Mary Beth Writes

My church has been working for months to organize their fund-raising auction that was supposed to be TONIGHT. But instead we are in the middle of the massive spring storm that is scrubbing the nation from Oklahoma to I don’t know where next. The wind is howling; rain is sleeting into snow over a glaze of ice.

So the auction is postponed until next Saturday evening. I have put in so many hours (as have many other) working towards this event in the past weeks - that being quietly at home not working on it makes me feel as if I won a lottery. 

So what do I know about mine or other peoples’ frugal choices lately?

1.  On the frugal websites I read, people are forever picking up change off the ground. Well, I walk outside ALL THE TIME and I have found exactly one dime in one year.  My neighbors apparently don’t drop cash.

Here’s what I have found in the past few months. Two pairs of men’s work gloves. I don’t pick up lone gloves, but if I see a pair on the ground, I will bring them home (gingerly), wash them, and prepare to sell them whereupon Len will say, “Oh, those are nice, Can I have them?”

And

The Mechanix are about $25 on-line and the canvas ones are $9. Although the ones I found, in factory driveways, driven over many times, are not exactly pristine.

I soak them in water and dishwasher soap overnight. Next day I wash with regular detergent and hang to dry.

3. http://frannyanddanny.blogspot.com/  I enjoy this website. Today she featured a super-frugal egg, cheese, and tomato sandwich. At 7AM I showed the photo of the sandwich to Len. Guess what he made for himself for breakfast?

4. What do you actually know about recyclable coffee cups? http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/21/news/starbucks-recyclable-cups/index.html

“A coffee cup is an environmental nightmare. Most are made from cardboard with a thin layer of plastic tightly attached to the cup. This keeps the drink warm and prevents the cardboard from becoming soggy. But it also makes the cup non-recyclable. It takes about 20 years for such a cup to decompose.”

Len bought a ceramic Starbucks mug years ago; he brings it when we are going far enough away that we might buy coffee on the road. If one brings in your own cup, most coffee shops will fill it and give you some cents off the total.

5. I WON at less clutter! We culled kid books; we still have a bunch but we cut the stash in half. I took the culled (nice, not stupid) books to the teacher of the3rd grade class in which I volunteer.

A few days later the teacher showed some of the books to the children and said they were from me.

Some kids hugged me!  In 40 years of donating stuff to Goodwill - I’ve never been hugged by anybody. This sounds super-cute and is; but there is also deep satisfaction in giving good books to good children and receiving back their affection.

If you have NICE & INTERESTING kid books just lying about, call your local grammar school to see if they are interested. Don’t dump junk at them; teachers are far too busy to deal with that.

If you want the hugs part, you might have to volunteer for a couple months first. If this doesn’t sound really fun to you, don’t do it. If it does sound fun, don’t miss it.

Comments

I KNOW you are an awesome volunteerer. I still remember Flat Stanley spending a week with you.

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What's in Vanilla?

I just read a flurry of emails on a frugal website about the rising cost of vanilla and how people are working around that while continuing to live their frugal lives.

Not one of the letters asked these logical questions.

Why has the price of vanilla risen so steeply?

What is happening to the people who grow and process it? 

"One must have sunshine..." Living Life Forward

This is another interview with a person who lives frugally and thoughtfully by design and by default. 

Thanks, Helle.

.....

How I met Helle Koustrup Berry tells you a lot about how she arranges her life.

Mindful Chickens a Month Later

(I just like the bison joke...) 

It’s been a while since I wrote a Mindful Chicken. 

Mindful Chickens are (for people who don’t know why I call them this) about TWO things.

  1. Being Cheap (cheep, cheep).
  2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

___________

ONE – I donated blood. Why is this frugal? A tech checks your blood pressure and temperature. They prick your finger to test for hemoglobin (iron) levels are normal or low.

Looking for Sincere and Heartfelt Tales

A while back I posted an article about my friend Franc; I talked about how he has created a good life for himself even though he has rarely earned more than $15,000 in a year. (Right here)

This article was satisfying to write. I enjoyed spending time with Franc and asking nosy questions. Yes, it’s a challenge to interview folks and then write about their lives, but I did this often in my 12 years as a newspaper columnist and I like the adventure of it.

Mindful Chickens - Chicago Edition

Mindful? Thinking about what we do around here to be responsible to the world and to ourselves.

Chicken? Cheep, Cheep, Cheap!

 You may have noticed I haven’t posted in a while. There’s been a lot going on – including this pleasure.  Len and I went to Chicago for several days to care for our granddaughter while our daughter and son-in-law went out of town.

Two Chickens and a 3-Legged Lamb

Mindful Chickens? We are frugal so that our retirement savings will last as long as we do. At the same time we try to consume responsibly so that our choices have the least negative impact on our fellow humans and on our earth and its creatures.  Cheep, Cheap!

Did you have a nice weekend? Did you get to share a meal or a chocolate egg or a PEEP with a friend or a child or a childish friend?

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