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Category: From My Kitchen

Easy 4th of July Dessert | Patriotic Mason Jar Ice Cream

Looking for easy 4th of July desserts? This Patriotic Mason Jar Ice Cream is super delicious, so easy to make, and great holiday fun for the whole family!

{Psst! Be sure to check out our Oreo Ice Cream Cake recipe, too!}

Homemade 4th of July Patriotic Ice Cream in a Mason Jar

Note from Crystal: I’m so excited to have my youngest sister, Olivia, sharing this fun patriotic dessert idea today! After SO many of you loved her Easter Candy Recipe, I thought it’d be fun for her to share a 4th of July dessert!

There’s nothing quite like a bowl of fresh, homemade ice cream! As a child, one of my favorite memories was pulling out the old wooden ice cream maker and cranking up some delicious goodness!

Sometimes we made it even easier by just using Ziplock bags! With ice, salt, and some vigorous shaking, the delicious ice cream was ready to sample. I can still remember the taste of that cold treat on a hot summer day!

ingredients for homemade ice cream

This Mason Jar Ice Cream recipe is incredibly simple to make and takes just a few ingredients that you most likely already have on hand in your kitchen.

The mason jars serve as a fun, mess-free way to involve your kids, because they will love getting to shake up their own jar! Also, since the ice cream is mixed, made, and eaten out of the same mason jar, it really saves on dishes and clean-up.

shaking up homemade ice cream in a mason jarwet paper towel around a mason jar of ice cream

This Mason Jar Ice Cream is a perfect 4th of July dessert, but it is also such a fun activity for the whole family to do together on the fourth!

Everyone can shake up a jar a couple hours before sunset. After the jars are frozen, everyone can enjoy their tasty treat while watching the fireworks explode!

ice cream on a spoon from a mason jar

Just look at that creamy vanilla deliciousness! Yum!

And the best part of this Mason Jar Ice Cream? It’s super versatile! Make it a patriotic 4th of July dessert using all kinds of different toppings — marshmallows, M&M’s, skittles, jelly beans, sprinkles, or fruit.

vanilla ice cream with strawberries and blueberries

Anything that’s red, white, and blue will do the trick! I prefer fresh fruit, so I used strawberries and blueberries. (Raspberries would work, too.)

And sprinkles are just festive, so I had to try that, as well! 😉

vanilla ice cream with patriotic sprinkles4th of July ice cream dessert with blueberries and patriotic sprinkles

4th of july ice cream dessert

What are some of your favorite 4th of July desserts? Please share in the comments!!

55 Ways to Use Up Ripe Bananas

Wondering what to do with ripe bananas on your kitchen counter? I love banana recipes, so I decided to put together a HUGE list of 55 things to make with ripe bananas!

(Psst! Be sure to check out our family’s very favorite Freezer-Friendly Banana Bread Recipe! We also really love these Homemade Breakfast Cookies!)

55 ideas for what to do with ripe bananas

We love bananas at our house, but occasionally, life happens and it’s easy to let bananas go past their prime. Or, sometimes, I’ll find bananas marked down at the store because they are starting to get too ripe.

I’m really weird in that I prefer to eat bananas when they have some black spots on them, but the rest of my family won’t touch them once they are at the “Black Spot” stage.

When we have an abundance of over-ripe bananas, I either freeze them to use in smoothies and baking later, or I go ahead and make one of our favorite banana recipes with them.

ripe bananas on counter

What to Do With Ripe Bananas

I thought it might be fun to put together a list of some of my favorite things to make with ripe bananas!

The recipes on this list are a mixture of some of my favorite banana recipes right here on this blog, some other recipes I gathered from other sites that I hope to try soon.

Most of them are fairly healthful (with a few exceptions) and many of them are family favorites. Enjoy!!

homemade breakfast cookies

Breakfasts:

peeled bananas on cookie sheet for the freezer

Snacks:

homemade banana bread on a white plate

Breads:

ripe bananas on white counter

Muffins:

banana green smoothie on wooden table

Smoothies:

banana chocolate chip bars on white plate

Desserts:

What are YOUR favorite ideas for what to do with ripe bananas? Tell us in the comments!

Need to overhaul your grocery budget?
I want to help! Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to my new eBook, 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget. Sign up now!
I want to help! Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to my new eBook, 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget. Sign up now!

Want to take better control of your grocery budget?

Do you want to take better control of your grocery budget? If so, you’ll want to read my newest eBook, 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget!

This eBook will give you all the tips, tricks, and practical advice you need to create a grocery budget tailored to your family’s needs that you can actually STICK to (because that’s the key!)

In this eBook, you’ll learn:

  1. How to create a grocery budget that fits your family’s needs and your finances!
  2. New systems to help you keep track of what you spend at the store!
  3. How to actually stick with your new budget and save money for years to come!
  4. Ways to save up to $50 off your grocery bill THIS WEEK by using the 10 simple strategies outlined in this eBook!

Ready to get started? Just use the form above to sign up!


This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget (+ what we ate)

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to . See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our .

This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget

I told you we were doing a this summer. We’re currently on Day 10 and it’s been so good. This photo was taken at the top of in Nashville.

We went there as a family to have a picnic dinner one night this past week. It was my idea — and well, let’s just say, the kids weren’t as excited about it as I was.

(You can … and hopefully it helps you remember that we’re far from perfect over here!)

photo of a salad

I bought some marked down salmon a few weeks ago and it was a fun addition to my daily salads this past week. Yum!

Pizza Hot Pockets

On Tuesday evening, I made a big batch of Pizza Hot Pockets. I used the basic idea from Ham & Cheese Pockets, but I used pasta sauce, browned ground beef, and cheddar cheese.

I made two pans and it was enough for two nights ( some extras for lunch) and these were a hit!

Kroger Grocery Shopping Trip

Kroger Shopping Trip #1

$0.50 salad

I loved the $0.50 salads. The second day, I added some of the cooked salmon to it and it tasted amazing!

Sprouts coupon

Sprouts coupon

Did you download your free Sprouts coupons??

Sprouts Shopping Trip

Sprouts Shopping Trip

I got both of these for just $0.20 out of pocket at Sprouts!

Note: I accidentally picked up the non-organic peppers. I realized my mistake at the register when the coupon didn’t come off! I offered to go get the organic peppers so I could exchange them with these and the cashier said, “Oh, don’t worry about it! I’ll just take those off your order!”

If you missed my post from last week and you love Dollar Tree, be sure to check out my thoughts on 5 Things You Should Not Buy at Dollar Tree.

Dollar Tree Shopping Trip

Dollar Tree Shopping Trip

While I was at Dollar Tree taking photos for the above post, I also picked up 4 bottles of lemon juice (for my Gallon of Lemon Water a Day habit) and I picked up some Coconut Oil cooking spray to try out.

I asked on if anyone had tried the coconut oil cooking spray. Some of you said you loved it. Some of you said it didn’t work at all. So I guess I’ll just have to try it for myself and see! 🙂

Sonic Corn Dogs

And of course, we had to stop by Sonic for their $0.50 corn dogs on Thursday!

Kroger sale

I was so excited about the fun deals at Kroger for Memorial Day weekend! (And the kids were super excited about sweet tea, cookies, and ice cream bars!)

Kroger sale

Kroger deals

Someone told me that they use the Deluxe Grahams for s’mores! We’ll have to try that!
Kroger deals

These are so great to have on hand for hosting people over the summer!

Kroger deals

Kroger Shopping Trip #2

  • 5 packages of Keebler cookies — $0.99 each with the Weekend Digital coupon
  • 1 pack of Snapple — $1.99 with the Weekend Digital coupon
  • 5 boxes of ice cream bars — $0.99 each with the Weekend Digital coupon
  • 5 packages of hot dog buns — $1.19 each
  • 4 boxes Cinnamon Frosted Flakes — marked down to $1 each
  • 2 bags of avocados — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 1 package Butterscotch chips — marked down to $1
  • 2 packages turkey — on closeout for $2 each
  • Pickle relish — $0.79
  • Kroger pickles — $1.59
  • Mustard — $0.49
  • Dijon mustard — $1.25
  • 3 salad kits — marked down to $1.49 each
  • Total with tax: $39.79

Practicing Hospitality on a Budget

A question I often get is how we can afford to practice hospitality with a $70 grocery budget. We love opening up our home and I love finding creative ways to do it frugally. (See my post here for some ideas for hospitality on a budget.)

Some friends from India were in the states and we wanted to have them over along with a few other families. I knew that our Indian friends actually enjoy real American food so I thought a traditional cookout would be fun!

We had about 20 packages of beef hot dogs and beef brats in the freezer — that I’ve picked up when they’ve been on great sales over the past 3-6 months. So I invited everyone to come and said we’d provide the hot dogs, brats, buns, and condiments. Everyone else brought a side and/or drink.

This made it easy for everyone and also really simple to pull off! It was such a wonderful evening of games, laughter, and good conversation!

Headed on a Road Trip!

On Saturday morning, we left for a quick family road trip to visit three states we haven’t all visited before (Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa). We brought snacks for the road, some food for some meals, and we are staying at hotels with free breakfasts. We love to splurge on one meal out at a local restaurant each day on our trip.

( to see what we’re doing, seeing, and eating in these states!)

What We Ate On Our $70 Grocery Budget This Past Week

Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand.

This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate.

Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here.

Our Menu Plan

Breakfasts:

  • Cereal, Pancakes, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Toast

Lunches:

  • Ham Sandwiches, Carrots, Oranges, Salads, Leftovers, Cookies (We also got a few $0.50 corn dogs at Sonic in the afternoon.)

Snacks:

  • Fruit, Peppers, Popcorn, Cookies, Hard Boiled Eggs, Cereal, Granola Bars, Chocolate Milk

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Fend for yourself
  • Monday — Grilled Beef, Twice Baked Potatoes, Hawaiian Rolls, Oranges
  • Tuesday — Homemade Pizza Pockets, Oranges
  • Wednesday — Leftover Pizza Pockets, Peppers, Creme Brulee
  • Thursday — Pancakes
  • Friday — Cookout with five other families at our house (we provided all of the Brats/Hot Dogs — I had these stockpiled in the freezer from recent deals — the condiments and buns. Everyone else brought a side/drinks.)
  • Saturday — We stopped at McAlister’s on our way to Madison, WI.

$70 Grocery Budget Totals

Total spent on groceries: $70.64

Cashback earned this week: 100 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $0.75 for submitting my receipt to iBotta rewards and buying snack bars + a snack.

This Week’s $70 Grocery Budget (+ our menu plan!)

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to . See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our .

I was excited about the Buy 5, Get $5 Off Sale that Kroger was running this week! Barbecue Sauce for $0.49 — no coupon needed? Sign me up!

I was sad to find that my store was completely sold out of the Pancake Mix that was on sale for just $0.99. But I still have three boxes of pancake mix that I got on sale/marked down, so I can totally wait for another sale!

Here’s what I got at Kroger on Tuesday (I especially excited to finally find another markdown on eggs again!):

Kroger Shopping Trip #1:

  • Chex cereal — marked down to $0.69
  • 5 dozen cage-free brown eggs — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 2 Moose Tracks yogurt — marked down to $0.25 each
  • 2 Simple Truth yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each
  • Simple Truth Organic Maple Syrup — $3.99, used $1/1 = $2.99
  • 2 boxes Kroger Raisin Bran — $1.49 each
  • Hillshire Farm ham — marked down to $2.19
  • Hillshire Farm brats — marked down to $1.49 each
  • 3 Bountiful Salad Kits — marked down to $1 each
  • 2 pounds Private Selection Ground Beef — marked down to $3.79 each
  • 1 bag of onions — marked down to $0.99
  • Vitamin D milk — $2.69
  • Huggies baby wipes — $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used $0.50/1 = $0.49
  • 2 bottles Kraft barbecue sauce — $0.49 each when you buy 5 participating items
  • Suave Kids’ Shampoo — $1.99 each when you buy 5 participating items, used $1/1 = $0.99
  • 2 Speedstick deodorant — $0.99 each when you buy 5 participating items
  • Sara Lee whole wheat bread — $1.49 when you buy 5 participating items
  • Tropicana Probiotic — marked down to $1.29
  • Bear Naked Granola — $2.49 when you buy 5 participating items, used $3/1 = free after coupon
  • Stayfree pads — $1.99 when you buy 5 participating items, used $2/2 = $0.99 after coupon
  • Total with tax: $44.06

cookies

Need an end of year Teacher Gift? Here’s a great idea!

 wrote in and said: “I made your chocolate chip cookies today for my preschooler to take to school. They’re DELICIOUS! I feel like I’m #winning at this mom thing… at least for a nanosecond out of my day.” (By the way, she used.)

a photo of Aldi

Did you see my post on 5 Things You Should NOT Buy at Aldi?

By the way, the marked down Lentil Salad I got above was kind of blah and I wouldn’t buy it again.

I was super stoked that Kroger had a weekend sale on butter! We had just ran out of the butter I bought in the last sale!

Did you get your free Core Hydration Water at Kroger?

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

family fun at Sonic

We kicked off 100 Days of Summer Fun on Saturday with walking to Sonic. Our goal is to do some simple family fun activity every day for the next 100 days.

If you want to join us, you can where I’ll be documenting what we do each day.

(And if you want to join us, I’d love for you to share your family fun on Instagram or Facebook and tag me (@themoneysavingmom) and use the hashtag #100DaysofSummerFun.)

What We Ate This Past Week

Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand.

This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate.

Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here.

Our Menu Plan

Breakfasts:

  • Cereal, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Toast

Lunches:

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Carrots, Oranges, Salads, Leftovers, Cookies

Snacks:

  • Fruit, Peppers, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Hard Boiled Eggs

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Leftover ziti, Bread Machine Buttery Rolls, salad, peas
  • Monday — Leftovers (We apparently made way too much for when we had guests over on Saturday night! Hey, at least it meant I got two nights off from cooking!)
  • Tuesday — Corn bread, ground beef with tomatoes and onions, fruit
  • Wednesday — Leftover corn bread with chili and cheese
  • Thursday — KFC
  • Friday — Breakfast for dinner: pancakes, sausage, fruit
  • Saturday — Leftover pancakes and sausage, frozen pizza + we walked to Sonic and the kids got drinks and chili dogs

Grocery Budget Totals

Total spent on groceries: $68.13

Cashback earned this week: 136 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $0.20 for submitting my receipt to iBotta rewards.

This Week’s $70 Budget (+ our menu plan)

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to . See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our .

I was $0.99 over-budget this week… however, since I’ve been under-budget the past few weeks, I’m good with it! 😉

This Week's $70 Grocery Budget

I went to two different Kroger stores on Tuesday morning while I was dropping the kids off at school.

Kroger Shopping Trip #1:

  • Chocolate Milk — marked down to $1.49
  • Carrots — $0.99
  • Breakfast Sausage Links — marked down to $1.79
  • 3 packages of breakfast sausage — marked down to $1.79 each
  • Total with tax: $10.24

This Week's $70 Grocery Budget

This Week's $70 Grocery Budget

This Week's $70 Grocery Budget

Kroger Shopping Trip #2:

  • Kroger Half & Half — $1.79
  • 3 boxes of Shrimp Potstickers — marked down to $1.49 each
  • 2 packages of King’s Hawaiian Hot Dog Buns — marked down to $1.79 each
  • 2 bars of Lindt chocolate — $0.99 each
  • 1 box of Matzo Ball soup — marked down to $0.50 each
  • 1 box of Stuffed Clams — marked down to $2.99
  • 2 packages of salmon — marked down to $1.99 each
  • Hunt’s Tomato Sauce — marked down to $0.25
  • Hormel Chili — marked down to $0.49
  • Mint — marked down to $0.25
  • Simple Truth Eggs — $2.99
  • Diced Ham — $1.59
  • Dove PB Eggs — $0.09
  • 2 packages of Bran Muffin Mix — marked down to $0.25 each
  • 2 Salad Kits — marked down to $1.99 each
  • 1 bag of apples — marked down to $0.99
  • 2 boxes of Kroger cereal — $1.49 each
  • Kroger baking mix — marked down to $0.79
  • Barlean’s Forti-Flax — marked down to $1.50
  • Lemon juice — $2.49
  • Milk — $2.69
  • Total with tax: $43.59

This Week's $70 Grocery Budget

I was excited to get this printout offer to take a survey and get $5 off my next shopping order. I wrote more about it here.

grocery shopping trip

We invited friends over for dinner on Saturday, so Jesse ran to the store on Friday to pick up a few things we needed for that.

Kroger Shopping Trip #3:

  • 2 bunches of Lettuce — $1.79
  • Ragu Pasta Sauce — $1.50
  • Kroger Butter — $3.19
  • Breyer’s Ice Cream — $3.99
  • Cottage Cheese — $3.89
  • Total with tax: $17.16

What We Ate This Past Week

Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand.

This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate.

Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here.

Our Menu Plan

Breakfasts:

  • Cereal, Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs

Lunches:

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Carrots, Oranges, Salads, Leftovers, Cookies

Snacks:

  • Fruit, Cookies, Popcorn, Ice Cream, Crackers & Cheese, Carrots & Hummus

Dinners:

  • Sunday — Fend for yourself
  • Monday — Dinner at TopGolf for Silas’ birthday
  • Tuesday — Meatballs, Twice Baked Potatoes, Fruit
  • Wednesday — Leftover Meatballs, Potstickers, Fruit
  • Thursday — Homemade Pizza, Sweet Potato Fries, Fruit
  • Friday — Kaitlynn went out to dinner with her class for school formal, Jesse and I met friends for Panera, and Silas and Kathrynne had hot dogs
  • Saturday — We had friends over for dinner and we made Ziti, Peas, Homemade Rolls, Salad, Apple Crisp/Ice Cream.

Grocery Budget Totals

Total spent on groceries: $70.99

Cashback earned this week: 350 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $0.45 for submitting my receipt to iBotta rewards.