20 Non Candy Halloween Treats Ghosts and Goblins Will Love

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If you are looking for healthy alternatives to sugary treats for Trick or Treaters this year, here are 20 non candy Halloween treat ideas for kids.

Tip: Buy party favors that come in bags at Dollar Tree, Target, Party City (they always have low prices on stickers) and Walmart. You can also shop online for awesome Halloween favors at Amazon and Oriental Trading.

best non candy Halloween treats For kids

  1. Mini size Play-Dough
  2. Girls Plastic Rings
  3. Glow Stick Bracelets 
  4. Goldfish Crackers
  5. Halloween Bubbles
  6. Halloween Themed Pencils
  7. Mini Packages of Crayons 
  8. Bouncy Balls
  9. Juice Packets 
  10. Mini Slinky
  11. New Toothbrushes
  12. Silly Putty
  13. Book Marks
  14. Halloween Glow in the Dark Rubber Ducks
  15. small bottles of water
  16. money
  17. Raisins
  18. Playing Cards
  19. Coloring Books
  20. Stickers

4 Glorious Tin Can Crafts That Will Make Your Day

There are about a gazillion amazing things you can do with tin cans. Okay, so maybe I exaggerate a little bit. But seriously there are a lot of creative ideas out there. Just think, with a few supplies, you can turn an empty tin can into a glorious new candle holder in no time at all. And that is only one idea.

Beautiful Twig Vase

Start the project with an empty coffee can. Some paint, glue, twigs and raffia later, and you get this awesome vase for your flowers!

Elegant Tin Can Centerpiece

An easy and inexpensive craft project to do, but this DIY centerpiece made from recycled tin cans looks expensive and chic!

DIY Candle Holders

You can use cans of various sizes to make these gorgeous homemade candle holders . Make extra sets, because these would make lovely Christmas gifts!

Tin Can Shelves

An easy project that takes almost no time. Hang these round shelves made out of small cans wherever you need a little extra storage in your house.

3 Comforting Tomato Soups You Need To Make This Fall

Easy Comforting Tomato Soup Recipes

I love making homemade soups. While ready to heat canned soup in the pantry is good to have on hand, there is just something about a slow cooking recipe that just makes me happy. (Here are some jaw dropping things to do with tin cans, btw.)

A bowl of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich is one of my go to dinners for the family when the weather is cooler. Even the kids enjoy it, which still surprises me. Not that I am complaining, mind you.

But with the hot summer we have been having, soups have not been part of my menu planning.

I am ready for cool Fall breezes, cozy blankets, fireplaces, and holiday movies. You know, the things that make you feel all fuzzy and happy on the inside.

Enough with the hot weather already. I need to make soup.

Three Easy Homemade Tomato Soups to Enjoy on Cold Days (Hopefully.)

Crock Pot Creamy Tomato Soup

Crockpot Tomato Soup Recipe

Nothing is better than coming home to a delicious soup cooked in the slow cooker all day. This crockpot recipe has lots of healthy veggies, spices and cheese. Get the step by step directions at Skinnytaste.

Picture courtesy of skinnytaste.com.

Ree Drummond's Tomato Soup

Pioneer Woman Tomato Soup Recipe

It's the Pioneer Woman's tomato soup recipe. Enough said.

Picture courtesy of Food Network/ Ree Drummond

Easy 3 Ingredient Tomato Soup Recipe

3 ingredient Homemade Tomato Soup

This easy tomato soup recipe is healthy and makes a great weeknight dinner. Add some garlic bread or grilled cheese sandwiches, and everyone in your family should be happy, including the cook!

Picture courtesy of InspiredTaste.net

3 Best Back To School Organization Ideas

Yesterday was check-in day at school for my 8th grader. Besides bemoaning the fact that my baby is now in his last year of middle school, and heavens to Betsy he will be in high school next year(!), I was trying to figure out how to get my kids organized for school this year.

So I headed to Pinterest after we got home, and found lots of inspiring back to school organization ideas. So many, I had a hard time picking my favorite ones.

I finally decided on these 3 creative ways to get organized, because I can incorporate them in my home the easiest. And they are ones that stand the best chance of me actually using them.

(yea, the problem is more me than the boys when it comes to staying organized. I admit it.)

This backpack bulletin board station is my favorite organizing idea. No more backpacks thrown on the floor or couch!

organize back packs for busy mornings

You would think by now I would have a better handle on organizing backpacks and important papers.

2 boys in 5th and 8th grade. Yep, one would think.

Anyway, I have the perfect wall by our garage entry door where I will set this up. As soon as we walk in the house, backpacks will go on the hooks. I.Am.Excited.

Organizing Papers

I desperately need to organize ALL THOSE papers from school the kids bring home. EVERYDAY.

You know that first day of school when kids bring home papers that need to be read, signed and returned, right? You are ORGANIZED. You know you GOT THIS. You are Pumped.

(Pipe in the theme song from "Rocky" here.)

organize paper clutter from school
The Krazy Coupon Lady

Then. This. Happens.

The Spruce.com

Cue the"Jaws" theme song.

I partly blame the schools for this. Seriously, why so many papers? Why??

In my fantasy, this is how I see my organized self:

how to stay organized
The Turquoise Home

What Really Works For Me:

where to put papers from school
The Child At Heart Blog

Nothing fancy here, which is exactly why I really like this idea for organizing school papers. I need something easy and that I will actually use. Something that takes little time and money to do right away.

I can stash paperwork easily, and find papers when I need them. And this plastic storage organizer will fit in my laundry room or maybe in my pantry.

Yep, maybe not so pretty, but that's okay. It works.

back to school organization ideas
One Little Project

This is a great solution for keeping school supplies in one place so the kids can easily get what they need for homework and projects.

That is my top 3 favorite ideas. There are so many more cool ways to get organized that have me drooling. I will probably try to get some of those posted as well, so you can drool along with me.

Maybe one day I will be posting pictures of my own fabulous home organization projects.

A girl can dream, can't she??

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Confessions Of a Terrible No Good Budgeter Determined To Save Money

I am always trying to save money. ALWAYS. My biggest problem is that the money I do manage to save always seems to get used. I find myself dipping into the savings way too much and ignoring my own budget plans. I need to find ways to stick to a budget once and for all.

simple tips to start saving money today

Full disclosure: Really. Bad. Budget. Person. Here.

The fact that I go into the savings that I do manage to build up tells me several things:

1. We need to bring in more income.

2. I need to be stronger in order to stay away from 'piggy.'  Better yet, I need to move money into another bank account just for savings. 

4. I need to get more creative and serious about being frugal.

Yesterday I tried something new for us. It was hard, but it worked.

We had a No Spend Day.

Not one penny was spent yesterday. Nada.

I usually check our pantry and refrigerator every morning, and pretty much immediately decide we need more groceries. And off to the store I will go.

Not yesterday. I didn't go. ANYWHERE.

Not even ice skating when my son asked if we could go.

We didn't go. And believe me, telling him we couldn't go was the hardest part of the day. But we have gone to the ice rink almost everyday this summer. So I kept reminding myself that one day of skipping ice skating was really not making me a mean parent.

And he was okay.

So we stayed home, ate what was already in the kitchen, and survived just fine.

And saved money.

I started realizing that my weakness (well, one of my weaknesses) is that I spend money too easily. Even when we can't afford it. I rationalize.

This is how I often find myself spending money when I shouldn't be. For example, on any given night the kids may ask me to order pizza for dinner. I tell myself I am tired anyway, and really do not feel like making the spaghetti I had planned to make. (Budget? What budget?).

More rationalizing: 'the whole family is already complaining about having pasta AGAIN anyway, so why bother making it if no one wants to eat it?'

So I order the pizza. Spending money instead of saving money.

Rationalize. Spend. Regret.

That is my pattern.

So I am once again pulling up my big girl pants, determined to slay the spending monster.

I am going to get started by going back to my tried and true simple tips to save money.

1.Menu planning. I used to shop for the whole week's dinner menus. For some reason I stopped doing that, which inevitably leads to 'impulse' dinners like take-out.

But I am going to keep Friday as our free day - where the kids can pick what they want to eat, and I will take a break from cooking. I hope that will keep me motivated to stay on track the rest of the week.

2. Play the Grocery Shopping Game. I used to use this little trick when I went grocery shopping, and now it is time for me to use it again. With a little twist. Right before I hit the check out line, I would look in my grocery cart and find at least one or two items I could put back.

There is always something that is not really needed.

3. Saving Dimes. Every dime you have goes into a jar everyday. Dimes add up quickly, and it makes saving change a bit more fun somehow.

Wish I had kept this one up. I would have a great little Christmas savings by now.

4. Shop alone. At least whenever possible. And this is a big thing. During the summer it is always harder to do, but when the kids are in school, I can manage solo trips to the store much easier. No husband, no kids. Just me.

5. I am going to plan ahead each month for those miscellaneous expenses like  birthdays, events, parties, and such that I know are coming up. And I will put money aside for those things in an envelope, or try to purchase what I need asap so as to avoid my weak self dipping into the savings for those events.

6. Paying bills on time. I actually am not too bad in this area. Amazing. But there is room for improvement. Nasty late fees do come up sometimes, and those are true budget busters for me. What helps me most is scheduling automatic withdrawals for some of our regular monthly bills.

7. And I am going to continue to work on increasing income. I realize this is probably where I need to focus more. I am hoping to increase my work from home income streams. I do work part time outside the house as well, but between that income and my husband's, we definitely still need more money if we really want a good solid emergency fund and savings account.

Yesterday was a good start. And yep, I plan on throwing in more 'No Spend ' days now and then. They motivate me, we spend time together as a family right at home, and we save money! So yes, there will be more of those days for sure.

I'll post updates. The good, the bad and the ugly ones.

Planning a Halloween Party When You Are Broke

Cheap Halloween Party Ideas For Kids

 It happens all the time. Kids decide they really truly want something just when we are really truly pretty darn near broke.

Like a Halloween party. What happens if this is the year they decide they desperately want a Halloween party and you simply do not have the extra money to throw a party? But you still can't disappoint your kid, so you try to figure out a way.

You need some really truly cheap Halloween Party Ideas. Now.

To start, serve simple treats and snacks. Forget about planning main dishes. Kids are happy with grab and go snacks anyway.

Make as many of the decorations yourself. Use things around the house, check out Pinterest for amazing ideas, and if you do shop for the party, go no farther than Dollar Tree.

DIY Halloween Games For Kids

Pin The Boo! Game

DIY Halloween Pin the Boo Game For Kids

A Halloween twist for Pin The Tail game. Paper, tape and you are pretty much ready to play! Thanks to Simple Play Ideas for this idea!

Pumpkin Golf

Easy Pumpkin Golf Game

For this game,  all you need is a large pumpkin and a plastic toy golf set (Dollar Tree?). Kimbo from A Girl and A Glue Gun found a plastic carveable pumpkin that works really well - and you won't have any stringy mess to clean. Get the directions.

However, if you are on a strict party budget, a real pumpkin will be cheaper and will work jut fine. If you don't want to buy a plastic gold set, how about using a broom? It could be a 'Witch's Broom!'

Pumpkin Ring Toss With Glow in The Dark Necklaces

Games to play at Halloween Kids Party

Set up a game of good old fashioned ring toss using a pumpkin. Definitely a budget-friendly Halloween idea courtesy of Melissa at Kid-Friendly Things To Do.

Classic 'Guess How Many' Game

Halloween Games For Kids

Simple, easy and always a fun game at kids' parties! Pour some Halloween candy in a bowl, and let kids guess how many pieces are in there. And you can use that bowlful of candy as a prize.
Picture courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

Other DIY Halloween games for kids:

Musical Chairs

Egg and Spoon Race 

(You can have the kids color their own eggs using Halloween stickers, crayons, etc. Then set up a good old fashioned egg and spoon race with teams.)

Cheap DIY Halloween Decorations

Spooky Flying Bats

DIY Halloween Flying Bat Decorations

Use egg cartons to make these hanging bats. Then hang them everywhere and anywhere you like!
 Get the instructions at Happy Clippings.

You can make adjustments depending on your party budget. If you can't buy (or have on hand) Googly Eyes, for example, cut some out using construction paper. No black paint handy? Use a black marker to color the bats!

Ghost Party Table

Halloween Party DIY Ghost Table Decoration

If you have an extra white sheet, use it to make a Ghost Table. Use it for party snacks, party favors, etc.

Spooky Halloween Eyeballs

spooky Halloween Eyeballs decoration

Make spooky eyeballs  for your Halloween party using ping pong balls and googly eyes. Get the directions at number-2-pencil.com.

DIY Halloween Front Door Mummy

DIY Halloween Front Door Mummy

This 5 minute DIY Halloween Front Door Mummy idea from Honey and Fitz definitely falls under cheap decorating. All you need is a roll of white paper streamers and black and white construction paper for the eyes. Photo Credit: Honey and Fitz.com

Cheap Halloween Treats For Kids

Halloween Witches Brooms

Cheap Halloween Treats Witches Broom

Probably the easiest party food you will ever make, and yet kids are going to love them!
Thanks to The Kitchen Magpie for this recipe and photo.

Halloween Chex Mix 

cheap Halloween party snacks

Okay, so maybe this Fall Chex Mix is the easiest party snack ever. Thanks to One Little Project for this easy Halloween treat idea!

Mac and Cheese Cups

Halloween Party Ideas Mac and Cheese Cups

You might think these mac and cheese cups are more dinner than treat, but don't you love them? Besides, you would just be putting a couple of little scoops in each cup, right? So still more snack than meal. Awesome and cheap party food idea for little kids!

Mummy Candy Holders

Halloween Mummy Candy Holders

These too-cute Halloween mummy candy holders  make perfect party favors. You can have kids make these as a craft project at the party, or simply have them ready for guests as they arrive.

Coffee Filter Ghost Pops

coffee filter ghost pops

Use coffee filters to wrap lollipops instead of tissue paper! Just a twist on this popular easy kids' party treat. Either works great, but I think the wrapping part is easier using a coffee filter. Thanks to Happiness Is Homemade for this idea!

Mini Doughnut Spiders

mini doughnut spider Halloween treats

Let the party guests make these easy Halloween treats themselves, or have them ready ahead of time and put them on that Ghost Table you set up! Thanks to It's Always Autumn for this idea!

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