Mary Beth Writes

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.

They live in a condo which is a 3rd floor walk-up. Grandpa Len carried our grand-toddler up and down those 50 steps; Grandma Me hauled the stroller and backpack.  Boy, three flights is a lot of flights! I did not lose any weight, but my too-tight jeans that I accidentally put on this morning fit.  I guess that means one could possibly become smaller, not by cutting delicious food, but by adding on a 3rd floor walk-up.

So here are my frugality-values take-away from four days and three nights in Chicago. We did not completely spend money like drunken 18th century pirates on leave in a rum port – even though city life often feels like that.

Now that its Cubs season (Cubs field is 8 blocks north) Hotel Versey is no longer $60/night. But it was still less than those beige person-garages along the interstate. If you like city adventures, this is a good place.  When you walk out of the place you are at Clark and Diversy – which if you ask me is one of the coolest corners on earth. For instance; SO MANY types of food are within walking distance. Including Chicago hot dogs, pizza so good you will weep just to sniff it as you amble past, and Kurdish dining at Gundi’s just up Clark. FYI: Gundi’s is expensive. Just order a main dish and make sure it is lamb, chicken, or duck.  Savor with your eyes closed and then, a month later, find a similar recipe online and try to recreate it.  We did. Totally worth an investment in You Only Live Once.  (We ate at Gundi’s on a previous visit to Chicago, not this last time when we were on 24/7 baby guard duty.)

Also Lake Michigan is 4 blocks to the east, Lincoln Park (hikes, paths, museums, the zoo) is close, and people watching is World Class.

By staying only one night in a hotel (in order to start grand-parenting at 8AM) and buying groceries to eat in one night, ordering a pizza the next, and a few fast lunches heavy on French fries for our munchkin – we managed to “only” spend about $200 altogether for 4 days in the city.

This was partially achieved because our younger daughter bought tacos for us when we first arrived in the city on Wednesday. Man, you know your kids are adults when the “baby” pops for your lunch.  

In case you are ever looking for the kind of local Chicago taco place where women probation officers hang out at lunch - https://www.elmetrocantina.com/elmetrohome   I ordered a “Coffee-chata” which might change the trajectory of my life for the better. Wow that was good! When I figure out how to make it, I will let you know.

Then Wednesday evening friends treated us to Thai take-out in their (3rd floor walk-up, of course) beautiful apartment. That was a reunion I will never forget; I hadn’t spent time with them since 1977. There was some catching up to do. 

So I guess the take-away on visiting a major city not too expensively is: get other people to treat you to meals, take care of a baby in her own house, drink very little alcohol (because you are watching the baby or you are sleeping to get enough strength to watch the baby next time she wakes up.)

We took her to the Lincoln Park Zoo twice: it’s free although parking is $20-35 per day. We took the bus which was free (for us) because our daughter let us use her bus pass. She ends up paying, but she seemed pretty happy to do that in exchange for a few days away from her beloved little one. (My daughter texted the second day away that she was a little bored. I don’t think she’s been bored in ten years; that was probably an adventure for her.)

We also walked to three playgrounds, bought small bunny shaped crackers at a Target, and read so many small books I can’t even … 

Here are some ways OTHER people have saved money lately, all of which I read at other frugal websites and all of which charmed me.

  • Instead of boarding their cat, when they needed the cat out of the house for a bit– a middle-aged couple took the cat to stay with their college kids in those kids’ apartments. The cat apparently had a good time hanging out a few weeks with its kids. 
  • Feeding one’s kids until they get big enough to be helpful. This makes me laugh.  As if bearing and raising children is a frugal way to get the piano moved from one side of the living room to the other.
  • This seems quite helpful:  “Gave dog Benadryl and washed her foot with baking soda paste after she was stung by a bee rather than going to emergency vet. Stayed home to watch her carefully just in case she needed a vet.”
  • Someone wanted new slipcovers for patio furniture. No-Sew DIY Slipcover Cushion Tutorial on YouTube. Canvas drop cloth. A pack of iron-on tape. Several hours of work. Finish this off with weatherproofing spray.  
  • How to deal with backyard animals that eat the garden vegetables. "Well, the animal needs to live, too, and she can’t go to a store to buy carrots like I can. So I decided she wasn’t a pest, but free entertainment for me and my grandkids."

 

 Have a good evening.

I miss my granddaughter. 

(I have a new phone and a new computer and tonight I couldn't get my Chicago photos to move from there to there to here. Will figure this out soon.)

Comments

I’ve already told you - ur time away from home sounds lovely. Spending time with grown up children and ur grand baby is some of the best ! The to tight jeans fitting was a bonus.

Glad you got to spend lots of time with your granddaughter and didn't spend an arm and leg to do it.

Add new comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Making (a little) Sense of Medicare by Len Lamberg

Friends learned recently that they are facing imminent retirement with the accompanying medicare and insurance decisions - that have to be made now and made right. They asked how we figured out what to do. I asked Len if he could write up what he knows in plain English - and thought this would take him 20 minutes.

This took Len several hours over several days.

Our friends say this makes more sense than anything else they have read so far.

Mindful Chickens - Clucking at the Stock Market

I started this a month ago. Time flies…

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

1. Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).

2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

3. Paying attention to values and values.

Big Shopping & Quick Shopping

Len and I are buying groceries differently than we used to and we are saving $100-250 per month doing so. If you know us, you will have noted that neither of us are any slimmer.  This is not about eating less.

Mindful Chickens - the "It's been a while" edition

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

1. Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).

2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

3. Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

...

Mindful Chickens in Canada

In case you don't already know... My husband and I did a 15-day road trip to eastern Canada.  Kurt Vonnegut wrote “Unexpected travel is like dancing lessons from God.”  The plan was to visit Nova Scotia and Newfoundland – but then Hurricane Dorian changed that. Stories and photos at my website. https://www.marybethdanielson.com/

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

How Big IS Grandma? Do You Need More Space?

Our internet service had been goofy all that day; the house alarm system sent a random beep to my phone at 3AM. Waking from deep sleep to “Is there a bad guy coming up the steps right now?” turned into the kind of insomnia that requires … decluttering videos. My heart stopped racing as I watched a mild woman talk about the closet in her laundry room.

Tag Cloud

17 minutes AARPtaxes AAUW Acadia Accountable apples Arrows Augustine baby balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Berry birthday BookReport boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cahokia calendars Canada cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter consumerism Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 creditreport death December DecisionFatigue decluttering Detroit Dreams Duty eBay Eclipse FairTrade farmer firealarm Fitness Five Flexible flu Fort de Chartres Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode ghosts GovernorThompsonStatePark groceries Guatemala guns happiness HaveYouEver? Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes History home HomeRepair Honduras HouseinBlueRiver hurricane impeachment Innkeeper integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Love Ludington Macaw Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Mayan MayaWorks MindfulChickens Mistakes Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves New York City Nomadland OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon poetry Preaching privacy Quern quest Rabbit holes recipe recipes Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement RitesofPassage Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory sick sickness snow Social Security SofritoBandito SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining StoryStarts Survival taxes teenager Thanksgiving ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards TidalBore TimeBeing toddler tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle UnrelatedObservations urgency vacation Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch WillaCather
Ad Promotion