Caren Oppenheim

You Make It, We Post It!

Written on July 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm , by

They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Instagram user @loveonafarm went straight to the source with her take on our Mini Blueberry Pies, sweetening up the shape and forgoing the original’s pop sticks. She said the “super easy recipe” made for a “delicious little DIY Monday!” Can’t say we disagree!

Watch a step-by-step video on how to prepare this dessert here.

 

 

Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

You Make It, We Post It!

Written on July 14, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

Pesto chango! Instagram user @zibs mixed up our Kale-Walnut Pesto, including pine nuts. The photographer clearly knows how to capture a picture-perfect food shot, styling her sauce and crusty bread next to our July issue.

Get inspired by more creative recipes for quick and easy snacks, desserts and drinks, here.

Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

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Great College Bargains

Written on July 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm , by

College can be pricey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save. We rounded up some of our favorite deals below.

Books

Visit chegg.com for better deals than at your school bookstore, or download the free Amazon App to scan barcodes and compare prices.

Dorm Supplies

PBteen gives students 10% off their order with an .edu email address or a valid college ID. pbteen.com 

Electronics

Apple Education offers special education discounts and a financing option that allows students (or parents) to pay for Apple software, Mac computers, and select accessories over time. apple.com

Best Buy sends coupon codes for deals on MacBooks and other tech devices to students who enter their .edu email address. bestbuy.com 

Other

The free College Discounts app (iTunes and Google Play) gives students deals for popular local businesses around campus. The app currently features more than 50 colleges.

5 Smart Ways to Score Freebies

Written on July 8, 2014 at 11:01 am , by

By Anna Davies

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but by being creative, you can turn up plenty of ways to get a meal (and gym membership, theater tickets or groceries) without opening your wallet. “Not only have people become more savvy about finding bargains, but businesses have realized the value of their relationships with their customers, who can act like an informal marketing department,” explains Clare Levison, author of Frugal Isn’t Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better. Try these real reader strategies to score—and save—big.

“Like” a Great Service

Following a business you love on Facebook or Twitter can be an excellent way to get insider info on special sales. But for even more deals, ask the company how you can help. Gina Lincicum, 41, a mom of three in Washington, DC, became a mystery shopper for a local restaurant chain. “I earn a free meal, plus $10 or so for filling out a questionnaire about my experience that usually takes 10 minutes to complete. I keep track of my mileage to and from the restaurant for my taxes, so I get a little money back that way too.”

Swap Skills

Think beyond trading carpooling for babysitting duties:  Bartering can also be  used to score major discounts on dental appointments, music lessons and other small-business services. Hope Hunt, 39, from Williamsburg, Virginia, saves $674 a month on tae kwon do and gymnastics lessons for her four children. “I work in technology, so I offer website design, blog setup and networking support in exchange for lessons,” Hunt explains. Not sure what you can offer? Look around and see what’s not available.

Volunteer

Tickets to museums, aquariums and theater performances can be scored for nada by giving your time, explains Laura Wallis, a mother of two and creator of the money-saving site Momsgonnafindout.com. “Check local attractions,” she suggests. “Usually nonprofits will be happy for an extra pair of hands.” Often you’ll have to attend a training session and make a specific time commitment, so this is a great strategy if you’re truly passionate about an organization. Bonus: If your teen has a volunteer-hour quota at school, joining you helps her while giving you two a chance to hang out.

Join a Focus Group

Offering your opinions on brands can be valuable if you’re savvy about sifting through opportunities, explains Wallis. “Some pay people in product, but others offer $20 to $150 an hour for your time.” Sign up at paidfocusgroup.net. Once you’re approved, you may be inundated with responses, so create a secondary email address and alternate phone number (such as a free Google Voice number that directs to voice mail). “Some focus groups are conducted via email or telephone, so you may not need to live in the area to participate,” says Wallis.

Complain the Right Way

It’s tempting to fire off an angry email—or unleash a few all-caps Tweets—when you’re confronted with subpar service. But taking a few deep breaths before eloquently explaining why you were disappointed helps you and the company in the long run, says Adi Bittan, CEO of OwnerListens, which offers an app that lets customers send private, anonymous feedback to business owners. “When consumers are legitimately dissatisfied, they will frequently get money back, gift certificates, samples or replacement products.” However, Bittan cautions that vague complaints aren’t likely to go far—even if you have a large following on social media. “Companies want to make things right, but they’re also wise about people using their social networking platform only for freebies,” Bittan says. “They can easily tell, based on a person’s social media history, when someone is making up a problem in order to save money.”

 

Culture Club

Written on June 27, 2014 at 11:17 am , by

Stay cultured with a trip to the museum, zoo or aquarium—all at a discount.

Bank of America Museums on Us: Over 150 museums, zoos, and science centers for free during the first weekend of each month year-round for Bank of America or Merill lynch cardholders.

Target Arts & Culture: 120 participants in free or reduced-price cultural events at target.com/arts.

The Association of Children’s Museums, The Association of Science-Technology Centers and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums: Free or discount admissions at select locations if you have a family membership at one near you.

You Make It, We Post It!

Written on June 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm , by

Macaroni and cheese is always a surefire hit. Jazz it up with mushrooms and smoked Gouda and you get our Smoky Wild Mushroom Mac. Instagram user @danabstein made the recipe, which she said was a certified win in her house. She paired the irresistible dish with a side salad—we’re adding bonus points for the great plate and presentation!

Vegetarians, meat lovers, cheese-aholics… There’s something for everyone in this slide show of our favorite mac and cheese recipes.

 

Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

Game On!

Written on June 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm , by

Take a break from the heat and save on summer fun at the bowling alley or arcade.

 

Brunswick Bowling Student Ball Pass: One free game a day for kids, June through August, if you become a Bonus Zone rewards member.

Kids Bowl Free: Two free games a day, plus adults can get a family pass for $25.

Dave & Buster’s Arcade: New members of the rewards program earn $10 in games and receive monthly emails with discounts.

Father’s Day Savings

Written on June 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm , by

Celebrate the main men in your life with an array of discounts on last-minute gifts.

 

• Don’t settle for a store-bought greeting with 30% OFF at Cardstore.
*Code: CCG4530
*Expires 6/24

• Create a personalized photo book for 40% OFF at Snapfish.
*Code: BKS40
*Expires 6/15

• Get 10% OFF orders over $75 at Kmart.
*Code: KMART10PSAVINGS

• Score up to 70% OFF select products at Amazon.

• Find shorts and shirts 40% OFF at Target.

• Rent one movie and get 50 cents OFF the second at Redbox.
*Expires: 6/15

• Receive a $5 eBonus Card when you purchase a $25 Chili’s gift card.
*Expires: 6/18

• Collect a $10 bonus card when you purchase a $50 P.F. Chang’s gift card.
*Expires: 6/15

You Make It, We Post It!

Written on June 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm , by

It’s never too hot out for a warm bowl of soup. Instagram user @homecooked_food followed that motto when she made our Lentil Soup with Beef, a dish she said was out of her comfort zone as a cook. The easy slow cooker meal is perfect for a weeknight meal—and if you’re lucky, leftovers! Find more of our delicious soups here.

 

Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

 

Explore These Savings

Written on June 6, 2014 at 10:28 am , by

Warm weather and the end of school are the perfect motivation for quality family time outside. Score deals in honor of National Great Outdoors Month.

• Get outfitted in sturdy athletic shoes, 60% OFF at Amazon, before heading out on a hike.

• Stock up with 15% OFF recreation gear, clothing, tents and more at outdoors megastore REI using code RTVGP.

• Avoid sunburn with $1 OFF Coppertone Sunscreen.

• Allergy season is in high gear—stay healthy with a FREE Sample of Zarbee’s All Natural Seasonal Relief.

• Sleep under the stars in Target Sleeping Bags at a 10% discount.

• Things can get messy in nature—save $1 OFF Two Purell products.

• “Like” Nexcare’s Facebook page and you’ll receive a FREE Sample of Bandages, handy for outdoor cuts and scrapes.

• Keep fleas, ticks and mosquitoes at bay with a range of products available for 15% OFF at PetSmart.

You Make It, We Post It!

Written on June 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm , by

June’s the perfect time to fire up your grill for burgers! Instagram user @mekwahoo made our Spicy Chipotle Burgers featuring chipotles, adobo, cilantro, onion and garlic in the patties. Top them with smoked mozzarella, tomato, cilantro and Chipotle Sour Cream for a summer meal with a kick. Get 10 delicious slider recipes here.

 

Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

Summer Reading Rewards

Written on May 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm , by

Just because the school year is winding down doesn’t mean your kids should put away their books. Encourage them to keep reading with four fun programs. Don’t worry, cool swag is involved!

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge: Dare your kids to break the world record for minutes read. They can enter their times online, then play games and collect digital prizes like sample chapters and virtual badges.

Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program: Kids collect HPB Bookworm Bucks if they read for at least 15 minutes every day in June and July.

TD Bank Summer Reading Program: Reading literally pays off: When kids in grades K-5 complete 10 books, $10 is added to a new or existing Young Saver bank account.

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program: Kids earn a complimentary book after reading eight.