How to Extend the Life of a Carved Pumpkin

Saving Dollarsand Sense


Anytime that we have carved pumpkins we have had to wait until the night before in order to assure that the pumpkins would last.

This year I decided to do a little research to see if there was anything we could to do protect our pumpkins from rotting so quickly. Because I am scheduled for surgery on October 29th, I wanted to carve our pumpkins a bit sooner than normal.

If you want to keep your carved pumpkins from rotting you need to do something to preserve them.

The moment that you cut the pumpkin with a knife you destroy their natural protection, making room for bacteria and fungi to grow, and thus begins the decay process.

But there are some things that you can do to extend the life of you carved pumpkins this year.

Wash your pumpkins. Make sure you wash the outside of the pumpkin before carving to get rid of any dirt that could carry microscopic organism that will begin attacking the pumpkin once it has been cut.

Spray your pumpkins. Make a bleach spray using this 1 tablespoon of this Homemade Bleach and 1 quart of water.

Homemade All Natural Non-Toxic Bleach Alternative

1 Cup Peroxide
1 Cup Water
10 – 20 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

Spray the entire inside and all exposed cut areas liberally with your Bleach Solution and allow to dry for about 30 minutes.

Protect your pumpkin. Rub petroleum jelly over all the areas that you previously sprayed.  This will create a protective barrier that will help keep new bacteria or fungi from growing and extend the life of you carved treasure.

Keep in mind that sunlight and heat are enemies of the carved pumpkin and help bacteria to grow. When choosing a place to display your pumpkin, look for a spot that is out of direct sunlight.

Now the only thing you have to protect your pumpkins from are neighborhood critters!

The squirrels LOVE to eat them ;)

If you need Pumpkin carving Ideas, check out these FREE Pumpkin Carving Patterns.

There are SO many to choose from!

And you can’t forget to make sure you have all the Pumpkin Carving Tools you’ll need.

LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack Review

Saving Dollarsand Sense

This LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack Review is part of the new 2015 Hottest Toys series that I will be sharing here on Saving Dollars and Sense that will highlight each of the hottest toys for the 2015 holiday toy season.

LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack

Each year we wait to see which toys will make it onto the Toys R Us Toy List so that we will know which toys your kiddos will be asking for and which toys will be in high demand.  For the next couple weeks, I will choose one new toy from the list to share with you so you can be an informed shopper this year.


When LEGO hit gaming consoles in the late 90s, it was an exciting time. Two of life’s greatest pleasures had morphed into one fun package, and things just continued getting better. Now, twenty years later, LEGO is still going strong. Its latest gaming innovation promises an awesome combination of your favorite movies and LEGO toys, with some video game features tossed in. The LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack could be the beginning of your next big adventure. Are you ready for it yet?

In this starter pack, characters from The Lord of The Rings, DC Comics, and The LEGO Movie come together when a strange vortex opens in the universe and sweeps the heroes away. Gandalf, Batman, and Wyldstyle must now join forces to save their worlds. You can even add LEGO Dimensions expansion packs to unlock new adventures.

916xHpn1wWL._SL1500_Features of the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack

With the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack, you’ll get to experience all sorts of adventures in a LEGO world gone crazy. Regardless of your preferred gaming console, be it the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Nintendo Wii U, you’ll definitely get hours of fun out of this game.


  • You can easily drop figurines onto the toy pad to bring them into the game and unlock their special features. You get 3 figurines with the Starter Pack and the pad can accommodate up to 7 mini-figures, vehicles, or gadgets.
  • You’ll get to visit fourteen unique worlds. So, this means that you can be in Middle Earth one moment and travel to Gotham City the next! Mini-figures from each of the LEGO Brands unlock their own exciting worlds. You can unlock 3 with the Starter Pack and access more by purchasing expansions.
  • You’ll get to decide if you want to battle evil forces and make exhilarating creations alone, or join your friends for drop-in, drop-out gaming. Whatever you prefer, there will never be a dull moment.
  • The Starter Pack includes the video game, toy pad, LEGO bricks for building the gateway, 3 mini-figurines (Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle) and the awesome LEGO Batmobile.
  • Fun time doesn’t have to end so quickly when so many expansion packs are available! These add-ons will allow you to create some crazy combinations of characters, vehicles and worlds. Featured brands include The Wizard of Oz (picture Gandalf driving down the Yellow Brick Road in the Batmobile!), Scooby Doo, Doctor Who, Chima, and Jurassic World, just to name a few.


The expansion packs, which are one the bestselling points of the LEGO Dimensions Starter Packs, are unfortunately also its biggest weakness. Some people may feel that the original game is incomplete without these add-ons.


Whether you’re a kid or a respectable adult who never really grew up, there’s plenty of scope for fun and adventure with the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack. Even if you decide not to purchase any expansion packs, there will still be enough cool features in the Starter Pack for many hours of adventurous and challenging gaming.


Columbus Day Sales: Buy This, Skip That!

Saving Dollarsand Sense


Retailers look for any opportunity to lure customers through their doors, leveraging holiday sales as a way of creating urgency among shoppers. The notion of a limited-time deal sends consumers into a frenzy, pressuring them to buy and stock up before the discount disappears. While Americans have been conditioned to associate holidays like this upcoming Columbus Day with big savings, not everything is a smart buy.

Follow this Columbus Day shopping guide to figure out what to buy and what to skip this weekend.

With 2016 models dominating dealership lots and year-end quickly approaching, sales associates are anxious to move 2015 cars and trucks. This means more bargaining power for you! To make the process of negotiating with car salespoeple a little easier, use to send a bid to several dealers and let them fight over your offer.

Though we have yet to celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and with it comes even more deals. Considering Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer the best sales of the year on gadgets like laptops, smartphones and TVs, holding off just a few more weeks will pay you back in extra savings. The only exception is 55″ HDTVs which will see great prices this weekend, according to a recent post from US News & World Report.

As I mentioned in a recent TV interview, back-to-school shopping reports point to October as the best time to buy denim. You can find discounts ranging from 30 to 50-percent off women’s jeans at Nordstrom, or an average of 40-percent off men’s denim selection at JCPenney. Seek additional savings with coupons, like this JCPenney promo code for $10 off $25 found at deals’ site Coupon Sherpa.

While temperatures begin to dip and prices on certain fall and winter apparel go on sale, the real deals will be offered after Christmas when you can expect savings of up to 75-percent off. Until then, make do with your whatever you have in your current wardrobe, or purchase a few pieces on consignment to get through the first few weeks of cold weather.

For whatever reason, shoe retailers have chosen Columbus Day to promote some of the biggest sales on footwear of the year. Check out e-stores like 6pm and ShoeBuy to compare prices quickly and benefit from free shipping both ways on your order. Outlet centers are also a good place to snag savings on brand names like Nike, Adidas and Skechers. Plus, you can use printable coupons like 15% off your purchase at Adidas Outlet for extra savings.

Though footwear deals abound, bigger discounts on winter boots designed for the snow and rain will come in late December and early January after the holidays. If you can get through the beginning of winter with what you have, you’re looking at savings of up to 65 percent. Otherwise, check discount retailers like TJMaxx or Marshall’s for savings on rain and winter boots.

With just a few weeks until Halloween, time is running out to get the look requested by your little one. Waiting until the last minute offers the deepest discount on costumes, but your choices are limited and you don’t want to miss out on this year’s hottest looks. So take advantage of this weekend’s sale on Halloween dress-up must-haves, including up to 30% off costumes from Sears and Kmart, and buy-one-get-one free on select kids’ costumes from Target. (These sales expire Oct. 10.)

Christmas creep is in full swing with department stores to warehouse clubs to small boutique shops already putting winter holiday decor on display. I recently received Columbus Day sales offering discounts on various holiday items like ornaments, wrapping supplies and serveware. While these sales are tempting, the savings are insignificant. Do your finances a favor and hold off until after December 26 to update your collection of decor with discounts of over 75-percent off.

Guest post by Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbes and many more. In addition, Andrea’s stories have been published among leading publications and sites such as Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance, CNN Money, Huffington Post, LearnVest and New York Daily News. Check out Andrea’s demo reel or visit her website at for more information about booking an interview or requesting an original written article. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook for daily money tips.

Best Superhero and Villain Costumes for Boys

Saving Dollarsand Sense

9.18 Amazon Round Up - Super Hero Boy Costumes Under $30 SAVINGDOLLARS

Is your child looking for the very best superhero and villain costumes for boys?

  1. Captain America Winter Soldier Costume — $20.46
  2. MegaForce Power Rangers Silver Muscle Costume — $18.99
  3. Avengers 2 Hawkeye Costume — $26.99
  4. Avengers 2 Hulk Costume — $25.63
  5. Batman Riddler Costume — $27.70
  6. Batman Dark Knight Rises Costume — $23.10
  7. Toddler Spiderman Costume — $24.38
  8. Captain America Winter Solder Falcon Costume — $24.99
  9. Big Hero 6 Hiro Costume — $18.33
  10. Justice League The Flash Costume — $15.00
  11. Toddler Hulk Costume — $19.99
  12. Dark Knight Rises Joker Costume — $20.53
  13. Iron Man 2 Muscle Costume — $25.99
  14. Deluxe Batman Muscle Costume — $19.98
  15. Classic X-Men Wolverine Costume — $22.05
  16. Green Ranger Power Rangers Costume — $28.37
  17. Big Hero 6 Baymax Costume — $26.62
  18. Avengers Assemble Thor Costume — $20.68
  19. Spider Man 2 Muscle Costume — $21.49
  20. Green Lantern Hal Jordan Costume — $24.83

You might also like the Top Disney Costumes for boys.

Best Super Hero & Villain Costumes for Girls

Saving Dollarsand Sense

9.18 Amazon Round Up - Super Hero GIRL Costumes Under $30 SAVINGDOLLARS

You’ll find the very best girls superhero and villain costumes listed below.

  1. Marvel Universe Spider-Girl Costume — $23.57
  2. Avengers Black Widow Costume — $27.95
  3. DC Heroes Wonder Woman Costume — $21.88
  4. Deluxe Catwoman Costume — $26.60
  5. Marvel She Hulk Costume — $24.99
  6. American Dream Captain America Costume — $22.66
  7. Power Rangers Pink Ranger Costume — $20.99
  8. Star Wars Padme Amidala Costume — $18.99
  9. Batgirl TuTu Dress Costume — $22.99
  10. Marvel Pink Bat Girl Costume — $29.09
  11. Toddler Supergirl Costume — $19.71
  12. Gotham Girls Batgirl Costume — $31.41
  13. Wonder Woman Toddler Costume — $28.42
  14. Teen Titans Robin Costume — $16.25
  15. The Incredibles Violet Costume — $19.64
  16. DC Comics Flash Tutu Costume — $22.44
  17. DC Comics Pink Batgirl Costume — $25.89
  18. Star Wars Princess Leia Costume — $23.37
  19. Marvel Universe Ironman Costume — $20.00
  20. Big Hero 6 Honey Lemon Costume — $27.35

You might also like the Top Disney Costumes for girls.

The Best Non-Candy Halloween Treats

Saving Dollarsand Sense

noncandy treats

If you are looking for alternatives to handing out candy this year without being labeled as the lame house on the block, you might want to consider one of the following non-candy options that kids are sure to love.

Each of the non-candy options are priced at just $0.25 or less each.

9.17 Amazon Round-Up Non-Candy Halloween Treats NO HEADER

1. Glow-in-the-Dark Assorted Critters, 144 ct — $5.65
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.04 Each Shipped

2. Halloween Pencil Top Erasers, 144 ct — $9.45
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.07 Each Shipped

3. Glow Stick Bracelets, 100 ct — $8.99
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.09 Each Shipped

4. Sticky Hands and Feet, 72 ct — $6.25
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.09 Each

5. Assorted Halloween Accessories, 90 ct — $8.98
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.10 Each Shipped

6. Halloween Character Erasers, 72 ct — $7.95
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.11 Each Shipped

7. Glow-in-the-Dark Bouncing Balls, 48 pk — $5.48
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.11 Each Shipped

8. Deluxe Assorted Pencils, 100 ct — $11.37
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.11 Each Shipped

9. Crazy Assorted Eye Patches, 48 ct — $5.25
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.11 Each Shipped

10. Mini Glow Sticks, 50 ct — $5.99
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.12 Each Shipped

11. Assorted Stickers, Pencils and Toys, 156 ct — $21.95
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.14 Each Shipped

12. Assorted Plastic Stamps, 50 ct — $9.29
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.19 Each Shipped

13. Assorted Paddle Balls, Stickers and Toys, 48 ct — $9.49
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.20 Each Shipped

14. Assorted Halloween Toys, 72 ct — $17.99
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.25 Each Shipped

15. Halloween Crayon Packs, 48 ct — $11.99
Free Shipping with Amazon Prime or a $35 Purchase
Final Price: $.25 Each Shipped