Holidays and Special Occasions

6 Fabulous Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Need a list-minute gift for an office party, birthday your trusty mail carrier, a beloved teacher, co-worker or anyone else

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Holidays and Special Occasions

Oh, Christmas Tree!

As tempting as a pricey, artificial pre-lit Christmas tree may be, few things about the holidays are as satisfying as a

cleaning the inside of a car
Home & Family

Car Dealer Spills the Beans for Treating Leather

Dear Mary: I recently purchased a newer vehicle. The dealer tried to sell me a package where they treat the

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Gift Guides, Gifts, Home & Family

16 Gifts College Students Want

Stressed out because you just don’t know what to give that 20-something or college student on your holiday gift list?

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Mary's Perspective, Money and Finances

Would You Rather Stick a Fork in Your Eye or Talk About Budgets?

For lots of people, just thinking the word “budget” is like nails on a chalkboard. I know the feeling. For

A kitchen with a lot of furniture in it
Home & Family

Dreaming of an Organized Garage

I really like an organized home. When things get all chaotic and messy, I find that my mind kinda’ gets

Mary's Perspective

Payday Loans, Rent-to-Own and Other Spooky Tales

Scary stories and fiendish tricks are all part of Halloween fun. But the last thing you expect is for those

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Home & Family

I Know a Magic Trick and I’m Telling All

Is it just me, or do you too love to discover something inexpensive that does the exact same thing as

A person standing in front of a store
Home & Family

Six Ways to Get Out of a Supermarket Without Overspending

This is not the first time in this column that we’ve visited the subject of how to get out of

Box of stuff

Clutter’s Last Stand

What would we do if we actually had to use everything you own, including all that stuff in the drawers,

A close up of a sign
Home & Family

Hope and Help for Troubled Debtors

Dear Mary: A year ago, I emailed you about the mess I was in with payday lenders. Although I had

Home & Family

Help! Too Much Stuff for Too Little Space

Dear Mary: I have a young daughter who is almost three-years-old. Eventually, my husband and I plan on having more

mail box
Home & Family

Readers Report Nok-Out to the Rescue

Faithful readers know I’m crazy for a product, Nok-Out. I travel with it and live it with. Actually, I wouldn’t

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Mary's Perspective

My Secret War with Procrastination

One of the toughest things I battle in my life is procrastination. My natural response is I’ll do it later.

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Home & Family

Six Winners in the Generic vs. Name-Brand Competition

What do you associate with the word “generic?” Do the words “inferior” or “tastes like cardboard” come to mind? Or

Food and Recipes

Microwave Popcorn May be Trouble in a Bag

When I first read about the possible dangers of microwave popcorn, I assumed I would read about issues having to

A little girl sitting at a table with food
Food and Recipes

Muffins: The Perfect Solution

Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You cannot afford to miss it for many

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Food and Recipes

To-Die-For Gluten-Free Muffins

I thought this matter of gluten-free was pretty solid–that some people are truly allergic to gluten, others have celiac disease

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Food and Recipes

Never Trust a Dark Restaurant

I should have known better. Of all people, I should not have trusted a menu that had no prices on

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Home & Family

Divorce Decrees Mean Nothing to the IRS

Dear Mary: I am recently married and my husband owes the IRS $23,000 in back taxes. He agreed to an

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Food and Recipes

Got Five Minutes? Bake Bread!

  It’s been seven years since I became a bread maker. I read a book, gave it a try and

Home & Family

3 Ways to Stretch a Can of Tuna to Feed Four Hungry People

Are the popular “reality” television shows anything close to what you consider reality? Take the venerable hit show Survivor, getting ready

Home & Family

How to Store Non-Perishable Food

Every household needs to have some amount of food in storage. How much food to store is an individual decision

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Home & Family, Mary's Perspective

Prep Steps for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home can be exciting and terrifying, all at once. And for first-time buyers, you can probably multiply those

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Home & Family

Stop the Flu Virus Dead in Its Tracks

In the past couple of months, three acquaintances of mine have come down with the H1N1 virus, also known as

Mary's Perspective, Money and Finances

4 Ways to Stop Wasting Money

Want to keep more of the money you earn? Stop wasting money on goods and services that you don’t really

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Home & Family

Mortgage Lender Calling Every Hour All Day Long!

  Dear Mary: We are one month behind on our mortgage payments and plan to catch up this month. We

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Food and Recipes, Home & Family

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

Home & Family

13 New Uses for an Old Credit Card

  Before you cut up an expired credit card—or toss that silly fake one you got as junk mail—consider all

Mary's Perspective

Step Into the Naughty Corner

  Americans are up to their eyeballs in credit-card debt. The average household with debt now owes nearly $9,000 on