10 Affordable Housewarming Gifts

10 Affordable Housewarming Gifts - great ideas that will fit any budget!

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It is fun to bless someone with a housewarming gift, but it isn’t fun to break your budget trying to do it. Each of these affordable housewarming gifts will cost you less than $30, most of them are less than $20, and some are even less than $10.

10 Affordable Housewarming Gifts

Housewarming Gift - Baked Goods

1. Baked Goods - Any homemade treat will do, but I especially like the idea of bread. You can write something in the card about “breaking bread together” in their new home. (Don’t forget that the bread doesn’t need to be made in your home! Picking some up from a local bakery is just as good.)

Housewarming Gift - Flowers

2. Flowers & Houseplants - Fresh cut flowers are always an appropriate gift. A nice planter will most likely cost more, but it will last longer. The “welcome” sign in the planter above is a nice touch, don’t you think?

3. Gift Cards - When I moved into a new apartment just before Nate and I got married, his parents gave me gift cards to several local restaurants. It was fun to explore the restaurants in my new neighborhood.

Housewarming Gift - Message Blocks

4. Message Blocks - It can be a risky move to buy a decorative piece for someone’s new home, but these mantel blocks from DaySpring are really neat. They come with a cheat sheet to help you create 22 different words. Right now they are 50% off on clearance for just $24.99.

5. Candle - Yankee Candles makes a Home Sweet Home scent that is one of my favorites. I used to give this as a gift all the time, but I’ve cut back since I’ve learned that candles aren’t really that great for you.

Housewarming Gift - key chain

6. Key Chain - A friend of mine gave me this customized key chain when we bought our house. I really like this one from Lisa Leonard. You could customize it with the last name, address, or the year the home was purchased.

7. Note Cards - It is always nice to have some blank note cards around. I really like these made by C.R. Gibson. They are simple and pretty.

Housewarming Gift - Canned Goods

8. Canned Goods - Do you make your own jam, salsa, pickles, or canned fruit? Here are some recipes and inspirational posts to help:

9. Freezer Meals - This isn’t a very conventional gift, but it really is helpful. Everyone appreciates being able to get out of cooking from time to time – especially people who are busy unpacking! Here are some of my favorite freezer friendly recipes:

Housewarming Gift - Mason Jar Gift Set

10. Mason Jar Gift Set - This exact gift was given to a friend of mine who loves to can and it fit her fabulously. The mason jars are filled with pantry items like popcorn, oatmeal, raisins, pasta, and animal crackers. There are also cookies and a new kitchen towel. Mason jars can be used for more than just canning (decoration, food storage, etc.), but people who love to can will probably appreciate this gift the most.

What are your favorite housewarming gifts to give or receive?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Simply Rebekah!

Posted in Frugal, Tips | 6 Comments

Looking Back at 5 Years of Beach Vacation Blessings

My husband is the director of a nonprofit and one of the donors to the nonprofit has gifted us with a week at his beach house for the past 5 summers. I can’t get over how incredibly awesome that has been for our family. This donor has such a generous heart. It means so much to us that he recognizes the “missionary type” work that my husband does and wants to provide some much needed rest and relaxation for our family.

In honor of our 5th year at the beach this month, I wanted to take stroll down memory lane and share some photos from the past 5 years. It is crazy to see how my little ones have grown. Enjoy the photos as I cry in the corner, wishing I could make time stand still.

2010

Grace was just 9 months old the first time we took her to the beach.

Grace had so much fun!

Grace and Mommy

At the Zoo

2011

Grace's First View of the Beach this Year

Grace Playing in the Sand

Close Up Family Photo

I was pregnant with Noah this year, but we didn’t even know it yet!

2012

Noah was just 4 months old the first time we took him with us.

My Little Beach Diva

My Handsome Men

Our Family of Four on the Beach

2013

IMG_8449

IMG_0135

IMG_8454

2014

kidsgrace at beachnoah at beachfamily photo Just for fun, here is a look at Grace’s carousel rides over the past 5 years.

Grace's First Merry-Go-Round Ride

Grace on the Merry Go RoundGrace on the Carousel

Grace 2013grace 2014

It is fun to look back at these pictures and see how my family has grown, but the most impressive part of it all is that it was all possible because of someone’s generous giving. The couple who own this beach house has literally given my children summers at the beach and memories they will have forever.

Who could you offer an extra blessing to today? It doesn’t have to be as big as giving them a week at your vacation home. Perhaps it could be just a card in the mail or even a text message telling them that you appreciate what they do for your community.

"No matter what the size is of your bank account, never doubt your ability to bless someone else." - SimplyRebekah.com

No matter what the size is of your bank account, never doubt your ability to bless someone else.

Who will you bless today?

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Salsa Canning Vlog: a silly and ridiculous “how to” video

Salsa Canning Vlog: a silly and ridiculous "how to" video

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I was home alone. It was glorious. There were a million things that I could have spent my time doing, but the ripe tomatoes were calling my name. It was time to make salsa.

I decided to do what any “normal” person would do in this situation and I live vlogged my salsa making adventure on Instagram. All night long I sent 15 second clips of salsa making madness out into the land of social media.

The salsa canning vlog clips were silly, ridiculous, and poor quality. They were shot on my iPhone through the Instagram app. My kitchen lighting was horrific. My hair wasn’t looking much better. I was wearing a t-shirt I’ve had for a decade.

But it was so. much. FUN!

I’ve pulled together all of my Instagram video clips so you can watch the entire event. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the silly side of my personality.

Salsa Canning Vlog


If you can’t see the video above, click here to be redirected to Simply Rebekah.

Need some canning supplies? This is what I used:

For more glimpses into my personal life, join me on Instagram. If this type of video is something you would like to see more of, please leave a comment and let me know!

Do you enjoy canning? What do you consider proper canning music?

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Simply Rebekah!

Posted in Life | 9 Comments

Taking My Deck Furniture From Drab to Fab!

This post was originally published on July 8, 2011 and it contains affiliate links.

For our wedding, Nate & I were given a fun little outdoor table and chair set. It is made out of wood and looks so pretty when we don’t leave it outside all winter long! After a few years of weather damage our table ended up looking like this:

Isn’t this just a beautiful shade of gray??

Thankfully, this is an easy fix. It is especially since I used to work in a woodworking factory. For 3 summers I mastered the fine art of sanding wood. For my little table & chairs set I just borrowed my brother-in-law’s hand sander and went to town!

After a few minutes of sanding, I’ve got myself a pretty impressive before and after photo!

Now that’s more like it!

Add a coat of Teak Oil and…

It’s like brand new!

Here is one more before & after photo for you:

This was an easy, frugal deck furniture makeover. I’ll take an hour of sanding over spending $$$ on new furniture any day! Plus being able to impress Nate with my power tool skills was a great added bonus. *wink*

An easy and frugal deck furniture makeover in just 2 simple steps!

What are your tips for a frugal deck furniture makeover?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Simply Rebekah!

Posted in Life, Tips | 14 Comments

7 Ways to Save Money on Fast Food

7 Ways to Save Money on Fast Food - Plus real life examples of cheaply eating out.

“What time do you want me to come back home?” I asked.

“8:00.”

“Really??? Okay!”

I darted out the door with the blessing of my husband and headed to the library to get some much needed work done. Nate had graciously blessed me with several hours of alone time out of the house and I was more than willing to take him up on it.

When supper time rolled around I debated going home for a free meal for about 0.2 seconds. I’m a frugal gal, but I didn’t want to risk getting sucked back into the chaos of little children.

I ventured off to Five Guys Burgers & Fries. I picked Five Guys because it serves hamburgers made out of actual beef. (Isn’t it sad that not all restaurants do that?) It was also located near the coffee shop I wanted to head to for the remainder of my free time.

Five Guys isn’t known for it’s cheap dollar menu. In fact, they can be kind of pricey when it comes to fast food. Still, I wanted to spend as little money as possible.

I ordered:

  • the smallest hamburger – I skipped the cheese to save some money.
  • nothing to drink – I drank water I had brought with me.
  • no fries – I skipped their fries and ate 2 generous helpings of the free peanuts they have sitting out.

My total cost was $4.45 including tax. I also brought home a decent stash of napkins they threw in my bag. We usually use cloth napkins, but it seemed wasteful to throw them away.

Fast forward a couple of days and I found myself at another fast food restaurant. Eating out twice in one week is very unusual for me, but this time I was armed with two coupons for free hamburgers from Sonic.

Noah and I ate for free at Sonic by:

  • getting 2 hamburgers for free
  • skipping drinks – We brought our own from home.
  • skipping fries and other sides – We ate some fruit before we went to Sonic.

Fast food restaurants aren’t exceptionally expensive, but I was still thrilled with how cheaply I was able to eat at two different restaurants this past week. I hope my frugal fast food ventures inspire you cheaply the next time you go out. To help even more, I came up with several tips for how to save money on fast food.

7 Ways to Save Money on Fast Food

1. Drink Water - Bring your own drinks from home or ask for tap water. Sugary drinks aren’t good for you anyway.

2. Use Coupons - Don’t be afraid to order only what you have coupons for like when I ordered my free hamburgers and nothing else.

3. Don’t Stuff Yourself - Avoid super-sized portions, eat until you feel satisfied, and then stop eating! Smaller sized meals cost less and your waistline will thank you.

4. Eat At Home Before Or After - This goes along with not stuffing yourself. Eat a little something before you leave the house or plan ahead to have a snack at home later. You get even more bonus points if you eat something healthy like fruit. Of course saving room for ice cream at home is equally as satisfying.

5. Go Where Kids Eat Free - Money Saving Mom has a great list of restaurants where kids eat free.

6. Skip The Kids’ Menu - Sometimes it is cheaper to buy an adult entree and have my children share it. Plus it seems like the kids’ menu is never quality food anyway.

7. Meal Plan - Plan ahead so you can eat at home as much as possible instead of relying on take-out. Of course it is fun to eat out now and then and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that. Still, it is almost always better for your budget to skip the drive through and eat at home.

How do you save money on fast food? 

Posted in Frugal | 2 Comments