Archive for June 30, 2019

Fun Ways to Make this Summer’s Heatwaves Fun

Summer has officially arrived, which might leave you wondering what you should do with your children while the weather is unbearably hot. Although it is still possible to get outside at times, it often isn’t safe to. This can be a huge problem with kids home for the summer months, as it can definitely breed boredom and screen addiction. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make the heat wave bearable and a bit of fun for everyone in the household. So, grab a fan to keep you cool and check out these tips to help make life a little easier until the kids are back in school and the temperatures begin to drop.

1. Cooking Experiments
One of the most common ways to enjoy the heat wave is to have a few experiments to help your children understand just how hot it really is. One of the most common experiments to try out is frying an egg in the heat. Often, people will do this by cracking an egg on a sidewalk. You might consider comparing how the egg cooks on the sidewalk verses how it cooks on the hood of a vehicle. Another fun project is to whip up some cookie dough to try. Place some on a cookie sheet and then place it inside a vehicle for a couple of hours. The cookies should bake if it is hot enough. This experiment is also a great reminder to children that they shouldn’t get in a vehicle without the window open or air conditioning on. There are other cooking tricks to try too, so shop around online to see what you come up with.

2. Snow Cones
Nothing says summer fun quite like eating snow cones. Whether you’re going to a snow cone kiosk or making the treat at home, it is bound to make a heatwave more bearable for a lot less money. Generally, purchasing snow cones won’t cost you a fortune, but it is much cheaper to make the treats at home. All you need is a blender or a snow cone maker to get starter. Once you have enough ice to make your treat, you can worry about the flavoring. There are tons of options on the market to purchase, but you might also consider making your own. This will give you the power to cut dyes and sugars if you please. There are a lot of recipes online to check out, so find a few that suit you and enjoy. Best of all, the snow cones will help keep everyone hydrated which will improve health as the heat rises.

3. Pretend its Nighttime
Energy costs can be incredibly high during the summer months, so one of the best things you can do is black out the rooms in your home. One of the best ways to do this is to put aluminum foil on the windows, draw the blinds and put up some thick curtains. This will instantly help to cool the room down a lot more. When everything is dark, pretend that its nighttime. You can pitch a tent, make a fake campfire and even watch the stars on the ceiling. This can keep the whole family busy for hours as it will allow you to sing songs, make camping snacks, tell stories and so much more. You can also make shadow puppets, project a movie on the wall or have a pillow fight.

4. Go to the Movies
The summer months are the prime time to hit the cinema. There are so many blockbusters available that will suit the entire family. Best of all, most theaters will run specials that will help make going to the movies less of a financial burden. Some theaters have a dollar deal for kids that will even land them a snack. The best thing about the theater is it runs the air conditioner on full blast, so you can truly cool down even when the temperatures are spiking outside. There are lots of cold treats to enjoy too, which will cut through the heat with ease. Best of all, most cinemas feature arcades, bowling alleys, laser tag and so much more. You can even raise the temperate in your home to help cut down on your bills while you’re out of the house too.

5. Ditch Hot Meals
Another way to help cut through the heat is to ditch hot meals whenever you. Running your oven or stove in the hot months can help to raise the temperature in your home quickly. Plus, no one wants to stand over a flame cooking. Hot meals tend to warm up the body too, cutting down on them will do the whole family a favor. You might want to opt for making sandwiches on days that are really hot. You can even have salads or cold pizza. On top of that, there is a wide variety of cold soups and other dishes that will help keep the body cooler.

6. Swim in the Tub
If the UV rating is much too high for outdoor fun, then you can easily use the bathtub as a way to cool down. Simply fill it up with cold water and let the kids have some fun. You can even add bubbles to make the fun even more exciting for kids. Swimming in the tub can keep kids busy for hours on end too. You might even pull out some bath toys to extend their time in the tub. You can also make DIY bath paints and add in other activities to keep the fun on the rise. Of course, a cold bath isn’t just for the kids. It can be a great way for adults to keep cool too.

7. Night Tag
The sun can be a frustrating source of heat and can add a bit of danger to spending time outside. Instead of having the kids stay inside day and night, you might use the dark to allow them a chance to get fresh air. One of the best ways to enjoy night time fun is to play night tag. All you need is a flashlight to pull this off too. Kids will be able to have fun running and playing while capturing one another with the flashlights. This will also help to improve moods as kids can finally take in the fresh air they need to be healthy.

8. Indoor Obstacle Course
You can always bring the outdoors indoors if the kids are getting restless. One of the best ways to do this is to create an obstacle course for them to enjoy. There are so many things you can do to spice up the obstacle course too, which will make play time even more enjoyable. If you don’t know where to start, you might look for ideas online to help you find something you can make with the supplies you have at home already. Of course, you should also keep your furniture in mind too, as you might have to temporarily move it around to suit the obstacle courses needs. You should also keep safety in mind first to ensure your kids can have fun without stressing over injury.

9. DIY Air conditioner
When it comes to entertaining kids, one of the best things you can do is keep their minds active. One of the best ways to do this is to have the children solve some problems. Since there is so much heat, a DIY air conditioner might be one of the best projects to take on. For this, you will basically need a fan and some ice. However, you don’t have to tell the kids how to do this as it will help with their engineering skills. You might consider giving them a scavenger hunt to help them figure it out if there is an issue at all. Best of all, this fun project will help kids keep cool too and won’t cost as much as running your air conditioning on full blast.

10. Mystery Game
A nice mystery can be a great way to keep the entire family entertained when it is too hot to want to move. These games can be primarily played inside of the house, which will definitely help when the weather is hot. You can come up with a mystery on your own that you know will intrigue your kids, or you can download a mystery online to make your life easier. The mystery can even include tools to help string people along until they figure things out. Mystery games can be designed by age requirements or interests too, so you’ll have fun mixing it up all summer long.

Heatwaves can be a real pain in the neck, especially if you have a family to keep busy. These ten ideas will not only help to keep you from feeling overwhelmed with the temperatures outside, but they will also protect your family from the dangers of the heat.

Five Yays and Nays For This Year’s Fourth of July Sales

A lot of stores are already rolling out their biggest sales of the summer, so you might be wondering which items will be worth your time. Luckily, we already know enough to give a few hints as to what you should and shouldn’t be shopping for during the biggest patriotic sale of the year. So, if you’re ready to do a little shopping between the big holidays, you’ll be well on your way to saving a bundle as you navigate through the sales that are already kicking off. So, whether you’re an early bird or you like to enjoy last minute deals, these tips should help you pick all of the sales you should check out, so you can avoid those that won’t be worth your time.

1. Yay for Appliances
One of the best things to shop for during the 4th of July sales is appliances. You will find everything from individual items like washers, dryers and refrigerators to bundle deals that are perfect for renovations. It’s a little surprising that this is one of the top holidays to purchase these items, so many people actually miss out on the deals. However, you’ll be able to find items close to 40% off on many retailers’ websites and brick and mortar stores. You might even go in to see if you can get some financing on the items, so you don’t have to hold out on the deals if you don’t have the money upfront. These deals are certain to bypass Black Friday, so if you can shop now you should. If not, then Black Friday will be your next best option for the deals. If you’re interested in appliances, the Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy are certain to meet your needs during the big holiday sale.

2. Nay for Technology
Without a doubt, technology isn’t going to be your friend when it comes to this holiday sale. So, you might want to skip out on it. Although there will be some deals on electronic products, you’ll find that waiting will serve you better. One of the best times to purchase these items is actually right around the corner. Typically, you’ll find lots of great deals on phone, tablets and computers during the back to school season. On top of that, you will be able find some good deals on TVs during the Labor Day holiday. All in all, you’ll find yourself saving a whole lot of cash, if you simply wait for August and September to roll around.

3. Yay to Patio Furniture
The Fourth of July marks the biggest bash of the season, which also means people will be winding down when it comes to entertaining outside. Thus, many stores are going to try to push their patio furniture. You should be able to find everything from outdoor tables and accessories to grills and other supplies that will get you through the rest of the season. Of course, if you notice some items are still priced high, you might hold off and see if they are being clearanced out during the Labor Day celebration. If you are looking to grab some patio furniture, you’re bound to find some incredible deals at Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes. However, this will be one of the most common sale items online too, so check out your favorite stores that offer the items you desire. You should always consider what you need and what will fit in your space, before you make the purchase official.

4. Nay to Summer Clothes
You might be tempted to jump on sales that involve summer clothes. A lot of stores will promise some of the best prices of the year on these items. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, when back to school days begin, you’ll find that the leftover summer clothes will be put on the clearance rack. This will allow you to save even more on the clothing. Plus, the longer you hold out on these items, the more you will save on them. So, unless you find a deal you simply can’t resist, you might want to ditch this sale to pursue the others, as you won’t have to wait long to enjoy even more savings.

5. Yay to Patriotic Items
Patriotic items are definitely going to be on your buy list. Since there won’t be another patriotic holiday until Veterans Day in November, many stores will be trying to get rid of their patriotic stock. Often, Veterans day doesn’t even require these items, so many of the stores will sell items dirt cheap. If you love to decorate with patriotic items, then stock up as much as you can. You might even want to use them as crafting supplies, so you can make your home even more festive when the patriotic season returns. You might also be able to find patriotic clothing for cheap, too. One of the most popular items to try to buy during these sales is military inspired collectibles that can be rather pricey during other times. So, make sure you check out department stores, craft stores and even military stores to find the items you want at the best price of the year.

6. Nay to Fireworks
You might think that now is the perfect time to get fireworks for the holiday. However, even if you find yourself waiting until the firework stands are about to close you still won’t find the deals you desire. Waiting for the day after the holiday will allow you to find lots of deals that will help you to save huge on the items you’ve always wanted to try out. These fireworks can be used after the holiday as long as they are legal in your area. You might also consider saving them for holidays like New Year’s.

7. Yay to Jewelry
July tends to be a bit of a dry period for jewelry. There aren’t any major gift giving holidays during this month, and wedding and proposal season seems to dry out a bit. Thus, a lot of jewelers will try to inspire a sale for the holiday in order to bring in some money. Thus, you might find some of the items you want are clearanced or even on sale during the holiday. You might even want to shop ahead to find the perfect engagement, wedding or anniversary band for the one you love. You should also be able to find jewelry based around zodiacs that take place in July, which will certainly be a treat for anyone with a birthday.

8. Nay to Gardening Supplies
Although planting season might not be in its prime anymore, gardening supplies are still in high demand. Items like lawnmowers, weedwhackers, and other planting and maintenance supplies will be a bit high in price until lawn work isn’t required anymore. You might luck out and find some deals on these items when Black Friday arrives. So, if you can avoid purchasing items such as this then you absolutely should. There are rentals for these items if you are desperate to clean up the yard. You might also look at a thrift store or simply shop for an older model until the new deals arrive.

9. Yay to Tools
With Father’s Day over, a lot of stores will be trying to clear out the excess stock that they have from the holiday. On top of that, there will be new stock coming in soon that the store will need to make plans to display. Thus, many stores will hold liquidation sales in hopes of getting rid of the old stuff. This will make the sale one of the best of the year, so you won’t want to miss on some of the deals. You won’t see deals again until Black Friday, which will make it too late for the items to be put to good use due to the weather. So, shop around at Sears, Home Depot, Lowes and more to ensure you find the best deals around.

10. Nay to Cars
July isn’t the time to shop for cars either, especially during the Fourth of July sales. Sales during the summer months are actually up in most cases because of graduations and road trips. So, you might find yourself looking in a sea of overpriced vehicles. If you can wait for a car, you will find some of the best deals around Labor Day. During this time, new models are coming in so most of the dealerships will be dropping prices on some of the older models. You might even be able to drive off the lot with a brand new car without spending a fortune.

Shopping around during the Fourth of July can be a lot of fun. However, knowing which items to shop for will help make your shopping experience even better. So, when it comes to making the most out of your money, then you’ll definitely want to check out these five areas, while avoiding the other five when necessary.

Easy Ways to Prevent Your Kids From Eating You Out of House and Home During Summer Break

Summer break can be a great time to bond with the kids. However, after about a week of fun, you might find yourself worried about your food budget for the summer months. It seems that children need something to eat or drink every couple of hours, if not more often, when they’re at home for summer vacation. There are a few things you can do to make the snacking nightmare end though. These simple tips will help you get your child’s snacking habits in check, so you won’t have to spend your entire snacking budget on their sudden cravings. So, take a deep breath and collect yourself, because snacking doesn’t have to eat away at your sanity or budget.

1. Follow a Schedule
One of the best things you can do for your kids is follow a schedule. This will not only help your child to maintain a basic routine for school, but it will also help to keep their mind healthier. Schedules are one of the most stable ways to keep kids going through the day and can eliminate a wide assortment of the chaos that happens during the summer months. When it comes to mealtimes, you should pencil in breakfast, a midmorning snack, lunch and then an afternoon snack. Of course, older children might not need all of these meals, so work using your judgement here. When kids know they have to follow a schedule for their snacking needs, they will be less likely to bug you every few minutes for something to eat.

2. Encourage Outdoor Play
Sometimes, one of the easiest ways to get your kids to stop asking for a snack is to send them outside to play. If you can find a wide assortment of games for them to play outside, then you’ll be all set to enjoy some fun without worrying about the food supply. In the summer heat, there is a good chance your child might not ask for a snack for some time as it often suppresses the appetite. Of course, running around and having fun will also take the mind off of needing to eat. This will help your children lead a healthier lifestyle during the summer months too. The only thing you’ll truly need to worry about is having water on hand to keep them hydrated.

3. Push Fluids
Another great way to keep things frugal when snacking is to actually push your child to drink more fluids. This doesn’t mean that everything they consume should be something they want. Instead, you should make sure your child has water more often than not. Often, we believe we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. So, teaching your children to fill their bellies with water before going after a snack can truly set them up for success in the future. You might also consider making popsicles to help ease some of the snack desires. You can make your own sugar less or even sugar free to keep your kids happy while saving you a whole lot of money.

4. Keep Kids Busy
Boredom is one of the key factors of children wanting to snack all of the time. This can be a huge problem because kids tend to try to lounge around all summer if they don’t have anything going on. The lounging and snacking are bound to cause kids to gain weight, which will get in the way of their health. Instead of letting this carry on, your best option is to keep kids busy. You might give them crafts to work on, homework to keep their minds fresh or even sign them up for activities. A playdate might also be the solution to the snacking problem. You might also consider going on nature walks, visiting museums or just exploring your community. No matter how you keep your child busy, you won’t have to stress over the constant snacking.

5. Skip the Junk
There’s no doubt about it, kids gravitate towards junk food. Unfortunately, it is one on the cheapest options when it comes to feeding children too. Junk food isn’t just bad for children, it can also cause them to eat more. Not only will this eat at your budget and your wellbeing, but it can cause health problems for your children too. Your best option is to keep junk food at bay during the summer months. Instead of going for popular chip brands, you might consider passing out fruit or vegetables to keep kids full. This will prevent sugar cravings and crashes while teaching kids healthy eating habits.

6. Premade Protein Packs
One of the best ways to fill up kids and keep them full is to give them foods that are filled with protein. There are lots of great protein packs you can purchase from the store, but it will save you a bundle of money to make them yourself. These protein packs usually have products like cheese, nuts, meats, eggs and fruits. So, design your favorite protein packs to suit your child’s needs. If you offer a protein pack for snack at a designated time, you’ll find your child will ditch the constant need to snack and will have the nutrients needed to lead a healthier lifestyle.

7. Eat Meals At Table
Another way to detour the constant snacking is to force children to eat any food they have at the table. From mealtime to snack time, directing food to the table might actually detour kids from watching to eat all of the time. For instance, children often get caught up in whatever they’re playing or watching on tv. If they have to take a break to get a snack, then they might not want to grab that extra snack they thought they needed. Plus, eating at the table is a great bonding exercise that can help the whole family form good habits that can actually keep kids out of trouble in the future.

8. Have Kids Help with Meal Prep
Cooking with your children can be one of the best ways to cut down on the snack epidemic. Kids that know how much work goes into food will be less likely to demand things all of the time. Plus, teaching kids how to cook can keep them busy and excited to learn more essential life skills. Of course, you should start with age appropriate tasks to make sure kids are safe in the kitchen. Younger children might start with mixing batter and other items, while older children can operate the stove or cut up ingredients. Having your children meal prep with you will also show them the quantity of food that they have to work with. This might cause them to hold back on snacking, as they will know just how much went into the food they have eagerly been grabbing.

9. Healthy Alternatives
Kids tend to gravitate toward convenience, just like adults. However, most of the prepackaged snacks kids are going to go after aren’t going to be great for them. So, you might skip their favorite snacks at the grocery store and offer healthy alternatives. For instance, you might start with just setting out fruit to snack on. However, you can amp up your game by making your own fruit snacks and fruit rollups. This is an easy task that will certainly appease children while filling them up more. Granola bars are another great option that can easily be made at home from ingredients that all children will love. Apart from that, you might find homemade beef jerky, vegetable chips and other savory options will go far too. There are so many healthy recipes to suit your child’s favorite snacks that you might have a hard time figuring out where to start.

10. Say No to Sugar
Sugar can be one of the worst things for your kids. From cavities and weight gain to sugar addiction, your best option is to keep this substance out of your home as much as possible. Sugar is hidden in just about everything today too, so your kids are getting more than their fair share. So, try to work out treats that don’t have added sugar. It will take some hunting around, but there are many great options on the market now. Of course, making things from scratch can also help with the sugar issue. You may even have to limit some juices too, so you might stick to water as often as you can.

Your child’s snacking habits doesn’t have to cost you a fortune during the summer months. These ten tips should actually cut back on the snacking your child craves, which will save you money and a lot of stress. With children asking for less snacks, you might find that you’re able to pack in more fun and bonding time during the summer months.

Frugal Tips to Enjoy Swimming During the Hot Months

Swimming is one of the most popular activities to engage in during summer vacation. However, if you’re not careful, it can land you juggling your budget. This is especially true if you plan on having your own pool. Luckily, there are many ways to avoid the high cost of having your own pool without forcing you to spend a ton on admission tickets to pools around your city. These ten ideas will allow you to embrace your pool time so you can cool down this summer without feeling like your budget is plummeting.

1. Consider City Pools
When it comes to swimming for cheap, one of the best options is to actually go swimming in a city pool. These public pools tend to have a cheap entrance fee and allows you to swim for several hours. Generally, city pools don’t have all of the bells and whistles that other pools might have, but they will still offer you the opportunity to swim and have some fun while getting out of the heat. Of course, city pools tend to be crowded at times. So, you might spend some time at the pool to see when the lulls are. This should allow you to choose some of the best times to hit the pol each day.

2. Community Programs
If you’re learning how to swim or you want to enroll your child in a summer swim program, then there is definitely a lot of great community programs to check out. More often than not, you will find these programs in high schools and colleges, so make sure to check out their summer program to see what you can get into. Often, the schools will use the summertime to help students gain teaching skills, so kids can gain lessons for free or a low cost. Sometimes, the schools will even allow for free swim periods for families, so that everyone can get in a bit of practice. These swim lessons can last for several weeks too, which will help keep your kids busy throughout the summer break.

3. Season Pass
One of the most efficient ways to swim during the summer months is to a purchase a season pass for your family. This might be a higher purchase at the beginning of summer, but if you use the pass on a daily, or even a weekly basis, then you are bound to save quite a bit of money in the long run. You can find a season pass at just about any institution. You might even luck out and find a pass for your city pool, which will save you even more money. Even if the only option you have is a water park, you will be surprised how much a family season pass can save you opposed to purchasing pool passes every day. This will also give the whole family something to do if you do find yourself broke or bored throughout the summer months.

4. Invest in Proper Swimwear
Although saving on the pool itself is very important, you also might consider the swimwear you have. Bikinis look cute and all, but if you plan on spending every day at the pool then you might want to consider adding something else to the mix. If you’re spending a lot of time in the pool, then you might want to cover more skin. So, instead of thinking fashion, you might consider a pair of swim shorts and a rash guard top to help protect you. Believe it or not, but these clothing options will help to keep you cooler and will prevent sunburn in many areas. This can help improve your experience in the pool, as you won’t find yourself sitting it out to allow your sunburn to properly heal.

5. Replenish Energy
Another way to get more out of your swimming experience is to keep your energy replenished. A lot of people will actually spend the whole day in the pool, which will cause them to feel exhausted before the end of the day arrives. Of course, this can also add soreness to the following day, which might encourage people to sit out the following day or two. The best way to avoid this is to keep your energy up during your swim periods. Make sure you eat or at least have a couple of snacks in order to keep you going. Junk food isn’t your best option here, so try to stick with fruits, vegetables, and even some carbs to keep you going. You should also make sure to drink lots of water to help keep you hydrated. Try to stop every hour or so to get a bit of water to keep you going.

6. Sign Up for the YMCA
If you’re struggling for a place to sign up for swimming, then you might want to look into going to the YMCA. One of the best things about the YMCA is you can get a family membership that will allow everyone to swim and enjoy everything that the YMCA has to offer for a cheap price. You can even keep your membership up for the summer and cancel later if you’re not certain that you can keep up with it throughout the school year. The YMCA offers a lot of pool options too. For instance, you can take swim lessons, swim laps or even enjoy the free swim periods that are offered for families. The YMCA offers a lot more to keep the whole family busy too, which will help give you a break from swimming throughout the day. Best of all, it will give the family a place to spend the entire day, so you won’t have to stress out over running the air conditioner at full blast.

7. Join a Team
When it comes to saving money on pool time, one of your best options is to actually join a swim team. You might have to pay a fee to join, but after that, you should be able to swim for free during practice sessions and competitions. Swim teams will help you improve your overall skills in swimming as well, which will definitely help you get more out of the sport. With competitions, you might even win enough money to help keep your love of swimming going. Of course, kids might also be able to join a team through their school. Often, schools will run practice during the summer months to keep their team fit when the season begins. This will definitely help make swimming more affordable and rewarding.

8. Sun Protection
The sun can really drain you and cause you to want to leave the pool earlier than you otherwise would. Instead of letting this happen, you should consider sun protection before you hit the pool. One of the most important things to do is add sunscreen to your day. Make sure you have a waterproof option and you reapply frequently. You also need to consider protecting your eyes. Sunglasses are a great choice, but you can also get tinted goggles to help you out in the water. A hat and coverup, while you are resting, is also crucial to protecting you. Apart from that, you should find a shady place to rest or choose an indoor pool.

9. Protect Skin and Hair from Chlorine
The sun isn’t the only thing that can ruin your swim sessions. Another thing that you should look out for is damage to your skin and hair caused by chlorine that is always present in the water. There are many ways to help protect yourself though, so don’t stress about entering the pool. One of the best things that you can do for your skin is rinsed off before and after every swim session. You should also make a point to exfoliate a few times a week, to help your skin get healthy again. Of course, moisturizing is very important to and will ensure your skin can heal with ease.

10. Stretch Your Body
Swimming is quite possibly one of the best exercises to try out. However, a lot of people forget to stretch before hopping in a pool. Stretching can help you get a lot more out of your swim sessions, even if you’re just goofing around with friends and family. Stretching will prepare your muscles for the movement they are about to endure, which will actually help your muscles strengthen with ease. Stretching after swimming is also important as it can help relax your body after all of the movement. If you can, try to do a yoga session before or after getting in the water. This will give you more energy during your swim times, so you get even more out of the pool time.

Swimming is a great way to keep cool and have fun in the summer heat. With these ten tips, you should be able to balance your budget as well as your love of swimming. You might even find swimming helps to improve your budget in some cases, as it will cut back on spending elsewhere. So, get ready to get the most out of your summer with these helpful pool time tips.

Frugal Fun to Help You Celebrate the Fourth of July on a Budget

As June flies by, you might be scrambling to find the perfect way to spend the Fourth of July. There are lots of great celebrations going on during this amazing summer holiday, but if you’re on a tight budget you might find yourself feeling limited. Luckily, the summer months bring lots of great celebrations that go hand in hand with this holiday. So, you should be able to find some fun without having to worry about spending too much money. These amazing ideas will help you find the perfect way to celebrate, so you can make this Fourth of July something to remember for years to come.

1. Free Location
Luckily, there are a ton of free locations that can help you make your Fourth of July magical. Before the big day, you might surf around to see if there are any parks offering free admissions. This could make the perfect time to go camping and enjoy everything that the country is made of. Another great option is to take a dip in the lake or ocean to help celebrate the fun. In most cases, you won’t have to spend a dime on these items. You can also save even more money on these items by skipping driving. Instead, take public transit as it will help you save a bundle on parking fees. Of course, make sure you look up the rules for food and drinks in the destination you choose, because if outside items aren’t allowed then you might find yourself spending a fortune.

2. Parade
One of the best ways to soak up some holiday fun is to hit the local parade. Most communities will have some sort of parade to mark the special occasion. You will probably find information on yours in your local paper or on social media, so make sure to check up on it before the big day arrives. In some cases, towns will hold parades before the event, so it is important to make sure you’re up to date. If your community isn’t hosting a parade, then there is a good chance you’ll find one near you. You can also watch some of the parades from larger cities online. Thus, you can probably kill a couple of hours just watching recaps in the air-conditioning.

3. Community Celebration
Like parades, the Fourth of July often brings some exceptional community events. For instance, many communities will host a potluck for everyone to gather and enjoy one another’s company. You might also find events that have games, relay races and so much more. Some community’s will even host a low-cost carnival around this period of time, so people can truly get the most out of the event. A lot of these events won’t cost you money, but those involving food might require a small fee. Best of all, you should be able to catch some awesome fireworks at the event. This will certainly save you money too, as you won’t find yourself hosting your own party or dealing with firework purchases.

4. Movie Marathon
Without a doubt, July can be one of the hottest months around. So, you might not want to spend your whole day in the sun, especially if you plan on staying up for the firework show. Instead of going out to have some fun, you might want to have a movie marathon instead. You can have everyone bring pillows and blankets into the living room, make some patriotic inspired snacks and then enjoy some of the best movies around. There are so many movies that fit the Independence Day theme. Of course, you can also watch a few of the movies that are also about the actual event. The best thing about a movie marathon is you can even customize it to suit the age groups in your home.

5. Get Crafty
In order to keep kids busy on the holiday, you might check out some holiday inspired crafts. For starters, you can have the kids make Uncle Sam hats, which they can wear throughout the holiday. Another option is to craft flags that can be up as décor or given as a gift. You can even make firework art to help kids have even more fun with their favorite aspect of the holiday. There are a ton of July 4th crafts online to choose from too, so you can keep busy all day if you want. Of course, if you’re trying to stick to a budget then you might want to plan your crafts around the supplies you already have at home. Using recycled items like bottles and containers will help cut the price too. You might also consider hanging up the décor for the holiday, so you don’t have to purchase anything else to keep the home looking great.

6. Put on a Patriotic Play
Movies aren’t the only way to enjoy some fun during the holiday. You might actually have your family put on a play for the holiday. You can invite the neighborhood to pitch in or simply keep it between you, your family, and friends. If you don’t want to put in a lot of work into the play, you can actually purchase scripts to make life easier. There are more than a few to choose from too, so you might be able to enjoy more than one production. There are also free plays to download too, which will help get everyone in the mood to put on their best performance. If you do write your own play, you might make sure to copyright it, just in case it’s a hit. You can also make our own costumes to add to the fun.

7. Go Shopping
The Fourth of July is a great time to get out and shop. However, you might not go looking for tech, mattresses or even clothes like you might with other holiday sales. Instead, take full advantage of the sales on food. There is going to be a lot of grilling deals to help you make the summer amazing. So, you might stock up on things like hamburger meat, premade patties, hot dogs, sausage links and chicken. Meat isn’t the only option though, as vegetables that can be cooked on the grill, like corn, will also be on sale. You might also look out for deals on sides like canned beans, canned chili, chips and more. Of course, summer fruits will also be a hit. If you’re stocking up now, you can freeze the items you don’t plan on eating, which will help save you money in the long run.

8. Host/Attend Potluck
Of course, getting together with family, friends and neighbors has been one of the most popular ways to celebrate the Fourth of July for quite some time. This doesn’t mean that you have to host a huge event and spend your entire budget to accommodate everyone. Instead, ask your guests to bring something along to help save some money. This will ensure there is plenty of food for everyone, so you can concentrate on just having fun. You don’t even have to worry about entertainment as you can easily put on a free playlist or movies to add to the fun. You might also consider visiting someone else’s party if you have an invite. This can take a huge burden off of your shoulders for the price of a simple casserole or a few bags of chips.

9. Embrace Firework Alternatives
Fireworks can be pretty pricey. On top of that, they can be scary for children, animals and people suffering from PTSD. So, you might want to consider a few firecracker alternatives this holiday. One option is to add some confetti to a toilet roll and use a rubber band to send the confetti flying. You can even decorate this alternative to look like the real deal, which can be a lot of fun for kids. If the kids are missing the colors in the sky, then consider adding to the holiday with some balloons. You can paint the balloons with glow in the dark paint, or add a glow stick to the interior of the balloon. Then blow them up and let them hit the ceiling. Of course, you shouldn’t let these loose outside as they can cause harm to animals. Finally, you might consider firecracker goop. This is slime that is infused with the popular candy Pop Rocks. When kids squeeze the goop it will make lots of popping noises, which is certain to bring some laughter. There are lots of other alternatives to choose from too, so browse around online for a few more choices.

10. Enjoy the Sky
You won’t have to go far to enjoy the fireworks though. Instead of spending a fortune on your own, you might head outside and see what everyone else is setting off. Usually, you will be able to see community shows as well as your neighbors’ fireworks from your own backyard. You might even prepare some snacks and sit outside and enjoy the show. This can be a relaxing way to end your day and it won’t cost you anything.

The Fourth of July doesn’t have to be a major form of stress when it comes to your finances. Instead, you should celebrate the holiday and the meaning behind it. These tips will help you find frugal ways to have some fun, so you won’t have to skip out on this fun day.

Programs Every Mom Should Know About to Maintain a Healthy Budget

Parenthood can be incredibly hard, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. The prospect of taking care of a helpless person can be frightening too. If you’re on a tight budget, the average parenting fears can be taken to all new heights. Luckily, there are a lot of programs out there that can help you find peace of mind and a sense of security as you raise your child. These ten programs are all great assets to just about every parent, so make sure you plan ahead to utilize some of these programs now or when your first child finally does arrive. You will be amazed by how much the assistance can reduce some of the burdens you’re experiencing.

1. Women Infants and Children (WIC)
If you’ve ever paid close attention in a grocery store, then you’ve probably noticed little labels that say WIC under some of the products. WIC is a government program that is designed to help women get the nutrition they need for their children. In order to join this program, you will have to have an eligibility meeting. During this meeting, you will be asked a few questions which will include information about your household’s income. If you have children, then they might have a nutrition check, which will include drawing blood to test levels of certain nutrients like iron. If you are approved for the program, you will receive money monthly that can be used for specific WIC items. These will be items with a special sticker in the store. You will be able to get a certain amount of milk, cheese, cereal, juice, baby formula and more to help offset the cost of groceries, so your child can have a healthier diet.

2. Baby Box
Expecting mothers won’t be able to resist the Baby Box program. In many countries in Europe, Baby Box has been a common thing for generations. This program allows expecting mothers to receive a box full of items to help make their little one at home without burdening the parent. Best of all, the box doubles as a bed for infants, which helps to reduce the chance of SIDS. In the United States, Baby Box is steadily growing steam with some hospitals offering the new boxes whenever a mother gives birth. Some states even offer the box to women who are willing to go through the online sleep training course. The boxes are free in these cases, which can help reduce a huge burden for many parents. However, if your state or hospital doesn’t offer the box, then you can still purchase your own on the Baby Box website. The price might seem steep at first, but when you get your box, you’ll be thrilled to see all that it comes with.

3. Baby Center
Pregnancy and the early years of parenthood can be mysterious, exhausting and frustrating. Baby Center is here to help you out though. This free app and website offer a wide assortment of helpful information to educate you about your pregnancy, infant, toddler, and preschooler. You will find a lot of different videos that show off each week of pregnancy. Each week provides tips to improve your health during this crucial time of your life. You can look up a lot of interesting information about your pregnancy too, which can help put a lot of people’s minds to ease, especially if they can’t afford to consult a doctor over every burning question. You can also join the forum that will help with advice. Even after your birth, you will find handy information to help your child grow in the best possible ways.

4. Headstart
Schooling can be a heavy burden on the budget, especially when it comes to things like Headstart, which aren’t typically free. Luckily, the government has a program to help out parents that might need a bit of help in this department. Studies show that children who attend a Headstart program will do much better in school in the future. So, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity. If you are a low-income household, you might find that Headstart won’t cost you a penny. Even if you don’t qualify for free Headstart, you can still receive a smaller tuition price if you do meet certain requirements.

5. Nurse-Family Partnership
Pregnancy and post-partum periods can be exceptionally challenging for the entire family. That is why you should look into the Nurse-Family Partnership. This program exists in almost every state, so you should be able to enroll without a problem. The program is designed to help support the family during the trying times of adding a new family member to the household. A nurse will either visit or call expecting mothers to ensure that everything is going according to plan. The nurse will ask the mother a series of questions, listen to concerns and even help with depression symptoms. After the baby is born, a nurse will still check in for a few months to ensure the mental and physical health of everyone in the home. If you can’t get into this government program, you might check with your insurance. You might be surprised that many companies offer this service now to ensure the optimal health of everyone.

Keeping active is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and your family. There are many programs that can help you do this, but one of your most cost-effective options is the YMCA. This program has been around for generations now and they offer packages that will benefit the entire family. Best of all, if you purchase a membership for your entire family, you will save a ton of money. The YMCA offers many wellness programs, after-school activities, and recreational classes. You can even sign your child up for sports through the program. Of course, one of the most common things to do at the YMCA is hit the pool, so even if you don’t buy a membership you will still have a cheap alternative for keeping cool in the summertime.

7. Safe Kids ID Kit
Back in the 80s and 90s, everyone knew about Safe Kids ID Kits; however, the hype has slowly died down over the years. Luckily, the government will still provide you with a kit, which can help save your child in an emergency. The kit comes with a picture ID card and puts your child’s fingerprints on record, which can help with recovery if a child is abducted or lost. You can find these kits at community events, your local police station or simply by visiting the official website for the kits. So, don’t wait to get your child’s safety kit.

8. Dolly Parton Imagination Library
Unfortunately, literacy is still a problem in some areas of the United States. Many children don’t have access to books of their own too, which might cause a lack of interest in reading. Luckily, there are many programs that can help ensure your child falls in loves with a book. One of the best options is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. This program isn’t offered everywhere, but if you’re lucky enough to have it in your region you will receive an age-appropriate book every month for each child in your household. You can sign your child up at birth and the books will keep coming for several years. Of course, if you don’t have the program in your area, you can sign up for updates, so you’ll know when the program is available for your child.

9. 4-H
A lot of parents gravitate toward scouting, which is a great program. However, there is another option available that is also affordable. This option is 4-H. If you’ve ever been to a stock show, then you’ve probably witnessed 4-H kids showing off the animal that they raised. Although livestock is a huge part of 4-H, it isn’t the only option. For starters, your kids can take culinary classes to help improve their basic life skills. Another option is science classes, like entomology, which will intrigue older children. Agriculture is another big part of the program, which is very important in today’s environmentally trying times. Children can raise animals for the program too, but you will have to buy your own animal in order to participate. If your child does choose to sell the animal, they might see a profit from it. However, the cost of care will be on your budget while the animal is in your child’s care.

10. MOMs Club
All moms need a support system. However, it isn’t always easy to find friends that have kids similar in age. Worst of all, maintaining old friendships can seem increasingly hard as you face parenthood. That is where the MOMs Club comes into play. This club is designed to help moms socialize, vent and have fun with other moms. The club can be a huge asset to any parents and has chapters across the United States. Generally, the club gets together for playdates, lunches or even just a whine session to help moms feel less alone in their frightening parenting role.

Becoming a parent can be one of the most exciting things you’ll do. However, it can also be very difficult when you take your budget into consideration. These ten programs are designed to help families achieve greatness without forcing them to spend a fortune. You’re certain to find something that will help improve your child’s fitness and education levels while also improving your own. You may even find the programs help put your mind to rest, especially when it comes to finances.

Cheap Ways to Make Your Backyard a Cooler Place This Summer

Backyards and summertime seem to go hand in hand. However, if you live in an area that is too hot to bear spending the daylight hours in the yard, then you might be wondering how you can cool things down a bit. There are some expensive solutions to this problem, but if you don’t mind getting creative, you might find some simple and frugal options too. These cost-effective ideas will help to make your backyard a friendlier place when the summer heat arrives. This should allow you to spend more time entertaining outdoors, while also encouraging pets and children to enjoy the fresh air and wonderful environment that your yard brings.

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Ten Ways To Enjoy Your Roses During National Rose Month

June is National Rose Month, which can be exciting for anyone that can’t get enough of the beautiful flowers. This month is especially popular when it comes to planting roses. However, if you find yourself with an abundance of roses in your yard, you might wonder what you should do with all of the beautiful flowers that are blooming. There are so many great things you can do to get even more out of your roses though. These great options will help prevent your roses from going to waste while adding a little extra joy to your life without forcing you to spend money.

1. Rose Oil
One of the most efficient things that you can do with your roses is to use the petals to make rose oil. This oil is actually very easy to make and can be stored for quite some time. There are a ton of rose oil tutorials online too, so you can try out a variety of methods to see which one works the best for you. Once you have your rose oil made, you can use it for so many things. For starters, rose oil can easily be used to bake and can add a surprising flavor to cakes, cookies, and breads. Another great use of rose oil is in cosmetics. You can also use it for crafts like making your own candles, which will certainly make Rose Month even more valuable.

2. Bouquets
When it comes to keeping things simple, you can easily turn your excess flowers into a wide variety of bouquets. There are lots of tutorials on making bouquets too, which can come in handy if you want to keep things exciting. Bouquets can be made with a small number of flowers or large portions of flowers, depending on what you desire. Best of all, you can easily sell off the bouquets you don’t want to keep in order to earn a little extra money. Of course, you can also donate bouquets to high school or college graduates, nursing homes, hospitals and more. This will help you give back to the community while also allowing you to celebrate all of the lovely roses you’re growing.

3. Rose Beads
Rose beads are a great fashion option that will help you get rid of some of the petals that have gathered in your flower boxes. This might not be the easiest craft, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself wanting to make these beads all of the time. There are lots of tutorials online to choose from, which should help you make the perfect shape for your beads too. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be making beads with ease. Of course, when you’ve made your beads, you might want to start making plans for them. They make great bracelets and necklaces, but you can also show them off as earrings. The beads will also offer a subtle scent that should make your day even more fantastic. If you have an abundance of beads, then you can easily sell them or make them into jewelry to sell later on.

4. Rose Candles
If the smell of roses makes you happy, then you might want to combine the scent into a candle. You can do this with rose oil or with rose petals. There are lots of tutorials online to make your own candle, so all you have to do is mix things up by adding the rose to the candle tutorial. If you’re working with rose petals, you can create a cool effect that will make the candle more of a showpiece. These candles make great gifts too, so you can find a cheap way to present others with holiday presents or simple thank you gifts. Best of all, you can really add to the candle by adding your wax to a special jar that complements the roses. For instance, a mason jar will add the rustic look you desire while a teacup features a pristine style worthy of your dining room.

5. Rose Tea
If you really love freshly brewed tea, then you’re going to enjoy making your own rose tea with the petals you have at home. There are so many delightful recipes for rose tea, so make sure to browse around and see what you can find. Of course, one of the easiest ways is to simply brew some tea and then steep it with rose petals. You might have to toy around with the various teas to choose one that you like though. However, once you get the perfect recipe, you’re bound to keep using the tea whenever you can. You can even make a cold rose tea to help keep your summer months a lot cooler. Another option is to make ice cubes infused with rose petals, which will add a more subtle hint to your beverage of choice. You might also find yourself adding rose to other beverages, such as lemonade as your love for the beverage grows.

6. Pressed Roses
One of the most beautiful things you can make for your flowers, especially those that have special meaning, is to press them. This will allow you to enjoy the beauty of the flowers for many years. A lot of people like to press roses in books to create a beautiful image when the book is first opened. This is usually done in memory books, journals or religious books. However, you can always press flowers to be used as décor. For instance, if you get a glass frame, you can press flowers inside of the frame to make a great background. You might also consider placing some rose petals into other glass décor items. This can make the perfect keepsake for just about any occasion too.

7. Rose Sweets
There are a lot of amazing desserts that you can make at home with roses too. One of the most popular is probably rose candies, which are rose petals covered in sugar and other delicious things. These can be tough to make, but there are lots of great tutorials out there if you’re willing to put in the elbow grease. Another popular thing to make is rose ice cream or frozen yogurt. This can be a tasty treat that works wonders in the hot summer sun. Cake is another exciting option that is delicate enough for a special occasion, but tasty enough to make any child smile. There are tons of recipes online though, so let your imagination run wild enough to satisfy your appetite.

8. Rose Cosmetics
Roses are one of the best ways to create cosmetics that will truly change the way you feel about your skin. Luckily, rose petals can go in just about everything, which will definitely make crafting even more fun. One of the first things you should consider making is rose lotion and soaps. These can be time-consuming tasks, but once you get the hang of things you should be set to turn out the crafts fairly quickly. Facial scrubs are another must. You can easily make sugar scrubs with rose to help add the perfect scent to your morning routine. Of course, this is only scratching the surface of the things you can make with roses, so look around online to find a ton of other cosmetic options that will add the delightful scent of rose to your day.

9. Graft Them
Of course, you don’t have to settle with using your roses to make things that are bound to disappear. You also have another option. In order to increase your garden stock, you can always graft some of your flowers onto others. This can be a great way to toy around with colors or add to your garden stock. Grafting doesn’t have to be intimidating either. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of great tutorials that can help you find your way if you’re having trouble. You never know, your grafting might help you create new bushes that you can sell to others hoping to start their own rose garden.

10. Potpourri
Nothing makes the home smell quite as wonderful as potpourri. Luckily, it is very easy to create your own potpourri mixture that contains the wonderful scent of roses. There are numerous ways to make potpourri too, so you can experiment to find the best ways to bring out the rose scent in your mixture. Of course, if you don’t want to make a complete potpourri, you can add rose petals to a special bag that will allow the scent to escape without getting crushed rose petals everything. This is truly a great way to give your drawers an excellent smell that you will truly love.

National Rose Month is a great time to embrace the roses in your garden. One of the best ways to do this is to help your roses not go to waste. These ten ideas will help you to make delightful items from your roses while also allowing you to make some money off of the items. This will truly make National Rose Month even more rewarding.

Fun Things to Do With Leftover School Supplies This Summer

With summer on the horizon, and kids ditching their old backpack somewhere on the floor, you might find yourself wondering what you’re going to do with all of the old school supplies that are now sitting around the house. This can be a huge problem year after year, especially if you tend to save everything your kids don’t use. Luckily, there are quite a few fun things that you can do with your old school supplies. Best of all, you will find a few extra ways to keep the kids entertained while ditching the worn-out supplies. So, get ready for a summer filled with cool crafts that will help you upscale your kid’s supplies.

1. Drip Art
Recently, drip art has become a huge trend that looks like a lot of fun. This craft is very easy to make too and can easily be customized to suit your child’s needs. All you need to get started is all of your child’s old crayons and some canvas. You can do the craft with just a blank canvas or you can have kids draw an image or glue one to the bottom of the canvas. Once you have your canvas prepared, peel all of the old crayons and then tape them to the top of the canvas. You can do this in rainbow order, randomly or even just use one color. Once the crayons are ready to go, take a blow-dryer and go over them until they have entirely melted. Then, leave the canvas until the wax has cooled and settled onto the canvas.

2. Make New Crayons
If you’d like to hold onto the crayons that are broken and seemingly unusable then there is a quick solution to this problem that will actually save you quite a bit of space. Simply place the crayons together that you would like to mold together. Then, take an old glue stick and remove the glue and clean the item. Once the glue stick is ready and the crayons are paper free, melt the wax and place it in the glue stick. When the crayons have set into the glue stick, your kids will have one huge crayon to work with. You can also use a fun mold to create the crayons. For instance, if you have dinosaur, flower or even shape silicone molds then you have a wide assortment of fun ways to make crayons in many new unique ways.

3. Create a Diary
There’s no doubt about it, there always seems to be some paper squished at the bottom of a child’s backpack. Another common issue is paper with torn up edges, stray marks and other issues that prevent it from being recycled for the following school year. School binders are another problem when it comes to recycling items. So, you might want to consider transforming the two items into a fun journal that will keep the kids occupied this summer. The journal can be used to keep track of personal feelings, skills, summer activities or even just doodles. You can always add extra paper to these items if they are a hit, which will certainly make your child take a shining to drawing or writing.

4. Travel Kits
Most primary school children will end up with pencil cases they will probably never use again. These items take forever to degrade too, so unless you plan on donating them, you’ll most likely be doing the planet a huge disservice. Instead of just tossing these items out, you can use them for a number of cool things. For starters, you might want to turn the pencil case into a first aid kid. You can fit most of what you’ll need in the box for a trip to the playground, an emergency kit for the car and so on. These boxes fit well into a diaper bag or backpack too, so you’ll be more than ready to enjoy summer fun. You can also use these cases for summer storage. For instance, you can pack sunblock, a pair of sunglasses and even a foldable hat, in some cases. If you plan on taking a road trip, then the boxes make great art sets or game containers. There are so many ideas for these boxes that you’re bound to find some cool tutorials online.

5. Sun Catchers
Sun catchers are a fun craft that will certainly keep your kids busy throughout the summer months. This craft is incredibly easy to create too, all you need is the worn-out crayons from the school year and come wax paper. You can make just about any shape, which will pair well with your child’s preferred bedroom theme. Sun catchers make great gifts too, especially if you plan on giving them away to a hospital or nursing home. Best of all, this craft doesn’t take long, so you can easily do it as a quiet down activity when kids are getting out of hand. There are many tutorials on this craft too, so you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of methods while you still have crayons to work with.

6. Crayon Candles
Since crayons tend to pile up, you might want to consider making your own crayon candle when your stock seems particularly high. This is a fairly easy task to complete too. All you really need is something glass to place your new candle in, a wick, a form of oil like coconut oil, the crayons and essential oils for scent. Your glass container can be anything from an old coke bottle to a shot glass. Once you have the container ready to go, melt down your candles, mix the wax with your oil and scent of choice then place it in the container. You can even make layers of color to add fun to the mix. This is a great project for gift making too and might make a great impression on your children’s next teachers.

7. Recycled Paper
Recycling paper is probably one of the easiest things to do. However, if you don’t have a recycling center near you or you just want to learn how to make recycled paper, then this is a great project for you. All you need is some old homework assignments, paper that can’t be used for next year and so on. Have the kids rip up the paper, which can be a bit of fun for them. Then, place the paper into a blender with some warm water and blend until you have a smooth mixture. After that, you fill up a tub or bucket with enough water to cover the paper that you’ve just blended up. Place the mixture in the water with a small frame mold. Swirl the water until the pulp covers the mold and then pull out to tray. There are lots of tutorials on methods for making paper, so you might try out a few. It may even give kids a better appreciation of the paper they use, so they will be less likely to waste in the future.

8. Pencil Jewelry
If you have a lot of pencils that are worn down or broken, then pencil jewelry can be a whole lot of fun. You can easily turn old pencils into charms, beads and more simply by cutting the pencils up. Of course, kids will probably need some help with this task, so adults will need to join in on the fun too. All the same, this makes a great craft for slumber parties or rainy days at home. Your children might even want to make gifts for their friends, family or teacher. This is a great way to recycle resources too, so kids can truly learn how to be resourceful and stylish.

9. Make Watercolors
No matter how hard you try, its practically impossible not to end up with a few dried-up watercolors by the time the school year is out. If you have a collection of dry markers, don’t throw them out. You can actually upcycle them into watercolors, which will save you money in the long run. Simply place some water in a container that has a lid. You can use an old mason jar, water bottle and so on. Then, place your old marker in the water and leave them to sit for a few days. Before you know it, you’ll have watercolors galore for the kids to work with. Of course, you still shouldn’t throw out the watercolors. In fact, Crayola will actually send you a shipping label for your markers, so they can recycle them for the greater good.

10. DIY Stamps
The pesky pink erasers that most kids never use can really add up in the home too. However, there is a great way to upscale these items so kids can use them for years to come. Of course, this craft might be aimed towards older kids that can handle an instrument that is a bit sharper. All you have to do is create a design, draw or print it on the eraser and then carve it out. You can carve using an exacto knife, a burning kit or even a safety pin or paper clip. Once the carving is complete, wash it off and leave it out to dry. You can use your favorite inks to use the stamp on just about anything.

Getting rid of your kids’ school supplies will be easier than ever with these ten tips. Of course, there are so many other things that you can do with the items that can’t be recycled for next year. So, don’t let another year of old supplies pile up in your craft room, as these tips will help everyone have a touch of fun with the used supplies.