Eye Exam- Lets Focus On What Is Important

5 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Eyesight

We use our eyesight from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep every night. Getting regular eye exams is one great way to maintain your eye health—but there are other easy ways you can take care of your eyes on a daily basis.

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Back To School Spending By Grade

Back-to-School Infographic

Happy Parents’ Day

Ways to Make Them Smile This Parents’ Day

On Parents’ Day, it’s truly the thought that counts. Let your Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Grandparents — whoever matters to you — know how much you appreciate them. It’s as easy as sending an e-card or making a Facebook post.

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Save On Utility Bills

Shocking Ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bill

The temperature is going up but your utility bills don’t have to. Keep your A/C on and your bill low with these cool and easy tips to save energy (and cash) this summer.

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Summer Sweeps Tips

Party Like It’s 1776!

Sick of the same old sparklers and hot dogs? Change it up this year with these fun and low-cost recipes, games and decorations so you can throw the best BBQ on the block!

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Dad Playing Outside With His Boys

Low-Cost Gifts for the Best Dad Ever

Love your dad too much for words? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Try these free and low-cost ways to show him how much you care this Father’s Day.

Show Dad Some Love:

Give him the “Day Off”

A dad’s work is never done.

Celebrate dad by giving him a break from his usual chores. Whether it’s cleaning his car, doing yard work or tidying up the garage, he’ll appreciate the helping hand.

Make his favorite meal

The way to his heart is through his stomach.

It doesn’t matter if he’s a microwave dinner guy or an at-home chef, making your dad his favorite meal is sure to impress. Check out this list of recipes and maybe you’ll see your dad’s favorite!

 

Watch the game with him

Quality time is always in season.

You’re always on Team Dad and he’s always been your cheerleader. Spend the afternoon watching his favorite sport. Whether they win or lose, you’ll have a great time cheering on his favorite team.

Make a homemade card

He might seem tough, but deep down he’s a softie.

A store bought card may look pretty, but it can’t compare with one that’s homemade! Even if your art skills start and end with stick figures, your dad will appreciate the thought and effort you put into making a card just for him.

Play catch

Dad: the first and best coach you’ve ever had.

You may be a few feet taller than you used to be, but you’re never too old to play catch with your dad. After just a few tosses, he’ll be more than happy to lecture you about the right way to break in a glove.

Make a collage of old photos

Give it the old collage try.

Don’t let your photos sit in the attic. Put your memories on display by making a collage with your favorite pictures of you and pops. Don’t forget to leave a space for the picture you take this Father’s Day!

Try out his favorite hobby

You can’t put a price on fun.

Whether it’s something you already love to do together or you’re just tagging along, sharing in your dad’s favorite activity will mean the world to him.

Design a coffee mug just for him

A one of a kind gift for a one of a kind dad.

With just a plain coffee mug and a Sharpie, you can make dad a gift he’ll want to use every morning. Make him a mug with a personalized message so every sip reminds him of how much you care.

Watch a movie … his choice

Make dad the clicker king for a day.

Can’t make it to the theater? Spend a couple hours camped out on the couch watching your dad’s favorite movie. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Go to a thrift store

“It’s new to you.”

Take your dad to look for hidden gems at your local thrift store. You just might find his new favorite shirt, a classic vinyl record or some old baseball cards. Nothing is old — just vintage.

Get nostalgic … buy him something “old”

Relive the glory days.

Make a new memory out of an old one by gifting your dad a memento from his childhood. Whether it’s an Etch A Sketch or some Rock‘em Sock‘em Robots, your dad will love taking a walk down memory lane.

Treat him to breakfast in bed

Start his day off sunny side up.

Make your dad a special breakfast this Father’s Day with classics like bacon, eggs and pancakes. Remember: the secret ingredient is love, but the most important is maple syrup.

Do a project with him

It’s not work when you’re having fun.

Weekend projects are more fun when you do them together. Offering to help your dad fix the fence or tune up the car will not only put a smile on his face but check it off the honey-do list faster.

Make a “World’s Best Dad” award

All those other kids are lying!

We all know your dad is the best, so why not let him know, too?  You can make a “World’s Best Dad” award with anything you have lying around the house. Whether it’s one of your old soccer trophies or a paper plate, it’ll be something he’ll cherish forever.

Get him a book from a used book store

Try this novel gift idea!

From mystery novels to do-it-yourself books, there’s a great read for every dad at your local used book store. Find one of his old favorite books or pick out something new that you think he’ll love.

Make a BBQ rub from scratch

Give a gift with some kick.

Got a grill master in the house? Give him something you know he doesn’t already have: a custom made BBQ spice rub. With spices in your cabinet, you can create a tasty gift for him (and you!) in minutes.

It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to give your dad the best Father’s Day ever. Try these free and low-cost gift ideas and make some truly priceless memories this Sunday.

Woman Hand Pushing Button Smartphone

Apps That Help You Save While You Shop

Woman Hand Pushing Button Smartphone

Is the age-old tradition of coupon clipping still part of our weekly routine? Put down the scissors and walk away from the weekly store ads cause there is a better way to save. Stop the tedious searching for coupons and promo codes and download apps that find the deals for you. Not only will you save time but you will also find deals you might not have even realize existed. Here are some of the best apps to start using while shopping.

1. Jet

With the goal to build a better shopping experience for their customers, you can save tons by using the Jet app. With their real-time savings engine, the prices drop as you shop. You can get everything from toilet paper to bed sheets on Jet and the more items you add to your cart that have a tag symbol beside them, the lower the price will drop for each item. So buying in bulk for items like toilet paper, toothpaste and granola bars will save you more. The price per item also drops when you opt out for free returns, and pay with a debit card instead of a credit card.

2. Retail Me Not

Score deals at your favorite stores and restaurants with the award-winning app that makes it easy to save with thousands of deals from over 50,000 retailers. The app syncs with your map to notify you of the best deals near you. Whether you’re on vacation in a new city or just driving through your neighborhood, the app will alert you when a deal is near.

3. Shop Advisor

The Shop Advisor app does just what its name suggests, it advises you when the price is just right to purchase. You simply create a list of items you are interested in purchasing and the system watches that item and alerts you when the price drops the lowest online.

4. PriceGrabber

This app scans the prices on all sites that carry a specific item you’re shopping for and gives a full comparison report. The app gives you the bottom-line price, taking into consideration the shipping cost for an item. You can also simply scan a bar code of a product to get a quick, real-time view of where to purchase an item at the cheapest price.

5. Wallaby

If you take advantage of reward programs on credit cards, then you can double your rewards with the Wallaby app. When shopping for items online, the Wallaby system will scan your shopping cart and compare them with your credit card reward programs and tell you which card to use for what items, getting you the highest reward points possible. You can also set up notifications for when you’re getting close to your credit limit or when it’s time to pay a bill.

Meal Plan

Workweek Meal Plan That’s Cheap, Easy, and Healthy

The actual decision to start eating healthy is effortless. You just decide one day, “hey, I’m going to start eating healthier.” The phrase “easier said than done” fits perfectly with the idea of eating healthy. You can say you’ll do it, but when it comes down to actually choosing healthier options for meals it can be rather difficult. Below we have created an easy planning guide to making cheap, easy, and most importantly healthy meals that will get you through the entire workweek. A lot of these recipes utilize leftovers from previous meals, which will aid in cutting grocery costs. Links to full recipes for lunches and dinners are included.

monday

Breakfast

Banana and peanut butter on wheat toast

Lunch

Turkey sandwich – Recipe

Carrots with light ranch, and an apple

Snack

Low-fat yogurt

Dinner

Chicken tortilla soup – Recipe

(Note: Make extra chicken and set aside for Tuesday’s lunch.)

tuesday

Breakfast

Yogurt and all bran cereal

Lunch

Grilled chicken caesar salad wrap – Recipe

Celery with peanut butter

(Note: Use leftover chicken from Monday’s dinner.)

Snack

Mixed Nuts

 Dinner

Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowl – Recipe

(Note: Make extra boiled eggs for Wednesday’s breakfast and extra bacon for Wednesday’s lunch.)

wednesday

Breakfast

Boiled eggs and wheat toast

(Note: use extra boiled eggs from Tuesday’s dinner.)

Lunch

BLT with avocado – Recipe

Chips and salsa

(Note: Use extra bacon from Tuesday’s dinner.)

Snack

Cottage cheese and saltine crackers

Dinner

Chicken, pepper and corn stir-fry – Recipe

(Note: Make extra and before seasoning set aside. Use peppers for Thursday’s breakfast and chicken and corn for Thursday’s lunch.)

thursday

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs with peppers

(Note: Use extra peppers from Wednesday’s dinner.)

Lunch

Southwest salad with chicken –Recipe

(Note: Use extra chicken and corn from Wednesday’s dinner.)

Snack

Carrots with light ranch 

Dinner

Antipasti Penne –Recipe

friday

Breakfast

Oatmeal and bananas

 Lunch

Tuna salad sandwich – Recipe

Low sodium chips

Snack

Peanut butter and crackers

 Dinner

Turkey Chili – Recipe

College Planning

How to Save on College Tuition

College Planning

College isn’t cheap. There are a lot of costs associated with furthering your education and for most it’s a heavy burden to carry. If you are looking for ways to save on your college tuition, then look no further. Here is a list of the best ways to cut down the cost of your schooling.

Choose your college wisely

When it comes to deciding what college to enroll in, the price of that school should be a major factor to consider. College tuition can vary in price and we are talking a difference of $7,000 a semester to $27,000 a semester. A good rule of thumb is to avoid the private schools and choose a public school. Private schools will always have higher tuition compared to public schools. As well as choosing a public school, go to an in-state school. Tuition fees for out-of-state students can more than double in cost.

Live off campus

Some schools require you to live on campus the first year, forcing you to pay more for a tiny dorm room instead of sharing a 2-bedroom apartment with a roommate. If there is no way around it then do your time and get out of there. There are loopholes however. Already having an established residency within driving distance from campus will get you out of living on campus the first year at a lot of colleges.

Continually apply for scholarships

Scholarships aren’t just for high school students. There are tons of scholarship programs out there for current students, older individuals starting school, part time students, and parents going back to school. You name it and there is a scholarship for it. All you have to do is research to find them. Every semester you should apply and reapply for scholarships. You’d be surprised at how much of your tuition can be cut out from being awarded numerous small dollar scholarships, so make sure and apply for any amount, not just the sizable ones.

Rent your books instead of buying them

It just might be one of the biggest rip-offs associated with the college expenses, but you have to have books for your classes. Instead of spending over $1,000 on books per semester, rent your books for a fraction of the cost. Companies like Chegg and ValorBooks offer a rental service where they ship the textbooks as well as provide shipping labels for you to ship them back once the semester is over.

Track your educational expenses and deduct them from your income

Yep, college expenses are tax deductible. Take advantage of this by tracking everything you spend on college: tuition, books, a computer, and even pencils. It all adds up and you can get a heftier refund come tax season. You can also get a refund for the interest paid on federal student loans, so make sure to add that to your deductions as well.

Go to a college with fixed-price tuition

There are multiple colleges and universities that offer fixed-price tuition. When attending a fixed-price school, they guarantee that price for tuition will be exactly the same from your freshman year until your senior year. And since many schools hike up the price of tuition every year, this can be a big money saver throughout college.

See if you qualify for tuition waivers

A tuition waiver substantially reduces the price of tuition for those that fall in a specific category, like a veterans or teachers. Certain schools have different waivers but almost all schools have some type of waiver. The most common types of waivers offered by schools are for veterans, Peace Corps workers, teachers, or the dependents of higher education employees, as well as students whose parents work in civil services (i.e. firefighters, police or academics).

Take summer classes

Since most students are living it up and getting as far away from school as possible during the summer, enrollment is very low and this transfers over to the price of classes during this time. Look to see if classes you need are offered during the summer and try to enroll for them then to cut down the cost of classes.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Facts You Never Knew about the Chocolate Chip Cookie

It’s one the most famous desserts enjoyed all around the world. The chocolate chip cookie has been around for decades and has been implemented into many different desserts. To pay homage to the famous chocolate chip cookie, we have created a list of some interesting facts you might not have known about this delicious treat.

first-cookie

Way back in 1937, a woman by the name of Ruth Graves was making Butter Drop Do cookies and didn’t have Bakers chocolate to mix in with the dough. To improvise, she reached for a bar of Nestle chocolate and chopped up chunks to mix in with the dough. Ruth expected the chocolate chunks to melt and mix in with the dough, but instead the chunks kept their shape and, VIOLA! The chocolate chip cookie was made.

largest

In 2003 the world’s largest chocolate chip cookie was made by the Immaculate Baking Company. The cookie weighed a whopping 40,000 pounds with a 101 feet diameter. To create a cookie of this size, it took the team over 8 months and they used a total of 30,000 eggs.

numberone

With an average of 7 billion eaten in a year, the chocolate chip cookie is proven to be a favorite of all. In a study about cookie preference, 50% of Americans chose chocolate chip cookies over oatmeal, peanut butter, and any other type of cookie. In another study, 13.5% of Americans admitted to haven eaten 20 or more chocolate chip cookies in one sitting. The famous cookie is one of the 4 foods that the pickiest of eaters accepts.

cip

If you wanted to buy a bag of chocolate chips before 1937 then you were out of luck. Chances are you probably would not have been looking for them though, cause they didn’t even exist. Nestle created chocolate chips specifically to be used for making chocolate chip cookies. The average cookie contains 6 to 8 chocolate chips, yet one tablespoon of cookie dough can contain a maximum of 50 chocolate chips.

butter

One of the most important ingredients, other than the chocolate chip of course, is butter. Butter contributes the most to the actual taste of the cookie and depending on how you use it in your receipt can change the outcome of the texture and taste. Using melted butter when mixing the dough will create a denser cookie while using a creamy butter makes the cookie have a more soft, cake texture.