Archive for October 29, 2018

Ten Reasons Why You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Early

Although it might still be October, you’re probably already thinking about your holiday checklist. This might be a good thing, as shopping early can actually help you save a bundle on some of the items that you’ll want to purchase for your friends and family. It might seem a little too early to shop around for such items, but these ten reasons are bound to convince you to get a jump on your holiday shopping straight away. No matter when you choose to do your shopping, it is important to keep these elements in mind when you think about shopping during the rush season.

1. Eliminates Credit Cards
One of the best and most frugal aspects of shopping well before the holiday season is you won’t need to use your credit cards quite as much as you would when the rush season begins. This is largely because it gives you more time to shop on your income. Starting early means you can purchase slowly, so you can shop on your budget opposed to making a mad dash to get everything at once. Even if you’re just buying a toy or clothing item each check, it will help cut back on the mass purchases. Thus, you won’t end up with a large amount of money on your credit card. This cuts down on the payments you will have to make, so you can enjoy even more shopping. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about as many interest charges, which saves you even more.

2. Low Stress Shopping
As soon as Black Friday arrives, it feels as if the pressure is on to make as many purchases as you can before the holiday arrives. You’re not the only one feeling the stress either, which causes more people to spend time at the store. This can be frustrating as everyone seems to be in a bad mood as they work to complete their list. All of the tension can certainly add up, which adds even more stress to the situation. Before you know it, you’re totally out of the holiday spirit and you might not be in the right mindset to find the deals you need to get the items on your list. Shopping early helps to eliminate this pressure. You can get most of your shopping out of the way before the rush begins, so you can avoid the crowds and stress with ease. It will also keep you from missing out on certain items that might be on your list.

3. Take Advantage of Sales
It might seem like there is a ton of great sales during the holiday season. However, if you take the time to investigate the sales then you might find the prices aren’t actually as good as you think they are. Between price hiking during the holiday season and a rush to get the perfect gift, sales during this time can be tricky. Shopping early actually allows you to purchase items you might want at a better price. For instance, during the back to school sales you might find a deal on a laptop that will beat anything you find during the holiday season. During these sales, you might find your best option on clothing too. Toy sales are usually always better before the holiday season too, so shop around whenever you catch a good sale. All year, online retailers tend to offer unbeatable deals. Your best option is look around for a sale on a Tuesday morning, as this seems to be when the best deals are offered. If you find a great deal every Tuesday, you’ll be well on your way to completing your list before December even arrives.

4. Check List Method
Creating a list for your holiday shopping can be one of the best ways to maximize your savings and to ensure you get a little something for everyone. However, when you wait to shop your list might hit the back burners as you rush to get a little something for everyone. The list method also allows you to figure out what you’re shopping for, so you can grab an item when you see it opposed to when the rush begins. This can be pretty important for kids’ gifts, as many of the toys seem to fly off the shelves as soon as they are labeled a popular gift. This might force you to surf online auctions, which can cost you quite a bit more. The list method keeps you from over spending too, as you can easily sit down with your budget to figure out what you want and what you can spend.

5. Stock Up On Toys
December is actually the worst month for purchasing toys. The sales offered during this month tend to be more along the lines of everyday prices, which can become a burden when you’re on a tight budget. You’ll actually see more sales on toys before the holiday season begins, so shop early whenever and wherever you can. This is especially true when it comes to toys that are going to be popular during the holiday season. Most of these items will fly off of the shelves in late November and throughout December. Thus, shopping early also allows you to make sure your child has the toy of their dreams under the tree, without the hiked-up cost.

6. App Insights
The earlier you begin your holiday shopping, the earlier you can start taking advantage of some of the insights today’s shopping apps can give you. You might want to start researching shopping apps to see which can work best for you. There are apps that can give you money back on the purchases you make, while others will actually alert you of sales, so you can rush to secure the item. These apps can help you make the most of your budget during the holidays. The apps that help you find deals can ensure you get the items on your list without having to waste gas and time going from store to store. Meanwhile, the sooner you begin your shopping, the sooner you will get your rewards on rebate apps, which can go towards even more shopping.

7. Outlet Stores
Another way to find some early deals on your holiday shopping is to head to an outlet store or mall. These stores tend to have older items in them, but they often offer great prices that you might not be able to refuse. These stores are particularly great if you’re looking for common brands in shoes, clothes and accessories. Of course, you can also find amazing tech deals at these stores. You might even find items for colleagues or other people on your list that you’re simply not sure what to shop for. There are a few tricks to shopping at outlet stores too, so do some research before you go on a spree. Shopping before the holidays will give you more items to choose from though and won’t leave you stressed while you look around.

8. Research
Starting your shopping season early can be incredibly advantageous to you as well. This gives you a bit more time to do research on some of the items that might be on your family’s wish list. This can really come in handy when it comes to items in the technology department. You’ll be able to do the research needed to see if you should actually invest in the device. You may even be able to find some amazing deals in the meantime. This will also give you a chance to get a leg up when it comes to popular items. Usually, you will find a few articles on this year’s “it” toy before they start flying off of the shelves, which might give you enough time to purchase yours or preorder online.

9. Clearance
One of the best ways to save big on the holiday season is to start shopping clearance as soon as you can. Generally, if you start early, you can grab holiday décor on clearance, especially online. Of course, you can also find some gifts still on sale. One of the most common things to find on clearance are beauty and bath sets, which can still be given out the following year. A few of these sets on clearance are certain to please colleagues or extended family members. You might also be able to get a great deal on wrapping paper too, which can cut a huge chunk from your budget. After Thanksgiving, a lot of retail stores will offer discounts on some of the holiday items, because they want to move them out of the store as quickly as possible.

10. Crafting
Shopping early also gives you the chance to take inventory of what you have and who you still need to purchase for. This will allow you to know who you need to craft items for in order to save some big money. Best of all, if you shop early you can find some of the best deals on items to make your crafts. This can help cut back on spending quite a bit, especially if you’re making bulk crafts for people. Some of the best things to make are cookie ornaments, hot chocolate snowman and so on. If you shop early enough, you can even find some of the items that are popular for making wreaths and so on.

Shopping early for the holidays can make all the difference when it comes to saving money. These ten tips will help you see just how important shopping early can be for your budget. So, don’t waste any time, because your holiday list is already calling you.

Ten Cheap Tricks to Help Your Kids Celebrate National Chemistry Week

In case you didn’t already know, it’s National Chemistry Week. This week is designed to help people see the beauty of chemistry, especially that which is used in our everyday lives. You don’t have to be a chemist to value chemistry as most people wind up using it on a daily basis. From cooking and cleaning to keeping up with your hygiene, chemistry is something we should all celebrate. If you have children, then celebrating chemistry can be more fun than you’d expect. These ten projects will have the entire household celebrating because they are loads of fun. On top of that, you can conduct these experiments with items found in your home, which will save you a bundle of money. So, get ready to experience chemistry in new ways during National Chemistry Week.

1. Freeze Water
It’s easy to toss some water in the freezer and forget about it for a few hours. However, for the sake of chemistry you might try freezing water outside of the freezer. For this task, you will need a full water bottle, ice, salt, thermometer and a bowl. Place the ice and salt in a bowl and then add in the water. The temperature of the bowl needs to be 17 degrees Fahrenheit for this trick to work. Once the bottle has been cooled to this temperature for ten minutes, pull the bottle out and hit it on the table. The water should instantly freeze. It might take a few tries to get the task done correctly though, so don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t. When you do get the hang of it, you might consider using soda or juice to make an instant slush that kids can snack on. You can also use the method to make ice cream, which is certain to be a crowd pleaser. There’s lots of recipes online for this trick too!

2. Volcano
You’ve probably seen a DIY volcano at every science fair you’ve ever been too. So, making this project at home can be a lot of fun. Best of all, it will allow you to add in a geology lesson while celebrating chemistry. You don’t even have to go out of your way to make the volcano portion if you don’t want to. However, if you do, this can be easily created with paper Mache. Once you have your volcano made, then add baking soda to the inside. When combined with vinegar, your volcano should smoke and erupt just like the real deal. You can even use food coloring to make it even more realistic.

3. Homemade Rocket
Rockets are a quick way to get any child’s attention. Luckily, you can easily make your own rocket at home in a wide variety of ways. One way to make a homemade rocket is to use common supplies at home that include a water bottle, mouth wash, pasta and yeast. You can also keep it simple by using a classic Mentos and diet coke mixture. If you don’t want to actually mix chemicals yourself, then it is simple and cheap to opt for a store bought rocket that you put together. These can be found in most hobby or science shops, but are also easy to find online. There are so many ways to make a rocket at home though, so make sure to browse around online to see what method works best for your family.

4. Lava Lamp
Lava lamps can bring hours of entertainment to children. However, purchasing one can actually be quite expensive, especially for how easy it is to make your home. So, you might want to pull up your sleeves and help the kids make their own lava lamp that they will be proud to show off to their friends. All you need for this task is a glass container, heat source, wax, food coloring and water. Simply add the wax to the container then fill with water and food coloring of your choice. Secure the lid and then place the lamp over a heat source. As the wax heats it will float in the water as the two won’t mix. If you aren’t keen on using a heat source, then mix up water, baby oil and food coloring into a transparent bottle. The water and oil won’t mix which will recreate the same effect as a lava lamp without the dangerous aspect.

5. Waterproof Sand
This is actually a great project if you have younger children. The project is quite easy to do too. All you need is to grab some sand from your child’s sandbox or your local department store. Place the sand on a baking tray and then spray it with a fabric protector of your choice. Make sure to stir the mixture and give it an extra spray. Once you’ve done this, bake the mixture for a little while. Then you pull it out and let it cool, kids can play with it for hours without having to worry about a muddy mess. You can even dye the sand to add extra fun to the mixture.

6. Liquid Art
Liquid Art is another fun way to keep kids of all ages entertained. This project is actually very easy to complete too. All you need is some milk, dish soap and food coloring. Place the milk on a large baking tray for a larger project or a Styrofoam plate if each child plans on making an individual work of art. Once the milk is poured, add some dish soap to the surface. Then, add a single drop of food coloring. The color will begin to swirl. After you’re tired of watching one color then add a drop of another color. You can do this until everyone is tired of the project. If you want to keep a record of everyone’s then simply record the swirls as they happen using your phone. You can always compare the videos if you choose to repeat the project in the future.

7. Make Slime
Without a doubt, slime is one of the most favored projects for younger children. Not only does it teach kids about mixtures, but it also creates a toy that they can use for quite some time. There are quite of few different recipes for slime to choose from too. So, browse around and try a few to see which works best for your needs. One of the more common options for slime is to use glue, so you might want to stock up on this if you’re planning on making a lot of slime. Don’t forget to add in some food coloring, glitter or other accessories to add to the fun. You can store your slime in a recycled container like an old Playdough container or just a mason jar or Tupperware.

8. Grow Crystals
Crystals seem to be expensive items, especially to children. However, you can actually grow your own crystals at home. There are lots of tutorials online, but the most common uses Borax. The best thing about growing your own crystals is the fact that you can make them into a wide variety of shapes. Since winter is right around the corner, you might try shaping yours into a snowflake. You can even make your crystals a variety of colors. If you’re looking for an edible treat then you can make rock crystals out of sugar, which is certain to appease the children. So, have a little fun while you learn about crystallization.

9. Clean Coins
Another fun task it to have kids clean up the coins found in the house. You might take some time to collect as many coins as you can, so you will have a wide variety of items to clean. This task is especially great for the whole family because you don’t really even need to use harsh chemicals in order to do this project. Instead, set out a few glasses and fill them with various liquids found in the home. You can use tap water, bottled water, a variety of sodas and juices, milk and mouthwash. Leave the coins in each glass for a few hours and see which liquids cleaned and which didn’t. This can also show children how bad sodas can be for their body and teeth, if you’re trying to pass on a health lesson too.

10. Colored Fire
Making colored fire is definitely a task that needs to be done with parental supervision. This is also the only task on the list that will require you to branch out and purchase items that aren’t generally found in the home. Of course, you will have a whole lot of fun with the task though. All you need are some minerals which can be found in many local stores as well as online, and a safe place to start and maintain a fire. Simply add minerals to the fire to see what color they make the fire burn. Before you begin this task make sure you do a lot of research to see which minerals can be used and any effects the minerals might have when burned. Also, make sure to follow safety precautions at all times. If you follow the instructions properly then this activity will make a cold day incredibly exciting for all.

There are so many fun things you can do during National Chemistry Week. These ten ideas only scratch the surface, so if you want a little more to conquer then look around online or find an old chemistry textbook to see what you can come up with. This week is certain to help you add some frugal fun to your family bonding time though, while also helping everyone appreciate chemistry a little bit more.

Quick Tips to Save You Money During National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is coming upon us faster than we realize. Many of the writing communities are already buzzing with their plans for the big month and how they plan to cope with it. The NaNoWriMo experience can be a blast for many professional and amateur writers, but if you aren’t careful it can also force you to spend money that you might not otherwise spend. These tips will help you to get on the right track before the big kick off happens, so you can feel confident about your writing skills while also keeping your life and budget balanced.

1. Find Free Software
One of the first expenditures for those looking to write a novel is software. Many authors try to find software for all sorts of things. You will first need word processing software so that you have something to use when writing that will make editing and formatting easier. You will also need editing software if you don’t plan on hiring an editor right away. On to of that, you might also want to look into software that can help you turn your novel into an ebook. All of this can cost you a pretty penny if you’re not careful. Luckily, there are lots of free options out there to choose from. So, make sure to browse around and look for recommendations, so you can find a cheap or free option that will suit your needs.

2. Get Lots of Rest
Many people often try to pull all nighters or write when they are too tired to do so. You’re not going to magically be able to write from sun up to sun down every single day of the month. Nor will you be able to cut back on your sleep to an unhealthy level. Losing sleep and over working yourself will put you on the fast track to writer block city, so don’t sacrifice your health just to get your word count in for the day. Instead, if you’re feeling tired go to bed earlier and set your alarm clock for earlier in the morning. You will be able to write when your mind is fresh, which might actually help improve your word count as well as the quality of your writing. You might also consider taking a cat nap if the creative juices just aren’t flowing.

3. Exercise
A lot of people, especially those that are newcomers to the event, believe they are going to sit in a chair and write from morning until night. Although this is possible, it might not be the best thing to do for your health or your novel. Sitting constantly will make you feel terrible and won’t help you create any of the amazing things you are otherwise capable of making. So, instead of working all the way through the day, take some breaks to exercise. It is wise to stand up and move around every twenty minutes. You might consider going for a jog or walk to get the creative juices flowing again. This will make your writing better while also ensuring your health is going strong too. Exercise is a great stress reliever as well, so run or dance away your frustrations if your novel isn’t working out.

4. Join a Community
Luckily, there are lots of amazing writing communities available to authors online and in person. You might be surprised by how many you find in your own community that you may have otherwise not known about. A community is a great way to find the support you need to carry on with your novel. People in these communities are dealing with the same struggles as you, so you might feel better sharing with them or even taking in some advice. On top of that, you might find a fellow writer that you particularly bond with. This can become a fruitful relationship especially if you trust their opinion on literature, as you can always read and rate one another’s work. Most communities are free of charge too, which will make joining one even sweeter.

5. Maintain Your Schedule
Many people also try to fit in writing when they probably shouldn’t be. For instance, if you’re on the clock at work then it might be wise to do the job you’re paid to do, opposed to writing your novel. You might also make sure you’re not writing when you should be doing other things, like fixing meals and so on. This can lead the family to have to deal with a fast food or low quality diet for the month, which can cause health problems and a budget crisis. Instead, just to plan around your schedule cleverly, but don’t stray from it. For instance, meal prep before November begins. Plan on writing during your lunch hour. Ask someone to take your carpooling duty in exchange for the rest of October or December. There’s lots to do to help make your dream possible.

6. Make a Plan
One of the most important things you can do is make a plan before you begin. Winging a whole novel is possible and people have been successful at it. However, doing it in a month and expecting it to be amazing is a lot to ask for. It might even cause you to feel disappointed or completely lose steam before the event is over. Instead, take some time to plan things out. For instance, you can ease into a word count, brainstorm ideas and branch your ideas out. You might even get some research in to improve on the quality of your writing. Your plan can help you have more confidence as you write, which might make you feel better about the experience.

7. Make Goals
Sometimes, NaNoWriMo can feel very intimidating. So much so that many people lose steam before the month even begins. You don’t have to let the intimidation of the event get to you. Instead, make your own goals to reach throughout the event. You don’t have to write a full novel during the month, especially if you aren’t ready to tackle this. Cater the month to your own writing and use it to reach goals you’d like to meet. You can even work on short stories or poetry to get things started. Write down your goals before the month begins though, so you know what you need to work towards. Make sure they are realistic though. You can also increase the level of goals for next year. You never know, you might feel inspired to make every month a writing month for you, after using this month to make some fresh and exciting goals.

8. Learn your Rights as an Author
If you’re writing to put your work out into the world, then you might want to take the last few weeks of October to brush up on your rights as an author. Luckily, there are lots of great websites that can help you do this. You will learn everything from creative rights to copyrights, which will help you feel a bit more comfortable about sending your piece of art into the world. Before you know it, you’ll have your rights down so well that you will be eager to help other writers feel confident that they have taken every precaution with their own work of art.

9. Trade Editorial Skills
Part of writing a novel is editing it. It is often times impossible for an author to completely edit their piece of art on their own. Sometimes, we need the insight of others to be successful in this area. However, an editor can cause you quite a bit of money. On top of that, you never know what you’re going to get with an editor as you might not work well with each other. Instead, you might meet up with other writers. When you find someone that has good quality work that you enjoy then you might ask if you can trade editorial skills with them. You can swap books and edit from there. Of course, you should also take a look at the person’s editing skills when they return your copy. If you’re happy with the work then you might continue to work with the other person, if not hand your work off to someone else. You’ll save a lot of money doing this and you’ll even improve your editing skills in the process.

10. Submit Your Work
Part of the process of NaNoWriMo is to get a novel written, but this gives you the perfect opportunity to get ready to start submitting your work too. Once you’ve finished up with your novel and you’ve edited it then it is time to start submitting it to others. This can be a pretty pricey process to begin with, especially if you’re mailing your work off to publishers. Luckily, there’s a few great places you can submit your work to online now. Some of them even take your work for free, which can help save you a small fortune. Your work might be published straight away, but you will learn more about the submission process and improve your skills as an author in the process.

For writers, NaNoWriMo can be a stressful but fruitful time. These ten tips should help you embrace your month of writing, so you can get more out of it. On top of that, it will help you prevent yourself from spending money you don’t have to on everyday life as well as the writing process. So, take some time to embrace your skills after noting these helpful tips.

Frugal Ideas to Get More Out of the Dia De Los Muertos Experience

Once Halloween is over and the sugar rushes have calmed down, you might be interested in celebrating another amazing holiday during this time of the year. That holiday is Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which takes place on November first and second. This holiday, which is often looped in with Halloween décor, celebrates the deceased. It is a great way for a family to enjoy the memories they shared with those that have passed on. This holiday believes that spirits return to reunite with loved ones on this day, which can be quite a beautiful thing to celebrate. Luckily, you won’t have to pour a fortune into this holiday either. So, check out these ten tips to get yourself started on the fun.

1. Use Halloween Leftovers
One of the best ways to save money on this holiday is to use your Halloween leftovers to cut the price. For instance, you can easily use your face painting supplies to create beautiful skull designs that will make the holiday fantastic. Many of the Halloween décor on offer today is actually related to Dia De Los Muertos, so you can always leave your holiday décor up for a few more days to add even more charm to this holiday. Candy can also be used for snacks during the holiday too. Of course, if you’re running low on supplies then this holiday immediately hits the huge Halloween clearance sales that you’ll find at most department stores. So, you can always stock up then and use the new supplies for this year and the upcoming years.

2. Enjoy a Community Event
One of the best things about Dia De Los Muertos is it is a very community-based holiday. You might not find a whole lot of celebrations outside of Mexico, but as the holiday becomes more popular you might find more community events popping up in your area. You might want to look around to see if anyone is hosting an event for the holiday. Joining these events can save you a small fortune and will allow you to truly embrace the holiday. These events usually include music, dancing and food which will make you fall in love with the special event all the more. Some celebrations might even include traditional clothing and stories about loved ones that have passed on.

3. Build an Altar
Dia De Los Muertos is specifically for celebrating our passed loved ones. So, one of the best ways to celebrate this holiday is by creating an altar to celebrate the loved ones in your life. Some believe that relatives cannot return without their image on display during the holiday, so make sure you have an alter that will do your loved ones proud. You don’t have to spend a fortune on doing this either. Simply set up a table and dress it up. You should place pictures on the table, but some other items you might consider include favored objects, flowers and even food. Candles are also a great way to add beauty to the altar. This is a great alternative to traveling to cemeteries to visit relatives as this can be costly and timely if your loved ones are laid to rest far away and in multiple locations.

4. DIY Picture Frames
Honoring your loved ones can be a lot of fun when you display their photos. This is one of the best ways to bring up stories that will make you recall fond memories of so many people. Of course, you might want to spice up the images before you put them on display. One way to do this is to make your own picture frames. You can do this out of a wide assortment of supplies too. For instance, if you have a carpenter in your life then you might consider making one out of wood to honor them. You can also decorate with buttons, glitter or anything the loved one enjoyed during life. These frames can easily be made of cardboard or popsicle sticks too as they don’t need to be permanent. When you’re finished with your frame put it on display and allow everyone to marvel over the personality and image of the person you loved.

5. Grow your Own Flowers
Flowers, particularly marigolds, play a huge role in the celebration. Thus, you can spend a small fortune on flowers during this time if you start to shop around for them. Luckily, it’s not too late in the season to plant your own marigolds for the celebration. You might want to grab a plant that is already blossoming now, but you should be able to keep it thriving throughout the autumn months. You might even be able to grow the plant in an indoor planter. This should give you a fair number of flowers to make your celebration grand. It will also save you a lot of money on preparation costs. Best of all, you’ll have flowers to enjoy throughout the season.

6. Holiday Inspired Food
Like with most holidays, you can really add a touch of the celebration into the food you make. One popular design that is easy to utilize is the candy skeleton. You can bake just about everything from cookies to cakes and decorate the dish in this theme. You can even use natural food coloring to keep things healthier. Of course, some of your other options are traditional Mexican dishes or foods that your loved ones may have wanted on the table. You can have a lot of fun with these treats so try to mix things up. You might even step away from the foods you made around Halloween to ensure that you don’t end up getting tired of the dishes.

7. Host a Bash
If there aren’t any community events and no one you know is having a party, then you might want to host your own bash. This doesn’t mean you have to fork out a lot of money either. Instead, you can easily plan a party that will cost you next to nothing. You should start by inviting family members, so you can use stories and shared experiences as a form of entertainment for the crowd. To cut back even more, you should ask everyone to bring a dish to represent one of the loved ones in your life that has passed. This should keep food under control for the party. You can easily come up with playlists with songs that loved ones enjoyed, which might even encourage dancing. Another cheap option is to watch home videos to remember those that have passed. To keep kids occupied, you can print out candy skeleton color pages or have them make their own with a paper plate and other craft supplies. Before you know it, your party will have lasted long into the night without adding too much to your budget.

8. Purchase Bulk Candles
Dia De Los Muertos tends to be a holiday that requires a lot of candles. From altars to mood lighting, you’re going to want to have an abundance of these candles ready to go for your two-day celebration. So, you might consider purchasing them in bulk. More often than not, people prefer to make their own candles to save money. However, in this case it will save you a lot of time and money just to purchase tea candles in bulk. You’ll end up getting the best possible deal, especially since many of these candles will be on Halloween clearance. You can even purchase some of the spookier candles for the holiday if you want. If you have too many candles then you can always use them for the upcoming holidays, which is certain to help improve your budget for those holidays too.

9. Enjoy a Movie
If you don’t want to do a whole lot on the holiday, then you can still celebrate by staying in and enjoying a movie. There are a few movies based on the holiday, which can help you learn more about the special day. Of course, there are also many frightening films that follow the Halloween theme. Many stations should be broadcasting these movies, but if you can’t seem to find anything then you might check out your streaming channels or rent online. There are even a few children’s movies that will help the whole family have some fun.

10. Learn More About the Holiday
As with any holiday, knowledge can help to bring more meaning to the special occasion. If you’re new to Dia De Los Muertos then you might want to take the first day of the holiday to brush up on some of the information about it. You might be surprised by the deep history of this holiday and how it has been incorporated into more than just Mexican culture. Knowing about the holiday might help you to celebrate it too. There are lots of great books on the special occasion, but you can also browse around online for videos, articles and other information on the holiday.

Dia De Los Muertos has been growing in popularity over the years, so it might soon become a part of the typical November celebrations. These simple and frugal tips can help save big time on your holiday fun, so you can have a blast while celebrating those that you love.

Ten Ways to Put Your Abundance of Pumpkins to Good Use

If you haven’t already noticed, pumpkin season is in full swing. If you have the pumpkin fever, especially when it comes to decorating, then you might be wondering what on Earth you can do with all of the pumpkins you’ve acquired. Perhaps you are simply trying to figure out how many pumpkins you can actually afford to have in the home, or you don’t want any of your produce to go to waste. No matter what, these tips will ensure you get your money’s worth out of your pumpkin collection, which will make the season even sweeter. So, don’t fret about your love of pumpkins this season, because you’re certain to worry less about money when you follow these resourceful tips.

1. Décor
Pumpkins as décor have been trending for quite a few years now. You can do a whole lot with pumpkins too, so let your imagination run wild. If you want to keep your pumpkins on display for a while then try to create non-invasive décor. Generally, just placing pumpkins out on display will allow you to keep your décor looking great for some time. However, you might also want to consider painting your pumpkins. This will ensure the pumpkin maintains freshness inside, while still allowing you to decorate. Of course, the most traditional design is the Jack-O-Lantern. This design actually does allow you to use bits of the pumpkin too. However, you should make sure you don’t carve your Jack-O-Lantern too early as it may decay before the holiday is over. There are also methods you can take to help preserve your pumpkin longer.

2. Lattes
If you find yourself spending a small fortune at your local coffee shop during pumpkin season, then you might want to take matters into your own hands. You can easily make your own pumpkin spice lattes using items you can easily get at the grocery store during this season. One of the best things you can do is grab a few pumpkins and cook them up in your crock pot. This requires minimal effort on your end too. All you need to do is add some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg and let the pumpkin do the rest of the work. Once it is cooked, add the pumpkin to some espresso and milk for a tasty treat. There’s lots of great recipes online to help you portion out the treat. Once your latte is created, store the rest of your pumpkin mixture in the refrigerator or freezer.

3. Seeds
Seeds are some of the most nutritious snacks that you can indulge in. Thus, your pumpkins are going to be able to give you a large amount of snacks that you can use for months to come. Most people prefer to bake pumpkin seeds when creating snacks. You can add sweet or savory spices to them too, which will amp up the flavor. These treats can be eaten on their own or mixed into a trail mix to maximize their nutrition. Of course, if seeds aren’t your thing then you might consider just planting your seeds during the appropriate months. This will allow you to grow more pumpkins, which can help you save quite a bit of money when next season comes along.

4. Facial Masks
One of the least popular options for pumpkins are skin products. However, you might be surprised by how many nutrients pumpkins can provide for your skin. On top of that, the delicious smell will help you feel festive and relaxed while you work on your beauty. If skin products are right up your alley, then you might want to begin looking up recipes to see what other products you need to create this mixture. More often than not, you’ll find many of the items in your cupboard or on sale at the grocery store. These mixtures can be stored for some time too, so you should be able to enjoy pumpkin creams for longer than you expect. Of course, you should make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients in your recipe before officially using it, as you might not enjoy fighting an allergic reaction on the face when the weather is so dry.

5. Baked Goods
Pumpkins and autumn go together just as well as autumn and baking do, so why not combine your love of both into one amazing hobby. You can make all sorts of things out of pumpkins too, so you won’t grow tired of baking with this delightful gourd. One of the more common items to make is pumpkin pie, which is always a hit at Thanksgiving. You might even consider making serval pies at once and then freezing them until the holiday arrives. You don’t have to stick with the classics though. Rather, you can try making pumpkin cookies, cakes, breads and even pastries. You’re certain to have a blast working on your recipes too. All of the baking will help warm up the home too, which will cut back on heating while adding coziness to the overall environment.

6. Savory Dishes
Baking sweets isn’t your only option when it comes to pumpkin. As a matter of fact, there are so many savory dishes that you could probably try something new every day of the fall season. One of the more popular options is making soup out of the gourd. This can be done in so many different ways, so have some fun with your pumpkin. You can also try making dishes like ravioli or pasta with a pumpkin sauce. These tend to be hits with children too, so you can hit a homerun when you experiment with your meal plan. Meals like stews, roasted meats and more can even be incorporated to your pumpkin meal plan, so hop online and see which recipes strike your fancy.

7. Chips
Snacking can get a bit boring if you choose the same snacks over and over again. So, this season you might want to consider whipping up a seasonal dish that will make the whole family happy. Pumpkin chips are a breeze to make and offer so many nutrients that your family will feel amazing while the snack in on the table. All you have to do for this dish is cut the skin off of the pumpkin then bake them to perfection. You can also utilize your air fryer for this dish. Your pumpkin chips don’t have to be bland either. You can coat them in sweet or savory flavors to keep your family satisfied with the snack for months to come.

8. Puree
If you’re not entirely sure what you would like to do with your pumpkins, but you also don’t want them to go to waste then there is a great option to help you out. You can easily whip up a pumpkin puree. Puree can be used in a wide assortment of dishes. In fact, you can use it to make jams, baked goods and even savory dishes. Best of all, you are able to can your puree and have it available whenever you need or want it for years to come. Puree is incredibly simple to make too. You can even make it in the crockpot if you don’t have the time to spend on it. This should allow you to make the most of your pumpkins while also satisfying your pumpkin cravings no matter the season.

9. Catapult
When it comes down to it, you can always have a little fun with your pumpkins. This activity is certain to brighten the whole family’s day, which is something to celebrate in itself. All you need is to construct your own catapult. You can do this in many different ways, so you can always try out a few cheap methods to see which way works best. You can also form a competition to see who can build the best catapult. This is a great time to help the children learn some engineering skills. To save more money on this, you might try to use recyclables wherever you can while constructing. Once you have the catapults ready to go, make sure you find a place that has wide open spaces for launching your old pumpkins. You can take turns or compete to see who can send a pumpkin flying the furthest.

10. Gardening
Another great way to use up your old pumpkins is when gardening. One of the coolest ideas is to use a pumpkin as a floral pot. This will add more nutrients to the soil and will help keep your autumn décor doing strong for quite some time. You can plant the pumpkin in the ground complete with flowers when it begins to decay too much. The leftover pumpkin will fertilize the plant with ease. You can also place your pumpkins in your compost, so you can use it as fertilizer later on in the year. Of course, as mentioned before, you can always use the seeds from your pumpkins to grow new pumpkins when planting season returns.

Pumpkin season can be one of the best periods of time for fans of this amazing gourd. However, if you spend too much money on pumpkins for the home, you might end up worrying how to get more out of your purchase. These ten ideas should make your pumpkin experience even more enjoyable while teaching you a few tricks on avoiding waste.

Frugal Fun to Make Frankenstein Friday a Frightful Treat

If you’re looking for way to extend the Spooktacular fun you’re having in October then Frankenstein Friday. is a great way to do so. This amazing holiday is designed to celebrate the publication of the novel that started it all, which is bound to make your love of this iconic monster even stronger. Best of all, this amazing celebration doesn’t have to cut into your entertainment or Halloween budget. So, get ready to rock out like your favorite monster, because these tips will make Frankenstein Friday on October 26, your favorite holiday this month.

1. Read the Book
Hands down, one of the best ways to celebrate this special day is to read a copy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It’s actually a short read for most people, so you can make the most out of the holiday even if you spend a few hours on the book. If you aren’t interested in the original book, then there are bound to be retellings that strike your fancy. Your local library should have a wealth of knowledge on the subject and might even be able to pull a few books for you. On top of that, there are many kids’ stories that will inspire your kids to love this monster. Some libraries might even host story time based around Frankenstein’s monster. Of course, if you’re not into reading for hours then you might be able to find a few short stories that still allow you to enjoy Frankenstein and his monster on this special day.

2. Watch the Movie
Another timeless way to enjoy this holiday is to put on your favorite Frankenstein movie. You might want to start from the very beginning and work your way up through the more recent remakes and spin offs about the scientist and his monster. You might also find some interesting TV shows that strike your fancy. If you’re looking to save money, then you might want to do some research to see which of these movies can be streamed for free. Sometimes, you can find free access to the original film. Many cinemas might even do a showing of one of these movies, which can be a cheap and fun opportunity. If you can’t find any of the movies streaming on your current services, then you might consider renting online or from a kiosk. Your local library might also have a copy of the movie to check out, if you act fast.

3. Dress Up
If you really want to make the holiday a lot of fun, then try dressing up as Frankenstein or his monster. A Frankenstein costume should be fairly simple. All you need is something that will work as a lab coat and some hair product to give you a bit of blown-away appearance. Frankenstein’s monster might be a bit harder to work with, but if you have recyclables around the house then you should be good to go. You can make your own neck bolts out of simple items found around the house. You can also make your own face paint to give you the classic green look you’ve grown to love. With a few weathered clothes and some clunky boots, you’ll be set to complete your style. You can even step outside of the box and create a bride for the monster, if you prefer a more feminine look.

4. Create Your Own Monster
This timeless classic used science to create a lifeform that the world had never seen before. So, a fun way to celebrate the special day might be to create a monster of your own. This is a great family project that many kids will love taking part in. You can use a wide variety of materials to make your monster too. For instance, you can work with clay or playdough, sketching, painting, paper mache and so on. You can even quilt your monster if you’re working on improving your sewing skills. While coming up with your monster’s appearance, you should also create a backstory for the creature. Then, share the story and the monster with everyone you know. This project might become so fun that kids will ask to repeat it every year.

5. Crafts
There are so many crafts that can be made on this special day that you might not know where to begin. You might want to work on a toilet paper roll monsters, which only requires recyclable items and some paint. This craft can be used for a wide variety of things too, like a napkin holder or pencil holder. You might also consider making masks of Frankenstein’s monster out of used paper grocery bags or some paper plates and recycled popsicle sticks. For younger children, coloring pages are always a simple option and are incredibly easy to find online for free. If you’re at a loss as to what to do, then browse around online and you’re certain to find some great crafts to help you celebrate.

6. Frakentreats
Is it really a holiday if there aren’t treats to make it even greater? Luckily, there are so many treats that you can make to ensure your Frankenstein Friday is extraordinary. You can turn just about anything into a fun snack for the holiday too. For instance, you can turn rice crispy treats into fun green blocks that can be decorated with icing. You can also make cupcakes with green tops that are a lot of fun to eat. There are a lot of great recipes online too, which can easily satisfy a wide assortment of appetites too. You might even be able to find some savory treats that will work great for lunches and dinners. If you want to take things a step further, then transform your kitchen into a laboratory and have the kids help you cook.

7. Decorate for Halloween
With Halloween just a few days after this holiday, you might want to take the day to set up your own Halloween décor. This can be a fun tradition that the whole family enjoys taking part in. You can even specialize in adding Frankenstein décor on this day to ensure you are getting the most out of your holiday. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of items to put out. You can actually DIY many décor items. For instance, you might wrap your front door in wrapping paper then transform it into a monster. You can also buy bulk spiderwebs for easy décor in a hurry. Of course, you can always incorporate some of the cool Frankenstein crafts that you made too, which will make your home look cooler than ever. If you dressed up for the holiday, then put on a show to help improve the décor for all of your neighbors.

8. Invent a Dance
Frankenstein’s monster is known for his bulky movements that have already been mimicked and made into dances. So, for this special day, you might want to come up with your own special Frankenstein’s monster dance. You can find music to dance to on most streaming services, which will help keep this activity free. Once you’ve got your moves down, show them to your family and friends. You can even host a competition to see which person’s dance has the best feedback or is the most fun. If you really want to take it to a new level, record yourself dancing and share it with the world. You never know, you could always go viral on this special holiday.

9. Frankenstein Games
If you’re pretty busy on Frankenstein Friday, then you can always unwind by playing some Frankenstein inspired games. Just about any game can be transformed into a Frankenstein game, so your creativity is your limit here. You can pin the bolts on the monster, do monster charades and even play monster trivia. You can even look up trivia questions online that are adult and kid friendly. You might also consider downloading Frankenstein word searches, puzzles and more. You’re certain to have fun with these games, which will allow you to unwind while celebrating the monster.

10. Search For Deeper Meaning
Like most literature, Frankenstein is filled with a deeper meaning that might teach you more about the world you live in. There are lots of social commentary surrounding this book, as well as some insights into the opinion of science at this time. If you’re interested in learning more about the subject, then you can do a brisk search online. There is a lot of great information on the author, the time period and literary clues that will help you understand more about Frankenstein and his monster. Learning to read between the lines can improve your critical thinking skills, which will also help you in other aspects of life. It can also help you learn what needs to be done to create a better world.

Frankenstein Friday can be a great way to have some fun with your family without having to spend any money. These ten ideas should help you plan out a day that is fun and exciting for all. Before you know it, this amazing holiday might be your favorite way to kick off the spooky season.

2018 Trendy Autumn Decor That Will Spice Up the Home Without Ruining Your Budget

With autumn finally here, you might be champing at the bit to get your autumn décor put up, so everyone can enjoy it. If you’re looking to spice up your home to suit this year’s trends, then you’re certainly in luck. There are a lot of frugal décor trends this year and many can be made for next to nothing. This should help you make the most out of your seasonal décor, so you can truly feel the warmth of the season. So, get out your hot glue gun and paint collection, because this season is gonging to be a lot of fun when it comes to decorating.

1. Artificial Gourds
One of this year’s hottest trends is gourds. From pumpkins to squash, decorating with colorful gourds is certain to make a bold impression in your home. You can take these decorations a lot further by purchasing artificial gourds instead of placing out fresh items. This can actually save you a lot of money as real gourds are obviously going to expire at some point. So, unless you plan on cooking your décor, you’re simply throwing away money by placing out the real thing. Pumpkins are a popular option for this décor option too. An artificial pumpkin can be used year after year, which is perfect for those that don’t want to lose an amazing design. These pumpkins can actually be carved into for a traditional look but can also be painted to add a more modern style to the home. Best of all, you can always repaint the artificial pumpkin if the design isn’t trendy or appealing in the upcoming years.

2. Wreaths
Over the past few years, wreaths have been a huge holiday décor trend. It doesn’t matter what holiday, there seems to be huge wreaths to help celebrate the big occasion. Luckily, wreaths are actually very inexpensive to make, so you can create all sorts of designs to show the world you’re excited for the season. During this season, one of the major trends is to make wreaths out of dry wheat and other seasonal produce. You can purchase faux items at most hobby shops, to ensure your wreath can be stored and used again next year. In order to save money, you might start shopping clearance now, so you can purchase the ribbon you’ll need to make your wreaths. It might mean waiting to present your newest creation a full year, but it will certainly save you some major money. You might also consider selling some of your wreaths to make extra money for the holidays or more crafts.

3. Embrace Fire Wood
One of the largest trends this year is actually using firewood to decorate the interior or exterior of the home. These days, not as many people have working fireplaces. However, this doesn’t seem to have stopped the firewood trend from emerging. In many décor magazines, you will see firewood artfully placed in the home to add a rustic appeal to the room. Some designers are even purchasing fake wood, so they don’t have to worry about the natural breakdown of the wood. Often, the wood décor is placed in fireplaces to give the illusion of warmth in the home. Placing wood outside is also trending this year. The wood can be stacked in many ways to give your home a unique and country feel. You can also use your wood décor to improve on your Halloween decorations. Of course, you should also keep fire safety in mind when using wood as décor.

4. Repurpose Fire Place
Your fireplace doesn’t have to be used for fires at all. If you have a fireplace in your home, then feel free to get creative with it. This is especially true is you’ve blocked off the fireplace because it is old and inefficient. One simple way to decorate this area is to place pumpkins and other seasonal items inside of it. This creates a tidy decorative area that everyone will love. You can also place decorative storage containers in the fireplace with blankets and pillows to keep you warm during the cold season. Of course, if you really want to create warmth and comfort, then you might place some of your favorite books in the fireplace, as it will make the perfect place to display your love of reading.

5. Add Blankets
The interior of your home is one of the easiest places to decorate for next to nothing. In fact, one of the biggest trends this year is blankets. You can add a blanket to every chair for a cozy look that will have your guests wanting to stay for hours. One of the more popular items this season is plaid blankets, which can be purchased at a reasonable price. Best of all, this pattern comes in many colors and can be paired with just about anything. You might also consider making holiday and seasonal inspired blankets. Generally, patterns for these can be found at most hobby shops. Crocheted blankets also add a quaint and warming touch to the room. To add even more comfort, make sure you spray your blankets with deodorizer to help keep the room smelling fresh day in and day out.

6. Pinecone Art
Pinecones tend to be in abundance during the autumn months. Whether you’re collecting them outside or purchasing them from a craft store, you should be able to make these cheap items into amazing décor during the season. One of the easiest ways to bring on the charm of pinecones is to simply place them in a bowl and put them on display. You will be surprised by how far this can take your décor. To add a bit more fun, add glitter to the pinecones or simply paint them metallic colors. Another major pinecone trend this year is transforming the items into cute animals. From owls and foxes to Halloween inspired creatures, this craft will take your décor far. Best of all, kids will love making their favorite animals and creatures. You can also make your pinecones into a classic wreath. Finally, soak your pinecones in essential oils or potpourri and enjoy a delightful scent all season.

7. Garland
When we typically think of garland, the old school holiday tree garland that comes in vibrant colors comes to mind. However, garland has come so far over the past few years. In fact, trendy garland is often made of colorful ribbons that will truly brighten up a room. Of course, you can give your garland a simplistic appearance by making it out of paper leaves or the classic popcorn and cranberry mixture. You can hang your garland above doors, on your mantle or even on the edges of your table. This is certain to add fun to your home and is also a great craft to make with the whole family.

8. Pillow Covers
If you want to decorate the interior of your home on the cheap, then your decorative pillows are the first place to start. You can easily transition your home to suit the season with simple pillow covers. So, stop shopping for decorative pillows which can be pricey and instead just add a cover to the pillows you already own. You can buy pillow covers, especially seasonal varieties, for very cheap. Of course, you can also make your own. To do this, simply purchase a solid colored cover, or sew your own. Then print out a design on an iron transfer and get to work. You can also use embroidery here. These items are also very easy to store and take up very little space.

9. DIY Candles
Candles can be one of the biggest trends for every season and never seem to go out of style. Best of all, they make your home smell amazing, in most cases anyway. One of the best ways to save money on candles is to make your own at home. You can purchase kits or follow simple tutorials online. Before you know it, you’ll be whipping out an abundance of candles to try out. Once you master making the scented wax and setting the wick, you’ll be able to work on the exterior of the candle. You can make all sorts of designs using a wide variety of crafts. For instance, you can simply paint your designs, use decoupage, or even sculpt your candles. No matter what you choose, you’re bound to have a blast while making your home look amazing.

10. Keep It Fresh
Of course, one of the easiest and cheapest ways to decorate is to put your grocery list to work. Instead of keeping your produce stored away, you should proudly display it. The gorgeous red apples and unique gourds are certain to make guests feel right at home. You can also use corn, wheat and other seasonal products to create a sense of abundance and comfort to the home. Decorating with these items can be fun too. You can keep things simple by placing them in a bowl or intricate by adding your items to a special spread.

Decorating for the autumn months can be one of the easiest and cheapest things to do. These ten tips will help you keep up with trends while allowing you to show off your creativity. Before you know it, your home will look and smell amazing while your budget is still flourishing. So, make sure to have fun as you decorate this season.

Frugal Fun to Improve Your Columbus Day and Leif Erikson Day Celebrations

It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Columbus Day, Leif Erikson Day or both, as you’re probably still on the look out for fun ways to enjoy these special days without spending a small fortune. Luckily, these amazing holidays have a lot to offer anyone willing to do a little looking around. You can easily take this time frame and embrace the explorer within yourself. These tips will help you find adventure and fun around every corner, without forcing you to foot the bill for such an expedition. So, get your explorer hats on and have some fun as these two holidays will help you learn more about the country, yourself and your sense of adventure, even if you’re on a tight budget.

1. Be adventurous
Both Christopher Columbus and Leif Erikson were explorers, so while you’re celebrating their honorary days, you might want to become an explorer yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to purchase airline tickets to a foreign country or even hop in your car for an across the country road trip. Instead, you might want to consider exploring your own town or city. Go to an area you rarely ever visit and see what it has to offer. You might be surprised by how much certain things have changed since the last time you were there. You can also spend some time exploring a park in your area. To spice things up, come up with a scavenger hunt to keep everything fresh and exciting, especially for children. You might also consider hiking a new trail or even trying out a new park. If you do plan on traveling for the holiday then use a map instead of your GPS or take it to a new level and use a compass.

2. DIY Helmet
Whether you have kids or not, making a helmet can be a great way to have some fun during both of these holidays. On Christopher Columbus Day, you’re going to be working with more of a Spaniard helmet, which can easily be made of newspaper and feather. However, you have a bit more versatility to work with on Leif Erikson Day. This day offers a wide assortment of Viking options, which can be a lot of fun to work with. There’re many tutorials online for these helmets, so you can even make a few if you’re up for the challenge. If you have a lot of time to spare, then you can even consider making a helmet with a beard by crocheting. No matter what you choose, have some fun with it. You can even parade around the home in your new creations.

3. Recreate Cultural Meal
Food can really help you to embrace the culture of a holiday while also adding fun to your experience. Luckily, these two holidays actually give you a wide assortment of options to choose from. For Christopher Columbus Day you can choose between Spanish or Italian cuisine. Spanish meals will help celebrate the country that sent Columbus on his mission. One of the most common dishes in Spain is paella, which is simple to make and can be customized to suit your family’s individual tastes. Columbus himself was Italian though, so a nice Italian meal should be fun too. You have a wide variety of pasta dishes to choose from here if you’re on a tight budget or need something easy to whip up. Finally, if you’re celebrating Leif Erikson Day then you might want to look into some Viking recipes. These meals might not be as traditional as you would normally pick. In fact, you will have to keep things simple with meat, bread, vegetables and dried fruit with honey. You can even try your hand at making your own mead for this celebration.

4. Community Event
Community events are fairly common for Christopher Columbus, but the events might depend on which area of the country you reside. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you might find that Leif Erikson community events are more common. No matter where you live, you should try to find an event to help your family celebrate the holiday. This will allow you to learn more about the holiday you are celebrating, as well as the person behind it. Plus, it will bring you closer to your community, which is a very valuable thing to embrace during such holidays.

5. Study History
One of the best ways to showcase this holiday is to learn more about it. There is certainly a lot more to Christopher Columbus Day than him discovering America. As a matter of fact, this claim is widely disputed by so many today. Columbus Day was also created to help boost relationships with Italian Americans during a particularly tough time. Leif Erikson Day is often celebrated by those that have Viking ancestry because they believe this brave explorer was the original person that discovered America. No matter what you believe, knowing the history of the two men will help you learn more about the country you live in, which is always important. You might also want to spend some time learning about Native American history during this time, particularly when it comes to the tribes that might have interacted with the two men.

6. DIY Boat
If you’re looking for a family friendly and inexpensive activity, then you might want to consider building your own boats. You can work with a wide variety of styles here, as both Viking and European boats will help celebrate the holidays. There are lots of models for sell as well as tutorials on how to make these boats. However, if you want to cut expenditures substantially then you can always make your boat out of recyclables. See what you have around the house and then let the family create their own boat. You can always compete to see which boat floats the best and which is the fastest. In fact, you might find this activity will keep the family busy all day long, which will make your holiday even more memorable.

7. Celebrate Native American Culture
One major aspect of both of these holidays is the Native Americans they interacted with. These tribes were here for quite some time prior to explorers. Thus, knowing more about Native American culture and history is crucial to celebrating these holidays. Native American culture and their overall future on the continent were changed exponentially due to the explorers that navigated to their lands. In many cases, the Native Americans actually came to the aid of the explorers. Their lack of hostility also allowed the explorers to return home to share the news of their discoveries. So, no matter how you feel about the explorers and their special holidays, celebrating the Native Americans that lived here first is always a good way to improve on the holidays.

8. Enjoy Sales
Columbus Day tends to be a three day weekend for many people, which in the retail world is a great opportunity to show off some sales. You should find everything from vehicles to mattresses on sale, so shop around to see if you can score some major deals before the holiday season. You probably won’t see another holiday sale until Black Friday arrives, which will signal the beginning of the holiday rush. So, prepping for the holidays now or simply getting the things you need for your household at a discounted price is certain to make your budget a lot happier. Many restaurants will also offer deals too, so you might be able to grab a bite to eat or a drink at your favorite venues for a lot less than you’d normally pay.

9. Host a Get
A three-day weekend is also a great time to have a get-together. Autumn can be a very busy time for the whole family, so this might be your last excuse to get everyone you love together before the holidays begin. So, try to have a little fun if you can. You can whip up decorations for these holidays with ease too. One of the best options is to simply stick with autumn décor to supplement the items you have to decorate for this holiday. If you don’t have any décor then consider printing out maps or hanging up those you already have. You can also make a board that shows where you’ve traveled. To add more fun, you can purchase different markers to allow your guests to showcase their adventures too. When it comes to food, you can whip up appetizers for cheap or invite your guests to bring their own favorite dishes for a potluck celebration. You can even ask to keep the meals themed for the holiday. As far as entertainment is concerned, you can give almost any game a holiday theme. You might also consider making up a scavenger hunt.

10. Stay Home
Often, many people like to travel during Columbus Day due to the three-day weekend. However, if you’re on a budget, your best option might be to stay home. This will allow you to save money but will also give you a chance to relax and rest before the busy season is in full swing. This holiday is a great time to put your feet up and catch up on documentaries on the holiday, which should be playing on TV or streaming on your favorite services. You can also catch up on work around the house to ensure you’ll have an easier week when you do go back to work. Your three-day weekend is entirely up to you though, so use it wisely to ensure you feel brave enough to explore your world when your break is up.

Although these holidays are considered to be quite minor, you might be surprised by the many ways you can enjoy them. These simple tips will help you find your perfect way to celebrate and learn during these holidays, which might give you even more reason to rejoice.

Quick Ways To Get Your Pet Through the Cold Seasons

With autumn finally here, you’re probably rejoicing about the break from the heat. However, before you know it, the rain and snow will be heading to your front door. This can be a pain in the neck to deal with, but it can also become a major burden for animals. It might even cause them to become ill if you’re not properly prepared to handle the situation. Luckily, there’s a lot of things you can do to prevent the wet and cold weather from causing your pet to feel uncomfortable. So, check out these ten tips before the autumn weather takes over your life.

1. Set out weather mats
One of the best things you can do for the entire family is set out weather mats in front of doors that lead to the exterior of your home. These mats come at a fair price too, so you won’t have to alter your budget in order to get one. The mats are actually designed a little thicker than other mats and won’t budge when applied to the ground. This will help prevent people from slipping as they walk into the home with wet shoes. It is important to have one of these mats in front of your pet’s doggie door too. This can help pets securely come into the home when it is wet out. It might also prevent your dog from dragging in lots of mud and leaves too, which will save you a whole lot of clean up.

2. Weatherproof Pet Door
Unfortunately, pet doors aren’t always water proof. This can cause a huge mess when it comes to extremely rainy days, flooding or even a snow storm. Worst of all, if your pet door is leaking then you are going to have more problems than the water that has entered your home. This usually means that the warm air you have pumping inside of the home is probably leaking out. On top of that, the cold air is probably also coming in, which is going to cost you a lot more in heating. Your pet might also feel discouraged to use the door with so much water around it. Weatherproofing the door is fairly simple though. You’ll just need some weather stripping that you would typically use around your own doors and windows. This can be applied with ease and should keep the great outdoors where it belongs. If you’re worried about aesthetics, then you can paint a wooden door with a weatherproofing formula. You might also consider adding a lock to keep debris out on windy days and your pet in during extreme weather. Of course, there are modern doors that include all of this, so if you don’t want to go to the extra effort they aren’t incredibly pricey to purchase and install.

3. Create Outdoor Space
For many animals, particularly dogs, outdoor space is very important. Even if your pet is only going out to take care of business, you should have a special outdoor space to help out during the wet months. To begin with, you might consider placing a tarp over a section of the yard, so your pet can use the restroom without getting drenched. This will help you clean up easier too and might even help to prevent accents that happen in the home. If you can’t keep your pet indoors during this season, then you might make sure they have an efficient dog house. Try creating a mini home with an entrance flap to keep rain out. You should also have a covered area for water. Inside the dog house, place old bedding to keep your pet warm when they are too stubborn to come in. Another great idea is to create a safe space for strays. You can use an old kennel or wooden box for this. Simply place newspaper inside of it to keep the animal warm. You might also have a bowl of water that is changed frequently, but do not put out food.

4. Consider Cat Trees
It doesn’t matter if your cat stays indoors or likes to venture outdoors, a cat tree is one of the best investments you can make. These trees are designed to not only give your pet a place to sleep and play, but it also helps them to get out their desire to scratch. This can truly help save your furniture, shoes and more from becoming damaged due to your cats’ claws. This will save you an abundance of money in the long run. You might consider bringing in more than one cat tree, especially if you have multiple cats. This will help cats get out pent up energy and will make the cold and wet months a lot more harmonious inside. You can even make your own cat trees from items found outdoors or at your local home improvement store.

5. Use Warm Towels
One problem many animals face in the winter is dry skin. Like us, the air is much drier in the winter which can cause a lot of discomfort. One of the best things you can do for your pet is to not shave them during this time. The longer fur will allow them to maintain moisture. However, if your pet has naturally short fur or seems to be drier than normal then there is a great solution. A damp and warm towel can help bring moisture back to your pet’s skin. This is also a great way to help warm up your pet after spending some time outdoors. The towel will bring comfort to the animal while improving overall health of the skin. This should help you avoid having to purchase sprays for the skin or ointments for sores caused by itching.

6. Invest in Clothing
Often, pet clothes are seen as a bit extravagant, so many people don’t purchase them. However, you might be surprised by how much they can help your pet during the harsh cold or wet weather. One of the most important things to have for your pets is booties. These can be purchased for specific weather use or all-weather use. These booties will help prevent frost bite, slipping and blistering. Another great item to have is a dog coat, which are especially great for pets with short hair and those that are very small. You can also use your old clothes to help keep your pet nice and warm during the winter months. There are also dog ponchos for your pet, which are perfect for avoiding the wet dog scent, as well as for times when you don’t have the opportunity to dry off your pet after a walk.

7. Extra Bedding
Even if the weather isn’t cold, your pet will still need a little extra warmth even when it is rainy out. So, you might want to look into pet beds to see if you can find a great place for your pet to snuggle up after a trip outdoors or during drafty nights. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your pet bed though. In fact, you can make your own out of old clothing or bedding. You can also set out old bedding for your pet to use to stay warm. Blankets might also prevent pets from fighting over who gets which bed, which will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

8. Monitor Diet
During the cold and wet months, pets tend to be less active. This is largely because they can’t go outdoors as often. However, some animals naturally spend more time sleeping when its cold. This might cause your pet to gain some weight, which might cause health problems in the future. Thus, it is important to monitor your pet’s diet during these months. If your pet seems to be gaining weight or eating out of boredom, then adjust the amount of food you put out. You might try to make feedings a bit more fun for cats by placing small amounts of food in different places throughout the home. This will give your pet the illusion of hunting and will force them to move in order to eat. If your pet is going outdoors frequently then feeding a bit more might be in order. This will help give your pet a bit more warmth until the warmer weather returns.

9. Be Attentive
One of the best things you can do for your pets no matter the season is to be attentive. If your pet is acting funny or out of character, then monitor them closely or take them to the vet to rule out a problem. The cold months are particularly important though because animals can get frost bite easily. Make sure to check paws, ears and snouts when your pet comes inside. You should also monitor behaviors to make sure your pet isn’t developing symptoms of a cold or other illness. Animals can pick up some of the illnesses that we get, so be especially attentive if sickness is in the home. Young and old pets should be monitored more as they are more susceptible to such problems.

10. Expect the Unexpected
Sometimes, autumn brings some extreme weather that we might not have thought would happen. So, it is important to be prepared to tackle an emergency at a moment’s notice. One of the first things to consider is where your pets will be safe during an emergency. If you have a safe place in your home, then set out ready to go kennels, so it is easier to make sure everyone is in the proper place when an emergency strikes. If not, keep kennels in an easy to grab place so you can go to the shelter in a hurry with your pets in tow. If your area is close to the beach or you often face flooding, then set up a kiddie pool in your garage. You can place sod in the pool so that your dogs can relieve themselves when the weather doesn’t allow for them to go outside. You should also make sure to have emergency pet food and water on hand, as well as any medications your pet might be taking. This should help make the unforeseen a little less stressful.

Your pet is a part of the family, so making sure the weather doesn’t cause stress or illness is important. These ten tips should help you keep the seasonal weather at bay, so the animals in your home can feel just as cozy as you do. Best of all, these tips won’t leave you burdened with expenses to pay off.