Breakfast Burritos

rolled burittos

 

Breakfast burritos are great for not only breakfast but dinner as well. They are inexpensive, versatile, filling and oh so good! I am trying to get better at pinching pennies and I thought I would share my tips with you in a new section on the blog that is all about budget friendly meals! I am still going to try to keep it healthy and mostly homemade but I will have  pre-made options for those times when you just don’t have the time to make it all  from scratch.

As I said before breakfast burritos are very versatile, so you can choose your ingredients from what you have in the fridge or what you are craving at the time!  Tonight I went with 4 simple ingredients and wrapped it up in a warm tortilla. I fried some potatoes in a pan, cut up some bacon ends in another pan, and scrambled eggs in another pan. Then you can either mix all cooked ingredients or put them in the tortilla in layers and don’t forget the shredded cheese.

Here is a simple ingredient list, choose what suits your mood and tastes!

Meats

  • Bacon or Bacon Ends (minus the fat)
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Ham (cubed)
  • Sausage (ground, or chopped up links)
  • Ground beef or Turkey
  • Stake (leftovers if you have any!)
  • Pork chop (cubed)
  • Chicken in cubes or strips

You can use just about any meat and leftovers are perfect, it’s are already cooked and seasoned to your tastes!

Vegetables

Choose one or mix and match

  • Potatoes (cubed, tater tots, french fries…)
  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Rice (which I know is not a vegetable but it’s all good!)

I didn’t keep track of the exact price but my bacon, egg and potato burritos cost about; $10 to $12 and fed 8 people! You can top off your burritos with sour cream, and or salsa or your favorite hot sauce!  Oh and did I mention you can make these up ahead of time and freeze them?

What is in your favorite breakfast burritos?

 

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch…

dont-count-those-chickens

I recently made the mistake of counting on money before I received it. I have made this mistake before but this time it really hurt! This time I have 6 kids in need of clothes 5 of which also still need some school supplies (I have bought a little here and there)  and 3 birthdays in the month of August. Did I mention that one of those birthdays is a sweet 16? Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

Now, I knew I would not be able to throw a huge expensive sweet 16 party, but I had it all planned out so that I would be able to still give her a pretty good birthday. I had planned on getting a Groupon for the local bowling alley for her and a few friends, her favorite foods, streamers and decorations from the dollar store, and of course a homemade cake. Only thing is that I was not aware that some of the money I was counting on was not going to get here for over a month. Wha wha whaaa…

There has to be a better way!

So now I’m scrambling trying to figure out how to make up for a whole months paycheck! It was my mistake, I know, and believe me I am paying for it. This whole debacle has got me thinking about how I manage our money. There has to be a better way! We now have 6 kids depending on us so I need to get this figured out quickly.

In order to bring in money after the girls came to live with us I started donating plasma twice a week. That brings in an extra $60 a week. I also babysit and am working on getting DHS certified so I can bring in a couple more kids. On top of that I sell essential oils. Now I need to focus on saving money! So I’m going to try my hand at couponing, something I have never been good at.

I already signed up for the local newspaper, thanks to a very persuasive guy with a $20 gift certificate for Safeway. So I have coupons coming to my door already I just need to learn how to use them! I joined a couponing group on facebook and have already learned some things which I will be sharing in blogs to come!

So to get started on learning how to better pinch pennies, my question to you is this. If you only had $4 what would you feed a family of 4 for dinner? This question does not include coupons or food from your pantry. My answer would be meatless spaghetti and garlic bread.

doTERRA Essential Oils

Why essential oils?

I don’t know about you but I hate taking medicine. I think about all of those side effects and wonder if it is really worth taking a pill for my headache if it’s going to cause a hemorrhage within the skull? The side effects on some of the prescription and non prescription medications are just outrageous… “may cause death” …really, death? Um how about no thank you! If I’m trying to get better why would I want something that may kill me? In my opinion modern medicine does more harm than good end of story.

Did you know

  • We spend 3.8 Trillion Dollars a year in the US alone on healthcare, and 4.5 trillion globally
  • 80% of all medications manufactured in the world are taken by Americans
  • 99% of all pain medications is consumed by Americans
  • 100,000 people a year die from properly prescribed mediation (that is equal to 1 jumbo jet crashing a day with no survivors)

 Diane Sawyer, ABC News

ABC US News | ABC Celebrity News

Now I’m not saying there is never a need to see a doctor. I have nothing against doctors, I just don’t trust in the modern medicine that they are taught and paid to push on me. I’ll take my family to see a doctor if I need a diagnosis, or if someone is broken. Other than those reasons I’m the wellness advocate for my family and I use essential oils, a healthy lifestyle and other natural solutions to aid my family in healing. Notice I didn’t say that essential oils are going to cure, or heal my family rather they will aid in the healing of our bodies instead.

Essential Oils are a safer, cheaper and more effective health solution

While modern medicine covers up an illness usually causing more harm than good, it doesn’t address the root of the issue. Essential oils address the issue and the root cause. Modern medicine takes one compound from a plant and then uses it to synthesize a drug, essential oils are made from hundreds of natural compounds found in plants that enhance physical and emotional health. When you use an oil like peppermint you are using that plants natural defense system.

peppermint-leaf

Let’s talk about cost

Not long after receiving my oils my two year old son got an ear infection. It was late at night when he first started showing the signs. Isn’t that the way it always works? I had a few choices, 1. take him to the ER, 2. wait until morning and try to get him into the doctors office, or 3. give these crazy oils a try. You probably have guessed it but I’ll say it anyway… duh I went with the oils!

So I took the Melaleuca and put it all around his ear and just inside the ear but not in the ear canal. Then I put Oregano on the bottom of his feet. ( I really had no idea what I was doing, I was just sort of winging it!) Guess what? Before I was even done he stopped squirming and crying! I repeated this 3 times the next day and it worked perfectly!

So, you think essential oils are too expensive? Lets go over what I could have spent if I had relied fully on modern medicine… Doctor visit would have been $40 to $60 now ad to that the antibiotics that would have been prescribed $10 to $30. So $50 to $90 for a doctor visit and prescription. How much did the oils cost… Melaleuca is $0.10 per drop retail and Oregano is $0.13 per drop. So while it is an investment to buy them they will save you money in the long run! And if you sign up for the wholesale account you get a 25% discount and free products and perks. (That information will be in another blog post, but if you are interested in investing in a healthier way to address your family’s health issues send me a message because I would be more than happy to help you get started!)

Let’s Talk Quality

If you want to know about the quality of doTERRA essential oils click here because that is a whole other page!

 

Below is a list of doTERRA essential oils that can be purchased separately or in a kit and I am continually working on linking each oil to a page with information about that oil. If you wish to purchase an oil you can do that here. If you are interested in finding out more information I am more than happy to help you learn!

 

 

 

List of Oil Blends

  • AromaTouch® - Massage Blend
  • Balance Grounding Blend
  • Breathe Respiratory Blend
  • Citrus Bliss - Invigorating Blend
  • Clear Skin - (Original Formula)
  • Clear Skin (2011 Formula)
  • Deep Blue - Soothing Blend
  • DigestZen® - Digestive Blend
  • Elevation - Joyful Blend
  • Immortelle Anti-Aging Blend
  • On Guard - Protective Blend
  • PastTense® - Tension Blend
  • Purify Cleansing Blend
  • Serenity Calming Blend
  • Slim & Sassy®- Metabolic Blend
  • TerraShield® - Outdoor Blend
  • Whisper - Women’s Blend
  • Solace - Female Blend
  • Zendocrine - Detoxification Blend

 

Family…

It’s all about the family

family-is-not-an-important-thing You may have wondered why I have been away so long. Well I’ll tell you it has not been easy to find any time to write, or even know what to write about. You see my husband and I have taken in three extra kids (relatives) so now we have six kids under one roof. Things have been difficult with everyone trying to adjust to a new life and all the emotions that go with it. I was unsure how to go about my blog now. SeeSheilaRun is after all about me, a busy mom trying to figure it all out. It’s about health and personal growth. It’s about food and crafts. It’s about family. And there lies my dilemma… Now that we are on somewhat of a schedule and I have a little more time to write again, what do I write about? I can’t write about my life without including the new members of our family. So it’s going to be difficult sometimes but I’m going to just do my best to not step on any toes when the girls come up in a topic!

I thought my life was busy before

I thought my life was busy before the girls came to live with us… HA! I didn’t have a clue what busy was! Some of you may understand what it is like to have six kids, but most of you had time to adjust to it, unless you are a new family united by marriage. You know like the old ‘story’ of a lovely lady who was busy raising three girls of her own situation! At first I decided to get a job to help out with all the extra expenses, but my husband pointed out that more than ever the kids needed me home. I was still babysitting and I actually came close to quitting because it was just so hard with all my new responsibilities. But again we need all the extra income we can get considering we are a single income family that struggles from time to time financially. So I not only continue to babysit, but I’m thinking of taking on more kids since at this time I only have one steady kid. I also have started my own essential oil business! Yeah that’s right, I fell so in love with those oils I can’t help but share them with the world! I will be posting about them often sharing essential oil recipes, and tips on how to use them along with success stories.

In short, I’m back baby!

Do you have a crazy busy life, or multiple kids? I’d love to hear how you balance it all!

Oopsie!

***Oopsie! This was a draft that I had started a few months ago, and totally forgotten about! It posted by mistake and has already been viewed several times. It had no title, had not been checked for spelling/grammatical errors or any of the other things I would normally do before posting! Sometimes I rewrite a post several times before posting it or it sometimes just gets deleted or saved for another day. I was unsure whether I should just delete it, or let it stand since I no longer remember where I was going with it! LOL!!! Letting it stand won, hey it’s already been seen anyway! Hope you enjoy my embarrassing blunder!

homer-doh

 

 

I thought I would share with you guys some personal observations I have made since starting this blog. One of the least surprising things I have come to realize is that I really love all of the technical stuff. I love learning how to do it myself, I get excited when I figure out how to do something new. You should have seen me when I figured out what a favicon is (the little picture or logo in the left hand corner of the tabs in your browser) and how to make my own and then actually get it on my blog! Of course as I write this I remember that I don’t have one on my site right now…it is on the long list of things to fix, change or add to my website. I did have a pink rose set as my favicon, but when I changed some things on the site I decided to change the favicon to something else, but for some reason it doesn’t like the picture that I chose.

Anywho… I have also learned that there are a lot of bloggers out there just like me that are shy and perhaps insecure (ick that’s a yucky word, insecure). Growing up I was always painfully shy, my face literally turned 10 shades of red if someone just said “Hi” to me. My shyness did get better in middle school thanks to my then best friend  Nicole, and our ‘posse’. *Sigh those were some good times hang’n with my girls! But again I digress.

In the last few weeks I have read several new bloggers comments about how they want to join blogging events but they chicken out, or they don’t leave comments on other blogs because they are shy and don’t want to draw attention to themselves. This sounds so like me! And yet here we are exposing ourselves with blogs for the world to see… you see the humor in that too right?

Lately I have joined blogging events, I did a comment’athon where 50+ people go from blog to blog reading each others post and leaving comments at the end of each post. I also did a Twitter Scavenger Hunt where you all meet up in a Twitter chat room (?) and the host asks a series of questions and you have to follow the links to find the answers, that was so much fun!

I have actually taught a few things to other people who have been blogging longer than me! Wow that makes me feel good! One of the best parts was when I finally had to break down and call tech support because of an issue I was having with my website. The tech I was talking to was not knowledgeable in the problem I was having, so she had to ask other techs for help. As she was trying to figure out the other techs tip (he was very vague) I figured out the problem and taught her! That was awesome!

 

Essential Oils, Oh How I Love Thee

essential oils

They Have An Essential Oil Recipe For Everything It Seems…

It seems that everywhere I look lately someone is talking about Essential Oils and the many different ways they can be used. I had pinned several essential oil recipes onto my Pinterest boards planning on reading up on them and giving them a try. Then one day while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed I noticed a post on one of the group boards that I am in, that was announcing a free class on essential oils. I thought it sounded perfect, I could go learn about them and see what all the fuss was about! Unfortunately I missed the class! Wah wah waaah …I sent off a message apologizing for missing the class that I had agreed to go to and the woman hosting it asked if I would like to come over some time and she would talk to me about them one on one.

After meeting with her I knew I wanted to order some dōTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having a bit of “sticker shock”.  I talked to my husband and we decided it was a necessary investment to our family’s health. We have been trying to make healthier food choices and get back to natural healing. You can’t get more natural than essential oils!

My Essential Oils Arrived Much Faster Than Expected! 

essential oils

After my oils arrived I was excited for about a second…then I thought I had made a terrible mistake! I was afraid I had wasted money that I shouldn’t have. How could these tiny little bottles live up to all the claims I had heard about!

That’s when my fifteen year old daughter Victoria came in and I noticed she had a pimple forming on her chin. It was at the swollen red stage where it is a little itchy and painful. Idea! I showed her the oils, she showed me her “mom is crazy” face and then I coaxed her into trying it anyway!

She rubbed a little Melaleuca on her face and within minutes the redness had faded and the swelling had gone down! Then we tried it on her hand. She has had (for several years) a ‘rash’ of some sort. I believe it is eczema but we have taken her to the doctor (3 different ones) for it and they look at it, scratch their head and prescribe a cream as they rush out the door to the next patient. Not one of them have even suggested a dermatologist or anything. We applied a mix of Melaleuca, Lavender and Fractionated Coconut oil and her hand started getting better by the next morning the changes were drastic! (I wish I had thought to take before and after pis!)

By this time I was feeling pretty good about my purchase!

That’s when Tommy my two-year old son started tugging at his ear and saying “My ear not working Mommy”. My four-year old daughter (Eliana) was just getting over the flu and now Tommy was showing signs of coming down with it (sleeping more, fussing more and just not acting himself). His ears always turn red when he is tired (all of my kids have had a ‘tell’ when they were tired!) but I still thought it could be an ear infection and this seemed even more obvious that night! He couldn’t sleep and was extremely fussy and kept holding his ear. I rubbed Oregano Essential Oil on the bottoms of his feet, and I took a cotton swab and gently swabbed a mix of Melaleuca and fractionated coconut oil behind his ear and then a little on the inner ear (being careful not to get any inside the ear because these are powerful oils, safe but powerful) the fumes from the oils help as well as the absorption and if you have a cotton ball you can put oil onto the cotton ball and place gently inside the ear (not to far, just a little) and hold it in place with a band-aid. Immediately he stopped fussing  and was asleep in minutes! What! The next day I repeated this at nap time and again at bedtime. Guess what… he stopped pulling at his ear and I didn’t have to give him antibiotics from big pharma! Whoop whoop!

Boom! I’m sold!

But Why Go With dōTERRA

So now I’m completely sold on Essential Oils and their benefits, but why go with dōTERRA? Many of the other bloggers chose other Essential Oil brands like Young Living or Native American Naturals… That would be a whole other post! But I did find a few other people who agree with me so I’ll share their links, but as with anything I urge you to do your own investigating! After all this is just my opinion!

www.sustainablebabysteps.com

www.mynaturalfamily.com

www.miracleoils.ca

 

I love this stuff so much that I decided that it should be my next giveaway!

So enter to win today! As usual winners will be chosen electronically at random! Here is what you will win if chosen…

essential oils

 The Introduction to Essential Oils Kit includes the introductory audio CD and booklet and a 5 ml bottle of dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils. The stunning presentation box also includes suggested uses of the included oils.

To Die For Pierogies

To Die For Pierogies

 

I love trying new foods and experimenting with different ingredients. I always had an interest in cooking even as a child. I remember always wanting to hang out in the kitchen with my mom and watching cooking shows like “Wok With Yan” with chef Stephen Yan. He was so entertaining and always cracking jokes, and the food looked amazing! As I got older I started collecting cookbooks, I would snuggle down on the couch and read them like they were novels.

I don’t know where half of my recipes come from now because I read a lot of them online or sometimes I just go off of an idea I get from a show like “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” where they don’t give you an exact recipe but they might list some of the ingredients. That works for me because I don’t measure anything when I cook unless I’m baking! That is what makes it so hard to share my recipes, I have no idea how many carrots I use in my famous Split Pea Soup, or how much flour and butter I used to make the Brown Gravy I use on my Salisbury Steak.  Also I don’t always make it the same way, many times I cook on the fly and just use what I have on hand. It keeps things interesting!

So when I tell you how to make these amazing Pierogies don’t be surprised if you have extra mashed potatoes when your done, just get over it and enjoy them as a side for tomorrows dinner! 

My husband loves my cooking! He has many favorite dishes that I make but by far he loves my Pierogies the most! Which is too bad because they are very time-consuming to make unless you make them up ahead of time and freeze them! (Which of course I never find the time to do that, but luckily I have my 15-year-old daughter to help!) Trust me on this though, they are so worth the time and effort! Downside number two…they are not diet friendly, although I have wanted to play around with some healthier ingredients like sweet potatoes and perhaps some nutmeg or maybe sage… .

Let’s get started!

Okay like I said thees babies are not a quick meal, neither are they figure friendly so roll up your sleeves and let’s get to work!

What you will need

Mashed Potatoes 

  • 8 Potatoes Peeled & cubed
  • 1  & 1/2 lb Cooked Diced Bacon 
  • 5 Green Onions chopped (give or take) 
  •  Real Butter (I don’t do that fake stuff!)
  • Milk, Cream, or Sour Cream (however you prefer to make your mashed potatoes)
  • Garlic Salt (or freshly roasted Garlic)
  • Cheese Freshly Shredded (I use Colby Jack)

Pierogie Dough

  • 4 1/2 Cups Flour (plus extra for rolling out the dough)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 TBSP Real Butter (melted)
  • Sour Cream
  • 2 Eggs plus 1  Egg yolk
  • Oil (your preference, I use olive oil or coconut oil usually)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl stir together flour and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk Butter, Sour Cream, Eggs, Yolk and the oil. Then mix wet ingredients into the flour until well blended.  Cover bowl with a towel and let it sit for about 20 minutes. (Just enough time to make your mashed potatoes!)
  3. Place peeled potatoes into a pot and cover with water. Boil just until fork tender.
  4. Drain Potatoes and add Butter, Milk (or cream…) and Garlic salt and mash the potatoes.
  5. Stir in cooked bacon and Green Onions
  6. Separate Pierogie dough into 2 or 4 balls of dough (which ever is easier for you to work with)
  7. Roll out dough on a floured surface…it will be sticky!
  8. Cut out circles of dough about 4 inches around
  9. Put a spoonful of mashed potatoes in center of each dough round and top with cheese. Then fold dough over potatoes and pinch sides together to look like Pot Stickers or Empanadas.
  10. Place Pierogies in a pot of boiling water (about 4 at a time). When they start to float they are ready for the next step!
  11. In a skillet add Butter and Oil and heat up the pan (on medium) then take Pierogies out of boiling water and fry in pan until golden brown. (just like you would cook Pot Stickers). I keep mine warming in the oven with some sausage until I’m done cooking them all.

*If you don’t want to cook them all or if you are making them up ahead of time for another day, place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or foil). Freeze them and then place in a freezer container.

I normally serve thees babies with some sausage. My husband likes to dip his in a little sour cream! If you have never had a pierogie before you are seriously missing out so give them a try and let me know what you think!

Straw Bale Gardening

Zuccini-straw-bale-gardening
Image from RootSimple.com

Spring is getting closer and I have been dreaming of having a garden this year! I have already purchased my heirloom (Non GMO) seeds and I just can’t wait to get started! My husband and I had planned on building raised garden beds…until I came across a post on straw bale gardening! What! That’s right a garden planted in Straw Bales! Get this, no building raised beds, no plowing (if not using raised beds), less watering (once the decomposing starts), and my favorite…No Weeding!!! Whaaat! How can this be? A garden you don’t have to weed? Well let me tell you…

The trick is to use straw bales not hay bales!

Why? Because Hay bales will have seeds in them. Hay is harvested while it’s still alive and full of grain. Straw bales on the other hand have already had the grain harvested and have been left to dry up before being cut and baled. This is why straw can be used for construction, and not hay. I mean who wants grass growing through their walls or worse, attracting vermin who think your home is their own privet all you can eat buffet!

Okay so now that you know why straw vs hay, you’ll want to get the straw bales early and start watering them  for about 1 to 3 weeks Before you plant your garden in them. This gets the straw decomposing which is exactly what you want. Price varies from location to location and also depending on the time of year. You might pay anywhere from $1 to $10 per bale. When it comes to purchasing your straw bales go to a local feed store or possibly Home Depot, or Lowes,. …A warning from Permaculturalist David Kahn (source)

 “It’s tempting to pick up bales that stores have used after Halloween, but make sure they weren’t treated with fire-retardant. Fire retardant has some nasty chemicals in it that you don’t want in your garden. When in doubt, just go to the feed store–straw it ain’t expensive!” 

Straw bale garden
I love the idea of planting flowers or herbs along the sides of the straw bales! Image from Straw Bale Gardening ~by Joel Karsten

The steps to take for planting a straw garden are;

  • Place your bales so that the straw is oriented with the stems facing up, this will make the fertilization and decomposing easier.
  • For the first 3 to 4 days make sure you soak the straw bales thoroughly.
  • The next 3 days sprinkle each straw bale with about 1/2 cup of bone meal, fish meal, or compost, and water deep into the bale.
  • Cut back to 1/4 cup of the bone meal, fish meal, or compost, and continue to water for about 3 more days.
  • Now you can stop sprinkling the straw bales with fertilizer, but do continue to water and keep the bales nice and moist.
  • Place your hand (or a thermometer)  into the bales to see if they have cooled down to less than your body heat, about 80°F. Once they have reached this point you are ready to plant!

Now you can plant your garden just as you would in the ground. If you are using seeds like I am then put a layer of compost on top of your seeds.

Straw bale garden
Image from Straw Bale Gardening ~by Joel Karsten

 

My plan is to freeze what I can and also try my hand at canning for the first time. I’m thinking I might try fermenting as well, but that’s another post.  Wink

Have you ever tried the straw bale gardening method before? I would love to hear how it worked out for you! If you have never tried this before, what are your thoughts on it?

This post may contain affiliate links.

Beef Turkey Burgers to feed six

beef turkey burgers

 

Delicious Beef Turkey Burgers Recipe

by Lori Rowlands

Who doesn’t love a great burger? This has become a go to recipe for my family! It is simple to make yet so delicious when it’s all put together! This recipe serves six with just enough mixture left over to make a meat loaf the next day! Here is what you will need to make your own amazing beef turkey burgers…

 

  • 1 lb. Ground organic turkey
  • 2 Ib. Ground organic grass-fed beef
  • 2 tbsp. Minced garlic
  • 1 large white onion for sautéing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Buns (toasted)
  • Sliced cheese (your preference)
  • Coconut Oil 
  • Butter (none of that fake stuff!)
  • Brown sugar
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Condiments of your choice

 

Beef Turkey Burgers

  1. Combine ground beef and ground turkey together with salt and pepper.
  2. Shred onion with large grade on cheese grader.
  3. Heat pan on medium high, with oil and some real butter for browning.
  4. Form your patties by the handful and sprinkle brown sugar on top of each patty. 
  5. Put a handful of onions in pan, and then put a burger patty directly on top of onions cook for a few mins then flip to other side.
  6. Place a piece of your choice of sliced cheese on top, cover with lid and finish cooking to your preference.
  7. Serve on a toasted bun, with shredded lettuce tomato pickles and any other condiments. (I made my own “thousand island” for our burger sauce.)

Serve with homemade fries, your favorite kettle chips or even a salad. Yum! I had enough left over to make a meatloaf, the next night. Please let me know what you think and tell me what is your favorite go to recipe?

 

If you like this recipe you might also enjoy my Butternut Squash recipe (here) where I show you how to buy and prepare butternut squash!

Host Epic Kids Birthday Party, On A Shoestring Budget

image

 

Lets be real. Most kids don’t really care about all the stuff that we adults fuss over when it comes to a birthday party. They don’t have to have all the decorations that we think we NEED.  Kids are really happy with just streamers and balloons! Most of them don’t even really care about those goodie bags we insist on passing out. I’m mean how many times have you found those prizes spread out over your house when the party is over and everyone has gone?

What kids really want is to be entertained! They want to have fun, and we all know that in order for a kid to have fun, you don’t need to spend a dime! How many kids have you seen that leave the present sitting there and play with the empty box? I have a few tricks that I have used to give my kids an epic birthday party on a shoestring budget!

Epic Birthday Party

 

 Epic Kids Birthday Party, On A Shoestring Budget

One thing that I do is keep a ‘party box’ it’s just a large plastic storage container (like the one you might store your Christmas decorations in). In it I put all left over party gift bags and toys, decorations, balloons, and stuff I might buy throughout the year that I find on sale or on clearance…  This actually has saved me a few times when a birthday has crept up on me and I didn’t have room for goodie bags or toys to go in them in the party budget. (Not that you must have those goodie bags!)

Another thing I do is I never buy the cake. I am lucky to have a talented sister who makes awesome cakes but if I didn’t have her I would just make them myself.  I have fun challenging her with what ever I might dream up for the cake though!

I almost never go with the popular character theme decorations, unless I plan ahead or find them on sale. Usually I do my own theme parties like a Junior Detective Party (here are my junior detective party tips) or a Pirate’s Treasure Party (here are my Pirate’s Treasure party tips). Once I did a Disco party and all the girls went to a used clothing store and bought a disco type dress. When they showed up they did make-overs, danced and laughed and had the so much fun! (For this birthday, I told my sister I simply must have a ‘disco ball’ cake…she didn’t disappoint!) We have a running joke that someday I’m going to request a life-size cake sculpted to look like one of my kids doing something like riding a motorcycle or playing soccer! Lol!

You certainly don’t have to have a theme at all for it to be an epic birthday party though. The focus should always be FUN! Here is a list of games you can play to ensure the kids have fun!

  1. Freeze Dance – the kids dance to music & when the music stops they must freeze!
  2. Treasure hunt – I have some tips in the pirate’s treasure party link above, or you can simply hide an object and play hot and cold!
  3. Hula hoop contest - If you can buy more than one hula hoop great, if not the kids can take turns and you can just time them.
  4. Jump rope - Same as the hula hoop, if you can buy multiple ropes great, if not just count jumps!
  5. Scavenger hunt – takes a little planning but the kids have fun. You can do this with little ones but instead of writing out a list of things to find they need pictures of objects. (idea list)
  6. Memory game – Place several items on a cookie sheet and then cover it up. Give the kids so much time to look at whats on the cookie sheet and then cover it back up. The kids must write down what they remember seeing.
  7. Charades – We all know this one. One person chooses a piece of paper and must act out what ever it says until someone guesses it. (i.e. ‘A Chef’ they must act out cooking until someone says chef.)
  8. Bingo – You can find free printable bingo games online if you don’t have the game.
  9. Simon Says – Simon says pat your head…
  10. Gold Panning - If you have access to a panning dish and some sand you can hide tiny treasures for the kids to sift out. (For that matter if you have measuring cups, funnels, and either rice, water sand or even cereal kids love to sift and pour!)
  11. Red Rover! – Who remembers this game? This game needs several players, split them up into two rows. The team that goes first links hands and calls out “Red Rover, Red Rover send____over” and that child that is called over must try to break the link. If you get through the wall of kids you get to choose one kid to join your side, if not you must stay on the other team.
  12. Marco Polo – Just like when you’re in the pool. the child that is ‘it’ is blindfolded and calls out ‘Marco’ the other children must answer ‘Polo’ and if the child that is it touches another child that child is the ‘it’.
  13. Who am I – Place label on each  child’s back, and the other kids can give hints to what it is. Each child must guess who they are, or what is on their back.
  14. Pillow Case Scramble – Place several object inside pillowcase and give each child a minute to feel the objects (they can’t see them though) then each child writes down what they think they felt.
  15. Mosaic Art Puzzle –  Choose a picture of an object or character that all the kids would recognize. Blow the image up (8 x 10 should do) and divide it into the same number of kids that are attending to make a puzzle (if you have 6 kids divide pic into 6 pieces, if you have an odd number of kids the left over pieces can be a group project. Then the kids (not knowing what the pic is) takes a sheet of paper and re-creates what they see with paint or yarn, construction paper, pasta… . When all pieces of the puzzle are done they have to put them together to see what it is! This is great for the craft table (below) if you do one!

Some other ideas that I usually do are Face Painting, and Temporary hair color. The kids love this! To do this I plan ahead and buy this way in advance so I don’t have to add this expense to my party budget.

  • A craft table is always fun at a birthday party! Any art supplies from paints and construction paper to colored macaroni and bird seed! You can plan the activity, or if you aren’t scared of the mess you can sit back and see what they come up with on their own! (I suggest if you give them freedom to create what they will, make sure they are still supervised)
  • And don’t forget games like Duck, Duck, Goose, or Tag!

I really hope that I was able to provide you with some ideas for hosting an Epic Birthday Party On A Shoestring Budget! The trick is to plan ahead, and focus on the entertainment more than you worry about decorations, goodie bags or even the cake!  Next I will add to this a list of food ideas with recipes that you can serve that won’t break the bank!

I would love to hear what you think of this post and any tips you would like to share!

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