I was going to begin today’s column by apologizing for yet another update on how to make homemade laundry detergent. Then it struck me. These aren’t really changes … they’re improvements. Look, if Gain and Tide can produce “New! Improved” versions of their laundry products, so can we.
But first, let’s have a quick overview:
First, and I’m talking about years ago, I gave you a liquid laundry detergent recipe that required grating, cooking, stirring and storing a thick gel-like substance in a 5-gallon bucket. I believe at one point I suggested keeping a baseball bat handy to stir the stuff before each use.
Then came the New! and Improved! powdered version where you could pretty much grate, mix and be done with it. Storage was quite simple and the results were pretty good, provided you could find the right bar soap to grate and you weren’t opposed to dedicating one cheese grater for soap only (the stuff would be nasty in mac ‘n cheese). Continue reading
Recently, I challenged my readers to dump their negative thoughts, which can so easily lead to negative and destructive behaviors. The assignment was simple: Write down ten things for which you are grateful. I even suggested that they send me their lists. My mail boxes were sizzling for days. Weeks later, lists are still trickling in. The responses were all heartwarming, but perhaps none as poignant as the one from Allie, a high school student.
“I am having a really tough time in high school right now and even though most times I have positive thoughts and attitudes sometimes it gets really hard but I usually catch myself and try to reverse the negative thoughts into positive ones. After reading this I wanted to send you my ten good things in life. Continue reading
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 simply to-die-for.
Two of these recipes have an Asian bent—the first one is prepared in a slow cooker, the second on the stove top. The third recipe is for an elegant country French entree, prepared in the oven. If you need to impress, this one’s for you! Just don’t blow your cover by telling your guests just how easy it is. Continue reading
Dear Mary: I am a big fan of your column and love the tips and advice that you share with us. My wife and I have been married for 25 years and have been practicing the frugal lifestyle since before we were married. We have recently received an inheritance that we want to be extremely careful with. My question to you is how do I go about finding a competent and trustworthy advisor?
We each have an IRA account but mine is through a former employer (almost 5 years ago). I need to set up a new IRA and transfer my (meager) funds from the old one to the new. I also want to put some of my inheritance into it. Is there an unbiased source for information and evaluation of IRA plans and other investment vehicles? Enthusiastically yours, Gary.
Dear Gary: You are certainly on the right track with 1) realizing your need for professional advice and 2) looking for “unbiased” advice, which to me means advice that is in your best interest, not the advisor’s.
The services that financial planners offer can vary widely. Some financial planners/advisors assess every aspect of your financial life—including savings, investments, insurance, taxes, retirement, and estate planning—and help you develop a detailed strategy or financial plan for meeting all your financial goals. Other professionals call themselves financial planners, but they may only be able to recommend that you invest in a narrow range of products and securities like stocks and bonds. Continue reading
I had this great idea, years ago, to buy a ton of ground beef (OK, more like ten pounds) and then browned all of it—all at once. That way I could divide it up into one-pound portions, freeze it and have it all ready to go when a recipe called for ground beef. Great idea! Did it work? Well, sorta’ if by “working” you mean taking a long time, making a huge mess of my stove and kitchen and having to do it in batches because who has a frying pan that big—and basically vowing to never do THAT again.
Last week, when I received today’s first great reader tip in my email box, I couldn’t believe it. Why didn’t I think of that? What a great idea and yes I am going to do this. Can’t wait. Continue reading
Posted on May 7, 2013