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Archives for March 2011

Rising Gas Prices: What Does It Mean For Your Family This Summer?

saving money on gasDo you think gas prices will get as high as some people are predicting? I’ve heard as high as $4.00 a gallon, and unfortunately gas prices don’t have to climb much higher to get there. For many families, high gas prices mean re-evaluating summer plans. Whether you’re trying to figure out how to figure the rising price of gas into your vacation budget or simply plan stay close to home this summer, here are a few tips to saving money on gas.

Gas and Money Saving Tips for this Summer

Tip #1: Being organized means saving money. The more planning you can do a head of time, the less gas you will use. Strategize your errands. Map out your routes. Make a list so you don’t arrive home and realize you forgot to buy milk. More trips equals more wasted gas money. For tips on how to save money by being more organized, visit mom blogger, TidyTightwads

Tip #2: Car pool when possible. If you’ve never done this, it can be very simple. Take turns with friends and neighbors transporting kids to vacation bible school, swimming lessons, and summer camp. The less vehicles used means less gas money spent.

Tip #3: Take advantage of public transit. Check into prices of riding the bus or train if you have them available. Many non-metro cities also have city transit vans available for everyone to use.

save money on gasTip #4: Bike and walk more. There are many safe street programs that are adding more bike and pedestrian trails, paths, and marked areas of streets for people to use. Buy or borrow a bike trailer to transport younger kids or groceries. The rise in people biking or walking to their destinations is up considerably. There are even nationally and state organized “bike to school” and bike to work” days! Plus, the exercise is good for all of us.

Tip #5: Plan closer to home destinations. It’s great to shop local when you can anyway, and the money you will save on gas will probably be more than any savings at a store two hours away! Think of the benefits to your local economy! For many people, “closer to home” destinations may include staying in-state for vacations, get-aways, and shopping trips. Your own state has wonderful events and vacation destinations; check with your local visitors bureau for free information. For great Minnesota, Midwest, and family travel ideas, visit Travels with Children.

Tip #6: Organize your own “Staycations”, a popular term given to money conscious families looking to enjoy a peaceful vacation without spending too much money. Plan to stay home or take advantage of your areas parks, swimming pools, lakes, and area attractions as you plan your “Staycation”. Invite friends over for a BBQ or go fishing, but the point of a “Staycation” is to relax. Don’t plan home improvement projects during this time. For more Staycation ideas, visit

saving money on rising fuel costsTip #7: Get involved in local activities that are fun, but close to home. If you can join a softball team close enough to walk, great! If the kids can bike to the pool or park, fantastic! Your local community education brochure is packed full of low-cost, local activities for all ages and interests.

Tip #8: Don’t leave the car running. When the warm air arrives, it is tempting to leave your vehicle running so you can have the air on. With gas prices high, get used to rolling down the windows and wearing cooler clothes.

Tip#10: Above all, check your tires! Make sure your tires are properly inflated so you don’t waste gas. Your vehicle will drive more efficiently with quality tires with proper inflation. While you have the air compressor out, pump up those bike tires, basketballs, and inflatable swimming pools. To read more about checking your tires, read past blog post, “Family Road Trips Begin with a Trip to the Tire Zoo”

Do you have a great money saving or gas saving tip you’d like to share? Please tell us!

It’s Spring: What’s Going to Emerge from Your Shed?

It’s been a long winter, hasn’t it? The winter of 2010-2011 will be remembered for its numerous snow storms, creation of monstrous ice damns on roofs, icy roads, potholes,  and freezing temps. Last fall, we winterized thing the best we could and stuffed our garages and storage sheds with items needing shielding from the elements.

I guarantee you that on the first really warm day of spring, people everywhere will be driving their convertibles out of storage, washing salt and grime off of their vehicles, and planning their first camping or boating trip.

The cold weather, prolonged periods of time, non-usage, and pesky rodents can cause havoc with our prized possessions. Be sure to take a peak under the hood, check your tires, and have the oil changed before trusting that nothing undesirable will happen out on the road.

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Minnesota Lakes Word Find, Perfect for Road Trips

Minnesota Lakes Word FindMinnesota Lakes Word Find: Our newest road trip printable puzzle, featuring Minnesota Lakes (in .pdf form). ~Good Luck and Drive Safely!

Tire Garden: Plant Your Garden, In a Tire?

Have you heard about a tire garden; planting in old tires? As more people look for creative ways to live green and garden in limited space, they come up with new ways to use old items such as tires. One popular method of gardening with tires is to plant root vegetables that need space to grow downward. For people with limited space, old tires can be stacked to accommodate lack of space.

In his article, “A new use for old tires: A garden using tires” Charles Sanders gives tips on how and why using tires is great for gardening.

Do you have a picture of a tire garden? Please post it on our Facebook page!