Tag Archives: budget

Last Minute DIY Costumes for Kids!

Waited until the last minute for Halloween costumes? Slim pickings at your local store? Fear not, there are TONS of easy, DIY costumes that you can make cheaply and easily to make for a happy kid to go trick or treating in. Here’s some of my favorites:

Minion

Don’t overpay for this popular costume when it can be made in such a more original, budget-friendly way. These are so awesome!

Minion

Minion [http://www.makeandtakes.com/last-minute-despicable-me-minion-costume]

Here’s what you need to make the hat:

  • Yellow snow hat
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners

Cut your pipe cleaners to whatever length you desire. Luckily, each minion has a slightly different look, so  you can be as creative as you like. Thread through the knit hat, go slowly and it should slip right in! Bend the pipe cleaners so they stick  up however you like.

To make the goggles:

  • Paper towel tube
  • Scissors
  • Silver paint/brush
  • Black elastic
  • Stapler

Cut off a small section of the paper tube, 1/2 inch thick. If you cant two eyes, you can cut another section as well. Paint them silver and allow to dry. Once dry, staple together in the center. To attach to the elastic, simply staple as well. You can place on your face, or even on the hat on the forehead.

Wear a yellow long sleeve shirt, blue overalls, black gloves + boots, and you are GOOD TO GO. Minion! Thanks, MakesAndTakes.com!

Spider

This is an awesome last minute costume idea, and cute to boot.

Spider

Spider [http://madincrafts.com/last-minute-spider-costume-and/]

Here’s what you need:

  • Black hoodie
  • Large needle
  • 2 pairs black knee socks
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Googly eyes
  • Adhesive dots
  • Black gloves

Pretty easy and self-explanatory, but here’s the jist of things: Stuff the pairs of black knee socks full of plastic grocery bags, attach to hoodie – if you aren’t comfortable with a quick sew, feel free to safety pin or even duct tape. To the hood, attach adhesive white dots and glue on the googly eyes. Slap on the gloves, zip up the hoodie, and voila, you’re a spider. Thanks to MadInCrafts.com for this adorably scary getup.

Snail

I can’t get over the cute of this costume, brought to us by OhHappyDay.com – so very adorable!

Snail

Snail [http://ohhappyday.com/2012/10/snail-costume/]

Pretty simple, all you need is a ton of kraft paper, and your little trick-or-treater can wear it like a backpack. Here’s what you need:

  • Brown kraft paper
  • Masking tape
  • Headband
  • Styrafoam Balls
  • Ribbon
  • Glue gun

First, make the shell. Crumple up the paper, and starting at the corner, begin rolling it. Once you have a nice section, begin wrapping into a shell, until it is at desired size. Go back and redo with the glue gun to secure it in a few places. Next, make another half shell, and glue the two sides together. Take a square of cardboard and mount it to the shell. Tie ribbon to it to make it a nice little backpack!

Next, make the headband – take a dection of brown paper and crumble until it can stand on it’s own. Add styrafoam to the end, and hot glue the other end to the headband. So cute, so easy. Love this!

If any of you try these out please send over some pictures! We’d love to see how you all look!

I Love CVS As Much As This Girl

I’ve already told you all how much I love CVS so this story totally touches me – so cute!

This girl loves CVS so much that she got a CVS themed birthday party! I love CVS even more knowing that when CVS headquarters heard about Iris’ party, they sent this family snacks, favors, and party supplies.

We need Iris on our LCFR team, she clearly loves a good deal!

Free Sample Concentrate 128

Did you know that when you buy any kind of ready-to-use cleaning chemical at the store, that they are 95% water? News to me!

Concentrate 128 is a concentrate cleaning product that relies on you to dilute and mix on your own. They are taking an initiative to go green by using this concentrated product – just think about how much money and resource that’s been wasted on shipping water back and forth around the country!

Concentrate 128 is a powerful, peroxide cleaning solution that cleans any surface not harmed by water, from windows to floors – it’s up to you! It can be used in spray bottles, mop buckets, carpet extractors, etc. It’s 100% biodegradable AND cost efficient. Since it is so highly concentrated, one quart of Concentrate 128 can make up to 128 courts of all purpose cleaner at less than $0.05/quart – hence the name!

Get a free sample of Concentrate 128 here and let us know what you think!

Free Sample Advil® Film-Coated

Happy Monday!

This calls for a day of the week appropriate free sample. Advil® Film-Coated tablets are their latest innovation in relief to stop pain before it gets worse. This particular tablet is formulated with a unique Advil Ion Core™ Technology and an ultra thin shell to absorb quickly – nothing is proven to work faster.

Use the fast acting Advil® for headaches, muscle aches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, back pain, and aches and pains associated with the common cold.

Target is giving out free samples of the new product just for taking a quick survey and Advil® themselves are giving out $3 coupons to try their new product. Give it a go! The faster a pain reliever works, the better for me and my family. Enjoy!

Freezer Meals: Week 12!

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! This calls for a freezer meal roundup! This week I thought it’d be fun to focus on desserts. There’s a VAST amount of recipes for all of your favorite sweet treats that freeze perfectly. They are prime freezer candidates! I pulled some recipes from around the internet that looked especially delicious to me. Let me know what you think! I can’t wait to try them myself.

Best-Ever Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies [http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/09/22/oatmeal-butterscotch-cookies/]

Ruth Soukup is a freezer-friendly queen. This is far from the first recipe I’ve tried of hers, and I imagine it’ll be far from the last! My husband and I are both huge supporters of oatmeal cookies, and this looks like a fantastic spin on such a classic cookie. She claims that they ‘freeze beautifully’ and are just as good straight out of the freezer as they do straight out of the oven. Sounds good to me!

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies. Preheat the oven to 350, and get to work mixing together butter and sugars. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix well. Then flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and mix well. Add in oats and chips, and mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown – cool + enjoy! Freeze if desired.

Freezer Friendly Brownie Bites

Brownie Bites

Brownie Bites [http://happymoneysaver.com/brownie-bites/#_a5y_p=3742288]

These little brownie bites are perfect for a small dessert or a snack. They’re such an easy, quick recipe! Melt butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. After melted, add cocoa powder and stir well. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and add in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until well combined. Lastly, add in flour and mix until smooth.

Grease a mini muffin pan and fill cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and let cook before removing from pan. Let them cool completely and enjoy or place in a freezer safe bag. To reheat, just pop them in the microwave!

Reese’s Oatmeal Cookies

Reese's Oatmeal Cookies

Reese’s Oatmeal Cookies [http://www.momontimeout.com/2013/01/reeses-freezer-friendly-oatmeal-cookies/]

Can you tell I  love oatmeal cookies? Have I mentioned my affinity for anything peanut butter? This recipe looks so good that it needs to be shared!

The beauty of this recipe is that it highlights two things: 1) these cookies are great to freeze and equally delicious this way and 2) how easy it is to freeze cookie dough balls (if you’d prefer to eat them fresh and make the dough ahead of time!).

Simply cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, beat in eggs one at a time, add vanilla and mix together. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, salt and baking soda, and add to the already creamed mixture. Stir in Reese’s Pieces and Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips.

Refrigerate for one hour and preheat the oven to 350. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown and cool.

FREE Motivational Materials

Found some awesome resources for all of you out there who are looking for some money-making motivation!

Firstly, Suze Orman is offering her personal finance online course for FREE right now. Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. She’s a two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times mega best selling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the country — she’s hailed as America’s most recognized expert on personal finance. That all being said, I think I trust her to guide me in the world of personal finance and how to best manage our family’s money. FREE for a limited time, click here to sign up for her online courses. The gift code “TODAY” will already be activated when you click through the link. You’ll be taken to an online dashboard where you can view the lessons at your leisure.

The second awesome resource that was found is this free audiobook from SharkTank called “Jump Start Your Business: How to Launch and Grow a Business from Concept to Cash”. I don’t know if you do, but I catch the show on ABC from time to time, and it is pretty addicting! This book is filled with practical advice and instructions from the Sharks themselves and is the ultimate resource for anyone thinking about starting a business or growing the one they have. Be an entrepreneur and get out there!

Freezer Meals: Week 11

Back to basics here, everyone! I have three VERY different, but VERY delicious freezer-friendly meals today to make your life just that much easier. Don’t forget that when you try these out, give us your feedback! Did you add extra ingredients, leave some out? Do you think the cooking time should be increased, decreased? Do you have different ideas on how to allow this to keep for longer in the freezer? We want to hear everything, big or small! Comment section is there for YOU.

First things first, I wanted to talk about frozen pizza. We’ve all been down this road. They’re easy, they’re good, and they’re terrible for you. The ingredients in these if you check out the box are truly brutal, and it’s tough to feed your family something that seems so unhealthy and chemically-laden. Solution is here! Make your OWN frozen pizzas, recipe courtesy of IntentionalByGrace.com. Here’s how she does it:

Frozen Pizza

Frozen Pizza [http://intentionalbygrace.com/homemade-frozen-pizzas/#_a5y_p=3296016]

  1. She makes her own pizza dough. You could store buy (I know that a lot of grocery stores sell raw pizza dough), but this is more cost efficient, and you’ll know exactly what you’re putting into it, which is only 8 ingredients, and nothing funky: water, yeast, honey, olive oil, salt, flour, italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
  2. Once you’re all set with mixing and letting the dough rise, preheat the oven and cook the pizza dough WITHOUT toppings for about 7-8 minutes to allow for a good base to build on.
  3. She makes her own sauce too! Who’s shocked?! You can, of course, use store-bought, but I love love love the idea of knowing all of the ingredients you and your family are eating. She simply uses tomato paste, sauce, water, garlic powder, basil, parsley, organo, thyme, salt, papper, olive oil, honey, and Parmesan cheese. The full recipe is in here and can be made in a stockpot or crockpot. Once done – this sauce is totally freezable – simply put in a tightly sealed plastic bag.
  4. Pizza topping ideas: since we’re freezing, use things that will freeze well. She recommends cheese, pepperoni, pineapple, onion, chicken, ground beef or turkey, green onions, olives – most things do freeze well, so go with your standard toppings!
  5. Once your pizza is assembled, wrap each pizza with plastic wrap and finish with foil. The foil allows easy writing to label which toppings are on which pizza – love it!
  6. To cook, preheat your oven to 425, remove all the wrap, place pizza on a pan, and cook for about 15 minutes. Simple!

Next up…Slow Cooker Tuscan Stew from Sweet Peas and Saffron. With the weather getting a bit cooler, I crave soup, and it’s one of my absolute favorite things to make since it’s easy, inexpensive, and I can eat it for days. It’s one of the only foods where I can say with all confidence that the leftovers are better than fresh! That overnight in the fridge or freezer really just must enhance all the flavors – blows my mind every time. Here’s a new recipe that I found that looks so comforting and delicious – cannot wait to try. Sometimes a beef stew is almost TOO hearty, so I love this chicken-based spin.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Stew

Slow Cooker Tuscan Stew [http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/09/slow-cooker-tuscan-chicken-stew.html]

Simply add boneless chicken thighs, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, white wine, and fennel seeds into the slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours. Just before serving, mix cornstarch and water together, and add in balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and salt – throw combination into the soup. Serve with crusty bread or a side salad! This sounds soooo good. If you want to freeze this prior to putting in the slow cooker – easy! Just get your ingredients together, defrost, and dump.

I’m dying to use my slow cooker more (she notes that she uses a 5 quart one) and this sounds like a great, easy opportunity to play around a little bit.

This stew looks chunky and hearty and perfect to fill up my family on a cold, cozy night! Enjoy!

Next and last…Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna. When I think about freezer meals, my mind immediately goes to lasagna, and then I think, ugh, not healthy enough. I always miss a more veggie-laden meal. But the Food Network puts such a healthy, unique spin on freezable lasagna! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna

Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna [http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/healthified-kale-and-portobello-lasagna-recipe.html]

This only takes about 25 minutes of prepwork, and execution of the layers is almost exactly like putting together a more standard lasagna dish. Puree roasted red peppers, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Mix together mozzarella, ricotta, and egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat and saute portobello mushrooms and kale with red pepper flakes and set aside.

In a baking dish, start layering! Sauce, lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, kale and mushroom mixture. At this point, you can freeze if you so please! Plastic wrap + tin foil to make sure this lasts as long as possible. When you’re ready to cook, thaw, cover with aluminum foil only, and bake for about 50 minutes on 350. Then sprinkle with some additional mozzarella and cook uncovered until bubbly. Yum!

Enjoy these! Let us know how they go!