Broke-Ass of the Week

Broke-Ass of the Week – Kate Kotler

Updated: Jun 01, 2009 20:03
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Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude.  Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit'probably not.


Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week?  Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.


I first became aware of Kate right around the time the SF book came out.  She wrote a yelp review about the book in which she not only praised it, but said I was “kinda hot”.  This of course appealed to my unquenchable vanity, and I immediately thought she was cool.  I’ve since met Kate at  a few yelp events and realized that she was cool for other reasons too, among them that she: writes for a shit ton of blogs, is working on book of humor essays, and used to be a professional fire eater!  Plus she’s funny and has good broke-ass tips.  Just read below.      


Name: Kate Kotler, aka Adorkable Grrl 


Age: 35


Occupation: Currently – I am a “Victim of the Economy.”  When I’m not collecting unemployment, eating bon bons and watching soap operas I write.  I am a contributor to BitchBuzz and Fray: A Quarterly of True Stories (I also write a few other snarky blogs that get me in trouble on the innerwebs.).  Oh yeah – and, I look for a job to replace the one I was laid off from.


What neighborhood do you live in?: I recently relocated to Berkeley after five years of living in the Cit-tay.  Prior to that I lived in (reverse order) the Mission, the Outer Richmond, Chinatown, Lower Pacific Heights and some neighborhood out by John McLaren Park that doesn’t have a name… Or, at least it didn’t while I was living there.


Best money saving tip: I have three:

*Instead of going out to poshy restaurants and taking a cash dump for a minimalistic meal, get your friends together for a potluck dinner party where you all try your hands at cooking something gourmet.  I just had a party like this a month ago where I made tomato bisque with brie on crostini… YUM!

*Don’t drop cash when you can trade.  This works for clothes, books, CDs and DVDs.

*Dollar Stores and other discount retailers can provide you a more affordable way to purchase things you need that you’d drop hefty bank on in a normal store… Greeting cards, household cleaners, soap, shampoo/conditioner, food… You’d be surprised what you can find with a little patience.


What do you refuse to spend money on?:

*Wine – a really good wine shouldn’t cost you more than $10 per bottle.  Especially in California!

*Netflix or renting movies at a video store – for god’s sake, just check some DVDs out of the library or stream it online.

*And, I flatly refuse to purchase a t-shirt that costs more than $10… what the fuck is up with all these $50 designer t-shirts?  Especially the ironic ones.  T-shirts are supposed to be cheap!  You’re supposed to be able to get them at Target or a thrift store for less than a buck.


Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: My Macbook.

How’d that feel?: Like I’d just joined the Cult of Jobs.  And, broke.  It made me feel like a broke cult member.


Favorite cheap eat: Oh my god – without question – BACON DOGS!

Favorite dive bar: This one is a hard call… I’d have to say it’s a three way tie between Pop’s, The Ace Cafe and The 540 Club.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: I talked my vet into treating my dog for a trade – I babysat her daughter.

Favorite free thing to do: I like taking walks around San Francisco/Berkeley or going to the beach with my dog. 

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: A really nice apartment in the city.


Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Oh yeah – money isn’t necessary to have a great time.


Do you own my book?: Hells to the yes!  (A friend gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago.)

Best hangover cure: Besides Xanex, water and sleep?  A Bloody Mary at the Zeitgeist and perhaps a tamale to follow.

Are you a hipster?: Oh Stuart, my ass is way too big to fit into skinny jeans… (That would be a no.) 





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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. […] am the “brokeass of the week” over on Brokeass Stuart’s Goddamn Website!  Poverty finally has a perk… […]

  2. June 2, 2009 at 10:58 am

    […] of the week! I am the “brokeass of the week” on Brokeass Stuart’s Goddamn Website… […]

  3. Turbaned B
    June 3, 2009 at 9:34 am

    besides forgetting to mention me, pretty good read. And adorable pic.

  4. June 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Why not be a freelance writer for blogs or websites. There’s income there.

  5. June 17, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Hey Stuart, thanks for the nice write up!

    @Anthony – I am doing that – pitching articles every chance I have, trying to pick up writing assignments for blogs, websites and other publications. Sadly it’s a pretty tough market to crack, made even tougher by the crappy economy. Even though I’ve occasionally made money freelancing for blogs/websites/publications – it’s not reliable income and not enough (at first) to support yourself.

    Check out my friend Maria’s post on BitchBuzz about pro-blogging:

    @the Turbaned B – so sorry I forgot to mention you, Auntie! You are the queen of thrifty living and my own personal role model/honorary sister after all! 🙂

  6. Mac
    July 3, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Why do fat people always take pictures from above? haha. guess that’s why she’s broke. she broke the camera with all that weight. get off your ass and get to work!

  7. the great satan
    August 3, 2009 at 1:37 am

    i like how the comment from her former landlord about kate’s failure to pay rent has been deleted.