A group of people sitting at a table
Gift Guides, Gifts, Holidays and Special Occasions

23 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Young Professionals, College Students, Moms and Dads, Too

Gift-giving is surely on everyone’s mind as we head into the final weekend before Christmas. It’s a wonderful holiday tradition—one

A person reading a book
Gift Guides, Money and Finances

Nine of the Best Money Books for Kids and Teens

If I had a dollar for every person who has ever asked, “Why didn’t anyone ever teach me how to

A close up of a basket
Miscellaneous

Two Options When Your Social Security Number is Compromised

I just received a letter from a reader that sent chills up my spine. It brought back vivid memories of

A woman holding a cup, with Gift and Cookbook
Gifts, Home & Family

“Tremendous” Advice for Holiday Gift-Giving

It is the late humorist and master of salesmanship, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, who said one of my favorite quotes of

Image
Home & Family

Drowning in Scraps of Fabric

Long-time readers of this column may remember the reader who wanted to know where she could donate her fabric scraps.

Cleaning

Help! My Aluminum Cookware is Pitted and Stained and Other Reader Dilemmas

A recent message from one of my dear readers reminded me of a similar dilemma I have encountered. Her problem

A box filled with fresh fruit and vegetables on display
Food and Recipes

Slow Cooker Nailed It!

There’s just something about the bountiful tastes of autumn and slow cookers that go together. Recently, I’ve been doing a

A dog lying on a bed
Pets, Tips

How to Cut the Cost of Owning a Pet

No one was more surprised than I when my first granddog, Sir Boddington, nuzzled a place in my heart. I

laundry room
Laundry

How to Buy the Best Washer and Dryer

If experience is the best teacher, surely I have achieved expert status in the field of buying clothes washers and

Food and Recipes

Chicken Labeling: Prepare to be Surprised

If you’ve ever stood in the supermarket wondering if paying more for chicken that is free-range, antibiotic-free, no hormones added,

A woman using a laptop computer
Home & Family

Is It Legit or Is It a Scam?

Every day millions of people get sucked into Internet scams and tricks that end up costing them dearly, something I

A close up of food on a plate
Food and Recipes

Impossibly Easy Impossible Pies

If you shy away from making homemade pies—savory or sweet—because of the crust (it can be tricky and there’s all

A little girl posing for a picture
Holidays and Special Occasions, Mary's Perspective

How to Not Go Broke on Birthday Parties

Back when I was a kid, birthday parties were mostly ho-hum consisting of a few rounds of Pin the Tail

water
Home & Family

What Retailers Don’t Want You to Know About Tap Water

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when it happened, but sometime over the past decade or so, the general population of

A woman holding her hand to her face
Cleaning, Clothing and Accessories

How to Rescue Fabric and Clothes from the Stench of Mothballs

I love fabric and fine textiles of all kinds, but mostly I love cotton goods—cotton sheets, cotton quilts. You might say

A close up of a bottle of wine
Food and Recipes, Holidays and Special Occasions, Home & Family

Perfect Homemade Vanilla Extract

Every year about this time I start scrambling for gift ideas for my long list of friends, neighbors and colleagues. I

A person posing for the camera
Mary's Perspective

Living Below Your Means is the Only Way to Live

Being thought of as cheap was to me the ultimate insult. I equated frugality with digging through dumpsters in search

A plate of food with broccoli
Food and Recipes

This is How to Make Applebee’s® Crispy Orange Chicken Skillet

Not long ago I got a desperate message from C. J. Coffman who lives in Michigan. It seems that he

Image
Mary's Perspective

What to Do While You Wait for Things to Return to Normal

Life on earth has never been perfect, but you’d have a hard time convincing some people of that. It’s not

A close up of a rock
Outdoors and Garden

Hands Down the Best Way to Kill Weeds and It’s Not Roundup

In 1970, John Franz, a chemist for Monsanto, discovered that the chemical glyphosate is a potent herbicide that kills just

A close up of a plant
Outdoors and Garden, Tips

Residential Rehab for the Birds

If you’re planning a home rehab—or in the throes of that right now—just imagine how wonderful it would be if

Automobiles

When Driving a Lemon is Easier Than Getting Rid of It

Dear Mary: We have an aging car that is a lemon. We are keeping it going with bailing wire until

A close up of a plate of food
Food and Recipes

It’s All About that Sauce

Sometime ago, I posted an impromptu fan poll on our Facebook page asking, “What is your greatest financial temptation?” Answer

A man and a woman using a laptop computer
Money and Finances

Anticipate Your Way to Freedom

Try this: Add up your monthly expenses and deduct the total from your monthly income. Hey, not bad! You should

Food and Recipes, Home & Family

The Scoop on Free Ice Cream

Updated 9-22-19 Is there anything better than ice cream on a hot summer day? Well, yes there is—FREE ice cream!

Gift Guides, Home & Family

The $150 Starter Kitchen

Know anyone getting ready to move into their first apartment? Whether it’s a  recent college grad, newlyweds or maybe it’s you

Home & Family

How to Keep a Keurig Coffee Maker Making Coffee (Even if You Think It’s Broken)

If you own a Keurig coffee maker and if it started out brewing a full cup of coffee then turned

A made bed in a bedroom
Home & Family

Getting Soaked: Good for Bedspread, Bad for Retirement Account

Dear Mary: I have an heirloom bedspread that is about 60 years old, embroidered with wool yarn by my grandmother. There

A man standing in front of a blue car parked in a parking lot
Automobiles

The Cheapest Way to Own a Car

There is nothing quite so expensive as a brand-new car. There are times, rare though they be, when financing a new

A glass vase on a table, with Carafe and Coffee
Cleaning, Home & Family

Try This Old Restaurant Cleaning Trick

Ever leave the coffee pot on overnight only to wake to a blackened, burnt on mess? Can’t get rid of the

A wooden cutting board
Tips

Cucumbers in Plastic Wrap, and More Great Reader Tips!

I think it’s universally understood that a red flag means stop or some variation of caution. A green flag, on