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Concerned about your kids consuming all that sugar after Halloween? Here’s an alternative:

Pediatric Dentistry in Sunset Hills is holding a “candy buy-back” program.

  • November 1-2
  • 7:30 AM – 5 PM
  • 3555 Sunset Office Dr., Suite 210
  • For each pound “sold”, the child will receive a dollar, glow-in-the-dark silly bandz and a coupon redeemable at a local restaurant. They will also be given a chance to enter a drawing.
  • Collected candy will be sent to troops overseas.

With thanks to PicturesOf for the image.


The other night my husband needed to pick up his computer at the Apple store in the Galleria. Since I had nothing planned for dinner, we decided to turn it into a little family adventure. What could we get for free to feed the four of us?

The kids and I scouted out the mall while he picked up his laptop. Shucks. Nothing free in the food court.

But we still had free pretzel coupons for Auntie Anne’s from our 2010 Entertainment Book! We stood in line and got the last pretzel of the night. Score! Of course, a pretzel divided among four doesn’t go far.

So we all piled in the car and headed for the nearest McDonald’s. Four coupons later, we were in possession of three fruit smoothies and one frappe. For free!

Happily sucking our drinks, we called ahead to Cecil Whitaker’s and ordered a large chef salad. Then we did the same for a single order of  breadsticks at Pizza Hut. These coupons/vouchers were courtesy of our latest, 2011, Entertainment Book. The salad was $5.34 with tax, and our discount voucher was only for $5. This is where we incurred the whopping cost of thirty-four cents.

With our breadsticks and large salad we headed to a local park where we picnicked and then played as the sun set.

We’d achieved our goal, or very nearly. Other than gas, a fairly balanced dinner for the four of us cost all of $0.34!

So, what do you think? Are we nuts? Or does it sound like a fun challenge? 🙂

My husband and I went anti-American, it seems. Yesterday we called Chase and asked them to cancel the credit card account we’d had with them our entire married life. Yes, folks, we are now credit-card-less in a high-credit society! Hard to believe, but we know it’s the right move for our family at this time. Since moving almost exclusively to cash for our day-to-day purchases the past several months, we have seen our spending take a sharp dive. We thought we were frugal before, but now…well, now we have walked further down that path. And we like what we are seeing. We have our debit cards for those situations when it’s more convenient to swipe than to pay cash, but of course we’ll need to watch what we spend that way or end up in a whole heap o’ trouble!

A significant factor on our journey to reduce our credit usage was Dave Ramsey and his book The Total Money Makeover. I highly recommend both the book and his website. Even if you think there’s no way you are ready to make the leap away from credit, there’s much you could learn from the practical wisdom Dave has to offer in the financial realm.

And maybe, just maybe, you’ll join those of us who are no longer (credit) card-carrying Americans. =)

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