I still get a thrill writing 2019 on the cover photos for these. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been a blogger forever, and other times I can hardly wrap my brain around how long it’s actually been. It still has not been crazy long in the grand scheme of things, but the third calendar year makes me feel like a “real” official blogger – perhaps I should finally add my logo* to this website somewhere, too.

This past weekends we headed out to stay the weekend in Forks, and I officially visited the Hoh Rain Forest for the first time ever. It’s as gorgeous there as I expected, and so I’ve been spamming Instagram with photos. We actually got a dry half a day on Saturday, so we got to do quite a bit of exploring without getting soggy. Olympic National Park was closed to vehicle traffic due to the government shutdown, so we walked two miles in to Rialto Beach, which actually worked out because we got to see a few otters along the way (and I got in a decent number of steps that day).

Look close – otters!!

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. The aforementioned weekend was a birthday/Christmas gift from my in-laws (they also went with us), so they covered the cost of lodging. We also ate in all but two meals from Friday afternoon on, so it was an extremely frugal trip. We did provide some of the groceries for the meals, but not all, and the meals were pretty low key to begin with. Ultimately, the weekend was about being out in nature and letting the kiddo get some more grandma and grandpa time, which was great.

Before the kiddo was born, we had a tradition of going out of town for the weekend with both sides of the family, and this past weekend had me thinking that it’s past time to start that up again. It was lovely to be away with them and to just enjoy a low key weekend.

2. I made goulash for dinner one night and instead of bringing it or lunches to work, there was enough to eat again as leftovers for dinner the following night. Cheap, easy, tasty meal, and one I think I’ll repeat again in the near future (even if it’s not the husband’s all time favorite meal).

We are not so great at meal prepping or meal planning beyond general ideas for the week, but I think I’m going to attempt to do more cook once / eat twice types of meals, because it’s not a lot more work to just cook a double batch of the same meal. I do it from time to time, but it’s never a regular deal, though it certainly helps us avoid picking up dinner on weeknights when I do.

Mmm goulash (with Swiss chard for extra greens)

3. This one may be a frugal choice, but it certainly wasn’t a sustainable one. I was feeling like I wanted a bit of variety with my workday lunches, I haven’t been doing a good job of prepping lunches in particular, so instead of doing that, I ended up buying two single serve meals for the week.

Of course, the meals are only a couple of dollars each, they’re tasty enough (or at least, gave me some variety to my lunches of late), and stopped me from picking up lunch instead, but they do create a significant amount of trash. I try and be transparent here though, so I’m including it as one of my “Frugal Five,” with a reminder to myself that frugality is not always sustainability, but also to not beat myself up about it because no one is perfect.

4. I got a birthday gift in the mail from the friend we stayed with during our East Coast road trip this past spring. We hadn’t seen each other in eight years before that trip, but the small gifts we’ve mailed each other over the years have done quite a lot to keep that friendship alive and close enough to spend a week together after not seeing each other face to face in close to a decade.

Even better, the gift was a pair of earrings. For someone who is almost two years into a clothes buying ban that has included shoes, accessories, AND jewelry, it was so exciting to get a new pair of earrings. I wore them to work the very next day and got compliments on them as well, though I don’t think it’s that noticeable that I’ve been wearing the same jewelry for two years now (I do have a decent number of earrings anyway).

Loving my new earrings! 

5. A friend I met at Cents Positive back in November was headed to the airport and more or less driving by my work, so she stopped by for a chat and a walk outside as the rain stopped just before she arrived. She brought with her a full box and a couple of bags of hand me downs for the kiddo, which I gladly accepted. I’m no longer ahead on next size up clothing and had been planning to get to the thrift store again soon, so I was thrilled to have this option instead.

The kiddo looked through the clothes with me and was super excited for new stuff as well, especially the new rain boots as he recently outgrew his. He has a nice pair of snow boots, but he especially loves rain boots because they’re so easy to get off and on. They’re a bit big for him still, but he’s been stomping around regardless. Thanks friend, I really appreciate it (and you).

Exercise Update

On top of the four mile round trip walk down to the ocean on Saturday, we did a bit of wandering around the campground/resort as well, so I ended up with just under 20,000 steps for the day. The kiddo asked for daddy to pick him up from preschool on Monday even though it would be later in the day, so I got to go to the gym for a full run/lift/stretching workout. Apparently it’s time to up the weights again because I hardly felt it the next day.

Tuesday was back to a quick twenty minutes on the elliptical on the work gym, and then Wednesday was a 45 minute walk and later a twenty minute run on the treadmill. Not all weeks are able to be so active, especially in the winter, but I enjoyed it quite a lot.

I’m also back to tracking 100% of my food and exercise as of Monday via Myfitnesspal. I’d like to lose a bit of weight as well as just force myself back into eating more healthily because I’ve definitely let my diet choices slide in the past year. I know I can’t do it all, but my health isn’t a good one to drop.

In true form, I thought about getting back on the food tracking wagon for months before I did, but now that I’ve decided to go for it, I’m all in. I don’t know what changed, but I can tell when my mindset switched and I’m ready to fully commit to something. And no matter what, it never seems to be on January 1.

I’ve also decided to track my physical visits to the gym on a monthly basis here (the one I pay for) to see what my average cost per visit is, and perhaps it will nudge me into finding a few more trips to squeeze in there as a result. So far, total count for January: 1 (plus one trip to the work gym).

*My logo, for those who haven’t seen it yet (since it isn’t on this site yet, whoops). Designed by Bethany McCamish:

40 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 2)

  1. Haha. When I was reading through your Wednesday roundup, I was wondering if you were going to add your beautiful new logo soon. Funny that you mention it today!

    Fun fact: Goulash is my absolute favorite meal!!

    I love the new earrings! Also, I know what you mean about hand-me-downs. They are such a blessing! We have a neighbor who has just recently started handing down some clothing for my little girl, and we are so grateful for it.

    1. Hah, I am the WORST blogger when it comes to the technical stuff (which includes my logo and all the “as featured on” buttons I should have too at this point).

      I love goulash as well and my husband loves having easy no cooking nights, so it works out well 😉

    1. Hahaha we definitely did! The resort we stayed at was covered in Twilight stuff. Apparently we were right at the treaty line 😉

  2. nice logo, angela. i was surprised that i had only made it to the gym to run 20 out of about 60 days. even when i get a little more fit the weight stays on. it might be time to look at the calories in part of the mix and specifically the wine consumption?

    1. Yeah, if weight was only about exercise I’d be golden. Part of tracking every day now is also limiting any alcohol consumption to the weekends. One glass of wine with dinner seems like it wouldn’t be a huge deal, but it adds up!

      1. Hah. Definitely won’t help your weight or your overall health 😜

  3. 2019 looks to be off to a great start for you. Rialto is such an awesome beach and I have some of the most amazing photos from there at the Hole in the Wall. I also enjoyed Second Beach and Ruby Beach a lot.

    1. Unfortunately we didn’t get down to Hole in the Wall this trip because we had to get the kiddo back for lunch and nap, but I definitely want to get out and explore that area again soon.

  4. Fasting or intermittent fasting can help jump start weight loss and a healthy diet. It’s also good for the immune system and digestive tract. It has helped me significantly in feeling better and losing weight.

    1. I’ve actually started dabbling in this a little and am yet undecided, but it seems to help me control my portion sizes later in the day.

  5. Knowing that those boots will live on to see more puddles and tidepools with another happy boy makes my day! Glad we got to hang out for a bit!

    And goulash, why have I not thought of making this sooner? It’s perfect for these damp and chilly nights. Must remedy this soon…

    1. They’re a bit big but he was adamant that he needed to wear them right away. The hat, on the other hand, was way too small for his “big ‘ol head” haha. Thanks again, and hope we can meet up sometime soon!

    1. She did an amazing job!! And I had forgotten how much I loved goulash because we haven’t had it in a LONG time.

  6. 2019 is off to an active start for you! I didn’t have any specific resolutions but some are becoming obvious to me… Finding a replacement for dance (maybe yoga?) and work/life balance.

    Hoh Rain Forest looks absolutely beautiful from your pictures! Definitely has me thinking of adding this as one of our future trips.

    When you get time in your busy schedule, you should put up the logo. Love it!

    1. Ideas of how I should put it up?? Haha I’ve been stuck about how / where to use it.

      1. Can you put it in the header? (That is, replace the get title bar that days “Tread Lightly, Retire Early” with the logo).

        In WordPress, go to Appearance > Customize > Logo and Header Settings. Then upload the logo and adjust the padding to increase/decrease space.

        Try that! I’m no web designer, but that worked for me to insert my logo into my template!

      2. Thanks!! I need those kind of instructions because my tech side is still about zero haha.

      3. OMG, sorry for the typos! Should say: “… grey title bar that says…”

    1. Definitely the opposite from the most of us who were less than perfect during the holidays 😉

  7. Awesome logo! I’ve seen your comments on other PF blogs, but am finally getting over to check out your site. I love the posts I’ve read so far. I definitely want to work more on sustainability along with frugality, so we think a lot alike. Sounds like a great trip! And way to go on the hand-me-downs; I totally need to find some more for my kiddos. They received a ton from their older cousins, but they are hard on clothes, so we’re running out fast!

    1. Thank you!! And I expect the hand me downs may slow down as the kiddo gets older because kids wear clothing longer and are harder on them as they age. But there’s always the thrift store then, because so much of the clothing that ends up there is barely used.

  8. That goulash looks delicious- I’ve never tried it but am tempted.
    As you say, it makes so much sense to cook double batches of meals in terms of saving money and time.

    1. It’s such an easy dish to make! A one pot meal too so not a ton of cleaning to do afterward.

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