Take Advantage of Your State’s Tax Free Shopping Days


Back to school shopping is my favorite shopping season of the year since I work on Christmas and birthday gifts all year long so it’s less painful to the budget.  One of the best ways to save another 7% to 10% right off the top (depending on where you live) is to plan ahead and shop on your state’s tax free shopping days. Many states have tax-free shopping weekends in August, where customers don’t pay sales tax on items like school supplies, electronics and clothing.  Use the list below to find out if your state has a tax-free weekend and what items it exempts. Dollar amounts in parentheses indicate the maximum cost for which an item can be tax-free. Most of the information below is courtesy of TaxAdmin.org and I’d recommend verifying each state through the links provided.

Alabama: Aug. 7-9, clothing ($100), computers ($750), school supplies ($50), books ($30)

Arkansas: Aug. 1-2, clothing ($100), school supplies (no limit listed)

Connecticut: Aug. 16-22, clothing and footwear ($100)

Florida: Aug. 7-16, cchool supplies (no limit listed), clothing ($100), supplies ($15), computers ($750)

Georgia: July 31 – Aug.1, school supplies (no limit listed), clothing ($100), supplies ($20), computers ($1,000)

IowaAug. 7-8, clothing ($100)

Louisiana: Aug. 7-8 All Tangible Personal Property, which usually refers to stuff that you could take with you somewhere, such as furniture, art, clothing and household items ($2,500)

Maryland: Aug. 9-15, clothing  and footwear ($100)

Mississippi: July 31 – Aug. 1, clothing and footwear ($100)

Missouri: Aug. 7-9, clothing ($100), computers ($3,500), school supplies ($50)

New Mexico: Aug. 7-9, clothing ($100), computers ($1,000), computer equipment ($500), school supplies ($30)

Ohio: Aug. 7-9, clothing ($75), school supplies ($20), instructional material ($20)

Oklahoma: Aug. 7-9, clothing ($100)

South Carolina: Aug. 7-9, clothing (no limit listed), school supplies (no limit listed), computers (no limit listed)

Tennessee: Aug. 7-9, clothing ($100), school supplies ($100), computers ($1,500)

Texas: Aug. 7-9, clothing, backpacks and school supplies ($100)

Virginia: Aug. 7-9, clothing ($100), school supplies ($20), energy star products ($2,500), hurricane preparedness items ($60), generators ($1,000)

Photo Credit: © Sandshack33 | Dreamstime.comBack To School Shopping Photo

Frugal Friday – Show Off Your Shops!

This week I bought a total of $77.55 worth of groceries and toiletries for $24.36, or 69% off. I love to see the deals that other frugal shoppers come up with because it’s so inspiring and I really dig having a visual way that we can all share our deals and Show Off Our Shops! Please post a link below to any or all of the deals that you’d like to show off this week. If you don’t have a blog to link up, just leave a comment and tell us all about your deals or upload a picture to Flickr or PhotoBucket and link to that ;)

My 7/29 Publix Trip – $77.55 for $24.36 or 69% Off

Getting to Know Your GoPro: Getting the Best Deal on Accessories

When I bought my GoPro I thought it would be a great test drive to try it out at my oldest son’s birthday party last weekend.  We were going to play lazer tag at our local skating rink, so I was trying to figure out what would be the best way for me to wear the GoPro while the kids are playing lazer tag and I was planning to play also.  My first thought was, there is no way that I’m wearing this thing strapped to my head.  I thought maybe a chest harness would work so I looked into that, then I realized that I would have a harness on while playing lazer tag so I couldn’t do the chest harness.

Then I found a clip, there is a quick clip that you can get and I thought that would be perfect so I bought a set at Best Buy that has a head strap and a quick clip in the package. I thought I could use the quick clip to attach the camera to my lazer tag harness. Well, I bought the set for $19.99 and I also bought a floating handle grip for the kids to use since they’re at the pool a lot and it will keep the GoPro from sinking. The Handler was $29.99, then when I got home from the store I realized that I’d probably need a case, something to protect the camera while we’re carrying it around and going places.

I found an accessory kit and case on Amazon for $45.99 and it came with 38 pieces inside. It came with a smaller case inside, a floater like the handler I bought, maybe not as pretty but it does the same job.  It also has a monopod or selfie stick, whatever you want to call it, it’s got a tripod and tripod adapter because the GoPro will not screw right onto a standard tripod so whatever kind of tripod you want to use you’ll also need an adapter. It came with a bicycle clamp, a suction cup mount to attach to the dashboard of your car, an extender piece to make any mount taller, it also came with the clip that I was wanting, a wrist strap, a chest harness and a head strap. It also included a whole bunch of other mounts, adhesive mounts, replacement parts, other straps, and anti fog strips. This kid for $45.99 was $4 cheaper than the two other accessories that I bought so I think I’m taking the first two back and keeping the accessory kit that I bought. It was a much better deal, gives me many more options, and it came with the case and the clip I originally wanted as well.

I’m thrilled with my purchase of the GoPro Accessory Kit, I’m sad that I have to go back to the store to return the other two things, but I’ll get more money back for those than I spent on the two original accessories that I purchased. Most stores have options like Best Buy’s Price Match Guarantee where they will match the prices, including online prices at places like Amazon, for an identical item, but I found that even though Amazon’s prices for the two accessories I originally bought were cheaper than at the store, it was cheaper still to buy aftermarket accessories than to get the name brand and I’m very pleased with the quality of the items that came in this accessory kit.

Be sure to watch my next video on GoPro batteries and battery life and you’ll see how I messed up my video of the kids playing lazer tag. You can also check out my post and video on the purchase of the GoPro and the problems I had just getting it out of the package.


My 7/29 Publix Trip – $77.55 for $24.36 or 69% Off

Publix Shopping Trip

There were a few great BOGO coupons to use with some of this week’s sale items at Publix so I stocked up on shampoo, conditioner, body wash and Italian dressing. I really like the big containers of peanut butter so much more than the small ones, plus they’re a much better deal by volume so I had to grab a couple. Today I bought $77.55 worth of groceries for $24.36, or 69% off after coupons and $10/$50 Apple Market q.  Here are the deals:

Suave Professionals Gold Infusion Shampoo or Conditioner, 12.6oz, 2/$6
-$1/2 Suave Professionals, 4.3 to 28 oz, Suave Luxe Styling Infusion, 5 to 8.5 oz, or Suave Men Heritage Edition 2IN1 Shampoo, 12 oz, Mix or Match Health & Beauty Advantage Buy Flyer In-Ad Publix Coupon (valid 7/18 to 7/31) (I used two of these)
-B1G1 Suave Professionals Gold Infusion Hair products [excludes luxe stylers and trial] (up to $6.99) 7/26 RP (exp 8/9) (I used two of these)
Final Price: $1 each

St. Ives Body Wash, 13.5 oz, or Suave Body Wash, 12 oz, Assorted Varieties, 2/$3
-$1/1 St. Ives Fresh Hydration Lotion Spray, Body Lotion, Face or Body Wash Product (Seventeen Magazine, September 2014)
-$5/$20 Simple, Noxzema, Pond’s or St. Ives Facial Products via Upromise Deposit
-$3/2 Simple, St. Ives, Pond’s, Noxzema Products, 07/26 RP (exp 8/23) [ETS; Limit 2]
-$5/$20 Simple, Noxzema, Pond’s and St. Ives Facial Products (SavingStar Deposit)
-B1G1 Suave Body Wash, 07/26 RP (exp 8/9) [12-oz. or 18-oz.; Up to $3; Excludes 28oz professionals and trial; Limit 2] (I used one of these)
-$0.50/1 Suave Body Wash Product, Any (Excludes Trial/Travel Size)
-$0.50/1 Suave® Body Wash product (excludes trial and travel sizes) SavingStar Offer
Final Price: $1.50 each

Paper Mate Profile Pens, 4ct, $3.99
-BOGO PaperMate® Profile Pens 2–4 ct. OR Inkjoy Pens 8 ct. Publix Coupon Smart Savings  (I used one of these)
-$0.55/1 Paper Mate pens pack excludes 2 in 1 stylus pen 7/26 SS (exp 9/20) (I used two of these)
Final Price: $1.45 each

M&M’s Chocolate Candies, Regular or Mega, Assorted Varieties, 9.9 to 11.4 oz, BOGO $3.79
-$1/2 M&M’s Candies printable [9.4-oz.+] (I used one of these)
-$1.50/2 M&M’s Chocolate Candies Bags, 07/12 RP (exp 8/23) [9.4-oz.+]
-$1/2 M&M’s Chocolate Candies printable
Final Price: $1.40 each

Wish-Bone Dressing, 16 oz, or Dressing & Seasoning Mix, 2.1 or 2.6 oz, Assorted Varieties, BOGO $2.67
-$1/1 Wish-Bone® product 16 oz. or larger Publix Coupon Smart Savings Booklet (I used two of these)
-$0.75/1 Wish-Bone Product or Dry Mix, 07/12 SS (exp 8/15) [16-oz.+]
-$0.75/1 Wish-Bone Product, 07/12 SS (exp 8/15) (I used two of these)
-$1/2 Wish-Bone Items, Any 16 Oz. Or Larger Size Pourable Or Dry Packet (DND) Hangtag (exp 12/1/2015)
Final Price: 83¢ Money Maker

Jif Peanut Butter, Assorted Varieties, 40 oz, BOGO $6.89 or $3.45 each

Banquet Brown’n Serve Sausage, Links or Patty, Assorted Varieties, 6.4 oz, BOGO $2.19 or $1.10 each

Coca-Cola Products, Assorted Varieties, 12 pk, 12 oz cans (Excluding Dasani Sparkling Waters, 12 pk), B2G1 $4.99
-$2 off Cheez-It Crackers AND Coca-Cola Multipack, exp. 8/7/15 (Publix Coupon Green Grocery Flyer ) [9-oz. to 12.4-oz., cola 12-pk. 12-oz.; excl. Dasani]
-$0.30/1 Coca-Cola product, (1) 2-liter, (2) 1-liters or any (1) multipack bottles or cans – found on Coca-Cola 2-liters Peelie
Final Price: $3.33 each

New to couponing? Check out our Couponing 101 page and learn how to save a little or A LOT! Also visit our Strategic Shopping page to learn how a few small, painless changes in the way you shop can result in HUGE savings!  Find any coupon in our new coupon database, order coupons you need, and you can download the FREE coupon toolbar here.

Tasty Tuesday: Refreshing Summer Drinks

Tasty Tuesday: Refreshing Summer Drinks

We haven’t had any relief from the heat here in northwest Florida for weeks so we’ve been looking for all kinds of ways to try and stay cool. These fabulous cold and refreshing summer drinks will do the trick – mix up a batch of your favorite chocolate or fruity summer drink and get cool!

1) Cantaloupe Sangria

This delicious white wine Cantaloupe Sangria from Fast Drink Recipes is super simple to make with frozen grapes, pureed cantaloupe and lemon slices with your favorite chilled Pinot Grigio. I think I’m going to have to make a pitcher for myself this weekend!

2) Watermelon Frosty

Grab some fresh, juicy watermelon and you could make this scrumptious Watermelon Frosty from Lunch Box Bunch! If you’d like a more adult type version you could turn yours into a Watermelon Margarita.

3) Orange Julius

This Orange Julius knockoff recipe is inspired by one of my all time favorite drinks, I have fond memories of hanging out at the mall with my friends and drinking these delicious orange smoothies. Apparently Orange Julius stores still exist, just sadly none in my area anymore, who knew?

4) Layered Fruit Gazpacho

Gaia Health Blog’s Layered Fruit Gazpacho is almost too pretty to drink but the mix of raspberries, cantaloupe and kiwi sounds just as mouth watering as it is healthy. I can’t wait to try this one!

5) Raspberry Cordial

Mix up a big pitcher of these Raspberry Cordials from BBC Good Food for your next summer gathering and you’re sure to have a hit on your hands. Just three simple ingredients and this refreshing drink will even keep for a few months in a sealed container in the fridge.

6) Frozen Hot Chocolate

All you need are a few simple ingredients and a blender to make this delicious Frozen Hot Chocolate from Girl Cooks World and it’s sure to help cool you down on a hot summer day! My kids really love this one and they tell me it’s better than ice cream.

7) Caramel, Peach & Berry Knickerbocker

For an adult summer beverage this Caramel, Peach & Berry Knickerbocker from BBC Good Food has quite a few ingredients but it seems pretty easy to put together and looks absolutely gorgeous.

I highly recommend Plan to Eat for a great place to store all your favorite recipes! Check it out with a free trial and see how easy it is to add recipes from the Internet, plan meals for your family and even print out a handy grocery list.

Getting to Know Your GoPro: Purchase & Removing from Packaging

I just recently purchased a GoPro and I did a bunch of research online to figure out which was the best one for my family’s needs. The online deal at Best Buy was $399 for a GoPro Hero 4 Silver edition, plus you’d get a $50 gift card back when you buy one. When I got to the store to check it out in person it was on sale for $379 but no gift card. I mentioned the online deal and was told that this was a better deal because if I bundled some accessories with my purchase I’d get 15% off the accessories. Well the accessories were cheaper at Amazon so I asked about their Price Match Guarantee and ended up getting the GoPro for $349 and the accessories for a better deal than if I had bundled them and got the discount.

I’m kind of late getting on the GoPro bandwagon because I have plenty of things to take videos with.  I used my iPhone a lot for videos, I have a Canon DSLR camera that I use for videos and I have an old Flip video camera that still takes excellent videos so I didn’t think that I needed a GoPro but I recently talked myself into getting one because I thought it would be the best way to action videos of the kids, especially in moist environments like the pool, the water park and at the beach.  So I went to Best Buy and I bought a GoPro Hero 4 and it’s the coolest little thing!

I got it home and I really just wanted to take it out of the box and play with it but I learned that just getting it out of the box was a challenge.  I have a Masters Degree in eBusiness and Technology, I have an IT job that I love and I consider myself to be technically savvy, but just getting the GoPro off the packaging was difficult.

It comes with an outer sleeve that you have to take off, then you can get the top clear part off and you’ll see that it’s attached to the top of the inner box.  I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the GoPro off the box.  Now inside the box there are instructions, not a very big instruction manual, but they encourage you to go to their website for the rest of the details that you might need.  I read the instructions three or four times and nowhere in here does it tell you how to get the camera off the box.

I didn’t want to break the plastic part on top of the box because I thought it would be a great way to store it maybe, or the mount might be good for something else.  Eventually I figured out that there are two tabs in the front, you squeeze the two tabs together and then the camera will slide right off.  Once I got it all apart and took the inner box out of the inner box I saw the removal diagram right on the back, of course I was in too big of a hurry to play with it to even see that!

Check out my YouTube channel for more GoPro videos on how to get the best deal on GoPro accessories and how I learned the hard way about battery life.


Frugal Friday – Show Off Your Shops!

This week I bought a total of $81.90 worth of groceries for $34.25, or 58% off. I love to see the deals that other frugal shoppers come up with because it’s so inspiring and I really dig having a visual way that we can all share our deals and Show Off Our Shops! Please post a link below to any or all of the deals that you’d like to show off this week. If you don’t have a blog to link up, just leave a comment and tell us all about your deals or upload a picture to Flickr or PhotoBucket and link to that ;)

My 7/22 Publix Trip – $81.90 for $34.25 or 58% Off

My 7/22 Publix Trip – $81.90 for $34.25 or 58% Off

Publix Shopping Trip

There actually wasn’t a lot that was exciting for me in the Publix ad this week, but I did need some bread and frozen treats for the kids, so I stocked up on a few things to hit the $50 I needed to use the $10/$50 Apple Market coupon from today’s newspaper and the $5/$15 Target coupon for the chips and sodas from their ad in Sunday’s paper. Since there are no exclusions on the Apple Market q I was able to include the Miller Lite in my total for the coupon, which was awesome! The Yakisoba noodles were a fabulous deal and I have a couple more coupons for those so I might pick up a few more if I get a chance to get back to the store. Today I bought $81.90 worth of groceries for $34.25, or 58% off after coupons. Here are the deals:

Lay’s Family Size Potato Chips, Assorted Varieties, 9.5 to 10.5 oz (Excluding Kettle Cooked, Oven Baked, and Simply), BOGO $4.29
-$0.50/2  Wavy Lay’s potato chips 7.75 oz + (I used one of these)
-$5/$15 Pepsi soda and Frito Lay snacks Target coupon 7/19 ad  (I used one of these)
Final Price: $1.90 per bag

Fruttare Frozen Fruit & Milk Dessert Bars or Ice Bars, Assorted Varieties, 10.8 or 12 oz, BOGO $3.99
-$0.75/1 Fruttare Multi-pack Publix Digital Coupon
-$0.75/1 Fruttare Multi-pack printable (I used two of these)
-$0.75/1 Fruttare Multi-Pack, Any (Maximum 2 Identical Coupons Allowed in Same Shopping Trip; Coupon Value May Not Exceed Value Of Item Purchased; DND) Blinkie (exp 9/4/2015)
Final Price: $1.25 each

Shedd’s Spread Country Crock, Original or Churn Style, 15 oz, Twin Pack, 2 pk, 7.5 oz, or Simply Delicious 79% Vegetable Oil, 12 oz, BOGO $2.85 or $1.43 each

Maruchan Yakisoba Japanese Noodles, Home-Style, or Ramen Noodles With Vegetable Bowl, Assorted Varieties, 3.24 to 4.27 oz, BOGO $0.99
-$1/2 Maruchan Bowls, 02/01 SS (exp 7/31) [Limit 2]
-$1/3 Maruchan Yakisoba Product, 02/01 SS (exp 7/31) [Limit 2]
-$1/3 Maruchan Yakisoba Product, 04/26 SS (exp 9/30) [Limit 3] (I used two of these)
-$1/2 Maruchan Bowls, 04/26 SS (exp 9/30) [Limit 2]
Final Price: 16¢ each

Klondike Ice Cream Treats, Assorted Varieties, 11 to 27 oz, BOGO $4.49
-$0.50/1 Klondike Kandy Bars, Any Single Serve Tearpad (exp 9/1/2015)
Final Price: $2.25 each

Nature’s Own Butterbread, 20 oz, BOGO $3.25 or $1.63 each

Pepsi Products, Assorted Varieties, 12 pk, 12 oz cans, 3/$12
-$5/$15 Pepsi soda and Frito Lay snacks Target coupon 7/19 ad (I used one of these)
Final Price: $1.75 each 12 pack

Publix brand Idaho potatoes, 5 pounds, $2.99

Miller Lite 15 Pack Bottles, $13.99

New to couponing? Check out our Couponing 101 page and learn how to save a little or A LOT! Also visit our Strategic Shopping page to learn how a few small, painless changes in the way you shop can result in HUGE savings!  Find any coupon in our new coupon database, order coupons you need, and you can download the FREE coupon toolbar here.

Terrific Ideas For Using Gelato


Whether you are an ice cream fan or not, there are a few ways to use Gelato products at home. Gelato has a smoother consistency than ice cream. You can add various flavors to the mixture, making it as bold or as healthy as you want.


One of the fun ways to serve gelato is at a party. This could be for a birthday celebration or a family get together. You can serve the treat in small cups for a child’s birthday party. Think about the flavors that the children might like, such as strawberry or chocolate. You can coordinate the colors of the gelato to go with the decorations at the party. Put the treat in fun containers that have the same designs as the theme of the party.

Another party idea involves sundaes. Place a few large bowls of gelato on a table. Try to have different flavors so that guest have a choice instead of just vanilla or something that is common. On another table, you can put sundae toppings in small bowls. Decorate the tables with cloths and other items to blend with the sundae theme. Send out invitations that look like a sundae so that guests get a glimpse of what to expect when they arrive.


When you think about a baby shower or a wedding shower, you might think about cake or mints. Since gelato has the creamier texture, it would be an ideal treat for a shower. Place the gelato in a dish that has an elegant design. You can also have a little fun with the treat by putting it in small cups with the baby shower theme or by making a cake with the gelato. Guests can add small toppings, like chocolate chips or pieces of nuts, to their gelato. Make sure you have plenty of colored plastic spoons for the guests. If you are using it at a baby shower, you can tint the color of the gelato with food coloring or ingredients that will turn the gelato to the color that relates to the gender of the baby.

Photo Credit: www.heatheronhertravels.com/

60% Off Popular Plus Size Patterns For Kids

At SewWithSarah.com all Plus Size Children Sewing patterns now 60% off!  Regular price $14.95 – you pay only $5.98 per pattern.

Plus Size Boys Patterns

Plus Size Girls Blouse Patterns

Plus Size Girls Shorts and Slacks Patterns

Plus Size Girls Skirt and Dress Patterns 

Plus Size Girls Nightwear Patterns

Just in time for Back To School Sewing!  You can make an entire wardrobe of school clothes that will fit your plus size or overweight child perfectly.  Compare your childs’  measurements and age to the corresponding size on our patterns.  For example, our size 8 has Chest – 34”, waist – 30”, hip- 36”.  Is this similar to your plus size 8 year olds’ measurements?

The blouses and jumper dress have interchangeable sleeve, neckline and length options.  Skirts, shorts and pants have a variety of length options, so you can make a number of garments from the same pattern and have different styles for each.

Shop early and stock up – styles and sizes are limited.  No coupon code required.  All plus size children patterns 60% off – you pay only $5.98 per pattern.  PLUS, we’re giving a FREE GIFT with every order.

This sale is exclusively for US residents – we’re in the process of making all patterns downloadable which will be available worldwide.