Chipotle Reading Rewards: Rewarding the Little Readers in Your Life!

Disclosure: I received a free meal for four as compensation for writing this post, but honestly, reading/literacy is super important to me and the fam….

Chipotle is passionate about more than just perfectly rolled burritos, it is also committed to cultivating nourished minds and communities, and one of the best ways to do that is through Chipotle Reading Rewards – the annual program that rewards book smarts with delicious food crafted from real, whole ingredients.

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Now through Feb. 28, Chipotle is accepting educators’ and librarians’ applications for its Reading Rewards program, which can be added to an existing reading program, or Chipotle can provide schools with turnkey resources to kickstart their own.

The program is designed to help students develop a love of reading by rewarding them with free Chipotle when they reach their reading goals.

One of the reasons I love Chipotle as a family dining choice is there is someone for everyone, even the big kid, who is super picky (he has texture/sensory issues as part of his ASD). Chipotle is committed to making real food from wholesome ingredients without any added colors, flavors or additives. Chipotle has always prepared and used real ingredients that everyone can both recognize and pronounce.

The big kid likes that his food is made in front of him and he is in control of what gets added (no meat- he is a recently self declared vegetarian). I like that there are a lot of good options- freshly chopped veggies, salsas and guac made in the restaurant.

Chipotle’s craveable food is freshly prepared by hand each day using classical cooking techniques in its 2,500 restaurants.

Chipotle is committed to making its food more accessible to everyone. Ordering through the Chipotle app or website is easier than ever before, and now you can get your food faster with delivery from DoorDash.

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To learn more about the Chipotle Reading Rewards Program, click here.

 

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!

 

Freebie Time! Samples & Events

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Right now there are some pretty cool freebies, samples, events, and offers!  Here are a few that have us pretty excited:

TODAY!! Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven – July 11th

Free Medium Sub at Firehouse Subs w/Water Bottle Donation

Free Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel for Kroger & Affiliates

Free Bookworm Bookends at Home Depot

Free Sample of Sephora Collection Clay Mask (Must have an Instagram Account)

FREE Munchkin Baby Bottles on Prime Day

Free Poise Light Leaks Sample Pack

Free K’NEX Play Time Party

Free Personal Pizza at Chuck E Cheese’s
Free Back to Nature Crackers or Cookies

 

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?

Helping Neighbors with Blessing Boxes

So for those of you that live in San Diego, one of our local Methodist Churches (The one in Santee-8964 Magnolia Ave, Santee, CA 92071) has a Blessing Box where neighbors can put food, toiletries, diapers, formula, etc. to share with neighbors who are in need but can’t make it to the local food bank for whatever reason. It was started last year. You can read more about it here and see some pictures.
I try to stop by every few weeks and put some stuff from our pantry in it. I pick up a few extra items at the grocery store (or 99 Cents Only or Grocery Outlet) when I shop each week. Instant oatmeal, canned soup, tuna, or beans with a pop-top (in case someone doesn’t have access to a can opener).
When I walked to the blessing box this AM there were 4 packets of oatmeal, some citrus fruit, and a fleece blanket (in the grocery bag).
I quickly scoured my car for everything I had. I didn’t have a lot extra in my trunk, but I emptied it of all of the food I had- I even went through the kid’s Snack bag that is for “emergency car snacks”.
IMG_8728.jpgHere is what it looked like after I put in my donation. I picked up a package of wipes from Huggies at a bloggers summit a few weeks back. I hadn’t yet opened it, so I added it to the Blessing Box.  I know that this box gets utilized by a lot of locals with great frequency. I will be back to add more groceries tonight.
Some of you may have Little Free Pantries or Free Food Boxes in your area too. If not, it’s easy to start one! Many local schools also have a food pantry for kids whose families face food insecurity. Santana High School has one!
My call to action for you is this:
  1. Look into your pantry and pick out 5 things you can live without. They must be in date and something someone actually wants to eat (I’m looking at you, jar of cocktail onions).
  2. Find someone in need. Add it to your local Little Free Pantry, post it on a neighborhood forum, a local parents group, or donate it to your local school food pantry.
  3. Give freely and with love.
  4. Repeat.
I know that most of us have grocery budgets. Imagine if we all cut $5 out of our budget and bought 5 (or more) items to share with a neighbor in need- That would go really far to help hungry families!
If you aren’t sure what to donate, here are a few suggestions:
  • Canned Meats
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Soup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal & Oatmeal
  • Rice & Pasta
  • Powdered Milk, beverage mixes (like shelf stable juice concentrate, instant coffee, hot cocoa pouches)
  • Infant Formula (The sample sized canisters or sample pouches that you may have received free in the mail are perfect donations!)
  • Toiletries and hygiene items
 I can’t wait to hear about how you’ve helping a neighbor!

Free Pizza at Round Table Pizza!

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 8.00.23 AM.pngWe live pretty close to a Round Table Pizza, and I love their crust. It reminds me of sourdough bread.

When checking my spam folder for birthday freebies this morning, I came across this offer (which I double checked and is totally legit).

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 7.52.32 AM.png Check out this sweet deal: On February 9, 2018 enjoy a FREE original personal pizza (cheese or pepperoni) with the purchase of any Pepsi Product.
Available for dine-in only at participating locations from 2 – 5 PM. Offer valid with purchase of Pepsi fountain drink only. Limit one per guest. Customer must be present to redeem offer.

I checked and all of the locations in San Diego are participating. If you live outside San Diego, here is the list of locations that are participating in this awesome event.

This would be a great after school treat or early dinner.  I know the kids and I will be going!

Looking for Free Fun? 10 Local Community Events

IMG_20120331_163227We love getting out of the house to have adventures, but, being frugal means that I have to get creative.

Thanks to local publications like The San Diego Reader and San Diego Family Magazine (both are free and available all over), as well as Facebook, we are never wanting for free fun.

Here are our Top Ten Community Events that are for kids and families for Q1 2018:

  1. 1/2/18-1/4/18 Santee Library hosts the most fun, creative events for kids. They are starting the year off with 3 events, January 2-4 in the afternoon.  We are very excited to go to Imagination Day. If you aren’t in East County, check out your local San Diego County, or City of San Diego Library branch. Most branch libraries have fun events for kids after school and during holidays.
  2. 1/6/18 Free Family Fun Fest at the Kroc Center.  The Kroc Center hosts a lot of great programs and events each month. The Kroc Center Free Family Fun Fest – Meet & greet with the San Diego Sockers, sports challenges, arts & crafts, inflatable park, costume dress up, giveaways and more
  3. 1/16/18 Family Read and Play Day. Again the Kroc Center is hosting this event. They host a reading event usually once a month. Sometimes the kids get to take home a copy of the book as well. Family Read and Play day, featuring the book, “Children Around the World” by Donata Montanari.
  4. 1/20/18 Santee Active Life Expo.  From 9am-2pm, some of the free activities include: Watch professional athletes compete, Health & wellness activities, Extreme obstacle courses, Trial fitness classes, Firefighter challenge,  BMX trick shows, Free breakfast (while supplies last), Learn how to race walk
  5. 2/3/18 The Water Conservation Garden over at Cuyamaca Community College offers Free Docent lead tours of the gardens. Tours begin promptly Saturday mornings at 10:00 am in the Plaza. No reservation required. 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West
    El Cajon, California 92019 My kids love this place- There are tons of fun areas to explore and learn all about nature.
  6. 2/6/18 is National Frozen Yogurt Day.  There are no concrete details yet, but in past years Menchie’s and Yogurtland both gave away free froyo. I will for sure be posting more details as they become available.
  7. 2/9/18 is National Pizza Day.  In the past there have been great offers for free slices and free whole pizzas. Sbarro and Pizza Hut usually participate.
  8. 2/13/18 is Shrove Tuesday which means that FREE PANCAKE DAY will be around that time. IHOP is the only restaurant in our area that offers free pancakes.
  9. 2/14/18 is Valentine’s Day. There are usually free events for kids at local libraries.
  10. And finally- Henry’s Birthday is in March. While there are no specifc free events for his birthday, here are my lists of birthday freebies (for kids and adults). Original List and the updated list with some fun new stuff.

I’d love to hear about what your favorite free local events are!  Please drop a comment with details and a link!