Discovering that you’ll be getting a tax refund is certainly not the worst news you’ve had in your life. In fact, it’s easy to see a tax refund as some kind of gift from the universe. But here’s the truth: It’s part of your paycheck that you should have been getting all along. Plan now for how you’ll manage it or your refund could evaporate into thin air. You have options. Choose well.
1. Treat it like a paycheck. Give away 10 percent, save 10 percent and put 80 percent into your household account.
2. Stash the whole thing. Your Contingency Fund or Freedom Account—or both—are the likeliest candidates. Continue reading
They’re convenient and, we’re told, more healthy. But there are few things quite as boring or more difficult to prepare well than boneless skinless chicken breasts (BSCB).
Here’s the problem: Chicken skin helps to keep chicken moist and the bones add flavor. Remove both and what do you have? The potential for dry, tasteless, tough chicken. But not to worry. Here are two foolproof methods to prepare BSCBs so that they come out moist and tender every time—provided that you follow these instructions exactly. Continue reading
Dear Mary: I have been a fan for more than 15 years. Thanks to following your advice over the years, we have paid off our house and we are currently two cars loans from being completely debt-free. Recently my teenage daughter was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer and the bills are piling up. We are having to travel back and forth to Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville and we live in South Carolina. Do you know where we can get help with these expenses? There are only a few doctors that treat this kind of cancer. I appreciate your help and advice. Thanks and God bless. Barb, email
Dear Barb: Take a look at “Local Organizations and Funds” at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital website. You’ll find many resources for families in your situation, including Jade’s Fund that helps families of children undergoing cancer treatment at Children’s Hospital with everyday living expenses that typically fall behind when a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, requiring a parent to stop working.
I am so sorry you are facing this challenge. My prayers are for your daughter’s soon and full recovery from this horrible disease. Thanks for being such a loyal follower through the years. Continue reading
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
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