Penny Pinching Peach

For the semi crunchy, homeschool friendly and totally frugal!


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Dinner For a Dollar

Dinner For a Dollar

Dinner For a Dollar

“Dinner for a dollar?!?”  they exclaim, “It can’t be done!!”.

Let me tell ya, honey, it most certainly can! Tonight I made this delicious pasta dish for less than a dollar. It fed my five year old, two year old and me with leftovers…and we all ate seconds!

I am challenging myself to stretch our grocery money as far as possible, and cook from the pantry as much as I can to help with a money crunch while my husband is taking a career furthering class for several weeks and missing a lot of work to do so. I haven’t been shopping in about a week and a half, so I am doing pretty well with it thus far.

I found some pasta with no crazy ingredients, just semolina and durum flour, marked down for 25 cents each when I was shopping a couple of weeks ago, so I grabbed several packages. I used half a pack of those noodles for this dish, plus a can of Italian diced tomatoes (66 cents), a sprinkling of parmesan, a handful of mozzarella cheese and the last few slices of ham lunchmeat we had in the pack before we go grocery shopping tomorrow.

Dinner For a Dollar? It's Doable!!

Dinner For a Dollar? It’s Doable!!

I mixed the cooked pasta with the tomatoes, let my oldest sprinkle on the cheese and the shredded lunchmeat and warmed it in the oven for about five minutes. TADA!!!! A super cheap and yummy supper created in less than 10 minutes! 🙂

While this cost me less than a dollar, with more average prices it might cost closer to two dollars. Even still, it’s a budget friendly and speedily prepared meal for the penny pinching parent who is crunched for time.

“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”

Need more recipes on a dollar budget? Check out this ebook on Amazon, Easy Recipes: Budget Dinners: Eat Well for A Single Dollar, as low as free!

What is the cheapest home cooked meal (that your family actually enjoyed ) you’ve made recently? Want another delicious pasta recipe? Try my You Can Have Your Cheese and Tomato Sauce, Too, Pasta Casserole!

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Vamping It Up With Vivacious Savings at Vistaprint

Vivacious Vistaprint Savings

Vivacious Vistaprint Savings

Here is a great deal from Vistaprint! I just ordered some adorable little business cards for my blog from them. From past experience, they have nice products at very reasonable prices. I’m excited to share these terrific deals with you.

First, choose a code for the product you are most interested in purchasing:

Free shipping on your entire order: VPSHIP341

30% off customized t-shirts and 15% off all other products: VPSHIRT30

40% off the highest priced item in your shopping cart: VPDEAL817

25% off invitations and cards: VPINVITE25

20% off and free shipping on an order of $25 or more for new customers only: VPFIRSTORDER

You can also get 250 free basic business cards without a code through their site, as well. Just look for “Free Business Cards” under the Business Cards tab. I did that, then added 250 for just over $3 when that option popped up after my order went through. 🙂

Next, use my link to get $10 off the finest business cards, stationery, invitations, and more at Vistaprint.com. Make an impression.

http://vistaprint.tellapal.com/a/clk/1mKG13

What would you like to order from them?


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Ramen Noodle Meals

Ingredients

Ingredients

If you are like me, you make an honest attempt at feeding your family healthy meals, but sometimes…you settle for kinda sorta healthy. One of my “I’m too busy to be truly healthy” meals is to make souped up Ramen noodles.

One beyond easy option? Merely fix a box of the teriyaki flavored noodles in the microwave while sauteeing some fresh spinach and mushrooms in a pan with a bit of butter. When the noodles are finished, just stir it all together and eat. I only use half of the seasoning, because the sodium content is through the roof and it tastes fine without it all.

Fancy Pants Ramen Noodles

Fancy Pants Ramen Noodles

Another way? Get the regular type of ramen you have to boil. The flavor doesn’t matter because you aren’t going to eat it. While the noodles are boiling, shred a carrot, slice a few mushrooms and toss some mushrooms into a pan with a little butter or olive oil. Saute until just tender, then push to the edges of the pan and scramble an egg or two in the middle. Add the noodles. For seasoning, I either saute some minced garlic with the veggies, sprinkle a generous ammount of parmesan with the finished product or spritz it with some soy sauce. Whichever way you choose, it’s yummy and even moderately healthy. 🙂

Yet another yummy Ramen twist? Make it into tuna casserole. Cook the noodles while you mix a dollop of mayo, dollop of sour cream, handful of cheddar cheese, diced celery, and sliced mushrooms (canned or fresh). Stir it all together in a small baking dish and top with either crushed Ritz crackers or cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F until warm through, usually about 20 minutes.

One last version for the day? Boil two packs of the noodles at the same time as microwaving a steam bag of broccoli florets. When they are both ready, throw together in a large pot with a can of cream of chicken soup, half a cup of sour cream, and about a cup of cheddar cheese until warmed through. Supper is served!

What are some of your favorite twists on Ramen noodles?

For some great recipes, please click the Chef’s hat!

For a great way to earn even more while spending even less, please see my post on Swagbucks!
https://pennypinchingpeach.com/2013/10/04/swagbucks-savings/


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From Cheap to FREE: Kids’ Summer Movies 2014

Movie Star Munchkins

Movie Star Munchkins

During the summertime, I know alot of parents are looking for inexpensive activities to fill the days with fun. Alot of those activities are available in the great outdoors, but sometimes you might prefer a cooler way to beat the heat. There are alot of awesome programs for seeing great family movies with your munchkins this summer without going through lot of change! Here are a few summer movie deals I have found for the kiddos:

Carmike Cinemas have different promotions according to location. The one closest to me is offering a movie, drink and popcorn for just $4 total. You’ll have to look up your location for their times and promotions.

http://www.carmike.com/Events/Category/8

Regal Cinemas is not free, but they have $1 movies certain days during the summer at participating locations. Check the link for details, to see if your local Regal Cinema is participating, and what their specific schedule is.

http://www.regmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express

This is not a theater in my state, but they do have absolutely free movies at certain times during the summer at Bowtie Cinemas. See link for details.

http://www.bowtiecinemas.com/programs/kids-club/

What movies would your little ones like to see this summer?

 


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Cheap Travel Tips

 

Cheap Travel Tips

Cheap travel Tips

With summer dawning, alot of folks are hitting the road for family vacation or visiting relatives. Since most of us are on a budget, I thought I’d share a few of the little things I do to save big when we travel.

“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”

We like our caffeine when we’re on road trips, so instead of stopping everywhere for drinks, I make a big jug of sweet tea (Lipton, of course!)ahead of time and put it in mason jars in the cooler. It’s extremely inexpensive, and easily poured from jar to travel cup. We also pack jars of milk and juice for the kiddos, as well as water if we’re going somewhere with questionable water quality.

Anyone who travels with kids knows that plenty of snacks are a must. I make things like cookies (Try my recipe for Healthy Oatmeal Cookies here. They travel well for a few days.) and snack mixes, plus take things like boxes of raisins, apples and bananas. I also pack some emergency treats like lollipops for when the little stinkers start howling about being stuck in the car. Since they are a treat to our kids, they work well at buying some peaceful time. We still sometimes stop for an icecream cone or some local delicacy as a treat, but we aren’t tempted to grab convenience treats for inflated prices at bathroom stops when we already have plenty of yummy goodies to munch on.

If you can, pack some sandwiches, canned goods, and breakfast items to eat for breakfasts and lunches while traveling. Also, gather up coupons for various restaurants you may stop at on your travels. Often, you can sign up for birthday clubs (see my post here: Happy Birthday Freebies) and get some really high value coupons for various restaurants just for signing up, even before your birthday comes around.

If you have pets, and know someone trustworthy nearby who also has pets, try to work out a pet sitting trade with them. You watch their pets while they travel, and they watch your pets while you travel. This way, neither of you has to actually spend any money on pet care. Just make sure to walk them through how to care for your furbabies, leave a list of the basic necessities of their care, and leave everything in plain sight that they will need to taking care of your critters.

Always look for the coupon books that are available in any tourist area, and search online for savings ahead of time at any attractions you intend to visit. You can rack up some serious savings on tickets and shopping this way.

I think most of us know to check the coupon books or make reservations online at discounted prices to save on hotels,and I’m really trying to focus on the more obscure little ways to save, but it must be mentioned. Also, if you are a government employee, in public safety or any career like that, inquire into what discounts are available to you. You may be surprised at how much of a savings some hotels will give you for those careers.

What are your favorite little tricks for saving big while traveling? Traveling with little ones, check out my post Traveling With Little Riders!


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CVS Super Savings

CVS Super Savings

CVS Super Savings

Yesterday’s trip to CVS was a booming success. If you need diapers, sodas and/or dish soap, this is a great deal!

I bought three packs of Huggies diapers, three 12 packs of soda, two Palmolive dish detergents, a small mouthwash and a body mist.

Huggies and Palmolive were part of a deal where you get $10 Extra Care Bucks if you spend $30. I bought three packs of Huggies diapers at  $9.49 each, used two coupons (if I had found the third that had fallen out in my purse, this deal would’ve been $2.00 better) and got two Palmolive dish soaps to complete the $30 minimum.

There is a coupon printing from the magic red machine for a travel size Colgate mouthwash, making it 50 cents.

I got a free body wash coupon for my birthday.

The 12 pack Coke products are three packs for $11, with $2 Extra Care Bucks for buying three packs.

I had $10 Extra Care Bucks left from a previous shopping trip a few weeks ago.

I also had a $5 off of $30 and $5 off of $15 coupons, one loaded on my card from an email and one a printed coupon, which both were able to ring on this transaction.

Total: $66.70

Cash Out of Pocket: $14.57

Extra Care Bucks for Later: $12.00

Savings Percentage: 78 (not counting the ECB to use later)

If I hadn’t had a 4 year old acting like a lunatic at the register, I’d planned to use the $10.00 Extra Care Bucks from the diapers and dish soap to pay for most of the drinks, which is what I’d suggest you do. In that case, you’d have only $14.47 out of pocket, or $12.47 if you can get the three Huggies coupons, unless you come in with the Extra Care Bucks like I did.

Want to take advantage of this deal? I’ll tell you where to get the Huggies coupons. Just make sure when you go in CVS to go to the red coupon printer for the in-store coupons. 🙂

If you want to earn points while printing these coupons, like I did, you can do so by joining Swagbucks and printing the coupons there.  You can do so by following the link here:

https://pennypinchingpeach.com/2013/10/04/swagbucks-savings/

If you don’t want to join the program and earn points toward gift cards or other great items just by printing coupons you are going to print either way, you can just follow the link below to simply print the Huggies coupons, although I am only seeing coupons for Slip-ons and Overnights, and I’d printed for regular ones on Swagbucks a few days ago:

http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Baby-%26-Toddler-Coupons-5491/

What has been your favorite deal you’ve scored lately?


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Mexi-Mac

Mexi-Mac

Mexi-Mac

I must admit. This recipe was born from the same place many of my “recipes” are born from: It was simply a case of me wanting something quick and easy to make to fill up my family’s grumbly tummies with ingredients I had on hand. I actually had leftover mac and cheese when I first made this, and just scrounged around the cabinets for something different to make a dinner-in-a-dish with my leftovers. My kiddos really enjoyed this Mexi-Mac, but if you don’t like any spice at all, you could probably do it with plain diced tomatoes or half plain and half the kind with chilies. It would be good with ground beef added, as well. There are so many ways this could be changed up, and it would still be yummy. It’s really just up to your family’s tastes and what’s in your cabinets that day. I’m the queen of playing with recipes to make them work for my family better, or just to use ingredients I don’t have to run out and buy. 🙂

Mexi-Mac

1 10 ounce can Rotel mild green chili and diced tomato
1 16 ounce can black beans
1 box mac and cheese, prepared according to the instructions on the box
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix Rotel, beans and mac and cheese together in a 9X13 baking pan.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until everything is warmed through and cheese is melted.
Enjoy!

*keep reading*

Do you have any dishes that were inspired by leftovers? Does you family eat leftovers or turn up their noses to them? I know some folks hate leftovers, but we hate wasting ours! We often eat them just reheated, but almost as frequently we have leftover makeovers. Sometimes you wouldn’t even know what the original meal was. Yep, I’m that good! 😉

There are no coupons for these specific ingredients, but they are so inexpensive that it almost doesn’t matter. There is a coupon for frozen Hanover beans here, if you want to try those, though: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/

If you want to earn points toward gift cards while printing coupons, see my post here: https://pennypinchingpeach.com/2013/05/15/mypoints/

For more recipes, please click the Chef’s hat!