Again I packed way too much into this week, both during the weekend and on the weekdays. Even during weeks where I don’t have a lot planned, we seem to have very few days where we are just hanging at home. For the most part, that’s the way I like to do life – purposefully busy – but then sometimes I have to remind myself to say no once and a while (saying no didn’t happen this week).
I get the question a lot about how I seem to do so much, and the answer is that I really don’t have much down time at all. I don’t watch television pretty much ever, which certainly helps, and my house and car are never spotless, even when we have friends over. Unless it’s a top priority, I generally settle for *good enough*, which is also why I’m working toward decluttering clothes and other household items so there’s just less of that busy work to do in the first place.
Even so, if you could find me another 5-10 hours in the week, I can think up plenty of ways to fill them (and most wouldn’t be filled with low key activities). After listening to the Afford Anything episode on time tracking, I’m really considering tracking my time for a full week. Has anyone done this? Curious how much more time I could “find” that could then perhaps go to squeezing in an extra workout or two each week.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. As soon as my son got home on Tuesday afternoon, he headed straight down to our neighbors’ house to play with his friends. It turned out that they were having a birthday party for one of their sons and invited us to join them last minute for pizza, noodles, and cake. I got to try some sweet potato noodles for the first time, and they were so freaking good, especially with kimchi. I forgot to get the name of the brand, but they are definitely going on my list for our next trip to Uwajimaya (our local-ish Asian grocery).
There were about a dozen kids over, so I invited them all up to our house for a minute to pick blueberries, strawberries, and tomatoes to add to the dinner (plus grab a large cucumber from the farmers market I’d meant to eat). The pink blueberries were especially a hit because almost no one has seen them before and so they’re extra fun to pick and eat. A number of the kids had never dug potatoes before so I decided to have them help harvest some of those as well.
I could keep most of our garden harvest for ourselves by canning and preserving the quantity we can’t consume fresh, but I find so much joy in sharing with others that we don’t usually end up with too much left over. Don’t get me wrong, I do love having produce left over for winter that I’ve grown myself, but I won’t hold back sharing it fresh if there is someone to share it with. Plus, the taste of just picked is just so much better than any kind of preservation method.
2. I finally had a successful Lime Bike trip! My son and I got dropped off near preschool by my husband a bit early one morning and we shared a coffee shop breakfast before I sent him off for the day. Preschool is a little under three miles from work, so I need a good amount of time to walk or time the bus schedule right to get to work on time.
The night before I’d checked the Lime bike app and noted that there was a bike available nearby (NOT an e-bike after the fiasco a few weeks ago) and figured if it was still there in the morning I’d take it. It was, and it was SO much faster to get to work that way. I’m waffling about getting a bike again, or perhaps an e-bike, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet since they are so expensive. In the interim, I’ve really enjoyed the couple times I’ve gotten to use a bike share. One can only hope they get popular enough they’re accessible to me more often than they are right now, because they’re very much hit or miss at the moment.
**If Lime Bike is in your neighborhood, and you haven’t signed yet but are considering it, here is a link to three free rides**
3. After saying for a good month or more that I needed to have more work lunch options in my office, I loaded up on cans of soup and oatmeal. I still need to get back into the habit of bringing meals specifically for lunch. As long as it’s as hot as it’s been lately, we’ve been minimizing the amount of cooking we’re doing and don’t end up with a lot of leftovers from dinner.
My lunches as of late have maybe not been the most exciting, but as they cost perhaps $1-$3 and require no thought on my end, they’re working for now. Again, part of how I’m able to do so much within a given week is sometimes to let something slide, which this apparently has been fancy packed lunches for work.
A coworker did bring in zucchini blueberry muffins her sister had made one day, and they made a delightful addition to my lunch that afternoon. Note to self, time to get back to baking as soon as it starts cooling down.
4. I earned another $5 Amazon gift card through my regular Bing searches. I know a lot of people much prefer Google for searches, but using Bing earns me about $5/month, so I’ll keep using them. It is funny though how even as we are saving a significant portion of our incomes, I still get so much satisfaction over transferring that $5 gift card to my Amazon account to use toward our next online purchase.
5. I had two more no spend days this week, which makes five so far for the month (and another day where I spent all of $3). I’d like to up this number for the second half of the month, but it seems like we’ve constantly had something to pay for whatever reason. This doesn’t mean we’re spending MORE necessarily, just that I haven’t done as good of a job as in the past bunching purchases.
However, the no spend days I have had really do give me pause when I consider making a non essential purchase on any given day. More than once I’ve not made a smaller purchase just because I want to see that $0 on my tracking sheet. These may not always add up to huge numbers, but it’s the mindfulness it creates that has made a significant impact to my spending.
I managed to run three days back to back Monday – Wednesday this week and fit in a weight lifting workout on Tuesday as well. I seem to have gotten into a routine now where three days a week is a pretty reasonable number of runs logged, so now I’m scheming as to how I can fit in a fourth one with any regularity. This may mean getting up when my husband does at 5AM during the week to go for a short one before the kiddo wakes up, but I haven’t quite decided I want to give up that extra half hour or hour of sleep yet.
How do you manage your time? Are there certain things you absolutely make time for? If so, how do you do it?