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Get Out of the House Psst. A deal for you.

By Rebecca Meekma

If you’ve read this column even one time over the past 18 months you’ve probably noticed that I love a deal.  I used to think that was because I’m from New York, and all New Yorkers know you never pay retail.  For anything. Sample sales. Items that fell off the back of a truck. Knowing someone who works “there” and can get you in the corporate store. All badges of honor.

It took me a while to find deals in OC. People here don’t talk about their love of the deal with as much pride, but when you finally get into the Roxy/Quicksilver company store, well, you feel good.

For me, the best part is not only the actual purchase, but telling about its origin when complemented. “Love those shoes.” “Oh, thanks. Kate Spade sample sale!” Even better? “Love that jacket.” “Thanks. Target sale: $3.97!” Who needs sex when you can score bargains?

Unfortunately, I haven’t found many deals for kid things, until I recently discovered the Woodbridge Theater in Irvine. We found a deal and had fun.

Woodbridge Movies 5 is a slightly older – ‘80s, I’m guessing – theater that plays movies that are a month or two old. Ticket price? $2 per seat. For real. And on Tuesdays – hold on to you proverbial hats – tickets are $1. They even have 3-D movies for $4.

Last summer my girls and I saw “Despicable Me” in regular format. I wasn’t forking over $14 per ticket for questionable 3-D effects and glasses that give me a headache. But over Christmas break, you remember, that second week is torture for everyone involved if you haven’t left town. I took the girls and a friend to see the movie in 3D and felt great when I paid for all five tickets with a $20.

As we settled in to our seats an advertisement flashed on the screen: bring your movie tickets to the almost adjacent Ruby’s and get a free shake with an entree.  Whoo. This was going to be better than Disneyland. Treats for everyone!

The movie was fun in 3-D and we did hit Ruby’s for lunch. Shakes all around, please. This Ruby’s has a nautical theme and picture windows that gave a nice view of one of Irvine’s man-made lakes.  After lunch we crossed Barranca on the pedestrian bridge – again – more fun than Disneyland for the three girls – and checked out the lake and its numerous water fowl. And tried not to disturb the guy intensely practicing tai chi.

So, movies and lunch for five people for the same price as a regular movie and lunch for two people. Now, that’s a deal to talk about.

And, psst…here’s a deal to put on your calendar:  Mission San Juan Capistrano will let in Laguna Beach residents (proof of residency required) for free on Friday, Feb. 4. Play hooky in the morning; explore the Mission – with or without kids (I vote for without.) Rediscover this historical gem. The temporary Lewis and Clark exhibit is really interesting. And then stroll over to Ramos House Café (the best restaurant in OC) and take yourself out to lunch. Not a bad deal.

Woodbridge Theaters: 4626 Barranca Parkway in Irvine.  www.StarplexCinemascom.

Rebecca Meekma is that friend who always knows something fun to do and the Calendar Editor for Parenting OC. Follow her blog at www.ParentingOC.com.

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