The one upside of the weather changing and the rain showing back up already is that the danger of forest fires and low air quality goes way down. Which means we can have bonfires in the backyard again without worrying about the dry tinder around us.
Saturday night was another one of these evenings, where the weather was clear and dry but had been wet, which is just about perfect for a fire. We invited a number of friends over and spent the evening hanging out. My husband fire roasted broccoli and a bunch of pork and our friends brought drinks and snacks to share. There ended up being about a dozen of us that evening, which feels like a pretty perfect amount (eight adults and four children) to be able to have conversations with everyone but also feel like a party.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. Sunday was a packed day in the best possible way. I headed out first thing to blog at a coffee shop for the second time ever. Then I swung by the house and grabbed the kiddo to go to church and had lunch there after the service as there is a pot luck meal a few times a month.
After that, we went for a walk (kiddo on his bike) through the park, grabbed lunch for my husband and second lunch for the kiddo from the grocery store, and then ate at the covered area at the park before heading home.
2. I then went back out just myself to spend some time with two friends, bringing one of them a couple of tools from yet another friend (who was over for the bonfire Saturday night). We ended up at a Panera because it was the best central option for where we were meeting. Turns out, they have good coffee and unlimited refills, so I’m thinking I might give that option a try for future blogging days when I have a chance to do so away from the house.
From there, I picked the kiddo back up and went to another friend’s house for dinner, who fed us some awesome chicken soup with vegetables that she’d been given by someone else because they were well on their way to being thrown out otherwise. She also had a box of clothes for me to look at from another friend, and I ended up going home with a nice fancier new work shirt as a result.
The sharing economy is a pretty fabulous thing. And as was clear this past weekend, it can extend past just the people you know personally and go through friends of friends. And then of course, The Buy Nothing Project extends that to unknown neighbors as well.
3. I shared on Instagram when it happened, but my car finally hit 100,000 miles. For a twelve year old car, that seems like a reasonable number of miles (though I’m always looking to drive less). While a 2008 Camry Hybrid isn’t a “new” car by any stretch, it still feels pretty new to me, considering I drove a 1996 Buick Century before that, and my husband’s truck is that same age.
At the point I do look into buying a new car – far in the future – it will be fully electric. I’ve considered the switch sooner, but I love that I’ve never had a car payment. At this point, I’d have to get one if I went to an electric vehicle versus paying for one in cash. And to be honest, I’m hopeful that public transit is good enough in the future in our area that perhaps I’ll never have to buy another car altogether. For now though, I have to take the kiddo to too many different disparate locations for childcare that no car isn’t an option quite yet.
4. I redeemed another $10 in Amazon gift cards through Bing rewards. It’s never a huge amount, but I do love getting free gift cards for doing online searching I would do otherwise. Clearly, my search traffic can be bought if you offer me even very tiny rewards (Jobspotter, on the other hand, pays out way more, but it’s not passive).
5. Now that our dog is slowly being weaned off of most of her medications, we go through pill pockets in a much smaller quantity each month. At the peak, she was getting ten pills twice a day (six different medications), and she’s now down to three twice a day. In not too much longer, it will be just one pill twice a day. Of course, the one left is the most expensive one at $105 a month, but it’s still much, much better.
That said, I had pill pockets on the Subscribe and Save option at Amazon because they give a discount for that, but now that we need just two pill pockets a day instead of six, the previous order quantity is way too much. Last minute, I cancelled this next month’s order because we still have a few bags left. While we will need more eventually, there’s no point to way overstock ahead of time, and it saves a bit of money now. (And yes, I’m aware that you can make a homemade version of these, but even I have a limit on time in my week and this is something I’ve just never gotten to).
Friday the kiddo and I headed to the park after work to meet up with a friend he’d met the year before at another park – and then again on the bus home from Seattle a few months ago. After they played so well together multiple random times, his mom and I made sure to get them together to play, and we’ll do it again many times in the future I’m sure.
Saturday was a walk/run with the kiddo while he glided on his balance bike. Sunday was the hike through the woods after church.
I had a late afternoon meeting on Monday so I picked up the kiddo and then went back to work with him, where I got ten minutes on the elliptical while he played in the gym, plus some squats and stretching throughout the day. Tuesday was walking to and from the bus in the morning and then in the afternoon to pick up the kiddo. The closest bus stop to our house is three quarters of a mile away, so taking the bus automatically means more steps, which landed me at 20,000 steps total for the day.
Wednesday morning was a half an hour run before work, and then a walk along with the kiddo and his bike with my family in the afternoon, making for another 20,000 step count day. Each weekday, I’ve also gotten back into the habit of taking a ten minute walk around the block in the middle of my work day. It gets me a bit more exercise, plus the little bit of outside time away from the computer is really beneficial as well.
What is a frugal win you’ve had this week? I love to hear about them!