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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Back to School Sales July 19th-July 25th



Office Depot/Office Max

The 2 stores have merged and now the sales are valid at both stores.

.1¢ items w/Minimum $5 Purchase: 
Office Depot® Brand Index Cards, 3" x 5", White, 100ct
Office Depot® Brand Ballpoint Stick Pens, 10pk
Scholastic & OfficeMax® Brand Pourable Glue, 4oz.

$1 Items: 
Pencil Pouch
Office Depot® Brand Portfolios, 10pk (Limit 3)
Office Depot® Brand Composition Book (Limit 3)

$2 Items:
Office Depot® Brand Reinforced Filler Paper
FORAY™ Magnetic Dry-Erase Board, 5" x 7", Assorted Colors, Aluminum Frame
Office Depot® Brand Paper Clips, 100-CT clips per box, 10 box pack
Office Depot® Brand 8" Straight Handle Scissors


$3 Items:
Really Useful Boxes, 3-liter
Master Lock® Combination Padlock

Lexar USB Jump Drives: 
8GB $3.99
16GB $5.99
332GB $11.99

X-Acto Mighty Mite Battery Sharpener $10
(Nice Sharpener)

SwissGear® Student Backpack Reg $35.99 on sale for $10
GREAT DEAL!!

GBC 9" Laminator $15
AWESOME Deal for a Laminator!!


30% off the Regular Price of ALL Backpacks

Staples:
Lowest Price all Season Deals(prices valid through the entire Back to School Shopping Season):
These items are all Limit 30 per customer in store. Limit 10 per customer online with $25 minimum purchase. I called and verified that when shopping in store it is 30 per customer.

2-pocket paper folder .15¢ each
Staples® 1-subject notebook, 70 sheets .25¢ each
Westcott® 12" Wood Ruler, Beveled Edge .35¢ each
Staples® Ruled 3" x 5" White Index Cards, 100/Pack .48¢ each
Staples® School Glue, 4 oz., with Stick .50¢ each
Staples® composition book, assorted colors, 100 sheets .50¢ each
Crayola® Crayons, 24/Box .50¢ each
Staples Yellow Pencils, #2 12pk .68¢ each
Staples® filler paper, 8"x 10½", 120 sheets .75¢ each
Crayola® markers and colored pencils, assorted .97¢ each
BIC® pens and mechanical pencils $1 per pack
Westcott 13130 Blunt Tip 5" Kid's Scissors, Assorted Colors $1

Extreme Deals (Limit 5 Per Customer)
Staples® Pink Wedge Erasers, 3/Pack .25¢
Staples Spirial notebook, poly cover .50¢
Lexar JumpDrive 16GB $6.99

$1 Deals:
Staples zip envelope, check size, assorted designs
Staples® fat book, 5.5" x 4.25"
Staples paper pad, college ruled, 5" x 8", assorted designs
Staples® composition book, graph ruled
Paper Mate® InkJoy™ ballpoint, 8/pack
Staples® mini stapler, assorted
Staples® pencil box


$3 Deals:
Sharpie Clear View highlighters, 3/pack
Crayola Twistables Mini Crayons, 24/Pack
Post-it® 2" x 2", 400 sheets per pad 2/pack
Crayola® Crayons, 64/Box
Notebooks & composition books, assorted designs

$5 Deals: 
Case-it pencil case
Staedtler Math Tool Set, 4/Set
Sharpie® Flip Chart Markers, Bullet Tip, Assorted, 8/Pack
Zebra® Z-Grip™ ballpoint pens, 24/pack
C.R. Gibson journal

$6 Items:
Case-it pencil case
M by Staples™ notebook
5-subject notebooks, assorted designs


$10 Items:
Post-it® Super Sticky 3" x 3" Assorted Color Notes, 15 Pads/Pack
"Designer" Pencil boxes
Elmer's Clear Glue Stick Class Pack, .24oz, 30/Pack
Staples® invisible tape, 10/pack
Swingline SmartTouch 3-Hole Punch

Various Spiral Notebooks from .25¢ each to $8 each.


Walgreens
You must have the Walgreens Reward Card to get the sales prices. You can get one in store, if you already don't have one. The cards are FREE!

6/$1(Limit 6): 
Wexford® School Supplies:
Mini Composition or Memo Books, 50 or 80 sheets
2 Pocket Paper Folder with Prongs

4/$1 (Limit 4): 
Wexford® School Supplies:
Mini Highlighter
Erasers: Pink, 2 pk.
Cap Erasers, 15 pk.

.29¢ each Limit 4:
Wexford® School Supplies
Plastic Protractor
Index Cards, 3x5 in., 100 pk.
Tab Dividers 5pk
School Glue 4oz.

.69¢ items:
Supplies Box
Single Sharpie Fine Marker
Wexford®: Composition Book, 80 sheets
Poly Binder, 1 in.
Sheet Protectors, 10 pk.

.99¢ Items:
Playright Markers, 10 pk.
Wexford®: Highlighters, 5 pk.
No. 2 Pencils, 20 pk
Fiskars Pointed Scissors, 5 in.
Fiskars Sharpener
Wexford 5-Subject, 180 sheets
Wexford 3-Subject, 120 Sheets
Index Dividers with Pocket, 5 pk
Dry Erase Markers, 4 pk.

$1.99 Items:
Filler Paper, 280 sheets
Mechanical Pencils, 30 pk.

Buy 1 Get 1 Free Wexford Binders 1" to 3"

Selected Backpacks $2.99

Dollar Tree: 
I was in Dollar Tree this past week and they have a VERY nice selection for Back to School. Check out their Back To School Ad here: Back to School with Dollar Tree

Costco: You do need to be a member of Costco to get these deals, but they are such great deals.







Walmart and Target: 

Walmart and Target have their Back to School areas set up, but no "Sales" yet. Here is a Wonderful Resource from Passionate Penny Pincher that is printable comparision of the everyday low prices of Walmart vs. Target Back to School.

An additional resource if you want to or need to order in BULK at a REALLY good price is Oriental Trading. Oriental Trading has a wonderful Teacher and School Supply section!

The sales are OK this week, so hopefully they REALLY good sales will start soon!


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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Back to School Sales Week of July 12th-July 18th



Office Depot/Office Max

The 2 stores have merged and now the sales are valid at both stores.

.25¢ items: 
Sharpie® Single Permanent Markers Limit 3 per household
Slider Pencil Box Limit 3 per household
Scholastic Crayons,24-PK Limit 3
Office Depot® Brand Kid Scissors Limit 3
Scholastic Glue Sticks, 4pk Limit 3
Office Depot® Brand Tank Highlighters Assorted Colors 5pk, Limit 3


$1 Items (Limit 3 of each item):
Paper Mate® Pink Pearl® Erasers 3pk
Office Depot® Brand & OfficeMax® Brand Notebook 3-Hole Punch
Office Depot® Brand Color Index Cards

$2 Items(Limit 3 of each item):
Paper Mate® Profile™ Retractable Ballpoint Pens 4pk
My First Ticonderoga Pencil 4pk
ALL Pentel® R.S.V.P.® Ballpoint Pens 5pk
Paper Mate® Sharpwriter Mechanical Pencils, 0.7mm 12pk
Stretch Bookcovers
Office Depot® Brand Reinforcements 200pk (the little ring things that seal the paper tears)
Really Useful Boxes®, .55L
BIC Wite-Out® Quick Dry & Extra Coverage Correction Fluid 2pk
Scotch® Heavy Duty Shipping Tape
Avery® Kids’ Permanent Waterproof Labels 35pk

$3 Items (Limit 3 of each item)
Crayola® Dry-Erase Markers 4pk
ALL Pentel® Twist-Erase® GT Mechanical Pencils 3pk

$4 Items: 
Office Depot® Brand School Copy Paper (in assorted colors) (Limit 4)
ALL Pilot® G-2™ Retractable Gel Pens
ALL Paper Mate® Flair® Pens 4pk

Lexar USB Jump Drives: 
8GB $3.99
16GB $5.99
332GB $11.99

50% off the Regular Price of Reebok and Kenneth Cole Backpacks

Staples:
Lowest Price all Season Deals(prices valid through the entire Back to School Shopping Season): 
These items are all Limit 30 per customer in store. Limit 10 per customer online with $25 minimum purchase. I called and verified that when shopping in store it is 30 per customer.

2-pocket paper folder .15¢ each
Staples® 1-subject notebook, 70 sheets .25¢ each
Westcott® 12" Wood Ruler, Beveled Edge .35¢ each
Staples® Ruled 3" x 5" White Index Cards, 100/Pack .48¢ each
Staples® School Glue, 4 oz., with Stick .50¢ each
Staples® composition book, assorted colors, 100 sheets .50¢ each
Crayola® Crayons, 24/Box .50¢ each
Staples Yellow Pencils, #2 12pk .68¢ each
Staples® filler paper, 8"x 10½", 120 sheets .75¢ each
Crayola® markers and colored pencils, assorted .97¢ each
BIC® pens and mechanical pencils $1 per pack
Westcott 13130 Blunt Tip 5" Kid's Scissors, Assorted Colors $1


Extreme Deals(Limit 5 of each per customer):
Staples School Glue, 4 oz. .10¢ each
Staples Pencil Cap Erasers, Pink, Dozen .25¢
Staples® Dual Dome Pencil Sharpener .25¢
Staples glue sticks, 4/pack .25¢
BIC® highlighters 5pk $1

$2 Deals (Valid in store only):
Elmer's glue sticks, 8/pack
Staples memo pad, 3.4" x 3.4" 500 sheets
Staples Accel® 1-subject notebooks , solid colors
BIC® Ultra Round Stic Grip™ ballpoint pens
BIC Wite-Out® 2pk
BIC® Wite-Out® Brand EZ Correct™ Correction Tape, 2/Pack
Dixon Ticonderoga My First Pencil, Bonus Pencil Sharpener, 4/Pack

$3 Deals (Valid in Store Only):
Fashion notebooks and composition books from Studio C, C.R. Gibson and more
Staples College Ruled Filler Paper, 8 1/2" x 11", 400/Pack
Post-it® 1/2" x 1 3/4" Ultra Colors Page Markers, 500 Flags/Pack
Crayola® Colored Pencils, 24/Box
Zebra® Z-Grip mechanical pencils
Ticonderoga No. 2 Soft Pre-Sharpened Assorted Neon Woodcase Pencils, 10/Pack
Paper Mate® Erasermate® ballpoint pens

$4 Items (Valid In Store Only)
simply® 1" view binders, 2/pack
Pilot® G-2 gel pens, 5/pack
Paper Mate® InkJoy® ballpoint pens
Pentel® Wow! ballpoint pens 18pk

$5 Items (Valid In Store Only):
Expo® Low Odor Fine Tip Dry-Erase Markers, Assorted, 8/pk
Zebra Sarasa Retractable Gel-Ink Pens, Medium Point, Black, 10/Pack
Omnitech™ pencil sharpener
BIC® mechanical pencils 24pk
Sharpie® permanent markers 12pk


Walgreens
You must have the Walgreens Reward Card to get the sales prices. You can get one in store, if you already don't have one. The cards are FREE!

6/$1(Limit 6): 
Wexford® School Supplies:
2 Pocket Paper Folder,
Highlighter

.49¢ each (Limit 4): 
Wexford® School Supplies:
No. 2 Pencils 8pk
1 Subject Notebook
5in Kids Scissors

.69¢ each Limit 4:
Wexford® School Supplies
Filler Paper 130 Sheets
Tab Dividers 5pk
School Glue 4oz.

Buy 1 Get 1 Free Backpacks $10.99 or higher value

Costco: 

You do need to be a member of Costco to get these deals, but they are such great deals.








Walmart and Target: 

Walmart and Target have their Back to School areas set up, but no "Sales" yet. Here is a Wonderful Resource from Passionate Penny Pincher that is printable comparison of the everyday low prices of Walmart vs. Target Back to School.

The Target Dollar Spot has quite a few wonderful bargains for Back to School. Dollar Tree has their store stocked with Back to School items also. School Supplies and Food Storage are wonderful deals there!

The sales are coming and hopefully strong and with great prices. Get the deals while you can, stock up now so you don't pay full price in the middle of the year.



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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Back to School Sales Week of July 5th-July 11th




July 5th is here and that means the stores are clearing out Fourth of July and Summer BBQ items and replacing the displays with Back to School items!

YES, YES, I know summer is really just getting started and some kids have only been out of school for a couple of weeks, but before you know it Summer will be over and kids will be heading back to the books!

I went out today and scoped out the stores to see what they have for Back to School and who has started setting up the displays. I found Office Depot, Toys R Us, Staples and Walgreens have already started their Back to School areas. Walmart, Target and Dollar Tree haven't yet set up their areas, but will begin tomorrow.

A couple of stores have some worthwhile Back to School items on sale this week, so I begin my YEARLY Back to School Sales weekly blog posts that many have come to love.

Office Depot/Office Max:

The 2 stores have merged and now the sales are valid at both stores.

.1¢ items (Minimum $5 purchase needed for these items to be a penny)
Tug™ 2-Hole Manual Pencil Sharpener Limit 3
Pencil Pouch Limit 3
Office Depot® Brand Beveled Erasers, 3-PK Limit 3

.25¢ items: 
Office Depot® Brand & OfficeMax® Brand Plastic 12" Ruler Limit 3 per household
Scholastic & OfficeMax® Brand Pourable Glue, 4oz. Limit 3
Scholastic Art Broad Tip Markers, 10-PK Limit 3

$1 Items: 
Mini Stapler Limit 3
Sharpie® Fine-Point Permanent Markers, 5-PK  Limit 3
Paper Mate® Clearpoint™ Mechanical Pencils, 2-PK Limit 3

Ticonderoga® Pencils, 24-PK $3

X-Acto Mighty Mite Pencil Sharpener $10 (battery operated)

Staples:
Lowest Price all Season Deals:
These items are all Limit 30 per customer in store. Limit 10 per customer online with $25 minimum purchase. I called and verified that when shopping in store it is 30 per customer.

2-pocket paper folder .15¢ each
Staples® 1-subject notebook, 70 sheets .25¢ each
Westcott® 12" Wood Ruler, Beveled Edge .35¢ each
Staples® Ruled 3" x 5" White Index Cards, 100/Pack .48¢ each
Staples® School Glue, 4 oz., with Stick .50¢ each
Staples® composition book, assorted colors, 100 sheets .50¢ each
Crayola® Crayons, 24/Box .50¢ each
Staples Yellow Pencils, #2 12pk .68¢ each
Staples® filler paper, 8"x 10½", 120 sheets .75¢ each
Crayola® markers and colored pencils, assorted .97¢ each
BIC® pens and mechanical pencils $1 per pack
Westcott 13130 Blunt Tip 5" Kid's Scissors, Assorted Colors $1


Extreme Deals:
Pentel Hi-Polymer® Latex Free Eraser, 3/Pack .75¢ per pack Limit 5
BIC Wite-Out Brand Quick Dry Correction Fluid, White, 2/Pack $1 per pack Limit 5
Lexar JumpDrive LJDS50-16GABNL 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive, Blue $7.99 Limit 5

$2 Deals (Valid in store only):
Staples® fashion notebooks and composition books, wide ruled
Sharpie® permanent markers, 5/pack
Sharpie® Accent® tank highlighters, 5/pack
Staples® Accel 1-subject notebook
Staples® filler paper, 8" x 10.5", graph ruled, 80 sheets
Staples® reinforced edge filler paper, 100 sheets
Ticonderoga® #2 yellow pencils 24pk

$3 Deals (Valid in Store Only): 
Fashion notebooks and composition books from Studio C, C.R. Gibson and more
Staples College Ruled Filler Paper, 8 1/2" x 11", 400/Pack
Expo® dry-erase markers, chisel tip, 4/pack
Staples® Spine Guard™ 1-subject notebook, 11" x 8.5", 100 sheets

Walgreens: 
You must have the Walgreens Reward Card to get the sales prices. You can get one in store if you already don't have one. The cards are FREE!

5/$1(Limit 5): 
Wexford® School Supplies:
2 Pocket Paper Folder,
Erasers, 2 or 15 pk

.39¢ each (Limit 6): 
Wexford® School Supplies:
School Glue, 4 oz.
Index Cards, 3x5 in. 100 pk.
Pencil Sharpener

Wexford® School Supplies .99¢ each: 
No. 2 Pencils, 20 pk.
Composition Book, 80 sheets
Binder, 1 in.

Fiskars School Supplies $1.49 each (Limit 4)
Scissors, 5 in.
Sharpener

$2.99 each (Limit 4):
Wexford® Calculator
Ology® Copy Paper, 400 sheets

Backpack $3.99 each

It is just beginning and I think the sales this week are a good beginning to the Back to School Sales. I will try to have the weekly Round up of sales up by early Sunday morning, but for sure each Sunday I will be posting! I hope you all get in the deals this year and I hope the deals are much better than the past 2 years!!

Back to School Savings are here and it is my favorite shopping season of the year!!



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Monday, June 1, 2015

Homeschool Buyer Co-op: FREE Summer time Subscription Discovery Streaming Plus


Summer time is here, the school year has come to end for many and now we need to keep the kids from uttering those words "I'm Bored". Homeschool Buyers Co-op has an AMAZING offer to help keep the kids engaged and having fun.

Here’s some good news for you. The Homeschool Buyers Co-op is giving away a FREE subscription to Discovery Education Streaming Plus for the summer to homeschoolers. A 1 year subscription retails for $375, so this is a REALLY GOOD DEAL. It has won oodles of awards and testimonials from homeschoolers. It has over 12,000 full-length educational videos, games, interactives and more. 


Check out what other Homeschoolers have said about Discovery Streaming Plus: 

Bring Your Homeschool Lessons to Life

It's easy to see why homeschoolers rave about Discovery Education Streaming Plus. It's probably the most extensive and feature-rich educational video streaming service in the world.

It's much like having the entire DVD selection of your local public library available to you from the convenience of your home, 24/7/365.


But it's not just a collection of videos that you can watch from beginning to end. This library has been organized into useable video clips, organized and categorized, close-captioned, and supplemented with lesson plans, teaching guides, interactive simulations, images, audio resources, and other resources and materials that you can incorporate into virtually every aspect of your homeschool curriculum.

Discovery Education Streaming Plus features
:
  • Thousands of full-length videos from scores of producers, segmented into tens of thousands of content-specific clips tied directly to state and national standards.
  • Supplemental resources such as Assignment Builder, Quiz Center, Writing Prompt Generator, lesson plans, and more
  • Fast and accurate search functionality and dynamic navigation menus
  • The ability to customize and personalize lessons to different subjects, grades, and learning styles
  • Comprehensive K-12 curriculum coverage in six core subject areas.
  • Thousands of images
  • Membership in the Discovery Educator Network (DEN)
  • Interactive self-paced training
  • Exclusive Discovery programming such as Frozen Planet, Human Planet, LIFE, Into the Universe, Mythbusters, and Curiosity
  • Video series from trusted content providers such as BBC Worldwide, CBS News, Channel 4, Discovery Studios, Scholastic, TV Ontario, and Westin Woods
  • Hundreds of games, skill builders, and body atlas interactives
  • Thousands of self-paced math tutorials spanning concepts from basic addition to calculus
  • Thousands of audio files including podcasts, classic literature audiobooks, children's literature audiobooks from Scholastic, and numerous supplemental study aids for auditory learners



Ready to get your FREE 3 Month Subscription, go here and sign up:
Sign Up for 3 Month FREE SubscriptionHave more questions, check out the FAQ's here:

Have a WONDERFUL Summer and enjoy your FREE 3 month Subscription to Discovery Streaming Plus!

Disclaimer: This post is a promotional post on behalf of Homeschool Buyer Co-op. I received no compensation for this post.


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Monday, May 25, 2015

Build a Menu: May Sale




Are you always looking at the clock at 4pm and saying “Ohhh, what I am going to cook for dinner??” Is mealtime at your house a little bit chaotic?? Would you like to trim the chaos and know ahead of time what is for each meal of the day??

Build a Menu is a WONDERFUL Meal planning website that will help you out of those “ruts” of figuring out dinner plans at the last moment, and helps avoid the “drive thru” meals due to convenience.



Build a Menu is simple to use and you can have a weekly Menu and Grocery List done in about 15 minutes a week.



Build a Menu has something for everyone, including Healthy Lifestyle Recipes and Menus.
  • Budget Friendly
  • Family Friendly
  • Low Carb
  • Gluten Free
  • Allergy Friendly (No Dairy, Nuts, Gluten)
  • Vegetarian
  • Clean Eating
  • Slow Cooker
  • Grill-A-Meal
  • Your Choice of Sides
  • Trim Healthy Mama Friendly

Build a Menu is having a HUGE sale right now, through May 29th. You can get a Yearly Membership for $35!! BONUS: Buy the Classic Plan and get the “Done 4 U” Plan for FREE. The “Done 4 U” plan is sent out every Friday, so you have a back up plan in case you can't plan your own.



Build A Menu Features:
  •  New recipes are always being added
  •  You select a Charitable organization for part of your membership fee to help
  •  You can add your own recipes to your menu
  •  You can create a list of Favorite Recipes

My new favorite feature is:
Mobile Apps now available in iTunes and Google Play Store.
Have access to your Menu and Grocery List on the go!!

Don't miss out on this WONDERFUL sale for an amazing Menu Planning Tool! Click the banner below to get started now! Don't delay, the sale price ends May 29th, 2015!!

 


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Sunday, May 24, 2015

2015 FREE and Frugal Summer Fun


My favorite time of the year is upon us, SUMMER TIME!!! I know for many parents they are left scratching their heads "What I am going to do with my kids all summer??" Well, I have complied a list of FREE and Frugal Summer Fun Ideas!!


                   National Programs for All:




Cinemark Movie Theatres will have the Summer Movie Clubhouse. Movies are shown on Wednesday at 10am. You can purchase a 10 movie Punch Card for $5 or pay $1 per show. The rates are per person.

Regal Movie Theatres have the Summer Movie Express. Movies are shown Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am. Cost is $1 per person per movie.

Classic Cinemas has Wednesday Morning Movie Series. Movies are $1 per person per movie.

Marcus Theatres has the Summer Movie Series. $2 movies on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday from June 15th until August 13th.

Check your area Movie Theatres for more Deals and Summer Movies!


FREE or Frugal Bowling:

Kids Bowl Free is a wonderful site that lists many "Independent" Bowling Alleys in all 50 states. Sign your child up and they get 2 FREE games a day. Shoe rental is not included, but usually inexpensive.

AMF Bowling and Brunswick Bowl are now a combined company, although they keep separate names. The Summer Bowling program for both can be found here. Summer Bowling Games does have a one time cost per child,the cost does include Shoe Rental for the entire summer. Sign your child(ren) up and they receive 3 games a day through Sept 7th. AMF Bowling also has an Adult Bowling Pass, cost and rules vary by area.


Free Roller Skating:
Kids Skate Free is FREE Roller Skating and is gaining in popularity, like the Summer Bowling Program. You can register at the location nearest you and each facility runs the program independently.


Barnes and Noble: The Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program: have your child(ren) read any 8 books. The child(ren) will get a FREE book from Barnes and Noble once the list is complete.

Half Price Books: Feed Your Brain is the Half Price Books Reading program Children need to read at least 15 minutes a day and 300 minutes per month during June and July, turn in form and receive Half Price Book Bucks. Each child can earn Book Bucks each month.

Check your local Library to see if they have a Reading Program going for the summer. Most libraries have a FUN program each year!




Apple Stores: Apple stores offer FREE workshops for Kids 8-12. The kids will learn how to use iMovie and how to make their own films. Sign up HERE!

Windows Stores: Microsoft offers FREE SummerCamps for kids ages 8-13. Kids are divided into 2 age groups 8-10 and 11-13. The "camps" offered include Coding. Sign up HERE!




FREE Family Fun Festival at Millennium Park begins June 22-August 23. Check out the info and Schedule HERE. We went to this a couple summers ago and it was soo much fun! My boys LOVED it!

Zoo Fun:
Lincoln Park Zoo is FREE year round, although parking can cost a "pretty penny". GREAT zoo to visit and have fun at.

Brookfield Zoo has a cost associated with it. You can visit your library in the City of Chicago and in the Suburbs and get a Pass that allows for FREE admission for a limited number of people in the family. Our family buys a yearly membership which not only allows for unlimited FREE admission but also FREE parking. We live only 5 minutes from the Zoo, so the cost is worth it because it pays for itself in 2 visits.

The Cosley Zoo is a small Zoo located in Wheaton, IL. The cost is FREE for kids 17 and under, $5 for Adults and FREE for residents of Wheaton.

Museums around the City:
Museums very rarely have FREE days in the summer. Residents of the City of Chicago can get FREE admission to most of the City Museums using the Kids Museum Passport. Each pass generally admits 4 people FREE and one must be an adult over 18. Some passes have different restrictions.

Suburban residents can visit their local library to see if they are a participant in the Museum Adventure Pass. Many different Museums are included and most passes are valid for Buy 2 get 2 FREE admissions.






The Chicago LakeFront has many Beaches and FREE swimming available. For a listing of Chicago Beaches and locations check HERE.

The Cook County Forest Preserves have 3 Aquatic Centers. There is a small FEE for these attractions, but it is very inexpensive. Adults (12 and up) are $6, and kids 4-12 are $4, 3 and under are FREE. Check out the locations and more info HERE.

I found a really nice listing of Aquatic Centers all around Chicagoland HERE. The Aquatic Centers do have an admission price and each varies by location. The listing covers many areas of Chicagoland! Many Suburban Park Districts have turned their "Pool" into AWESOME Aquatic Centers, so check the Park District websites.

Our favorite Park District Aquatic Center is The Oasis in Bloomingdale. The summer of 2015 the Oasis will have 3 “Discount Days” where admission is only $1 per person ALL DAY. The Discount Days are June 26
th, July 15th and August 5th.

Also, if you are looking for an indoor Pool fun there are a few around Chicagoland. A favorite of my family is the Oak Brook Park District Aquatic Center. Also, Splash Landings AquaticCenter in Glenview and Pelican Harbor in Bolingbrook.






The only time I went to the Forest Preserves growing up, was for Picnics. I was so excited, a few years ago, to discover there is SOO much more to the Forest Preserves then just “picnics”. I have since discovered the Nature Centers and Programs the Forest Preserves have to offer. Events that I have seen listed: Astronomy Nights, Campfire Nights, Butterflies, Family Fishing Days, and MUCH more!

NEW for 2015 at Cook County Forest Preserves: Camping for Families and Individuals. The Cook County Forest Preserves have 5 campgrounds that will be open for Families and Individuals to rent for a night or 2 or however long you want to. The prices are very reasonable. Tent and RV sites and also cabins are available for rent. Check it out HERE.

Here are the websites for the different Forest Preserves in and near Chicagoland.
Check them out for FREE or Frugal Family Fun for the summer.

I also discovered a couple of Nature Centers within Park Districts in the Chicago Area. Lake View Nature Center in Oak Brook Terrace and Lake Katherine in Palos Heights.

LakeView Nature Center is bringing back Wild Wednesdays. The event is FREE and on a drop in basis, No registration required. Check out the websites for more details on the program. Summer Time Nature Fun is a wonderful thing!!




Check your local Library for FUN activities like Movie Days, Story Time, Arts and Craft time and much more. Libraries are a GREAT resource for FREE family fun, including Family Game Night a couple times a month.





Park Districts all over offer Movies in the Park at least once a month during Summer Months. Our family enjoys going to Movies in the Park. The movies are mainly from the summer before or a couple years back, but being outdoors, after dusk, watching movies with the family and neighbors is FUN. The really cool thing is that since Movie in the Parks are FREE and open to the Public, you can visit other parks, not just those from your town.

City of Chicago: Millennium Park will be hosting the Chicago Summer Film Series on Tuesday evenings from June 23- August 25th. FREE Admission and the movie begins at 6:30pm. The listing for the entire SUMMER FILM SERIES.

Surrounding Suburbs:
Bensenville:
June 5th: Frozen Bensenville Water Park
July 10th- The Lego Movie Diorio Field
August 14th- Monsters University Veterans Park


Berwyn:
Kriz Park, 15th & Maple
June 18th- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
July 16th- Paddington
August 20st- Cinderella

Proska Park, 31st & Wisconsin
June 12th- Frozen
July 10th- The Lego Movie
August 14th- The Incredibles

Brookfield:
Jaycee/Ehlert Park, 4315 Park Avenue
June 19th- The Amazing Spiderman
August 7th- The Lego Movie

Downers Grove:
Fischel Park
July 16th- The Goonies (30th Anniversary of Release)
August 20th- Toy Story (20th Anniversary of Release)
September 17th- Back to the Future (30th Anniversary of Release)


Elmhurst:
Wilder Park
June 12th- Big Hero 6
July 10th- Homeward Bound
August 14th- Monsters University

Forest Park:
Park District of Forest Park, 7501 Harrison
June 5th- Book of Life
June 19th- West Side Story
July 17th- Cars
August 7th- Captain America
August 21th- Despicable Me

Joliet Park District:
June 19th- Maleficent Hartman Rec
July 10th- Box Trolls Theodore Crossing
July 24th- Big Hero 6 Preservation Park
August 7th- Frozen Inwood Park

LaGrange Park:
June 12th- Big Hero 6 Sedgewick Park
July 10th-Box Trolls
August 7th- Annie (new version)


Lombard:
Lilicia Park, 150 S. Park Ave.
June 24th- Muppets Most Wanted
July 15th- Paddington
July 22rd- Box Trolls
July 29th- Big Hero 6

OakBrook Terrace:
Hertiage Park, 1S325 Ardmore Ave.
June 24th- Into the Woods
August 4th- Big Hero 6

Oak Forest:
Central Park, 15601 S. Central Ave.
June 26th- Lego Movie
July 24th- Penguins of Madagascar
August 21st- Big Hero 6

Oak Lawn: "On the Green", 9446 S. Raymond Ave.
June 19th- Lego Movie
July 17th- Big Hero 6
August 14th- Muppets Most Wanted

Palos Heights:
Memorial Park
June 18th- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
July 23rd- Big Hero 6
August 6th- Monsters University

WestMont: 
Ty Warner Park, Plaza Drive and Blackhawk Dr.  8:30pm
July 24th-Big Hero 6
August 7th- Wizard of Oz

Willowbrook:
July 17th Big Hero 6 Borse Park

Woodridge Park District:
June 5th-Muppets Most Wanted Westminister Park
June 12th- Frozen Ide's Grove East Park
July 17th- Planes: Fire & Rescue Windy Point Park
July 24th- The Goonies Castaldo Park

Check your local Park District, as I only searched and found a few suburbs. Park Districts are a wonderful place to have a Family Movie night and it is FREE!




More places to find ideas for Family Fun and Family Activities:

Pinterest: Ohhh, the wonderful resources you can find on Pinterest. Do a search for “summer fun _____” and you can find resources for your city or town or idea. I have found many great ideas on Pinterest. I even have a Summer Fun Board.

A GREAT resource for Chicagoland parents is Chicago Parent Magazine. The magazine comes out monthly in libraries in both the City and Suburbs. The magazine publishes a calendar in the back of each monthly edition with Family Fun activities all around Chicagoland. 4x a year(one for every season) they put a special edition called Going Places. It is a BIG listing of their monthly calendar of events. Check out the website and pick up a copy of the monthly magazine and the Summer Edition of Going Places for some GREAT listings of Family Fun. (not all events listed are FREE, but many are). I LOVE Chicago Parent magazine, it is a GREAT resource year round! Do a google search if you live in another state, near a BIG city. I know cities like Dallas, New York and others have a "Parent Magazine", like the sister magazine to Chicago Parent.

Chicago Kids is a GREAT online Resource to find fun and activities for Kids and Families.

KidWinks is another WONDERFUL resource for Family Fun Activities. KidWinks has a weekly email that they send out year round, just sign up for it.

OakLees Family Guide is yet another Family Fun Resource. OakLee Family Guides are available in Libraries and other places all over Chicagoland. Their website is also filled with VALUABLE info!

KidList is a “new to me” site that I just discovered this month. The site has lots of great ideas, links and info about events in the Western Suburbs.

Our family also loves Summer Time Fairs and Festivals. Neighborhoods, Towns, Cities and more have some fun Fairs and Festivals. We really like some of those that "take us back in time" like Old Fashioned Days, Cival War Days, etc. Make sure to check local towns, cities and neighborhoods for local Festivals and Fairs. Also, many towns and villages have "Downtown Fun" nights once a week. Check your own neighborhood for Family Fun events.

I wish EVERYONE an AMAZING, WONDERFUL, FUN FILLED Summer! The BUDGET doesn't have to go BROKE for Family FUN. Time Spent with your children and/or as a family is the important thing, Enjoy your SUMMER 2015!!


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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GoodBye 2014: A month by month Recap of 2014




I came into 2014 filled with optimism, happiness, looking forward to a wonderful year ahead. I had even picked a "Word for 2014" and was looking forward to seeing that bought into our life. Well, 2014 proved to be the WORST year of my life! A recap of my year, month by month.

January: 
January started with BITTER cold and ugly weather. The weather was so cold here that someone coined the word "Chiberia" and Chicago Public Schools closed for 2 days, which followed by almost all schools in Chicagoland area closing for 2 days.

January 6th was the first below Zero HIGH temp for the day and also the day we began having issues with our one and only vehicle. Harlin was driving to work and it began overheating BAD. He made it to and from work that day, but it was a struggle. We decided it probably was best not to drive it until we got it looked at. Harlin was able to get rides to and from work during the BITTER cold. We would eventually find out that the Head Gasket blew on the van. We use mobile mechanics and would not be able to get the van fixed until Mid-February when the funds were available and our mobile mechanic had a garage to work from. January was difficult because we were without a vehicle until Mid-February. The BITTER cold and 33" of snow that fell that month made for difficulty getting around and even doing basic things like getting groceries. THANKFULLY, friends and family helped us by taking us grocery shopping or Harlin stopped at Aldi, across the street on his way home from the bus stop.

I had made a decision on which "Healthy Lifestyle" plan I wanted to work on and requested a book "Trim Healthy Mama" from our local Library on January 15th. The Library system of 80 libraries only had 2 copies in the system and there were 6 requests for the book.

February: 
My life would come to a screeching HALT when I received the most devasting and life changing news EVER. My Wonderful, AWESOME, Dad passed away unexpectedly on February 4, 2014. My Dad had been in a nursing home since May 4th, 2013 but we thought he was doing soo much better. He was on 3 day a week dialysis since 2007 and he missed going to Dialysis on Monday February 3rd because he wasn't feeling well. I did talk to him on Monday, but he didn't tell me he hadn't gone to dialysis. The nursing home and my Dad called my mom at 2:30am on Tuesday the 4th as he was being transferred to the hospital. My Dad ultimately had a heart attack on his way to the hospital and his heart just gave out. He was only 62yrs old and he was an AMAZING Dad and all around person.

Here is what I wrote on Facebook that day: 
Today has been the HARDEST day of my life. My Dad passed away early this morning.

My Dad was the Kindest, Gentlest, BIG Hearted man. He was a HARD worker and LOVED his family, friends and LOVED talking to people he met "on the street". My dad taught me, my boys and many others, and taught by example one of the GREATEST lessons ever: Give to others and take care of others before yourself. I will miss those daily, even up to several times a day, phone calls. He had the BIGGEST smile and could make anyone smile and laugh with him. He was an encourager and all around GREAT DAD!!

My Dad LOVED the Eagle. I am reminded of this verse today:
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
He is running and not weak, he is walking with ease and no cane anymore. My dad SOARED to Heaven today and until we meet again: I LOVE YOU DAD!



Saturday, February 8th we had a Visitation and Service for my Dad and it was very well attended, even though there was a snowstorm the entire day. I am VERY grateful for all you supported our family during that week and the weeks and months to come.

The rest of February was a blur. We did get our van fixed and the head gasket replaced around February 15th and that was a blessing to have our vehicle back in working order.

March:
I began a "mentoring relationship" with someone from our church. She and I meet a couple times a month and she has been an encouragement to me for this entire year, even through the trials of 2014.

Nothing else significant happened in March or nothing that I can recall. March was still a blur and I was still very heartbroken over the loss of my Dad. I continued to wait for the "healthy Lifestyle" book to come to the library and was in touch with the library often in regards to the hold up.

April:
April was a VERY difficult month. My Dad would have been 63 on April 12th. My mom, siblings, grandkids, spouses and I all got together and visited the Cemetery where my Dad's parents and many other relatives are buried. My sister had picked up my Dad's ashes that day before coming to the Cemetary. We "buried" some of my Dad's ashes at the foot of his parents headstones. We all shared our favorite memories of my Dad. Very windy day, but a BEAUTIFUL sunshine day. We went back to my mom's place where we ordered Pizza and had Pepsi, one of my Dad's favorite meals.

We received our Income Tax Refund and we took care of some annual payments and more. I bought my own copy of "Trim Healthy Mama" and also ordered some of the items needed/wanted to make the lifestyle change happen. I also went shopping at Costco and Sam's Club for healthy groceries and more.

I began coming out of my "hiding" in April and getting energy back.

May: 
I began what would be about 2 months of Drs. Appointments and check ups and blood work. I always do yearly blood work and more due to the health issues in our family history. I see my Primary Doctor and a couple of Specialists to check up on a few things.

I began the "Trim Healthy Mama" lifestyle change on May 12th and it has been wonderful. Trim Healthy Mama is a simple plan to follow and I don't ever feel like I am on a "diet". It is NOT a diet as it is a Long Term, Lifestyle change.

June: 
June started out OK, but the middle of the month bought sorrow and grief once again. June 15th, Fathers Day, I was "talking" to my cousin via Facebook on how she was doing as we both lost our Dad's within that year and it was our first Father's Day without our dads. Later that evening I would receive a message from her sister that Erin had been rushed to the hospital and was in critical condition. 24 hours later my 39yr old cousin passed away from undetected heart blockage. Erin Kathleen and I were always VERY close growing up and I have AWESOME memories of her and I. She is truly missed.



July: 
July things were starting to look GREAT. We had started to take care of things for our household and began a mission(to revealed hopefully in 2015) and I was getting back into our routine.
Our household came to a screeching halt once again on July 18th when a family member decided to make a phone call that could have destroyed our household. I am glad the phone call was filled with LIES and UNTRUTHS, as this "BULLY" was only being spiteful. I knew that even though the actions of this family member were spiteful, I needed to forgive them for their actions, even through the whole TRIAL of their action of making a lied filled phone call. I choose to do that and continue to do so. We would ultimately be put through 2 months of CRAZY stuff and proving the phone call was made up of LIES and Spitefulness. We succeeded in proving the family member was being Spiteful and made up a BUNCH of lies. God is GOOD to our family and we had him on our side!!

August: 
We had to keep "low key" this month as we continued the battle that was bought on by a family member who was spiteful.

September: 
We began our routine for the year and things were going smoothly. We awaited the word on the outcome of the Phone Call filled with lies and we received the notice on Sept. 19th that we were CLEARED!! God is GOOD!

Sept 20th, I was gone for the entire day and come home to find that our Main PC had CRASHED!! I tried everything I could to revive it, but couldn't. I started using the boys computer in the front room, but it just isn't the same. I was glad for my phone and tablet as I still had wifi access in our household.

October: 
October was a good month! My BIL found an AWESOME Mini-Van for a WONDERFUL price and helped us secure it and helped us make it a "new to us" vehicle. We had expressed interest in getting a "new to us" vehicle in the Spring, but he helped make it happen way sooner! I put our 2000 Oldsmobile Silohoutte for sale on Craigslist and OfferUp. I priced it at $1,200 as our goal was to get $1,000. 2 weeks after posting the van for sale, it sold for $1,000. The girl who purchased it had NO vehicle and her dad is a mechanic and could help with the "quirky" little repairs it still needed.

We did find someone to take a look at our main PC. He is a friend of a friend. He at first thought it was not recoverable, but he tinkered with it some more and recovered all our Files and got it up and running again. Cost $150. We havent' been able to pick it up yet, as the funds are not there, but we soon will.

October 27th our Router DIED so we had NO internet access at home now. We purchased a new router a week later but still could not get things to connect. Wifi was not consistent and there was NO internet to the boys PC.

November: 
We were without internet access ALL month as we still couldn't get the router working properly.

Broken family relationships would come this month, broken as in disowned. The broken relationships were not my call, but once it happened it released a lot of anxiety and more and gave me a sense of relief. Sometimes getting "toxic people" from your life is a WONDERFUL thing! The "Bully" was bullied and didn't like it and disowned family.

My BIL would call and say "I have an opportunity for you and Harlin. He had another GREAT vehicle at another GREAT price. This vehicle would become Harlin's vehicle and a second car for the family. Having a Second car has been wonderful. We were thinking about second car come Spring, but it happened now and it has been AWESOME.

Thanksgiving Day: We spent it at home, just the 5 of us and I liked it that way. Low Key day with lots of memories.

December: 
WOOHOO!! Harlin had someone from church come over and get our new router up and running. We still don't have our Main PC back from the repair guy, but the boys CPU is being used as the main PC right now. We now have FULL internet access.

Christmas Day: The boys didn't get everything they wanted from their list, we would need mega money for that to happen. We had a good day and went to dinner at Harlin's Brothers place.

New Years Eve: We are having our traditional New Years Eve. Finger Foods and Snacks, Watching Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve and local countdown coverage and having fun today at home!



2014 has had more Trials then I have ever had in my Life. 2014 has been a BAD year for many, including myself, and I have been wanting it to be over since March. I am glad to see 2014 come to an END!!

I am not making any Resolutions or promises for 2015, as 2014 taught me our best laid plans are not God's plan. I can make promises and resolutions, but God's plan will always come to fruition before our plans. I am praying for God to move in our life next year and help us have an AWESOME year! We do have some Goals that we would like to achieve next year, but we have to follow God's plan and if our goals align with his plans, it will all happen!!



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