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I Just Paid $12 for Deodorant- Again

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Confession- I just paid $12 for one stick of deodorant, again.  If you know me at all, then you know that is more than I have paid for all the deodorant our household has used in the last 6 years.  I get deodorant free or very close to free with coupons. It’s how we do.

But,  last month I started thinking about all I have been doing to protect my health over the last year. The exercise, the rest, the major change in diet and on and on.   Deodorant was about the only thing left that I use on a daily basis that was full of chemicals.   I began looking around for an alternative and after a few failures I found Native Deodorant.

Native Deodorant is aluminum-free and paraben-free and full of simple, nontoxic ingredients. Best of all, it works Great. I love the lavender and rose scent but decided to try coconut and vanilla. My underarms have stopped breaking out and there is no left over film. I really love this stuff.

This is not a sponsored post and I am not an affiliate. I just really love this stuff and wanted to share it with any of you who are looking for a natural deodorant alternative.

Culturelle® Kids & Coupon Katie $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

culturelle-kids-regularitySummer is over. School is back in session and that means everything changes. New bedtime routine, new morning routine and varying new lunch schedules. Even our dinner after school routine looks different depending on day!

My boys deal with being tired or stressed from change differently. I won’t tell you who is who, because I would like them to take care of me when I’m old. 🙂 Buy, one gets headaches, one falls apart over everything (no joke, yesterday the his socks were too “lumpy” and he could. not. deal.) and two have tummy issues.

Not being able to help with the lumpy socks issue Culturelle® decided to help with tummy issues. They created new Culturelle® Kids Regularity Gentle-GoTM Formula to gently yet effectively restore the natural balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract and promotes daily regularity to help your child go easier.* Each flavorless packet contains 2.5 billion active cultures of the probiotic Lactobacillus GG and 3.5 g of dietary fiber from inulin; a prebiotic vegetable fiber sourced from chicory root, and kiwi fruit. One serving contains as much dietary fiber as five prunes. It helps restore regularity, keeps their digestive systems running smoothly and promotes healthy digestion and bowel function.* Culturelle® Kids Regularity is both drug and stimulant free, sugar-free, gluten-free° and dairy-free. It’s a drug-free way to gently encourage natural bowel function.* You can view for more info  and reviews on this product here.

If you have been wondering how to help your kids with tummy issues or just wanting to add a probiotic now is a great time to try this one out. Why? Because you can get a $5 Coupon HERE.

Culturelle® Kids Regularity Gentle-GoTM Formula is available at all major retailers, including Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid.

The awesome folks at Culturelle want both your kiddos and YOU to have a great back to school season, so they have given me one $100 VISA Gift Card to give away to one lucky Coupon Katie reader!  You can use it for back to school supplies or whatever else you need!

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Camping Out West Part 4: Spontaneity Time

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You’ve arrived safely, the groceries are bought, and you are set up at your first campsite. Now, it’s playtime. First, stop at the visitor center. A few minutes through their exhibits and talking with a ranger will help you zero in on what makes that park special and what activities are realistic for your family.

They have maps, program guides, and Junior Ranger books. Some JR books are free; some cost a few bucks each. They are great summaries from a kids’ perspective of what you should be looking for and doing in each park. And at the end, your kid earns a cool badge to keep. Our friends picked up one in Muir Woods made of reclaimed redwood. The ones in Zion and Yosemite are laser printed wood; some are plastic, but they’re good reminders of previous trips to pin on camelbacks for years to come.

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As for family suitable hikes, I recommend:

Grand Canyon (north rim): The Rim Trail from the campgrounds to the lodge and back

Zion: The Narrows (full day’s hike through a river canyon—so cool!) and Lower Emerald Pool Trail (one hour)

Bryce Canyon: The Navajo Loop trail: from Wall Street to Queens Garden Trail, Sunset to Sunrise Points

Sequoia: Moro Rock, Crescent Meadow Trail to Thorp’s Log, General Sherman Tree (the largest tree in the world)

Kings Canyon: General Grant Grove, Zumwalt Meadow, horseback riding near Cedar Grove

Yosemite: Lower Yosemite Falls, Mirror Lake, rafting along the Merced, the top of Vernal Falls via Mist Trail, Half Dome for those seeking a challenge (must get a permit– competitive).

Death Valley: Drive to Badwater (the lowest point in the US and a giant salt flat) and Artist’s Drive (beautiful). The visitor center at Furnace Creek has a temperature gage outside. Our high was 133, yes 133!!!!!

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The unpredictable surprises that come from just being present in a national park are what make your trip memorable: a herd of bison as you’re driving into Grand Canyon, the refreshing river rushing by your ankles as you maneuver through breath-taking canyons in Zion, a mother and her fawns traipsing by any given campsite at dusk, the falling stars you witness from the meadows in Yosemite. Getting in touch with the earth enlivens you and your kids. Use all five senses. Look out the window. Take time to play. You’re making memories worth every penny.

If you missed Part 1- The Budget you can read it here or Part 2- Planning you can read it here, and Camping Out West Part 3- Buying Food here.

Margaret is a freelance writer in Knoxville, TN. She writes and produces for HGTV and has been couponing since 2009.

Camping Out West Part 3- Buying Food

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The big planning is out of the way, you arrive in Las Vegas, and now you’re ready to relax. Not so fast. Camping still requires you get the right amount of food: not too much, not too little, just right, Goldilocks. As I often buy in volume to save $, this was a tough one for me initially. But you have to keep telling yourself: only buy what you need. The rest is wasted. Find the smallest containers for ketchup, mayo, mustard, maple syrup, etc. Check your recipes. If you only need 5 potatoes, don’t buy 3 pounds. I say this to save you money AND space in your already cramped rental car. Only buy what you need for one week and then restock.

When you arrive at the store, find the produce guy and pick up three banana boxes with the lids. They’re good sizes, are sturdy, and stack well. They also enable you to separate food into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast you’ll want cereal and oatmeal for the days you pack up, coffee and hot cocoa, and pancakes for the more relaxed mornings. The lunch box is often filled with breads, peanut butter, chips,
apples & oranges, and trail mix. The dinner box has pasta, potatoes, corn, canned goods, etc. Then the cooler is your fridge: milk, butter, meats, chocolate, cheese, etc.

Here are our favorite dinners:

Night 1: fresh rotisserie chicken, wild rice, steamed broccoli

Night 2: fresh tortellini in alfredo sauce, frozen peas, French bread

Night 3: leftover chicken in quesadillas, canned corn and black beans

Night 4: foil packets of already cooked sausage, fresh corn, potatoes, onions, and bell peppers. Add a little butter and olive oil to help steam. Splurge for “heavy duty foil” to prevent disaster.

Night 5: hotdogs, baked beans, corn chips

Bring coupons if you want, but you’ll save more by buying less. Stick with stores that don’t require cards for savings or ask them to give you a card. Yes, that saved me $15. In Nevada and California, be prepared for higher prices than in Knoxville; I estimated 30-40% higher across the board except for alcohol. Avoid glass while camping; good wine can come in boxes these days and is sold in grocery stores. Your biggest savings will be sticking to your meal plans: eating breakfast at the campsite or for free in your hotel, packing lunches for hikes, and keeping snacks handy in the car for long drives. It adds up quickly.

And since some campsites don’t have showers, pick up a pack of baby wipes. They’ll get you through a few days. Also buy small Kleenex packs and a small bottle of hand sanitizer that you keep with you at all times. Hey, you never know!

If you missed Part 1- The Budget you can read it here or Part 2- Planning you can read it here.

Margaret is a freelance writer in Knoxville, TN. She writes and produces for HGTV and has been couponing since 2009.

The Picky Chick Fall Consignment Event: Win FREE VIP Early Shopping Pass & $25 Gift Card!

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The Picky Chick Consignment Sale is almost here!!

It is a three-day Fall/Winter pop-up children’s consignment sale event. Shop for baby equipment, cloth diapers, strollers and clothes, gently-worn kids’ clothing, toys and books for up to 50-90% off regular retail prices. All in one place, at one time. This season expect to find deals on winter outerwear, Halloween costumes, toys and video games for Christmas. Shop popular brands for picky teens in the Juniors’ boutique area.

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This is all happening from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. August 25 & 26 and  9 a.m.-3 p.m. August 27 (Half-price day) Admission and parking are free. All major credit and debit cards accepted (no AMEX or checks) and of course cash is accepted. Don’t forget your own shopping bags.

Presale: Pay $5 at the door and shop early between 6-8 p.m. August 24 during the Charity presale (Proceeds to benefit a local charity – Knox County Schools Clothing Center PTA). More infohttp://thepickychick.com/; follow on Instagram @thepickychick and on Facebook for regular updates.

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I am super excited to help spread the word about this sale AND give on lucky Coupon Katie reader a FREE  presale pass good for early admission from 3-8 p.m. on Wednesday August 24, 2016 AND a $25 gift certificate to spend at The Picky Chick Consignment Sale!!

This is a quick giveaway so let’s make it fun and a way for everyone to help each other.  Just leave a comment below telling us (1.) if you have attend the Picky Chick sale before and (2) any advice you have for first time shoppers! If you haven’t been tell us what deals you’re looking for!

That’s it. Comment below and we’ll pick a winner at random.

Open to US residents 18 or older. Coupon Katie was given a free pass and reader prize in consideration for this post. All opinions expressed are those of Coupon Katie, LLC. Winner will contacted via email address used to enter. If winner cannot make it to sale at specified time no replacement prize will be offered.  Coupon Katie LLC is not responsible for transportation. Giveaway ends August Tuesday, August 23rd at  3pm EST. 

FREE Sample of Scünci Braided 3X Stronger Elastic Hair Ties & Coupon (Facebook)

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Through August 31st (or while supplies last), hurry on over to the Scünci Hair Accessories Facebook page and fill out the form to request a FREE sample of Scünci Braided 3X Stronger Elastic Hair Ties and coupon! Keep in mind that you must confirm your subscription by clicking on the link sent to your inbox.

If you’re trying to request this sample on a mobile device, consider clicking on this link and filling out the form.

Camping Out West Part 2 : The Planning

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The key to a successful national park adventure is proper planning. With the centennial celebration of the National Park Service this year, they are more popular than ever. Every campsite we visited was full, and some filled up within seconds of booking windows being open; not exaggerating!

We started with mapping out what we wanted to see and how long we needed at each location. Our favorites made a nice loop starting and ending in Las Vegas. Since Allegiant only flies from Knoxville to Vegas on select days, we picked ideal flights and worked from there. Sign up for their emails so that you can be first to know when they run specials like we got.

Allegiant is super cheap, but the add-ons can add up quickly. I suggest you pay for your checked bags when you book because it’s cheaper. We checked five, but we could have used one more. Allegiant limits the weight to 40 pounds a bag vs the 50 pounds on most airlines. Weigh your bags ahead of time to avoid more fees! And make one of them a cooler. We all carried small backpacks that fit under the seat to avoid the “carry-on baggage” fees. Pack your own snacks and water bottles to avoid pricey in-flight snack charges. Unfortunately, even on a direct flight, Allegiant lost one of our bags—the cooler. Make a list of everything in each bag. We were able to replace its contents at Wal-mart and REI, but it did cost us time.

For rental cars, it pays to book well in advance. We reserved a car right after booking airfares in January. SUVs are almost always cheaper than mini-vans, but get what you need for your family. Just make sure you read the fine print to get “unlimited miles within the states you plan to visit.”

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Since setting up campsites can be time and energy consuming, I suggest staying at least two nights at every location. You’ll thank me later. We stayed two nights at Grand Canyon, three in Zion (with a day trip to Bryce), two in Kings Canyon (with a day trip through Sequoia), and four nights in Yosemite. Note: each site is limited to six people, but if you book with friends who have five in their family, you can space out a family of seven. Hint, hint: Coupon Katie.

Most national park campsites book six months in advance; Yosemite is four months. Check Recreation.gov for details of parks that interest you. All reservations are done online, often at 10am EST on the 15 th of the month. And when I say 10am, you better be Johnny on the spot, ready to hit that button at 10am. As three families planning a reunion in Yosemite, we had six adults with individual accounts trying to nab 12 specific sites (one each on computers and one on mobile). Out of 12 attempts, only three were successful in the first two seconds. Thankfully that’s all we needed, but if you want Yosemite during peak summer times, you have to be a shark! Check here for more tips

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Your last step before you go is packing clothes. Lay out what you think you need and then put half away. Not kidding. You’re camping without showers for possibly days. What difference does it make if you wear clothes more than once?! We packed one weeks’ worth and then washed them at a hotel before week two. We fit almost all our clothes in one suitcase and then separated them into mesh bags so that everyone could find their clothes easily in the tent.

I suggest two sets of pants that can zip off as shorts, leggings for girls, 5 t-shirts, 1 extra layer for cooler mornings, 1 bathing suit, 3 good hiking socks you can wash at the campsite, clean undies every day, a hat and sunglasses, and only 3 pairs of shoes per person: hiking boots, close toed water shoes, and flip flops / Chacos / Tevas.

If you’ve managed to get your flights, rental car, and campsites, the rest is cake. Relax and look forward to spontaneity when you arrive.

If you missed Part 1- The Budget you can read it here.

Margaret is a freelance writer in Knoxville, TN. She writes and produces for HGTV and has been couponing since 2009.