Frugal Ramblings

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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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FREE Kids’ Summer Reading Programs

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If you are looking for ways to entertain your kiddos this summer, you may want to check out these free Summer reading programs! What a fun way to keep their minds sharp plus, they can earn rewards along the way!

Book IT! by Pizza Hut Summer Reading Program

Starting June 1st-August 15th, each time your child reads 5 books, they can enter to win prizes. There is a total of 50 prize packages consisting of a tote bag, Pizza Hut gift card, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books and More! Go here for more information.

Book IT! by Pizza Hut for Homeschooling Families

Through September 1st, head on over here and fill out the form to request free BOOK IT! materials for the 2014-15 Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program. Even sweeter, I’ve heard that the BOOK IT! Materials may include coupons for FREE Personal Pan pizzas as they have in previous years – which would be a nice bonus! :)

Sylvan Book Adventure

Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline and then come back to take a quiz on what they’ve read. Prizes can be earned for their reading success. Head over here to register and learn more.

Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge

Starting May 15-July 17th, families are invited invited to read each book with them at their FREE weekly story time. Kids will receive a prize after they finish reading 8 books on their list! Contact your local store or go here for more details.

Barnes & Noble

To reward your children in Grades 1-6 for reading during the summer, Barnes & Noble is offering up a Summer Reading Program that rewards kids with a FREE book after they have read 8 books of their choice. To participate, your kiddos will need to:

*Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal found here.
*Take the completed Reading Journal to their local Barnes & Noble store between May 20th and September 2nd, 2014.
*Chose a FREE Book from the selection on the Reading Journal list at your local store. It’s that easy!

Half Price Books

Children 14 and under can earn $5 in Half Price Books Back to School Bucks when they join the Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program! They will need to read for at least 15 minutes each day in the months of June and July, or have a grown up read to them. Download the reading log found here to record your child’s progress. Then turn it in to receive $5 in Half Price Books Back-to-School Bucks. The $5 discount card can then be applied to the pre-tax amount for a future purchase valid until 8/27/14. Limit one coupon per person, per visit. Go here for more details. 


Chuck E. Cheese

Each time your child reads for 2 weeks in a row, they will earn 10 FREE tokens at Chuck. E. Cheese!  Head on over here to print the form. Valid through 12/31/14 at participating locations. Food purchase required for redemption. Limit 1 of any free token offer per child per day. 

TD Bank Summer Reading Program

If you have a TD Bank near you, your kids can earn $10 to be deposited into their new or existing TD Bank Young Saver Account when they read 10 books.  Participating kids need to:

1. Read 10 books this summer.
2. Print out the Summer Reading Form
3. Write down the names of the books they’ve read
4. Take the form to the nearest TD Bank
5. Watch $10 be deposited into a new or existing Young Saver Account

Valid June 1st through August 31st, 2014. Must be 18 years of age or younger to participate. Bring form of ID for child for new account opening. Go here for more details.  

Do you know of any other free or cheap activities for kids this summer? If so, share them with us in the comments below! :D

(Thanks, Steff, Steph, Fiorella Freebies for a Cause, Free Stuff Times and Saving Dollars & Sense!)

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Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on May 10th: Donate Your Non-Perishable Food Items

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If you were able to eat a healthy breakfast this morning or make a nourishing dinner for your family last night, you are very fortunate as one out of every six Americans struggles with hunger. But here’s your chance to help! Tomorrow, May 10th, the National Association of Letter Carriers is calling everyone to help “Stamp Out Hunger” with the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Stamp Out Hunger is the largest one-day food drive in the nation and will help feed millions of families in all 50 states!

This is a perfect time for you to go through your stockpile and donate as many non-perishable and unexpired food items as possible to support this cause!  SO…grab your cans of soup, non-glass bottles of Juice, canned fruits and veggies, bags of pasta, cake & brownie mixes, etc. and place all these items in a bag. Then be sure to leave them at your mailbox this Saturday, May 10th as part of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Your letter carrier will pick up your items and deliver them to local food banks or pantries.

Let’s help make it a success by clearing off our shelves for those in need. I guarantee that you will be able to re-stock those shelves at little to no cost with all the great deals we’re sure to score in the next few months. Are you with me?! :)

(Thanks, Family Savings!)

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Tallgrass Talent Group Job Opportunity: Product Demonstrators Needed to Host In-Store Sampling Events

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If you’re looking to earn some extra money and enjoy engaging with people, take note of this job opportunity! Tallgrass Talent Group is currently looking to hire Product Demonstrators to run in-store sampling events in grocery stores across the country. Representing major brands from top marketers (many of the same big names you see advertised on TV), Tallgrass Talent Group helps marketers launch new products, introducing those brands to customers across the U.S. in national retailers and major regional grocery chains.

Tallgrass Talent Group is currently looking for people who are outgoing and are willing to engage shoppers as they pass by, demonstrating foods, electronics and general merchandise products to shoppers in local grocery stores and retailers.

Requirements:
-Most jobs consist of 5 to 6-hour shifts typically on the weekends
-Must be out-going, energetic and willing to serve as the “face” of the brand
-Have the ability to interact actively and informatively to the general public
-Punctual and reliable attendance is required
-Ideal candidate is food safety certified or willing to obtain certification

Click here for more information and the Tallgrass Talent Job description and to apply (note that a photo is required as some assignments entail promotional modeling where reflecting a brand image is part of the assignment; your social security number will also be required as this is an employment position).

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Walt Disney World’s FREE Dining Promotion Starts Today (Save $400-$900) + Hip Tips

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If you are planning a Disney trip, now is time to consider making reservations as Walt Disney is offering up their very popular FREE Dining promotion. This limited-time promotion allows you and your room-mates to eat completely free with the purchase of a non-discounted 6-night/7-day Magic Your Way package on select dates.

To take advantage of this FREE Dining, purchase a non-discounted Walt Disney World Resort and Ticket Package at select hotels during the following dates: August 31 – October 3; October 26 – November 1; November 9 – November 20; December 12 – December 23. Your arrival date must fall within one of these date ranges above to qualify for FREE Dining; the remaining days of your trip can fall outside of these dates and you will still receive the Free Dining for your entire stay.

* Some resorts are excluded, such as All Star Movies, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Campsites at Ft. Wilderness, 3-bedroom villas, Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Art of Animation Resort, and Villas at The Grand Floridian. Excludes gratuity and alcoholic beverages.


Hip Tips to Maximize the Value of Disney FREE Dining

Guest Post by Julie Harrington-Travel Planner

If you are lucky enough to score FREE Dining at Walt Disney World, then let’s make sure you are maximizing the value of the Disney Dining Plan. Here are some tips to get you a bigger bang for your dining credits.

Disney Dining Plan Options

Disney Dining Plan (the most popular dining plan!) which includes 1 table service meal, 1 quick service meal & 1 snack per person (age 3 & over) per night of your stay. Plus, you also receive a resort-only refillable mug.
Deluxe Dining Plan includes 3 meal credits, 2 snack credits and resort-only refillable mug per person (age 3 & over) per night of your stay.

When using a table service credit at a sit down pre fix menu restaurant, order the most expensive meal on the menu (obviously, be sure it is also something you would like to eat ;) ). The best part of the dining plan is not having to worry about what you are ordering since all entrees on the menu are included when using the Disney Dining Plan.

Split quick service meals. Portion sizes at Disney are rather large so two children can easily share an adult entree at a counter service restaurant. This means you only have to use one of your credits for a meal, leaving you with another credit to use at another time. Sometimes even two adults can share a counter service meal.


Enjoy a light breakfast or lunch? Your daily snack credits can easily be used to purchase a snack that will satisfy you as a meal. For example: Egg Roll in Adventureland, French Onion Soup at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom, Cheese Pesto Sticks at Landscape of Flavors. To spot snack items that qualify for the Dining Plan, just look for the special logo on the menu.

Upgrade your dining plan to the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan to have more dining credits to use for Dinner Shows, Signature Dining Experiences or a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table. All require 2 table service credits each.

All quick service meal credits give you an entree, dessert and drink. If you are utilizing your resort refillable mug at your resort, then grab the large bottle of water for your drink with your dining plan credit and bring it to the park with you. Then there will be no need to worry about buying a bottle of water while in the park.

If you’re feeling full after your quick service entree and won’t be eating your dessert right away, bring it back to your resort and put it in the fridge to have when you are wanting a snack later. You can also do this for your table service meals (just ask the dining staff).

If you want to do more dining than what is included in your Dining Plan, you may have to pay out of pocket for a meal or two. I recommend that the meal you pay out of pocket for is a breakfast and preferably a quick service breakfast. Always make sure your dining credits are being used for your most expensive meals.


Does your child have a “must see” character that they want some one on one time with? Character dining is a great way to make sure you get that special moment for your child. Character dining at Disney World can be expensive. However, table service meal credits on the Disney Dining Plans allow you to dine with the characters for 1 table service meal (excluding Cinderella’s Royal Table).

Is your family filled with big eaters & picky eaters?! Consider dining at one of the buffets or family style buffets to give everyone in the family what they want. Your big eaters will have full access to as much food as they would like at the same meal credit that your picky eaters have. And your picky eaters can just grab what they enjoy and pass on the other items.

Having the Disney Dining Plan allows you to book certain dining that typically needs payment in full at the time of reservation, using just a credit card to hold the reservation. This can give you the extra time to save for the cost of the meal.

One of the most priceless values that the Disney Dining Plan offers you is convenience. Your vacation, including your meals, is budgeted ahead of time. There is no need to sit down at a meal and stress over what to order for fear of exceeding your family’s vacation budget.

Remember that even though you are getting FREE Dining, it is not always the best option for your family. To make sure you are getting the best deal for your vacation, use a Disney Travel Specialist who knows the in’s and out’s of Disney discounts.


If you haven’t already, head over here and sign up to get the latest news and special offers from Walt Disney.

And if you’ve been considering an upcoming vacation on a Disney Cruise Ship, click here to snag a FREE Disney Cruise Line Vacation Planning DVD – this DVD will include an overview of all Disney cruises, an inside look at the ships and ports, and information on dining, activities, staterooms and much more.

(A BIG thanks to Julie Harrington-Travel Planner with Family Time Getaways for all these awesome tips! If you need help planning an upcoming Disney vacation, you can contact Julie via email julie@familytimegetaways.com or follow her on Facebook.)

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