The last few months have been a cycle of getting to see blogger friends in person – either again or for the first time – likely because now is probably the best time of year to visit the Pacific Northwest, plus the kiddo and I made a visit down to Portland happen to celebrate Uriah’s birthday.

April was Moriah Joy and Seonwoo, two weeks ago was Michelle, and this post week was Sarah from Smile and Conquer. I think I’m getting used to out of town friends visiting, and I like it. Though I don’t have any future visits planned now, so perhaps I’ll have to go to FinCon after all.

My biggest regret post-Cents Positive last November was not spending enough time with Sarah, so I was thrilled when she let me know that she’d be down my way on a road trip. Once I knew she and her partner were going to be in Seattle, I offered (begged) that she stay at my house so we could spend some more time together while she was in the area.

They arrived Saturday night, so of course I had Purple and Felicity join us for dinner and a hike through the woods behind my house. We then tagged along when they bused into Seattle and went to Pike Place Market and up the Space Needle.

Showing his new best friends through the trails

My husband and I had never actually gone up to the top of the Space Needle before even though we were both born and raised in this area (a trip up as a toddler doesn’t count). I balked at the price though – $75 for the two of us and the kiddo was free – but decided we should perhaps do it once, and going with friends from out of town was a good time to do it. Plus the kiddo’s favorite stuffed animal when he was younger was Wheedle from Wheedle on the Needle.

And the weather was absolutely gorgeous. So we grabbed Wheedle and went up. And you know what? It was absolutely worth it. The weather was clear, the mountain was out, and the views were absolutely stunning. We were also up there during the Rock N Roll Marathon and could see the finish line and people running the end of the race, which was pretty neat (though it definitely had me itching to sign up for a race).

We then went home for nap time and met up with them for sushi dinner afterwards. They offered to pay since we were putting us up, and we in turn took them to one of our favorite local breweries afterward. Absolutely not a frugal day, but a very fun one. While we are definitely on the path to financial independence – and working on saving half our incomes – we splurge a bit now and again. And you know what? It’s absolutely worth it.

Loving the rotating glass ceiling at the Space Needle

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Saturday was definitely the more frugal day of the weekend, even though we cooked for everyone. We’re clearing out the last of the beef from our freezer in preparation for this year’s quarter cow that we purchase from a local farm, so my husband cooked a roast in the Dutch oven with some onions and it was absolutely delicious.

I cooked up some canned corn and black beans along with some garlic scapes out of the garden, and we snacked on some amazing spinach, artichoke, and jalapeño dip from Costco with some cut up veggies. Simple, but the dinner was great and didn’t cost too much to prepare.

We’re not as impressive as Loni with her full month pantry challenge, but I definitely think to the story she shared here as inspiration about getting a bit more creative with what we have on hand instead of always going to the grocery store.

2. Our older dog (yes, that one who has had a million visits to the vet since she got sick almost two years ago) chewed a pretty good hot spot on herself a couple weeks ago and we’ve had to put her in a cone to stop chewing that area. I felt we needed to take her in to make sure it wasn’t something more serious, so I lined it up so I was able to take both dogs in at the same time for their annual vaccines. Our dog had distemper and mange as a puppy that left her with a few lingering lifetime impacts, so I am very good about making sure they get their shots on time.

Since she’s already on antibiotics for her toe issues ahead of possible amputation, we didn’t have to pay for any additional antibiotics for the hot spot, and the vet said that those were likely why it was healing up so well already. Frugal win then, I suppose? I did have the realization while paying for the cost though that we could very possibly spend more money on the dogs then on childcare this year, which is a bit overwhelming.

Happier before having to wear the “cone of shame”

3. It’s strawberry and garlic scapes season! Plus leeks, rhubarb, celery, herbs, and the tail end of lettuce. The blueberries and raspberries will be coming along very soon as well as a lot of other plants in the garden. This time of year has to be the most exciting when you grow some of your own food because things really take off and meals made mostly out of things in the yard become possible again. I love it.

4. Since we are working on clearing out the freezer like I mentioned above, my husband and son had a dinner with the last of the frozen salmon that they caught last fall. I didn’t eat any though because, although I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, I don’t eat most seafood, and especially not salmon or crab. While I won’t eat it, I love that we can have meals of food we’ve caught or grown ourselves, and I especially love that my son is growing up with that as just a normal reality for him.

Locally caught salmon

5. So I completely forgot to mention it last week, but I ticked off another month where I didn’t buy any clothes (included in that means no shoes, jewelry, or accessories). I suppose it’s pretty telling that this has just become my new normal, because I passed that month with no issue. I’m now at two and a quarter years with this ban and no current plans to end it.

This time of year definitely helps extend the life of the clothes I own because it’s warm and dry enough to have a laundry line strung up over our back deck most days. Hand me downs help too, and I get so much satisfaction from wearing new to me clothes and shoes. The money savings is also great, but the environmental savings is the best.

Exercise Update

Friday was another quick ten minutes on the elliptical before leaving work. Saturday was a hike before our friend dinner, and included snacking on a bunch of wild berries, specifically salmonberries and Indian plums. It’s always fun to get people to try new native edibles, and the kiddo is a good helper as far as teaching goes (and it reminds me of my park ranger days).

Sunday was a bunch of walking in downtown Seattle before and after the Space Needle excursion. Monday was the trip to the vet with both dogs, so I didn’t expect to get any exercise that day. The kiddo hadn’t napped that day, though, so I ended up sneaking out for a twenty minute run through the woods at 8:30PM because it was still daylight.

Tuesday was a walk to work after dropping the kiddo off at preschool. After work, I considered taking the bus home and then going to the gym, but it was such a nice day that I decided to walk the six miles home instead. Of course, I’d calculated the time it would take me based on how long it used to take me to run to work, and it didn’t dawn on me until I was a mile in that walking is – unsurprisingly – a LOT slower.

Not a bad view home

Still, it was an enjoyable walk home and it meant that I logged a good nine miles on a work day, which felt pretty great. Wednesday was a run before work and then a walk afterward. I may not be tracking my hours outside this month, but I’m certain I’ll be spending at least as much time outdoors as last month.

Ps my sister is a filmmaker and one of her films (and the only full length movie I’ve seen in probably two years!) has their world premiere showing at Dances With Films next Friday in Los Angeles for anyone who’s local and wants to check it out. It’s pretty great (and so is she!)

37 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 23)

  1. My garden is at the point of overwhelming, almost, with us trying to eat everything every day. I can’t believe how quickly snap peas grow after you harvest them – we’ve got a big bowl of those every day, mulberries, and lettuce and spinach. I looked this morning and I think we can pull some carrots and in a week or so we will be drowning in cucumbers and blueberries. We’ve managed to get maybe 20 strawberries altogether; maybe next year we will have more. Every time I go outside I come in with a bucket of food!

    1. I didn’t plant nearly enough snap peas this year, and they’re only flowering now. If only we lived close – I’d trade you strawberries for peas!!

  2. Sounds like an awesome week! Also that picture of me, Felicity and the kiddo warms my heart – you can even see the flower in my hair lol. To another frugal week!

    1. I loved that picture and needed to share it with everyone 🙂 And the kiddo makes sure we always have flowers for our hair!

  3. our garden got a late start because it was still practically winter until 3-4 weeks ago with temps still in the 40’s. at least we have lettuce soon and the flowers are nice. oh, and this is the year for cilantro finally.

    free salmon is the best salmon. banjo! hasn’t needed the cone of shame yet. i feel you on 75 smackers for that space needle. we had friends in town and brought them to niagara falls last year and were going to head up some tower and restaurant for lunch. thank goodness they were booked up because we were going to spend the money.

    1. The one time we’ve been to Niagara Falls was in April and it was COLD so we just watched from the viewpoint. The second to last time I visited with my great uncle before he passed, so very good – if a bit sad – memories there.

  4. I’ve never been to the top of the Space Needle either. I was way too cheap when I was young. Now, I’d probably shell out $75. Maybe in a few years when our kid is old enough to appreciate it.
    Where did you catch the salmon? It looks good.

    1. Our kiddo is younger than yours, as you know, but I’m hoping he remembers the trip. And at least he was free! 😉 Salmon came from out in Puget Sound. My dad has a boat so we tagged along with him.

  5. Love this post and how it gives me great summer vibes and goals of my own to get excited about! I also the consistent sustainability connections to frugality. I haven’t bought any clothes for over a year now. After my child had a bloody lip that got all over my shoulder today, I’m thinking I’ll go without buying new clothes until the snot, blood, puke, and slobber phase has exited my life. Everything I have is used and it won’t bring me to tears if it is ruined! I certainly have enough.

    Also, this post really makes me miss Seattle (especially Pike Place Market). I think it’s awesome how much you seem to get together with people in this community.

    1. Well done on the no clothes buying!! You definitely have a point on the kid mess and clothes haha. From your comment – did you used to live around here??

  6. Happy Friday! I’d love to hear what you do with salmonberries. Last year we were so excited to pick them for the first time and then… Meh. Nobody cared much for them, even mixed with raspberries to make jam. We had to hide them in smoothies to use them up.

    1. Hide them?!?!?! We definitely just munch on them straight! I’ve also made a cobbler with them before. Yum.

  7. I’m so happy we made it out your way and got to spend some actual time together! And I’m even more pumped that you’re making FinCon happen!! We had such a great time, and your kiddo melted my heart. (give him a squeeze for me) Can’t wait for you to make the trip North to visit us and the dinosaurs.

    PS Your garden is even better in person.

    1. Me too! Finally can check that box off with “real” amounts of Sarah time. Ps – passports finally submitted yesterday so I guess we will need to plan that dino trip!

  8. That salmon looks really nice. You guys are so lucky, I wish we could catch salmon in the Bay Area. I also did not buy any new clothes for over a year but recently had to break the streak because a friend’s wedding is coming 🙂

  9. I love these life-update posts! So very relatable. Is your dog a pit bull (or mix?) she looks a lot like mine. And yes, dogs are so very expensive. When Bo was 1 month old, Bear ate rocks and had to go to the emergency vet… for two. thousand. dollars. He didn’t even have surgery, he just got sedated. It was such a huge hit to spend so much money (that I had saved for maternity leave) right after baby was born. Ugh. The things we do for our best companions.

    1. Nope, lab/Dane mix! 🙂 And ouch….. that is a lot of money for eating rocks! Esp at that season of life with a new baby. Glad he’s okay though!!

  10. Aw I haven’t been up to the newly remodeled all glass Needle yet! We went years ago for my birthday with out of town maybe I should make a reservation for our upcoming 5yr anniversary. I didn’t think it was worth it before to go up there alone – it was like $22/per person?! – We took tourist advice and got the SkyCity meal so we could at least get some grub out of it for $30 bucks more per head. Grub was good!

    1. The restaurant is closed for reservations right now. But yeah… it was $37.50 a person 😲

  11. The picture of your kiddo with his stuffed animal on the glass second hand terrified me. I could NEVER do that. Haha. Props for raising such a brave kiddo, haha.

    1. Ha, I’m not sure where the bravery came there – I think most kids are like that and then at some place we lose that fearlessness 🙂

      1. For me, with heights at least, it was the understanding of mortality and pain that I didn’t have when I was five or six.

      2. Ahhhh. That could definitely be part of it. Though it’s such a visceral reaction.

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