Fall life hacks to keep you organized while on the go

Autumn is the season of cool and comfortable temperatures, lovely autumn foliage and fun-filled family activities. With so much to look forward to, it’s easy to lose track of what you should be doing to stay prepped for a busy season ahead.

Amid all the fun-filled weekends of pumpkin-picking and hay rides, autumn is one of the most hectic times of the year. As the weather cools down, flu and cold season begins to take off, the kids go back to school and we start planning for a busy holiday season. Could you use a life hack or two to help you stay on top of all these demands?

From taking care of your health to prepping for holiday spending, here are some life hacks that can help you sail through fall:

Hack your health

* Get a flu shot. It’s the fastest, easiest and cheapest (free if you have employer-sponsored health care, and $ 35 in many places if you don’t have insurance) way to avoid the flu this fall.

* With the change of seasons, colds and runny noses are a common stressor. Get you and your family ready with an easily accessible supply of tissues. More convenient and flexible than cardboard tissue box, Puffs SoftPack fits effortlessly into a gym bag, purse, locker, diaper bag, or kitchen or office drawer. With a pack tucked away anywhere you might need it, you’ll always be ready to put your best face forward, wherever you may be!

Hack your wallet

* Trying to spend less this fall because you know the holidays are coming? Stop using your debit and credit cards and instead, switch to cash. When getting money out of the bank, ask for new, crisp bills as studies show that people are more likely to spend wrinkled, worn bills and less likely to spend money that looks brand new.

* Saving for the holidays? Christmas club accounts are still around, and can be a great way to pay for the holidays without running up debt. Comparison shop for the account that’s best for you – interest rates and terms vary from bank to bank.

Hack your car

* Has summer left your car smelling funky, courtesy of too many wet towels and ice cream drips? If the funk lingers after an interior cleaning, simply place an unlit small candle with your favorite scent in one or two cup holders. The aroma will be more personalized than a standard auto air freshener.

* Improve your gas mileage by decluttering the trunk. Carry only what you need, like a spare, jack and emergency kit. Every extra 100 pounds you carry in the car can shave 2 percent off your fuel efficiency, according to the EPA. Besides, you’ll need that trunk space for holiday shopping soon enough!

Hack your family

* With kids back in school and summer down time long gone, you may have less time available for meal preparation. Take 10 minutes each weekend to plan the week’s meals in advance. If your kids are old enough, ask them plan their own packed lunches (following the healthy guidelines you establish, of course). Generate a list of ingredients based on your meal plans and get everything you need in one weekly grocery trip.

* With so many children sharing the same space, germs can spread quickly in the classroom. As cold season approaches and the busy holiday months ramp up, you’ll want to reduce the spread of germs and avoid those dreaded sick days. Help prevent pesky colds by teaching your children about germs and stocking backpacks with antibacterial soap and plenty of tissues. Puffs SoftPack is lightweight and flexible so it won’t weigh your little ones down or get crushed on the playground, and they’ll always have a tissue when they need one.

Hack your holidays

* Give gift cards – they’re truly a “one-size-fits-all gift” and you don’t even have to leave home to buy them. In fact, most people have given a gift card (77 percent) or received one (90 percent) in the past year, according to the Retail Gift Card Association. If you don’t like the idea of just handing over an envelope, retailers now offer a range of attractive and creative gift-card holders.

* If you’ll be hosting a big holiday dinner, use your cooking time wisely. Focus on the main dish and go for a large roast that will feed the maximum number of people with the least amount of effort. Make hors d’oeuvres and desserts ahead of time and freeze them, or ask guests to take part in the festivities by bringing their favorite dish.


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