What to Watch This Fall

Scream Queens Tuesday, Sept. 22, 9 p.m. ET, Fox

Scream Queens has it all. Kitschy horror, black humor, and a wardrobe to die for. The premise is this: a (typically) blonde sorority girl is being stalked by a murderer ravaging their college campus. What ensues is a little scary, a little silly, and lot of fun. Emma Roberts (niece of Julia) is the perfect amount of snark and edge mixed with classic good looks.

Those Earmuffs on Scream Queens

Blood and Oil Sunday, Sept 27, 9 p.m. ET, ABC

A young couple set out to embark on a new life, in hopes of striking it rich in North Dakota after the discovery of a whole lot of oil. A modern version of the Gold Rush, this one doesn’t miss in mixing soapy drama and complex characters. What do you think happens when middle Americans compete for a fortune? Plus, the scenery is cool.

Supergirl Monday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m. ET, CBS

Because, frankly, there are not enough female superheroes on TV. Superman’s cousin shares the same basic plot line, and we’re happy to see a kick-ass chick rock her superpowers to save the world.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Monday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m. ET, CW

Ok, it kind of reinforces a negative female stereotype, but it’s a fun show, nonetheless so we’re excited about this quirky comedy. It’s not like anything we’ve seen before and it captures some real issues surrounding being thirty something and single. Pressured to find her true happiness, Rachel Bloom abandons her partnership at a prestigious law firm to follow an ex-boyfriend to a small California town. When she gets there and realizes there is no beach in sight…well, the show makes a left to turn into full song and dance about her inability to sunbathe.

The Muppets September 22, ABC

Yes, the Muppets! A reboot features none other than Miss Piggy and Kermit and…spoiler alert…they are splitsville. What ensues is a lot of silly romantic tension between the two. We’re not quite how to manage a whole season out of this plot line, but we’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy this one with the whole family.

Blindspot Monday, Sept. 21, 10 p.m. ET, NBC

Yay for another strong female lead! Blindspot features what feels like a female Jason Bourne who wakes up in a duffle bag in the middle of Times Square. She has no memory but does have a whole lot of tattoos that apparently need to be deciphered. Turns out, they are linked to crimes happening as we speak. Who is she? She’s not sure. Sound suspenseful? It is. It follows a similar formula as the Blacklist and it’s a definite keeper.

5 Game Day Activities for the Littlest NFL Fans

game day activities for the littlest nfl fans

If you’re a dual-fan household, you know how serious sitting down to watch a football game is.  With both adults in the household engrossed in the game, it can be difficult to engage children while not experiencing some frustration as you miss a big play.

To lend you a hand, we have five great game day activities to keep your kids occupied while you root on your favorite team.  Not only are they sure to give you a little time, they’re also incredibly frugal.

1. Explain the Game

Your young kids love you.  They want to bond with you.  They’re willing to give whatever you’re interested in a go.  While it may initially seem like a distraction, try to sit down with them and explain what’s going on in the game.  Explain the rules.  Explain the scoring.  Explain why you’re cheering or holding your head in your hands.  They may just start enjoying the game as much as you do, transforming football games from a fun activity for parents to a real opportunity to connect with your kids weekly.

Tried it and have a child that’s disinterested?  We’ve been there, too.  Look at ideas two through five to help them enjoy game time, even if the actual game isn’t their focal point.

2. Play Sportscaster

For this idea you’ll need a cardboard box.  On the side that has the largest surface area, cut out a large rectangle, leaving only inches around the perimeter.  This will be your screen.  Let the little ones decorate it like a TV.  When they’re done, they’re ready to step behind the screen and play sportscaster.  

Even if they have no idea what’s going on with the game, they’ll have fun making up their own story and taking turns at being on television.

3. Football Bingo

If you still would like to teach them the rules of the game, turn it into a game they can relate to.  Using these Superbowl Bingo Cards as inspiration, make some cards that are specific to your team.  Turn the numbers into the jersey numbers for your big players, remove the alcohol square if that’s not something you want your kids to focus on, and add your team’s mascot.  The options are endless.  Bingo can help get your kids to watch the game even if they’re not watching for the same reasons as you.

4. Football Windsocks

Have little ones that are heavy into arts and crafts?  Set up an art station for them!  One fun idea is to make a football windsock.  You’ll need to provide a toilet paper roll, white paint, brown paint (optional,) glue, string, streamers in your team’s colors, and a hole punch.

They can start by painting the toilet paper roll brown, or they can leave it as is since it’s already the appropriate color.  Then, they paint three white horizontal lines down one side for the threads, with one white vertical line going through the center of them.  Now they have a football.

Glue the streamers to the inside, having them flow out one end.  (You can use strips of paper or even string if you don’t have streamers readily available.)  On the opposite end of the roll, punch two holes on opposite sides of the top. Run a string through the holes, and tie.  They can either hang them up outside, or wave them around as the grown ups cheer for the two point conversion.

5. Watch the Game After Bedtime

Another option is to watch the game after the kids are in bed.  The NFL Game Pass allows you to watch any game at your leisure on any device after it’s aired.  Your cheers will have to be a bit quieter to avoid waking anyone up, but the ability to watch completely uninterrupted may be worth the sacrifice.

Do you Coupon? Here’s how to get started.

Maybe you’re interesting in the sport of extreme couponing, or maybe you’re just interested in saving some money. Either way, we’ve compiled some great money-saving couponing tips to get your started.

1. Get organized. Buy a mini folder with dividers that fits in your purse. You can divide by category (home, food, baby) or by expiration date by month or week. But, you need to have your clipped coupons accessible at all times.

2. Download the app. Many stores have apps that offer exclusive coupon deals. Or, better yet, download the AnyCodes app from PromoPro. If you turn your location on, it reads your location to let you know what coupons are available in your area, or do a quick search for what you need. The store can just scan your coupon right on your phone.

3. Get weekend subscriptions to several papers. The inserts will prove worth it. Always ask friends and family to save their inserts and start your collection. For some people, the clipping is actually relaxing. It provides a sense of routine and and low stimulation activity that keeps you focused on something non-stressful.

4. Self checkouts sometimes allow more than one coupon. For example, if you use the self checkout at BJs (who offers huge coupons, plus manufacturer coupons), you can use two of the SAME coupon before it cuts you off. It used to allow more, but got wise.

Top Couponing Mistakes (by ABC News)

1. Not reading the fine print. It’s true that some stores restrict coupons, but know the store coupon policies and the fine print on the coupon itself. You can sometime argue a store into accepting your coupon, but only i f you know the policy and can make a case for your coupon.

2. Not taking advantage of “stacking.” Don’t assume one coupon is enough! Manufacturers and stores often offer coupons at the same time. More than one discount can be really satisfying!

3. Thinking the sale is the lowest price. Not so. You can still use a coupon. Think of the sale price as a first step in negotiations with the consumer. Little known fact: sale items are more likely to have a coupon because manufacturers are looking to get aggressive to get the item off the shelf.

4. Buying more doesn’t mean saving more. Many coupons say you must buy 2-4 of the item. If you are to use more than one coupon, you’ll have to double it. Suddenly, you find yourself with six bottles of dish detergent. It’s probably not worth it.

5. Using coupons for products you don’t need. If you don’t eat Dorritos, don’t clip the coupon. Coupons on healthy food are rarer than on junk food. You don’t want to inadvertently create an unhealthy lifestyle just because you have coupons.

 

3 Date Night Ideas for Parents on a Budget

date night budget

With all the hustle and bustle of back-to-school and other big schedule changes that happen this time of year, you likely have been stressed out and missing out on one-on-one time with your sweetie.  If your budget’s busted from buying backpacks and new shoes, adding another expense to the list might seem overwhelming.

Not to worry. We have three fabulous date night inspirations for you that will help you reconnect on a dime:

1. Search Out Free Events

A little looking can go a long way when you’re trying to find a deal on date night activities. Most areas have free events and activities that you may not even know about until you get online and search.  For example, you can go kayaking for free on the Hudson River in NYC, kayak rental included.  If you’re in Boston, you can head to the Institute of Contemporary Art on Thursdays from 5-9pm for free admission.  If you’re in DC, odds are you’re no stranger to the free museums and national monuments that are free to the public everyday.  Do a little searching in your city typing in “free activities +(your city here)” in your search engine.  It may just surprise you what you can do without spending a penny.

2. Look at Group Buying Sites

Group buying sites, like Groupon, are a great way to score a great deal.  Whether you want to go out for a nice dinner, head to the theater, try a new sporting activity, or even get away for the weekend, there are steep discounts to be had.  We’ve also found using Groupon has been a great way to expose us to new things to do we wouldn’t have otherwise known existed.  We’ve seen beer brewing courses and hot air balloon rides, ziplining and magic shows, all of which we never would have known about had we not checked out group buying sites.  The biggest thing to watch out for on these sites is the dates in the fine print.  Sometimes you can only use for voucher on certain days of the week, and almost all of them have expiration dates.  Be sure you’ll be able to use yours on your schedule before purchasing.

3. Go Back to the Days When It Was Just You Two

Remember the days before kids?  Where you’d relax at home or head out to a friend’s house together at the drop of a hat?  We know, it feels like an eternity ago.  But you can recreate that freedom without being a bad parent.  Ask grandma or a sitter if they’d be willing to host a sleepover for one night so that you can have your home to yourselves.  Don’t make any big plans.  Just hang out.  See where spontaneity takes you.  You may end up cuddling and watching movies together all night, or you may end up at a party before the evening’s through.  Don’t set expectations.  Just plan for a free night, and enjoy the brief reprieve it gives you from your day-to-day responsibilities.

Love.  It’s What Brings Us Together.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to have a great time, especially together.  If the goal is to connect one-on-one with someone you love, there’s no shortage of ways to do so on a budget.