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Share creative ideas to assist people of all ages with tips to save money and improve their lifestyle!


By Nancy Clement

July 30, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) What are your summer plans? Do they include travel or is there no budget for taking a trip this summer? Fortunately, our beautiful San Diego and East County offer wonderful places to have a stay at home vacation, to play tourist while sleeping each night in your own bed. A staycation is an inexpensive way to play and not spend a lot of money on travel, lodging, meals and souvenirs.

One way to schedule your time is to do fun outings on weekdays to avoid crowds and indulge in do-it-yourself projects over the weekends. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing so you can set up a relaxing, inexpensive, fun time for you and your family. You could plan to visit a different place each day, pack a picnic lunch including snacks so you don’t have to spend extra money for food.

One place to take the family is Mission Trails Regional Park in East County with almost 5,800 acres and a variety of activities including guided walks every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. There is rock climbing, a state-of-the-art visitor’s center that you can enjoy for no cost. There is a charge for camping at Kumeyaay Campground, and for fishing and boating at naerby Lake Murray. Check out the park's website at

Do you like vintage cars? On Wednesday night there is a free car show in downtown El Cajon on Main Street and Magnolia “Cajon Classic Cruise."   The hours are from 5 – 8 p.m. through September 29th La Mesa Village Merchants host a free “Back to the 50s” car show that is held every Thursday night on La Mesa Blvd through August from 5 – 8 p.m.

Would you prefer an outdoor concert? On Friday nights until from now until September 4th at Prescott Promenade on Main Street there is a free concert series from 6 – 8 pm called El Cajon Concerts on the Green; for more info call (619) 401-8858.

How about a day trip to Julian? It is a relatively short but pretty drive of about 1 – 1.5 hours, depending on where you start your drive. Every Sunday, if the weather permits, a historic comedy skit takes place depicting early life in Julian. It is held between the Julian Market & Deli and Cabbages and Kings, located near the Washington and Main Street intersection; for more information check out: Do budget some money for pie, it’s cheaper to buy the whole pie – if everyone can agree; should it be apple, or berries?

Here are just a few ideas to stir your creative juices and get you to think about fun, cheap things to do in East County on your staycation or any time you have a day off work.

What are your favorite activities we can share with our readers? Please send an e-mail to

Nancy Clement is an east county Realtor®, mortgage broker and freelance writer and can be reached at 619-563-4184 or Dawn Clement is a stay-at-home mother of three, a freelance writer, and creative shopper.


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