I was in DC for half of this past week (through Sunday morning) for FinCon, which feels a little surreal. One week ago today I was on day two of three of the conference for me, but looking back it’s hard to believe I was there for such a short time. Granted, I packed just about every minute from 8AM or 9AM until 1AM or 2AM each of those days, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that it feels like I was there for longer.

I recapped the trip here, but I did leave some out even then, as I literally only had five or ten minutes of downtime twice during the trip (completely by choice – my extrovert self didn’t feel the need to go escape and recharge at during that time – I was more interested in getting as much face time with the people I usually just interact with online as I could).

My husband and kiddo had a blast at home without me, which made my heart so happy. It makes it so much easier to go and enjoy myself when I don’t feel like I need to worry about a kiddo that’s missing me constantly. Unless we were actually on the phone talking, he was so engrossed in everything they were doing – plus loving the present he got to open each night I was gone – that he wasn’t worried about me getting back right away.

And unlike trips where we all go together, the laundry and dishes and other chores were already taken care of when I got home. Thank you husband for making my trip go so smoothly. I so appreciate you. The rest of the week fell right back into our regular routine, much because of that. And our regular routine is pretty darn great too.

Happy to have Mama home

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. I had to take a Lyft to the airport on Sunday morning because I had to be there before the metro started running for the day (my flight left at 7AM). I rarely take Lyft, preferring to take public transit whenever possible, or I do as part of a larger group, so a Shared Lyft has not been on my radar.

Since it was just me Sunday morning, I chose the Shared option, which meant it took maybe an extra ten minutes to get to the airport as we picked up two extra passengers (both coming from FinCon as well, unsurprisingly). I ended up taking a Lyft home from the airport as well since the kiddo was really ready to have me home ASAP and the husband tweaked his neck and wasn’t driving. Between the two rides, I saved at least twenty dollars over an individual ride, plus the reduced carbon impact. From here on out, if I’m traveling alone or with one other person I’ll be taking the shared option.

If you’ve never taken a Lyft before, here’s $5 off your first ride. You’ll notice I mention Lyft only and not Uber, and that is intentional. I will always support the company that treats both their drivers and riders with respect, and use their money for good (or at least not bad).

2. Back on the 4th of July, we went to Homegrown for brunch before walking in our city’s parade. They totally screwed up one of our orders and gave us two vouchers for a free meal. I kept forgetting that I had them in my wallet, but I finally used one this week.

I subbed out the steak part of the salad for tofu, but added an egg, or it would have been a vegan meal. Regardless, it was a vegetarian lunch instead of the default meat one that it easily could have been. I find that the more I make those choices, the easier it is to do so (though much easier when I don’t have my guys around who love their meat options).

Homegrown also sources much of their ingredients locally, and even pay to have their employees work on one of the farms for a day each year, which is pretty awesome. They also have totally compostable to go containers, which bumps them up even higher in my book. As far as a fast take out option, they’re about as good as it gets. And the free meal made it even better.

Free! (Plus tip)

3. Remember how my company did an on site flu shot clinic last year and we each got a $50 gift card? That happened again this week. We got a free lunch, I picked out an REI gift card, and we got our flu shots as part of our work day. To be honest, as much as I love the gift card and the lunch, not having to find time to go and make an appointment separately is pretty darn great.

4. The kiddo decided he wanted to have his hair cut “like daddy,” so my mom cut his hair this week. He looks SO different and so grown up, but he’s totally loving it. I asked if he felt different with his haircut, and he said “yes! Like a kid with a haircut!”

So short and so different!

My hair has also been well past due for a haircut, so I asked my mom to cut mine once I got there in the afternoon as well, and she did a fabulous job as always. We followed this “unicorn cut” method on YouTube and it took all of ten minutes and turned out so well. Plus, now I don’t have to spend the money or the time getting to a salon to get it done. Win all around, and definitely something we will repeat in the future.

And my haircut!

5. We had the second half of our Airbnb payment come due for the birthday trip we’re taking my grandmother on this fall (just like last year). Again I paid attention to which credit card had an additional 5% cash back, so I switch the auto payment to that card. Just by using a different card, we’re getting $12.13 back for the exact same payment. Definitely my favorite way to save money.

And then of course, staying in Airbnbs are our favorite way to travel. Especially in Leavenworth, where the hotel costs are very high to stay downtown. We can rent a condo for half the price, twice the space, and still be a mile from the center of town. Plus we each get our own bedroom and bathroom, which is a definite plus for us when we travel with extended family.

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.

Exercise Update

FinCon meant a lot of standing as well as a lot of walking, so while I didn’t exercise while I was there, I did get a lot of steps in (and they felt like even more because of all the standing and talking). Friday was 22,000, Saturday 24,000, and the previous Thursday was 20,000, which was the first three day stretch of 20,000+ steps in a very long time.

Sunday was my travel day home so I got in my steps just walking through the airport and home, but Monday I was well short as I recovered a little from the trip (and caught up on time with my family). Tuesday was a walk to preschool from work in the afternoon and then a walk through the woods to the park with the kiddo and his neighbor friends.

Wednesday I went for an actual run with the kiddo, which was pretty dang awesome. While he can’t go for as long or quite as fast as me yet, he can now run enough to make it an actual workout for me. I’m definitely excited about what the future holds with runs with him.

How was your week? And fun frugal things to share today? I love to hear them!

16 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 36)

  1. Nice haircut for the kiddo. He looks totally different.
    I’ll show Mrs. RB40 the unicorn method. Wish me luck. 😉
    This week? Nothing unusual. Cook at home and didn’t spend much on entertainment. That’s about it…

    1. Cutest haircuts ever! (Isn’t it wild how much a kid grows up with a new cut? I hated cutting my son’s long blonde locks when he was just under two.) I DIY my hair color to combat greys, but my husband doesn’t want to risk cutting my hair for me.

      Happy to read your FinCon step count! I was curious about where I might have landed on steps if I had a tracker, so I bet I’d have been close to yours. I know I added a bunch of extra steps the couple of times I got lost, ha!

      That is so cool your kid can run with you! Enjoy a quieter weekend😃

      1. He grew up SO much with the cut! He’d had haircuts before maybe a year and a half ago but I was so used to him with longer hair.

  2. ugh. it was hard going back to work wednesday following smidlap-con. at least it’s finally nice out here to run around after work without having to drag our beloved overheated dog along. i live for spring and fall in this part of the world. you’re gonna be so pleased when your son can keep up with you. it will come sooner than you think.

      1. Home haircuts save a lot of money. My husband is the family barber and stylist. He has been cutting my hair for me since we first started dating. He did a great job and I told him he was going to be my regular stylist. He capes me, combs out my hair, sections it, pins it up and trims it layer by layer. I wouldn’t let him put it in a ponytail and saw through my hair. I like my ends full as I have him give me different braids and layers would leave my braids looking ratty at the ends. He gives my two boys their haircuts monthly which saves me a lot of time and hundreds a year on their haircuts rather than spending the money at the barbershop for wonky haircuts. I don’t miss the salon hassle or expense either.

      2. My husband started cutting his own hair back in the Marines because he had to cut his hair weekly, so it saved a TON of money and time. And just kept it up from there.

  3. Congrats on your award at FinCon 🙂 I didn’t get to chat with you, the meetups were a little chaotic and crowded but next year perhaps? I’m still curious to get your take on the Drawdown book. I got to chat sustainability with a few folks at FinCon but the meetup was too loud to hear anything.

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