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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new book Giveaway: The Cheap Chicas Guide to Style.I like Liliana Vasquez’ style. Not just her sartorial sense, but her common sense. Here are a couple of examples of the blogger and author’s advice:

“Labels don’t define us – they’re just little pieces of cloth that tell you how to take care of your garment.”

“Remember: Style can’t be bought. It comes from confidence and creativity.”

“Age is nothing but a number, but our style has to evolve as we get older whether we like it or not.”

“You don’t have to adhere completely to the fashion world’s rules to curate your own style.”

Vazquez, who blogs at The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style, from her smart, practical and, yes, thrifty advice. “The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style: Secrets to Shopping Cheap and Looking Chic” is this week’s giveaway.


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thumb Prepping: It’s not just for grownups anymore.Dallas resident Bernie Carr sees no reason that city dwellers can’t be ready for trying times. Having written The Apartment Prepper blog for several years and having written “The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster,” Carr has made preparedness more accessible to a lot of folks who don’t own bunkers.*

Now she’s taking on a new audience: kids.

Not to scare them into stockpiling skateboard wheels and Fruit Roll-Ups, but rather to make the idea of getting ready for any challenge – be it power failure or hurricane, earthquake or zombie apocalypse – less frightening.

Her new picture book, “Jake & Miller’s Big Adventure: A Prepper’s Book for Kids” (Ulysses Press) is designed to show young readers that it’s smarter to be prepared than scared. While imagining an amazing trip (deserts, mountains, jungle, a cave) they pack the supplies they need to stay warm, fed and safe.

Carr has donated a copy of the book for this week’s giveaway. Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, whether you live in Tornado Alley or on the Ring of Fire, Jake and Miller’s story can show kids that getting ready isn’t scary – it’s smart.


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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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