Tips to Make Cooking Fun and Rewarding


I remember my grandmother saying, “If we didn’t need food, we’d all be rich!” This may be true. But then, a life without food would be a little less pleasurable. Still, there are so many ways to make great food cheap, make perishable food last and the grocery budget stretch like nobody’s business.

Enjoy today’s tips, filled with practiced wisdom for practical solutions to make cooking and brewing coffee fun and rewarding for you and your family. Bon appétit!

ONE LOVELY CUPPA. If you love coffee as much as I do and have never tried a gadget called Aerobie by AeroPress you are in for a delicious surprise. Aerobie is manual and the cheapest, easiest, fastest way to make a really great cup of coffee. And yes I do mean just one cup of perfectly brewed coffee at a time. Aerobie is small enough to keep  one in your desk drawer at the office and another at home. Can’t break the $4-a-day Starbucks habit? This could do it. For me, Aerobie makes such a superior cup of coffee, breaking that habit’s a cinch.

HEAT THE MUG. Tired of that first morning cup of steaming hot coffee cooling off too quickly? Do this: As your coffee is brewing, fill your coffee mug with water and heat it to boiling in the microwave. Pour out the water into a dirty dish or pan that needs to be soaked, and replace with hot coffee. You’ll be amazed by how much longer the coffee stays hot.  Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Food & Recipes, Tips 8 Comments

Chromebook: Inexpensive and Awesome


You may recall a few months ago I wrote about the new inexpensive laptop computer series that is sweeping the tech world called, “Chromebooks.” I’m still onboard in a big way.


These little laptops that run on Google’s Chrome OS are great budget-friendly computers that can meet the needs of many people, especially those who don’t need all of the bells and whistles that come standard on computers with much higher price tags.

With the popularity of Chromebooks spreading, multiple manufacturers are getting on board, like Samsung, HP, Acer, Toshiba, Asus and Dell. Machines range in price from $199 for the minimal Acer C720, $279 for the gorgeous  HP11 and the 13″ Toshiba and $299 for the Acer C720P with a built in touchscreen and extra hard drive space.

That pricing pretty much blows me away because I still remember paying $2,400 for a fax machine. Ouch!  Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Best Inexpensive, Home & Family 14 Comments

Give Yourself a Promotion


Worried about layoffs? You’re not alone. About six-in-ten Americans worry that they will lose their jobs due to the current state of the economy, according a recent Pew Research poll.

Losing a job can be a terrible blow especially if you were already living paycheck to paycheck. But if that loss comes without warning, the emotional toll on top of the financial loss can be devastating.


No matter your situation—whether you have suffered a recent layoff, are worried that you might, or believe there isn’t the slightest possibility that you could find yourself unemployed—don’t set yourself up to become a passive victim by default.

Become the CEO. Promote yourself to Chief Executive Officer of your life. Develop strength and confidence in your ability to take control of your life. That means have contingency plans in place. What will you do if you are laid off next Friday? Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Mary's Perspective Leave a comment

Three Easy Ways to Bake Potatoes


Think you have nothing to fix for dinner? As long as you have a few potatoes in the pantry, you have at least one option. Whether topped with a pat of butter or loaded up with broccoli and cheese or a big scoop of hearty chili—baked potatoes really are an easy, no-brainer meal. The bonus is that potatoes are nutritious and cheap!


While you can bake just about any kind of potato, Russets are the best option. That’s because the skin on a Russet is thicker and the extra starchy interior has a sweet flavor that gets extra fluffy while baking. Russets are typically larger, which makes them ideal  for a dinner entree.

Here are three ways to prepare baked potatoes: Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Food & Recipes 7 Comments

Signs You Might Be a Shopaholic


You can own 85 pairs of shoes 100 DVDs and not suffer from shopaholism. The test, experts say, is if you spend so much time and money shopping that it negatively affects your finances and your relationships.


How can you tell? Here are four signs you might need help, according to April Benson, a psychologist who specializes in treating shopaholics and author of  “To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop”:

You feel overwhelmed by your need to buy things. Compulsive buyers often buy things they don’t need or can’t afford. They buy things just because they’re on sale or feel an overwhelming urge to buy something—anything—and don’t care what they bring home. If you’ve ever gone shopping for a white blouse and came home with a purple blouse, shoes, pants and new throw pillows, too, you know what I’m talking about. Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Mary's Perspective 4 Comments