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Tips to Surviving the First Week Back At School

Summer has come and gone and Back to School time is here once again!  Getting back into the routine of begining a school day can be a little chaotic that first few weeks… Liz, from the iFamily Mom Squad, is here with some tips on Surviving the First Week Back to School!

Back To School

TIPS TO SURVIVING THE FIRST WEEK BACK AT SCHOOL

The lazy days of summer are fading away and the mornings will now be filled with school runs, finding lost shoes and attempting to get out the door on time.  Thankfully, it does not have to be as stressful as it could be.

Here are a few tips on surviving the first week back at school!

Make Ahead Dinners

One of my favorite things to do to add ease to our evening is freeze dinners ahead of time! Take time to make your families favorite meals or make extra portions in the days leading up to school. Cooking dinner will be one thing you can check off of your to do list!

Plan Lunches

Plan your child’s lunches for the week ahead and stock the fridge accordingly, eliminating any unnecessary shopping trips. Even better, have your kiddos help you with your list (with guidelines, of course). If buying lunch is an option, give them a chance to choose a “special day” to buy lunch.

Plan your outfits the night before

…even for you mom! It seems so easy, but I think we forget how this little step can make the morning routine a breeze.

Give your kiddos a to-do list in the morning!

Make a chart that will make it fun getting all tasks their completed. Getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating breakfast and gathering up their jacket, lunch and book bag!

Homework Space

Make a dedicated homework space so your child knows exactly where they should do their school work each day. This should be an area separate from the TV or any other distractions. Another idea is to set them up in the kitchen next to you while you are reheating your freezer dinner or making lunches for school tomorrow, because you are on top of it mom!

Start the first days of school with a positive outlook!

You could make your kiddo their favorite breakfast while talking with them about their first days of school. Take advantage of this time and ask them about what they are looking forward to about their day. Also, make sure to check in at the end of the day and ask specific questions about school. This also helps out in case you need to make any changes in their routines.

Whether your kiddo is starting a whole new school or just jumping up a grade we need to remind our kids that everything is going to be ok and we have their backs.  Give them your time, attention and extra hugs this week.  I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration for starting school on the right foot.   Have a great first week back to school!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Fun Things To Do When Your Little One Is Sick

Having a sick kid is never fun!  Ruth, from the iFamily Mom Squad, shows us how with a little creativity and a lot of TLC you can make sick time for your little one a little easier for everyone.  Take a look…

fun things to do when your little one is sick

Fun things to do when your little one is sick

It can be a challenge to keep a sick toddler happy when they aren’t feeling well. Short from the usual chicken soup and a movie, what else can you do? You could pull out a board game but it probably won’t hold attention long. You could teach them to write a sonnet, but that’s probably a bit too hard.  What about buying them a pile of snacks and gifts? That isn’t really practical and will appease them for about 5 minutes.

Here are a few ideas to keep your kiddos happy when they’re not feeling their best!

In our house crafts are a winner.  They don’t really care what kind. Hand them a piece of paper and water colors or crayons. Anything they can create with works well. Kids love making their own projects. ALL BY THEM SELF! The best part is they will come up with their own plan, no directions needed.

Another option is a sing-a-long dance party if they are up for it. We love to dance around and sing in the living room. I will play a variety of songs and we have a great time. It’s fun and exercise for Mommy too!

Play dough is always a huge hit. If the prepackaged stuff is dried out, or you simply don’t have any..there is an alternative. You can make some homemade dough.  There are many recipes online but I prefer recipes that are baby safe since we all know kids like to put things in their mouths. I found a recipe on the website powerfulmothering.com that has a great recipe for cloud dough that is edible for little ones. The ingredients are simple, flour and cooking oil. I switched mine up for texture and with a sensory component using coconut oil and sprinkles for fun. Then we mix it all together and it becomes very malleable so they can mold with cookie cutters or containers with lots of fun! If you want to see the full recipe check out HERE.

Options for keeping you little one happy at home are pretty much endless with the click of the internet. These ideas can get you started. What else have you tried at home?

From iFamily To Yours,

 


Popcorn And Other Fun Things To Do In The Car

Gabrielle, from the iFamily Mom Squad, shares some great tips for fun car games that will encourage communication with your kiddos!  Take a look…

 

Popcorn and Other Fun Things to Do in the Car

“How was your day?” I’d ask from behind the steering wheel.

My daughter would always have a story about something  that happened that day, but I noticed that my son tended  to be a bit less talkative than his sister.  I found an article that said in order to encourage communication, that I should stop asking that question, as it generally elicits a one or two word response.  The article suggested asking questions that would require a different answer every day.

“What did you have for lunch?”

“What was the best (or worst) thing that happened at school today?

I took those ideas and ran with them.  We made up games to play in the car that required better communication skills.  Here are a few you might want to play with your family.

Popcorn

In elementary school, we used to play this game during read aloud time.  We’d all sit in a circle with the same book.  The teacher would call on someone to read. At any given moment that student could stop reading, say “Popcorn” and call on another student to continue the story.  It was a good way to see who was actually paying attention.

We modify the game by making up the story as we go along, and once a person says popcorn, they give up their rights to the story.  The best thing about this game is that it requires everyone to listen first, and speak second.

Besties

This game is one of my favorites.  In this game, we ask the rest of our family to answer questions about ourselves. We ask things like “What’s my favorite color?”  or “What’s my favorite restaurant?” Sometimes the answers are downright comical.  Other times, you’ll be surprised at the accuracy of the answers you get.  Your children are watching more closely than you think.   It’s also a great way to  figure out what makes your kids tick, without having to ask directly. A word of caution.  Do not ask your kids when your birthday is.  Depending on how old they are, they may not get it right.   A mad mommy pretty much sucks all the fun out of that game.

Would You Rather

This game teaches children to compare and contrast.  It also teaches them decision-making.    One person asks everyone else in the car would they rather do one thing or the other.  The rest of us make our choices and sometimes we debate the merits of those choices.  For instance, a common question is:  “Would you rather have chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream?”  The questions can get repetitive.  My toddler says the same thing every time she gets to pose a question.  But every now and then, the kids are hit with a creative burst, and all of us are caught off guard.

My son is no longer the quietest person in the car.  In fact, he’s usually the one asking to play one of the games.  The games created a fun and safe way for him to express himself.  They teach him skills he will use the rest of his life. They have also provided the rest of us with hours of family entertainment.  I hope they will do the same for you.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle


6 Super Easy Potty Training Tips!

When it comes to potty training success, timing and preparation are key!  If you think your little one is ready for the task it’s time to get started!  Erin, from our iFamily Mom Squad is here to help with her 6 easy potty training tips!

Potty Training

6 Super Easy Potty Training Tips!

I am excited to share with you guys that my youngest son, who is 2 1/2, is fully potty trained!! No more diapers in this house! Yes!!! Still wiping bottoms? Yes, BUT we are going to be saving quite a bit of money by not using diapers AND the overflowing landfills will thank us!  I wanted to share with you a few things I learned along the way that will hopefully help you when it comes time to train your little one.

Wait until they show signs of readiness

If there is one thing you take away from this post, THIS is it.  Trust me, it will be much easier and faster to potty train a little guy or gal who wants to do it!  So, how do you know they are ready?  If they stay dry for 2 hours or longer, show interest in you going to the bathroom or start talking about going in their diaper or letting you know they have to go.

Use underwear

You may want to skip pull ups and go straight to underwear unless they are in the swimming pool.  In my opinion, underwear worked better for us because when he has an accident, he feels that “yucky” feeling and hopefully doesn’t want to feel that again.  With pull ups, they might just want to keep going potty as if they were wearing a diaper.  Also, you take into account the cost of pull ups versus underwear. Seems like a no-brainer to me!

Pro tip:Get them EXCITED about potty training by taking them to pick out their favorite character underwear or color/design!  Little Joey won’t want to pee or poop on Thomas the Train!!

Rewards  

Set your child up for success! Small rewards such as stickers or small candies right after they go in the potty is an excellent motivator for 2 and 3 year olds.  We made a sticker chart and if he went potty a certain number of times with few accidents, at the end of the week we took him to the toy store to pick out something special.

Don’t expect perfection  

They are still young and learning. There WILL still be accidents.  Don’t make a huge deal or punish your kid if he has an accident. Focus on rewarding the times he makes it to the potty.

Preparation is key

When your child gets up in the morning or a nap, take them straight to the potty.  Don’t ask them if they need to go just take them to the potty every 2 hours or so. The asking part can come later.  Before you leave the house, pack an extra change of clothes, underwear, socks, wipes, and a plastic bag to put wet clothes in. Also, right before you leave, sit your child on the potty.

Pro tip:If you have an area outside your main bathroom that you hang out such as your living room or family room, place a little potty chair in that room so that when he has to go, he doesn’t have to go running upstairs or down a long hall.

Don’t stress

It’s going to be ok.  It’s only going to make it more stressful on you and your child if you try to rush into potty training and stress over it. I promise you, this too shall pass.  Your child won’t be 22 and pooping in his pants!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Back To School Crockpot Meals

Ready, set, here we go!  Back to school means back to alarm clocks, homework and after school practices!  Some nights it’s hard to find time to fit in a home cooked meal for your hard working family.  Crockpot meals can be a real lifesaver!  Bridgette, from our iFamily Mom Squad, is here to share some of her favorites.  Take a look…

Back To School Crockpot Meals

Back to School Crockpot Meals

Yes, you read that correctly, everyone is getting ready to head back to school already!  I don’t know about you, but when we were in traditional school, that first week was so chaotic! Between getting up on time, making last minute triple checks and remembering what time the bus comes…. Dinner would be the absolute last thing on my mind. I couldn’t think about spending hours cooking subpar food that we had already had two days ago. Which is why I fell in love with crockpot meals, slow cooker meals, dump meals or whatever you want to call them. They truly make dinner time much easier and less of a hassle.

For those first two weeks back to school, consider dinner made! These 10 crockpot meals are delicious, easy and can feed a crowd or be packed for lunch!  Get out your notepad and start making your list!

Cheesesteak sandwiches

This easy recipe from Lauren Greutman is one of my favorites! I also substitute the beef for chicken at times. All the gooey cheese and veggies are seasoned to perfection and definitely make. Simply toss everything in before you head out to grab the kids and it will be ready right in time for dinner!

Ingredients:
2 green peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 – 2 1/2 lbs. thinly sliced steak (I used top round)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix
1 cup water
1 beef bouillon cube
6 slices of provolone cheese
6 hoagie rolls

Classic Pot Roast

The pot roast can be used in so many ways with so many different sides. You can make it into tacos, burrito bowls, roast sandwiches and more! This recipe from Don’t Waste The Crumbs is one of the best! I personally brown my roast before placing it into the crock pot. Place your roast in the pot in the morning… cook it on low for a meal that is sure to please everyone!

Ingredients:
1 chuck roast (3-4 lbs)
1 lb baby carrots (or carrots, cut to about 1″ pieces)
1½ lbs potatoes (any variety, cut into about 1″ pieces if necessary)
4 Tbsp homemade dry onion soup mix
1 batch homemade cream of mushroom soup

Chicken Fajitas

Tacos, fajitas and any TexMex really, are pretty much staples in my house lol. Chicken fajitas are one of the quickest to make in my opinion. These fajitas from Cooking Classy are great! ( I don’t use the honey in her receipe)

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 red , orange and green bell pepper, julienned
1 large yellow onion , halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic , minced
2 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp honey

Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

Over the past few years, my family and I have fallen in love with more dishes from India, the Middle East and Mediterranean. One our favorites is chicken tikka masala! It is cheap, can feed our whole family for practically two days lol! This recipe from Table For Two definitely takes the cake!

Ingredients:

8 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, or about 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.) – cut into 1.5″ cubes
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1: 29- oz can of tomato puree
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Garam masala
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1-3 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on your heat preference
2 leaves bay
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp cornstarch
Lemon juice from half a small lemon
Chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping

BBQ Chicken

Chicken is a go to meat in our house. It is can be used in just about anything! BBQ chicken is perfect for nights that you just want to chill out and not worry about who is getting messy when heading out to do family things. This recipe from Family Fresh Meals was one of the first BBQ chicken recipes I tried. Even my husband approved of it!

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless  chicken breasts
1 cup  BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

Cheesy Chicken Penne

Two words, cheese and noodles! Do I need to say more? This recipe from The Slow Magical Cooker is the perfect dish for kiddos and cheese lovers!

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 (10.5-oz) cans cream of chicken soup (don’t add water)
½ cup chicken broth
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. dried leaf tarragon (can substitute oregano or thyme here)
1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
1 small sweet yellow onion, diced
Add at the end
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb. penne pasta (cooked according to package directions on the stove-top)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Nothing is better than getting a bowl of hot soup during the cold months! Chicken tortilla soup has been my favorite soup for years and I don’t see anything changing that lol. This recipe from Cooking Classy is definitely what you will see me eating once that frost kicks in! Don’t forget the sour cream and extra cilantro!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth (4 1/2 cups)
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups finely chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic , minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Chicken Teriyaki

This is definitely my oldest favorite! Anytime I ask the kids what we should have for dinner, Phoenix is pretty much guaranteed to say Teriyaki chicken! This recipe from Rachel Cooks is probably the reason she loves it so much! I make this about once every 10 days… she can’t get enough! I love that it doesn’t require a ton of ingredients!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds, or about 3 large, boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch + 1/4 cup water
rice or quinoa, for serving
sesame seeds, for garnish
sliced green onions, for garnish

Beef and Potatoes Au Gratin

This is definitely a man’s meal lol. Meat and potatoes are a classic combo.  Add in cheese… well I mean it’s cheese! This recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker is actually on our menu for tomorrow!

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef (plus a touch of salt and pepper to season)
3 lbs. peeled russet potatoes, sliced a ¼ inch thick (about 7 cups total after being sliced)
1 cup thinly sliced white onion
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 cups shredded sharp cheese
½ cup chicken broth (or beef broth

Chicken Cacciatore

Coming across this recipe, I was hesitant at first.  I’m not a huge pasta fan and my husband doesn’t always trust my Pinterest recipes ( I have failed a lot of them).  I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed this one!  Once again, it’s noodles so the kids will love it. For mine, I make sure the veggies are chopped really small so my picky eaters won’t object. This recipe from Heather at Passion For Savings has my husband’s favorite pasta dish! Plus it doesn’t require a lot.

The best thing about these meals is that not only can you dump it and go, you can even make them in advance and freeze them! Whenever I am on my P’s & Q’s, I have a freezer stocked full of meals that I can dump in the crock pot and go on with my day.

As you get ready to head back to school, take a load off with these easy meals that will help you get into the swing of things!

 

From iFamily to Yours,



One Easy Way To Prevent Disaster At Home

According to the American Red Cross 36 people are injured (7 fatally) by house fires every single day here in the United States. Of the 60,000+ disasters that their response teams aide with each year, a large majority of them are house fires. Today, on the blog, Marge Padgitt, owner of HearthMasters, Inc., is here to share one simple thing you can do to prevent a fire in your home. Take a look…

One Easy Way to Prevent Disaster at Home

Did you know that only 25% of the lint from your dryer is trapped by the screenings that you clear out when you do laundry? One of the leading causes of house fires is easily prevented with the regular cleaning of your dryer vents. The science is simple: Fires are caused when extreme heat that has been trapped inside your dryer vent comes into contact with flammable lint trapped inside.

So how exactly do you prevent that from happening? It is important to clean out your dryer vents every six months, on average. This requires cleaning the connector, the vent itself, and inside the dryer (all accessible through the back panel of the unit). Note: Some vents are very short with easy access while others are longer and more difficult (especially for dryers located on upper levels or in an apartment or condo).

Gas or Electric?

Vent fires don’t discriminate – both electric and gas dryers are prone to catching fire under the right conditions.  However, a clogged gas dryer poses a greater danger to your family because it causes a backup of toxic Carbon Monoxide in the home addition to the risk of fire.

How Does It Happen?

Over time, lint builds up inside the vent, eventually closing it off so much that the dryer does not function properly, or trapping heat inside so a fire starts. A fire can start without flames, only heat is required to ignite lint.

What Can You Do?

Installing a Lint Alert Alarm can warn homeowners when it is time to clean a dryer vent. This takes the guesswork out of it. HearthMasters not only services your dryer vents but also installs the Lint Alert Alarm for you to take the guess work out of it.

Our technicians often run across vents that have not been cleaned for years. This is very risky and a fire hazard. Some homeowners have even replaced their dryers, believing that the dryer stopped working, but it was actually the clogged vent that prevented the dryers from functioning properly.  Be sure to clean vents out on a regular basis.

See more information on our website at www.chimkc.com or at the Chimney Safety Institute at www.csia.org.

 


Foodie Favorites: 7 Simple Steps for a Delicious Treat

Thinking back to your own childhood, what were some of your favorite foods that you always looked forward to when your mom made a delicious treat? Foods can bring back incredible memories that would otherwise be long forgotten. Today, we invite you to try out a classic recipe that has been enjoyed by generations. Gabrielle, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her recipe for simple banana pudding that your kids are going to be begging you to make time and time again. Take a look…

Foodie Favorites: 7 Simple Steps for a Delicious Treat

Summer time and the living is easy-  At least it should be.  I do absolutely everything I can to avoid turning on the oven when the temperature is above 90 degrees.  So when I was asked to bring a dessert to a family gathering a few weeks ago, I immediately thought of no-bake options.  This one is inexpensive and quick.  It also has the benefit of being a real crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients

  • Two packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 Bananas (less can be used depending on how much your audience loves bananas)
  • Milk (or milk substitues)
  • Vanilla wafers or shortbread cookies ( I love using Girl Scout cookies or Voortman Chessmen)
  • Whipped topping
  • Cream cheese (softened)
  • Trifle bowl (if you’re feeling fancy)

Directions:

Step One:

Mix pudding according to package directions.  Most use a couple of cups of milk with pudding mix for a couple of minutes.  This can be done with whole milk or milk substitutes.

Pro-Tip: For an extra hint of sweetness, you can use condensed milk.   Blend in cream cheese until smooth.

Step Two:

Place a layer of cookies in the trifle dish, or serving bowl.

Step Three:

Cover with about 1/3 of the pudding.

Step Four:

Slice and layer bananas.

Step Five:

Cover with another layer of pudding.

Step Six:

Spread a thin layer of whipped topping.

Step Seven:

Repeat layers until trifle dish or serving bowl is almost full, finishing with a layer of whipped topping.  Top can be garnished with crushed cookies for extra flair.

Chill for at least 30 minutes.  Then the dish is ready to serve.

 

From iFamily to yours,

Gabrielle


Your Ultimate Guide To Surviving The End Of Summer

Oh how we all anxiously await the sweet days of summer!  Pool days, picnics, family vacations!  But as much as well all love summer, there comes the day when we begin anxiously awaiting the first day of school just as much!  Erin, from our iFamily mom squad is here with some tips on surviving the final days of summer!

A Mom’s End of Summer Survival Guide

 

So, I’m already seeing Back to School ads everywhere but there is still PLENTY of summer left in my opinion. 3 weeks for us! That’s leaves plenty of time for me to lose my mind before the big yellow bus is in view. The days are long and the years are short, am I right moms??  You LOVE your kids and would do anything and everything for them but hands up if you need a break from the crazy, chaotic days of never ending questions, fights between siblings, constant need to be entertained, and my goodness let’s not forget the snacks!  Here’s a few things to help you survive the rest of these summer days and keeping your sanity intact!

Get out of the house.

Seriously. I know it’s hot as the devil’s armpit out there but go to a spray park or go for a short walk or bike ride and bring lots of water!

Call or text a mom friend.

Ok, so maybe you can’t always get together on a whim but I love having a mom friend or two I can send a quick text or call during nap time and vent about my day.  She understands the struggle.

Have your kids help with housework.

It is a TON of work for one person to do housework and pick up after 4 people! My kids are 2 and 7 and they are learning very quickly this summer how to pick up their own rooms, wash windows, sweep, load and unload the dishwasher and conquering the mountain of laundry.  Yes, they will probably whine and not be to happy about it. But, hey,when they whine, I wine!  And they will get over it.

Wind down.

Give yourself a few hours after the kids go to bed to take care of yourself.  Take a bath, drink a glass of wine, read a book, Netflix and chill with your significant other.  8:30 and me are BFFs!  My kids NEVER STOP during the day and I will stay up late just to get that me time in.

Hey Dads this is for you.  

Give your wife a break. Take the kids somewhere for 4-6 hours or tell her “I’ve got this!” and send her on her way to do as she pleases. I have been a working mom and let me tell you there is NO job more rewarding AND more difficult than being a stay at home parent. She needs time to rejuvenate so she can continue being the best mom she can be.

 

From iFamily to Yours,



Shopping Tips: What Eight Things Should You Be Buying Right Now?!

Back to school shopping is on everyone’s minds as summer comes to and end… but what are some other deals to be on the look out for this time of year?!  Sarah, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares some of her great shopping tips with us!  Take a look…

8 Things You Should Buy Right Now 

I always like looking for the best deal, and on most things I can usually find it. But when a major hit came to our budget recently I quickly turned into my mother—deal shopping became super charged deal shopping and only looking at something if there was a 70% off sign above it. This complete mind alteration made me think; last article I listed out where to find the cheapest back to school items, while looking in the latest shopping ads I realized there are a lot of other items on sale right now which I don’t need for my kindergartner but could use for the family!

Bedding

Primarily targeted at those going off to college, but sheets (especially twin sheets) bed décor, rugs and lamps are all on super sale right now. If you were thinking of updating a room in the house look at some of these items; just one or two pieces can drastically change a room.

Clothes and Shoes

This is an obvious one to update the kid’s wardrobe but think about you as well. A lot of places are marking down basic summer items right now and just because it is September doesn’t mean it is turning cold; and a lot of basic items can be worn under cardigans and jackets. Shoe stores are running BOGO events too. When you buy the new shoes for the kids throw in an additional pair for yourself. Bonus points if you can find something on clearance which becomes even cheaper as part of the BOGO! (Channeling my mom on that one!)

Backpacks

Yeah I know, we aren’t shopping for school supplies but hear me out! I was of the mindset that after I got rid of my diaper bag if it didn’t fit in my purse (which is about the size of said diaper bag) then the kids didn’t need it. Then I bought my great, very adult, expensive but on sale, pre-budget- blowup backpack and took it on our latest trip to the zoo. I AM IN LOVE! I still had both hands free and room enough to carry everything from snacks to wipes to my husband’s wallet and still had room for more! This being said, maybe it is time to look for one that is on sale, while not all of them are Trolls or Peppa Pig, some are basic in color and tailored to adults—and on sale!

Sandwich bags and lunch box supplies

Even if my kindergartener decides to take her lunch to school she still eats lunchables, applesauce, and cereal at home, so I will be stocking up on these items when they are on sale in a few weeks. Sandwich bags can always be used in my house; from breakfast carriers in the morning to leftovers, a surplus of these will be much appreciated. Clear out a place on a shelf in the garage to put all of these items.

Kleenex

Along this same line, Kleenex will be on sale right now because every classroom will have you bring at least two boxes per child. However, did you know that most homes use Kleenex as well! Stock up now for every room in the house and put some on that “supply” shelf in the garage! Come cold and flu season you will be happy you did!

Computers and Cell phones

Technology is all on sale right now, although targeted more toward those going off to college. But you can benefit now as well! If you aren’t thinking about buying right now but have some questions take advantage of stores bringing in more “experts” during this time. There will be someone that can answer your questions now about processors and data plans and then when the budget turns around or when you are ready for an upgrade you will know exactly what to ask for!

Swimsuits

This has nothing to do with school but it happens every year—stores want to clear out for their fall lines and swimsuits just don’t fit in. This is where you can take advantage of some great markdowns. Still scared to look in the mirror? It is proven that people are at their thinnest in the summer months; we are more active, tan and because of all the extra vitamin D we are getting we feel better about ourselves.

Patio furniture

Planning a Labor Day bbq? I know that my daughters’ 3rd birthday is coming up in a few weeks and I would love to have some more outdoor seating. Perfect timing! Everywhere is trying to clear out their patio furniture to either make room for school supplies or dare I say it fall holiday merchandise. Wait until about the end of August to get the really great deals; but don’t shop around too much, with good deals these aren’t going to be around for long!

From iFamily to Yours,


What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

It’s hard to believe that the end of July is sneaking up (quickly, like a tiger) upon us and it’s time to seriously start thinking about back to school shopping for clothes, shoes, supplies, and everything else that the kids need to get through another year. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad is here to help with some fantastic tips to make your shopping experience a little bit easier this year. Take a look…

 What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

Yes, we are really talking about back to school shopping! Even though we started in the beginning of July (we home school), seeing all these sales really makes the “Back to School” season feel real! All those awesome backpacks, locker decor, and crayons really seem to say summer is over.

So this year as you get ready to pick up all your school essentials, Check out these local places for insane deals and all the things you and your kids will love!

Office Depot

Office Depot has one of the best deals. And by deals, I mean .01 deals! During certain times, they will offer items for only .01! You just have to keep track of the ad. But most of their school supplies is under $5 and backpacks are only $10. You can pick up the paper ad or even see you current stores deals by checking them out online.

Staples

Staples is another great place for cheap Items. Currently, Staples has all of their writing and coloring supplies for .97. They even have Crayola (my family’s fave) Marked down. Compared to 2.50- 4.00, that’s a huge score!

Target

Target was one of my first stops last year! They had almost everything you need for on .50! Notebooks, glue, index cards… you name it! We were able to stock up well into this year with the awesome deals they had. Not to mention, they have a wide variety of colors and package sizes as well.

Dollar Tree

Over the past few years, Dollar Tree has really stepped up their merchandise! Before, I would be hesitant to buy certain things from there because of the quality and also the style as well. But the other day when I was perusing around my local Dollar Tree, I found some of the trendiest notebooks, folders and journals! Perfect for kids of all ages along with more traditional composition notebooks.  Not to mention they have an outstanding teacher corner as well! Plus, you can never really break the bank there because everything is a dollar!

Walmart

Walmart tends to be a lot of people’s go- to store. When I was there last week, they had everything for every grade. Especially some really cool printed notebooks for your trendy teen. I even bought several to have for myself! I mean rose gold foil prints?!?! I’m sold! Not to mention they have a lot of 1.00 or less items as well. Once major steal was a Scotchtape pack of 2 for only $1. That is a pretty good bargain! Plus tons of glue sticks for .25-.50 and folders for only .97!

So, as you get ready to venture out, into the crazy world of back to school shopping, keep these places and deals in mind!  Happy shopping!

Pro-Tip: Check several ads throughout the metro area. Not all cities and counties have the same deals. Last year, I found small price differences that not only saved me money, but saved me time from driving all around!

From iFamily to Yours,

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