Mary Hance, aka Ms. Cheap, learned her thrift from her frugal parents – her bargain savvy mother and her father who was an Episcopal priest and bishop. She grew up in Mississippi and in Memphis. She graduated with honors from the University of the South at Sewanee, with a degree in English. In 1976, she started with the Nashville Banner as a copy clerk and worked her way up to cover the local and state and federal courts, the police beat, Metro government, and worked as an editorial writer, a business writer and assistant business editor. When the Banner closed in 1998, she and her Ms. Cheap column moved to the Tennessean. She and her husband Bill have two grown daughters.

Check out a few of Ms. Cheap’s top 100 Free picks for summer, and see the rest of her list on the Tennessean.

  • Nashville Symphony in the Park, sponsored by Regions Bank, is a great way to take in some sunshine and classical music. Dates and times are on the Nashville Symphony website.
  • The Centennial Park Big Band Dances are a great way to get some exercise outside every Sunday. Check out the schedule.
  • The Tennessee Agricultural Museum at Ellington Agricultural Center offers free Summer Saturdays throughout July with activities like soap making, basket weaving, and buggy rides. Schedule of Summer Saturdays.
Have a question for our expert on free things? This line is open until Friday, July 8th. Our expert will then answer the top questions and we’ll post their answers right here and on our Facebook page.