Mabel’s Labels Birthday Month- 40% off!

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

This month, Mabel’s Labels is celebrating their birthday with new deals each week! 40% off a different bestselling product each week!

I live for their sales! it’s a great chance to stock up in labels- I have at least one set per family member (grown-ups included!)

March 1-March 7 Offer: 40% off Small Rectangle Labels

Small Rectangle Labels are waterproof custom name labels that are perfect for identifying even the smallest school supplies, toys, toiletries and much more. With these tiny peel-and-stick labels, you can be sure to easily identify any size of item. They’re custom, durable and totally adorable!

Includes 80 labels.

I ordered a new pack for the littlest kiddo- She’s starting Kinder in the fall and everything has to be labeled!

Olive Garden Leap Day Deal: $2.29 Take Home Entrée!

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Olive Garden is celebrating Leap Year today! Today only,  2/29/2020 for a favorite and leave with another for just $2.29.

Choose from three classic entrée options—Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Fettuccine Alfredo or Five Cheese Ziti al Forno.

Plus, for a limited time, upgrade to our Spaghetti with Meat Sauce & Meatballs for just $1 more!

And if you are one of those lucky ducks with a birthday on 2/29/2020, there is a special dessert at Olive Garden too!

2/3/2020 Weekly Meal Plan!

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgToday is my birthday, we will be redeeming a lot of my birthday freebies with this week. Little Girl and I will be enjoying a free lunch many times, as we can still share an entree.

My shopping week for this week was small:

  • Cheese
  • Avocados (Always on the shopping list)
  • Milk
  • Fresh Rolls (The local Food4Less makes incredible rolls and at .25/each, they are a tasty bargain)

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: You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian (well, the big kid is, but the rest of us aren’t), but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

Breakfast: I’ve gone back to a protein shake or coffee with a scoop of protein powder and a few pumps of Sugar Free Syrup for me, and pancakes or something along those lines (Dave’s Killer Bagels are also a popular request for breakfast) 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.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch. Usually on pizza day.

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For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the freezer, as I’ve been portioning out 2-3 adult-sized entree portions from several meals a week and freezing them for later meals.

  • Monday: Birthday Dinner (Not quite sure what this will entail)
  • Tuesday: Vegetable Soup- We’ve got a lot of little bits of veggies in the freezer and fridge- Time for soup!
  • Wednesday: Frozen Entrees
  • Thursday: Roasted Chicken and Veg
  • Friday:   Veggie Stir Fry & Brown Rice (We didn’t end up having this last week)
  • Saturday: Pizza
  • Sunday:  Leftover fiesta!

 

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

Are you ready for National Fish Taco Day?

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January 24th and 25th you can score a Coastal Trio for just $6 at Rubio’s!  in honor of National Fish Taco Day! I know a lot of you love fish tacos, so I had to share! The Coastal Trio includes Fish Taco, Salmon Taco, and a Shrimp Taco!

If you are wondering about Rubio’s Birthday Freebie and why it wasn’t included in my recent round-up, they have changed their birthday freebie, and I haven’t yet downloaded the app, so I’m not sure what it is.

Unless you have Rubio’s Rewards App, you are not able to receive the birthday freebie.

 

Talk Back: Are you excited for 

2020 Big Ol’ List of Birthday Freebies!

This is a brand new list for 2020. I’ve gone through and verified that all of these are still valid!

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I’ve been sharing birthday freebies since 2007! As I live in Southern CA, all of these freebies are specifically for those of us in that area. There are tons of other birthday freebie lists, but they may include offers that are not available here or may include stuff that I don’t consider worth it (like a free Rice Krispy treat when you buy an entree that’s $10+… That’s a hard pass from me, or the Aveda “freebie”- pay $10 and receive a product valued at $23+… No thanks).

I recommend signing up for these freebies at least a month before your birthday, so there is enough time for you to be added to their list. I have included only the freebies that I have signed up for and personally received, so there is no bunk.

 

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Non-food Goodies:

  • Free goodies at Sephora (It changes every year)
  • JCPenney Rewards: Birthday Reward (It’s usually $5, but it can change)
  • $3.00 ECB at CVS when you register online for the CVS ExtraCare Beauty Club
  • Best Buy– $5.00 off Coupon for those in the My Best Buy Program.
  • DSW Shoe Warehouse – $5 off birthday coupon, plus 500 points for signing up for their loyalty club.
  • Members of the Cost Plus World Market Explorers program get a surprise birthday gift, among other perks; you will also get a 10% off coupon upon enrollment.
  • As a member of Swagbucks, you’ll get 50 Swagbucks on your birthday.
  • Torrid– Members of the DivaStyle Club will receive $10 off their next purchase of $10+
  • bareMinerals (cosmetics)- The birthday freebie changes each year. Last year it was lip gloss, this year it’s eye shadow!
  • Old Navy: Sign up for their email list and they’ll send you a $5.00 off coupon to use in store.  You can also sign your kids up too! Scroll all the way to the “Sign up and Save” box at the bottom of the page.
  • Ace Rewards members score a $5.00 coupon for their Birthday (Ace Hardware)
  • ClearWater Cleaners (dry cleaners)
  • Aqua Clean Carwash
  • Free brow wax at the Benefit Brow Bar. It’s back. More info can be found on their FAQ page.
  • Dave & Buster’s: $10 in free game play for those in the D&B Rewards Club.
  • This is a BOGO, but I know a few people who have done this and they said it was fun- Free Trip to Catalina Island! Free round-trip travel for two with the purchase of one full fare Adult ticket on your birthday
  • My Aunt told me about this one! Join Passport to Provence to score a FREE birthday gift from L’Occitane en Provence. Also, you can score $20 off your first purchase at L’Occitane here!
  • Join the Sally’s Rewards Club and score a $5 coupon on your birthday, as well as tons of other super sweet perks!

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Free Food Noms:

  • Red Robin:  FREE burger on your birthday and all the latest Red Robin news.
  • Rubio’s   Free plate/combo
  • Del Taco  Free Shake (You also get something free when you sign up!)
  • Starbucks – register a free Starbucks Card and get a free birthday handcrafted beverage of your choice (as well as other goodies throughout the year).
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – Free single scoop.
  • Sonic Drive-in: Free Medium beverage (OMG- Cherry Limeade FTW!)
  • Denny’s: Free Grand Slam for your Birthday. They also email out other freebies and coupons.
  • IHOP: Free Meal (It varies by year) on your birthday.
  • Arby’s Birthday Club: Offers a “surprise” it changes each year.
  • Dunkin Donuts Birthday Club will kick down with a free coffee.
  • Bj’s Brewhouse Rewards members receive a free Pizookie for their birthday.
  • Jersey Mike’s: Free Sub for your Birthday! (No matter what you read online, there is no Subway or Submarina birthday Freebies- Those deals are DEAD)
  • Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: When you sign up for a Smile-age Account, you’ll score a free Fro Yo for your B-day!  (I love Menchie’s!)
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes: Join their email list and receive a FREE Bundlet on your Birthday. (look for the link at the bottom of their website)
  • Sbarro Rewards Club: Free piece of pizza for your birthday when you purchase a drink. You’ll also get a coupon for a free slice when you sign up.
  • Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt: Free Frozen Yogurt on your birthday.
  • Sprinkles: Get a free cupcake for your birthday when you join the Sprinkles birthday club.
  • Pita Pit: Free Pita for your birthday when you join the Pita Pit E-Club!
  • Bruegger’s Bagels gives you three free bagels for your birthday. SCORE! Our family eats tons of bagels, so this is a sweet deal.
  • I Birthday Club. They have offers in San Diego, Orange, LA, San Bernadino, Riverside, and Santa Clara Counties.
  • D Z Akins
  • Mary’s Donuts East County peeps know what I’m talking about! Free drink and TWO Donuts!
  • Habit Burger Grill’s CharClub Score a free Charburger on your birthday.
  • Panera– Sign up for MyPanera and get a free pastry or sweet on your birthday.
  • El Pollo Loco: Sign up for Loco Rewards to get a FREE birthday meal (2pc Chicken Meal or Classic Chicken Tostada Salad.)!
  • Food, but not a restaurant offer. Like Yogurt? Join the noosa Yoghurt fan club, Cream of the Crop, and they will mail you a coupon for free yogurt for your birthday!

Some of the offers that I have been told about but no longer exist include free tokens for the b-day kid at Chuck E. Cheese, free cheeseburger at Fuddruckers (now it’s a BOGO), Free cake at Corner Bakery Cafe (It’s a free dessert WYB an entree). Another deal that everyone and their mama go nuts about is Benihana Japanese Restaurant – complimentary meal up to $30 when you purchase an Adult meal at Regular Price (You must sign up for The Chef’s Table club) . This used to be a FREE meal, no strings attached, but it has changed to basically a BOGO. That’s a no go for me, but it may still get you excited.

I have not included Ulta in my list because you have to make a purchase the year previous (and it needs to be a certain amount- I’ve been told different amounts by various Ulta Employees anywhere from $5-$50), so for me, that’s not a freebie. If I have to buy something to receive something, that’s a BOGO deal.

Talk Back: What is your favorite birthday freebie?

Save with Target Circle!

Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 10.04.12 PM.pngTarget is at it again! First Target RedCard (learn about it here as well as my other tips for saving at Target), and now Target Circle!

How it works: When you check in with Target Circle™ and pay with RedCard™, you’ll earn one vote to help direct where Target gives for every eligible purchase and continue to save 5% right away. Plus, you’ll redeem your saved offers if you check-in before your purchase.

Not using your RedCard? When you check in with Target Circle™ you’ll earn 1% to redeem at Target later instead of saving 5% right away.

It works online and the Target App too!

In addition to saving, you’ll earn a birthday surprise, and special deals and offers tailored to you and your previous purchases. All the details can be found here.

House Party by Ripple Street: Host a Scooby-Doo Birthday Party!

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 4.13.02 PMAs I type this, I am eating Scooby Snacks. I love these things.

Host a Scooby-Doo™ Birthday Party

Gather your gang and throw your own Scooby-Doo™ themed party celebrating 50 years of spooky, mysterious fun—complete with a special screening of Scooby Doo! Return to Zombie Island!

This event is only open to residents of the US.

If you’re selected and confirmed as a host, your exclusive Party Pack will contain:

  • Scooby-Doo themed party supplies from Party City
  • An exclusive Scooby-Doo Funko Pop! Flocked Vinyl Figure from BoxLunch
  • Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island DVD
  • KEEBLER® Scooby-Doo! Graham Cracker Sticks
  • And so much more!

SCOOBY-DOO and all related characters and elements © & ™ Hanna-Barbera. (s19)

To learn more or apply or this party, click here

 

Legoland California Turns 20!

We’ll be visiting Legoland California during spring break. The kids are so excited to check out all of the new shows celebrating the 20th birthday!

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If you are headed to the park soon, you will be greeted with all kinds of fun!

In honor of the special birthday, LEGOLAND California is handing out free child-size Minifigure hands to the first 1,000 kids entering the Park. The LEGO birthday cake, created out of more than 100,000 LEGO bricks, will also be on display showcasing the many attractions that have been added to the family theme park since it opened 20 years ago including a LEGO submarine, representing the Park’s newest ride, LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure submarine ride.

The birthday kicks off a year-long celebration that includes a new interactive Birthday Dance Party, LEGO Friends birthday show, exclusive birthday desserts, pop badges and more. The new shows can be seen daily now through Sept. 1 and are filled with singing, dancing and characters for all families to enjoy.

Plus, LEGOLAND California is paying the birthday fun forward to its younger guests – all children ages 12 and under get free admission on their birthday all year long! And for grown ups, there is a great deal on Groupon right now! One-Day Admission or Two-Day Resort Hopper Admission to LEGOLAND California Resort (Up to 31% Off)

And starting next month there will be a new 4-D Movie, based on the popular Lego City cartoons! You can check out a preview here.

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If you are looking to do Legoland on a budget, check out my post here.

Do you have someone in your party that has a handicap? Check out my post about the Assisted Access Pass and how we do Legoland with our kiddo with ASD.

1/28/19 Meal Plan Monday

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Mr. husband is on the second week of his cleanse.Much like last week,  the kids and I will will be eating some similar foods, it’s hard to convince the kids to eat kale and steamed salmon night after night.

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.

You may notice a lot of plant based meals- We are not vegetarian, but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

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

Breakfast: Protein shakes for grown ups, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. We have plenty of protein shake fixins’- I buy the over ripe bananas, peel and slice them pop them into ziploc bags, and freeze them for smoothies and protein shakes. 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.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or a protein shake for me and the Mister, and The Big Kid has a specially packed lunch of whatever he’s into at the time (which changes frequently). Bitty Bird eats whatever I’ll feed her.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked.

This week is going to be a little different tan usual. With Mr. on the cleanse, we’ll be eating a lot of whole foods/vegetables raw, and an old family friend steel cut oats will be coming to breakfast.

  • Monday: Leftover Pizza, fruit salad
  • Tuesday: Vegetarian crockpot chili
  • Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner- Blueberry pancakes (Kodiak flap jacks), fruit salad. Blueberries are on sale this week at Sprouts for .88, so we are eating a lot of them!
  • Thursday: Homemade red sauce, spiralized crockneck squash, Italian marinated chicken breasts
  • Friday:  Date Night (dinner out, but I’m not sure where)
  • Saturday: Salad bar night: mixed greens, kale, and whatever types of veggie bits I pull out, various nuts, and dressings. The kids love cheese on their salads too.
  • Sunday: Ladies night out since it’s my birthday. Probably use one of my million free birthday meal offers.

 

Talk Back: What will you be cooking this week?

4 Free Things That Aren’t Worth It…

file3211250724024.jpgI’ve been meaning to write this article for a while, and while we were on our way to meet friends for lunch and playtime, we drove past Little Caesar’s, which was giving away free pizza and sodas today from 11am-1pm.  The line was down the sidewalk and around the corner. There were probably 100 people in line.

Like many of you, I subscribe to several money saving magazines, blogs and newsfeeds. Every one of them has at least once every few months an *exciting* article on “Free Stuff” and how you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Some of these freebies, well, are not useful, or actually free.  Before you say, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, I am of the belief that when writers offer advice, it should be tested, useful and one shouldn’t have to go out of their way to obtain a free item or service.  If I have to drive for 2 hours for a free sample or service, it is no longer free (especially with gas at $3.53/gallon in my neighborhood!), or if I have to wait in line for 3 hours for something that’s valued at less than $30, it’s not worth it. Yeah, my time is worth $15/hour, especially if I have to leave the kids with a sitter (which costs about $15/hour most of the time).

Here are a few suggestions that I see time and again that are not really “free”.

  1. Free WiFi: Awesome.  Free internet is great. But if I have to leave home and go to bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants and libraries, any time I want to surf the net, that’s not free.  I have to spend money on gas and potentially have to buy something (in the case of coffee shops and restaurants).  That also means any time I want to surf the net, I have to leave my house.   My suggestion- Shop around for the best deal on internet service and/or plan errands or trips out of the house where your can access free Wi-Fi along the way. 
  2. Unlimited texts from your PC: I love to text.  Its great to shoot off a quick reminder or check in with someone when you are on the go. One magazine I read suggested, “Sign up for a free email account with google or AOL and as long as you have access to a computer, you can text any mobile number (and receive texts) through your account for free.” But… When I’m not home (or at a computer), I can’t do that.  Most of the time when I text, I’m not at home, and that is the same for many adults. So, this may not be a super freebie for everyone. My suggestion: look into inexpensive cell carriers or an unlimited texting package that you can afford.  Or- don’t text!
  3. Makeup Application: Now at day spas, most do offer complimentary makeup application after a spa service ($$), however, at department stores, the idea behind the makeup application is that you will buy one of the products that are used on you. Not buying anything is.. well, crappy.   Also,, VERY IMPORTANT: People stick their dirty fingers in the makeup testers that are used to do those free makeup applications.  People also put the lipstick on their mouths, and mascara on their eyelashes with the tester wand instead of using the disposable applicators. People have cooties, and pink eye and herpes. EWW.
  4. Godiva Chocolate Rewards Club.   The local Godiva shop doesn’t participate, so I spent 15 minutes signing up and validating my email for no reason.  However, I can just walk into my local See’s candy shop and get a free piece of candy (and my kids each get a free piece too- Godiva only gives candy to grown-ups).  No club, no sign ups and the kiddos get a sweet treat too! Now I did include the link in case you want to check it out and see if your local shop participates.

 

Remember- just because something is free, doesn’t mean  that you have to go out of your way to obtain it.  There are a lot of freebies that I signed up for, but later wasn’t able to redeem them, so in the end, I could of spent that time with my family or friends, instead of chasing down a freebie.  Ya’ll know I love a good birthday freebie (see my posts herehere, and here).

Talk Back: What are your favorite freebies?