This week at work was insanely busy and full, as was the week before, but with the added bonus of multiple evening meetings. We worked two half weeks in a row thanks to the Hawaii trip and then another half week after that thanks to the inability to leave our house after the snow, though I was able to work some at home before the power went out and the cell phone tower went down.

That being said, not only have these past two weeks been insanely long, but they felt especially so thanks to the three preceding weeks. Typically, I have my evening volunteer board meeting every other week and then very few otherwise. Thanks to the snow and reshuffling of work meetings, I ended up with long, late evenings Tuesday and Thursday nights and an early start on Thursday. Plus I have an event to attend tonight as well.

They have all been very good things, but to say I’ve had a busy week would be an understatement. The extra work has absolutely been worth it though, and I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished through the process. I may be able to share more later, and if I can, I’ll be sure to share it all here. Work can be hard and draining sometimes, but then it can be completely energizing and exciting and worthwhile all at the same time. Just because it’s a passion and a commitment doesn’t mean it isn’t hard work.

New work head shot for the first time in six years

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. I mailed a book a little while ago to a friend that I met at Cents Positive back in November and reused an old envelope from a packet I’d received from my volunteer position. Not only do I not like spending money on shipping materials to begin with, but it makes me feel good to be able to reuse something a couple of times.

Imagine my surprise that when that same envelope showed up at my doorstep when I received a different book back in it. I knew the book was coming, but getting it back in that same envelope felt really awesome. Not only do I love exchanging books, but it’s even better when we can do it while reusing the same packaging materials. Fitting that it was a book about a no spend year.

2. Speaking of a no spend year, I’ve been at this no spend tracking thing for over a year now, and it is no less useful now than when I started out. While I’ve never committed to a true “no spend” year other than within the boundaries of my clothing ban, I find that by simply tracking my spending this closely – and especially noting the days I spend zero dollars – I’ve naturally reduced the amount of money I spend on “stuff.”

I asked on Twitter earlier this week what the last non-consumable purchase people made was, and the responses were fascinating. I had initially asked this question because I was pondering it on my walk into work and I realized I had a really hard time thinking back to what I actually had purchased over the past few months.

For me, the last non-consumable, tangible item I purchased for myself was a microphone for podcast interviews. Before that was a new case for my phone back in November (turns out I shouldn’t have bought it though because Lifeproof warranties their cases and they would have replaced it for free even though I’d beat it half to death in less than a year).

This doesn’t count since it was sent to me 😉 

That said, a number of people responded with non tangible things like adventures and concerts and the like. Like them, I find it so much easier to spend on memories than things, but I do need to be careful even then because it can get to easy to justify spending that doesn’t come with a physical purchase. And really, if I don’t hardly buy anything, why is my house still filled with stuff??

3. I received my quarterly Ebates check in the mail ($41.24), and I immediately deposited the corresponding amount into savings. I had hear about this idea from Erin a while back but it took me a while to implement it myself. It’s so easy to feel good about yourself about saving/making more money, but unless you actually make moves to really save it, those dollars end up slipping out and getting spent on who knows what.

Now that I transfer unexpected funds immediately to savings, I’m actually saving it. Imagine that. The transfer did not go to my IRA though, as tempting as it was, because that is a goal separate from this “bonus” money and I should be able to fund it separately as well.

Ebates is one of those things that doesn’t make me a HUGE amount of money each year (I don’t do a ton of online shopping), but if I’m doing the shopping already, I may as well get the 1-5% cash back on each order that I can. Of course, this only works well if you aren’t tempted to buy more just to get a bigger “savings” check (I only go to Ebates when I already have a specific purchase in mind). If you aren’t using Ebates yet, use this link to get $10 just for signing up (affiliate link).

4. Even with the crazy evenings we had this week, we didn’t eat out or grab delivery thanks to our “meal prepping” over the weekend: buying the ingredients needed for simple meals throughout the week and then deciding what to cook depending on what we feel like. This means things like fancy ramen and “grown up” spaghettios. We knew the week was going to be extra busy, so we prepared with simple meals.

Seriously one of my favorite, easy comfort foods

Even better, I made enough of the spaghettios that I had enough leftovers for two work lunches. We’ve come a long way from our way too high grocery bills of years past. I’ve considered writing this recipe into its own post (idea courtesy of my mother in law), but I think I’m passed the point of recipe posts at this point. I just have too many other things I want to write about.

5. Today (March 1st!) marks an official two years of my clothes buying ban. I have received a few key hand me downs and birthday/Christmas gifts, but it has now been two years since I have bought a single piece of clothing for myself. This includes shoes, jewelry, and accessories as well.

I absolutely don’t see how I can make it stretch to three years (my shoes just won’t make it that long), but I plan to put some boundaries in place before I buy anything. I don’t have any urgent need to replace any of my clothes or shoes yet, but that time will eventually come. I’ll share a full comprehensive post on my thoughts about year two soon, but I wanted to at least mark the official day here. I’ve also written about it four, twelve, and eighteen months in, plus the occasional Frugal Five, if you want to read about it up to this point (or just click on the “clothes” tag at the bottom of this post).

Exercise Update

Friday and Monday were both elliptical days at the work gym at ten and twenty minutes a piece (and then another twenty minutes on Thursday). Tuesday my husband dropped our son and I off at preschool on his way to work and the two of us had our special early morning routine of doughnuts and coffee/hot chocolate. After that, I walked the almost three miles to work – and the snow was finally gone on the trail!

The kiddo had asked us both to pick us up that day, so I went for an hour long walk in the sunshine while I waited for my husband to get off work. I had planned to go work out, but I ended up having a lovely phone conversation with Budget Epicurean instead and got to enjoy the nice day. I did hop on the elliptical then for ten minutes after that, so I ended my day with just over 22,000 steps.

Wednesday I finally got to go for a run in what felt like far too long. I’ve really appreciated the elliptical for days that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to work out, but there’s no substitute for running for me. I know other people can get a “runner’s high” from other types of workouts, but it just doesn’t seem to work that way for me.

I slipped and fell on the ice a couple weeks ago and hurt my wrist and it is still hurting me, so I haven’t been able to lift weights at all. Attempting (and failing) to open a jar one night this week made me reconsider possibly making a doctor’s appointment. Here’s to hoping it feels better next week, but if not, it’s probably time.

How long do you wait to go to the doctor when you’re sick/hurt? Is it the cost or time or need to make an appointment that stops you?

34 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 8)

  1. Yay, the snow on the trail is gone! I know it’d gotten pesky. It’s been downpouring here all week, and I really miss walking the dog WITHOUT being drenched in five minutes. Also, if something still hurts after two weeks, I generally make a doctor’s appointment. 😉

    1. Funny how we have had days of sunshine now while you’re dealing with tons of rain. Seems backwards.

  2. For me, it’s the time a doctor’s appointment takes. Especially for something I suspect is just a sprain. Are you wrapping it and icing it? Probably a dumb question, but on the off-chance you’re not… Do that and I bet it’ll feel better. If you’re already doing that and it doesn’t feel better, it probably *is* time to have a doc check it out just to be safe.

    I’m finally back in a workout routine. I hate exercise. Seriously. But I feel better when I do it, and it keeps me off cholesterol meds (and keeps me losing weight), so it’s a necessary evil. Glad you enjoy your workouts so much though.

    1. Exactly. Especially with a kiddo, trying to squeeze in an unexpected appointment is pretty frustrating. And off chance… no I haven’t been 🙈 It does seem to be getting better slowly, but it would probably go faster if I treated it nicer. Whoops.

  3. Oh goodness…. I slipped and fell on the ice this week (in Mammoth Lakes) and have a huge bruise on my knee, which swelled up. Just experienced some discomfort with it though and thankful to only get a few scrapes on my hand in the same fall instead of something worse. Take care of that wrist! I’m excited to follow how you manage your clothes ban as I just started one for myself this year. Did you hear the NPR story on how you are supposed to get new underwear every 6 months? It made me LOL… Getting new undies to replace worn out ones is a legit purchase but every 6 months? I know random thoughts from me today. Looking forward to hearing about your work stuff, too. 🙂

    1. Ouch! Sorry to hear that you had an ice fall as well. And I can’t think of ANYTHING that really needs to be replaced every six months… hmm.

  4. Wow, a shopping ban that has lasted for two years is really impressive. If you somehow make it to three years then that would be remarkable. But if some of your clothes/shoes won’t last another year then it’s worth it to break the ban. Going this long is already great!! Can’t wait to read your detailed post about it!!

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure another year is possible unless I get really serious about hand me downs / clothing swaps. Hmm….

  5. Resting an injury is the toughest part, especially if you have kids and/or pets and/or a bigger living space. If you can find a way to rest that wrist absolutely — no opening jars, no zipping up kidlet’s coat, no nothin’ — it might help.

    When my dad had bursitis, the hardest part was doing nothing. Comb hair with the other arm. Push door open with the other arm. No putting away dishes with that arm. No home repair projects. Boring, he said, but helpful.

    And yeah, if you’ve rested and iced and wrapped and it still bugs you maybe it IS time to see the doc.

    Also: Hear you about the envelopes. I re-use those things all the time to mail books and other prizes to winners of my occasional site giveaways. It’s giving them one more shot at usefulness before they have to hit the landfill.

    1. Yeah, resting it has not been easy. Still picking up the kid/dealing with the dogs/attempting to open jars/etc. It does seem like it’s now getting better slowly, so maybe a just need to take it easy for another week or two.

  6. Most of the time, I skip going to the doctor because I know generally what’s wrong with me, so I just email my doctor with my problems and ask for suggestions or prescriptions as appropriate. Oooooor we don’t know what’s wrong with me as per usual and there’s no point in going anyway 😀

    Your wrist thing seems to warrant a visit, though!

    I make it a point to reuse every envelope we get in some way, though I couldn’t manage that with boxes. That has me thinking about what else I should be decluttering this month.

    1. Yeah, I don’t have such a close relationship with a doctor as you do, which is generally a good thing. But means I have to make an appointment whenever something lingering pops up.

  7. Feel better!! Haha I’m putting off the doctors right now! Well, it’s just the dermatologist and some ear eczema. This northwest winter has been brutal on my skin.

  8. wow hiking outside on a nice sunny day. This weekend we are expecting 6 to 12 inches of snow between Friday evening as I type this and Monday morning. We have had just enough snow, mostly ice, this winter to keep our trails unsafe, and I have to admit a bad case of cabin fever. Fortunately the weather guessers are predicting a warm up before the end of the month.

    Good luck with your wrist. I hope it heals soon.

    1. Yeah, as much as it feels like we had a lot of snow and cold this winter, I know it still doesn’t compare to a lot of the country 😉

  9. I feel ya on the running thing! I definitely don’t get the same exercise high from anything else, and I have to be careful due to a history of bad knees. I was finally on a decent roll of running/workouts in mid-January, but then twisted my knee attempting to run on the stairs at my school. Stairs and I do not get along, apparently. That was the day before the “polar vortex” temps here in the Midwest, so I got an extra few days to hang out at home with my knee elevated, lucky me! Since then it’s improved, but I’m tentative about trying to run again and have only walked or hiked. I miss my running! Ready for the snow and ice and cold to be done, and for a long no-injury streak.

    Nice work on the two-year clothes ban! I should probably do one myself; I like to think I’m fairly frugal and don’t buy as much cheap junk clothing as I used to, but I know I could do better. Even if it’s just from Goodwill, if I don’t really need it, I don’t want to spend money on it!

    1. Ouch! Knee injuries are rough. And there is absolutely nothing that compares to a good run 🙂

  10. I literally never go to the doctor! Equal parts time and hassle. It’s basically just when my eczema gets awful. But since having a baby… we’re there all the damn time. (Free for kids here)

    1. Thankfully once we got past the super regular baby appointments we don’t go regularly for him (so much so I almost forgot to schedule his 4YO appointment. Whoops)

  11. I’ve forced myself to regularly see my doctors recently, due to my chronic conditions (I want a REAL diagnosis) and my severe neurological symptoms. I have avoided the hospital for monetary reasons. Although I feel a diagnosis would come quicker that way.

  12. we save 100% of our packaging and i even take packing that would be thrown out at work because we’re shipping so much stuff. a couple of times we had to go buy some for huge items and it sucks to need to do that. i’ll wait forever to see a doctor usually. mrs. smidlap just went in due to some heel pain but waited months to do that. i haven’t run in almost a week but we’ve at least been walking all over new orleans.

    1. Amazing how many of us put off visits even when we have the health insurance and money to go.

  13. I have to go to my PCP far more often then I’d like due to my diabetes. Working in the medical field though, my family as a whole doesn’t go very often. I know when hubby or the kid is sick enough to need to go in. I even bought an otoscope so I could check their ears at home since we had a rash of ear infections over this winter.

    Definitely wrap and rest that wrist if it is still bugging you. Anti-inflammatories would help too! Tendon/ligament strain/sprains always take a while to heal. For those type of injuries, if it doesn’t improve with conservative care after 4-6 weeks then I give up and go in. Also if I have any muscle weakness (not due to pain), decrease in range of motion or tingling/numbness that doesn’t resolve in a couple of days. That all indicates possible more serious injuries. Uh, all this is not medical advice. You should definitely see your preferred medical professional for any concerns. Good luck with the wrist!

    1. Oof. 4-6 WEEKS??! It does seem to be getting slowwwwwly better but I’m ready for it to be back to normal!

      1. Problem is we usually end up using it instead of resting it and keep re-injuring 🙁 I had bad wrist tendonitis when my kid was a baby. How are you supposed to stop using one hand when you have a 9 month old?! I ended up needing a cortisone shot after MONTHS of trying anti inflammatories and resting it.

      2. Ha yeah, I still lift my kid reasonably often now, and he sure weighs more than he did at nine months old 😉

  14. For the amount of walking and running you do to work I would check out your shoes as first post ban purchase. Even though they may look ok, has the sole and the inner footbed wore out? Gotta stay healthy and look after your feet to keep crushing those 10,000 step days 🙂

    1. I did get a pair of running shoes for Christmas, so they’re actually quite new 😄

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