Cold Weather Coming? 9 Frugal Ways to Improve Your Mood

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

14 Ways to Maximize Your Social Security ChecksGrow

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

8 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances — and Be HappierGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

7 Free Sources of Manufacturer Coupons You Can Find OnlineSave

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Fixing Your Credit? Do These 5 Things, Avoid These 3Credit & Debt

As summer transitions into fall, these activities can make us feel better and don’t cost very much, if anything at all.

Autumn is coming, sooner than I’d like to acknowledge. Although the days are still mild (50 to 60 degrees), the angle of the sun has changed, making its rays seem tentative and transitory. That is, when the sun can be seen – it’s been raining a lot, too.

Where you live might still feel summery right now, but you know the change in seasons is coming. Those of you who live in places where the seasons don’t alter that much can go ahead and feel supremely lucky, or downright smug if you like. The rest of us will come up with such coping mechanisms as are necessary to get us through the transition.

Or through the season itself: Winter can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. I’ll be pulling out the seasonal affective disorder light box eventually. Right now we’re leaning on a handful of things that make us feel better and don’t cost very much. In fact, some of them cost nothing at all.

1. Open the windows

Do this while you still can! Even if it’s raining I open the windows just a bit, to get some air moving and to fill the house with the smell of rain. Yes, I know it doesn’t have a fragrance as such, but the world smells lovely during a shower. This might not work for everyone, e.g., someone with severe allergies or someone in the middle of one of those monster Phoenix dust storms.

2. Hang your bedding outdoors

Again, not the best idea if you’re experiencing a lot of grit or live next door to a lutefisk factory. But when there’s a little sun we throw the comforter, blankets and pillows outside. If you don’t have a clothesline, drape the bedding over a drying rack or a balcony railing. How lovely to go to sleep inhaling the fragrance of that day’s sun and wind.

3. Take a walk

Even if it’s just around the block, the change in scenery has a surprisingly big impact. And if it’s drizzling, so much the better: I’m happy to come back into a house that had started to feel a little claustrophobic.

4. Funny animals

You just knew I’d bring up cat photos, didn’t you? But it doesn’t have to be LOLCats. Just do a Swagbucks search for “funny (whatever animal you love) pictures.” Myself, I find both blobfish and pink fairy armadillos pretty giggle-inducing. There’s just something inexplicably hilarious about pink animals.

5. Scalp massage

Much more fun if someone does it for you, but rubbing your own head (or at least your temples and forehead) is very relaxing. If it’s invigoration you need, try a brisk hair-brushing.

6. Tidy up

A cluttered living space can lead to disorganized thinking, depression or maybe even a minor household accident. You don’t have to scrub the floor with a toothbrush, but having a cleaner, well-organized place will lift your spirits.

7. Cook something cheap and tasty

A skillet of cornbread, a pot of black bean chili, a plate of deviled eggs, a batch of oatmeal cookies – all inexpensive and delicious ways to perfume the house and whet appetites.

8. Read!

Take time away from all the things you think you have to do and sit down with a good book, or wade through your pile of unread magazines.

9. Take a hot bath

Hydrotherapy is terrific, especially if you have lavender-scented bubble bath and a couple of rubber ducks. (I’m told.)

OK, readers: What are your favorite frugal mood enhancers?

More on DonnaFreedman.com:

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 5 Easy Ways to Save on Your Cell Phone Bill

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,990 more deals!