Somehow we are already most of the first week into 2018. We tend to pack a lot into every day, so I feel like we’ve done a lot this year already. Every once and a while, I try and convince myself that I need more down time, but then I get antsy and I’m off and running again. While this means I never really feel “caught up” on house chores, I’m never bored, and our fun happens all week long, not just on the weekends. 

1. Our family of three spent New Year’s Day completely car free. We had a leisurely breakfast at home, did some grocery shopping, and spent a few hours exploring the trails behind our house. We carefully chose our location when we bought our house, and it has paid off in spades in the years since. We may not be in a walkable downtown, but we have a great balance between being in a quiet spot but still easy walking distance to groceries and trails, as well as a few other services. 

The best part of the PNW is you can go hiking year round

2. I’ve finally learned the awesomeness that is bruised, blemished, or undersized produce. For 99¢, I’ve been getting large bags of fruits and vegetables, most of which are in really good shape. It’s been great for our grocery budget, and I honestly have a hard time understanding why most of it isn’t being sold at regular price, but I’ll take it. 

2. Apparently our library has a program where you can get two passes to the children’s museum free every 90 days! While I haven’t taken advantage of this yet, I most certainly will. I had heard about this a number of times, but only when it was brought up again in my No (Low) Spend Facebook group did I finally confirm our library had the program. You can check out passes to the art and history museums as well. So awesome. Go check right now and find out what fantastic options your library has outside just books and movies. 

3. It was 33 degrees this Wednesday morning, and I really wasn’t feeling it, but I got myself out of bed and ran 5.5 miles to work. It’s definitely easier to convince myself to go when it isn’t pitch dark and almost freezing, but I always feel so good once I’ve done it. Plus then I’m saving the $2.75 bus fare. 

Cold and dark the entire way to work

5. Our roommate made dinner again last night. I love that we trade off some because then we get all the time saving benefits of take out without the high cost. Plus, it’s cheaper per serving the more people you cook for, so we come out ahead that way as well. Not everyone has a fantastic roommate experience (we’ve had our share of awful as well), but when you find the right person to share your home with, there are serious benefits beyond just rental income

How was your first week back after the holidays? Any frugal wins you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them. 

23 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2018 – Week 1)

  1. Running to work – awesome! You’ll not get much sympathy from us east coasters on the 33 degrees as we’re in single digits, but it’s badass no matter how you look at it!

    1. Ha yeah, it’s “cold” compared to what we normally see, but nothing compared to most of the country right now! Once it drops much below that I don’t run though because I’m way too prone to falling and injuring myself on icy roads.

  2. Where do I begin?! So impressive you’ve been able to go car free! I fantasize about living in climates where we don’t get snow and cold and being able to drop a vehicle as well. Annnnd I love the fact that you can run into work! Nope – I could never do it – I think I would be too afraid of what’s lurking in the dark! Thanks again for the reminders on the free activities for kids —- I need to do this more as well! Thanks for the great wrap up of the week! I really enjoyed it!

    1. Oh – we aren’t completely car free – I just like to pretend to be as much as possible 🙂 If it weren’t for the kiddo, I think we could go down to one car at this point.

      Somehow I do an awesome job finding free activities when we go on vacation, but I forget about it when we’re home. Changing that this year 🙂

  3. Yay to enjoying the weeks as well as the weekend. We’ve been sick this week so it’s has been super frugal. I have no motivation to go outside in the freezing weather with a cold!
    My frugal win has been eating through our freezer and pantry!

    1. Oh I hope you feel better soon! Being stuck at home is definitely a good time to eat through the food you’ve already bought. Plus you’re not spending money anyway by staying home, so at least there’s the silver lining to being home sick.

      And yes – enjoying every day of the week is key to not wishing away time I think.

  4. 1. I thank my cold for keeping me indoors – I’ve only ventured out to return Christmas stuff and walk the dog.
    2. Where are you getting the imperfect produce? Our grocery budget would probably appreciate that savings too 🙂
    3. Our library has that too! I promised myself that this year we’re going to use it more than not at all. At least once. 🙂

    I’m slowly getting better which means more home cooking and soon I can start organizing the house again.

    1. I hope you’re feeling better soon!
      Our grocery store (Kroger) has a shelf in the corner of the produce section with bagged produce with a “discounted” sign. I think *most* stores have something similar?

      1. Ours tends to get hidden in the corner out of the way at like ankle or knee height, so you do give to hunt for it!

  5. What a cool library program! Our library system has a lot of awesome programs… but they don’t have that one yet.

    1. Maybe you could ask? Doesn’t hurt to see if you could get them to expand their programs!

  6. Excellent work! I really dig that you ran to work. I need to think about biking it in tomorrow. We’ll be up to a balmy 38 tomorrow. After a three week string of sub-zero temps, we’re ready for this thaw.
    And again, so, so jealous of the year round hiking in PNW. Sounds amazing!

    1. Thankfully I started the routine in the daylight, warmer summer months, so it’s now enough of a habit to continue when the conditions aren’t as awesome.

      We get a lot of rain, but as long as you have good waterproof gear, there really isn’t a day that can’t be hiked.

    1. Amazingly, just our local QFC (Kroger) that’s a short walk from our house. They tend to be overpriced on a lot of things, but the discount bags have been awesome! Full one of mandarins this week as well.

  7. Running to work!? Great idea and with weather in the low 30s and good enough to run in.
    We have the same type of programs in our library as well. It’s a great way to spend the day with the kids and it’s for free too.

    1. Wish me luck – tomorrow is Wednesday so another run to work day. Fingers crossed it won’t be raining 🙂

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