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University of Illinois Extension serving Lake and McHenry Counties

Main Office (Lake County)
100 South US Highway 45
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: 847-223-8627
FAX: 847-223-9288
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Branch Office (McHenry County)
1102 McConnell Road
PO Box 1430
Woodstock, IL 60098
Phone: 815-338-3737
FAX: 815-338-4755
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

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Thank you for visiting our website! Unit 3 Vision is to become “Highly Visible and The Leading Local Institution” in Lake and McHenry County where people come to hear and receive research-based education and information in the following areas to make a difference in their lives, homes and communities: 4-H Youth Development Program--Nutrition (SNAP- Ed) Program--Horticulture (Master Gardeners) Program--Local Foods/Small Farms Program

Today's Features

Tax Breaks for Higher Education - Paying for college or any kind of post-secondary education can be expensive. Fortunately, our income tax system has credits, deductions, and other tax breaks for higher education. If you are saving for future expenses, the interest or growth in certain types of accounts is non-taxable income. If you are paying for post-secondary education or paying interest on student loans, you may be able to claim a credit or deduction. Deductions and non-taxable income reduce the amount of income on which you pay tax. Credits reduce the amount of tax you owe. If you were eligible for a tax break in a previous year but failed to claim it, you can file an amended tax return. You have three years from the date you filed the original return or two years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, to file the amended return. Updates and additional information about saving and paying for college, including the temporary Higher Education Expense Deduction, is posted on the University of Illinois Extension blog, Plan Well – Retire Well.

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All new website has information at click of button We know you want 4-H information every moment of every day … and now, the NEW Illinois 4-H website has everything you need. Go to: • New modern look filled with 2,000 photos of ... you & your club members • Easy-to-find information … nothing is more than three clicks from the home page • Easy links to apply for award • Easy links to register for events • More information about 4-H projects • Direct link to 4-H Online enrollment & project selection • Request buttons for programs you want in your county • Easy-to-submit 4-H stories which we’ll feature on the site and in social media • Responsive design which will look great on your smart phone or computer • Easy-to-use Donate Buttons let you give back to the program you love • All-in-one library with all the 4-H documents you need. We’d love to hear what you think of the new site. Send us a note at:

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Strategies for Spending Less/ Food. Plan meals around foods you have on hand until more money is available. Plan meals and snacks for a week ahead. Make a list of what you need to buy; estimate the cost to know if you have enough money to last the week. The local University of Illinois Extension office can provide information on spending guides for thrifty food plans. Shop from a list based on planned menus. Check the food advertisements for good buys. Clipping and using coupons may save money, if the coupons are nutritious items you need. Two web sites that allow you to print coupons are and Some stores do not accept coupons from the internet. Sunday newspapers often have an insert with coupons. Go shopping as few times as possible. Frequent trips can add to family food costs, because it is easy to buy extra items, unplanned each time. Shop alone, if possible. It is hard to say “no” to your children’s favorite foods when they are along. Don’t go shopping when you are hungry. Everything looks good when you are hungry, so it’s hard to stick to your list. And shopping in a hurry may cause you to overlook the best buys. Use low-cost protein foods such as dry beans, eggs, peanut butter, turkey and chicken. Hamburger and liver are good buys in red meats. Large roasts can be cut up and used in different ways for more than one meal. Stretch meats by using them in sauces or casseroles. Use slow cooking and/or marinating to tenderize less expensive cuts of meat. Use reconstituted nonfat dry milk for cooking instead of whole milk. Dry milk is equally nutritious, and can be less expensive. Turn leftovers into “planned overs.” You can sometimes get two meals for the price of one. Store cooked foods properly to make them last longer. Freeze them if you have the space. Take advantage of free - or reduced - price school lunch programs. Where available, use fish and wild game.

Winter Weather Preparedness in Illinois. Now is also a good time to review University of Illinois Extension guidelines for the necessary steps to close offices and cancel programs in the event of bad weather. Be sure to check with regional and county directors for the specific procedures in your area. And make sure you have multiple ways to inform the public of schedule changes. And now is a great time to change the batteries in and check operation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Be sure to prepare your emergency supply kit and update your family communications plan as per point number two in the fact sheet.

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Information and Resources for You

4-H Youth Development Consumer Economics Family Life Horticulture Local Food Systems and Small Farms Nutrition and Wellness

Extension Meetings

2015 Annual Report
Wednesday July 13, 2016 • 12:00 PM

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