My sister and brother in law invited us over for high tea at their house on Sunday afternoon. They’d gone to a tea shop in Seattle and had a great time, so they decided to set up something similar at their house. We headed over, along with my husband’s parents and his godfather, and we all sat down for cucumber sandwiches, salmon and cracker appetizers, all kinds of pastries, and of course, plenty of tea.

We had an absolutely fabulous time, and then we went for a walk around the public park near their house to end the afternoon. We had such a good time that the kiddo is now asking to set up a high tea party at our house one of these days, and I’m apt to agree with him. Though it won’t look nearly as pretty as theirs unless I can borrow a nice tea set, because we definitely don’t have one of those.

Such a pretty setup!!

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. There’s a large new development being completed in downtown Kirkland, and so they’re having free events on the weekends for the next month or so to celebrate the opening of a bunch of new businesses.

This past Saturday, they had a Día de los Muertos celebration, complete with music, snacks, sugar skull face painting, and crafts (the kiddo now has new artwork to hang in his room). He didn’t want his face painted, but asked if I would do mine, and I relented. It felt so weird to have paint on my face, but it turned out really well, and it was fun for the day.

2. We’ve done really well lately with eating leftovers (especially stretching them for future meals), as well as creating meals mostly or entirely from ingredients already in our kitchen. While we may not be doing a full on pantry challenge, we’re doing a really good job eating up what we already have on hand.

With that in place, I’m hopeful that November can be another month where our total food and drink budget comes in under a thousand dollars for the month. While this may seem like a lot to many of you, it’s a long way from the $2,500+ we used to spend.

3. Thanks to the time change back to Standard Time, it’s back to being light enough in the mornings for me to be able to walk to work after dropping the kiddo off at preschool. While I can’t do this every day (he isn’t even at preschool every day), I love the days I do get that option.

The weather has been cold – but dry – so this walk is quite pleasant. We shall see how I feel next week once the rain returns. It does save me $2.75 each time I make the walk though, and I’m guaranteed to hit my step count on those days as well. I also get a chance to see more Now Hiring signs for Jobspotter, and earned $6.18 in just one day.

4. I cashed out another month of Jobspotter credit to the tune of $31.93. While this is short of the $40 I redeemed last month, it still feels pretty decent for “extra” money, and looking for hiring signs feels a bit like a fun scavenger hunt. This money is paid out in Amazon gift cards, which I upload to our account for when we make our next normal purchase there, so it doesn’t go to buying anything extra we could convince ourselves we “needed” with the cash.

I have to admit, though, I’m a bit torn about Amazon credit. If I could receive the money some other way, I would take that choice. We do still spend some of our money there, and at least at this point in our lives, I don’t see that changing. I don’t love their business practices though, and their ever increasing market share is troubling. I clearly don’t have an answer here, even for my individual family, but wanted to share my struggles with our continued use of the giant that is Amazon.

5. While I have some waterproof hiking boots, they’re worn to the point where I’m not sure how waterproof they are. Otherwise, I have two pairs of slightly dressier black boots that I wear to work, neither of which are great for slushy snow or super long walks in wet weather. In preparing to go to Iceland, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for footwear for the trip, as I really don’t want to break my clothes buying ban just for that purpose.

I mentioned the dilemma to my mom, saying that perhaps I’d get lucky with the Women’s Personal Finance clothing swap that’s happening later this month, or that maybe I could find a friend who had boots I could borrow. I wear a small size 6-7 though, so finding friends with my shoe size isn’t always the easiest. My mom does wear my shoe size though, and it turns out she has a great pair of winter snow boots.

She lent them to me this past week, and after wearing them, I have to say that they are ridiculously warm and just as comfortable. I’ll be taking them with me to Iceland, and then handing them back to her when we return. This was really the very best option, as I don’t need a pair for everyday use, and this way we can share the one pair she owns. Thanks mom, I really do love that we wear the same clothes and shoes. It’s the best. Especially since you buy cute stuff.

Exercise Update

Saturday was a long walk and chat with friend (bringing my coffee instead of buying it out). Sunday was an hour hike with the dogs, and then the afternoon walk with my husband’s family.

Monday was ten minutes on the elliptical at the end of work, as that’s all I expected to have time for. I ended up then also getting in a twenty minute run right before sunset, which felt like an awesome bonus. Tuesday was the walk to work, and then home via bus, which always means more walking as the bus stop isn’t right by us. Wednesday was a run in the woods in the afternoon because it was simply to lovely out to go to the gym.

A quick note: I also don’t include short walks with the dogs or to the grocery store, just longer or more intentional workouts here.

Do you use public transportation very often? Why or why not?

17 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 44)

  1. HIgh tea is great, but we never done it at home. Actually, I’ve only tried high tea a few times. Not too common in the US.
    I did pretty well with JobSpotter last month too. Around $30. That’s not bad since I was out and about anyway. Have a great weekend!

  2. we have a tea set for sale on the ebay machine. i think we have a second one around that’s not even listed that sits in basement storage. i wonder if muffuritos are high tea food?

    day of the dead is the best. i gotta remember to take a picture of our fireplace mantle “altar” of our dearly departed.

      1. we’ve held onto everything over the years. one was my grandmother’s and m.b. maybe have gotten one from a family member. for all i know there is a third one in the basement? we’re selling it all….everything must go.

  3. I hear you on the struggle with Amazon. I use it, but I’m not a fan of many of their practices .
    I have to say, I nearly stopped altogether when they started posting books out in plastic bubble padded envelopes. Argh!!! Fortunately they seem to have switched back to cardboard now. I mean really…

    1. At least I’ve totally stopped buying physical books for myself at this point. I’m almost entirely library these days.

  4. Not much public transportation, save the ferry but my kids do take the bus to school and that saves me a 20 minute one way trip. I have to pick them up for after school activities and clubs I combine it with my errands so I’m not running around crazy. My mom is awesome about letting me raid her closet. I’m wearing a Columbia vest I was admiring this summer when visiting and she just told me to take it. Heart of gold that woman.

    1. It’s so awesome when we can share clothes with our moms! And the ferry is definitely my favorite form of public transportation.

  5. Yes, Amazon is not my favorite either, but it is so hard to beat the convenience. I do feel badly for small businesses for sure.

    That’s a fun idea to do a high tea! We have at least one fancy tea set (it was a gift) but of course don’t use it. Maybe we could make up our own special occasion to use it!

    Love that you get to borrow your mom’s warm boots! That’ll definitely make Iceland more enjoyable! When do you leave for that trip?

    1. SO hard to avoid Amazon. I do try and be mindful, but I don’t get anywhere near to avoiding altogether.

  6. That’s pretty decent with jobspotter! Might have to look into that…
    My fiancé abhors the amazonians, When I infrequently buy something from the creepy lizard man, I have it sent to the office and conveniently leave out where it came from!

  7. My girls used to love to have tea parties,and we found great little cup/saucer combos at Goodwill. So, maybe you could find a few there to make your kiddo happy! We store them in a bin in the closet when we’re not using them, since I have no extra space in my kitchen.

    1. Oh, good call! Maybe we just get a few. Our kitchen space is very limited as well, so I try not to bring new stuff in.

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