25 Days of Frugal DIY Day 19 ($10 Or Less)


This idea is so clever! Head on over HERE to see how Robin from Babble uses water and nail polish to create marbled mugs.  These would make great gifts, and you can also use this technique on small bowls to hold jewelry!


Such a fun way to DIY on a penny pinched budget! 🙂

Stop back tomorrow night for a new penny pinched idea ~ happy penny pinching!

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10 Reasons You Need To Shop Aldi Today


Y’all know I love Aldi (like, love Aldi), but especially in the summertime I so appreciate how easy it makes my life each week! Here are a few reasons you need to shop Aldi today too. 🙂



1. You’ll save money.

Guys, I love that Aldi’s prices are just so reasonable. I love that I can easily head in and fill up my trunk for under $100. (Heck, under $50 sometimes!) You’ll save a bundle because you’re not paying for a huge fancy store ~such a simple concept that makes a big impact on your pocketbook.

2. You’ll save time.

Shopping at Aldi will save you so much time over a traditional grocery store. I can usually get in and out of Aldi in under 20 minutes, because the store just isn’t as large as a regular grocery store, even though they still carry everything I need.


3. You’ll decrease your stress level.

This is my favorite thing about shopping Aldi! Because Aldi is a “bare-bones” store, you won’t have to choose between 48 types of granola bars and 801 types of hair conditioner.


Their selection is smaller, which just makes it a little easier to navigate the store without having to choose from just too much at a regular grocery store.



4. You can take advantage of so many great menu plans.

There are a ton of great menu plans out there for Aldi. I just noticed this one yesterday (so smart!) but you can also check out this one, this one, or this one.




5. They have a great selection of fresh produce.

Produce is my go-to item to purchase the minute I walk in the store. They have a ton of varieties available, and their prices almost always beat my local grocery store.

6. Choose from tons of organic foods. (And gluten free foods too.)

Aldi has really stepped up their game by offering a ton of organic foods, and have some great gluten free options as well. You’ll find tons of organic options when you shop, and you’ll pay 30-50% less than you’d pay at a regular grocery store.



7. You’ll get cheap eggs. And milk. And big ole’ pizzas. 🙂

‘Nuf said. (Don’t miss the mega family size pizzas for $4.97. See 20 more items you need to buy at Aldi over HERE.) 

8. It’s kid friendly.

Because Aldi doesn’t have flashy items to choose from, you can get through Aldi without the regular stress of kids begging for toys placed right at kids-eye-level which tempt you to buy (ahem, them to beg) for more. And because everything is priced so well and includes just the basics, it’s easy to let kids pick out  a special treat when walking through the store.

Not to mention they can be in charge of renting your cart for a quarter. My kids think that’s the most exciting job ever! 🙂 


9. Their bathrooms are clean. 🙂

So, call me crazy but as a mom of girls I love (like, ADORE) Aldi for always guaranteeing me a clean bathroom. I’ve never had a bad experience in an Aldi bathroom, and for that, this momma is eternally grateful. 😉



10. You can’t beat their cash back guarantee.

If you’re not happy with it, return it and they’ll give you all your money back + replace the item with an alternative. Love that!



Do you love shopping Aldi? I’d love to hear your favorite things to buy there! Check out these 22 Secrets You Need To Know Before Shopping Aldi, and don’t miss 20 Items You Should Be Buying at Aldi too. I love that store!


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Mudroom Makeover (More Than A Makeover)



If you’re here just for the deals scoot on to the next penny-post ~ this one’s a doozie! And, know that I know SO MANY OF YOU have hardships so much greater than mine, I feel almost silly even sharing this here. But maybe you’re in a funk too ~ and maybe this one’s just for you. 


Good gravy.


This week as I was debating what home project to tackle as our regular Friday Fluff Up, I started dreaming up ideas for our mudroom.


I really wanted this, or this, or even this, but the truth is the space isn’t huge and I don’t have any business right now spending lots of money on it, so it just needed some TLC.


Since my husband’s heart attack just over a month ago, I’ve allowed clutter and gunk and schoolwork and coats and hats and heart attack papers and all of it to just take over that space.


(If you know me well you know that’s just not the norm for me ~ but goodness it’s turned into a disaster!)


I just didn’t want to deal with the mess, so I rounded up my youngest and spent a few hours shopping, dreaming up ways to make that space just a wee bit more Pinterested before coming home and setting to work.


As I started muddling through, I realized that it wasn’t any new fancy stuff that tiny space needed.


It was a much needed attitude shift.


You see, since his heart attack I’ve (we’ve all?) been in this sort of funk.


I didn’t want to deal with the paperwork.


I didn’t want to look at insurance claims.


I didn’t want to read through mounds of heart attack literature.


I didn’t want to learn a million-bazillion ways to control his cholesterol.


(For the record, he’s really changed his diet on his own and we’re all working even harder to eat the right foods ~ I just didn’t want to read any more about it!)


I didn’t want to be the 40-year-old wife of a 45-year-old husband who’d had a heart attack.


There. I said it.


I wanted to stay a regular mom with a regular life and regular kids and a regular-not-so-much-struggling life.


I’m betting you get that.


And honestly? (if I’m being real-real-deeply honest here?)


Ever since moving two years ago I’ve just kind of been in a funk. (Y’all who know me best know that’s the case ~ I can hide it on the outside but here in my heart it’s tough to hide.)


So I just let the piles keep climbing.


I let the shoes take over the floor.


I shoved the paperwork on top of the cabinets. And hid some inside the closet. (eek.) And just decided if it was all stuffed somewhere I didn’t really have to deal with any of it.


I just didn’t want any of this turn of events. 


I didn’t want my life to look different.


I just didn’t want to deal with the mess of it.


In my heart or on my countertops. 




So when I came home with all my cute stuff from Home Goods and Michael’s Wednesday night and realized it wasn’t any “fluffing” that needed to happen, but rather just a good case of me being real about life, I determined to get it together.


I de-gunked.


I sorted through the paper work.


I made files named “James’s heart stuff.”


I saved files about medications I really care nothing to know about.


I pulled up my big-girl-panties and decided to deal with what the last six weeks have doled out.




Do you know what?


It feels better.


The space is cleaned out. I’m still the same regular mom that I was a month ago. We still have the regular life that we had months ago. My husband didn’t really age a million years like I feel he has.


We’re just us.

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And we’re going to be okay.


You may have so. many. struggles. so so much bigger than mine.


You may be dealing with a debilitating illnesses, the long-term sicknesses of a child, or the loss of something or even someone so very precious and dear to you.


And like me, you may think that if you just shove the clutter all away none of this stuff will really be real.


But, precious one, you and I know it doesn’t work that way.


If you’re drowning in stuff because you don’t want to deal with the real issues, I encourage you to pull up those big girl panties with me and  just de. mess.






De. funk.


You will feel better.


You will find order.


You will be no less precious than you were before the mess.


Because even when life doesn’t hand us what we choose, we still get to choose what we make of it.


Make your life beautiful today.


If that means you need a de-cluttering and a de-gunking and a de-funking, come along with me and find beauty right where you’re at.


If you’re in a hospital room holding the hand of a loved one, tidy things up a bit and make that that space for them just feel beautiful. But most importantly hold on tightly and let them know they’re loved.


If you’re home in the summertime and your kids have taken over your home (ahem), take a break from the crazy and head outside to pick some fresh greenery, then come on in and sweep up the floor.


If you’re at work and the clutter on your desk is overwhelming you, clean off that space, put up a favorite quote and stay motivated in your work today.


And if you’re the sweet momma of a tiny one who hasn’t allowed you to have a shower in too many days to count, find a safe spot for that baby for twenty minutes, hop in the shower and make yourself feel beautiful today.


You can find beauty wherever you are. I just know you can. 


I’m thinking of you folks right now who walk beside me or even through something so much harder, and am praying a beautiful day for you no matter what life hands you today.


Make today a beautiful day. 





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101 Free Things To Do With Kids This Summer

free things to do with kids

free things to do with kids

Looking for a few FREE things to do with kids this summer? My kids are already getting a wee bit bored, so finding free things to keep us busy is always a welcome diversion. Here’s a peek at a few free things to do with kids to keep your kids busy too this summer . . .


  1. Make a summer bucket list
  2. Visit the library
  3. Make homemade sidewalk chalk using what’s in your pantry
  4. Freeze Koolaid in ice trays to make popsicles
  5. Attend Vacation Bible School in your hometown
  6. Find a bowling alley that offers kids to bowl for free
  7. Create a yarn obstacle course (my kids love this one!)
  8. Make Homemade Snow Cones
  9. Bake cookies
  10. Play flashlight tag
  11. Find a local bike trail
  12. Try this Ivory Bar Soap experiment
  13. Make a homemade sprinkler
  14. Volunteer
  15. Sign up for a Lego Store free Mini Build 
  16. Set up a backyard obstacle course
  17. Visit a local splash pad
  18. Build a homemade fire pit
  19. Go on a picnic
  20. Make summer snow
  21. Visit a thrift store
  22. “Paint” the driveway
  23. Have a tea party
  24. Make homemade sidewalk chalk paint
  25. Host a lemonade stand
  26. Sign up for free Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics
  27. Check out free Home Depot Clinics
  28. Go to a free Michael’s Store Clinic (these range from free to $2 per class – go HERE to learn more)
  29. Take advantage of free summer reading programs
  30. Visit a state capital
  31. Visit a park
  32. Lay out a blanket and watch for cloud shapes on a pretty day
  33. Go on a nature hunt
  34. Make a sidewalk “city” out of sidewalk chalk
  35. Collect sea shells at the beach
  36. Play jump rope (my kids love this chinese jump rope)
  37. Have a water balloon fight
  38. Paint rocks
  39. Set up a car wash
  40. Have a pillow fight
  41. Have a movie day – close all the curtains and make popcorn
  42. Go to a concert in the park
  43. Build a homemade volcano
  44. Play hide and seek
  45. Set up indoor tents with old sheets
  46. Even better, set up outdoor tents with old sheets and enjoy summer reading time outside
  47. Plant a garden
  48. Decorate a cake
  49. Make homemade milkshakes
  50. Visit a local Farmer’s Market
  51. Go window shopping in a nearby town
  52. Download the skyview app to find stars in the sky at night
  53. Catch fireflies
  54. Go fishing
  55. Learn a new card game
  56. Clean out a closet with kids and donate to local thrift store
  57. Find a 4 leaf clover
  58. Get a free map at a rest area and check off places you’d like to visit nearby
  59. Use the Video Star app to make a silly movie
  60. Have a bike race with friends
  61. Go geocaching
  62. Play hopscotch
  63. Bake cookies to take to your local fire station
  64. Bake cookies to take to your local nursing home
  65. Build ice castles
  66. Visit a stream and hunt for minnows
  67. Set up a bike wash station
  68. Dig for worms
  69. Play dress up
  70. Have your kids set up a yard sale to earn money
  71. Find a new hiking trail
  72. Host a “craft” day – give kids tons of supplies to craft with and let them have at it
  73. Visit all of the local parks in your town
  74. Make a pinecone bird feeder
  75. Play board games outside
  76. Go birdwatching in a local park
  77. Make homemade play doh
  78. Make a bubble bath outside by filling an outdoor pool with bubble bath and water
  79. Fly a kite
  80. Attend a free story hour at Pottery Barn Kids
  81. Earn a free book from Barnes & Noble
  82. Sign up for Apple Camp at your local Apple store
  83. Print free coloring sheets at Crayola
  84. Make paper airplanes
  85. Create a scrapbook
  86. Send a letter to troops overseas
  87. Pack a care package for troops overseas
  88. Use a free Redbox code to get a free DVD or video rental
  89. Go on a factory tour – go HERE to find ones in your area
  90. Visit the mall and play at the indoor playground
  91. Have a spa night and paint your nails
  92. Stop by the McDonald’s Playplace and get $1 ice cream cones
  93. Make shadow puppets
  94. Have a family soccer game in your back yard
  95. Let your kids play in the mud (eek!)
  96. Have your kids practice their reading skills at Starfall
  97. Let kids practice math skills at CoolMath4Kids
  98. Take advantage of free apps at Smart Apps for Kids
  99. Let your kids enjoy a free Auntie Anne’s Pretzel 
  100. Get free Dippin’ Dots when you sign up for their email club
  101. Stop by Coldstone and enjoy a free ice cream creation when you purchase one

What other free things do you like to do with your kids? I’d love to hear them ~ leave a comment to share!


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Should You Buy Your School’s School Supply Kit?

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I just did something this year that I’ve never done before. 


And honestly, something I’ve just about always sworn off off.


I ordered Reagan’s school supply kit from her school.




(Yup, I’ve officially joined the darkside.) 🙂

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The reason I did it? Because while I think I *maybe* could have found these items cheaper on my own, it never fails that the week before school I end up spending hours hunting down one item on their list that I can’t find, and I wasn’t sure the hassle was worth it.


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So, I decided to do the math and compare these prices to what the basic prices were last year at Walmart & Target, and see how things looked. Let’s take a peek!

  • 1 – Crayola Markers, Washable, Classic Colors, Wide Tip, 8/Set
  • 1 – Kleer-Fax Dividers, 3 Ring, 5-Tab, 11″ x 8.5″
  • 1 – SchoolKidz Pencil Case, Fabric, 3-Hole w/Grommets, 10″x 6″, Asst.
  • 1 – SchoolKidz Storage Bags, Economy Zip, Qrt 25 or Gallon 15
  • 1 – C-Line Expanding File, Poly, Reinforced, Ltr Sz, 7 Pocket, Asst
  • 1 – Staples Notebooks, Spiral, 2Pk, WR, 70Ct, Blue/Red
  • 1 – Wilson Jones Binder, 3 Ring, Heavy Duty, View, 1.5″, White
  • 2 – Staples Highlighter, Chisel Tip, Yellow, w/Pkt Clip
  • 2 – Staples Composition Book, Marble Cover, WR, 100 Sheets, BLK
  • 1 – Staples Filler Paper, Wide Rule, 10.5″ x 8″, 120/Pk
  • 1 – Crayola Pencils, Colored, 7″, Sharpened, 12/Set
  • 1 – Staples Pencils, #2, Unsharpened, All Wood, Dz.
  • 1 – Fiskars Scissors, 7″, Student, Pointed Tip, Latex Free, Asst.
  • 2 – Elmer’s Glue Stick, Washable, Purple, Dries Clear, .77 oz.
  • 1 – Bonus Items “Money From Home” Envelopes & Student ID Labels

Total = $30


At Walmart & Target (based on every day prices last summer

  • Crayola Markers Washable 10 ct = $1.97 at Walmart
  • 3 ring dividers 5 tab =$1.59
  • Pencil Case = $1 at Walmart and Target
  • Ziploc Storage Bags 1 gallon (25 qt) = $2.84
  • 7 pocket Expanding File Poly Folder = $4.97 at Walmart
  • 2 Spiral Notebooks 70 ct = 25¢ each
  • 1.5″ 3 ring binder = $3.74 at Walmart
  • 2 yellow highlighter = $.87 at Target
  • 2 composition notebooks = 50¢ each at Walmart and Target
  • 120 ct filler paper = 82¢ at Walmart
  • 12 ct colored pencils = 97¢ at Walmart
  • 1 dozen unsharpened pencils = 97¢ at Walmart for 2 dozen
  • 7″ fiskars scissors = 97¢ at Walmart
  • 2 .77 oz glue stick = $2.97 at Walmart for 3

Total = $25.18

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Sooooooo, I think I got a wee bit scammed. 🙂


Okay, okay, not really, *but*, here are my thoughts on this one:

  • I paid $5 convenience ~ really, that was okay with me right now.
  • It will make my life much easier come August.
  • It wasn’t the end of the world to over pay by $5 on this one.


The prices I compared to above are the Walmart and Target every-day-no-crazy-loss-leader-sales on those items.




If I’d waited ’til the crazy back-to-school summer sales, Staples, Office Max & Office Depot would have dropped those prices pretty significantly and I’m betting I could have gotten everything for $15.


My conclusion?


If you’re crazy busy and have absolutely no extra time on hand this summer, it may be be worth it to you to buy that back to school kit and make your life easy.




If you have a little extra time, wait for the back-to-school sales because my bet is you can save a bundle. And, if you have a bunch of kids (like 3 or more?), that savings could add up to $45 or quite a bit more pretty quickly.


And, remember that when you pick up those loss leaders you can also grab a few more to donate to other folks for just a few pennies ~ one more reason to shop those back to school sales (and what I’ll be doing this summer!)


Do you usually buy the back-to-school kits at your school? I’d love to hear if you think they’ve been worth it!


Curious what the school supply prices looked like last summer? Head on over HERE. 

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Best Baby Shower Gift Ever


I could not wait to share this darling gift my cute niece received this weekend at her baby shower! One very (very) smart momma gave her what I think just might be the best baby shower gift ever.


She found a super cute heavy duty file folder . . . 


And made darling labels for everything Baby Cash’s mom (isn’t that a cute name?) will need to hang onto those first few years.




Here are the labels she included (made with a label maker): 

  • Birth Certificates & Social Security
  • Keepsakes
  • Milestones
  • Pediatrician Visits
  • Immunization Records
  • Other Health Records
  • Insurance Paperwork
  • Nursing/Feeding Info
  • Manuals
  • Receipts
  • Miscellaneous


I just loved this and thought you might too ~ such a wonderful gift idea!


Looking for more frugal Baby Shower Ideas?


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25 Days of Frugal DIY Day 4 ($10 Or Less)



This idea is so clever! Head on over HERE to see how Ashley of Sugar & Cloth turned these copper pipe caps into flower pots.


Such a great way to DIY on a penny pinched budget. 🙂

Stop back tomorrow night for a new penny pinched idea ~ happy penny pinching!

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6 Secrets to Price Matching at Walmart


I just saw that WALMART ALSO OFFERS CURBSIDE DELIVERY IN OUR AREA ~ WOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!! Go HERE to see if they’re offering in your hometown, this seriously could change your Walmart-grocery-I-really-don’t-wanna-go-in-life. And, use the code REALEASY to save $10 on first curbside delivery order (thanks Jayme!) I love that!!! 🙂 


Did you know that you can get the sale prices from ads alllll over town  – just by price-matching their ads at Walmart?


It’s true!


 Walmart has made it SO easy to walk in and get every deal on your list with minimum effort involved.


But to make the absolute MOST of their price matching policyyou’ll want to do your homework.  Know what you can match, WHO you can match, and what sorts of things are excluded.  Plus – find out how to add coupons into the save even more.  Check out these 6 Secrets to Price Matching at Walmart!

6 Secrets to Price Matching at Walmart

how to price match at walmart
1 . Walmart Will Match Competitors’ Sale Prices (Even BOGO Sales)

Walmart will price match  ANY competitor’s ad price.  You don’t even need to have the ads with you – just tell your cashier that you are price matching an item and they can look it up to verify.

As long as a price is clearly listed in the ad  you will be able to get sale prices from all over town with just one stop at Walmart.  You can NOT price match on a general discount – such as a BOGO with no regular prices listed, or a percentage off – like “40% OFF Almay Makeup”.

Ad match items must also match exactly in brand, size, color, flavor, etc… and managers always reserve the right to limit quantities.




2 . Walmart Price Matches Fresh Meats, Fruit and Veggies

As long as the meat and produce matches in size and brand – like Tyson chicken, Jennie-O Turkey, or Bolthouse Farms Carrots – you can even match sales prices on these items.




3 . Walmart Price-Matches Online Competitors As Well

If you find an item at a lower price online (for instance Amazon) Walmart will match their competitors’ online price as well.

Keep in mind that the item must be IN STOCK on the website when you request a price match and that certain sales (Doorbusters, limited time offers like Daily Deals and Paid Membership clubs like Sam’s Club) will not qualify for price matching.

Online Competitors include: 

Academy.com, Amazon.com, Autozone.com, Babiesrus.com, Basspro.com, Bedbathandbeyond.com, Bestbuy.com, Cabelas.com, Dickssportinggoods.com, Dollargeneral.com, Familydollar.com, Homedepot.com, Jcpenney.com, Kmart.com, Kohls.com, Lowes.com, Michaels.com, Newegg.com, Officedepot.com, Oreillyauto.com, Pepboys.com, Petco.com, Petsmart.com, Sears.com, SportsAuthority.com, Staples.com, Target.com, Tigerdirect.com, Toysrus.com, Walgreens.com, Walmart.com

*See all exclusions here





4 . Walmart Stores Will Match Walmart.com Prices Too

This one seems a little like a no-brainer – but it wasn’t always the case.  Walmart will now match Walmart.com prices in stores. (Provided the item is in stock at the time of price match)

In case you haven’t noticed before – sometimes Walmart.com will have rollbacks and markdowns on certain items that are NOT marked down in stores.  for instance this popular Viking Tablet which is $99.99 at my local store (I know – because we went to check it out!) but $79.99 online.  Keep in mind, the item must be in stock online at time of purchase.


5 . You can use coupons along with price matching

For those of us who just like knowing we saved SOMETHING – Walmart price matching feels like a win.  But if you’re looking to save even MORE – you can use coupons alongside a price match!  While making your shopping list – type your items in here (I typed in “Tide” just as an example) to see where it’s cheapest.  The results will include any coupons that are available – so you can get those ready before heading out the door!

Use mobile coupon apps – like Ibotta , Checkout 51 and Snap by Groupon – as well while you’re at it!



6 . Always hang onto your Walmart Receipt

If you were in a hurry or think you might have missed a deal – make sure to hold onto your Walmart receipt. You can upload a pic of your receipt to Walmart’s Savings Catcher App and they’ll “catch” any competitor prices you missed and give you money after the fact.


I’ve really been happy with the amount of money I’ve received back from this app!



Some Walmart stores are offering curbside pickup, and I have heard rave reviews about this program (my store back in Huntsville had that and I’m so jealous!) Go HERE to see if your store offers it. 🙂


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25 Days of Frugal DIY Day 3 ($10 Or Less)



This idea is so clever! Head on over HERE to see how the Lemonade Makin’ Mama created a chic jewelry holder out of just a few simple items.


Such a great way to DIY on a penny pinched budget. 🙂

Stop back tomorrow night for a new penny pinched idea ~ happy penny pinching!

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Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs


Ready for another slow cooker recipe? If you’d like ribs but don’t want to fire up the grill, these are a simple way to make them inside. So good, and you only need five ingredients . . . love that!


I think I’ve finally figured out ribs in the slow cooker (WOOHOO!)  After reading through a few suggestions on how to cook ribs in the crockpot, I made these today and they were perfect. 


And EASY. 


What more could a girl ask for? 🙂




Here’s the trick:  do NOT just put the ribs in the slow cooker.


(I know, I know . . . that takes a little of the fun out of slow cooking, but I promise spending a few minutes to prepare those ribs in the morning will reward you with some fall-apart-heavenly ribs!) 


Allow just thirty minutes in the morning to pre-bake them in the oven, and then let your slow cooker to the rest of the cooking for you.  These were so good that my family declared them better than Logan’s Roadhouse, and liked them as much as our favorite rib recipe for the grill.



Yup, I was a rockstar at our house this week. 


Here’s the recipe if you’d like to be a rockstar today too. 🙂 



  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Salt
  • Barbecue Sauce (we used Sweet Baby Rays)
  • 3-4 lbs. Pork Long Country Style Ribs, or Pork Sirloin Chops


  1. Season ribs with salt, pepper and garlic salt.
  2. Bake at 350 in oven for 15 minutes, then turn ribs over and bake another 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer ribs to slow cooker (you may need to cut them to fit into Mrs. Potts!) 🙂
  4. Pour bottle of barbecue sauce over top of the ribs.
  5. Cook for 6-7 hours on low.
  6. Serve along with extra barbecue sauce (optional).




Looking for more slow cooker recipes to add to your menu plan this week? Here you go . . .

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