25 Frugal Days of Christmas

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I’m so excited to be teaming up with Frugal Homeschool Family for this year’s 25 Frugal Days of Christmas series! Make sure to bookmark or pin this post so you can easily click back over to check out the fabulous new articles. (To keep things simple, I won’t be providing daily updates anywhere except right here on this post.)

Here are the fabulous details:

Join Frugal Homeschool Family for the 25 Frugal Days of Christmas

 

Are you seeking a meaningful Christmas season that doesn’t break the bank?

If so, look no further!

The 25 Frugal Days of Christmas are here!

Join us as 25 top bloggers bring you ideas, tips, and resources to help you make this Christmas full of BIG memories on a tiny budget.

Check back each day through Christmas and you’ll find fun, and frugal traditions, free printables, frugal decorating ideas, yummy recipes, simple DIY craft projects, and more!


Meet the bloggers joining us in the 25 Frugal Days of Christmas:

Heather from Frugal Homeschool Family. ~ Alecia from Learning 2 Walk.~ Carlie from Today’s Frugal Mom.~ Julie from Logger’s Wife. ~ Suzette from The Joy of Homemaking. ~ Meeghan from Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading. ~ Annette from In All You Do. ~ Bonnie Rose from Write Bonnie Rose. ~ Caroline from The Modest Mom. ~ Sherryl from Simply Sherryl. ~ Tabitha from Meet Penny.~ Monique from Living Life and Learning. ~ Honey from Honey’s Life. ~ Felice from Home for Learning. ~ Sarah from Early Bird Mom. ~ Yvie from Gypsy Road. ~ Davonne from Davonne Parks. ~ Crystal from Crystal’s Tiny Treasures. ~ Tonia from The Sunny Patch. ~ Monica from Happy and Blessed Home. ~ Stephanie from The Multi’ Taskin’ Mom. ~ Janell from Saving You Dinero. ~ Kim from Not Consumed. ~ Kelli from Adventures in Child Rearing. ~ Pam from Keeping Life Creative. ~ Sharla from The Chaos and the Clutter. ~ Alicia from Extreme Christmas Savings. ~ Laurie from Inspiring NH Kids.

Sponsors of the 25 Frugal Days of Christmas:

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Grapevine Studies

 

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Special reminder: We are all fallible and opinions expressed by the participants – as well as products offered by the wonderful sponsors – are not guaranteed to reflect complete Biblical accuracy. Wisdom and discretion is advised. Thank you!

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)


Campfire Marshmallow Recipes (plus “campy” grill and oven ideas!)

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My family loves to roast marshmallows over a campfire and some of us are huge fans of the traditional s’more (graham cracker, melted chocolate, and a roasted marshmallow – it doesn’t get much better than that!).  But lately we’ve been branching out and trying some new things.

Here are a few ideas:

1) Plain roasted marshmallows.
The first time I suggested this, my kids were skeptical. But after an evening of perfecting marshmallow-roasting techniques, they were sold on the simplicity and deliciousness of experiencing a marshmallow by itself. And I was sold on the frugal-ness and simplicity of not needing to buy extra ingredients :)

2) Use Reece Cups instead of Hershey’s chocolate bars.
I haven’t personally tried this but my brother made some when we were visiting and Lily said they were possibly better than regular s’mores!

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3) Make it (a little bit) healthy.
Instead of using graham crackers to hold our junk food, sometimes we’ll slice an unpeeled banana lengthwise and fill it up with whatever we want. Marshmallows, peanut-butter, chocolate chips… you could even try drizzling caramel or crushing up graham crackers inside the banana. Go here for a photo and more instructions about the grilled banana. (And go here for a similar idea in apple form.)

Just don’t forget to wrap this treat in foil before cooking!

Note: Bananas and apple slices also taste great when cooked on the grill!

4) Roast strawberries in marshmallow fluff.
Another recipe that I haven’t tried yet but really, really want to! Here’s the pin for this beauty of a treat.

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When the outdoor cooking fails you:

5) Roast marshmallows inside.
Cooking marshmallows in the oven may not have the same effect as a campfire, but when the kids are itching to camp-out and the weather isn’t cooperating, this is a fun substitute. Just broil the marshmallows until they’re slightly browned and gooey-looking. (Go here for cooking instructions and photos.)

6) Make brownie s’mores!
Lily has made brownie s’mores before and they are delicious! Unfortunately, I have no idea where the original recipe is that she used, but Gluten Free on a Shoestring has never steered us wrong with a recipe, so I’ve pinned this amazing looking brownie s’more recipe for us to try next!

What about you? What’s your family’s favorite campfire dessert?

PS Go here for more camp cooking inspiration and go here for a list of 15 free outdoor activities you can do in 15 minutes or less!


10 Simple Homemade Breakfast Ideas

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My family is currently eating a mostly whole foods diet. We love feeling great but I don’t love spending hours in the kitchen every single day. I also don’t menu plan. So I need quick and easy last-minute meal options that don’t require fancy ingredients and that I can have ready in under 30 minutes, including clean-up time.

10EasyBreakfast
Today I’m going to share some of our go-to breakfast recipes
that I sometimes make for dinner as well. All of the recipes I use are gluten free and dairy free, but those of you who can have gluten and dairy can also enjoy these ideas!

10 Simple Homemade Breakfast Ideas

Note: Add fresh fruit to any of these suggestions for a more well-rounded meal.

1) Sausage (or bacon) and egg biscuits.
We love this easy drop biscuit recipe and I just cook the sausage (or bacon) and eggs while the biscuits are in the oven.

2) Oatmeal with sausage.
This was an accidental recipe – we were on our way out the door one day and I needed a quick way to get a meal I’d cooked into the car. So I dumped a pound of cooked sausage into 4 servings of cooked oatmeal. No milk, no sugar, nothing else to flavor the oatmeal at all. I cringed as my family took their first bites because I wasn’t sure what they’d think but they all loved it and it’s now our favorite way to eat oatmeal!

3) Hard-boiled eggs.
A super easy breakfast I can make in advance then just grab-and-go as needed!

4) Muffins.
Muffins are some of my favorite items to serve when we’re out for the day. They’re perfect for an easy breakfast or even a snack to hold us over until we get home for a late lunch. I can whip up a batch of muffins the evening before or make a double batch for the freezer so we can just pull them out when we’re running behind. Plus they’re great to serve when company is over.

My current favorite muffin recipes are these applesauce muffins (they’re actually pancakes that we bake in a muffin pan) and these incredibly moist and easy banana-oat muffins. (These pumpkin muffins pull a close third – I want to try them with chocolate or cinnamon chips!)

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5) Scrambled eggs with vegetables.

My kids love it when I quickly saute whatever I have on hand (like mushrooms, red peppers, and onions) then crack some eggs into the cooked veggies and scramble it all up together.

6) Smoothies.
Lately we’ve been enjoying smoothie recipes from the VitaMix recipe book I received as a gift with my blender, but we’ve also discovered that when we use bananas as a base, tossing a combination of any sweet fruits like kiwi, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, berries, or grapes into the blender is an easy thing to get right.

7) Breakfast cookies!
Just bananas and oatmeal. So easy. Not our favorite recipe ever but a lot of people really love these healthy cookies.

8 ) Cinnamon Bun Style Biscuits.
Okay so technically I’ve never made these (Lily made them). And technically they take a little longer than 30 minutes from start to finish, especially when cutting them into cutesy shapes (shown in photo collage above). But they are oh, so good and a lovely addition to any holiday or other-wise fancy breakfast!

9) Any one of the above items.
Some mornings we’ll just have muffins. Or scrambled eggs (without the veggies). Or oatmeal. Or fresh fruit. You get the idea!

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10) When all else fails, we have Rice Chex with a dairy free milk.
(I want to try out this rice milk recipe!)

Additional Tips

Don’t always cook alone. Children can help out by making breakfast altogether, preparing one of the breakfast items, setting the table, and/or cleaning up.

Make sure to cheat plan ahead. When you make muffins for dinner, make sure to save enough for breakfast the next day. If you’re making biscuits for breakfast, hold some back to serve with dinner that evening. Oatmeal and sausage? Make at least double of what you’ll need and refrigerate some of it to have for breakfast the next morning.

Basically, when you’re already in the kitchen, try to make enough of at least one item to last at least two meals, thus minimizing your food-prep time.

What about you? What are some of your quick and easy breakfast or other kitchen short-cut ideas?


Free Printable: Snowman Soup Poem

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Earlier this week I posted a recipe to a “soup” that we enjoy making every fall/winter. Below is a free printable of the poem we use for our favorite way to drink the snowman soup (AKA: hot chocolate)! Just click the image below to open the printable as a PDF.

You can color the snowman’s accessories if you’d like. We like using fancy scissors when cutting these, but regular scissors will also do the trick!

UPDATE: United Kingdom Version

SnowmanPoemUK

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