Another week, another Friday post that starts with “I’m tired.” I’m simply brain tired, exhausted, emotionally spent. I’m not sure exactly why these past few weeks have been particularly hard, but they have been. If you’re feeling it too, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that feeling is going to change in the next month or so.

Thirty two days until the 2020 US election. Five or six months until I can see things even possibly getting better in a real way. Will I be wrong? I couldn’t be happier. But right now, it feels like the calm before the storm, and that anticipation of the unknown feels particularly hard as someone who likes long term plans. Like, a lot. But no long term plans are to be made right now; it’s simply wait and see and hunker down if things get bad for a while.


Friday’s Frugal Five

1. I finally cancelled my Audible account again after having it active for three months (but somehow on premium, which gave me 2 credits a month for a higher price). I initially restarted my membership to listen to Blessing The Hands That Feed Us since it’s way cheaper to do that than buy a single audiobook outright, but clearly I let it stay active for months too long.

I also cancelled a recurring charge on my iPad for a kid musical app. It was $7.99/week (!) and clearly not worth it. I’m not sure why it takes me so long to get rid of these dangly small charges, but it feels so good to finally have them gone. I’m definitely feeling the need to do some belt tightening for our base expenses, so I’m looking for any of these kinds of charges to eliminate.

2. One charge I’ve chosen not to cancel so far is my gym membership. They put it on hold when they were closed due to Covid, but they’ve recently reopened. Everyone is required to wear masks, and it isn’t busy, but I’m not sure I’m ready to go back.

The cost is just $18/month, so for now I’ve decided to let it ride. If I’m not back for six months or more, is it worth keeping though? I’m not sure. All I know is that I’m grandfathered in at that price (I joined ten years and two ownership transfers ago), and if I cancel and want to rejoin later, it will cost me a lot more.

3. We started building our chicken coop!

Since we live on the woods and have to make sure it’s secure against predators, we are taking it seriously and building a solid foundation before building the coop itself. This means it will cost more money (and a lot more time), but it will be worth it in the long run. It may be a bit yet before we finish the coop and actually have chickens, but I’m thrilled to have started the process. (More) self sufficiency, here we come!

The chicken coop begins!

4. I used quite a few “best customer bonus” and digital coupons for our weekly grocery trip and was able to cut a third off the cost. Our food expenses are still up overall, but it felt good to use those coupons wisely.

We make sure to replace and food that we do eat, so we aren’t actually saving any money over the additional shelf stable items we’ve put up since this spring. If we ever do get to eating down the larder, we could have some seriously cheap food months.

5. The garden continues on into October, and it feels good to have a real fall and winter garden in place instead of a few kale plants and forgotten carrots and onions like most overwintered years. We shall see what things look like December through February, but I’m hopeful that we’ll still have more than a few things to pick and eat out of the front yard.

Exercise Update

A full week of being diligent tracking my food and exercise on MyFitnessPal, and I’m down 1.2 pounds. Here’s to hoping my head space here continues to stick.

Friday I did some stair walking and wall sits. Saturday was a run with a kiddo and then a lot of yard work digging and hauling cinderblocks for the chicken coop. Monday was another run and more stairs. Tuesday was more wall sits and a longer walk. Wednesday was a full body weight workout and then Thursday was an hour and a half of walking phone calls for work. While the weather is good, I plan to keep that up.

Something’s definitely clicked, and it feels so good to be working out more regularly again.

How did your week go?

16 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 31)

  1. $18 per month?! Hang onto that gym membership. Things will eventually return to normal, and you may want to head back to that gym and not pay a premium for it. Cutting those other services will pay for that gym membership for now.

    Take care of yourself! 🙂

  2. man, i would love to have chickens and fresh eggs one day. we’ll see where our retirement lands us and if we can do it. we had a good week. we passed our 16 year anniversary and mrs. smidlap still tolerates these antics. she mostly seems to still enjoy the absurdity so that’s a win.

  3. Nice work on the fitness goals! I’m feeling blah and want to get in better shape, but every day find myself not sticking to healthy habits. Got to get myself in gear, I guess! You’re rocking it!

    The past six months or so I keep thinking of a quote from the movie “Clueless”. Something like “I had an overwhelming feeling of ickiness.” That seems to sum up a lot of the overall feeling in the air and in my mind (and our country). Definitely have to find ways to feel hope, like by voting!

    1. Yeah, that has been me for much of the year. My brain is finally switching there.

  4. I am on the East Coast and was also unsure of going back to the gym. It’s not for every one, but my gym opens at 5:00 am and I can find an area where I don’t see anyone (not even from afar). I have an entire floor to myself. It has made a difference in my mental outlook this week.

    I really want to succeed in using myfitnesspal. You are inspiring me!

    1. Yeah, hard to do the 5am thing with a kiddo at home and a husband who leaves early for work. But that’s a good call.

  5. I feel the first paragraph of your post so. much. It’s now the busiest time of the year at work when we are frantically trying to submit a massive application for federal funding while balancing our normal job duties on top of it. It’ll all be over November 16th (the deadline), but I’m already struggling with stress and dreading the next six weeks. Not to even mention COVID or the news … boy.

    I have tried out your policy of walking during work calls and I really like it! Unfortunately most of my calls now involve screen sharing, so I have to be at my computer. But for those where I don’t anticipate that, I’ve realized how nice it can be to walk when I mostly just need to listen in.

    1. Walking calls are the best! Most of mine are screen sharing too, but when they aren’t, I make sure to get outside:)

  6. Does your local library offer the on-line Libby app? You can listen to lots of audible books on that and it is usually free with your library card.

  7. SO feeling you on feeling “it” this past week. Seeing you actually write “Week 31” is quite overwhelming, as the days have just seemed to melt together for the most part.

    I love to see you are still setting mini goals. That’s one of the biggest factors getting us through at this point. Our gym turned into an outdoor tented gym and I am honestly grateful for it, since exercise is one way I relieve some stress. Granted, there’s only ever one other person there, and I wipe down EVERYTHING before using it, so it seems okay for now. $18 is insane for a membership though! I’d hang on to that if it were me 🙂

    Hang in there <3

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