It's easy to make upcycled firestarters to use to get your wood-burning stove or fireplace roaring in the fall and winter months. Save cardboard egg cartons, old candles and dryer lint. Tear large pieces of dryer lint and place it inside each egg carton compartment. Then melt the old candle in a heat-resistant glass container over simmering water. Pour the melted wax into each compartment, covering the dryer lint. Allow it to cool. To use your firestarter, just tear one compartment and light the cardboard in the fireplace. It'll burn slowly and evenly and allow your fire to "catch" and get going.
One way to take advantage of the fall's bountiful harvests is to make several casseroles that you can freeze and enjoy later in the year. Many food blogs and home cooks recommend investing in 8-by-8-inch glass Pyrex casserole dishes that have matching lids; it makes it easy to bake, cool, cover and freeze all in one container. But if the idea of spending more money on casserole dishes is less than desirable, try this instead: Make your own food blocks. Line a casserole dish with a few layers of parchment paper. Make your casserole in the dish, allow to cool and then freeze it. When the casserole is frozen solid, pop it out and wrap it in aluminum foil, then place it in the freezer. When you're ready to eat it, put it back into the dish and heat it up.
Want to chop $85 off your electricity bill in one easy step? Consider designating just one room in the house for watching television and not having multiple TVs set up all over the house. On average, a flat-screen TV uses about $7 a month in electricity -- not counting the cable box or other devices like gaming consoles and DVD players. But it's more than just economic savings: According to a study by the University of Michigan, 71 percent of teenagers have their own TV in their bedroom; kids 6 to 11 watch 28 hours of TV a week. The study showed excessive TV watching affected children's sleep, weight, grades and behavior. Instead of cutting the cord, have meaningful TV watching. And save a little money on the side, too.