Weekly family column, with pet tips, a review of “The Back-Up Plan” and more.
Tip of the Week
Pet care can be a major line item in the family budget, as food, medicine, grooming tools and toys aren't cheap. But there are ways to save money on pet supplies while keeping your pet healthy, happy and looking good.
- Check the mailbox for fliers, inserts and community newspaper ads from pet stores in your vicinity. You may score a discount on food, treats or grooming from a neighborhood merchant or a national chain.
- Look in the back of your local area phone book for coupons, which are typically valid for a long period of time. If you check the phone book when it first arrives at your house, you may have an entire year to redeem some of the discounts.
- Contact the companies that manufacturer your favorite pet brands and sign up for their mailing list. Be sure to include your e-mail address. That way, you'll be able to receive coupon codes to use online as well as coupons for preferred products to bring to your local brick and mortar store.
- Keep up with preventive maintenance, and shop online for prescription pet medicines through CouponHeaven.com. Most online pet pharmacies offer free shipping, and you can save even more with pet prescription coupons that are valid for heartworm medications, flea and tick preventatives, and more.
- Use the power of the Internet to save on most pet items. The exception to the rule is pet food, which is often too costly to ship because of weight. Shopping online allows you to browse different stores, comparing the quality and prices for all of your pet supplies, like a bed for your dog, a tank for your fish, toys for your cat or a kissing mirror for your bird - just to name a few. When you use CouponHeaven.com to find coupon codes for pet products, you can save money on the purchase, or get free shipping.
- Buy food in bulk at the discount stores. Yes, you will have to find an appropriate storage space, but the cost per ounce will be much cheaper, and you'll also save by not making as many trips to the store.
- Take care of your pet's grooming at home whenever possible. If that won't work for your family, consider asking your groomer if there is a customer loyalty program for discounts on services or treatments.
- Make sure your pet gets the appropriate amount of exercise, which contributes to overall well-being and cuts down on potential vet bills.
Happy pets make happy pet owners, and you can be even happier by combining pet care and cost-reducing strategies.
Family Screening Room
“The Back-Up Plan”
Rated: PG-13 (for sexual content including references, some crude material and language)
Synopsis: The unmarried Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) is desperate for a child and is artificially inseminated. Newly pregnant but not yet showing and unaware of her pregnancy, she meets Stan (Alex O'Loughlin), and the two start dating. Romantic complications ensue once she reveals to him she was pregnant when they met.
Violence/scary rating: 3
Sexual-content rating: 4
Profanity rating: 3.5
Drugs/alcohol rating: 2.5
Family Time rating: 3.5. This leans more toward an R movie because of the sexual content.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“My Garden,” by Kevin Henkes
Synopsis: The girl in this book grows chocolate rabbits, tomatoes as big as beach balls, flowers that change color, and seashells in her garden. How does your garden grow?
Did You Know
According to a new study in England, babies born extremely prematurely – before 24 weeks – are no more likely to survive today as they did 15 years ago.
GateHouse News Service