Looking for Frugal Fun for Christmas? Check out Neighborhood Light Displays!

file2901261162927.jpgIt’s back… We’ve already been through a few areas, and Henry is itching for a big cuppa Cocoa from Starbucks and a ride in Miss Sally (my car) to go check out all the lights in ONE NIGHT!

We love looking at holiday light displays, and I’ve noticed more neighbors than in past years are putting up lights all over east county! If you want to get out and check out the sites (and lights), here are our favorites:

EL CAJON, 92021

  • Jingle Bell Hill (also known as Pepper Dr. Lights). Solomon Ave./Pegeen Pl. and surrounding area. Off 67 & Bradley. Dec. 8-26, Mon-Th 6-9 pm, Fri-Sun 6-10 pm. There is usually a Nightmare before Christmas house, but we didn’t see it the other night. Henry was bummed.

LAKESIDE, 92040

  • 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr. Nicknamed “Tinsel Town”. Dec. 1-25, 5:30-9 pm. Most of the houses on this street are very well decorated with lights and moving displays!

SANTEE, 92071

  •  Starlight Circle, East and West Glendon Circles. Through December 26th, 7-10 pm. This is extremely popular! You can park and walk through. There are neighbors selling cocoa, coffee, popcorn, and cotton candy. If you walk, take money with you! Starlight Circle even has a facebook page!
  • 9773 Roe Dr. 27,000 Christmas lights dance to 10 songs over 128 computer channels. Food Bank and St. Jude donations accepted. Dec. 3-Jan. 2. Sun-Th, 6-10 pm and Fri & Sat, 6-11 pm.www.DBChristmas.com It is very impressive!
  • I haven’t been by to see if it’s up this year, but in years past…. If you love South Park, after you stop by Roe, cruise down Lake Canyon Drive (in the 9400 block, East of Carlton Hills Blvd) and check out the Woodland Critter Christmas Display.

 

We pack the kids into the car after dark with cocoa and snacks and head out for a drive. It’s a fun way to spend time together, and it’s pretty frugal!

What holiday traditions do you want to share with your kids?

 

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Tons of Freebies from Kroger stores!

I love me some freebies… And right now the Kroger family of stores (which for us So Cal peeps means Food4Less and Ralphs) has a bunch of great freebies that you can load to your club card.

It doesn’t matter which card you have (Ralphs, Food4Less, Kroger, etc), you can load all of these great freebies to one card and head to the store!

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.39.12 AM.pngKScreen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.39.07 AM.pngroger has Free Arla Cream Cheese and free Lifeway Kefir Cups! Click this link to get started.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.46.57 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.44.49 AM.pngRalphs has a free Silk Yogurt Singles here.

Food4Less has a free Nissin Cup Noodles here.

 

Each Week Ralphs/Kroger has at least one free item!

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.

Free Water & Energy Savings Kit from SDG&E!

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 1.26.41 PM.pngThis offer ends 12/3117, so order ASAP!

If you are an SDG&E customer, check your emails for this offer!

When you install a Water & Energy Savings Kit, you can save up to $100 per year in water and energy costs. This kit is valued at $30 and you have been pre-qualified to receive it at no charge.

Take advantage of our improved online order process and receive your kit sooner. Quantities are limited so order now while supplies last.

The Water & Energy Savings Kit includes:

•1 Low-Flow Showerhead

•1 Kitchen Faucet Aerator

•2 Bathroom Faucet Aerators

•1 LED Sensor Night Light

 

I just ordered ours! Anyway we can save money and natural resources is a win-win in my book!

Free fun from Lego!

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 11.49.51 AM.pngHenry loves Legos (Duh, you may have gathered that from reading this blog), and they are pretty expensive. There are never coupons and most Target and Toys r us deals/coupons specifically exclude Legos.

However, you can still score some cool freebies and deals from Lego!

First, sign up to be a Lego VIP here. It’s free, and here are just a few of the benefits…

  • Points towards valuable rewards! Get a $5 reward for every 100 points earned!
  • Members-only gifts and more! VIPs enjoy access to special promotional gifts throughout the year.
  • Monthly promotions! Earn bonus points on select LEGO sets every month, both online and in store.

Once you are signed up as a VIP, you’ll be able to register for free Monthly Mini Model Build at the LEGO Store. Registrations start the 15th of the month prior to the event (e.g. sign up in November for December event), and space is limited at each store, so don’t wait. We’ve done a couple and they are always fun!

Don’t forget that Toys R Us also has fun, free lego events a few times a year as well. It’s important to RSVP to TRU events, so you definitely get a kit.

Lastly, did you know there is a free Lego Magazine for kids age 5-11? You can sign your kids up for a free subscription IMG_0236.jpg. The latest issue arrived yesterday and Henry poured over it for hours. The magazine is packed full of comics, activities, LEGO® fan creations and building tips (Henry’s fav part), and kids receive the magazine 5 times a year!

 

And here is a tip on how to keep your feet Lego-free…. When the kids play Legos, I spread out a huge table cloth and pour the Legos onto it. Once play time is over, I pick up the cloth and pour the Legos back into their big tote.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 11.58.04 AM

This set up provides hours of fun, and just a few minutes of clean up. And the best part… No stepping on tiny pieces of Lego in the dark, unleashing a torrent of swear words and threats of bodily harm to those under the employ of Lego.

We have a lot of Legos- Hand me downs from friends who have outgrown them, some from when Tyler was a kid, and some sets and kits that Henry has been given. Even though we save all the directions, there is nothing more satisfying to me as a parent than to see Henry and Bitty express their creativity through building.

This is a combine. Henry built it all by himself. Not bad for a 6-year old who has never seen one in real-life. The big wheels in the front moved. Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 12.14.44 PM.png

Talk Back: What are your money saving tips for Lego Lovers?

BOGO Holiday Beverages are back at Starbucks (and a DIY Hack)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.35.18 PM.png It’s back. Halloween is over and that means Starbucks is already to serve their holiday beverages!

November 9-13 from 2-5pm each day, you will get a holiday beverage free when you buy one at regular price.

The Starbucks Holiday Beverages include:

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Egg Nog Latte
  • Caramel Brulee Latte
  • Holiday Spiced Flat White
  • Chestnut Praline Latte

And from November 12-16th from 2-5pm each day you can score one holiday favorite free when you buy one holiday favorite.

This deal is at participating locations only, so check with your fav. location beforehand.

If you can’t make it to your local ‘Bux in time to score one of these sweet deals, here is my holiday drink DIY:

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.54.04 PM.pngLocate your favorite mug.

Brew your favorite coffee double strength (because let’s face it, not everyone has an expresso machine at their disposal)

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 3.50.23 PM.pngHeat some milk (I prefer 2% or whole milk) and I use a frother like this one.  It makes the milk nice and frothy- just like the steamer at the coffee shop.

Pour coffee into your mug, add 2-4 pumps of syrup (I like my coffee less sweet, so I do 2 pumps), stir and then add your hot milk. Put a dollop of froth on top. Top with whipped cream (if desired, not needed).

If you are feeling fancy, you could always top your beverage with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, or fancy sprinkles.

For syrups, I prefer Torani. Amazon has a bunch of different variety packs for holiday drinks, I like this one the best. If you live near a Cost Plus World Market, they usually have a great selection of flavors. Since I’m not a huge fan of single task anything, I also put Sugar free syrups in my protein shakes, and in my regular coffee each day. I’ve got a regular coffee shop set up in my kitchen. Ya know, except there is no bearded hipster.

If you are making a mocha, I use Nesquik. Really. I’ve got kids, so we always have it in the cupboard. But you could use your favorite cocoa mix.

Veterans Day Freebies

Row of USA Flags 2.jpg

Veterans Day is coming up on November 11, and like most holidays, there are some great freebies available. All of these freebies are available to veterans and active duty military only, unless otherwise specified.

Free haircuts at Great Clips on Veterans Day  Active Duty and Veterans- And if you don’t need a cut that day, you can pick up a card for a free haircut card good through the end of 2017.

On Veterans Day, November 11, participating Sport Clips locations will offer free haircuts to all active duty military and veterans (with valid ID.)

Grace For Vets teams up with carwashes all over the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia to offer free carwashes to active duty and veterans on 11/11/17.

Looking to get away from it all? National Parks are free next weekend to commemorate Veterans Day.

Lots of places have free admission for active duty and veterans next weekend.

  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Main Event Centers (none in CA, but in tons of other states) will be giving Active Duty and Veterans Enjoy a Free Entree + $10 FUNcard as our appreciation and thanks to you!

There are countless historical monuments, museums, and historical places of significance that will be free to active duty and Veterans next weekend. It’s always worth a phone call or a quick Google search before you leave the house!

And are you going to be Hungry? Probably…. Here are just a few restaurants offering free meals sometime next week:

  • Menchie’s Veterans Day Free Frozen Yogurt (Saturday, November 11, 2017)
  • Farmer Boys Free Veterans Day Cheeseburgers (Friday, November 10, 2017)
  • Olive Garden locations will be offering a free meal to Veterans and Active Duty (November 11, 2017)
  • Denny’s Typically offers free Grand Slams to active Duty and Veterans on the 10th or 11th (check your local Denny’s)
  • BJ’s Restaurant All veterans and active military can enjoy a complimentary entree under $12.95 on Friday and Saturday November 10-11/2017. Guests over age 21 will can also receive an alcoholic beverage for $6. Please present your military ID to receive this offer.
  • Red Robin All Veterans and Active Duty Military get a free dine-in Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries on Veterans Day 11/11.
  • Golden Corral On Monday, November 13th, 2017 from 5 PM to 9 PM, Golden Corral offers a free sit-in “thank you” dinner for Military veterans, retirees, and active duty members.

This is by no means a full list- There are tons of restaurants, bars, and pubs that honor active duty and veterans with a free meal, drink, appetizer, or dessert. Please feel free to leave one you’ve discovered in the comments below.

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!