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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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?

Other Peoples' Mindful Chickens

I regularly read blogs about being frugal.  I like them because they are about people taking as much control of the quality of their life as they can within the many different circumstances in which people live.  I especially love the letters people write listing what they did in the past few days to be careful and thoughtful about what they spend and how they save.

Retired Chicken Observations 3/22-2018

Two things I have been thinking about lately. Both are related to retirement income and retirement adventure.

1. Last week Len and I went to our Social Security office to sign me up for Spousal Benefits.  It took me several run-throughs to understand what “spousal benefits” are. Since then I have talked to several other people who were also unclear on the concept.

My confusion was this. I was already getting Social Security based on my earnings when I worked (as opposed to what I did when I stayed home and raised kids. But let’s not go there now. Grrrr.)

Franc’s Wildly Successful Life

This is a long piece of writing and I am proud of it. If you don’t want to read it all – here are my take-way points about how my friend Franc lives well on a surprisingly small income:

Mindful Chickens 2/24/2018

1.  We did it!  We called, explained what we thought we needed to do, made appts, were home for the appts, rec’d the estimates about - fixing the gutters and getting the house painted.  I think one of the reasons we usually do it ourselves is because this process is so daunting and time consuming.

The gutter guy is coming next week; we are looking forward to no rivulets when it pours. 100-year old houses built on non-waterproofed rubble foundations, like George Washington, cannot lie about what’s happening outside your basement walls.

Mindful Chickens - The Snickerdoodle Edition

1. When we were sick in January (with flu and cold) Len used the CVS card that I had signed up for last year and then barely used.  He bought several OTC medicines plus a cool-mist vaporizer using that card, which saved us 20%. That was helpful.

2. While I was under the weather I signed up for Starz in order to binge-watch an Outlander season.  After I watched TV for two days I canceled the subscription, thus paying nothing.  This is the third year I have done this.  Why do they let me do this??

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