Brisk mornings, fall colors, pumpkin pie and apple cider. Autumn is just the best time of year, right? While we're thinking toward Halloween and Thanksgiving, consider this a strong nudge to put Christmas high on the list. Start planning now and you'll benefit in so many ways come December.
Before I find myself dealing with angry responses from...Read more
Frugality. It's a word that for many people screams deprivation; poverty. I get letters from readers who say they've had it with trying to live below their means and never having anything they love. "What's the point if all of this deprivation if it just makes me feel even more miserable?" was the way one woman closed her letter.
Look, I can't ...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 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 imagine being able to save even 50 bucks? No worries...Read more
I had to laugh when I opened my mail to read how one reader was able to get his glass shower doors so clean and sparkly that they looked like new. I had a can of his remedy sitting right there next to my computer.
Hold on! Than can of WD-40 was NOT there to be used as a computer screen cleaner. I've never tried it, do not intend to and hope you...Read more
It happened again; I suffered a kitchen disaster. Boy, do I hate when that happens! This time, I ruined an entire pot of pasta because I got busy and was not paying attention. By the time I realized, the pasta had cooked beyond al dente all the way to al mushe. I could barely make out the pasta shape!
It killed me to dump the ...Read more
I love it when readers send me their questions. Today I pulled the following letters from the EC mailbag.
Dear Mary: We are better off than most. We have no credit card debt. We have several hundred dollars in cash stashed away in a safe in our house. And we have about $5,000 in savings. Our 401(k) accounts and Roth IRAs have a total value of ...Read more
All across this great country, college campuses have welcomed a new class of freshman. These young people arrived with a lot of things, but financial literacy was likely not one of them.
If I could spend a little time with these awesome students, this is what I would attempt to cram into their heads and then pray that it penetrates their hearts...Read more
Last week's mail certainly proved my theory that we have the best expert community going on here at Everyday Cheapskate. Even better, we're willing to share.
MICROWAVE CORN ON THE COB
Dear Mary: I wish to share a sweet corn trick with you and your readers that allows you to cook fresh corn in the husk in the microwave. Cut through the husk ...Read more
I have to admit to being a bit of a gadget freak. I'm drawn to tools and devices that do cool things. And when I discover that cool includes being a money saver, that turns a purchase into an investment with a guaranteed rate of return.
Here are several items I've found that can save a lot of money and whose cost you can generally recoup in ...Read more
Dear Mary: My husband and I just had our first child, and now that we have a new little life depending on us, we want to make sure she is always taken care of. Neither one of us has a will, but I think it's important to set one up just in case. Problem is, we haven't ever thought about a will, much less have any idea of what we need to include. ...Read more
It's true that financial trouble is a major contributor to the breakup of the American family. It is also true that gaining control over one's finances can repair marriages, restore families and change the future. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Let me assure you right up front that it is possible for you to gain control of your financial ...Read more
MISTAKE: YOU NEED TO PRE-RINSE
Scrape off all the chunks of food from the dishes, but don't pre-rinse. It's not necessary and only wastes time and water. Unless you have particles of food on your dishes, pre-rinsing could actually hinder your dishwasher's performance. Dishwasher detergent needs the acidity of food to activate its cleaning power...Read more
Recently, I got a message from Natalie, who explained that as part of a financial preparedness event, she will have 10 minutes to speak about financial freedom. Her question to me was, "What would you talk about if you only had 10 minutes?"
Only 10 minutes? I find it difficult to introduce myself in that little time, but I'm up to the challenge...Read more
The nicest thing happened to me one day as I rifled through the mail. I got a letter from Dr. C. Eugene Allen, a professor and food scientist at the University of Minnesota who just happened to be a fan of this column. He was responding to a teriyaki marinade recipe for venison I'd offered to a reader who asked about how to prepare that ...Read more
And just like that, autumn has arrived! Oh, how I love this time of year!
Cooler weather, sweaters, scarves, pumpkin pie and beautiful fall colors make this, for me, the very best time of year. And there's more -- bargains galore await as we head in. Here's a quick rundown of bargains we're sure to find during October:
HALLOWEEN COSTUMES, ...Read more
Before we get going here, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have an inner hoarder who puts up quite a fuss from time to time. I've managed to tame her, but now and again, she gets out. Before I know it, I have 48 boxes of borax on my storage shelves or 9,082 skeins of yarn in my stash. Just kidding -- sort of. Just justification is ...Read more
If your refrigerator is at all like mine, it harbors an odd assortment of leftovers and "almost gones." After all, it's hard to throw out what appears to be perfectly good food, but what can you do with a little of this and not very much of that? Here are some suggestions that may get your creative juices flowing to come up with your own ideas ...Read more
Two women. Different locations. Same accident. Both were using an ordinary commercial toilet bowl cleaner containing ammonia and were not satisfied with the way it was removing stains. Each added household chlorine bleach to that commercial product and stirred with a brush. One died quickly; the other spent a long time in the hospital.
Here's ...Read more
Dear Mary: Whatever happened to bank-sponsored Christmas clubs? -- Ted
Dear Ted: They all but disappeared when credit cards became so popular. The new attitude was, "Why worry about it? I'll just use my credit cards and pay for it later." Bad idea.
Good news: Christmas clubs are making a comeback (so are layaway plans). They may have a ...Read more
Pop quiz: Which is the better buy? Pork tenderloin for $2.97 per pound or boneless pork chops at $3.47 per pound -- taken from my local supermarket's weekly ad? If you answered the tenderloin, you're in good company. Most of us would, but we'd be wrong. Price per pound can be misleading because not all cuts of meat and poultry yield the same ...Read more