Frugal Ramblings

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A Memorable Month…

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I want to let you all know how much I appreciate each of YOU. Thank you for being so patient with me during the month of July. I had a very full month due to a very close friend’s bachelorette party/vaca and a long (21 day!) family vacation to spend time with extended family in both Cape Cod, MA and a small town in Texas (anyone know where Borger is? :) ).

I have received emails over the last couple of weeks asking about the videos and when they will return. Well, stay tuned because I will be back in action in the coming weeks. And I just want to say again – thanks for being so patient with me this summer. It was wonderful getting to spend time with loved ones and create some pretty incredible memories.

Over the last few weeks I’ve gotten to…

Take selfies with the kiddos while traveling (yep – people think we’re weird! ;) )

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 1.16.14 PMWatch my sweet little girl, Piper, get super creative on the plane. To entertain herself, she used the free pretzels they hand out to make her name. Doesn’t that rock?

Take it all in. The ocean, the cousins playing together, the memories being created…

Spend lots of quality time with my dad! He’s pretty cool! ;)

Find time to get some work in…

Eat lots of good food - thanks, Lee! :D

Watch the kiddos enjoy every single minute (well, most minutes ;) ) that they’ve gotten to be together with their cousins…

Spend time with my favorite person in the Whole Wide World…

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 1.00.02 PM

It has definitely been an amazing month! :)

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Spread the Word about Your Business…

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I thought it might be fun once again to create a place for all of you to share your small and/or home-based businesses (i.e. Etsy, Avon, Scentsy, etc.) with other readers and/or to offer Hip2Save readers a special discount on products that you sell. I have posted something similar in past years and it has always been quite a hit!

OK, so have at it and feel free to share your small business with the Hip2Save community! :)

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Suave Coupon Issues at Target AND Turning Tiny Hiccups into Snowy Mountains…

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Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 4.54.29 PM
Have I mentioned before that shopping trips don’t always go smoothly for me? Well, I am gonna mention it again -

Shopping trips do NOT always go smoothly for me! ;)

Want Proof? Well, today at Target, my HIP couponing self got up to the register (happy as can be, I mean how can you not be happy when you know think your total is about to drop so drastically?! :D ).  I started with my first transaction which included a couple of gift card promos. One of them being the Suave deal mentioned in the post here. The cashier scans my $3 off Suave purchase of $10 or more Target store coupon found here and it beeps. I get a very confused look on my face, as I was positive that the Suave products purchased were over $10. I politely explain this to the cashier who in turn explains to me that I can’t use this coupon since I’m getting a gift card on the items. I then try to again politely explain to her that you can use coupons on gift card promos and then she in turn explains that I can’t and then I in turn explain that I can and then…. LOL! Enough said. I am sure you get the picture. The manager eventually came out and explained that the coupon had been giving them issues all day and at this point, they were not accepting it on Suave products that work with the gift card promo. I weighed my options. I mean I could continue my debate or I could leave Target… and leaving Target sounded very nice at that point.

I decided that my time and energy would be best used elsewhere. I stopped my debate, proceeded with my two transactions, and ended up purchasing the Suave. Now I know that I could have opted to not purchase the Suave products, but I just think I was at that point. If that makes sense, and it may not because often times I even confuse myself! ;)

Did you have issues using the Suave coupon at Target? How did you handle the situation? AND even if you didn’t experience this exact issue, I’d love to hear what you would do in a situation like this.

My hubby’s advice about these things is always the same, “Well, don’t purchase a latte today and the difference in what you would have spent is basically what you would have saved with that coupon.” Now that doesn’t necessarily make me feel better, but it does remind me to not focus on the “little” bumps in my day because lots of them are truly teeny tiny hiccups and for some reason, I can make the hiccups feel like huge mountains with snowy peaks. And then when I make them feel like snowy mountains, I do want to go buy a latte because you need caffeine to climb a mountain, right? ;) OK, I totally confused ya, didn’t I?

What would you do? Let us know!

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Hip2Save’s School Supply Price Points (+ Free Printable Spreadsheet)

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If you’ve wondered about the best/stock-up prices for school related items, then look no further! I have compiled a list of the absolute lowest price for popular items and the typical sale prices for items.

As an example, the price point for a 24 count box of Crayola Crayons is 25¢. In other words, I would stock up on Crayola Crayons whenever I find them priced at 25¢ or less. Since Back to School sales are already starting up again in full swing, you should have an opportunity to snag these crayons at this price or less if you just wait patiently over the next few weeks. And this same theory applies to all the school supplies on my list!


To view HIP’s School Supply Price Points, just click on this link or on the image above to print or save the PDF file to your computer! I would encourage you to consider printing it out and placing it in your Coupon Binder for reference when you are at the store. Or, if you’d rather, you can go here and save the Price Points document to your computer and edit/change the prices based on your personal shopping experiences!

DISCLAIMER: Note that several of the items on my list have the lowest price as FREE. Keep in mind that to get this FREE price, you may be required to make a minimum purchase (as is often the case at Staples) and/or to sign up for a Rewards Program or submit a rebate. Also note that these items may only be “free” once or twice per year – for this reason, I have given you a range.

If you disagree with my Price Points and/or have items to add, please share in the comments below!

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Video: How to Make Swimmer’s Ear Drops Using Just 2 Ingredients (Save as Much as 97%!)

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Are you and your kiddos spending lots of time in the water this summer? If so, watch this video where I show you how easy and affordable it is to make Swimmer’s Ear Drops. If you and/or your kiddos are regular swimmers, then you may already be familiar with Swimmer’s ear. Swimmer’s ear is an infection in the outer ear canal often brought on by water that remains in your ear after swimming (which creates a moist environment where bacteria love to grow and cause an infection!).


So why use Swimmer’s Ear drops?! They help dry out your ear canal which prevents bacterial growth. But buying Swimmer’s Ear Drops at your local store can be annoyingly expensive (and we go through lots of bottles in my household as my kids are in the water almost every day during the summer!). So check out my video for the surprising Swimmer’s Ear Drops recipe (just 2 ingredients that you likely already have on hand!) and find out how much money you’ll save!

IMPORTANT: If your child has ear tubes, please consult with your Ear Nose and Throat Doctor before placing these drops in their ears.


If you liked this video, you may enjoy these popular Hip2Save videos as well:

* How to Make Portable Mason Jar Meals
* How to Make a Starbucks Frappuccino at Home
* How to Make a Gift Closet
* How to Save Money on Gas

* And lots more! Check out Hip2Save’s You Tube Channel where you’ll find tons of other money-saving videos.

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12 Packing & Moving Tips: Pack Your Home Like a Pro

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Hip2Save's Packing & Moving Tips 2

Are you planning for an upcoming move across town or across the country? If so, check out these 12 tips to get you and your family packing and moving like a pro! My family has moved five times in the last 8 years, and so today I’m sharing some of my favorite tips with you.

Yard Sale Hip2Save

TIP #1: Have a yard sale or garage sale and get rid of unused or unwanted items. This is my favorite way to purge items that I no longer need. And at the end, I donate the things that don’t sell. The less items you have to move, the easier and less expensive the move will be! I have to keep telling myself this as I tend to hold onto my kids’ stuff. :)

Use a different color duct tape to identify each room's boxes

Tip #2: Assign a different color duct tape to each room so the boxes are easier to identify.  Throughout this last move, I really focused on being more organized – the colored duct tape can be a great timesaver during the unloading process as you can quickly identify into which room each box should be placed.

1st Day Essentials Bin for Moving Hip2Save

Tip #3: Pack a clear “First Day Essentials” bin filled with the things you’ll need most as soon as you arrive at your new home. As an example, I filled this bin with trash bags, box cutters, scissors, disinfectant wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, paper cups, disposable silverware, hand soap and dish soap. I also fit my Keurig and K cups in here for coffee the first morning (coffee is an essential for me :) ). I made sure to place this bin in in my car so there was no chance of it getting lost amongst the boxes.

Wrap your silverware trays in paper and tape or plastic wrap

Tip #4: Use plastic wrap or paper and tape to wrap silverware trays. This keeps all your flatware together and makes unpacking a breeze!

Put smaller kitchen and bathroom drawers items in large Ziploc Bags

Tip #5: Use large Ziploc bags to keep kitchen and bathroom drawer things together. It’s so much easier to unpack when all the small drawer items are together!

Use larger items to store smaller items inside

Tip #6: Pack spices in a large slow cooker or pot to save space. This tip can really be applied towards any large item like baskets, trash cans, etc. Fill up their empty space with smaller items.

Dish pack partitions for glasses Hip2Save

Tip #7: Use cardboard dish pack partitions to pack breakables.  They are perfect to insert inside moving boxes and protect glass cups and dishes from breaking. Find these at your local U-Haul, Staples.com. or even sometimes on Craigslist.

Plastic Wrap Toy Bins for Packing Hip2Save

Tip #8: If you already have items organized in bins like these toys, just use plastic wrap to secure them before packing. Then you don’t have to reorganize when you unpack.

Tape all the lids to cleaners and pantry items shut to avoid spills Hip2Save
Tip #9: Tape off all items that can spill like shampoo, cleaners, cooking oils, etc.

Use a garbage bag for hanging clothes Hip2Save
Tip #10: Use a trash bag to quickly pack hanging clothing. I used this method to pack my kid’s clothes and they were a breeze to unpack.

Stretch Wrap Hip2Save

Tip #11: Get to know stretch wrap – it is by far one of my favorite packing tools! Stretch Wrap is a giant plastic wrap that allows you to group things together like garden tools, or a stack of smaller boxes. Of course, you can also use it to wrap blankets over your furniture.

Buy and sell your moving boxes on Craigslist
Tip #12: Buy and re-sell boxes and packing material on Craigslist.
There are many places to buy new boxes like U-Haul, and Home Depot. Before you purchase new boxes, I encourage you to try collecting as many boxes as you can by asking friends to save boxes and asking stores if they have excess boxes that they need to dispose of. Then try looking on websites like Craigslist for free or inexpensive moving boxes and material. Don’t forget to break down and resell boxes and packing materials after your move.

Do you have any favorite moving tips or ideas that have been helpful to you? Share with us in the comments!

Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 small kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime!

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Save Up to $100 on EpiPen 2-Pak (+ More Ideas on Ways to Save on Prescription Medications)

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If you or a family member has life threatening allergies, you likely have one or more EpiPens in your home, car, purse etc. Even with insurance, EpiPens can be quite expensive as Co-Pays can often be as much as $100+. Check out a few helpful emails I’ve received from Hip2Save readers with tips on how to save…

From Darby -

If you or a family member uses EpiPen, there is an awesome deal right now that will wipe your copay or pay up to $100 on your refill. It also allows for THREE refills. When I refill my son’s Epipen, the cost is $377 for two pens with a $35 copay. This deal makes my copay ZERO. Don’t count on expired EpiPens if you have a life threatening allergy to peanuts or bees, etc. Refill those prescriptions for FREE. Target Pharmacy understands the promotion and makes it easy!

From Heather -

My niece has an EpiPen because of potentially life threatening food allergies. My sister recently went to the pharmacy and filled her prescription. She was shocked when her out of pocket cost after her insurance totaled $257.93. After I heard about it, I did some digging and ended up on www.epipen.com. I was thrilled to find the EpiPen Co-Pay Card. The website states, “Present your card along with a valid prescription for EpiPen® (epinephrine) 2-Pak® or EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) 2-Pak®. Maximum benefit of $100 per EpiPen 2-Pak® where applicable. This offer may be used on up to three EpiPen 2-Paks per prescription. This offer can be used an unlimited number of times until the offer expires on 12/31/2014.”

My sister went back to the pharmacy and they refunded her $200. My sister had no idea that this great offer was available and I am sure that there are many other parents who are also unaware. I was hoping that you could please share this information with your readers and hopefully it will save them money as well. Thank you so much for everything you do!

If you or a loved one would be benefit from this offer, just head over here and complete the form to receive your Co-Pay Card. Then just bring along the card along with a valid prescription for EpiPen (epinephrine) 2-Pak or EpiPen Jr (epinephrine) 2-Pak when you head to the pharmacy. Note that there is a maximum benefit of $100 per EpiPen 2-Pak; this offer may be used on up to three EpiPen 2-Paks per prescription. This offer can be used an unlimited number of times until the offer expires on 12/31/2014. Patients with questions should call 1-855-859-2971.

*Keep in mind that if you applied for this program last year, you may need to re-register as those cards expired on 12/31.


Check out some of these other great tips that readers left on the previous post to help save on all kinds of prescription medications…

Needymeds.org is one option to get any/all of the prescription assistance programs available for nearly every prescription medication. Many meds (brand name or generic) have more than one option for a prescription assistance depending on income, etc. There are also coupons for many medications as well. Also, there is a section for ‘Free/Low Cost clinics’ to find a clinic in your area that might be able to assist with medical/dental care if you don’t have insurance. The website has very accurate, valuable information for those with limited resources for medications/clinics/disease specific issues. Hope this is helpful.

This website has a HUGE collection of links to manufacturer coupons for prescription AND OTC medications. Hope this helps someone! internetdrugcoupons.com

A lot of manufacturer websites will have similar programs with discount cards or coupons that can be used. My 9 y/o is a type 1 diabetic so the first thing I did when she was diagnosed 2 months ago was look up all her new prescriptions and got as many free things as we could. I was able to save 50% off our copay for her test strips (freestyle) (which she goes through a TON of – 300+ strips a month) and it is for unlimited refills. One of her insulins (Lantus) has a similar coupon for the pens, but not the vials (which is what we use), but I learned that I can draw insulin in a syringe from the pen just as easily as from a vial. Also, there is less wasted insulin because the pens are in smaller containers but come 5 to a box, instead of just one big vial, so if she doesn’t use it all it will last longer than one month. Plus I got the coupon from the manufacturer that takes $10 off our copay.

Do you have any other tips related to saving on prescription drugs? If so, please share in the comments below!

(Thanks, Darby & Heather!)

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BIG News: Allergy Relief Rebate Offer Will Be Fulfilled for All Qualifying Submissions

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Wow! BIG News for all of you who submitted for the Allergy Relief Rebate Offer. You spoke up and they listened – YAY! Check out what Zyrtec just posted on their Facebook page:

(Thanks, Ashley, Sharon, and Kim!)

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What do YOU do when a Rebate is Denied?

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Did you submit for the recent mail-in rebate that offered up a FREE $20 Visa Gift Card with the purchase of 3 select allergy products? If you did, you may have received an email stating that McNeil Consumer Healthcare simply ran out of Visa Gift Cards and would be offering you $50 in valuable coupons instead.

So how did YOU receive this news?

Did you shrug your shoulders and think to yourself: “Oh well! You win some, you lose some!” Did you pick up the phone and contact the company and/or send an email? Or are you like one Hip2Save reader who emailed me and stated “I personally will be returning every unopened package of Zyrtec in my home and switching to another brand.”

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No Coupon Inserts in the 5/25 Sunday Newspaper

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Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 9.17.59 PMHeads up – there will be NO coupon inserts in the newspaper tomorrow, May 25th. This is a great excuse to spend the day with people you love and put coupon clipping on the back burner.

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 3.29.31 PM(My sis and I… and Piper with her cousin, Hudson)

On a side note, I went with family this weekend up to Stanley, Idaho (about 3 hours from Boise). I absolutely LOVE living in the state of Idaho. Seriously… breathtaking views and such friendly people! :) I have also been enjoying the time I’ve gotten to spend with each of my kiddos this weekend. They are growing up so fast and it’s so much fun to smile and laugh with them… and really just be present in those special little moments life throws our way.

Oh and I’m also proud of all of us adults for running a 10K race AND the kiddos for running a shorter race in these beautiful mountains I get to call home…

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