Saving on Easter Dinner + Free Printable

Real Food on a Budget: Saving on Easter Dinner. Plus free Easter menu Planner Printable!

Easter is less than three weeks away, time to start planning your Easter dinner. Big holiday or special occasion meals can be pricey, even when not using real food ingredients. With some simple tips you can stay on your budget while still using real food and have Easter dinner.

Tips for Saving on Easter Dinner

  • Plan ahead. Plan your menu now and start watching for sales on anything you can buy early.
  • Use sale ads to plan your menu. You may have some traditional dishes but for extra dishes check out the sale ads for inspiration.
  • Use what you already have. You can also shop your pantry for ideas.
  • Have a potluck. If you are having guests, consider a potluck style meal. This also allows guests to make sure their favorite dish will be there.
  • Be realistic. Do you really need six desserts? Probably not. Leftovers, if you will use them, are great but don’t go overboard.
  • Use in season produce. Buying things that are currently in season is cheaper.
  • Use real dishes. If possible use real dishes for the meal. Not having to buy the plastic stuff will save a lot of money.
  • Make your own decor. With Pinterest this is easier than ever. Choose something simple that is cheap to make or better yet, uses things you already have. You can find lots of ideas on my Easter Pinterest board.
  • Make a plan for leftovers. Having a plan for leftovers will help your food budget for the following week and avoid wasted food. If you have a lot of leftovers, consider freezing what you can.

Easter Menu Planner

Easter Menu Planner Free Printable

This free printable will help you plan out your menu so you are sure not to forget anything. Print it out now and plan early to help you save time, money and stress.

What’s on your Easter dinner menu this year? Who do you celebrate with? I still have to finish my menu plan and even plans in general. This year is already flying by!

Be sure to check out my other free printables and come back each Monday for more tips on eating real food on a budget.  


Photo Credit- ProFlowers

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Made in the USA Dresses for Weddings

**This post is sponsored by ModCloth and  contains affiliate links. I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I will also receive compensation for this post from ModCloth. All thoughts are my own**

Made in the USA Dresses for Weddings #MarriedinModCloth

Wedding season is coming up. For the brides it’s time to pick out their dress and the wedding party’s outfits and for those of us attending it’s time to find our attire as well!

If you have been reading my blog for very long you know that I’m a big fan of ModCloth. They have beautiful vintage inspired clothing and accessories.

I also love that they have a large selection of made in the USA products. I try to buy made in the USA products whenever possible. It’s great for our economy, better for the environment, and more ethical.

I found some amazing made in the USA dresses on ModCloth that are perfect for weddings. This is just a small sample.

For the Bride

If you are looking for an affordable and simple wedding dress, ModCloth has some beautiful options.

Made in the USA Dresses for Weddings #marriedinmodcloth

1. Lovely as Lychee
2. Love You Ivory Day
3. Ravishing Reception
4. This Blissful Moment
5. Velvet Rope Ready

Bridal Party and Guests

These dresses are perfect for the bridal party or guests.

Made in the USA Dresses for Weddings #marriedinmodcloth

1. Fairy Much So
2. Que Shiraz, Shiraz
3. Stop Staring! Pine All Mine
4. So Happy to Gather
5. Fancy You There
6. Sweet Dream Date
7. All Manners of Merriment

If you are looking for style inspiration check out ModCloth’s community photos. There are so many wonderful ideas there. And be sure to check out the rest of the beautiful dresses, skirts, shoes and accessories ModCloth has for weddings.

I’m not in any weddings but I do have some dear friends that are getting married in May. I’m looking forward to their wedding and working on figuring out the perfect outfit! How about you? Getting married, in a wedding, or attending any weddings?

Check out the Made in the USA Challenge for more information on buying American made products.

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Natural Air Freshener Spray

DIY Natural Air Freshener

*This post contains affiliate links. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own. *

Chemicals found in air fresheners have been linked to many health issues. One chemical commonly found in air fresheners is 1,4-dichlorobenzene or 1,4-DCB. 1,4-DCB is linked to lung damage. And this chemical has been found in 96% of American’s blood.

“The 10% of people with the highest blood levels of 1,4-DCB did 4% worse in a test of lung function than the 10% of people with the lowest blood levels of the chemical, found Stephanie J. London, MD, and colleagues at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).”-  WebMD

For people with asthma and other lung conditions this reduction in lung function could be serious. It also puts people at an increased risk of lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

A group of chemicals also commonly found in air fresheners is phthalates. Phthalates have been shown to alter hormone levels and cause other health problems.

“Phthalates are known to interfere with production of the male hormone, testosterone, and have been associated with reproductive abnormalities. Numerous animal studies have linked prenatal exposure to certain phthalates with decreases in testosterone, malformations of the genitalia, and reduced sperm production. The State of California notes that five types of phthalates—including one that we found in air freshener products—are “known to cause birth defects or reproductive harm.” Phthalate exposure in indoor environments has also been associated with allergic symptoms and asthma.”- Natural Resources Defense Council

These are just a few of the harmful ingredients found in most air fresheners. Making your own natural air freshener with a few simple will help protect your family’s health and even save you some money.

Natural Air Freshener

Ingredients:

Directions:

Simply pour the alcohol into a spray bottle, add the essential oil(s) of your choice, and shake. The amount of oil you will need depends on how strong you want it and how big the bottle is. I start with about 10-20 and work my way up.

Many recipes call for water but I choose to leave this out because alcohol dries faster than water and it helps prevent bacteria from developing in the spray. Be sure to shake this before you use it because the essential oils and alcohol will separate.

flowers

I like to change the scent I use with the seasons. Right now I’m using a citrus scent. If you choose to make this I’d love to hear what scent you use. Also, do you avoid artificially scented items in your home?

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Real Food on a Budget: Saving with Thrive Market

 

Real Food on a Budget- Saving with Thrive Market

*This post contains affiliate links. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own. *

A new way I’ve been saving money is by using Thrive Market. It’s an online shop that carries non-gmo, organic, natural food and household products. The prices are normally much lower than you will find in the grocery store.

Facts About Thrive Market-

  • Shipping is free when you spend $49 or more.
  • Like Costco and Sam’s Club, Thrive Market requires a membership. It’s $59.95 a year but you can get a free 30-day trial to test it out.
  • With each membership, Thrive Market will give one free membership to a low-income family.
  • Prices are 25%-50% off retail.
  • They carry amazing brands like Dr. Bronner’s, Pacifica Foods, Bob’s Red Mill, and so many more.
  • They have a large selection of gluten-free products.
  • They are always adding new products.

I’ve been using Thrive Market since December and I have really enjoyed the experience. I have been working on making a price sheet to track prices of things I buy often at different stores. This is something I will share more on later but by using this price sheet I can check to see if buying an item in store or on Thrive Market is cheaper. So far I have found that most of the time, unless there is a good sale in store, items are cheaper from Thrive Market.

I live in a small rural town with few shopping options and a very limited organic selection. My mom and I shop out of town, about an hour away, once a month to make up for this. However, many in situations like mine can’t spend a day a month shopping in another town. Thrive Market helps bring healthy food at an affordable price to people that otherwise wouldn’t have access to it.

I have also been impressed with their packaging. Items are not put into a box that is two times as big as it needs to be and minimal plastic and packaging in general is used.

If you haven’t already I recommend signing up and giving the free 30-day trial a try. You have nothing to lose and I bet you will love it.

I’d love to hear, do you plan on trying Thrive Market or have you already? Let me know what you think.

Don’t forget to come back every Monday for more tips on eating Real Food on a Budget

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20+ Cheap Date Ideas

20+ Cheap Date Ideas and a Free Printable

We often write goals in January but spring is a time of renewal and also a good chance to work on goals. Something that is always one of my goals is to spend quality time with my husband.

I’ve been married almost ten years so it can be easy to get into routines and not include enough quality time together. It’s great to be comfortable with each other but you want to keep passion and fun alive in your marriage as well.

An excuse that is often given by couples for why they don’t go on more dates is the cost. Especially early on in marriages, money can be really tight. Dates don’t have to be expensive to be fun though! Sure going to a fancy restaurant, all dressed up can be a lot of fun but so can many free and cheap dates. Here are just a few cheap date ideas to get you started.

20 Cheap Date Ideas

  1. A picnic at the park. As the weather warms up, consider taking a picnic to your favorite park. This is also a great date if you are watching what you eat because you can pack a healthy lunch.
  2. Go camping. If you don’t have a tent see if you can borrow one from a friend. If you don’t have camp grounds near you, set up your own in your backyard. Bonus to backyard camping for those that don’t love the outdoors, you are close to an indoor bathroom!
  3. Attend local events. Towns often have fun free or cheap events in the spring and summer. Check nearby towns as well.
  4. Volunteer at local animal shelter. Playing with dogs and cats is always fun and helping animals in need is a great bonus.
  5. Check out a local musician. Local musicians often play at coffee shops and bars with little or no cover. You may just find some hidden talent. But don’t forget to tip the musicians.
  6. Play mini-golf. This date may take you back to your early dating days.
  7. Find out if and when your local museums have free or low price days.
  8. Try picking some fresh, local fruit. Visit PickYourOwn.org to find a farm near you.
  9. Buy a lottery ticket and then write down all of the things you would do if you won.
  10. Tour a local winery or brewery. These free tours often include free samples, what’s not to love about that?!
  11. Go to a matinee. Skip the higher priced night showing and check out a matinee of a movie you have both wanted to see.
  12. Visit your local farmer’s market. While you are there maybe pick up some ingredients to use to make dinner together.
  13. Go on a hike. Check out some local trails and not only improve your relationship but also your health.
  14. Visit an open house. This is a great way to get to know each other’s tastes better and it’s fun to fantasy about living in different houses.
  15. Take a class together. It can be fitness, cooking, painting, whatever. Libraries and local colleges often offer affordable classes that are a lot of fun.
  16. Go to karaoke. Are you brave? Sing some karaoke together, or even just sit and listen to others sing.
  17. Check out a local flea market. You don’t have to buy anything, it can be fun to just look but you may also find a hidden treasure.
  18. Go for some ice cream. For those that love vintage, see if there is a soda fountain nearby and go share a malt.
  19. Be a tourist in your own town. See if there are any walking tours around, or make your own. Be sure to take silly photos along the way.
  20. Attend a play at a community theater or local college.

Bonus-

Make your spring bucket list using this free printable.

Spring Bucket List Printable | Retro Housewife Goes Green
What are your favorite cheap date ideas? I’d love even more ideas!

Photo Credit- Sven Türck (1897-1954)
Department of Maps, Prints and Photographs, The Royal Library, Denmark.

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