The 4th of July is over and we are solidly into summer now, which is awesome on all accounts except that we now need to be better about planning ahead on our weekend adventures. Be it backed up ferry lines or packed highways, making the decision to get away for the weekend during the summer takes a bit more forethought than we prefer, though not impossible.
I do enjoy the warmer weather and not needing to put on a sweatshirt before crawling out of my sleeping bag, but I am a little bit looking forward to post Labor Day weekend when travel dies down for most people. Most of the bugs go away after that as well, so it’s a win-win, at least until it gets cold, windy, and rainy (though then we more or less get the place all to ourselves when we go camping in January).
My aunt and cousin will be in town this coming weekend, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them. The following weekend we’ll join them at a beach cabin, but of course we’ll have to head home Sunday morning instead of in the afternoon to beat the ferry traffic. Oh, post Labor Day ferries, you are my favorite.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We headed down to the South Sound Barbecue Festival on Saturday with some friends of ours. Since it takes a good 80-90 minutes or more to get down to the Lacey/Olympia area, we usually drive down first thing in the morning and have breakfast down there to beat the freeway traffic that’s gotten to be pretty bad even on weekends.
We brought some bacon and sausage with us and then shared a relaxed meal with two of our couple friends who also have kids around our son’s age, so they played around while we all got to talk as adults. Going out for brunch is good and tasty, but I’m finding for this stage of life I prefer the home cooked meal. It’s a lot cheaper, and the kids don’t have to stay in their seats.
We did buy lunch at the festival, but then we headed back to one of our friend’s houses afterward and had dinner there before heading home in the evening. I dearly love our friends down south and appreciate that they all tend to be of the frugal sort so it’s easy to have a great day without being expected to spend a ton of money. Now if only they all lived in our neighborhood, then I’d have no complaints.
2. I really need to stock back up the food I keep at work, because I really haven’t felt like making lunches on the days I don’t have easy leftovers to bring in. This means I’ve been having a honeycrisp apple with peanut butter or instant oatmeal more times than I’d like to count over the past few weeks. Still, both are reasonably healthy meals and save me from grabbing lunch out, so they’re doing their job. Regardless, I need to step up my lunch packing again to have a little bit more flavor in my midday meal.
3. I cashed out another $5 Amazon gift cards through the Bing search engine rewards. I’ve started using the Bing app on my phone for searches so I earned that $5 credit faster than usual. Bonus, I actually prefer to search on my phone that way quite a bit more than the standard iPhone Safari option.
I cashed out $25 on Ibotta as well, so I have $30 worth of credit now sitting in my Amazon account for when I make my next purchase. I do make sure just to add it to my account and then close the browser so I’m not tempted to spend more money on Amazon than I would otherwise.
4. Speaking of cash back apps, another Ebates referral came through recently! Whoever you are, thank you very much. I may not be doing much to monetize my blog, but I do very much appreciate the little bit that comes in to offset my hosting costs. Plus, Ebates is just fabulous and totally worth using to get free money back on purchases (as long as you don’t get sucked in and buy things for the “discount” that you wouldn’t otherwise buy). Sign up here for Ebates or Ibotta here if you haven’t yet. It’s totally worth it.
5. Wednesday night my husband and I went out for an early date night at Anthony’s, where we used a $75 gift card that had been sitting in my wallet for entirely too long. It felt indulgent to go out and get a meal where we didn’t have to worry so much about the cost. I realize we have the funds not to worry about it anyway, but a meal tastes extra good when we don’t have to pay for it.
My parents and grandmother watched the little guy so we could go out just the two of us, which was needed as it’s been much too long since we got some time out alone. As much as we love bringing our son with us on our adventures, it’s important for the two of us to focus on our marriage and remember what it was like before two became three.
Like I mentioned on Twitter, I managed to run another 3 day streak Monday – Wednesday this week. More impressive (for me) is that Monday’s and Wednesday’s runs were an hour plus. When I started running to work about a year and a half ago, I had a hard time managing even the one six mile run to work each week. Now, I’m running that distance practically back to back.
Overall, my step count was slightly down last week (compared to where I’ve been in the last month with the 500,000 step challenge in my head), but this week I should be right back up where I want to be. I’ve been counting my steps for years now, and hitting 10,000/day has gotten pretty standard, so it feels good to be pushing myself again.
How was your week? I’d love to hear some frugal wins (or some exercise updates) from you!