Go to the movies on me.

th5 Go to the movies on me.Summer blockbusters mean lots of things: excitement, drama, peril, animation, pratfalls, talking animals, jokes about body parts.

They also mean a nice break from reality in a dark and air-conditioned room. In some areas of the country that’s a really welcome respite.

But given that the average cost of a movie ticket is more than $8, movies can put a hurt on the budget.

That’s why this week’s giveaway is a $10 Fandango gift card.


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th 1 Giveaway: $10 in Starbucks scrip.As someone who doesn’t drink coffee, I’m always bemused by the reaction when I offer Starbucks gift cards as a giveaway. The last time I did this I got 226 entries. For a $10 card!

Then again, it’s summer and even though I don’t care for the bean I do have to admit that the cold drinks at Starbucks are pretty refreshing and tasty.

That is, unless they trash them up with coffee.

Win this week’s $10 giveaway, though, and you can order whatever you like.


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th4 Giveaway: A $10 Starbucks gift card.It’s summer and it’s hot. Beat the heat, if only temporarily, with a frou-frou cold beverage at Starbucks.

Some people say that hot tea and hot coffee are actually more cooling. They may be right.

To me, though, an iced tea or cold soft drink or even plain old water is what I want when I’m feeling hot and sticky.

Full disclosure: I don’t generally go to Starbucks because, well, frugal. But this week I’m making it easier on some reader’s budget by giving away $10 worth of SB gift cards.

Lemonade, iced coffee, Frappuccino, iced tea, something called a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher – take your pick, as long as it’s under ten bucks.


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ImageProxy A coupon app and a $2,500 sweepstakes.Don’t want to clip your own coupons? Let the Favado mobile savings app do it for you.

While you’re at it, enter to win the company’s Summer BBQ Savings sweepstakes. (More on that in a minute.)

Favado is a free app that tracks deals in more than 65,000 supermarkets and drugstores across the country. You make a shopping list right on your phone and then the app uses real-time data to match current deals, coupons and even “secret” sales (e.g., in-store promotions) with what you want to buy.

You’ll get automatic notifications when your favorite products go on sale at those stores – and the list includes markets like Whole Foods, Target, Trader Joe’s and Kmart along with merchants like Safeway and Walgreens.

“Want to save on groceries…easily? Get this app,” advises Emily Weinberger of Good Housekeeping magazine.


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th8 Got retirement questions? Ask ’em.Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors will co-sponsor “Jump-Start Your Retirement Plan Day,” an eight-hour online chat, on Thursday, June 5.

You can ask questions in advance or just follow along on Twitter as 20 money professionals offer their professional advice.

Free professional advice.

Now that I’ve got your attention, check out the touchy-but-necessary topics these money mavens will discuss:

  • Saving for retirement – 401(k)s, IRAs and Roth IRAs
  • Taxes and retirement – including but not limited to estate and gift taxes
  • Earning while retired – Social Security and income investing strategies, whether you’ve already stopped working or merely making plans
  • “Financial challenges” – paying down debt, investing, saving for your kids’ college

To that last I’d add “boomerangers,” i.e., kids who come back after schooling or because of personal economic downturns. About three in 10 young adults are bunking with Mom and Dad, but this isn’t always voluntary; almost 10 percent of grads between 21 and 25 are unemployed and 16.8 percent are underemployed, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

By comparison, back in 2007 those figures were just over 5 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively. Ouch.


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