Mary Beth Writes

I read the ‘frugal things I did’ letters in other people’s huge and interesting frugality blogs. I figured I could list some of the ways I saved some money this week (this life). I’m pleased to say I saved about 64 Million.

1. I’m not including the YouTube link but believe me, if you search for “Bear attacks moose during outdoor wedding” it pops right up. Lovely couple saying their vows at what appears to be a beautiful wilderness wedding - when suddenly - across the pristine lake - erupts loud grizzly growling and moose screams. Glacier National Park is gorgeous but by having our wedding in the church where we met and also being incredibly imaginative and cheap, Len and I had an $800 wedding that has lasted 41 years. Which means we have paid (so far) $19.51 per year which Len pointed out is less than Amazon Prime. Round trip tickets from Chicago to the Glacier area are $546 so we saved $1092 not having a destination snuff wedding.

2. Our extremely modest house is paid for so I don’t have to sell state secrets to journalist-slashing cabals masquerading as legitimate governments. ‘According to public records, Trump’s NYC living space is worth $64 million.’ My savings, conservatively, $63,815,000.

3. I only date my husband so no bribes to pay. Trump originally paid $130,000 to Stormy. My savings thus far, $130,000.

4. I played golf one summer as a college PE class. There were not enough little squares on the cards for how many strokes it took me to get the damn ball from here to there. The teacher said I had a good attitude but I should probably take PE courses pass-fail. Just now I googled how much an annual golf club membership costs. “Ballpark estimate: $1,000 to $100,000.” Assuming if I did like golf which I understand and accept that many very nice people enjoy, I’d probably belong to the thousand-dollar type club. Thus, 40 years into my adulthood, I have saved $40,000.Although, to be honest, I need to compute the cost of walking shoes per year since 1996 which is when I started all my intentional rambling. My Saucony shoes are about $80 annually. $40,000 minus $2080 in shoes is a savings of $37,920.

5. I’m a heavy lifelong library user. Including the 1978 winter when I was in love with the album “Jacque Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.” I’d borrow it from Chicago’s Uptown branch library, keep it for the allotted three weeks, walk it back and then go get it again a few days later and keep it another three weeks. Then I started dating this guy who OWNED IT so I married him, thus saving the price of buying the album. (I still know all the songs. “If I could be for only an hour, cute, cute, cute in a stupid-ass way.”). Someone bought it recently on eBay for $27.71 and so I claim that as my savings.

My Frugality Hacks savings are $63,984,039.70.

Have you saved a million here or there lately?

Seriously, the world is filled with low-cost luxuries such as old love, new friends, happy dogs, hiking trails, weird cats, and flatbread.

One year my son arranged for my Christmas present to be a 2-hour class about Nepali cooking that he and I did together. Nepali Flatbread, sometimes called Roti, is easy and delicious.

You need Chapati flour which is an Indian/Asian flour sometimes called “atta’. If you live near an ethnic grocery store, its an inexpensive finely milled variety of whole wheat. If you can’t find the flour, use whole wheat though it won’t work quite as well. (Some Walmart stores have chapati flour.) You can use it as flour in other recipes, too.

To make 16 flatbreads:

  • 4 cups chapati flour AKA “atta”
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 cups warm water

Mix the flour and salt, slowly add the water while mixing by (bread hook or by hand) into a pliable ball of dough. The teacher of our class said to keep in mind most Nepali women do this by kneeling on the floor, working inside a clean bowl. Do not overthink this. This is not French cooking.

Divide the dough into 16 pieces and roll each into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth if you are busy and can’t get to everything right now.

Take each dough ball and flatten and/or roll with a rolling pin into a 7” circle.

In a heavy skillet cook each flatbread over medium-high heat. Flip when the pan-side is dry and beginning to brown a bit. If you are lucky they might puff a bit. Serve warm with curry, dal, or anything at all. Bratwurst is good. So is butter and jam. It’s hard to eat just one.





I’ve made a version of that lately! In one version, you use grated cheese and BUTTER. I live in Vermont, we use cheese, butter and maple syrup in most everything. It’s fun and easy to do. I guess there are versions of this flatbread in many countries. I have also saved a screaming fortune in my life. Unlike Trump, I did not start with 4 million dollar gift and turn it into one million, but hey I don’t come from wealth!
Mary Beth's picture

I love the suggestion of flatbread with maple syrup! And argh to the traitorous wastrality of Trump and others in his cabal.

I am working cheap. I think that I am worth at least $130,000 ... and, of course, so are you. I know this ruins your frugality projection, but it sounds like a lot more fun.

After reading Heather's post, I needed some of your sense of humor.Thank you! I make flat bread pretty regularly, and use them single Pizzas. They are delicious! Have a good week, Mary Beth. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Thank you. Single pizzas sounds great...

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"It's Good for You" Pizza

The Best Pizza Ever is in Madison 

Click here for their info:   “It’s Good For You”   

Last weekend, while out of town, we decided to stop for a pizza at the place where our son works one night per week. If you know my kid, you know he was manager of an artisanal pizza place for years. He doesn’t miss managing an entire restaurant. Apparently, he DOES miss making spectacular pies and then baking them at temps high enough to burn the hair off his arms.

What’s Scary & What’s Not Scary


Happy Halloween! I think because this is mostly a kid’s holiday, it tends to evoke a lot of sweet and funny memories from our childhoods and then of our kids.

Remember when we (who are now antique kids) collected candy in paper grocery bags that we had decorated with crayons? And then it would rain and one would have to carry the bag in both arms and run between houses while drenched and noisy and not even caring?

Obviously I remember that.

Quarantine Diary #645 - Granola

Two recent tweets : Someone named Kate Harding tweeted; “What haunts me is that I am not just smart enough for so many people to be this much stupider than me.”

And from Di, Obstinate Hoper; “I’m starting to think of pandemic caution like labor: buckle down during peaks, relax a little between them. Hang in there, folks. It’s a damn long labor.”

Frugal? Road Trip to New Mexico

If our finances were stretched we wouldn’t have gone to New Mexico. We are doing fine despite the advice that says one ought to retire with a million dollars in the bank. Imagine that.

1. We and, at this point, about half the nation, have had our Covid vaccines so we felt safe and ready to see something new. However, we traveled to a place where they had worked WITH the effort to fight this pandemic. This limited our choices and is the #1 reason we didn’t go to the Badlands. How we spend $ is our power.

The Mindful Chickens are Wordy Today

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

  • Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).
  • Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.
  • Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

This is my collection of wise choices and dastardly schemes from the last two months.

ONE: Our electric toothbrush/water pick would no longer hold a charge but a new one costs more than $100. Len took it to the battery store where they replaced it for $15.

Mindful Chickens - Plastic & Hunger 12/20/2020

I went for a walk on Wednesday and saw this mitten on a sidewalk. When I was at the same spot on Friday, it was still there, so I brought it home because it is a hand-knitted kid mitten, ya know? Any knitters out there interested in making it a mate, so that we could give it to a kid in my community or your? It's 7" from top to ribbed bottom. 


The point of “Mindful Chickens” is to spend less money while being mindful of the environment and our human values. We can try, right?

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