Happy Friday! Amazingly another week has gone by and we’ll be into February soon. Life is generally good, albeit busy, in large part because I have my afternoons to play with my son (and to get appointments and house chores done). By the time the weekend rolls around, we’re in pretty good shape with the day to day stuff so we can use the time to do fun family things. I really appreciate the work life balance my reduced hours afford way more than I would have ever guessed.
1. The outlet our fridge plugs into went out during the week, but my husband was able to fix it in just a few minutes thanks to the fact that he had a new plug on hand in the garage. I may complain sometimes about the mass of tools and supplies he accumulates out there, but they definitely come in handy when something breaks.
This happened at the end of a long, late work day, but I resisted asking if we should just order take out and dug through the freezer to cobble together a simple dinner instead. Win-win as we didn’t spend the money on delivery and we continued to empty out the freezer so we can defrost it soon (which is badly overdue).
2. I had a “one free coffee” card sitting in my wallet for the better part of a month but I’d never gotten around to using it. This was partially because I kept forgetting about it, but also partially because I knew how easily I could slide back into the habit of buying coffee all the time.
Instead, when a coworker was having a really rough time this week (a family member in the hospital), I noticed that she had a drink from that same coffee shop. Immediately, I asked if she wanted the drink coupon I had, and she accepted right away. While it would have been a nice treat for me to have a free coffee, this was a much better use for it.
3. We went to a ChooseFI meet up on Saturday at a brewery in Seattle, and my son noticed the corn hole games being played outside the whole time we were there. After that, he kept asking over and over again to get a beanbag game. So one afternoon this week, we made our own. We made bean bags out of old socks that no longer fit him and cut a big hole in a cardboard box.
He had so much fun creating the game, and it cost us absolutely nothing. Better yet, we found a good use for some old, worn socks. Again, I am aware of how much my perspective on things has changed. Or year ago, I probably would have been looking up premade kid games online and would have just ordered one off Amazon. Not the sustainable choice, and not the frugal one either.
4. I lucked out and got another free work lunch this week. If I could make black bean soup taste that good at home, we would probably eat it a lot. The problem with the idea of always being able to make better food at home is that we live in a fantastic area for great local food, and some of the restaurant meal options are just spectacular. I’ve gotten to be quite a good cook, but I’m still no professional. These occasional work lunches help satiate my want for the excellent meals, and I appreciate them a lot more than when I was buying them myself every week.
5. My car was due for an oil change, so I dropped it off before work yesterday. The auto shop is just over a mile and a half from work, so I decided to walk instead of taking the bus. I ended up having to haul a whole bunch of stuff both ways, and the weather wasn’t the best, but I was stubborn and didn’t want to pay $2.75 each way for the bus. I had to hustle to get to work on time, so I got a bit of a workout in as well.
Well the truly frugal way to go about getting an oil change is to do it myself, the place I go to charges only $28.11 after tax, and they do a thorough job of checking out the rest of the car at the same time. For the amount of time it takes to get to it myself with a toddler underfoot and the cost factor even doing it at home, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me to spend my time that way.
We have limited time available right now, and it is a much better return to spend that time prepping meals for dinner and replacing electrical work inside our house then it is to get oil changes done ourselves. Do you think I made the right choice here? Or am I making excuses and in oil change something I should go back to doing myself in the future?
How did your week go? Tell me about some awesome frugal choices you made.