Frugal Ramblings

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Would YOU Pay Double for Premium Milk?

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Coca-Cola recently announced that it will begin selling a premium-priced, protein-boosted milk under the Fairlife label – it will be available nationwide next month. According to Coke, the milk is specially cold-filtered with 50% more protein, 50% less sugar and 30% more calcium than conventional milk with a 52-ounce bottle (less than a half-gallon!) priced about $3.98 to $4.20 (yikes!). In fact, at a supermarket in Indianapolis, a 52-ounce bottle of Fairlife is being sold for $4.59 – more than double the cost of the national average for a half-gallon of milk. Click here and/or here for more information.

What are your thoughts? Would YOU pay more for this premium milk?

(Thanks, Kathryn!)

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How to Check Inventory at Your Local Target & Walmart Stores Without Leaving Home

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Target and Walmart shoppers – wouldn’t you love to confirm that your local store has the items on your shopping list in stock before you make a special trip?! Well before you spend time packing up the kiddos and spend money driving over to your local store, consider using the Inventory Checkers detailed below…

Walmart Inventory Checker

* Head HERE, enter your zip code and the Item ID# and then click on the Submit Query button
* You will then be able to view the price of the item, whether the item is in stock and the approximate number of items in stock
* To locate the Item ID#, head to Walmart.com, search for the item and then copy the group of numbers at the very end of the URL.
* Check out this example below. As you can see, I have searched for “LEGO Creator Treehouse Play Set” on Walmart.com and then grabbed the Item ID# 24501960. I can then see that the three Walmart stores near me all have this item in stock.

Target Inventory Checker

* Head HERE, enter your zip code and the DPCI# and then click on the Submit Query button
* You will then be able to view the price of the item, whether the item is in stock and the approximate number of items in stock
* To locate the DPCI#, head to Target.com, search for the item and then scroll down the page to the “Other Info” section to find the Store Item Number (i.e. DPCI#).
* Check out this example below. As you can see, I have searched for “Swiffer Duster Kit” on Target.com and then grabbed the DPCI# 003-05-0948. I can then see that the three Target stores near me all have this item in stock.

NOTE: Sometimes these inventory systems can be wrong due to theft, loss, and other circumstances.

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To Tip or Not to Tip!?

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Have you ever wondered how much to tip when purchasing food to-go, getting a hair cut for yourself and/or your kiddos, receiving assistance with baggage at a hotel, getting a massage, paying a housekeeper, etc.!? Although I almost always tip at least 20% when dining out, I am sometimes a little more perplexed as to what to tip in those situations.

Check out this helpful Guide to Gratuity Etiquette: How to Be a Total Tipster created by Mint.com that goes over what tip amount you should be giving for various services, such as spa services, bartenders, cleaning services, postal carriers, and more. Check out some of their helpful tips:


What services do you believe require a tip, how much do you tip, do you tip even if the service is horrible etc?

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Homemade Hair Detangler Spray (Only 2 Ingredients)

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Hair Detangler Hip2Save

If you experience tears and battles when brushing/combing your kiddo’s hair, try this easy (and super cheap!) DIY hair detangler spray that uses items you probably already have at home!

DIY Hair Detangler Spray

1 part conditioner
2 parts hot water

In a small water bottle/spray bottle, mix one part conditioner and two parts hot water (not boiling water). For example, I mixed about 4 oz. conditioner and 8 oz. hot water in the 12 oz. spray bottle pictured in this post.

How to make detangler Hip2Save
My daughter has long hair and a sensitive head (not the easiest combination! ;) ), so we have to use detangler spray to avoid tears. I love that I can make my own detangler and customize it with a conditioner that I prefer- and, it really does work!

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! To see all of Lina’s DIY/Crafts created just for Hip2Save, click here.

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Spread the Word about Your Business…

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With Valentine’s Day upon us, 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 this quite a few times now on Hip2Save 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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Proud to be Part of the “Hipster” family…

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I recently received an email from reader, Meredith, with the subject line, Proud to be part of the “Hipster” family! Reading what she had to say sure warmed my heart… so I had to share! :)

FROM MEREDITH: I just wanted to drop a quick note and say how proud I am to be a part of this wonderful community. When you posted of the 50% off Honest email that some Hip2save members were fortunate to get, I truly saw generosity overflowing all over your blog. I saw members giving codes, receiving codes and just an all over giving spirit being shown. I, like many others, took a shot to get a code as my youngest son suffers from eczema and these products have worked wonders. It is incredibly expensive to nurture the skin of an eczema ridden child and I took a shot just to see if someone would be willing to share their unused code with me. I saw dozens of requests like mine so I knew my chances were small but no biggie. If I received one great if not that would be ok, too.

Not even 5 minutes after posting I received THREE separate emails from other Hip2savers. I was blown away with appreciation. I used one and forwarded the other 2 to others asking for same extension of generosity. It feels great to be a part of this family and I truly love how everyone on this blog is always looking out for one another! Thanks again Collin for all you do and creating an environment of helping each other get great deals to help us keep ourselves and our families healthy and happy!

NOTE FROM COLLIN - I am so grateful to all of you who visit Hip2Save regularly, take the time to leave comments and help out other readers, and to all of you who inspire me each and every day. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Also, please keep in mind that there are some new site designs in the works to make it easier for you all to trade codes in a dedicated area on the site. So stay tuned…

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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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