Category Archives: On The Cheap

Christmas Goodie Bags

Check out the fun, easy and affordable goodie bags I made for my amazing coworkers last Christmas.


Each bag included:

2 tangerines-for health

1 lottery ticket-for wealth

SpongeBob stickers-for happiness

a handful of Hershey Kisses-for love

I printed “May you always be happy, healthy, wealthy, and loved” on red paper and attached the note, with a cute twisty tie that came with the cellophane baggies.

40 lottery tickets=$40

6 bags of tangerines=$35

2 packs of SpongeBob stickers (from the dollar store)=$2

1 giant bag of Hershey’s Kisses (1 for you, 2 for me, 1 for you, 2 for me) =$10

2 packs of cellophane bags (from the dollar store)=$2

And I already had the red paper.

And voila!

40 thoughtful prezzies for under $90!


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Filed under Celebrate, On The Cheap

Macro Photo Hack

I saw this cool pin on Pinterest for taking macro photos with your iPhone and decided to try it.

Derek was kind enough to harvest the lens out of this dollar store laser pointer for me.
A friend donated a bobby pin to the cause.
I followed the step by step instructions provided here.
Then I gathered a few fun things to practice on.IMG_7086
Check out my fortune! Amazing advice. The fact that it came from a cookie makes it even cooler!

The hardest part about this entire thing is keeping a steady hand. I tucked my arm in and braced my elbow on something to counter the hand shake I seem to have but never notice until I am trying to hold perfectly still.

Practice makes better.

Mega fun!


Filed under Feeling Fartsy, On The Cheap

Simple Drink Storage Solution

We are lucky enough to have enough room, in our kitchen, for 2 refrigerators.  One is our everything fridge and the other is our drink/overflow fridge.  If you have a large family and enough room in your kitchen, I highly recommend 2 fridges!

Before, whenever I tried to put cans or bottles in the door they would fall over and jerk around each time I opened the door.  And then I did this…

I saved the 4 and 6 pack carriers from beer and wine coolers.  We very rarely drink so it took me a while to get these 3.

Now the drinks all have their own cozy spots and I can stack them two high in the back, without having them fall every time I open the door.



Filed under Everything else, Let's get organized, On The Cheap

Repurposed CD Jewel Cases

My good friend Patti, recently presented me with a ginormous box of empty CD jewel cases, and asked me if I had any creative ideas for them.  I love a repurpose challenge!  I took a huge stack home with me and here’s what I came up with.

We now have an awesome and free “stained glass” window in our family room.

I just stuck them to the window with double stick tape.  The edges were tricky because these things don’t like to be cut.  They’d rather crack, snap  and send pieces flying across the room. Watch your eyes!  With patience and a little finesse, I managed to cut them down to fill in the gaps.

It’s a fun and looks really cool at night. The best thing is when we get tired of it, it will be super easy to take down.

Here’s a close up of my never-gonna-be-finished Kermit portrait, that had a cameo in the first photo.

For 5 years I’ve been saying I will finish him…some day, and haven’t yet.  When I tried to donate him to Goodwill, Der and the boys pitched a fit, so here he sits ever so patiently waiting to be completed…one of these days…maybe.


Filed under Feeling Fartsy, Goodwill, Let's make things pretty., On The Cheap

Trail Riding In Pinetop

Trail riding together as a family was so much fun.

Der taught the boys to skip rocks at a little watering hole.  We saw bear tracks right at the waters edge.

Conrad and I missed the memo telling us that is was green T-shirt day.


Filed under Adventures, Amazeballs, Family, Making Memories, Natural Happenings, On The Cheap, Rodents aka kids

Citrus Vinegar Cleaning Spray

I was inspired by This Pin on Pinterest and just had to make my own citrus vinegar cleaning spray.

Weeks ago, I put the peels from lemons, grapefruits and oranges into separate mason jars.  Then I poured white vinegar over them, until the jars were full.  I used my huge jars.  Smaller ones may have been a better choice, since now I have a decades worth of citrus vinegar.  If you were my neighbor I’d share with you, so you wouldn’t have to make your own.  I’d also give you lots of free eggs, from our egg factory out back.  We are swimming in eggs.  But alas you are not my neighbor, you may want to reevaluate your living situation.  Free eggs and citrus vinegar, those are perfectly valid reasons to move, just sayin’.

And now I’ve gotten off track.  Focus, Amy, focus.

They were so pretty, I let them sit on the counter.

They sat there for about 3 weeks.  The directions called for 2 weeks, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt if they sat a little longer.

When I felt they were all sufficiently marinated, I poured each type into a separate spray bottle, half way, with a funnel.  Then I topped them off with H2O.

My favorite one is the grapefruit, not pictured because I put that in my empty Mrs. Meyers spray bottle and was too lazy to peel the label off, so I didn’t take a photo.  Mrs. Meyer’s is awesome, but homemade citrus vinegar is WAY cheaper!

It smells good, cleans well, is cheap and super easy to make, so why isn’t everyone doing this?


Filed under Natural Happenings, On The Cheap

Rainbow Paper Suncatchers

I freehand cut blue sheets of paper into clouds.  Then I cut their centers out.  I cut 2 at a time, so there would be twins that we could stack to match.

After cutting tissue paper into thick strips, I gave each boy 1 in every color.

Conrad’s friend, Gavin, was over again and was happy to make one too.

The photo’s pretty self-explanatory, but you outline the cloud with glue and overlap your tissue paper on each previous piece.  We made sure to leave plenty of tissue hanging out the bottom of the cloud.

As you can see we used white glue, but glue stick would have been better.

If you look closely at the tops of the clouds, you can see the hanging string we glued to the tops, in-between the paper.

The cloud shape is clearly visible through the tissue paper, so it was easy to see where to put the next layer of glue, in order to attach the twin cloud.

The boys gently tore any tissue poking out of the top.  Scissors would have created a cleaner edge, but this way was much faster.

Rainbows are so happy!  I love them!

I also love how the different colored paper overlapped creates new colors.  It was a makeshift course in color theory for the boys.

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Filed under Entertain Me, Feeling Fartsy, Let's make things pretty., Making Memories, On The Cheap, Rodents aka kids