Penny Pinching Peach


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Paper Plate Pumpkin Masks

Paper Plate Pumpkin Masks

Paper Plate Pumpkin Masks

Need an inexpensive and easy fall craft for kids? Try my upcycled paper plate pumpkin masks!

I try to do a craft of some sort at least once or twice a week with my children, mostly using items we have on hand or that will cost me very little to get the supplies for. This was one of our recent projects, using only items I already had in my cabinets. These masks were pretty quick to pull together, as well as lots of fun for my little ones to help make and play with when they were finished. If you need a simple and cheap autumn craft for children, this is for you!

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Want to know how to make your own paper plate pumpkin mask? Keep reading!

Pumpkin Mask Supplies

Pumpkin Mask Supplies

First, gather your supplies. In case the photo isn’t enough explanation, here’s your crazy long list of things you need:

Yep, that’s it! Think you can handle that? 😉

Next, let your kiddos color the middle round part of the plate orange (or another color, if they’re feeling funky). Cut the round center part of the plate out.

Hold the cut out near your child’s face and put a dot on the plate where the eyes and mouth should go, then draw the shapes they want them to be. I scored the lines with my scissors and then went back over them with a knife to cut them the rest of the way out.

Poke a hole in each side of the pumpkin mask for the ribbon to go through. Have your child hold the mask up and then wrap the ribbon around from hole to hole to figure the length. You can do the strap one of two ways. Either two pieces of ribbon you tie on (my choice) or one solid piece they slide on and off their heads. I wrapped it behind and added enough length to tie through the holes as well as tying a bow in the back, which was a few extra inches. Cut and tie the ribbon through the holes.

Paper Plate Pumpkin Mask

Paper Plate Pumpkin Mask

Your child will be ready to go crazy as a walking jack o’lantern!

For a fun story time activity this fall and Halloween, check out The Teeny Tiny Ghost and the Monster! If you want a safe alternative to carving jack o’lanterns, try my No Carving Pumpkin Family!


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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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Hot Dog Casserole

Hot dog!

Hot dog!

This is one of those recipes I love, because it has your veggies for the healthy appeal, your hot dogs for the kid appeal, and the ease of throwing it together for the busy person appeal! It’s also very budget friendly, which teetotally appeals to the penny pincher in me! The doggie in the picture isn’t exactly the kind that goes in this casserole, but I think she’s pretty cute! I hope y’all enjoy this recipe! I’d say it’s a keeper. 🙂

First comes the recipe…

♦ Hot Dog Casserole ♦

16 hot dogs , cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 (15 ounce) cans cut green beans with liquid
2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a 2-quart casserole dish, stir together sliced hot dogs, green beans with their liquid, and stewed tomatoes with their juice.

Bake in the preheated oven until the juice is thickened, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, stir again, and sprinkle the casserole with mozzarella cheese. Heat the broiler of the oven, and place the casserole under the broiler until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as the broiler works quickly and could burn.

Now comes the savings…

Go to this site: http://www.coupons.com/coupons/Food-Coupons-107/

Print these coupons: Ball Park Lean Hot Dogs and/or Jennie O Turkey Franks

What’s your favorite way to eat hot dogs?