30 Minutes or Less Meal Idea – Gooey Mac and Cheese Recipe!

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I love a good mac and cheese (and the blue box stuff doesn’t count)! I’m talking homemade mac and cheese here, folks. I usually try my hand around Thanksgiving making one of those 46275 cheeses kind, but that takes forever, hence, Thanksgiving. But my blogging buddy, Jazmin, from Frugality Gal, introduced me to this Gooey Mac and Cheese recipe that I’m super excited to try out, because it looks so easy and you can make it in no time at all!

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Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe

The BEST Patriotic Fourth of July Recipes – Red, White and Blue desserts, appetizers, snacks & drinks to celebrate!

FTC Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links (read my disclosure policy here).

The BEST Patriotic Fourth of July Recipes

The best fourth of july 4th recipes

Happy Birthday, America! And besides fireworks, what better way to celebrate this glorious day that with some super delicious July 4th recipes! Here you’ll find breakfast ideas, dinner ideas, snacks, and desserts! And if you have any patriotic recipes that you’d like to share, email me your pics to militarywivessaving@gmail.com or just click here! Full credit will be given, of course!

Patriotic Dirt Cake by Lil’ Luna

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Patriotic Shortbread Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies Recipe

Fruit & Cream Cheese Flag Toast

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Baked Vanilla Bean Doughnuts by A Pumpkin & a Princess

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Patriotic Flag Sugar Cookies w/ M&M’s by Our Best Bites

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Rice Krispies Flag Treats by Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

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Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels with Sprinkles by Cupcakes and Cashmere

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Star Spangled Marshmallow Pops by Sisters Suitcase Blog

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Fireworks Cupcakes by Old Town Home

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Patriotic Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bark by Crazy for Crust

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Festive Fireworks Pancakes by Girl Versus Dough

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July 4th Layered Drink by In Katrina’s Kitchen

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Patriotic Fruit Skewers by Curry and Comfort

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4th of July Blueberry Cranberry Muffins by Barbara Bakes

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4th of July Citrus Splash by The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie

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Fireworks Sugar Cookie Pie by Wine & Glue

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Very Vanilla Cookie Bars by Wine & Glue

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Fourth of July Cake Pops by Passion for Savings

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M&M Pretzel Sparklers by Our Best Bites

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Patriotic 3 Ingredient Popcorn Balls by Thirty Handmade Days

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Patriotic Cake Mix Jello Cookies by Tastes of Lizzy T

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Red White & Blue Spaghetti by Created by Diane

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Red, White & Blue Popsicles by The Little Kitchen

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Red, White & Blue Ombre Cake by The Purple Mixer

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American Flag Cheesecake Bars by  My Recipes

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Red White & Blue Candy Apples by TidyMom

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Star-Spangled Pie by Snackpicks

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Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones from All You

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4th of July Marshmallow Pops from Living Locurto

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Flag Cupcakes from The Girl Who Ate Everything

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4th of July Cake Pops from My Juice Cup

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Patriotic Oreo Pops from Makoodle

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Cherry Pie in a Jar by Stone Gable Blog

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Uncle Sam’s Crispy Treat Cakes from Taste of Home

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Watermelon, Feat & Blueberry Flag from Home is Where the Boat Is

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Patriotic Rose Cake from I Am Baker

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Triple Berry Cream Cheese Crepes from Your Homebased Mom

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Chocolate Cookie Candy Pretzel Bark from A Family Feast

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Frugal Birthday Party Ideas for Kids!

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Frugal Birthday Party Ideas for Kids!


Frugal Birthday Party Ideas Kids

Ugh. Birthdays. At least, that’s how I feel about them now (now being 33 – I told DH we don’t celebrate those anymore). But for kids, it’s the best day in their life, next to Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.

For the last 4 birthdays we’ve celebrated with our little ones, I’ve attempted to be frugal. Frugal as in making my own cakes (ladybugs, princess castles, trains, and firetrucks), and buying the plain theme-colored paper plates and cups at Walmart. But there are a few more thrifty ways to decorate, as I’m sure you’ve seen on Pinterest by now (oh, how I love thee). You’ll find a gazillion ways to be frugal, from wrapping paper to backyard decorations. Let’s take a took:

1) Make your own invitations.

Thanks to recent updates to Microsoft Word in the last few years, you can actually find some pretty neat designs and card templates (thank goodness). Plus, there’s tons of clip-art you can scroll through to find just what you need. Of course, there’s a lovely site called Google, too (I doubt anyone will be turned in for copying an image and using it in Baby Ashley’s invite … but I suppose it could happen). Even better, you’re a scrapbooking, card-making queen, and can give Hallmark a run for their money :)

2) Shop at the dollar store.

Love the dollar stores. They have lots of cool little things for a $1 or less. Stock up on kids party favors, paper plates/cups/napkins/utensils and more. And don’t forget the balloons!

3) Time it.

This is a smart one (thanks to A Mom Reporting for Duty). Don’t plan the party at lunch or dinner. Because then you’ll most likely have to feed everyone even more food, which means more money out of your wallet. Instead, plan the party around 2 or 3. That way all you’ll need is the cake/cupcakes, chips, veggies, and drinks.

4) Play out your own theme.

As in, don’t spend tons of money on hiring an outside company to come in and entertain your kids (unless, of course, you live in Hollywood). And don’t book a party at Chucky Cheese’s or Monkey Joe’s or Pesky-Little-Germs & Co. First, it’s expensive. Second, someone is likely to get sick. It. Always. Happens. Instead, visit your MWR and ask about renting out a bouncy house. It’s really, really inexpensive! Or, have a two-in-one party – Half birthday, Half-Costume. And have a contest for the most creative costume – winner gets to wear the Princess Crown or the Superman Cape for the rest of the party. You may also want to have a scavenger hunt, or plan an obstacle course. Kids are easy to please!

5) Party Potluck.

Instead of trying to buy all the drinks and appetizers yourself, enlist the help of the other parents who are (maybe) coming with their kids – minus the cake. That’s a job we can’t get out of. But have Christina bring the chips, have Katy bring the juice, and Brittany bring the ice etc. etc. Or, if you do need to plan the party at lunch or dinner, have them bring a fave dish :) That way you save time and money.


Click on the images for photo credits to be taken directly to the original sites. Hope you enjoy these tips, and feel free to share by Pinning, Tweeting, or FBing!