For many of us, our kids are now at home with us all day. If your kids are like mine, they are suddenly always hungry and you can’t keep them occupied. Here are some ideas for you to save money while making sure your kids are well taken care of.
- Grab a small box, like a shoebox or plastic organizer and have your kids pick out their snacks for the day. Grab a leak-proof cup for the day and leave it in the box or fridge. Make sure they use the same cup all day.
- Make a kid’s grocery store. Price snack items and give your kids an allowance of monopoly money to use each day.
- When you make your grocery list, be sure and get a wide variety of snacks. Also, take advantage of larger boxes of snacks. It is usually cheaper to buy a larger box, rather than two small boxes.
- Make your own. There are many recipes out there to make your own snacks. Click here for a Pinterest board to check out.
- For snacks that need to be kept in the fridge or that are not individually wrapped, separate the snacks into easy to grab small bags. Be sure and only separate enough for a short period so the snacks stay fresh.
If your current income allows, now is a perfect time to get deals on items you will need in the future. Many online retailers are having major sales and offering free shipping. Below are some items you can save on by buying now:
- School items. As you shop, look for backpacks, school supplies, shoes, and clothes for August. By now, you should have an idea of what sizes you may need. Use the school supply list for this past year as a guide for the next grade.
- Baby items. Are you expecting? Now is a great time to “nest” and get your nursery stocked.
Now we have to save!
- Use cash back websites. My favorites are Rakuten, Coupon Cabin, Top Cash Back, and Retail Me Not.
- Use coupons. Retail Me Not has coupons for almost every website. It is my go to for online coupons.
- Retailer emails and apps. Many retailers offer coupons or special app discounts. Many also send discounts by email.
Activities & School
If you are like me, limiting screen time seems necessary. It is also important to stay on a schedule for school-aged kids. When they do go back to school, we want to make sure they stay on track until summer.
- Have a schedule. Use a marker board, tablet, or just a piece of paper to make a schedule for your kids. Split up AMI work throughout the day in subjects while adding in extras: recess, P.E., library, music, art, etc. Ask your child or their teacher what their normal schedule is during the day and try to stick to it if possible.
- Set up your home office close by. I have my work area set up in my dining room, which is right by the living room. It allows me to watch my kids and help with questions if they have any, all while still working.
- Create “centers.” Centers are commonly used in Preschool and Kindergarten settings. Centers could be extended to older kids as well. Click here for some examples.
- Plan your day so that you can work outside while your kids play. After lunch each day, I grab my laptop and work outside while my kids get much needed sunshine.
- Utilize apps that are used at your kids’ schools and other learning apps. Lexia, GoNoodle, ABC Mouse, Dream Box, and Epic are some examples.
- Explore the outdoors. The best thing about going outside is that it is easier to practice social distancing. There are trails, state parks, lakes, and rivers still open. Grab your boat, fishing pole, or a football and head outside. It is not recommended at this time to visit public playgrounds. Be sure to adhere to any curfews set in your city.
Here is a list of more free or inexpensive activities you can do as a family during this time.
- Binge watch your favorite tv show or movie series
- Clean and organizer your house room by room
- Repurpose items in your home
- Help a neighbor
- Video chat with friends and family
- Clear out items to have a yard sale (later of course)
- Read a book. Many libraries are now online.
- Have a family game night
- Go for a walk or run
- Watch old family videos and look at old photos
- Learn how to do something new, like sewing or graphic design.
- Work on home projects like painting a room
- Take a drive
- Have a picnic