Penny Pinching Peach

A place for those of us without the time or inclination to be "extreme" to indulge in a love of couponing & cooking, family & frugality, creativity & craftiness.


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National Pet Preparedness Month With Doggy Loot

Poochy Play Pals

Poochy Play Pals

June is National Pet Preparedness Month. It’s about keeping your pets prepared for a disaster, and having a plan in how to take care of them if something happens. You need to have a kit ready with all of the essentials they may need, as detailed at the link at the end of this post.

Also, in honor of the month of keeping pets prepared, I thought I’d once again share one of my favorite sites to use to keep my pooches prepared. I have continued to order since this was originally written, and have had the same positive experience each time with their products, pricing, and the speed in which they delivered my orders. You can get credit just for signing up, resulting in free or verrrrrry inexpensive products. Check it out!
http://pennypinchingpeach.com/2013/03/09/doggie-loot-woof-woof/

What pets do you have? Our current roundup is one lazy dog, two spoiled cats, two broody chickens with no possibility of chickies and two (three any day now!!!) little monkeys (otherwise known as our children ;) ).

For more info on preparing your pets for an emergency, scurry over to the link below:

http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/programs/emergency-services/pet-preparedness-month.html


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Warm Salad

Warm salad

Warm salad

My kiddos and I love our veggies. Sometimes you don’t really need a recipe to have a quick and healthy meal, and this is one of those times. When I was a little one, I loved veggies, but absolutely hated salads. I think it may’ve been because they were just so much lettuce and so little flavor, so it kinda felt like I was literally eating rabbit food. My munchkins love Mommy style salads, because there are lots of veggies, but lettuce is never the only star of the show. I have mixed greens growing in my little backyard garden, and prefer spinach or green leaf lettuce to iceberg, for both taste and nutrition. I make sure to use a variety of ingredients like a variety of veggies, shredded or cubed cheese, crushed pecans or croutons, fruit, and at times even proteins like chicken or egg. Sometimes I even make a warm salad, which is what I want to share with y’all now. For supper the other night I threw together a warm broccoli, carrot and egg salad, which the kiddos and I gobbled right up. Wanna try it?

You’ll need to steamed or boiled  broccoli florets and julienned or thinly sliced carrots. (If you’re in a huge hurry, you can microwave them on high for 4 minutes in a microwave safe container with a moist paper towel over them.) Add chopped boiled eggs, shredded cheese and a small ammount of salad dressing. You want enough dressing to lightly coat your veggies, but not enough for them to swim in. :) We used caesar salad dressing this time, because that’s what was in the fridge at the time, but ranch or Italian both work well, also. Stir until everything is well coated, and serve warm. It’s as simple as that! I had my little ones digging into their vittles less than 10 minutes after I opened the fridge to gather my ingredients together. They thought it was yummy, and I knew it was healthy. That is what I call a win-win! :)

Good stuff!

Good stuff!

What is your favorite kind of salad? We eat lots of different types of salads during the spring and summer. There are just too many delicious fresh fruits and veggies available this time of year for us not to take advantage of them! They make for many healthy, delectable meals, desserts and snacks for this penny pinching peach’s family. :)


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Cleaning House With Kiddos

Cleaning With Kiddos

Cleaning With Kiddos

Does anyone else ever feel like cleaning in a house of small children is like trying to empty a swimming pool with a teaspoon? You may make a little progress eventually, but they will quickly fill any space you empty and mess any place you wipe and dump out anything you put away and…well, you get the point! I know that you can teach them to clean up and put away- and I do that- but it’s still a never ending task, and it takes alot of my energy to make sure my little ones actually follow through with their jobs. I have to get creative for them to care about keeping up with anything, and that’s pretty important because Mommy can’t do it all well alone.
One trick that works pretty well with my children is that if you don’t pick it up, you lose it. If I ask my kids to clean up and they don’t, I give them warning that next time I say something will be while taking a toy. If it still doesn’t get done, I grab a toy they actually like (I’ve learned to not grab comfort objects or things they aren’t too fond of) and put it away from them. If they still don’t clean up, I take two…and it goes on from there. To earn back ONE toy, they have to clean up immediately the following clean-up session without argument or complaint. This is probably the most effective method for my independent minded oldest. She frequently doesn’t mind alot of punishments I can dole out, loves to argue, and lives to win. Since I won’t fuss with her, just say “You chose to lose a toy/two toys/three toys by not cleaning up when I asked” and refuse to engage, it’s not fun for her, and she hates losing things she loves. I’ve rarely had to go beyond two toys, even with her. :)
I also try to make it more fun for them to help clean up. They love it when we sing the cleanup song while we work. They really enjoy it when I make cleaning up a race! I’ll say “Can you pick up all of your toys before I can finish dishes? I’m pretty fast!” or “How many books can you put up before this song stops playing?” or “Do you think you can finish washing your fingerprints off the window before I can finish cleaning the bathroom?”. Sometimes I’ll offer a reward if they get it all done or if they finish in a certain time frame. These rewards are usually something like a snack or an extra book to be read during story time or playing with playdough or something. Almost anything can be fun for kids if you make it into a game.
What are some tricks you have for cleaning up with kiddos?


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National Flip Flop Day

National Flip Flop Day

National Flip Flop Day

If you’re like me- and most Southern gals- you live as much of your summers are possible in your trusty flip flops! Did you know that today is National Flip Flop Day? I didn’t before now, but I’m glad I found out! Not only do you have an excuse to wear those wonderful flapping shoes, but you can get free stuff! In celebration of celebrating the 9th Annual National Flip Flop Day in honor of the children’s charity Camp Sunshine, Tropical Smoothie Cafes are giving away a free 24 ounce Jetty Punch Smoothie to anyone coming by one of their cafes wearing flip flops between 2 & 7 pm today. Talk about a cool, sweet deal! I’m constantly consuming very cold things lately- like my ever-present huge cup of ice water, popsicles, slushies or even ice chips- to keep myself somewhat cool in this Southern summer heat with a watermelon sized baby bump, so I’d love to have one of these yummy smoothies right about now! ;)

Click the link below for details and to find a location near you! :)

http://www.tropicalsmoothiecafe.com/funraising

Stroller Trellis


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Upcycled Trellises for Gardening

Stroller Trellis

Stroller Trellis

Being a penny pincher who was raised homesteading and upcycling before it was the “in” thing to do, recycling unused items for my garden is like breathing.

Broken Stroller Trellis

Broken Stroller Trellis

When my cucumbers started getting out of control, it never occurred to me to go buy something to use as trellises. My first instinct was to scour our property for things to be used. I have used pieces of leftover fencing, unused animal cages, tree limbs rigged up and many other myriad random objects to trellis or stake plants with. This year my objects were a wee bit on the creative side.

Have you ever used a baby stroller as a plant trellis?

It works great! We had this ancient stroller left outside on our property by a former resident and beyond safe use for it’s original purpose. We’d never bothered to haul it off, so I rolled it’s wobbling wheels on over to the end of my garden and started encouraging my cucumbers to climb. The photos illustrate the interesting results. My daughter loves it. She says our cucumbers are babies with their own baby carriage, and is eager to show off her baby cucumbers to anyone who may happen to be around. :)

Trellis From Yard Objects

Trellis From Yard Objects

You thought I was finished? I wasn’t done upcycling yet!

I needed more than what the rickety stroller could handle on it’s own, so I went a-searching again. I came up with a couple of leftover pieces of plastic yard edging, barely visible in the picture, and a black metal decorative tower thingamajigger. They both work well for the purpose, as you can see from their barely visible appearance in the featured snapshots.

(Affiliate Link Below. See bottom of page for full disclosure.)

What items have you upcycled, recycled or reused to trellis your trailing plants in the garden?

In the spirit of sharing, this Kindle book The Upcycled Garden
(only 99 cents, my penny pinching pals!) shares over 50 ways to use “discarded” items in new ways for your garden. Check it out!

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


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Camping With the Cuties

Camping With Cuties

Camping With Cuties

Want a relatively cheap way to spend a weekend with the family? How about trying camping?

With the weather warming up, this is the perfect time to plan a fishing and camping trip! With a little planning, you can have oodles of fun without breaking the bank!

First, where are you going to sleep? Do you have an RV or tent already?

Okay, then are you going to stay on private land, at a campsite or what? Make sure you have any necessary permission or reservations to avoid a last minute scramble to find somewhere to park your sleeping bags! If you don’t have an RV or tent and don’t plan to acquire one, see if you know anyone who will let you borrow one or if there is an inexpensive campsite with cabins for rent (like a National Forest). Wherever you choose to stay, don’t forget to make sure you have comfortable sleeping gear, like sleeping bags or blow up mattresses.

(Affiliate Links Included. Read at bottom for full disclaimer.)

Next, what are you going to eat? Think about EVERY meal and snacks!

(If you have small children and don’t pack snacks, I promise that you will regret it.) We often pack hot dogs and marshmallows to roast over the campfire, which covers one meal and a fun dessert of s’mores for an easy prep. Lunch can be something simple like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, premade for zero prep other than taking them out of the cooler to gobble up. Also, make sure you have whatever it takes to prepare the meal when you get there, whether it be a portable grill like this fairly inexpensive one my husband uses constantly, even at home Backyard Grill 278-sq in Portable Charcoal Grill, Black, matches or a butter knife. It’s not going to magically appear in the wilderness! ;)

Don’t forget to grab the gear for whatever activities you have planned

Fishing poles and all the accessories, if that’s your chosen pastime (and could provide a meal, but have a back-up plan in case the fish don’t wanna come to dinner! ;) ). Comfy shoes and water bottles for hiking. Binoculars & camera for bird watching. Buckets and containers to store berries in for berry picking. Reusable bags if you decide to scavenge for hidden treasures like arrowheads and interesting rocks. There are sooooo many fun things you can do outdoors that cost very little! Whatever you are doing, don’t forget the sunscreen, sunglasses and bug spray! Trust me, I’m talking from my own painful & itchy experiences here, y’all!! :)

If you are camping with small children, make sure to bring their “comfort objects”.

Add them into the headcount while packing up to go home, whether it’s the teddy bear who rides with them in their car seat or the rocket ship they must have tucked in next to them to be able to rest at night or any special blankets. I love to bring these cute flashlight pals Flashlight Friends – The Huggable Loveable Child’s Flash Light and/or dream lights Pillow Pets Dream Lites – Pink Butterfly 11″ with us, because it helps make up for the absence of a regular night light with my scared-of-the-dark little ones. Both of my kids have their own, and they love them for home and especially for travel. My son has the blue camo dog in the dream lites and the dinosaur flash light pal, while my daughter has the butterfly dream lite and the unicorn flash light friend. They are AWESOME!!

What is your best tip for camping with kids?

Camping can be fun, just make sure you are well prepared with everything possible that your little ones may need or be accustomed to. It will make a huge difference in the outcome of your trip if you go prepared instead of flying by the seat of your pants.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

For more great summer kids posts, check out:

Simply Rachel
S'mores Cupcakes


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Some More S’mores

S'mores Cupcakes

S’mores Cupcakes

Princess Peach and I love our s’mores, but there isn’t always a bonfire and roasting stick available, so I’ve come up with some creative ways to get that ooey-gooey yummy fix. One of my s’more inspired concoctions is S’more Cupcakes. Lemme tell ya, we gobbled these right up! Not to brag, but they were so moist, just gooey enough and the flavors were the bomb diggety. They were also alot of fun for Princess and I to make together, which helped make this a recipe to keep in the “make again” file. Want to make these yourself? You know that you do! Who doesn’t love s’mores?? They’re basically a symbol of summer, and they include chocolate! Oh, and don’t get me started on cupcakes! They just make me happy! They’re a pre-portioned piece of cake and they bring back fond memories of childhood with every bite. Put those together, and you’ve got Heaven in your mouth! :) On to the directions…

S’more Cupcakes

1 Devil’s Food Cake mix, following directions on box for mixing

12 large marshmallows (we used the ones made for s’mores, since they were flat)

1 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Dropping in Marshmallows

Dropping in Marshmallows

Mix the cake batter according to directions, adding the chocolate chips. Fill each cup about 1/3 of the way with the cake batter. Drop three mini marshmallows in each cup. Finish filling the cups with the remaining batter to about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven according to the directions for cupcakes on your Devil’s Food Cake mix.

Before the marshmallow topping

Before the marshmallow topping

When you remove them from the oven, flip the oven to broil. Place your large marshmallows on top of each cupcake, then pop them back into the oven. Broil until they puff up and are very lightly browned, watching closely, since they will burn very quickly. Remove, cool, and enjoy!

My kiddos absolutely drooled over these, gobbling them right up. They had a blast with the process of making them together, as well. My daughter loved adding the chocolate chips to the batter and dropping in the marshmallows. Both of my munchkins were mesmerized by watching the marshmallows puff up in the oven. They were so excited to finally get to chomp into these scrumptious bites of gooey goodness! You’ve got to try them, too! There are even coupons available to go with this yummy recipe! See below…

Sharing their cupcakes

Sharing their cupcakes

What is your favorite kind of cupcake? Do you enjoy s’mores, or are you allergic to melty chocolate gooey scrumpdeliciousness? ;) For more recipes, please click the Chef’s hat!

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