Saving Cents: Cheap dinners, saving at Sea World and other viewer tips


by By Sherry Williams / 11 News

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 9 at 3:12 PM

HOUSTON-A viewer named Kristi in Conroe sent in a Saving Cents tip on a Web site called Hillbilly Housewife that features dinner recipes that cost less than $1.50 per serving.

Saving cents
Viewer tips
July 15, 2009

A check of the Web site found recipes for dishes like lasagna, chicken primavera, turkey slider burgers and cheeseburger pie. The recipes seem to rely on cooking in quantities that allow for leftovers or freezing portions for future consumption. The recipes on the Web site also use some items that are likely to be in stock in most pantries.

Another Saving Cents viewer tip came in from Jennifer after she saw an 11 News Saving Cents story on low-cost, in-state vacations. Her tip concerned the story on visiting San Antonio-specifically, Sea World.

She said when she takes her family there, they take their own bottled water. A Sea World staffer said not only can you bring in your own bottles of water, but you can also bring in a small cooler. If you have small children, you can even bring in snacks!

Gloria in southwest Houston asked if it is true that utility providers will not turn off electricity during the months of July and August.

Reliant Energy spokeswoman Patricia Hammond said it is true for certain customers. She also said CenterPoint Energy does not disconnect anyone's electricity during a heat advisory. Hammond said low-income residents and those with critical health issues at home are not disconnected during summer months, as long as they call and agree to a payment plan.

A check of TXU Energy's policy turned up similar guidelines. However, Gexa Energy and Direct Energy said their only policy is to not disconnect during heat advisories, but that mandate comes from state officials, not from individual electric companies.