Category: Frugal Living Tips

Watching the Leaves Change: 3 Best Fall Vacation Destinations

There are many things you can say about the United States of America but one thing that is indisputable is the fact that it has some beautiful places. No matter where you are traveling you’ll find some breathtaking scenery along the way.

One of the times of year is when all the leaves start to change color and landscape becomes Mother Nature’s kaleidoscope of orange, red, and yellow.

Keep reading for some of the best fall vacations for your family.

Whether it’s a romantic getaway for two, family Thanksgiving trip, a road trip for foodies, or a spontaneous escapade to satisfy the inner daredevil, there’s someplace on our list for you.

California Redwoods

If you want to see the beauty of trees like you’ve never experienced before then why not head to Northern California to see some of the biggest trees in the world. 

In fact, you can do more than take in the trees, you can drive through some of them. There are several state parks where you can see these majestic trees and so much more. 

The kids won’t be complaining about being bored by the scenery when you’re driving through trees, hiking to waterfalls and spotting wildlife along the way.

You can experience the California Redwoods in several different ways. Whether you drive, take the train, hike, or by ocean you won’t be disappointed with the view or photo opportunities.

California is also wine country so appeals to those who prefer stomping grapes and sipping wine to exploring trails in search of the perfect wildlife selfie as well.

 You may prefer to unplug altogether and have a picnic while your family becomes one with nature.

Leavenworth, Washington

 If you like beer and food then October is the perfect time to visit Leavenworth. It’s home to one of the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations in the country.

Sausage and stout aren’t the only reason to visit this Central Washington village located in the Cascade Mountains. The architecture of local Bavarian-style buildings and the internationally renowned nutcracker museum draw crowds of their own.

There’s everything from paddle boarding and kayaking to mountain biking and ziplining for the those who prefer adrenaline to alcohol.

While some prefer to come for the ski slopes in the winter, anyone with a camera or a paintbrush and canvas will want to experience this beautiful and quaint town in the fall at least once.

Pennsylvania

The great thing about Pennsylvania is it really is all that and a bag of chips! It is rich in historical sites and scenic beauty. There are tons of photograph opportunities with the Amish charm and character that is rare to find in everyday life of traffic jams and schedules.

Movie and Rock enthusiasts will probably be excited to head to some iconic spots like the Rock and Roll hall of fame and to run the same stairs Sly did in Rocky.

You don’t have to pick someplace specific to find beautiful fall foliage in Pennsylvania. It can’t help but be colorful and a breathtaking sight pretty much anywhere outside the big cities and they bring their own fall charm.

There are some great road trips maps and blogs like the one found here, that will give you the most interesting route to get to and from your favorite fall destination and help you have a great time along the way.

Best Fall Vacations are With People You Love

The best fall vacations are the ones you take with the people you love and worry more about the journey than the actual destination.

For more great tips and intriguing articles at the press of a button be sure to bookmark our site today. 

How to Find the Best Family Insurance Plans (Plus Government Programs)

Over 27 million people in the United States did not have health insurance in 2018. 

Although this is less than 10% of the population, many of these people are the most vulnerable to facing a financial crisis due to getting sick or injured. 

If you don’t have insurance or are shopping for a new plan, there are several things that you may want to consider.  

Continue reading to discover tips for finding the best family insurance plans and government programs that you and your family may qualify for. 

1. Think About Your Monthly Payment 

One of the first things that you should pay attention to when selecting a family insurance plan is the monthly premium payment.

Depending on your budget, you may have to pass on more expensive programs. However, this does not mean that your health will suffer. The monthly payment is often broken down into different tiers that you may apply for.

Having a single person plan is often cheaper than family options. If you have children, your family is in a different price level of insurance plans.

If you talk with customer service, you might get a discounted price. Don’t be afraid to shop around for cheaper plans.

2. Consider How Much You Will Pay at an Appointment

Depending on the type of insurance plan you choose, you will have co-pays and deductibles that may be due during the time of your appointments. 

If you are looking at a plan that has a high deductible or co-pay, you may want to reconsider if your family is small and typically healthy. The health needs of your family will influence this decision.

If you have large co-pays for certain doctors and therapies you know you’ll need, you may want to look for another option. Typical co-pay amounts for doctor visits average from $15-$25

3. Quality over Quantity

When selecting a family health insurance plan, prices are often a large deciding factor. However, the quality of service and doctors is just as important, if not more.

If you have certain doctors that you need to go to, you might have to upgrade your insurance plan. Talk with your current doctors if you plan to change your insurance to confirm that they will accept it. 

Although a deal may sound good when choosing your plan, you don’t want to regret it when you or your family require medical attention. It is important to pick a healthcare plan that fits within your budget and health needs. 

4. Factor in the Ages of Family Members

Many people don’t realize that the age of their family members also affects your insurance plan.

Children and elderly adults often require more care and may need help from specialists. Children tend to be accident-prone, while elderly patients often visit multiple specialists to help them with aging. 

If you have multiple young children, you may want a more expensive program with better coverage. You’ll save money in the long run and not be hit with large bills after every appointment. 

Immunizations are often given to children, which can cost a lot of money over time. With the help of government programs and good insurance, however, you may not have to pay at all!  

5. Know Their Services

Insurance and billing issues are likely to arise over time. Find an insurance company that will help you through these issues.

Many people don’t consider the services of the insurance company they choose. They only look at prices and coverage. If you want to avoid headaches and save time, looking for a plan with a helpful customer service team will keep you sane.  

Don’t hesitate to ask for the details of your plan and the benefits they offer. Make a list of any special issues you and your family have and find out if your new plan will cover these issues.

Support Beyond the Best Family Insurance Plans 

If you are still looking for more assistance, there are various government programs that you or your family may qualify for. 

If you are searching for more coverage for your children and teens, you should apply for Medicaid. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is another excellent resource that can help your children receive free or low-cost coverage.

Many of these programs cover basic healthcare needs, including dental coverage, eye care, and regular doctor visits. 

You can easily look online to see if you qualify for many of these programs. 

ObamaCare is another government program that helps support families and children by giving them affordable healthcare options. 

Don’t be afraid to search for other government-funded programs that can help keep your family happy and healthy. Local governments may even have programs to help you! 

Insurance That Will Help Ensure Family Health 

Using the guide above can help you find the best family insurance plans for your needs. 

There are many things that you must consider when selecting your family’s insurance plan. 

Paying attention to monthly payments, along with high deductibles and co-pays, should help you pick out a plan. It is important to keep in mind that you should always go with quality doctors over cheaper rates. In times of need, taking care of your loved ones is more important than saving some money.

Besides looking for insurance plans that fit your family’s needs, you can receive further help from government-funded programs. 

Be sure to check out our blog for more articles on how to save money in every aspect of your life! 

Christmas Gifts for Kids: 9 Gifts That’ll Thrill Your Kids on Christmas Morning

How has it almost been a full year since last Christmas? You may be wondering to yourself.

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year, and that means you need to start gathering up gift ideas for the kids.

While you want to make sure and buy things that they have on their Christmas list, it’s also fun to give them a few gifts that weren’t on the list.

These types of Christmas gifts for kids bring a surprise factor into it and lead to gasps and screams.

Here are a few different ideas of what to look out for this holiday season.

1. Relay Kids Screenless Smartphone

While you may not be ready to buy your child a cell phone, there’s no denying the benefits of them having one. 

You’d be able to track them and communicate with them while they’re out of the house, giving you peace-of-mind over there safety.

Thankfully, there’s a middle ground for that in the form of the Relay kid’s screenless smartphone. The screenless feature ensures they won’t get sucked into the world of apps too quickly.

However, your kids will love the fact that they can chat with you wherever they go. it’ll make them feel as if they have big business to attend to just like mommy and daddy.

This item is only $43 in retail, the perfect price for a gift to give you and your kid more time to talk throughout the week.

2. Funko Pops

Every child has interests that make them unique. Whether they’re huge sports fans, superhero fans, or really into music, it separates them from the pack.

What better way to let them express themselves than with these awesome Funko Pops of their favorite players/characters?

Funko Pops offers everything from movies, comics, sports, stranger things, and so much more. Set these bad boys up on shelves or nightstands in their room so they can show them off.

Depending on whether you buy them individually or in packs, Funko Pops can range from $10-$20.

3. Harry Potter Sorting Hat

Do you have a child that simply can’t get enough of Harry Potter? Whether it’s the books or the movies, they’re always in rotation.

There’s no better way to feed into that with an interactive sorting hat. Now they can finally end the debate and see which house they’d be placed in at Hogwarts!

This sorting hat only runs for $13 in retail, a perfect add-on gift to place under the tree!

4. Flipside

Remember the days of Skip-bo and Bop-it? There was a time where your Christmas wouldn’t have been complete without those games waiting to be opened.

Now, there’s a new one called “Flipside” which requires you to quickly flip colors to match the lights together.

It’s only $19 and will provide your kids and their friends with hours of entertainment to see who can get a high score.

5. FurReal Cubby

Is your little girl or boy more interested in taking care of cute and cuddly animals rather than catering to a baby? 

If so, this FurReal Cubby gives you an incredible choice for Christmas. The baby cub is super interactive, responding to the sounds your child makes and comes with a binky and bottle to feed the cub when it’s hungry.

It’s a bit pricey at $100 in retail, but the features and long battery life make it well worth the investment!

6. Playhouse

Maybe your child is too energetic to sit down and play with many of the other items on this list.

Perhaps you’re trying to encourage them to play outside more often. If so, consider playhouses for Christmas to give them a little home to take pride in.

Your kids and their friends are going to cherish this playhouse for many years to come, and the extensive design carries detail to make it feel like an actual home.

7. Elsa Fashion Doll

One of the biggest things to prepare yourself for this holiday season is the obsession your little girl will have with Frozen 2, after seeing it in theatres on November 22nd.

This Elsa Fashion doll is a perfect way to fit their love for the movie and love for style in one gift.

It comes complete with a Nokk figure and should only be around $30 in retail.

8. Barbie Dream House

The timeless classic: A Barbie dream house will always be a “go-to” for moms and dads looking to go above and beyond during Christmas.

You’ll have to hide this one in the closet to prevent the kids from guessing it too early. Years of entertainment come from a dream house with any toy figure being welcomed into Barbie’s humble abode.

While it carries a retail price of $180, that’s not bad considering all the amazing detail and size these items come with.

9. Buzz Lightyear JetPack

Many kids around the US are still obsessed with Toy Story 4, and Buzz is almost always a perfect fit for a cool Christmas gift.

Play into their imagination this year a bit by giving them a Buzz Lightyear jetpack, it gives them a helmet and packs with sounds and lights to boot!

Your child will be thrilled and “flying” around the house searching the great beyond for danger. Buy this jetpack for $50 retail and you’ll be the best parents of infinite and beyond!

Enjoy Shopping for Christmas Gifts for Kids

While it can be a bit overwhelming to keep up with the latest trends, embrace how fun it can be to shop around and buy Christmas gifts for kids!

Enjoy it while you can, your kids will grow up faster than you think and won’t always want fun toys for Christmas.

Be sure to check back with Thrifty Momma Ramblings often for the latest news on family trends.

How to Prevent Tattoo Fading

You’ve finally saved up enough money to get the tattoo of your dreams. 

You’ve done your research, found a great artist, and you’ve scheduled your appointment. You have tons of friends with tattoos, and though you love them dearly, the one thing you’re nervous about is having the amount of tattoo fading many of them do now. 

The good news? 

There are lots of ways to educate yourself about how to prevent tattoo fading, and the process isn’t as tough as you think. 

In this post, we’ll tell you how to keep your tattoo from fading, so that you can continue to enjoy a beautiful design for years to come. 

Making Smart Choices

If you want to prevent tattoo fading, go to a professional artist that uses high-quality (and yes, expensive) ink.

This makes a huge difference and ultimately will cost you the same or even less than a cheap tattoo that you have to get retouched several times. 

If you can, opt for tattoo placement with as little friction as possible.

For example, things aren’t always the best option, as they rub up against each other. However, your chest or the sides of your ribcage will work well to prevent fading, as there’s little friction happening in those areas. 

If your number-one priority is a tattoo that lasts for a long time without fading, choose either black or grey ink. Lighter pastels colors tend to fade pretty quickly.

Immediate Aftercare

Aftercare, or the way in which you care for and treat your tattoo during the initial healing process, can do a lot to prevent fading tattoo ink. 

First, make sure that you religiously follow all of the instructions your tattoo artist gave you. This means that you’ll need to apply the special aftercare product you’re given in order to keep the tattoo damp as it heals. 

Your artist will also provide you with a soap to clean it. Make sure you wash it, at minimum, three times a day. 

This doesn’t just help to prevent fading. It also protects you against getting a dangerous infection. 

One thing that many people aren’t prepared for when they get a tattoo is how much it will itch. You’re going to want to scratch it, trust us. However, you need to resist if you want it to look good in the future. 

If you scratch and dislodge scabs once they’ve formed, the tattoo will fade much faster than normal. One trick to avoiding scratching? Slightly pat/hit the itchy area instead.

Stay out of the sun in the first two weeks after you get your tattoo, as well. Wear sunscreen on the area every day, even if you’re inside most of the time. 

Finally, avoid wearing excessively tight clothes for the first few weeks after you get your tattoo, as they can rub the tattoo and damage it. 

Caring for Your Tattoo in the Long Run

Remember that proper tattoo care doesn’t stop once your tattoo has healed. 

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of applying moisturizer to your tattoo every evening before bed. This will keep it healthy and happy, preventing flaky, dry skin that makes ink fade. 

You should also make sure that you always wear sunscreen (the pros say at least SPF 15) when you’re going out in the sun. Your tattoo is now a part of your body, so take care of it the same way you would the rest of your skin. 

If You Already Have a Fading Tattoo

Maybe tattoo fading is already a part of your reality. 

Especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun, have a smaller tattoo, or even if you went to more of a…budget-friendly place to get your tattoo, it’s normal. 

When this happens, you have a few options. 

First, you could just go back to the tattoo parlor where you got it and ask for a touchup. Essentially, they’ll just recolor the tattoo — and it won’t be as expensive as it was when you first got it. 

You could also cover up the old tattoo with a new one (check out these tattoo coverups for a little inspiration.) Be aware that depending on your initial tattoo design, some parts of the first tattoo may still be visible under the coverup. 

In some cases, the tattoo is just beyond repair. You might even be glad you have fading tattoo ink because you hate the design. Your best bet here is laser tattoo removal

Yes, it’s expensive, but it’ll be well worth it for the peace of mind it brings you. Plus, while it does hurt, it’s not nearly as painful would have you believe.  

Fixing Tattoo Fading Is Possible

While dealing with tattoo fading is an annoyance, the truth is that it’s something that happens to pretty much everyone with a little bit of ink.

Going in for a touchup or getting it covered up are two great ways to fix things, but preventative care is your best get. 

Make sure you take great care with your tattoo, especially in the days and weeks directly after you get it, to prolong its color. 

Looking for some ideas for your next tattoo? Maybe you’ve always wondered what it would be like to become a tattoo artist yourself. Perhaps you just want to know what to look for in a good artist. 

Our blog provides the answers to all things body art and modification, along with countless other pieces of lifestyle advice. Bookmark our page so you don’t miss out!

What to Do When Your Back Hurts: Everything You Need to Know

Dealing with back pain is not only unpleasant, but it can also be debilitating.

Whether you work at a desk all day or have genetic issues, it’s important to know what to do when your back hurts so you can feel better and go on about your day.

Read on for a few helpful ways to alleviate your back pain for a happy, healthier life.

Pay Attention to Your Posture

One of the most common causes of back pain is poor posture. When you slouch forward, you’re putting immense pressure on the neck, shoulders, and spinal column.

If you want to know what to do when your back hurts, first, focus on your sitting and standing posture positions. Keep your shoulders back and your neck aligned while your head stays in a level position.

It will take some time to adopt a good posture strategy. Remember to be patient and stay mindful of how you’re sitting so you know when you need to improve.

Don’t Forget to Stretch

If you’re coping with back pain, a few simple stretching exercises can do wonders. Not only will stretching help to alleviate the pain, but it can also prevent future back-related issues.

Work on a few simple lower back stretches and make them a daily practice. You can do them in the mornings before work, or try them at home before bedtime.

One easy stretching exercise starts by lying flat on your back as you pull your knees toward your chest. Then, stretch your arms outward into a T-shaped position and twist one leg to the side to help stretch out the spine.  

What to Do When Your Back Hurts: Consider a Chiropractor

If you’re constantly dealing with chronic back pain, you could be in need of some professional chiropractic care. These professionals understand how the spine works and can help you realign yourself to alleviate back pain.

With regular stops at the chiropractor, many patients see relief after just a few visits. They’ll assess your spine and make adjustments to keep it in proper alignment.

Wear the Right Shoes

Wearing unsupportive footwear can wreak havoc on your lower back. Shoes like high heels and flip-flops are not recommended for long-term wear.

To keep back pain to a minimum, always look for shoes that provide you with ample cushioning and arch support. A lot of back pain is directly connected to the feet and legs.

When you wear the right kinds of shoes, your entire body will get the protection it needs against pain. Always wear the right footwear for the activity you’re participating in, such as running shoes for running or supportive, protective boots for construction.

Make Back Pain a Thing of the Past

Once you know what to do when your back hurts, you can take steps toward healing. Focus on things like posture and stretching, and always wear supportive footwear whenever you can.

Visit a chiropractor if your back pain doesn’t lessen. They can help to ensure that your spine is aligned and work with you to devise a plan for a healthier back.

Be sure to check out our website for tons of great tips and information on saving money, DIY, and more!

The Truth About Vaping vs Smoking Cigarettes: 2019 Edition

Vaping has become a stopover on the journey toward quitting smoking. Almost 7 out of 10 smokers say they want to quit. When you consider the amount of harm smoking does to your body, this does not come as a surprise. 

But is vaping healthier than smoking or are you just replacing one vice with another? 

Join us as we look into the truth about vaping. 

What Exactly Is Vaping? 

Vaping is the inhalation and exhalation of aerosol from an e-cigarette. The appearance of the first e-cigarette was back in 2007, and since then the popularity of vaping has increased immensely. 

Vaping is still relatively new so there’s a lot that we don’t know yet about the risks. But here’s what we do know. 

The Truth about Vaping Vs. Smoking 

A report published by Public Health England shows that vaping is 95% safer than traditional smoking. However, opinions in the U.S. vary, with vaping considered by many to be just as bad as smoking.

Compared to smoking, what are the main differences and how does vaping reduce the common health risks? 

Let’s take a look at the differences between the two. 

The Chemicals 

Smoking can harm practically every organ in the human body. Traditional cigarettes include thousands of chemicals and many of these are toxic. The most dangerous of these are categorized as carcinogens and are linked to cancer.

Nicotine, formaldehyde, and arsenic are just a few of these chemicals that are being inhaled into the lungs. These chemicals are the result of tobacco combustion that is necessary to produce smoke. 

Vaping doesn’t require combustion so vapers aren’t at risk of being exposed to carcinogens like those listed above. Chemicals found in vapor include nicotine and vegetable glycerin.  

The Cost 

Vaping can save a considerable amount of money compared to smoking. 

Vaping has a heftier initial cost than smoking because of the equipment needed to get you started. There are also replacement parts needed to keep your vape going.  For example, check out one of these vaping necessities.  

However, the cost of refilling or maintaining your vape is cheaper than purchasing packs of cigarettes. In fact, vaping is around 40% less expensive than smoking. 

The Health and Safety Risks 

Cigarettes are responsible for more than 400,000 deaths each year.  Smoking causes more deaths than car accidents, firearm incidents, and drug and alcohol use combined. 

Taking that into consideration, vaping is a solution smokers can use to lead to eventual quitting. Vaping is not only less harmful to the user, but it’s also less harmful to those around them who would otherwise suffer from second-hand smoke. 

Beating Your Nicotine Addiction 

We know that vaping is a better alternative to smoking cigarettes. But the long term effects have yet to be seen so there is still a lot that we don’t know about the health implications. The truth about vaping will continue to come out over time. 

If you’re looking to quit smoking, these tips from the American Lung Association may help. 

Check out the rest of our site for lifestyle tips and stories. 

 

 

A Top 10 List of the Best Backyard Games to Play

Are you putting together the plans for an outdoor birthday party, graduation party, or anniversary party?

In order to do it, you’re going to need to make sure that you have a bunch of grilled foods ready to serve. You’re also going to need to get access to rental tents, tables, and chairs. And of course, a DJ or some other source of music is going to be a must.

But to put your outdoor event over the top, you’ll need to have plenty of fun backyard games for everyone to play, too. Check out 10 favorites that you should consider having on hand during your event.

1. Cornhole

It’s safe to say that cornhole has turned into one of the most popular backyard games around in recent years. It’s so popular at this point that you can find professional cornhole players flexing their skills on ESPN.

The great part about cornhole is that it’s a terrific game for those of all ages. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to entertain a group of middle-aged men and women or a group of teenagers. Everyone will have a blast throwing the bags around during games of cornhole.

2. Horseshoes

Long before cornhole became a staple at backyard barbecues and parties, it was horseshoes that ruled the roost. People spent hours tossing horseshoes around and trying to get them to ring around metal stakes in the ground.

Today, horseshoes have dipped in popularity slightly since cornhole is seen as a similar game that’s a whole lot safer. But if you set up some rubber horseshoes during a party, you’ll still see plenty of people flock in their direction.

3. Ladder Toss

The one downside of both cornhole and horseshoes is that it can be difficult to pick up the equipment that you need for it and move it around. The equipment can be too heavy and/or bulky for most people to pick up.

That’s not an issue with ladder toss. It’s a game that calls for people to try and fling bolas around the various rungs on a ladder—and both the ladders and bolas for it are easy to carry around. It’s why it’s transformed into a favorite among those at tailgating events, beaches, and backyard parties.

4. Kan Jam

Picking up a Frisbee at a backyard party and tossing it around used to be considered a game in and of itself. But these days, people can take their Frisbee-throwing skills to the next level with an exciting game of Kan Jam.

This site breaks down how easy Kan Jam—a.k.a. Frisbee Fling—is to play. It’s amazing how much fun a group of people can have with a Frisbee.

5. Giant Tic-Tac-Toe

Do you want to cater to the youngest of crowds during a backyard party? This is one of the simplest backyard games to play.

It’s just like regular tic-tac-toe—except that it’s life-sized. Get a group of kids together and watch them go to town with a giant tic-tac-toe board.

6. Giant Connect Four

Giant tic-tac-toe can be fun for a little while. But it won’t take long for the novelty of the game to wear off and leave people thirsting for more.

A giant Connect Four game will fill the gap left behind and allow people to take an even more strategic approach to backyard games. This is yet another game that is great for those of all ages at a variety of different types of backyard parties.

7. Giant Checkers

While we’re on the topic of “giant” backyard games, we might as well stick with the theme and add giant checkers to the mix, too. Two people at a time can show off their checkers skills with a giant checkers board.

If you’re going to set up a giant checkers board during your outdoor event, you might as well add a giant chess board to the mix, too. It’ll work well for slightly older audiences who want to put their love for chess on full display.

8. Bocce Ball

Believe it or not, bocce ball was invented all the way back in 5,200 B.C. It was played by the ancient Egyptians before it was later played in ancient Greece and Rome.

Yet, despite its old age, bocce ball is still a game that is loved by those around the world. You can bring everything you need to play bocce ball to your next party and let people experience what has made it such a timeless game.

9. Badminton

If you have a large area to set up games for your party, you might want to set up something that a group of people can play together. Badminton is one great game that immediately comes to mind.

To play badminton, people will need a badminton net, badminton rackets, and, of course, badminton “birdies” to hit back and forth.

Badminton is another game that can be traced all the way back to ancient times. But it hasn’t lost its luster after all these years.

10. Kickball

Much like badminton, kickball is a great game for those who have a large area of space to devote to a group game. You can play kickball with up to 18 people and have the time of your life while you’re doing it.

The only things you’ll need to play kickball are bases and a kickball itself. People can work up a nice appetite while playing kickball before chowing down on the food at your party.

These Backyard Games Are All So Much Fun to Play

All of the backyard games that we’ve mentioned here are fun to play. You really can’t go wrong when you set up any of them at an outdoor party.

There are dozens of other great games to play, too. Try to set up as many different options as you can for people so that they’re guaranteed to have a terrific time at your next outdoor event.

Need help planning out the other aspects of your next party? Keep browsing our blog to get some useful party-planning tips.