Morning Magazine Deals — Wine Enthusiast and Men’s Health


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Today only, subscribe to Men’s Health Magazine for only $6.99 per year (71% off)! You can order up to 3 years at this price! Just enter coupon code MASHUPMOM

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EcoTools Konjac Facial Sponge Review and Giveaway

This giveaway is sponsored by EcoTools. I received Konjac Facial Sponge products for the purpose of review; however, all opinions here are my own.


I recently had the opportunity to try out EcoTools Konjac Pure Complexion Facial sponges, which come in both deep cleansing and sensitive skin versions. These are handmade with 100% natural ingredients including Konjac vegetable fiber, “a highly renewable root plant indigenous to Asia. It’s traditionally used as a detoxifying dietary staple and as a naturally exfoliating sponge for delicate skin by the Japanese.” Check out the glowing reviews on the EcoTools site, then read on for mine!


Out of the box, both varieties of EcoTools sponges were hard and unyielding and you wonder how they’d ever make a useful facial sponge. Once you run them under water, though, they become perfectly squishy, and just the right texture for facial cleansing. After use, just rinse with water and leave them out to dry naturally and they harden right back up again.


You can use the sponge with or without cleanser, which is kind of neat! I was a little apprehensive about the deep cleaning version, thinking it would be rough and scratchy on my face. Although it wasn’t as soft as the sponge for sensitive skin, it was still gentle and left my skin softer and smoother rather than reddened like some exfoliating products tend to do. My face also feels very clean after using — and it even felt cleaner when I tried the sponge with just water, no cleanser.


(OK, you try to take a selfie while cleansing your face with a sponge! lol) — but you can see that the facial sponge is a nice size to hold, and also a handy shape to get around your chin and nose. One sponge should last you 1-3 months depending no how often you use it and how well you let it dry out, so is really fairly affordable, especially for an all-natural product.

On to the giveaway

What can you win?

  • FIVE lucky Mashup Mom readers will each win their own EcoTools Konjac facial sponges.

How do you enter?

  • Just comment here and let me know whether you’d like to try the sensitive or deep cleansing version, and why!

One entry per comment; each comment is an entry; a maximum of one entry per household; duplicate entries will be deleted. Enter through 11:59 PM Central on 8/31/14. U.S. residents only, please. If you are reading this through email or Facebook, please click on the title of this post (up at the top where it says “EcoTools…”) to go back to the blog. Scroll down to the bottom of the post and you will see a box to enter your comment; just comment there to enter. Email and Facebook entries will not be counted. If you are reading the Mashup Mom homepage on the web, look at the bottom of this post where it says “___ comments.” Click on that to get the box to enter your own comment.

The fine print

Prizing and information for this giveaway has been provided by EcoTools. I received products for purposes of this post/review; however, all opinions here are my own. The winner will be randomly selected from all comments received on or around 9/1/14 and will have 48 hours to respond to notification email; Mashup Mom will choose a runner up if no response is received in that time frame.

No purchase necessary. The number of eligible entries receives determines the odds of winning. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited. Please allow 8 weeks for delivery of your prize.

Top four tips for entertaining on a budget (without looking like a cheapskate)


(Gratuitous photo of kid partying, as I don’t have any good pictures of adults doing so. Hmm, I wonder why?)

Welcome to Frugal Homemade! This week, we are going to talk about entertaining. Many of you may have gatherings to organize or at least participate in this upcoming Labor Day weekend. My family is also throwing a party next weekend, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to share our tips and tricks for having a great get-together without blowing the budget.

My husband and I have always loved to entertain, but we used to spend entirely too much money doing so. This was mostly because we didn’t stockpile, so any time we planned a party, I’d create a menu then we’d start from scratch and buy everything needed.

Now that I am a more strategic shopper, I know that planning the menu starts by looking around at what I have already, then looking to the ads or the season for inspiration, THEN choosing what to serve. I get started with these four steps:

  1. Looking at what you already have in in the pantry or fridge.
  2. Shopping in advance as much as possible.
  3. Cherry picking from current deals that fit the event,
  4. Not overspending on alcohol.

1 – Use what you have!

Look in your fridge, freezer, stockpile, and garden. You probably have a few great ingredients that can be the start of some perfect party fare.

hot dogs

I am probably not the only one with these hot dogs on hand, right? Well, these were $1.00 a pack at Jewel not long ago and I was happy to find packages dated 9/13. My family eats hot dogs only occasionally, so I assumed we might eat one pack and freeze the rest. But having them at the party is a much better use.

These will be great to feed the kids with typical kid-friendly toppings, but we will also put together a Chicago-style dog bar so that the adults might enjoy them as well. I have pickle spears, mustard, sport peppers, onions and celery salt in the fridge/pantry/stockpile and tomatoes in the garden. I’ll just have to get poppy buns and relish in the proper shade of green! And poppy buns are $.99 at Jewel this week, so before the sale ends on Tuesday, I will pick those up. I am planning to cook the dogs then keep them warm in my large slow cooker so these can be available for people to eat as they want.

2 – Start party shopping in advance.

As soon as you know you have an entertaining need, start looking at the ads and shopping with the event in mind.


I picked up these containers of fresh mozzarella “pearls” 2/$6.00 at Meijer the other day and used my last $3.00/2 printable. $1.50 each is a good price for these and they will be really impressive to my guests in a chopped Caprese salad, which will also take advantage of the tomatoes and basil in my garden.


These carrots were less than net $.25 a bag, also at Meijer last week. In my experience, carrots are always the most popular member of the veggie tray. I will pick up celery, peppers, radishes, etc. to make sure it is colorful, but I will have these on hand to refill as needed.

3 – Cherry pick the current deals to save yourself time and money.

meijer collage

I am planning on going to Meijer for some non-party things tomorrow, so I checked the ad for anything I might be able to get in advance for the party.

While I prefer to make most of the food my family eats from scratch, it isn’t always possible to do so for a big party. The Heluva Good dip will be $.24 at Meijer after the $.75/1 in the 6/29 SS, so that will be an easy and cheap shortcut. We don’t typically buy bottled water, but for a party, it is a good idea and $2.50 a case isn’t bad at all.

shock top watermelon

The above deals are at Caputo’s, where I am already planning to shop for our regular produce needs, so again, I looked for anything I can add on for the party.

We tend not to go for the cheapest beer, so obviously you can do better than $9.99 for a 12-pack, but this Shock Top tends to be popular and it is a nice summer-friendly option so I will pick up some of that. I should be able to get away with getting a watermelon on Tuesday, but before I do, I will check next week’s ads to see if I can put it off.

4 – Don’t worry about adult beverages too much!

People will drink what is available and what is easiest. Even if you set up a full bar, unless someone is manning it, people will still generally go for what what is pre-made, wine, or beer. So if you have liquor on hand, use it to make punch, a big pitcher of vodka lemonade, margaritas, or whatever goes with your theme. Usually once a year, I do a Smirnoff vodka rebate deal where the bottles are as low as net $2 each. Unfortunately, you need quite a bit of foresight for that one, but if you have it on hand, liquor drinks are substantially cheaper per drink than wine or beer even after you factor in the mixers.

As far as wine, Binny’s isn’t bad, but I actually find the best deals to be at Jewel when you combine a sale price and the 10% 6+ bottle discount. I find you can usually get the most for your money this way. And if you can find coupons and/or rebates, even better!

So use what you have, buy what fits in your budget, and people will be happy.

What are YOUR best tips for keeping your guests happy without breaking the bank?

In the next week or so, I will collect my favorite reader tips and share more specific plans for pulling off an impressive party on the cheap!


Be sure to check back each week for something new! I will be bringing you how-tos, advice, and articles on everything pertaining to easy frugal living: From DIY, to recipes, to practical tips and tricks. To help balance out the couponing and deal chasing we do a lot of here, I’ll talk about easy ways to incorporate frugality into everyday life and to do more from scratch.

Reader deals 8/28/14

Here are some of the deals (and heads up!) YOU found recently — Thanks! How do you share your own deal?

If you are sharing a deal from another site or an online coupon, please include the link. If you found a deal at a specific store, please include the location.

  • *** Disclaimer: All of the deals below come straight from readers.


  • Found by feelgood, select Amazon accounts are receiving an offer for a free $10 promo code with a $50 gift card purchase. Sign into your account then click on this gift card promotion link, and you’ll either see the offer or a message saying your account is ineligible.


  • Sarah says: “I know that Costco always has Horizon organic creamer in the 32oz carton for that $4ish price. They also carry organic milk, but its not the Horizon brand. Their organic ground beef is a little over $4/lb which seems to be a good price. If you eat a lot of organic food, it seems like Costco would be a good place to go.”
  • She also shares: “I don’t know if this was a special deal or not, but at the Costco in North Riverside, they had an 8 pack of cartons of Kirkland Campbell’s soup tomato basil bisque soup for about $5 and they are delicious. I also got an 8 pack of Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes for around $3. Right now La Croix sparkling water is $6ish for a pack of 30, which is a good price for that.”
  • Artie confirms: “Every Costco I’ve been to,7,carry Horizon half & half,and heavy cream. 64 oz cartons”
  • From Lori: “The [Namaste] GF flour is a favorite of my gluten free teen who loves to bake! We also have been purchasing the Nitrate free bacon at Cosco – I think it is $14.99 for three 12oz pkgs. My family loves bacon, but I hate to feed them Nitrates – and the bacon tastes great.”
  • Martha comments: “The organic milk is sold in multiple packs of 1/2 gal containers, and I want to say the works out to around $4 per 1/2 gal.”
  • SoapboxTray adds: “I regularly buy the Horizon half and half for creamer, I gave up the flavored ones about a hear ago. The expiration dates on the half and half is good too, usually a month or two out. Lake Zurich usually carries Horizon whipping cream too and the individual chocolate milks. There organic milk was $11 I believe for 3 half gallon containers.”
  • Martha shares: “I have a family of five and a few regular items I buy there are:
    • Kirkland/Starbucks Fair Trade coffee beans, it’s something like a 3 or 5lb bag for $10
    • Organic tortilla chips, a HUGE bag is about $3
    • Their 2pk of Kirkland multigrain bread is delicious and is $4, and does not have that yoga mat bread additive in it
    • Hamburger buns come in a 12 pack for about $2.30, nice big ones, also without the additive in it.
    • Usually I’ll buy them and we’ll have burgers and crumbly burgers (like sloppy joes) that week.
    • Their 4 lb packs of butter are between $8-9, so about $2 per lb
    • Their 24 pk of organic free range eggs are a little over $6, they can be found cheaper occasionally elsewhere, but for consistency, this is a decent price
    • They have a big pack of 6 romaine lettuce hearts for I think just under $4 that we get and use for salads, sandwiches, shred for tacos, etc.
    • At first I thought I was crazy for getting so many at once, but so far, I don’t know that we’ve had much waste when I’ve bought them.
    • I also buy their diapers when there is a coupon that month, it works out to be cheaper than Amazon Mom (both huggies and Kirkland), and
    • Oxyclean generally goes on sale for $4 off every couple of months, making it about $12-13 for the big box of it.
    • We used to always get string cheese there, but the price has gone up a bit over the past year or so. It is still a decent price at $10 for a 48 pack, but it used to be $8-something.”
  • Lynn says: “Charisma bath sheets (the great big towels) are $11.99. They have limited colors, but I bought off white and they’re less than half the price of other stores. They also now sell baguette style bread in their bakery and it’s delicious. The shorter fatter loaves were tasty, but the long skinny ones are more versatile for our family. I think they are $4.99 for 2. Fage nonfat yogurt is also a good deal. They increased the size of the container and raised the price – now 48 oz for $5.99, but delicious if you can eat the equivalent of 8 small containers by the expiration date (hint: only use a clean utensil to scoop; fruit remnants will encourage mold to grow quickly!). K-cups, organic chicken stock, sea salt, dog food and (for an occasional indulgence) cheeseburger flavor chips – weird, but oddly addicting – are recurring buys.”


  • On the Starbucks coupon, Terri J reports: “Wouldn’t work at Walmart. Worked at Jewel with 1.00 overage.”
  • And Valentina S. points out: “Save $1.00 when you buy one single bottled Starbucks iced coffee offer is also on Saving Star. Exp. 9/15/2014. One time use only.”



  • A find from Liz: “I found GOT 2 Be hairspray on clearance at jewel in park ridge normally 4.99 priced at 2.49..use the man. coupon 2.50 off hairspray for free hairspray”


  • Sent over by feelgood: “Sears & Kmart Coupon for Shop Your Way Members: $10 in Points w/ $10+ Purchase (Facebook Required)” Click earn $10 back in points here, click get offer, then they email the code/coupon.


  • From SoapboxTray: “I buy my organic milk from Marianos. $4.99 for a gallon but it is in plastic.”
  • She adds: “Also noticed that Mariano’s had Kalona Super Natural Milk with cream on top! I was going to try it but didn’t want to get too much milk to haul into work. If anyone has tried curious to know how it is. $4. for half gallon.”
  • Something to look for from John W: “The front section of my Tribune today had a Mariano’s wraparound ad that included a $4/$40 coupon thru Sept 3 (it doesn’t seem to have any exclusions, has anybody tried to buy alcohol with it?). Also, some specials in the ad good through Sept 3, $3/lb fresh made Black Angus pub burgers, half gallon fresh orange juice $3.50, fresh wild swordfish $10.99/lb. Mariano’s is also running a daily $4 special announced on their facebook page each morning”
  • From peaches: “Every time I have been in the Northfield Mariano’s they have had the fresh squeezed OJ for $3.50. It is really good. I think it is a lost leader. They sell tons of it. “


  • A report from liz: “just came back from Meijer in rolling meadow and they had about 30 trial size rave coupon expires in 3 days..excited I finally found them”


  • Kari O. warns: “In Utah and Oregon I LOVED these 50% Holiday sales, but here the Lake Zurich store has been a huge disappointment. They overprice their items anticipating this sale…. For example: Regular Used Under Armor shorts priced at $19.99 instead of the “normal” $9.99 during non-holiday times.
    So, if you’re in between Crystal Lake or Lake Zurich… Go to Crystal Lake! Or any other location. :)”


  • Something to be on the lookout for, from Kari O.: “I got a new Target Mailer of $21 worth of coupons…. It’s adorable. ‘How do we thank you? Let us coupon the ways. As one of our favorite shoppers, we think you totally deserve it.’ I love Target….”
  • From ellen: “went to target today and got Pasta Chips on sale $2.00. I had a printable for $2/2 so they were $1 each after coupon. Hope I like them. I had 2 $1 target couons for scotch tape. they were on sale bogo50%off. I got ones that were $1.44 so just $.44 after coupons on the 2 of them.”
  • On the Glad deal, Like2save says: “FYI – The $3.44 trash bags are the 4 gallon size.”
  • Maureen says: “8 gallon, those are $3.44, too.”
  • And anne warns: “Just did this deal and the 50% off the second one didn’t come off. Of course I only noticed AFTER I left. BUT I had 2 mobile q’s for glad, one was for $2/1 and the other for $1/1. I bought 2 and should have paid $1.16 minus the 5% CW. Going back to the ad to see if it says the bogo half off is only on larger ones…”
  • From Shandelle: “Like anne mentions, there’s also $1 off one Glad trashbags with mobile coupon PACKITBACK exp 10/4. I think you could stack both since those mobile coupons are from different sets on the same phone and the store coupons are different values, if your store doesn’t let you use multiple of the same one (mine has never cared but others have said theirs won’t).”
  • She adds: “Also the Buy 1 get one half off is only for larger sizes per the ad on Good on 13 gallon at the smallest.”
  • She also says: “You should be able to scan coupons from multiple barcode sets on the same phone in the same transaction also.. Like if they’ve sent you several sets and you did some of the promo code ones. They all count as separate ones as long as the barcode is different and you’re following the rules of one store and one manufacturer per single item.”
  • And finally, she suggests a way to possibly get more than one of the same mobile coupon: “In my experience you can. I have a friend that never shops Target because it’s a half hour drive when he has WM & Meijer basically across the street. When he comes to visit me, he does the Target texts so I can use his. We’ve done 2 of the same mobile coupon from 2 phones/barcodes in one transaction before and it worked. YMMV as far as cashier resistance to trying, though.”


  • An idea from feelgood: “The $5 Minute Maid Walmart $5 gift card deal is still going on. Minute Maid is now $1.88 at Walmart, but can be price matched at $1.29 from the Eurofresh or Butera ad. After price matching and using the $1.00/4 printable, it becomes a $0.84 moneymaker!”

Cheap Planters peanut butter, shipped to your door


Thanks to Zack for spotting this one: Get this four pack of 26.5 oz jars of Planters creamy natural peanut butter for just $11.97 shipped when you clip the 20% off coupon on the page and check out with subscribe & save! That’s like paying $1.81 per normal 16 oz jar — even less if you are on the 15-20% off tier, too.


If you don’t like natural, you can also: Get a four pack of 28 oz jars of Planters creamy peanut butter for $13.98 shipped with subscribe & save — that’s the equivalent of $2.00 per normal smaller 16 oz jar. (If you’re on the 20% off tier, they’re $11.78 shipped — or the equivalent of $1.68 per 16 oz jar.) No coupon on this variety. :(


Prices on Amazon often change quickly. You need to be logged in to see and clip coupons, which are limit one per account and will come off just the first shipment. You can cancel subscribe & save or skip a shipment at any time. You get 5% off and free shipping with subscribe & save, which increases to 15% off if you have five subscriptions on the same day/month, or 20% off if you have five + Amazon Mom with Prime.

(For more about combining coupons with subscribe & save, see the guide here.)

40 lbs Kingsford charcoal $9.88 at Home Depot


The other day I told you about the twin pack of Kingsford charcoal for $9.88 at Lowe’s.

(Thanks, Hot Coupon World)

Savers 50% off Monday September 1


My paper ads finally came in the mail today (hey, who needs them before Thursday anyway… sigh). Anyway, on the inside wraparound, there is an ad for Savers: 50% off clothing, shoes, accessories, bed and bath on Labor Day only, Monday Sept. 1 9AM-9PM. Excludes jewelry, new merchandise (red tags), books, and items tagged housewares or furniture. Not valid with any other coupon or discount. Regular in-store discounts not available on sale day.

Hy-Vee deals week of 8/27/14 – 9/2/14

Here are your Hy-Vee top deals and coupon matchups for the week of 8/27/14.

Hy-Vee top deals

Top Fuel Saver Deals:

  • Powerbar 10 for $10 and earn $0.10 off of gas wyb 10
  • Armour Breakfast or lunch makers 10 for $10 and earn $0.10 off of gas wyb 10
  • Maruchan Yakisoba or noodle bowl 10 for $10 and earn $0.10 off of gas wyb 10 Use the $0.50/1 from 8/17 SS
  • Sinister Energy Drinks 10 for $10 and earn $0.10 off of gas wyb 10

Carson’s — Several Codes Including 25% off Select Items and $50 off $100

carsons labor day
Carson’s has a few online deals going on right now for you to choose from including a Labor Day code good for 25% off select merchandise.

Here are the available codes right now:

  • Free shipping on a $75 order with code FREESHIP75.
  • Through 9/1, save 25% on back to school apparel with code BTSKIDS2514.
  • Through 8/30, take $50 off a $100 order with code Z50AUGUST14.
  • Through 9/7, take an extra 15% off home store items with code HOMELABOR14.
  • Through 9/4 save up to an additional 25% with code AUGLABORD14.
  • Through 9/4, take $25 off $75, $50 off $150 or $100 off $250 coats with code COATSALEG14.
  • Save an extra 30% on regular and sale price ladies jeans with code JEANSFALL14.

These Living Quarters 10-piece glassware sets are $9.97. Codes excluded.

This 15-piece Rachael Ray cookware set is only $99.99. Also excluded from coupons.

This raspberry burnout tank is only $7.49 after 25% code and sale.