While most retail stores are hanging on by a thread due to COVID-19's assault on the U.S. economy, thrift stores, specifically consignment stores, are having the opposite problem; business is booming! According to thredUP.com, a major secondhand shopping site, the resale apparel market will grow from $28 billion to $64 billion in the next five ...Read more
If you're in debt, you have to get out. The best way to do that is to put together a plan -- but remember a plan is only as good as your ability to stick with it. Just like diets, all of them work; the true test is sticking with one. No matter how effective the plan is in theory, if the regimen is outlandish and impractical, you will not stick ...Read more
Just when I think I've heard every possible way to save time and money, here comes the mail to teach me something new. "Everyday Cheapskate" readers just have to be the smartest and most clever on the planet -- good-looking, too. Enjoy!
If you have more apples than you can reasonably use in the short-term, they'll last up to six months if you ...Read more
What do Pat Benatar, George Foreman and I, your humble columnist, have in common? We were all born on the same day: Jan. 10! I only know this because someone gave me a 768-page book simply titled "The Portable Book of Birthdays." Good thing, too, or I'd never have known that, according to the book's authors, Pat, George and I have socially savvy...Read more
It was Christmas Eve several years ago. Everything was ready. Our overnight company would be arriving in a matter of hours. I opened the refrigerator to discover the inside had reached a balmy 70 F. This could not have happened at a worse time. Away to my computer I flew like a flash, straight to RepairClinic.com, where I entered the make and ...Read more
Contrary to popular belief, you can put silver in the dishwasher without causing harm, provided you are careful to follow a simple set of rules.
I grew up being fearful of the oddest things. I wasn't bold enough to question why, so I just did as I was told. Here's one: Never, ever put silver in the dishwasher. Ever!
I didn't know what would ...Read more
The most important thing you can do to make your personal economy strong is to have an umbrella, an emergency fund with enough money in it to pay all of your bills for six months. And it needs to be safe and secure in a bank account.
You read that right: half a year's income! Wait. You can't even imagine being able to save $50? No worries. The ...Read more
If there's one subject that shows up in my inbox more often than any other, it has to be rust. Ugly, orange-ish stains on tubs, showers, toilets, washing machines, sinks and even stainless steel.
One reader (who shall remain nameless, as I have hopelessly misplaced your message) wrote that tiny rust marks have appeared on his new stainless ...Read more
I just asked Siri, "How do most people relax?" She rattled off a list of activities including "Nosh on chocolate," "Rub your feet over a golf ball," "Count backward," "Meditate" and "Drip cold water on your wrists."
Siri completely missed my favorite way to relax. I iron (not to be confused with "I pump iron," which I do not). No, really. There...Read more
Just as I was knee-deep in researching, testing and learning all I could about electric space heaters, this letter popped up in my inbox.
Dear Mary: I need your help to figure out how we can reduce our home heating bills. It's killing us to pay so much to keep our house warm in the winter. We have a gas furnace, and where we live, the cost of ...Read more
When Gordon Gekko, the main antagonist in the 1987 film "Wall Street," declared in no uncertain terms that "Greed is good!" people flocked to the theaters. And cheered.
Please don't base your belief system on a movie line that might have been memorable and entertaining but is dead wrong.
Greed is like cancer that, when left untreated, can ...Read more
Do you know what I love? Learning insider secrets. I'm not talking tabloid headlines or conspiracy theories, which I work hard to avoid, but solid, authentic and reliable insider secrets.
I've got one for you today, prompted by a question sent in by a faithful reader.
Dear Mary: I recently purchased a late-model previously owned vehicle. The ...Read more
I was way off base when I guessed "egg-gathering basket." Leslie Hindman, host of the TV show "Appraisal Fair," held up this round cage contraption with folding sides and asked us to guess, "What the Heck Is It?" Salad spinner was the right choice, but who knew people were wasting their money on needless pieces of kitchen equipment back in the ...Read more
Over the years, I've noticed a growing trend in my mailbox: readers in search of financial planners or advisers -- or assistants. When taken in the message's context, it's pretty clear that not everyone means the same thing when they refer to a financial planner-adviser-assistant-helper.
One reader wanted to know where to find a financial ...Read more
Years ago, I was a guest on "The Maury Povich Show," something I've never been that proud of. Back then, the show was kind of raunchy, and I just now realized that, some 20 years later, Maury is still at it.
I remember a few things about the show, like what I wore (What was I thinking?) and the nice production staff. Maury was very kind, too.
Of all the choices in home flooring, wood stands out for many as the most beautiful. Wood is durable, coordinates well with any decor and most real estate agents agree it improves the home's value at resale. Knowing how to protect and clean wood floors is essential -- and surprisingly easy.
AS IT HAPPENS
To protect the finish and keep wood ...Read more
The year is 1953. Rocket Chemical, a struggling company in San Diego, sets out to create a rust-preventive solvent that can displace water. On the 40th attempt (note: 39 failures), they nailed it. Thus, WD-40 was born.
While the ingredients remain a well-guarded secret more than 50 years later (the company insists there's nothing in it to harm ...Read more
When it comes to compulsive tendencies, there's no question I received more than the standard allotment.
I can sit down fully intending to watch the evening news and end up owning a pasta machine. I can stop by the mall to just look around and come out with three outfits I'll never wear, a gift I'll never give and several things for the house. ...Read more
Borax, a combination of sodium, boron and oxygen, is a natural substance mined from the earth in its crude form, found in abundance in the deserts of California and Nevada.
Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft, colorless crystals that dissolve in water. Borax is an ingredient in many detergents, cosmetics and enamel glazes. The trademark...Read more
No doubt, you've noticed that some food products come with dates and codes printed on them. And who isn't noticing this more now as food costs are skyrocketing?
Do those codes and dates mean the item must be consumed by that date or just sold by that date?
What about canned or packaged goods that show only a date like "2.01.21"? Does that mean...Read more