DIY Crib Conversion to Practical and Fun Kids Art Station and Desk

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by Cassie

great-crib-repurposing-idea

What an awesome repurposing DIY idea!  If you have an old crib, or your child has grown out of the crib and you are wanting a nice, fun, practical and memorable use for their old crib…. try turning it into an art station/desk.

This is a great way to repurpose an old crib as there are so many practical purposes for your child for a long time as a personal desk is a very useful thing to have!

This DIY idea was done by Caz over at A Little Learning For Two!

 

This conversion was made with just a few simple items, plus the items to organize and hang the art/desk supplies.  

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  • Baby crib with a removable drop side
  • mdf/particle board cut to mattress size 
  • Chalkboard paint 

You can see the complete instructions and ideas on what they used to organize this art desk arrangement for a very practical and organized system on the A Little Learning For Two site HERE.

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Some of the organizational ideas!

We love the very creative and practical nature – plus the minimal cost involved!

What do you think of this idea?

See more DIY Ideas

See our DIY Pinterest Board

If you have an idea that you would like to see featured, then send us an email at thriftyus@thethriftycouple.com.

Photos and idea used with permission

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Alex & Cassie
 

How To Spotlessly Clean Shower Heads and Faucets With Ease

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by Cassie

3-step-faucet-shower-head-deep-clean

Shower heads and faucets are a breeding ground for bacteria.  Many times, we don’t even often look at the end of the spout to realize how dirty and the amount of build-up that has accumulated.

And then, once we look at it, we realize how gross it is! Well, it is the type of cleaning job that needs a good deep cleaning…like a good long soak in a good cleaning solution.

But… we also want as natural as possible, while being effective cleaning.  Deep cleaning with harsh chemicals is bothersome to me for my family as we shower and use the water coming from those faucets.

And, like every case of homemade natural cleaning, it is actually cheaper to make the homemade version, so it is a total win-win.

When it comes to cleaning my faucets and shower heads, this is not a daily task and so only I only make the solution for the immediate time of use and don’t make it to store. There really isn’t much to it to justify needing to make it before like many of our other homemade cleaner recipes.

The supplies you need are:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Original Blue Dawn (this is the only dish soap I have tried for this and original blue dawn has many non-dish cleaning wonders)
  • Toothbrush for scrubbing

supplies needed for step 1 of stainless steel sink cleaning1

  • Ziploc – for thriftier ideas, reuse the same ziploc for all the faucets/showerheads that day. We have even recycled bread bags for this purpose too! They are nice and long for long faucets.
  • Rubberband

It is really, really simple to make the solution.

  • In the ziploc bag, add 2 TBSP of Baking Soda and add 4-5 drops of blue dawn dish soap.
  • Place the bag around the faucet/showerhead.

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  • Then add enough vinegar to the ziploc to cover the surface you wish to soak (about 1/2 cup). It will foam up!
  • Secure the ziploc in place with a rubberband.
  • Let soak for at least 30 minutes, but 1+ hours is great too!

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  • Then remove the baggie and rubber band (and then place on the next faucet if it didn’t get too dirty or make a new solution and the same bag for the next faucet).
  • Then, using an old toothbrush, scrub away!

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  • To rinse, I just pour cups of hot water over it until the soap residue is gone.

The GREAT thing about this type of faucet or shower head cleaning process is that no matter how many crevices, nooks and crannies there are or the type of faucet, this works super well!  It is also not very time consuming, although very effective.  It can sometimes be a lot of work to scrub and scrub and scrub the faucets and shower heads, but by giving them this presoak, the gunk really breaks down nicely.

Find many more cleaning tips, recipes, shortcuts, hacks and tricks in 

the cleaning section of our site here

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Alex & Cassie
 

Fresh Peppers Recipe Collection: Recipes, Usage Ideas, Preserving and More

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by Cassie

fresh-peppers-recipe-collection

What to do with fresh peppers?  We love peppers of all kinds, sweet bell peppers, hot peppers, chile peppers…. love them all!  We have grown several varieties and they are all so good!

So this is the next topic in our Ideas for using fresh garden veggies series. We hope that these ideas are generating a lot of inspiration and motivation to really use up all of your produce, and use it well and in yummy ways.  We talk about produce A LOT because it is the #1 food in our house!

Well, let’s get on with some ideas!

Fresh Garden Peppers Idea #1 – Use in Soups/Chilis

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So for the first idea, we wanted to share this great recipe for Pueblo Green Chili HERE. Check out the recipe.

We also find that peppers are a great addition to the cowboy chili recipe that we share.  Roasting this in the pan with the meat makes for great flavor!

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You can find the recipe for Cowboy Chili HERE (uses leftover meats and veggies!)

Fresh Garden Peppers Idea #2 –  Grilled Peppers

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We have done this a few times and they are go good! We love spicy things.  We will eat nearly anything if it is spicy. :)

However, a couple of months ago, we picked up a big bag of a variety of peppers for $1 and grilled them up with our kabobs and boy were they hot! I really couldn’t eat them and Alex did, but didn’t handle it well.  However, those were the hottest we had tried and they were an unmarked bag from a Farmer’s Market. It was a fun experiment, but super hot! The peppers on the grill in the above picture are from this exact experience. We share this on our Instagram profile.

But, most all peppers that are Jalapeño or lighter, will taste great. Grilling may increase the heat some, but not too bad.

We actually shared a picture of our kabob and pepper grill on Instagram a couple of months ago too!

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How to Grill Peppers on a BBQ Grill

  1. Wash the peppers and keep them whole for the small and spicy ones, cut in half for the sweet bell peppers.
  2. Prepare your grill to the high temperature.
  3. Brush your eggplant with an olive oil, salt and pepper blend.
  4. Place oiled side down on the top rack of the grill and cook for about 5 mins.
  5. Similar to the zucchini – we find it is best to cook these with the grill open on the highest heat and on the top rack.
  6. Flip the peppers over, and brush the other side with the olive oil/salt/pepper blend and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately and warm.

This is best served right away, reheated or leftover grilled peppers are not that great.

Of course, for another grilling use, don’t forget that sweet bell pepper chunks are a fabulous addition to shish kabobs.

Fresh Garden Pepper Idea #3 – Stuffed Peppers

We wanted to share a couple of ideas for stuffed peppers.  There are many recipes found online.

The classic is the stuffed with beef and rice.  I will be honest, I personally LOVE stuffed pepppers, and before we had kids, I made them a lot!

However, our kids will not eat them! They end up eating the insides and leaving the shell of the best part – the roasted pepper.  So it really ends up being a waste, but they are good if you like them!

The recipe we follow is the one here on the Allrecipes site, except that we also add ground beef.

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Photo Credit

Another idea for stuffed peppers, is stuffing the sweet or small peppers with cream cheese! You can eat them fresh, or you can “roast” the spicy ones with cream cheese in the oven! Both the sweet and fresh or spicy and roasted cream cheese stuffed peppers are really good!

Fresh Garden Pepper Idea #4 – Add it to Stir-Fry or Fajitas

If you want me to be honest, these are the two biggest uses in our house! Besides eating sweet peppers fresh, all peppers go well in stir-fry.   We make stir-fry at least once a week as a way to clean out the fridge. :)

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Recipe for It’s A Guy Stir-Fry here

Also, for a Mexican themed meal – a bit of chicken or beef, some sliced peppers and our homemade taco seasoning are a perfect fajita dinner night! This is literally a few minute meal and often a “go-to” for us on our busy nights!

Fresh Garden Peppers Idea #5 – Use in Hot Breakfast Dishes

We have a few hot breakfasts that couple well with peppers! It’s a great way to use up peppers!

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Breakfast Casserole with Peppers recipe HERE

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Ham breakfast cups recipe HERE - NOTE that this is just one of the process photos – there are some yummy and fun things on this recipe! 

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Savory Breakfast Rice recipe HERE

Fresh Garden Peppers Idea #6-  Freeze Pepper for Laters

Now the next thing we wanted to share, was how to freeze peppers.

Finally, we do freeze many of our peppers. They are great for the hot breakfasts especially! 

We have shared how to freeze peppers (and onions) in a separate post!

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How to Freeze Peppers and Onions HERE

What do you plan to do with your peppers?

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Keep watching for more ideas on using your garden veggies as we have many more veggies recipes and ideas to share this summer with you as you make the most of your garden and farmer’s market finds! 

For actual garden ideas, we wanted to remind you that we have been sharing so many gardening ideas on our Garden Gallery of Ideas HEREPinterest HERE and Facebook HERE that we hope you are seeing some incredible results with your homegrown food supply.  And, as always, we will continue to share gardening tips and ideas on all our site.

See more Recipes

See our Recipe Pinterest Board

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Alex & Cassie
 

Thrifty Thursday Link Party #13

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by Shannah Coe

Welcome back to the Thrifty Thursday link party! This party continues to grow each week and we love seeing all the new things you link up. Be sure to spread the word about the party because more links = more exposure for everyone.

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Take a look at some of the most popular projects from last week’s party:

8.21 Thrifty Thursday Party

1. DIY Headboard with Built In Lights
2. Taco Bowtie Casserole
3. Should I DIY my Will?
4. 10 Foil Packet Meals
5. Thrift Store Shopping Tips

Now, let’s get on with the party! Link up below and then be sure to grab a button to spread the news about this great, new link party. We definitely want to see this party grow and grow!

A few reminders about how the party works:
1) Link up your recipes, crafts, DIY projects, thrifty tips, etc using the tool below. Please DO NOT link up Etsy shops, deals, coupons, giveaways or anything else you are selling. This party is for creative/informative posts only.
2) Visit at least 3 other links in the listing to see what other people are working on.
3) We’d love it if you would include a link back in your linked post to our website in your post so others will know to come here and join the party too!
4) Please leave a comment on the post after linking.

Thrifty Thursday Button

If you are reading this in our email or a RSS reader please click here to check out the party.

Make sure to sign up to receive notification when each week’s linky is live so that you don’t miss out!

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Alex & Cassie
 

How To Get A Great Deal On Fresh Bulk Chicken Nationwide (No Added Hormones or Additives!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie

how-to-get-a-great-deal-on-bulk-chicken

YAY! This Nationwide Chicken Deal is available again.  We get to tell you about this a couple of times per year and the last time was back in December of last year, so it is certainly over-due and we are glad that they are selling this again.

This is the main way that we have bought chicken for 3-years now.  It saves loads of money and is a bit better option that just any ol’ chicken from the grocery store.

So let us tell you about what we do for bulk chicken supply a couple of times per year.  This is a smart frugal option vs. buying chicken in the grocery store. 

A popular company called Zaycon Foods offers different meat offerings a couple of times a year.  Once they sell out, it is gone until the next sale in about 6 or so months.  They have a different offering all of the time, but we have only purchased chicken and ground beef.

The prices for boneless, skinless chicken breast is $1.89 a lb., which is really, really good price compared to the grocery store.

But EVEN BETTER is the quality of the chicken compared to many grocery store options. This chicken has no added hormones, additive or artificial ingredients.   It is NOT organic.  We just wanted to make that clear. However, here’s how we see it: this is a good alternative to organic when you can pay $1.89 for good boneless, skinless chicken breast vs. the $5-$7 per lb. price for certified organic chicken.  Would we LOVE to get certified organic – YES, but it simply does not fit in our budget.  There have been a few rare opportunities where we have gotten certified organic chicken for a great price, but certainly not enough for our family size for a long term solution.  But you bet we will grab it when it fits in our budget. 

So, this is the second best thing and this is the only chicken we have to buy, except for the rare organic deals.  In fact, it is actually cheaper than many grocery store low quality, unnatural chicken breasts.  You really cannot go wrong.  

What is Zaycon Foods?

This chicken is sold via Zaycon Foods which is a nationwide company that provides fresh chicken, beef, pork and seafood to families at an affordable price. Their meat is higher quality and in some cases a natural option. They only have meat offerings at certain times of the year and for a certain type of meat. The last natural chicken breast sale was in the winter.  You do not know how often or when they will have these sales

If it’s not sold in the grocery stores, how do I get it? 

The way that this works is that you place your order online and then you will pick up your order from a local pick-up site as they are delivered to the area fresh in a cold truck.  The chicken comes right from the processor and is not frozen beforehand, so it is super fresh. The pick-up spot is usually within a few minute drive of your home and they are in a parking lot of a private business/organization (like a church parking lot) and the pick-up time for your area will be on a certain date and a small window of time (usually 30 minutes) on that day.

To get this chicken for the price of $1.89 per lb., you do need to order in bulk.  The bulk boxes comes in 40lb. cases and you can get multiple cases or split a case with several people. Whatever your needs are! Currently, you order today through the next few weeks (or until they sell out, which they do!) and then pickup is in mid-October. For the specific date/location/time, you will need to check your area on the website.

This comes out to be $75.60 each 40lb. box. This is an AMAZING price per lb. for this quality of chicken breasts.

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We often get two 40-lb. case boxes as this is pretty much the only chicken we have.  We also have a growing family and our little kids are getting bigger, so we are starting to need to make more per meal.   One 40 lb. box will last our family for about 3 months.

We freeze half of the chicken raw in ziplocs and the other box we cook it all up and chop it up and have cooked cubed or shredded chicken which makes dinner so much easier as this is always the hardest part for me (defrosting and cooking the meat).  So the days I have very little time, the cooked chicken is the answer.

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Read our post HERE on how these come packaged and then how we prep them for the freezer

We highly encourage you to look into this and to place your orders soon as they sell out of this product. One time, I waited too long and the locations that were 3, 15, 25 minutes away were sold out and I had to go with the fourth option that was 45 minutes away, when I literally had an option up the road.  It was still worth the 45 minute drive, however, I don’t wait any longer because I want to pick-up close to home and order before they sell out. 

Here’s details about the chicken that they offer (this information is from their site):

Our Trademark Event

• 100 % natural chicken with no added hormones, additives or artificial ingredients

• Comes directly from the processor and has never been frozen

 • Sold by the case — 40 lbs in each case

 • Case dimensions—18 in wide x 12 in deep x 7 in tall

 [NOTE: Our chicken is delivered in its original wholesale packaging, a water resistant cardboard case containing three or four plastic bags of fresh chicken breasts. The smaller bags are typically sealed in a larger plastic bag. The smaller bags are not uniform in weight. There will be small amounts of naturally occurring liquids (i.e.,"chicken juice") in each bag and case. Chicken breasts typically come in double-lobed pairs ("butterfly") and will have small attached amounts of fat.]

Just as we have mentioned many times in our classes, we rarely buy meat at the store.  Between our beef supply from a local farmer or the ground beef from Zaycon, and these opportunities to buy chicken in bulk, we are set for most meals.  Most all of our weekly budget goes to the fresh produce and dairy and small portion to the coupon items that we use!

Head to the Zaycon Site HERE and register (or log-in if already a member). 

You have to be registered to see the prices, pickup and delivery details and dates for your area and additional details. 

Don’t miss this event as it is only open for orders the next few weeks or until they sell out and then it will be gone again for a while!

 

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Alex & Cassie