Thanks, everyone, for your patience over the past week. I’m pleased to report that my mother is doing well. She’ll remain in the hospital for another week at least, but she’ll be home soon enough. We’re no longer tense and worried — just a little anxious.

Part of our new-found optimism is because mom’s insurance is awesome. As I was researching expected costs last week, one hospital employee told me, “Your mother’s insurance is great. I wish I had insurance like this.” That probably means she’s been paying a heck of a lot out-of-pocket the past decade, but now the three-week hospital stay is only going to cost her a couple thousand dollars. Right now, that’s a relief.

I’ll return to full-time blogging on Monday. Meanwhile, here are some interesting links I’ve picked up from around the web:

About a month ago, Mrs. Micah issued a single-step personal-finance challenge. “Find one step you can take to make your financially system better or more organized,” she urged her readers. Just find one step — big or small — that you can take toward your goals. I like this idea. I’m going to open a high-yield online savings account for my business. In a terrible irony, GRS money currently earns 0% because I haven’t opened a business savings account. I’ll change that this week.

Also last month, USA Today ran a piece that declared as food prices soar, it’s back to basics for meal planners. The article describes what average people are doing to stretch their food dollar. There’s also a sidebar with eight great ways to save money at the grocery store.

Liz Pulliam Weston recently asked, “When should you spend to save?” Weston looks at the pros and cons of:

  • Retail membership clubs
  • Extended warranties
  • Warehouse clubs
  • Roadside assistance
  • and more…

Finally, No Credit Needed just shared a monthly checklist to speed debt reduction and increase savings. Though I’m skeptical that NCN does each of these every month, there are some good ideas here. I especially like the advice to make a sweep of your home to look for things to sell. Selling your unused Stuff is one of the easiest and quickest ways to generate quick cash for debt reduction (or saving).