Friday, August 31, 2018

Frugal Friday

It's Friday, & I'm back! I spent last weekend doing a relay with my family & had a fabulous time. It's both an athletic endurance event, as well as an opportunity to laugh & bond in a van for two days together. I love the challenge & the time to connect.

But anytime I'm gone over the weekend, it interferes with my planning & efficiency for the weekend. I got back late on Sunday, so I'm still busy catching up. I've felt behind all week.

Here are a few frugal things for the week:

  • We made all dinners at home. This was trickier than usual, as I wasn't home over the weekend to meal prep
  • M & the boys picked me up from the airport (vs an Uber) on Sunday evening, saving about $25
  • I finally sold our old train table for $40 on a Facebook group. It has been posted for weeks, so it's great to see it go.
  • I have to take one last business trip, but was able to find a business class flight on an airline that matches miles for our preferred domestic airline. So, at least there will be a small win in that. 
  • Kept expenses for my relay really low on the food side. My mom insisted on paying for almost everything, as a thank you for our gifting them our old car. I also brought home a few leftover snacks for the boys
  • I paid our car registration via a rewards credit card vs sending in a check. Saved the cost of a stamp + we will accrue miles on our card. 
That's it on our side. Any frugal wins for you?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Frugal Friday

My parents were in town this week, so it was a unique schedule. Combining that with the first week of school meant a lot of chaos! :-) We did save money in a few ways:

  • I continued to price check our flights, and ended up saving $62 on our flights to Hawaii in November. The money gets added to our Alaska Airlines account, which means it can be used for future travel.
  • I called to drop our car off of our insurance (we gifted one of our cars to my parents, and my dad drove it back with him). The cost of our insurance was still crazy high, so I filled out an updated mileage form, and also noticed they had the wrong drivers assigned to each car. (This matters as I have a slightly better driving record than my husband). After the adjustments, we saved over $800 all told on our car insurance.
  • Between myself & my parents, made all dinners at home. (My parents took the kids to In & Out one day.) 
  • Repurposed most of our school supplies from last year, and have a small list of things that we need to purchase.
  • Filled out a matching gift for our school donations. This doesn't save me any money, but doubles the impact of our donation.
How about you? Any frugal wins for the week? 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Frugal Friday/Saturday

I survived a truly terrible week at work. Can't get into the details for legal reasons, but it was awful. But, it's done & I do expect next week to be a moderate improvement. Here are some of the frugal things we did last week:

  1. No meals out, with one exception. I did buy myself lunch at Starbucks yesterday (using a gift card). I was tempted to order delivery last night, but made myself an egg & called it a day. ;)
  2. Drove electric car all week, with free charging at work.
  3. Sam had oral surgery yesterday, and is still quite swollen. He asked to go to the fancy ice cream shop last night. Rather than doing that, we swung by the store & picked up ice cream, for 1/2 the price. Plus, he'll have more ice cream for today.
  4. Carpooled with another mom to summer camp & soccer practice all week, saving time & money.
  5. We picked M up at the airport last Sunday, vs having him take an Uber.
That's all I can drum up. I'm exhausted from the week, but did have yesterday off to take care of Sam. I did end up helping a coworker here & there, but otherwise, read a book while Sam napped, & then figured out soft food options he could eat. He's so sweet when he's tired. I miss the little boy Sam, now that he's almost 13. :-) 

As for the weekend ahead, here's what's on the agenda:

  1. We have a soccer game today, and one tomorrow
  2. I need to go to Costco & the produce stand
  3. We'll be cleaning the entire house, deeper than usual. My family is arriving on Sunday.
  4. I need to work out, 2x.
  5. We need to get the pool in shape, as everyone will be swimming next week.
  6. I want to continue my meditation. I LOVE it. The meditation is really the only thing that kept me going last week, during all of the crazy. I'm using a guided meditation app (HeadSpace) & can't recommend it enough - especially if you've never tried meditation before.
  7. I need to return a couple of purchases that didn't work out.
  8. Prep the air mattress & wash sheets we ordered.
  9. Menu plan
  10. Figure out schedule for next week
  11. Get the kids to do a practice bike ride to middle school
  12. Check the school supplies to see what we need
And, for the menu plan, here's what I have in mind:

Saturday - Spaghetti & meatballs
Sunday - Naan pizzas
Monday - my parents are cooking. Lasagna. Yum!
Tuesday - my parents are cooking again. Chicken enchiladas!
Wednesday - Leftover lasagna
Thursday - Leftover enchiladas
Friday - We will likely due delivery and/or take my mom out as a thank you for cooking, helping with the kids, and she always insists on deep cleaning the house. She is a gift!

That's it for us. What about you? What are you up to this weekend?

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Menu plan Sunday

It's been a nice weekend. Yesterday we had friends over for lunch & to swim. The kids swam, the moms caught up. It was lovely. We did chores, & then had dinner delivered. A real luxury, but, even with a discount & free delivery, I thought it was really overpriced. Trader Joes does a nice splurge frozen dinner option, with samosas, spring rolls, etc. Next time, we'll just do that.

Today we ran errands (Costco, the product stand, Target & the library) & I'll finish getting everything sorted for the week ahead. I'm enjoying one of the last weekends before soccer season begins again. :-)

One of my chores is the menu plan for the week, so here's what we're planning:

  • Friday - we had tacos
  • Saturday - delivery 
  • Sunday -I'll combine the delivery with a few Trader Joes options to stretch it out
  • Monday - leftover tacos
  • Tuesday - spaghetti & meatballs with homemade tomato sauce
  • Wednesday - mushroom ravioli + caprese 
  • Thursday - leftover spaghetti & meatballs
  • Friday - clean out the fridge, or homemade naan pizzas
I might try to make cookies with elderly bananas today. I've already made muffins, so I'm hoping to try something new. I'll report back if I find any tasty recipes. What about you? What are you serving this week? 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Frugal Friday

I'd like to recount a list of super frugal things we did this week, but it was just a pretty standard list. Here's what we did this week:

  1. Sold the boys Legos for $50 on our local Facebook swap. Should have sold them for more, because I had 9 people try to buy them within 15 minutes. 
  2. Made all dinners at home. (Adults eat weekday breakfasts & lunches at work for free. Kids ate all meals "at home" or packed in their lunch boxes). Avoided any eating out.
  3. I received a ~$80 work reimbursement for a couple of expenses I had in mid-June. Applied that directly to our vacation house mortgage. 
  4. Made homemade hummus for a party we had. 
  5. Picked a few things off of our plants (but, the squirrels have once again ravished most everything.) And, we discovered we have a lime tree on the corner of our property. So excited about that! They are not quite ripe yet, but hopefully soon. I sense margaritas in our future. ;-) 

Here are a few frugal things I hope to accomplish this week:
  1. Avoid eating out, with one exception. I have a coupon for Doordash that would make a delivery meal quite cheap, and promised the kids we could order pizza if they accomplished all of their chores this weekend.
  2. Sell a table
  3. Make another homemade hummus variety (cilantro jalapeno from Trader Joes, which is my all time favorite)
  4. Clean out the fridge & freezer, making a list of what we need to use up
  5. Keep our weekly shopping to $60 this week. We bought a lot going into August, so this should be doable.

What about you? Any frugal wins for the week?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August Goals

August is here! I can't believe how quickly the summer is going, and the kids are going back to school in just a few weeks. Wow! Lightning round of summer fun ahead! You'll see some goals carry over, as I didn't get everything done in July. As usual. ;-)


  • Stay on track with our food budget, including both eating out & groceries. We will have guests for a few days, which may push the spending a bit higher than normal, so this will require some planning & effort. 
  • Come up with one way to reduce what we need/spend on an ongoing basis
  • Earn another $200 in sidehustle money. Split this between college money for the kids, & an extra payment on our vacation house mortgage.
  • Rough out our 2019 budget, 2019 vacation plans, & income projections - this is critical as I try to narrow down work options

  • Have one family evening together: cooking dinner, board games, etc
  • Have a date night with my husband
  • Continue financial help (knowledge, not money) with sister & friend
  • Take the kids to Great America before the passes expire

  • Complete another full round of 21 Day Fix
  • Eat 5.5 servings a day of fruit & veggies
  • Lose 3 pounds
  • Run 12 times, complete 1/2 marathon training plan
  • Complete 4 pace walks for my relay. 
  • Successfully complete my relay
  • Work from home 2 days
  • Work on my my "homework" from my coach
  • Start working on options for a revised, part-time role. Investigate options, reach out to my network


  • Make one new recipe
  • Spend time with a friend
  • Volunteer at least 1x
  • Again - Order the book "Now What" from the library & complete it

What about you? What goals do you have for August?