How to Coupon

Tasty Recipes for Marinade

Posted on Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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chicken marinade iStockMarinades are great for spicing up some chicken, pork or beef and giving it extra flavor. You might want to consider grilling meat that has been marinaded at your next barbecue. Most people buy bottles of marinade at the grocery store. However, it is entirely possible to make your own! Here are a couple of tasty marinades to try.

Best Steak Marinade in Existence
This marinade recipe, with the boastful name, comes from AllRecipes. It makes 1 and 1/3 cups. You will need:

* 1/3 cup soy sauce
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
* 1 and 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 3 tablespoons dried basil
* 1 and 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
* 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
* 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (optional)

First, put the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender. (Add the hot pepper sauce and garlic if you want to). Blend on high speed for 30 seconds (or until the ingredients are completely mixed). Next, pour the marinade over steak. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Completely Foolproof 100% Delicious Grilled Chicken
Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? This recipe comes from Kalyn’s Kitchen. This marinade only has four ingredients. They are:

* 1 bottle of Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (16 ounces)
* 1 package of Zesty Italian dressing mix (powdered mix)
* 1 tablespoon of Spike’s Seasoning (optional)
* Coarse ground black pepper (to taste)

If you don’t know how to prepare chicken for a marinade, I suggest you visit the Kalyn’s Kitchen blog. There are detailed instructions and photos.

To make this marinade, you start by combining all the ingredients together. Mix them well. Put the chicken in a ziploc bag (in a single layer). Pour in the marinade. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 6 hours (or longer).

Best Pork Chop Marinade
This recipe comes from AllRecipes. If you are planning to marinate some pork, why not do it with the Best Pork Chop Marinade? This recipe makes 2 servings. The recipe suggests that you use 2 large pork chops that have been sliced through the middle with the sides spread out like an open book. You will need:

* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
* 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
* 2 teaspoons dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon onion powder
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
* 1 teaspoon mesquite-flavored seasoning
* 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl. When they are well mixed, pour the marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the pork chops. Cover the pork chops with the marinade. Squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork chops in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.

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Things to Buy in June

Posted on Thursday, June 5th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Woman with tools.Every month, there are certain things that go on sale. Savvy shoppers pay attention to these annual sales and deals, and end up saving a lot of money. Plan ahead, and you can get some excellent deals on things by waiting to purchase them until the right month. Here are some things that you should buy in June.

Technically, this is more of a “freebie” than a purchase. June 6 is National Doughnut Day. Stop by your favorite doughnut shop and get one free doughnut (per customer). Naturally, you will want to buy some doughnuts to bring home with you, too.

June is a great month to buy brand new tools. The trick is to wait until after Father’s Day is over. The stores realize that many people purchase tools as Father’s Day gifts. The sale won’t begin until after the holiday is over. Shop the weekend after Father’s Day for the best deal on tools. Dads who got a gift card as a Father’s Day gift, and who want to use it to buy tools, should take advantage of the sales.

June is when Victoria’s Secret has its Semi-Annual Sale. Typically, you can pick up bras, panties, and lingerie for a fraction of what they originally cost. The store is trying to unload the older styles of product in order to make room for the new designs and colors. Other stores that sell underwear will also be having a sale in June. They are trying to compete with Victoria’s Secret. You could find a great deal on bras and panties at your favorite department store.

School Supplies
Believe it or not, the school supplies sales begin in June. I know, it sounds like it would be too early for that (especially if your child’s school has not yet let out for the summer). Start checking the weekly sales ads for office supply stores. Some of them offer special discount cards that you can use all summer long to save money on school supplies. Pay attention to those sales, and you can stretch out the cost of next year’s school supplies.

Gym Memberships
Gyms gain a lot of new members in January. Six months later, several of those new members have broken their New Year’s Resolution to exercise on a regular basis. This means that you can get a good deal on a gym membership if you buy it in June. Now is also a good time to buy gym equipment for your home. Look for the sales and do a little comparison shopping for best results.

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Where to Find Free Father’s Day Coloring Sheets

Posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Crayola CrayonsLooking for a really easy craft that kids can make as a Father’s Day gift? Try some of these Father’s Day themed coloring sheets! You can print them out for free (as many times as you like). These are great for really little kids who are too small to sign a Father’s Day card.

* Backyard Picnic is a coloring sheet that shows a family celebrating Father’s Day with a backyard cookout. The dad is wearing an apron that says “#1 Dad” and is cooking food on the grill. Mom gives him a hug, and the kids are eating at a picnic table.

* Celebration for Dad is a coloring sheet that features a dad (wearing office clothes and a tie) who is holding up a trophy that says “#1 Dad”. Balloons and confetti rain down upon him. Behind him is a banner that says “Happy Father’s Day”.

* Daddy Bear is another free Father’s Day coloring page from This one shows a little bear who is wearing a t-shirt and handing her father a rose. Daddy Bear, who is wearing a tie, is sitting next to his cub (and patting her on the head).

* Mickey and Pluto Father’s Day Coloring Page features, as you might expect, Mickey Mouse and Pluto. Mickey has just cooked some hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, and has tripped over Pluto’s dog bowl. The food goes into the air, and Pluto is ready to catch it! At the top, it says “Happy Father’s Day”.

* Daddy Heart is the simplest Father’s Day coloring page design you will ever find. It is a giant heart that says “Daddy” in big letters on it. This one would be great for little kids to color for Dad.

* Happy Father’s Day shows a drawing of a striped tie (of the type that many dads wear to work). The page says “Happy Father’s Day!” in big letters.

* Dora’s Printable Father’s Day Card shows a drawing of Dora and her father. It is already colored in. The coloring page has dashed lines that direct a child to fold it. On the inside, it says “Te amo, Papi!” (which means “I love you, Daddy!” in English). A child could color the flowers on the card.

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Fun Graduation Party Activities

Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Graduation CongratulationsWill you be hosting a party for your high school graduate? Parents can find it difficult to come up with party activities that will be appropriate for guests who are under age. Here are a few fun ideas that can keep new high school graduates, and their friends, entertained.

Name That Mascot has a graduation party activity that makes people think about college. It requires some preparation, but it isn’t difficult to do.

First, go online and find photos of the mascots of various colleges and universities. Print out the photos and paste them to a piece of cardboard. Try to avoid images that specifically state the name of the college. Put a number on each one.

Next, give each party guest a piece of paper and a pen. Ask them to write down the name of the school that each mascot belongs to. Make a “cheat sheet” for yourself so you won’t forget the correct answers. Set a timer and have everyone stop writing when the timer goes off.

Reveal the answers out loud. Ask the guests to raise their hands if they will be attending each college that you have a mascot for. This gives the recent high school graduates the opportunity to learn what school their friends will be attending. Select a prize to give the guest who had the most correct answers.

Graduate Trivia
This game functions like the trivia nights that happen at bars. Ask the guests to divide up into at least two teams. Each team is required to think up an amusing name for themselves. Every team needs to have a large sheet of paper and a pen (to write down their answers).

This game also requires some preparation (just like regular trivia nights). Parents need to compile a series of questions about their graduate. “What does he want to major in?” “Name the three schools that she applied to”. “What was his least favorite class in high school?” You can use multiple choice questions if you like. Try and avoid questions that will cause your high school graduate to become completely embarrassed. Stick with topics that are education or college related.

After all the questions have been asked, it is time to go over the answers. Allow each team to check their own paper. Repeat each question, followed by the correct answer. The team that came up with the most correct answers wins. Plan ahead so you will have a prizes to hand out to the members of the winning team.

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Frugal Ideas for Graduation Gifts

Posted on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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National Coffee DayHow many graduation ceremonies, or parties, have you been invited to? It can be difficult to think up a good gift for the new graduate. You want to give something meaningful, or useful, without breaking your budget. Here are a few frugal ideas for graduation gifts.

Gift Cards
Many new graduates are broke. Those that have graduated high school will be starting college soon (and college is expensive). College graduates, on the other hand, are about to begin paying off their student loans. Give the graduate some gift cards. They will absolutely appreciate it! You are giving them the gift of a “freebie” that they can use at any time. Good choices for gift cards include: Starbucks, Denny’s, iTunes, or a gift card to their local grocery store. Put the gift card into a nice Graduation card.

Coffee Maker
Coffee that one makes at home is always going to be less expensive than coffee that is purchased from a coffee shop. Give the graduate a coffee maker. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one. Small coffee makers that make one or two cups of coffee at a time are useful. You could also put together a gift bag of samples of pre-ground coffee for them to try out.

Kitchen Starter Kit
Graduates who will be living in their own apartment for the first time are going to need a lot of household items. Create a kitchen starter kit for them. Make a bouquet of cooking utensils (spatulas, slotted spoons, barbecue tongs, pizza cutter, etc.) Tie the bouquet together with a large dishtowel. Tuck it into an oven mitt. You can find some very nice kitchen items at the dollar stores.

Advice Books
Is there a book that you have read that gave you really helpful advice? Pick up a copy for a new graduate. Financial advice books, that are geared for young adults, can be very useful. Beginner cookbooks are also a good choice for graduates who need to learn how to cook simple meals. There are plenty of cookbooks that are intended for college students to use.

First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is one of those things that you don’t think you need …. until the moment that you do! You can purchase a pre-made first aid kit as a gift. Or, you could put together a basket of stuff that would be found in one. Get boxes of band-aids (of different sizes). Include some gauze, antibiotic ointment packets, and flashlight (with batteries). The American Red Cross has more details about what should be in a first aid kit.

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All Natural Insect Repellents

Posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Bug SprayNobody likes mosquitoes! One of the most frustrating aspects of enjoying the “great outdoors” is the potential to end up with bug bites. Some people are hesitant to use bug spray that contains DEET. There are other alternatives! Try some of these all natural insect repellents instead.

Minimize exposed skin.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people cover their exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats. Doing so makes it more difficult for mosquitoes and other bugs to bite you. They also advise sleeping in screened or air-conditioned rooms (instead of outside in the open air).

Remove bug attractors.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Before you spend time in your backyard, take a few minutes to look for places where water has gathered. Check flowerpots, buckets, gutters, planters, bird baths, and even the “kiddy pool”. Dump out the water. This makes your backyard less attractive to mosquitoes. It also helps prevent the mosquito larva that may already be in the standing water from surviving.
Use Citronella Candles.
The National Pesticide Information Center has a lot of information about citronella. Oil of citronella is is a naturally occurring insect and animal repellent that is distilled from two different varieties of grass.

Burning a citronella candle (or many of them) helps to mask the scents that are attractive to insects. This makes it a lot harder for them to find humans to bite. Of course, you need to be in range of the citronella candle in order for it to be effective.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)
Oil of lemon eucalyptus is an ingredient in Repel and Off! Botanicals. The CDC recommends that people use EPA registered repellent products that contain the active ingredient OLE. In other words, “pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus, in essential oil that is not formulated to be an insect repellent, is not recommended by the CDC. This is because it has not undergone validated testing for safety and efficiency.

Burt’s Bees All Natural Insect Repellent.
Burt’s Bees makes an all natural insect repellent that includes a blend of “rosemary, Lemongrass, Citronella Oil and other essential oils”. Their description makes it sound as though it works by masking the scents that insects are attracted to (much like citronella candles do). The reviews on the Burt’s Bees website seem to say that it works well as a repellent of mosquitoes and gnats. However, a few reviewers noted that it appears to attract bees!

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How to Make your own Barbecue Sauce

Posted on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Barbecued Hot DogsHaving a backyard barbecue this summer? You’re going to need plenty of barbecue sauce. One way to save money on it is to find coupons for your favorite brand. Another, possibly more frugal, alternative is to make you own barbecue sauce. There are many different types of barbecue sauce. Here are three different recipes for barbecue sauce that you can try.

Basic Barbecue Sauce
Serious Eats has a recipe for a basic barbecue sauce. It goes with just about anything that you want to toss on the grill. You will need:

* 2 cups of ketchup
* 1/4 cup cider vinegar
* 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons molasses
* 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
* 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
* 1 tablespoon of your favorite barbecue rub
* 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Put all the ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring them slowly to a boil over medium-high heat. Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer the barbecue sauce until it is dark, thick, and richly flavored. This takes 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the finished barbecue sauce to a clean jar. Store it the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Serious Eats says it will keep for “several months”.

Honey Barbecue Sauce
AllRecipes has a barbecue sauce recipe for those who like their sauce a little bit sweet. It makes about 2 cups. You will need:

* 1 cup honey
* 1/4 cup molasses
* 3 tablespoons ketchup
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
* 1 tablespoon meat tenderizer
* 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1/4 cup steak sauce
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
* 1 1/2 cups brown sugar

Get a medium bowl. Put all the ingredients into it. Stir them together until they are well blended. After that, cover the bowl and refrigerate it until it is ready to be used.

Quick Barbecue Sauce
Real Simple has a barbecue sauce recipe that takes a very short amount of time to make. You can whip some up if you run out of store-bought barbecue sauce during a party. It serves 16. You will need:

* 1 cup ketchup
* 1/4 cup cider vinegar
* 2 tablespoons molasses
* 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1/3 teaspoons black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Baste the meat, chicken, or seafood that you plan on barbecuing with the sauce during the last 10 minutes of grilling.

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Three Different Ways to Make Potato Salad

Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Klondike PotatoesBefore you buy a pre-made potato salad from the grocery store, you should consider giving one of these great potato salad recipes a try. Use coupons for the ingredients, and make it fresh at home. May is National Salad Month, so potato salad fits right in. Which of these recipes is your favorite?

The Original Potato Salad
Hellmann’s has a potato salad recipe that they say is the original one. It serves 8 people. You will need:

* 2 pounds of potatoes (5 or 6 medium) (peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks)
* 1 cup Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
* 2 tablespoons vinegar
* 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 cup celery (thinly sliced)
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 2 hard-boiled eggs (chopped) (The eggs are optional).

You will need a 4-quart saucepan. Put the potatoes inside and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer until potatoes are tender. Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, celery, onion, and eggs. Toss gently. Serve chilled.

Authentic German Potato Salad Recipe
AllRecipes has a German potato salad recipe that will serve 4 people. You will need:

* 3 cups of potatoes (diced and peeled)
* 4 slices of bacon
* 1 small onion (diced)
* 1/4 cup white vinegar
* 2 tablespoons water
* 3 tablespoons white sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon parsley (fresh and chopped)

First, boil the potatoes. Drain them when finished and set them aside to cool. Fry the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Remove when done and set aside. Add onion to the bacon grease and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the vinegar, water, salt, and pepper to the pan. Bring it to a boil and then add the potatoes and parsley. Crumble in the bacon. Heat it through, and then transfer to a serving dish. Serve warm.

Simple Southern Potato Salad
Southern Food has a Southern potato salad recipe that will serve 10 people. You will need:

* 8 or 9 large potatoes (peeled and cubed)
* 1 cup pickle (chopped)
* 2 medium onions (chopped)
* 5 large hard-boiled eggs (chopped)
* Salt and pepper
* 2 cups of mayonnaise
* 3 to 4 tablespoons of mustard

First, peel and dice the potatoes. Put them in a large pot with water to boil until tender. When the potatoes are done, drain them. Put the potatoes back in the pot and add the pickles, onions, eggs, and mayonnaise. Mix until it has the desired consistency. Next, mix in the mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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How to Make Your Own Salad Dressing

Posted on Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Woman BakingWhat goes great with salad? Your favorite salad dressing is an important addition to a delicious salad. May is National Salad Month so you might be having more salads right now than usual. One way to save some money would be to make your own salad dressing. Here are a few recipes to try.

Classic Vinaigrette
Cooking Light has a lot of recipes for salad dressing. A great one to start with would be their Classic Vinaigrette. It makes 6 tablespoons of dressing, and the serving size is 1 1/2 tablespoons. You will need:

* 1 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon of shallots (chopped)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Start by combining the vinegar, shallots, salt, Dijon mustard, and pepper. Gradually add the olive oil. Stir the ingredients until they have been well incorporated.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Mr. Food has an easy recipe for a balsamic vinaigrette. It makes about 1 – 1/2 cups of salad dressing. You will need:

* 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
* 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 cup olive oil

Get a medium bowl. Whisk together the vinegar and mustard. Next, add the salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil very slowly. Keep whisking until everything is well combined.

Thousand Island Salad Dressing
Martha Stewart has a great recipe for Thousand Island Salad dressing. You can turn it into a low-fat dressing if you replace the sour cream with low-fat plain Greek yogurt. You will need:

* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1/4 cup mayonnaise
* 1/3 cup ketchup
* 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
* Coarse salt and ground pepper

Get a medium bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise until it is smooth. Next, whisk in the ketchup and relish. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

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Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

Posted on Thursday, May 8th, 2014 at 7:00 am
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Gift CardsYou only have a couple of days before Mother’s Day. It is probably too late for you to order something online and have it shipped to your mother. What are you going to do for a gift now? Have no fear procrastinators (or people who are extremely busy)! Here are some last minute Mother’s Day gifts that you can still pick up for your mom.

Get a Gift Card
You can’t go wrong with a gift card. Pick one out. Tell the cashier how much money you want to put on it. In just a few minutes, you have an easy Mother’s Day gift. Choose a gift card from her favorite store, restaurant, or salon. Many places will have gift cards that have special Mother’s Day designs on them. Ask the cashier for one of those fancy, small, envelopes that gift cards fit into. Another option is to put the gift card inside a Mother’s Day card.

Gift Bag of Candy
Remember those “goodie bags” that you would take home from birthday parties when you were a child? They typically contain candy. Put a smile on your mother’s face by creating her very own, customized, gift bag of candy. Stop by the section of the grocery store or pharmacy that has cards. There should be some small gift bags somewhere nearby. Fill the bag with mom’s favorite type of candy bars. It will be like a bouquet of chocolate instead of flowers.

Fill a Coffee Mug
You can find your mother a cute coffee mug just about anywhere. Department stores will have them in the kitchen section. Grocery stores might have some in the holiday section. Go get one. Next, you are going to fill that mug with her favorite coffee, tea, or a little of both.

If your mom prefers tea, buy her a box of her favorite kind. Open the box and carefully place each individually sealed tea bag into the mug. Does your mom like coffee? Starbucks makes an instant coffee called VIA that comes in individual servings. If your mom has a Keurig, you can buy her some K-cups of either coffee or tea. Fill the coffee mug. It makes a cute gift.

Assortment of Samples
Is your mom someone who loves little bars of soap and other scented products? Stop by the grocery store or pharmacy and see what kinds of scented lotions or shampoos they have in “travel” sizes. Check out the soap aisle to see if there are any cute little soaps there. Another option is to stop by Bath and Body Works and pick up a bunch of scented lotions, soaps, sprays, and more.

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