8/7/19: All-Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair!

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I am very excited about this event! I received an email all about it this afternoon.
The Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego and San Diego Family Magazine are hosting the 2nd annual

All-Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair!On Wednesday, August 7 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Miramar Hourglass Recreation Center, 10440 Black Mountain Road, SD, 92126, families from around the county are invited to celebrate the last days of summer and gather information from resource providers for families with all abilities. Your family is invited to this FREE summer event!

Activity Booths • Giveaways • Performances • Games • Family Resources • Networking & more!

Children of all abilities will enjoy activity stations including Woody’s Roundup Corral, Super Hero City, Wheelchair Awareness Course, Literacy Duck Pond, V.T. Raceway, Star Wars Space Station and more!

Plus, enjoy a variety of entertaining performances at the All Abilities Stage.

Over 40 resource services and providers for children of all abilities will conveniently be onsite to speak with parents and provide information.

All activities and resources are FREE and open to the public.

Sign up for your family’s FREE tickets on eventbrite now!

10 Tips to Stay on Budget for Groceries

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I frequently get skeptical looks, the side eye, or people thinking I’m starving my kids when I tell them that our grocery budget is $80/week.

It takes a lot of work, but it is doable. I cook a lot from scratch- it’s healthy, cheap, and I can control what goes into each dish (hidden veggies, fruit, less sugar, etc.). I can make a cheese pizza at home for less than $4, and that is enough pizza for the kids for two meals!

Here are a few of our family tactics to stay on budget:

  1. CASH! Go to the bank/ATM and get your grocery money out of the bank every week. This is a great way to start. I get $80 out of the ATM each Saturday for the upcoming weeks’ groceries.
  2. Inventory your Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry. Bonus- You’ll also find stuff that needs to be thrown out or donated. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printables, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.
  3. Menu Plan. Start by using what you’ve got on-hand. Eat food that’s on sale or in season. We eat a lot of strawberries in the summer because they are cheap!
  4. Make a grocery list. Stick to the list Don’t be afraid to substitute brands, or make changes based on what is on sale, or any in-store markdowns you find.
  5. Don’t be afraid to go to more than one store. I’m not saying run all over town, but going to two stores is OK. In our area, there are a 99 Cents Only store and a Grocery Outlet in the same shopping Center. I hit up both each week. Then, on the way home, I stop at Food4Less and buy milk (cheapest in town!), eggs, and bread (if 99 Cents Only doesn’t have the high protein bread we like).
  6. Eat Less Meat. Not only does it save money, but it’s better for the environment.
  7. Take advantage of local resources. There are a few food co-ops in our area. Additionally, there are free produce distributions too. A couple of my friends and I split a co-op lot twice a month. It comes out to less than $20 per person, and we get all kinds of cool stuff. A quick google search can help you find both in your area.  In the summer, we take advantage of Kid’s free lunches too.
  8. Coupon and/or use money-saving apps.  My complete list of apps can be found here. Right now my favorite apps are Fetch Rewards and Ibotta.  I love that I can use Fetch at any store. It helps because I shop a lot of Grocery Outlet and 99 Cents Only.
  9. Speaking of which… Don’t forget to check out stores like 99 Cents Only. There are all kinds of great bargains. Here is my list of 10 Great Buys at 99 Cents Only!
  10. Be Flexible. Some weeks you will go over budget. It happens. Sometimes you need to stock up on staples, or your family wants to eat something that isn’t on sale. Sometimes you really want to order a pizza and wings. That’s OK! Frugality is a journey, it’s not a punishment or a life of austerity and suffering. You can still live a fun, full life while being frugal.

Talk Back: Share a few of your families tips for staying on budget?

Giveaway: Summer Fun at Uptown Jungle!

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Henry playing Dodgeball with the Big Kids

Yesterday the kids and I headed over to Uptown Jungle in Santee. If you haven’t been there in a while (or ever) they’ve got a lot of exciting stuff going on right now!

For those not in the know, Uptown Jungle is an indoor playground with a giant trampoline, super slides, and 2-story indoor Mega Play Structure, Obstacle Course, and climbing walls! So regardless of the summer heat outside, kids can run and play.

The Santee location is going to be getting a makeover soon. The toddler area will be getting a wall-sized Light Brite board (which sounds super cool to me), the Obstacle Course is getting a cool ninja makeover, and the parent’s lounge will be reconfigured!

One of the best parts of Uptown Jungle is that the staff is really great with kids and they try to make sure everyone has an awesome time. The staff helps the kids safely get into the climbing wall harnesses and cheers them on as they climb. The trampoline area switches from little kids to big kids frequently, so everyone gets a turn to play safely.

One thing that really impresses me is that Uptown Jungle has Fundraising opportunities!

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Forget selling candy bars, candles, T-shirts, etc. Host a fundraising event at Uptown Jungle and earn 35% of the group’s admission!

And of course, there are opportunities for Birthday parties or team parties!

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Uptown Jungle has a Customer Royalty Program! When you download the app, you receive an offer for 1 hour of free play added to your paid admission! Find it wherever you download apps.

And they also have an email club! Join the Email Club for a Buy One Get One Hour of Play Time!

I want to share the fun of Uptown Jungle with you! One lucky reader will win 4 90-minute passes to Uptown Jungle. To enter, click here, or visit our Facebook page here (This option may not be mobile friendly).

 

Talk Back: How do your kids get their wiggles out in the summer?  

 

IMG_5970.jpgThanks so much to Ricky and his staff at the Santee Uptown Jungle for hosting the kids and me yesterday! We had a fun time, and they were exhausted after 90-minutes of running, jumping, climbing, and sliding!

 

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“Get my Good Side Mom!”

Summer Movie Programs for Kids!

In the past, I’ve only posted about Regal Cinemas Summer movies but after some digging, I’ve come to discover that most movie theatre companies offer an inexpensive summer movie program for kids!

Looking at each theatres offerings, it appears that there isn’t tons of variety. Most theatres are showing kids movies that were popular in the last 5 years or so.

UltraStar Cinemas: A different film shown every week at 9:30 AM. Tickets on sale NOW at the theater box offices. $1 per movie. Mission Valley at Hazard Center Summer Program, every Monday-Thursday: June 17-August 8.

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Regal 2019 Summer Movie Express series– Movie ticket deals are just $1 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays featuring summer movies the whole family will enjoy like Shrek, Despicable Me, Kung Fu Panda and many more. Regal has the widest variety of movies.

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 8.46.09 AM.png Reading Cinema has summer movies as well! Tickets are just $1 each, and movies start at 10am M-TH.

 

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 8.57.05 AM.pngAMC offers a summer movie program, however, there are only three locations in California: Bonsall, Irvine, and Apple Valley (Victorville area). Their Summer Movie Camp is being offered at their AMC Classic theatres ONLY.  The complete list of participating theatres can be found here.

The nice part about the AMC program is that the programs includes a ticket to the Kid-Friendly movie plus a KidsPack every Wednesday for just $4 (+tax).

 

To keep the frugal morning going, check out a free kids lunch location near the theatre.  For more info on San Diego locations, check out this post. If you live outside San Diego County, Text FOOD  (Or COMIDA for a list in Spanish) to 877-877, or call 211 and you can find a list of free summer lunch locations near you.

This Week Only! $5 off $5+ at Michaels!

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 8.15.46 AM.pngJust in time for summer crafts! Now through 6/22/19, you can find and use a $5 off $5+ (restrictions apply of course) on the Michaels website here.

This coupon is valid in-store only. If you need to shop online, there is a 40% off any one regular price item here. It also has restrictions.

I’m taking the kids this morning to find supplies for a project to work on this week! And don’t forget that Camp Creativity is in full swing! $3 craft classes where kids can make and take a project! Details can be found here.

Star Wars Epic Adventures!

I just learned about Star Wars Epic Adventures yesterday, and I signed the kids up right away. My kids LOVE Star Wars!

When you subscribe to the Star Wars Epic Adventures for $9.99 (first month only) and receive full-color 96-page storybook, which are not available in retail stores and are exclusive to subscribers.

  • Each monthly package includes a full-color 96-page storybook, a set of 12 collectible cards, one activity book with stickers plus a large vinyl sticker, and an additional premium bonus item such as a poster or T-shirt.
  • Twelve collectible cards that provide an in-depth look at scenes from the films. The cards in the initial “Phantom Menace” package give youngsters a detailed overview of the famous podracing scene from the movie. Each set of cards comes in a unique collector’s case that combine to create a classic “Star Wars” scene when all of the sets are collected
  • A full-color activity book with stickers. Each book takes a deeper dive into the characters of the “Star Wars” universe, starting with a book titled “Jedi vs. Sith.”
  • One additional bonus gift. The first month’s package includes a four-foot poster covering the “Star Wars” adventure timeline. Large-size vinyl stickers that come with each shipment can be used with the poster to track the reader’s progress through the saga. Future gifts include premium items such as T-shirts for both adult and child, and a storage case for the collectible card sets.

 

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 9.44.47 AMFuture shipments are just $19.98 + $3.99 Shipping and handling, and you can cancel any time, for whatever reason!

 

The Bravest Knight Comes to Hulu 6/21/19!

unnamed.jpgI am digging all the new content that Hulu has been putting out lately. I’m super excited about THE BRAVEST KNIGHT

Following the inspiring and perseverant former pumpkin farmer, Sir Cedric, now grown and married to the prince of his dreams, The Bravest Knight recounts personal tales of his journey. Sir Cedric shares his story with his adopted 10-year-old daughter Nia, on how he transformed from day-time farmer to full-fledged knight. Nia, who is training to become a brave knight herself, learns important values such as honor, justice and compassion; proving that knighthood is much more than slaying dragons.

You can catch the trailer here.  As a family that participates in Historical recreation (via our local SCA group), it’s important to me that my kids learn that knights and other chivalrous people do more than slay dragons, and a knight isn’t always a man. And my kids know that a family is what you make of it- Mommies, Daddies, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins- Every family is different and important!

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The show boasts a star-studded cast including T.R. Knight as “Sir Cedric,” Bobby Moynihan as young Cedric’s troll sidekick “Grunt,” Storm Reid as Not-Yet-Knight “Nia,” and will also feature the voice talents of RuPaul, Christine Baranski, Wanda Sykes, Wilson Cruz, Teri Polo, Steven Weber, Donna Murphy, AJ McLean, Dot-Marie Jones, Maz Jobrani, Chance Hurstfield and more.  The Bravest Knight’s opening theme song was written and performed by Grammy-nominated musician, songwriter and activist Justin Tranter.

My littlest has watched the trailer over and over and she is so excited to watch all of Nia’s adventures. The bigger kiddo has mamas ear for voices and has already told me he recognizes some of the voices from some of his other favorite shows- Bobby Moynihan, Wanda Sykes just to name two!

If you don’t have Hulu, you can sign up here– In addition to The Bravest Knight, you’ll be able to watch thousands of shows and movies on Hulu, with plans starting at $5.99/month for 1 year.