Kids love to go out for ice cream treats, but to say the least they are spendy, spendy, spendy. Dairy Queen's Blizzard, a small cup of ice cream with some candy bits thrown in, costs about $2. Take your family for ice cream and you're looking at $8-$15.

On the other hand, you can buy a half-gallon of premium quality ice cream for $5 (or as little as $2, if it's on sale), and a handful of assorted candy bars and sprinkles for another dollar or two, and you have special treats for several nights.

The trick is making it a fun, creative time for the kids. Let them design their own recipes, cut up the candy bars, and run the blender. Have a contest and appoint a judge, or give everyone a secret vote. You'll have more fun, you'll get better ice cream, and you'll save a bundle.

Strategy: Sugar is not the best thing in the world for anyone's diet. In fact, many nutritionists and physicians rate sugar among the worst diet offenders. So, to help your kids and their parents get a grip on the sugar monster, you can limit the size of your dessert helpings, or limit dessert dishes to only three nights a week.

Are sweets a problem at your house? Here are some ways to Tame the Cookie Monster.

For more money-saving ideas visit No-Debt Living, www.nodebtnews.com, where you can view more than 100 valuable articles and resources on financial, consumer and time-management news with a Christian perspective.


Reprinted with permission from No-Debt Living, ©2001 No-Debt Living. Robert Frank is editor of No-Debt Living.