Archive for March 31, 2022

Earth Day Activities that Will Keep the Planet and Your Bank in the Green

Earth Day will be here soon, but we’re also living in a world where our wonderful planet needs all of the help it can get. If you’re looking to save money on Earth Day, there are a lot of different things you can do to lend a helping hand while passing down the knowledge of how to protect the planet to younger generations. These ten ideas will allow you to have some fun while also saving money when it comes to the holiday. After trying out some of these ideas, you might also find some activities that you will want to do more frequently.

1. Bottle Planting
Plastic bottles are one of the most common items found in landfills. You will find plastic bottles from everything including beverages, soaps, and cleaning supplies. However, we don’t have to constantly throw out plastic bottles. There are actually lots of plastic alternatives that you can utilize, but for some households’ plastics are a major part of their routine. If you still find yourself bringing in plastics then don’t just throw them out. Instead, you can transform them into planters. You can hang these planters on the wall or use them as a traditional planters. You can also use bottles to cover plants when the weather is cold, which can help protect your plants from freezes.

2. Plant Wildflowers
Another great way to treat the planet right is to plant wildflowers. Wildflowers tend to require very little work, which will allow you to easily create a beautiful yard that will also benefit the planet. Wildflowers are important because they help to feed the bees, which allows everything else to grow and thrive. You can find wildflower seeds for next to nothing in stores, so you won’t have to invest in a lot to ensure you’re helping out. In fact, in some Cheerio boxes, you can even find a few packets of seeds which will make planting all the more exciting for kids.

3. Clean a Park
Cleaning a park is one of the most popular ways to help celebrate Earth Day. This is a great activity that the whole family can jump on board with too. When you choose items to help clean up the park, make sure you keep sustainability in mind. For instance, you should choose reusable gloves opposed to plastic gloves to protect your hands as you clean. Getting out to clean a park can also allow you to enjoy the sunshine and will make it convenient to stop and play when you need a break. If you’d prefer to join a group of people, then there are many clean-up groups you can sign up for online. These events are happening around the globe, so you should be able to find one in your community or anywhere you may be traveling on the holiday.

4. Learn about Animals
Animals play a major role on the planet, so spending some time learning about them might be a fun way to spend your day. You might consider checking out a petting zoo, zoo, or wildlife park if you’re interested in seeing animals with your own eyes. There are many virtual tours online that you can check out too if you don’t want to go out due to Covid-19. Another great option is to check out documentaries or read books about the animals that you are interested in. This should help you to gain quite a bit of knowledge about the creatures we share the planet with.

5. Discover New Regions
There is way more to the planet than what we see on a daily basis. One of the best things you can do on Earth Day is getting to know some of the other regions that make up our wonderful planet. There are so many documentaries and books that you can enjoy to learn about the world you live in, so this is a great start. Thanks to modern technology, you can always enjoy virtual tours as well. There are many options to help you get to know deserts and rainforests around the world which will give you the experience of travel without leaving the home.

6. DIY Oven
Harnessing solar energy is a great way to help the planet. There are many ways to use solar energy to help power your home and so much more. However, one of the best things you can do to teach children about solar power is to help them make a DIY oven. All you need for this is a pizza box, aluminum foil, black paper, plastic wrap, and tape. Piece together all of the materials and then create your own pizza to cook in the oven. When your pizza is ready to go, place it in the box and leave it outside in the sun to cook. Children can learn how the sun can help create enough heat to help cook the pizza thoroughly. You can also bake other items, like cookies if pizza isn’t on the menu.

7. Recyclable Bird Feeders
Putting up a bird feeder can also help to celebrate Earth Day in a wonderful way. You can make bird feeders out of so many things, which will make this activity something special for the entire family. One easy way to make a bird feeder without spending money is to use an old 3-liter bottle. Kids can paint or glue items to the feeder to help improve the way it looks. Once everything is ready to go, you can fill the feeder with seeds and enjoy. Of course, there are more complex options you can enjoy if you’re looking for a challenge. There are a lot of ideas online to choose from.

8. Turn off the Lights
Conserving energy is a great way to help out the planet. One way to do this is to simply turn out your lights. During the day, try to keep the power off if you’re not using it. At night, only use energy in one room of the house. If you can try to cut power to everything but the necessities during the day. Allowing yourself to spend most of your day outside will make this much easier. So, try to plan as many things outside as you can to enjoy Earth Day. Many people have started having a lights-out day at least one Saturday a month to cut back on the costs of electricity and to help make the world a better place.

9. Start a Garden
Gardening can be great for your home, your budget, your mental health, and the planet. If you don’t already have a garden, then now is the perfect time to get on started. You don’t have to go all out on this. You might start with simple plants like seasonal vegetables. You can also work with flowers or start to grow fruit trees. Your garden doesn’t have to go up all at once either. You can work slowly and build it up over the years to help cut back on the expenditure. You can also work on drip irrigation and compost to help cut back on even more costs.

10. Watch Lessons About Earth
There are so many ideas and lectures about our planet that you could spend days watching them. So, for Earth Day, you might consider picking a few videos that can help you discover new ways to help improve the planet. You might want to start with common lecture services like Ted Talks. There are so many playlists already created here that all you really need to do is point, click, and watch. There are even talks to appeal to children, so you can also help children to improve their knowledge of the planet and everything that can be done to make the world a better place.

Earth Day 2022 can be your best one yet. These ten tips will help you to give back to the planet that provides everything you need to lead a happy and healthy life without spending a lot of your money. With any luck, you will find a fun way to enjoy Mother Nature so you can carry on giving back.

Stand Out on a Budget During This Prom Season

Prom season is on its way, which means you have a pretty big expenditure coming up. Prom season can really harm your budget if you’re not careful but planning out an unforgettable event for your child can often cloud judgment when it comes to shopping for the event. There are plenty of unique ideas that can ensure your child stands out during prom season while still making sure your budget is designed to suit your needs.

1. Ditch the Limo
The limo has become one cliché aspect of prom. Kids believe they should have the limo experience to fully embrace the occasion. However, this simply isn’t the case. If you want to skip the limo you might look into renting a classic car for your child’s grand entrance. If you have a friend or family member that owns one, then borrowing it might be an even cheaper option. Another fun idea that won’t cost a penny is having your child gather friends that are willing to dance their way to the prom. Kids can be dropped off a block from the venue, so they can make an entrance that will have all of their classmates talking. There are so many other options to help your child make the grand entrance without the limo price tag, so make sure to plan early so you can pull anything off.

2. Secondhand Styles
There is no rule saying prom attire has to be brand new. A secondhand style can be one of the best ways to save some money. Since most prom dresses are worn once, there is a good chance you can find a look that has barely any wear, which will make it impossible for people to tell the difference. Thrift stores are filled with such items, so you can save some big money while helping out a charity. On top of that, you can also borrow a dress or tux from someone that has previously attended prom. You might also find that it is a lot of fun to alter styles, especially if you didn’t spend a fortune on them. This can be one of the best ways to add that custom touch to things. Accessories can also be borrowed or altered to finish off a look that people will remember for years to come.

3. Makeup Party
Makeup tends to be one of the pricier options when it comes to the prom. This can be a big problem if you’re on a budget. These days, many teens know how to do their makeup though, so having a makeup party can help offset the cost of the event while still adding more memories to the occasion. Attendees can bring their own makeup and each person can take turns applying. There are lots of great prom makeup tutorials online as well, which can make finding the perfect look even easier. Parents might ask kids to choose a look before the big event so all of the necessary cosmetics can be purchased ahead of time. This can even allow time for practicing the look.

4. Natural Hair Accessories
From tiaras to jeweled hair accessories, hair accessories can really make your prom bill skyrocket. One way to combat this is to actually use items that Mother Nature provides. For instance, if you have your own garden then you can cut flowers and create a crown of flowers that will make everyone envy your child’s style. You can also add flowers to many other accessories to help bring them to life. This is fairly easy to do, but there are also DIY tutorials online that you can check out if you need assistance.

5. Vintage Photography
Although it is always nice to have a decent picture from prom, there is something exciting about having candid photos as well. One of the easiest ways to enjoy candid photos without having to pay extra money is to simply get a disposable camera. This will prevent your child from losing their mobile phone while allowing them to enjoy vintage quality photos that they can add to scrapbooks and so on. These cameras can also make things a lot of fun because they are easy to use and will offer your student a surprise when the photos are finally developed.

6. Skip Official Photos
Speaking of photos, a lot of people are tempted to purchase official photos while they’re at the prom. These often end up looking awkward and are incredibly overpriced, which can really put a dent in your budget without giving you anything valuable. Rather than spend a small fortune on the official photos, you might consider asking someone to take pictures before the prom. Most people have high-quality cameras on their phones, so it shouldn’t be a stretch to get images that you’ll want to cherish for years to come. The hardest part might be finding a place to take the photos, but this shouldn’t be too hard to do.

7. DIY Corsage
The corsage can be a big part of your ensemble when it comes to prom. They can also cost you an arm and a leg. If you’re looking for a corsage for less, then one of the best things you can do is make your own. There are a lot of great corsages that you can make with very little effort, which can help you save big time. If you’re not sure where to begin, then you might start browsing around for tutorials online. This will help you to find a style that will suit your needs, so you can practice making the item. You can use fake flowers for the corsage or real flowers from your garden. You can also add in small details that you might not normally get when you order a corsage from a store.

8. Consider Hiring Students
If you don’t want to skip out on any services, then one thing you might consider is hiring students for the work. There are many high school and college students in cosmetology programs that can help you get the look you need for a price that is suitable for your budget. Even some fashion students might be willing to help with a dress or even slight adjustments to a dress or tux that is already owned. Photography is another area that you might consider using a student for. Shopping around for students will still get you the services you desire but will also help a student add to their resume or build their skills for the future.

9. Purchase Gift Cards
One easy way to get the things that you need is to purchase gift cards. A lot of the time, you can find these on websites at a discounted price. This will allow you to get even more out of your money, so you can buy the things you need. Gift cards are also a very convenient thing to hand over to your teen so they can purchase the items they need. This can ensure teens won’t go overboard when shopping and will allow you to set limits. You can also purchase gift cards for the restaurant after the dance, which will also help prevent overspending with ease.

10. Set Limits
Of course, one of the best things you can do before you even begin prom planning is to set limits. This is especially true when it comes to your budget. You should set a number before you even begin shopping around. From there, you can reduce the number to help save even more. This will help your teen learn boundaries while also ensuring that you won’t have to worry about going above and beyond to suit their prom expectations. Being clear about your limits in the beginning can also help your teen from getting attached to the items that are already out of their budget.

Prom doesn’t have to force you to max out a credit card or spend too much money on one single event. These ten ideas can help you save money while still having plenty of fun with the prom. So, don’t hesitate to start your prom shopping experience, because the longer you wait the pricier things will be.

Hop Into Easter Hassle Free with these Frugal Easter Basket Ideas

Easter is just a hop, skip, and jump away! So, if you haven’t already started planning out your child’s Easter basket then now might be the best time to do so. If you’re looking to keep your child’s Easter basket frugal, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the things advertised at the moment. There are many items that you can grab to keep things frugal though. These ten ideas are all hot options that most kids will love, so you can ensure the Easter Bunny does well when creating your child’s Easter basket on a budget.

1. Slime
Slime is really trendy right now, which makes it a great item to put in most kids’ baskets. You should be able to find some great deals on slime, including Easter-themed slime, which will make it easy for you to shop in bulk if you have more than one child to provide for. Slime is a great sensory toy as well, so you can feel confident that you’re providing something beneficial for your child. If you want to add even more value to your child’s playtime, then you might consider purchasing a slime kit. This will help your child utilize STEM skills while they plan. Of course, if you really want to save some money you can also make your own slime and store it in plastic Easter eggs to add to the fun.

2. Water Bottle
Water bottles can play an important role in the day, which makes them a great addition to an Easter basket. Water bottles help to encourage kids to say hydrated while also allowing them to show off their personalities. From school to home, your child’s water bottle can ensure comfort throughout the day while encouraging less waste. There are many sustainable water bottles on the market now, so it is easy to find one that will suit your child. There are even options that allow your child to decorate their own water bottle, which can add to the fun. These items don’t have to be expensive either, which can definitely suit your budget perfectly.

3. Art Supplies
Getting crafty is a great way to help kids show their emotions while improving their motor skills. So, arts and crafts supplies are a great option to fill their Easter baskets. The best thing about these items is they tend to be on the cheap side, especially if you’re shopping for younger children. A box of fresh crayons, some finger paints, and other similar items can help to fill the basket with items that are going to bring them joy. You might also consider adding in color books to add to the fun.

4. Bath Supplies
Another great way to bring some fun to the basket is to add in some bath supplies. These may be considered necessities, but you can always add in fun items too. For instance, you might put your child’s favorite soaps in the basket. You can also put in some bath bombs or bubble baths. Bath bombs are a great way to add some fun and can even be made at home. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can add toys inside of them, so children get an extra treat. You can also add in bath toys, new wash cloths, or anything else that your child might be currently needing.

5. Outdoor Toys
With Spring weather here, outdoor toys are going to be a great option when it comes to the Easter basket. You don’t have to spend a fortune on items either. Rather, you can keep it simple with things like water guns, bubbles, and small bouncy balls. A new baseball or soccer ball might also be a great option to keep your kids outside and happy. Of course, you might also include spring-inspired items like frisbees and kites. Sidewalk chalk and other outdoor art supplies will also make a great addition to the Easter basket.

6. Fidget Toys
Fidget toys have become incredibly popular in recent years. On top of that, they are a great way to help improve your child’s mental health and attention span. Many parents are currently using fidget toys to help their children handle homework problems, deal with big emotions, and they are even an asset during time-in sessions. Fidget toys come in all shapes and sizes too, which makes it easy to shop for each individual child no matter their interest or age group. Many fidget toys can even be placed inside of eggs to add to the surprise element to the basket.

7. Books
Finding an excuse to gift books is always wise to help encourage young minds to become readers. Easter is a great time to share stories of all types. You might want to consider Easter-themed or spring-themed books if you’re trying to keep your Easter basket holiday-specific. However, if your child has a favorite series, comic book, character, and so on then it might be a great option to add a book or two in as well. These can help inspire your child while bringing them joy when they see their basket.

8. Mystery Toys
The market is currently saturated with mystery toys. You can find everything from mystery boxes, bags, balls, eggs, and so on, which will allow you to add a fun variety to your Easter basket. You can choose toys based on your child’s interests as well, which can definitely bring some fun to their basket. Not only will they be surprised by the content of the basket, but they will also have some fun to unravel even after the big reveal. The best thing about mystery toys is there are many on the market that will cost you $5 or less, which makes them affordable treats in comparison to some of the options available.

9. Summer Supplies
Another great thing to consider when choosing gifts is items that kids can use as the weather heats up. Summer supplies will allow kids to enjoy a surprise while still ensuring they have everything they need for when temperatures rise. Some ideas that can help fill up a basket are fun sunglasses to help protect your child’s eyes from harsh UV rays. A new hat, especially one that blocks UV rays can also be a great addition to the basket. Younger children might also enjoy a new shorts set or summer-friendly pajama set. Any other summer supplies you might also think of can work wonders in the basket.

10. Go Premade
Sometimes, one of the cheapest ways to put an Easter basket together is to simply purchase one premade. This is going to take away all of the customization options, but it will also allow you to not spend as much money as you might if you were just winging it. There are so many affordable premade baskets on the market, so you should be able to find something for every child in your family. This can save a lot of time and headache too, which might make it the best option if you can find the right gift.

Planning for Easter doesn’t have to be a struggle. These ten ideas will help you to create an unforgettable basket while allowing you to have some fun with the shopping experience. Best of all, it will help to keep you on your budget, so you can save money for upcoming activities.

Ramadan Suggestions to Keep Your Budget Thriving Throughout the month of Fasting

Ramadan begins in early April and if you don’t have plans yet then you might find yourself struggling to prep for the holiday at the last moment. Luckily, Ramadan doesn’t have to be a big-budget holiday, which can make the meaning of the occasion all the more sacred. These ten tips will help you keep to your budget as you plan to make your Ramadan a period to remember. You may even find new solutions to the holiday that you never thought of before, so you can continue to keep the budget low while allowing your finances to thrive.

1. Keep It Simple
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your budget is to keep things simple. You do not have to go all out for Ramadan, as the message of the holiday isn’t about spending money. One of the first places to begin is to keep gifts very simple if you give them at all. You don’t have to purchase lavish gifts just to impress others, so cross this off of your list of things to do. Décor is another thing you can totally skip out on when it comes to spending large amounts of money. You can decorate with homemade items if you choose to decorate at all. Your feast can include seasonal foods or those that are cheap to make. All of this combined should help to keep your budget frugal without affecting the holiday.

2. Shop for Deals
If shopping has become part of your Ramadan experience, you don’t have to give it up entirely. Before the holiday begins, make sure you set a budget and stick to it. Usually, during this time, you will find lots of sales to choose from. You should be able to find plenty of décor items, fresh clothing, and even gifts. Sales can be tempting, so make sure you do some research before you simply blindly buy an item because a store says it is on sale. You should also think about a purchase before making it because purchasing items you do not need won’t do your budget any favors.

3. Don’t Travel
Many people do like to travel during Ramadan, may it be to travel to see family or to visit sacred places. Traveling right now might not be the best of options though. There is a lot of turmoil in the world, which makes it unsafe to travel to many places abroad. On top of that, the cost of flights is very high. With fuel shortages, pandemic restrictions, and other major issues, getting a flight isn’t going to be quite the same as it would have been a few years ago. Even driving isn’t a great idea with the high price of fuel right now. So, instead of traveling, simply stay home and enjoy your holiday as best you can. If you can always video call loved ones and take tours online of the places you would like to see. This will also afford you the opportunity to put back some of the money you would have used to travel so that when it is safe and money efficient you can.

4. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead for any holiday is crucial, and Ramadan is certainly no exception to the rule. This year, try your hardest to shop ahead of the season for gifts. If you’re already behind, then adopt this plan for next year. It will allow you to easily get gifts throughout the year, so you don’t have to spend lots of money all at once. Shopping ahead will also allow you to shop for the best deal. By shopping early, you can feel assured that your items will arrive on time, so you won’t have to spend extra money to replace items that aren’t on time. This will also allow you to budget more efficiently for meals. Sometimes, you can even find décor on clearance after the holiday, which will help you prepare for next year’s holiday.

5. DIY Decorations
Decorations do not have to become an expensive part of your Ramadan experience. In fact, there are so many decorations that you can make at home. From themed garland and wreaths to cutouts of mosques and paper lanterns, you’re bound to create something that will truly suit your needs. Making the decorations yourself will also allow you to bond with family members and show off your family’s personality through artwork. One of the easiest options to make is paper lanterns, especially since the craft can be done in so many ways. This will allow you to easily work around age groups while creating something that can be used year after year. There are a lot of tutorials online, so make sure to check them out if you’re struggling to get started.

6. Ramadan Crafts for Kids
Keeping kids entertained is always an important aspect for most holidays. Ramadan is no exception to this rule. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can organize to keep kids busy. Ramadan crafts are one of the easiest ways to help children have fun while keeping their hands busy. There are many Ramadan crafts to choose from too, which will allow you to choose crafts based on age and skill level. There are lots of craft ideas online to ensure you are able to choose projects that are right for everyone and are suitable for the supplies that you already have at home. If you choose carefully, you can even put the crafts up as décor to save you even more money.

7. Plan Meals Carefully
Although fasting is a major part of the holiday, people tend to not save on groceries. This is because meals tend to be more lavish. You don’t have to go all out for every meal though. Instead, plan with your budget and choose foods that are going to be filling for much longer. You should also choose ingredients that can be utilized from one meal to the next. This will prevent waste and thus save you a lot more money. Other than that, you will find that there are many frugal recipes online to help you feel confident about your ability to save money while still enjoying your favorite traditional options.

8. Volunteer for Charity
Giving to charity is also a big part of the holiday. However, if you’re short on money to give or you simply want to make more of a difference, then you might consider volunteering for charity. This will allow you to make a difference without spending money. Instead, you will be offering something far more valuable, your time. There are many volunteer opportunities to choose from as well. You might start by choosing things that interest you, so you can gain more from the experience. You never know, you may find a new and valuable way to spend your time even when Ramadan is over.

9. Gift Frugally
Ramadan shouldn’t be about spending a small fortune on gifts. In fact, if you don’t need to gift or you don’t particularly want to, then there really is no reason to gift. However, if you do want to offer some gifts, then you can start with items that won’t cost you a lot of money. Handmade items are always a good choice and will help show your affection without burdening you. However, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money then you can easily purchase smaller items that relate to the holiday or have personal meaning behind them.

10. Share the Story of Ramadan
One of the best ways to celebrate Ramadan is to share the story of the holiday with others. You might be surprised by how many people are intrigued by the story of the holiday because many simply don’t know it. Those that do know, might like hearing it from different people to see how each person presents the story. There are many books about the holiday too, which might actually help you to enjoy more of the story or teach it to the next generation.

Ramadan will be here before you know it, but there is no reason to fret over plans or your budget. These tips should help you enjoy the holiday anymore since you won’t have to stress out over all of the things you feel you need to do. With any luck, you will find that your holiday feels more special without worrying about budgetary restraints.

Fuel Your Budget and Your Tank with these Money Saving Tips

If you have a vehicle, then chances are your bank account might be hurting a bit with the current gas prices. With the current situation in the world causing supply and demand problems, the gas hikes might be here for a little while. There are some things you can do to help cut back on the fuel used though, which can help you save money and stress a little less about going to the gas station. These ten tips are just scratching the surface, so make sure you find the options for your personal needs.

1. Stay Home
One of the best ways to save money on gasoline is one of the most obvious. However, it is also one of the most hated options. If you’re looking to cut back on expenses, stay home. Yes, the weather is warming up and pandemic restrictions are loosening up finally, so everyone wants to be out and about. Now might not be the best time to do it, especially if you work outside of the home. If you do go out, consider alternative modes of transit, like cycling or taking the bus. This should cut back on spending as you won’t need to fuel up as often. You might also talk to your workplace to see if you can work from home temporarily or work from home a few days a week.

2. Utilize Apps
Luckily, we live in a world where there are always apps to bring some convenience to our lives. There are so many apps out there that can help you find the gas station that will offer you the best possible deal on fuel. This can save you time and money because you won’t waste time looking for prices in your area. There are also many ways you can use apps to find coupons or rewards on the gas you purchase. This can take off a portion of the bill to make the price hikes a little less burdensome. Before you download apps, you should always check out reviews first, because you don’t want your phone to get a virus due to malicious apps.

3. Use Your Credit Card
Paying with a credit card at the pump can be a great way to help offset some of the costs. To begin with, a lot of companies will actually give you some rewards for paying with your credit card. You might check your specific card to see what you are offered, as you may have to pump at a specific station. Other than that, you will find that credit cards offer more protection than your debit card might. For instance, if your card is scammed at the pump, then you’re going to have better luck getting refunded for the scam than you would with a debit card. Using a credit card strictly for gas can actually help you build credit too as it will offer you the ability to pay on the card monthly to help lift your score without adding much to your debt. This is only scratching the surface of how a credit card can help you save at the pump, but it is crucial to know about your card before you choose to do this.

4. Sign Up For Rewards
If you are looking for more rewards, then you’re in luck. A lot of stores offer rewards of their own, which can help with your gas bill. To begin with, some grocery stores will offer reward points which can then be used for discounts on gas. Some gas stations will offer discount cards for members or allow for a point system to also offer a discount on gas. There are also wholesale stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart that can help you get the discounts you need just for being a member of their program. You might be surprised by how many rewards you can get, especially if you learn to stack the rewards on top of each other to maximize your profit

5. Purchase from Clubs
As mentioned, wholesale clubs often offer gas discounts to their members. Often stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Costco will have a gas station outside of their story. With Costco and Sam’s Club, you must have a membership to access the pump, but Walmart Plus members can simply scan their membership code to get a discount. Chances are, if you see a gas station connected to a grocery store then they will probably also offer a discount through their reward program.

6. Fill Up Early in the Week
Another great way to save on some money during the price hikes is to fill up during the beginning of the week. Many gas stations and apps will tell you the best time to purchase gas in most states is Sunday or Monday and one of the worst times to fill up is around Thursday. Of course, you should do research for your specific area to ensure this is factual for your area. You also shouldn’t fill up as soon as the gas station receives new fuel. Overall, research is the best way to figure out when you should be filling up. You should also keep up to date on what is going on as far as supply and demand, as this can help you stay on top of things.

7. Don’t Idle
Many people spend a lot of time idling in their vehicles. However, this can be one of the worst things to do if you’re trying to conserve gas. Instead of idling, simply turn off your vehicle and restart the vehicle when you are ready to go again. This isn’t always an option, but if you find yourself stuck in a long drive-thru line then turn off the car until the line gets moving again. You also shouldn’t leave your car out to warm up either. Instead, let the car’s engine warm up naturally by driving. This will help to cut down on the gas used, so you can fill up less.

8. Slow Down
If you happen to have a lead foot, then you’re not doing yourself any favors when it comes to your gas mileage. The more you speed, the more gas you’re going to burn off, which can cause a major problem for your gas bill. When you drive, you should keep it to the speed limit, which should be the ideal speed to keep your gas mileage down. If you struggle to keep speed, then cruise control is a great option to prevent you from going too fast. Doing this will ensure you are optimizing your gasoline, which will also keep your budget in check.

9. Roll Down the Window
With spring practically here, warmer temperatures will also be arriving. This might tempt you to crank up the air conditioner in your vehicle to ensure you are comfortable. However, this can really eat up a lot of fuel which can be a problem if you’re on a tight budget. One of the best ways to combat the warmth is to roll down the windows in the car. This is a great way to cool down the vehicle when you’re having to stop and go while in town. If you’re on the freeway, you can still crack a window to utilize the breeze to cool yourself down.

10. Take Fuel Efficient Route
One problem that many people face is finding fuel efficient routes while driving. Generally, when you put your information into a GPS, you are more likely to find the fastest route to get somewhere. However, with a few clicks, you can change your settings to give you the most fuel-efficient route. This is great for allowing you to save on gas mileage. It might not be great for the time, but when it comes to the current prices this might be a sacrifice you have to make.

There is no telling how long the gas hikes will be in play, so planning ahead to keep your budget in check is incredibly important. These ten tips can help you to cut back on the gas you do use while getting more for your money when you do need to fill up.

Hop Into Spring with These Budget-Friendly Preparations

We are just a couple of weeks away from spring flowers, but this means there is probably a lot to get done regarding your garden. Prepping for all of the wonderful things that you can grow in the spring can be taxing, especially if you’re not careful. These ten items will help you to prepare without forcing you to spend a lot of money on the garden or the rest of your home. Best of all, they will get you outside in the fresh air so you can feel your best while doing your part to take care of the planet.

1. Get rid of the Dead
Unfortunately, not all of our plants will make it through the winter. So, before you begin doing anything, you might check to see which plants are alive and well and which need to be removed from the earth. Usually, you can do a wick check for plants that don’t seem to be awakening with the warmer weather. You can also gently tug on the plant, if it feels loose in the soil then there is a good chance that it is no longer living. Other plants, like seasonal flowers, will also need to be removed when the season is over. This will help you find room for your new plants but will help the soil to thrive as well so you have a better chance of growing the things you’d like.

2. Plant Summer Bulbs
Although it’s exciting to think about all of the things that will blossom this spring, you should also take the time to think about all of the wonderful things you’d like to see growing during the summer months. If you love bulbs, then you are definitely going to want to get your summer bulbs planted right away. This will allow the bulbs to be ready to go when the summer months finally arrive. You can find a list of summer bulbs online to choose from, which should save you some money. Getting your bulbs ready now will also ensure you have more time to plan for autumn when summer finally arrives.

3. Start Seedlings
One of the best ways to get ready for spring is to get your seedlings ready to go. All you need for this is small containers filled with soil that you can place seeds in. Simply place the seedlings out in the sun when the weather is at peak warmth or place them under a grow light. This will help them get started without having them freeze while nights are still too cold for proper growth. Your seedlings should be able to take off enough to be planted into the soil as the weather warms, which will help your garden grow faster than you would expect.

4. Mulch
Mulching is a great way to get your soil ready to go for springtime fun. You can purchase mulch at most home improvement, department, or garden stores so you should be able to price around to suit your budget. You can also make your own mulch if you have the right materials on hand. There are a lot of online tutorials to help you out with this, so make sure you do your research if you’d like to save some money on homemade mulch. Once you have your mulch, simply place it in areas you’d like to plant.

5. Set Up Irrigation
Watering plants can be expensive, especially when spring showers are no more, and summer droughts are in full swing. One of the easiest ways to skip out on the high bill is to set up a drip irrigation system. This will actually help to keep items accurately watered, so everything will grow without constant attention. A drip irrigation system actually slowly waters everything so you use less water, which is great for your bills and the environment. You can even set up the irrigation system to work on a timer, so you can know your plants are covered if you go away on a vacation or you simply get too busy. There are many tutorials to get you started on this, so you can get all of the supplies you need and assemble them without having to deal with a headache.

6. Clean Tools
You might not believe it, but cleaning your tools is pretty important when it comes to gardening. If you put your tools up and they’re covered in mud and debris, then there is a good chance that the tool is more likely to rust or even erode. Pulling your tools out of the shed and giving them a good cleaning will help you to keep your tools functioning for some time to come. You might also consider adding oils and sharpening tools that might also need it. This will ensure you’re prepared for everything spring has to offer and won’t have to spend a fortune on new tools for your garden.

7. Clear Gutters
When spring arrives, you can’t expect your gutters to be clean and ready to ditch all of the rainwater that will soon be hitting your roof. Rather, your gutters have been sitting for months holding onto all of the debris that built up over the snowy season. Cleaning your gutters doesn’t have to be a chore. There are actually cleaners you can get to help with the cleaning process as well. Once your gutters are cleared, you shouldn’t have to worry about build-up on your roof, which can actually cost you a small fortune if you’re not careful.

8. Check Roof
Speaking of leaks, another important thing you should do before all of the spring rains arrive is checkout your roof. If your area was hit by snow, then the weight of the snow could have done a number on your roof. On top of that, long periods of exposure to water could have also done damage. There are tips online to help you spot potential problems but if you’re just not sure then you might hire a trusted professional to take a look. Make sure you look at reviews before you hire someone though, as some people will opt to tell you there is a problem in order to coax you to purchase a new roof from them.

9. DIY Patio Furniture
If you love to spend time outdoors, then you are definitely going to want some furniture to help you enjoy your space. There are so many DIY options to choose from that you will definitely get to have a little fun with the projects on hand. One of the easiest ways to make furniture is to use pallets. You can find these in stores. In fact, some stores may even allow you to take them for free as they have no choice but to get rid of them. Combine the pallets together to form a chair and then use outdoor-friendly cushions to finish off the look. You can make these yourself by scotch guarding fabric to ensure the weather doesn’t damage your items. There are so many other options available too, so you will want to look around to find out what works best for your individual needs.

10. Consider Composting
If you tend to spend a lot of money on fertilizer each year, then composting is bound to become your best friend. Composting allows you to take some of your wastes, like fruit peels, and transform them into fertilizer. Not only is this good for the planet, but it will help you feel a lot better about the amount of garbage you produce. Your garden will also thrive, and you won’t have to worry about harsh chemicals that may have been added to the fertilizer.

Preparing your outdoor space for spring is a great way to kick off the season. These tips will allow you to easily find cheap ways to make your home better than ever without forcing you to spend a small fortune. After a little work, you will find you have a space you will actually want to enjoy as the weather becomes warmer.

Ten of the Best Places to Find Spring Break Attire on a Budget

For so many, Spring Break has already arrived which has many people on the search for some of the top looks of the season. Whether you’re on Spring Break or just planning your look for the occasion, there are already many stores offering the deals you desire. These ten stores are ready to help you look your best whether you’re working on your tan at the beach or just hanging out in the garden. So, if you’re looking to suit your budget for the season, you will definitely want to start with one of these stores.

1. Target
Target has been really pushing sales over the past week, which means you’re going to find lots of great deals for the entire family. Currently, some of the biggest sales are in the bathing suit section. You will find hot new looks for women, men, and kids which will help you shop quickly and for an affordable price. Most items are on sale for about 30% off which makes them a great option to suit your budget. You will also find spring-inspired clothing to suit your needs. Easter looks are on sale, as well as St. Patrick’s Day clothing. There are also lightweight clothing options to choose from so you can pick styles that will last until the summer heat arrives, if not throughout the summer and autumn months.

SHEIN is a great place to find clothing if you’re on a tight budget. You’ll always have about a 2-week wait for your clothing, but if you don’t need it right now then this is a great option. The looks on SHEIN are more than budget-friendly and will help you stand out from the crowd. Apart from that, you can return anything for free if you choose not to keep it, which makes shopping with the brand worry-free. SHEIN offers styles for men, women, and children so you should be able to find a wardrobe for everyone. If you don’t want to pay for shipping, then you can also find SHEIN products on Amazon. Prime users will receive free shipping, but it still might take a couple of weeks for your items to get to you.

3. JC Penney
When it comes to clothing deals, JC Penney is always ready to offer some great deals. This spring, the store is concentrating more on spring activities than spring style. That is why you will find lots of deals on sneakers and workout clothes. These items are available at a great price for men, women, and children. So, if you plan on getting back on track with your fitness goals this spring then JC Penney might be the place to start your journey. They will also offer deals on kids’ tees to keep kids looking great and feeling cool all season long. Of course, this is only scratching the surface as there are bound to be new deals rolling in weekly.

4. Macy’s
Macy’s tends to offer similar deals to JC Penney, so you should also find deals on sneakers and workout clothes there. However, Macy’s is currently concentrating on offering lightweight clothing for women. You will find lots of spring-inspired colors and prints, as well as white clothing to prepare you for the warmer summer months. Clothes are designed to suit both casual and professional settings as well, so you can find something to suit your every need. Apart from that, denim for all ages is on sale. This is a great time to stock up on denim for the upcoming school year as well, which will give you a jump start when you need to purchase all of the other school necessities.

5. Forever 21
Forever 21 is all about youthful styles, so it is no wonder that you will find some pretty incredible deals for spring break. Currently, the store is offering 30% off most of its spring attire, which can help you find some awesome items that will ensure you stand out while you’re enjoying the break. The store is currently pushing items like tanks and shorts, but you will also find stylish tees, shoes, swimsuits, and accessories. You will also find some good deals on workout attire to help you meet your fitness goals as the weather begins to warm up.

6. Nike
Nike is ready for spring to begin with fun new styles that will suit the entire family. You will find some spring-inspired designs on the Nike website, but you will also find deals on sports gear that is dedicated to seasonal activities. You won’t want to miss out on the up to 40% off sale on sneakers and workout attire though. This deal offers a wide variety of items for men, women, and children so you can help boost the entire family’s wardrobe. On top of that, you will find a wide variety of accessories to help make the end of your child’s school year all the more enjoyable.

7. Revolve
Revolve offers some of the freshest clothing options around at a price that is affordable to most. This season, you’re going to find a lot of deals on bathing suits to suit all of your spring break needs. However, the store is also offering hot prices on lightweight clothing that is perfect for casual outings or nights when you want to dress to impress. You will find an assortment of accessories on offer that will make all of your favorite outfits truly shine. Makeup is another great sales item during this time, so make sure you upgrade to the vibrant spring colors that your wardrobe has been missing out on.

8. PacSun
PacSun has always been a website closely related to spring and summer fun, with their surf and beach-inspired styles. So, it is no surprise that they are offering a great sale during this time of the year. For spring break, customers will receive up to 40% off of most items on the website. This will include swimsuits, tees, tanks, shorts, and accessories. You should be able to find everything you desire in a bright and colorful design that will make the season truly shine for you. If you’re lucky, you might also be able to land some great clearance deals on winter items. So, if you’re planning to spend spring break somewhere cold, this is going to be one of the best places to look.

ASOS offers some stylish women’s clothing that will definitely make you feel like you’re going to stand out from the crowd. During spring break sales, you are bound to find some awesome deals that are going to suit your fashion sense perfectly. This season, you’re going to find deals largely on clothing like dresses and rompers that are designed to make you feel confident while ensuring you’re set for the weather. You will also find deals on sandals and swimsuits, so if you plan to head to the beach you’ll be ready to go in the best styles. Of course, this website does have a lot more to offer and you’re bound to find deals on items that aren’t spring break necessities.

10. Misguided
Another fantastic place to shop for spring break essential is Misguided. This fashion boutique offers the hottest trends around at a price that you won’t mind paying. This store is all about women’s clothing, so you’re going to be able to easily find the items you need to look and feel your best. Most styles will be anywhere from 30-60% off, which will allow you to easily find the best possible price for the looks you’d like to rock. Apart from that, you will be able to fill your wardrobe with vibrant spring colors that are an absolute must for your style.

This spring break, you can easily look your best on a budget. These ten stores are ready to help you stand out while ensuring you don’t go overboard on spending. The more you save on your spring break wardrobe, the more money you’ll have to enjoy all of the spring break fun that you have planned.

Quick Emergency Tips to Help Your Stay Prepared on a Budget

With the current state of the world, worry seems to be high no matter where you live. A lot of people are taking more precautions to keep their families safe if a disaster were to occur. There are many things to keep in mind if you’re worried about war, a natural disaster, or if you just want to be cautious. These ten ideas will help you prepare for anything that might come your way, so you can feel as much relief as possible without spending a small fortune.

1. Gather Important Documents
Your important documents are going to be an asset when you are faced with an emergency. You need to make sure you have passports, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses, and documentation of your insurance policy stored away in a fireproof safe that can easily be grabbed in an emergency. You should also have any deeds or titles in your possession there. Anything else that feels important to you should also be added to the mix. If you can, back your files up digitally as well, so you have access to the items. Having the documents with you in an emergency is incredibly important though, so don’t rely completely on your digital backups.

2. Keep a Full Tank of Gas
A full tank of gas can help you deal with an emergency, may it be sudden or one that you have had to deal with for some time. Often, when an emergency arises, gas stations are going to be packed with people. Having a full tank of gas will allow you to get out of the area faster since you won’t have to wait around to get what you need. This is especially important if you do need to leave quickly. If there are gas shortages for whatever reason, you will also be set for a little while, as long as you conserve your gas. It doesn’t hurt to have a full gas can on hand either, especially if you may need to use a generator. Keeping a full gas tank can help your vehicle out in the long run anyway, as dipping too low will cause your vehicle problems.

3. Cash
Cash can be life-changing when it comes to emergencies. More often than not, if you find yourself in an emergency then you’re not going to be able to pull cash out of an ATM or visit a bank right away. So, having cash on hand can really help you if you’re in a tough spot. If power is down, then cards might not be accepted in your area either. Thus, cash will be able to help you purchase the things you need right away. You don’t have to empty your savings account but having enough money to get you where you need to go or the supplies you need can help bring some relief to you. When you pull out your money, make sure you place it in a secure place, like a safe to ensure you’ll know exactly where it is and that it won’t be tampered with.

4. Emergency Food and Water
No matter what you prepare for, you should always have emergency food and water on hand to make sure you are able to get through the emergency with as little as a possible risk to your health. Canned goods are always wise to keep in your emergency kit, but there are also many amazing, dehydrated foods that you can try. These tend to have an incredibly long shelf life, so you should not have to worry about them for a bit after you add them to your emergency kit. Water is also a necessity. You should account for one gallon of water per person for at least three days to be safe. However, keeping a water filtering straw or pitcher on hand can also do you a world of good. You should take your pets into consideration too, especially if they have specific diets.

5. Radio
When dealing with any kind of emergency, radio is great to have on hand. Although we live in the days of advanced technology, like smartphones, these devices might be knocked out during an emergency. A radio will help you keep track of a storm you are sheltering from, or let you know where you can go if you are in need of assistance. It can also allow you to know when it is okay to come out of your shelter. Radios are a great asset for so many and if you find yourself traveling due to an emergency, they can keep you up to date even as you move. You should also keep extra batteries on hand for these devices, so you are connected for some time.

6. First Aid
Another crucial thing to have on hand is a first aid kid. You should keep one of these kits in your home and in your vehicle no matter what. This can help bring peace of mind to your life while also allowing you to feel confident that your emergency kit can truly help you. Your emergency kit should have the basics in it, like bandaids, ointments, and even salts to help with those that have fainted. However, you might consider more advanced items as well to help stop bleeding and so on. If you can, keep some medications in your kit, or have a bag filled with medications that you can grab in a few seconds’ notice. This is especially important if medication is crucial to life.

7. Emergency Plan
An emergency plan can actually take you very far when it comes to an actual emergency. For many, they have no idea what to do if a tragedy strikes. So, when you can, sit down and come up with some escape routes to ensure your family can get out of the area if they need to. You might talk to family and friends to see if they can be your emergency destination, so you will know exactly where to go in a moment of crisis. You should also have a plan for weather-related problems, which might leave you trapped in your home. Everyone should know where to go if a tornado or hurricane were to strike or how to get out of the home if there is a fire. You should even have drills for intruders. Although anxiety can cause plans to fail, having one on hand is one of the best things you can do to ensure safety.

8. Flashlights
Light can be a huge asset if an emergency were to occur, which is why you should always have a flashlight available. This should not only be a part of your emergency kit, but you might add them to various places in the home, such as your bedrooms, bathrooms, and even your vehicle. Having a flashlight on hand can help to keep you safer if you find yourself in danger and need to get out of the home when there is no light to be had. Try to find flashlights that suit your needs, such as strength and weight. You should also keep batteries on hand in an easy-to-reach place so you can keep the light going. Even if you have other forms of light available, such as a fire-starting kit or a lantern, a flashlight can still be one of the most efficient tools.

9. Wilderness/Go Pack
Sometimes, an emergency might lead us into places that require basic survival skills. That is why having a wilderness or go pack is crucial for your emergency kit. This kit should have items to start a fire, create shelter, and stay warm. You should also consider things that might help you fish or hunt if the need were to arise. Weather-appropriate gear is also crucial to have in these packs, as you want to be able to withstand the elements. As mentioned before, the pack should have a first aid kit, as well as things like a tin opener, flashlight, fire starting kit, and so on. The bag you choose for these items should be waterproof and durable. It should also have a spot for your legal documents.

10. Car Supplies
In an emergency, your vehicle might become your new home. That is why it is so important to keep emergency supplies readily available. It is also important to have supplies available in case you must deal with an emergency with your vehicle, even if it is just changing a flat tire. Jumper cables and other basic tools can take you far as well. You might also consider keeping a gas tin in case you run out of gas. Keeping emergency supplies in your vehicle takes very little effort though. You should always have a spare tire on hand, and tools to change it. You should also have items like flares, reflective gear, basic first aid, and so on. Ponchos and other gear are always nice to have if you have the space. You might also consider keeping blankets if you have the space as well.

These ideas won’t help prevent an emergency, but they can help you deal with the problem when it comes. Of course, there are many other ways to help with an emergency. You should also keep up with your local news and listen to instructions as you prepare to protect your family from emergencies.

Bring Some Luck to Your St Patrick’s Day with These Kid-Friendly Tips

St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to unwind and have some fun while celebrating Irish culture and history. However, many St. Patrick’s Day activities tend to be designed for adults. These ten ideas will help the children in your life engage in the activities while learning a bit about Ireland, Irish culture, and maybe even St. Patrick. These ten ideas will help bring some joy to the day while keeping kids busy on a budget. You should be able to enjoy most of these ideas for less than $10, if not for free! All of the options are also easy to perform without a lot of planning, so you can have last-minute ideas available in the blink of an eye.

1. Clover Hunt
Clovers have become a symbol of Ireland for so many people, which is why a clover hunt is a great way to share some fun with your kids. Clovers grow in many locations, so there is a good chance that you will be able to find some in your community, if not your backyard. A four-leaf clover is said to bring luck so you might instruct children to look for a four-leaf clover to add fun to the activity. If you don’t have clovers around you, then you can use the day to plant some. You can also make them out of construction paper and hide them around the home for children to find.

2. DIY Leprechaun Hats
Leprechauns tend to be a big part of Irish lore, which is why the mythical legend plays a large role in the holiday. In order to celebrate the fun that leprechauns bring to the holiday, you might consider helping children make leprechaun hats. Leprechaun hats can be made in a variety of ways. One of the most common options is to use construction paper to form a headband that is easy to decorate. You can also make them out of felt or recyclables if you’re working with older children that want a more challenging craft. The hats can also be accompanied by DIY leprechaun beards to add to the look.

3. Search for the Pot of Gold
Finding a leprechaun’s gold at the end of a rainbow is a great way to bring some fun to the day. One way to do this is to add rainbow accents around the house, so kids can go on a treasure hunt to find the pot of gold. You can also use glittery footprints to make kids feel like a leprechaun has hit the pot of gold. The pot of gold you hide can be filled with treats like golden wrapped chocolate coins, party jewelry, or anything else you think should go in a pot of gold. For older children, you might skip the rainbows and glitter and come up with a treasure map filled with clues to help them find their treasure.

4. Leprechaun Trap
If you want to bring a bit of STEM to your child’s life for the holiday, then you can easily help them make a leprechaun trap to add to the fun. Some cereal boxes are actually providing the blueprints for some of these projects, but if you can’t find one that suits your needs then you might also consider looking up some of the STEM projects available online. If you have older children, then they might want to come up with their own trap utilizing knowledge that they’ve already gained in school. If your kids do make a trap, you might consider sneaking small treats into the trap to bring even more delight to your children.

5. Green Fashion Show
Wearing green has played a big role in St. Patrick’s Day for decades now. Those that choose not to wear green are often pinched, which has played a fun role in getting kids to enjoy the holiday. Instead of just dressing kids in green, you might consider having a full-on fashion show. See how creative kids can get with the color green. Most children will be able to put together their own green outfits, while older children may even consider making their own clothing. You can even take the fashion show online to allow others to participate in all of the fun too.

6. Explore Irish Legends
When it comes to Ireland, there are so many incredible stories to explore. Since this is a major part of Irish culture, you might choose to learn about some of the legends that the country has to offer. There are far more options than just leprechauns, so you are certain to find a little something for all of the children in your lives. You might even find some legends that strike your fancy too. There are lots of resources to choose from online, but you can also find incredible options in your local library. If your child is creative, then they might even have fun making art based on their favorite legends.

7. Enjoy Irish Movies
Although it might not feel like it when you look at lists of popular movies, there are some really incredible Irish movies available for you to watch. Irish cartoons have grown in quality over the last decade and offer engaging stories that feature traditional art and stories. If you’re looking to gain a better understanding of Irish culture, then certainly Irish cinema is the way to go. Children will get to enjoy a wide range of films, especially if they like stories about mythical creatures and mysteries. There are, of course, a lot of movies that adults will enjoy too. There are many Irish movie lists online to help you find the perfect match for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration. You should be able to find most things on streaming websites, but you might also have a bit of luck at your local library.

8. Enjoy an Irish Meal or Snack
Irish food can be a lot of fun to try, especially since many of their meals can be considered comforting. If you’re looking to bring some authentic fun to your holiday, then you might consider picking up an Irish recipe to try out. One of the most common things to make is corn beef and cabbage, but there are so many other things to choose from. Ireland has many amazing stews and bread to try, amongst other things. You can also have some fun with your family’s staples. For instance, you can make cereal squares out of Lucky Charms or add green coloring to cupcakes and other treats. If you want to help the kids get more out of the experience, ask them to help out.

9. Create a Rainbow
If you love to work with the theme of leprechauns hiding gold at the end of a rainbow, then you might consider adding a touch of STEM to your celebration. You can show children various ways to make rainbows, so they can easily learn a little bit of science while having some fun. Of course, there are so many ways you can create a rainbow, so you might look at some age-appropriate options. You can use a prism to show how light filters into colors, or simply create a rainbow on your wall. There are lots of ideas online so make sure to keep it lighthearted and fun, so your child can enjoy the holiday while gaining an interest in science.

10. Watch a Parade
You might be surprised by how many St. Patrick’s Day parades there are. Many smaller communities will host their own, while big cities also get in on the fun. Boston offers one of the more famous St. Patrick’s Day parades, which you can usually watch streamed online. Some areas of Ireland will also host a parade, even though St. Patrick’s Day isn’t as commonly celebrated there. It shouldn’t take long to find the information you need to watch a parade online if there isn’t one happening in your own community.

St. Patrick’s Day is a great way to have some wholesome fun while taking your mind off of the hectic world that we live in. These tips will help you get started on planning all of the fun aspects of your holiday. Of course, this is only the beginning as there are many amazing games and activities that you can enjoy during the holiday.