Frontier Flights start at $25 one way

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Here are some crazy cheap plane flights on Frontier Airlines, starting as low as $25 one way! Book by today 8/21 and fly 8/29-10/17. You’ll only see the lower fares on midweek flights, and some are already sold out. Chicago to Orlando as low as $25! I just threw in random dates and got a $29 fare, so play with dates and see what you can get. Browse the calendar view to see everything available at once instead of trying one date at a time to see what’s already sold out.

(Thanks Jill Cataldo)

Reader deals 7/6/15

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Reader Deals 7/6/15: Here are the deals, heads up, and requests you shared over the last 24 hours — Thanks! How do you share your own deal?

  • Email Rachel:
  • Comment below, or on any post where it seems to fit.
  • Post on the Mashup Mom Facebook page.

*** 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.



  • On the new high value Petco coupon, from Jaci: “Used my coupons at petsmart no problem! 2 bags of grain free dog food they had a ton of varieties!”
  • And Daisy comments: “Purchased the small bag of dog food this morning from Petco for $3.71 after coupon with tax.”
  • And from SmartShopper, who also supplied the above photos: “I was just at the Woodfield/Schaumburg Petsmart store today (Monday). The Purina pro plan cat food cost starts at $12.99, so your net cost Per bag would be $2.99 after coupon. The Pierina pro plan cat litter is still on sale for $9.99. The cat litter will be free after coupon.”

Dollar Tree

  • Confirmation that the Hormel movie deal works great, from Jan: “I was able to buy 6 pepperoni at Dollar Tree and submit for 2 free tickets. I got 2 codes texted to me from Hormel. I was able to use the free tickets to see Inside Out this weekend. I’m hoping to get to Dollar Tree again this week to get 6 more:)”


  • Liz shares: “Free ice coffee with the Dunkin donut app today only”

Reader requests

  • Martha asks: “HI Rachel, our family is buying a home after almost 10 years of renting. We are getting excited about the prospect of painting our own walls (a color other than white!). Do you or your readers know of the best frugal (frugal, not cheap) way to buy paint by the gallon? Are there certain times of year that are better than others or certain retailers that offer better deals than others for quality paint? Thanks!”


  • Some great fare finds from feelgood: “For anyone planning fall travel, Southwest has some amazing deals right now. I checked September travel dates from Chicago, fares each way are as low as:
    Minneapolis $41
    Philadelphia $44
    Houston $44
    Orlando $49
    New Orleans $49
    Denver $50
    Ft Lauderdale $59
    Las Vegas $79  Easiest way to check is to go to then click Flight at the very top of the screen, then click Low Fare Calendar. You select the month, then enter origin and destination along with a month, and the lowest fares for every day that month will appear.”

Our ARCH-etypical St. Louis trip

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I promised last week to tell you more about our spring break St. Louis trip, but then had such a weekend of catching up to do — and the kids are still on spring break through today, too! But better late than never, right? St. Louis was fantastic, and I highly recommend the trip.


St. Louis is about a four hour fifteen minute drive from Chicago’s western suburbs, so we headed down last Saturday, stopping halfway at Cracker Barrel for lunch. (Because that’s what you do on road trips, right?) But really, not a bad drive at all.


We stayed at a hotel with an indoor pool, so Saturday night we just got dinner and hung around there and swam. I think the boys might have been more excited about the unlimited access to Cartoon Network in the hotel room than the actual sightseeing, because their mean mom doesn’t pay for cable at home. 😉


On Sunday we visited the St. Louis Arch. The area all around it is currently under construction, so if you’re heading to St. Louis anytime soon allow extra time to get there. The Museum of Westward Expansion inside the Arch also turned out to be closed during construction, so we didn’t get a chance to see that.


You can choose to head up to the top of the Arch in this crazy tiny pod thing — kind of like Mork’s egg — which goes up the inside of one of the legs. Pre-order tickets online or (during construction) at the Old Courthouse a couple of blocks away: It cost $30 for the four of us: $10 per adult; $5 per child.


Unfortunately Mr. 8 took one look out of the windows at the top and turned out to be terrified of those kind of heights — then he was not too pleased about going back down in the little pod!


The view, however, was amazing from 630 feet up! See the courthouse in the distance? That’s where we’re headed next…


We walked through the Old Courthouse, which had just gorgeous architecture and so much history — it served as the site of the Dred Scott court trials, for one! Some of the museum exhibits were also located there temporarily during construction. Definitely spend some time here. After a wander through downtown, a late lunch, and a trip to a big local mall (yes… the mall… MashupDad forgot to pack a swimsuit), we decamped back to the hotel for more swimming + hot tub fun.


Monday: The St. Louis Zoo! This is a great zoo, and the place really gives Brookfield a run for its money (literally, as it is free.) Free admission, but $15 to park unless you choose from the ample free street parking a little further down.


And by the way? 72 and brightly sunny surprised me at the end of March, so we might have come out of the zoo a little sunburned. Bad mom!


We spent the entire day at the zoo, because it was just a gorgeous day with so much to see. Highly recommended if you are also thinking of a trip to St. Louis!


On Tuesday morning, we packed up and then hit the St. Louis Science Center on the way home. Also free admission, but parking runs $10 (and things like the Planetarium Sky Show or the IMAX cost extra). But for just that $10 parking fee, the four of us were entertained for several hours — and could easily have stayed longer if we weren’t facing that long drive home.


The Science Center is very well done. It’s sometimes hard to find places that will keep both kids entertained since they’re 4.5 years apart and very different in temperament, but this fit the bill nicely.


We did, however, end up having to divide and conquer to suit different ages and interests. MashupDad hung out with Junior High Guy doing DNA experiments and such, while I ran around with Mr. 8 digging for fossils and examining scorpions.


I’d definitely go back! Such a pretty city, and the downtown was not crowded and easy to walk around, with big public parks, horse drawn carriages, and the stadium and convention center both right there if you wanted to take in a game or other event. We also didn’t get a chance to visit the City Museum, which came highly recommended and is on the short list for next time.


We could easily have spent another couple of days here, but overall I think we packed a lot into a four-day visit (given that good chunks of two of those days were spent driving). It also turned out to be a pretty affordable trip: It amazed me that the Zoo and Science Center had free admission, and all four of went up in the St. Louis Arch for less than it would have cost for one adult and one child to hit the Sears Tower Skydeck. (Admittedly, it’s a little more cramped up at the top of the Arch, lol…)

Have you been to St. Louis? What else should we see on our next trip? :)

Fantastic Hotel Deal at Chicago’s Essex Inn

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Chicago’s Essex Inn has a Black Friday flash sale on January hotel rooms.

Chicago’s Essex Inn is offering 50% off your 2nd night for two night stays in January 2014, and with room rates starting from only $99 + tax, that is one seriously good hotel deal for a great Michigan Avenue hotel!

The hotel is clean, modern and comfortable, and it has nice amenities, like a swimming pool, a sauna and a fitness center, which guests can use for free. The Inn also runs a free shuttle to the shops of the Magnificent Mile, and up to the Museum Campus. Just ask at reception for the timetable. I also like their range of hotel packages, which range from including theater tickets or pro sports tickets, to tickets to see Buddy Guy. Some of these would make great holiday gifts for your friends and family.

Here’s the fine print on this deal:

  • Get 50% off your 2nd night for stays in January 2014
  • Rates start at $99 plus tax
  • Valid for stays in January 2014 only
  • Limited availability, rates subject to change
  • Advance reservations required
  • Pre-paid at the time of booking, non-refundable
  • Cannot be combined with any other offers

Go to the Essex Inn’s website to book this deal.

Holiday travel? 25% off hotels at

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CTIX Winter Sale 350x350

Over at, get 25% off hotels with code CHEAPTASTIC through 11/24. Note that this excludes some of the major chains, so you need to go off the beaten path and look for those that say “promo code eligible.” However, some of the other chains have their own discounts, so it’s a nice site to browse for discount hotel deals.