First Week of College, and Beyond!

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I survived the first week of college! After ::cough 17 years cough:: a long time, it’s quite an adjustment getting back into the swing of studying, doing homework, and all of the other things that go into being a mom, wife, blogger/Influencer, and special needs advocate for my big kiddo.

I wanted to share with you some things that have helped me, and the family adjust to the change.  It’s just two classes, but that’s 10-12 hours a week of studying, reading, and homework outside the classroom, and that time comes out of the time I previously spent with the kids, working on the blog/social media, petting the cat, ya know, mom stuff.

Bitty is now going to preschool two days a week. Our city’s Parks and Rec department has a drop off preschool two days a week. It’s approximately $150 for 8 weeks, which is a great price, and she is in a class with 13 other kiddos her age, several of them she knows from her daily visits to the local YMCA Child Watch. While she is at preschool, I have three hours to work on school work. It’s amazing to be able to read and work on my homework in peace. If you need a few hours to get work done, check your local Parks and Rec department for this type of preschool.

Family: As someone who has family nearby, having my family able to help out with school pick ups and therapy drop offs, it is a Godsend. My parents, brother and sister-in-law have really stepped in and helped us with the kids and house. Last week Miss Sally (my car) needed new front and rear brakes, and two new tires. Thanks to my Sister-in-law, niece, and my parents I didn’t have to walk home with Bitty (5 miles with a 3 year old- No thanks) or call an Uber.

Schedule: As a family, we have a shared calendar on iCal, in which I put all of the kids appointments, weekly commitments, birthdays, deadlines. In addition, I also have a calendar (this one) in the master bathroom on my cork board. Yes, I have a cork board in the master bathroom next to the vanity, so we can see whats on the schedule for each day.  Having everything in the palm of my hand (on my phone), and in a place that is visible to us (calendar) has really helped keep us focused and on task.

Remembering my Skill-Set: I’m not reinventing the wheel here. To maximize my productive time, I make sure to use my previously honed skills: Meal Planning, Meal Prep, setting out everyone’s clothes the night before, making lunches the night before, organizing areas of the house to help us get out of the house in the morning on time.

So while you may see less blog posts until I get in the full swing of it all, but I’m still posting on Social Media like a madwoman.

I want you all to know that it doesn’t matter what your age, if there is something you want: College, new job, more time with your family, vacation.. Do it! Change can be scary, but believe in yourself and have a plan! It might be rough at first, but stick with it.

Enough motivational speaking from me, I have homework to do!

Talk Back: What have you done recently that moved you out of your comfort zone?

Two free offers at San Diego area McDonald’s!

Right now there are two great free offers at McDonald’s! Both of which are on the healthy side.

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-9-50-19-amThis week, Sept. 8-10 from 7 to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., visit a participating San Diego County McDonald’s restaurant to sample a Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait made with nonfat vanilla Chobani® Greek Yogurt.

Combined with the sweet taste of strawberries and blueberries, and topped with granola, Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfaits are perfect for breakfast, as a side, or a mid-day snack – especially with the classic vanilla taste of Chobani® Greek Yogurt.  YUM! I think Bitty Bird and I will hit up our local McDo’s after the Y today and get a coffee and free Parfait!

And offer #2 is a favorite around these parts!

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On Tuesday, Sept. 13, participating restaurants will offer free breakfast from 6:30-9:30 a.m. to students in kindergarten through eighth grade when an accompanying adult uses the McDonald’s App. In San Diego County, students can enjoy an Egg McMuffin or Egg White Delight, apple slices and milk.

To redeem this offer, an adult must download or have already downloaded the McDonald’s App, present the offer to the cashier and ask the cashier for the free back-to-school breakfast. Students younger than 13 years of age are required to be accompanied by a parent/adult to redeem this offer at participating McDonald’s restaurants. This offer may vary throughout the state and only one breakfast is allowed per student.

The MCDonald’s App is pretty cool. You can earn free McCafe Beverages, and there are coupons that are only available on the app (like BOGO happy meals and free upgrades!).

So there you go! Two tasty deals. Thanks to my Friend Su for the heads up on the second offer!

School is Back in Session- Time to Start Saving!

Bus2I don’t know about you, but when I’ve got both kids home all the time, it’s a lot harder to keep on my frugal goals.

I’m all about taking advantage of local free and cheap fun (like events at our local library or community center, local parks and splash pads), but for some reason summer vacation always distracts me from frugality. Maybe is the 100+ degree temps we’ve been having most of the summer.

Well, we are into our second week of school and I’ve re-committed to my frugal lifestyle for my family.  Here are just a few things I’ve done over the past two weeks:

  • Meal Plan using what’s on hand in out cupboard before heading the the store. I’ve also planned out school lunches too!
  • Committed to taking drinks with us when we leave the house.  This doesn’t sound like a lot, but when it’s over 100 degrees in the shade, we go through a lot of water on our daily adventures. Check out the cool growler I got on Amazon. It’s supposed to be for beer, but I fill it with ice cubes and water each day and it comes with me in the car- it’s an easy way to get your 8 glasses in! I also take iced coffee with me in the morning to school drop off.
  • Set a schedule for Bitty Bird and I.  Again, a schedule doesn’t sound like a way to save money, but now I know what we are doing each day after Big Boy is at school. I have time each day while she is napping to write, research, and do Amazon Reviews.
  • Plan out shopping trips a little better.  Now that I don’t have two extra sets of hands helping me shop (especially a 5 year old who is constantly near death starvation when in proximity to a grocery store), I can look at ads, check my smartphone apps for rebates and deals. I also have more time to print coupons! This really saves me money (and time).

Now that school has started, I’d love to hear how you’ve recommitted to your goals (whatever they might be).

 

Frugal ways to help your Child’s School!

For most of us, school starts soon, if it hasn’t already started… That means the fundraising will start.  Wrapping paper, candy, candles, you name it, you’ve probably seen a catalog and a doe-eyed child selling something to raise money for their school.

We’ve got a pretty tight budget around out house, and $12/roll wrapping paper is not in my budget, but I do want to help Lil’ Man’s school. Here are a few ways that you can help your kiddo’s school. If your kid isn’t in school yet, ask the parent of your favorite mini-fundraiser if their school participates in any of these programs!


Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.21.07 AMBox Tops for Education (BTFE):
This Program has been around for a while, and it’s probably one of the easiest ways that you can help the school of your choice. Look for these little box top doodads on hundreds of products that you probably already buy (here is a list), clip them, and drop them by your school’s office. LIl’ Man’s class sends home a cute themed Sheet for us to attach up to ten each month. If I have more, I just staple a ziploc bag full to the worksheet. Any parent would be thrilled to receive an envelope of bag of BTFE from family or friends!

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.21.16 AMLabels for Education: Similar to BTFE, but this program is run by Campbell’s. To find products that are a part of the Labels fro Education Program, click here.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.21.24 AMTarget’s Take Charge of Education®:
Choose your kids’ elementary school, the neighborhood middle school or any other eligible K–12 school. We’ll donate up to 1% of your REDcard purchases at Target stores in the U.S and at Target.com.

 You can learn more here. 

Escrip: Now this one has been around since I was in High School. It’s super easy. Once your school is registered, all you do is sign your various loyalty cards (like your Vons Card), and shop like you usually do. You school gets a percentage of your total purchase!

The best part about these four programs is that you just do what you already do: Shop and save money! Clipping Box Tops for Education and Labels for Education are not that much different than clipping coupons off of packages.