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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!
Doggie Loot

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:

American Humane

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Tomato Cucumber Macaroni Salad

Tomato Cucumber Macaroni Salad

Tomato Cucumber Macaroni Salad

Want a quick & healthy dish for a summer lunch? Try my Tomato Cucumber Macaroni Salad!

It’s super simple, and a hit any time I make it. I made it the night before while I was making baked mac and cheese for supper, and let it chill overnight to marry the flavors better. It really did blend the tastes together even more strongly by morning.

Here’s how you make this easy pleasure macaroni salad:

Boil two cups of macaroni noodles to al dente.

While the noodles are boiling, chop up two medium cucumbers and two medium tomatoes. Toss in a medium sized bowl with a bit of salt and pepper.

When ready, drain the noodles and rinse with cold water until they are cooled off. Dump in the bowl with the chopped veggies.

Pour in ranch dressing to taste and stir well. You can eat it then or chill overnight.

This would be good with sweet onions, shredded carrots, broccoli, chopped olives, tuna or shredded chicken stirred in, as well. It’s a versatile sort of “dump salad”, and oodles of fun for the palate to play with a variety of ingredients. I love to use fresh veggies from my garden for light and refreshing lunches in the summer time, so it varies what I make according to what produce is on hand.

This is great for packing in something like these World Kitchen Pyrex 6-Piece Food Plus Storage Set for lunches, if you have a cooler to carry or refrigeration available wherever you’re headed for work, school or play. Just pop one open on your lunch break and dig in! 🙂

What are some of your favorite lunches? What splendid summer veggies do you have an abundance of to gobble up? Also try my Weeknight Dinners!

Peace, smiles, and good vittles for all! 😉

“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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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. 🙂

Want another great recipe using oatmeal? Try my family approved Completely Healthy Cookies for an easy peasy snack that is both healthy and delicious.


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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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Penny Pinching Popsicles

Penny Pinching Popsicles

Penny Pinching Popsicles

Whose kiddos don’t enjoy an ice cold treat on a warm day? I haven’t met one yet! Here comes the quandary for the penny pinchers like me who also try to minimize their children’s intakes of artificial dyes and an overload of sugars on less-than-special occasions. The cheap popsicles are full of naughty dyes and sugars. The “healthy” versions are way out of our daily budget for the voracious appetites of our chilly chompers. My solution? Homemade on the cheap, of course!

My children have already started their popsicle trip for the summer, so I was planning to make some homemade popsicles to satisfy their cravings. Last year I’d already purchased a new set of popsicle makers on sale for a dollar, so I was prepared with the right tools. You can also get them on Amazon for less than five dollars: Ostart 8 Cell Frozen Ice Cream Pop Mold Popsicle Maker Lolly Mould Tray Pan Kitchen DIYA similar model to the one I have is: Easy Pack 8 pc Popsicle Maker

As I scanned the juice aisle, I spotted fruit punch marked way down to 50 cents for the real kind in the refrigerated section!! SCORE!!! It’s not the 100% fruit kind, but it is dye free and no corn syrup, so I’m good with that for a treat.

When I got time after I’d gotten everything put up, I poured a set of popsicles up, let Princess Pennypincher put the tops on them and popped them in the freezer to set up. I made a set of 8, but I can easily make a minimum of three more sets out of this one juice container. At this price, that’s less than two cents apiece, y’all!!! It didn’t take much longer than it normally does to fix two sippy cups full of their water splashed with juice, either, so it’s not at all time consuming. A trick for removing them from the freezer container more easily without getting all handle and no popsicle? Carefully twist the handle as you pull the popsicle out if it starts to stick on you. My children love the cold, sweet treats. I love that there is no guilt in allowing them to indulge- from a health or budget perspective. Win-win!!! 😉

“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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Keep Sliced Apples Fresh

How to keep apple slices fresh longer…

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.

For more snack ideas, check out After School Snacks!


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Easy Mexican Bean Salad

I love to cook, but don’t always have a lot of time to spend on making dinner. This super simple Easy Mexican Bean Salad is ready in a snap, healthy, delicious, kid friendly, and cheap enough for the penny pinching people among us! I mean, this is a meal I felt great about feeding to my family, but literally spent  less than 15 minutes int he kitchen preparing from the time I opened the fridge to get out things to start chopping! Who needs more meals like this? I know I do!!! 🙂 Keep reading for the how-to of this yummy meal!

Easy Mexican Bean Salad

Easy Mexican Bean Salad

Ingredients? You can choose your own! This time I use canned black beans (two cans seasoned with cumin, garlic powder and chili powder to taste should be about right for a family of four), avocado, tomato, cilantro, onion, cheese and sour cream. You can also use ground beef, venison, turkey, pork and chicken, shredded chicken or beef, pre-cooked dried beans of any kind you like, other types of canned beans, lettuce, green pepper, jalapenos, olives, fresh spinach, green onion, corn, sprouts and a variety of other things that sound appealing and reside in your kitchen at any given moment. The beauty of this meal is that it is so flexible to your individual tastes, pantry, dietary needs, and budget without being a hassle to throw together something different for everyone.

Give everyone a bowl, spoon in a healthy helping of your protein(s) of choice, then let them pile on their own choices from the rest of your ingredients you have set out for your family! My kids absolutely adore getting to pick all of their own toppings for their bowls of beans! It makes the battle of the belly filling non-existent, because most kiddos love to eat things they help prepare. Even my five year old, who is currently waging battle over half of her meals even when she likes them, didn’t give me a bit of trouble when she realized she was in control of all of her ingredients other than the beans she was piling them all onto! Since she chose it, she worked to make it herself and she is doggone proud of her own work in pretty much every instance…no arguments for the prissier side of my table. Bambam loves making his own selections, but he has a lifelong love affair with food, so if he ever protests a meal….well, the child is sick. 😉

If you pack lunches a lot, like I do for my hubby, this container is amazing for being able to carry leftovers to work or school for a healthy lunch without making a big soggy mess. Stay Fit Deluxe Salad Kit, EZ Freeze

Are there any toppings I didn’t think of that you think would be the bomb diggety on this easy Mexican bean salad? What do you think you’d like on yours? Are you hungry yet?? 🙂

“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”

Little Boy Approved!

Little Boy Approved!

Little Girl Approved!