Super Smart Way to Store Ground Beef (Genius!)

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My friend Jamie is here today sharing this SUPER smart way to store ground beef! I *love* this idea, and will be doing it in the future since we have a small freezer. Thanks so much for sharing Jamie!

If you buy ground beef or ground turkey in bulk to save money – this is such a clever idea to store it!  The flat little bricks make it easy to thaw and cook whenever you need it –  and help you avoid wasting meat by forgetting it.  (Has that ever happened to you?  I know it has to me!)

1 . Start with any ground meat (turkey, beef, chicken, venison, etc…) a rolling pin and a gallon freezer bag.

(If you don’t have a rolling pin, but maybe have a wine bottle in the house, that would work too.)

Put the ground meat in the bottom of the bag and lie it down flat, leaving the zipper part open.

 

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2 . Using a rolling pin, roll to flatten the meat and spread it out in the bag evenly.

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3 . Using a ruler, or the back of a long knife, press lines to divide the meat into six sections.

Freeze for 30 minutes and pull out.  (It should be mostly frozen already)  Bend at the dividing lines until it is separated more cleanly into bricks.  Now just seal the zipper and place back in the freezer to use whenever you need ~ you’ll be able to pull off just one brick at a time to thaw the next time you need ground beef!

 

I think this is just SO super smart. It takes up so little space in the fridge and really makes it easy to thaw out when you’re ready to cook. LOVE simple tricks like this!

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Dollar Tree Teacher Gifts

Dollar Tree Teacher Gifts

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It’s the end of the school year and you moms with school-aged kiddos know what that means . . . time to come up with simple teacher gift ideas! With three children at three different schools, the number of teachers we give to can really add up, so I love finding Dollar Tree Teacher gift ideas to let them know we do so appreciate them. (I usually add a gift card also for their primary teachers, but my kids love having a small gift to give too!)

 

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We actually made these at my 9 year old’s birthday party as an activity to keep the girls busy (so if you’re looking to do some party crafting, these work great for that too), and saved the mug to give to her teacher. Gotta love getting two projects knocked out at once!

 

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Here’s what we used:

  • Design your own mugs – $1 – Dollar Tree
  • Post it Notes – $1 – Dollar Tree
  • Clip boards (I forgot to get a picture) – $1 – Dollar Tree
  • Plastic photo frames – $1 – Dollar Treepppdollartreeteacher

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  • Scrapbook paper & ribbon (we already had ours from Hobby Lobby but the Dollar Tree carries it too)
  • Mod podge (for clipboard)
  • tape runner (this is my all time favorite tape runner for crafting)
  • Silhouette Cameo for monograms (you could totally make similar projects without a Cameo, but I do love mine! Hobby Lobby carries pre-cut monograms or stickers which would work perfectly too.)

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To make the mugs we just cut paper to fit the inside of the mug, then added some ribbon and a monogram. 

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For the clipboards (this was the hardest project!) we used mod podge to add paper to the clipboard, then added ribbon and a monogram.

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The post it note caddy was the simplest project (and least expensive.)

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Just use scrapbook paper to make a design on the back of your plastic frame, and add the post it notes using some tape runner. (Reagan added these while at  her party ~ they’re not quite straight but it’ll do!)

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So there you have it! Three super simple Dollar Tree DIY projects that are great for teacher gifts or even just to let your kids make over the weekend. These are perfect to give with a gift card, but let your kids bring a gift to their teacher too, all without busting your budget. 🙂

 

Looking for more gift ideas?  Here you go . . .

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My Favorite Goodwill Find

My Favorite Goodwill Find

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I’ve been meaning to share this with you all for months, and finally got around to it this week!  A few months ago my sixteen year old and I were looking for ways to update his bedroom (he inherited my husband’s Ethan Allen headboard & dresser from the 70’s which is actually still in great shape and pretty classic, but we haven’t done much to update his room since moving to Ohio.)

 

So I started watching Pinterest and saw this super cute idea for a bedside table and knew it was right up his alley. I showed it to him and he loved it too ~ so we headed to Goodwill to see what we could find.

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Never in a bajillion years would I have dreamt that on our very first trip to Goodwill we would luck into these. I literally heard him holler across the store “Momma, it’s our lucky day!”

 

(Teaching a 16 year old boy to love Goodwill like me is one of my most proud mommy-ing moments.) 🙂 

 

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We took them home . . .

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Loaded them up with books and memorabilia that he wanted to keep but didn’t need to be out in the middle of the room,

 

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And stacked them on top of one another for his nightstand.

 

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They were in great shape (perfectly kept on the inside), so we didn’t have a single bit of work to do!

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I’d love to know the places this stack of luggage has been to over the years, and love that they’re a fun way to re-use someone else’s treasures. We spend $15 on all 3, and I love that they’re just something quirky in his room!

 

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Have you found any fun finds lately at Goodwill or you local thrift store? I’d love to hear what you’ve scored! Leave a comment to share (I love hearing from you!)

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Can’t get enough Goodwill?

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Orange Bird Feeder

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Looking for a fun and frugal project to make with your kids this weekend? I love this!

 

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large oranges
  • Bird seed
  • Skinny ribbon
  • Sharpened pencil
  • Scissors
  • Spoon

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Directions
1. Cut your orange in half

 

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2. Scoop out (and eat) the inside of the orange

 

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3. Poke four holes opposite each other, towards the top of the orange like so

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4. Cut two 8″ pieces of ribbon, tie one end in one hole and the other in the opposite hole
5. Repeat step 4 with your other ribbon

 

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6. Fill your orange up with bird seed
7. Now cut a 5″ piece of ribbon and use to tie the top of the ribbons together, then onto a tree branch

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Looking for more spring projects?  Here you go . . .

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!)

Interact with 480,000+ Penny Pinchers on Facebook and Twitter or Subscribe to Passionate Penny Pincher by email to keep up with all the penny pinchin’ deals!

 

 

 

 

 

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Trinket Tray

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I love this cute trinket tray, and it would make such a simple Mother’s Day or teacher appreciation gift!

 

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Here’s what you’ll need to get started: 

  • Terracotta tray – I used the 4″ inch size
  • White paint – I used the acrylic kind sold at craft stores
  • Foam brush
  • Stencil of choice – purchased mine at Hobby Lobby
  • Gold paint pen or gold paint – found at craft stores

 

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Start by painting your terracotta tray white.

 

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Be sure to paint the bottom side too to finish the look.

 

 

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When the paint is completely dry, center your stencil on the tray.

 

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I used my gold paint pen and went right over the stencil.  (some paint pens bleed so you could trace the stencil with pencil then use your pen to fill in if you prefer)

 

 

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Remove stencil carefully.

 

 

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Allow to dry completely and you’re done. So fun!

 

Looking for more spring projects?  Here you go . . .

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!)

Interact with 470,000+ Penny Pinchers on Facebook and Twitter or Subscribe to Passionate Penny Pincher by email to keep up with all the penny pinchin’ deals!

 

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Simple Easter Centerpiece

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I love this cute Easter centerpiece, using just a few items from your local craft store!

 

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Large mason jar, glass
Plastic carrots (found at Michael’s Craft Store, sold in sets of three ~ you could even use real carrots which I think would look so cute)
Burlap Ribbon, thick, plain
Accent ribbon in choice of color, medium width
Twine
Hot glue, glue gun
Scissors

 

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Begin by wrapping the thick, plain burlap ribbon around your mason jar. Cut it to fit and attach it with some hot glue.

 

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Add another cute ribbon on top (whatever you have laying around is fine) on top of the thick ribbon and secure into place with a little more hot glue.
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At the top of the jar, add a cute little twine bow (or ribbon of your choice) …

 

Add the carrots into the jar … and you’re done!

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You could always add some pebbles or grass at the bottom of the jar first, but to make it simple I just dropped them right in and they look great on their own.

 

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Make a grouping of these to display together, or let this piece shine all on its own. Fun!

 

Looking for more spring projects?  Here you go . . .

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Mod Podge Eggs

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Looking for a fun unique way to decorate Easter eggs? 

 

This one is so simple, and I love the way it turned out.

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Gather up your supplies:

  • hardboiled eggs
  • mod podge (Target has small bottles sometimes in their $1 bins)
  • Easter die cute shapes (I made a few using my silhouette cutter)
  • sponge paint brush

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Place shapes on eggs and let kids “paint” them on

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Done!

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I wouldn’t eat these, but they’re so pretty for Easter decor. Fun!

 

 

Looking for more Easter projects? Here you go . . .

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Our Small Dining Room Update (After 20 Years . . . )

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It’s always amazing to me what making just a few tiny changes can do to a room.

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As I’ve shared before, almost twenty years ago we were given my husband’s grandparents dining room set, and while I was thrilled to have them, they’ve never been exactly what I would choose.

(And up until this point, we’d spent $150 to furnish our entire dining room ~ not too shabby.) 

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So I’ve recovered those dining room chairs four times (they have lots of padding now at least?), and while it’s helped, they’ve just never been my favorites. 

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So a few weeks ago when I  noticed these benches at Home Goods, my mind got to wandering.

 

I knew they were different, but wasn’t quite sure if our dining room could pull them off.

 

A friend of mine suggested moving the piano (but I had no idea where it could go?) until I called a local moving company and said for $100 they could  move it to our finished basement.

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Guys, I was thrilled. 

 

(I love that piano, but it’s never had a perfect home. Now it has it’s place!)

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So, I was freed up with all this space, and possibly room for those benches too. 

 

And I did it.

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E.e.e.e.e.k.

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I don’t love the rug at all now that the benches are there ~ it’s moving to the foyer as soon as I can get some help with the heavy lifting! 🙂 

I would have loved to have found four matching chairs to use with just a bench on one side, but my kids have fallen in love with those benches ~ they hang out there doing their homework, so I think they’re both sticking around. 

 

(The benches. And the kids. Can’t get rid of either very easily, right?) 🙂 

 

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And, while we did spend some moo-lah on those benches, to have a totally updated look after twenty years seems worth it to me. 🙂

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As we’re getting ready for Easter I’ve been playing with the table settings, and thought y’all would enjoy a peek at that too . .  .

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I purchased the big glass hurricane at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon, and of course used a can to beef up the candle. 🙂

 

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I cut out simple bunnies from white card stock on my Silhouette, and the napkins tied with pink ribbon (all courtesy of Home Goods ~ I love that store!)

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The super cute little nests were from Michael’s as well ~ for 3/$2.99 I just couldn’t pass them by. I adore them!

 

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And really, I know it’s not exactly perfect, but I’m loving our fluffed up space. (Still dreaming of curtains, but baby steps, right?) 🙂

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If you’d like to see more pictures of our home as we’ve been updating it, here you go, and if you’re working on a project in your home or have any other suggestions for our space, I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment to share!

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Looking for more Easter projects? Here you go . . .

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Crafting {from the Target One Spot} + Free Printable!

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Note from Laurie: My friend Cheryl made this AMAZINGly adorable Easter bunting and bags using items from the Target One Spot, and even created a free printable so you can make them too! Hurry to the Target One Spot because the burlap pre-cut flags and bags are selling FAST, and go HERE to print your free printable so you can make them too. 

 

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We host an Easter brunch every year, so when I saw that Target had some great crafting supplies I knew I had to come up with something fun to make. I created this free printable that you can use as well, and am in love with this fun Easter project!

 

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Here’s what I used (I had almost everything at home, so spent just a few dollars at the Target One Spot bins)  . . . 

 

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  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Fabric (any fabric will do)
  • Burlap Bags (Target One Spot) $1.00 each
  • Burlap Flags (Target One Spot) $3.00 package (includes 8 flags)
  • Twine (Target One Spot) $1.00
  • Gift Tags (Target One Spot) $1.00 (includes 8 tags)
  • Bunny Shapes (PPP is so excited for you to have the free printable in just the right sizes!)
  • Wonder Under
  • Pencil

 

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Print your free printable here – then cut out your shape to use as a guide.

 

 

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Perfect fit!

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Trace your bunnies on the paper side of the wonder under (is this stuff amazing or what?!)  Then iron the wonder under to your fabric until it adheres.

 

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Cut bunnies out for gift bags . . .

 

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After you cut out the bunny, remove the paper portion of the wonder under and iron your bunny to your bag.

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Seriously … how cute are these?

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Follow the same instructions when making your bunny bunting – using the smaller bunny shape.
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I filled these cute bags up with candy and added on gift tags I found in the Target bins too.

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Such fun gift bags for Easter morning!

 

 

 

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Have you found any spring crafts to make this Spring? I’d love to hear what you’re making! 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!)

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Looking for more penny pinched projects? Here you go . . .

 

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Easter DIY: No Sew Burlap Bunny Pillow

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I’m feeling so crafty this week! I saw an idea over here a few days ago (I love everything I see at On Sutton Place) and realized I had all the supplies right at home.

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So, I spent about 30 minutes yesterday making this simple pillow cover, and am so pleased with how it turned out. 

Here’s what I used (I had everything at home so didn’t spend  a penny!)

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And, don’t forget to swing by the Target One Spot. . . 

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Spring decorating done! 🙂 

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Have you found any spring crafts to make this Spring? I’d love to hear what you’re making! 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!)

dollartreeeasterdecor

Looking for more penny pinched projects? Here you go . . .

 

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