Guest posts, gift cards and loups-garou.

thI did my first-ever guest post on my daughter’s site, I Pick Up Pennies. Always meant to, just never got around to it until this weekend.

“Want to save money? ‘Chop’ your kitchen” was generated by my fondness for a  Food Network program called “Chopped,” which requires chefs to create meals from mystery ingredients. Some of them are delicious and traditional (steak, poultry, seafood) and some are just cruel (durian, goat brains, duck testicles).

Not that I think you should save money by eating fowl balls, mind you. Instead the post suggests that you “chop” your pantry, fridge and freezer, i.e., find ways to use what’s on hand instead of calling out for pizza. The food waste in our country is astonishing. What could eating in more often do for your budgetary bottom line?

Think those leftovers look forlorn? Get creative!

The latest post at my day job, Money Talks News, is also up. “Get millions of books and magazines for free” is just what it sounds like: A swell frugal hack for dedicated readers. It’s getting more expensive every day to read, but fortunately certain workarounds do exist.

Some of the books at sites like The Gutenberg Project and Open Library aren’t exactly recent reads. Then again, once you’ve seen some Jane Austen enacted on the BBC or fallen hard for Benedict Cumberbatch in “Sherlock” you might be in the market for some classics. More recent reads are out there, too, especially as regards the Kindle Store’s Free Section.

So turn off the LOLCats for a while and get lost in a book. I do it as often as I can get away with it.

Howling at the moon

I’m helping a friend promote a young adult novel. Part of the promotional effort is my giving away two copies of the book.

Woofies: Werefolk in Alaska” has a strong female protagonist whose 13-year-old problems are a little more serious than mere adolescent angst: She’s inherited a family tendency to turn into a wolf (a real one) every month or so. She has to leave her Southern California home and the possibility of a track scholarship and move to Alaska in order to survive.

At first she hates what is happening to her. (Insert your own puberty punchline here.) Over time, though, she learns to accept and ultimately celebrate the wild part of her nature. So what if she’s not like everyone else? When faced with the chance for a cure, she wonders whether accepting it would mean denying an integral part of her identity.

The book is intended for the younger set but like many YA novels it’s a good read for grownups, too. If you want a chance to win a copy, enter at this link by 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16. (And just FYI: “Woofies” is the word that the teen loups-garou use. They don’t use that other W word.)

More ways to win

The Swagbucks rewards site has revamped its search engine, and to celebrate the launch is giving away 50 prizes of 500 SBs each. Powered by Yahoo!, it modernizes search results with reviews, images, maps (including local ones), videos, buying opps and more.

Want a shot at one of those 500-SB packages? You can enter three times a day until the end of the day Friday, Aug. 15, to enter. Here’s how:

  • Go to the Swagbucks.com homepage and click on the large image at the top that’s packaged with a question. (That’s your first entry.)
  • A sliding notification will appear at the bottom of the search results page; click on its link, which is another question. (There’s entry number two.)
  • Close that notification when you see the search results for that question and a third notification will appear. (Click on it for your final entry.)

The 50 winners will be announced on the Swagbucks blog on Monday. Hope that you’re one of them. (If you are, leave a comment on my Facebook page to let everyone know.)

If you aren’t yet a member, I hope you’ll join through my referral link. But no matter how you join, use the bonus code NEWSEARCH70 and you’ll get 70 points right away. Note: When you sign up, you must click “I have a signup code” — the text is small, but it’s there! — and enter the case-sensitive code. It expires on Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

One more thing: Swagbucks is sponsoring this Friday’s giveaway. Gift cards are involved. Come back and win.

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  1. Thanks again for the guest post! I look forward to reading your friend’s book.

  2. Teinegurl

    Yay gift cards! Be here or be squared ! LOL

  3. Vicky Fox

    There was also a show on the Food Network last summer called Wasted. It featured Bobby Flay and 3 other chefs that brought to light the amount of food that is actually wasted a day here in the US. The average for just produce is 3 entire football stadiums filled to the top per day. The chefs were tasked with investigating, and all four chefs were literally disgusted with the amount that goes into the bin every day. They ended up choosing ingredients, split into teams and made a 5 star 3 course dinner each with food that would have otherwise ended up in the trash, and it cost no money. Just the time. I can just imagine how much more waste has been piled on top of that a year later.

  4. Anonfornow

    Hey Donna, I heard a rumor that you’re a winner! Congratulations!

  5. Congratulations. I pick up pennies too and it makes more than cents!

    Years ago I heard a TV commentator describe an experiment where he put change on the ground and watched as people picked up everything but the pennies and sometimes nickels.

    The next day I saw a penny on the ground and looked around a bit embarrassed but when all looked clear I picked it up.

    Then I went inside and as I drank a cup of coffee I calculated on a napkin: one second to pick up a penny, 60 cents a minute, $36.00 an hour!

    Wow. How many people who would not pick up a penny or throw change into the cup at the gas station earn more than that in their regular job. Of course you can’t do it all day, but every time you throw away that penny or fail to pick one up it cost you $36.00 an hour.

    Something to think about.

    Good Success.

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