Dish Towel & Wash Cloth Neighbor Christmas Gift Idea

neighbor christmas gift inexpensive

Every year, we do small Christmas gifts for neighbors and friends who live close by. Last year, we saw this cute idea of a dish towel and wash cloth that made us smile and decided to do it as our neighbor Christmas gift. It’s simple to do,thoughtful, and doesn’t cost a lot of money. I picked up the items at a dollar store. Here’s what to do:

 

Holiday Dish Towel

Choose a regular or holiday dish towel from the dollar store.

 

 

holiday wash cloth inexpensive

Then choose a wash cloth. I picked them up at a dollar store, and they came in a pack of 10 for $1.

 

hand towel inexpensive neighbor christmas gift

Fold both the hand towel and wash cloth together. Create or purchase printable tags that you can add the following saying:

“We wanted to get you something big this year, so here’s a “washer” and “dryer”. Happy holidays!”

I just used red paper for the tag and printed six on one page. Then I hole punched the tag and tied it all together with ribbon. That’s it! Really easy!

 

You might also like these inexpensive neighbor Christmas gift ideas:

25 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas25 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

 

 

15 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas15 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

 

Dishwashing Liquid Christmas Gift IdeaDishwashing Liquid Christmas Gift Idea

 

Peppermint Vanilla Sugar ScrubPeppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub

 

DIY Hand WarmersDIY Handwarmers

 

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Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub

If you are looking for a gift to give friends or neighbors this holiday season, this Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub is an easy and simple gift idea. It is a thoughtful and nice gift, and it is also less expensive than if you purchased a sugar scrub from the store. I also love that the peppermint and vanilla fragrance complement each other and smell good together.

The Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub is only 4 ingredients. Before I made it, I went through my pantry and found that I already had all of the ingredients to make the sugar scrub. And since I do canning every fall, I even had small 8-oz jars, lids and bands downstairs in my basement. It made it nice that I already had everything needed to make a handful of sugar scrubs that I could give to neighbors.

Here is how to make homemade Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub:

homemade peppermint vanilla sugar scrub

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7 Make Ahead Freezer Meals

make ahead freezer mealsEasy, homemade make ahead freezer meals that you can make ahead for the crockpot or casseroles to freeze.

 

Having make ahead freezer meals on busy days when I don’t have much time to make dinner helps out so much. If I have easy dinner ideas I can pull out of the freezer, this saves me from running to the store at the last minute or going to the drive-thru to purchase fast food. It takes time to plan and make freezer meals, but in the long run it saves you time and money. These seven recipes are easy freezer meals that you can make ahead in the crock pot or as casseroles and are beef and chicken freezer meals.

I’ll admit that when I was planning out a week of freezer meals, I thought I would have time on one day to get all these freezer meals completed. Well, guess what? Life happened. Every day when I was trying to do the freezer meals, I would make one freezer meal and then that’s all the time I had. So I’ve learned that for me and my crazy schedule, I can only plan to make one or two freezer meals a day. And since most of the freezer meals make a double batch, I usually used one of the freezer meals for dinner that night and then I froze the other one. So for those of you busy moms like me, try only doing a few at a time like I did.

If you would like to receive a printable copy of all 7 freezer meals below, CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP and I’ll send it to you.

Before you get see the seven freezer meals, here are some questions you may have had about freezer meals or freezing food.

 

What Can You Meal Prep and Freeze?

There are many foods you can meal prep and freeze. I’ve compiled a list of 70 foods you can freeze or that don’t freeze well that will help you when you meal prep.

Most of the time if you see that a certain food is in the frozen section of the grocery store, then you can most likely prepare and freeze it at home too. There are certain ways to prepare foods for freezing. Click here see the full list of foods.

And these seven make ahead freezer meals right here can be prepared in advance and frozen. Then when you are ready to use them, pull them out of the freezer and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for a day or two.

PRO TIP: If you don’t have time to thaw the crock pot make ahead freezer meals, you can place the entire frozen meal into the crock pot and cook on low 8-10 hours. The meal turns out great and the meat easily shreds.

If you don’t have time to thaw the make ahead freezer casseroles in the refrigerator, you can still bake them frozen in the oven. However, you’ll need to add 1-3 hours additional cooking time in the oven depending on the size of the casserole.

 

What Cooked Foods Freeze Well?

I like to cook food in advance and freeze it. Some foods that I cook in advance and freeze for later is shredded chicken and ground beef, breads and muffins, rolls and biscuits, pancakes and waffles, cookies and cake (if we don’t eat them all first), and soups and casseroles. See how to freeze all of these foods and more by clicking here.

After cooking food, it’s important to cool the food before freezing it.  Allow the hot food to cool down to almost room temperature, and then freeze the food within 1-2 hours. Food shouldn’t be left out more than two hours because bacteria grow rapidly and the food can become unsafe to eat.

When you are ready to use your freezer meals, thaw food in the refrigerator or microwave and cook it. You can then refreeze it if you have leftovers. By cooking and then freezing food, you are killing the bacteria and bringing the food to a level that is safe to eat.

However, never eat or freeze food that has been left out of refrigeration too long. Many bacteria produce heat-resistant toxins that cannot be destroyed by reheating food at a high temperature. And freezing food will not kill the bacteria of food that is spoiling or already spoiled.

 

What Meals Can Be Frozen and Reheated? Or What Meals Can I Freeze for Later?

If you have ever wondered what meals can be frozen and reheated or what meals you can freeze for later, then below are seven make ahead freezer meals to prepare and put in your freezer. If you like new freezer meal ideas, you’ll also want to check out these 12 favorite freezer meals here.

 

favorite freezer mealsYou can also receive a printable copy of 12 Favorite Freezer Meals that my family loves. CLICK HERE and sign up to receive it.

 

Below are 7 make ahead freezer meals that my family enjoys eating.

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6 Ways to Make Meal Planning Successful

6 Ways to Make Meal Planning SuccessfulWhether it’s raising kids, working outside the home, running children to activities or keeping the house clean, all of us are busy. And trying to come up with a meal to cook each night can be challenging, especially if you wait until the last minute to decide what to cook and it needs to be on the table quickly. I’ve found that if I do a few simple things in advance, meal time runs smoothly and isn’t stressful. Here are 6 ways to make meal planning successful and make it easier on you every night.

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Homemade Baby Food

Homemade baby food Final

After having a baby, one of the ways we’ve saved money this year is by making our own homemade wholesome baby food. It does take a little planning ahead and time to make it, but it’s definitely much more cost effective than purchasing the ready-to-eat baby food at the store.

Years ago, I tried making homemade baby food for my second child. She didn’t like it as much. But that was because I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I also didn’t have a very good blender. The food was too chunky for her to eat. That blender has since broken and my husband purchased a Ninja Blender for me as a present this past year. It has been wonderful to not only make baby puree food but also to make smoothies. This Tropical Green Smoothie is our favorite. And my baby has enjoyed eating the baby food. Below are simple, homemade baby food recipes.

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7 Ways to Save Money on School Lunches

7 Ways to Save Money on School LunchesWith the school shopping complete or nearly complete, the kids are headed back to school. But one thing you still need to think about is school lunches for your children. My daughter will be in third grade this year, which means she will be eating lunch at school. However, paying for cafeteria lunches each day can start to cost a lot. With some planning and preparation, you can pack school lunches for your children that are nutritious and yummy, and if done correctly, can actually be cheaper than buying lunch. And packing school lunches doesn’t have to be too much of a hassle. Here are 7 ways to save money on school lunches.

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Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

Ice Cream in a Bag

A few years ago, my sister-in-law introduced me to this homemade ice cream in a bag. It was so much fun to make, and it’s is so easy to do. The recipe only has three ingredients. Since it’s been so hot lately, I thought this would be a fun activity to do with my girls outside. My oldest daughter had the most fun shaking the bag. And she ended up shaking my younger daughter’s ice cream bag too.

 

Ice Cream in a Bag Ingredients

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Lemon Coconut Homemade Sugar Scrub

Homemade Lemon Coconut Sugar ScrubThis Lemon Coconut Homemade Sugar Scrub is so simple to make, and it makes my hands feel so soft. Plus, it’s a lot less expensive than store-bought skin moisturizers and exfoliating products. And this would make a great gift for Mother’s Day, which is coming up soon. Here’s what you need:

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Clay Art Projects for Kids – 3 Simple Ingredients

Clay Art Projects for Kids Final

If you are looking for a fun activity for the kids, these Clay Art Projects for Kids are easy to do. My daughters really loved making them, and the clay is made of 3 simple ingredients.

  • 1  1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Directions to Make Clay:

  • Combine the water and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add the flour and mix until the ingredients are combined.
  • Then mix the clay with your hands.

 

Clay Activity - Kneading Dough

Clay Activity - Kneading Dough Together

  • Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and place the clay on the flour. Knead the clay until smooth.
  • Tip: If the clay is sticky, add more flour. If the clay is dry, add more water and knead until smooth.
  • Create a project of your choice (Below are step-by-step instructions of how to create a picture frame, snake, pig, and cat).
  • Keep the leftover clay fresh for several days by placing it in a plastic bag or container.

 

Clay Activity - Dough with Tin Foil for Pig

  • Tip: If you are making a project that is thicker than 1 inch, crumple aluminum foil into the shape you want to make the project. Use a rolling pin to flatten the clay to about 1/4 inch thick. Cover the foil with the clay and smooth out the seams using a little water on your fingers. I used this method for the pig and cat. By placing aluminum foil in the middle, you use less clay and it won’t take additional hours to bake in the oven.

 

Clay Activity - Ready to Bake

  • Place your projects on a baking sheet, and bake at 200 degrees for 2-4 hours. The smaller projects only need about 2 hours. The larger projects such as the pig and cat need about 4 hours.
  • Tip: If a crack appears in the clay after it bakes or if a part of a project falls off while baking, wait for the project to cool. Use dough to fill in the cracks or attach the part that broke off. Bake the project again until the clay is hard and dry.
  • Allow to cool. Paint your projects using acrylic paint. Allow to dry and then apply a sealant such as Mod Podge or make and apply your own sealant using equal amounts of glue and water.

 

PICTURE FRAME CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Heart Final

Clay Activity - Heart with Blog

Clay Activity - Dough Heart with Paper Clip

Picture Frame Clay Project Directions:

  1.  Choose two cookie cutters and make sure one cookie cutter fits inside the other.
  2.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the clay.
  3.  Take the large cookie cutter and cut out a shape. Take the smaller cookie cutter and cut out the shape inside the large shape.
  4.  Press a paper clip into the top of the frame. This will be used to hang your frame.
  5.  Bake at 200 degrees for 2-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the frame. Tape a picture on the back.

 

 

SNAKE CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Snake

Snake Clay Project Directions:

  1. Take a piece of clay and roll your hands back and forth over the clay until it becomes a long rope.
  2. Shape one end to be the head, and shape the other end into a point to be the tail.
  3. Form the clay into an S shape or curl it up into a coil.
  4. Bake at 200 degrees for 2-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the snake. After the paint dries, embellish with googly eyes.

 

 

PIG CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Pig

Clay Activity - Dough with Tin Foil for Pig

Clay Activity - Pig Tail

Pig Clay Project Directions:

  1. Using a rolling pin, roll out the clay to about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Crumple aluminum foil into a round or oval shape to make the body. Cover the foil with the clay and smooth out the seams using a little water on your fingers.
  3. Make a smaller ball of clay to create the head and attach it to the body.
  4. Roll four small balls for the feet and place them on the bottom of the body.
  5. Make a curly tail by wrapping a thin rope of clay around a toothpick. Attach the tail to the body. I used the toothpick to secure the tail so it wouldn’t fall off.
  6. Make the nose by flattening a small ball. Poke two nostril holes using a toothpick. Attach the nose to the head.
  7. Make two triangles for the ears and attach them on top of the head.
  8. Use a toothpick to create two holes for eyes.
  9. Bake at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the pig. After the paint dries, embellish with googly eyes.

 

 

CAT CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Cat

Clay Activity - Dough with Tin Foil for Pig

Cat Clay Project Directions:

  1. Using a rolling pin, roll out the clay to about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Crumple aluminum foil into an oval shape to make the body. Cover the foil with the clay and smooth out the seams using a little water on your fingers.
  3. Make a smaller ball of clay to create the head and attach it to the body.
  4. Roll four small balls for the feet and place two of them under the head, and two of them at the back of the body.
  5. Roll out a short, thick rope to create the tail and add it to the body.
  6. To make the face, roll two small balls for the cheeks and put them side-by-side right above the feet. Roll a smaller ball for the nose, and place it on top of the cheeks.
  7. Make two triangles for the ears and attach them on top of the head.
  8. Use a toothpick to create two holes for eyes.
  9. Bake at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the cat. After the paint dries, embellish with googly eyes.
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Valentine’s Day Activities & Ideas

Valentine's Day Activities Final

Check out the these fun Valentine’s Day Activities and Ideas you can do with your family, children, and spouse!

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