Living Social Deals for the Kids!

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 11.52.22 AM.pngI love Living Social– So many great deals right now!

One of the ways I like to save money is to pick up a few Living Social deals to use on Lil’ Man’s days off school, or for family date night. That way we can still stay on budget and enjoy some fun.

Here are a few of the deals I’m stoked about right now:

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 12.40.51 PM.pngUrban Jungle Fun Park– There are multiple options.

Urban Jungle is a great indoor play place that includes trampoline areas, a climbing wall, and even an area for littler friends!

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 12.46.06 PM.pngNeed a family night out? Check out this deal! Poway Fun Bowl
3 Hours of Cosmic Bowling for 4 People

 

 

 

Neither of those your bag? There are whale watching trips, painting events, outdoor trips to the desert. All kinds of fun ways to spend time with your kids, spouse, sweetheart, or heck, even go alone (I won’t tell!).

 

So, Go Check out the sweet deals at Living Social!

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon GC!

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I am so glad that I’ve been able to grow my social media presence organically, meaning, just by word of mouth. And now I want to thank my followers, however they discovered me!

To celebrate 500+ Instagram followers, I am giving one lucky follower a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Entering is easy!

  1. Follow me on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment on this post with your Instagram handle.
  3. For a bonus entry, share this blog post. Leave a comment as to how/where you shared it.

You must be an Instagram follower to win (and yes, I will check).

 

I will choose a winner on 1/31/17. Winner will be notified via Instagram and/or email.

Earn Extra Cash as a Stella & Dot Stylist!

I know some of you want to earn a little more money this year, and for some of you the hustles that I wrote about in this article aren’t in your scope of interest. Fear not,  I found out about a way you can earn money, while selling cute, stylish jewelry with Stella & Dot.

Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links, and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Stella & Dot is creating a whole new way of running a business! Fresh thinking. Irresistible style. Innovative technology. Modern selling. Your Business, Your Way!

Even better! New stylists who join now through January 31st, will get up to $650 in FREE accessories! Tell your readers about this fun, flexible, and rewarding opportunity.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Join during this limited time offer—Now through January 31, 2017.
  2. – The stylist will automatically get $650 of free accessories.
  3. – Achieve $1000 of sales within the first 30 days and get a $199 rebate.
That’s like joining for free and getting $650 of free accessories!
Encourage your readers to be bold and discover the entrepreneur in themselves. They will find a job they will love when they explore launching their own business as a Stella & Dot Stylist!

Here are a few reasons why:

Flexible Rewarding Stylish
To work around the million other things you do. You call the shots. Earn 25% – 30% commission on your sales. No sales minimums, no quotas, no territories, no inventory or deliveries. Style that practically sells itself.

This offer is only valid through 1/31/17, so if it interests you, click on the banner below to get started!

Quick Recipe: Easy, Healthy Brownies!

IMGP8542.jpgIn the search for healthier yummy recipes to feed Lil’ Man, I stumbled upon a recipe for black bean brownies. Ok, so stop making that face and read on. Oh, and this one is GLUTEN FREE!!

I read the recipe, and a bunch of comments and did some more investigating online and made a few tweaks to the recipe and got to cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 T. sugar free applesauce
  • 3/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 T. Hazelnut extract (You could use vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 c brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 t. instant coffee crystals (optional)- I used 1 t. of very strong coffee instead.
  • 1 C. chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 8×8 baking dish. I used an 8 inch round baking dish.
  3. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips. This is important.  I didn’t do this!
  4. Pour batter into greased baking dish and top with chocolate chips. Bake for 25-35 minutes.  The brownies are super fudgy. If you want cake-ier brownies, add a pinch of baking powder.

 

If you like your brownies really sweet, add 1/4 c. white sugar. I like my desserts not super sweet, so I opted to use a little less sugar, and I’ll top mine with a scoop of ice cream- Yum!

They are not bean-y.  If I didn’t know they had beans in them. I wouldn’t be able to tell.  They are very moist, fudgy brownie. And if you use a flax egg and vegan chocolate chips, you’ve got a yummy vegan recipe!

 

Coupon Clubs: Friendship & Savings!

deals_and_Coupons_version_2 (2).jpgOne of the questions I get frequently  is how do I get so many coupons?

I used to subscribe to FIVE Sunday papers (so much waste!!), but the best way is that I belong to a coupon club!

A what?  A coupon club.  We meet once a month, bring our extra coupon inserts, clip, trade, nosh, gossip and share tricks and tips.  We have a private Facebook group, so we can discuss deals and post our “wishlists”.  Each of us posts a list of coupons that we would like, and as the next meet up draws near, those who are attending clip and print coupons for each other.  Each meet up is like Christmas morning, we trade envelopes of the clipped coupons we requested.  We also talk about deals, frugal living strategies, and help each other. We’ve been together about 7 years!!

In addition to trading coupons, we also have teamed up with a local American Legion Post. They collect Sunday coupon inserts from members. We clip them and return them (taking whatever coupons we’d like). The Legion mails the coupons overseas for those military families living on base overseas. Overseas Military commissaries (that’s the on base grocery stores) accept coupons expired up to 6 months after the expiration date. So not only do we get access to multiple inserts, but, we are able to help others.

We also collect sample sized toiletries and items that we are able to get for free and donate them to the American Legion Post for their homeless veteran outreach.

If you are interested in starting a coupon in your local area, check out Facebook or meetup.com- there are lots of coupon clubs all over the country.

I have a Facebook group for people in my local East County San Diego area. We meet twice a month during the week. If you are interested in joining, check out our group:  Weekday Frugalistas: East County

I post freebies, deals, and other stuff between meetings, and I post a run down of what we discussed at the meeting afterwards, so even if you cant go, you’ll still be up to date!

If you can’t find a local coupon group, there are website dedicated to helping couponers. My favorite is:

 

Visit Hotcouponworld It's all about the deals.HCW has forums for all the major stores, including grocery, drug and mass merchandisers. Trade coupons, find freebies, and find local coupon groups.  You can trade coupons and view their coupon database! I’ve met lots of friends on HCW!

And if you are looking to print coupon online, check out my list of printable coupon resources here.  Every coupon you print helps support our blog!

Saving Money in the New Year on Clothes!

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The tote of clothes to grow into!

I’ve written about clothing swaps before, but I wanted to share some additional resources and tips.

Last night I was pulling out the 24 month clothes for Bitty Bird, and making a pile of 18 month clothes that she had outgrown and I thought about how there were probably other moms (and dads) doing the same thing!

I try to keep clothing in the next size up for Bitty, but Lil’ Man hasn’t bee growing very much, just wearing his clothes out, so I only have a few outfits in the next size up for him. Everything lives in a tote in her bedroom. But don’t worry, she can’t get into it. It’s part of her changing table set up.

We rely on clothing swaps and hand-me-downs for the bulk of our kids clothes. There is no reason that you have to spend thousands of dollars on dressing your kids!

Here are some tips to how we save big on kids clothes:

Trade with friends!

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The Pile of outgrown clothes!

We lucked out that a lot of our friends had girls about a year before Bitty was born. We received a bunch of hand me downs prior to her birth, and we continue to as well. This is great because I turn around and share them with friends who have kids after Bitty has grown out of them!

Handing down clothes or trading with friends is a great way to keep costs down and keep unwanted/outgrown clothes out of landfills!

Some of our favorite outfits have been hand me downs!

Check Craigslist Free Section! 

I have found tons of clothes (not just for the kids) in the free section of Craiglist. People move, or don’t have time to sell or donate clothing they no longer want. Instead they post on Craigslist! I’ve scored Jack and Janie, Gymboree, and even Nordstrom brand kids clothes all for free!

And in a similar vein:

Check out Clothing Swaps! 

Here are a few in Eastern San Diego County:

  • Finders Keepers Dates change. Usually quarterly in La Mesa
  • Skyline Church Clothing Plus Swap Takes place twice a year.
  • Pathways Church Clothing Swap Takes place once a year.
  • Foothills Church Shop and Swap Once or twice a year
  • Miss Charity’s Closet Monthly swap at Sonrise Church 8805 N. Magnolia Ave Santee, CA 92071 (2nd Saturday of each month)

And these two, while not specifically clothing swaps, do have clothing available for those in need

  • The Closet on 54th: Open 3 times a month on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday 11:00am to 2:00pm. Located at Calvary Lutheran Church, 3060 54th Street, San Diego, CA 92105. Men, womens, and childrens clothing.
  • Naomi’s Closet: at Santee United Methodist Church 8964 N. Magnolia St. Santee, CA 92071 Wednesdays 10 AM – 12 PM and every 1st & 3rd Saturday, 9 AM – 1 PM (ladies clothing only, men are not permitted)
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My Helper, making soup for her babies.

Last night after separating and pulling out all of the outgrown clothes, I made two stacks. One was clothes to pass along to friends, and the second was clothes that were in play condition. A little wear, some staining, but still in ok shape (good for playing outside).

The play clothes I posted on our local Buy Nothing Group on Facebook.

I’m really looking forward to some clothing swaps this year! I have a bunch of clothes in my closet that I want to swap out!

A New Month (and Year!) Means New Coupons!!

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

Check out the following sites:

One of my favorite websites to help me plan out shopping trips is Hot Coupon World.  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!

Here are just a few of the new coupons that have me excited:


$1.00 off one Suja

$1.00 off one BUSH'S Hummus Made Easy

$0.75 off one The Laughing Cow

$2.00 off one Tyson Naturals

$1.00 off one Cadbury Premium Pouches

$1.00 off any 2 Sargento Natural Cheese Slices