It doesn’t matter how inexpensive the chuck or sirloin roast, if it turns out so tough and flavorless that no one will eat it, it was no bargain at all. But a bad experience doesn’t mean you should shy away from those thrifty cuts in the future. It means you need to learn how to prepare even the cheapest cuts of beef so you can expect perfect results every time.
The three economy cuts of beef roast are chuck, sirloin and round. The chuck is fattier and tenderer; the round is lean and relatively tough. The sirloin falls somewhere between. Continue reading
Dear Mary: I just read the letter from 13-year-old Abby about teaching kids financial responsibility.
I did this with my daughter when she was just a little older than Abby. Prior to that, she wanted name brand jeans, clothing, shoes…whatever she thought all of the “cool” kids had.
She wouldn’t step into a thrift shop or discount store. It was a constant battle until I decided that she would have a clothing/necessity allowance.
I gave her a set amount of money each month to cover those expenses. If there was an event coming up she would need to save ahead to pay for whatever she needed, including her prom gown and all the accessories. Continue reading
Every week I invite readers of this column to send me their clever tips for how to save time and money. Then once a week I open the Everyday Cheapskate mail box to let you take a look.
SHOPPING TRICK. My son studied a carpentry course called, “Measure twice, cut once.” I have adapted that phrase to my shopping: “Shop twice, buy once.” When I am grocery shopping, if I see something I’d like that isn’t on my list, I add it to next week’s shopping list. When I am making out my menus and grocery list the following week, I consider the item. Often, by then, it has lost its appeal. I do the same thing with other shopping; items I am considering buying go to next week’s to-do list. By the time the week rolls around, I’ve had plenty of time to evaluate the purchase, and make a non-impulsive decision. Mary Beth, email Continue reading
Dear Readers: Of all the columns I’ve written, the one on the care and feeding of the carpet in my home has generated by far the most interest and, shall I say, creative feedback! And the most requests to reprint. Since you asked, here it is again. Enjoy!
Okay, so maybe I should say, “One of the best things ….” but at this moment, as I write, I cannot think of anything I’ve ever purchased that can top my carpet cleaning steam vac.
Background: I have a love/hate relationship with carpet. I love how it looks, how it feels under my feet and how it warms up a room. But I hate dirty carpet. Cannot abide a spot. The thought of what lurks between those fibers gives me the heeby-geebies. Continue reading
Over the past several months, mortgage interest rates have begun creeping higher. It’s not too late to refinance to get a lower rate, but you need to move quickly, while rates are still in the 4 percent range.
Even though banks are in business to lend money, they aren’t making things easy for homeowners.
Before you walk through the front door of your local bank or credit union to seek a refi, here are some basic guidelines to help simplify the process: Continue reading