Last weekend was a more “normal” one than we’ve had in a while with all the craziness of the last couple of months. We spent some time with both of our families and did some more catchup around the house. The husband also pressure washed the back deck, which was needed badly after the winter storms we’ve had.

As much as I love travel and a busy schedule, it was nice to have a relaxed weekend where we had no big plans. That said, the husband is already talking about finding a weekend to go winter truck camping, so clearly we don’t sit for long.

Plenty of time for trail walks

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Sunday night I went out to karaoke in Seattle with some of my local blogger friends (Felicity, Purple, and Millennial Boss). Unsurprisingly, Purple found a spot for us that was half price for the whole day, so the whole evening was super affordable.

It was my first time going to a karaoke bar where we had our own room and tv, and it was so much fun. Not something I thought I would love so much, but I totally want to go back another time. Another Sunday of course, where the whole trip cost less than twenty dollars including a glass of wine and tip.

2. We had a home movie night, complete with a big bowl of air popped buttered popcorn. We almost never go out to the movies (the kiddo has never been to one), but we do eventually watch some movies at home together.

Especially at this age when the kiddo is still pretty squirmy, it’s way more fun to snuggle up on the couch at our own house and watch a movie that way. Plus, there are plenty of movies available to watch through Amazon and Netflix anyway that costs us no extra to watch. This time, we watched Mune, which was a really interesting but fun kid’s movie.

With garlic powder makes some tasty homemade popcorn

3. After my 2019 book list was published, I realized that I didn’t include any of the chapter books we read the kiddo on the list. Between his books and mine, we make serious use of our library. I do pay a small about in late fees, but we get many times that value every year.

The best part of ebooks checked out from the library is that they go back automatically, so I can’t incur overdue fines like I do with hard copy books. The worst part is that the books automatically go back to the library whether or not you’re finished reading them. This week I had to re-check out The Yellow House Mystery, the third book in the Boxcar Children series.

Luckily, since the book was written almost seventy years ago, it was readily available, and now we are almost through it. Bedtime reading is so much fun for the three of us now that the kiddo is old enough for longer stories, and I’m loving reliving books from my childhood.

4. After our trips to Austin and Iceland and the holidays thrown in in between, we’ve had to reset our eating habits again. We ate out once a day pretty much the whole Iceland trip in particular, and if we weren’t careful, we could have fallen in to old habits where we spend way too much on food.

This past week, we had two meals of leftovers though, which helped us keep our food spending down and assured that we didn’t waste any food. They also make for easy low key work night meals, which makes then more enticing as well.

Iceland has the best fish and chips

5. We did have one take out meal this week, but it was purposeful. Thursday night was my second evening meeting in three days, so we made the intentional decision to order pizza.

The husband found a 30% coupon online and we had $10 in store credit for Papa John’s though, so it cost us just $30 for a pizza, wings, and garlic knots, with enough for leftovers. And we had time to just hang out and relax together before I had to leave again for the evening. Ordering take out by itself isn’t a bad thing; it only becomes a problem when it becomes a mindless everyday response.

Exercise Update

Last week was my best step count since summer (121,331 steps), but I’m on track to possibly beat that out this week, even with a ton of rain in the forecast (my Fitbit resets the count on Sundays, so the week hasn’t ended yet).

I managed to get out for a half hour run in Friday and then a two hour long walk with the dogs on Saturday when there was a break in the weather. There was a PokemonGo event on Sunday, so the kiddo wanted to do a lot of walking along with my mother in law, so I ended the day north of 23,000 steps.

Monday was yet another walk to the park. Tuesday was the bus and then walk to work – the first time in more than a month – and then forty five minutes on the elliptical in the afternoon. Wednesday and Thursday were both ten minutes on the elliptical. Short workouts were all I could squeeze in, but way better than nothing.

Do you have any frugal wins to share this week? I’d love to hear them!

22 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2020 – Week 4)

  1. i put up a pizza recipe this week for when you’re ready to up your game. surely, i understand the time factor, though. that was our frugal victory: about 5-6 bucks for 2 pizzas.

    at least your snow is gone. ours is just getting started late. it feels like we stole something the past 6-7 weeks.

  2. Nicely done. So glad I signed up to the Frugal 5! I’m about to spend a ton on vacation, so I need to remember to make some simple changes to offset the spending. I really want to start a movie night too…my 6 year old is in the habit of watching the same movie over and over and over again so it would get him a bit more exposure. Going to propose the idea to the family this weekend 🙂

  3. Pro-tip: Cholula on popcorn (little olive oil and/or butter too). We don’t have an air-popper, we just make it in a big pot.

    Family movie nights are pretty rad. My 12 year old still loves them! It’s the only night of the week we don’t have something going, so we try to keep things low key.

    And, lest I forget – nice step week! You are crushing it. I broke my fitbit band and was out of town when the new one arrived so I am missing a big chunk of data. Not that I’m doing a lot of walking with my boot of shame on my foot. Cheers, Angela!

  4. We had five zero spend days in a row (if you don’t count using my stars at Starbucks for my free drink – yes I remembered my cup)! Probably a record for us as of late. With four kids I feel like someone is always needing something for school, birthday, who the heck knows. I’m really wishing I would have stopped and picked up a bottle of wine for tonight but I’m trying to be more mindful of just stopping everyday when I’m out picking up the kiddos from school. We (DS4 and I) made English muffin pizzas for dinner on Wednesday and he scarfed his down and had lunch for the next day. Maybe I should track my zero spend days again. I used to put it on my physical calendar as well as my distance and meal plan for the night. Hmm.

    1. Also if you ever need another Pokemon friend let me know. The kids got me on it this fall and it’s fun to do with them. 🙂 It has definitely increased my activity level if I know I’m close to hatching an egg or need a candy for my “buddy”. The almost 5 year old loves it!

    2. Well done!! Impressive with that many kiddos. What about creating a calendar that you share with the kids and then celebrate together when you hit a specific number of them?

  5. Blogger karaoke? Oh, I have serious FOMO on this one. We also love Netflix movie night. Actually, I don’t like going to the movies at all. If someone offered me a free ticket vs in-home movie night, I’d choose home every time. Who doesn’t like to be snuggled up comfortably in bed while watching movies? (PLUS the popcorn doesn’t cost $10!)

    1. Time for you to come visit, clearly 😉 We could plan for blogger karaoke!

      I am totally obsessed with movie theater popcorn.

  6. My favourite frugal tip: always have frozen pizzas on hand! We often order from Dominos if we’re not feeling like cooking, but frozen pizzas can be just as convenient and easy.

  7. On ebooks (and audiobooks) from the library — agree on both the best and worst part. Also, an annoying thing I learned this week about OverDrive: if there is a wait list on a book, you can’t renew it if it expires…you have to go back on the list. Ugh. One day I will finish Becoming by Michelle Obama, I swear…

    Also, pizza deals are the best deals. We also had coupon pizza this week — Dominos had half off any size pizza, so Friday was delicious haha.

  8. My nominal late fees for library books are a drop in the bucket compared to their value. I actually always overpay and let them keep the change anyway because I see it as a gift to the library. Anything extra they receive helps perpetuate this gift for all.

    Nice job on the steps! I track mine too!

    Your adventure in Seattle sounds fun too!

    1. That reminds me, I think I want to add a bit of my intentional giving this year to our local library.

  9. Yesss! The library is the best! I would love to see a rundown of all the books and DVDs we have checked out over the past 3-4 years. My husband likes to limit the kids to 3 checked out books at a time, but I do not subscribe to that rule, so I bring home 15-20 at a time for them. I also have been getting so many great nonfiction e-books through our library (finally got Atomic Habits and Meet the Frugalwoods, which I’d been waiting for!). Our library has recently done away with late fees, and they auto-renew actual books for up to 3 months, so we’ve been enjoying less stress about overdue fees lately. My only problem is there are just too many books I want to read and not enough hours in a day…

    We love in-home movie nights as well. We’ve even offered a couple of times to take our kids to the cinema but they always say no! You’re right that it’s so much more relaxing, especially with little ones who are squirmy, to hang on your own couch and make your own popcorn.

    We had a frugal win too, as we went out to eat for the first time in awhile last week. We used our Steak’n’Shake gift card that we got free from credit card rewards so it cost nothing! Not high-end food but the kids love it.

    1. Only three books at a time?! When I was a kid, my mom had this giant blue tote that she’d take to the library and we’d fill it every time 🙂

  10. Karaoke sounds interesting though I’ve not tried it before…can’t quite sing. The libraries in my town only allow for one renewal provided no one has reserved it. I tried to borrow a digital magazine recently, but to my surprise, someone has already checked it out. Somehow I thought it’ll be available since it’s not a hard copy. Gosh, the fish and chips look so……yummy and I’ve just had dinner too. We’ve just discovered that our little butcher-cum-minimart offers much cheaper deals than the usual supermarket- it cost us only $1.25 per person per meal for generous portions of fresh meats and veges.

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