Showing posts with label summer activities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer activities. Show all posts

Monday, July 25, 2016

Free Summer Activities to Do with Your Kids


 Everyone looks forward to the summer season – sunshine, warmer weather, and long, lazy days. But, keeping kids busy during the summer months can often be a challenge. Vacations and summer camps are expensive. Can you keep your family active and happy this summer without breaking the bank? You bet! Here’s how.

The first place to start is in your own backyard. There are plenty of free summer activities to do with your kids in your own backyard. For starters, set up the sprinkler for the kids to run through on hot summer days. Don’t forget backyard camping, scavenger hunts, or gardening, which are all great outdoor activities to do with kids. Simply utilize materials and supplies you already have and enjoy these activities at no cost.

Your kitchen is another great place to find free summer fun. Whether your family enjoys baking or cooking dinner together, the kitchen is a great place for summer activities and learning new skills, especially on rainy days. Other great activities for days you’re stuck indoors include: indoor camping; playing cards, board or online games; and watching classic summer movies.

Most local libraries offer a variety of free summer activities to do with kids, too. Take advantage of summer book clubs, family movie nights, crafts, and more, all in the comfort of your air-conditioned library. There are often also reading challenges that your kids can sign up for too!

Within your community, check out local parks for biking and hiking trails, free concerts, movies in the park, and firework displays. Some local parks even provide spray parks in the summer for some cool, free fun. In addition, many local museums offer free, kid-friendly art workshops during the summer months.

Don’t forget local retailers who offer free workshops for kids as well. Check out Home Depot and Lowe’s for a variety of hands-on workshops specifically for kids. Bookstores provide free reading times, author visits, book signings, and other activities to take advantage of during the summer months. Even grocery stores, such as Wegmans, now offer story and craft hour for kids.

Volunteer activities are often family-friendly and can serve as a valuable learning experience. Walk dogs currently staying at a local animal shelter or visit with the elderly in a nursing home, for instance.

It’s easy to keep your kids busy engaging in activities that are both fun-filled and free this summer. So, check out your local resources, enlist the input of your family, and recognize the endless possibilities.

Save more!


While you’re saving money on activities, make sure to save on any prescriptions you pick up this summer as well. With the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card, which is free to all consumers, you will save an average of 43% on your prescriptions. Request a card or download the free app at FamilyWize.org, or call 800-222-2818. FamilyWize also provides a free Drug Lookup Tool, so you’ll always know the price you’ll pay before getting to the pharmacy counter. Try it today and start saving!

Enjoy your summer!



Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Parties: Healthy, Budget-Friendly Summer Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Summer is a time for family gatherings, church picnics, block parties, and other social gatherings – and you’re usually expected to bring a dish! Looking for some new ideas? You’ll love these low-cost and tasty dishes. Each of these three summer recipes was selected for its healthy, family-friendly, budget-friendly, travel-friendly qualities. Bon appetit!


A Healthy Summer Snack: Corn, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad


This is a light, refreshing, delicious, and easy side dish/snack to take to any summer gathering (or to have at home).

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cup thawed frozen or fresh sweet corn
  • 40 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (use the stems too!)
Dressing:
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced (or 2 limes)
  • 1-2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
To prepare: 
  • Prep all the veggie ingredients and add them to a large serving bowl. Toss well to combine. 
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the veggies. Toss gently to coat evenly.
  • Serve with chips!

Get the original recipe from Produce on Parade.


Healthy Summer Main Dish Recipe: Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats


This creative recipe from TheWholesomeDish.com is low-carbohydrate and high-protein. And its presentation as a “boat” makes it appealing to kids. You’ll start with halved, de-seeded zucchinis. You’ll be filling the boats with browned ground chicken, into which you have stirred some garlic and a favorite pasta sauce. After spooning the mixture into your zucchini boats, simply top with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and then bake until the cheese melts and the zucchini is soft. Super simple, and super delicious! Get the full recipe and details here.


Healthy Summer Dessert Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Fruit Cones


You’ll be hard-pressed to find a healthier or easier summer recipe than this. Here’s what you need:
  • Ice cream cones
  • Assorted fruit, cut into pieces
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)
All you have to do is cut the fruit of your choice into bite-sized pieces (as you would for a fruit salad). Place that fruit inside of the cones. That’s it! When you serve it, put out chocolate syrup for guests to add on top! Refreshing, somewhat healthy, and delicious! 


Summer Savings


These healthy recipes are just one step on the path of healthy living. If your summer involves trips to the doctor, it’s good to know that you can save an average of 43% on your prescriptions with the FamilyWize prescription savings card, which is free to all consumers, insured or uninsured, and has no eligibility requirements. Request a card at FamilyWize.org, or call 800-222-2818. Try it today and start saving!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer Saving Tips for the Whole Family

With the summer season quickly approaching, everyone wants to find ways to relax, have fun, and enjoy the season with family and friends. But can you do that without breaking the bank? Of course! Check out these summer saving tips for the whole family.



Entertainment

  • Find ways to have fun locally. Parks and recreation centers offer no- or low-cost camps, activities, and events throughout the summer months. Check out your local event calendar for details.
  • Rather than plan a vacation, which probably includes the expense of travel, a hotel stay, entrance to attractions, and meals, allow each family member to choose a day trip or activity to enjoy. By having fun closer to home, at least part of the vacation expense can be eliminated.
  • Use your local library. Not only can you and family member stock up on books for summer reading, but most libraries now offer movies, music, games, and tickets to area museums that can be borrowed, too. In addition, check out your library’s calendar of events for fun activities to enjoy, usually at no cost.

Food


  • Plant a garden this summer. It’s a great activity for the entire family, plus it helps you save on produce costs, too. Do you have a small yard, or no yard at all? No problem! Container gardens are a great option for small spaces.
  • Grill at home rather than eating out. Enjoy the summer grilling season by trying new recipes that your family will enjoy. Incorporate the produce grown in your garden, when possible.
  • Host a block party or potluck dinner. Encourage a greater sense of community in your neighborhood by bringing neighbors together. It’s a great way to socialize and enjoy a range of foods, while keeping entertaining costs down.

More Ideas

 
  • Teach your kids how they can enjoy “new” clothing from thrift stores and even garage sales. Since the summer season is especially short and kids outgrow clothing so quickly, buying secondhand clothing is a great way to shop for some new-to-you clothing without overspending.
  • Bike or walk as much as possible. Leave the car at home when you can. Not only will you experience savings, but you’ll also benefit from the exercise. Check out more here.
  • Energy costs can be particularly high in the summer months. But, there are ways to save, enlisting the help of your family members. For instance, remind your kids to turn off lights, appliances, and electronic devices when not in use. Keep your air conditioning set to 78 degrees as a rule of thumb. You might consider not running the AC when no one is home to help with summer savings. Check out this site for more energy saving tips.
  • Save money at the pharmacy. While certain illnesses, including the flu, are common in winter, others, including allergies and ear infections are common in summer months.

    The FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card provides an average savings of 43% on medications! Anyone can request a card by printing one at www.FamilyWize.org/card or by calling 1-800-222-2818.

    FamilyWize also has a drug lookup tool. Before leaving your home to pick up your medication, taking a minute to look up the pharmacy with the best price can help you save significantly at the pharmacy.




    Both the savings card and the drug lookup took are available in the free FamilyWize app: Click here to download it to an Apple product or click here to download it for Android.  
 
Remember: the summer season is a great time to spend quality time with family and friends. At the same time, you can find plenty of ways to save! Enjoy! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Keep Pets Safe This Summer

Keeping pets safe during the hot summer months includes limiting time in vehicles as well as homes without air conditioning to prevent heat stress. But, did you know, there are many more hazards that threaten pets’ safety during the warmer months?

Cat outside

Keep these safety tips handy, and enjoy a happy, safe summer with your pets.


  • Hot concrete can burn: it’s advisable to take walks with pets during early morning hours or later in the evening when pavement isn't a risk to pets’ delicate pads.
  • Bodies of water can be dangerous: while swimming can be a great summer activity for pets, never leave pets unattended near a swimming pool, pond, lake or river. Even with pets that are typically great swimmers, accidents can occur very quickly and unexpectedly.
  • Toxic plants can cause harm: that beautiful flower that blooms in the summer may cause stomach upset, or worse, if Fido gets into it. Certain types of mushrooms may be toxic, even causing liver damage in some instances. Veterinarians warn that many common plants are surprisingly harmful to pets. For a complete list of hazardous plants, visit www.aspca.org.
  • More than just an annoying bite: pests such as heartworms, ticks and fleas are much more prevalent in the warmer months. Speak with your vet regarding the best method for preventing these creatures from infesting pets. In areas such as the Northeast where cicadas are so prevalent, a potential bite may not be of concern. But, if pets ingest one, it can cause digestive upset.
  • Beware of the sun: pets can suffer sunburn and even skin cancer from sun exposure just like their human companions. Those with white hair, short cuts or naturally thin hair are particularly susceptible.
  • Provide shade for pets to help prevent heat stress and keep pets safe from sun exposure.
  • Use pet-safe sunscreen for dogs or horses; sunscreen for cats is still a work in progress, according to Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM. Visit www.vetmedicine.about.com for additional information.
  • Sunglasses/goggles are available at pet shops and supply stores to protect precious eyes from sun damage.


Dog outside

Additional tips for safety at home:


  • Remember that fire pits and grills can be dangerous to pets. Flames can burn a curious pet and ashes can cause illness if ingested.
  • Although they’re an exciting part of the summer season, fireworks can cause injuries if pets get too close to them. In addition, just the noise from fireworks can scare pets, causing them to run away. In fact, more pets run away and are lost on the 4th of July than any other day of the year, according to dog expert Cesar Millan.
  • Thunderstorms can cause the same reaction as fireworks. Keep an eye on pets during these noisy summer occurrences.

Additional information regarding summer pet safety can be obtained by visiting the American Veterinary Medicine Association’s site at www.avma.org.

Summer activities can be a great way for you and your family to bond with furry friends. With this safety checklist, you can ensure safety at home for you and your pets this summer.

Kathy Rembisz 
Contributing Writer