Get Prepared One Tip at a Time


The idea of emergency preparedness is a good one. Every family needs some kind of plan in the event of an kind of disaster that could disrupt the normal course of life. But where to start? Hopefully, these quick tips will do the trick to get you unstuck and on your way to being prepared.

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Water storage. You don’t have to live in “hurricane” country to get hurricane prepared. Disasters can hit anywhere which means water could be in short supply. For flushing toilets and showers, line 30-45 gallon garbage cans with those large contractor plastic bags available at home improvement stores. Then, fill the garbage cans with water. Most people forget that three weeks without electricity means three weeks of no water if your provider has not attached a generator to pump water to houses.  Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Tips 10 Comments

Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared


If there is one thing most people take for granted it is food. US supermarkets are always well-stocked and we don’t think much about how all that food gets there. When pushed to consider it, I wager most of us assume there are huge warehouses somewhere filled with enough food to feed the nation for some unknown period of time.


The truth is, as a nation we have little to no warehousing backup in the event of a supply shortage. Our concentrated supermarket supply system uses a technology known as JIT (Just-in-Time), a method made possible by computers and the Internet.

Here’s how JIT works: Instead of every supermarket needing a warehouse to store large quantities of food to be sold locally, computers keep track of inventory, placing relatively small orders daily. This precludes the need for massive warehousing. Retailers know their orders will arrive “just in time” to keep the shelves filled.  Continue reading

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Food & Recipes, Home & Family 16 Comments

So, You’re Getting a Tax Refund!


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

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Mary's Perspective 7 Comments

No-Fail Moist and Tender Chicken Breasts


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

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Food & Recipes 5 Comments

Help Available for Family Going Through a Difficult Time


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

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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

Posted on by Mary Hunt in Dear Mary 11 Comments