We ended up attending three birthday parties last weekend: two on Saturday and one on Sunday. The second one on Saturday was for one of our neighbors, so it just meant that we wandered down the street and hung out at their house like we usually do, just with a bunch more people.

The kiddo got stung for the very first time at the party on Sunday, which was a very unfun experience. He cried the whole way home, not understanding that bee stings last longer than other pokes. He was completely fine though, so at least we now know he isn’t allergic to them.

Monday afternoon was a beautiful, hot summer day, so we headed down to the beach after work. We very intentionally picked up take out from a Mongolian grill near the park and ate in the shade before heading down to the water. Unlike when we used to get take out or delivery a few times a week when we were tired or just not feeling like cooking, this was a purposeful decision to make an afternoon out of it.

Because we don’t do it as often now, it felt way more special as well. Incidentally, because we did go out to eat, I got tofu and egg with my stir fry meal, so I also ended up with a vegetarian day. We had a great evening and really enjoyed a regular work day. There’s nothing that says that fun has to wait until the weekend.

Skipping rocks down at the beach on a Monday night

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Sunday my husband and I were able to head out for a lunchtime date while the kiddo hung out with my parents and grandmother. We walked downtown and ate at one of our favorite restaurants in Edmonds, Salt and Iron. My husband had gotten a gift card for Christmas or his birthday, so we were able to splurge on a nice lunch and didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket (including a good tip for the server).

We then headed over to American Brewing to hit up a 21+ spot while we were childfree and hung out and talked in the sunshine for a while before we walked back. We had a lovely time and spent very little, especially since we didn’t have to pay a babysitter. I am so grateful for the relationship he has with our family and so appreciate the ability to head out on dates occasionally when he’s with them.

Cheers to date days

2. We have had these mason jar soap dispensers at our house for a long time, and the lid eventually rusted out from long use. My husband was able to take a couple new lids, drill new holes, and now they work as good as new. I realize that even buying bulk liquid soap isn’t as environmentally friendly as bar soap, but with a kid in the house, it works much better. And it’s still way better than individual soap containers.

My husband also replaced his truck headlights this week. He purchased LED ones, so hopefully they will last a long time. Lightbulbs themselves are very cheap and it’s the labor that costs a lot of money. It took him just a few minutes and saved quite a bit compared to taking it into an auto shop.

3. I walked to work after dropping the kiddo at preschool like I do once a week, but this time I paid attention to Now Hiring signs along the way to input into Jobspotter. Considering more than half of the way is on a trail with no businesses, this was only applicable for a short way.

Even so, I earned $3.25 in Amazon credit from that trip. You get paid more – sometimes a lot more – for independent businesses, which is what Kirkland is made up of in a big way, so I made more money than if they had all been chain stores. Instead of a free commute to work, I actually made money. Pretty darn cool.

4. I keep my phones for a long time (this one is from spring of 2016), but I drop them a lot. In order to protect them, I’ve cycled through a number of Lifeproof cases over the years. I made a comment about this on Twitter a while back, and Lifeproof let me know they have a lifetime warranty on their cases, regardless of how much the damage is (always) my fault.

So when we both needed new cases, I went online to order a replacement from them. The process was SO easy, and all we had to pay was the $7.70 for shipping. They arrived in a week, and now I have a brand new case. I’d buy the case anyway because they keep my phone protected so well – when it goes flying across the concrete when I trip on a run – but the warranty makes me an even bigger fan.

New phone cases = no need for a new phone

5. We finally booked our plane tickets for our Iceland trip! A blogger friend, Embracing Lagom, gave me a heads up that there was a drop in ticket prices since he knew we were planning to go this year.

For four tickets, we spent $633.42 plus 1,060 Capital One Venture points and 44,721 Ultimate Rewards points (Business Ink and Sapphire Preferred are the two Chase cards we’ve opened so far). Per person, that’s $158.36 out of pocket, including one checked bag since their carry-on limits are very restrictive.

I had been seeing prices for approximately $780 a person, so we saved the equivalent of $150 each by buying tickets now. Very much worth watching prices and waiting to buy.

Including the $70.19 out of pocket we paid for lodging (the two other people going with us paid cash to balance out the credit card points we used), we have spent a total of $703.61 for lodging and flights for ten nights in Iceland. (We cover the cost of the flight in trade for babysitting duties while we’re on the trip to get a date night or two while we’re on vacation).

Exercise Update

Sunday we had our roundtrip walk for our date, so I ended the day just over 20,00 steps. Monday was our trip down to the beach, and we walked to grab dinner and around the park. Tuesday was my walk to work, but only 16,000 steps that day after I didn’t end up having time for a work out in the afternoon.

Wednesday was a 40 minute run before work with a friend, and then a walk with my family in the afternoon.

Do you travel hack? What’s your best deal you’ve made happen for a trip?

20 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 32)

  1. 25,000 American Airlines miles for a round-trip to Kalispell MT, by way of DFW, SEA and PHL is still the best single redemption I’ve had, although 33,700 TrueBlue miles to fly in Mint class with a lay-flat seat was pretty awesome last year

      1. Well that brings up an interesting point… I’ll be in Seattle for 7.5 hours on Oct 20th in the afternoon/evening. Not sure if there’s any chance of some kind of meetup, but I definitely wanted to put that out there. We can talk more next month in DC

  2. Wow, really nice job with Iceland. We spent way more when we went.
    This year, we’re going to Thailand in November and I need to book tickets very soon.
    I’ll use Chase to get there and AA miles to come back. We don’t have enough from just one source. But whatever works…

    1. Hey, even if you can’t cover both ways, even using points for one direction is a HUGE savings.

  3. Iceland is really beautiful and you used your points very efficiently for the flights. I wish you a great trip!

    However, do you consider to offset the carbon emissions caused by the flights? I was very shocked when I realised how much CO2 was emitted during my flight from Europe to the USA. It almost doubles my carbon footprint. As I‘m from Germany, I offset the emissions via Atmosfair (https://www.atmosfair.de/en/).

    1. It’s also my second transatlantic flight ever (much on purpose), and I am very much aware of the problem with air travel. Definitely an overlooked thing by a lot of people.

  4. we don’t really travel hack but we get the family rate at the cabin we rent in the wilderness every year because our friend doesn’t have to worry about how clean we’ll keep the place or us breaking anything. changing headlights is definitely harder than it used to be in general. i think you need a smidlap phone case.

  5. Iceland is beautiful (from what I’ve seen online). It is genius to travel with friends and trade babysitting nights! Traveling with the grandparents would be great for that reason too. Either way, having more family or friends to enjoy the trip with would be great as well. I just heard about Jobspotter this week and may have to check it out. Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Oh, we’ve definitely traded nights with friends before, but this is going to be four adults and one kiddo on this trip 😉

  6. Great job on booking your flights to Iceland at the right time when the prices dropped and able to use your points in an efficient manner.
    From what I hear, Iceland is a great travel destination that has awesome sights. Should be a fun trip!!

    1. Yeah, we were watching and waiting and it definitely paid off. Now fingers crossed we get to see the Aurora while we are there!

  7. A reaction free first sting does not mean that a child is not allergic. That can be the first dose or exposure which sets up an allergic response. It’s the second and subsequent stings that can indicate allergy. Not to scare you, just so you know.

    1. Well, that’s true. But it’s something at least – the only silver lining there is 😉

    1. That’s the point of getting all the rest of our costs as low as possible – so we can eat the food while we’re there! 😋

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