Archive for May 30, 2019

Fun and Frugal Alternatives That Will Make Your Kids Forget About Summer Camp

With Memorial Day over, many schools will be letting out for summer break. This can be a scary time for parents, especially if you can’t budget in enough money for the summer camp of your child’s dreams. Luckily, there are lots of fantastic options that you can let your kids enjoy over the summer break. Many of these options won’t set you back any money while the rest are all low cost to suit your budget. With any luck, you’ll be able to occupy your children’s days with stimulating activities that will keep them busy while also ensuring you aren’t driven crazy over the next couple of months. So, check out this list and get planning now to ensure your schedule is packed.

1. College Programs
When it comes to fun activities, you might want to check out your local community college or university. Usually, these facilities will offer kids programs to the community. You can find everything from daycare options for younger children to science and literature programs for older children. Generally, you sign your children up for particular courses based on their education level and interest. Most of the time, there is a fee for the classes, but in some instances, you might find a free class. Some institutions will also offer a scholarship program, so if you think you might qualify then make sure to ask admissions before the programs begin. Often, these programs will last for a few hours a week, which will certainly keep your child happy and stimulated.

2. Day Camp
Even if you can’t afford a sleep away camp for your child, a day camp might be an alternate that works wonders. These camps often last for a few hours each day and will allow children to enjoy many of the activities that sleep away camps do. The only catch is your child won’t sleep there, nor will they eat three meals there, which means the price tag is actually a whole lot less. You might even be able to pack your child’s lunch each day to take even more off of the price tags. There are day camps for a wide variety of ages too, which will certainly help you enjoy summertime even more.

3. Library
When it comes to summertime fun, your local library is one of the greatest assets for the entire family. Most libraries will offer a wide assortment of programs to help keep kids and adults busy. The library generally offers a summer reading program that will help kids earn prizes for reading. This program will inspire kids to read more, which will keep their minds going all summer. On top of that, the library tends to host movie time, story time and an abundance of crafts. You might even be able to spend all day at the library if you plan accordingly, which will certainly help kids enjoy their free time at no cost to you. Older children might even be able to volunteer, which can look great on college applications. There are even clubs and classes for adults and teens, so make sure to plan for the whole family.

4. YMCA/Boys and Girls Club
One of the best ways to help children engage in their community is to sign them up for the YMCA or Boys and Girls Club. These establishments are both designed to help children enjoy activities while spending time with other people their age. The YMCA offers a wide variety of classes that will help keep kids active while ensuring they have some fun and learn new things. Generally, you can find sports groups here, as well as dance classes and swim lessons. The Boys and Girls Club offers similar activities but focus more on being a strong resource for children who may otherwise be home alone. This club offers more free time for kids, but also focuses on plenty of exercises. Both of these facilities also offer day camps and more to keep children busy during the summer months.

5. Sports/Hobbies
If there aren’t any day course or camps for your kids to try out, then you might turn to sports or hobbies to keep them busy. Many community recreation centers will host baseball, tennis, soccer and more during the summer months. High school students might even be able to sign up for training for the upcoming school year. Of course, sports aren’t your only option. You can also sign your child up for a variety of hobbies. You might start with an art class like pottery or painting, or a dance class to help them burn off excess energy. If your child is interested in music then sign them up for violin, piano, guitar and more. There are so many hobbies to choose from, so keep your kids busy while saving the stress of having them bored. Best of all, they’ll develop skills they can use all for years to come.

6. Field Trips
If you can’t find a group to enjoy, then you might consider just taking your children out on a few field trips throughout the summer. If you can find a free museum day, then this is a great thing to take advantage of. You can even come up with scavenger hunts or resource projects based on your experience there. Another fun trip, if you have a little extra money on your hands, is a trip to an amusement park. This is a great bonding trip for everyone and will help the kids get worn out for a few days. Another option that is absolutely free is to take kids on a nature walk. You can find leaves, identify plants and so on. There are lots of fun field trip ideas to check out, so have some fun with the trips that you plan.

7. Camping Trips
A camping trip is a fun way to keep the kids busy for the weekend. You can even assign them tasks to prepare for the trip, which will certainly keep them entertained. There are lots of great places to camp for free, so make sure to look around to see what you can find. Of course, if you don’t have time on your hands then you can always set up a campsite in your backyard. This can be a great experience for kids to learn how to cook outdoors and stay entertained. You can even come up with songs to sing, stories to tell and so much more. If you want to keep things educational then you can always work with astrology too, especially since the summertime months are filled with clear skies with lots of cool things to check out.

8. Neighborhood Groups
Sometimes, your neighborhood is the greatest asset to help your children enjoy the summertime. You might get with other parents in the community to plan trips with the kids, so that your children can still have fun with their peers while you also get extra support during field trips. You can also come up with games that encourage socialization and development that all of the kids in the neighborhood can try out. Another fun idea is to come up with a summer task for the kids, which can be as simple as planting a community garden or as tough as building a fort or treehouse. Of course, you could also use the neighborhood to come up with playdates, so every parent in the group can get a small break from their children during the summer months.

9. Volunteer Activities
Summer is a great time to get the kids outside to help out their community. There are a lot of things that kids can help out with, so make sure to look around for age appropriate activities. Younger children might find joy in assisting in a community garden, planting trees or even chatting with the elderly at a nursing home. High school students have a quite a few activities to choose from. For starters, you might help them sign up for work at a soup kitchen, food pantry or even an animal shelter. High schoolers can even look into skill-based activities such as Habitat for Humanity. Cleaning up the community also looks good on college applications. There are also intern opportunities for kids to look into, which can help bring success in the future.

10. Nature Programs
Without a doubt, getting the kids out in Mother Nature can be one of the best things for them during the summer months. There are many nature reserves that offer programs that will help teach children all about the animals and plants in the reserve. These programs also offer classes that help teach gardening as well as how to live a greener lifestyle. Parks are another great asset for summer fun. You will find lots of activities as well as day camps hosted by the parks department, which will help kids have fun while enjoying the fresh air. All in all, make sure to keep an eye on the parks in your area as there is always something going on in the summer for kids and the whole family.

Summer doesn’t have to be hours spent in front of the TV each day. These ideas will help your kids enjoy the feeling of a camp without forcing you to spend the high price. With any luck, your children will have lots of fun exploring the world around them on a budget that won’t cause you to stress out.

Father’s Day Ideas for the Dad That Has Everything

It’s almost time to celebrate dad and all that he’s done for us. However, if the dad in your life is hard to buy for or is on the spoiled side of life, then you might not know what to purchase for him. Luckily, there are lots of budget-friendly ideas that can help you get on the right path to finding the perfect gift for your old man. These ten tips are great options, even for children, who might need to make a gift instead of spending money on one. So, don’t let Father’s Day pass you by without trying out one of these perfect, yet frugal, gifts for the father figures in your life.

1. Remote Holder
If the dad in your life just so happens to be a couch potato, then this is going to be one of the best gifts. A remote holder can come in all shapes and sizes too, so you can truly find one that suits your dad’s needs. One of the easiest ways to make a remote-control holder is to take a couch pillow and glue or sew some fabric to the pillow with compartments for snacks and the remote. You can also craft one out of cardboard or scrap wood with very little design skills. This can be a fun task for older children. Kids can even customize it with paint and stickers. There are so many other ways to make a remote holder though, so make sure to shop around for tutorials before you settle on one specific design. Dad will love the gift, especially since he won’t have to waste time looking for his remote again.

2. Shoe Care Kit
Dads that have a pretty good shoe collection might benefit from a shoe care kit. This is great for dads that love all sorts of shoes too, so you can customize it to suit their needs. You can purchase a shoe care kit for a decent price but making one might be a lot more fun for the whole family. Some of the items to add to the kit would be shoe polish in many different colors, a shoe buffer and a cloth to keep them clean. You might also consider adding in some shoe glue, for stubborn shoes that dad doesn’t want to get rid of. Extra shoelaces can also be an asset for this kit. To top off the kit, find dad a special bag or box to keep everything in. Kids can even make their own using basic sewing or woodworking skills.

3. DIY Shirt
Without a doubt, most dads love t-shirts. Thus, this is an easy and efficient gift to give to the man that has just about everything. Making a t-shirt can be a lot of fun too and can include the entire family. If you’re looking to save money, you can even use one of dad’s old shirts for your design. Of course, you can also find solid colored shirts in most department or craft stores. There are many ways for you to make a shirt, including iron-on transfers, silk screens, and fabric paints. So, you can work with an option that suits your needs. The kids can even design their own shirt, so dad will have a new top that no other guy will own. This is bound to make dad, grandpa, and even uncles feel great.

4. Chore Book
Dads that have a long “Honey Do List” can always use a bit of help, so you might want to consider having the kids make a chore book. This book can be filled with coupons that dad can use to get help on some of his chores or to simply get out of them. This can include easy items like taking out the garbage or tougher items like mowing the lawn. Kids might consider adding coupons that allow dad to get a little assistance while working on projects like building a blanket fort or having a sock war. If you want to put some money into the book, then dad can redeem a trip to the movies or a date with an individual child or even his spouse. The kids can decorate the book to suit their needs too. There are so many fun designs kids can use too, which will make the gift feel even more personal.

5. Shave Set
Most dads have to deal with the tedious task of shaving. Thus, you might want to consider adding a shaving kit to your dad’s gift list. A shaving kit is actually incredibly easy to make at an affordable price. You might start by stocking up on some of dad’s favorite razors. Then, you can easily make him his own shaving cream with tutorials from the internet. Some other shave items to add will be a cooling gel, special towel and so on. Another fun idea is to grab a travel mirror and decorate it for dad. You can also make a special bag that dad can use whenever he travels. This will help remind him of home while ensuring he looks professional and well taken care of when he’s on the go.

6. Custom Mug
Dads that love coffee or tea will certainly benefit from their own mug. Customizing a mug is actually much easier than you might think. In fact, there are even mugs that have two layers, so you can easily add pictures to the inside of it. If you don’t want to go this route, then you can have a mug custom printed with photos at an incredibly reasonable price. Pictures aren’t the only option though. Kids can paint their own mug to provide dad with a special piece of artwork or message. Even if dad doesn’t want to use his mug for his favorite beverages, these mugs make great pen holders for the office.

7. Digital Photo Frame
Give dad a taste of modern technology with his own digital frame. This gift will allow you to load several pictures onto one frame, which is bound to add convenience to dad’s life. These frames are great for the office but can also be placed on dad’s bedside table. Some digital frames can even come with recorded messages in some cases, which is perfect for dads that might have to go on business trips or deploy often. Digital frames can also be customized with buttons, stickers or anything that makes the frame a bit more personal for dad. This will help add the special touch that will make kids love giving the gift all the more.

8. Ice Cream Lock
Most parents probably know the struggle of having their own personal snack attacked by their children. Thus, an ice cream lock might be the perfect way to help dad keep track of his snack for good. There are many ways to grab this ingenious design. Ben and Jerry’s actually has their own brand of ice cream lock, which helps to keep their brand of ice cream secured. There are other generic options to choose from though, so shop around to find an item that you feel will work best for you. Pair this gift with some of dad’s favorite ice cream and you’ll be in for a home run.

9. Alone Time
Without a doubt, everyone can use a little alone time, especially parents. So, this Father’s Day, you might give dad the ultimate gift by allowing him to spend some time alone. You can easily just factor in some free time to help dad unwind on his special day. Another great gift is to call up dad’s friends and have them stop by to take the man of the hour out on the town. If a date night is more on dad’s agenda then try to find a babysitter, ask the grandparents or see if the kids can sleep over at a friend’s house. Dad might just want an hour or two to go out and grab a drink on his own. No matter what he chooses, a little kid-free time might be one of the best ways to say I love you on this special day.

10. Food
If you haven’t gathered by now, one of the best ways to most dads’ hearts is to feed him something that makes him happy. So, one of the best gifts is to actually provide him with some food. This is a great way for kids to start learning how to cook as whipping up dad’s favorites will be a fun way to make the day great. Of course, there are also lots of freebies that dad can enjoy on his big day too. If you plan accordingly, most dads should be able to find a wide assortment of treats that will satisfy from morning to night. You will have to keep your eye out for these deals, so planning might be last minute. However, if you call up dad’s favorite restaurants to ask about deals, you should be able to make a flexible game plan.

Father’s Day doesn’t have to be stressful if dad is hard to shop for. These quick ideas will help kids plan out the perfect gift for dad without spending a fortune on the gift. These ideas are definitely great for dads that tend to have everything they need, so you can still offer them something a little surprising.

Frugal Tips For Pride Parade Fun That You Can Use All Month

June is Pride Month, which means you’re in store for a whole lot of fun if you’re ready to show off some pride, support the LGBTQ+ community and fight to maintain basic rights. Pride month can be one of the most exciting times, especially since summer is beginning. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself LGBTQ+ or you’re just there to support your community, as Pride Month is a time to celebrate who you are as well as love your neighbor for the person they are. A lot of people wind up spending quite a bit of money on Pride though. There are so many ways you can embrace it without letting it hit your budget though. These ten ideas will make your Pride Parades more fun and frugal, so you can make the most out of this inclusive month of love.

1. DIY Shirt
If you plan on marching in the parades, or merely observing them, a cool new tee is a great way to show off your pride and your support. T-shirts are incredibly easy to make too, so you can have a lot of fun using your creativity to channel how you feel. One of the easiest options is to tie-dye a shirt in rainbow colors. This will give you something vibrant to wear that you can also sport all year long. Another fun option is to add LGBTQ leaders to a shirt and show off some of their more famous quotes. If you’re not LGBTQ+ then you might consider offering words of support to those that are. T-shirts offer so many options that you can easily make several if you’re having fun with the concept.

2. Craft a Flag
A flag is a quick way to get noticed when you’re at a Pride Parade, but it is also a great way to show your support. You don’t have to spend a fortune in order to buy a flag though. In fact, there are lots of tutorials that can help you make your own. If you want a big flag, then you can cut out strips of fabric and sew them together to get the effect that you desire. You can also make a flag cape in this manner, which is bound to help your concert stand out. If making a huge statement isn’t your thing, then you can easily make a paper flag by coloring in the rainbow or printing it from your computer. There are so many other options available though, so have some fun with it.

3. Balloons
If you’re looking for a cheap way to make a bold statement, then balloons are going to be the best way to go. You can purchase balloons of all colors from just about any store, which will allow you to keep your style frugal while still bringing some attention to your message. Balloons are especially great for floats or large groups, but you can also assemble a rainbow flag using balloons. If you really want to add some fun, then place the balloons on your clothes. Another fun way to enjoy balloons is to pass them out to children that are also enjoying the parade. Large balloons can be given out singly or in bundles that create rainbows, while smaller balloons can easily be shaped into rainbows. You can also make all sorts of props out of balloons, so make sure to enjoy yourself.

4. Water
It might not look cool carrying around water, but when you’re setting up for a parade this is going to be essential. June weather tends to be on the warmer side in most places, so pack to stay hydrated. If you want to do the environment a favor, then you might plan on packing a reusable water bottle or two with you. You can even decorate your bottle to show off your pride. Ensuring you have water on hand will also prevent you from stopping, so you can keep enjoying the parade or even marching in it. Of course, you might also find that stores will be packed with people hoping to purchase drinks. Sometimes, stores will even hike up the price, which will make your time at the parade more expensive than it should be.

5. First Aid
Although you might not plan on it, accidents can happen at any time. So, it is always wise to pack a first aid kit with you whenever you attend such an event. Scrapes and insect bites are some of the most common injuries, but you might encounter someone fainting or enduring a headache or stomach problems. So being prepared will make you a star. Of course, your first aid kit should always have sunscreen on hand, so you can keep safe when you’re out in the sun. In this day and age, having a first aid kit on hand could even save a life if you find yourself in a life-threatening situation. So, add a first aid kit to your bag and think carefully about the items that you choose to place in it, as it will help keep your mind at ease for a while.

6. Makeup
Another cheap way to add your own personal flare to parade day is makeup. You can find lots of colorful options for fairly cheap. You might even consider using costume makeup to give your look the bold feel that you’ve longed for. Your makeup can range from a few colorful touches that could be worn every day, to bold styles that will make you feel like a Rockstar. On top of that, you’ll find that your makeup is definitely easy to change up if you feel your mood changes throughout the day. This accessory is simple to place in your bag too, which will definitely make freshening up easier.

7. Comfortable Shoes
Wearing huge heels or other flashy shoes might be tempting during a Pride Parade, especially if you’re wearing a costume to the event. However, if you can possibly avoid using shoes like this then you absolutely should. Instead of going flashy, consider a pair of shoes that will help you walk without feeling like you’ve traveled across hot coals the following day. If you can’t avoid wearing uncomfortable shoes for your costume, then make sure to pack a pair of shoes that you can swap into after some time. This will help take some of the burden off of your back, which is certain to make you feel a lot better. This will allow you to enjoy the parade all the more.

8. Child Safety Items
If you’re bringing your children to the parade, then you really need to think safety. Although the parade is generally a peaceful and fun place to be, it can be a dangerous situation for children, just as any other crowded place is. So, if your child has a problem with running off, you need to take extra precautions. You might consider a child leash or hand link to ensure that your child is connected to you at all times. This will help everyone feel a bit more at ease, so you can enjoy the parade. Another option is adding a GPS device to your child’s bag, clothing or even a special watch. This will help you locate your child if they do end up getting out of your reach.

9. Your Tribe
When it comes to going to a Pride Parade, the best thing you can do is bring the people you love with you. This adds an even more special vibe to the parade, because it shows you and the people around you are comfortable with each other. This in itself is part of what Pride Month is all about. Of course, having people with you also brings a sense of a security that can help you feel better about your surroundings before, during and after the parade. You never know, you might even help some of your friends live a more accepting lifestyle by showing them how much you can get out of Pride events.

10. A Game Plan
Generally speaking, Pride Parades usually end up becoming more than a parade. There are usually lots of other fun events surrounding the parade, so you might want to plan ahead so you can fit in more of the fun. You should be able to find out more about the fun events when you check out the social media pages or listings around colleges or clubs. Once you know what is going on, schedule it in your phone. This will help you enjoy the day all the more. Of course, you might end up changing plans at the last minute as many people throw parties after the event but having a general idea will help ease stress.

Pride Month can truly be a reason to celebrate. So, don’t let your budget stand in the way of enjoying a parade in your community and those surrounding your area. These ten tips will help you look and feel your best while at the parade for much less.

Ten Sales You Won’t Want to Miss For Memorial Day

Memorial Day will soon be here, which means its time to step into some exciting deals. This Memorial Day you’ll be in for a lot of treats, so make sure to save up so you can get everything you need and want during this huge sale. If your home is in need of appliances, bedding or more, you’re going to find so many good deals that you won’t be able to contain your excitement. So, brace yourself for a day of shopping til you drop because you won’t want to miss out on these top deals that are headed your way. You may even luck out and find some of the deals early, so keep checking back with your favorite sites to find the perfect deal for you.

1. Mattress Sales
Mattresses and Memorial Day have gone hand in hand for quite some time, which is why you should always wait to purchase a mattress until this holiday arrives. This will give you some of the best options around, so you can maximize your savings and get the mattress you truly desire. Of course, you also won’t find another big mattress sale until Labor Day, which might give you even more incentive to shop around during this big sale. There have already been some major hints as to what we find on Memorial Day this year. Tempur-Pedic, for instance, has some huge sales in-store and are even offering a payment plan, so you grab the mattress you want now. JC Penny is another major contender in the mattress sales, so you’ll be able to find an assortment of mattresses that you can even check out in store. Mattress Firm is planning some competitive deals, as are many local and small business mattress stores.

2. Large Appliances
Big appliances are going to be a huge attraction this Memorial Day. There are so many new makes and models available that you’re bound to find something new and shiny that your kitchen or laundry room is in desperate need off. This sale comes at a great time as graduation and the newly wed season is upon us, so anyone starting out in life can truly maximize savings and get exactly what they want. Sears is one of the best vendors for shopping bundle deals when it comes to Memorial Day. However, Home Depot and Samsung will have some exciting prices on kitchen appliances that you might not want to pass up. Whirl Pool is also planning to offer washers and dryers for up to 60% off during the holiday sale so it might be the perfect time to upgrade to something that is smart and energy efficient.

3. Small Appliances
If you’re looking for a wedding shower gift, graduation gift or even a baby shower gift then you’re going to find Memorial Day to be the perfect time to shop. Small appliances are definitely going to be in abundance everywhere that you look. Walmart is going to be one of the best places to shop for these items though. You’re bound to find toasters, coffee makers, blenders and even ice cream makers at a more than fair price. You’ll also find items like this on sale at Sears, Big Lots, JC Penny, Lowes, and Home Depot. You’ll have to shop around quickly though because the low prices might not last and long as you would hope.

4. Travel
If you’re trying to plan a last-minute vacation then these deals are bound to give you something to celebrate. There will be a ton of travel deals to enjoy on Memorial Day, so secure your vacation now, so you can lock in a flight before the good prices and seats are gone. Southwest is offering a whopping 55% off tickets to Cancun so you can make your beach dreams a reality. The website will also help you secure amenities while abroad, which will save you a lot of money all around. Many airlines will be offering huge discounts on tickets to Europe, so if you’ve dreamed of taking in the beautiful architecture and cooler weather, then you’re in luck. Finally, there will be a ton of domestic flights on sale, so you can visit family, check out a destination you’ve always dreamed of or even travel cheaply for business. If you are booking a vacation, then look around for bundle deals as you might receive a discount on your hotel or rental car too.

5. Technology
Memorial Day is a great time to set up for success when it comes to your gadgets. Amazon is one of the top vendors for tech on this holiday, especially if you’re in the market for a new Kindle or other Amazon technology, like the Echo. Amazon will be pushing other tech deals too, especially when it comes to security cameras and top of the line headphones. Walmart is going to be the place to go if you’re looking for a new tablet though, as the sales are certainly mind-boggling. They will also be offering up to 85% off their online clearance so you might be able to find something cool for a lot less than you’d expect to pay. You should be able to find some great deals at Best Buy too, especially if you’re in the market for older models of phones and tablets. Dell, HP, Apple, and Samsung tend to offer customers a little something special too.

6. Televisions
This Memorial Day, you might want to hit the stores so you can grab the latest technology when it comes to televisions. This is the perfect time to stock up for large screen televisions as well as 4K models. Although Memorial Day isn’t always known for the best deals on these items, you’ll find some great prices this year. For instance, Best Buy is planning on offering some major discounts on their top of the line televisions. Walmart will be participating in huge sales too, both on and offline. Apart from that, you’ll find Overstock and Samsung deals worth talking about. Most of these retailers tend to be offering up to 65% off of some of their items, which is a real steal of a deal.

7. Athletic Wear
Prepare for summer workouts when you grab the clothes you need to be a success. Many clothing stores are really pushing their athletic wear this season, which will certainly help you prepare to get in shape as the hot weather arrives. You will find everything from shoes to leggings and tanks that wick away sweat with ease. Some of the best deals are going to be at Academy Sports and Kohls. However, if you prefer to shop online then you might look out for deals on the Champion website. You might even find leading brands like Nike, Puma, and ADIDAS offering prices that you won’t be able to refuse.

8. Outdoor Supplies
Tis the season for spending more time outdoors and soaking up the Vitamin D that summer has to offer. Thus, Memorial Day is bound to bring you some deals that you won’t be able to refuse when planning out your backyard oasis. Walmart will have deals on patio furniture, pools, garden accessories and so much more. Home Depot is going to be your one-stop shop for finding some of the best deals on grills that you’ll see all year. You will also find lots of incredible deals on outdoor goods at Sears, especially when it comes to lawnmowers. If you’re in the market for patio furniture, then Home Depot has you covered. However, if you prefer to skip the crowds then shopping with Tippet and Hayneedle online will save you some big money while providing you with lots of stylish choices.

9. Plants
It might not be the prime season for gardening anymore, but there are still a lot of plants that will flourish during the summer months. Thus, you’re going to want to check out some of the deals on plants in your local area. Memorial Day tends to bring lots of sales on plants at local nurseries. However, you will also find that Lowes and Home Depot will have a ton of sales on their plants. You may even be able to find some clearance plants to nurse back to health. If anything, you might find a tree to plant which can offer you shade in the upcoming years.

10. Food
If you don’t want to go on a shopping spree, then you might still find some great deals. For instance, there are a lot of restaurants that are participating in the deals on Memorial Day. Some of the most popular chains out there are Hooter’s, Twin Peaks, Dickeys BBQ, and Dominoes. Of course, most of the deals are discounts for veterans, so if you’ve served in the military make sure to take advantage of this. You’ll also find that grocery stores will have some great prices, especially when it comes to food designed for grilling.

Memorial Day is a great time for anyone hoping to get in a little retail therapy. If you’re hoping to make a game plan before the holiday arrives, then you’ll certainly want to keep an eye out for deals in these ten categories. With any luck, you’ll be able to enjoy some awesome prices that will help make life even more efficient.

Fun Ways to Do Your Part For Red Nose Day While Sticking to a Tight Budget

It’s time to let the laughter roll, because Red Nose Day arrives again on the 23rd day of May. If you’ve never participated in Red Nose Day, then you’re bound to be in for a treat. This special is designed for comedians from all walks of life to gather together and have some fun while raising money for children in need. This year, there are many great charities participating too, so you won’t want to miss out on your chance to join in. There are a lot of ways to do this too and many of them don’t require you to spend a fortune. So, get ready for a little laugh therapy while helping to accomplish some good deeds, because these tips will fit Red Nose Day into your budget with ease.

1. Buy a Nose
One of the easiest and most fun ways to participate in Red Nose Day is to purchase a nose. These noses can be found in Walgreens stores and a few other retailers, so shop around to find the option that suits you. Every nose that you purchase from an official retailer will help out specific charities, so you’ll already be doing a world of good. The noses aren’t expensive either, so you can purchase multiples if you want to give more. This year, the noses come in special packaging, which makes each purchase a mystery, so you can add even more fun to the experience. Of course, if you can’t afford noses at the moment, then you can simply buy a party red clown nose to show your support. If you’re hoping to help out then buy the unofficial noses in bulk, add fun faces to them and sell them to make more money for donations. This can be a lot of fun for kids to do too, so make sure to include them in the process.

2. Watch the Broadcast
On Red Nose Day, there is a huge broadcast on NBC to help raise funds. Comedians get together to do comedy routines, games, relays and so much more depending on the programs you choose to watch. Often, this broadcast also allows people to call in to pledge money to the cause. Sometimes, the proceeds from the number of viewers also helps to bring in some extra money for the charities the program is working with. You can find a lot of information about the line up online, so make sure to check in to see when you should tune in. This broadcast will also help to spread awareness, so check it out if you can find the time.

3. Bring Red Nose Day to Your School
Since Red Nose Day isn’t the phenomenon that it is in Britain yet, you might have to take matters into your own hands to get the event added to your school. You might start by asking for a meeting with your principle to see if you can talk them into taking on the event too. There is actually a sign up page that will give the school the things needed to participate. If the school agrees to take on the event, then make sure you’re ready to volunteer. This will help encourage the school to take on the event next year too. Of course, if the school can’t take it on then there are some ways to help out. For instance, you can purchase red noses for your child’s class or pass out flyers or coloring sheets to help the student’s parents learn about Red Nose Day.

4. Start a Fundraiser
If you love to hit the pavement then you might want to start a fundraiser of your own to help out. You can sign up to do one through the program if you want a little assistance. However, you can also start a fundraiser at home. All you have to do is donate the proceeds to your favorite charity that works to end childhood hunger. You might also consider purchasing food for the local food bank with the money. There are lots of ways to earn money for the cause too. You might host a car wash, do a bake sale or even an art walk. Have fun with the experience though and make sure to laugh your way through the day.

5. Recycle Your Red Noses
Red noses are fun and all, but they can be bad for the environment. This is one thing that Red Nose Day isn’t about. Luckily, you can actually take your old red nose back to Walgreens to recycle it. Even the wrappers are recyclables, so you won’t find yourself wasting during this day. Walgreens will take care of everything for you without charging you an extra cent. Of course, you can always hold onto your nose as a keepsake or for play time. There are many crafts that you can enjoy with your nose too. Just, make sure it doesn’t hit the trash can, so your contribution will help all the more.

6. Teach Your Children Empathy
When it comes down to it, one of the best things to take out of this special event is empathy. There are many children around the world that do not have enough to eat. So, this might be the best time to teach your children about empathy. Children should learn to show affection to others too. You might start simple with children and work your way up based on their age. You can also give children ways to empathize and help others out. One example is to ask your child to share their lunch if another child has nothing to eat at school. There are many empathy exercises online too, which can help you start out with your lessons.

7. Seek Community Events
Red Nose Day is starting to spread across the country, so you might actually find some events popping up in your area. One of the best places to check for information is the Boys and Girls Club of America. This program often benefits from Red Nose Day, so they might have a special event to increase funding all the more. If not, they might be able to steer you in the right direction to where one might be happening. Your child’s school is another great resource, as most principles will know if there is something exciting going on. You might also surf around on social media to see if there are any announcements worth checking out.

8. DIY Tee
A red nose isn’t the only way to bring some awareness to the event. You can also have a little fun at home by making your own tee. You don’t need to go crazy on supplies either, as you should be able to find cheap red shirts for the whole family. You can even turn a graphic tee inside out just for the day. If you want to get creative then add some paint to the tee, use iron on transfers and more. The tee can even be kept as a keepsake. If you really want to bring awareness to the day then add some of the charities to the tee, so people will know where to donate when the time comes.

9. Red Nose Activities
Red Nose Day is designed to cater to children, so you know you’re going to find a lot of great activities to help you keep everyone entertained. Often, you will find word games, print outs and more for children to do. This is perfect for classrooms and can help children learn the meaning behind the fun. Another great activity is to have children make up their own noses. You can even do this with paper, if you’re looking to keep the craft frugal. A comedy booth is another fun way to let kids join in on the activities. Your imagination is the limit though, so have some fun with Red Nose Day and keep laughter at the front of every activity.

10. Donate
If you can’t participate in Red Nose Day, then don’t stress out. One of the best ways to help out is to actually donate. You can do this from the website, if you’re worried about your donation going through other parties. However, you might also choose a specific charity to donate to. There are so many charities designed to help feed children that you won’t have to search long to find one that suits you. You might also look into local charities that help kids in your district eat during and after school hours. You don’t have to give much either, especially if you’re not prepared to. Every little bit helps out.

Red Nose Day is an exciting time, especially if you’re child. These ten tips will help keep the laughter going while helping you bring awareness to childhood hunger. With any luck, this special day will help keep kids hunger at bay so we can give all children the chance to grow up healthy and strong.

Kid Friendly Summer Fashion Tips to Cool Off Your Budget

While spring might still be a little chilly for some areas, the summer weather seems to be rapidly moving in for others. If you find yourself wondering how you’re going to budget in a hot weather wardrobe for your kids, then you don’t need to stress out just yet. There are actually lots of ways to cut down on the cost of your kids’ summer attire. These ten tips will help you get ready for the heat without forcing you to hit the mall. Best of all, a good number of these tricks won’t cost you a cent. This will certainly take the burden off of your summer budget so you can concentrate more on vacation time.

1. Bucket Hat
From infants to tweens, a bucket hat is one of the best fashion accessories that you can get for your child. The wide brim of these hats helps to keep the sun out of your child’s face, which protects their eyes without forcing them to wear sunglasses all of the time. On top of that, the hats are designed to reduce the amount of sun that touches the face and neck, so sunburns are less likely to happen in these fragile areas. This can help with skin cancer prevention for the future too. Best of all, the hats are designed to help kids stay cooler. This is important when the temperature rises, but kids still want to play outside. Many bucket hats on the market today feature UV protection as well as material that dry quickly. This makes the hat the perfect option for beach days or simply having a water battle in the yard.

2. Swim Fashion
Let’s face it, kids spend a lot of their waking hours in the summer in their bathing suit. So, why not make your child’s swimwear a part of their fashion sense. Instead of buying a lot of shirts and shorts for the summer, help your child make the most of their swim gear. For instance, boys can wear swim trunks as a regular pair of shorts most of the time. Simply grab a tee or tank and he’s good to go. Girls can do the same with board shorts and a top. Of course, girls can also wear their one piece as a body suit, which pairs well with shorts. Even rash guards can be used as a top for both genders. Since most kids spend all day in the water or outdoors, the clothes will dry so they can keep them on even after playing.

3. Cut Offs
If your child has a lot of jeans and trousers left over from school and your younger children won’t be able to wear them, then cutting them off is one of the best things you can do. Since most kids outgrow the length of their jeans, you might also look at older pairs of jeans to ensure the waist still fits. If so, you will have even more pants to cut off. Cutting pants is very easy too, especially since all you have to do is make sure the cuts are even on your child’s legs. If you want the shorts to look professionally made, then simply add a hem to the cut. You’ll be surprised how easy this is to accomplish with simple tutorials online.

4. UV Clothing
Another must for your child’s summer style is UV clothing. These clothes are designed to help block harmful UV rays, which can help protect your children when the sun is at its peak. These clothes might cost a bit more, but they can be used year-round to ensure your child will be safer when outdoors. On top of that, most of these clothes come in a wide variety of styles so you can suit your child’s needs as well as their happiness. You might also find that the clothing is the perfect option for gym class too, which will help you get even more out of your money.

5. Second Hand
As you probably know, second-hand clothes can be a huge lifesaver when it comes to your child’s fashion needs. One of the best places to start your journey is by asking family and friends if they have any summer clothing that will fit your child. You might even be able to trade some clothes if you have children in different age groups. Another great option is to check out thrift stores. You will be surprised by how many nice things you can find in thrift stores. Plus, all of your purchases go to help out a charity, which is a great added bonus. Garage sales are another great option for shopping around, too. Of course, you might already have a pretty good stash of hand me down clothes from previous children, which will definitely help save you some money. A newer option is to check out consignment shops online, as many stores now sell gently used clothing that looks great.

6. Invest in Sandals
Sandals are a crucial part of summer fun, especially when it comes to kids. Luckily, there are a lot of great sandals that work for all sorts of play during the summer heat. Although flip flops are a handy purchase, you might find that they aren’t very functional for anything outside of the pool. A good sandal should have plenty of treads so that kids can run around and play in them without worrying about slipping. Another great feature is the adjustability, as it will help keep kids comfortable as their feet change. You should also choose sandals that have a thicker sole so that children can still walk on the hot pavement, climb and even hike without worry. Sandals are even great for playing in the water and dry quickly, so you don’t find yourself in a dilemma after a day at the beach. You might check out some of the top-rated sandals, so you’ll get your money’s worth out of them.

7. Go Plain
One of the main issues with clothing is there are so many options that will truly cost you a fortune. Children love wearing clothes with their favorite characters, sayings and more. Often, kids outgrow these characters, or they merely want to wear clothing with their new favorites. Instead of spending money on their every whim, try to choose clothing that is plain. These items are actually much cheaper and so much easier to keep clean. Best of all, you can buy the clothing in bulk so you can easily save a lot more money. Plainclothes can even be customized as an art project, which will help you plan entertainment sessions during the summer months too.

8. Stick with Old School Clothes
If your child still has a closet full of school clothes that fit comfortably and will suit the heat, then you’re covered. There is no reason to go out and purchase new clothing if your children still have plenty of options in their closet. Of course, if you do have uniforms that you expect to last until next school year, then you might put those away. Other than that, let your kids have fun with the clothes they loved when school was in session. Your kids will already feel comfortable in these items. Plus, you’ll get even more use out of them, which will help make the purchase even better.

9. Shop Ahead
Although it might not help you this summer, you can always get ahead for the next. When summer clothes go on sale, shop ahead to ensure that all of your kids will be covered for the hot months. When shopping in this manner, you should take into consideration how your child will most likely grow during the year. Usually, it is okay to shop size or two ahead, but if you find clothes you really like then you might grab a couple of different sizes to ensure kids can wear them for longer. If you do shop ahead, you might keep the clothing in close proximity so that you can pull items out if your child grows into them faster than you expect. This will certainly make your life easier too and might even give you a jump start on school clothes.

10. Clearance/Sales
Your best option for saving big is to keep an eye on the clearance and sales rack. This tactic will help you purchase clothes throughout the year, so you never have to worry about your child needing an abundance of things at once. Usually, you will see summer clothes on sale towards the end of summer and early autumn, but you can still shop for clothes throughout the seasons. For instance, the light colors and fabrics from the spring line will still work in the summer months. You might even find that some autumn clothes, especially rain attire, will suit your needs.

Shopping for summer clothes can be a lot of fun if you let it be. These tips will help prevent summer shopping for your kids becoming a burden on your budget. This will help keep you and your family happier and healthier as the heat waves move into your area.

Celebrate Birth Mother Day with Frugal Tips for Finding Your Birth Parents

The Saturday before Mother’s Day is actually Birth Mother’s Day, which is a day designed for women who may have given birth to children but did not partake in raising them. For many, this day is often a day to look back and wonder who their biological mother is like. If you were adopted, you might use this holiday as a time to discover and reconnect with your biological parents. This process can actually be pretty complicated and expensive, which is why so many people don’t follow through with locating their birth parents. However, there are actually many tricks that you can follow through with that might help you locate your birth parents. So, don’t give up hope yet, as these cheap tips will help you move a bit closer to finding the people you’ve been searching for.

1. Take a DNA Test
Over the past few years, DNA tests have become increasingly popular, they have also taken a dive in price, which makes them more accessible to so many people. For around $100, you can provide a sample to a company like Ancestry or 23andMe. The company analyzes your sample and gives you a lot of cool information about your ancestry, health and more. Most importantly though, they connect you to anyone that shares your DNA. In many cases, you’ll only find distant relatives. However, if you’re lucky, you might be able to find a parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or even a first cousin. Depending on who you connect with, you should be able to ask questions which can help you learn more about your birth family. Many people have connected this way, which makes it incredibly convenient.

2. Ask Family
Of course, before you spend money on anything, you might speak to your family about your adoption. Some adoptions are actually kept within a family, so you might know one of your birth parents and not even know it. Otherwise, your adoptive parents might know some information about your birth parents. Depending on how the adoption took place, your parents may have even met one of your birth parents, if not both. If you were adopted from foster care, then you will have a package of information that includes your birth parents’ details. Even if names aren’t given, your parents might have information that can steer you in the right direction, such as your birthplace, parents’ birth dates or even the towns that they are from. With any luck, the information they provide will lead you in the right direction at no cost.

3. Understand Your Adoption Paperwork
One of the best things you can do is get to know your adoption paperwork. If your parents still have this paperwork on hand, then go through the packet. This will help you to understand the terms of your adoption. If you have an open adoption, then you should be able to find your parents’ names and other important information in the paperwork. If you have a closed adoption, then you might be in for a longer road ahead of you. If you’re having trouble with the information, there are many books and informational websites that can help you out. Some legal counselors might even agree to meet with you for free, so you might look around for an important resource such as this.

4. Revisit Place of Birth
Your place of birth can be a great resource to you. You should have this information on your birth certificate, but if not there is a good chance you can access the information from public records. Knowing your birthplace can lead you to people that might know more about your birth. For instance, you can talk to the hospital about accessing your birth records. You never know, you might even bump into the doctor that gave birth to you. Your birth town can be a rich resource too. For instance, you might look back in the archives to see if there is a birth announcement for you. This is a great option if you weren’t placed up for adoption right away. This information might lead you to a few names. Even if you can access a last name, you might be able to find relatives within the town. You will be amazed by the clues that a location can provide, so don’t think twice about heading back to your birthplace to see what is in store for you.

5. Utilize Social Media
Social media can actually be one of the best assets that you have when it comes to finding your birth parents. There are countless groups online for adoptees seeking out their parents and birth parents seeking out their children. These groups can help you find the resources you need to help find what you’re looking for. Apart from joining a support group, you can also create viral posts to help you out. You might consider taking a picture of yourself holding up a poster board that has vital information on it. For instance, you might add birth date and any names you might know. Make sure you are very cautious with this method though, as people may try to scam you. Don’t release full information like your birth year either, so people can not steal your information. If someone does come forward as a potential relative, make sure to do your research and get a DNA sample before forming an attachment, as it is easy to make mistakes with very little information to work with. If you do know names of family member, then feel free to look them up. You can always send a message if you think you’ve found a match. Most people will be more than happy to respond to you or let you know if you’ve reached a dead end.

6. Research Adoption Agency
Your adoption agency is one of the best resources you have, as well. For many people, the agency is where they retrieve most of their information. For instance, even if you had a closed adoption, your parents’ names might unlock after you are 18 years of age. Many of the agencies, might have access to the name and whereabouts without even realizing it. If your mother was in an unwed mother’s home, then you might be able to obtain the name she used as well as the home she was in. This can help unlock some of the details for you.

7. Online Databases
Adoption databases popped up quickly with the popularity of the internet, so make sure you utilize this resource as much as you can. Many databases allow you to input the information you know about an adoption in hopes of finding a match. With just a birthday, you can unlock so many things, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You might not be able to find a match right away, so don’t feel discouraged. Having your information available in case the other party comes searching for you will make the reunification process so much faster. You might even find out that you have a sibling searching for you, which can be a nice surprise. There are many databases to choose from though, so make sure you utilize some of the popular ones. You might also check for more specific databases, such as regional based.

8. Search Angels
Search Angels is a free service that can help you reunite with your birth family. This service does take some time though, so make sure to get your information in when you decide that you want to locate your parents. The service is run by volunteers who work in their free time to help others retrieve information from their loved ones. You can donate to receive faster information, but chances are it will still take some time. The Search Angels will also provide you with information that you need to keep the search going on your own. Sometimes, they are unsuccessful, but they have numerous reunification stories that will help bring you some hope.

9. Offer Consent
In most cases, you can give consent to the government that will allow them to provide your information if someone does come looking for you. In the case of a closed adoption, this might be your best way to reunite with your birth parents. Since their information is concealed, you will find that they may have to come looking for you in order to get the ball rolling. Of course, birth parents can also do this in order to open the doors to children rediscovering them. You can find a lot on the information you need on the government’s adoption website.

10. Consider Yourself
Before you even begin your journey to rediscovering your birth family, you might take the time out to consider your own needs. Are you truly ready to find out who your birth parents are? Are you prepared to come up empty in your search? Have you already set boundaries with yourself regarding potential relationships in the future? If you’re not certain you can handle the discovery, then you might distance yourself from looking. Try to put in light searches and if you come up empty handed then walk away for a while. You might also investigate the free options you have and make a game plan for when you are ready. If you do find the information you desire, then hold off until you’re truly ready to reconnect. It is important to keep in mind that all birth families do not want to be found. So, you might come across a path that will leave you disappointed or hurt. This might require counseling on your end, so your best option is to prepare yourself, so an emotional impact won’t be as tough to handle.

Searching for your birth parents can be a trying activity. Your best option is to take things slowly, so you can save money on the process. These ten tips should give you the resources you need to help find your birth family, if you’re not prepared to spend money yet. With any luck, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Amazing Frugal Gifts For Any Graduate Taking a Gap Year

Graduation season begins in just a few short weeks, which has many stores scrambling to display dorm gear and other classic graduation gifts. However, if you’re celebrating a graduate that is planning on taking a gap year, then you might not have as many obvious answers to choose from. These simple ideas will help you to find the right gift for any graduate that is planning on using their first year as a graduate to explore what life has to offer outside of schools. Best of all, these gift ideas won’t leave you struggling to keep up with your budget after the expenditure.

1. Planner/Journal
One of the easiest gifts is a planner or a journal. This gift comes in handy because it will allow gap year graduates to reflect on what they have going on. Journals are the perfect way to document travel, jot down life lessons and even work out what a person wants to do with the rest of their life. Writing can be a very therapeutic activity too, which makes it great for stressful decisions. Starting a graduate out with a journal now can help them develop a healthy lifelong hobby. Planners also come in handy for gap year graduates as it allows them to keep track of important dates and times. This is perfect for anyone that plans on traveling frequently. It is also a great reminder for job interviews, application deadlines and so much more. You can even purchase customized planners and journals to suit the person you are gifting it to.

2. Travel Book
If you know a gap year is going to be spent traveling, then you might consider purchasing a travel book or two. These books can come in handy, especially when traveling the world. You might choose a book that helps out with language barriers or one that offers cultural tips to ensure graduates will know the manners they should abide by when abroad. Of course, books that talk about treasures on the unbeaten path and more are great gifts. Food guides can come in handy too, especially if they share restaurants that shouldn’t be passed up. Even if the graduate isn’t going abroad, you might consider a travel book for the state that they live in or other places that they might want to travel to within the country.

3. Eco-Friendly Necessities
Living an eco-friendly life is a necessity for everyone these days. However, it can really help out the graduate on the go. Some of the best gifts to consider buying are reusable water bottles, bamboo utensils, reusable straws and so much more. These items are easy to pack and can make eating on the go so much easier. A reusable water bottle, especially, can help promote health, particularly when traveling to areas where drinkable water is scarce. If you want to make a great presentation, then consider a gift basket with some of these items in it. There are so many cool things to choose from that you might consider redoing your entire kitchen. Best of all, this gift works for graduates that aren’t planning on traveling too.

4. Travel Supplies
If you know that a graduate is planning on traveling during their gap year then purchasing travel supplies might be one of the best ideas. For instance, you might want to find out if they have a durable duffle bag. This will make catching flights, trains and busses so much easier, especially when going abroad. There are so many great duffels to choose from now that you’re bound to have a hard time picking. Another great option to consider is an item that might help disguise money, a passport and other crucial information. Magazines for the long trips might help out too, because you never know how long a detour can take. Speaking of detours, a travel pillow or neck brace is a great gift, especially if traveling by train is a certain future for the graduate. Of course, there are so many other travel accessories to choose from, so make sure to look around for an item that suits the personality and needs of the graduate in your life.

5. Adapter
One of the best things to have on hand if you choose to travel is an adapter. Many gap year graduates might not know they will need one of these to help charge their devices when they’re on the go. Luckily, there are a lot on the market to choose from, which can certainly make traveling a lot less stressful. Many of the adapters today actually have a variety of options, so graduates can travel from one end of the world to the other without having to worry about running out of power. Best of all, even if someone else decides to gift the same thing, you’ll find that these items are great in bounty. Whether the graduate loses one or would like to use their laptop while charging the phone, the more adapters available the better.

6. Headphones
A good pair of headphones is a great option for anyone planning on taking a gap year. Headphones can be a great refuge for anyone trapped on a mode of public transportation. They can also provide some much-needed alone time if a graduate stays in a hostel while traveling. Even if a graduate doesn’t choose to travel, headphones are always a great item to have on hand. Graduates can use them for music, movies and even their future studies. You can choose from a wide variety of options today too, which will allow you to customize your gift with ease.

7. Shoes
Another simple thing to grab is a pair of shoes. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a small fortune on the shoes though. Rather, think functionality when shopping around. For instance, a pair of shoes that can easily be slipped on and off during airport checks is always a great thing to have. If a student plans on cycling or hiking, then a pair of specialty shoes for these tasks might also be great thing to consider. You might also consider purchasing shoes based on the area in which the student plants to travel. For example, a pair of rain boots are perfect for places that that might rain all of the time. Of course, a good pair of walking shoes are always helpful, no matter what the graduate plans on doing.

8. Something to Remember Home
No matter if a graduate is traveling or moving away from home, you might consider purchasing something that will help remind them of home. For instance, there are many necklaces and bracelets that feature the shape of states, cities or even map coordinates that will act as a reminder of home without taking up a lot of space. A tee or hoodie of a graduate’s school, hometown or state makes a great gift that is also functional. Of course, if the graduate doesn’t plan on traveling, there is an abundance of art work to choose from. You can even find home goods like candles and more.

9. Gift Basket
If you want to make life easier for a graduate planning on taking on a gap year then you might consider making a gift basket. You can fill this with all sorts of items. For instance, you might choose items that are great for traveling for those going abroad during the year. Some items you might consider are reading materials, snacks and hygiene products. For graduates that aren’t traveling, you might add in some entertainment items like movies, snacks and things they might need as they join the work force or hang out with friends. Of course, adding items you know the graduate will like will certainly make your gift basket stand out.

10. Gift Cards
Without a doubt, a gift card can be one of the most efficient gifts for graduates planning on taking up a gap year. Some gift cards to consider might be prepaid VISA cards for those traveling abroad. This will help come in handy for food, entertainment or even paying for trains and other necessities. If the traveler is a big reader or film fanatic, then an Amazon card is a great option. This will allow the graduate to read on their Kindle or rent movies from Amazon on the go. Of course, other media companies like Google or iTunes will be equally handy, depending on the graduate’s preferences. If a graduate is staying put, then just about anything goes. You might also consider gift cards for grocery stores or department stores for necessities as they learn how to budget money. Gift cards for restaurants are also a great treat.

Spending a year away from school can be stressful for new graduates. These gift ideas should help ease some of the stress while bringing a bit of joy to their life. With any luck, your gift will not only be enjoyed, but will also come in handy for the graduate experiencing the world on their for the first time.

Cheap and Simple Upgrades to Make Any Home Your Own

Whether you’re moving into a brand-new place or you’re trying to give your old home a freshening up, it’s easy to spend a small fortune to make a home yours. There are many simple things that you can do to help make your unique home suit your own personal needs. These ten home renovation tips won’t cost you a bundle but will leave your home feeling better than ever. Best of all, these tips will allow you to put in the elbow grease without any professional assistance, which is certain to make your life easier and cheaper. So, don’t waste any time living in a house that you feel doesn’t suit you, as these tips will help you quickly feel right at home in your own space.

1. Swap Light Fixtures
One way to make a huge impact on your home without doing a lot of work is to simply swap out your light fixtures. You aren’t forced to keep the fixtures that come with the house, especially since most of them are pretty bland. Instead, head to your local home improvement or lighting store and see what you can find. You might be surprised by how low the prices actually are on some of the items you love, especially if you wait for the event of a sale. Once you pick out your lighting, all you have to do is turn off the power and install the item in place of the old fixture. You might also consider swapping a simple light fixture out for a ceiling fan in order to prove energy bills and keep your home more comfortable. If you’re renting, make sure to place the fixture in a safe place. However, if you own the home and don’t plan to go back to the old items, then you can always make a little money by selling them or get a receipt for donating them in order to receive a tax deduction.

2. Add Shelves
Storage is one of the biggest issues for many people. One of the easiest ways to solve this problem is to add shelving to the home. You can do this in so many areas of the home, so make sure to plan the most convenient areas before you carry on. Although you can purchase shelving at a fairly inexpensive price from department stores, you might be better off building your own shelves. Premade shelves often fall apart faster with time and sometimes don’t last if you need to move them. Building shelves that attach to the wall can add value to the home and will give you more customization options. Shelves can be added for books and décor, but you can also place them in closets for even more storage. Luckily, shelves aren’t hard to make either, so you won’t have to hire anyone as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

3. Paint Cabinets
Cabinets can play a huge role in the décor of the home. If you’re looking to rejuvenate your kitchen or your bathroom then you’re bound to find that painting your cabinets can make an incredible impact. Luckily painting cabinets don’t take a lot of work, so you can do it yourself without the need of professional assistance. However, before you go all out on paint, make sure to test what it is going to look like on your cabinets. Since there are so many cabinet designs, your paint job might look different depending on the wood or material your cabinets are made of. You might also consider a stain if you still want to maintain the wooden look. If you really want to add more space to your home, then consider removing the doors of some of the cabinets and painting the interior. This creates an open space that is perfect for decorations and dishes.

4. Replace Drawer Handles
Another fun way to shake things up a bit is to make some drawer handles for all of your cabinets, dressers and so on. Since drawer handles typically look similar in style, you will definitely enjoy adding your own personal touch to these items. In most cases, you’ll find that by simply changing the handles up you can actually change the appearance of the entire item. There are so many cool handles to choose from, so make sure you take your time to browse around your local stores as well as online options. However, if you want to save some money and have a bit of fun then you might consider making your own. This is actually fairly easy and will give you so much creative freedom. There are lots of ways to go about this too, so look online for options that will work well for your needs.

5. Embrace Rugs
A rug can easily become one of the best accent pieces in the home. That is why you should always consider a rug when looking for a way to spice up your home and make it suit your personal style. Rugs can be a bit on the pricier side, but as long as you take care of them they can last you decades. You might also search around outlet stores for options that will help you save money. You can find rugs that suit all sorts of interests too. For instance, if you prefer a geekier look then you can easily shop for items such as Star Wars and more. Other options that make customization easier involve the texture of the items. No matter what type of rug you choose, you’re bound to enjoy the appearance and freshness that it brings to your home.

6. DIY Sink Cover
Kitchen space can be tight in some homes, which might bring about frustration when you’re trying to prepare a meal. Instead of throwing in the towel, you might consider making your own sink cover. This is essentially a cutting board that is designed to fit over your sink. The board can be left over the basin at all times though if you prefer the appearance of the board opposed to your sink’s drain. You can make these covers out of so many things, too. If you have marble counters then you might consider making a matching board, so it looks as if you have more kitchen counter space. You can also keep it simple with wood or a premade plastic option. These covers are great for prep work too, as cleaning them is easier than ever since they’re already on the sink.

7. Photo Tiles
Personalizing the home can be so much fun when it comes to your family’s photos. One of the best ways to add to the appearance of the home and show off your favorite pictures is to transform them into photo tiles. These can be placed on the wall to create a 3D effect that looks awesome. These tiles can be purchased online through many retailers. However, they are also incredibly easy to make on your own. You can even use soundproof materials to make them even more efficient, especially if you find yourself jamming out to loud music when cleaning. There are lots of great tutorials for these tiles, so make sure to surf around until you find the right match for your needs.

8. Decorate your Mail Box
Giving the exterior of the home a little love can be tough on a budget. Everything from new coats of paint to planting beds can cost quite a bit of money. One quick and cheap way to give the home a bit of life is to decorate your mailbox. This can be accomplished in so many ways. For instance, you might start by giving it a fresh coat of paint or adding custom made numbers to the box. You can even add your last name to the box for the personal touch you’ve been hoping for. Of course, you can do so much more. For instance, if you have a specific set of interests then you might consider adding something that shows that off. If you love art, then paint the box to resemble one of your favorite paintings. Star Wars fans can make the mailbox look like one of the famous space ships and so on. You can also add flowers to your mailbox. Simply add a planter or even an old tire that can be fitted around the box. Once this item is secure, add some potting soil and plant a few flowers to make it look incredible. This only scratches the surface of fun things that you can do with your mailbox.

9. Create an Accent Wall
Sticking to one color in the home can be tough. On top of that, picking a color that you’re certain you won’t grow tired of can be tricky. Instead of investing a lot of money in painting a full room, you might simply create an accent wall instead. This will help you to save money on paint since you will only need a fraction of the amount. It will also take you a lot less time to complete. If you don’t want a solid color, then use some stencils or paint your own design. Paint isn’t your only option when it comes to accent walls though. You can easily use wallpaper to add some pizzazz. Some people even use fabric to make the room look extraordinary. Fabric can be one of the best options if you’re renting too, as it can be nailed up and taken down quickly when you need to move. Using old book or comic pages has also become a trend recently, which makes for a more personalized look that you can feel proud of.

10. Install a Runner
Homes with stairs can feel dull at times, especially since the stairs tend to have a uniform look. If you have carpeted stairs and you don’t like them, then consider pulling the carpet up and going back to the original wooden state. Once this is complete, find a runner that shows off your personality. If you already have wooden stairs, then you’re halfway to a cool new look. Of course, make sure the runner is secured well to ensure safety in the home. You can even add a runner detail to carpeted stairs if you still long for a little more style in this area.

Giving your home a special touch that will make you feel more at home is easier than you think. These ideas won’t cost you a bundle and are bound to make you happier than ever. Best of all, they’ll allow you to put work into the home, which will give you a source of pride that will show throughout your house.