Friday, October 16, 2009

Make Your Own Baby Toys

My little Benjamin will be 4mo old this Christmas and there is really not to much he can play with at that age. Also baby toys are a bit on the pricey side. I am lucky to have a second hand shop close to me where I can purchase the expensive baby toys for about $1 or so.

Like the adults who enjoy receiving homemade goodies, children enjoy it too. There is something about homemade toys that make you feel loved. If you have children you probably have a mountain of plastic toys in your home. If you threw some away your children probably wouldn't miss them. But then you have the special toys, in my children's case the wooden toys grandpa makes, the dolls grandma made, all those toys are loved in a different way and would be missed if something happened to them.

I am not a toy maker in any way but I came across these very cute and very easy toys that a person with no experience can make.

These toys will save you money and I am sure will be cherished for years to come.

I made this bunny and it turns out very cute. If you already have the sewing supplies all you need is an old T-shirt. For the stuffing you could use the stuffing inside an old stuffed animal you have or get a stuffed animal at the thrift store and use that stuffing.

This is adorable for Christmas or any time.

Here is an easy pattern to make a soft ball for baby to play with.

I love this one. The chick is so cute and colorful not to mention easy to make.

Make a cute little kitty out of a towel.

These are just a few of the homemade toys I have come across. Go HERE and HERE to see more homemade toys and how to make them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Frugal Homemade Christmas Gifts-Apple Butter and Apple Bread

Christmas is right around the corner and for me this time of the year is a challenge when you are trying to be frugal.

I went to a baby shower recently and all the gifts were homemade by the mom-to-be's family. The guests went ga-ga over these homemade gifts. People like homemade gifts from the heart.

I was thinking homemade would be the way to go this holiday season. I need to watch my pennies and at the same time give a little something to my friends and family.

Everyone likes to eat, and I thought a jar of homemade apple butter and apple bread or muffins would be perfect.

I can start right now and by the time Christmas rolls around all my gifts will be ready to go.
Another plus is apples are in season right now and VERY cheap at the fruit markets and orchards.

Homemade apple butter does not have to be hard, go HERE to read how making apple butter in the crock pot is super easy.

If you don't know how to can you can go HERE to get instructions and tips on canning.

Now for the apple bread or muffins. I made THIS RECIPE and it was delicious!

Canned apple butter will last a long time and when you bake your bread you can put it in the freezer.

When the gift giving season comes around, thaw the bread, grab your jars of apple butter, and you're ready to put a smile on someones face for Christmas!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beans and Rice, Rice and Beans

If you are familiar with Dave Ramsey you know his saying "Beans and Rice, Rice and Beans" if your not, Dave uses this saying when he is helping people get out of debt and get control of their money situation. Basically he tells people to do whatever you can to decrease your debt, save money and build a financial future, even if it means you will have to eat "Rice and Beans" while you are doing it.

My family is following the Dave Ramsey plan but we have yet had to go in the rice and beans direction. I was thinking that we do like beans and we do like rice so it would not be too hard to literally eat rice and beans.

Here are two blog post that I came across which take the saying "rice and beans" and make it a reality, and these ladies make it sound good!

Whether you want or need to eat rice and beans for a week, or you are looking for frugal meals, or if gosh darn it you just like rice and beans these posts are for you.

You can go to How to Eat Rice and Beans For a Week, by Money Saving Mom and this post HERE by But First,We Have Coffee.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Frugal Recipie- Pork Shoulder Tacos and Taco Soup

These are favorite recipes for my family. They are my favorite because my husband does all the cooking in one day and the rest of the week I only need to heat it up, plus they are delicious!

Eating leftovers is a key way to save money on your groceries and if a recipe tastes great there should be no problem eating it again the next day. You can always spice up leftovers with added ingredients and different side dishes.

I have a family of seven and the Pork shoulder Tacos and Soup could last us all week if we wanted or needed it to.

Pork Shoulder Tacos

One Pork Shoulder (I buy one for about $12, this size gives a huge amount of meat)

Two sliced onions

Two diced jalapenos

Three garlic cloves

Half a pack of bacon

Two Limes

Spice Mixture (We don't measure the spices, we put how much we like, but we come out with a full cup of the spice mixture)

Garlic powder
Onion powder
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper
Chili powder
Little cinnamon

Cut the shoulder into three equal pieces.

Put the pieces of the pork shoulder in a large pot and cover it with water.

Add half of spice mix

Boil it for two and a half hours

Once the meat easily breaks apart, pull it out of the water
remove the fatty parts and shred the rest with two forks.

(Keep the liquid in the pot you boiled the shoulder in, this will be for the soup)

In another pot, cook the half pack of bacon.

When the bacon is done, remove it and add two sliced onions, two diced jalapenos and three garlic cloves to the bacon grease and cook until the onions are soft.

Add the shredded meat to the pot with the onions. Add the remaining spice mixture and the crumbled cooked bacon. Mix it up and cook it for about 5 minutes

Squeeze Lime Juice on the taco meat before serving.

Put The pork shoulder Taco meant on your tortillas and add any fixings you would like.

(You will need to save some of the shredded Taco meat for the soup, but trust me you will have plenty.)

Pork Shoulder Taco Soup

One large can of Chicken broth

Six Roma tomatoes

Two onions

Four garlic cloves

Salt and pepper to taste

Add Chicken broth to the water you boiled the pork shoulder in. We use equal amounts water to broth, which makes a full stock pot, (about one large can of chicken broth.)

In a blender blend...
Six roma tomatoes
Two onions
Four garlic cloves

Take the blended ingredients and add to the broth.

Add the shredded pork (As much or as little as you want)

Heat for about 10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

The soup is delicious on it's own but you can add tortilla chips, cheese, noodles or whatever you would like.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Coupons For Troops

You can help out the Troops by sending them your expired coupons.

Go HERE and HERE to find out how to send these families your expired coupons.

You can also go HERE to adopt a base. This website gives clear instructions on how to send the coupons.