Welcome to Discovering Houston on the Cheap, a weekly series highlighting ideas for
cheap dates, cheap meals, Houston’s best-kept secret and more — all from the perspective
of local chefs, media personalities, athletes, and folks in local business.

Coppelia Rivera, KSBJ 89.3 Morning Show Host
Coppelia Rivera, KSBJ Morning DJ{Coppelia is excited to call Houston home after living in Puerto Rico and California. You can hear her weekday mornings on KSBJ Morning Show with Bill and Coppelia, 5:30 am to 10 am. She and her husband Adam have two kids, Christopher and Allyson. Coppelia knows that everything she has is a gift from God and that her life is a work in progress.}

1) Favorite spot for a cheap mealFiesta Azteca and Italiano’s

I have two family favorites: One is Fiesta Azteca in Kingwood. Kids eat free on Tuesdays, and the staff have become friends! Jacinto knows that our kids love getting the “blue plates” for their chips and salsa. And they make sure to take care of my daughter’s dairy allergy. And we have to mention Adela, Carlos, Hugo & Moises, too!

Our other favorite is Italiano’s in Humble. It’s close to where I work at KSBJ, and their lunch deals and rolls are awesome! Plus, it has special meaning to me because it was the place where my future boss at the time offered me the morning show DJ job at KSBJ. Thank God for good news and good food!

2) Favorite spot for a cheap date — many!

Some of our favorite dates have been at House of Blues, walking the Waterway in the Woodlands, and a KSBJ concert at Grace Community Church with Tenth Avenue North.

Other favorite quick and cheap dates are stops at Barnes & Noble Cafe (lounging with coffee and books), stops for donuts and coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, or “family dates” at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt.

3) Houston’s best-kept secretNGEN radio

Since many people already know about KSBJ radio, I’d say Houston’s best-kept secret is our other station, NGEN radio! It’s hip hop, rock and more with a Christian message. While I love waking up Houston on the KSBJ morning show, the teenage rebel side of me loves our edgier music (plus, you’ll hear me there on the night show, too).

4) Best place to save money in Houston — H-E-B

I have to go with HEB! As a family, we do Sunday grocery shopping excursions, and we always find great deals at H-E-B. My daughter loves being the “coupon queen,” keeping track of the yellow coupons she finds all over the store, plus any we might have brought from home. And my son loves getting samples and taste testing and getting Buddy Bucks at the end of the trip!

5) Favorite Houston festival or annual eventChristmas season

There are SO many things to do! “Cheap Skate” nights on the Ice at Discovery Green is a family favorite. Plus, Second Baptist, Champion Forest and many other churches have world-class Christmas shows. And it’s a family tradition to grab some Peppermint mocha or hot chocolate, drive through Prestonwood Forest and other neighborhoods, listening to Christmas music on KSBJ, and gazing at all the beautiful homes decorated all Christmasy, merry and bright. Now I can’t wait till I kick off my “101 Days ’till Christmas” countdown in SEPTEMBER!

6) My perfect day in Houston would be

Waking up before anyone else (which I do most days anyway) and going for a run. If it’s a chilly morning, even better! Then, my hubby, the kids and I would have breakfast at Starbucks and go for a long drive. We might visit friends an hour away in Sugar Land, or meet up with friends at Deussen Park for a BBQ, let the kids run around, ride their bikes, and then crash for a movie and popcorn night.

photo: Prashant Photography