San Diego Local Moms- Upcoming Play Date!

As previously promised, I’ll be holding playdates every few weeks. This is a great chance for moms to meet other moms and let the kids play.

We met at the park last month and it was tons of fun, this month we’re going to be delving onto my craft stash to make some fun holiday crafts. We also  have a craft kit from Creative Hands Crafts to explore. Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 8.29.00 PM.png

Check out the event and learn more (including the awesome giveaway I’ve got for the first 5 moms to RSVP and attend the event, go to the event page here.

 

Earn Cashback, Gift Cards, and now DISNEYLAND TICKETS with Swagbucks!

I’ve used Swagbucks Since February 2012 and so far I’ve earned over $700. Usually I cash out for Amazon GC or Paypal cash, but recently I learned that you can save your points for Disneyland tickets! We’ve been saving up change for a Disneyland trip next year, but now I have another trick up my sleeve to score tickets!

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 7.59.21 AM.png

Are you new to Swagbucks? They’re a completely free, no strings attached site that rewards you for all of the things you’re already doing online. Search, Watching Videos, Playing Games, Taking Surveys, Shopping and more – as you do these activities, you’ll earn Swag Bucks, which are reward points that you can redeem for all sorts of gift cards in the Rewards Store.

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

You can download their toolbar or download their OS and Android apps for more opportunities to earn. Choose the activities you like or have time for – how much you earn is up to you!

I have been using the search toolbar for all of my searches and I’ve been racking up the points!

Any now you can start earning points just by sharing Swagbucks with friends! When you sign up and refer friends, you’ll earn $3.00 in points (that’s 300 points).

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

The nice thing about Swagbucks is that the more you use it, the faster you earn points!

A Review: What’s up with Restaurant.com?

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 10.29.17 PM.pngFor those who have never used Restaurant.com, but hear me extol its virtues, here is how it works.

You purchase a discounted gift certificate (make sure to check the cert for restrictions, such as a minimum purchase amount or mandatory gratuity ) for a local restaurant.  You have a year from the date of purchase to use it.

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 10.29.09 PM.png

Here is an example of how to use the certs to your advantage.

Cafe XYZ- Certificate for $15.00.  Terms of cert: $15 off the purchase of $30 or more.  Mandatory 18% gratuity.

  • The check comes to $30.00
  • Mandatory grat. 18% $5.40
  • Minus Cert amt. -$15.00
  • Total New Bill: $14.60
  • Gift Certificate Cost $6.00, but thanks to coupon code REAL, you save 50% off the certificate making the total $3.00 for the Gift certificate.

The price for this complete meal is $17.60 (that includes the cost of the certificate).  The total amount saved $12.40.

They offer discounted certs in smaller amounts too.

ABC Cafe- Certificate for $25.00.   Terms of the cert: $25.00 off the purchase of $35.00 or more.  Mandatory 18% gratuity.

  • The check comes to $35.00
  • Mandatory grat. 18% $6.30
  • Minus Cert amt. -$25.00
  • Total New Bill: $16.30
  • Thanks to coupon code REAL, you save 50% off the certificate making the total $3.00 for the Gift certificate.

The price for this complete meal is $19.30 (that includes the cost of the certificate).  The total amount saved $15.70.

There are always coupon codes for http://www.restaurant.com/ on Retailmenot

Meal Plan Monday!!

dsc07997

I need to go to the grocery store this week, so this is what I’ve planned based on what we have on-hand and what’s on sale.

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos usually have a small toasted bagel with cream cheese for breakfast along with fruit.  Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes with frozen bananas and PB2.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

Tuesday:

  • D: Waffles and fruit

Weds:

Thursday:

  • D:  Grilled chicken and grilled veggies 

Friday:

  • D: Pizza (I’m making a batch of dough to stash in the freezer, so we’ll bake a few up and have pizza!)

Saturday:

  • D: Date Night! (we go out)

Sunday:

  • D: Leftover buffet

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first).

Keep Cool During a Fall Heat Wave!

file6421289668006.jpg

San Diego County is expecting a heat wave this week. Tomorrow it’s forecasted to be 104. UGH.  A heat wave this late in the year is different from a summer one because so many of our go to activities to beat the heat either aren’t available because venues are closed (local splash pads are shut down October 1st-regardless of the weather) or are not not appropriate for the fall (the ocean temp is in the mid-60’s, too cold for most kiddos to play in conformably) .

So what CAN you do to beat the heat and keep a handle on spending?

Check out your local library for events! Our local Library has Lego club, various storytimes, teen activities like chess and robotics building, yoga, even creative play on Saturday mornings. San Diego County Libraries have tons of great activities- each branch has different schedules.

Check out your local mall! Did you know that Lego stores have free build/Make and Take events each month. Some malls also have free monthly kids events in their courtyard/common area. Our local mall updates their local events through their Facebook page and their website. Past events have included free crafting events, storytimes, and visits from Santa. In fact, many malls have Halloween/trick or treating events.

Toys R Us locations frequently have free events too! Like free Lego building events, Geoffry’s Birthday Club, and other fun toy related events!

If you’ve got a 4th grader, check out this free pass for  National Parks. Here in San Diego, we’ve only got one, but it’s at the ocean, so it’s at least a littler cooler than our house (only 85 instead of 100!). National Parks have free days several times a year! The next one is for Veteran’s Day!

There are always Kids Eat Free (Denny’s does it Tuesday and Saturday) if you want to keep the oven off too. You can also score free ice cream at Baskin-Robbins!

We use Ohm Connect to save energy (and money) and earn cash. They text and/or email you to let you know when you can save energy to help the grid load (and help avoid brown/black outs).

 

I’d love to hear how you beat the heat! Leave a comment.

Freebie time!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are a bunch of really great free offer for samples or other goodies and free events coming up!

Freebies:

Free Sample of EAS Hydration & Recovery
Free Gel Facial Cleanser Product
Free Just Add Herb Blends
Free Coke Zero Sugar at 7-Eleven
Free Subscription to Hola! USA Magazine
Free Subscription to Redbook Magazine
Free Baby Delight Bottle, Sippy Cup, Brush Set & More
Free Tub of Better Bean Co. Beans
New PINCHme Free Samples on Tuesday
Free Idahoan Potato Soup at Kroger & Affiliates

Free Events:

Free Glow-In-The-Dark Slime MAKEbreak Event at Michaels
Free L.O.L. Surprise! & Num Noms Event at Toys R Us
Free Petsmart Halloween Spooktacular Event

 

If you are in the San Diego, CA area and you have a fun, free event coming up, please leave a comment!

Review: Colortime Crafts and Markers – Glow in the Dark Halloween Tote

Recently I wrote that I was going to receive a glow in the dark Trick or treating cotton tote bag and markers from Colortime Crafts.  It came last week and over the weekend, I gave it a spin. Henry was too busy cleaning his room and playing to color (his words, not mine), and Bitty Bird was napping.

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 12.58.23 PM The bag is very sturdy and well put together.

I received three markers: Green, Purple, and Orange. We also have a stash of fabric markers, so I filled in with our stash as needed.

The directions instruct you to place a piece of cardboard between the layers of fabric to keep the markers from bleeding through.

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 12.58.30 PM

It turned out really cute, and we’ll be using it this weekend at a Halloween event. I’ll be posting photos on Instragram! Make sure to follow me!

Click here for the Latest Online Special offers and promo codes to Colortime Crafts and Markers
 

@usfg

Pumpkin Baked Donuts!

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 7.09.21 PM.png

We love donuts. BUT, we don’t love that they are fried and dipped in sugary frosting (ok, some of us do… the kids).

After hearing hubs and Henry complain about neeeeeeding donuts, I rummaged through the cupboard and came up with:

Similar to my 3 ingredient chocolate cake, I set in motion to make some tasty donuts.

I grease my silicone baking dishes. I use a little butter.

All you do is mix the cake mix with the pumpkin and add spices to taste (usually 1t. cinnamon and a few dashes of ginger and nutmeg).

Pour into the donut “holes” (about 1/2 full) and bake per the mix directions for cupcakes.

Most cake mixes make 12 donuts. I let the donuts sit in the pan until they are cool, them take them out and do batch #2.

If you NEED glaze, mix:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1 T. soft butter
  • 1t. vanilla (you could use maple extract if you wanted to make it UBER FALL)
  • 1T. milk

Whisk all together and drizzle over the donuts.

This recipe is easy peezy pumpkin squeezy! It’s totally kid approved as well, which is why there are no after photos.It goes great with a PSL or other fall themed coffee beverage,

 

FAQ: The Coupon Class Edition

Interested in having me teach couponing to you and your crew (or posse or book club, moms group MOPS Group, HOA, whatever), but have some questions.. Here are a few questions I get a lot.

FAQ1: Why do you have a minimum of 6 people for your class?

On various pages on this website where I talk about my classes, it states a minimum of 6 confirmed RSVP’s for the class to be $20/person. The reason is: I pay for the handouts and prizes at each class, and I also have to pay for the gas to and from the class, and I have to pay my babysitter $10/hr.  I love teaching and sharing my knowledge, but my family can’t afford for me to drive all over San Diego County and with smaller classes of 6 or less, after expenses, I make less than minimum wage per hour!   Brass tacks: Teaching coupon classes is my job. No one should be expected to do their job for free.

FAQ2: If I don’t have 6 people, how much does it cost?

$20 per person (cash only). If the class is for a small group of military families, I offer a discount of $5 per person, however, I will check everyone for a military ID card (dependents can be of active duty or retired military). FAQ3: Which newspaper do you sell?

NONE! When the San Diego UT was sold, the new owners stopped offering discount subscriptions.

FAQ3: $20 seems like a lot.  What do I really learn anyway?

In 90 minutes, you’ll learn a great deal. Where to get coupons, how to use them effectively to save the most money. We’ll talk about coupon policies, stores that accept coupons, using the internet to help you save even more. We’ll talk about stockpiling an appropriate amount (you won’t end up with a room full of TP) for your family. I set aside 20 minutes for Q&A too, so all of your burning couponing questions will get answered. You’ll also receive handouts and have the chance to win a prize

FAQ4: I don’t have 8 friends, and I don’t want to pay for a class.  Will you teach me for free?

Sure. I already have.  Utilize the search feature on the main page of the website. This isn’t the same as having me live in front of you answering all of your questions, but it will give you a good foundation.

FAQ5: I’ve already started couponing, so I don’t need a basic class.  Do you teach Advanced Couponing?

I do!  The class fee is $20 per person- no discounts are available for this class.We talk about shopping the drugstores and playing the “Drugstore Game” you’ve probably read about online.  We’ll get into some more advanced money saving techniques like price matching, rebating, and programs inlinethat will help you save and earn gift cards and cash.

FAQ7: I live in The Inland Empire, LA, OC, Imperial County… Can you come out to me?

Sorry- Gas is too expensive for me to travel outside San Diego County. I do know coupon mentors in some of those areas.  Shoot me an email at CaCouponDiva@gmail.com and I can hook you up with some great teachers!

FAQ8: My friends and I have a weird schedule.  Can you teach a class on weekdays?

Yup!  I have availablity on weekdays, evenings, and weekends. Just ask!

If you have any questions, or would like to book a class, please email me at CaCouponDiva@gmail.com.

Coupon Classes & Private Tutoring

file6771278404940.jpg

I’ve gotten some emails and PM’s via Facebook and IG recently about coupon classes, so I thought I’d open it back up again.

Couponing 101: Classes are 90 minutes in length. You’ll learn: Where to get coupons, how to use them effectively to save the most money. We’ll talk about coupon policies, stores that accept coupons, using the internet to help you save even more. We’ll talk about stockpiling an appropriate amount (you won’t end up with a room full of TP) for your family. I set aside 20 minutes for Q&A too, so all of your burning couponing questions will get answered. You’ll also receive handouts, coupon wallets, and have the chance to win a prize!

Couponing 101 Pricing is as follows: 

  • 6-8 attendees: $20/person (I do not teach for groups smaller than 6)
  • 9+ attendees: $15.00/person
  • Military discounts are available for the Couponing 101 class.

If you are not new to couponing and are interested in more advanced strategies, including the “Drug Store Game”, I teach an Advanced Couponing class.

Advanced Couponing Pricing is as follows:

  • $20/person, regardless of class size.
  • No discounts available for this class.

To book a coupon class, a deposit of $100.00 is required to be paid by the host.  The deposit will be returned to the host (minus their class fee) after the class has been completed. The deposit will not be returned if the party is canceled by the host for any reason. The deposit will also be retained if there are not at least 8 attendees at the class.

I accept Paypal, and money orders.

If you do not want to learn in a group setting, I offer private tutoring.

Private tutoring: $100.00 for an up to 4 hour one-on-one session, includes all of the information taught in the group couponing classes, plus how to play the “drug store game”, extensive Q&A time, access to my coupon stash, help setting up your coupon storage/filing system, organizing your coupons.

Please be aware that my schedule fills quickly. I only teach in the San Diego, CA area.  To learn more or to schedule a class, please email me at CaCoupondiva@gmail.com.

Currently, I do not have any open/drop in classes planned for the near future, nor do I plan to have any.

I’ll be posting a FAQ in a few minutes that should answer just a few questions, but feel free to email me or leave a comment.