Buy Nothing Week: Frugal Living put to the test!

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I love the Buy Nothing Movement, in fact, I’ve hinted and written about it in a few of my posts recently.

Part of their movement is to try a buy nothing week, in fact they have an entire Facebook Group dedicated to it.

I started it this week with mostly successes, but we’ll be doing it again next week and I’d encourage you all to do it too!

It’s easy. Taking into consideration all of your financial obligations (rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, gas, etc.), be mindful to not spend any funds that you don’t HAVE TO. Skip the morning drive thru in favor of setting up the coffee maker before bed the night before and making yourself a quick to go brekkie before you hit the road.

Instead of cruising the aisles of Target to combat boredom, take a walk at a local park, or visit with friends.

There are so many small ways you can save money. But this challenge is more than saving money, it’s about being more self-reliant and helping others too.

  1. Clean out your closets (maybe one per day), and instead of throwing the unwanted items away, try posting them in your local Buy Nothing Group, or on another local group (like Nextdoor, Craigslist, or even a local facebook group like a mom’s group).
  2. If there is an item you need, seek it out on one of the free venues listed above. Earlier this week, I needed a new car booster seat to replace one that was damaged in my recent car accident. I asked on our local Buy Nothing Group, and a friend and neighbor offered me one that her daughter had outgrown. It had never been in an accident and was still in date! Score!
  3. Institute substitutions! Going to bake a cake, but you’ve run out of oil? Substitute applesauce, butter, canned pumpkin, or baby food (seriously)!  A quick Google search and a search of your pantry may lead you to a surprising switch. And who knows, it may be a new favorite!
  4. You may learn a new skill! I learned to sharpen my kitchen knives using the sharpener that came with the knife set, instead of taking my knife set to the sharpener (saved $50!). I watched the video on the knife company website, and read the manual.
  5. Barter or trade. You may be surprised! My mom trades her homemade jams and jellies for fruit, veggies, and eggs.

During our Buy Nothing week, I will still have to buy milk and bread, and maybe some fruit (depending on how much we go through), but I am committing to buy only what is on my list. I will also offer up unwanted stuff from our home to my neighbors. Books, clothes, kitchen gadgets, toys, games, even pantry goods.

But don’t think we’ll sit at home staring at each other, there are tons of fun, free things for us to do! Well, we’ve got some play dates near us planned for a few days during the week, and we always get out each day to the YMCA, or the lakes (also close by) for a walk, and to feed the ducks and play at the playground, and if it’s warm enough, we go in the pool at the YMCA (our HOA pool isn’t warm enough in the winter). We’re never want for activities to fill our days.

How can you participate? Pledge to have aBuy Nothing Week! Meal plan, pack your lunch, take your coffee from home. Find free/inexpensive activities to occupy your free time. Visit a park, go to the library. Take a week off from shopping. It’s a great way to spend more time connecting with family and friends.

I do this a few times a year. It really helps us take stock of what we have, both in the physical sense of what we have in our cupboards, but also how lucky we are to have the option to say, “This week we will not spend any money and our quality of life will not suffer.” I recommend that everyone have a spending freeze week or even a day and see how much money you’ll save.

I’ll be reporting our activities and money saved this week, and for those of you who will be having their own spending freeze (or even a modified one- try going a week without the coffee shop or drive-thru), I can’t wait to hear about your savings too!

Boudin is Celebrating National Clam Chowder Day (BOGO Offer)!

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-7-57-39-pmI love a good ol’ bread bowl of soup! Tomorrow (2/25), stop by your local Boudin’s for a Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl and you’ll get one FREE.

In addition, you’ll get another coupon! Boudin will be issuing another offer to guests who purchase the Clam Chowder deal. These guests will get a coupon printed on their receipt good for a Buy One, Get One Free of any entrée (of equal or lesser value) on the menu good for use between February 26thand March 12th.

SCORE! That’s four meals for the price of ONE! That’s what I call a GREAT DEAL!

To  find your local Boudin’s location, click here.

Lego Batman Days at LegoLand California!

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Ahoy, Building Adventures AHEAD!!

One of Henry’s favorite things to do on a Buddy/Mommy date is go to LegoLand! And, lucky for him, LegoLand hosted us yesterday to experience the fun of Lego Batman days!

img_1694There was so much to do, that we only went on ONE RIDE!!

We did the Mosaic build, which was super fun (We left before it was finished), and it was fun to sort through legos and build something that was going to be part of a project that was so big!

We got to Meet Lego Batman, but by that point my phone battery had died. Henry didn’t care, he was just so excited to meet Batman and tell him how much he loved his movie.

We did the scavenger hunt and built and raced our own Batmobile creation. That was probably the most fun. Henry won two races! It was so much fun watching the kids (and adults) build cars, sharing Legos, swapping, and helping each other.

And of course, no trip to LegoLand is complete without building and racing boats!

 

llc-batman-logo-small.jpgIf you’ve got little friends that love Lego Batman, you’ve still got one more weekend to check out Lego Batman Days! Next weekend, the 25-26th, there will be tons of fun to be had!

We also picked up a few blind bags at the Big Store on our way out. The newest series (series 20, for anyone counting) is all characters from The Lego Batman movie.

I got March Harriet, Henry got Harley Quinn, and hubs got Ballet Batman. We always bring hubs home a blind bag mini-fig… And a key chain.

Frugal Tip: If you are looking for a way to save on admission, most San Diego area Denny’s locations have kids get in free with the purchase of any adult admission coupons.

Thanks to LegoLand for Hosting Henry and I yesterday, as always we had a blast, building and exploring!

Deals as low as $1 at Schoola!!

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Schoola is at it again! This weekend they have two great promos!

The first, and my favorite: Four days of deals as low as $1, so keep checking back. There will be new items added daily. No code needed.
Starts
: Friday, February 17th, at 12:00 am Pacific Time
Ends: Monday, February 20th, at 11:59 pm Pacific Time

The second deal is pretty great, especially if you need to stock up on new to you clothes!

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60% off $60 or More
Starts: Friday, February 17th, at 12:00 am Pacific Time
Ends: Limited Time, Act Fast
Code: PREZ60

If you are new to Schoola, sign up here and you’ll receive $10 off your first order! That’s a pretty sweet deal!

In addition to offering awesome gently worn kids clothes, Schoola also gives a percentage (40%) of each sale to a school. So you can feel good twice: Once while your saving $$, and again because you are helping support a school in need.

To get started, click here. And I can’t wait to see what you have scored! I got Lil’ Man 3 shirts!

**Fine Print: Offer valid for a limited time. Discounts and credits do not apply toward the free shipping threshold or promotional minimums. Discounts are applied to the post-credit order value. New-with-tags items are not eligible for purchase with discounts or credits.**

Free Samples!

file7261245785846.jpgEveryone loves a full mailbox, at least when it’s not full of bills! I’ve been stalking a few sites online looking for some samples of products I’d like to try, and I thought I’d share them with you!

Here are just a few of the freebies I’ve recently signed up for!

Saving Money When Coupons Aren’t Plentiful…

wallet-money.jpgI’m not sure if ya’ll have been noticing, but the coupon in the Sunday paper and online have kinda sucked lately.

Now that the shininess of New Years Resolutions has worn off, there are no more healthy food coupons, and the Big Game is over, so the snack-y food coupons have petered out too.

Values are lower and lower each week, and coupon redemption has reached an all time low (I read this on Coupons in the News a few weeks ago). So what’s a saver to do when there isn’t much to clip or print?

Don’t fret! There are still lots of ways to save money!

Check out other printable coupon websites. I have my list of old dependables here, but I also like Common Kindness. Common Kindness donates a portion of each coupon amount redeemed to the charity of your choice! At no cost to you! They have mostly Organic/All Natural food coupons. They also have a lot of printables that match up with rebates on Mobisave and Checkout 51.

That brings me to rebate apps! My full list is here. Don’t forget to check those out each week when it’s time to hit the store.

Don’t forget your Price Book, if you’ve neglected it, it might be time to update!

An updated Price Book can help you determine if items are a good deal, and it can also help you with Price Per Unit (This is super helpful if you shop at warehouse stores, like Costco).

Look for deals other places! I love to check out Living Social for discounted deals on fun stuff for family date night, or the occasional meal out with Hubs.

If you need to do some shopping online, try using an online shopping site/cashback site. I like both Mypoints and Topcashback. You can learn more about how we save while shopping online here. And don’t forget to look for coupon codes while doing online shopping.

Lastly, if you find yourself in need of food, and the ends just aren’t meeting like they used to, please do not be too proud to check out local sources for food. An updated list of local San Diego area food resources can be found here.

 

Illness and My Birthday…

file0001442071545 The worst part of being sick as a mom to small kids is that there is seldom time to rest, which means the illness lingers. Additionally, the likelihood that you got the illness from one of those small people is pretty great.

I’ve been battling a plague for over a week. That means, yes, I spent my birthday coughing and blowing my nose…sexy, no?

Overall, it was a great day. Lil’ Man drew me a book. He was going to make me a card, but he wanted to make me something I’d keep forever, so he made a book with pictures of reptiles. He drew most of them himself, and only used stickers from his reptile sticker book a few times. It’s very sweet.  Hubs got me a new FitBit!

The kids and I spent each day after school last week collecting birthday freebies, you can see my list of the goods here and here. We sprinkled it in with trips to the park (where I sat on a bench and coughed) or other errands. Lil’ Man’s overall favorite is the mini bundt from Nothing Bundt Cake. My fav is free lunch at Rubio’s.

Other than than, I’ve been going to bed early and napping during the day while Bitty sleeps, which is the reason there haven’t been any posts in a week. Now that I’m about 75% better, there should be more posts coming, including some fun DIY posts coming up about making infused oils (it’s never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts!).

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I posted a photo of some floral print fabric the other day. I am the costume designer for a local theatre’s production of the stage adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird. That’s right, before I blogged about frugal living and clipping coupons, I designed and made costumes for theatres, movies, renaissance faires, LARP’s, and historical recreationists.

So now you know what I’ve been up to.. What’s going on with you?

New Birthday Freebies!

Every year I update my Birthday Freebies post (you can see last years here), but there are some really cool ones, so I decided to do a separate update post, so you don’t miss them.

There are a lot of birthday freebies that I do not list on the original post, only because I don’t think they are that cool. Getting a free Rice Krispy treat when you buy lunch, or a free soft serve cone when you buy a hamburger are not making my list. Sorry Noodle Company and The Habit.

ttronslien-8721.jpgAs a member of the Driscoll’s Berry Advisory Panel, they email you a link for a .50/1 printable coupon!

Kohl’sYes2You members get a $5.00 coupon! I’ll be hitting the clearance rack today!

If you have a Boomer’s near you, join their Discount E-News Club! You’ll receive a super birthday deal (This is Lil’ Man’s Favorite): You’ll receive a free 4 Hours Unlimited Attractions  Play Pass good for all the attractions – Miniature Golf, Go Karts, Bumper Boats, Rock Wall and Kids County Fair.  Club members receive the special privilege of using this offer ANY single day during the month of their birthday.Must provide proof date of birthday at time of redemption.If you sign up during the Month of your Birthday you will receive your Birthday coupon within 48 hours.

Bruegger’s Bagels gives you three free bagels for your birthday. SCORE! Our family eats tons of bagels, so this is a sweet deal.

Between these great freebies, plus all of the ones from my previous birthday post, you’ll be rolling in freebies for weeks!!