Target has a mobile coupon program that looks interesting. If you scroll partway down this screen: http://www.target.com/spot/mobile/landing you'll see a place where you can sign up for coupon alerts. Once they are sent to your phone you use them at the register via your phone, no fuss, no messing with paper and scissors and hopefully no forgetting them at home. (Unless of course you forgot your phone, in which case I don't have any useful advice.)
Or if you like to use paper coupons you can print them from the coupon page. There are currently sixteen pages of offerings! 51 of those are for groceries.
Kids USA has a comic to help encourage youngish children to do things around the house that save money. Such as turning of the lights when you aren't using them. As long as they are looking at this cartoon you might as well also talk about turning off water while brushing teeth, etc. That way they can help save money and the planet at the same time.
If you do a little finagling you can get Naked Juice at Walgreens for four bits, ie fifty cents. This deal is good through the twelfth, so should be taken advantage of right away.
The math and coupon details can be found here: http://www.frugallivingnw.com/store-retail-deals/walgreens/walgreens-nak...
Prom can be ridiculously expensive, with some students spending more than the average monthly income for a four member family. The Arbutus Improvement Association is helping out this weekend by giving away prom dresses. There are more than one hundred available. More information can be found here: http://baltimore.craigslist.org/zip/4391349072.html
There are a ton of free recipe sites around but I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Betty Crocker site. Not only are there tons of recipes but they are laid out in an easily searchable format. And they frequently have lots of coupons. There are currently more than 120 dollars worth of coupons available now. http://www.bettycrocker.com/coupons-promotions/coupons/default
For now I leave you with this recipe for Parmesan Butternut Squash Gratin. Just the thing for the fall season. The site even goes so far as to tell you which local grocery stores have recipe items on sale. For me there are three stores with butternut squash on sale.
Some of the Best of Tor.com is now available for preorder for the terrific price of zero dollars and zero cents. I've read a few of the short stories before and they are all the kind of terrific storytelling we expect from Tor. http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/10/pre-order-some-of-the-best-from-tor-dot...
My mom used to go off on little rants about Bisquick. She said it was only flour and baking powder (I have no idea if there is any truth to this) and it was ridiculous to pay such high prices for a product that only saves on step in the baking process. She would have loved the idea behind these do it yourself mixes.
According to the Loving Life for Less blog the idea is you do the mixing of dry ingredients in advance, put them in a jar and attach the instructions. Then you're set for the next few times you are going to cook these things up.
I might be tempted to get some extra containers and make a bunch of jars worth of mixes. Slap a nice label and a ribbon on them and you have a nice but inexpensive gift.
FEMA has an interesting page with good information about what to do post disaster. (Although it's really best if you read it before a disaster, so you're prepared.) It talks about dangers, like animals that take over your house, how to get assistance and what to do healthwise to recover, including signs of stress to watch for.
It's only about eleven pages so a pretty fast read.
Just a quick reminder that if your circumstances change you should reevaluated any credits or assistance you receive. If you lose your job while your kids are in school they may qualify for free or reduced lunches. If they are in college they may be eligible for more financial aid.
Conversely if your financial outlook is better then you should check to make sure you still qualify for any assistance you or your family is getting. Some entities don't care, they go by your financial situation at time of application, but others require any change to be reported within a week or so.
Yvette Nicole Brown from Community shared a link to this terrific article on how to get important legal and financial situations organized. Called Rhonda’s Rules: A Woman’s Guide to Getting Her Affairs in Order, it's a list of things that many of us put off for too long, or for forever. Written following the loss of a dear friend, the piece covers planning that will make a crisis easier to deal with. Topics include personal, which includes wills, financial, which covers everything from trusts to insurance, professional, and children.
The last one can be the hardest to do. In general we don't like to try and make plans for the care of our children when we are out of the picture, but we also definitely don't want them being pushed into a household with a different method of childrearing and moral values.
The list is a bit overwhelming, covering a lot of ground, so if you feel like you can't tackle it try doing one thing per day. It will take a while but you'll eventually get it done with minimum stress.