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Helloooooo chocolate bars

Maybe you have a kid away at college. Maybe you’re planning for Easter baskets. Maybe you just really enjoy chocolate. I don’t judge, on account of I believe that chocolate is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Whatever the reason, this deal is too good to pass up: Amazon currently has this Hershey Candy Bar 18-pack (6 each of full-sized milk chocolate bars, Kit Kats, and Reese’s Cups) listed at $11.84, which is already a decent price. But you can also buy it on Subscribe & Save (saving an additional 5% or 15%, depending on the number of items this month), plus there’s a 20% off clippable coupon. You could end up paying just $7.20 for 18 full-size candy bars, shipped!

Maybe don’t eat them all at once, though.

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The plague is upon us

Well, I suppose I shouldn’t complain. We made it to February before everyone started getting sick, and despite my faux-cheery (if slightly cough-filled) and repetitive “This is the cold that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends…” singing, I suspect eventually we will recover.

In the meantime, here I sit, atop a mountain of Kleenex, shopping for echinacea. True story! And so I happen to know that today Vitamin Shoppe has a great coupon—code HEARTDAY will take 25% off your $100+ order, plus you’ll get free shipping. And while it’s true that I am not planning to buy $100 worth of echinacea, they do carry all kinds of protein bars and such I tend to pick up for my supposedly-adult children, so I’m in.

They also have an additional 10% off when you sign up for Auto Delivery, which is like our beloved Subscribe & Save savings. Remember you can sign up for that and cancel later if you don’t want it to actually keep shipping.

There’s tons of sales/deals/BOGOs in addition to the coupon, and I don’t know what you need, but probably you do. Hopefully I didn’t already sneeze on whatever you’re planning to buy.

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Subscribe & Save (and save some more)

Looking for an item or two to round out your Subscribe & Save items at Amazon for the month so you can get to the 5+ threshold and save an extra 15%? I can usually get there pretty easily with the usual suspects (cleaners! oatmeal! cereal bars! face moisturizer!), but sometimes I find myself looking for a cheap item to put me over the top. Of course I don’t want to buy something we won’t use, either.

If you’re in the same boat this month, allow me to suggest you grab this 27-ounce canister of Snyder’s pretzel rods, currently down to $2.79. That’s a great price, anyway, but with Subscribe & Save 15% off on top of that, you can get it for $2.37 delivered (probably less than it costs to ship it to you…), plus if it tips you over into 5+ items you’ve got the additional savings on everything else in your order, too.

These are perfect for handy dorm or classroom food, or for doing a “snack craft” (Pinterest is full of ways to make pretzel rods into gourmet-looking candy), or even for your favorite spouse who just really likes pretzels. (We usually get the giant barrel of sourdough pretzel twists at Costco, but I think this will do in a pinch.)

My favorite part, though, is that the first “Customers who bought this also bought” item it’s showing me is gluten-free crackers. It’s like Amazon knows I’m bitter about not being able to eat them.

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Candy for Valentine’s Day, or just because you like candy

It’s true, I spent 18 years being the Mean Mom, the You Don’t Need More Candy Mom, and now that my kids are in college I regularly pick up obscene amounts of candy on sale to stock their dorms. Why? I tell myself it’s to make sure they have enough to share with their friends (and maybe enough to make new friends…), but there’s definitely some element of “You’re grown now and I get to be fun” in there, too.

Whether you have kids in the dorm or kids who need to make 32 valentines to pass out to classmates next month or you’re ready to stock up for next Halloween, or, heck, no kids at all and you just like candy, right now Amazon has this 31.9 ounce bag of Skittles and Starburst available for $8, which isn’t too bad. Buy it on Subscribe & Save to get free shipping and up to an additional 15% off (if you have 5+ monthly items), and clip the 20% off coupon, too. You could end up with nearly two pounds of candy (honestly, 31.9 ounces? why not add one or two more pieces and go for the full two pounds?) for just over $5 shipped.

(Let us not comment on me posting this the day after I found you a toothbrush deal. I swear it’s a coincidence.)

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The less-messy way to stuff a stocking with cake

Stocking stuffers are their whole own thing in my family, and aren’t limited to the traditional orange in the toe and a few chocolates. (For example: My daughter gets packets of veggie broth concentrate every year, and has since she went vegetarian almost a decade ago. Why? I don’t know. She just does.) In our house, the weirder the better.

Cake seems like it wouldn’t work well in a stocking, but what if it was this completely dorm-friendly (or little-kid-after-school-friendly) box of Duncan Hines mug-size cookies-and-cream cake mixes? Reviews are mixed, but personally I’m not expecting an envelope of microwave cake mix to be either health food or a gourmet affair, so I’m okay with that. At just $1.25 for the 4-pack, they’re a perfect Add-On to round out a Prime order, or—better still—to get you up to your 5 Subscribe & Save orders for the month so you get 15% off of all of ’em. (You know you can do them as separate orders, right? I have two kids, so I did two separate S&S orders and now I’m up to 5, which means I’m getting them for $1.06/box.)

Take the envelopes out of the box and voila: Cake in your stocking! I bet it goes great with veggie broth.

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Emergency chewing gum is a thing, people

I carry a purse that is probably too large and I often have a weird assortment of things inside of it. There are a few things I always have, though—my wallet, my phone, my keys, some lip balm, and… a pack of gum.

Yes, gum is as important as my keys. It’s perfect for a… uhhh… breath emergency, let’s say. Or to settle a stomach if you’re not feeling great. Or to distract a complaining child. Or to offer to someone else having a rough day. Insert something cheesy about gum sticking us all together here, if you like. I’m just saying I value chewing gum.

Right now Amazon has this 18-count box of Trident Cinnamon marked down to $5.48, for some reason, but when you buy via Subscribe & Save you save an additional 5% or 15% depending on how many items you have in your order this month. Listen, the current price without additional discount is already just $.30/pack, or a couple of pennies per stick. The additional discount just makes it even more stupidly cheap.

Santa always tucks packs of gum in the toes of stockings, here, and I always have a stash on hand, too. Plus, I can always use something cheap to get me to that 15% discount for the month. Maybe you can, too? If not, I’m pretty sure I have some gum here in my purse if you need a piece.

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I lure them in with the chocolate

Convincing my college kids to pursue actual nutrition is… an uphill battle, at best. So I buy things like Carnation Instant Breakfast which is really just fortified chocolate milk powder, I know, but it’s 1) compact, 2) inexpensive, and 3) something they’ll actually consume, so—in other words—perfect for the dorm.

Right now Amazon has this 6-pack of 10-serving Carnation Instant Breakfast mix marked down to $19.98—already its lowest price—but there’s a clippable 35% off coupon and if you buy via Subscribe & Save you can save up to another 15%. So that’s $12 shipped with just the 5% off (less if you have 5+ items in your monthly order), which works out to about twenty cents a serving.

I’d rather they were eating wholesome, fresh foods, of course. But this will do in a pinch, especially at this price.

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Soup it up

Okay, let’s pretend I’ve included my standard disclaimer here about homemade food and how much better it is than the premade stuff. I know! And you know. And sometimes it’s still more convenient to have soup in a microwaveable container for the dorm/office/days when you have lost the will to cook. I’m just sayin’.

This may be limited to Prime members, but right now Amazon has 8-packs of Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder and Campbell’s Chunky Sirloin Burger with Country Vegetables Soup available for $8.81 and $10, respectively, which is a pretty good price, already. A take-and-microwave lunch for around a buck? Not bad.

Both are available on Subscribe & Save, which means they can drop to as low as $7.49 and $10 each when you have 5+ items in your monthly delivery.

Soup and beverages are some of my favorite things to buy on Subscribe & Save because I feel like the free shipping alone on these heavy items is yielding a great deal. And to have a flat of easy meals hanging around? Well, that’s priceless.

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I do love a deal on juice

I… do not understand people who drink juice. I am not a juice person. But my husband drinks orange juice every morning and both my teens love juice (possibly because I almost never buy it).

All of that said, I do feel somewhat vindicated when I’m able to find 1) juice with hidden veggies that they’ll drink and 2) a good price. That latter one goes double when we’re talking having a product shipped, because juice is heavy.

So: If you have Amazon Prime, and you like these V8 +Energy drinks, go snag a great deal—they’re currently at their lowest price ever ($15.52 for the 24-pack of either Orange Pineapple or Peach Mango), plus you’ll get up to an additional 15% off when you purchase via Subscribe & Save, plus there’s a Prime-only clippable 30% off coupon. I ended up with 24 cans for $8.53 shipped, which will surely make my kids happy until the next annoying thing I do….

(Bonus: these little 8-ounce cans are perfect for dorm fridges, and I feel slightly better thinking about my kids having a full serving of fruits/veggies while studying late at night than I would about them having Mountain Dew or something like that.)

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Mother your college student without them realizing

It’s now rounding the middle of June, and here in my house, this is known as “Stock up on dorm food” season. My kids (both! both of them, this time!) are gearing up to head to campus at the beginning of August, and my job for the next month or so is to accumulate what they’ll need to eat in the dorm when they can’t be bothered to hit the dining hall (or it’s the wee hours and they need power for studying).

Sure, I try to buy some healthy stuff, and then I also buy candy, and I buy stupid little microwavable cups of macaroni and cheese and ramen and I remind myself that they are young and healthy and this is the phase of life where they can eat junk and be okay.

But here’s my secret weapon, and you can laugh, but I’m telling you this is primo wisdom I’m laying down here: Buy your college kid(s) some Fiber One bars. Do it. They come in a gazillion varieties and they’re basically junk, but college students will all find that their… ahhh… digestive health… suffers a little in the dorm, at some point. And you can pack probiotics and such, but they probably won’t use them. They will, however, eat the Fiber One bars. Ask me how I know!

Right now (this may be a Prime-only deal; I’m not sure) Amazon has this 36-pack of Fiber One Brownies available for $13.94, which is already pretty good, plus there’s a clippable 25% off coupon, plus you can save up to an additional 15% more with Subscribe & Save, meaning you could be getting them for $8.36 delivered (under $.24/bar), and you don’t ever have to have a conversation with your supposedly adult kid(s) about constipation. Seriously, win/win.

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