7 Seriously Fun, Low-Cost, Fall Activities for Families

Doesn’t the word “autumn” perfectly represent the season?

What other word could be better suited to describe all that fall goodness of breezy, cozy, laidback days, long walks down pretty roads, and some well-spent time with the family.

Of course, finding fall activities for families can be hard. Sometimes it’s too expensive, and sometimes it’s hard to get everyone on the same page. But here at Thrifty Momma Ramblings, we happen to know that good things don’t require a big budget.

So here are 7 super fun, cost-effective fall activities that the whole family is bound to enjoy!

1. Nothing Says Wholesome Family Fun Like Camping

The fall is such a beautiful time to spend some time with nature. Pack up your bags and board games and head out to a camping spot to create some lovely, happy family moments.

2. Pre-Halloween Adventures at a Pumpkin Patch

It’s fall and Halloween all at once. It’s fall-oween!

And nothing represents this than a full-grown Colorado Pumpkin Patch! Get your kids in the car and drive off to pick and choose some delicious pumpkins for the fall.

3. A Graveyard Exploration for the History and Thrill

And speaking of Halloween, how about a graveyard tour? Granted not every family may enjoy this, but if you think yours would – go ahead! It’ll be a fantastic time to explore some beautiful graveyards and historic cemeteries.

A little insight into the unknown for the whole family!

4. Have the Best Kind of Fight – A Leaf Fight

Leaves all around you? Perfect to mess around in, and your kids will love it. Get the whole family outside in the sunshine, basking in the breezy beauty of the fall.

5. Go Fly a Kite Together!

This is super fun in two parts. You can have a blast making a kite together, and then flying it together. Head off to your local park or another open space and indulge in some fall fun.

6. Scare Boredom Away with a Scarecrow

You don’t have to live on a farm to build a good old scarecrow! You just need an imagination. If you want to make it even more fun, make up a whole story behind the scarecrow. Maybe give him a wife and a family just like your own!

Let your kids create rich back stories for them and watch their creativity unfold.

7. Have a Family Baking Session With Hot Chocolate After!

Grab some delicious recipes online, pick up the ingredients and start baking some amazing pies, tarts, and all that good fall food. Make sure everyone is involved and contributing in any little way they can.

Once you are done baking, make some hot chocolate and enjoy a lovely, warm feast together

Want the Best Fall Activities for Families? Get the Whole Family Involved!

The best fall activities for families are the ones that everyone’s on board with. Get the whole family involved in the fall planning and let them weigh-in on what they think the family should do. Follow at least one of everyone’s suggestions, and brace yourselves for an amazing time together!

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Making a Quilt: 4 Essential Tips for Quilting on a Budget

Quilting was once the pride of thrifty pioneer women. These days, they’re becoming handy projects for the modern-day woman.

And we modern ladies love to be thrifty as well. But if you’re new to the scene, gathering up all of the supplies and fabric takes some extra money we might not have lying around.

The nice thing is that making a quilt doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are certain ways to cut back the costs and keep this craft both thrifty and beautiful.

Keep reading to learn more!

1. Repurpose Fabric

We all have clothes and bedding that we should have thrown away long ago but don’t have the heart to do it yet. Well, when it comes time to find cheap quilting fabric, those are the best places to start looking.

Quilting is perfect for the recycle and reuse mentality.

The best part is that finding fabric within your closet ensures that the fabric is unique instead of generic.

2. Never Throw Away Fabric Scraps

Throughout a quilting project, you’re bound to have many different fabric scraps leftover. Make sure to hang on to them for future projects!

You can come up with many interesting designs using up all of those fabric scraps. It’ll push you to think outside the box and the result will be something you’d never have come up with on your own.

If the scraps are too small to work with, then save them for stuffing instead. That’ll cut back on costs even more.

3. Stick to the Basics

There are a lot of unnecessary bells and whistles on the market these days. But it doesn’t matter if you prefer to sew by hand or by a Fabric Bash Quilting machine. It’s always best to keep to the basics.

This not only cuts back on costs for fancy equipment, but it also makes the entire process easier. If you’re an experienced quilter, then branching out might be the right decision for you.

But if you’re a quilter with a budget, then stick to only what you need.

4. Buy in Smaller Batches

When you’re first starting out, it’s far too easy to buy up every cute fabric you see. But this is not good practice for those of us on a budget.

You should still buy that inspirational fabric, but buy it in a smaller yard size. Instead of going with a full yard, get a quarter of a yard instead. You don’t end up using as much fabric as you might first think.

Plus, if you ever end up needing more of one particular fabric, it’s better to go back out and buy more instead of hoarding. You’ll save space in your crafting room and you’ll save money at the same time!

Making a Quilt Is the Perfect Way to Use Up Old Materials

Next time you go through some old clothes, save them! Some of those blouses might be the perfect material for making a quilt that is unique and catered to your style. After all, you’ve kept that blouse for this long, you must love the design.

Instead of throwing it away, use it as the star for your next quilting project. You’ll never have to say goodbye to your favorite outfits again!

For more thrifty content, check out the rest of our blog!

The Best Way to Wash Dishes: Top Tips and Tricks

Washing dishes isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. However, it needs to be done. 

Do you hate washing the dishes? You’re not on your own. People really really hate doing dishes, one study found. 

However, you may hate doing the dishes because you’re not doing it quite right.

Ask yourself – does washing dishes always appear to be taking longer than it should? Are you getting soap everywhere? Do the dishes not dry clean?

You just need to know our tips and tricks to get better results. Check out the below blog post to discover the best way to wash dishes. 

1. Always Wear Rubber Gloves

You may be embarrassed to put on a pair of bright yellow gloves to wash up the dishes – but it helps! Looking silly is a small cost for clean dishes.

There are tons of reasons why washing up with rubbers gloves is a great idea. Soaking your skin in hot soapy water isn’t good for your skin’s health.

The natural oils which protect your hands become washed away. You don’t want to develop “dishpan hands” which can cause your skin to decline.

Without gloves, you could accidentally cut your hand in the soapy water. You may not be able to spot the knife in the murky sink.

When you wear gloves, you give yourself an extra layer of protection from cuts and bruises. 

2. Buy a Rack to Dry Your Dishes

Buying a dish rack is a wise investment. They don’t cost much and they’ll save you drying your plates and pots by hand.

And yes, size does matter when it comes to dish racks. You need plenty of space to stack pots after a cooking frenzy.

You don’t want to clutter up your entire counter with drying pots. Get the proper equipment to ensure a job well done.

3. Never Leave for Later

Imagine you have cooked a delicious meal and sat down together to eat it. When you have finished eating, you’re far too tired to wash the dishes.

What do you do now? You just leave them for later, right?

This is always a mistake! If you don’t scrub the dishes immediately, the food will become much harder to remove from the plates and pans.

The moisture evaporates from the food, which also causes the leftover food to dry onto the plate. Enjoy scrubbing this off the next morning.

If you don’t get into the habit of washing dishes straight after eating, they will pile up in your kitchen in no time. Before you know it, you have a mountain of dishes to tackle.

4. Cold Water isn’t Enough

There are two kinds of people in the world. People who wash dishes in cold water and people who wash up correctly.

When you wash your dishes in hot water, the food should break away cleanly from the surface of the dish. This is how you remove the grease.

And yet, if you’re simply bathing your dishes in cold and murky water, you needn’t bother with it at all. 

Do you have any fancy wine flutes? When you wash these hot water, they usually dry without any streaks or marks. 

5. Leave Dirty Pots to Soak

Once in a while, you’ll have a pot which refuses to get clean. You can scrub away for ages without any success. 

Don’t just give up. This is when you need to soak the dish in dish liquid and hot water for a while. Leave it overnight to loosen up.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to get the baking soda out. This will remove anything within an instant.

6. Invest in a Mighty Sponge 

Just as with any other task, a dishwasher is only as good as his or her tools. You need a decent sponge!

You can get your hands on a high-quality sponge for an affordable amount. Ensure that you don’t buy a sponge that scratches dishes. This could make marks in your dishes.

Ensure that your dishes are washed to the max with a booster for detergent. This will remove any stains or grease leftover. 

7. Wash Dishes in the Correct Order

Don’t start washing up by reaching for the greasy pan. This should be left until the final moments.

You need to start washing any glassware, such as wine glasses or cups. These won’t be as dirty and require only a quick wipe.

Follow this by washing the cutlery, such as knives, forks, and spoons. After you’ve finished with cutlery, move onto the bowls and plates.

Only then do you tackle any pots and pans which have a lot more remaining food and grease on them. 

8. Get a Dishwasher 

Around 75 percent of American households have a dishwasher. If you don’t already have a dishwasher, you may consider buying one. 

Around one in five of them doesn’t use the dishwasher than they own. When you know our tips, it can appear like a waste of time.

But, washing dishes in a machine can save time, energy and effort. It’s certainly worth the investment to give yourself extra time to cook and eat.

What is the Best Way to Wash Dishes?

Washing dishes isn’t necessarily much fun. But, unless you can afford to pay someone else to do it for you, then the chore isn’t going anywhere. 

Sure, you can get a dishwasher. But, there are always some pots and pans which are too much for your machine. Follow our best way to wash dishes for better results. 

Did you find this blog post helpful and interesting? You can learn more about DIY on the rest of our website. 

10 Expert Baking Tips to Make Mom Life Easier

Baking is more than making delectable treats. It’s a way to create, entertain, and nourish — and it comes with powerful mental benefits to boot. It’s also a thrifty way to treat a family’s collective sweet tooth.

But there’s a problem. Baking is hard. Really hard. You can make the same recipe time and time again, and it always comes out wrong in a different way.

What gives? Odds are, you aren’t doing anything wrong. The basics of baking are hidden well, but they can be the difference between a moist cake and a burnt one.

Luckily, you don’t need to go far to find them. Read on and up your baking game with these baking tips.

1. Ingredients Matter

Not every brand of milk, butter, or sugar is crafted the same. In addition to varying flavor profiles, they’ll have unique textures, moisture, and more. As individual ingredients, the differences may seem small.

But they’ll have a massive impact on the quality of your baked goods.

Make an effort to try different brands of ingredients on a regular basis. As you continue to bake, you’ll discover brands with qualities you love — as well as those you should avoid.

2. Wait for Room Temperature

Whether chilled, melted, or soft, the texture of butter is everything in baking. If the recipe calls for room temperature butter, exercise some patience. Yes, it can take hours for everything to reach the right consistency.

But it’s worth it. If your butter is too cold, it will remain chunky even under the power of the best mixing machines. And if you try and cheat the system by microwaving butter, the heat can cook or separate important ingredients.

There are a few ways to soften butter quickly when you don’t have time to wait.

3. Don’t Forget About Carryover Cooking

The baking process continues once you pull baked goods out of the oven. This is known as carryover cooking.

For this reason, you should always take baked goods out of the oven a bit early. Maybe the tops of the cookies still look wet or the cheesecake still has some wiggle. That’s okay because they’ll finish cooking once you pop them out.

4. Baking Tips Can’t Replace Excellent Bakeware

You could have the best baking tips in the world, but you won’t be cooking your best with low-end bakeware. Quality cooking utensils are more consistent and offer better heat conduction. In turn, this means you’ll just bake better.

For example, a ceramic muffin pan will outcook a flimsy steel tin any day of the week. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s absolutely worth the price. Shop around for good deals on bakeware and try to replace cheap pans and trays you use on the regular.

5. Learn to Weigh Ingredients

Most home chefs measure by volume with plastic measuring cups. But, as you know, this type of measuring is inconsistent. A cup of flour can vary drastically depending on how you pack your ingredients.

Baking is a science. If you don’t use the same amount of ingredients every time, your baked goods will always come out different.

But if you learn to weigh ingredients, you’ll never have this issue. 200 grams of sugar is always 200 grams, no matter what.

6. Rely on an Oven Thermometer

Unless you have a professional oven, it’s probably not as accurate as you think. The thermometer could be off by 25 degrees and some parts of the oven can get hotter than others. Even for basic baking, you should consider an oven thermometer.

It’s a bit more work to look inside the oven to check the actual temperature. However, that can be the difference between perfect cookies and overcooked disappointment.

7. Rotate Baked Goods

Since most ovens aren’t perfect, they may cook certain parts of your food faster than others. Thankfully, there’s an easy fix.

For one, always set your pans in the square center of the oven. And at the halfway point, crack the oven open and rotate your baked goods. This will ensure a better, more even cook.

8. Chill Dough Before Baking

Many cookie recipes ask you to chill dough for at least an hour beforehand. Don’t ignore it! As part of baking basics, you should always follow the instructions.

When you chill cookie dough, it reduces how much your cookies will spread in the oven. This will impact the cooking time and consistency of the cookie. But also, chilled dough allows flavors to intensify.

Even if a recipe doesn’t ask you to chill cookie dough, you should consider this option when your dough is too thick or sticky to handle.

9. Preheat to a Higher Temperature

An oven thermometer can help you regulate your oven, but there are more baking tips and techniques to make the most of it. In the brief time it takes to put your pans in the oven, you’re letting out hot air.

It may seem insignificant, but it can really affect how well your baked goods cook. With the help of your oven thermometer, preheat your oven about 25 degrees over the actual cooking temperature.

Once your baked goods are in the oven, set your oven back down to the proper temperature. The extra temperature creates a buffer, ensuring your oven doesn’t dip down below the proper heat.

10. Don’t Skimp on Flouring Pans

There’s a reason most recipes tell you to either flour or butter your pans. If you don’t, your baked items are going to cling to them. This means you’ll ruin your food when you’re trying to free it.

Always add a heaping helping of flour or grease to avoid this problem. A little bit extra isn’t going to ruin the recipe, I promise. The same isn’t true if you don’t use enough.

Bake Like a Professional

Since baking is a science, anyone can learn to do the job well. In fact, most of the work has already been done for you. Decades of baking experience have led to balanced, delicious recipes.

You just need to learn how to follow them. These baking tips can help you make the most of your time in the kitchen. Keep baking, keep practicing, and before too long you’ll wow your friends — and yourself.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, search the rest of our blog for more tips for hardworking moms.

Baby Boom: 5 Proven Methods to Naturally Increase Fertility

As one in every ten couples struggles with fertility, it’s not uncommon for people to find new and creative ways to increase fertility. If you want to add to your family and are having some trouble, there are some simple changes that could help make it easy to have that baby you’ve been wanting. By managing your health, paying attention to your body, and doing everything at the right time, you can ensure you conceive without trouble.

Here are five tips to ensure you increase your chances fo conceiving.

1. Pay Attention to Health

It’s important for anyone to get regular checkups. Many people who otherwise feel perfectly healthy will skip out on annual checkups rather than going to the doctor to look for underlying issues. People in their twenties and even thirties often feel invincible and like they don’t need to go to the doctor.

Both men and women will neglect their reproductive health and ignore the other health factors that could be contributing to reproductivity. However, there is a very strong correlation between your physical health and the fertility that you have. For both men and women, being unhealthy can influence the strength of your reproductive inner workings.

Having a good diet, maintaining regular exercise, and managing your body weight can affect your fertility. Even just getting more and better-quality sleep will ensure that you’re staying healthy enough to give your body the reproductive balance it needs. Living a less stressful life can ensure that you’re producing stronger eggs or semen to produce your best chance of making a baby.

2. Watch For Signs of Fertility

While there are basics to pregnancy, like the need for an egg to be met by sperm, there are times that are more ideal than others. If your body is about to release an egg during ovulation, you need to be sure that you can meet the two elements together at the right time and place.

Ideally, you want to be having sex during that ideal time frame of when your ovaries are creating eggs and your partner is at their healthiest.

Having a regular cycle, with periods calling around 4-5 weeks apart, means that you should be having sex around the second and before the third week. With irregular periods, it’s much harder to predict when the ideal time to reproduce is.

Since you can’t always rely on a calendar to tell you when to reproduce, you need to pay attention to your body. The way that you feel during that part of your period will tell you when it’s time to make a baby.

A simple ovulation kit can ensure that a woman is on top of her cycle and knows the ideal time to conceive.

3. You Can Have the Wrong Amount of Sex

Setting a schedule for sex might seem a little bit unromantic but it’s a necessary element of trying to have a baby. Knowing your window for fertility is one of the most important elements and now that you have ti down, you can start ensuring that you’re having sex just about every other day from a few days before until a few days after ovulation.

While spending more time having sex won’t really lower your odds, some figured state that sperm count might go down as your frequency increases.

How much time you spend during each session is up to you and your partner. You can make it as quick and exciting or slow and fun as you’d like. That doesn’t affect the chances of conception at all.

Position or keeping your legs in one place or another doesn’t really affect your odds of conception at all. Sperm can move fast and so if they haven’t made it in the fallopian tubes within a few minutes, there’s not a lot to do to get them there.

4. Testical Temperature Matters

If you or your partner like the feeling of a hot bath, that can be a great way to relax the body and mind, but it’s not ideal for conception. Even sitting in a sauna after working out might hurt the chances of conceiving a baby if it’s frequent enough habit.

Typically, testicles stay cooler than other parts of the body. There’s an ideal temperature for sperm production that’s a little less than the standard 98.6 degrees the body stays.

Since they need to stay in this ideal zone to be produced, external elements that warm them up could be a problem for conceiving.

5. Weight Matters

For people who are overweight, it can be a little bit harder to conceive or to keep a baby healthy once it’s conceived. Women might have lower chances of conceiving a child if they are overweight.

Being overweight can cause changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle or even cause them not to ovulate at all. If there’s a chance that you could lose some weight before trying to conceive, that might help to increase fertility. A woman closer to a healthy weight will also be able to eliminate many of the health risks that come with pregnancy.

Being too thin could make fertility difficult as well. Thinner women often have irregular menstrual cycles and could lack some of the nutrients necessary to keep a fetus healthy. Thin women can risk having a preterm birth if they get pregnant, which will lead to a low birth weight and other complications related to a pregnancy.

You Can Increase Fertility Naturally

By following just a few of the steps listed above, you can increase fertility and have a healthier baby in the end. When you live a healthier life, you can ensure that you’re giving your new addition to your family the best chance at health. Healthy parents have healthy babies.

If you expect to be balancing your work life with your new addition to your family, follow our guide for tips.

5 Brilliant Tips to Create a Master Calendar That Boosts Your Productivity

48% of Americans say that they don’t have enough time in the day. 

We all know that frustrating feeling of never being able to complete the projects we really want to do because our time gets eaten up by all the ones we have to do.

But all is not lost. Simple timekeeping ideas such as using a master calendar can help you make better use of your time and make sure you get to work on those projects you really care about.

Read on for some tips for creating your perfect calendar.

1. Set Accurate Durations

Calendars, whether online or physical, are usually broken down into specific chunks of time.

The trouble is, these don’t always match the duration of our tasks. If you set aside an hour for a job that only takes 40 minutes, then you’re wasting 20 minutes that could be devoted to something else. On the flip side, if the job actually takes you an hour and a quarter, then you’ll be behind schedule from the outset.

Setting accurate durations for your tasks will ensure you can plan your day more effectively.

2. Use Recurring Activities

There are some tasks that we repeat over and over again.

Use recurring activities to put these into your calendar quickly and easily. If you’re using an online calendar, you can usually set tasks to repeat daily, weekly, monthly, annually, or even on specific days of the week.

Setting these up is quick and easy but means you’ll never forget a recurring task again.

3. Make It Flexible

If you’re scheduling a meeting, the likelihood is that it’s not going to run exactly to time. 

People turn up early or get stuck in traffic and your appointment may overrun. You may also need to reschedule at the last minute. If you’ve scheduled other tasks directly before or after your appointment, these will be straight out the window.

Try to build in time before and after appointments. That way if they do run late, or need to be moved slightly, it won’t throw the rest of your schedule out of whack.

4. Highlight the Most Important Entries

Sometimes it just isn’t possible to complete every task.

That’s why it’s important to focus on the most important tasks first. The easiest way to do this is to highlight the tasks that are most urgent so that you don’t miss them. 

You can even use a color scheme to show different levels of importance for each task. Not only will it improve productivity but will make your calendar look more appealing too. If you want to make a beautiful looking calendar then you can find many a calendar template for free online. 

5. Build in Some Downtime

Scheduling tasks for every minute of your day is only going to end in tears.

It’s vital that you build time into your calendar to recharge your batteries. By physically adding period of downtime to your schedule, it forces you to take a break.

You may not be able to schedule as many tasks, but you’ll be far more productive in the ones you do tackle.

Are You Looking to Create Your Own Master Calendar?

If you’re planning on creating your own master calendar we hope these tips have been useful.

If timekeeping and productivity are areas you want to focus on then we’re here to help. We have plenty more articles to help you save money, succeed in your business, or just cope with the day to day of family life.

Feel free to take a good look around.

Get Lucky: What You Need to Know About Joining Contests to Win Money

Is it true you can make a living by joining games, sweepstakes, and contests online?

The truth? It’s highly unlikely.

However, it is possible to win money in contests and sweepstakes for some fun supplemental income.

How?

Keep reading to discover how to enter contests to win money. Who knows? You might be the next big sweepstakes winner or maybe you’ll win several smaller games and contests.

Use Sweepstakes Services

The easiest way to increase your odds of winning is to enter more contests. That’s where sweepstakes services are invaluable. These services round up contests from around the globe and list them in one place, saving you plenty of internet surfing time.

Sweepstakes Advantage is a good service to optimize your time. Go down the list and start entering every contest you qualify for.

To save time, use a form filler so you can quickly fill out forms with one click. Chrome AutoFill and Firefox AutoFill are free extensions that do exactly that.

Decide Which Contests to Enter

If you’re not careful, entering sweepstakes can become a time-consuming endeavor. Hundreds of thousands of contests exist and you can’t enter them all. That’s why we advise devising a plan for the types of contests that are worth your time.

For example, you may decide you only want to enter contests that give away cash. Alternatively, you can decide to enter contests that give away items, like concert tickets or merchandise, that you can sell for cash.

Maybe you only want to enter contests that offer instant winnings just by entering your name and contact information. Or you may like to play fun games like Blighty Bingo Online to win prizes.

Some forms require you to snail mail your entry. Several others require you to record a video, write an essay or perform various tasks. Not surprisingly, these contests receive fewer entries but offer the best odds of winning.

Enter More Often

It goes without saying, the more you enter a contest, the better your chances of winning. Join contests and sweepstakes that allow for daily entries. You can increase your winnings through this one step alone.

It doesn’t take long to enter a contest, especially with the autofill extensions mentioned above. Make it a routine you do every day. You can easily add more entries to sweepstakes and contests as you watch Netflix or wait in line at the bank.

Consider Skill-Based Contests

Skill-based contests can include cooking, writing, photography, or even coming up with a catchy slogan. Because so few people will take the time to enter these contests, they offer the best chance of winning.

But when you complete the requirements and maybe even go the extra mile, you significantly improve your chance of winning. And the winnings are to die for, such as a house, a car or even a golf course!

Final Thoughts on Entering Contests to Win Money

As you might suspect, when you join numerous sweepstakes, you’ll start to receive a lot of junk mail. It’s a good idea to create one or more email accounts to keep contest emails and spam out of your personal inbox. 

Enter as many contests to win money as you can, as many times as the contest will allow. And don’t shy away from skill-based contests which offer the best odds of winning.

Check our site often as we post new and helpful content daily.