Mary Beth Writes

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??

3. We used free movie tickets (from donating blood) to see “The Post”. The next night we watched “All the President’s Men” at home.   I don’t even know what to say … Frugal Inspiration to understand and defend our constitution? 

4. I made a list of meals we could cook from what we had around the house as opposed to musing– “What would we like for dinner tonight?” and then going out and buying a bunch more ingredients.  Not very glamorous, although this resulting vegan Moroccan Vegetable Stew was – and still is – delicious.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/moroccan-spiced-chick...

5. We have in the last two weeks interviewed many guys about work we want done on this house. This sucks up a lot of time but it means the work we need to have done will (hopefully) get accomplished in a professional and timely way.  And we won’t get ripped off.

One guy mansplained at me, on the phone, for 20 minutes about why I ought to hire him. He said he learned his skill from a dog – and he wasn’t trying to be funny!  His price was twice that of the guy with a boring website who called a day in advance and made an appointment and then kept it.  

6. I baked a lot of snickerdoodles and then we gave a lot away. We also (ahem) ate a lot of them.  When it’s January moving into February in the Midwest and everyone is complaining about winter – cookies work uncommonly well as casual, afternoon anti-depressants.

From Wikipedia: “Cookies appear to have their origins in 7th century AD Persia, shortly after the use of sugar became relatively common in the region. They spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain.

One of the most popular early cookies, which traveled especially well and became known on every continent by similar names, was the jumble, a relatively hard cookie made largely from nuts, sweetener, and water.

Cookies came to America through the Dutch in New Amsterdam in the late 1620s. The Dutch word "koekje" was Anglicized to "cookie" or cooky. The earliest reference to cookies in America is in 1703, when "The Dutch in New York provided...in 1703...at a funeral 800 cookies...'"

So cookies were invented by Persians and shared around by Muslims!

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!

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Frugal Stuff/ Flu edition 1/22/2018

1. I donated blood Friday morning. This is a free mini-checkup every two months; they take your pulse, temperature, blood pressure, and check your hemoglobin levels (iron). They send your blood to be checked for various diseases such as Lyme disease, West Nile, and Zika.

DO NOT donate blood in order to determine if you have a disease or not. If you think you might be ill, go to a doctor or clinic and deal with it. 

But, if you (like me) need an extra reason to be generous, the screening to give blood is not a bad perk.

Two Piquant Recipes, No Waiting

This is not a recipe blog. You may sometimes wonder what kind of blog this is, but I bet you have figured out we’re not here to cook. Still, sometimes I come across amazing recipes and today I want to share two of them,by referring you to the sites where I found them.

How do I find these sites, you ask? 

Simple. Google the name of two or three ingredients you would like to use up. This takes you to recipes that use those foods; you decide if you want to try them.

Health Insurance when you are laid off

Pals, I was reading letters at a website I look at often. A woman wrote that her 62-year old husband had been unexpectedly laid-off from his job. She said she didn't know where to begin to think about health insurance (and a lot more).  I talked to Len.  Man, we have been here.
This is what Len wrote. This answer is too long to post on someone else's website so we are sharing it here. 
...
Says Len:
You are in a difficult situation.

Mindful Chickens - Frugal Stuff 1/11/2018

1. We bought a car!! We bought our (former) 2006 Mercury Milan and 2004 Ford Ranger around 2006-2007.  Len is a very good vehicle dad – they lasted this long. The truck is still reliably chugging along; we sold it to a neighbor. However it became apparent a few weeks ago that the Milan could no longer take care of itself. Sigh. 

We talked about what kind of car we wanted in the past few weeks. Len did on-line research, finding cars we might like to try.  We decided we would spend part of two days test-driving these several makes of cars.

"Must-Haves" 1/10/2018

A friend (Thanks, Carol) tweeted this.  

“The term “must-haves” is profoundly unsettling to me.”

For those of us trying to live both frugally and thoughtfully – Yup!

I looked into the website she was responding to; it was coupons for:

Mindful Chickens 12/27/2017

1. Update: Only giving and receiving food items with our (adult) kids on Christmas was as fun as anything.  (http://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/not-buying-presents-christmas-what-fresh-hell) Receiving MY OWN PERSONAL BUTTERSCOTCH PIE was astounding!  In order to enjoy my whole pie without dying of Adult Onset Gluttony, I have made a pie chart (hah) which is on the counter next to the fridge. I am enjoying one piece of pie per day, which means I should be done next Monday.

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