Father’s Day Freebies & Deals 2015


Father's Day - Freebies, Discounts & Deals!

Father’s Day Freebies and Deals – 2015

Father’s Day is coming up soon! We’ve rounded up a big list of Father’s Day Freebies and Deals 2015 to give you a heads up on many ways to save.

Whether you’re a dad or have a dad you want to show some love to, you’re bound to find something of interest in this list. (And please help us and other readers out by leaving a comment if you know of any other freebies or deals – thanks in advance!)

National Father’s Day Freebies and Deals

Cards, Crafts & Printables

Free Printable Father’s Day Cards
If you’re on a tight budget, check out thirteen different free printable Father’s Day cards that you can just print and send.

Cardstore – Father’s Day Cards for $2.49 Shipped
Through June 15, you’ll pay $2.49 each to have a personalized Father’s Day card mailed to your recipient from Cardstore.com with coupon code CAH5485.

Hallmark – Buy 3, Get 1 Free Cards
Use the promo code SUNNY at checkout to get a buy 3, get 1 free deal on Father’s Day cards at Hallmark.com through June 21.

lakeshore learning father's day craft

Lakeshore Learning – Free Fishing Pole Craft
Kids ages 3 and up can stop by Lakeshore Learning stores on Saturday, June 20 from 11am-3pm to make a free Great Catch! fishing pole.

Michaels – Father’s Day T-Shirt Craft
Make Dad a tie dye t-shirt at Michaels on June 13 from 1-4pm. You’ll need to purchase a t-shirt for $7, but they’ll provide the materials.

Pottery Barn Kids – Free Newspaper Craft
Stop by on June 13 from 11am-12pm to make a free newspaper craft for Dad.

shutterfly father's day card

Shutterfly – Free Photo Card
Use the coupon code CARD4U to get a free photo card for Dad (you’ll need to pay $0.99 for shipping).

[Read more…]

Lunchbox Laboratory dads eat free

Dads Eat Free at Lunchbox Laboratory on Father’s Day

Lunchbox Laboratory dads eat free

Lunchbox Laboratory dads eat free

Dads with ‘staches (real or fake) eat free this Father’s Day at Lunchbox Laboratory. This is a local-to-me restaurant (locations in S. Lake Union, Bellevue and Gig Harbor) and it is sooooooooo good!

Don’t have a ‘stache of your own? No worries – they’ll have one for you to wear during your meal. Offer is valid on Sunday, June 21 only.


Need more Father’s Day Freebies & Deals? Check out our roundup here.


Mother’s Day Freebies & Deals 2015


Mother's Day Freebies & Discounts - Huge List!Mother’s Day Freebies and Deals – 2015

In case you haven’t gotten the memo, Mother’s Day is just around the corner! We’ve rounded up a big list of Mother’s Day Freebies and Deals 2015 to give you a heads up on ways to save.

Whether you’re a mom or have a mom you need to treat to a day out, you’re bound to find something of interest in this list. (And please help us and other readers out by leaving a comment if you know of any other freebies or deals – thanks in advance!)

National Mother’s Day Freebies and Deals

Cards, Crafts & Printables

kids crafts ebook

Free Kids Crafts eBook – Sign up to receive a free Kids Crafts eBook to get some ideas for Mother’s Day crafts.

Free Printable Mother’s Day Cards – Don’t want to buy a card? Check out these free printable Mother’s Day cards on About.com. If Mom is a Disney fan, these free printable Disney Mother’s Day cards from Disney Movie Rewards might do the trick, too.

Free Printable Mother’s Day Coupons – Find a template for free printable Mother’s Day “coupons” on Zulily.

Free Printable Mother’s Day Questionnaire – Have the kiddos fill out a free printable Mother’s Day questionnaire for a unique and amusing memory-making opportunity.

Educents – Send a free $10 Educents gift card to a mom in your life.

Lakeshore Learning – Kids ages 3 and up can make Mom a free Garden Blooms Photo Frame on Saturday, May 9 from 11am-3pm.

Lowe’s – Kids can make a free Mother’s Day Planter at Lowe’s on Saturday, May 9 at 10am. You’ll need to register in advance as space is limited.

Orchard Supply Hardware – Kids 12 and under can make a free Paint-a-Pot for Mom on May 9 from 9am-12pm. All supplies are provided, including the plant.

Pottery Barn Kids – Stop by the week before Mother’s Day (starting May 4) to make a free tissue-paper flower craft for Mom or Grandma.


Shutterfly – Use the coupon code CARD4U to get a free photo card for Mom (you’ll need to pay $0.99 for shipping).

walgreens free print

Walgreens – Get a free 8×10 photo enlargement with coupon code FREE2PRINT through May 9. Opt to pick up your order in-store to save on shipping.

Williams-Sonoma – Kids ages 5-13 can learn how to use some kitchen tools to make a meal for Mom, then create a delicious treat with the free Junior Chef Class this weekend.

[Read more…]


Mother’s Day Gifts Under $25



Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for $25 or Under!

Mother’s Day is just two weeks away (May 10, in case you don’t already have your calendar marked). If you’re stumped by what to get the mom in your life, I’ve rounded up several Mother’s Day gifts under $25. Take a look!

 OPI Nail Lacquer 10-Piece Set, Take Ten Mini Kit (currently $23.50)

Authentic Pigment Snap-On Large Canvas Tote (currently $17.64 shipped)

Oceanside Breeze Tub Spa Bath Gift Set

Oceanside Breeze Tub Spa Bath Gift Set (currently $23.99)

Apollo Pink General 39-Piece Tool Set (currently $19.99)

NEW Clinique Skin Care Makeup 8 Pc Gift Set 2014 Fall All About Eyes & More! ($70 Value)

Clinique 8-Piece Skin Care & Makeup Gift Set (currently $21.99)

[Read more…]


Earth Day Freebies 2015



Earth Day Freebies 2015

Wednesday, April 22 is Earth Day, which means you can snag some great freebies and offers out there! Please note that these offers are good on select days only and some may be while supplies last. As always, I encourage you to phone ahead to inquire if your store is participating (or to check on quantities left) before making a special trip out.

Nationwide Earth Day Freebies & Deals

Ahava: Get a free Earth Day kit (a $22 value) + free shipping on orders of $50 or more with coupon code EARTH15.

The Four Seasons - An Earth Day Interactive Children's Storybook

Amazon: Download a free interactive Earth Day children’s storybook.

Amazon: The highly rated Earth Day, Birthday! eBook is currently available for $1.99 on Amazon for Kindle (list price $3.99).

Amazon: Save up to 50% on DVDs and Blu-ray discs that raise your awareness of nature and our ability to protect the planet.

Anthropologie: Kids ages 5 to 10 can stop by for a free Rainforest Crafts for Kids event. Dates and times vary by location.

Better World Books: Save 25% off 4 or more used books that ship from Better World Books through 4/24, plus get free shipping.

Buckle: Pick up a free water bottle while supplies last when you make a $50 purchase using your Buckle credit card. (Thanks, Passion for Savings!)

Care2: Check out a number of free Earth Day e-cards you can send to a loved one.

earth month tumbler

Caribou Coffee: Buy this Earth Month tumbler in stores or online and get unlimited coffee refills for free all April long.

[Read more…]

Seattle Children's Museum Earth Day

Seattle Children’s Museum: FREE Monorail Rides on Earth Day

Seattle Children's Museum Earth Day

Seattle Children's Museum Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day next Wednesday (April 22) at the Seattle Children’s Museum! This year you can enjoy FREE Seattle Monorail rides included with your admission to the museum.

You’ll need to sign up in advance for a Monorail Tour (10:30am, 12:00pm or 1:00pm), then show up and purchase your admission. You’ll start with an educational activity with a Museum educator, then head upstairs to meet the Monorail staff for a tour and your free ride from the Seattle Center to Westlake Center Mall and back.

I recommend buying your tickets online in advance to save time. Admission prices are as follows:

  • $8.25/child or adult
  • $7.25/grandparent
  • $7.00/active duty military
  • FREE for children under 1

You may also qualify for reduced admission depending on your family’s income.

Want to make a day of it? Here are some other activities happening at the Seattle Children’s Museum on Earth Day:

Discovery Bay Hang Out: Do you have a new little one at home? Are you wondering how to engage them with their constantly changing skills and abilities? Join us in our Discovery Bay exhibit for a drop-in play session alongside other families just like you. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30am to 11:30am our education staff will facilitate play for you and your kiddo as we all just hang out! – 10:30-11:30am

Wellness: Earth Day Clean-up Party: Recycling and composting makes the world a better place! Practice sorting different “trash” items together. – 11:30am-12:00pm

Planetary Story Time: Can you name all the planets in our solar system? Join us for some stellar stories about outer space. – 12:00-12:30pm

Wellness: Water Cycle Wellness: What happens to puddles after it rains? Where does the water go? Explore the water cycle through this wacky obstacle course. – 1:00-1:30pm

Kids Cook: Healthy Earth Fruit Snacks: What is the earth made out of? Explore geology while making a sweet and healthy snack! – 2:00-2:30pm

Stay tuned for more Earth Day freebies!


Tax Day Freebies & Offers 2015



Tax Day Freebies & Discounts for 2015

Tax Day is right around the corner, and you’ll be able to snag some freebies, coupons, and offers to “celebrate” the event. I’ve listed the ones alphabetically I was able to find, but please leave a comment on this post if you’re aware of another one. Also note that some of these do not apply for our region. As always, head to their websites to check on individual store locations.


Remember: most of these offers are only valid on Tax Day (Wednesday, April 15th). Some may have restricted hours you can redeem the coupon, too. So please, read the fine print of any offer you want to use and as extra insurance, you may want to call your local store or restaurant to make sure they are participating.

PS – If you don’t have your taxes done yet, you have until the end of the day. Check out our Best Tax Software Deals roundup for some last-minute deals!

Ace Hardware: Save $10 off your $40+ purchase of regular-priced merchandise with this printable coupon, or use the coupon code TAX15 to get this same discount online at AceHardware.com.

Bonefish Grill: This isn’t specifically a Tax Day deal, but it’s good through 4/20: get $10 off your purchase with this coupon.

Boston Market: Buy one individual meal, get one free – no coupon necessary. Limit 3 BOGOs per person.

Bruegger’s Bagels: Get a Big Bagel Bundle for $10.40 with the coupon sent out to eClub members. You’ll need to sign up by 4/9 to receive your coupon.

Buca di Beppo: Email subscribers can take 15% off your order through 4/19 with the coupon sent via email.

[Read more…]


25 Easter Basket Fillers Under $5


25 Easter Basket Fillers Under $5

Need some ideas to fill your Easter basket? I found 25 items priced at $5 or less.

Whether you need items to fill the Easter eggs themselves or to fill up the Easter basket, you’re sure to find something of interest here – check it out!

Easter Spot-the-Differences

Easter Spot-the-Differences (currently $1.26)

Glitter Easter stickers

Glitter Easter Stickers (currently $1.50)

Easter stencils

Easter Stencils (currently $1.50)

Melissa & Doug Drawing Pad

Melissa & Doug Drawing Pad (currently $2.99)

The Night Before Easter  Natasha Wing, Kathy Couri  0038332150858  Amazon.com  Books

The Night Before Easter Paperback Book (currently $3.49)

Crayola washable crayons

Crayola Washable Crayons 16-Pack (currently $3.49)

niceEshop(TM) Cute 10pcs Velvet Animal Style Finger Puppets Set +niceEshop Cable Tie

10-Piece Animal Finger Puppets Set (currently $3.49)

Goody Ouchless Medium Elastics 2mm, 40 Count

Goody Ouchless Medium Elastics 2mm, 40 Count (currently $3.69)

Crayola Art Smock-

Crayola Art Smock (currently $3.79)

Action Bible Songs CD

Classics: Action Bible Songs CD (currently $3.99)

[Read more…]

seattle's child easter egg hunts

HUGE List of Seattle-area Easter egg hunts at Seattle’s Child

seattle's child easter egg hunts

seattle's child easter egg hunts

**Update: ParentMap has a great list, too! Check it out here.

I thought some of you might be interested in this excellent resource put together by Seattle’s Child: check out The Ultimate Guide to 2015 Seattle-Area Easter Egg Hunts! They’ve compiled a huge list of egg hunts and seasonal activities starting this upcoming Friday (March 27) all the way through Easter Sunday (April 5).

Each entry includes a short description, cost, address and website (if applicable), including the Wright Park Egg Hunt in Tacoma, EasterFest in Federal Way, and lots more:

Wright Park Egg Hunt. Over 20,000 eggs will be hidden in the park for kids ages 11 and younger to find, plus they’ll enjoy bouncy houses and face painting. 10 to 11:30 a.m. FREE. S. Sixth Avenue and S. Yakima Avenue, Tacoma. ncctacoma.org/easter

EasterFest. Kids 12 and younger can hunt for eggs by age group, plus enjoy games, prizes, bouncy houses, food and more. 10 a.m. to noon. FREE. Register online and receive a cotton candy voucher. Federal Way Church of the Nazarene, 1525 S.W. Dash Point Road, Federal Way. federalwaynazarene.org

Head to Seattle’s Child for the full list!


20 Cute Girls Easter Dresses Under $20


20 Easter Dresses $20 or Less

Looking for a cute Easter dress for your little girl, but trying to stay on budget? I decided to do some online shopping today and I found 20 adorable styles priced at just $20 or less!

Easter Dress#1: Striped & Floral Dress: $18.71 
Sizes: 2T – 5

Easter Dress Pink Chevron#2: Pink Chevron Dress: $19.71
Sizes: 2T – 6X

Easter Dress Tulle#3: Tulle Overlay Dress: $12.21
Sizes: 2T – 6X

Easter Dress Purple Flowers Tulle#4: Purple Flower Tulle Dress: $13.99
Sizes: 2-5

Polka Dot Dress#5: Sweet Heart Polka Dot Dress: $18.71
Sizes: 2T – 6X

Easter Dress Eyelet Dress#6: Eyelet Woven Dress: $19.99
Sizes: 2T – 4T

Easter Dress Chiffon with Belt#7: Chiffon Dress with Belt: $19.99
Sizes: 4- 6X

Easter Dress with Brown Butterflies#8: Butterfly Dress with Bows: $10.99
Sizes: 4 – 12

Easter Dress with Bow#9: Champagne-Colored Dress with Bow: $16.99
Sizes: 2 – 10

Easter Dress Pink with Bow#10: Pink Dress with Ruffles and Bow: $15.99
Sizes: 2-10

[Read more…]

easter candy coupons

Easter Candy Coupons Roundup

easter candy coupons

easter candy coupons

Easter is coming up in just a few weeks (I know, right?), so I thought it would be helpful to round up the latest Easter candy coupons I’m finding around the web and in the Sunday coupon inserts. Click any of these images for quick and easy access to free printable coupons:

$1.00 off (2) MARS Chocolate M&M'S and others

$0.50 off Butterfinger Easter Mini Bars 11oz

$0.50 off NESTLE Crunch Easter Mini Bars 10 oz

$1.00 off 2 NESTLE, Butterfinger, Crunch NestEggs

$1.00 off 2 NESTLE Jelly Beans, Laffy Taffy, Nerds

$1.00 off Two (2) Bags of Fruit Vines Bites

$1.00 off of any one (1) WARHEADS Sour Jelly Beans 14oz. or  WARHEADS Sour Combo Egg 4.23-5.22 oz.

Other Printable Coupons

Target Easter Cartwheel

Insert Coupons

Looking for an Easter candy coupon in one of the Sunday coupon inserts? Here are some that you may find (but remember, coupon values and availability may vary greatly by region):

  • $1.50/3 Cadbury or Reese’s Eggs Multipacks 4.8 oz.+ from 2/22 Smart Source insert (exp 3/21)
  • $1.50/3 Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s, Hershey’s Miniatures, Hershey’s Eggs, Cadbury, Jolly Rancher or Whoppers Easter Bags 8 oz.+ coupon from the 2/22 Smart Source (exp 3/21)
  • $1/2 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate or Cookies ‘n’ Crème Drops, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis, York, Kit Kat or Rolo Minis, or Reese’s Pieces Candies Stand-Up Bags 8 oz.+ from the 3/15 Smart Source (exp 5/10)
  • $1/2 Mars Easter Products: M&M’s Chocolate Candies 2 oz.+, M&M’s Minis Chocolate Candies 2 oz.+, Minis Mix Variety Bags 10.5 oz.+, 3 Musketeers Minis, Twix Minis, Snickers Minis, Milky Way Minis, Snickers Bunny, Dove Chocolate Silky Smooth Eggs & Bunnies 4.5 oz.+, Snickers Eggs 6 pk., Snickers Peanut Butter Eggs 6 pk., Twix Eggs 6 pk. and Milky Way Simply Caramel Bunnies 6 pk. coupon from the 3/8 RedPlum (exp 4/5)
  • Buy 1 Mars M&M’s Chocolate Candies 9 oz.+, Get 1 M&M’s Crispy Chocolate Candies Bag 1.35-2.83 oz. Free (max value $2.09) coupon from the 2/15 RedPlum (exp 3/29)
  • $0.50/2 Skittles, Life Savers, Hubba Bubba or Orbit Specially Marked Easter Products from the 3/15 RedPlum (exp 4/5)
  • $1/2 Starburst or Life Savers Jellybeans Bags 13-14 oz. from the 3/15 RedPlum (exp 4/5)
  • $1/2 Twizzlers Bites or Jolly Rancher Bites Bags 10 oz. from the 3/15 Smart Source (exp 5/10)

Target Savings

If you’re a Target shopper, you’ll also want to check out the Target Easter printable coupons they have available on their website as well as some awesome Target Easter Cartwheel offers, including


Want to put something in the kids’ Easter baskets besides candy? Check out my post on 26 Easter Egg Filler Ideas!


26 Easter Egg Filler Ideas {Hint: Most aren’t Candy!}


26 Easter Egg Filler Ideas {Hint: most aren't candy!}

I always love having an informal Easter egg hunt for my kids. You can control what goes in the eggs, how many there are, and where they get hidden. And, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can always bring your egg hunt indoors.

Easter Bunny in a Cute Basket

This year, I decided to hit up my local Fred Meyer for my kids’ baskets, eggs, and candy. However, I also wanted to see what additional creative ideas I could come up with for filling your eggs. If you want to keep the sugar to a minimum, you might be interested to see what non-food ideas I came up with! To keep things interesting, I challenged myself to see how many options I could come up with. Today’s list includes 26 ideas!

But first…. let’s talk candy.

DSCN9234 (800x784)This is how I found the seasonal department of my Fred Meyer store. There are so many choices!

candyI love that there are lots of inexpensive choices as well. With that, let’s start our list!

1. Jellybeans. Probably my favorite candy to eat at Easter! I picked up a couple bags for just $1 each.

2. Small Chocolate Bunnies. I found a package of 6 small chocolate bunnies for $1 total. Divvy them up, and put them in larger-sized eggs.

3. Foil-wrapped Chocolate Eggs. Fred Meyer was selling several varieties for $1.50 per bag.

DSCN9230 (800x600)

4. Hot Tamales Jelly Beans. These looked really fun – and they were only $2 a bag! If you’re not a fan of the classic jelly bean, Fred Meyer has lots of other fun flavors, too.

DSCN9231 (800x600) [Read more…]


25 Festive St. Patrick’s Day Crafts


25 St Patrick's Day Crafts

St Patrick’s Day Crafts you can do with Kids

Looking for some inspiration for St. Patrick’s Day? Check out this round-up of 25 St. Patrick’s Day Crafts!

Potted Rainbow Craft // Mom On Timeout

“Lucky” St. Patrick’s Day Printables // Mom On Timeout

Leprechaun Hats Craft // Mom On Timeout

St. Patrick’s’ Day Banner // A Night Owl Blog

St. Patrick’s Day Wreath // A Night Owl Blog

Painted Wood Shamrock Tutorial // Six Sisters’ Stuff

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Wreath // Crafts n’ Coffee

Beer Bottle Candle Holders // Practically Functional

St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Page Printable // Scribbleprints

How to Catch a Leprechaun Craft // The Suburban Mom

Fruity O’s Rainbow Color Craft // Hands On As We Grow

Bell Pepper Shamrock Stamps // Learn Play Imagine

Wee Little Shamrock Men // Sweet and Lovely Crafts

Clover Leaf Lei // Simple as That

How To Make Leprechaun Feet // A Differentiated Kindergarten

St. Patrick’s Day Decoration // Rockabye Butterfly

St. Patrick’s Potato Stamping // No Time For Flashcards

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Handprint Craft // B-Inspired Mama!

Simple Leprechaun Dress Up // Paging Supermom

Shape Leprechauns // Reading Confetti

Felt Shamrock Hair Accessories // Molly Moo

Shamrock Plant Markers // Domestic Goddesque

St. Patrick’s Day Hat // Simple Crafts

Button Rainbow // Rainy Day Distractions

Paper Plate Leprechaun Craft // All Kids Network

And, if you’re looking for some good ideas for food – how about a rainbow fruit platter for the kids?

Easy St Patrick's Day Idea: Create a Fruit Rainbow | The Coupon ProjectEasy St. Patrick’s Day Idea: Create a Fruit Rainbow!

And how about Skittles Infused Vodka for the adults?

How to Make Skittles Infused Vodka | The Coupon Project

How to Make Skittles Infused Vodka

Einstein Bros heart shaped bagels

Valentine’s Day – Coupons, Offers & Freebies 2015

Einstein Bros heart shaped bagels

Valentines Day Coupons, Freebies, and Offers

Saturday, February 14th is Valentine’s Day and you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to show your special someone a little LOVE! Here are some of the best freebies and discount deals that I was able to round up for you. Did we miss something? Please leave a comment so we can update the list.

As always, I encourage you to phone ahead to make sure your local store or restaurant is participating and to confirm any details such as if additional purchases are necessary.

Valentine’s Day Restaurant Offers

Bakers Square: Stop in from 2/13-2/15 for their Sweetheart Dinner Special for 2, which includes two Just Right Portion Entrees and two slices of pie for $19.99 total.

Bertucci’s: Get a dinner for two for $35 from 2/9-2/16. Includes two starters, two entrees and a shared dessert.

Bonefish Grill: Enjoy a salad, special entree and a shared dessert for $29.90 from 2/9-2/15 at Bonefish Grill.


Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar: Boston’s has heart-shaped pizzas available from 2/13-2/15, plus $1 from the sale of each pizza benefits No Kid Hungry.

Buca di Beppo: Make your reservations now for their Valentine’s weekend special: Heart-Shaped Lasagna for 2, served with salad, garlic bread and mini cannoli – all for $48. This offer is available 2/13-2/15.

California Pizza Kitchen: Enjoy a special 2 for $32 Valentine’s Day menu including one appetizer, two entrees and one dessert. Available 2/11-2/15.

Caribou VDay

Caribou Coffee: Share the love with a Valentine’s Day BOGO offer on 2/13-2/14. You’ll need to be a Caribou Perks member – the offer will be in your account (it’s free to join).

Chick-fil-A: Get a FREE hot or iced coffee each day in February.

Chuck E. Cheese’s: Make Valentine’s Day a family affair and go to Chuck E. Cheese’s for 1/2 off cinnamon sticks with this printable coupon (valid 2/12-2/15).

Dairy Queen: Participating locations have a Red Velvet Blizzard Cupid Cake available for $9.99.

Del Taco: Use this coupon to get a FREE premium shake with any purchase of $3 or more from 2/13-2/16.

[Read more…]


Amazon Gold Box Deal: 70% off Select Jewelry Styles + FREE One Day Shipping


Valentine's Day

Still looking for just the right Valentine’s Day gift? You might want to head on over to Amazon! Today’s Gold Box deal is 70% off select jewelry styles with free one-day shipping!

Here are a few that are standing out to me:

Sterling Silver Heart Pendant
Sterling Silver Diamond Heart Pendant Necklace (1/4 cttw), 18″: $79.99 (reg. $280)
FREE one-day shipping!

Diamond Stud Earrings
10k White Gold Round-Cut Diamond Stud Earrings (1/10 cttw, J-K Color, I2-I3 Clarity): $39.99 (reg. $140)
FREE one-day shipping!

Pressed Heart Flower Necklace
Sterling Silver Pressed Flower Heart Pendant Necklace, 16″: $21.99 (reg. $60)
FREE one-day shipping!

Remember, this deal runs today only or while supplies last. Head to Amazon to check out the entire selection.

Looking for gifts for your man? Check out this post:

Valentine's Day Gifts for Him: 25 Creative Ideas under $25 | The Coupon Project

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FREE personalized Valentine’s Day card from Cherishables (pay $0.99 shipping)

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Order a loved one an extra-special card this year with a free personalized Valentine’s Day card, courtesy of Cherishables. Use the coupon code LOVEVAL at checkout through Tuesday, 1/27 (or while supplies last) to get in on this deal.

Please note that you will have to pay 99¢ shipping, but I still think that’s a great offer for a high-quality card that includes your own special message or photo. I’ve given photo cards to relatives and friends for various occasions and they’ve always been well-received.

Besides the free paper card, every order qualifies for a free e-card, too!


12 Favorite Items for Top New Year’s Resolutions (hint: some are free!)


12 Resources & Products: for top new Year's Resolutions

Can you believe it’s New Year’s Eve already? If you’re like me, you’re madly planning your New Year’s Resolutions! What will your goals be – to finally declutter your home? Pay off that nagging credit card bill? Maybe lose those 30 pounds you’ve been carrying?

For fun, I thought I’d share some of my favorite products and resources to help you with your New Year’s Resolutions this year. I’ve worked to include a number of low-cost and no-cost resources for this list, too.

Resolution: Weight Loss


I know I’m starting this list with a shameless plug, but what can I say? It’s free! Yesterday I kicked off my January series – Losing Weight on a Budget. I’m going to be talking about everything I did to finally lose weight in 2014 and reach my goal! The series is going to cover all aspects of healthy weight loss including the mental aspects, how to make peace with food, fitness tips, and more. I promise: I’m not endorsing any weight loss product. I truly believe you can lose weight without spending money and I invite you to join me. Read the introduction, and then watch for new posts every Friday and Monday through January.


If you have a goal to lose weight, get in shape, eat better, or any combination of the above – please do yourself a favor and check out MyFitnessPal! It’s a free website and free app that you can use to track your food and fitness. MyFitnessPal can be custom tailored to ANY diet you are already following – Paleo, vegan, Whole30, reduced calorie, etc. MyFitnessPal was one of THE most instrumental tools in helping me get real about my eating in 2014. It was easy to use and didn’t consume large portions of my time because many foods and their data are already in the massive food database that millions of users have contributed to! Now that I’ve reached my weight loss goal, I’m still using MyFitnessPal to track my maintenance calories. I also regularly make use of the forums and community there to support my journey.

I consider MyFitnessPal to be a budget-friendly alternative to Weight Watchers.

garmin152The Garmin Forerunner 15 made my list of My Favorite 10 Products for 2014 and for good reason! This GPS running watch tracks my pace, my distance, and my calories! It has been so helpful for my running this year. The other day I was shocked to see my sprinting pace was 5:30! And, the watch helped me keep pace to hit a 5K PR! I also love that I can just head out my front door and run for 6, 7, 8+ miles without having to map a distance out ahead of time.

The other benefit to the Garmin Forerunner is that it tracks your steps per day, much like a FitBit. I set my goal to 10,000 steps daily. (This morning I’m only at 195 thanks to all my blogging, so I’d better get cracking!)

The Garmin Forerunner 15 is currently priced at $139.99 on Amazon, down from $169.99. While it’s not cheap, I think it’s worth every penny if you are serious about running or planning on getting into racing this year. When compared to the added functionality it gives you over the FitBit, I think it’s a much better choice for the runner.

[Read more…]


Wish Granted: Gifts for Daughter Struggling with new Breast Cancer Diagnosis



A few weeks ago, I asked you a question: how would a Fred Meyer gift card help make your holiday wish come true this year? I received many wonderful submissions and am now pleased to share with you the wishes that have been granted. I’ve been sharing these daily on my blog (please scroll to the bottom for links to any you stories might have missed).

One wish that particularly touched me was an email I received from Sherry. Here is the message I received from her:

I would like to submit for my daughter Jen who was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of this year.  She is going through 4 months of chemo and is unable to work but 2 or 3 hours a day for only two weeks of the month.  Her family includes her husband and 6 year old daughter.

Jen started having moles removed from her body about 5 years ago, and the Dr. said they could be cancer.  In fact three of them were melanoma.  In total she has had 40 moles removed, and will have 2 more removed when she has her double mastectomy in the spring. She has fought that battle, now fighting this battle.  I think she is a warrior!!  She is only 42.

With the reduced income they tell me they don’t “want anything for Christmas”, but a gift card to a grocery store would be great.  So a wonderful gift card would help them during this terrible time in their lives. Thank you for considering my daughter and her family.


Dear Sherry,

My heart goes out to you and your family during this Christmas season. I can only imagine how difficult it must be, watching your daughter go through this. On behalf of Fred Meyer, I am pleased to have sent you a $50 Fred Meyer gift card. I hope that in some small way, it will bless your daughter and her family this Christmas and help them enjoy the holiday.

– Angela

PS, upon hearing that Sherry was a winner, she responded:

I’m so happy you selected Jen as someone who needs hope during this time.  As her Mother, I only want the very best, and as you said this is an extremely challenging time for all of them.

You may want to read about other wishes that have been granted: 

Disclosure: This contest is sponsored by Fred Meyer and they have graciously provided all winner gift cards. All opinions are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information. You may also wish to read my original post about this contest and its goals.


Wish Granted: Gifts for 2-Year Old Girl with Leukemia



A few weeks ago, I asked you a question: how would a Fred Meyer gift card help make your holiday wish come true this year? I received many wonderful submissions and am now pleased to share with you the wishes that have been granted. I’ve been sharing these daily on my blog (please scroll to the bottom for links to any you stories might have missed).

One wish that particularly touched me was an email I received from Nancy, about a special little girl. Here is the message I received from her:

Would you please consider my grand niece, Addy for a gift card? She is an adorable 2 year old spitfire who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia this summer. She is getting treatment at <<name removed>> Children’s hospital. She is currently in isolation and has been for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and will also be there for Christmas, which means no visitors. Her mother has had to quit her job to be with her, so finances are a little tight right now. Addy loves anything Minnie Mouse, and her brother Jerry loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for your consideration, Nancy


I am pleased we were able to send you a $50 Fred Meyer Gift Card this year to make Addy’s Christmas a bit more bright! I can only imagine how difficult this holiday season has been being away from the people and places she loves most. I hope that Addy will make a complete recovery! I hope that some of the gift card can be used to buy her something extra special, as well as a gift or two for her brother as well, who has undoubtedly experienced a hard time through this as well. With thoughts and prayers for Addy and your family,


You may want to read about other wishes that have been granted: 

Disclosure: This contest is sponsored by Fred Meyer and they have graciously provided all winner gift cards. All opinions are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information. You may also wish to read my original post about this contest and its goals.


A Christmas Carol

FREE Christmas Movies to Stream for Amazon Prime Members

A Christmas Carol

I always have to watch Christmas movies this time of year! If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can take advantage of a few FREE Christmas movies available on Amazon Instant Video!

I included the times for each movie in case you want to put something on for the kiddos but you only have a limited amount of time. Leave a comment if you’ve seen any of these and let us all know what you thought!

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol (1 hour, 10 minutes) – A classic that’s as integral a part of Christmas as lighted trees and mistletoe. Reginald Owen and Gene Lockhart star in this rewarding holiday treat.


Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) (1 hour, 56 minutes) – Based on the true story of three armies in the bloody trenches of World War I – and the miraculous Christmas Eve truce they unexpectedly forge.

Samantha American Girl Holiday

Samantha – An American Girl Holiday (1 hour, 27 minutes) – This exciting movie is based on American Girl’s most popular character, Samantha, and her adventures in New York City at the turn of the 20th century.

Arthur's Perfect Christmas

Arthur’s Perfect Christmas (56 minutes) – Everyone’s favorite aardvark gives kids a new spin on seasonal traditions in his first one-hour prime time special, showing children many ways to celebrate “the holidays.”

Yes Virginia DVD

Yes, Virginia (26 minutes) – New York City, 1897. A little girl named Virginia O’Hanlon loves Christmas more than anything else in the world. But when a schoolyard bully challenges her belief in Santa Claus, Virginia embarks on a quest across the city to prove he is real. With her best friend Ollie in tow, Virginia meets everyone from an overeager librarian to a Scraggly Santa raising money for the poor. Finally her father inspires her to write a letter to the New York Sun newspaper, claiming If you see it in the Sun, it’s so. Based on the true story of the most famous newspaper editorial of all time, Yes, Virginia is a charming and heartwarming tale about believing in the true spirit of Christmas.

Angelina Ballerina Nutcracker Sweet

Angelina Ballerina: The Nutcracker Sweet (1 hour, 2 minutes) – Enjoy a holiday treat with Angelina in her all-new look!


VeggieTales: The Little Drummer Boy (45 minutes) – In this Veggie-version of a holiday classic, Junior Asparagus stars as The Little Drummer Boy, a lonely child who finds the true meaning of Christmas when he stumbles upon the birth of the baby Jesus. A story of hope, love and forgiveness, this timeless tale will warm the hearts of children everywhere!

He-Man She-Ra Christmas Special

He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special (45 minutes) – During a trip to Earth, Orko learns about the origins of Christmas and brings its traditions back with him to Eternia.

Jack Frost Michael Keaton

Jack Frost (1 hour, 42 minutes) – A heartwarming story for the whole family! Following the death of his father, a young boy is befriended by a magical snowman who turns out to be his reincarnated father.

Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The Rockettes: Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes (1 hour, 25 minutes) – Santa Flies to New York. Jump right into Santa’s sleigh as ti zooms over the frozen North, pas internationl borders, and right to the doors of Radio City Music Hall.

Bush Christmas

Bush Christmas (1 hour, 18 minutes) – In this fine family adventure, a small group of brave children venture across the wild Australian bush pursuing horse thieves, while a search party looks for them.

The Nutcracker

George Balanchine’s Nutcracker (1 hour, 33 minutes) – This joyous interpretation of the holiday classic tells the story of a young girl whose love for a toy turns it into the handsome prince (Macaulay Culkin.)


Lawrence Welk Christmas Shows (2 hours, 43 minutes) – Includes performances of Christmas classics such as: Santa Clause is Coming to Town, Oh Holy Night, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bells, Ava Maria, Silent Night, and many, many more!

A Perfect Day

A Perfect Day (1 hour, 31 minutes) – A family man and suddenly-successful author encounters a mystic stranger who warns him he has only 40 more days to live. Based on a novel by Richard Paul Evans.


A Christmas Snow (1 hour, 51 minutes) – “A Christmas Snow” is a heartwarming story about faith, hope and restoration with a silver lining. After a fluke winter storm right before Christmas, Kathleen (Catherine Mary Stewart) finds herself trapped in her own home with two unlikely guests, Sam (Muse Watson) and Lucy (Cameron ten Napel).


Jack Frost (49 minutes) – The Groundhog tells the story of how, for once, Jack Frost became human and helped a knight win his lady love.

A Very Sunny Christmas

A Very Sunny Christmas (44 minutes) – Ho, ho, heyooo! Christmas is upon us and the Paddy’s gang has got the spirit. Well, not really.

Little Spirit Christmas in New York

Little Spirit: Christmas in New York (45 minutes) – When a friendly cabbie tells two young sisters the story of a boy named Leo who moved to Manhattan with his family, a magical adventure begins. While adjusting to the big city and enjoying the days leading up to Christmas, Leo accidentally loses his dog Ramona in Central Park. Leo is devastated by his loss until a magical creature named Little Spirit appears.

Christmas with Danny Kaye

Christmas with Danny Kaye featuring Nat King Cole (52 minutes) – This collection brings together 2 memorable Christmas episodes of the Emmy winning, top-rated CBS variety show , The Danny Kaye Show. Featuring Nat King Cole’s iconic performance “The Christmas Song” (aka “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) , duets with Danny and Peggy Lee and “Jingle Bell Rock” by a young Wayne Newton.

Christmas That Almost Wasn't

The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t (1 hour, 30 minutes) – A scroogy old miser decides to evict Santa Claus and Company from the North Pole because the dead-beats are behind on their rent.

If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you can sign up for a FREE 30-day trial. This will give you instant streaming access to these and thousands of additional FREE movies and TV shows as well as free 2-day shipping on most items across Amazon.

ohuhu christmas stockings

Amazon: Two 18″ Christmas Stockings for $9.99 + FREE shipping with Prime

ohuhu christmas stockings

ohuhu christmas stockings

Aren’t these Christmas stockings adorable? Right now you can get both of them for $9.99 total (that’s just $5 each) with FREE 2-day shipping if you’re a Prime member. Here’s what you have to do:

These Christmas stockings get great reviews and both feature a 3D design. Head to Amazon to check it out!

Amazon gift cards

Last-Minute Gift Idea: Top 20 Most-Wanted Gift Cards This Year (+ FREE shipping by Christmas!)

Amazon gift cards

T-minus 4 days until Christmas – are you thinking about just giving gift cards to the rest of the people on your list? Well, I have absolutely no qualms about giving (or receiving, for that matter) gift cards for Christmas. In fact, I think that a well-chosen gift card can be a very thoughtful gift, especially for someone who has difficulty spending money on himself/herself (ahem, me).

In fact, I just ordered a Lowe’s gift card for my mother-in-law so she can buy some new paint for her kitchen (this was on her wish list). I also bought my sister a gift card to her favorite bar/restaurant and my father-in-law a gift certificate to a hot dog/ice cream shop in the new city he’s moving to next month.

If you’re not sure what gift cards your recipients might be interested in, here’s a Top 20 list of the most-wanted gift cards this year along with links for you to purchase them from the comfort of your own home:

Amazon gift cards

  • Amazon: instant delivery (email or print at home) or free 1-day shipping in a greeting card or in a gift box
  • Walmart: e-gift cards available
  • Target: email or mobile delivery by Christmas
  • Home Depot: e-gift cards available
  • Starbucks: email delivery available – also available on Amazon with free 2-day shipping for Prime members

Lowe's gift cards

tjmaxx gift card

subway gift card

  • Subway: also available on Amazon with free 2-day shipping for Prime members
  • JCPenney: order by 12/21 with 2-day shipping or e-gift cards available
  • Olive Garden: $10 bonus offer for every $50 spent in gift cards, e-gift cards available, also available on Amazon with free 2-day shipping for Prime members
  • VISA
  • Shell

Thanks to DealNews for this awesome list!

cardstore holiday cards

Holiday Card Offers and Coupon Codes – as low as $0.19/card!

cardstore holiday cards

Working on your holiday photo cards this weekend? We’ve rounded up a huge list of the best holiday card offers and coupon codes we could find going on right now. Most of what you see here are deals available to purchase through Groupon (you can get some great deals!), but you can still find big savings by using coupon codes directly at the retailers themselves.

Please note that we have not personally vetted all of these companies; if you have experience with any of them feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts with other readers. Enjoy!

cardstore holiday cards


Custom Flat Holiday Cards from Cardstore (Up to 51% Off) – $38.99 for 40, $68.99 for 75 or $98.99 for 110 + FREE shipping – ends 12/6
This works out to as low as $0.90/card!

Otherwise, these offers are available directly from Cardstore.com:


Costco has a few different options for photo cards: 6 x 7 1/2 photo greeting cards priced at $14.99 for 50 ($0.30/card) and ready next day, 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 photo notecards priced at $7.99 for 12 ($0.67/card) and ready in 5-10 business days, or premium stationery greeting cards starting at $17.25 per set of 25 ($0.69/card) and ready in 5-10 business days.

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Easy Gingerbread Houses (perfect for kids!)

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Easy Gingerbread Houses (perfect for small kids!)

My kids have been asking to do some “Christmassy” things lately. And I can’t blame them – after all, it is Christmas. However, I don’t admittedly have lots of patience for elaborate Christmas crafts and projects. So when my kids asked to decorate gingerbread houses, I wasn’t too thrilled. (I have one particularly bad memory of trying to put together one of those store “kits” and winding up nearly in tears.)

But then I remembered how my son’s class had done gingerbread houses, using small milk cartons and graham crackers. I decided to replicate this idea with my kids and it worked like a charm. I got the houses assembled in minutes and they were able to decorate them, and we were all happy. I wanted to share this idea with you today, in case you have littles begging for gingerbread houses too.

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Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • One small milk carton per house (I am using pint-size half & half containers… any small-ish size will work)
  • One sturdy paper plate per house
  • Foil
  • Graham crackers (I used 8 squares per house)
  • Frosting (I just bought pre-made)
  • Candy decorations

To save on the candy decorations and make sure I had a nice selection, I bought my candy in bulk at WinCo. This way, I was able to buy small quantities of this and that without having to commit to larger bags. If you don’t have a WinCo – many other stores sell bulk candy, too. My Fred Meyer store does in the Nutrition Center and I’ve also seen bulk at Whole Foods and Top Food & Drug.

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Start by wrapping a paper plate in foil, like so. You could also use the side of a cardboard box. Basically something that is going to work as your house base.  I like these Dixie plates because they are square and have a rim. (They were also the cheapest ones I could find at my store, so there’s that.)

DSCN3921 (800x600)Make sure you’ve rinsed out your milk containers before you do this next step. I for one did not want my gingerbread houses smelling like spoiled milk in a couple days! I also removed the plastic pour spouts out of mine, since I was using half & half containers. Now, wrap in foil. I found the best way to do this was to lay the carton on its side and roll the foil around it. I also did not foil the bottom. After the carton has been wrapped, tape it to the plate. I put mine off to a corner (as opposed to right in the center), to create a bit of a “yard” space for the kids to decorate.

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Now you can begin adding the “gingerbread” to your house. As you can see, I just used graham crackers! I found one square piece and one small rectangle filled up most of a side quite nicely. I just used store-bought vanilla frosting and it worked perfectly fine.

DSCN3926 (600x800)I added the roof pieces at the very end. A couple notes: you’ll see there is still some foil showing. You could definitely try to fill in that space with more graham cracker, or extra frosting (probably easier). Since I knew these wouldn’t be making the Sheraton Gingerbread Display and that they were just for fun, I was happy to leave them like this.

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Goldstar Cyber Monday: Holiday Theater Performances, Concerts, Nutcracker Tickets + more!



Whether you want to celebrate the holiday with a fun night out with your spouse or you’re planning to give a pair of tickets to a friend or family member, Goldstar is a great place to start looking for deals!

Goldstar’s Cyber Monday sale started today, so I thought it would be fun to round up a-l-l of the holiday outings available in the Seattle area. This list includes theater performances, concerts, Nutcracker shows, dinner cruises, and lots more – all at significant discounts off the full price!

And if you don’t live in the Seattle area, don’t fret! You can still search Goldstar for all of the holiday outings in your area – they cover the entire nation!

PS – Please note that the prices listed here do not reflect any additional fees.

A Christmas Story: The Musical Brings Ralphie & Family to Seattle (Seattle) $40.40-$70 (full price $95-$109.25)
December 2-28 (select dates)

A Christmas Carol: Annual Production From ACT Theatre (Seattle) $20-$47 (full price $37-$80)
December 3-17 (select dates)

Holiday Musical Dick Whittington and His Cat: Orphans, Pirates & Christmas Cheer (Seattle) $10 (full price $20)
December 4

holiday parade of lights festive dining cruise

Holiday Parade of Lights Festive Dining Cruise (Seattle) FREE-$46 (full price FREE-$70.70)
December 4, 16

A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol Adds Comedy to a Holiday Classic (Seattle) $7.50 (full price $15)
December 4-18 (select dates)

Holiday Plays A Child’s Christmas in Wales and The Long Christmas Dinner (Seattle) $6.25-$12.50 (full price $12.50-$25)
December 4-24 (select dates)

Seattle Radio Theatre: The Bishop’s Wife — Live Radio Drama (Seattle) FREE-$7.50 (full price $5-$15)
December 5

kent stowell's nutcracker

Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker, With Set Design by Maurice Sendak (Seattle) $67-$99 (full price $84-$124)
December 5, 11

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What’s a good price for a turkey (per pound)?


What's a good price for a turkey? Wading through store promotions, prices, and factors

What’s a good price for a turkey?

As in years past, this year I’m tracking current best prices of turkeys at local grocery stores (for my area – the Puget Sound). I recently had a reader ask, “what’s a good price for a turkey?” and I thought this was a great question worth taking time out to answer!

There are a few factors to consider when looking for the right turkey deal for you:

Most stores require a grocery purchase for the best turkey price.

When looking at where to buy your turkey, consider first where you do the bulk of your shopping. Most stores are offering a solid discount on a turkey, but only if you spend money on additional groceries in the store. For instance, Safeway is offering turkey at $0.69/lb when you spend $35 or more. If you spend $35 or more at Albertsons, you’ll score a “buy one, get one free” turkey promotion. And if you spend $150 or more at Fred Meyer, you’ll score a FREE turkey. If you normally do your shopping at Safeway and don’t typically spend much on your weekly grocery bill – that may be a deal to consider. However, Fred Meyer may be a more attractive deal if you’re planning on doing some apparel or housewares shopping.

Obviously, the less you have to pay to get the deal, the better. Some stores even include the turkey as part of the grocery purchase, and some stores use the price before any coupons are deducted as the minimum. Make sure you understand the fine print of the offer as it’s likely to vary from store to store.

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Thanksgiving Food Coupons – Extensive List!


Thanksgiving Food Coupons {extensive list!} - to help you save money on your Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving Food Coupons

Are you starting to gather food for your Thanksgiving dinner? If so, I wanted to share a collection of coupons that will help you save money! I will do my best to periodically update this list leading up to Thanksgiving.

To get the best bang for your buck, try to combine these coupons with my Thanksgiving Food Stock-up Prices for the best deals.

Last updated: Saturday, November 15th (Includes 11/16 insert coupons)

Turkey & Meat Coupons
$3.00 off Butterball Whole Turkey

$3/4 Butterball Turkey printable coupon (with purchase of 3 participating items)

$3/4 Butterball Turkey coupon (with purchase of 3 participating items) from 11/9 SmartSource

$0.75/1 Butterball Chef Selects printable coupon

$0.55/1 Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies Cocktail Links coupon from 11/16 SmartSource

$3.00 off one HORMEL Party Tray product


$3/1 Hormel Party Tray printable coupon

Produce Coupons

(Note: we don’t see a lot of produce coupons from manufacturers, which makes complete sense to me! I hope that most of the produce at my store comes from local farmers, not big food manufacturers that would put out coupons. What we will see around this time are stellar prices on holiday produce items including celery, potatoes, yams, and fresh cranberries. Some stores may additionally put out store coupon offers.)

$1/1 Ocean Spray Fresh Cranberries printable coupon 

$0.50/1 POM Pomegranate from 10/26 SmartSource

$0.50/1 POM Pomegranate from 11/16 SmartSource

$0.50/1 POM Pomegranate Arils from 10/26 SmartSource

$0.50/1 POM Pomegranate Arils from 11/16 SmartSource

$0.50/1 Wonderful Halos, 3 lbs+ coupon from 11/16 SmartSource (California mandarin oranges)

Dry & Canned Goods Coupons

$1/5 Campbell’s Condensed Soups printable coupon 

$0.40/2 Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup coupon from 10/12 SmartSource

$0.50/2 Dole Pineapple Cans printable coupon

$0.30/1 French’s Fried Onions printable coupon 

$0.50/1 French’s Fried Onions coupon from 11/9 SmartSource

$1/4 Heinz Jarred Gravies printable coupon

$1/1 Imagine product printable coupon (including broth)

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How to Carve a Turkey (Step-by-Step Tutorial)


How to Carve a Turkey {Step-by-Step Tutorial}

You’ve perfectly roasted your turkey and a daunting task lies ahead: carving it. The last thing you want to do is end up poorly carving your turkey and having it resemble dog food. Hardly appetizing!

I wanted to provide a basic step-by-step tutorial you can use so you can present a beautiful platter of turkey to your dinner guests this Thanksgiving.

Let your turkey rest 20-30 minutes before carvingStep One. Allow your turkey to rest a good 20-30 minutes prior to carving. The first step is to resist the temptation to deal with that turkey right away. This will allow the juices to redistribute. Carve too soon, and they’ll all spill out, leaving you a disappointing dry result.

Remove the legs from the turkey

Step Two. Using a sharp knife, separate the legs from the turkey at the thigh joint. When you press down with your knife, look for the joint pictured above. You can use a clean towel or paper towel to then hold the carcass while you pull them apart.

Separate the thigh from the drumstick

Step Three. Using a knife (and then your hands, if need be), separate the thigh from the drumstick. You’ll find that there’s a joint there that just needs to be separated. Plate the drumstick whole, reserve the thigh for carving.

Locate & remove the wishbone

Step Four. Locate and remove the wishbone. You’ll find this up at the top of the turkey, right below the neck cavity. Using your fingers, pry it out. The purpose of this step is to make it easier to carve the breast off the carcass. Make a wish!

Remove the wings from the turkeyStep Five. Using a heavy knife, remove the wings. Add them to the platter as is.

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California Pizza Kitchen veterans day

Veterans Day Freebies and Deals 2014

California Pizza Kitchen veterans day

Veterans Day 2014: Freebies & Deals

Tuesday, November 11th is Veterans Day! If you are active duty, retired, or reserve military, you can take advantage of many freebies and discounts on these days. I’ve done my best to round up as many as I could find, but if you are aware of one I’m missing, I’d love to know about it to update this list!

As always, I’d phone ahead to make sure your local store or restaurant is participating and to confirm any details such as if additional purchases are necessary. I also strongly recommend that you bring your military ID to make sure you can get these freebies most easily.

Unless otherwise stated, all freebies and deals will be good only for Tuesday, November 11th.

Veterans Day Freebies and Deals – 2014

Applebee’s — Free Entree
Veterans and active duty military get a free entree from a limited menu (beverage and gratuity not included).

B&Bs for Vets – Free Night’s Stay
Select inns and B&Bs are offering a free night’s stay to active and retired military and one guest each on November 10 and 11. Space is limited, so be sure to make your reservation as soon as possible. WA readers: there are three B&Bs in the state participating as of today.

Bakers Square/Village Inn — Free Breakfast
All veterans and active duty military get a free breakfast, no purchase necessary. Choose from three Buttermilk Pancakes, three slices of French Toast or a Belgian Waffle or three slices of French Toast.

Big Lots – 10% Off
US military and veterans save 10% at Big Lots with a valid military ID.

Brown Bear – Free Car Wash
All military personnel get a free car wash at any tunnel location. (Note: This is being offered through Grace For Vets. If you don’t have Brown Bear in your area, you might have another participating car wash to choose from.)

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How to Roast a Turkey (from Start to Finish)

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How to Roast a Turkey: Easy, Start-to-Finish Recipe

How to Roast a Turkey

Several years ago, I hosted Thanksgiving for the very first time. While I was excited for the challenge, I was admittedly also very nervous. After all, Thanksgiving is THE meal that many Americans look forward to above all others. I did not care to disappoint my guests!

Whether you’ve found yourself cooking a turkey for the very first time, or whether you’re just looking for an easier way of preparing your bird this year – I’ve got you covered. I’m going to walk you through everything you need to do to roast a perfect Thanksgiving turkey this year.

Selecting the Right Size Turkey

How to Select the Right Size Turkey for your Thanksgiving Meal

The first step is selecting the right turkey for your party size. Martha Stewart recommends the following as guidelines:

  • For a larger party (about 15-20 guests), plan on buying a turkey that’s roughly 1.5 lbs per person. For instance, if you have 15 people, aim for a 22.5+ lb bird.
  • For a smaller party, plan on buying a turkey that’s roughly 2 lbs per person. Smaller birds of under 12 pounds, have a smaller meat-to-bone ratio.
  • Factor in meat you’d like to have for leftovers (if any).

Since I’m cooking a turkey for demonstration purposes (as well as to develop a few recipes), I went with a smaller 10-lb bird.

One final very important note: most turkeys are sold frozen, not fresh. This may take as long as 3-4 days to defrost in the refrigerator, depending on the size of your bird. I put my 10-lb frozen bird in the fridge on Friday and it was ready to go Monday. If you are waiting until the last minute to pick up a turkey, you may need to buy fresh. (Which will cost you more money in most instances, so heads up!)

Ingredients & Tools You’ll Need

Vegetables and Herbs for Roasting a TurkeyThe great thing about roasting a turkey is that you only need a handful of ingredients to make it really flavorful!

Here’s what I’m using for today’s recipe:

  • One turkey (I’m using a 10 lb size)
  • One carrot, sliced
  • Three small stalks of celery, slicede
  • One onion, cut into quarters
  • One garlic head, cut into rough sections
  • Fresh herbs (I’m using parsley and rosemary because it’s what I had – sage and/or thyme would also be nice)
  • Two dried bay leaves
  • 6-8 tbsp butter
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp of flour (if using a roasting bag, optional)

While you certainly don’t need a ton of equipment or fancy tools for roasting your turkey, here are a couple options to consider:

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