Frugal Fall Activities

By contributing writer Laura

Fall is my favorite time of year to enjoy the great outdoors. With the hot, sticky, humid summer behind us, the milder temps and crisp air make being outside so much more enjoyable for both my kids and myself. There are also many fun fall-themed outdoor activities you can partake in as you celebrate the season, but sometimes with the back-to-school rush and flurry of activities on our plate, we forget to slow down and enjoy fall.


Here are some fun, frugal fall activities to enjoy fall with your family.

1. Pack a picnic.

Although you may think of picnics as more of a spring or summer activity, the milder temperature and climate in fall can make for an enjoyable time outdoors. Pack picnic-friendly food, i.e. food that is easy to transport and not too messy, and head out to your favorite park or outdoor venue to enjoy the fresh air or sunset while eating your family meal.

2. Go leaf peeping.

In many parts of the country, autumn can be a great time to enjoy the seasonal change in foliage. Here on the east coast we enjoy leaf peeping, which basically entails piling everyone in the car and going on scenic road ways to view the beautiful colors of the leaves changing. It’s a marvelous display of creation and nature’s beauty on full display. To find good leaf peeping spots near you, ask friends or do an Internet search.

3. Leap into leaves.

Continuing in the vein of leaves, you can have fun at home by raking leaves and jumping in leaf piles. This is a great way to get your kids to help do yard work as well as have fun. Young children and even older children like this activity, which was one of my favorite frugal fall activities as a child, and it is popular with my own children now.

4. Enjoy hayrides and fall festivals.

Fall is also a great time to enjoy hayrides and fall festivals taking place in your community and at local farms. Some fall festivals are free admission sponsored by local communities or organizations, while others are paid admission. Attending fall festivals can be a great family affair that is budget-friendly compared to amusement parks and other leisure activities.

Besides frugal fall activities you can do in your hometown, don’t forget about frugal fall vacations! Just remember, there’s no need to fall into a rut this season after a summer full of fun. Enjoy frugal, fall activities and spending time outdoors before the cold winter months come.

What’s your favorite frugal fall activity?

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Target: Free Shipping and Free Returns


It’s no secret that Target is one of my favorite places to shop. I’m not as big of a fan of shopping in store during the holiday season because it sometimes seems like it is more trouble than it’s worth to try and navigate the sea of Christmas shoppers.

There are several ways to save online at Target this holiday season.



Free shipping on orders $50 or more at Target.

Orders over $50 at Target ship free. This is available in the 48 contiguous states as well as our military families with APO/FPO addresses.

Free same-day store pickup.

I LOVE same-day store pickup. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to shop. Shop online and then quickly pick up your items in the store the very same day. This is great if you have small kids and don’t want to spend too much time in the toy aisle this holiday season.

Redcard holders get free shipping.

I don’t recommend getting a credit card, but if you already have a Target Redcard take advantage of free shipping when you use your card. You also save 5% on your purchases, so the savings definitely starts to add up!

Free shipping and 5% off with subscriptions.

Target has a similar program to Amazon where you can set up recurring delivery of items you buy frequently. These items always ship free and you also save an additional 5% with subscriptions.

Free returns.

Did you know that you are return items purchased online for free? This is a huge benefit to shopping online at Target! You can always return for free in-store, but you can also print out a shipping label on and ship it back for free.

Cartwheel App & Target Coupons

If you shop in store don’t forget to download the Cartwheel app on your smart phone. You can combine Cartwheel offers with Target coupons and manufacture coupons. This is a great way to stack the savings when you are shopping in store. You can find all Target store coupons here.

Target always has great sales and with free returns I think they are giving Amazon a run for their money this holiday season. Before you order on Amazon, check out to see if you can get a better deal!


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Solving the Homeschool Math Challenge

By contributing writer Colleen

When you have kids that just won’t stop moving in your homeschool, subjects like math can be a huge challenge. Even if a wiggly child is good at math, that subject presents unique challenges that are hard to overcome.

Solving the Homeschool Math Challenge at The Happy Housewife

photo credit: tracy the astonishing via photopin cc

Math is:

  • Sequential – Each lesson builds upon the last. A child (even a bright child) needs to do it mostly in order to lay a good foundation for higher levels of math. If he skips around too much, he’ll struggle in math later.
  • Repetitive – Math takes practice. While not all children need as many repetitions as others in order to master concepts, each kiddo needs some practice to become a strong mathematician.
  • Paper and Pencil – Because math is a skill to be mastered, most kids need to actually do the problems on paper in order to cement them in their minds. Active kids aren’t always the biggest fans of this type of work.
  • Overwhelming – Let’s face it, math can be overwhelming to kids. There is always something new to learn, and it seems like it never ends.

All of these issues add up to fights in many homeschools. I know that my son, who is very gifted, struggles whenever it’s time to pull out the math book. He doesn’t struggle because math is challenging. He struggles because the nature of math is tough for him. But math has to happen. So what should we do as homeschool parents?

Change It Up

If a curriculum isn’t working, there is no law that says you have to stick to it. Try something different. There are computer-based programs, textbooks with lots of repetition, and workbooks that favor more of a spiral approach (circling topics back around and around until a child gets it).

Solving the Homeschool Math Challenge at The Happy Housewife

Try a few different things to see which method works with your child’s learning style and personality. Borrow a few different programs from local homeschool friends, if possible, to try different things out. Remember, your only limit is yourself.

Homeschooling is a chance to see what works best and go with it. There is no one size fits all method of learning.

Get Your Kids Moving

If your kids don’t like to sit still, try to get them moving. In desperation one year, I took scissors to my son’s workbook pages and cut apart his math workbook. I spread the small chunks of paper throughout the house, told him how many pieces he had to find, and let him go on a math scavenger hunt to do his work.

I didn’t modify the work in any way. I still had him do all the problems on the page, but he didn’t feel as overwhelmed because those assignments were spread all over the house in small bite-sized pieces, and he was able to move between each segment. It was an adventure that he loved, and the complaining ceased.

Solving the Homeschool Math Challenge at The Happy Housewife

Modify the Curriculum

There is no rule that says your child must do every problem in a lesson. If there are a lot of repeated concepts and your child has clearly demonstrated to you that he knows that skill well, don’t make him practice any more. Allow him to move on.

It’s easy to become a slave to the curriculum, but really, it doesn’t do your child (or you) any good. Make the program work for you; don’t become a slave to it. If your child knows what he or she is doing, then let him be done with that concept. Otherwise homeschooling isn’t any different than having him be in school.


Above all, relax. It’s math. Yes, it’s important that your child knows how to manage his money, count, and calculate, but it’s more important that your child is confident, well-adjusted, and sure of himself. If the math you’re doing isn’t working, and it’s weighing you all down, step back, reevaluate, and try something else.

Above all, enjoy having your kids home with you, and work together to figure out a plan that works. It’s your turn. What simple ideas do you have for helping your kids through their math issues?

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Printable Coupon of the Week: Taco Night

I love the feeling of getting a great coupon. You know, the feeling of saving money on something you could really use. It’s great! So every Monday I’m going to try and spread that feeling with you guys by posting great printable coupons.

Taco Night is sort of a staple in our home. The kids will normally have friends over and we will make a bunch of taco fixings. It’s easy, tasty, fun and cheap! Have your own taco night this week and you can use these coupons to make it even cheaper. Enjoy!

Coupons of the Week

$0.75 off ONE BOX Old El Paso Bold Nacho Cheese

$1.00 off three Old El Paso products

See all the available coupons here at And make sure to check back next Monday for more hand selected printable coupons.


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