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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Kids Skate Free

Free Skate!

Free Skate!

As a young girl, I absolutely loved to go skating. We went frequently, and it was a fun way to exercise and spend time with friends. I felt like I was flying, and even toe length oversized skirts couldn’t stop me from whizzing around the rink! :) What better way to enjoy skate time than to go for free? :)

Just head on over to the link below, type in your zip code, and see which rinks in your area are participating in this promotion. It appears that there are a few in all of the states I checked out, although I only investigated a few of them. Click  the green “Register for This Skating Center” banner. Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll receive an email to verify your email address. Once you’ve done that you’ll be a registered member of Kids Skate Free. Just be aware that your first set of passes won’t be ready until Sunday of that week.

Anyone ready to take their kiddos skating for free?? :)

http://kidsskatefree.com/index.php


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Winning Wednesday

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Great Gobs of Giveaways

We are back again with Winning Wednesday, and some absolutely amazing giveaways for y’all to enter! Has anyone won any goodies here lately? :) I just received some adorable shoes for my oldest from the gift card I won from Umi Shoes, and am expecting a couple more goodies from the same prize pack I won. :)

Enter to win a Step Up Chair With ALL Attachments, $200 Amazon Gift Card, T-Shirts, and Poster! (Ends 4/28)

http://gvwy.io/xh33izn

Try to win an $80 Diaper Junction gift card! (Ends 5/8)

http://is.gd/FgulgE

Here’s a chance to win a copy of the My Little Pony Complete TV Series! (Ends 4/27)

https://gleam.io/PEcGN-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F04%2Fmy-little-pony-tales-tv-series-giveaway.html

Enter to win a Swiggydiggydoo Subscription box! (Ends 5/6)

http://is.gd/VqegwL

Here’s a chance to win a Pampers Easy Ups Potty Learning Package! (Ends 4/29)

https://gleam.io/ftzdV-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F04%2Fpampers-easy-ups-potty-learning-package.html

Try to win a great gift pack full of goodies for Mom (or any other lady, honestly :) )! (Ends 5/3)

http://gypsyroadschool.blogspot.com/2015/04/my-favorite-things-sound-of-music.html

Great chance of winning with low entries for an adorable Pick-ease set! (Ends 4/26)

http://www.sensitivemommy.com/2015/04/35-pineapple-recipes.html?hc_location=ufi

Try to win a Little Tykes Cape Cottage Playhouse! (Ends 5/6)

http://mommysbundle.com/little-tikes-cape-cottage-playhouse-giveaway/?hc_location=ufi

Enter to win a Chew-Choos Sweet Pea Teething Necklace with low entries! (Ends 5/2)

http://www.thesahlife.com/2015/04/giveaway-chew-choos-sweat-pea-silicone.html?hc_location=ufi

Try to win a $75 Gymboree gift card! (Ends 4/30)

http://mamasmiths.com/2015/04/75-gymboree-gift-card-giveaway.html

Any bloggers or small businesses with current family friendly giveaways are welcome to post links to one or two of those giveaways with a brief description in the comments section. If you have an upcoming giveaway you would like to be featured, please contact me via my Facebook page with details. This will continue to be a weekly feature here on Penny Pinching Peach if there is consistent interest, so give a shout if you enjoy these lists and let me know if you entered any contests! Oh, and definitely come back and let me know if you win something, please!!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Oatmeal


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My Kids’ Favorite Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Oatmeal

If you are one of those moms who just wants to quickly throw something together to feed the ravenous hordes in your house, but would prefer that something be healthy as well as faster as a wink and kid approved….this is the post for you!

My five year old long ago declared that she hated oatmeal, it was disgusting and slimy, and she would never, ever like it, no matter what. Challenge me, do ya, kiddo? Alrighty then! Challenge accepted! ;) Guess what? She likes oatmeal. “But only the good kind you make, Mommy, not that other stuff, so I still hate that!” The following concoctions are the few approved by my resident oatmeal snob and the rest of the family.

This is my kids’ favorite oatmeal- and one of their most requested breakfasts. It’s Mommy and Daddy approved, too! My husband has me pack the ingredients for him at the fire station sometimes, because it sticks with him pretty well.

Take 1-2 packs of plain instant oatmeal and prepare according to package. Chop

Strawberries and Cream

Strawberries and Cream

up 1-2 bananas, according to taste and the number of people eating (2 packs and 1 banana is okay for just me and my two small children). Mash it into the oatmeal, along with a generous dollop of peanut butter and a sprinkling of chocolate chips. Stir and serve. Delicious!! The bowl in the

photo was immediately prepared and dished out for my munchkins and I, who were quite annoyed when I paused to take a photo of their breakfast while I was making it. :)

Another winner is one I call strawberries and cream. You can use chopped strawberries with milk and strawberry jam or chopped strawberries with cream and honey or chopped strawberries and strawberry yogurt. All of them give a yummy effect, so use whatever works in that category. Just strawberries and milk wasn’t nearly sweet enough, and the same with the cream, so the jam and honey helped with that. If you can’t tell, I’m the queen of kitchen improvisation.

Lastly, we have another super simple selection that is kiddo approved. Simply mix in a scoop of peanut butter and a dash of cinnamon, with or without honey or a smattering of chocolate chips. Similar, but mentionably different, from the first flavor.

Simply Sweet

Simply Sweet

I love meals that can be made quickly, cheaply and healthily from ingredients I normally have hanging around the house, anyway. These definitely fit that description, so I hope y’all enjoy them, too.

Does your family like oatmeal? What are their favorite flavors? If not, do you think any of these could possibly convert your own personal oatmeal snobs? It’s worth a try! it worked on my little princess picky pants, so it might work on yours, too. :)


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Indoor Water Play

Indoor Water Play

Indoor Water Play

My children are both little water babies. Usually this results in them splashing water all over the bathroom while lingering in there playing in the sink and filling up random containers until I catch them at it or something else equally frustrating, but I do try to give them opportunities to satisfy this urge to splash and pour.

One thing they love to do, when they can’t go outside to play, is for me to let them play in some water. I get out my humongous pot and fill it about a third of the way with water. I’ll set it on a beach towel on the kitchen floor, then throw in some cups, toy boats, funnels or other small items that will be fun to play with in the water. They can easily stay at this simple activity for the better part of an hour, especially if I switch out the toys every 15-20 minutes or so.

This activity works really well for my toddler to do while I’m working with my daughter on her kindergarten at the table. He’s usually very content and relatively quiet. It makes it easier for her to focus than if he’s running around being a wild child, even if she is working independently.

Do your children enjoy playing with water indoors?


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Winning Wednesday

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Did you miss this feature last week? Is anyone enjoying these little giveaways I share with y’all? Please let me know! I’m feeling the silence. :)

Enter to win a Step Up Chair With ALL attachments, $200 Amazon Gift Card, T-Shirts, and Poster! (Ends 4/28)

http://gvwy.io/6x2tiff

Try to win a Halo Sleep Sack! (Ends 4/20)

https://gleam.io/M9QQO-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F04%2Fhalo-sleepsack-swaddle-giveaway.html

Enter to win the Fish, Fish, Squish game! (Ends 4/21)

https://gleam.io/wTV5o-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F03%2Ffish-fish-squish-giveaway.html

Enter to win a Diono Rainier convertible car seat!! (Ends 4/16, so HURRY!!)

http://www.bellasavvy.net/archives/58972

Enter to win a $10 Family Christian gift card! (Ends 4/17)

http://www.ihaveafutureandahope.com/2015/03/the-journey-of-a-lifetime-and-giveaway-on-calvarys-hill-by-max-lucado/?hc_location=ufi

Try to win an Escents Aromatherapy Ultrasonic Diffuser and Essential Oil! (Ends 4/21)

http://thiswestcoastmommy.com/escents-aromatherapy-ultrasonic-diffuser-review/

Enter to win $20 PayPal cash! (Ends 4/20)

http://www.wildredheadhomestead.com/hippity-hopping-to-20-dollar-giveaway/

If you are interested in being gluten free and can attend an event in Chicago, this is a VERY low entry contest for free tickets to a great event!! (Ends 4/16)

http://www.sensitivemommy.com/2015/04/gfaf-expo-chicago-excitement.html

Any bloggers or small businesses with current family friendly giveaways are welcome to post links to one or two of those giveaways with a brief description in the comments section. If you have an upcoming giveaway you would like to be featured, please contact me via my Facebook page with details. This will continue to be a weekly feature here on Penny Pinching Peach if there is consistent interest, so give a shout if you enjoy these lists and let me know if you entered any contests! Oh, and definitely come back and let me know if you win something, please!!!


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Animals At School

Baby School Scholar

Baby School Scholar

For anyone who is homeschooling and has children not yet old enough to participate in formal education, you know one of the biggest challenges is balancing the needs of the little ones with the ability to teach the older and allow them to concentrate. Thankfully, I had fun with a lot of preschool and baby school type activities with my oldest before she started kindergarten, and can adapt most of those ideas to use with my two year old little guy. I document a lot of them, because he has so much fun and he’s so doggone cute. :) I was thinking that maybe someone else might find some of our little “baby school” activities useful in their own homeschool or quiet times with their kiddos, so I’m going to start sharing some.

One activity both of my little ones have loved is oversized animal flash cards. The exact ones I have are these Animals (Slide and Learn Flash Cards) that are really neat, but these are a nice, inexpensive set that will work for any of the activities I’m sharing using my flash cards Animals of All Kinds Flash Cards. I can come up with a lot of different activities using these, and easily keep a toddler happy with them for half an hour or more. Here are a few fun ones for you to try with your baby schoolers.

Big or Little

Big or Little

I have Bambam sort the cards by whether he thinks the animals are big or little. This is a good one for him to start the day with, because he’s good at it and it builds up his interest and confidence.

Another activity he enjoys is sorting the cards by whether they have fur or not. This is slightly more challenging for him, but usually not too difficult for him to reason out, which is a good thing.

Color Sorting

Color Sorting

For variety, I have him stack the cards according to the color of the trim. This one makes him have to focus on a completely different part of the cards, so he feels like it’s a new activity and it keeps him interested for longer.

Some other things we do with the cards are sorting them by the following categories: No feet, two feet or four feet? Can they fly or not? Is the animal a baby or grownup? Scary or nice? Pet or wild (I started with farm, pet or wild, but my kids think farm animals make great pets, so I dropped that. LOL)?

Can you think of any other games you can do with animal flash cards?

“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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Easy Cake Mix Cookies

Easy Cake Mix Cookies

Easy Cake Mix Cookies

My family loves super soft cookies, and I love simple and inexpensive treats. While I don’t always keep cookies around, sometimes nothing else will do. I usually have some cake mixes stashed in ym cabinets, so I decided to try out this easy cake mix cookies recipe, shared at the bottom of this post.

The beauty of this recipe is it’s versatility. You can literally do pretty much any flavors you can get in a cake mix and throw in whatever mix-in tickles your fancy. My husband is a fiend for chocolate and peanut butter together, so this time I went with devil’s food cake and peanut butter chips. It was the bomb diggety!

This recipe is a terrific choice for cooking with kids, because it’s pure simplicity and no fuss to make, and what kid doesn’t like cookies? ;) My five and two year olds had a good ol’ time dumping in the ingredients, doing quality control taste tests on the peanut butter chips, dumping spoonfuls of batter on the cookie sheet, and eating the results of their labor.

Some other flavor combinations I think would be yummy? Lemon cake with vanilla chips, almonds or coconut. Chocolate cake with white chocolate, coconut, raisins or nuts. Vanilla cake with chocolate chips, dried cranberries or nuts. Peanut butter cake with chocolate chips, Reese’s cups diced up or nuts. Orange cake with dark chocolate chips or dried cranberries. Strawberry cake with dark or white chocolate chips. I’ll stop now, but you get the picture. There are TONS of possibilities!

What flavor combinations can you come up with?

Here is the link to the simply sweet recipe I used as my base.

http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-cake-mix-cookies-5287

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