Thrifty ways to save

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easy smores, #smores, #thriftysnacks, #chocolate,#easysmores, #snacks,  #marshmallow, #grahamcracker, #lighter snacks

Smores, Lighter Way to Satisfy a SweetTooth

Who doesn’t love a smore?  My kids ask for them constantly but we don’t make them very often.  We usually do them over the fire pit maybe a couple times each summer, but they could eat them every day if I would let them! Not to mention, they aren’t exactly the healthiest snack in  the world.  Sometimes you just need a treat though, right?  These satisfy the craving, but the serving sizes are much smaller, and they are lighter than the original.  If you are craving the classic smore taste of summer, give these a try!

You will need:

graham crackers

large marshmallows

chocolate chips or chocolate candy coating

wax paper

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Begin by crushing up a couple of graham crackers.  You don’t need very many, I used 3 and had a lot of crumbs left over.  Once they are crushed, place the crumbs in a small, shallow bowl that will be easy to dip in.

Melt some chocolate.  I started with 2 squares and got about 15 marshmallows out of it.  Holding the end of your marshmallow, dip the other end into the chocolate.  Let it drip off into your bowl.

easy smores, #smores, #thriftysnacks, #chocolate, #easysmores, #snacks,  #marshmallow, #grahamcracker

Then quickly dip it into your graham cracker crumbs.  Place it chocolate side up on wax paper to cool.  The chocolate will harden.

easy smores, #smores, #thriftysnacks, #chocolate, #easysmores, #marshmallow, #snacks, #grahamcracker

There you have it!  These would make great finger foods for a party or picnic, or use them as a party favor in a cute vellum bag!  For now, my kids are just eating them.  Store them in an airtight container and have them on hand when you have a craving or want to indulge a sweet tooth without the guilt!

easy smores, #smores, #thriftysnacks, #easysmores, #snacks, #chocolate, #marshmallow, #grahamcracker

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Filed Under: Appetizer, Copy Cat recipes, Dessert, DIY, Ideas for Entertaining kids, Light Recipes, Thrifty Crafts for Kids, Thrifty ways to save

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thrifty iphone speaker, #iphone,  #iphonetricks, #iphonetips,#lifehacks, #speaker, #glass, #thriftytips

Thrifty IPhone Speaker~ Money Saving Tip

If your like me, you like having a smart phone; but the accessories and all of the extras that go with it can really add up.  A few years ago when I first got my husband’s hand me down Iphone, I was wanting to clean my bathroom.  I was listening to Pandora on my phone, which was sitting on the bathroom counter.  To get it out of the way, I picked it up and set it inside a glass that was on the counter.  It magnified the sound.  A lot.  I was so excited!  It has to be glass, but it is very effective.  Since then, that has been my go to method for making what I am listening to louder.  I have since been given a speaker, but honestly, I think this works just as good as the speaker I have!

thrifty iphone speaker, #iphone, #iphonetips, #iphonetricks, #lifehacks, #speaker, #glass, #thriftytips

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replace a worn out trampoline safety pad with pool noodles ~ Easy DIY, #diy, #trampoline, #poolnoodles, #homeimprovement

Here is a quick and easy safety tip that can be done on a budget…. Replace A Worn Out Trampoline Safety Pad With Pool Noodles .  Plus it looks really cool, I love how the bright colors POP and make the trampoli look bright and cheerful.

replace a worn out trampoline safety pad with pool noodles ~ Easy DIY,  #trampoline,#diy, #safety, #safetytips,  #poolnoodles, #homeimprovement

We have had a trampoline for a few years now and I think we take pretty good care of it.  We take it down for the winter, and try to avoid the kids “abusing” it.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing for the weather!  All it took was a few bad wind storms last year and the poor net and safety pad were trash!  I am sure I am not the only one who got pinched by a trampoline spring or two as a kid. It doesn’t feel good!  I was hoping to avoid that with my kids. Since I am thrifty, I didn’t want to spend a lot on a replacement.  These pool noodles were from the dollar store.  I bought 10 but only ended up needing 9.  Can’t beat $9!  Not to mention, I think it looks fun and brightens up the back yard!

You will need:

Pool noodles

box cutter

A tool to remove the springs (we got one with our trampoline that we saved. but I found a replacement here for super inexpensive if you need one!)

Begin by measuring your spring and deciding what length you would like your sections to be.  Then measure and cut your pool noodles into as many sections as it will provide.  You will probably end up with little pieces off the ends, save them, they will work for summertime crafts for the kids!

Once you have them all cut, it is time to put them over the springs. Using your nifty tool, remove one spring at a time, sliding the pool noodle onto the spring before replacing it.

replace a worn out trampoline safety pad with pool noodles ~ Easy DIY, #diy, #poolnoodles,#trampoline, #homeimprovement

This isn’t hard, just monotonous.  Thankfully I had my husband do it for me and it took him just a few minutes.

There you have it!  A bright, cheerful trampoline makeover that will be fun all summer long!

replace a worn out trampoline safety pad with pool noodles ~ Easy DIY,  #trampoline,#diy, #poolnoodles, #homeimprovement

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Filed Under: DIY, DIY / Crafts, Thrifty Craft Ideas, Thrifty ways to save, Uncategorized

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How to build a bookshelf out of a vinyl rain gutter – DIY

How to make a Rain Gutter Bookshelf

My girls have a bunk bed in their room and our oldest has the top bunk. She loves to read! Recently we took off over 127 books off her bed. These are not the beginner books, but large chapter books, science books, dictionaries, and instructional how to manuals which she loves to read. Anything and everything she will read but mainly items that shows her how to do things or fun facts about things.

This past Christmas we bought her the basic version of the Kindle so she got read books without having the mess all over her bed. Literally she would sleep on her books, she loves them so much.  She loves to read both of them now. Each night she may read for 2-3 hours before we finally tell her to turn it off  and go to bed. I really feel bad telling her to stop reading, but she will read all night long if we let her. So with all of these books on her bed, even after the consolidation effects of the Kindle tablet.

Make Vinyl Rain Gutter Book shelf cheap

So we headed to the local hardware store and looked around for things that I could put together for a bookshelf. The space I had in mind was the ledge above her rails of the top bunk along the back wall and headboard. I wanted to build a wood shelf but figured it would take too much time and cost more than I wanted to spend. So walking down the outdoor isle near the wood I saw rain gutters. The vinyl rain gutter was the perfect fit for the gap between the wall and the bunk bed, and it had the lip the books needed to stay up and not fall out. So I grabbed the end caps and hangers and a 90 degree elbow. This entire project only cost about $24.

rain gutter book shelf


Here are the items you need.

  • Vinyl Rain gutter – color of your choice
  • Hangers – at least 2 for each length, on the long section you may want three hangers
  • 90 degree elbow if you want to extend it down another wall
  • End caps for either end
  • Wood screws to attach the hanger to the wall studs
  • A hand held saw, like a sawzall or even an inexpensive hand saw
  • Tape measure
  • crayon

Rain Gutter Book Shelf kids room

First determine the length and position of where you want the gutters. We only used one 10 foot length of vinyl gutter and cut the section where we wanted it to extend 90 degrees down the other wall.

Fun thing about this DIY project is it doesn’t need to be exact or even cut pretty. Because the end caps will cover the exposed ends.

how to build a rain gutter book shelf

Carefully cut along the mark. Make sure to wear protective eyewear and cut in a safe place and on safe surfaces.

how to make a rain gutter book shelf

On the end of each upper edge you will need to remove about 1 inch of the lip the curls over. This is so it can be slid over the 90 degree elbow. See below.

If you are only making a straight book shelf then skip that part.

building a kid book shelf out of rain gutters

Next slide the hanger brackets onto the sections. These can slide up and down the gutter and can be positioned exactly on the wood stud on the wall. No need to worry about placement and positioning, simply slide it to where it needs to be. How easy!how to hang a rain gutter book shelf

Next snap on the end caps. The black gasket ring is for the rain but since this is inside, and unless you have a jungle in your kids room you wont need to worry about that! Just make sure you get it snapped on so you don’t see it and looks better!

install a rain gutter book shelf

Now you can enlist the kids to help you hold the rain gutter to the wall – close to where you want it. The fun part about this is you just need to screw in one screw per hanger bracket, so you can leave one end of the gutter hanging down a few inches without worrying about the proper position. Just screw in the screw into the stud, and move down to the next hanger.

Next add books, stuffed animals and other fun items the kids will enjoy!

Vinyl Rain Gutter bookshelf

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Filed Under: A Thrifty Dad, DIY, Look What I Made, Thrifty Craft Ideas, Thrifty Crafts for Kids, Thrifty ways to save

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on the go veggie cups, #healthy, #snacktime, #healthysnack, #travelsnacks, #ranch, #veggies, #easysnack

On the Go Veggie Cups

Are you planning a party and are looking for an easy to put together, healthy snack to serve?  Maybe you are  going to the park with the kids and want to bring something healthy for a snack? These are practical, easy to make and assemble and can be thrown together quickly and who doesn’t love an easy snack?!

If you are serving for a party or get together, you will want some small,clear, plastic cups to serve in.  If you are going out or taking them on the road you may want to consider small jars or snack containers with lids.  Or take the bottle of ranch with you with some small cups and assemble when you are there.

Squirt some ranch into the bottom of each cup, add veggie slices of your choice, and you are ready to go! Any veggie would be great; carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, the possibilities really can be endless!

For the ease of the party guests, or your children, cut the veggies into thin sticks and put one end into the ranch in the cup.  Now you also don’t have to worry about “double dipping” in your dip dish!

Vegetable cups, Healthy snack option, #partysnacks, #healthysnacks, #vegetables, #carrots, #celery, #ranch, #snacktime, #portablesnacks,  #easysnacks, #healthysnacks

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drawing on the trampoline with sidewalk chalk, #thriftysummerfun, #keepingkidsentertained, #summerfun, #summer, #chalk, #sidewalkchalk

Drawing on the Trampoline with Sidewalk Chalk, Thrifty Summer Fun

Kids get so bored during the summer!  It is sometimes hard to come up with things that entertain them without spending a lot of money.  Well, this idea is so simple, yet is sure to entertain for a little while!  Make it even more fun by letting them have a squirt bottle, or squirt gun to spray their art off when they are done!

All you need is some sidewalk chalk, and a trampoline.  We don’t usually think about drawing on things other than sidewalks with our sidewalk chalk, but we have done this many times and it washes of without any damage to your trampoline.  We have used squirt bottles to “erase” our drawings when we are done, or turn on the sprinklers and let them get wet while their art work disappears.  Either way,your kids will have fun and you won’t hear “I am bored” , for a few minutes anyway!

drawing on the trampoline with sidewalk chalk, #thriftysummerfun, #keepingkidsentertained, #summerfun, #chalk,  #summer, #sidewalkchalk

More activities, projects and fun things to do with your kids.

Dirt and Worms ~ Fun summer recipe for kids
 Make your own Crayons ~ Activities to do with kids
Be a Back Yard Detective ~ Activities to do with kids
Wiggle Worm Game ~ Games to do with kids
Make your own Bean Bag Toss ~ Games to do with Kids
Watch a Local Race ~ Frugal Family Activities to do
Corn Starch Gak Science Project to do with kids
Color Collage with ads from the paper
DIY Chime Set ~ Music Fun For Kids
Recipe for Homemade Slime
 Under the Sea Art Project for kids
Balloon Barrettes DIY Kids Fashion
Lady Bugs made out of an egg carton
Exploding Soap ~ Microwave Science For Kids
Horse made out of a pop bottle
Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids ~ Paper Turkeys
Easy Kid Games ~ Turn Easter Eggs Into Reading Games for Kids
 Math Games For Kids
Learn to tell time ~ Time Games for kids
 Frozen Popcorn
Frozen Snowball Pops  
FROZEN Rice Krispy Treats
 Blue Jello Cake Recipe
Magical Moving Milk Science Experiment 
How to make Flubber
Lava Lamp Bottle
Cloud Clay -2 ingredients to make the softest clay EVER 
Firework Tie Dye Shirt 
Summer Boredom Buster Idea

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