DIY and Tips – Couponista Queen ~ Saving, Eating, Crafting

27 Delicious Fall and Winter Pie Recipes

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27 Fall and Winter Pie Recipes

  1. Blommi – Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake Pie
  2. Captain Fussy Buckets – Pecan Pie with No Butter or Corn Syrup
  3. Life Love Liz – Frozen Peppermint Pie
  4. Slap Dash Mom – Apple Pie Monkey Bread
  5. Flour on My Face – Easy Inside Out Apple Pie a la Mode
  6. Gretas Day – Sweet Potato Pie With Whiskey and Marshmallows
  7. Slap Dash Mom – German Chocolate Pecan Pie
  8. My Cooking Hut – Mince Pies
  9. The Brewer and the Baker – Homemade Mincemeat Pie (using your crockpot)
  10. Cincy Shopper – No Bake 2 Layer Pumpkin Pie
  11. Parsley Sage Sweet – Cheesecake Pumpkin Pecan Pie
  12. Inside Bru Crew Life – Cookies and Cream Chocolate Pie
  13. Crazy for Crust – No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Pie
  14. Spend with Pennies – Pecan Pumpkin Pie
  15. South Your Mouth – Sour Cream Raisin Pie
  16. Stephie Cooks – Pecan Raisin Pie
  17. Art and the Kitchen – No Bake Triple Layer Pumpkin Pie
  18. Kitchen Meets Girl – Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie
  19. The Gunny Sack – Pumpkin Silk Pie
  20. Zoe Bakes – Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie
  21. This Gal Cooks – Cookies and Cream Chocolate Pudding Pie
  22. Saving Dessert – Raisin Maple Crunch Pie
  23. The 2 Seasons – White Potato Pie
  24. Nosh and Nourish – Sweet Potato Pie with a Maple Quinoa Crust
  25. Wine and Glue – Sweet Potato Chess Pie
  26. B Sugar Mama – Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
  27. The Endless Meal – Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Pie
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26 DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

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26 DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

When I was a kid, back in the 70s, my mom always made our Halloween costumes.  Everyone’s mom did, pretty much, and we loved it.  Check out these Halloween Costume Ideas for kids and skip the store bought.

  1. Wait til Your Father Gets Home – Marty McFly Costume
  2. Wait til Your Father Gets Home – Clark Kent Toddler Costume
  3. Wait til Your Father Gets Home – R2 Tutu Costume
  4. Slap Dash Mom – Paper Doll Costume 
  5. Ruffles and Rainboots – Frozen Inspired Elsa Dress
  6. Ruffles and Rainboots – DIY Mermaid Costume with No Sew Option
  7. Me Sew Crazy – Pac Man and Ghost Costumes
  8. Me Sew Crazy – Frozen Princess Anna Costume
  9. Me Sew Crazy – Nesting Dolls Easy Costume Tutorial
  10. Me Sew Crazy – Last Minute Statue of Liberty Costume
  11. Delineate Your Dwelling – DIY Scuba Diver Costume
  12. R and R Workshop – DIY Charlie Brown Costume
  13. Andrea’s Notebook – DIY The Birds Costume
  14. Andrea’s Notebook – DIY Mary Poppins Dress Tutorial
  15. Andrea’s Notebook – DIY Peacock Costume Tutorial
  16. Andrea’s Notebook – DIY Rain Cloud Costume Tutorial
  17. The Nerd’s Wife – No Sew Star Wars Rebels Pilot Costume
  18. Slap Dash Mom – Easy Medusa Costume and Makeup Tutorial
  19. Mom Endevors – Homemade Parrot Costume
  20. DIY Candy – DIY Magic Man Halloween Costume
  21. DIY Candy – Make a Witch Mask with Gauze
  22. Creative Green living – Quick and Easy Fisherman Costume
  23. Creative Green living – Last Minute No Sew Mermaid Costume
  24. Creative Green living – Bumble Bee Costume Tutorial
  25. 100 Directions – DIY Racoon Costume + Printable Mask
  26. Studio DIY – DIY French Macaron Costume
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23 DIY Halloween Costumes for Adults

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Be the best dressed at the party with these 23 DIY Halloween Costumes for Adults

  1. Flattery – Deer Halloween Costume

  2. Flattery – Demon Costume

  3. Studio DIY – Birthday Cake Costume

  4. Lovely Indeed – Lumberjack Costume

  5. Syl and Sam – Swan Dress Costume (Bjork)

  6. Over Stuffed Life – DIY Cheshire Cat Costume

  7. Foodie Friends Friday Daily Dish – Amy Farrah Fowler Costume

  8. Meaningful Mama – Pinata Costume

  9. Whitney Avalon – Garyscale Costume

  10. Talking Trash and Wasting Time – T-Bird and Pink Ladies Costumes

  11. Girl Loves Glam – Flo from Progressive Costume

  12. Sammy Davis Vintage – DIY Celeb Costumes: Lady Gaga, Snooki or Kim Kardashian

  13. Camille Styles – DIY Shoot for the Stars Costume

  14. Coolest Homemade Costumes – Homemade Chicken Costume

  15. I Wear the Canvas – DIY Flapper Costume

  16. Brit.co – Princess Peach Costume

  17. The Joy Of Fashion Blog Sheep Costume

  18. Love Maegan – DIY Merida Costume

  19. Coolest Homemade Costumes – Homemade Ursula Costume

  20. The Joy Of Fashion Blog – Cute Homemade Cookie Monster Costume

  21. The Joy Of Fashion Blog – Audrey Hepburn Costume

  22. The Joy Of Fashion Blog – Homemade Gumball Machine Costume

  23. The Joy Of Fashion Blog – Easy Queen of Hearts Costume

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28 DIY Halloween Makeup Tutorials

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28 DIY Halloween Makeup Tutorials

Halloween makeup can make your costume, OR it can BE your costume!  Don’t want to shell out for an elaborate costume this Halloween?  You can still have a winning look.  Whether you’re going for total fright or just delight, check out these 28 Do It Yourself Makeup Tutorials

  1. Slap Dash Mom – Queen of Hearts Makeup
  2. Dear Creatives – Vampire Queen Makeup
  3. Dear Creatives – Evil Queen Makeup
  4. We Can Make Anything – Zombie Makeup Tutorial
  5. From Head to Toe – Lion Halloween Makeup Tutorial
  6. Babble – Leopard Makeup Tutorial
  7. From Head to Toe – Deer Halloween Makeup Tutorial
  8. Flattery – Deer Halloween Costume Tutorial -with makeup
  9. Kastles – Spooktacular Scarecrow
  10. Bespoke Bride – How to do Day of the Dead Makeup
  11. From Dahlias to Doxies – Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull Face
  12. Brittany Couture xo – Mrs Hatter Makeup Tutorial
  13. Brittany Couture xo – Vampire Makeup
  14. Brittany Couture xo – Ursula Makeup Tutorial
  15. Talking Trash and Wasting Time – Marceline Makeup Tutorial
  16. Talking Trash and Wasting Time – Minnie Mouse Cartoon Makeup
  17. She Might Be Loved – Comic Book Halloween Makeup
  18. Jangsara – Broken Doll Makeup
  19. The Wonder Forest – Skeleton Skull Makeup Tutorial
  20. The Wonder Forest – Fox Makeup tutorial
  21. The Wonder Forest – Cute Bear Makeup Tutorial
  22. HGTV – Kids Pirate Makeup Tutorial
  23. Good to Know – Frankenstein Face Paint Tutorial
  24. Free People – Halloween Makeup Tutorial Porcelain Doll
  25. Phyrra – Monster High: Draculaura Makeup Tutorial
  26. Phyrra – Monster High: Cleo de Nile Makeup Tutorial
  27. The Good Stuff – Disney’s Frozen Elsa Makeup Tutorial
  28. Dear Crissy – Halloween Jack-o-lantern Face Painting Tutorial
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27 DIY Halloween Costumes for Pets

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27 DIY Pet Halloween Costumes

  1. Mimi and Tara – Halloween Pumpkin Costume

  2. Squirrel Picnic – Crochet Bowser Sweater for a Turtle

  3. Jader Bomb – Elsa the Snow Queen Dog Costume

  4. Aunt Peaches – No Sew Flying Spaghetti Monster

  5. Lovely Indeed – Cupcake Costume

  6. Mimi and Tara – Dog Witch Costume

  7. Mimi and Tara – Count Dracula Dog Cape

  8. Mimi and Tara – Dog Tuxedo Jacket

  9. Fanciful Belongings – Lola’s Cupcake Costume

  10. Doogy Loot – Doggy Ghost, Beanie Baby, and Hula Girl

  11. Sew Doggy Style – DIY Mini Sailor Hat

  12. DIY Maven – Crochet Candy Corn Pet Sweater

  13. Pretty Peas – DIY Dog Tutu

  14. Make Zine – Star Wars Dog Costume

  15. Sew Doggy Style – Last Minute Cereal Killer Costume

  16. E-How – Dog Skeleton

  17. Jay’s Cup – DIY Minion Hat

  18. Instructables – Puppy Fairy Wings

  19. Pretty Peas – DIY Sushi Roll Costume for Bearded Dragons

  20. I Heart Pets – Munchkin’s Teddy Bear Costume

  21. Eat Sleep Make – DIY Sushi Costume for Dogs

  22. Sew Doggy Style – DIY Hostess Cupcakes Pet Costume

  23. Sew Doggy Style – Doggy Gaga

  24. Pitlandia – DIY Dog Tutu

  25. Homes Alive – 15 Pet Costumes including a flower, a spider, and a superhero

  26. Alana Jonesmann – Pinata Dog Costume

  27. Make Zine – How to Make a Pirate Dog Costume

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12 Old Fashioned Frugal Tips for Modern Times

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12 Old Fashioned Frugal Tips for Modern Times

Have you ever taken a look at how your grandparents or great-grandparents lived?  Chances are, they were really, really good with their money.  Why do you think that is?  Basically: they lived through times when things were hard…and I mean harder than you have (hopefully) ever experienced.  They may have lived through the Great Depression.  The Dust Bowl. World Wars.  Been immigrants.  Been part of big families with not enough for everyone.  They may have been poorer than you can imagine.  Because of that, they learned to do things differently than you and I have.  I remember many stories told to me by my grandparents and great aunts and uncles, fascinated by stories of no running water and no electricity.  Nothing compares to the life of comparable luxury we enjoy today — some of which is in part to their hard work and sacrifices to make future generations of the family successful.  Here are some of the best lessons I learned from the “Olden Days” that still apply today.  I try to incorporate these into our life and am teaching my daughter the same.

  1. Waste Not Want Not – Your grandparents learned to use everything until they couldn’t use it anymore, and most of us could take a hint from them. Are you using everything in your life until you no longer can?  For example, using chicken or beef bones until they’re mush to make stock then using the mush to make pet food, or keeping a bag in the freezer for vegetable scraps to use for stock or soup.  Make sure you extend this to every single area of your life and use the last of your makeup, toilet paper, ink in a pen and more.  My grandma always saved the last slivers of a bar of soap in a jar, and she added a little water to make her own Soft Soap.
  1. Save every dime (0r penny) you can – Savings account looking a little bare?  Or  is it non-existent?   Take a tip from your elders and save every penny you can.  A penny saved really is a penny earned.  In fact, a lot of people who were kids during the depression later invested those pennies and are living quite comfortably now thanks to that smart thinking.  In that vein, try to use coupons and shop sales.  Saving a few dollars (to a few hundred a month) just by using coupons really does add up.
  1. Let go of your pride – Ask anyone who grew up in that time period and they will tell you that they were willing to do any job at all to help take care of their families. In today’s world, it’s common to think that we’re above a certain job because it may pay less or we may just feel it’s “beneath” us. If things are rough? Nothing is beneath you when it comes to feeding your family. What you may think of as a menial job, they thought of as opportunity.  Do the same.
  1. Get Creative with your meals and eat at home – Some of the most memorable meals are the simplest and this holds true for cooks during the Depression Era. One of the best tips is to replace ingredients with cheaper ones. Lentils or beans are great for substituting ground beef and you can easily stretch most soups or casseroles with rice or egg noodles. Want to use the meat but make it go further?  Mix in some oats or oatmeal.  And save meals out for special occasions.  Even a drive through trip can cost $20!  Planning ahead for those busy nights by having some meals in the freezer will save your budget, and taste much better than a burger in a bag.
  1. Skip the store and make it yourself – Depression Era families learned how to make things at home instead of buying them. This could include things like toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap, bread and more. All of these things are much cheaper to make yourself than to purchase.
  1. Grow it yourselves – Most families had gardens and they were a necessary part of life if you wanted to eat.  Victory Gardens were popular during World War II, and many families depended on what they grew to feed the family.  There was no super grocery store to run to when you needed food, and many families could not afford store bought anyhow.  If you try, make sure that you include things like celery that can be grown from scraps so that you don’t waste anything.  And a compost pile is a great way to recycle food scraps into beautiful organic fertilizer.
  1. Fix It Yourselves – Have a skirt that needs hemmed?  Learn to do it yourself.  Need a rip sewn?  Learn to mend it yourself.  Plumbing need fixed? You guessed it, fix it yourself. Your grandparents learned to do it themselves (often by sheer necessity) and you can too. Your wallet will thank you, and you will feel accomplished.  And these days Google and YouTube are fabulous resources of information for practically anything you want to learn to do.  Just know when you really should call that professional to be safe.
  1. Trade for it – Money was not the only commodity, and in fact trade was very common. People traded things they had or services they could do for things they needed.  Doctors were often paid in eggs or crops.  My own grandmother used to trade her excellent sewing skills for things the family needed all the time.
  1. Learn Needs vs Wants – Money does not in fact grown on trees, and when budgets are tight needs vs wants become stark reality. I am not talking about basics like food, shelter and utilities.  I mean the extras that we THINK we need.  Not sure if you really need something?  Try this test:  Consider the thing you need/want.  Would you be willing to have the thing or the same value in cash?  If your answer is the cash…you probably don’t need it, you just want it, so consider carefully.  Things like satellite tv, data packages on smartphones, and expensive coffees out are all nice.  But if you need cash more, then you need to consider cutting back.  Brew your own coffee.  Sign up for Netflix.  One trick I do when I want something is figure out how long I have to work to pay for that item.  Usually it goes right back on the shelf.
  1. Hand it Down and Pass it On – Ok this one can be really fun! I try to shop at thrift stores, and I learned this from my grandma who dressed very nicely on the cheap!  There are some good thrift stores nearby and the clothing is great quality, so when I have NOTHING to wear (lol) I head to the thrift store to satisfy my shopping bug without breaking the budget.  Here is the fun part — When I am done wearing something, I put it in a bag and then I pass the bag to a friend.  I get bags passed to me.  Take what you want and add to it and pass it along.  It is a great FREE way to rejuvenate your wardrobe.  And for kids, definitely pass those clothes (and TOYS as well!) on or even SELL them on resale sites.  And invest in classic items for things like coats, boots and bags.  Fads are pricey and often poor quality.  Sometimes it is a better value to spend a little more on something that you want to use for years.
  1. Sell Sell Sell – One man’s trash really IS another man’s treasure! I sell things we no longer need on Facebook resale sites.  You would be surprised what people will buy, so give it a go.  My grandma sold jelly and jam.  My grandpa earned extra cash working on boat engines in his spare time.  My other grandma made custom draperies at home.  If you have a hobby, see if there is a way for you to get paid to do it!
  1. Live Below Your Means This one is really the biggest.  My grandparents lived in the same small house they bought in 1942. They raised 4 kids in it and lived there proudly until the day they were unable to care for themselves.  They didn’t buy a new car every year, they used it till it wore out.  They could have afforded more than they had, but they didn’t spend frivolously or foolishly.    My parents still live in the house I and my brother grew up in.  Don’t take on debt for bad reasons, like keeping up appearances.  There really do come those rainy days (Or months.  Or years even.) when NOT keeping up with the Jones’ pays you back in spades.  My grandparents eventually needed their savings to take care of themselves in a decent place when the time came, and our family felt better that they were well cared for until they days they passed.  They taught us all well, and I am trying to live their lessons and teaching my daughter the frugal way.

 

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How to Build a Gift Closet Without Breaking Your Budget

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A pile of Christmas gifts in colorful wrapping with ribbons.

Are you famous in your family for last minute gift buying?  Do you spend too much because you don’t plan ahead?  If so, I have the answer for you –  Build yourself a gift closet!  What in the world is that?  Pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  It doesn’t have to be a closet, but it is a stash of gifts that you can go to whenever you need one before going out and buying one.  That’s all fine and dandy, right, but building one frugally one does take a bit of time and planning.  After all, if you just ran out and bought a bunch of gifts to stock it with, you would be broke in no time. Check out these tips on how to build your gift closet without breaking your budget.

Start small – As I said earlier, the last thing you want is to buy a bunch of gifts all at once.  Instead, start small.  Buy one or two things at a time when you find them on sale then stash them away.  Shop throughout the year with your recipients in mind.

Start early – Some of the thriftiest shoppers in the world start early…as in the day after Christmas early…for the next year.  Why?  Because clearance deals are too good to pass up during that time period.  Start building your gift closet as early as you can and you’ll not only save, but you’ll score awesome gifts, too.

Scour the deals – Not only should you make friends with your favorite deal blogs, but you should also get to know the clearance section at your favorite stores and websites. On top of that, you may want to consider signing up for your favorite cash back website to help you save even more on online purchases.  And if you shop Kmart or Sears and thousands of other partners, sign up with Shop Your Way and make me your Personal Shopper.  It is FREE and you earn points on every purchase = cash money off your next one.

Use Free Gift Cards – When you’re using gift cards to pay for something?  You’re not using cash.  See the savings?  If you aren’t sure how to get started earning free gift cards or want to start earning more, check out these 10 ways to earn free gift cards.

Think ahead – Your child might like Dora now, but will she the next time Christmas rolls around?  If not and you don’t have any other little ones to buy for, you may want to stay away from toys and things that they may grow out of before you can gift it.  Stick with the classics, as well as stocking gifts for kids birthdays

Check the thrift stores and garage sale sites for your area – I kid you not, I have scored some terrific, unique and brand new gifts at places like Goodwill and on the garage sale Facebook sites for my area (Search Facebook garage sale or buy sell trade then your local city, town etc.)

Don’t forget the cards – I also stash away cards to save me a trip to buy one at $4.99 while we are dressed and in the car on the way to the event — I like the $1 cards at Family Dollar and Target.  I keep a good selection, grabbing a few at a time when I see ones I like.  Remember, too, that sometimes a handmade card is just as great and way more personal (and frugal).

Having a gift closet around is a fantastic time saver, money saver and just overall sanity saver.  Keep your gifts stashed away where no one will find them and when the time comes and you need one, you’ll be all set with no shopping required!

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15 DIY Halloween Decorations

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15 DIY Halloween Decorations

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to make decorations for.  It is so much fun and really gets me in that Fall mood.  Check out these great and fun 15 DIY Halloween Decorations and get your spooky crafting on, and pin the post for later reference.

1. Spiderweb Garland | Source: 100 Directions

2. DIY Halloween Wreath | Source: Passion for Savings

3. Easy Halloween Milk Jug Ghost Craft | Source: Drugstore Divas

4. Colorful Skull Luminaries | Source: Crafts by Amanda

5. DIY Fabric Halloween Wreath | Source: More Than a Mom of Three

6. Lovely Lace Pumpkin | Source: Living Frugal with Erika

7. Bat Hanging Centerpiece | Source: 100 Directions

8. DIY Frugal Porch Decoration | Source: Extreme Couponing Mom

9. DIY Skeleton Party Banner | Source: Baby Loving Mama

10. Halloween Footprint Sign | Source: Home. Made. Interest.

11. Jack O’ Lantern Jars | Source: Who Needs a Cape?

12. Halloween Garland | Source: 100 Directions

13. DIY Scarecrow | Source: Living Frugal with Erika

14. Easy Halloween Door Hang | Source: Drugstore Divas

15. DIY Halloween Fabric Strip Wreath | Source: Growing Up Gabel

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15 Gorgeous DIY Easter Wreaths

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 Why break the bank buying a custom made Easter wreath when it is so much more fun (and thrifty!) to make your own?!  Get ready to want to make several of these beautiful Easter wreaths.  Good thing I have more than one place to hang because I have a few favorites and I want to showcase them!

15 Gorgeous DIY Easter Wreaths

1. DIY Easter Ribbon Wreath | Source: Suzy’s Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom
2. Easter Wreath and Vase | Source: A Spectacled Owl
3. DIY Easter Egg Wreath | Source: A Cultivated Nest
4. Easter Fabric & Felt Wreath | Source: Life With Love Bugs
5. Let’s Make an Easter Wreath | Source: Bare Feet on the Dashboard
6. DIY Easter Wreath | Source: Clever Pink Pirate
7. DIY Peep Wreath With Rolled Ribbon Rosette | Source: Mom Advice
8. Easter Egg Wreath | Source: Wine & Glue
9. Easter Mesh Wreath Tutorial | Source: Kristen’s Creations
10. Easiest Burlap Wreath You’ll Ever Make | Source: Top This Top That
11. Moss Wreath | Source: A Diamond in the Stuff
12. Grass Wreath | Source: Miss KopyKat
13. 10 Minute Spring Wreath | Source: Living Locurto
14. Yarn Egg Wreath | Source: The Sweet Survival
15. Easter Egg Hunt Wreath | Source: Positively Splendid

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Lady B’s Budget Boredom Busters! Make an Easy, DIY, Frugal Floral Hair Clip

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Lady B’s Budget Boredom Busters! Floral Hair Clip

Lady B is a busy gal and I am a tired Mommy.  Don’t get me wrong… I wouldn’t change a single thing because this child is on fire and I love her and her constant state of activity.  That makes us always be on the look out for fun things to make.  Recently, we were at a local mall and on one of the carts in the middle they were selling some cute tropical looking hair clips.  She loved one in particular and then I saw the price.

 Ummm…not happening!  So I explained to her that it was a little too much to spend on a hair clip.  ‘That’s OK Mom, we can make one!’ she said.  Well of course she was right, we are DIY girls and we can totally make these to play,  to wear for us, heck for her new American Girl Doll even!  Where would we go?  To the 99 Cent Only Store of course!

What did we find?  Well we found silk/fabric flowers with 4 blooms for $1, one large and a pack with two medium hair clips.  I have a glue gun and wire cutters so for $3 we were going to be able to make 3 clips!

PicMonkey Collage

Easy peasy.  Seriously like ridiculously easy

You cut the stem off the bloom and glue it to the hair clip and TADA!

I’ve truly have had so much fun with this gal this summer and we still have another week for another activity, then my Lady B will be off to 3rd Grade and I will find a way to fill my days with not so fun stuff 😀

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Lady B’s Budget Boredom Busters: DIY Homemade Frugal Flower Pen!

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Lady B’s Budget Boredom Busters: DIY Homemade Frugal Flower Pen!!

My daughter B is in a constant state of movement and creativity.  I had no clue I’d be on my toes so much.  My son is quieter but my Bumble Bee, wow!  So we were a little bored (lie, she was I could have used a nap, but noooooo),so off we went to the 99 cent store.  Between this store and the Dollar Tree, I find a lot of what we need to keep our creativity quota up and our boredom meter down.

What will you need?

Flower tape, its green

Silk Flower or flowers

Florist Foam, optional

Pen or pens, go crazy make a garden

Wire cutters (also a find at the 99 cent store or Dollar Tree)

Glue Gun (or crazy glue up to you).

Bored child

Willing Parent

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The green tape, the flower (in its little pot),  the foam (not shown) and wire cutters were all from the 99 Cent Store  The Pen is from my school supply stash from last year and I think I paid like 25 cents for the pack at Staples.  I have the glue gun.  Now with this little flower that we bought, we didn’t need the foam or a container to put it in because it came with its own (I like to have a little pot but its optional).  I also like to take ribbon and glue in around the pot adding a bow for added decoration.

PicMonkey Collageflower

I picked this one because it had leaves. I took it apart and inserted the leaves into the pot, you can add glue if you like I think I may add moss or something to cover the foam (I didn’t for this because I’m making this frugal and you will use what you have at home).  Then I started on the pen, I cut the flower and attached it with the florist tape to the pen and wrapped around.  Going up and down the pen to fully cover.  I do not end this at the bottom, a lot of people do but it will come undone that way with use.  You need to keep wrapping back up to the top and use your glue gun to secure because this isn’t sticky tape.

PicMonkey Collageflower4

Tada!

My daughter got the hang of this and loved it.  She plans on making a few more to have and to give one to her new teacher.  We also have a little craft fair at a local ice cream shop and she may set up to sell a few to get her feet wet in having her own business (she’d fry in Phoenix with a lemonade stand).   I have made these and put them in a jar to look like a bunch of flowers, I’ve wrapped single ones in cellophane as party favors, so many ways to use these and make them fancy.  You can totally take this and run with it and make it your own.  I like this option a lot.  The Flower tape will last for many many pens, and depending on if you buy single or a bunch of flowers at the 99 Cent store or at Walmart you can make a lot cool gifts made with lots of love for a little dinero.

Cause well really, Frugal Moms and their Kids Rock.

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Frugal DIY Homemade Mouthwash Foot Soak

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DIY Homemade Mouthwash Vinegar Foot Soak

If you are like me you’ve seen the pin’s and shares online claiming that the dead rough skin will fall off your feet when you soak them  in Listerine, vinegar and water.  Well I had a problem with this cause I’m frugal and I’m not going to use a $5 bottle of Listerine on my feet if I’m doing this at home and if I score a bottle for cheap its going in my stockpile for my pearly whites.  For $5 I can let the lady at the salon scrub away and do the job.

 What can I say if I’m going to DIY it has to save me money or else why go through the hassle?

To start with I should tell you I’m either barefoot or in flip flops cause I work at home and my feet were long ago liberated from high heels or pumps ☺  The most action my feet see are wedges LOL.  Being that the case, I’m too shy and embarrassed to share a picture but lets all take a moment and think about Fred Flintstone and what his feet surely should have looked like…there got the mental?  Ok, now moving right along…

Today I went to my favorite joint, the Dollar Tree and thought hey I can totally use their brand of Listerine looking mouthwash for this foot soak to see if I like it.

Beauty on a Budget is the way to go.

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Here is what you’ll need:

1 Bottle mouth wash from the Dollar tree or comparable dollar store (2cups)

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups warm water

Mix it all in a tub

I sat down to watch Shark Tank and soaked my feet. (boy were they brutal tonight)

One thing, it feels good…tingly

Did the skin magically come off?  No.

So what happened T tell us!

Well, it cleaned my dead skin, you know you get the gnarly looking dirty heel?  I can never get that clean enough.  While I was soaking I took my $1 pumice stone and scrubbed all around and soaked again.  My feet were clean and some of the rough skin was super soft so one more time with my pumice stone and I’m super duper happy!  I can wear sandals tomorrow after some polish and won’t be hiding my feet!

So is it magical?  Nah

Would I use Listerine?  Nah, I’m frugal hello?

Will I make this again spending a $1 from the Dollar Tree?  Heck Yes!

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Frugal Fun: Lady B’s Budget Boredom Busters – Make a washer necklace!

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Easy_Frugal_Washer_Necklace_Craft

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Frugal Fun: B’s Budget Boredom Busters!

B is my daughter, I am Princess Thanya and well I work here at CQ headquaters for Stacy the Couponista Queen.  B is usually asking what I’m doing when I’m fiddling around the computer but its summertime so I put the pc to the side a bit more to hang out with B and her older brother and do fun stuff together.

We are going to visit family soon and B loves to give gifts.  I was doing some research on google and found a bunch and bunch did I mention bunch of ideas about how to make washer necklaces.  So I thought I have an 8 yr old that loves finger nail polish and glitter, lets do this!

First, I’m not going to tell you to go to a craft store that defeats the ‘Frugal’ description.  I can drop a pretty fine penny at those stores so I treat them as I do Macy’s.  My husband is in construction so he had washers, boy did he ever!  But if you don’t have any at home these run under 20 cents at Home Depot or Lowe’s where they sell them singly so you can choose the size etc.

Here is what they look like, pre-polish:

 shopping

Next you need fingernail polish.  Well that was easy, B went to her room and came out with a good assortment, plain and gliterized.  If you coupon like I do you can score this on the cheap so again its ‘Frugal’.  You can also use spray paint but we didn’t have any and I don’t like those fumes and then the subsequent need for air and oxygen (LOL).  B had glitter and stuff from her stash of crafts so that was also something we already had and were not going to buy.

Today I went to Walmart and I found some cute scrapbook supplies on clearance for 50 cents, they had these cute little cards with envelopes and the little metal charms so I spent a $1 and bought those for our project.

B took over at that point with some supervision.  I added top coat to the final product to protect and we had the clear plastic necklace string because we are crafty but you can use ribbon or string  just whatever you have on hand (we have bought that at Walmart for under $3 and it has lasted forever and ever).  So for under $3 we have made some pretty cool necklaces that B will enjoy gifting and we spent time creating together.

necklace

Stay tuned…soon B will give a tutorial on the string game!

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Easy Slow Cooker Recipe – Italian Mac ‘N Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes

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Warm, gooey comfort food meets the easy of the slow cooker in this Italian twist on a diner classic.

Warm, gooey comfort food meets the ease of the slow cooker in this Italian twist on a dinner classic. ©2014 Couponista Queen

 

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As part of their coming Build Your Kitchen Drawer Contest starting June 2 (Be on the lookout for more posts from me!) Good Cook sent me 5 essential items for your kitchen drawer and challenged me to come up with a one dish recipe that used them.  Well, challenge accepted, and I have to say we were very pleased with the results of the Easy Slow Cooker Italian Mac ‘N Cheese with Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions and I will be making this again.   Scroll down for the recipe, but first… Good Cook sent these must-haves for any kitchen drawer:

Smart Ice Cream Scoop (A new take on a classic, this scoop takes on the hardest or softest ice cream, but I used it to serve my mac ‘ n cheese and the non-stick surface made it a snap.)

Flip Measuring Spoon  (Only ONE measuring spoon to keep track of…or lose lol!  This one is very cool, flip to measure 1/2 tsp and tbsp!)

Safe-cut Can Opener (I am, no joke, can opener impaired.  Even I was able to use this one to easily and safely to open not one but two cans in a row without cursing, a new record for me.)

Egg Separator (Maybe we should call this one a “conscious egg uncoupler” instead.  I dig the way it hangs on the side of a bowl, because let’s face it, it does me no good if I drop the whole thing in.)

Pot Clip Holder (The handles on my utensils will no longer suffer the pain of my stupidity when I leave them laying on the edge of a hot pan.  Long live this pot clip!  These are going to be stocking stuffers this year.) I was able to actually use all 5 items.  No kitchen tools were harmed in the making of this recipe! Good_Cook_Cuild_Your_Kitchen_Drawer_Contest BUT a kitchen drawer is not complete with just 5 items…SO Good Cook is doing something to help all of YOU good cooks to stock your own kitchen drawer.  I was selected to build my own kitchen drawer, and beginning June 2, 2014 (and ending July 14, 2014) you will have a daily chance to enter to WIN the kitchen drawer of your choice: you can win mine (The BEST one of course!!), build your own, or select any of the other drawers built by my fellow Good Cook Kitchen Experts.  There will be also be instant win prizes and there is a 5-day giveaway event on the Good Cook Facebook page starting June 2 through June 7.   Good_Cook_Kitchen_Drawer_add_meVisit the Good Cook Facebook page May 28 for details and follow @GoodCook on Twitter!  ALL of the items I selected will be 25% off during the contest–look for the Add Me graphic to build your drawer for a chance to WIN starting June 2. Come back here on June 2 for my post with more details and my drawer selections plus a NEW recipe using the items in my Kitchen Drawer.  

 

Easy Slow Cooker Italian Mac ‘N Cheese with Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions

Warm, gooey comfort food meets the ease of the slow cooker in this Italian twist on a dinner classic.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish, 4 as a main dish.  Prep time approximately 15 minutes.  Cook time 90 minutes to 2 hours on low in a slow cooker.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of margarine

8 Ounces uncooked Elbow Macaroni

1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1 large sweet onion, sliced thin or chopped (about 3 cups)

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 /2 to 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to taste

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to taste

1/4 teaspoon of pepper (I used white pepper)

red pepper to taste

1/4 cup water

6 ounces of Velveeta or similar loaf cheese.  Processed cheese is necessary to withstand the long heat of a slow cooker without curdling.

1 12-ounce can of evaporated milk.  I use the fat free version and it is just as good.  Do not use regular milk as it will curdle in the heat.

2 tablespoons of real butter

1 large egg

Parmesan cheese for garnish

shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

parsley for garnish

Directions:

Using the 2 tbsp. of margarine, coat the inside of a cold slow cooker.  Add the uncooked pasta noodles and the can of crushed tomatoes, stirring to combine.

In a nonstick skillet on med-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the onions.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir.  Cook 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and cook another 15 minutes stirring occasionally till onions are caramelized but NOT burnt.  Do not burn the sugar.  Add the cooked caramelized onions to the slow cooker.  

In the same skillet, add the evaporated milk, water, and the Velveeta cheese (cut into chunks for faster melting).  Stirring constantly, melt the cheese over low heat just until fully combined.  Do NOT let this mixture boil.  Turn off the heat, add the salt, pepper, and red pepper, and allow the mix to cool for FIVE minutes.  This is necessary to keep from cooking the egg.

While the mixture is cooling, separate a large egg.   Beat the egg white.  After the cheese mixture cools 5 minutes, add it to the slow cooker.  Add the garlic powder and the Italian seasoning and stir to combine all the ingredients.  Stir in the egg yolk.  Stir in the egg white, being careful to not over stir.  Put the lid on, turn the cooker on low, and check to see if the pasta is done after 90 minutes to 2 hours.  When done, sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and parsley.  Refrigerate any leftovers within an hour.  Serves 6-8 as a side dish, 4 as a main.

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Easy to make DIY Homemade Frugal Gel Air Fresheners

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DIY Homemade Frugal Gel Air Fresheners

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I don’t care for air freshener plug ins.  That’s just me, maybe cause I think they waste energy and are little mini energy vampires that are constantly sucking power (yes I am a  Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan) and so I buy a lot of the cute little gel air fresheners when I can.  I’ve found some nice ones in Marshall’s and Ross too when I’m doing my little deal missions at those stores.  So I got to thinking, are they that hard to make?  Because I have kids and pets I do not leave a lot of dry potpourri out in pretty bowls since we all know what happens to pretty bowls. ☺

There are a lot of DIY concoctions out there, so I sorta picked what I liked and ran with it.  Some use just essential oils, but if you do not have them on hand already going out to find and buy them might not be something you want to do, and then you will be spending anywhere from $2 to $5 each.  That being said and me already being in frugal love with the Dollar Tree I opted to go there for my scent.  I picked up a bottle of Vanilla liquid potpourri.  What else will you need?

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Ingredients:

1-1/2cups  bottled liquid potpourri

1 box plain gelatin (one box has 4 small envelopes and you need all 4 of them for this recipe)

2 tablespoons table salt

1 cup water

1-3 empty containers depending on what you want to do with the mix.

Optional:  Decorative items to stick in, and food coloring if  you want to make them colored.

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Bring water to boil, dissolve all gelatin and salt, move to other bowl or container and add the liquid potpourri.  And that’s it!  The whole process takes like 15 minutes tops!  Choose your container – I had one with a lid that I wanted to use, I also had some small Ziploc containers and a mid size one.  I wanted to make a pretty one so once the mixture had cooled I had some  silk sunflowers in the closet and I put one in the middle.  You can leave them out to harden at room temps or if you are like me you want to see them NOW, stick them in the fridge and tada, semi-instant gratification!   These will last for 4 weeks, the salt keeps it from molding.  Some people add a splash of vodka for this purpose but we don’t waste liquor in this house, LOL.   You can really run with this and make it your own.  I’m making a new batch of this but this time at the end I’m adding a stick of cinnamon to make it vanilla cinnamon.  Have beads?  Sea Shells?  Dry potpourri?  You can jazz this up anyway you want and to match your decor.  You can also add food coloring but I didn’t.  I wanted to make this as frugal as possible and then you decide what to do with what you have on hand.

How much will you spend?  $1.48 for the Gelatin at Walmart or Target and $1 for a bottle of liquid potpourri at the Dollar Tree.  Walmart also has the concentrated liquid potpourri for 97 cents in a tiny bottle that you can use and scent to your liking.   The bottle of potpourri will make two batches so your 2nd batch will only cost you $1.48 for 2 or 3 air fresheners depending on the size of container you use.

I made a mini one for my desk.  I am going to be honest with you I can not find my one hole puncher and I could not find one at any store this week ☺  But you take that and cover the air fresheners and poke a few holes in the lid to keep out fingers and cat noses and to let the scent escape.

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I’m really loving these and I plan to make more and more DIY things myself.  I’m a frugal mama, hear me roar! ☺ #frugalmomsrock

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DIY Homemade Orange Apple Simmering Potpourri Recipe

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Homemade Orange Apple Simmering Potpourri

Homemade Orange Apple Simmering Potpourri – Easy to make and makes your house smell wonderful.

 

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I love when my home smells warm and inviting, especially on these cold Winter days and nights.  Potpourri has its origins in times when people and places were not so fresh.   Potpourri was created in the 12th century for the purpose of freshening rooms in castles for the people of that time.  (Read more about the History of Potpourri)

Homemade potpourri can be made from all kinds of things.  I decided to make one today that is a great stovetop simmering potpourri recipe.

To make this Orange Apple Simmering Potpourri, you will need to mix and heat to simmering in a 2-quart pan:

  • 5 cups of water

  • 1 Orange sliced and 1 Apple sliced.  Leave the peel on both but seed the apple.

  • 3 Cinnamon sticks (Substitute 2 Teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon if you don’t have sticks)

  • 1 Tablespoon of All Spice  (Learn ► What is All Spice?)

  • 1 Tablespoon of Whole Cloves (Substitute 1 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves if you don’t have whole)

  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Ingredients for Orange Apple Simmering Potpourri

Ingredients for Orange Apple Simmering Potpourri

Here is a tip:  I got a cheap potpourri simmering pot with a lid (it used to be just a sauce pan, lol) at the Goodwill thrift store for less than $1 so I don’t have to use my good ones, just in case I ever burn the pan.  You can also use a small simmering Rival potpourri crock pot.

You can simmer this do-it-yourself potpourri for hours and hours, adding more water as needed.  Be careful to not let the pan go dry. I set the kitchen timer for 2-hours at a time to remind myself to check it.  You can reuse this the next day.  Just put the lid on it and store it in the fridge overnight, or stick it in the garage if it is cold out there.

Check out these other Homemade Simmering Potpourri Recipes for even more ideas on how to get your home smelling great!

 

 

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