Blog Posts by All You Magazine

  • Mark Your Calendars! Tax-Free, Back-to-School Shopping Season is Here

    Tax-Free Shopping DatesTax-Free Shopping Dates

    It's the most wonderful time of the year! Ok, that really depends on how you feel about back-to-school shopping, but I think we can all agree that getting major discounts on your child's cartload of school supplies can feel just as good as Christmas.

    Related: Back to School Shopping Tips »

    This weekend marks the year's first back-to-school tax-free holiday weekend, which kicks off in Mississippi and will continue in 16 other states through August. During these weekends, which vary by state, you can expect an exemption from state sales tax on certain items. Local taxes may still apply, but offers on clothing and school supplies from $15 to $3,500 can mean major savings at the register.

    Check out whether your state is participating and what items will apply to the tax-exempted holiday discounts:

    Mississippi: July 25-26
    • Clothing and footwear less than $100 per item. Excludes accessories, rentals, skis, swim fins, roller blades, skates and similar recreational footwear.

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  • 13 Budget-Friendly Ways to Update Your Home

    Easy Home Decorating IdeasEasy Home Decorating Ideas

    Update every room in your home with these smart money-saving decorating ideas!

    Related: Be Your Own Decorator »

    Update the Bed
    You don't have to spring for new furniture to give the bedroom a makeover. Just update the room's centerpiece: the bed. Pick up a comforter or duvet cover, matching sheets and pillow shams that you find on sale.

    Save on Shades
    From time to time, department stores such as JCPenney and Sears heavily discount curtains and blinds (up to 80 percent off!). Make friends with an employee and ask when a clearance sale will be taking place.

    Cut Linen Costs
    Watch for semiannual bedding blowouts to get deep discounts at retailers-many hold a Memorial Day sale. Wholesale websites are the best online sources for high-quality sheets (and other items such as comforters, towels and curtains) at low prices; check them regularly.

    Save on Bathroom Basics
    Rather than buy individual hand soaps just buy a large, inexpensive bottle of shampoo. Fill a pump

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  • Serve Guests in Style with a Seaglass Mosaic Tray

    How to Make a Seaglass Mosaic TrayHow to Make a Seaglass Mosaic Tray

    Bring the essence of the beach home with this DIY, ocean-hued home accessory.

    Related: Stay Busy and Have Fun This Summer! »

    Materials you have:
    • Tray
    • Sandpaper
    • Toothed trowel
    • Toothpick
    • Rubber tile float
    • Sponge

    Materials you need:
    • Spray Paint (available at Lowe's)
    • Tile adhesive (available at Walmart)
    • Seaglass (available at Pier 1)
    • Premixed grout (available at Home Depot)

    Instructions:
    1.
    Prepare tray: Lightly sand to rough up the surface, then clean thoroughly. Let dry. Coat evenly with spray paint. let dry again.

    2. Use trowel to apply thin coat of tile adhesive to inside bottom of tray, working int ocorners and edges to form an even layer.

    3. Arrange seaglass close together on adhesive, pressing in lightly. If adhesive comes up over tile, remove excess with toothpick. Let adhesive dry according to package instructions.

    4. Using rubber tile float, cover seaglass with grout, filling in gaps between glass. Scrape

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  • Make a Food Swap that Works for You!

    3 Healthy Swaps for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner3 Healthy Swaps for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Drop pounds by trading low-nutrient fare for more nutritious alternatives.

    Related: Diet Mistakes Even Smart Women Make »

    For Breakfast:
    Instead of: a reduced-fat corn muffin
    Go for: a smoothie made with 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 cup skim milk, 2 tablespoons almond butter, 1/4 cup rolled oats and a dash of cinnamon

    For Lunch:
    Instead of: grilled cheese on white bread
    Go for: 1/2 cup hummus, half of a whole-grain pita, 1 cup baby carrots and five kalamata olives

    For Dinner:
    Instead of: baked ziti with tomato sauce
    Go for: a chicken-and-pasta dish. Sauté 1/2 cup each sliced grape tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and fresh spinach in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil with 1 minced garlic clove. Toss with 1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat penne and top with 3 ounces grilled or baked boneless, skinless chicken breast.

    See More From AllYou.com:
    15 Healthy Recipe Swaps That Save You Calories »
    Eat Well and Spend Less »
    Eat Your Way to Fast

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  • 3 Super-Healthy Seeds You Should Be Eating Now

    3 Healthy Seeds to Eat Now3 Healthy Seeds to Eat Now

    Some of the trendiest additions to your grocery store are packed with nutrients and easy to enjoy. Allow us to introduce you.

    Related: Stock Up on Superfoods »

    QUINOA
    Why to try it: 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein-and you get a side of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
    How to eat it: Substitute for rice in your next stir-fry, or mix some in a salad. Just be sure to rinse it well before cooking so you avoid bitterness.
    Recipe to try: Red Quinoa Pilaf with Tomato, Spinach and Pine Nuts »

    CHIA
    Why to try it: 1 tablespoon delivers 5 whopping grams of fiber (and only 60 calories) along with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
    How to eat it: Blend into a smoothie or sprinkle on top of oatmeal. You also can add the crunchy, nutty seeds to quick-bread and muffin batters.
    Snack to try: Nature's Path Apple Pie Crunch Chia Plus Granola Bars »

    FLAX
    Why to try it: Adding 30 to 50 grams of flaxseeds to your diet for at least four weeks may

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  • Watch Your Wallet and Your Waistline!

    Eat Well and Spend Less!Eat Well and Spend Less!

    These four frugal food tips help you eat well without breaking the bank.

    Related: Real Stories of Successful Weight Loss »

    1. Use weekends wisely.
    Cook at least one entrée on Saturday or Sunday that you can heat up for lunch or on busy weeknights. Stew is a cost-effective meal, especially if you use less pricey cuts of meat. To save even more money, go meatless once a week with a veggie-based meal, which has less saturated fat but plenty of vitamins and fiber.

    2. Cut back on fast food.
    Fried chicken and burgers might be cheap, but they are loaded with fat. Giving up fast food is tough, so try limiting it to once a week. If you order a main course and bring it home, you'll be less tempted by the soda, fries, chips and other calorie-filled extras.

    3. Snack smart.
    Keep in mind that potato chips and cookies can be costly and offer little nutrition. Try peanuts instead―one ounce offers nutrients that you won't get in crackers. Another good bet is air-popped popcorn,

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  • Save Money This Summer with Easy Cost-Cutting Tips!

    Simple Ways to Save This SummerSimple Ways to Save This Summer

    Save money with smart moves. You don't have to pay huge utility bills in the dog days of summer. Try these few smart solutions to reduce water and energy consumption-you'll save money and help the environment at the same time.

    Plus: Make Over Your Backyard on a Budget! »

    Recycle wash water.
    Use wash water from fruits and vegetables or the first run of cold water―when bathing or showering―to water indoor or outdoor plants.

    Try a digital programmable thermostat.
    Program a digital thermostat to drop the temperature during the day when you're out and after your family goes to sleep at night.

    Retire old appliances.
    Replace major appliances that are more than 10 years old. Use the energy efficiency information on the yellow EnergyGuide labels as a shopping guide. Choose ENERGY STAR-certified appliances, which reduce the average household's energy expenses by 30 percent. Visit www.energystar.gov for a list of products.

    Conduct a home-energy audit.
    Find out if your

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  • Create a Kid-Friendly Getaway—Without Leaving the House!

    Summer Fun for the Whole Family Summer Fun for the Whole Family Stay busy and have tons of fun this summer with a camping adventure-without leaving the comforts of your own home!

    Related: Summer Fun Doesn't Have to Break the Bank! »

    Set up a tent
    If you don't have one, borrow from a friend or neighbor. Stock it with flashlights, sleeping bags, stuffed animals, pillows and books―then get ready to snuggle up.

    Plus: Cool Off with Affordable Summer Recipes »

    Build a safe campfire
    Call your fire department and ask if conditions are favorable for an outdoor blaze. If you get the go-ahead, start your fire at least 10 feet away from your home. Make sure the area is clear of dry leaves and grass, which could catch fire if ignited by sparks. Stash a fire extinguisher and buckets of water or a hose nearby and keep a close watch on the flames.

    Tell ghost stories
    Check out a Goosebumps series book (by author R.L. Stine) from the library and read aloud a few chapters. Encourage shouts of "Boo" and "Eek!"

    Stargaze
    Seek out stars in

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  • How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

    Picnic Checklist and TipsPicnic Checklist and Tips

    Enjoy your picnics even more with our simple summertime guide, complete with a checklist and tips to help you maximize your fun in the sun.

    Related: Easy, Refreshing Popsicle Recipes »

    Pack well: Don't forget these essentials.
    • Sunscreen (SPF 30)
    • Lip balm (SPF 15)
    • Small knife (wrap a paper towel around the blade)
    • Paper napkins
    • Plastic cups
    • Forks and knives
    • Disposable plates
    • Extra plastic bags (for disposing of trash)
    • Beach umbrella (to keep your food in the shade)
    • Blanket or extra-large beach towel
    • Corkscrew and bottle opener (if wine and beer are allowed at the beach)

    Be smart: Make sure you're safe and comfortable.
    Check the weather: If it's windy, consider using bowls instead of plates. The higher sides can help shield food from blowing sand.
    Keep pests away: Always have insect repellent on hand to ward off unwanted guests.
    Stay hydrated: Be sure to have enough water. Plan to bring several gallons if

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