Summer is officially here, with three days in a row of 85 degree temperatures. While I realize that isn’t crazy hot for those of you who live in actually hot places, the Pacific Northwest doesn’t regularly see temperatures this hot for very long, and so many places (especially homes) don’t have built in air conditioning.

Since our home was built in the 1960s, we are one of those homes without central AC, though we did buy ourselves a couple of window AC units a couple of years ago. We try and keep our energy use low though, so we put off installing them each summer until we can’t take it any more. It’s been in the high seventies up to eighty degrees at night in our house all this week, so we will probably be installing them soon. Even so, we set them at 75 degrees to minimize the cost and resource use.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Last Friday, I went to breakfast at our local coffee shop with my mother-in-law and son before work. Since we haven’t been in so long, I still had some money left on my account there so the meal was free for all three of us (plus a tip of course). I used to always load up because I’d get a “free” drink after so many purchases, similar to Starbucks. Who knew that what’s even more frugal than making sure you sign up to get rewarded with a free drink is to not spend your money there in the first place.

Because grabbing coffee and an oatmeal or pastry at the coffee shop is no longer my go to multiple times a week, it felt really special to take the time and really enjoy our meal there. Again, my goal is to not spend the absolute least amount of money possible every month, but instead to make sure that every dollar we do spend brings value to our lives. Friday’s coffee shop visit definitely fell into the “real value” category.

2. As I mentioned last week, we went truck camping over the weekend. Friday night was at Lake Wenatchee just the three of us and Saturday night off grid in the mountains above Leavenworth. We learned that Lake Wenatchee State Park actually has a deal where you can trade 4 hours of work at the campground for one night free, so we will definitely be using that option in the future. While our son probably won’t get credit for “helping” with campground clean up, he loves to do that sort of thing and hopefully that will rub off on him in the long term that we take care of our natural areas and the places we camp so they can be enjoyed by everyone.

Since Saturday night was free dispersed camping, we spent $38 on lodging for the two nights, making for a very cheap weekend getaway. We did spend a little bit in Leavenworth on our way through, but they have some fabulous food and drink that’s worth having. Our grocery budget is higher than it needs to be, but much smaller than it used to be.

3. I went to my youngest brother’s high school graduation on Monday afternoon in downtown Seattle, so I took the bus across the bridge in order to avoid driving my car in crazy city traffic (and to reduce my environmental impact of the trip), but the bus I meant to catch came early and I missed it. By the time I got off the bus in Seattle, it was clear I wasn’t going to make it in time on foot, so I hopped on one  of the OFO bike share bikes and got to the ceremony right when the students were all walking in. It was my first trip on one of those bikes, so it was free, but I’m totally sold on the idea. I’ve seen them occasionally closer to our house and I’m hopeful I’ll find more chances to take them out in the future. If you have access to OTO in your area, plan ahead unlike me and sign up for three free bike rides instead of just the one standard one you get for creating an account.

4. This was a big money making week for the blog – I received both an Airbnb and an Ibotta credit from referrals. $25 isn’t big time money, but as this blog is a hobby and not a business, any little bit that comes my way is very exciting. For the two of you who signed up through my links, thank you. I really appreciate it. While I’m not looking to make enough money to quit my job, it’s nice to know that I can make this a break even hobby and cover my domain hosting.

5. We have tons of ripe strawberries in the garden right now, so we made homemade strawberry milkshakes last night. Soon enough, the raspberries and blueberries will be ripe as well and we’ll have more berries than we know what to do with, though some will make it into the bellies of the neighbor kids, some will become milkshakes, some straight snacks, and some into jam. We also have crazy numbers of garlic scapes and a good crop of snow peas. It’s definitely coming into high season for the garden, and I’m loving it. Nothing better than heading out your front door and picking ingredients for dinner.

Running Update

I didn’t get a chance to run over the weekend since we were out camping, but I did manage to walk and hike 25,000 steps on Saturday, so I still did get some pretty decent activity in. I then went for a 25 minute run on Tuesday on the treadmill at the gym because it was too dang hot, and then my six mile run to work on Wednesday, which made for another 20,000+ step day. We shall see if I can manage to hit 500,000 steps in June per The Smart FI’s June challenge. It will be close.

I ran on the treadmill at a bit of an incline and pushed it a little bit more than I realized because I’m quite sore after my back to back runs. I also hadn’t run the full six miles to work for the past two weeks so I’m certain that plays into the soreness as well. I’d like to find some time to lift more regularly than a couple times a month, so that will be my next goal now that I seem to have a pretty good running routine down.

25 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2018 – Week 25)

  1. Wow congrats on the blog income:) Just like you I am a hobby blogger for now and $25 sounds really good.
    My son and I made strawberry rhubarb pie last week and it was oh so good! In case you have extra strawberries:)
    And I am totally with you on the coffee shop, I enjoy it so much more now that I don’t do it as often. Feels more like a treat.
    Have a great week-end Angela.

    1. We have both strawberries AND rhubarb in the garden right now – maybe this weekend should be my first attempt at pie crust 🙂

  2. the 5 is here and so is the weekend! you’re right, the easiest way to save on the coffee shop is to not go there. i used to tell mrs. me that 40% off is really 60% on, in jest. those bikeshares are great. we have ’em in my neighborhood and 2 friends rode them all over new orleans a couple of months ago.

  3. Hi! I subscribed to your blog a few days ago…. something I don’t normally do… after reading your post: “Why my blog is a hobby – not a business” on Pinterest. (I’m keen to start a blog as a hobby sometime in the near future.) That post led me to “The true cost of saying yes” which is something my hubby and I often think through before making decisions. Lots of similar thinking, so I was keen to read more! I was excited to receive today’s post in my inbox! Love your photos in amongst life lessons you’re learning about finances. Reckon over my lifetime (I’m in my 50s) I’ve used a ton of financial budgeting methods….. most of them falling off the rails eventually… ha ha! I’ll be interested to read more. Thanks for taking the time to share your life with me/us. Sending blessings from South Australia, where we’re nearing mid winter.

    1. Thank you so much for this lovely comment! Blogs are a TON of work, even as a hobby, but they can be very rewarding! Please let me know if you do start one. Glad to have you along for the ride 🙂

  4. Hah so many close calls with graduation 😂 Glad you made it on time (and on the right side of the room)!

    Four hours of work for a free night of camping? That’s an awesome tradeoff! And such a great way to ensure the little guy grows up with even more examples of stewardship of our planet.

    Ship some berries to me, yum! I wouldn’t mind some rhubarb either 😉

    1. I know! I wish more campgrounds had that sort of deal! I mean, 4 hours of work to save $38 isn’t a huge hourly rate, but not bad, AND it definitely teaches good values to the kids who help out as well. We’ve talked about well in the future about maybe being campground hosts some day because that sounds like a heck of a gig.

    1. Yeah, they definitely were off to a rough start in the Seattle area but I’m seeing them used more and more lately.

    1. So very true – berries are NOT cheap when you buy them in any quantity. And thank you – while I may not be focused on making money with the blog, I sure don’t begrudge the few dollars that head my way 😉

  5. Yeah, I’m drowning in strawberries here – and I’m beating the slugs this year, which is a win for me, but bad news for the chickens who get the slugged eaten berries.

    1. Do you have chickens?? Surprisingly the slugs haven’t been bad at all this year.

  6. We are still winners even if we don’t hit 500,000 steps this month 😉. I’m definitely going to work my 4 hours of service to get my free night at Lake Wenatchee state park later this summer. That’s the best tip ever.

    1. Hahaha I don’t think that’s how “winning” works, but I like your positive attitude 😉

  7. Your strawberries look so beautiful and they are organic too!! They look so ripe! I love strawberries. I’ll have to get some pointers from you when I have a garden. I want to plant blueberry bushes too.

    Congrats on the blog income!! It always feels nice! 🙂

    1. Definitely organic in our yard! Our blueberries should start to be ripe this week or next and we are going to have a TON of them.

  8. Yum, your garden sounds like it’s bursting with deliciousness! I loved hearing about the campground where you can trade some work for a free night camping. What kind of work is it? Trail clearing? Picking up trash? Bagging fire wood?

    1. We still need to talk to a park ranger directly to know all the details, but the sign gave examples like raking camp sites and clearing fire pits. So doesn’t sound like anything to strenuous.

  9. Early summer is one of my favorite times of year for all the berries!! We’re planning to put a few raspberries bushes in next year.

    Do you ever make preserves? Strawberry and basil is a magic combination.

    1. I do! We still have a few jars left over from last year though, so I don’t think I’ll be making a ton this year.

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