Stretching your Food Budget….

ball_jar.jpgTimes are tough for a lot of us right now. Coupons and deals are drying up left and right. Here are some ways that you can stretch your grocery budget without wasting time or energy.

My Top Ten 99 Cents Only Buys

The eternal question at Costco: Is Bigger Better? Learn about Price Per Unit here. 

In addition to price per unit, you might consider starting a price book as well.

If you live in San Diego County, check out this list of Neighborhood Distributions all over the county. You can pick up 15-30 lbs of free produce each week. No proof of need is required. Just show up with your reusable grocery bags!

If you are low-income, have kids under 5, are a senior citizen, or a college student struggling with food insecurity, there are programs out there that can help you! Don’t be afraid or ashamed to admit that you need help!

There are also food share programs in almost every community in the US.  They provide low cost food boxes to families and individuals. A quick google search can help you find one near you!

In San Diego County, there are monthly distributions through the San Diego food bank at various locations. Colloquially called “commodities”, it’s officially called The Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP). Locations throughout the county distributes USDA food each month. If you live outside San Diego County, check with your local county or municipalities food bank network for more info on this service.

Don’t forget there are tons of money saving and rebate apps. My list is here.

Bartering: Most of us know someone with a backyard garden. Trade your skills (housecleaning, organizing, babysitting, car washing, you get the idea) for some home grown produce, or eggs (some of us live in areas where backyard livestock is ok).  This may not be available to everyone.

Menu Planning is another great way to cut down on food waste- It’s a lot easier than you think once you get started.

Talk Back: I’d love to hear your tips for stretching your grocery budget!

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10/5/18 Weekly Freebie Round-up!

8101f95433a1458fa8c2371f3b11b849It’s Friday and that means it’s time for freebies!  This week there is a pretty good selection and variety!

Free Samples:

Free Sample of Avon Anew Hydra Fusion
Free Sample of Olay Regenerist Whips – Still Available
Free Comic Books During Halloween ComicFest
Free Sample Pack of Sephora Collection Clay Masks
Free Sample of Monat Haircare
Free Seventh Generation Tampon & Pad Sample Kit
Free Mineral Sunscreen
Text for $10 Off at Lane Bryant = Free Item

Free Food:

Free Sample of RX Nut Butter
Free Pouch of Bumble Bee Tuna at Ralphs today!
Free Sample of Q Drinks Carbonated Mixer Beverage
Free Box of Sandwich Bros on Your Birthday

Free Magazines:

Complimentary Subscription to ESPN Magazine – HURRY
Complimentary Subscription to GolfWeek Magazine
Complimentary Subscription to O, The Oprah Magazine

Free Events:
Free Rituals Gift of Relaxation Party
Free Michaels Kids Party
Target – Free PAW Patrol Trick-o-Treat Event
October is Kids Free Month in San Diego!

10/5/18 Ralphs Friday Freebie!

Screen Shot 2018-10-05 at 7.44.56 AM.pngThis week’s Friday Freebie is actually something somewhat healthy… ONE (1) FREE Bumble Bee Tuna Pouch (2.5 oz). Available in most stores.

Limit of one coupon per household. Digital Coupons and paper coupons may not be combined on the purchase of a single item. Specially marked items, such as Clearance or Manager’s Specials may not be eligible for Digital Coupons.

Exp 10/21/18.

If you are new to Free Friday Downloads from Ralph’s, here is more info about how it works:

WHAT IS FREE FRIDAY DOWNLOAD? An exclusive benefit to having an account online at ralphs.com is FREE products (yes, we said FREE!). When you download the free product coupon, it will be loaded directly to your Shopper’s Card and applied at checkout in-store.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Visit this page on Fridays

DOWNLOAD the digital coupon for the free product (make sure to download between 12:01 am and 11:59pm PT). View the coupon under ‘My Coupons’ in your account online or in the mobile app.

You have two weeks to redeem this coupon in store! Pick up the product at your local Ralphs store and digital coupon will automatically apply at checkout.

Don’t forget to check out the Kroger affiliate in your area, if you don’t have a Ralphs. There are usually freebies for all of the stores!

Friday Freebie Round up!

8101f95433a1458fa8c2371f3b11b849It’s Friday and that means it’s time for freebies!  This week there is a pretty good selection and variety!

Free Samples:

Free Sample of L’Oreal Pure-Clay Charcoal Mask
Free Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Cleanser
Free Sample of JOHNSON’S COTTONTOUCH Newborn Lotion at Walmart
Free Sample of Epistémé Vita-CE Serum

Free Food:

Free Sample Pack of Trident Vibes Gum
Free Halo Top Ice Cream Coupon (void in CA 😦 )
Free Ocean’s Halo Vegan Broth
Free True Citrus True Appreciation Gift
Free Pepsi Zero Sugar or Diet Pepsi at 7-Eleven
Free Box of Flow Water
Free Hormel Compleats for Kroger & Affiliates
Free Coffee & Doughnut at Krispy Kreme

Free Magazines:

Complimentary Subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids
Free Magazines from Mercury Magazines
Complimentary Subscription to Woman’s Day Magazine

Free Events:
Mark your Calendars- Saturday is FREE MUSEUM DAY!!
Clean Out Your Closets, it’s SWAP TIME!!

October is Kids Free Month in San Diego!

Mark your Calendars- Saturday is FREE MUSEUM DAY!!

Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 10.18.52 AM.pngHooray, It’s back! This is one of the kids favorite “holidays”, free museum day! If you’re looking for some adventure on Saturday, September 22, check out the event website here, and pick a museum!

Luckily for us here in San Diego, there are TONS of museums for us to chose from. One thing that I like about the site is that it shows you which museums are free every day. So if it’s something that appeals to you and your family, you can chose to go another day and not have to fight the crowds.

This event is taking place all over the US, so regardless of your location there should be a few participating museums near you!

 

Talk Back: Which museums are you interested in visiting? 

 

Clean Out Your Closets, it’s SWAP TIME!!

Ya’ll know I love me a good Clothing Swap. If you are a San Diego, CA area resident, there is a great swap coming up on the 29th of September.

Skyline Church in La Mesa is hosting it’s twice a year swap, and boy am I excited! I’ve been cleaning out our closets, dressers, and every space that we store stuff.

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I even cleaned out my trunk to make room for all of the new stuff we’re taking home!

In addition to clothing, they also accept housewares and all kinds of other stuff, so I’ve been going through the kids bookshelves to take along any books they may have outgrown or any duplicate books.

We’re dropping stuff off next Thursday afternoon. I’ve always got extra items, so if you’re a local and want to come but you don’t have anything to swap, let me know!

If you can’t make this swap, but want to learn more about future swaps all over San Diego County, Check Out Thread Bumpin’– It’s a Meetup.com group, especially for clothing swaps. It’s free to join. If you are new to clothing swaps, check out my post here all about them and why they are so cool!

Finally: If you are in need of clothing, but have nothing to swap, two good free clothing resources in San Diego are The Closet on 54th (Men, women, and children’s clothing) and Naomi’s Closet (only women’s clothing).

Talk Back: Have you ever been to a clothing swap? What is your favorite part?

October is Kids Free Month in San Diego!

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 8.56.48 PMI know I’m early, but it’s worth bookmarking… Kids Free October is back for the 8th year!

For those of us with curious kids, this is perfect! Kids can get into over 40 museums in the San Diego area free with paying adults (all the info can be found here).

Some of the participating organizations include:

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Fleet Science Center (Galleries only)
Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
Heritage of the Americas Museum
Japanese Friendship Garden
Living Coast Discovery Center
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Marston House Museum & Gardens
Mingei International Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Museum of Making Music
Museum of Photographic Arts
San Diego Air & Space Museum
San Diego Automotive Museum
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
San Diego History Center
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)
Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center
Timken Museum of Art (it’s always free for everyone FYI)
Women’s Museum of California

A full list can be found here. Oh, and as part of free October, Kids can get into the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park free when accompanied by a paying adult!  Other Kids go free attractions include: Legoland, Sea World, and the USS Midway!!

More info can be found here, and other fun, free stuff for kids can be found here and here.

And I’m hoping to have more info on some free events for Halloween over the next few weeks.