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Posts Tagged ‘savings’

It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end.  The family day trips to the amusement park or zoo, and our time lazing around the pool will soon be over until next year. Do you find the transition from summer into the routines of the school year school-1549880_1920difficult? I find that I sometimes struggle with the back-to-school schedule more than my two children (who are now a freshman and a sophomore in high school). Because of my struggles, I want to share some tips from Kids.gov  and USA.gov. Both sites create and organize timely, needed government information and services that is accessible anytime, anywhere, via your channel of choice.

  • Ease into the School Routine
    • Start going to bed and waking up on a schedule similar to the school year. Remember that teens need 9-10 hours of sleep per night, school age children need 10 hours and preschoolers need 11-12 hours.
    • Make a family docking station in the living room or kitchen for mobile phones and electronics.  By not allowing these in the bedrooms, teens and pre-teens will get a better night’s sleep.  You can also set a house rule that phones may not be checked until the morning routine is complete. Purchase a cheap alarm clock if you hear,  “I need to have my phone/tablet/etc. in my room because it has my alarm on it.”
  • Teach Time Management
    • Routine is very important. Talk to your children and set a daily schedule together and follow it.  Don’t forget to include wake-up, showering, teeth brushing, homework, (outdoor) play time/physical activity, screen-time, reading together, family meals, and bed time. If something unscheduled comes up, see if other things can be adjusted to accommodate it.
    • Use pictures for your preschoolers and early readers and a checklist for the pre-teens and teens. Don’t forget to agree upon the outcomes if the schedule is followed (a special privilege) or if it is not (a consequence). Your weekend schedule will most likely be different so map that out too.
  • Pack a Nutritious Lunch
    • A well-balanced meal will help provide the nutrients to get through the long days.
    • It helps to allow your children choices when packing their lunch.  Allow them to pack their lunch (and even yours), so that together your family is making the choice to eat healthier.
  • Listen
    • Talk to your children about what’s coming up in the next few weeks.  Talk through the schedule and the changes that will be happening as school starts. Listen to their excitement and their fears. Make a plan together for having the best school year yet.
    • Don’t forget to check in with them each day and listen for what they say (and what they don’t say, especially with the pre-teens and teens).
  • Shop Smart
    • Pick up the school supply list now and take advantage of the many sales and coupons that are available.  Use your mobile device to download coupons and always ask if a store has any coupons available.  Check the closets before you head out shopping and only purchase what you need.  
    • Take advantage of  Ohio’s tax free weekend for more savings: August 4-6.

Good luck getting back into the swing of the school year. May your school year be blessed with many wonderful memories! Enjoy every teachable moment and find something fabulous in each day!

Written By: Jami Dellifield, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Hardin County

Reviewed By: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County

Sources:

https://kids.usa.gov/parents/health-and-safety/back-to-school/index.shtml

https://www.usa.gov/features/get-ready-for-school-8-tips-for-parents-from-kid

s-gov

https://www.freetaxweekend.com/ohio-tax-free-weekend/

http://health.uncc.edu/news/electronic-devices-may-hamper-teens%E2%80%99-sleep

https://www.cps-k12.org/families-students/health-wellness/healthy-lunches/teens/lunches

Photo:

https://pixabay.com/en/school-holidays-recovery-leisure-1549880/

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Does your family go through boxes and boxes of store-bought snacks faster than you can replenish them? Do you feel like you’re spending a majority of your grocery budget on sugar-filled, processed snacks that don’t seem to last more than a few days at your house? There is an answer to this madness. Make your own snacks!

You might be thinking, “I don’t have time for that!” and while that may be true, you’d be surprised how much time you’d actually be saving. Yes, making your own snacks involves some planning and prepping. However, this planning and prepping stage might not involve the lengthy process of taking a trip to the grocery store. You can make various snacks for you, your kids, and whoever else may be at your house from foods you likely already have on hand. For example, you could try the Homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars shown below. In addition, recipes like these make large enough batches to provide snacks lasting up to two weeks if stored properly. Many store bought boxes of granola bars provide only 5 servings, so why not whip up homemade bars that yield about 24 servings per batch.

Find a recipe for snacks that fits your own personal schedule. On a time crunch this week? Throw together a big batch of trail mix using those nuts you bought in bulk that have been taking up space in your cupboard. Add in cereal, raisins, seeds, or chocolate chips and seal in an air-tight container. Scoop into sandwich-sized bags for an easy, balanced, and healthful snack for any time or place.

Buying ingredients in bulk at your favorite grocery store can help make an abundance of different snacks that add variety to your daily routine. Stock up on versatile foods like oats and nuts and you’d be surprised at your options for snacks and meals as well as how much more full your wallet feels. The recipe below, found on the What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl website provides a snack that costs $0.30 per serving. No, that’s not a typo; $0.30 per serving. These homemade granola bars yield 24 servings making the total cost of the recipe about $7.15 according to USDA. You could get about 2 boxes, or 10 servings, of your average granola bars for that price.

Health bonus: Snacks like these provide more than just dollars in your pocket and variety to your pantry. The nutrition in homemade snacks like these is worth more than all of the previous reasons combined. The carbohydrate and protein provided in healthful, homemade snacks will offer the energy you need along with satisfaction until your next meal. On the plus side, you know exactly what ingredients are going into your snacks without paying for processed sugars and ingredients you can’t pronounce.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars

From “What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl

Makes: 24 servings

Total Cost: $7.15

Serving Cost: $0.30

Ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup carrot (grated)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel and grate the carrots.
  3. Put the honey and peanut butter in a large saucepan. Cook on low heat until melted. Remove pan from the heat.
  4. Add oatmeal, raisins, carrots, and coconut to the saucepan. Stir well, and let it cool until you can safely touch it with your hands.
  5. Press the mix firmly into the bottom of the pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Cool and cut into 24 bars.

Authors: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wood County, and Allision Doriot , Dietetic Intern with Wood County Extension.

Reviewer: Cheryl Barber Spires, RD, LD, SNAP-Ed Program Specialist, West Region, Ohio State University Extension, spires.53@osu.edu

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More than half of Americans don’t have an emergency fund. Only 37 percent have tried to figure out their retirement savings needs. More than 40 percent believe they have too much debt. While these findings from the 2012 National Financial Capability Study aren’t surprising, they are trends we would all like to see reversed. That’s why Ohio State University Extension is coordinating the Ohio Saves effort, a statewide campaign to encourage people to save money, pay down debt and build wealth. Jar of Money

Research shows that if you make your savings goal specific, if you give yourself a deadline, and if you write it down, then you’re much more likely to achieve it. So, just the fact that you’re signing up to be an Ohio Saver will help you achieve your goal. Every Ohioan can start saving, no matter how low their income nor how high their debt. Start wherever you are financially. Even putting your change in a jar is a start. It can add up fast. If you save just a handful of change each day, you’ll have a good start toward an emergency fund by the end of the year. Or try putting money that you would have used for a habit like a soda or coffee each day in a jar and deposit it once a month. Your body and your bank account will thank you.

It helps to make a savings deposit first, before paying bills. Put aside what you think you can save first. If you wait until the end of your pay period, it will definitely be spent. Even if you have to tap into your savings in between paychecks, if you deposit it first, you’re more likely to save more money no matter how much it is. Participants in the Ohio Saves program have access to free resources that will encourage them to save money and reduce debt. Savers receive a monthly email newsletter with savings strategies from national experts. They also have access to online tracker tools and all sorts of encouragement and motivation. An individual saver needs to make a savings goal of their own, and be encouraged and motivated to reach that goal.
Start now, and see how much money you can save by March 1, which is the end of the 2014 Ohio Saves and America Saves Week

The Ohio Saves program is free. Anyone can sign up by going to http://ohiosaves.org and clicking on “enroll in Ohio Saves today.” Ohio Saves is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ohiosaves and on Twitter at @MoneyMattersOH.

References:
Filipic, Martha (August 2013). Ohioans Urged to Join Saves Program, OSU Extension, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences press release.

Submitted by: Polly Loy, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Belmont County, Buckeye Hills EERA.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ross County, Ohio Valley EERA.

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