Archive for September 28, 2020

Easy Ways to Save Up for Your Holiday Shopping Fund

With autumn arriving, many people are already starting to plan on what to get who for the holidays. This year, budgets might be tight for so many, especially with COVID taking up over half a year of our lives. There are ways that you can take a step back and save for the holidays instead of getting in incredible debt. So, if you’re feeling hopeless, take a deep breath. These ten ideas will help you find the confidence you need to tackle the holidays while allowing you to save some money. With any luck, you’ll be able to handle holiday gifting without breaking a sweat.

1. Make a List
One of the best things that you can do for the holidays is to make a list. Write down the names of the people you would like to purchase gifts for, as well as those you might feel obligated to buy for, like colleagues or neighbors. Once you have the list of people start by picking out the item or items that you would like to gift to them. Then, when you have a list, start pricing items. However, you can also turn this around by writing down names as well as the amount of money that you would like to spend on the person. This will allow you to tally up the amount you need to feel confident about your purchase.

2. Give Up Something
When it comes to holiday shopping, you might have to give up something in order to find a way to save big. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on necessities or even not eat a meal. Please, don’t do that. However, you might consider giving up on a subscription program for a few months. Although these might not seem too expensive, the price does add up over time. Apart from that, you might also stop eating out for a little while. This will allow you to save big time. There are ways for you to recreate some of your favorite dishes from restaurants at home, so you can truly embrace the meals you love while still saving. Another thing you might cut back on his shopping sprees. This will help you to put the money that you would spend on random items onto your shopping list.

3. Watch for Sales
Sales are going to be your best friend during the holiday shopping season. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to hold out on sales that will be happening after Thanksgiving. Instead, look out for sales at all times. You never know, you might find a great deal on a toy you’ve been looking for before the holiday sale madness even begins. In order to keep up with sales, you might have to be diligent. For starters, you might begin signing up for the mailing list for many of your favorite websites. You might also begin searching for your products occasionally on shopping websites to see who has the best deal and what the average price is. This will ensure you’re ready to go when the right price arises.

4. Enjoy Rewards Sites
Without a doubt, reward sites can help you to get some perks that you might not otherwise enjoy. To begin with, you might do a little research to find out which websites are going to help you get the most for less. Some websites require you to watch advertisements, some prefer surveys, and some will actually have you work on a wide variety of things. Swagbucks is probably one of the most popular websites when it comes to getting rewards. This website allows you to play games, watch videos, take surveys, refer friends, and more. With the points you earn doing all of this, you can pick out gift cards as a reward. These cards are generally for most major retailers, so you can easily choose cards that will help with your holiday shopping.

5. Take on a Side Hustle
If you have extra time on your hands, then you might consider taking on an extra job to help you reach your holiday shopping goals. If you enjoy driving or running deliveries, then you might start by working for delivery service. Right now, there are so many services to choose from, which will allow you to easily make a little extra, especially with all of the tips you will receive. Another option is to pick up writing jobs online if this is something you enjoy. There are options out there, so do research before you jump in. If you only have a few minutes extra a day, you might consider taking surveys. Apart from that, you can always consider a part-time job at a restaurant or retail store. There are many other options out here too, so you might consider looking around to consider your options before you take the leap.

6. Commit to Putting Money Back
One of the easiest and more obvious ways to save some money is to make a commitment to putting it back. One of the best ways to do this is to commit to a number. For instance, if you want to start on the lower side then say you’re going to put back $1 a day. This won’t give you a whole lot of spending money to work with, but it’s a start. If you’re giving up drinking coffee outside of the house, then consider putting the $5 or more that you would spend on the coffee back to help you make some money. You could also commit to putting back a certain amount from your check each week or month. This is probably the easiest way to tackle savings and might allow you to feel more confident with your holiday budget.

7. Go Light
These days, it feels like the holidays must be a spending spree, or else you’re not parenting right. The holidays do not have to be this way though, so don’t fall into the trap. If you’re on a tight budget, then make your holiday budget tight too. You don’t have to spend a small fortune just to make the kids happy for a few minutes. Instead, make a commitment to a couple of items you know they want and maybe a few they need. These items don’t have to be expensive either. This will allow you all to enjoy the holidays without the overwhelming number of presents or spending.

8. Use Credit Card Rewards
If you tend to use a credit card frequently then you may be in luck when it comes to holiday shopping. As you spend money, you should be racking up rewards of some sort. So, you might want to start using these rewards to help you purchase what you need for the holidays. Shopping for items might also help you out with this as it will allow you to get even more rewards. This can become one of the best assets for you, so don’t be afraid to make the most out of your credit card during the holiday season.

9. Reconsider Shopping List
Even though you have made a holiday list, it doesn’t mean that you have to purchase everything on it. Instead, use the list as a guide, but don’t be afraid to mark off some of the items that aren’t really necessary. So many of us have the tendency of going overboard during the holidays, so use your list as a way to keep things in check. You can even use the list as a way to scale back on what you would like to buy. Instead of using it as a shopping list, make the list with all of the things you would like to buy then stop and ax some of the items that are really frivolous. You will be surprised by how many things you think you need when you make the list that you really don’t need.

10. Know Your Products
One of the best money-saving tips that you can put into action during the holidays, and any point in the year for that matter, is to know your products. Researching products, you are interested in will allow you to shop more efficiently. Instead of jumping on a sale whenever there is an item you want, you can easily research the average price of the item. This will allow you to know when a sale is actually good. However, during the holidays you should also look into how popular the item is going to be. This is important because some items might actually sell out during the holidays, which might make you more likely to pay extra if you’re not careful. A little research can change the way you shop though, which will help you to save even more money.

Putting back for the holidays doesn’t have to be a huge chore. These ten tips will help you make the saving and shopping process a whole lot easier, especially with everything going on this year. With any luck, you will be able to enjoy everything that the holidays bring you as you won’t have to stress about your budget thanks to all of your hard work saving.

Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Your Garden Thrive in the Autumn

Autumn is finally here, which means the weather and the things that grow are going to be making some major changes. If you love your garden, then you might utilize this time to make some changes of your own. Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot to transition your garden from one season to the next. However, autumn does open up a lot of opportunities if you’re looking to create a beautiful garden in the spring. These ten ideas will make your garden more efficient and easier on the eyes without forcing you to take too much money away from your budget.

1. Add Hugel Beds
Hugel beds are a fun project that you can do that will not only make your garden stand out but will also add a touch of sustainability to it. If you’ve never heard of a Hugel bed, then there is no reason to feel intimidated. It is essentially a flower bed, which can easily be made with a few pieces of wood. However, these beds are a bit different because they use layers of soil and debris to help keep your plants alive. You have to do a bit less with these beds because the way the soil rests in the box actually adds to the health of the plant. When working on this project, you will want to collect debris from the yard, including fallen twigs and leaves to help fill the beds. Before long, the rest of your yard will look tidy and your Hugel beds will be prepped for spring enjoyment.

2. Start a Compost
If your garden doesn’t already have a compost, then now is the perfect time to make one. With all of the falling debris in your yard, you have many of the best elements to help get your compost off on the right foot. All you need is some sort of storage container, to begin with. This can easily be made out of wood if you have some spare pieces lying around. Once you have a container, fill it up with all of the debris from the yard. You can also add things like coffee grounds, food peels, and so on. If you want to make your compost work for you faster, then add some worms to the mix. The compost will allow you to easily get rid of excess debris throughout autumn and winter too, which will make your life a lot easier.

3. Build a Greenhouse
If you’re looking to add a little something extra to your home, then a greenhouse is the way to do this. With the weather cooling down, you might find that autumn is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy the weather while improving the sustainability of your home. A greenhouse will allow you to grow products all year long. This is perfect for households that do rely on homegrown food to be put on the dinner table. A greenhouse doesn’t have to be an intimidating project. Rather, it can truly become one of the easiest things for you to do. There are lots of tutorials online, but you can also purchase a greenhouse that is simple to put up in a few easy steps. A greenhouse can pay off too, especially since you can sell off excess produce.

4. Plant Bulbs
Those spring flowers don’t just pop up on their own, especially if you’re looking to have flowers that grow from bulbs. So, if you’d like to improve your flower game in the spring, then now is the perfect time to get outside and plant some bulbs. Bulbs are actually incredibly easy to grow if you plant at the right time. So, it is crucial to actually stop and take some time to plan out and research the best time for the items. Once you understand your planting window, you can truly get started on having the perfect garden.

5. Plant Fall Vegetables
You don’t have to give up on growing produce just because the weather is cooler. Now is a great time to start on crops that grow in cooler weather. You might want to start out by looking up the crops that you can plant in your climate. Usually, a local gardening website will have more than enough information to help you out here. You should be able to find seeds for fairly cheap too. After your garden is planted, watch it grow. You might be surprised how quickly some items will pop up. Of course, having delicious produce you can count on is one of the main perks of this, especially since fall and winter vegetables are perfect for hearty soups and stews.

6. Bird Sanctuary
Although some birds might pick up and leave over the winter months, many will still stay behind. It is important for the birds to have a safe place to go when the weather gets harsh. If you love to watch birds, then you might get a kick out of building a bird sanctuary. This doesn’t have to be anything big or elaborate either. You might start with a few birdhouses or some form of coverage that can help the birds get out of the weather and stay warm. Feeders are another great idea as this will help them when they cannot find food in the winter. Of course, bird baths for water sources will help out immensely too. With your bird sanctuary ready to go, you might be surprised by how many birds you see in the spring. You might even have a few nests popping up.

7. Build a Fire Pit
Autumn is a wonderful time for spending some time outside in the garden. However, in the evening hours, you might find it a bit too cold. A fire pit is a great way to keep your family warm as you bond outdoors but will also add a cool aesthetic to your garden. Autumn is one of the best times to create a fire pit too. The weather isn’t overwhelmingly hot, which will allow you to feel more comfortable as you work. You are also more likely to find firewood and other supplies to get your fire going. There are lots of plans online to help you build the fire pit of your dreams, so have a little fun with the project. You’re bound to enjoy it throughout the year, so you’ll be glad you decided to put the effort into it during the autumn months.

8. Bring in Solar Lights
The days are about to get a lot shorter. So, if you’re looking to light up your garden without adding to your power bill then you might consider adding a few solar lights to the garden. This will not only make it look pretty, but it will also help with security in your garden. You can find solar lights anywhere, including dollar stores. If you’re not interested in putting in a lot of work into a project, then you can always use the lights as is. However, if you’re looking to get creative there are a lot of fun things you can do with the lights. For instance, you can easily place stringed lights into a pot to create an overflowing effect that looks amazing.

9. Autumn Flowers
You don’t have to give up on flowers during the autumn months. Instead, you might consider adding some perennials to your garden. You can find an assortment of beautiful flowers in most home improvement stores, which is probably going to be your best option as it might be too late for seeds. All the same, you should be able to find some awesome deals on these flowers, especially since they won’t last long. Generally, you will find flowers with lots of autumn vibes too. So, try out some yellows, oranges, and reds. You may want to look and see what works best for your climate though.

10. Incorporate Décor
Your garden can easily become a part of your décor for the autumn months or Halloween. Consider adding pumpkins to the garden to provide a seasonal look that you won’t be able to resist. You can later turn these pumpkins into jack o lanterns to suit the holiday. Bringing hay and other items into the mix is another great way to add some fun. Apart from that, you can even use the plants to help make your décor even spookier. Try placing vines over tombstones, mixing in zombie’s hands into the flower bed, and so on.

Your garden can be one of the best assets to your home in the autumn months. Not only that, but it will provide you with a great form of exercise while enticing you to get some fresh air. So, enjoy your garden this autumn as you help to transition it to create the perfect vibe for your home and the season.

Ten Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin Spice Without the High Price

And with that, a slight cool down has brought pumpkin spice back. Pumpkin spice season is one of the most highly anticipated for so many people, which is why you’ll most likely see it everywhere on social media until Thanksgiving has come and gone. Unfortunately, having a taste for pumpkin spice isn’t always the best for your budget. A large latte a day can set you back quite a bit and before you know it and with the holidays coming you might feel like this is an extra expenditure you don’t really need. These ten tips will help you enjoy pumpkin spice while saving some cash.

1. DIY Latte
Without a doubt, the pumpkin spice latte is one of the most popular menu items when it comes to ordering pumpkin spice. However, it is also one of the most expensive items you can order on the pumpkin spice menu. When you purchase it from a restaurant, there is a good chance that it is going to be one of the highest items in calories and sugar too. Luckily, you can take the pumpkin spice latte and run with it. There are numerous recipes online that you can cheaply remake at home, so you know exactly what is going in your latte. Apart from that, you can help to reduce calories and sugar in your homemade options. In fact, you can customize the recipe entirely to ensure you’re getting exactly what you want when it comes to your favorite seasonal beverage. Best of all, you can recreate this recipe all year long, so you don’t have to deny your cravings when autumn is over.

2. Bake More
Pumpkin spice doesn’t have to be designated for your java fix every morning. Instead, try to add to things that might bring you even more joy. For instance, if you want to bake then add some pumpkin spice into some of your favorite recipes. For instance, you can make a pumpkin spice cake that tastes amazing with cream cheese frosting. Another amazing option is cinnamon rolls that feature pumpkin spice instead of the high quantity of cinnamon. Of course, you can keep things traditional and just make pumpkin pie. These sweet treats are nice to have for cold days but can also be shared with the community or sold to make extra money.

3. Skip the Latte
Lattes aren’t the only way to enjoy the delicious combination of coffee and pumpkin spice. In fact, they can be one of the unhealthiest ways to do so thanks to all of the sugar and the high-calorie intake that goes into them. Instead of having a latte, why not simply add some pumpkin spice to your favorite coffee. You can even grab a coffee that is already flavored with pumpkin spice so that it goes into every brew. This will make getting a burst of pumpkin spice in every cup super easy and incredibly cheap. Of course, you can also go for coffee creamer. This can easily be bought in stores for convenience, but if you want to kick the preservatives and excessive amount of sugar then you can easily make your own. There are lots of recipes online to choose from.

4. Go for Tea
Coffee doesn’t have to be your only option when it comes to pumpkin spice. Believe it or not, you can actually get some tea that has a pumpkin spice blended into it. This is not only a healthier option but will allow you to experience a unique flavor that might redefine your love for pumpkin spice. You might start by looking for a tea with the blend online. However, if you’re feeling adventurous then you might consider brewing it yourself. You can try out a variety of different flavors to see what blends well with the tea of choice. You might even consider doing a slow brew to maximize your flavor options. Of course, there are lots of recommendations online if you’re not sure where to begin in the brewing process.

5. Bring in Aroma
One of the biggest appeals of pumpkin spice is the entrancing aroma. It creates a sense of home while also making you think of holiday magic. However, the scent shouldn’t be enough to force you to intake a lot of extra calories and sugar while also forcing you to spend a small fortune. Instead, you might consider getting your pumpkin spice kick from things that simply create the aroma. There are candles, sprays, wax melts, essential oils, and so much more that can help you enjoy the scent without forcing you to spend a fortune. If you’re crafty then you might even be able to make your own.

6. Shop Off-Brand
When it comes to getting your pumpkin spice products, you don’t have to dedicate yourself to popular brands. In fact, there are a fair amount of amazing brands or mom and pop cafes that can provide you with awesome pumpkin spice options at less of the price. Shopping off-brand isn’t tough either, especially in today’s world. Instead of hitting the Starbucks or Dunkin Donut drive-thru, consider looking through your favorite delivery apps for new café and other options you might want to try. You don’t have to order delivery, but this will give you insight into the menus you have to choose from, so you can call in an order or go through a new drive-thru.

7. Rewards Programs
If you can’t resist your favorite chain, then the best thing you can do is aim to benefit from their rewards program. Most major restaurants will have this program, so if you don’t see advertising about it then make sure you ask. Even if you’re frequenting a local café, there might still be a program to help you save. Some small businesses will do a punch card while others actually have a program set up online. You can earn free coffee, baked goods, discount codes, and more through this program so don’t hesitate to join, especially since most of them are absolutely free.

8. Wait for Deals
If you can contain the pumpkin spice craving then one of your best options is to just wait for a deal to show up. Generally, you will find a few deals each month, which will make your favorite pumpkin spice item an even greater treat. Many chains will offer a BOGO option or a happy hour, which will help you get more for your money. Of course, for some businesses, the pumpkin spice supplies might not run out, so you will find that many will host deals trying to get rid of the seasonal supplies. This is a great time to swoop in and grab some of your favorite flavors before it is off the menu until the holiday season arrives again.

9. Protein Bites
When it comes to your favorite blends of spice, you don’t have to keep things unhealthy at all. Instead, try to add it into some of your favorite healthy treats. For more items, this might be difficult, but one of the easiest places to add it in is protein bites. These amazing balls of energy will not only give you the strength you need to get through the day but are also filled with healthy items that won’t make you feel guilty about your snack. There are many ways to go about protein bites though. Usually, they contain oats, but many people are experimenting with other grains too. You will also need a binder that works well with your spice blend. You can buy pumpkin spice from the store or make your own with items that most bakers would already have in their spice cabinet. If you don’t want to experiment on your own, then feel free to check out the numerous recipes online as you’re bound to find a hit.

10. Hard Candy
If you still want a little sugar and a whole lot of flavor then hard candy might be the way to go. You will find that a lot of brands have jumped on to the pumpkin spice bandwagon, so feel free to explore their numerous options. Hard candy is one of the best options though because the flavor will last longer than a typical piece of candy or even a pumpkin spice baked good. Thus, it will help subside your cravings for much longer if not indefinitely. Hard candy can be eaten almost anywhere too, which will definitely make it easy for you to enjoy pumpkin spice whenever you need something positive.

If you’re excited about pumpkin spice season but you don’t want to kill your budget with pumpkin spice prices, then you’re going to enjoy some of these ideas. You never know, they may help to take your love of pumpkin spice to a whole new level, which will definitely make your life a whole lot better.

Ten Easy Ways to Save While Shopping Walmart

Whether you’re a frequent shopper of Walmart or not, it never hurts to save some money while shopping at such a popular store. As the pandemic continues and people struggle with money it is important to know a few ways to save some cash. Plus, with the holiday season coming, you might want to know how to save on food and gifts to help make the season a little better. These ten concepts will give you the knowledge to truly make the most out of your Walmart shopping experience. So, take a deep breath, because you might be able to shave your receipt down a bit in the future.

1. Surf the Clearance
Believe it or not but Walmart actually does have a clearance section. You can find everything from luxurious sheets to candy on this aisle, so don’t be afraid to surf around to see if you can get a good deal. The problem with the clearance aisle is it often moves as the store changes. So, you might have to search for it every time you go in. If anything, you can always ask around. Sometimes, however, there won’t be much there, so if you can’t find it that might be why. Every now and then, you will find clearance items mixed in with the rest of the merchandise, so keep a sharp eye out for the items you need. After the holidays, you will always find clearance items in the space that they occupied during the holidays. That is until the store has eliminated enough of the items to move them elsewhere.

2. Shopkick
Gone are the days of the Savings Catcher, which made getting money back remarkably easy. Shopkick is the next best thing, if not better. This app allows you to earn points for shopping at a wide assortment of retailers. All you have to do is walk into an affiliated store and you’re going to earn some points. Another easy way to grab point is to scan in your receipt and/or link your debit card so you can earn with little effort. The app also allows you to earn by scanning bar codes and watching videos. This is probably one of the easiest ways to get paid for shopping. Although you won’t bring home real money out of your shopping trips, you will earn gift cards, which will help save you all the more.

3. Follow Rollbacks
Walmart is known for its rollbacks because they definitely help you save a ton of money. However, it is hard to know what is on rollback and what will be on rollback when you’re just shopping in the store. Instead of just going shopping, you might take some time to look at your local ads and on Walmart’s social media pages and website. This will give you insight into everything that is going to be on sale in the upcoming week to month. You might also follow some shopper’s blogs, as some do have insights into this too. Keeping up with rollbacks can be a straight shot to cutting back on expenses with very little effort.

4. Shop via App
The Walmart app is a great resource when it comes to saving big time. This app connects you to everything your local store has to offer as well as things you can only buy online. When shopping on the app, you can find out if something is in stock in your store or if you need to buy it online. Thus, you’ll save quite a bit of time and frustration. Another great thing about the app is it allows you to see the price of items before you go out shopping. This will help you plan your budget, so you don’t go overboard. Apart from that, you can easily place a pickup order, send items to the store, and so on, in order to maximize your savings.

5. Free shipping
Amazon isn’t the only retailer that offers free shipping. If you have your eye on something on the Walmart website or app, then you might not have to spend a fortune to get it. Walmart offers free shipping in a couple of different ways. To begin with, if you spend over $35 on the website, then you’re automatically going to get your items shipped for free. Of course, this isn’t your only option. If you don’t mind picking up items at the store, you can actually get any item for free. It doesn’t matter if a retailer has to ship it to your Walmart, as long as you are shipping it to the store, you won’t have to pay a cent of a shipping fee. This will help you out immensely when it comes to saving money.

6. Monthly Delivery Subscription
Today, getting to the grocery store is a real challenge. Not only do you have to worry about others spreading illness, but you also have to worry about the tension in the air due to people being isolated from one another and worried about supplies. Luckily, you don’t have to set foot outside of your home to get supplies from Walmart. For a monthly fee, you can actually have all of your items delivered directly to you. This will save you a whole lot of time and will prevent you from having to use outside apps to get your items delivered. This is a great way to help keep you safe and save you plenty of money on delivery fees.

7. Curb Side Pick Up Orders
If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee to have your items delivered to you then you’re definitely going to want to try the Walmart Pick Up service. This service is entirely free to you, so you won’t have to stress out about having to pay extra fees or even tip the associates that bring the groceries to you. Instead, all you do is to park, use the app to alert associates of your arrival, and wait as they bring the groceries out to you. If you don’t want your grocery items substituted with similar items, then all you have to do is let the app know. However, every now and then, you will get your item upgraded to a larger size for free, which adds all the more to your savings.

8. Great Value
If you like brand name items, but you don’t like the brand cost, then you’re in luck. Walmart’s brand, Great Value, is actually very similar to what the big names offer. In some cases, the food does actually taste the same or better. Great value can be found in a wide assortment of areas too, so you’re bound to rack up savings on everyday essentials. Largely, you will see this brand in the food section, which is probably where you will see the greater price savings. However, you can also find medicine, cleaning supplies, and more to keep your household going strong.

9. Price Match
Did you know that Wal Mart has a price matching policy? If you didn’t then you’re in for a treat when it comes to saving you lots of money. The price match policy is pretty simple to follow. If you find an item online or in another store that is priced lower than the Wal Mart item, then you can have the item matched so you can save money. However, you do have to have proof of the item’s cost and the price of the item has to be current. So, make sure you have everything ready to go when you talk to a manager at the store for the price reduction.

10. Shop Early
When you choose to shop can be a big asset to you, especially if you’re looking to save. Sure, you can miss out on some of the crowds in the early and late hours, but some prices are actually lower during this time frame too. For instance, during the late hours, items tend to be transitioned from full price to a rollback. If you’re there when this happens, or early in the morning, then you’re more likely to get the deal than if you end up waiting. Apart from that, you will also find a greater deal on meats, produce, and premade meals. During the early hours, items tend to move from regular price to a reduced price as they near expiration. So, shop around carefully in these departments to see what kind of savings you will find.

Wal Mart already offers some remarkedly low prices that will help you make the most of your budget However, these ten tips will allow you to find even more savings. Before you know it, you won’t have to stress as much as you sit down to make shopping lists, because you’ll know there are savings around every corner.

Ten Fun Outdoor Activities To Help Entertain the Family This Autumn

The crisp autumn months are upon us, which means there is a lot of fun to be had. However, with many schools going digital and school sports and clubs put on hold, you might be wondering how your child is going to have the chance to enjoy autumn and all its beauty. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do as a family that won’t cost you a lot of money. These are just ten ideas to get you started in on all of the fun autumn has to offer.

1. Go for a Drive
One of the best things about autumn is all of the amazing scenery. Autumn is filled with tree changes, weather changes, and all around more fun. In order to maximize your experience, you might want to plan a road trip. You actually don’t have to go far to admire new scenery as most places in the country will vary within a 100 foot radius. Thus, you can easily plan trips to a variety of places in order to see quite a bit of the change. You might plan around things you’ve been interested in seeing, rather than doing, as a lot of places will be closed. If you don’t mind going out in public and you do want to see something, then your best option is to call and ask if attraction is going to be open. Apart from that, your trip shouldn’t cost you a lot. However, you should bring sanitizer, snacks, and drinks along for the ride so you can minimize exposure.

2. Photography
Photography is a great way to enjoy the changes in the seasons. It is also a fantastic option when it comes to helping children learn a new skill that can act as a hobby throughout their lives. You don’t have to go expensive when it comes to photography though. Rather, you might be better off keeping things simple. If your kids have phones or tablets, then you can use the camera for all of your photography needs. You can also use apps to create special effects or edit the photos if your children are more serious about the photography. Apart from that, you can find disposable cameras if you’re not looking to work on the images digitally. This experience alone can add to the fun your child has as it will be something new and fun. You might ask children to capture images of specific fall oriented items too.

3. Hiking
The cooler autumn weather is perfect to get out and enjoy some fresh air. Thus, a hike is a great option for the whole family. Hikes are a great way to take in the scenery and get some exercise without forcing yourself to be around a lot of people. Hikes can help you embrace nature too, which is a great way to help kids unwind and disconnect from all of the technology that is thrust at them. You can transform the activities around hiking too. For instance, you can turn it into a scavenger hunt, a bird watching trip, or even a race. Try to cater it to your family’s needs or change it up every time you go for a hike. You can also try out lots of different local trails.

4. Family Sports
Although playing for a team might not be happening this season, you can still help the family enjoy sports as much as possible You can easily start up a family league which you can do after school or on the weekends. One easy game to pick up is kickball. This game allows for versatility while ensuring everyone gets a little exercise. If kickball is a little too slow paced for you then you might consider a more traditional game like soccer or football. However, you will probably have to alter the rules of the game to suit less people. If you don’t like field games then you might consider setting up badminton in your backyard, so you don’t have to worry about exposure while you play.

5. Monitor the Weather
The autumn months are filled with changes. If you have younger kids, then you might want to have them start monitoring the weather. They can keep a weather journal, track temperatures, and even make predictions as to what the weather will be in the next coming days. You can also help them learn why certain types of weather occur. If kids are curious, you might even do a rain cloud experiment, as this can be one of the greatest teachers when it comes to understanding more about the weather. This experiment is cheap and easy to do too, so you can always do it again and again.

6. Plant Food
Spending time outside is important, but so is eating healthy. So, you might consider mixing the two. Planting food is one of the best ways to do this. You might look up an autumn planting guide for your area to see what you should be planting for winter. Then, as the days grow colder, you will be able to pick your food and make delicious meals out of it. If you aren’t in the market to grow food for winter, then you might be able to grow some of your favorite fruits and vegetables still. Some of these things can be grown under a special grow light in your garage or another area of the home that stays warm. You might also be able to grow these things if you have a green house. You can make an under ground or find a pop-up option to help you enjoy your produce all year long.

7. Start a Leaf Collection
In the autumn months, leaves are pretty much everywhere, which makes them a great thing to collect. Kids will love going on special missions to find an assortment of leaves. You can make collecting leaves into a scavenger hunt to keep things exciting too. Of course, you can also just have kids collect cool leaves and look them up in a book or online to learn more about them. You can try to preserve leaves and add them to frames or use them as another décor. However, you can also use them for leaf rubbings and so much more.

8. Build a Neighborhood Foodbank or Library
In this day and age, people need all of the help that they can get. So, you might use your free time to build something useful. Using some basic instructions, you can actually make a small library or foodbank for your neighborhood. These have become very popular over the last few years as they cost nothing to keep up with. All you have to do is decide whether or not you’re making a library or a food bank. Of course, you can also do both if you’re feeling ambitious. Then, you get started on plans to build it. You can always use scrap woods and other similar supplies for this, or you can ask for donations. No matter how you choose to make your donation box it will truly be an asset to your community. When the food bank or library is complete, start it off with some food or books you don’t need or want. You’ll be surprised how many people take interest in your creation. You can also use this box for special treats for your mailman, such as water

9. Rake Leaves
If you live in an area where there are a lot of trees, then you’re probably going to feel the need to rake constantly. This is a great way to get outside and enjoy the crisp and fresh air though. Raking leaves is also a great form of exercise. There are lots of great things you can do to make raking fun. The most common activity is jumping in them, which never gets old. However, you can also use the leaves for good later on. For instance, you can rake them up and put them in a compost, so you’ll have plenty of fertilizer when it is time to plant for spring. You can also get the kids out of the house to rake the neighbors’ leaves, especially if they are elderly and prone to illness.

10. Join a Marathon
Autumn tends to be a popular time for marathons, which makes it a great time to join one or at least begin training to join one. There are so many causes associated with marathons too, so you can actually do some good in the world by joining one. Before you start the process, make sure you brush up on the marathons you are interested in. You should also look at COVID-19 requirements to make sure you are going to be safe while participating. If joining an event open to the public isn’t your thing then you might consider hosting your own. You can set up the path and have your family join in. This is a great form of exercise and can help you bond as you train.

Autumn is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy everything the world has to offer. These ten ideas will help you create a fun experience over the season, so you can help your kids make good memories despite what is going on in the world.

Ten Fun and Frugal Ways to Decorate for Autumn 2020

The weather will soon be getting crisper, which means its time to pull out all of that fall décor and get to work on making your home cozy for the upcoming cold months. With so much uncertainty going on in the world, many people are actually turning to décor in order to help cheer them up. Luckily, there are some pretty fun autumn décor trends that won’t set you back a lot of money. These ideas will help you create a wonderful look in your home while ensuring you have some fun decorating. Many of these trends can even be DIY’d to ensure you save some money.

1. Add some nature
Nothing says autumn charm quite like a little nature. This season, you’re going to find nature in almost everything that you see. One of the biggest trends this season is going to be accents of wheat, especially behind glass. Of course, you can also go for some of the more popular options too. For instance, it is extremely easy to create decorative items out of leaves. You can even get the kids in on a fun project involving leaves. You’ll find that rustic styles will definitely help you stay trendy this season too, which can easily be accomplished with a variety of leaf projects. When it comes to staying trendy though, you’ll definitely want to keep with warmer hues, which might be harder to find if you’re going entirely natural.

2. Textures
Flat is going to be a little boring if you’re trying to stay on trend this season. If you’re working with fabrics, then you’re definitely going to want to explore textures. There are so many different options to choose from here, which will allow you to have a lot of fun. You can find fabrics for cheap too, which will also help you save quite a bit of money as you search for cool new fabrics for your pillow and blanket décor. When it comes to colors here, try to think muted or warm colors. You can also use texture when it comes to art, which will make it a lot more fun to plan out your style or create fun new pieces to display.

3. Monochromatic
This year, lots of colors are definitely not something you’re going to want if you’re trying to make things trendy. Rather, you should concentrate on keeping things monochromatic. You don’t have to follow this trend with autumn colors though. For instance, if you have a blue couch then complement your look with blue pillows and blankets. You can also add in some blue artwork to make these even better. Of course, this works with any color so pick one that you’re not going to get tired of. If you don’t want to go all out on one color, then you can still easily add in some whites and creams to offset the color a bit.

4. Layers
Just like your clothing, you’re going to want to move into layers if you plan to keep things fashionable this year. This can be a lot of fun though and will allow you to use even more of your favorite decorative items to keep up with your fashion desires. When it comes to layers, there is no limit to the fashion madness. If you look in decorative magazines this season, you’re going to find everything from layered decorative blankets to layered rugs. This can be a lot of fun though as it will allow you to combine elements that you may not have otherwise combined. You can also add in more artwork to suit your needs as it will be easy to layer things here. Even furniture and fixtures aren’t off-limits when it comes to your layering fun. So, let your imagination run wild and design a space that shows off layers of love.

5. Metallic Finishes
Metallic finishes never seem to go out of style. One of the most common metal finishes you’ll find this season is in furniture. So, you’re probably already set for success when it comes to showing off your fashion skills here. However, you can branch a bit further than metal furniture. For instance, one fun metal item to add to the home is a piece of artwork. May it be a special message to guests, your family’s name, or a genuine work of art, your certain to love its fashionable style. You might also consider using metallic based fabrics as accent pieces. These are wonderful for pillows or even pieces for a custom quilt. Of course, small metal accents are also a must. For instance, you might add in some metal leaves or other autumn-inspired looks that can make a coffee table shine.

6. Vintage Accents
Old school is definitely going to keep you feeling trendy this season. You will be able to find vintage accents almost anywhere, but your best and cheapest option will always be the thrift store. One of the easiest ways to get the old school effect for cheap is to start with some vintage tins. These make amazing flowerpots that can be displayed indoors or outdoors. There is more than just flower tins to consider though. Instead, you might prefer to use some old school prints. This can range from Rosie the Riveter to classic American styles. Anything goes here. If you really want to dedicate yourself to vintage style, you might look around for old furniture at thrift stores to see what you can find.

7. Corner Seating
This season, corner seating is a must-have. This isn’t a hard thing to do either. Sure, you might have to do a little rearranging, but you’ll find this might be rewarding too. All you need for a corner seating area is a corner and something to put in it. You can use a signature chair, a hanging chair, an ottoman, a bean bag chair, or even just a cushion. Once you have this setup, then consider decorating around it. You might want to add some lighting or blankets and pillows. Another option is to hang blankets on the wall to create a cozier setting. No matter what you choose to do, everyone is going to want to hang out in your corner nook.

8. Highlight the Exterior
Autumn is all about the magic inside of the house because it is where you’re going to go to stay warm and cozy. However, you shouldn’t forget about the exterior of your home either. In most places, the weather is still nice enough for you to hang out and enjoy the seasonal beauty outside. So, instead of focusing primarily on the inside, you might want to consider putting some outdoor décor out. Nature is in so think pumpkins, sunflowers, hay bales, and more. You can also put up some string lights to add to the fun. This will help create a comfortable setting that is perfect for entertaining or reading a book on your own.

9. Modern Rugs
Modern rugs have been a big hit for several years now, but they’re going to be very hyped up this season. These rugs typically feature authentic styles from the Middle East, so when you’re shopping for rugs make sure the item you plan to purchase is made abroad. This isn’t a requirement, but if you’re keeping fashion in mind then this will offer you the best options. It doesn’t matter what colors you choose when it comes to your rug either, as long as it looks good in your home. Generally, you should be able to find a good deal on a rug like this online, but make sure to look around thrift stores and other vendors locally.

10. Halloween Décor
After the year we’ve had, you shouldn’t be surprised to see Halloween décor up in early September. Many people are taking to the movement of decorating for holidays whenever they feel like it. This is actually known to help boost happiness, so if you’re feeling the need to bust out the skeletons and zombies then go for it. It doesn’t seem like COVID-19 is putting a stop to Halloween stores this season, but if you don’t want to shop in-store there will be plenty of deals online to choose from. You might also consider making some of your own as a fun project while you quarantine.

Decorating for autumn this season might bring you all the more joy. That is why it is important to feel confident in your design choices and save some money. These tips will help you create a wonderful fall environment so you can feel cozier in your surroundings.

Ten Ways to Oktoberfest Safely at Home

For the first time in decades, Oktoberfest celebrations across the globe are being canceled. This can be a major letdown to those that have joined their community in celebrating this German holiday every year. Just because the celebrations are coming to a close, doesn’t mean that you don’t have an opportunity to celebrate on your own. These ten ideas will help bring the Oktoberfest to your home, so you can enjoy social distancing while still keeping up with tradition and having some fun. These tips won’t harm your bank account either, which will definitely make the celebration all the sweeter.

1. Watch Old Festivals
One of the best ways to get in touch with Oktoberfest is to watch some old festivals. If you’re not sure about this activity, you should look up the iconic festivals like the celebrations that take place in Germany. You will find more than people drinking in these videos, as they will have shows, games, and so much more. You can even have your celebration with one of these old videos playing in the background. This will provide a more authentic experience and will help you to feel like you’re a part of something special. The videos will even give you some ideas to make your celebration all the more fun for the entire family.

2. Order German Beer
One of the key elements to Oktoberfest is the beer. However, many people tend to celebrate Oktoberfest with beer that they find in their local grocery store. If you can, try to go the extra mile to order German beer. You might be able to find it at retailers that have a wider variety of beverage options. There are many websites that will cater to shipping the beer to you. This might seem expensive, but if you had budgeted to attend an Oktoberfest celebration then you won’t be out any money here. You should consider your state’s laws regarding shipping alcohol though, so you won’t waste money if the items are sent back. Apart from that, you might be able to find domestic Oktoberfest varieties if you are in a pinch for something festive at a lower price.

3. Make German Food
Food is another big part of the Oktoberfest festival. Pretzels, sausage, and other popular German foods would normally be on the menu at most German festivals. Luckily, these items can be purchased and enjoyed in the home so you can still get part of the Oktoberfest experience. If you’re feeling ambitious, then you can easily make your own sausage or pretzels at home. Of course, there are other amazing recipes that you can try out too. You might also want to peruse the German dessert section in your cookbooks, as you may find some treats that will definitely make your must-eat list. If anything, enjoying Oktoberfest at home, might broaden your culinary horizons so you can easily find some amazing everyday menu items for your home.

4. Order German Takeout
If you live in an area with German takeout, then it might be fun to try out a new German restaurant or an old favorite. This will allow you to truly enjoy the culture without having to worry that you’re messing up a new recipe or making a huge mess in your kitchen. Some restaurants might even have deals pertaining to Oktoberfest, which could save you money or at least allow you to enjoy a more authentic Oktoberfest experience. By ordering from a German restaurant during the pandemic, you will also be helping out local businesses, which is great for the economy. You can also use delivery services to reduce the spread of the virus so you can feel more secure with your purchase.

5. Dress Up
Showing off your German attire can be a whole lot of fun. Even though you might not be showing it off with a group of people and you won’t be a part of a competition, it can still be a lot of fun to dress up. If you shop quickly, you might be able to find some German costumes on clearance before Halloween sales begin again. However, you can also make your own authentic costume if you know how to sew. There are patterns online you can find to start your project. There are many ways you can still have fun with your costume without spending a lot of money on it too. For instance, you can purchase a shirt that features authentic clothing. You can also make your own tee to help add some fun to the occasion.

6. Learn Some German Words
Since you’ll have a bit more time at home for Oktoberfest, you might dedicate the time to learning some actual German words. Oktoberfest actually takes place for a longer period of time, so if you dedicate this time frame to learning then you can easily become a beginner when it comes to the language. There are many online websites and apps that can help you begin your journey. There are even some apps that make learning language a game that only takes a couple of minutes a day. If you prefer to go the old school route, you should be able to find German language books at your local library. You might also be able to buy used books online for very cheap. So, spend this Oktoberfest giving the culture a close look as you take on learning the language.

7. Play Music
German music doesn’t seem to get a lot of airplay, so you might want to stop and check it out during the Oktoberfest fun. Although eating and drinking is the major event when it comes to the celebration, music, and dancing is equally as important. You might start your journey with classic German music that you might hear during an Oktoberfest festival. However, once you feel you’re ready to branch out then discover something new. You might find that there are lots of wonderful singers and amazing bands in some of your favorite genres.

8. Brew Beer
Rumor has it, there is going to be some beer and soda shortages soon due to the coronavirus. Even if this isn’t true, it never hurts to brew your own beer. This experience can actually teach you a lot about the process that makes your favorite beers, which will make you appreciate them all the more. On top of that, you’ll find that brewing beer allows you to customize the flavor so you can reinvent something that you didn’t enjoy the first time you tried it. Best of all, brewing beer can save you money in the long run, which tends to be a plus for most people. When it comes to brewing beer, you can start out with a cheap kit that will probably only run you $30. If you enjoy the process, then you can always upgrade later on. Beer kits are fairly cheap too when you price the amount, they make in comparison to how many bottles you would get at the store for the same amount. It will also give you the opportunity to try out authentic Oktoberfest brew.

9. Decorate a mug
When you attend an Oktoberfest celebration, most of the time are you gifted a mug as a souvenir. Since you won’t be able to get your souvenir this year, you might try making your own. You can have a lot of fun with it and even mention something about the pandemic or hosting your own celebration. There are actually beer mug kits available so you won’t have to go the extra mile to secure crafting supplies if you don’t want to. However, you can go this route too, as there are lots of tutorials online, so you can easily find something that suits your skill levels and creative intuition.

10. Go Virtual
If you do plan on celebrating Oktoberfest, then you don’t have to do it by yourself. Instead, start up a virtual chat so you can all enjoy the celebration together. It is very easy to get together a large group of people to enjoy the holiday together on programs like Zoom. You can even change your background to show off something that is similar to what would appear at an Oktoberfest celebration. This can help add a social element to the festivities, so you will feel less alone.

You don’t have to give up on Oktoberfest because of 2020. Instead, step outside of the box and enjoy creating your own Oktoberfest. This experience will definitely make you appreciate the Oktoberfest of yesteryear, but it might also help you find new and exciting ways to truly get on board with the holiday, so you can get more out of it in the future.

Fun Ways to Celebrate Grandparents Day on a Budget

Grandparents Day will be here soon, which might be a problem during the current circumstances. If this year hasn’t made you think about how much your grandparents mean to you, then seeing all of the Grandparents Day ads might make the sentiment set in. This year, it isn’t exactly safe to visit with your grandparents unless they are already living in your home. There are many amazing things you can do for your grandparents on this special day of recognition though. Best of all, many of these ideas won’t cost you a thing and those that do require a bit of money won’t break your budget. So, make sure you take the day to remember how amazing your grandparents are.

1. Video Chat
Talking to your grandparents is one of the best ways you can make them feel loved. However, these days, you can go one step further from just chatting on the phone. If your grandparents are tech-savvy, or they have someone living with them that can help them out, then you might celebrate the day with a special video chat. Not only will your grandparents love to hear from you, but they will also have a chance to see you. This will help them feel special, but might also help to ease some of the worries they are having during this time period. Make sure you catch up with them and tell them all about what has been going on in your life and ask them about their lives. Sometimes, chatting with a loved one can even help to chase the blues away, which many seniors are having to deal with during this time.

2. Window Visit
If you want to take things to the next level and you live close to your grandparents, then a window visit is the next best option. All this entails is going to their home and chatting with each other through a window. You can use the phone to help facilitate this too, especially if your grandparents have trouble hearing. You might bring a chair with you to make the visit feel more casual. If you do live nearby then you might also take this opportunity to see if your grandparents need any help around the yard and so on.

3. Make a Family Meal
At this juncture in the self-quarantine life, many people are going to be sick of cooking meal after meal. Your grandparents probably aren’t an exception. They might also have trouble cooking some of the meals they normally would due to lack of supplies. So, if you really want to show them how much they mean to you then you might cook a meal for them. Of course, one of the best things you can do is to actually cook a family recipe for them. This might be a challenge, but it will show them just how much you care about them and miss your family time.

4. Order Groceries
These days, it isn’t exactly easy to get out and shop without putting yourself at risk. This is especially hard for people of a certain age because they are most susceptible to getting coronavirus and dying from it. So, instead of sending gifts or making a grand gesture, you might actually take the time to just grocery shop for them. If you can, it is best to just order groceries, as this will help to keep you protected. Many stores are doing grocery pick up which will allow you to simply pick up and drop off their items. However, you can also do a grocery delivery order. This is especially helpful if you’re not living in the same area as your grandparents. If you really want to go the extra mile then you might grab them a special meal from a delivery service. You might look into what services they have in their area and their reviews, so you can easily feel confident about your purchases.

5. Send a Photo Book
Grandparents love to look at pictures whenever they get the chance. However, not all grandparents are tech-savvy enough to utilize social media. Thus, they often miss out on what is going on during our lives. Instead of just skipping over their need for pictures, you might make this an important part of Grandparents Day. You should be able to find lots of great deals on photo books around the holiday time frame. If you’re at a loss for deals then the price of a photo book isn’t too high to begin with. You might also consider printing out your own photos and adding them to a book that you make by hand. No matter which way you go, your grandparents will definitely love the pictures that you send their way.

6. Facilitate Hobbies
These days, hobbies are getting a lot of people by. They can help take their minds off of everything going on around us while helping to keep everyone busy while they are stuck at home. However, it might be hard for your grandparents to keep up with their hobbies if they can’t get out to shop. Thus, one great thing you can do for your grandparents is to surprise them with a few supplies that they can use for their hobbies. May it be dropping off some new plants for their gardening or restocking their paint supply. You might also consider leaving some new board games, puzzles, and other activities your grandparents have enjoyed in the past. If your grandparents don’t like surprises, then feel free to ask them what they need.

7. Drive-By Parade
Another great way to show your grandparents how much they are loved is to organize a parade in their honor. This will work a lot like the birthday drive-by parades that are really popular right now. One of the best ways to get the parade started is to talk to all of your family members. Make sure you have your parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so on join in on the parade to ensure that your grandparents truly feel loved. If you want to add to the charm, make signs and use other party supplies to make the parade loud and fun to watch. Make sure everyone is able to wave and show that they turned up to make the parade something special.

8. Appreciation Video
When it comes to showing some love, one of the best ways to go is to make an appreciation video. You can do this quickly and simply on your mobile phone. All you have to do is share a message of appreciation for your grandparents. You might also consider sharing stories, reminiscing, and so much more. If you want to add to the message then have the children of the house add to the video to you. You can also call for other family members to contribute. It is incredibly simple to string together videos in free software, so you won’t have to worry about spending a penny here either.

9. Interview Them
Your grandparents aren’t going to be around forever. They hold the legacy of your family in their hearts and minds though. So, you might make a point to make a Grandparents Day project. In the project, you work to interview them to learn as much as possible about them. You might ask about their likes and dislikes. However, try to dig a bit deeper. You might talk about their childhood, their parents, their education, and so on. You might also chat about any family stories that they might want to share. There are many websites that can help guide you through an interview such as this. They can also help you to piece together the information into a keepsake that can be passed down from generation to generation.

10. Send a card
At the end of the day, one of the best things you can do is simply send out a card. Without a doubt, cards can be one of the easiest ways to show you care. Older generations are accustomed to getting and receiving cards too so this action will show just how much you care. When you pick out a card make sure to add a special message and have the whole family sign it. You can also add in a gift card if you want the gift to be extra special. If you can’t get out to purchase a card then you can always print one out mail it.

This year, you might not want to skip out on Grandparents Day. If this year has taught us anything, it is definitely that you should value the people in your life. These ten ideas are just a start when it comes to making your grandparents feel special while the world practices social distancing.