Frugal Ramblings

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30 Things to Hide in Easter Eggs Besides Candy

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30 Non Candy Egg Filler Ideas Hip2Save

Do you get tired of filling all those Easter Eggs with candy? Me too! Along with your help (thanks to all you Facebook fans who contributed to this post!), here are some other items you can use to fill those Easter Eggs.

30 Things to Hide in Easter Eggs Besides Candy

* Chuck E. Cheese coins
* Hair Bands/Hair Bows
* Play-doh Eggs (purchase at stores like Target and Walmart)
* Crayons
* Seeds to grow flowers in the Spring

mini nail polish for easter egg filler Hip2Save

* Erasers
* Stickers
* Chapstick
* Mini Nail Polish
* LEGOS
* Earrings/Rings/Bracelets
* Coupons for “fun” things to do together
* Little plastic dinosaurs and/or chicks

healthy snacks for easter eggs Hip2Save

* Goldfish
* Fruit snacks and yogurt covered raisins
* Tattoos/Stickers
* Bouncy Balls
* Balloons
* Mini Glow Sticks
* Small container of Bubbles

Small toys, cars, and glow sticks for Easter Eggs Hip2Save
* Money/Lottery Tickets
* Plastic Army Men
* Hot Wheels/Matchbox Cars
* Squinkies
* Silly Putty

Bubbles, Earings, and bows as Easter Egg Filler Hip2Save
* Mini Carrots
* Puzzle Pieces
* Fun shoelaces
* Rainbow Loom loops
* Directions to the prize egg

Do you have any additional ideas to add?

Photographs above taken 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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Reader Tip: Shop Asian Food Markets for Spices

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Check out this tip from Hip2Save reader, Stephanie…

Just a money-saving tip that my in-laws introduced me to – shopping at the Asian food markets for spices. I can get 14 oz bags of Bay Leaves for $1.49 (regular price at the Asian store!), 7 oz bags of Cumin seed for $2.49, 14 oz bags of Red Pepper flakes for $1.49, etc. I find incredible deals on cilantro, peppers, rice and more. Another great thing is that they have ingredients that are fairly unique to certain recipes. Typically, I’d have to go somewhere like Whole Foods to find these things. The stores are fairly modest and not fancy and shiny like my regular grocery store but the prices are WORTH IT!

Do you have any other tips to share regarding finding great deals on spices?

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Quick Videos Highlighting Current Deals…

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Heads up Hipsters! :D I know lots of you enjoy the videos posted here on Hip2Save. I have also received emails from quite a few of you regarding having shorter videos explaining specific deals, so I have listened to your requests and have posted a few short video clips today on the Hip2Save Facebook page! These are in a way like teasers to my full shopping video (which will be posted tomorrow), so stay tuned for that! If you enjoy seeing short videos like this, would you mind liking or sharing the posts as I want to make sure that this is something you all enjoy seeing.

And with that being said, if you have yet to “like” the Hip2Save Facebook Page… well, I would love it if you would click the “like” button! :) You’ll see many of the *HOT* deals posted on Hip2Save as well as additional time sensitive deals, personal posts, reader tips, short videos, funny pictures and much more!

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.24.01 PM

Here are the Quick Video Clips that were posted today:

(Just click on the links below)

50% Off Clue Game at Target – makes the game only $5!

*HOT* LeapFrog Letter Factory DVD ONLY $2.99 at Target!

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 2.21.10 PM

Lancaster Caramel Pouches $1 at Rite Aid (Reg. $4.49!)

Let me know if you find these helpful…

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Ways to Save on Printer Ink (Plus, Share Your Tips!)

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If you’re looking for ways to save on printer ink (from printing all those coupons ;-) ), here’s a few helpful tips for ya…

Inkjet Versus Laser Printer:

Many of you have stated that the longest lasting, most reliable, and most affordable (in the long run) printers are laser printers! Although laser printers may cost more initially, they tend to be faster, use less ink, and are much cheaper on a month to month basis (i.e. cost of inkjet cartridges versus laser toner cartridges).

Helping You Find the BEST Printer:

* Top 5 Printers
* Guide to Top 10 Printers in 2014

Continuous Flow System:

Already have an inkjet printer? Then you may want to consider a Continuous Flow System. This system will help you save big bucks on printer ink as it eliminates the need for replacement ink cartridges. For more information on this economical system, click here.

Best Places to Purchase Ink:

* 123InkJets.com
* 4inkjets.com
* Amazon.com
* CarrotInk.com
* Clickinks.com
* Databazaar.com
* Ebay.com
* InkFarm.com
* Inkgrabber.com
* ParadiseInk.com
* SuperMediaStore.com

Readers tips on how to Save Money on Ink and Paper:

* I bought a Brother Laser when it was on sale at one of the office stores. I used the black tape trick (YouTube video shows you how) and have had printer for over 2 years and just now replaced the toner it came with. This is with my major coupon printing and my husband printing college work. I also do the Office Max rewards program and get the cases of paper for pennies after rewards every time it is offered. (Head here to see how you can score FREE paper at Staples this week!)

* I set it to “Toner Save Print Mode” right away. Also, I “tricked” my toner after I got a warning message to replace it and got additional months of life. I am unable to “tape” my toners as it doesn’t have a window to cover. Instead, it has a slow rotating gear on the side of the cartridge and this gear can be easily reset by turning it backwards manually. There are tons of videos on youtube, explaining it.

* One tip that I have is that I enable a Print Preview for each document. It makes the printing process longer, but I can tell if a coupon is printing at the top, middle, or bottom of the page. That way I can use half sheets if a coupon is printing from the top.

* For the one-page ads with a single coupon on the page, I cut my paper into 4’ sections. That way the coupon prints at the top and then stops. Of course, sometimes you get a coupon that prints at the bottom. I try to only use the cut paper on coupons that I know will print at the top. If I am printing a coupon and I see that there is an ad below it, once the coupon prints, I hit STOP on my printer.

* The trick to making your ink last longer is to set your printer to print in grayscale, black ink only, and to print in Fast Draft mode. I have my cartridges refilled at Walgreens. Before I take a cartridge to the store, however, I use a little rubbing alcohol on the ports of the cartridge to prevent dry ink from clogging the ports (where the ink is inserted). Works like a charm.

* Use Garamond font in a small size…it takes less ink than other fonts.

* If you decide to refill your cartridges, get the refill done ASAP. If you wait too long, the remaining ink dries out.

* Refill your own cartridges (buy the ink in bulk at a discount!), which saves a LOT of money.

* For anyone out there who has toner cartridges, when the printer states that the toner is low, take the cartridge out and look for a little “window” on the side. Cover it with a piece of black electrical tape, and you’ll get MANY more pages of ink out of it. The window lets light in and tells the owner to buy a new cartridge but, in reality, there is still plenty of toner in the cartridge.

What are some ways you save on printer ink? Please Share!

Keep in mind that if you want to easily access this post in the future, be sure to save it to your Hip List. You can also access it (and other reader tips) by clicking on the orange “Show All Categories” button on the right sidebar and then clicking on “Reader Tips.”

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My $10 Target Deals…

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So as I discussed last week and the week before, I thought it would be fun to start up a new series to get ya motivated to use those coupons and save some money! In addition to my weekly shopping videos, I am also going to try my best to regularly share with you my $10 (or under!) shopping hauls. Hopefully this will give you some motivation to clip those coupons and work your coupon magic! :)

I hit up Target this week and scored all of the items pictured below (minus a bottle of Suave that I forgot to add) for just a wee bit over $10 with tax…

And yes, YOU can score the same (or similar) deals too! Just check out the details on my transactions below…

First Transaction:

Buy 4 Participating Old Spice Items = FREE $5 Target Gift Card
*Old Spice Deodorant 2.6 oz, Body Wash 16 oz, Body Spray 3.75 oz or Shampoo 12 oz $3.99

Here’s my Scenario:
Bought 2 Old Spice deodorants $2.84 each
Bought 2 Old Spice body sprays $3.99 each
Total = $13.66
Used two FREE Old Spice Body Spray with purchase of deodorant coupons found in the 3/2 PG
Paid $5.68 (+ tax)
Got back a $5 gift card AND then I used this gift card on my second transaction…

Second Transaction:

Bought 1 Post Alpha-Bits Cereal 12 oz Box $2.69
Used the $1/1 Post dry cereal Target coupon found here
Plus, used the $1/1 Post Alpha-Bits cereal coupon found here
Final cost $0.69!
*If you can’t find this coupon, head here and click on the Sign-in link in the upper right corner to log into your account at Coupons.com. Next click on your name in the upper right hand corner to show the drop down menu and finally, click on “Your Profile”, set your zip code to 77477 (Texas) and click “Submit Changes”. Then click back on this link and the coupon should show up already clipped.

Bought 1 Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries Cereal $2.64
Used the 50% Off Special K Cereal Cartwheel Savings Offer (deducted $1.32)
Plus, used the $0.50/1 Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries Cereal 11.2 oz+ coupon found here
Final cost only $0.82!

Bought 2 Planters Peanuts 16 oz Jar $3.54 each
Total = $7.08
Used the $1/2 Planters peanuts 16 oz Target Store coupon found here
Used the 5% Off Planters Peanuts Target Cartwheel (deducted $0.30)
Used two $1/1 Planters Peanuts coupons found here
Final Cost $3.78 – $1.89 each!

Bought 1 Suave Professionals Natural Infusion Shampoo or Conditioner $2.74–$2.84 (Thru 3/15)
Used the $1.50/1 Suave Professionals Natural Infusion hair care Target coupon found here
Plus, used the $1.50/1 Suave Natural Infusions coupon found here or in the 3/9 RP
Final cost FREE!

Bought 1 Colgate Optic White Toothpaste $2.99
Used the $1/1 Colgate Optic White Toothpaste Target coupon found here
Plus, used the $1.50/1 Colgate Optic White Toothpaste coupon found here
Final cost only $0.49!

Bought 1 Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Double Rolls 6-pack $3.99 (reg. $4.49!)
Used the $1/1 Quilted Northern Ultra Plush 4 ct+ regional coupon found in the 2/16 RP
(Or use the $0.45/1 Quilted Northern Ultra Plush coupon found here – scroll down)
PLUS, used the 15% off Quilted Northern Bath Tissue Cartwheel Savings Offer (deducted $0.60)
Final cost as low as only $2.39 – makes each double roll only $0.40 (like paying $0.20 per single roll!)

Bought 1 Up & Up toilet Brush $1.19
Used the $0.75/1 Up & Up toilet brush Target coupon found here
Final cost $0.44!

Total for all of these items (after discounts) = $8.61
I then used my $5 Target gift card earned from the first transaction
Final out-of-pocket cost = $3.61 (+ tax)

Total for both transactions = $9.29 (+ tax)

What about you? Have you scored any awesome deals this week? Let us know! :)

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Safeway and Albertsons Announce Merger

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BIG news for all you Safeway and Albertsons shoppers! Yesterday afternoon, Safeway and Albertsons announced a definitive merger agreement which will result in a network that includes over 2,400 stores (no store closures are expected as a result of this transaction). According to the Press Release, here is what customers can expect…

The Merger will enable Albertsons and Safeway to implement operational best practices in order to offer customers an enhanced shopping experience and more competitive prices. Realizing substantial cost savings will allow for investments that are expected to benefit customers, including price reductions as well as store remodels and refurbishments. The diversified network will allow for a broader assortment of products, enhanced fresh and perishable offerings, and expanded private label alternatives for customers.

What are your thoughts on this merger? Do you think it will be positive for customers and do you think it will impact couponers?

(Thanks, Alissa & Deanna!)

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Work-At-Home & Other Work Opportunities

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As you may know, working from home can be a great way to earn some extra cash. Over the years, I’ve received quite a few emails from Hip2Save readers asking for ways to make money from home… SO, I’ve created a HUGE list of various work-from-home opportunities (categorized with links to make it a little easier to view). I hope you find this helpful! :D

** Please note that I do not have experience with some of these companies, so I cannot endorse whether or not they are worth looking into further. Make sure to take the time to research the jobs you are interested in to see if they are the right fit for you.

(To see the long list of Work Opportunities, click the link below “Read More / Post Your Comments”.)
Read More / Post Your Comments »

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Hipsters to the Rescue: What are Your “HIP” Baby Shower Gift Ideas?!

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Check out this email I recently received from Hip2Save reader Natasha -

My cousin (who has honestly felt more like a sibling) is expecting her first born in all of ten weeks and I just don’t know what to get her. I’m 25 and have no experience buying for friends or family as far as babies go. Shocking, but this is the first baby in our family since we were all born over twenty years ago.

I know she’s going to have tons of diapers, carries, seats, toys, bottles, pumps, wipe warmers, diaper genies, pacifiers, teethers, the list of everything moms need/get goes on and on. Hoping you and your readers can help me out with some ideas of what to get her. She’s 22 so she’s a new mom and new at it. What are some neat things she may need but just doesn’t know she’s going to need yet? Or what are some items she’s going to want, but just doesn’t know she’s going to want?

Let’s talk budget friendly for me so I can make sure to make her a nice gift filled with nifty little items. :) The shower is just three weeks away so I am ever the procrastinator!

Now it’s your turn. Please share your tips for creating a baby shower gift that is cute, practical, AND affordable! Also, feel free to share any other baby-related tips you might have!


And, if you’re expecting a little one soon or know of someone who is, you may also be interested in checking out the following post and reading through all of the helpful comments that were left – What are YOUR Price Points for Baby Items? Plus, don’t forget about the Baby Freebies & Deals Round-Up I posted last month!

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All You Buy Are Processed Foods, GMO-Filled Snacks, Junk, Chemically Altered Products…

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Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 11.32.13 AM

Yes, I do occasionally purchase these items. I live my life in moderation. I enjoy candy on occasion and GMO-filled snacks. I don’t feel guilty about it either. I know that the majority of my meals are healthy and nutritious. Of course, this is just how I live my life… and YOU are entitled to live your life just how you want to.

I was going to have this post be all about how you can save on organic and natural products with coupons AND on how it’s such a myth that couponers always fill their carts with junk food. However, I stopped and deleted. I don’t need to defend what I buy or what you buy.  We each get to choose the way we live our lives.

And I am sure you are curious…

Why the heck did she write this post?

Well, this post may have stemmed from the comments on a Facebook post regarding my Walgreens shopping trip. It appears that a few readers didn’t quite understand why I was purchasing lots of junk and chemicals.

So to answer – because I want to! :)

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Tax Filing Options & Tips Round-Up

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Tax Day, April 15th, 2014, will be here before you know it! So here’s a round up of a few current tax filing options that you may want to take advantage of. Also feel free to share any tips that you may have learned throughout the years!

* Head on over here where you can file completely FREE with H&R Block that also now includes FREE live tax advice. It is FREE to prepare, FREE to print, FREE to e-file, includes FREE live tax advice, FREE audit support, representation from an enrolled agent, and 100% Accuracy Guarantee and Maximum Refund Guarantee. Plus 1 FREE federal e-file is included. And, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau!

* Head over here to sign up for a FREE Federal edition of Turbo Tax (you’ll be able to prepare, print and electronically file your federal tax return for free). Plus, they’re rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau! Or if you prefer, head here to save $10 on Turbo Tax Deluxe, $15 on TurboTax Premier and $20 on TurboTax Home & Business (these savings offers expire 2/21/14).

* Consider using FreeTaxUSA.com (Rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau!) to e-file directly to the IRS completely FREE. You can choose to do a FREE Federal e-file OR score the Deluxe Edition for $5.95. This site has also been highly recommended by Hip2Save readers in the past!

* Head over here to sign up for a FREE Federal edition of TaxACT (you’ll be able to prepare, print and electronically file your federal tax return for free). Plus, they’re rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau!

* You may also consider using e-Smart Tax by Liberty Tax to e-file completely free. E-Smart Tax technology ensures you get your highest possible refund as well as simple step-by-step Q&A preparation, Zero hidden fees, Online or in-person help with more than 4,000 Liberty Tax offices open year round and more!

* Another option is you can head on over to FreeTax.com where you can get your taxes done completely FREE! DIY Tax’s easy question-and-answer interview takes the confusion out of tax forms, figures, and rules to bring you a simple tax preparation platform. (Thanks, Julie!)

More Tax-Filing Tips:

* Head over to IRS.gov to file your federal taxes for free

* Check the daily deal sites… Groupon has offered up significantly reduced vouchers for online tax preparation products in the past and will likely have similar offers over the next few months.

* Check with your local college. One reader reported that the accounting students at her local college will do her tax returns for free and they are then reviewed by the professor to ensure that they are correct.

* AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free help for older taxpayers and people with limited incomes. Find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site in your community by clicking here.

* If you are in the military, check out Military One Source for more information about different resources that are available.

* If your family earned less than $52,000 in 2013, United Way’s VITA Program may be able to help you with free tax preparation. Starting February 1st, sites will be open across the country to help you with your taxes. For information & locations, dial 2-1-1 for United Way’s Helpline. (Thanks, Rachel!)

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