Best Buys

San Diego comparison shopping. The best deals, local products, and services in the county.

Where to get your pie in San Diego

“When it comes to pumpkin, we go to Costco”

“I say make the whole dinner a pie,” said my friend May when I asked for Thanskgiving pie suggestions. “Patton Oswalt may have been right about KFC’s Famous Bowls being failure piles, but that’s because ...

Operation Scar-Be-Gone

Scars are like tattoos but with better stories.

Doesn’t everybody have a scar or two? My mother found me “shaving like Daddy” in the bathroom when I was three years old. I have an inch-long scar on my chin to remind me of ...

Halloween, for the kids and not-so-kids

Sip and slurp while the kids dump and munch

“Halloween on a Tuesday,” griped my friend Sarah. “That’s a long way from the weekend.” “Call it pre-gaming,” offered friend Kathy. “We’ll do a party at my house with all the kids on the actual ...

Favorite thrift-shop spots

Bitten by the bargain bug

Eve Kelly comes from a sturdy stock of thrift shoppers and upcyclers. As a child, I had two brand-new items: a dress for my confirmation and a pair of church shoes. Everything else was a ...

Ultimate irony: indoor playgrounds in San Diego

For those whose lives are only about fun and games

I used to go to indoor play parks only when it rained. Now I go when it’s over 100 degrees as well. At this time of year, it could be either. “We are an indoor ...

Best SoCal day trips to make up for summer

Smaller crowds, better weather in fall anyway

Summer 2017, did you even happen? One day the kids were out of school, the next they were back in. None of us is happy about it. “Absolutely no Kelly family vacations happened this summer,” ...

What to do on Labor Day

There’s the Mega-Yacht Party, the Festival of Sail, the Julian Grape Stomp...

Rich Uncle Max is coming for Labor Day. He’s always been one of those old dudes who can hang around young people and somehow not come off as creepy or embarrassing. So we’re a little ...

Ideas for college care-packages

Bon appétit, dorm dwellers

All the kids coveted Steve’s care packages from his mom — homemade walnut–chocolate chip cookies, twice wrapped individually in plastic wrap and shipped by the dozens in freezer bags. Mouths watered as he sliced open ...

Go outdoors to hear music

“They have, like, 70 different bands. Last time, I went to see the Barb Wire Dolls and Creeper.”

“What’s the point of living in San Diego if all you kids do is sit inside and stare at screens?” It’s a frequent refrain in my house. I was dumb enough to buy all those ...

A comparison of mosquito repellants, from homemade to DEET

Essential oils, garlic, vinegar, and a mosquito repellant developed by a grandpa

Our son heads off into the Wind River Range of Wyoming on a three-week backpacking trek this August, the beginning of his school year at a liberal arts college with an outdoor leadership program. My ...

Stuff for summer that will last

Sandals, beach wagons, and Sport-Brellas

It seems like every year, I buy a new round of beach equipment: flip-flops, bags for carrying stuff, folding chairs — even new covers for the collapsible awning. This year, I’m looking for stuff that ...

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