Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

This is a fantastic charity that is also known as the Shoebox Ministry. Through the organization children from 2-14 are able to get gifts and necessities at Christmas time. If you are a couponer like me then you may want to begin shopping now! You can put together 1 or 30 but each one will be a great gift for a child who otherwise couldn't or wouldn't have anything.  With the school sales going on you can get GREAT buys on art supplies and even clothes... Shop the dollar store for other items and use coupons with sales for free tooth paste, toothbrushes, and bar soaps. I believe 100% that our small contributions can make a HUGE impact on an impoverished child in another country! If you need more information contact me and I would be delighted to explain more! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Museum of Modern Art (FREE EVENT!!!)

Today we went to a FREE event in SF sponsored by Target! There were different events throughout the Country. There were actually about 6 different museums within a few blocks participating in San Francisco! Not only did we get COMPLETELY FREE entrance our older daughter also recieved a really neat bag of activities and free future admission! They also had different hands-on art projects just for kids! We had a great time admiring work from Freida, Andy Worhal and many, many others! THANKS TARGET for a great afternoon on a budget!

Friday, July 16, 2010

An absolutely wonderful event!!!!

This weekend July 16-18 Target is sponsoring FREE events throughout the Country! In the Bay Area there a bunch of fabulous Arts an Musical outings!

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Bay Target Arts & Wonder
Saturday 7/17/2010 from 10am to 5pm

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Bay Target Free First Sundays
1st Sunday of the month

Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco Bay Target Arts & Wonder
Sunday 7/18/2010 from 11am to 4pm

de Young Museum, San Francisco Target Arts & Wonder
Friday 7/16/2010 from 5 to 8:45pm

Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco Target Arts & Wonder
7/18/2010 from 11am to 4pm

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art , San Francisco Target Arts & Wonder
Sunday 7/18/2010 from 11am to 4pm

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, San Francisco Target Arts & Wonder
Sunday 7/18/2010 from 11am to 3pm

ZEUM, San Francisco Target Arts & Wonder
Sunday 7/18/2010 from 11am to 4pm

These are a few I found... What a great way to spend a weekend... OUT with family enjoying events in our own backyards!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Party Planning on a BUDGET

I know that most of you think that in order to have a birthday party or other event you have to accept the fact that there is going to be big money involved. Well I am here to tell you not exactly. You can plan a great party on a small budget and make it GREAT!

1. My biggest advice is to plan ahead! Not a week or two BUT a month or two! Allowing yourself the time to plan and watch sales and go to more than one store will payoff BIG in the end!

2. Set a budget... AND stick to it! Whether its $50-100 or $300 know how much you intend to spend prior to shopping. Also if your child is dead set on a specific theme such as Disney Princesses, Toy Story etc. that is going to be a lot more expensive than a tea party or truck or luau theme. This is another thing that needs to be taken into account when deciding on a theme.

3. Decide who your inviting. Are you having a small family affair you are able to be more laid back. You won't necessarily need invitations and you can easily have a potluck without offending anyone.
If you have decided to have a larger party or a party with your children's friends you'll want to choose a time. If you are wanting to save some money while still having a larger party choose a time before or after a meal time so you can serve either just cake or cake and small snack items.

4. Don't buy party items at the Grocery Store. You are going to end up paying WAY more! Consider the Dollar Store and 99 Cent Store, party store's when you can catch a sale, also shop online! There are great deals out there!

5. Think outside the box! If you are wanting a tea party and need tea cups check thrift stores. You can get great deals on items that you will only use once!

6. Lastly... Don't spend more on things no one will notice anyhow. Ultimately everyone will be more interested in conversation and eachothers company to care if you have every one of the clings, balloons, and party plates that perfectly match a theme. Mix and match and stay with what you can afford!

Enjoy a fantastic party and don't stress out! Just prepare for a great day! :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Back-to-School Blues

UPDATE :) We are done with our back to school shopping! A month ahead of time and spending just $15!!!! That includes everything for our daughter and for a lss fortunate child as well! I am SO excited to have one thing checked off our list! Now we just need to finish buying back to school clothes.

Well I don't know about all of you but for my family this time of year can become nearly as expensive as Christmas. Back-to-School is a huge amount of time and money for us... At least it has been in the past. This year, however, we have made a conscience effort to make it less stressful and more importantly less expensive! Before we would easily spend 150-200 on school supplies, homework supplies, back packs, lunch boxes,and donations for the class not to mention the unavoidable back-to-school clothes needed! Our goal for this year is to spend no more than $50 for all supples, donations, and a new back pack and lunch box. We also intend to buy double of everything for a child that cannot afford their own school supplies. So now you are asking how we are planning on achieving this seemingly impossible mission right!? Coupons, and sales!!! Think we are still crazy well hear me out...

This week alone there are fanastic deals!

Rose Art Markers or Colored Pencils $.50!!!
Glue Sticks (2 pack) $.20!!!

2 pocket folders with fastners $.01!!! (max of 10) and with a $5 purchase
8 pack of #2 pencils $.01!!! (max of 2) and with $5 purchase

For $1 each you can get...
* BIC Atlantis BallPoint Pens 4 pack
* Staples Mini Stapler
* Staples Pencil Box
* Staples Hypel Grip Highlighters 6 pack
* Westcott 5 inch Scissors 2 pack
* Staples Glue Sticks 4 pack
* Post-It Novelty Shaped Notes 2 pack (these are my favorite…they are super cute)
* RoseArt Colored Pencils 15 pack
* Scotch Magic Tape
* Quartet 8.5″ x 11″ Dry Erase Board
* Staples Pull & Seal Envelopes 25 pack
* Staples Photo Supreme 8.5″ x 11″ Paper 50 pack $14.99-$13.99 easy rebate = $1

Bic pens- $.99 with .99ecb making them FREE!!! (limit 1)
Caliber 5" scissors $.99 with >99ecb making them FREE!!! (limit 1)

ALSO... Children's Place is currently having a great sale! For those of you who like to purchase clothes ahead of time and put them away until school begins like me. :)

With prices like these our goal of $50 is defintely attainable!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our Staycation

For those of you who don't know what a staycation is let me explain... With the economy as it is presently a lot of families are opting out of huge vacations where they are forced to stay in a hotel and pay enormous amounts of money for their family time. Instead the trend is to stay near home and experience our local area. For our family that meant staying home not doing chores and making bag lunches for our daily outings with simple easy dinners waiting for us when we got back.

Day 1:

We had a bbq that we attended and then a swim in our community pool followed by dinner at a yummy mexican resturant.

Day 2:

We went to San Francisco Zoo. Our almost 2 year old was so intriqued by the animals. She LOVED the petting zoo and was simply in awe the whole day. Sarai (our little one) absolutely freaked out in the bug house but loved just about everything else... Seeing it through her eyes was so neat.While our older daughter Adeline is always eager to see the penquins. One of the biggest highlights was seeing a bird egg hatch before our eyes. How cool is that! After a long day of walking through the zoo we came home and played games for the evening and prepared for the next day.
Day 3:

We went to the Tech Museum in San Jose a place none of us had ever been to and it was interesting to see all the neat hands on projects. Adeline had a blast and Daniel and Iwere able to watch her experiment with different activities. We walked through 3 stories of energy saving ideas, internet teaching (and pop quiz), an entire area for space and deep sea also a mock street corner that you could stand on and feel a huge earthquake hit. Overall so interesting.

We decided to end the day with Toy Story 3 and The Prince of Perisa at the drive in. Adeline's very first drive in! We brought snacks and drinks and blankets too... And sat out on the truck bed and enjoyed the movie. What a great evening!

Day 4:

We relaxed! After days packed with adventures and driving we decided to really stay close to home. We got a yummy Jamba Juice for lunch did some light shopping and had our final staycation dinner at Chipotle.

This was our very first staycation and it was absoutely great! We had SO much fun spending quality time together without breaking the bank our budget was just $120 and we stayed below that amount. We have decided that we will be doing another staycation next year and have actually already began thinking of places to attend. I think sometimes we get too caught up in the day to day grind to enjoy both the area where we live and eachother! But... with a few days and thankfully a small amount of money we were able to make memories that will last us a lifetime! :)