Dinnertime can be hard with hectic schedules, but planning ahead and having meals ready in your freezer is a lifesaver. Registered dietitian Brenda Ponichtera offers a great idea: delicious baked meatballs, frozen and ready for multiple recipes.
This recipe produces healthy, tasty and quick meatballs to serve now or freeze for ...Read more
Dear Mary: I work out at a gym regularly, and I like to drink a protein shake or smoothie afterward to optimize the benefits of my workout. Shakes and smoothies at the gym can run $4-$6 and more, but they sure are convenient. Do you have any suggestions for making my own when I get home without a lot of muss and fuss? I have a feeling I could ...Read more
Just when I think I've heard every possible way to save time and money every day, I open my mail to find new and clever ideas I'd never thought of. No doubt about it, I have the smartest readers in the world (good-looking, too!).
I learned this tip by accident, and it has saved me a bundle. If your kids are constantly in and out of ...Read more
I blame it on my friend Kathleen that I caught the sneaky savings bug. One day, years ago, she told me her secret. Whenever she wrote a check, she'd enter an incorrect amount in the register by rounding up to the next dollar -- sometimes five. Once a year, she'd reconcile her account and discover, to her utter joy, enough "found" money in the ...Read more
For years, I've been searching for the perfect recipe for one of my family's favorite dishes: orange chicken. And then, wouldn't you know it, within a very short period of time, I found not one but three recipes that are quite different from one another, but all of them are simply to die for.
Two of these recipes have an Asian flair; the first ...Read more
Over the years, I've noticed something. People who live comfortably do not do so because they are particularly wealthy. It's because they are disciplined. They possess financial maturity. They live according to principles and rules they impose upon themselves. I have a feeling that Jane, today's first tipster, is one of those people -- quietly ...Read more
There are few things more annoying than stopping at the supermarket to pick up a few things and hauling bags of groceries into the house only to discover you have nothing for dinner. Or putting everything away only to realize you totally forgot the one thing that prompted you to stop at the store in the first place.
Online grocery shopping isn'...Read more
My dear readers: As I was cleaning out some old, irrelevant files, I came across something I wrote back in 2007. I came close to hitting "delete," when I realized some topics are timeless. This column really hit home with me, and I thought you might enjoy this blast from the past as well.
Did you read the news about Robert Nuranen and the ...Read more
Dear Mary: Last summer, I got a $3,000 bonus that my brother helped me invest in a couple of mutual finds. When my quarterly statements come in the mail, I'm totally confused by the pie charts and graphs and tend to toss them out. My brother says it's really important to track my investments. Is there an easier way to do this? -- Erin
Dear Erin...Read more
If you shy away from making homemade pies because of the crust (it can be tricky, and there's all that rolling), you are in for a treat. Meet the "impossible pie."
Impossible pies are quick, easy and very family-friendly. But what is it that makes them seemingly impossible? The crust starts out as almost liquid; you pour it over the top of the ...Read more
Attention readers: The following column is an excerpt from Mary Hunt's book "Raising Financially Confident Kids."
It is strangely ironic that the freedoms and affluence we enjoy in our society are the very things that stand to ruin our children if not addressed early and effectively.
The consumer credit industry is doing all it can to ...Read more
Dear Mary: Our beloved dog Roscoe is getting older, and we're concerned about safeguarding his health. He had a procedure last month that cost us $2,500. While the vet assures us he's fine now, we want to make sure we don't get hit with another huge bill. Of course, we'll do everything we can to keep Roscoe healthy, but we can't really afford ...Read more
Dear Mary: In a recent column, you suggested to not wash mushrooms but to simply brush them well with a vegetable brush or clean towel. While I agree with you 99% of the time, on this one I had to write. Did you know that mushrooms are usually grown in manure? You must wash them. I use a commercial veggie wash and brush, too. -- Patricia
Dear ...Read more
Today's column was prompted by a young man, age 10, who asked me recently, "Do I have to send a thank-you note when someone gives me a gift?"
In these high-tech times, when text messaging and email are the preferred methods of written communication, my answer, in a word, was yes. It's right; it's proper; it's good for you. We may be frugal, but...Read more
Recently, I heard from one of my dear readers, Jenn. The topic of her message? Her family's roller-coaster income. No, they don't work at an amusement park. But given their financial situation, it feels like they're on some kind of scary, rickety, spine-chilling carnival ride.
Dear Mary: My husband has two jobs. He is an artist and a salesman. ...Read more
Even though it still feels like winter, home improvement centers are hauling out air conditioners this month and putting them on sale. And March is National Frozen Food Month, so plan to fill your freezer. But that's not all. Check out all these things you'd be smart to stock up on this month.
SNACKS AND SODAS
The NCAA calls it their ...Read more
Not everyone is comfortable with asking for a better deal or for a lower rate. Or for a fee or penalty to be waived. It's a process known as bargaining or "haggling," and for many, it's a lot easier to do that online rather than face-to-face in a store. It feels safer. And it's a great place to practice your skills.
Here's a simple way to give ...Read more
I love houseplants, and I do have some beauties! The truth is I don't have a green thumb; I just know a few tricks and tips that I will gladly share with you. Healthy, beautiful houseplants are an economical way to bring instant warmth and beauty to a home, condo, apartment, dorm room, recreational vehicle -- or wherever else you call home.
I ...Read more
What do Pat Benatar, George Foreman and I, your humble columnist, have in common? We share the same birthday! I only know that because someone gave me a 768-page book titled "The Portable Book of Birthdays."
Good thing, too, or I'd never know that Pat, George and I have "socially savvy personalities (and) a keen ability to promote our ideas and...Read more
As I write, coronavirus, a deadly illness, is spreading across the world. However, reported cases of coronavirus in the U.S. pale in number compared with more than 26 million cases of the flu in the 2019-2020 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Should we be worried? Scared? No. We should be cautious, alert, ...Read more