Ways To Save Money On Easter Dinner!

easterdinner

Can you believe Easter is almost here? It seems like we just got done with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations!  I love Easter dinner because it is a nice reminder of Spring and it gives me a chance to be with those I love. While Easter dinner is not usually as expensive or complicated as other holiday meals, it still can get pricey, depending on how many folks you are feeding. Here are some tips to save money on your Easter Dinner this year.

Ways to Save on Easter Dinner

Plan your menu. Planning what you will be making can help you figure out not only what you will be having and keep it organized, but you can also see where you can use ingredients from what you already have on hand and buy shared ingredients for dishes.

Make your own rolls and dessert. Buying these from a bakery is so much more costly than just making your own. You don’t have to get super fancy either. Just make a simple cake and some easy biscuits if you are stretched for time.

If the crowd you are serving is large, do a potluck style meal. Offer to buy the largest expense, the Easter ham, and have all your guests bring assigned goodies such as sides, dessert, rolls, drinks and appetizers. This way, you don’t have to spend too much time cooking and can enjoy more time with your family as well as save everyone some money.

Make your own table décor. There is no need to run out and buy expensive centerpieces. If you have some tulips coming up, a simple bunch of them in a tall glass vase with colored glass rocks looks lovely and simple. You can also find do-it-yourself inspiration by looking on blogs and Pinterest for ideas.

For your main course, think outside the box. If ham is too expensive, maybe your local supermarkets have something else on sale such as ribs or lamb. Also, don’t just shop at one place for your main course. You may be able to get a great discount from local farmers, butcher shops and even warehouse clubs.

Skip expensive wine and make punch instead. If you really want to do wine, try using sangria as it is fruity and less expensive that wine and a great addition to an Easter feast.

Buy early or late. Many times, retailers mark up prices but make them come across like bargains on things like eggs or ham this time of year. Buy as soon as you think is necessary or wait until last minute when supermarkets will be marking down their hams in order to get them sold in time. Also, be on the lookout for coupons this time of year as well for eggs.

Buy produce locally. In many parts of the country, produce is already coming to town at farmer’s markets. You can usually get great deals at these local merchant’s tables. Also, be on the lookout for farm fresh eggs as well.

Buy in season and cook your meal around that. Produce that is in season this time of year is artichokes, asparagus, morel mushrooms, spring mix salad and rhubarb.

Share

Halloween Party Dessert: Kitty Litter!

kitty litter

I have made this kitty litter dessert a number of times over the past 12 years, and every year it is a huge hit with friends and guests. It sounds gross, but I assure you, it is delicious and it is so much fun listening to the comments from surprised friends. Not only does it look realistic but they are also putting it on their plate using a kitty litter scooper!

Halloween Party Dessert: Kitty Litter!

Ingredients

  • 10 Tootsie Rolls (Softened)
  • 1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 box White Cake Mix
  • 1 pk Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 1 pk Vanilla Creme Cookies

Directions

Step 1
Make vanilla pudding according to package directions, and set in fridge to chill.
Step 2
Bake both cake mixes according to package directions, let the cakes cool.
Step 3
Line NEW and unused kitty litter box (or any similar size and shape container) with small trash bag.
Step 4
Crumble package of vanilla creme cookies. Set aside 1/2 - 3/4 cup for a later step.
Step 5
Once cakes are cool, crumble them in a bowl.
Step 6
Mix in the crushed cookies,
Step 7
Add pudding to mixture, just enough to get the mixture moist.
Step 8
Pour the mixture into your kitty litter box.
Step 9
Scatter the remaining crushed cookies on the top.
Step 10
Scatter a few softened tootsie rolls throughout the mixture and a few on top of the mixture, shaping them, to look more realistic.
Step 11
Use a new and unused Kitty litter scoop, to scoop out the dessert to your guests!
Share

Tax FREE Back to School Shopping Days 2016

Tax free 2016

Reposted 7/23/16

Here is a list of states participating in Tax Free days around the back to school shopping season.  Each state has it’s own rules and regulations for what is exempt from taxes.  If you know of a state that is participating, that I do not have listed, let me know:

  • Alabama: August 5 – 7

clothing, computers, school supplies, books

  • Arkansas:  August 6-7

 clothing and school supplies

  • Connecticut: August 21 – 27

clothing and footwear

  • Florida: Aug.5 – 7

clothing, footwear, wallets, and bags that costs $100 or less, school supplies that cost $15 or less, and the first $750 of the cost of personal computers and related accessories.

  • Georgia: July 30 – 31

clothing, computers, school supplies

  • Iowa: August 5-7

clothing

  • Louisiana:  August 5-6

All consumer purchases of tangible personal property, other than vehicles subject to license and title and meals including to-go orders. The holiday applies only to the 4 percent state sales tax. It does not apply to sales taxes levied by parishes, municipalities, school boards, and other political subdivisions of the state. (from Louisiana Department of Revenue)

  • Maryland:  August 7 – 13

clothing and footwear

  • Massachusetts No dates announced yet
  • Mississippi: July 29 – 30

clothing and footwear

  • Missouri: August 5 – 7

clothing, computers, school supplies

  • New Mexico: August 5 – 7

clothing, computers, school supplies, computer equipment

  • Ohio: August 5-7

clothing, school supplies, instructional materials

  • Oklahoma August 5-7

clothing

  • South Carolina: August 5-7

clothing, computers, school supplies, computer equipment  South Carolina Department of Revenue)

  • Tennessee:  July 29 – 31

clothing, computers, school supplies

  • Texas:  August 5-7

clothing, backpacks, school supplies

  • Virginia: August 5 – 7

school supplies and clothing.

Will update this post if additional information becomes available for 2015

Share

Grand Trunk Single Hammock and Tree Sling Only $27!!!

hammock

Grand Trunk Single Hammock and Tree Sling Only $27!

Now I could relax in one of these Grand Trunk Single Hammock and Tree Sling!  Super-packable nylon parachute compresses to the size of a softball, letting you easily pack it and set it up wherever you need a rest. Nylon parachute-rope hanging kit and nautical-grade carabiners allow multiple hanging options. Triple-stitched mildew-resistant 100% parachute-nylon construction. Holds up to 400 pounds and only weighs 1.2 pounds! This would make a great git for the nature lover in your life! Use promo code 16CAVE to get this great deal with free shipping!. This is only valid today!

Share

National Parks: Every Kid in a Park Program

everykidinapark (1)
Originally posted in the Savannah Morning News 5/29/2016
In the modern world, one of the major gripes that many parents have about their children’s current lifestyles, is that they spend too much time indoors.
Many children miss out on the immense nature of being around the open world and getting to see parts of the wild that helps them appreciate and understand the world around them.
However, the National Park Service is looking to change these blurred lines of communication once and for all – Every Kid in a Park is helping fourth graders get to see parts of the United States that have gone unvisited by a large number of our youth for too long!
How Does Every Kid in a Park Work?
It is a painless and easy process! Your child answers two questions, about what they want to see & do when they go to a National Park, and you can then get access to a free card.
This card can then be used to help you get access to all Federal parks, lands, and waters! You can bring your family and friends with you for free, too! The pass admits all children under 16 and up to three adults for free. With this card, your fourth grader will be given free access allowing them to explore amazing National Parks in the United States.
Now they can go and see what nature has to offer them instead of just viewing it on the TV or in a book. This helps kids settle in and have some incredible fun with nature! You can easily make a trip of with the kids, creating memories to last a lifetime.
Whether you want to travel to a local site or take a cross-country trip with the kids over the summer, you’ll find that this is the perfect time for your kids to experience the great outdoors once again!
Why Does This Matter?
It matters because one day our kids will be left to the world as their own. When that day comes it helps if they appreciate and understand the importance and the true beauty of the environment. A life spent indoors has its benefits, but it means that a lack of respect for the importance of the environment can become quite a prominent issue.
Now, you can make sure that your children get that life-changing experience of interacting with and learning to love & appreciate the outdoors. They’ll get to be educated about amazing natural sights, learn how to undergo amazing experiences like fishing, hiking, learning about previous inhabitants, and also getting to understand why nature plays such a major role in society’s success.
This is the kind of learning that many children sadly go without in their normal day-to-day lives, and you can change that about your own children in the years to come. All it takes is a quick visit to Every Kid in a Park to apply for your free card!
So, if you have been unsure about what the summer might hold for you and your family as a group, then be sure to check out Every Kid in a Park. It can be the perfect place to get new ideas for the summer that might have been out of your price range previously, allowing your kids to experience the beauty of nature!
Thank you to Jill Anderson for answering my questions regarding the “Every Kid In A Park” program.
Note: Current third graders can get their fourth-grade passes starting September 1, 2016.
Share