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  • Dessert casseroles conquer the winter blues

    photo by ninjapoodles This time of the year, daylight quickly turns to dusk. We crave the warmth of comfort foods. It’s time to showcase one of your winter assets — desserts baked with love. You can create...

  • What to do with worn-out jeans

    photo by mangpages DEAR SARA: My son has denim jeans that are torn in both knees and a pocket here and there. What do you do with the denim material once they are no longer wearable? Dust...

  • New use for bubble wrap

    For years, I’ve applied plastic to our windows, during winter, to keep the draft out. It’s not a fun job, and the plastic kits get costly. I love the first tip below. Plenty of stores and manufacturers...

  • Show her the love, not the money

    Valentine’s Day can be the most frustrating holiday. I see the tension rise as couples scramble to find the perfect romantic gift idea that isn’t a cliche or cheap and tacky. Most can’t afford luxury gifts, so...

  • Towels: Low-cost luxury

    Frugal discussions often mention pampering yourself. One way to experience luxury on a shoestring is by investing in a quality set of towels. White sales are approaching, so if your towels are threadbare and scratchy, now is...

  • Mission fridge: Fewer sniff tests, more fresh food

    Fridge check! When is the last time you cleaned and organized your refrigerator? If you lose food in your refrigerator, shove in food to make it fit or aren’t sure how old food is, it’s time to...

  • An easier way to remove wallpaper

    photo by nate DEAR SARA: There is wallpaper in one area of the house, and that is the stairs to the downstairs family room. It’s a small set of stairs, but the paper was peeling, so we...

  • Build an emergency fund before you need it

    photo by jswieringa If there isn’t money enough to go around, starting an emergency fund seems impossible. If an emergency happens, like a car breaking down, people pop the repair bill on their credit card. When life’s...

  • Get moving — without stressing out

    photo by rberteig Moving can be overwhelming and chaotic. The process will run more smoothly if you’re well organized, plan ahead and recruit help. Readers share their best tips to save your sanity during a move.

  • Keep your pantry from turning into a black hole

    Our family had a walk-in pantry when I was a kid. It was huge. I’ve seen smaller bedrooms. I wish I had a room like that in my home now. I have a floor-to-ceiling pantry, and because...

  • Use vinegar as fabric softener

    photo by zachklein DEAR SARA: I’ve heard I can use vinegar in the laundry as a fabric softener, but how much and how? — Megareader, via e-mail DEAR MEGAREADER: Distilled white vinegar can be used as a...

  • Plan ahead for life’s emergencies

    Not everyone has an emergency fund to fall back on when tough times hit. It can be emotional and overwhelming to know where to start making changes. Sometimes you can be so accustomed to your current lifestyle...