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Tips&Tricks

How to Save Money While Traveling with Kids

 

Traveling with children can be a challenge all of its own, and trying to save money while you do it may seem impossible. Believe it or not, there are a few ways to cut down on the holiday budget even when you are traveling around with kids. Places like Hotels Combined know how to help save money, and have some tips to offer.

saving money when traveling with kids

Look for the Specials

This tends to apply mostly to restaurants but hotels sometimes have the same deals, where kids get service for free. Certain days of the week may have a “kids eat free” or a “kids stay free” offer, which can save you some money if you can fit these deals into your schedule. Just make sure you read the fine print, as there may be conditions you don’t notice at first that make the offer less reasonable for your situation.

Pack the Snacks

Kids love snacks and will bug you for a treat all day long, particularly if they keep seeing snack bars along your route. Putting some limits on snacks is the first step but otherwise make a stop at a grocery store before you leave and stock up on cheaper snacks that you can carry with you.

Avoid the Holidays

Trying to plan all your traveling schedules to match up with school holiday time unfortunately means you almost always end up traveling during “peak season”. Not only does that mean busier venues, but higher prices on just about everything. Instead, think about excusing your kids from classes at a point of the year when people aren’t generally taking their holidays. You can’t beat having shorter lines, and you’ll save money on flights and accommodations too.

Think about Cooking

Another way to save on food is to have some of your meals eat-in at your hotel room. A small kitchenette unit may cost a little more at first but if you can save on multiple restaurant meals, you win out in the end. It can also mean a little less stress if you have several kids who tend to be rambunctious during restaurant meals. You can keep the peace, make them what they want, and save money in the process. All you need is a grocery store.

Focus on Cheap or Free Souvenirs

Make a pact before your trip that you will only look for cheap or free souvenirs that will remind you of your trip, saving you all the money wasted at the local gift shops. Make it a game to see who can find the cheapest items that represent your location. Menus from the restaurant, spare change if you are visiting a foreign country, free postcards from your hotel room, and other little treasures like this.

 

These are a few handy kid-centric ideas to save on money, but you can always rely on some of the usual tips like comparison shopping for flights or taking public transit when you get around. A memorable family vacation doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

 

Tips&Tricks

13 Ways To Save On Heating Costs For Your Family

 

When the temperatures drop down, there are a number of ways that you can bring down your heating costs and stay nice and warm.

 

How to save on heat
Decorate For Warmth

Think about putting rugs on your floors and flannel sheets on your bed. You can even use insulated curtains for your windows and warm blankets for your sofa. Whenever it is cold outside, nothing will save you more money than having a home that is outfitted with accessories that are warm and cozy.

Use Free Solar Heating

During the day, open up your curtains to let the sun shine in so that it warms your home. At night, be sure to close the curtains so that you can trap the heat inside.

Ethanol Fireplaces

Another great way to save on energy is to utilise ethanol fireplaces. They are efficient, greener and the smarter heating option for a fireplace in your home.

Cut Back On Use Of Kitchen And Bathroom Fans

Even though these fans may suck out any of the undesirable smells in your room, they can also suck out the hot hair.

Regular Filter Changes

Dirty filters are going to make your heat pump or furnace work a lot harder. This can lead to some scary numbers when you look at your heating bill. Try to swap your filter out once a month during the season of use.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Hot air is known to rise. Think about running your ceiling fan in reverse so that you can bring the air back down to where you are at floor level.

Turning Down The Thermostat

When you are ready to go to bed at night, you can turn your thermostat own a few degrees cooler. You can get warm under the blankets and save money on your heating bill. There are also some great programmable thermostats that will do the work for you.

Have An Energy Audit

You are not going to find a lot of doctors that will make a house call today. However, there are energy auditors that you can have come out to your location to find out if you are doing all that you can to save money and make your home the most efficient that it can possibly be.

Insulation

The chances are good that you do not have the right amount of insulation for your home. By simply going to the website for the Department Of Energy, you can use their insulation tool to learn about what you should have and how you can start beefing it up.

Clear Your Vents

Make sure that there it nothing covering your heater vents. This includes moving any furniture, belongings and debris so that you will have a clear space for air to come out.

What About Your Damper?

Keep your fireplace damper closed whenever it is not in use. This will keep all of the warm air inside and keep you and your family much warmer.

Get A Much Needed Tune-Up

You should always have your furnace checked on a regular basis to be sure that it is running at peak level. A simple call to a professional will be all that you need.

Dress Those Ducts

Heat loss is something that can happen to the best of us. So, always be sure that you are taking good care of your heat ducts and wrapping them tight so that you are not losing any precious warm air.

Tips&Tricks

5 Free Parenting Worksheets That Will Make Your Life Easier

 

Parenting is the toughest job in the world and we all need some help from time to time. I will be the first one to admit that I often rely on other parenting bloggers out here to help me with their tips and ideas. That is why I am obsessed with parenting worksheets and printables. They are so useful and interesting. There are bunch of them on Pinterest, but I will share my favorites one with you!

Have in mind that all these are just ideas and guidelines.  You just have to do what is best for you and your family, but these parenting worksheets are made to make your life at least a little bit easier. Use them wisely!

5 Free Parenting Worksheets That Will Make Your Life Easier

1. Free Printable Chore Ideas By Age

Appropriate Chore Ideas For Kids

This parenting worksheet is really useful. I have to say, I didn’t give much chores to my daughter because I thought she is still too little do fold towels or something like that. But, now she has chores to add to her daily routine – and I can’t say how important it is for kids to have chores.

Source: Mommy Moment

2. 100+ Easy Ways to Bond With Your Kids

100+ Ideas For Family Bonding - Parenting Worksheet

There are bunch of ideas here, just find the ones that work best for you.

Source: Sammy Approves

3. Guidelines For Practical Life Skills

Practical Life Skills For Kids

It’s important to teach our kids practical skills and important life skill values before they leave our nest.

Source: Thirty Handmade Days

4. Holiday Screen Time Rules

Screen Time Rules For Holidays

Simple, but one of my favorite parenting worksheets.

Source: Natural Beach Living

5. 50 Fun Things You Can Do With Your Kid This Weekend

Fun Activities For Toddlers

If you have some cool parenting worksheet you have created, feel free to leave us a link in the comments section, so we can add it to the list.

What parenting worksheet would you like to see?

Tips&Tricks

6 of the Best Pregnancy Foods for Women

 
The first rule in pregnancy is always about nutrition; eating highly nutritious foods is the only way to having a successful and healthy pregnancy/baby. Many pregnant mothers, however, find themselves craving for processed foods. Although this may be normal, it’s advisable to focus on a healthy diet plan – your body needs it. The fetus growing in you needs all the vital nutrients for cell, body, and brain development.  Folic acid, calcium, and protein are some of the most essential nutrients required for the baby’s development and health before and after birth.

6 of the Best Pregnancy Foods for Women

Some of the best foods you should consider adding to your diet plan during pregnancy include:

  1. Whole Grains

Whole grains are among the best sources of iron, dietary fiber, and folic acid.  Nutritionists also recommend going for fortified cereals and grains for they do help supplement these nutrients. Having oatmeal for breakfast, brown bread for lunch, and brown rice or whole-wheat pasta for supper is recommended for pregnant moms as well.

  1. Legumes

Legumes are also an excellent source of folate, iron, zinc, and calcium. They also provide high-quality fiber and proteins needed for the mother’s health. White beans, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, soybeans and black-eyed beans are mostly recommended for they are nutrient-rich. This infographic from Mid-Atlantic OBGYN shows a lot of the nutrition for expectant mothers.

Pregnancy Nutrition - 6 of the Best Pregnancy Foods for Women

  1. Salmon

Omega 3 fatty acids are essentially needed for the baby’s eye and brain cells development. Adding foods rich in these fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, therefore helps supplement your body’s supply of the same, which therefore promotes the baby’s brain development. Salmon is considerably a better source of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins as compared to other fish types, hence recommended for pregnant mothers. Nutritionists recommend eating having at least 12 ounces of fish each week.

  1. Eggs

The demand for high-quality proteins (amino acids) in pregnant mothers is considerably much higher than for body builders. Eggs provide some of the best quality amino acids that your baby needs for tissue and muscle development and are affordable as well. Eggs are also excellent sources of minerals, vitamins, and choline. You however should be careful not to consume undercooked or raw eggs, as they could pose a huge risk to your unborn child.

  1. Berries

Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and even grapes should be included in your diet plan as well. These berries are very good sources of potassium, fiber, folate, and vitamin C.  You can use these berries to make pancakes or even cereal toppings.

  1. Yogurt

A cup of low-fat yogurt is not only high in proteins but also an excellent source of calcium. Calcium is primarily needed for healthy and strong bones, teeth, and ligaments – both for the mother and the child.

Tips&Tricks

How Should Parents Help With Homework

 

Most children do not like to do homework. That is a fact. Did you liked it when you were a kid? I know I didn’t. Kids are just too playful to just sit and study. Bribery, ultimatums and punishment won’t do anything if you want to make your kid pick up that pencil and start doing homework. You are probably asking yourself should parents help with homework? If your child is struggling with homework, you just have to make them motivated.

Should Parents Help With Homework?
Few years ago, a large study was published of how parental involvement affects academic achievement, Keith Robinson, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Angel L. Harris, a sociology professor at Duke, found that it doesn’t. The researchers tracked 63 different measures of parental participation in kids’ school lives, from helping them with homework, to volunteering at their schools. They published their results in The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement With Children’s Education.

Study showed that parents don’t really mean a lot when it comes to academic achievement. The study even showed how once kids enter middle school, parental help with homework can actually bring test scores down. So, don’t help them with their homework, just use these few tips to motivate your kids to write homework.

By doing homework, kids learn how to:

  • follow directions independently
  • manage their time time better
  • complete work by doing the best they can.

 How Should Parents Help With Homework?

First of all, you need to establish a study routine. Set the time for homework and stick to that schedule. Don’t decide about learning time by yourself. Let your children decide what time is best for them. That way they won’t feel like Kids Homeworkyou are pressuring them.

Invite your child to also choose where will he or she do their homework. If they prefer the kitchen table, let them learn there. Older kids might prefer to learn in their rooms, so be sure to check them from time to time so you know they are really doing their homework.

Help your kids. But, don’t insist on helping them. Help only if your child asks for it. They have to feel like they are in charge. When your kids are about to give up because they don’t know what to do next, encourage him or her by helping them just a little.

Offer support and guidance and help them interpret assignment instructions. Don’t tell them the answer, rather ask them what parts they don’t understand or what they think the answer is. You will help them a little, but they will have to figure out the answers themselves.

At the end of their work time, check each piece of homework to be sure it is completed.

Don’t use rewards. Bribery will not get you anywhere. Replace money or toys with encouraging verbal rewards. Make positive comments about the behavior you want to encourage. Praise good work!
Help them organize. We are not born with great organization skills. They have to be learned. You can help your children by teaching them to use some kind of personal planner to help them get organized. Encourage them to keep a daily homework notebook, which can help you both to know exactly what assignments they have and when is the due date.kids homework

Work together. If you brought some work home from the office, do it same time your kid is doing the homework. It will show them that there are assignments for everyone later in life too. Do not turn on the television, even if your favorite tv show is on. If the television or the computer are on, little or no work will get done.

Only thing you can add is some music, because it can help your kid to focus more effectively. As you watch your child work, compliment him on something that he does well. He will try to do even better next time!

Doing homework will help your kids develop a sense of responsibility, pride when a job is well done and a work ethic. That’s why homework is important and you as a parent have to do your part to make your children motivated! What to do you to think – should parents help with homework?