Frugal Ramblings

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Reader Tip: Save Up to 80% on Getting Prescription Drugs Filled with GoodRx (+ Share Your Tips)

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If you regularly fill prescriptions and are wondering what store offers the best price to get it filled, check out this email and helpful tip I received from reader, Joe….

I came across a website called GoodRx.com. My daughter’s prescription is $900 a month without insurance, or the same to meet a deductible. With paperwork from GoodRx, I got a three month supply for $5. When I was at the pharmacy I heard a couple being told that the same Rx for them was going to cost $1,400, which they did not purchase. When they walked away I approached them and told them about GoodRx.com. My inhaler was going to cost $250 per month because of meeting my new higher deductible. With GoodRx, it is $25 at my same pharmacy.

To compare pharmacy prices nearest you, just head over here, enter the prescription drug name that you or your family needs and your location, and then click “Find the Lowest Price”. You will then be directed to a page that will inform you on where you can purchase this specific drug at the cheapest price nearest you! You’ll also be able to find pharmacy coupons, manufacturer discounts, generics, comparable drug choices, and savings tips! Awesome!

You can also download the GoodRx App on your iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone to get prices and coupons while you’re on-the-go. Plus, get a GoodRx discount card for FREE that can be used for discounts of up to 80% on most prescription drugs at most U.S. pharmacies. You can use it for every member of your family (even pets!) and there are no quantity limits or hidden fees!

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

(Thanks, Joe!)

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Tax Filing Options & Tips Round-Up

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Tax Day, April 15th, 2015, will be here before you know it! So here’s a round up of a few current tax filing options and FREE software programs that you may want to take advantage of. Also feel free to share any tips that you may have learned throughout the years!

* For the first time ever (and for a limited time only!), TurboTax is now allowing users to file Federal (1040A or 1040 EZ) AND State tax returns completely FREE with the TurboTax Federal Free Edition (previously you could only file Federal taxes at no cost). To get started, head over here where you’ll be able to prepare, print and electronically file your Federal AND State tax returns for FREE! Plus, TurboTax is the #1 best selling tax software and is rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau!

* 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!

* 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!

* If you are an Amazon Prime Member, you can purchase this TurboTax Deluxe 2014 Fed + State + Fed Efile Tax Software + Refund Bonus Offer (valid for PC/Mac) for only $39.99 shipped (regularly $59.99!). Note that the price will show up higher when you click on the link. However, for Amazon Prime members only, the price will drop at the final stage of checkout. Plus, score a nice refund bonus offer – get an EXTRA 10% back on top of your federal refund when you file with TurboTax and use some of your refund to purchase an Amazon gift card!

* Also, for those of you who do not have to pay State Taxes, you can head on over here to download this TurboTax Deluxe 2014 Fed + Fed Efile Tax Software + Refund Bonus Offer for only $29.99 (regularly $49.99)! Note that the price will show up higher when you click on the link. However, for Amazon Prime members only, the price will drop at the final stage of checkout.

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.

* Families that earned less than $53,000 in 2014, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers may qualify for assistance through the VITA Program. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Find a VITA Volunteer site in your community by clicking here.

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How I’m Starting the New Year…

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So as I mentioned earlier today in the “Submit Your Frugal Tips for Being Healthier in the New Year” post, I am starting 2015 with a focus on eating healthier, exercising more, and sleeping more by getting my butt in bed earlier (however, I am still working on the going to bed earlier part – it’s a daily struggle!). One thing that has helped me get and stay motivated, having a great support group of friends…

(Going for a run in the snow with my good friend, Clarissa!)

A few of my friends and I started the Whole30 last Monday. You can read all about the Whole30 here. The Whole30 is all about eating “real” foods for 30 days -

Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.

You basically have to cut out all added sugars of any kind (real or artificial) and no alcohol, grains, dairy etc… Read all about the food items that are allowed and not allowed here. So as you can see, this is why the support of friends is so VERY needed! I am sure missing the cream in my coffee – coconut milk just doesn’t do it for me :( AND all of the snack foods I previously munched on… oh so tempting!

My friends and I started a group text where we text daily Whole30 approved food photos to keep one another motivated. It definitely helps and gives us ideas for meals/snacks to try. I would highly recommend doing this if you have a few friends that are wanting to eat healthier in the New Year. It’s fun to be cheerleaders for one another! Here are a few of the meals I prepared last week…

Sweet Potato Hash browns with 2 eggs!
I’ve had this for breakfast almost every morning! So GOOD! :)

Kale Chips! Great if you get the munchies like me.
(NOTE, I’ve dealt with many failed attempts at making Kale chips in the past, but this post I recently read on 6 Tips for Flawless Kale Chips really helped!)

Shepherds Pie with Creamy Mashed Cauliflower!
(Ummmm… seriously, this was such delicious comfort food! Note, I used ground pork instead of the lamb she called for in the recipe)

Interested in seeing more Whole30 compliant recipes? Well, I’m super excited to let you all know that Lina will be focusing this month on posting Whole30 recipes! So be sure to stay tuned for some healthy and tasty recipes…

Now keep in mind that my entire household is not doing the Whole30 program. However, what I love about eating this way is that everyone in the household ends up eating healthier regardless. My kiddos are trying new fruits and veggies… and my hubby is pretty much eating the Whole30 way (other than his occasional Coke Zero… he may have a wee bit of an addiction to those).

(Yes, this is Piper eating a raw red onion! She loves them and we love her breath! ;) )

And one more goal of mine for 2015, to run more races! I completed just 2 races last year and had such a blast running both of them. It’s funny because I remember prior to running each of them, I was so nervous. I had all of those wonderful “What ifs”  in my head… What if I get a cramp and have to stop? What if I have to pee? Or worse, what if I have to poop?  :) Then I end up getting no sleep prior to the races because I’m running these questions through my head again and again.  Please say I’m not the only one?  On a positive note, each of the two races I ran was seriously so much fun! It was such a great confidence booster for me and really lifted my spirits. Plus, it’s pretty rad to be able to run through the gorgeous mountains in Idaho!

(My hubby and I <3 during the 2014 Sawtooth Relay)

 I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2015! And if you are interested in eating healthier and exercising more in the New Year, stay tuned for lots of posts on these topics (all with a frugal spin!). Also, here are a couple of videos I’ve done previously that may help to get ya motivated…

*Video: How to Save on Organic and Natural Products with Coupons (+ My Fav Products!)
*Video: How To Shop & Save At Whole Foods Market

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Submit Your Frugal Tips for Being Healthier in the New Year (You Could WIN a $25 Amazon Gift Card!)

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It’s that time of year! Time to eat healthy, exercise more, go to bed earlier… and to work on any other New Year’s resolutions you may have. Since it’s the beginning of 2015 and the holidays are over, I’m guessing many of you are ready to eat healthier and start getting your workout on in the New Year. I know I am…

So with that being said, I’m going to be working on various posts regarding healthy eating, exercise and more (stay tuned for a post later today!). AND, since this site is called Hip2Save and is all about saving you money :) , the posts will definitely be about how to save in these areas with frugal tips and more! BUT I also need your help…

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10.40.57 AM

Do you have a healthy eating tip that saves you money? Do you have a frugal exercise tip? Do you have another tip which helps your overall health (like getting more sleep)? Please share your unique tips and ideas that will help us all be healthier in the New Year!

Through 2/28, I’m going to start featuring Hip2Save reader’s frugal tips. If your submission is selected and posted on Hip2Save.com, you will score a FREE $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Are you interested in contributing? If so, please send an email to healthy@hip2save(dot)com with the Subject Line “Hip2Save Healthy Submission” with the following required information:

(1) First Name and Last Initial

(2) Primary email address that you want us to use to correspond with you

(3) Paragraph(s) focused on either of the topics mentioned above. Correct grammar and punctuation is much appreciated. When appropriate, please provide step by step instructions.

(4) Image(s) that may be published on Hip2Save (please do NOT send copyrighted photos). Note that at least one image is required (more than one is definitely preferred). Please make every effort to send clear images.

Get your thinking caps on… :D

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Hipsters to the Rescue: How Do YOU Create Routines & Stay Organized?!

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Check out this email I received from Hip2Save reader Samantha -

I’m a busy mom to 5 kiddos – 7 years & under. It’s always hectic around here. I’m trying to create more organization & routine for the New Year to help make everyday life a little less stressful. I was wondering what product(s), tips, & routines your readers have or use that help make a difference in their daily life?!

Please share your tips in the comments below!

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Keurig Mini Plus Brewing System Recall – Over 6 Million Brewers Affected (Request Free Repair Kit Now)

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Do YOU own a Keurig Brewer? If so, this is a must-read!

Keurig Green Mountain is recalling more than 6 million hot beverage-brewing machines in the United States that could overheat liquids and burn users (apparently, this event is more likely to occur if the brewer is used to brew more than two cups in quick succession). The systems being recalled are the MINI Plus Brewing System units with model number K10 (formerly identified as B31) produced prior to July 2014 – note that no other brewer models have been affected.

To determine if your brewer is among those units potentially affected based on its serial number displayed on the bottom of the unit (pictured above), head over here or call 1-844-255-7886 Monday through Friday from 8AM-8PM ET and Saturday and Sunday from 8AM-3PM ET or email keurig@inmar.com (call center will be closed December 25, 2014 and January 1, 2015). If your brewer is affected, you will be able to obtain a free repair kit which resolves the potential issue. Go HERE for more information.

(Thanks, Shannon and Jackie!)

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Don’t Forget To Thank Your Mail Carrier…

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If you’re like me and have done the majority of your Christmas shopping online this year, then don’t forget to thank that important person that delivers all of your online goodies (and freebies!) right to your door… your mailman or mailwoman! You can see how I’ve shown my appreciation previously by watching the end of this video, filmed back in 2012. ;)

Are you planning to thank your Mail Carrier (or have you already)? Will you leave them a special card or give them a gift? Let us know what you will be doing to show your appreciation! :)

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Hipsters to the Rescue: What Gifts do YOU Buy for Someone Who Already Has Everything?!

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Check out this email I received from Hip2Save reader Kim -

Help Collin! I could use other followers suggestions on what to buy our parents for Christmas. They don’t need anything. I have done gift cards (boring), I have taken them out to dinner (they do that anyways all the time)…I need a new and original idea!

Do you have a unique gift idea for what to buy your parents or relatives this Christmas? What do you buy someone who has everything…please share! :)

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Frugal Holiday Gift-Wrapping Tips

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Holiday Gift-Wrapping Tip (sent in by reader, Olivia)…

Wrapping paper and gift bags and tissue paper have always annoyed me. It’s wasteful and it’s money that literally goes in the trash. This year I decided that I wasn’t buying anything to wrap gifts in, I would use what I had.

So I have wrapped all my gifts in newspaper. A couponer is sure to have newspaper laying everywhere, right? I made gifts bags using cereal boxes, cracker boxes and oatmeal containers that I wrapped in newspaper. I made bows out of magazine pages, thanks to all of the free subscriptions! I also started asking for paper bags at the grocery and used paper bags to wrap the gifts for the little kids so that they wouldn’t get newspaper ink in their hands.

I did however break down and bought $3 worth of ribbon at CVS just so I could make handles in my bags. Next year I’ll use twine. Then I found small blocks of Sculpey baking clay at Walmart for $0.97 each and I made little gift tags out of them. So for all my gift wrapping this year, I only spent less than $5! Not too bad and I was being resourceful! It’s more work than just buying all the usual stuff but I love how it turned out!

Another Holiday Wrapping Tip (sent in by reader, Julie)

I, like many others, receive tons of packages in the mail throughout the year. Many of these packages are filled with plain brown paper. I hated the thought of wasting all that paper! I started saving it a few months ago with the intentions of wrapping all my Christmas gifts in it. My husband (the skeptic) thought I was nuts! The paper was fairly easy to store; I just folded it flat and tossed it into a storage container. I was shocked at how fast the container filled up!

When it came time to start wrapping, I took out the folded sheets and spritzed them just a bit with a water bottle and then ran a warm iron over the paper to smooth it a bit. The paper is still somewhat wrinkled but it is smoother for wrapping. To dress the packages up a bit, I bought a 50 yard roll of ribbon at Costco for $6.99.

I have wrapped ALL of our presents in the plain paper and made simple bows out of the ribbon. I love the simple homespun look! My 13 year old son says it’s the best paper ever. The present in the photo is a box of chocolate covered cherries; the skeptic’s favorite. ;)

And Another Holiday Wrapping Tip (sent in by reader, Shannon)

Don’t have gift tags? Price of wrapping paper got you down? Here’s an affordable and super cute idea!

I buy rolls of the brown postal wrapping paper for $1 each at Dollar Tree. I like the way it looks as is, but you or your kiddos could easily make designs or cute little white dots with a white-out pen or silver/gold/whatever color sharpies.

In lieu of name tags, I like to purchase scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby for approximately $0.40/sheet and cut the name out in bubble letters. Simply paste the letters on to the postal paper wrapped gift and voila! It looks much better than a name tag and you can use the same sheet of paper for several names.

For more information on the Hip2Save Holiday Tips & Deals series and to learn how you can participate in the fun, click here!

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Reader Holiday DIY Idea: Log Snowmen

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Holiday DIY Idea (sent in by reader, Sherrisa)…

Easy, Super Cute DIY Log Snowmen!

If you’re on the lookout for some cheap and super cute Christmas decorations then these snowmen might just be your answer! They are really easy to make and the best part is they don’t cost much either! :)

You will need…

* Two small logs or fence post or any piece of wood really ( I used small logs)
* Two hats and a scarf (I used 1 scarf and cut it in half)
* Black, & orange, acrylic paint (pink for the cheeks is optional) and white paint.
(If you will have these outside, use an exterior paint… I just used an exterior primer)
* Small paint brushes and a large brush for white paint.
* Pen or pencil to trace the face and buttons.
* Drop cloth or something to paint on.

Directions:

* First make sure your logs are clean and ready to paint.
* Paint the logs with the white paint. Let dry!
* Take a pencil or pen and trace the face and buttons anyway you would like. (Keep in mind that the pen might show through the orange paint… I found this out the hard way!)

* Take your acrylic paint and paint the eyes, mouth and buttons black, and the nose orange. If you want, you can put a little pink on the cheeks. Let dry!
* Next is the fun part! Place the hat on top of the snowman and put the scarf around the neck of the snowman! I used thumb tacks to secure the scarf around the Snowman. But you could use whatever you want or simply tie the scarf.

Now sit back and look at your adorable creation!

Note: These are so easy to make. I have been wanting to make them for a few years and was scared that they were going to be too hard to make. But honestly they are very simple. :)

For more information on the Hip2Save Holiday Tips & Deals series and to learn how you can participate in the fun, click here!

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