One of the easiest ways to save money and keep healthy is to keep a water bottle handy. Drinking your eight glasses of water a day (more depending on what your level of activity is as well as the weather) can save so much money. Best of all it doesn’t even feel like a money saving venture, and it makes you feel better in the long run.
When you are drinking the right amount of water you seldomly want to drink more. Mainly, this is because your body is already filled with water and you aren’t thirsty. It reduces the amount you would spend at vending machines or on bottled soda, fruit juice or energy drinks. Drinking the right amount of water also helps you feel less hungry throughout the day. You will spend less on snacks or a drive-thru.
Keeps You Hydrated
Medically we need water for our bodies to function properly and clean themselves out. When your body isn’t getting enough water your internal organs need to work harder to clean out your system. You could end up with health problems due to lack of proper hydration such as a UTI. Your body also ends up hanging on to more garbage because there isn’t enough water in your system to flush it out.
There is also heat stroke or heat exhaustion to consider. Drinking water in the right amounts, as opposed to dehydrating fruit juice or soda, makes it less likely for you to have a run in with either of these conditions.
Water is healthier for you in other ways as well. It doesn’t contain acids, dyes, flavoring or an excess of sugar. In fact it’s the one drink that is a natural health benefit to your body. It can help you lose weight, and keep you regular. I’m sure we can all agree that is worth it’s weight in water.
There are many wonderful things to do when your kids are home for the summer. Many don’t cost anything to participate in or to visit. Here are some fun ideas to keep your kids busy and you sane until school starts up again.
Most areas have historical sites, parks and even petting zoos that are free or donation requested. To find out what attractions you and your little ones can go to check out the website: http://free-attractions.com/ . You can plan both small trips for in your local area as well as day trips to places farther away in your state or a neighboring state.
Sometimes you can go on a trip with no destination in mind. Take a long drive as a family. Point out animals and trees to your children as you drive past. Indulge in a family audio book or a favorite music CD. At the end of the drive have lunch or a small picnic. Let the kids fall asleep in the back seat on your way back home. Enjoy the silence.
Set up times to visit a retirement center. Help your neighbor with their yard or garden. Attend birthday parties and holiday BBQs. Throw some celebrations of your own. Bring the neighborhood together as well as get your kids out of the house.
Participate in summer reading programs at the library. Take the craft or art classes offered by the local home improvement or crafting store. Sometimes even art centers, parks and community centers offer a free class for parents and children.
Use the back yard, a national park or a KOA. Take advantage of the activities provided. Swim, canoe, identify plants, set up tents, and roast hot dogs and marshmallows over an open flame. Sing camp songs late into the night and sleep in.
There are many free events to participate in. There are open air concerts and annual festivals. I know of one area that does a rubber duck race once a year. Check out your local newspaper to find out what events are happening in your area.
Crock pots are the cute little money savers in the kitchen. They help us save time as well as resources. I have found I have been able to feed my family a much healthier diet using much less in the way of ingredients, and it takes me about an hour of prep time the night before the meal. A crock pot however doesn’t just save time. It also saves money.
When you have company over, or a holiday get-together your crock pot is a great way to make a meal that is big enough to feed everyone without costing you half a pay check. You can cook dried beans, use little meat and add spices. There you have a nice soup or chili and it didn’t cost you more than five or six dollars. If you wanted you could add a homemade bread, corn bread or rice as a side dish. It still would be a group meal that costs about fifteen dollars or less.
Crock pots heat up your food and they do so all day. A crock pot can heat up pretty well. They still don’t generate as much heat as having the oven or stove on. You won’t be spending the money on air conditioning to counter the heat coming out of your kitchen. Plus you can still have a healthy hearty home cooked meal.
While it is true that there are unhealthy recipes that can be made in a crock pot, there are many healthy meals that can just as easily be made. They often require less meat. They help you take a step back from frying foods. Cooking healthy with a crock pot doesn’t even take more effort than cooking unhealthy with a crock pot. This means better nutrition for your family and hopefully less medical problems.
A woman’s work is never done, and that’s why it’s important for us to stop and breath every now and then. The only problem is finding the time. Often we, as moms, wives, and employees put ourselves on the back burner until we are all burned out. Here are a few things that you can do to change that.
Know The Science
Stressing yourself out with an overfilled schedule will not help you make or save money. The truth is when we are stressed we spend more. We spend on relaxation techniques. We spend on comfort food. We spend on books that teach us to de-stress, but we never read them because we are too busy stressing out.
Not only that there are the medical ramifications of stress. It destroys sleeping habits, eating habits, and our immune system. We don’t take the time to let our body rest or heal when we are ill. It can cause our body to tear itself apart from the inside.
It is said that when you prioritize things in your life, those things in your life that shouldn’t be there will fall out of it. Often we bite off more than we can chew. Take the things that are important to you ( family, friends, work, etc.) and set a schedule for them. Those things that lack importance (like television reruns from the 90’s) will go to your back burner instead of you or work or your family life.
The next thing we need to do is accept that we are not super human. We can’t fit everything we need to do into one day, though it doesn’t stop most of us from trying. An overfilled schedule not only reduces the chance to take a much needed break, it leaves you with a short fuse and an unhappy family. Spread your chore list out throughout the week. It’s easier to get a few big items taken care of per day than a month’s worth.
They could be salt and vinegar chips. It could be those yummy tortilla chips. Chips seem to be a household favorite. Sometimes, however we end up with half eaten bags of stale chips. When you’re looking to save money a good way to is to use the things around you in another way. This is even true of our beloved chips.
Cover A Caserole
Broken up potato chips are a great way top top a casserole. They spread well, have a little crunch and come with their own seasoning. Using different flavors (such as sour cream and onion or BBQ) is a great way to make the same potato casserole recipe taste different if it’s a main meal for your family.
A Main Ingredient
Tortilla chips can be used to make nachos or as a layer in a taco salad. You can nacho cheese flavored for some extra kick of spice. They also work well with a homemade bean and cheese dip. Add salsa and you have a great, healthy snack.
In our home bread seldom goes stale. The same can’t be said of chips. It seams we always have a cup worth of chips that have been deemed inedible lurking at the bottom of the bag. So instead of feeding the ducks bread, we feed them our stale broken up chips. The ducks don’t seem to mind one little bit.
If you like to make your meat with a breaded covering, potato chips are a good covering to use. They have spices and flavoring; they crumble easily. All you need to do is brush your pork chops or chicken legs with a little oil and put them in a bag with the crumbled chips. Then shake the bag until your meat is fully covered; and bake or fry your finished product at your discretion.
We all want to get outside with our little ones, but often find ourselves just staring at each other wondering what to do. Here are six ideas for getting outside with our children that don’t cost an arm or a leg.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
My little guy is really into bugs and I use that to my advantage when we are outside. We save the lives of worms baking on a hot side walk, look for caterpillars and announce when butterflies fly past. It happened so often that we decided to make a game of it. Now we look for a list of bugs as well as new animals. We make a list of critters (from cats to bugs) and go looking for them at the park or in the neighborhood.
There are many games that just aren’t right for inside. Tag, Red Rover and other childhood games are made for the outside. You can tell by all the running and jumping around. These are a few of the games that you and your child can play. You can also make up your own games.
Side Walk Chalk
Side walk chalk is great no matter where you live. If you live near a side walk, have a cement balcony or a cement driveway you can use side walk chalk. Use it to draw a hopscotch or tic tac toe game. Or you can just draw pretty pictures. It’s up to you.
Play With Fire
One night have a very well monitored (and legal) fire pit. Roast marshmallows on a stick and make s’mores, they can be the dessert for the roasted hot dogs on a stick. Tell stories and teach fire safety. This will also teach them the basics of outdoor cooking.
Whether you have a potted flower next to the door or an entire vegetable garden, working in the dirt can be rewarding. It can teach your children to have greater respect for the Earth, knowing that our food comes from it and that we need safe and clean places to grow that food. It also teaches them patience. You need to wait to see a plant grow. There is no instant gratification in a garden.
Lay in the backyard or on a beach with your little one and talk about the colors and shapes of clouds. Watch a storm come in together. Just make sure to get indoors before it starts to rain on you. Cloud expeditions can naturally lead to talking about other things in life, which is why you are out with your little one to begin with.
It’s not that we don’t appreciate mom enough to splurge on her. It’s that we just don’t have a budget that will cooperate with splurging all that much. Here are a few tips for those that fall into this category.
While I’m sure mom would love the coffee filter flowers, there is a more refined crafted flower out there to make for mom. Check out Instructables.com for a few flower crafting ideas. They may take a bit of time but they will be very pretty for mom and will last longer.
If paper flowers just aren’t in your crafting ability pick up some fake flowers at the dollar store. Remove the petals from the stems and leaves and mix and match the petals. Then put the new flowers back together. You will end up with more colorful and fuller flowers. To go the extra mile outline the petals with a gold, silver, or matching glitter glue.
Cards are easier than ever to make, and you can get as creative as you would like without spending a dime. Upload a family picture to Picmonkey.com and use overlays, framing, and color tinting to turn it into a great visual. Add some loving words in a nice font. You can either have it printed and mailed out, or send it as an attachment to your mom in an email. If you aren’t sure you’re that tech savvy you can also use Punchbowl.com to create and send mom a digital card. They have step by step instructions to get you through the process.
A Gift of Self
When you have a talent, share it with your mom. Make a dinner for her and bring paper products or do the dishes so she doesn’t have to. Start a garden with her or let your children start a garden with her. Spend time through out the year tending the garden. You could also make a blanket or quilt for her if that is your gift.