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Free Summer Reading Programs 2020

If you’re looking for summer reading programs for kids, this is our comprehensive list of all the completely FREE programs!

{Looking for other fun summer deals? Kids can bowl for free and skate for free at many participating locations this summer!

free summer reading programs 2020

Believe it or not, it’s almost that time of year again — when school is out and summer reading programs abound. Yay! (Well, some of you might not be saying “yay!”, but we do because my kids LOVE them some summer reading programs!)

Note: We recommend calling your local stores to verify that they’re participating in these programs this year. Due to COVID, there maybe be some temporary changes in these programs, depending on your region.

Free Summer Reading Programs 2020

Do your kids love to read, too? If so, this is our big list of all the FREE summer reading programs that are available nationally!

Amazon — Kids who read any eight books this summer can bring their list of books read to the nearest Amazon Retail Store to receive a Star Reader Certificate and their choice of a free book.

Audiobook Sync — SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads per week for teens 13+. Sign up to get notifications when the free audiobook downloads are available.

Barnes & Noble — Earn a free book through the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program for kids in grades 1-6.

  1. Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal (PDF download). Tell them which part of the book is your favorite, and why.
  2. Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between July 1st and August 31st, 2020.
  3. Choose a FREE BOOK from the selection on the Reading Journal list at the store.

Books-A-Million — Read any four books from the Summer Reading Adventure section in-store or online, write about them in your summer reading adventure log book, and receive a free Dog Man logo baseball cap (while supplies last).

Chuck E. Cheese — Kids can fill out their Reading Rewards Calendar when they read every day for two weeks, and then trade it in for 10 FREE play points at your local Chuck E. Cheese location.

Half Price Books — Kids 14 or younger can read 15 minutes per day to reach a total of at least 300 minutes. After that, they can take their completed reading log to their local store to earn Bookworm Bucks to spend. (In addition, they have a summer reading program for teens.)

Lifeway Stores– Lifeway typically does a summer reading program where you can receive a free Bible for reading six books. It’s not live yet, but you can sign up to receive a notification when it goes live this year!

Scholastic — The Summer Read-A-Palooza is back again this year! Kids can enter their summer reading minutes online to unlock digital rewards as they complete weekly reading challenges and access book excerpts, videos, and other summer-exclusive content.

Showcase Cinemas — Bookworm Wednesdays entitles kids to free admission to a select children’s film when they present a book report at a participating Cinema de Lux, Showcase, or Multiplex Cinemas box office. Accompanying parents or guardians and children under six years of age receive free admission and do not need to submit a book report. They don’t have the movie schedule up yet, but you can bookmark the page and check back when it goes live for 2020.

TD Bank – Kids in grades Kindergarten through 5th can earn $10 from TD Bank when they read 10 books this summer. Simply print out the Summer Reading Form, write down the names of the books read on the form and then take the form to the nearest TD Bank. You will receive the $10 in a new or existing TD Simple Savings account. (Note: The form hasn’t been updated for 2020 yet, but this program typically returns every year and starts on June 1st.)

Local Libraries — Above all, don’t forget about your local library! Most of them offer fun summer reading programs with prizes and more.

Bonus: Don’t forget about the Pizza Hut Book-It Program that runs each school year!

Download our FREE Kid’s Summer Reading Printable Pack!

free kid's summer reading challenge printable pack

Looking for a fun way to encourage and motivate your kids to read more? Or need a creative way for your kids to keep track of all the books they read through summer reading programs this year?

Be sure to download our FREE Kid’s Summer Reading Printable Pack! It comes with a reading challenge, reading time tracker, and fill-in-the-blank summer reading list.

Do you know of any other Summer Reading Programs we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

Gretchen’s $95 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 5

I ended up being out of town some of last week and wasn’t able to do a grocery shopping trip for last week. So we basically were out of almost everything. Our meals were getting really creative by the end of the week. Because of this, I had quite a huge grocery list this week!


4 dozen Eggs – $0.98 each

1 gallon Milk – $2.19 (I usually make our milk last longer by adding water to it once it gets down to half a gallon about mid-week.)

2 Half & Half – $1.55 each

2 bags Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.59 each

2 box MooTubes – $1.55

1 bag Frozen Tilapia – $3.79

1 bag Frozen Strawberries – $1.89

1 bag Spinach – $1.19

1 bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.19

1 box Chewy Granola Bars – $1.15

2 cans Green Beans – $0.49 each

1 Grape Jelly – $1.29

2 pkg Strawberries – $0.99 each (I wanted to purchase more but a lot of the strawberries were either already moldy or looking old.)

1 can Refried Beans – $0.75

1 pkg Green Peppers – $1.99

1 bag Chocolate Chips – $1.69

1 Flour Tortillas – $1.25

1 pkg Pazazz Apples – $2.79

2 cans Tuna – $0.79 each

1 Unsweetened Applesauce – $1.95

1 can Black Beans – $0.48

3 boxes Mac & Cheese – $0.33 each

1 box Cheese Crackers – $1.49

1 bag Sugar – $1.57

1 pkg Cream Cheese – $0.79

1 canister Raisins – $2.89

1 box Graham Crackers – $0.99

1 bag Tortilla Chips – $0.89

1 lb Ground Turkey – $1.89

1.70 lbs Roma Tomatoes – $1.89

1 loaf Bread – $0.95

2 lbs Ground Beef – $1.89 each

Total: $68.14


1 Green Leaf Lettuce – $1.49

4 boxes Mott’s Fruit Snacks – $0.99 each

1 box Kroger Peanut Butter Cereal – $1.49

2.36 lbs Bananas – $1.16

2.24 lbs Bananas – Marked down to $0.87

1 bag Kroger Potato Chips – $1.25

1 Kroger Ice Cream – $1.79

1 Mom’s Best Cereal – $3.29 (This is the ONLY cereal my two little boys will eat. They ask for it every single morning.)

1 bag Clementines – $3.99

4 bags Kroger Shredded Cheese – $1.88 each

1 bag Frozen Peas – $1

Total: $27.81

Total for both stores: $95.95

Menu Plan for This Week


Cereal, Spinach Smoothies, Eggs, Oatmeal, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins


Mac & Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Cheese/Crackers/Veggies, Apples & Peanut Butter/Hard Boiled Eggs, Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Leftovers


Tossed Salad Bar with Chicken

Grilled Chicken and Tilapia, Biscuits, Fruit Salad

Baked Chicken Taquitos, Chips & Salsa, Steamed Peas

Spaghetti, Tossed Salad, Green Beans

Crepes, Strawberry Smoothies, Scrambled Eggs

Homemade Cheese Pizza, Breadsticks

Barbecue Meatballs, Homemade Bread, Steamed Broccoli

My Goals For This Week (easing back into real-life!)

After taking an entire month off from goal-setting while on maternity leave, I’m excited to ease back into it starting this week. (My maternity leave doesn’t officially end until the end of May, but I’m feeling good and we’re getting into a rhythm and groove here, so I decided I’d test drive the new routine I created for my week this week!)

This Week’s Goals

Personal Goals

1. Take 5 slow walks in our neighborhood. 

2. Finish reading Stay. Read 4 more chapters of Heartfelt Discipline. Read at least 10 chapters of The Librarian of Auschwitz.

Home/Family Goals

3. Read 3 chapters of The Boy on the Wooden Box aloud to the kids.

4. Complete 2 hours of foster care training.

5. Spend one-on-one time with each of the three older kids doing something they love doing.

Work/Blog Goals

6. Finish the second round of edit to my manuscript. Work on Afterword.

Word of the Year Goals

7. Have a family night and do an at-home Escape Game together.

What are YOUR goals for this week? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to hear and be able to cheer for you!

A Peek Into Our Week: Kierstyn is one month old (lots of pictures!)

One month old! Kierstyn Michaela, you have brought so much joy to our home!

This month you:

  • were born (!)
  • came home from the hospital
  • met your siblings
  • loved your baths
  • struggled to gain weight but (with lots of effort) passed your third weight check (!)
  • slept like a rockstar at night (usually only waking up twice to eat and then going right back to sleep)
  • worked on discovering your hands
  • love bottles and nursing (which is a real gift as we’re still supplementing since my supply is low)
  • met two of your aunts
  • loved snuggling next to your almost “twin” Champ (the sweet boy we’re fostering)
  • went to multiple appointments at the pediatrician
  • had your first chiropractic appointment (and loved it!)
  • practiced smiling (and are so close to doing it on cue!)
  • got to see a few of our friends outside while we social distanced
  • went on some walks
  • rode in the car in your car seat
  • joined us for a lot of Zoom meetings

You also taught me so much about resting in my Heavenly Father and trusting Him in the middle of unknowns and uncertainties. We are so thankful for you and the amazing gift of your life, sweet girl!

Champ continues to grow and be such a blessing to our home. He is laughing and “talking” and cooing and so interactive now. He also discovered his hands this week, which has been so fun to watch.

We all having matching jammies as a family that we got for Christmas. The kids asked if they could order some for Kierstyn and Champ. The smallest size they had was 0-3 months, which is still way too big for Kierstyn and still pretty big for Champ.

But the kids rolled up the sleeves and pants on his jammies and we had to get matching pictures! Oh how we love this boy so much!

There have been many moments in the past few weeks when I’ve felt stretched pretty thin… like I sort of wished I could clone myself so there’d be enough of me to go around. Instead, here’s what has been helping me:

1) Remember that this is just a season. I won’t have two needy newborns for years to come. I’m trying to give myself grace and reminders that I won’t always be spending the bulk of my day nursing, pumping, holding babies, and bottle-feeding. This is a short season and I want to savor it — even if it means a lot of things I normally do aren’t happening.

2) Don’t try to do it all myself. I need Jesus every moment of the day. Even if there are a hundred other things needing my attention, beginning my day with time in God’s Word and praying over my day and asking for God’s help is so important. Also, letting Jesse, the kids, and others in my life help out instead of saying, “I got it!”

3) Focus on what is in front of me. It’s so easy to get bogged down thinking of everything I need and want to do. It can be discouraging and it can steal my joy and my ability to soak up and fully live in the moment I’m in. It can also cause me to feel stressed, hurried, and frantic. Focusing on what is in front of me means I just do the next right thing. Because truly, that’s all I can do at any one given time.

4) Prioritize rest and quiet. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last ten years. And one of those things is that I don’t function well without decent rest and daily quiet. So I’ve been working hard to make that a reality — and it’s made such a difference in my overall postpartum experience.

What helps you when you feel stretched thin? I’d love to hear your advice and ideas!

Brigette’s $99 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan for 6

My older sister, Brigette, shares her shopping trips and menu plans every week! You can go HERE to see all of her weekly menu plans and you can go HERE to read all about her family!


1 box Peanut Butter Puffs – $1.35

1 box Crispy Rice – $1.35

1 3-lb bag Boneless Chicken Thighs – $5.79

1 pkg Deli Meat – $2.65

2 cans Chicken Breast – $3.78

1 5-lb roll 73/27 Ground Beef – $9.95

1 pkg Sliced Pepperoni – $1.99

1 pkg Turkey Bacon – $1.89

1 gallon 1% Milk – $0.97

2 64-cartons Whole Milk – $1.18

1/2 gallon Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.65

1 32-oz carton Half and Half – $1.55

1 can Whipped Dairy Topping – $2.45

1 jar Spaghetti Sauce – $0.85

1 8-oz pkg Deli Sliced Cheese – $1.33

1 carton Goat Crumbles – $2.19

2 16-oz bags Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $5.30

1 pkg String Cheese – $1.99

1 pkg Frozen Broccoli Florets – $0.89

1 bag Riced Cauliflower – $1.69

1 Cauliflower – $1.99

2 cans Green Beans – $0.76

1 pg Broccoli Crowns – $1.38

2 pkgs Fresh Zucchini – $3.04

1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $1.99

1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.29

1 bag Mini Cucumbers – $1.99

1 large tub Organic Spring Mix – $3.49

1 Seedless Watermelon – $2.89

4 cartons Strawberries – $4.80

1 carton Grape Tomatoes – $1.39

4 dozen Eggs – $3.52

1 32-oz carton Greek Yogurt – $3.25

4 cartons Greek Yogurt – $3.20

1 jar Cinnamon – $0.79

2 cans Tomato Paste – $0.58

1 bag Nacho Chips – $0.75

1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.67

1 pkg Hot Dog Buns – $0.65

Total: $90.21

Harris Teeter

1 5-lb bag Organic Gala Apples – $4.99

1 jar Pace Salsa – $2.00, used $0.50/1 printable (doubled) – $1.00 after coupon

2 64-oz cartons Orange Juice – $1.94

1 64-oz carton Juicy Juice – $2.50, used $0.75/1 Juicy Juice 100% Juice Product, exp. 6/29/20 (SS 05/17/20) [ Excluding 4 pk Juice boxes] (doubled) – $1.00 after coupon

1 pkg Flipz Pretzels – $3.00, used $0.75/1 Flipz Chocolate Covered Pretzels, exp. 7/10/20 (SS 05/17/20) (doubled), plus receive $0.75 rebate from Ibotta – $0.75 after coupon and rebate

1 Dannon Yogurt – $1.25, used $0.65/1 printable (doubled)FREE after coupon

Total after Coupons and Rebates – $9.67

Weekly Grocery Total: $99.88

Weekly Menu Plan


Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include:

Oatmeal, Cereal, Fruit, Yogurt, Smoothies, Boiled/Fried/Scrambled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Zucchini Bread


Deli Meat/Cheese Sandwiches, Apples, Mini Peppers x 2

Tossed Salad Bar, Strawberries x 2

Leftovers x 3


Taco Salad, Mexican Cauliflower Rice (I use half cauliflower rice, half white rice)

Spaghetti, Tossed Salad, Quick Garlic Breadsticks

Meatloaf (using half ground venison, half ground beef), Baked Potatoes, Green Beans

Grilled Chicken, Watermelon, Roasted Cauliflower

Hot Dogs (we have a package in the fridge that needs to be used up), Broccoli, Baked Potato Fries

Turkey Bacon, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Strawberries, Grilled Zucchini

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza, Broccoli

3 Simple Steps to Actually Become a Disciplined Person

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Do you struggle with self-discipline? These three simple steps will help you learn how to be more disciplined in all areas of your life!

Psst! Want some extra help? My Make Over Your Mornings course will teach you how to set up each day for success! You can also check out my eBook 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life.

how to be more disciplined

Self-discipline helps in all areas of our lives — saving money, grocery budgeting, goal setting, weight loss, healthy eating, exercise, building businesses, meal planning, and more.

And many people have the want to, but struggle with the follow through.

If you struggle with discipline and it doesn’t come naturally to you, here are my top practical tips…

How to Be More Disciplined

1. Start small.

I’m sure most of you already know this, but it’s important to remind yourself of it.

You can’t overhaul your life overnight. You have to change one small thing at a time, or you’ll set yourself up for failure, exhaustion, and discouragement.

For example, don’t try to cut $200 off your grocery budget this month. You’ll probably burn out and get discouraged very quickly with that audacious goal.

Instead, try to shave an additional 1-3% off your grocery bill every month. That feels very doable and you can make little tweaks to easily make it happen. And if you continue to do that month after month, guess what? You’ll have shaved 10-30% off your grocery bill after 10 months!

Bite-sized chunks are always more doable. And when things feel doable, you’re more likely to follow through with it and develop discipline as a result.

become more disciplined by getting up early for gratitude

2. Pick a keystone habit.

In his book Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about creating and picking a keystone habit — which is a habit that will impact most all other areas of your life if you develop it and stick to it.

This is the principle behind my Make Over Your Mornings course. I encourage people to change their lives by starting small and being more intentional and productive with their mornings.

Try to think of something that if you do it consistently every single day, it would impact all other areas positively:

Whatever it is for you, pick a small keystone habit that you can do in about 15 minutes each day that will impact most other areas of your life.

As you learn how to be more disciplined in this one area, you’ll be surprised at how much it changes your life and you can build on that over time.

3. Get some accountability.

If developing habits and trying to become more disciplined is new to you, I challenge you to get some accountability.

Unless you’re someone who is highly internally motivated, if is very hard to stick to a new habit on your own.

Even if you are internally motivated, it can still be hard. Regardless, you need some sort of accountability.

I’m very internally motivated and don’t necessarily need other people to help me stay on track. However, I still have a form of personal accountability in the form of a daily checklist that I use to stay on task.

So think about what kind of accountability you need as you’re learning how to become more disciplined. Maybe you use an app, a checklist, text a friend each day, use social media, or join a Facebook group. Whatever it is — get some sort of accountability!

Change your life!

Start with one habit and use these simple steps. After 3-5 weeks, that one habit will become second nature and you won’t really have to think about it anymore or make yourself do it.

At that point, you can add on a new habit to work on. And then you can add on an extra habit every month or two until you’ve added several keystone habits at the end of a year.

Little by little, one keystone habit at a time, you will discover you’ve changed your life!

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If hope these simple steps will help you learn how to become more disciplined and change many areas of your life!