I picked my first tomatoes from the garden this week! As much as I love berries, garlic, herbs, and the other earlier ripening plants, there’s nothing that says summer like that first garden tomato. The cooler summer weather thus far has meant that the tomatoes are a bit behind, but I am so ready for them.

There are some fruits and vegetables I will eat out of season, but tomatoes aren’t one of them. Outside of canned and frozen ones that go into cooked meals, the only time I can stomach a tomato off season is on a sandwich. I feel like we really lost something as we’ve gotten further away from growing our own food, because the taste for so many things is just so wildly different (and so much less flavorful).

It’s so much easier to eat your fruits and vegetables when they taste good. And you get a much greater appreciation of those things when they are only around while they’re in season, and then gone again until the next year.

Snap peas are so good when they’re fresh

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. We actually had a no spend day on Sunday, which is really rare for us on a weekend day. One of my long time friends (we went to elementary school together) moved away this week, so we took the chance to have dinner together one last time. She’ll be back for visits, and she’s moving somewhere we frequent, so we’ll see each other in the future, but it’s not the same as someone who lives close by.

The weather was lovely, so we decided to have a picnic at the park for dinner. We all grabbed different bits of food from our respective houses and ended up with a pretty decent picnic meal. She was able to clear out a bit more of her refrigerator before moving and we were able to shop from our freezer and pantry. And then of course another friend brought cookies.

We spent no new money on the meet up, and I’d have to say we probably had even more fun than if we had gone to a restaurant. Two of us have children, so they were able to hang out and play while we talked. As long as they’re young, sometimes it’s just easier to let them be wiggly than try and keep them in their seats at a table. Not spending the money is just a bonus.

Hanging out at the park before dinner

2. My sunglasses broke this past week (the frame snapped at the top of one side and the lens popped out). Instead of tossing them out, my husband was able to a do a good job repairing them with super glue. If you look closely, you can see the crack, but it’s really hardly noticeable.

I’m not really certain if sunglasses count as far as my clothing ban is concerned, but I feel they are kind of borderline. In theory, I have two or three other pairs somewhere, but I haven’t done enough searching to figure out what I did with them. Either way, thanks to the quick repair, I’m continuing to wear the same sunglasses instead of tossing them into the landfill.

3. We cooked ramen again this week, and I was able to pick snap peas and garlic fresh out of the garden to add to the meal. We also cooked up some borderline beef (cooked very thoroughly) and tossed that in along with some wilted baby bok choy.

Ramen is one of those meals that is really flexible and forgiving, and an easy one for a busy weeknight. We all love the meal, and it helps to keep both costs and food waste down.

Ramen! With spicy kimchi sauce

4. It was my mother’s birthday, so we spent the evening over at their house celebrating. Granted, we spend the evening and dinner over at their house at least once most weeks, but we had a special dinner specifically for her birthday.

One of the very best parts of living where we do is the time we get to spend with our families. When my husband finished with his time in the Marines years ago, there was no question we would move back to this area. We are so lucky that we met at such an early age because we didn’t have to choose which side of the family to live near, if we lived near anyone.

So happy birthday Mom. I love you so much. And I am so thankful that we have such a good relationship and get to see each other as often as we do. It’s such a rare and wonderful thing.

5. Speaking of family, my sister is a filmmaker down in California and she produced a docudrama (see: fictional story about a real place and with real people) about one of the properties my company designed, owns, and operates.

If you’ve ever been interested in what I help design and build for a living, this film was shot at one of the projects I worked on (that my company still owns). I’m really proud of what I do, and this film does a good job explaining how these communities give people real options and flexibility – and the ability to chase their dreams.

Painting Anna is having a big screening here in Seattle on July 27th and it is open to the public. If you’re local and interested in attending, use the code anna197 for 40% off. And you can’t make it but are still interested in watching it, you can watch Painting Anna on Amazon Video for free.

Exercise Update

Sunday we took a walk to park in the afternoon, and then I took an evening stroll after the kiddo and husband fell asleep. He didn’t nap that day, so he was in bed early enough that there was plenty of daylight, so I took advantage of the time.

Monday I wasn’t feeling too great after not sleeping well, so I went for a walk after work instead of a run or the elliptical. Tuesday was a walk to work and then a phone call with a friend while on a walk after work before running to the gym to lift. Thanks to the extra walking, the day ended north of 25,000 steps. Wednesday was a run before work and then a walk in the afternoon. And Thursday was another long walk.

How was your week? Any frugal stories to share? I love to hear them!

22 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 28)

  1. BRB, flying there to try one of those tomatoes. 🙂 The fact that some people don’t like them is all the proof I need that everyone’s taste buds are different!

  2. I accidentally wacked away my purple basil when weed whacking like and idiotttt. But that was a couple of weeks ago and we are still using that basil (yum). But unfortunately it doesn’t look like the plant is gonna grow back :(. Congrats on your tomatoes!

    1. Oh noooooo! Basil is an annual anyway so yeah I don’t expect it to come back 🙁

  3. a fried egg on anything is a good move. we had a lousy week. we’re off for a long weekend to be sad with family for a few days and then mrs. smidlap’s car was diagnosed as not-really-repairable-within-reason. doh! so we’ll figure out what kind of beater to buy for around town. at least my back stopped hurting so i can run again. i’ll take that.

  4. Ramen? Instant or from scratch? It sounds like a hard dish to make well. I guess you can use some kind of broth base.
    Nice job with the garden. We just started gardening this year so not much production yet. Mostly herbs.

  5. Alas, no frugal stories here. This past week wasn’t terribly frugal. I did get away with spending under $9 two days this past week, but that’s about as close to a no-spend day as I got. Still, I had a nice relaxing weekend, which is good because I work this one.

    1. $9 is pretty dang close to no spend! And just paying attention counts for so much.

  6. Ohhhhhh tomatoes! I totally know what you mean about tasteless bought tomatoes, one of the best parts of my job is getting to visit rural parts of Japan where people are still connected to their food, and omg te veggies are always so good!

  7. Excited to see that you have tomatoes! Our garden seems to be running about a week or two behind yours. Since this is our first garden it’s helpful to have someone else’s garden to compare to. We have been enjoying a lovely bounty of raspberries, though!

    1. It’s amazing how much just a little variety in micro climate changes things. We are up 500’ and more shaded so we’re a week or two behind other people nearby.

  8. I’m also an in-season tomato lover 🙂 tomatoes, green beans, peaches… I knew there was a reason I love summer!!

    I am going to try to make time to watch Painting
    Anna – your work sounds super interesting and rewarding

    1. Yum!! We don’t grow peaches, but you better believe I buy them from the farmers market this time of year.

  9. Tomatoes are in season here in New England too! We’re struggling to keep up with them a bit…

    This recipe gets a tomato, that recipe gets a tomato! (Oprah voice)

    Trailer looks very interesting!!! I’m going to check it out (without signing up for Prime with the Amazonians preferably)

    The “Playing with FIRE” doc is screening here tomorrow. I’m excited to see that and maybe meet some more folks from the community.

    That ramen looks yummy. Do you have a recipe?

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