Freebies at 7/11 through the end of the year!

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Woo Hoo! 7/11 is treating us every Monday and Friday through the end of the year! Download the 7Rewards app (just go to your favorite app store online) to your phone or other mobile device and you can start and end your work week with freebies!

Stride Gum offer valid on 11/11, 11/18, 11/25, 12/2, 12/9, 12/16, 12/23 and 12/30/16 only.
Belvita offer valid on 11/14, 11/21, 11/28, 12/5, 12/12, 12/19, 12/26/16 and 1/2/17 only.

Fine Print: Quantities are limited. Check coupon in app to see if offer is still available. Limit of one offer per member per day. Program available only to members of the 7Rewards™ Program and available only at participating 7-Eleven® Stores, excluding Hawaii. Go to the 7-Eleven Mobile App for additional terms and conditions of 7Rewards.

Great Gift Card Deal at Vons! #vonssvgc16

You know I love a good Gift Card Deal! Right now through December 13, 2016 when you purchase $100 or more ins select gift cards (Amazon, JCP, Bass Pro, Starbuck’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Toys R Us, Kohl’s) you’ll score  $10 off your next shopping order (with $25 min. purchase at time of redemption)!

There are so many great ways to work this deal!

  • Use your points or cash back credit card to purchase the gift cards for a double dip! Our American Express Card gives us 5% cash back when we shop at grocery stores.
  • Pick up gift cards for upcoming holiday gifts, or…
  • Use the gift cards to stay on budget for holiday gifts! Because you can shop in store or online with giftcards, it’s a great way to triple dip (use a cashback online shopping website like ebates or Topcashback to redeem your gift cards. You will earn even more cash back!)
  • Don’t forget to check for coupons before you redeem your gift cards! This time of year JCP usually has $10/$25 or similarly valued coupons. And earn even more rewards when you sign up for JCP Rewards (it’s Free!).

Before you head to your local Vons, check your Vons Club deals online or through their app, and check to see if you have any other gift card deals or promotions available. I just checked my Vons app and I found these two deals under my Just4U.

So not only do you get $10 off your next purchase of $25 or more when you buy $100 in selected gift cards, but you could also score extra Gas Reward Points!

What I love about Vons Fuel Rewards Program is that I can use my earned discount at any Chevron, Texaco, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, or Carrs branded gas stations. Perfect for holiday travel by car!

I like that I can save up to .20/gallon at Chevron and Texaco Stations and up to $1.00/gallon at Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, or Carrs branded gas stations, depending on how many points I earn!

You can learn more about the Vons Gas Rewards program here.

Need to find your local Vons store? Look here

 

Once it’s time to redeem your $10 off coupon, don’t forget to stretch your budget further by adding exclusive coupons and deals to your Vons card through the app or Vons.com! And if you are looking for printable coupons, check out these great printable coupon resources.  And save even more money using Smartphone rebate apps like Ibotta, checkout51, and Mobisave. You can find a list of all of the money savings apps I use here.

Right now, you can enter to win a $75 Amazon Gift Card! Just in time for the holidays! Spend it on gifts, or buy yourself something nice! Click here to enter (the Rafflecopter may not be mobile friendly).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post, thanks to Tatu Digital Media for including me on this awesome offer and giveaway! All opinions are my own!

Crazy8: 30% Off Entire Purchase Plus Free Shipping

I love Crazy8! They always have such great deals on kids clothes, but today, they are taking the cake! Just in time for holiday shopping!

30% off entire purchase, free shipping, plus additional 20% off with code CHEER at Crazy8 This includes $8 jeans, $8 PJs, $4 tees and more! Oh, but wait… Free Shipping all day!

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I’ve already found pants for Lil’ Man and a couple cute dresses for my niece!

10 Great Stocking stuffers for kids under $15

With the Holidays approaching, most of use have either stocking stuffers to purchase of at least one gift exchange to attend. I’ve collected 10 great frugal gifts that would be a great addition to any holiday! Most of these gifts call for creativity and imagination. They won’t need batteries or make horrible sounds (for the most part). These are all gifts I would buy (or have bought) for my kids.

  1. These hair bows for babies and toddlers are perfect for the little girls on your list. Bitty Bird loves hers.
  2. If you’ve got a crafty kiddo, this craft kit is a perfect choice. None of the crafts require scissors, just a little imagination and glue (we use Elmer’s white glue).
  3. Speaking of crafty kiddos, if you’ve got one on your list that likes to make jewelry, this Melissa & Doug bead set has over 200 beads, perfect for hours of creativity.
  4. Is your kiddo a budding scientist? We have this science kit and Lil’ Man LOVES it. There are 11 scientific experiments for kids to conduct (all with grown ups help).
  5. No science experiment is complete without a lab coat. Lil’ Man has this one. He even wore it at Halloween. He was Dr. Doofenschmirtz from Phineas & Ferb. You can see photos on my Instagram feed.
  6. Lil’ Man got this set last year for his birthday. It’s an awesome set. It’s super fun, and you can hatch and raise Triops. Think Sea Monkeys on steroids! And you can actually see the trips grow and live. It’s nifty. I think everyone in the family enjoyed it.
  7. These cool interlocking blocks. They are little man approved.
  8. Magnetic Mini Tile Kit. They would make cool refrigerator magnets!
  9. This super cute (and mess-free) stained glass set. I love anything by Melissa & Doug. They make very well made toys and their craft kits yield great keepsakes!

 

What kinds of stocking stuffers do you buy for your kids?

4x Fuel Rewards from Kroger Stores Giveaway #KrogGC16

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Most of you know that I love Ralphs, which is the Kroger affiliated store in Southern California (You can find your local Kroger affiliated store here).

Did you know that when you scan your Ralphs card at checkout you earn fuel rewards? Fuel rewards are discounts in the form of cents off at the pump at local gas stations.

Well, Kroger is sweetening the deal!!! Now through 12/13/16, when you buy any Gift Card, you will earn 4x the fuel rewards! Just in time for holiday shopping!

Gift cards make great gifts! I’ll be stocking up on a few for Lil’ Man’s teacher. She always needs Michael’s and Target Gift Cards to buy supplies for the class. Stock up on gifts now for the holidays! Gift Card Selection varies by store, but you’re bound to find more than a few that you need!

Double Dip! Some Credit cards give you extra points or cash back when you make purchases at grocery stores. Use this to your advantage! Earn Credit Card Points/Cash Back and fuel rewards! It’s a win/win!

Right now, you can enter to win a $75 Amazon Gift Card! Just in time for the holidays! Spend it on gifts, or buy yourself something nice! To enter, Click here (the widget isn’t mobile friendly)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

This is a sponsored post, thanks to Tatu Digital Media for including me on this awesome offer and giveaway! All opinions are my own!

5 Tips for Moisturized Skin this Winter!

dsc07774It’s finally starting to chill out here in Southern California at night. I love taking a hot shower when it’s cold, but combine that with the dry winds and low humidity and that means dry, itchy skin. Here are five tips to help keep your skin smooth and supple this winter!

  1. Don’t take a hot shower. I know, the temptation is there, but take a warm shower. The hot water strips the moisture from your skin. If you love a steamy bathroom, put a bucket in the shower, and turn the water on very hot, allowing the water to be caught in the bucket. Save the water to water your plants or grass with (after it’s cooled). Then when it’s time to hop into the shower, turn the temp down, pull out the bucket and enjoy the steam and a warm shower!
  2. Dry brush! Dry brushing is a great way to sweep away dead skin, and increase blood flow. It also helps move lymph through your body, which some people say is one of the keys to a good detox. I use this dry brush set– I love it. Here is a great video about dry brushing.
  3. screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-07-54-pmExfoliate! Using a moisturizing exfoliant will sweep away the dead skin cells, which is what gives your skin that ashy dry appearance. I like the 100% Natural Arabica Coffee Body Scrub from New York Biology. It’s moisturizes with Organic Arabica Seed Oil, Cacao Extract, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Olive Oil, and Organic Grape Seed Oil. It uses Coffee and salt to scrub away the dead skin cells. Oh, and it smells GREAT!
  4. Moisturize! Lock in the moisture from the shower with a high quality body lotion or body butter. Avoid products that contain Mineral Oil, Petroleum, and Petrolatum. These ingredients are not absorbed by your body, but leave an occlusive film on your skin. Some people like using straight Coconut oil. I prefer using the lotion bars from Little Red Howse.
  5. Drink Water! I know, you’ve heard that you need 8 glasses a day, but really, it’s important to keep your body hydrated from the inside by making sure you get plenty of liquid! Water is best, but juice, milk, and yes, even coffee count too. Just make sure that you are drinking more non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages, as excessive amounts of both can lead to dehydration or other ill effects. I use these powdered stick beverages in at least 2 of my 20 ounce water glass (which is really just a shaker bottle) each day. You can also infuse water with fruit. I have this pitcher in the fridge with lemons and cucumbers in it right now!

I’d love to hear your tips for keeping your skin moisturized this winter!

Finding unclaimed money-The Frugal Way!

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There are a lot of companies out there that claim they’ll help you find unclaimed money.  You may have seen commercials on cable TV, or pop up ads online. What these commercials and websites don’t tell you, is that they want a large percentage of what they are able to recover for you.

If they use clip art like the photo to the left, Run away!

There is no need to pay a service or website, finding money that you are owed is easy.

If you live in California, or have lived in California, check out the State Controller’s office.  If you live in another state, check out your state controller/treasurer’s website.

The most common types of Unclaimed Property are:

  • Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
  • Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
  • Uncashed cashier’s checks or money orders
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Matured or terminated insurance policies
  • Estates
  • Mineral interests and royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts.

I checked a few months ago, and I was able to recover a little over $25. Some of it was from a credit card I’d over paid and closed out ($4.00-ish) and the remainder was from the local utility company when we moved.

There should be no fees to recover unclaimed money from your state. It’s your money- Get it back!

Help kids play with Ikea’s Let’s Play for Change!

play_for_changeIf you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you saw all of my crazy posts this morning from Ikea San Diego. A group of bloggers (and our kids) enjoyed breakfast in their cafe and learned out Ikea’s winter Good Cause Campaign, Let’s Play for Change, which highlights the benefits of play for all Children.

Honestly, the best part of being a kid is free time to play and learn. Children learn through play: social skills, emotional development, and so much more. Anyone shopping for the holidays at Ikea stores world wide can help the cause! For every children’s book and toy sold through November 20- December 24, 2016, the IKEA Foundation will make a donation of €1 (that’s about $1.10 USD) to projects in some of the poorest communities in the world. And you can help twice- Each store has a drop box where you can drop off purchased toys. If you buy toys at Ikea, that’s a double dip for the cause!

You can learn about the campaign by watching the video:

Ikea has partnered with Handicap International Federation, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF, and War Child. You can learn more about the Ikea Foundation by visiting their website.

And if you hasn’t visited Ikea lately, check out their awesome Ikea Family savings card! It’s free to sign up and you score all kinds of great deals and perks every day!

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-3-50-18-pmIn addition to those perks, you score family only prices on tons of items each month. It’s definitely worth signing up. It’s free and easy to do.

Fun and Excitement at Medieval Times!

Ok, ever since I was a kid, whenever we’d go up to Orange County to go to Knott’s Berry Farm or Disneyland, I’d beg for my parents to take us to Medieval Times. It always looked like so much fun. Welllllll, guess what? I’m excited to share this awesome promotion with you.

My Readers save at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.  CLICK HERE and use this exclusive promo code MT3629 through 2/17/17 and receive Adults for just $36.95 and children (12 and under) only $29.95.

I’ll be taking Lil’ Man and a couple friends up to Buena Park to check out the show (and of course, enjoy dinner!), and I’ll reporting back, as well as live tweeting (and snapping pics) when I get a chance during our visit.

Lil’ Man has already informed me that he wants to be a “knight in shiny armor” next year for Halloween, so I’m sure this will solidify it!

Did you know:

* All Knights begin their training as Squires – just as they did in the Middle Ages – learning horse care, sword fighting, and weaponry. It takes a minimum of six months of training to become a Knight.

* Knights perform with real metal weapons and wear authentic armor. During battle scenes, real titanium swords create sparks.

* Every shield must be repainted after every show.

* When jousting, the Knights charge at speeds of approximately 15 to 20 miles per hour and reach an impact velocity speed of about 30 to 40 miles per hour.

* Each year, 25 foals are born at Chapel Creek Ranch, where they spend two years training.

* Our horses enjoy retirement at the ranch after 15 to 20 years of performing.

* 125,000 gallons of soup are served each year.

* Each arena is filled with about 4,455 cubic feet of sand – about the load of 10 dump trucks.

* Medieval Times is the #1 breeder of pure Spanish horses in North America.
(More information about their horses here)

How to save money without coupons: Part Two- Produce!

Yesterday I talked about how to save money without coupons when buying meat. Today I’m going to talk about fruits and vegetables!

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There are seldom coupons for fresh fruit or vegetables.

Usually when you find coupons for either, they are lower in value or you must purchase another item (like cereal, croutons, something not super healthy or inexpensive).

Here are some ways you can incorporate fruits and vegetables into your grocery budget and diet without breaking the bank!

My number one money saving tip when it comes to produce is: Eat fruit and vegetables when they are in season. Food in season is cheaper because there is a surplus of it. 

Living in So. Cal, I’m kind of spoiled in that we can grow and eat most fruits and veggies year round. But if you live some place where it snows or has cold winters, eat produce when it’s readily available.

If you aren’t sure when certain fruits and veggies are in season, check out the Produce for Better Health Foundation website here. They have lists based on season.

Tip Number Two: If you gotta eat fruit out of season (sometimes in December, you just gotta have strawberries), buy frozen fruit. Frozen berries are so juicy and flavorful. Frozen fruit is the fruit that is too ripe to sell in stores fresh, so it’s cut up and flash frozen. It contains all of the nutrients that are found in fresh fruit.

Tip Number  Three: If you grow your own fruits, veggies or herbs: Freeze, dry, or can/preserve whatever you won’t eat right away. That way you’ll have some when the weather turns.

I love to make jam and pickles. It’s really easy and you don’t need any special equipment. We don’t grow enough tomatoes to can our own, so I pick up fruits and veggies when they are really cheap and in peak season and make jam or pickles then. And you can definitely can more than just Cucumbers!

If it is something that interests you, here are a few books that I like:

If you want to get the canning gadgets that make canning a little easier, here is the kit that I bought years ago: Back to Basics 286 5-Piece Home Canning Kit I love the funnel!

Tip Number  Four: When fruit or veggies are on sale, stock up. That may sound weird, but most produce can be frozen. With the exception of raw potatoes and lettuce I think you can clean, chop, and store pretty much any fruit or veggie in the freezer. Speaking of frozen….

Fresh produce is always the best, but a close second is frozen. Occasionally frozen veggies are on sale. If they are types/varieties you like, stock up!

Canned fruit/veggies are my last resort. Why? Because, for the most part, they are canned in syrup or juice (fruit) or salt-laden water (veggies) and they are usually cooked and some of the nutrients leech out into the liquid they are cooked/canned in, and most of the time that liquid is discarded.

HOWEVER- I love salt-free canned tomatoes in recipes for all kinds of stuff, and Lil’ Man loves him some salt-free canned green beans.  Sometimes you can find low/no salt added canned vegetables.

I have found that when I calculate price per unit (more info here), blueberries and some other fruit is cheaper at Costco! So don’t overlook your large club stores.

Tip Number Five: Check outyour local 99 Cent Store (like 99 Cents Only), produce stands, and the markdown section of your supermarket. All three usually have inexpensive produce that is good quality. It may not be the prettiest produce, but that’s ok!

How do you save money on your produce?