Budget-Friendly Homemade Dog Treats!

I absolutely love making home-made treats for our dogs!
I like knowing exactly what’s in their treats, and they seem to appreciate the effort ūüėČ
Making dog treats at home can be cheap and easy if you opt for a recipe with minimal ingredients!
Today I’m making banana-pumpkin-peanut butter dog treats for our boys!
This recipe contains only 5 ingredients, and you may even already have a couple of these items in your pantry!

Ingredients you’ll need:
-1 banana
-1/2 can pumpkin puree
-1/4 Cup peanut butter (**Make sure the peanut butter does NOT contain Xylitol!)
-1 1/2 Cup flour
-1/2 tsp. baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mash together pumpkin and banana (I used a potato masher) until combined in a mushy consistency.
  3. Add peanut butter and continue to mash with the pumpkin/banana mixture.
  4. Add baking powder and 1 C. flour, beat with mixer until flour is mixed in, then add the rest of your flour and continue to mix until a thick dough forms.
  5. Sprinkle flour on a cutting board (or your counter, whatever works) and roll out the dough to your desired consistency.  Use a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass/cup to cut out treats into your desired shape and size.
  6. Lay treats on your lined cookie sheet. ¬†You don’t need to put much space between each treat, as these don’t really expand or spread while baking.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until treats are slightly firm to the touch. ¬†Mine don’t tend to change color much when baking. ¬†**If you’re afraid of over-baking, it’s okay if they’re a little chewy! ¬†Your dog probably won’t mind.
  8. Let cool completely and give to your pups to enjoy!*Store in the fridge (mine usually last at least a week!) or put in plastic baggies in the freezer (they freeze very well!)!

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20 Little Gifts for Women [on Amazon] for Under $20

this post may contain affiliate/referral links.
prices are always subject to change.

Stumped on gift ideas or stocking stuffers for the women in your life?
Amazon has tons of budget-friendly gifts for everyone on your list!
Check out the list below for some inspiration!


1. 39-Piece Pink Tool-Set [part of proceeds go to breast-cancer research!]
I actually own this tool set, and it’s a¬†great little starter set for a woman who may not have any tools at all! ¬†All pieces fit nicely back into the carrying case for easy storage!



2. Essential Oil Soap Set
Fancy soaps are always nice, and with essential oils being pretty popular right now, this is a great gift idea!



3. Sea Sponge Bar of Soap
This bar of soap is a super cool and unique gift idea!  The soap is made of olive oil and goats milk and has a natural organic sea sponge attached to it!



4. Shower Speaker
A bluetooth waterproof shower speaker is a great gift for anyone who wants to channel their inner Beyonce in the shower!



5. Essential Oil “Diffuser” Necklace
For the essential oil lover, you can either just purchase the necklace OR choose the set with the necklace that includes some essential oils!



6. Mermaid Tail Blanket
For the person who’s always cold, this blanket is adorable and functional!



7.  Bath Bomb Gift Set
Bath bombs are all the rage right now, so a set of them is a great relaxation gift!



8.  Wearable Nail Polish Holder
Never spill your nail polish while giving yourself a manicure again!  This is a great functional gift for beauty lovers!




9. ¬†“Bring Me Wine” Socks
For the wine lover, these funny socks are perfect (and would go great with a glass of wine)!



10.  Bath Melts
I know, I know, I already mentioned bath bombs as a gift idea, but these bath MELTS are ADORABLE and will leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized!



11.  Essential Oil Diffuser
Diffusers are a great relaxation-promoting gift and they make your house smell WONDERFUL!



12.  Essential Oil Set
Of course, a set of essential oils is great to go with the previously mentioned diffusers!  These little sets are a great way to try out a few different oils for a reasonable price!



13.  Wine Accessory Set
Perfect for the wine lover, this set is great and comes in a wine bottle shaped holder to keep all the accessories organized!



14.  Coffee (or wine) Mug
This mug could be filled with coffee, wine or whatever you please!  No one has to know.



15.  Coffee Sampler Set
This cute little set of 12 gourmet coffees is perfect for the coffee-lover!



16.  Dandelion Seed Necklace
This necklace is super neat and unique!  The pendant has a dandelion seed inside of it!  How cool!



17.  Magnetic Planters
Spruce up the fridge with these adorable magnetic plant holders!



18. Adult Coloring Book
Relieve some stress with this adult coloring book (with colorful language!)



19.  Bug Vacuum
The perfect gift for the person who hates bugs!



20.  Beauty Gift Sets
I personally think gift sets are a great gift!  I love getting a bunch of little goodies all bundled together!


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Planning a Financially Stress-Free Christmas

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Ahh Christmas–one of the most financially stressful times of the year! You’ve gotta figure out who you’re buying for, WHAT you’re buying, what your budget is, all on top of figuring out family plans and much more! WELL, I decided a couple of years ago that I was no longer going to let Christmas be a burden on my budget!

Why am I talking about Christmas in July, you ask?
Because I sincerely believe that the best way to have a financially stress-free holiday season is by getting things done EARLY.
There’s nothing worse than having to buy last-minute gifts due to poor planning, so why not get things in order waaaay ahead of time!?

Ideally, I start my Christmas shopping in January. Yep, you read that right.
I Christmas shop and plan ALL year long. It might seem crazy, but by the time Christmas hits, I’ve already got it all figured out, and it’s AMAZING to be able to eliminate a bit of stress around the holidays. So here we go– these are the ways that I’ve managed to have financially stress-free holidays!

1. Make a List
I always have a list going of the people I buy for with little bullet points of what their interests are or ideas that I have for gifts for them. I work on the list year round, so that if I see something at ANY point that makes me think of them, I buy it! This works for birthdays, too! As I purchase items, I check things off the list, and then when I feel I have enough for an individual person, I cross them off the list entirely.

2. Stock up on gift cards
This is a more popular way of planning for the holidays, but it really is a great idea! So for example, every pay-day, pick a store and buy a $10 or $20 gift card–or whatever amount you feel is appropriate. This way, even if you’re not certain about what to get someone early on, you’ll have a nice little stockpile of gift cards for any last minute shopping–it won’t even pain you to buy gifts this way since you’ve already spent the money little by little!

3. Do online surveys for free giftcards
This is my favorite way of planning for Christmas. A few times a week, I go to the paid survey websites that I’m signed up for and earn a little money toward some gift cards! I always cash-out for Amazon giftcards, since you can find just about anything on there, and use that money to buy Christmas gifts! If you’re dedicated enough, you could probably have a 100% FREE Christmas just by doing this! I’m not that dedicated, but I have managed to save a few hundred dollars over the past couple of years by shopping this way!
The websites that I use for this purpose are Swagbucks, Ipsos Isay, and InboxDollars.
**Tip: You could also use the money you earn from apps like Ibotta or Shopkick toward Christmas shopping!
(Check out the apps I use to earn a little money here!)

4. Keep an eye on sales
This is a great idea if you have a certain store or item that you LOVE to buy as gifts. ¬†For example, I have a few ladies on my list that I always buy lotion and/or candles for, so I always make sure to hit up the Bath & Body Works semi-annual sales and stock up on items that I can give as gifts! ¬†I really just feel that it’s important to be keeping the holidays in mind year round, so that if you do see a sale, you can automatically see if there’s anything that you have on your list of gifts that might be a part of a great sale!
Another thing to keep in mind is wrapping paper and gift bags—I ALWAYS buy these items immediately after the holidays because they can go on sale for up to 90% off! ¬†I never ever pay full price for these items right before the holidays–I stock up in December & January with deep discounts, and then I’m all ready for the next holiday season!

These 4 steps have helped me with having waaay less stressful holiday seasons for the past couple of years! ¬†If you plan in advance, Christmas shopping can be a breeze! ¬†My goal is to always be DONE with shopping by Thanksgiving, and so far I’ve been successful! ¬†That means that while other people are freaking out and spending too much money all at once during the holiday months, you’ll be relaxed and organized–and it’s a GREAT feeling!

What other ways do YOU plan for the holidays?
I’m always looking to improve my Christmas spending strategies! ¬†ūüôā

Looking for gift ideas for the women in your life?
Check out my list of  budget-friendly gifts on Amazon HERE!

Want deals and money saving tips?
Follow Frugal Fiesta on Facebook and Pinterest!

Checkout 51 at a Glance

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Checkout 51 is an app similar to IbottaРyou earn cash back by purchasing qualifying items and submitting your receipts.  You can choose to browse offers by either category or by store.  Like Ibotta, I love comparing offers on Checkout 51 to coupons or store sales that might be available for maximum savings! 

I hate to keep comparing Checkout 51 to Ibotta, but it really is basically the same idea. ¬†You submit your receipts after purchasing items, and you earn cash back. ¬†For long receipts, it allows you to take multiple pictures to make sure you’re able to clearly include the store name, date and time, and total.

Most of Checkout 51’s offers are for specific items of specific brands, but they also recently added offers for produce items like eggs, bread and potatoes!

If you like Ibotta, I highly recommend checking out Checkout 51 as well!
Sometimes both apps even have offers for the same item, so you can submit receipts to both apps and earn even more cash back!

The minimum balance for cashing-out is $20, and you’re paid via check (by mail).

Have you downloaded Checkout 51 yet?  What do you think!?
What other receipt-submitting apps are you using?




SurveyMini at a Glance


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SurveyMini is a very simple survey app that uses your phone’s location to send you surveys about experiences you have at the stores you visit. ¬†I don’t receive surveys every single time I visit certain stores, but I have received surveys after visiting places like Target, Petsmart and Caribou. ¬†They surveys are very short (they take maybe 2 minutes tops for me to complete!) and you either earn points toward gift cards, or coupons for different stores.

I’d also like to note that when you get a survey and it asks “Have you visited ____ recently?” you will still be rewarded even if you have NOT been to the store that it asks about. ¬†You won’t be given a survey, but will still get points!

Personally, I’ve found that it takes a looong time to earn enough points for a gift card, but, like many of the apps I use, I’m okay with it because… free money…

The rewards you can choose from are a bit different than the other apps that I use– no Target or Amazon here– but there are gift cards to Red Lobster, Victoria’s Secret, and Burger King.

When you’ve earned enough points, you can cash in for either a coupon offer, or a $10, $25 or $50 gift card.
I can’t verify at this point how quickly you receive rewards, as I’m “saving up” for a $25 gift card because none of the $10 gift cards are for stores that I’m interested in, but as soon as I hit 25,000 points, I’ll be sure to update! ¬†ūüôā



OnGo Surveys at a Glance

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OnGo (or “Surveys On The Go”) is a survey app that uses your phone’s location to send you (paid) surveys! ¬†You can receive surveys about your Lifestyle or Entertainment, and you may also receive “In-Store Opportunities”– I haven’t completed an In-Store survey yet, but it appears that you are to answer questions while you are inside a particular store and possibly submit photos of items or displays.

You have to earn $10 before you can cash out, and your only reward choices are either an Amazon or Visa gift card or Paypal– not a lot of options, but I’m personally okay with that. *shrug*

I haven’t been able to cash out yet– I don’t qualify for most of the surveys (but you do receive $0.10 for being disqualified, so it’s something!) so it’s taking me quite a while to reach $10. ¬†Buuut, it’s free money, so I’ll keep working at it!

If you were to qualify for more surveys than I do personally, this could potentially be a much quicker money-earning app, but I’m not upset about the slow accumulation, so like I said, I’m just gonna keep working at it! ¬†ūüôā

Are there other paid survey apps that you use to earn a little extra money?
Comment your favorites below, I’m always looking for new ones!