As of this morning, I’ve biked over 100 miles on my new e-bike. Honestly, I wish I could replace all of my car trips with my bike at this point, but alas, that hasn’t been feasible. Me being me, I of course have a new excel spreadsheet tracking these miles.

Shall I celebrate when I hit 500 miles? 1000? Not sure what I’m counting them for, other than for posterity and joy. As my friend Mayor Thompson so clearly put on Twitter, is it just joy, or is it: saving money, better health, joy, less climate pollution, less wear and tear on infrastructure, and less traffic. To which I responded: all of those things are what makes it joy.

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. We went camping last weekend at our favorite spot outside of Leavenworth. With the cold, wet spring, the wildflowers were very late this year, and it was a riot of color up in the mountains. I’ve never seen so much Indian Paintbrush in my life.

The spot we camp is about an hour up rough forest service roads, so we take my husband’s truck. Because it’s public land, it’s free to camp, though there are also zero amenities at any spot you pick. The gas to get out there wasn’t cheap, but other than that, the only cost to the weekend was food, which we would have spent at home regardless. It had been far too long since we’d been camping there, and we’re so ready to go back again already.

We took the dogs with us, for which I was very glad. They’re getting older, and I don’t know how many camping trips they have left in them. They had a great time, though so much dirt came out in the bath when we got home on Sunday. Still worth it.

So much Indian Paintbrush 😍

2. After hearing about the book Die With Zero from so many people, we’re now scheduled to discuss it as a group with WPF Insiders, so I finally got around to listening to it. While I don’t agree with everything the author has to say about the topic, I thought it was a worthwhile read.

Are most people the ones who need this book? Probably not, since most people don’t save enough for retirement. But for the FIRE community and other naturally frugal folks, this book is a good read. There’s definitely a balance that needs to be struck in life, and spending is sometimes just as hard – if not harder – than saving.

3. As usual, we took my family a dozen eggs this week. Since they were able to supply a good chunk of the building materials we used to create the coop, they forever get free eggs, because they saved us a ton of money on an already expensive design (worth it though as the chickens have been mostly limited to the run for months due to the avian flu outbreak).

The kiddo loves selling his eggs, but he also loves bringing them to his grandparents and great grandma. I love that he’s aware of money and enjoys earning money as a “chicken farmer,” but has no hesitations about sending those eggs for “free” (in trade for past materials). He also loves to give discounts when new people want to buy eggs, or just sometimes gives them away regardless. He’s definitely learning the love of feeding people from his Mama.

Favorite egg recently 🤩

4. The kiddo and I have been going to a homeschool chess meetup each week that’s continued into the summertime. While he usually only plays a couple of rounds and then runs off to play at the playground, it’s been fun to have a regular schedule with some other homeschooled kiddos.

One of the other families that attends regularly has a Mario chess set, which is a favorite of all the kids, mine included. At the end of the time this week, I said it might be time to buy our own set, since he loves it so much. It’s a $40 set though, so I told the kiddo that he’d need to chip in, which he did. We don’t always require cash from him for purchases, but it sure is a great way to tell whether he really wants something or not. At seven years old, spending $10 to get a $40 chess set after he’s attended chess club for months seems a fair trade.

Mario chess!

5. We harvested my fava beans this week, and had them for dinner sautéed with butter, a few garlic scapes, salt, and pepper. They’re great for the soil and so tasty, but dang they’re a lot of work to prepare (you have to get the beans out of the pods and then take off the outside of each pod before eating them).

Along with the fava beans, we had homegrown potatoes with onions, garlic, and chives. All that was not-garden fare was the sausage, butter, and salt and pepper. My favorite kind of summer fare. As the kiddo says, now all we need to do is raise some meat birds and then the chicken sausage could be “from here,” too.

Garden dinners are the best dinners

Exercise Update

Friday was walking around some in Leavenworth, shopping for camping trip supplies (and my favorite iced coffee when I’m in town). Saturday we hiked up to a fire tower lookout from our campsite, which was about 1,000 feet in elevation gain (with a stunning view at the end).

Monday was my typical bike commute. Even with an e-bike, it is 950 feet of elevation gain round trip, so it is an “easy” workout nonetheless that takes close to an hour. Wednesday was a trail run, and then Thursday the kiddo joined me for a run for the first time in a while.

How is your summer? Beyond *everything going on in the world,* I hope you’re finding time for joy, as well.

8 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 125)

  1. Oooh I used to really like fava beans but the effort involved, plus their short season, means I haven’t had any in years. I haven’t even seen them in the store. I thought they were a spring crop, though, is it just our weird year that let you harvest in July? Or does it depend on when you planted?

    I don’t want to die with zero, exactly, but I am taking a year off work to practice spending/get a feel for what I’d like retirement to be like. I’m already six weeks in!!

    I’ve seen some wildflower references drop the “Indian” and just call those flowers Paintbrush. I’m always pleased when I see them as they’re one of free names I know! (Also ghost pipe, avalanche lily, and columbine.)

    1. Definitely depends on when you plant them! But also a weird year.

      And good to know about Paintbrush.

  2. If you pick them young enough, you don’t have to double pod the fava beans, just shell them once.
    Growing up my grandmother had never double podded in her life !
    I agree the 2nd step is a pain

    1. Yeah, but then I have to just pick some and leave the rest to be big enough to replant. It’s more work depending on the option 🤪

  3. i wrote a post akin to die with zero a few years ago. it stemmed from something that drives me a little nuts. that’s when people say they want to buy and never sell an asset. like they’re taking the trouble to save and invest to accumulate a couple of million bucks to die with a couple of million bucks in the bank? i say to that crowd to ahead but we’re putting ours to good use. hell, even if you want to donate a bunch wouldn’t it feel better to do so while alive and get some jollies from that act?

    1. Yep. Can’t take money with you! Be sure to save enough, but don’t forget to live at the same time.

  4. Did I miss where you talked about buying an e-bike? I am considering it. Any details you can provide?

    1. I’ve shared about it a couple times now! I got the Momentum LaFree. It’s the BEST.

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