Saving you money throughout San Diego and Beyond!

Author Archive

10 ways to save at the San Diego County Fair

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Kate Hamernik No Comments

ways to save at the san diego county fair

The San Diego County Fair is a tradition for so many! Growing up in North County San Diego I have many fond memories of what was once “The Del Mar Fair”.  We love to share budget saving strategies here on San Diego Deals and Steals. Here are ten ways to save at the San Diego County Fair.

The “Best Pass Ever” is really the best deal if you plan on going to the fair more than once. For just $26 you can enjoy the fair every single day.

best pass ever

Kids get in FREE – There are so many opportunities for kids to get in FREE! Kids ages 5 years and younger are always free! Kids up to age 12 can get a free ticket simply by reading! (Printable certificate for your teacher is in the link).  On June 27th all kids 12 and younger get in FREE! Kids can also enter contests for a free admission the day of! Make sure to check out the link for info on kid’s meals, ride discounts, and more!

Military FREE day – Grab your 2 free tickets on base for opening day of the San Diego County Fair. Active duty, Reservists, Retirees, Dependents, and DoD employees are eligible. Thank you for your service.

Unemployed?  Unemployment Day is on June 14th. Those who can show proof that they are unemployed can get 2 free tickets to the fair to kind of forget about being down on their luck for the day.  Make sure to read up on where to grab free parking and also remember you can pack your own food.  The Fair can be very pricey, but there are several things to do that do not involve an additional charge.

$5 fair days – There are three days of the Fair where you can get in for only $5!  Tickets must be purchased at Albertsons.

$10 tickets for College Students – on June 9th – College Students can get a $10 ticket – an $8 discount!

Groupon has an awesome deal for 42% off tickets for any day! Hot tip! Groupon often has a bonus code for an even greater discount! The code SALE3 is currently available for a bonus 20% off – what?!

Costco members – Make sure to check out the awesome package currently available at your Costco.

San Diego County Fair

Pack your own food! Did you know you can bring outside food into the Fair with you?  We love fair food, but it can add up.  When we go as a family we always bring our own water bottles and also some snacks. This always saves our family of five quite a bit!

Park in a free lot!  Don’t pay to park!  Our kids actually think parking in the free lot is part of the experience.  Not only do we get to check out horses when we park, we also get to ride a bus! If we are lucky we even get to ride a double decker bus.  The shuttle buses are completely free and run all day and night during the fair.

San Diego County Fair rides

More about the San Diego County Fair – “Where the West is Fun” is the theme for the 2017 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons | Vons, remembering the rough and tumble Wild, Wild West and celebrating how the West is fun today. The 2017 Fair will feature a Wild West saloon, numerous Western-themed educational and historic exhibits and country music for everyone to enjoy. There is a new Sheriff in town and it is you! Pull on your boots, grab your cowboy hat, and ride on into Del Mar for some fun this summer. The Fair opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and runs through Tuesday, July 4; it is closed the first four Mondays and the first three Tuesdays. The San Diego County Fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County and one of the top 10 Fairs in the United States and Canada, drawing more than 1.6 million visitors annually. For more information visit

Jersey Boys is playing NOW in San Diego – discount tickets available!

Posted on: May 11th, 2017 by Kate Hamernik No Comments

jersey boys san diego

Jersey Boys is playing NOW at the San Diego Civic Theatre!  We were so excited to attend media night last night and the touring cast was perfection!

Jersey Boys is the story of Franki Valli and The Four Seasons. This Tony and Grammy Award winning show  has been seen world wide by over 24 million people. This is a great show for all generations, I wish we had brought our kids and our parents. The Four Seasons somehow channel the real life characters they are portraying, we almost forgot it was a reenactment a few times!

We attended on a Wednesday night with a packed audience! While we attend live theater regularly, I don’t recall ever being in a theater with such an enthusiastic crowd.  People of all ages were dancing out of the aisles after an awesome standing ovation for the entire cast.

Jersey Boys is playing NOW and will only be at San Diego Broadway for a few more days! Live theater is a splurge, but there is nothing like it!

Please follow BroadwaySD on Instagram – they offered RUSH seats for only $25 last night and this happens often! Always check out their Instagram Stories for behind the scenes fun, but also information about Rush tickets. We have also noticed that there are limited Jersey Boys tickets still available on LivingSocial starting at only $19!

My husband gifted me with 2017/2018 Season Tickets this year for our anniversary – because Hamilton is coming to San Diego!!! Make sure to check out the entire line up – there are so many great shows still in the 2016 / 2017 season, but it is also great to look ahead!

Here is a little sneak peek at Jersey Boys….

Grab someone you love and take them back in time!

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Discount Tickets

Posted on: May 7th, 2017 by Kate Hamernik No Comments

san diego zoo safari park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is on sale on Groupon!  People are always asking us about discount tickets for San Diego Zoo Safari Park. I am always happy when this deal comes around because it is the best!

Grab your discount San Diego Safari Park tickets here!

san diego zoo discount

This Groupon discount is only available for purchase for a limited time. You will need to purchase the tickets right away, but you will have until December 20, 2017 to use them.  There are a few black out dates.  Please check out the site for all the details.

These tickets make great gifts! Keep family and friends that are traveling to San Diego before December in mind!

Enjoy ~ Kate


Free events in North County San Diego in May! And a Rubio’s Giveaway!

Posted on: May 3rd, 2017 by Kate Hamernik 1 Comment

North County San Diego

It’s starting to warm up so get out there and enjoy the many great things to do in North County San Diego.  Enjoy the beautiful weather with your friends and family at these great FREE events.


5/5 – SAN MARCOS: FREE Paddle Board Rentals at The Marina at Lake San Marcos (FREE)

Love the Water? Love the Sun? Get a FREE Paddle Board rental at the Marina and enjoy what Lake San Marcos has to offer at this all-day event.

Learn more:

Lake San Marcos Marina

1025 La Bonita Drive

San Marcos, CA 92078

Get Directions


5/17 – CARLSBAD:  Carlsbad Film Series: Sully; Rated: PG-13 (FREE)

The story of Chesley Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight’s passengers and crew. Movie special features begin at 5:30 p.m.  The movie starts at 6:00pm

Learn More:

Schulman Auditorium at Carlsbad City Library

1775 Dove Lane

Carlsbad, 92009
Get Directions


5/28 –  Vista Strawberry Festival (FREE)

Looking for something fun to do outdoors for Memorial Day that the whole family will enjoy?  Enjoy the 7th Annual Vista Strawberry Festival.  There will be all kinds of fun, food, entertainment stages, bands, carnival rides and lots of strawberries! Come visit the over 400 local vendors that will be showcasing their local products to the community.  Other activities include: Miss Strawberry Pageant, cooking contests, pie eating contests, costume contests, Strawberry Idol, local artists and a lot more. From 6:45 am to 6pm.

 Learn More:

Vista Chamber of Commerce

127 Main Street

Vista, CA 92084

Get Directions


Yay for May!! Thank you to Kara with Windermere Homes & Estates for being so kind to bring us this list each month! I do hope you will follow her on Facebook for up to date listings and information. To sweeten the deal – Kara Courtney has added a fun giveaway on her Facebook page for a delicious treat from Rubio’s (one of my favorites!) – Check out the details and enter for your chance to win on Kara Courtney’s Facebook Page – my readers are lucky!


Kara Courtney is a San Diego local and REALTOR® with Windermere Homes & Estates.

Kara loves understanding the needs of home sellers and home buyers and putting a plan in place that will get them what they want while putting the most money in their pocket. As a result, Kara has created a business that meets the needs of sellers and buyers by making sure that they have the valuable information they need, their plans and transaction details happen on time and that they end up with the most net in their pocket.

Selling or buying a home is a big decision. Call Kara today before selling or buying a home in North San Diego County so you can get the best advice and end up with the most net in your pocket.

Call or text: 760-583-2226 |

Things to do in San Diego in May!

Posted on: April 29th, 2017 by Kate Hamernik No Comments

family owned san diego real estate harvey homes

We have lots of San Diego events in May to celebrate this time of the year! Enjoy this recommended list of FREE or budget-friendly activities in San Diego.


Seaport Village

FREE Concert Series

1pm-4pm (same time for all concerts)


Head on over to the East Plaza Gazebo to enjoy the free Seaport Village Concert Series.

May 7th – Bayou Brothers

May 14th – Tradewinds

May 21st – CAT-ILLACS

Located at: 849 West Harbor Dr. San Diego, CA 92101


Seaport Village – The Headquarters

FREE historic jail tour

While visiting Seaport Village for the concerts, head over to The Headquarters. The Headquarters served as the Police Headquarters back in 1939. You can find shops and dining choices but if you are looking for a free activity, take a tour of the restored jail block. It is an 8 cell jail block with memorabilia and old photos. For those of you who love a selfie, visit the lineup wall for fun pictures.

ALSO at The Headquarters and FREE

Salsa Under the Stars

May 19th 6pm-9pm

Enjoy the band or enjoying dancing in the outdoor courtyard.

Located at: 789 West Harbor  Dr. San Diego, CA 92101

Imperial Beach

Tijuana Estuary junior rangers (FREE)

3:30-4:30pm Every Thursday (Check schedule for holiday hours)

If you have a child between the ages of 7-12, they can learn about estuaries, wetlands and ecosystems for free. They also have the opportunity to earn badges and buttons through the junior ranger program.

For more information:

Located at: Tijuana Estuary 301 Caspian Way Imperial Beach, CA 91932

 Old Town

Cinco De Mayo Weekend Fiesta (FREE)

May 5- 7th

Car Show-11am-5pm May 6th-7th head over to Harney St. for Lowrider Lane car show.

Lucha Libre matches – Various times (check here for matches and times on May 6th and May 7th.

Music and Entertainment – Head on over to the Café Coyote stage on May 6th and 7th for all kinds of music and entertainment. Check the link below for details on who is performing and times.

Kids Area- 11am-5pm May 6th and 7th. Among some of the fun activities will be a petting zoo and pony rides. Food and Drink specials are also available!

For more information:

Ocean Beach

Kite Festival (FREE)

10am-4pm May 13, 2017

(Free parking at Robb Field)

Make and fly your own kite! Free help, materials and instruction.  Prizes per age group will be awarded throughout the day. In addition to making your own kite, you can watch kite shows and play kite games. There will also be a carnival, off street artisans, live music, community booths and food trucks. Located at Dusty Rhodes Park

For more information:

North Park

21st Annual Festival of Arts (FREE except for the Craft Beer Block, which requires tickets)

11am-10pm May 20, 2017

Fun, family friendly event! Live art elements, live music, dance, kids art block, Gallery in the Street, food, craft beer block and cocktail garden.

For more information:


Harvey Homes Designs FREE hand painted wood sign GIVEAWAY

My company, Harvey Homes Designs, is giving away a free, personalized, hand painted sign. The winner can choose from 2 options. The first is styled after the periodic table of elements, this fun sign features custom dates and numbers that are special to you, along with a personalized element name. Choose your last name or a first name. To view the sign, visit here:

The second option is a reminder that the glass is never half empty. To view the sign, visit here:


To enter, all you have to do is head on over to my Facebook group at:

Ask to join and you are automatically entered to win. Contest begins May 1st and ends May 31st. Winner will be announced June 1st.


Michelle was born and raised in North San Diego County. She began her career in the real estate industry in 1999 and in 2005, she launched her own full-service real estate brokerage, Harvey Homes Real Estate and Property Management at Her business is based out of North San Diego County, but she also works in San Diego and on occasion, Riverside County. Michelle is able to offer incredible deals to her home sellers because she operates a virtual office and you work directly with her, the Broker/owner. Home buyers are also able to benefit from the knowledge gained in her 18+ year career. Michelle opened a second business, Harvey Homes Designs, this year. She hand paints real estate sign riders and other custom wood signs at In addition to running a successful full time business, she is a proud homeschooler, CSUSM business graduate, wife to her incredible husband, Jason, and is always learning something new from her tenacious 7 year old son, Mason. Michelle enjoys family time, giving back to the community, never ending home projects with her husband, playing piano with her son, new travel adventures, and attempting to be crafty.

Contact info:

760-716-7549 call/text

Discount LEGOLAND Tickets for San Diego Residents! One Day only!

Posted on: April 21st, 2017 by Kate Hamernik 2 Comments

legoland deal

“Celebrate Carlsbad Day” is one special day where LEGOLAND tickets are the best price of the year! People always ask us for discounted LEGOLAND tickets.  This is by far the best deal!

Keep in mind that Celebrate Carlsbad Day is busy! Make sure to get to the gates early and pack some extra patience! There will be long lines, but tickets are more than half off!  I suggest making this a day where you enjoy just a couple rides but also take in all the shows and other attractions that won’t have long waits.

The Carlsbad Education Foundation (CEF) is hosting their annual ‘Celebrate Carlsbad Day™’ at LEGOLAND® California Resort.

  • What: Specially-priced $30 LEGOLAND tickets
  • When: Saturday, April 29
  • Time: Enjoy extended Park hours 12pm-8pm

LEGOLAND will donate a portion of the event proceeds to the Foundation to support district-wide science initiatives for students at all CUSD Schools.

You cannot purchase $30 tickets at the gate.  For more information and to purchase tickets, see the link below.

You can purchase $30 LEGOLAND tickets here!