How to Coupon

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Safety Tips

Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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St. Patricks Day Hat and MoneyThe annual St. Patrick’s Day parade is a tradition that everyone can enjoy. Unfortunately, it can also be a big distraction that thieves will take advantage of. There are ways to prevent having to spend money to replace or repair stolen or broken items. Here are some safety tips to follow to make your St. Patrick’s Day parade watching experience an enjoyable one.

Lock your Vehicle
Everyone is busy watching the parade. That’s when thieves peruse the parking lots in the hopes of being able to steal valuable items that people left in their vehicles. No one wants to have to replace an expensive item that was stolen from them.

Make sure that all the doors of your vehicle are locked before you leave the parking lot. Doing so makes it that much harder for a thief to get into your car or truck. That may be enough to make a thief consider selecting a different vehicle.

Another option is to take your valuable items (like your smartphone, tablet, or GPS device) with you to the parade. Put them into a bag that can be zippered shut. Some people prefer to put devices into the glove compartment where they won’t be seen by thieves. The best advice, of course, is to just leave those things at home!

There’s another good reason to make sure your vehicle is securely locked long after the parade is over. Many people choose to consume a lot of alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day. An inebriated person could mistake your car for his own, or be inspired to get in and cause some shenanigans. If you are able, park your vehicle in your garage and make sure the garage is locked.

Lock your Home
If everyone in town is watching the parade – that means the nobody is home. Thieves try and take advantage of this by breaking and entering people’s homes during the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Obviously, they are hoping to find expensive stuff that they can steal and try to re-sell.

Lock your home before you leave for the parade. Use the deadbolts. Turn on your security alarm. Ask a trusted neighbor, who is not going to attend the parade, to keep an eye on your home while you are gone.

Drive Safe
The weekend of St. Patrick’s Day is an excellent time to practice defensive driving. There could be people on the road who have had too much alcohol to drink. Pay very close attention to what’s happening on the road around you. Turn off the music you might normally listen to while driving. Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears his or her seatbelt. You might be able to avoid getting into an accident.

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Frugal Food for St. Patrick’s Day

Posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Old_Country_Buffet_LogoYou can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with all of the foods that are associated with it – but at a lower cost. One way to lower the cost is to make the food yourself at home (instead of paying for it at a chain restaurant). Another way is to use coupons to make the food you buy more frugal.

Visit the Buffet
Buffets are great because you can get a whole lot of food for a reasonable amount of money. There is a chain of buffet restaurants that go by different names (depending on where you live).

Hometown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s, Fire Mountain, and Country Buffet will be serving hand-carved corned beef all day long on Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Of course, they will be offering their usual foods and beverages as well.

Use Your Coupons
Planning on making corned beef and cabbage yourself? Do you like to bake your own Irish soda bread instead of purchasing a pre-made one? Make sure to look for coupons that will lower the cost of the ingredients these foods require.

It is also a good idea to shop at a grocery store where you have a loyalty card. Those who have one will be offered discounts on all kinds of items from all over the store. If you can’t find coupons for the St. Patrick’s Day foods you want, perhaps you can lower the cost of the rest of your groceries instead.

Make a “Copycat” Recipe
The Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s is tasty. A small Shamrock shake costs a little less than $3.00, and a medium one costs a little more then $3.00. That’s just for one shake!

It doesn’t sound expensive if you only want one. However, the price adds up if you want more than one during the season it appears in. Families who have a lot of children will notice how fast the price of one shake adds up when you need four of them at the same time.

A less expensive option is to use a “copycat” recipe to make your own version of a Shamrock Shake at home. One gallon of vanilla ice cream contains about 16 cups of ice cream. The “copycat” recipe calls for just 2 cups per shake. That’s enough for 8 Shamrock shakes, for the price of maybe one or two.

Share with Family
One way to make the cost of St. Patrick’s Day foods lower is to split it among several family members. Someone makes the corned beef and cabbage. Another person bakes some Irish soda bread. A third person gathers up all the ingredients for “copycat” Shamrock shakes. Everyone shares the cost – and everyone gets to enjoy the foods together.

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Where to Find Free St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Sheets

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Crayola CrayonsAre your kids excited about St. Patrick’s Day? Have they started asking when the parade will be? One way to channel that excitement is to give your kids some free St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages to decorate color, and draw on. You can print them out as often as you like. is an excellent resource for free coloring pages. They have some for just about every holiday that you can think of. Every coloring page can be printed out for free. They have some that are specifically about St. Patrick’s Day.

* A Pot of Gold shows a leprechaun who is sitting inside a pot of gold and throwing coins out of it. There is, of course, a rainbow that leads to the pot of gold.

* Luck-Of-The-Irish shows a leprechaun who is sitting inside a pot of gold and throwing coins out of it. There is, of course, a rainbow that leads to the pot of gold.

* Lucky Parade is a very cute drawing of people participating in a St. Patrick’s Day parade. There is a man dressed like a leprechaun, a person holding a “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” sign, and a person playing the bagpipes. All of them are walking down the street under a St. Patrick’s Day banner.

* Shamrocks is a drawing of a hat that has been turned upside down and placed on the ground. Six shamrocks are growing out of it. Each one of them has four leaves.

* Shamrock is a coloring page that could be for kids of all ages. In the center is a large shamrock with three leaves. Around the edges is a tiny border made up of flowers and shamrocks that older kids may enjoy coloring. The page says “Happy St. Patrick’s Day”.

Disney Family also has some very cute St. Patrick’s Day related crafts and coloring pages. Children of all ages can color the coloring pages. Some of the crafts may require a parent’s help.

* It’s a Small World Coloring Page – Ireland is an adorable coloring page that is done in the style of the “It’s a Small World” ride. It shows four children in Irish clothing dancing in front of houses that have thatched roofs. A row of shamrocks goes across the front of the page.

* Mickey Mouse St. Patrick’s Day Hidden Picture Coloring Page is a good choice for older children who enjoy searching for hidden pictures in the drawing. Mickey Mouse is in the center of the page, dancing, and wearing clothing that resembles what a leprechaun might wear. Kids can try and find the hidden pictures in the drawing that surrounds Mickey.

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What to Buy in March

Posted on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Refrigerator 3Every month, there are annual sales that savvy shoppers wait for. The best time to buy something is when it goes on sale. Miss the sale and you have to wait for another year for the same sale to pop up again. Here is a quick look at the things you should buy in March.

Frozen Food
Did you know that March is Frozen Food Month? Grocery stores and frozen food manufacturers celebrate it by offering plenty of coupons for frozen foods. You will find those coupons online and in the Sunday inserts in newspapers.

Now is a great time to find out how much room you have in your freezer. Start (or replenish) your stockpile of the frozen food products that your family enjoys. Use coupons and combine them with discounts that come from having the store’s loyalty card.

New Luggage
There isn’t much call for travel in March. The month doesn’t include Christmas or Thanksgiving, two of the holidays that result in the most travel plans. It’s also a little early for most people to be thinking about vacation travel.

Luggage manufacturers will put luggage on sale in March in the hopes that it will make people suddenly decide to book a trip somewhere. Now is a good time to replace worn out or broken luggage even if you don’t currently have any travel plans. Your plans might change before the holidays return, and the price of luggage will rise by then.

Golf Clubs
It may be too cold and snowy to consider going for a round of golf right now. Even so, the new spring line of golf clubs (and accessories) will be coming out soon. That means the current ones need to move out. Pro shops will put last year’s golf clubs on sale in March.

Not a golfer? Consider picking up some new clubs for your spouse. Or, store them away and give them as a Father’s Day gift in June. This sale could also benefit parents who have a high schooler who has joined the school’s golf team.

Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest holidays for chocolate. The other big one is Christmas. There aren’t any holidays in March that influence people to buy lots of chocolate. Chocolate companies will have sales in an effort to boost their sales in between holidays.

You can get great deals on the leftover Valentine’s Day chocolates. There will also be sales on “regular” chocolate. You are going to have to wait a while before the Easter chocolates go on sale, though.

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Join our New Free Coupons Facebook Group!

Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2015 at 10:52 am
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FB Winter Group

If you use Facebook, come join our brand new Facebook Group! You can join HERE

There you’ll get access to all the money-saving posts we share, plus access to free coupons, giveaways, coupon matchups and can even swap and share coupons with other couponers. It will be the perfect place for us to interact and share our couponing adventures with other couponers.

I hope to see you there!


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Free Kids Events in March

Posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Creativity lesson(preschool activity)Need something fun for your kids to do that doesn’t cost a lot of money? There are plenty of free kids events offered every month. Which of the free kids events that will take place this March would your child enjoy attending?

LEGO holds a free mini-model building event every month. It is offered “while supplies last” and is for children ages 6 to 14. The events are held at LEGO stores and begin at 5:00 in the evening.

March 3, 2015: LEGO robot mini-model build – Kids will put together a LEGO robot.

Pottery Barn Kids
Pottery Barn Kids holds several different kinds of free kids events every month. Check the store’s website for more details.

March 7, 2015: Superhero wristcuffs or an owl habitat – This is a Handmade Charlotte DIY Crafting event. Kids will be introduced to the creative DIY projects of Handmade Charlotte (who is a blogger). The event will begin at 11:00 in the morning.

March 7 – 21, 2015: Peter Rabbit character appearance – Kids can meet Peter Rabbit. Parents can take photos. This event is being offered in select Pottery Barn Kids stores, only.

March 31, 2015: Peter Rabbit Story Time – Kids can read along to The Classic Tale of Peter Rabbit. This event will start at 11:00 in the morning.

Home Depot
Home Depot offers free building events for kids. Each child will receive a free certificate of achievement, Workshop Apron, and commemorative pin. They also get to keep the project they built. Parents must register their children for this event.

March 7, 2015: Learn how to build bookends – Kids will build a pair of bookends with sports or flower stickers.

Lowe’s Build and Grow
Lowe’s Build and Grow offers free building workshops for kids. Each child who attends will receive a free apron, goggles, and patch. They also get to keep the project they built. Parents must register their children for this event.

March 14, 2015: Monster Jam featuring El Toro Loco – Kids will put together a Monster Jam wooden vehicle that looks like El Toro Loco.

Lakeshore Learning
Lakeshore Learning offers free craft events for kids who are ages 3 and up. No registration is required.

March 7, 2015: Hold-It-All Buggy Clip – Kids will decorate a clothespin to look like a cute insect

March 14, 2015: Lucky Catch Leprechaun – Kids will put together a catch game that looks like a Leprechaun

March 21, 2015: Feathery Friend – Kids will put together a toy bird that has lots of feathers.

March 28, 2015: Changing Caterpillar – Kids will put together a craft that starts as a caterpillar and can transform into a butterfly.

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Coupons and the WIC Program

Posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Fake Coupons with US CoinsWIC is a federal food assistance program that helps women, infants, and children. Those who qualify for this type of assistance need to meet income eligibility guidelines. This is a program that can provide much needed help to low-income families. People using WIC can use coupons with it.

What is WIC?
WIC is an abbreviation of “women, infants, and children”. It is a special supplemental nutrition program that provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum woman. It is also provides the same benefits for infants and children (up to the age of 5) who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Who is eligible for WIC?
There are four criteria that determine who is (and who is not) eligible for WIC. The first one is “categorical”. WIC is for pregnant women (during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the birth of an infant or the end of a pregnancy). It also for infants (up to the infant’s first birthday) and children (up to the child’s fifth birthday).

The second criteria is “residential”. Applicants must live in the state in which they apply for WIC. The third criteria is “income”. In order to qualify, a woman must be at or below the income level or standard set by whatever state she lives in. The fourth criteria is “nutrition risk”. This means that the mother or the infant has medical-based or dietary-based conditions.

What does WIC cover?
WIC provides foods for mothers, infants, and children. These foods include: infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans or peas, and canned fish. Recently, the following items were added: soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole-wheat bread, and other whole-grain options.

Those who are eligible for WIC pay for these foods with checks or vouchers. Some states have replaced the checks or vouchers with an EBT card. The card can be used just like a debit card at stores that take WIC.

Can you use coupons with WIC?
Yes! You absolutely can use coupons with WIC. Doing so can help stretch the WIC benefit a little bit farther. The WIC guidelines for 2014 from the United States Department of Agriculture state that WIC authorized vendors must treat people who use WIC the same as they treat people who do not use it. That means people who use WIC are allowed to use coupons and take advantage of in-store promotions.

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How to Use Coupons with the SNAP Program

Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Fake CouponsPeople who are eligible for the SNAP program have very low income. It becomes very important to make the most of the benefits. Many people are unaware that a person can use coupons while they are using their SNAP benefits.

What is SNAP?
SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. It used to be called “food stamps” and once included actual stamps that people had to rip out of a booklet and hand to the cashier at the grocery store. Today, the stamps have been replaced by an EBT card.

SNAP is a program that helps people who meet certain financial criteria In other words, this is a program designed to help low-income people to obtain food.

What does SNAP cover?
There are limitations on what SNAP benefits can be used for. SNAP benefits can be used to buy breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, and dairy products. Any food that fits into those categories will be covered. It also covers seeds and plants to produce food for the household to eat.

There are also some things that SNAP benefits will not cover. SNAP won’t cover: beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco. It won’t cover pet food, soap, paper products, diapers, or household supplies, vitamins, medicines, or other “non-food items”.

How to use coupons with SNAP.
It is really easy to use coupons with SNAP benefits. First, make a grocery list like you usually would. Look for coupons that will help reduce the cost of the foods and non-alcoholic beverages on your list. Coupons can come from anywhere: online, Sunday newspaper inserts, or from the email you get from your favorite brands.

Bring those coupons with you to the grocery store. The coupons will help you spend less of your SNAP benefits than if you didn’t use any coupons at all. This could help stretch those benefits for another week.

Another really good idea is to use coupons for the items that SNAP doesn’t cover. Look for coupons on toilet paper, cleaning products, vitamins, and the other necessities that you cannot spend your SNAP benefits on. Doing so will help reduce the amount of money you need to spend “out of pocket” for the household items you need.

Read the weekly sales ads.
What’s on sale this week at your local grocery store? How do those sale prices compare to the sales at the other grocery stores? You can stretch your SNAP benefits a little bit further if you start by choosing the store that has the lowest prices for the items you need. Before you go, it is advisable that you make sure the grocery store will accept SNAP benefits.

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How to Make Your Own Dish Soap

Posted on Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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washing dishesHow often do you purchase dish soap? You can cut down on the cost if you use a coupon or wait for a sale. Those types of discounts may or may not match up to when you need more dish soap. Another way to cut down on the cost of dish soap is to make your very own at home. There are several recipes to choose from.

Did you know that the bubbles in the dish soap are there for aesthetic purposes? People tend to think that the more bubbles you see – the cleaner your dishes will be. Instead, the cleaning is done when a person scrubs the soap on the dishes.

The homemade dish soap recipes mentioned here are intended for use by people who are doing dishes by hand in their kitchen sinks. These homemade dish soaps are not designed for use in a dishwasher. There are different recipes for people who want to make their own laundry detergent. This isn’t a “one soap fits all” kind of situation.

The DIY Natural blog has a recipe for homemade dish soap that contains the following ingredients: boiling water, borax, grated bar soap, and essential oils. The interesting thing about this recipe is that it could be a good way to use up the little bits of soap that are too small to be useful. You will need to use a grater to reduce the bar soap to small flakes.

Some people are hesitant to use borax to make homemade dish soap. It is possible that their concern is due to confusing borax with boric acid. Borax is a naturally occurring mineral powder that is made of soft, colorless, crystals. It is a compound of the element boron and may be called sodium borate or disodium tetraborate.

Borax is different from boric acid. (which is also called boracic acid or orthoboric acid). Boric acid is made of the elements boron, oxygen, and hydrogen. It does not exist in nature by itself.

PopSugar has a recipe for homemade dish soap that includes: boiling water, borax, washing soda, white distilled vinegar, castile soap, and essential oil.

Castile soap is a popular ingredient in homemade dish soap recipes. Some recipes call for liquid castile soap, while others ask you to use a grater to make flakes of it. It is important to note that washing soda and baking soda are not the same thing.

No matter which recipe you choose, you are going to need a bottle to put your homemade dish soap into. Remember to set aside an empty bottle of the store bought dish soap you are currently using.

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The Best Things to Buy at After Valentine’s Day Sales

Posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 2:08 pm
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dollar heartIt is worth taking a look at the items that are included in after Valentine’s Day sales. Sometimes, these sales begin slightly before Valentine’s Day arrives! You can get some really great deals on things that have been drastically marked down. For best results, it helps if you plan ahead for next year’s Valentine’s Day.

Boxes of Valentines
Did your child attend a Valentine’s Day classroom party at school this year? Take a moment to figure out if they are likely to do the same next year. In general, it is the elementary schools that have the kinds of classroom parties that require students to give paper valentines to everyone in their class. If your child will still be in elementary school next year, it would be a good idea to pick up a few boxes of valentines now.

Valentine’s Day Cards
See if you can find a really nice Valentine’s Day card for your spouse – and save it for next year. The cards that were more expensive (and decorative) than the rest will be on sale and more affordable. Buy the card now, and you can save both money and time next Valentine’s Day.

There are some people who send Valentine’s Day cards to their mother, grandmother, or other relatives that they are close to. It can be really difficult to find a Valentine’s Day card that isn’t designed to be given to someone you are in a romantic relationship with. Now is a good time to look for the cards that simply say “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Again, this saves you money and time for next year.

Valentine’s Day Craft Items
Are you someone who likes to put together Valentine’s Day related crafts and use them to decorate your home? Holiday related crafts, especially the ones that come with all the pieces in one box, can be expensive. The price drops dramatically if you wait to purchase the craft during the after Valentine’s Day sales.

If you are especially crafty, you might want to pick up items that can be turned into handmade valentines for next year. Look for paper lace doilies, Valentines’ Day stickers, red or pink ribbons, and decorative scrapbook paper that has gone on sale.

Red Paper Plates
The leftover red paper plates, napkins, and plastic cups are worth shopping for. Buy them now for a low price and use them in upcoming holidays that also include the color red. If you plan on having a backyard barbecue on the Fourth of July, you’re going to need napkins and plates, right? The red color will look festive. Or, you can save the red plates, napkins, and cups for Christmas celebrations.

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