Welcome to yet another Friday, friends. Today, I’m in Denver at Cents Positive, and I can hardly believe it’s here. I’ve been waiting for months for this weekend, especially when sitting at home when it seemed like everyone was at FinCon back in September. But now it’s my turn, and I get to be at the very first financial independence conference just for women. I’ll be sure to recap the event later once I’m home and have time to digest everything that went on this weekend.

Friday is the blogger add on day to the conference, but Saturday and Sunday are for all self identifying women interested in financial independence, and many of the ladies attending do not have blogs or podcasts, but simply want to be a part of an event where they can talk finances and financial independence in a safe space just for women. If you’re considering it for next year, know that it is absolutely welcome to all, content creator or not.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Remember that $50 gift card I received for getting a flu shot at work a while back? I picked a Home Depot gift card because we always find ways to spend money there and I just kept it in my wallet until our next trip there.

My husband and son have been building a bird house together over the last few months, usually on evenings when I’m at my volunteer Commission meeting, and they were finally finishing it up over the weekend but needed a few more pieces to complete the project. We headed over to Home Depot for the metal pole to install it on, a few more random clips, and some suet and feeder to attract the birds. We also had a few other small things to pick up there as well, but didn’t spend all of the $50 gift card so walked out without having to swipe our card at all.

Finished bird house!

2. We visit Uwajimaya, one of our local Asian grocery stores, maybe once a month, and we somehow landed on the week of their anniversary sale. We were at the register checking out when we realized that sale meant that we got an additional 10% off our entire purchase.

Along with regular grocery items, we picked up ingredients to make bibimbap Sunday night when we had a Personal Finance blogger meet up at our house while Simplistic Steph and her husband were in town. They were joined by Millennial Boss, A Purple Life, and Oscoey. I’m regularly jealous of the DC and Minneapolis meet ups because there seem to be so many people in those areas, but we have a pretty great group in the Seattle area.

Leftover bibimbap for lunch

Most of them had never been outside of Seattle proper, so we also went on a short hike through the trails behind my house so I could show off how great an area Kirkland is to live. It might not be the center of a bustling metropolis, but there’s a lot to be said to living somewhere with trail access (and still close enough to walk to the grocery store, the bus, and a few services and restaurants).

3. I had a full vegetarian day on Monday, which is a pretty rare thing for me. I now regularly have days where I have meat in just one meal, but a day where I’m fully meat free doesn’t happen often. For all the reasons Bethany laid out in her guest post here, I have real incentive to reduce my meat consumption, and while I don’t expect to ever be fully vegetarian, I would love to get to the point where 100% of our animal products we consume are sustainably sourced. In order to get there, I need to reduce the amount we eat or hugely balloon our grocery budget, which I have no interest in doing.

4. I returned a book to a neighbor after finishing it last week. She had read it initially and loved it and passed it on to me. The book was wonderful, and I’m so grateful to have such wonderful friends as neighbors. Not only do we trade garden produce, random household goods, and watch each other’s kids and pets, but we also trade books with each other, which is always going to be the way to my heart.

I wish I could explain exactly how our neighborhood came to be, because it’s a model that would make everyone’s lives better if they got to experience something similar. Perhaps things used to be more like this when we all knew our neighbors? I’d like to think so.

5. After dropping my son off to preschool, I took the bus to work instead of walking the 2.7 miles. I first looked for a Lime Bike, but there wasn’t one close enough to be worth walking over to make it worth it. It was an overcast morning and very dark, so I just didn’t feel comfortable walking down the secluded trail that is the majority of the distance. In general, it is a very safe place to be, but I decided it just wasn’t worth risking on a dark, early morning.

I still did get to leave my car parked for a round trip to work this week though, so it was still a success. It just meant fewer steps and a $2.75 bus fee that I don’t have to pay in the summer months.

Running Update

To mix it up a little bit this week, I went for my runs on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday but lifted on Tuesday instead of Monday because the kiddo wanted both Mommy and Daddy to pick him up from preschool that day. He knew I was headed out of town for the weekend, so I think he just wanted a little more time.

Otherwise, I did average about 20k steps again this past weekend. On non work days, I just naturally walk a lot more, so that many steps isn’t hard to hit. The hardest part of Monday through Friday is definitely the amount of time I spend sitting at my desk. I still manage to get perhaps 12,000-13,000 steps on an average weekday, but it takes a lot of work to get there.

How do you get moving on work days? When do you tend to get most of your steps in?

28 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2018 Week 44)

  1. That’s a cool birdhouse, it looks very unique on that pole!

    And I love how going veggie is becoming more and more common, soon we’ll have loads of people on board.

  2. have fun in denver. i didn’t know ms. purple was in the pnw. a walkable neighborhood is a wonderful thing. ours got an 83 score and i rarely use the car when not commuting. thanks for the reminder to go find a good asian grocery.

    1. I had a great time! And 83 walk score – not bad at all! Our house definitely isn’t that good, but we trade off for access to trails.

  3. Cute birdhouse, andddd have fun in Denver! Sounds like an awesome trip. I get extra steps in at work by making sure to get up and ask people questions (instead of emailing them) also I drink a lot of water which forces me to get up to fill the water bottle up as well as go to the bathroom a lot!

  4. Not sure if you’ll have the same experience but I find meatless meals much lighter. They’re still delicious and filling without a heavy stomach. I’m not purposely vegetarian but sometimes I find myself realizing I haven’t eaten meat for a week… or 3.

    No longer living so close to work has drastically reduce how much exercise I get. Used to be 40 minute walk to & from work, walk to dance class (30 – 60 mins) and then dance 1 – 3hrs. That was my daily schedule until a few years ago. So bit of an adjustment… Sitting at a desk all day, I rotate my meetings between two buildings so I’m walking back and forth when I can. Though many are conference calls now…

    1. Sitting a desk all day is HARD. I definitely prefer my work days where I’m up walking around for meetings/tours etc for at least part of the day.

  5. I covet a walkable neigborhood. Our walk score is 5. But that’s not quite the whole picture. The internet doesn’t know everything.

    We’ve been trying to eat more vegetarian as well and I’ve even had the occasional meatless day. I don’t see us going totally vegetarian either, but I do enjoy the health and budgetary benefits.

    I frequently drop my son off at school, park nearby and then bike the rest of the way to work. It’s probably about the same distance you’re covering ~2.5-3.0 miles. It’s nice to combine exercising with your commute – the whole two birds, one stone things. I’m going to have to start riding more often because I just bought a new bike. #notfrugal.

    1. Yeah, Walk Score is definitely not a perfect analysis, but at least it’s a place to start. They have started adding a bike score though, and I think that’s a really helpful extra piece of it!

  6. Have fun at Cents Positive! Well the super dark mornings should be helped by daylight savings coming to an end this weekend!

    Meat is such a staple in my diet I think it would be really tough to go vegetarian, but hey maybe I’ll do a week or month long experiment someday to try it out. (Thinking that just made me really want to try it! Sometime after the holidays I’ll give it a shot 🙂)

    1. Try and start out just with one meal a day and go up from there. At least, that’s helping me because it’s slow and doesn’t feel so abrupt.

    1. Definitely didn’t get a chance this time, but now I want to go back to have some more time to explore outside!

  7. Have a fun weekend getaway and hope the weather is nice enough to enjoy the location. Keep me posted next time you decide to host a meetup at your house, that would be worth driving down for me 🙂 You can give me the details on all the best trails in the region.

    1. Oh I definitely will! Would be great to meet you (and perhaps the wife) in person at some point!

  8. I have been slacking on my exercise and steps. Under 400K in October. Uh Oh! Maybe it’s the change in weather….. Next time you have a Seattle area meet up, I would love to join you. I have never been to a meet-up and would love to meet some of the people behind the great blogs out there in the PF community.

    1. Okay, between you at Chris, apparently I need to plan a “formal” meet up for everyone! 🙂

  9. I hope you have a great time at Cents Positive! Looking forward to seeing the recaps.

    I need to do better about moving during the workday. With the weather cooling it’s tougher to get outside and I find there are days where I spend 9 hours barely getting away from my desk or meetings. This is a good reminder to keep moving during be day!

    1. I had a fabulous time! My FitBit actually buzzes at me every hour to make sure I get at least 250 steps, which I do whenever I can. It really helps.

  10. I’m usually hesitant to lend out books. It’s not because I don’t like sharing, but mostly because I often forget who I lend books to and end up making a gift of the book (inadvertently). I suppose this thinking would change if I exchanged books with the same handful of people (like you and your neighbor) regularly, because it’s easier to keep a running list.

    Also, I’m excited to hear about your experience at Cents Positive. I’m looking forward to your upcoming post(s) about it.

    1. Yep, I definitely have not gotten books back in the past for that same reason. I figure though, if I like the book enough to lend it out in the first place, then I guess I’m okay with not getting it back.

  11. Hey there, digging into your blog and having a bit of fun before I get away from the computer for the day. 1) That’s quite a bit of steps on a daily basis… I walk my kiddo to and from school 3 days a week (she is at her Dad’s house the other two) and don’t average that (of course it’s .9 miles). I have been tracking my car mileage more closely this year than I have previously and I’m going to work to reduce that significantly next year. I’m a constant work in progress, I guess lol. 2) I also live in one of those unicorn communities where we have impromptu get togethers, free range the kids and share produce and lately fish (my partner had 2 huge catches on his days off last week and fed many families – fish is always better eaten when it’s fresh rather than frozen). I can’t quite put my finger on it but I lived in the San Diego suburbs for a hot second from 2002-2005 and neighbors didn’t interact like my neighborhood does now. We all have smallish houses so maybe that’s part of it since we get outside more, but I feel such a sense of community.

    1. Hoping to walk my kiddo to school once he starts in two years! Those unicorn communities really are the best.

Leave a Reply