Winter Bucket List

by Danielle Meltz, Student Blogger

With the weather cooling down, most outdoor activities are coming to a close and some college students may be on the hunt for inexpensive winter activities. After being in Colorado for two years, here’s my winter activity bucket list on a budget.

Ice Skating

Nothing makes me think of winter more than ice skating, and luckily I have two affordable options for you. The first, which is the cheaper and easier of the two, would be the ice rink at the rec center. Not the most magical, but at $2 for rental skates it’s a pretty convenient daytime event. The second option is Winterskate in Louisville. Ice skating outdoors in the winter time makes the twenty minute drive from campus and $7 for a ticket and rental skates worth it.

Sledding

As someone who didn’t grow up around snow, I’ve never actually been sledding. But this is the year for me. You can go tubing or sledding while you’re at a ski resort such as Keystone for a little extra money, or you can join me in my makeshift sledding experience.

From cardboard to cushions here are some suggestions on homemade sleds. And if you want a good place to go, the incline at Chautauqua is supposed to be a pretty good spot.

sledding

Art Museums

Escaping the cold into a warm art museum where you can spend hours looking at local art work is always on my winter bucket list. For a free and nearby art museum, check out the CU Art Museum on campus. Their exhibitions are always changing, so you might have this on your bucket-list more than once this year.

Snowshoeing

Now this I’ve never done, but have always wanted to. Your love for hiking doesn’t have to end just because winter started. You can rent snowshoes at Fleet Feet for about $15 a day and $32 a weekend. You can pretty much snowshoe anywhere you like including Keystone, Estes Park, and Steamboat. Rocky Mountain National Park even has maps to show you where the dozens of trails you can explore. If you’re a first timer like me, here are some beginner snowshoeing tips.

Theatre performances

The CU Theatre and Dance Department has a show this year called ‘A Broadway Christmas Carol.’ With tickets less than $25, this is a local and cost-efficient way to get you into the winter spirit. Since I try to see one CU play a semester, I’ve been eyeing this one for a while and can’t wait for the show to open.

cu theatre a christmas carol

There’s a ton of winter bucket-list activities to do in Colorado, so what’s on yours? Whatever you might fancy, winter is coming and so are some of the best activities Colorado has to offer.

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Tips for how to save on Thanksgiving

by Danielle Meltz, Student Blogger

Thanksgiving is the holiday everyone’s stomachs look forward to…and everyone’s wallets dread. Whether you and your roommates are planning on making a dinner together this year or your returning home to the family, here are a couple tips to help save some money on this year’s Thanksgiving:

Food

Turkey vs no turkey

The ideal image of a Thanksgiving dinner generally revolves around a HUGE turkey. But is it really worth it? From buying right turkey (free range? organic?), making room in your fridge for it, defrosting it, and then cooking it for hours, there’s a lot of work that goes into a turkey. Perhaps this year trying a ham, roast beef, or a couple small chickens will make the dinner a lot easier—and more enjoyable.

Buy what’s in season

Asparagus might be a family tradition, but it’s nowhere near the season for them. Buying vegetables that are in season will not only save you money, but they taste better. Not to mention the option of canned or frozen goods. Pumpkin in a can is cheap and saves time, as is buying your ingredients in bulk.

What you can’t craft, eat

I’m definitely not the craftiest person around, but from hand shaped turkeys to eccentric turkey decorated cookies, the fall options are endless. Crafting edible goods allows you to worry less about perfecting them, and look forward more to eating them. And eating is such a large part of Thanksgiving.  happy thanksgiving with turkey cookie

Activities

Get rid of the Black Friday tradition

As much as it sounds like a great idea to save some money, waiting outside in the cold and then dealing with hundreds of shoppers probably isn’t what you want to be doing after a day of giving thanks. Cyber Monday is where I did my shopping last year, and it was well worth it. Anything you can find in a store, you can find from the comfort of your own home while you snack on some thanksgiving leftovers.

Avoid the mall in general

Thanksgiving break is a great time for families to spend time together. Instead of spending money at the mall, maybe get the family together and watch the Macy’s Parade, play touch football, or volunteer at a soup kitchen.

And finally, with all the pressure of having the perfect thanksgiving, try and remember what the day is really about. If eating Chinese takeout with your roommate in your dorm room constitutes as the perfect thanksgiving, go for it!

Relax and have fun with Thanksgiving this year, it doesn’t have to be perfect!

Pumpkin Pie with Pastry Leaf Crust

 

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Scariest Thing About Halloween: the Cost

by Danielle Meltz, Student Blogger

Halloween is easily my favorite holiday, and with college students more excited about it than when they were kids, it’s easy to get caught up in the new costumes, candy, parties, and the associated costs.

However, it is possible to do Halloween on a budget. From costumes, decorations, and things to do–here are some easy steps as to have a fun and frugal Halloween.

Costumes

Since there is only one week until the 31st, costume prices are on the rise, but here are a few quick costumes you can throw together:

Check out our Halloween Pinterest board for costume ideas! Check out our Halloween Pinterest board for costume ideas!

 

  • Miley Cyrus- two buns, a pink shirt and a teddy bear
  • Rosie the Riveter- Jean jacket and a red bandana
  • Deviled eggs- cut out picture of an egg and devil ears
  • Katniss- Leather jacket and couple of paper arrows
  • Avatar- paint yourself blue
  • Inspector Gadget- Black rain coat, a fedora and a police badge from the Dollar Store
  • Caveman- animal fabric from a craft store, tied up on one shoulder
  • Chimney Sweeper from Mary Poppins- Shirt, vest, tie, and a broom

The list is truly endless, and I fully believe you all have the creativity to turn your great idea into a costume with minimal spending.

Decorations

Even though this is one of the areas I think college students skimp on, I know that I appreciate walking into a Halloween party that made a solid effort on decorations.

Home to haunted house in a half hour:

  • Stick spider pictures all over the walls
  • Put candlelit pumpkins around the house and switch all the lights off
  • Stretch out some cotton balls and use hairspray together to create a spider web
  • out ghost shapes and tape them to framed pictures you already have
  • Put long socks under the door rug to look like the wicked witch

Decorate your front doorway for spooky fun!
Decorate your front doorway for spooky fun!

Things to do

As someone not from the US, I went to a haunted corn maze for the first time last weekend and almost died. Therefore, I highly recommend it to everyone! Here are a few options around the Denver metro area:

With one haunted corn maze for amateurs, and another ready to scare even the most fearless person you know, there’s something at Haunted Field of Screams (located at Denver Gym and Fitness, 4251 E 104th Ave, Denver, CO) for everyone. There’s two haunted corn mazes, the slightly less terrifying on is The Dead Man’s Night Maze with monsters and zombies around each corner.

However, if you want to step it up a notch, their Haunted Field of Screams corn maze is what this place is known for. As you get chased by clowns, ghosts, zombies with chainsaws, and witches, you realize how their main attraction has made it to its 13th year. Targeting every fear possible, this maze isn’t for the faint-hearted.

You can also go on their Zombie Paintball Massacre, where you get taken on a hayride and you have a paintball gun to defend you from the zombies.

Corn maze
Corn maze

Being haunted not your thing? Then Cotton Wood Farms (located at 1535 N 75th St., Boulder, CO) might be the place for you. With a non-scary corn maze, a pumpkin patch, animals and a hayride, Cotton Wood Farms is the perfect place to go during the day to pick out the pumpkins you’re dying to carve.

pumpkins

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20 Frugal and Thoughtful Gift Ideas

by Yuchen Wu, Student Blogger

For college students, budget is usually limited. You may stress over finding the perfect gifts for your friends or loved ones because of money. However, there are many frugal gifts that are meaningful. Here are some suggestions for you according to WiseBread and ZenHabits:

1. Home Movie DVD.

2. Recipe Book.

3. Flowers.

4. Customized T-shirt.

5. Homemade cookies baked by yourself.

6. Lotions or Bath Oils.

7. Photo Puzzle.

8. A letter, hand-written on nice paper, from you.

9. A book.

10. Scented Candles.

11. A baby tree.

  • Baby trees can be planted to commemorate a child’s birthday, moving into a new home, a graduation, or any big milestone. You can find tree saplings for under $5 at the Arbor Day Foundation. Or, with a $10 donation to the organization, you can get a variety of 10 tree saplings. A tree gift is a big win for you, the recipient and the environment.

12. Box of good tea and a teacup.

13. Gift certificate for the person’s favorite hobby store.

14. DIY Pillow Case.

  • Cheap pillowcases can be found at discount home stores and online for under $10. You can also sew the pillow for someone.

15. Personalized Water Bottle.

16. Frame a picture of you with them.

17. A burned CD with all the person’s favorite songs.

18. A nice pen

19. Shaving Kit.

20. An “I appreciate you because” jar.

  • Fill a nice jar with slips of different colored paper, each with a reason you appreciate or love someone.

 

A perfect gift doesn’t always mean spending a lot of money. The recipients will always appreciate meaningful gifts over expensive ones.

Man giving woman gift.

 

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