Somehow we’ve already arrived at the last week of April. Like I mentioned last week, this month has been insanely busy for us and the days have absolutely blown by. We have a two week trip coming up next month, and I’m looking forward to some time where we don’t have so much going on.

I’m the kind of person who always likes to be doing things, but this month has been a bit much even for me. The beauty of travel for us is that we are forced to relax and enjoy ourselves instead of constantly moving around working on chores because they’re never done at home. Plus we only travel carry on, so there’s something really freeing about only having a handful of clothes to worry about. Even almost 14 months into my clothing ban, I have a closet full in our bedroom and it still feels like too much.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. My brother- and sister-in-law invited us over Saturday night and they made homemade dumplings for dinner. They were so delicious that our son ended up eating nine of them by himself, to the point that he was too full to eat much dessert.

So good

We’ve been working on potty training a lot lately, and our son has been having some success, so my mother-in-law wanted to do something special to celebrate and made us all banana splits. It was the very first time I’d ever eaten one, and I have to admit that they are pretty darn good. For a kid who grew up hating chocolate and ice cream, I’ve certainly come around.

2. I got my very first Amazon Affiliate gift card “payment”! $12.33 might not be a huge sum of money (and they only pay out for a minimum of $10), but there’s something extra awesome about bringing in a little money courtesy of this blog. I may have chosen not to put ads on this site, at least for now, but I won’t argue with a few dollars headed my way.

What do you all feel about ads? Are they all terribly annoying, or are they not so bad in moderation? My biggest reasoning against putting ads on my site at all (and never to the point where it detracts from the reading experience), is that would make it feel like this was more of a “side hustle” than a hobby. I specifically quit a side hustle that I loved in order to claw back time with my family, and I don’t want blogging to turn into something that I “have” to do.

3. Since we live backed up to a forest and live in the Pacific Northwest, our roof gets covered with moss rapidly throughout most of the year. We once had a professional company come out to clean the roof, right after we had our son and were too overwhelmed to do it ourselves, and it cost us $450. While they did a great job, and it was nice not to worry about it, we can buy moss removal supplies at Costco for $50 and do it ourselves for a fraction of the price. So, once again, my husband found himself on our roof this past weekend to clean off the pine needles and lay down moss killer. I wish there was a more environmentally friendly way to take care of the moss, but we haven’t found one. Our roof doesn’t get real sun for six months out of the year, and the amount of moss that grows on it proves how it is the perfect damp, dark location for it to thrive.

You can tell we have a kid in the house 😉

4. Since this past month has been so insanely hectic, I’ve laid off putting much thought into what lunch I bring to work. I’m still not going out to pick up take out, but the meals have been pretty basic – oatmeal and a banana or a can of soup. This past week, I’ve done a much better job bringing actual leftovers to work, which are way more interesting than the “emergency” supplies I’ve been living off of lately. Even basic dinner leftovers are a lot tastier and helps to keep me from picking up lunch “just one time.” – and the hot sauce I keep at my desk definitely helps.

5. We’ve had some awesome weather lately (including a number of days in the 70s), so we’ve spent quite a bit of time in the yard enjoying the sunshine and doing some gardening. Since the backyard is lined by a grove of tall evergreen trees from the park, our front yard hasn’t seen full sunlight in six months, and I’ve been soaking up every minute of it. I’ve done quite a bit of weeding, and my son helped me plant some more seeds this week (green onions and sugar snap peas), and he’s getting pretty excited because the flowers in his raised bed have started to sprout.

Focused gardener

Since I mentioned last week I was going to report about my efforts to run more than once a week, I wanted to say that I went for a twenty minute run on Monday even though my treadmill broke. I had to keep an eye on the kiddo, so I ended up running laps around our front yard and the cul de sac; not the most exciting track ever, but I’m glad I got the run in. It paid off on Wednesday when I broke my personal record for both my 5k distance and hour run on my way into work. My husband took apart the treadmill Monday and attempted to fix it, but so far hasn’t had any luck. He’ll look at it again this weekend, so cross your fingers that he can repair it for me.

Have you ever had a treadmill repaired? Any tips? It was free to start with, but I’d really rather not replace it.

48 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2018 – Week 17)

  1. any run is better than no run. we have a gym right here at work with nice newer treadmills but i haven’t been in there in a couple of weeks. terrible! an hour run is no joke so that alone will keep up the fitness. what is broken on the treadmill? is it slipping? those dumplings look like a real treat. glad you’re able to get in the garden. it finally stopped snowing here so we sat outside one night this week.

    1. We have a small work gym as well but for me it usually works better for me to run at home because of the kiddo. The treadmill’s belt is no longer functioning properly, so it may be a motor problem or something else. Not sure.

      1. Yeah, I think that’s what my husband was trying to do (he thinks it may need a new drive belt?)

  2. Hmm, no thoughts on treadmill repair…But, for your green onions do you grow them from seed? I planted a bunch last fall and they are shooting up, which is exciting, since I’ve only previously grown onions successfully from starts.
    And hey, I got my first Amazon payout too this past month! Nothing big, but a nice way to offset hosing costs. Congrats!

    1. Yep, from seed. I’ve actually never grown green onions from starts. Now sweet onions, the only way they seem to get of any real size is if I grow them from starts. Yay for tiny Amazon payments!

  3. OMG those dumplings look AMAZING! Any chance there are some left in the freezer for next weekend? 😉
    As for ads, a couple that don’t interrupt the reading experience are fine. Like one cross-page banner, or along the sides and bottoms. They just get out of hand if they are the auto-play video kind (HATE those, esp if I forget my sound is on!) or when there are more ads than words. If you can make a few bucks off your well-deserved popularity I say go for it.
    p.s. SIX DAYS. O.O

    1. There are some left in the freezer, but the kiddo would fight you for them 😉 Oh yeah, video ads are the absolute WORST.

  4. Congrats on your running progress – and even doing laps round home, that must be funny! Good luck getting the treadmill sorted, they are meant to be easy to repair!

    People who make dumplings are impressive – they always taste so good, and have had so much time spend on them!

    1. Ha yeah, I definitely got a few odd looks from some neighbors for it. Worth it though!

      And she made them from scratch, even the wrappers. Sooooo good.

  5. Hello! I just recently found your site and I love your Friday’s Frugal Five posts! I find them very motivating as I too am on the (very slow) journey to FI. These posts have inspired me to look back at my week and be happy with my accomplishments and work on the problem areas!! Congrats on a your Amazon payout!


    1. Smaller incomes certainly mean a slower journey to FI. But I wouldn’t trade my career for a high paying one. And the little things do add up, and are certainly worth noting!

      1. I wouldn’t change my small income either! If anything, I think it has motivated me substantially to make logical financial decision and prioritize my goals! 🙂

      2. Fair – though I wouldn’t object to being paid more. Just that I wouldn’t want a different career to get there 😉

  6. A banner or two should not annoy anyone away from reading as long as there is no disruption. I see nothing wrong with making a dollar from a hobby. May even be motivating.

    1. That’s true… the motivating factor is what’s actually holding me back from a few out of the way ones… I want to keep this a low stress hobby 🙂

  7. Those DUMPLAAAAANGS. My mouth is watering. I could never make them from scratch; that’s too much work for something I’ll devour in seconds. 🙂

    You know, I don’t mind ads on blogs as long as they aren’t super-intrusive. I fell prey to the lure of ads and used to have WAY too many, so much so that it was distracting from the site. Just place them where it makes sense. You won’t make a huge killing off ads; if anything, I just use the proceeds to pay the hosting costs for the site. A self-sustaining hobby? That’s pretty awesome. 😉

    This week:
    1. I’m proud to announce I have SMASHED my freelance income goal this month. Like, I hit my dream number. It’s required a lot of 5 am alarms and focused trips to Starbucks, but I made it happen. 🙂

    2. I finished defensive driving. I do this every three years to score a lower rate on our car insurance. Woop woop!

    3. Squash of many varieties are growing in our garden, as well as beans.

    4. We didn’t eat out for dinner this week, which is amazing, all things considered.

    5. I did a DIY mani-pedi at home today instead of going to a salon.

    1. Even without making the paper from scratch, dumplings take soooo much time to make! But they were seriously so good.

      That’s the other thing – is it really worth all the effort to put up a few ads for the small return? Really if anything, the “savings” from the accountability my blog brings is really where the money is at 😉

      Too early for us to plant squash and beans yet, but soon!!

  8. We have been taking the twins outside because we have had some nice weather over her in PA too here and there. Now that they know what “outside” is (they were too little to even know what was going on last year when I took them out) all they do is stand at the door and scream at me until I take them outside. Lol. So much for getting things done around the house!

    1. Hahaha yeah that sounds like our son. At least that means they stay happy and occupied! But yes… way harder to get inside stuff done that way!

  9. Hated chocolate and ice cream as a kid??? Yikes! That’s no way to live! I’m so glad you overcame that. 🙂

  10. ooohohohoooo dummplings.. oooohh

    Homer Simpson moment. Congrats on the Amazon affiliate payment. I’ve made a little bit too but they haven’t paid yet. Think I have to set that up, might have forgotten to put my paypal addy in.

    1. They really were that good. My son still hasn’t stopped talking about them. And I think they may have a higher minimum for PayPal versus an Amazon gift card, but I’m not sure.

  11. You can usually find a treadmill by looking at Freecycle or just posting a want ad. As long as you indicate “will pick up” many are happy to get rid of it. If you offer to trade it for fresh baked chocolate chip cookies you will definitely get one, but that is purely evil

    1. Right, though I’d rather fix the one we have and keep it from the landfill if we can help it 🙂

      1. If you can find a twin you can have backup parts. And think of it this way: you are saving the other treadmill from the landfill. I’ve thought of starting a business making accessories to hang clothes on exercise equipment because that seems to be the primary function for many pieces.

      2. Hahaha. Mine definitely doesn’t get used as a clothes hanger, I assure you 😉

  12. Congrats on making some income! No matter the sum, I think it’s an accomplishment. Most times it’s the collective little things that add up.

    I had no idea moss would grow on a roof of a lived in house. Sounds like it’s something good to keep on top of.

    1. Oh yeah, moss will cover our roof in no time if we don’t keep up on it. The price we pay for living on the woods.

    1. Yeah, that’s kind of where I’m at for now. If I ever go the ad route, I’ll think long and hard about it, because I hate scrolling past endless ones.

  13. Our roof doesn’t collect moss at quite the same rate as yours, but we can tell from our neighbor’s (not particularly well maintained) roof that moss can and does grow on roofs around here. We haven’t done any spraying since we moved in (~2 years), but your post made me look closely at the roof and I’m realizing that there’s a slight greenish tinge towards the back and on our garage.

    Any other tips for new moss fighters?

    1. We use Moss B Ware that you can get from Costco, and it seems to work quite well. Though just keeping your roof clean from time to time might be enough for you since it doesn’t sound like you get it bad.

  14. hmmm… i like the idea of not being pulled into the side hustle game… i am currently towing the line between hobby and side hustle…i have ads currently, but i don’t know that i desire it enough to do the work required to make blogging profitable… i’m curious to read your post on why you decided to go the hobby route…

    1. For me, keeping it a hobby takes away the pressure. I don’t NEED more income, so time and flexibility is more important to me.

  15. I’m still laughing at the fact that the kiddo was too full of dumplings to eat his banana split 😂

    Still proud of you for your Wednesday records even though you had to explain them to me haha #notarunner

    No sun for 6 months? The list keeps growing for why I can’t move there 😉 And omg so many fun things coming up for you so soon in May!

    1. Hahahahaha yeah, don’t think he was expecting that one! And we DID see sun occasionally during that six months, we just didn’t get it on our house or in our yard thanks to the shade of the big trees behind us 😉

      1. Yeah, we hardly ever get sun in our living room 😂

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