Dairy Queen Children’s Miracle Network fundraiser July 28

Many children and families have hardships due to medical issues. The Children’s Medical Network can provide the medical and emotional support that these families need. Each year, Dairy Queen raises funds and awareness with its annual Miracle Treat Day. 

This year, the Miracle Treat Day is scheduled for Thursday, July 28. This Thursday represents the 11th year for the Dairy Queen and Children’s Miracle Network. $1 or more from every Blizzard Treat sold at participating locations will be donated to the Children’s Miracle Network. All donations collected on Miracle Treat Day will be stay in the communities where they were raised. The funds will benefit local children at the CMN hospitals. 

The features Miracle Treat Day Blizzard will the fan favorite, iconic Oreo Blizzard. The Oreo Blizzard is considered the most popular Blizzard to date. The Blizzard of the Month is the M&M Peanut Butter Monster Cookie. All Blizzard flavors will be available on Miracle Treat Day. 

Be sure to share your Miracle Treat Day photos on social media with the tag #MiracleTreatYourSelfie.

Gear Up for School with Office Depot

Even those kids don't want to think about summer ending and school starting, parents are starting to prepare for the back to school shopping lists. 

Office Depot and Office Max want to keep the family budget in check with weekly specials on everything that kids need for school . 

Office Depot and OfficeMax Gear Up for School is the savings that families want. This summer, shoppers can find outstanding savings on must-have gear, with prices starting at just one cent at Office Depot and OfficeMax stores.

Find these penny deals and many more for the week of July 24:
  • 1-cent Office Depot® Brand Index Cards (100-pack)*
  • 50-cent Stellar 1-Subject Durable Poly Notebook**
  • $3.99 USB 2.0 Lexar Twist Turn Flash Drive
  • $399 Laptop Bundle (Includes HP laptop, Microsoft® Office 365, McAfee® Internet Security and Logitech® M325 Wireless Mouse)
  • Buy 1, Get 1 50% off All HP Ink***

How to Save for Your Kids’ College Education

If you have looked at how much it costs to send a high school senior to college in 2016, you may have found yourself clutching your chest in shock. A single year at a public school currently costs just under $20,000, and private colleges are more than double that. The bad news is the cost will only keep climbing. Are you scared yet? You don't necessarily need to be. There are affordable ways for you to start saving for your kids' college days right now. You just need to decide which method will work best for your family.

The 529 Plan

A 529 account is one of the most popular ways to start saving for college. These accounts work similarly to IRA or 401(k) plans and are tax-free as long as you use them for the qualified educational purposes. You choose from a range of investment options, including safe investments or more aggressive ones that switch to something safer when your child is closer to college age.

529 accounts are considered your asset because they are in your name. They can be used at any accredited 2- or 4-year college in the United States. If your child decides not to go to college, you have the option of changing the beneficiary to be another child who is going.

Open a Basic Savings Account

The most basic way to save for college is with a savings account. Many banks slowly build interest onto your savings, allowing you to save even more. You can decide to put a certain amount per paycheck in the account, or if it is an option, have every debit card purchase you make rounded up to the nearest dollar, which adds the excess to your savings. You could even use it as a way to teach your children about saving by having them save a certain percentage of their allowance or earnings from a high school job.

Use Your Life Insurance

Life insurance that carries a cash balance option can be used to pay for college, but it is not the right fit for every family. One benefit is that life insurance does not count in financial aid calculations for the first year of college, but it’s important to note that any cash you do take out is considered income for that year and will count in the next school year’s financial aid figures. It’s usually not a viable option for a well-off family who wouldn’t qualify for financial aid anyway, but could be beneficial for middle-class families.

This method works best for those who have long-term policies and plan to hold them for life. Determining whether life insurance as a means of paying for college is worthwhile for your family requires a complex analysis of your finances and needs. Whether you need a Chicago insurance agent or already have one, it is important to discuss the options with him or her before making a decision.

There are lots of creative ways to save for college, but these are three of the most common and are probably the easiest way to do so. The important thing is to save. Helping your child become the next doctor or teacher isn’t getting any cheaper.

5 things to prepare for back-to-school

Grab, snack, smile, Entenmann’s Snackin’ Bites keep the fun going all summer long

As the kids leave the classroom behind, the summer fun rounds the corner. Kids are ready to hit the park, pool, and a plethora of other fun options. From local adventures to travels across the miles, kids, and their families, are busy during the long, warm summer days. But, all this entertainment comes with a glitch, hunger.  The solution to keep this hitch from ruining all the plans, Entenmann’s Little Bites Snackin’ Bites

A popular choice among families, Entenmann’s Little Bites is popular option for convenient, easy, grab and go breakfast and snack options for families. From the tasty mini-muffins to the new Snackin’ Bites, both young and old enjoy the treat in a conveniently single-serving package. 

Available in two flavors, Apple Cinnamon and Strawberry, the Snackin’ Bites are bite-sized, fruit-filled snacks that are great for breakfast, lunch or whenever hunger strikes. The soft baked, cereal like crust is a great vehicle for the fruit filling. The fruit flavors, popular choices for both young and old, blend well with the crust. 

Like other snacks in the Little Bites line, one box of Snackin’ Bites contains five individually wrapped servings. Each serving contains six individual mini-bars. The bags can be thrown in a cooler, lunch box or even mom’s purse. Snacking on the go is easy and satisfying. 

While convenience is important during the busy summer months, Entenmann’s Snackin’ Bites can bring even more fun when incorporated into different dishes. The soft-cereal, fruit filled mini-bars are great in a variety of recipes. A few examples include a sweet topping for a yogurt and fruit parfait, a layer in a summer trifle or blended into ice cream. Creativity with these Snackin’ Bites is huge. 

Entenmann’s Little Bite Snackin’ Bites are available at a variety of retailers. The Snackin’ Bites are available in two flavors, Apple Cinnamon and Strawberry. Each box contains 5 individual serving bags.
Don’t slow down to snack this summer. Keep the fun going even when hunger hits with Entenmann’s Little Bites Snackin’ Bites.

After school snacks full of flavor and nutrition from KIND

During the summer, it seemed that that kids were so busy, snack time wasn't a priority. Now that the kids are back in school, it seems that snacks are constantly on their mind. For the moment that the backpacks hit the ground by the front door, the kids are asking where's my snack.

While I understand that a day of learning can be tiresome and draining, I don't want that post-school snack to be full of junk. I want a flavorful snack that tastes as good but won't totally disrupt a late dinner.
KIND offers a variety of fruit and nut bars that are flavorful and nutritious. Kids like the bars because there is a sweetness that they crave. Parents choose the bars because they contain good ingredients. Everyone is left full, satisfied and not yearning for more before dinner.

Our family enjoys the Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt. This bar is a wonderful combination of salty and sweet. A close second is the cashew and ginger bar. Other bars offer fruit and chocolate with the nut combinations.

If your kids aren't the bar type, KIND granola offers a quick, easy option for snacking. Whether used as a topping for Greek Yogurt or a handful on the go, the granola is a snack option. For example, the Cinnamon Oat Clusters with Flax Seeds combine antioxidant rich cinnamon, flax seeds and whole grains amaranth, quinoa, oats, millet and buckwheat for a delicious snack. It is high in fiber and contains 720mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 16g of whole grains per serving.

KIND products can be purchased online or a variety of retailers.

Whichever KIND snack your family chooses, you will feel confident giving your family quality ingredients that everyone will enjoy.

Originally published on Examiner.com by Cristine Struble