150 Tips: How to Repurpose Paper Towel Rolls, Where You Can Get Free Land, Why Candy Is Good for You, and More

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Here’s the weekly roundup of eye-opening, headache-erasing, money-saving tips—some wacky, some creative, and some that might even prove to be helpful and practical.
4 places where kids eat free this weekend. Including:

Chili’s. At participating Chili’s restaurants around the country, kids 12 and under dressed in costumes eat free on Saturday and Sunday, October 30-31. One free kid’s entrée is allowed for each paid adult entrée. Print this coupon and bring it in to get free kids’ meals at Chili’s on Halloween.

5 ways candy improves your mood, brainpower, and health. Including:

A shot of sugar can restore your willpower. Studies show that consuming sugar makes people perservere longer on difficult task, better able to focus, and more likely to delay gratification. Assuming candy isn’t your biggest willpower challenge, a few pieces of candy corn might keep you on track.

5 reasons why to give kids cash for the holidays. Including:

No Returns or Refunds
It’s money. No one will ever complain about getting money. They can’t return it or wish it was something else, because it can become what they want it to be.

5 ways to save $500 or more for the holidays. Including:

Curb your impulse buys
Savings: $108

A new survey shows that 80% of consumers say they made an impulse buy over the past year. We’re buying on impulse at the grocery stores, at department stores, and online (Those 24-48 hour flash sales and social buying sites are a breeding ground for impulse shoppers!). And while 42% of consumers say they’re buying on impulse because the prices are too good to pass up, the average cost of an impulse buy, according to Consumer Reports, is $108!

6 extreme savings tips you can use now. Including:

Give love coupons instead of gifts. As you plan your holiday shopping, consider this: Giving the gift of your time in the form of a coupon to take your mom to a museum, or out for tea, can be far more meaningful than buying her a cashmere sweater. Tim Kasser, professor of psychology at Knox College in western Illinois and father of two young children, encourages his family to give each other coupons for experiences, such as favorite meals or back rubs, rather than purchased gifts.

6 places where land is free. Including:

Marne, Iowa is offering up some lovely lots for, yes, free.

7 (or so) steps for wasting less food. Including:

Use berries, bananas, melons, or other fruit to make smoothies. Freeze ripe fruit for future smoothies or Popsicles. Some tips: Remove the peel from bananas before freezing. Lie berries out on a tray in the freezer and add berries to a container once they’re frozen.

7 fun retirement savings strategies. Including:

Trade the rancher in suburbia for something more interesting. You don’t have to be rich to live well. Consider a waterfront RV, a live-aboard houseboat, a mobile home in the mountains, a cottage in the Caribbean.

9 tips for getting a low-priced plumber that won’t rip you off. Including:

Focus your search on small family-owned plumbing businesses. I’ve already explained that smaller family-owned businesses have lower overhead, so they can pass those savings on to the customer. They also don’t work on commission so you’re less likely to be oversold on services you don’t really need. Finally, although I can’t prove it, it is my opinion that these sole-proprietorships also have the added incentive of consistently providing the best service because they typically have smaller advertising budgets and, therefore, depend more on personal recommendations.

9 ways to get vitamins cheap. Including not wasting money on them in the first place, a.k.a.:

Get Your Vitamins the Natural Way
Remember that vitamins come from nature, and there are sources for vitamins other than pills. By being prepared and organized enough to eat healthy on a budget, you can get the large majority of your vitamins. Also make sure to get enough sunshine for that vitamin D.

10 cheap fixes to boost the value of your home. Including:

Add a room in a week or less. “If you have a three-bedroom house with a den, the only reason the den can’t be considered a bedroom may be because it doesn’t have a closet,” says [Boca Raton realtor Nicole] Persley. “If you add a closet to that room, you’ve now got a four-bedroom house. That adds a lot of value.” Persley says it’s usually possible to add a custom closet system and drywall it in for less than $1,500.

10 top ways to save money. Including:

Subtract your credit purchases from checking right away so that you’re not surprised when you get the bill. My husband does this religiously, and he learned the trick from his brother. Sometimes, they each make the payment right away, too.

10 Halloween freebies and happenings. Including:

Bass Pro Shops – Halloween happenings: Free crafts, food & trick-or-treating 10/22/2010 – 10/31/2010

10 top restaurant meals for less than $10. Including:

Atlanta Bread Company: Half-sandwich-and-soup combo
This chain boasts a ton of lunch options below $10, but my favorite has to be the half asiago roast beef with cream of chicken and wild rice soup. While I doubt that their soups are homemade, this combo is simply delicious. It’s quite a pairing whether it’s hot or cold outside.

10 tubular ways to reuse trash (specifically, cardboard paper towel rolls). Including:

You can roll drawings or paintings your child makes and store them in cardboard tubes for safekeeping.

11 reasons to ditch your television. Including:

Increased Creativity
The less access to television I have the more creative I become. Without television, I find myself practicing and playing the guitar more. We read books more. We listen to more music as a family (rather than having the television on in the background). We play more games together – a much more intimate and active form of entertainment. You may be different, but I find that the more creative the form of entertainment – the more happy I am.

11 little tech-savvy ways to save money in your household budget. Including:

If you’re a parent, join Amazon Mom to start receiving e-mail deals for baby and toddler products at lower prices than you’ll find at local stores. Perks include free 2-day shipping and 30 percent off diapers and wipes, among other exclusive discounts . Plus, you can unsubscribe any time you want.

15 Black Friday myths. Including:

MYTH: The deals are so good on Black Friday, they’re worth sleeping overnight on a curb for
These days, more and more Black Friday deals are available online as well as in-store. Couple that with the fact that many Black Friday doorbusters are either matched or beaten later in the season, and you can only conclude that it’s not worth camping out for Black Friday specials. At most stores, being first in line to go in at 5 am only guarantees that you’ll get shoved around as the 500 people behind you are also let in.

Black Friday Overload: Wait, Which Fridays Aren’t Black Now?