Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fun, Frugal Ideas For a Fall Night In



As much as I love having nights out with friends, I, like most people, have a budget I need to adhere to and nights out can really add up. But saving money doesn't always have to mean sacrificing fun, so I've come up with a few ideas for a memorable night in that won't break the bank.



Cozy & Cinematic
If there's one thing I absolutely love to do in the Fall, it's watch horror movies. The closer we get to Halloween the more I just want to curl up with a bowl of popcorn, turn off all the lights and put on something spooky. Heading to the movie theater every weekend can get pretty pricey, and that's before you add in overpriced snacks and drinks, so staying in with friends and popping in a DVD is a great, budget-friendly alternative. I'm a huge Hitchcock fan, so I like to throw on some suspenseful classics like Psycho and The Birds but if you have a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription your horror movie options are endless.You could throw your own scary movie marathon with your friends and everyone can choose their favorite.

If your favorite part of the cinema experience is the snacks, you can throw some popcorn in the microwave to get the party started. Nothing gets you ready for a movie like the smell of fresh popcorn, am I right? If you prefer sweeter treats, you can pick up movie-style boxes of your favorite candy at the drugstore for around $1 each. Personally I'm pretty partial to Sno-Caps but the sky's the limit.


Tricks & Treats
If frightening flicks aren't really your thing, why not have a game night with friends or family instead? At parties my family is really big on playing games during dessert. The options are endless on games to play and there's really something to suit everyone's taste. For the price of a deck of cards you can play a huge variety of games (even drinking games if it's more of an adult party). One of our favorite games is actually Pictionary, which we rigged up by buying some inexpensive dry erase boards and markers from Target. There are tons of lists of words online for just this purpose which you can print up and cut up for players to choose.

If you have a Chromecast hooked up to your TV there are tons of free game apps which will allow all your guests to play together on the TV using their cell phones (check your app store). My family has played versions of Pictionary, Hangman and even Cards Against Humanity without spending a dime.

I really enjoy baking in the Fall and Winter because it makes your home feel warmer and more inviting. Why not let some treats bake and cool while you and your friends get your game on? It'll make for some great ambiance and you'll have some treats to enjoy when they're done. There are so many inexpensive cake and cookie mixes out there that don't require too much skill but will really bump up your hostess cred. I especially love Pillsbury's seasonal cake mixes, like Cinnamon Bun and Caramel Apple, because they really get you in the Fall spirit. Sorry, I'm just not a Pumpkin Spice fan.




Me, Myself & I
Sometimes the best way to unwind is with a little bit of alone time. For me, there's no way better way to relax than with a nice, not bubble bath - especially once the weather starts to get a bit chillier. There's just something so soothing about soaking in a hot tub and letting everything else drift away. It's like getting a nice long hug from a tub of hot water. I know a lot of people who don't really enjoy taking baths and I was once one of them. I think the best way to take pleasure in a bath is to find something to do with the time besides just staring off into space (though it can be helpful and relaxing to just reflect on your thoughts). Personally, I like to read romance novels in the tub because it transports my mind to another place while my body is pampered. I also like to sip a cup of coffee but if you're in a need of a bit more relaxing a glass of wine would work beautifully as well.

In terms of products, I love using the Dr. Teal's Foaming Baths because they contain Epsom Salt which really helps soothe tired muscles and they all smell amazing! Plus, at around $5 for an enormous bottle, they're an absolute steal that'll last you for several baths. Right now I'm using the Ginger & Clay scent which is not something I would have typically chosen but is so warm and seductive that I've totally become obsessed! A perfect scent for Autumn.

This is also the perfect time to throw on a face mask and tackle your troubled skin. The steam from the tub will open your pores and allow the mask to work even deeper. I like to use clay based masks for my oily, blemish-prone skin and I've been loving the Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Clay. Unlike a typical mask this is a dry clay powder that you mix with either water or apple cider vinegar to create a mask of your desired consistency. It really clears out your pores and at around $7 for a 1lb tub, you won't be running out of this baby any time soon.

After a lengthy soak in the tub (I typically sit in there for an hour) it's important to make sure you add moisture back into your skin with some lotion. Now that it's starting to get a bit colder I like to throw on something a little thicker, like my Sonia Kashuk Yellow Alluriana Body Butter. It's so rich and creamy, with an intoxicating citrus scent and beautiful packaging that belies its drugstore price tag. I also like to use a lip scrub to smooth and soften my lips because I tend to abuse them and it's always nice to remove any dead skin.

The final touch to a good night of pampering is a beautiful manicure. For me, there's something so relaxing about doing my own nails and just focusing on getting the brushstrokes nice and even. It's one of those things that just turns off all my rambling thoughts and helps me unwind. Plus, it looks great! My cuticles are usually a state, especially in the drier months, so the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover really works miracles. You just apply a bit to the beds of your nails, rub it in and wash it off a minute later. No more dry cuticles! In terms of nail colors you really can't go wrong with a classic red and this Sinful Colors Nail Enamel in Go Go Girl is under $2! To top it all off I use my holy grail top coat - Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. It dries incredibly quick and nothing gets my nails shinier.


Hopefully these ideas have given you some inspiration for ways to spend a night in that's both fun and frugal. Autumn is one of my favorite season (I love sweater weather) and I'll definitely be spending many enjoyable nights in with some cinnamon flavored treats, scary movies and my loved ones. Whether you're spending your Fall nights solo or with a gaggle of friends, I hope this season is a memorable one for you! If you're looking for some more tips and tricks to balance your budget this Fall Personal Capital has some tools to help keep you on track.

What are some of your tips for saving money in the Fall? How do you like to spend your nights in once the weather starts to get a bit chillier? Let me know in the comments below!




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