I live in Northern California and Southwest had a $29 flight sale for Wednesday and Thursday flights and my birthday just happened to be on a Wednesday-so we flew out Wednesday morning on the earliest flight-and headed back on the next to the latest flight home!
When I went with just my husband we were there longer than just one day, so we took some time to explore and try out lots of food and tourist spots. Then, when we came back with the kids-and we were only there for 1 day- we knew how to make the most of it. My parents, brother and his family all live in So Cal, so they met us in San Diego when we got there and it was just one of the best days of my life. We had so much fun.
I know some people who are headed to San Diego this Summer so I am really writing this post for you guys because there is SO MUCH you can do in San Diego without spending very much money.
If you are flying-wait for a deal-you should be able to get $49 and $59 flights. If you are driving-which is cheaper if you can avoid stopping for food several times along the way- Pack food, snacks, and drinks with you! The more you stop-the more you spend!
Each time someone had to go to the bathroom on my last trip-someone wanted to buy food, snacks, coffee or something and I know that could have been eliminated because on the way there I spend $0-on the way home $60!
Once we got to San Diego it was still pretty early in the morning so business areas were not open.
We headed to Coronado. Driving over the SUPER TALL bridge is an event in itself!! It is so high!
Once over, park along the beach-as close to Hotel del Coronado as you can! My husband and I actually stayed at this hotel for his birthday and it is absolutely gorgeous! It is a Hilton hotel if you are an Honors Member or have points for your stay- HIGHLY recommend.
Even though we did not stay there with the kids, we went there so I could show them how beautiful it was!
It is on the beach and you can walk through the hotel and the property and it’s shops which is just agreat sight to see. Also along the streets there are lots of shops you can look through as well. It is just very pretty.
After Coronado we went over to Old San Diego at 10 am.
Lots to look at there. A favorite of mine-and the kids was Candle Making! You just buy a plain wax candle and you can dip it in to the colors and make your own design. They had candle sticks 4 for $5 for basic ones, we got some that were $2 each. This was a very cheap and fun souvenir!
Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop
2645 San Diego Ave
San Diego, CA 92110
We walked through the shops and tried on wrestling masks, ponchos, and found some sweatshirts etc.
Another CHEAP Souvenir Idea-PRESSED PENNIES!
EVERY part of San Diego has pressed penny machines. You put in 2 quarters and a penny-turn the crank and a pressed penny with a picture of your spot you are at comes out. Each machine has a few options to choose from.
My boys got so into this that $1-$2 per machine was entertainment and souvenir enough for them that was all they asked for!
I bought an empty book they sell for $5 there and they started collecting them! This has paid off on later vacations as well. Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, etc all had machines like this so they just needed a couple bucks for souvenirs! Just save your quarters and SHINY pennies!
In Old San Diego we ate at the Mexican Restaurant-
2754 Calhoun St, San Diego, CA 92110
There were 13 of us and we had the whole outside patio area for our group which made it very special-and we did not have to wait. PLUS-the food was very good!
There are LOTS of shops to look through and we even saw a performer that was breathing fire (strange to me, but kids were entertained FREE!) We walked through the shops-some had cupcakes, some had dessert there too. It was nice. Make sure you pay for parking- we forgot and received a parking ticket on that stop. The newer area had neat shops, boutiques, Starbucks and a jail you can get some fun pics and read some history in (FREE)
After that we headed to the USS MIDWAY Aircraft Carrier
We parked in the parking lot by the Kissing Statue and took pictures. We took pictures of the carrier too, but did not tour it. We did walk along it and down along the outside of it.
The “Kissing Statue” is at the Port of San Diego. The 25-foot installation — officially known as “Unconditional Surrender” — recreates the famous embrace between a sailor and a nurse celebrating the end of World War II in New York’s Times Square in 1945
We did not take tour the USS MIDWAY aircraft because of time, but hung out by the statue and took some pictures recreating it, walked past the carrier looked at the “Pirate ship” took some pictures all around this area.
This is the area my husband and I had l lunch at the Carnitas Shack-DEFINITELY worth going. These were our tacos and they were so big! I didn’t eat the shell of my tacos and they were very filling! And the GUACAMOLE WAS INCLUDED!
We walked through the Gaslamp district and that is where my husband had Burger Lounge for the first time (since then we have fortunately got one in Saceramento!)
Let me tell you-if you only go to ONE place with your family-GO HERE
First of all-it is very cool looking with all of the surf memorabilia
-2nd super affordable.
Tell them you want fries and onion rings for the group and they bring out just the right amount of baskets for everyone-then order your burgers. If you are contemplating bacon-GET IT- they are very generous with it and somehow it was the best bacon on a burger I have ever had. For 13 of us the bill was less than $100 and we were very full. They let us take pictures, took pictures for us, photo bombed them all– very fun and GREAT food.
There is a big shopping area with stores and all that-which is fun to walk through if you have time- there are some murals and fountains..but I would pick this last since many of the stores you may have on your own city.
It is just fun walking through places you have never been-and then taking cool pictures there!
If you have Snapchat- use it!! The filters are VERY FUN- and then you will remember where you took your pictures at when you look at them later!
We ended our day at Mission Beach. It was a beautiful sunset tehre. The kids enjoyed the roller coaster, rides and carnival games. They have an Escape Room, Laser Maze (waste of Money don’t fall for it!!!) Zip lining, gift shops and some nice surf stores. If it isn’t in your budget, skip this area. It was nice for the beach and to walk through-but it is really hard to tell your kids “No” to thinks that look SUPER FUN! I spend more in this area than I planned to, but the kids loved it-except for the Laser Maze-lasted 30 seconds.
There are many other places you can go too- SEAL BEACH is awesome if you make it to La Jolla .
I really love just taking great pictures and having fun! Playing at the beach is free and that is my favorite too! Leave a comment if you have another attraction is San Diego you enjoy!!!
Reason #1–ITS FREE to get started!! You can get 1 Month FREE by GOING HERE
Reason #2–You can try necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets-wear them as long as you want, then send them back for your next box!!
Reason #3 I am so bad at picking out jewelry. I usually just wear the same things all the time because I can’t figure out what goes best with what-this way I can try some different looks out without spending money on items I wont use. When you do sign up, you get a credit towards a purchase as well!
So why not try it for a month-Rocksbox members rent fashion designer jewelry – three pieces at a time, custom selected by a stylist. Use code SHOPROCKSXOXO to receive first month FREE!
Go to Rocksbox.com , sign up, and choose the styles that you like! I will keep you posted with my box when it arrives!!
There are other ways and additional ways to save money while you shop!
Money saving and Cash Back Apps were my favorite ways in 2018!
Have you downloaded the Ibotta App yet?
I have earned almost $1,000 Cash Back with Ibotta! (Plus my husband has the app too so we can both earn the deals!)
You will get $10 Cash just for signing up! Plus- we will be in the same team-there are TEAMWORK bonuses when your team reaches a certain amount of Cash Back offers redeemed, and since there are lots of people on my team, it is pretty easy to get a few levels in every month of Bonus MONEY!!!
If you register your card from Raley’s, Sprouts, and Rite Aid-your offers will be redeemed automatically without submitting a receipt!
Here is how it works-
1. Get the Ibotta App
2. Choose the store you are shopping at
3. Add the offers to your account of what you will be buying
4. After shopping redeem your offers by taking a picture of your receipt and submitting it.
5. Receive your CASH BACK!
At first it may seem time consuming setting it up-I get that. But really once or twice a week I skim through the offers at the stores I go to and add them to my account-then when I go to the store I redeem my receipts. It gets faster each time. Plus-looking at how I got $944 back so far-I do not feel bad about the time I spent looking through the offers!
This is SERIOUSLY the EASIEST app to earn gift cards with that I have ever used (And I have used SOOOO MANY!)
To sign up—
Download the App
Use THIS CODE-RPEKY -enter it as your referral code-to get $5 FREE for doing nothing!
Then-register your credit cards or bank cards-sound weird I know-But every time I get gas at Safeway, or shop at Target or any of the stores that I added to my account- I get points AUTOMATICALLY for shopping there!
I don’t have to take any pictures, cut any coupons or do ANYTHING and I was able to earn $15 in gift cards IN MY FIRST MONTH (plus my $5 initial gift!)
There are MORE ways to earn extra points faster-choosing more offers, shopping through the app etc-but I have not taken the time really to do that-I pretty much just let it alone and let the points accumulate! It has been the easiest app so far. It isn’t a HUGE moneymaker, but 1-3 free Starbucks cards a month works for me!
Here is another one of my FAVORITE APPS-SHOPKICK!!
EVERYONE in my family has a Shopkick App!
All you have to do is open your Shopkick app up at the stores that offer “kicks” to walk in.
When your Kicks add up for enough to earn a gift card-you can redeem your kicks!
To get MORE kicks-
Scan items in the store (different for each store)
Link your debit/credit card and receive kicks for shopping at certain stores- I get kicks for shopping at TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls automatically added to my account!
I can usually get $5-$10 in gift cards each month with this app pretty easily. If my kids are with me it gives them something to do while they are in the stores. They go around Target, Walmart-or grocery stores and scan the items that are offered. Keeps them occupied-and they get their own Starbucks cards!
I usually save mine up until I can get a larger amount-or I need a gift.
I did save mine up for awhile because I knew we were going to Seattle-and I KNEW there would be Starbucks there!
Here is my husband enjoying his coffee at the Starbucks Reserve!
He saved up like $10 from Shopkick, and I had $20 so we drank free coffee that weekend because of our Shopkick App!
Join SHOPKICK with this link –
USE CODE GIFT878432 and we both get points towards FREE gift cards!
I just LOVE Fetch Rewards! It is one of the newer ones, but I have already made a few gift cards from it!
When you go shopping-ANY GROCERY STORE- just take a picture of your receipt. It will give you points when you buy brands that are listed in the app! No scanning of items or anything. If your receipt does not have any participating items-you still get 25 points!
All you need to do is Download the FETCH app! Then if you enter this promo code- AF4FP you will get $3 instantly!!
Checkout 51 is pretty simple too! Each Thursday new offers are added (some just reset). You can usually redeem each offer multiple times. This is my favorite app to use at the 99 Cent Only store or Grocery Outlet types of shoppings. They will often have $1 off 2 nabisco Cookies or Crackers. They usually have them for $1 at these stores-so after the $$ Back, they come to $.50 each!
To get BONUS MONEY for signing up – Go To https://checkout51app.link/6aFDoCCTVQ
This app takes a bit longer for your savings to add up, but what I like about it is that you can link your store cards to it. I shop a lot at Safeway (Just add your phone number to your app!), so when I buy an offer that is saved, the savings is added to my account automatically-no scanning receipts or anything else. They don’t have as many offers as other apps-but after awhile they accumulate without any effort-so why not? To get started-GO HERE
Here is a new cereal deal for you!
Buy 4 General Mills Family Size Cereals
Add the $1.49 each coupon to your Safeway card
SCAN THE CEREAL FIRST
Print and Use $1 off 3 Genereal Mills Cereal Coupon
THEN ENTER YOUR PHONE NUMBER! (if you put your # in before the cereal scans you will not get your $5 back!)
Receive $5 Catalina BACK from your purchase!
If you do not use the coupon you will still get a great deal! Self Checkout is the easiest-the catalina will print out once you start to pay. Then you will know you did it right before you pay-once I did it wrong and put my number in just out of habit so I cancelled it and started over!
If you have been to one of my coupon classes, read my article Where Do I Find Coupons?, or have piles of coupons laying around-you might want to know ” Now What??””
First you need to get organized. If that is not your norm, tell yourself “The more organized I am, the more money I will save!” It is true. If you spend an hour a week organizing your coupons and it helps you save $100 or more shopping that week, then you just made $100 an hour! $100 an hour to organize coupons? Awesome right? I have watched a movie, listened to music, and helped my kids with homework while I have worked on my coupons, so it is not like I had to make any ‘extra’ time to do it, I used what I had.
The Binder Method– I recommend this for those who want to start a stockpile of food, that are not used to all the products, or that are unfamiliar with products that you have coupons for.
With this method, you will cut out your coupons, put them in baseball card holders, and keep them in a 3 ring binder (a large one!). Then use dividers to sort your coupons into categories. This way you can see the pictures on the coupon and will be able to find them quicker.
You will need
A 3 ring binder (3″ or larger)
Baseball card holder inserts-found in a 30 pack at Target in the baseball card section-around $5
Page Dividers-usually 1 or $2 each, I used 3 packs
With this method you do not cut your coupons until you are going to use them. If cutting coupons seems like a lot of work, you aren’t a really frequent shopper, or you don’t really want to start stockpiling, I would suggest this method for you.
How this works is when you get your coupon inserts you keep them whole. Write the date on the front of the insert and file them in a sheet protector in a binder, a hanging file crate, or a way you can keep them together for quick reference. Then, when you are going shopping you can check the internet (pantryoverflow.com!) for the best deals for where you are shopping. There you will see the date of the coupon and which insert to find it in. Then, you just go and cut the ones you need for that trip. The only downfall of this is that if you are at the store and see a really great deal you won’t have your coupons with you and you would have to go home and figure out where it is and have to come back another time.
If you have some other way of keeping organized use that! Too many times I have heard people just letting their coupons pile up, getting frustrated and throwing them away. THEY ARE LIKE MONEY!! You wouldn’t just leave your money laying around in piles would you, or throw it away because you didn’t want to organize it? The important thing is to just find what works best for you. You may try one way and find out the other works better, or come up with something different, and this is great. Once you get started you will find out what is the best for YOU! Once you get started and get organized is when the fun really begins!!
Email me Diana@PantryOverflow.com if you have ANY questions or need any more help!!
I love going on day trips! This summer has been a little different because the budget has been a little tighter and my kids have had different activities going on-so I have had to be a little creative because I HATE staying home-mostly because I hate battling my kids away from the TV.
So, I came up with some places we could go for a few hours or the day, and we set our budget and headed out!
One of our favorite places to go is Napa. It is a 1 hour and 10 minute drive from our house, so not too far. We love walking around their downtown area, looking in the shops, trying different foods, taking pictures and just enjoying a change of scenery. I have pictures from our recent and previous trips because each time we go we find a few different finds!
This trip, our first stop was Butter Cream Bakery. One side has a bunch of baked donuts, pastries, cupcakes, cakes etc-and the other side is a little diner area (And the food looked AMAZING!). We got DONUTS. My kids LOVE their maple bars with bacon on top. They say it is the best tasting bacon they have ever had. I admit I did not try it, but they were happy.
When they were clearing out the Twin Towers destruction, any city that wanted part of it could have it. Napa requested it and made their park. It has a list of names of people who were killed along with actual beams from the Towers.
There is a Starbucks nearby-as well as Napa Valley Coffee Roasters, they are both good, but I just love the outside seating area at the Starbucks. It is located on a corner and it is shaded with a nice breeze-plus i could relax while everyone goes to the bathroom!
As you are walking through downtown there are murals and statues that you can take pictures of/with for memories. My kids enjoy taking goofy pictures or just pictures in general, so this keeps us entertained as we are walking (and it is FREE!)
As you walk you will see lots of restaurants and shops to look in, places to take pictures and more. It is just a really quiet and peaceful area to stroll through.
Next you can head over and walk along the riverfront. There is the famous big Waterfront Chair which I have different pictures from different visits-more shops, restaurants and photo ops!
Throughout our visits I have so many variations of kids in this chair!
My kids love the fountain along the river too! Once again-all FREE!
The Napa General store is on the end. It is a restaurant and there is also a store inside that has some unique Napa style gifts (no pictures were allowed inside!)
On the other side of the Riverwalk you can see the entrance to the Silo’s music venue. The ceiling is covered in records and the walls have the album covers. I remember my mom having some of these albums!
Next to that is Sweetie Pies and Vintage Sweet Shoppe! Both have a great variety of sweets if you are looking for a snack for your walk around town. If you are trying to keep on a tight budget-keep walking. But if you want to try something worth spending a little more-it is worth it!
After that you can head over to the Oxbow Market, which is one large building with all different vendors, stores, restaurants, etc all under one roof.
I could not find all of my pictures from when I was there last-so now I have to go back!
It is very interesting to walk through, but if you are budget conscious, walk fast!
On a trip I took there with my husband he ordered sushi from one of the spots inside and he said it was one of the best he has ever had! I don’t remember the exact price, but I remember for sushi-it was pretty reasonable-PLUS you get to watch them make it right there in front of you which is pretty cool!
Ok-so you have walked around, taken pictures, soaked up the quiet relaxing atmosphere, and now you are hungry right? Well, there is NO shortage of places to eat in Napa. Not only is it known for wine, but for their food also.
I took a Foodie Segway Tour in Napa with my husband a couple years ago for our anniversary and every place we tried food was AMAZING!
We didn’t even have to eat at a ‘fancy’ restaurant to find great food either. And, since we came back with our kids so often, it wasn’t in our budget to sit down and spend $100 + for a meal.
So, here are some recommendations for you.
I am not a big fan of picnics-mostly because I spend m ore money on packing food and drinks to bring with me than I would have if we ate somewhere else. Plus, it is often tempting to buy food when you get somewhere even if you brought it.
BUT- the places to have a picnic in Napa are beautiful. Lots of shade around the parks overlooking the river.
I showed you all the perks of downtown and the Oxbow market, but it is a real city too. We have stopped and ate at In-N-Out and McDonald’s, Taco Bell sometimes too. If you aren’t hungry walking around you don’t have to worry about food.
Most of the time we eat lunch before we leave, have a snack somewhere there, and are back home by dinner, so this saves some money too.
1531 3rd St, Napa, CA 94559
Clemente’s is actually inside of Val’s liquor store! They built a kitchen into it just for them! They have a dish called Malfatti that is LEGENDARY-really! It is the husband and wife cooking together with their family-and they have been for decades. They will always talk to you, take pictures and just the NICEST people you will meet. They have a whole menu, but the Malfatti is something you can only get there (and a dozen is like $5!) My daughter wanted me to drive her there on her birthday one year just for that dish-of course I did it.. If you try it, you will understand!
My other daughter’s favorite is the Carne Asada tacos at the la Esperanza Taco Truck. The tacos are $2 each, and I still have not found tacos that taste better than this-and yes, we have drove out here just for the tacos before!! In my opinion-they deserve the sign that says Best Tacos!
My husband and son LOVE this place called MELTED. It is downtown as well.
The owner came up with his own waffle kind of bread for the sandwiches (not like a thick waffle, but thin) and he has som many 80’s themed names of his sandwiches. They are DELICIOUS. How he came up with the flavors that just work together-I don’t know, but if you just want a REALLY GOOD sandwich that you will remember long after- GO HERE!
While I am far from having tried everything, one place I have been and can recommend (on pretty much any budget) is Model Bakery. It is near the Oxbow Market, and their English Muffin was very good! We tried this at one of our foodie stops on the Segway Tour and our tour guide gave us some Boysenberry jam to put on it. Absolutely the best English Muffin! They have cakes, breads, pastries and more too! It was very good and on the more affordable side.
Here is one last cheesy picture of my husband and I. This was 2 years ago on our anniversary! We took a Segway Glide and Graze Tour through Napa with Gayle as our tour guide. We learned some of the history of Napa, met business owners, tried food at 10 different places (all without drinking wine!). It was one of our most memorable anniversaries too! It was only like $100 per person too! We have spent around that for a nice dinner-at ONE place on occasion, but this was 3 hours of fun! Definitely out of our box. It may not be a budget-friendly thing to do with your spouse, friends, or kids, but if you have the money and are looking for a fun idea-HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
We have also stayed the night at the Embassy Suites hotel in Napa too.
It is probably one of the nicest Embassy Suites I have stayed at. They have an inside pool and jacuuzi. Which the Jacuzzi is very large.
There is an outside pool as well.
They also have a nice pond in the middle of the rooms with swans swimming in them.
Their breakfast was just absolutely wonderful too.
If you are planning to stay there, make reservations WAY ahead of time for spring and summer.
We stayed there during Christmas time, and the prices were very reasonable-especially for everything they have there.
If you want to drive a little further-
During one trip to Napa when we had a little bit of extra time, we stopped at
Castello di Amorosa.
4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515
This is a winery, but it is also a castle! You can walk all around the outside and a little bit on the inside of it for FREE. You can also pay to take a tour. We chose the FREE option and took TONS of all different kinds of pictures there! There were vineyards, cellars, peacocks-and a variety of things to look at all around, but as a backdrop for pictures-WORTH THE DRIVE! It is about 30 minutes away from Downtown Napa.
Calistoga, Yountville, and St. Helena are all adorable towns surrounding Napa that you can travel through and spend some time there too!
If you have any suggestions or places in Napa you like, or would recommend PLEASE-Leave them in the comments or contact me Diana@PantryOverflow.com!
FREE BOWLING FOR KIDS!
Go to KidsBowlFree.com and find the participating bowling alley in your neighborhood!
You will get 2 free games per kid ALL SUMMER!
Regal Cinemas $1 Summer Movies
Every year Regal Cinemas offer $1 movies for the Summer! They are $1 each on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 am! They start the first week of June!
Start now buying some really cool Groupon deals when you get those promo codes!
By the time Summer comes, everything the kids want to do starts adding up! If you start scanning through Groupon NOW, and grabbing some deals for Laser Tag, Bowling, Trampoline Parks, Pizza Restaurants, you will be ahead of the game on having fun things to do!
Head over to KidsSkateFree.com and you can sign your kids up to skate free all Summer! I REALLY wish my kids were excited about this one-I would much rather roller skate then go bowling, but we will see-maybe I can get some of their friends excited about it!
There are also ways to earn FREE MOVIE PASSES all Summer just by buying groceries!!
Buy 3 Blue Diamond Almond Milks
Go to activaterewards.com/almondbreeze
Submit your receipt and get a $12 Movie Ticket!
Here is a great deal too
Blue Diamond Almond Milk 96.oz (Large refrigerated) $4
Print $1 off Blue Diamond Almond Milk 96 oz.
Submit for $1 Cash Back from Ibotta!
If you have 3 coupons, you will pay $6 (after cash back) for 3 large almond milks and a Movie Pass!!
Either way, the smaller cartons are on sale for $2-$3 most places! You will still spend less than $12!
Buy 3 Dr Pepper 12 packs and get a Movie Ticket for Spider Man!!
Many times the tickets are for any movie, but if you want them for Spiderman-I would wait for a sale!
When you buy 2 Ziploc Avengers or Disney bags- you can submit your receipt for a $9 movie ticket~~
Go HERE to enter your receipt or get more details on this offer-ends 6/30