Winter Recipes

Cold winter nights make everyone want to feel cozy with full tummies. Far too often, our favorite winter recipes are time-consuming, and it can feel impossible to muster up the energy to make our go-to comfort foods. Luckily, we’re here to help! Keep reading to find your new staples for winter—without the hours spent laboring over the stove or oven.

Super Easy Meatloaf

This meatloaf will make everyone want the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 c. Milk
  • 1 c. Crackers, Smashed
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/3 c. Ketchup
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Combine beef, egg, onion, milk, cracker crumbs, salt and pepper into a bowl. Mix until just combined. Place in loaf pan.
  3. Combine brown sugar, mustard and ketchup in a small bowl. Mix well and pour over meatloaf.
  4. Bake for one hour. Let rest for 20 minutes once done.

Weeknight Meatball Soup

No one will know you made this soup in 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 3 c. Water
  • 2 (14 oz) Cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 2 (14 oz) Cans Beef Broth
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 lb. Frozen Mini-Meatballs (Italian-Style Preferred)
  • 1 lb. Frozen Italian-Blend Vegetables
  • 1 c. Elbow Pasta
  • ½ c. Parmesan Cheese, Grated

Directions

  1. Lightly saute onions and garlic in a large pot until onions are transparent.
  2. Stir in water, tomatoes, beef broth and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil.
  3. Add meatballs, vegetables and pasta; return to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for ten minutes or until pasts is tender.
  5. Garnish each serving with Parmesan cheese.

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Soup

Leftover pumpkin? Think outside pies and try this soup.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Can Pumpkin Puree (15 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 c. Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 4 tbsp. Heavy Cream
  • Toasted Pumpkin Seeds for Garnish

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven. Add onion and garlic, sauteing about 4 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Add pumpkin, thyme, salt, cumin, black pepper, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until steaming and fragrant.
  3. Add chicken or vegetable broth, cooking for 3-4 minutes, continuously stirring.
  4. Remove soup from heat, add cream.
  5. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve.

Irish Coddle

This traditional Irish dish is perfect for cold winter nights.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. Thick Cut Bacon
  • 1 lb. Sausage (use a high-quality sausage, preferably bangers)
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 lbs. Potatoes (Yukon Gold or Red)
  • 1 (32 oz) Carton Chicken Stock
  • 1 Bunch Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. In a dutch oven, cook bacon until crispy and golden brown. Remove and place on paper towel.
  3. Brown sausage on all sides. Remove.
  4. Saute onions until carmelized. Add garlic and saute until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Remove.
  5. Remove pot. Add half of the potatoes to bottom of pot. Season with salt, pepper and ¼ parsley.
  6. Add half of onion/garlic mixture and bacon.
  7. Repeat layers.
  8. Place whole sausages on top.
  9. Add chicken broth. Place pot back on stove and bring to a boil.
  10. Cover pot; place in oven and cook for 2-4 hours. Check every hour to ensure an inch of liquid is at the bottom of the pot while cooking. Add more liquid if necessary.
  11. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste; add remaining parsley for garnish.

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Don’t worry about slaving over the perfect pie crust for this one! Instead, the flaky crescent roll dough creates a melt-in-your-mouth crust everyone will love.

Ingredients

  • ½ c. Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • ¾ c. Milk
  • 10 oz. Mixed Vegetables, Thawed
  • 1 ½ c. Cooked Chicken (Cubed or Shredded)
  • 8 oz. Crescent Roll Dough

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 8×8 baking dish.
  2. In a large saucepan, whisk mayo, flour, bouillon and pepper together until smooth. Slowly pour in milk. Bring mixture to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened.
  3. Add vegetables and chicken to mixture; cook and stir until heated. Transfer to baking dish.
  4. Unroll crescent dough; separate triangles; arrange dough over chicken mixture.
  5. Bake until topping is golden brown (15-20 minutes).

Easy, Peasy Shepherd’s Pie

You’ll fall in love with this pie made with instant mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef or Lamb
  • 2 tsp. Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp. Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp. Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 c. Beef Broth
  • 1 c. Frozen Peas and Carrots
  • ½ c. Frozen Corn Kernels
  • 5 c. Mashed Potatoes (made from instant boxed potatoes)
  • ½ c. Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Add oil to a skillet and heat on high for 2 minutes. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add ground meat to skillet, breaking apart with spoon; add parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir well. Cook meat until browned.
  4. Add Worcestershire and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add flour and tomato paste. Stir until fully incorporated.
  6. Add broth and frozen vegetables. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Place meat mixture into 9×9 inch baking dish, spreading evenly.
  8. Add parmesan cheese to mashed potatoes.
  9. Placed mashed potatoes on top of meat mixture, spreading evenly.
  10. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
  11. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

These quick and easy recipes are sure to keep you feeling warm and fuzzy all winter long. Which one is your favorite? What’s your winter recipe staple? Let us know below!

The Most Common and Do-Able New Year’s Resolutions

As you write out your New Year’s resolutions, you know you’re going to complete every single item on this year’s list. Unfortunately, most people tend to write the same things every single year, hoping that this year will be the one. Luckily, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn how to complete people’s most common New Year’s resolutions and make 2022 your year.

What Do You Want to Do This Year?

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the ten most common New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Lose Weight/Get Fit/Diet
  2. Quit Smoking/Drinking
  3. Eliminate Debt
  4. Get Organized
  5. Learn a New Language/Skill/Hobby
  6. Spend Time with Family
  7. Travel
  8. Read More
  9. Reduce Stress
  10. Volunteer

Most likely, you’re looking to accomplish at least one thing on this list. Take the time to narrow what you want to do into a couple of goals. For example, a lot of people will create ungodly long lists in the hopes of living up to the “New Year, New Me” motto. When they do this, they’re setting themselves up for failure, creating a list of goals they’ll quickly feel overwhelmed by. By selecting 2-3, you’re more likely to accomplish what you want and won’t feel like you’ve “failed” within a few weeks.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

If you work in the business world, you’ve probably heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and occur within a specific timeframe. So, what does this look like in action? Let’s say your goal is to “lose weight.” This is vague and can mean 100 different things to 100 different people. When we set a S.M.A.R.T. weight loss goal, it becomes something like, “I want to lose 50 pounds over the next year by working out three times a week, making healthier eating decisions and aiming to lose 5 pounds a month.”

Make Sure Goals Motivate

Another problem we frequently see with New Year’s resolutions are goals that really don’t motivate. Non-motivational goals fall into two camps: too hard and too easy. If your goal is to travel more, you’re probably not going to hit all seven continents in seven weeks (if you can, seriously, please take us with you). On the flip side, you’re likely not going to find a lot of satisfaction traveling to the same vacation spot you’ve had for seven years. Look for something in-between. So, if your goal is to travel to a foreign country, look to include a couple of different cities/states/countries while you’re there. For example, if you want to go to Spain, why not include a few days in Portugal or France as well? By including a few bonus stops that won’t break the bank, you’ve created a more motivating goal.

Write Your Goals Down

Break Down Goals

Your New Year’s resolutions are likely pretty big goals, and this can quickly overwhelm just about anyone. Instead of putting something monumental and getting lost in the process of completing it, break your goal down into measurable steps. How does this work in action? Let’s say you want to quit smoking, and right now you smoke a pack a day. In the first month, aim to get your smoking down to about 10-15 cigarettes a day by the end of the month. You’re already halfway there! The following month, look to cut your smoking down by a third to a half again. By the end of the year, you’ll have quit smoking entirely, and you’ll have been able to do it by slowly weaning yourself off through small stepping stone goals.

Write Goals Down

Writing down your goals may seem passe, but there are plenty of reasons to bring out the pen and paper, including:

  • You’re more likely to remember things you write versus typing them out.
  • Your goals will be clearer and more concise.
  • You can easily post them anywhere. A lot of people find putting their goals someplace they see every day, whether on their bathroom mirror or on the fridge, keeps them on track and make better decisions every day.
  • If you regularly review them, they can become a great motivating tool to see how far you’ve come on your journey.

While it’s perfectly fine to put your goals on your phone, most people find writing them down gives them regular motivation; however, typing them out and making them your lock screen or wallpaper is also perfectly fine as well.

Tell Your Friends Your Resolutions

Your friends likely have a lot of the same goals as you, so now is the perfect time to connect with them. When you tell others your goals, you’re more likely to complete them due to the instant accountability telling someone about the goal establishes. If you find someone who has the same goal, look to partner up with them. For example, if you want to read more, the two (or more) of you can start a book club, meeting once a month to discuss your latest book.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

 Look, making a major life change is difficult, and you will slip up. Whether it’s a piece of cake on your diet or splurging on something for yourself, you’re going to have hiccups as you work to meet your goal. If an oopsie happens, make sure you:

  • Take a breath. There’s nothing stopping you from working towards your goal for the rest of the day.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Far too often, people put themselves through a guilt trip that actually dissuades them from pursuing their goal.
  • Reevaluate your goals. Sometimes we set ourselves for failure by making huge goals no one can complete. Look to see if your goals are achievable and make adjustments as needed.

Setting New Year’s resolutions can be fun, and reaching your goals will feel rewarding once you’re done. Take the time to create S.M.A.R.T. resolutions, regularly reevaluate as necessary, enlist a friend and don’t beat yourself up when you have a setback. By following the above tips, you’ll reach your goals in no time.

25 Activities To Do In The Winter

As the weather gets chillier and festive holiday cheer abounds, indoor and outdoor winter activities are guaranteed to keep you entertained this season. Whether you love unwinding by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa or prefer a more sporty activity like ice skating, the winter season has something for everyone. Here’s 25 ideas to make this winter you best one yet.

  1. Make hot chocolate bombs. These tasty hot chocolate powder and marshmallow-filled treats require a special mold (here’s a link to purchase) and some assembly is required for the chocolate globes. We love this recipe.

2. Take a drive to see the holiday lights at night. Check your local media outlets for neighborhoods with special holiday decor and light displays for the public to enjoy.

3. Ice skating. Strap on a pair of skates and take a spin at your local ice rink! This is also a great way to stay physically active in cold weather.

4. Bake a panettone. This Italian sweet bread with candied fruits is a winter holiday favorite that takes a bit of time (the dough needs to rise overnight) but is well worth the wait and effort. Recipe here.

5. Create a scrapbook of winter memories. Rather than leaving all of your memories on your phone, print out your pictures this year and chronicle your wintertime adventures like experiencing the season’s first snowfall or the winter solstice.

6. See The Nutcracker. Whether it’s watching the movie on a projector while cozy at home or seeing the ballet in person, this family-friendly classic is full of magic and winter adventure.

8. Camp out in your living room. Assemble a pillow fort or break out your sleeping bags, light the fireplace or put a Yule Log video on Youtube, and bring out the snacks for an impromptu indoor camping night in.

9. Try a winter photo shoot. Gather friends or family for an informal winter-themed photo shoot using DIY backdrops, such as garlands, or a snowy outdoor scene.

10. Visit a local museum you haven’t been to yet. From modern art to natural history, there’s probably a museum or two you haven’t visited yet. Winter is the perfect time for this indoor cultural activity.

11. Create a winter-themed music playlist. Get into the spirit of the season by compiling a list of your favorite wintertime songs on Spotify to play and share with your loved ones. You’ll be surprised how many songs have a winter vibe.

12. Make a dream or vision board. Have big goals for the upcoming New Year? Find inspiration from images online and in magazines to make a visual representation of your dreams and goals for the future. This can be made digitally on gomoodboard.com or by using a poster board, magazine clippings, and a glue stick.

13. Make fake snow. Missing real snowflakes? This simple two-ingredient recipe means you can have snow even if you’re in a warmer climate. 

14. Go on a winter scavenger hunt. Write down 10 things to search for around town or near your home – everything from spotting a pine cone or a Santa hat works – and the first person who checks everything off the list wins.

15. Take a day trip. If weather permits, go on a long drive to explore back roads, semi-local attractions, and finally visit those spots you’ve always vowed you’d stop at one day.

16. Make waterless snow globes. This craft is relatively easy to do if you’re handy with a glue gun. Go here for directions.

18. Visit winter markets and bazaars. Need last-minute gifts or decorations? Check out the goods and support local artisans and makers at festive markets and bazaars in your area.

19. Have a winter-themed movie night. From Frozen to Eight Below, films with wintry settings full of snow and frigid weather are a delight to watch while curled up in blankets on the couch with hot chocolate.

20. Make pomander balls. If you love the scent of winter citrus and fragrant spices, try your hand at making pomander balls. Simply stick whole cloves in firm oranges in the pattern of your choice. For additional scent, you can roll oranges in a mixture of spices, including cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. If you’d like to hang your pomander, run a long, thin wire through the middle of the orange and make a loop at the top.

21. Make a snow angel. Enjoy a snowy day by laying down on the snow and spreading your arms and legs to create one.

22. Make a winter-scented potpourri. Fill your home with the scent of wintertime by combining spices and fruit like nutmeg, apples, and cranberries on your stovetop. We love this recipe.

22. Refresh your space. Get a head start on spring cleaning with a winter refresh – go through your closets and decide what items to keep, donate, or toss. Be honest about what you’ve actually worn this year, what fits, and what you no longer love or want to wear. You’ll make room for the new and any holiday presents you may receive.

23. Start a book club. Winter is the ideal time to curl up with a good book and catch up with dear friends – combine the two by starting a book club. Select a book that’s set in wintertime and set aside a time to meet virtually or in person to discuss the book’s plot and overall themes.

24. Play a board game or complete a puzzle. Snowed in? Grab a board game like Monopoly or Candyland to keep your mind occupied. Have a lot of time to keep your kids busy during winter break? A 1000 piece puzzle will do the trick.

25. Organize a clothing swap. Invite friends and family over one evening to share and swap gently used clothing, outerwear, and accessories. Any leftover items can be donated for people in need in the true spirit of the season.

– We hope these activities keep you entertained (and warm!) all winter long-

Fun and Exciting Winter Treats

Winter is the perfect time to get cozy in your bed and devour scrumptious desserts and treats.

From delicious apple pies to mouth-watering cinnamon rolls, what are some other winter treats to enjoy with a good mug of coffee? You can read here to learn how to make some of the best winter treats.

Cinnamon Rolls

Nothing feels better than latching your hand around freshly brewed coffee and gulping it down with sweet cinnamon rolls. This irresistible sweet treat is made from warm dough, cinnamon, and cream cheese.

You can easily make cinnamon rolls at home by using our simple recipe. Plus, you only need a few of the following ingredients.

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 2 cups whole milk (warm)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (600g)
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

FILLING

  • 12 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon (ground)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (160g)

FROSTING

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese (120 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Recipe

  1. To prepare the dough, warm the milk and mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. This should prepare a warm mixture. The temperature should register around 37-43˚C. If it is warmer than this, allow it to cool down.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture. Stir it and keep it in a warm place for ten minutes until the yeast blooms.
  3. Add four cups of flour to your milk mixture. Stir well until all it combines well.
  4. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about one hour. The dough should rise nearly double in size.
  5. To prepare the filling, mix brown sugar, ground, cinnamon, and butter. Mix well and set aside.
  6. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough to add the remaining flour. Add baking powder and salt. Mix well to set aside.
  7. Place the dough on a neat surface to knead it for ten minutes. Add flour if needed. When the dough loses its stickiness, roll it into a large rectangle with 1 cm thickness.
  8. Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough into a log.
  9. Pinch the seam to close it. Trim the ends to make it even.
  10. Use a thread to cut the log into pieces. You can cut it about 7-8 cm thick.
  11. Butter a baking tray. Place the cinnamon rolls in the glazed tray.
  12. Cover the tray with a towel for 45 minutes to let it rise.
  13. Preheat your oven to 180˚C
  14. Bake the rolls for about 30 minutes until they become golden brown.
  15. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream cheese, milk, vanilla extract with melted butter, gradually add baking sugar to form a homogenous mixture.
  16. When the cinnamon rolls are baked, drizzle the frosting over them.

Enjoy it with hot coffee.

Eggnog Doughnuts

The eggnog glazed doughnuts are ideal for winters. You can serve them as a dessert with coffee or tea.

This easy-to-make winter treat requires eggnog, nutmeg, and vanilla extract.

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
  • ⅔ cup eggnog
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

GLAZE

  • 2 tablespoons eggnog
  • Ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

RECIPE

  1. Combine the flour, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Whisk the mixture to blend well.
  2. In another bowl, whisk ⅔ cup eggnog with egg, granulated sugar, and vegetable oil. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and stir well.
  3. Grease a doughnut pan with cooking spray or melted butter.
  4. Take a doughnut pan and spoon the batter into it, filling about two-thirds full. You can also use a plastic storage bag to pipe out the batter into the doughnut pan.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190˚C
  6. Bake the doughnuts for ten minutes.
  7. Insert a toothpick into the doughnut to check if it is well-baked. The toothpick should come out clean.
  8. Let the doughnuts cool for ten minutes.
  9. Add powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons eggnog, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Mix well.
  10. Dunk the top of the doughnuts into the glaze and enjoy!

Apple Crisp

Apple crisp is a quick-to-make winter treat. An apple cinnamon pie is something that sticks with us every winter.

But sometimes, we don’t have the time to prepare a whole pie. Well, here is a quick recipe to help you enjoy the perfect combination of apples and cinnamon!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 whole apples
  • 60 grams sugar
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Lemon juice

TOPPING

  • 3-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Flour 2 tablespoons
  • Oats for topping
  • Brown sugar to sprinkle

Recipe

  1. To prepare the warm and fruity apple crisp, slice up the apples. Keep them in a small bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon to the sliced apples.
  2. Heat the oven to 190˚C.
  3. Grease a baking pan with butter or cooking spray.
  4. Spread the apple mixture into the pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Whisk flour, brown sugar, and unsalted butter. Top it over the cooked apple crisp. Add oats and bake for five minutes.

You can leave out the oats, but they add a good texture to the apple crisp. This delicious and quick apple crisp gets ready in no time!

We hope that you like our winter treat ideas that are sure to cheer you up on a dull winter day.

Where to shop for Holiday Gifts on a budget

One of the best things about the holidays is giving gifts that make others happy and feel special. Doing that can be difficult on a budget, but not impossible. There are plenty of stores and places online to find affordable holiday gifts these days. This year, with cost inflation, that is incredibly beneficial. You also have the supply issue to consider when shopping, so creativity will be necessary.

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods is an online retailer and offers gifts you won’t find on other websites, and many of them are at an affordable price. Find unique items such as Famous Artists Ornaments for $22.00, Kids-for-Kids winter socks for $15.00, and Aromatherapy Balm stocking stuffer and ornament for $25.00.

Target

Target always has a decent selection of affordable holiday gifts. This year they have Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote for 19.99, a 15 pack of Men’s Marvel Advent Calendar socks for $15.00, or a Vitamasques Festive Face Mask Gift Set – Limited Edition – 6ct for $10.00. Close to 2,000 locations are throughout all 50 U.S. states, and you can shop online.

Walmart

When you think of Walmart, uncommon gifts may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but they have plenty of options for fabulous gifts at affordable prices. They have an Atomi Bluetooth 5W 3.25-Inch circle shower speaker for $14.96 and a Big Lebowski Movie 500-piece puzzle in plastic retro blockbuster VHS video case for $9.97. Or, in Walmart’s photo section, you can personalize a 50×60 plush fleece blanket with your photos for $39.99 or two for $60.00! You can find this big retailer almost everywhere and shop their deals online.

Amazon

Amazon is an online retailer and the go-to for many these days, and the holiday season is no exception. Find plenty of Cheap and quirky gifts for all of your favorites. Things like a 12 pack of Vincent Van Gogh Guitar Picks gift set for $14.95, an Ecolution Original Microwave Micro-Pop popcorn popper for $12.99, a holiday crave box full of delicious snacks for $24.95, or a Prodyne Fruit Infusion Flavor Pitcher for $19.99.

Kohl’s

Kohl’s has long been the place to go for affordable holiday gifts. This year they have a Toastmaster personal blender for 14.99, an Amazon Fire TV Stick Streaming Media Player with Dolby Atmos Audio and Alexa Voice Remote for $19.99, or adorable St. Nicholas Square ornaments for $4.99. There are Kohl’s locations in every U.S. state except for Hawaii. You can also take advantage of their fabulous deals online.

Dollar General

Dollar General carries a wide variety of items at a low price. You can find anything from clothes to cleaning supplies or home goods to toys and electronics. They always have a selection of items on sale for the holidays. Things such as a Sylvania speaker, set of two for $10.00, SpaScriptions four-piece spa day set for $5.00, or if you are shopping for kids, they have a National Geographic deluxe STEM science activity kit for $20.00. There are 17,000 store locations throughout the U.S. You can also shop online.

Etsy

Etsy is a neat online marketplace that allows artists and crafters to create accounts and sell items, including artwork and other goods. Many of the items are at low and affordable prices. You can find unique gifts such as a personalized family recipe book for $29.00, personalized birthstone bracelets for $17.20, and personalized wall art starting at $22.00.

Five Below

Five Below is a discount retail store that sells items that cost up to $5.00. You can find small gifts and stocking stuffers such as fidget and sensory toys popular among kids these days. They also have board games, small electronics, holiday home decor, toys, clothing items, make-up, and candy. There are 900 Five Below locations in 36 U.S. states, and you can enjoy their discount pricing online.

JCPenney

James Cash and Penny opened the first JCPenny store in 1902. The retailer closed many JCPenny department store locations in the last few years, but you can still take advantage of their superb holiday deals online. They have fabulous gifts, including a Clean Reserve perfume discovery kit for $24.00 or a Harry & David Tower Of Sweet Treats for $29.69.

Crate and Barrel

Crate and Barrel is a home decor store that offers trendy and modern essentials for every room in your home. You can find hip gifts such as a Dash Mini Gingerbread Man Waffle Maker for $12.95, a mini pie maker for $17.95, and a 2021 Silver Pearl frame Christmas ornament for $8.95. Crate and Barrel have 89 stores and eight outlets around the United States and Canada, and you can shop online.

Burlington

Burlington has plenty of holiday gift items to choose from at low prices. Things such as men’s box spa sets for $16.99, adorable handbags are starting at $24.99, and plenty of toys, holiday apparel, and home essentials all start at low and affordable prices. There are currently 740 Burlington locations around the country, and you can also take advantage of their prices online.

If you’re on a budget with a long list of people to buy holiday gifts for, you are in luck. You can save plenty of time, effort, and money by shopping for holiday gifts for all of your favorite people at the stores and retailers you know will have the best deals. Use this handy list to finish your holiday shopping without breaking the bank in no time!

Staying Warm in the Winter on a Budget

The days are getting shorter, the temperature’s begun to drop, and the weather’s getting worse.

In other words, winter is here!

And, unfortunately, rising energy prices mean US heating bills could soar by 30% over the coming months compared to last year! Add that to the expensive nature of the holiday season and many families around the country may feel the pinch.

Ready for the good news?

There are plenty of ways to stay warm in winter without blowing the budget! Keep reading to discover 12 of the very best.

1. Seal Any Holes You Have

With a chill in the air and the wind roaring outside, the last thing you want is to have dozens of gaps around your windows and doors. Those pesky holes let the warm air right out and welcome the cold on in!

Scout around your house for any gaps of this nature and use caulking to fill them in. Alternatively, you’ll find affordable draft stoppers online that are purpose-built to solve this problem.

2. Leverage Layers

We see it all the time. Someone complains about feeling cold and so, understandably, decides to turn the heating up in the house. Yet they’re also wearing nothing but a thin t-shirt and a pair of shorts!

Don’t be that person this winter.

If you’re on a budget, then one of the best ways to stay warm is by layering up. With multiple t-shirts, sweaters, and coats on, you’re guaranteed to stay nice and snug. Oh, and don’t forget to visit the local thrift store if you want extra cold-weather clothing at bargain prices.

3. Protect Your Head and Feet

Of all the parts of your body to wrap up warm this winter, pay special attention to your head and feet! Why? Because you lose warmth from both body parts quicker than almost any other.

To tackle the issue “head-on”, we highly suggest investing in a quality pair of woolly socks, some slippers, and a beanie hat to wear around the house. You might feel silly having a hat on indoors, but you’ll be grateful for it when the utility bill comes!

4. Redecorate

Did you know that the location of your furniture impacts how warm/cold you feel in each room? For instance, maybe your sofa’s pressed against the wall, your desk’s beneath a window, and your bed’s in front of an air vent. Each of these locations could be making you and the room colder than necessary.

After all, walls and windows are notoriously chilly because they’re the closest to the outdoors! Covering an air vent stops warm air from circulating properly. So, do yourself a favor this winter by moving your furnishings into the center of each room and away from your vents/heaters!

5. Insulate Your Windows

Poorly-insulated windows are a primary culprit for letting the cold in during winter. Unfortunately, replacing your current ones with double or triple-glazed alternatives isn’t cheap!

Thankfully, though, you don’t have to. For a budget-friendly option that serves a similar purpose, try purchasing some insulating clear film to apply to your windows. Part of a window insulation kit, this clever film keeps the heat in and blocks the cold out, while still letting in the light.

6. Fit Drapes, Curtains, or Blinds

Want another window-related solution for staying warm in winter?

Never leave them bare!

Installing heavy curtains, drapes, or blinds will provide a barrier that prevents heat inside your home from escaping as easily. The only downside is that drawing them during the day will block out the light as well.

7. Switch Off Bathroom Vents

Remember how gaps in your property let the cold air in quicker than you can say “brrr”? Well, your bathroom exhaust vent can cause trouble for similar reasons.

It’s literally a hole in your wall that leads to the outside world! Having it turned on will suck the heat out of the room along with the steam. Save energy by only turning it on when necessary (open the door instead!) and always flicking it off when you’re done.

Top tip: Timer switches will make your life much simpler here. Installing them in your bathroom to control your vent will make sure it’s never left running by accident.

8. Close Your Chimney

Open fireplaces are amazing additions to any home in winter. You can snuggle around a fire on cold, dark evenings, watching the flames flicker and snuggling down in front of the warmth!

Alas, they can backfire during the daytime, letting heat escape up the chimney. Whenever you aren’t using it, then, remember to close its flue and draft. You could even block the entire chimney with a special fireplace insert insulation if you don’t plan on using it at all.

9. Leave the Oven Open

Kitchens are often the warmest part of the house in winter. After all, with all the delicious baking and cooking going on throughout the holiday season, heat from the oven fills the room, combatting the cold to great effect. Want our advice?

Don’t waste that incredible warmth! Leaving the oven door open slightly after you’ve finished baking or roasting turns it into a makeshift radiator.

10. Buy Lots of Blankets

Warm blankets are an absolute godsend in the winter- particularly when you can’t afford to go overboard with the central heating. Get your hands on as many of them as possible! On long winter afternoons and evenings, you’ll be able to snuggle up beneath one (or two, or three…) and stay warm despite the cold outside.

Don’t forget to put one on top of your duvet at night to add another layer of warmth when you’re in bed too! This may make it possible to keep the heating turned off at night, significantly reducing your energy bills in the process.

11. Improve Your Attic’s Insulation

Because heat rises, your attic can make or break your ability to heat the house efficiently. Making sure it’s well-insulated this winter will help prevent the heat from escaping and keep your utility payments down as a result.

Of course, purchasing attic insulation (and possibly paying someone to install it) costs money upfront. Yet you can definitely treat it as an investment. Trust us, you’ll soon get your money back from the ensuing energy savings.

12. Insulate Your Floors

Anybody with bare floorboards knows all too well how the cold can radiate up into the house from the frigid earth below! This is another issue that applies to almost every home, though, regardless of specific flooring (unless they have underfloor heating!). It’s especially bad in older properties and those without a basement.

The remedy? Insulating your floors! Laying down thick rugs and warm carpets will help to keep the cold down where it belongs.

– Stay Warm This Winter on a Budget!

Winter might be around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you have to blow the budget just to stay warm! As we’ve seen, there are plenty of clever ways to keep your home feeling toasty without spending all of your hard-earned money on heating.

Why not give them a go today? Whether you try a handful of them or every last one on the list, you’re guaranteed to reap the rewards.

Best places to shop on a budget for Fall & Winter clothes –

As we officially head into the colder months, it is time to start planning and preparing for your warmer wardrobe. Most people like to keep up with current trends and add to the selection in their closet with the season’s changes. However, everyone knows that keeping up with the latest clothing fashions can be hard on your wallet. Shopping for new clothes is a lot of fun, but if you don’t know where to shop, it can also do some serious damage to your bank account.

Luckily, these days there are many options out there that will allow you to keep up with the latest fashions and stay well within your budget. When you find affordable retailers buying your favorite trendy apparel feels a lot more practical! 

ASOS

Asos offers customers a wide range of seriously hip fashion at low prices. ASOS is the best place for clothing essentials, including jeans, t-shirts, and simple dresses. They also have a fabulous selection of formal wear at low prices you won’t want to pass up!

They offer sizes from petite to plus-size, so everyone will definitely find something they love on the ASOS website. Stylish winter coats, boots you will love, and trendy tops. Tops include sophisticated sweaters, blouses, turtlenecks, and more. You name it, and ASOS is sure to have it!

Mango

Mango’s clothing line will give you a high-fashion feel for affordable prices. They offer fabulous sales and deals regularly. You will find unique cuts and fabric combinations that you will love to wear through the fall and winter months.

Amazon Fashion

As with nearly everything else, Amazon offers consumers exceptional deals on the latest styles and trends. They are an excellent choice for trendy clothing, and they refresh their clothing catalog regularly. Spend some time on the Amazon Fashion website, and you will find fashionable clothes you love at unbelievable prices.

There are many budget-friendly choices, and they offer an excellent selection of well-known designers. Another great perk of shopping on the website is the customer reviews. Customers always write detailed and helpful critiques about the sizes and quality of the clothing. As with all of Amazon’s merchandise, Prime members get free two-day shipping on most items.

Target

Target has long been a clothing favorite. Over the recent years, they have seriously expanded their styles, sizes, and designer collaborations. Target is a store everyone should check out when they look to update their fall and winter wardrobe and need to stay on a budget.

TJ Maxx

TJ Maxx has been at the top of its game in offering affordable prices for designer clothing for a long time now. You can find anything from designer bags to trendy clothes at a discount, and they consistently provide discounts from 40% to 60% off. TJ Maxx offers an array of styles and trending brand names for women, men, and kids.

Old Navy

If you haven’t checked out Old Navy’s vast clothing selection lately, you may not recognize the retailer anymore. They work hard to keep up with all the latest trends and fashions. The thing that will never change about Old Navy is their excellent low pricing!

You can find all sizes ranging from petite to plus-sized, and many fashions and styles. They are also almost always offering discounts on top of their already low price tags.

ROSEGAL 

ROSEGAL offers customers the latest fashion and trends at affordable prices that you will love. If vintage-style clothing is your forte, you will fall in love with their apparel. They have a vast vintage selection and offer a wide range of sizes.

ROSEGAL is especially popular for its selection of plus-size clothing and a wide selection of clothing at affordable pricing. The online retailer offers choices in women, men, and children’s clothing and accessories.

6pm Online Shopping Company

6pm is an online low-cost footwear retailer. They also offer a limited clothing and accessory selection. However, you will find amazing deals on a wide range of heals, tennis shoes, and sandals.

6pm is the sister site of Zappos, and you can find great shoes at a discount that didn’t sell at a much higher price. They also offer speedy shipping on purchases! You will find name brands at fabulous discounts from COACH, J. Crew, Bebe, Nike, and more.

H&M

H&M has all your favorite stylish winter essentials. They have a vast selection of outerwear, sweaters, turtlenecks, and cute blouses. The most exciting part is that their clothing, shoes, and accessories are affordable and won’t break your budget.

LuLu’s

Lulu’s offers a wide range of affordable formal attire, pretty dresses, and adorable separates that anyone looking for trendy deals should check out. You can browse all the latest trends without spending a lot of money. They offer all the latest styles in work attire, from dresses and skirts to sleek blouses.

DressLily

DressLily is another great retailer for affordable and stylish fashion, and they offer the latest trends in every style. They always provide amazing discounts plus additional discounts to new customers.

Whether you are into gothic styles or a fitness buff, you will find things you like. Stop by the DressLily website to find the latest fashions and at prices, you can afford. Not to mention the latest chic crazes that will make you look like a fashionista!

Uniqlo

Uniqlo has all the stylish and unique clothes you need to keep you cozy and warm through even the coldest winter months. They combine simplicity with sophistication and produce quality attire.

Uniqlo provides trendy layer pieces and comfortable, warm sweaters that you will love. You will definitely find clothes you love at prices you can afford.

Kohl’s

Kohl’s is an enormous department store where you can find excellent prices for blouses, skirts, jeans, shoes, and so much more. Kohl’s also has a great clearance section that you must check out on every visit.

Kohl’s offers stylish department store clothes at crazy low prices. You can fill your closet with outfits, shoes, boots, jackets, and coats that you will love wearing all winter long.

Stylish fall and winter clothing and accessories can be costly, so it’s important to stay on the lookout for affordable alternatives. The bottom line is, you don’t have to be rich to stay fashionable this fall and winter. There are plenty of options for retailers that offer all the latest fashions and trends at cheap prices you can afford.

Don’t forget to sign up for special offer emails when you stop by to check out the retailer’s websites. This way, you will have the inside to all the latest sales and specials!

Top Places to Visit in the Fall

Traveling does not have to be expensive to be fun!

No matter where in the United States you live, there are plenty of nearby places offering rich culture and beautiful scenery that you can experience with a short—or long if you choose—car ride. Whether you’re on the East coast, West coast, or somewhere in between, certainly, at least one of the places on this list is within reasonable driving distance and at a cheap price.

Or maybe you are feeling adventurous and want to set off on a cross-country sight-seeing tour this fall. In that case, see if you can check them all off your list!

Salem Massachusetts

Founded in 1626, Salem is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The Massachusetts town is best known for the infamous Salem witch trials, making it a prime spot to visit during the spooky Halloween season.

If you visit Salem in the fall, there are several attractions to see surrounding the historic witch trials that took place there. There is the Salem With Museum, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, and the Witch House. The Witch House is a fascinating stop on your tour of the old town as it is the only structure that remains that is directly tied to the witch trials.

Aside from the history of witchcraft, Salem is a beautiful town in the fall as it takes on that famous New England fall foliage that is colorful and beautiful.

Asheville, North Carolina

If your idea of a perfect fall day involves Apple Orchards, pumpkin picking, and delicious seasonal beverages, then Asheville, NC may be the ideal place to visit in October.

The oppressive North Carolina summer heat has broken by October, making for mild and comfortable temperatures. Because of the climate, the Asheville area has one of the longest fall foliage seasons you will find. The colors are bright and vibrant, and being located in the Blue Ridge Mountains means that tourists can take in breathtaking views.

If you can book it early enough, staying in the Omni Grove Park Inn is a great experience. The hotel takes luxury to another level, and the view of the surrounding areas is gorgeous in the fall.

 

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is a significant tourist destination in the summer months. It is located on Mount Desert Island and at the edge of the famous Bar Harbor, which means June through mid-October can be pretty crowded in this corner of Maine.

However, in the latter half of October, the crowds typically begin to disperse as the vacation season has wrapped up. Without the masses of tourists, the fall season becomes a beautiful time to visit. As with most of New England, the leaves have mainly changed to vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow by the first week in October. This fall scenery is a sight to behold.

The air will be cool and crisp, so be sure to dress appropriately, but hiking the gorgeous paths and hills of Acadia National Park in the fall should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Big Sur, California

Thus far, we have focused on East coast locations, so let’s head out West for our next stop!

Big Sur is located on the coast of California from Carmel to Cambria. The combination of heat and crowds can be a bit much during the summer months, but from September-November, the temperatures cool, and the crowds subside.

Big Sur is the home to several wonderful state parks, such as Andrew Molera State Park. This park may be less developed; however, it offers beaches, great hiking opportunities, and an excellent view of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Big Sur is filled with spectacular sights to see and is a perfect West Coast stop in the fall months.

 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Once again, we have a destination in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that is extremely hot in the summer months but cools to a more tolerable temperature in the fall months.

In the autumn, the trees become colorful, and there’s a cool breeze that keeps visitors comfortable. From an activity standpoint, the biggest draw of Albuquerque in the fall is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. For nine days in early October, you can witness sensational sights as hundreds of colorful and different-shaped balloons soar through the skies over Albuquerque. It is truly a sight that you won’t want to miss.

 

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 

What list of fall travel destinations would be complete without mentioning the majestic Rocky Mountains? The mountains are magnificent any time of year, but the view becomes surreal when the lush green foliage is replaced with bursts of gold and orange colors.

Rocky Mountain National Park is the perfect fall destination, located in the Aspens of the great mountain range. In addition to the hiking trails and beautiful scenery, autumn is the time of year to witness the elk rut. Every fall, the elk descend from the high country to begin their mating season in the plains. If you visit this time of year, you have a fantastic chance of seeing elk and listening to the bugle call of the male elk.

Door County, Wisconsin 

Heading to the Midwest now, Door County, Wisconsin is another great fall travel destination. The cool northern temperatures in October bring out the vibrant colors in the scenery.

Door County has excellent locations for camping; remember to bring your jacket! Waking up to the sunrise in the crisp, cool air while surrounded by beautifully colored trees is an unforgettable experience. During the day, there are plenty of fantastic trails to hike. Following the recommended 3-day nature itinerary will ensure that your Door County experience is one always to remember.

———

Touring the country isn’t just intended for the warm summer months. There are many locations to see across the United States that offer beautiful foliage, moderate temperatures, and fun activities in the fall months. If you prefer to avoid large crowds, autumn may be the best time of year to visit most of these places.

Top 10 Easy Budget-Friendly Crafts for Fall

Spend some time this Fall making fun crafts that are easy on your wallet. Decorate your home and make exciting costumes with the whole family! Simple and easy instructions make spending time crafting a breeze. From beautiful fall lanterns your kids will love to DIY gifts for your friends and family, this fall will be the craftiest of them all.

Ditch the DIY crafts with long lists of expensive items to buy. These top 8 crafts for fall have 5 components or less each and are inexpensive to purchase. With these ideas, cheap doesn’t mean tacky or clunky. Each one of these fall crafts is fun, fabulous, and easy to make. Try making them with your friends, family, or co-workers!

1.   Fall Leaf Lanterns

Nothing says fall like leaves and warm light. This project is simple, easy, and ecological. All you need are a couple of cheap items from your local dollar store and some fall leaves. It’s impossible to mess up and a great activity to do with kids! Try this idea out for a centerpiece on your table or on top of the fireplace.

For this craft you’ll need:

  • A mason jar or vase
  • Modge Podge
  • Leaves from outside
  • A paintbrush
  • Tealights

2.   DIY Fox Ears Headband

Looking for an easy DIY costume? You can easily make this no-sew costume with a few simple items. This versatile craft can be used to make all different types of animal ears for endless possibilities. This costume project can be made with low-cost materials like felt, plastic headbands, and hot glue. Easy enough to make with children and fun!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Felt
  • Hot glue
  • Thin plastic headband
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie

3.   Crayon Drip Pumpkins

If you have kiddos in the house then no doubt you have crayons. Possibly even hundreds of broken crayons, which is perfect because they’re exactly what they need for this project! This beautiful way to recycle crayons and decorate for fall is cheap and simple, perfect for everyone. Make rainbows, stick to your favorite shades, or go monochromatic. Try it out this week!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Pumpkins
  • Crayons
  • A hairdryer

4.   Mummy Candles

Super cute candle holders are just a few steps away! These spooky little mummies are simple and fun to make. An excellent choice for little ones and great for brightening up the house for movie night, these mummies will light up the night. Get ready to spend an afternoon of fun making these little guys and prepare to bask in the glow!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Mason jars
  • Large googly eyes
  • First aid gauze
  • Tealights
  • Hot glue

5.   Fairy House Jack-O-Lantern

Creating a fun fairy house out of your jack-o-lanterns is a great way to use biodegradable ingredients. For this simple project, all you need is a pumpkin, a carving knife, a tealight, and a good imagination. You can add your own personal style to this craft with paint, flowers, and maybe some glitter too. Create a whole fairy garden with your family this fall!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Pumpkins
  • A carving knife
  • Tealights
  • Decorations

6.   DIY Coffee Cup Candles

This craft makes for a great gift for the holidays or a decoration. Transform your old mugs into wonderful candles with your choice of essential oil. You’ll be surprised at how easy candle-making can be with a few cheap ingredients from your local craft store and a whole lot of fun. Customize your signature scent and light up your home with candles that will impress your friends!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Candle wax flakes
  • Scented oil
  • Candle wicks
  • Mugs
  • A pot

7.   Easy DIY Bat Costume

If you or your kiddo need a costume in a hurry, this easy DIY bat costume is the perfect project for you. You can easily put together this costume with simple sewing or alternatively hot glue. Making this costume for the whole family will undoubtedly win any costume contest. Get ready for tons of batty fun and adorable memories!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • 1.5 yards of black fabric of your choice
  • 6 inches of elastic
  • Thick black fabric (or felt)
  • Hot glue or a needle and thread

8.   $4 Dollar Tree DIY Halloween Wreath

Decorate your door with a festive Halloween wreath! You can make it spooky, leafy, or even witchy. It’s all up to you and your local dollar store. You’ll be amazed at how festive and fun these cost-effective decorations can be. All you have to do is piece them together and you’ve got a brand new wreath you can use year after year. With easy wreaths like this, everyone can decorate their own!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • A wreath form
  • A Halloween door sign (or fall-themed)
  • Garlands
  • Hot glue

9.   Happy Fall Wooden Entry Sign

Make your entryway as cute as can be with this adorable wooden entry sign. This craft is cheap to make and can be tailored to your liking as you see fit. Go crazy with paint, ribbon, fabric, and more! This project is great for the whole family. You can each make your own or collaborate on one big sign altogether. Your creation awaits!

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Wood background for the sign
  • Paint
  • Hot glue
  • Lettering template
  • The decor of your choosing

10.   Book Page Leaf Garland

Enjoy this classy-looking garland that is great for the entire fall season. Great for kids that are able to cut with scissors, this garland will liven up any room. For next to nothing, your entryway, mantle, bookcase, or door frame will look beautiful when you add this finishing touch. Take it a step further and stamp the leaves with fall colors or throw in a bit of synthetic greenery.

For this craft you’ll need:

  • Old books
  • Cardstock
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Hot glue
  • Floral wire

Spending time making crafts this fall is a wonderful way to bond as a family and enjoy decorating together. There’s something about making things yourself that provides a sense of accomplishment. Making these crafts will be fun, exciting, and won’t break the bank. It’s a win-win-win all around. Try your hand at any of these simple and easy projects and you’ll have a fall to remember!

Top 10 Things To Do in October on a Budget

Bored in October? You don’t have to be! Just because the days are getting cooler doesn’t mean you can’t still have loads of fun.

Of course, with the holidays just around the corner, many people tighten up on the money front. They know that Black Friday is coming, then holiday gifts and spending a lot of money in October isn’t always wise.

The good news is that you can have your cake and eat it too. Check out these 10 budget activities that are perfect to do in October!

1. Decorate for Fall

Get in the spirit for Halloween and decorate your house near the beginning of October. With all the fallen leaves, cheap pumpkins, apples, and other items on hand, it’s easy to make your own decorations quite cheaply.

Stuff some old clothes with newspaper or straw to set a scarecrow on your porch. Paint his face on a pumpkin head or stuffed burlap sack.

Place a pumpkin spice candle in a bowl and surround it with colored sand for an inexpensive, yet elegant centerpiece. Create a garland with colorful fallen leaves to frame windows and doors.

The list of ideas goes on and on. Plus, there are plenty of fall crafts you can do with your kids!

2. Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

For many people fall wouldn’t be fall without a generous serving of pumpkin spice latte — multiple times. Unfortunately, supporting a fancy coffee habit gets expensive quickly.

This idea gives you something fun to do on a cold afternoon as well as helps you save money. Once you learn how to make your own pumpkin spice latte, you won’t have to stop by the coffee stand once or twice — or thrice — every day.

Here’s a delightful recipe to get you started!

3. Road Trip!

In many areas of the US, October is a delightful time to take a road trip. The hills are on fire as the trees burst into brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange.

Not sure where there is a pretty drive in your area? There are online tools you can use to help find a route.

If there is a quaint town with a historic district nearby, you can turn it into a day trip. Wander along the streets and get lost in a simpler time. Keep an eye out for photo ops! You’ll find one around every corner in a charming spot in small-town America.

4. Go For a Hike/Bike Ride

Summer gets all the attention when it comes to activities like hiking and biking, but the reality is that October is the perfect time for them. The weather is cool enough that you won’t get overheated as you work up a sweat, but not so cold that it is uncomfortable to breathe.

As a bonus, it’s also another great way to enjoy the fall foliage. Hikes typically take you to a high point where you will have a breath-taking reward for all your hard work on the trail. Many also have scenic spots along the way to tease the appetite.

If good hiking hills are scarce in your area or you have small children, go for a bike ride instead. Strap a seat on the back of your bike or use one of those little trailers to haul your kids plus snacks.

Don’t have the equipment and don’t want to spend the money on it? Ask around amongst your friends. Chances are, somebody has a bicycle they’d be willing to lend you.

5. Host a Potluck Party

Potlucks are such a fabulous way to get together with your favorite people without dumping too much work on your shoulders (or spending too much money). Invite a few of your friends and have everybody bring their favorite fall dish.

You’ll have plenty of food to go around without all the work and expense that tends to come with parties.

To add some extra intrigue, make it a themed party. You could choose a certain type of food, perhaps ethnic dishes like French or Indian. Or you could choose a party theme like fall or Halloween. Add a prize for the best dish or costume to inspire a little friendly competition.

6. Try Some Pumpkin Recipes

Did you know that you can use pumpkin in almost everything when it comes to baking and cooking? Pumpkin can go in cakes, cookies, donuts, pies, soups, hummus, cheesecake, and so much more!

Pumpkins are cheap and readily available anywhere at this time of year. Don’t be intimidated by them, it’s actually really easy to cook with pumpkin. Furthermore, pumpkin is really good for you (as long as you don’t add buckets of sugar to the dish).

Plus, you have to eat anyway, so why not make a fun activity out of it? Have a baking day with your kids and prepare all sorts of warm pumpkin spice dishes and desserts. Freeze what you won’t eat right away for quick snacks and meals. You’ll be thanking yourself for a few easy dinners during the busy holiday season!

7. Scary Movie-Thon

Now that you have all these pumpkin sweets on hand, gear up for Halloween with a scary movie night. There are tons of classic family movies like Ghostbusters or Halloweentown that are fun to rewatch with your kids.

Adults might like something a bit more thrilling and there are plenty of movies to choose from in that department. Pro tip: scary movies make great date movies — your date won’t let go of your hand the whole evening!

8. Scary Book-a-Thon

Are you a reader? Rainy October evenings are the perfect time to curl up with a good book and enjoy a night in. Make yourself a pumpkin spice latte and grab one of the pumpkin treats you made and settle in for some well-deserved me-time.

To get in the spirit of the season, choose a thriller or scary book (think Stephen King’s classics).

9. Park Picnic

October days offer some of the last chances most of us will have to enjoy a meal outdoors until spring. Once November rolls in, the temperatures are officially too low to have an enjoyable picnic.

Grab your sweetie and pick a sunny spot at your local park to lay out a picnic blanket and have a delightful meal. Bring a frisbee or ball to play with your kids or furry friends. Summer days are fading away and you’ve got to savor it to the last possible moment.

10. Marshmallow Roast

If you’ve got a fire pit out back, this is the perfect way to spend a fall evening outdoors. Grab some marshmallows, your favorite chocolate bar, and some graham crackers. Then, challenge your family to who can roast the perfect marshmallow.

Don’t have a firepit? Not a problem, get creative and roast marshmallows over the stove or find out what happens when you put a marshmallow in the microwave! (Just have some warm soapy water on hand to get it cleaned up quickly).

Having Fun does not mean Spending Tons of Money

There are plenty of ways that you can have fun in October without spending a ton of money. Some of the ideas we’ve presented on this list are even money-saving when you do it right!

So enjoy this month, enjoy life, and let us know what other ideas you come up with in the comments!