Managing a Household with Neurodivergencies (ADHD, ASD, etc.)

Earlier this week my friend Sam posted on Facebook, “Neurodivergent Friends what are some tools you use with others that help you with daily life, communication, relationships?”

A few friends posted that they needed help with meal prep, day-to-day stuff, and as y’all know, that’s my bag, baby!

Both my kids are Neurodivergent (ADHD/ASD and ADHD), and their dad has ADHD (combined type/ C) and because of that, we’ve had to make some adjustments to our daily life and how we function. And while our processes and schedules may not work for everyone, hopefully, these tips give you some idea and hope if you need it.

Some of these directly affect/benefit the kids, and some make my life easier, which in turn makes their lives easier.

Having an accurate(ish) pantry, fridge, and freezer inventory. I have made my own sheets in the past (using Canva), but the ones from Organized Home are great.

Meal Prep and meal planning (this includes using Dream Dinners once every few months). This frees up time each night to read, hang out, bathe, and get kids ready for bed.

Meal Prep can be as easy as cut up veggies, fruit, pre-portioned foods, and easy meals or side dishes prepared in advance that only need to be heated up to avoid wasting money eating out because “there is nothing to eat”. Also having one night for take-out. And I have a whiteboard that lists our meal plan for the week- I try and post it weekly on Instagram.

The Snack Box- I also organized our fridge and pantry to be more ND-friendly. Stuff that should be eaten (healthy food like fruit, cheese sticks, yogurt, etc.) is at kid eye level in clear packaging and is labeled (I use expo markers on my Rubbermaid containers), and I have a “Snack box” in the pantry that is available 24/7 for hungry faces. It’s got individually portioned shelf-stable snacks and meal components. And on days when I am too tired/rushed to cook we have “Meal of snacks” where I serve a variety of snacks on old-school sectioned cafeteria trays- fruits, veggies, crackers, cheese, cookies, and a drink (juice or iced tea is a hit).

We have a list of snacks on the fridge so the kids know what there is to snack on. It is a visual list (I drew it), and when we are out of specific items, I cover the picture with a piece of posit note.

Calendars– in the kitchen, and one in each bedroom. I update them weekly, plus the grownups use the calendars on their phones and we have a shared family calendar. Kids get reminders each day in the morning and afternoon of any appointments or events that will take place during the day. The visual and auditory reminders really help cement the appointment in their mind.

Visual reminders– next to the front door at eye level there is a sign that reminds us we need: cellphone, wallet, keys, and garage door opener. It’s laminated.

Visual schedule– this is mainly for the kids. I drew up a daily schedule using words and pictures. I wrote a post about it here.

Lists– Everyone has a “Care tasks” list each week that includes appts, returning borrowed items, and tasks to do throughout the week. You can read about my weekly Care Tasks here. 

Larger font digital clock with day of the week, date, and what part of the day (morning, afternoon, evening, night). The kids can read a clock, but it can take time to engage their brains and count by 5’s, but the “old people clock” as it was marketed on Amazon helps them instantly and helps a lot with the “is it time for xxxxx yet?!?!”

Using your phone to stay on top of details- I saw this on Facebook in a group and I’ve started doing this. If you have an iPhone, there is a notes section in each contact. I’ve seen them used to keep track of favorite fast food at various restaurants, favorite foods/drinks, clothing sizes and brands, favorite colors, birthdays, and anniversaries. It’s such a game changer.

The fidget/stim box– we have a plastic box full of fidget/stim toys for everyone to grab when they need to focus. And everyone has some in their room too. This includes headphones to cut down on loud sounds (I buy the landscapers kind from harbor freight). We have 3 pairs in the house and two pairs in the car. For those not familiar- fidget toys can help calm the body so the mind can focus.

Some favorites include pop-its, hand strengthening eggs, fidget cubes, fidget spinners, stretchy tubes, pop tubes, and stress balls (the kind with Orbeez are super satisfying). Amazon sells really great fidget toys mutli-packs.

Medication Boxes- We refill our medication boxes each week (both AM and PM).  The three of us take our meds together each morning at breakfast time. Our medication boxes live on the kitchen counter, along with our pill minders: Jon Cena and Skeletor.

Stuff has a place– The kid’s shoes and backpacks are always by the door during the school year, ready to be cleaned out and refilled each night. My car keys and purse live in the same spot, the pool key has a special spot. The extra toilet paper and paper towels are always in the same spot (under the front bathroom sink). These are just a few examples of the ways that we remind ourselves and create routines. Creating routines can give us a sense of normalcy and be calming.

The Family Binder– One last thing that doesn’t directly “help” the kids but helps the family, especially in times of emergency is the family binder. I’ve had one since 2010 in various incarnations. I have a really old post about it here.  It’s basically my brain in paper form. It’s got all of our important papers, insurance info, important phone numbers, policy numbers, warranty information, receipts for expensive/valuable stuff, copies of most recent IEPS, copies of diagnosis paperwork, lists of everyone’s meds, doctors info, etc. Think of it as all the info you’d need if you lost power for an extended period, your house burned down, or there was a tornado.

There are a lot of other things that we do in our home to help the kids- keep them safe, regulated, and happy. The stuff listed above is just a small sample. Everyone’s home runs differently. And this was and continues to be a lot of work. The examples above are continually changing, and evolving in our home, and are a combination of 11+ years of hard work, learning, and failing. Some of this stuff I did to try and get organized in my late 20s, even before I was married and had kids.

 

 

99 Cents Only: Sign up for the NEW 99 App today and get a $5 Reward!

This was in my inbox earlier today, and while I have fallen out of love with 99 Cents Only (which is a huge misnomer these days, the average price of items is $2.99), this is still a pretty good deal:

When you download the app, sign up for an account (or log on if you had the older version of the app already), you’ll get a $5 off your next purchase of $25+ offer.

With inflation and 99 Cents Only’s foray into more expensive merchandise, I have stopped shopping there as much as I used to. They still have decent deals on bagged salads, bread, spices, canned goods, and first aid supplies.

Fetch Rewards: Earn More Points with Good Rewards

Ok, so as most of you know, Fetch Rewards is my favorite cashback app. They have a new club within the app: Good Rewards! It’s a way to earn extra points when you purchase General Mills products.

All you have to do is open the Fetch Rewards app on your phone, click on the Good Rewards link in the app, join, and you’ll be earning extra points in no time. General Mills owns a lot of brands you probably buy weekly.

If you aren’t already using Fetch Rewards, signing up is quick and easy! You learn more when you check out my post here. Find the Fetch Rewards app in your app store, and when you download it and scan any receipt, use my code ND2TB when you sign up and you’ll score 2,000 bonus points. I’ve earned $145 so far in 2022 just by purchasing my regular groceries and scanning all of my receipts (grocery, mass merchandiser, gas receipts, restaurants, you name it).

Fetch Rewards: 4,000 points per friend- Ends Tomorrow!

Fuel your next free gift card with referrals! Invite your friends to Fetch and earn 4,000 points when each of ‘em snaps their first receipt. The offer ends 7/6/22 so move fast!

And right now there are some really great bonus point offers!

If you haven’t signed up for Fetch Rewards yet, or want to learn more, check out my post here. Find the Fetch Rewards app in your app store, and when you download it and scan any receipt, use my code ND2TB when you sign up and you’ll score 4,000 bonus points. I’ve earned $145 so far in 2022 just by purchasing my regular groceries and scanning all of my receipts (grocery, mass merchandiser, gas receipts, restaurants, you name it).

It is simple, takes minutes, and the points really rack up!

July 2022: New Month, New Coupons!

file000786402730Here is your monthly reminder!  A new month means new printable and electronic coupons!

The printable coupon market is slowly coming to an end. Smartsource no longer offers printable coupons, and you may notice that there are fewer coupon inserts in your Sunday newspaper. This is in favor of more offers available on apps. But if you love printable coupons….

  • Coupons.com (printable coupons, e-coupons, and a cashback app)

One of my favorite websites is the Sunday Coupon Review.  It helps me plot out scenarios in advance and I can email friends to ask for coupons in advance. Remember if clipping coupons isn’t your thing, but saving money is, check out my list of Smartphone apps that can save you the big bucks! New offers are added on the Smartphone Savings Apps all the time!

July is Here! We are in the full swing of summer with Sports Equipment & Craft Supplies (things for families to do together) on sale, and of course, don’t forget July 4th! Beverages, Hot dogs, Ground Beef, BBQ sauce, Ketchup, Mustard, and Ribs (Often times there are some really great rebates WYB beer or soda) offers will abound!

For a complete list of types of foods and items that will be on sale, check out this post on the cycle of sales.

Drop: Join Now and Score a $15 Bonus!

Our friends at Drop are hooking us up!

Now through June 29, 2022 when our friends and family sign up with Drop, and earn 1000 points (it’s pretty easy),  they will earn 15,000 points ($15 value).* And as a bonus- the referring Drop member also receives 15,000 points! Win Win.

But what is Drop? Drop is a smartphone app, and if you use your phone to shop, you need Drop. Earn points by shopping through their app (they have tons of stores and websites that participate), and earn points playing games on the app too. In addition, you earn points when you shop in-store at specific stores (you can pick from a list: I have 7-11, Starbucks, Target, McDonald’s, and a few others). Points can be redeemed for gift cards.

I redeemed my points for a Chipotle card the other night. I’ve been craving queso, and the kids love their kid’s meals. We’ll be using our gift card during one of our summer adventures.

If you want to check out Drop, click here and use my referral code t7zgb to take advantage of this deal.

If you are looking for more ways to earn using your smartphone, check out my post here.

(The Drop Link is my personal link, if you sign up and complete an offer, I may earn a small commission. This money helps me run the site and offer contests and giveaways. You can see my Disclosure info here.)

 

Earn Money this Summer with Surveys!

It’s not all beach trips and hot girl summer here. This mama needs to earn a little cash on the side to afford all the gas to get around! BTW, if you are looking for a way to save on gas, check out this post.

In addition to the resources below, I recommend checking out the posts I write several times a week for various research studies. It’s a good way to earn the most money in the least amount of time. It’s usually $75+ for an hour of time over a Zoom meeting.

I have signed up for all of the survey companies below and have hit the cashout threshold at least once!

With Branded Surveys, it’s simple to earn! Create a profile and begin taking surveys.

They pay you with cash or gift card rewards to complete market research studies.

Refer your friends to maximize your rewards.

 

 

Inbox Dollars- Join for free and get paid to take surveys, shop online, try name brand products, and play games online.

 

 

 

 

LifePoints is one of my favorites. It’s so easy! Join one of the largest influencer communities in the world. We’ve rewarded over $20 million to our members in the last year alone.

Share your opinions on numerous products and popular brands. Complete surveys and get paid for it!

Earn points that can be redeemed for rewards of your choice. Join today and get 10 LifePoints to kick off your earnings!

The Survey Junkie community shares feedback with brands in exchange for rewards such as cash, gift cards, and more.
To participate in Survey Junkie Pulse, you have two options: Install it on your computer or opt in via the Survey Junkie app.

Once you’ve opted in, the Survey Junkie Pulse tech gets to work in the background, automatically tracking digital activities.

If you are looking for some more ways to make some extra money, check out my side hustles post here. And if you want to earn cashback and save money on your shopping, check out my complete list of smartphone apps here.

 

Earn Cashback at Walmart with Zarty!

I learned about Zarty on Reddit last week. I downloaded the app, and had to try it for myself. Last night I went to Walmart and decided to give it a shot.

There are three parts to earning cashback with Zarty.

  • First, scan the product in-store before you buy it.
  • Then scan the receipt after purchase, and answer a few questions.
  • Finally, a few days later, answer some additional questions about your experience with the product.

Some products have a 100% cashback rebate in the form of points. This week, it’s frozen veggies and crescent rolls. There was a Snickers bar too, but I missed out on that by a few hours.

What I like about Zarty is that it’s super easy to use. Once you earn 10,000 points you can cash out for a $10 Walmart Gift Card.

That’s it. It’s simple, it’s easy, and you can use it with other cash back apps. You earn points every time you scan in a Walmart receipt too, even if you don’t have any offers on your receipt.

We don’t have a great Walmart in our city. It’s not a supercenter or neighborhood market, so they don’t have a lot of groceries, but if you live in an area with either of those and you shop there, this app may be a really great way for you to earn even more cashback.

There is no referral link or code to download this app. Just go to the app store or Google Play store and download the Zarty app to get started!

Saving Money on Alcohol!

I know not everyone enjoys or partakes of alcohol, but for those who do, saving money can be hard.

I’m here to show you a few ways to save money while stocking your bar for your next get-together!

First, let’s start with rebate apps.

  • FetchRewards partners with a lot of brands including Coors Banquet and Miller. So you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards, and frequently they have offers that make products free or heavily discounted.
  • Shopkick frequently has alcohol rebates.
  • BYBE is available in most states. This app has rebates for beer, wine, liquor, and more.
  • Target frequently has both coupons and Target Circle offers for alcohol. Check the app or website before heading out to shop. And you save 5% when you shop with your Target RedCard! Remember that you can stack Target app deals and coupons with Cashback apps to double and sometimes triple dip!

Check your grocey store’s app for further discounts, coupons, and rebates. Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs/Kroger frequently have digital coupons for alcohol.

Next up are good old fashioned rebates. Especially with alcohol, you may find rebates on products in store. There are also online rebates frequently. When searching for rebates, make sure to include your state in the search, as well as the year. “CA 2022 beer rebates” will bring you better searches than, “beer rebates”. Websites like phatwallet and slickdeals often have forums dedicated to rebates, where you can find more alcohol rebates.

I hope this helps!

 

 

Earn Cashback on Gasoline Purchases with GetUpside

I’ve been hearing a lot about GetUpside on the radio lately. I downloaded the app last year and used it a few times, but I dove back into it this morning.

What I really like about it is that you can earn cashback on buying gas- WHICH IS NEVER ON SALE.

GetUpside is a free cashback app that users can earn up to 25¢/gallon cash back on gas.  It’s super easy to use:

Use New “Check-In” and skip the receipt. Just Check In to redeem your offer at this station and any other locations that have a Blue Badge. No need to upload the receipt. GetUpside uses the last 4 digits of your cards from recent purchases to verify your purchase. Tap the “Check-In” button when the user is at the business and select which card they’re using – no receipt pic needed.

GetUpside users earn up to 25¢/gallon cash back on gas, up to 45% cashback at restaurants, and up to 30% cashback at grocery stores.

GetUpside also has a great referral program. Users can earn a 15¢/gal bonus when they refer friends and give friends and family a 15¢/gal bonus. Referrers also earn 1¢/gal every time their referee gets gas using GetUpside.

And it gets better: Use Promo Code AFF20 to increase the sign-up bonus to 20¢/gal, which is stackable with your first offer for up to $0.45/gal in savings on your first receipt! Heck Yeah!

So now that you know the deets, are you ready to sign up for GetUpside? Click here to get started.