Date Night on the Cheap

I received product to facilitate this review but all opinions are 100% my own!!

Friday night date night is a super fun tradition to have in every marriage. 12 years into a marriage and 7 kids later date night is not as easy as use to be. Time is an issue and of course budget also contributes to making date night difficult. Here are some fun finds that will make date night a touch easier on the budget and a lot more fun!!

 

Coupons for Date Night Savings

My first tip is Coupons, Coupons, Coupons!!! There are endless possibilities for coupons for going out to dinner. You can find them in your local Sunday paper, entertainment books and of course the internet. Here is a great coupon for BOGO 1/2 off at Ruby Tuesdays!  You can print this coupon through Friday, September 19th but it is good for up to two weeks after you print it!

Ruby Tuesday coupon, buy one get one half off

Ruby Tuesday just introduced their new Garden Bar with over 30 ingredients to mix and match as many times as you want all for $7.99 Available Monday – Friday at most locations. And they also have a new line of entrees that look yummy. We will be stopping by soon to try them out!

 

Date Night Jar On a Budget

Thanks to Pinterest ideas for cheap fun date nights are endless. Here is one of my favorite ideas from Dating Divas for an inexpensive date night jar. $20 for 10 dates is a fabulous gift idea. I love all the ideas but my two favorite are “Go to the Dollar Store and surprise each other with a present!” and “Visit a fast food drive-through and enjoy a milkshake with two straws.”

Date night jar/Dating divas

 

Movie Date Night

We all know the quickest way to kill a date budget is having to pay for a babysitter so at home dates after the kids go to bed is a fabulous option. I love this idea from Dating Divas with their already planned movie dates. The Proposal has to be one of my all time favorite movies so I will definitely be doing that one!!!

Movie date night/dating divas

 

Date Night Jar – Popsicle Stick Style

This fun idea from Life in the Green House is a great combination of go out dates and stay at home dates. Make a jar and color code the popsicle sticks for the different type of activities. This would make a great gift to give to your loved one for Christmas.

date night jar/life in the green house

 

Stay At Home Date Night Ideas

Last but not least the Happy Wives Club has a great list of 20 at home date night ideas that would be really fun. I personally love the camp out at home idea. I think it would be fun to put the kids to bed and sit around the fire pit out back making smores.

stay home dates/happy wives club

 

There really are endless possibilities if you take the time to plan a little bit. Spending less money is a little more work but can be way more fun. Amazing memories are right around the corner! I would love to hear ideas of what you do to have meaningful date nights with your spouse!!

 

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My Favorite Playdough



Homemade Play-dough recipe

This is my favorite playdough recipe. It is really easy to work with and best of all it doesn’t smell like salt playdough. I can not stand the smell and texture of other salt dough recipes I have worked with. I love the idea of adding a little scented oil. The first time I made it, I didn’t have any scented oil, so I used Mint Extract and that worked pretty good, too. Another time I made it, I used jello which also made it smell good, but it didn’t allow you to be as creative with the coloring.

 

This recipe should make enough for 1 child or equivalent to 2 “Play-doh” containers. I made a double recipe for the pictures and I let me son help with everything, but the actual cooking portion.

 

Needed:

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Salt
  • 4 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Cream of Tarter
  • Food Coloring
  • (Optional) Scented Oil of Choice

Other alternatives: use a small box of Jello instead of Food Coloring and Scented Oil

 

Directions:

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a pan and stir together. (hint: I would add the water first and then everything else so the powder ingredients are not stuck to the side of the pan.) Cook on a medium heat on the stove, stirring regularly until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Keep cooking it until then, it will begin to not stick to the sides, so be patient. Once the dough is doing this, remove it from the pan and place on a hard surface.

The Best Homemade Playdough - basic

Step 2: It will be really warm, so an adult may have to do the initial kneading. This is when you will add the food coloring, if you didn’t use the Jello. I put plastic sandwich bags on the kids hands and once I worked the food coloring in a couple kneads then I let the kids do the rest. The plastic bags kept the kids hands from getting colored. Knead the color in well and then have fun! Store in an air tight container. If it gets dry at all, add a little water and knead it.

Easy Homemade Play-dough Recipe - kid friendly

 

Step 3:  Pull out cookie cutters, plastic knives, a stiff cup for a roller and HAVE FUN!

The Best Homemade Playdough

 

What Is Your Favorite Time For Playdough?

Please share it with us below in the comments!

 

 

This post was originally shared February 2010, we just gave it a facelift!

After School Book Club For Kids

I am super excited to introduce our new contributor, Shannon! This is her first post of many more to come! We are so excited for this addition to the Fun On a Dime Team!

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After school reading club for kids. Great way to make reading exciting for your children

A friend and I decided to get our kids together for a reading group! We want our kids to learn to LOVE reading and have fun doing it. Whats more fun than getting a yummy treat and a fun book to read.

After school book club for kids

 

It will help them with confidence in reading aloud in front of their peers, get their homework done, what mom doesn’t love multi-tasking :) and they are having fun with friends while doing it.

After school book club for kids

Helpful Tips for the older Readers

  • Each kiddo took turns reading a paragraph
  • Have books picked out and ready to go
  • Choose books based off a theme, current holiday or current events
  • Talk about and have the kids discuss details from what they read
  • HAVE FUN

After school book club for kids

 

Helpful Tips for little readers

  • We had a bucket of toys for them to play quietly with
  • They say and had a snack while the older kids read to them
  • Bring books for them to look at and play with too

After school book club for kids

 

What Is Your Favorite After School Treat?

 

After school reading club for kids. Great way to make reading exciting for your children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favorite Effortless Meals + Savings via Coca-Cola and Walmart

This shop has been compensated Coca-Cola and Walmart. Regardless, all opinions are 100% my own

Before my kiddos started attending school a few years ago, I never imagined how difficult it would be to get dinner on the table and my family together in the same spot at a reasonable dinner time. But with after school sports, homework, Scouts and other after school activities, I am learning that I need to be super prepared before they get home for dinner, which is not always as possible as I would like.

To make family dinners a little more convenient for moms, Coca-Cola and Walmart have come together to create “Effortless Meals” with a variety of meal options – take ‘n bake pizza, flavorful sandwiches and ready-to-serve rotisserie chicken. 

For those times that I am not as prepared or have an especially busy day, it’s great to be able to swing by our local Walmart to get something all ready to eat, so we can enjoy what little time we have together to eating a tasty meal as a family.

Our favorite Effortless Meals

 

Friday Pizza and Family Movie Night

 

Family Pizza Night Effortless Meal Ideas

In our house, Friday night is Pizza and Family Movie night. Everyone counts on it after a busy week. Once upon a time, I had time on Fridays to make yummy homemade pizzas. But with after school sports on a Friday, that takes my pizza making time away. So to save myself from the stress of trying to squeeze it in and a large kitchen mess, we swing by the store most Friday nights to grab a yummy pizza we can throw in the oven as soon as we get home.

Family Pizza Movie Night Effortless Meal Ideas

Grabbing a drink and a pre cut up salad and we have a full plate covered with plenty of food to fill their bellies. All is right in the world when we get our pizza and family movie night!

 

Easy Soft Tacos

Soft Taco Effortless Meal Ideas

When I get to chose, my favorite easy meal is a Rotisserie chicken. They are always so yummy! Pair it with some tortillas, Queso Fresco and any leftover vegetables, like the salad from the Pizza Night, and you can make a yummy Soft Taco that is ready in minutes for your family. If you really want to make it “effortless”, you put all the ingredients on the table and everyone gets to make their own variations the way they like.

 

Yummy Quesadillas

This is my go-to meals when all else fails or we are in a big rush.  It’s quick, easy and I rarely get complaints. All you really need is 2 ingredients, tortillas and cheese, but to make it extra yummy, my husband loves it when we throw in leftovers like the Rotisserie chicken. Added protein helps make the hunger stay away longer!

 

Savings

As part of Walmart and CocaCola’s colaboration to create “Efferortless Meals” for busy families with their Marketside meals  like their take ‘n bake pizza, flavorful sandwiches and ready-to-serve rotisserie chicken, they have also created an additional way you can earn rewards for your “effortless meal” purchases. With every Effortless Meal purchase paired with a Coca-Cola product you can earn points that can be redeemed via My Coke Rewards

My Coke Rewards and Effortless Meals at Walmart

To redeem, make sure you verify you are buying the right Coca-Cola product. There are a large variety of sizes and flavors of drinks to choose from (not only soda, but juice too!) and the Coke Rewards site lists them clearly, but each product also has a “Enter Code mycokerwards.com” marking on the top of the lid to make it easy. Save your lid for the Coke Rewards code on the inside and make sure you save the UPC code from your choice of Marketside food from Walmart. When you go to redeem your points enter them in at the same time by clicking “Enter multiple codes” on the main page. It’s super easy and you will gain an easy 10 points which you can redeem for a large variety of prizes. I love win, wins!

 

What is your favorite Effortless Meal?

Yummy No-Bake S’mores


W
ith it being hot in Arizona, the last thing we really want to eat is some hot food BUT we really like our S’mores here. So we came up with a fun solution when we were creating our Emergency Power Outage Kit and we had to try them out to make sure they would work! This was one test nobody complained about.

Easy yummy smores - no heat needed, no bake

What I really like about this version of S’mores, is when I have a handful of hungry kiddos (friends over after school!  ;-) ), the last thing they want to do is take turns for the microwave and the last thing I want to do is scrape over cooked or exploded marshmallow off the walls of the microwave. This keeps their cute little hands on only getting the butter knife sticky instead of everything in between the counter and microwave and this will be perfect for our Emergency Kit when we have no power and still want a yummy treat!

 

What You Need:

  • Marshmallow creme
  • Spreadable chocolate spread (there are a variety! yum!)
  • Graham crackers
  • 2 butter knifes to keep spreads from mixing

Easy yummy smores - no heat needed, no bake

 

Directions:

Step 1: Break a long graham cracker in half so you have 2 squares.

Step 2: Spread the marshmallow spread on one side of the graham cracker…make it more of a thin layer. Super yummy!

Easy yummy smores - no heat needed, no bake

 

Step 3: Spread the chocolate spread on the second graham cracker half.

Easy yummy smores - no heat needed, no bake

 

Step 4: Put the two halves together …

Easy yummy smores - no heat needed, no bake

and ENJOY!!!!

Easy yummy smores - no heat needed, no bake

 

Step 5: Just think of the other possibilities…add peanut butter, a little cinnamon or rasberry jelly…oh, yum!!!

Easy yummy smores - no heat needed, no bake

 

How do you like your S’mores? Comment below

(or click here to see the comments)

Food Magic – Easy and Simple Science Experiment

I love simple science experiments. Here is one that we recently did that was a big hit with the kiddos and they could taste it after, too! We even made a video for everyone to see what is supposed to happen.

Easy Science Experiment for kids

 

What You Need:

  • Soda – clear preferred
  • Clear glass or bowl so you can see the action
  • Craisins or raisins
  • Cup (optional)

Directions:

Step 1: Add soda to clear glass or bowl. You want to be able to see what is going on.

Step 2: Add craisins. I only had them do a few each at first so we could see what was going on

Step 3: Observe and have fun!

Easy Science Experiment for kids - food magic

Optional: After they are done observing, pour the soda from your bowl/glass into smaller cups for the kiddos. Have them experiment and observe some more. (HINT: my kiddos figured out if you lightly blow when they craisin pops up, it will drop fast to the bottom)

 

WATCH It In Action:

 

What Is Your Favorite Science Experiment?

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