Thanksgiving Decorating can be challenging for sure! Trying to find space on an already crazy crowded table is in my opinion an art! Throw into the mix your budget!!! But WAIT!! This is seriously one of the easiest holidays to decorate for. So many free inspirational pieces outdoors like pumpkins, twigs, colorful leaves, just let your imagination take you outdoors for inspiration. If that doesn’t do the trick, I’ve rounded up a handful of super frugal and well, EASY diy tablescape or decorating ideas.
These gorgeous White Gourds can be a table center piece or a wall accent. Gourds can be found at farm stands, growing in your yard (maybe a neighbor has a few extras they grew), and grocery stores. They come in all kinds of shapes and colors and they’re earth friendly to recycle after the feast. I kinda like this Thanksgiving decorating idea and the possibility of keeping them up for a little while longer.
These DIY Place Cards are super affordable to make and eco friendly. REALLY, how easy is this! Grab some twine or even some natural colored yard you have around the house. Easy enough to pick up at a local hardware store or even borrow some from a friend. This would be a project to take the kids outdoors and have them help pick up some branches from a recent windstorm or while you’re getting fresh air and maybe some yard work done. The place cards themselves can be made with cards like these or think outside the box and write names on leaves.
Is your Thanksgiving decorating area large? Try this Doily Banner. Super easy to make. You know, those paper doilies you put under cakes and cookies to make your plates look a little more fancy schmancy? These paper goodies are the basis for all kinds of wonderful crafts! I love the idea of re-using some nice cloth ones, the kind we have left from our grandparents xo that are well loved with years of history and memories. You can pick them up now and start your own memories and traditions too! This banner idea is great for all kinds of holidays and parties!
If you have a family full of jokers, you have to make these Thanksgiving Balloons. O.K. seriously, this is too FUN to not do! Imagine some fun balloon games to end the day too! When I saw these I thought what a great idea to also put some ‘Thankful’ notes inside a few too.
5- This Wheat Bundled Centerpiece is super easy and almost free to make, but it will look like you spent a ton. This table piece is just the image of Thanksgiving decorating to me. Living in New England seeing wheat grass growing on the side of the road is pretty common and I always see people wading around marsh areas trying to score themselves a bundle or two. This reminds me of Thanksgiving pictures in books as a child. Something about it makes me feel grounded and warm and comfy, satisfied.
Setting the tone for Thanksgiving is part of the day, sets the pace for the mood, atmostphere and quite honestly can change a humdrum day to a festive thankful and festive day. While the focus of Thanksgiving seems to go all to the food, a great atmostphere can go a long way to making the day more memorable.
Are you an Amazon shop-a-holic like the rest of us? If so, you might be wondering how you can save some bucks here and there on your Amazon shopping sprees! Fortunately, there are lots of different ways to save money on Amazon and earning Amazon gift cards is one of them! There’s lots of different ways to earn Amazon gift cards so in this post we’ll be talking about some of our favorites!
1. Swagbucks is one of our favorites around here. It’s an app and website that allows you to watch videos and earn points that can be cashed in for Amazon gift cards. It’s super easy to set and forget if you’re busy, making it one of the easiest ways to earn.
2. Start a blog!
We talk about this on the blog quite a bit, but blogging can have financial rewards if you put the time and effort in. If you have a blog, you can sign up for Amazon Associates earn recommend your favorite products to friends and readers. You’ll earn a small percentage of the sales made through your links (and for 7 days after) that turn into Amazon gift cards!
3. Inbox Dollars
We’ve talked about this one before on the blog so check out how to use it to earn Amazon gift cards here.
4. National Consumer Panel is an easy way to give your opinion to brands and get rewarded for it with Amazon gift cards!
5. Ibotta is one of our most used and talked about apps! Ibotta is super simple to use and match with deals for a great rebate that you can turn into Amazon gift cards as well.
6. Amazon Trade-In is a great program that Amazon offers where you can trade in old items for Amazon gift cards.
7. Cardpool is a great website where you can exchange gift cards. For instance, if you have some old Applebee’s gift cards you don’t ever plan on using? You can exchange them for Amazon gift cards with Cardpool!
8. Coinstar now allows you to turn all that change you’ve been saving into Amazon gift cards so head to your nearest Coinstar and rack some up!
9. MyPoints is another survey site where you can give your opinions to brands in exchange for points that can be redeemed later in the form of gift cards.
10. PrizeRebel is yet another survey site where you can earn Amazon gift cards. If you like doing surveys, you’re in luck!
11. Amazon Mechanical Turk
With “M-turk” as it’s often referred to, you can complete tasks called HITs (human intelligence tasks” to earn Amazon gift cards. You can do as many or as little as you want, but beware, the high-paying tasks go quickly!
12. Valued Opinions
Here you can complete online surveys and mobile app surveys to earn Amazon gift cards.
13. Opinion Outpost
This is another great survey website where you can take surveys online for points!
14. Bing Rewards makes it easy to earn rewards like Amazon gift cards just by using their search engine!
15. Google Screenwise is similar to Bing but it rewards users who use Google Chrome while it gathers data in the background.
16. App Trailers is where you can watch trailers and give your feedback in exchange for points!
You can get free gift cards through InstaGC by completing tasks and surveys!
Listia is an app where you can sell things you don’t want anymore to earn things you do want, like gift cards!
19. Gift Hulk is a great way to earn Amazon gift cards with relatively no effort. Earn points by playing games or watching TV.
20. Receipt Hog is one of our old favorites at the blog. Simply upload and scan receipts and reap the rewards!
This app often gets forgotten but it is SO easy to use. Just scan while you’re shopping and earn rewards. It is free money, after all!
22. Zoom Bucks is basically Swagbucks but just another platform to earn on!
23. Earning Station is another great option for survey lovers looking to earn Amazon gift cards!
24. ePoll is another great survey option!
25. Punch Card runs in a very similar way that Receipt Hog does. You’ll get rewarded for scanning receipts that you can turn into Amazon gift cards.
Now that you’ve got all these great ways to earn Amazon gift cards – get out there and start earning and shopping! Do you know of other ways to earn Amazon gift cards? Sound off in the comments below!
Holiday Punch for All Occasions. 7 of My Fa la la Favorites
Holiday Punch has made a comeback! I don’t know how old you are but when was a kid growing up, punches were all the rave at parties. In particular holiday parties and showers. There were punches reserved for grownups and those were actually set up in different rooms where an adult could safely supervise. I hadn’t seen them in quite a while until a few years back I was working in a new office and low and behold they dug out the PUNCH BOWL for our office party and hey, it was a regular old pizza party elevated to new heights merely by placing a punch bowl out! Seriously, a punch at your party is a MUST HAVE these days! I was lucky enough to inherit a punch bowl from my in-laws but you can get them at thrift and dollar stores. You will never have to buy one again, they’re kind of one of those unsung heroes at the holiday party and showers, and well, just to make a celebration more festive. (ps. they double as salad bows!!)
Punches are a great frugal way to make a fancy schmancy statement at almost any celebration including holiday parties. You can make ice molds with bundt cake pans or even throw some fruit in a dixie cup and water or and freeze ! Add some giner ale or lemon lime soda to add fizz for your non alcoholic versions too! There’s really no way to go wrong.
Hope you get a chance to enjoy these in person! Cheers!
Have you ever wanted to print some cute Etsy-style printables for your own home decor? I’m always pinning Quotes on Pinterest I love! Even though they can be fairly inexpensive on Etsy, free is even better! In this post (and video tutorial – keep scrolling for a step by step instruction!), we’ll be talking about how to use Canva to create your own printables for free. Canva is one of our favorite resources for creating free graphics and these art printables are a breeze with Canva!
How to Create Free Printables with Canva
Decorating your house can be such a breeze if you’re able to make your own printables for decor for free. Spending money on decor might not be the first thing on your mind if you’re having to do any renovations on a new house or pay for any other big expenses that come along with moving into a new home. Thankfully, there are tons of ways to get some decor to spice up your home for free and making your own is one of them!
For this tutorial, we created a nursery style quote with Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is a huge hit right now! This would be a great printable for anyone doing a superhero-themed nursery! We’ll include this printable for FREE download below. In the meantime, check out how we created it and how you can create cute printables just like this and customize them for your own decor! It’s easier than you might think and you’d be surprised how many ideas you can come up with in an afternoon. In fact, you might just want to think about opening your own Etsy shop to sell your designs and earn a little extra cash!
A few tips for creating free printables with Canva:
1. Pick a size that’s right for you! If you don’t have space for an entire poster sized image (or just don’t want one), consider doing a smaller 8×10 image that you can frame for a desk or hallway table.
2. Get free graphics from places like Pixabay or from weekly freebies at places like The Hungry JPEG or Creative Market! Every week you can find a bundle of free graphic goodies to use in your very own free printables with Canva!
Feel free to download your own copy of this Wonder Woman quote HERE.
What kind of printables are you itching to make? Share your ideas or finished works in the comments below or in our wonderful Facebook group!
These are great for gifts in thrift store frames, think about kids rooms, grandparents, teacher gifts, anniversary, wedding, and well, you can kinda give everyone a gift on this budget!!
If you are serious about getting great at this and want to make some money you can dress then up nicely, sell at craft fairs, yard sale sites, your own facebook sell page and yes, sell your printables on Etsy!!
Ding Dong the witch is well, Sweet! If you love Halloween as much as I do you can hardly get enough of all the fun ideas. Sometimes your party table needs a little more fun than the traditional blood punch and mummy wrapped hot dogs, These are really not as hard as they look and pretty fun to make as a family project or by yourself to surprise your kiddos! I’ll highlight the real recipe but stick around for below with my ‘tips’ of how this cheating grandma gets it done! Trick or Treat!!
Ding Dong Witches Cauldron Treats
Witches Cauldron Deserts
These are so adorable and well, ding dong delicious! They take a little time but not hard and great way to get into the spirit with your family while making them together xoxo
1boxchocolate ding dongs
1containersmall edible eyes
1/4tsp cream of tartar
leaf green, red, orange, and yellow gel color
4 pipings bags with #2 tips
cookie sheet fitted with wax paper
In a standing mixer, combine the egg whites, powder sugar, vanilla, cream of tarter and mix on medium speed until stiff peaks form. About 5-7 minutes. I still use a hand mixer, just the stand mixer is much easier.
Split the royal icing into 4 bowls, and add a few drops of color into each bowl: one color per bowl.
Scoop the icing into each bag
Directions to decorate
Unwrap ding dongs and place onto the cookie sheet
Using the red piping bag, pipe on the red part of the flames on the bottom of the ding dong
Using the orange piping bag, pipe a orange edging around the red flames
Repeat the same step with the yellow piping bag.
Using a tooth pick, pull the colors together to create a fire look.
Using the green piping bag, up on the top, pipe on the witches potion
Using the green and purple sixlets, place them along the green piping
Add in some eye's for a spooky look.
Let dry for 1 hour before enjoying
Let dry for 1 hour before enjoying.
TIPS: So, tha’ts the real way in the recipe above. I can tell you right now that I just got back from the grocery store and all royal icing was on SALE ! This grandma is a cheater! If you really feel like saving a few cents more you can use the decoration instructions and use them on brownies too. Really, the mix n match of ingredients is quite endless if you just use your frugal brains shopping your pantries or walking down the grocery aisles. Search our coupon database and see if there’s anything that matches up with your list today.
Womens Halloween Costumes are lookin’ good this year! Still searching for that fun costume to wear to this year’s party? Do you dress up for the trick or treaters or at the office? I love the escape from reality Halloween brings. Let the ‘kid in you’ come out to play mammas !
Womens Halloween Costumes Lookin’ Good This Year!
Complete this Storm Trooper look by making your husband be Vader and a child Yoda.
Today on the blog we’re sharing a super easy recipe with you! You can make this easy baked lasagna cups recipe with things you’ve got on hand OR (and this is our favorite option) with ingredients you find on sale! This is a great recipe for appetizers, but it also doubles as an easy dinner recipe for those nights you just don’t want to cook. In fact, 2-4 of these will fill you right up, leaving plenty of leftovers or servings for large families! I like to make this recipe when I find ground beef or cheese on sale. Meal planning around sales is one of the easiest ways to save money, so this easy baked lasagna cups recipe is a huge hit in our house when the ingredients are on sale (and sometimes even when they’re not)!
Easy Baked Lasagna Cups Recipe
Cooking things I can just throw in the oven is one of my favorite things, ever. It’s just a “set it and forget it” type of thing. Granted, you have to cook up the ground beef beforehand, (if you’ve read my past meal plans you know I cook up ground beef in batches for the month, some with sauce, some taco seasonings, etc..) but once you assemble everything, you just toss it in and wait! Additionally, this is a great recipe to help get your kids involved in cooking. It’s easy to make and pretty hard to mess up! I am NOT an ace cook, if I can handle this one, you can for sure!
The BEST part about this entire recipe is that, well yeah, there is usually enough for leftovers, it reheats easy peasy! There’s nothing worse than making a bunch of food that you can’t reheat later because the texture or taste is off after reheating. These reheat and taste exactly the same (if not better, you know how leftovers can sometimes be more flavorful the next day!) so they’re great for packing up in lunches or recycling a dinner for the next night. I think they’ll freeze nicely too, but well… they haven’t gotten that far in my home yet.
You could definitely use lasagna noodles for this rather than Wonton wrappers, but I find that Won-ton wrappers are easier to work with (no boiling)! Other than that, it’s really a fairly straightforward recipe and aside from cooking the ground beef, it takes
hardly any effort at all! You’ll see below that it’s mostly a matter of assembling the cups and sticking them in the oven! I used a regular old muffin pan. This is my favorite part and also the best part for having kids help you cook if they’re interested!
NOTE: I used two Wonton wrappers in each cup just because I like them and enjoy the crunchiness. If you don’t want too much of the “cup”, feel free to use one per cup! I’ve also skipped the creme fraiche, marscapoe and lemon juice and gone right to the basics. It’s a flexible recipe you can make your own.
Easy Baked Lasagna Cups Recipe
Easy Baked Lasagna Cups Recipe
These deliciously baked lasagna cups made using Wonton wrappers are so tasty and easy to make!
1 lbground beef
1 pkgWonton wrappers
1 jarpasta sauceyour favorite variety or homemade
salt and pepper to taste
In a pan, cook ground beef until thoroughly cooked.
Add pasta sauce to the meat once it has finished cooking.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease your muffin pan so the lasagna cups will be easy to remove later. (Seriously, this step will save you!)
Mix together creme fraiche, mascarpone, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste to create a white sauce.
Start layering with Wonton wrappers, then ground beef/sauce mixture, then a small spoonful of ricotta cheese, then your "white sauce", and top with grated mozzarella and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning!
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and edges are golden brown.
We all know and love survey sites for making money, right? But what are the BEST online survey sites out there? Well, first we need to know what makes them the best! It highly depends on you as an individual, but there are a few things we think elevate some above the rest.
– Quick payment
– Easy payment (gift cards or otherwise)
– Easy to navigate
Based on those qualifications, here are a few of our favorite online survey sites for making money!
Swagbucks, of course, is at the top of the list! Swagbucks is not only extremely reliable, but it’s one of the easiest ways to make money. They make getting paid a breeze (in the form of gift cards or PayPal deposits, though most people opt for Amazon gift cards). You can watch videos, fill out surveys, or sign up for special offers to receive points. Sign up for FREE right HERE!
We’ve talked about InboxDollars before – but it’s up there for sure on the best online survey sites list! Even if you only did the daily surveys they offer, you could earn an extra $700 a year – not too shabby, right?
3. Pinecone Research
This is one of the online survey sites that we felt definitely deserved a mention, and for good reason! With Pinecone Research, you get paid cash immediately after every single survey! There are no minimum cashouts, and you earn $3 for each survey. This is a pretty high rate of pay, and the instant gratification is pretty great too!
This is a great option for online survey sites for people who love to travel. With eMiles, you rack up points by taking surveys, watching videos, and claiming special offers. These points are largely earned through hotels and flights and you can redeem them with airlines or just regular gift cards. (Note: this one is for US residents only!)
This is a pretty different style of platform than we’re used to seeing as far as online survey sites. In fact, MindSwarms takes their survey responses in video form! For MindSwarms, you’ll get paid $50 for each survey, but they want you to record your responses in a short video. Answer all 7 questions using your camera, and get paid! Sounds like a great deal to us if you aren’t camera shy – and even if you are, your answers are going straight to researchers and you’ll never have to see or speak to them. Sounds like an easy $50 to me!
What are the best online survey sites you’ve come across? Share in the comments below – we love finding out about new places to make money!
It’s all about the side hustle these days, right? We’re always looking for ways to keep a little extra in our pockets by saving money, but it’s just as important to find ways to put money in our pockets too! TaskRabbit is a great resource to make extra money with if you’re looking for a side hustle. In this post, we’ll talk about what it is, how to use it, and more, so keep reading!
What is TaskRabbit?
TaskRabbit is a great website (and app!) to make extra money with. Simply put, you pick a task that somebody needs completed, complete it, and get paid! You can also have tasks completed for you, but let’s keep our eye on the prize here!
What kinds of things can I do to make extra money with TaskRabbit?
Great question! There are tons of things you can do for TaskRabbit like:
1. Put together furniture.
Are you the go-to person in your family for putting together furniture or just have a knack for it? This is a great and easy to make extra money with TaskRabbit.
Have cleaning experience? Most likely you answered yes to this. If cleaning is something you enjoy or don’t mind doing, this might be a fun way to make extra money with TaskRabbit. As long as you have good cleaning supplies and reliable transportation, this is a great side hustle option!
3. Handyman repairs.
Are you a handyman (or woman) at heart? If you’re great at fixing things and performing small repairs around the house, this might be the option for you! This includes small home improvements as well for those who like to DIY!
4. Yard maintenance.
If you find mowing, gardening, and landscaping therapeutic and have the right tools to do so, this is a great way to earn some extra cash every month. TaskRabbit will match you with someone who needs yard work done and you could potentially set up an ongoing thing too!
5. Help moving heavy stuff.
Whether someone is moving into a new space or just needs help moving things to rearrange their home, this is a task that is easily completed if you’re in good health and able! Some clients may need TVs mounted, furniture moved, etc.
Have you ever heard of ways to make extra money with TaskRabbit before this post? I love that TaskRabbit offers same-day help with chores and errands. Which means you’ll have more free time to do things you enjoy – like check out the blog or find new deals in our Facebook group!
If you sign up HERE using our referral link, you can even get $20 off your first task if you need something completed!
What other unique ways to make money have you found out there? Share in the comments – maybe they’ll be featured on the blog!
Still stuck on the perfect Baby Halloween Costumes you like ? I don’t blame you, there are just so many crazy adorable choices. Oh, the pictures!!!
This Dragoncostume is a perfect option for going out on a cooler night. And don’t tell any Game of Thrones fans, this one is much cuter! Mother of Dragons sorry lady but these little creatures win over here!
I can’t get over how adorable this Monkey costume is, I mean look at the tail!! My very first stuffed animal was a monkey, I still have a fond memories of these fun little jungle babies.
If you are looking for unique, then this Garden Gnome is the one. Oh, I can almost see this one with my friend’s new grandson haha.. I wonder if she’ll notice this. Kristen, you know how I admire your garden gnomes every summer!! You had to know I’d think of you when I saw this one!
Some monsters are scary, but this Monsteris sweet as can be. Don’t even tell me your little one isn’t a little monster from time to time! Your secret is out!
Decorate the stroller like a pot, and let your littleLobsterhold a spoon. Hahaha , this so reminds me of one of the first year baby pics of my grandson! Nicole, do you know the pic I’m thinking of? Reno in the stock pot, ohhhh tell him to stop growing older on me!
This Lioncostume would be great matched with a tiger and a bear or for a wizard of oz theme. Jessica, I thought of Jackson in this one or is he more a little monster (wink wink) ? Happy Trick or Treat our newest little grandson!
If I were a new mom, I think I’d have to buy one for each day of the week! I just don’t know how I could chose from all the adorable costumes there are!
Easy Homemade Costumes on your to do list this year? These are great for adults a.k.a. the big kids the in the house!
Are you tired of repeating everyone else’s Halloween Ideas every year? Looking for something fun and easy ? Going to a party or do you just enjoy dressing up with the kids for the candy fetching activities?! These are super easy and you guessed it, affordable DIY’s for your Holiday this year.
2- You can make these no sew Care Bear Costumes for the entire family. O.K., this may be my favorite in this post. Am I allowed to have favorites in my own posts?
3- If you already have black suits laying around, turn them into Blues Brother Costumes. Or check out the thrift stores.
4- This Tube Man Costumewill be the hit of any party you go to. Don’t know that I want to see you driving down the road wearing this though!
5- You can make this Raining Men Costume with an umbrella, rain boots and photos of some of your favorite heartthrobs. Or Change it up a bit and have it raining Cats and Dogs ! Either way, you really can pull this one off for pretty much FREE!
What are some of your favorite past costumes? I think mine was a homemade clown costume I wore back in the very early 80’s , not the scary kind of clown either haha!
Looking for some costume ideas for your baby ? We’ve got you covered.
Oh These Baby Halloween Costumes !!! I’m having so much fun with Halloween this year! Sometimes we just need to break out of the reality of our lives and live in the SILLY! That’s how I’m feeling lately. I need a break from real life drama and looking for some fun, smiles, giggles and belly laughs. Not much more fun than seeing babies in their first year or two of Halloween costumes! No need to break the bank either friends!
Repurpose Household Items For A More Organized Home
I bet y’all could repurpose household items right now. Why aren’t you? Hmmm, maybe you just need a little nudge to your imagination ? Most of these are so super easy and well, can you say FRUGAL?! Being a good budgeter is much more than knowing where your money is coming from and going to. It’s about making wise decisions with where you truly ‘need’ to spend. Upcycling items into useful and decorative home items are a great way to reduce your footprint as well as save a LOT of moolah honey! Keep your eye on supply costs by borrowing or sharing with friends. Buy paints in ‘mistake’ sections of stores. Post in yard sale sites ISO (in search of). So, what are you thinking you may want to try your hand at? Here’s some fun and penny pincher ideas for you to check out.
1- Coffee tables are so over priced. With this DIY you can turn some old crates into a coffee table. I see these at yard sales and you guessed it, curbside for trash pick up too. Built in storage or seasonal decor makes this huge plus over plain coffee tables.
5- You can turn an old TV cabinet into a beautiful and functional kitchen cabinet. Style and Function makes this a hands down winner in almost any home or every room in every home ! Ever wonder how those home shows get those customized designer looks? They repurpose, upcycle, diy!!
6- If you have an old guitar case laying around you can make a gorgeous jewelry holder. This!! I love what a rock’n piece of wall art this makes while serving as a super efficient organizer. I am thinking WOW as a spice rack in the kitchen. Now that would make a custom look !
See that Adorable Trendy pineapple in the right hand corner above? Pick up a plastic or wooden one and paint it yourself. Voila!
I couldn’t resist doing a post about Adorable dog costumes this year, just had to! I am in love with my furbabies and friends in my barefoot budgeting group have shared their past Halloween costumes with great joy! So many of you take your pups trick or treating with your and your kids on the fun candy walk and it’s an all out trend on pinterest and well, have you seen the stores with sections dedicated just to this all out fun! I’ve even seen Pet fundraisers with Halloween parades, how cute is that?!!
I don’t think I’ve seen a cuter costume for a dog than this Lion
If you are a Disney fan, dress your dog up as Mickey.
Your dog could win the costume contest wearing this Cowboyoutfit.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope! It’s just Superdog!!!
What Halloween isn’t complete without the Caped Crusader! Superman fans love this Batman.
Seriously, how much fun is it to Trick or Treat with your whole family, furry ones and all! Spending quality fun family time is such a great activity and way to get unplugged, out of the house and share some fun memories. What are your kids (furry and non furry) wearing this year?
Check Out our other fun Halloween Idea posts here: