Mary's Perspective, Miscellaneous

When It Doesn’t Pay to be Cheap

There is a predictable progression many of us go through as we make a decision to stop living beyond our

Food & Recipes

Time to Grill Some Grub!

Of all the joys of summer, nothing beats a great cookout. While meat, poultry and fish are the expected grilled

Dear Mary

When the Ship is Sinking, Get Everyone in the Lifeboat

Dear Mary: My wife and I made a terrible mistake and bought a house that I don’t think we can


Readers Weigh in on Bananas, Buttons and Brown Sugar

Not long ago, the produce manager at my supermarket noticed me putting a bunch of bananas in my cart and

Home & Family

Everything is Negotiable

What I know about the art and science of negotiating I learned as a matter of survival. Driven to save myself

Mary's Perspective, Money and Finances

Danger Signs You’re Headed for the Debt Trap

Debt. It’s a four-letter word and certainly not ideal under any circumstances. Being debt-free is always better than being in

Food & 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


How to Get All Kinds of Free eBooks

A recent column on where to find free books for today’s popular digital readers brought a flood of responses, a

Home & Family

How I Stopped the M.A.C. Attacks

My frugality philosophy is that I scrimp like crazy on things that don’t matter to have the money for things

Mary's Perspective

Keeping Up with the Joneses is a Loser’s Game

We all know the Joneses, that family with the perfect home and cars, the perfect kids and marriage. And tons

Food & Recipes

Favorite Summer Salads

For months I’ve been harboring some amazing salad recipes, anxious to share them with you but waiting for the snow

Dear Mary

Authorized User May Have Cause for Concern

Dear Mary: When my brother-in-law was a pastor, he was authorized to use the church credit card to purchase things

Home & Family

Great Referrals Key to Great Results

More than a year ago, my husband remodeled our home. This is no ordinary man. He has an amazing ability to

Home & Family, Travel and Entertainment

You Need a Vacation

Forget the excuses. You need a vacation and for more reasons that it’s just fun to get away. Research shows

Food & 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

Dear Mary

Big Artillery to Clean Gross Shower Floor

Dear Mary: I sure hope you can help me. I’m at the end of my rope with the floor of


Spice Co-Op Saves Money, Builds Friendship

Sharing readers’ tips with you reminds me just how much we can teach each other. Just when I think I

Home & Family

Rebate or Rip Off?

You know what irks me? Rebates. Take the vacuum cleaner for example. I bought it because with the $30 rebate,

Mary's Perspective

Like It or Not, You Need a Good Credit Score

In my perfect world there would be no credit scores. And while I do not believe that credit is necessarily