Planting an edible garden is now trendy -- not that being part of a trend is ever a good reason to start or learn something new. But if it helps you move forward by being part of the "in" crowd, then you really need to plant your own edible garden this year.
Provided you remain frugal (it is possible to spend a fortune on a garden, thereby ...Read more
Most families these days assume it takes two incomes to survive. And many would be shocked if they were to take the time to figure out the real hourly wage in that second paycheck.
Dear Mary: With two little boys, my husband and I are paying through the roof for day care. It seems like almost all the money I earn goes to child care, so I've ...Read more
Without a doubt, the best thing about living in Colorado is the change of seasons. The folks here live from one season to the next. In the summer, we can't wait for the cooler weather and colors of autumn. In the fall, we're just dying for winter so we can pull out the winter wear, skis and snowboards. Once Christmas is packed up, it's all about...Read more
I'll admit I used to think frugality was a distasteful lifestyle forced upon the poor. I believed it was synonymous with never buying new clothes and dumpster diving under the cover of night.
Boy, did I have a lot to learn. And learn I did -- and I continue to learn -- that it is the path to building wealth with any income.
I'd say the most ...Read more
These days, with so many resources available on the internet, it's not always easy to know who or what can be trusted. After all, if you can refinance your home mortgage, you should be able to do that with your credit card debt and car loan as well, right?
Dear Mary: With your guidance, I have successfully refinanced my credit card debt with a ...Read more
All kinds of methods exist for cleaning glass coffee carafes, most of which are brought to us by hardworking super-experienced restaurant servers. Who better to know how to get things done fast and efficiently?
I thought I'd heard every method, too -- that is, until I heard from Laurie. I'll be the first to say she's right on. I love her method...Read more
I have the most loyal and responsive readers on Earth. Every day, I can count on my inbox filling up with your opinions, reactions, gratitude, funny stories and arguments, and even the occasional rebuke from a reader who lets me have it!
What really gets my attention is when I receive hundreds of responses to a single column. That's when I know...Read more
Consignment shopping is an excellent way to purchase clothes that are often brand-new and less than one-third of the retail price. Most cities these days have specialty consignment shops for babies, children and teens.
The consignment process is simple. The store sets criteria for accepting merchandise from sellers and sets the price -- usually...Read more
Miles LassiterMargo Lee Williams
Margo Williams had only a handful of stories and a few names her mother remembered from her childhood about her family's home n Asheboro, NC. Her research would soon help her to make contact with long lost relatives and a pilgrimage "home" with her mother in 1982. This story follows her ...
Even the mention of words like "frugality" and "thrift" send some people over the edge because for them, those words conjure up thoughts of poverty and deprivation.
They assume that cutting costs is tantamount to diving into dumpsters to find one's next meal. No wonder so many people prefer a life of debilitating debt to one of frugality.
Let ...Read more
Face it: Living below your means requires a good bit of creativity from time to time. You have to get pretty clever to stretch a buck.
But just how far can you go in matters of etiquette before you cross the line?
Ask yourself these questions when making a decision having to do with gracious living and etiquette:
--Is my choice to be cheap ...Read more
Salt. It's mandatory in the human diet. But salt can be as destructive as it is necessary due to its ability to eat holes through metal and leave ugly stains on footwear. Here's a terrific way to take care of that problem -- quick and easy!
SALT STAINS. Olive oil removes salt and stains from leather boots and shoes. It shines the leather, too. ...Read more
Frozen fruits and vegetables get a lot of heat because most people assume that if an item is frozen, it must be of a lesser quality and nutritional value than the same item that's fresh in the produce department.
Is it true? Is fresh really better than frozen? And if so, is the difference great enough to spend more money to make sure we're ...Read more
Should I save or pay off debt? That has to be at the top of the most common questions I have received over the years. And the answer is solid: It depends! But only on one thing: if you do not have an emergency fund saved and stashed in a safe place -- I'm talking at least $1,000 -- you should save madly while you keep paying the minimums ...Read more
With so many technologies and capabilities available, choosing a printer isn't easy. Don't assume you'll find the perfect printer anytime soon. No matter the cost, printers get paper jams. They run out of ink and toner. Network connectivity can be challenging. That's just the nature of printers. I don't know why, but it's important to understand...Read more
Cutting expenses is the way to spend less so you have money to save, but unless you are actually putting that money into a safe place to be held for some future use, you're not really saving at all. You're just spending less.
Even if you cannot save a great deal of money right now, that's OK. It's not the amount you save that matters as much as...Read more
Kitchen cabinets are for storing dishes, not grease. Unfortunately, wood cabinets, whether painted or natural with a clear finish, are prone to all sorts of grease, grime and gunk from simply being in the kitchen.
Depending on just how much grease and grime you're looking at and the supplies you have available, here are several options for your...Read more
I don't buy bagged double- or triple-washed lettuce, or any other variety of prepared salad greens in a plastic clamshell or bag. But not be for the reasons you might assume.
It's not because I'm overly concerned that bacteria might make it through all that prewashing in a chlorinated bath, although tests conducted by Consumer Reports did find ...Read more
Did you notice or read about that big internet outage a number of weeks back? As I fumbled and fumed over a variety of websites being down, I had to laugh at myself.
There I was upset about a delay that would be measured in minutes, when not that many years ago, I had to wait days -- even weeks -- to get responses. Back then, your responses and...Read more
A few weeks ago, I got a wake-up call that wasn't exactly intended for me. Our friends Matt and Sharlene were told that Matt's 92-year-old aunt had died. As the executors of her estate, this did not catch them by surprise. The surprise came when they opened the door to see what was waiting for them.
As they described long-distance what they ...Read more
Faithful readers will recall that my husband and I have been testing and enjoying one of the handful of meal kit delivery services that are becoming quite popular.
A Home Chef meal kit includes all of the fresh ingredients and instructions needed to cook restaurant-quality meals for two, four or six people in the comfort of your own kitchen, ...Read more