Sadly, my Mom lost the diamond from her engagement/wedding ring this year. She looked at her hand one day and it was GONE! It’s insured, but the actual diamond my father gave to her when they got engaged was never found.

This teaches us all a lesson about checking our ring prongs.  After Mom’s loss, I checked mine at the jewelers and found that my ring prongs were  wearing down after almost 25 years.

Here are a few rules of thumb regarding your ring prongs:

1. If you’re checking your ring prongs at home use a loupe or magnifying glass. Look at each prong from different angles. Make sure they’re completely in contact with the gem. You shouldn’t be able to see any space between your gem and the prong.

2. If your prongs are bent, which sometimes may happen from bumping into  or catching on something, repair it immediately. A bent prong is a danger to your diamond!

3.  If you have a broken off prong, repair it immediately…do not wear your ring until it’s repaired!

4.  If you have worn out prongs you can either re-tip each prong or replace the head.

5.  Many jewelers offer free ring cleaning.  They will also check your prongs. Do this every 6 months to be sure!




MANGROOMER Ultimate Pro Body Groomer and Trimmer with Power Burst - $29.99 (63% Off)

People often ask me how we get such great deals on Amazon….we check out the Today’s Deals Section often.  Amazon’s sale prices fluctuate and they offer amazing deals like the one above.  Check it out here.


Starbucks $5 eGift Card

by Marlyn on April 3, 2014


Starbucks is offering a “Spring Gathering” Rebate Offer for D.C. peeps through 4/27/14.  Buy two qualifying Starbucks Products in a single transaction (be sure to use your coupons from the 3/9/14 Smart Source Insert for either $1.50 off on one or $4 off on 2) and then follow their instructions to redeem your offer for a $5 eGift Card: Check it out here.

The Fine Print:

The Starbucks® ”Spring Gathering” Rebate Offer is open only to legal U.S./D.C. residents who are at least 18 years old at the time of participation. The Offer “Purchase Period” starts 3/31/14 at 12:00 PM (noon) ET and ends 4/27/14 11:59:59 PM ET, or while supplies of qualifying products last. The “Redemption Period” starts 3/31/14 at 12:00 PM (noon) ET and ends 5/9/14 at 11:59:59 PM ET. During the Redemption Period, customers who make a “Qualifying Purchase” during the Purchase Period will have an opportunity to receive one (1) $5.00 Starbucks® Card eGift. No more than two (2) $5.00 Starbucks® Card eGifts will be awarded to a Participant/household during the entire Redemption Period. A “Qualifying Purchase” is a purchase of two (2) or more qualifying products from a participating grocery retailer during the Purchase Period. Qualifying products include: Starbucks® coffee (10 oz. or larger), Starbucks® K-Cup® packs (10 ct. or 16 ct.), Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew (5 ct. or larger.) The Qualifying Purchase must be a single transaction and must occur on or before 4/27/14. Offer not valid at Starbucks® stores or for online purchases. For complete Offer details and Terms and Conditions go to Sponsor: Starbucks Corporation, 2401 Utah Ave. South Seattle, WA 98134.


Here’s a little April Fools Fun…the  Strategic Shopping Network Three Truths and a Lie Game….

Answers will be given via our Facebook Page to our Facebook readers who share our link, or new readers who Like the Strategic Shopping Network Facebook Page for the first time.


Is your Shopping Level: Pro – 9-10 correct, Intermediate – 7-8 correct, Advanced – 5-6 correct or Novice – 4 or below correct….Find your level here…

The best way to find good deals is:

1. Through friends

2. End of the Month

3. Web Sites

4. Store Flyers

Can you guess when we found a 46″ Flat Screen HDTV for just over $200 this year (only 1 right answer on this one):

1. Christmas Shopping Season

2. After Holidays Sale

3.  Super Bowl Sale

4. Back to School Sale

We’ve featured brand new designer clothing we’ve scored at:

1. Unique Thrift Shop

2. Macy’s

3. Kohl’s

4. Uptown Cheapskate

You can save the most money when you shop, if:

1. You shop at membership clubs like Costco, Sam’s, BJ’s, Price Club etc.

2. You buy things on sale matched to a coupon.

3. You shop on senior citizen discount day.

4. You shop when they have a super or triple double coupon special.

On weekends the best ways to find Free Events is:

1. Newspaper Weekend Sections

2. Online


4. Goldstar

Strategic Shoppers buy:

1. Organic Foods

2. Junk Foods

3. Gluten Free Foods

4. Bulk Foods

Amount of Prep Time people spend to grocery shop effectively with coupons:

1. 40 hours/week

2. 10 minutes/week

3. 30 minutes/week

3. 20 hours/week

Manufacturers Coupons can be used at:

1. Whole Foods

2. CVS

3. Costco

4. Trader Joe’s

These stores have Beauty Product Reward Systems:

1. Ulta

2. CVS


4. Sephora

Restaurant Coupons Can Be found:

1. Online

2. Radio

3. Newspaper

4. Mail

So, how did you do?  Lots of tricky questions, right?  Now just Like our Facebook Page here or share the April Fools Quiz Link from our Facebook Page if you’ve already Liked the page and we’ll send you the answers so you can see if you’re a Strategic Shopping Pro, Novice or somewhere in between!







Seniors Day April 1 Only! 55+ and AARP members.

It’s Senior Day at Walgreens and that means that AARP members and Walgreens Balance Rewards Members who are 55+ get these special deals:

In store20% off all Walgreens Brand Products and 15% Off almost everything else including sale items!

Online – 15% Off all Beauty and personal Care with coupon code: BEAUTYSR15

Be sure to sign up for the Balance Rewards Card online or in store to accrue points for money off on your next purchase. Then link your AARP Card to your Balance Rewards Card to get special Walgreens AARP Discounts.

Once your memberships are linked, you can simply show your AARP membership card, your Balance Rewards card or just provide your phone number in order to receive your exclusive offers



Michaels 20% Off Coupon Including Sale Items!

by Marlyn on March 30, 2014

News Flash…Michaels has a 20% Off your Entire Purchase Coupon this week

(good through April 5, 2014) and it includes Sale Items!

Check it out here.


Sugar Free Banana Cake Recipe

by Marlyn on March 29, 2014

Sugar Free Banana Cake


1 cup banana, mashed
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
3 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts

Here are a few possible coupons:

$1.00 off ONE package of Truvia Natural Sweetener$1.00 off any Schar Gluten-Free ProductSave $1.00 off any Wholesome Sweeteners brand Organic Sugar, Stevia, Agave or Honey.

And Checkout 51 has a $.50 cashback offer on bananas this week here.


Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C.
Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan.
Beat together mashed banana and soft butter until creamy.
Beat in water and applesauce.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs until very foamy.
Mix eggs into banana mixture.
In a separate bowl, blend flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; add to banana mixture and beat until very smooth.
Stir in walnuts.
Cook at 350 for 20 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.
Cool and eat. Serves 8 – 10 (nutritional count uses 10 servings.)


Rutabaga Oven Fries Recipe

by Marlyn on March 29, 2014

Rutabaga Oven Fries Recipe

I’m not the world’s greatest cook and I tend to try to make things my own too much and go waaaay off course.  My good friend Joan told me about this recipe and here were her instructions:

“ It’s really simple you just peel it and slice them into French fry shaped, put them on a baking sheet with coconut oil spray, drizzle with olive oil and put kosher salt and garlic powder or any spice you like. Then broil until crispy and brown. Be careful not to use too much olive oil or they get soggy. Still good, but soggy. That’s it!!!!!”

I looked it up on and it’s similar but gives a little more detail for the recipe challenged like me.  So if you make this, let me know how it turns out and how you made it your own!

Rutabaga Oven Fries


  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into spears

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 pinch of salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Combine rutabaga spears with oil, minced rosemary, garlic, and salt. Toss until evenly coated.
  3. Lay rutabaga spears onto a baking sheet, leaving space between for even crisping. Bake until rutabaga fries are cooked through and crisped on the outside, about 30 minutes.


We’ve been seeing these adorable fruit and vegie creations online….who knew they were coming from the Provo, Utah School System?  It’s all part of their ITSMeals, bringing the Child Nutrition Program of Provo School to social networking. They are making a conscious effort to see that their children eat healthier and sharing it with the world.  These little Bananarama Mobiles are so cute, you almost don’t want to eat them…but kids will love them!!

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Panda Express has renamed April 1st to April Fish Day this year (2014).  Get their new Golden Szechuan Fish FREE with any purchase when you present this coupon.