Happy Friday everyone! I hope you had a wonderful week. This weekend we will be celebrating my son‘s third birthday with homemade pizza and cupcakes, per his request. So of course we had to test out the pizza dough recipe this week to make sure it was good enough for his party 😉

1. We decided to go out to the Olympic Peninsula again Saturday night, but instead of renting an Airbnb, we decided to go camping in the back of my husband’s truck. The low was in the high 30s, and it was rainy and windy off and on overnight, but we were pretty snug and completely dry in the back of the truck. The goal for the truck canopy and air mattress was to do more camping during the winter instead of renting pricier places, and I’d say we are making that happen. We really love exploring over the weekend, but rentals can add up quickly, so in order to keep adventuring as much this year as we did last year, we have to keep things cheap or we won’t hit our big 2018 financial goal.

Hiking around the fort

Even better, I found out that Fort Worden has winter rates for their campsites that are considerably less than their summer rates, and on top of that, there are certain sites that are cheaper than others. Since it was January and very few people were in the campground in the first place, we decided to just go for the cheapest option, which was only $25. 

We had another fabulous weekend, and even with eating a picnic of takeout Thai food in the back of the truck, we spent less for the whole weekend then we could have on one house rental. We are now looking into the possibility of an electric blanket to use so we can sleep in the truck even when it gets below freezing. If anyone has a suggestion for which blanket we should buy, please send it my way!

2. Speaking of homemade pizza, I ran out of yeast this week. I had bought a small number of packets before Christmas because I had never used used before, and I wanted to make sure that I would actually use it. I’m happy to report that I have been baking something needing used almost every week these days – from pizza crust to garlic naan to tortillas.

He was so proud of the pizza crust HE made that he requested a picture

Soon I plan to try my hand at bread and bagels as well. I’ve been cooking a lot for a while now, but baking is still very new to me. So far, so good. Everything has turned out so much tastier than store-bought and it is so much cheaper too. Best of all, there is no packaging waste when I make it myself.

3. After Budget Epicurean wrote about how she’s helped her younger sister set up a retirement account, I’ve started badgering my 18-year-old brother about setting up a Roth IRA. He is employed part time while going to school, so he is in the perfect place to be putting even a tiny bit of money into one. He’s at the age where he seriously has time on his side, and I want to help him as best I can. Maybe I can even get him to read my letter to my 15-year-old self.

4. I took my grandmother to the grocery store twice this week to pick up a few things. Yesterday she wanted a salad and it was buy one get one free, so she gave me the second one because she wouldn’t eat them both in time.

I also showed her the 99¢ produce bin that I’ve been loving lately, and she got a bag of bell peppers for herself and one bag for me (4 for 99¢!). She wouldn’t let me pay for either the salad or the bell peppers as a thank you for taking her. I enjoyed the rare one on one time with her, and I got some free groceries out of the deal.

Usually there’s a little guy in between us

5. We ate out of the freezer a couple more times this week (including the last of the steaks from the quarter cow we bought back in July) and resisted adding anything new back in. We are getting close to actually emptying the freezer for the first time since we bought it (via credit card points, 4 or 5 years ago). It needs a serious defrosting, and then I’m looking forward to finally making ahead freezer meals for the first time in my life.

How did your week go? Do you have any great frugal wins to share? I’d love to hear all about them!

21 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2018 – Week 5)

  1. Haha for someone who was drawing a blank yesterday, turns out you had quite the frugal week after all! 😉

    Love love love the pic of your son and your grandma. It makes me sad sometimes that my children will never know their great-grandmothers and I’m so glad you and your family are taking advantage of that quality time while you have it!

    I made and froze two lasagnas a few weekends ago and pulled one out to eat for dinners this week. Huzzah for the magic of freezer meals!

    1. Ha yeah apparently it just took a minute for my brain to start working 😆

      I have only known my one grandmother my whole life, so I so appreciate how many he has in is life. It really is so special.

      I’m so excited to start prepping freezer meals for real! But holding myself back so we can start from freezer zero.

  2. Camping out in the back of your truck is much more convenient than having to set up a tent. And much warmer this time of year too I bet!

    Great idea on badgering your siblings to set up a Roth IRA.. I really need do that with my 19 year old brother and 21 year old sister too.. even contributing a little bit can go a long way over the long run!

    1. Sooo much more convenient. Set up and take down takes like no time at all (just blowing up the air mattress). Fingers crossed we can both pressure our siblings into doing it lol

  3. YAY! Getting started at 18, even tiny amounts of money will add up. I’ve gotta admit, I’m jealous I didn’t have someone older forcing me to do smart money things back then! Car camping is pretty hardcore, good for y’all! I’m a wuss, I don’t even like using normal sleeping bags (once you camp w an air mattress, you can’t switch back…) anymore. This makes me want to camp real bad though. Your grandma is so sweet! Yay bell peppers for a quarter.

    1. Darn it, being the oldest definitely has it’s downsides! And we definitely do have an air mattress specifically for the truck bed – my hips hate sleeping on the ground so the only time I will is if we’re actually backpacking.

  4. You’re persuading me to bake some bread. I bought some yeast a couple months ago and have yet to use it because in my mind bread baking is so intimidating. Maybe I’ll start out with naan… it sounds delicious! And YES to less packaging by cooking/baking from scratch. Whether it saves money or not, this in and of itself is so important. Luckily, like you said, cooking/backing from scratch saves tons of money, too. 🙂

    1. Naan is actually super easy! I’m not sure why I’ve been so intimidated by baking, but I think I’m getting hooked.

  5. Man, I wish we had a .99 produce bin! That sounds awesome! Sounds like you’ve had some great frugal happenin’s this week. 🙂 And kudos to you for stepping out of your comfort zone and baking. I was scared to death of yeast dough at first, but after a few years I think I’ve gotten the hang of it. Practice makes perfect. 🙂

    Let’s see, this week:

    1. I used pre-cooked and frozen food items to make meals.

    2. Tonight hubs and I are going to a sausage-making class. Can’t wait to learn how to properly make homemade sausage. 🙂

    3. Yesterday I used my lunch hour to bake yeast rolls, English muffins, and biscuits. I sliced everything and froze it for easy meal prep.

    4. I’ve been using special glasses for filtering blue light from my screens. It’s not necessarily frugal since I paid $8 for them, but my eyes haven’t been as tired. That’s a big win! 🙂

    5. We just started doing monthlong meal planning. I’m hoping this will help us think more long-term about our food and save money.

    1. Seriously I don’t know what it is about yeast that makes it sound so fancy and difficult! But glad I’m finally diving in after years of saying I would some day. The 99¢ produce bin is a lifesaver especially because our local store isn’t super cheap in general, but the produce in that section is always in great shape. I honestly haven’t quite figured out why they put a lot of it in that bin, but I’m not complaining!

  6. Your son is adorable! And your grandma looks so sweet! That’s so lovely you spend time with her twice a week- I’m sure she’s very appreciative of family time.

    1. Once a week is typical, so it was great to spend some extra time with her 🙂 And thank you! I think he’s pretty cute too.

  7. Great wins for the week! My son is requesting pizza and cupcakes for his as well…with lots of sprinkles! Annnd loves his Thomas the train books…they would be bffs for sure! Somehow he got into Blues Clues..so may have to get created and make some blue/paw print cupcakes.

    I had an insane/busy week; didn’t get as far as meal prepping for the week as I wanted to and ended up going to work on Friday with no lunch (that’s not like me!!)! Luckily a coworker said they had a container of ice cream in the fridge that had a small amount of freezer burn on it, but it was mine if I wanted it…I proceeded to eat on it the whole afternoon at my desk. Not healthy. Was was free so I didn’t have to go out and buy lunch…but was soooo good! I will not be making a habit of that!

    1. Oh yes – sprinkles are a definite must! He’s specifically requested chocolate cupcakes but thankfully he hasn’t asked about any fancy decorations because that is well beyond me. Trains are a favorite here as well! Especially the big ones he can actually climb in at the park 😊

  8. I’ve been saying for weeks that we need to get back to making our own pizza from scratch! (Haven’t done it since the baby was born. The baby that is now, I guess, technically a toddler.) I’m adding the ingredients to the shopping list RIGHT NOW to make sure we do it!

    That’s so awesome that you did wintertime camping! I’ve never gone camping in any season but summer. I’d like to do more camping, but I married a man with severe outdoor allergies, so he’s never been camping and isn’t too keen on trying. I think I might not get back to camping until the kid(s) are older and I can take them by myself. I guess husband could do some form of “glamping” but then we’re not really seeing the same cost savings that you usually see from camping.

    1. I’d actually never made pizza from scratch before this month! Now I’m hooked. My husband also has pretty severe allergies but he just loads up on meds and goes anyway haha. Wintertime is actually way better for him on the allergy front.

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