The first of school is just around the corner for us. Some people have already started. I am not ready for my summer to be over but what can I do?
I always try to prepare for back to school. This helps me save money and also helps my kids get excited for returning to school. They both love to buy their new school supplies.
Here is a list of a few things I do to prepare each year:
1) Clothing and Shoes - I organize my children's closet to see what items I need to purchase and remove any items that no longer fit. I always buy a new outfit for the 1st day of school. My mom always did this for me and I have continued the tradition with my child. A new outfit just adds to the excitement. Another item I always have to purchase is tennis shoes. I try to look for sales ahead of time to get the best price.
2) School Supplies - I first go through what school supplies we had leftover from last year and prepare a list of items we need to purchase. I then watch the sale ads for back to school deals on school supplies and try to spend the least amount possible.
3) Prepare a Homework Area - My daughter does her homework every night in the same spot. I keep a pencil box stocked with any supplies she may possibly need. This helps with her concentration on doing her homework plus I don't have to spend time looking for supplies.
4) Bedtime Schedule - I try to get my children back on a "school" schedule a week before school starts. Our bedtime schedules never seem to work during the summer. This also helps me get back on schedule to. I admit I seem to stay up later and sleep later in the summer.
5) Backpack and Lunchbox - I make sure each child has a backpack and lunchbox in good condition for the school year.
6) Planning for Breakfast - I always plan breakfast each night so my children know what is for breakfast the next morning. This way there is no complaining. I try to have quick breakfast items available.
July is National Cellphone Courtesy month and U. S. Cellular is celebrating by promoting positive cell phone etiquette. Everyone is constantly on their cell phone, including me, either talking, texting, or replying to emails. I just wish everyone used a little cell phone etiquette. I think there is certain times when it is inappropriate to be on your cell phone. The sounds, rings, beeps from your phone can also be distracting. I wish everyone agreed with me.
Tips for improving courtesy by busy cellphone users:
- Set the ground rules. If you have plans to meet a relative for dinner or spend happy hour wiht a group of friends, discuss expectations for phone use. by determining technology use before the gathering, everyone is able to enjoy the occasion.
- Seek to understand. Focus on similarities instead of differences and set a goal to understand those around you. By understanding other's wireless device use, you'll be more courteous of their expectations.
- Don't be a buzz kill. Putting a phone on vibrate during a meeting or event can be a good idea, as vibration mode is meant to alert only you. However, it can distract others if the phone is placed on a table in a meeting or meal. Put the phone in a pocket, where it can alert you to a call but isn't disturbing others. If you forget to turn off the ringer and get an unexpected call, phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 stop ringing by simply flipping over the device.
- Avoid being blinded by the light. Adjust screen brightness prior to entering a dimly lit space, such as a restaurant, recital or school play. this allows you to use the device to take photos or use social media without disturbing those around you.
A Pew Research survey found that 67% of cellphone owners find themselves checking their phones for messages, alerts or calls - even when they don't notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
According to a recent U. S. Cellular survey, 37% of users say others get upset with them for phone use, while 63% say they get upset at others for phone use. (Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.)
As may be expected, smartphone owners who are over the age of 54 have stronger etiquette beliefs than younger users - Among adults 55-64, 82% think it is rude to check your phone while talking with someone else, and 80% think its rude to check while dining.
63% of users 18-34 think it is rude to be on your phone while talking to someone else, while 57 percent think it is rude to check while dining.
Women are more likely to prefer texting over men. They are also more likely to have checked or used their phone to avoid conversations.
63% of people believe that no one gets upset at them for their phone use. This is the same proporation that sometimes gets upset with other for using phone or tablet.
Disclosure: I am a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade. All opinions are my own.
My family took our annual beach vacation a couple of weeks ago. We look forward to this every year. The weather was great and we had a wonderful time. We got to visit with some friends who were also their on vacation. My brother and his family came down for a few days and we got to visit with them. I also celebrated my birthday while we were there. What better place to celebrate?
Here is how I saved money on vacation:
- I booked reservations by comparing prices online.
- I also received a 30% discount by using a flyer I received in the mail when booking our reservation.
- Our resort has awesome water park including a water slide, lazy
rivers, numerous pools inside and out, and a kiddie pool play park
inside and out. I feel like this an extra bonus and no desire to go to a
water park while there. The indoor pools and play areas are great in
case you have bad weather.
- I started a vacation grocery bag a couple of months before for
nonperishable items such as paper towels, paper plates, snacks,
- I saved samples/freebies that I received in the mail to carry on our
trip - toothpaste, dental floss, lotion, shampoo, conditioner etc. The
small bottles work great for 1 week plus it saves space in your luggage.
- We always have lunch in our room. I took lots of items
from home that I had purchased on sale with coupons that I included in
our vacation grocery bag.
- We received a FREE breakfast buffet at the restaurant next door with our reservations. This was a great FREE extra. I didn't have to worry about buying breakfast foods.
- When checking in I noticed several coupon booklets in their lobby
for local attractions, restaurants etc. I picked up a couple to use
during the week.
- I ordered a $25 gift card from MyPoints for a restaurant that we had
planned to have dinner at. I also had a $5 coupon. Our dinner was less
than $25 for 4 people and that included 2 adult entrees, 2 kids meals,
drinks, and an appetizer.
- We ordered pizza one night and had it delivered. We searched the
yellow pages for local pizza delivery places. I picked 3, called each
one to check out their specials and choose the best deal.
- Had dinner at Outback one night. I received a free appetizer by
saying "Bloomin Monday" to our server. I saw this offer on their
Facebook page. I also had a $5 coupon plus a $10 gift card. Great deal
for a great meal. I love Outback.
- We did not purchase any drinks or snacks while at the pool or on the
beach. I had everything we needed so I packed a cooler and snack bag
In my opinion, you can't go to the beach without going to eat at a
seafood buffet which includes crab legs of course. (my favorite) The
buffets can be quite expensive and make sure you go very hungry. One
afternoon we had a rain shower so we decided to go eat a little earlier
than than normal so we go the early bird pricing plus I found a coupon
in the coupon book I picked up when checking in. This saved us $12.