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30+ DIY Halloween Decoration Ideas

halloween decor ideas

Decorating for Halloween is just what your house and yard needs to really give you that spooky October feeling. Here are some easy, DIY ideas for decorating your home this October:

If you’re not really into DIY projects, or you don’t feel like you have the time, you can always shop for decorations. It’s really nice when you can get deals on seasonal purchases too! The best way to get clearance Halloween decorations is to actually shop for next year’s decor after Halloween, when all their leftover Halloween stock goes on sale.

If you’re really in a rush, then you can check out your favorite store’s Halloween items right now by clicking the fast links below! They’ll take you right to the store’s Halloween decor pages.

Where to Decorate

Sometimes you need to decorate for a Halloween party you are having. Other times you just want to decorate for when trick-or-treaters come to your door. Or maybe you just like the Halloween season and you want to make your home feel delightfully spooky this time of year. Either way, there are key places to consider decorating when setting up for Halloween.

Front Porch

Transform you porch into some kind of scene! With some simple tricks you can turn your front porch into a graveyard, a pit stop for flying witches, or a home for a pumpkin village.

halloween porch

Front door

You can also jazz up your front door! You can make your door look like a monster, or wrap it in paper to look like a mummy, or decorate around it to make it look like the jaws of a monster opening up to swallow trick or treaters whole!

Yard

Decorated yards are especially eye catching. You can decorate your hard with mock murder scenes, fake gravestones, or rising zombies made from homemade scarecrows.

Living room

Make your main living space feel eerie by putting cut outs of werewolves and witches against the windows. You can also take thin sheets of black or red tissue paper and fit them over your lampshades to change the lighting in your living room. If you don’t have lampshades to cover in dark paper, you can paint your light bulbs themselves with non-water-based glass pain for the same effect.

Staircase railing

Your staircase is the perfect place to wrap up in cobwebs and lights!

Kitchen

The kitchen is a great place to take advantage of witchy themes. You can decorate with candy jars, a witch’s broom, and cauldrons ready to make yummy fall time foods.

DIY Halloween Decor Ideas

1. Make a scarecrow

You can easily make your own scarecrow people by filling up clothes with rags and pillows. Then you can use a pumpkin as the head! It doesn’t have to be a scarecrow either. You can recreate a stuffed vampire or the headless horseman too.

2. Jack-O-Lanterns

Jack-o-lanterns are a very old Halloween tradition and they make for great decorations too.

3. Scary pillows

You can sew scary pillows using old shirts! You can make an easy pillow case, and then cut pieces of fabric into eyes and mouths to sew up a little pillow monster friend! You can also use this technique to make the head to your scarecrow person.

4. Pipe Cleaner spiders

You can make your own spiders with black pipe cleaners! All you do is play around wrapping and bending the pipe cleaners together until you have a spider!

jack o lanterns

5. Make spider webs

You can make spider webs with paper, the way you would make a snowflake, or you can make them with giant trash bags. You can also pull apart cotton balls to make cobwebs.

6. Window cutouts

With big sheets of construction paper you can cut out silhouettes of witches, monsters, werewolves, and other frightful creatures. Then you just tape them against your windows and place lamps behind them to make it look like your house is full of ghosts and goblins.

7. Halloween banner

Make a Halloween-themed banner by attaching cut outs to a piece of string. You can garnish your banner with little paper bats, pumpkins and witches that you staple, tape, or glue to the rope.

8. Mummy

Make a mummy by taking a large stuffed animal, doll, or homemade rag doll and wrapping it up in toilet paper. With practically no cost at all you now have your very own mummy!

9. Halloween chandeliers

Make a bat chandelier, with cut out bats, string, and hoops from the craft store. Then you just tie and dangle the bats at different lengths from the hoop. Instead of bats you can also use ghosts, or origami black birds.

10. Little ghosts

You can make little ghosts with tissues, or tissue paper. Get balls from the craft store, then put glue on the ball and add tissue over the ball until it looks like a ghost. With sharpie draw it’s eyes and mouth, or glue on some eyes from the craft store. You can hang these guys in the air by gluing a string to the top of their heads

11. Mystery box

Make a spooky mystery box by painting cardboard boxes black. Cut holes into them for people’s hands to reach through, and then put things in the box for them to feel and guess what they are. You can use cabbage, noodles, olives, and anything else with a weird texture to freak the brave darers out.

12. Eye cutouts

Make eye that watch you in the dark by cutting out eyes in a large sheet of cardboard or construction paper. Then you can place two light sources (like flashlights) behind each eye to make it look like ppl are being watched.

13. Monster mailbox

Turn your mailbox into an open mouthed monster with paper, glitter, and craft feathers.

halloween center piece

14. Voo doo dolls

Use pieces of felt to sew simple voo doo dolls. You can also make them little skeleton people, or whatever Halloween person or creature you most like.

15. Witch’s broom

Get an older looking broom and leave it out as a witch’s broom. To add to the witch aesthetic you can take some shoes and stockings and stuff them so they look like the disembodied feet of the wicked witch of the east.

16. Witch’s hat

Make a witch’s hat with construction paper. All you need to do is make a cone with one sheet of paper, then make a large circle with another sheet for the rim of the hat. Then place the cone on top of the circle so you can trace out the hole for your head. Glue or tape all the pieces together and you have a witch’s hat that you can decorate to your choosing!

17. Chalkboard signs

Get chalkboards that you can stencil or write seasonal sayings on. This is a great thing to buy because you can use it for every season.

18. Gravestones

Get rocks and write gravestone sayings on them with paint. If you really want the gravestones to look creepy you can put just a little too much paint on your brush and let the paint drip downward a little on each word. Then place the stones in your flower bed or flowerpots.

19. Misty mirror

Make your mirrors misty by spraying them with hairspray. When you’re done partying for Halloween you can easily wash the hairspray off the mirror with your regular glass cleaner.

20. Spooky tree

Get a small dead branch from the lawn and put it in a pot as a spooky, spindly dead tree. Then you can decorate it with little black birds or lights if you want.

21. Little black birds

Make origami birds with black paper to give your house an Edgar Allan Poe feel.

22. Halloween doormat

Make a doormat for October guests by buying a cheap doormat, and using stencils to paint on the sayings or figures of your choice.

halloween candy

23. Mini Salem village

Make a little Salem village with painted bird houses. You can also make your own little houses with cardboard cutouts glued together, or popsicle sticks that you glue and stack into houses.

24. Candy jars

Fill see-through mason jars with Halloween candies and wrap the lids with Halloween festive looking ribbons. These can act as decorations you can eat throughout the holiday!

25. Halloween gingerbread house

Make a gingerbread house in October! Just use Halloween colored food dyes (like black, orange, purple etc.) in the icing, and use Halloween themed candies to decorate with. Who said gingerbread houses were only for Christmas anyway?

26. Crystal ball

You can make your very own crystal ball! You can get a glass ball from the craft store or get an undecorated Christmas ornament. Then just spray paint the glass ball with misty paints and place them on a pedestal of some kind, like a low bowl with dark fabric laid over it.

27. The living scarecrow

Pull some tricks of your own by dressing up as a scarecrow, grim reaper, or suited vampire and station yourself somewhere on the porch where trick or treaters will come by for their candy. If you hold very still, then trick or treaters will think you’re a prop! When you suddenly move you’ll give all your visitors a good scare.

28. Cereal killer

Use old cereal boxes and make your own cereal killer crime scene! You can paint faces on the boxes and laying them out in a comical murder scene. You can even make the scene a part of the party by having people deduce which of the cereal boxes did it, and how.

29. Leaf bag monsters

If you have leaves you need to rake up, then put them to decorating use! Put all your raked up leaves in big black bags, and then paint the bags to look like monsters have invaded your porch and yard.

30. Halloween mood lighting

You can give your house an eerie ambience by covering lampshades with colored tissue paper. You can even cut out images and scenes into the tissue paper to display things like hands, ghosts, and haunted forests on the walls and ceiling. If you don’t have lampshades, you can also paint the lightbulbs in a similar way. Just be sure to use a non-water-based glass paint so the paint doesn’t melt off the bulb.

31. Monster house

Make your whole house into a monster house by making key windows look like eyes, and the front door or porch area look like a toothy mouth. You can easily make cut out eyes and teeth with large construction paper.

halloween lighting

32. Halloween wreath

Wreaths make a nice touch on any door, inside or outside your house. You can make your own wreath very easily by getting a round metal wire base and filling it with ornaments of your choice. Be careful, and use hot glue to situate your materials together into the garland’s circle frame. There are many ways to put a spooky wreath together.

33. Halloween centerpiece

Dress up your kitchen table, counter, or coffee table with a Halloween centerpiece! You can use a piece of wood as a tray for things like pumpkins, or an assortment of candles or a flower arrangement with plants and buds of the season. The possibilities are literally endless for how you can accent your table surfaces in October.

 

It’s fun to make every holiday a festive time to remember. Decorations can help you give your home that haunted Halloween atmosphere you want this time of year. Making your own decorations with friends and family can also bring you all closer together during this fun and spooky season. And if payday just isn’t close enough and you need money for your Halloween party decorations right now, use a simple Check City payday loan to get part of your paycheck right now.

If you try any of these Halloween decoration ideas take a picture of it and share the picture with us on social media! You can find Check City on Facebook, or tag your post with #checkcity #halloweendecorations.


READ MORE

Make and even scarier misty mirror with this DIY hack, “Haunted Mirror – A Halloween DIY.”

Find more specific tutorials for DIY projects you can do this year, “25 Diy Halloween Decorations to Make this Year.”

If you’re decorating for a Halloween movie night, check out this article for some scary movie ideas, “80 Best Halloween Movies, TV Shows, and Podcasts.”

You’ll also need party food and beverages if you’re going to host a Halloween party, “Halloween Party Food Ideas.”


Halloween Party Food Ideas

halloween party food ideas

Having a Halloween party and don’t know what to serve? Have no fear! Here are some classic Halloween party food ideas for you to use this October:

There are lots of great reasons to eat this time of year. There are all kinds of Halloween parties and events to cook and bake for, and you’d be amazed by how many Halloween-themed foods there are to choose from! Because it’s Halloween you can literally take almost any food, and just make it scary!
 

Halloween Appetizers

At any party, if you’re not serving dinner, it’s a great idea to serve some appetizers as the main course. Think of the appetizers as the savory part of the treats for the evening.

Mummy Pigs in a Blanket

For the original recipe check out Chelsea’s website. She also has loads of other great recipes for Halloween like, monster meatball sliders, cheesy bread fingers, and 7-layer spider web dip!

Ingredients

party food

  • Hot dogs
  • Dinner roll dough
  • Dipping sauces of your choice
Method
  1. Cut out strips of dough to use as the mummy wrappings
  2. Cut the hot dogs to give them arms and legs
  3. Wrap the dough around the hot dogs arms, legs, and body so it looks like a mummy!
  4. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees
  5. When they’re done you can add eyes and mouths with mustard, ketchup, or food dye pens

Then you can serve a plate of mummy pigs in a blanket with the sauces of your choice.

Ghostly Mini Pizzas

Ingredients
  • English muffins
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese slices
Method
  1. Set the english muffins out on a tray
  2. Spread the pizza sauce on each muffin
  3. Cut out ghosts on the cheese slices and place those on top of the sauce
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes (or until cheese is melted and the muffins are toasted) at 350 degrees

Now you have cheesy, easy to serve mini pizzas with ghostly apparitions on top!
 

Halloween Desserts

Now on to the desserts section! After the appetizers, or at the other end of your serving table, you can display some yummy desserts. This is the sweet section of your party menu for the night and there are so many things you can choose from.

Cups of Dirt

Ingredients
  • Chocolate pudding packets
  • Oreo cookies
  • Gummy worms
Method
  1. Make the chocolate pudding according to the instructions on the box
  2. Put the Oreo cookies in a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to crumble them
  3. Fill individual cups with the chocolate pudding
  4. Sprinkle the crumbled oreos on top of the pudding
  5. Place a gummy worm or two into each cup

If you want to get even more creative with these, you can decorate some whole Oreo cookies with icing to look like gravestones. Then you can insert these gravestone Oreos into the “dirt” to give your pudding cups a haunted graveyard feel.

Spooky Sugar Cookies

Decorating sugar cookies is a great party staple. You can even leave the baked, cut out cookies in a tray with the icing and decorations out for your party guests to decorate themselves. Not only will this save you a lot of time prepping your party snacks, but decorating cookies is a fun party activity for your guests to enjoy!

Ingredients

halloween snacks

For the cookies you’ll need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk

For the icing you’ll need:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 to 8 tsps milk
  • 4 tsps corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Food dye
Method

To make the cookies:

  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt
  2. Mix butter and sugar in a separate bowl
  3. Add both mixtures together and mix in the egg and milk
  4. Cut out your cookies into fun Halloween shapes!
  5. Bake in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes (until the cookies just barely begin to brown) at 350 degrees

If you want to watch a video on how to make easy sugar cookies, you can watch Alton Brown make his recipe on Food Network!

To make the icing:

  1. Put powdered sugar in a bowl
  2. Add milk, corn syrup, and vanilla
  3. Stir until smooth
  4. Divide the icing into different containers and add the food dyes you want

Now with icing bags or knives you can have a kitchen party decorating your Halloween cookies! Feel free to add other decorations besides icing too. You can add candies and sprinkles to finish off your Halloween figures with a flourish.

Other sugar cookie decorations you can have out:

  • Crumbled up Oreos
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups, cut in half
  • M&Ms
  • An assortment of sprinkles
  • Pull apart twizzlers
  • Candy corn

You can even have a cookie decorating contest with a table set up for serious cookie decorating contestants to do their work!

For some other Halloween dessert ideas, check out these awesome recipe websites below:

 

Halloween Drinks

Every good party host has to provide beverages of some kind. Otherwise, after eating all those savory appetizers and sugary sweets, your guests will die of thirst and haunt your house forever!

Below are some yummy beverage ideas for your party, but it’s also a good idea to always have some cold water available throughout the party too.

witch's brew

Cauldron Punch

Ingredients
  • A large bowl for the dry ice
  • A smaller bowl for the punch
  • Fruit punch
  • Ginger ale or 7-up
Method
  1. Make your punch by adding the fruit punch and soda in the smaller bowl
  2. Use gloves to set up the dry ice in the larger bowl
  3. Place the smaller punch bowl inside your larger dry ice cauldron
  4. When the party is ready, pour warm water on the dry ice to get the cauldron going
  5. *don’t let the punch and dry ice mix (hence the separate bowls)

If you’ve ever wondered how party pros get that misty cauldron effect on their punch bowls, wonder no more! Here is how they do it. Just remember to be safe with the dry ice! It is not remotely edible.

Ghostly Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa is a great beverage to have when a party is more intimate or calm. That way you won’t die of heat in a big crowd by drinking something hot. It’s also a great beverage to serve if your party includes activities in the chilly outdoors!

Ingredients
  • Hot cocoa mix
  • Your favorite creamers
  • Ingredients for making marshmallows
Method
  1. Make hot cocoa how you like it
  2. Make homemade marshmallows and shape them into ghosts
  3. Watch your ghost disappear in your warm hot cocoa!

To make your hot cocoa servings extra special you can drizzle fudge syrup on the inner walls of the mug. This way you get a deep chocolate flavor the more you drink!

If making homemade marshmallows seems like too much work, you can also top your hot chocolate with whipped cream, and draw spooky figures with chocolate syrup instead.

 

There are many ways to put on a Halloween party, and there are lots of choices to fill your food table. Your food choices will depend on the preferences of you and your guests, but hopefully this list can get you started!

And if payday just isn’t close enough and you need money for your Halloween party right now, use a simple Check City payday loan to get part of your paycheck right now.


READ MORE

There are endless websites with party food ideas you can pull from. Here are a few great recipe articles to get you started in your party food preparations:

Easy Halloween Party Food

17 Last-Minute Halloween Snacks That Will Save the Spooky Day

3 Easy Halloween Snacks


What is a Chaffle?

chaffle recipe

Cutting down on carbs, especially bread, can be one of the hardest parts of dieting. But easy recipes like the chaffle can make low-carb and keto diets so easy!

*SKIP TO THE RECIPE!

What is a Chaffle?

A chaffle is a keto waffle. It’s called a chaffle because one of its primary ingredients is shredded cheese, hence the CHAffle instead of Waffle, because chaffles are cheese waffles. Cute right?

Waffles are usually made of a flour-based batter, but a chaffle is flour free! Instead, chaffles are made of eggs and cheese. I know it sounds odd, but it actually works! And dieters everywhere are going crazy for this new low-carb waffle hack.

Chaffles are a great way for those on the keto diet to get their waffle fix. They’re also a great way to eat less carbs while still eating what you want! Even if it is a modified version. There are also endless combinations for what you can add to it and how you can dress up and use chaffles.

What You’ll Need

Chaffles are extremely simple and quick to make, but there are a few things you’ll need to gather from your kitchen, and if you don’t already have a waffle iron, you’ll need to get one.

Keto Chaffles Recipe

keto chaffle recipe
 

Here is the basic recipe for these keto, low-carb mini waffles. The serving size of this recipe is 2 chaffles.

Ingredients

1 large egg

1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese

Optional: (add 2 tablespoons of almond flour, baking powder, or coconut flour, to make it more like a batter)

Steps
  1. Whisk egg
  2. Mix in finely grated cheese
  3. Put the batter in a mini waffle maker for 2–3 minutes
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Chaffles

Just like ordinary waffles, these low-carb, keto-friendly waffles can come in sweet or savory form. You can make your chaffle sweet by adding any of the following ingredients into your mix:

  • Fruit
  • Cocoa powder
  • Pumpkin
  • Cream cheese

Savory Chaffles

You can also make your chaffle more savory by adding sharper kinds of cheeses. Chaffles work as a great low-carb replacement for sandwich bread. Here are a couple salty chaffle ideas for you to try:

  • Make a mini pizza
  • Use a sharper, cheddar cheese in your mix
  • Make a breakfast sandwich with eggs and bacon
  • Add bacon
  • Cream cheese

 
If you’re interested in this recipe, then you should also check out the following Facebook groups for more recipe ideas from your fellow chaffle-lovers:

Keto Chaffle House

Chaffle Recipes

Keto Chaffle Recipes (Low-Carb Chaffles Too)

There are many health benefits to eating the low-carb lifestyle, but there are monetary benefits too! Making chaffles is not only quick, it’s a super inexpensive meal as well. Learn more ways you can save on your food bill by reading our other article, “5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Food Bill,” and take advantage of our payday loans whenever you’re in a financial pinch and need groceries.

READ MORE
Check out even more yummy chaffle recipes!

Chaffles—The Viral Low-Carb Waffle Recipe Everyone is Loving!

Keto Chaffles Recipe (5 Ways!) + Ultimate Guide

Keto Chaffle Recipe

How to Have a Successful YouTube Channel

how to have a successful youtube channel

For those with the dream to create their own video content, these are the steps you can follow to give your YouTube channel the best chance:

  1. Pick a Niche
  2. Know Your Audience
  3. Make Goals
  4. Create an Online Presence
  5. Create Your Brand
  6. Start Creating!

One of the major keys to success in any endeavor is planning. The same principal applies when creating your own YouTube channel. The most successful YouTube channels do well because they have a level of consistency, planning, and marketing to help them do as well as they can.

You may already be a creative guru, ready to add some great video content to the vlogging universe, but if you don’t go through the process correctly, you’ll miss the key elements of a good YouTube channel.

Follow these tips to make your YouTube channel as professional as it can be.

Step 1: Pick a Niche

You should start by knowing what kind of content you want to create. Being a part of a clearly defined and understood genre or niche will help your audience understand you and what your channel is all about. This will also help you find examples of other channels in your genre that are doing well and learn from their success.

youtube video genres

YouTube Genres

Here is a list of some of the most common YouTube channel genres:

  • Gaming
  • Lifehacks
  • Gossip
  • News
  • Top # lists
  • Fail compilations
  • Food
  • Art
  • Product unwrapping and opening
  • How-to demonstrations
  • Animals
  • Spoofs
  • Online education course
  • Hauls

Step 2: Know Your Audience

Just as you need to understand your niche and subject matter, you also need to understand your audience. In order to make successful videos you need to know who you are reaching and what they are all about. A thorough understanding of who you want watching your videos will help you better know how to cater your videos to their wants and interests.

Learning about the demographics that use YouTube can also be helpful in shaping the content you create. For example, here’s some statistics about YouTube users:

  • 90% are 18 to 44 years old
  • 80% are 45 to 64 years old
  • Over 50% are 65 years or older
  • YouTube is equally popular among males and females

 
youtube demographics
 

Step 3: Make Goals

You need to make long and short term goals, not only for your channel, but for you and your brand. One benefit of making goals for your channel is that they will give your channel purpose. Having a clear sense of purpose will be felt by your audience and foster your long-term success.

So make goals about how often you want to post, or how many followers you want to get in 3 months. The goals you can make are endless, and they will help you form better plans on how to grow your audience.

Step 4: Create an Online Presence

Your fans will want to find and follow you everywhere online so create accounts across all the major social media platforms. Then you can also post your videos on social media! Having an Instagram connected with your channel can also help you snag viewers from other platforms, not just people browsing YouTube.

You will also want to make sure that each of your profile pages has links to all your other accounts so that your followers can find you easily. You can also utilize social media automation tools that will post your content across all your platforms for you.

Which platforms you want will depend on the nature and purpose of your content and brand, but here are some of the key platforms you will want to look into having along with your YouTube channel:

online presence

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Your own official website
Do Some Online Spring Cleaning

When creating an online presence you’ll want to first clean up the online presence you already have. You don’t want anything you already have online to conflict with the brand you are trying to represent and the audience trust you are trying to gain.

Make sure you don’t have anything out on the web that you wouldn’t want members of your audience to find or that doesn’t align with the image and reputation you want your brand to foster.

Interact With Your Audience

Engage on social media! Respond to comments when appropriate and stay connected to your audience. You want to keep in the loop about what your audience does and doesn’t like, and about what’s popular and trending.

But don’t just interact with your audience, interact with other creators in your niche as well. Network with your fellow creators, because you never know what kind of opportunities may arise from supporting a fellow YouTuber. You can even collaborate with other YouTubers and make videos together to combine audiences!

Step 4: Create Your Brand

Branding is an important aspect of marketing. It is your symbol and how your audience recognizes you across mediums. It also sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.

When creating your brand you will want to brainstorm about what makes you unique, how you want to be perceived, and what kinds of things you want your audience to think of and feel when they see your brand. Below are some of the key aspects of creating your brand you will want to do for your channel:

logo design

Make a Logo

There are many tools out there now to help you create your own logo. Here are a few you can try out:

Make a Video Intro

Successful YouTubers usually start their video with a short 8-12 second long intro that often features your logo.

If you’re planning on having a video channel then you probably know what video editors and creators you like the most, but here are some sites you can use to create your video intro:

Step 5: Start Creating!

create videos
 

Make Your Content and Marketing Plans

Make a schedule for when you post so that you post on a regular, consistent schedule that your audience can expect. Many platforms will have ways for you to schedule when your posts go out.

Create, Edit, Optimize

You’ll want to create good, high quality content that will be successful with your viewers. It may also be helpful to create 2 weeks worth of content before your first post so that you can stay a week ahead of your posting schedule.

Analyze and Improve

Keep an eye on your analytics to see how you are doing, what might be getting more or less likes, and improve your content accordingly.

Remember Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Make use of keywords and hashtags so that your content does well on search engines and reaches those who are looking for content like yours.

 

YouTubers can make money from their channels, but those who are actually successful at this are often branching out and making money in other ways as well. Their YouTube channel is often just one part of their larger brand.

But regardless, it is amazing to live in a world where personal branding and creativity can allow so many a livelihood doing what they love. And if you need help starting your YouTube channel business, you can always take out a Check City personal loan to help get you started.


READ MORE

Figure out how much you can expect to make as a YouTuber, “How Much Do YouTubers Make?.”

Learn some of the basics about making a new channel, “Create a New Channel.”

Find some more helpful tips, “How to Start a Successful YouTube Channel for Your Business.”


80 Best Halloween Movies, TV Shows, and Podcasts



halloween media list

October is a great time to get into some chilling Halloween media. There are movies and TV shows you can watch, suspenseful books you can read, and spooky podcasts you can listen to. This article is a Halloween media master list to help you decide what to watch, read, or listen to this Halloween.

If you need some creative Halloween snacks you can check out Food Network’s Halloween section on their website and make your monstrous media night complete! Tell us what your favorite Halloween Movie, TV Show or Podcast is in the comments section below!

Just don’t get TOO spooked this Halloween—viewer and listener discretion is advised!

Scary Movies

halloween movies

Horror films are a strong tradition for older audiences during the dark, cold Halloween nights. But kids often want to watch something special for Halloween too! So we included some kid Halloween movie ideas in this list as well.

Halloween Movies for Kids

1. Hotel Transylvania
2. Hocus Pocus
3. Halloweentown
4. Casper
5. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
6. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween
7. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Halloween Movies on Netflix

8. Coraline
9. Goosebumps
10. Candyman
11. 1922: Based on the Novella by Stephen King
12. Little Witch: The Halloween Horror Story
13. Insidious
14. The Conjuring

Halloween Movies on Amazon Prime

15. I, Frankenstein
16. Sweeney Todd
17. Corpse Bride
18. Haunted
19. Lost Creek
20. The Legend of Halloween Jack
21. The Uninvited
22. The Witching
23. Halloween Horror Tales
24. The Woman in Black

Halloween Movies on Hulu

Hulu really likes to make an event out of Halloween. They have what they call Huluween, which is a category you can choose when browsing Hulu for what to watch.

25. Little Monsters
26. Uncanny Annie
27. Pure
28. School Spirit
29. Culture Shock
30. They Come Knocking
31. All That We Destroy
32. Tree House
33. Down

The “Halloween” Movie Series in Order

The Halloween franchise is a long series of movies starring Nick Castle as the infamous Michael Myers. But because there are so many movies in the series it can be confusing which movie goes in which order.

Below is the answer to all your questions about the Halloween movie series order:

  1. Halloween (1978), directed by John Carpenter
  2. Halloween II (1981), directed by Rick Rosenthal
  3. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), directed by Tommy Lee Wallace
  4. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), directed by Dwight H. Little
  5. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard
  6. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), directed by Joe Chappelle
  7. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), directed by Steve Miner
  8. Halloween: Resurrection (2002), directed by Rick Rosenthal
  9. Halloween (2007), directed by Rob Zombie
  10. Halloween II (2009), directed by Rob Zombie
  11. Halloween (2018), directed by David Gordon Green
  12. Halloween Kills (2020), directed by David Gordon Green
  13. Halloween Ends (2021), directed by David Gordon Green

Spooky TV Shows

halloween tv

Many shows will have a TV special for holidays like Halloween, but some TV series will dedicate the entire show to the spooky feelings of the Halloween season. These Halloween-themed TV shows make great binging material for those who want more than a movie to watch.

Halloween TV Shows on Netflix

34. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
35. Charmed (the original 1998 series, and the newer 2018 version)
36. Stranger Things
37. Castlevania
38. Haunted
39. Penny Dreadful
40. Dexter
41. Van Helsing
42. Glitch
43. A Series of Unfortunate Events
44. The Haunting of Hill House

Halloween Anime on Netflix

45. Devilman
46. Death Note
47. Soul Eater

Halloween TV Shows on Amazon Prime

48. Lore
49. Fringe
50. Addams Family
51. Sabrina: The Teenage Witch
52. Haunted

Halloween TV Shows on Hulu

53. Light as a Feather
54. Castle Rock
55. Dimension 404
56. 11.22.63
57. Freakish
58. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Suspenseful Books

halloween books

Don’t forget amidst all your haunted media consumption this year to include a few books as well. The freedom your imagination has to embellish scary stories from literature will leave you with chills until late November.

59. The Shining

By Stephen King

Kindle: $8.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible trial!

60. Suspicious Minds

By Gwenda Bond

Kindle: $12.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible trial!

This book is the first official Stranger Things novel! It’s a prequel to the Netflix original Stranger Things TV series.

61. Annihilation: Book One of the Southern Reach Trilogy

By Jeff VanderMeer

Kindle: $9.94

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

62. Fake Like Me

By Barbara Bourland

Kindle: $14.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

63. The Invited

By Jennifer McMahon

Kindle: $12.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

Creepy Audiobooks

halloween books

Looking to hear some great ghost stories? Audiobooks are a great way to listen to the eerie voices of narrators recounting ghostly tales while you and your friends listen in the dark or around a campfire.

64. Frankenstein

By Mary Shelley

Narrated by Dan Stevens

Kindle: $0.50

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

65. Dracula

By Bram Stoker

Narrated by David Suchet and Tom Hiddleston

Kindle: FREE!

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

66. The Haunting of Hill House

Narrated by Bernadette Dunne

Kindle: $14.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

67. Interview with a Vampire

By Anne Rice

Narrated by Simon Vance

Kindle: $7.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

68. Lincoln in the Bardo

By George Saunders

Narrated by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Julianne Moore, Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally, Bill Hader, Don Cheadle, and over 150 other voice actors

Kindle: $13.99

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

69. The Handmaid’s Tale

By Margaret Atwood

Narrated by Claire Danes

Kindle: FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Audiobook: FREE with Audible Trial!

Eerie Podcasts

halloween podcasts

These horror podcasts are all available on Google Play Music so that whether you have an Android or an iPhone you can listen to all these podcasts. There are podcasts here that talk about the supernatural and the strange, and then there are others that talk about the real life horrors of true crime.

70. Cabinet of Curiosities

By iHeartRadio and Aaron Mahnke

71. Lore

By Aaron Mahnke

72. Unobscured

By iHeartRadio and Aaron Mahnke

73. Listen with the Lights On

By WAMC

74. Pretty Scary

By Unpops Podcast Network

75. My Favorite Murder

By Exactly Right

76. Unexplained Mysteries

By Parcast Network

77. The Strange and Unusual Podcasts

By Alyson Horrocks

78. Hollywood and Crime

By Wondery

79. This Podcast is Haunted

By Jen Vos and Cate Reed

80. Welcome to Night Vale

By Night Vale Presents

 

One of the funnest parts of the Halloween season is getting into some spooky media! Use this master list of scary, Halloween movies and more to kick start your Halloween media binge this year or to pick a movie for a scary movie night with your friends. If you need any financial help getting your monster movie night together, check out Check City’s payday loans.


READ MORE

Use this article to help set up your movie night, “5 Ingenious Movie Night Ideas for Your Movie Themed Party.”

Save money going to the theater to see new scary movies this year by using MoviePass, “Save Money With MoviePass.”


Let us know your favorite Halloween-themed books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts by commenting below!

Comments:

13 Halloween Activities to Do this October

halloween fun

Halloween isn’t just for little kids who go trick or treating. There are loads of things to do during this spooky section of the fall season that all ages can enjoy.

October is a great time of year because it’s Halloween time and fall time. So it’s completely up to you how you celebrate this month—whether decide to do spookier, Halloween themed activities, or just fall time ones.
 
Here are 13 things to do this October:

  1. Have a Halloween Party
  2. Have a Scary Movie Night
  3. Start Some Fall Time Baking
  4. Go to a Haunted House or Corn Maze
  5. Carve Pumpkins
  6. Do Some Crafts
  7. Participate in Your Community
  8. Trunk or Treat with Friends
  9. Play Games
  10. Make Your Own Haunted House
  11. Have a Campfire and Tell Each Other Scary Stories
  12. Read Scary Books
  13. Listen to Spooky Podcasts

There are tons of fun, festive activities you can do in October, or you can search events near you on google. By the time October comes around there are often tons of events going on for kids, families, and friends near you.

1. Have a Halloween Party

halloween party
 

Include a Costume Contest

Costume contests are a great event to include in any Halloween party. A costume contest is a great idea too because it gives those who have grown out of their trick or treat years a chance to dress up for Halloween too. Here are some things you can do to successfully hold a Halloween costume contest.

Decide what the prize will be.

You can make some kind of trophy or you can buy one. You can even have different rewards for winning different categories.

Halloween costume category ideas:

  • best group costume
  • scariest costume
  • funniest costume
  • most creative
  • most original

Make the invites!

Like any event, you’ll want to invite your guests. You can quickly invite everyone you know by making a Facebook event. You can also put up flyers or send out invites in the mail. You can make your spooky invites yourself the traditional way, with glue and paper, or you can design and print them on free websites like Canva and Adobe Spark. If you don’t want to pay for printing out a bunch of invites, but you still want to design something fun, you can also send out your spooktacular design via email.

Decide what the rules will be.

If your costume contest is going to need a set of rules, it’s best to outline them as early as possible so that people can appropriately plan their costumes ahead of time.

Examples of costume contest rules:

  • Maybe it’s a family party and costumes need to be appropriate, or not too gruesome
  • Maybe it’s a themed party and costumes need to be on theme
  • You can have rules about whether you allow group contestants

Choose the judges.

Every contest needs judges to decide the end results. Before you can have the contest you’ll need to decide who these judges will be.
If you don’t want to have the outcome of your contest depend on the decision of one or a few people, you can make everyone the judge and provide a place for guests to enter their own votes for who should win.

Figure out how you’ll judge.

After you decide who will judge you have to decide how they’ll judge. They’ll need to know what things to look for in deciding who should win.

How to judge a costume contest:

  • Scariness
  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Best group costumes
Play Games

Board games don’t have to be Halloween themed in order to be a great group activity for a party. October is a cold month, making things like board games a great thing to do when you and your guests want to stay indoors.

Party Food

The food for your Halloween party is one of the things you can get super creative about. For instance, you can put labels on the food to give them spooky names. Punch then becomes a witch’s cauldron, grapes become spider eggs, and deviled eggs become eyeballs.

Choose a beverage

There are an endless variety of punches for you to choose from. Below are some websites with witchy Halloween brews to quench your ghoulish guest’s thirst:

Choose appetizers

Every party needs some great food to keep everybody full and happy. There are the staple party foods like chips, pretzels, and dip. But you can also make your own little appetizers, or your own party mix, to add some Halloween creativity to your food table.

Spooky Playlist

Lots of music streaming services have a Halloween themed playlist you can use.

2. Have a Scary Movie Night

scary movie night
 

Have a movie night with friends, host a drive in movie, or if it’s not too cold you can have an outdoor movie night on the lawn. You’ll need to plan some movie worthy snacks, like popcorn, soda, candy, and other treats.

Then you’ll need to plan the movie watching space, gathering all the cozy blankets, pillows, and flashlights your guests will need to be comfortable during the duration of the movie. You could even make a fort for you all to hide out in while you watch some scarier movie choices.
Then you’ll need to pick your movie.

Classic Halloween Movies

Experience some older but great Halloween movies this season.

  • Hocus Pocus
  • The Nightmare before Christmas
  • Halloweentown
  • Casper
  • Monster House
  • Beetlejuice
Halloween Movie Snacks
  • popcorn, seasoned sweet or salty
  • pretzels
  • fruits
  • veggie trays
  • make your own monster mash mix

3. Start Some Fall Time Baking

fall time baking
 

You can have a night of baking or cooking together with friends! Gather your favorite people around you, listen to your favorite music, turn on a show, converse, or play games all while making yummy fall time foods and desserts.

Check out these 50 Easy Fall Baking Recipes from Taste of Home for some ideas of what you could bake. But here are some other fall staples you could look into making with some friends:

  • Maple donuts. Everyone can help form the donuts out of the dough.
  • Candy apples. This is a great group activity because you can have all the decorating options out on a table and everyone can make up their own candy apples.
  • Pumpkin bread. Slices of this seasonal bread goes great with warm cups of cocoa or apple cider.
  • Apple cider. If you live near an apple orchard or an apple cider press you can make a night of picking apples and watching them get pressed into freshly made apple cider.
  • Sticky buns. A warm, gooey classic to chunk out on in the cold months.

4. Go to a Haunted House or Corn Maze

There are lots of outdoor Halloween activities you can do in October. There are scary corn mazes and regular ones, hayrides, and haunted houses.

5. Carve Pumpkins

carve pumpkin
 

Jack-o-lanterns can be really fun, no matter how old you are.

  • Remember to be safe
  • Use templates
  • Make it a competition
  • Use sharpie to draw your design first
  • box cutters
  • Use a pumpkin carving kit
  • use a tarp!

6. Do Some Crafts

This is an especially great activity to do when you have little kids to occupy. Happiness is Homemade has some great craft ideas to choose from.

7. Participate in Your Community

You can volunteer! Or start a cause or charity. This time of year is a great time to use Halloween fun as an opportunity to fundraise, or do a coat drive.

8. Trunk or Treat with Friends

Just because you’re not 8 years old anymore, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own trunk or treat with friends. Everyone can decorate the trunks of their car as you all go around the parking lot getting candy and being with those you care about.

9. Play Games

Before it gets too cold out you can all get outside and play some fun spooky games. There are some classic games you can play with friends that can really get you in the eerie Halloween spirit.

10. Make Your Own Haunted House

haunted house
 

Who needs to spend money on expensive tickets when you can haunt your own house!

  • Decide where you’re going to have it, the porch, inside the house, in the basement
  • Use tarps to make the walls
  • Cover everything in cobwebs
  • Save money by making your own decorations and scary characters

11. Have a Campfire and Tell Each Other Scary Stories

campfire
 

Here’s a list of some books where you can find uncomfortable tales to tell in the dark.

12. Read Scary Books

13. Listen to Spooky Podcasts

 

It’s always fun to do seasonal things and get into the spirit of the season, whether that means doing scary stuff like haunted houses, or just festive fall time things like baking. And if payday just isn’t landing on the right day this October, you can always take out a convenient Payday Loan to tide you over.


READ MORE

Plan your Halloween festivities this year, “Start Planning Your Halloween Festivities Today.”

Keep you and your kids safe this Halloween with these tips, “5 Important Halloween Safety Tips.”

Stay on budget this year with these Halloween budgeting tips, “Saving Money on Halloween.”

Get inspired for your Halloween costume, “8 Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas on a Budget.”


6 Basic Instant Pot Recipes

instant pot recipes

Having a yummy, wholesome, home cooked meal for dinner each night is a part of the typical dream lifestyle. But who has the time? By using an instant pot to make your meals you won’t need time to have home cooked meals every day!

Below are some the most basic instant pot recipes to help get you started:

  1. Potatoes
  2. Rice
  3. Beans
  4. Chicken
  5. Vegetables
  6. Pasta

More Recipes
 

Unlike a slow cooker, an instant pot lets you make healthy, budget friendly meals in a matter of minutes instead of hours. It can bring you back to cooking basics and save you on the kinds of groceries that add up quickly the way things like frozen pizzas do.

If you need any help with the food bill this week while you wait for an inconveniently placed payday, you can always get a Check City Personal Loan to tide you over.

With an instant pot cooker you can plan your weeknight dinners for the week much more easily. Instant Pot is one of the main instant pot brands, but there are many brands of pressure cookers you can choose from for your instant cooking needs.

Instant Pot’s website also has their own list of recipes for you to choose from. The recipes below come from a couple different sources, and are some of the most basic recipes you’ll want to to start saving on your grocery bill and getting back to the basics of homemade meals.

1. Potatoes

potatoes
 

You can do so many things with potatoes, mashed potatoes being one of the most popular American dishes. With the quick and easy instant pot you can make comfort foods like potato soup as well.

Ingredients

3lbs russet potatoes (cut into cubes)
1 cup chicken broth, or water
1/2 cup milk or half and half
3 tbsp butter

Steps
  1. put potatoes, broth or water in the pot
  2. seal the lid
  3. select pressure cook and adjust to high
  4. set timer for 8 minutes
  5. After 8 minutes turn the valve to venting to manually quick release the pressure
  6. drain potatoes and set the liquid aside
  7. add milk (or half and half) and butter
  8. mash
  9. add back the liquid you set aside as needed

2. Rice

rice
 

Rice is a side dish that can go with almost any meal. For instance, you can serve chicken and rice along with some steamed vegetables for a rounded dinner.

Ingredients

1 cup rice
1 cup water
1 tsp oil
a pinch of salt

Steps
  1. rinse rice
  2. add rice, water, oil, and salt to instant pot
  3. lock lid and set steam valve to seal
  4. cook 4-8 minutes
  5. let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release manually

3. Beans

beans
 

Beans are a healthy source of protein and can also go well with a lot of other dishes. You can use beans in different soups and salads as well as a side dish to your main meal.

Ingredients

1 lb black beans
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
6 cups vegetable/chicken broth or water (Use 4 cups liquid for every 1 cup beans. Make sure the pot is not filled more than halfway so your beans have room to expand)

Steps
  1. put everything into the pot
  2. turn valve to sealing
  3. press beans and chili
  4. release pressure naturally for 20 minutes before opening

4. Chicken

chicken
 

Instant pot chicken may be one of the most popular dishes to make. Chicken is cheap and with some seasonings and sauces it can make a truly delicious meal. You can even use chicken thighs for some extra tender flavor.

Ingredients

2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried chives
1/4 tsp onion powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Steps
  1. set to saute and add oil
  2. sear chicken on both sides until golden
  3. transfer to a plate and add spices to the chicken
  4. add broth to pot
  5. put trivet in pot and put chicken on the trivet
  6. Lock lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes

5. Vegetables

vegetables
 

Vegetables are an important part of our diet, but we often forget about them. With a pressure cooker you can easily whip up any assortment of your favorite veggies to go along with almost any supper. Buying fresh vegetables is often cheaper than buying them frozen too.

Ingredients

1 cup water or vegetable broth
1/2lb carrots
1lb fresh, trimmed green beans
1 1/2lbs chopped red potatoes

Steps
  1. pour water into the pot
  2. put steamer basket into the pot
  3. place vegetables into the steamer basket
  4. secure the lid
  5. steam for 5 minutes and let sit for 5 more minutes
  6. season the vegetables to taste

6. Pasta

pasta
 

Next to bread, pasta may be one of the world’s favorite carbs. Healthy pastas can be a great source of grain in your diet when eaten in moderation. Pasta can also be a great base for a lot of creative dishes.

Ingredients

4 cups water, plus more as needed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 (16 ounces) package penne pasta
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes in puree
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil OR 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Freshly grated parmesan, romano, or mozzarella cheese for garnishing

Steps
  1. put the water, vegetable oil, salt, and pasta into the instant pot
  2. place rack in the instant pot
  3. put the tomatoes, garlic powder, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt into a pot on top of the rack
  4. lock the lid
  5. select high pressure and set to 3 minutes
  6. quick release the lid
  7. strain water out of the noodles and combine the pasta and sauce

These are just a few examples of some super basic instant pot recipes that you can use to make an unending array of meals throughout the week. Make your meals quickly each night or cook in bulk and have awesome leftovers for the rest of the week.

These aren’t the only basic recipes you can do with a pressure cooker though. Take a look at the READ MORE section at the bottom of this article for more essential instant pot recipes.



READ MORE
Learn all about taking care of your instant pot, “How to Use an Instant Pot to Save You Money.”

For a collection of beef recipes, including beef stew, “Most Popular Instant Pot Beef Recipes.”

For instant pot pulled pork, “Instant Pot Pulled Pork.”

For roasting pork in the instant pot, “How to Roast Pork in the Instant Pot.”

Instant pot boiled eggs recipe, “Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs.”

For some other ways to save money on your grocery bill read, “How to Save Money on Food Costs.”

How to Use an Instant Pot to Save You Money

use an instant pot

We’re always looking for ways to save on meals and groceries, but have you ever thought about how the way you cook food could also save you money?

How Does an Instant Pot Work?

An instant pot is basically the modernized version of a pressure cooker. A pressure cooker uses high pressure to cook the food inside. A pressure cooker is a pot that you use on the stove top, but the instant pot is an electric pressure cooker, so it doesn’t go on the stove top, it plugs into an outlet. It uses a strong clamp-down lid to seal in the contents of the pot and the heat, for some fast, efficient cooking. Now your water can boil at even higher temperatures because less heat is escaping into the air. The steam and building pressure inside the instant pot can also help your food get more moist, tender, and full of infused flavors.

In a really simple form, you can think of it as a crock pot, or a slow cooker. You put the ingredients inside, close the lid, and punch in your settings. But instead of letting your food stew in the crock pot for 4 to 8 hours, you can put ingredients inside the instant pot, close the lid, set the settings, and have your food ready in just 15 to 30 minutes.

When your food is done cooking there are two ways to release the steam inside. You can use a quick release by turning the valve at the top manually and letting all the steam out right away or you can let it go, and the steam will naturally release over time. You’ll want to use the quick release when your food is done cooking, and the natural release when you want your food to keep cooking a little longer while it cools down.

How to Use an Instant Pot
  1. heat up the pressure cooker
  2. place the food inside
  3. seal the lid
  4. set your pressure level and your cooking time
  5. release the pressure when the time goes off
  6. wait however long the recipe says for the pressure to release
  7. thoroughly clean the pressure cooker after your meal and put it away for next time

 
instant pot cooking
 

Hot Water Test

Understanding how an instant pot works is important if you’re going to start cooking with one. It is a different type of cooking since you aren’t just using heat from the stovetop or oven, you’re using pressurized heat and steam. Because of this instant pots come with their own science of cooking that you’ll want to become acquainted with before you begin using your new instant pot.

To help you understand what happens inside your instant pot while it’s cooking you can do the hot water test. The hot water test will show you how the pressure cooker works, and how much water evaporates as it cooks. Depending on what you’re cooking inside the pot, you will probably need less water than you’re used to.

  1. pour 3 cups of water into the instant pot
  2. close the lid
  3. in your settings select simply steam or pressure cook
  4. set the timer to 5 minutes
  5. when the timer goes off, turn the valve to release the pressure

Now you can see what happened to the water. Measure it and see for yourself how much water evaporates in a pressure cooker as opposed to a pot on the stovetop.

How an Instant Pot Saves You Money

save money
 

Have you ever felt the struggle of wanting to eat well, but not having the amount of time necessary or the energy to spend cooking healthy, real meals every day? We know that eating healthy has so many obvious, long-term benefits, but in our busy day-to-day lives, it can be a real struggle to eat right. Money and time constraints get in the way and we end up buying another frozen pizza or eating out again. Thankfully, with the instant pot, eating right doesn’t have to take more than 20 minutes of your time.

By eating healthier every day you’ll have better health. Staying in good health can really save your wallet. Being healthier means you’ll feel more energized, get sick less often, avoid missing work, keep your medical bills low, and keep the doctor away, as the saying goes.

An instant pot can help you save while stocking your pantry as well. Cooking with the instant pot can bring you back to cooking basics, helping you eat simpler, more satisfying meals. You can easily and quickly cook rice and even dry beans! Eating this way is also ultimately cheaper. It’s cheaper to keep your pantry stocked with the basics (like rice, beans, potatoes, seasonings, and sauces etc.) that you can use to make many different kinds of meals throughout the week, rather than pay for a full meal at a fast food place.

If you need any help with the food bill this week while you wait for an inconveniently placed payday, you can always get a Check City Personal Loan to tide you over.

  • Miss work less often
  • Spend less on medical bills and doctor visits
  • Spend less time cooking meals and more time on other pursuits
  • Spend less on groceries

How to Clean Your Instant Pot

After eating your yummy, healthy, homemade meal, it can be tempting to leave the dishes undone and move on to other things. But try and not wait too long after using the instant pot to clean it out, because letting thing crust over will only make it harder to clean later.

  1. Take it apart
  2. Hand wash the outer lid and instant pot with warm soapy water. The inner pot and accessories can go in the dishwasher
  3. let white vinegar sit in the instant pot for 5 minutes to remove stains
  4. Use a small brush to get in between spaces
  5. Steam clean it, 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, lemon slices, on the steam mode to get rid of smells
  6. Dry and put back together

Tips and Tricks You’ll Want to Know

  • Replace sealing rings
  • You can get accessories like a glass lid so you can see inside
  • Bring your instant pot camping or on vacation, all it needs is a power source to cook
  • You can cook freezer meals
  • You can make popcorn
  • Get meal Tupperware and prep your meals for the week ahead of time
  • Reheat in the instant pot instead of the microwave using the warm setting
  • Use the rack to cook 2 things at the same time, like meat and veggies, or do pot-in-pot cooking
  • Use the curved end of the ladle to safely turn the release valve without getting your hands too close to the steam.
  • You can rest your lid upright by putting the handle of the lid into the rectangle opening of the handle of the pot.
  • To cook even faster, use already hot water in your instant pot so it comes to pressure even faster
  • Make a tin foil sling to put under the pot your putting in the pot so that you can easily lift your pot out
  • Get more than one stainless steel insert
  • Use some handy time-table charts to know how long things should cook
  • You can turn the instant pot onto saute mode before you put your ingredients inside in order to get it heated up and cook faster

Warnings

There are some warnings to be careful of when working with an instant pot. There are also some things you just can’t do with a pressure cooker, but don’t worry. What you can do with a pressure cooker still far outweighs what you can’t.

  • Be careful you don’t overheat it
  • Be careful of the steam
  • Keep it off of hot surfaces
  • Don’t put the appliance in the dishwasher
  • Don’t fill it more than 2/3
  • Don’t open the lid until it’s completely depressurized
  • Don’t make fried foods in a pressure cooker
  • Milk will curdle in the pressure cooker



READ MORE
Read more about how to save money on groceries, “How to Save Money on Food Costs.”

Find some great basic instant pot recipes, “6 Basic Instant Pot Recipes.”

Read more about Instant Pot hacks by reading the following articles:

11 Clever Hacks That Will Make You Love Your Instant Pot Even More

20 Instant Pot Hacks Every Cook Should Know

16 Genius Instant Pot Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind

7 Tips for Workplace Wellness

tips for workplace wellness
 
In order to take good care of your work you first have to take good care of yourself. Taking care of your well-being will not only help you in life, but it will help you in the office as well.

  1. Get Quality Sleep
  2. Fuel Your Body Effectively
  3. Exercise
  4. Prevent Eye Strain
  5. Decorate Your Desk
  6. Learn to Unwind
  7. Have Pursuits Outside of Work

Believe it or not, but even an office job can have its own hazards. You may not think about it but everything from vending machine food and sitting all day can cause serious health problems. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to combat these workplace hazards and increase office wellness. This can mainly be done by having a work-life balance. Everyone always seems to be talking about having a good work-life balance, but what does this balance really mean? Ultimately your wellness at work is about taking care of your physical and mental health.
 

Take Care of Your Body

physical well-being
 

Get QUALITY Sleep

Sleep is a factor that greatly affects your performance throughout the day as well as your physical and mental well-being. But it isn’t enough to just go to bed and hope for the best. You don’t just want enough sleep you want quality sleep. There are ways you can optimize your sleep so that you are getting the most out of your nights.

Go to bed and wake up at the same time

This will help your body to adjust to a regular schedule. Once your body is used to this schedule falling asleep each night and waking up each morning will become much easier. Set an alarm or reminder for when you need to start getting ready for bed to help you learn to wind down at the same time each night.

Stay hydrated

You actually get dehydrated as you sleep which can cause a dry and hoarse throat in the morning, leg cramps during the night, and an overall lack of quality sleep. You lose hydration in the night through breathing or a dry or warm environment in your bedroom. Another thing that can cause night dehydration is exercising late in the evening. To combat this issue, hydrate yourself well throughout the day, keep a water bottle on your nightstand, and keep your room temperature on the colder side with a humidifier turned on while you sleep.

Fuel Your Body EFFECTIVELY

Your body is like a complicated machine and in order to work at top performance levels and feel its very best your body needs fuel that it can work with. There are a lot of foods out there today that might be quick, easy, and immediately filling, but they won’t provide your insides with the proper nutrients to function at full capacity and eventually you’ll feel this as you feel more and more lethargic throughout the workday. You can fuel your body with a lot of things, but only certain nutrients will give you effective nourishment to give you optimal health and energy.

Eat wholesome meals

Make healthy meals at home and take healthy meals with you to work. Many of your coworkers might be going out to eat every day and though this might be fun in the short term it probably isn’t beneficial in the long term. Healthy homemade lunches will improve your physical wellness and improve your spending! You can also start bringing in healthier treats for your coworkers to help improve workplace wellness as a whole.

Eat wholesome snacks

If your stomach is growling for the majority of the day, you will likely crash before the end. Make sure you have the right nourishment going into your body and it will pay off. Even simple snacks can help keep you going between meals. Nuts, fruits, and cut up vegetables can really give you the energy you need to make it through the day.

Cut down on sugars

One of the biggest issues office workers fight on a typical workday is lethargy. Sugar intake can be one of the major contributing factors to your lethargy. Take note of the sugar content of what you are consuming in a regular day and you’ll see how prevalent this ingredient has become in a lot of our foods.

Then remember, while you pick your foods each day, that each gram of sugar adds to unpleasant feelings like bloating and tiredness. Make sure you take these tips to heart in order to keep your body happy and healthy throughout the workday and throughout your life. You will be grateful when you still have energy after retirement!

Stay hydrated

You would be shocked to know how much staying hydrated can improve your workplace wellness. There is nothing more important than drinking enough water throughout the day. It doesn’t matter whether it is summer or winter, your body is made up mostly of water and you need to continually replenish it. Don’t wait till you are thirsty to start drinking. It is much better to have a set amount that you plan on drinking throughout the day.

In general it is advised that you drink 8 glasses of water a day. It can help to have a designated water bottle that you keep with you throughout the day to drink from. If you have trouble getting yourself to drink enough water each day try drinking with a reusable straw. This can make drinking enough liquids faster and easier. Another thing you can do is put things in your water to make drinking water more fun! You can add cut up fruits and vegetables, mint leaves, and many other things to your water to make staying hydrated healthy, tasty, and fun.

Exercise

Exercise may seem like a dauntingly intense habit to get into, but it’s actually one of the easiest ways to boost your well-being because any amount of it will help. Even if you only go out of your way to exercise 20 minutes on weekdays, that’s still better than no exercise at all.

The average person is advised to get 75 to 150 minutes of physical activity into each week. This averages out to be around 30 minutes a day. Thirty minutes really isn’t asking too much of your time and there are a million ways you can get this 30 minutes of physical activity into your day without having to do crazy intense workout sessions at the gym. You can simply go on a walk, plan a hike for the weekend, go swimming, biking, or take a physical class like dancing or yoga.

Put Exercise on the Agenda

You can implement a routine of exercise into your day before or after work. Getting yourself to exercise will be easier if you schedule it into a specific time of day. In fact, a study found that working out at the same time each day made exercise more effective.

Work Out at Work!

You can also find ways to grab some exercise while you’re at work! There are hundreds of exercises you can do at your desk. Everything from simple stretches to replacing your chair with a stability ball can greatly improve your health.

Whatever you choose to do, change things up and get your body moving as much as possible. By the end of the day when most of your coworkers are crying about sore backs and tired limbs, you will be ready to keep going with your day.

Office Friendly Exercises

  • Practice good posture
  • Leg raises
  • Chair dips
  • Use weights at your desk
  • Ab workouts with your swivel chair, or stability ball
  • Lean on your desk to do planks or pushups
  • Use a standing desk
  • Go for a walk around the building
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Prevent Eye Strain

If you work in an office chances are you also get a lot of screen time at work. Staring at screens all day can put a strain on your eyes and even cause headaches and nausea after a while. But you can help prevent eye strain by getting a blue light filter on your screen, or blue light filter glasses to wear at work. It is also a good idea to take a break or two from your screen while at work to give your eyes a rest.
 

Take Care of Your Mind

mental well-being
 

Decorate Your Desk

Decorating your desk will make you happier, and liven up your workspace. You can get plants, you can set up some photos, you can decorate with cool looking bulletins and white boards, or splurge on a special mug or thermos just for your desk.

Learn to Unwind

You don’t have to pay for an expensive spa to still have your own personal spa day. There are endless things you can do to unwind and everyone relaxes in different ways. For some people relaxing may include hanging out with friends and going out. For others, relaxing may mean staying home, taking a warm bath, watching TV, or reading a good book. In order to learn how to unwind you need to learn more about yourself and what relaxation techniques work best for you.

  • Learn about mediation
  • Keep a journal
  • go outdoors
  • listen to music
  • have a spa night
  • read a book

Have Pursuits Outside of Work

It will give you a special sense of accomplishment to have your own personal pursuits outside of your job. And if you need help with funds to make your club or go on a weekend getaway you can use a Check City Personal Loan!

  • Volunteer
  • Join a book club
  • Start your own group or club
  • Join a recreational or intermediate sports team
  • Make personal goals
  • Plan vacations and getaways
  • Take a class

Having workplace wellness is all about having a work-life balance. Having a work-life balance is all about taking care of both your body and mind. If you remember these key principles of taking good care of yourself than not only will your life and health improve, but you will actually become more successful and productive at work as well!


READ MORE
Read “Workplace Wellness” from Mental Health America (MHA) to learn more ways you can improve the overall well-being of your employees.

Read an NPR report about how effective wellness programs are in the article, “How Well Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work?

Read an article from Corporate Wellness Magazine called, “What is Workplace Wellness Really? “ to learn more about what workplace wellness means.

For more tips about workplace wellness, see our article, “How to Stay Healthy at Work.”

The Science of Skipping Breakfast: Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?

friday
You’ve probably had someone tell you that “skipping breakfast is bad” and that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Perhaps that person was your mother or your spouse.

Many people hold religiously to the idea that breakfast is of the utmost importance and that skipping it is tantamount to chopping years off your life. Others remain firmly in the breakfast-skipping camp, happily carrying on with their lives free from a morning meal of cereal or oatmeal.

Skipping Breakfast May Be OK

Science has lent some credence to the breakfast skipper’s refusal to cave to their peer’s admonitions: recent research shows that it’s probably OK to go without breakfast. In one study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 300 volunteers who were trying to lose weight were instructed to either eat breakfast or skip it entirely. At the end of the study, there was no significant difference in the weight loss results between the two groups.

Other studies, as reported by Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times, also support the idea that skipping breakfast isn’t bad for your health. As she put it, “If you like breakfast, fine; but if not, don’t sweat it.”

Conflicting Data

Writing for The Atlantic, James Hamblin pointed out that science on the matter of breakfast has been starkly divided. Some studies indicate that eating breakfast helps lower the risk of heart disease. In fact, WebMD has an article titled “Why Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Day.”
It makes sense that children need breakfast to perform well at school. What that breakfast includes is probably more important that whether or not it’s eaten in the first place. Sugary cereals are not very likely to prepare a child for a good day at school as they will produce an almost instant sugar spike, followed by a lull in energy and cravings for more sugary items.
It’s actually much better to go with whole grains, lean protein and a fruit or vegetable. Eating a meal comprised of these food items will help maintain a more stable glucose level, a feeling of being fuller for longer and will help control any cravings for sugar laden snacks.

As far as weight gain goes, a study at the University of Bath showed that people who eat breakfast consume more calories than those who skip it. It’s long been a widely held belief that the breakfast-eaters would gain more weight as a result, but the same study also showed that breakfast-skippers burned fewer calories throughout the day. Therefore the effects between the two groups evened out.
There’s been a prevalent myth that skipping breakfast causes you to consume more calories later in the day. The idea is that you’ll end up being so ravenous that you’ll consume larger quantities of food for lunch and dinner. However, the research just doesn’t support this claim.

Quality of Breakfast Counts More Than Whether You Skip It or Not

It’s a little silly to discuss whether skipping breakfast is bad for you without considering the quality of that breakfast in the first place. If you eat a breakfast high in sugar and trans fat, like pancakes with butter, cream and syrup, with a side of eggs and bacon, is that really better than eating no breakfast at all?

So it logically follows that skipping breakfast may be OK—as long as the other meals you eat are of a high nutritional quality.
Now you don’t have to let others guilt you into eating breakfast if you’re one of those people who prefer to skip it. Just try to eat a balanced, nutritious diet for the rest of the day. Check in with our blog regularly for more helpful health and fitness articles. You can also keep your finances in shape by visiting our services page for information regarding insurance quotes, bill pay and tax preparation.

How do you feel about skipping breakfast? Were you raised on the mantra that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?” Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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