Apparently it’s week 45 of 52 of this year already, which feels a bit mind boggling. Our anniversary is on Tuesday, and then Thanksgiving is just a few weeks after that. I do love this time of year, but it feels like October happened in a blink because of how busy I’ve been. Even good busy has gotten a bit too busy lately, and I’m looking forward to a somewhat quieter month for November (and perhaps December).

I have to say though, there is one part of this time of year that I absolutely do not like, and that’s how early it gets dark these days. I do pretty well with the gray and the wet through the winter, but a 4:30pm sunset at the beginning of November is just too dang early, and sunset doesn’t get noticeably later (5:30pm) until mid-February. Let’s just say it’s a good thing we have a trip to Hawaii planned later this winter so we can get away to some sunshine and longer days for a week.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. I think I’ve probably said enough about Cents Positive already after an almost 2500-word post on Monday and a mention on Wednesday, but here’s one more comment about the weekend. I had taken the light rail to the airport ($3.25) but wasn’t certain if I wanted to ride it home because I didn’t arrive back at SeaTac until almost 5PM on Sunday and was ready to just be home and snuggle the kiddo.

I was considering just taking a Lyft home and biting the $50 cost to save myself a half hour when a lovely woman who attended the conference with me offered to drive me home on her way back north, and I gladly accepted. It was really nice to get home a bit sooner, for no cost, and to get to have a bit of time to chat one on one with her because there wasn’t a ton of time with that over the weekend with so many different people to talk to.

She also drives a totally cool newer electric car, and it had me almost wishing my 2008 Hybrid was a lot older with a lot more miles so I could get one of my own. My car has only about 90,000 miles on it so far though, so I expect it to last a long, long time.

Thanks again, friend! It was so nice to get to chat on the way home and I really appreciate the lift that got me back a bit sooner – with no gasoline expended!

Flight home from Denver

2. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get home in time that night to hug the kiddo before bedtime because he threw up and was running a fever and so was asleep extra early that night.

The next day (Monday) I stayed home with him and worked from there since he was still running a fever, but Tuesday my husband took a turn to stay home from work.

I feel like this should just be the norm – Dad taking a turn when a kid is sick at home – but somehow this still makes him an “exceptional” dad, instead of just a dad. It doesn’t make me love and appreciate him any less, but it does make me so frustrated for the women who don’t have that in a partner, and for workplaces that don’t recognize that both parents have the same responsibilities to take care of their children.

Beyond just being able to go to work on Tuesday even though I had a sick kid because my husband stayed home with him, I got to run all the way home in the afternoon as well (making up for the missed workout on Monday) because said husband is a rockstar and got him down for a nap around that time. I love you husband, and am so glad we are about to celebrate nine years together (even though you don’t read this blog and won’t see these nice things I say about you).

8th anniversary in Hawaii

3. I had completely forgotten about my Bing rewards, but they had piled up again enough for me to get another $5 gift card to Amazon. Like always, I just loaded the gift card into my payment options in my account and will then just use it whenever we have another Amazon purchase (likely a Kindle ebook because said lovely husband likes buying his books instead of checking them out from the library – though I can never argue too much with supporting authors, as my mother is one).

4. To continue with the “it takes a village” sentiment of this week, my parents were out of town on Wednesday when my mother and grandmother usually watch the kiddo, so my mother in law stepped in for the day. She fully retired this year after cutting her hours to part time when our son was born, so on top of her normal Thursdays and Fridays she also helps out of other days when we’re lacking childcare.

We don’t have “bank holidays” off from work, but our son’s preschool does, so there is the occasional Monday where she watches him as well. We are so lucky to have so much family support, and working parents who don’t have those options must really struggle with the one-off days. Part of why we can take off on vacation for a week or two at a time is because we don’t have to save our PTO for random sick days and preschool closure days, of which I am so very appreciative of.

5. We had fancy ramen for dinner again this week, but my husband mixed it up this time and added sliced pickled beet eggs and it was SO good. The bowls had the perfect spicy-sweet-savory combo and it’s definitely an add we’ll do again. Ramen is such an easy thing to spice up with whatever you have at home, and it is super cheap as well.

Plus, we added the last of a few sad green onions that were languishing in the bottom of the refrigerator, but it doesn’t matter that they’re wilted it they’re headed into soup. If you haven’t had ramen at home since college, I encourage you to think about adding a variety to your weeknight dinner rotation, especially on nights you’d otherwise just get take out because you don’t feel like cooking a full meal.

Initially skeptical, but totally sold on the pickled egg addition

Running Update

Since I was kid free this past weekend, I got up a little early Saturday morning and went for a run through the neighborhood we were staying at in Colorado. I found a lovely little bike path that wound through the streets, and while it was a little rainy, it was warm enough, and I was just glad to get a bit of exercise in before sitting most of the day.

No run on Monday since I was home with a sick kid, but I did get that run home on Tuesday afternoon, and let me tell you, I was sore for days after that. It’s one thing to run TO work where it’s mostly flat/downhill except the last mile and a half or so, but it’s A LOT harder when miles four and five are up a steep hill. It was slow going, but I sure felt accomplished once I got home.

Media Coverage – whoa

I also wanted to share that over the last week I’ve been featured in articles on The Cut (New York Magazine) and Business Insider, which is totally crazy and awesome. Thank you to all of you who support me, because general commenters on those big sites are not so friendly. Definitely a good time to have a thick skin, but I know we are doing good things for our family and the numbers I use aren’t impossible.

How was your week? Any frugal wins you want to share here? I always love to hear them!

30 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2018 – Week 45)

  1. That’s awesome you were able to get that media coverage, congrats!

    Me and the wife are starting to prepare for our trip next week so we’re definitely taking advantage of the “it takes a village”.

  2. mrs. smidlap found 20 bucks on the ground while walking the dog yesterday and we sold this old tobacco tin that was in our basement holding old nuts and bolts for….wait for it……50 bucks! people love junk it turns out. we’ve had a good autumn dollar wise so we splurged on sushi last night.

    i ran all 4 days this week and am headed to the work gym right now to make 5 for 5. i got through the whole 3 miles yesterday but feel pretty dead-legged while i get back in the groove. happy anniversary and nice family picture.

    1. Wait… fifty bucks for an old tobacco tin?? SCORE. And I am totally jealous of all your gym time.

  3. Congrats on being featured on The Cut and Business Insider. It’s cool to read more about you. I had no idea you were a park ranger. My wife has always told me that being a park ranger is an ideal job… get to be in the outdoors, protect nature… etc. 🙂

    1. Well, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows of course, but being a park ranger isn’t a bad gig 😉 I may go back to it in some part time capacity some day.

  4. I’ve never ridden in a fully electric vehicle, I really want to try that out now!

    I saw the features and congrats that’s awesome! They picked an awesome person to represent the FIRE community 🙂

    1. How the heck have you never ridden in one?? Then again, there are a TON up here in Washington. And thank you 🙂

  5. Getting the big features always comes as a double edged sword-it’s great to help spread the word to a broader audience, but you get some nasty comments. One person talked about how my husband should wear a tutu and prance around, because he’s a stay at home dad. Another one found out where I work and posted it on Twitter, along with an accusation that I keep other women out of the industry (um, I’m not responsible for hiring or even interviewing). Keep focused on the good parts!

    1. Wow, those are some nasty nasty comments. The ones I’ve gotten honestly don’t bother me, and I really think the awesome community we have ha/ really helped with that 🙂

      1. Hi Angela,

        I read your media articles and thought you did an awesome job of telling your FIRE story. To me, it sounds wonderful and well-planned.

        I shouldn’t have, but I read the comments, and it felt like listening to Paula Pant’s Suze Orman interview all over again!

        OMG, people are so ridiculous and make totally incorrect assumptions about FIRE!

        Anyway, you keep doing you. And all us FIREees will keep supporting each other as we ignore the others who want to stay treated and miserable in their conventional lives.


      2. Thank you Chrissy! Totally incorrect assumptions is right. Though I think that’s why they don’t bother me too much – they are so far off base.

    1. Funny how you don’t even realize they have different names until they get mentioned. The seed packages here actually call them “bunching” onions.

  6. Hey, I had to drive up north anyway, so it was nice to have the company. My EV and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

    And congrats on the media features, you did the Pacific NW and our HCOL well!!

    1. Thank you!! Hopefully they introduced a few new people about the concept of FIRE who might stick around past reading the article 🙂

  7. Wow! Big week! That’s so cool to see you featured in two articles like that.

    Also, it’s awesome that you and your husband split childcare responsibilities when your little guy is sick.

    1. Thank you!! And we can’t always split sick duties like that depending on where he’s at in a project, but it works that way whenever possible 🙂

  8. The time change has really gotten to me this year. It just feels so much later than it really is. I was in the UK last December for work and it was pitch black at 4pm. Talk about depressing!

    Congrats on the double feature! It is sad to see that no matter who is featured there are always a bunch of negative comments. People just don’t want to think differently or accept that there are different ways to live a happy and worthwhile life. Fortunately, we have the blogging community where we continue to support each other no matter the situation.

    1. Yeah, it’s about the same here in December, but at least there are Christmas lights then! And that blogging / online community is exactly why I’m not so bothered by the negative comments; if anything, saddened that they aren’t open to the idea.

  9. I love all of this. And I think there’s so much to be said about using slightly wrinkled veggies in cooking. It amazes me what people will pass up or toss. So glad you are still talking (a bit) about Cents Positive. It sounds amazing!

    1. Yeah, sad veggies are made for soups, stews, and casseroles! And it was amazing – hopefully you can make it next year and we can meet in person!

  10. Wow! Congrats on being featured in The Cut and Business Insider. That is amazing! Don’t worry about the negative comments – those people often make the comments based on lack of insight or to deal with problems of their own 🙂

    1. Thank you! And I’ve not been too worried about them, but I appreciate the support 🙂

    1. Thank you! And we mix it up – usually just interesting looking ramen packages from the Asian grocery, though sometimes the ones in the refrigerated case. This last one was a pickled vegetable one.

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