Tag Archives: frugal

inexpensive fall table centerpiece

How to make an inexpensive fall table centerpiece decoration

When we were first married and  making a home, I had the cutest little decorations all set out around our home for each season. After many moves, many children, many lost and broken decorations, I don’t even have any of my original seasonal decorations.  Plus with having a large family who has time to think about decorations?

Well my 8 year old daughter does.  Jadyn, really enjoys making things “beautified” in our home.   She and I put together this cute table decoration, that has so far stayed put in our home.  Well it probably has stayed put because we have placed our benches directly underneath our table because for the time being we have a curious 1 year old who loves to climb, the table seems to be the place you are most likely to find him.  To avoid any serious injuries, we thought it best to place the benches far away from his climbing reach.  Plus it has helped my centerpiece to stay set up.


For our table top decoration….we placed a strand of Christmas lights down the middle of our table.  We moved out the table leaf and brought the cord up through the opening so that it was centered on our table verses dangling over the edge.


We then placed pinecones all around the lights.  Image00008

We found  packages of leaves at the Dollar store and sprinkled those throughout the area.Image00007

We bought a sack of mini pumpkins at the grocery store and placed those in the centerpiece

Our neighbor gave us some pretty glass mugs—remember we don’t have glass around here it breaks too easily–but I had to find a use for them.  We placed some flowers from the Dollar Store into the mugs.  At the bottom of the mugs we put pinecones to help push up the flowers and make it look neat.  The cups are beveled glass so you can’t really see inside them.


The lantern is a household decoration.

Here is how it looks at night time.Image00002


  • christmas lights—already had                            FREE
  • pinecones—found in yard                                     FREE
  • glass mugs–from neighbor                                   FREE
  • 2 package of leaves from dollar store                $2
  • 5 bunches of fall flowers from dollar store       $5
  • sack full of mini pumpkins from Walmart           $3
  • TOTAL COST FOR DECORATION                            $10




A meal for $.50 a serving that tastes great!!! sausage, beans and rice recipe

This meal is super easy to make and tastes delicious.  At about $.50 a serving not bad for a quick meal.

You will need the following to make sausage, beans, and rice

  • pkg smoked sausage
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans chilli beans
  • 2 -8oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 lb package of rice

these spices are extra if you cannot afford them leave them out but if you have them, they enhance the flavor immensely.

  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • a teaspoon of each basil and oregano

First take your smoked sausage.


Cut it into chunks and then place it in your skillet over medium heat.



Time for flavoring. You can cut up half an onion and add to skillet.
Image00003Dice up 2 stalks of celery and add to your skillet.

Continue cooking over medium heat until your vegetables are soften.

While that is simmering, you can make your rice.  We usually eat brown rice, we have 5 gallon buckets full in the basement.  But we were given this rice and decided to use it, was very good with the meal.  We mixed up the whole bag according to package directions.  The secret to non sticky rice is to not stir it once it is boiling.  Do a quick stir when first mixing it with water and then after that just put the lid on to simmer and leave it alone until serving time.Image00005 After the meat and veges are cooked, add your 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of chilli beans, and 2-8oz cans of tomato sauce.


I like to add a teaspoon of oregano and basil, but skip this step if you do not have it.Image00006
Stir until combined and continue cooking over medium heat for about 5 minutes.Image00008 Serve over rice–delicious.Image00010

This recipe is enough for two meals for our family.  You can freeze the sausage, beans and tomatoes mixture if you were not able to eat all of it at a time.

bag of rice $1

sausage $4

2 cans diced tomatoes $2

2 cans chilli beans $2

2 cans tomato sauce $1

total cost about $10

total servings 20

cost per serving $.50

Plain and simple summer birthday party fun for children

With 12 of us celebrating birthdays throughout the year, we pretty much have one for every month to celebrate.  Our 8-year-old daughter is the fortunate one to enjoy her birthday on the 1st of July.  She is the lucky recipient to enjoy “Daddys’ awesome fireworks show.”  My husband enjoys the 4th of July holiday more than any other holiday during the year.  The excitement and anticipation of fireworks and seeing the joys of the childrens’ faces is what gets him excited. He is a good Daddy. Here are the highlights of a plain and simple birthday party in summer.

we started off by riding go karts around the yard.  The 8-year-old was taught to drive the go-kart herself this year.  DSCN2155

here she is chasing her 17-year-old brother on his Odyssey.DSCN2148we did a water balloon toss game, and our daughter diligently filled up 200 water balloons for this occasion. By the way my daughter is wearing our bathing suit…they are made by wholesomewear.com a wonderful durable bathing suit.  I love them.DSCN2154here are the 1,2, and 3 year olds getting into the water balloons

On the menu: macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and………

hot dogs cooked over a Dakota hole fire—very cool google this idea


fresh fruitDSCN2169 blt chicken saladDSCN2171 veggie pizzaDSCN2172 a homemade water slide fondant cake made by big sisterDSCN2177
We then made a treasure hunt, that sent the girls around the yard looking for clues. One example of a clue was…..in the tree that Tarzan swings from you will find me……..(we have a willow tree).  We did 6 clues and that seemed to be sufficient for them.


In the end they found a box filled with glow sticks,(for our fireworks show)bubbles, candy, slap bracelets, and silly string……which they decided to get the older siblings while they were driving the go-kart.
DSCN2192My 15 and 20-year-old, yeah better not get mom…………..DSCN2197Then on to more games…….. Our neighbor gave us a refrigerator box this week out of the blue and it worked out to be a blessing.  We found some paints in the garage and came up with a homemade bean bag toss game.DSCN2203We made the “bean bags” out of felt squares and rice.DSCN2206Next, we made a homemade pinata.  The children really enjoyed making that this week.
DSCN2218 DSCN2219 DSCN2224Dad brought out the potato gun to shoot.  Another great fun family project.
DSCN2284 DSCN2287 Here is the 8 year olds first time shooting.DSCN2288 Then to top it all off fireworks!!  This was our first year in…….forever…….that we all got to sit outside and enjoy.  We usually have a little one that does not enjoy the noise.  But this year everyone stayed for the whole thing, it was beautiful.  DSCN2294

Thank you for a fun weekend Daddy!  and Happy Birthday to my daughter Jadyn, truly a girl after God’s own heart.  We love you.