We took off for a four day long weekend to the Washington Coast for Labor Day, so I’ve had back to back four day work weeks and my schedule feels completely thrown off. Not in a bad or a good way, just that I had to keep reminding myself what day of the week it was and to make sure to get our son to the right childcare spot for the day (he rotated between preschool, my parents house, and my in laws house, so the day of the week matters quite a bit for which direction I head in the morning).
The off kilter week meant that the kiddo was EXTRA good at dragging his feet when we needed to get out the door in the mornings, but I can’t exactly blame him. He loves his family time and doesn’t quite understand why we both have to go to work every single week. I try to explain to him why our work is important and what we do, but it’s mostly over his head for now. Hopefully as he gets older, he will get why we do what we do, but for now I’ll just have to continue to push him to move a little bit faster in the mornings post holiday.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. My in laws celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary over the weekend (perks of getting married young like we did). They celebrated by having a bunch of us over at their house for a backyard picnic. Of course, they are fabulous wannabe zero wasters as well, so while we ate out in their backyard, we did it with real cups, plates, silverware, and napkins. Not a single use party item to be found.
Like most family events, it was a low key and wonderful time spent with each other. My mother and grandmother were there as well, which goes to show that when we got married, our families really did combine. I realize that not everyone is so lucky to have such fabulous relationships with their in laws, and even fewer have their parents and in laws become friends. I love my husband, and I adore the fact that we are now just one big family.
Side note: the party was at my in laws first – and only – home, which they paid off before my brother in law was born over thirty years ago. Talk about frugal weirdos before frugal weirdo was a term. Unsurprisingly, we don’t get any flack from our family about our frugal life choices.
2. We ended up not leaving for our camping trip until Friday morning instead of Thursday afternoon, so we didn’t end up eating one of the dinners we had prepped for the trip. This ended up working perfectly though, because it meant we had a ready made meal for Tuesday night to start out the short work week. We love taking fancy ramen camping because it’s an easy one pot meal, but at home we added in a fried egg and some freshly picked Swiss chard. Simple, easy, cheap, and we used up a leftover meal that might have otherwise ended up in the yard waste.
We used to be pretty bad about leaving leftovers in the refrigerator for too long, but the combination of a shallow new fridge that doesn’t let food get pushed too far back and a focus on reducing costs and waste has gotten it so most of the time we do eat those leftovers. Though we still aren’t perfect, I admit.
3. We had some long work training this week which went all day, so we had lunch provided for us. I had a really tasty smoked turkey sandwich with cranberry spread, but I couldn’t help but focusing on all the waste that the box lunch included. Everything was wrapped individually in plastic – including a single pickle. I’m all for a free work lunch, but I think next time I’m going to speak up and see if we can make a different choice. And if not, I may just bite the bullet and ask them not to order me one, even though I quite enjoy the lunches.
I have to admit, I’ve eaten these kinds of box lunches in the past and I’ve never really paid attention to the amount of waste they create. I’d noticed the plastic water bottle in the past because I’ve all but given up ever drinking of them for quite some time now, but the rest of it really slipped by me. Ever since tracking my trash for a week, I’ve been so much more conscious when it comes to waste, be it at work or home.
4. My husband and I went on an impromptu date night on Wednesday and got to check out an Asian fusion restaurant we hadn’t been to before. The bar was full, but I asked about their happy hour anyway, and the server let us order off that menu in the main part of the restaurant. Not only did that cut down on the cost, but the variety on the happy hour menu was totally awesome. Even so, the dinner would have been quite pricey if not for an old gift card we’d recently fished out of storage. As it was, the meal was $35 including a good tip and a couple of drinks.
The only problem now is our son apparently heard about where we went and now he’s asking for us to take him with next time. The downside of a kid who eats a lot (and whose favorite memory of Maine is the lobster), is that a dinner for the three of us can get pretty pricey.
5. I’ve been taking advantage of the last of the summer weather now that the air is clear of wildfire ash and am back to hanging our clothes in the backyard. The weather is looking to turn toward fall soon enough, and then it will be too cold and rainy for any outside clothes drying, likely until May.
I had a clothes drying rack when we lived in South Carolina, but we had a pretty large apartment with very little furniture so there was plenty of room for it, and the laundry room dryer at our apartment cost $3 a load. I haven’t had the same incentive to find a place to put a drying rack in our home now, especially with a toddler and two large dogs, but perhaps it’s time to look a little bit harder to find the space.
Again, I didn’t run over the weekend because we were out camping, but I definitely racked up a step count regardless. Friday was the last day of August, and ever since The Smart FI roped me into his 500,000 step challenge in June, I’ve been determined to hit that number every month. I barely squeaked by thanks to a 27,000 step day on Friday (500,566 step total for August), and then I followed it up with a 40,000 step day on Saturday to kick off September.
We hiked the Ozette Triangle on the Washington Coast, which is listed at 9.4 miles, but we first had to hike from our campsite and then to where the trail marker begins (well past the ranger station), so the hike was more like 11 miles round trip. More impressive though is the fact that our 3.5 year old hiked a good 4 miles of the trip on his own two feet. It won’t be long now before I have to tell him to slow down because his mom can’t keep up.
I didn’t run on Monday because I was still sore from the hike on Saturday, and we were busy unpacking from the trip when we weren’t over at my in laws for the party. Tuesday was more normal with a couple mile run and a short weight workout, and I ran to work like normal on Wednesday. I feel so lucky to commute that way once a week; it is a million times better than sitting in traffic in my car. Still no bike yet for other days of the week, though.
How was your Labor Day weekend? Have any trouble remembering which day it was this week?