Wednesday night was hot again (surprise, so was the rest of the week), so I decided that we should do something fun with the evening instead of wallowing in the extended heat around here. A big perk of working less than full time is that I get home by early afternoon, so my son and I had time to clean the dishwasher, throw in a load of laundry, and toss a ball for the dog before my husband got home, which meant enough of the chores were done for the day by the time my husband got home a couple hours later.
Once he’d changed into shorts and tennis shoes, we headed for the bus and went down the hill to one of the local breweries for food truck dinner and a place to hang out for the evening. The kiddo got to play Big Buck Hunting a couple of times (his new favorite) and we had a laid back evening with our friends and neighbors who joined us a bit later. Again, a bit pricier than staying home, but local adventures are important to us, and they don’t always have to wait for the weekend.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We went blackberry picking last weekend and the bushes were so laden with berries that we had filled up a giant mixing bowl in less than a half hour, even snacking while we picked. The berries turned into some homemade jam that I’ll save for Christmas presents (and our own consumption), and we made milkshakes another night. It might be too hot to cook or can inside right now, but we have a bbq with a side burner, and I never appreciate it more than I do when we’re in the middle of a heat wave.
2. My husband spent a good amount of time on Sunday at the bbq grill and smoker preparing dinners for the week, so we haven’t had to do any real cooking this entire week. It’s been so awesome not having to think about meals when we get home for the day, and I think I’m finally coming around to the idea of doing more meal prepping than I ever have before.
The best part is we didn’t set specific meals for specific days but instead just grabbed mostly prepped ingredients out of the fridge on any given night when we decided what meal we wanted to eat. I know, I know, nothing new for people who are good at batch cooking on the weekend, but it’s something we’ve never really done.
3. I cleaned out my wallet for the first time in ages, and I realized just how many “buy ten get one free” type cards I was carrying around. In the past, I felt like I was doing such a good job “saving” money by getting that tenth purchase free, but obviously I’m saving a whole lot more money not buying the first nine in the first place.
That said, I expect I will still go to those places from time to time, so I’ll keep the cards for now, but they don’t cycle through quickly like they did in the past. Plus, going through the cards made me realize I have two free meals at different places that I now can go use! They money to fill up the stamp card in the past has already been spent, so I may as well get my freebie since I have it.
4. My mother and grandmother were out of town this week so couldn’t watch our son like they normally do, so my mother in law stepped in and watched him instead. She recently retired from her part time job, so she has the time available to step in when we need it, for which I am very very grateful.
We could have paid a babysitter (or more likely my neighbor, who might refuse to accept money anyway), or one of us could have stayed home from work instead, but we would much rather save our time of for times we can all be together. Being a two working parent (or single parent) household with no strong support system nearby has to be one of the very hardest things there is.
5. Someone (thank you, whoever you are!) booked their first trip with Airbnb through my affiliate link, so we have another $20 to spend with Airbnb the next time we book a trip. Of course, we just reserved a home for my grandmother’s birthday in September days before the referral money came in, so we didn’t get to spend it there.
That said, we LOVE Airbnb, and they almost always have significantly lower taxes and fees than VRBO, so I expect we’ll use the credit sooner than later.
We will be staying in a hotel for a couple of nights in Hawaii thanks to Marriott rewards points, but other than the fact that those nights will be free, we pick Airbnb/VRBO every time. We like having a kitchen, laundry, and a place that it separately ours, unlike a hotel. If you haven’t ever used Airbnb before, I would highly recommend looking into it for your next trip, and here’s a link for $40 off your first stay (just be sure not to download the link and create account first – start with the link).
I got in a run and lift on Monday, and already I think I’m going to need to go up on a few weights because I wasn’t very sore the next day. Tuesday afternoon I fit in a couple mile run, but it was miserably hot and not enjoyable at all. Unfortunately, that’s all the running I got in this week since I didn’t get in my normal run to work on Wednesday morning, and I really missed it. Next week should be back to normal and I should be able to run 3-4 times again.
Are you a summer sun worshipper, or are you more like me and ready for fall and cooler temperatures?