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.


Leave a comment

Chickens on the Cheap, Part 1

Chickies!

Chickies!

This post is from a couple of Easters ago. I don’t advocate chicks as gift “just for Easter”, but this worked out perfectly for us because we did want the feathered friends as egg laying adults. :) We still have two of these chickens, since one wound up being a mean ol’ rooster and two more mysteriously keeled over, later to be discovered my husband had forgotten our agreement and used poisonous weed treatments in forbidden areas we were supplementing their diets from. Oops!! :( We’ll be adding to our flock again next spring, but for now, I’m re-sharing this for those of y’all who want chickens for the long haul and need some advice for getting started without going broken. :)

We got five fluffy baby pullet chickies this spring. Our daughter was thrilled, I was excited to have chickens for the first time in years and years, and my husband was fascinated by the whole process of raising a farm type critter. This was a new adventure for our little family!

Alot of folks get those cute Easter chickies without a clue or thought of what to do with them. I got my hens as chicks so they would be friendly backyard pets. I chose the breeds for the dual purpose of being pets and good egg layers. We got three Barred Rock hens because they are both calm and very productive layers. We got two Aracauna hens because they lay Easter egg colored eggs and are moderately high producers. We had a chicken house that we found on an online yardsale set up in our back yard before we brought them home, although they had to stay in a big box under a heat lamp inside for a few weeks. We had fencing materials and a plan for making a ramp down from the coop into the little pen, which my hubby did for me when the chicks were big enough to need the space. If you want chickens yourself, do your research, make your plans for their long term care and prepare yourself before you bring them home!

Feeding chickens could add up if you don’t do it correctly. For us, we spend about $12 on a bag of feed for our hens and it lasts about six weeks for our five chickens now that they’re full sized “teenagers”. However, the reason it lasts is because I save scraps for them every day, and have our 3 year old give them their scraps before I pour their feed in. We save things like the chopped up odds & ends from fruits and veggies, stale bread, crushed cereal leftovers, leftover plain pasta pieces, and anything else chickie friendly to chop up for them to gobble up. We also have a compost pile my husband and daughter sometimes dig up worms from to feed to them, and the two of them like to turn over large rocks and boards to collect grubs and worms to feed the feathered fowl as treats. These “extras” not only save us money on their feed bill, but it keeps them much healthier.

Growing Up

Growing Up

Another thing I am doing for the chickens is saving up eggshells, letting them air dry, and crushing them into powder. I let my little girl crush them in a plastic bag with a cup as much as she wants, then I grind them the rest of the way into powder. I’ll be adding this to my hen feed as soon as they start laying eggs, as it is a cheap way to help them get their calcium. They’re due to start laying…well….any time in the next month or so, really. :)

A misconception alot of folks have that surprises me every time is that you need a rooster so the hens can lay eggs. You don’t. You only need a rooster if you want the eggs to be fertilized so you can hatch your own chicks. A rooster in the back yard would be loud and obnoxious. Hens are pretty quiet, just clucking most of the time with an occasional cackle, and are actually less likely to disturb anyone than having a cat. My mom got our first hens while we were living in a subdivision, and all three of the neighbors connected to our back yard loved them!

You don’t need alot of time, space or money to keep a few laying hens. Just do your homework and prepare yourself before you bring them home, and you’ll do just fine. They’re cute, fun, teach kiddos responsibility, and the fresh home laid eggs are absolutely amazing and healthy. I loved raising chickens when I was growing up, and am thrilled to be able to share that with my munchkins now.

Is anyone else doing some backyard (or full scale) homesteading?

P.S. I’ve had a long gap in posting due to technical difficulties with accessing my panel on here. My tech savvy uncle gave me a few tips on things to try. I’m not actually sure what worked…but it did. Gotta love him! :)

"Teenaged" chickies getting scraps.

“Teenaged” chickies getting scraps.


12 Comments

Decluttering My Closet

The Great Closet Purge

The Great Closet Purge

My closet is the bottomless of abyss, a cavern full of miscellaneous items, gifts bought ahead of time and mountains of clothing that mocks me with the tiny sizes and even more youthful styles worn by my mother’s daughter who was not yet my children’s mother. It’s one of those things that makes me anxious to even think of tackling, but today I got the nerve up to try yet again. This time, however, I’m in massive purge and pack mode, since we are getting ready for a major move and I don’t want to carry all the clutter with us. I haven’t the slightest illusion that we won’t still have too much stuff with us. I am just determined to make sure not to take all of the things I haven’t used or worn in forever, because it is literally dead weight that steals my joy by making it impossible to keep my home looking neat. First on the list is probably my worst personal offense- my clothing!

If you share my struggle with clutter, especially clothing, maybe my mad methods will help you out (or at least inspire you that a fellow clutterbug was able to get rid of so much junk), so I thought I’d share. If I can clear things out, ANYONE can! (Well, I can’t speak for actual hoarders. I’m not quite there….yet!)

My criteria for getting rid of clothing? If I haven’t worn it since my nearly three year old son was born, it’s gotta go. There are very few exceptions to this. I made an exception for a dress my mom personally made me a patchwork bottom for, because it’s still beautiful and oh-so-sentimental. Also, obviously I haven’t worn my wedding dress, but I’m not going THAT far in my purging!!

What are the categories for clothing that I am no longer keeping? Throw away, thrift store, and consignment. Throw away is for the clothing with more than slight stains, tears, etc. that I can’t easily repurpose into rags or something I can use right now. (If you do alot of DIY and are not drowning in your stuff like I am, you can think alot more creatively with this part. I’m overwhelmed, so it is gone, gone, gone!) Thrift store is for items that are still good, but may be very slightly stained or totally outdated. Consignment is for items that are in good condition and either timeless or stylish, because I can use them to get things my kids will be needing. The photo doesn’t include the two bags of thrift store donations I have headed on out. :)

How in the world am I sorting the clothing I am keeping? Well, ordinarily I’d divide them by season and put up the out of season ones. However, since I’m having a new baby this summer and plan to breastfeed her, I’m doing things a lot differently. I got a huge storage tub and filled it up with clothing I can’t wear either while pregnant or during the early days as a breastfeeding mom who will not only need to be able to access aforementioned breasts to feed my precious baby girl, but whose body is most certainly not going to be back to normal for the remainder of warm weather. All of the clothing that I believe that I can wear between now and cool weather I kept out. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, since this is my third child and I know exactly which clothing is too aggravating to try nursing a baby while wearing. LOL

Anyone else purging that cluttered mess of clothing in the closet??


Leave a comment

Wednesday is for Winners

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Another winning Wednesday here, just sharing some of the awesome- but less widely publicized- giveaways I find on the wonderful worldwide web. I love entering contests, although until the past several weeks I have rarely won anything. By rarely, I mean practically never, ever, ever. Just since Christmas Eve, though, I’ve won several awesome giveaways!!! One was a $20 boutique gift card! Another was a giveaway for the After Saga I featured here recently! Another was Christmas Eve and a higher entry giveaway for a huge prize package for our baby valued at over $1,200!! Another is a precious children’s book I featured here previously! More recently, I won a $25 Publix gift card, a craft kit, and a gluten free snack box! I’m not sharing to brag, but it tells you that people really do win! I think this baby in my tummy is my lucky charm, y’all! ;) The giveaways I share here are not giveaways with hundreds of thousands of entries, so you actually have a decent chance to win something. Who doesn’t want to win free stuff?

Try to win $125 Amazon Gift Card! (Ends 4/13)

http://is.gd/UQq9PO

Enter to win an amazing Lillebaby All Seasons Baby Carrier! (Ends 4/2)

http://is.gd/a1MLTU

Try to win $150 Paypal Cash! (Ends 4/6)

http://is.gd/YYJhHz

Enter to win a $75 Buy Buy Baby gift card! (Ends 4/17)

http://bit.ly/1Bki6vR

Enter to win a Combi F2 stroller! (Ends 4/8)

http://is.gd/akIMI0

Try to win a Christian woman’s t-shirt! (Ends 3/27)

Woohooo! It's GIVEAWAY TIME! Enter to win a Christian T-Shirt from @risenapparel: It's easy!! 1. Follow @authenticwomanhood 2. Tag 3 friends in a comment 3. NEW! Share this photo & hashtag #authenticwomanhood for a bonus entry! 😊 •••••••••••••• You can tag 3 more NEW people each day! 1 winner will receive 1 t-shirt of their choice from @risenapparel – they have tons of awesome scripture tees & more! And with every purchase, they donate $5 to a local ministry- so your shopping really can change the world. U.S. residents only. Giveaway ends Friday, March 27th at 9pm CST. #authenticwomanhood #instagramcontest #instagramgiveaway #contest #instagiveaway #giveaway #liketowin #springgiveaway #fridaygiveaway #shereadstruth #womenofGod #bible

A photo posted by Authentic Womanhood 💕 (@authenticwomanhood) on

Try to win cleaning gloves galore and a $50 Amazon gift card! (Ends 3/27)

http://mamasmiths.com/2015/03/spring-cleaning-giveaway.html

Enter to win a hardcover copy of Savor by Shauna Niequist! (Ends 3/26)

http://manysparrows.me/savor-shauna-niequist-review-giveaway/

Try to win a pair of Grill Armor Gloves (3 Winners)! (Ends 4/6)

http://conservamome.com/grill-armor-gloves-giveaway-3-winners-ends-46/

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 like this idea and let me know if you entered any contests! Oh, and definitely come back and let me know if you win something, please!!!


Leave a comment

Bunny Trouble

Bunny Trouble

Bunny Trouble

With Easter fast approaching, I wanted to share with y’all about one of my children’s favorite Easter bunny books. They love it so much, I’m not allowed to put it up the rest of the year. It’s frequently requested, regardless of the season.

Bunny Trouble is the story of a unique bunny who was part of the Easter bunny’s colony. This little bunny’s love of soccer caused him to get into all sorts of trouble, but in the end, he learned to work better with others toward common goals and they learned to embrace those who may be just a wee bit differently. With adorable photos and an attention grabbing story line, this is a great story to celebrate the fun of the season, teamwork and appreciating what makes each of us just a little bit special.

To get your own copy, you can click the title  in blue and go to Amazon to order it new or used. I’m sure your children will enjoy this lively story as much as my little ones do. :)

Do you have a favorite Easter book?

“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”


2 Comments

Keep Sliced Apples Fresh

My kids love to snack on apple slices. The problem is, they frequently don’t finish all of the slices at one sitting. I got fed up with feeding the leftovers to the chickens, and remembered that I’d heard lemon juice would keep the slices fresh for longer. I didn’t have lemon juice, but I did have key lime, so I tried it. Here are the results, after 24 hours.

First, I put a slice aside as a control to see how well the key lime juice would actually work. Below is what it looked like after 24 hours, a sort of golden brown. It was also fairly squishy when I’d give it a squeeze between my fingers.

Apple slice without key lime juice

Apple slice without key lime juice

Next, I put a couple of slices of apple in a Ziploc baggie, sprinkled a few drops of key lime juice inside, swished it all around to make sure there was a light coating all over and squeezed the air out of the bag, leaving it on the kitchen counter with the other plain apple baggie. Below is what it looked like after 24 hours, almost as white as when I sliced it. The texture was also pretty much the same, and there was barely a hint of key lime flavor when eating it.

Apple slices with key lime juice

Apple slices with key lime juice

All in all, I’d say this experiment was a definite success. I’ve added a new weapon to my produce saving, grocery stretching repertoire! It’s also a great option for prepping healthy snacks the night before when you know you have a busy day coming up.


Leave a comment

Win For Wednesday

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Great Gobs of Giveaways

Another winning Wednesday here, just sharing some of the awesome- but less widely publicized- giveaways I find on the wonderful worldwide web. I love entering contests, although until the past several weeks I have rarely won anything. By rarely, I mean practically never, ever, ever. Just since Christmas Eve, though, I’ve won several awesome giveaways!!! One was a $20 boutique gift card! Another was a giveaway for the After Saga I featured here recently! Another was Christmas Eve and a higher entry giveaway for a huge prize package for our baby valued at over $1,200!! Another is a precious children’s book I featured here previously! More recently, I won a $25 Publix gift card, a craft kit, and a gluten free snack box! I’m not sharing to brag, but it tells you that people really do win! I think this baby in my tummy is my lucky charm, y’all! ;) The giveaways I share here are not giveaways with hundreds of thousands of entries, so you actually have a decent chance to win something. Who doesn’t want to win free stuff?

Try to win a big Littlest Pet Shop Basket! (Ends 3/26)

https://gleam.io/vaJHo-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F03%2Flittlest-pet-shop-basket-giveaway.html

Enter to win a Slouch hat or Monster hat (VERY cute, btw!!)! (Ends 3/19)

https://gleam.io/Q1RFk-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F03%2Fheavenly-hooked-creations-giveaway.html

Try to win a Q’s Race to the Top Package Giveaway!! (Really adorable game, toy and book set.) (Ends 3/25)

https://gleam.io/AmWE1-xkCQ2Q?l=http%3A%2F%2Fmamasmiths.com%2F2015%2F02%2Fqs-race-to-the-top-package-giveaway.html

Enter to win a Big Hero 6 Collector’s Edition! (Ends 3/31)

http://sayitrahshay.com/big-hero-6-giveaway/

Try to win a Kiss Freely giveaway!

Enter to win a $25 Gyft card! (Ends 3/22)

http://www.mamabyfire.com/2015/03/16/a-cooler-way-to-give-a-gyft-giveaway/

Try to win a birthday package from Abby Reese Design!

Enter to win the following prizes:
• One (1) photo of Brendan Coyle, autographed by Mr. Coyle himself!
• One (1) The World of Downton Abbey hardcover book,
• One (1) signed NOBLE movie poster
Also a chance to win a trip to Ireland below AND  $10,000

http://www.bookroomreviews.com/2015/03/15/a-very-special-downton-abbey-giveaway-plus-a-chance-for-10k-and-a-trip-to-ireland/

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 like this idea and let me know if you entered any contests! Oh, and definitely come back and let me know if you win something, please!!!


4 Comments

Phonics Hunt Game

Phonics Hunt

Phonics Hunt

My oldest daughter is currently learning to read. She is doing an amazing job with her schoolwork, and has inherited my voracious love of learning. However, when we did our review work today, I spotted a couple of letters she was having trouble matching with their phonics sounds correctly. I decided that- instead of doing math today (which I don’t do daily with a kindergarten student, since she likes to do a lot at a time, anyway)- I would make up a fun game with multiple parts to help her get a better grasp on the sounds she was struggling with remembering. We needed some outside time to burn energy and get some fresh air, so I incorporated that in with our school time. (Gotta love homeschooling!! Learning happens everywhere!! Since I’m a second generation homeschooler, this is natural & normal for me, but I am seeing a whole different side of it now. Love it! :) )

My Princess Pennypeacher was having trouble with the letters H and N. I handed her a grocery bag, and explained that we were going hunting for things that start with those letters, making the phonics sound for her. Our goal was to find at least three items with each phonics sound. She is very goal oriented, so she loved this!! As we went walking together, searching for objects, I kept repeating the letters and sounds and helping her come up with words starting with those sounds. We found a few things outside, then continued our search in the house. This kept her busily searching for a while, having a good ol’ time all the way, with her little brother following her around shouting the sounds with her without having any idea what he was talking about. :) Once she found three items starting with the H and N sounds, we moved on to the next part of the game.

I had her sit down and choose two pieces of paper to write the uppercase and lowercase versions of each letter at the top of each sheet. Once she did that, I had her pull one item at a time out of the bag, tell me which sound and letter that item started with, set it beside the correct letter sheet and then I helped her write the words by breaking down the sounds in each word to see if she could tell me the matching letter. This was mostly to reiterate the sounds she was working on, but also to check for any other sounds she might be struggling with. This part was less of a hooray kind of fun for her, but she still enjoyed the challenge.

To finish up, we took a silly photo of my kindergartener, her project, and her loyal assistant! :)

Do you think your little ones would enjoy this game? It cost nothing whatsoever, so that made my pockets happy. It definitely helped her get a better grasp on the letters she was getting confused on, although I think we will need to do a couple of more fun reviews to make sure she really has it. I love having fun learning with my munchkins! :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 610 other followers