Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Making Chores Fun!

Kids Chore List?  Do you find it hard to get your kids to do chores around the home? At the end of each day we often find ourselves saying pick up the toys or put away your shoes or have you done your homework among other things. Have you thought about making chore time fun and turning it into a positive experience for everyone? Thanks to Janna Jones at Thriving Family for this article that turns chores into funtime!

Making Chores Fun

by Janna Jones

You can have fun with your preschoolers even as you show them how to take care of their belongings and do daily chores. The following fun-filled ideas will help you teach your kids to be responsible contributors to the household.

Make it a game

As bedtime approaches, we often find our 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son playing happily. So instead of telling them they have to quit playing and pick up their toys, we try to make picking up part of their play.
If they are playing with the shopping cart, they can go buy the stuffed animals they left in the living room and use the cart to bring them home. If they're playing with blocks, the block box becomes a basketball hoop, and we see how many blocks they can shoot into the box. If they are playing with cars and people, we pretend everyone is going to a party on the closet shelf.
There are times when the kids just have to pick up their toys, but we've found that looking for creative ways to incorporate cleaning into play makes it fast and fun for everyone.

Take the time to let your kids help you work

Like most kids, my son learns best not by being told what to do but by watching and copying us. So we allow him to participate in many everyday tasks, which helps him learn responsibility.
We let him snap the beans for dinner, cut the cucumbers on a cutting board (with a dull butter knife, of course), knead bread dough, pound in a tent stake when camping, use real tools to work on his bike, sweep with a small broom, clean with a rag, dig with a plastic shovel and bucket in the garden or rake fall leaves with us.

The laundry express: A chore kids will enjoy

Sometimes, we just need to be willing to follow our children's cues.
My 2-year-old son held his blue train engine over the laundry basket. "Mommy, can I throw Thomas in there?"
At first, I didn't see the opportunity that his simple question presented.
"No, honey. These baskets are for clothes." I barely glanced away from my mountain of dirty laundry I was sorting.
"Oh," he said and walked away.
Thankfully, my son returned with another engine to see if it was OK to put this one in the laundry basket. That's when the Laundry Express idea hit me, and it's become a favorite activity in our house.
We line two or three laundry baskets end-to-end and decide what to put in each one (dark clothes, light clothes, towels, etc.). Then my son gives each laundry-basket-turned-train-car a name, and we begin sorting. My son loads the train cars with the dirty laundry, making decisions as to which colors go in each basket. When we're done, he climbs inside a basket for a short ride around the house before we unload at the laundry station.
By allowing my son to take part in everyday tasks, I hope that those experiences will grow into a sense of responsibility and knowledge that will carry him into adulthood.

For a child 4 years plus we recommend using our Reward Chart  My Growing Up Reward Chart  with your child to help them stay motivated into taking responsibility for their belongings and joining in with household chores. For additional information go to and receive a coupon code of 15% off which can be used on the website
Copyright © 2010 by Janna Jones. Used by permission.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reward Charts Black Friday Sale - 40% Discount

Who said Black Friday sales have to start after Thanksgiving ?  Not us!! We know that you love a good sale and we want you to be able to do ALL of your shopping so from Monday 21st November through to Monday 28th November midnight we are having our own BLACK FRIDAY SALE.

We are offering a huge discount of 40% off ALL of our Children's Reward Charts. These charts can be used to help you with behavior, chores, potty training, homework and much more.

The coupon code for our reward charts can be found on our facebook page You will need to 'LIKE" our page in order to receive the coupon code.  So don't delay - order today!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to Save Money on Groceries

How to save money when Grocery Shopping.  At this time of the year it is always good to find a way to save money when shopping for groceries. An anonymous grocery-store manager shares the secrets to lowering your food bill. Thanks to Real Simple for these useful tips.

"Head to the supermarket an hour before closing time. Some stores mark down prepared foods and bakery items then because they can't sell them the following day. You could get a rotisserie chicken or freshly baked cookies for 50 percent off, or nab two sushi meals for the price of one. If you're planning to host a party or some other gathering, it's worth your time to ask the deli or bakery manager for a 5 to 10 percent discount off your catering order. Also, keep an eye out for online coupons: Some grocery stores accept coupons printed out from sites like,, and, even though they rarely publicize the fact. (Find out your store's policy at the customer-service counter.) It also pays to check the market's own website. You could find weekly deals there that it doesn't advertise anywhere else, including its in-store flyers.
"And even though it's convenient to do all your shopping in one place, avoid going to a grocery store for kitchen supplies, like measuring cups and cookie sheets, or seasonal items, like holiday decorations and gift bags. These products will have inflated prices. Buy them at a big-box chain, like Target or Walmart, instead."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Menu Planning: "The Scrummylicious Planner!" Available Now

It's now on the menu!
Our newest addition to our range of charts: 
"The Scrummylicious Planner". 

A must have kitchen tool to plan your meals around your active family schedules. Trying to think of meals last minute will become a thing of the past with our new Scrummylicious Planner. The process of planning and shopping for meals will become fun, fast, and easy! 

Read all about menu planning in this article by Cynthia Ewer, Editor of Organized Home:

Menu Planning: Save Time In The Kitchen

What's for dinner? It's the question of the hour! Too many home managers look for answers in the supermarket at 5 p.m. Harried, harassed by by hungry children, they rack their brains for an answer to the what's-for-dinner dilemma.
Three meals a day. Seven dinners a week. From supermarket to pantry, refrigerator to table, sink to cupboard, the kitchen routine can get old, old, old.

No wonder we hide our heads like ostriches from the plain and simple fact: into each day, one dinner must fall. 

What's the answer? A menu plan.

Menu planning doesn't have be complicated! Planning meals ahead requires a small investment of time, but can reap great rewards:

  • A menu plan saves money. Reducing trips to the supermarket, a menu plan reduces impulse spending. Using leftovers efficiently cuts food waste, while planned buying in bulk makes it easy to stockpile freezer meals at reduced prices. 
  • A menu plan saves time. No dash to the neighbors for a missing ingredient, no frantic searches through the freezer for something, anything to thaw for dinner. 
  • A menu plan improves nutrition. Without the daily dash to the supermarket, there's time to prepare side dishes and salads to complement the main dish, increasing the family's consumption of fruits and vegetables. Knowing what to serve each day--and having the ingredients already on hand--cuts back on the drive-through habit. 

Follow these tips to put the power of menu and meal planning to work for you:

Dare to Do It

For too many of us, making a menu plan is something we intend to do . . . when we get around to it. Instead of seeing menu planning as an activity that adds to our quality of life, we dread sitting down to decide next Thursday's dinner. "I'll do that next week, when I'm more organized."

Wrong! Menu planning is the first line of defense in the fight to an organized kitchen, not the cherry on the icing on the cake.

Take the vow. "I, [state your name], hereby promise not to visit the supermarket again until I've made a menu plan!"

Start Small and Simple

Still muttering, "But I don't wanna ..."? Break into menu planning easily by starting small and simple.

Think, "next week." Seven little dinners, one trip to the supermarket. Sure, it's fun to think about indexing your recipe collection, entering the data in a database and crunching menus till the year 2015, but resist the urge.

Slow and steady builds menu planning skills and shows the benefits of the exercise. Elaborate hoo-rah becomes just another failed exercise in home management overkill.

Where to start? 

The food flyers from your local newspaper, or sales circulars from your markets' Web sites. You'll use the ads to get a feel for the week's sales and bargains. They'll be the basis for the week's selection of dinners. 

This week in my hometown, two local chain supermarkets are offering whole fryers for the low, low price of 99 cents a pound. Clearly, this is the week for Ginger Chicken and Fajitas, not a time to dream about Beef Stew and Grilled Pork.

Menu Planning Basics

Okay, it's food ad day. Time to rough out a simple menu plan. 

The goal is two-fold: shop efficiently to obtain food required for seven dinner meals, while minimizing expenditure, cooking, shopping and cleaning time. Here's the overview of the process:
  • Scan the food ads (newspaper or online) for specials and sales. Rough out a draft menu plan: seven dinner entrees that can be made from weekly specials, side dishes and salads. 
  • Wander to pantry and refrigerator to check for any of last week's purchases that are languishing beneath wilting lettuce or hardening tortillas. Check for draft recipe ingredients. Review your shopping list and note needed items.
  • Ready, set, shop--but shop with an open mind. That 99-cent fryer won't look like such a bargain next to a marked-down mega-pack of boneless chicken breasts at $1.29 a pound. Be ready to substitute if you find a great deal. 
  • Return from shopping. As you put away groceries, flesh out the menu plan. Match it up with the family's calendar, saving the oven roast for a lazy Sunday afternoon, the quick-fix pizza for soccer night. 
  • Post the menu plan on the refrigerator door. Refer to it during the coming week as you prepare meals.
The Scrummylicious Planner is available through our Etsy Store!