10/30/2020 Friday Freebies and Deals!

bright boxes

This Friday’s freebies and deals have some awesome goodies! It’s Halloween weekend, so get ready for all sorts of spooky freebies and deals!

As always, if you find an amazing deal or freebie, please share it in the comments below.

Freebies:

Free Boo Adventure Drive-Thru Trick-or-Treating at Target
Free Keds Stickers
Free Face Mask
Free Medela Breastfeeding Product Sample Box
Free K-Beauty Products
Free Hot or Iced Coffee at Circle K
Free Sample of Yes Life CBD Oil & Hemp CBD Pain Relief Cream
Free Products for SwagBag Tastemakers
Free Medium Fries w/ Any $1 Purchase at McDonalds – Every Friday
Free 5pc. Chicken Nuggets at Jack in the Box
Free Genexa Kids Allergy Medicine
Free Sample of Daiwa Krill Oil
Free Phocus Naturally Energizing Sparkling Water
Free Sample of Smashbox Primer
Free Jar of Barilla Vero Gusto Pasta Sauce
Free Burger on Your Birthday at Ruby Tuesday

 

Deals:

 

Tomorrow Only: Get a FREE Coke Energy

Woo Hoo! This deal popped into my inbox a few minutes ago! I live right across the street from a retailer, so I am definitely stoked for this freebie!

2020 is getting even longer this weekend with Daylight Savings Time. Give yourself the boost you need by getting a FREE can of Coke Energy tomorrow, October 30th! Pick one up at a store near you – check out participating stores here.

Locations include:

  • Circle K
  • Kum & Go
  • Pilot Flying J
  • TA
  • Holiday
  • Kwik Trip
  • MAPCO
  • Murphy USA
  • and More!

At some retailers you must claim the free Coke Energy within the retailer’s mobile app before redeeming in-store.

San Diego, CA Area Residents: FREE Produce and Perishable Groceries- 10/30/2020

Every Friday in October, our friends over at Faith Chapel understand that with all that’s going on in the world that some of us still need help finding healthy food during this difficult time. And that’s it not always safe for us to go to the store or hit up a farmers market.

Distribution is happening this every Friday in October (tomorrow is the last- I will find out if there will be more and update the blog), beginning at 10:00am.

This is a drive-thru style event, so you don’t have to leave your vehicles. There is no paperwork, no questions asked. Show up, pop your trunk, and fresh food is loaded for you, and you are on your way!

Here is a picture of what was available in previous weeks! Sometimes you get produce, sometimes is eggs, milk, and other dairy products and meat- it changes weekly!

Faith Chapel is located at 9400 Campo Road Spring Valley, CA 91977

How To Recoup Bank and Credit Card Fees

If you use credit cards or ATMs, you have probably been charged fees. Finance Charge fees and Out of Network ATM fees are a few ways that financial institutions make money by loaning us or handling our money.

In the past there was no way of avoiding paying those charges- once you paid them, the money was gone.

Now there are websites, apps, and programs that can help consumers recoup the fees that they have paid out. Here are a couple that I have looked into or used.

Harvest links your bank accounts and credit card accounts to their AI and once every 90 days you can request their program contact those institutions on your behalf to credit previously paid fees. Harvest takes a portion of those fees. Harvest was not able to get any money back on my behalf. I have only been using it for about 50 days. Once my 90 days are up and I can re-negotiate, I will try it again.

Cushion: I looked into Cushion, but did not use it, because it costs on average $50/year. I don’t have a lot of outstanding debt, so there was no way that I could save that much from their AI negotiations. Also, there is this:

Basically, you don’t get the money credited back to you, you earn “rewards” through Cushion’s program. A quick internet search leads me to believe that it’s mostly Amazon Gift Cards, which as much as I love Amazon Gift Cards is not what I want. I want cold hard cash in my hot little paws.

I recommend that everyone look at their bank account at least monthly (I do it once a week when I balance the checkbook-yes, I do that) and look for any fees or charges that may not look familiar. Doing the same with your credit card statement when it comes as well is a great idea. Recently I caught a $90 charge that was fraudulent. A quick call to American Express and I filed a dispute, the charge was removed and all is well!

If you find a lot of ATM usage fees on your bank statement, download your banks app to locate fee-free ATMs. My credit union has fee-free ATMs at 7/11’s!

Note that I use the term Bank- I use this interchangeably for credit union, as that’s what I use. I have been a member of a credit union for almost 30 years. There is no monthly fee for having a checking or savings account, and I have my car loan through them as well (the rate is really low). Credit Unions are great because they offer low rates, and no or low account fees. And usually, membership is free.

If you have used a service like Harvest or Cushion with success, I’d love to hear your results! Leave a comment below.

 

Comfy Critters Hooded Blankets- A Warm Gift!

Our family tends to give a few meaningful gifts each holiday. One gift my kids always look forward to is a new, warm, snuggly blanket.

I found a company called My Comfy Critter and it has all of the things that kids want in a blanket: it’s big enough to wrap around them, a hood to cuddle in, and their favorite cartoon characters (Paw Patrol and PJ Masks) or animals (oh hello Speedy the Sloth!).

 

 

Each blanket features:

  • 100% Polyester Chenille fleece
  • Velcro tab with woven label that helps turn him into a pet or pillow
  • Blanket Size:  36″x47″
  • Machine Washable

Not only are these great gifts that kids will cuddle with for years, but they are a great buy at less than $30 each!

FREE Mr. Mummy Pancake this week at IHOP!

I’m a little late to the game- I usually post about this deal a few weeks beforehand, but… Gestures at the state of the world… You know.

Celebrate Halloween With a Freaky Freebie From IHOP®!
Happy Halloween from IHOP®! Treat yourself to some seasonal stacks & treat the kids to a FREE Mr. Mummy Pancake when you visit your local IHOP® from October 26-30.

The kids and I are going to pass this year. They don’t like frosting on their pancakes, and the big one doesn’t like their butter (it’s really hard and it doesn’t melt on the pancakes, it tears the pancakes when you try to spread it).  I don’t like IHOP’s coffee. I know, I know… We are Denny’s snobs.

The Fine Print: For dine-in orders, kids age 12 & under receive one free Mr. Mummy Pancake between 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. from 10/26/2020 – 10/30/2020 at participating IHOP® locations. Limit one per child. For online orders via the IHOP® website or mobile app of $20 or more, receive one free Mr. Mummy pancake per order. Tax, gratuity and price of Mr. Mummy Pancake excluded. Not valid with other offers, coupons or discounts. No cash value. Offer valid from 10/26/20 to 10/30/2020. At participating restaurants. Further restrictions may apply.

10/26/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgI’ve started doing weekly meal planning on Sundays. It’s easier to do it while I’m writing up the weekly calendar/schedule and prepping the snack box for the week. I didn’t get a chance to type this up last night. I fell asleep around 8:30. I was tired.

The kids and I hit up the grocery store yesterday morning and loaded up on some stuff we needed (bread, cream cheese, bagels, grapes, and watermelon were chief among our “needs”).  Our meal plan is super light and easy this week.

Our weather is getting decidedly more “fall-like”. Last night I made a big batch of veggie soup, portioned it out, and popped containers into the freezer for later meals. I’ll be doing the same with the potato cheese soup I make later this week- and yes, I’ll be posting the recipe too!

Thanks to some local deals, offers, and the school lunches the kids bring home, I have been able to keep our grocery budget to $60 per week for the past MONTH! It’s amazing. The extra money is going into our holiday savings account.

If you have kids between 2-18, check with your local school to see if they are offering free lunches and/or breakfasts. You can also check the USDA Website– but it might be a little out of date.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular. recently the Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM. I’ll be posting the recipe for his current favorite this coming week.

Lunches will be whatever the kids want for the time being. The big kid has lunch at school, so it’s whatever he chooses from the lunch box in the cupboard, plus some fruit and juice or milk. Since the little girl is in the morning cohort at school, she has lunch at home. Buttered noodles, yogurt, apple slices, and a popsicle are her go-to lunch.

Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday:  Veggie Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Monday:  Sandwiches and Salad (I bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco yesterday, so we had roasted chicken, bacon, and mozzarella sandwiches)
  • Tuesday: Nuggets and Fruit (Big kid has OT in the late afternoon, so it’s always a quick dinner on Tuesday)
  • Wednesday:  Potato Cheese Soup and Garlic bread (I’ll post the recipe this week- it’s super easy and frugal!)
  • Thursday: Bacon, veggie, and cheese frittata,  fruit
  • Friday:  Pizza Night!
  • Saturday: Protein Muffins, fruit salad, and Greek yogurt

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

San Diego, CA Area Residents: FREE Produce and Perishable Groceries- Today!

Every Friday in October, our friends over at Faith Chapel understand that with all that’s going on in the world that some of us still need help finding healthy food during this difficult time. And that’s it not always safe for us to go to the store or hit up a farmers market.

Distribution is happening this every Friday in October (today and 29th), beginning at 10:00am.

This is a drive-thru style event, so you don’t have to leave your vehicles. There is no paperwork, no questions asked. Show up, pop your trunk, and fresh food is loaded for you, and you are on your way!

Here is a picture of what was available in previous weeks! Sometimes you get produce, sometimes is eggs, milk, and other dairy products and meat- it changes weekly!

Faith Chapel is located at 9400 Campo Road Spring Valley, CA 91977

San Diego, CA Area Research Study Opportunity!

I love doing research studies. They are a great way to help companies develop products and services, and make a little extra money for yourself.

Most in-person studies are not happening right now, but I did one this morning that was in person and they took a lot of precautions to keep the study participants healthy and safe.

TechResearchStudies is looking for people to help test tech products.

The payment is via Visa Gift Card and varies $150-$350. To get started, visit their website here.

They are looking for adults, 18+, and all genders and races are being recruited!

I do 1-2 research studies per month, most of them are at home, either testing products or online.

If you are looking to get hooked up with companies that do research studies, I recommend the following:

  • Q-Insights 
  • Digsite (I don’t know if they are actively recruiting or not- you can message them through their Facebook Page)

In San Diego there are the following research companies:

I try to post opportunities for Research Studies when I run across them, either here on the blog, or on my Facebook Page.

Coupons for Healthy Foods!

One of the most common complaints I hear from people who want to start couponing but are hesitant to is, “There are never coupons for healthy foods!” And while it appears on the surface to be correct, a few minutes of looking and I found a bunch of really great coupons for healthy food.


Save $1.00 On any Unbun product, limit one per visit
Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) package of Green Giant® Veggie Tots, Riced Veggies, Mashed Cauliflower, Roasted Veggies, Harvest Protein Bowls, or Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) package of Green Giant Veggie Spirals™
Save 35¢ On Any California Dairy Product That Carries The Real California Milk Seal

In addition to printed coupons, there are usually all sorts of deals or offers on cashback apps. There are several cashback apps that specifically cater to healthy living/organic products. Check out my list of Cashback apps to find my favorites.

If your budget is very tight and you find yourself unable to afford the produce that your family needs, there are free and low-cost alternatives out there for you.

If you need tips for stretching your food budget, here is a post I wrote a few years ago.