We are thiiiiiis close to being back to 5pm sunsets (4:51pm tonight). While I don’t mind the rain so much, I do mind the short days during the winter, especially when I’m having a busy time at work and don’t get done until after it’s dark most days.

If you’re in the northern part of the northern hemisphere like me, know that the longer days are just around the corner. I don’t need light until 10pm like midsummer, but I sure can’t wait for post 5pm sunsets. Even in the rain and the cold, the days don’t seem so bad when you can at least see them.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Speaking of long work days, most of you know that I work for an affordable/sustainable housing provider, but might not know that over the last few years, we’ve also been working on larger regional/state level housing policy.

The Washington state legislature is now back in session, and a couple of bills we’ve helped work on are being filed and heard. It’s been a ton of work for a lot of months, but I’m hopeful that this might be the year that my state makes some positive moves around housing. (You can read about some of it here) Frugality is great and all, but if you can’t afford housing, all the homemade lunches in the world won’t add up to the difference you need.

2. I’ve now blown past 1,000 miles ridden on my new e-bike. (Can I even still call it new if I’ve had it since early June?) I’ve also put on over 500 miles on the trailer that the kiddo rides in. Using the AAA calculator for the cost per mile, the trailer has more than paid for itself in replacement car miles.

The kiddo is going to outgrow it soon though, so I have a decision to make. Buy a cargo bike (the nice ones are $$$) so he can ride seated behind me, or only ride by myself until he’s old enough/mature enough to bike on busier roads. Is it worth spending the money on an even more expensive bike that I may only need for a couple of years? I can’t decide. Would love your thoughts. (Bike I’d most likely purchase is the Tern GSD).

3. With the slightly longer days, the girls have started to lay more again. During the very shortest days, we were only getting 1-2 eggs a day, and none on some days. Now we seem to be picking up to 2-4 a day, and more as the days continue to get longer.

I’ve had so many people send me hilarious expensive egg memes, but I have to admit, it feels pretty great looking at the fancy $10/dozen eggs at the grocery store knowing that we don’t need to buy any. Thanks to avian flu/supply chain issues/feed costs, our chickens are paying themselves off sooner than expected.

4. For the second year in a row, I’m doing Dry January (though I started on January 2nd because we went to the Seahawks game on New Years Day and I wanted to have a – very expensive – beer at the game).

This year, we’ve been experimenting with nonalcoholic beers, and I have to say, they have come a long way from when I tried them back when I was pregnant with the kiddo eight years ago. Nonalcoholic wine, on the other hand…. best to just skip it.

(Not the best, but not the worst)

5. Since having Covid six weeks ago, I’m finding that I’m still not back 100% physically. I never had any respiratory symptoms during the acute illness, but my lungs aren’t back to normal. I’ve gone for one run, alternating running and walking, and decided I wasn’t there yet.

Thankfully, I do have access to a small gym at work, and I’ve been able to get on the elliptical a couple times a week. I’m keeping the workouts short, 15-30 minutes, but they’re harder than they should be. From everyone I talk to, they’re telling me that 2-3 months recovery is “normal” for Covid. Again – since when is a 2-3 month recovery “normal”? Ugh. Getting Covid makes me want to get it again even less. Stay safe out there, folks.

Ps. I will write up my annual Books Read post, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Hopefully soon!

14 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 151)

  1. I’m with you on the shorter days, although being in Northern California I’m sure it’s not as short as where you are. Having a window or just taking a small walk outside during midday is such a privilege, daylight really does affect your mood throughout the day.

    I love your bike trailer. I have a road bike I use almost always anytime I am going anywhere within 10 miles, though an ebike with a trailer seems like a good option for later.

  2. I just got a Yuba Kombi E5 cargo e-bike and would recommend! The Terns are too pricey, and I don’t like the lack of local bike mechanics that work on them. A local bike shop recently became a Yuba dealer, which I was so excited about and immediately placed an order :). The Kombi actually weighs 9lbs less than the GSD too which is helpful in maneuvering it around.

    1. I will look it up! Here at least I know a bunch of local places do work on Terns.

    2. “… if you can’t afford housing, all the homemade lunches in the world won’t add up to the difference you need”. Sadly, this is so very true … thank you for recognizing it 🙂

  3. If possible test ride the tern gsd AND hsd. I’ve got a 7yo in San francisco (no car) and thought I wanted a gsd…but MUCH preferred the lighter, smaller hsd for ease of moving around the city. And it’s $1k less expensive. And it can easily fit in the back of small suvs or wagons. I’m hoping we’ll be able to use it for at least 5 more years (weight limit passenger is 130#). I think the ‘sidekick’ style passenger handlebars with captains chair are key for bigger kids ease of getting on/off (vs joyride handlebars). We love it so much we now have 2 so can travel as a family. I figure if we need a bigger bike later we can sell this one and upgrade then. It took awhile to get over the sticker shock but it’s 100% the best purchase we’ve ever made.

    1. Kiddo is already 85lbs so, I’m hesitant with the lighter weight limit…. But maybe I should test right then both!

  4. I’m also very ready for longer days, our sunset was at 4:48pm, which is even later than it has been.. 😅 I’m on an island so it gets pitch black here in the evenings, can’t see your hand in front of your face. lol!

  5. We got a Tern over the summer and LOVE it! It was supposed to be my 40th birthday gift but my husband has ended up riding it more than I have. I especially like that it works for both us, he’s a pretty big dude and we have a tendency to haul a lot when we use it. We’ve been a one car household going on 7+ years, we looked at the expense as buying a second car.

    My sister and BIL are almost entirely car free in Oregon (they’ve made a lot of choices to make it a reality) and it’s what they use. Have you checked out Bike Shop Girl? She used to own a family focused cargo bike shop in Colorado, she now works for Tern. Her website and Instagram are among my favorites. I reached out to her when I started shopping for recommendations fo shops she would recommend and she was really responsive.

    1. Oooh will go check her out! And there’s a full foot difference between me and my husband so that’s definitely a bonus of the Tern.

  6. Nice work hitting 1k on the ebike, they are brilliant. I have the BH ezymotion 29ER – it’s an older model, but in great condition and holds up well. Still getting 100km+ from a charge and it’s so comfy to ride. Best bike I’ve ever owned!

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