fall http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9700/all en-US 9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_100667959_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="you need these frugal skills to survive autumn" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The national retail federation predicted that U.S. consumers would <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/halloween-spending-reach-84-billion-highest-survey-history">spend $8.4 billion on Halloween</a> this year, with consumers spending an average of $82.93 on the holiday. (How much did you spend?) And that's just one single day of a long fall season that also includes: Thanksgiving, yard maintenance, home weatherproofing, and plenty of other opportunities to spend.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are ways to cut back on your spending <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body">this fall season</a>. Here are nine ways to stretch those dollars as the days get shorter and the winter holidays creep closer.</p> <h2>1. Get Out That Rake</h2> <p>You can buy leaf blowers for as little as $50 or as much as $300 or more if you want a super deluxe model. That doesn't even count the gas that you'll go through with a gas-powered blower. A rake will cost you about $15. Don't forget, either, that raking leaves is a lot quieter &mdash; your neighbors will appreciate that. It also helps you burn a few calories.</p> <h2>2. Cancel Your Gym Membership</h2> <p>Fall is a great time to cancel that gym membership. We're not advocating that you skip exercising, though. Instead, we're recommending that you get your exercise by biking, hiking, running or, yes, raking leaves. Fall weather is cool but generally not freezing. So cancel that gym membership until winter rolls around. You can renew once the icicles show up.</p> <h2>3. Weatherproof Your Home</h2> <p>Sure, you'll spend a bit of money upfront for weather-stripping to weatherproof your home's windows and doors. You might also have to shell out some money to spray extra installation in your attic and seal up any leaks in your walls. But spending this money now will save you during the coldest months of the upcoming winter season. Weatherproofing your home now will result in lower energy bills in December and January. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-seal-leaks-and-reduce-your-winter-heating-bill?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill</a>)</p> <h2>4. Buy the Right Food and Cook at Home</h2> <p>You know that eating out is a huge drain on your wallet. You can save money by cooking at home. Autumn is actually a good season for this. You can whip up hearty soups, stews, and casseroles and stretch the leftovers over several days. Just make sure to buy plenty of those foods that are in season and most affordable this time of year: root vegetables, squash, and plenty of apples.</p> <h2>5. Resist the Call of the Pumpkin</h2> <p>It's important to exercise some self-control when it comes to the staple of the fall months: the pumpkin. You might have noticed that retailers aren't shy about shoving pumpkin-spiced products down your throat this time of year. It's okay to indulge a bit, of course, but be careful. It's easy to blow plenty of money on pumpkin-flavored coffees, pastries, and candies. Some of these seasonal treats might even come with higher price tags than their non-gourd cousins.</p> <h2>6. Call the Cable Company &mdash; And All Your Other Service Providers</h2> <p>This tip is viable all year, but you know you're going to be watching more TV once the weather chills. Why not pay less for it? Call your cable provider today and request a lower monthly payment. There's no guarantee that your provider will drop your monthly bill, but many will, especially if they think that you'll switch to a competitor. You can try this with everyone from your cable provider to your auto insurance company. Take a day to call your providers. You might be surprised at how many are willing to lower their monthly premium.</p> <h2>7. Start Holiday Shopping Early</h2> <p>Getting a head start on your holiday season doesn't seem like a great way to spend money, but by shopping early, you'll have more time to carefully plan out what you want to buy for your friends, family members, and co-workers. If you plan, the odds are better that you'll actually spend less. You might even have time to find clothes, toys, and electronics that are priced less because the winter holidays are still far enough away. Just make sure that you hit the stores with an actual list in hand. This will help protect you from those impulse buys that can shatter your budget.</p> <h2>8. Start an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Financial experts recommend that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund">have an emergency savings fund</a> with enough money to cover at least six months of your daily living expenses. Such a fund can protect you from an unexpected financial emergency &mdash; everything from losing your job to finding a burst water heater in your basement. Fall is a good time to start this fund. The expensive summer vacation season is over and the winter holidays are still far enough away. It's a bit easier to set aside $100 to $500 a month during the fall to build that emergency fund.</p> <h2>9. Get a Start on Your New Year's Resolution</h2> <p>Who says you have to wait until January 1 to start your New Year's resolution? If your resolution this year will involve saving money and spending less, get started today. Vow to spend only what you can afford during the holiday season, no matter how much pressure you feel to overspend.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">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/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</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/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</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/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</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/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</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/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping autumn fall frugal living frugal skills holiday shopping saving money shopping Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:30:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 1825230 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Fall Is a Great Time to House Hunt http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-fall-is-a-great-time-to-house-hunt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-fall-is-a-great-time-to-house-hunt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/autumn_new_hampshire_23913489.jpg" alt="Learning reasons fall is a great time to house hunt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring and summer are prime seasons for buying and selling real estate. The weather is milder and more conducive for a move, and if you have kids, summer lets you settle into a new place before the little buggers head back to school. But while May to September are considered the best times of the year to buy a house, they aren't the only times. There's no need to stress or panic if you don't find what you're looking for before the end of summer, especially since fall is also a great time to house hunt. Here are five reasons why.</p> <h2>1. It's Easier to Negotiate With Sellers</h2> <p>Because spring and summer are the busiest seasons for real estate, some homes receive a ton of traffic, resulting in multiple offers from buyers. In some cases, multiple offers drive up the asking price of a property. This is good news for sellers, but not the best news for buyers looking to negotiate the price and get the best deal on a property.</p> <p>The market typically slows down toward the end of summer and beginning of fall. Since there aren't as many people searching for properties around this time, this an excellent time to negotiate the price. Sellers who were unable to sell during the peak season might be willing to accept a lower price, which means you can get more house for your money. And if the seller is really motivated, you might negotiate additional incentives, such as a seller credit at closing that can go toward replacing the carpet, or the seller can pay all or a percentage of your closing costs to reduce your out-of-pocket expense.</p> <h2>2. There's Less Competition</h2> <p>A smaller pool of buyers also means less competition, so you can take your time and look for a property that's right for you and your family. When several buyers compete for the same property, there's a greater chance of the seller accepting another buyer's offer, or you can find yourself caught in the middle of a bidding war. There's the risk of falling in love with a house, only to be disappointed when you discover there are several other (maybe better) offers on the table. And when there's a lot of competition, there's a tendency to rush the buying process; you could end up purchasing a home and experiencing buyer's remorse later on.</p> <h2>3. You'll Experience a Shorter Wait to Benefit From Tax Breaks</h2> <p>One benefit of buying a home is the opportunity to take advantage of tax breaks. Homeowners can write off mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance premiums, and real estate property taxes, plus certain costs associated with getting the mortgage, such as discount points paid to a lender and loan origination fees. Self-employed people also can write off the square footage of a dedicated home office, as well as a percentage of utilities. All these expenses are written off when you file your tax return. The good thing about buying a home in the fall is that you don't have to wait as long to take advantage of these tax savings, which can trigger a bigger refund or a smaller tax bill.</p> <h2>4. Builders May Offer Additional Incentives</h2> <p>If you're thinking about purchasing a new-construction home, fall is one of the best times to house hunt because builders also experience a reduction in new home sales after summer. To spark interest, some builders offer incentives, such as a discount off the base price of certain models, or the builder may offer to pay all of a buyer's closing costs.</p> <h2>5. You'll Get More Attention From Your Realtor</h2> <p>Since the number of people looking for homes decreases in the fall, you can use this situation to your advantage and get more quality time with your realtor. During the spring and summer, your agent might juggle several clients simultaneously. Even if your agent is professional and looking out for your best interest, she isn't a robot. She might be unable to respond to calls or emails as quickly as you would like, and it can be difficult to coordinate your schedules for showings.</p> <p>If you postpone house hunting until the fall, your real estate agent will likely have fewer clients. As a result, your agent can devote more time to your house hunting efforts. This includes searching and finding listings that are perfect for your family, coordinating showings, as well as answering your questions in a timely manner.</p> <p><em>Have you searched for a home in the fall? Did you find it easier than other times of the year? Tell me about your home-searching experience 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/5-reasons-fall-is-a-great-time-to-house-hunt">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/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</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/4-ways-to-buy-a-house-without-a-mortgage">4 Ways to Buy a House Without a Mortgage</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/is-a-buying-a-foreclosed-home-ever-a-good-idea">Is Buying a Foreclosed Home Ever a Good Idea?</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/these-are-the-7-features-home-buyers-want-most">These Are the 7 Features Home Buyers Want Most</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-house-hunting-red-flags-you-cant-ignore">12 House-Hunting Red Flags You Can&#039;t Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing autumn competition fall house hunting house shopping housing market incentives realtors seasons tax breaks Mon, 12 Sep 2016 16:24:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1789670 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Great Stocks for Back-to-School Time http://www.wisebread.com/9-great-stocks-for-back-to-school-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-great-stocks-for-back-to-school-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/colored_pencils_5143796.jpg" alt="Finding great stocks for back-to-school" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The kids are heading back to school, which means there's plenty of money being spent on notebooks, computers, and three-ring binders.</p> <p>The National Retail Federation reported that it expects $75.8 billion in back-to-school sales, up from $68 billion last year. That means many companies should see good revenue and share price performance this fall as a result of the back-to-school season, and there are several other companies that seem to have a knack for great returns in the fall.</p> <p>Want to make a little bit of money as the weather cools? Here are some good back-to-school stocks for investors looking to cash in this autumn:</p> <h2>1. Wal-Mart [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=WMT">WMT</a>]</h2> <p>Rest assured that millions of families will head to the massive retailer for cheap prices on spiral notebooks, pens, and whatever else kids need in the classroom. The NRF projects that the average family will spend $673, up from $630 last year. Moreover, some analysts think that Walmart is due to get a boost from its big investments in employee training and e-commerce.</p> <h2>2. Target [NYSE: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=tgt">TGT</a>]</h2> <p>With nearly 1,800 retail locations, you can bet that when it comes to back-to-school sales, Target will get a good chunk of whatever Walmart fails to grab. Shares of Target fell sharply over the spring after disappointing earnings results, and from a loss of revenue following the sale of its pharmacy to CVS. But all that means is that there is potential for share growth if the company rebounds with a strong back-to-school season.</p> <h2>3. Staples [NASDAQ: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SPLS">SPLS</a>]</h2> <p>There was a lot of buzz around Staples earlier in the year after it sought to buy Office Depot/OfficeMax, but the merger got shot down by regulators. Still, the retailer intends to be a major player at back-to-school time. Staples is the third-largest online retailer, so it will land its share of e-commerce sales, but it also has physical stores that Amazon can't boast. Staples, which began its back-to-school marketing before summer vacation even got underway, is trading at just above $9, close to its 52-week low, so investors may find a bargain here.</p> <h2>4. Seagate Technology [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=STX">STX</a>]</h2> <p>This maker of hard drives and other data storage products has been one of the market's best performers during the fall in recent years. While 2015 saw a down autumn, the previous five fall seasons saw 25% share growth, on average. While overall sales of external hard drives have been on the decline due to the growth of cloud-based solutions, Seagate still has about a 40% market share. Portable hard drives remain necessary back-to-school tools for college students.</p> <h2>5. Gannett [NYSE: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=gci">GCI</a> ]</h2> <p>It's not so much back-to-school sales that will help Gannett, but the race to decide the next U.S. President. As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump enter the home stretch toward the November election, they'll be spending money on advertising. And companies like Gannett, which operates more than 100 newspapers and other media properties, stand to benefit from that. Between 2009 and 2013, Gannett saw an average share price increase of 24% in the fall. Shares are trading near a 52-week low, so you may get a bargain. To be clear, Gannett may not make a great long-term investment, as newspapers have really taken a beating in recent years. But for a short-term play, this is not a bad bet.</p> <h2>6. Amazon [NASDAQ: <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/amzn">AMZN</a>]</h2> <p>Those who want to avoid the brick-and-mortar world at back-to-school time will likely head to the world's top online retailer. Customer Growth Partners reported that e-commerce sales between July and September will rise 11% this year, so expect Amazon to get a significant chunk of that. Amazon shares are not cheap, but it seems like every time analysts predict a fall, they go even higher.</p> <h2>7. TJX Companies [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=TJX">TJX</a>]</h2> <p>The NRF reports that 61% of families will do their back-to-school shopping at a discount retailer. This bodes will for companies like TJX, the owner of TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores. TJX has had a strong year, with 7% year-over-year sales growth in the most recent quarter, and investors will also benefit from a recent increase in the company's dividend.</p> <h2>8. VF Corp. [NYSE: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VFC?p=VFC">VFC</a>]</h2> <p>This company owns some of the most recognizable retail brands, including Vans, North Face and Wrangler. You can expect a strong quarter from VF, but more importantly, it's a steady stock to own anytime, as it's consistently paid and increased its dividend each year for more than four decades. VF's current price-to-earnings ratio suggests it's a better deal than many of its competitors.</p> <h2>9. Under Armour [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=UA">UA</a>]</h2> <p>Under Armour got some great exposure during coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics, as it was the designer of several team uniforms and boasted a number of high-profile brand ambassadors, including swimmer Michael Phelps. Under Armour has been one of the market's biggest growth stories in recent years, with 25 straight quarters of 20% revenue growth. High-schoolers and college kids love Under Armour gear, and will buy it as they head back to class.</p> <p><em>Are you adding any fall performers to your stock-pile?</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/9-great-stocks-for-back-to-school-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</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-investing-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">11 Investing Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</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-foolproof-ways-to-protect-your-money-from-inflation">4 Foolproof Ways to Protect Your Money From Inflation</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/why-warren-buffett-says-you-should-invest-in-index-funds">Why Warren Buffett Says You Should Invest in Index Funds</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-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own">5 Stocks Your Kids Would Love to Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment autumn back-to-school election fall returns revenue school supplies stocks Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1782884 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fall_leaves_81399473.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves before the leaves change" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As yet another fun summer season winds down, there's no better time than the start of autumn to take a look at our finances to see where we can make adjustments. Consider these 10 money moves to make before the leaves change.</p> <h2>1. Get Back to Budget Reality</h2> <p>Summer activities can put budgeting on the back burner as we spend more and save less over vacation. A little splurging or a savings vacation isn't the end of the world, as long as it isn't a permanent getaway that drains your accounts. With autumn right around the corner, however, now's the time to get back to basics and rein in spending. Summer can be expensive, but you can regain control of your money by coming up with a spending plan that helps you curb impulse buys and save more of your income for a rainy day.</p> <h2>2. Start a Holiday Fund</h2> <p>The beginning of fall means the holiday season is only three months away. As you revamp your budget, start putting money aside for the end of the year. Whether your plans include taking an end-of-the-year vacation or buying gifts for loved ones, early planning can ensure enough cash so that you don't have to rely on credit cards.</p> <h2>3. Ask About Flat-Rate Billing</h2> <p>If your gas or electric bills trigger heart palpitations, talk to your utility company about flat-rate billing. The company looks at your past electricity or gas usage and uses this information to estimate your expected usage over the next year. Based on this estimation, you're charged a flat rate for the next 12 months. Flat-rate billing protects against higher utility bills during the winter and summer months, and as a result, budgeting is easier because you know exactly what you'll owe each month and there are no surprises.</p> <h2>4. Review Your TV Habits</h2> <p>Fall signifies that start of the new prime time television schedule &mdash; one of my favorite parts of the change of seasons. This is an excellent time to evaluate your TV viewing habits to see if you can do without cable, downgrade your package, or otherwise modify your home-entertainment budget to better suit your needs. With so many options these days, you can likely stream many of your favorite shows at a price that's far less than cable.</p> <h2>5. Pay Off Summer Debt</h2> <p>Carrying credit card debt from month-to-month is expensive. If your credit cards took a beating over the summer, come up with a plan to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">eliminate this debt</a>. Give your credit cards a break and pay for everything with cash, and then cut back on unnecessary spending to free up cash in your budget. Use the savings to double or triple your minimum payments and pay off balances sooner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">5 Day Debt Reduction Plan</a>)</p> <h2>6. Prepare for Colder Days</h2> <p>Temperatures cool down around September and October, so to trim your heating bill, take steps early in the season to keep the heat in and the cold out. This includes replacing missing insulation in the attic, weatherstripping your doors and windows, sealing any cracks around windows and electrical outlets, installing a storm door, hanging heavy drapes, getting a programmable thermostat, and closing your fireplace flue.</p> <h2>7. Check Your Savings Contributions</h2> <p>If summer fun threw off your savings goals, you can play catch-up by taking advantage of your company's retirement plan, or increasing your contributions if you already have a 401K.</p> <p>&quot;An employer may offer to match a percentage or all of your contributions to a retirement account,&quot; says Jim Poolman, retirement expert and executive director of the lndexed Annuity Leadership Council. &quot;Some employers may even contribute to your retirement account each year whether you save or not.&quot; Any employer retirement contribution is considered &quot;free money&quot; and can maximize your savings at any age.</p> <h2>8. Balance Your Portfolio</h2> <p>In addition to contributing or increasing contributions to your company's retirement plan, you should get serious about balancing your portfolio to protect against market shifts. It isn't enough to have a 401K. Poolman suggests adding more conservative, low-risk products, such as fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) to balance your retirement portfolio.</p> <p>This is important as you become older, because a savings strategy that worked in your 20s might not be the right fit in your 30s or 40s.</p> <p>&quot;Assessing your investment mix at different stages in your life is key,&quot; Poolman warns. &quot;When you're young, a higher-risk investment strategy may be more effective, whereas the closer you are to retirement, the more important a low-risk portfolio may be.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Have a Money Talk With Your Partner</h2> <p>It's also important to sit down with your partner and/or a financial planner to review your overall financial picture and determine where you can improve. For example, when was the last time you reviewed your life insurance policy? If you've recently tied the knot, had a baby, or purchased a home, can you increase your coverage? Or if you're self-employed, could you increase contributions and max out your IRA, which can grow your money and help you save on taxes? A yearly review can ensure a firm financial foundation and help you hit your goals.</p> <h2>10. Make Doctor's Appointments</h2> <p>A flexible spending account (FSA) lets you set aside a percentage of your pretax pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses. These accounts effectively reduce health care costs for doctor appointments, prescription medications, vision care, and dental care. You can withdraw funds to pay for covered expenses. The catch, however, is that funds in a flexible spending account must be used in the plan year. Some employers don't allow funds to carry over into the next year, or they only allow employees to carry over $500. If you don't use the money, you lose it. So with three months left in the year, schedule your doctor, dental, and vision appointments to avoid forfeiting your unused balance.</p> <p><em>What steps are you taking to prep your finances for fall?</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/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">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-money-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-50">5 Money Mistakes to Stop Making by 50</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/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Warren Buffett</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/7-money-moves-you-will-always-be-thankful-for">7 Money Moves You Will Always Be Thankful For</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/its-never-too-late-to-fix-these-5-money-mistakes-from-your-past">It&#039;s Never Too Late to Fix These 5 Money Mistakes From Your Past</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/when-to-use-savings-to-pay-off-debt">When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance advice autumn budgeting debt fall health care money moves organizing paying bills savings seasons Mon, 22 Aug 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1775890 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 84 Reasons to Be Done With Summer and Get Excited for Fall http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_autumn_leaves_60364548.jpg" alt="Woman getting excited for fall" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm so over summer. I've eaten more than enough ice cream to last me until next year, and the high temps are slowly killing my spirit. We're still about a month away from jumping in piles of leaves and consuming way too many candied apples, but until then, let's all get psyched for the wonders of autumn we will soon get to enjoy.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/autumn-candle-178492659-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor?ref=fbf">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a> &mdash; Pumpkins, dried leaves, candles that make you feel like you moved into a bakery, oh and everything orange. Fall decor is rich and cozy, and you can easily decorate your home on the cheap.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-fun-fall-getaways?ref=fbf">5 Cheap, Fun Fall Getaways</a> &mdash; Plan your fun fall getaway now and you'll save even more! Plus, it'll give you something to look forward to until it becomes socially acceptable to order hot pumpkin spiced lattes.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/mother_daughter_halloween_000075821055.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays?ref=fbf">Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays</a> &mdash; Did you know that you can do all the fun fall holiday activities you normally do, but also make money? Yep, it's true! Map out your moneymaking strategy now, because as you know Autumn is coming.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body?ref=fbf">6 Ways Autumn Is Good for Your Mind and Body</a> &mdash; See? It's not just because sweater weather is the most universally flattering time of year. Fall is a season of healing, and pies. You really can't go wrong.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/homemade-pizza-479473563-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-fall-pizzas?ref=fbf">15 Easy Fall Pizzas</a> &mdash; Any pizza is a winner in my book, but these fab fall pizzas use seasonal ingredients, and creative alternatives to the classic pie that will make you drool. The following three words should sell you on it: Pot. Roast. Pizza. Hungry yet?&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-frugal-ways-to-celebrate-fall?ref=fbf">31 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Fall</a> &mdash; There are so many amazing ways to welcome the prettiest season of the year, and you don't need to spend a fortune to do so. Most of these activities are free, because the best way to celebrate autumn is to take a step outside and look around.</p> <p><em>What are some other reasons to welcome the Autumn season? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/flashback-friday-80-holiday-treats-that-wont-bust-your-budget">Flashback Friday: 80 Holiday Treats That Won&#039;t Bust Your 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/flashback-friday-47-brilliant-ways-to-save-money-on-dinner">Flashback Friday: 47 Brilliant Ways to Save Money on Dinner</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/flashback-friday-62-creative-uses-for-your-favorite-condiments">Flashback Friday: 62 Creative Uses for Your Favorite Condiments</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/flashback-friday-63-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-leftovers">Flashback Friday: 63 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Leftovers</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/flashback-friday-85-best-ways-to-save-on-halloween-this-year">Flashback Friday: 85 Best Ways to Save on Halloween This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink apple cider autumn fall fall activities fall food fall fun fall holidays fbf flashback friday food and drink frugal living Halloween Fri, 19 Aug 2016 10:00:17 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1775195 at http://www.wisebread.com Winter Is Coming: Make These 6 Money Moves Now http://www.wisebread.com/winter-is-coming-make-these-6-money-moves-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/winter-is-coming-make-these-6-money-moves-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fall_piggy_bank_000027613114.jpg" alt="Learning which money moves to make before winter comes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As we approach the end of the year, it's important to make sure that your money is headed in a good direction. It's all too easy to put your finances on autopilot and not think twice about the money moves you're making. But a completely hands-off approach can be a recipe for disaster. Here are six money items to tackle this fall.</p> <h2>1. Health Insurance Open Enrollment</h2> <p>Having health insurance is no longer an option. In fact, the fine for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-costly-health-insurance-mistakes">not having health insurance</a> goes through the roof in 2016. In 2016, you'll pay the higher of either 2.5% of your yearly household income or $695 per person if you fail to have a health insurance policy that meets the government's definition of <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Individuals-and-Families/ACA-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision-Minimum-Essential-Coverage">minimum essential coverage</a>. That's a hefty chunk of change.</p> <p>Open enrollment starts on November 1, 2015 and only runs until January 31, 2016. You only have during that window to make changes to your health care plan unless you fall under a special exception, such as marriage, giving birth, or losing coverage at work. Don't get lazy though; you only have 60 days after one of those events to get insurance coverage. If you don't, you'll need to wait until the next open enrollment.</p> <h2>2. End of Year IRA Contributions</h2> <p>Contributing to your IRA, whether it's a traditional or a Roth plan, can be an important component of your retirement plan. And the sooner you start, the more money you can accumulate over your lifetime. Don't forget that you can make your IRA contributions for 2015 all the way up to the April 15, 2016 tax filing deadline.While traditional IRA contributions may qualify for tax deductions, Roth contributions generally do not. Tax deduction or not, contributing to your IRA is simply a smart financial move.</p> <h2>3. It's Bonus Time</h2> <p>The end of the year means that bonuses are right around the corner. Do you have a plan for your bonus? Maybe a trip somewhere amazing, or buying that new iPhone 6? Why not plan on using all or some of your bonus to help further your financial goals, either by paying off debt or saving and investing? Also, remember that your bonus is often based upon your performance, so now is the time to step up your game and talk with your boss about how you might maximize your check.</p> <h2>4. Create a Money Filing System</h2> <p>Before the end of the year, it's a good idea to get a money filing system in order to keep track of all your important documents, tax information, and all those other loose financial papers that need a home. Keep at least your last two years tax returns, any insurance documents and policies, and if you are self-employed, all those receipts that you will need for tax time. Whether you use a service like Dropbox, a password secured vendor, or even an old school accordion file at home, make sure your filing system is secure and easy to access.</p> <h2>5. Entrepreneur Taxes</h2> <p>When you're an entrepreneur, you've got to think a little differently about the end of the year. For you, the end of the year is a good time to make an inventory&nbsp;of all the tax deductible purchases needed for your business. On your list, you might include things like computers, phones, software, equipment, books, and new marketing systems. Always make sure you save the receipt, and buy the items before December 31, 2015 to count toward this year's deductions.</p> <h2>6. Donate</h2> <p>Donating toward the greater good can be a terrific feeling, but there are a few rules you need to follow if you are going to deduct the expense as part of your 2015 taxes. If you choose to make a monetary donation, you must ensure that you are giving to a proper non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, and you must have some sort of bank record, cancelled check, or receipt for your donation.</p> <p>If you choose to use a credit card to donate, make sure you donate before December 31, 2015. If your credit card bill isn't paid until January 2016, but you made the donation in 2015, it still counts for this year. If you plan to donate clothing or household items, they generally must be in good shape. Organizations like Goodwill will always ask you for the approximate value (known as fair market value) of your donations. Just be aware that if you donate over $500 of goods or clothing, you will need an appraisal of the value regardless of whether the items are in good shape or not.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to prepare your finances for winter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/winter-is-coming-make-these-6-money-moves-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-fall-is-a-great-time-to-house-hunt">5 Reasons Fall Is a Great Time to House Hunt</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-simple-financial-upgrades-you-can-make-during-breakfast">6 Simple Financial Upgrades You Can Make During Breakfast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes autumn donating fall health insurance money moves taxes Wed, 04 Nov 2015 13:16:21 +0000 Shannah Game 1605064 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Financial Tips for Fall http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-financial-tips-for-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-financial-tips-for-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/autumn_piggy_bank_000027613114.jpg" alt="Learning best financial tips for fall season" title="" 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 financial tips for fall, unique recipes for homemade pizza, and ways to protect yourself against identity theft.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/finance-tips/">Eleven Fall Finance Tips</a> &mdash; While you're changing out your wardrobe, check how your clothes are holding up. If you need to buy replacement summer clothing, now is the time to do it! [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-unique-recipes-for-your-next-diy-pizza-night">10 Unique Recipes for Your Next DIY Pizza Night</a> &mdash; For a spicy breakfast pizza with salsa, use scrambled eggs, bacon, a shredded Mexican cheese blend, and scallions. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/1019/Identity-theft-doesn-t-have-to-happen-to-you">Identity theft doesn't have to happen to you</a> &mdash; Use two-step authentication for all financial accounts, cloud storage, and even social media sites. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Headache-Soother-34150955">Stop Pounding Temples With This DIY Headache Soother</a> &mdash; This combination of lavender, peppermint, and orange essential oils will soothe your headache in no time! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/get-smart-credit/">Smart Credit Tips</a> &mdash; Join #CreditChat on Wednesday, October 21 at 3 p.m. ET! This week's discussion will cover the things that everyone should know about credit: the different ways to establish credit, how to recover from credit mistakes, common credit myths, and more! [Experian]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T062-C001-S001-how-to-avoid-charity-scams.html">How to Avoid Charity Scams</a> &mdash; Websites like CharityNavigator and GiveWell help you check the legitimacy of a charity and can give you an idea of their financial situations and effectiveness. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/3-ways-teach-kids-personal-finance-home/#.ViVOaW7R3lY">3 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Personal Finance At Home</a> &mdash; Don't give your kids an allowance for nothing. Instead, allow them to earn the money by doing extra chores. [ReadyForZero]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/make-money/what-is-the-sharing-economy-how-can-you-profit/">What Is The Sharing Economy &amp; How Can You Profit?</a> &mdash; The sharing economy is booming! Learn how you can use it to make and save money. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/money-advice-newlyweds">For Newlyweds: 3 Money Moves To Build A Strong Financial Future</a> &mdash; Many newlyweds still have student loans, car payments, or even a mortgage to worry about. Work on increasing your income now, while you're child-free. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/how-to-not-suck-at-investing/">How To Not Suck At Investing</a> &mdash; Don't trade at all if you can help it. When you trade, you lose the commission and get hit with capital gains taxes. [Thousandaire]</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-financial-tips-for-fall">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</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/best-of-personal-finance-41-financial-calculators-for-major-life-decisions">Best Money Tip: 41 Financial Calculators for Major Life Decisions</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-things-you-need-to-know-about-deferring-student-loans">4 Things You Need to Know About Deferring Student Loans</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/6-powerful-images-of-money-and-what-they-really-mean">6 Powerful Images of Money and What They Really Mean</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-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips fall Tue, 20 Oct 2015 19:15:32 +0000 Amy Lu 1596442 at http://www.wisebread.com The 18 Coolest Frugal Fall Adventures http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_canoe_trip_000054763802.jpg" alt="Couple adding items to their fall bucket list" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fall is certainly in the air. But there's not a whole lot of time left to enjoy this magical and fleeting season, so here are some ideas to help create your ultimate autumn bucket list. (And we'd love to hear what's on your list in the comments!)</p> <h2>1. Get Lost in a Corn Maze</h2> <p>Gather a group of friends and spend time together navigating a corn maze. You can find corn mazes near you on sites like <a href="https://www.cornmazesamerica.com">Corn Mazes America</a>. Most mazes vary in difficulty. Some even have different instructions to cater the experience for different ages and skill levels.</p> <h2>2. Make Applesauce</h2> <p>Go apple-picking and simmer together homemade applesauce. It's as easy and chopping apples into small chunks. (You can leave the peels on or take them off.) Place them in the pot of your slow cooker, sprinkle on a couple teaspoons of cinnamon and a couple tablespoons of sugar, and cook on high for three hours. When the apples have softened, mash them with a potato masher or blend with a food processor.</p> <h2>3. Paint Pretty Pumpkins</h2> <p>Pick up a few pumpkins from the farmers market and decorate. You can go with classic carving, but for a safer project &mdash; try paint. I've seen anything from faces to letters to doughnuts painted on pumpkins. Use glitter, glow-in-the-dark paint, and all sorts of other crafting supplies to make yours unique.</p> <h2>4. Drink Cider</h2> <p>Drink hot cider. Enough said. All it takes is a few minutes to warm on the stove or in the microwave. As the weather gets colder, you can transition to hot cocoa or even add some mulling spices to the mix.</p> <h2>5. Take a Hike</h2> <p>Even if you're not into the great outdoors, now's the time to get out there before the cold weather hits. Hike a local trail or simply bask in the glow of the turning leaves in your neighborhood. This year I gave my daughter a &quot;nature box,&quot; which is just a shoebox we fill with acorns, leaves, pine cones, and anything else that makes her think of fall.</p> <h2>6. Decorate Your Place</h2> <p>Bring some of the outdoors inside by decorating your place. Even a modest wreath can bring you joy and spiff up your entryway. Here are seven <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips">frugal fall decorating tips</a> that will transform your space in no time. My favorite? Making a &quot;stained-glass&quot; window from fallen leaves and contact paper.</p> <h2>7. Light a Bonfire</h2> <p>We look forward to chilly nights and lighting backyard bonfires in our fire pit. Check with your city or town for different rules and regulations &mdash; not all areas permit open flames. Once you've been given the all clear, you can pick one up at your local hardware store or <a href="http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/2015/07/easy-diy-fire-pit.html">build a fire pit</a> for year-round enjoyment. You'll need pavers, lava rocks, a shovel, a level, and about an hour of time.</p> <h2>8. Brew Something New</h2> <p>Host an outdoor brewing party. Make it all about fall by brewing <a href="http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/10/homebrewing-pumpkin-ale-how-to-make-pumpkin-beer.html">pumpkin beer</a>. You'll want to start with a recipe that isn't terribly hoppy. From there, add canned pumpkin (about one pound per five gallons of beer) with no added preservatives and a variety of warm spices like nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. Let it all ferment like usual before enjoying.</p> <h2>9. Get Dressed</h2> <p>If you're in need of some new cold-weather clothing, head to the thrift shop or sale rack before buying new. A puffy vest or fleece jacket is a solid addition to your fall wardrobe and will get good use throughout winter as well. While you're at it, make the big transition from your summer wardrobe to your fall clothes.</p> <h2>10. Go Camping</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">Camping is a blast this time of year</a>. Yes, it's chilly. Yes, it requires a bit more preparation. But there's something amazing about waking up in the crisp air with the crunchy leaves beneath my feet. Don't have much time (or vacation days) to set aside an adventure? Try camping in your backyard, cooking out, and unplugging for a single night. The kids will love it.</p> <h2>11. Clean Up</h2> <p>Before the weather gets frightful, try sprucing up your place by cleaning out junk drawers, donating unused clothes and other items, and taking care of some basic home maintenance. Get your chimney cleaned before you start burning new fires. Reorganize your pantry to make mealtime a breeze. And flip your mattress. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle?ref=seealso">Fall Cleaning 101</a>)</p> <h2>12. Roast Everything</h2> <p>Fall is the season for squash and lots of other hearty produce items. If you don't know exactly what to do with them, try roasting. To <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/learn-cook-roasted-butternut-squash">roast butternut squash</a>, start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cut the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, peel, and cut into cubes. Place chunks on a rimmed baking sheet, toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes.</p> <h2>13. Volunteer Somewhere</h2> <p>Give back to your community. Work in a soup kitchen. Donate to a food bank. Help someone learn to read. And get the whole family involved if you can. Use a site like <a href="http://volunteermatch.org">VolunteerMatch.org</a> to find opportunities in your area.</p> <h2>14. Enjoy a Hayride</h2> <p>While you're out at the farm picking apples or working your way through a maze, don't forget to take a hayride. You might even catch some spooky ones around Halloween. Some tips: If you're allergic to grass or hay, consider taking allergy medicine beforehand. And don't wear your fanciest clothing &mdash; you will likely get a bit dirty!</p> <h2>15. Eat a Doughnut</h2> <p>I'm addicted to apple cider doughnuts. I started making them at home to save a bit of cash. These <a href="http://www.thefauxmartha.com/2014/10/09/baked-apple-cider-donuts/">baked apple cider doughnuts</a> are even a bit healthier than the fried variety. Combine all the ingredients, including a hefty 1/3 cup of apple cider and spices. Bake in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004CYELOQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004CYELOQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=W33IU4FNWG5ZYNYQ">doughnut pan</a>. Then eat them plain or top with cinnamon and sugar.</p> <h2>16. Attend a Festival</h2> <p>Browse your local paper or bulletin boards for fall festivals taking place in your hometown. My area boasts three apple festivals, a chili festival, a jazz music festival, and more fun things to do. The best part? A lot of the entertainment is free.</p> <h2>17. DIY a Blanket</h2> <p>Make yourself a <a href="https://snapguide.com/guides/make-a-no-sew-fleece-blanket-wout-bulky-knots/">no-sew fleece blanket</a> for some extra warmth. This project is so simple and would make a fun gift. You need four yards of fleece, scissors, and your hands (for knotting). To save a few dollars, shop around online for your fleece or check your store's clearance bins for discounted prints and colors.</p> <h2>18. Create a Thankful Tree</h2> <p>Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, I adore this <a href="http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/index.php/2010/11/27/the-thankful-tree/">thankful tree</a>. Gather some twigs and assemble them in a vase. Then write things you and your family are thankful for on tags and tie them to the tree. You can display it in a prominent area of your home and keep the good vibes flowing all season long.</p> <p><em>What memories are you making this fall?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body">6 Ways Autumn Is Good for Your Mind and Body</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-weekend-activities-for-introverts">The 12 Best Weekend Activities for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-stress-with-these-28-inexpensive-pastimes">Beat Stress With These 28 Inexpensive Pastimes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment activities autumn fall fun making memories outdoors things to do Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:00:46 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1580136 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Autumn Is Good for Your Mind and Body http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fall_leaves_000057664340.jpg" alt="Woman learning reasons why fall is good for her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While summer offers a host of ways to stay healthy and active, we can't dismiss fall as a beneficial season for our minds, bodies, and souls. Take a look at these reasons autumn is good for you, and let me know how you take advantage of the crisper weather in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Relief From Allergies</h2> <p>Say so long to all that sneezing and wheezing you do during the spring and summer months as those cool fall breezes help clear the air.</p> <p>&quot;Autumn is good in a sense that it gives relief from atopy, seasonal allergies and pollen-induced allergic reactions,&quot; says internal medicine specialist Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif. &quot;Exercise-induced allergy is also relieved in a considerable number of patients. Asthmatics also get relief in this season as there is a considerable decrease in grass, flowers, and tree pollens, and it makes the airways least irritated and triggered.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Warm Days Are Perfect for Exercising</h2> <p>The beginning of autumn is still relatively warm in most of the U.S., which is a great time to sneak in a little more summer or outdoor exercise. Consider alternative ways of working out, such as integrating movement into your TV-watching schedule on inside days, to prevent falling into a sedentary lifestyle that we're prone to later in the year.</p> <h2>3. More Laid-Back Outdoor Activities</h2> <p>There are an even greater number of outdoor activities that you can do in the fall that can be prohibited by the extreme heat during the summer. Hiking, biking, and kayaking, for example, are great ways to get out, stay active, but perform at your own pace.</p> <h2>4. An Abundance of Healthy Produce</h2> <p>The colder it gets later in the fall, the more you'll crave comfort food &mdash; which is just one of the many reasons why you should indulge in all the exciting and uber-healthy fruits and vegetables produced from the autumn harvest. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">Apples, pears, peaches, and pumpkin</a>&nbsp;are just for starters.</p> <p>Not only is your locally grown produce packed full of vitamins and nutrients, but you're also reducing your carbon footprint by purchasing items that don't have to be transported long distances and supporting your local economy, of course.</p> <p>And just so we're clear, pumpkin <em>spice</em> is not in this category.</p> <h2>5. The Switch to Standard Time Can Encourage Better Sleep Habits</h2> <p>Besides getting an extra hour of sleep if you go to bed early enough on the &quot;fall back&quot; switchover, there are other ways you can take advantage of the switch.</p> <p>The National Sleep Foundation recommends using this time to <a href="https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/daylight-saving-great-time-reset-your-sleep-habits">reset your sleep habits</a> by going to sleep and waking the same time every day, using bright light to help manage your &quot;body clock,&quot; selecting a relaxing bedtime ritual, and more. If you have trouble adjusting to the change &mdash; and you're not alone; millions of people have the same problem &mdash; perhaps these tips from BetterSleep.org for&nbsp;<a href="http://bettersleep.org/better-sleep/how-to-sleep-better/tips-for-surviving-daylight-saving-time1">surviving Daylight Saving Time</a> will help you survive Standard Time, too.</p> <h2>6. We Get Back to Our Regular Routines</h2> <p>As someone who lives by the beach, I can attest to the difficulty of maintaining a routine during the summer. But thanks to the school system in the United States, which typically runs from September to June, we have structure already in place to help us get back on track. It's certainly not as fun as frolicking in the sand all day, but having a routine is scientifically proven to make us&nbsp;<a href="http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/home-and-family/the-power-of-routines#P46IQElPSWD5exlH.97">happier and healthier</a> by providing a sense of security and other factors.</p> <p><em>Do you have more reasons why autumn is good for you? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures">The 18 Coolest Frugal Fall Adventures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-fall-is-a-great-time-to-house-hunt">5 Reasons Fall Is a Great Time to House Hunt</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/8-best-hobbies-for-introverts">8 Best Hobbies for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-great-stocks-for-back-to-school-time">9 Great Stocks for Back-to-School Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks activities Allergies autumn benefits fall outdoors well-being Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:00:32 +0000 Mikey Rox 1583096 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_camping_000053713732.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to enjoy fall camping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you love camping as much as I do, you don't exactly want to stop when the temperatures drop. Thankfully, there's no need to pack up the gear for good. Here are some genius ways to extend your camping adventures into fall and beyond. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a>)</p> <h2>1. Check Ahead</h2> <p>Some campgrounds are only open during peak camping months (usually Memorial Day through Labor Day). Before you embark on your adventure, call ahead to make sure your favorite destination is open. Check the weather, too. You may see rain in the forecast and decide to bring an extra tarp or other supplies. The idea here is to be prepared for what's ahead.</p> <h2>2. Leave Early</h2> <p>On our first fall camping excursion, we left too late in the day. By the time we go to the campground, it was getting dark and we were muddling around with our tent using headlamps. Remember that fall and winter mean fewer hours in the sun. So, plan accordingly and leave plenty of daylight hours for setup. Check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) <a href="http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/sunrise.html">sunrise and sunset calculator</a>.</p> <h2>3. Dress for Success</h2> <p>Layers are key when you're camping in the cold. I've always been told to stay away from cotton because it soaks up sweat and can make you wet. Try <a href="http://coolhikinggear.com/what-is-the-best-moisture-wicking-material">dressing in layers</a>. Start with an inner base layer, a warming mid layer (or two, depending on the temperature), and an outer wind or wetness protection layer. Moisture-wicking fabrics are best, so stick with synthetic fibers or even a lightweight wool.</p> <h2>4. Bring Accessories</h2> <p>Along with layering, you shouldn't forget your head, hands, and feet. Bring lots of mittens, gloves, socks, hats, slippers, and other accessories. I like fleece because it's cozy and soft. This <a href="http://oliveleafjournal.com/2014/01/13/fleece-hood-and-balaclava/">DIY fleece balaclava</a> would make a perfect travel companion. You need 3/4 of a yard of fleece fabric and a boot lace. Cut three rectangles from your fabric, sew them together, and thread your lace through the channel.</p> <h2>5. Bag It</h2> <p>Check your sleeping bag for its <a href="http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/sleeping-bag-backpacking.html">European Norm (EN)</a> temperature rating. You might notice that yours isn't fit for cold weather &mdash; the number usually indicates the lowest temperature that is comfortable to withstand in the bag. I like being warmer than most, so I do have a bag I use in summer and one for fall camping. I also favor mummy style bags because they leave less room for air to escape.</p> <p>Skip bulky blankets inside your sleeping bag. They'll actually work against your mission to stay warm. A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=sleeping%20bag%20liner&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=EGNRGTFSM4DEAP4M">sleeping bag liner</a> provides an extra layer of protection (like a bed sheet) and will work with your body heat to create a comfortable sleeping temperature.</p> <h2>6. Pack a Mat</h2> <p>I also like to sleep atop a travel cot or at very least a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QG1P6E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002QG1P6E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LQPQF4QTO5H2ADPD">camping mat</a> to keep excess moisture from entering my sleeping bag. I've used a yoga mat in a pinch. The bonus here is that the mat will create a barrier between you and the damp, cool ground. It's just more comfortable all around this way. If you can, try laying a tarp down before the pad for extra protection.</p> <p>Still cold? A wool blanket under your sleeping bag can help.</p> <h2>7. Add Heat</h2> <p>My husband taught me a cool trick that he learned when he was a kid. Fill a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=hot%20water%20bottle&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=OZBHGASVGIWYOQSF">hot water bottle</a> or even a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NCDE84/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NCDE84&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MQRHEUVZRTF7I45G">Nalgene</a> with warm water and put it in your sleeping bag. You can always refill with warm water if you're particularly cold. We even use this method on cold nights in our house. Just make sure the seal is tight so the water doesn't soak you. And those <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PX20LO0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00PX20LO0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AYUPW62CX2FC24JB">HotHands</a> hand warmers you use on ski trips are also invaluable on camping trips.</p> <h2>8. Sip Often</h2> <p>Another easy way to warm your core is by drinking hot beverages. Keep a kettle on so there's always hot water to make tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or instant soups. While you're at it, mind your fluid intake. Even if it's cold and you're not obviously sweating, you can easily get dehydrated with activity.</p> <h2>9. Cook Slow</h2> <p>If you're lucky enough to have a campsite with electricity, consider bringing your slow cooker to make mealtime easier. This way, you can simmer together warm and nourishing foods and keep the campfire all to yourself. Choose a cooker with a lockable lid for obvious reasons. Tent campers will want to bring a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JTS6UC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001JTS6UC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EGSPHAHCIDTGBLW5">long extension cord</a>. (If you're camping in bear country, you might want to skip this tip!)</p> <h2>10. Test It</h2> <p>One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to test our gear before we went on a long trip. My husband and I set up camp in the backyard and felt sort of silly about it. Well, it was a good thing we did because we were missing an essential support for our tent. If you've never camped in the fall before, you might even want to sleep a night in familiar territory to make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable.</p> <p><em>Are you a fall camper? What tricks have you learned to stay warm, dry, and safe?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Ways%20to%20Enjoy%20Fall%20Camping.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Enjoy%20Fall%20Camping" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Enjoy%20Fall%20Camping.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a></span> </div> </li> <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-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel autumn camping fall outdoors vacation Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:00:36 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1576302 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Fall Groceries to Add to Your List ASAP http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cooking_pumpkin_000057836612.jpg" alt="Woman adding fall groceries to her list ASAP" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to steep your belly in autumnal goodness? Buy seasonal produce and cook hearty, healthy meals. Here are some tips on how to fall-ify your grocery list and enjoy the harvest. The best part? Most of these produce items stay fresh for weeks and weeks! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fruits-and-veggies-that-stay-fresh-a-month-or-longer?ref=seealso">10 Fruits and Vegetables That Stay Fresh a Month or Longer</a>)</p> <h2>1. Squash</h2> <p>A quick walk around the farmers market will have you feasting your eyes on butternut, acorn, hubbard, spaghetti, and all other types of squashes. These guys aren't purely ornamental, though they do make great decorations. And don't let their tough exterior fool you, once you cut, peel, cube, and roast, the inner flesh is soft and delectable.</p> <p>Try using butternut squash in this copycat <a href="http://cincyshopper.com/copycat-panera-autumn-squash-soup-recipe/">Panera autumn squash soup</a> recipe. After you roast the squash, you'll blend it with vegetable broth, apple cider, heavy cream, and a variety of spices for kick. If you're cooking for one, try freezing extra portions to enjoy throughout the season.</p> <h2>2. Canned Pumpkin</h2> <p>Canned pumpkin has a special place in my heart. If you don't have time to fuss with cooking pumpkin from square one, you'll be happy to learn that canned actually contains an equally strong dose of <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/pumpkin/faq-20058106">vitamin A, potassium, and iron</a>. Stir it into soups, make a pie, or even eat it plain.</p> <p>My favorite canned pumpkin recipe is for vegetarian <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/10/new-and-improved-pumpkin-chili-recipe.html">smoked pumpkin chili</a>. Theses instructions are for cooking on your stovetop, but now I actually sauté the garlic and onions before putting everything in a Crock-Pot to simmer for three or more hours on high. Serve with buttermilk or corn biscuits and shredded cheese.</p> <h2>3. Apples</h2> <p>For a nearly free fall activity, go apple picking. (Or if you're lazy, pick up some local apples at the farmers market or grocery store.) With so many varieties, you cannot get bored. You can use apples in both sweet and savory dishes. I often leave the peels on for extra fiber and texture.</p> <p>I recently made this <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/country-apple-galette">apple galette</a> with my daughter. It's like a rustic apple pie and has tons of charm. You'll create a quick crust and chill it while you slice your apples. Then roll it out, stuff, and bake to browned perfection.</p> <h2>4. Pears</h2> <p>Don't forget pears! These power-packed fruits are full of vitamin C, potassium, and all sorts of fall deliciousness. To keep them from spoiling too quickly, try storing them with some space between each fruit. Once they're ripe, you can extend their freshness for a few days by putting them in the fridge. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fridge-or-counter-where-to-store-fruit-for-best-flavor?ref=seealso">Fridge or Counter? Where to Store Fruit for Best Flavor</a>)</p> <p>The author of this <a href="http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/easy-pear-butter-recipe/">pear butter</a> recipe boasts that it can be ready in just one hour. You'll stir together cubed pears, honey, spices, and lemon juice before cooking the mixture down. Then blend it in your food processor before slathering the butter onto everything in sight.</p> <h2>5. Cauliflower</h2> <p>In recent years, cruciferous cauliflower has seen a huge resurgence in popularity. It also happens to be a fall food staple. If you're into gardening, try planting cauliflower for autumn harvest next year. They stand up well to frost and taste great. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter?ref=seealso">10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter</a>)</p> <p>Here's a wonderful <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/mashed-cauliflower">mashed cauliflower</a> recipe to serve at your Thanksgiving table this year. You'll boil the head until it's tender and then season with salt and pepper before mashing or pureeing until smooth. I always add some herbs for extra flavor. You can use this cauliflower mash in other recipes that call for purees.</p> <h2>6. Carrots</h2> <p>Though carrots are ripe in spring and appear on menus much earlier in the year, they also do well in fall weather. You can always eat them raw atop salads or dunk them into dips and dressings. Another root vegetable, parsnips, is closely related to carrots and can be use in similar dishes.</p> <p>These <a href="http://pinkrecipebox.com/the-most-amazing-honey-glazed-carrots-and-parsnips/">honey glazed parsnips and carrots</a> make a robust side dish with any meal. Just chop carrots and parsnips (the instructions say to peel, but I skip that step). Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with honey, olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden.</p> <h2>7. Potatoes</h2> <p>Potatoes are one of the longest lasting veggies in your pantry. There are many types from which to choose. If after a few weeks your potatoes are soft or accumulating small growths, transfer them to your refrigerator. They may taste sweeter or darken when cooked after being chilled, but they're typically fine to eat.</p> <p>This <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/slowcooker-recipe-curried-vegetable-and-chickpea-stew-recipes-from-the-kitchn-67520">curried vegetable and chickpea stew</a> recipe calls for either red or yellow potatoes. I think sweet potatoes would make a wonderful match as well. You'll combine all the ingredients &mdash; cauliflower, potatoes, chickpeas, peppers, curry powder, coconut milk, and more &mdash; in your slow cooker. Then simmer for four hours on high.</p> <h2>8. Spices</h2> <p>Adding warmth and depth to a dish is all in the spices you use. Try experimenting with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, and more. Remember that a little goes a long way. You can always add more of a spice, but taking the flavor away becomes difficult when too much is dumped in at once.</p> <p><a href="http://www.kitchentreaty.com/slow-cooker-hot-spiced-apple-cider/">Mulled cider</a> is a classic &mdash; and you can make it in your Crock-Pot! Pour cider into your pot, then add cinnamon sticks and an orange covered in cloves. Cook on low for four hours before serving.</p> <h2>9. Herbs</h2> <p>The heartier varieties of herbs are plentiful in fall, including sage, thyme, parsley, and rosemary. You can always pick them up at the store or market, but consider keeping some of your own plants at home. Established plantings of rosemary and sage, for example, can actually <a href="http://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/guide-fresh-herbs-year-round.aspx?PageId=2">withstand cold weather</a>. They also do well in pots indoors.</p> <p>Try combining all these flavors in a <a href="http://www.savoringthethyme.com/2012/12/homemade-christmas-gift-idea-savory-compound-butter-recipe-with-sage-rosemary-thyme-lemon/">compound butter</a> that spreads beautifully onto anything from steaks to toast. Simply mash butter together with the herbs and seasonings. Then wrap in wax paper and chill for at least one hour.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite fall veggies and flavors?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples">18 Easy and Delicious Ways to Enjoy Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-day-freeze-batch-cooking-for-the-rest-of-us">The Five-Day Freeze: Batch Cooking for the Rest of Us</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-foods-you-can-turn-into-chips">10 Surprising Foods You Can Turn Into Chips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink autumn fall fall meals groceries healthy dishes recipes vegetables Mon, 05 Oct 2015 15:00:35 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1576264 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What is Your Favorite Thing About Fall? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-thing-about-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-thing-about-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_autumn_leaves_000044222596.jpg" alt="Woman sharing her favorite thing about fall" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-thing-about-fall#comment-781933">lisa</a>, Susan, and Pamela for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Fall is here! (Well, almost -- it officially begins September 23rd.) There are lots to love about this season: pumpkin spice everything, the kids go back to school, and the holiday season starts ramping up.</p> <p><strong>What is your favorite thing about fall?</strong> What events and activities are you looking forward to most? Is there anything you <em>don't</em> like about fall?</p> <p>Tell us what your favorite thing about fall is and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rcwidget_cnrwlcuv" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa209" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa209/" class="rcptr">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 28th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 28th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us what your favorite thing about fall is and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-thing-about-fall">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</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/ask-the-readers-whats-your-best-post-holiday-purchase-chance-to-win-10">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s Your Best Post-Holiday Purchase? (Chance to win $10!)</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/ask-the-readers-how-will-you-celebrate-fathers-day">Ask the Readers: How Will You Celebrate Father&#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/ask-the-readers-are-you-optimistic-about-2011">Ask the Readers: Are You Optimistic About 2011?</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/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers fall Tue, 22 Sep 2015 15:00:47 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1564214 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000019051349.jpg" alt="Child on fun and affordable train trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Trains are not only a huge part of our history and economy, but they make for relaxing and scenic travel. We last gave you five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">enjoyable and reasonably priced train trips</a> for the summer. Now, try going on one of these five additional fun, affordable train trips this fall.</p> <h2>1. Cross Country: California Zephyr</h2> <p>Have you always wanted to venture out into what was the wild west of the 1800s without the horrific summer heat? The <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/california-zephyr-train">California Zephyr</a> travels on a 2,438-mile route from Chicago, IL to Emeryville, CA, passing through seven states on a journey made by western settlers during the Gold Rush and other big migrations. The terrain changes from canyons, to rivers, to mountains, to deserts, to valleys with dramatic beauty. Key sights to see: Colorado River, the Donner Pass, the Rockies, and the Painted Desert.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> As low as $163 per adult and approximately $80 per child for this 51-hour train trip.</p> <h2>2. New Hampshire: Mount Washington Cog Railway</h2> <p>New Hampshire is beautiful as the leaves turn gold and the air gets crisp. What better way to usher in the season than by riding the <a href="http://www.thecog.com/">Mount Washington Cog Railway</a>, the world's first train to climb a mountain? The historic cars are cute and photo-worthy on their own. This makes for an easy day trip, because the ride is only three hours long, which includes an hour to hang out on the top of Mount Washington and snap pictures of the view. You'll want to try this one before winter settles in, as that's when the schedule is very limited.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> $73 per adult, and $39 per child for this three-hour scenic ride.</p> <h2>3. New York: Adirondack Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>Of course, Upstate New York in the fall is quite the stunner, too. The <a href="http://www.adirondackrr.com/">Adirondack Scenic Railroad</a> is definitely not hyperbole: this train weaves from Utica to Lake Placid, through the small hamlets in between. Keep your eyes on the window for the gorgeous scenery of lakes, rivers, and the pretty peaks of the Adirondacks. Additionally, lots of deer, bears, geese and other migrant birds are plentiful and on display through the trip. Fall events on this train include beer and wine tastings and a family Halloween theme.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> Adults cost $39.50 and children cost $29.50 for this trip.</p> <h2>4. Washington State: Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>If you're a fan of mountains and the Pacific Northwest, this is a must-do attraction. <a href="http://www.mrsr.com/index.html">The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad and Museum</a> happens to be the longest running steam train in the region and takes you through the forests and foothills of Mount Rainier. This two-hour train ride includes lots of information on the history of using steam locomotives for logging, the chief industry in the region in the late 19th through early 20th centuries. The MRSR also offers a <a href="http://www.mrsr.com/#!special-events/cpn1">Civil War package</a> complete with a Civil War reenactment.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> This train charges $32 per adult, $72 per child between five to 12 years old, $18 per child under three to four years, and infants under three are free.</p> <h2>5. North Carolina: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.gsmr.com/">Great Smoky Mountain Railroad</a> takes you through a uniquely pretty trail of the South. North Carolina boasts tons of indigenous beauty: 125 types of trees, 1,000 varieties of flora, and over 300 different animal species. You'll also get a chance to look inside the Great Smoky Mountains Train Museum. Like some of our other favorite train rides, this one also has various food and drink tasting voyages. For Halloween, there is a Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Halloween theme for the kids as well as a Halloween Masquerade theme for grown ups.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> For the average trip (non-themed and in family cars), adults cost $66 and children cost $38 per round trip ride.</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken any of these train rides? How was it?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20More%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips.jpg&amp;description=5%20More%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20More%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</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/8-easy-health-and-fitness-tricks-for-travelers">8 Easy Health and Fitness Tricks for Travelers</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-ways-travel-in-retirement-keeps-you-young">6 Ways Travel in Retirement Keeps You Young</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel America autumn fall trains transportation trips vacation Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:00:34 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1555445 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Frugal Fall Decoration Tips http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000020418359.jpg" alt="Woman using leaves to frugally decorate for fall" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Goodbye, summer. Hello, fall! If you want to get your place festive on the cheap, I have some amazing, super simple, and frugal ideas for you. So, check out these decor tips and feel free to share your own in the comments. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think?ref=seealso">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use the Harvest</h2> <p>Cornstalks, pumpkins, and hay bales bring the icons of the season back home. These organic decorations give your place rustic appeal and don't cost terribly much. Check farm markets and local farms before heading to big box stores for better prices and quality. I've even found inexpensive pumpkins at discount shops like Aldi and great deals on mums at the Christmas Tree Shops.</p> <h2>2. Take a Hike</h2> <p>Take a walk out your front door and see what you find in your yard for free. This temporary <a href="http://artfulparent.com/2011/10/autumn-leaves-stained-glass.html">stained glass window</a> was created using colorful leaves and clear contact paper. I tried this project in my own home last year and it stayed fresh and bright from late September until the first snowfall.</p> <h2>3. Just Add Water</h2> <p>Hosting a potluck or dinner party? Forget pricey floral centerpieces and <a href="http://www.bhg.com/decorating/seasonal/fall/easy-fall-decorating-projects/?sssdmh=dm17.619277&amp;esrc=nwdc091912#page=8">grab a few twigs</a> with the leaves still attached from your backyard. You can go monochromatic or get a rainbow of shades. Arrange these beauties in a wide vase, add water, and enjoy!</p> <h2>4. Keep It Subtle</h2> <p>You don't need to change around everything in your house to get it feeling fall-ish. Add pops of autumnal oranges, reds, and yellows using throw pillows. You can even sew an <a href="http://jonesdesigncompany.com/tutorial/sweater-pillow-tutorial-2/">upcycled pillow cover</a> using an old sweater. Or toss a warm-toned blanket on your couch. Not only will your living room feel cozy, but you'll also have a functional coverup for when the temperatures start to drop.</p> <h2>5. Get Creative</h2> <p>Try making a <a href="http://www.houseofhepworths.com/2010/09/07/dollar-store-fall-decor/">DIY wreath</a> for your front door using just a few supplies from your local craft shop or Dollar Store. Choose a base wreath, leaf garland, and other embellishments. Then hot glue everything into place. I like shopping places that offer 40% to 50% off coupons like A.C. Moore and Michael's. Comb their websites for more information and stagger trips to use multiple coupons for more expensive items.</p> <h2>6. Hunt Around</h2> <p>I love this <a href="https://folksy.com/items/3459006-Autumn-Bunting?&amp;cuid=520fb437cf2f990ff7c14d8cbed2e785">autumn bunting</a> made from vintage book paper. Try browsing around local thrift stores, antique shops, and garage sales for nature prints. Craft a quick triangle pattern from cardstock or cardboard. Then trace it onto each sheet, cut it out, and use a punch to make holes. Thread them all together with twine or rope and hang wherever you like.</p> <h2>7. Snack on It</h2> <p>Even some of your favorite fall foods can get in on the fun. Fill a glass jar with sugary <a href="http://puttogetherlife.com/2012/10/16/candy-corn-decor/">candy corn</a> or unpopped <a href="http://passionatepennypincher.com/2012/09/the-friday-fluff-up-6-decorating-at-the-dollar-tree/">corn kernels</a> and add a candle or two. Apples and squash are other gorgeous edibles that do double-duty as decorations until you're ready to devour them. Hang everything in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008UP233O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008UP233O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YHFVDBTNFKFMRQH7">three-tiered basket</a> for easy access and sight.</p> <p><em>How do you brighten up your place for fall?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-festive-ways-to-dress-up-your-property-for-the-holidays">13 Festive Ways to Dress Up Your Property for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle autumn decorations fall fall leaves home decor pumpkins Wed, 16 Sep 2015 15:00:21 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1555253 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Easy and Delicious Ways to Enjoy Apples http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/basket_of_apples_000020750480.jpg" alt="Finding easy and delicious ways to enjoy apples " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What&rsquo;s more American than apple pie? Not having enough time to make an apple pie from scratch. So if you&rsquo;re strapped for time but have a lot of apples on hand, try these easy, relatively fast, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-awesome-ways-to-use-apple-cider-vinegar">super delicious ways</a> to enjoy apples this fall.</p> <h2>1. Make Apple Butter</h2> <p>Sometimes you want more than jam to spread on breads and use in other recipes &mdash; <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/apple_butter/">apple butter</a> is not only easy to make, but really, really, really good on cornbread (and anything else you put it on).</p> <h2>2. Dip Slices in Honey</h2> <p>This is a great midday snack or dessert! Simply slice a whole apple into wedges. Then, pour a tablespoon of honey into a small dipping bowl. This is also how some people celebrate Rosh Hashanah, but literally anyone can enjoy this.</p> <h2>3. Snack on Apple and Quinoa Salad</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/quinoa-salad-apples-walnuts-dried-cranberries-gouda.aspx">quinoa salad</a> featuring chunks of sliced apple has a satisfying crunch and makes for a healthy side dish to any lunch or dinner. You can try this recipe substituting apples for citrus or berries as well.</p> <h2>4. Try Apples on Pizza</h2> <p>Have you ever tried some thinly sliced apple on pizza? Next time you&rsquo;re going for a more playful sweet and savory pizza experience, try this <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/caramelized-onion-green-apple-and-gorgonzola-cheese-pizza-521479">pizza recipe with apples</a>, gorgonzola, and caramelized onion.</p> <h2>5. Add Apples to Pork Roast</h2> <p>Sometimes you need a hearty, complex main dish. What could be a better fall weeknight dinner treat than a <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/11/pork-roast-with-apples-and-onions/">pork roast with apples</a>? The Pioneer Woman&rsquo;s recipe is tried and true perfection.</p> <h2>6. Bake an Apple Ginger Galette</h2> <p>When you don&rsquo;t have time for a full-on pie with homemade crust on top, try a <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/10/ginger-caramel-apple-galette-recipe.html?ref=search">French-style gallette</a>. It&rsquo;s like a rustic tart-pie hybrid without half the fuss of either. Like the recipe instructs, roll out some homemade (or storebought) dough, fill the middle with apple filling, then simply fold up the sides. An easy enough dessert to bake on a weeknight.</p> <h2>7. Throw Them in a Grilled Cheese</h2> <p>Similar to apples on pizza, apples in a grilled cheese are to die for. Try a grilled cheese sandwich with lots of melty brie, fig, and <a href="http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/brie-fig-and-apple-grilled-cheese/">sliced granny smith apples</a>. It&rsquo;ll become a family favorite in no time.</p> <h2>8. Dip Slices in Almond Butter</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re trying to keep your energy up throughout the day and need to watch your caloric intake, try this: cut up half of an apple into slices. Take out a jar of unsalted almond butter. Then, dip the slices in the almond butter for a reasonable and yummy snack.</p> <h2>9. Sip Mulled Cider</h2> <p>Sure, you can buy some cider and mulling spices at the store, but have you considered making your own cider one of these crisp, fall weekends? Make your own <a href="http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/211772/homemade-apple-cider/?mxt=t06rda">big batch of cider</a> with this easy recipe and then celebrate by heating it in a Crock-Pot for a quiet evening by the fire.</p> <h2>10. Make a Classic Waldorf Salad</h2> <p>Have you ever made a Waldorf salad? This salad invented in the 1890s is an easy side dish with apples, grapes, celery, nuts, and mayo. There are also infinite variations on the salad, like this <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/kale-waldorf-salad">kale version</a> made by Whole Foods.</p> <h2>11. Recreate the McApple Pie</h2> <p>You know those deep-fried <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/food/McDonald-Deep-Fried-Apple-Pie-Recipe-Video-32791365">apple hand pies</a> you used to get at McDonald&rsquo;s as a kid? They&rsquo;re actually pretty easy to make. These work great as a party snack or just a special treat for the kids.</p> <h2>12. Sweeten Your Oatmeal</h2> <p>Need to get back into the oatmeal for breakfast routine to keep the pounds off? It&rsquo;s really easy to get bored with the wallpaper paste flavor of even the best quality oats. Instead of flavored oatmeal, keep the plain and add chopped fresh apples to it. The apples add much needed texture and flavor.</p> <h2>13. Fry up Some Fritters</h2> <p>Do you fantasize about those delicious apple fritters at your local donut shop? It&rsquo;s totally attainable at home! This excellent <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-apple-fritters-recipes-from-the-kitchn-210596">fritter recipe</a> from The Kitchn makes it easy and fun to fry up some fritters for a weekend brunch treat.</p> <h2>14. Mix Some Party Punch</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re having any parties this September through December, you&rsquo;ll need a seasonally appropriate drink. Trust me, you don&rsquo;t want to make dozens of single cocktails as people get thirsty &mdash; you want a big, batch-made punch that will go strong all night. This <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/29082-brandy-apple-punch">brandy apple punch</a> is sweet and potent enough to keep things festive.</p> <h2>15. Vary Your Apple Pie Game</h2> <p>Is a plain, traditional apple pie not exciting enough for you to set aside a whole day to make one? Try making a fun variation, like this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/356456/apple-blackberry-pie-fall-leaves-pate-brisee">apple blackberry recipe</a>, this <a href="https://www.washingtonsgreengrocer.com/our-blog/rustic-apple-plum-pie">apple plum recipe</a>, or this <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014112-apple-green-chile-pie-with-cheddar-crust">apple and cheddar</a> recipe. Or, throw in a new ingredient to make it your own. There are so many options that you could make a new apple pie every weekend all season long.</p> <h2>16. Get Nostalgic With Candy Apples</h2> <p>Instead of buying them at a huge markup at a candy shop, do it yourself. This Halloween, make some chocolate, caramel, and candy coatings, set up a candy apple topping bar (broken candy bars, sprinkles, chocolate chips, cookie crumbs, etc.), and have everyone make their own candy apple.</p> <h2>17. Add Apples to Stuffing</h2> <p>Is it time to change up the stuffing you&rsquo;ve been making for years? Try a new version with festive additions like chopped apples and nuts. This classic <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/herb-and-apple-stuffing-recipe.html">Ina Garten stuffing recipe</a> combines apples and sliced almonds in a most classy and delicious fashion.</p> <h2>18. Finally Make Your Own Applesauce</h2> <p>It might surprise you that <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/12/really-simple-applesauce-recipe.html">homemade applesauce</a> is actually very easy to make, and can work with dozens of different variations. It&rsquo;s as simple as boiling down the apples, then blending them into a puree. Add sugar, spices, other fruits &mdash; whatever you want!</p> <p><em>Any easy apple creations we missed? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/12-great-ways-to-eat-bananas">12 Great Ways to Eat Bananas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">9 Fall Groceries to Add to Your List ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-good-food-goes-bad-part-vi-apples">When Good Food Goes Bad Part VI: Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-easy-ways-to-enjoy-canned-peaches">15 Delicious and Easy Ways to Enjoy Canned Peaches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-and-delicious-granola-recipes">20 Easy and Delicious Granola Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink apples autumn fall fruit healthy recipes Thu, 10 Sep 2015 11:00:17 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1553953 at http://www.wisebread.com