We’ve had some weather in the 80s this past week and it feels like we skipped straight from winter into full summer. I went for a run Monday afternoon and I could tell that my body wasn’t used to the temperature because it was slow going.
I had a bit more time to work out than normal though because my son requested that daddy pick him up from preschool, even though that meant he stayed there longer than normal. My husband usually works pretty long hours and can’t pick up our son on a regular basis, but he jumps at the chance whenever he can. Part of me felt guilty for not doing the pick up like normal, but my husband reminded me that it feels like a privilege to him, not a chore. And he knows that I’m just a happier person when I get to run more regularly, so it’s a win all around.
I am so thankful to have an equal partner in this life, and that even when he does have to work longer hours he makes sure to do what he can in those limited hours.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. As we’re leaving on our trip soon, we had a low key Mother’s Day this week. We went to our first farmers markets for the season, and then joined our family at a barbecue at my parents’ house. Presents were of the small, edible variety, and otherwise we just spent the time hanging out as a family. There is really nothing any of us need, so it’s nice to just have a day to spend together. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we spent much of the day outside.
2. My father’s birthday was over the weekend as well, and just like last year, my gift to him was the promise of raspberries from our garden (they are currently in bloom, so it will be a little while until there are berries to pick). Raspberries are his favorite fruit, and as they are SO expensive to buy, this has been a great gift for him, plus homegrown berries taste so much better. I also love how it’s a gift I get to give him over and over again while the plants are producing.
My parents just moved into their new home this spring, and as they have quite a few deer in their area, they’ll have to plan out the garden carefully before they get started. They won’t have one this year other than a few pots on their deck, but hopefully next year my present to him can be actual raspberry canes from our garden so he can grow his own berries.
3. I got my quarterly Ebates check in the mail! The check was a bit bigger than it normally is thanks to a referral I got through this blog, so thank you! $41.72 isn’t going to make the defining difference in our big financial goal for this year, but every little bit helps. I figure my online shopping data is being mined regardless, so I may as well get a little bit of the pie as well.
I make sure to use Ebates whenever I buy anything online (most often things for the kid or the dog), and it’s worth it to go through the extra click in order to get 2-10% back on the money spent ($10 if you sign up here). If Ebates doesn’t have a cash back offer on a certain purchase, I will also check Ibotta because they will sometimes have cash back on other categories that Ebates doesn’t (pet supplies on Amazon seems to be a regular).
4. We washed our big dogs at home this week. While this might be a no brainer, we do save quite a bit of money by always washing the dogs at home (and trimming their nails). I used to work at Petsmart back in the day and I was astounded by how much money people would drop to get their dogs groomed. Granted, I was also making $8.50/hour, so the amounts seemed that much larger back then.
Instead, we have a $20 nail clipper and $8 bottles of shampoo and groom them at home. And really, this is one of those things where frugality saves time and effort as well; while we do have to actively wash the dogs and clip their nails, we don’t have to go through the process of calling to set up an appointment, drive them to the grooming salon, wait the hour for them to get groomed, pay, and then drive them home. Much easier and faster just to do it ourselves, regardless of the cost.
5. I got an email that my Starbucks Gold Card will be expiring soon. While Starbucks has never been my favorite coffee shop, I spent money there regularly enough to make sure my Gold Card always stayed active with them. To stay Gold Star status, you apparently need to “earn” 300 stars per year, regularly at 2 stars per dollar.
So I had previously been spending a minimum of $150/year at Starbucks, which is a heck of s lot of money to be spending at a coffee shop that isn’t even one of my favorites. In case you’re interested, my favorite coffee shops would have to be Rainshadow Coffee in Sequim and Sunrise Coffee in Port Townsend. If I’m going to splurge at a coffee shop these days, it’s going to be at one of those while we’re on a weekend getaway, not a mindless purchase at Starbucks just because it happens to be there.
I previously wouldn’t have wanted my Gold status to expire because I’d want to hang on to the “rewards,” but not buying any coffee there to start with is an even better way to save money. Go figure.
Do you have any stories yourself of continuing to buy “just a little bit” from somewhere in order to meet the rewards requirements? I’m usually pretty good about that sort of thing, but Starbucks sucked me in.