Winter Sports Fun with The San Diego Sockers!

EGHG5285.JPGDid you know that San Diego has a Soccer Team? We Do! The Sockers are our MASL Team! They’ve been here since 2009.

The Big Kid and I got to experience our first Socker’s game yesterday!

BOIP0331.JPGBefore the game, we got a chance the run around the field and kick the ball.  After 20 minutes, the big kid was panting and ready for a water break.

Sockers tickets start at $15, the club pays for parking! They have special rates for groups and a special military discount!

The Sockers pride themselves on being the family-friendly affordable winter sport in San Diego. Fans are welcome on the field after the game to meet the team, get autographs or a high five. The big kid and I had a great time! Soccer is a very fast-moving game, and there are lots of opportunities for audience participation, which he LOVED!!

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If you were wondering about the noise level? Not too loud, and just in case, I had his noise-blocking earphones in the car.

I would recommend a Sockers game for any family, especially those with kids on the spectrum. It’s a chance to enjoy time together, make noise, and watch a fun game.

And Pechanga Arena has a great variety of food and snacks. We had caramel apples, and frozen chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick.

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**The Sockers provided free tickets to the game- However, we were not obligated to blog or post on Social media about the event. We had such an amazing time that I had to share with y’all.

 

 

 

 

National Park Freebies!

download.jpgNational Parks are a wonderful way to get into nature and learn all about our nation’s history (both man-made history and the history of the natural world). There are 61 National Parks in the US.

The National Parks Service wants everyone to explore the outdoors, and they are offering free admission to everyone on the following dates in 2020:

  • January 20: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • April 18: First day of National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  •  September 26: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11th: Veterans Day

If you have a fourth grader, the National Parks Service wants you and the kiddos to visit the parks! For more details, click here.

 

Fun with National Day: Today is National Argyle Day!

file0001631089542.jpgI bought this calendar a few weeks ago, and it lists several non-holiday “days” each day. I thought I’d share some with you each month.

I love “National Days“- they are so much fun, and some of them are really silly. It’s a great way to get the kids out of a funk, especially when there are no holidays or fun days for a long stretch of time. It’s also a fun way to teach kids little facts. For example, Pancake Day usually coincides with the start of Lent (Shrove Tuesday) .

Today is Argyle day. We are all celebrating by wearing argyle socks. Mr. has a vast array of argyle socks. I bought him these last year.

It’s also national Bubble Bath Day! The kids will be celebrating later with a “disco bath”- that’s a bubble bath with a few glow sticks thrown in. Even the big kid can’t resist a disco bath. In addition to this bubble bath, which the kids love, the big kid is a fan of these bath bombs.

Friday the 10th is Houseplant appreciation day, I’m not sure what we’ll do to celebrate, but if I figure it out, I’ll post about it on Facebook or Instagram.

Tips to Reign In and Out Of Control Family Budget: Saving on Entertainment!

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This is one of the most divisive topics I write about. I am completely serious. Television. Specifically- cutting or lowing your cable or dish package to save money.

This is a big bone of contention for a lot of people who ask me how we live on one income. For some people, they “need their shows“ or they “have to” watch the game every week.

Cable and satellite television is expensive, and now with all of the streaming services in addition to cable, it is conceivable that a family may spend upwards of $300 a month on television. That’s JUST TELEVISION! That doesn’t include movie tickets!

Sit down and gather up the cost of each streaming service and/or cable subscription/dish subscription. Where is there overlapping entertainment?

  • Hulu Plus has a live option, which gives you access to sports, and television shows on the same day they air on cable television.
  • If you have cable that includes the Disney Channel, CBS, HBO, or Showtime, is there really a reason for you to pay for the subscription/on-demand versions of those networks?

If you feel like you are ok with changing your television viewing habits, ditching cable in favor for a few streaming options and over the air television which can be viewed with our digital antenna (which is easy to use/install) and is available for purchase for about $50-$100.

Depending on how strong the signals in your area are, you should be able to receive:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • CW
  • Fox
  • PBS (We get three PBS channels)

There are additional networks that are available in various areas of the county.  Here in So Cal, we also get:

Plus we get a few more Spanish language channels, and one Korean language channel.

Now that you’ve trimmed/cut the cord, what other entertainment do you see/attend/do? We don’t go to the movies too often, but we have a weekly date night budget of $50. I try to get it out of the bank in cash and if we are going out together, we spend it together, but if we are going out with other friends, or staying home with the kids, I give him half.  If we don’t use it one week, we roll it over to the next week!

images.jpgOne of my other main sources of Entertainment is the gym. I try and go at least 4 times per week for at least an hour.  Other places that you can trim and your family budget can include your gym membership. If you don’t require a gym that has the bells and whistles and lots of classes, you might consider changing your full-service gym to a more budget-friendly or discount gym like Crunch or Planet Fitness. Both of them have extremely reasonable rates, but they don’t offer classes or childcare usually.

If you’re looking at something that is slightly more family-friendly, I cannot recommend the YMCA enough! For our family, we pay $69 a month, and that is inclusive of childcare on-site for both children up to four hours a day (two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon as long as there is a lapse of four hours of time in between the two sessions), we can visit any YMCA location in San Diego County, and also have travel benefits if we go out of town. There are free classes for everyone in the family, on various types of exercise from family yoga to family kickboxing to open gym for the kids two-three times a week.

They have great swimming facilities for spring and summer, and the family swim is available year-round in the large pool at our local YMCA. I also like that they have trained people in the childcare/kids club area that know how to work with kids who have special needs, so I never feel like my big kid will be ignored or be feeling out of place. If you are a local and want to check out the YMCA, let me know and I’ll get you a guest pass!

In the past we had some really bad experiences with 24-Hour Fitness. We were also paying a lot of money to go to 24-Hour Fitness (upwards of $120/month Between our membership dues and the cost of the on-site childcare) and I felt like our fitness goals could not be supported because of the lack of support and education with their child care employees.

I also like that the YMCA offers discounted rates/scholarships for military families (active duty and retired), those with low-incomes, or receiving certain government benefits.

As far as kids’ entertainment, our local community library has us covered over school breaks. Between summer reading programs, spring break events, Star Wars Days, Back To School supply giveaways, and Christmas cookie decorating/Polar Express PJ parties. You would be surprised at all of the cool stuff going on at your local library!

 

Talk Back: I’d love to hear about how you save money on entertainment!

YMCA of San Diego County- Cyber Monday Deal!

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We love our local YMCA- They have great exercise classes, awesome free events for members and the community, open gym for the kids to run and play in the gymnastics area three times a week, an activity pool that is open in the spring and summer, and I could go on and on.

We go to the Y 4-6 times a week for exercise and so the kids can play and socialize- this is a HUGE help during school breaks because the kids club/child watch has great programs and play opportunities- and it’s included in the price of membership. And it’s so much more than the kid’s area at most chain gyms. The folks at child watch and kids club do crafts, lead games, read stories, and teach the kids how to play new games, and take them into the gym area to bounce on the huge trampoline!

Today Only, December 2nd- Cyber Monday, New members pay no joining fee if they join online using our special My Y Code CYBR19. Your friend will save up to $60! And if you are a member and your friend mentions your name at sign up,  you’ll get a free month of membership! If you are going to sign up, mention my name, Abby Hewes. Any way we can save money helps our families bottom line!

For our family, YMCA is definitely frugal: for $75/month, I am able to go to the gym for 2 hours a day and the kids can go to play and have fun. Any of our other local gyms can’t touch that price, and they don’t have the other programs or benefits.

The YMCA offers scholarships and reduced monthly membership fees for military families, families that receive WIC, and many other programs- don’t forget to ask about them!

And if you are the parent of a special needs kid, let me tell you that our local Y has the most wonderful, caring staff that cares for all kids. My big kid is autistic and he loves going to Kids Club to hang out and play. He also loves the monthly Kids Night at the Y.

Tea Collection $15 or Less Sale!

Tea Collection Black Friday Sales Event starts today (Monday 11/25/19).

Tea Collection clothes are so cute and unique- I love that they gather their inspiration from cultures all over the world! And they are so well made!

They have more styles than ever all for just $15 or less! This is the one you have been waiting for, their biggest sale of the year!

Fine print:
Black Friday Event applies to select styles only. Offer ends on 11/30/2019 at 11:59pm PST. Limited to stock on hand. Restrictions apply

School Fundraising with Mabels Labels!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

School fundraising season is upon us: Candles, wrapping paper, butter braids, popcorn, huge tubs of cookie dough (Ok, so I love cookie dough, but no one needs a huge tub of it). For the most part, the quality of the items is not worth the price.

I recently discovered that Mabels Labels offers fundraising opportunities!

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The best part is the school will receive a 20% commission from every order placed!

Mabels Labels takes care of everything! Nothing for volunteers to sort and distribute- everything is ordered online through a special link and shipped directly to those purchasing.

And an even better benefit- Once the labels are in use, the lost and found will be cut down! I don’t know about your kids school, but our lost and found is bursting by Winter Break!

I forwarded this info over to our PTSA peeps as soon as I found out about it.

Both of my kids have an Ultimate Back-to-School Combo Pack with their names for all of their school stuff. I put the labels inside their lunch boxes, backpacks (I never put their names on their stuff where strangers can see it), as well as shoes, hats, and jackets. With over 100 designs to choose from, there is bound to be something your littles will love.