Archive for November 29, 2018

Fun Activities That Will Make Hanukkah Even More Amazing

Hanukkah is just a few days away, so it might be time to start planning out all of the fun you’re going to have. When it comes to Hanukkah, choosing activities that will entertain the entire family while encouraging bonding can be tough, especially if you are working with a lot of different age groups. However, there are many things you can do together as a family that will help keep everyone excited about the holiday, while also saving you money. So, don’t spare another moment, because planning out your Hanukkah celebration will be easier than ever when you take these ten tips into account.

1. Share the story of Hanukkah
The story of Hanukkah is very important, and most people know it. However, this shouldn’t stop you from telling the story every single year. To keep the story alive on the holiday is to help pass the message down from generation to generation. You can always spice up the story every year too. For instance, you can tell the story from memory to children using fun voices and sound effects. This makes for a great bedtime story but can also keep children occupied before a meal begins. Another option is to choose a variety of books to read to children. Books that are lengthier and require more thought can be passed on to older children and teens so that they can analyze and understand more about the holiday and their religion. If you want to keep children busy, then have them recreate the story. They can come up with their own play or transform the story into an illustrated book to share with everyone. You don’t have to keep the story to your family gathering either. In fact, many of your colleagues, friends and acquaintances might be curious to hear the story too.

2. Enjoy Family Recipes
Hanukkah is the perfect time to get together with the whole family and work on some of the recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Kids don’t have to be left out of the cooking process either. In fact, most children will love taking part in the activity and helping to feed everyone that attends your holiday gatherings. While you’re looking through a recipe, make sure to share stories based around the person you learned the recipe from or specific memories surrounding the recipe. You might also consider coming up with a new recipe with your children. This will give them something they can be proud to serve to guests and eventually share with their own children and grandchildren.

3. Make Miracles Happen
Part of Hanukkah is embracing all of those miracles that make life even more enjoyable and, in a sense, magical. Miracles don’t have to be spontaneous and mysterious though. Rather, you can help make a miracle happen for someone fairly easily. One easy way to do this is to visit a nursing home or hospital. Sometimes, people will have an item that they would love to have, while others simply want someone to sit and talk with. Bringing flowers or a handmade craft can also help lift the spirits of someone. You might also listen to the people you love and come up with ideas to make their lives better. Another option is to make blessing bags to pass out to the homeless. These bags can be filled with water bottles, granola bars, hot hands and anything else you think will make life easier.

4. Make Gifts Together
Giving gifts to loved ones can be a great part of Hanukkah. However, if you’re on a tight budget then you might want to consider making gifts for some of the people in your life. This can be a great bonding experience for the entire family though and will help show your children that the love put into a gift is the perfect way to share cheer. There are so many things you can make with your kids too. For instance, you might consider making greeting cards to offer a warm holiday to those you may not be very close with. Picture frames, holiday décor, picture albums, crocheted goods and other crafts are other great options that kids will enjoy making. You will be surprised how far your gifts go and how much they teach your children.

5. Create a Menorah
The menorah plays an important role in the holiday, which is why kids will love making a menorah of their own to help celebrate the holiday. You can make a menorah out of so many items, so you might see what your children come up with. One great option that is actually quite durable is a LEGO menorah. This might take quite a bit of time to make, but it will help everyone have some fun while making an unforgettable memory and decorative item that can be used year after year. Of course, if you’re just looking for a craft project then you might consider using recyclable items like paper towel rolls, cardboard, Styrofoam and so on to make the menorah. Younger children can simply color a paper menorah, which can be glued to a cereal box or other item used to stand the image up to add to the décor.

6. Decorate Cookies
You don’t have to just stick with the classic holiday treats during Hanukkah. Instead, you might want to spend some time baking cookies with your kids. The cookies can be made in all shapes and sizes, including Hanukkah symbols if you have cookie cutters to help create these items. You can also decorate your cookies with Hanukkah symbols and colors to add to the fun. The cookies can be passed out to friends or family, or you can let the kids have a sugar party to help them enjoy the festivities all the more. No matter what you choose, you’ll be set for some fun that will bond the family. You might even make cookies a tradition to look forward to.

7. Play the Dreidel Game
The dreidel game is a popular Hanukkah activity for kids. However, you don’t have to let the kids have all of the fun. Instead, sit down and spin the dreidel with them. You can open up this activity as a great time to chat about your childhood experiences with the game. Kids might find even more meaning when you share with them the story of the dreidel and how loved ones have played it for so long. You might even have the kids create their own dreidel out of paper to help add to the game. You’ll love feeling nostalgic while you play, and the kids will love having the chance to win against their parents.

8. Add Cheer to the Home
Decorating can be a great way to get everyone in the mood for the holiday. However, often kids end up on the sidelines when it comes to decorating. Instead of leaving them out, give them jobs to help them feel as if they were a part of the activity. For instance, older children can help hang up décor or place items on the table to improve on the ambiance of the room. You can also have kids create some décor to add to the home. Coloring pictures is one of the easiest options for younger children. These items can be hung on the walls to help make your home look festive. Playing holiday inspired music can also help bring cheer to the occasion. There are so many streaming playlists available that you won’t have to pay a cent for music if you don’t currently own any.

9. Look Through Photo Albums
Sharing stories can be a great way to help your children enjoy the holiday and feel closer to loved ones. There is no better way to share old stories than to pull out the photo album to share images of loved ones from the past and present. You might concentrate on stories about miracles that have been passed down from one generation to the next. These stories help to make up your own story, which makes them important to pass down, especially during this holiday. Children will gain a better understanding of where they come from thanks to this, which will help improve familial ties.

10. Games
Without a doubt, games are one of the best ways to keep everyone busy during a holiday. There are so many traditional games you can play during Hanukkah. However, you might also consider transforming a few of your favorite games into Hanukkah inspired games. For instance, you can play trivia, charades and so much more to keep everyone busy and laughing. Younger children might appreciate match games or puzzles that are holiday themed too. Another great option is to set out playdough for toddlers and allow them to use holiday themed cookie cutters to create shapes that will excite them. There are so many game ideas online that you can choose from, which will allow you to customize the experience for your family.

Hanukkah is such a great time to celebrate with your family. These activity ideas will ensure that you make the most out of your holiday and you enjoy your time together. You’re certain to fill every moment with fun, which will help the whole family make outstanding memories that will last a lifetime.

Frugal Ways to Get Santa Photos This Holiday Season

It’s official, mall Santas have arrived as have the numerous holiday festivities that allow Santa to spend time with the good boys and girls in your community. If you’re hoping to get your child to Santa this holiday season, you might find that purchasing a picture cost a lot more than you would possibly expect or hope to spend on a tight holiday budget. There are a few tricks you can do to avoid all of the high prices, so you can get a bit more than just a Santa photo out of your experience. So, don’t shy away from Santa this year, as these tips should help you work out your budget while still allowing your children to get the holiday experience they long for.

1. Do the Math on Mall Packages
Without a doubt, many people love to flock to the mall for their Santa photos. It is one of the easiest options for busy families because the hours are convenient as is the location. You also don’t have to search around to look for a Santa event, which can be great if you decide to do your photos spur of the moment. However, the mall can really rob you blind if you’re not careful. Generally, you won’t be able to get your photo for less than $20 and this will only give you a few photos that you won’t have rights to. So, if you really want to get your money’s worth, make sure to do the math on all of the packages. Your best option is to grab a package with a digital copy, as this will allow you to make prints later. It will also allow you to share on social media with ease. Of course, you should always check out the rights of your photos before you have them printed, as each mall with have separate rules.

2. Check Out Community Events
If you live in a community that seems to go all out during the holiday season, then you might find a Santa that isn’t in the mall. Some towns love to invite Santa to participate in activities, which usually ends up with a photo opportunity for excited children. You might have to look ahead of time, but many of these events won’t charge for a photo with Santa, if you’re the person taking the photo. Some events will charge a small fee to try to pay for the event. Some of the more common events to check out are tree lightings, caroling and fundraisers. You may even have several opportunities for Santa photos, which will make this year’s holiday cards amazing.

3. Embrace Theme Parks
Theme parks often come to life with Christmas cheer during the holiday season. So, if you’re planning a family trip then you might want to make your trip the perfect occasion to grab a photo opportunity with Santa Claus. A lot of theme parks will actually have a special section for Santa, which might make the experience even more magical. Of course, this might mean long lines, so prepare yourself to spend a bit of time on this activity. Usually, parks will charge a fee for the photo, but it probably won’t add up to the same amount as popular mall Santas. You might also be able to get the picture included in your ticket price. Not all theme parks will charge though, so you might be able to get a Santa photo with the price of your admissions, which will make your trip even sweeter.

4. Private Events
The holiday season is filled with magic that many stores and companies hope to bring to their customers. You might be able to find some awesome Santa photo deals for these events. For instance, many holiday shops, bookstores and so on will have Santa opportunities. Kids might have a chance to hang out with Santa for story time, enjoy caroling with Santa and maybe even have a cookie or special meal with the man of the hour. During these events, you can usually grab a photo with Santa, which should be included in the price. Generally tickets are required for these events, but you might get more for your money if you do choose to go this route. These events might also make the experience with Santa a little less stressful for younger children that might not feel secure with Santa.

5. Portrait Studio
Portrait studios tend to cost quite a bit throughout the year, so not many people think to show up to a studio for a Santa portrait. However, you might be surprised by the low price many studios will charge during this time of the year. You might call up the local studios in your area to see if they are running holiday specials. You might also want to see if they are doing a Santa event. Many studios will offer certain dates for Santa, so you should secure your date as soon as possible to ensure your family gets a chance with Santa. More often than not, having your photo taken by professionals can help you save more money than you’d expect, and you might end up getting a photo that is of better quality.

6. Churches
Churches can also be a great place to make the most out of the holiday season. Usually, youth groups go out of their way to bring fun to the children during this time of the year. Often, churches will ask Santa to stop by for a special photo opportunity. Sometimes, the event will be open to the public, but you might not see advertisements for it. Your best option is to call around and ask different churches or check out their social media pages. If you are a member of the church, then you should be in the loop as to when the event is happening. Often, churches won’t charge for the event and if they do it is usually a small donation that they ask for. Sometimes, the events are organized around toy drives to ensure children in the community get a nice holiday.

7. Ask the School/Children’s Program
You might be surprised, but your child’s school might be a great place to get a Santa photo. Some schools will invite Santa to go from classroom to classroom, which will help you get a great photo of your child. However, sometimes schools need a little push to do this, so you might call and ask about it. Some schools are simply looking for volunteers to do this, so if you know someone you might put in a recommendation. Often, after school programs will also have a Santa opportunity for children. This includes the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club. If your child attends a program, then you should call and ask if they are doing a Christmas party or special event. Often the school and after school program won’t charge for a photo, so you should be all set. You might even call to the program or school to see when Santa will be present, so you can snap a photo too.

8. Ask A Family Member to Dress Up
If you have a large family, then your best option might be to get one of your family members to dress up as Santa Claus. The family can all put in money for a costume that can be reused year after year. However, you can also DIY a costume to save even more money. Once Santa is ready for action, everyone can get together to take a photo together and individually. If a family member has a professional camera then this will work out the best. However, phones these days are equipped with awesome cameras, so you should be able to get the most out of your photo opportunity. Your photo is also cheap to print at most department stores, so you can save big time on your holiday prints and cards.

9. Take Advantage of Memberships
Memberships can be your best friend around this time of the year. For instance, if you’ve snagged a membership to a zoo, aquarium, museum and so on then you will probably receive invitations for a special meet and greet with Santa. Your kids might also be able to enjoy free crafts and other activities thanks to your membership. This is certain to make the holidays bright. If you have a membership to the YMCA then you might also get to enjoy some Santa time at no extra cost. Country Clubs are also great about inviting members to holiday parties. Kids might even get to have a meal with Santa before taking a special photo. So, check out what all your memberships will bring to you this holiday season.

10. Ask to Photograph
A lot of the time, people assume that they can’t take their own photos when they allow their children to visit Santa. Instead of assuming, make sure to ask if you can take your own photos. This will help save you some major money if you are allowed to do so. Although you will probably be rejected in most locations, you might be surprised by how many places will give you a nod to go ahead. This might even give you the chance to work with your children to get the best possible shot.

Santa photos are a timeless part of the holiday fun. However, they seem to grow more expensive as the years pass. These tips should help you get the most out of your money, so you can spend more on other festivities. With Santa photos out of the way, you’ll be able to enjoy the season even more and the kids will rest easy knowing that Santa knows exactly what they want for the holidays.

Ten DIY Gifts That Will Be a Hit for Anyone on Your List

The gift giving season is here, which can be tough if you’re on a tight budget. Luckily, there are a ton of things you can easily make yourself that will help you check off your list with ease. These ten ideas won’t just help you save a whole lot of money on the holiday season, but they’ll also add some fun to your free time. You might be surprised by how easy it is to create the perfect gift for everyone on your list without spending a small fortune. So, this holiday season, have fun crafting and preparing the ultimate gifts for your friends, family and colleagues without going over budget.

1. Ornament
Ornaments are one of the easiest options when it comes to the holidays. You can purchase blank or even transparent ornaments in bulk, which will allow you to make gifts for a wide assortment of people. The best thing about ornaments is you can do just about anything with them. For starters, you can create crafts with the kids, which makes a great option for grandparents. Another option is to paint the ornaments. You can do everything from Harry Potter and superheroes, to traditional holiday images or simple words. Clear ornaments can be filled with pictures, clip art, glitter and more. If you want to save even more money, you can make ornaments out of items found around the home. For instance, pinecones can be transformed into cute animals or even a snowman. You can use popsicle sticks, toilet paper rolls and so much more. Another option is to make your own dough for handprints, paintings or words. These make great ornaments when dried and painted.

2. Snow Globe
Another fun craft to add to the holiday list is a snow globe. These make great collector items and can work to decorate the home during the holiday season. You can make snow globes out of a wide assortment of items too, which will give you so many options to work with. One of the cheapest options is to use mason jars for the globe. These items are especially easy to work with too. Once you have the globe aspect of your gift ready then all you need to do is figure out what you’re going to put into it. You can use classic holiday items like snowmen and Santa, or you can personalize the experience with small toys. You can also add in fake snow or add some pizzazz with glitter. Have fun with the gift though, so it’ll suit the recipient’s personality.

3. Treat in a Jar
If you’re not really sure what a person is interested in, then a treat in a jar can go really far. In fact, these gifts are especially great for colleagues. You can make all sorts of treats too, which will give you a variety of options to work with. You might consider purchasing mason jars in bulk to help with this project. Once you have your jar, look up a recipe to use. You might want to add in items for cookies, brownies or hot cocoa complete with marshmallows or peppermint. If you love baking then go ahead and bake cookies, brownies or whip up some candy for you jar. Once you’ve added in ingredients, then seal your jar and start to work on the exterior décor. You can keep it simple with a bow or go all out by turning the jar into a reindeer, Santa or snowman.

4. Body Products
Ladies on your list might enjoy some body products that have been crafted with lots of love. You can really go all out for these treats too, which will allow you to learn new crafting techniques. One of the more popular option is bath bombs. These body products are very popular on the market right now and they’re a breeze to make. You can even customize them for children with little toys inside. If you aren’t feeling the bath bombs, then homemade soup might be up your alley. You should also consider sugar scrubs as well as body balms to add to the fun. You can make a wide assortment of scents too, which should suit everyone on your list. With some fancy wrapping, your gift is bound to be a hit with anyone that receives it.

5. Customized Mug
Anyone that loves a warm beverage is bound to be excited about a customized mug. This gift offers so many options too, which will allow you to have some fun. You should consider buying mugs in bulk or on clearance if you do plan on gifting many mugs though. Once you have your mug, you can paint just about anything on it. A few ideas might be the recipients home state, favorite character, text and so on. Your coworkers might appreciate a mug that features their name, so they can use it at work. Once you’ve painted your design seal it and leave it to dry. You might also wash the mug before gifting to ensure that your hard work isn’t going to wash off. Mugs can be presented in wrapping or you can add to the gift with a hot cocoa mix, some delicious tea bags and so on.

6. DIY Scents
Helping someone make their home smell incredible is a great gift that is also fun to make. One of the most popular options to try is a candle as you can dress it up in so many fun ways. However, these days, many people are using wax warmers, so you might also consider this option. If you have ice trays that allow you to create fun shapes, then you can easily spice up your gift in this way. Another great option is to make your own potpourri. You can try so many different scents with this, which won’t cost you a small fortune. Best of all, you can create fun gifts to present your gift in.

7. Personalized Picture Frame
Photos are always a treasure, which is why a personalized picture frame is a great gift for loved ones. You can make the frame yourself out of supplies you have lying around, or you can purchase a cheap frame and add to it. If you like to keep things easy then decorating the frame to suit the holidays is pretty simple since decorative items will be on sale and in abundance. However, you can also use scrapbooking supplies that you have on hand to decorate for other holidays or personally traits. Once the frame is complete, add a picture to make the gift even more special. If you’re working on a gift for grandparents, then a Santa photo or family portrait for the holidays is always a great option.

8. Baked Goods
Hitting the kitchen is a great way to bring some cheer to those on your gift list. You might have a lot fun with this craft if you love to bake too. Of course, since it is the holidays you might want to stick with the sweet treats that everyone seems to crave. Cookies, cakes, and sweet breads are some of the best options for holiday gifts. You can easily decorate these items to suit the holiday season too, which will make the wrapping look extraordinary. However, you might also consider baking some delicious breads that can be used for meals during the season. These fresh breads are hard to come by now as most people purchase bread from stores. No matter what baked goods you choose to present, make sure to add some special love to the gift wrap in order to make your treats a home run.

9. Drink Mixers
Having a cocktail or two is a popular part of the holiday season. That is why many adults will appreciate a drink mixer for the holidays. You can make so many different drinksahead of time, which will help liven up parties in no time. If you don’t want to wrap this gift up for someone on your list, then you might consider presenting it as a hostess gift during the holiday season. There are many mixer recipes online, so you can choose from a wide assortment to suit different people. You might also consider reusing your old wine bottles for the gift. You can easily clean up bottles to look festive and beautiful with your mixer stored inside.

10. Customized Office Set
Sometimes, the only thing we can think to get for some coworkers or loved ones is something that has to do with their job. A customized office set can be one of the best options for these people. You can have a lot of fun with this though. For instance, you an customize pens by decorating them with images, yarn and so on. You might also consider making a special case to store your festive pens. You can customize a drink cozy as well as covers for most things that might be found in the office. A stylish billboard is a breeze to make too and can be customize to suit needs and interests. Another fun option is to purchase a succulent and decorate the container for the recipient. There are so many things you can do for the office, so browse around online for ideas for each individual person on your list.

The holidays don’t have to be all about spending money. In fact, you can create something special for next to nothing for everyone on your holiday list. These simple ideas will help you get started on your holiday crafts. Before you know it, you’ll have a stack of goodies that will bring smiles to so many over the holiday season.

Simplistic Ways to Handle Weight Management During the Holidays

If you’re on a diet during the holiday season, then you might find yourself stressed out that you might not be able to join in on all of the fun. Skipping the holidays is no solution to your weight loss though, in fact, it might actually cause you to fail at your diet. There are actually steps that you can take that will help you keep some of the calories at bay while you still enjoy your favorite dishes. So, don’t lose hope that your holidays will be ruined, because these easy to follow tips will allow you to embrace the holidays and have a bunch of fun in the process.

1. Don’t Skip Meals
When dieting, not matter the time of year, a lot of people feel that skipping meals is the best way to cut back on the pounds. In short, skipping a meal might help you lose weight at first. In fact, skipping a meal every now and then is actually a great way to cleanse your body of toxins. However, if you do this often then you do risk forcing your metabolism to shut down. In short, this will cause your body to store fat, so you’ll end up counteracting all of your dieting. You also run the chance of overeating when you do finally sit down to a meal. This is especially risky around the holiday. So, your best option is to find a low-calorie solution to a meal. You might want to enjoy an apple for breakfast or cook up scrambled eggs as a brunch. This will help sustain you until the feast, so you can exercise more self-control.

2. Drink Water
Without a doubt, it is incredibly tempting to drink your calories during a holiday feast. There are so many delicious options to choose from, which you might not get during most occasions. However, it is incredibly important to cut back on drinking things that aren’t water during this time. You might limit yourself to one glass of wine or other treat. After that, make sure you stick to water. Water will help keep you hydrated all day long and will flush your system, so you can process your meal, especially the items with sugar, a little easier. On top of that, drinking a glass of water half an hour before a meal will actually help you feel fuller. This will help you feel less tempted to keep eating, which will save you an abundance of calories.

3. Focus on Healthy Sides
The great thing about holiday feasts is the assortment of food that you have to choose from. There are so many flavors that it is hard not to pile on massive portions of our favorite items. However, if you’re on a diet then you might consider skipping some of the higher calorie options. Luckily, there are a lot of great vegetable options to choose from, so you might want to stick to these sides when you can. They will help you avoid starches and the high calorie meat options. You might also want to skip out on rolls, as this classic side will have you packing on calories faster than you thought possible.

4. Eat Slow
Another dieting mistake that many people make is eating too quickly. It’s hard not to do this, especially when there are so many amazing foods in front of us. However, eating slowly can actually make you feel a bit fuller, which will allow you to cut back on the number of portions that you eat. This will help you cut back on the calories with ease and might make going back for food later less tempting. Eating slow also helps in the digestion process, which might ensure that you won’t end up feeling bloated and fighting indigestion for hours after your meal. If you have trouble eating slowly then try to engage in conversation while you eat. This will force you to stop and talk instead of only concentrating on your food.

5. Choose a Smaller or Colorful Dish
Another quick trick to cutting back on the amount of food we eat is to choose the correct plate for your meal. If you’re really looking to cut back on the calories, you should choose a saucer plate for your meal. Some hosts will have these as dessert plates, which should satisfy your needs. Using a smaller plate will trick your eyes into thinking you have more food on your plate. Thus, you will begin to feel fuller in no time. The same can be said of using a colorful plate for your food. The bright colors trick your eyes, so you think that you have more food than what is actually there. If you’re worried your host won’t have these options available, then ask to bring disposable plates to help with the meal. Most hosts will be glad for the help and the lack of dishes when the meal is complete.

6. Stick to the Portion Rule
It’s particularly hard to do, especially when you’re faced with a lot of great options, but you should always practice proper portion sizes when making your plate. When you’re on a diet, this can be crucial, so you don’t go overboard. One of the best things to do is grab your vegetables first. Vegetables should take up most of your plate. However, you should be careful because foods like green bean casserole might have more calories than you think. Your next section should consist of your protein of choice. Finally, the section left over is for your starch. You can always skip this section though, if you feel like you have enough food to feed your needs. If you’re not certain how to portion out food, there are lots of charts to check out before the holidays arrive.

7. Mini-Desserts
Dessert and dieting don’t really go hand in hand, which can cause a huge problem for most people. In fact, skipping out on dessert, especially at these events might cause you to break your diet faster than you normally would. Instead of skipping dessert entirely, try to partake in a mini version of your favorite option. For instance, bite sized treats are usually the best way to go. However, if these aren’t available then consider having half of a slice of pie or another treat. Of course, if you’ve had a cocktail that day, you might not want to go for this type of dessert, as cocktails are practically a dessert that you drink. If you’re careful with your choices, one simple sugary treat won’t tip the scales for you.

8. Eat Last
When the feast begins, it is hard not to be first in line when it’s time to eat. The home usually smells delicious and appetites are usually at their peak. However, your best option is to be last in line for the food. If you don’t form a line to eat, then make sure the line of food being passed meets you last. One way to ensure you’re one of the last to eat is to offer your assistance to the elders in the family or help parents make plates for their children. This usually cuts back on your spot in line. Eating last will give you less options to choose from, which might create less opportunity for you to pile on the unhealthy options. The food leftover also won’t seem in abundance, so you might feel encouraged to take less than you normally might. Being one of the last to eat, will mean that conversations will be more likely to happen while you’re eating, which will also slow you down.

9. Move Around
A huge problem with the holidays is many people want to spend their time sitting and catching up with their loved ones. Then, after eating a huge meal, everyone sits back down to talk, digest and watch the game. Some families even sit to play table games to help kill the time. Instead of doing this, you might want to move around as much as you can. One way to avoid this is to walk around and mingle more, rather than sitting and talking. You might also engage in games, or invite people to play games like charades, which will force you to be active. The more you move around, the less you will have to worry about the calories that you consume. You might also ask some family members to go for a digestive walk with you. You might be surprised by how many people are willing to do so, especially if the weather is fine.

10. Help with Cleanup
One thing that many people hate doing is cleaning up after a feast. However, volunteering to help with the mess is one of the best ways to counteract all of the calories that you’ve consumed. You might actually be surprised by how many calories that you burn doing simple chores. So, roll up your sleeves and clear the table, work on the dishes and even mop the floor under the kids table. The cleanup process will help prevent you from napping too, which might force your entire day of activities to go downhill. Moving after the meal might inspire you to keep going too, which is important when you’re trying to keep your weight down and your health up.

Dieting during the holidays doesn’t have to be a punishment. You can still partake in the fun without feeling like you’re confined to the salad bowl. These ten tips should help you find the perfect balance, so that you won’t feel robbed of fun. Now, you can stress less about avoiding holiday parties and find new ways to maintain your weight and health even when you’re not on a diet.

Festive Ways To Entertain Kids During Your Thanksgiving Celebration

Thanksgiving is a great time to get together with family and friends to feast and enjoy one another’s company. Although it is fairly easy to entertain most adults, you might find that keeping the kids of the group busy might pose a problem. This can be an issue as idle hands tend to lead to mischief for most age groups. Thus, coming up with some ideas to keep everyone entertained is a must. These ten ideas are simple to set up and will help keep all age groups busy. With a little extra effort for the kids, your holiday should go off without a hitch and will make everyone happy to have participated.

1. Embrace the Parade
The Macy’s Day parade and other parades that occur across the country are a great asset when it comes to entertaining the kids. The parade offers dancing, singing and huge floats of some of the most popular characters around. Sitting the kids in front of the TV for this event is bound to be a success in most cases. However, if you want to spice up the parade even more, you can set out items for kids to make their own parade. One of the easiest things to do is set out craft supplies and some paper plates. Kids can draw their designs on a paper plate and attach them to a balloon with tape to fly them in their own parade. You might also encourage children to come up with their own song and dance to perform after the meal.

2. Craft Table
Crafts are one of the easiest ways to keep kids entertained for hours on end. If you have basic craft supplies on hand, then there are so many things that kids can do to keep busy. One great idea is to make a snack turkey that kids can take home for them to ease some of the travel boredom. All you need is an assortment of snacks that come in a different color. For instance, popcorn, M&Ms, candy corn, nuts and more work great. The children first draw a turkey face on the palm of the glove, then they fill each finger with a colorful snack. The palm can then be filled with popcorn and closed off to create a delicious treat. Construction paper will allow kids to make turkeys using their hands as a stencil. You can also fold paper to create pilgrim hats. You might also consider starting some winter crafts to allow children to make gifts for the upcoming holidays.

3. Table Games
Sometimes, you simply need to get the kids to sit down for a little while. This can be especially important when you are getting items in and out of the oven, but also while everyone is sitting down to eat. One solution to this problem is setting up some simple and fun games to keep the kids down for a little longer. One simple option is to print out holiday themed placemats. The placemats can have something to color, mazes, word searches and more to keep kids focused on something. Another great option is to set up a tic tac toe station. You can even lay out a blank paper table cloth, so that kids can decorate and play as they please. Bingo is another great option for the kids, especially since older children can take turns calling out the numbers.

4. Holiday Themed Games
Of course, getting children moving can also be a great way to keep them entertained during Thanksgiving. One of the best ways to do this is to transform some of the more popular party games into Thanksgiving themed games. For instance, you can easily transform a paper bag into a turkey. Then crumple up colored paper to act as various foods. Toss the colors around the room and see which child can fill their turkey with each color the fastest. You can also print out images of turkeys and fasten them to reusable cups for turkey bowling. Another fun idea is to play pin the feathers on the turkey, which is also an easy game to freehand or print out. Pumpkin Twister might keep the kids laughing too, and all you have to do for this game is replace the colors with holiday themed names. Thanksgiving charades can be fun for the entire group as well, and will help bring more meaning to the specific holiday. Finally, you can purchase a cheap dart game at any dollar store and play target the turkey. There are so many options out there though, so look around online to see which games will suit your needs.

5. Let Them Decorate
Decorations can be a huge part of the holiday season, so let the kids jump in and help out. For instance, before the meal begins, kids can create center pieces and napkin holders that they can proudly show off to guests. Name markers are also an easy option that older kids can help younger kids with. Once these are finished, then the kids can jump into action and help set the table. You can even have the kids paint or color in turkeys to be placed on the wall. Another simple option is to have them string popcorn for garland. No matter how the kids decorate, they’re certain to have busy hands while having a bit of fun.

6. Football Game
For many families, football is a major part of the holiday season. From the game after feasting to a family game in the cold weather, football easily ties in with the holiday. One of the easiest ways to keep kids entertained is to draw them into the football game too. Kids can start out by making banners for their favorite team or tracing logos. Then, when the game is on, kids can either watch too or enjoy playing in the same room as the adults. You might also consider getting a soft, inside friendly ball that will allow children to play inside while the game is on. While the adults play outside, kids can join in on the game or have a game of their own. The exercise will help keep children happy and will burn off some of their excess energy from being indoors.

7. Storytime
Most children love story time and a holiday is the perfect time to incorporate stories into the festivities. There are plenty of Thanksgiving inspired books to check out, which are certain to draw the kids in for some fun. You might also ask older children to share their favorite memories of Thanksgiving as well as their interpretation of the holiday with the younger children. Some children might even enjoy writing down the Thanksgiving story and illustrating it. Older children can write down stories for younger children as they illustrate their story. These adorable books can be shared with adults for light reading after the feast.

8. Movie Time
Sometimes, a little TV time is in order. Luckily, there are a lot of Thanksgiving themed movies that you can put on for children to keep them entertained for a while. You might play some of these movies during a free play time to help distract long enough to finish up with the meal and set up. However, one of the best times to put on a movie is after the meal or during nap time. Kids can enjoy some quiet time watching the film, while the little ones lay down with a pillow and blanket, for a stress free nap period. This can also be a great way to help kids relax and digest food after the meal, as it will prevent crankiness and so on.

9. Put Them to Work
One of the best ways to keep kids busy is to actually put them to work. You can find a kitchen job for almost every age group, so don’t be afraid to ask kids to contribute, especially if they are being rowdy. Kids can cook a wide variety of things, based on age, so find something easy like stirring up pudding or mixing ingredients for a cake. Kids will love learning how to cook and will feel a sense of pride over the item they made. When the meal is over, kids can also help with the cleanup. Clearing the table, rinsing items and even loading the dishwasher are simple tasks for children that will keep them moving. Younger children can also take coats from guests, offer appetizers and drinks, as well as other host inspired tasks. The extra work might also help them understand how much goes into a holiday, which might also encourage good behavior and leave them with a sense of usefulness.

10. Santa Letters
With the end of the meal, comes a new sense of excitement because it means Santa Claus will soon be on his way. Thus, one of the best ways to have kids settle down is to ask them to work on their letters to Santa. You can even purchase special stationary and colored pens to make the task special, if you want to spend a little extra money. Older children can even help younger children write their letters to make the process more of a bonding experience. Writing the letters isn’t just a great way to help keep kids entertained, but it will also help relatives get an idea as to what the children are interested in, which will make the gift giving season a bit easier. When the letters are complete, let the children take them to the mailbox so they can be on their way to Santa and his elves.

Thanksgiving can be a lot of fun with enough activities to keep everyone happy. These ten ideas should help cut back on the time kids have to feel bored, which should help the holiday go by smoothly. Without a doubt, keeping the kids happy will help the entire event feel more festive and engaging. It will also give the adults time to mingle and relax on this special occasion.

Frugal Ways to Make the Most Out of World Diabetes Day

It is almost time to observe World Diabetes Day, which takes place on November 14. This holiday is the perfect time to educate yourself about this disease, look into solutions to help avoid it and find ways to save money if you’re suffering from it. Holidays like this can really help bring awareness that might one day help eliminate the disease or simply help those that can avoid it. These ten tips are a way to help you and your family observe the holiday. You might even feel inspired to spend the day with a diabetic that you know, in order to pass on some of the frugal tips offered here.

1. Seek Out Free Recipes
One of the many problems that people face when they are diagnosed with Diabetes is what they should be eating. Life can look and feel very boring when you can’t fall back on the staple foods that you once enjoyed. Even avoiding sweets can prove to be a huge hurdle for many. Luckily, there are so many recipes out there that will not only improve your health but will make you feel adventurous when eating. There are many diabetic magazines that post their recipes online for all to see, which might be one of the best places to begin your journey. Once you get a feel for cooking to suit your health needs then you can always move on to recipes from bloggers. You should always be careful with this though, as you need to make sure the recipes are diabetic friendly since they are not being shared by a professional. After cooking for your diabetic needs, recipes that aren’t health friendly will be simple to spot.

2. Shop Bulk
When you have a feel for the staples of your diet, then it might be wise to start shopping in bulk. If you are incorporating more produce into your diet, then shopping from a farmer’s market or a wholesale store might be your best option. Some diabetic dietary items might also be cheaper when purchased in bulk from online stores catering to your needs. On top of these deals, it might be wise to look into your medical supplies too. For instance, there are a lot of diabetic websites that will offer testing strips at remarkably low prices. You might talk to other diabetics or your doctor to help find resources that will help you shop in bulk.

3. Embrace Generic
When it comes to purchasing items for your health, you might want to consider using generic whenever and wherever you can. Medication to manage diabetes can be ridiculously expensive for some people, thus you should talk to your doctor about your financial needs, so a prescription can be written based on these factors as well. There are many generic brands that doctors trust to help with the medical problem while also allowing the patient to not deal with as heavy of a financial burden. On top of that, you can purchase generic test strips that can be paired with many testers. If you like the convenience of premade foods, then look for off-brand drinks, snacks and frozen meals. Before long, you’ll know all the variety you have to choose from on your budget.

4. Consider Free Forms of Exercise
One of the best ways to help improve your condition is actually exercise. However, joining a gym can be incredibly pricey, as can signing up for digital classes. Luckily, there are many free forms of exercise to choose from. For starters, you can always head outside for a run, jog, or a simple walk. If this gets a little tedious or you want to add more to your routine, then check the streaming services you subscribe to. You might be surprised by how many services offer free workout videos. You can also check out free services like YouTube or take advantage of free trials to help you get in your workout.

5. Manage Your Portions
Portion control is one of the biggest contributors to obesity, which can cause Diabetes or make your illness worse. So, this might be one of the first areas you start working on. It doesn’t matter if you have a diagnosis or you’re trying to ensure you never receive such a diagnosis, this concept can be one of the most important and frugal items on the list. You should start by following the basic portion rules, which you can find on any food pyramid or portion graph. Once you master creating the perfect plate, you should stick to eating only one helping. As this habit changes, then work on eating until you are full and then stopping. Before you know it, you’ll be wondering how you ate so much food before. On top of that, you will be able to cut back on the amount of food you cook, which will save some major money. If you don’t cook for yourself then consider buying healthy premade meals that can be found in the frozen section. There are even brands that cater to diabetics. This will help you know how much you should be eating to stay on the right path.

6. Plan Your Diet
Another great habit to get into is planning your meals. You should sit down at the beginning of the month, or bi-weekly, and come up with a meal plan to keep you going. Knowing what you are going to eat every day can actually help prevent you from picking up fast food or changing your plans. This will also allow you to plan your meals around items that can be bought in bulk, namely produce. If you can plan out meals that use similar ingredients, then you will save money and you’ll feel inspired to eat healthier. Plus, with produce in the refrigerator you will be forced to waste food if you eat out, which might detour you a little. Planning meals will also help you incorporate Meatless Monday into your plans, which might also cut back on some of your health issue and your budget.

7. Subscribe to Blogs
In this day and age, there is a wealth of knowledge online that can help just about anyone. One of the best things for diabetics is all of the blogs available today. You can read about the hardships of a diagnosis, changing diet and exercise plans, as well as some of the tips to improve on the lifestyle. No matter what support you need, you’re bound to find a blog that provides it. Best of all, blogs help you interact with the diabetic community, so you can feel like you have a support group at all times. Many bloggers also dedicate their time to mastering diabetic friendly recipes that might give you a taste of your favorite comfort foods without the spike. All in all, subscribing to blogs can be an important part of your process, so spend some time feeling out an assortment of options. You might even want to start your own blog before it’s all said and done.

8. Use Apps
Technology can be your friend when you’re diabetic. One of the best things about smart phones is the wide assortment of apps that they provide for us. These apps can especially come in handy when you’re diabetic. They have apps to help you keep a food journal and to offer food suggestions when you’re feeling burdened by your diet plan. They also have fitness apps to help inspire you to exercise, drink enough water and so on. There are also apps that record your blood sugar, so you can always have your levels on hand. This can especially come in handy for a doctor’s visit. Again, finding the right apps for you will take some time, but playing with your options will allow you to learn what you need to be successful.

9. Talk with Others
Like with any illness, it is important to talk about it, especially if you’re worried or feeling tense. There are so many support groups for those with diabetes so you won’t have to look far to find one. Generally, your hospital or doctor should be able to steer you in the right direction for a local group if that is something you are interested in. However, there are also countless support groups online, if you prefer to stay home or you have a tight schedule. If you aren’t keen on talking with strangers, then consider starting a group with people in your life that also have diabetes. You might improve on some friendship while you’re at it. Talking with others should help you feel more at peace with your new lifestyle and may even help you find some pointers that will make life easier.

10. Spread the Word
Whether you have diabetes, know someone that has it, or you simply want to do your part, raising awareness is one of the best things you can do on this holiday. For those with diabetes, you might want to let others know that you have it, which can be very helpful in emergencies. If you aren’t keen on sharing information about your health, then it might be time to invest in a health bracelet. Another way to help spread the word is to pass out pamphlets. This could help people recognize diabetic shock when it happens, which might save a life. It also might help inspire people to change their lifestyle, so they might avoid such a diagnosis. Last, but certainly not least, you should make sure the symptoms of this disease are known. This can help people avoid life threatening medical problems.

Diabetes can be a dangerous illness, which is why World Diabetes Day is such an important holiday to observe. By helping to share word of the illness with others, you could be preventing someone from developing this life long disease. So, on November 14, make sure to take some time out of your day to recognize this disease in hopes of decreasing the number of cases that pop up every year. If you are diabetic, then use this time to find new ways to save money on your lifestyle with these simple tips.

Black Friday Deals You Won’t Want to Miss Out

It’s hard to believe that we’re already barreling through the first week of November. Black Friday will be here before we can finish up our turkey feast and find our loose fitting sweats. Luckily, there have been some major Black Friday leaks lately, so you won’t have to hit up as many stores as you normally would. These stores are offering some great deals that will help you sleep soundly at night knowing Santa has really outdone himself this year. So, check out the lists and see which stores you’ll be running to on the big day and which you’ll be accessing from the comfort of your own web browser.

1. Amazon
Amazon is pretty much notorious for being a mixed bag when it comes to Black Friday deals. Of course, the website offers so many products that it is hard to say which will go on sale. You might find some toy options that are unbeatable, but you also might be browsing through lists of chef hats and supplements you’ve never even heard of before. We do, however, know that Amazon will be dropping some major deals on Amazon products. So, if you’re in the market for a Kindle, Fire Stick, Echo and so on then this is the perfect time to stock up. Some deals might even include bulk ordering, which is bound to add to the thrill of shopping. Amazon is also keen on throwing in a few TV and laptop deals, but you have to be fast on these items. Other great items to check out are movie bundles, cookware and home security items. Generally, Amazon starts its deals pretty early and allows them to last past Cyber Monday, so make sure you dedicate some time to your watch list for the online vendor.

2. Walmart
Walmart is notorious for not having a Black Friday, but rather offering their big sales on the evening of Thanksgiving. So, you might not fill up on too much food if you’re wanting to partake in some of its biggest deals. This year, there is a lot of talk of deals on Vizio TVs, laptops and iPads, which might be worthy of waiting in long lines for. Walmart is generally good about offering some great deals on toys too, particularly when it comes to the hottest items of the year. Small appliances are another hot item for Walmart customers, so grab something that will make your next holiday meal easier. On top of that, you can find lots of small items that are great for stocking stuffers or random gifts for colleagues and extended family. If your Walmart sells guns, then you might want to check out some of these hot deals too. Walmart is being a bit quieter about their deals though, so keep your ears open and your eyes peeled.

3. Target
Target is another top competitor for Black Friday, so you’ll want to be up early to get to their big deals. The store has already announced a Nintendo Switch Bundle that will give you a game and console for the price of just the console. They have also announced XBOX and PlayStation bundles which will make any gamer scream for joy this holiday season. One of the hotter items is the VR Bundle as this technology is just picking up steam. The Google Home Mini, which is fairly similar to Amazon’s Echo will also be half off while supplies last. Finally, they will have a pretty good deal on streaming sticks, including popular brands like Roku and Amazon. Target has been known to offer DNA testing kits during their Black Friday sale, so keep an eye out!

4. Dell/HP/Apple
Your favorite computer stores have also been hinting at some major deals on Black Friday. However, you might want to log in on Thursday just to see if you can score an early deal. To begin with, Dell is offering up to 50% off on select laptops, which might be the perfect gift for a teenager or college student. One of the top Vizio TVs will be going for $350 with a $100 gift card added to the mix. HP is offering 20% or more off some of its gaming laptops, which is perfect for all of the PC games that are being released around the holiday season. Of course, there will also be deals on other laptops and accessories. Apple is still keeping their Black Friday list quiet, but you should be able to find some satisfying deals on the iPhone X as well as older tablets since newer models have recently been released.

5. Kohls
Kohls was one of the first stores to happily display their Black Fridaylist for the year. Some of their more popular items are huge deals on toys, kid’s tablets and fun clothes, including themes like superheroes, Disney and Harry Potter. The store is particularly happy to show off their advent calendar inspired sock bundles. These bundles include 12 pairs of socks, so customers can countdown the days until Christmas in warmth with their favorite characters. If you’re looking for jewelry for a special someone then Kohls will be having doorbusters on jewelry and watches. Finally, you’ll be able to find some awesome deals on small appliances, which make great gifts for those on your list that you’re not sure what to shop for.

6. Costco
Costco is notorious for shutting up shop on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t stop people from lining up for its amazing deals. This year, you’ll find some laptops for up to $500 off, which is certain to add some pep in your step after your long wait. Apart from this awesome deal, you should be able to find some great discounts on Apple tablets and XBOX. There are lots of great deals on Vizio TVs too, which are nearly half off in many cases. You should be able to find some deals on larger home appliances too, so if something is on the fritz now is the time to act. On top of that, Costco will feature many great deals on home security systems.

7. Sams
Samsung fans are going to want to find themselves at Sams on Black Friday. During this time, shoppers that purchase and activate a new Samsung phone will receive a $300 Sams gift card, which is bound to help you purchase so many of the other items on your list. Sams is also known for giving out some major deals when it comes to tires. This is great timing since the roads will become more dangerous around this time. If you’re in need of a mattress then Sams is also going to be a fantastic place to shop, which is great considering actual mattress sales won’t happen again until later next year. On top of that, you’ll be able to save a small fortune on holiday décor including Christmas trees, wrapping supplies and themed gifts.

8. Best Buy
Gadget fanatics tend to lurk around Best Buy very early because they know the deals are going to be worth the pushing and shoving. This year, Best Buy isn’t revealing too much about their sales, but in the past they have been consistent with offering similar products. So, if you’re in the market for a new TV then Black Friday might be one of the best places to look. Since they aren’t a department or wholesale store, you might have more of a selection to choose from. Of course, with stores like Sears closing down left and right, Best Buy might be the place to look when it comes to household appliances. You will also have deals on movies, music, games and consoles. Best Buy is notorious for throwing in gift cards with purchases and they often offer free shipping for online items.

9. Home Depot/Lowes
Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes have become major hot spots during Black Friday in recent years. This year, both stores are offering competitive deals which might leave you flipping a coin as to which to shop at first. Home Depot is dropping major prices on their Christmas décor this year, so if you’re in need of an inflatable don’t think twice about shopping here. They also have up to 40% on their overstock items and appliances. There is even an awesome deal on power tools, which allows you to get two free power tools with the purchase of a specific tool kit. Lowes is making a name for itself too with discounted prices on fans and tool kits. This can make home improvement over the holidays a breeze. On top of that, you can find huge savings on appliances as well as free delivery. Lowes will also be offering low prices on holiday décor that you won’t be able to resist.

10. Big Lots
If you’re looking for a little less hype on Black Friday, then you might want to start your day off with a trip to Big Lots. This already discount friendly store will be ready with lots of great deals on furniture. In fact, you can find some extraordinary prices on couches, tables and beds. The store will also be hoping to move some of this holiday décor, so make sure to stock up so you can be the brightest home on the block. One of your best options will be toy shopping here as they have a Buy 2, Get 1 Free deal on toys. They might not have the hottest items on the list, but if you’re shopping for other children or stocking stuffers then you’ll save big.

As Black Friday nears, it is hard not to feel a little excitement in the air. These tips on the upcoming sales are certain to help you make a game plan that will help you get all of the deals you’re looking for. Whether you’re shopping for personal gain or for your holiday list, there’s bound to be something on this list that you simply can’t resist.

Quick Tips to Make Celebrating Diwali Frugal and Fun

Diwali is practically here and if you’re celebrating you might be wondering how you can save some money on this event. There are actually quite a few things you can do to make Diwali frugal, so you can stick to the roots of the holiday instead of stressing out over the amount of money you’ve spent. Of course, if you do plan on spending money there are ways to show restraint, so you don’t end up blowing your budget. These tips should help you find the perfect way to enjoy Diwali while also making sure you have money to enjoy after the festival of lights is over.

1. Know Your Budget
Like with any holiday, one of the best ways to keep your spending under control is to know your budget. The earlier you set a budget for your Diwali spending, the better of you will be. Try setting a budget at the beginning of the year, so you have time to put back money to spend on the holiday. If you already have the money set back, then you won’t have to stress over using credit cards and so on. This will also give you a chance to shop throughout the year, so you don’t have to spend a large portion of money at once. Having a budget also allows you to keep track of your spending too. If you keep your Diwali money in a separate area, then you can’t go over your budget and will be able to balance your books much easier. Of course, if you’re not used to making a budget for such a thing then it might take a little practice to know just how much you can and should setback for your holiday expenditures.

2. Shop Airfare Deals
October is a great time to shop airfare deals, so you might be able to travel fairly cheaply during your Diwali celebration. However, even if you aren’t able to secure great tickets for the season, you might still be able to find some incredible deals during the week of Diwali. This time is always great for shopping spring and summer airfare, so secure tickets for your adventure if you can. Of course, you can always plan ahead and buy your tickets for next Diwali, especially if you plan on going abroad. You might even make it an activity to get together with the whole family to plan out your trip. You can start off your plans by looking at events that are going on in the area, so you will know which areas you can afford after you pay for the airfare.

3. DIY Rangoli
One of the main elements of Diwali is the beautiful and colorful decorations that can be just about anywhere in areas that celebrate. A lot of people might find it hard to come up with a Rangoli to show off their festive attitude, but it can be much easier and cheaper to make than you think. If you don’t want to freehand your design, you can cut print and cut out a stencil to help you create the design of your dreams. You don’t even have to purchase special colors for this work of art either. You can easily purchase sidewalk chalk in bulk to create the lovely designs. You will also want to place your design in an area that doesn’t receive a lot of wind or foot traffic, so it can hold up as long as possible. Of course, you should also take a picture of this item to ensure you can share it with those who can’t visit or if the item does end up blowing away before the holiday is over.

4. Clean
Diwali is a good way to start fresh, so cleaning is a major part of the holiday. It is also a great way to keep you busy which can help prevent you from spending too much money. You might want to start off with simple cleaning, but the goal is to give your home a proper scrub down so everything will be fresh for the upcoming year. You might want to work with one room at a time too, which will ensure you have the patience to tackle everything. With your home nice and clean, you will feel incredible. You might also be too tired to hit the stores to do some Diwali shopping, which is certain to keep your budget looking great.

5. Craft Your Own Diya
Lighting candles for the holiday is another popular activity. However, if you purchase a lot of candles or spend a fortune on diyas from the store, then you’re bound to cut into your holiday budget quiet a bit. It is actually very easy to make your diya though, which can make the holiday better than you’d expect. These lamps can be made with a wide variety of clays, so you can choose whichever option suits your budget. Kids can even make a diya out of playdough to add fun to the event. Once you’ve made your diya and baked it then you can paint it to suit your needs. Then, all you need is some oil and you’ll be set for the big event. You might enjoy making a new one every year or making several to show off your personality. No matter what you choose to do, this craft is certain to add fun to the event while also saving you a whole lot of money.

6. Make Wise Resolutions
Another great aspect of Diwali is it gives people the chance to make resolutions for the upcoming year. If you celebrate Diwali and New Year’s, then this gives you a great opportunity to get a jump start on all of the goals you intend to reach in the upcoming year. It also gives you a chance to push a little harder to meet last year’s goals. Of course, one of the best things you can do during this time is come up with wise resolutions. This can help you improve on your financial situation as well as your health. You should choose resolutions that aren’t too farfetched as well. For instance, you can stop a bad habit, save more money, or lose some weight.

7. Use Leftover Candy
This year, Diwali happens directly after Halloween, which means you’re going to have some extra treats if you plan on celebrating both holidays. Instead of going out and purchasing more treats to give out during this holiday, you can easily bring your leftover Halloween candy to the next holiday. Your friends and family will love sharing the treats. If you don’t want to pass out Halloween candy, then make festive containers to share the treats with others. The candy will make a great gift for the children in your life too, which should add joy to the occasion. Before you know it, you’ll be rid of the tempting Halloween candy and you’ll have saved quite a bit of money on treats for the holiday.

8. Invest
A lot of people love to give out gifts during the holiday, while others also enjoy treating themselves to some fun. Rather than spending money on these things, you might consider using the money to invest instead. This will give you a chance to grow your money instead of using it on items that you will only enjoy for a small period of time. If you don’t want to only spend money on yourself, then you can purchase small investments for your loved ones. This is especially great for children who may one day need the money for college and other large-scale purchases. Make sure to do some research before you choose to invest though, as this alone will save you money and make sure you’re going to grow your money in the best possible way.

9. Make New Clothes
Diwali is all about having things fresh and new. So, you might want to invest in new clothes for the holiday to help bring you luck in the upcoming year. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on clothing, then you can easily save some money by making your own clothes. There are lots of great patterns you can purchase at a discount and many fabrics are more than affordable. If you really want to get into the spirit of the holiday, then you might also want to look at patterns to create some traditional Indian clothing. There are also tutorials online that will help you make lovely items that you can wear throughout the celebration.

10. Watch Celebrations Online
There are so many amazing Diwali celebrations that take place in many areas of the world. If you don’t have a celebration in your neck of the woods, then you might want to look online to see some of the celebrations unfold. In this day and age, many people will film the fun and upload to popular websites like YouTube. You can also catch some of the action on news channels. No matter where you choose to watch the celebrations, you’ll be able to save a lot of money by doing this. Watching other celebrations will help save you money on fireworks especially. Although many areas do prohibit the use of these items due to the fire hazards they bring, some areas do allow them but often hike up prices to make more profit. You also won’t have to worry about hosting a party of your own, unless you intend to share the celebrations with others. All in all, watching the celebrations online can even give you the feeling of being there yourself, which will add fun to occasion that you otherwise wouldn’t get to enjoy.

Diwali can be an exciting holiday for all, especially if you know how to keep the event frugal. If this is your first year enjoying Diwali, then sticking to these tips might help you from going overboard despite your excitement. Hopefully, you will be able to find lots of luck and happiness in the upcoming year and throughout the celebration of lights.

No Tears Ideas to Get Rid of Your Halloween Candy Stash Without the Belly Ache

After a hard night of trick or treating, you might be looking at your child’s stash and wondering what on earth you’re going to do with all of that candy. It’s not always wise to let your child eat every single piece they collect for a wide variety of reasons. Luckily, there’s a whole lot of things you can do with you’re the candy that won’t leave your child crying for the missing treats. You might even find that some of the ideas help to keep your budget on the frugal side, so you can keep saving for the rapidly approaching holiday season.

1. Bake It
One of the best ways to ditch some of your candy is to bake it. This works best with chocolate treats in most cases, so you might want to raid your child’s Halloween stash to see what you have to work with. One of the easiest things to make is fun cakes. You can even make them Halloween themed if you want to carry on with the holiday fun. Of course, you can also set some of the candy aside to bake a delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert that the whole family will be thankful for. Another fun option is to make cookies out of the candies. Your cookie dough can also be frozen, so you can make treats all year long without having to spend money. Some of the hard candies can also be used in baking, but make sure you crush the items and work with a recipe to make sure they cook properly.

2. Advent Calendar
With the holidays coming up, an advent calendar can be one of the best ways to enjoy the Halloween candy your trick or treater received. You can make an advent calendar out of just about anything you want. You can also choose the theme to suit each child you’re making a calendar for. One of the more popular advent calendar options is a countdown until Christmas, but you can easily make one that counts down until Thanksgiving or any other holiday you celebrate. You might also consider making one that suits any month. This will ensure children only receive one piece of candy a day, so there are no tummy aches to battle during the fun season.

3. Science Experiments
Believe it or not, but you can transform your Halloween candy into a variety of experiments that will suit a wide variety of age groups. Best of all, you’ll be taking part in National Chemistry Week without even knowing it. There are an abundance of things you can do when it comes to experimenting with candy. For starters, you can have kids look at different candies through a microscope. If your children receive Mentos, then place them in soda and watch the magic. Another great one is to chew up Wint-o-Green lifesavers in the dark. You can also melt down candies or dissolve them in a variety of liquids. There is an abundance of experiments online to check out, so you can find the perfect options for your household.

4. Save for Decorations
You might not think about using your candy as décor, especially as you glance at the Halloween themed wrappers. However, you might be surprised as to how handy these candies can be. For instance, if you have a wide assortment of colorful candies then you can free them from their packaging and use them for decorations on your Gingerbread houses and cookies. Candy corn can be thrown into a clear bowl as a great centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. You can also use it to let the kids decorate turkeys that can be hung up. Other candies can be opened up and placed in colorful wrappers for Hanukkah and Christmas. You can even pass them out around New Year’s if you plan to store the candy properly.

5. Gift Baskets
With the holiday season coming up, you’re probably looking for quick and easy ways to find gifts for everyone on your growing holiday list. One of the easiest options is make gift baskets. You can fill these lovely gifts up with just about anything you please. However, Halloween candy makes a great addition to the baskets and can even help prevent you from spending a large amount of money on extra treats. You might want to avoid placing Halloween mini candies in the baskets, unless they have wrappers that aren’t Halloween oriented. Larger candies can be a great option though, because the packaging tends to be uniform with candy sold throughout the year. These candies are easy to spice up with Christmas bows and wrapping paper too if you really want to go all out on your basket.

6. Blend It
Although the weather might be cooling down, your kids probably won’t turn down a delicious milkshake that features some of their favorite candy. This can be a fun treat for good report cards and so on. You can also use some of the candy to make yourself a Frappuccino that would make a café jealous. Best of all, the ingredients for these items will cost you a fraction of what you would pay in a restaurant, so you’ll be saving a lot of money on your favorite treats. If you don’t want to blend it all at once then toss your favorites in the freezer and you can use them in a treat later on in the year. You can also use the blender to chop up some of the candy to be used in other snacks like puppy chow or trail mix. These snacks are great for entertaining guests too, which is certain to cut back on your entertainment budget.

7. Reuse for Parties
Another great option is to throw a bag of candy in the freezer, so you can pull it out and use it at parties. You can always open up a few of the packages and place them in a bowl for upcoming holiday celebrations. However, one of the more common uses is to toss them in goodie bags for your child’s birthday party. This will help save money on treats you need to appease children. Of course, you can also use this candy to stuff into a pinata for a larger birthday bash. The colorful wrappers will even add even more fun to the party as they fly out of the pinata.

8. Candy Trade Ins
Lately, many dentists have taken a stance against the amount of candy children consume during the Halloween season. So, many dental offices will allow children to come in after Halloween to trade in their candy. Generally, they will give points or a special money for the candy children bring in so children can trade it in for prizes. If you don’t have this option, then you might consider doing a trade in within your family too. You can give a point value for each piece of candy, so children can earn prizes. If your children are saving up money, then offer a penny or so for each piece they trade in. This will make the holiday rewarding without having your child consume so much sugar.

9. Get Crafty
Candy can also be a lot of fun to use in your seasonal crafts. For instance, you can use some of the candy to make flowers that will help make a fun center piece for your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. You don’t always have to use the candy for these tasks too, as the colorful wrappers will work just as well. This is great for anyone that doesn’t want to waste the foils from candies they’ve eaten or used for other projects. Another fun craft for kids is making special bracelets. You can even have kids pass these out to friends as a holiday gift, which is certain to save you quite a bit of money. Some candies can be glued onto paper in order to create colorful designs that will inspire children to show off their creative energy. You might even consider layering candy in a jar with other ingredients for cookies, cake or even hot cocoa. These make great gifts, especially when dressed up as Santas, reindeer and snowmen. There are lots of fun candy crafts online to explore too, if you’re not sure where to begin.

10. Care Packages
If you want to do some good with your candy then you might want to make some care packages with your leftovers. You can send these packages to loved ones, like students away at college. However, there are many others that would appreciate the kind gesture. For instance, you can drop some of the treats off at nursing homes or hospitals for those who can have candy but rarely receive it. You can even pass your candy out at a fire station, police station or hospital to thank everyone that works tirelessly to keep us safe and healthy. Another great option is to package it up and donate it to soldiers that are deployed. The candy is certain to be a welcome treat that might make them feel like they are at home for a brief moment. Make sure you package your candy in a plastic bag in case of melting and send it off to a charity that will help distribute your candy.

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by all of the candy your kids bring home. These ten tips will give you options that will make the children happy to share their loot. Now, you can worry less about cavities and weight gain during this season, which is certain to help improve on your budget and happiness.