Late February is a weird time of the year. Winter has been around for so long and yet we aren’t nearly to spring for quite some time. This seems exacerbated for us in the Pacific Northwest this year because we got snow in November and now again in the last part of February.
The extra sun lately has been nice, but I’m over lows of 26-28 degrees. Next year, maybe we should wait to take a vacation to somewhere warm until the later part of the winter, because our trip to Hawaii and being warm enough to walk around outside in shorts seems forever ago now.
And finally to this week’s Frugal Five, now that’s I’m past the stereotypical Northwesterner topic of the weather.
1. I received our quarterly Ebates check in the mail this week. While $32.53 isn’t a crazy sum of money by any stretch, I’ll take it since it was earned through purchases that we would have made anyway.
Not much to else say here, except if you haven’t signed up for Ebates yet, you totally should. If you use this link to sign up, you get $25 deposited into your account as a sign up bonus (and I get $15 as well for the referral, so thanks!). Just a note, Ebates only pays out 4 times a year, so you don’t get the money immediately like some other rewards programs. However, you do get a check with cash instead of a gift card, which is nice.
If you want to know more about my feelings on coupon clipping in general, read this recent post by Mrs. Kiwi; this is almost exactly how I feel as well.
2. Since Monday was President’s Day, our son’s preschool was closed (they follow the school schedule). My husband and I both had to work that day, which is typical for our industry, but, thankfully for us, my mother in law’s job has all “bank holidays” off, so she was able to watch our son for the day.
While I have no problem with taking off a day to hang with our kiddo, there are so many “holidays” that mean preschool closure (and there are more of them to come once kindergarten starts). For families with two parents with full time jobs, or families with single parents, these extra days are a real hardship. I’m so thankful we have my mother in law to watch him because otherwise we would have to burn all our vacation on those days or find a (very expensive) alternate childcare option. Even so, at least we would have those options that aren’t available to many families.
Without getting too far off on a tangent regarding the realities that come with growing a family, let’s just say we are very very fortunate to have the family support we have. It makes all our lives better.
3. I made chicken teriyaki for dinner this week because it’s one of my son’s favorite meals. It’s significantly cheaper to make at home though, especially when the teriyaki sauce is made from scratch as well. And healthier because I sautéed up some carrots and broccoli to go with the meal.
Teriyaki is one of our go-to take out meals as it’s one of the few restaurant options within walking distance from our house, so I consider it a big win whenever I make it at home instead.
4. My last haircut was well over a year ago, but I just haven’t wanted to take the time to get it cut. Lately though, it’s gotten long enough to where it’s entered into the realm of really annoying. I still didn’t want to spend the money or the time to go to a salon though, so it’s just gotten longer. Eventually, I badgered my mom enough to cut my hair (she’s done it a couple of times in the past). She’s never confident in what she’s doing, but she also realizes I’ll just get sick enough of the length and hack it off myself if she doesn’t just do it. To be fair, she has fair reason to feel this way because I’ve done it once, and it wasn’t pretty 😉
5. I returned The Simple Path To Wealth* (along with a number of other books) to the library before the because overdue. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to reading it, so I now need to do the long wait on hold again, so just buy it outright. Yes, I’m a personal finance blogger who hasn’t read the book yet. I mean to, but then life gets in the way and it doesn’t happen. Funny enough, I did buy the book for my 18 year old brother for Christmas before reading it myself, so maybe I should just go ask to borrow it from him.
Another book that I had returned about a week ago was still showing checked out though – and now overdue – so I talked the librarian about it today. I know it was returned, because it was one of just four books that were due at once and I made sure to grab all four and return them together. The other three showed checked in, but this one didn’t register for some reason.
Apparently, the library has an option to mark a book “claim returned” in this case, which takes it off your account without paying for it. This is fine, except there’s a limit of five of these for the life of your library card, so that means this book is one of my five. If this had been at a retail institution, I would have been pretty insistent about them just taking the book off without marking it as one of the f be because I know this one was returned. However, this was the library, and I love libraries and think they are very important institutions, and I know they don’t have huge budgets, so I let it go. It still irks me, but I didn’t feel like I could argue about it the same way because hey, the books were still free.
What do you think? Should I have treated the library situation differently? Or does it not matter because I have four more “freebies” anyway?
*Affiliate link. I earn a small amount if you use it, but as always, I always recommend looking at second hand / free options first 🙂