Monday, March 31, 2014

LG G2 on Sprint receiving Android 4.4 update now

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The Android 4.4 KitKat update is slowly rolling out for the LG G2 and we've already seen it appear for both AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. Now the LG G2 on Sprint is receiving the Android 4.4 update, as it has begun rolling out today.

Sprint has announced the arrival of the update that will bring improvements and new features as well as including some bug fixes. This is being pushed out as an OTA update, so owners of the Sprint LG G2 simply need to follow the instructions when they receive notification to their device.

Bear in mind you may need to be a little patient as the update is being rolled out in stages. If you want to check manually rather than wait for a prompt then you can head to Settings followed by System Updates followed by Update LG Software and finally Check Now. Sprint advises your device has at least 50% when you attempt to update and it's wise to use a Wi-Fi connection.

Are you one of the lucky ones who have already received the Android 4.4 update for the LG G Flex on Sprint, and if so, what do you think of the changes?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Energy giant SSE promises to freeze gas and electricity bills

  • SSE to axe 500 jobs and slash spending on wind farms to fund freeze
  • Comes after it warned that Miliband's proposed freeze was 'dangerous'
  • Move now heaps pressure on other major players to follow suit

By Martin Robinson and Matt Chorley and Sean Poulter

Britain's second-biggest energy firm has announced it will axe hundreds of jobs and slash spending on wind farms to fund a freeze on gas and electricity bills.

However, there are already many cheaper deals available which last for even longer - including one from SSE itself.

The decision by SSE means the average standard tariff dual-fuel bill for those paying by cheque or cash will be held at £1,266 until January 2016.

It represents a remarkable U-turn for the company, which had argued that a Promotional Code freeze would be dangerous when the idea was put forward by Labour leader Ed Miliband last autumn.

The move also heaps pressure on the other major players to follow suit. British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower and Scottish Power have also argued against price freezes.

The news triggered a heated row at Prime Minister's Questions as David Cameron and the Labour leader squabbled over who should take credit.

For months, the Prime Minister ridiculed Labour's pledge to freeze energy prices if it wins the next election as a 'price con' that was impossible to deliver because of fluctuating global prices.

But Mr Miliband insisted the decision by SSE meant Mr Cameron's argument had been 'totally demolished'.


SSE said the freeze is possible as it plans to cut costs by £100million, axe 500 jobs and cancel spending on new wind farms.

Six months ago, SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies dismissed Labour's price freeze plan as 'unsustainable'.

Yesterday he said: 'We're responding to questions that have been asked of us with a positive agenda for customers, including the longest ever unconditional energy price freeze.'

However, the firm's new deal is still more expensive than others available.

And even SSE itself has a tariff that holds prices until March 2017 and comes in at an annual average of £1,186, a saving of around £80 a year, although it has to be paid monthly by direct debit.

Clare Francis, of price comparison website MoneySuperMarket, said: 'Those paying the provider's standard prices could still save money by switching to a cheaper tariff.

'There are seven tariffs where the price is fixed until 2016 and five fixed until 2017.'

Adam Scorer, of customer watchdog Consumer Futures, said: 'A freeze at current electricity prices will provide security and reassurance for millions of consumers, even if it will not reduce the burden on households struggling to afford to keep their homes warm.'

Number switching energy supplier lower now than a decade ago

The number of people switching energy supplier is lower now than a decade ago, a study shows.

In 2003 a total of 7.26million switched gas and electricity supplier, compared to only 5.88million in 2013.

The numbers peaked in 2008 at 9.58million and have been falling ever since.

The research was carried out by The Big Deal which is arranging collective switching so a large group of customers can secure a better deal.

It found that despite what Energy UK and the Big Six claim the amount of switching is lower now than it was ten years ago.

Henry de Zoete, co-founder of The Big Deal, said: 'Energy UK and the Big Six claim that the market is working because more and more people are switching.

'The truth is the opposite. There are less switches now than ten years ago. Investigating the Big Six is long overdue but people need help with their bills now.

' A review will take years to complete and even longer to implement. People can rightly ask how many more winters will go by before bills come down? The Big Deal will deliver cheaper energy now by harnessing people power to get a better deal.'


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Get The Best Hand-Crafted Icons To Make Your Designs Pop [Deals] | Cult of Mac

Buy Cheap-designs">

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Chances are incredibly low that you won't find what you're looking for throughout this set...and these icons also come in all the formats you need to keep your design clean and looking its best.

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  • Over 1200 Vector Icons: This insane collection features over 1,200 different icons to choose from.
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Note: To view samples of each design set, click here.

These icons can be used for web applications, iOS applications, Android applications, and native desktop applications...and you've got a slew of them to choose from in the process.

So what are you waiting for? Head to the Deals page and pick up this bundle for just $19 to get pixel perfect icons for your designs today!

Allan Blocker is the lead editor at StackSocial;, an e-commerce platform offering flash sales on digital tools, web apps, and tech gear. He sleeps, breathes, and would probably eat Mac apps if it was at all possible. Follow Allan on Twitter @allanblocker.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by Allan Blocker.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Find these products at Sam's for best deal

Do you love shopping at warehouse clubs such as Sam's Club? I do! You're sure to find great deals on lots of items, but be careful. Not everything you find in a warehouse store will be the Online Deals possible price. Here are some of my favorite warehouse store finds and some things that I find a better deal on elsewhere.

One of my favorite reasons to shop at Sam's Club is for parties. I love throwing birthday parties at our house and a Fourth of July party in the summer. Whenever I am getting ready for those, there is definitely a stop at our local Sam's Club on my list. We always make our own food so stocking up on meat there is a must, especially hamburger meat. The quality is near restaurant-grade and the price is great! Frozen appetizers or desserts are also much cheaper, often as much as 40 percent less. If I need buns for something like sausage and peppers, that's usually where I find the best deal on nice rolls too. You'll also find the best price and quality on buffet supplies such as chafing fuel and aluminum pans. Instead of paying nearly the same price at other stores for two-hour chafing fuel, you'll be getting six-hour cans that can be reused. Some things that I skip at Sam's for my parties are soda, condiments, pickles, and chips. I can usually find better deals on those item s at the grocery store with coupons or even the dollar store. Summer produce I buy at local farm stands where I get a great deal on the freshest fruits and veggies.

Warmer weather, or just knowing that warmer weather is on the way, also gets me giddy to shop at Sam's. If you are looking for outdoor patio furniture and don't have a specific color or style in mind, you might just find the perfect set. The selection won't be quite as large as other stores, but the quality is likely to be better for less of a price. Gardening supplies are a fantastic buy there too. You'll find high-quality commercial tools, hoses, plants, mulch, and more at great prices. If you're planning a vacation this summer, you'll find the best deal on beach towels and boogie boards now before summer. Once after-summer clearance sales start you'll also be able to find good deals at department stores too, but much later in the season. Skip the bulk sunscreen though … the best price on that is always found at drugstores with a sale and coupons.

Other items that you'll find great deals on at warehouse stores include tires, electronics, appliances, laundry detergent, and batteries. When shopping there just don't let yourself get too carried away. Even though there are many deals to be found at warehouse stores think about if you really need an item in bulk, if you will use it before it goes bad, or if you can find a better deal elsewhere with a sale and coupons before adding it to your cart.

Happy saving!

Friday, March 14, 2014

New Super Hero Comics On Sale: Week Of March 12

You like All-New Marvel NOW! I mean, you must really, really like it.

At least it seems that way because a bunch of Marvel's recently relaunched books are back this week for second or third printings. If you missed out on All-New Invaders #1, All-New X-Factor #2, Amazing X-Men #2 or #3, Avengers World #2, Black Widow #2 or #3, Guardians of the Galaxy or a couple other titles that debute over the past three months, you're in luck, because they'll be back on shelves today.

And there are more first issues this week. Captain Marvel takes flight once again, and the Secret Avengers test how long they can remain a secret as their latest volume kicks off. The only question is what Marvel is going to call the next wave of relaunches. All-New-New? Deal Today-New?

But I kid Marvel. Switching gears, the highlight of the week for DC is the finale of the "Zero Year" storyline in Batman #29. The solicitation says Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (who is really killing it on this book, IMO) have saved the best for last, and if nothing else, you've got to love the way this exploration of the New 52 Batman's rookie year elevated the Riddler into the A-list player he deserves to be.

Without further ado, here's the full list of new super hero comics on sale this week:


  • All-New X-Factor #4
  • All-New X-Men #24
  • Avengers Undercover #1
  • Black Widow #4
  • Captain Marvel #1
  • Deadpool #25.1
  • Fantastic Four #2
  • Hawkeye #17
  • Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble #6
  • Mighty Avengers #8
  • Revolutionary War #6
  • Secret Avengers #1
  • The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #9
  • Superior Spider-Man #29
  • Wolverine #3
  • X-Force #2
  • X-Men: Legacy #300


  • Batgirl #29
  • Batman #29
  • Batman Lil Gotham #12 - FINAL ISSUE
  • Constantine #12
  • Green Lantern Corps #29
  • Justice League 3000 #4
  • Justice League of America #13
  • Legends of the Dark Knight 100 Page Super Spectacular #2
  • Nightwing #29
  • Smallville: Alien #4 (of 4)
  • Superboy #29
  • Superman/Wonder Woman #6

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Using Snapchat: A Guide for Brands

Previously, I've discussed the rising popularity of Snapchat, the ephemeral 10-second photo-sharing app that teens are absolutely crazy about. While Snapchat's user base has been growing by the millions, unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of its active users are brands. This is because Snapchat presents a few unique challenges to brands looking to leverage the app as a marketing tool. Despite its lack of an advertising platform, some brands are successfully using Snapchat to reach the coveted teen demographic. With this guide, your brand can, too.

The Stats on Snapchat

Exactly what audience can you reach through Snapchat? Here's what the stats have to say:

  • Snapchat has an estimated 26 million active users in the U.S.
  • About 400 million snaps (photos and videos) are sent per day.
  • The core audience on Snapchat is ages 13-25.
  • Women make up 70% of Snapchat's user base.
  • 18% of people who own an iPhone are on Snapchat.
  • From May 2012 to April 2013, the number of snaps sent per day grew from 6 million to 150 million.

These statistics show not only that Snapchat's core audience is the same audience that many marketers are trying to reach, but also that its audience is ever-expanding, making Snapchat a prime target for your brand's social media marketing strategy.

The Snapchat Challenge

Snapchat is an app with a massive, growing audience, but unfortunately for brands, poses significant challenges for marketers:

    Snapchat is almost entirely visual. Other than the doodle function, Snapchat does not provide any space for marketers to add text to their messages, eliminating the ability to add context.
    It lacks editing capabilities. Marketers cannot edit the images they send out to improve their quality.
    Discoverability on the app is extremely limited. Your audience isn't likely to find you on Snapchat unless they make the choice to add you as a friend.
    Snapchat offers basically zero metrics. With a lack of in-app metrics, Snapchat does not allow you to track the success of your campaign.
  • Hosting contests
  • Providing sneak peeks & exclusive content
  • Offering coupons & discounts
  • Going behind-the-scenes
  • Using the Snapchat Stories feature
  • Introducing new products
  • Inviting fans to participate

With these massive obstacles standing in your way, is Snapchat really worth it? Depending on your brand's audience, it may not be. But for brands looking to catch the eye of the teen demographic, it's time to look at how others are overcoming these challenges.

How Brands Are Using Snapchat

Although there aren't many brands on Snapchat, a select few are taking the app by storm. Brands are using a range of strategies to reach their audience, including:

Taco Bell

An early adopter of Snapchat, Taco Bell used the app to send out an exclusive announcement: the Beefy Crunch Burrito comeback. As shown in the Twitter response above, many users were excited to receive a snap from the well-known brand. In addition, Taco Bell was the first amongst major brands to leverage the Snapchat Stories feature, which allows you to put multiple snaps together to create a story that can be viewed for 24 hours rather than the typical 10 seconds.

16 Handles

A frozen yogurt chain located in New York, 16 Handles successfully used Snapchat to target its core audience with a delicious deal. In return for sending a snap of yourself enjoying one of their tasty treats, 16 Handles sent snaps of coupons for either 16%, 50%, or 100% off your purchase. They reported over 1,400 engagements with customers through the app. 16 Handles chose Snapchat for this promotion not only because the coupon couldn't be shared with friends, but also because they noticed that many of their younger customers were using it.


While many disapprove of Snapchat due its reputation as a platform for sexting, clothing retailer Karmaloop chose to take advantage instead. They target their college-aged audience through Snapchat by sending risqué snaps of models in addition to new products and coupons. They also encourage audience participation, and they now have over 2,000 friends on Snapchat.


Acura took advantage of the video feature on Snapchat, sending a six-second clip of their new NSX Prototype. They made the content even more exclusive by only sending this clip to the first 100 users who added them as a friend through the app.


GrubHub took a similar approach to Acura, offering exclusive content to the first 100 users to add them as a friend. Like many other brands, they also promoted their Snapchat account on Twitter to jumpstart their campaign.


MTV UK created a successful Snapchat campaign to promote season six of Geordie Shore, the British version of the popular reality show Jersey Shore. They sent exclusive cast footage as well as reminders to catch the premiere on air.

The New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are another brand to take advantage of the Snapchat Stories feature. They plan to send snaps that go behind-the-scenes with the team as well as sneak peeks of the Saints' weekly uniforms and pictures of new team merchandise.

The Co-operative Electrical

A retailer based in the UK, the Co-operative Electrical targeted a student audience on Snapchat. They offered Promo Codes codes for £30 off the purchase of a laptop to those who added them as a friend. Because the snaps only lasted for seconds, their audience had to be ready to copy the code down immediately.

Rebecca Minkoff

Just moments before the Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2014 collection was set to appear on the runway of New York Fashion Week, the brand sent exclusive snaps of the full line to anyone who added them as a friend.


ChatSports, a personalized website and app for sports fans, used Snapchat to promote a contest giving away free baseball tickets. To earn tickets, fans had to have five friends not only add ChatSports on Snapchat, but also send a snap containing their username and a hashtag.

Wet Seal

To gain a following on Snapchat, Wet Seal took a very unique approach: they had a 16-year-old take control of their Snapchat account. Meghan Hughes, also known as MissMeghanMakeup online, is a beauty blogger who has 200,000 subscribers on YouTube, 101,000 followers on Instagram, and 49,000 followers on Twitter. Meghan ran the account for two days, during which she used the Snapchat Stories feature to document herself not only wearing Wet Seal clothing, but also playing with the family dog and making cookies for Christmas. The story was viewed 6,000 times, and Wet Seal gained 9,000 friends on Snapchat.

Unilever's Lynx

Will your brand add Snapchat to its social media roster?

Unilever's brand Lynx is another brand that provided exclusive content via Snapchat. They "leaked" the news of a secret launch party, including photos that went behind-the-scenes with Charlie Webster, TV presenter and host, on a photo shoot. Lynx also took advantage of the risqué nature of Snapchat, responding to some questionable snaps from their followers with a photo of their Deep Space Shower Gel and the suggestion of a cold shower.

Your Snapchat Strategy

Having trouble coming up with ideas for your Snapchat marketing campaign? Try taking advantage of someone else's. Recently, Tongal ran a contest that drew 584 ideas for how top brands can up their Snapchat marketing game. Some ideas included "sexts" from Victoria's Secret with coupon codes, a city naming contest for free airfare through Southwest Airlines, and cheat codes for EA Games' most popular video games. Head on over to the project page to view some of these great ideas.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

TV Ratings Thursday: 'Scandal' & 'Grey's Anatomy' Dip, 'The Big Bang Theory', 'The Vampire Diaries' & 'Parenthood' Up, 'American Idol' Hits Low

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CBS was number one with adults 18-49 and with total viewers.

On CBS earned a 5.2, up 4 percent from last week's 5.0 adults 18-49 rating. scored a 3.0 ,up 11 percent from last week's 2.7. garnered a 2.7 up 8 percent from last week's 2.5 adults 18-49 rating and ranking as its highest rated episode since its season premiere. tied its series low with a 1.7, down 11 percent from last week's 1.9 adults 18-49 ratings. earned a 1.7, up 6 percent from last week's 1.6 adults 18-49 rating.

On ABC, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland returned to a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating, matching its most recent original episode. Grey's Anatomy scored a 2.6 down 16 percent from last week's 3.1 adults 18-49 rating. earned a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating down 18 percent from last week's 3.4. Your predictions were too optimistic.

On FOX, hit a series low 2.2 down 8 percent from last week's 2.4 adults 18-49 rating. Rake matched last week's 0.8 adults 18-49 rating.

On NBC, Community matched last week's series low 1.0 adults 18-49 rating. Parks and Recreationscored a 1.2 up 9 percent from last week's 1.1 adults 18-49 rating. Hollywood Game Night garnered a 1.1 down 8 percent from last week's 1.2 adults 18-49 rating. notched a 1.2 up 9 percent from its last week's series low 1.1 adults 18-49 rating.

On The CW, earned a 1.0 up 11 percent from last week's series low 0.9 adults 18-49 rating. notched a 0.7 up 40 percent from last week's series low 0.5 adults 18-49 rating.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, March 6, 2014:


Via NBC Press Note:

Detailed Thursday Late-Night Results in the Metered Markets:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:

    In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," 3.2/9; CBS's " with David Letterman," 2.2/6; and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 2.2/6.

    In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: "Tonight," 1.3/6; "," 0.5/2; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/3.

    From 12:35-1:05 a.m. ET, ABC's "" averaged a 1.3/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in 18-49 in the Local People Meters.

    From 12:35-1:35 a.m. ET, "Late Night with Seth Meyers" (1.6/6 in metered-market households) beat CBS's "Late with Craig Ferguson" (1.1/4). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.7/5 in 18-49) topped "Late " (0.2/2).

    At 1:35 a.m., " with Carson Daly" averaged a 1.0/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2014 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.-

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)
Time Shifted Viewing - Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data - Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101 and Numbers 102.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Jay Z turns down Kanye West in best man offer

Hamilton Spectator

Jay Z has turned down the chance to be Kanye West's Deal Today man.

The 44-year-old rapper only agreed to the idea initially providing his family - including wife Beyonce and their two-year-old daughter Blue Ivy - wouldn't be filmed for Kim Kardashian's reality show.

Speaking to the Daily Star newspaper, an insider revealed: "Jay is Kanye's closest friend so he wants him to be best man.

"Jay agreed initially but had one condition - under no circumstances can there be any reality TV shows filming him, his wife, Beyonce or daughter Blue Ivy during the ceremony."

Meanwhile, Jay Z's wife is also said to be totally against appearing on 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians'.

The source added: "The thought of popping up in 'KUWTK' mortifies Beyonce.

"She purposefully keeps herself away from trashy TV and isn't prepared to lower her standards for anyone, or any occasion."

However, E! bosses - who run Kim Kardashian's reality show - are reportedly "desperate" to air the ceremony, meaning Jay Z may miss out on being best man.

The insider said: "Bosses at E! are desperate to get the nuptials on air, and will pay millions to make it happen."

U.S. paper industry get boosted from Shutterfly, Moo, Minted and Amazon.

<Discountp>COHOES, NY-For three generations, Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. ran a mill at the juncture of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers, selling paper to IBM, Exxon Mobil, General Electric and other corporate giants for annual reports.

But as business moved online, company President Thomas D. O'Connor Jr. was left to rescue the firm his grandfather founded 83 years ago in a former Civil War-era ax-handle factory.

Mohawk, the town's largest...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Coupon sources: Where to find coupons for products you actually use!

One of the keys to saving money is by using coupons for the products you normally purchase. Just getting one copy of the Sunday paper does not give you enough variety or enough coupons to help you make a serious dent in your grocery bill. Your goal is to stock up on the best buys for items you use. Finding multiples of coupons for those items is the way to build a great stockpile for little cost. By the way, when I say "stockpile," I mean buying enough of the non-perishables and items you can freeze (like meat and some produce) to last about 4 to 6 weeks. That's a normal sales cycle for many foods. I am not one of the couponers who recommends buying enough toilet paper to last you and your whole family for the next 100 years!

The good news is that there are many coupon sources available including sources for the expensive organic and gluten free products! Here are some of the ways I find coupons for our favorite products:

Sunday Newspaper Inserts: If you want a good variety of coupons, you may want to get at least one copy of the Sunday coupons. I was able to get my Sunday only paper for $1.07 per week using a coupon code. Call your local paper and see if they have any available deals on the Sunday paper. If you live in a smaller town, try to get the Sunday newspaper for the larger city nearest to you. They will often have more coupons than the small town papers.

If you buy the paper at a store on Sunday (instead of getting a subscription), make sure you buy it INSIDE the store, not from the paper boxes outside of the store. You want to make sure your paper has the coupons in it before you pay, which you can't do if you are buying from the paper box.

Printable Coupons: Some of the best coupons you will find these days are printable coupons. You may have to spend a little in ink and paper but you can score some big savings! Many manufacturer's offer coupons every day on their websites and Facebook pages including, and There are also tons of great printable coupons on sites including,,, and more. We post links to manufacturer's coupons on the blog daily. Be sure to sign up for the e-newsletters on the websites for your favorite products and "Like" their Facebook pages so they can alert you when there are new coupons and promotions available.

I want to emphasize that manufacturers are offering some of their highest value coupons through their Facebook pages. If you do not have a Facebook account because you are not interested in the social aspect, you may want to consider getting one just because of the fabulous printable coupons available!

For many of these printable coupons websites, you will need to join their website. It's free to join and you usually have to be logged in to print the coupons. You will have to download some kind of printer software to print most coupons. Many printable coupon websites will allow you to print a coupon twice before it is no longer available. Some only allow 1 print. If you are having trouble getting a coupon to print, you may want to switch browsers between Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Chrome.

Here are the top printable coupon sites I recommend:

* coupons can be found in the Smart Shopper Coupons link above. Some of my favorite manufacturer's coupons each month come from this website!

* coupons HERE: Good source for printable manufacturer's coupons

* coupons HERE: Good source for printable manufacturer's coupons

* coupons HERE: Good source for printable manufacturer's coupons for Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and other products

* coupons HERE: Good source for printable manufacturer's coupons for Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and other products

* coupons HERE for printable Kellogg's coupons: Click on Coupons at the top of the page to see the available coupons. You can also print higher value Kallogg's coupons valid on various Kellogg's products when you redeem KelloggsFamilyRewards points. The codes needed to earn the points are found on the boxes of qualifying Kellogg's products. Look for the Kellogg's Family Rewards logo on participating products. Then inside the box, you will find a code. Enter the code The codes for different products are worth different amounts and you can see the specific amounts on their website. Once you earn 500 points, you can redeem them for a .75/1 coupon for various products. Once you earn 1000 points you can redeem the points for a $1.50/1 coupon (those are great during Super Doubles!). It's all free and if you use Kellogg's products, it won't take you long to get enough points for coupons.

* HERE - Good source for organic and health food product coupons

* HERE (this site often has coupons for health foods and organic products)

* HERE (this site has a number of products for health foods and organic products)

* HERE is a website that gives you points for learning about great ways to become more eco-friendly in your home and throughout your community. You can cash in those points for coupons, freebies (like magazine subscriptions) and gift cards to places like Panera, iTunes, Best Buy and more! It's free to join and you can start earning points right away by doing easy activities like watching videos about recycling, pledging to recycle certain products and reading articles about eco-friendly topics.

Cash Back Websites: In the last few years, a wonderful and new type of savings option has become very popular! I have saved a bunch of money using cash back e-offer websites. The offers from these sites are for coupons that do not come off at the register. Instead, you receive the coupon amount from the cash back website anywhere from a couple hours to a few weeks later. The discount amount is added to an account with that cash back site and once you reach a minimum amount in the account, you can cash it out for a check, Paypal, Amazon gift cards and more, depending on the website. Each website has different minimum amounts, which you can see below. You will NOT see anything about your savings from these sites on the register receipt. The store will send your purchase info to the companies so you get the savings, but you will see anything about it on the actual receipt from the store. The three cash back sites I recommend are *, and * Checkout, and * They all offer some great savings. One of the best parts about these sites is that you can use a paper coupon and/or a store coupon at the register in addition to getting the cash back offer!

* With the e-coupon site SavingStar, you don't print out a coupon to redeem at the register. You join the website for free, enter in your store rewards cards for participating locations and then pick the digital coupons you want to add to your reward cards. Once you buy a qualified item that is offering savings, the coupon savings are added to your SavingStar account withing 2 to 22 days. Once you have accrued $5 worth of savings in your SavingStar account, you can cash the savings in for a direct deposit to your bank account, a deposit to your Paypal account, an Amazon gift card or you can donate it to a non-profit organization.

Savingstar offers can be used in conjunction with paper coupons and other digital coupon programs! There are new offers added weekly and they also have a new produce offer every Tuesday and a Friday Freebie every Friday! Print out your list of offers to bring with you to the store so you know what savings you have available. For more information, head to their website HERE.

* Checkout 51 is a new cash back coupon source that can be used in conjunction with paper coupons and other digital coupon programs! And you can use it with your smartphone or computer. Sign up on the Checkout 51 website HERE for free using your e-mail or Facebook information. Browse the available offers (and print out a list so you know what offers you have available). The offers are valid each Thursday through the following Wednesday.

Head to the store (any store) and buy the offers you want (we have had offers for milk, orange juice, cereal, carrots, yogurt and more!). Take a photo of your receipt and upload it to Checkout 51 through their website or their Smart phone app (which is what I do). Make sure you submit your receipts during the time that the offers are valid. One the new offers begin on Thursdays, it is too late to submit offers purchased before Thursday, Once they confirm your purchase, they will credit your Checkout 51 account in about 24 hours. My last receipt was approved and the savings were added to my account in 2 hours! That's fast! When you accrue $20 in your Checkout 51 account, you can cash it out in the form of a check mailed to your address. It's a very easy way to increase your coupon savings even more!

* is a coupon site that allows you to earn cash back on the groceries and non-food items you buy at stores including Harris Teeter, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, Kroger and more! You will need a smartphone or other mobile device to get these offers, This site requires a few more steps to get your savings than the other sites above, but there are some great deals to be had!

The first step is to sign up with HERE. Then download the ibotta app from their website HERE or from your app store on your smartphone. Here are the details from the app download page.

Here's how it works:

1. Before shopping, choose your offers. The more you choose, the more cash back you'll earn.

2. Go Shopping. Buy your chosen products at any of the major retailers that Ibotta supports.

3. Take a photo of your receipt and bar code. We'll verify your purchases and credit your account right away.

4. Get your cash loaded onto your PayPal account or donated to any school in America.

Participating stores: Ibotta works at many retailers including these stores in our area: Harris Teeter, Food Lion, ,Target, Walmart, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens. Food Lion is an electronic partner which means that when you link your Food Lion MVP card with your ibotta account, you will get the e-coupon amounts added to your account automatically when you shop there without having to take receipt and bar code photos.

You can increase the amount of your offers by doing different (easy) activities like taking a poll, liking the company on Facebook or reading a recipe.

Big benefit: You can use the ibotta savings in conjunction with manufacturers coupons and store coupons so you can stack a number of different savings avenues.

If you use ibotta, please share your experiences. This app does require a little extra work as far as taking pictures of the receipts but that doesn't take long at all.

For more information, go to the website. PLUS, they are offering a new member bonus right now. New members get a $2 Welcome Aboard sign-up bonus when you redeem your first offer within 10 days of registering HERE!

E-Coupons: E-coupons are digital (electronic) coupons that can be loaded onto your rewards card. A number of grocery and drug stores offer e-coupons including Harris Teeter's e-Vic digital coupons, Food Lion digital coupons, Lowes Foods digital coupons and Kroger digital coupons. Even CVS allows you to load certain digital coupons to your Extrabucks rewards card. Just today I received an e-mail from CVS with a 20% off coupon for regular priced items. I had the option to print the coupon or load it to my rewards card. To see the e-coupons for these stores, head to their websites. Keep in mind that most e-coupons are considered manufacturer's coupons and cannot be combined with paper coupons. In this area, Harris Teeter is the only store that allows you to "stack" paper coupons AND their digital coupons (found at on the same product.

Friends, Neighbors, Co-workers, Family: Trade coupons with everyone you know. Set up a coupon basket at work in the break room or at your religious organization. Leave those coupons you don't want and take those you do. Assign someone to go through the basket each month to remove expired coupons (and send them to our overseas military through

Manufacturer's Toll Free Phone Numbers: If it seems like you can never find a coupon for a favorite product, try calling or e-mailing the company directly. Many will send coupons just because you asked. This is an especially good technique for high cost organic items and gluten free products that rarely offer coupons in the newspaper.

Product Packages: I have found tons of coupons on the inside and outside of packages. Don't throw them away until you have taken a good look in the package for any hidden coupons.

Register Coupons: Register coupons are those coupons that come out of the coupon machine next to the register. We often refer to them as Catalinas or Cats because they are offered through the Catalina Marketing Company. Catalina coupons are usually manufacturer's coupons but most have a store logo on them. This means that unless your store accepts competitor's coupons, they may not accept Catalina coupons. They usually scan just fine at other stores because they are manufacturer's coupons, but many stores will not take a coupon with a logo on it. These coupons generally do not double either. Every once in a while you may find that one does double when you are shopping at stores that double coupons, but the coupons do indicate Do Not Double. Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods do accept competitors coupons for a total off your total order so when you get coupons from the atalina Machine from other grocery stores for $4 off a $40 purchase, for instance, you can use them at Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods. They will accept these coupons as long as you have met the purchase requirement on the coupon after all other coupons have been scanned,

In-store coupons and rebates: Don't overlook those coupons and rebates in the aisles in the red boxes on the shelves or on product displays. There are not as many on the shelves as there used to be but I still some every once in a while. During Frozen Food Month and at least one other time during the year, Harris Teeter and Lowes Food will put out a large cardboard in the shape of a penguin. It usually has a number of coupons for frozen and refrigerated products. Sometimes you even find meat, produce or other product coupons or rebates in the stores. They are usually offered by beer or wine companies but in NC you do not have to buy the alcohol to use the coupon or redeem the rebate. That wording will be on the coupon as well.

Magazines: There are some good coupons in the All You Magazine found in stores and online. I don't use every coupon each month and some months there are very few I use but there are enough to more than pay for the subscription and the frugal living articles are informative. There are sometimes coupons in other magazines as well including Good Housekeeping and Better Homes and Gardens.

Coupon Swaps: If you are looking for a coupon swap in the Triangle, check out the Smart Shopper blog every Tuesday when I post a list of swaps going on for the month. There are swaps taking place almost every week somewhere in the Triangle. They are a great way to get multiples of coupons and meet other awesome couponers in the area. Swappers usually meet at local fast food places, libraries or community centers.

Retail coupons: Before you do any online or in-store retail shopping, be sure to look at and for Amazon Sales and printable coupons. I often use the Retailmenot app on my smartphone in stores to get discounts when I am out and about.

Please share any additional coupon sources you use and as I always say: It's your money - spend it wisely!

This post contains some affiliate links and I thank you for using them!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

RV to tour state to promote Get Covered Illinois

CHICAGO - With a six-month enrollment period ending at the end of March, the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace has planned a month of Deal Of The Day activities and Gov. Pat Quinn has issued a proclamation to support the push to sign up the uninsured.

The public relations push is designed to call attention to the March 31 deadline for private insurance coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law. After that date, most people without insurance are subject to federal tax penalties.

"As we get down to the wire for enrollment, it is critical that we reach uninsured residents and motivate them to take action to get covered before the March 31 deadline," said Jennifer Koehler, executive director for Get Covered Illinois, in a news release.

The enrollment push has the theme "Road 2 Coverage" and will feature an RV touring the state, starting with an event Saturday at Juarez Community Academy in Chicago. The RV is designed as a moving billboard for Get Covered Illinois, making stops in communities with high numbers of uninsured residents. During March, the RV will be in the Chicago area, Marion, East St. Louis, Rockford and several other cities.

Quinn on Saturday declared March 1-8 "Get Covered Illinois Week" in a proclamation citing his administration's commitment "to improving the health and well-being of the people of Illinois."

Nationally, about 4 million people have signed up for health insurance through federal or state marketplaces set up under Obama's health care law. More than 88,000 Illinois residents signed up for private health insurance during the first four months of the nation's new insurance marketplace system.

Technical glitches and software meltdowns on the federal marketplace deterred many people from signing up after enrollments under the federal Affordable Care Act began in October, but Illinois enrollment has turned around and is nearing the original target set by the Obama administration.

Consumers who want to shop for insurance and see if they qualify for tax credits can visit the Illinois marketplace at Enrollment counselors throughout the state are providing help and can be found on the website by entering a ZIP code.