11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. The venerable teenager Archie Andrews of comic book fame will die a heroic death. (Learn more at AARP) 2. Exercise helps aging brains grow bigger. (Learn more at The Atlantic) 3. Former Taco Bell interns claim the $1 billion idea now marketed as the Doritos Locos Taco was theirs nearly 20 years ago, and they have pictures to prove it.  (Learn more at Huffington Post)   Good ideas can come from anyone. Taco Bell …

Rising Propane Prices, Shortages Add to Winter Woes

Persistent record-setting low temperatures across much of the United States are making this a tough winter for many families. Households face higher heating bills as prices for heating fuels continue to increase with rising demand sparked by the cold. Price increases for liquid propane have been significant. The Department of Energy estimates that 6 million households, mostly in the Midwest and Northeast, use propane as their primary source of heating fuel. Low inventories and high demand for the fuel have …

Stoke the Flames With These Fireplace Tips

In many parts of the country, it’s time to stoke up the fireplace or woodstove for a little extra heat. Here are some hearth-warming tips to keep in mind: Heating With Wood Can Save: According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, burning one cord of wood generates the heat equivalent of  200 gallons to 250 gallons of fuel oil. Based on our most recent fuel oil bills and the cost of a cord of wood from a firewood supplier, that much …

$241,080: The Cost to Raise a Kid

Dear Adult Children, If you don’t appreciate your parents by now, perhaps this will change your mind: Raising a kid today costs $241,080 – and that doesn’t even count spiraling higher education expenses, according to a new government report. (By the way, you’re welcome Bloomberg’s Zara Kessler.) That figure represents an increase from the $219,500 (inflation adjusted) that we boomer parents shelled out to raise your generation (born around 1990), says Mark Lino, an economist who did the calculations for …