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USDA Announced Increased Funding For School Meals

Posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 at 7:00 am
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The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an increase in funding to help schools continue to serve kids healthy meals this coming school year and provide financial relief for schools and child care providers. Effective July 1, 2022, the reimbursement schools receive for each meal served will increase by approximately $0.68 per free/reduced-price lunch and $0.32 per free/reduced price breakfast. Other reimbursement rates, including rates for paid school meals and child care meals, are available online.

The action will provide support for schools and child care providers dealing with rising food costs, and is part of the Biden Administration’s work to lower costs and provide American families some additional breathing room.

The increase includes both a required annual adjustment in reimbursement rates to reflect the cost of food and an extra temporary per-meal boost in reimbursements from the recent Keep Kids Fed Act. Combined, this will pump an estimated $4.3 billion more into school meal and child care meal programs across the nation this school year, in addition to the nearly $2 billion in additional funding USDA has already provided.

The announcement is part of USDA’s commitment to ensuring the school meal programs are strong and supported so they can successfully navigate current challenges and support more American families. Additional actions USDA has taken include:

Providing an additional nearly $2 billion for schools to buy domestic food for their meal programs.

Offering a suite of operational waivers that give states and schools flexibility to adapt to their on-the-ground circumstances such as grab-and-go or parent-pickup of meals.

Ensuring states continue to receive stable funding for USDA Foods for the coming school year – comparable to last school year – for purchasing 100% American-grown foods for their school meal programs.

Ensuring schools are not penalized if they cannot meet meal standards due to supply chain issues.

Awarding up to $200 million to states to purchase domestic local foods for distribution to schools, through the new Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program.

Extending deadlines for districts to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision, which allows school serving many high-need students to provide all meals for free without collecting applications from families.

The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides eligible participants coupons to buy fresh, unprepared fruits and vegetables from local farmers, farmers’ markets or roadside stands that have been approved by their state agency to accept FMNP benefits.

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Save Money On Back To School Shopping

Posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 at 7:00 am
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Back to School shopping can be expensive – especially for parents who have more than one child or teen going back to school soon. Fortunately, there are some ways to lower the costs of the brand new school year. These tips can help parents make frugal choices while shopping for school supplies and clothing.

Before you start shopping for school supplies, take a minute to find out what you already have at home. Check the “junk drawer” for pencils and erasers that didn’t get used in the previous school year. Is the backpack they used last year still usable? Don’t forget to check the list of back to school items that your child’s school requires them to have.

Find your child’s lunchbox and wash it out. Or, find out if your child, pre-teen or teenager qualifies for free or discounted school lunch from the National School Lunch Program.

Don’t do all your back to school shopping at once. You can spread out the cost by purchasing a few things at a time. Some parents shop for back to school items while they are shopping for groceries. Those items tend to be in an aisle close to the pharmacy. Making one trip solve two problems at the same time will help you save money on gas.

Check the sales papers! The prices on back to school items tend to drop shortly before the new school year starts. That is when you could see dramatic discounts on things like folders, paper, packages of pens, pencil boxes, and more.

Is your budget really stretched right now? Try the Dollar Store! Some of them sell back to school items at a much lower price than the big retail stores do. Pick up just enough of them to get your child through the first week of school. Go back and get more later when your child needs more.

Clothing can be expensive right before school starts. One way to cut down on that cost is to see if the clothing they wore last year still fits your child, pre-teen or teenager. Start by making them try on the clothes they already have. If it doesn’t fit them adequately, you’re going to have to do some shopping. Thrift stores can help without causing you to break your budget.

Keep in mind that cost of back to school clothing drops when the new school year starts. Stores have to reduce their inventory, and that’s great for parents who are frugal.

Do your children attend a school that requires a specific uniform? Younger children might fit into their older sibling’s uniform from last year (or the year before). Your oldest child will likely need to get a larger uniform for the new school year. In general, it is a good idea to start shopping for uniforms as early as possible.

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Payless is Planning to Reopen Stores

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 at 7:00 am
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As you may remember, Payless ShoeSource closed all 2,100 of its stores in the United States and Puerto Rico in 2019, after filing for bankruptcy protection. Now, Payless is planning to reopen 300 to 400 standalone stores nationwide in the next three to five years.

In a press release, CEO of Payless Jared Margolis said, “We’re back and bringing more community responsibility, fashion-forward footwear, and on-trend partnerships to our 60M+ Payless customers who have missed us. We saw an opportunity for the brand to relaunch into the US market, providing our community with the affordable value driven products they’re always searched for, now across multiple categories, at a time when value couldn’t be more critical. Payless is for everyone, and now more than ever, the world needs to pay-less. We are also excited to bring Payless back to you, so you and future generations to come can lead the way forward.”

Customers in the United States can shop on the new Payless Ecommerce platform, as well as in brick-and-mortar stores (as they reopen). The online platform offers beloved Private Label brands including: AirWalk, American Eagle, and many more, to K-Swiss, Kendall + Kyle, and Aerosols.

Parents who have children that are attending school in-person this year may need to buy them new shoes. In some cases, a new pair of gym shoes will be sufficient. Keep in mind that your child may have grown between when remote learning started and the in-person school year began. They may need more than one pair of new shoes!

In addition, Payless also sells socks, purses, hats, and backpacks. Make sure to check for sales on those items. There could be a BOGO, or maybe a discount on socks when you buy a new pair of shoes. Those who get email from Payless could, potentially, start receiving coupons again.

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How to Save on COVID-19 Back to School Shopping

Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 at 7:00 am
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Back-to-School shopping can be expensive! Typically, your child’s teacher will provide you with a list of items that are required. But this year, due to COVID-19, your child’s school supply list will be different.

Buy a pack of masks. Students that are attending school in person may be required to wear cloth masks. Your child will need more than one. A cloth mask can be safely worn once, and then must be washed before being worn again. Buying in bulk is generally less expensive than buying things one by one.

Take advantage of back to school sales. You can find good deals on school supplies leading up to the school year. Prices start to drop after the school year starts. Take the time to check prices at various stores before you shop. Don’t forget to use your coupons or credit card related discounts.

Purchase hand sanitizer that your child can bring to school. Buying it in bulk is a good idea, especially for families who have several children who will be attending in-person school this year. Start requiring your kids to sanitize their hands as soon as they return home.

Will your child be doing online learning this school year? It might be time to invest in a dedicated learning space. Frugal parents can re-purpose a small table or an unused desk. Doing so will prevent the kitchen table from becoming a full-time classroom.

Parents might need to upgrade the laptop or computer that their child is using for virtual learning. It might be possible to provide your child with older, but still functional, microphones and headsets to use while taking online classes.

Don’t forget to buy some sanitizing wipes to use on their desks at school. It would also be good to teach your virtual learner how to wipe down their learning environment when the school day ends. These skills may be useful for a very long time.

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Walmart Back To School Deals: Aug 14 – 29

Posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 6:00 am
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walmart logoWelcome to this week’s Walmart Back to School Coupon Matchups! Below are the best deals this week but be sure to click the button below to see ALL of this week’s coupon matchups! Be sure to go HERE to see lots of great Unadvertised Deals too.

Click here to see the complete list
Prices may vary by region.
Canned Goods & Soups

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Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta, 14.5 – 15 oz – $0.75

Includes: Select Varieties

  • $1.00/6 Chef Boyardee Pasta or Microwaved Cups – 7-12-15 SS (exp. 08/30/15)
Final Price: $0.59
Cookies, Snacks & Candy

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Nabisco Family Size Oreo Cookies, 16 – 19.1 oz – $3.50
Final Price: $3.00
Office Supplies

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Five Star Paper Folder with Prongs – $0.97
Final Price: $0.47
Personal Care

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Claritin Allergy Medicine, 30 ct 10 mg – $18.88
  • $3.00/1 Claritin Product – 7-26-15 SS; Includes 30 ct or Larger Only (exp. 08/31/15)
  • $4.00/1 Claritin – 8-9-15 SS; Includes 30 ct or Larger Only; Limit 4 Exact Same Coupons Per Household Per Day (exp. 09/06/15)
Final Price: $14.88
Produce

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Carrots, Baby, Organic, 16 oz – $1.54
Writing School Supplies

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Sharpie Chisel Highlighters, 4 pk – $1.74
Click here to see the complete list

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Dollar General Back to School: Aug 16 – 22

Posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2015 at 4:44 pm
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Dollar General 

Welcome to this week’s Dollar General Coupon Matchups! Below are the best deals this week but be sure to click the button below to see ALL of this week’s coupon matchups!

Click here to see the complete list
Office Supplies

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iMagine Glue Sticks, 3 ct – $0.50
Organization School Supplies

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DG Office View Binders, 1 in – $1.50

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DG Office View Binders, 1.5 in – $2.00

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DG Office View Binders, 2 in – $2.50
Writing School Supplies

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IMagine Cap Erasers – $0.50

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iMagine Pencils, 8 pk – $0.50

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iMagine Pink Erasers, 2 ct – $0.50
Click here to see the complete list

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CVS Back to School Deals: Aug 16 – 22

Posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2015 at 4:43 pm
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CVS Logo 

Welcome to this week’s CVS Back to School Coupon Matchups! Below are the best deals this week but be sure to click the button below to see ALL of this week’s coupon matchups!

Click here to see the complete list
CVS ExtraBucks
Get $1.00 ECB wyb 1 pack of Caliber Pencils, Limit 1

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Caliber Pencils 10 ct – $1.59
Out-of-Pocket Price: $1.59
Final Price: $0.59
Buy 1; Includes ExtraCare Savings
Get $1.00 ECB wyb 1 pack of Glue Sticks, Limit 1

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Glue Sticks 6 ct – $1.59
Out-of-Pocket Price: $1.59
Final Price: $0.59
Buy 1; Includes ExtraCare Savings.
Home Supplies
Select Single Rolls, Mix & Match

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Just the Basics Paper Towels, 1 ct – $1.00
Writing School Supplies

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BiC Cristal Pens, 10 ct – $0.99
  • $1.00/2 BIC Stationery Products – 8-2-15 SS (exp. 09/15/15)
Final Price: $0.50
Buy 2; Use $1.00/2 coupon
Click here to see the complete list

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CVS Coupon Matchups: Aug 16 – 22

Posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2015 at 4:41 pm
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CVS Logo 

Welcome to this week’s CVS Coupon Matchups! Below are the best deals this week but be sure to click the button below to see ALL of this week’s coupon matchups!

Click here to see the complete list
CVS ExtraBucks
Get $1.00 ECB wyb 2 participating Dial Products, Limit 1

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Dial Bar Soap, 3 ct – $2.00
Out-of-Pocket Price: $1.00
Final Price: Free
Buy 2; Use $2.00/2 Coupon; Includes MobiSave savings

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Dial Foaming Hand Soap – $2.00
Out-of-Pocket Price: $1.00
Final Price: $0.50
Buy 2; Use $2.00/2 Coupon; Includes ExtraCare savings
Get $1.00 ECB wyb 2 participating Sure or Brut Deodorants, Limit 2

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Sure Deodorant, 2.7 oz – $2.00
  • $1.00/2 Sure Product – 8-16-15 SS; Includes 2.6, 2.7, and 6 oz Only (exp. 08/30/15)
Out-of-Pocket Price: $1.50
Final Price: $0.50
Buy 2; Use $1.00/2 coupon; Includes ExtraCare savings
Get $1.25 ECB wyb 1 Propel Water, Limit 1

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Propel Fitness Water, 24 oz – $1.25
Out-of-Pocket Price: $1.25
Final Price: Free
Buy 1; Includes ExtraCare savings
Get $3.00 ECB wyb 2 participating Colgate Optic White Products, Limit 2

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Colgate Optic White Toothpaste – $3.00
Out-of-Pocket Price: $2.00
Final Price: $0.50
Buy 2; Use (2) $1.00/1 coupons; Includes ExtraCare savings
Beverages

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Starbucks Ready-to-Drink Beverages – $2.00

Includes: Double Shot 11 oz or Frappuccino 13.7 oz

Out-of-Pocket Price: $1.00
Final Price: Free
Buy 1; Use $1.00/1 coupon; Includes Ibotta savings
Breakfast & Cereal

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Starbucks Coffee K-Cups, 10 ct – $6.99
Out-of-Pocket Price: $4.99
Final Price: $3.49
Buy 2; Use (2) $2.00/1 coupons. Includes Snap Rebate.
Condiments, Spice & Baking

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Smuckers Preserves, 18 – 20 oz – $1.99
Out-of-Pocket Price: $1.49
Final Price: $0.49
Buy 2; Use $1.00/2 coupon; Includes MobiSave savings
Personal Care

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Wet n Wild Cosmetics – $0.99
  • $0.25/1 Wet n Wild Nail Item – 8-16-15 SS (exp. 08/29/15)
  • $0.50/1 Wet n Wild Item – 8-16-15 SS (exp. 08/29/15)
  • $1.00/1 Wet n Wild Face Item – 8-16-15 SS (exp. 08/29/15)
Final Price: Free
Buy 1; Use $1.00/1 coupon
Click here to see the complete list

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Kmart Back to School Deals: Aug 16 – Aug 22

Posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2015 at 4:38 pm
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KMART logo 

Welcome to this week’s Kmart Coupon Matchups! Below are the best deals this week but be sure to click the button below to see ALL of this week’s coupon matchups!

Click here to see the complete list
Writing School Supplies

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BiC Wite-Out – $1.00
  • $1.00/2 BIC Stationery Products – 8-2-15 SS (exp. 09/15/15)
Final Price: $0.50
Buy 2; Use $1.00/2 coupon

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Bic Cristal Pens, 8 ct – $2.00

Includes: Select varieties

  • $1.00/2 BIC Stationery Products – 8-2-15 SS (exp. 09/15/15)
Final Price: $1.50
Buy 2; Use $1.00/2 coupon

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Sharpie Fine Point Markers, 4 ct – $3.00

Includes: Select varieties

Final Price: $2.25
Buy 1; Use $0.75/1 coupon

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Sharpie Markers, 4 ct – $3.00

Includes: Select varieties

Final Price: $2.25
Buy 1; Use $0.75/1 coupon
Click here to see the complete list

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Rite Aid Back to School Deals: Aug 16 – 22

Posted on Saturday, August 15th, 2015 at 3:15 pm
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Rite Aid 

Welcome to this week’s Rite Aid Back to School Coupon Matchups! Below are the best deals this week but be sure to click the button below to see ALL of this week’s coupon matchups!

Click here to see the complete list
Organization School Supplies

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Backpacks – B1G1 50% OFF
Paper School Supplies
Back to School; Mix & Match

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Poly or Paper Portfolios – B1G2

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Mead 5 Star Trapper Keeper – 25% OFF

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Mead Composition Notebooks – $0.66

3/$1.98 (or $0.89 each)

Writing School Supplies
Spend $8 on participating Bic or Sharpie products, Get 200 Plenti Points (=$2.00)

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Bic Pens or Pencils – Prices vary

Includes: Select varieties

  • $1.00/1 BIC Atlantis Pen Product – 8-16-15 SS (exp. 09/30/15)
  • $1.00/1 BIC Xtra-Fun Pencil Product – 8-16-15 SS (exp. 09/30/15)
  • $1.00/2 BIC Stationery Products – 8-2-15 SS (exp. 09/15/15)

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Sharpie Markers – Prices vary

Includes: Select varieties

Miscellaneous

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Copy Paper Reams – $4.99

Pictured: HP and Georgia Pacific

Click here to see the complete list

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.