Posts Tagged ‘thrifty tips’

Kid Friendly DIY Memorial Day Projects

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Friday, May 28th, 2021 at 12:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Memorial Day weekend is a time of reflection for our fallen soldiers, reminding us to commemorate their heroic efforts, while spending time with our own family. This idea is not always easy for our littlest ones to understand, so why not create something patriotic together to celebrate this important holiday weekend?

Here are a few festive red, white and blue projects for Memorial Day to complete with your kids, ranging from decorations to food to keepsakes.

Toothpick Flag Wreath~ This is perfect for toddlers to help out with- all you need is a hollow Styrofoam circle, then stick in the flag toothpicks until it looks fluffy. Who knew toothpicks could be so decorative? Thanks to The Picky Apple for this awesome idea.

Painted Star Backyard~ Transform your backyard into a field of patriotic stars with this idea by The Concrete Cottage. After a little rain, the paint will fade.

Rice Candles~ Putting this patriotic Memorial Day decor together could not be easier than with this project by Today’s Creative Blog. Simply dye rice red and blue with food coloring, then layer the colors around a candle in a jar of your choice.

Flags in a Jar~ Layer JELL-O and fruit to create these adorable flags in a jar from Green Acres Hobby Farm. They look so festive, and taste great too!

Flag Cake~ If you’re feeling super ambitious, try baking a Hidden Flag Cake, which is made with a layer of red cake, a layer of white frosting, and a blue cake center so when sliced, everyone is served a perfect flag.

Improve Your Food Footprint This Earth Day

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Thursday, April 22nd, 2021 at 2:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to reflect upon your food footprint- something many of us never even consider. A person’s food footprint is all the emissions that result from the production, transportation and the storage of the food supplied to meet their consumption needs.  Aside from the obvious choices to eat locally and what’s in season, here are a few more ideas to get you shopping and cooking in the right direction!

1. Recycle Your Leftovers~ Think salads, pizza, stews and frittatas to re-use food you have already prepared.

2. Use Everything~ Don’t throw away those potato skins or carrot peels- in many cases, you are losing some of the nutrition.

3. Eat Sustainable Fish~ Be sure to check with your butcher or the labels when buying seafood.

4. Use a Slow Cooker~ These convenient time-savers also save on energy consumption.

5. Don’t Use Brown Bags For Your Lunch~ This creates unnecessary waste and expense compared to a tote.

6.) Use Cloth Grocery Bags~ This should be a no-brainer by now. Simply keep a stash in your trunk and you will always be prepared.

7.) Use Double Duty Dishes~ Serve the food you just cooked in the pot you cooked it in- no need to waste water on extra serving platters.

8.) Make It From Scratch~ Besides knowing what exactly is in your food, you also eliminate all that wasteful packaging that processed foods come in.

9.) Eat Less Beef~ The cattle industry has a deep impact on our environment and studies have shown that too much red meat can lead to a number of health risks.

10 Natural Mosquito Repellents

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Monday, May 4th, 2020 at 4:00 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 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, swing sets, 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.

 

 

Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Friday, April 17th, 2020 at 3:00 PM
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 any time but especially now.  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 during this pandemic!

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!

Wireless Companies Offering Temporary Financial Assistance Due to Coronavirus

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Thursday, March 19th, 2020 at 3:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Due to the economic hardship related to the Coronavirus pandemic, many wireless companies are offering financial assistance to customers. If you’re facing financial hardship and finding it difficult to meet your payment minimums for utilities or other bills, be sure to reach out to your local company.

AT&T

For the next 60 days, AT&T announced that they will do the following for customers:

  • Not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone, or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Waive any late payment fees that any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer may incur because of economic hardship related to the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Keep their public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
  • All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data.

Spectrum Mobile

For the next 60 days, Spectrum Mobile won’t terminate service for residential or small business customers who face difficult economic circumstances related to the Coronavirus pandemic. They also won’t charge late fees for those customers facing difficult economic circumstances related to the pandemic and will open their WiFi hotspots across their footprint for public use.

Sprint

Effective March 18th, Sprint is providing unlimited data for 60 days to customers with metered data plans, giving 20 GB of free mobile hotspot to customers with hotspot-capable devices, and offering complimentary rates from the U.S. to CDC-defined Level 3 countries to customers with international long-distance plans (effective 3/17).

T-Mobile

For the next 60 days, ALL current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data will have unlimited smartphone data (excluding roaming). Also, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers on smartphone plans with hotspot data additional date to mobile hotspot users. They are also willing to offer bill assistance for customers in need due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Verizon

Due to economic circumstances related to the Coronavirus and to keep customers connected during this economic and global crisis, Verizon is waiving late fees for residential and small business customers impacted by COVID-19. They’re also offering FREE international calling to CDC level 3 countries.

Verizon will also waive activation fees on new lines of service and upgrade fees starting March 18. This applies to all purchases and service-only activations made through Verizon digital channels, such as verizonwireless.com and the My Verizon app.

See more online and retail deals HERE!

Follow along with all of the deals by subscribing to our daily email, Liking My DFW Mommy on Facebook, joining our Facebook Group or following on Twitter!

Get Your Christmas Lights Put Up By Christmas Lights & Sirens (Local Off Duty Firemen)

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Saturday, November 24th, 2018 at 3:20 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

If you have been thinking of having Christmas lights put up this year, you know how difficult it can be to find trustworthy professionals that won’t bust your holiday budget! We highly recommend you give the gentlemen at Christmas Light & Sirens a call- these local off duty DFW Firefighters have been in the business for 10 years.

In one simple, affordable quote over the phone, they can provide installation, removal, and year round storage of your lights! This is a great deal because most companies make you provide your own lights and charge you extra when they take them down! Here’s what makes them unique:

Bulbs:

They are exclusively using commercial grade, SMD (Surface Mounted Diode) C9 LED bulbs. The brightest, longest lasting, C9 on the market- available in color or white. Equivalent to 7 diode bulbs making them 40% brighter, they are sealed and waterproof!

Wiring:

They use SPT-2 18 gauge wire. What does that mean? It means the insulation is 0.045” thick not 0.030” providing longevity and UV light damage resistance. It means they care enough to use the highest quality product available to ensure your home looks good throughout the light season and for years to come.

Timers:

Now I bet you never gave much thought to a timer but with 225 customers they do! They use a 15amp 1850watt timer with a photocell. When the sun goes down, the lights come on. And the customer can choose 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours of light. Even sunset to sun rise if they prefer with a simple turn of the dial.

Service:

100% satisfaction guaranteed!
No questions asked!
Unlimited warranty work repair at NO cost!

Just head to their Facebook page to check out their work and read all the positive reviews!  In fact, they came out to my house last week to install my holiday lights and their customer service and workmanship was exemplary!

Don’t wait though, their appointments are booking up fast! Just call (214) 232-2229 and mark one more thing off your holiday to-do list! #ChristmasLights

Get Your Christmas Lights Put Up By Christmas Lights & Sirens (Local Off Duty Firemen)

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 at 9:40 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

If you have been thinking of having Christmas lights put up this year, you know how difficult it can be to find trustworthy professionals that won’t bust your holiday budget! We highly recommend you give the gentlemen at Christmas Light & Sirens a call- these local off duty DFW Firefighters have been in the business for 10 years.

In one simple, affordable quote over the phone, they can provide installation, removal, and year round storage of your lights! This is a great deal because most companies make you provide your own lights and charge you extra when they take them down! Here’s what makes them unique:

Bulbs:

They are exclusively using commercial grade, SMD (Surface Mounted Diode) C9 LED bulbs. The brightest, longest lasting, C9 on the market- available in color or white. Equivalent to 7 diode bulbs making them 40% brighter, they are sealed and waterproof!

Wiring:

They use SPT-2 18 gauge wire. What does that mean? It means the insulation is 0.045” thick not 0.030” providing longevity and UV light damage resistance. It means they care enough to use the highest quality product available to ensure your home looks good throughout the light season and for years to come.

Timers:

Now I bet you never gave much thought to a timer but with 225 customers they do! They use a 15amp 1850watt timer with a photocell. When the sun goes down, the lights come on. And the customer can choose 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours of light. Even sunset to sun rise if they prefer with a simple turn of the dial.

Service:

100% satisfaction guaranteed!
No questions asked!
Unlimited warranty work repair at NO cost!

Just head to their Facebook page to check out their work and read all the positive reviews!  In fact, they came out to my house last week to install my holiday lights and their customer service and workmanship was exemplary!

Don’t wait though, their appointments are booking up fast! Just call (214) 232-2229 and mark one more thing off your holiday to-do list! #ChristmasLights

Get Your Christmas Lights Put Up By Christmas Lights & Sirens (Local Off Duty Firemen)

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Thursday, November 1st, 2018 at 4:30 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

If you have been thinking of having Christmas lights put up this year, you know how difficult it can be to find trustworthy professionals that won’t bust your holiday budget! We recommend you give the gentlemen at Christmas Light & Sirens a call- these local off duty DFW Firefighters have been in the business for 10 years.

In one simple, affordable quote over the phone, they can provide installation, removal, and year round storage of your lights! This is a great deal because most companies make you provide your own lights and charge you extra when they take them down!

Just head to their Facebook page to check out their work and read all the positive reviews!  In fact, they came out to my house last year to install my holiday lights and their customer service and workmanship was exemplary!  I plan to use them again this year!

Don’t wait though, their appointments beginning Nov 1st are booking up fast! Just call (214) 232-2229 and mark one more thing off your holiday to-do list! #ChristmasLights