6 Tips for Getting Ready for Back to School!

back-to-school.jpgIt’s coming… For some of us, back to school is NEXT WEEK! For others it’s later in August, and some lucky folks, have until Labor Day in September. Regardless of when your kids go back, it’s nice to be prepared and save money.

 

Here are a few ideas to help you prepare and stay on budget!

Packing an Awesome School Lunch.

Shop Online to Save Big-  I love shopping online, especially at JCPenney and Kohls. Lots of great deals to be had, coupons, and ship to store to save even more!

There is a backpack and school supply giveaway in Santee on August 19th. More info here.  If you need school supplies sooner, Assemblywoman Dr. Shirley Weber is sponsoring a Back to School Kick off and Community Health Fair on 8/11/18.

If you are worried about being able to provide a nutritious, healthy lunch for your kiddos, The San Diego Food Bank sponsors Neighborhood Distributions throughout the month all over the county. You can go and get free, fresh produce- usually between 10-30 lbs. per family.  No proof of need- Just grab your reusable shopping bags and go!

a72904da152a0795ba05aaecba3a28bc.jpgAdjusting back to the school-year schedule can be a little tough- That’s why we start to get the kids back to bed at their regular time starting the beginning of August. For our kiddos, keeping them busy and active all day, really helps. Trips to the playground, beach, zoo, and pool really help.

We’ll be hitting up the night time zoo this week!

And one last back to school tip: Let your kids play and hang out with friends as much as possible before they go back, especially if they aren’t able to see some of their friends at school. We’re hosting a K’Nex Play Time Party with Tryazon this Wednesday at Shadow Hill Park in Santee! If you and your gang will be in the area, please stop by! There will bea chance to win prizes, yummy snacks, and cool toys!

 

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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?

New Month, New Coupons!

I’m a day late, I totally forgot it was the beginning of the month!

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 $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX Reese’s Puffs cereal
The kids love this cereal, esp. straight from the box.
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO any flavor/variety LÄRABAR™ bars

There aren’t too many new coupons this month, sadly, however, if you check out the Smartphone apps link above, you’ll find that there are plenty of ways to save and earn money. I recently cashed out $20 on Ibotta and $25 on Dosh!

New Printable Coupons & The Future of Coupons.

file701263430392 (1).jpgI didn’t post on the first about all of the new coupons, because there were less than 30 new printable coupons. And honestly, most of them were low value- and lame!

Kind of a bummer, right? I’ve been reading a lot about the future of printables and insert coupons (like the ones that come in the Sunday paper), and it looks like a lot of retailers and manufacturers are opting to do the click to load coupons on store cards- It’s cheaper for manufacturers, since you can only redeem one offer per card, and that makes stores happy, because there are less shelf clearing. It’s a bummer for those of us who like to stock up when there is a good sale paired with a coupon.

But fret not, there are still ways to save!

6 Ways to Save Without Coupons 

My Favorite Smartphone Apps to Save Money

And while there aren’t many printable coupons available right now, here is my list of printable coupon sites that I like:

Coupons.com
SmartSource
RedPlum
Hopster

 

Friday Freebies!

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It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for some freebies! Now that school is back in session and we’re all healthy- I’ll be posting more often!

Here is a fairly extensive list of Freebies. There are all kinds of goodies. This is a nationwide list, so some of the stores are not in our area. Here are just a few of my favorite freebies:

What is your favorite freebie?

Why I Love… Denny’s

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I’m serious. Stop laughing! I love Denny’s. Here is why: When you have a kid on the spectrum, a lot of stuff is about textures, sounds… the “feels”, if you will. And almost every Denny’s looks the same. The menu is the same, the food tastes the same.  So, no matter where we go, he can have something to eat he likes in a place that is familiar.

And honestly, as far as diner food goes, it’s pretty good. They have heathy choices, they have junk food, and I can get a plate of scrambled eggs and chocolate shake at 2am if I need it.

Other reasons that Denny’s is the bee’s knees:

  • They have coupons. Sign up for their rewards club here, and they’ll email you coupons frequently. They also publish coupons in the Sunday paper, and sometimes in the junk mail too- just keep your eyes peeled.
  • When you are a rewards member, you’ll get a free build your own Grand Slam on your Birthday. SWEEET! That is Henry’s favorite birthday freebie- He knows that I’ll share it with him.
  • They participate in Dosh. We get 5% back when we eat there, can I can combine that with the coupons mentioned above.
  • The four of us can have a meal there for less than $25.00 (before coupon and Dosh cash back). Frequently there are leftovers too. Can’t beat that.
  • The do have Kid’s Eat Free twice a week, but my kiddos are pretty big eaters, and I find it easier (and cheaper) to order them something from the “grown up menu”. Right now, they are obsessed with sharing the Everyday Value Slam. Henry eats the pancakes (with butter), and Bitty eats the eggs and sausage. breakfast for 2 kids for just $4…. uh, ok. And I don’t have to wash the dishes!
  • We frequent the same 3 or 4 locations and the waitresses know the kids. They are always so sweet.

This week, I am professing my love for Denny’s. What do you love this week?