autumn http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14760/all en-US Winter Is Coming: Make These 6 Money Moves Now http://www.wisebread.com/winter-is-coming-make-these-6-money-moves-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/winter-is-coming-make-these-6-money-moves-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fall_piggy_bank_000027613114.jpg" alt="Learning which money moves to make before winter comes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As we approach the end of the year, it's important to make sure that your money is headed in a good direction. It's all too easy to put your finances on autopilot and not think twice about the money moves you're making. But a completely hands-off approach can be a recipe for disaster. Here are six money items to tackle this fall.</p> <h2>1. Health Insurance Open Enrollment</h2> <p>Having health insurance is no longer an option. In fact, the fine for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-costly-health-insurance-mistakes">not having health insurance</a> goes through the roof in 2016. In 2016, you'll pay the higher of either 2.5% of your yearly household income or $695 per person if you fail to have a health insurance policy that meets the government's definition of <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Individuals-and-Families/ACA-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision-Minimum-Essential-Coverage">minimum essential coverage</a>. That's a hefty chunk of change.</p> <p>Open enrollment starts on November 1, 2015 and only runs until January 31, 2016. You only have during that window to make changes to your health care plan unless you fall under a special exception, such as marriage, giving birth, or losing coverage at work. Don't get lazy though; you only have 60 days after one of those events to get insurance coverage. If you don't, you'll need to wait until the next open enrollment.</p> <h2>2. End of Year IRA Contributions</h2> <p>Contributing to your IRA, whether it's a traditional or a Roth plan, can be an important component of your retirement plan. And the sooner you start, the more money you can accumulate over your lifetime. Don't forget that you can make your IRA contributions for 2015 all the way up to the April 15, 2016 tax filing deadline.While traditional IRA contributions may qualify for tax deductions, Roth contributions generally do not. Tax deduction or not, contributing to your IRA is simply a smart financial move.</p> <h2>3. It's Bonus Time</h2> <p>The end of the year means that bonuses are right around the corner. Do you have a plan for your bonus? Maybe a trip somewhere amazing, or buying that new iPhone 6? Why not plan on using all or some of your bonus to help further your financial goals, either by paying off debt or saving and investing? Also, remember that your bonus is often based upon your performance, so now is the time to step up your game and talk with your boss about how you might maximize your check.</p> <h2>4. Create a Money Filing System</h2> <p>Before the end of the year, it's a good idea to get a money filing system in order to keep track of all your important documents, tax information, and all those other loose financial papers that need a home. Keep at least your last two years tax returns, any insurance documents and policies, and if you are self-employed, all those receipts that you will need for tax time. Whether you use a service like Dropbox, a password secured vendor, or even an old school accordion file at home, make sure your filing system is secure and easy to access.</p> <h2>5. Entrepreneur Taxes</h2> <p>When you're an entrepreneur, you've got to think a little differently about the end of the year. For you, the end of the year is a good time to make an inventory&nbsp;of all the tax deductible purchases needed for your business. On your list, you might include things like computers, phones, software, equipment, books, and new marketing systems. Always make sure you save the receipt, and buy the items before December 31, 2015 to count toward this year's deductions.</p> <h2>6. Donate</h2> <p>Donating toward the greater good can be a terrific feeling, but there are a few rules you need to follow if you are going to deduct the expense as part of your 2015 taxes. If you choose to make a monetary donation, you must ensure that you are giving to a proper non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, and you must have some sort of bank record, cancelled check, or receipt for your donation.</p> <p>If you choose to use a credit card to donate, make sure you donate before December 31, 2015. If your credit card bill isn't paid until January 2016, but you made the donation in 2015, it still counts for this year. If you plan to donate clothing or household items, they generally must be in good shape. Organizations like Goodwill will always ask you for the approximate value (known as fair market value) of your donations. Just be aware that if you donate over $500 of goods or clothing, you will need an appraisal of the value regardless of whether the items are in good shape or not.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to prepare your finances for winter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/winter-is-coming-make-these-6-money-moves-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-tax-changes-for-2016">5 Important Tax Changes for 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-year-end-financial-moves-you-must-make-now">10 Year-End Financial Moves You Must Make Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bar-stool-economics-0">Bar Stool Economics</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes autumn donating fall health insurance money moves taxes Wed, 04 Nov 2015 13:16:21 +0000 Shannah Game 1605064 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Cheap, Fun Fall Getaways http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-fun-fall-getaways <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-cheap-fun-fall-getaways" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_winery_000018263850.jpg" alt="Woman taking cheap, fun fall getaway" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Autumn is in the air, and a three-word tautogram comes to mind: frugal fall fun. Here are five spectacular and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures">affordable fall getaways</a> suitable for a romantic weekend or the whole family. (Each trip was calculated for parties of two or more; travel may be extra.)</p> <h2>1. Sonoma and Napa Valley Wine Country Tours</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Under $250</p> <p>It's peak fall harvest season in wine country, which makes it an ideal time to go. Most of the Napa and Sonoma Valley tours are less than $250 (for two), offer free transport from San Francisco, come with a free meal, and include a visit to two or three wineries with food and wine pairings. <a href="http://www.napavalleywinetrolley.com/reservations/">Napa Valley Wine Trolley</a>, <a href="http://www.dynamicnapawinetours.com/napa-wine-tours/?gclid=CJqZxNKtucgCFZOGaQodo7sHIw">Dynamic Napa Wine Tours</a>, and <a href="http://www.winecountrytourshuttle.com/">Wine Country Tours Shuttle</a> all come in under your $250 budget.</p> <h2>2. Big Bear Lake, California</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Under $500</p> <p>Snag yourself a lakeview room at an area resort in <a href="http://www.bigbear.com/places-to-stay/resort-cabins/">Big Bear Lake</a> for $89 to $150 per night. While many of the area lodging accommodations don't have on-site dining, some offer suites with full kitchens, living, and dining areas. Fun area activities include mining, aerial and segway tours, water sports, fishing, ziplining, and &quot;funplexes.&quot; For a two-day getaway, you'll stay well within your budget.</p> <h2>3. Coast Starlight; Los Angeles to Seattle</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Under $500&ndash;$1,000</p> <p>Amtrak offers a scenic West Coast shoreline getaway; the <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/coast-starlight-train">Coast Starlight</a>. This train runs daily from Los Angeles (LAX) to Seattle (SEA, SVF) and passes through the majestic coastal towns of Santa Barbara, the Bay Area, and Portland. Travel time for the entire trip is roughly 35 hours. Tickets cost under $150 per person and include sleeping car cabins, or roomettes, which are a part of service. Business class can accommodate two for around $600, while a family room that sleeps four is under $1,000. Business class travelers receive free Wi-Fi, complimentary bottles of water, and a $6 coupon redeemable towards the purchase of food and beverages. And if you reserve a sleeping car, all dining car meals are on the house. I can tell you, the food is catered and quite good; it's well worth the extra cost!</p> <h2>4. Epcot International Food &amp; Wine Festival</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $500&ndash;$1,000</p> <p>From September 25th through November 26th, Walt Disney World is hosting its <a href="https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival/">International Food &amp; Wine Festival</a> at Epcot World Showcase in Florida. Tickets are $96 per person for an all day pass. A stay at nearby resorts ranges from $162 for a moderate resort to $284 or more for a deluxe resort. Budget accommodations start at $85 per night. <a href="http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/lake-buena-vista.html">Lake Buena Vista</a> is also home to stretches of white sand beaches and world-class golf courses.</p> <h2>5. Twin Farms Resort, Vermont</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $2,500&ndash;$5,000</p> <p>Okay, this one isn't frugal at all. But if you have fine taste and a budget to match, for $2,000-$2,500 per night, <a href="http://www.twinfarms.com/">Twin Farms</a> in Royalton, Vermont is the ideal fall destination. This five-star, all-inclusive bed and breakfast situated on 300 acres overlooks Silver Lake and has 20 guest accommodations. The amenities include a gym, pool, and luxury spa, as well as kayaking, yoga classes, fishing, hiking, biking, games, tennis, and daily farm-fresh meals prepared by Chef Nathan Rich.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite fall getaways? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-fun-fall-getaways">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-enjoy-disney-world-on-the-cheap">How to Enjoy Disney World on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-san-francisco-without-going-broke-0">How to Visit San Francisco Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel autumn big bear cheap trips disney world fall vacation getaways napa valley Wed, 28 Oct 2015 21:15:25 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1599208 at http://www.wisebread.com The 18 Coolest Frugal Fall Adventures http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_canoe_trip_000054763802.jpg" alt="Couple adding items to their fall bucket list" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fall is certainly in the air. But there's not a whole lot of time left to enjoy this magical and fleeting season, so here are some ideas to help create your ultimate autumn bucket list. (And we'd love to hear what's on your list in the comments!)</p> <h2>1. Get Lost in a Corn Maze</h2> <p>Gather a group of friends and spend time together navigating a corn maze. You can find corn mazes near you on sites like <a href="https://www.cornmazesamerica.com">Corn Mazes America</a>. Most mazes vary in difficulty. Some even have different instructions to cater the experience for different ages and skill levels.</p> <h2>2. Make Applesauce</h2> <p>Go apple-picking and simmer together homemade applesauce. It's as easy and chopping apples into small chunks. (You can leave the peels on or take them off.) Place them in the pot of your slow cooker, sprinkle on a couple teaspoons of cinnamon and a couple tablespoons of sugar, and cook on high for three hours. When the apples have softened, mash them with a potato masher or blend with a food processor.</p> <h2>3. Paint Pretty Pumpkins</h2> <p>Pick up a few pumpkins from the farmers market and decorate. You can go with classic carving, but for a safer project &mdash; try paint. I've seen anything from faces to letters to doughnuts painted on pumpkins. Use glitter, glow-in-the-dark paint, and all sorts of other crafting supplies to make yours unique.</p> <h2>4. Drink Cider</h2> <p>Drink hot cider. Enough said. All it takes is a few minutes to warm on the stove or in the microwave. As the weather gets colder, you can transition to hot cocoa or even add some mulling spices to the mix.</p> <h2>5. Take a Hike</h2> <p>Even if you're not into the great outdoors, now's the time to get out there before the cold weather hits. Hike a local trail or simply bask in the glow of the turning leaves in your neighborhood. This year I gave my daughter a &quot;nature box,&quot; which is just a shoebox we fill with acorns, leaves, pine cones, and anything else that makes her think of fall.</p> <h2>6. Decorate Your Place</h2> <p>Bring some of the outdoors inside by decorating your place. Even a modest wreath can bring you joy and spiff up your entryway. Here are seven <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips">frugal fall decorating tips</a> that will transform your space in no time. My favorite? Making a &quot;stained-glass&quot; window from fallen leaves and contact paper.</p> <h2>7. Light a Bonfire</h2> <p>We look forward to chilly nights and lighting backyard bonfires in our fire pit. Check with your city or town for different rules and regulations &mdash; not all areas permit open flames. Once you've been given the all clear, you can pick one up at your local hardware store or <a href="http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/2015/07/easy-diy-fire-pit.html">build a fire pit</a> for year-round enjoyment. You'll need pavers, lava rocks, a shovel, a level, and about an hour of time.</p> <h2>8. Brew Something New</h2> <p>Host an outdoor brewing party. Make it all about fall by brewing <a href="http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/10/homebrewing-pumpkin-ale-how-to-make-pumpkin-beer.html">pumpkin beer</a>. You'll want to start with a recipe that isn't terribly hoppy. From there, add canned pumpkin (about one pound per five gallons of beer) with no added preservatives and a variety of warm spices like nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. Let it all ferment like usual before enjoying.</p> <h2>9. Get Dressed</h2> <p>If you're in need of some new cold-weather clothing, head to the thrift shop or sale rack before buying new. A puffy vest or fleece jacket is a solid addition to your fall wardrobe and will get good use throughout winter as well. While you're at it, make the big transition from your summer wardrobe to your fall clothes.</p> <h2>10. Go Camping</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">Camping is a blast this time of year</a>. Yes, it's chilly. Yes, it requires a bit more preparation. But there's something amazing about waking up in the crisp air with the crunchy leaves beneath my feet. Don't have much time (or vacation days) to set aside an adventure? Try camping in your backyard, cooking out, and unplugging for a single night. The kids will love it.</p> <h2>11. Clean Up</h2> <p>Before the weather gets frightful, try sprucing up your place by cleaning out junk drawers, donating unused clothes and other items, and taking care of some basic home maintenance. Get your chimney cleaned before you start burning new fires. Reorganize your pantry to make mealtime a breeze. And flip your mattress. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle?ref=seealso">Fall Cleaning 101</a>)</p> <h2>12. Roast Everything</h2> <p>Fall is the season for squash and lots of other hearty produce items. If you don't know exactly what to do with them, try roasting. To <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/learn-cook-roasted-butternut-squash">roast butternut squash</a>, start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cut the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, peel, and cut into cubes. Place chunks on a rimmed baking sheet, toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes.</p> <h2>13. Volunteer Somewhere</h2> <p>Give back to your community. Work in a soup kitchen. Donate to a food bank. Help someone learn to read. And get the whole family involved if you can. Use a site like <a href="http://volunteermatch.org">VolunteerMatch.org</a> to find opportunities in your area.</p> <h2>14. Enjoy a Hayride</h2> <p>While you're out at the farm picking apples or working your way through a maze, don't forget to take a hayride. You might even catch some spooky ones around Halloween. Some tips: If you're allergic to grass or hay, consider taking allergy medicine beforehand. And don't wear your fanciest clothing &mdash; you will likely get a bit dirty!</p> <h2>15. Eat a Doughnut</h2> <p>I'm addicted to apple cider doughnuts. I started making them at home to save a bit of cash. These <a href="http://www.thefauxmartha.com/2014/10/09/baked-apple-cider-donuts/">baked apple cider doughnuts</a> are even a bit healthier than the fried variety. Combine all the ingredients, including a hefty 1/3 cup of apple cider and spices. Bake in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004CYELOQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004CYELOQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=W33IU4FNWG5ZYNYQ">doughnut pan</a>. Then eat them plain or top with cinnamon and sugar.</p> <h2>16. Attend a Festival</h2> <p>Browse your local paper or bulletin boards for fall festivals taking place in your hometown. My area boasts three apple festivals, a chili festival, a jazz music festival, and more fun things to do. The best part? A lot of the entertainment is free.</p> <h2>17. DIY a Blanket</h2> <p>Make yourself a <a href="https://snapguide.com/guides/make-a-no-sew-fleece-blanket-wout-bulky-knots/">no-sew fleece blanket</a> for some extra warmth. This project is so simple and would make a fun gift. You need four yards of fleece, scissors, and your hands (for knotting). To save a few dollars, shop around online for your fleece or check your store's clearance bins for discounted prints and colors.</p> <h2>18. Create a Thankful Tree</h2> <p>Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, I adore this <a href="http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/index.php/2010/11/27/the-thankful-tree/">thankful tree</a>. Gather some twigs and assemble them in a vase. Then write things you and your family are thankful for on tags and tie them to the tree. You can display it in a prominent area of your home and keep the good vibes flowing all season long.</p> <p><em>What memories are you making this fall?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body">6 Ways Autumn Is Good for Your Mind and Body</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-weekend-activities-for-introverts">The 12 Best Weekend Activities for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment activities autumn fall fun making memories outdoors things to do Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:00:46 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1580136 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Autumn Is Good for Your Mind and Body http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fall_leaves_000057664340.jpg" alt="Woman learning reasons why fall is good for her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While summer offers a host of ways to stay healthy and active, we can't dismiss fall as a beneficial season for our minds, bodies, and souls. Take a look at these reasons autumn is good for you, and let me know how you take advantage of the crisper weather in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Relief From Allergies</h2> <p>Say so long to all that sneezing and wheezing you do during the spring and summer months as those cool fall breezes help clear the air.</p> <p>&quot;Autumn is good in a sense that it gives relief from atopy, seasonal allergies and pollen-induced allergic reactions,&quot; says internal medicine specialist Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif. &quot;Exercise-induced allergy is also relieved in a considerable number of patients. Asthmatics also get relief in this season as there is a considerable decrease in grass, flowers, and tree pollens, and it makes the airways least irritated and triggered.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Warm Days Are Perfect for Exercising</h2> <p>The beginning of autumn is still relatively warm in most of the U.S., which is a great time to sneak in a little more summer or outdoor exercise. Consider alternative ways of working out, such as integrating movement into your TV-watching schedule on inside days, to prevent falling into a sedentary lifestyle that we're prone to later in the year.</p> <h2>3. More Laid-Back Outdoor Activities</h2> <p>There are an even greater number of outdoor activities that you can do in the fall that can be prohibited by the extreme heat during the summer. Hiking, biking, and kayaking, for example, are great ways to get out, stay active, but perform at your own pace.</p> <h2>4. An Abundance of Healthy Produce</h2> <p>The colder it gets later in the fall, the more you'll crave comfort food &mdash; which is just one of the many reasons why you should indulge in all the exciting and uber-healthy fruits and vegetables produced from the autumn harvest. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">Apples, pears, peaches, and pumpkin</a>&nbsp;are just for starters.</p> <p>Not only is your locally grown produce packed full of vitamins and nutrients, but you're also reducing your carbon footprint by purchasing items that don't have to be transported long distances and supporting your local economy, of course.</p> <p>And just so we're clear, pumpkin <em>spice</em> is not in this category.</p> <h2>5. The Switch to Standard Time Can Encourage Better Sleep Habits</h2> <p>Besides getting an extra hour of sleep if you go to bed early enough on the &quot;fall back&quot; switchover, there are other ways you can take advantage of the switch.</p> <p>The National Sleep Foundation recommends using this time to <a href="https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/daylight-saving-great-time-reset-your-sleep-habits">reset your sleep habits</a> by going to sleep and waking the same time every day, using bright light to help manage your &quot;body clock,&quot; selecting a relaxing bedtime ritual, and more. If you have trouble adjusting to the change &mdash; and you're not alone; millions of people have the same problem &mdash; perhaps these tips from BetterSleep.org for&nbsp;<a href="http://bettersleep.org/better-sleep/how-to-sleep-better/tips-for-surviving-daylight-saving-time1">surviving Daylight Saving Time</a> will help you survive Standard Time, too.</p> <h2>6. We Get Back to Our Regular Routines</h2> <p>As someone who lives by the beach, I can attest to the difficulty of maintaining a routine during the summer. But thanks to the school system in the United States, which typically runs from September to June, we have structure already in place to help us get back on track. It's certainly not as fun as frolicking in the sand all day, but having a routine is scientifically proven to make us&nbsp;<a href="http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/home-and-family/the-power-of-routines#P46IQElPSWD5exlH.97">happier and healthier</a> by providing a sense of security and other factors.</p> <p><em>Do you have more reasons why autumn is good for you? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures">The 18 Coolest Frugal Fall Adventures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-hobbies-for-introverts">8 Best Hobbies for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/winter-is-coming-make-these-6-money-moves-now">Winter Is Coming: Make These 6 Money Moves Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks activities Allergies autumn benefits fall outdoors well-being Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:00:32 +0000 Mikey Rox 1583096 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_camping_000053713732.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to enjoy fall camping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you love camping as much as I do, you don't exactly want to stop when the temperatures drop. Thankfully, there's no need to pack up the gear for good. Here are some genius ways to extend your camping adventures into fall and beyond. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a>)</p> <h2>1. Check Ahead</h2> <p>Some campgrounds are only open during peak camping months (usually Memorial Day through Labor Day). Before you embark on your adventure, call ahead to make sure your favorite destination is open. Check the weather, too. You may see rain in the forecast and decide to bring an extra tarp or other supplies. The idea here is to be prepared for what's ahead.</p> <h2>2. Leave Early</h2> <p>On our first fall camping excursion, we left too late in the day. By the time we go to the campground, it was getting dark and we were muddling around with our tent using headlamps. Remember that fall and winter mean fewer hours in the sun. So, plan accordingly and leave plenty of daylight hours for setup. Check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) <a href="http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/sunrise.html">sunrise and sunset calculator</a>.</p> <h2>3. Dress for Success</h2> <p>Layers are key when you're camping in the cold. I've always been told to stay away from cotton because it soaks up sweat and can make you wet. Try <a href="http://coolhikinggear.com/what-is-the-best-moisture-wicking-material">dressing in layers</a>. Start with an inner base layer, a warming mid layer (or two, depending on the temperature), and an outer wind or wetness protection layer. Moisture-wicking fabrics are best, so stick with synthetic fibers or even a lightweight wool.</p> <h2>4. Bring Accessories</h2> <p>Along with layering, you shouldn't forget your head, hands, and feet. Bring lots of mittens, gloves, socks, hats, slippers, and other accessories. I like fleece because it's cozy and soft. This <a href="http://oliveleafjournal.com/2014/01/13/fleece-hood-and-balaclava/">DIY fleece balaclava</a> would make a perfect travel companion. You need 3/4 of a yard of fleece fabric and a boot lace. Cut three rectangles from your fabric, sew them together, and thread your lace through the channel.</p> <h2>5. Bag It</h2> <p>Check your sleeping bag for its <a href="http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/sleeping-bag-backpacking.html">European Norm (EN)</a> temperature rating. You might notice that yours isn't fit for cold weather &mdash; the number usually indicates the lowest temperature that is comfortable to withstand in the bag. I like being warmer than most, so I do have a bag I use in summer and one for fall camping. I also favor mummy style bags because they leave less room for air to escape.</p> <p>Skip bulky blankets inside your sleeping bag. They'll actually work against your mission to stay warm. A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=sleeping%20bag%20liner&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=EGNRGTFSM4DEAP4M">sleeping bag liner</a> provides an extra layer of protection (like a bed sheet) and will work with your body heat to create a comfortable sleeping temperature.</p> <h2>6. Pack a Mat</h2> <p>I also like to sleep atop a travel cot or at very least a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QG1P6E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002QG1P6E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LQPQF4QTO5H2ADPD">camping mat</a> to keep excess moisture from entering my sleeping bag. I've used a yoga mat in a pinch. The bonus here is that the mat will create a barrier between you and the damp, cool ground. It's just more comfortable all around this way. If you can, try laying a tarp down before the pad for extra protection.</p> <p>Still cold? A wool blanket under your sleeping bag can help.</p> <h2>7. Add Heat</h2> <p>My husband taught me a cool trick that he learned when he was a kid. Fill a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=hot%20water%20bottle&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=OZBHGASVGIWYOQSF">hot water bottle</a> or even a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NCDE84/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NCDE84&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MQRHEUVZRTF7I45G">Nalgene</a> with warm water and put it in your sleeping bag. You can always refill with warm water if you're particularly cold. We even use this method on cold nights in our house. Just make sure the seal is tight so the water doesn't soak you. And those <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PX20LO0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00PX20LO0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AYUPW62CX2FC24JB">HotHands</a> hand warmers you use on ski trips are also invaluable on camping trips.</p> <h2>8. Sip Often</h2> <p>Another easy way to warm your core is by drinking hot beverages. Keep a kettle on so there's always hot water to make tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or instant soups. While you're at it, mind your fluid intake. Even if it's cold and you're not obviously sweating, you can easily get dehydrated with activity.</p> <h2>9. Cook Slow</h2> <p>If you're lucky enough to have a campsite with electricity, consider bringing your slow cooker to make mealtime easier. This way, you can simmer together warm and nourishing foods and keep the campfire all to yourself. Choose a cooker with a lockable lid for obvious reasons. Tent campers will want to bring a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JTS6UC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001JTS6UC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EGSPHAHCIDTGBLW5">long extension cord</a>. (If you're camping in bear country, you might want to skip this tip!)</p> <h2>10. Test It</h2> <p>One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to test our gear before we went on a long trip. My husband and I set up camp in the backyard and felt sort of silly about it. Well, it was a good thing we did because we were missing an essential support for our tent. If you've never camped in the fall before, you might even want to sleep a night in familiar territory to make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable.</p> <p><em>Are you a fall camper? What tricks have you learned to stay warm, dry, and safe?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures">The 18 Coolest Frugal Fall Adventures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel autumn camping fall outdoors vacation Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:00:36 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1576302 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Fall Groceries to Add to Your List ASAP http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cooking_pumpkin_000057836612.jpg" alt="Woman adding fall groceries to her list ASAP" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to steep your belly in autumnal goodness? Buy seasonal produce and cook hearty, healthy meals. Here are some tips on how to fall-ify your grocery list and enjoy the harvest. The best part? Most of these produce items stay fresh for weeks and weeks! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fruits-and-veggies-that-stay-fresh-a-month-or-longer?ref=seealso">10 Fruits and Vegetables That Stay Fresh a Month or Longer</a>)</p> <h2>1. Squash</h2> <p>A quick walk around the farmers market will have you feasting your eyes on butternut, acorn, hubbard, spaghetti, and all other types of squashes. These guys aren't purely ornamental, though they do make great decorations. And don't let their tough exterior fool you, once you cut, peel, cube, and roast, the inner flesh is soft and delectable.</p> <p>Try using butternut squash in this copycat <a href="http://cincyshopper.com/copycat-panera-autumn-squash-soup-recipe/">Panera autumn squash soup</a> recipe. After you roast the squash, you'll blend it with vegetable broth, apple cider, heavy cream, and a variety of spices for kick. If you're cooking for one, try freezing extra portions to enjoy throughout the season.</p> <h2>2. Canned Pumpkin</h2> <p>Canned pumpkin has a special place in my heart. If you don't have time to fuss with cooking pumpkin from square one, you'll be happy to learn that canned actually contains an equally strong dose of <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/pumpkin/faq-20058106">vitamin A, potassium, and iron</a>. Stir it into soups, make a pie, or even eat it plain.</p> <p>My favorite canned pumpkin recipe is for vegetarian <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/10/new-and-improved-pumpkin-chili-recipe.html">smoked pumpkin chili</a>. Theses instructions are for cooking on your stovetop, but now I actually sauté the garlic and onions before putting everything in a Crock-Pot to simmer for three or more hours on high. Serve with buttermilk or corn biscuits and shredded cheese.</p> <h2>3. Apples</h2> <p>For a nearly free fall activity, go apple picking. (Or if you're lazy, pick up some local apples at the farmers market or grocery store.) With so many varieties, you cannot get bored. You can use apples in both sweet and savory dishes. I often leave the peels on for extra fiber and texture.</p> <p>I recently made this <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/country-apple-galette">apple galette</a> with my daughter. It's like a rustic apple pie and has tons of charm. You'll create a quick crust and chill it while you slice your apples. Then roll it out, stuff, and bake to browned perfection.</p> <h2>4. Pears</h2> <p>Don't forget pears! These power-packed fruits are full of vitamin C, potassium, and all sorts of fall deliciousness. To keep them from spoiling too quickly, try storing them with some space between each fruit. Once they're ripe, you can extend their freshness for a few days by putting them in the fridge. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fridge-or-counter-where-to-store-fruit-for-best-flavor?ref=seealso">Fridge or Counter? Where to Store Fruit for Best Flavor</a>)</p> <p>The author of this <a href="http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/easy-pear-butter-recipe/">pear butter</a> recipe boasts that it can be ready in just one hour. You'll stir together cubed pears, honey, spices, and lemon juice before cooking the mixture down. Then blend it in your food processor before slathering the butter onto everything in sight.</p> <h2>5. Cauliflower</h2> <p>In recent years, cruciferous cauliflower has seen a huge resurgence in popularity. It also happens to be a fall food staple. If you're into gardening, try planting cauliflower for autumn harvest next year. They stand up well to frost and taste great. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter?ref=seealso">10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter</a>)</p> <p>Here's a wonderful <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/mashed-cauliflower">mashed cauliflower</a> recipe to serve at your Thanksgiving table this year. You'll boil the head until it's tender and then season with salt and pepper before mashing or pureeing until smooth. I always add some herbs for extra flavor. You can use this cauliflower mash in other recipes that call for purees.</p> <h2>6. Carrots</h2> <p>Though carrots are ripe in spring and appear on menus much earlier in the year, they also do well in fall weather. You can always eat them raw atop salads or dunk them into dips and dressings. Another root vegetable, parsnips, is closely related to carrots and can be use in similar dishes.</p> <p>These <a href="http://pinkrecipebox.com/the-most-amazing-honey-glazed-carrots-and-parsnips/">honey glazed parsnips and carrots</a> make a robust side dish with any meal. Just chop carrots and parsnips (the instructions say to peel, but I skip that step). Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with honey, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden.</p> <h2>7. Potatoes</h2> <p>Potatoes are one of the longest lasting veggies in your pantry. There are many types from which to choose. If after a few weeks your potatoes are soft or accumulating small growths, transfer them to your refrigerator. They may taste sweeter or darken when cooked after being chilled, but they're typically fine to eat.</p> <p>This <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/slowcooker-recipe-curried-vegetable-and-chickpea-stew-recipes-from-the-kitchn-67520">curried vegetable and chickpea stew</a> recipe calls for either red or yellow potatoes. I think sweet potatoes would make a wonderful match as well. You'll combine all the ingredients &mdash; cauliflower, potatoes, chickpeas, peppers, curry powder, coconut milk, and more &mdash; in your slow cooker. Then simmer for four hours on high.</p> <h2>8. Spices</h2> <p>Adding warmth and depth to a dish is all in the spices you use. Try experimenting with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, and more. Remember that a little goes a long way. You can always add more of a spice, but taking the flavor away becomes difficult when too much is dumped in at once.</p> <p><a href="http://www.kitchentreaty.com/slow-cooker-hot-spiced-apple-cider/">Mulled cider</a> is a classic &mdash; and you can make it in your Crock-Pot! Pour cider into your pot, then add cinnamon sticks and an orange covered in cloves. Cook on low for four hours before serving.</p> <h2>9. Herbs</h2> <p>The heartier varieties of herbs are plentiful in fall, including sage, thyme, parsley, and rosemary. You can always pick them up at the store or market, but consider keeping some of your own plants at home. Established plantings of rosemary and sage, for example, can actually <a href="http://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/guide-fresh-herbs-year-round.aspx?PageId=2">withstand cold weather</a>. They also do well in pots indoors.</p> <p>Try combining all these flavors in a <a href="http://www.savoringthethyme.com/2012/12/homemade-christmas-gift-idea-savory-compound-butter-recipe-with-sage-rosemary-thyme-lemon/">compound butter</a> that spreads beautifully onto anything from steaks to toast. Simply mash butter together with the herbs and seasonings. Then wrap in wax paper and chill for at least one hour.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite fall veggies and flavors?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples">18 Easy and Delicious Ways to Enjoy Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-day-freeze-batch-cooking-for-the-rest-of-us">The Five-Day Freeze: Batch Cooking for the Rest of Us</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-surprisingly-delicious-squash-recipes">20 Surprisingly Delicious Squash Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink autumn fall fall meals groceries healthy dishes recipes vegetables Mon, 05 Oct 2015 15:00:35 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1576264 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000019051349.jpg" alt="Child on fun and affordable train trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Trains are not only a huge part of our history and economy, but they make for relaxing and scenic travel. We last gave you five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">enjoyable and reasonably priced train trips</a> for the summer. Now, try going on one of these five additional fun, affordable train trips this fall.</p> <h2>1. Cross Country: California Zephyr</h2> <p>Have you always wanted to venture out into what was the wild west of the 1800s without the horrific summer heat? The <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/california-zephyr-train">California Zephyr</a> travels on a 2,438-mile route from Chicago, IL to Emeryville, CA, passing through seven states on a journey made by western settlers during the Gold Rush and other big migrations. The terrain changes from canyons, to rivers, to mountains, to deserts, to valleys with dramatic beauty. Key sights to see: Colorado River, the Donner Pass, the Rockies, and the Painted Desert.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> As low as $163 per adult and approximately $80 per child for this 51-hour train trip.</p> <h2>2. New Hampshire: Mount Washington Cog Railway</h2> <p>New Hampshire is beautiful as the leaves turn gold and the air gets crisp. What better way to usher in the season than by riding the <a href="http://www.thecog.com/">Mount Washington Cog Railway</a>, the world's first train to climb a mountain? The historic cars are cute and photo-worthy on their own. This makes for an easy day trip, because the ride is only three hours long, which includes an hour to hang out on the top of Mount Washington and snap pictures of the view. You'll want to try this one before winter settles in, as that's when the schedule is very limited.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> $73 per adult, and $39 per child for this three-hour scenic ride.</p> <h2>3. New York: Adirondack Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>Of course, Upstate New York in the fall is quite the stunner, too. The <a href="http://www.adirondackrr.com/">Adirondack Scenic Railroad</a> is definitely not hyperbole: this train weaves from Utica to Lake Placid, through the small hamlets in between. Keep your eyes on the window for the gorgeous scenery of lakes, rivers, and the pretty peaks of the Adirondacks. Additionally, lots of deer, bears, geese and other migrant birds are plentiful and on display through the trip. Fall events on this train include beer and wine tastings and a family Halloween theme.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> Adults cost $39.50 and children cost $29.50 for this trip.</p> <h2>4. Washington State: Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>If you're a fan of mountains and the Pacific Northwest, this is a must-do attraction. <a href="http://www.mrsr.com/index.html">The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad and Museum</a> happens to be the longest running steam train in the region and takes you through the forests and foothills of Mount Rainier. This two-hour train ride includes lots of information on the history of using steam locomotives for logging, the chief industry in the region in the late 19th through early 20th centuries. The MRSR also offers a <a href="http://www.mrsr.com/#!special-events/cpn1">Civil War package</a> complete with a Civil War reenactment.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> This train charges $32 per adult, $72 per child between five to 12 years old, $18 per child under three to four years, and infants under three are free.</p> <h2>5. North Carolina: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.gsmr.com/">Great Smoky Mountain Railroad</a> takes you through a uniquely pretty trail of the South. North Carolina boasts tons of indigenous beauty: 125 types of trees, 1,000 varieties of flora, and over 300 different animal species. You'll also get a chance to look inside the Great Smoky Mountains Train Museum. Like some of our other favorite train rides, this one also has various food and drink tasting voyages. For Halloween, there is a Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Halloween theme for the kids as well as a Halloween Masquerade theme for grown ups.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> For the average trip (non-themed and in family cars), adults cost $66 and children cost $38 per round trip ride.</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken any of these train rides? How was it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-the-united-states-should-copy-from-other-countries">10 Things the United States Should Copy From Other Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks">Save on Car Rentals With These 10 Easy Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel America autumn fall trains transportation trips vacation Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:00:34 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1555445 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Frugal Fall Decoration Tips http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000020418359.jpg" alt="Woman using leaves to frugally decorate for fall" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Goodbye, summer. Hello, fall! If you want to get your place festive on the cheap, I have some amazing, super simple, and frugal ideas for you. So, check out these decor tips and feel free to share your own in the comments. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think?ref=seealso">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use the Harvest</h2> <p>Cornstalks, pumpkins, and hay bales bring the icons of the season back home. These organic decorations give your place rustic appeal and don't cost terribly much. Check farm markets and local farms before heading to big box stores for better prices and quality. I've even found inexpensive pumpkins at discount shops like Aldi and great deals on mums at the Christmas Tree Shops.</p> <h2>2. Take a Hike</h2> <p>Take a walk out your front door and see what you find in your yard for free. This temporary <a href="http://artfulparent.com/2011/10/autumn-leaves-stained-glass.html">stained glass window</a> was created using colorful leaves and clear contact paper. I tried this project in my own home last year and it stayed fresh and bright from late September until the first snowfall.</p> <h2>3. Just Add Water</h2> <p>Hosting a potluck or dinner party? Forget pricey floral centerpieces and <a href="http://www.bhg.com/decorating/seasonal/fall/easy-fall-decorating-projects/?sssdmh=dm17.619277&amp;esrc=nwdc091912#page=8">grab a few twigs</a> with the leaves still attached from your backyard. You can go monochromatic or get a rainbow of shades. Arrange these beauties in a wide vase, add water, and enjoy!</p> <h2>4. Keep It Subtle</h2> <p>You don't need to change around everything in your house to get it feeling fall-ish. Add pops of autumnal oranges, reds, and yellows using throw pillows. You can even sew an <a href="http://jonesdesigncompany.com/tutorial/sweater-pillow-tutorial-2/">upcycled pillow cover</a> using an old sweater. Or toss a warm-toned blanket on your couch. Not only will your living room feel cozy, but you'll also have a functional coverup for when the temperatures start to drop.</p> <h2>5. Get Creative</h2> <p>Try making a <a href="http://www.houseofhepworths.com/2010/09/07/dollar-store-fall-decor/">DIY wreath</a> for your front door using just a few supplies from your local craft shop or Dollar Store. Choose a base wreath, leaf garland, and other embellishments. Then hot glue everything into place. I like shopping places that offer 40% to 50% off coupons like A.C. Moore and Michael's. Comb their websites for more information and stagger trips to use multiple coupons for more expensive items.</p> <h2>6. Hunt Around</h2> <p>I love this <a href="https://folksy.com/items/3459006-Autumn-Bunting?&amp;cuid=520fb437cf2f990ff7c14d8cbed2e785">autumn bunting</a> made from vintage book paper. Try browsing around local thrift stores, antique shops, and garage sales for nature prints. Craft a quick triangle pattern from cardstock or cardboard. Then trace it onto each sheet, cut it out, and use a punch to make holes. Thread them all together with twine or rope and hang wherever you like.</p> <h2>7. Snack on It</h2> <p>Even some of your favorite fall foods can get in on the fun. Fill a glass jar with sugary <a href="http://puttogetherlife.com/2012/10/16/candy-corn-decor/">candy corn</a> or unpopped <a href="http://passionatepennypincher.com/2012/09/the-friday-fluff-up-6-decorating-at-the-dollar-tree/">corn kernels</a> and add a candle or two. Apples and squash are other gorgeous edibles that do double-duty as decorations until you're ready to devour them. Hang everything in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008UP233O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008UP233O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YHFVDBTNFKFMRQH7">three-tiered basket</a> for easy access and sight.</p> <p><em>How do you brighten up your place for fall?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-festive-ways-to-dress-up-your-property-for-the-holidays">13 Festive Ways to Dress Up Your Property for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle autumn decorations fall fall leaves home decor pumpkins Wed, 16 Sep 2015 15:00:21 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1555253 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Easy and Delicious Ways to Enjoy Apples http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/basket_of_apples_000020750480.jpg" alt="Finding easy and delicious ways to enjoy apples " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What&rsquo;s more American than apple pie? Not having enough time to make an apple pie from scratch. So if you&rsquo;re strapped for time but have a lot of apples on hand, try these easy, relatively fast, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-awesome-ways-to-use-apple-cider-vinegar">super delicious ways</a> to enjoy apples this fall.</p> <h2>1. Make Apple Butter</h2> <p>Sometimes you want more than jam to spread on breads and use in other recipes &mdash; <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/apple_butter/">apple butter</a> is not only easy to make, but really, really, really good on cornbread (and anything else you put it on).</p> <h2>2. Dip Slices in Honey</h2> <p>This is a great midday snack or dessert! Simply slice a whole apple into wedges. Then, pour a tablespoon of honey into a small dipping bowl. This is also how some people celebrate Rosh Hashanah, but literally anyone can enjoy this.</p> <h2>3. Snack on Apple and Quinoa Salad</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/quinoa-salad-apples-walnuts-dried-cranberries-gouda.aspx">quinoa salad</a> featuring chunks of sliced apple has a satisfying crunch and makes for a healthy side dish to any lunch or dinner. You can try this recipe substituting apples for citrus or berries as well.</p> <h2>4. Try Apples on Pizza</h2> <p>Have you ever tried some thinly sliced apple on pizza? Next time you&rsquo;re going for a more playful sweet and savory pizza experience, try this <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/caramelized-onion-green-apple-and-gorgonzola-cheese-pizza-521479">pizza recipe with apples</a>, gorgonzola, and caramelized onion.</p> <h2>5. Add Apples to Pork Roast</h2> <p>Sometimes you need a hearty, complex main dish. What could be a better fall weeknight dinner treat than a <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/11/pork-roast-with-apples-and-onions/">pork roast with apples</a>? The Pioneer Woman&rsquo;s recipe is tried and true perfection.</p> <h2>6. Bake an Apple Ginger Galette</h2> <p>When you don&rsquo;t have time for a full-on pie with homemade crust on top, try a <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/10/ginger-caramel-apple-galette-recipe.html?ref=search">French-style gallette</a>. It&rsquo;s like a rustic tart-pie hybrid without half the fuss of either. Like the recipe instructs, roll out some homemade (or storebought) dough, fill the middle with apple filling, then simply fold up the sides. An easy enough dessert to bake on a weeknight.</p> <h2>7. Throw Them in a Grilled Cheese</h2> <p>Similar to apples on pizza, apples in a grilled cheese are to die for. Try a grilled cheese sandwich with lots of melty brie, fig, and <a href="http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/brie-fig-and-apple-grilled-cheese/">sliced granny smith apples</a>. It&rsquo;ll become a family favorite in no time.</p> <h2>8. Dip Slices in Almond Butter</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re trying to keep your energy up throughout the day and need to watch your caloric intake, try this: cut up half of an apple into slices. Take out a jar of unsalted almond butter. Then, dip the slices in the almond butter for a reasonable and yummy snack.</p> <h2>9. Sip Mulled Cider</h2> <p>Sure, you can buy some cider and mulling spices at the store, but have you considered making your own cider one of these crisp, fall weekends? Make your own <a href="http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/211772/homemade-apple-cider/?mxt=t06rda">big batch of cider</a> with this easy recipe and then celebrate by heating it in a Crock-Pot for a quiet evening by the fire.</p> <h2>10. Make a Classic Waldorf Salad</h2> <p>Have you ever made a Waldorf salad? This salad invented in the 1890s is an easy side dish with apples, grapes, celery, nuts, and mayo. There are also infinite variations on the salad, like this <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/kale-waldorf-salad">kale version</a> made by Whole Foods.</p> <h2>11. Recreate the McApple Pie</h2> <p>You know those deep-fried <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/food/McDonald-Deep-Fried-Apple-Pie-Recipe-Video-32791365">apple hand pies</a> you used to get at McDonald&rsquo;s as a kid? They&rsquo;re actually pretty easy to make. These work great as a party snack or just a special treat for the kids.</p> <h2>12. Sweeten Your Oatmeal</h2> <p>Need to get back into the oatmeal for breakfast routine to keep the pounds off? It&rsquo;s really easy to get bored with the wallpaper paste flavor of even the best quality oats. Instead of flavored oatmeal, keep the plain and add chopped fresh apples to it. The apples add much needed texture and flavor.</p> <h2>13. Fry up Some Fritters</h2> <p>Do you fantasize about those delicious apple fritters at your local donut shop? It&rsquo;s totally attainable at home! This excellent <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-apple-fritters-recipes-from-the-kitchn-210596">fritter recipe</a> from The Kitchn makes it easy and fun to fry up some fritters for a weekend brunch treat.</p> <h2>14. Mix Some Party Punch</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re having any parties this September through December, you&rsquo;ll need a seasonally appropriate drink. Trust me, you don&rsquo;t want to make dozens of single cocktails as people get thirsty &mdash; you want a big, batch-made punch that will go strong all night. This <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/29082-brandy-apple-punch">brandy apple punch</a> is sweet and potent enough to keep things festive.</p> <h2>15. Vary Your Apple Pie Game</h2> <p>Is a plain, traditional apple pie not exciting enough for you to set aside a whole day to make one? Try making a fun variation, like this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/356456/apple-blackberry-pie-fall-leaves-pate-brisee">apple blackberry recipe</a>, this <a href="https://www.washingtonsgreengrocer.com/our-blog/rustic-apple-plum-pie">apple plum recipe</a>, or this <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014112-apple-green-chile-pie-with-cheddar-crust">apple and cheddar</a> recipe. Or, throw in a new ingredient to make it your own. There are so many options that you could make a new apple pie every weekend all season long.</p> <h2>16. Get Nostalgic With Candy Apples</h2> <p>Instead of buying them at a huge markup at a candy shop, do it yourself. This Halloween, make some chocolate, caramel, and candy coatings, set up a candy apple topping bar (broken candy bars, sprinkles, chocolate chips, cookie crumbs, etc.), and have everyone make their own candy apple.</p> <h2>17. Add Apples to Stuffing</h2> <p>Is it time to change up the stuffing you&rsquo;ve been making for years? Try a new version with festive additions like chopped apples and nuts. This classic <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/herb-and-apple-stuffing-recipe.html">Ina Garten stuffing recipe</a> combines apples and sliced almonds in a most classy and delicious fashion.</p> <h2>18. Finally Make Your Own Applesauce</h2> <p>It might surprise you that <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/12/really-simple-applesauce-recipe.html">homemade applesauce</a> is actually very easy to make, and can work with dozens of different variations. It&rsquo;s as simple as boiling down the apples, then blending them into a puree. Add sugar, spices, other fruits &mdash; whatever you want!</p> <p><em>Any easy apple creations we missed? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">9 Fall Groceries to Add to Your List ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-great-ways-to-eat-bananas">12 Great Ways to Eat Bananas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-good-food-goes-bad-part-vi-apples">When Good Food Goes Bad Part VI: Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-and-delicious-granola-recipes">20 Easy and Delicious Granola Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-surprisingly-delicious-squash-recipes">20 Surprisingly Delicious Squash Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink apples autumn fall fruit healthy recipes Thu, 10 Sep 2015 11:00:17 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1553953 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/autumn-candle-178492659-small.jpg" alt="autumn candle" title="autumn candle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This time of year gets the best of me when it comes to my inner nesting goddess. Whereas during the summer I'd rather cool off than decorate our spaces, fall brings me indoors and into full-on festive-mode. If you've been to the store to check out how much little knickknacks cost, your eyes might bug out of your head (which might help with a Halloween costume &mdash; but still!). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-fall-pizzas?ref=seealso">15 Easy Fall Pizzas</a>)</p> <p>Try these 12 inexpensive projects using items you can find in your backyard or otherwise on the cheap.</p> <h2>1. Cozy Candle</h2> <p>This <a href="http://passionatepennypincher.com/2012/09/the-friday-fluff-up-6-decorating-at-the-dollar-tree/#">autumnal candle project</a> costs just $6 for two, and most all of the supplies can be purchased at dollar discount stores. Fill a glass candle jar with some un-popped popcorn, stick a candle inside, and tie some raffia ribbon in a bow around it. I suggest embellishing your finished piece with colorful leaves you find outdoors for free.</p> <h2>2. Thankful Tree</h2> <p>Celebrate Thanksgiving early this year by making a DIY <a href="http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/index.php/2012/11/16/the-thankful-tree-with-chalk/">Thankful Tree</a>. Fill a Ball jar with assorted nuts (or wine corks), then poke in a few sticks from outside. The rest is flexible, as the author uses wooden chalkboard tags to write down her thoughts. You can also use inexpensive paper tags. Tie a ribbon or some burlap around the jar and place on your mantel.</p> <h2>3. Fall Potpourri</h2> <p>Don't just make your place look like fall, let the scents mingle and linger as well. This <a href="http://diana212m.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-perfect-fall-potpourri.html?m=1">fall potpourri</a> is made using ingredients you likely have on hand, including orange peel, apple, cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla and almond extracts, and plain water. Fill a stock pot and let simmer all day long to wrap yourself in the warm aroma.</p> <h2>4. Junkin' Pumpkins</h2> <p>Skip the patch this year and recycle your old aluminum cans to make these cute <a href="http://www.creativegreenliving.com/2013/10/make-tin-can-pumpkins.html">Junkin' Pumpkins</a>. Find some empty tin cans of assorted sizes and paint them orange using craft paint. Use branches and wire to make convincing stems, and then decorate with ribbon or whatever else you think will make them pop. Bonus: They won't rot, so you can keep them for next year's decor!</p> <h2>5. Gold Leaf</h2> <p>If you have an old frame begging for a photo, consider trekking outside and finding a leaf for this <a href="http://paulinaspassions.com/easy-diy-fall-decorations/">sophisticated art project</a>. Clean off any dirt or debris on the leaf with plain water, let dry, and then paint with metallic paint and let set. Place a clean sheet of paper or card stock behind the leaf and then frame for display.</p> <h2>6. Festive Garland</h2> <p>While you're looking for leaves, pick up some pine cones, too. You can make a <a href="http://blog.freepeople.com/2013/10/diy-fall-garland/">beautiful garland</a> by tethering the cones with twine or hot glueing other items you find &mdash; like flowers and leaves &mdash; to the string. Feel free to paint cones for a brighter look. Then hang over a door or fireplace mantel.</p> <h2>7. Pumpkin Planters</h2> <p>Maybe you'd rather hollow out your pumpkin and <a href="http://www.17apart.com/2012/10/how-to-fall-pumpkin-planters.html">plant some mums</a> inside. You'll need to drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage, but the rest of the project is super easy. Pack in some dirt, plop in your plant, and water as usual. For the best prices on pumpkins and mums, head to a local farm.</p> <h2>8. Carve-Less Pumpkins</h2> <p>I hate carving pumpkins. I usually cut myself or make a huge mess. You can <a href="http://bliss-athome.com/2013/10/10/tribal-painted-pumpkins/">paint pumpkins</a> using acrylics for a gorgeous addition to your indoor or outdoor decorations. One blogger even <a href="http://alisaburke.blogspot.com/2010/10/pretty-painted-pumpkins-tutorial.html">snagged puffy paint</a> for an impressive 3-D impact. Or let your pumpkin double as a <a href="http://www.betterrecipes.com/blogs/daily-dish/2012/11/19/chalkboard-pumpkins/">message board or table decor</a> using chalkboard paint and chalk.</p> <h2>9. Wrapped Wreath</h2> <p>Use those yarn remnants to make a <a href="http://www.mysocalledcraftylife.com/2012/09/25/diy-yarn-wrapped-fall-wreath/">colorful wreath</a> you'll use for years to come. You'll need a wreath form, that you can find at most craft stores, and &mdash; of course &mdash; yarn. Wrap the yarn over the form until you get the look you want. Then decorate using buttons, fabric flowers, or anything else you like.</p> <h2>10. Nature Wreath</h2> <p>Not as crafty? It's okay! Check your local fabric or craft store for a <a href="http://thirdfloordesignstudio.blogspot.com/2011/10/tuesday-tip-fall-wreath-rosettes.html?m=1">wood or wicker wreath</a> and then use hot glue to decorate it to your best ability. There's no right or wrong way. You can make simple felt rosettes or use items you find outdoors &mdash; acorns, leaves, etc. &mdash; for a punch of color.</p> <h2>11. Sensational Centerpiece</h2> <p>If you're hosting any gatherings, you'll likely want to jazz up your dining table. Don't over-think or over-spend. Instead, <a href="http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2012/09/fall-table-centerpiece.html">glue together a few boards</a> (you can ask your store to cut them for you) and make a base to fill with whatever you choose. You can also use a container you already have on hand. Head to the farmers' market to stock up on small squashes, gourds, and pumpkins that will double as decor and food at a later date. Round out the look by placing a few candles in Ball jars.</p> <h2>12. Apple Candles</h2> <p>Or skip all that and try these genius <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273609/apple-votives">DIY Apple Votives</a>. Cut into the top of your apples with a paring knife to make enough space for your votive. You'll want to sprinkle a little lemon juice to keep the exposed fruit from turning brown. Oh, and you can skip the expensive steel tub and arrange these candles on your dining table atop a plate or other fire-safe surface.</p> <p><em>How do you decorate for fall? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples">23 Fantastic Uses for Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-amazing-diy-lamps-you-want-in-your-house">9 Amazing DIY Lamps You Want in Your House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Entertainment Home autumn crafts decor DIY fall festive Holidays Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1220813 at http://www.wisebread.com Autumn Shopping: 5 Things to Buy in Fall http://www.wisebread.com/autumn-shopping-5-things-to-buy-in-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/autumn-shopping-5-things-to-buy-in-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wisebreadbuyinfall.jpg" alt="Playing in leaves" title="Playing in leaves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="171" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When the leaves start to fall, prices on a few key items do too. If you have some cash to spare, autumn is the perfect time to strategize and save on specific merchandise. Here are five categories that offer some serious savings right now. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h2>Lawn Furniture</h2> <p>As cold months approach, summer items move slowly and retailers are anxious to clear out last year&rsquo;s inventory to make room for the new stuff. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-patio-furniture">Lawn furniture</a> is an especially good buy now because it generally takes up a lot of floor space in stores and that real estate will become more and more of premium as the holidays approach. Anticipate what your outdoor spring and summer needs may be, and you can score great deals now.</p> <h2>Summer Clothes</h2> <p>There are few things more cyclical than clothing. Changing seasons and changing styles mean items turnover quickly. Clothing is a top-seller during the holidays, so act now to find the closeout deals on off-season merchandise. Stick with classic tailoring and the best quality you can afford to avoid being on the wrong side of ever-changing style trends or ending up with clothes that don&rsquo;t last.</p> <h2>Property</h2> <p>Everything slows down a bit in during the winter months, especially if you live in a cold climate. People tend to nest and not make large purchases that require big life transitions. Though properties still sell in the winter, competition isn&rsquo;t quite as fierce. If you&rsquo;re in the market for a new home, now might be the perfect time to swoop in a make a deal.</p> <h2>Automobiles</h2> <p>I hate to test drive cars in the winter. Weather is unpredictable, car lots are cold, and snow and slush turn pristine new cars into mud-mobiles. The same logic inhibits many would-be car buyers from making the rounds to dealerships or buying from private sellers. But the best time to spend your money is when everybody else isn&rsquo;t spending theirs &mdash; so seize the moment and explore what bargains you can find on used cars or on 2012 inventory that will soon be considered &ldquo;last year&rsquo;s models.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Travel</h2> <p>Pre-Thanksgiving is great time to enjoy lower rates on hotel rooms and some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">travel packages</a>. Remember, it&rsquo;s still off-season at most places. If you don&rsquo;t mind a bit of chill in the air, travel now for budget-friendly getaways.</p> <p>Remember that the bargains you see at this time of year are driven by two primary forces:&nbsp;</p> <ol> <li>A business&rsquo; need to move merchandise before the holiday rush</li> <li>Lower consumer activity and reduced demand from other buyers</li> </ol> <p>If you&rsquo;ve got cash in-hand and are ready to roll, you&rsquo;re in a bargaining position. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">Flex your negotiating muscles</a>, and see how low prices can go. But hurry, holidays change the game significantly and when the Christmas shoppers hit the streets, all bets are off.</p> <p><em>What amazing deals have you scored so far this fall? Are there specific categories of items that you wait to buy until October and November? What advice do you have for other readers who are looking to find a few bargains before the holiday rush?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/autumn-shopping-5-things-to-buy-in-fall">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-healthiest-grocery-stores">The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-cost-more-in-2016">9 Things That Cost More in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mouthwashes">The 5 Best Mouthwashes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-makeup-brush-cleaners">The 5 Best Makeup Brush Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping autumn buying a home seasonal merchandise Thu, 01 Nov 2012 10:24:37 +0000 Kentin Waits 955357 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Fantastic Uses for Apples http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apple_on_head.jpg" alt="Woman with an apple on her head" title="Woman with an apple on her head" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="157" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, think of what you can do with a bushel. From apple desserts and ciders to potpourri and candles, here are 23 things you can do and make with apples this fall. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a>)</p> <h3>1. Carved Apple Candle Holders</h3> <p>What a festive way to add mood lighting to your home! This idea to make <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4493325_make-carved-apple-candle-holders.html">tealight candle holders with apples</a> is nothing short of amazing. Just cut a hole in the top of the apple, scoop out the fruit to a little more than one-inch deep, and pop in the candle without the foil lining. Once the candle has burned for 10 minutes, the melted wax will fill the hole so nobody will ever know your short-cut secret.</p> <h3>2. Shrunken Apple Heads</h3> <p>This isn&rsquo;t a particularly useful application for apples, but it&rsquo;s quirky, crafty, and fun. To make <a href="http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/3-things-to-do-with-apples-710710/">shrunken apple heads</a>, carve faces into the fruit and bake for three hours at your oven&rsquo;s lowest temperature. When you pull them out, let them sit for a few days in a warm, dry area. Once the apples are all shriveled up like skeleton and witch faces, decorate them with black beans for the eyes and dry white-rice grains for creepy teeth.</p> <h3>3. Infused Vodka</h3> <p>Why pay premium prices for fruit-infused vodka when you can play mixologist at home? This <a href="http://www.boulderlocavore.com/2011/01/apple-infused-vodka-how-to-make-your.html">recipe for apple-infused vodka</a> is so simple it practically makes itself. Just core and cut your favorite kind of apple and place them in a jar. Fill with medium-grade vodka, seal the jar, and let the apples soak for a few days up to two weeks. Once you&rsquo;re satisfied with the level of the vodka&rsquo;s infused flavor, drain the vodka into a bottle and discard the fruit. Bottoms up!</p> <h3>4. Apple Cider</h3> <p>Been to a farm this fall? If so, you know just how expensive a gallon of apple cider is. Cut costs for the fabulous fall treat by making it from scratch. You&rsquo;ll need about 36 apples, a food processor, and cheesecloth. Surprisingly, there&rsquo;s not much else to it. For detailed steps, check out this TLC post on <a href="http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/how-to-make-apple-cider.htm">how to make apple cider</a>.</p> <h3>5. Apple Butter</h3> <p>Another easy-to-make recipe for an otherwise expensive apple item. To <a href="http://chefinyou.com/2010/07/apple-butter-recipe/">make your own apple butter</a>, you&rsquo;ll need four pounds of Granny Smiths, fresh-pressed apple juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and assorted holiday spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Prep time is under 15 minutes with cooking time under 30 minutes.</p> <h3>6. Applesauce</h3> <p>This <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/applesauce/">applesauce recipe</a> doesn&rsquo;t say how much it yields, so I don&rsquo;t know if it&rsquo;s cheaper to buy premade sauce or make your own, but it has to be much healthier than the former since you can control the types of apple you use (organic versus non-organic) and the amount of sugar. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand, which, in addition to three to four pounds of apples, include lemon peel, lemon juice, a cinnamon stick, dark brown sugar, white sugar, water, and salt. The final product will last up to one year in the freezer.</p> <h3>7. Apple Facial Mask</h3> <p>What can you do with that homemade applesauce recipe, besides eat it? You can turn it into a soothing facial mask when paired with cucumber, wheat germ, mint leaves, honey, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-uses-for-oats">oatmeal</a>, and more.</p> <h3>8. Apple Cinnamon Potpourri</h3> <p>To <a href="http://everydaymatters-patricia.blogspot.com/2007/09/holidays-are-coming-fast-and-it-will.html">make fresh apple-cinnamon potpourri</a>, you may need to take a quick walk through a nearby wooded area. After you&rsquo;ve dried your apple slices, you&rsquo;ll add ground cinnamon, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, canella or nandina berries, 10 small pinecones, and cinnamon oil. Red sumac berries &mdash; plentiful in the wild &mdash; are a great stabilizer for potpourri. When presented in a nice jar with a festive ribbon, this would make a great gift for the host of a fall dinner party.</p> <h3>9. Caramel Apples</h3> <p>You can make your own homemade caramel with this <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/how-to-make-caramel-apples-00412000068487/">recipe for caramel apples</a>, but I find it easier to buy the caramel squares and melt them down. They&rsquo;re less time-consuming and virtually foolproof. But if you want to go all out, definitely try this. The ooey-gooey beige caramel shines on the green Granny Smith apple. Before they set, add any number of toppings, from chopped nuts to crushed cookie and candy pieces.</p> <h3>10. German Apple Pancake</h3> <p>Frugally feed four with this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/german-apple-pancake/detail.aspx">recipe for a German apple pancake</a>, which is basically an apple tart in a skillet. If you think you might be pressed for time in the morning, you can prepare it the night before and pop it in the oven when you&rsquo;re ready to eat. Pair it with a side of bacon or sausage and spiked apple cider, and you&rsquo;ve got one hearty, satisfying brunch on a crisp, cool day.</p> <h3>11. Apple-Cranberry-Sage Chicken</h3> <p>Just looking at the picture for this <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/apple-cranberry-sage-chicken/e2f68eaf-5652-4295-a5f1-4625f4c1e560">apple-cranberry-sage chicken recipe</a> made my mouth water. It&rsquo;s one of those semi-homemade recipes that calls for grape jelly, butter, a red cooking apple, celery, cranberries (fresh or thawed), Bisquick, ground sage, dried thyme, water and, of course, chicken. Less than 10 minutes in the skillet then about 45 minutes in the oven, and you&rsquo;ll have yourself a delicious and juicy weeknight meal.</p> <h3>12. Ripen Green Tomatoes</h3> <p>Backyard tomato harvesting is over for the year, but even if you get a green tomato at the grocery store you can use this method of <a href="http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/5-things/5-things-do-apples?id=2">placing it in a paper bag with an already ripe apple</a>. Over the course of a couple days, the apple will magically transfer its ripeness to the tomato.</p> <h3>13. The Ultimate Caramel Apple Pie</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m not sure you can ever go wrong with one of Tyler Florence&rsquo;s &ldquo;ultimate&rdquo; recipes. I haven&rsquo;t found a bad one yet &mdash; and this recipe for the <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/the-ultimate-caramel-apple-pie-recipe/index.html">ultimate caramel apple pie</a> is no exception. The thinly sliced apples are piled high inside a crisp crust along with fresh vanilla bean, red wine, cinnamon, heavy cream, and butter. As Ina Garten would say, &ldquo;How bad can that be?&rdquo; Although I guess it depends on your diet.</p> <h3>14. Apple Juice</h3> <p>Kids and adults alike love apple juice, which is why this <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2224418_make-apple-juice.html">recipe for fresh apple juice</a> is perfect for the whole family. It&rsquo;s not exactly easy, but putting in the time will save you cash on pricey, sugary store-bought juice. You&rsquo;ll need a juicer for this, so that might be prohibitive, but the end result will be worth it. Besides, Christmas is coming. Maybe the juicer is something to put on your list.</p> <h3>15. Apple Cider Vinegar</h3> <p>Just the thought of apple cider vinegar brings back memories from childhood of when my family would have a pig pickin&rsquo; (that is, roast a whole pig for everyone to share at a big barbecue &mdash; soooo good!) and putting apple cider vinegar on the pulled pork. This <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_6185830_make-apple-cider-vinegar-yourself.html">recipe for apple cider vinegar</a> is moderately easy, but it&rsquo;s not one you can enjoy right away. You have to let the vinegar ferment for at least a month. The upside is that there&rsquo;s no apple peeling or coring involved. The apple flavor is derived from unpasteurized apple cider.</p> <h3>16. Soften Brown Sugar</h3> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t have a <a href="http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/5-things/5-things-do-apples?id=3">stiff brown sugar problem</a>? I have a bag of brown sugar in my pantry that&rsquo;s hard as a rock right now. Instead of tossing it, I plan to pop in an apple slice for a day or two until the brown sugar returns to its original soft state.</p> <h3>17. Creamy Apple-Cinnamon-Raisin Oatmeal</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re making oatmeal out of a package, you&rsquo;re doing it all wrong. Homemade oatmeal is almost as easy to make &mdash; and it&rsquo;s much better for you. This <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/creamy-apple-cinnamon-raisin-oatmeal/detail.aspx">recipe for creamy apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal</a> doesn&rsquo;t leave much to the imagination &mdash; maple syrup and brown sugar are the two other ingredients &mdash; but it will pleasantly surprise your tastebuds.</p> <h3>18. Pumpkin-Apple Muffins</h3> <p>Two fall faves in one recipe! These brown beauties, chock full of apple chunks, have all the seasonal flavor you crave. This <a href="http://www.sweethappylife.com/2011/easy-family-recipes/pumpkin-apple-muffins/">recipe for pumpkin-apple muffins</a> combines canned pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin pie mix), white and brown sugars, olive oil, and lots of fragrant spices &mdash; and they&rsquo;re ready in about 30 minutes.</p> <h3>19. Green Apple Slaw</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s another recipe down this list for apple barbecue sauce, so here&rsquo;s what I want you to do. When you&rsquo;re done fermenting your apple cider vinegar with the recipe above, prepare pork shoulder (easily done in a slow cooker), which will later become pulled pork. Combine the pulled pork with the apple barbecue sauce and pile it high on a toasted bun. Served that yummy sandwich with a side of this <a href="http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/green-apple-slaw-688793/">green apple slaw</a>, which features Granny Smiths, raisins, and pecans. When you&rsquo;re done, send me a message about how that meal sent you into a tailspin of foodphoria.</p> <h3>20. Keep Cakes Fresh</h3> <p>To <a href="http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/5-things/5-things-do-apples?id=1">keep cakes fresh</a>, store them with half an apple. Like putting a slice of bread in a cookie tin, the apple will help keep the cake moister than storing it in the fridge.</p> <h3>21. Apple Barbecue Sauce</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s too much goodness in this <a href="http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/specials/foliage/galleries/applesnowwhat?pg=2">recipe for apple barbecue sauce</a> to list, but you know when Worcestershire sauce is involved, it&rsquo;s got to be good. If you want to know what to do with the finished product, see number 16 on this list.</p> <h3>22. Apple Black Bean Salsa</h3> <p>I never would have thought of using apples this way, but I&rsquo;m always game for a little Mexican flair at dinnertime. This <a href="http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/specials/foliage/galleries/applesnowwhat?pg=9">recipe for apple black-bean salsa</a> calls for plum tomatoes, diced apples, lime juice, a jalapeno pepper, red onions, and black beans. So delicioso, right? Perhaps this is the perfect side for pulled-pork quesadillas?</p> <h3>23. Remove Excess Salt From Soups and Casseroles</h3> <p>Added too much salt to your soup? Don&rsquo;t fret. <a href="http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/5-things/5-things-do-apples?id=4">Place a few apple slices in the mix</a> a few minutes before it&rsquo;s finished. They&rsquo;ll suck up the extra <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-uses-for-salt-besides-seasoning">salt</a>, and no one will ever know your boo-boo.</p> <p><em>Have even more ideas on how to cook and craft with apples? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/out-of-the-frying-pan-24-unusual-uses-for-butter">Out of the Frying Pan: 24 Unusual Uses for Butter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-things-you-can-make-with-an-ice-cube-tray">14 Cool Things You Can Make With an Ice Cube Tray</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink Home affordable recipes apples autumn crafts eating healthy Thu, 27 Oct 2011 10:36:26 +0000 Mikey Rox 763150 at http://www.wisebread.com 31 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Fall http://www.wisebread.com/31-frugal-ways-to-celebrate-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/31-frugal-ways-to-celebrate-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pumpkin patch.jpg" alt="31 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Fall" title="31 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It is fall at last, my favorite season! The leaves are changing colors, the air is getting brisk and cool, and the smell of pumpkin pie is in the air. For those who aren&rsquo;t enthusiastic about the thought of cooler weather, let us persuade you that fall is just as fun as summer. Embrace the season with these 31 frugal ways to celebrate fall! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-the-best-fall-and-holiday-travel-deals">7 Ways to Get the Best Fall and Holiday Travel Deals</a>)</p> <h3>1. Jump in the leaves.</h3> <p>Jumping into a freshly raked pile of leaves is one of the finest pleasures of autumn. Having a playful fight with your loved ones while tossing piles of leaves at each other comes in a close second.</p> <h3>2. Go apple picking.</h3> <p>Apple season continues through October. Picking a bushel or two is a great outing for the family, and think of the wealth of apple pies, cakes, and tarts that awaits you!</p> <h3>3. Celebrate Oktoberfest.</h3> <p>Find a local Oktoberfest celebration and join the merriment at this German festival. Beer, sausages, and pretzels are pretty much guaranteed.</p> <h3>4. Admire the fall colors.</h3> <p>A yearly tradition in my family is to drive out to the countryside admiring the vibrant colors of fall &mdash; vivid scarlets and crimsons, fiery oranges and yellows proclaim the best of the season. Save a few of the best fallen leaves to decorate your house for fall.</p> <h3>5. Make a pie.</h3> <p>Get a head start on fall cooking by making the first apple and pumpkin pies of the season.</p> <h3>6. Have a barbecue.</h3> <p>Take advantage of the remaining beautiful weather to grill dinner outside and enjoy it on the patio before November&rsquo;s cold rains spoil the fun.</p> <h3>7. Decorate the house.</h3> <p>Bring the outdoors inside by decorating your house with vibrant fall wreaths, pine cones, and seasonal colors. If you can&rsquo;t beat cooler weather, you might as well join in!</p> <h3>8. Dig out the sweaters.</h3> <p>Put away all that breezy summer clothing, and break out the knits! Air out or clean your cozy sweaters in preparation for sweater season.</p> <h3>9. Go to a fall festival.</h3> <p>Check out local fall festivals and enjoy hay rides, pick-your-own pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and plenty of good food (apple cider, anyone?).</p> <h3><strong>1</strong>0. Indulge yourself.</h3> <p>Bikini season is over, so don&rsquo;t feel too guilty about that pumpkin spice latte or extra pecan tart. Of course, everything in moderation&hellip;</p> <h3>11. Go for a bike ride.</h3> <p>Enjoy the brisk air and cooler weather by getting outside for a refreshing bike ride in the neighborhood.</p> <h3>12. Go to the farmers market.</h3> <p>In some areas, farmers markets close down for winter; in others, they continue right through to spring. Either way, autumn is a great time to check out the seasonal produce and perhaps try <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-was-on-sale-now-how-do-i-cook-it">cooking something new and unfamiliar</a>.</p> <h3>13. Pickle and preserve.</h3> <p>Use up those green tomatoes left on the vine, the plums on the tree, and the hundreds of zucchini and cucumbers in the garden by <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/08/bread-and-butter-pickles">pickling</a> and preserving them.</p> <h3>14. Have a bonfire.</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s just cool enough that a wood-burning fire feels good in the evening. Roast sweet potatoes slowly in the coals, and have fun toasting marshmallows.</p> <h3>15. Attend a tailgate party.</h3> <p>Go to a local football game and gorge yourself on hot dogs and hamburgers at a fall tailgate party.</p> <h3>16. Go camping.</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s your last chance to take the tent out before it gets too cold to camp comfortably!</p> <h3>17. Go to the drive-in theater.</h3> <p>The cool, but not cold, weather is perfect for cuddling under a blanket at the local drive-in theater. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate and snacks!</p> <h3>18. Take a class.</h3> <p>With the hectic back-to-school season behind you, now is the perfect time to join a yoga class, take cooking lessons, or learn a new language.</p> <h3>19. Plant spring bulbs.</h3> <p>October is the time to plant bulbs that will reward your foresight with beautiful blooms in early spring. Daffodils, ranunculus, tulips, and irises should all be planted in the fall before the first frost.</p> <h3>20. Visit a winery.</h3> <p>October is a great time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-fun-and-libations-brewery-and-winery-tours">visit wineries</a>, as this month is the season for harvesting the ripe grapes. Go for an inexpensive tasting and participate in some of the special harvest events.</p> <h3>21. Make soup.</h3> <p>Celebrate all that fall bounty by making a warming pot of soup (try <a href="http://foodrepublik.com/apple-butternut-squash-soup/">butternut squash soup</a>, <a href="http://www.latartinegourmande.com/2006/11/05/fall-medley-vegetable-soup-soupe-automnale-de-legumes-varies/">fall vegetable soup</a>, or a yummy <a href="http://food.chatelaine.com/Recipes/View/Smoky-corn-chowder-with-bacon">corn chowder</a>).</p> <h3>22. Carve a pumpkin.</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s nothing like a few scary jack-&lsquo;o&rsquo;-lanterns sitting on the front porch declaring that Halloween is on its way.</p> <h3>23. Watch the World Series.</h3> <p>Root for your favorite team and relish the rivalry with your closest friends as you watch this October&rsquo;s World Series.</p> <h3>24. Stock the root cellar.</h3> <p><a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/the-food-storage-secret-our-grandparents-knew/article1782897/">Urban root cellars</a> have returned as a major autumn trend. Squashes, apples, cabbages, potatoes, and other vegetables keep well in a cool dark place for several months. Try saving your own garden produce this year.</p> <h3>25. Have a game night.</h3> <p>Make a big pot of chili to ward off the chill and invite some friends over for board games at your house, a great activity as the nights fall earlier.</p> <h3>26. Use a hot-water bottle.</h3> <p>Fill up a hot water bottle and bring it to bed with you to warm your feet. There&rsquo;s nothing cozier!</p> <h3>27. Knit a scarf.</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;ve always wanted to learn to knit or crochet, fall is the perfect season to start. Your new scarf will be useful for cooler weather or can be given as a unique Christmas gift.</p> <h3>28. Go on a trip.</h3> <p>Off-peak prices make fall a great season to travel to popular locations such as Cancun, Southeast Asia, and more.</p> <h3>29. Take a family picture.</h3> <p>Capture a family portrait, perfect for Christmas and New Year cards, by posing your family among the gorgeous fall colors and snapping a photograph.</p> <h3>30. Host a costume party.</h3> <p>Have some frugal fun by hosting a fall potluck. Have everyone <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/85-easy-frugal-halloween-costume-ideas">dress in a costume</a> and bring some creepy themed food.</p> <h3>31. Go trick-or-treating with the kids.</h3> <p>Or have fun handing out treats to the neighborhood kids on Halloween night.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-frugal-ways-to-celebrate-fall">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures">The 18 Coolest Frugal Fall Adventures</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle autumn Cooking family activities things to do Tue, 27 Sep 2011 10:24:17 +0000 Camilla Cheung 717238 at http://www.wisebread.com