CouponKatie.com

Summer Chore Chart, Summer Schedule & How We Make It Work

boys-summer-chore-chart

The summer chore chart. One little chore for each boy, each morning. It should take them 2-10 minutes. And yes, the brush your teeth, get dressed etc has to be on there or they will forget. :)

I shared my summer chore chart on Facebook last night and received A LOT of feedback.  Some encouraging, some wondering why I would make my kids work so hard in the summer, some asking how old they are, if I have a summer schedule….

So here is the truth.  I love, love, love when my household just clicks along and things are ordered and done on time.  I don’t really love, love, love schedules and planning.  This is a problem.  Keeping a big family running and relatively happy requires logistics matched only by Amazon or FedEx.     Enter chore chart and summer schedule. It is the only way.

It was not fancy.

If it were fancy and detailed it would never work around here.

For those of you who asked why chores in the summer. Because I think kids should do chores.  I just do. I want my kids to be appropriately self-sufficient, to understand there is a time to work and to learn to care for their things.  They are 10, 8, 6 and 4 so they have different, age appropriate chores.  For example, my 4 year old moves the mats in front of the sink and shower so my 8 year old can sweep. Also each chore takes only 1-10 minutes.

Another great question was how do I get my kids to do this without complaining.

They don’t always.

The first week is the hardest, then they just sort of settle into the routine.  Also, there is a little bit of bribery. If you look at the schedule below you will see “Free Time” from 7-8 in the morning. This free time includes being allowed to play X-Box, only if your chores are done for the day. They also know fun like the pool, splash pad for play dates do not happen if chores are not done.   **You have to be willing to stand firm on this, but in experience only once. They have to know mamas not playin’ when it comes to chores.  🙂  In our family peer pressure comes into play too.  They all work together to get their stuff done so we can go have fun.

(If you don’t think your kiddos should have to do chores in the summer that’s cool, we can still be friends. It’s your house, you are the boss.)

Our just enough structure summer schedule

Our just enough structure summer schedule

As for a schedule. Yep. We have one.  I have been working on it for a few days.  I could not decide what was going to be best and I made the nearly fatal mistake of looking on Pinterest.  Oh. My.   It had me doubting my laid back, written on notebook paper schedule in about 2 seconds.

But then I decided  it is my schedule, I can do what I want to.  Blocks of time work better for me. And this is more for when we are hanging around the house all day.

Here is the basic breakdown

You cannot get out of your bed until 7. (my boys are early risers)

7-8 Downstairs chores and free time

You can come up for breakfast

8-noon NON-electronic free time. Play outside, downstairs, do art, ride your bike, read, play with your baby sister etc.  (If you complain you are bored during this time you are referred to a chore for $ chart)

noon-ish Lunch

after lunch– Math flash cards or reading time then Free time again

4ish You are free to play electronics while I work on dinner

5:30ish Dinner

after dinner– 10 minute family pick up time

Free time until bed

If you have been considering a schedule or a chore chart I hope this post has helped you. It doesn’t have to be fancy and to the hour.  I would encourage you to try it. I truly believe my boys function a little better with a little bit of structure to their day.  I know it keeps me less stressed and more able to enjoy them while they are home.

If you are a mastermind at schedules and chore charts share your ideas!  I love learning ways to improve this operation.

 

10 Things You Need To Know About Yard Sales

We did it! We survived a yard sale, and we had so much fun. I totally understand one yard sale does not an expert make but here are ten things I learned at my yard this weekend that you should know if you are having a sale.

  1. You should have a yard sale. Seriously, you should. They are a lot of fun and you will get rid of SO much stuff you don’t need. It is very freeing to be rid of “stuff”. I am so happy when I look in closets, playrooms dressers and they are less crowded.  Have one, you will love it.
  2. If your sale starts at 8, it really starts at 7. I was unprepared for this. Our neighborhood yard sale started at 8. At 7 when we opened the garage door and started to organize stuff people came.  All of THE HUSBAND’S big tools were gone by 7:20, before the sale “started”.
  3. Pricing Doesn’t have to be hard.  I know some people have little price tags on everything. This was the part of the sale that had me the most stressed. SO,  I didn’t price everything. I put little tags on everything I wanted more than $1 for then made two big signs that said “EVERYTHING $1 ***unless marked” . It worked out so well! If the prep and pricing makes you crazy or is keeping you from having a sale, then try this.
  4. Be ready to deal.  Be ready to make a deal. 🙂  People will ask what you will take or bundle things. I was surprised by this (but I have learned it is super common at yard sales so don’t be put off by it.) Some deals I took, some I countered and some I just said no to. Know ahead of time the lowest you will take on things, especially big items. Don’t worry if someone says nevermind, we had several people come back and buy things. It is also a good idea to tell people to check back at the end of the day. If you haven’t sold it and you are ready to be rid of it you can take their low price then.
  5. Display kids’ clothes by size, and don’t fold them. I had the kids clothes folded and neatly placed on tables. That lasted about two minutes. The tables were crazy so I ran inside and grabbed some laundry baskets and labeled them with sizes. 2T, 3T etc. Then I just pushed all those sized clothes in the baskets and set them on the table. At first I thought, is this tacky to just have baskets full of clothes. Then I thought if it works at Victoria’s Secret during their annual bra sale it will work here. 🙂  And it did. People know what size kids’ clothes they need and this made it easier for them to find and buy.
  6. Hang up adult clothes and more expensive kid clothes. I don’t know why it mattered but it did. Hanging our clothes made them sell much faster than when they were on tables.
  7. Save your grocery bags and give them to shoppers. No joke some shoppers came with their own bags, those were the experts. 🙂  About an hour into our sale I noticed some people were having a hard time carrying all their treasures around so I ran in and grabbed some plastic grocery bags that I keep in a drawer. It was a huge help and people shopped more/longer when they had bags.
  8. Involve your kids. This is a huge part of what made the sale so fun. The boys were involved in cleaning out toy room and their clothes. Today they had a concession stand. They gave away popcorn and sold water, cookies and brownies. They learned about cost of goods, profits, sales, greeting customers, making change and getting paid for a hard days work.
  9. People may steal. This is sad but true. Someone stole an expensive pair of THE HUSBAND’S cowboy boots. 🙁  We had several people asking about them, then both got distracted.  When I looked up again the couple interested and the boots were gone. I asked THE HUSBAND how much he sold them for, he thought I had sold them.  SO, try to keep an eye on expensive items or keep them close to you.
  10. Don’t be clingy.  When you sale is over don’t be too clingy. Have a couple tubs that can be easily stored that you can load up with items that don’t sell.  You can pull these out for your next sale. Consider donating the rest of your items. You  don’t want to move it all back in to your house!

I would love to hear you thoughts and tips on yard sale selling or buying!  I am hooked and will definitely do this again next year!

boys-yardsale

 

My Best Tip to Save Money on Sports Drinks

Gatorade

Reader question:  Do you buy sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade? If so, how do you save on them?

 

A few years ago I would have said no, we don’t spend money on sports drinks, we drink water. Now, while I still am a big fan of making my kiddos drink water, we buy sports drinks. The older two boys are more into sports and in this heat they sweat- a lot. 🙂

Here are a few ideas on saving when buying sports drinks:

  • Stock up when they are on sale. I know this seems basic but the beginning of summer is a great time to stock up, these are on sale almost everywhere!
  • Do not buy them at gas stations/convenience stores. These are always more expensive. Even if they are not on sale at your grocery store they will still be a better deal than the gas station!
  • My number one sure to save you money tip: Buy Gatorade or Powerade Powder and mix your own!

I learned this tip from my brother and sister-in-law last year at the beach. We had 13 kids to keep hydrated so this was a genius idea on their part.

I have seen this powder at Target and Kroger, you can probably find it at almost any grocery store or on Amazon.com. I just mix it with water then pour it in their reusable water bottles. It is super easy and much less expensive.

Powerade-powder
For example, this week Kroger had Powerade mix on sale for $2.99 (reg. $3.99). The canister I bought makes 2.5 gallons of Powerade, that is 320 ounces.  So I did a quick comparison to see how much I was saving.

I substituted Gatorade for this because it is what is on sale this week. Here is how it breaks down:

Kroger has six packs of  20 oz bottles of Gatorade on sale for $3.49 with coupon. That is 58 cents a bottle. (a GREAT deal when you compare this to $1.58 at my Weigels!)

With the mix I can make 16 20oz bottles, that is 18 cents a bottle!

I usually have a pitcher of this mixed and in the fridge. It is ideal for a house full of boys/friends/neighbors etc.

BOO! at the Zoo 2014 Ticket Giveaway

Boo-at-Zoo-Knoxville

BOO! at the Zoo is back at the Knoxville Zoo! This has become a yearly tradition for our family. It is always SO fun!

BOO! at the Zoo 2014 presented by U.S. Cellular® celebrates 12 nights of safe and not-too-scary Halloween fun on October 9-12, 16-19, 23-26, 2014 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

BOO! at the Zoo presented by U.S. Cellular®, a Halloween tradition for 28 years, is a family event featuring devilishly good music and games at the Monster Mash tent in The Clayton Family Kids Cove, your favorite costumed characters throughout the zoo, and the only “haunted” carousel in East Tennessee, the Scary-Go-Round. (How can you tell it’s haunted? It goes backwards, of course.)  And best of all, you can trick-or-treat down the BOO! trail for your favorite treats!

Click here to see all of the spooktacular fun at this year’s BOO! at the Zoo presented by U.S. Cellular®!

Click here for a list of BOO! frequently asked questions.

Tickets
$7 per person
Children under 2 are free
Parking is $5
Zoo members receive a $2 discount on BOO! admission and FREE parking.  Not a member?  Click here to become a zoo member today and SAVE! Tickets are available for purchase at Knoxville Zoo or online by clicking here.

Please note – toy guns will not be permitted at Boo at the Zoo. Thank you for your cooperation.

Boo-Zoo-Knoxville-2014

I am excited to be giving away a family 4 pack to lucky Coupon Katie readers! There will be one winner a week! This giveaway will have to be fast as it is already Friday and the tickets are for Saturday October 11 or Sunday October 12! You have 24 hours to enter, so use the Rafflecopter form below now!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Knoxville Zoo Wee Play Adventure Opens July 19 & You Want To Go!

https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/t31.0-8/s960x960/10460596_10154326491340648_6837714275326112168_o.jpg

The Knoxville Zoo it is one of our family’s favorite places to spend time. The Wee Play Adventure area is always on the boys’ list to visit so, I was excited to see result of the months of work that has been going on. It is well done, and you are going to love it!  The exhibit is impressively  planned and designed for pre-school through elementary aged kids.  I was happy to see I could bring all four of my boys (aged 2-8) and they would all find something to interest them.

Wee Play Adventure is Knoxville Zoo’s new indoor creative play area with an Inddonesia island theme. The space is large and open, but just like before you can easily see the exits so kids can’t escape move on to explore other parts of the Zoo without you knowing it.

woka-tree-couponkatie

In the center is a giant Woka tree full of tunnels, a rope bridge and lots of room to climb and explore.  Surrounding the Woka tree is an archaeological dig site where your kids can discover all types of fossils.

KnoxvilleZoo-Weeplay-Fossils2-CK

knoxvillezoo-weeplay-fossils3

There are also two imagination areas! One is designed as an outpost where adventurers can stock their knapsacks. The other is a research laboratory and animal clinic where they can help save the island’s Komodo dragons.  There is a small area for crawlers, an infant care room and the new Brown Squirrel Parent Refuge. An area with some comfy couches and chairs, free Wi-Fi and a Pilot Flying J coffee bar!

Knoxviillezoo-Weeplay

knoxvillezoo-weeplay6

knoxvillezoo-weeplay8

knoxvillezoo-weeplay9

knoxvillezoo-weeplay10

Of course, I can’t leave out of the best features of the new Wee Play Adventure! The new indoor/outdoor habitat for the zoo’s two Komodo dragons, Khaleesi and Drogo. This habitat is 1,000 square feet and wide open for close up encounters of the two dragons. The habitat also includes a tunnel with a pop-up bubble that takes kids “into” the habitat. Khaleesi used to live up near the snakes and spent a lot of time in her tree so sometimes she was a little hard to see.  Her new home is huge, and open and there is plenty of room for everyone to see her.

KnoxvilleZoo-Khaleesi

I got to go INSIDE Khaleesi’s habitat while I was previewing new exhibit.  She seems even bigger when there is no glass between you. 🙂  Here is the pic I snapped from the inside.

knoxvillezoo-Khaleesi

Other new lizard species making their debut in the Wee Play Adventure include:

Madagascar Giant Chameleon
Giant Leaf-tailed Gecko
Caiman Lizard
San Esteban Island Chuckwalla
Desert Spiny Lizard
Desert Grassland Whiptail Lizard
Chinese Crocodile Lizard
Taylor’s Agama
Green Tree Monitor
Red-headed Agama
Mozambique Girdled Lizard
East African Spiny-tailed Lizard

knoxvillezoo-weeplay11

Are you excited to go see this place!? Wee Play opens July 19 to the public; special previews for zoo members are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 16, 6-8 p.m. July 17 or 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 18.

Coupon Katie Mornings With Fox 43 Best Deals of the Week 4/29/14

Here is a round up of all the deals I shared this morning on Mornings with Fox 43!  If you want to stay up to date on all the latest deals be sure to Like  Coupon Katie on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or  sign up for Coupon Katie emails.

Kroger-2x

Kroger Double Fuel Points Weekends

Download this Kroger digital coupon just once and earn double fuel points when you shop Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through July 27! This will help you save even more at the pump which is perfect if you are planning a road trip in the next few months!

New to Kroger Fuel points?  Use your Kroger Plus card when shopping to earn 100 points for each $100 worth of purchases. Once you have 100 points, your Kroger  card can be used at participating Shell or Kroger stations to get $.10 off a gallon for one fill-up. You can get up to  $1 off per gallon after spending $1000 in  one month.

Here is how it works:

The read-out on a gas pump will ask if you want to use a Kroger fuel-rewards card. If you chose “Yes,” then your full-size Kroger Plus rewards card can be inserted into the station’s credit-card reader to activate the discount, which is subtracted immediately at the pump. If  you only have the  small keychain card with you  then your customer number can be keyed in at the pump and the discount will be taken.

Allergy Rebate Deal

http://www.couponkatie.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Screen-Shot-2014-04-23-at-2.22.48-PM.png

Through May 25th you can get in on this allergy rebate offer from McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Get a $20 Visa Gift Card (while supplies last) when you purchase 3 or more participating products during the same shopping trip on one receipt.

You will need to purchase at least two “Treat products” and one “Soothe product” to earn the gift card. They also need to be on the same receipt.

Treat products include:
Zyrtec
Benadryl
Sudafed
Tylenol Sinus

Soothe products include:
Visine
Neo Eczema
Simply Saline
Kleenex

CVS Deal Idea

Buy 1 Kleenex Ultra Soft Tissues (85 ct)- $2.39
Buy 2 Benadryl 24 ct OR Benadryl Liquid (4 oz)- $4.99 each
– $3/2 Sudafed Adult PE, Sudafed Children’s PE, Benadryl, Children’s Benadryl, Tylnol Sinus, Visine or Neosporin Eczema Essentials Product coupon from the 4/13 SS or   $2/2 Benadryl product, excl trial size printable
Out of Pocket=as low as $9.37
Submit for $20 Rebate
Final cost= Free + $10.63 moneymaker after coupon and rebate

Free Kid’s Lego Building Event

free-lego-event-5/3

Come build a LEGO Star Wars™ Mini TIE Fighter and LEGO Star Wars Mini X-Wing at Toys “R” Us!

When: May 3rd, 2014 from 12-2pm
Where: All Toys “R” Us locations

Event is intended for children ages 5 and up. Event materials available while supplies last and are available only to participating children. Limit one per child.

Target

target-logo

Benadryl Itch Stick- $2.39
-$2/1 Benadryl Topical Product coupon found here or in the 4/13 SS
Final cost =$0.39

Fresh Raspberries (6 oz)- 2 for $5
-$2 off Fresh Fruit or Vegetable Purchase $5+ Target Mobile Coupon (text RECIPE to 827438)
Final cost=$1.50 each

This week you received a $5 off $20 Laundry Care Purchase coupon in your Target ad!

Here are some deal ideas:

Buy 2 Bounce Dryer Sheets 34 ct Outdoor Fresh -$1.97
Buy (3) Clorox Bleach 64 oz -$1.97
& Buy 2 Tide (50 oz 32 ld) Liquid – on sale for $5.99  each
-$5 off Laundry Care Purchase $20+ In-Ad coupon print here or text LAUNDRY to 827438
-$1 off Tide Detergent 46oz+ or Oxi Stain Remover 7.12 lb Mobile TQ (text CLEAN to 827438) x9/7
-$.50/1 Bounce or Downy Fabric Enhancer ETS Target Mobile Coupon (text CLEAN to 827438) x9/7
$2 off three Clorox bleach items 55-oz. or larger Target Coupon
5% Off Clorox Bleach (excl. Precision Pour Gel, Sprays) Target Cartwheel  (deduct $0.20)
-two $1/1 Tide Detergent printable
-$1.50 off 2 Bounce coupon from the 4/27 PG
Final cost=$$9.63 for all 7 items after coupons , $1.37 each

Buy 2 Seventh Generation (2X 100 oz 64 load)- on sale for $11.99 each
-$5 off Laundry Care Purchase $20+ In-Ad coupon print here or text LAUNDRY to 827438
stack with 10% Off Seventh Generation Cleaning Supplies Target Cartwheel coupon (will deduct $2.39)
stack with two$2/1 Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent printable
Final cost= $6.29 each

Penn Station’s Philadelphia Cheesesteak Special & $20 Gift Card Giveaway

Penn-Station-Philly-Cheesesteak

 

Penn Station East Coast Subs has wide array of East Coast style submarine sandwiches that are grilled and baked to perfection. February’s monthly special is the Philadelphia Cheesesteak.   To celebrate this special they asked me if I would like to give one lucky reader a $20 Penn Station Subs gift card!

Here is a little more about this month’ sandwich:

Penn Station’s classic combination of grilled-to-order 100% U.S.D.A. choice steak and melted provolone cheese is just the beginning. From there, a selection of delicious toppings such as sautéed onions, fresh mushrooms, banana peppers, spicy brown mustard, mayonnaise or pizza sauce are available for you tasting pleasure. Pair it with fresh-cut fries and fresh-squeezed lemonade and you’ll have a signature Penn Station meal at a monthly special price. No coupon necessary, just ask for the monthly special!

One lucky Coupon Katie reader will win a $20 Penn Station East Coast Subs gift card! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway