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.

But let’s be honest, we love all ferry rides

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.

Park time before dinner

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.

Running Update

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!

22 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2018 – Week 28)

  1. i read the 5 and now i can give my employer something productive. you reminded me of a generous restaurant gift we’re sitting on since april but it’s 4.5 hours from here, where the in-laws live. high tourism season is brutal for us too. we used to leave the beach place in n.c. memorial day weekend every year just as the place was filling up to the brim, thinking we got out in a nick of time. enjoy the weekend.

    1. Memorial Day – Labor Day may have some lovely weather, but it really is crazy trying to travel during that time! Plus, our local area has some fabulous summer events that don’t require us to travel anywhere, and we can walk or take the bus 🙂

    1. Sure feels like I was the rewards queen this past week!! Amazon money came in handy when the husband needed to buy some new work clothes BADLY.

  2. Looks like a fun week, I love you always get out and about and see the amazing outdoors!

    And congrats on the running….I can see a marathon in your future!

    1. Maybe another half marathon anyway. Though you may all some day convince me to do a full… we shall see.

    1. Ha I know all the cash back in one go! And I am definitely still sore today with all that running.

  3. Ok don’t know why it ate my comment. Anyways…
    You bonus and redemption queen! I need to learn and follow your ways. That park is soooo pretty! And I agree on off-season travel. Why go places when it is the absolute hottest & most crowded anyways? Maybe if ever I had kids and a school schedule to contend with it would make more sense, but for now we will save most of our travel for prior to June and after Sept.

    1. Yeah, we will have to figure out how to do our big trips off season once the kiddo is in school, but it is so much less stressful to travel when everyone else is at home.

  4. Sounds like you had an absolutely lovely week! Your running updates keep reminding me I need to find a replacement activity for dancing….

    Anti-pasto plates are a favorite lunch item for me. Which is pretty much grab whatever meat, carbs and fruits and veggies you have and eat. I like the variety it gives me.

    1. I don’t know why I don’t often do that sort of lunch, because that’s the kind of meal I enjoy as well. Maybe next week, especially with produce out of the garden 🙂

  5. Can’t believe you aren’t more of a summer person! Though totally understandable that you aren’t a fan of the crowds and bugs. The bugs are easily my least favorite part about summer

    1. Thankfully the bugs around here aren’t nearly as bad as on the east coast 🙂

  6. FYI, Your son is going to be a heartbreaker…. be ready lol.

    I can totally relate on the not wanting to cook thing, I’ve been feeling that way a lit these days. I need to fix it. I’ve been utilizing McDonalds $1 sandwich coupon. It is obviously not gourmet, but it does the job lol.


    1. I think it’s easier to cook more when it’s cold, because meals like soups and stews are so easy (and no more work to make enough for leftovers).

  7. Girl how on earth can you eat just an apple or oatmeal for lunch and not be distractingly hungry the rest of the day?!

    Sounds like you’ve got some exciting things coming up the next two weekends—enjoy your time with your family!

    1. Hahah not just “an apple” – I usually eat two apples + a couple tablespoons of peanut butter or a double serving of oatmeal with a banana. And then coffee + tea + water throughout the day.

    1. Very true! The trick is to keep it to once and a while so it keeps feeling really good.

  8. “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.”

    I never considered how the “stay in their seats” factor can bring ruin to a restaurant meal. But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Thanks for making me a little more wiser, TLRE.

    1. It’s either stay in his seat and spend half my meal making sure he stays occupied (coloring, different toys, books, etc), letting his eyes glaze over while he watches an iPad, OR cook at home and let him run around and have fun while we can actually relax and enjoy adult company at the same time. Plus, it’s cheaper. A win all around. (But we still do go out to eat occasionally, just with more forethought before we do it)

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