Don't miss out! Get Chief Family Officer's free daily roundup:


WHAT'S HOT RIGHT NOW:

  • Check out the season's hot Back to School Deals and stock up on school and office supplies!
  • Enter to win a $50 Target Hex Pup gift card!
  • Rent over 20,000 videos for $1.99 or less at Amazon.


  • Menu Plan Monday: Week of September 1, 2014

    I can’t believe it’s already September – before we know it, it will be Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s! I’m hoping we’ll settle into a comfortable routine starting this week, as our fall schedule gets settled with established sports practice times and good homework patterns. A regular routine makes it so much easier to plan and cook dinner, plus I’ve really been trying hard to stick to Michael Pollan’s maxim, “Eat all the junk food you like as long as you cook it yourself” by baking more. So here’s what I’m thinking for dinners this week:

    Monday – Dinner out

    Tuesday – Taco Cornbread “Pizza,” Salad

    Wednesday – Shredded Beef Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Fries

    Thursday – Mac & Cheese, Salad, Garlic Bread

    Friday – Prime Rib, Creamed Spinach, Yorkshire Pudding, Strawberry Trifle

    Saturday – Dinner out

    Sunday – Dinner out

    See more weekly menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


    Banner ad via Escalate Media Network

    Best of Sprouts Monthly Deals and Match Ups: Aug 27 – Sept 24, 2014

    Sprouts coupon match ups and deals

    Here are the weekly deals for Sprouts, a market known for its natural foods and great produce prices.

    Click here to see these match ups

    Morning Coffee: iPad Mini for $199, Rare Campbell’s soup coupons & More

    Morning Coffee is published daily and includes the best of the latest coupons, deals, and info I think you may find interesting. Prices and deals can change at any time so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. Please note this post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    ~ Best Buy: iPad Mini 16GB for just $199 {$100 off} + FREE shipping

    ~ Amazon: Kindle edition of The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg for $2.99 {4.7 stars in 138 reviews; price is down from $9.78 when I added it to my wishlist after reading Money Saving Mom’s recommendation}

    ~ Today’s Gold Box Deal of the Day: Select magazine subscriptions for just $5, including Runner’s World and Marie Claire, which I have never seen offered for free

    ~ New Coupons.com printables:

    ~ Passion for Savings: Kmart deals this week

    ~ All Things Target: Cheap Glad trash bags at Target

    ~ Totally Target: Clorox wipes deal at Target

    ~ Centsable Momma: Free greeting card from Treat.com

    ~ Organic Deals: Free Melt Organic Spread at Vons/Pavilions and possibly all Safeway stores

    ~ For the Mommas: Triple Wellness+ points at Rite Aid


    Banner ad via Escalate Media Network

    Office Depot and Office Max Back to School Deals: Aug 31 – Sep 6, 2014

    Office Depot logo

    Office Depot and Office Max have merged, so this list combines their Back to School sales (with the focus on Office Depot since that’s what we have here in my neck of the woods).

    Office Supplies
    .
    Hand Sanitizer With Caribiner Clip, 1.8 Oz. – $0.50

    Limit 3. While supplies last.

    .
    Magnetic Dry-Erase Board, 11″ x 14″ – $3.00

    Limit 3

    .
    Scholastic & OfficeMax® Brand Pourable Glue, 4oz. – $0.25

    Limit 3. While supplies last.

    .
    Scotch® Heavy-Duty Shipping Tape, 3-PK – $10.00
    Final Price: $9.50
    .
    Swingline® 545™ Desk Stapler Combination Pack with Staples & Remover – $4.00

    Limit 3. While supplies last.

    ALL Avery® Business Builder Labels & Cards – $10.00

    Must Buy 2 for $20, individual Price= $14.99-$16.99

    ALL Kenneth Cole Reaction Bags – $44.99 – $112.49

    25% off

    Dry-Erase Boards – $21.34 – $174.99 each

    30% off

    Duracell Powerbanks, Chargers & Cables

    50% off

    Scotch® Heavy Duty Shipping Tape – $2.00
    Final Price: $1.50
    Backpacks & Lunchboxes
    Trailmaker, Disney, Marvel, Yak Pak, Ful & Schoolio Backpacks

    50% off

    Organization School Supplies
    .
    Slider Pencil Box – $0.25

    Limit 3. While supplies last.

    ALL Plastic Expanding Files

    30% off

    Fashion Binders, Notebooks, Compbooks, Folders & Pencil Pouches

    50% off

    Really Useful Boxes®, 3 Liter – $3.00
    Paper School Supplies
    .
    Construction Paper – $3.00

    Limit 3. While supplies last.

    .
    Poly Covered Composition Book – $1.00

    Limit 3. While supplies last.

    Boise X-9 Copy Paper Ream, 500 Sheets – $3.00

    Limit 3

    Scotch® Tape Dispensers & Post-It® Notes Dispensers – $5.00
    Writing School Supplies
    .
    ALL EXPO® Low-Odor Dry-Erase Markers, Ultra-Fine Point, 4-PK – $2.00
    • $1.25/1 Expo Low Odor, Original Chisel or Ultra Fine, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $0.75
    .
    ALL Single Sharpie® Permanent Markers and ALL Single Inkjoy™ Pens – $0.50

    Limit 5. While supplie last

    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    .
    Office Depot® Brand Wood Pencils, 8-PK – $0.25

    Limit 3. While supplies last.

    .
    Paper Mate® Pink Pearl® Erasers, 3-PK – $1.00
    • $0.50/1 Paper Mate Pack; Excludes Single Pens – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    .
    Scholastic Colored Pencils, 12-PK – $0.25

    Limit 3. While supplies last.

    ALL Paper Mate® EraserMate® Pens, 5-PK – $2.00
    • $0.50/1 Paper Mate Pack; Excludes Single Pens – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    ALL EXPO® Low-Odor Dry-Erase Markers, Chisel Tip, 12-PK – $10.00
    • $1.25/1 Expo Low Odor, Original Chisel or Ultra Fine, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $8.75
    ALL Expo® Dry Erase Markers, 4-PK – $2.00
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    ALL Paper Mate® Clearpoint™ Mechanical Pencils, 2-PK – $2.00
    • $0.50/1 Paper Mate Pack; Excludes Single Pens – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $1.50
    ALL Paper Mate® Flair® Porous-Point Pens, 12-PK – $10.00
    • $0.50/1 Paper Mate Pack; Excludes Single Pens – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $9.50
    ALL Paper Mate® Profile™ Retractable Ballpoint Pens, 12-PK – $6.00
    • $0.50/1 Paper Mate Pack; Excludes Single Pens – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $5.50
    ALL Paper Mate® Write Bros.® Mechanical Pencils, Ridged Grip, 24-PK – $4.00
    • $0.50/1 Paper Mate Pack; Excludes Single Pens – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $3.50
    ALL Sharpie® Clearview Highlighters, 3-PK – $4.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Clear View Product – 7-27-14 SS – (exp. 09/28/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $3.00
    ALL Sharpie® Fine Permanent Markers, 5-PK – $3.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $2.00
    ALL Sharpie® Pens, 4-PK – $2.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    ALL Sharpie® Permanent Markers, Assorted Colors, 24-PK – $10.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $7.50
    Buy 2: Use (2) $1/1 coupons and $5/$20 coupon
    ALL Sharpie® Retractable Permanent Markers, 3-PK – $4.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    ALL Tops Docket Gold Premium Writing Pads

    B2G1 free

    ALL uni-ball® 207™ Retractable Gel Pens, 4-PK – $4.00
    • $1.00/1 Uni Ball, 4 pk or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    Final Price: $3.00
    EXPO® Dry-Erase Soft-Pile Erasers – $2.00
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    EXPO® Dry-Erase Starter Kits, Chisel-Tip, 4-PK – $6.00
    • $1.25/1 Expo Low Odor, Original Chisel or Ultra Fine, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $3.50
    Buy 4; use (4) $1.25 coupons and $5/$20
    EXPO® Marker Board Towelettes, 6″ x 9″, Pack of 50 – $6.00
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Paper Mate® Sharpwriter Mechanical Pencils, 0.7mm, 12-PK – $1.00
    • $0.50/1 Paper Mate Pack; Excludes Single Pens – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Sharpie® Accent® RT Highlighters, 5-PK – $5.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $4.00
    Sharpie® Flip Chart™ Bullet-Tip Markers, 8-PK – $6.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $5.00
    Sharpie® Mini Fine-Point Permanent Markers, 4-PK – $3.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $2.00
    Sharpie® Neon Permanent Markers, 5-PK – $5.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $4.00
    Sharpie® Tank-Style Highlighters, 12-PK – $6.00
    • $1.00/1 Sharpie Product, 4 ct or Higher – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    • $5/$20 any Expo®, Paper Mate® or Sharpie® products -$5 OFF your purchase of $20 or more (Office Max/Office Depot Store coupon) – (exp. 09/06/14)
    Final Price: $5.00
    uni-ball® JetStream™ Ballpoint Pens, 3-PK – $4.00
    • $0.50/1 Uni Ball, 2 or 3 pk – 8-17-14 SS – (exp. 10/12/14)
    Final Price: $3.50
    Tech & Gadgets
    .
    2XL Offset Earbuds by Skullcandy – $5.00
    .
    2XL Shakedown On-Ear Headphones by Skullcandy – $10.00
    .
    Beats™ by Dr. Dre Solo™ HD High Definition On-Ear Headphones With ControlTalk™ – $169.99
    .
    Brother® P-Touch® Desktop Office Labeler – $25.00
    .
    Brother® P-Touch® Home & Office Labeler – $20.00
    .
    Texas Instruments® TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator – $99.99

    FREE when you buy any of these TI Graphing Calculators

    .
    UrBeats™ By Dr. Dre™ Headphones With ControlTalk™ – $99.99
    Brother® Simply Stylish TZ Tapes

    Must Buy 3 for $30, Individual price= $14.99-$16.99

    Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Computer – $249.99
    Belkin® Lightning To USB ChargeSync Cable for iPhone®, iPod® and iPad® – $10.00
    Lexar™ Class 10 SDHC or microSDHC Memory Card – 16GB – $17.99
    Lexar™ Class 10 SDHC or microSDHC Memory Card – 32GB – $29.99
    Lexar™ Class 10 SDHC or microSDHC Memory Card – 64GB – $54.99
    Targus® Color Stylus For iPad® & Tablets – $5.00
    Texas Instruments® TI-84 Silver Edition Color Graphing Calculator – $119.99

    FREE when you buy any of these TI Graphing Calculators

    Toshiba 7″ Android™ with Intel® Inside – $89.99

    Baking When You Only Have Cold, Hard Butter

    How to Quickly Soften Cold Butter for Baking - chieffamilyofficer.com

    Many baking recipes call for softened butter. But I rarely remember to take the butter out of the fridge to soften, and all too often, when I do, I run out of time to bake and end up tossing the butter back in to the fridge. Fortunately, I picked up a little tip from my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, which I adapted from Thomas Keller’s cookbook Ad Hoc at Home, and this technique works great for all of my baking now:

    To quickly soften cold butter for baking, simply cut the cold butter into small pieces, then put the butter in a mixer and beat until creamy.

    As you can see in the photo above, I cut the butter lengthwise four times on each side, then slice the butter into half-tablespoons, which creates a cross-section of sixteen small pieces. A stand mixer is great for this method, because you can dump the butter pieces in, start the mixer, and walk away. But a hand-held mixer should work fine too. The process takes anywhere from five to ten minutes, depending on how cold the butter and air in the room are.

    This method works a lot better than microwaving butter, which tends to melt the butter rather than softening it.

    Happy baking!

    class="nolinks"