Kids Eat Free Restaurants in the Treasure Valley

treasure-valley-kids-eat-freeDo you love to eat out one in awhile? Do you find it hard to afford when you have children (especially if you have two or more)?

Lots of restaurants around the Treasure Valley have caught on to the new trend – to offer one night a week where children get to eat free!

As a Blogger here in the Treasure Valley and a mom of four children, I have compiled this list both for myself and for you. Let me know if your favorite isn’t on the list yet.




Disclosure: Any restaurant can stop or start a kids eat free at any time. Please check with the restaurant before visiting to make sure it is still in effect. Most restaurants will give one meal free for each adult meal. If you find some that allow more than one child per adult, let us know!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Search Yelp Deals For Restaurants Currently Offering Discounts or Deals

Kids Eat Free Boise

  • Chipotle – Sundays in September
  • Dickey’s BBQ – Sundays
  • IHOP – every day from 4 to 10pm
  • Rockies – Mondays
  • Rumbi Island Grill – Thursdays
  • Tucanos – every day, children 6 and under

Kids Eat Free Meridian

  • Chipotle – Sundays in September
  • Corner Bakery at The Village – Tuesdays
  • Dickey’s BBQ – Sundays
  • IHOP – every day from 4 to 10pm
  • Ram – $1 Kids Meals Thursdays
  • Rumbi Island Grill – Thursdays

Click the advertisement below to get free restaurant copycat recipes!

Kids Eat Free Eagle

  • Dickey’s BBQ – Sundays

Kids Eat Free Nampa

  • Chipotle – Sundays in September
  • Dickey’s BBQ – Sundays
  • IHOP – every day from 4 to 10pm
  • Jade Garden – Mondays
  • Pita Pit – Mondays

Kids Eat Free Caldwell

Other Freebies

  • Kids get a free book any day they visit the Idaho Youth Ranch
  • Whole Foods has a free healthy snack kiosk for kids to eat while parents shop,
  • Nampa Fred Meyer has a free healthy snack kiosk for kids to eat while parents shop.
  • Rosauers in Meridian / Eagle has a free healthy snack for kids to eat while parents shop.

Want to teach your children to cook and experience making meals with them? Check out my cookbook – Teach Your Children To Cook on Amazon.

Treasure Valley Homeschool Resources

Treasure_Valley_Resources_Page

My heart is with my local community. This is a series of listings that are useful to the homeschool families in the Treasure Valley area (Boise and vicinity). 



Events

Treasure Valley Homeschool Organizations

CHOIS – Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State – quarterly magazine, lots of resources, produces a convention in Idaho each year in May/June

ICHE – The purpose of the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators is to protect the right to home educate within the State of Idaho. They do this by providing optional standardized testing, Legislative day and Legislative alerts.

SELAH – A homeschool support organization

CHEER – Homeschool support and co-op

Mom Heart Treasure Valley – We are a group of homeschooling mothers who love Jesus and gather together for inspiration and encouragement, often using the resources of Sally Clarkson. We have two groups currently meeting in the Treasure Valley:

Jennie Nelson – Eagle area- you can contact Jennie at juneberryblue@gmail.com or on FB at Jennie Durward Nelson for more info on her group.

Shelly Roy- Meridian, Nampa, West Valley- you can contact Shelly at the.roys.family@gmail.com or on FB at Shelly Lynn Roy

Both Jennie and Shelly are most quickly reached by email. Please use Mom Heart in your subject line and we will answer any questions you may have about our groups as quickly as possible. We look forward to meeting you and getting to know you!

Catholic Home Educators Of The Treasure Valley – See the Group page for more information.

LDS  Deseret Homeschool Association – Homeschool support for Mormon / LDS families

Homeschool Days:

Boise Foothills Learning Center – free classes a couple of times a year, hands on nature learning.

DartWarz – Our first day will be October 3, from 1-3 pm. Price will be $5 per person per hour. Address is 501 E Scenery Ln, Meridian, Idaho. We have tentatively scheduled the first Friday of each of the following months. October, November, December, February, March, April, and May.

Farmstead Homeschool Day Friday October 7th and Friday, October 21 from 12:00-11:00pm. The charge is $4.25

Homeschool Board Game Bunch – This Boise, Idaho group is for all ages! We play quality strategy games once per month at All About Games on Overland in Boise.

Idaho Iceworld Boise – every Friday is homeschool discount day

Jump Time – Tue – Thur 10 – 3pm

Nampa Rollerdrome – 10a.m. – 12p.m – third Wednesday of every month – $4 to skate, $2 skate/blade rental or you can bring your own.

Nerfed – homeschool days on the first and third Tuesday. $5 from 1-4.

Roaring Springs Homeschool Week – Monday, August 16th – Friday, August 21st – 16,99 per person – FLIER REQUIRED – 2015_Roaring_Springs_Homeschool_Day

Silverwood Theme Park2015_Silverwood_Educational_Days PDF- May 20th – Physics Day, May 21st – Science Day

Homeschool Co-ops & Classes:

Arrow Homeschool Co-op – meets in Nampa

CHEER

Common Ground Homeschooling

FHL Homeschool Co-Op – Charlotte Mason and faith based

Holistic Homeschoolers – elderberry picking and other food and natural stuff

Providence Homeschool Co-op

Revelations Homeschool Co-op – Caldwell, Mondays

Treasure Valley Commonwealth

Vineyard Christian Homeschool Co-op

SweetPea Knitting – Beginner Knitting, Beginner Lace and Cables, Intermediate: Baby Sweaters, Advanced: Toe-up Socks (Magic Loop).

Boise Urban Garden School – The Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS) is a specialized, inquiry-based education organization that utilizes an organic garden setting as the foundation for our unique learning environment. We know that a student that is able to dig in the soil, plant a seed, and watch it grow is excited to eat the fruits of their labor, and will understand the science behind a sprouting seed or photosynthesis.

Canyon County Stars Square and Round Dance Club – Lessons Start Wed, Sept 2nd, 7pm – 8:15pm. Caldwell Senior Center – 1009 Everett St, Caldwell.



Homeschool Meetup Groups

208 Families With Teens – Meetup group for homeschool families with teens

Homeschool Family Businesses:

Gone Girly –  Designer Engraved Bakeware

Vassar Enterprises – concrete and grading — phone 208-602-3583- Paul Vassar

Travel Whiz  – Vacation and Travel Services – FB page

TrueAim – Christian Parenting and Early Childhood Education – FB Page

Swim Lessons:

Boise Public Pool

Gem State Gymnastics Swim Lessons

Meridian Public Pool

Nampa Rec Center and Public Pools

Susie’s Swim School in Eagle

VBS (Vacation Bible School):

***Search KTSY for VBS Listings***

2015

Univeristy Baptist Church Jun 8-14 at Manitou Park from 12:30-2:30 after the Idaho Food bank serves their lunch.

College Church in Nampa has VBS June 15-19. Theme: “Everest”

Bethel Church of the Nazarene in Nampa – June 22-36

Silver Sage Baptist Church is having theirs July 13-17 from 6-9pm.

2014

10 Mile Christian – June 23rd – 27th

Sovereign Grace Fellowship – June 23rd – 27th

Meridian First Baptist Church – June 23rd – 27th

Treasure Valley Worship Center (Foursquare) – July 20 – 22

Heritage Bible Church – July 7 – 11

 Cross of Christ Lutheran Church – Jul 7th – 9th

Farmer’s Markets and Upicks:

He Can Do It – list of CSAs/Farms/Markets/Upicks

IdahoPreferred – find local farms

LocalHarvest – Find Farms/CSAs/Farmer’s Markets

PickYourOwn.org – links to a few local Upicks

Boise Farmers’ Market

Caldwell Farmers’ Market

Capital City Public Market – Boise

Eagle Saturday Market

Idaho Berry

Kuna Farmers’ Market

Meridian Public Market @ The Village

Nampa Farmers’ Market

 

Encouraging Children: Contests For Homeschoolers

homeschool_contests

 

Academic, Artistic, Service Oriented, STEM and other contests and challenges that are specifically for homeschoolers or allow homeschooled students to enter.



Academic:

Khan Academy 

Who: 18 and older

Dates: June 22nd – August 1st, 2016 (check back as they appear to do this yearly)

What: 10 minute video explaining a complex subject – math, physics, engineering, etc…

Prizes: $300 for 9 finalists, $3000 grand prize, possibility to get hired to work for Khan making teaching videos

Pizza Hut

Who: K – 6

Dates: October – March

What: Set a reading goal and then meet that goal each month.

Prizes: free, one topping personal pan pizza each month the reading goal is met.

Artistic:

Doodle4Google –

Who: All children K – 12 can enter

Dates: September 14th – December 2nd, 2016

What: Using any artistic medium, create a work of art in and around the word Google.

Prizes: $30,000 Scholarship, grant for school for technology (homeschoolers still get some, but much less), Chromebook Laptop, Android Tablet.

 

How To Eat For $4 Per Day

How To Eat For $4 Per Day

Raise your hand if you are on a tight food budget?

Yea, that is a LOT of hands.

Keep your hands raised if you are on Foodstamps?

Yea, still a lot of hands.

Have you tried to eat healthy on a tight budget and find yourself continually going back to cheap carbs / fillers?

I sure do and I am so frustrated with myself.

Then a friend posts a link and voila, this great, FREE, cookbook emerges!




About The Free Cook Book

It is called “Good and Cheap: Eat Well On $4 Per Day,” By Leanne Brown. And best of all, it is free! Click here for the link: Good and Cheap Free Cookbook.

Leann moved to America from Canada to study nutrition. She was shocked at how many people were on Food Stamps and how few resources there were available to teach folks to eat healthy and well within a Food Stamp budget. So she decided to create a great cookbook full of healthy recipes, nutritious food, meals that aren’t too complicated to make, and most of all, stick to the $4 per day budget.

Leann’s philosophy: “The best health advice is simple: eat fruits and vegetables. Many American cookbooks rely on meat as the central feature of a meal. My recipes celebrate the vegetables rather than the meat. My intent was to create satisfying food that doesn’t require you to supplement your meals with cheap carbohydrates to stave off hunger. I strove to create recipes that use money carefully, without being purely slavish to the bottom line. For example, many recipes use butter rather than oil. Butter is not cheap, but it creates flavor, crunch, and richness in a way that cheap oils never can. ”

She really created this out of a desire to help.

Follow Up

I will be testing out these recipes over the next few months and I hope to share some of my successes and failures on my blog. I also will be revamping my current recipe series, Simple, Healthy, Cheap, to have better photos, include more recipes using Leann’s philosophy and budget, and to include more variety.

 

Book Review: Star Chronicles – A Bible Based Study Of The Stars

Book_Review_Star_ChroniclesOne of the biggest blessings of blogging the past few years is that I have gotten to meet some other amazing bloggers. One in particular has blessed me more times than I can count and I have been looking for a way to return a fraction of it:-)

When I realized that Dawnita from Prairie Dust Trail had a book on the market, I asked her if I could review it! Luckily she said yes, and now I have gotten a whole new perspective on the stars and the Bible with her book: Star Chronicles – A  Bible Based Study Of The Stars

From The Book

Dawnita starts the book with Psalm 8, leaving us in awe of such an amazing creation and giving credit to the Creator for inspiring her book.

She goes on the clarify that this book is not about horrorscopes (pun intended) or astrology, but is focused on why God gave us the stars – for learning, for study, for prophecy.

The book then goes into the 12 constellations usually referred to by astrology, and brings them into context Biblically.

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?

Here is an excerpt from the section on Taurus, which I choose, since I spent a little too much of my life trying to identify with being a “Taurus.”

“Aldebaran is the brightest star in Taurus. You can find it by following the stars of Orion. The name Aldebaran means “the follower”, and it looks like it is following the “seven sisters.” In astronomy, the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, is one of the nearest star clusters obvious to the naked eye. They are mentioned in the Bible three times: “Who maketh Arcturus, Orion and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.” –Job 9:9 “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” –Job 38:31 “Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night, who calleth for the waters of the sea and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is His name.” –Amos 5:8”

A lot of time and research went into her book and she does give credit to those who went before her to understand God’s use and purpose for the stars. She gives an intensive reference section.

You can purchase the book on Amazon today. (affiliate link)

How To Get That Costco Dream Trip For Less

Travel How To Get That Costco Dream Trip For LessIn my post last year about saving money on travel, I compared Costco to Expedia and BookingBuddy. I was comparing apples to apples (so the exact same hotel, airline, tickets, etc…) and Costco won two of the thee “challenges.” Costco, with their buying power, was able to negotiate certain deals with certain carries that others could not match.

However, Expedia and BookingBuddy are both able to negotiate their own deals with carriers, just maybe or maybe not the same carriers as Costco.




So, if ware are willing to compare apple species to apple species (i.e the same star category of service, the same level of air carrier, same room type, etc…) then it would be interesting to find out who comes out with the best price – and YOU still get the best vacation!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Travel How To Get Costo Dream Trip

BookingBudy is a TripAdvisor Company.

Again, I am going to pick the same trips:

  • A Trip to Walt Disney World, including airfare, park tickets, and a non Disney hotel property for 8 days, 7 nights traveling from Seattle, WA. For a family of 4.

 

  • A Trip to Hawaii, including airfare, hotel, and car on the big island for 7 days, 6 nights traveling from Seattle, WA. For a Family of 4.

 

  • A Trip to Cabo San Lucas, including airfare, airport to hotel transfer, and all-inclusive hotel (includes food and drinks) for 5 days, and 4 nights) traveling from Seattle, WA. For two adults.

 

 

Trip 1: Walt Disney World Trip: Departing September 14th and returning September 21st from Seattle, WA, for a family of 4 – 4 star hotel and national airline.

  • Costco Travel Vacation Package – Orlando World Center Marriott, American Airlines (1 stop), 5 day park hopper to WDW: $4,206.
  • Expedia Vacation Package – Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, United Airline (1 stop), 5 day park hopper ticket to WDW: $3,911.
  • BookingBuddy Vacation Package – Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, American Airlines (1 stop), 5 day: $3,907

For each travel provider, I looked for the lowest price, name brand 4 star hotel. With being able to play with the hotel choice and using BookingBuddy’s deal on Walt Disney World ticket price, we were able to save over $300 on this vacation.

Trip 2: Hawaii: Departing September 14th and returning September 20th  from Seattle, WA, for a family of 4.

  • Costco Travel – Halii Kai Waikoloa – Garden View Room, Alaska Airlines (no overnight flight), full size car rental: $3,871
  • Expedia – Sheraton Kona Resort – Mountain View Room, Hawaiian Airlines (no overnight flight), full size car rental: $3,506
  • BookingBuddy Vacation Package – Castle Halii Kai – Garden View Room, United Airlines (no overnight flight), full size car rental – $3,142

For each travel provider, I looked for the lowest price, name brand 4 star hotel. I also looked for economy class flights that were not overnight, and lastly, we added on a full size car rental. Finding the best deal on each site, Booking Budy was able to save over $700 from best price Costco trip and over $350 from the best price Expedia trip. WOW!

Trip 3: Cabo San Lucas: Departing September 14th and returning September 18th from Seattle, WA, for two adults.

  • Costco Travel – Villa del Arco deluxe suite (note: if I ever get to go to Cabo for an anniversary someday, this is my first choice hotel), Alaska Airlines, airport transfer: $1741
  • Expedia – Hacienda Encantada luxury suite, United Airlines, airport transfer: $1557
  • BookingBuddy – Playa Grande Resort, deluxe junior suite, Alaska Airlines, does NOT include airport transfer: $1481. Hotel transfer could be booked separately for (est) $80. Total would be: $1561.

For each travel provider, I looked for the lowest price, name brand 4 star hotel and selected non-overnight economy class flights. Expedia just edges out BookingBuddy here by a couple of dollars. Costco is more expensive by $200, but to be honest, in this case, I would still select the Costco deal.

As we can see, it simply pays to shop around. Sometimes one site will have the best deal and sometimes, another site wins.

Let me know your best deal you have ever found and who it was through.


Beware of IRS Law Suit Scams!

I just heard a lovely computerized voice on my voice mail informing me that the IRS is filing suit against me and that I better call now!

Luckily, I was pretty sure this was a scam and quickly did some research instead of calling them back. Unfortunately, I know that many people don’t know how to tell that something is a scam and may actually fall for this, so I thought I would share my story and the result of my research.

Here is an info-graphic from the FTC with how to discern the difference between a scam and the real IRS.

0519-irs-imposter-scams-infographic

 

What other scams and cons are out there right now that people need to be aware of?

Free Purim App for Andriod

Biblical_Holidays_Purim_AppOf all the Biblical Holidays, Purim may be my favorite. Basically, we dress up, participate in or watch the story of Esther re-enacted, and eat lots of good food. This years theme for our community was Shakespeare and the play was the best ever – they turned it into a Shakespeare comedy!

If you would like to know more about Purim or some other themes we have had in the past, read my post from last year.

The Purim App For Android (Beta)

At the beginning of this year, I have decided it is time for me to get back to doing some programming again. It has been a long time, so I am a little rusty, but I am starting with some simple App Development. I thought I would start by making an App about Purim.

It is simple, and just meant to teach some basics, but in a fun way. It includes the story of Esther, some ideas for Purim celebrations, a word search and a game called Get Hayman!

I would love folks to try it out and give me feedback and suggestions for a bigger, better App for next year. You can download it right here. No strings attached. No spam or spyware or any junk like that. Just enjoy and pass it on. I am just getting started with this, so I just want to get it out there.

Download the Purim App by clicking on this link from your mobile phone. (This is an Amazon Affiliate Link).

2016 Disney Contest and Sweepstakes Roundup

2016 Win A Trip To Disneyland Or DisneyworldAs my children are starting to grow up (I now have a 9 year old, a 7 year old, a 5 year old, and a 7 month old), I have a little longing to take them to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I was able to visit both as a child and Disneyland a couple of times as an adult before I had my children.

Since taking 6 people to either park is not a cheap endeavor, nor is any travel with a large family, I am looking for different options to help me get there. One option is to enter the plethora of Disneyland contests and sweepstakes that are available each there. Who would not want to win a trip to Walt Disney World or win a trip to Disneyland?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

So here is my roundup this year – 2016 Disney Contests and Sweepstakes (updated quarterly) – expiration date – name and link to contest – any additional info.



Updated 2/17/2106

02/18/ 2016 – Star Wars Awakens – 4 nights in WDW or 3 nights in Disney Land

02/20/2016 – Wheel Of Fortune Disney Sea and Shore – Watch the show and enter to win 6 nights at Disney’s Aulani

02/23/2016 – Smuckers Unstoppable Disney Squad – submit a photo for a 4 night trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World

02/28/2016 – AccuWeather Every Moment Matters – entry is on a FB page, 4 night trip

02/28/2016 – Disney Channel Epic Adventure – 5 night trip with 1 night in Cinderella’s Castle

02/29/2016 – Pop Secret Popcorn In the Parks – 4 nights at Walt Disney World

02/29/2016 – Rayovac Unforgettable Vacation – 3 nights at Walt Disney World

02/29/2016 – Mommies With Cents – $500 Disney Gift Card

02/29/2016 – Visit Orlando – 4 nights in Walt Disney World

03/04/2016 – Service Experts Unfrozen Contest – take a photo of a snowman and win a 7 day Disney Cruise

AD: Save up to 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights April 14-June 11, 2016

03/19/2016 – Parents Magazine Magical Moments – 4 nights at Walt Disney World

03/25/2016 – FLASH Stormstruck – 3 nights at Walt Disney World

03/27/2016 – Long John Silver’s – Win a 3 night Disney Caribbean Cruise

03/27/2016 – Escape the Cold in Kissimmee – Win 4 nights in Orlando, including Disney World Tickets

03/27/2016 – America’s Top Fishing and Boating Spots – Win 3 nights in Orlando and a fishing trip

03/28/2016 – National Geographic – Enter a photo to win 4 nights at Walt Disney World

03/31/2016 – Redbook Unforgettable Adventure – 3 nights in Walt Disney World

04/22/2016 – Walt Disney Signature Collection – Win 2 nights in Disneyland and a tour of the original Disney Studio lot

05/03/2016 – Latina Magazine Unforgettable Sweeps – A 4 night Walt Disney World vacation for 8 people.

05/31/2016 – Twinings Disney Land And Sea – 3 nights at Disney World and 4 nights on a Disney Cruise

09/19/2016 – Disneyland Diamond Days – 2 night stay, one of which is in the Disneyland Dream Suite

12/31/2016 – Go Bowling – 4 night Disney cruise

Unknown – Downtown Disney Hotels – Win 2 nights at a WDW hotel, monthly winner


How “A Simple Life Too” Almost Became A Beast

A_Simple_Life_Too_Almost_Became_Beast

I have lost my way.

Somehow, over the past year, my blog went from being about how I can help others’ live a simpler life, sharing what my journey to simplify has been like, and what God is doing in my life, to being about how to make money with my blog.

A Simple Life Too became a “Beast” when I stopped blogging about my heart and what I wanted to write about and it became about “how can I make some money.”

I am sorry.

So, I am sort of starting over again.

No, I won’t get rid of the content I currently have, as some of it really is useful. But I am going back to why I am writing in the first place – by making sure everything I post is because I want to post it, because I hope it really is something that might be useful to others, and / or it is something that truly brings me joy.

I also am not going to fight my life to post more often.

I have a baby. I have three other children. I homeschool, nurse the baby, clean the house, spend time with my husband, and have quality time and  conversation with the folks in my church community.

I live, then I write. I can not continue to live to write.

I will write about our homeschool experience, from the humble perspective of what I have learned so far and what God is showing me WE should do.

I will write about what God is doing in my life and speaking truth. I will probably write about the Biblical holidays.

I might write about how I am working with my children and trying to encourage them. I might also write about our issues with food and how we are trying to eat healthier… and sometimes failing miserably.

I might write about how I really want to go to Disneyland / Disneyworld or some other aspect of my desire to travel. I might still write about trying to work from home… and what has worked and hasn’t worked for us there so far.

I might even come up with something new. We will see…

I would love to hear from you. What did you like and/or did not like from A Simple Life Too this year.