Entertainment http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5995/all en-US New Isn't Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_000019797365.jpg" alt="Woman reading a book" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although I admit that new can sometimes be very nice, old or used can be just as good! Here are some examples of used goodies that are even better than new:</p> <h2>1. Books and Magazines</h2> <p>Go to your neighborhood library, and take out a book or flip through the magazines. You can also buy used books that look practically brand-new from websites such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/" target="_blank">Amazon</a>, or trade them on the web at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.swap.com/" target="_blank">Swap.com</a>.</p> <h2>2. Cars</h2> <p>The value of a new car drops dramatically right after you drive it off the dealership, so consider getting a used car to get more bang for your buck. Remember to do your research first, watch out for these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Car-Salesmen-Tricks-28307430">car salesman tricks</a>, and ask the seller the <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Car-Seller-31000145">right questions</a>.</p> <h2>3. Clothing</h2> <p>You can get great hand-me-downs from friends and family members instead of splurging for a new outfit at a boutique. You can score good buys at thrift store, too, if you use a little <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Consignment-Store-Shopping-Tips-13456315">know-how</a>.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Worth-Money-3508809#photo-3508809" target="_blank">11 Items That Are Worth the Big Expense</a></p> <h2>4. Wedding Gowns</h2> <p>There's no better steal than buying a dress that has only been used once &mdash; and paying less for a dress that you are only going to wear once as well. Check out <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Wedding-Dress-Seller-15718982">these questions</a> to ask the used wedding gown seller before you buy a dress from her.&nbsp;</p> <h2>5. Tools</h2> <p>Get big discounts on used tools, but do your research before you end up buying a dud. Buy the tools from a legitimate seller or from people you know and trust.&nbsp;</p> <h2>6. Animals</h2> <p>There are plenty of cute pets waiting to be loved at your local shelter. Remember that adopting <a href="http://www.petsugar.com/Reasons-Adopt-Adult-Pet-11442625" target="_self">older dogs has its benefits</a> too. For example, you won't need to bother with potty training, and most dogs calm down after they pass the rapscallion puppy stage.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Why-Alone-Time-Healthy-37072341" target="_blank">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></p> <h2>7. Designer Bags</h2> <p>Vintage bags give the classic brand names a one-of-a-kind twist (after all, you don't see these golden oldies in stores anymore!). Find one from a thrift store or online at places like <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Poshmark-Tips-34541949">Poshmark</a>. You can also consider renting a handbag from Avelle's <a href="http://www.bagborroworsteal.com/" target="_blank">Bag Borrow or Steal</a>.</p> <h2>8. Furniture</h2> <p>There are plenty of great deals on Craigslist, and if your friends or neighbors are giving away their old furniture, that's even better. Don't be afraid to check out thrift stores, as well; you can find some unique pieces with great price tags. But keep in mind that staying away from used furniture with fabric will lower the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home.</p> <h2>9. Things for Baby</h2> <p>Baby clothes, toys, and other baby-related gear doesn't get much use once baby is all grown up. Just stay away from items like car seats and cribs, because the safety standards are updated all the time, so the used items may not meet the current safety requirements.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909" target="_blank">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></p> <h2>10. Jewelry</h2> <p>Those pretty trinkets you keep admiring also depreciate quickly once they are in a buyer's hands. Check out estate sales, eBay, and pawnshops to see what old goodies you can score. But be sure to do your homework to avoid getting scammed.&nbsp;</p> <h2>11. Residences</h2> <p>Ah, the great rent vs. buy debate! It depends on whether buying a house is within your means and what state your finances are in. Renting is not always a bad thing; sometimes it's a more sensible choice for people who are living more transient lifestyles. Remember the seven-year rule: seriously consider renting if you're going to be in a place for less than seven years.&nbsp;</p> <h2>12. Information</h2> <p>Historical knowledge will never grow old. Reading current news is great, but learning more about history can sometimes be even better. You'll be able to make more solid arguments and form opinions that are well-rounded and supported by past examples. You'll also gain a deeper understanding of human nature.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Get-Taxes-Done-22109519" target="_blank">4 Steps to Stop Procrastinating With Your Taxes</a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Buying used usually costs less and that&#039;s always a plus. Even better -- some goods really do get better with age. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Worth-Money-3508809">11 Items That Are Worth the Big Expense</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Why-Alone-Time-Healthy-37072341">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Get-Taxes-Done-22109519">4 Steps to Stop Procrastinating With Your Taxes</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love">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/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</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/frugal-tip-do-not-spend-when-you-are-sad">Frugal Tip: Do Not Spend When You Are Sad</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-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</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/you-cant-save-if-you-dont-try">You Can’t Save if You Don’t Try</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment Shopping buying used recycling shopping thrifting used Fri, 10 Apr 2015 21:00:10 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1372907 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Arts http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-arts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-arts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/art_lovers_000024031897.jpg" alt="Frugal art lovers enjoying an art show in the city" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, booming coastal metropolises like New York or San Francisco have well-deserved reputations as hotbeds for the arts. But unless you're really successful, or willing to live like an actual starving artist, it's costly and difficult to enjoy all they have to offer. Here are six lower-cost, but equally artistic cities you might enjoy.</p> <h2>1. Detroit, Michigan</h2> <p>While it's true that Detroit's economy has experienced some difficulty, it's not all bad news: Cheap rent and low-cost buildings are a great opportunity for young upstarts with creative ambition. Detroit is in the stage of mass vacancies and lack of jobs (think Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, or New York City in the 70s), which will almost inevitably lead to its revival. Artists are <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/travel/as-detroit-flounders-its-art-scene-flourishes.html?_r=1">moving to Detroit</a> in flocks, and the city is paying them to revitalize its urban core.</p> <h2>2. Tucson, Arizona</h2> <p>Want a place to live that even hipper-than-thou <a href="http://www.sfchronicle.com/travel/article/Hip-little-Tucson-heats-up-4484163.php?t=69177aa32f">San Francisco calls hip</a>? This is your town. The youth population has turned downtown Tucson into a walkable paradise of shops, restaurants, and a great art scene with <a href="http://hotelcongress.com/">Hotel Congress</a> as its beating heart. Comedians, fine art, and theatre are all flourishing here. Plus, low average monthly rents mean you can afford to experience this desert beauty for yourself.</p> <h2>3. Columbus, Ohio</h2> <p>Columbus is a great model for the rest of Ohio: lots of small businesses combined with a thriving creative class. The <a href="http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2015/03/16/not-starving.html">Short North Art District</a> is a mecca for the hip and creative, while COSI Columbus, Columbus Museum of Art, and the Ohio Craft Museum are brilliant examples of the great art Columbus has to offer. Oh, and cheap rent, anyone?</p> <h2>4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania</h2> <p>Pittsburgh has happily become the less pretentious &quot;Portland of the Rust Belt.&quot; Local young people are now choosing to stay in Pittsburgh, and new people are flocking here for great, cheap housing and an opportunity to grow their creative endeavors with low risk. The <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/12/how-the-cultural-arts-drove-pittsburghs-revitalization/383627/">extensive art scene</a>, with favorites like Mattress Factory, Unsmoke Systems, and Industrial Arts Co-Op, are drawing more budget-conscious artists every day.</p> <h2>5. Buffalo, New York</h2> <p>While many upstate New York natives historically moved to NYC, many Millennials now seem to be leaving NYC to return upstate. And their <a href="http://gothamist.com/2015/01/28/millennials_buffalo.php">first choice is Buffalo</a>, another rust belt town that's been in resurgence for years. Artists and other creative small business owners are taking their work to Buffalo to enjoy the great artisanal coffee, beer, and food while admiring the proliferating arts scene anchored by two excellent museums &mdash; the Burchfield Penney and the Albright Knox.</p> <h2>6. North Adams, Massachusetts</h2> <p>Another industrial town that's got it mojo back, North Adams is booming again thanks in part to its <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/10/18/north-adams-rebounds-with-art-education/ZtAmWawaWg6NwnnvyZErZP/story.html">creative youth population</a>. A happening arts scene includes 21 galleries and museums in downtown alone, plus Mass MoCA, which is one of the largest museums in the world. With rents as averaging as little as $450/month in some areas, how can you not have extra time and money to see it all?</p> <p><em>Which other lower-cost cities have strong arts scenes?</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/6-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-arts">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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-complete-guide-to-saving-at-americas-baseball-stadiums">A Complete Guide to Saving at America&#039;s Baseball Stadiums</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/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">Disneyland on the (Sort of) Cheap</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/11-things-you-can-do-in-philadelphia-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">11 Things You Can Do in Philadelphia That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel arts cheap cities cities creative galleries museums Wed, 08 Apr 2015 21:00:09 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1372996 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Watch Sports on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-watch-sports-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-watch-sports-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sports_000022924280.jpg" alt="Woman attending sporting event and saving money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few things more enjoyable than catching a game in person. But heading out to the stadium can be a pricey proposition.</p> <p>If you're budget conscious, you may feel like seeing a game in person or catching a big Pay-Per-View fight are out-of-reach luxuries. But it doesn't have to be that way. Follow these tips and get off your couch to see the sports you love.</p> <h2>1. Check the Secondary Ticket Market</h2> <p>Many ticket holders will try to sell their tickets on StubHub or other resale sites if they can't attend a game themselves. If you know the game is not sold out, you can often get a seller to unload a ticket for a deep discount if he thinks he'll otherwise be stuck with it. You may even avoid service and handling fees if you use Craigslist or a similar website. I have a friend who's become quite skilled at landing ultra-cheap tickets to NBA games 20 minutes before tipoff with this approach &mdash; the longer you wait, the more willing the seller is to offer a discount.</p> <h2>2. Buy Tickets at the Door</h2> <p>If you're not concerned about a game selling out, consider buying tickets when you get to the arena. Buying tickets at the box office allows you to avoid any handling fees or service charges, which can add as much as $10 per ticket. One caveat: Some teams will charge more for tickets not purchased in advance, thus offsetting some potential savings.</p> <h2>3. Look for the Losing Fans</h2> <p>Let's say there are thousands of North Carolina fans in town for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. And let's say North Carolina gets upset in the first round. Well, now you have thousands of fans who may just want to go home. This is where you can score cheap tickets to the next round of games. This approach might also work at major tennis or golf tournaments if popular players are eliminated.</p> <h2>4. Go to a Bar</h2> <p>Why spend $80 for the Pay-Per-View of the latest UFC fight when you can go with some friends to a local tavern? Order a burger and a beer, and you'll still save a pretty penny.</p> <h2>5. Go on Weeknights</h2> <p>Many teams have dynamic pricing that allows them to increase pricing for marquee games, and even adjust it based on supply and demand. This means that a weeknight game against a non-marquee opponent might be a great value. (My hometown Baltimore Orioles have $10 tickets in the upper deck for every Tuesday home game, for example.) Also be sure to avoid games with popular giveaways, such as bobblehead night, that might lead to a spike in ticket demand.</p> <h2>6. Find Out if Your Company Has Tickets</h2> <p>Do you work for a company that sponsors or advertises with a local sports team? Then there's a good chance someone in your office is in control of a group of tickets or even a luxury suite. Generally, these tickets are meant to be used to conduct business, but there will be days when they go unclaimed. In these instances, it may be possible to claim the tickets for your own use. You just need to find out who to ask. (Usually, it's someone in the marketing or corporate relations department.)</p> <h2>7. Sit Up High</h2> <p>Sure, you may be far from the action, but for years, the NBA has required teams to offer several hundred seats for $10. Many Major League Baseball teams have upper deck seats for $5. (And you can often move down later in the game, anyway.) Most arenas and stadiums are modern enough now that even the most distant seats offer a reasonably comfortable viewing experience, even offering great views of the city skyline.</p> <h2>8. Go With a Group</h2> <p>If you can gather a bunch of folks from your office, or even a big crew of friends and family, you can save money. Many teams offer discounted tickets for groups as small as 15 people.</p> <h2>9. Bring the Kids</h2> <p>The Baltimore Orioles offer a club membership for kids that includes ten game tickets and other goodies for $30. Best of all, the adults can then buy game tickets at a discounted rate as well. Check with the teams in your area for similar family-friendly deals.</p> <h2>10. Check the Warehouse Clubs</h2> <p>Did you know that big stores like Costco sell tickets to sporting events, often at a discount? Check your local stores for discounts on packages. Even if stores don't sell tickets themselves, you may be able to get team gift cards for cheap.</p> <p><em>How do you save on sporting events?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-watch-sports-on-the-cheap">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/11-ways-to-save-money-on-live-sporting-events">11 Ways to Save Money on Live Sporting Events</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/how-much-a-breakdown-of-concert-ticket-prices">How Much?! A Breakdown of Concert Ticket Prices</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/how-to-watch-sports-without-cable-tv">How to Watch Sports Without Cable TV</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-complete-guide-to-saving-at-americas-baseball-stadiums">A Complete Guide to Saving at America&#039;s Baseball Stadiums</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/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment savings sporting events sports tickets Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1366188 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cheap, Fun Things to Do With Friends http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-friends <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-friends-rooftop-party-dinner-Dollarphotoclub_64195534.jpg" alt="happy friends dinner" title="happy friends dinner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on fun and inexpensive things to do with your friends, how to make the most of perfume and other scents, and good-looking lunches to bring to work.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/cheap-and-social-15-inexpensive-and-very-fun-things-to-do-with-friends">Cheap and Social: 15 Inexpensive and Very Fun Things to Do With Friends</a> &mdash; Start a dinner party circle, where each of you take turns preparing and hosting dinner for others in the circle. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/how-to-cut-back-on-perfume-and-still-smell-delicious">How to Cut Back on Perfume and Still Smell Delicious</a> &mdash; Because scent rises, spraying perfume on your ankles will actually make the scent last longer. [Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/food/Easy-Work-Lunch-Recipes-13491705">17 Good-Looking Lunches to Bring to Work</a> &mdash; Steak noodle salad is an easy, tasty way to use up leftover beef. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cashthechecks.com/7-free-apps-to-save-you-money-on-your-next-vacation/">7 Free Apps to Save You Money on Your Next Vacation</a> &mdash; With Triposo, just enter where you want to go and the types of things you like to do, and the app will find local activities and entertainment for you to try. It also takes into account your budget and the weather. [Cash The Checks]</p> <p><a href="http://smartycents.com/articles/work-related-tax-write-offs/">10 Work-Related Tax Write Offs You're Probably Missing</a> &mdash; If you had relocate for a new job in 2014, you may be able to claim a deduction for moving expenses. [Smarty Cents]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://blog.credit.com/2015/03/5-reasons-you-cant-get-a-mortgage-110291/">5 Reasons You Can't Get a Mortgage</a> &mdash; It'll be more difficult for you to get a mortgage if you've had a job gap longer than six months in the past two years. [Credit.com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2015/02/27/how-to-reach-financial-freedom-just-a-little-bit-faster/">How to Reach Financial Freedom Just a Little Bit Faster</a> &mdash; Don't leave money just sitting around. Invest it! [Cult of Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savethebills.com/five-mistakes-you-cant-make-on-a-resume/">Five Mistakes You Can't Make on a Resume</a> &mdash; Organize your resume so that your experience is as close to the top as possible, and list them in reverse chronological order. [Save The Bills]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2015/03/02/10-damaging-lies-and-excuses/">10 Damaging Lies and Excuses Your Mind Loves to Tell You</a> &mdash; When you tell yourself &quot;One time won't hurt,&quot; don't believe it! Your brain will use this excuse again, until you've completely fallen off the wagon. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-questions-to-ask-your-child-s-teacher-right-now">5 Questions to Ask Your Child's Teacher Right Now</a> &mdash; Check in with your child's teacher to see how she is doing in school. You'll want to know about her academics, but don't forget to also ask about how she engages with her peers. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-friends">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/cheap-ways-to-spend-a-night-out">Cheap Ways to Spend a Night Out</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/5-frugal-non-depressing-ways-to-spend-nye">5 Frugal, Non-Depressing Ways to Spend NYE</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/how-to-be-frugal-without-becoming-a-hermit">How to Be Frugal (Without Becoming a Hermit)</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/15-free-ways-to-entertain-kids-for-an-afternoon">15 Free Ways to Entertain Kids for an Afternoon</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/15-fun-nights-out-for-5-or-less">15 Fun Nights Out for $5 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment best money tips cheap fun Thu, 05 Mar 2015 20:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 1324617 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Outdoor Adventures That Don't Cost a Dime http://www.wisebread.com/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-outdoor-hiking-climbing-Dollarphotoclub_37077216.jpg" alt="woman climbing hiking" title="woman climbing hiking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Believe it or not, winter will end soon, and spring will bring perfect weather for experiencing the great outdoors. Fortunately, many of the greatest outdoor adventures can be had for free. Here are six of our favorites. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun?ref=seealso">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a>)</p> <h2>1. Foraging</h2> <p>Next time you are looking for a new outdoor activity, follow your stomach. Not only is foraging free, you'll return home with free food, too!</p> <p>Before setting out, it's important to do some&nbsp;<a href="http://www.foragingguide.com/">foraging research.</a> You don't want to end up eating something gross, or worse, poisonous. Get informed and start out by going in search of a couple of specific items that grow in your area. With a little practice, you can find a variety of herbs, edible flowers, and even delicious mushrooms. Connect with other local foragers to get tips and learn where to look. You can even practice foraging if you <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/04/23/178603623/want-to-forage-in-your-city-theres-a-map-for-that">live in a city</a>!&nbsp;</p> <h2>2. Hiking</h2> <p>For the ultimate in outdoor exercise and adventure, go on a hike. Hikes come in all shapes and sizes, from short, leisurely affairs on well-maintained trails, to intense up-and-down treks that are off the beaten path. Some lead to waterfalls or canyons, while others traverse hilltop neighborhoods.</p> <p>Start by researching hikes people are doing in your area. Decide what intensity you're up for, pack necessary supplies like water, and consider going with a friend or two. Many cities and colleges have hiking groups that meet up regularly to try different routes, and some parks even offer <a href="http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ranger-led-activities.htm">free guided hikes</a>. If you're an experienced hiker, try something different, like a full moon hike.</p> <h2>3. Bird Watching</h2> <p>It's easy to overlook the amazing variety of birds in our surroundings, but there's a good reason that bird watchers are so passionate about their hobby. Study up on local species online or at the library, and take a walk through the wilderness or a park to experience the startling diversity of this fauna first-hand. Start with a few common species, making it your goal to spot them while on your first expedition. There are <a href="http://www.audubon.org/audubon-near-you">Audubon centers</a> in most cities and in some parks, frequently offering free resources like talks, guided nature walks, and binocular rentals.</p> <h2>4. Outdoor Sports</h2> <p>Chances are you've already got the items needed for a fun outdoor game. Take your bike out for a spin on a new route. Grab some friends, scraps of cloth (cut from old t-shirts or a sheet), and play a game of capture the flag. Cut the cloth smaller, and find yourself a football for a game of flag football. Use a round ball to play kickball, or gather various smaller balls to play bocce. Ask your friends what items they have available and pool your resources to play any number of games. It's a great way to spend a sunny day in the park or someone's backyard.</p> <h2>5. Star Gazing</h2> <p>How often do you stop and really look up at the night sky? It can be a beautiful and humbling experience, and is further enriched by a bit of knowledge. Find a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html">star chart</a> for your location and the appropriate month, perch yourself on a good vantage point, and see what stars you can identify. There are a few night sky apps with free versions that help you identify stars by pointing your smartphone at the sky. If you are astronomically inclined, check out your local observatory. They frequently have free programs and many host regular star watching groups where you can peer through a telescope zoomed in on current points of interest.</p> <h2>6. Geocaching</h2> <p>If you own a smartphone or GPS and feel like having a bit of an adventure on your own, try geocaching. This is basically a <a href="https://www.geocaching.com">tech-savvy scavenger hunt</a>, featuring items hidden all over, especially in major cities. Just open up the app and see if there are geocaches near you. Use your GPS to navigate and get ready to hunt for your chosen geocache. Once you've found a geocache, explore what's hidden inside, sign your name in the log, and share your experience online. The app is free, and more advanced geocaches are available with a paid upgrade.</p> <p><em>What free outdoors adventures do you enjoy?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-outdoor-adventures-that-dont-cost-a-dime">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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-adventurous-things-you-should-do-before-you-die">15 Adventurous Things You Should Do Before You Die</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-awesome-things-you-can-do-this-weekend-for-under-10">18 Awesome Things You Can Do This Weekend for Under $10</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-old-school-things-that-make-summer-summer">10 Old-School Things That Make Summer SUMMER!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Green Living adventures camping cheap thrills hiking outdoors Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:00:09 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1316475 at http://www.wisebread.com Single Parent? Try These 10 Tricks for Entertaining Kids on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father-son-soccer-park-Dollarphotoclub_61127791.jpg" alt="father son soccer" title="father son soccer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Single parents are challenged with finding ways to cut costs wherever they can, and that reaches into so many aspects of everyday life.</p> <p>Today, one of the trickiest challenges I am faced with is how to keep my kids entertained on a budget. Sure, the TV and Xbox could keep them amused for hours on end, but I don't want to have them zoning out in front of the tube. So, with very little money for entertaining, how do you keep the young ones happy and fulfilled? Here are some ideas that I use.</p> <h2>1. Get Baking</h2> <p>There are three reasons that this is a great way to pass the time with your kids.</p> <p>First, you're teaching them a practical skill that they can use later.</p> <p>Second, you're saving money. By baking your own breads, cookies and cakes, you're not spending money on pre-packaged goods full of additives and preservatives.</p> <p>And most important of all, it's actually a lot of fun &mdash; kids love to help and get involved. They also like to see what their hard work has helped them achieve. When you taste those cookies, or a slice of warm banana bread, you'll enjoy their reactions as much as they enjoy the sweet treats.</p> <h2>2. Artwork Is a No Brainer</h2> <p>I don't just mean it's an obvious way to spend your time with the kids for next to nothing. It's also a chance to shut your brain off from all the hectic stresses of life, and be a kid again yourself.</p> <p>Set up the dining room table with paper, crayons, paints, markers, and anything else they need to be creative. Then, join in &mdash; don't just leave them to it. This is good bonding time, and you will enjoy yourself just as much as they do. I like to frame pieces of artwork that my kids have created (I only ever pay $1 for my frames at thrift stores) and have created a gallery we're all proud of.</p> <h2>3. Set Up a Home Spa</h2> <p>My girls are 10 and 8, and they love being pampered. I'm a guy, but I'm not afraid to get out the nail polish and curling irons. Put on some relaxing music, let them feel like the princesses they are, and get creative with it. You can make their nails look like bees, ladybugs, or chalkboards &mdash; it's all very easy after a while and tons of fun for everyone. And if you have little boys, don't think they don't deserve something similar. My toddler wanted his nails painted a boy-approved black and blue, and I obliged. He loved it. Older boys may not be interested, but spray-in hair colors and waxes can give you some punkish results.</p> <h2>4. The Library Is Your Friend</h2> <p>There is more to the library than just books and movies. Your library often has special events, including authors who will read aloud from their latest best sellers. They also have movie screenings, and host discussion groups and fun family activities afterwards.</p> <h2>5. Go to Museums and Parks on Free Days</h2> <p>Every museum and park will give out free passes on certain days of the year. Mark these days down on the calendar, and when they arrive, make sure you get the kids there to experience nature, or to learn about art, history, and geography.</p> <h2>6. Decorate a Bedroom</h2> <p>You can buy a few cans of &quot;oops paints&quot; for 70-80% off the regular price. Dig around whenever you're in a home improvement store, and if you find the perfect shade, you can repaint their bedrooms for under $20. But, do it with them &mdash; the older kids can do some of the big painting, while the younger kids love helping out with smaller areas. Just make sure they have on old clothes, and you have a drop cloth down. Let them have fun with it. They will love helping you paint their own room.</p> <h2>7. Volunteer</h2> <p>It's a great way to fill their time, and get them learning about life. A pet shelter is a good cause to start with. They will love seeing all the animals, and helping out with food, cuddles, and walks. You could also see if other local charities have space open for kid volunteers. It's wonderful to give back to the community, and it gives kids a sense of accomplishment and pride.</p> <h2>8. Visit a Cheap Movie Theater</h2> <p>Yes, these theaters get the movies long after the major chains have shown them. So what?! Kids shouldn't care about being the first to see it. Mine certainly don't. What they do love is the chance to go and see a new release (and it's way more affordable than seeing first-run flicks). On a recent visit to the movies, I saw <em>Big Hero 6</em> with my three kids. I bought them popcorn and slurpies, plus we shared a bag of Twizzlers. The entire outing cost a mere $29. Try doing that at a full price theater.</p> <h2>9. Get Out the Board Games</h2> <p>Sure, we live in an electronic world &mdash; but does that mean those great board games have to gather dust in the basement or garage? Dedicate one night a week to games. You can find used (and often new) board games at thrift stores for as little as $2; just check to see if they have all the pieces first. Your kids will enjoy spending time with you in a way that is more stimulating than just sitting in front of the TV.</p> <h2>10. Just&hellip; Play!</h2> <p>Hide and seek. Soccer. Tag. Charades. Twister. Name that tune. Your kids will not want to play with you forever, so cherish the times they want to be around you. You may often find yourself saying &quot;Oh, I'm too old for that.&quot; Shame on you. Sylvester Stallone is a senior citizen and he's jumping out of planes and fighting bad guys. It's just a bit of fun around the house. Who knows&hellip; you may actually enjoy yourself more than they do!</p> <p><em>Are you a single parent? In what creative, low-cost ways do you keep the kids entertained?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget">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/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</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/11-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-from-thrift-stores">11 Ways to Earn Extra Cash From Thrift Stores</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/free-ways-to-celebrate-mothers-day">Free Ways to Celebrate Mother&#039;s Day</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/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day">14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine&#039;s Day</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/5-romantic-inexpensive-anniversary-celebrations">5 Romantic, Inexpensive Anniversary Celebrations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family Lifestyle entertaining kids entertainment parenting single parents Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:31:15 +0000 Paul Michael 1285774 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-restaurant-beach-Dollarphotoclub_67762409.jpg" alt="young woman restaurant" title="young woman restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco continue to dazzle and delight foodies, many cities are in the midst of a culinary renaissance that is not to be missed, and often at far lower prices than these more expensive traditional foodie towns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-americas-awesomest-cheap-cities?ref=seealso">10 of America's Awesomest Cheap Cities</a>)</p> <p>Artisanal food, locavore, and farm-to-table movements are spreading like wildfire to every corner of the U.S. So here are seven U.S. cities that will make your taste buds and tummy happy without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>1. Orlando, Florida</h2> <p>Wait, what? Isn't Central Florida home to strip malls and fast food establishments galore? Well, yes, it is. But it's also got a burgeoning food scene that's getting national attention. <a href="https://www.eastendmkt.com/">East End Market</a> is an artisan market occupied by local food entrepreneurs in the newly revitalized Mills 50 District. <a href="http://www.caskandlarder.com/">Cask &amp; Larder</a> and <a href="http://txokoskitchen.com/">Txokos Basque Kitchen</a> have garnered James Beard Award nominations, and Iron Chef Morimoto will open a flagship operation of his widely-acclaimed sushi restaurant in the new Disney Springs. If you're a frugal foodie, Orlando is a place that should be on your &quot;to visit&quot; list.</p> <h2>2. Grand Rapids, Michigan</h2> <p>Grand Rapids is a scenic and charming city situated on the Grand River. The <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/about-grand-rapids/colleges-universities/secchia-institute-for-culinary-education/">Secchia Institute for Culinary Education</a> at Grand Rapids Community College is one of the country's top culinary schools, so it's no wonder that the food scene here is hopping. For the latest in food trends, head to <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/things-to-do/shopping/downtown-market/">Downtown Market Grand Rapids</a>. Only two years old, it offers a full year indoor market full of artisan food businesses as well as a huge outdoor summer market and culinary events of all shapes and sizes.</p> <p>Craft breweries are a big deal in this city and include gems such as Founder's Brewing, <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/listings/HopCat/5636/0/0/">HopCat</a>, <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/listings/Grand-Rapids-Brewing-Company/5720/0/0/">Grand Rapids Brewing Company</a>, and <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/listings/The-B-O-B-/2004/0/0/">The B.O.B</a>.</p> <p>The fertile soil of Western Michigan creates one of the finest growing regions in the country. For this reason it's <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/restaurants/farm-to-fork/">home to numerous farm-to-table restaurants</a> that make dinner a difficult, and delicious, choice.</p> <h2>3. Madison, Wisconsin</h2> <p>Love farmer's markets? Then you need to check out Madison. With a young and highly educated population, the <a href="https://madisonfarmersmarket.com/">Saturday Farmers' Market in Madison</a> is one of the largest in the country with 200+ farmers selling their freshest crops and food products. Additionally, there is also the Dane County Farmers' Market, Eastside Farmers' Market, Northside Farmers' Market, and South Madison Farmers' Market. And you thought all they made in Wisconsin was cheese!</p> <h2>4. Boise, Idaho</h2> <p>People in Boise are known for their friendliness and easygoing ways. The food scene reflects that with its many casual and welcoming dining options. <a href="http://cafevicino.com/">Cafe Vicinio</a> serves up delectable Italian eats. Winemaking is making a big splash in Boise thanks to local businesses like <a href="http://boise.coop/wineshop/">Boise Co-op Wine Shop</a>. With the third largest Basque population (outside of Spain and Argentina), Basque cuisine is thriving. <a href="http://www.bargernika.com/">Bar Gernika</a> is a wonderful stop situated right in an area known as Basque Block.</p> <h2>5. Cincinnati, Ohio</h2> <p>Cincinnati chili is one of my favorite varieties of chili, but this city is now known for much more than that when it comes to culinary innovation. The pulled pork at <a href="http://elisbarbeque.com/">Eli's</a>, the finest French croissants and quiches at <a href="http://jrtable.com/french-crust-cafe/">French Crust Cafe</a>, and the authentic Indian food available in every neighborhood across the city prove that Cincinnati has diversity and imagination in its many bustling kitchens.</p> <h2>6. Reno, Nevada</h2> <p>Nevada has another city besides Las Vegas? It sure does! Convenient to Lake Tahoe, Reno showcases its unique culinary scene through its many and varied farmers' markets, local eateries, and cafes. There are so many to mention and visit that it's best to just <a href="http://www.ediblerenotahoe.com/2012-01-27-04-24-16/eat-local-guide">check out this link</a> to see what's on offer that speaks to your taste buds.</p> <h2>7. New Orleans, Louisiana</h2> <p>You'd really have to work hard to eat badly in New Orleans. This city is just as famous for its food as it is for its music, mystery, and revelry. A beignet and a chicory coffee at <a href="http://www.cafedumonde.com/">Cafe Du Monde</a> is the best way to start any morning. Then it's a seafood, gumbo, and cajun paradise around every corner. You can eat well for very little money in New Orleans though it offers a huge variety of price options to fit every budget: the fried chicken stand at <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/brothers-food-mart-new-orleans-4">Brothers Food Mart</a>, mid-range <a href="http://boucherie-nola.com/">Boucherie</a>, and fancy <a href="http://www.restaurantaugust.com/">Restaurant August</a> are some of the most popular food meccas in a city that reveres and celebrates cuisine with wild abandon.</p> <p><em>Have you found culinary gems for a small price tag in your city? Please share your recommendations 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/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</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/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more">12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More</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/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-budget">7 Tricks for Enjoying Fine Dining on a Budget</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/do-you-practice-math-when-you-leave-a-tip">Do You Practice Math When You Leave a Tip?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink Cheap Food dining out foodie restaurants Tue, 10 Feb 2015 10:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1286591 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine's Day http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-valentines-day-breakfast-Dollarphotoclub_73459350_0.jpg" alt="couple valentines day" title="couple valentines day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're rolling your eyes at the fact that you have to loosen your wallet once again so soon after Christmas, you're not alone. Because while Valentine's Day is an excellent excuse to concentrate on reconnecting with our significant others, it's also a day that we've come to dread because of the anticipated cost of expressing such love.</p> <p>This year, however, you don't have to be a slave to the dollar sign if you're willing to put in a bit of thoughtfulness, creativity and time. Check out these 14 ways to celebrate your better half without going broke &mdash; then add your own low-cost ideas in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Skip the Restaurant &mdash; Prepare a Home-Cooked Meal</h2> <p>My husband once tried to take me to dinner on Valentine's Day without a reservation. That's all I'll say about the situation since I'm pretty sure you can figure out how it went down after that. To avoid being frustrated and annoyed on Two-Fourteen, we now skip dining out altogether and opt to make a homemade meal instead &mdash; but one decidedly more fancy than an ordinary night's dinner.</p> <p>David Bakke, entertainment expert at personal-finance site <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/valentines-day-date-ideas/%3E">Money Crashers</a>, is on my side with this one &mdash; and he offers a few additional ideas on how to make the night extra special.</p> <p>&quot;If you take the time in choosing the menu &mdash; bonus if you go with your partner's favorite &mdash; you won't lose out on the sentiment, &quot; Bakke says. &quot;Plus, you'll avoid the crowds and save money. You could also build a fire and rent a few romantic movies to make the evening special while keeping costs in line.&quot;</p> <p>If you're not exactly a whiz in the kitchen, don't fret just yet. There are plenty of apps available to walk you through the cooking process. <a href="http://www.sidechef.com">SideChef</a>, in particular, is an ideal resource for step-by-step instructions on how to prepare wow-inducing meals like <a href="http://www.garlicandzest.com/bourbon-marinated-flank-steak">Bourbon-marinated flank steak</a>,<a href="http://hapanom.com/herb-roasted-cornish-game-hen/"> herb-roasted Cornish game hen</a>, and <a href="http://www.expatcucina.com/2012/10/26/lemon-baked-cod-fish/">lemon-baked cod fish</a>.</p> <h2>2. Use Daily Deals for Discounts If You'd Like to Dine Out</h2> <p>If you're a gambler and want to roll the dice by dining out on Valentine's Day, at least hedge your bets by picking up a daily-deal discount, says Bakke.</p> <p>&quot;If you want to visit a restaurant, use the websites Groupon or LivingSocial to find 50% off vouchers to local eateries,&quot; he suggests.</p> <p>But buyer beware: Some of the vouchers make have blackout dates that include holidays like Valentine's Day, so be sure to read the fine print before purchasing the discount.</p> <h2>3. Make a Handcrafted Valentine From a Favorite Memory</h2> <p>I'd much rather receive a handmade gift &mdash; even if it looks like it was made by the three-year-old trapped inside my husband's body &mdash; than an arbitrary gift that equates cost to affection. And there are innumerable ways you can make something from the heart.</p> <p>&quot;Print out a photo of your favorite memory together and glue some embellishments to an inexpensive frame,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.krazyglue.com/product/details/krazy-glue-20g-craft-gel#.VL1TSEfF-mE%3E">suggests a rep at Krazy Glue</a>. &quot;This cost-effective gift is made with love and shows how thoughtful you can be.&quot;</p> <p>Alecsy Christensen, Miss Utah USA finalist and author of the blog <a href="http://www.glittergatsby.com">Glitter Gatsby</a>, offers another dynamic idea.</p> <p>&quot;Show your valentine how much you care by gifting something special anyone can make,&quot; she says. &quot;My Valentine's Day gift idea would be '52 Things I Love About You' on a deck of cards. Write something you love about your loved one on a piece of paper, glue it to a card, do this for all 52 cards, and hole punch all the cards together and secure the cards with binder rings.&quot;</p> <p>These are gifts that keep on giving for years to come, and they let your partner know that they're worth your time and effort.</p> <h2>4. Complete Unfinished Projects Around the House in the Name of Love</h2> <p>In lieu of a gift this year, get to work and earn your partner's affect instead of buying it. Revisit your &quot;Honey Do&quot; list to see what projects still need to be completed around the house &mdash; surely there's a thing or two that needs a little TLC. You can kill two birds with one stone by going this route, if your partner appreciates the man (or woman) hours you put in.</p> <h2>5. Plan a Romantic Movie Night in With Valentine's-Inspired Snacks</h2> <p>Movie nights are a staycation staple, but they're perfectly acceptable (even better, I think) on Valentine's Day. Let your partner pick the flicks &mdash; or share the title-choosing responsibility &mdash; and prepare a few easy-to-make snacks to enjoy during the screenings. Try this <a href="https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=8447">peanut butter and chocolate-drizzled popcorn recipe</a> with only 190 calories per one cup serving, these <a href="http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2012/01/cherry-marshmallow-rice-krispy-treats/">cherry-marshmallow Rice Krispies treats</a> (which also include M&amp;Ms!), or candy shop-quality <a href="http://mrsfoxssweets.blogspot.com/2012/01/chocolate-dipped-valentines-pretzels.html">chocolate-covered Valentine's pretzel sticks</a>.</p> <h2>6. Plan a Low-Cost &quot;Experience&quot; Date to Facilitate Interaction</h2> <p>Doing is much better than saying &mdash; which is why you two need to get out and about to show your affection instead of exchanging it verbally.</p> <p>Zina Kumok, author of the blog <a href="http://www.debtfreeafterthree.com/">Debt Free After Three</a>, agrees.</p> <p>&quot;Experiences are always more valuable than things so instead of buying gifts for Valentine's Day, we try to do things together,&quot; she says. &quot;Last year we went to an arcade together. We played lots of games together and it was so fun doing something silly for a couple hours. On the way back we stopped by a flea market and walked around. It should be more about celebrating your relationship than getting a gift.&quot;</p> <p>Josh Aaron, author of the blog <a href="http://www.tobuildmyown.com">To Build My Own</a>, feels similarly.</p> <p>&quot;Don't spend anything at all,&quot; he says. &quot;Instead, give your girl an experience. Take her to watch the sunset, cook her a light but tasty dinner, use candles and romantic music, and dance with her a little bit. The key is to make her feel special. Expensive gifts help, but they aren't better than meaningful experiences that show her you care.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Get Creative and Shake Things Up in the Bedroom</h2> <p>One of the best parts of Valentine's Day is the facilitation of intimacy that's often put on the back burner the rest of the year. This year, kick your bedroom antics up a notch and get creative. I can't go into too much detail in this regard (family blog and all), but I'm sure if you put your mind to it you can put together a night to remember.</p> <h2>8. Hold Off on Buying Jewelry Until After Valentine's Day</h2> <p>Offers.com savings expert Amber Sager says &quot;if you're planning to buy jewelry for your Valentine, hold off until <em>after</em> February 14. Right after Valentine's Day, the demand for jewelry goes way down, and retailers supply huge discounts to attract customers.&quot;</p> <p>This is a tricky tactic, because what's the point of giving a gift after Valentine's Day, right? But if your partner is flexible and understanding and loves to save a few dollars just like you do, waiting to buy jewelry until the holiday has passed may result in significant savings.</p> <p>I think this is something you two should discuss in advance, however &mdash; sure, it won't be a surprise, but it's much better than saying nothing and giving nothing on February 14; disappointment will abound &mdash; so you're both on the same page in terms of expectations and perhaps can plan an alternative activity in the meantime.</p> <h2>9. Compare Prices Before You Buy Your Valentine's Gifts</h2> <p>You compare prices on almost everything else you buy &mdash; or at least you should &mdash; so why wouldn't you do it when trying to find an ideal Valentine's gift?</p> <p>&quot;Just because you found one bouquet for $100 doesn't mean it costs that much everywhere,&quot; Sager points out. &quot;Offers.com has a <a href="http://www.offers.com/valentines-day/">Valentine's Day Savings Center</a> that allows you to compare the best deals and coupons for Valentine's Day, and we update it with the best offers daily.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Create a Coupon Book That Your Significant Other Can Redeem From You</h2> <p>This is another tried-and-true low-cost gift that puts more of an emphasis on doing rather than saying.</p> <p>About an action-inspired coupon book, Sarah Edison of <a href="http://www.theloveyourjobproject.com">The Love Your Job Project</a> says some of &quot;the best Valentines Day gifts are the least expensive. The best I had was a homemade book of 'coupons' (things that my significant other would do for me), such as one free hour-long massage, no laundry duty for a week, a homemade dinner, car wash and vacuum, breakfast in bed, and other romantic gestures that don't really cost anything. This can be a great gift because it is creative and unique to your relationship.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Satisfy His or Her Valentine's Sweet Tooth With From-Scratch Baked Goods</h2> <p>Take note, gentlemen: If you ever have the pleasure of dating me in the future, you'll always win my heart with freshly baked cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries. Hope you like 'em pudgy.</p> <p>Seriously though, if you're an aspiring baker, start with these decadent, easy-to-make <a href="http://recipeforperfection.com/ultimate-deep-dish-brownies-recipe/">Ultimate Deep Dish Brownies</a> from Katie Moseman, writer at Recipe for Perfection, to make the holiday all the more delicious.</p> <h2>12. Try the $1 Anti-Commercialism Valentine's Challenge</h2> <p>Valentine's Day for $1? Seems unlikely, but if you take your cue from Angela Reed-Fox and her husband, both directors of a<a href="http://www.foxcycling.com"> cycling center in the UK</a>, you can do it &mdash; and have some fun while you're at it.</p> <p>&quot;For several years, my husband and I have taken the $1 challenge. This is mainly because he thinks V-Day is a day for businesses to make guilt money out of men, and partly because being original says 'I love you' more than picking up flowers from the garage on your way home,&quot; she says. &quot;A couple of ideas we've done in the past is an 'I love you' box &mdash; an inexpensive wooden box filled with tiny little scrolls printed with 'I love you' reasons &mdash; some of them mainstream, some more bizarre. Or using sticky notes to plant 'I love you' messages everywhere. Seriously, everywhere! That sucker in the bottom of the hole punch took months to find &mdash; but having 'I love yous' popping up well after the day itself leaves you with a lovely, warm glow.&quot;</p> <h2>13. Spring for the Practical Household Gift That Was Already on Your List</h2> <p>Instead of buying a present that doesn't have a true function, decide together that this year's Valentine's gift will be something that you both want to make your lives more convenient or something that you need to replace an old, perhaps non-working household item.</p> <p>&quot;Don't waste your money on flowers that are perishable or a fancy box of chocolate that will probably be misinterpreted because of added pregnancy weight,&quot; advises Zaida Khaze, mother of two and inventor of the <a href="http://www.wiggletot.com">Wiggletot Diaper Changer</a>. &quot;Be economical, buy the gift you already intended to buy for the home that will help save you money.&quot;</p> <h2>14. Just Go With the Flow and Find the Extra in the Ordinary</h2> <p>This is by far the best solution to saving money on Valentine's Day that I've heard in a long time. It's cute, clever, and these two seem to embrace the irony of such a simple outing on a day that otherwise can be taken over the top.</p> <p>&quot;A few years back my girlfriend (now fiance) and I were shopping at Costco on Valentine's Day,&quot; recalls Brent C., founder of personal-finance site <a href="http://www.vosa.com">Vosa.com</a> and all around awesome boyfriend. &quot;After shopping we were talking about where to go for dinner. We mutually decided on getting hot dogs at Costco, which I think are $1.50. We sat there, talked and laughed while enjoying our $3 Valentine's dinner. This has now become a tradition that we do every year, although sometimes we do spring for the chicken fingers, which totally blows the $3 budget. We make it fun, and I often joke throughout the year and especially as Valentine's Day gets closer that I better call to reserve the 'best table by the tire section' before someone else does. This year we'll be in San Diego over Valentine's Day and we are already planning our Costco hot dog dinner date &mdash; and we're planning to get a $1 churro for desert!</p> <p>&quot;I think it's possible for anyone to find fun ways to share the sentiment without breaking the bank,&quot; he continues. &quot;It's all about making it about the experience rather than the price of the dinner and wine.&quot;</p> <p>Touché. Let's all take a page from Brent's playbook this year.</p> <p><em>Do you have low- or no-cost Valentine's ideas to add? Let us 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/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day">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/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget">Single Parent? Try These 10 Tricks for Entertaining Kids on a Budget</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/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget">From $5 to $30+, Date Ideas for Every Budget</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-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer">8 Holiday Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cheer</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-cheapest-dates-that-dont-seem-so-cheap">9 Cheapest Dates That Don&#039;t Seem So Cheap</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/8-ways-to-save-on-a-first-date-without-looking-cheap">8 Ways to Save on a First Date Without Looking Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle cheap dates entertainment Holidays romance Valentine's Day Fri, 06 Feb 2015 18:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1285755 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 of the Most Costly New Year's Eve Parties Ever http://www.wisebread.com/8-of-the-most-costly-new-years-eve-parties-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-of-the-most-costly-new-years-eve-parties-ever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-people-party-Dollarphotoclub_52499954.jpg" alt="young people party" title="young people party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Well, it's 2015. And for many of us, looking at the credit card receipts is a nasty reminder of how much the holiday season actually cost us. In particular, New Year's Eve is often a very pricey affair. Many clubs and bars know they can charge a small fortune &mdash; and people will pay it. From the cover, to bottle service and appetizers, you can ring in the New Year with an empty wallet and an IOU.</p> <p>But if you feel bad about what you spent on New Year's Eve, you should see what some people have spent in the past. With that in mind, here are eight of the most expensive New Year's Eve parties ever held.</p> <h2>1. Roman Abramovich's $7.6 Million Bash</h2> <p>In 2010, the Russian oligarch decided to <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/stbartsfrenchantilles/8987717/Secrets-of-Roman-Abramovichs-5m-New-Years-Eve-bash.html">throw quite the party</a> at his $90 million estate. He booked the Red Hot Chili Peppers to provide the music for the evening. Most guests stayed on board his 536 foot super-yacht <em>Eclipse</em>, while others got the 377 foot yacht <em>Luna</em>. Supposedly, guests included George Lucas, Marc Jacobs, Jon Bon Jovi, and Jimmy Choo. There was plenty of caviar and sushi to go around. And it was all washed down with Cristal and Ruinart champagne. Of course, you and I had about as much chance of being on that guest list as we do of winning the lottery.</p> <h2>2. Hakkasan Las Vegas &mdash; $500,000 Bottle Service</h2> <p>Touted as 2014's &quot;Most Expensive Bottle Service in the World&quot; (and yes, to some that is a selling point), the Hakkasan asked for half a million dollars for bottle service. But of course, this aptly named &quot;<a href="http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2013/05/armand-de-brignac-launches-500k-dynastie/">Dynastie</a> Package&quot; was no ordinary service. A staff of 40 was there to wait on you and your friends hand and foot. You were served the finest champagne, including the 30-liter Midas by Armand de Brignac. You also received diamond jewelry, a gold disc signed by DJ Calvin Harris, and a custom made UFC belt. That's value for money right there!</p> <h2>3. New Year's Eve Twice in One Night &mdash; $210,000</h2> <p>Most people think one New Year's Eve party is enough. But a company called Private Fly thought they could go one better, and offer the New Year twice. <a href="http://www.privatefly.com/press-releases/celebrate-new-years-eve-twice-in-one-night.html">For $210,000, or $14,000 per person</a>, you start your New Year at 8 p.m. &mdash; in Sydney, Australia. Once you've seen in the New Year in style, at the Sydney Opera House, you and the crew board a private jet and fly back across the time zones to Los Angeles. Then, you do it all over again! This is not a party for those without stamina&hellip; or a massive amount of money. Of course, you could always take out a loan, and have a story to impress people for years to come.</p> <h2>4. Dr. Stephen Greenberg's Plastic Surgery Event &mdash; $100,000</h2> <p>You really can't make this stuff up. In 2009, a plastic surgeon by the name of Dr. Stephen Greenberg decided to announce the &quot;<a href="http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Boobs-Brody-and-the-Beach-An-Expensive-New-Years-in-Miami-80207032.html">Nation's Most Expensive New Year's Eve Package</a>.&quot; For $100k, you got three tables for concerts by Lady Gaga, John Legend, and Brody Jenner (umm, yay?). You received first class round trip tickets from New York to Miami, with a choice of penthouses at 5-star hotels in South Beach&hellip; for a month! And to top it all, the ladies got free boobs! That's right, breast augmentation was included in the package, with a 24-hour nurse, unlimited spa treatments, and a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce. Talk about bang for your buck.</p> <h2>5. Cameo Nightclub, Miami 2013 &mdash; $100,000</h2> <p>This one doesn't seem anywhere near the bargain of Dr. Greenberg's bash. No free plastic surgery or month-long stays in 5-star hotels. What you got for your <a href="http://www.wantickets.com/Events/144199/-LIL-WAYNE-NYE-Celebration-at-CAMEO-Nightclub-3-Hr-Open-Bar/">$100k was a VIP package</a> that included a night at a recording studio with rap superstar Lil Wayne and four of your friends, 50 bottles of Rose Champagne, 10 bottles of GT Vodka, 10 bottles of Patron, and five bottles of Hennessy VS. Of course, the price of the liquor retail is a fraction of the price of admission, so this was really more about status; and Lil Wayne, of course. Oh, and the price did not include the $6,000 service fee!</p> <h2>6. Gansevoort Turks &amp; Caicos &mdash; $100,000</h2> <p>A hundred-thousand seems to be a popular price point for the rich on New Year's Eve. <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-100000-new-years-eve-for-2012-2011-12">This event in 2011</a>, however, was not for a crowd; it was for just two people, coming in at $50,000 per head. For that money, you got the royal treatment. The pampering included private jet service, an Oceanfront penthouse suite, a personal chef, conch diving, VIP pool service, spa treatments, cashmere blankets, and a whole lot more. For $50k, it should have included a car. Each.</p> <h2>7. The Fountainbleu Hotel, Miami &mdash; $25,000</h2> <p>This was back in 2011, and for the money you got a lot. Actually, not really. You got to party poolside with four <a href="http://www.stationplazawine.com/r/products/belvedere-vodka?">Magnums of Belvedere Vodka</a> (under $80 a bottle retail), four Magnums of <a href="http://www.thefind.com/food/browse-dom-perignon-magnum#page=1&amp;filter[sortby]=price_asc&amp;local=0">Dom Perignon</a> (about $150 a bottle retail on the low end) and <a href="http://tiesto.com/">Tiesto</a> was the DJ. Seems a whole lot of money for some cheap booze and a bit of dance music. But the event was extremely successful.</p> <h2>8. R Lounge, Times Square &mdash; $17,000</h2> <p><a href="http://rloungetimessquare.com/newyearseve/eventdetails.html">That price was for four people,</a> so two couples were really &quot;only&quot; paying $8,500 each. The price was supposedly so high because you got a fabulous view of the ball dropping. Your ticket included a meet and greet in the Cosmopolitan Room, hors d'oeuvres and dinner, sweets, gift bags, and a butler passed breakfast. The event also included an open bar, but if you were planning to stagger back to the hotel afterwards, you had to pay even more for a room. That would set you back an additional $1,400, as the lowest priced rooms were $699 with a two-night minimum. Ouch.</p> <p><em>How much did your New Year's Eve set you back?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-of-the-most-costly-new-years-eve-parties-ever">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/5-frugal-non-depressing-ways-to-spend-nye">5 Frugal, Non-Depressing Ways to Spend NYE</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/how-to-host-a-great-new-years-eve-party-for-cheap">How to Host a Great New Year&#039;s Eve Party for Cheap</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/4-ways-to-avoid-awkward-moments-at-white-elephant-parties">4 Ways to Avoid Awkward Moments at White Elephant Parties</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/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about">5 Fun, Cheap Party Games You Didn&#039;t Know About</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/17-dos-and-donts-to-ensure-a-happy-new-years-eve">14 Dos and Don&#039;ts to Ensure a Happy New Year&#039;s Eve</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment expensive parties New Year's Eve parties Mon, 12 Jan 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1278543 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons January Is the Right Time to Start Planning for Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-thinking-christmas-Dollarphotoclub_57994542.jpg" alt="woman thinking christmas" title="woman thinking christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To ensure that I always spend the last month of the year relaxing, I start prepping for the holidays in January.</p> <p>I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out.</p> <p>December has always been the big travel month for me. When I was a single lady, celebrating New Year's Eve overseas was my yearly tradition. As a married lady, my husband and I still try and reserve the month of December for vacations. What this means is that I have no time in December to waste on holiday prep.</p> <p>Here's how I get it all done earlier in the year.</p> <h2>1. It's All on Display So I Might as Well Look It Over Now</h2> <p>January is the perfect time to purge unloved decorations. Instead of mindlessly packing away all the Christmas lights, decorations, and ornaments in a post-holiday stupor, I take the time now to sort through my Christmas supplies. Before I stuff things back into the garage, I ask myself if I really love and use everything that I am storing for the next 11 months. For example, my husband brought beautiful mantel hooks into our marriage. I loved them, but our current house doesn't have a fireplace, so I sold them to a neighbor. No mantel also means we have no place to hang Christmas stockings either. Out they went. Also, why spend the time hanging and removing Christmas lights every year when we can use the white twinkle lights year round to light our garden? My husband loves decorating the house for Christmas, but we've gone from four bins down to one bin of holiday supplies that we have to store every year.</p> <h2>2. January Is the Perfect Time to Declutter the House</h2> <p>Why is my New Year's Resolution always &quot;Get Organized?&quot; Because I live in a tiny house with two tiny closets, it's always a challenge to find space to store anything in Dinky Manor. I use my holiday gifts as a way to jumpstart my organizing goals for the year. Since I literally have to get rid of things to make space for new gifts, January is always about assessing what material goods actually bring joy to my life right now as opposed to more dusting.</p> <p>On a side note, since books are my storage Waterloo, every year on New Year's Day I host a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">book swap party</a> for all my favorite bookworms. Everyone brings the books that have been cluttering their shelves and dumps them on the communal table. Party guests take home whatever books they want for free. All the leftover books are donated to the Public Library Book Drive. I try to start every year with one empty shelf so I have space for new ideas.</p> <h2>3. After Christmas Sales Are the Work of the Clutter Devil</h2> <p>Many money advisers talk up buying Christmas supplies for next Christmas during January's post-Christmas sales as a way to save on the holiday budget. While January is definitely the time to stock up on cheap replacement twinkle lights, I make every effort to resist buying holiday specific décor, wrapping paper, or stationery, regardless of how deeply discounted the sale prices, because then I have to find a place to store it all year.</p> <p>More importantly, shiny wrapping paper isn't recyclable. It becomes garbage very quickly. Instead of buying wrapping paper, I try to find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reusable-gift-wrapping-the-wrap-that-keeps-on-giving">greener alternatives</a>. And, nothing is cheaper than something I already own.</p> <p>For the record I will state that there is no shame is ironing the wrinkles out of used tissue paper.</p> <p>I'm also a fan of wrapping luxury gifts like jewelry and cashmere sweaters in cereal boxes or tea tins for an extra layer of surprise. This year I used pages from the Arabic edition of the Financial Times, National Geographic maps, and old color copies of film location photos to wrap gifts.</p> <h2>4. Transform This Year's Cards Into Next Year's New Holiday Ephemera</h2> <p>I know. Even by my own standards Christmas cards are a waste of trees and money. But <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/stationery-addiction-support-group-52-weeks-52-letters-challenge/">I love stationery</a>. Also, I can't decorate my home with holiday emails.</p> <p>Since I'm <strike>a masochist</strike> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">crafty</a>, I use old Christmas cards to create new cards with careful cutting and pasting. This year I went crazy with the glitter and the wavy scissors and turned some vintage Christmas cards into large gift tags that double as ornaments. (I got huge compliments on these.) Old cards and advent calendars can also be folded into gift boxes or holiday envelopes for wrapping small things.</p> <p>Instead of buying separate thank you cards, I cut the fronts off old Christmas cards and use them as holiday thank you postcards. (This requires some organization to avoid &quot;regifting&quot; cards to their original senders!)</p> <p>Used cards that don't make the literal cut for future Christmas crafts are donated to St. Jude's <a href="https://stjudesranch.org/about-us/recycled-card-program/">Recycled Card Program</a>.</p> <h2>5. It Is Never too Early to Start Making Peace Keeping Gifts</h2> <p>I married into a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity">ginormous Catholic family</a> who take Christmas very seriously. Early on I figured out that I can avoid uncomfortable conversations with my in-laws by wowing them with homemade gifts. Instead of listening to them talk about politics and death, our small talk is all about my latest relish recipe or how the shawl I made was the perfect Alaskan cruise accessory. For many people, knitting is seasonal because who wants to hold a furry, wool blanket on her lap when it's 100 degrees outside? Unfortunately, last-minute holiday knitting comes at a price for me: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I now practice preemptive needlework and complete one gift project a month, even in the dead heat of summer, instead of ruining my wrists by cramming it in when the temperatures dips in the fall.</p> <p>I also rely on easy, handmade, non-knitted gifts that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-to-make-deluxe-gifts-for-under-15">cost next to nothing</a> if planned in advance.</p> <h2>6. Saving Money for Holiday Travel Is a Year Long Endeavor</h2> <p>Last year, my husband and I went on a super-tight budget with the goal of paying down the mortgage on my rental property <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this">ten years early</a>. Although our Easter Island travel plans have been shelved for the foreseeable future due to this goal, we're still planning to fly cross-country to spend Christmas this year with friends and family on the East Coast. We will not be able to afford this trip unless we start budgeting for it <em>now</em>, as we've agreed that we won't take this trip unless we can pay for it without resorting to credit.</p> <p><em>Do you long for a stress-free holiday or do you love the Christmas frenzy? Make your argument in the comments section!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas">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/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season</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/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</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/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</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/do-this-one-thing-to-defeat-disorganization-forever">Do This One Thing to Defeat Disorganization Forever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Organization Christmas DIY Holidays planning resolutions saving Thu, 08 Jan 2015 18:00:19 +0000 Max Wong 1278204 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Host a Great New Year's Eve Party for Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-a-great-new-years-eve-party-for-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-host-a-great-new-years-eve-party-for-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-house-party-Dollarphotoclub_73976093.jpg" alt="friends house party" title="friends house party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hands down, New Year's Eve is my favorite holiday &mdash; and I've thrown some parties, y'all. Some of them have been major blowouts while others have been small gatherings. Personally, I prefer the intimate shindigs &mdash; and so does my wallet. If that's your goal this year &mdash; and it should be &mdash; this post is for you. Out with the old, in with the new, as they say. And here are several ways to shave a few bucks off the bill while you're at it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas?ref=seealso">Class Without Tons of Cash: Frugal Cocktail Party Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>Limit the Guest List to a Friendly Few</h2> <p>Sure, it's fun to invite all your friends and their friends and their friends' friends to your New Year's Eve party, but it requires a massive budget; that's a lot of mouths to feed, after all. In reality, every name on your guest list is a dollar sign, and the tighter you keep it, the less you'll have to spend. So instead of inviting the whole neighborhood and the next town over to your soiree, extend an invitation only to those few friends with whom you enjoy spending time and who are totally okay with a run-of-the-mill, at-least-we're-together end-of-the-year celebration. You'll have a better time entertaining seven people instead of running around trying to please 70.</p> <h2>Repurpose Your Christmas Decorations</h2> <p>You don't have to run out to the party store for New Year's Eve decorations if you already have Christmas swag. You can keep your holiday house like it is &mdash; less hassle; still festive &mdash; but if you want to give it a different look, get creative and repurpose your existing decorations. Instead of tons of color, concentrate on a simplified palate &mdash; think white, silver and gold &mdash; and decorate accordingly. Store the Santas for this fete and focus more on the seasonal aspect of the celebration and you're good to go.</p> <h2>Shop for Snacks in the Seasonal Section</h2> <p>The day after Christmas everything holiday related goes on sale &mdash; and that includes any food items in festive packaging. In the first few days after December 25th, you can expect at least 40% to 50% off, but if you wait until a day or two before New Year's Eve, you can probably score a greater discount. Normally I'd tell you that if you want the pick of the litter, it's ideal to scoop up the deals early (like right away), but that only applies to decorations and other Christmas paraphernalia. Festively packaged food items, on the other hand, tend to stick around until the very end of the post-holiday purge. Time your trip just right and you can feed your friends an incredible array of snacks for anywhere from 50% to 90% off the regular retail price. If that's not winning, I don't what is.</p> <h2>Cut Back on the Booze Selections</h2> <p>You and your friends will probably want to drink on New Year's Eve, and it's easy to bust your budget on buying enough alcohol to satiate their thirst. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you don't have to provide enough booze to get everyone blitzed out of their mind; you're not throwing a party at the Playboy Mansion. Secondly, what you serve is up to you &mdash; not them &mdash; so whatever you provide is at your discretion.</p> <p>I've found that a great middle ground is to offer beer and wine (domestic light beer and cheap bottles of wine are fine; I prefer Miller Lite and Barefoot, respectively), but if you want to offer liquor, I recommend creating a signature drink that reduces the number of bottles you'll have to buy while at the same time giving your party a personal touch. You also can give your guests the option of bringing their own booze. I always let my guests know what I'll have on hand and leave it up to them to bring a beverage of their choice if what I'm serving isn't exactly their favorite. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tasty-two-ingredient-cocktails?ref=seealso">20 Tasty Two Ingredient Cocktails</a>)</p> <h2>Skip the Full Meal and Serve Apps Instead</h2> <p>It's not cheap to feed a crowd these days, which is why you should forget about slaving over a hot stove to make a full-blown feast for your New Year's Eve guests. In addition to the deeply discounted snacks you scored, a selection of hot appetizers will suffice &mdash; and you can still totally pull off quantity <em>and</em> quality in this regard. Shop the warehouse clubs for party-size platters and frozen snacks that you can pop in the oven. Pizza also is a filling-but-affordable crowd pleaser. You can really save some dough by picking up premade crusts, sauce and cheese &mdash; you can make about six pizzas for under $20 if you shop smartly &mdash; that'll put smiles on everybody's faces.</p> <h2>Hack Your Way to Delicious Desserts</h2> <p>Every New Year's Eve party needs some sweet stuff, but you can go over budget very quickly if you're not careful. To throw a party for under $100, you need to avoid premade, store-bought desserts all together. That means alternatively you'll need to put on an apron and get in the kitchen, and even if that's not your strong suit you can churn out a few crowd-pleasers. Jell-O &mdash; both the gelatin and pudding &mdash; is cheap in the box, and you can use either one of those treats as<a href="http://www.jello.com/recipes/"> a base for all kinds desserts</a>. If you want to get a little fancier (still without spending much), try this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kingshawaiian.com/recipes/kings-hawaiian-cream-puffs/">recipe for easy-breezy cream puffs</a>.</p> <h2>Turn on the TV and Break Out the Board Games</h2> <p>Usually I'd tell you to turn off the TV when hosting a party, but New Year's Eve is an exception to that rule. Whether you're a traditionalist who likes to ring in January 1st with New Year's Rockin' Eve or a glutton for punishment with Anderson and Kathy, you'll find hours of festive entertainment that that'll not only provide a bit of background noise but also start a few conversations. Bring out some of your favorite board games too (you don't want guests occupied solely by the TV) for a few rounds of friendly competition. All this fun is for free.</p> <h2>Ask Your Guests to Bring a Bottle of Bubbly</h2> <p>In addition to limiting the booze selection you're offering, you may want to consider asking your guests to bring a bottle of bubbly. Most attendees will bring a host gift anyway, but by asking specifically for champagne you'll have more room in your budget for food, and it'll ensure that there's plenty of variety when it's time to clink glasses. Salud!</p> <p><em>Do you have more ideas on how to host a New Year's Eve party for cheap? 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/how-to-host-a-great-new-years-eve-party-for-cheap">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-11"> <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-of-the-most-costly-new-years-eve-parties-ever">8 of the Most Costly New Year&#039;s Eve Parties Ever</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/5-frugal-non-depressing-ways-to-spend-nye">5 Frugal, Non-Depressing Ways to Spend NYE</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/how-to-be-charming">How to be charming</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/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget</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/4-ways-to-avoid-awkward-moments-at-white-elephant-parties">4 Ways to Avoid Awkward Moments at White Elephant Parties</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cocktails hosting New Year's New Year's Eve parties Sat, 27 Dec 2014 10:00:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1273736 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Frugal, Non-Depressing Ways to Spend NYE http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-non-depressing-ways-to-spend-nye <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-frugal-non-depressing-ways-to-spend-nye" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-champagne-toast-Dollarphotoclub_49224664.jpg" alt="friends champagne toast" title="friends champagne toast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>New Year's Eve can be a dreaded holiday for both singles and frugal families. We all have friends who are jetting off to Vegas or going to the hottest boutique hotel's $250-a-head bash, but you don't have to!</p> <p>Here are five frugal, non-depressing ways to spend NYE:</p> <h2>1. Host a Champagne Potluck</h2> <p>This is a fun and less spendy way to host your own NYE party. Simply get those delicious and cheap hors d'oeuvres from <a href="http://www.favepages.com/list/eden/the-best-trader-joes-appetizers-to-serve-at-a-party">Trader Joe's</a>, or make your own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-easy-and-impressive-frozen-puff-pastry-recipes">cheap-to-make puff pastry treats</a>. Each person you invite brings different a type of bubbly: champagne, cava, prosecco, sparkling rose, anything. Have a tasting party right up until the ball drops! And the best part? <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-use-up-leftover-champagne">Lots of leftover champagne</a> for you!</p> <h2>2. Play a New Year's Eve Movie Marathon</h2> <p>Looking for a more casual way to host? Get all your pals together and marathon some favorite <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20483133_20333358_20718374,00.html">movies that feature New Year's Eve</a>, like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00003CXD3/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00003CXD3&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HVL4ARQQWXQXYONT">Trading Places</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00003CXDC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00003CXDC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SN2OIUAUA2MV2OAT">When Harry Met Sally</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000TS5CJW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000TS5CJW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MNLIR6DOU63DGTSB">Sleepless In Seattle</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0141000198/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0141000198&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XOGC4BKFMGGW5FX7">Bridget Jones' Diary</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000053VB0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000053VB0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OVJ2OUS3VCFRD3DO">The Cutting Edge</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/6305511020/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=6305511020&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=B7LIAQN6BEKY4L3T">200 Cigarettes</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005JL7Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005JL7Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DSRZAICKWK3NWBVD">About a Boy</a>, and more. Have fun drinking and heckling the movies together. Bonus: time one of the viewings to match up with the actual midnight countdown.</p> <h2>3. Attend Your City's Free Celebration</h2> <p>If you live in or near a major city, find out if your city has a &quot;first night&quot; or another kind of NYE celebration. For example, <a href="http://grandparkla.org/ai1ec_event/new-years-eve-la/">Los Angeles</a> has a well-known free celebration that attracts thousands. Simply Google &quot;NYE celebration [your city]&quot;. Take a lyft or public transit to the event (because parking will be a nightmare) and have fun! Have a family? This is might be your most cost effective option. Single? Bring a wingman/woman with you for maximum fun.</p> <h2>4. Hit the Ice Skating Rink</h2> <p>This is a great way to have fun with other people without dealing with public drunkenness. Bring your family or invite some friends to a fun winter tradition like ice skating, another great <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas">winter staycation trick</a>. If you don't live near an ice rink, try a classic roller skating rink instead! The per-person cost is similar to bowling, which is also very frugal.</p> <h2>5. See the Stars</h2> <p>Tired of the crowds, stress, and faux-glitz of New Year's Eve? Take a friend and hit the road to the nearest place away from the city, where you can see the stars. There's even a <a href="http://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/quadrantids.html">meteor shower happening</a> during NYE. Bring your own treats, refreshments, blankets, and camp out. Reflect on the past year and discuss your goals for next year. Have your own countdown to midnight with sparklers and a thermos toast. It will be a special, quiet NYE you won't forget.</p> <p><em>How will you be spending NYE?</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-frugal-non-depressing-ways-to-spend-nye">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-12"> <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-of-the-most-costly-new-years-eve-parties-ever">8 of the Most Costly New Year&#039;s Eve Parties Ever</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/how-to-host-a-great-new-years-eve-party-for-cheap">How to Host a Great New Year&#039;s Eve Party for Cheap</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-fun-nights-out-for-5-or-less">15 Fun Nights Out for $5 or Less</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/how-to-host-thanksgiving-in-a-tiny-apartment">How to Host Thanksgiving in a Tiny Apartment</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/4-ways-to-avoid-awkward-moments-at-white-elephant-parties">4 Ways to Avoid Awkward Moments at White Elephant Parties</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cheap fun entertaining New Year's Eve new years parties Fri, 26 Dec 2014 12:00:11 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1272451 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-dogs-christmas-lights-house-Dollarphotoclub_68235681.jpg" alt="christmas house" title="christmas house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many of us, Christmas is a time of joy, laughter, and making merry. It's Christmas decorations, festive foods, cards, presents, and family time. But some people just want more. They cannot get enough of the season of giving, and go out of their way to go way above and beyond. Here are 10 things only the craziest Christmas fanatics do.</p> <h2>1. Keeping the Christmas Decorations Up All Year</h2> <p>This one is baffling. What makes Christmas special if it's the same year round? That's the question I asked, but was blown away by how many people actually do this. Do a quick Google search for it, and you'll see hundreds of stories from around the world. <a href="http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2010/12/05/family-leaves-christmas-lights-up-all-year/">This one,</a> about Mary and Richard Morgan, is typical. They love Christmas so much, they have snowmen and twinkling lights adorning the house every single day. From the coldest winter to the hottest summer, it's always Christmas at the Morgans. &quot;The way I look at it, with me and my emphysema and all, I never know when I'm going to take my last breath,&quot; says Mary. &quot;I'm going to enjoy what I want to enjoy.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Lights That Outshine the Griswold Display</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nkQ044GFGII"></iframe></p> <p>How many lights are enough to show you're a fan of Christmas? A few hundred? Nah. A few thousand? You're getting there. But if you really want to show your fanaticism, you're going to have to up the ante&hellip; a lot. The world record holder for the most Christmas lights on a residential display goes to the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkQ044GFGII">Gay family of Dutchess County</a>. What started out at 600 lights in 1995 has turned into over 600,000. Fortunately, 200,000 of those lights were donated by RITZ Crackers (a smart marketing move), but that still leaves a lot of lights, and money, that came straight from Tim Gay and his Christmas crazy family. The electricity bill? That's a treat for the New Year!</p> <h2>3. Creating Insanely Elaborate Christmas Greetings</h2> <p>Some people like to send cards adorned with professional photographs of the family. Others, they like to take things to the next level. Take <a href="http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865592287/Family-Christmas-video-takes-viewers-up-on-the-housetop&mdash;videos.html?pg=all">the Slade family of Arizona</a>. The family's annual greetings are like professional music videos. From filming underwater, to a room that spins 360 degrees, they are worthy of their viral notoriety. And as Micah Slade says, &quot;we really enjoy just doing this as a family, and at the heart of it all, that's why we're doing it.&quot; Bravo. But some people go even further, sending Christmas cards made from <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/video-make-the-worlds-most-expensive-christmas-card-with-an-iphone/">iPhones</a>. Yes&hellip; iPhones.</p> <h2>4. Getting the Kids &quot;Whatever They Want&quot;</h2> <p>A blank slate (or blank check) is the last thing any reasonable parent would give their kids for Christmas. But some people believe that Christmas comes only once a year, and it's a day to do something very special&hellip; even if it means emptying the bank account. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/12/mom-defends-going-overboard-on-christmas-gifts-for-her-kids/">Lyz Lenz tells ABC news that</a> &quot;walking down the toy aisle is really hard because she wants everything,&quot; and continues, &quot;I don't think a princess castle will ruin her.&quot; Well, that's some gift for a 2-year old.</p> <h2>5. Teaching Their Animals to Sing Christmas Songs</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HtDFxm4Wupo"></iframe></p> <p>Parents out there will know it's hard enough to teach the kids a song. But some people take it up a notch or ten, and teach their pets a few holiday songs. Jingle Bells seems to be the most popular, as you can see with these howling successes <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtDFxm4Wupo">here</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmdHYI72L2s">here</a>.</p> <h2>6. Eating a 21 Pound, 6000 Calorie Christmas Dinner</h2> <p>When you're young, Christmas is all about the presents. When you become an adult, it's about watching the kids open them before tucking into an awesomely indulgent Christmas dinner. But you have to really love Christmas to eat the dinner served up in <a href="http://metro.co.uk/2014/10/03/gut-busting-guinness-world-record-breaking-christmas-dinner-contains-an-entire-turkey-and-6000-calories-4891236/">Worcestershire's The Duck Inn</a>. Christmas fans come to the pub to take on a festive challenge that would floor an elephant. A whole turkey, plus 175 trimmings, is put before you. You have just 45 minutes to polish it off; that's about half a pound of food every single minute. Could you do it? Are you that nuts about Christmas?</p> <h2>7. Dressing as Santa&hellip; and Climbing Down the Chimney</h2> <p>We've saved the worst until last; worst primarily because it's a completely awful idea, and a very easy way to get into big trouble. Although Snopes.com says that stories of Santas dying in the chimney are unconfirmed, it does say there are verified stories about people dressing as Santa and getting stuck. Fire, ambulance, and police services are called, and it can lead to nasty injuries and major embarrassment. However much you love the season, don't risk your life by climbing on a slippery roof or down the chimney. These days, it's a good idea for Santa to use the front door.</p> <p><em>Have a safe and festive Christmas everyone!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">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-13"> <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/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</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-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season</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-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas">6 Reasons January Is the Right Time to Start Planning for Christmas</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/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving">Wise Bread Reloaded: Right Now Is the Time to Get Ready for Thanksgiving</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/6-alternative-ways-to-do-thanksgiving">6 Alternative Ways to Do Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment celebrations Christmas Holidays traditions Fri, 19 Dec 2014 10:00:15 +0000 Paul Michael 1270631 at http://www.wisebread.com Beware These 16 Holiday Hazards http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-16-holiday-hazards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beware-these-16-holiday-hazards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-burned-chicken-Dollarphotoclub_67120531.jpg" alt="woman burned chicken" title="woman burned chicken" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are plenty of delightful things to love about the holidays &mdash; the people, the parties, the presents! &mdash; but there are also a few dangers that can turn a celebration sour in a flash. Keep your wits about you and your limbs intact by avoiding these common holiday hazards.</p> <h2>1. Christmas Tree Mold</h2> <p>If you think Clark Griswold had a problem on his hands with a stowaway squirrel, you haven't yet encountered the dreaded Christmas tree mold. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but <a href="http://www.myfoxal.com/story/27521440/doctors-say-mold-found-in-christmas-tree-varieties-can-trigger-allergies">it's a real threat this time of year</a> that can spark a potentially severe attack in allergy sufferers.</p> <p>Just how does the mold get in the tree?</p> <p>&quot;Mold loves moisture, so when you put the water in the tree it's a great place for mold to grow,&quot; says allergist Dr. Weilly Soong. &quot;So it releases mold spores and people become allergic.&quot; Chemicals sprayed on the tree also can trigger allergy symptoms that often are brushed off as a common cold. To reduce the probability of a reaction to tree mold, spray the tree with water and let it dry outside before bringing it into the house.</p> <h2>Potential Poisons and Other Pet-Related Hazards</h2> <p>It's not only our own backs we have to watch around the holidays; our pets also can fall prey to household hazards that could prove deadly. <a href="http://trupanion.com/pet-safety/holiday-tips">Trupanion's Holiday Tips for Dogs &amp; Cats</a> puts pet safety first, so you and your furbabies can have all the safe fun that comes with the season.</p> <h3>2. Beware of Poisonous Plants</h3> <p>Holly, mistletoe, and certain lilies look festive but can be dangerous if ingested. Cover the water for the tree and other plants and make sure your pets always have plenty of water. This will keep them from getting thirsty enough to share a drink with plants that could make them sick.</p> <h3>3. Decorating Dos</h3> <p>Keep tinsel, ribbon, and ornaments out of pets' reach, as they often prove too tempting for curious pets to avoid but can result in costly vet visits when chewed or swallowed. Christmas light cords can also be tempting to an avid chewer or new puppy.</p> <h3>4. De-Ice Those Paws</h3> <p>Remove any snow, salt, or de-icing chemicals from pets' paws right away after being outside in the cold. Frostbitten skin, which will appear red or gray, should be warmed with a moist, warm towel until the skin returns to its regular color.</p> <h3>5. Festive Feasts</h3> <p>No matter how much they beg, avoid giving your pets table food &mdash; many holiday treats can lead to a stomach ache and a swallowed turkey bone could be life-threatening. Many ingredients commonly used in holiday meals &mdash; like chocolate, onions, and garlic &mdash; can be toxic for your pets.</p> <h2>6. Injuries While Hanging Lights and Decorations</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fMX2kKXX6sw" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>For the first time ever as an adult I decorated the outside of my home for Christmas. I managed to hang lights from the second story of my house without slamming onto the frozen tundra 20 feet below. I'm pretty proud of myself. And statistically speaking, I should be, because according to the CDC, an estimated 17,465 people are treated for <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5348a1.htm">fall-related injuries around the holidays</a>. I'm pleased that I'm not a statistic. You can avoid being one too with this video tutorial from Lowe's featuring <a href="http://www.lowes.com/projects/decorate-and-entertain/tips-for-hanging-outdoor-christmas-lights/project">helpful light-hanging tips</a>.</p> <h2>7. Frying Frozen Turkeys</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qvlHH7dX7_c"></iframe></p> <p>The most important rule to remember when deep-frying a turkey for your holiday meal is that it should never be placed in that huge tub of boiling oil while frozen. Unless, of course, you want to spend Christmas in a burn unit followed by a homeless shelter. Let <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvlHH7dX7_c">this video from Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services serve as a forewarning</a> to all those who want to tempt fate. Instead, follow these safe and smart tips from The Art of Manliness that take you through <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8wZ7_0J3-Y">the deep-frying process from start to finish in one 15-minute video</a>.</p> <h2>8. Bodily Burns From Cooking and Baking</h2> <p>While turkey frying has the potential to cause major damage if not done properly, it's not as common a hazard as ordinary burns from regular holiday baking and cooking. It's not that difficult to singe a few fingers making that huge holiday meal, especially when all burners and the oven are on at the same time. Also, keep in mind that children like to help out in the kitchen &mdash; especially when you're making sweet treats &mdash; so it's important to ensure that everybody is educated about <a href="http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-prevent-kitchen-burns.html">fire safety and burn prevention</a>.</p> <h2>9. Damage to Your Teeth</h2> <p>While we're busy trying not to kill our pets or burn the house to the ground, we're overlooking a potentially costly &mdash; and painful &mdash; oral holiday hazard. &quot;People tend to use their teeth to open presents, bottles, and chew on candy and other potential hazards that lead patients to our office for fixing,&quot; says Dr. Mark Helm of Helm, Nejad, Stanley Dentistry of Beverly Hills. So he offers a survival guide of sorts to help you keep your pearly whites firmly planted in your face.</p> <h3>Rinse With Water Immediately After Meals or Sweets</h3> <p>It's recommended to wait 30 minutes after eating or indulging in sweets to brush and floss, allowing your mouth to return to its normal pH balance, but we understand that waiting this long after a meal (especially for little ones) is not always realistic. By simply swishing water in your mouth for about 30 seconds after sweets, you can prevent a significant amount of tartar and plaque from taking hold and help your mouth return to normal pH faster.</p> <h3>Don't Forget to Brush and Floss</h3> <p>During the holiday season we're busy spending time with loved ones and traveling, which can make it very easy to forget to maintain our regular brushing and flossing habits. If you find yourself in a situation where you can't brush and floss, don't panic. Simply rinse with water. This doesn't replace brushing and flossing, but it's better than nothing. It's also wise to invest in a to-go toothbrush or designate a pack of floss for on-the-go activities.</p> <h3>Treat Your Teeth to Something Nice</h3> <p>In keeping with the giving spirit of the holidays, why neglect your teeth? Buy yourself or a loved one a new toothbrush. Treat yourselves to some delicious xylitol-flavored gum or candies. Your teeth have been working hard and they deserve it. While you're at it, visit your hygienist and get a teeth cleaning or ask your dentist about whitening options to make all your friends and family jealous of your sparkling smile.</p> <h3>Use Appropriate Tools</h3> <p>With all of the presents, packages, and bottles to be opened, and nuts to be cracked, it can be tempting to use our teeth to take care of these tasks. Do yourself and your dentist a huge favor by using appropriate tools instead of using your teeth for these tasks. It will save you plenty of pain, money, and time spent at the dentist during the holidays that you can otherwise spend feasting.</p> <h3>Just Say No</h3> <p>Candy canes, caramel, sticky sweets, and other hard candies are some of the most common (and tasty) holiday treats that cause the most damage, and they're best avoided. Do your best to limit your intake of these sweets, and if you do decide to enjoy a candy cane or two don't chew on them.</p> <h2>10. Back Strain From Moving Boxes/Bins In and Out of Storage</h2> <p><a href="http://www.jamienovak.com/">Organizing specialist Jamie Novak</a> advises us to avoid back injuries from lugging heavy tubs and containers of decorations in and out of storage areas and up and down flights of stairs. &quot;I suggest storing decorations in smaller tubs, grouping the items you use for one area &mdash; like a single bookcase or tabletop &mdash; in one bin so you can bring out what you need without hurting yourself,&quot; she says. If you're already prone to back problems, ask someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. Doing it yourself isn't worth being laid up for the holidays, unable to enjoy the festivities.</p> <h2>11. Cuts From Clamshell Packaging</h2> <p>One of the most frustrating parts of gift packaging are those annoying hard plastic cases that seem like they've been welded together for the sole purpose of making you curse the day Santa slid down your chimney. And if you're not careful, you could have a bloody mess on your hands. To open these types of packages Novak says, &quot;Always have a clamshell [package] opener at the ready. I keep mine in a decorative box under the tree, so I know just where it is. I also keep one of those tiny screwdrivers in the box so I can open battery compartments easily.&quot;</p> <p>You hear that folks? Put a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RT8GQY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000RT8GQY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BVWDMJ4BPCYWVSLS">clamshell package opener</a> on your Christmas list this year &mdash; if only to enjoy the look of what-the-heck-is-that bewilderment from whoever reads it.</p> <h2>12. Unattended Candles</h2> <p>Candles help create a cozy ambience around the holidays, but such beauty can quickly turn into a blaze if the candles are left unattended. The National Candle Association (yeah, I had no idea either) takes safety seriously as detailed in <a href="http://candles.org/fire-safety-candles/candle-safety-rules/">this comprehensive list of candle safety rules</a>.</p> <h2>13. Overloading Power Strips and Outlets</h2> <p>Once you've strung up all your lights, you'll need to plug them in so the astronauts can see them from space. That is your goal, isn't it? While it's perfectly okay to pursue that passion, it's not a good idea to overload your electrical outlets so NASA can pinpoint the big ball of fire that has suddenly appeared on your block. Right where your house used to be. Howstuffworks details some electrical-outlet limits in <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/fire/outlet-overload.htm">this educational and perhaps life-saving post</a>.</p> <h2>14. Letting the Tree Dry Out</h2> <p>What happens when you put bone-dry greenery next to a potential fire hazard? It could go up in flames. Be a responsible tree owner by keeping the stand filled with water while also minimizing the risk of fire by practicing the safety tips detailed earlier in this post.</p> <h2>15. Choking Hazards for Children</h2> <p>Be mindful of the gifts you're giving children this time of year and make sure that they're age-appropriate. Paramedic Jeff Meyers at Grand Rapids Healthcare Training offers this helpful tip to help you decide what items could mean trouble: &quot;If the object is small enough to fit in a toilet paper roll, it's too small.&quot;</p> <h2>16. Foodborne Illness</h2> <p>Dr. Michael Kaplan, national medical director for <a href="http://www.nextcare.com">NextCare</a>, warns about a hidden danger that can affect any family at holiday time.</p> <p>&quot;Foodborne illnesses &mdash; such as Salmonella and E.coli &mdash; that primarily consist of vomiting and/or diarrhea can lead to dehydration if a person loses more body fluids and salts (electrolytes) than they take in,&quot; he says. &quot;In addition to water, drinking oral rehydration solutions such as Ceralyte, Pedialyte, or Oralyte is recommended to replace the fluid losses and prevent dehydration. Sports drinks such as Gatorade do not replace the losses correctly and should not be used as treatment. Bismuth subsalicylate (i.e. Pepto-Bismol) can reduce the severity and duration of diarrhea, as well. (NextCare can also help to treat gastrointestinal illnesses such as foodborne illness).&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have other holiday hazards that we should avoid? Please warn us about them in comments!</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/beware-these-16-holiday-hazards">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-14"> <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/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day">14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine&#039;s Day</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-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer">8 Holiday Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cheer</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-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season</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/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas">6 Reasons January Is the Right Time to Start Planning for Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment danger holiday risks Holidays injury risk Fri, 12 Dec 2014 18:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1267699 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Fun, Cheap Party Games You Didn't Know About http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-playing-party-games-Dollarphotoclub_70068664.jpg" alt="friends playing party games" title="friends playing party games" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every holiday or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">dinner party</a> in need of a boost leans on the same party games: Pictionary, Charades, 20 questions, blah blah blah... In need of a new conceit to spur on some social interaction? Try one of these fun and affordable party games you didn't know about:</p> <h2>Mafia</h2> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia_%28party_game%29">Mafia is a group game</a> designed in Russia during end of the Cold War, and it shows. I first heard of the game earlier this spring, when a friend hosted a party specifically to play Mafia. It's free to play, like Charades. We were confused at first but it quickly got weird and fun!</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: At least 3</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>There are two teams, the &quot;Mafia&quot; (who know each other in the group) and the &quot;Innocents&quot; (everyone else who have no idea who the &quot;Mafia&quot; are). One moderator leads the game.</p> <p>The game occurs in two phases: Night and Day. During the &quot;night&quot; phase, the mafia members elect someone to &quot;kill,&quot; while everyone's eyes are closed. During the &quot;Day&quot; phase, everyone opens their eyes, and the moderator declares who was &quot;killed.&quot; Everyone discusses, and someone must accuse a player of being in the &quot;Mafia&quot;. The most fun part is arguing over whether someone is in the &quot;Mafia&quot; and whether to kill them. The moderator will reveal whether or not the accused player was in fact a Mafioso. On it goes until everyone is figured out.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>The game involves a lot of social strategy which is really funny in a group of close friends. Similar to other games like Werewolf, you get a lot of hilarious arguments about whether someone is guilty or innocent. The surprise of each player's role reveal is also really fun.</p> <h2>1,000 Blank White Cards</h2> <p>If you haven't played <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1000_Blank_White_Cards">1,000 Blank White Cards</a>, you're missing out on not only a great party game, but a really fun game for passing the time. I first learned about this game while in line for a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, known for crazy long waits.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: At least 2</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>Gather as many blank cards as you can find. These can be index cards or chopped pieces of paper. The game is defined by the cards everyone creates. A card usually consists of a drawing and a short description of its meaning and the action required upon pulling the card. For example, you can have a card with a picture of a cactus that reads, &quot;You just got picked by a cactus! Lose 4,000 points,&quot; then if you pull it that's what happens! Destroying cards is discouraged; if a card is not good, you can nominate it to &quot;The Suck Box.&quot;</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>It's limited only by your imagination! Creating the deck is arguably one of the best parts of the game, trying to come up with the silliest rules funniest drawings you can imagine. The gameplay is one surprise after another.</p> <h2>Cards Against Humanity</h2> <p>A game that is rapidly becoming mainstream, <a href="http://cardsagainsthumanity.com/">Cards Against Humanity</a> first formed a rabid following online. It's free to print the cards at home, and costs around $20 for a deck. If you have not heard of it, chances are the next party you go to will break out in a game.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: At least 2</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>It's similar to Apples to Apples (actually, it's exactly like Apples to Apples) with a crazy twist. Each player pulls 10 white &quot;answer&quot; cards with a hilarious nonsequitur on it. One player starts as the &quot;Card Czar,&quot; pulling a black &quot;question&quot; card. Each player takes a moment to best answer the &quot;Card Czar&quot; with one of their randomly drawn white cards. The &quot;Card Czar&quot; reads each white card in a funny manner, and chooses their favorite. The player who drew their favorite white card gets one &quot;Awesome Point&quot; and keeps the black card. Whoever has the most &quot;Awesome Points&quot; at the end of the game wins.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>The cards are really funny, and many are surprising, controversial, or gross, so there is a ton of shock value. It's a really enjoyable game to play casually with friends.</p> <h2>TV Show Drinking Games</h2> <p>Did you know that nearly every single TV show or movie has its own drinking game? When having a night in with friends or roommates, a simple drinking game is a great way to get a party going. The only cost is the booze.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: 2 or more (drinking alone is sad)</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>Go to <a href="http://drinkingcinema.com">drinkingcinema.com</a> or <a href="http://drunktvzone.com">drunktvzone.com</a> to find make your drinking game choice. I recommend 90s show like Family Matters or Ally McBeal or a schlocky horror movie like Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. Simply drink whenever a specific recurring action or visual element occurs as per each game's rules! For bonus points, everyone can dress up as a character from the show or movie of choice.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>Drinking games are an easy way to get a party started and a fun way to appreciate a silly show or movie ironically, dress up, and drink with buddies.</p> <h2>ClueMates</h2> <p>Ok, full disclosure. While I did not create the game, ClueMates was created by a publishing company I own.</p> <p><a href="http://devastatorpress.com/toys/">ClueMates: The Passive Aggressive Roommate Detective Game</a> is a parody board game that comes inside of a book, based on the mystery engine of Clue. The game satirizes life with roommates and has a cult following among board game and humor nerds. The game and book cost only $10.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: 3-6</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>The rules are just like Clue. Each person plays as a character who is a credible suspect. Only, instead of a murder mystery, it is much funnier &mdash; your least favorite roommate has locked himself in the bathroom.</p> <p>The Archetypes are different from classic Clue as well, with a couch-surfing stoner, a 4chan troll, a yoga instructor, a type-A bossypants, and one normal person, Rachel Feinstein. You must figure out which roommate ruined his day, what they did, and in which room of the terrible apartment you share, because everyone needs to use the bathroom! One new element to gameplay is that each character has one &quot;superpower&quot; causing others to lose a turn and making the game move faster.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>For board game lovers, this is a fun, simplified party game full of adult jokes and it plays as a really funny, high-speed version of Clue for adults.</p> <p><em>What party games do you enjoy? 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/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about">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-15"> <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-family-friendly-games-for-your-holiday-party">5 Fun Family Friendly Games for Your Holiday Party</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/25-fun-frugal-things-to-do-tonight-besides-watch-tv">25 Fun, Frugal Things to Do Tonight Besides Watch TV</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-of-the-most-costly-new-years-eve-parties-ever">8 of the Most Costly New Year&#039;s Eve Parties Ever</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/4-ways-to-avoid-awkward-moments-at-white-elephant-parties">4 Ways to Avoid Awkward Moments at White Elephant Parties</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/tips-for-playing-credit-card-roulette">Tips for Playing Credit Card Roulette</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cards against humanity games Mafia parties party games Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:00:07 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1267698 at http://www.wisebread.com