We’re in the final stretch of the month of March, and it’s definitely sped by in way that March 2020 did not. We’re still deep in pandemic life, but it’s better than last year. We know more of how to see people safely (outside, masked up), and that makes a huge difference for me. March 2020 was spent entirely in the City of Kirkland and with no one but our household.
Life is hard now, but I’m grateful for the positives as we move forward. Here’s to a hopeful second part of 2021, if we can get people vaccinated ahead of the variants and keep safety measures (like masks) in place for as long as need be.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We took a walk through the trails on Saturday, and thanks to the map on PokemonGo, we finally figured out a way to walk down to a beach park from our house without walking on windy, shoulderless roads. It’s been a hike we’ve wanted to do for as long as we’ve lived here (almost ten years), but we’d eventually given up and thought that there wasn’t a way to connect trails and walk there.
I’m not sure if this hike counts as a one for my goal of 24 new trails for 2021, since we’ve hiked the park near our house and the beach park trails. We just have never done the whole walk in one go and it felt pretty exciting for it to actually happen, so maybe it should count?
2. Ever since my husband got his Traeger grill (purchased from stimulus check #2), he’s been spending part of a weekend day most weeks grilling meats for us to use in meals for the week. We’ve never been into meal planning (we change our minds about what we want to eat too much), but we’re finding that having ingredients prepped over the weekend makes weeknight meals much easier.
I’ve been enjoying my four regular length work days versus my five shorter work days like I used to, but one downside is that I don’t have time most days to prep meals in the afternoon. Thanks to my husband though, meals have been pretty quick and straightforward during the week.
3. I continue to pick greens from the garden to add to our meals, which now includes the spring garlic that has been poking up throughout our raised beds. It won’t be too much longer until more plants will be growing in the garden, but I sure appreciate the ability to grow food year round.
With both garden greens and herbs, another upside of growing them is that not only are they fresher when picked immediately before use, but it also means that I only pick exactly what we’re going to use for that meal, meaning that there is no food waste.
4. We spent more time working on the chicken coop, both on Saturday and Thursday. My mother in law has been an amazing help through this process, though “help” is probably not the right word since she’s really leading the project and teaching me along the way. She’s super handy and wields power tools with ease, but she’s also great at explaining what and how to do the work.
I decided to use my third stimulus on chicken coop materials, so I’ve been buying most of the materials from our local hardware and lumber stores. They’re a bit more expensive than Home Depot or Lowe’s, but it feels good to be keeping the money local.
5. With the better weather comes more opportunities to spend time with people in real life – outside, and for longer periods of time. There is a woman who has been in my Women’s Personal Finance group for a year, and we only recently realized that we live very near each other. She also has two little boys, and we got to meet in person for the first time this past week.
Thursday, we hung out again, along with another WPF member and her daughter who also live nearby (though not within walking distance). We’ve had so many friends move away from the area in the past few years, and my heart is so full to have more people close by again.
Saturday was a chicken coop workday and then the roundtrip hike down to the water and back. Monday was an “outside elliptical” today over at the 210 step Crestwood Stairs – up and down, a two minute jog X 7. Wednesday and Thursday were walk days, as my legs were still a bit sore still after Monday’s workout.
Are you getting together (safely) with people these days?