Things To Do

San Diego Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge

The San Diego Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge on Saturday, September 29th will be held at Kit Carson Park in Escondido. Participants can traverse rock walls, army crawl through mud pits, rope swing over water, scale up rugged cargo nets, dodge floating cannonballs, and more. Give your kids the chance to release their inner beast and push themselves, all while getting covered in mud together as a family! Prepare to Brave Your Adventure and have some family fun!

Save 15% on Kids Obstacle Challenge Tickets – Click here and use code MUDDYFUN15 to get 15% off tickets to The San Diego Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge on Sat, Sept 29th held at Kit Carson Park in Escondido.

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Label Daddy – Special Offer!

Save 25% on Label Daddy labels! Label Daddy is the number one solution for labeling your belongings! Their exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection and is a must for camp! Remember to label all clothing, sports equipment, electronics, and other personal belongings your kids bring to school, camp, sports leagues, day care, vacation, and other places. Label Daddy labels keep them from getting lost or mixed up with others. These labels are great for adults too! — Put them on your sunglass/eyeglass case, phone, camera, sports equipment, tablet, e-reader, hats, clothing, and more.

These labels are super durable peel-and-stick washable labels — they’re washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant! Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. You design your own labels! Pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos, including MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, other sport and fun logos, and more. These labels are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide.

Save 25% on any label order from Label Daddy – this is the best discount available anywhere. Click here The discount will be automatically applied at checkout..


Savings Tips

Free Dinner from Chick-fil-A

I learned there is no such thing as a free lunch from my Econ teacher years ago however with apps, coupons and a little creativity these days you can get pretty darn close. Let me show you how I scored free Dinner for our family at Chick-fil-A (“CFA”) the other night.

  1. Purchase the Chick-fil-A calendar, actually TWO, like every year.  These things pack a savings punch.  I register one to myself and one to the hubs.  They cost less than $8 and each month you get a free item of CFA’s choosing and you get a super sweet moo-cow calendar for the house.
  2. Download the Chick-fil-A One app on your phone.  You’ll need to do this to register your calendar club card anyway but you scan your app each time you pay and you earn points each time you visit for which CFA rewards you with what they call “treats.”
  3. Always check the bottom of your receipt for survey opportunities.  I do this all time when we dine at Panda Express (free third entree on your 2 item entree purchase), Wendy’s (free sandwich), Jack in the Box (two free tacos), and CFA is a free Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich on your next visit when you fill out their survey.  I had done this and had the coupon for this visit (they send a QR code which you can save to your phone or print the email).
  4. Best Buy Rewards – if you shop for electronics or have a Best Buy card you should be a member of their Best Buy Rewards program.  You earn points which equate to rewards certificates you can use in store or online.  I was scanning old email addresses and found a $10 promotional certificate from Best Buy in an email saying they missed me and I should come in and shop.  The hubs and I had also recently traded in our cell phones, I paid for the taxes on my Best Buy card and had received a $5.00 reward certificate.  I redeemed these two certificates for a Chick-fil-A $15.00 gift card.

The Breakdown…

Two 8 count nuggets = FREE (January Calendar Club items)

Spicy Deluxe Chicken Sandwich = FREE (Free treat for using CFA app)

Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich = FREE (Survey coupon)

The remainder of items were purchased with the free gift card I got from Best Buy.  I also used two toys we had gotten from the CFA kids meals during a previous trip but we saved them and did not open them.  Did you know, CFA will let you exchange the kids meal toys for a ice dream cone or cup?  The kids both got an ice dream cup and I used the last of the gift card to get a cones for the hubs, and one for me and the baby to split.

Living the frugal life!

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GIVEAWAY: Uplifting Prize Pack

I’ve partnered with my friend Abby from Hewes Family Fun and we’re hosting my first giveaway of 2018.  One of Abby’s favorite things is meal planning, she makes use of a weekly planner to help her keep things organized.  One of my favorite things is note taking to keep myself organized and I LOVE cute pens and office supplies, like keep me away from Staples or Office Depot because I will lose my damn mind in there.  It’s like I’m a kid three weeks from the first day of school hoarding supplies I’ll never use and if it’s miniature size (like a tiny stapler), I’m all about it!  I have three currently.

Anyway, our giveaway offers some great items for getting and staying organized in this new year, a Unicorn pen, some other fun goodies and the best part…a Starbucks gift card!


This Uplifting Prize Pack includes:

Enter the giveaway here.  A winner will randomly be chosen on 1/27/2018.  Giveaway is open to all US residents.

Don’t forget to leave a comment as part of the mandatory first entry!


Meal Preppin’

Part of living the frugal life is curbing the cost of eating out.  I try to live by the rule that if I do go out I try to take advantage of a deal or a coupon but generally I derive the most savings from simply bringing my lunch and cooking at home.  It can be really easy and affordable but it takes some planning.  As you fall into your cooking groove, you’ll find that your family likes certain recipes or combinations and so you’ll seek to stock up on those staples so that you can recreate those recipes often.  For instance, our whole fam bam loves my homemade chili and cornbread muffins (I cheat on these and use a box mix made by Krusteaz – it’s the bomb).  It’s simple and quick and easy to make after a long day at work.  Another favorite of ours is fajitas.  I wanted to do a little meal prep for the hubs and I to have lunches this week so that we stay on track with our resolutions for both diet and spending.  So this afternoon I took a little time and did my prep.  Here are the ingredients for my lunches.  We ended up with enough to warrant four lunches for the week and dinner for all of us for tonight as well with leftover brown rice to be used for my Easy Fried Rice recipe later this week.  Enjoy!

Continue reading “Meal Preppin’”

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Swap It To Me

One of the best ways to keep your budget in check is participating in local clothing or “stuff” swaps. Many of them are piece for piece. You drop off X amount of items and come back when the swap starts and choose the same amount of items. If you’ve got kids this is a great way to stock up on the next size of clothing or to swap out toys for the next age group. You’ll often find other treasures you weren’t expecting. Although sometimes you’ll come across some piles of junk (worn out or outdated pieces) for all that is crap there is always a lot that is good. For instance some of my best finds have been tons of brand new baby items, items with tags, new shoes, a pack and play, little outdoor chair for the baby, great books, dvds and so much more! It’s worth the time and minimal effort and the thrill of the hunt can be so fun. Included in this post are some pics of the awesome stuff we scored today at the Skyline Swap in San Diego. I found a stack of brand new polo shirts for the hubs and some items new with tags. You can Google “swaps” in your city and join local Facebook groups that host events. Finders Keepers have groups across the country or you check with local churches as swapping events are becoming a popular trend.

Savings Tips

Free Money For Shopping

I was not one of the first to jump on the major online shopping bandwagon and as much as I dig Amazon I know I don’t use it to the fullest potential that most people do today but one thing I do use (when I shop online) and love is Ebates. It’s a shopping tracker. You create an account, go to the ebates website before shopping and portal over to the site you wish to shop at. My regulars are Macy’s, Kohls, Toys R Us, Lowe’s, Walmart and a countless others. Not only do you earn cash back on your purchase (a percentage of the total spent) but you can also find deal codes right on the site when you link over. I only do a fraction of my shopping online, what can I say … still love walking into a store … but when I do shop in cyberspace I use ebates and I’ve earned over $435.00 cash back in the couple of years I’ve been using it. If you don’t know, now you know!

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Another year rolls by and it has me thinking about “resolutions” for my year to come.  Immediately the typical resolutions come to mind like better eating habits, getting more exercise, practicing more patience.  Having resolutions is great, I make them every year, as do many people, but do I really achieve them.  The year flies by so fast – I can’t even remember what mine were last year so perhaps if I plan, put it in writing and refer back to it I will hold myself more accountable so here it goes…

  1. READ (like a book, with paper and stuff).  One of my resolutions this year is to READ, like make time to dive into a book.  With work, kids, marriage and keeping up with friends via social media all of the books I’ve owned have moved from shelf to shelf and I occasionally sweep off the dust.  I’ve taken my kids to Barnes and Noble a few times and I feel a strong desire to find a good book and start diving in.  My plan is to pick one evening a week and read a chapter.  It might be a small start but I want to look forward to that time, make it my time and start reading again.
  2. EXERCISE.  I have committed (slightly) to the FitBit as a way to help me monitor how much activity I was getting on the daily just doing my thing, but I wanted to be able to know how I can go above and beyond that.  Something I have already started doing is walking more instead of driving.  We moved to an area that is close to the center of town and a lot of our fav stores are close by so I load up the stroller with baby and the two older kiddos walk along and we try to walk now instead of drive.  We did our grocery shopping with a wagon and I have to tell you it was pretty fun.  We’re getting the hang of our routes and I appreciate the kids getting exercise with me.
  3. DRAMA BE GONE.  Cleaning up your Facebook friends list and groups every once in a while is not a bad thing.  Relationships change, people change, and it’s okay if a relationship doesn’t serve you or the other party anymore.  I have to remind myself to let go of those relationships and move on.  There is no shame in putting your self first and letting the drama go.  You can internalize someone else’s negativity and it can bring you down and no one needs that.  You have your own mess to deal with…right?
  4. WATER THAT SEED.  The flip side of letting go of the toxic relationships is remembering to nurture the relationships you want to keep.  Send a text, make a call, leave a voicemail, drop an email or a letter.  Reach out to friends you haven’t talked to in a while or been able to connect with and if you can’t commit to a plan to get together have a chat on the phone.  Reconnecting or just saying hi means a lot.  I get so busy with life I think about people all the time but don’t always take the time to say something.  I think I’ll do it tomorrow, or later or next week and those weeks turn into months.  I want to focus on making sure my relationships are meaningful this year.
  5. YELL LESS, LAUGH MORE.  Now that two of my kiddos are older, they are a lot more self sufficient and I feel like I don’t have to yell to get things done as much anymore.  Not that I love yelling or that it’s even effective at all.  I’m pretty sure my kids hear the Charlie Brown teacher’s voice anytime I start spouting off but I get the crazy mom ‘tude often thinking things have to be just so, or perfect or in order.  I try to repeat back something a friend said to me once… just let them be kids, find a place for them to run around and freak out that is appropriate and let them just be.  Some of the best advice.  As parents, we get so freaked out by what other people are thinking, seeing, how our kids are behaving that we focus more on the behavior than just “being” in the moment and enjoying our kids.  I want more of that, I want giggles and laughs.  Those are the best times.  Sharing pure, natural laughter with my children is one of the best gifts and I want to soak it up in 2018.