Last weekend felt loooong since the 4th of July fell on Thursday this year and we ended up with a four day weekend. We usually take advantage of extra days off to go somewhere, but we stayed local this time instead, and it was great. After our ferry experience on Memorial Day, we really felt no pull to battle travel crowds.

Saturday we went one step further and never even left the neighborhood. The farthest we went was a trip to the grocery store, a walk around the neighborhood, and then a walk through the park. I honestly think the last time we stayed that close to home was during Snowpocolypse when we were all but forced to stay local.

Sunday we woke up with no plans and then decided to head over to breakfast with my family. We then went for a walk and headed back to lunch at their house before finally going home in early afternoon. All in all, it was a very low key weekend filled with lots of quality time with some of our favorite people (we also got to see my friend’s new home on Friday).

Time with his uncle (my youngest brother)

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Saturday afternoon included that walk through the woods where we picked a ton of ripe huckleberries. They’re tiny fruits though, so we didn’t even bother with a container to bring any home with us.

Once again, Felicity and Purple joined us on the hike and then for dinner at our house afterward. We’d picked up some preseasoned ribs from Costco and then again made some corn with garlic scapes. Another simple, tasty meal after time out in nature. My favorite kind of day.

2. Our neighbors were gone camping for a week so we watched their cats and hamsters while they were gone. We also were in charge of watering their garden (and snacking on its bounty), but thanks to some rain we only had to water twice the whole time they were gone. We also made sure their garbage cans were out at the street since they didn’t arrive home until the end of garbage day.

The kiddo loved playing with their kittens each day, and he made sure to remind me that we needed to go down there. Watching neighbors’ pets is generally such an easy thing since we don’t have to go anywhere to do it. As a thank you, they brought us back a baseball hat which the kiddo has promptly taken to wearing.

That kitty dive bombed the food from the counter

3. I finally sat down and booked our lodging for our upcoming Iceland trip this winter. We don’t have our plane tickets yet, but the cancellation policy is great for all the places I picked, so I decided to pull the trigger and at least have something taken care of for the trip.

In theory, we’re still a bit too far out for the best price on plane tickets, so I’m going to wait a bit yet. We do have the Capital One Venture card, which had a 75,000 point bonus, so we have about a $1,000 credit that we will be putting toward the plane tickets once we do finally buy them.

Back to the lodging, I booked ten nights for five of us using a combination of Chase Ultimate Rewards through their travel portal and cash with Airbnb bookings ($40 off your first Airbnb trip if you haven’t signed up yet).

The Chase points were accumulated through the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Business Ink Preferred, and we actually have a decent bit left over. If I can figure it out, maybe we can cover a plane flight or part of the rental car with those remaining points.

Broken down, I used:

  • 77,000 Ultimate Rewards points
  • $765.46 through Airbnb
  • ($60.00) Airbnb credit
  • ($35.27) 5% cash back offer by booking Airbnb with the right credit card
  • $670.19 total cost for 10 nights lodging in Iceland for 5 people ($134.04/person)

I expect this trip will still be pricier than we are used to, but it is also our tenth anniversary trip, so we expect to splurge. At least a little. Still, we’d much rather save on lodging and other base costs to be able to spend it on food (and direct flights).

Blue Lagoon in Iceland

4. My grandmother sewed up a tiny hole in one of my favorite cardigans and she couldn’t even tell which arm it was in when she showed me afterward. (That should give you a clue as to why I ask her instead of finally practicing sewing myself).

I first included a photo sweater of the sweater on the “repair pile” at the year mark of my clothing ban – almost a year and a half ago. Oops. Thanks Grama! You’re the best. Maybe someday I will sew like you (but probably not).

5. Speaking of the clothing ban, I realized the other day I was wearing four different hand me down items from three different people. How awesome is that? I love how generous my community is and that I can breathe new life into my wardrobe without purchasing a thing.

I still don’t know when I will finally break this streak, but I think my next goal is to make it to FinCon without buying any clothing. Considering it’s less than two months away, that seems like an extremely reasonable thing. That will put me at a full two and a half years, which is pretty dang awesome.

Exercise Update

Friday I went on a walk to explore my friend’s new neighborhood. They just bought their home and it was her first time doing a full loop of the area. Saturday was a mid morning walk with my in-laws and then a berry picking hike in the woods in the afternoon.

Sunday was a walk around town after breakfast and then not much the rest of the day (I barely hit my 12,000 step goal). Monday the kiddo didn’t take a nap and went to bed early, so I took the opportunity to run through the woods and spot a bunch of bunnies.

Tuesday was my walk to work, a walking meeting at work, and then a run in the afternoon. I ended that day with 25,000+ steps. Wednesday was a run in the morning before work. It was rainy but warm and lovely. My Thursday evening meeting ended early enough where there was still a bit of light out when I got home, so I took the time to go for a short walk before bed.

PS – Wednesday was my two year blogiversary! I didn’t want to skip my normal Wednesday roundup post, so I’ll be publishing Monday my thoughts and feelings of my first two years at Tread Lightly Retire Early. Hard to believe it’s been that long already.

14 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 27)

    1. Well, thank you for that 🙂 And we are definitely looking forward to the trip.

  1. you can use those points for airbnb lodging? i might have to look a little closer at some of these travel hacks i guess. that’s a great price for 10 nights.

    i’ve bought more than i care to this year as far as items. it seems like the stuff i want/need comes in waves. hopefully next week is back to running outdoors for me. time will tell how this sore back responds. it’s great you get out so much.

    1. Oh no I used the chase points for lodging though the travel portal and then paid for Airbnb out of pocket. But the travel portal has way more than just hotels.

  2. Wow, nice work on the Iceland trip planning! Looks like you’re kicking some booty at that card game. We’re trying to do something similar in November as we’re planning a Pacific Coast Highway cruise trip. The original goal was to do no out of pocket for lodging/flight/rental car, but I don’t think we’ll get all the way there unfortunately.
    Kudos on the clothing ban as well! I imagine it’s infinitely harder to stay on budget with clothes for women. As a dude, I think I could quietly rotate like four things and no one would even notice…Shhhhhhh.
    Congratulations on the 2-year. You’ve got the presence of a 20-year vet. Keep it up!!!

  3. 1) Congrats on your blogoversary! Woot woot! 2) What an awesome week…. we chilled for the holiday long weekend as well and it felt awesome. Can’t wait to see how the rest of your iceland trip pans out as you travel hack your way to what sounds like an epic adventure.

    1. Northern lights for sure. And a direct 7.5 hour flight from us 🙂 Really, it’s just one of many places on our list.

  4. Iceland was one of my favorite trips ever! I highly recommend checking out local hot springs for wherever you decide to stay. The “destination” hot springs are very expensive, but the neighborhood ones are $3-$5 usd and a great local experience! Also, if you decide to drink alcohol on the trip, buy it at duty free in the airport, it will cost maybe 60% of what you would pay in town. I hope it’s an amazing trip!

    1. I’m currently trying to figure out if the Blue Lagoon is worth the cost. Maybe??

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