Archive for August 31, 2017

Ten Things to Keep Out Of Your Shopping Cart in September

Labor Day and Columbus Day will bring lots of sales your way in the month of September. Although the savings might be great this month, there’s a few things that you should try to avoid whenever you can. This month is friendly for most shopping, especially when it comes to summer clearance. However, a few of the items you might be hoping to get a jump start on for your winter and autumn shopping are probably going to be off limits. So, make a note of these ten items, so you can avoid over-spending during this frugal month.

1. Winter Clothes
Some autumn clothes might be taking a decrease in price during September, while others will maintain the high price that you’ve seen since the release of clothing. Winter clothes, on the other hand, won’t be offered at a decent price. You’re going to want to try to hold out until Black Friday or later to grab that new winter coat you’ve had your eye on. You might keep your eye out in the upcoming months for these items as they will sporadically make their way to the sales floor. However, shopping for the items in September won’t give your budget the jump start on the season that you would hope for.

2. Diamond Jewelry
Wedding season is long gone now. Thus, you’re not going to see any major deals on diamonds at this time. Most stores will host sales at the height of the season in order to get future newlyweds to spend a little more money on their rings. Even engagement season is far off, so you’re not going to find any luck in this department either. Your best bet is to hold out until the holiday sales begin. These can start as early as November, so you won’t have to put off getting your jewelry very long. During the holiday season, you will also see a lot of sales on trendy diamond jewelry that will make a great gift for yourself or others.

3. Televisions
If you’re in the market for a new television, then you may want to hold out. Even if there are a few sales here and there, you won’t find the same savings that you would on Black Friday, which is right around the corner. Of course, if you don’t want to brave the crowds or sit in front of your laptop waiting for a deal, you will still be able to find some amazing deals on a television after Black Friday. Cyber Monday is a great option that often holds better deals on technology. There will also be deals going on throughout the month of December to allow all of Santa’s little helpers to get the tech they need for under the tree. If you’re still not pleased with these prices then you may want to wait for the Super Bowl when televisions tend to be at one of the best prices of the year.

4. Halloween Supplies
Halloween is just a month away and you can probably already see Halloween items by the plenty in most stores that you visit. However, you should resist the temptation to dive into these items. You will find better deals the longer you wait. As Halloween nears, many stores will start marking items down if they have an abundance of them left. Amazon, for instance, holds a huge sale on costumes a day or two before the holiday occurs. If you already have plenty of Halloween items then you may just want to wait for the holiday to be over. As soon October turns into November, you’ll be able to grab all the ghouls and skeletons you want for a fraction of the original price tag.

5. Backpacks
Not all students start school in August, but for some reason backpacks tend to go up in price in September. So, if you missed the back to school sales then you may try to work with a backpack that you already own until you can find a better deal on the item. Usually, these items will go on sale again during the winter holidays as students need to replenish their school supplies to start fresh in the spring semester. You might luck out and find some items in the clearance section, but you still may not be paying the best of prices on the bag. Luckily, there are many backpack alternatives out there. Some, you can even make yourself at home with common items.

6. Tech Gadgets
September is usually the time that we see an increase in the release of tech gadgets that people will want to add to their holiday list. Due to this, buying tech during this month tends to not be the best of ideas. Even if there isn’t tech you’re interested in released this month, you might still want to hold off. During this time, stores will be reducing the price on common tech that they have already. This is to help reduce their stock so the new items will have more of a chance of selling. If you’re after the new stuff, you shouldn’t look forward to incredible deals this year. However, you may see a reduction in price around Black Friday, so you may want to jump on those deals if you can’t wait.

7. Cooking Supplies
With wedding season over and students already back to school, cookware tends to take the back burner when it comes to sales. Most things will go back to average prices during this season, which means you probably don’t want to go for the items if you’re on a tight budget. However, if you can hold off on purchasing, you will find incredible deals on items right after Thanksgiving. This will give you plenty of time to plan ahead for your holiday meal later in the year. You may even pick up a few items to save for wedding season or to give as gifts to friends that love to cook. Bakeware will especially be popular during the post-Thanksgiving sales, so try to use disposable bakeware until then if you don’t have another option.

8. Game Consoles
There is going to be a lot of talk about gaming consoles during the month of September because release dates are nearing on many devices that have been anticipated for some time. So, you may want to steer clear of the gaming console section when you head to the store. As the new releases near, stores will continue to drop prices on the old devices substantially. If you can hold out until the release date, you’re sure to find a price that will make you over the moon, especially on used items. Of course, games will be a must have during the month of September, so you might not swear off your favorite game store completely. You might even be able to preorder some items for your new console when it’s finally released.

9. Hotels
With Labor Day typically the last period of summer vacation for many, you’re sure to see some major price hikes in hotels. Usually, this is a time for last minute bookings, so hotels can charge whatever they like and know that they can fill up their hotels without a problem. Apart from people trying to squeeze in a last minute vacation, there are actually a lot of activities going on during this month. For starters, many places begin their Oktoberfest towards the end of the month. All over the world, something exciting is happening which draws in a huge crowd. So, unless you managed to book your hotel room at an incredible rate months ago, you might want to avoid situations that force you to stay in a hotel.

10. Football Gear
With school back in full swing, you’re probably already dealing with football tryouts or the early days of the season. If you have a new student partaking in the sport then chances are you have a long list of items to buy. Some schools will provide some items to help with the expenditure, but many schools leave you to handle the padding and personal items needed for the sport. During this month, prices tend to be above average, so you will end up paying more for the items. You might want to hold out until there is a sale, if at all possible. Before long, these items will be on clearance so you can stock up for the year and next season.

You can find a lot of shopping deals to celebrate in the month of September. These ten items will help you avoid the areas that will cost you a small fortune during this month. With any luck, you will be able to hold out until you find the perfect deals in the categories later in the year.

Ten Things You’ll Want To Buy During Labor Day Weekend

August is coming to an end, which means it’s time to prep for September and all of the amazing sales that you’ll see. One of the biggest sales of the year is on Labor Day, which happens in the first week of September. In order to get the most of these deals, you may want to know just what to look for on the big day. There will be lots of items on sale, but if you’re looking for huge savings then you may want to concentrate on these ten areas. With a little shopping know how and the courage to withstand crowds, there’s no telling how much you will save on items that many households need.

1. Cars
The whole month of September is great for buying cars, so if you’re in need then make sure to do your shopping now. However, Labor Day will bring a ton of sales that are sure to get you in a new vehicle without a problem. This is largely because the new car models will be rolling in soon, so retailers need to ditch some of their stock to make room. Due to this, older cars can be reduced quite a bit. Even this year’s models will find a big enough price reduction to draw in the attention of many shoppers. You might even try your luck on a used model, but make sure to get it checked out before you purchase. Before you go to the lot, you might want to look around to get a good price estimate for the cars you’re interested in. You should also check out Car Fax for older vehicles and research reviews on newer and older vehicles.

2. Major Appliances
This is also the perfect time to stock your home with new appliances. Just like cars, there are new appliances about to hit the market, which means the old stuff has to go. A lot of retailers use Labor Day to ditch the excess stock they ordered for wedding season, so you can really benefit from shopping during this holiday. You may even be able to find a fantastic price on bundle deals, which should help you improve on the value of your home. You might look online to get an idea of what new gadgets you want on your appliances, so you can keep your shopping experience short and to the point. Doing this keeps salespeople at a distance too, so you won’t risk being talked into something else. While you’re shopping, you might also try to snag free delivery.

3. Summer Clothes
Although Labor Day technically occurs during the summer time, most people have washed their hands of the season and are ready to move into autumn. So, there will be a whole lot of summer clothes on sale during the Labor Day events. You might check out your favorite stores to see what you can grab for this year and next year. If you have children, you may want to shop ahead to ensure they have a cool look when the warmer weather returns. Some of the clothes on sale can even be used as school clothes for this year. One of the main things you might want to check out during these sales is swimming suits. These are usually your most expensive items, so shopping ahead will save you big when you’re ready to hit the pool again.

4. School Supplies
In most places, back to school sales have already come and gone. If you didn’t get the items you needed, then be prepared to save even more money on the items of your choosing. Typically, retailers will want to ditch as many of their leftover school supplies, so you can get them for next to nothing. This is the perfect time to shop for more expensive items like a durable backpack. Of course, you should also look for out of the box school supplies too, such as laptops. These are perfect for college kids who will need them to ensure their essays and research projects are completed in a timely manner. You won’t be able to get a good deal on a laptop again, until Black Friday sales come around. So, make sure you know what you’re looking for before you begin to shop, as this will help you find what you need before it sells out.

5. Mattresses
Mattresses tend to pop up during most holiday sales, which is great news for anyone that needs one. However, Labor Day tends to boast some of the best mattress sales. Best of all, there are more mattresses than ever on the market, so you can try out new paddings that may even last you over eight years. There are so many online retailers now that offer mattresses that you should have a lot of fun choosing something that will suit your comfort levels and health needs. With winter coming up soon, you’ll be happy you made the purchase so you’ll have something nice and cozy to keep you warm. If you don’t shop for a mattress during these sales, the next big sale won’t hit until Memorial Day.

6. Outdoor Entertainment
Since summer vacation has pretty much come to a halt, so you’ll find a lot of outdoor entertainment on sale during the Labor Day events. These sales are great to pick up items that you have wanted for some time, but haven’t wanted to spend a small fortune on. You might not get to use them often before autumn brings in the wind and rain, but if you store them properly you can make great use of them next spring and summer. One of the more common items on sale will be all sorts of grills and smokers. These items are perfect for all year entertainment too, if you’re willing to cook out in the cold every now and then. Another option is patio furniture. These items might best be stored until next year, but when you open them up again your porch or lawn will be ready for summer get-togethers. Of course, pools will also be heavily discounted because most people can’t swim in autumn and winter. Summer toys will also be on sale too, so stock up for hours of fun next year.

7. Travel
If you’ve been holding out on making those holiday plans then Labor Day is going to be the day to finalize all of your travel plans. There will be a ton of deals for later in the year, so jump on them now if you can. This is also a great time to buy a ticket for college students to return home for winter vacation. If you really want to get a head start on travel plans then Spring Break tickets will also be ready and waiting for you. Of course, airfare isn’t the only thing that will be on sale. You’ll also want to grab some cruise deals to make your holidays even more joyous. Hotels and car rentals will also have deals, so you can go ahead and book it all to make the holidays less stressed.

8. Wine
The autumn months are peak for wine, but you can get a head start on your wine collection by picking up the leftover summer wines on Labor Day. These wines are usually great with red meats or lighter meals like salad, so you can drink them year-round. However, you can also leave your wines to age until you start hosting parties in the warmer weather again. Of course, there will still be lots of bottles on sale that are perfect for the holidays. The Labor Day events will allow you to stock up so hosting will be a breeze. You can also buy enough to pass out as gifts during the holidays, so buying presents won’t set you back as much or leave you as stressed out.

9. Activities
Not all sales are tangible on Labor Day. Since this is typically the last time most families get to have fun together until next summer break, many places will have great deals on activities in order to boost their sales a final time. Theme parks might be one of the more common places that are looking to lure in customers. You may find huge deals on admission prices as well as prices to enjoy rides. Another fun option is the zoo or an aquarium. These places usually see great crowds on the holidays, but if you go at the right time you’re sure to enjoy a huge discount that will help you enjoy your last summer outing. Other locations that host sporting activities and kids’ activities are sure to have huge sales too, so look around locally to see what you can find.

10. Meals
While you’re out shopping, you shouldn’t disregard the fact that a lot of restaurants will also have some major deals on Labor Day. This is largely because so many people are out shopping, or they have the day off work and can enjoy time in a restaurant. Most of the places that host these deals will probably be fast food, particularly if they are near a shopping center. Of course, you may luck out and find a restaurant that hosts a good deal too. Most restaurants that will have a deal will post about it on their social media page, so stay connected to enjoy a nice meal or two out on Labor Day.

Labor Day sales can be a lot of fun to check out. They’re essentially the last big sale you will see until the holiday months begin, so make sure you get your shopping urge out while the prices are still low. These ten items should help you know just what to look for while you’re shopping, so you can maximize the savings for good.

Quick and Frugal Ways To Help Your Child Explore Outer Space

If you have little ones in your home or in your classroom, then chances are the recent eclipse sparked their interest in outer space. Teaching children about this subject or allowing them to explore outer space in their imaginations, can be rather pricey if you’re not careful. There are many retailers that market items to satisfy children’s curiosity, but these tend to come at a high price. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help the future astronauts in your life find what they’re looking for in the depths of space. These ten ideas will help you customize lesson plans or simply answer your children’s questions, so space can become more of a reality to the kids in your life.

1. Glow in the Dark Stars
When it comes to satisfying a love for outer space, one of the easiest things to do is bring the stars to your child. This can be really simple and cheap too, so you won’t have to worry about pouring a small fortune into another passing trend. One of the easiest options is buying a pack of stick on stars. You can find these online or at many local retailer stores for less than a few dollars. The stars are ideal because they stick onto the wall or ceiling using a special putty that is easily removed without causing damage. If you own your home or aren’t worried about a more permanent design, then you might want to invest in some glow in the dark paint. With this, you can paint the night’s sky on your child’s wall or ceiling. You can also do this on canvas to prevent wall damage. Both of these methods will illuminate your child’s imagination and might even make them feel more secure at bedtime.

2. Watch a NASA Feed
NASA does a pretty good job of keeping people informed of what projects they’re working on. When they have footage of explorations or extraordinary things happening in space then it generally finds a spot on the NASA website for all to see. This is one of the best resources you will find if you really want to know more about space and the progress we are making. The NASA website updates frequently too, so you can even find a little something to check out every day. NASA even offers a children’s program which is perfect for young astronomers with a thirst for knowledge. Best of all, this information is all free, so you can enjoy it on the tightest of budgets.

3. Homemade Rocket Ship
One of the best ways for children to learn is for them to use their imagination. Building a rocket ship for them to do so can help inspire them to learn more about outer space and to create more questions that they’ll want answered. There are lots of ways to create a rocket ship at home or the classroom. You might even consider following your child’s lead in making one to allow them to exercise their creativity. One simple way to make a ship is by using the blanket fort method. Children will transform the blankets into their own personal ship using their imagination. Another great option is to use cardboard boxes to make one. You can decorate the interior and exterior to look just like a shuttle. You can also add real pictures from outer space to help teach children names and principles of some aspects of space.

4. Discuss Solar System
When it comes to learning about space, it might be important to start in our own solar system. This will give children a sense of location and identity in their own world. Discussing the solar system isn’t complicated either. You can easily find pictures of the planets in our system as well as information on them and our sun. One way to really give children a sense of the solar system is to recreate it. You can paint it on poster board or use Styrofoam balls and wire to make a 3d model. When you’re finished, you hang up your project as décor, which will make your child feel like they are exploring space every day.

5. Recreate the Eclipse
Since the eclipse is probably what spurred your child or students to take an interest in outer space, you may want to concentrate on this amazing topic first. There are lots of great ideas to help kids understand the eclipse better or to actually see it occur. One of the best ways to do this is show pictures and videos of the event taking place, especially if the child didn’t see it when it occurred. There are many science projects you can partake in to show greater meaning behind this phenomenon too. There are a lot of great ideas online, so you might want to take inspiration there. You never know, after performing some of the tasks, you might feel like you’ve become an expert in eclipses.

6. TedTalks
Since we live in the world of information, it is easy to find a ton of information on outer space. One great resource is a popular website called TedTalks. On this website, you can find lots of innovative ideas, including those about space. You can plan a lesson a day this way, or let the child watch the lectures during their screen time. You never know, you may enjoy them as much as your kids do. Some of the lectures might be more for older children though, so you might want to watch before you pass the lesson on to your children. Of course, there is a children’s section on the website, so you still might be able to present wonderful lessons your child will absorb with glee.

7. Track the Moon
It is a lot easier to concentrate on things that are closer to us, opposed to those we don’t know a lot about. The moon is one of the coolest things to track, because we’ve actually visited it and it plays such a crucial role in our world. One of the best ways to study the moon is to track it. You can have children go outside and observe the moon each night. Then, have them draw a picture or take a photograph to represent the moon for the day. Children can even recreate the moon each week using an Oreo cookie, which should satisfy snack time too. After doing this for a couple of months, children should be able to see a pattern forming. The more fun you make the experiment, the more your child will get out of it.

8. Stargaze
Without a doubt, one of the best ways to let your child explore outer space is to allow them to observe it with their own eyes. Take a trip out of the city or town you live in, so you can get a better view of the stars at night. This will allow you to look at constellations, stars, planets, galaxies and more. By looking at space, your child will be able to come up with questions you can all research together. If you have a telescope, you may want to consider bringing it along so you can all get a closer look at what’s happening. You can also download an app that will identify constellations and more when you point it at the starry sky.

9. Space Crafts
Another fun way to explore outer space is to come up with crafts that can be a lot of fun. You can easily base your crafts around your child’s age. For instance, making galactic goo might be fun for younger kids who will feel like they have the universe in their hands. Children that are a little older may have a good time making rocket ships out of toilet paper or paper towel rolls. Other children might enjoy recreating their favorite constellations using pin point art or by painting. There are so many ideas out there that you will have a blast discovering them when you do a little research.

10. Read
Obviously, one of the best ways to explore the universe and beyond is to check out some books. Reading is one of the best ways to discover new information. You might want to take your child on a trip to the library. From there, look up information on one specific topic to see where your search finds you. The library should have boots on the topic, but if they don’t you might talk to the librarian to see if they can borrow a book from another library. This will teach your child the power of the library as well as more about the information they are curious about. There are also lots of fictional stories your child might enjoy to help boost their imagination and fun.

Learning about outer space can take your child to new worlds and encourage them to want to learn in school and out. These ten tips should help you support your child’s interest in space without forcing you to spend a lot of money on the lessons. Before long, you’ll have an astronomer on your hands that will love sharing stories about the universe we live in.

Enjoy A Night Out on the Town Without Blowing Your Frugal Student Budget

If you’re like most students, you’re probably headed to college or just started on your new schedule. No matter what you’re up to in your new life, you’re probably looking for ways to save some money on going out. This is one of the best ways for students to blow off some steam when their busy college lives get to be too much. Unfortunately, going out on the town isn’t always the cheapest option, especially when you’re feeling stressed out. These ten ideas will help you cut back on the amount you spend when you go out, so your student budget won’t get blown before the semester ends.

1. Go Early
A lot of people tend to not go out until it’s already late out. This can be one of the worst things you can do for your budget. During the later hours, clubs have more people which often means you’ll have to pay a cover fee. That is, after you wait for quite some time in a line. You’re less likely to find a happy hour or deals on drink and food during these times too. The peak hours are also more crowded, which means longer lines and less space to move around and enjoy yourself. Leaving earlier will even get you home a bit earlier, so you can catch up on the sleep you need to feel less stressed for your classwork.

2. Drink Ahead of Time
If you’re planning on buying drinks while you’re out then one of the best things you can do is grab a few drinks before you actually go out. Pre-drinking is one of the more common concepts when it comes to going out, so you probably have friends who already make a point to do this. If so, then split the cost of a pack of beer. This will make you less likely to buy multiple drinks while you’re out as you will already have a buzz. You may not even want to hit the bar while you’re out, since you won’t need to loosen up as much. This will save you quite a bit of money and may even allow you to get out of spending a thing while you’re out. Even if you’re not drinking alcohol, you should hydrate well before you leave. This will help make you feel better while you enjoy yourself and won’t force you to break down and buy expensive bottled water from the bar.

3. Skip Rounds
One thing many students get suckered into is by their peers is buying rounds for their friends. This can work out in some instances, but more often than not only a couple of people actually end up spending money while the rest drink for free. So, if you hear talk about rounds then make sure you aren’t part of the deal. Buy your own drinks and go from there. This will give you more power over how much you drink too, which can help you save even more money as you are less likely to over-drink or spend money on things you normally wouldn’t.

4. Bring Cash
Credit and debit cards can be a huge burden for college students, especially if you aren’t totally in control of what you’re doing. It is very easy to go overboard with drinking or eating when you have a card with you to take care of the damage. However, if you have cash on you then you have to be more careful. Before you go out, budget the amount of money you can spend on your evening and only bring that amount with you. You can pay for food and drinks as you go, so you always know just how much money you have. If you have to take a ride home then store your debit information in the app or set aside cash in a different spot to take care of this expenditure.

5. Eat to Drink
A lot of people go out on the town without properly eating. This can be a problem when you’re on a budget, but it is also not the best for your health either. Before you go out, try to get some carbs on your stomach to help soak up the alcohol. This will help prevent you from throwing up or getting drunk too quickly. You may want to avoid sweets though as these will only increase how quickly the alcohol works. Eating a decent meal before going out will also prevent you from feeling like you’re starving in the middle of the night. This can lead you on an adventure to find food to help you satisfy your urges late at night, which can blow your budget. If you’re worried that you may be hungry after drinking then make a snack ahead of time, so you can help ease the hunger pains before you hit the sack.

6. Buy Draft Beers Only
It’s easy to fall into buying fancy drinks when you go out. This is especially true if you’re just starting to try new things. Fancy drinks can cost as much as a meal sometimes, so you will want to avoid them at all costs when you’re on a budget. Exported beers or even bottled beers can add to your budget too, which can leave you hurting after a night out. The best thing you can do is buy draft beers. You should always ask what the specials are and go from there. You will usually be able to find something you like and the taste will be a lot bolder than that of a bottled beer. You can also purchase more of a beverage when it’s on tap opposed to when you buy it otherwise.

7. Know Sales
Before going out, you should always do a bit of research to see what sales are in your area. Most clubs and bars will have happy hours, ladies’ night and other promotions to help bring in college students and locals. This is your best way to get the most for your money. Of course, you should also watch out for gimmicks with the deals, so you don’t end up spending more. You might want to keep an eye on sales on food too as this will help make your experience even better. Keeping food in your system will mean less of a hangover and might encourage you to drink less too as you will feel full.

8. Share a Ride
One thing you should never do is drink and drive, so make sure you have alternative plans to get around when you go out. If there is nothing within walking distance of you then you do have a lot of options. Public transit is one of the cheapest forms, but some cities don’t run their busses late, while others many not appreciate you using their facility if you can’t behave yourself after drinking. One of the cheapest options is finding a designated driver to help you out. Of course, this isn’t always an option though. Companies like Uber and Lyft are reasonable options, especially if you can share the price with others. There are lots of options for women too, so you can feel safe when you go out.

9. Wear What You Have
Many people feel the need to buy new clothes just to go out on the town. If you are going to a club that requires a dress code, try not to buy something new for it. Instead, borrow from friends if they have more than one outfit that suits their standards. If you only have a few outfits for going out then try to find clubs that don’t require you to look a certain way. This will allow you to go out in the items that you already have without feeling insecure. Of course, if you like to mix things up then borrow from friends when you can. You can also get creative with your outfits by mixing up the clothes that your normally wear with clothes that you don’t. You can also alter your clothing to look different if you think something is too bland for going out in. Skipping new wardrobe items while you’re in school will help you keep more money in your budget, so you can have a little more fun.

10. Stay Sober
One of the easiest ways to save money when you go out is to actually just stay sober. Try to pick a place that doesn’t require you to drink in order to have some fun. If you’re into dancing then just go to a club to dance. You can even ask for an underage stamp if you don’t want to be temped by the bar. You can also offer to be designated driver to others for a price. Have people who want a ride from you buy you a soda or other virgin beverage for your willingness to drive them home. You can find a whole lot of ways to improve your ability to stay sober, which will help you save a whole lot of money during your time out in college.

Going out in public is part of college life, but it doesn’t always suit the college budget. These ten tips will help you figure out a way to save more money when you go out, so you won’t hurt your budget. You may even be able to plan more trips out after utilizing these tips.

Ten Ways Moms Can Save Money Every Day of the Week

With the kids heading back to school, you may be looking at a few ways to save some money on a daily basis since there are so many new expenses to add to your budget. There’s actually quite a few ways to do this, so you can get more out of your budget each week. Of course, it may mean putting a little restraint on yourself, but once you get in the routine of making these money saving choices, it will seem entirely natural to you. So, get ready to put back even more money while you get through the expensive and exhausting school year.

1. Ditch the Coffee
It’s probably one of the easiest things to do. That is, hitting the drive-thru of your favorite coffee place after you drop off the kids. Doing this every single day, or even once a week, can add up in price as time goes on though. The best thing you can do is ditch this habit entirely. It might seem hard, but there’s a few things you can do to help you out. First of all, delete the coffee apps off of your phone, so you’re not tempted with the deals or pre-ordering online. Next, you might want to go ahead and brew your coffee before you leave to take the kids to school. This will help cut back on your cravings, so you won’t try to ease them before you get home. If you’re rushed in the morning, then set things up before you go to bed, so all you have to do is hit a button and wait for the coffee to brew. Ditching your habit can save over $20 a week, which can go towards things that are more important for the family.

2. Make Your Lunch
Another easy thing to fall into is grabbing a bite to eat for lunch with friends, or just to make things more convenient. Instead of doing this, pack yourself a lunch when you make your kids’ lunches for school. Then, you will have something waiting for you in the refrigerator when you get hungry. This will also ensure you actually do each lunch, since you won’t have to take too long of a break from your cleaning or other work. There are lots of great things you can pre-make for yourself too, so you won’t be stuck eating kid-friendly foods every day. There’s lots of recipes online, but you can also work around the leftovers you already have.

3. Skim DIY Blogs
One of the easiest ways to save money in the home is to hop online and check out some DIY blogs. You will be amazed by all of the things you can DIY in your home, which can save you hundreds of dollars as time passes. For starters, there’s so many ways you can make your own cleaning supplies, which are great for your budget and the environment. Another option is to check out some of the beauty products they have to offer on these websites. You can find everything from facial scrubs to ways to improve your home manicures. Of course, one of the categories that might really catch your eye is ways to entertain the kids. There’s a wide assortment of games and DIY toys and science experiments that will cut back on the amount of money you spend on making your kids happy.

4. Download Cashback Apps
There’s no doubt about it, shopping really takes a toll on the budget, whether it’s for groceries, clothing or items that you don’t really need. Luckily, there’s a lot of ways to get back money just for shopping these days. When you get on your phone, you can find a wide assortment of apps that actually give you money back. One of the most popular is Walmart’s Saving Catcher. All you have to do is scan the receipts you collect from Walmart and if there are any rollbacks or discounts Walmart gives you the money back. This money is then added to the app so you can use it on future purchases. If you want to save even more, you may want to check out websites like Ebates, which can offer cash back for a lot of the shopping that you do online.

5. Sign Up For Coupons
You already know that coupons are one of the best ways to help cut back on the spending you do at most stores. However, you may not be getting all of the coupons that are available. There’s a lot of websites online that will send you coupons for no charge, so you can get the savings you deserve on the items you buy the most. You might also want to check the front of the grocery store for coupons every time you shop. Sometimes, they will have ads that you may not have received in the mail or ads that you may have already used the coupons from. Also, if you love a particular brand, you can email the company and they will often send coupons as a thank you.

6. Turn Out the Lights
It’s pretty hard to keep the lights off when the kids are home, so do it while they’re at school. Open up the blinds and let the natural sunlight come into the room you’re in. This will cut back on your electric bill substantially. With all of the lights out, you might also show the kids that this is the kind of behavior to follow, which can help them follow the habit when they’re old enough. To save even more money, switch to energy efficient bulbs so you can save even more money when the lights are on. With these two major changes, you’ll see a big change in your bills.

7. Do Errands on One Day
Errands can be a huge burden on you and the budget. So, if you want to cut back on time and energy, do all of the errands you can on one day. Try to begin your task when you drop the kids off and finish them before you have to pick them up, to save on your sanity. If you can, walk or take the bus when you do these errands. You will get in good exercise for the day, while saving on valuable resources. Of course, if you can’t manage to do this, doing the errands in one day is the best way to save on your gas.

8. Spa Time
It is incredibly important to take time out for yourself every week. However, pampering yourself can be very costly if you’re not careful. One of the best ways to treat yourself without harming the budget is to do spa time in your own home. You can easily take a few hours each week to pamper yourself. Try making your own bath bomb and relaxing with a book as you soak for a little while. You can also do your own manicure and pedicures. This time will help you relax, which will cut back on your urge to splurge on other things to make you happy. You also won’t have to spend money on the manicure you try to upkeep, because you will have the time to do so on your own. If you’re really having a rough week, you might ask your partner for a massage to help you wind down.

9. Join Walking Group
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your budget. Most recommend that you get in at least 30 minutes of walking a day in order to maintain your health. So, you might want to look into joining a walking group. This can be a group of your friends or even people from the community. Walking together will help keep everyone safe and will also boost your ability to socialize on a daily basis. This can help reduce stress while making you feel incredible. Walking with others might also prevent you from having to spend money on a gym membership. Before you know it, you will have lost weight and will feel like you can conquer anything the school year throws at you.

10. No Power Hour
Another way to cut back on bills is to institute a no power hour in the home. This can be done daily to help improve the way children see the world and to help keep your bills low. During the hour, you shouldn’t have any electronics on, whatsoever. Children can do their homework, read a book, play outside or bond with each other in other ways. The hour may go by so quickly that no one asks to have their electronical devices back for some time. You may even find that children are drawn to other activities more, even when the hour isn’t in place.

Saving money doesn’t have to be a chore every single day. With a few changes in your daily habits, you can cut back on your spending substantially, which will help you find more money to work with. These ten tips only scratch the surface of things you can do to keep your household running on a low budget.

Cheap Ways To Get Your Sorority Noticed

College is right around the corner, so you might already be thinking of ways to get your sorority noticed. Since it takes a fair amount of money to keep a sorority. going, this can be pivotal if you don’t have a lot of people funding your house. Unfortunately, many sororities take drastic measures and spend a lot of money to get their sorority in the spotlight. Luckily, you can get your sorority noticed for next to nothing at all. These ten ideas can help you find new members for your sorority and maybe even a few sponsors to help you get on your way.

1. Flash Mob
Flash mobs might not be as much of a trend as they were a year or so ago, but you can still make a huge statement with one. So, when school begins, you may want to get your sorority sisters together to plan something big. Make sure to pick a public space that won’t get you into trouble, but will allow you to be seen by a lot of different people. You can choose a wide variety of dances, poses and so on to make your flash mob amazing. Make sure to wear sorority shirts or have signs so that everyone will know who you are. This should help people gain interest in your sorority, because you will seem like a lot of fun and well put together. It also should cost you nothing if you plan correctly, which will help you start your frugal year off well.

2. Open Game Nights
Many students look for a way to blow off some steam when they go to college. Not everyone wants to go through the classic college parties and even those that do sometimes want a break. So, it might be a good way to introduce people to your house by hosting open game nights. These nights let anyone on campus join, which allows them to check out your house and members. This could lead to potential pledges that will help bring in a little extra money. You don’t have to spend a lot for this event. You can find used games at the thrift store or print out bring cards or other games off the internet. Guests can bring snacks to share or your sorority can bake some treats that will certainly impress.

3. Tutor
Another way to open up the sorority and get noticed is to offer low cost tutoring. You should have a wide range of members that can take on most topics, which will help set you apart. By offering the tutoring at a low cost, you will also make yourself more accessible, which will bring new, potential members to your sorority house. Of course, you can also expand this tutoring to the sorority too. This will help everyone keep their grades as high as possible. With top grades, your sorority will be noticed by the academic staff, which should inspire other people to want to join your house. You may also be able to get grants this way.

4. Host a Fashion Show
If you want to show off a powerful stance, then a fashion show might be your big ticket. You can do this in your house, so you can show off your decorating skills and save some big money. You don’t have to go out and buy new clothes to make this happen though. In fact, you can just have the sorority sisters wear their favorite fashionable items. If you have design students in your sorority then this could also come in handy as they could design a whole line for you to show off at the fashion show. If you don’t want it to be all about fashion, then have everyone dress up in wacky clothes to show the sorority’s wacky side. You can charge outsiders to come in while allowing potential members to enter for free. No matter how you choose to go about your fashion show, you’re sure to have fun in the process which is all that matters.

5. Car Wash
A car wash is a great way to keep classic, while earning some money for your sorority. Of course, it is also a great way to get noticed by potential members. Before you begin your car wash, make lots of signs that show off your sorority’s name. You might also make it known that you are looking for new members, so people can spread the word. If you want, you can also invite people to participate in your car wash by adding lots of different games and competitions to add more appeal to the work. This car wash will help you in many ways too, so you’ll get a boost in funds and a little appeal to boost your sorority’s popularity.

6. Hand Out Flyers
There is one tried and true way to get yourself noticed on campus. That is, to hand out flyers. Flyers can be cheaply made in the sorority with simple items like paper and markers. Of course, you can go all out and make up your flyers online and print them out. If you want to make an even bigger stand then have your flyers professionally made and printed. In most cases, it doesn’t matter how you make them as long as they are bright and to the point. When you pass out your flyers, make sure to do some in common places on campus. You should also target classes or clubs of students you might want to join your sorority. You should also ask the school for permission to pin them on bulletin boards so you can reach even more people.

7. Take to Social Media
Social media can really get the word out about your sorority. Make a likeable page that students can visit and see what’s going on with your sorority. You should make sure to post your mission statement, some of the things your sorority likes to do and a little biography on the leaders of the sorority and the history of the sorority. Use social media to get word out about your special events too. This can help more people drop by your parties, fundraisers and more. You might even get more pledges based on your readily available information. Make sure to post pictures of the fun you have and the achievements you complete too, so everyone will be wowed with your house. To get the word out, make sure to share your page on university pages and clubs for your school. Before you know it, the interest in your sorority should skyrocket.

8. DIY T-shirts
If you like to constantly show off the pride you have in your sorority then you may want to DIY some t-shirts. You can cheaply do this with blank shirts and t-shirt paint, but you can also splurge a little to get iron ons, which will have a more professional vibe. Make sure that your sorority name and symbols can be clearly read, which will allow people to associate the good things you do on campus with your sorority. You might also consider putting your mission statement on the back to help others know what you’re all about. Of course, have a little fun with the shirts because this will draw in attention. When your shirts are complete, make sure everyone wears them when you go on sorority outings. You can even make this one of the activities your pledges do during rush week, so you can check out their creative skills.

9. Clean Up the Planet
One of the best ways to boost the reputation of your sorority is to do good for the world around you. Since we are in an environmental crisis, you may want to step up and have your sorority work to clean up the planet this semester. You can even advertise the events you create to do so, which will allow others to join in and help. This may inspire more people to want to be a part of your sorority, especially after having the chance to work with you. Of course, simply doing your part to keep the world clean may make some students look up to your sorority, which will give you an abundance of sorority hopefuls in the future. Doing good by the world won’t cost you a small fortune either, which will be great for your sorority house.

10. Smart Rush Periods
The rush period is crucial for sororities, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a whole lot of money to do this. There’s actually a lot of cheap ways you can give your pledges a run for their money without spending a lot or even humiliating them. The harsh tactics are usually what wind up costing you a lot of money or wind up forcing pledges to not want to be a part of your sorority house. So, instead of doing embarrassing things, have your pledges get out and fundraise for your house. This will allow you to see how much hard work they will put into the house. You can also have them volunteer in the name of the house, which will help with your reputation. Another option is to have them show off their academics by making them promise to uphold a specific GPA and have them join academic clubs.

Keeping your sorority house in the spotlight isn’t as hard as you think it is. There are a lot of great ways to show the university what you’re made of. These ten tips should show you a few ways to make a name for your sorority, so you can bring in even more pledges and sponsors.

Refresh Your Living Room Without Spending a Fortune

With school starting and autumn weather on its way, you may be spending a whole lot of time in your living room. This can be a bit stifling if you’ve been wanting to renovate your living space, but you simply don’t have the budget to do so. Luckily, there’s actually a few things you can do to switch things up. This should give the illusion of a new living space, which will help brighten up your day when you can’t go out to play. So, if your living room just isn’t making the cut, try out these ten hacks to leave you with a fresh and inviting space that won’t make you miss the sunshine too much.

1. Move Furniture
One of the easiest ways to ditch the look of your old living room is to move around your furniture. This actually takes no money at all. Moving around the furniture can not only access light better, but it can help make you feel more at ease with your life. You might want to check out feng shui techniques to see if there’s any specific way you should be moving your furniture to maximize your happiness. You might also want to draw out some plans so you don’t end up spending all afternoon having to push heavy furniture from one end of the room to the other. When you make plans, t ry giving each object in the living room a new home to see how it makes you feel. With a little elbow grease and some creativity, you might feel like you’ve stepped into a totally different home.

2. Swap Out Pillows
Another quick and frugal option is to simply switch out the pillows you have on your couch. Often, people will keep the same pillows for years, which can get really boring. Luckily, you can find a wide assortment of pillow covers today. They offer everything from fandom items to special sayings that will warm your heart. If you want to put some money into the pillows then you can even order customized ones to suit your family or your personal taste. If you already have pillows on your couch then you can easily just recover these, which will take away a large portion of the cost. Many online stores offer these pillows, so just shop around until you find something that will offer a breath of fresh air to the home. If you are fine with waiting for a while then you can easily get your pillows for less than $10 on websites like Wish.

3. Add Plants
Nothing makes the air fresher than a few living plants. It doesn’t matter if you keep rotating flowers into the room, or if you nurture a plant or two, as this will help give life to the room. These plants can also make the air in the room fresher, and might even add a lovely floral scent to the area. You might want to look into plants that are safe to have around children and animals before you can make any decisions. If you can’t have plants due to allergies or other reasons then fake plants can also add some pizzazz to a room. The bold greens and other colors can really make the room feel brand new, especially if you’re used to muted colors. You may even use plants to disguise some of the items in your home that aren’t exactly picturesque, like the litter box. The more creative you get, the more you will enjoy your new living space.

4. Consider Scent
Sometimes, your room isn’t all about images. Rather, the smell of your room can really make or break the atmosphere. So, if you really want to add to the room then you might want to invest in something to help make the room smell incredible. One way to do this is with candles. If you shop clearance items this shouldn’t cost you too much, but some candles can be a bit pricey. You can always DIY candles, but this can also cause a bit of a problem if you burn them constantly. Incense is another great option, but it does put off more smoke than other options. You might also consider burning essential oils, which can help with your health and wellbeing too. Apart from that, you can always make your own home sprays with fabric softeners and more.

5. Reorganize
We can easily grow tired of seeing the same things over and over again. Thus, if you want to liven things up it might be wise to move around the items that you have in the room. One of the best places to begin is your artwork. Move around pieces to create a new focal point that will make you feel like you’ve totally changed the room. If you have nick-knacks then swap them around too. Of course, one of the more time consuming ways to switch things up is to reorganize your book shelves. There’s so many ways to do this that you can work with your current theme or go with something new. One popular way to add aesthetic this way is to organize by color, which often brings a burst of energy to the room. You should also consider swapping lamps around to add light to different portions of the room.

6. Add Art
If your walls are looking a bit bare or mute of color, then some artwork might be in order. Of course, even if you do have art then it might be time to switch to something new. There’s lots of ways to go about this though. For starters, you can paint some art with the family to give your home a personal touch. If you have a certain print in mind then you can probably get it for a pretty cheap price. Many people often just browse around until they find something that meets their needs. Sometimes, you can even find free artwork, which can be printed out and framed for an amazing look. Family portraits are also a great option for artwork too and most printers can handle printing these for next to nothing.

7. Consider an Accent Wall
If you’re sick of the paint in your home, but don’t have the budget to repaint then an accent wall might be right up your alley. An accent wall is usually the smaller wall in the room, but you can choose whichever wall that strikes your fancy. Once you pick the wall, you paint it a color that stands out from the rest of the walls. Since you’re only doing one wall, the paint will be inexpensive. This can add a whole new life to your room and will ensure you feel refreshed every time that you walk through the door. You can even add decals and other decorative pieces to make the wall stand out even more.

8. Declutter
The things that we have in our home tend to affect the way we feel in life. One of the worst things you can do is add too much clutter to any given room. So, in order to give your livingroom the makeover it deserves, the first thing you might consider doing is decluttering. You might begin by ditching any excess mail, magazines or other junk that is just sitting around. Then, minimize the books on the shelf or other décor that might be adding up the stress in your life. You may also decide to go with a minimalist approach to help you feel happier in no time. It is actually scientifically shown that clutter ways us down, so do yourself a favor and ditch it today.

9. Lighting
The way you light up a room can make or break it. So, when it comes to mixing things up, you might want to consider moving around your lamps. Consider adding lamps closer to areas where you read or the kids do homework. Areas in which you watch TV can be dimly lit to improve mood. Of course, you will also want to move lamps around to make sure they don’t cause glares on your screen. If you want to keep things simple then consider switching out lightbulbs. Energy efficient bulbs tend to add better lighting and will save you a lot more money in the long run.

10. Focal Pieces
The final way to add more style to your living room is to give it a couple of focal pieces that the eye will naturally concentrate on. One of the easiest options is to consider a new rug. Rugs tend to be one of the most important parts of the room and can make it look fun, elegant or romantic based on the type you choose. So, switching out rugs can transform the atmosphere in mere seconds. Another easy way to change things up is to change your curtains out. You might want to go for lighter colors in the summer and deeper colors in the winter. This can change a room dramatically and make you feel more relaxed as the season passes. You might also consider a statue, fountain or other item that will help change the way the room feels.

Your living room tends to me one of the most frequented rooms in the home, which is why you should love the way it looks and feels. When you grow tired of this room, renovation doesn’t have to be the only option. There are a few tricks you can use that will save you quite a bit of money as you enjoy your fresh space.

Cheap and Easy Ways To Baby Proof Your Surroundings

If you have a toddler in your home then you know they are in absolutely everything. The same can be said of babies who will quickly learn to crawl and find all of the places you don’t want them to. This is why babyproofing is such a crucial part of having children. From protecting them from dangers to offering yourself some peace of mind, babyproofing is a must for every household with young children. Unfortunately, it can be pretty expensive too, which might leave your tight budget in a bind. Luckily, there’s a few ways you can DIY your own babyproofing techniques to help keep your budget low.

1. Cabinets
When it comes to babyproofing your cabinets, you may begin to feel like you have cabinets all over your house. Traditional methods of babyproofing can involve screwing in devices into each cabinet, which takes forever and can destroy your security deposit if you’re renting. Instead of doing this, try an assortment of things that you might already have in the home. For starters, if you have excess magazines, roll them up and place them between the handles. This is perfect for younger babies, but toddlers may figure out your little trick. To be safe, you should only use this method on cabinets that aren’t hazardous. Zip ties that can be adjusted are another option that will help keep things secure without costing you a fortune. You can also place hairbands on the doors so they will move back into place when your child goes to open them. Of course, one of the best things you can do is move hazardous items up to a higher shelf, so children of all ages can’t reach them. You may want to consider leaving some of your cabinets open too, as many children love to sit in them or play with items like pots and pans.

2. Hard Edges
Hard or sharp edges in the household can be a parent’s worst nightmare. However, they seem to exist everywhere we look, from the coffee table to the counters in the kitchen. There are many devices you can purchase to help avoid painful encounters with these edges. However, you don’t really have to look further than the sports section in your favorite store. If your store is still selling pool noodles then grab a few them. These can be cut and placed on counters as well as long surfaces that might pose a risk to your child. You can also add them to sharp edges with ease. Tennis balls are another perfect option for these corners. Simply cut a slit in them and place it on the edge. With all of your harmful edges covered, you will feel a lot better about your little one’s pulling up tendencies and their attempts to walk.

3. Fireplace
If you have a fireplace then you might be unsure as to what to do with it. There’s many covers you can buy, but these can cost a small fortune and might not stop your child from gaining access to the fireplace. One way to remedy your problem for cheap is to toss a beanbag chair in the fireplace. This will shape to the fireplace and leave it impossible for your child to get in, especially if they can’t lift a beanbag chair. Of course, make sure to turn off the electric or gas to your fireplace if there is any. This will also prevent potential fires. Another option is to take a piece of plywood and fit it to the fireplace. You can paint the wood with all sorts of designs, or use chalkboard paint so your children can write on it.

4. Electric Sockets
Children love sticking things in small holes, so electrical sockets can be another big nightmare for parents. You can buy plastic covers for these socks for fairly expensive, but sometimes children or pets can figure out how to remove them. This leaves you with open sockets that are just asking for trouble. One of the most efficient things to do is hide the socket when you can. Try moving large furniture in front of it to prevent your child from touching it. Of course, if you can’t part with the socket there are still options. You can use painter tape for instance, or a regular bandaid. Try to avoid colorful tapes and bandages though as it might draw your child’s attention.

5. Doors
There is nothing more frightening then dealing with the concept of your child getting outside when you are in the bathroom. You might also have rooms that you don’t want your child in due to dangerous items. So, door covers are one of the best things you can do. One easy way to take care of this problem is to put a sock on the door knob. This will help prevent your child from turning the handle. Another option is to cut a hole in the lid of some circular food storage containers. Place the lid on the handle and then screw on the container tightly. Your child won’t be able to work off the lid, which will keep your door firmly shut. You might also consider installing a simple latch at the top of the door to ensure safety when you’re all inside the home. If your child tends to squish their fingers in doors then cut a pool noodle and place it on the top edge of the door. This will help prevent the door from closing all of the way.

6. Bookshelves
It can be incredibly frustrating to have all of your books set up and then have a child come and pull them down continuously. It can also be slightly dangerous for the child if they are pulling on your bookshelves. Before you do anything, you are going to want to make sure all of your book shelves are firmly screwed into the wall. This will prevent it from falling on your child, which could lead to death. Once this is done, you can concentrate on the more annoying aspects of children messing with bookshelves. First of all, you should move your favorite books to the top of your shelves to prevent children from tearing, dirtying or coloring in your beloved books. After you do this, fasten an innertube to the shelf. This will prevent children from throwing your books in the floor as the innertube will keep them in their place. It might even discourage your children from playing near your shelves when they realize they can’t touch the books. This will bring even more safety to your home.

7. Baby Gate
There are some rooms that you just don’t want your child in, especially while you’re busy cleaning or working. In this case, it is always best to try to shut the door. However, if you can’t do this then you will need a baby gate for safety. The only downside is these can be very pricey when you buy them from a store. Your best option is to make your own. One of the cheapest ways to do this is to use fabric to create a barrier. You can hang it up with 3ms or other devices, so you can easily gain access to your rooms. You can also DIY one out of wood or an old gate. This takes a little more work, but won’t cost you too much, especially if you already have the wood lying around your home or workshop.

8. Refrigerator
The last thing you need is to clean up spilled food and beverages because your child decided to get into the refrigerator. Worse yet, you don’t want to expose your child to salmonella and other bacteria if they manage to get into raw meats. The best thing to do is block access to the kitchen, but if you can’t or you just want a little back up protect then you can DIY your own lock. This can easily be done with a rubberband and 3ms. Simple place a 3m on the door of the appliance and the appliance itself and then connect them with the rubberband. You might want to do this higher up to prevent your child from tampering with it. This might also detour anyone who is snacking late at night too!

9. Fix Cords
Cords in the home can be one of the most dangerous things. There are many different cords to worry about too. For starters, the cords on your blinds could end up strangling or hanging your child if you’re not careful. Make sure to tie these up and hang them very high so that children can not touch them. This can be accomplished with a simple hook hung close to the top of your blinds. Another cord to look out for is your electronic cords, especially if your child has teeth. Ball these up and put them in a toilet roll to help prevent your child from getting ahold of them.

10. Paint Socks
Your floor can be one of the most dangerous areas for your child. Young children, especially those learning to walk, can easily fall and hit their head. This can hinder their learning to walk and cause other problems. In order to add traction to your child’s steps, you may want to pick up some acrylic paint and place it on the bottom of their socks. This will help them keep their grip, which will encourage them to walk with ease. This is also great for toddlers that tend to run and slide. Another option is to grab a few rugs. Make sure you secure these rugs though as children can easily slide on them too.

Making sure your child is safe in their own home is critical. It doesn’t have to be a financial burden though. These handy tricks should allow you to keep your home babyproofed without forcing to settle on store bought items. You may even have a little fun in the process.

Ten Things To Do Before Your Kids Go Back To School

Back to school days will be here before you know it. If you haven’t already planned a few things to do with your kids then you might want to start planning now. You don’t have to look at things that will cost you an arm and a leg though as there are plenty of things that can be both fun and useful to do without costing you a cent. These activities will not only encourage bonding that you may not get to do during the school year, but will also help you and your kids fall into the school year without skipping a beat. So, don’t let the rest of summer fly without trying out some of these activities.

1. Donate Clothes and Toys
It might not sound like a world of fun, but doing a little cleaning and organizing before school can help you transition into the busy lifestyle easier. This is especially true when it comes to your kids’ possessions. Each year, most kids start school with brand new clothes, but their old clothes often remain in the closet. To save space, you might want to have the kids pull out everything in their closet before you do your back to school shopping. They might protest, but make them try on items you’re not sure about. If they don’t fit then pass them down to another sibling or put them in your donation bin. This can also help you save money on back to school clothing shopping as you will know what kind of wardrobe you’re working with. The same can be said for toys. If your child doesn’t play with an item anymore then donate it to someone else. This will make room for the new items that will pop up during the year and will make cleaning rooms a whole lot easier.

2. Plan On Food
One of the toughest aspects of the school year is making meal plans. If your child doesn’t have a meal at school then you’re responsible for planning breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack every day of the year. This can be a huge headache especially if you can’t decide what to make your children. Sandwiches are always a simple option for lunches, but you can also stretch your budget further by using leftovers. Snacks can also be a huge hassle, especially if you can’t decide what the kids want. So, it might be important to sit down and talk about likes and dislikes as well as how lunch is set up at their school. You may find your child’s comments can help you plan better and may even give you some ideas. You might also talk about a reward system for snacks. For instance, you can prep food early in the week and allow your children to choose what they eat based on a number system. This will cut back on the work you do and teach your children how to choose healthy foods.

3. Organize Activities
With school comes a wide assortment of activities that need to be carefully planned, unless you want to wind up running late and overbooking everything. Before your kids begin school sit down and have a serious talk about the things they plan on doing during the school year. If they are clubs or other activities that don’t involve competitions, then find out if there is an after school bus. If they are athletics and other competitive activities then write down what seasons they will be playing them and try to get ahold of schedules as early as possible. If the kids are in activities outside of school then weigh out they may affect their studies and your combined schedules. This will help everyone know what they’re in for and will allow you to plan your days more efficiently.

4. Go Swimming
Summer time is all about the sunshine and getting in some time at the pool. However, once school begins it gets harder and harder to find the time when school does begin. So, instead of trying to pack in a lot of things into the last days of vacation, you may want to spend a bit more time at the pool. This can be a great bonding experience if you play together in the water. It is also the perfect time to make sure your kids know how to swim properly if they are of the right age. Doing this not only helps entertain everyone, but can help make sure your kids are in shape for their fitness tests in gym class.

5. Watch the Stars
There is nothing quite as magical as the summer sky at night. There are so many constellations and stars visible that you could spend all summer discovering new things. So, if you want a fun way to bond with your kids then having them sit under a stary night is the way to go. This can feel like a vacation in itself if you plan correctly. You might want to sit out with a map of the night sky and help kids discover the constellations. You might even consider looking up legends behind them or plan to share trivia about the planets that are visible. Of course, you’ll need to stay up late to enjoy this activity, so pack some snacks to help the kids stay up.

6. Movie Day
Sometimes, it is hard enough to fit in a movie with the busy school schedule. So, you might want to plan a movie day to help the family share an experience that everyone is going to love. You can enjoy your movie day at home to save some money or at the theater if you’ve all been longing to see a summer blockbuster. No matter which you choose, make sure everyone is comfortable and has adequate enough snacks. This is a great way to help everyone kick back and relax before the hustle of school begins as soon each evening will be spent on homework. Make sure everyone gets a say in the movie choice, or pick more than one, so that everyone finds joy in the family event.

7. Pamper Day
One of the best ways to get ready for school is to have a pamper day that will not only help the whole family relax, but will also boost confidence for school. This can be as simple as taking the kids to get hair cuts and allowing them to choose which new shampoos and lotions they would like for the school year. Some children may enjoy getting foot massages at home or having their backs rubbed as they enjoy some tranquil music. You will have to base your spa day on your children and their personalities. You don’t have to throw in a lot of money into this activity either. You can work with nail polishes and facial masks that you already have in the home if you’re looking to create a beauty spa. You might find the kids enjoy this special day more than you expected and might even find that it helps them open up to you.

8. See the Dentist/Doctor
It may not sound like a whole lot of fun, but getting your child an appointment at the dentist and doctor can be one of the best things to do before school begins. This allows your child to get their 6 month check up over and done with before they have to worry about school exams and missing project deadlines. This will also ensure they don’t miss any school in the beginning, which can be crucial to their adjustment. Getting children in and out of the doctor and dentist office will allow them to get over any traumatic aspects of the visit like getting a filling or catching up on vaccinations.

9. Go Camping
One of the best ways to get away from the cares and concerns of your busy life is to take the family on a camping adventure. You might want to do this before school begins as it will allow everyone to unwind and step away from technology for a little while. This can be important since technology can be addicting and may make it hard for your children to concentrate when school begins. This is also a great time for the whole family to work together and bond. This can make teamwork during the school year easier to fall into, which will help you more than you think. Plus, camping can be a lot of fun and teaches children lots of life skills they won’t get in the classroom.

10. Discuss Goals
It is important for children to go into the school year with goals to help guide them through challenges. The goals don’t have to be too high, but they should have some knowledge of how they would like their school year to go. Perhaps, your child wants to shoot for perfect attendance or for the honor roll. You might also want to help them set goals to try new activities. This will help them learn even more about their bodies and minds, which will make the school year even more valuable. Your child’s goals will help everyone in the household meet expectations without moving through the year aimlessly.

The school year can be tough on the whole family, which is why it is important to enjoy some quality time before the first day of classes. These ten ideas will help you prepare your whole family for the year while throwing in some ideas to help you relax. So, don’t stress over expensive vacations before this semester as there are many things to do that won’t cost you a small fortune.