Archive for the ‘Thrifty Tips’ Category

Allergy Relief Tips To Keep Symptoms Minimal This Spring

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 at 11:40 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Allergy Relief Hacks

Allergy Relief Tips To Keep Symptoms Minimal This Spring

The first official day of spring is March 20th and while everyone is excited we know that pollen causes watery eyes, sneezing, itchy, runny noses coughing and more discomfort.  It’s hard to enjoy beautiful weather and the great outdoors when you’re not feeling well.  Here are some allergy relief hacks that might help you feel more comfortable outside and at home during this transitional season:

Allergy Relief Hacks

*Shower at night – Showering in the morning is great for helping you get your day started, but if you can, alter your schedule to have your bath or shower at night. This rinses and washes off the allergens that stick to your face and hair and irritate you while you sleep.

*Change your filters – Set your A/C to recycle the air inside your home, and keep your windows closed.  You’ll also want to rinse or change your filters every couple of weeks to ensure that pollen and other irritating material aren’t trapped in it. Home Depot often has wonderful deals on air filters to keep your budget in check while you’re changing them more frequently.

*Manage your laundry – When you’ve been outside, allergens stick to your clothing.  Keep clothes that have been worn outside contained by placing them immediately in the washer or hamper when you get home.  You’ll also want to wash your bedding once a week with HOT water.

*Cover your eyes – Wraparound sunglasses are great for blocking UV rays, but also prevent airborne allergens from getting in your eyes.  You can also use allergy-relieving eyedrops like Visine-A a few hours before heading out for the day.

*Check your pets – Pets spend time outdoors, and track allergens into your home without you even knowing!  If you allow your pets to sleep on your bed with you, you’re risking a better chance at irritation from those allergens. At least keep them off furniture, if possible.

*Trim your lawn – Shorter grass blades don’t trap as much pollen from the surrounding trees and flowers. It’s worth it to pay the teenaged neighbor to cut your grass if you’re sensitive, and once it’s done, you’l definitely feel the difference.

*Schedule your workouts – When you workout, you breathe at least twice as fast as normal. That means you’re breathing in more allergens. Morning exercisers have it the worst because airborne allergens peak during early hours. The best time for a workout is in the mid-afternoon.  If you’re a runner, hit the pavement right after it rains, and the pollen has been washed away.  On the downside, you’ll want to run while it’s still wet outside, because once the air dries, the moisture generates more pollen and mold.

*Keep hydrated – Hydrating helps to thin the mucus and hydrate your airways.  If you’re working out, be sure to take a water bottle with you, and once you’re ready to head back home, fill it up again and use that to rinse your hands and face to rid them of pollen they probably collected.

Allergy Relief Hacks – The essentials every home should have

Here are some essentials for you and your home that will definitely aid you in enjoying the spring season with less sniffing, coughing and itching!

*Visine Allergy Eye Drops – inexpensive and an easy way to prevent itchy, watery eyes
*GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System with True HEPA Filter, UV-C Sanitizer, Allergen and Odor Reduction, 22-Inch Air Purifier – purifies the air you breath in your home
*Allergy Control Mattress Cover – protects your mattress from pollen and allergens getting trapped inside
*AllerTech home products: pet shampoo, vent guard, laundry additive, home spray and more.  These products can eliminate pollen and allergens from your home, making it a more comfortable place to live.
*Flonase – allergy relief for your nose!

Real & Legitimate Ways to Earn Money from Home

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Sunday, January 21st, 2018 at 4:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

My kids aren’t getting any cheaper as they get older.  In fact, they are costing a ton more! Earning extra cash can go a long way especially with the holidays coming up.  If you’re looking for legitimate and real ways to earn a little extra money from your own home here is a list.  If you have other suggestions, please feel free to comment below!

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 1.32.16 PM
If you own a car and are looking to start earning some extra money, you can become an Uber driver! Uber gives you the freedom to choose when you drive, where you drive, and who you pick up – you are entirely in control of your schedule.

Keep in mind that to partner with Uber, your vehicle must be 2005 or newer, have 4 or more doors and not be salvaged. Also note that all Uber drivers are required to go through a simple background check for safety (at no cost to you) and to upload a valid drivers license.

*Work for Amazon

turk

You can become a Mechanical Turk for Amazon and earn money from home just for reading articles, completing tasks, etc. After signing up, just search or browse through the Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) and click on the one that interests you. Accept the HIT and follow the instructions. When you’re done, submit your work and after the requester approves your work, money is deposited into your Amazon Payments account.

Another opportunity is Amazon’s VCC (Virtual Contact Center).

Full time and part time opportunities are available in Arizona, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia, Delaware, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Virginia for our seasonal customer service associate position.

  • 3-4 weeks of paid training
  • Seasonal and referral bonus opportunities
  • Base compensation is $10/hour with the potential bonus opportunities
  • Part-time and full-time positions available

Requirements:

  • In order to be considered for this position, your home residence must be in one of the following states; Arizona, Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Delaware, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia
  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Basic typing, phone, and computer navigation skills
  • Ability to navigate the Internet, email, and Instant Messenger tools
  • 1+ years in a service environment dealing with the public
  • Distraction free workspace

*BECOME A TUTOR

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 5.24.12 PM

You can also tutor online. Tutor.com is a great place to start and get more information. Make your own hours, get a client base by posting in schools, libraries, even Craigslist You can also tutor at home as well. Tutors generally charge by the hour and can make anywhere from $10 – $75 per hour. So if you have an extensive knowledge of a certain subject, a positive attitude, a passion to help others, and you enjoy working with children — tutoring may be the perfect home-based business for you.

*SELL YOUR JUNK MAIL

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 12.07.14 PM

If you receive a lot of junk mail in your inbox or mailbox you can check out the Small Business Knowledge Center (also known as SBKC and rated A+ with the BBB!) as they will PAY YOU for your junk mail! Plus, if you are a business owner or are self-employed, you will earn bonus points for the materials you send!

Read the rest of this entry »

Gardening Essentials For Beginners on a Budget

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 at 2:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Gardening Essentials for beginners on a budget

Spring offers some great perks for starting a garden!  Whether you want vegetables, fruits, plants or flowers, there are gardening essentials you’ll need, especially if you’re a beginner on a budget!  Here are some of the things you’ll need, and where to find them without stretching your wallet:

  1. Gloves

Thorns and splinters, hangnails and torn fingernails are all waiting for you if you don’t wear a good pair of gloves while you garden!  You’ll want a pair that is durable, yet easy to move your fingers in. These Garden Genie Gloves are super popular and offer a unique feature – claws to help with digging! Get them for only $7.99.

    2.  Hand Trowel

When you need to extract weeds, dig around corners and plant herbs or flowers, you’ll need a hand trowel.  This Fiskers Softtouch Hand Trowel is under 7 bucks and very highly rated. It has a comfort handle and rust-resistant blade made of one piece so it won’t break.

     3.  Spade

A spade is a short-handled square shovel.  These help with digging holes for plants, moving small mounds of dirt around and much more. You can get a highly rated spade on the inexpensive side (like this one) for around $20, or invest in one you’ll be able to keep your whole gardening life, with this popular King of Spades for just under $90.

           4.  Rake

Keep your garden clean of debris and leaves with a standard rake.  These are inexpensive and you’ll be glad you got one, once you start gardening! This True Temper Bow Rake is under $20!

     5.  Hoe

Depending on the type of garden you have, you’ll need a different type of hoe.  Vegetable gardens need sturdy and wide hoes.  Flower gardens will require a thinner, more delicate hoe.  An hand-held shorter hoe runs around $6, while a long handle hoe starts at about $12.

  6.  Good hose

A long hose with an adjustable nozzle is crucial for maintaining your garden.  This Dramm 14804 One Touch Rain Wand is really highly rated and just $25! Making sure your plants, veggies or flowers are getting the right amount of water helps them grow, and these nozzles are perfect for even distribution.

           7. Wheelbarrow

Cart around plants, soil, compost and more with a wheelbarrow.  This Suncast LC1250D 15.5-Gallon Capacity Poly Rolling Lawn Cart runs about $30 and has a 4.8 rating from over 550 happy customers.  If you need something larger, consider this best selling Gorilla Carts Poly Garden Dump Cart for around $70.  It also has a 600 pound capacity for bigger jobs.

Gardening Supply Sets at Discounted Prices

*Garden All Garden Tools Kit – Include Round Point Shovel /12 Guage Garden Hoe / Bow Rake / Steel Rake / Gden Cultivator with Fiberglass Handle  $79.25

*Garden Tools Set – Round Point Shovel, One Piece Forged Hoe And 14T Bow Rake With 48 Inch Long Steel Handle by GardenAll  $68.99

*Pro Garden Gear Gardening Tool Set for the New or Seasoned Gardener  $19.99

*Gardening Tools, Gardening Toolbox Set $17.99

*Superior Garden Tools Set with Trowel, Transplanter and Rake  $25.50

 

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

10 Natural Mosquito Repellents

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Monday, June 26th, 2017 at 5:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Natural Mosquito Repellents

10 Natural Mosquito Repellents 

Mosquitoes, mosquitoes everywhere!  Those nasty little buggers are dangerous, irritating and leave you itching.  Here are 10 natural mosquito repellents you can try, to keep them at bay and enjoy your time outside more!

#1 Lavender oil – lavender is a relaxing scent, but mosquitoes can’t stand it. Find a lotion or essential oil with lavender in it and use it just before heading outside, the mosquitoes will steer clear of you. This highly rated Sweetly Citron Natural Bug Repellent DEET-Free 8oz Spray is my favorite lavender product and it’s safe for kids!

#2 Garlic – mosquitoes hate garlic because it comes through your pores and they taste that first when they try to bite you. Crush two cloves of garlic and boil them in 24 ounces of water. Pour the solution in a spray bottle and spray it around the edge of your patio area to keep the mosquitoes away. Cooking garlic bread on the grill will keep mosquitoes away from your BBQ party, too!

#3 Apple Cider Vinegar – mix together 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 16 ounces of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray around tables, lawn chairs, and other patio furniture to keep mosquitoes away.

#4 Coconut Oil – during mosquito season, use a body wash, bar soap, shampoo, and lotion that contain coconut oil. The scent keeps the mosquitoes at bay. You can also rub straight virgin coconut oil on your skin to keep the mosquitoes away for up to 8 hours! This Viva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is amazing for baking, cooking AND repelling mosquitoes!

#5 Plants – mosquitoes hate certain types of plant including mint, rosemary, catnip, holy basil, lavender, and feverfew. Planting a few of these plants in your yard can help keep mosquitoes out of your yard. It’s especially helpful when you plant them around patio areas, pool decks, swingsets, and other areas where people will be frequenting.

#6 Red Cedar Mulch – mosquitoes don’t like red cedar mulch. Surround your patio, walkways, and other high traffic areas with red cedar mulch to keep the mosquitoes out of your yard.

#7 Mosquito netting – hang mosquito netting around your patio and seating areas to put a barrier between you and the mosquitoes. This mosquito net has some really great reviews and a super high rating.

#8 Tiki lamps – you know those awesome tiki lamps that you see at luau parties? Mosquitoes dislike them, especially the ones with citronella based oil in them. Scatter them around your yard to keep the mosquitoes away.

#9 Soy candles – mosquitoes don’t like soybean oil. Look for candles made with soybean oil and scatter them around your seating area. Not only will they smell good, but they will keep the mosquitoes as far away from your patio as possible.

#10 Tea tree oil – in some cases, it’s almost impossible to eliminate standing water due to rain and other reasons. When this happens squirt 8 drops of tea tree oil into the standing water to keep the mosquitoes from breeding in the water.

 

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

Too Hot Outside? 8 Fun Family Indoor Activities

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Friday, June 23rd, 2017 at 6:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Family indoor activities

Phew! It’s hot out there….and it’s getting hotter.  Throughout the summer here in DFW, there will be days where the heat is just too unbearable.  Here are some unique ways to spend quality family time together INDOORS!

*Build a fort

It’s a classic throwback activity from a time before electronics ruled our lives.  Grab your pillows, blankets, sheets and towels and get creative with the family!  Create a fort, fill it with pillows, stuffed animals, games, snacks, and flashlights, then prepare to have some serious snuggle time and fun with the kids! A great accent for any fort is fun lights!  These battery operated LED string lights change colors and can create a really fun ambiance.

*Camp in the living room or backyard

There aren’t any bugs in your living room, and the A/C can keep you cool.  Move the couches and set up your camping tents and lawn chairs for a campout in your home!  These adorable kids camping chairs are the perfect way to gather around in a circle to tell ghost stories, share a pizza or play games like 20 questions or Truth or Dare.  You could also play musical chairs, duck duck goose and other fun games that don’t require a lot of space.  These pop up tents are a great alternative to a real camping tent. When you’re ready to lay down, pull out those sleeping bags and “campout” in the living room!  The FREE Relax Melodies app on Android or iTunes can play nature sounds to help create the mood.

*Game Night

Grill up some burgers and pull out those board games for a family game night!  Have each member of your family choose their favorite game, then play one round of each game. Another fun idea to add to game night is prizes! Create fun little goodie bags filled with inexpensive treats and candy (like these packs of party favors!) and let each winner pick their own.  You can also create your own games – kids are amazingly creative when it comes to making up games of their own!

*Retro Movie Marathon

Kids can watch the same movies over and over again.  Why not introduce them to your favorite movies from your childhood with a retro movie marathon?  There are awesome movie compilations from the 80s starting at only $10 for eight movies. Load up The Goonies, E.T., The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Secret of Nimh are some great starters.  Pop some popcorn, lay down pillows and blankets and crank up the A/C for a fun and lazy day of nostalgia and relaxation.

*Indoor obstacle course

An indoor obstacle course may not be feasible for some families, but you don’t need a lot of space to get creative!  Use hallways, furniture and even the bathtub to create a course inside your home.  Set up stuffed animals, toys and dolls as the cheering crowd.  Lay down a Twister game mat and have each child jump from one color to the next.  If you have a long hallway, put on socks and see how far you can slide before you stop.  Use pillows as stepping stones, a jump rope for a finish line, pots and pans instead of traffic cones, and old cardboard boxes as tunnels.  Get creative with the things you have around your home!

*Crafts & art projects

Whip out those crayons, construction paper, glitter and stickers!  Crafts and art projects can keep kids entertained for hours.  Ask them to create a greeting card of their own for grandma and grandpa.  Buy Craft Kits appropriate for their ages.  Let them design clever door hangers or signs for their bedroom doors.  You can find tons of great kid crafting ideas online, or come up with your own creative ideas for super cheap!

*Cook or bake

If your kids are budding chefs and bakers, why not have a fun day in the kitchen together. Not only will they learn about cooking and baking, the time spent together will create last memories for them.  Plus, they can be creative and feel accomplished once they’ve completed their meals!  Consider planning an entire dinner – with appetizers, salad, main course and dessert.  Let the kids pick what they want to cook, grab the ingredients and start cooking together.  This is a great opportunity to let them feel proud of what they’ve done when it’s all set out on a table (time for the fancy china!?) and they see their amazing meals ready for the family!

 

*Throw a party

You don’t need a holiday or birthday to throw a party.  Call it a “Family Summer Party” or make up a fun name that fits your family.  Cook foods everyone loves, and create a self-serve table filled with their favorite goodies.  Use paper plates to eliminate dishes (who wants to do dishes when there is a party going on!?).  Stop by Five Below or Party City for decorations, a piñata, and more inspiration for your party.  Turn on Pandora and let loose with dancing to really kick it up a notch!

What are your favorite family indoor activities?

 

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

10 Overlooked Discounts & Deals You Might Be Missing

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 at 10:00 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

10 overlooked discounts & deals

Who doesn’t love a good bargain? There might be discounts, coupons and other ways to save that you might be overlooking!  Finding savings in coupons you get from your Sunday paper, or the deals we post online is pretty easy.  But there are a lot of other options that get passed by. From now on, keep your eyes open to these great ways to save:

1. Customer Surveys. Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and Subway are just three companies that entice you to take a survey with the promise of a reward. Many retail outlets and restaurants want the feedback and are willing to reward you for it!

2. Rebates & Coupons on Packages. “Peelies” are great coupons stuck to products.  You might even find a rebate attached, as well.  Compare the prices of the products, and if you can get a better deal with a mail-in-rebate or coupon, grab it!

3. Ticket stubs. Here in Texas, our sports are everything!  The next time you attend a Cowboys game or any other event or concert, be sure to keep your ticket!  The back of your ticket stub might have a coupon on it, or even a freebie if a team wins or score a specific amount of points.  

4. Work discounts. Cell phone plans might be covered or discounted by your employer!  Be sure to check, because you could be saving a little extra every month. Make sure you ask about fitness centers (gyms) and other public resources – your employer might already have a group account with them that you can be included in!

5.  Receipt coupons. Many store receipts have coupons on the back — especially those that come from grocery store registers. Common discounts include restaurant deals, local dry cleaning deals, reduced ticket prices to local events and more.

6. Car insurance discounts. You might be aware that a good driving record can save you money….but while you’re speaking with your car insurance representative, ask about other discounts.  Student drivers that maintain a good GPA, veterans and the elderly often have discounts waiting for them.  You just have to ask about them. 

7. Cash coupons. Stores like Kohl’s and Old Navy offer some great savings. By spending a specific amount, you’ll receive “Kohl’s Cash” or “Old Navy Cash” that can be used on your next shopping trip.  Drugstores are also popular for giving savings on your next purchase, like CVS “Extra Care Bucks” and Walgreens “Register Rewards.”  These retailers count on you forgetting all about receiving these discounts – so take note of the days you can use them, and mark that on your calendars. 

8. Home insurance discounts. Check with your home insurance company.  There are specific things you can usually do to receive a discount.  Sometimes installing a certain smoke detector or deadbolt can save you extra money you didn’t realize.

9. Online coupons. Discounts online are easy, when you follow blogs like My Dallas Mommy!  But when you’re shopping online or even in-store, retailers will often offer great savings via their app or website.  It’s usually worth your time to save that extra money, just by searching around a little more!

10. Coupon mailers. You’ve seen these in your mailbox – and probably tossed them in the trash immediately. Take a minute to look through coupon mailer packs like Valpak and MoneyMailer.  Don’t pass up a BOGO FREE dinner at a new restaurant, or savings on dry cleaning, car window repair and home carpet cleaning!  You never know when you’ll need to use them!

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

 

See more online and retail deals HERE!

10 Simple Ways To Keep Your Summer Electricity Bill Low!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Monday, June 19th, 2017 at 5:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

10 simple ways to keep your summer electricity bill low

Your Summer electricity bill doesn’t have to burn you! Temperatures are rising out there, as Summer hits us….but that doesn’t mean your electricity bill has to go up, too!  Here in Texas, energy efficiency is necessary, so we can run our A/C units, without paying ridiculous electricity bills.  With these simple tips, you’ll be able to save a nice chunk o’ change on your electric bill, with very little effort.  No need to budget more money for your Summer expenses – just follow these easy steps to keep cool without sacrificing your savings!

10 Simple Ways to Keep Your Summer Electricity Bill Low

Change Filters Regularly – The harder the air has to push to flow through, the more energy it’s using.  Change your filters in your air conditioner (and furnace!) monthly to avoid clogging it up.  You’ll be surprised how efficiently the A/C runs with fresh filters!  HomeDepot.com has some great prices on filters, as does Amazon.

 

Stockpile Freezer – If you’re a stockpiler and like getting items – lots of them – for cheap, you probably have a deep freezer in your home.  This saves tons of money by freezing the items you can purchase in bulk for cheap!  Here’s a tip-  put that extra freezer (or refrigerator) in the basement, if you have one.  It’s much cooler down there, and it won’t have to work so hard (use so much energy) to keep cold.  Check out some of the items you may not have known you can freeze – to save time and money, HERE!

Power Strip – If your small appliances have transformers on them (little black cube at the end of the cord), you may want to avoid plugging those into the wall sockets.  Even when you believe your appliances and devices are turned all the way off, the power may still be on if it’s plugged in.  This uses unnecessary energy and makes your bill rise, and it really does make a big difference.  Either be sure to unplug when not in use, or grab a power strip and plug all of them into it.  That way, when you are ready to turn them off, you can just turn the power strip off.  Just be sure these aren’t items that require extra work to re-program.

Replace Appliances – Have you owned any of your major appliances or air conditioners for more than 10 years?  If so, they are draining your wallet by using excess energy!  Purchase new appliances with Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of 10, and you’ll potentially cut the cost of running them by almost 50%!  When you purchase new appliances, the out of pocket cost can be reduced by watching for sales, using rewards and checking the deals we post frequently.  In the long run, you’ll be saving money by replacing out -dated, older appliances.

Dial to Comfort – Keeping your thermostat at a constant temperature may seem like a great idea, because you assume your electric bill will be lower since you aren’t moving the dial.  But what you might not realize is raising and lowering the temperature can save you a ton of money!  If you aren’t home during the day, turn it up.  If you sleep better when it’s cooler in your home, turn it down.  Adjusting the temperature to fit your daily schedule will make sure you aren’t “wasting” that amazing cool air you want to feel when you need it most.

Keep it On-  You may believe that turning your A/C off when you leave the house, is saving you money.  That’s a common misconception – because when you turn it off, the energy it has to use to cool the entire house again is much more than you might think.  Simply turn it up when you leave the house, instead of “off.”  When you get home, you can turn it down again, and your unit won’t have to work as hard to cool the area all over again!  In fact, it’s a great idea to invest in a programmable thermostat.  This way, you don’t have to worry about fluctuating the temperature manually, and can rely on the program feature to do that for you!

Fans – Fans won’t “cool” the air around them, but they do circulate the air, creating a breeze that makes the room feel cooler.  When you have fans running, turn your thermostat up.  Not only are they already using energy by being plugged in, you won’t need the cooler air from the A/C anymore. Placing fans on opposite sides of a room can also help create a nice tunnel of cool air that will be expelled and distributed nicely.

Laundry & Dishes – Washing dishes by hand will reduce the use of your dishwasher, which isn’t anything shocking.  But, when you use your dishwasher, you’re putting out more heat into your house, causing your A/C unit to have to work harder to compensate.  Grabbing some paper plates and plastic utensils for the hotter months, will help you avoid having to wash too many dishes and save on that hot air being expelled from your machine.  You can also opt to purchase a rinsing agent (like Jet Dry) that will take the place of the heated dry mode.  Your dishes will be clean, and you’ll just need to dry them off as you take them out and put them away.  On the same note, wash your laundry in COLD water, if you can.  When you wash intimates, bedding and towels, be sure the load is full before using your hot water.  As for your dryer, be sure there’s room in there for the hot air to do its job.  Packing the dryer with as much as you can will likely take longer to get the items dry.

Sign up for Energy Ogre – This may just be the best tip you’ll receive from this list.  Why pay what your energy company requires, when you could be getting a better rate? Energy Ogre finds those better rates for you.  Plus, they are able to report that most of its customers have been able to save between 40% and 60% after enrolling in the program. All for about the cost of a monthly Netflix membership. If you live in a deregulated area, you’re in luck!  Go HERE to see what your potential savings can be, and use the code MYDFWMOMMY to get your 13th month FREE!  I (Jeni) signed up 2 months ago and have already saved nearly $200 – Energy Ogre cut my bill in HALF! Go HERE to read more about how Energy Ogre works.

Heavy Drapes – Instead of opening the curtains to allow for the sun to come through, consider closing them to keep the heat out.  Heavy drapes can also help in keeping the sunny side of your house or apartment cooler.  Don’t want to sacrifice the sunlight?  Grab some DIY window film!  This will allow you to see outside, and will let some light in – but keep the heat at bay.  In fact, it will help reduce the amount of heat that gets through your windows by about 30%!!  Check out some options HERE.  You may also want to put some potted trees in front of the windows to help shade your room from the sun.  This will also give the foliage what it needs – sunlight!  This also works on the outside – planting trees and large bushes in front of windows gives you privacy AND shade.

With these tips, you’ll help keep your home energy efficient, and your electricity bill lower than normal during the hotter months.  Even better – you won’t have to sacrifice comfort, and you’ll be saving money!

How to you manage your Summer electricity bill?   What are your tips for keeping your Summer electricity bill low?

 

 

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

BBQ Essentials Every Texan Needs – Get Your Grill On!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Monday, June 19th, 2017 at 8:50 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Texans are famous for their amazing BBQ and grilling talents.  When you fire up your grill in the backyard, make sure you’re prepared this summer, with some great BBQ essentials that even the most amateur griller needs!

*Grill – The size and type of grill you need, depends on a lot, including your own preference. Do you want   Sears.com offers the best deals on grills that we see every year, so we recommend checking them out before going anywhere else. What’s your budget? Do you want gas or propane? Cast Iron or Stainless Steel? How big should it be – what will you grill and for how many people? Do you want a side burner, rotisserie, a smoker box? Ask yourself all of these things before making this big purchase.  And remember – extra features come with extra costs.


*Charcoal – This essential really depends on the type of grilling you’re doing, and what you want to accomplish while you grill.  Watch for deals from Walmart.com or in-store at Walmart, and places like Home Depot and Lowe’s for the best deals on charcoal briquettes.  You’ll want to pay 25-35¢ per pound to score an awesome deal.

TYPES OF CHARCOAL:
Lump charcoal: This charcoal is pure wood, free of binders or petroleum-based accelerants.  That means it burns, clean, hot and pure.  But, this charcoal burns unevenly (hotter at the start, cooler at the end) and burns out more quickly than briquettes. You’ll also need to use more lump charcoal when grilling.

Charcoal briquettes: Designed to burn evenly and maintain at least 600 degree temperatures for an hour, these are the most common (and affordable) choice.  However, you’ll get more smoke when using them.  Instant-light charcoal is saturated in lighter fluid, so the smoke disappears after they reach a certain heat, but you’re still grilling over borax, coal dust and petroleum binders. and they can leave a faint taste in your food.  Opt for “Natural” briquettes (wood scraps and starch binders) to avoid these issues.

Binchotan: This is Japan’s superpremium lump charcoal. It’s made from ubamegashi oak and burns very clean and hot for a long time – with no charcoal flavor. The downside is that it’s very expensive – 1 piece can cost several dollars.

Coconut shell charcoal: Asian street vendors opt for coconut shell charcoal. It’s quick-lighting, burns hold and sold in small pieces. On the downside, it’s hard to find in the US, and you’l need a lot of it for your American-sized grill.


*BBQ Tool Set – Having a great tool set that you can depend on will make your grilling experience a lot more fun and easier, too.  Opt for something like this Kacebela 19-piece BBQ Tools Set that is stainless steel and includes a storage case.  It’s very highly rated and about $45.  You can also go for something a little less expensive, but with all of the frills, like this Estillo 18 piece Stainless Steel BBQ Tools Set for just under $20. Just want the basics?  This set is just $17 and includes the essentials you’ll need!


*Grill Cleaners – After you grill up those amazing meals for your family, you’re left with the icky part – cleaning.  Blah!  Make it easy on yourself with a good quality stainless steel grill brush.  This Qually United 18″ 3-in-1 Brush is highly rated, rust-proof, dishwasher safe, has a strong handle AND a 100% money back guarantee (we love those, right!?).  A grill cleaner spray from a trusted brand like Weber is always a good idea, too.  These sprays help break down the crud on the grates. You can also opt to make your own grill cleaner spray by using white vinegar.  Spray it on the grill, let it sit for a few minutes, then use crumpled aluminum foil or your grill brush to rub off grime and grease.


*Meat Thermometer –  The temperature of your meat will let you know when it’s ready, and safe to eat.  Don’t risk guessing, and get yourself a good meat thermometer.  On the low end, you can spend just 10 bucks, or go for a digital thermometer that works with an app on your phone for more options.


*Compostable Plates – Forget dirty dishes and flimsy picnic plates! Serve that well prepared meal that you’re so proud of, on something a little more eco-friendly AND more sturdy.  For only around a buck a plate or less, you can score some bamboo, palm leaf or birch plates that are not only better looking, but are compostable, too!


*Food Covers –  Outdoors in Texas means heat, humidity and BUGS!  Don’t let them enjoy the food you prepare.  Get some Outdoor Net Food Covers for super cheap, and keep them away from your meals.  These are great for covering the food hot off the grill, and you can get individual net covers for each person’s plate, to protect them, as well.


*Drink Dispenser –  In Texas, we LOVE our sweet tea.  Serve it up with a nice drink dispenser that has a closed top and spigot – which will not only look great, it will keep your beverages cool and protected from bugs and debris, plus provide an easy way for family and guests to cool off with a drink while they eat. This Southern Strawberry Sweet Iced Tea recipe is easy and one of my favorites to serve when I cook out.


Whether you’re grilling for a family or having guests over to celebrate summer, you’ll want to be prepared this summer!  Use these BBQ essentials to make your grilling experience easier and more fun!

 

Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Sunday, June 18th, 2017 at 7:45 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Meal Solutions - turning leftovers into new meals

Making your budget stretch can be difficult. When you have a family, it’s even harder. But, by getting creative and using some savvy tips, we can keep our budgets in check AND feed our families great meals – with leftovers! Here are some great ideas to stretch your budget for the week.

Whether you are cooking for 1 or 2, or for a family of 7, any of these ideas will work for you. This will save you time, money AND hassle of figuring out what’s for dinner! By transforming your leftovers from one meal, you will have to cook less, plan less and spend less, because you’ll be making them into brand new meals!

Keep in mind that in some of these recipes, you’ll simply ignore the “cook” part of the meat, and just re-heat the leftover you have from the night or afternoon before.

You may also like our Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms + FREE Meal Planning Printable!

CHICKEN:
Rotisserie Chicken – Chicken Pot Pie – Chicken Salad

leftover meal solutions

Grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store when it’s on sale and you’re in a bind for a quick dinner is a nice, easy solution. When your family can’t finish the entire chicken, don’t waste it! Use the bones and skin to make chicken stock (great for crock pot cooking!) by throwing them in a pot of water with spices, seasonings and any desired vegetables. Boil, then simmer and you have a great stock! Take the leftover meat from the chicken to create 2 more meal options, too.

Meal 1: Rotisserie Chicken w/ Vegetables

Meal 2: Chicken Pot Pies – take all of your leftover chicken to make chicken pot pies with this recipe!

Meal 3: Chicken Salad Sandwiches – Stretch your budget further by using that leftover chicken for lunch! Make chicken salad by shredding up leftover chicken, and mixing it with mayonnaise, lemon juice, pepper, chopped celery and onions! The chicken pot pie recipe works great as a chicken salad, when you replace the liquid with mayonnaise.

OTHER OPTIONS:

* Fajitas

* Creamy Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

* Chicken Noodle Soup

* Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

* Chicken Lo Mein w/ Broccoli

* Chicken Alfredo Pockets

* Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki

* Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

* Chicken Tamale Casserole

* Fort Worth Egg Rolls

(Chicken Pot Pie Photo credit, Chicken Salad Photo credit)

___________________________________________________________

Steak:
Steak Dinner – Breakfast Hash – Stir Fry

Steak for dinner? If you have leftovers from the kids, or can prepare a little more, you can create a lovely breakfast in the morning AND a fun dinner a couple of days later!Meal 1: Steak & Potatoes

Meal 2: Breakfast Hash – Cut up pieces of the steak, and fry up some leftover potatoes. Throw them in with eggs, cheese, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes or whatever else you want for a morning meal that’s sure to get you going! Even better, if you served your steak the night before with mushroom and onions, this will be awesome in the hash, too!

Meal 3: Host a fun Asian night for your family with a new stir fry recipe! Slice up that leftover steak into strips, add toss it with some frozen vegetables, garlic, orange juice, ginger and whatever else can give it that Asian kick!

OTHER OPTIONS:

* Slow Cooker Steak & Rice

* Grilled Steak Quesadillas

* Beef Stew

* Steak Chili

* Beef Flautas

(Steak Photo credit , Hash Photo credit, Stir Fry Photo credit)

___________________________________________________________

Spaghetti (Ground Beef/Turkey):
Spaghetti Dinner – Stuffed Bell Peppers – Taco Salad


Spaghetti is a quick fix kind of dinner, but if you make a bit extra (sauce and meat), you can turn that into 1 or 2 more meals for the week! Marinara sauce is so practical in a lot of different recipes. In fact, the only different between marinara and a spicier taco sauce is the spices. Add cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and vinegar to marinara and you have transformed your marinara!Meal 1: Spaghetti w/ Meat or MeatballsMeal 2: Stuffed Bell Peppers – take your spaghetti sauce with mixed in meat, add rice, corn, chopped peppers, olives, cheese and whatever else you want to put in your peppers for a quick dinner! Top with cheese, bacon, sour cream or fresh herbs for a nice addition.

Meal 3: Taco Salad – spaghetti sauce & meat are a great start to the makings of Taco Salad! Just add some spices or taco seasoning packets to give it some flare, then toss it around with tomato, avocado, lettuce, tortilla chips, and salsa for a great lunch or dinner in a pinch!

OTHER OPTIONS:

* Beef & Bacon Chili

* Sloppy Joes

* Tacos

* Shepherd’s Pie

* Meatloaf

* Cheesy Beef & Rice Skillet

* Hearty Fall Chili

* Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (don’t sauce all of your meat for this leftover idea)

* Italian Spaghetti Bake

* Spicy Taco Soup

(Bell Pepper Photo credit, Taco Salad Photo credit)

___________________________________________________________

Pork Roast:
Egg Rolls – Pulled Pork w/ Root Beer Sauce Sandwich

Who doesn’t love a great pork roast!? If you happen to have leftovers, or are cooking for just 1 or 2, this is a great meat to make leftover dishes with pizzazz!

Meal 1: Pork Roast w/ Veggies

Meal 2: Egg Rolls – shred up your leftover pork and make egg rolls with this recipe!

Meal 3: Pulled Pork w/ Root Beer Sauce Sandwiches!

 

OTHER OPTIONS:

* Pork Stroganoff

* Tropical Pork Salad

* Southwest Pork Soup

* Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Enchiladas

* Fully Loaded Pasta Shells (use pork instead of other ingredients)

* Pork Stir Fry – Stir fry w/ diced green bell peppers, chunks of pinapple and quartered onion and tomatoes and then dress w/ a tomato ketchup/soy/splash of pineapple juice mixture. Add a bit of cornflour to thicken and serve with rice.

(Pork Roast Photo credit, Egg Rolls Photo credit, Pulled Pork Photo credit)

___________________________________________________________

Salmon (Fish):
Salmon Cake Breakfast – Salmon Tacos

What’s for dinner? Fish! You can interchange most fish for these salmon dishes, and enjoy wonderful, new ways of eating salmon for dinner, breakfast AND lunch!

Meal 1: Salmon

Meal 2: Salmon Cakes Breakfast – create salmon cakes, then serve with eggs and toast for breakfast in the morning! YUM!

Meal 3: Salmon Tacos – fish tacos are always a hit! Cube and cook the leftover salmon, mixing with spices like cumin and chili powder. Throw in some cilantro, then put it all together on a soft taco shell. Dress it up with veggies of your choice, sour cream, corn, avocado, lemon, salsa, onions and more!

 

OTHER OPTIONS:

* Salmon Croquettes

* Salmon Corn Chowder

* Salmon Spaghetti Carbonara

* Salmon Salad

What are your favorite leftover solutions? Share in the comments!

Signature Mini Meals (in ONE Muffin Pan) + 21 Meal Suggestions!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 at 4:30 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-4-44-41-pm

Here’s a fun idea for kid-friendly meals that will also help you get rid of some leftovers!  If you missed our tips on using leftovers, head over here to check it out!  You’ll be able to get creative with this recipe idea, and even be able to make several mini meals in one muffin pan – all different to suit your family’s tastes!  Picky eaters in the family?  This allows you to customize each meal, and cater to those with specific requirements for theirs.  These are also great for on-the-go meals, quick lunches and road trip snacks.

Grab my favorite muffin pan HERE.

For a base, use this recipe:

* 1/2 cup Bisquick

* 1/2 cup milk 

* 2 eggs

Mix together and put about 1 tablespoon in each muffin cup, and if you choose to, add another tablespoon to the top of your mixtures (listed below)!  Use a spatula to spread the mixture around in each cup to coat the sides.  Alternatively, you can use plain pancake mix, and forgo the milk and egg.  Another idea is to use cornbread mix – just follow the package directions, and put them in each cup.

Now comes the fun!  You’ll fill the cups the rest of the way up with leftover chicken and veggies, steak shreds, shrimp or whatever else you have laying around or need to eat up before it expires.  Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.  Even better, you’ll be able to freeze these in freezer bags, take them for lunches and re-heat in the microwave!  Sprinkle your favorite seasoning on top for an extra bit of flavoring, before popping into the oven.

meals

1. BBQ chicken + cream cheese: throw on a dollop of sour cream when it’s done cooking, and you have a delicious and unique little meal!

2.  Ground Beef (leftover taco meat) and mashed potatoes:  this makes for some sweet mini meat loaf or shepherds pies!

3.  Egg & mashed potatoes:  like getting hash browns, a muffin and egg all in one little cup!

4.  Veggies:  broccoli, carrots, tomatoes and grilled bell peppers make for this awesome veggie cup!

5.  Broccoli, Chicken & Cheese:  a mini casserole in the perfect size!  You can also see a great recipe for Broccoli Chicken Casserole HERE!

6.  Chili:  leftover homemade chili (get a recipe HERE for Beef & Bacon chili!), topped with diced onions, all cozy inside it’s own little batter cup!

Here are 15 more ideas:

*PIZZA CUPS:

Create your base (recipe above), then add some marinara sauce, cheese, onions, pepperoni, olives and pineapple!  Kids can pick their toppings and make their very own mini pizza cups!

*CHICKEN ALFREDO:

Use leftover chicken and either shred or cut into chunks.  Pour about 2 tablespoons of alfredo sauce over it for a quick and easy chicken alfredo, in the perfect size portion!

*BEEF & BROCCOLI:

A beef & broccoli pot pie!?  Mmmmm….Top your cups up with some beef and broccoli florets, then drizzle soy sauce or teriyaki over it!  If you have sesame seeds, that would make for a fun and decorative topper!

*THANKSGIVING:

Take your Thanksgiving meal and make tiny muffin cup servings!  Pour in your base (recipe above), then add a few chunks of turkey, about a 1/2 tablespoon of stuffing and 1/2 tablespoon of mashed potatoes.  Drizzle with gravy when you pull it out of the oven!

*CHEESEBURGERS:

Ground beef, ketchup and cheese over your base will create mini cheeseburger cups!  You could add steak sauce, diced onions , relish or whatever else you would normally put on your burger!

*CHICKEN ENCHILADAS:

Use:  shredded, leftover chicken and top with Rotel, cheese, olives, jalapenos and hot sauce!

*CHICKEN CORDON BLEU:

Add leftover chicken and ham pieces to your base mixture in the cups.  Place pieces or shreds of swiss cheese over them, sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper, then top with more base mixture OR with bread crumbs (crushed croutons work well)!

*VEGGIE CUPS:

Throw together some of your favorite vegetables, then sprinkle with pepper, lemon, marinades, balsamic vinegar or any other delicious topping you can think of for a fun veggie cup!

*CHILI:

Mix together leftover ground beef, Ranch Style Beans, onion dices and tomato sauce.  Add cheese or seasonings as desired to have some mini chili cups!  Top with the base to have chili pies!

*SAUSAGE POTATO LASAGNA:

Take crumbled Italian sausage and mix with mushrooms, egg, leftover mashed potatoes and ricotta cheese.  Put about 2 tablespoons on top of your base, then layer with spinach!  You’ll have a unique and flavorful mini meal!

*TACO CUPS:

Use leftover taco meat from last night’s meal.  Add to your base, then top with cheese, tomatoes, avocado and seasonings.  These would be nice to re-heat for lunch the next day, or freeze for another meal later in the week!  Once heated, you can top with cold lettuce and sour cream!

*ITALIAN MEATBALL MEALS:

If you had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, consider using your leftovers to create fun little meatball cups!  Place a meatball in on the base, then pour on a flavorful combination of tomato sauce and italian spices.  Sprinkle with shredded swiss or parmesan cheese.

*POT ROAST CUPS:

Place small pieces of leftover pot roast, potatoes, onions & carrots into each cup with the base.  Pour in some beef broth, cover with more base and ta-da!  You have portable pot roast cups!!

*BREAKFAST CUPS:

Create your base, then crack an egg into the cup.  sprinkle in bits of bacon, cheese and any spices you like!  You could also mix the egg with milk and onion powder, and scramble, before pouring into the cup.  Brush on some maple syrup around the base before adding other ingredients to really kick this breakfast into high gear!

*BROCCOLI BITES:

Use uncooked broccoli florets and mix with a bit of cream cheese, swiss cheese, diced mushrooms and onions, then put 2 spoonfuls into each base-lined cup!

 

Get more recipes HERE!

More ways to save in the kitchen:

BBQ Essentials Every Texan Needs – Get Your Grill On!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at 6:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Texans are famous for their amazing BBQ and grilling talents.  When you fire up your grill in the backyard, make sure you’re prepared this summer, with some great BBQ essentials that even the most amateur griller needs!

*Grill – The size and type of grill you need, depends on a lot, including your own preference. Do you want   Sears.com offers the best deals on grills that we see every year, so we recommend checking them out before going anywhere else. What’s your budget? Do you want gas or propane? Cast Iron or Stainless Steel? How big should it be – what will you grill and for how many people? Do you want a side burner, rotisserie, a smoker box? Ask yourself all of these things before making this big purchase.  And remember – extra features come with extra costs.


*Charcoal – This essential really depends on the type of grilling you’re doing, and what you want to accomplish while you grill.  Watch for deals from Walmart.com or in-store at Walmart, and places like Home Depot and Lowe’s for the best deals on charcoal briquettes.  You’ll want to pay 25-35¢ per pound to score an awesome deal.

TYPES OF CHARCOAL:
Lump charcoal: This charcoal is pure wood, free of binders or petroleum-based accelerants.  That means it burns, clean, hot and pure.  But, this charcoal burns unevenly (hotter at the start, cooler at the end) and burns out more quickly than briquettes. You’ll also need to use more lump charcoal when grilling.

Charcoal briquettes: Designed to burn evenly and maintain at least 600 degree temperatures for an hour, these are the most common (and affordable) choice.  However, you’ll get more smoke when using them.  Instant-light charcoal is saturated in lighter fluid, so the smoke disappears after they reach a certain heat, but you’re still grilling over borax, coal dust and petroleum binders. and they can leave a faint taste in your food.  Opt for “Natural” briquettes (wood scraps and starch binders) to avoid these issues.

Binchotan: This is Japan’s superpremium lump charcoal. It’s made from ubamegashi oak and burns very clean and hot for a long time – with no charcoal flavor. The downside is that it’s very expensive – 1 piece can cost several dollars.

Coconut shell charcoal: Asian street vendors opt for coconut shell charcoal. It’s quick-lighting, burns hold and sold in small pieces. On the downside, it’s hard to find in the US, and you’l need a lot of it for your American-sized grill.


*BBQ Tool Set – Having a great tool set that you can depend on will make your grilling experience a lot more fun and easier, too.  Opt for something like this Kacebela 19-piece BBQ Tools Set that is stainless steel and includes a storage case.  It’s very highly rated and about $45.  You can also go for something a little less expensive, but with all of the frills, like this Estillo 18 piece Stainless Steel BBQ Tools Set for just under $20. Just want the basics?  This set is just $17 and includes the essentials you’ll need!


*Grill Cleaners – After you grill up those amazing meals for your family, you’re left with the icky part – cleaning.  Blah!  Make it easy on yourself with a good quality stainless steel grill brush.  This Qually United 18″ 3-in-1 Brush is highly rated, rust-proof, dishwasher safe, has a strong handle AND a 100% money back guarantee (we love those, right!?).  A grill cleaner spray from a trusted brand like Weber is always a good idea, too.  These sprays help break down the crud on the grates. You can also opt to make your own grill cleaner spray by using white vinegar.  Spray it on the grill, let it sit for a few minutes, then use crumpled aluminum foil or your grill brush to rub off grime and grease.


*Meat Thermometer –  The temperature of your meat will let you know when it’s ready, and safe to eat.  Don’t risk guessing, and get yourself a good meat thermometer.  On the low end, you can spend just 10 bucks, or go for a digital thermometer that works with an app on your phone for more options.


*Compostable Plates – Forget dirty dishes and flimsy picnic plates! Serve that well prepared meal that you’re so proud of, on something a little more eco-friendly AND more sturdy.  For only around a buck a plate or less, you can score some bamboo, palm leaf or birch plates that are not only better looking, but are compostable, too!


*Food Covers –  Outdoors in Texas means heat, humidity and BUGS!  Don’t let them enjoy the food you prepare.  Get some Outdoor Net Food Covers for super cheap, and keep them away from your meals.  These are great for covering the food hot off the grill, and you can get individual net covers for each person’s plate, to protect them, as well.


*Drink Dispenser –  In Texas, we LOVE our sweet tea.  Serve it up with a nice drink dispenser that has a closed top and spigot – which will not only look great, it will keep your beverages cool and protected from bugs and debris, plus provide an easy way for family and guests to cool off with a drink while they eat. This Southern Strawberry Sweet Iced Tea recipe is easy and one of my favorites to serve when I cook out.


Whether you’re grilling for a family or having guests over to celebrate summer, you’ll want to be prepared this summer!  Use these BBQ essentials to make your grilling experience easier and more fun!

 

 

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer’s Markets – A Complete List!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Thursday, June 1st, 2017 at 5:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets

The sun is out here in DFW, which is the perfect time to head to the market for some gorgeous local finds. Here is a list of Fort Worth & Dallas area farmers markets and grocers!  Let us know of any we are missing!  Of course, this is always a great way to save and support local too!

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*Denton Community Market
317 W. Mulberry St., Denton
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday

Near the downtown square, you’ll find trucks and tents filled with fresh produce, local artisans and handmade goods.  They are a producer-only farmer’s market and art market in downtown Denton, featuring live music, kids activities, local farms, local artists, food trucks, food vendors and more!

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square
315 S. Chestnut St., McKinney
8 a.m. to noon every Saturday
Consistently ranked as one of the top farmers markets in Texas, McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square is a market you will want to return to time and time again.  In addition to our variety of vendors offering local, grass fed beef and free range chicken, you’ll also find specialty items such as tamales, pastries, jerky and so much more.

Another unique feature to the Chestnut Square Market is the wide selection of  arts and crafts vendors who offer everything from locally made goat milk soap to wood turned bowls. A  monthly feature is ART IN THE MARKET where a local artisan will demonstrate his or her skills.  Potters, painters and a wide variety of artisans will offer free demonstrations every Saturday morning in the Chapel garden.

Live music, face painting and pony rides are always a treat and available every Saturday.

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*Coppell Farmers Market
768 W. Main St., Coppell
8 a.m. to noon every Saturday

“Still the best all-round market with great, vetted farmers and excellent artisans, not to mention a killer pavilion unveiled last year [2014] just for the market. It also offers a kids’ playground and water feature. This market has the best website, too.”
Kim Pierce, Special Contributor to the Dallas Morning News, May 12, 2015

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*Lakeside Market Plano
9150 Garland Rd.
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday

Since 2009 the White Rock community in East Dallas has enjoyed our weekly producer-only farmers market. In 2017 we are proud to return to 9150 Garland Rd, now the Lake Pointe Church. You will find us starting April 1, as usual in our beloved home with more of your favorite vendors and programs.

Close to the Arboretum, Little Forest Hills and Casa Linda, our White Rock Market has trail-blazed the revitalization of Garland Rd. It’s a neighborhood destination for local produce, artisan foods and crafts, and community. We look forward to seeing everyone there every week!

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*Sweet Harvest Shed/Dulce Cosecha
1103 S. Harwood St.
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily

This is actually a great place to get produce if you’re near Dallas Farmers Market. Sweet Harvest Shed/Dulce Cosecha is a gorgeous red shed full of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Even the pickiest shoppers will be happy with the watermelons, mangos, strawberries and apples here. They also put together darling fruit baskets and this might be the best place to get tomatoes. There’s a great assortment of flowers here; the prices are very reasonable and the people are kind. Sweet Harvest also has baked goods like pies and breads. If you miss the way Dallas Farmers Market used to be, walk across the street to Sweet Harvest Shed.

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*Cowtown Farmers Market
3821 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth
8 a.m. to noon every Saturday

We are a group of farmers, and artisans who believe that providing fresh, and local food and products is the best way to shop and eat. We are proud members of “Go Texan” and we are a part of the North Texas Farmers Market Association.

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*Vickery Meadow
5803 E. Northwest
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday
White Rock Local Market has partnered with the Vickery Meadow Improvement District (VMID) and Half Price Books to launch Vickery Meadow Local Market.
Vickery Meadow Local Market offers healthy foods as well as arts and crafts, while developing new opportunities for urban and rural producers.

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*Dallas Farmers Market
920 S. Harwood St.
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Friday and Sunday

The Market ShopsOpen 7 Days a Week – A 26,000 square foot food hall and artisanal vendor market containing four anchor restaurants, a mixture of local specialty foods, artisanal food vendors, and seating areas both inside and out where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in a view of the Dallas skyline or observing the market-goers.

Farmers Market @ The Shed – Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday – An open-air pavilion where you can shop from regional vendors who grow, raise, make and produce food. You’ll find a mix of farmers with seasonal produce grown in this climate, ranchers with naturally raised meats, cheese, eggs and honey, and food artisans who make breads, canned and regional/international foods. The Shed also has a handful of arts and crafts vendors throughout the year.

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*Beltline Farmers Market (Four Seasons Markets)
See dates and times HERE
Four Seasons Markets was established to develop and manage European style markets where ranchers, farmers, specialty food producers and artisanal craftsmen can interact with customers and other vendors in a colorful, exciting, family-friendly atmosphere that mimics the village markets popular throughout Europe. The market replicates a European-style market where you can not only meet local farmers, artisanal food producers and craftsmen, but sample and purchase their products in a colorful, family-friendly venue.

Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer's Markets*Carrollton Farmers Market
2722 N. Josey Lane, Carrollton
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday

This is another farmers market in a parking lot, this time between a Petco and a Jack in the Box. But with 50 vendors, it covers all the essentials and a whole lot more: Produce, breads, tamales, jams, meats, olive oil, cheeses, beef jerky, salsa, anything you could possibly want at a farmers market and everything local. Everyone here somehow carried the friendly vibe you would look for in a pavilion or shed right next to the traffic of a Jack in the Box. Cotton candy made to order was too good to pass up. There are a ton of arts and crafts vendors at this market — embroidery, candles, garden rocks, even handmade high-end pens.

More Fort Worth & Dallas Farmer’s Markets

Green’s Produce and Plants
3001 W Arkansas Ln, Arlington, TX
Farmers Market, Nurseries & Gardening, Fruits & Veggies

Bedford Farmer’s Market
2824 Brown Trl, Bedford, TX
Farmers Market

Nrh Farmer’s Market
7700 Davis Blvd, North Richland Hills, TX
Fruits & Veggies, Farmers Market

Rufe Snow Farmers Market
6871 Rufe Snow Dr, Fort Worth, TX
Farmers Market

Cowtown Farmers Market
Western Hills/Ridglea
3821 Southwest Blvd, Fort Worth, TX
Farmers Market

Grand Prairie Famers Market
120 W. Main St., Grand Prairie, TX 75050
Farmers Market

Dallas Farmer’s Market
1010 S Pearl Expy
Dallas, TX 75201
Downtown
Farmers Market

White Rock Local Market
Lakewood
702 N Buckner Blvd
Dallas, TX 75218
Farmers Market

Oak Lawn Famers Market
Oak Lawn
Cedar Springs And Welborn
Dallas, TX 75219
Farmers Market

Cox Farms Market
778 Fort Worth Ave
Dallas, TX 75208

Saint Michael’s Farmers Market
University Park
8011 Douglas Ave
Dallas, TX 75225

Coppell Farmers Market
768 W Main St
Coppell, TX 75019

Farmers Market of Grapevine
325 S Main St
Grapevine, TX 76051

Roanoke Farmers Market
221 N Oak St
Roanoke, TX 76262

Keller Farmers Market
1100 Bear Creek Pkwy
Keller, TX 76248

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

 

What To Expect On Sale In June (in-store & online)

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 at 6:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

on sale in June

It’s JUNE!  We are 1/2 way through the year already!  Can you believe it!?  So what’s on sale in June that we might not expect? June brings the onset of Summer, Father’s Day, Graduations and so much more!  It’s the unofficial start to summer, so there are great deals this month of water recreational (and baseball!) sporting equipment, gardening supplies, warm weather treats and snacks + so much more!

June is National Dairy Month!  That means we’ll see awesome coupons pop up all over the place, AND sales in the grocery stores for products like sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, ice cream, butter, eggs and milk.  We’ll also probably see great Catalina printing out when you buy specific amounts of cereals, too.

Check out the current coupons HERE

on sale in june

This  month, you’ll see stores stocking up on items for the 4th of July. Things like condiments for burgers and hot dogs, snack foods like chips and dips, charcoal, Popsicles, pickles, olives, sodas, new salad dressings and BBQ sauce flavors and anything to do with BBQing will be on sale.

Watch for fun deals on LED lights and decorations for the 4th beginning as early as the first week of June, and emerging with even better deals, more in the middle of the month.

Great places to find deals on 4th of July decorations and more:

*Walmart
*Lowe’s
*Zulily
*Pier1
*Oriental Trading Company

on sale in June

Camping tents and camping essentials are all on sale right now, as the weather warms up.  There are great deals in-store, but the best deals can be found online. From blow up furniture, flashlights and portable grills to back packs, air mattresses and hiking boots, it’s all on sale in June.

Our favorite places for great deals on camping and outdoor gear:

* Cabela’s
* Walmart
* Amazon
* REI
Moosejaw

on sale in June

Watch for great coupons and deals with rewards at the drugstores and Target on stuff for Summer!  This includes sunscreens and tanning lotions, aloe vera products, plastic picnic utensils, skin repellent, paper plates and paper cups, razors & razor related items,  lemonades and drinks of the like, and so much more.We’ll also see unbeatable online buy for things like beach and pool toys, bird feeders, lawn mowers, outdoor furniture, grilling utensils, swimsuits, camping gear, picnic stuff, sandbox toys, sunglasses and anything Summer-y you can think of!  This is the month to grab these items!

The best sales on patio furniture and summer items:

* Kohl’s
* Target
* Walmart
* Home Depot
* Lowe’s

on sale in June

’tis the season to get those gardens going!  We’ll definitely be getting some awesome bargains on plant food, weed killer, hoses, flowers, plants, seeds, watering cans, and anything that has to do with your garden!  We’ll also see some great deals on gardening kits, aprons and gloves!  A lot of retailers will also have overstock of gardening supplies, seeds, plants and more.  Watch for great sales on these!

*READ: Gardening essentials for beginners on a budget

Get great deals on gardening essentials:

* Home Depot
* The Tree Center
Walmart
Lowe’s

on sale in June

Rain, rain go away!  As the rain starts to fade out (hopefully  – you never know with Texas!), so do the products that were once necessary!  It’s a great time (especially for Texans who will likely see storms carry through this month) to buy rain boots, umbrellas and heavier jackets!  New fitness and running shoe styles are hitting the shelves, so we’ll see great discounts on older models, as well.

Find awesome clearance deals:

*Kohl’s
*Target
*Walmart
*Home Depot
*Lowe’s

On Sale in June

Gift sets for BBQs, colognes, tools and more are already on sale as we jump into June.  Watch for great deals on “manly” items like t-shirts, exercise equipment, socks, ties, razor sets, garage organization, auto-related items and anything else that men typically like, starting right after Mother’s Day and running through Father’s Day.

Find sweet bargains for Father’s Day gifts:

*Zulily
*Pier1
*Kohl’s
*Target

Graduations are everywhere in June, and so are the graduation decoration sales!  Gifts like small electronics, laptops, small houseware appliances and bedding are all on sale, especially with newly graduated young adults in mind!

Find awesome graduation gifts:
*Shutterfly
*Jane
*Amazon
*1800-Flowers
*1800-Baskets
*A Gift Personalized
*Limogoes Jewelry
*Kay
*Jewelry.com

Produce in season and on sale this month:

Not sure how to pick fresh produce?  We’ll let you know HERE!

Apricots
Blackberries
Blueberries
Boysenberries
Cherries
Corn
Cucumber
Eggplant
Grapes
Honeydew
Nectarines
Peaches
Potatoes
Raspberries
Red Onions
Summer Squash
Strawberries
Sweet Vidalia Onions
Tomatoes
Watermelon

 

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

Ways To Keep Kids Busy In The Car (or Airplane)

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 at 5:30 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Keep the kids busy in the car

Summer is here!  That means trips to visit gramma, summer family vacations, long road trips and a lot of time in the car or on airplanes. Here are some great ways to keep kids busy in the car or airplane.  These will also keep them having fun and entertained so that hopefully, you’ll have far less “are we there yet” and “I have to pee” moments! 🙂

Get them organized

*High Road Kids Car Seat Cooler and Back Seat Organizer with Snack & Play Tray will keep their snacks, games and toys all in one place, so that each child can reach their favorites quickly!

*This BXT Car Seat Side Back Storage Organizer hangs on the back of seats, to allow for more room and easy access.

*These KIDTOP Backseat Car Organizers are amazing, because they fold up into a back pack for easy transport, carry all of the children’s favorite writing or coloring materials, and even have a fold down desk so they can draw and color!

*A super inexpensive back seat organizer is also an over the door shoe organizer, where the kids can put water bottles, toys, crayons, books and games in each of the pockets.

*Bead Organizers make for convenient and less-messy snacks, plus they are really inexpensive.  Each compartment can hold different snacks for the kids like cereal, grapes, crackers and more. Plus, they’ll store easily under the seat, and when latched close – no mess!

*If you stop for food on your ride, handing the kids a pack of chicken nuggets and sauce can get pretty messy.  Use these shower caddies as a cheap and easy way to store their food, napkins and drinks when eating meals on the road.

 Keep them entertained

*Crayola, Color Wonder Mess-Free Coloring, Stow & Go Studio includes art tools, an activity book markers, and even comes with its own storage case!  These are an easy way to keep kids busy in the car.

*Remember Fashion Plates?  Well they are BACK!  These comes in fun little storage boxes of their own, and are a wonderful way to keep the kids entertained, while enjoying some nostalgia of your own.

*Karaoke in the CAR?  YES!  This SELFIE Mic Set attaches to a cell phone with a selfie stick, so the kids can see themselves, and the words to their favorite songs while cruising in the car.

*You can’t go wrong with Sticker Scenes – these are books with stickers that easily stick and un-stick to the board book so kids can have fun creating scenes, acting out their imagination and having a great time while doing it.

*Spot It! On The Road game helps kids with recognition, visual perception and more, plus, it’s better than “I Spy,” right?! If you need to keep kids busy for long periods of time, this is a great game for them.

*Magnetic board games come in a TON of different options, from hangman to checkers.  They are also really inexpensive and fun.  Plus, the magnets hold pieces in so you’ll have less “Mommy, I dropped it!” times on your trip.

 Keep kids busy in the car or airplane with these awesome tips for organizing the back seat and keeping them entertained!

 

Thrifty Tips

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!

 

What’s The Best Streaming Device For TV? Cut The Cable & Save!

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 at 6:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Best streaming device for tv

Deciding which streaming device is right for you and your household can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task. We hope that this guide will make things easier for you.

If you want to be able to watch live tv, just grab a TV antenna for around $20!

What’s the best streaming device for tv?

Which Streaming Services will you be using?
Not all streaming services are compatible with all devices. Here is a quick guide featuring the most popular streaming services and streaming devices so that you can see at a glance if your streaming device supports your favorite streaming service.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://mydallasmommy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Chart-1-Which-Streaming-Services-will-you-be-using.docx-1.pdf” title=”Chart 1 Which Streaming Services will you be using.docx”]

Which Channels Does Your Family Watch?
When selecting a Streaming Service it’s important to decide which Streaming Service offers the channels that your family generally watches. Some streaming services, such as offer movies on demand, and pay as you go content while others such as Sling provide you with live TV.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://mydallasmommy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Chart-2-Which-Channels-Does-Your-Family-Watch.pdf” title=”Chart 2 Which Channels Does Your Family Watch”]

Comparisons of popular devices

Side By Side Comparison of Amazon Devices

[pdf-embedder url=”https://mydallasmommy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Chart-3-Side-By-Side-Comparison-of-Amazon-Devices.pdf” title=”Chart 3 Side By Side Comparison of Amazon Devices”]

Side By Side Comparison of Apple TV Devices

[pdf-embedder url=”https://mydallasmommy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Chart-4-Side-By-Side-Comparison-of-Apple-TV-Devices.pdf” title=”Chart 4 Side By Side Comparison of Apple TV Devices”]

Side By Side Comparison of Google Chromecast Devices

[pdf-embedder url=”https://mydallasmommy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Chart-5-Side-By-Side-Comparison-of-Google-Chromecast-Devices.pdf” title=”Chart 5 Side By Side Comparison of Google Chromecast Devices”]

Side By Side Comparison Of Roku Devices

[pdf-embedder url=”https://mydallasmommy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Chart-6-Side-By-Side-Comparison-Of-Roku-Devices.pdf” title=”Chart 6 Side By Side Comparison Of Roku Devices”]

Why are we showing both old devices and those currently on the market?
The reason we are showing every device made by each brand is due to the fact that each device offers different combinations of features. You may want a device with Composite hookups for an older t.v., or 4K streaming for your latest t.v. This list will give you all the specifications you need for every device you are considering.

Freebies and deals with streaming devices

Free streaming devices when you subscribe to new streaming services

*Free Roku Express when you pre-pay for 2 months of Sling

*Free Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa Voice Remote when you pre-pay one month of Direct TV Now

*Hulu get 4 months and a Roku Express for $29.99

 

Channel deals

*Get 2 free months of HBO Now when you activate any Roku player or Roku TV

*30 day free trial to Amazon Prime Video

*7 day free trial of Showtime

*Smithsonian Earth 30 day free trial

So, which is the best streaming device?!

As you can see, the best device depends on you, and what you’ll be watching, the tv you have and several other factors. Most are very inexpensive, so if you purchase one, and they just aren’t what you need, it’s easy to donate that to someone else looking to cut the cable off, too! Ready to purchase?  Head over HERE after checking out these comparisons to grab yours!

What do we recommend?

Best streaming device for tv

Personally, I (Jeni) have a TV antenna I bought on Amazon for around $20, and an Amazon Fire Stick with Alexa Remote for only $39.99. The antenna has a long range, so I get plenty of live TV channels to watch the  news, sports and more in real time.  And we unlocked the Fire Stick and added Kodi, which gives you pretty much every show and movie you could possibly ever want to watch (even beyond Netflix!) To unlock you can check out this instructional Kindle book or go to YouTube for easy instructions. This works best for me, and gives me a ton of great options.

You may also want to read How to Save on Cable