Entries from July 13, 2014 - July 19, 2014

Thursday
Jul172014

Expedia: Win a $1,000 VISA Gift Card

You could win a $1,000 VISA gift card from Expedia! Enter to win here!
  • Giveaway Details:
  • Tuesday, July 15th at 9:00 AM ET to Thursday, July 17th at 9:00 PM ET
  • Three (3) winners to each receive $1,000 Visa gift cards courtesy of Expedia.
  • Users can enter the giveaway by heading to the Expedia page on Savings.com and submitting their email address on the form at the top of the page.
  • The winners will be chosen via a lottery drawing on Friday (7/18) and notified via the email address they used to enter.
Thursday
Jul172014

Free Lipton House Party Kit

Make mealtime, tea time! At your Lipton® “Be More Tea” House Party, you can enjoy natural and refreshing Lipton® Iced Tea at a backyard barbecue with friends and discover new ways to enhance weeknight dinners. Take time to enjoy life and “Be More Tea”: inspiring moments to uplift your everyday and help you see the positive side of life. Time to invite your friends to join you as you refill your glasses, kick back and enjoy great conversation, laughs and fun.

This event is only open to residents of the following states: AR, GA, KS, KY, MO, MS, NC, SC, TN and VA.

If selected and confirmed as a host, your exclusive Party Pack will contain:

  • Lipton® Fresh Brew Iced Tea to serve during the party
  • Lipton® coupons for guests
  • Lipton® tea infuser bottles
  • And more!

Apply here, good luck!

Thursday
Jul172014

Target: $5 off $15 Personal Care Offer

Start gathering up those coupons! Starting July 20th, Target will be offering $5 on a Personal Care Purchase of $15 or more with the coupon that will be found in the Weekly Ad. Or you should be able to text CARE to 827438 to get the coupon delivered to your smartphone (note that the text offer is not live at this time).

Participating Personal Care items include…

*Deodorant
*Body Wash & Bar Soap
*Oral Care
*Shave
*Hand & Body Lotion
*Feminine Care

Thursday
Jul172014

7 Crock Pot Money-Saving Tricks

 

A slow cookers is one of the best tools for making delicious, easy meals (which can conveniently be ready right when you get home from work). Make your slow cooker recipes even more awesome with these seven tricks. (See also: 35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians)

1. Sear and Brown Meats

A common criticism of slow-cooking methods is that meats end up gray and tasteless, although my personal opinion is that this is usually due to a faulty recipe, not to the method itself. You can also boost the flavor of your slow cooked meats by searing or browning them before placing them into the slow cooker.

Browning ingredients produces the coveted Maillard reaction, which caramelizes the sugars and amino acids in the food and gives it a deeper flavor (contrary to popular belief, browning does not "seal in juices"). Even non-meat ingredients can benefit from a little browning in a pan — browning onions, carrots, and other aromatics, for example, can help to give a little more oomph to your final dish.

2. Add Less Liquid

Because very little liquid evaporates from the slow cooker, you don't need to add much additional liquid, which can make the finished dish soupy and less flavorful. For a typical stew, I add less than half a cup of additional liquid. The juice from the meat and vegetables makes plenty of savory sauce. Since it doesn't reduce down, make that additional liquid count in terms of flavor, using a flavorful stock, salsa, tomato sauce, or pureed vegetables.

3. Make Plenty of Gravy

One easy and healthy way to make gravy is to slow-cook some aromatic vegetables, such as onions and carrots, along with your meat. When the dish is done cooking, remove the meat and puree the leftover vegetables and liquid together with an immersion blender. This creates a thick and flavorful sauce which can be seasoned to taste.

Another way to thicken your sauce is to roll the meat in a little flour before browning it and adding it to the slow cooker. By the time the dish is finished cooking, the flour has thickened the sauce. You can thicken sauces after they are done cooking by using a cornstarch (or arrowroot flour) slurry.

4. Use the Low Setting

Try to plan ahead and use the low setting instead of the high setting, even though it will take twice as long. Higher temperatures can toughen meat, especially the already tougher cuts (chuck, rump, shoulder, shank), so keep it low and slow. The lower temperatures are more forgiving too, so you're less likely to overcook the dish. (See also: 25 Easy Ways to Make Cheap Meat Taste Expensive)

5. Don't Under or Over-Fill

For the most even cooking, and to avoid burns and spills, your slow cooker should be at least half-full and no more than two-thirds full. If you're making individual portions, then a smaller slow cooker (a 1.5 quart slow cooker, for example) might be better for you. Although, why not make several servings and have plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week?

6. Make a One-Pot Meal

Make meals easier on yourself by cooking a full meal in the slow cooker. Not only can vegetables be cooked along with the meat, but you can also add beans, rice, couscous, quinoa, and other staples to the dish as well.

If adding rice or quinoa, add it about 2-3 hours before the end of the cooking time. Add canned beans within the last hour (they're already cooked and you don't want them to turn to mush), and couscous within the last 10 minutes.

7. Think Outside the Box

While cooking with your slow cooker works extremely well for braises, curries, soups, and stews, don't forget other kinds of dishes that you can make in the slow cooker as well. Yogurtlemon cakemac 'n' cheesebrownieslasagna, and overnight oatmeal, are all dishes you can try making in this great kitchen multi-tasker.

What are your go-to slow cooker secrets? Please share in comments!

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Written by Camilla Cheung and published on Wise Bread. Read more articles from Wise Bread.
Thursday
Jul172014

Back to School: Tax Free Shopping Dates

  • Alabama (August 1-3) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing ($100 or less per item), computers (single purchase up to $750), school supplies, art supplies or school instructional materials ($50 or less per item) and books ($30 or less per item).
  • Arkansas (August 2-3) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing ($100 or less, per item), clothing accessories ($50 or less per item), school supplies, art supplies and school instructional materials.
  • Connecticut (August 17-23) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing and footwear ($300 or less per item); for any item that costs $300 or more, sales tax applies to the entire price of that item.
  • Florida (August 1-3) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing, footwear and certain accessories ($100 or less per item), school supplies ($15 or less per item), and computers and computer accessories (applies to the first $750 per item).
  • Georgia (August 1-2) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing (up to $100 per item but does not include clothing accessories such as jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, eyewear, watches, and watchbands), computers and related accessories ($1,000 or less per item) and school supplies ($20 or less per item).
  • Iowa (August 1-2) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing or footwear (up to $100 per item); for any item that costs $100 or more, sales tax applies to the entire price of that item.
  • Louisiana (August 1-2) Exemptions apply to purchases on most individual items of tangible personal property for non-business use ($2,500 or less per item); for any item that costs $2,500 or more, sales tax applies to the purchase price in excess of $2,500. Some notable exclusions apply, including vehicles, meals, taxable services (such as hotel occupancy), and leases or rentals of tangible personal property.
  • Maryland (August 10-16) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing and footwear ($100 or less per item); accessories are not included.
  • Mississippi (July 25-26) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing and footwear ($100 or less per item); accessory items such as jewelry, handbags, wallets, watches, backpacks, and similar items are not included. Footwear does not include cleats and items worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity.
  • Missouri (August 1-3) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing ($100 or less per item), school supplies ($50 or less per purchase), computer software ($350 or less), personal computers ($3,500 or less) and computer peripheral devices ($3,500 or less).
  • New Mexico (August 1-3) Exemptions apply to purchases of footwear and clothing ($100 or less per item); school supplies ($30 or less per item); computers ($1,000 or less per item); computer peripherals ($500 or less per item); book bags, backpacks, maps and globes ($100 or less per item); and handheld calculators ($200 or less, per item).
  • Oklahoma (August 1-3) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing and footwear ($100 or less per item). The exemption does not apply to the sale of any accessories, special clothing or footwear primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use that is not normally worn except when used for athletic activity or protective use, or to the rental of clothing or footwear.
  • South Carolina (August 1-3) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing, clothing accessories, footwear, school supplies and computers.
  • Tennessee (August 1-3) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing ($100 or less per item), computers ($1,500 or less) and school and art supplies ($100 or less per item).
  • Texas (August 8-10) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing or footwear ($100 or less per item), backpacks ($100 or less, per item, but does not include athletic/duffle/gym bags, computer bags, purses or framed backpacks) and school supplies ($100 or less per item); for any item that costs $100 or more, sales tax applies to the entire price of that item.
  • Virginia (August 1-3) Exemptions apply to purchases of clothing and footwear ($100 or less per item) and school supplies ($20 or less per item). Sports or recreational items are not exempt.

Source: Forbes.com

Thursday
Jul172014

9 Ways To Save on Back to School Clothing

When my son Cam was younger, it was so fun to dress him up in all kinds of cute clothes. Whether it was Osh Kosh, Baby Gap or Carter’s, dressing up Cam was one of my favorite things. Then about age 6, he wanted to choose his own clothes, which included Star Wars, Indians baseball shirts, etc.

Now, at age 11, his clothes have to be hip and cool! It has been a challenge for me to let him choose. But I still have some say in where we shop and make sure we save money.

1.       Figure out what clothing your child needs first. Before you head out to the store, do an inventory of what clothing fits your child. Be sure to check for holes or stains and replace clothing as needed.

2.       When shopping for back to school, I like to stick with stores like JCPenney. I’ve found their jeans are the best and last the longest. Cam is pretty rough on his clothes and these hold up. I also really like their selection of shirts and jackets.

3.       Don’t forget the coupons! Many of the store ads this time of year have back to school coupons. Printable coupons can also be found online. Just google “coupons” and “back to school”.

4.      Shopping online. Many stores like JCPenney offer exclusive online promo codes, that are sent in their email newsletters. Shopping online makes it easy to comparison shop. You can find out exactly where the cheapest prices can be found with just a few clicks.

5.      Have sewing skills? Consider updating them first. Old jeans can be turned into shorts and old T-shirts can be updated with some cutting or painting. Have your child help too and create unique clothing!

6.       Have lots of clothing in good condition? In addition to donating to Goodwill and other charities, hold a clothing swap party with friends and family. You’ll be amazed at the great stuff you’ll find for your child.

7.       Hit the thrift store. We have a “Once Upon a Child” store in our town, that offers tons of high quality, brand name clothing, at a fraction of the cost of retail. Our local store also offers toys, books and more.

8.       Keep your receipts. You never know if your child will change their mind about what you’ve bought. Don’t lose out on money back in your pocket!

9.       Have your child pick out fun accessories too. The basics are important, but don’t forget fun accessories, hats, etc.

Most of all, make it fun! We like to stop for a treat, like an ice cream cone, after a long day of back to school shopping.

Thursday
Jul172014

Banana Crumb Muffins

Find out how to make these yummy banana crumb muffins here. From Lil Luna.
Thursday
Jul172014

Target: $15 off $50+ Pet Purchase

Starting 7/20 @ Target, there will also be a $15 off Dog/Cat Purchase of $50 or more coupon! This coupon includes Food, Litter and Treats.