For the second year in a row, Cozy Corner restaurant in Monroe, Mich., will serve free hot meals to the homeless and needy persons, starting at 11 a.m., Saturday Dec. 20 through Tuesday Dec. 23, at the eatery, 2020 S. Custer Rd.

The dinners are a new Christmas tradition prepared by the Steve, Sue and Peter Stylianou family, owners of the restaurant that also served free dinners for the less fortunate two days before Thanksgiving. The family is accepting donations of turkeys, flour, pies and other dinner items from the public to use for the meals. Financial donations also are accepted to defray cost of the meals.

There were 575 people served at the November dinner for the needy.

Donations can be dropped off at the restaurant before Dec. 20 or call (734) 241-3948.

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The House of Restoration, 832 S. Roessler St., Monroe, Mich., will host a Christmas toy giveaway from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday Dec. 21. All those who wish to receive toys must be registered by 5:30 p.m. This free event is for anyone in the Monroe area who is in need of Christmas gifts for […]

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This is the Monroe on a Budget column for the Monroe News for today Dec. 16. Related article from my archives: Get your documents ready for holiday assistance. By Paula Wethington / Monroe News and Monroe on a Budget Shortly after signups began for Christmas charity assistance in Monroe County, I started noticing panicky messages […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe News and Monroe on a Budget Would you like to double the number of followers on your Twitter account? I did nearly that during 2014 on one of the accounts I manage, and did so without paying for followers. While the focus of this blog is personal finance, Twitter expertise […]

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The following article is on page 3A of today’s edition of The Monroe News: Michigan residents who want to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act still have time. Michigan’s Insurance Marketplace opened Nov. 15 and continues to Feb. 15 under the open enrollment period. The marketplace offers eligible residents the ability […]

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One of the most realistic Q&A lists I’ve seen about holiday spending and bills has been posted by National Foundation for Credit Counseling. It doesn’t assume you’re going to spend nothing at Christmas, but it also does not give you permission to spend carelessly. Take a look at this snippet: If I charge purchases, I […]

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Congress is expected to approve a proposed change in the Women Infant Children produce list that allows white potatoes as an eligible  purchase. The context is that sweet potatoes and red potatoes have been acceptable purchases on the WIC program for about five years, but there’s been some debate as to whether white potatoes should […]

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Have you heard of coupon expert Jill Cataldo? She reports on the couponing industry from a consumer’s perspective, but also teaches a specific coupon method that works in many major metro areas. Her Super Couponing column runs in some newspapers across the country, and you can learn about her and her couponing style at jillcataldo.com. […]

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One of the best posts I’ve read in a long time about frugal living is on New Life on a Homestead is this: How can you homestead when you are flat broke? Even if you are not inclined to a “live off the land” / self-sufficient lifestyle, you need to read that commentary. Kendra is […]

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Volunteers from UAW-Ford National Program Center will distribute holiday meal boxes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday Dec. 19  in Monroe, Mich. This is both part of the Monroe County Mobile Food Pantry campaign, and a national effort by UAW-Ford to ditribute 17,000 boxes of food in 27 communities across the country. The first […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe News If retail spending surveys are indicative of consumer behavior, the chances are good you have made a significant progress on your Christmas shopping lists and perhaps are starting to panic at the amount of money involved. Here’s why: the total cost for American consumers of buying holiday gifts, decorations, […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget Here’s a step by step checklist on how you can have a terrific, designer-style, look with your Christmas tree for less money than you might think. Step 1: Pick an ornament theme. Open up your boxes and see what themes you have and like among the ornaments […]

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The following press release has been issued by Monroe Bank and Trust of Monroe, Mich. I was honored for my work on Monroe on a Budget, which is one of the projects I do at The Monroe News. In the photo, I’m second from left, front row. – Paula Wethington   Monroe Bank & Trust […]

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The Monroe on a Budget column runs Tuesdays in The Monroe News. Here is this week’s installment: By Paula Wethington What can you do if a gift you want, or have seen on someone else’s wish list, is a big budget item? I read panicky messages on Facebook last week from moms on tight budgets […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe News One of the most popular articles in the Monroe on a Budget archives was a piece I wrote in 2009 listing gift ideas for $20 or less. Updating the suggestions, and moving up the price bracket to $25, here’s a range of ideas that budget-minded shoppers can find this […]

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Foundation Stone Church, 11100 Summerfield Rd., Petersburg, MI, will host a Community Free Christmas Dinner starting at noon Thursday Dec. 25. “We invite you Christmas Day for a free wonderful Christmas dinner for you, your family, friends and love ones,” the announcement said. “We look forward to serving you this Christmas season.” Seating is limited, […]

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#GivingTuesday is a grassroots effort meant to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday is meant to inspire people to give back in “better, smarter ways” to the charities and causes they support and help […]

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I just got a copy of today’s Monroe News. This is the one with the Black Friday ads. We don’t publish a newspaper on Thanksgiving Day, so the Wednesday before is our “big paper” of the year that is stuffed with the holiday weekend sales fliers. But! Don’t just flip through the inserts, be sure […]

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The Ash Carleton Goodfellows are accepting applications until Tuesday for their Christmas assistance program. Those who apply must reside in Ash Township, which includes Village of Carleton, Mich. Distribution date will be Dec. 16 at Sherry’s Academy of Dance, 12610 Harris St., Carleton, Mich. For information or to request an application, call Glenna at (734) […]

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Grace Bible Fellowship, 16010 Railroad St., Petersburg, Mich., has a limited number of freshly cut, live, Canaan Fir trees the church will give away free “to those struggling to provide a tree for their family.” Operators will be on duty from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday Dec. 6 to take phone orders at (734) 279-2451. […]

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