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Monday Q&A | Being on TV, Halloween Candy, and a Boring Conversion Story

Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!

Before I start answering some questions, I just wanted to say that a number of you have written in to ask about what homeschooling material I use. I’ll try to get something together about that (it’s quite possible that I won’t, though, because sometimes I don’t follow through with my good intentions!), so in the meantime, you may want to read through the posts I’ve written about homeschooling before, including a post about the kindergarten materials I use.

How did The 700 Club find out about you?
Are there any interesting stories related to filming the spot that you have to share?
How did it affect your readership?


I can’t remember if I answered anything exactly like this before, so my apologies if I have! Dana Ritter, a producer for CBN, is a regular blog reader of mine, and it was her idea to film a spot about me and my blog. She emailed me to ask if I’d be interested, and after thinking about it for a bit and talking to Mr. FG, I said yes. I don’t particularly like being on camera (I especially hate watching myself!), but since I write my blog to help people save money, I was interested in the opportunity to reach more people.

Filming was really interesting…I wore one of those clip-on microphones that reality show people wear, and having a camera following us while we were shopping was a very unique experience!

As far as my readership goes, I had a really large spike at first (my server crashed a time or two that day!), and my email subscriber numbers doubled, which was awesome. My traffic has settled down since then, but it’s higher than it was before I was on TV. I’ve received lots of encouraging emails and comments from people who saw me on TV, so I’m really glad that I shoved my fear-of-being-on-TV aside!

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the video of the TV spot (email subscribers, you’ll have to click over to the blog to see it, because for some reason, videos don’t show up in email feeds!).

It thrills me that you are so open about your faith and that you really give God all the glory in all that you do! I was interested in your testimony of how you got saved. Were you raised in a Christian family? Where do you attend church?


Well, I have a really, really boring conversion story. I was raised in a Christian home, and I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t trust and believe that Jesus died for my sins. So, I don’t have a specific date where I can say that I became a Christian, but it had to have been early on in my life.

I’m so grateful to have been raised by parents who love God, and grateful for the work that God has done in my heart (because of course simply having Christian parents doesn’t make one a Christian!). And I am grateful for the work I continue to see God doing in my life…conviction of sin, provision of grace for growing in godliness and many other mercies.

My family and I attend and serve at a Presbyterian church (PCA) near our home.

How can I do green and frugal Halowe’en treats? I love giving out candy, but it’s always struck me as being pretty expensive, not to mention all those little wrappers are awfully wasteful. I thought about giving out baked goods or repackaging bulk candy, but I know (and understand) that many parents are nervous about letting their kids eat food like that from a stranger. Is there anything I can do?


Unless you live in a small neighborhood where all the parents know you, I don’t think there’s much you can do! Most parents will not allow their children to eat treats from a stranger unless they’re individually wrapped.

We don’t celebrate Halloween ourselves, but we do give out candy to the neighborhood children. To keep this from being super expensive, I usually buy a big bag of Smarties or lollipops instead of chocolate or other more expensive Halloween candies (I’ve been known to buy some Reese’s pumpkins for Mr. FG, though!).

Readers, do you have any ideas about how to make Halloween candy more green and frugal?

Today’s 365 post: Dirty Drawer (you know you want to go see my mess!)

Current review posts: $100 Similisan giveaway and $100 Kellogg’s giveaway (ends tonight!)

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Tanya Fletcher

Tuesday 12th of October 2010

We have taken to giving out pencils, stickers and similar things as well. My son is peanut allergic, hence cannot eat a lot of what he gets trick or treating. After we had him, it made us aware there were probably a lot of other kids out there that couldn't either (peanut allergic, diabetic, etc). Costco also had a large pack of small playdoh packages for trick or treating this year also that I will be handing out to the little tiny trick or treaters.


Monday 11th of October 2010

You don't celebrate Halloween but still pass out candy? Isn't that celebrating? Now that my kids are getting older I am explaining to them why we don't celebrate Halloween and what we truly believe. There is nothing good or holy about Halloween and it may even provide an opportunity for them to share Christ with their friends. I notice it is all about the candy, I can get them candy at the store, but I will not tell them it is okay to accept it from strangers just this once when all year long, I tell them not to. Especially this year it falls on Sunday. It just seems wrong.


Tuesday 12th of October 2010

If we were dressing up and trick-or-treating, I'd consider that to be celebrating it. :) But certainly if your conscience dictates that you not even hand out candy, then go that route.

I feel like handing out candy is a way of loving my neighbors, but I definitely don't think everyone needs to be similarly convinced.


Monday 11th of October 2010

Well.. I don't ever get any trick or treaters, but my mom likes to hand out small, individual-sized bags of popcorn to kids. She also has a stash of halloween pencils that she orders really cheap on Amazon.

My favorite treats were homemade rice krispie treats.. and I'm sure if all the info was added on the bag (like a previous commenter noted), it would be ok to eat. I'd probably call the person because I'm anal. It's a gift ;)


Tuesday 12th of October 2010

My kids like to get the individual popcorn bags b/c I am more likely to say yes when they ask to have one of their Halloween treats if they ask for the popcorn instead of the candy!


Monday 11th of October 2010

We get a ton of kids on Halloween and I just have to suck it up and pay for it, because it's my son's absolute favorite time of year and we go all-out with decorating, etc. Well, by that I mean we add a few things each year and now that he's 9, we've got a lot of stuff and he creates and draws decorations too. (Currently, he's using his Lego Mindstorm robot brain---a very expensive present from his grandmother years ago---in combination with a $1.99 skull from Michael's to make it "animatronic" as he likes to say.) We spend a set amount each year and he understands there's not any more in the budget. He spends from his savings, too. But the most important thing is, we're not going to give out any chocolate from companies that use child slave labor: That's just so horrifying---no matter how cheap it is, if it's on sale or whatever, it's not green, or Christian, for that matter, to predicate your fun on someone else's suffering.


Thursday 14th of October 2010

Living in the UK, I don't buy Hersheys (very little available, and I don't have the, um, acquired taste for it ;-) ), but it makes me wonder about where British chocolate comes from. I mostly buy Cadburys or Fair Trade when I do buy chocolate, and already boycott Nestle, for why, and you don't have to have breast fed your babies to agree. The US list of Nestle products is here- Thanks for the link, I'll have to do a bit of research.


Tuesday 12th of October 2010

Me too! I'd never heard of that before. Thanks for sharing the link!


Tuesday 12th of October 2010

I clicked your link. I had no idea! I must be living in a cave or something. So glad I didn't buy any chocolate for Halloween this year - shaped pretzels and candy corn taffy are this years treats. I will not buy Hershey's chocolate anymore.

Just Gai

Monday 11th of October 2010

I'm not all that keen on Hallowe'en but would feel mean turning children away from our front door empty handed. Not wanting to get sucked into the merchandising machine that surrounds the festival I decided a couple of years ago to bake and ice Hallowe'en biscuits. I have cutters in the shape of bats, spider webs etc and make up icing in suitable colours. I hand them out unwrapped and have never had them refused.

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