Archive for January 31, 2019

Frugal Ways to Get the Most Out of Black History Month

Black history is almost upon us, which means you’re in for a lot of fun. Black history month is designed to help people learn more about people in our society who don’t always get the spotlight they deserve. However, for many, black history month might go unnoticed because they don’t know how to celebrate. Luckily, there are a lot of great ways to kick off the celebration and keep it going even when February is long gone. These ten tips ensure you will have a lot of fun while helping you learn lots of great information during this special month. So, get ready to celebrate in style as you tick off the items on this list.

1. Visit a Museum
When it comes to celebrating, one of the best places to start your journey through black history month is to head to a museum in your area. If you plan on taking a trip during this month, then you might look and see what museums are available for you to check out while you’re there. Generally, during this month, a lot of museums will work hard to bring content that will help visitors learn about black history. You might even luck out and find a museum dedicated entirely to black history. For instance, one of the best museums to check out is The National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is a branch of the Smithsonian Museum. You can even check out some museums online if you can’t travel, which can be a real asset for anyone looking to branch out from their own home.

2. Immerse Yourself in Literature
One of the best things about literature is it allows you to immerse yourself in the world of someone else. There are so many amazing works of literature to choose from during black history month that you might end up wanting to dedicate your entire year to black literature. From poets and novelist to essayist and lyricist, there is a little something for everyone. A lot of the classic literature is also free now, so you should be able to find some great things without spending a cent. Your local library should be able to help you in this regard too, as they should have some fine options on display. If you can’t find anything, then a librarian should be able to point you in the right direction. There are also many books for children that feature black characters. This will certainly bring excitement to young readers.

3. Explore Music
If you really want to spice up your black history month then you should really check out all of the music available. You can explore jazz, the blues, r&b, rap, hip hop and even rock n roll. You’d be amazed by how many of your favorite songs stem from music that originated in black communities. If you’re at a loss for where to begin then power up your favorite streaming platform. You’re bound to find a lot of playlists dedicated to black history month. You may even be able to separate music by genre if you don’t like to mix and match. If you’d like to learn even more then check out a book or documentary on the topic. You can even browse the net for music suggestions, history lessons and more.

4. Investigate History
It might seem like a no-brainer, but one of the best ways to celebrate black history month is to actually learn more black history. You might want to take a look at your favorite periods of history to see how this time period was improved by black communities. You will be surprised to find how many inventors, scholars and politicians got the back burner in your history books. You’re bound to have some fun learning a lot of new and interesting facts that you can pass on to others. If you don’t want to look at history from a broad spectrum then hone in your search a bit. For instance, you can study up on a hero, inventor, scholar, president, musician, artist and so on. There are so many documentaries that can enlighten you quite a bit. You’ll be so impressed that you’ll want to share more about the person you’ve studied with everyone you meet.

5. Embrace Speeches
One of the most powerful aspects of history can be found in speeches. There have been many speeches that have affected the black community as well as the rest of the country, so seek them out and have a listen. Some of the more popular speeches to read around this time period are those given by Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X. However, you might be surprised to find there are a lot of powerful speeches that you may have never heard of. A simple search will get you started on your investigation. However, if you’re looking to feel empowered by some of the speeches you’ve already heard, then chances are you can read and listen to them online. Many of Martin Luther King Jr’s speeches have been available online for free for many years now. You’re bound to come across websites featuring them on Martin Luther King Jr Day, as well as throughout black history month.

6. Recreate Art
When it comes to art, the black community has contributed so much. Chances are, some of your favorite works of art were created by a black artist that simply didn’t get the attention they deserved. During black history month, you might want to explore art created by black artists. If you have children in the home or if you’re just feeling artistic then you might recreate some of the works. You can modernize the piece to show its relevance today, simply redo the piece with your own artistic flair or recreate it in a different medium. You might also consider reprinting some of the fliers that were seen during the civil rights movement. This will help remind you how important it is to fight for your rights and the rights of others.

7. Celebrate a Black Veteran
Veterans have always been celebrated in this country. However, not all veterans get the applause and gratitude they deserve. In fact, in many of the wars we’ve faced in this country, there have been full platoons of black soldiers that were sent in to do the toughest jobs, with no recognition for their incredible bravery. Some soldiers have even managed to fly under the radar today. So, this black history month, you might want to learn more about the black veterans that have served this country with honor. There are lots of websites to help you on your way. You might also talk to your local veteran’s affairs office to see if there is a veteran in your community that you can honor.

8. Check Out a Podcast/Docuseries/Etc.
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands then you’re still in luck. There are many ways you can learn more about black history that will fit into your busy schedule. For instance, you might want to check out a podcast during your commute to work. You can find all sorts of podcasts that talk about history, civil rights, black culture and so much more. If you are into history, but not reading, then you can easily find a docuseries on just about any topic you could possibly imagine. This will certainly help you find what you need to make this month informative and fun.

9. Try New Foods
Another great and tasty way to celebrate black history month is to try out a few foods. You might start this journey by checking out some African recipes. Since there are so many regions in Africa, you’ll be able to try a diverse number of dishes, which is certain to broaden your horizons and your palette. You might also research how food developed in black communities. One of the more common items to research is the origin of soul food. Of course, you won’t want to skip out on some of these dishes either. Another great way to celebrate the month and the food is to learn about the top black chefs in the country and world. You can even find some of their recipes and give them a try.

10. Honor the Civil Rights Movement
Without a doubt, the civil rights movement is one of the most important things you should remember and celebrate during this time. This month, you might dedicate some time to learn more about the movement. There are many people, places and, in a sense, battles that you may have never heard of. This will honor the memory of those that fought for the rights we hold so dear today. Learning about the movement is important but maintaining and expanding on the values is also incredibly important. With knowledge comes power and knowing and understanding this period of history can help preserve rights today and for future generations.

Black history month is an exciting time to expand on your knowledge and learn more about one of the many cultures in the country today. There are so many things to learn and explore this month that children and adults alike should have a great time. Honoring black history is certainly one of the best ways to help breach gaps and help bring unity to everyone.

Quick Ways to Put the Flame In Your Romance This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it, which usually calls for numerous couples to scrambled to find the perfect gift. This can be tough if you’re on a budget or you simply don’t want to buy into the commercial aspect of this holiday. Luckily, there are lots of great things you can do for your partner to make Valentine’s Day an occasion to remember. You may even find these easy to follow ideas a great way to make every day Valentine’s Day. Before you know it, you’ll have eliminated the stress of this holiday, so you can easily find the romance you desire without the price tag.

1. Massage
We all lead pretty stressful lives, which can cause a lot of tension to build up throughout the body. If you really want to make your partner happy, ditch the flower and give them a massage. You can even have a shared massage experience, where you take turn massaging each other, or you work together. There are so many massages to choose from, which can help the two of you learn more about your bodies. You can use oils already found around the house or purchase some on sale to help improve your intimacy throughout the year. You might also do a bit of research to learn more about massage techniques so you can really up your game. Your partner will feel a lot better, which will make your romance even more enjoyable as the days pass.

2. Cook Together
This might sound like a simple activity, but you’d be surprised as to how much it can spark a relationship. Cooking requires you to work together and communicate which can help create a stronger foundation for even older relationships. Cooking together also allows you to bond over something you both love, a meal. You can cook foods that speak to both of you, so you have a fair collaboration to work with. When the meal is done, make sure to sit down and eat together. It’s best to remove distraction like the television, but some mood music never hurts. This will help make the conversation and bonding experience last even longer. If you want to make the meal even more romantic, then make traditional romantic foods like chocolate covered strawberries or make foods easy to eat with your fingers and feed each other.

3. Reminisce About Your Early Dating Days
Instead of spending money on items that are going to be tossed out in a few days, you might want to spend your time concentrating on your memories. These rich elements of your life will help spark warmth and happiness every Valentines Day. Try to spark up a conversation about your first date or your favorite date. You can also talk about first impressions and when you fell in love with one another. Talking about your romance story will help you feel closer together and will remind you how much love you share with each other. This is bound to make you both feel great, which isn’t something no present could one up.

4. Share a Romantic Playlist
Music can be a key to your romance, which is why it is one of the best gifts for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries or any time you want to appreciate your love for one another. Years ago, you may have made mixed tapes or CDs for each other, where today things are too busy for such things and technology has changed the way you listen to music. You might take a step back in time and burn a CD though, if you still have the technology to do so. Try to think of songs that you listened to while you were dating or simply those that remind you of your partner. If you can’t burn the playlist then share it on your favorite steaming device. If you can, listen to the playlist together and dance to spark even more romance. You’ll love communicating in this way so much that you might take to making a playlist as often as you did when you were younger.

5. Try Something New
New activities are actually a great way to spark a connection between a couple. Not only is expanding one’s horizons good for the individual but doing so with someone else instantly adds a bond to the couple. Thus, if you’re looking to make Valentine’s Day great, you should spend the time doing something you haven’t done before. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on skydiving or bungee jumping or even seeing a movie. Instead, think outside of the box. One great way to satisfy this activity without spending a penny is to volunteer. There are charity programs like Habitat for Humanity that will allow you to build a house together for a family in need. You might also consider cleaning up a park, mentoring children or visiting a nursing home. These activities will bring out the best in your personality while also ensuring you create a bond that you’ll be able to remember until you are old.

6. Show Affection
One of the keys to maintaining your relationship is to continue to show affection. It is important not to hold back on hugging and kissing, even when you aren’t feeling lovey dovey. This human contact is actually great for your health. In fact, you need a certain number of hugs each day to maximize your health, so make sure you hit your quota! General affection is a great way to keep the bond between you and your partner going strong though. On Valentine’s Day, you might consider cuddling on the couch with your favorite movies or TV shows. This will allow you to improve on your connection without spending a dime. This is a more realistic form of love opposed to the giant teddy bears and huge boxes of chocolate that the commercial world might have you believe in.

7. Take a Walk
If you have trouble finding the time you need to bond with your partner, then make a commitment to walk together. One of the easiest times to pencil in this activity is after dinner, which will actually help to boost your health anyway. Walking after a meal helps with digestion and burns excess calories. It’s also a great way to unwind. Of course, when you walk with a partner then you’re giving yourself the perfect time to talk. You can catch up on your day, thoughts and feelings and so much more. If you want to add even more love to the walk, then hold hands. You might be surprised as to how this helps your relationship. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to try out the activity too.

8. Leave Hidden Notes
If you find your relationship getting a bit stale, then you can really add some spark by leaving notes for your significant other. If you want to start this on Valentine’s Day, then stock up on sticky notes and get to work. You can hide the notes to make them even more special or you can keep it obvious by placing them in areas you know your partner is going to find them. One great place to hide a note is your partner’s lunch, as it will give them a burst of joy in the middle of the day. You can also place one in their car to help remind them how much you care. If you’re not sure what to write, then check out some romance puns or love quotes to share how you feel. This small effort is certain to create joy.

9. Plant Flowers
It is traditional to give roses or bouquets of flowers on Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, these items can cost a fortune, particularly during this time frame. Instead of spending a lot of money on flowers that won’t live past the month, you might consider purchasing a plant. Around this time, you should be able to find lots of options that will look great in your garden. You might have to store them in a planter inside for a few months, but the plant should still offer a touch of beauty and freshness for your partner to enjoy. The plant will help provide beauty for years to come, which is bound to increase the joy in your life. If you want to save even more money, then buy seeds instead. You can start the plants off inside and grow them from almost nothing together. This can bring even more romance to the gift.

10. Skip Valentine’s Day
Of course, one of the best things you can do is skip Valentine’s Day altogether. This holiday can add a lot of pressure on a relationship, especially if people compare your holiday to other’s. Instead of buying into the commercial aspect of the holiday, make it a point to share your love for one another every single day. This will help each partner feel appreciated in the relationship opposed to having to build up for one day. Holidays like Valentine’s Day can be fun, especially when you’re just starting out, but as the years pass it is more important to keep your love fresh in your mind daily to keep the relationship thriving as you pass milestone after milestone.

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, you might feel pressured to spend a fortune. These tips will hopefully help you take a step back so you can reduce your spending budget during this occasion. Whether you’re a fan of Valentine’s Day or not, you are certain to find a few ways to show your love with these tips on your side.

Fun Activities to Help Your Child Embrace the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, is a great time to celebrate the beauty of spring and starting fresh. If you’re not accustomed to celebrating the holiday, then you might not know how to help children get the most out of the activity. At a glance, the Spring Festival might be another holiday that is going to set your budget back. However, you can celebrate this holiday without spending a fortune. You can even embrace the traditions that won’t cost you to spend money. These ten ideas will help you make your Chinese New Year outstanding in a pinch, so you can truly enjoy the good fortune that you have coming your way in the new season.

1. DIY Dragon
In many Chinese New Year celebrations, you can see dragons dancing in the streets. This can be incredibly exciting for children and might be one of the most memorable aspects of the holiday. You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money on a dragon puppet to celebrate this element of the event though. Instead, kids might have a blast making their own dragon from supplies you probably already have lying around the home. You can start your puppet out with a paper plate face and add a popsicle stick to make it easy to sport in a parade. There are also more intricate tutorials online that can help you make your dragon even more realistic. If you want to go one step further, you can staple or sew dragon details to your child’s hoodie, so they can dance and pretend to be a dragon in your own personal parade.

2. Make and Light Lanterns
Paper lanterns can also be a magical aspect of the holiday that children can easily take part in. Paper lanterns will help create a great atmosphere in your home too, which will allow you to embrace the holiday even more. There are lots of great tutorials for paper lanterns, so pick and choose those that cater to your needs. Most of these lanterns can be made out of paper you’ll already have in your craft supplies or papers that aren’t pricey to purchase in bulk at craft stores. Once you have your lanterns up then hang them up as d├ęcor. You can also place digital candles in them for a safe option that kids will enjoy. Your children might be so fond of their lanterns that they’ll want to keep them out all year long.

3. Discover Chinese Zodiac
Part of the holiday is the introduction of a new Chinese zodiac. Thus, the festival is the perfect time to teach children all about the Chinese zodiac and the story behind it. 2019 is the year of the pig, so you might start there. Children will enjoy learning the qualities of the pig and so on. However, many children will want to know more about their own personal zodiac. There are many charts available, so you can learn more about everyone in the family. You can even check out the element of your personal zodiac. If kids are still interested after the initial learning experience then you can open them up to crafts or even stories about the zodiacs to help broaden their interest.

4. Enjoy Pig Crafts
Since 2019 belongs to the pig, you might want to enjoy some pig crafts. Generally, during the celebration, many people enjoy decorating their home in the animal of the year. Thus, crafts can truly come in handy during this long holiday. There are so many pig crafts to choose from, but you can make many of them from items you have around the house. For instance, toilet rolls can easily be painted pink and paper ears, snouts and tails can be glued to them for a fun look that can hold napkins or can be hung from the ceiling for decor. You can also make a pig mask from a paper plate. The craft ideas are endless, so check out some tutorials online to find the perfect options for the age groups and interests in your household.

5. Craft a Chinese Drum
Kids love to make noise and this holiday definitely calls for some noise makers. So, one of your best options is to make a Chinese drum. This can be made from items found around the house, so you won’t have to spend any money here. The craft is also incredibly simple so it works for all age groups and will provide hours of fun. All you really need for this craft is some dried beans, paper plates, disposable chopsticks, markers and glue. To begin with, have the kids color their paper plates to suit the occasion. Red and yellow are the typical colors used during this holiday; however, children might also enjoy using the zodiac of the year or their own zodiac. When the paper plates are ready, glue one chopstick to the bottom of one plate. Then place your beans on this plate. Once you’ve completed this, glue the two plates together. Make sure there are no openings or else the drum won’t work. When everything is dry, the kids can perform their own music and dances.

6. Embrace Tidying Up
One of the traditions of Chinese New Year is to clean up the home before the new year arrives. This is said to bring luck to you in the upcoming year. Children can easily embrace this aspect of the holiday, even if they aren’t too happy about it. The best thing about tidying up is it can also help save you some money and may even earn you money if you choose to have a garage sale. Tidying is currently a trend as well, so you can easily pick up some awesome tips from many television programs and books. This might help improve the quality of your life in the future, which is bound to make you feel better. With a more positive outlook, there is no telling the great heights that the new year will take you. It is amazing to think that tidying up the home can do so much for the whole family. Of course, teaching children to be tidy from an early age can also provide them with essential tips that will stick with them into adulthood.

7. Gift Oranges
The Spring Festival is known for red envelopes, which are filled with money. However, you don’t have to do this. In fact, there is another gift you can give that won’t cost you a fortune and will also help bring joy and fortune to those that you care about. This gift is mandarins or oranges. In Chinese culture, this fruit is said to bring luck, so gifting them during the holiday is bound to spread your fortune. Best of all, they are great for the whole family to snack on during the special occasion. You can do a lot with oranges too, including crafts or making your own scent oils and more.

8. Eat Traditional Foods
Like with most celebrations, food plays an important role in the holiday. This celebration is a great time to introduce children to traditional Chinese foods. One of the easiest options is to make dumplings with the family. This is a classic food served during the holiday and there are many easy recipes you can use if you’re a newcomer to the food. You can purchase other traditional foods from stores if you’re not up for the task of following recipes. However, most Chinese restaurants are affordable, especially if you’re just purchasing enough food to let everyone try out the dish. You might even find some great deals during this time. If you plan on eating a meal at a restaurant, then look for a buffet. This will help you get more food for your money while also allowing you try a larger variety of food.

9. Play Games
No matter the culture or celebration, there always seems to be lots of games to bring people together. There are many games that children love to play that you have probably already introduced to your children. Some examples of these games are dominoes, many card games and even chess. Of course, there are also traditional Chinese games that you can enjoy too. There’s lots of content to on these games, so you can try a new game for each night of the festival. You might also try singing some traditional songs, which you can also find in playlist online. These activities are designed to help families bond, which might make the festival an even more rewarding experience for everyone.

10. Enjoy Fireworks
Without a doubt, fireworks are a huge part of the Spring Festival. You can really have a blast with this activity too, without spending a fortune. If you have leftover fireworks from other holidays, then you might want to pull them out to set off for the big event. However, you can still have fun even if you don’t have any fireworks. You might consider going to a community event and watching their fireworks. This is particularly common in areas that have small Chinese communities. If you can’t find an activity in your area, then look online and watch a display from China. You can even check out an event from every big city in the country, which could help you learn more about the country. You can also make child friendly fireworks using craft supplies.

All in all, the Chinese New Year can be a whole lot of fun for everyone in the family. These tips are mere suggestions to help you get more out of the holiday experience. With any luck, everyone in your family will have the time of their lives without forcing you to spend money. Since the holiday is long, you’ll have even more time to embrace many events to help you relax and look forward to the upcoming spring season.

Frugal Ways to Embrace the Super Bowl Experience

With the playoffs in full swing, you might be wondering how you can get in on the Super Bowl action this year, or maybe even just in the future. This event can really set your budget back, which is why it might take some time and patience in order to afford such an event. However, you can still make it a possibility, so don’t lose hope. These ten tips will help you maximize your savings when you plan a Super Bowl experience while also allowing you to get the most out of your memory in the making. So, if you’re gearing up to go to the Super Bowl, check out these tips first. You’ll be surprised by how much money you can save.

1. Become Season Pass Holders
If football is pretty much your life during the autumn and winter months, then you’re bound to want to make the most out of the deals you can find. One of your best options is to purchase a season pass for the game. This will allow you to get more for your money as there will be a small discount on the price of your tickets. On top of that, you can actually sell back tickets if you don’t plan on going to the game. Some people will even sell the tickets to others, but you might want to check the rules before you choose to do this. Season pass holders also get first dibs on Super Bowl tickets. This means you’ll be offered more affordable options to choose from. With a season pass, you’ll also be able to lock in your ticket before the game sells out.

2. Look Out for the Lottery
Believe it or not, but there is a lottery for Super Bowl tickets. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to walk away with free tickets for the biggest game of the year. However, it does mean that you can win the chance to purchase tickets at a more affordable price. You will have to look into the various services that run lotteries in order to give yourself a better chance at a winning. Of course, if you’re a lucky person then you might want to try your hand at winning tickets in other ways. Generally, radio stations and other broadcasting programs tend to hold contests for fans. So, don’t be shy and call in quickly for a chance at this dream come true.

3. Use Your Credit Card
Utilizing your credit card for splurges isn’t always the best option. However, when it comes to the Super Bowl you might actually save some money by using your card. Of course, you will to do a little research to see if your card can work some magic for you. Many credit cards offer rewards when a certain amount of money is spent, so you might be able to get some cash back here. You may also be able to get a discount on your tickets for using certain cards. Best of all, some cards will offer interest free periods, especially if you’re new to the company. With any luck, purchasing your tickets on your card will ensure you get to go to the game. It will even give you the chance to pay off the expenditure in a timely manner.

4. Tailgate
For most people, tailgating is a part of the football experience. This is especially the case when you go to the Super Bowl. The tailgating party is the best time to bond with other fans while also making the most out of the experience. Of course, the tailgating party is also the perfect time to get full before the game begins. If you plan on tailgating yourself, then consider buying bulk foods that are cheap. Hot dogs and chips are one of the best options. If you offer to share with others then chances are more people will share with you, too. Of course, many people are in it for the fun so you might find compassionate people willing to share without anything in exchange. Some people might also offer food for a fee. Even though this will set you back, it won’t cost you as much as the food inside.

5. Skip the Concession Stand
Football games can seem to go on forever. This can be particularly true when you’re at a football game in person and you’re starting to feel hungry. There are so many great smells around you, which makes it hard to say no. However, concession stand prices are really going to kill your budget. Instead of indulging, try to head back to the car during the half time show to eat. However, make sure you can get back into the stadium before you leave. One of the most expensive items is alcohol. So, if you can avoid drinking you’ll be better off. This alone will help you from over indulging in food and drink. Of course, if you need a little pick me up, then choose some food items that can be shared with your entire party. You might also buy the largest drink possible to share. This should cut back on your spending, while also allowing you to stay comfortable.

6. Shop Merchandise After the Game
It’s hard to resist grabbing a souvenir from such an event. However, if you can step away from the shops at the stadium. When the games are over and a winner is declared, there will be a sudden surge in merchandise for people to show off their team. However, a few weeks after the Super Bowl is over excitement tends to die down. Thus, you can easily find the merchandise you’d like to remember your trip at an incredibly low price. Instead of buying tees and other items, you might want to choose to frame your ticket stubs instead. This will save you even more money so you can recover financially from the experience faster.

7. Bring Binoculars
Let’s face it, with Super Bowl tickets ranging in the thousands of dollars range, you might not get the greatest seats around. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the experience entirely. Instead of feeling bummed out about your seats, or spending the game squinting, you might want to invest in some binoculars. This will allow you to see the entire game while also feeling the energy of the crowd. A set of binoculars doesn’t have to set you back much either, especially if you purchase them second hand. Just make sure to test out any secondhand items before you purchase them.

8. Save Slowly
When you’re looking at ticket prices, you might decide that you’re just not ready to make the expenditure right now. However, this can be a great jumping off point for you. Instead of going to the Super Bowl this year, you can always make it a goal to save to go next year. This doesn’t mean that you have to put back entire paychecks either. Instead, consider using some simple savings techniques. For instance, you can begin by saving a dollar for every week of the year. In January, you’ll start with one dollar for the first week, with a total of ten dollars for the month, while in December you will end the year with $52 and a total of $202 for the month. All of this should add up to around $1k banked. Another option is a bad habit jar, which will allow you to put back money to help prevent you from doing something you’d like to change. There are so many other savings tips to choose from though, so find something that works for you. Before you know it, you’ll have met your goal and will be ready to enjoy the next huge event.

9. Prepare for Everything
Generally, the Super Bowl takes place in January or February, which can bring some unpredictable weather. Of course, the weather will also depend on where the games take place. So, when you plan your journey make sure you take a look ahead at the forecast as well as what the weather is typically like. In most cases, you should pack a jacket and a hat to ensure you’re comfortable. However, you might also want to bring along a poncho that can fit over your jacket. Umbrellas aren’t allowed inside, so your poncho will certainly help you make the most of the experience if rain is expected. Sunscreen should also be brought with you, especially since you’ll be outdoors for many hours. You should also be aware of what you can’t bring into the stadium with you. This will help save you a trip back to your car or will save your items from being thrown out.

10. Book Ahead
One of the best things you can do before attending the Super Bowl is book everything you will need during the experience. If you need to fly there or take a bus, then grab tickets before the rush arrives. Purchasing in advance will save you big time, which will help make the cost less frightening. You should also book your hotel well in advance. As soon as you find out where the game will be then hop online and book your room. It might be wise to check out some of the other things you can do in the area. Sometimes, purchasing these tickets in advance can even help you with finances and planning. You might also look for Groupons or other social coupons for restaurants, so you can save even more money.

The Super Bowl experience should be exciting and fun, opposed to stressful. These tips should help you enjoy the positive aspects of the experience, so you can make the best possible memories. Whether your team wins or loses, with any luck you’ll walk out of the stadium smiling from the amazing experience.

Ten Budget Friendly Tips to Make Sure You’re Ready For Wedding Season

Wedding season is practically here. Starting in February, you’re more than likely going to begin receiving wedding invitations in the mail for couples aspiring to have a romantic special day. This season can be trying for anyone on a tight budget, especially if the weddings are events that you can’t pass up. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help save some money during this busy period of the year. Before you know it, you’ll be prepared to take on Valentine’s day events, spring themed occasions and beach destination weddings without blinking an eye. So, enjoy the wedding season a lot more this year, because you won’t have to stress your budget as much with these tips.

1. Prepare Your Wardrobe
One of the best things you can do to prep for the season is make sure you have a wardrobe that will suit weddings. You don’t have to go overboard and choose multiple outfits for different weddings. In fact, all you really need is one versatile outfit. For example, choose a dress that has short sleeves, but will also pair well with panty hose and a cardigan. This will allow you to wear the item no matter the season. With a few well-planned accessories, your look will stay fresh and exciting no matter how many weddings you wear it to. You can even make your own outfit if you love to sew and design. This will help save quite a bit of money in the long run. Another key to making your wardrobe work is finding materials that won’t wrinkle while packed away.

2. Shop Sales
Sales are going to be your best friend during this season, so don’t hesitate to shop ahead of time. Usually, in January, white sales will ensure you find great deals on towels, sheets and other household items that most newlyweds will appreciate. You might also find some great deals on smaller home appliances, which come in handy during this season. If you shop ahead in bulk, then you’ll always have a great gift to share with the couples that you celebrate with. You may even be able to find some great deals on clothes that will help make you look amazing during the season.

3. Bulk Cards
A lot of people love to give cards when it comes to weddings. This can be a great way to share your love, address your absence or simply a lovely way to hold your gift card. Cards can be pretty pricey though, so you may end up spending a lot during the season even if you don’t plan on attending every wedding you’re invited to. One way to combat this cost is to purchase cards in bulk. This is bound to help you save money while also ensuring you have a little something for every newlywed in your life. You can actually purchase wedding inspired cards in bulk if you look hard enough. However, a simple card that isn’t themed might help you out more and won’t clash with the personality or theme of the various weddings.

4. Make it a Vacation
Traveling to a wedding can be pretty tough, especially if you have to take time off work to do so. Sometimes, this can even eat into your own vacation time. So, instead of traveling just for the wedding, pretend your travels are actually for your own vacation. Sure, you won’t get to choose the destination, but thinking about the event as a vacation will help you justify the expenditure while also getting some down time in for yourself. Since weddings will only take up a small portion of your time away, try to look around for other things to do. Even remote areas should have some form of tourist activity that will keep you on your toes. You can even make a vacation out of layovers and more. No matter what you plan to do, just make sure to enjoy yourself even if it means just having fun on the dance floor during the reception.

5. Stay with Loved Ones
Hotel costs can eat up your budget incredibly fast. This can be a huge problem if you don’t have a lot of money to juggle with. Instead of working about booking a room, ask loved ones if you can stay with them. Sometimes, this will mean couch surfacing in a home while other times it might mean crashing the floor of a hotel room. If you know other people attending the wedding, then you might also consider splitting the cost of the room to help save some money. This is bound to make your money stretch even further and might even improve the experience you have over the wedding period.

6. Pack Food
Purchasing food during your travel time can also cut your budget pretty tight. Instead of eating at restaurants for every meal, you might want to pack some food to help get you by. This will give you more money for other expenditures. Plus, it will help you keep your budget steady if you didn’t have a lot of money to play around with. You should always pack easy to eat foods though. For instance, items like packaged nuts, fruits and even sandwiches can help keep you full without forcing you to spend a fortune. You should also consider shopping at a grocery store when you arrive at your destination. This will help cut back on spending while also making traveling a bit more convenient. Luckily, one meal should be provided during the wedding, so you can stress less about eating while traveling.

7. DIY Gift
Most couples will receive a lot of household goods that they probably won’t need or want during their wedding event. So, you might set yourself apart by creating a DIY gift that is catered to suit their personalities. This will actually help you save quite a bit of money too, which is bound to make things less stressful. There are so many things that you can make for the newly weds too, so you can have fun with the project. One idea is to make a special name plate for the couple to show off. You might also consider personalized mugs for those that love coffee and tea. Another option is to knit, quilt or embroider a craft. Truly, you can find something that suits your talents and the couple’s personality. You might even consider a gift basket if you aren’t sure what else to create.

8. Offer Your Services
If a wedding gift isn’t in your budget, or you’re not sure what to purchase, then you might offer your services instead. Weddings are pricey, so finding help in unexpected places is usually a great way to help ease the burden of a couple. Some of the more efficient talents are a makeup artist or hair stylist that can work on the bridal party with ease. A seamstress might also be necessary in a pinch and will ensure everyone in the wedding looks magnificent. If you’re a musician or a bar tender, then your services might be needed during the reception. Of course, you know what you can offer, so don’t hold back if you have the time and ability.

9. Don’t Skip the Reception
When you head to a wedding, you should always try to stay for the reception as well. This is the perfect time to unwind from your travels, which also might help you cut back on the stress you feel about your budget. You will also be able to enjoy a nice meal and possibly even an open bar, which will prevent you from having to spend money on food later in the day. The reception is also the best time to hang out with newlyweds, especially if you are close with them. Overall, the reception will help you offset costs to ensure you enjoy the occasion even more.

10. Prepare Yourself
A lot of people feel like they have to go the extra mile when preparing for a wedding. Opposed to spending a fortune at a beauty salon, you can easily do many of the things yourself. For instance, there are lots of tutorials online to help you create some awesome hairstyles. You might even be able to follow a tutorial to find an unforgettable makeup style. Of course, if you have trouble doing things yourself then you might ask a friend or multiple people to help out. You can even have a pre-wedding party to ensure everyone’s hair, makeup and nails look amazing.

Wedding season doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. With these tips, you should be able to enjoy all of the weddings you’re invited to while still cutting back on the money you would spend on them. So, don’t pass up on the fun this wedding season, because it doesn’t have to be an expenditure that will leave you hurting when it is all said and done.

Frugal Workout Accessories That Will Get You Fit In the New Year

A new year means many new resolutions that can be a bit pricey if you’re not careful. If you’re looking to get in shape this year, then you might be surprised by how much a gym membership or even having your gym can set you back. Luckily, there are a few accessories that can help boost your workout without forcing you to spend a fortune on other workout supplies. So, if you want to get in the best shape of your life, don’t purchase more than you can afford, because these ten items are bound to get you on the right track.

1. Athletic Shoes
A good pair of shoes is probably the best things you can purchase when it comes to getting in shape and helping your body to work out without doing a lot of damage. A pair of good shoes will actually last you some time too, so you won’t have to worry about spending a fortune again and again. When looking for a pair of shoes, try to find a shoe that caters to your needs opposed to one that simply looks nice. The best thing you can do is find a shoe for the workouts you plan on doing. There are great shoes for running and walking which should actually suit your needs substantially. Of course, if you do plan on cycling, climbing or other specified activities then you’ll want to cater your needs toward that specific sport. There are a lot of great options to choose from though, which is bound to allow you to meet your athletic needs while also helping your body stay comfortable. Without a doubt, a good pair of shoes can make or break your workout, so shop around until you find the right fit for you.

2. Yoga Mat
A yoga mat is one of the most basic items that you can purchase for your workout routine. This mat will make your yoga experience more enjoyable and will help you progress in the activity. Your yoga mat doesn’t have to be especially used for yoga though. Rather, you can incorporate it into many areas of your athletic life. For starters, your yoga mat can easily be transformed into a great place to meditate and might even help you further your experience. It is also a good spot for doing basic exercises like sit ups and pushups, as well as activities like Tai Chi that might require you to balance more efficiently. Your yoga mat will last you some time with proper care too, so you won’t have to worry about this cheap investment consistently effecting your budget.

3. Weights
Lifting weights can be one of the best ways for many people to start working out. These simple workout accessories are perfect for anyone trying to improve on strength or those hoping to tone up. Weights can be purchased in a variety of shapes and sizes too, so you can choose the material and the weight that meets your preferences. The best thing about weights is you can customize your needs for a lot less than you would need to with other workout supplies. Weights cost just a few dollars a piece and can even be purchased in sets to ensure you can get have a lot of options to choose from. Generally, weights are some of the first items to go on sale too, which will allow you to save even more money If you can wait for a sale to arrive.

4. Balance Ball
If working on your core and balance is something that seems to be appealing to you then a balance ball is certainly something you should invest in. The great thing about balance balls are you can find one for next to nothing and they are easy to patch up if they are damaged. You can do many basic exercises on your balance ball, which will actually improve on the effectiveness of the exercise. On top of that, you can enjoy workouts like Pilates and yoga with this accessory in your possession. If you want to keep your body going even when you’re enjoying yourself, then the ball can also be used as a chair. This will engage the core and will keep your body burning more calories even when you’re at rest.

5. Aerobic Step
Another great item to have around the house is an aerobic step. This workout accessory is perfect for many aerobic programs. However, it can also be used in a series of other workouts too. For instance, if you are working on improving the strength in your calves then an aerobic step can certainly help you on your way. You can also cater workouts to the aerobic step using a search engine and a little elbow grease. An aerobic step doesn’t haven’t to be purely for exercise either. In fact, this piece of equipment might come in handy if you need to grab something from a shelf that might be too high. You can also use it for sitting and resting when you’re feeling a bit tired from all of your movements. This accessory is easy to store too, which will come in handy if you don’t have space to leave out your workout gear.

6. Multipurpose Equipment
When it comes to building a home gym, your best option is to think functionality. Purchasing a home gym can set you back quite a bit, so it is important that every piece in the gym serves more than one purpose. So, when it comes to choosing items, your best option is to buy multipurpose equipment. Usually, these gyms have a wide variety of options to choose from. Some of the more popular options allow you to work out a variety of muscles on one machine. These usually cater to arm and leg workouts, which will help maximize your gym. Of course, if you can find a machine that allows you to do weight training and cardio then you will be better off. These machines can truly help you get the most out of your fitness goals, as well as the money that you put into your home gym.

7. Fitness Apps
These days, apps can help us do so many great things. One of the most beneficial things you can use your phone for is finding great workouts. There are so many apps to choose from if you’re looking for an exercise routine or even just workout videos to keep you going. Some of the apps will even help you customize your workout to suit your body’s needs. Of course, you might run into a few apps that will charge you a bit of money. However, when it comes down to it, your best option is to try the free apps before you make a commitment to purchasing something. You should also work with apps that offer free trials instead of making a commitment early. Workout apps aren’t the only option to choose from either. You can also find apps that help keep track of your fitness. Some of these apps even include food journals and dietary advice. These apps might not help you work out, but they can truly be an asset when you’re feeling discouraged by your progress or you need to find a way to improve your workout and fitness levels.

8. Resistance Gear
A lot of people don’t use resistance when working out, which can really cut back on the workout you deserve. Having resistance gear on hand can help you take a workout to a new level which might offer you more muscle tone or even help you lose weight faster. The best thing about resistance gear is you can purchase one form and use it in many different ways. You can even use your resistance gear on basic stretches that you might do during your warm up. The best thing about this purchase is you won’t have to worry about it costing a bundle as resistance gear tends to be cheap and lasts quite some time.

9. Sporting Goods
When it comes to working out, one of the best things you can do is have fun with it. For a lot of people, lifting weights, doing everyday exercises and walking or running are frustrating, boring or simply not enough to keep them going. Instead of focusing on this type of exercise, you might want to take some time to enjoy something you actually do love. For instance, if you used to like to play basketball as a kid, then purchase a ball and head to your local court. Playing might help you get back in shape while allowing you to find some time for you. If you’re not sure which sport to play then start with something simple like a soccer ball, which you can enjoy without others. You might also consider something out of the box, like a badminton set, which is great for entertaining others. Even a bowling ball and shoes can help you get on the right path to a healthier lifestyle.

10. Foam Roller
Foam rollers are relatively new for many people. So, they aren’t quite as popular as other workout accessories. That is why so many people overlook them when purchasing the supplies needed to get healthy. Foam rollers have actually been proven to help you workout and recover more efficiently though. You can use a foam roller before a workout or after, in order to work out your muscles and prevent painful cramps caused by your workout. Using the foam roller will also burn some calories, which is bound to help you on your weight loss journey. You might find your foam roller to be your favorite piece of equipment, once you find your workout groove.

Getting in shape and treating your body right doesn’t have to be a money pit. These helpful tips should allow you to purchase the accessories you need to work out efficiently while also allowing you to cater to your budget. Now, meeting your new year’s resolutions will be easier than ever.

Quick Ways to Save On Vitamins and Supplements So You Can Get Healthy In the New Year

These days, vitamin companies seem to be everywhere you look. If you’re on social media, then there’s a good chance you see advertisements for trendy companies or articles on vitamin on a daily basis. If you’re looking to improve your body’s health this year using vitamins, then there is never a better time to get educated on the subject and your options. However, using vitamins can get really expensive, especially if you’re not sure where to begin. These ten tips will help you make wise decisions about your future use, as well as how to save some money on the vitamins you choose to take. So, buckle up for the new year and help your body reach its goals with these simple to follow vitamin tips.

1. Talk to Your Doctor
One of the best things you can do for your body is talk to your doctor before you begin a vitamin regimen. Your doctor will be able to test your blood and talk about your diet, so they can fill in the nutrition gaps while making suggestions that will help you stay healthier. Speaking to your doctor will certainly help you avoid purchasing vitamins that you think you need. Your doctor can also give you a better assessment of how many vitamins and the dosage you should take each week. Best of all, you might even be able to get a prescription for your vitamins. This should provide you with some of the best vitamins on the market while also cutting back on the cost if you have insurance.

2. Shop In Bulk
When you know what vitamins you need and what makes you feel good, then don’t keep purchasing them in small bottles. Instead, you should find your vitamin of choice in bulk and purchase in this manner. If you are very specific as to what you like and need, then you might have to do some shopping around. However, most warehouse stores and even some department stores will give you the bulk items you need to get your health in order. This typically saves you a lot of money per supplement and will help ease your mind as you won’t have to stress monthly for all of the supplies you need each day.

3. Look For Coupons
Coupons are a great way to save some money. Luckily, you can find a lot of coupons on vitamins, which will help you get what you need for a lot less. One of the first places to begin your search for coupons is in local ads. This will help you go in the store and pick out supplements in person, which is beneficial to some people. However, some local coupons can be used online too. Shopping online for vitamins has many benefits and the amount of coupons offered is one of them. You can find coupons from vitamin companies, shops and even department stores. You can even seek out coupons on Amazon if you prefer to shop through that medium. As long as you’re willing to do a little work, you shouldn’t have to pay full price for your vitamins each month.

4. Go Generic
Just like with groceries and medication, you can actually save some big money when you wind up purchasing generic vitamins opposed to your favorite brand names. There are a lot of generic options to choose from, including those from your favorite stores. However, when it comes to shopping generic or vitamins in general, it is important to look at the ingredient list. You might want to compare the generic with the brand you know works for you. Looking at the ingredient list will also help you understand more about the quality of ingredients in your vitamins, which could also affect absorption.

5. Consider Larger Doses
Vitamins come in a wide range of sizes to suit your needs. One of the main problems with the dosage of vitamins is it cost less to take larger doses in the long run. This can really work out in your favor though. If you’re looking to save some money, then purchase a vitamin that is double the dosage size that you need. You can then use a pill cutter to cut the supplement in half. This will allow you to get twice as many vitamins for the price of a bottle that merely contains a larger dosage. This is almost the same as purchasing in bulk, but you will find even more savings by using this method. This is also great if you share vitamins with other people in the household, as it will stretch your vitamin consumption even more.

6. Take a Multivitamin
Let’s face it, most of us are going to need more than one vitamin or mineral to help us maximize our nutrition. That is why multivitamins are often the best option when it comes to shopping for vitamins. Most multivitamins will feature the basics, including vitamin B and C, as well as iron and calcium. Of course, you can always search around for a multivitamin that suits all of your needs. This shouldn’t be too hard because there are numerous different multivitamins to choose from. You can even shop by gender, age or specific health concerns. Best of all, most multivitamins won’t cost any more than other supplements, so you’ll wind up getting more for your money without even trying .

7. Skip the Subscriptions
Vitamin subscriptions are a huge trend this year. There are many new vitamin services available that claim to offer you a customized vitamin experience. This might sound great and for some people it totally is. However, you have to stop and question the validity of the service. Most of these services don’t require blood work in order to make a recommendation. Often, they don’t even ask your typical diet. Rather, you fill out a questionnaire and see what they have to say. Most of the vitamin recommendations wind up costing you more than $50 a month too, so if you’re on a tight budget this won’t suit your needs. On top of all of that, you’re going to end up creating a lot of waste in the process, as each day’s worth of vitamins are individually wrapped. Instead of purchasing for this service, check out the questionnaire and pick and choose the recommendations you’d like to try out. From there, purchase the vitamins by shopping around elsewhere. You’ll end up saving a fortune this way.

8. Use Pharmacy Rewards
If you plan on shopping in one store, then you might see if they have a rewards program. There are many online shops that do this, but you can also take advantage of local stores too. For instance, Walgreens and CVS both have brick and mortar and online shops that allow you to utilize an amazing rewards program. Not only will you accumulate points, but you’ll be privy to special prices that can help you save big. You’ll also be updated when there are sales on the items you tend to buy, which can help you catch a sale even when you’re not on the lookout. These rewards can certainly help you get in the groove when it comes to taking vitamins and saving money.

9. Shop Online
Believe it or not, but you can actually maximize your vitamin savings if you choose to shop online for the items you want. There are so many vitamins stores available today and each have their own discounts and rewards. This is certain to help you save money every time you purchase new vitamins, especially if you shop around every time you do purchase. Another great way to save is by signing up for Amazon’s renewal service. This allows you to set how often you want to receive a shipment of the vitamins that you need, while the company offers you a small percentage off of your order. Amazon also shows you when a coupon is available, which can cut back on even more money.

10. Eat Healthy
Of course, one of the best things you can do for your body is to actually eat healthy. A lot of people find that a healthy diet can be a little tough to afford on a tight budget and thus use a vitamin to supplement where their diet falters. A healthy diet can be achieved on a budget though, if you’re willing to do a little work to figure out the recipes that will suit your budgeting needs. You’d be surprised by how cheap it is to keep up with your basic needs. Adding leafy greens, eggs and in season produce to your diet can actually work wonders without forcing you to spend a fortune. You might also consider creating a garden to help stretch your budget even more.

If you’re excited about adding vitamins to your diet this year, then these tips should help you move in the right direction. Before you know it, your body will feel better than ever and you’ll be ready to take on the world. Best of all, you won’t have to sacrifice to afford the supplements you need to make life better.

Fun and Frugal Ideas to Help Kids Master Writing

In today’s world of technology, writing has seemed to take the back burner. However, it is still a crucial aspect of the learning process. Learning how to write can be troublesome though and many children are expected to have this skill down before they enter school. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your child pick up the skill without forcing them to stress out. These tricks are great for beginners and can even help out children that know how to write but are in need of penmanship improvement. Best of all, the tricks won’t cost you a fortune, so you can prepare your child without stressing your budget. So, this National Handwriting Day, you might get a start on some of these tricks to ensure your child loves to write.

1. Write in the Sand
One way to entice children to learn how to write is to allow them to have fun with the craft. One of the best ways to do this is to have kids write in the sand. You can do this task indoors or out too, so you can work around the weather. If you’re outside, then find some loose dirt or sand and have your child trace letters with their finger or a stick. You can bring the project inside by adding sand or dirt to a small box. Kids can write out a letter or word and then shake the box to start over again. Of course, you can think outside of the box and use whipped cream, shaving cream, pudding and more for the same effect.

2. Create Trace Sheets
Trace sheets are another great way to help the kids get the hang of the movements they need to write. Luckily, trace sheets are a cinch to make too, which can help you get your children on the right path quickly. One of the best options is for you to write out letters or words on a regular sheet of paper. Then, place a sheet of tracing paper on top for children to go over. You can make this activity more fun by placing the paper on a window or door so the light can shine through. You can also place paper in different areas to breathe new life into the activity. If you don’t want to work on trace sheets, then there are workbooks you can purchase cheaply or free print outs that can be found online.

3. Enjoy Games
Another quick way to get children on board for writing practice is to make practicing the skill more of a game. There are actually quite a few games you can enjoy as a family too. One of the most common is hangman, which can be played just about anywhere. You can customize clues to suit your child’s interests too, which will definitely add a spark to the game. Another great option is to come up with ab-libs for your child. This can be fun because it will allow you to work together on a project that they are bound to love. There are great game ideas online too, which will certainly help you keep writing practice fresh and exciting for your early learner.

4. Encourage Kids to Write Stories
As children become more skilled in writing and reading, you might use their love of stories to benefit them. Writing stories is a great activity for children that do have a few spelling words under their belt. All you need for this craft is some paper and a writing utensil. Children will love telling stories from their imagination or even those about their day. Kids can even illustrate to add to the fun. If you’d like to make this task easier for younger children then simply have them illustrate a story and then verbally share the story with you. From their story, you can write out simplistic words for your child to copy. This will help with writing practice while sparking a love of writing.

5. Teach Cursive
Cursive used to be taught in schools; however, as time has progressed many schools have decided to scrap the program altogether. Although many people don’t require cursive to get by in life, it can be a useful skill to have. Learning cursive can also help children with poor penmanship improve their handwriting. Cursive requires children to slow down and use their motor skills to write, which will also help build a habit that will help children improve on their printing. Cursive doesn’t have to be an intimidating task though. Rather, you can easily find tutorials online that will help you teach the skill if you’re feeling rusty. On top of that, you can also download worksheets for free, which is bound to help everyone in the family improve on their cursive skills. At the end of the day, your child will have picked up a skill that will set them apart in school, especially if their classmates miss out on this skill.

6. Use Different Utensils
Believe it or not, but the writing utensil your child chooses can make or break their writing practice. When your child is starting out, you might choose to use larger utensils to help your child learn how to grip and hold the item properly. Of course, as your child gets the hang of this then feel free to mix things up. For instance, one day you can practice using markers, while the next day you can use crayons or a gel pen. Your child will love playing with colors and the different utensils which will help keep their interest up. You can even break out the paint for your child to write their numbers and letters.

7. Journal Time
Children that already know how to write can actually benefit from some time journaling. This is especially important when it comes to helping your child practice their penmanship. Your best option for this is to purchase your child a journal that suits their interests. Then, set up a time and duration for your child to journal. One of the best times to do this is before bed, as journaling is actually designed to help the body and mind relax. You should add a duration to journaling time to ensure your child takes their time as they work. Just asking your child to write things down could end up with a sloppy mess that won’t help with your child’s writing as much as you might like. You might find that your child enjoys the hobby more and more, which is bound to please teachers too.

8. Go Big
Sometimes, the best way to help children get the hang of writing is to mix up the way they form letters. So, put away the paper and writing utensils for a while and let your child explore letters and numbers through other means. One great way to do this is to gather up some toys. Blocks are one of the best options to use, but you can do this project with just about anything. Once you have your supplies ready then you can have your child form the shape of a letter or number using the toy. You can also do this trick with your writing utensils, which can create an even bigger project for kids to work on. If your child has grasped how to hold a writing utensil then you can always ask them to draw or paint the item they built on a sheet of paper. Children can also make the shapes of letters and numbers using playdough.

9. Utilize an App
In this day and age, technology has become a major part of the learning experience. One of your best options for teaching younger children is to bring fun to the task by using an app to help them out. There are so many apps to choose from and most of them are free. Thus, you will be able to let your child experiment with the various apps to see which one suits them the best. Using an app will allow your child to get in some practice at times where they might not normally be able to work too, which will help occupy spare time with ease.

10. Don’t Let It Become Stressful
One problem that so many face is that their children become stressed out while learning to write. You don’t have to let writing practice become routine or even uncomfortable for children. If you notice children are not responding well to an activity or are becoming frustrated with it then move on. After all, your child’s early days of learning will actually help you get a better idea of their learning style. So, take a breather and let your child do so too. Writing will come along, especially if you keep practicing with your little one.

Teaching your child to write is one of the most important things you will do. These ten tips should help you and your child get off on the right foot with the new skill. Best of all, they won’t force you to spend a fortune on learning aids or tutors, which will suit your budget.

Cheap Meals to Help Your Budget Recover in January

January can be a tough time for budgets. With the holidays finally coming to a screeching halt, you’re bound to feel a sense of relief that the major spending is finally over with until the next holiday season begins. However, it can be hard to recover from your spending spree if you need to cut back on your budget during the month of January. One of the easiest things to do is cut back on your grocery bill, which can be high if you have a lot of people to feed. Even if you’re going solo for meal times, you can truly cut back on your bill by sticking to these ten meal ideas. So, don’t sacrifice quality for finances, because these meals are certain to please without depleting your budget.

1. Pasta
Without a doubt, pasta is one of the cheapest meals you can make for your family. With a full box of pasta costing less than a dollar, that equates to mere cents per person to begin with. Of course, the beauty of pasta is that it can be spiced up in numerous ways. If you’re on a tight budget, you can make a simple sauce or even purchase one at a very low price. You can also add in items to your meal to make it healthier. For instance, frozen vegetables won’t send you over and will add even more nutrition to your meal. You can also add in a protein without having to use a full package of meat. This will save you money while giving your pasta even more life. You can keep things simple with a tomato base, add in cheese or go in an entirely different direction with a zingy sauce that makes everyone smile.

2. Soups
If you’re looking to bring the most nutrition possible to your family for less money, then your best option is to whip up a soup. Soups allow you to use a wide variety of ingredients without spending a small fortune. You can follow simple recipes that only require you to use a few items, or you can go all out and use all of the leftover produce you have in the refrigerator. One of the best options for saving money when it comes to soup is utilizing frozen vegetables. You can also make your own broth from leftover produce and meats, which will save you more money without forcing you to throw away as many wastes. Soups are also great because you can put them in the crockpot and practically forget about them, which will save you time and hassle. If you have leftover soup, place it in a storage container or bag and freeze it. This will prove to make a great last-minute lunch.

3. Beans
Another way to keep things simple is to cook up some beans for the household. This amazing meal can be a side dish or the main course. Beans are great for the body and can be spiced in many ways to help you enjoy your meal. One of the best things about beans is you can add them to a wide variety of things to stretch the meal even further. For instance, if you have a lot of people to feed then you can always whip up beans and rice to add to the meal. You might also consider making eating your beans with tortillas or cornbread. Beans make great leftovers too and can stretch a simple meal to new lengths.

4. Chicken Sandwiches
Chicken is one of the cheapest meats you can purchase, particularly in bulk. Thus, you might embrace this cheap meat to make sandwiches for your whole family. The beauty of chicken is you don’t have to stress about having the same flavors every night. You can grab bulk buns or make your own and still have a unique meal every night of the week. You can start by making shredded chicken sandwiches. This meal works great with a buffalo or barbecue sauce. Another option is to fry chicken breasts and add a sauce of your choice. Grilled chicken is always a plus too and can be spiced up to suit your needs. Best of all, you can add lettuce, tomatoes and other veggies to the sandwich, so you get a full range of nutrition.

5. Eggs
Nothing will suit your budget quite like an egg. This amazing food can be purchased in large quantities without hitting your budget hard. This is great because there are so many things you can do with eggs that will help your family get the nutrition, they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Scrambled eggs are one of the easiest things to whip up in a hurry and go well with a variety of vegetables and sauces. You can also bake eggs, boil them and so on. Pairing your eggs with other foods will help keep your budget cheap and will satisfy almost every taste profile in the home. Best of all, they’re a breeze to cook on nights that you have little time for meal prep.

6. Stir Fry
Stir Fry is a simple dish that can be whipped up in minutes without a lot of stress. All you need for a good stir fry is some excellent vegetables, a protein and rice or noodles. That makes this dish one of the cheapest around. You can use leftover meat for your protein, which will prevent you from wasting good food while also saving on your budget. The same can be said for leftover vegetables, but you can also use frozen here to save some major money and to give you more of a variety. Sauces can be made at home with a variety of items, but if you prefer to purchase your own you can rest assured that it will last your family for some time. You can even keep this meal going a few times a week by alternating noodles and rice, which are both cheap to purchase. Eggs can also be substituted for a protein to keep things even cheaper.

7. Oatmeal
It’s easy to write off breakfast when on a budget, because cereal seems to be the easiest option. However, you can easily get more for your money when you enjoy making oatmeal. This meal is simple to make in a hurry each morning, but if you’re shy on time then you can also make overnight oats for a meal that will please everyone. You don’t have to do a lot to oatmeal to make it delicious either. Rather, you can add in seasonal or frozen fruit to add sweetness and even more nutrition. Honey is also a great way to make your treat better. Best of all, you can stretch oatmeal out and make delicious desserts, like cookies with it.

8. Calzones
If you’re looking for a family favorite, then you might want to consider whipping up some calzones for everyone to enjoy. Calzones are a great treat because the highlight of the dish is the dough, which is a cinch to make at home. There are so many varieties to choose from that you can find a recipe based on your personal needs as well as the ingredients that you already have at home. The best thing about calzones is they don’t require as many toppings as a pizza would, which will save you money. You can also customize them to suit your family’s preferences. If you’re not in the mood for pizza then stuff the calzone with ham and cheese, egg and spinach or other amazing ingredients that you already have at home. You can also use leftovers as a filling for this delightful meal.

9. Hot Dogs
When keeping things cheap, hot dogs can be one of the best options to choose from. These are usually a huge hit with children and might even allow you to sneak in some vegetables, so your children can get a larger range of nutrition. Hot dogs cost next to nothing at the store, so you won’t have to spend a lot to make sure everyone is full. Of course, if you’re not feeling the processed meat you can always recreate the dish with vegetables. Grilled zucchini and carrots are a great substitute and they taste wonderful with the classic hot dog toppings. Best of all, they won’t set your budget back either!

10. Ham
The holidays were filled with rich foods, but chances are you probably had a lot of leftovers. Your best option is to slice your leftover ham and toss it in the freezer to use later on. You might also be able to find some incredible deals on ham after the holidays are over, so make sure to stock up and freeze. You can do so much with ham that you won’t believe how far this meat with stretch. From sandwiches and casseroles to pasta dishes and ham hock beans, you’ll be able to make meals for weeks using the ham you have on stock. There are so many ham recipes to choose from too, so you can always try something new that will keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Cooking on a budget can be tough, especially when you’re trying to appease everyone in your household. These ten meal ideas should keep your budget thriving as you move through the month of January without spending a fortune on groceries. This should truly help you recover from holiday spending so the rest of your year will flourish.