$35 Metal Pendant Shade Update

 

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I’m so excited to share this little $35 update to my kitchen that I found a few weeks ago at the Ballard Designs Outlet in Cincinnati! I’d been eyeing these Metal Replacement Shades in the Ballard Designs Catalog, but at $45 a piece, there was no way I would make the change.

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The original light shades in our kitchen were fine, but just kind of builder grade and I loved the idea of something a little more custom looking. There was no way I’d convince my husband to switch the light out completely, and really they were brand new lights!

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So when I found these for just $17.39 each at the Ballard Outlet Store, I knew I found the perfect solution! I just did a quick search on Amazon, and even their metal shades were $35+. So for $34.78 I got a bit more custom look for a fraction of the cost. Yay!

 

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I just unscrewed the old light fixtures, put the new ones in place, and in about five minutes the project was done. Love that!

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And, while I was there I also found this fantastic chair at the Frontgate Outlet. (Frontgate, Ballard, and Grandin Road Outlets are all their together near Ikea ~ I love that!)

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This chair was originally $600, marked down to $174. While I know it’s not nearly as penny pinched as my $2.50 Goodwill chair . . . ballard1

 

I absolutely love it. ;)

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And if you look closely at the top picture, you’ll see it also matches the barstools I found at the Frontgate Outlet here in Columbus when we first moved.

I’d actually been watching for chairs for awhile, and a few weeks ago almost gave in and picked up a $180 side chair at a local store similar to Garden Ridge. I knew the quality really wasn’t great on them though (I was just settling, again!), so I decided to try a little patience and am thrilled with the quality of this chair at the same price.

 

Folks, we’ve been at this penny pinching thing for years (really, almost nineteen years!), and to be able to enjoy some of the fruits of that success now on things we just love is oh-so-sweet. If you’re struggling to stick with itpromise it’s worth the wait ~ and you really never know what deal may be right around the corner.  Yay! ;)

 

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See more previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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{Simple} How To Cook Whole Chicken

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

 

how to cook whole chicken

How to cook whole chicken

 

 

Oh my stars, this is some heaven-sent chicken!  I just can’t miss an opportunity to sing the praises of a whole cooked chicken when it’s on sale. :)  This week our local Fresh Thyme Market has them on sale for $.99/lb, and I also noticed them priced at $1.09/lb at Costco yesterday.

 
 

So why sing the praises of a whole chicken?  Because it’s CHEAP!!!  And if you grab a few now and cook them all up, you can freeze the meat to use in casseroles and soups and on salads and well, just about everywhere.  But the best part is you’ll drastically cut your cooking time when you’re in a hurry to make a recipe; just pull out your frozen cooked chicken and let it thaw, and your life (at least in the kitchen!) will be so much easier.

 

So, if you’ve never done it before, this is your week to cook a whole chicken!!!  (Think of it as homemade Perdue Short Cuts made right in your kitchen at a fraction of the cost. You’re welcome!)

 

I’ve tried various methods before and my favorite one has always been this simple slow cooker method, but this oven roasted chicken wins my favorite one every time.

Oven Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

  •  2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper we didn’t have any so I omitted this one
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • one onion, quartered
  • one whole chicken (about 4 lbs)

 

Directions

  • Mix together for eight ingredients.  Set aside.
  • Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  • Rub seasoning mixture into chicken on all sides.
  • Add onion into breast cavity.
  • Place chicken in plastic bag or wrap with plastic wrap, over night or at least 4-6 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 250 when ready to cook.
  • Remove chicken from plastic wrap, place in roasting pan.
  • Bake uncovered for 3 1/2 – 4 hours, until internal temperature is 180 degrees.  Let chicken stand for ten minutes before carving. 

 

 

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 2/25/15):

Whole Chicken prices

  • Costco $1.09/lb
  • Fresh Thyme $.99/lb
  • Bi Lo $.99/lb
  • Publix Greenwise $1.49/lb (ends 2/25/15, or 2/24/15 in some areas)
  • Winn Dixie $.99/lb

Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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20 Meals From Costco For $150

 

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I think you’re going to love thisI was away at a conference this weekend way out in Utah (enjoying so much fun time with my husband who joined me too ~ we haven’t been away from our kiddos for ages so it was the nicest gift!) Because of our trip, I didn’t have time to put together this week’s menu plan. (So sorry guys ~ but go back and see a complete list of them HERE for free ~ I’ll be back at it next week . . . promise!)

 

But, I talked with Erin from $5 Dinners while I was at the conference, and goodness, I think you’re going to love what she has for you. She’s put together this amazing (seriously, AMAZING), printable pack that includes directions to make a whopping 20 Meals at Costco for $150.

 

Folks, it includes everything.

 

ALL you need.

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Seriously.

 

(Don’t believe me? Here’s proof):

 

Complete package includes: 

  • Recipe List & Grocery List
  • Printable Assembly Instructions – step by step guide to pulling all these meals together and into the freezer
  • Printable Assembly Cards – so you don’t forget any ingredients in each bag
  • Printable Labels – you can print these out onto Avery #6874 label paper and stick them to your plastic baggies or containers.
  • Exclusive Access to Instructional Assembly Videos

Recipes included in this plan are:

  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken with Apples & Rosemary
  • (2) Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Apples & Sweet Potatoes
  • (2) Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chicken Curry
  • (2) Slow Cooker Italian Chicken
  • (2) Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken & Potatoes
  • (2) Slow Cooker Sausage, Peppers, Onions
  • (2) Slow Cooker Italian Stew Roast
  • (2) Slow Cooker Beef Stew
  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken & Sausage Stew

Go HERE and add to cart to get the full access to the recipes and grocery shopping list plus assembly instructions and exclusive video access. And, if that’s not enough Costco, she has five more Costco menu plans you can choose from HERE!

 

And, if shopping Costco isn’t your thing, she has a few more great options available! Check these out:

 

Have you tried any of $5 Dollar Dinner menu plans before? I’d love to hear what you think – I think this is a great way to easily tackle menu planning a month at a time, and love that the work’s all done for you! Leave a comment if you’ve tried these before and let me know your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

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$10 Goodwill Frame Upcycle

$10 Goodwill Frame Upcycle

 

A few weeks ago I noticed these framed prints at Goodwill. 

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For whatever reason, one of them was priced at $5 and the other one was just $3. I asked the cashier what the difference in them was (and if they’d consider taking $3 for each of them), and sure enough brought them home for just $6, total.

 

I’ve seen so many pretty botanical and patterned prints in the Ballard Designs Catalog (I love that store!) , but there’s no way I could justify shelling out nearly $200 for the set. (Especially just to hide in our bathroom!) The frames were in decent shape, I liked the linen matte that they already had, so all I had to do was switch out the print to make it match our home.

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So, I took these two apart, purchased $8 in fabric at Joann’s (after my 30% off coupon), and came out with two prints that are perfect to add some color to our walls.

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(I use my hot glue gun for everything – since I couldn’t convince my husband to hunt down his staple gun in the garage, I used hot glue to put it all back together.) ;)

 

$10 Goodwill Frame Upcycle Collage

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Here’s what I spent: 

  • Goodwill frames – $6
  • Fabric – $4
  • Total = $10 – woohoo!

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If you’re looking for inexpensive ways to fluff up your walls at home, I’m telling you what . . . a trip to your local thrift store is so worth it. If you’ve seen anything fun at your local Goodwill or thrift store recently I’d love to hear about it ~ leave a comment to share!

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

 

 

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4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Crack Dip

4 Ingredient Chicken Crack Dip
Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

 

I’ve been trying to clear out my fridge and freezer the last few days. and when I saw an abundance of frozen chicken and Philly cream cheese in my fridge (paired with this recipe I noticed on Pinterest), I decided I couldn’t pass this recipe up! 

 

While I made it to eat on slider buns, once I tasted the chicken I decided it wasn’t quite the right flavor on a slider bun.

 

But, pair it with some nachos and it makes one amazing dip ~ my husband loved it (especially when he mixed in a little salsa too.) So, for dinner we enjoyed these chips and dip, some fresh fruit, and carrots with ranch dipping sauce.

 

All for less than ten minutes of effort. Success! 

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Here’s the recipe so you can try it out too . . .

4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Crack Dip

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 8oz blocks cream cheese
  • 1 packet dry ranch seasoning
  • 8 oz bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (optional)
  • tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Put chicken, cream cheese and ranch seasoning in your slow cooker
  2. Let cook 6-8 hours on low.
  3. Shred chicken with fork, stir in bacon and cheddar cheese
  4. Serve with tortilla chips – yum!

 

Here are the best sales I see to watch for this week (as of 2/18/15):

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast on sale $1.99-$2.49/lb at Kroger (depends on your region)
  • Perdue Frozen Chicken Breast on sale $7.99 32 oz bag at Kroger, use $1/1 coupon from the Publix Game Day Favorites Booklet, Stack with $1/1 Perdue coupon from the 1/25 Smart Source insert

 

Recipe adapted from Cookies & Cups.  Thanks to I Heart Publix for the coupon matchups. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Menu Plan & Grocery List Week of 2/16/15

 

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Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I created this handy dandy free printable google doc for you to print if you’d like to follow our menu plan – hopefully it makes your life a little simpler this week (let me know if you like it!) If you’re new to Google Docs, here’s how to print your list:

  • Open the document HERE
  • Click “file” in the top left hand corner of the screen
  • Click “print” at the bottom of that menu and print your list

I’ll be making my menu plan and grocery list on the weekends and will share those over on my new Pinterest Fall Menu Planning Board, and I would love for you to join me! Here’s what we’re having this week . . .

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And here’s what items you’ll need to make these too if it’ll help get you started this week . . .
  • pasta
  • spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 lb boneless shoulder pork roast
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 packets dry Italian seasoning
  • chicken broth
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 onion
  • provolone cheese
  • hoagie rolls (these were $1.50 at Kroger this week)
  • cheddar cheese
  • quick cooking oats
  • frozen bread dough
  • 1 head garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • flour tortillas

Side Dish Extras

  • bag salad
  • carrot & broccoli sticks
  • potatoes for mashed potatoes
  • canned, fresh, or frozen veggies
  • taco toppings – lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream

Pantry Staples

  • egg
  • milk
  • garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • ketchup
  • brown sugar
  • mustard
  • 2 bay leaves
  • coriander
  • oregano
  • cumin
Do you have anything yummy on your menu plan this week?  I’d love to hear what you’re having, and if you have any great recipe ideas please leave a comment to share!  

 

 

Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 

 

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DIY Barn Style Door Track For Under $60

Barn Style Door Track

 

A friend of mine has wanted to turn her laundry room door into a sliding door for a long time, so she finally got her husband on board to start the project with a little help from my husband.  This idea came from many years of frustration with a narrow laundry room and the huge presence of sliding barn doors on every DIY show out there!

 

The regular hinged door opened into the laundry room and took up almost 3 feet of space when opened.  She wanted to have more room to move in and out of the room without the door always being in the way.  She began by researching all the ready-made options available online but decided to try to create a less expensive design based on many DIY versions.

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With most DIY “Barn” style sliding door projects the DIYers build a door and a track system, but she wanted to give it a try using the regular old door.  This did add a few challenges when it came to finding hardware that word work because there was more space between the track and door, but after a couple trips to the hardware store (ok, maybe 15 trips…) she was able to come up will all the pieces needed for the track.

Here’s a list of exactly what they used:

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If you are considering a project like this, here are a few links to help you get some more ideas:

 

I’d love for you to join me over on Pinterest (I love that place!)  If you have a blog and have done a little fluffing in your home, I’d love to see it, so leave your link in the comments section. Also, if there’s a craft you’ve seen on a website that you’re hoping to make, feel free to share that link as well (I’m always looking for new ideas!)

 

See previous Friday Fluff Up projects and ideas . . . and Happy Fluffing!

 

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25 Meals From Aldi For Less Than $150

 

  I’m so excited about this new printable offer available, especially since I know so many of you are looking to start putting together menu plans each week now that school’s back in session! Right now you can learn how to make some incredible menu plans from Aldi, all for $150 or less. Here’s what’s being offered right now Lauren at I Am That Lady:

If you don’t have tons of time to clip coupons and menu plan, this is for you. Just print your list, head to your local Aldi, and you’ll have as many as 25 recipes ready to go without much planning on your part. Included in the system are recipe cards, a shopping list, and a calendar to last for one full month. Love that! Here are just a few of the recipes included in the lists. . .

  • Honey Garlic Chicken
  • Chicken Piccata
  • Crockpot Lasagna
  • Korean Pork Tacos
  • Blackened Tilapia
  • Loaded Baked Potato Casserole
  • Caramel Apple Pork Chops
  • Turkey Chili
  • Black Beans & Rice
  • Crockpot Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
  • And so many more . . .
You can also just check out the recipes for FREE, even without purchasing the printable packet. But, for $1.97, you’ll get all the printables, including recipes cards, grocery shopping list, and meal plan calendar. Go HERE to take a peek, and let me know what you think!

This post contains affiliate links.  See my disclosure policy to learn more.

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Not Quite Homemade Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go!

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These cinnamon rolls are my kid’s favorites. 

 

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In fact, last night as I was baking them, my eleven-year-old sweet girl informed me that she expected me to make them for all of the guests on her wedding day. 

 

Yikes.

 

(She’s also planning on having these best ever chocolate chip cookies at her wedding. Clearly she thinks I’ll have nothing to do except bake before her wedding day!) ;)

 

Turning these into their favorite Valentine treat is simple enough, and my family (of course) loved the results. 

 

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Here’s how to get started . . . 

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Let dough thaw out for at least a few hours.

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After dough is thawed, roll out into rectangle (or, something that loosely resembles a rectangle) ;)

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Spread 5 tablespoons of softened butter out on dough. Then sprinkle with 5 tablespoons sugar.

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Next sprinkle 3 teaspoons of cinnamon over dough.

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Then, starting with the shorter end of the dough, roll dough up (if making regular cinnamon rolls, just roll them up completely)

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To make heart shaped cinnamon rolls, roll the other half up until both ends come together.

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Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, slice into about 1 1/2″ rolls (I forgot to take a picture after making the heart shaped ones, so this is just the regular cinnamon roll)

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Place in greased baking dish and allow to rise, 1-2 hours.
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Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, cinnamon rolls will rise more while baking. img_1129

Add a little butter or margarine once they’re baked if you’d like, and top with frosting.

 

Perfect!

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Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Roll Ingredients

  1. 1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed, not risen (I usually use Rhodes dough or the Kroger brand)
  2. 5 tablespoons margarine or butter
  3. 5 tablespoons sugar
  4. 3 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Frosting Ingredients

  1. 1 cup powdered sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon milk
  3. 1/2 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Roll out dough to about 12×14 inches. Spread butter evenly on top of dough.
  3. Sprinkle with sugar and then with cinnamon.
  4. Roll up jelly-roll style, tightly pinching ends so sugar/cinnamon doesn’t fall out. (If making heart shaped cinnamon rolls, roll to the middle from both ends to make the heart shape.)
  5. With a sharp knife cut into 1-inch sections and lay in prepared pan.
  6. Allow dough to rise until almost double its size (around 1–2 hours, they will also rise quite a bit while baking.  Meanwhile, prepare frosting (see recipe below).  To help them rise a little more quickly, I put them in the oven with the light on, and place a bowl of water on the rack beneath them to help moisture stay in the oven.
  7. Bake in greased round or square pan at 350 for for 15 to 20 minutes. Top will be golden brown when done.  Allow rolls to cool slightly while preparing topping.  (If you’re like me, you may want to spread a little butter or margarine on top to make them nice and glossy!)

 

Frosting

  1. Mix powdered sugar and milk to make a thick paste.
  2. Add more milk or powdered sugar as needed.
  3. Spread on still-warm rolls, allowing the frosting to melt slightly. Serve warm.

 

Need a little more menu inspiration? Go HERE

 

 

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Menu Plan & Grocery List: Week of 2/9/15

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Here’s this week’s menu plan and grocery shopping list! I created this handy dandy free printable google doc for you to print if you’d like to follow our menu plan – hopefully it makes your life a little simpler this week (let me know if you like it!) If you’re new to Google Docs, here’s how to print your list:

  • Open the document HERE
  • Click “file” in the top left hand corner of the screen
  • Click “print” at the bottom of that menu and print your list

 

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If you’re hoping to get on track too, check out my Menu Planning board on Pinterest where I’ve got all the links to the recipes we’re eating each week. Head on over HERE to check that out, and I’d love for you to join all the PPP boards on Pinterest too.

 

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chilil

 

Here’s what’s on the menu this week . . .

Shopping List
  •  2-3 pounds beef sirloin roast or shoulder roast
  • 1 package dry au just mix
  • 8 oz provolone
  • 1 package slider buns
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • green onions
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 package Ranch Dressing mix (or make it from scratch)
  • 8 oz package light cream cheese
  • package Flatout Wraps (or other kind of wrap for turkey wraps)
  • 12 oz smoked turkey
  • 6 slices favorite cheese for wrap (recipe calls for sharp American, I’ll use swiss)
  • ranch dressing
  • tomato, lettuce
  • bacon (for ranch club wrap)

 

Side Dish Extras

  • salad
  • fresh or frozen veggies
  • white or brown rice

Pantry Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • tsp fresh ginger
  • oil (recipe calls for peanut oil, I will substitute with olive oil)
  • soy sauce
  • white sugar
  • cornstarch
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • onion powder

 

Check out my recipes to try board on Pinterest, and see more penny-pinched recipe ideas.  This post is linked up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday where you can find lots more menu planning ideas! 

 

 

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