I spent Sunday morning blogging in a coffee shop on the computer for the first time ever. I usually write this blog in snippets on my phone when I have a few minutes (like walking to work on the days I drop the kiddo at preschool), so spending a couple hours by myself with headphones in while drinking an Americano felt like complete luxury.

I’m not sure what changed, but I’ve started to finally consider myself a “real blogger” as part of my identity instead of just simply having a blog. I’m loving watching the reach of my words grow, and I think in some way I’m treating this blog a little more seriously. Though clearly not too seriously, as I’m back blogging on my phone and still haven’t bothered to do any of the back end work I’ve considered. Baby steps, I suppose.

Sunday afternoon the kiddo and I hopped on the bus to downtown Seattle to meet up with Kassandra Dasent, who was in town for the Lola Retreat. We will both be at FinCon in a couple of weeks, but it was so nice to have one on one time this way. I adore this personal finance community, and I love getting to spend in person time whenever possible.

The only reason I go to Seattle is to see lovely friends like Kassandra

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. We went out fishing with my dad on Saturday morning and ended up bringing home fourteen salmon at the end of the morning. My dad and his friends had been out fishing for King salmon the previous week and had plenty in their freezers, so they ended up encouraging us to take the whole catch with us. It was totally unexpected, but we put out a last minute invite to our neighbors and a couple other friends to come eat with us that night.

Between my husband and the neighbor down the street who did all the cooking, they prepared the salmon six different ways. Other neighbors brought up some other dishes and we picked a bunch of tomatoes and blueberries from the garden to round out the meal.

We set up a couple of folding tables and a bunch of chairs out on our front driveway and ate out in the front yard. With twenty people, we went through quite a bit of the salmon (I’m the only one who didn’t eat any – I’ve never liked it), but we still had quite a bit left over at the end of the evening. We sent home filets with everyone, and froze the rest. Having a big haul of wild caught salmon is great, but sharing it with neighbors and friends is even better.

Salmon one of six ways

2. I received my quarterly Ebates check in the mail for a total of $65.45. I immediately transferred that amount into savings so that money would be realized as saved instead of being spent on something else. It may not be a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, but by going through that portal whenever we have online shopping to do that qualifies, we make a little more money for doing what we would regardless. *PS Ebates has now even renamed Rakuten, for whatever reason*

If you haven’t signed up for Rakuten (Ebates) yet, here is $10 to get started. As always, know yourself, and sign up for this kind of program if you will be disciplined to use it only when you are making a purchase anyway – not because of the online shopping coupons that encourage you to spend more.

3. We got a mailer with a 25% off coupon to our favorite local sushi restaurant, so we took advantage and went out for a dinner there. The kiddo (and my husband) both eat a lot when we go out for sushi, so the discount is very much appreciated.

By only going there when we have a coupon, we greatly reduce the number of nights we go out to eat, and we get the exact same meal when we do go, but for quite a bit less. Of course, no matter how much we end up paying for our meal thanks to a coupon or a gift card, we always tip on the original amount.

4. Wednesday ended up as an accidental vegan day, not just vegetarian. We’d had a work lunch the day before with food from Taco Del Mar, and there were plenty of leftovers in the fridge, except all the cheese had been eaten. When I realized the only thing I would be adding to my bowl that wasn’t vegan was the meat, I decided to forego it (and the sour cream).

Courtney from Modern Fimily was in town for a short work visit, and she picked up some Thai food for dinner. Thai food is the easiest for me to order vegan, so that is what I did. While I definitely will continue to eat meat in a household that is very biased toward it, my goal has been to mindfully reduce my consumption – and be intentional about where those foods come from when we do eat them. (Also – I did have a guest post a while back from someone who is vegan, if you want to read some really good reasons to consider it)

And then not vegan, but Thursday’s dinner was grown and sourced all within 150 miles (heavily from produce directly from my garden). Not vegan, but all hyper local and the meat from a sustainable, local farm. Pretty awesome and satisfying.

Backyard trails!

5. Our son receives a quarter twice a day for feeding the dogs and has been filling up his mason jar piggy bank given to him by That Frugal Pharmacist last fall. He occasionally gets money as gifts or if he finds a coin on the ground, and it’s getting pretty full these days.

Whenever we are out and he says he “really, really” wants something that isn’t on our list for purchasing that day, I let him know he is able to spend his own money if he wants. Almost every time, he decides he doesn’t want it after all.

This week, though, he decided that he really, really wanted to buy himself a pack of bubble gum (after he and a friend had gone through a full pack in one day so I wasn’t replacing it immediately). I told him he could pay for it with his own money – four quarters – and he decided it was worth the cost. We walked down to the grocery store with a couple of his neighbor friends, and he purchased the pack of gum with his own money brought in the wallet he was given for his last birthday.

I feel like we’re muddling through and just starting to slowly teach him money values, but I’m hoping that by living it out and making the conversation simply a part of life, it will stick with him as he gets older and the numbers get bigger.

Exercise Update

I barely hit my step count on Friday and Saturday. Those are the days I’m particularly glad up upped my step goal to 12,000 a day, because otherwise I would have quit at 10,000. Still not super active days, but a little better than if I set the bar a little lower.

Sunday was a walk around Seattle when we met up with Kassandra. Not matter what, a day that includes a bus ride always means a bit more walking. Tuesday was my walk to work and then a short run and lifting session at the gym in the afternoon.

Wednesday was a morning run by myself in the rain, and then a walk with Courtney, the kiddo, and a couple neighbor kids. She and I have known each other for a while online thanks to connecting on Instagram, and it was so wonderful to have some time together face to face.

Thursday was an afternoon outside. The kiddo and I played catch for a while (which looked like him launching it over my head and me running after it before it rolled down the hill), biking around the cul de sac, and puttering around in the garden.

PS I had my first published article go live today in Business Insider – go check it out!

How do you talk to your kids about money?

32 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 33)

  1. I love your quarter twice a day for feeding the dogs idea. We have been trying to figure out a way to give our 5yo chances to use her own money. I am not great at keeping cash around but I could totally get a roll of quarters to give out…hmmm…I may have to try something like that. Another great post!

    1. It’s nice because they seem more tangible than dollars to him, and something we can give more regularly.

  2. We do allowance, but that came after already discussing money regularly in our house. She just turned 6 and for her birthday got $10 in a card from a relative. She opened it and yelled “Free money?!? And I don’t even have to earn it??? I’m saving this for my FUTURE!” It was amazing.

    1. Seafood is absolutely not my favorite, but the husband and kiddo could eat it every day haha

      1. Yeah, though the two of them eat enough for me too! 😉

  3. woohoo a meat free day 🙂 You’re getting there. That being said my choice I believe I told you is a mix of ethics and health. So for example being your locally and sustainable caught the salmon I would happily eat some of the bounty. I wouldn’t do it all the time but on occasion it would be a nice treat 🙂

    I’m scheming and dreaming a solo fall road trip through your area to head to California to climb so hopefully I can have my walk in the nearby park lol

    1. Make sure to reach out to me ahead of time so we are in town!! Definitely need to take you on a walk through my woods.

  4. We definitely have ideas about teaching the kiddos about money – now we need to actually act on one or two of them! Somehow, my 6yo’s piggy bank disappeared last fall, along with over $100 that he had saved up. We had hoped it would turn up in the unpacking process this summer, but no such luck. So I guess he’s learning a lesson about how sometimes you lose out on money unfairly. We wonder whether a babysitter took off with it or if it got lifted out of our garage by a wayward neighbor. I hate to think of either of those possibilities, but us just losing it randomly seems unlikely too. Whatever happened, he’s bummed about losing it, but excited to build up his savings again.

    We haven’t quite nailed down how we want to handle kids’ money, whether we’ll give an allowance or only a payment for “extra” chores besides keeping their rooms clean. I can see benefits to both. Whatever we do, we want them to learn about using their money for different purposes: spending, saving, and giving.

    Glad you enjoyed your coffee-shop blogging! I absolutely love sitting alone in a coffee shop to work. It feels like a luxury and I tend to focus pretty well with background noise that is not from my children, ha:)

    1. Oh no!! What an awful situation for the 6yo. Have you considered “insuring” that money (a la FDIC)? I think I would in that case, since it sounds like he didn’t lose/misplace it?

  5. Accidental vegan days are always good! Every little helps. I’ve got an unofficial target of 50% for the week’s meals being vegan (I’m vegetarian, so the rest are just veg) – not been doing the best with hitting it but that’s ok. If you’re looking for veg or vegan blogs/recipes, happy to send some along – might even be some recipes the rest of the fam will like!

    1. 50% is a really good goal! I’ve been focusing on more eating just one meal a day with meat, which happens more often than not these days.

  6. I had an inadvertent vegetarian day on Tuesday where I had no meat! Those days have been a rarity for me, but it’s something my s/o and I have talked about doing more often. As my diet has revolved around meat pretty much my whole life I’m very interested in experimenting a little more with more vegetarian/vegan meals!

    I remember when I was younger having a coin jar and it was so fun to fill that up, count how much was in there and then ultimately put it in the bank 😂

    1. Sure makes it way easier to do meat free days and meals when your SO is on board 😉

  7. I love that you’re teaching the kiddo about money in such a tangible way. I had a three-slot piggy bank as a child, with the sections labeled: “Spend,” “Save,” and “Donate.” I got to choose where I put my earned and found money, but the clear plastic encouraged me to keep things equal. You’re doing a GREAT thing!!

    Also, hooray for the accidental vegan day! Embracing plant-based meal is healthy, frugal, sustainable and overall so rewarding. If you ever want an intentional vegan meal, I would highly recommend recipes from Oh She Glows blog and Vegan Richa blog (if you enjoy Indian food).

    1. I feel like we’ve been really lax about the money stuff with him, so I’m really loving all the positive feedback today 🙂

      And I do like Indian food, which is new for me the last few years. Slowly, slowly I become less of a picky eater.

  8. i can only speak to kids from back when i was one. i like the idea of handing out coins. of course when i was a kid you could get a candy bar for a quarter! the flip side of that was that we lived so far from the nearest store it was impossible without a ride from somebody to do commerce, even on the candy bar level.

    i’m kinda of liking my new geek dumb watch which tracks all sorts of stuff.

    1. I definitely love being a short walk to the grocery store. It’s close enough that the older neighbor kids can go by theirselves, which is great.

  9. I’m trying to instill money values in our 5 yo but it is slow going. She has a piggy bank and she is always on the lookout for pennies when we are out and about. She doesn’t really have a grasp on how much things cost though. Hubby is doing keto so it’s rare that we have a vegetarian day.

    1. Yeah, I think he is only just starting to grasp how much things cost (at least cheap things like bubble gum), but I figure it’s a good start.

  10. Really like how your teaching your kiddo about money and how he is supposed to spend on things that he really wants to by figuring out himself to see if it’s really worth the money. Teaching them at a young age will go a long way on how they view money especially when they have to deal with larger amounts of money

    1. It also seriously helps the whining when we’re out and he decides he wants something that we aren’t prepared to buy 😉

  11. Congrats on the Business Insider piece! On this Friday evening, we’re about to grill salmon on cedar planks for dinner, so it’s nice to be inspired by your meal. It’s not fresh caught salmon, but I’ll settle for frozen wild salmon from Costco. Yum!

    1. Thanks, friend! One of these days we’ll have to hand off some fresh caught salmon to you guys.

  12. Love what you do on the frugal side. However, as a fellow Seattlelite, I’m sad about the king salmon. So are the orca. Please consider this in the future.

    1. Hi Laura, thanks for reaching out. You’ll notice we were out fishing for pinks – not kings – which recently there has been quite a bit of research that Orcas do not eat pinks (humpies) and that they may in fact be problematic to the orcas (a quick google search can pop up a dozen articles on it). Regardless, Orcas eat Chinook salmon (not kings) almost exclusively 🙂

  13. We’ve been more abstract about our money teaching but I really like this method too. I was wishing that we had friends to share things like a bounty of fresh caught something with after reading this and lo, this weekend, we were shared with! So after doing a test, I’m going to invite the gifting friends to come share the food with us! <3

    Hoping that we start to develop more of a shared-food culture like you've got, I like the thought.

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