Skip to Content

Meet a Reader | Shannon

Hello, everyone! Today, we’re meeting a reader who does almost none of the cooking at her house. Her secret? Marry a chef!

Here’s Shannon:

1. Tell us a little about yourself

I am an empty nester who works as a nurse. I live with my husband, who is a chef, and several four-legged children.

dogs on couch.

My situation might be a tiny bit different from other readers because my husband is a chef and that really helps our food budget. He does 98% of the cooking, I do 1% and the grocery shopping per his list, and 1% we order out.

A crocheted blanket.

I have crocheted/knitted/embroidered since I was a child. I have done some sewing, but I prefer working with yarn, making items to keep you warm.

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

I’d guess about 13 years or so. I believe I have been following you since shortly after you started. I graduated LPN school in 2008, and my husband gifted me my own laptop (before we had just a family desktop) so that seems about right.

3. How did you get interested in saving money?

I’m going to be honest, it’s something I struggle with, especially since the kids have left home.

Though I do struggle to be frugal with large amounts, I try to save when grocery shopping by buying cheaper cuts of meat, in-season produce and buying in bulk. I also try to save my dollar bills and change.

Because saving the earth is important, I try to buy whatever is needed at the thrift store (for example, ugly sweaters for a party are just a few dollars at a thrift store and chances are pretty good no one else has it).

On a different saving note, I sometimes make gifts (hats for example) and work on them while watching TV.

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

We have just always tried to stay within our means.

5. What’s your best frugal win?

One of my favorites was finding a pair of brand-name dress shoes, brand new, in a thrift store for just a couple of dollars. They retail for over $200!

a thrifted pair of shoes.

Here are the shoes. The stool is over 100 years old. My great-grandfather made it.

Another frugal win is this handmade king-size quilt, with my wedding year found for only 10$ (half-off day).

a handmade king quilt.

This is the back of the quilt. It broke my heart that someone got rid of it after all that work their aunt did.

the back of a quilt.

I am in the (very slow) process of restoring this century-old hand-sewn quilt topper (with guidance from a master quilter). When I finish it, she will quilt it for me.

An antique quilt topper.

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

Smoking for much money wasted.

(German reader Lea said the same thing!)

7. What’s one thing you splurge on?

Good pillows, and good shoes.

two dogs on a blanket.

my pups when they were smaller

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

Keeping up with the Jones’s.

tiger lily.

a reminder of spring, at this time of year when there is snow

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

I would make a couple of car payments. I just bought a used SUV and traded in my early 2000s car.

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

Shop thrift stores, there are some great deals. And try to follow the one in, one out rule.

a panic button.

a funny find; an actual panic button!

11. Is there anything unique about frugal living in your area?

Without giving away too much, I live in a historical town that offers so many low-cost things to do, no matter what the season.


Shannon, thanks so much for participating! I think it’s so great that your husband does so much of the cooking! I know sometimes chefs get so weary of cooking at their jobs, they don’t want to do any cooking when they come home.

Do you ever feel a little self-conscious doing any of the cooking and serving it to a chef? I think I might feel worried my cooking wouldn’t be up to snuff. Ha.

One more question: what type of nursing do you do? And if you’ve tried multiple types, what has been your favorite?

Readers, leave your questions and comments for Shannon!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Thursday 13th of January 2022

Quilts just aren't everyone's thing; it's ok to give away something you don't use or like. Maybe they thought someone else would love it; the niece may also have died. I have never liked quilts even from a very young age; I appreciate the skill and time but they are just not my thing, I came home once to find my beloved bedspread was gone and my room re-decorated with a quilt and curtains made by my beaming sisters who did it as a surprise birthday present with colors I never would have chosen. Inside I was devastated but I smiled and said wow thank you. My mom pulled me aside and told me I was selfish (only she could see I was pretending to be happy) I was 12 I was stuck with that bedroom decor until I was employed and one of my first purchases was a burgundy doona - the color I had always wanted. It's ok to get rid of a quilt or any other gift.


Thursday 13th of January 2022

BTW love the dogs; they adorable!


Wednesday 12th of January 2022

I enjoyed this interview very much and really appreciated your honesty about how hard it is to be frugal sometimes. Over the last 10-15 years I researched minimalism extensively because I wanted to "live small". My husband and I are now full time RV-ers. (I was one of Kristen's Meet The Reader when she first started this series.) Anyway, minimalism can be defined in whatever terms each individual views it. I'm discovering it's the same with frugality. When I did my interview, I wasn't sure if I'd "qualify" to submit to a Frugal blog since I admitted to not being very frugal in my 20s and 30s. I, like you, always stayed within my means and I always found the best deals, etc. But I didn't rack up a gigantic savings account or retirement fund and I didn't deny myself very many (small) luxuries until I got more serious about frugality. But I'm seeing that there are many different types of frugality after reading all of these Meet The Reader posts (including yours) just like there are many different definitions of minimalism. Again, I appreciated your statements about your brand of frugality. I love those quilts and your panic button! Thank you for sharing!

carol g

Tuesday 11th of January 2022

When I quit smoking, I had an app that calculated how much I saved. Believe me, in Massachusetts it added up very quickly as taxes on cigarettes are very high. For the first couple years, I put that money towards a "reward" - a new handbag, or something else I would not normally buy myself.

Heartbreaking about that quilt. I often wonder if things I gift will wind up that way. I have become increasingly picky about to whom I gift handmade items, but it's hard to know. Thank you for rescuing these quilts!


Tuesday 11th of January 2022

Hello Shannon, I totally resonate with you on living with a chef. It comes with wonderful perks, but can be intimidating. My husband used to work in restaurants when he was younger, and he now cooks 95% of the time. It used to be a 50-50 split, but it became clear as our family grew that he thrived cooking under time pressure (always a need in families with two working parents) while I was busy with our young children. He also makes the most gourmet tasting meals even when we just have carrots and onions in the pantry. That said, sometimes I do miss cooking! I bake more as my outlet and have taken over other chores. We do tend to spend a bit more on groceries than I would like as my husband really values the ingredients he uses and sometimes makes a big cooking project, but I regard it as any other hobby really. In return, we save on not eating out as much, as most restaurant meals just aren't worth the expense. We also save on not buying a lot of kitchen gadgets. In our 25+ years of marriage, we still use the same good quality kitchen knives, pots and cast-iron pan we bought as newlyweds. Turns out you don't need that much more.

F from Paris

Monday 10th of January 2022

Hi Shannon, nice to meet you! It must be so nice to never have to think about the next meals! Very impressed by your crocheting. What was the most difficult crocheting project you've ever done? The quilts also look lovely; like you, my heart broke for this poor aunt who must have spent days on this ginormous piece!

I loved your idea of thrifting Christmas sweaters not just for the money but also to make sure no one else would be wearing the same one at the party :D

That panic button is so awesome!!!

Thanks for sharing <3

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.