Angela Russell

Angela Russell

Angela is the founder of The Coupon Project and has written about saving money for more than 10 years. She has been featured in the NBC affiliate King5 as well as other news outlets.

How I Re-Grouted My Shower For Under $50

WARNING: Gross mildew pictures ahead. If you are eating or are overly sensitive to disgusting things, you might want to skip this post.

For awhile now, I’ve been really discouraged about my shower.

You know you try this product or that to clean it, but it just NEVER looks clean? Well, that’s why I got it into my head about a week ago to re-grout and re-caulk the entire thing.

A little background, about me. I’m not a DIY’er. I usually leave tasks that involve trips to the Home Depot or power tools to the Husband. But I thought, “Angela, why don’t you do this yourself? It will be good for you. You might just learn something.” So that is exactly what I did.

I debated calling this post “How to re-grout your shower,” but it’s more “How I re-grouted my shower.” I’m not a pro (as you’ll soon discover), but my goal here today is to inspire you to take up a task or two around the house you’ve been putting off. It might not be so scary/hard/expensive as you thought.

How to Re-Grout and Re-Caulk Your Shower – Step by Step


Yeah, folks. It was that bad. I don’t care what you say, all the baking soda, vinegar, bleach, or Scrubbing Bubbles ain’t gonna clean that.

So I started by removing all the caulking. This was a rather tedious project, but not difficult. I just used a razor and slipped it under the sides of the caulking.

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This was both disgusting and delightful at the same time. Disgusting, for the reasons you might imagine and delightful knowing I was actually finally addressing the root of the problem!

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle Recipe

Who remembers the Good Humor strawberry shortcake ice cream bars from your childhood? You know, these ones…


Very seldom did we get to buy ice cream off the ice cream truck, but when we did, this was always my “go-to” ice cream.  Something about those strawberry/vanilla crunch balls was just sooooo yummy in my tummy. A few summers ago I introduced this ice cream bar to my kiddos….as expected, they loved it just as much as I did at their age.

The other day I had this giant flat of strawberries from Costco. As I was slicing them up, this ice cream popped in my head and I remembered a recipe from years ago that used a strawberry/vanilla crumble top. I decided it was time to play around with what I had to see what I could come up with. Let’s just say my finished product was a HUGE hit and one I’m sure you will love as well!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Easy Egg Bites Recipe {Freezer-Friendly; Batch-Friendly!}

I swear that I always get the best ideas when I’m out running. Maybe it’s the blood flow finally hitting the brain or the chance to get away from other distractions and just think.

Whatever the case, the inspiration for today’s recipe came while I was out running the other day.

I’ve been seeing these ads from Starbucks about sous vide egg bites and I really dig the idea of nourishing, portable breakfast ideas.

I tend to just be a cereal or oatmeal kind of gal, but there are times when you want something a bit more hearty to “stick to your ribs!” Today’s Egg Bites Recipe fits the ticket.

Not only are these egg bites delicious to make – they are easy. Even better, they are budget-friendly (but what else would you expect from a frugal living blog)?

This recipe is also extremely versatile. Change up the protein, cheese, or veggies to suit what you have in your pantry, your tastes, or whatever diet you’re on.

Here’s what you’ll need to make 12 egg bites: 

  • 9 large eggs
  • 4 pieces of bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely minced
  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons half and half or milk
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Start by heating your oven to 350°.

In a pan, fry up that bacon to desired crispness. I like mine fairly crisp, so that means an extra minute or two. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon onto paper towels. I decided to fry up my veggies in some of the bacon grease (yum!), so I left some of that in the pan, ready to go!

What to Do with 10 Pounds of Potatoes

Potatoes are frugal eats at their finest. They are cheap, filling, and can be cooked in so many different ways. Sometimes I’ll find 5 or 10 pound bags of potatoes go on sale. But, what to do with that entire bag besides plain old baked potatoes?

Back in 2010, fellow blogger Audrey from Tight Wad in Utah shared three recipes to use up an entire bag. To date, her recipes post has been one of the most successful ever published here at The Coupon Project. (And that’s saying a lot as I have over 15,000 published posts as of August 2019!)

I recently decided to go back and give her post some new love with some fresh food photographs and “bump” it for readers who may have missed it. It’s definitely worth pinning or hanging onto for the next time you find yourself with a glut of potatoes!

Recipe #1: Scalloped Potatoes

This recipe which uses 8 potatoes (found at AllRecipes) freezes well, so I hear. I can’t manage to have any left to freeze. The section that is gone was my “test” piece to make sure they were done.

The recipe is pretty straight forward and uses ingredients you probably already have. If you’re not going to eat it all at once like me, divide it into meal portions after it’s cooled from baking, seal in a freezer container or bag, label it with the name and date, freeze!

Simple Custard Recipe

It seems that dessert recipes keep getting fancier and fancier. But I think some of the simplest desserts are the best. Today I’d like to take a look at the humble custard. It requires very few ingredients and very little prep.

With Easter right around the corner, we’re seeing lots of deals on eggs. So if you have a few extra laying around and are tired of omelets or hard-boiled eggs, today’s recipe is going to be right up your alley!

I stopped by my local grocery store and do they ever have an awesome selection of eggs – they’ve got an entire case devoted to all the varieties including pasture raised and locally farmed options! Since I was in the dairy section of the store, I decided to pick up some milk for my recipe. Now you can use whichever milk you’d like, but I decided to go with whole milk for a creamier, richer result. My store carried a lactose-free variety that I opted for, since it’s gentler on my family’s stomachs.

Chorizo Rice Recipe

This year, I knew I wanted to share some delicious holiday-inspired recipes on the blog. But could I share besides how to roast a turkey or prep mashed potatoes? So, I brought in some enforcements!

I reached out to fellow blogger Neyssa, who runs the site Latina Misfit on a Mission. Not only did she agree to help – she had an awesome idea: Thanksgiving dinner, with a Hispanic twist!

Chorizo Rice Recipe

Today, we’re kicking off this series with the first recipe, Chorizo Rice. Rice and beans is a staple in every Latin household, but there’s only so much rice a certain way you can take. Chorizo is a great way to elevate Spanish rice, as the smoked sausage flavors wrap around each grain of rice. It’s a fiesta in your mouth!  

Goya Chorizo

4 Reasons to use a Travel Agent for your next Vacation

4 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent for your Next Vacation

My friend Mike is what I’d call a true Disneyland expert! He’s been there many times and plumbed the park for all kinds of fun experiences. He has written a number of Disney posts for me over the past several months (see this page for all of them!) and today, he’s back at it again!


“How do I get Disneyland tickets cheap?” This is the most common question I get asked. But the second most common is, “Why use a travel agent?”

For most, we have all booked a plane ticket before. The mechanics of figuring out how to travel don’t seem too complicated. Many wonder why they would even need a travel agent. I thought the same thing as well once. Not too many years ago, I was planning my first Disneyland trip with my kids as a single dad. I thought for sure I could do it by myself as a former Southern Californian resident and Disneyland annual pass holder. But though I can sing you all the words to “Grim Grinning Ghosts”, that didn’t help me too much when figuring out which hotels would be right for my me and my kids. Nor did it help translate which Disney info on the internet was current and which was no longer true (or always an urban myth). And it certainly didn’t give me the power to think of the aspects of my vacation I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

Disneyland Kids First Visit

So I reached out to a travel agent who specialized in Disney destinations. At first I was a bit afraid I would be wasting my time. Or that they might roll their eyes when they saw my meager budget. But what I found was a delightful experience that made my feel empowered when the vacation finally came.

Paraise Pier View

Years later, after many more vacations to a bunch of different places, I became a travel agent myself. It’s great to help people to travel. Some folks know exactly what they want to do and just let me handle all the details so they don’t have to. Others know a date or a budget but need some help with the rest to figure out what vacation is perfect for them. No matter where you are starting from, here are a few reasons why you should book your next vacation with a travel agent.

How I Cleaned My Car’s Upholstery for Less Than $10

How I cleaned up car's upholstery for less than $10 - Shopping the Dollar Store

I drive the classic Mom Car. You know the type – it’s crusted with spilled drinks, the crumbs of fishy crackers,  and those annoying bits of black turf from soccer practice. Quite frankly, it’s almost always a hot mess. While I do periodically take the time to empty it out and vacuum it, the truth is it needed some more TLC than that.

The Internet is no short of solutions. Just head to Pinterest and you’ll see all these DIY type posts with make it yourself cleaners with oils or vinegar or Blue Dawn (which seems to be the cleaning solution to just about everything). Today I’d like to share what I decided on. Is it the most amazing car clean you’ve ever seen? Probably not. Will I be putting car detailers out of business? Unlikely. Are there products likely better than the ones I used? Sure.

But here’s what my method gets you: it’s cheap. REALLY cheap. In fact, just about everything I’m using in my post today I purchased at the Dollar Tree. This is a good kind of car cleaning method if you want good results that will make you feel a ton better about your car but you don’t want to pay squat for it.

Here’s what I picked up at the Dollar Tree to prep for my monster car clean sesh:

Awesome Laundry Pre-Wash Stain Remover

Why this? Well, I found a comment someone left on a random YouTube video suggesting its use for car upholstery. At $1 a bottle, I decided it would be AWESOME to try. I also picked up some Awesome Orange All-Purpose Degreaser to use on the tougher, ground-in dirt stains on the floor.

Scrubbers at the Dollar Tree

The Dollar Tree has a plethora of scrubbing devices. I chose the pink one at far right. I wanted something with stiff bristles to scrub away the grime.

Spray Bottles at the Dollar Tree
Tarp at the Dollar Tree

I found some empty spray bottles as well and picked one up. You could use this if you end up making one of those fancy homemade upholstery cleaners. Me? I was just planning on using it for water.  

Chicken Tortilla Soup {Freezer-to-Slow Cooker Recipe}

I LOVE Chicken Tortilla soup. I love the flavors, I love the colors, I love how it smells when it’s cooking…I love everything about it! I especially love how easy it is to make. I am finding more and more that “meal prepping” is the way to go these days.

It cuts down on eating out and saves so much time during the week. Plus, you get to control the ingredients and that’s always a plus!

This is an incredibly easy recipe that you basically layer in your Ziploc bag and freeze with minimal work. Then, when you are ready to make it, simply take it out of the freezer the night before, dump it in your slow cooker, add water and let it go!

Chicken Tortilla Soup - Freezer to Slow Cooker Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded (Costco’s rotisserie chicken is awesome in this soup!)
  • 10 oz frozen corn kernels
  • 1 – 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 1 – 14.5 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 – 10 oz. can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 – 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper (black pepper works well too!)
  • 1 T fresh cilantro (plus additional for topping)
  • 2 cups of water (to be added to slow cooker)


  • shredded pepper jack cheese
  • sour cream
  • avocado
  • lime
  • hot sauce

Tortilla Strips:

  • white corn tortillas (or flour, or corn)
  • vegetable oil

Can we stop and just admire those fresh ingredients and vibrant colors? How can you not smile at the anticipation of those yummy flavors dancing in your belly?

Soccer Parent Survival Guide: Our Family’s Favorite 7 Items

Soccer Parent Survival Guide: 7 Top Items

Fall means something special around here: SOCCER SEASON! I’ve been a proud soccer mom for several years now! Here’s my little soccer player – he’s playing at the U10 level this year and we’re doing year-round soccer at this point:

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My husband spent a few years coaching his team, we’ve enjoyed participating on several tournaments, and we’ve watched our son play in rain and shine. Over the years, we’ve learned from other parents (and trial and error) and have slowly acquired a few items that have made our experience more enjoyable. I thought I’d take the time out to share what some of those items are, particularly if you’re new to soccer.

Without further ado, here are the items that frequently make their way into the trunk of our car:

Coleman Camping Chair

1. Folding Camping Chairs. I’d put this as THE most essential item for soccer parents! Only rarely do we arrive to a field where there are bleachers or benches. The Coleman chair pictured sells for about $24-$30 on Amazon (depending on color) and includes a cooler. Given that you’ll be using it a lot, I recommend you go for comfort. During the summer, you’ll find many parents with chairs that include umbrella tops. Other places to watch for a deal in my area: Costco and Fred Meyer.

Rolling Sports Cart

2. Rolling Sports Cart. At our first tournament, we found ourselves lugging chairs, sports equipment, snacks, and water bottles all over God’s green earth. That’s when we noticed that many soccer families were using a rolling sports cart like this one (currently $62-$95 at Amazon, depending on color). We found one at Costco this summer and lemme tell you, it’s not gimmicky. The thing gets used! In fact, we used it just last weekend at an away soccer tournament.

You’ll often find that you do a fair amount of walking to get to your kid’s soccer field from the parking lot and it’s so handy to be able to throw all your gear into one of these bad boys and save your back! I love that they also have places to store your water bottles in the front. Other places to watch for deals: sporting good stores, Costco. 

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels – Freezer Friendly Recipe

Ham & Cheese Pinwheels - Perfect for making in batch, freezing, and then popping in your child's lunchbox!

I can’t believe it…we are already entering into our last month of summer!  I think I spend one month planning and enjoying summer activities, and one month planning for school to begin!  Seriously, where has the time gone??

With school approaching, I find myself beginning to mentally plan ahead for the school year…I begin thinking about our nights before school and our crazy school mornings (sigh)…and as always I try to plan for ways to give us more time.

One thing I LOVE having on hand, and just so happens to be a HUGE time saver, is meals in the freezer (for breakfast and lunch) ready to go.

The brilliant thing about freezer meals is that they can be made in bulk at the beginning of the week and pretty much get you through the entire week.  I have found having a couple different “main courses” ready to go for breakfast and lunch gives enough variety during the week for the kids.

All you need to do is add your “sides” and you’re good to go.  Not to mention, it makes it possible for even your younger ones to help pack their own lunch.  Packing a lunch from home absolutely saves money and you, as a parent, also have the opportunity to make it healthier than their school lunch choices. Win – win!

Here is a super easy recipe that you can make ahead and freeze.

Ham & Cheese Pinwheel Ingredients


  • 4 burrito size tortillas or wraps (I used spinach herb wraps – yum)
  • 6 oz deli meat (my kiddos love ham and turkey, so I have some of each)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • spreadable or whipped – cream cheese
  • gallon size freezer bags