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Meet a Reader | MB in MN

Since I have been sharing my words and life on the internet for over 13 years now, I sometimes forget to appreciate that doing so can be a little scary for people. But doing this series and chatting with the people who are participating has reminded me that not everyone is accustomed to putting themselves out there in front of strangers.

MB used to feel kind of shy even about commenting here, but with enough time, she’s come out of her shell enough to even volunteer to be featured. Yay!

Here’s MB:

1. Tell us a little about yourself

I am a wife, dog mom, sister, aunt, friend, volunteer and all-around cheerleader. I’m an avid reader, word lover, a bit of a health nut, gardener, trash picker-upper and amateur designer.

MB's garden

Our garden is a jumble of annuals, perennials, vegetables, and weeds

I live in a small home in a semi-rural town outside of the Twin Cities with my older husband and younger dog. I was very fortunate to be able to retire early from a long, rewarding (mostly) career that came with a pension plan.

MB's dog

Apparently our dog is camera-shy, too; she pushed me away like I was the paparazzi!

2. How long have you been reading The Frugal Girl?

I think it’s been about two years. And I think it took a while to feel comfortable posting a comment, so it’s a testament to Kristen and this caring community that I volunteered to be a part of the meet a reader series. Anonymity helps, too!

I check the blog comments a few times a day to see what “my people” are saying and experiencing.

I enjoy learning from everyone and my heart swells when reading the supportive responses to someone’s comment about something either sorrowful or joyful.

MB's desk overlooking a field.

This is where I read The Frugal Girl after I finish my morning routine of word games. Our beautiful view is courtesy of our neighbor’s land.

3. How did you get interested in saving money?

My mom was frugal and I was her accomplice from an early age. I also think I was just born this way since the things that I’m most interested in and that come easily have been there from the get-go in one form or another.

4. What’s the “why” behind your money-saving efforts?

Simplicity and being light on the planet are important to me and that naturally leads to saving money and other precious resources.

A stack of library books.

My current reading pile from the library and the local bookstore

5. What’s your best frugal win?

It’s hard to pick just one! The biggies are:

1) keeping our vehicles running until they run out

2) being vegetarian which we believe allows us to save money on both groceries and health care

3) borrowing other people’s children (nieces and nephews) instead of having our own!

tomatoes in a green bowl.

On top of a thrifted tablecloth is the billionth bowl of tomatoes from a $3 plant

6. What’s a dumb money mistake you’ve made?

I wouldn’t call it a mistake, since it’s been intentional, but we’ve remodeled or moved several times – not to flip houses but to indulge our love of indoor and outdoor projects – and even downsizing to our current home ended up costing more than we would have liked.

7. What’s one thing you splurge on?

Good, real food – whether eaten at home or away.

A pantry shelf full of glass jars.

For our zero-waste pantry, we fill the jars from the bulk section at the co-op

8. What’s one thing you aren’t remotely tempted to splurge on?

Anything electronic, motorized or fancy.

9. If $1000 was dropped into your lap today, what would you do with it?

Give it to someone else. And be immensely grateful that I do not need it at this point in my life.

A paint-by-numbers landscape scene.

This is my favorite thrift store find: a framed paint-by-number painting that reminds me of the kits I enjoyed as a child

10. Share a frugal tip with other Frugal Girl readers.

I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here, but I think an important overall tip is to be mindful about everything you are doing, buying, and putting in or on your body. Mindfulness helps us be good stewards of our money, time, health and planet.


MB, I am so delighted that you felt comfortable enough to share your life with other readers. Yay! And thank you for all these fun photos; I love to get a visual peek into readers’ lives.

A question from me, and then other readers can ask questions/leave comments: you said you like to play word games, so I’m wondering, do you ever play Words with Friends?

My mom and I have a several-years running streak of Words with Friends games, but she is the only one I play with.

Readers, leave your questions/comments for MB!

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Thursday 14th of October 2021

It's so nice to hear from another vegetarian! I've been one for more than 16 years and only wish I'd done it sooner. My son (20) eats mostly vegetarian for environmental and health reasons. My husband loves meat but happily eats whatever vegetarian meals I cook. I'll make him a brisket once a year on Passover and he's good. Anything else he wants, he can eat at a restaurant or cook himself. I just bought him some beef today so he can make stew in the Crockpot, and I can't believe how expensive meat is!

Elaine N

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

Hi MB! I’m a lurker and usually a day late to the party. I loved paint by number kits when I was a kid and your beautiful painting makes me want to paint one now. Thanks for the book recommendations—I’ll definitely check them out.


Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Your dog cracks me up, he could be saying -no public pictures as he is in the witness protection program...or you reached your allowable limit on the # of pics he will allow. :)


Tuesday 21st of September 2021

I loved learning about your life! So inspiring!! I love reading memoirs also! I was wondering if you might suggest a couple of your favorites! Thank you!

MB in MN

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

@Kathy, thank you. Here are some memoirs that I've enjoyed recently: Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman, The Yellow House by Sarah Broom, The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper, The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson, and Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap by Judy Goldman. Happy reading!


Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Thank you for sharing! I love your bookstack and have just placed an ILLO for the Buy Nothing book - I'm also excited to learn about Dear Highlights. Going to the doctor & dentist as a child was always less scary knowing that I'd get to read an issue of Highlights in the waiting room :)

MB in MN

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

@Shelagh, thank you. I had the same waiting room experience and especially loved the hidden objects feature. The subtitle of the Dear Highlights book is "What Adults Can Learn from 75 Years of Letters and Conversations with Kids." I can't wait to read it!

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