Gifts, Holidays and Special Occasions

Best Creative and Inexpensive Homemade Gifts!

Well, here we go … just two weeks to go before Christmas and only 15 days before my kiddos arrive!

A male teacher sits supervising a group of children who are working on whiteboards and digital tablets

What Teachers Really Want for Christmas

Recently, I contacted teachers I know, asking them how they really feel about gifts from parents and students—at Christmas and

Multi Generation-Family-Praying-Before-Christmas-Meal
Holidays and Special Occasions, Home & Family

4 Things We Really Want for Christmas

Sure they want toys, but underneath it all what kids really want for Christmas (adults, too) just might surprise you.

shoe repair cobbler fixing man's shoe
Clothing and Accessories, Repairs and Maintenance

A Shoemaker Can Save Your Sole

To some people, a cobbler is a lovely fruit dessert, best served warm. To others, it is a shoemaker who

350 px Gift Ideas for Kdis
Gift Guides, Kids and Babies

2019 Holiday Gift Guide—Best Gift Ideas for KIDS!

Yesterday was so much fun—a kind of kick-off to Christmas around our house! Our grandsons Eli and Sam opened the

350 px Gift ideas Learning Toys
Gift Guides, Kids and Babies

2019 Holiday Gift Guide—Best Learning Toys

Learning toys do more than sit there and entertain—they stimulate and teach kids important skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, logic, and even

Holidays and Special Occasions

7 Ways to Use Fresh Cranberries to Make the Holidays More Beautiful

The relatively short season for fresh cranberries (October through December) is now in full swing with bags of the ruby

Holidays and Special Occasions

A Mishmash of Christmas Ideas and Holiday Tips

Good news! Another Black Friday is in the books. You survived—unscathed I hope. If you bag some amazing bargains without

Christmas vintage presents on a wooden background
Holidays and Special Occasions

Gift-Giving: What’s the Point?

Happy Black Friday!

To be perfectly honest, I’m not completely sure where all the happy is in this day of out-of-control

Happy Thanksgiving
Mary's Perspective

Make Every Day Thanksgiving!

My Dear Readers, I just got a message that this morning’s early send had a bum link in it. Oh,

Young man using computer and counting his Ebates cash.123rf

An Awesome Way to Get Cash Back When Shopping Online

I could teach you how to be an extreme couponer. I’ve had a lot of experience including the time I

Fire in fireplace with a pile of log firewood
Home & Family

11 Things You Should Never Burn in Your Fireplace

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it’s likely that now and then you toss things like cardboard, junk mail, and

Home & Family

11 More Ways You Can Use This for That

Recently as I was halfway out the door, car keys in hand and on the way to the home improvement

Ask me anything
Dear Mary

Ask Me Anything: Cosigning Parents, Silent Stylist, Rum Cake Recipe, and More

Happy Sunday, Everybody!

Once again, it’s mailbag day, when I reach in and pull out your questions. While there are

My Grandma's white fruitcake cut and ready to eat
Food & Recipes

White Fruitcake that Dreams are Made Of

I have no pride and, according to some, no taste. I love fruitcake. Sickeningly sweet, loaded with pecans, cherries, pineapple,

Kids and Babies

What Every Kid Needs to Know About Greed and Thankfulness

If there is one thing that will ruin your kids’ lives, it’s greed. Teach them while they’re young how to

Woman showing her perfect straight white teeth.
Health and Beauty

How To Make Your Own Teeth Whitener—Cheap and Easy

According to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most important thing people want to change

Happy girl just discovered time and money saving gadgets
Home & Family

7 Cheap Gadgets That Make Life Easy—Fun, Too

I am nothing if not a gadget lover. Ingenious items that make my life easier are great, but when I

cropped shot of young couple shopping online with credit card and laptop at christmas

11 Ways to Get the Best Online Deals and Discounts

Just about everyone who shops online knows to look for a discount, promotional code, or coupon of some kind before

whole roasted chicken on wooden kitchen table
Food & Recipes

Smart Saving Tastes Like Chicken

With the price of beef skyrocketing, now more than ever, chicken needs to become backbone of your frugal kitchen.


group of hands holding speech bubbles
Dear Mary

Ask Me Anything: Bed Sheets, Vanilla Extract, Washing Soda, Lestoil, and More!

I just pulled a load of questions from my mailbag, which is really my email inbox, and while I don’t

Mary's Perspective

Want What You Have, Buy What You Need

It’s Day 2 in our 40-Day Christmas Challenge! Listen right here, or download all Episodes at

family folding laundry softened with homemade softener

5 Easy Ways to Make Homemade Laundry Softener

Laundry softeners are designed to reduce the amount of static in synthetic fibers and make clothes and linens come out feeling

Thanksgiving chaos with a side of burnt turkey
Best Inexpensive

Just in Time for Thanksgiving—Best Inexpensive Kitchen Tools

If today’s topic seems a bit premature because Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, let me remind you (trust me,

Turkey feast
Food & Recipes, Holidays and Special Occasions

Your Best Thanksgiving Feast Ever, Healthy, Delicious, and Cheap!

If there’s one thing we should be thankful for this Thanksgiving, it’s this: Turkey is cheap! And the rest of

Dear Mary

Ask Me Anything: Best Robot Vac, Denim Dye Transfer, Medicare HELP! and More

Once again, it time to reach into the mailbag to pull out a handful of questions from you, my dear


Yes! You Can Wash Silver in the Dishwasher

Contrary to popular belief, you can wash silver and silverplate flatware in the dishwasher without causing harm, just follow the

Pretty smiling housewife doing general cleaning in kitchen

11 Ways to Use Windex That Will Make You So Happy

The guys who installed our new shower doors warned us not to use Windex to clean them as it will

Woman opening bright pink wallet to discover complete lack of money
Money and Finances

5 Ways to Give Yourself a Raise

Is money a little tight? Hoping a raise will come through soon? I hate to burst your bubble, but even

Food & Recipes

11 Practical Ways to Stretch Your Food Budget

If soaring food prices are getting you down, help is on the way! Here are some basic saving strategies, practical solutions,

Home & Family

No Need to Shiver: Easy DIY Ways to Cut Heating Costs This Winter

We’re expecting our third snow of the season here in Colorado, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! But are we