Looking for Free Fun? 10 Local Community Events

IMG_20120331_163227We love getting out of the house to have adventures, but, being frugal means that I have to get creative.

Thanks to local publications like The San Diego Reader and San Diego Family Magazine (both are free and available all over), as well as Facebook, we are never wanting for free fun.

Here are our Top Ten Community Events that are for kids and families for Q1 2018:

  1. 1/2/18-1/4/18 Santee Library hosts the most fun, creative events for kids. They are starting the year off with 3 events, January 2-4 in the afternoon.  We are very excited to go to Imagination Day. If you aren’t in East County, check out your local San Diego County, or City of San Diego Library branch. Most branch libraries have fun events for kids after school and during holidays.
  2. 1/6/18 Free Family Fun Fest at the Kroc Center.  The Kroc Center hosts a lot of great programs and events each month. The Kroc Center Free Family Fun Fest – Meet & greet with the San Diego Sockers, sports challenges, arts & crafts, inflatable park, costume dress up, giveaways and more
  3. 1/16/18 Family Read and Play Day. Again the Kroc Center is hosting this event. They host a reading event usually once a month. Sometimes the kids get to take home a copy of the book as well. Family Read and Play day, featuring the book, “Children Around the World” by Donata Montanari.
  4. 1/20/18 Santee Active Life Expo.  From 9am-2pm, some of the free activities include: Watch professional athletes compete, Health & wellness activities, Extreme obstacle courses, Trial fitness classes, Firefighter challenge,  BMX trick shows, Free breakfast (while supplies last), Learn how to race walk
  5. 2/3/18 The Water Conservation Garden over at Cuyamaca Community College offers Free Docent lead tours of the gardens. Tours begin promptly Saturday mornings at 10:00 am in the Plaza. No reservation required. 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West
    El Cajon, California 92019 My kids love this place- There are tons of fun areas to explore and learn all about nature.
  6. 2/6/18 is National Frozen Yogurt Day.  There are no concrete details yet, but in past years Menchie’s and Yogurtland both gave away free froyo. I will for sure be posting more details as they become available.
  7. 2/9/18 is National Pizza Day.  In the past there have been great offers for free slices and free whole pizzas. Sbarro and Pizza Hut usually participate.
  8. 2/13/18 is Shrove Tuesday which means that FREE PANCAKE DAY will be around that time. IHOP is the only restaurant in our area that offers free pancakes.
  9. 2/14/18 is Valentine’s Day. There are usually free events for kids at local libraries.
  10. And finally- Henry’s Birthday is in March. While there are no specifc free events for his birthday, here are my lists of birthday freebies (for kids and adults). Original List and the updated list with some fun new stuff.

I’d love to hear about what your favorite free local events are!  Please drop a comment with details and a link!

2 freebies from Kroger Stores!

I love that the Kroger Stores do a free Friday Download coupon most weeks. It’s a chance to try new food for free.

This week both Food4less and Ralphs have a different freebie!

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The Food4Less freebie is a spicy one!FREE Doritos Dinamitas Receive ONE (1) FREE Doritos Dinamitas, any variety (4.25 oz.). Available in most stores. Exp 01/14/2018

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Ralphs Freebie is for those of us trying to eat a little healthier!FREE Del Monte Fruit Refresher or Fruit & Chia Receive ONE (1) FREE Del Monte Fruit Refresher or Fruit & Chia (14 oz.). Available in most stores. Exp 01/14/2018

If you are new to Free Friday Downloads from Ralph’s, here is more info about how it works:

WHAT IS FREE FRIDAY DOWNLOAD? An exclusive benefit to having an account online at ralphs.com is FREE products (yes, we said FREE!). When you download the free product coupon, it will be loaded directly to your Shopper’s Card and applied at checkout in-store.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Visit this page on Fridays

DOWNLOAD the digital coupon for the free product (make sure to download between 12:01 am and 11:59pm PT). View the coupon under ‘My Coupons’ in your account online or in the mobile app.

You have two weeks to redeem this coupon in store! Pick up the product at your local Ralphs store and digital coupon will automatically apply at checkout.

 

Is Part of Your New Years Resolution to Save Money?

file7251237401168.jpgDoesn’t everyone want to save money?

There is no better time to start than January 1st- New Year, New Start!

If you want to start the year off with a Frugal Mind, Check out my posts below. I wrote most of them a few years ago, but all the advice/tips/tricks are still applicable.

Here are the top ten resolutions, and tips on how to make them all happen!

Resolution: #1 Make More Money!
Resolution #2: I want to save money!
Resolution #3- Live a richer, fuller life (without spending more money)
Resolution #4- Spend More Time with your Family (without breaking the bank)!
Resolution #5 & #6 Exercise & Lose Weight
Resolution #7: Get Organized
Resolution #8: Learn Something New
Resolution #9: Quit Smoking
Resolution #10: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

If you feel like you are too busy to “deal with” coupons:

6 Tips to Save Money WITHOUT Clipping Coupons!
How to save money without coupons: Part One- Meat!
How to save money without coupons: Part Two- Produce!
Simple Steps to Save at Target

I hope these tips and articles help!

Simple Steps to Save at Target!

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So many moms love Target. Really what’s not to like? Most locations have a Starbucks, so you can have coffee while you shop! I’ve been a Target shopper longer than I’ve been a mom and here are just a few reasons why I love shopping at the Bullseye!

You can stack Target coupons and manufacturer coupons.  Target has printable coupons on their website here. 99% of them are Target coupons, meaning they are only redeemable at Target.  Stacking coupons leads to greater savings. If you are looking to print manufacturer coupons (redeemable at any store), click here.

I save 5% every time I shop by using my Target Red Card.  It’s a debit card and it’s Target branded, so I can only use it at Target, just like an ATM card (with a PIN).

 

Target Price Matches.  Currently, Target matches prices from  Walmart.com, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, and BabiesRUs.com. You can use coupons on a price match too! This is great if you have a Target Coupon and a manufacturer coupon to go with your price match! To learn more about price matching at Target, click here.

Their return policy is pretty good. Especially if you have a Target Red Card.

If you want to know if your local Target carries an item or has a specific item in stock, you can check online.  That saves you time, energy, and gas!

Target App: Target Cartwheel used to be it’s own separate app, but now it’s all located within the Target App (available in the App Store for free). The Cartwheel section of the app offers savings in a percentage most of the time (instead of dollar off offers).  You choose specific offers, based on what you buy, and there are new offers all the time! The best part is that you can use Target Cartwheel, a Manufacturer Coupon, and a Target Coupon all on the same item.

And here is the last reason: Target is a participating partner in most of the rebate apps (you check out a full list here). So, you’ll be saving a few extra pennies (or dollars) in no time.

If you are a Target shopper: Why Target over other Big Box Retailers?

Day After Christmas Traditions- Helping Others!

file0001189581306.jpgOne of the things that I like to do on Boxing Day (that’s the day after Christmas), is to clean out the fridge. It seems like a strange time to do it, but I like to end the year being able to start fresh. Here is a list of stuff I’ll be doing today:

  • Clean out the fridge and toss/recycle/compost (I have a friend who takes compostable stuff for her bin) the unwanted/expired stuff and containers.
  • Go through the oft neglected kitchen cupboards and pull out kitchen gadgets and stuff we don’t use. Figure out whether to integrate them into daily life or donate them. I’m in a Facebook group that brings neighbors together, so I’ll probably post the stuff there before I take it to AMVETS.
  • While doing laundry, I’ll pull out the kids clothes that is started to get outgrown. I’ll also pull out clothes from their drawers that don’t fit/they don’t wear and separate into two piles: pass along to friends and donate. I did my clothes a few weeks ago. I’m still waiting for husband to do his….
  • I’ll also go through the linen closet too. I donate old towels and sheets to the local animal shelter.
  • On the sly, I’ll go through the kiddos toys and pull out the ones that don’t get much play. We’ll donate those. The toys that are broken, missing pieces (oh hi, every puzzle in our house!), or are just junky will get tossed.
  • I usually start entering the tax info I have into Turbo Tax today, but I started last week, so I’m all caught up. I keep a manilla Folder in my desk with the tax year written on it, and I toss tax paperwork and receipts into it as we  get them, so at the end of the year, it’s not a huge rush to gather everything for tax time.

I’ll also be doing the meal plan for this week, as we were busy with family yesterday.

Check out the Holiday Fun at Legoland!

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Silly Faces at the end of the day!

If you haven’t been to Legoland to check out the holiday festivities, there is still time!  The kids and I went yesterday (Daddy is sick, he stayed home and rested), and we had a blast!

img_4069.jpgLegoland California is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so if you are looking for something fun and unique, head on over!

And if you are looking for a way to ring in the New Year, the Kids’ New Year’s Eve party. This celebration begins with special musical performances on Fun Town Stage and Heartlake City. Then, the party moves to San Francisco in Miniland U.S.A. where, like the famous Times Square party, Kids’ New Year’s Eve features a countdown followed by a huge LEGO brick dropping 22 feet into 2018 and spectacular fireworks at 6 p.m. to end the night.

The entire park is decked out for the holidays. We loved all the touches to Miniland, including the tree in front of Capital Building, along with the carolers. IMG_4068

And here is an Insider Tip: The Pizza and Pasta Buffet offers Kids Eat Free after 4:30pm (1 free kid per paid adult, and kids under 3 eat free) most days. Henry loves Pizza, and after a busy day of running, playing, and building, he and Margaret were both ready to chow down on some pizza and mac n’ cheese.

Also- Don’t forget to try Granny’s Apple Fries! They are to die for!

Free Magazines from Mercury Magazine!

I post free magazine offers all the time and the majority of those offers come from Mercury Magazines.

You are just 4 quick (and I mean it) steps away from scoring tons of free magazines:

  • Fill out a brief demographic profile
  • Your profile will determine the magazines presented.
  • Choose your magazines
  • Select up to three magazines of your choice from the list.
  • Complete subscription forms.

Mercury Magazines sends you FREE magazine subscriptions. No shady “Get 1 free trial issue” then get bombarded with calls and invoices begging you to sign up for a paid subscription.

I receive about a dozen magazines each month and they are from Mercury Magazines.

Get started by clicking the banner above! Leave a comment and let me know which free magazines you are receiving!

End of the Year Freebie Round-up!

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10 days left of this year, and I don’t now about you, but I’m renewing my Annual New Year’s Goal to remain as frugal as I can.

Part of how I do that is to pick up free samples of products whenever I can- Most of the time those samples come with some pretty high value coupons! So I get to try out new products and score coupons!

Here are just a few that I’ve recently signed up for:

 

And I love free Magazine subscriptions too!

 

Black Bean Veggie Soup

IMG_7410I made this soup tonight and it was sooo good. This would be great for meatless Monday (if you do that at your house), or save this recipe for Lent (if you give up meat for Lent). I served it Mexican Cesar Salad.

It’s tasty, quick, and easy. It took about 5 minutes to put together, and I let it simmer on low for 45 minutes.

Black Bean Veggie Soup
Ingredients:

  • 1 can Campbell’s Black Bean Cumin & Cilantro Condensed Soup
  • 11 oz (1 can) of water
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bag of Birds Eye Recipe Ready Southwest Blend
  • 1 packet Taco seasoning
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This Veggie blend is great! Perfect in soups, chili, and tacos!

Directions:

 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a stock pot
  2. Cook on medium/low for 45 minutes-1 hour.
  3. Top with shredded cheese. It’s also really good with hot sauce and a squeeze of lime.
  4. Serve with Mexican Cesar Salad (Recipe below) and warmed tortillas.

Makes about 6 servings.

The best part is that this meal was less than $1.00/serving! The can of Campbell’s Soup was .49, the tomatoes and black beans were .79/each, and the Frozen veggies were $1.00. I had taco seasoning in the cupboard (It was freebie from a few months ago).  All of these ingredients can be purchased at your local 99 Cents Only (That’s where I got them!).

Here what I serve this incredibly filling soup along side:

Mexican Cesar Salad

  • 6-8 cups of your favorite lettuce/lettuce blend (romaine and bibb is great!)
  • 2 tomatoes cubed/sliced
  • ½ cup purple onion, cut into rings
  • ¼ c ranch dressing
  • ½ c your favorite salsa
  1. Combine the salsa and ranch together, chill in fridge 6-8 hours before servings. This allows the flavors to blend.
  2. Toss the veggies in a chilled salad bowl with the dressing.
  3. Top with ¼ c crushed corn chips/tortilla chips for some added crunch!

Serve topped with grilled chicken breasts for an entree or without meat as a side dish.  Serves 3 as an entree, serves 6 as a side dish.

New Clothes for a New Year- $20 Off $45 at Schoola!!

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New Year, New Clothes? Well, our friends over at Schoola have an awesome deal going on now through Wednesday.

Sparkle and shine like it’s New Year’s Eve! Get $25 off your next $40+ order with code SPARKLE at Schoola.com. Offer is valid 12/18 – 12/20.
Fine Print: Limit one promotion code may be used per order. Not valid on previous purchases. Discounts and credits do not apply toward shipping 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.

And as always, FREE SHIPPING on orders of $25 or more on the first 10 items. If you are new to Schoola, you’ll save $10 off your first purchase when you sign up here.

I love buying clothes from Schoola! I save money and schools earn 40% of the purchase price!