32 Cheap Foods to Add to Your Grocery List Today

Are you trying to save money on groceries?

If you buy certain types of foods, you may be able to shrink your budget easier than you once thought. I’m going to bring you a list of cheap foods you can buy at the grocery store.

Fill your meal plan using the cheap foods from this list, and you might be surprised how much money you can save by eating differently.

Here are the cheapest foods at most grocery stores:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Eggs

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Eggs are a great source of protein and inexpensive to boot. Some eggs can come with a higher price tag if you purchase the organic or cage free options.

Take this into account when purchasing eggs. If you desire cage free or organic eggs it might be less expensive to buy them from a local farmer.

2. Bananas

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Bananas are full of potassium and most people love their sweet flavor. If you’re working on a budget, don’t pass up the bananas in the produce section.

They can make a great snack or used to make a variety of delicious desserts.

3. Rice

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Rice makes a great side dish or can be used as part of a main course. Either way, it’s a cheap food perfect for your grocery list.

If you purchase white rice, it’s generally less expensive than brown rice. Keep in mind, white rice isn’t as sturdy as brown rice which can cause blood sugar spikes.

4. Oatmeal

We love oatmeal around our house. The kids and I eat it for breakfast at least three times per week. You can add fruit to the hot cereal for a healthy treat.

However, oatmeal is also great to bake with. If you need a versatile and inexpensive item for your grocery list, go with oatmeal.

5. Frozen Vegetables

Fresh vegetables can add up quickly when grocery shopping. This is why frozen vegetables are recommended.

They’re less expensive and in many cases, fresher than the unfrozen produce. If you need vegetables, hit the frozen food aisle.

6. Dry beans

I’m not a huge fan of dried beans, but my husband loves them. Nothing makes him happier than a crock pot of pinto beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread.

If you need a frugal protein source which is shelf-stable and healthy, consider buying dried beans.

7. Spinach

Spinach is considered one of the superfoods of the world. It’s excellent for you and is jam packed with vitamins.

If you need a healthy food but are working on a tight budget, reach for fresh or frozen spinach. It’s delicious too!

8. Carrots

I know what it is to work with a tight budget. At one point, I fed six people per week on around $50. It took lots of creativity on my part.

Carrots were used around my house a great deal during this time because they were fresh, healthy, they stored for longer periods, and were affordable.

9. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is another frugal and shelf-stable form of protein. Whether you enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, celery and peanut butter, or peanut butter in your smoothie, it’s a great choice.

You can purchase different brands and sizes to make peanut butter fit into your budget, but it’s a necessity around my household.

10. Garlic

Garlic is a great way to add flavor to your dishes without adding a ton of calories. You can purchase fresh garlic or minced.

I prefer to purchase the minced garlic because it’s easier to store and use whenever needed.

11. Cabbage

Cabbage is a vegetable which should land on every frugal grocery list. It’s inexpensive and able to be utilized in many ways.

You can fry it, boil it, and even ferment it for a healthy condiment. Plus, cabbage lasts for months when stored properly in your refrigerator.

12. Chicken Thighs

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of chicken thighs because I don’t like dark meat. If you do like it, you’re in luck because chicken thighs are an affordable cut.

If you need protein but are working on a tight grocery budget, be sure to add chicken thighs to your list. Keep an eye out for Manager’s Specials. This is a great time to buy chicken thighs to freeze and an inexpensive way to stockpile them.

13. All-Purpose Flour

Flour is a great staple to keep around because it can be used for a variety of things in the kitchen. All-purpose flour can be used for baking in desserts or breads.

However, you can also use it when cooking because it’s great for frying or using in a thickener. When shopping on a budget, it’s vital to buy items which are versatile.

14. Canned Fish

Buying enough protein when working on a budget can be the hardest part because many items high in protein are also expensive.

If you need protein, don’t miss the canned fish. You can purchase canned tuna fish or salmon. They’re an affordable protein option and can be put on your salad at lunch or fried into patties.

15. Canned Chicken

Canned chicken is a great way to enjoy white meat chicken without breaking the bank. You can use it in gumbo style recipes.

But it’s also great for making chicken salad. The best thing about canned chicken is it comes fully cooked which cuts down on your prep time.

16. White Potatoes

When we were living on an extremely tight budget, potatoes were one of my go-to options at the grocery store.

The reason being, I could purchase them in large quantities for little money. Plus, potatoes are a versatile vegetable.

17. Pasta

It’s important to say at this point, if you’re buying cheap foods from this list, you should purchase a variety.

If you live strictly off pasta, you won’t be healthy. Pasta is versatile and inexpensive but be sure to pair it with other items on this list.

18. Apples

When we need healthy fresh foods, it can be expensive. This is why apples are an amazing food. They’re fresh (and when purchased in-season) they aren’t expensive.

You can slice them up for a snack. They can also be used in desserts or fried to become a favorite side dish.

19. Onions

You don’t realize how seasonings add up until you’re working on a meager grocery budget. Suddenly, you don’t have much room for the items which add flavor to a dish.

This is where onions come into play. They’re inexpensive, last for long periods of time when stored properly, and add a ton of flavor.

20. Lettuce

Lettuce doesn’t have a ton of nutritional value, but it’s inexpensive and can help you choose healthier eating habits.

It’s great for salads, toppings on a taco, or used in the place of sandwich bread. There are different lettuce varieties. Be sure to choose the one which will best fit your needs.

21. Green Bell Peppers

Green bell peppers make a great snack with ranch dressing, a wonderful topping on a salad, or go well cooked in a dish.

However, notice I pointed out the bell peppers should be green. When you start adding colors to the bell peppers, they become more expensive.

22. Hot Dogs

I’ve tried to make this list as healthy as possible, but we’re going to move into the less healthy options because many convenience foods are cheap.

One convenience food which is affordable is hot dogs. You can grill them, boil them, fry them, or bake them to have a quick bite of protein in your meal.

23. Boxed Mac and Cheese

Not all boxed mac and cheese is inexpensive. If you want a quick side dish to go with your hot dogs, be sure to look for the less expensive options.

In most cases, it’s the store brand which uses the powdered cheese. You may have to buy a few extra ingredients to make it, but it’s cheap and shelf-stable.

24. Ramen Noodles

I didn’t eat Ramen noodles until I was married and moved to a different state. It was the first time in my life when money was extremely tight, and I was desperate to feed my family cheaply.

This is when I discovered how ramen noodles could be morphed into great dinners. Add a few inexpensive veggies to the mix, and it’s a quick and delicious meal.

25. Milk

There was a time when milk was getting expensive. Over the past few years, the prices of milk in my area have dropped.

Milk is needed for cooking, drinking, and even baking. Plus, you can drink a glass of milk in the place of a snack to get healthy nutrients and a few calories to fuel your body until the next meal.

26. Sliced Cheese

Some sliced cheese is expensive, but if you buy the processed sliced cheese it’s more affordable. You should check your brands to get the best deal.

Sliced cheese is great as a snack on crackers, or it can be used to make grilled cheese. Either way, it’s affordable and versatile.

27. Saltine Crackers

When you need something to snack on but don’t have a ton of room in the budget for snack-food, where should you turn?

The cracker aisle of course. Saltine crackers are affordable and go well with peanut butter or cheese for an easy snack.

28. Chips

Chips are an easy snack and also go well as a side dish to hot dogs or other sandwiches. They also aren’t expensive anymore.

If you shop the store brand, you might be surprised to find how inexpensive potato chips can be.

29. Polish Sausage

It’s obvious there’s plenty of side items and snack foods which are affordable. Protein has always been the biggest hurdle for me when grocery shopping on the cheap.

This is why (even now during my quarterly grocery shopping trips) I still stock up on cheap proteins. Polish sausage is a less expensive protein, which is great for gumbo recipes, cooked with cabbage, or used as a breakfast food.

30. Pork Sausage

Pork sausage is another inexpensive protein. You’ll need to shop brands to make sure you’re buying the least expensive option.

However, pork sausage can be used in rice with seasonings and a sautéed bell pepper for a delicious dinner. You can also use it as a traditional breakfast food or to make sausage balls for a snack.

31. Sandwich Meat

Some sandwich meat can be expensive, but when I needed to pack my husband less expensive lunches, I turned to bologna.

I found a large package of bologna at one of my local grocery stores. I asked the butcher to slice it, brought it home to package in freezer bags, and for approximately $6, I had enough sandwich meat to last for a month or more.

32. Specific Types of Cereal

Many cereals are expensive, so again, you’ll need to shop brands when adding cereal to your list. Yet, cereal is a quick breakfast or a good snack.

If you shop store brands, I’ve found rice cereal is usually the most affordable. Check your grocery store sales and look for coupons to make purchasing cereal even more affordable.

This concludes our list of cheap foods to add to your grocery list. Hopefully these 32 foods will help you to slash your grocery bill without a ton of extra effort.

Now that you have these cheap foods, check out recipes where they can be used, and start saving money on your grocery budget. 

Looking for more ways to save on your groceries? Check out these 40 tips!

You can also learn more about saving time and money with quarterly grocery shopping in these two posts:

8 Reasons to Begin Preserving Your Own Food Now

Do you have a friend who’s in their kitchen constantly during the summer months?

Are they preserving their own food?

I understand because I’m this friend to my friends. During the summer months I disappear because I’m busy in my garden and kitchen.

It’s vital I preserve enough food to sustain my family throughout the year. This helps us save money and makes it easier to quarterly grocery shop.

If you’ve ever wondered why people preserve their own food, you’re in luck! I’m going to share a few insights with you on why people put in the work to preserve their own food and why you should get started now:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Less Dough

When you preserve your own food, you save a ton of money. You can grow a large garden or purchase produce in bulk.

Either way, it makes the food less expensive than buying it as needed from your local grocery store. By preserving a great deal of my family’s own food, I’m able to have enough of a stockpile where I can grocery shop only once per quarter.

When I grocery shop at these times, I still only spend approximately what most do in a month because I’ve produced and preserved the majority of what we need.

Check out how my family saves approximately $500 per month on groceries with quarterly grocery shopping.

2. Healthier

Preserving your own food is much healthier than what you buy at the store. You know exactly what’s going into the food you eat, and in many cases, you’ve raised the food from a seed.

There’s no hidden surprises.

Plus, the food is stored in glass jars, no preservatives are used (besides natural canning salt), and the lids are BPA free.

If you’re concerned about the quality of food your family is consuming and their health, preserving your own food is the way to go.

3. It’s Delicious!

I tell my husband all the time, when my kids are grown, the first thing I’m going to do is take our tractor and run straight through our two large gardens.

Why? Because they’re a ton of work! When it’s only my husband and I, we won’t need such large plots to raise our own food.

However, I won’t quit gardening all together (until I’m too old to safely do it anymore.) We’ll switch to a nice raised bed garden, have a few containers, and I’ll keep my perennial crops. I’ll still raise enough food to preserve for us.

After canning my own green beans and tomatoes for almost a decade, I can’t go back to the store for these items.

They don’t taste as good from the store (in my humble opinion.) These crops don’t require much effort to grow, canning them isn’t difficult, and they taste amazing!

4. Preparedness

Whether it be a storm or a world crisis (such as this pandemic) my family and I don’t have to worry. The reason being is we preserve most of our own food and stockpile the rest with quarterly grocery shopping.

When you preserve most of your own food, you’re ready. You shouldn’t worry when trouble hits because your family has enough food to sustain them.

Plus, if you can start a fire, you can eat. This goes for canned and frozen foods. Preserving your own food always makes sure you’re ready for whatever may happen in life.

5. Easier on the Earth

If you’re environmentally mindful, you’ll be glad to know preserving your own food is much easier on the earth.

When you purchase goods from the grocery store, there’s a ton of packaging which comes with it. Even if you recycle the cans, plastic, or other packaging, it doesn’t answer for the packaging the product ships in.

As you preserve your own food, you’ll find you’re able to reuse the containers you store your food in. I’ve had the same canning jars for almost ten years.

We recently purchased the reusable Tattler lids which should last us another couple of decades.

Plus, when you store foods in the freezer or by dehydrating you can use reusable containers or minimal amounts of plastic bags which can later be recycled.

Need food preservation equipment? Check out this dehydrator! 

6. The Original Convenience Foods

Are you constantly frustrated because you feel as though you don’t have enough time to prepare your family home cooked meals?

Therefore, your bank account keeps dropping, the health of your family is concerning, and the food you eat doesn’t make you feel good?

Preserving your own food can help with this. Canning is the original way our ancestors had convenience foods.

You can produce quality meals in less than 30 minutes by opening a few jars of precooked foods. These foods are healthy because you know what’s in them and how they were preserved.

There’s no guilt in this style of convenience food.

Need a healthy meal plan? Check out my carb-friendly meal plan with FREE printable! 

7. It’s a Skillset

Preserving your own food takes time, and it takes the patience of learning a new skill set. Here’s the amazing thing: none of it is hard.

Once you learn how to operate a dehydrator and canner, you’ve gained the skills you need to store food for yourself and your family for the year to come.

It does take an investment when purchasing the necessary materials. Plus, it takes the investment of time.

Deciding whether to invest the time and money to learn to preserve food is up to you, but it certainly can provide a great return on your investment. 

8. Do It Now!

If you’re interested in learning to preserve your own food, the time is now. I say this with a sense of urgency.

As this pandemic rolls through, you begin to see a side of people you didn’t know was there. People are panicked and looking out for themselves.

You don’t want to be at your local store’s mercy when trouble hits. We’ve already seen this isn’t an efficient plan.

The same people who are panicked in the stores have headed online and started stocking up on the equipment necessary to preserve their own food.

It’s nearly impossible to find a good deal on canning jars, canners, or canning lids right now because of the panic many are still feeling.

However, if you’re going to begin preserving food, I encourage you to get your supplies sooner rather than later.

Start learning the skills because unfortunately, the chaos of this world is going to keep happening. You should be prepared for the next round of it.

The best way to be prepared is to practice becoming more self-sufficient and learn to preserve your own food.

Hopefully this sheds some light on why many people go the extra mile to preserve their own food each year.

It’s a great skill to have when being prepared, but it can also help you to save money and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Now that you know the perks of preserving your own food, what are you waiting for? Figure out how to garden on the cheap and start preserving your own foods. 

26 DIY Coffee Drinks to Start Your Day in a Tasty Way

Do you love coffee?

Are you looking for a fresh way to start your day?

You’ve come to the right place. I love my coffee but sometimes I want it in a different fashion. This is where DIY coffee drinks save the day.

But who has the time (or money) to hit a drive-thru every time you’re looking for a different way to enjoy coffee?

You can now make your own DIY coffee drinks at home. Here are some of the internet’s best coffee beverages. Hint: You’re going to love this!

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is frequently made using a French press. Add the ground beans to the press, pour some water in, and press down to strain the beans. You can also do this with a mason jar and nut bag.

2. Mocha Frappuccino

This DIY coffee drink  is a great choice when you need an energy boost and sweet treat. Make your coffee, add sugar, milk, cocoa, and ice. Blend it all together, and you have an amazing treat.

3. Copycat Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte

If you love Starbucks, you’ll love this recipe. It starts by making a cinnamon syrup. Make your coffee, add sugar, milk, cinnamon syrup, and finish it off with a dollop of whipped topping.

4. Whipped Coffee

This is such a simple idea but makes a wonderful treat. Make instant coffee with sweetener and milk. Use a hand blender to make the drink frothy and delicious!

5. DIY Iced Caramel Latte

Do you love the rich caramel flavor in your coffee? You’ll want to try this recipe. Make cold brew coffee, pour over ice, add milk, and caramel sauce. Stir until the ingredients are well blended.

6. Vietnamese Iced Coffee

This drink is so decadent it requires a cocktail shaker. Add cold brew and sweetened condensed milk to a shaker. Shake until all the ingredients are well blended, pour into a glass, and enjoy.

7. Starbucks Copycat Iced Caramel Macchiato

I love iced macchiato coffee beverages. They’re sweet and delicious. This recipe is easy to make too! All you need is vanilla syrup, milk, caramel sauce, and strong brewed coffee.

8. Iced Lavender Latte

Do you want a fragrant DIY coffee drink? You’ve found the recipe. You’ll create a lavender simple syrup which is poured over a glass of chilled espresso and ice. Add milk, and you have an amazing beverage.

9. Iced Milk and Honey Latte

This beverage is easy and delicious. You add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake the mixture for 20 seconds and pour over ice.

10. Irish Coffee with Whiskey

I’m not sure you’ll use this recipe to start your day, but you may use this DIY coffee drink to end it. Brew your coffee and fill a mug approximately ¾ full. Fill the rest of the mug with sugar and whiskey. Stir to dissolve all the ingredients and top with fresh whipped topping.

11. Skinny Vanilla Iced Coffee

Want an iced coffee without all the calories? This recipe could help you with this. It uses quality coffee, ice, sugar alternative, and a sugar free syrup to make a delicious treat you don’t have to feel guilty about.

12. White Chocolate Mocha

This recipe calls for white chocolate, coffee, and milk. You can serve it hot or cold for a delicious treat any time of the year.

13. Snickerdoodle Latte

You’ve hit the jackpot with this recipe. It shows you how to make a creamy snickerdoodle latte with hints of sugar and brown cinnamon. Yet, it also includes ways to transform the latte into Nutella or pumpkin flavors. What more could you want?

14. New Favorite Summer Coffee Drink

This recipe was shared via social media. It includes your choice of milk, Mio vanilla iced coffee flavoring, ice, and whipped topping. You can skip the coffee all together with this treat but still get the flavors you love.

15. Starbucks Copycat Pumpkin Cold Foam Cold Brew

Do you love the fragrant flavor of pumpkin spice? You’ll want to give this recipe a shot. It starts with cold brew coffee. Add pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin spice syrup, and heavy cream for a delicious way to start your day.

16. 5 Second Iced Coffee

If you have instant coffee, half and half, flavored syrup, and ice, you’ve got an iced coffee. Even if you’re running behind, you still have time for a DIY coffee drink. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise! You don’t need that negativity in your life. 😉

17. Mexican Cold Brew Coffee

You’ve already got a recipe for cold brew coffee shown above. This recipe is cold brew coffee on steroids. French press the coffee, but also add brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and almond extract to the mixture. It sounds great!

18. Healthy Frozen Coffee

You want frozen coffee, but you’d like to skip the guilt. I get it! This recipe can help. It contains cold coffee, unsweetened almond milk, ice, vanilla, coconut sugar, chocolate bone broth protein, and coconut cream. You must check this one out!

19. S’mores Iced Coffee

This coffee treat sounds amazing! It starts with store-bought iced coffee. Add marshmallow fluff, milk, chocolate syrup, graham cracker crumbs, whipped cream, and marshmallows for a liquid s’more.

20. Flat White Coffee Beverage

This is a basic coffee recipe, but it can make your morning joe seem special every day. Make a strong cup of coffee or espresso. Heat milk on your stove and froth it. Pour the frothy milk over the brewed beverage for a beautiful cup of coffee.

Give this espresso machine a try!

21. Iced Caramel Coffee

This is another simple recipe as it starts with store-bought iced coffee. Add milk, caramel syrup, sugar, ice cubes, and whipped topping, and you’ve got an amazing coffee drink.

22. Grapefruit Cappuccino

If you love having fragrant beverages, you’ll like this one. Add grapefruit juice and honey to a cup. Pour the cappuccino over the mixture. Froth the milk before pouring it over the beverage. Top it all off with rosemary. It will awaken your senses first thing in the morning.

23. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew Coffee

You can get the nutrients you need in this cup of coffee. The drink contains half and half, collagen, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. This makes a healthy sweet cream coffee creamer which goes perfectly over a cup of cold brew coffee.

24. Birthday Cake Frappuccino

Is it your birthday? Why not make yourself a special DIY coffee drink? It all starts with a good cup of coffee or milk (if you aren’t a coffee person.) Add ice, vanilla syrup, sugar, hazelnut syrup, raspberry syrup, vanilla ice cream, raspberry whipped cream, more sugar, heavy cream, raspberry extract, and red food coloring for looks. No one said it was healthy, but it sure looks delicious!

25. DIY Mushroom Coffee

Mushroom coffee? What is this exactly? You can purchase mushroom powder and sprinkle it in your coffee. You can either enjoy the beverage hot or make your own iced coffee. It’s your choice.

Check out this mushroom coffee. 

26. Bulletproof Coffee

This is how I start my morning every day. It’s a coffee beverage with vanilla extract, sweetener, heavy cream, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, and butter. The beverage is frothy, filling, and absolutely delicious!

You now have 26 different ways to make delicious DIY coffee drinks. Some are healthy and some are more of a treat.

Either way, you never have any reason to bypass your coffee (or its benefits!) Get your day started on the right foot…with a DIY coffee drink.  

Make a Cheap and Easy Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner in 4 Steps

Are you looking for a homemade all-purpose cleaner that works?

You can use diluted vinegar to clean most surfaces, but this didn’t work for me. My family complained our house smelled of pickles.

One day, I was getting ready to toss some unused citrus into the compost bin when I got an idea. I realized I could make a completely homemade all-purpose cleaner that smells good.

If you’re looking for a natural cleaner that’s also frugal, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how I make my homemade all-purpose cleaner:

You’ll need-

·       A mason jar

·       Apple cider vinegar

·       Citrus fruit

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Grab the ACV

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

You can buy apple cider vinegar. It’s inexpensive and great for you. I drink a tablespoon every morning to help balance my blood sugar.

The apple cider vinegar with the mother in it is what’s recommended for health purposes. However, if you’re only going to use the apple cider vinegar for cleaning, you can buy the more filtered version.

To make my homemade all-purpose cleaner as frugal as possible (and to avoid household waste) I make my own vinegar. Whether you choose to make your own apple cider vinegar or buy it, make sure you have some on hand.

This cleaner depends upon it.

2. Cut and Squeeze

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

Once your ACV is ready to go, grab a few pieces of citrus fruit. The amount will depend upon the size of the jar you’re using for storage.

Cut the fruit in half, squeeze the juice into the jar, and place the fruit rind in the container as well.

I use a half gallon jar for my storage container. It holds approximately five pieces of fruit. I buy citrus fruit when it’s on sale. If we eat it, perfect.

If not, I’ll cut it up, and place it in my cleaner. The fruit will break down while sitting in the ACV. You can remove old peelings as needed and replenish with fresh fruit.

If you put lemon in your tea, use your leftover lemon wedges (and even the wedges you used) and place them in the cleaner. My main recommendation is to stick with citrus fruit.

I’ve only used oranges and lemons, but grapefruit might work as well.

3. Use and Replenish

After you’ve placed the fruit in the jar, pour apple cider vinegar over the fruit. Fill the jar until the liquid reaches the neck of the container.

Place a lid and ring on the jar until you’re ready to use. When you’re running low, add some more apple cider vinegar to the mix to replenish.

I use this as a general all-purpose cleaner. If you have concerns about the harshness of the cleaner, be sure to do your research before using it.

In my case, it has worked well. I love the way the citrus smell evens out the vinegar scent.

Most importantly, I love that it costs me nothing to make, helps me reduce the amount of waste in my house, and I know exactly what’s in this cleaner.

This homemade all-purpose cleaner is a great help to my budget.

4. Uses for the Product

I’ve used this cleaner in a variety of ways. Here are the ways you may want to use it around your home:

·       Wiping down counters

·       Cleaning the bathroom

·       Rinse aid for your dishwasher

·       Floor cleaner

I have even used this cleaner when running the “clean cycle” on my washing machine. So far, it has worked well, and I’ve had no problems.

Again, do your research to make sure the citrus and vinegar won’t be too harsh on the surface or product you’re cleaning.

Hopefully, it will work as well for you as it has for me.

Cleaning your home can be inexpensive . You can avoid harsh chemicals too.

Instead, use the products you already have and reduce the amount of waste you produce in your home by making this homemade all-purpose cleaner.

Happy housekeeping! 

Looking to transform your laundry routine? Check out this post!

Need a cleaning schedule that works? I’ve got you covered there too.

If you need a complete financial overhaul, check this out to help you save money each month. 

37 Tasty Popsicle Recipes for Kids and Adults Too

Do your kids enjoy popsicles to cool off during the summer?

Popsicles are an easy (and frugal) treat. Plus, there are popsicle recipes for adults now! How fun is that?

If you’re searching for popsicle inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve found some of the internet’s best recipes and placed them in one convenient location.

Here are the recipes you should consider making this summer:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. 4 Ingredient Fruit and Yogurt Pops

You can have delicious yogurt pops with only four basic ingredients. If you have yogurt, honey, heavy cream, and fruit then you have DIY popsicles.

2. Strawberry Mango Popsicles

Do you enjoy the flavor combination of mangos and strawberries? If so, you’re going to love this popsicle recipe.

3. Dole Whip Popsicles

If you’ve ever been to DisneyLand or Disney World, you know they’re famous for their Dole Whips. You can now have it in popsicle form.

4. Root Beer Float Popsicles

This is so simple yet so delicious! You combine vanilla ice cream and root beer into popsicle molds. Once they freeze, you have a delicious root beer float in a popsicle.

5. Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding Pops

You can now have a delicious cheesecake in popsicle form, and it takes a ton less time to make. Place fresh strawberries and cheesecake pudding in a popsicle mold. Add finely crushed graham crackers to the top and let the ingredients freeze.

6. Lava Flow Popsicles

These are gorgeous popsicles with a delicious flavor to boot. The popsicles consist of pineapple, mango, coconut milk, strawberries, orange juice, and honey.

7. Nutella Cool Whip Popsicle

These popsicles are delicious and easy to make. Mix Nutella and Cool Whip together. Place the mixture in popsicle molds and freeze for a delicious treat!

8. Shirley Temple Popsicles

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Shirley Temple drinks are basically a cherry 7-Up. You can now have this flavor in a popsicle thanks to this recipe.

9. Gummy Bear Popsicles

Are gummy bears a favorite around your home? You can now have these delicious (and cute!) popsicles to share with your family thanks to this easy-to-follow recipe.

10. Strawberry Lemon Ice Pops

This recipe is easy to make. You blend strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar together. Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze.

11. Watermelon Raspberry Popsicles

The great thing about fresh popsicles is that they don’t require many ingredients. This recipe only calls for two ingredients to make a delicious homemade treat.

12. Homemade Peanut Butter Fudgesicle

Do you like fudgesicles? Then you’ll love this recipe for peanut butter fudgesicles that can be made in the comfort of your own home.

13. Strawberry Lemonade Vodka Pops

This one is for adults only, but if you’re having a pool party and want to have a special treat for adults, skip the mixed drinks. Instead, make an adult popsicle.

14. Orange Dreamsicles

Dreamsicles are a childhood favorite of mine. Consider making them at home with only three ingredients!

15. Funfetti Pudding Pops

Kids love treats that not only taste great but look cool. These popsicles have both of these qualities. They’re super easy to make because they consist of vanilla pudding, milk, and sprinkles.

16. 4- Ingredient Creamy Coconut Popsicles

Popsicles are a fun treat, they taste great, but they’re also super simple to make. This recipe is a prime example. You can have a coconut party in your mouth with only four basic ingredients.

17. 2- Ingredient Baby and Toddler Pops

We can’t leave the small kids out of this fun roundup! If you have little ones, make them healthy popsicles by blending yogurt and fruit together. Place in a popsicle mold, and you have a great treat!

18. Chocolate Dipped Mocha Iced Coffee Popsicles

Who says popsicles are only fruit and yogurt? You can have delicious non-alcoholic adult popsicles thanks to this recipe, and it’s so easy! Freeze store-bought iced coffee, and you’re halfway there!

19. Rainbow Popsicles

Do you want some beautiful yet retro looking popsicles? You’ve come to the right place. These are healthy popsicles made from fresh fruit and yogurt.

20. Strawberries and Cream Popsicles

Strawberries and cream are traditional flavors that most people love. If you want a traditional flavor in your homemade popsicles, give this recipe a try.

21. Chai Tea Latte Popsicles

Do you love the flavor of chai tea? Then you’ll love these delicious and easy-to-make homemade popsicles. They’re gorgeous too!

22. Lavender Moon Milk Popsicles

Moon milk? What is that exactly? This recipe consists of lavender, honey, vanilla bean, and coconut cream. It creates a dreamy treat you’ll want to make all summer long.

23. Healthy Peaches and Cream Smoothie Popsicles

The idea behind these popsicles is to make a healthy peach smoothie and freeze it in popsicle molds. This mixture consists of peaches, yogurt, and honey. It sounds delicious!

24. DIY Rosé Popsicles

If you enjoy a good bottle of Rosé from time to time, you’ll love these popsicles.

Check out this cute wine glass!

 They’re made with Rosé, lemonade, and gin.

Don’t forget your popsicle molds!

25. Creamy Avocado Fudge Popsicles

If you’re trying to avoid dairy, it can be hard to enjoy fudge popsicles. That is, until now. This recipe subs avocado in the place of milk. Add your chocolate, a few other ingredients, and freeze for a delicious (and cool) sweet treat.

26. Mimosa Popsicles (For Grown Ups)

Do you enjoy mimosas while sitting poolside and eating a late brunch? You can now enjoy mimosas in a different way. Freeze them and create adult popsicles perfect for any time of day.

27. Lemonade Popsicles

Most of us enjoy a glass of cold lemonade on a hot day. You may even enjoy frozen lemonades. Now, you can enjoy lemonade in popsicle form when the temperatures begin to rise.

28. 4- Ingredient Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles

These popsicles look like a great choice, especially if you grow your own blueberries. They consist of blueberries, yogurt, honey, and a splash of milk.

29. Cookies-n-Cream Popsicles

My kids love cookies-n-cream ice cream. If your kids like this flavor choice as well, consider making these popsicles. They’re filled with chocolate sandwich cookies, vanilla, whipped topping, and milk.

30. Jell-O Popsicles

Jell-O popsicles are super easy to make and affordable too! You mix the Jell-O packet with sugar and water. Finish the process by freezing in a popsicle mold.

31. Tiramisu Popsicles

If you’re looking for a decadent popsicle your whole family will love, give this popsicle recipe a try. It has a delicious coffee layer and a creamy mascarpone layer. As my step dad says, “It’ll make you wish your throat was a mile long!”

32. Mint Chocolate Yogurt Popsicles

Do you love mint chocolate chip ice cream? If so, you’ll want to check out these popsicles. It begins by making a mint chocolate chip base. The base gets dipped in chocolate before being frozen inside the popsicle mold.

33. Old-Fashioned Cherry Creamsicles

Creamsicles are usually thought to be an orange flavor. However, people used to make cherry creamsicles too. This recipe gives you a blast from the past with a delicious flavor!

34. Healthy and Creamy Key Lime Pie Popsicles

Are you a fan of key lime pie? Why not enjoy the same flavor in a popsicle? Thanks to this recipe, it can now be your favorite summertime treat!

35. Bahama Mama Rum Popsicles

We’re taking a trip by the bar one more time. Instead of going for the mixed drinks on a hot day, make an adult popsicle instead. If you like Bahama Mamas, you should try this recipe.

36. Banana Cream Pie Popsicles

Banana cream pie is probably one of my favorite desserts. If you love the creamy banana flavor in your desserts, you should try these popsicles.

37. Cake Batter Popsicles

This whole article has consisted of recipes that could be a party in your mouth. Our big finale will bring the cake to the party. It’s an actual cake mix with vanilla ice cream and sprinkles that are frozen into a popsicle. Delicious!

You now have 37 different popsicle recipes for staying cool this summer. Popsicles are easy-to-make, inexpensive, and so delicious.

What are you waiting for? Buy your popsicle molds, start making some amazing concoctions, and enjoy your summer!

Need more fun, DIY summer recipes? Check out DIY ice cream recipes here

Fun Memorial Day recipes here

And tasty 4th of July recipes here

Summer Reading List for Moms: 12 Books to Read Poolside

Summer reading? For mothers? Hah!

Don’t scoff just yet. Yes, it’s important to keep the family happy and entertained this summer.

But mamas, you’ve got to take care of yourselves too! It doesn’t have to be expensive, but you can take a few moments for yourself every day.

This summer is a perfect time to start this new routine, and one of my favorite ways to practice self-care is to read.

Which is why I’m bringing you a summer reading list for moms. These are books I’ve either read (and love) or are on my personal “hope to read soon” list.

Need to keep your kids reading, so you’ll have a chance to read? Check out my elementary, middle, and high school reading lists. 

Here are the books you may love to read while sitting by the pool (or maybe with your feet in the kiddie pool) this summer:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Stephen King- On Writing

It’s no secret. I’ve worked as a freelance writer for the past six years and have loved it! I hope to continue growing my own writing business and maybe write a few more books over the years.

Which is why it’s important for me to keep honing the craft. I loved Stephen King’s book On Writing because it gives you great advice in a matter-of-fact form. The language is a little rough at times, but it’s still a great addition to our summer reading list for moms. Especially, if you’re a mom who loves to write.

2. Lysa Terkeurst Books

I like Lysa Terkeurst. She’s real, has a genuine way of writing, and I think she’s funny. Not to mention, we share many of the same struggles.

If you’re looking for a good summer read, try the following books:

3. The Little House Series

This may sound a little childish, but sometimes we need a good read that isn’t mentally taxing. Maybe we need a heartwarming story and a reminder of simpler times.

If you need this, I recommend The Little House series. Here are the books to choose from:

4. Murder on the Orient Express

I’m a Matlock fan. I don’t like gross details and gruesome murders, but I do love a little mystery every now and then.

If you love this type of mystery, you’ll love this novel. It’s a wonderful “who done it” story you won’t want to put down. You can watch the movie too!

5. Eat, Pray, Love

This is my absolute favorite book of all time. If you don’t want to travel the world after you finish it, you need to read it again because it’s inspiring.

It’s a story of one woman’s adventure around the world to find herself and find healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She may even find love along the way. And yes, they made this book into a movie too!

6. Girl, Wash Your Face

This book has received mixed reviews. Some call it inspiring, while others don’t agree with her line of thinking.

But I don’t have to agree 100% with any author to read a book and enjoy it. If you want to be inspired, check this book out. It may give you a wonderful boost which makes it a must for our summer reading list for moms.

7. Girl, Stop Apologizing

This is the follow up book to Girl, Wash Your Face. I recommend you start with the first book, and if you like it, move on to the next.

Girl, Stop Apologizing is another self-help book meant to encourage women to embrace life and continue pushing forward in their journey.  

8. The Help

You know a book is good when they turn it into a movie, which this one was. It begins in the 1960’s, as a college graduate returns home with a dream of becoming a writer.

Instead of interviewing who most would have expected, she began interviewing the help around town. As you can imagine, this causes a few eyebrows to raise.

9. The Astronauts Wives Club

We frequently hear about astronauts when they’re heading into space, but what about their families? For the moms out there who love a little bit of history with their entertainment, they deserve a book like this. Which is why it’s on our summer reading list for moms.

When the astronauts from Mercury Seven took off, their wives received a lot of attention. This book covers their personal lives and all the drama that can unfold when you put human beings in the spotlight.

10. The Bookshop on the Corner

I am presently working my way through this book. I’m not big on most fiction books, but if it’s encouraging and slightly realistic, I’ll give it a try.

This is the story of a librarian who receives her chance to travel and do what she loves, by sharing her love of reading. It’s an uplifting read.

11. Committed

This is the follow up to Eat, Pray, Love. It tells of what happens after Elizabeth Gilbert’s new romance hits a rough patch when they’re required to live in a different country to stay together.

It didn’t strike a chord with me like Eat, Pray, Love but I’m still glad I read it. I included it on our summer reading list for moms because if you enjoy Eat, Pray, Love, you might enjoy reading what comes next!

12. Lauren Weisberger Books

These books are my guilty pleasure and most who know me would be utterly shocked how much I love Lauren Weisberger books.

It’s probably because they have bad language, sexual content, and are a lot like Sex and the City (only Lauren Weisberger books don’t have their own TV show.) But I love the story lines, and they’re my mental escape. That’s the great part about books, you can simply skim over what you don’t want to read.

If you want a mental escape, I highly recommend the following books:

Seriously, if there’s a movie producer somewhere reading this, make more of these books into movies. We ladies need more movies like these in our lives!

This concludes our summer reading list for moms. I know reading can seem like a chore (for some) or nearly impossible for others but make time for yourself.

Reading is an excellent way to keep your mind active while simultaneously giving it a break from the daily grind. Even if these books aren’t your cup of tea, maybe it’ll inspire you to create your own summer reading list.

Now that you have my list, click the links, order the books, and start reading. You deserve it, mama!  

13 Easy Crops to Grow for the Beginner Gardener

Are you under the impression that you can’t grow anything?

Have you tried gardening in the past with disastrous results? Oh, friends, don’t give up. I was once the exact same way.

When we first started gardening, I killed four gardens trying to get something to grow. That was almost ten years ago.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks and discovered there are easy crops to grow. Are you interested?

Great! Here’s my list of easy crops to grow:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Green Beans

Photo by Yulia Rozanova on Pexels.com

Green beans made the top of this list because they’re so simple to grow. There’s no starting of seeds or transplanting, in most cases.

Instead, green beans can be directly sown into the area you’d like to raise them. This makes life much easier for beginner gardeners.

You buy the seeds, place them in quality soil, provide adequate care (such as watering, weeding, and proper lighting), and watch them grow. Just be mindful of spacing and supporting the beans if you choose a type that runs.

2. Tomatoes

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Tomatoes are easy if you only raise a few plants. By reducing your numbers, it gives you an opportunity to gain experience and keep a close eye on each plant.

Place them in a container with quality dirt, water them, and fertilize as needed. You could grow them in a raised or in ground bed as well.

Be sure they have plenty of sunlight. The biggest problems people run into with tomatoes are pests, disease, and over watering.

I recommend container gardening as you learn to grow tomatoes because it helps beginner gardeners avoid many of the diseases and pests that are attracted to larger garden areas.

3. Squash

Photo by Angele J on Pexels.com

Squash is one of those plants that the first year you grow them you think, “Oh, wow! It’s growing!” Every year after you’re like, “Oh no, it’s growing!”

I say this because one plant produces a massive harvest. You don’t need many squash plants, but if you plant them in a mound of quality soil, they should grow with little extra effort on your part.

Check into companion planting to help avoid pests. Diseases and pests are squash plants’ biggest struggles.

4. Lettuce

Lettuce is another one of the easy crops to grow. Again, I recommend growing a leaf lettuce in a container to simplify things even more.

Leaf lettuce is resilient, you don’t have to worry about spacing when planting, and you control the soil when gardening in containers.

Be aware that lettuce does best in cooler temperatures. If you grow lettuce in warm weather, it may bolt (or go to seed) quickly.

5. Spinach

Spinach is the first crop I ever grew when my husband built me a greenhouse almost a decade ago. I chose spinach because of how easy it is to grow.

My greenhouse had beds in it. I sowed the seed directly and had a great harvest for a first-time greenhouse gardener.

If you want to grow spinach too, sow the seed directly into quality soil. When it sprouts, you may have to thin the plants out, but spinach is a durable plant that grows well in cooler temperatures.

6. Herbs

If you can’t grow a thing, buy some herbs! I’ve had great experiences growing herbs because they produce well with only minimal care.

Plus, many times, they’ll go to seed at the end of the year. This produces volunteer plants that will sprout the following year.

To grow herbs, I recommend starting with seedlings purchased from your local nursery or big box store. Plant them in quality soil with ample sunlight. They should produce if the weather is warm enough.

Some herbs are perennials, so they’ll come back year after year.  One herb to be mindful of is mint. Once rooted, it will take over the bed its growing in, and is nearly impossible to get rid of.

7. Corn

Golden ears of corn are a beautiful sight standing in your garden. They taste delicious, too! The best thing about corn is that it’s easy to grow.

The seeds usually come in a coating that is poisonous to animals which encourages squirrels to leave them alone while the seed is sprouting.

Once it has sprouted, you may need to thin the corn out. Other than that, keep it watered, fertilized, and monitor for pests.

It’s a good idea to plant the corn in a box formation, instead of rows, as this protects it from wind damage.

8. Greens

I love growing greens. Turnip greens to be exact. It’s a two-for-one crop that is simple to raise in your garden.

The seeds are tiny, so they should be direct sowed. Don’t dig individual holes. Instead, cast them out over quality, freshly tilled soil.

Once they sprout, thin them as needed. You can eat the greens while they’re tender and wait until the end of the season to harvest the turnips.

9. Peppers

Peppers are another crop I recommend starting with only a few plants. This allows you to learn to care for this type of plant and spot pests or problems easier.

You can raise pepper plants in an inground bed or a raised bed, but I recommend starting with container gardening because it’s easier to watch the soil and learn about watering properly.  

Pepper plants need plenty of sun. They should be watered regularly and fertilized approximately one time per month. Be sure to monitor for pests or signs of disease.

As the weather heats up, your pepper plants should begin producing a bountiful harvest.

10. Root Crops

I put root crops towards the end of this list because, in theory, they’re easy to grow. They don’t require vast amounts of sunlight or warm temperatures.

Radishes, carrots, and potatoes are easy root veggies to grow. The difficult part about growing root vegetables is the soil.

I usually recommend raising them in containers to begin with. If your soil isn’t loose enough it will hinder their growth.

11. Gourds

Gourds? Why would I possibly want to grow gourds? Well, because you can make a variety of crafts out of them, and you can even grow your own loofah sponges.

My husband and I accidentally found out how easy they are to grow when we planted some at our house for my mother-in-law. They were gorgeous, provided a ton of shade, and she had a ball crafting with them.

Be aware, you only need to grow a few seeds. They easily reseed and will most likely come back year after year.

12. Asparagus

Asparagus is a wonderful perennial crop to grow. It’s a good companion for a variety of other plants and doesn’t take up a ton of room.

Be sure to grow your asparagus where it has room to come back larger with each passing year.

It should also be out of the way to make sure it doesn’t get mowed down during yard work. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. 😊

13. Strawberries

The last item on our list of easy crops to grow is strawberries. Strawberries are delicious (especially in ice cream!)  and if planted in a permanent location, should come back every year.

You can grow them in hanging baskets, containers, window boxes, or in a bed. If you grow them in a bed, be prepared that they come back thicker each year.

Be sure to thin them when they come back to provide room to produce and breathe. Lack of airflow can make them susceptible to fungus.

If you’re new to gardening, I hope this list serves you well.   

Finding easy crops to grow isn’t difficult. Many times, you just have to garden differently in the beginning while you gain your footing.

Now, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into action. Go buy some seeds, quality soil, a few planters, and get busy gardening. Happy grow season, everyone! 

Create a Family Schedule that Works in 4 Simple Steps

Do you struggle with getting your family moving in the same direction on a daily basis? Does it seem impossible to develop a family schedule that works?

I get it. When I first became a mom of multiple kids, life was hard. I struggled with keeping up with schedules, maintaining a home, and laundry. Oh, the laundry, ya’ll!

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks that help keep us all moving in the same direction. My children have learned accountability, my house stays intact (most of the time), and I maintain sanity.

Here’s how we developed a family schedule that works for us:

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

1. Have a Weekly Plan

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Every Sunday evening, before my week starts, I pull out my calendar. Just FYI, I keep all important appointments in my cellphone calendar.

You can use this planner to help you keep your appointments organized. 

I look at my calendar each Sunday to see what’s on the schedule for the week. Once I know what’s happening, I write it down (on a sheet of paper) the date and time of the event.

After I look at my appointments and have them jotted down, I consider my “to-do” list. These are things that I’d like to get done throughout the week.

This could be cleaning the house, organizing a closet, gardening chores, or anything else that is hanging over my head and needs to be done. I keep a master to-do list and pull certain items from the list each week.

When I’ve picked these items, I write them down on the same piece of paper as my appointments. Finally, I write down the daily things that must be done.

My daily list includes the following items:

·       Call my mom

·       Exercise and devotionals

·       Yoga

·       Take my vitamins

·       Feed my sourdough starter

·       Daily house maintenance

·       Laundry two times during the week

·       Water the greenhouse plants

·       Homeschool

·       Blogging work

·       Fix a bulletproof coffee

·       Get dressed/ fix hair

·       Shoot vlogging videos

I write out Monday through Friday headings on the backside of the same sheet of paper. Then I begin plugging in each item under the day it’s to be done.

The daily items are added under their own heading of “Daily.” This gives me an idea of what I need to do each day.

You notice I only fill in Monday through Friday. I have a separate list for work that needs to be done on the weekends.

However, you may choose to divide up your week differently. It’s all about what works best for your family.

Once I have my weekly plan figured out, I’m ready to start the week on an organized foot. This is the first step in maintaining our family schedule.

2. Daily Chores Are a Must

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My home requires daily maintenance. We live on a farm, so we have a few more chores than the average household, most likely. Our daily house chores consist of:

·       Wiping down the kitchen and bathroom

·       Making all the beds

·       Picking up any messes

·       Dishes

·       Trash

·       Empty the compost

·       Feed and water the cats and dog

·       Feed the livestock

·       Collect eggs

·       Empty the litter box

·       Sweep the floors

·       Vacuum all the rugs

·       Steam mop the main part of the house

This would be a lot for one person to do by themselves. Therefore, we divide it out. My kids and I split the responsibility of our animals, and we move as a unit when providing their daily care.

We do the same for inside chores. It requires each of us to work approximately 45 minutes per day towards maintaining a clean home.

Figure out what needs to be done daily around your home and begin dividing the chores up appropriately between the members of the household.

3. Routine, Routine, Routine

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This is a big one. If you can’t maintain a routine, no one in your home is going to know whether they’re coming or going.

In my home, my husband and I wake-up together. I get him out the door, and I start on my list for the day. I maintain a pretty regular schedule with the exception of days where I have appointments.

My children wake up at the same time each day, eat their breakfast, get dressed, head out to feed the animals, and start to work on their chores.

By keeping a routine, it makes things run smoother. There’s no guesswork or sitting around until someone feels like doing what needs to be done.

Everyone knows what’s expected, and they don’t wander (or loaf) aimlessly.

4. Get a White Board

This is the key to our days, every day. I have a large white board that hangs in my dining room. I use this white board for homeschooling, but I also use it as the hub for our family schedule.

Everyone can check the board for the daily chores list. The upstairs white board if for my chores list.

I have another white board hanging at the foot of our basement steps where my children see it daily. This is where their chores are placed.

Though most of their chores are the same every day, I place the chores on their board. I also add anything extra that may need to be done that day.

My kids can come along and check off their list as they complete things.

Again, it keeps everything organized, everyone motivated, and we all know what’s on the agenda for the day.

Let’s be honest, most of keeping your home running smoothly is about organization, planning, and motivation.

If you have those three things, you should be able to follow the above steps and get your family organized rather easily.

A friend once said to me that coordinating a family is like working a huge puzzle. That’s the absolute truth! With a little helpful nudge from this post, hopefully your family will be running smoother in no-time.

Good luck, parents! Remember to always extend grace to yourself, especially when developing a family schedule. It’s your effort and perseverance that matter…not perfection.

34 Fun and Festive Memorial Day Recipes

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means, in the event you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This will be at no extra cost to you.I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to AMAZON.COM and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting my blog!**

Memorial Day is coming up!

What are you going to eat this year? When I think of Memorial Day I think of picnics, backyard BBQ’s, and days spent out on the water.

It’s the official start of summer after all. If you’re unsure of what festive foods to incorporate into your day, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve got you covered from breakfast to dessert. Here are some fun and festive Memorial Day recipes:

1. Kid-Friendly Patriotic Punch

Nothing makes kids happier than having a special drink on a special day. Normally, we choose punch for special occasions. In this case, you mix three fruit flavored beverages, and give the kids a twisty candy straw. They’re going to love it!

2. Patriotic Marshmallow Crunch Brownies

This is a boxed brownie mix with marshmallows inside and finished off with icing and chocolate candies. They’re easy and festive. What more could you want?

3. Easy Taco Salad Flag

Taco salad is a great recipe for Memorial Day. With this design, it can be festive. It’s delicious too! Plus, it’s easy to take on a boat or to a picnic.

4. Patriotic Trail Mix

This recipe is super fun! It would be a great snack to leave out for everyone to munch on during Memorial Day. It contains salted peanuts, almonds, cashews, dried cranberries, Boston baked beans, yogurt covered raisins, and chocolate covered blueberries.

5. Mini Shortcake Cups

When we go out on our boat, I want to take flavorful foods, but I also have to pack in a way that everything will fit in a cooler. This is a great dessert that you can put in your cooler for Memorial Day. It’s packed with angel food cake, fresh berries, and whipped topping.

6. Patriotic Trifle Recipe

A trifle is the easiest dessert for every occasion. Why would Memorial Day be any different? You can make this ahead of time and pull it out for your guests when they’re ready to dive in. This recipe consists of angel food cake, fresh berries, and two different types of gelatin for an added touch of patriotism.

7. No-Bake Graham Cracker Dessert

If this isn’t the easiest dessert, I don’t know what is! Place graham crackers on a flat surface in a rectangle. Cover them in frosting or nut butter, make the white stripes with marshmallows, the red stripes with strawberries, and the stars with Kix cereal. Seriously guys, how cute and simple?

8. Patriotic Smoothie

By Memorial Day, the sun is usually blazing down on us. This means you’ll need new and refreshing ways to cool off. This can be done in a patriotic fashion too! Try this fruit smoothie that’s layered in red, white, and blue.

9. Baked Mac and Cheese

I told you I had you covered with all kinds of recipes. Well, you can’t live on desserts and smoothies (though, don’t you wish you could?!) When you’re ready for sturdier foods, pull out the baked mac and cheese. It’s delicious and goes great with almost anything you’ll prepare on the grill.

10. Patriotic Toast

Even though it’s Memorial Day, you can’t forget about breakfast. Why not start the day off in a festive way? Don’t do boring toast. Do patriotic toast! It’s bread with cream cheese spread on top. The toast is then layered in strawberries and blueberries. It’s healthy and tasty too!

11. Patriotic Popcorn

Popcorn is such a fun and frugal snack. This version looks delicious, too! Plus, it’s super easy. You pop popcorn, add melted butter, and dump marshmallows, chocolate candy, sprinkles, and pretzels in the same bowl. It all melts together and becomes a fun snack.

12. Firecracker Jell-O Snacks

Jell-O is another easy, frugal, and fun snack. Most people love the texture. Why not add this festive snack to your Memorial Day menu? It’s red and blue Jell-O squares layered into a cup. Add whipped topping and licorice sticks to top it off.

13. Best Baked Beans

I don’t care who you are, you can’t have a Memorial Day cookout without someone bringing the baked beans. These beans are easy and delicious! It’s pork and beans with seasonings and hamburger. Give them a try this year!

14. Patriotic No-Bake Batter Truffles

If you enjoy cake, you’ll love these no-bake truffles. They consist of strawberry cake in the center. Once the truffles are made, they’re dipped in vanilla coating and fun sprinkles are added.

15. Firecracker Marshmallows

Some people just really love marshmallows. If you’re one of them, you must try this recipe. It’s cute but also easy to make. The marshmallows are partially dipped in blue chocolate and topped with a cherry.

16. Chipotle Bacon Sweet Potato Salad

Is it really Memorial Day without some form of potato salad? If you’re looking for a side dish that’s outside of the box, you must try a sweet potato salad. It has chipotle mayonnaise, pickles, herbs, onions, apple cider vinegar, and much more. You’ll love this flavorful option!

17. Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Salad

I don’t know about you all, but I love some cheesecake. The only problem is making one homemade takes more than I want to give sometimes. This Memorial Day you can have all the cheesecake flavor in this patriotic salad. Give it a try and see what you think.

18. Red, White, and Blue Cookie Bars

This would make another fun addition to your Memorial Day recipes. If you’re tired of doing plain cookies or brownies, consider making these cookie bars. They’re easy to grab-and-go for an active family picnic or while out on the lake.

19. Summer Fruit Salsa

Picnics are great! You can have traditional foods like hotdogs and hamburgers, or you can do finger foods. If you take the finger foods route, consider making this delicious (and healthy) fruit salsa.

20. Patriotic Salad

I love making fruit plates. They’re pretty when serving and healthy. This salad is so easy. You can design it to look like a flag, and you only need a few different fruits and some cheese.

21.  Heavenly Blueberry Cherry Muffins

If you’re looking for a breakfast idea you can make ahead of time for Memorial Day, check out these muffins. They’re a lemon base with blueberries and cherries inside. It comes together to make a tasty patriotic breakfast.

22. Patriotic Cones

I love this fun idea! Memorial Day is a perfect time for making homemade ice cream, but why should the fun stop there? You can make these festive patriotic cones to put your dessert over the top.

23.  Patriotic Yogurt Bites

Sometimes you want to be festive without ruining your diet. I get it! It can be hard. Check out these healthy yogurt bites with bits of fruit in them. They look festive and are still healthy.

24. Red, White, and Blue Deviled Eggs

Is it really even a picnic without deviled eggs? It isn’t around my house. We raise chickens and always have eggs on hand. If you want a festive way to present a traditional picnic item, you must try these deviled eggs.

25. Honey Lime Chicken Skewers

We’ve covered many breakfast ideas, desserts, and a few side dishes that would be perfect for Memorial Day. It’s time to discuss meat. Whether you’re grilling outdoors, packing a picnic for your boat, or going on a picnic, meat on a skewer is always a good idea. These chicken skewers would make a great main dish!

26. The Best Broccoli Salad

If I’m asked to bring a dish to a picnic, you can guarantee I’m coming with this in tow. Why? Because broccoli salad is amazing! You can’t have a picnic without it (in my opinion, anyway.) It’s a must-have for Memorial Day.

27. Big Mac Sliders

When I think of Memorial Day, I always think of eating off a paper plate. Do you really need a big, heavy burger to weigh down your plate? You don’t, but don’t skip the burgers all together. Make these sliders instead.

28. Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burgers

Imagine you’re eating a burger off a paper plate. The burger has toppings, and they fall all over the place. Stop battling your burger! Instead, use these burgers where the cheese and bacon are stuffed inside. Your paper plate will thank you.

29. Loaded Baked Potato Salad

When my family asks for potato salad, I skip the southern style. Instead, I go straight for the loaded baked potato salad. Why? Because it’s really that good! You must try it this Memorial Day.

30. Grilled Barbecued Hot Dogs

Are hot dogs a tradition at your Memorial Day cookout? Do things a little different this year. Grill hot dogs that are coated in ketchup, barbecue, apple cider vinegar, and honey. I’m not a hot dog fan, but this sounds delicious!

31. Everything Pigs in a Blanket

This recipe adds a small twist on a traditional and simple favorite. Roll hot dogs in a puff pastry, top the pastry with Everything Spice Blend, and bake until done. They make a delicious finger food perfect for a Memorial Day barbecue or picnic.

32. Killer Barbecue Ribs

My husband doesn’t think it’s Memorial Day until he fires up his grill and puts a large slab of meat on it. If you feel the same way, you’ll love this recipe for delicious finger-lickin’ barbecue ribs.

33. Smoked Sweet Barbecue Wings

If you have a smoker, Memorial Day is a great time to get it going. Give the grill a break and create these delicious smoked wings!

34. Barbecue Chicken Kebabs

We end our Memorial Day recipes food tour with barbecue chicken kebabs. They’re easy to make, delicious, and easy to eat on a picnic or on your outdoor adventures. They’d make a delicious main course on this holiday.

You now have 34 different recipes to choose from. Hopefully this post will help you plan a delicious and festive Memorial Day menu.

Enjoy this holiday weekend, stay safe, enjoy time with loved ones, and eat as many good foods as you can! Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

My List of Essential Kitchen Items: 11 Items That Save Me Time and Money in the Kitchen

Have you ever heard you must spend money to make money?

I’ve learned, sometimes, we must spend money to save money. What do I mean?

There are certain items in my kitchen that I purchased which have saved me a ton of money. Now that I have them, I’ll never go back to living without them (by choice, anyway.)

Here is a list of essential kitchen items in my home that save me a tremendous amount of time and money.

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1. Drinks All Around

My kids will fly through drinks, and they aren’t always the healthiest drink options.

To keep my family a little healthier, I purchased glass water bottles. They come with a neat little coozy, and bottle brushes to make cleaning them easier.

I chose glass because they’re easy to maintain and there’s less toxins. Plus, these are a great deal!

Surprisingly, I’ve saved a ton of money. I no longer need to purchase prepackaged drinks. My kids drink a ton of water out of these bottles because they love water flavoring.

Before, they would only use the water flavoring in prepackaged water bottles. Now, they reach for these bottles every chance they get!

This was money well spent because they paid for themselves in the first month.

2. Set It and Forget It

A quality crock pot is a must around my house. My husband and I have been married 12 years, and I never purchased a new crock pot until a month ago.

I appreciated the secondhand crock pots, but ya’ll, there’s nothing like a new crock pot. The one I got is eight quarts and programmable.

How does this save me money? We eat at home. On days that I know will be busy, I pop something into my crock pot, and we still eat at home that night.

It doesn’t heat up your house or make you stand on your feet for 45 minutes after a long day. You simply find a few delicious crock pot meals and put them to use.

3. Ice Cream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

When summertime hits, all my kids want is ice cream. In all fairness, we live on a farm. There are many long days spent gardening or canning, and they just want to get cooled off.

If I bought ice cream every time they asked for it, or hit a drive-thru for ice cream each time, my budget would be toast.

Instead, we beat the heat at home. I bought an ice cream maker that allows me to make ice cream while we’re canning or working in the garden.

The kids work harder because they know the delicious treat that awaits them, and I’m happy because I’m not going broke due to ice cream.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you should get one. They come in electric, hand-crank, both, or as a counter top ice cream maker.

You can even make two flavors at once with this ice cream maker!

4. Containers Good for EVERYTHING

I’m not against all plastic containers, but I’ve learned they don’t hold up as well as glass. Therefore, I’ve switched to using more glass containers.

In fact, mason jars are my go-to for storage. Why? Because they’re durable, multipurpose, and can hold as much (or as little) as you want.

I use mason jars for canning, storing my DIY salad dressings, for my sourdough starter, to store leftovers, and soup.

If you can purchase one item and use it many ways, why wouldn’t you? Mason jars make my life easier and are a key in saving money around my kitchen.

5. Bread Machine

Yes, you can buy bread at your local grocery store. However, you can make bread cheaper than you can buy it…usually.

In an effort to save money and maintain a level of convenience, I use a bread machine. You can make any number of bread recipes in one machine.

I’ve had the same bread machine for almost 10 years and love it. You just pop the ingredients in the bread machine, hit a button, and in three and a half hours you have a fresh loaf of bread.

It doesn’t get much easier or cost effective. Plus, you can use a bread machine to make jam as well.

6. Quality Cooking Gear

One major way to save money is to cook at home. If you don’t have the right cookware and cooking utensils it can make your life difficult.

Have you ever tried to make an omelet in a poor-quality skillet? I have, and it’s no fun. This is why I mainly use cast-iron in my kitchen.

It’s durable, easy to maintain, and can be used for any variety of recipes. When I say this cookware is durable, be prepared to will it to your children if you take care of it!

Having the right items to cook with will encourage you to cook more at home. Cooking at home usually saves money, if you know how to budget.

7. Pass the Water, Please

Most people don’t realize what they’re missing out on by not owning a stainless-steel water pitcher. Many people have the water and ice maker on the outside of their refrigerator and think that’s good enough. At least, that’s what I thought.

However, I accidentally ordered a small stainless-steel water pitcher thinking I was ordering a large stainless-steel pitcher to hold our green tea.

When it arrived, at first I was disappointed. But my glass water bottles soon arrived, and they weren’t the easiest to fill from our refrigerator door.

I began using the water pitcher, and I’ll never go back (by choice.) I keep a pitcher of water on hand at all times in our fridge.

It’s always cold, easy to pour into water bottles, and my kids drink more water because they think the pitcher is cool.

8. Can’t Start My Day Without It

I’m a coffee-lover. There’s no hiding it! I love regular coffee, but I’m a believer in bulletproof coffee as well.

You can hit a drive-thru every morning and grab a cup of coffee to go, but how much money are you spending to do that?

Plus, who has time to hit a drive-thru every morning? You know that a coffee pot had to be on my list of essential kitchen items.

In my household we have two coffee pots. My husband likes his coffee to be brewed when he wakes up, and he also likes the option of coffee pods when he wants one cup and not a whole pot.

For him, we have a combo coffee pot that does both.

I’m a coffee snob and prefer percolated coffee. I use an electric percolator every morning. However you choose to make your coffee, make sure you have a coffee maker at home.

It can save you money, and it allows you to have a cup of coffee as soon as your feet hit the floor.

9. A Kitchen Aid is a Must

I’m not a baker. It just doesn’t come naturally to me. I think it’s because I’m not much of an artist, and I lack patience for baked goods.

However, I’m a mom with kids who love cookies. I also learned how to make a pie from scratch over the years, and I can do basic cakes.

With these few skills, I’ve learned a few short cuts along the way. My biggest shortcut is a Kitchen Aid mixer.

Mine is a hand-me-down and one of the original models, but all these years later, it still works beautifully. I use it on a weekly basis.

If you do some baking, a Kitchen Aid mixer can save you a ton of time and headache while in the kitchen. And obviously, making your own baked goods is much cheaper than buying them.

10. Tiny Wooden Spoons

This may sound odd but when I started making my own sourdough starter, I struggled finding the right sized spoon that would fit in my mason jars.

My husband noticed this and bought me these awesome wooden spoons. I use them for everything now!

They’re great for stirring coffee, stirring sourdough starter, and fitting in tight spots around your kitchen when cooking or baking.

I love them, and they make my life a ton more efficient.

11. Cast Iron Bread Pans

The last item on my list of essential kitchen items that will help you save money and be more efficient in your kitchen is cast iron bread pans.

I’ve tried glass and silicone bread pans, but I love my cast iron bread pans the best. They’re durable, easy to keep clean, and do an excellent job.

Having the right equipment to work with is vital when trying to be efficient in your kitchen while saving money too.

These are the 11 items in my kitchen that I absolutely would not want to do without. They make saving money on food much easier and keep my kitchen running smoothly.

Hopefully this will inspire you to invest in your kitchen too. But that’s how to look at it: as an investment. Because once you have it (and if you take care of it) most of these items could last you for years to come.