Prize-winning Canadian author Margaret Atwood has sold thousands of books and had her work turned into both movies and television shows. But before "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Alias Grace" were household names, Atwood was a struggling writer living in Toronto and working as a teacher by day.
Because she wasn't bringing in much in terms of salary, she relied on her own thriftiness to get by. "As a young writer, I didn't starve because I was very frugal," she tells Wealthsimple. "I once lived in a rooming house with a hot plate."
Atwood had to scour the grocery store for the best deals and live on potatoes, onions, hot dogs, Kraft dinners, and vegetables that came in plastic bags. "I once bought this enormous cow's tongue — they were fairly cheap — and put it in this pot and started to boil it," she says. "It was horrifying, this tongue sticking out of my pot."