohl’s is their low prices. Savvy shoppers quickly learn the ways to save even more money at Kohl’s. Here are some quick tips to help you make the most of your dollars.

Earn Kohl’s Cash
Kohl’s Cash is not a typical type of coupon. It is something that shoppers can earn based upon how much money they spend at Kohl’s. For example, if you spend $50.00 on items from Kohl’s, you can earn a $10.00 Kohl’s Cash coupon. Spend more money to receive a higher amount of Kohl’s Cash.

This system works great for people who are intending to spend more than $50.00 at Kohl’s in one shopping trip. Make sure you redeem your Kohl’s Cash before it expires. Bring it with you to the register just like you would do with a coupon.

View the Kohl’s Website
One easy way to find out about the weekly deals at Kohl’s is to visit their website and take a look at the current sales. What do you need to buy soon? Is it on sale right now? You may want to purchase it this week to take advantage of the sale price. If you prefer, you can “sign up for a sales alert” by entering your email address into the Kohl’s website. They will send you email about their sales.

Kohl’s Yes2You Rewards
This is a reward system that Kohl’s is offering to customers in certain parts of the United States. It used to be called Kohl’s Rewards (but they changed the name). You get 1 point for every dollar you spend at Kohl’s. You also get a $5.00 reward for every 100 points that you earn. People who join Kohl’s Yes2You Rewards get 8 guaranteed offers each year, plus a special birthday gift. Be aware that the points can expire – use them up before they do!

Kohl’s Charge
Kohl’s Charge is the name of the store’s credit card. If you don’t have one, the cashier may ask if you would like to apply for one. Use your Kohl’s Charge to pay for the things you buy at Kohl’s. Pay off the entire balance each month. Those who have a Kohl’s Charge get extra discounts on everything 12 times a year.

Shop the Clearance Sales
It seems like there is always a clearance sale going on at Kohl’s! The stock changes frequently as new items are added. You can get the best savings from their Gold Star Clearance Sale. Items in it will be 60% to 80% off their original price.

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