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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Too Much Stuff

Last week I drove a bag of clothes to Goodwill. Then I went into their store.

I do live a wild life, don’t I?

I came back out a half hour later with an All Clad 9” fry pan in perfect condition (they cost $80 new) and an antique rocking chair. The total was – wait for it - $10.

The rocker is small, has no arms, and is the kind of chair one sees in the boudoirs of the ladies who live in Impressionist paintings

"Learning to Live Authentically" - Interview with Lee Lee McKnight

Lee Lee McKnight’s magazine is called The Perpetual You and it is going to make my life richer, deeper, and more interesting; I bet it will do the same for quite a few of us. 

People who figure out how to go to give into the world what they need and want to receive; these are people I want to know. People who are creative and generous instead of critical and belittling; these people have something for us.  It has been an honor and a delight to meet Lee Lee via several long and wonderful phone conversations!

Franc's Extravagantly Frugal Garden

I have some great pictures!  Please click "Read More," then click on the pdf icon to open the story and photos of Franc's front yard. 

Mindful Chickens- Xpensive Milk & Cheap Capri's 7/11/2018

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’ve mentioned this before but in light of the news that Walmart is squeezing out MORE American dairy farmers, I am going to say it again.

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.

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