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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Pinecone Christmas Angels

pinecone angel

I don’t have many unshakable Christmas traditions, since I didn’t grow up celebrating. I do have a couple that I started with my own little ones. One is that we always decorate Christmas cookies, even if it’s like last year when we did the kind of cookies that come from premade dough because Mommy’s morning sickness was kicking her hiney. The second is that we make some sort of Christmas decoration. So far this year, we made pinecone angels!

These pinecone angels were so much fun for my 3 and 6 year olds to make with Mommy! It was easy enough that they could do most of it themselves, but hard enough to keep their attention.

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The materials you need are so simple:

Give your kiddos the wings and stickers. Let them choose the colors for the halo and bow. I did a simple circle halo and twist wings.  Either let them draw or paint the face on the head or do it yourself if they are too young. When they finish, assemble and glue and set somewhere stable & out of the way to dry. You could tie a ribbon around them to hang to the tree, but we chose to just set them beside the kids’ TV.

My littles are quite proud of their ornaments. What do you think? Would you like to try more ornaments? Try my ever popular Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments or my fun Beaded Ornaments!


God Used Couponing to Answer My Prayers


You can get the link to print this at the bottom!


This week God used my couponing and bargain shopping skills to answer my prayers. I was literally down to my last pull-up for my 3 year old (and it was a princess one left over from my 6 year old’s potty training days) and a couple of days worth of diapers for the baby, squeezing my toothpaste tube for the last drops and about to start using my children’s, nearly out of shave gel and moving on to random substitutes, and still needed to get things like milk, bananas and such to feed my kiddos in the way they are accustomed. I was figuring on skipping the extra stuff I needed, since I can live without them, but getting everything we needed for the kids and to get the extra things we needed to cook within budget. (I’m a couponer and hubby is a hunter, so we could eat without shopping for awhile, but we needed the things we go through weekly.) Hubby makes enough money, but we have been carrying two mortgages & double electric, water, insurance for over six months now due to multiple closing delays and it is killing us. I said a prayer, put it out of my mind and went to bed trusting. That’s something that comes hard for me- to simply trust.

The morning came and I got online with my list and coupons handy. I looked up my local stores for deals on the things I really needed, browsed my coupon sites (like Swagbucks, my personal favorite place for printing coupons). I found bargains on most things we needed, with many store and manufacturer coupons I could stack.

I spent $26.94 for $104.90 worth of items at CVS, which is over 74% savings! I walked away with a bunch of things we truly needed- like three packs of Huggies diapers, a pack of pull-ups, wipes, toothpaste, shave gel, razors, canned veggies. I also scored plenty we could just enjoy, like three packs of gum, a candy bar, mentos, vitamin water, some mascara and lipstick. I also have $4 in Extra Care Bucks I can use later if something else comes up that we need, and I didn’t count that into my totals. They paid me a penny each for buying the makeup, 50 cents for buying the veggies and 99 cents for buying the packs of gum! I haven’t bought makeup for myself in a very long time, since I was unable to coupon for awhile due to bed rest and recovery. I could make do with my old makeup, but I am grateful for fresh supplies. I would share how y’all can do it, but I was only able to go shopping and verify the deals on the very last day they were available and that’s not really the point of this post.

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Want to learn to shop effectively at CVS? This ebook Get Paid to Shop at CVS – Shopping Secrets Revealed is free with the Free Kindle Unlimited App!

From there I went to Winn Dixie with the goal of spending only $30 so I could qualify to get a $5 ham, and using coupons to keep it at that total, since I needed to keep it at that. I was able to get everything we needed, four packs of cream cheese & two bottles of McCormick vanilla extract for a steal to use for special treats (coupons and BOGOs), and keep the total after coupons at that $30!

If you are still reading along, bless you! I am sure you can probably appreciate the joy of a great deal when you have a very tight budget. If you can’t understand the joy of God allowing you to use your gifts and hard work to provide when it’s difficult and you’re struggling feeling helpless and anxious….well, I hope you can discover that feeling! It is both humbling and hope restoring all at once.

Moral of the story? It pays to talk to God about your needs and trust that He will provide. It also pays to use whatever skills, resources and abilities you have of your own to meet those needs. When you put His blessing together with doing your best with what you’ve already been given, amazing things can happen… even if it’s just getting everything you need with a few extras!

In the midst of the holiday shopping frenzy with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the high pressure advertising of specials being ran to tempt us, it can be difficult knowing that you have to pass up the bargains no matter how great they are. It can be tempting to spend money you don’t have for things you don’t need. I know I can’t do much shopping this year. I’m okay with that. I have a couple of things tucked away that I managed to get one way or another and know I can at minimum afford to go to the Dollar Tree to stuff my children’s Christmas stockings. If you’re stretched thin this year and feeling bad about it, just know that it’s okay. Adults can understand no presents. Children don’t need as much as most of us think to be happy. Take the focus off of gifts and you can make it joyful without much money!

This has been a year of change for my family. Change can be expensive, overwhelming and difficult. It can also bring about wonderful results. I’m sure a seed isn’t particularly happy about being thrown in a hole, buried under dirt and drowned by water day in and day out. After many days, when the sun shines down on the seedling now peeking through the soil, the seed can just begin to see that it was for the best that it went through that dark time. When that seedling becomes a full blown flower, it can rejoice in the miracle of that dark time turning into something so bright and beautiful! I’m hoping that is how things turn out for us! I feel like I’m in the barely peering through the dirt phase now.

Are you going through a rough time? Having trouble trusting God and calming your anxiety? You are not alone. He has not forgotten. You are not the only one who just can’t handle it all sometimes. It will be okay!

For more encouragement in this area, please read my post about struggling. You are not alone!

Please click if you want your free printable scripture verse!



Budget Friendly Gifts For Hunters and Outdoorsmen

Gifts for hunters

The top hunter on my Christmas list- my husband!






Christmas gift guide for men who love the outdoors.

If you are like most women, finding budget friendly gifts for the men in your life is a big challenge! Since I am no exception, but have been married for several years to a man who is an avid hunter, fisherman and all around outdoorsy kinda guy, I thought I’d share a list of some gifts your guy is sure to love without breaking your budget!

All of the gifts I am sharing are less than $20 as of this moment, but prices are subject to change at any time.

Useful gifts for hunters and outdoorsmen.

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This compass comes with a waterproof case and lanyard, great for anyone who likes to wander through the great outdoors!
SE CC4580 Military Lensatic Sighting Compass with Pouch

This is nine tools all in one! We are talking an axe, shovel, saw, bottle opener and….well, just check it out! You and the lucky recipient will love this one!

SE 8787MS-SP 9-IN-1 Mini Shovel

This is honestly the most awesome credit card holder I have ever seen! Nine tools in one sleek little package that happens to hold credit cards.
Tool Logic CC1SB Credit Card Companion with 9 Tools, Black
If your husband is an avid hunter, he probably has a trail camera he eagerly checks for signs of “the big one”. This will keep him from having to wait until he gets home. Great for the guy who likes gadgets as much as he likes the outdoors….or just hates to wait!
BoneView Trail and Game Camera Viewer for Smartphones (Select either Android or iPhone/iPad version), Reads SD and Micro SD Cards

This is a super nice solid black skinning knife with a case for the hunter on your list, and at a discount that makes it easy on the pockets, as well!

3oaks Professional Skinning Knife with Ballistic Sheath, Gut Hook, Talgon Hard Rubber Handle for Grip & Comfort, 440 Stainless Surgical Steel,

If you think your guy would prefer a set of cool camo hunting knives with their own case, this set is a great bargain, as well!

Elk Ridge ER-300CA Hunting Knife Two-Piece Set, Straight Edge and Gut Hook Blades, Camo ABS Handles, 7-Inch and 6-1/2-Inch Overall

Ultra light backpacking friendly camp stove! This is great, because all those manly outdoor things definitely give guys an appetite!
Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stoves with Piezo Ignition
This is a best selling collapsible water resistant lantern, and is deeply discounted as I look at it right now.
[Ultra Bright] LED Lantern – Best Seller – Camping Lantern – Collapses – Suitable for: Hiking, Camping, Emergencies, Hurricanes, Outages – Super Bright – Lightweight – Water Resistant – Black – Divine LEDs
Who doesn’t love a good campfire? This is another best seller!
Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter [31-000699]
This Gerber brand knife sharpener is marked over half off as I look, so hopefully it hasn’t changed. Great deal!
Gerber Bear Grylls Field Sharpener [31-001270]

Gifts a man can wear.

I have to include one of these popular paracord bracelets. This one is marked way down as I type, too!
Gonex 550 Paracord Military Survival Bracelet Parachute Cord 4 Color to Choose Black/army Green/khaki/ British Woodland Camo Fits Approx 8″-10″ (23-26 Cm) Wrists (BRITISH WOODLAND CAMO)
My husband loves his hunting mask, and this one from Mossy Oak is both reasonably priced and nice.

Mossy Oak Full Spandex Face Mask (Break-Up, One Size)
Camo fitted sure grip gloves are great hunter gifts.
Primos Stretch-Fit Gloves with Sure-Grip and Extended Cuff, Mossy Oak New Break-Up

Or something their little hunting buddy can wear, for the proud daddies out there!
Daddy’s New Hunting Buddy Camo Funny Baby Cute – Baby One Piece


Gifts for hunters with a sense of humor.

This belt will hold up to six cans…because you know how thirsty these guys get!
EZ Drinker Beer & Soda Can Holster Belt, Holds 6 Beverages
This sign cracks me up!
WARNING: Baiting Deer Is Illegal – 11″ x 11″ Plastic Yellow Sign
I love it when my wife lets me go hunting! ha!
1 X Love it When my Wife Lets Me go Hunting Coffee Tea Mug Cup 18oz Gift Box

Stocking stuffers for men.

All stocking stuffers are less than $3 as I list them.

The less experienced hunters might appreciate this field dressing guide.
PAK-IT Guide to Field Dressing a Deer
Field dressing gloves.
Hunters Specialties Shoulder Length Field Dressing Gloves
For the bow hunters, those tricky fellas!
Allen Company Universal Archery Broadhead Wrench
Scent wicks. Your hunter knows what they are!
Wildlife Research 375 Key-Wick Scent Absorbing Wick (4-Pack)
Hunting license holder.
SCAFF’S ENTERPRISES Vinyl License Holder with Rustproof Pin, Fluorescent Orange
Backpacker’s salt and pepper shaker.
Coghlan’s 8236 Backpacker’s Salt & Pepper Shaker
Camper’s egg holder.
Egg Holder (2 Eggs)

Bonus gifts for little hunters.

I have to add these for the little ones of hunters, because they are just too cute and I am wanting them for my littlest hunters now! My little ones are seriously obsessed with deer, both for eating and for looking at, since we see them a lot on our property.

Camo buck stuffed animal.
Legendary Whitetails Mossy Oak Camo Wild Deer Plush Camo One Size

Pink camo deer stuffed animal.
Camo Wild Realtree APC Pink Deer (10-Inch)

I hope this helped some of y’all find great gifts for the guys on your lists! I’m just wishing I had the funds to buy mine all the neat things I just found that he doesn’t already have! Did you find any gifts you just had to buy your hunter?

Need a ring that’s safer for the most active, rough person to wear? Check out Qalo Rings!


Who Thinks You Are Beautiful?

Being Mommy

Being Mommy

I haven’t felt beautiful in a very long time.

Four pregnancies, three births, multiple complications from those, grief, sickness, stress and the course of life has changed me. It has changed not only how I look, but how I feel about myself and the world around me. The past couple of weeks have been rough. First, I took a bad fall that left me with multiple minor injuries, including a sprained right wrist and jammed fingers. About a week later, I had a freak accident while helping my husband uncock his crossbow after hunting, causing my hand to swell up like a softball instantly. I came home from the ER with pain meds and a brace after three doctors inspected my x-rays and couldn’t find a break. They said I could still have a hidden fracture, and may need follow up x-rays if I don’t heal properly as the swelling fades. I’m currently typing this one handed, feeling far from beautiful.

My children think I am beautiful.

Today- as I was soothing my cranky teething baby girl- my oldest wanted to take my picture. When I asked why, her reply was startling- “Because you are so beautiful, Mommy!”. Since I was wearing the clothes I slept in, have green fingers peeking from an ungainly blue brace and barely combed my hair today, I was curious enough about what she was seeing that I couldn’t to tell her to go ahead. I didn’t feel like posing, so she got just what she saw…me being their mommy. I don’t see physical beauty at all in the photos she took, but when I look at it from her perspective, I see what she was looking at. My daughter saw me loving on her baby sister, and she thought it was beautiful and wanted a picture of her mommy doing what she does.

Sweet baby

Sweet baby

This was a powerful reminder of the truth in the old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

The beauty of a person is often in how you look at her. My daughter didn’t see the tired face. lack of grooming and sloppy clothing I would have zoomed in on had I looked in the mirror. She saw love and nurturing. I see the toll life has taken. She only sees the person who gives her and her siblings love, security and care. When I look at my children, I don’t just see that they are physically adorable (which they obviously are….lol). I see my dreams come true, their giving spirits and all the love their little hearts are overflowing with. I see endless beauty.

Who thinks you are beautiful?

Mommies, I know you often feel ugly and you are hard on yourself. We all get that way now and then, especially when we are struggling like I was when I wrote the poem at that link. Maybe it would help if you saw a glimpse of yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you. It could be your daughter, husband, parents, sister, best friend or the kids you mentor. Who knows? No matter what you look like or how you feel about yourself, someone sees the beauty in you. They see who you are, and they think you- the real, unfiltered, everyday you– are truly beautiful. Let that touch your heart. Maybe it will help you look at the woman in the mirror in a gentler light.

Feeling lost in the demands and wonder of motherhood? Read my thoughts on being More Than a Mom!

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Free Printable Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

Thanksgiving turkey printable

Thanksgiving turkey printable

Getting into the spirit of Thanksgiving crafts?

I’m always sketching fun things for my kiddos to work on, and this time it was a turkey template for them to color and give a festive leafy tail. I sent them out to hunt for pretty leaves for their turkey tails while I quickly sketched a turkey for them to color. I happened to think that if my munchkins were this excited about it, maybe yours would be, too. I usually don’t think of it until after we finish a project, but this time I decided to make it into my first free printable and see how y’all like it. It’s easy peasy, but kept my little ones occupied quite awhile. It got them running through the beautiful autumn outdoors with their grocery bag, hunting for the perfect leaves. Once they were tired of doing that, it gave them something fun to do awhile and finally to display in honor of the upcoming holiday.

Want to make your own Thanksgiving leaf turkey?

First, gather up some leaves. If you don’t have any real leaves available, you can substitute construction paper leaves, feathers or anything else your little imagination can conjure.

Next, have your little artists color those turkeys you printed off and cut it out.

Then glue or tape the leaves to a paper plate in a circular pattern and glue or tape the turkey over where they intersect so it looks like the tail.

Tada!!! Turkey perfection….or close enough to make you smile!

Ready to make your own turkey? Head on over to my link below for your free printable!

It’s simple and unpolished, since it was freehanded with a sharpie originally, but it’s freeeeeee and made for a fun time for us!

Free Turkey Printable

If you need some more fun crafts to do that use common household items, check out this list of 10 Preschool Activities Using Household Items!

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This would be a great way to reinforce thankfulness this Thanksgiving 12 MAKE A TREE of Thanks/THANKSGIVING Activity Sticker Sheets/AUTUMN/Thankfulness/GRATITUDE/Kid’s/CLASSROOM!

This would be a fun activity for the kids at Thanksgiving dinner Creative Converting 8 Count Kids Thanksgiving Activity Placemats with Stickers!


What Lung Cancer Can’t Do

Mom & PawPaw, Together in Heaven Now

Mom & PawPaw, Together in Heaven Now

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

My mom- a previously healthy non-smoker- died of lung cancer just before Christmas in 2006  at the young age of 44, a whirlwind two months after her diagnosis. We don’t know what caused her disease, and still don’t understand how such a vibrant, healthy and active woman succumbed to it so rapidly. I’ve learned that dwelling on what cancer has taken from my family and what power it can have over us can be completely soul numbing. Instead of dwelling on what lung cancer can do and what it can rob from us…this month I want to remind myself and others of what lung cancer can’t do.

Lung cancer can steal your voice, but it cannot take the words you have spoken. Choose words of love, encouragement and peace.

Lung cancer can leech away your energy, but it can’t quench your spirit. My mom was still such a caring, curious person all the way to her last breath.

Lung cancer can stop your heart, but it cannot stop the love you have inside of it. Show that love to those you care for.

Lung cancer can zap the strength from your body, but it can’t touch the strength of your soul. Who you are is stronger than cancer.

Lung cancer can take away life from your loved one, but it can never, ever take away the memories, legacy and relationships you have. Those will live on long after you are gone, regardless of whether you are taken by cancer or die in your sleep at the ripe ol’ age of 105.

Cancer doesn’t always win even in the physical realm. Don’t think I am saying it has to take all of these physical things away….but it can. As long as there is light in the eyes and breath in the body, there is hope. There are so many things it cannot reach, though, and we all need to remember that. Don’t give lung cancer- or any cancer- that kind of power over you. That power belongs to us, as humans. The human spirit soars far above and beyond anywhere that any disease can reach.

Never forget. What can you think of that lung cancer can’t take away?

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If you are interested in lung cancer related items to inspire hope and/or remembrance, here are a few of my favorite picks:

This beautiful Ribbon of Hope Angel is holding the lung cancer ribbon in her arms. Elements Pearl Ribbon of Hope Angel (Lung Cancer) by Pavilion, 5-Inches Tall
This e-book is free with Kindle Unlimited, and looks like it would be quite helpful in coping with the ups and downs of cancer: Cancer: Coping With Cancer: Controlling and Understanding Emotions of Cancer (Cancer,Cancer Books,Breast Cancer,Colon Cancer,Lung Cancer,Brain Cancer,Prostate Cancer,Leukemia, Skin Cancer)
This lovely bracelet says “Where There Is Love, There is Life” along with the lung cancer ribbon charm…and that is such a powerful statement. I need this reminder, myself! Lung Cancer Charm Bracelet (Retail)

This bracelet has the cancer symbol with the colors for what appears to be all of the cancers we all hate so much, and I love that about it. Prepackaged (7 3/4 in.) Cancer Awareness Bracelet 18 Colors, 8mm

If you are in need of more information or resources for coping with lung cancer, here is the link to a great non-profit organization:

Grace & Truth Link-up @ Busy Being Blessed

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Strange Ways To Save

Strange Ways to Save

Strange Ways to Save

Frugal! Penny pincher! Cheapskate! Prepper! Weirdo! If you have been called any of these, welcome to your tribe! This list is for you…

  • Wash aluminum foil and plastic baggies. If nothing gets majorly stuck to them, clean up and use them again.
  • If you have chickens, dry and crush their own egg shells to mix into their feed instead of buying them a calcium supplement.
  • Reuse plastic water bottles. Rinse and refill those babies! I don’t really use water bottles much, but my husband likes to take them with him to the fire department so it doesn’t matter if he loses the container he’s drinking from. We use them over and over.
  • Water down whole milk instead of buying lower fat milks. I used to buy 1% or 2%, but have started buying whole milk and water it down with about a quarter to a third water. My kids don’t know the difference, and our milk lasts longer.
  • Use plastic gas station cups with straws and lids instead of fancy cups with lids. Occasionally I get one of those fountain drinks from the gas station. I love cups with lids and straws. My kids are very active and always up under me, I’m always thirsty and don’t particularly like my drinks spilled or nice cups broken. These cheap cups will last quite awhile, even ran through the dishwasher.
  • Cut dryer sheets in half. You don’t need the whole thing to get the effects you want. Trust me!
  • Vinegar makes a great rinse agent in the dishwasher, and is super inexpensive compared to those expensive kinds you can buy.
  • Those styrofoam plates you buy to save on dish washing? If they don’t get too messy, just wipe them down and use them again! this adds up quick when you’re mostly using them for things like sandwiches, anyway.
  • For one of my favorite ways to save, look at the rewards program Swagbucks Savings!

Have any strange savings tips of your own? Share them, and they may be featured in a future list of strange ways to save! ;)


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