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20 Cheap Non-Candy Halloween Treats

Halloween will be here in no time. With three children, the amount of candy that comes into our home is ridiculous. I don't like to give me kids a lot of candy anyway. They act like different people when they're hyped up on sugar and not in a good way. I usually end up donating some of it and throwing out what remains in December since they bring home a ton of candy around Christmas, too. That seems like a huge waste of money to me. 

I've noticed more and more of my neighbors handing out non-candy items for trick-or-treating, and I really appreciate it. The juice boxes, granola bars, and pretzels never go to waste in our house. One of our neighbors even does little stuffed animals or glow sticks, and my kids are always really excited to get those.

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9 Cheap Halloween Party Ideas

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Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Halloween Costume Tips  

If you are seeking non-candy alternatives that won't diminish the...

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8 Fall Festival Games That Won't Break the Bank

Every year our elementary school PTA puts on a fantastic Fall Festival and every year we are trying to coming up with new ideas on a shoestring budget. We have been very fortunate that one of the parents always donates his DJ services so we always have great music.

Here are some of my favorite activities that we've done in recent years.

Fall Festival Games

Pumpkin Bowling with Ghost Pins

Collect empty 2-liter bottles to use as pins and get some small to medium-size pumpkins to use as bowling balls. You'll need 8-12 bottles. If you want to make the game extra cute, spray paint the bottles white to make them look like ghosts. After they dry, use a permanent marker to draw eyes and mouths.

Set the bottles up like bowling pins and use the pumpkins to try and knock them down.

Donuts on a String

Kids can't get enough of this one and it's fun to watch, too. That's my daughter in the picture above. Hard to believe she used to be that little when she will probably be taller...

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Budget-Friendly Book Character Costumes for Teachers

As a teacher, dressing up for Halloween can be difficult. It’s hard to find a costume that’s not racy, scary, or could potentially offend someone. A safe choice for teachers is usually a book character, but you’ve been Hermoine the past four years and it’s expensive to dress up like a bus, Miss Frizzle. Instead, use these budget-friendly book character costumes for teachers as inspiration! 

Related post: Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Halloween Costume Tips

The Rainbow Fish

This is one of the best budget-friendly book character costumes for teachers and you can even whip it up the night before! Make your own multi-colored tutu for the rainbow part. Tulle is inexpensive and making your own tutu couldn’t get easier. 

You’ll also need a blue shirt and some felt to create scales on your shirt. You can sew the scales on or use hot glue to keep them in place. All in, the project should only set you back a few dollars!  


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9 Cheap Halloween Party Ideas

The spooky season is finally here! Get ready to bump into Halloween décor in almost every store you visit. From food ideas, Halloween-themed décor to various crafts, it can be difficult to stay on track with your budget and yet still enjoy the season. Check out these 9 inexpensive Halloween party ideas that can be created (or purchased) without breaking your budget.

Related posts: 

One my Favorite DIY Halloween Decorations

20 Cheap Non-Candy Halloween Treats

Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Halloween Costume Tips

1. Turn Your Toilet Paper Rolls into Bats.

Turning your empty toilet paper rolls into bats is arguably one of the easiest Halloween DIY’s you’ll ever try. Just collect a couple of rolls and paint them black. From that point on – it’s all about your creativity. You can add paper wings and googly eyes, or simply use whatever other materials you have lying around the home. Make a “bat family” or add it as an activity for your...

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One of my Favorite DIY Halloween Decorations

It's easy to spend a small fortune on decorations for holidays. However, between Halloween costumes and pumpkins, going all out on decorations might be outside your budget. You can still have fun without spending a lot. One of my favorites to make is a homemade scarecrow.

I think the scarecrow has got to be the most common DIY Halloween Decoration. I've been making them since I was a kid. AND, it's a great way to get the kids to rake and think it's fun. Not only that, you can do it with materials lying around your house.

Related posts: 

20 Cheap Non-Candy Halloween Treats

Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Halloween Costume Tips

9 Cheap Halloween Party Ideas

There are lots of different versions of scarecrows. Encourage your kids to get creative with the materials. Here's one version.

Related post: 50 Ideas for Free Family Fun This Fall


  • Old button-down shirt
  • Old jeans
  • Pair of old pantyhose
  • String (or twine)
  • Leaves (or straw)
  • Lawnchair
  • Milk jug (to make the...
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Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Halloween Costume Tips

My kids love Halloween. More than the candy, they thrive on having the opportunity to wear their “dress-up” clothes out of the home. There’s nothing quite like pretending to be someone you idolize. Unfortunately, the budget doesn’t always accommodate the expensive costumes they’d prefer, which is why I’m always searching for new, inexpensive ideas. A single post on Facebook netted a bunch, so I thought I’d share a few with you. 

#1: Gum Stuck to Shoe

If you have a pink shirt (and possibly pink pants as well) this is an easy costume to put together. Just attach the bottom of a shoe to the top of your head and you are immediately transformed into the gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe. While your costume will be more identifiable with pink “gum”, you may want to mix it up and go as a wintergreen version.

#2: A Ghost

Have an old white sheet lying around? Place it over the head, cut two holes for eyes and ta-da! You are a ghost.

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How to Improve Your Finances: Wisdom from The Latte Factor

The very first personal finance book that I ever read was David Bach's Smart Women Finish Rich. I was in my early 20s at the time, and it was the financial education I never got in school on how to improve my finances. It opened my eyes to a lot of things - about how spending is a reflection of our values, the power of saving consistently over time, and how to avoid common financial mistakes. 

Over the years, I have read some of David Bach's other books as well, so I was looking forward to the release of his latest, The Latte Factor.

This book is different from Bach's other books. It's a parable that teaches basic personal finance concepts through the story of a young woman named Zoey. The text is very readable for a book about personal finance, and Zoey is a very relatable character. If you are having a hard time figuring out how to save for the things you want, I highly recommend it.


3 Ways to Improve Your Finances According to The Latte...

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50 Ideas for Free Family Fun This Fall

The weather is getting cooler, which means that it's time to consider alternatives to playing in the swimming pool and at the lake. Check out the following 50 ideas for free family fun this fall.

  1. Go to a playground - Fall provides so many beautiful days to visit local playgrounds.
  2. Go for a hike - Fall is my favorite time of year for hiking. I love watching the trees change colors, and the sound of the leaves crunching on the ground.
  3. Visit the public library - In addition to free activities for families, our local libraries also have a lending library of toys and games. Yours might, too!
  4. Attend a free concert - Many communities offer free concerts in the park. Our local libraries often have free concerts, too.
  5. Take a walk on the beach and collect shells - Depending on what part of the country you live in, it may be too cold for swimming. There are other ways to enjoy the beach, though. Building a sandcastle and collecting seashells are great fall activities.
  6. Watch a movie together...
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Why This Busy Mom Loves Amazon Prime & How to Get It Discounted

I was reluctant to become an Amazon shopper for years, and now, I can't imagine life without it. More than anything else, I use it to keep us stocked with necessities like toilet paper, tissues, and laundry detergent. It may not always be the cheapest option, but there is enormous value in knowing we have those things stocked, and I don't have to worry about them.

Haven't tried Amazon Prime? Use this link for a free 30-day trial.

5 Reasons I Love Amazon Prime

1. Never running out of necessities

Subscribe & Save has indeed been a lifesaver for me. It means never running out of essential items like soap and toothpaste. I use Subscribe & Save for most of our household goods. You get a discount for subscribing, but more importantly, we don't run out of the things we need when I'm too busy to go to the store. However, if I still need something that I didn't subscribe to, I can order it through Amazon Prime and have it two days with no extra shipping cost.

2. Saves...

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How to Save Money While Raising a Family

Wondering how to save money while raising a family? You are not alone. I can't tell you how many moms have told me they can't save money because their kids always need something. I can relate. I have three kids that are continually growing out of clothes and shoes, wearing a hole in their backpack, or any number of other things. With that said, it's absolutely possible to save money while raising a family.

Related post: How to Create an Annual Household Budget

10 Tips on How to Save Money While Raising a Family

Commit to saving

First and foremost, successful saving starts with commitment. Saving consistently and automatically is essential to reaching your financial goals, but you won't be successful without a goal. Consider the following:

  • What are you saving for?
  • How much money do you need or want to save?
  • What's the timeframe?

Once you have your goal in place, automate those savings deposits. You can do this in a couple of ways:

  1. Set up automatic transfers from your spending...
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