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10 Backyard Ideas To Transform Your Yard

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It’s approaching the first day of Spring which means that it’s almost time for backyard barbecues and outdoor fun! If your backyard leaves a bit to be desired you may be dreading this time of year. Don’t worry! These 10 ideas will spruce up your yard for a low cost AND give you a backyard to brag about.

10 Budget-Friendly Backyard Ideas 


Sustain Green Credit Card

The Greenest Credit Card in Existence

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I have never written about a specific credit card on until now. Most of you have enough credit cards or use debit cards, right? But this credit card from Sustain:Green is truly unusual: every dollar you spend saves a rainforest. Okay, not the entire rainforest, but a tiny part of a huge one in Brazil.

I’m writing about this unusual credit card today because I believe in taking personal responsibility for climate change.

Note: there are no affiliate links in this post.

The Sustain:Green MasterCard is biodegradable, too


Which is the best dishwasher for you via shutterstock

Dishwashers: What is the Best Dishwasher for Your Money?


The best dishwasher for you via shutterstock

Last week, my dishwasher of 10 years decided that it just didn’t feel like doing its job. It was done. And after scrubbing dirty dishes in the sink by hand, I was done, too. So I went to Sears to find a new dishwasher. Aside from the sticker shock, here’s what I found.

Shopping for a dishwasher? Here’s what you can expect to get and pay for low-, mid-, and high-end dishwashers.



Costco: What Not to Buy at My Favorite Warehouse Store


What do you avoid buying at Costco? mandritoiu /

During college I survived through my Dad’s generous Costco buys. Six girls living in one house….it’s no surprise we loved all those bulk buys and extra savings and that hasn’t changed for me! There are so many way to make your Costco membership worth it BUT there are plenty of BAD BUYS at Costco.

25 items to avoid at Costco



Winner of Pancake Griddle Contest

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Are you a winner?

Announcing the winner of the Presto pancake griddle contest, sponsored by my desire to forget about the heaps of snow on the ground and focus on delicious, steaming, pancakes. My Presto griddle is a workhouse that makes pancakes and potato-bacon hash on the weekends. You can check out out here. (Price ranges from about $35-$49 on Amazon.)

  • Never burns pancakes
  • Cooks pancakes and bacon and eggs very quickly so hungry children whine less
  • Is easy to clean in the sink (it’s submersible)
  • Makes excellent grilled cheese and hot sandwiches

And the winner is… (more…)


Frugal Doesn’t (Have to) Mean Dumpster Diving

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Being frugal can make you happy. Via Shutterstock

What do you think of words like “thrift” and “frugal”? Those words evoke thoughts of, perhaps, deprivation and poverty. Some people presume cutting down on your spending is equivalent to searching dumpsters for finding one’s meal. It is no doubt why so many of us prefer a life of overwhelming debt to a frugal one.

Let me make things very clear.


Gluten free via shutterstock

10 Ways to Go Gluten-Free on a Budget

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Gluten free via shutterstock

My son has been gluten-free for 12 years, so I pretty much have a Master’s Degree in trying to find deals on gluten-free products. When we started out, there wasn’t even a Whole Foods nearby – I was ordering everything online and it was quite pricey.

Sales of gluten-free food and drink there have surged from $5.4 billion to $8.8 billion over the past two years. They are set to grow a further 20% by 2015. Which means you can find gluten-free foods in every store. The variety is better, the convenience is better, the taste is unquestionably better and even some of the prices are more reasonable.

10 tips to go gluten free without going broke.



3 Top Retirement Calculators – Retire in Style

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Are you saving enough for retirement? Via Shutterstock.

When I started saving for retirement at 23 last year I thought I was ahead of the game. While I wish I had started saving even earlier, many of my friends haven’t set up a retirement fund or opened an IRA yet!

My friends think exactly the way I did last year, “Why start saving now? I have so much time!” While this is true, it will cost them big bucks. Here are three retirement calculators that will help you decide:

  • when to start saving
  • how much to save
  • how much money even small contributions will bring you in the future

3 Free Retirement Calculators to Help You Retire in Style



Giveaway! Pancake Griddle That Never Burns Pancakes


I love this griddle.

What do you look forward to about weekends? For me it’s pancakes. Every Saturday is “pancake day” and on Sundays we use our griddle to make bacon-potato-red pepper hash. YUM!

Our Presto Griddle is a workhorse. I’m buried in snow here in New England, so what better way to cheer up than share my love of pancakes. Plus, tomorrow is the start of Lent! (When folks often give up rich foods like pancakes.) Today we are giving away a beautiful Presto Griddle worth about $50.

Enter to win a Presto Griddle below.


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