Freebie time!

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There are a bunch of really great free offer for samples or other goodies and free events coming up!

Freebies:

Free Sample of EAS Hydration & Recovery
Free Gel Facial Cleanser Product
Free Just Add Herb Blends
Free Coke Zero Sugar at 7-Eleven
Free Subscription to Hola! USA Magazine
Free Subscription to Redbook Magazine
Free Baby Delight Bottle, Sippy Cup, Brush Set & More
Free Tub of Better Bean Co. Beans
New PINCHme Free Samples on Tuesday
Free Idahoan Potato Soup at Kroger & Affiliates

Free Events:

Free Glow-In-The-Dark Slime MAKEbreak Event at Michaels
Free L.O.L. Surprise! & Num Noms Event at Toys R Us
Free Petsmart Halloween Spooktacular Event

 

If you are in the San Diego, CA area and you have a fun, free event coming up, please leave a comment!

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FAQ: The Coupon Class Edition

Interested in having me teach couponing to you and your crew (or posse or book club, moms group MOPS Group, HOA, whatever), but have some questions.. Here are a few questions I get a lot.

FAQ1: Why do you have a minimum of 6 people for your class?

On various pages on this website where I talk about my classes, it states a minimum of 6 confirmed RSVP’s for the class to be $20/person. The reason is: I pay for the handouts and prizes at each class, and I also have to pay for the gas to and from the class, and I have to pay my babysitter $10/hr.  I love teaching and sharing my knowledge, but my family can’t afford for me to drive all over San Diego County and with smaller classes of 6 or less, after expenses, I make less than minimum wage per hour!   Brass tacks: Teaching coupon classes is my job. No one should be expected to do their job for free.

FAQ2: If I don’t have 6 people, how much does it cost?

$20 per person (cash only). If the class is for a small group of military families, I offer a discount of $5 per person, however, I will check everyone for a military ID card (dependents can be of active duty or retired military). FAQ3: Which newspaper do you sell?

NONE! When the San Diego UT was sold, the new owners stopped offering discount subscriptions.

FAQ3: $20 seems like a lot.  What do I really learn anyway?

In 90 minutes, you’ll learn a great deal. Where to get coupons, how to use them effectively to save the most money. We’ll talk about coupon policies, stores that accept coupons, using the internet to help you save even more. We’ll talk about stockpiling an appropriate amount (you won’t end up with a room full of TP) for your family. I set aside 20 minutes for Q&A too, so all of your burning couponing questions will get answered. You’ll also receive handouts and have the chance to win a prize

FAQ4: I don’t have 8 friends, and I don’t want to pay for a class.  Will you teach me for free?

Sure. I already have.  Utilize the search feature on the main page of the website. This isn’t the same as having me live in front of you answering all of your questions, but it will give you a good foundation.

FAQ5: I’ve already started couponing, so I don’t need a basic class.  Do you teach Advanced Couponing?

I do!  The class fee is $20 per person- no discounts are available for this class.We talk about shopping the drugstores and playing the “Drugstore Game” you’ve probably read about online.  We’ll get into some more advanced money saving techniques like price matching, rebating, and programs inlinethat will help you save and earn gift cards and cash.

FAQ7: I live in The Inland Empire, LA, OC, Imperial County… Can you come out to me?

Sorry- Gas is too expensive for me to travel outside San Diego County. I do know coupon mentors in some of those areas.  Shoot me an email at CaCouponDiva@gmail.com and I can hook you up with some great teachers!

FAQ8: My friends and I have a weird schedule.  Can you teach a class on weekdays?

Yup!  I have availablity on weekdays, evenings, and weekends. Just ask!

If you have any questions, or would like to book a class, please email me at CaCouponDiva@gmail.com.

Coupon Classes & Private Tutoring

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I’ve gotten some emails and PM’s via Facebook and IG recently about coupon classes, so I thought I’d open it back up again.

Couponing 101: Classes are 90 minutes in length. You’ll learn: Where to get coupons, how to use them effectively to save the most money. We’ll talk about coupon policies, stores that accept coupons, using the internet to help you save even more. We’ll talk about stockpiling an appropriate amount (you won’t end up with a room full of TP) for your family. I set aside 20 minutes for Q&A too, so all of your burning couponing questions will get answered. You’ll also receive handouts, coupon wallets, and have the chance to win a prize!

Couponing 101 Pricing is as follows: 

  • 6-8 attendees: $20/person (I do not teach for groups smaller than 6)
  • 9+ attendees: $15.00/person
  • Military discounts are available for the Couponing 101 class.

If you are not new to couponing and are interested in more advanced strategies, including the “Drug Store Game”, I teach an Advanced Couponing class.

Advanced Couponing Pricing is as follows:

  • $20/person, regardless of class size.
  • No discounts available for this class.

To book a coupon class, a deposit of $100.00 is required to be paid by the host.  The deposit will be returned to the host (minus their class fee) after the class has been completed. The deposit will not be returned if the party is canceled by the host for any reason. The deposit will also be retained if there are not at least 8 attendees at the class.

I accept Paypal, and money orders.

If you do not want to learn in a group setting, I offer private tutoring.

Private tutoring: $100.00 for an up to 4 hour one-on-one session, includes all of the information taught in the group couponing classes, plus how to play the “drug store game”, extensive Q&A time, access to my coupon stash, help setting up your coupon storage/filing system, organizing your coupons.

Please be aware that my schedule fills quickly. I only teach in the San Diego, CA area.  To learn more or to schedule a class, please email me at CaCoupondiva@gmail.com.

Currently, I do not have any open/drop in classes planned for the near future, nor do I plan to have any.

I’ll be posting a FAQ in a few minutes that should answer just a few questions, but feel free to email me or leave a comment. 

Healthy, Frozen Fruit Pops!

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It’s summer and my kids would eat popsicles 24/7 if I let them. Most commercial popsicles (or as they are sometimes called, frozen dessert confections) are full of sugar and artificial ick. A few months ago my dad bought me a package of Zipzicles on Amazon. Zipzicles are long, skinny zip top freezer bags that can be filled with whatever you’d like and frozen. Think DIY Otter Pops.

What I really like is that you can be creative, use what you have on hand, and create healthy and fun treats with your kids.

Here are two recipes that the kids and I came up with. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this pictures recently.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 7.46.47 AMMixed Berry Pops

Makes about 12 pops

  • 2 cups mixed berries (use whatever you have, I used 1.5 cups of strawberries and 1/2 cup blackberries)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 t. honey

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Use a small funnel to fill the zipzicle pouches. Place all Zipzicle pouches into a cup or larger zip top bag and place in freezer. Ready to serve in approx 4-6 hours, or as soon as frozen solid.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 7.46.35 AMTropical Pops

Makes about 20

2c frozen bananas
2c frozen Strawberries
1 pkg frozen mangoes
2c Orange Juice
Blend together, pour into Zipzicle pouches ( I use a funnel). Store in freezer until it’s time to consume.

They are so good, and no extra sugar is needed, because the bananas are so sweet.

Next, I think we’ll be making Bachelor Mousse treats. I think it will freeze well, and everyone loves fudgsicles!

For your convenance, Zipzicles can be purchased here (affiliate link), but you can also find them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

What would you put into your Zipzicles?

Summer Lunch Resources for Kids in San Diego!

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School is out (for most of us, the rest will be getting out next week), 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 school, rec centers, and civic organizations to provide free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for al kids 18 and under this summer.  For those of us in East County, here is a list of locations!

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Those of us in the greater San Diego Area, there are a lot of great options all over town!

There is a kick off BBQ at Skyline Hills Park 6/21/17 10:30am-2:00pm! Parents eat free at this BBQ and there are all kinds of activities!

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 12.53.16 PMLindo Lake in Lakeside is hosting a summer BBQ that’s free for kids, and only $4.00 for parents on August 15th! The best part is that each family leaves with 6 lbs. of fresh produce thanks to Feeding America! If the two lists above aren’t in your area, you can also turn to the USDA Find Summer Meals map here.

 

All of these programs are free and there is no proof of need and you do not have to sign up in advance. Just show up and hte kids get a tasty meal!

 

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!

 

 

Summertime Plans on a Budget!

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School is out for us on Tuesday. That means I’ve got 67 days to fill with adventures and “excitement” as my 6 year put it. No pressure, right?

Here are just a few things we’ll be doing to have lots of fun, but not spend a ton of money.

  • Taking advantage of free community events! Our local libraries have tons of fun events during the month.  Lego Club, craft afternoons, story time for pre-schoolers, and our local library has a great slate of summer events, including a summer reading program!
  • Using passes and memberships that we’ve already paid for. For us, that’s the San Diego Zoo and the YMCA. I plan on taking full advantage of the YMCA membership daily to get the kids out of the house and playing with others, as well as swimming at the activity pool.
  • Packing snacks and drinks when we leave the house. Henry’s pre-school backpack has become our go to snack backpack. I wrote about our family snack backpack yesterday.
  • Meeting up with friends at the park to play. We love playing at the park. It’s a great way to get out the wiggles, meet new friends, and catch up with old friends. There are tons of groups on Meetup.com or Facebook. If you haven’t checked out Momco on Facebook, it’s a great way to find moms looking to meet up and play!
  • I love to arrange craft or science get togethers. The kids get to make something or try a science project and play with friends. I’m not really into Pinterest all that much, but I do have a Pinterest Board with some of the science and crafts we want to do this summer.  I try to use the supplies we have on hand. I find that a lot of the supplies can be picked up at 99 Cents Only, or cheaply at Target.
  • We’ll also be painting a lot of rocks and hiding them all over this summer. Have you heard of Santee Rocks? Both kids love it and it’s a great way to get kids out and active!  It’s an awesome Facebook Group. Learn more here.
  • 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.
  • Don’t forget the $1.00 kids movies at Regal Cinemas!
  • Here are a few of my other tips for a fun, frugal San Diego Summer.

Mom’s Money Summer Saving Tip #1: Keep them Fed!

file0002134801752.jpgIt seems like the second we pull out of the garage, two little voices announce in chorus, “I’m Hungry!!!” It’s not like they go without meals, like some sort of Dickens era soot faced moppet… But there is something about leaving the house that makes kids hungry. Especially when you are out and about during the summer.

To combat the chorus, we have a small backpack (Henry’s Pre-school Cars backpack) that is full of shelf stable snacks and drinks. While we are out having adventures, if the chorus starts up, I can pull out the backpack and soon everyone is happy.

Here are a few of our family’s favorite snacks and other stuff I keep in our snack bag (Amazon affiliate links for some items that you may have never seen):

  1. Re-usable water bottles (I fill them daily). Each child has their own, and I have a larger one. I put lots of ice in mine in addition to water. I also carry extra water in my truck at all times (in case of emergency, but frequently the emergency is just hot, thirsty kiddos).
  2. Powdered drink sticks. Dollar Tree and 99 Cents Only has lots of great flavors to chose from.
  3. Freeze dried Fruit. Bitty Bird likes strawberries, Henry and I love pineapple.
  4. Protein bars, granola bars, goldfish crackers, Beanies (they are for toddlers, but, both kids love them), fruit squeezy pouches, Yogurt squeezy pouches, applesauce cups, individual cups of peanut butter, crackers to go with the PB (usually Ritz), individual cups of water packed fruit and veggies, Pirates Booty, home made trail mix, ziploc bags of cereal, and depending on what is on sale, juice boxes/pouches or sometimes shelf stable milk boxes/pouches.
  5. In a zipper pouch (this one), I keep hand wipes, plastic utensils, straws, and napkins.  I also carry a ziploc bag with extra ziplocs in it, and a few small trash bags.

While the initial outlay of money to buy a backpack and stock of food to keep in the car snack bag and water bottles way be steep (it was about $65 for us), you will save that much money in just a few weeks in the summer. You’ll be able to avoid drive-thru lines, and you can better control what your family is eating.

file0001779824833.jpgWhen we are going to be gone all day, I also pack a small soft sized cooler bag with blue ice and cold treats like frozen tubes of yogurt, berries, cheese, and cold cuts. I like using re-usable plastic containers, instead of zip top bags. They are usually better for keeping food cold and for squishable items like berries in good condition. These are all the same things that we eat for lunch during the school year, so our food budget in the summer does not increase.

Besides keeping your budget in check, there is another upside to having kids that eat regularly (even on the go): Behavior changes, like tantrums, can occur when kids blood sugar dips or they are hungry. Henry frequently doesn’t realize that he’s hungry until he’s OMGOSH SO HUNGRY that he’s Hangry. I offer him snacks every few hours in the summer, as we are so frequently on the go out with friends or at events in the summer during lunch time.

The main reason I use a backpack instead of a box is that I can quickly grab the bag out of the car and toss it into the basket of the stroller when we hit up the zoo, YMCA for swimming, or the park.

I’d love to hear what kind of snacks you take on the go for your summer adventures!