From the category archives:

living on less

10 Minutes to Good, Better or Greater Health #Just10

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 8, 2015 · 1 comment

Making a commitment to get healthier can seem a little overwhelming... Am I right? But what if you take a minute to break it down into small baby steps that you can tackle in just 10 minutes or less? Seems a whole lot more manageable then. Yes?!

This is exactly the premise behind the #Just10 campaign. Starting on Saturday, October 10th (10/10) at America's Biggest Health Fair, Walmart wants to help get you started on your journey to good, better or greater health!

In just 10 minutes at Walmart you can complete the following activities to make your life healthier:

  • Get your blood pressure taken and your blood glucose checked
  • Get a flu shot and a pneumonia shot.
  • Learn what are the best health insurance options for you.
  • Get a vision screening and your eyeglasses cleaned and adjusted for free.
  • Shopping at Walmart for just 10 minutes burns 35 calories.

Yogurt Substitute

The #Just10 challenge is bigger than just the health fair, though. It's an attempt to get us all to find ways to squeeze in short, 10-minutes or less activities daily with the goal of making your life healthier.

With that in mind, I thought I'd share 5 easy under 10-minutes ideas to get you started:

  • 10 minutes of exercise every day lowers your risk of heart disease. How about a brisk walk after dinner as a family?
  • In just 10 minutes, you can whirl up a batch of these easy freezer smoothies for a healthy breakfast or snack.
  • Gather up your kids and make your own on-the-go dried fruit and nut snack packs.
  • Learn how to substitute yogurt to cut fat and calories (while adding protein and calcium!) in your favorite recipes.
  • Treat yourself to a mini massage to soothe sore muscles with this homemade massage oil.

What are your favorite quick and healthy activities to squeeze in each day?

Visit Walmart.com/healthcare to find an America's Biggest Health Fair event near you. The event will take place in more than 4,400 stores across the U.S. from noon to 4 p.m. Free blood glucose, blood pressure, vision screenings, product samples and health insurance information will be available. In addition, more than 10,000 of Walmart’s licensed pharmacists will offer immunizations in select stores.

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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6 Delicious After-School Snack Ideas To Get You Out Of A Rut

by Tara Kuczykowski on September 30, 2015 · 0 comments

Homemade Tortilla Bowls

After-school snacks are super important around here. It's not often that we can squeeze in dinner before sports, so a healthy snack to fuel my kids' energy through their sports activities is essential. But this is about the time of year when we start looking for some new options to liven things up -- like these homemade tortilla bowls I made today!

We make the savory version of these often for salads and tacos, but today I sprinkled a little cinnamon and sugar on them and filled them with fresh blueberries and raspberries that I picked up at Meijer. Fresh berries, being out of season right now, can be a little tart, so I drizzled them with just a touch of honey... My kids were thrilled with this fun treat, and they were gone in a flash!

Here are five more after school snacks that we rotate through -- all mom-tested and kid-approved!

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

These yummy no bake peanut butter bars can be endlessly customized, so you can have a different variety every time you no bake them!

Healthy Fruit Pizza Recipe

This easy and healthy fruit pizza recipe gets a little more nutritious with a multigrain waffle crust!

Easy Smoothie Recipe

This simple and easy strawberry smoothie recipe is not only a fantastic way to start your day, it's perfect as an afternoon snack to tide kids over till dinner!

Homemade Granola Bars

These crunchy homemade granola bars are a tasty and healthy snack, and like the peanut butter bars, you can customize them to your heart's content!

Banana Bread

This delicious banana bread gets an additional boost of fiber from oatmeal and pecans!

Meijer has tons of healthy and simple after-school snack ideas on sale this week -- Michigan apples for $0.49/lb., California grapes for $0.88/lb., and Frigo String Cheese for $5.49 just to name a few. Plus you'll definitely want to check the fantastic B1G1 deals in the 2-day sale that starts on Friday!

I'm thrilled to be collaborating with Meijer on an ongoing monthly feature to help you save more! Follow them on Twitter and Instagram to see more of what you can expect to find in stores.

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We all want to create a bright future for our children, and it's always nice to learn that big corporations want to support us in this!

This Back to School season, Dollar General and Unilever are teaming up to create a brighter future for our children by helping to nurture minds and bodies through affordable meal solutions and a literacy program -- two very important causes.

You can help too! Just head over to Dollar General’s Facebook page, and show your support by signing up to be updated on the projects and work being done. Plus, when you share how you plan to help create a brighter future with the hashtag #DGBrightFuture, Unilever will donate $1* to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, up to $20,000!

It’s a FREE, easy and quick way to invest in our children, so won't you participate today?

*Between 6/22-8/16/15, Unilever will donate $1 to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for every person who supports the Unilever Bright Future Movement http://lbx.la/8S2e8. Maximum donation of $20,000. For information on the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, see http://www2.dollargeneral.com/dgliteracy/Pages/index.aspx. For information on the Unilever brightFuture Movement, see www.brightfuture.unilever.us.

Disclosure: Sponsored by Lunchbox, all opinions are my own.

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I always appreciate when an opportunity comes up to both save money and make a charitable contribution at the same time, especially when it involves hunger awareness. No family should have to go hungry in this country, yet sadly, many do every day.

This is why I'm so happy to see that Family Dollar and Feeding America have partnered to spread awareness about hunger -- and YOU can help with just a few minutes of your time! By completing a simple educational awareness activity about hunger in the United States between 7/14/15 – 8/25/15, Family Dollar will donate one meal* per participant to Feeding America.

Simply head over to the Family Dollar Facebook page, and answer a series of 3 questions regarding hunger awareness in the United States. Family Dollar will then make a meal donation on your behalf, along with a 2nd meal if you share it! It literally took me 30 seconds -- surely you can spare that, right?

In addition, Family Dollar is offering some special mobile coupons -- for each download, Family Dollar will donate an additional meal to Family Dollar! Simply text HUNGER to 28767 to download the following money-saving coupons:

  • $1.00 Off any Axe
  • $1.00 Off any Caress/li>
  • $1.00 Off any St. Ives/li>
  • $1.00 Off Lipton 100 ct/li>
  • $1.00 Off 3 Knorr Sides/li>
  • $1.00 Off ANY Klondike/Popsicle/li>

*Between July 14 and August 25, 2015 Unilever will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal ($0.10) to Feeding America® each time someone completes the hunger awareness activity, up to $7,000. $1 helps provide 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks. Meal cost calculation is as of July 1, 2014 and is subject to change.

Disclosure: Sponsored by Lunchbox, all opinions are my own.

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Family Movie Night at Home with Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

by Tara Kuczykowski on July 13, 2015 · 0 comments

Very rarely does my family go see a movie at the theater -- I'm talking like once, maybe twice a year. We saw Jurassic World at our local cinema on $5 Tuesday two weeks ago, and that was literally the first movie we've seen at the theater since Transformers: Age of Extinction about this time last year. Even with the $5 tickets, the whole outing still put quite a dent in our finances!

We go to the local drive-in theater slightly more often (two movies for the price of one and pack your own snacks!), but they raised the prices pretty significatnly this year, so even it's becoming a rarity now.

Instead, we much prefer to host a regular family movie night at home. Not only is it more budget-friendly, but we can relax and enjoy the movie more easily. If someone needs to use the bathroom mid-movie, my husband and I don't have to bicker over who's going to miss part of the show, lol -- we just pause it! And of course, we save a bundle on snacks, as well.

Our most recent Kuczy Theater screening was Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, courtesy of Walmart. They sent me an advance copy of their exclusive 2-pack that contains both Paul Blart movies -- which was great for those family members that needed to get up to speed before watching the sequel.

In addition to the movies, there were also a few fun Paul Blart items tucked into the box. My two youngest (always partners in crime) were anxious to each try on a BlartStache, and of course they have their Pixy Stix close at hand in case of hypoglycemia!

Drew loved his 'stache so much that he wore it to VBS. It cracked me up to see him mugging in all of the photos with it on -- he's such a ham!

It wouldn't be a true movie night without snacks, so I made sure to pick up everyone's favorite treats. The movie size boxes of candy are only $0.98 at Walmart -- that's about 1/3 of the price you'd pay at a theater.

We also made our own homemade popcorn that rivals what you get at the theater. In fact, I'd venture to say it's even better than movie theater popcorn thanks to two special tips -- and you don't need a popcorn popper or microwave! Seriously, try it and let me know what you think.

Just to add a fun little touch, we made some special Paul Blart popcorn tins for everyone to eat out of. We found the little blue tin pails in the party section, and picked up some mustache stickers in the scrapbooking section -- a super easy craft that my 9-year-old took care of while I was popping the popcorn.

A Little More About Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

"After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation. He heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter before sh heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Paul Blart answers"

The exclusive Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 2-pack is available at Walmart starting Tuesday, July 14th, for the low price of $24.87! Pick up a copy for your family movie night.

What are your best tips for hosting a family movie night at home?

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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