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Summer savings guide

Summer Fun

With our current predicament of job uncertainty for both my husband and I, spending as little money as possible this summer has become even more important. This is the first summer since my little boys were small that we have all been home, too. That means more expenses than usual – food, excursions, utilities, etc. Here are the tips I have discovered so far for doing summer on the cheap:

Ahead of time:

Prepare for summer the summer before. Buy towels, hats, etc. at the end of the season so you have them for the coming year. When all the kids are in camp, we needed a lot of swimsuits and towels to avoid doing laundry every day! It helped to shop ahead.

Get some of your essentials at the dollar store. Sunglasses and water bottles are best to get at the dollar store because my boys lose them often. I don’t have to feel bad when this happens if I have only paid a $1! See my post on “Are “dollar stores” really a good deal?”

Watch throughout the spring and summer for sales on swimwear. Last year I got rash guards and swim trunks for a great price at the end of the season for my boys for this year. They actually still fit into their size from last year, but I am ready when they need a size up! Good online stores to check include The Children’s Place, Land’s End, and L.L. Bean.

Stock up on sunscreen before summer is here. Last year with all four of my boys in camp every day, we went through a ton of sunscreen. On top of that they broke out from many brands, even Aveeno, which you would expect not to be a problem. They have excema, which can make their skin break out more than usual. Luckily I found out about The Honest Company. I love their products! Their sunscreen is a great consistency, has no bad or perfume smell, and my boys don’t break out or scream in pain from it.

You can try a free sample pack (you pay only shipping). Then you can sign up to receive a bundle every month. The Essentials bundle includes five of their products. (They also have a Diaper & Wipes bundle and Health & Wellness bundle, too, with other choices of products.) I can’t afford to order a bundle every month, but get them a few times a year. You can choose how often you want them delivered. Every time I order, I get a sunscreen, so I am ready for summer!

Be on the watch for great deals on memberships to local attractions. These deals usually don’t occur during the summer. For the St. Louis Science Center’s 50th anniversary of their planetarium, they had a sale on memberships – $50 off! It has been our best purchase ever! See my post “Become a member!”

Early summer or (late spring):

Plan ahead for where you would like to go. The first week of summer that I was home, we had no official plans or schedule. We were making it up on the fly. This really made the days long and me stressed! Putting together my Summer Bucket List really helped because now I have done the research ahead of time and can either choose activities for the whole week or the night before. See my post “Summer Bucket List (aka Camp Mommy).”

Take advantage of the many free or cheap excursions in town. These include:

Watch for sales on crocs and sandals! We were fortunate to get new crocs (fake brand) a few weeks ago at “Five Below,” of all places!

Throughout:

Pack food wherever you go. Even if you won’t be there for long, pack at least a snack and water. This helps with cranky kids and avoiding high cost emergency food purchases.

Take advantage of your local library. We have been going to their great events all summer and check out books and movies each week while we are there. It is so nice to have the time to do this and with the summer reading programs, we all earn prizes for reading! We are enrolled in the county’s program and the local Jewish library’s. I have not updated my Summer Reading programs post, but see last year’s here.

Look out for ice cream coupons. We have found ice cream coupons in our coupon mailer that comes in our mailbox every week. Check local calendars, too. Here in St. Louis, we have a calendar called the Town Planner. It is mailed to families every year and has coupons tailored for your area. They also have coupons on their website. Another source for ice cream coupons is your local Valpak. These come in the mail in some areas and they also have a website, too. You might not always find coupons for the location you want, but sometimes the drive can be worth the savings! You might also earn ice cream coupons from your Summer Reading programs.

Forget about your thermostat timer. Keep your thermostat set as if you are not home and then adjust as you feel it is too hot in the house! See my post Saving money and energy on Shabbos.”

Use your birthday freebies. If your birthday falls in the summer, or if your kids’ do, be sure to sign up for those birthday freebies! See my posts:

Enjoy your summer and share your summer tips in the Comments section!

 

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Kosher Birthday Freebies T – Z

Geoffrey's Birthday ClubHere is the last installment of my kosher birthday freebies as promised. I also have included a few additions at the end. Enjoy all these great birthday freebies!

The Children’s Place – By signing up for their Birthday Club, you will get a special coupon for your birthday and your child’s.

Toys “R” Us – When you sign your child up for Geoffrey’s Birthday Club, your child will receive a special birthday card and gift (until he or she is 10). Last year the gift was a $3 gift certificate for use at the store. You can also get a birthday call for your child from Geoffrey. If you shop at the store on or near your child’s birthday, they will give him or her a crown, balloon, and special announcement broadcast to the entire store.

Walmart PictureMe Studio – You can receive a free birthday portrait collage from Walmart when you schedule a birthday appointment.

Walt Disney World – NOTE: Walt Disney World used to offer free admission on your birthday. This promotion has been discontinued.

World Market – This is my favorite birthday freebie! By joining their World Market Explorer Rewards program, you will get a birthday surprise. Last year it was a coupon worth $10 to use at their store. You will also receive coupons via email throughout the year. You also get a 10% off coupon just for enrolling.

NEW ADDITIONS

If you have already signed up for the rewards on my previous Kosher Birthday Freebie posts, check out the latest additions I have added today (I also added them on the corresponding posts):

Benefit Cosmetics – Sign up on their Facebook page to receive a free Birthday Brow Arch!

Krispy Kreme – I could not confirm this on their site, but other sites state that you can receive a free half dozen glazed donuts and a coffee mug with either coffee or soda in it for your birthday! Their sign-up for their Friends of Krispy Kreme does ask for your birthday. Check with your local kashrus agency for the certification of each store and location Krispy Kreme is sold.

Pottery Barn Kids – When you join Pottery Barn Kids’ Birthday Club, your child will receive a personalized birthday card and you will get 10% off one item during your child’s birthday month. This club is for children ages 9 and under.

Related posts:

 

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Kosher Birthday Freebies R – S

Happy BirthdayThere are many websites that list birthday freebies you can get from various restaurants, stores, and online retailers. However, it can be very time-consuming to sift through all of them to find the kosher ones. Some of the offers have also expired and have not been updated. I have combed through several sites and am pleased to provide you with the fourth part of my series on Kosher Birthday Freebies. Enjoy all these great freebies!

Rose of Sharon Jewelry – By joining the Rose of Sharon Jewelry Birthday Club you will receive jewelry discounts throughout the year to celebrate their staff birthdays. They also sponsor monthly giveaways.

Sephora When you sign up as a Beauty Insider, you get a free gift from Sephora on your birthday. Right now it is a Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Duo. By joining this rewards program you also get one point for every dollar spent. You also get access to special products and sets available only to members.

Shoe Carnival – You can sign up for the Shoe Perks Rewards Club and receive points for your store spending. You can even receive bonus points for your birthday.

Signature Brands – By signing up for their Birthday Club, you will get an email with special coupons for their products. Products include: Betty Crocker, Cake Mate, and Marble Mix’Ins.

Spirit of Living – By signing up for an account with this women’s clothing source, you can get a free item. According to other websites, the gift for 2011 was a bamboo tank top when you spend $30 during the calendar year. I could not confirm this year’s offer.

Starbucks – Sign up for My Starbucks Rewards and earn 1 Star every time you pay with your registered Starbucks Card at a participating Starbucks or their official online store. You also get a free drink on your birthday. Just buy something at a participating Starbucks using your card within 12 months of your card registration. You will then get a birthday postcard in the mail before your birthday. Use that in a store to get your free drink.

Stein Mart – Sign up to be a Preferred Customer and you will get special birthday discounts as well as other privileges.

Steve Madden Shoes – Join Steve Madden’s birthday list and receive a special birthday surprise from Steve Madden. You must be a Steve Madden Facebook fan. 

Swagbucks – I could not confirm this deal, but other birthday freebie sites say that you earn 50 Free Swagbucks for your birthday. Swagbucks is a program that allows you to earn points from surfing the Internet, watching videos, playing games, taking surveys and shopping online.

Related posts:

Please let me know if you are aware of a kosher birthday freebie I have missed in any of these posts.

 

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Kosher Birthday Freebies J – P

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

I am sorry for the long delay in posting the more of these kosher birthday freebies. I hope you still enjoy them and get some great freebies!

Kmart Birthday ClubJoin the Kmart Birthday Club and children get $5 Birthday Bucks, a crown, Happy Birthday certificate, and a Fun Pack with surprise goodies!

Krispy Kreme – I could not confirm this on their site, but other sites state that you can receive a free half dozen glazed donuts and a coffee mug with either coffee or soda in it for your birthday! Their sign-up for their Friends of Krispy Kreme does ask for your birthday. Check with your local kashrus agency for the certification of each store and location Krispy Kreme is sold.

Little Tikes By joining their Birthday Bonus programLittle Tikes will send you special discounts, promotions, and offers approximately 30 days before the birthday. You must register at least 7 days before your child’s birthday.

Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream — Join the MaggiE-mail and receive a special offer on your birthday and more!

Medieval Times — Join the Birthday Fellowship at Medieval Times and get a free feast and tournament on your birthday.

Missouri Lottery — Register on the Missouri Lottery My Lottery site and get Draw Game coupons on your birthday.

Olan Mills — Get a free Olan Mills portrait package that includes one 8×10, one 5×7 and four wallets when you join the Birthday Club.

Old Navy — Sign up for their email list and receive an exclusive treat on your birthday. You can also sign up your kids.

OfficeMax — Receive a special coupon for your birthday as part of their Max Perks program, see my post “Get rewarded for shopping – updated!”

Pottery Barn Kids – When you join Pottery Barn Kids’ Birthday Club, your child will receive a personalized birthday card and you will get 10% off one item during your child’s birthday month. This club is for children ages 9 and under.

For more kosher birthday freebies, check out my posts:

If you find others, please share them in the Comments section!

 

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