The NFL Experience…

Arizona is hosting Super Bowl XLII.  It’s great press, great for our economy, great to be part of a history-making or, potentially, history-breaking game.

But, in the January 24, Arizona Republic  front page story, “For our football visitors, things are getting SUPER EXPENSIVE,” we learned the horrendous costs some of our visitors would have to swallow: $2800 for a 4-night stay, $432 to rent a car for 4 days, $4000 for limousine service, $2700 to get from Boston to Phoenix. 

We were warned, “… the NFL, the National Collegiate Athletic Association or organizers of other major sporting events will scrutinize a host city’s costs before deciding whether to bring future events here.” Says Bob Sullivan, president of the host committee, “They are not going to want to do business in communities that take advantage of the consumer to such an extent that it does not make the experience a pleasant one.”

Of course not. But, we don’t control the airlines, $100 a day for a rental isn’t over the top when the parking pass is $60 – $165 for limos,  and $750 tickets,  c’mon. Those, which we don’t control either, are where gouging can be defined. But, since Arizona does not have an anti-gouging law, I’m sure that topic will be front and center for our legislators this year; how it’s imperative we pass one to continue to bring these cherished events to Arizona. However…

Let’s face it –  in no way can attending a Super Bowl be considered a frugal endeavor. It’s for the rich and famous, the die-hard fan willing to take out a second mortgage to see his team in the Big game. It’s not for the average guy, which is why we have big screen TV’s, or failing that, we go to venues with big screen TV’s. For the frugal, $100 in food and beverages to see the game is a Super Bowl sized expenditure.  For us, the little guys without deep pockets, there’s the NFL Experience – a chance to get a taste, a scent, a tiny tingle of the big event.

Guess what? The ticket prices weren’t too bad – $17.50 and $12.50, although if you stocked up on Pepsi  ($25 worth) Pepsi provided a free pass for two. We did, of course, to help our son with the cost of taking the grandkids.

And, what did he report? $10 to park (acceptable), an hour and a half wait to sign waivers so they could partake in the events (unorganized), $9 ice cream (the last time I bought ice cream I spent $10 and took home 4 tubs of Dryers – OUTRAGEOUS), $4 sodas (20 0z. bottles.) That’s .20 an oz. Funny, I only paid .017 an oz. when I stocked up to get the free tickets.

Oh, there’s more. $6.50 per hot dog; $10 for a 16 oz. bottle of beer; $3 for popcorn (standard little bags); $5 for cheese nachos – add the fixin’s and it went for $8, 1/2# burger – $10.75. No fries, sorry. That’s $5 more. Want a corndog? $3.50. Maybe chicken? 4 teeny strips only $8.25.  Yes, folks, same food you’ll buy FOR MUCH LESS at a regular Cardinals game. I can’t print what he said about the cost of souvenirs.

Now, let’s see, if you didn’t have the vouchers, two adults, two kids… $60 for tickets, $10 to park, and, hey, it’s a long day experiencing all that NFL fun so we gotta eat. Hmm. Two burgers, one dog, one chicken fingers, 2 fries (we’re sharing, it’s frugal), 3 sodas, 1 beer, one popcorn. That’s $71.25.

But, we’re having a ball, and get caught up in the experience. Let’s  have ice cream ($36). Oh, and we’re thirsty again. Add another $12. (We only had one beer. We’re with the kids.)

And, the grand total is: $189.25!  Actually, if you got out of there for under $200 you probably earned the right to wear an “I’m Frugal” button on your sweatshirt.

Truly, is it Arizona who’s leading the gouging, or might some other entity, like the NFL, have taught us a trick or two? 

PS: I know where you can get a room for $99 a night, available NOW!


“On the Back of the Dragon” Joins Frugal Fiction’s Poetry Offerings.

dragon_cover1.jpg  With poetic tales from Borneo, Bali, Bangkok, China, Nepal, and Australia, On the Back of the Dragon is the precursor of James Penha’s latest work about which Virginia Howard, Editor of THEMA, said, “James Penha is able to mold exotic topics into poignant universal truths.” (R) Experience Penha’s intriguing insights at Frugal Fiction for just $3.99. 

A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past sixteen years in Indonesia. No Bones to Carry, the latest volume of Penha’s poetry, has just been published by New Sins Press. Among the most recent of his many other published works are an article in Classroom Notes Plus; fiction at East of the Web and Ignavia; and poems in THEMA, and in the anthologies Silver Boomers (Silver Boomer Books), Queer Collection (Fabulist Flash Publishing) and Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami (Bayeux Press). Penha edits a website for current-events poetry at New Verse News.

Charity Starts with Coupons!

Did you know couponing began in the late 19th century?  Now, that’s a long-standing tradition! According to an article in the Arizona Republic, January 22, 2008, “industry experts say the majority of American households still regularly use them…”

Well, duh, you know that. You’re frugal!

What you may not think about is all the coupons you don’t clip (or find online, or download onto your frequent shopper card, a program now being tested by a partnership of Kroger and Proctor and Gamble.)

Hate mustard, so you skip it. Have enough barbeque sauce, so you skip it. Ditto, toothpaste. And, those packaged potatoes? Not for you when 10# can be had for $.97.

But, you can often score those items for zero, zip, nada, zilch buckaroos out of your pocketbook! And, wouldn’t the food banks or homeless shelters be thrilled to receive them at some time other than just Thanksgiving and Christmas!

If you’re a frugal shopper, you know which items go on sale regularly; know when you can scoop up items for $.20, $.50, or free. You may not need the item right now, may not need it ever, but trust me, starving people aren’t just in Africa, or Mexico, or China  – that’s where my mother told us they all lived when  my sister turned her nose up at frozen peas. Do you know, for years I thought she was allergic to them. Her cheeks puffed out everytime she ate ’em. Funny how they unpuffed as soon as she made a trip to the potty room…

By using coupons to stock up on things you don’t need, don’t like, or don’t want, even those on a tight budget can be charitable, while others can expand their giving opportunities without additional expense. Provide the time and effort, and manufacturers will pick up the tab to help our less fortunate. 

Imagine if every household…

Frugal Fiction Offers Yahoodywho in Spanish! ¡La Ficción frugal Ofrece Yahoodywho en español!


Mabel Leo lo hace otra vez con su libro deleitoso de Niños, Yahoodywho, ahora disponible en Español.

Perfeccione para el cinco de nueve años de edad, el Rey Marcus encara un desafío horrible cuando él pierde su rugido. ¿Lo puede ayudar el Búho más Sabio lo recupera del Yahoodywho antes el Gombolees destruye el Rey amada isla? (G)

Mabel Leo does it again with her delightful Children’s book, Yahoodywho, now available in Spanish.

Perfect for the five to nine year-old, King Marcus faces a horrible challenge when he loses his roar. Can the Wisest Owl help him recover it from the Yahoodywho before the Gombolees destroy the King’s beloved island?  (G)

Remember to enjoy Mabel’s other exceptional offerings, available at Frugal Fiction  – just $3.99 per ebook.

“Welcome to Eutopia, Mr. Bok” joins Frugal Fiction’s Offerings!


“Welcome to Eutopia, Mr. Bok”, available as an e-book at Frugal Fiction for only $3.99, concerns the strange fate of Leo Bok, a former professor of literature, who is placed, against his will, in a most unusual assisted living facility. Leo soon begins to discover that beneath the place’s civilized veneer, something sinister is going on. But then there is the fetching, older woman who runs the coffee stand, and who knows something about the mysterious doctor who directs “Eutopia”. The woman has her eye on Leo–and might just hold the key to his survival.

The novella is followed by several short stories that mine the rich vein of tragi-comedy in the American-Jewish literary tradition.

Ronald Pies MD, is a physician in the department of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Pies is the author of a collection of short stories (Zimmerman’s Tefillin/PublishAmerica) and a book of poetry (Creeping Thyme/Brandylane Publishers). He is also the author of The Ethics of the Sages: An Interfaith Commentary on Pirke Avot (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), and the upcoming book, Everything Has Two Handles: A Stoic’s Guide to the Art of Living (Hamilton, 2008).

Frugal Fiction Offers a new Horror thriller, The Drawer, by Randy McKay

drawerillust.jpg  Horror stalks the City Morgue. One of the drawers has it’s own idea, and any corpse left waiting in it finds new life. Frolicking night attendents are the first to experience its lethal terror. But not the last. And when, finally, the horror of Drawer Twelve is discovered, the drawer is sealed shut …or is it? (R)

Enjoy Randy McKay’s supernatural thriller for only $3.99 at Frugal Fiction.

Frugal Fiction Welcomes Valerie Frankel’s Award-Winning Harry Potter Parody, Henry Potty and the Pet Rock!

coverlight.jpg Lord Revolting, murderous goldfish-flusher, needs Really Wimpy’s pet rock to conquer the world! All the while, the least likely character watches, coveting the pet rock for her own sneaky agenda. What part does Socks the parrot, wisecracking pet of Headmaster Bumbling Bore, play in all this? Will Revolting dare the ultimate villainy and spoil the book? Will this novel waste your entire morning? There’s only one way to know…

Unapproved, unendorsed, unofficial, and unstoppable: a hilarious parody for all the Harry Potter fans out there, ages 2-222. 

Hundreds of accolades from delighted young readers.

 First Place Winner of the Phelan Award for Humor and Satire.USA Book News National Best Books Awards Finalist 2007. 

This hysterically funny book will have you and all your family rolling all over the furniture laughing in no time.  This book is written for ALL AGES—clean enough for kids, sophisticated enough for adults, and silly enough for both.

See What the Professionals Have to Say:

 An easy afternoon’s read, enjoyable and quirky, poking light-hearted fun at the “Harry Potter” series. If you’re in the mood for a silly parody it’ll be perfect, and even if you aren’t it’ll still be fun.  Burning Void Reviews I haven’t laughed out loud so much since reading Bored of the Rings.   Reader’s Robot Ms. Frankel is obviously a brilliant writer with a fantastic grasp of the Harry Potter story and its social layers.  Wild Child Publishing 

It is abundantly clear that Valerie Frankel is very skilled at tickling the funny bone of every kid (and any grown up)   Writers Unlimited

A parody like no other I’ve ever seen in literature: you will chuckle and laugh until your belly hurts…Silly, senseless, and totally nuts, you cannot help but enjoy the ride.

Reader Views

 Featured in US News and World Report, radio shows, and fan sites from Turkey to Sweden. 


$2 off the paperback after buying the ebook at Frugal Fiction. Just enter your voucher code of 555555555 (that’s nine 5’s) at

I’m throwing in the Henry Potty Games Collection of addictive online video games.  Duel with Lord Revolting.  Battle Drag-ons in the Maze of Traps.  Play Quick-Grab-the-Fish, and maybe get appointed the Quick-Grab-the-Fish Sneezer! Also stories, contests, giveaways, and so much more. Free with your purchase of Henry Potty and the Pet Rock. Just visit 

You’ll adore this silly, ridiculous novel.  Buy it for your kids, and keep it for yourself.  Everyone has a friend who’s a Harry Potter fan, and this is a fantastic, one-of-a-kind book to treasure.  Order your copy today!