Posts Tagged ‘Save Money in San Diego’
11-11-11My daughter was due on 11-11. I spent that evening at Jack’s in La Jolla sitting on a comfy couch in the bar balancing things on my belly like an entire bottle of wine.
11-11 came and went, and no baby, but I still loved that day. My first due date. And this year it’s especially special. 11-11-11 seems worth celebrating, so I am with ELEVEN giveaways.
To win, simply comment on this post with the giveaway you want to win. I will award the prizes in order of comments received until they are all gone.
Hope 11-11-11 is a lucky day for you!
Prize 1: Got a son? Win the Boy Mom Designs shirt of your choice. I’m super excited to get my green army man shirt with matching toddler version for my boy in the mail this week. Visit www.boymomdesigns.com to choose YOUR favorite shirt!
Prize 2: Need a night out? Win this 4-pack of Ultrastar movie tickets and you can enjoy a moms’ night out, a double-date or a trip to the movies with the hubby and kids. I love that Ultrastar’s Parent Movie Mornings and Baby’s Night Out means you don’t have to miss the blockbusters just because you’re a new mom!
Prize 3: Java Mama is the original kid-friendly coffee shop in San Diego, and they are especially close to my heart since they opened right down the street from my house just when I was ready to venture out with my new baby. Win this prize and enjoy 2 passes for supervised play and a tasty beverage of your choice. With free WIFI, yummy food and awesome play spaces, Java Mama is a safe, clean, friendly place for you and your little ones to visit!
Prize 4: If you don’t live in the North County, you may not have experienced the pure joy of Nothing Bundt Cakes. But with a new store opening this December in Mission Valley, all of San Diego should be able to treat themselves to the rich, dense, wonderful awesomeness of a Nothing Bundt Cake. Choose this prize and you’ll get a single-serving “bundtlet” from the Mission Valley store each month for the next year! YUMMMMM
Prize 5: My girlfriends and I love, love, love happy hour at Serenity Spa in Sorrento Valley…$30 for a 25-minute treatment that comes with the cocktail of your choice and delicious 1/2 priced appetizers. Win a 50-minute Swedish massage and visit this delightful spa during happy hour or whenever you need a stress-buster!
Prize 6: At a craft show last weekend I bought the cutest bows and headband for my daughter from BowBees. Fun styles and great quality at terrific prices = NEW FAVORITE. With Christmas around the corner, you might like to win this fancy red, green and white headband holiday bow for infants and toddlers.
Prize 7: Why pay $17 (plus tip) for a kid’s hair cut when you can get one for free? Kids’ Hair Salon is open 7-days a week at Grossmont Center Mall, and they’ve done a great job with my daughter’s hair for nearly 6 years. This gift certificate entitles you to one free child’s hair cut.
Prize 8: If 2 is better than 1, you’ll really love winnng TWO kids’ haircuts compliments of Super Cuts in Scripps Ranch! Each certificate entitles you to one free junior haircut at the Super Cuts on Hibert Street (near Java Mama!)
Prize 9: Moms on the move need this awesome, custom-designed Creative Travel Mug! Carlsbad mom, Melissa Badour,designs these high quality, environmentally friendly, stainless steel hot/cold travel tumblers with customer’s personal photos. Win this prize and choose up to 16 of your favorite photos for use in your new mug! (includes an additional sport lid)
Prize 10: If you love Christmas, save the dates of December 16 – 18 and join me for A Christmas Tabernacle at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Win these two adult admission tickets and enjoy all of the events and entertainment the Christmas Tabernacle has to offer for free. From the live nativity show, to the snow play village, to performances of the Nutcracker by San Diego Ballet…it will be a wonderland for kids and adults alike. Psst…check out Plum District on November 16th when they will feature A Christmas Tabernacle tickets for 1/2 price!
Prize 11: When I think “lucky” I think LOTTERY. No, I don’t usually play, but I will today, and so can YOU. Win this prize, and I’ll buy you $11 worth of lottery tickets. Will you split the jackpot with me if you win???
You live in San Diego, you’re blessed with children…even if you don’t win one of these prizes, you’re a very lucky lady already! 🙂 Have a great day!!!
Bye Bye Max & Ruby
I’m excited about this weekend’s Just Between Friends consignment event because it’s forcing me to do the spring cleaning that I should have done before the new Christmas toys arrived. I’ll be getting rid of some treasures that we no longer need, but I have to admit it’s hard to let some of them go.
Like our Potty Power DVD. No, it didn’t really help speed up the potty training of either of my children, but it did provide hours of entertainment to them. Potty Power represents a time in mommyhood where toilet training was just about the most important thing going on in our home. Like so many moms, I worried, I was frustrated, and I tried just about every trick in the book including DVDs of little princesses learning to sit on the “royal throne.” Now those days are (thankfully) long behind us, but the video is kind of a bittersweet reminder that I don’t have toddlers anymore.
Ditto with our Max & Ruby video, book and doll collection. Boo Hoo. After years of reading these stories nearly nightly, my big kids now think that Max & Ruby are quite boring. But I feel I owe those sweet little bunnies so much. I seriously believe that Ruby helped teach Mallory how to be a good big sister to Max. (I mean Gage.) I hate to see them go, but they will be loved just as much by some other family I’m sure. (and for up to 90% of what I paid!)
The Just Between Friends sale is this weekend, May 4-5 in San Diego’s East County. It’s not too late to consign and it’s just the right time to think about buying. For more information visit http://sandiego.jbfsale.com.
What: Just Between Friends Consignment Event
When: May 4 & 5
Where: Faith Chapel, 9400 Campo Road, Spring Valley (just off Hwy 94)
Yesterday we got our annual catalog from BuyCostumes.com, and the kids are excitedly flipping through it, fantasizing about which characters they’ll become this Halloween. Yes, it’s barely back-to-school season and here comes the Halloween stuff.
Every year we host a family Halloween party, and every year I do my best to get a good deal on our costumes, starting with the Parent Connection‘s annual Great Halloween Costume Swap. Gage was just 14 months old when I traded in the softest, sweetest Nordstrom blue bunny costume for the “scary” dino costume he wore for the next two years. You don’t have to be a member of the Parent Connection to participate in the exchange, and you don’t even have to trade a costume…simply purchase one for $10 if you prefer. This year’s event takes place on September 23rd at 11 a.m.
Last year we found a terrific Star Wars storm trooper costume (with astro blaster!) at Cory’s Closet, our favorite local resale shop. At checkout we were given a buy-back coupon offering 40% of our purchase price if we decided to return our costume after Halloween. What a deal!
That storm trooper wasn’t going anywhere though. My son was wearing it just the other day. But Cory’s Closet’s costume corner is open for business now so check it out if you’re looking for a great selection and the chance to make a little money back after the holiday. Or check out the mom’s guide list of resale shops to find a deal in your area. Most that I contacted are preparing their own Halloween sections now!
So many of my kids’ costumes no longer fit…princesses, clowns, Mickey Mouse, Power Rangers…and I’m thinking about setting my own price for them and selling them at the upcoming fall consignment events. Trunk Treasures, Just Between Friends and San Diego Kids Consignment each have fall sales scheduled. Consider them for selling or buying your own costumes this year.
P.S. If you love Halloween as much as we do, don’t miss Mickey’s annual Halloween party. It’s a great time and a great value considering the expense of a normal day at Disneyland. Check out last year’s blog article about that. Tickets are on sale now!
Gage and I have spent many afternoons fighting the bad guys from World War II, Desert Storm and battles in between. Hanging out on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier was our special thing to do while Mallory was in school last year.
After the first “this is AWESOME!!!” trip, I knew it would make sense to buy the family membership for $90.
It’s a favorite place to take our friends and family who are visiting from out of town.
There’s so much to learn, to see and explore whether you are a 5-year-old boy or and 85-year-old man. Even girls enjoy the Midway, as I learned yesterday when we took Mallory and her friends to our special place for the very first time.
We only had time to grab a quick lunch at the Fantail Cafe, take a simulated trip on the F18 Hornet and explore the flight deck, so everyone wanted to plan another trip soon. Lucky us! USS Midway Memberships are half-priced through October!
Our own membership doesn’t expire until February 2014, but I was able to extend it until February 2015 for only $45. A terrific deal given that a regular-priced, single-visit adult ticket is $19.
In addition to the half-priced membership offer, the USS Midway is participating in the Kids Free In October promotion. So now’s a great time to check them out!
Go Green This Spring!
I’m not a “green” mom, but, according to Ecocrazymom.com I am taking baby steps in that direction with my love for children’s resale. Here in San Diego we have a myriad of options for buying or selling gently used children’s clothing, toys and gear.
I know many moms who wouldn’t dream of purchasing a “used” item (or even selling one for that matter), but I have found some truly awesome goodies through resale, and their great prices made them just that much more fabulous.
For example, at Cory’s Closet I bought a blue “Bratz FM Cruiser” for my son for only $10. It didn’t say Bratz anywhere on it…I had no idea it was supposed to be a girl toy…but it is one of the most fun cars he has ever owned because the doors and trunk open, the steering wheel moves, the seat belts click shut AND the radio really works! Thanks Cory!
In San Diego there are three types of children’s resale; consignment stores, swap meets and consignment events. Here’s a bit about each:
Consignment stores: Consignment stores operate all year long and will purchase your items outright as long as they meet the store’s standards and are something they are interested in selling. Some stores specialize in upscale items and others are less picky. Some require appointments to sell and some have set walk-in sales times. They will usually offer you 50% of the price they expect the item to sell for in their store. So, if you had a Bratz FM Cruiser that sells at Toys R Us for $29.99, then the store will likely try to sell it for $15 (half the retail value) and will give you half that amount ($7.50) for your item. You will usually earn a bit more money if you take store credit instead of cash. You should definitely look around before you sell…there’s bound to be something you need or want!
Consignment Events: Trunk Treasures is the original seasonal consignment event in San Diego. I’d love to ask Stacey, the stay-at-home mom turned entrepreneur exactly when she began her business, but I know she’s swamped preparing for this weekend’s sale. And in this past year she’s found competition from three other local moms who have started their own events, Just Between Friends and San Diego Kids’ Consignment.
I participated in both Trunk Treasures and Just Between Friends last year as a seller and ended up spending even more money at both events than I earned. Of course I ended up with lots of terrific treasures. 🙂
At consignment events you decide what to sell and can price your items at any amount you’d like. You do all of the work here, from setting the price, to tagging your items, to delivering them to the event site and picking up any unsold items at the event’s conclusion. There’s a fee to participate (about $10) and a percentage of your sales is taken by the event (between 60% – 70%). Volunteers who work the event enjoy early bird shopping opportunities and greater percentages of their sales. Consignment events last a couple of days…usually over a weekend. Once the event is done and the accounts are settled, a check is mailed to you, usually within a couple of weeks. Each of these companies has a spring event, so be sure to check them out!
Swap Meets: Many schools have family swap meet fundraisers, but the largest and oldest (that I know of) benefits my favorite non-profit, The Scripps Parent Connection, and happens twice a year in Carmel Valley.
The Parent Connection Swap Meet attracts hundreds of sellers and about a thousand buyers to each event. There is a $2 admission fee to buy and a $35 fee to sell in a 10×10 spot in the parking lot. As with consignment events, you’ll set your own price, you’ll tag your own items, you’ll get them there and bring whatever doesn’t sell home. You’ll also have to work your booth from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., but you’re sure to unload many items and you’ll certainly find a few to purchase as well.
The next event is Sunday, March 25th at Canyon Crest Academy. I’ll be there and hope you will be too!
For all of these resale opportunities, please be sure to visit the resale section of our family friendly business listings by clicking here. Happy shopping!
This exhibition uses sophisticated animatronics and imaginative displays to explain the good, the bad and the downright ugly about runny noses, body odor and much more.
With displays involving burps, farts, digestion, vomit and a display of the stinkiest bodily odors you can imagine, it brought hours of snorts giggles and the request to go back the very next day.
Grossology opened during the last week of May, which happens to be the same week that The Fleet kicked off its new “Check It Out” program. Families that use the Check It Out pass enjoy the benefits of annual membership for two weeks including free admission for two adults and up to six children under 18 and discounts for IMAX film tickets, in the museum gift shop, on digital and planetarium shows and in the cafe.
Each City of San Diego’s 36 libraries has two Check It Out passes, and they are as easy to get as a library book. If the passes are checked out, the library will put you on the waiting list, and you’ll receive an email or phone call when your pass is ready for pickup.
If you’re looking for something fun and educational to do with your children this summer, be sure to check out The Fleet. Grossology will be on display until January 1st of 2013, and the Check It Out program will be in place thanks to the support of ScholarShare, for the next 24 months. Added bonus: you can gross out dad this Father’s Day for FREE! Dads get in free on the 17th 🙂
Kids’ Favorite Things
Pretty exciting stuff…Oprah’s Favorite Things is coming back to TV this Sunday, Nov. 18th, and viewers will have a chance to win! So if you’ve ever wished you were sitting in the audience when Oprah shoveled goodies into it, well, here’s your chance.
Now that I’ve got favorite things on my mind, I think I’ll share a few of my kids’ favorites; toys and treasures that have stood the test of time in our home, just in case you’re looking for holiday shopping ideas 🙂
When Mallory was four, we threw her a princess birthday party and “Sleeping Beauty” gave her this adorable CD with all of the Disney princesses singing to her. Three years later, this is the music she listens to night after night while drifting off to sleep.
Each CD costs between $19.95 and $24.95 and, in addition to princesses and Mickey Mouse, cds can feature the characters of Veggie Tales, Elmo and The Wiggles all signing to your child. Just select a CD, select a name and watch your child’s face light up!
I’ve seen this guy at TJ Maxx recently. He’s a toy, but also a real comfort when heated up in the microwave and handed to a child who could use a little TLC. Our Sootheze bear has been with us for several years and never disappoints.
This teaching cash register has been fun for both of my kids and all of their friends before any of them could count money or even understand what money was.
Although it comes with fake coins that can be inserted, the cash register takes real money as well and counts it as it’s dropped through the slot. They’ve never been gentle with this toy, and yet it has held up for at least three years!
Now, onto mom’s absolute favorite thing when it comes to gift giving. It’s a little thing called Amazon Prime, and you can take a 30-day free trial just in time for your holiday shopping.
Just today I saw our toy cash register on the daily deal site, Zulily.com, for $34.99 plus shipping, which is normally $6.95 or so. But it’s also currently available on Amazon for $35.80 and because the “prime” logo is visible, that means the toy will ship free to your home in only 2 days!
I’m no Oprah, but I think you’ll love these favorite things if you give them a try. 🙂
Let the Savings Begin!
They say you can divide moms into two groups…Target shoppers and Walmart shoppers.
I was on my way to Target the other day to pick up some frozen waffles and cake mix when I remembered that La Mesa’s new Walmart Neighborhood Market is now open. I know a lot about the neighborhood market concept since I shop at one every summer during our 2-week vacation in Orange Beach, Alabama. The selection is always great, the prices are even better, and since my trip to Target was basically for grocery items, I decided to give La Mesa’s newest market a try.
Wow, 33-cent Haas avocados! $1 for a 7lb bag of ice! The same or better prices on all of the things I normally pick up from Target, but oh so much more to choose from. In fact, Walmart Neighborhood Market is essentially like the Ralph’s grocery store that is just next door, but with those famous Walmart prices on food and pharmacy items.
The neighborhood market looks nothing like a regular Walmart, by the way. Its cheerier colors are bright green and yellow.
And, so far, the staff seems exceptionally well trained to be helpful and friendly. My cashier told me that the neighborhood market will match prices and strives to automatically offer the lowest price in town.
Want to try out the Walmart Neighborhood Market for yourself? To enter for a chance to win a $25 neighborhood market gift card simply comment on this post and tell me whether you’re usually a Walmart or a Target mom 🙂
Love to Play?
Did you see this awesome deal from PlumDistrict.com for a $65 semi-private party at Play Town? Play Town is a great place for kids 6 and younger, and my 6 and 4-year-olds have loved going there since they started walking.
I am fond of East County’s first indoor play space for so many reasons. Before we had Play Town, we used to drive out to Poway for this kind of indoor fun!
I like that there is space for non-walkers as well as bigger kids, free WiFi and that families are allowed to bring in their own food and drinks. They have a wonderful calendar of events chock full of character visits, face painting, specialty classes and boutique shopping days. Play Town’s owner, Jillian, is a fun, sweet fellow mom who purchased Play Town from its original owners after hosting her son’s 2nd birthday party there. “I took over Play Town when I got separated and needed to provide for myself and my son. I thought owning an indoor playground would still allow me to enjoy all the great things that come along with being a mom.”
AND Jillian has generously provided mom’s guide readers with a buy-one-get-one free coupon in the 2012 printed resource guide. In honor of Friday the 13th, the first 13 moms who comment on this post will be mailed their own copy of The Mom’s Guide to San Diego with its Play Town BOGO coupon.
Have a great day!
San Diego is certainly known for its awesome climate, but when you’re planning your little one’s birthday, our summer weather may preclude an outdoor party. Fortunately, there are great indoor playgrounds all across the county ready to host a fantastic party for your family.
FUNbelievable Play, winner of several awards, including Red Tricycle’s best indoor playground, is a place where toddlers and pre-teens alike can have a great time AND they are offering a terrific discount on parties right now!
We’ve celebrated many birthdays in FUNbelievable’s 6,000 square foot air-conditioned play space. There is plenty of seating for adults to comfortably watch the kids run, climb, swing and slide through the mega play structure.
FUNbelievable supports our local military and first responders through “Hero Monday” with $5 entry per child for those with military, police and fire fighter I.D. They are also a valued Mom’s Guide partner, offering a terrific BOGO coupon in this year’s resource book. For more information about one of San Diego’s finest local businesses, visit funbelievableplay.com or call 619.456.2474.
See it for FREE! The New Children’s Museum
The kids and I had an excellent time at The New Children’s Museum recently and, visiting it for free, made the outing especially wonderful to me.
How did I get the three of us into the museum at no cost? I checked out a Circulating Membership through our La Mesa library, a branch of the County of San Diego library system.
New Children’s Museum circulating memberships are also available through branches of the City of San Diego library system. You check them out just as you would a book. Ask the librarian to locate one for you, and for two weeks your family will enjoy the benefits of regular museum membership including $5 parking.
FEAST is the current museum exhibition, and it’s my favorite one yet. It begins with scratch-and-sniff ripe bananas as you pass over the rainbow bridge into the museum, and continues with incredible displays and hands-on activities…
There are quite a few ways to enjoy The New Children’s Museum on a budget. The current Mom’s Guide has a buy-one-get-one admission coupon, Target sponsors the “free second Sunday” program, and there is currently a $5 happy hour admission promotion running. But, by far, the circulating membership program from county and city libraries is the best deal in town to get a “taste” of FEAST at The New Children’s Museum.
Shop Local & Save
I’m not the type to run out at midnight for a great deal or even to follow online retailers for hours looking for something special at just the right price, but I really, strongly believe in supporting local store owners, especially because most of the ones I do business with are moms and dads with young children too. So I will run out this Saturday to use my American Express card at my favorite local retailers since AMEX is going to credit me $25 for doing so!
I first heard of Small Business Saturday last year from a terrific little furniture shop that didn’t make it for the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday event. I’m sure you’ve seen a few of your favorite local businesses shut down in this past year as well.
Thankfully, there have been many new family-friendly businesses that opened up in 2011. The ones that come to my mind are Art Soup, Christy’s Toy Outlet, Chuze Fitness of Rancho Bernardo & National City, FUNbelievable, Just Between Friends consignment events, Kidville Chula Vista, Mon Petit Chateau and Tula-ru in Pacific Beach.
Why drag your children to the not-so-family-friendly neighborhood Starbucks when we have Java Mama and Mon Petit Chateau brewing delicious coffees that you can enjoy while your children play and are warmly welcomed by these locally owned businesses? (FUNbelievable, Kidding Around Playground , Kid Ventures and My Kids Clubhouse also serve coffee. Playtown lets you bring your own!)
Here are a few ways to make the most of your Small Business Saturday experience…
Buy this weekend’s Circle Buzz deal for $20 worth of books for $10 at The Yellow Book Road, and enjoy their Small Business Saturday sale of 25% off!
Head over to Learning Express Toys and use this coupon to buy a special holiday gift. Don’t forget, $25 back on your registered AMEX card!
Click here to register your card and to find out whether your favorite store is participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday event.