Saving Money in This Economy For Your Family on Your Food Bill

With ten percent of the population out of work and most of the rest trying to scrape by it is important to save as much money as we can for our families. This is not to say we have to live a life of minimalism, we just have to start watching what we buy, when we buy it, and to rely on ourselves more for the things our family needs.

In a family a large portion of the budget is consumed by food. You can save a lot of money for your family by watching how you do grocery shopping, where you eat, and brown bagging your lunch. When going to the grocery store always have a list prepared ahead of time. Try to stick to that grocery list as much as possible and not to buy any food on impulse. Do not go to the grocery store when you are hungry. You will end up buying more food than you need for the week. If you have children try to leave them home when doing the weekly shopping, they have a tendency to throw extra things in the cart that is hard to say no to. This is not to say you should not buy snacks for your kids, it is just easier without them to be the one who regulates what kind of snacks they will be.

Use coupons where you can and if your grocery store has a discount card program use it. Buy generic products. Most of the time generic products are just as good as the name brand ones. Buy things that you will use in bulk if you will use all of it before the food expires. Try to keep the grocery shopping to once a week instead of going every other day. This will save on gas and you will end up buying less. Make your own coffee at home and bring it with you in a travel cup or mug. Coffee costs around $ 1.75 at the conveinence store, you can make it at home the way you like it for under 50 cents.

With both the husband and wife having to work in families to make ends meet it gets hectic. Try to cook dinners at home to save money. I love it when my wife cooks dinner, I also love cooking for her and our family. This will not only save you money in your food bill by not having to go out to eat so much, it will also give you some good family time around the dinner table.

These are some great tips to save your family on your food bill in this tough economy. These ideas should not hamper your lifestyle too much and at the end of the work week you may have extra money in your pocket.

Spring Maintenance Checklist

Gutters and downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pelled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drain. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.

Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.

Exterior caulking: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Scrape out all of the eroding caulk and recaulk needed area.

Window sills, door sills, and thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint or replace if necessary.

Window and door screens: Clean screening and check for holes. If holes are bigger than a quarter, that is plenty of room for bugs to climb in. Patch holes or replace the screen. Save bad screen to patch holes next year. Tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware. Wind can ruin screens and frames if they are allowed flap and move so make sure they are securely fastened. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.

Drain waste and vent system: Flush out system.

Hot water heater: Lubricate circulating pump and motor

Evaporative air conditioner: Clean unit, check belt tension and adjust if needed. Replace cracked or worn belt.

Heat pump: Lubricate blower motor.

Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks are losing their mortar, call a professional. If you can slide a nickel into a crack in your concrete floor, slab or foundation call a professional immediately.

Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls.

Deck and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood wings need to be treated every 4-6 years, depending on how much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain does not look like it should or water has turned some of the wood a dark gray, hire a professional to treat your deck and fence.

Landscape: This is a natural for spring home maintenance. Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushhes from structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home's paint and force you to have that side of the house repaired. A little trimming can save a lot of money and time.

Sprinklers: Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads. If there is an area of ​​your yard that collects too much water or does not get enough, run the sprinklers to figure out the problem. If it's not something you can fix yourself, call a professional before your lawn needs the water.

5 Ways to Better Investing

Being a better investor is a great way to minimize your risk when making investments and to ensure you’re making educated decisions. There are a few ways to become a better investor though and not everyone is cut out for the big leagues. That being said, what are some things you should know to become a better investor? Read on to find out.

# 1 – The first thing you should know about becoming better at investing is that constantly learning more and educating yourself is a fool-proof way of safe guarding yourself from major losses. This not only helps to keep you from making fatal mistakes but it also helps keep you from being taken advantage of by firms or brokers. If you’re brand new to investing it’s a good idea to read up on material that covers every aspect of investments on a basic level. For more advanced investors find an area where you’re most interested in and start there.

# 2 – Save as much of your money as possible. While this is not direct investment advice it will help to protect you from any major losses and help to cushion any blows you might suffer. Additionally, having the money in a safe spot where it is not dependent upon the stock market or other volatile markets is a great way to stay proactive.

# 3 – Watch out for stocks that can rise and drop suddenly and without very much warning. Going with stocks that have lower risk and long term gains is a great way to minimize your vulnerability with your investing decisions. Generally speaking the less volatile a particular stock is the better off you are in the long run.

# 4 – Try investing in things you have a personal interest in. If you’re into pushing forward green technology or a recent tech start up these might be great things for you to invest in and help support. Doing this not only gives you the peace of mind of knowing you’re supporting a good cause but if you’re truly passionate about it and believe in it there’s a good chance for long term returns.

# 5 – Diversify your investments-always! One of the most important things to do is to diversify as much as possible. In other words, do not put all your eggs in one basket. This will help to keep you protected from any major losses and will also increase performance overall if done properly.

Early Childhood Education Course for Teachers

Early childhood education is a concept that has been applied very effectively to children below the usual school age. It is based on the belief that children will learn through play, which is why the basics are integrated into play and taught to the children. The developer, Jean Piaget, believed those young children and even older ones learn more efficiently effectively through fun and play. Several activities are especially effective such as art, social games and dramatic play. These are supposed to awaken the interest and curiosity of the child and invoke the tendency for make believe and social thinking.

Teachers

Teachers who are educated and trained in early childhood education handle classes in preschool, which includes nursery and kindergarten classes. Children who attend these classes are usually around the ages of three to six years old. Parents are encouraged to be active teachers for their kids as well since they are considered to the first ones to teach while they are still at home. For the most part, some daycare centers recognize the need to integrate the basic lessons to the kids that they care for during the duration of their stay. Such is the importance of educational toys and an educational background for the caregiver. Teachers are taught, educated and trained to recognize the various ways and techniques that will capture the interest and curiosity of a child in order for him or her to want to learn more about the different toys and tools that are utilized. In many universities and schools, this course may reach up to the standard four year course for those teachers but in some, early childhood education may just take a couple of years to learn. Since this is a specialized course, administrators of schools that offer this to young children prefer their teachers to have a full educational background on preschool or elementary as well as have the requisite additional course.

The reality of it is that most of the toys and tools used for early childhood education can be common things that can be seen in the house or replicas of these. This actually encourages the kids to view things in the house in a different way as well as to make them familiar with these things and their uses in everyday life. Make believe and the use of their active imagination is highly encouraged in order for kids to be able to think out of the box and expand their minds and imaginations. Although there is no formal education for this course, some schools and daycare centers integrate formal lessons with play in order to give their children a leg up before they enter nursery or kindergarten. Parents are encouraged to make learning as much fun as they can without the pressure of formal teaching.

This is part of the background for early childhood education. It has become a trend for daycare centers and other places that take care of younger children to integrate basic lessons in their playtime and other activities in order to help kids learn early on.