Tag Archives: cheap

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!

#NationalPumpkinDay

Happy #NationalPumpkinDay!

It seems like everywhere I turn, there’s something pumpkin flavored or pumpkin spiced something. I used to think this was such a novelty, but now it’s almost overboard! I’m admittedly a huge pumpkin-spice latte fan, from Starbucks. I went to get one at the beginning of the season though, and it was $6. $6. $6! For a coffee.

I thought that in honor of #NationalPumpkinDay it’d be appropriate to give you all a homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe that you can make on your own for considerably less money.

This recipe, from Betty Crocker, makes 10 servings of pumpkin spiced lattes! Perfect recipe to finish a fall dinner party and serve with dessert.

In a slow cooker, mix the following ingredients, and whisk until well combined: 5 cups strong brewed coffee, 4 cups milk (2% or whole), 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. 1/4 cup canned pumpkin, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring once after the first hour.

THAT IS IT. Serve in mugs and top with whipped cream if desired!

How amazing is that? So easy, all inexpensive ingredients, and made in a slow cooker, no less – couldn’t be easier or less expensive. Enjoy!

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!

6 Things To Always Buy at the Dollar Store

Hey all,

I’ve been doing some reading on local dollar stores. I used to bring my kids here all the time as a treat and let them each buy one thing (talk about an easy, inexpensive activity), but hadn’t been in a long time. I recently stopped in and was truly shocked by how much stuff I wanted to buy and knew I had use for. It’s not all junk and knick-knacks!

I did some research and there are a TON of tips on items to buy at the dollar store that are cheap and convenient. Here are some of my favorite ideas!

  1. Seasonal Decor

ChaChingOnAShoeString.com has this awesome tip to use the dollar store for anything from Easter basket fillings to Christmas Decorations. This is such a great idea, because as much as I *wish* I did, I so rarely store seasonal decor responsibly, and sometimes end up throwing it out. I won’t care nearly as much about this loss if it was inexpensive to begin with. I checked out DollarTree.com to see their Halloween selection and was absolutely blown away! From decor, to candy, to costume accessories, they really have everything to decorate your home for the season or a party – love it!

2. Cleaning Supplies

I would  have never expected this one! They won’t be your big brand names, but most cleaning products contain exactly the same ingredients, so they’ll still get the job done at a much lower cost. I cannot get over the selection that Dollar Tree has to offer. Dish soaps, air fresheners, paper towels – literally everything you could ever need in the basic cleaning spectrum.

3. Greeting Cards

Does anyone else think that it is SERIOUSLY INSANE that greeting cards these days cost so much money? I recently got one for a friend’s baby shower and it ran me $5. For a piece of paper. Unreal! This tip really speaks to me, because to get a card for $1, or, better yet, a 20-pack of cards for $1 is really such a game changer. Will be pivoting these purchases to the dollar store immediately!

4. Batteries

Love this tip from BargainBabe.com! Brand name batteries can really run you up a charge, and I am entirely fine with these no-name batteries to keep in the household to have on hand for toys, remote controls, etc. Nothing is worse than being withheld from an activity because you’re out of batteries!

5. Sandwich Baggies

There is never NOT a need for sandwich baggies in our family home. In my opinion, all sandwich bags are created equal, so why not simply pay $1 for a package of them? Check out the selection from the Dollar Tree – there’s literally every size and every style. You’ll want for nothing!

6. Health and Beauty Supplies

Obviously there is a limit and a line to be drawn here, but there are certainly some products that could easily be bought from the dollar store. Dollar Tree carries some brand names from E.L.F. to Wet N Wild – not too shabby for makeup and nail polish! The funniest thing that so many blogs said was that you should get pregnancy tests from the dollar store! As long as they’re accurate! These retail for anywhere between $10-$20 at your average drug store.

Hope this helps! What’s your go-to buys at the dollar store?

BOOritos!

If you’re anything like me, you know that every year, Chipotle offers awesome discounts for coming in costume, but each year, the rules are a little different. I’m here to clue you in to how this year’s BOOrito is going to work!

As we learned from Chipotle’s Friend or Faux promotion, the chain is vehemently against unnecessary additives in their food, and are doing all that they can to show just how unimportant they are to your meals. To further promote this concept, this Halloween, from 5pm-close, Chipotle asks you to spook them by adding something unnecessary to your costume to score a $3 burrito!

In this super fun video titled “Unneces-scary”, you can enter the nightmare of one Chipotle customer who discovers what Chipotle would be like if they served processed fast food rather than cooking by hand.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out our article feature image to get a feel for some unnecessary costume additions! Enjoy!

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!

Yankee Candle: Buy 2, Get 2

I don’t know about you, but the second the temperatures start to cool down, I love feeling cozy in my home. More than that, I love lighting candles that reflect the season. That Christmas tree smell over the holidays? To die for!

Maybe you aren’t aware (I wasn’t) but Yankee Candle has some really awesome FALL scents as well. Being that this is my favorite season, official today, I NEED to try these.

Here’s the new fall scents:

  • Autumn In The Park
  • Brandy Pear Tart
  • Cranberry Twist
  • Sugar and Spice

Coincidence that there are 4 scents? I think not. Yankee Candle is running a deal through September 27th, where if you buy two candles, you get two free! You can print this coupon and use this deal in-store, or you can shop online and use the promo code: 4FALL.

Let us know what you think! I can’t wait!

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