th2 Guest posts, gift cards and loups garou.I 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!


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th 1 150x147 Get yourself a cold drink. Im buying.Writing this from Austin, Texas, where I’m down for a spot of bidness. (Thanks, Savings.com, for inviting me to SaveUp2014 once more.) It’s pretty warm — not unbearable, just noticeably warmer than Anchorage. Then again, so are a lot of places.

(Quick aside: If you’re in the area, hope you’ll join me for brunch on Sunday, Aug. 3, at The Shady Grove.)

The heat helped me decide to put up another $10 Starbucks gift card for the weekly giveaway. Even if you don’t like coffee (I sure don’t), you can always find something interesting to drink there. You can also find air conditioning, which becomes increasingly important at this time of year.

Or you can save the scrip until the weather turns, then get one of those frou-frou coffee drinks or a fancy hot chocolate. Whatever works for you.


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th 1 150x150 Go win a $1,000 Visa gift card (before 9 p.m. July 17).I thought that might get your attention. Expedia and Savings.com are giving away three $1,000 Visa gift cards on Thursday, July 18.

I see no reason why all three shouldn’t be won by S&T readers. Here’s how to enter:


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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 Ally Bank might give you $100.I figured that would get your attention. The $100 in question comes in the form of Amazon scrip, and two such gift cards will be given away during Ally’s monthly TweetChat on June 24.

That’s tomorrow, in case you aren’t keeping track. The topic is one with which all of us could use some schoolin’.

“Protecting Yourself Online” is just what it sounds like: the latest on security and how to protect your identity and your digital assets. As the Ally wonks note, you wouldn’t give your car keys to a stranger or leave your home’s windows and doors open – yet plenty of us are fairly unguarded online.

According to Consumer Reports, 62 percent of U.S. citizens have done nothing to protect themselves when using the Internet. That’s understandable, since digital security can be a very confusing topic – and since well-publicized data breaches make it look as though no one can really guard against determined hackers.


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