Sunday morning the three of us headed down off our hill to another local park. We made the decision to make a half a day out of the trip, so we had breakfast at a local coffee shop first and then headed down the trails.

We spotted a bunch of wildlife, including a Kingfisher, a Great Blue Heron, a Bullfrog, and a number of turtles. Our city has some pretty fabulous nature areas along the lake and in the woods, and we make sure to take advantage of those parks. It isn’t far to find miles of different trails to walk down and explore. And, of course, it’s a totally free way to spend a day.

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Saturday the kiddo and I met up with my friend for a walk and then lunch together. We initially attempted to walk to a nature preserve until we realized it was for members only, so we ended up down a more urban nature trail.

After the walk, we sat down for lunch at a restaurant that looked quite good initially, but once we looked through the menu we realized it was going to cost quite a lot of money for a casual lunch, with options that neither of us were wild about. We’d already sat down and almost stayed, but ultimately decided to leave and go somewhere else more affordable and with options we were more interested in.

It was a bit uncomfortable to walk out after being seated – and awkwardly thanking the staff as we left – but once we had our tasty lunch (on a second floor patio overlooking some greenery), we were very happy with our choice. We had a better lunch, and it cost us half the price of the original place.

2. Sunday night we had a group of friends over last minute after meeting up with them at a local brewery. Instead of picking up dinner or buying a bunch of groceries from the store, we started with what we had on hand.

We cooked up steaks from our local cow purchase and potatoes and carrots from the garden. With fresh picked, sliced Black Crim tomatoes with salt for an appetizer as well as blueberries and cherry tomatoes, we had to plenty of food for all of us. Our roommate picked up a couple of bags of salad from the store, but otherwise we fed seven adults (including Bob, of course) and four children from food we already had on hand.

3. I actually got in for an appointment with my eye doctor for the first time in a couple of years after having to reschedule twice due to work meetings. And for the first time ever, my eyesight didn’t get worse and my contact prescription hasn’t changed.

For a long time, we had health insurance only and nothing for vision or dental. Even though we’ve had both for a while now, those years where appointments and contacts/glasses had to be paid 100% out of pocket have stuck with me and I am so appreciative when a good portion of the cost is covered.

4. We have a wedding to go to in September that’s a bit far to drive for a single day, so we booked an Airbnb for the full weekend. Before I made the reservation, I check the monthly rewards for a couple different credit cards to see if they had a cash back option for Airbnb, because both the Alaska Airlines and Chase Sapphire Preferred do on occasion.

This time, the Chase card had a 5% cash back for Airbnb, so I made sure that the offer was turned on before I booked the place for the weekend. Between those kinds of offers and Ebates (Rakuten), we get a decent amount cash back each year for the exact same spending we would do otherwise.

If you haven’t stayed in an AirBnB before, I would highly recommend it. We love the flexibility it gives us while traveling as a family – full kitchen, laundry, and extra bathrooms, and it’s usually considerably cheaper than a hotel, especially when you travel as a group. If you’re new to AirBnB, here’s a link for $40 off your first stay.

5. It’s been pretty hot this week with highs into the eighties, so we turned on the sprinkler for the kiddo to play in the front yard with the neighbors. While this clearly isn’t the most efficient way to water the garden, or the best time of day to water, they had a ton of fun playing while at the same time the garden got some water.

Exercise Update

Friday afternoon was also good weather, so we decided to take the bus down to one of the breweries after work (we don’t often go twice in a weekend, but it happened this time apparently). The bus only drops us so close to home, so we get in a decent amount of walking with both directions.

Saturday was the walk with my friend and Sunday was the easy hike through some local trails. Monday was the first time we were able to take our dog for a walk since her surgery, and while it was a short one, we’ve taken her multiple times this week, with separate walks for our other dog.

Tuesday was an extra long morning walk to work from the kiddo’s preschool because part of the trail was closed and I had to go up and around into the neighborhoods. That afternoon was a walk to and from the eye doctor and then a hike through our backyard trails with the kiddo, the healthy dog, and the neighbor kids. All combined, I ended the day north of 20,000 steps.

Wednesday was a normal morning run before work, and then individual walks with the dogs in the afternoon. Thursday was a walking meeting at work and then a walk to the grocery store, finishing the day north of 15,000 steps.

Do you have any big plans for the end of summer?

18 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 34)

  1. Since “we” aren’t in school yet, this is our last year before having to bid goodbye to summer prematurely. But we only just started having some summer weather! It’s very confusing 😁

    I’m simply not ready to think about entering fall yet but the start of school has always traditionally marked the end of summer a little more firmly than the actual last day of summer. We do have a couple small jaunts planned to see family and friends and I’m hoping they go smoothly.

    I love that you’re always prepared with fresh ingredients to have people for a meal! After reading dozens of these weekly posts, I realized that that’s one way I do enjoy socializing and resolved to do more of that with local people because we need stronger local community ties. We did that once this week! But I need to be better at having good basic food supplies on hand.

    1. Basic food supplies on hand makes things SO much easier to invite people over last minute! Clearly, easier to do in the summer when the garden is in full swing and our freezer is full of beef. But the grocery store is just a short walk away regardless.

  2. I’m jealous of your prolific garden, looks like it’s been a big hit for you guys this year! Our little urban garden always makes for “partially” garden-sourced meals, I’ll have to investigate going vertical more for next year to increase yields.

    I’ve got a solo camping adventure to close out the summer, heading out momentarily!!! I’m going to find the confluence of two rivers somewhere in the woods…

    1. Oh have a wonderful solo camping adventure!!! SOMEDAY I will do one of my own.

  3. I really admire that you all weren’t afraid to get up and leave the restaurant you weren’t crazy about eating at in the first place. I feel like that unspoken pressure to stay would have made me stay–but now that I know the world didn’t implode when someone else got up and left after being seated, my anxiety can be at ease if I’m ever in a similar situation. hahaha.

    But also…that garden!!!

    1. I don’t want to disrespect the servers, so wouldn’t have left if we had already ordered, etc, but also not going to pay serious money just to avoid some awkwardness!

  4. I rarely get 20,000 steps in a day so that is solid work! I decided to up my cardio game this week and the month of Sept and managed 3 short trail runs this week and 4 mtn bike rides on the same trails! I hit them at all different times and though I know the trails are well used ones, I basically had them to myself which comes in handy for MTBing especially when you are out of practice and struggling a bit on some semi-technical sections. It felt good to hammer some cardio especially since I haven’t in awhile. 🙂 Our tomatoes are so far behind yours but I got a haul from a friend today so… I’ll be making something with them this weekend.

      1. I have gone MTBing with her in the past but if we ride together usually we are on the road. She doesn’t love MTBing but does enjoy the road so I let her choose. She keeps her MTB at her Dad’s place so that also sort of drives it though I could ask him to bring it over here. I think it scares her. It scares me too but that’s part of the fun. The scary parts get less scary each week as I get more technically proficient.

  5. this weekend and week ARE our summer vacation. between the heat and crowds during summer this is a lot more fun for me. we’ll splurge and take my mother in law out somewhere nice to eat and then chill out at a cabin in the woods. it’s off to a great start so far.

    i haven’t been to a wedding in ages. the nieces and nephews don’t seem the marrying type so far even though they’re approaching 30.

    1. We definitely do the bulk of our traveling outside of summer because of the crowds 🙂

  6. Hello! I opted out of my employer vision plan the last few years at my employer since I got Lasik back in 2012. My wife still needs to re-up her prescription from time to time though so she can get new contacts. Unfortunately, we are in a rural area with no “in-network” vision providers local so she would need to drive about an hour to get a prescription. Pretty annoying so we just self-insure and use the local eye doctor.

    I heard of “Simple Contacts” a few weeks back where you can re-new your prescription online. I have absolutely no personal experience with them, but the 5-minute online eye exam concept kind of blew my mind so it is on my list of things to research! I think they only give you a prescription if your vision hasn’t changed though, so that may apply to your situation!

    Take care,


    1. Huh. Yeah it seems like we’re still a ways from doing full eye exams online 😉 I also go to the father of someone I grew up playing softball with, so I’m more than okay giving him insurance money to see me!

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