If you’ve ever experienced the heartbreak of shrinking your favorite pair of jeans to a length that would make them perfect to wear to a flood, you’re going to be particularly fond of today’s first great reader tip. And like me, you’re probably going to wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

My mail doesn’t arrive one message at a time. It comes in piles. Think: avalanche. But I have big plans and high hopes.I must have the most patient readers on Earth — understanding, too, because while I read every single message, I am unable to reply personally. That’s why I look forward to …

Ever wonder why you never have enough money to save? I’m talking about consistent, regular deposits out of every paycheck that go straight into a savings account. Maybe it’s time to consider that you’re handing your savings over to local restaurants, drive-thrus, diners and coffee shops. Thi…

Everyone knows that we should change the filter in our home heating, ventilating and air conditioning system, or HVAC system. Actually, doing that may be something else altogether. It’s all about the where, when and how of doing it that leads us to procrastination and selective amnesia. It’s…

There are many things in my life that I enjoy but would not be completely devastated about if I were required to give them up. My dishwasher is not one of them.

I have a friend who chides me from time to time for asking too many questions (you know who you are, Duane). I’m sure it’s true, but only because I am the inquisitive type. I have that the need-to-know gene.

I can’t think of a better day than today to reach into the mailbag and pull out a few great tips submitted by — you guessed it — my great (loyal, faithful, awesome) readers!

In a recent column on secrets for grilling cheap cuts of meat, I asked readers to share their worst barbecue/grilling experiences that could have been spared if they’d had a decent instant-read thermometer.

It was shocking, if not surreal. The email was from a woman I’d never met and whose name I recognized only because a few months earlier, she’d mailed me a book she’d written.

Dear Mary: How can I whiten my whites? I have well water, and I use homemade laundry detergent. But my whites — especially my white uniforms — are graying. I use white vinegar in the rinse. I can’t soak them in bleach or use the Cascade formula every time I wash. Any ideas? — Dotti

It’s been a number of years since I moved into a college dorm room. My memories of college life are both vivid and precious.

Mosquitoes are nasty creatures. They bite; they transmit terrible diseases to people and pets; and from what I read, they have no redeeming value in the ecosystem.

When a University of Michigan survey asked people what they believe would improve their quality of life and make them happy, the answer given most often was “more money.”

The email contained a single-word subject: “Help!” The sender, I’ll call her “Emily,” had been asked by her community group leader to give a 15-minute presentation on how to achieve financial freedom. She was honored to have been asked, excited to do it, but also panicked by the thought. She…

I pretty much hate to buy things I know I can make for less money and in a fraction of the time it takes to find them in a store. Take cleaning products, for example. Knowing I can make specific cleaners for pennies that cost dollars in a store just makes me happy. It’s a no-brainer.

Dear Mary: The sad news that Toys R Us is closing all of its U.S. stores has us not only nostalgic for childhood memories but also wondering: What should we do with our Toys R Us gift cards? — Michael

Bents, characteristics, abilities and tendencies are the conduits through which you can pass your values to your kids. But how exactly do you make the pass? It’s through your life, the way you live.

You just paid a small fortune for new eyeglasses. On top of the cost for prescription lenses and fashionable frames, you opted for anti-reflective, anti-scratch and UV-protection coatings. After all, eyesight is a precious thing, and it’s only wise to do all you can to protect it, right? Abs…

Getting our outdoor grill cleaned, polished and ready for summer got me thinking about how much fun it would be to celebrate. After all, summer is just a few months a year, so why not do things up right with an amazing menu and a few good friends?

I love it when I open my email to find a question that makes me go “Oh, boy. Do I know about that feeling! That’s exactly what happened to me. Been there, done that!”