My recent segment on Studio 40 Live was about simple budget friendly ideas to do with your kids this Christmas season!
I bought my holiday baking items from Smart & Final. I love buying ingredients there because you can get BIG quanitities and small quanitites of items you need at the SAME store. I do not always have the time to go to Costco and the grocery store (plus the more stores I go to, the more money I spend I wasn’t planning on!)
With these you can color- Cookie Dough, Frosting, Rice Krispy Treats, Pancakes, Waffles, Fudge,Dips and MORE. If you are making it for Christmas- make it one of these colors because it is FUN!!!
If you want to decorate treats our favorites are Rice Krispy Treats and Brownies- we cut them into Christmas Trees and Gingerbread men for fun. I am not a big sugar cookie fan, but we all love brownies- so brownie people are fun! you can make shapes with more than cookies and baked treats- waffles, pancakes, sandwich bread and more! Just be creative, but keep it simple!!
We made some simple crafts with the kids. I try to make a new one each year because then we can use them for decorations every year after!!!
If you go to Michael’s you can use the 50% off coupons or order online and save even more!
Here are a few budget crafts the whole family can do-
Acrylic Paint or Sharpies
4 Pack Canvas
Reindeer Gift Bags-
Brown Paper Craft Bags
Red Pom Poms
Red Tissue Paper
If you tuned in to my Studio 40 Live segment (will post the video as it comes available) everything I displayed today was from Smart & Final. I love shopping there because I can buy larger bulk sizes-plus smaller sizes of regular grocery items I need for home. It is a great one-stop shopping trip when I go there. I was amazed at all the Halloween candy, decor, activities, and supplies they had. The 2 different sizes of black cauldrons were so awesome I just HAD to come up with a way to use them on TV! I am grateful for Smart & Final’s First Street Brand because I was able to fill those cauldrons up with fun things way less than the name brand.
When my kids saw the haunted Cookie House they all wanted their own! I have decorated Gingerbread Houses for Christmas, but have never thought of a Halloween option! Of course I bought them, and I will use them as a party activity either the weekend before, or as a group activity for the party. I was going to have them replace actually decorating/carving pumpkins, but the pumpkins at Smart & Final were SO much cheaper at the store than the pumpkin patch that we will definitely do BOTH. They also had a few pumpkin carving sets (with stencils) and a light up option!
Also, if you follow me on Instagram you saw how much fun I had with the talking/light-up doorbells- you know I grabbed those!
These large cauldrons were only $7.99!!! I bought mine a couple weeks ago and have been thinking about how to use it for my TV segment. Then last week I was at a different Smart & Final I found these smaller ones.. wait until you see what I did with them! I will be posting my photos and videos after today’s TV segment and I will update this post- I am so excited!!! For very little money I am able to use these as bowls and decor and it looks SOOOO good! last year I did the dry ice in the cauldron and that looks amazing too. The large tubs of ice cream fit in these too (tried it in the store) so it is a great way to serve ice cream out of them too.
CANDY!!! No matter how anyone celebrates (or doesn’t celebrate) Halloween EVERYONE LOVES CANDY!! That is my favorite part. I tend to go overboard buying candy- but there are so many choices!! Smart & Final had large bags of all the usual Hersheys, Mars, Skittles bags- but I love the regular candy aisle because you can find the FUN stuff!! These large Pixy Stix-85 are only $14.99, Pop Rocks, Full Sie Candy Bars, Nerd Ropes, Mike & Ikes, Sour Patch- all the fun things that maybe other houses won’t be handing out- you can find them there. I like the variety boxes of FULL SIZE candy bars – $18.99 for 30 Bars made each bar $.63!!I also bought some of these Welch’s Fruit Snacks for smaller kids and a large tub of Ring Pops-just because they looked FUN!
There were Halloween themed paper plates and napkins (I brought them to the show) and on their regular aisle they have them displayed by color black and orange are available. There were also Trick-or-Treat reusable bags and Halloween colored baked goods available. I did not feature them, but they also have a variety of Day of the Dead candy and decor items as well!
As Halloween gets closer I will continue to post my deals and finds for you and I hope this gets you thinking and planning on your celebrations!!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Here is a SUPER EASY Fall Breakfast idea-Pumpkin Muffins!
1 Box of Spice Cake Mix
1 Can of Pumpkin
Mix, put in cupcake pans and cook for 10-12 minutes!!!You can make ahead in large quantities and freeze them too!
These large #10 cans of Pumpkin at Smart & Final are only $7.99 and are a great deal when you are making large batches!
Serve these up with a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte!
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (or 3 1/2 cups from Large First Street Cake Mix)
2 Rolls of Rolo Candy -quartered
1 Diced Apple-peeled
1/2 Cup Soft Butter
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
Mix together and drop in Tablespoon scoops onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes!
@Smart & Final-
Torani Syrups $5.99-Buy 6 or more and pay $4.99!!
This is an amazing deal since Smart & Final has SO many flavors to choose from!
Not only do they have lots of flavors, but they have LOTS of SUGAR FREE flavors-Sugar Free Chocolate Macadamia Nut is my FAVORITE!
Then there is Pumpkin Spice- Make your Pumpkin Coffee drinks and home and save $5!!!!
2 tbsp (1 oz) Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 cup (8oz) milk
2 shots espresso or 1/2 cup brewed coffee
Steam milk and Torani together. Pour heated, flavored milk into a tall glass and add brewed espresso or coffee. Spoon a thin layer of foamed milk over beverage or use a frother if you have one!
Here is my Back to School Segment on Studio 40 Live!!!
In case you haven’t noticed I am a HUGE fan of Smart & Final -and their store brands.
Here are my family’s favorite First Street items for Back to School.
First Street Roast Beef– 1lb package was $6.29! That is an amazing price for roast beef-and it is the one brand that everyone likes which makes it nice.
First Street Cheese Cubes. We alternate between the Pepper Jack Cubes and the Colby Jack Cubes. Sure, you can buy a block and cut it and save a little money..tried that..It was a disaster! These are perfect little squares. I can portion them out and it fits with everyone’s eating plan.
First Street Sunflower Butter– My kids have Peanut Free classrooms at school. They could still bring peanut butter, but last year we tried this butter and they all loved it-so this is what I have them bring to school and it really does taste great with celery and apples.
First Street Olives– Almost $1 Cheaper per can than the name brand!! We go through LOTS of olives in our house so this is an awesome deal.
First Street Snack Size Storage Bags– Snack bags are a MUST for our lunch prep. Everything can be portioned out and prepared very easily with this size bag. You will definitely save money bagging your own items than buying them pre-packaged for you.
First Street Souffle Cups (and lids)- These cups make lunch prep so easy- and adds variety. We pre-made them with First Street Ranch, First Street Salsa, First Street Sunflower Seed Butter and my kids (and parents too!) have really enjoyed the different options each day. It is a VERY inexpensive way to keep the lunches exciting.
The Bento Boxes that I featured on today’s show were also from Smart & Final. If you follow me on social media you may have seen me mention these before. Many readers have shared with me that they went and bought them already! They are very sturdy and the lids clamp down-which is great! No leaks or falling off. They are collapsible and fit great in a bag or backpack. We bought a few different colors and after a couple weeks-they still even look brand new. My husband actually loved the silverware inserts that came with them. I really believe they will last a long time. I have tried cheaper versions- and they have leaked, broke-and were thrown away within a month. Definitely worth the investment.
I have 5 School aged kids +my husband and I prepare our lunches ahead. One good trip to Smart & Final gets us our list of favorites at a great price. Thenwe take about 30-45 minutes at the beginning of the week and prepare our lunches ahead of time. Once that is don is it grab and go the rest of the week!
We all contribute to the shopping list and we all make our own lunches. I found that this definitely cuts down on waste, and they will actually eat what I buy.
That is why some of my kids make their sandwiches on Hawaiian Rolls now. They were taking a few bites and throwing away the sandwich. Now they use less to make them-and actually eat the whole sandwich! Do what works for you and your family- you will learn more as you do it what works best and… HAVE FUN!!!!