San Diego, CA area Residents: Save on your SDG&E bill!

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 9.37.22 PMLooking for more ways to saving money on your power bill without doing crazy stuff like turning off your water heater when you aren’t home and unplugging everything (including your fridge) during the day? Ok, so I’ve been watching episodes of Extreme Cheapskates on Netflix (and it’s scary what people will do to save a few bucks), but I did find out about a great legit program that can help San Diego, CA area residents!

The Energy Savings Assistance Program can help lower your monthly bill, while making your home more comfortable.

We had SDG&E come out when we lived at our last home, and  they replaced our lightbulbs, checked our fridge and microwave to make sure they were energy efficient. They also gave use low flow shower heads, sink nozzles, and they are sent out a contractor to do some landlord approved improvements (replace the worn weather stripping) to make our home a little more energy efficient.

You may rent or own, and if you qualify, SDG&E’s authorized contractors will come to your home and may provide a variety of services. Apply Online or schedule an appointment at 1-866-597-0597. If you are eligible for the Energy Savings Assistance Program, you are also eligible for a CARE savings of 20% on your monthly bill.

If you don’t qualify for that program, you can also check out other ways to save on the SDG&E website, such as changing you plan (yes, there are various plans and pricing structures), and there is a “My Energy Overview” where SDG&E will give you realistic suggestions and tips on how you can lower your electricity and gas consumption to save money.

I went through it today, and made an action plan based on how much I want to spend out of pocket, how much time I have to invest, and how handy we are.  As you can see, none of the stuff is too expensive our crazy, and if i do all of it, we’ll be save up to $771 per year!

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As you can see, I’ve already done some of the items on the list, some will take getting used to- including leaving reminder notes in areas (I’m putting a sticky on the washer to remind myself to switch the water level/washer setting and water temp as needed).

And one thing that I find super helpful- We signed up for Ohm Connect a few years ago and it texts and/or emails you when you should conserve more power due to the demand on the power grid. It’s a win-win situation: You save money on your power bill, and you earn points from Ohm Connect that you can cash out for Paypal, Amazon or Target Gift Cards, OhmConnect store credit (to buy energy efficient thermostats, smart plugs, etc.) You can learn more about OhmConnect here.

What are your tips for keeping your power bill low?

 

**Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you click on links or make purchases. However, I only post about stuff that I like and use for my family.

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Freebie & Deals Round Up!

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I check out each one of these before posting. Yes, I do get a lot of mail! I  broke it down into three categories to make it easier to navigate.

 

Samples:

 

Magazines:

 

Events:

 

8/3/18 Ralphs Freebie Friday!

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 8.11.36 AM.pngYummy Bunny!
This weeks Free Friday Download from Ralphs is a my favorite Mac and Cheese from a box.

Free Annie’s Natural Macaroni & Cheese for Kroger & Affiliates (that includes Ralphs).

Limit of one coupon per household. Digital Coupons and paper coupons may not be combined on the purchase of a single item. Specially marked items, such as Clearance or Manager’s Specials may not be eligible for Digital Coupons.

Exp 08/19/2018

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.

Don’t forget to check out the Kroger affiliate in your area, if you don’t have a Ralphs. There are usually freebies for all of the stores!

August 5th Back to School Giveaway with Meet the Need!

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I’ve written about Meet the Need before, it’s a great outreach ministry from Faith Chapel in Spring Valley.

On the 1st Sunday of each month, Meet the Need offers a free lunch, free gently used clothes and household goods, and a bag (or two) of healthy groceries. During the holidays, they also offer needed goods, like backpacks and school supplies- just in time for back to school!

The Deets:

Registration for Meet The Need will be held in the church lobby at the top of the campus in the main foyer. Registration will begin as early as 8:30am and will be open till 10:30am. This is the same place you’ll register for the Backpack Giveaway. The earlier you show up (whether a first time guest or a returning guest) the earlier you can get your wrist band and will be called back into the boutique earlier.

Registration will be from 8:30-10:30am
Registration will be CLOSED from 10:30-12:00pm
Registration will re-open down at the Meet The Need building at about 12:15pm.
Doors open for Meet The Need at 1:00pm

There are Growth Groups which are essentially small groups that meet all over the campus and we’d love for you to get checked in for Meet The Need and then be free to enjoy a Growth Group beginning at 9:00am and then especially join Faith Chapel in the main service that begins at 10:30am in the sanctuary.

NOTE: You do not have to register early or attend services to attend Meet the Need. However, if you don’t it is advised that you get there about 12:15pm.  The line can be quite long during special events like this one.

This event is great for those in need who go back to school in Early August.

New Month, New Coupons!

Now that we’ve settled into July, it’s time to post about some of the new printable coupons! Last month I posted that the coupons weren’t that great. This month, they are slowly but surely getting better to ramp up for back to school.

file000786402730Here is your monthly reminder!  A new month means new printable and electronic coupons!

Check out the following sites:

One of my favorite website is the Sunday Coupon Review.  It helps me plot out scenarios in advance and I can email friends to ask for coupons in advance. Remember if clipping coupons isn’t your thing, but saving money is, check out my list of Smartphone apps that can save you the big bucks! New offers are added on the Smartphone Savings Apps all the time!

Here are just a few of the new coupons that have me excited:

Save $1.00 on any FOUR (4) WYLER'S LIGHT® Drink Mix Items - Includes Singles to Go, Canisters or Pitcher Packs
This coupon is great if you have a Dollar Tree location near you. These little boxes are $1.00 each and contain 8-10 packets. With this coupon, it’s like buy three, get one free!

 

Save $2.00 any ONE(1) CLEAN & CLEAR® product(excludes trial and travel sizes)
If you use this coupon, check your Target app to see if there is a cartwheel/savings deal in addition to this coupon- The best way to save money is to stack deals.


$1.00 OFF any ONE (1) Once Again Nut Butter ( 12 oz. or 16 oz.)
Perfect for Back To School Shopping, especially if your school is peanut-free or you have a peanut allergy in your home.

$1.00 OFF any TWO (2) flavors Lenny & Larry's The Complete Cookie 4 oz.

These cookies are so delicious.

 

 

And if you live in California, check out the CA Dairy Board’s website! Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and look for this:

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You can print two coupons per computer, every thirty days. It’s a great way to save a little bit of money if you already purchase milk and other dairy products.

What coupons or deals are you excited about?

6 Tips for Combating the Mid-Year Frugal Slide

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It’s July, and for most of us, Our New Years Resolutions are a thing of the past. Mr. and I were talking today about ways we could reign in our budget. We’re not making it rain by any means, but… we could make a few changes. Here are my top ten tips, and trust me, I’ve already started incorporating some of these. I’ll have all of them back in the works by weeks’ end.

  1. Back to meal planning and sticking to it. No more trips to Denny’s when I am feeling lazy in the morning, or Mondays after group therapy.  That means I’ll be back to meal planning posts and new recipes too. And I’ll have several “back up dinners” on-hand in case the day gets away from me, or it’s too hot to cook the original meal. I took advantage of the sale on chicken breasts at Smart & Final the other day, and picked up 10 lbs. I came home and cut up the whole half breasts into more manageable sizes, and marinated some of it with different spices and put it in ziploc bags in the freezer. 10 lbs of chicken should get us 5 dinners, plus leftovers from each meal.
  2. Back to maintaining a robust snack bag in the car, refilling it daily, and remembering our water bottles when we leave the house. I fill our water bottles (we have these for the kids and these for the adults- in 40 oz) with water and ice before we leave in the AM and refill them as needed throughout the day in various places.
  3. In conjunction with #2, start taking surveys on receipts for deep discounts and free stuff again. I am Sonic’s text list, so when they have a daily deal that I have change in my car for, the kids and I stop for .50 ice cream cones, 1/2 price drinks (cherry limeade!). Frequently when you check out, there is a survey on the bottom of the receipt that will score you an XL (Route 44) size beverage for free! I really need to get back into stretching the buck.
  4. Check all my apps before I go shopping. I’ve been bad about this over the past few months. I’m sure I’ve missed out on Ibotta deals, Checkout 51 offers, and Cash Dash promos. No More! I’m back, baby!!
  5. Allowance. Yup, just like a teenager, I’m putting myself on an allowance, and Mr. is going to as well. I’m sticking to $40 in the summer, and $25 once we are back to school. This will just be for “fun money”. I still shop around for gas to stay within budget for gas each week. Costco is usually the cheapest.
  6. Keeping eyes open for cheap entertainment. Big Dude is in ESY (summer school) for the next few weeks, so a lot of the traditional summer things that are fun and cheap we haven’t been able to do (like Regal Summer Movies). We’ve mostly been doing fun stuff at the library, which is free, but I think we need to look beyond that. It’s starting to get too hot for park play dates!

I’d love to hear from you about how you combat the frugal slide. What do you do when you feel yourself slipping off your track?

Kids, Schedules, and Summertime!

file000981824153.jpgWe keep to a schedule at our house, even in the summer. I know summer is a time for lazy days, playing it by ear, and fun adventures, but when you have a kiddo on the autism spectrum you need a little structure in your life at all times.

Here is a copy of part of our daily summer schedule, I’ve cut off the afternoons as it contains our therapy schedule, as well as lessons/classes. Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 9.00.47 PM.png

Ok, so first of all, I know you are thinking, “Who the hell gets up at 7:30 during the summer?!?!”, well, us. My kids are usually up by 7:30am in the summer, and that’s sleeping in (ugh, 6:30am, you come too early during the school year).

I’ve included the analog clock  because the big guy is learning to tell time and it helps him visualize on the clocks in the house.

Despite the structure, there is room for creativity and flux. We have freedom in choosing breakfast, what to wear, and there is a 2-hour window of play time, where the kids can do whatever they want: free play, crafts, read a story, watch cartoons.

When my buddy was younger, we frequently went without a schedule, and honestly, I was nuts. Just wandering all day without a plan, I frequently had a headache at the end of the day, and would be dreading the next.  Now we have a loose overview of what to expect each day, and we fill in our time with free or low cost events. Check out your local library branch- they frequently have fun classes or events.

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The menu for El Cajon, CA free lunch locations. Pizza and salad twice a week!

And for some reason, kids are bottomless pits in the summer, we try to check out some of the free lunches for kids a few times a week. It helps keep our grocery budget in check, but most importantly, it exposes the kids to trying new foods, and new experiences.  I try and find out the menus ahead of time and expose the kids to 1-2 new foods per week in an environment where there are peers who already like to eat the “new food”.  When kids see peers eating something that’s new to them, often times they try it, even if they may give mom or dad some resistance. I’m not saying that peer pressure is always a bad thing.

In addition to free lunches, I try to keep our family snack bag well stocked. I tend to visit Grocery Outlet and 99 Cents Only for most of our snack needs. $25/week is my budget for lunches and snacks for the summer.

I try not to set our schedules in stone- We get invites to hang out with friends, go to events, or maybe some relatives will come out for a surprise visit (who knows). We want the kids to have fun over the summer, and I do my best to make sure they get a balance of fun times, learning, and relaxation.

I’d love to hear about what you do in the summer: Do you wing it, or have a schedule?