School’s Out… for 4-8 Weeks!

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For us, school has been canceled for the next two weeks, and then we are having our regularly scheduled 2-week spring break.

Big kids school sent home a big ol’ packet of worksheets (about 50 pages), which would be most of the work they would do in the classroom. Little kids preschool has been cancelled, so I did a quick google search for free preschool printables so she can do “homework” alongside Big Brother. But I’m not stressing too much about worksheets.

There have been a lot of schedules and ideas posted on social media.

I changed up one of the super colorful schedules going around, included stuff that we like to do, and more relevant activities, and posted it here on my google pages. You can copy it and change it as needed for you.  And I made it black and white to save your printer some ink.

There are tons of free educational activities online for kids to do. Here is a Google Doc with tons of links that has been making the rounds.

Scholastic set up a ‘Learn From Home’ website with four categories: PreK and Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6+. Each section is already equipped with one week of content for students with 15 additional days on the way.

I’m not too worried about keeping the kids busy. Big dude brought home his school iPad and has access to his math and reading stuff, plus we have craft supplies and toys to play with.

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Photo by John Cahil Rom on Pexels.com

And failing all that- Frozen 2 is on Disney+, and we’ve got Minecraft. If you don’t have Disney+, you can score Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN for a pretty low monthly price.

And sooo many bubbles. I’m not sure why, but kids love bubbles.

Don’t forget that March is National Craft Month! There are kinds of freebies and deals here.

Talk Back- What are you doing to keep yourself and your family from going stir crazy?

One Month of Disney+ Free with TopCashBack!

This is an AWESOME DEAL!!

It’s pretty easy to do this deal, just 6 steps!

How to get this freebie:
1. Visit the offerhere
2. Create your account with an email and password
3. Click on the “Get Offer” button and it’ll take you to Disney+.
4. Add “Disney+ Subscription” to your cart and shop as you would normally then checkout.
5. This is a Free Digital Confirmation offer.
6. Once you checkout, in about 14 days $12.99 will post in your TopCashback account.

Congrats on your freebie!
* New TopCashback members with no previous purchases or cash back through TopCashback only. Ends February 3rd at 23:59 PST!
How do you get it?

Visit Disney+ through TopCashback, purchase a Disney+ Subscription for $12.99 and then shop as normal. Within fourteen days $12.99 cashback will post in your TopCashback account.
Who qualifies for it?
This offer is available to TopCashback members with no previous purchases or cash back through TopCashback only. However as TopCashback doesn’t limit accounts to one per household, if you’re an existing member now’s the perfect time to tell your husband or wife, mom or dad, roommate, neighbor or anyone else about TopCashback and perhaps they’ll share their freebie with you.
When do you get your money back?

Within 14 days the $12.99 will turn payable in your TopCashback account and you can choose your payout method at that time.
Is there anything else important to know?
Transactions must contain at least one Disney+ Subscription from Disney+ priced at $12.99 to ensure $12.99 cashback is credited to TopCashback accounts. If a different item is purchased under $12.99, the cashback amount awarded will be 1% or less (depending on the item(s) purchased) instead of $12.99.
The deal is:
– open until 23:59 PST on Monday, February 3rd
– subject to Disney+’s Stock supplies and availability
– applicable for online sales only, for purchases made directly after clicking through TopCashback.com
Only one:
– TopCashback account is permitted per member

HouseParty by Ripple Street: Host a Cinderella Movie Night Party

 

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Host a Cinderella Movie Night Party

One of the most beloved Disney classics of all time, Cinderella is available on Digital & Movies Anywhere June 18, on Blu-ray June 25. To celebrate, treat your kids and their friends to a Royal Ball featuring a viewing of the movie. Have the kids dress up as princesses to watch the magical story of a strong princess who never stopped dreaming or believing in herself. A great message to share with the little princesses in your life and a story which will live in their hearts forever.

This event is only open to residents of the contiguous US.

Party Date: June 28, 2019 – June 30, 2019

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

  • Microwave popcorn
  • Princess Cups and Plates
  • And more

Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 3.49.57 PM.pngTo Apply for this party, click here.  Ripple Street/Houseparty always has a bunch of great parties you can apply for, so if Cinderella ain’t your thing, you can find something that is!

 

Earn Cashback, Gift Cards, and now DISNEYLAND TICKETS with Swagbucks!

I’ve used Swagbucks Since February 2012 and so far I’ve earned over $700. Usually I cash out for Amazon GC or Paypal cash, but recently I learned that you can save your points for Disneyland tickets! We’ve been saving up change for a Disneyland trip next year, but now I have another trick up my sleeve to score tickets!

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Are you new to Swagbucks? They’re a completely free, no strings attached site that rewards you for all of the things you’re already doing online. Search, Watching Videos, Playing Games, Taking Surveys, Shopping and more – as you do these activities, you’ll earn Swag Bucks, which are reward points that you can redeem for all sorts of gift cards in the Rewards Store.

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

You can download their toolbar or download their OS and Android apps for more opportunities to earn. Choose the activities you like or have time for – how much you earn is up to you!

I have been using the search toolbar for all of my searches and I’ve been racking up the points!

Any now you can start earning points just by sharing Swagbucks with friends! When you sign up and refer friends, you’ll earn $3.00 in points (that’s 300 points).

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

The nice thing about Swagbucks is that the more you use it, the faster you earn points!

Earn Free Concessions and tickets from Regal Crown Club!

We love to to go to the movies, but it’s expensive!

That’s why I love the Regal Crown Club! You can sign up at your local Regal Cinemas or here online.

For each dollar you spend (on tickets or concessions), you earn points that can be redeemed on concessions, tickets, or other swag.

And if you are a Disney Movie Rewards member, link your account to earn even more points on both platforms.

Check out this great deal they’ve got going right now if you check out all three new Disney movies this summer:

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  • See any ONE of these films and receive 100 Disney Movie Rewards bonus points
  • See any TWO of these films and receive 100 Disney Movie Rewards bonus points + 1,000 Crown Club credits
  • See any THREE of these films and receive 2,000 Disney Movie Rewards bonus points + 1,000 Crown Club credits + free small popcorn (loaded directly to your Crown Club card)

Disney Movie Rewards points can be redeemed for all kinds of great stuff: Disney Gift Cards, Starbucks Gift Cards, and tons of Disney dvd’s/Blue Rays, and other merchandise! You can earn points by buying Disney movies, seeing movies in theatres, and by playing various games online and taking part in various promos.

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Regal Cinemas also has a great summer movie program. Starting in Mid June and running through the summer, Regal Cinemas shows kid and family friendly movies for just $1.00 per person on Tuesday and Wednesdays!  It’s a great way to beat the heat, and spend some time with the Kiddos!

Vacations of the Cheap, Part 3: Saving Money at the Park

Today we’re going to talk about saving money inside the park.  Specifically FOOD, but also souvenirs and other goodies.

I like most of the food choices at Disneyland (OMGoodness Gibson Girl Ice Cream), but it can get a little expensive. So here is what we do: Rent a locker and bring a picnic.

I pack a soft side cooler (like this one from Thirty-One) with a few frozen water bottles, lunch meat, fruit, frozen yogurts, and a small re-usable grocery bag with bread, individual packets of condiments (you can buy them at Smart and Final), and Ziploc bags with snacks, and we put all this stuff, plus our jackets and a few other misc. things into a locker.

We like the lockers on Main Street, but if you have a larger group going with you, there are bigger lockers immediately outside of the park.  More info about Lockers, including prices, and locations can be found here. Reviews of the lockers can be found here (I love Yelp!)

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 10.23.18 PMThere are various picnic areas inside the park (there is one up by Big Thunder Mountain, and various tables and benches scattered throughout the park), as well as one right outside the main gate by the large lockers.

For snacking during the day, I pack snacks that fit in our pockets (we both usually wear cargo shorts) like bags of pretzels, hard candy in Ziploc bags, and a 16oz. or so size bottle of water that we refill at the various water fountains throughout the park.  We’ll stop back at the lockers for fruit or a larger nosh if we’re nearby and hungry.

That doesn’t mean I’ll go without my beloved Ice Cream. We usually pick one treat a day and share it. Ice cream, frozen banana on a stick, Dole Whip…. Whatever we both can agree on.

We also save money by buying our Disneyland shirts before we go on vacation. The Disney Store usually has an end of summer sale, and I can stock up of D-land shirts for 50-75% off retail prices. The mall closest to our house has a Disney Store, so we cruise in frequently (Lil’ Man is obsessed with Mickey Mouse).  Other Disney Souvenirs like sippy cups I’ll buy in advance and sneak in our bags so he doesn’t see them until we arrive. In the past, I have scored a sweet new Disney shirt for $2.00!

99 Cents Only has a great selection of Disney Branded and Licensed items like crayons, coloring books, sippy cups, sandwich boxes, and other lunch/food storage containers. I’ve been sneaking 1 or 2 items into the cart each week when Lil’ Man isn’t looking!

We also set a budget when we go on a trip and stick to it. Bring cash with us each day of the trip, and when it’s gone we’re done spending. It’s just that simple.

 

 

Vacations on the Cheap: Part 2 (The Tickets)

I am really bothered by all of the mis-information that is available online surrounding the discounts available for Disneyland passes.

So, today’s installment in the vacationing as a cheapster is going to cover discounted Disneyland tickets.

I’m going to break it down this way: first the myth, then the truth.

1- Just have your dad/mom/friend/uncle’s cousin’s brother who is/was in the military buy you tickets at the discounted ticket office on base and use those. 

Waa waa waa- That’s the sound of the saddest trombone. Our local  ITT (information tickets and travel) office at MCAS Miramar says that’s no dice. From their website: “Name of sponsor or spouse will be printed on all tickets & that person must be present all days.” So, unless your dad/mom/friend/uncle’s cousin’s brother is coming with you on your family vaca, think again.  If you are a military family, ITT is a great way to go when buying tickets.

2-I’ll just join AAA and get discounted tickets through them!  I’ll be saving big bucks in NO TIME!!!

If you are joining AAA just for the Disneyland discount, think again, my friend, you may not be saving any money. Annual membership in AAA is $48.00 plus there is a  New Member Admission Fee of $20 (for the first year only). Depending on which type of ticket (number of days and which parks) and number of tickets you are purchasing, you will save approximately $4.25-$7.75 per ticket. So if you are purchasing multiple multi-day passes OR multiple annual passes, it might be worth it.

Bottom line- If you are already a member of AAA, this is a good deal!

3-I’ll just buy a ticket from someone on Craigslist. There is always someone selling the remainder days on the their multi-day pass on Craigslist. 

Please don’t. Here is why. The pass has the sellers name on it. The nice cast members working at the gate have the right to check your ID against the pass. The names don’t match? Guess what? They’ll confiscate your ticket. This was confirmed by a friend who is a cast member after reading some horror stories I read online about this. This may NOT happen, but do you really want to chance your family vacation to save a few bucks?

So how DO you get discounted passes? Well, many unions, fraternal organizations, student unions, and businesses offer discounted passes for sale. Ask someone in the organization’s office.  You can buy legit discounted passes online from aRes Travel (I found them through Mousesavers.com).  They offer tickets to a lot of Orange County and Los Angeles  area attractions for a discount, however, they do charge a $4.00 convenience fee.  So it may only be worth it to you if you are buying multiple passes.