More Free Summer Meals for Kids!

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This is an update to this post, which has sites all over San Diego County listed.

I just received this in my inbox this morning!  Here is a great list of East County resources for free lunches for kids- And many sites also serve breakfast too!  We’ll be checking them out in the coming days, and I’ll post pictures (probably on Instagram), so make sure to follow me! Dates vary by location.

I am really excited about Hilton Head Park being on the list- That is a great park with a splash pad (only $3 to use for the whole day), shaded picnic tables, and a fun, sandy playground!

If you aren’t in the San Diego, CA area and are looking for more information on free lunches for kids, check the USDA website here. THe USDA plans to serve over 200 million meals to kids 18 and under this summer!

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Freebies for Donut Day on June 1st!

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Ok, so first let’s find out why there are two National Donut Days... Thanks Mental Floss.

Now that we’ve figured out that mystery, it’s onto the free donuts….

So far as I can tell, the only place giving away FREE DONUTS with locations in CA and NO PURCHASE is.. Krispy Kreme!

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Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away a free Classic Donut with the purchase of any drink.

There are no Duck Donuts locations in CA yet, but it looks like they are all over the East Coast…  Enjoy a FREE Classic Duck Donut on June 1, 2018 including cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or bare. NO purchase is required!

There are plenty of location, regional chains and independent Donut shops that participate too!  If you know of one, please leave a comment!

Free Meals this Summer for Kids!

file0001360139839.jpgI’m still pulling together resources and lists, so I’ll be posting more resources as they become available.

School will be out within a month for most kids in San Diego, and that means there are some parents (and kids) who usually rely on free or subsidized school lunches may find themselves wondering what to do.

Thankfully, a lot of great organizations have stepped up and partnered with local area schools, libraries, rec centers, and civic organizations to provide free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for al kids 18 and under this summer.

You can search here for a list of California Department of Education sites that offer free meals (some sites offer breakfast, lunch, and/or snacks).

Some Library sites offer lunch too! Here is a complete list of areas that offer free lunches or snacks.

Some County of San Diego Library Locations offer lunch or snacks. Here is a filtered list for the month of June. Most libraries have a print calendar each month available that can be picked up with more info. The El Cajon Library on East Douglas has a really great lunch program in the summer with a fun activity/craft afterwards.

San Diego Unified School District has partnered with some awesome sponsors to host the Sumer Fun Cafe 2018 all over San Diego County! Lunch will be served at over 30 locations all summer for kids 18 and under! The kick off Summer BBQ (with free lunch for adults too) at Skyline Hills Park 6/20/17 10:30am-2:00pm! There are all kinds of activities too!

What I love about this program is that there are tons of rec centers hosting these lunches and they are usually adjacent to a playground, which means after a long morning of playing, the kids don’t have long to wait to get a yummy lunch!

Looking for a few ideas of summer fun with a nearby lunch?

If you know of more summer lunch programs for kids in San Diego County, I’d love to hear about them! Please leave a comment!

4/16/18 Weekly Meal Plan!

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This week, I’ve got a bunch of event planning and scheduling to do, so I’m trying to plan out some easy/quick meals that use what we’ve got on-hand.

Breakfasts are usually the same for us: Protein shakes for grown ups, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. We have plenty of protein shake fixins’- I bought a lot of very ripe bananas recently, chopped them up and froze them in individual bags along with other fruit to make “shake/smoothie sacks”.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or a protein shake for me and the Mister, and The Big kid has a specially packed lunch of whatever he’s into at the time (which changes frequently). Bitty Bird eats whatever I’ll feed her.

I’m only posting our dinner plans, and links to recipes.

Monday: Grilled cheese and soup (it’s our Group ABA night, so we don’t get home until late)

Tuesday: Chicken and Wild Rice (based on a recipe here, minor tweaks to the recipe have been made), steamed brocolli

Wednesday: Fritatta with whatever veggies I have in the fridge (probably onion, shallot, spinach, and brocolli), and cheese (of course!). Served with Fruit salad.

Thursday: We are having a friend over, so I’ll probably make Salsa Chicken, and I’ll add some black or cannelli beans. Served with green salad.

Friday: Date Night!! WOO HOO! We’re going to go see Infinity Wars. Not sure what we’ll have for dinner. The kids will probably have grilled cheese and fruit.

Saturday: I’ll bust out the crockpot and make BBQ chicken. We’ve got  some events that day, so I want a dinner that’s quick to serve. Probably brown rice, steamed vegg, and fruit salad.

Sunday: I’m thinking Pizza! Either we’ll make a batch of dough and do a DIY pizza night, or, we’ll order delivery. Either way, we’ll have leftover fruit salad to go with it.

What’s with my obsession with Fruit Salad? We eat a lot of fruit, and fruit salad is a quick, tasty food to prep, everyone likes it (which is saying a lot in this house). I can make one batch and it’s good for 2-3 meals, plus the occasional snack. For those who are curious, I’ll post my recipe later this week.

I’d love to hear about what you’re having this week! What new recipes are you trying?

Find (Frugal) Family Fun in Your Community

xmas eve 013.JPGSummer vacation is on the horizon, and that means that there will be choruses of, “I’m bored!”

Having a kid who has ADHD and ASD, I frequently hear that lament after school (like, before we even pull out of the school parking lot in the afternoon) complete with body slump and flailing of arms.  To combat this, I’ve assembled a list of events that can keep kiddos entertained with little to no cost.

Everyone knows about their local, neighborhood parks for free fun outside, but don’t forget your local libraries and community centers for sources of free fun!

Our local library has events after school (starting at 3pm) for kids grades K-3, including:

  • Read with Grandma Marcia ~ Every Tuesday
  • Kids Exploration Day ~ 2nd Wednesday of the month
  • LEGO Club ~ 3rd Wednesday of the month
  • Creative Play ~ Each Saturday from 10:30-11:30 am. Children learn through play! Meet new friends and have fun while developing early learning skills. Geared for ages 5 and under (but they are not strict with it- as long as the kids behave).

With all of these activities, a responsible adult must be present and participate.

Check out your local library’s website.

San Diego County Libraries

San Diego City Libraries

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 6.38.53 PM.pngIf you have a Starwood Mall nearby you (Here in San Diego, Parkway Plaza is a Starwood property), check out their kids club called MallStars. From the Parkway Plaza website, “MallStars Kids Club offers exclusive kid friendly events in a safe, community environment, throughout the year. MallStars Kids Club is a FREE kids club open to kids 10 years of age and younger.

The program features exclusive, kid-friendly events for its members throughout the entire year. MallStars members also receive free giveaways; a quarterly newsletter with upcoming events and special offers; as well as priority registration and exclusive invites to mall events.”

Last Month we got to make pizzas, and learn how to roll out dough with friends at Fuertes NY Pizza!

My kiddos love the beach- I know not everyone has the beach near them, but if you do- take advantage!  Google your favorite beach and Tide Chart and find out when low tide it. Low tide is the perfect time to hunt for shells. If you are in San Diego, or will be visiting this summer, check out Coronado for the SS Monte Carlo. It’s a sunken ship that is visible and explorable at low tide.

If you have a YMCA membership, check out their free programs for members. Our local Y has Open Gym three times a week, plus a mommy and me craft time for little kids, and lots of other fun programs that are included in our monthly dues. If you are interested in checking out the YMCA but are lacking funds, I encourage you to visit your local Y and ask about scholarships or financial aid.

I also find lots of local events and free fun stuff by checking the “Events You May Like” section on Facebook Events.

Talkback: I’d love to hear what kinds of free (or cheap) fun stuff your family does!

4/10/18 Meal Plan… Tuesday

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OMG- Yesterday.. You Guys… Was HORRIBLE. Miss Sally (my car) had her battery die, so had to get a jump start and then off to the shop for a new battery. Luckily, it was still under warranty, so it was free. That debacle threw off my entire day, and by the time the kids were in bed, I was too popped to post.

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos lately have been having protein pancakes (I like Kodiak Cakes mix- it’s yummy and very versatile) with butter and Peanut butter. 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. We mix it up, and have different flavors and mix in all kinds of stuff into our shakes, so as not to get bored. Here area few of our favorite recipes.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually  fruit, chocolate milk (home made with protein powder and ice cube so it’s still cold at lunch), 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!

this week is supposed to be hot, so I am planning a lot of foods that don’t require the stove or oven.

Monday:

  • D: We scrounged leftovers last night- too tired to cook.

Tuesday:

  • D: Smoothies and Salad- It’s currently 82 degrees in our living room, so I am not turning on the stove or oven!

Weds:

  • D: Salsa Chicken (in the crockpot)

Thursday:

  • D: Spinach Salad with Feta and Grilled chicken breasts

Friday:

  • D: Date Night (dinner out)

Saturday:

  • D: Leftovers

Sunday:

  • D:   Breakfast for dinner/Frittata

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).  One thing that I love to make that cuts down on food waste is fruit salad. It always gets eaten quickly, and everyone in the house loves it!

Ibotta: April is Referral Cash Match Month!!

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Ya’ll know I love a good Cash Back app, and Ibotta is pretty high on my list. In fact, prior to writing this post, I cashed out for $32.58. I had to share this latest promotion!

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 7.59.23 AM.pngApril is Referral Cash Match Month!
During April, get $5 for every friend who signs up with your code and redeems an offer AND we’ll match their cash back for you — whatever they earn this month, you’ll earn too! Sounds pretty sweet.

If you aren’t sure about all this Cash Back App stuff, check out my post here. But here is just an example of how you can earn money for stuff you usually buy:

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And this offer is available at over 50 stores (including Costco). There are also offers for fresh fruits and veggies, fresh meat, breads, shelf stable food, canned goods, frozen food. There are 75+ offers on the Ibotta App at any time.

 

Disclaimer: This post contains my referral link, and if you sign up and complete the offer, I’ll get the deal too. I use the money I earn from referrals on the blog to pay for hosting fees and giveaways- And also my weekly trip to Starbucks. You can check out my Disclosure for all of the deets.