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Archive for June 28, 2021

Ten tips for keeping cool if the power goes out

This summer, a lot of people are stressed about the power grid due to winter storms that left many without power. Although many that face this problem is in Texas, power outages happen all over the world. So, it is always wise to be prepared for a power outage, especially during times of extreme weather. These ten tips will help you to keep cool if you find yourself in a power outage, without forcing yourself to spend a fortune on items that may not help to begin with.

1. Change Clothes
One of the most important things you can do during this time is to choose the right clothing. It is important to pick out loose-fitting clothing to prevent your clothes from locking in your body heat. If you have athletic clothing that is designed to keep you cool, then swapping into these clothes might be your best option. If not, choose lightweight clothing that is breathable. If you have to be outside during this time, then avoid dark clothing as well. Indoors, you will want to remove socks and hats to help your body temperature stay cooler.

2. Move to Lowest Level
Heat rises, so one of the best things you can do during this time is to move to the lowest level of your home. If you have more than one story on your home, then you might want to consider having a camp out downstairs until the power returns. Basements and cellars will also help to keep you feeling cooler, especially if it is a cellar that is typically used to store items that need to maintain a cooler temperature. You might try to stay out of a cellar as much as you can though as your body heat might cause the room to warm up if there are too many people in the space. Peak hours are the best time to hang out in such a space to help keep the area cool in case the power is off for many days.

3. Battery Operated Fan
One of the best things you can have in your home for an emergency such as this is a battery-operated fan. You might have to do a bit of searching around in order to pull this off, but there are numerous options on the market. Even if you can pick up a small fan, it will help more than having nothing. It might also prevent you from wanting to open the windows as the moving air can actually improve the feeling in the room. A battery-operated fan will also provide you with the opportunity to create a DIY air conditioner if you are dealing with extreme heat. For this, you will need a cooler, plenty of ice, and a fan. There are lots of tutorials online, so you can always find one that works best for you.

4. Reconsider Windows
When the power goes out, one of the first things some people might do is open up the windows. This could be one of your biggest mistakes, especially if it is already hot outside. If you’re dealing with peak heat and your air conditioning has been running, then your best option is to keep the windows shut tightly. The cold air will actually stay in your home for quite some time, especially if the home is well insulated. You might, of course, take some preventative measures to keep the heat outside of the house. One easy way to do this is to put tin foil over your windows to help keep the heat out. It will knock out your natural light source, but if you’re dealing with extreme heat this might be a sacrifice worth taking. You should also put towels in front of your doors to help block hot air from coming in any holes that there may be.

5. Keep Refrigerator Closed
Another common mistake people will make is they will open up the refrigerator to pull out food or drink. One of the best things you can do, especially if you’re hoping the power will be restored quickly is to keep the refrigerator door closed. By doing this, you will ensure your food will stay at a safe temperature for the next four hours, which will definitely save you some money. So, even if you’re tempted to feel the remaining cool air on your face, try to avoid the temptation as much as you possibly can.

6. Utilize a Cooler
When the power goes out, one of your best weapons against the heat is going to be cold drinks. Of course, you may just want to have ice around to use to cool your body down as well. One of the best ways to do this is to have a cooler ready to go. If you can, quickly dump the ice from your freezer into it, so you don’t lose cool air in the freezer. You might also see if a nearby store has ice and is still able to operate. Some stores that lose power might sell some of their products at a reduced price if they are worried about losing the items. A cooler will not only allow you to keep cold water around to help lower your body temperature, but it will keep ice, which you can make into ice packs to also help cool your body down.

7. Stay Hydrated
It is important to stay hydrated every day of the week. However, if you find yourself in a power outage in the triple-digit heat, then you are definitely going to want to make sure you’re drinking as much water as you can. Drinking water in the heat can help prevent damage that can last for the rest of your life. Water is the best thing to drink in the heat, but you can add things like lemon or cucumber to help improve hydration even more. You should avoid sodas, alcohol, and sugary drinks which might make you feel thirstier and certainly won’t do your body any favors.

8. Alternative Power Source
Another important thing to keep in your home is an alternative power source. After the grid went down in Texas over the winter, a lot of people have started to stock up on things like generators. These tend to run on gasoline and the size of the generator will depend on how much power it will produce. These are perfect for people who need power for their oxygen tanks and other life-saving devices. Another option is solar power. You can buy many solar-powered products, such as phone chargers, but there are also some solar panels that you can set up to help offer small amounts of power to your home. If you’re truly worried about this happening, you might look into getting solar panels on your home.

9. Be Well Stocked
No matter what is going on in the world or what concerns you may have, the best thing you can do at all times is to be well-stocked. Having emergency supplies on hand can make a stressful situation a little less concerning because you do have a safety net that can aid in your survival. When it comes to your emergency kit, you should always have basic first aid on hand. You also need canned and other dry food items that you can use in an emergency. Bottled water is another must, especially during a power outage when you might not have access to your water filtration system. It is often overlooked, but symptoms for emergencies, such as heat stroke, should be stored away so you know when to seek emergency care when looking up symptoms online isn’t an option.

10. Leave the House
Often, in these situations, the grid might not be out in some areas of your town or city. If this is the case, then you might see if there are friends or family members that can take you in until the power is back on. Of course, if you do leave for a prolonged period of time, you should think about any animals in the home as they will be hot and uncomfortable too. You might luck out and be able to find them a place to stay, but there are many boarding options available as well. If you can’t visit someone, then you might consider heading to the movie theater or other place that might help keep you cool. If worse comes to worst, then go for a drive in the car so you can at least enjoy the air conditioner. You should never sit with your vehicle running in a garage though as this can lead to death or serious illness.

There is a lot to worry about when it comes to the summer heat. Losing power can be one of the scariest things when you know it is going to hit triple-degree temperatures. These ten tips should help you cut back on the discomfort while keeping you safer as you wait out a power outage. With any luck, you won’t have to use them.

Ten Ways to Cut Back on Videogame Expenditures Over Summer Break

Chances are, if you have children hanging out at home over the summer then you’re probably going to see a lot of video game time happening in the home. Although there are lots of activities to partake in during the summer, even the tightest of schedules will probably find some downtime for games. This can be a problem for your budget if you’re not prepared for it. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to cut back on expenditures during the summer months. These ten things can help you save some big money while allowing you to cut back on the number of games your child is playing.

1. Skip the Preorders
A lot of stores will market preordering as a great way to save some money on their products. They will advertise a reduced price and then promise the lowest possible price to customers that preorder. From there, they will continue to market the game at a variety of prices, only to offer the same price to everyone when the game is released. This tactic doesn’t really save you money at all as it only really guarantees that you have a copy of the game. Since many people have moved on to digital copies of games, you probably won’t get anything out of the deal. Sometimes, it might even help to take your time when buying a game as the price will reduce after it has been out for a little while. There is also another problem with preordering a game. Sometimes, a game gets pushed back even when it has a release date. So, if you use a company that takes the money out when the order ships, then you might find yourself with an unexpected charge that could throw off your budget. Sometimes, games never come out, which might leave you fighting for a refund.

2. Purchase Physical Copies
Digital copies are awesome. You never have to wait for them to be shipped to your door nor do you have to pick them up from a store. The downside of purchasing digital is you have no resell value. Picking up a physical copy can actually help you to get your money back on a game. When you’re finished playing it, you can sell it online to a number of venues or you can take it into a store to see how much they will offer for it. You can also purchase physical copies for cheaper after the game has come out. If you don’t mind playing a used game there are substantial savings here, especially if the gamer in your life doesn’t play games for long periods of time.

3. Hold Out on New Games
Although it can be exciting to start a game as soon as it is released. There are some advantages to waiting. To begin with, you might be surprised how quickly games drop in price as time passes. Buying a little later can actually save you some money to help suit your budget. Other than that, often servers are a bit packed when a game or extra content is released. So, by holding out, you will be able to play the game with less lag and servers that are more open and enjoyable to play in. Often, new games have glitches that need patches to work properly. So, by enjoying the game later, you can play without this frustration.

4. Game Pass
Another concept that you should consider when it comes to gaming is a game pass. A lot of platforms offer this now, which can be an incredible asset for gamers. In short, the game pass provides you with games that you can play for free whenever you log in to your console. You must pay a monthly or yearly fee in order to access the content, but it can actually prevent you from purchasing some games, which will cost you even more money. Most game passes do offer a free trial so you can explore which service you would like to invest in. Other than that, the service usually updates monthly to ensure everything is fresh and fun for you to enjoy.

5. Stick to One Game at a Time
Often, gaming companies will put out games at the same time as their competitors, which can be a big hassle for some gamers. Not only are games high priced, but they are time-consuming too. So, when this happens, you might stick to purchasing one game at a time. It will give you the opportunity to fully enjoy the game you prefer without having to feel like you need to jump back and forth. This will allow you to save money on the other games that you want. Other than that, sticking to one game will encourage gamers to finish out the game so it isn’t left collecting dust for another newer game.

6. Block In-Game Purchases
These days, a lot of games do have in-game purchases which can be dangerous for some gamers. In-game purchases can actually make the game easier to play, which will allow you to gain a sense of instant gratification which can be addicting. Unfortunately, in-game purchases can add up quickly, which will definitely affect your budget. One of the easiest ways to combat this problem is to disable purchases. You can usually do this in settings, but you might have to search around to find the solution you need for each unique game. If you can’t figure this out, then you might consider removing your credit card from the game, so there is no way for purchases to be made. This is probably the best option if you have children playing the game as well.

7. Stick to PC
One of the cheapest things you can do is keep to PC games. There are so many advantages to doing this, which is why so many gamers prefer PC over other services. The PC, for instance, needs fewer upgrades which is one of the biggest reasons why people save big. If you have a gaming PC then you may need to upgrade a part every now and then, but you shouldn’t have to upgrade the entire device like you will need to do with consoles. PC games tend to have more sales and platforms to download games, which is also a bonus when it comes to saving money and having fun.

8. Enjoy Bundles
Gaming bundles are going to be one of the best ways for you to enjoy more of what the gaming world has to offer. If you missed out on a company’s early games, then chances are they will release a bundle of the games when there is a new addition to the series. These are usually priced lower than they would be if you found yourself purchasing each unique item. Apart from that, you might find that DLC content can also be downloaded in bundles, which is definitely something that is going to save you large amounts of money if you don’t mind waiting for a sale or for a company to complete all of their DLC.

9. Go Used
If you’re looking for a new game, then you might want to consider used options. You can purchase used games at most game vendors and online. However, when you are shopping for used games, you should choose to shop in person. This will allow you to observe the quality of the disc before you make your purchase. Often, vendors will offer protection if the game doesn’t work so you should be able to shop without any risk. Used games tend to offer the same satisfaction and will allow you to experience the game without having to pay a high price. Best of all, you can always resell the game when you’re finished with it, so you can get some return on your investment.

10. Wait for Sales
In the world of games, there are numerous sales that you can enjoy. Of course, you’ll find sales during the classic holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also amazing times to stock up on games and enjoy everything new that has been released. However, there are so many other amazing sales to take in too. Steam, for instance, offers a huge summer sale that many people wait all year for. Origin, another major retailer, has been running sales since the pandemic began, so you should be able to grab some amazing prizes on some of your most popular games.

Gaming, especially during summer vacation, doesn’t have to set your family back. These ten tips will allow you and your family to enjoy everything on offer in the video game world without forcing you to spend a small fortune. So, you can satisfy the gamers in your life while enjoying plenty of savings.

Ten Ways to Have a Cool 4th of July on a Budget

It feels like June has just begun, but the Fourth of July will be here before we even know it. This year may look a little different than last year did, but it might not be exactly how you planned it would be when you compare it to previous years. No matter how you plan to celebrate, there is probably one thing that you have on your mind already. That is, how can I stay cool during the holiday? July is notorious for being hotter than hot, so these ten tips should help you find a few ways around the heat while allowing you to enjoy your celebration of the 4th.

1. Grill Out
Doing anything with the oven might be out of the question for the next few months. It’s hot and that contraption only makes it even more miserable. The best thing you can do to avoid this heat while you’re celebrating is to grill out. It might not be fun standing outside while you cook, but you will be able to head indoors into the cool air to enjoy your meal. Grilling out can actually help save on your electricity bill too because your air conditioner won’t have to do extra work to keep your home cool. Of course, you will also get to enjoy some delicious foods without having to deal with pots and pans, which can help save you money on your water bill.

2. Go to the Theater
A lot of theaters will have special deals for the Fourth of July, especially since so many are hurting after the pandemic. So, if you’re lucky you might be able to find a great deal on a few features that can keep you feeling cool all day long. Some theaters are even allowing you to rent out your own space for parties, so if you’re concerned about covid-19, or anything else that might be going around at the time, then you can keep your party exclusive. Apart from that, heading to the theater will allow you to keep your thermostat a bit higher which can help you avoid higher energy costs while you celebrate.

3. Water Fun
With temperatures on the rise, you may find yourself wanting to splash in some cool water. If you have a pool then that is probably your best option, even if you’re just dipping your toes into a kiddie pool. Of course, you can enjoy so many other forms of water fun. Water gun fights and balloon wars are always a great option. However, if you feel creative you may be able to think out of the box to come up with a few ideas that suit your family. You can also come up with relay races and other options to help you feel excited about all of your water fun.

4. Visit Loved Ones
If you are able to visit a loved one and it is safe to do so, then this might be your best option for the holiday. Even if means driving somewhere, you’ll still get to enjoy the air conditioning in your vehicle, rather than your home. This holiday might be one of the best times to catch up with loved ones that you didn’t get to see as the covid-19 virus doesn’t do as well during the hot weather. So, you will at least have a chance to see everyone before there is another lockdown when cool weather arrives. If you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to worry anyway, but with children and so many vulnerable family members still unable to get the vaccination, you may still have to practice precautions.

5. Cold Desserts
Nothing says summer quite like all of those delicious cold desserts. Instead of spending a small fortune on these items, you might consider trying your hand at making them yourself. There are so many recipes for homemade ice cream that you might want to try out several different varieties before the end of the holiday. Popsicles can be as easy as freezing juice, but there are also many options that involve adding in fruits and more. You might also consider trying out options like snow cones or ice cream cakes. There are so many things you can try that it is bound to add some fun to the day.

6. Watch a Parade
The Fourth of July is bound to bring some parades to your community. If you haven’t seen any announcements about them you might check out your community’s website to see if one is scheduled for your community. If not, then you might have to drive a little while, but you should be able to see one in action in a neighboring community. When you go to the parade, you might find a place that you can sit and relax in your vehicle. This will keep you out of the heat while allowing you to still enjoy the sights. There will also be parade options online and on the TV, so if you’re not feeling like journeying out in them then you will definitely want to go that route.

7. Patriotic Crafts
If you’re stuck inside because of the heat, then you won’t have to worry about getting bored. There are numerous craft options that you can take on to help keep you from getting bored. If you’re looking to enjoy a patriotic craft option then you might consider making planters that show off red, white, and blue designs. This can easily be done with some paint, sealer, and planters that you already have in the home. You might also consider making some banners that you can hang up inside or outside of the home. Kids may even have a blast making Uncle Sam-inspired hats that they can wear throughout the day. There are lots of other ideas online too, which can help you find the perfect options for your family.

8. Red, White, and Blue Foods
When it comes to creativity, the Fourth of July definitely deserves a round of applause. So many people have worked to create a huge selection of red, white, and blue foods that will definitely suit your appetite while allowing you to enjoy the holiday all the more. There are so many recipes you can make without having to be a professional chef or Pinterest mom. Of course, most of these items are desserts┬ábut don’t let that stop you. If you’re hosting a party, then you can also make a wide variety of fun drinks too. One example is adding strawberries and blueberries to a clear soda. You can even make this drink alcoholic if you choose to.

9. Picnic Inside
Picnics are another staple for the holiday, but that doesn’t mean that you have to have one outside. After all, who wants to sit out in the scorching heat on the ground that is probably hotter than the sun beating down on you? Let’s not mention all of the summer bugs that will also have their eye on the food that you brought in. Instead of going crazy over an outdoor picnic, put some effort into making an indoor picnic amazing. You can enjoy a similar setup and serve foods that you would traditionally have. Kids will love the idea and it will help make the holiday feel all the more special.

10. Enjoy a Firework Show
When you think Fourth of July, fireworks probably instantly come to mind. This is probably one of the best activities that you can partake in for the holiday without having to worry about it getting too hot. When it comes to firework shows, you can probably see numerous options by simply stepping outside when the sky grows dark. However, if you want to be up close and personal then you might check out where community shows will take place and stay in your car during the fun. You can also check out shows online if you’re not feeling like dealing with the hot air.

The Fourth of July can be just as budget-friendly as you hope it to be, as long as you try to stick to simple activities. These ideas will not only suit your budget, but they will allow you to enjoy some fun without getting too overheated in the hot sun. With any luck, these ideas will help you make the best of the holiday as we slowly return to the world we once knew.

Ten Summer Meals That Will Suit Your Budget and the Rising Temperatures

Summer is here, which is going to give you a few things to consider when you’re planning out your family’s grocery list. For starters, the weather is going to be hot, which might not leave you in the best place to enjoy a meal. There are many lighter meals you can have that will help you satisfy your hunger without forcing you to feel terrible. Another problem is going to be that the kids will be home all day and your food budget is already going to go up due to the excess snacks. These ten ideas will make dinner time a little easier, cooler, and cheaper so you can get through summer with ease.

1. Hot Dogs
There is no doubt about it, hot dogs are a pretty classic summer food that won’t leave you struggling to keep your budget low. Hot dogs can be cooked in many different ways as well, which will keep things fresh for you and your family. Of course, you might also consider hot dog alternatives. There are numerous different types of sausages that you can try out to mix things up. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, then there is a wealth of options there too. You can use vegetables like zucchini or carrots to add to the fun. You can also use tofu dogs if you aren’t feeling the lighter vegetarian options. When it comes to hot dogs, toppings are everything, so you can add even more to your dish by offering new and exciting toppings every time you serve the meal.

2. Kebabs
Another summer classic is the kebab. This dish can be pretty simple to make and there are so many healthy options to choose from. Most kebabs offer a variety of meats and vegetables which makes this dish customizable. All you have to do is place what you want on a skewer and you’re good to put it on the grill. Cooking up this dish can help save on the heat of the house. Plus, it provides everyone with the protein and vegetables that you need to be healthy. You can even make fruit-inspired kebabs if you’re looking for a sweet treat afterward.

3. Tacos
Taco Tuesday doesn’t have to go away during the summer months. However, you might want to transition the way you cook your tacos. For instance, instead of using ground meat that you would spice and fry up, you might consider options that can be made in your slow cooker. Cheaper cuts of meat can easily be transformed into the perfect taco, which will allow you to save money and time. Best of all, slow cooking options will give you plenty of leftovers, so you can freeze your excess to have for the next few times that you enjoy tacos. Toppings and other items can help keep the dish fresh and exciting, which will definitely add to your love of the meal.

4. Chili
Another simple option that you won’t want to pass up is chili. This is another crockpot classic that will help you feel at ease in the kitchen. When it comes to chili, you will find that there is a wide assortment of options to choose from too. If you’re going with a more budget-friendly option, then going with all beans will definitely help to suit your needs. No matter what recipe you choose though, you can add chili to other recipes to make them even more exciting. Chili has many health benefits as well, which can make you feel better than ever throughout the summer. Apart from that, if you keep your chili on the spicy side, it might actually help to cool your body down.

5. Salads
As the heat settles in, you might find your appetite subsiding quite a bit. Since the heat isn’t doing you any favors in that regard, you might stick to salads for a little while. Salads are a great way to get the nutrients you need while helping you to lose weight or at least feel a little less bogged down by your meals. Salads can be spiced up in a wide variety of ways too. For instance, you might consider adding grilled meats to your salad for a low-carb option that will keep you filled up throughout the night. You can even add fruits to salads to give them the sweet flavor you love. Of course, you can also step away from the classic lettuce and add-ons option. Instead, you might consider using roasted vegetables and other options to help give you a little more variety.

6. Flatbread Pizza
When the pizza craving calls, you might second guess your craving because pizza and grease can be a lot heavier on your stomach in the summer heat. Rather than going all out or spending a fortune on takeout, you can ease your craving with a flatbread pizza. With this option, the bread used is much lighter and less greasy which is better for your body. You can also add less cheese to help ease any other issues you might have. You can purchase the bread ahead of time if you choose, but there are also lots of great dough recipes to help you out too. Flatbread pizzas are easily made on the grill, which will help keep heat out of your home.

7. Spaghetti
When you think of cheap meals, spaghetti is always going to be one of the top items on your list. You can easily crank out this meal in a few minutes and it will take mere seconds to complete. You don’t have to always create the same spaghetti though. There are many other options that steer clear of the heavy tomato sauce that you might typically use. There are many summer spaghetti options that are filled with vegetables and are made with light olive oil sauces, which can help you enjoy the dish all the more. You can even serve some spaghetti cold, which might help you to ease some of the discomforts of the season.

8. Fresh Spring Rolls
If you are a fan of the egg roll, then the spring roll is definitely going to add to your summer fun. Spring rolls are lighter and easier to digest, which makes them a great summer treat. These rolls also aren’t cooked, so you’ll get nice crisp veggies in a simple rice wrap. Most of the time, these rolls are served with a special sauce but don’t feel intimidated because all of this is easily made at home. You will find countless recipes and tutorials to help you make spring rolls that will continue to fill you up while going easy on your budget.

9. Chicken Salad
Another timeless favorite is chicken salad, which can also be as versatile as you would like it to be. Chicken salad is great because it is served cold, so you can cool your body down as you enjoy something packed with flavor. If you don’t have a chicken salad that you love yet, then you can easily find recipes as diverse as the people that created them. Some utilize dill pickles, while others are packed with walnuts and apples. You can enjoy making them with convenient canned chicken or you can choose to shred leftover chicken for a no-waste option. When you grow tired of chicken, you can swap in tuna to help make the dish spread throughout your summer days.

10. Quesadillas
If you’re looking for simplicity, then a quesadilla is a great option that you can customize to suit your family’s needs. If you want to keep things simple then heating cheese upon a tortilla will make your life easier than ever. However, you can spice up a quesadilla any way that you choose. One simple way is to add leftover beans or meats so you can help stretch your grocery budget even further. You will also find that salsas and vegetables can add the hint of freshness that you desire in the summer months.

Cooking in the summer isn’t always a treat. However, if you find yourself looking for ideas that will suit your budget while keeping your home cool, then you may find these ideas to be helpful. With any luck, you will be able to create a weekly menu that is healthy while still bringing happiness to the whole family.

What You Need to Know About June’s Big Sales Day

If you thought June was going to be a boring month with no sales, then you may have been shocked when Amazon announced its Prime Day would take place on June 21st. Amazon Prime Day is typically hosted later in the summer, so the announcement sparked Walmart and Target to quickly announce their own sales that take place in the same week. If you’re looking forward to shopping, you might feel overwhelmed by the abundance of options that you now have. These ten tips will help you prepare for the big sale while allowing you to feel confident that you’ll know exactly where to look when it comes to saving some big money.

1. Length
This year, the sale is going to look a little different for every store. One of the biggest differences is the length in time in which sales will run. Amazon, for instance, will host their sale for just one day, June 21st. Of course, it is Amazon, so you’ll find a lot of presales and probably some competitive sales after the big day so they aren’t outdone by their competitors. Target will host their sale for three days, beginning June 20th and ending on June 22nd. There are some deals that will be hosted prior to the event, so stay tuned. Walmart will host their Deals for Days sale that begins on June 20th and ends on June 23rd.

2. Location
Last year, with Covid-19 restrictions in place, each store had to work around the virus to bring savings to customers. This year, there will still be some restrictions, so make sure you plan accordingly. Since Amazon is an online venue, you will find their deals there. However, with sales volumes up, there may be a delay in shipping, so make sure you are prepared for that. This year, Target is keeping things strictly to online. However, you can order your items for pickup, same-day delivery, or curbside pickup. Walmart is going all out with deals online and rollbacks in store, so you will have to look at two different sales when shopping.

3. Who Can Shop
When it comes to these sales, not everyone is able to shop. As you probably know, Amazon Prime Day is specifically for those with an Amazon Prime Membership. You may be able to get a free trial during Prime Day, but if not, you will have to subscribe to shop the deals. Walmart and Target sales are available to everyone, so you don’t have to think twice about browsing their selection. Of course, it does help to be a Target Red Cardmember, for more exclusive deals, and a Walmart Plus Subscriber, for free shipping and more.

4. Pre-Sales
As you can imagine, all three of these stores are going to offer some presales to entice you to come back for more. Although there hasn’t been a lot of indication as to what these deals will be just yet. However, you will want to start watching the websites at least a week in advance. You should pay closer attention to Amazon since its sales will only last for one day in total. Target has released that it will be offering gift cards at 5% off a few days before the sale begins. This is a great strategy as you can purchase gift cards ahead of time and use them for even more savings during the big sales.

5. Electronics
If you’re shopping around for electronics, then all of the stores are going to have something you’ll most likely want to buy. When you’re shopping with Walmart, you should look at items like Roku, Chromebook, and Nova. These brands will definitely have some major discounts, but don’t rule out other large brands either. With Target, you will find great deals on home good appliances like air fryers and vacuums. There will be plenty of other electronics to explore too, so don’t limit yourself. Amazon, as usual, will be offering a limited stock of TVs. You will find deals on numerous other electronics too, but you will have to watch out for good finds as they will only be available for a few days.

6. Toys
When it comes to toy deals, you are most likely going to see more deals from Walmart and Target. Target does have a deal with Disney, so you will find that they will have more of the items your child will want in regard to this brand. Walmart tends to have low prices on toys year-round, so most of the deals you find during this sale will save you quite a bit. Amazon will have random deals on toys, but you might not be able to find specific items that are on your child’s list.

7. Clothes
Clothes are another big thing on the list that many people will be looking out for, especially with the changing of the season. When it comes to clothing, you should be able to find some deals with most of the vendors. Of course, Walmart will have the cheapest of options, especially if you’re looking for children’s clothing. Target has its own brand, which can also save you some money. Amazon also recently launched its own clothing line, but the items tend to be a bit pricier than other vendors. However, as you shop around, you might look to see if the deals suit your needs.

8. Gaming Consoles and Games
It’s summer and a lot of parents are in the market for anything that is going to keep their kids busy. Gaming consoles and games can be found at all three of the retailers. However, if you’re shopping on deals for consoles then Target might be the best place to begin. You will find almost every option available, which will help your shopping experience all the more. Walmart, on the other hand, is more likely to have a good price on XBOX products, while Amazon seems to be favoring deals with Nintendo. All the same, you should compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

9. Food
If food is on your mind when it comes to shopping, then you might keep a few things in mind. Chances are, you will only find a few bulk options on Amazon. Target might have some items that you can order for pick up, but as far as sales are concerned, you probably won’t find too much as these sales are more about moving large merchandise. Walmart will most likely have some rollback options in-store, so you may find a deal or two as you shop for other items. However, you may not have luck on the website unless you’re looking for bulk options that are already priced low.

10. Subscriptions
Subscriptions are really popular now, so many people tend to look for deals on these items whenever big sales roll around. When it comes to subscriptions, you probably won’t find many options to choose from if you’re looking on Target or Walmart. Any items you do find probably won’t be subject to a sales price because they will be sold from an outside vendor. Amazon will most likely offer a few options to choose from though, as they partner with many services now. You might also be able to find deals that use Amazon Pay on outside sites, which could help you earn free shipping and more. So, when it comes to this purchase you will have to shop around a lot in order to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.

The upcoming sales events are definitely a great way to get in some retail therapy while you are hiding from the summer heat at home. The sales will have a huge selection of items, so the most important thing to keep in mind is to not go overboard. You should still do your homework when shopping too, by looking at prices of items you are interested in before the sales begin.

Great Ways to Celebrate Summer Solstice with Your Family

Temperatures are rising! Even though it is getting pretty hot outside in most places, summer doesn’t officially begin until June 20th. This gives you plenty of time to plan an epic day filled with fun activities for you and your family. The solstice is a great time to help children understand the importance of seasons while also celebrating all of the fun you have during the summer months. If you’re looking for ideas to keep everyone busy on a budget, then these ten options are certain to suit your plans for the solstice and the entire season.

1. Climb Towards the Sun
One of the big symbols of the summer months is the sunshine. It sticks around longer during the summer and its hot rays make it possible to get outside and swim. One great activity that will add a touch of magic to the holiday is to have children climb towards the sun. This can easily be done while hiking. Simply have the family walk up an elevated trail so it feels like your kids are actually walking towards the sun. You can also do this with mountain climbing if your children are old enough to safely do this. Of course, you should always take precautions such as sunscreen and sunglasses to ensure no one is harmed while having fun.

2. Solar Pizza Oven
If you’d like to teach your kids a little science, or even just a survival hack, then making a solar pizza oven is another wonderful option. All you need for this is a cardboard box, preferably a pizza box, black construction paper, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap. Line the bottom of the box with black paper and add tin foil to the sides of the box. Then cut a hole in the top of the box and place plastic wrap over the hole firmly. The heat that the sun provides combined with all of these elements will cook anything in the box. So, you can have kids safely make their own pizza, cookies, and so much more.

3. DIY Greenhouse
Summer is a great time for planting things. So, creating your own little greenhouse is a fun way to keep kids occupied while allowing them to grow their own produce or flowers. There are so many ways to approach making your own greenhouse, so you can easily find tutorials online that will suit the age groups that you’re working with. If you’re not interested in making an entire greenhouse then you might consider a terrarium. This craft not only allows children to learn about gardening but can help them understand the greenhouse effect.

4. Summer Crafts
Another fun way to celebrate summer is by giving your children some summer crafts to enjoy. There are so many crafts online that you can find almost anything that will keep kids occupied and having fun. Most of these crafts will be based around the sun, which is great for little ones learning shapes and colors, as they will have the opportunity to work with primary colors, and circles, and triangles. Of course, you can also find crafts based around summer themes, like the ocean.

5. Water War
It isn’t quite summer without a water war or two. So, one way to bring in the new season is to have an incredible water bottle. You can use just about anything for this, as long as your family is having fun the supplies won’t matter. Water balloons and water guns are two of the more common items to use. However, if you don’t have these on hand then you can try cutting up sponges for a water war or using squirt bottles. There are even tutorials online that will help you make your own water gun, which can keep kids busy for quite some time.

6. Lake/Beach
Nothing combines Mother Nature and summer together better than a trip to the lake or beach. These destinations will allow you to soak up some sun while giving you the perfect place to cool down. Generally, a trip to the water is pretty cheap, if not free, so you can totally enjoy yourself without having to worry about going over budget. If you pack a picnic and plenty of water, you’ll be set for a day of celebrating the season in the best possible way.

7. Bonfire
At the end of the day, when the sun goes down and the heat finally begins to lift, you might want to consider a bonfire. Although you won’t really need a bonfire to keep warm, it can be a source of excitement for the family. If you’re not certain how to get a bonfire started, there are tutorials online to help you along the way. Once you get your fire going, you can cook hot dogs, make smores, and enjoy any other summer food staples you please. It also creates the perfect setting to sing songs and tell stories. If you can’t get a permit for a bonfire then keep things low scale with a fire in your fire pit at home. Of course, you should watch out for burn bans, so you don’t get a fine for burning or put your property and the property of others at risk.

8. Enjoy Sun Weaving
Sun weaving is a traditional craft that many different cultures have to utilize to celebrate the sun. This type of weaving can be hard to begin with, so you might need to check out some tutorials to get started. Once you get the hang of things, sun weaving can help you relax while you make a beautiful decorative item that your family can cherish. They do have kids to help you get started on your sun weaving journey, but if you’re looking to save money, then online tutorials should help you to find the right setup and technique to make your weaving fun instead of frustrating.

9. Suncatchers
Another fun project, especially for toddlers, is sun catchers. These can be made in so many ways and from so many themes that you can’t really go wrong. One simple way is to cut out a shape for your child to use and then have your child use tissue paper to fill the center of the shape. When it is filled, you can use a laminate strip to secure the colorful design, or simply utilize packing tape. When the project is complete, you can tape the item in your window. Another way to tackle this job is to simply have a child paint an object, like a paper plate or plastic oatmeal lid. The painting can then be hung in the window so the sun can catch all of its amazing colors.

10. Plan Your Summer
As the day winds down or when you simply need a cool down from the heat, you might consider having a sit-down talk about summer. You can chat about activities that children might want to do or plan out vacations. You may also want to talk about how your children will continue on with their education during the summer months, or chores that kids will need to take on while they’re home. You might even want to talk about meal ideas or recipes that you might want to learn to cook together as summer nears.

The summer solstice can be a whole lot of fun for your family while still being light on your budget. These ten ideas can help you kick off summer the right way while offering you plenty of ideas to keep the whole family busy as summer rages on.

Ten Virtual Summer Camps to Active Your Child’s Mind on a Budget

If your kids are out of school for summer or will be soon, then you might be wondering how you’re going to keep them entertained over the next couple of months. For a lot of people, summer camps aren’t an option because of Covid-19. With vaccines still in the works for most age groups, you may find camps can’t risk the spread and are thus sitting another summer out. There are lots of great virtual summer camps to choose from though. These ten camps offer a low-budget approach to summer camp that won’t cause your child to be exposed to the virus.

1. Virtual 4-H Camp
4-H is a part of almost every community, so it is no surprise that the camp is going digital to help meet the needs of the children around the nation. If you’re unfamiliar with 4-H, then it might be helpful to know that this organization is devoted to mentoring children and helping them to learn important lessons that can help with daily life. With a virtual 4-H camp, you will find many of these lessons such as sewing, cooking, and even a few options revolving around agriculture. However, you will also find a variety of classic summer camp activities such as arts and crafts and courses that cater to STEM activities.

2. Camp Wonderopolis
When it comes to STEM, Camp Wonderopolis is going to be the place to go. This camp brings a huge selection of STEM courses for your child that is absolutely free. The website for the camp is incredibly user-friendly, as well, which makes signing up your child a breeze. You can search through a wide assortment of age-appropriate classes that are actually themed to interest your child. There are also activities that you can enjoy outside of the classroom, which can definitely help make the virtual camp entirely customizable for your family’s needs.

3. YouTube Camp
YouTube fans won’t be able to resist all of the fun they will have with YouTube Camp. As you can imagine, YouTube Camp is going to be based around videos, which makes it a great idea for kids that might still have plans for summer break. Camp users can find crafts, STEM projects, and so much more to help them get on track and enjoy a variety of fun activities. YouTube Camp does require you to make payments, but if you don’t want to pay, you can always look up videos on your own and create a summer playlist that is perfect for your family.

4. Camp Supernow
Camp Supernow is another service that you might want to check out for your child. The special camp offers similar courses to the other camps mentioned, which gives your family all the more options to choose from. Like the other camps, you can pick and choose the classes and themes that you want your family to explore. You will find a little something for all age groups, as well as crafts and projects for the entire family. If you’re not ready to make a financial commitment to the website, you can enjoy a free one-week trial to help you decide if it is a match for you.

5. Makers Summer Camp
As the name implies, this summer camp is going to provide you with hands-on activities that you can help your children step away from the TV to enjoy some fun. This camp largely caters to items that you make, so you will need to gather some art supplies before you can enjoy the activities. You will also find plenty of STEM options too, which can help your child to advance in school while having plenty of fun.

6. Varsity Tutors Virtual Camp
Another great option for your children is Varsity Tutors Virtual Camp. This special camp is designed to allow you to improve your child’s imagination while they work to boost their knowledge. Camps are designed with themes that truly speak to the children involved in them. You find themes like fairytales or LEGO to help suit your child. These camps are filled with interactive activities and can boost knowledge in a number of different topics. The camp caters to children of all ages too, which will definitely make it easier for you to choose the right things to occupy your child’s mind.

7. Outschool
Outschool is a great resource for homeschool families and families hoping to help their child improve their education. You can access Outschoolyear-round. However, in the summertime, Outschool offers a special camp that is designed to help bring your child plenty of excitement. Outschool offers everything from basic classes like math and language to extracurriculars like dancing and crafts. Children are placed in small classrooms too, so they’re certain to enjoy the experience while getting the attention they need to succeed.

8. Sawyer
Sawyer is another website that connects you to a wide assortment of classes. You can find just about anything from actual physical activity camps to those designed to help your child thrive in the world of STEM. Sawyer is designed with simplicity in mind, as well. You can shop around for camps based on your child’s age or their interest, which will definitely make it easier than ever for you to find something extraordinary. Prices vary on the website as well, so you’ll have to shop with your budget and supplies in mind.

9. Happy Camper Live
Like many of the other virtual camps mentions, Happy Camper Live offers a huge selection of activities that will help keep your child happy and active during the summer months. This website offers a fun interface that will inspire your child to have a lot of fun as they interact with the classes of their choice. You do have to pay for most of the classes on this website, but the camp does offer a one-week free trial so that can help you figure out if it is the right camp for you. Apart from the trial, there is a section with plenty of crafts and other items to ensure you get to enjoy some of the classes offered at no cost to you.

10. iD Tech
If you have a scientist in your household then this is going to be a great camp for them to enjoy. iD Tech offers a huge assortment of classes based on technology. This camp can be a great jump start for high school and middle school kids hoping to study in the technological field when they move on to college. It is also perfect for students that are interested in all sorts of STEM activities. Like with other camps, you can pick and choose the classes you want, which can help make summer a great stepping stone to the future.

Keeping kids busy during the summer months can be incredibly difficult. However, these ten tips will ensure your child has a lot of fun while learning plenty of new things during their downtime. These camps might not be traditional, but they will help your child to truly have fun and embrace everything that summer learning has to offer.

Ten Cheap Activities That Are a Must for Father’s Day

Father’s Day will be here soon, so if you’re still trying to figure out how to celebrate dad, then now is the time to make plans. Since last Father’s Day landed during the peak of the pandemic, there weren’t a lot of options to help celebrate dad. This year, things are beginning to look up with vaccines available, so many people are opting to treat dad to a special activity as opposed to a gift. These ten ideas will help you plan some fun for dad that won’t cost you a small fortune.

1. Car Show
A car show is a great way to help get dad out of the house while allowing him to enjoy a hobby that he would have taken in more during the last year or so. The great thing about car shows is they tend to pop up frequently during the summer months, so finding one probably won’t be very difficult. You can probably check community groups or even local car groups to see what is going on when. It might require a little travel to get there, but it will definitely be worth it to ensure dad gets to enjoy the special day in style. Of course, you might want to purchase tickets to the event as quickly as possible because you may find shows sell out this season since more people are trying to make up for time lost.

2. Golfing
If dad loves to golf or is simply looking for physical activity to take on, then a round of golf might be the perfect gift. You can take dad golfing in most local places, which makes this an easy activity for you to set up. However, you can also try out different golf courses if dad is looking to broaden his horizons. Golf can be pretty inexpensive, especially if everyone owns their own clubs and skips out on the caddy, which might help to keep things on the frugal side of your gift-giving needs. Plus, golf offers plenty of time to bond which might be something dad has been missing out on due to pandemic precautions.

3. Fishing
Summer and fishing go hand in hand. So, taking dad on a fishing adventure might be the perfect gift. Fishing will allow you both to get out of the house and take in some fresh air while enjoying a hobby that you would typically take part in prior to restrictions. Fishing can help create a sense of peace that dad may be in need of too. If you’re lucky, you might catch a special dinner for dad, which will add to the treat. Around Father’s Day, you will find deals on fishing licenses as well as free fishing days, so make sure you know when you can and cannot fish or go through the proper channels in order to avoid problems.

4. Music on the Lawn
During the summer months, there is often music on the lawn shows which can help add a sense of fun to the holiday. You might check around within your community to see who is going to be playing to make sure it is music your dad will actually want to hear. If you can, you might also pack a special meal and some drinks to add to the occasion. This is one of the safest things you can do around other people too, as the outdoor venue will help prevent spread if you’re not yet vaccinated.

5. Baseball Game
Baseball season is upon us, which means it’s time for baseball games to brighten up the season. If you have a league near you, then you might want to secure tickets so dad can enjoy an old-fashioned baseball game on his special day. For the game, you will definitely want to bring some extra money for all of the stadium refreshments that you missed out on over the past year. This will definitely help to add to the experience while getting dad out in a setting that will make him feel nostalgic for the good times.

6. Camp Out
Spending a weekend outside and enjoying the fresh air is another great activity that will quickly replace the presents on dad’s list. This gift will help to create a sense of joy that can’t be replaced for Father’s Day. When you go camping with dad, you can choose one of your favorite campsites or try somewhere new. You might also consider renting out a cabin and extending the visit if your budget and your time off will allow for this. Apart from that, you should make sure to bring some of the items that you enjoyed while camping out as a kid. Cards, music, and other activities dad enjoys are definitely a must.

7. Beer Tasting
When it comes to enjoying a good time, a beer tasting is definitely going to make some dads a little giddy. Luckily, most breweries are offering all of their services, which can help you schedule a tour and a taste test to make dad’s Father’s Day extra special. Of course, you might look around for places that offer the types of beers that dad enjoys. If you don’t have a brewery near you, then you might call in and see if any restaurants offer beer tastings. This will allow you to get dad a special meal to help make the tasting all the more enjoyable.

8. Flight Lesson
If your dad is a bit of a daredevil, then you might consider getting him flight lessons. You might be surprised as to how frequently these classes are offered, so you shouldn’t have to work incredibly hard to find what you need. You may have to get dad to sign some paperwork and put in some applications before he can take a flight lesson, so surprise him with the lessons might not be an option. However, it can still be a fun way to show dad you care and understand his desire to truly embrace life, especially after the past year.

9. Hit the Water
With Father’s Day tends to come to the summer heat, so spending some time on the water might be one of the best gifts for dad. You can enjoy a day doing almost anything by the water, which will help make planning easier. If you or your dad has a boat, then this is a great option. However, if you’re looking for more budget-friendly ideas then you might consider rafting or just go for a simple swim in the water. Having fun together and enjoying the beauty of summer can truly provide dad with the perfect setting for Father’s Day.

10. Road Trip
When it comes to getting out of the house, a road trip is one of the best ways to jump into action. You don’t have to go far on your road trip as long as you hit the road for a little while. In fact, if your dad loves to drive then he might be happy just spending the day on the road and returning home when night falls. You’ll definitely want to go over dad’s desires before you plan the trip unless you already know of something that he may have in mind. Make sure you pack snacks and other items to help make your trip enjoyable and safe.

Finding the perfect Father’s Day gift doesn’t have to stress you out. In fact, this year, dad might be more interested in embracing an activity than he is in getting a present. These ten ideas will help you find the perfect activity for dad so you can show him you love him while getting out of the house together for a while.