Friday, June 30, 2023

Frugal Friday

Another week whizzed by! We've had so much fun with family, but it will be nice to be home this weekend. Here are a few frugal wins for the week. 

Saving on things we buy

  • It was another weekend out of town, so we did our normal travel stuff: brought water bottles to fill at the airport, M & I made a dinner out of food at the lounge, priced out cheapest ride share options, & packed snacks for the teens. 
  • I dropped off Nick's tennis racket, string & some cash for his friend, who is restringing the racket for him. It was about half the price of having it done at a shop. 
  • I had to pick up some things we needed at Rite Aid, and found matching Fetch offers, as well as a Rite Aid offer. I spent a total of $55, and earned $7 in Rite Aid rewards & $16 in Fetch offers, which was a nice bonus. 

Earning money

  • Not much to report here, as the boys are with my parents & not working this week. M & I are continuing our normal work.
  • I found $.35 on the ground, outside of Rite Aid
Avoiding spending

  • We also took advantage of the free breakfast the hotel served over the weekend. It was a nice  buffet, so everyone was able to fill up in the mornings. 
  • I needed a rapid COVID test for Nick's camp, and didn't have any on hand. I was able to pick one up on Buy Nothing. 

Eating what we have

  • Ate lots of lettuce, basil & peppers from our garden. We have not had as much sun/warm weather as usual, so we don't have any ripe tomatoes yet. Our tomato plants are quite small for this time of the year.
  • I finished all of the delivery meals (frozen)! They are super handy to have in a pinch, and I love that they are very healthy, as opposed to most frozen/prepped options. That said, they are too pricey when you pay the regular price. I got a great deal from a work offer, but likely won't replace them. 
  • M ate a few burger patties & grilled chicken from the freezer, as well as finished off the last of the salmon.
  • I cut up all of the ripe/overly ripe fruit in the fridge, and froze it for smoothies, as the boys were  out of town this week. 

For others

  • Spent some time on a new mentorship program through work.
  • I have a few nice things to give away on Buy Nothing, so want to get those posted ahead of the long weekend.
That's it for me. What about you? Any wins to share?

Thursday, June 29, 2023

June Goals Recap

 June was a really busy month, and I can't believe it's done. We had: both kids finishing school, starting work, M's birthday, and two weekend out of town/flying trips! It's been a whirlwind. As a result, it was a lot of fun, but not as productive as some of my other months. That's okay, that's why I consistently try to set goals, even if not every month is quite as productive as others. 


  • Stick to our budget - eh, we've been traveling a lot, but have generally done well, outside of travel costs.
  • Use 6 "hard to use" freezer or pantry items - I finished off all of the meal delivery prepped meals, which has freed up a bunch of freezer space
  • Make $200 in side hustle - I made $45, selling two items
  • Start working on college funding plans - I didn't make any progress on this


  • One fun activity with with the kids - we did several fun things, including two mini weekend trips. We also played cornhole at a family party, and enjoyed it so much that we ordered a set for at home.
  • Plan fun birthday lunch with M on our shared day off - we ended up going for a run & then having lunch in Pacifica, which was lovely
  • Have two dates with M - we've had lots of time together, & enjoyed a few dates.


  • Get back on track with my running training plan - mostly there
  • Track calories & average below 1500 calories/day - I'm liking my new approach of no snacks, sweets or seconds & my calories have been consistently good on these days
  • Complete Orange Theory challenges (15 class workouts) - I'm going to finish with 14, and could push for 15, but also need to prioritize running
  • Meditate 10x - I meditated 1x, so better than prior months. 

  • Do something social with friends - met a friend for a hike, and another friend for coffee
  • Practice French on Duolingo -  I've done a bit of this, but not consistently
  • Land on timing for French trip + hotels & activities - no real progress
  • Give away 20 items on Buy Nothing - yes!
  • Trim back herbs & give away what we won't use - no, & now I've missed the window. Need to be better next time, as I hate waste.
  • Try one food recipe from garden goodies - yes, we made grilled artichokes, & they were fantastic. 
What about you? How did you do with your June goals?

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Workout Wednesday

 This should really be re titled as "Fitness Wednesday", but I'll stick with the alliteration for now. Similar to most people, I do best with a regular routine, on the health & fitness front. Since April, I've done two international trips, one college tour, one trip to my parents house for my nephew's graduation, and one weekend trip for a wedding. Individually, any of these would be fine, but added together, they definitely got me out of a routine, & I've struggled to get back into one.

I've done a good job over the last 3 years  or so of sticking with my workout routine regardless, even if it's sometimes dialed back on travel or jet lagged days. Eating, however, is much harder for me to rebound from splurges back to healthy habits. 

I'd like to lose 15-20 lbs (realistically, anything around the ten pound mark would be great), and I'd like a diet (e.g. not a short term "diet", but a healthy approach to eating) that I can use for the rest of my life. I'm fine with occasional calorie tracking, to ensure I know how much I'm eating, but I really don't want that to be the rest of my life, worrying about each calorie. I also find that I just get decision fatigue. Should I eat this? That? Have I burned enough calories? 

I've been following the No S diet  (no affiliation of any kind) for the past ten days or so, and am really liking how easy it is. Basically, no sweets, snacks, or seconds (portions) for any days that don't start with S. On S days (Saturday & Sunday), you can indulge a bit more, but be reasonable. Special occasion days (your birthday, Christmas, or whatever) can fit within an S day. 

Trying this out has made me realize how much snacking I was doing! It's been super helpful & eye opening, just to make this adjustment to my diet, and I've lost 1.5 lbs in two weeks. I'm going to give it a few more weeks, and continue to make small adjustments to my eating (ensuring I'm getting enough fruit & veggies, as typically fruit served as a "snack), but so far, I love how easy it is & can definitely see following this forever. It's also described as the "Grandma Diet", as it's reflective of how your older relatives likely ate. 

On the fitness front, I'm still juggling OrangeTheory workout classes (love them, and really enjoy the strength training element, and the muscle tone I've developed in my arms), combined with running. I'm doing a relay at the end of August, and need to dial up my miles. I also have some piriformis pain, and need to increase my stretching. 

What about you? How are you doing with your health & fitness?

Monday, June 26, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

 The teens didn't have to work this week (unexpectedly, as camp registration numbers were down), so they opted to go home with my parents after the wedding this weekend, and will fly back on Thursday. As such, our dinner options are a little lighter/we're feeding fewer people. I try to make these "clean out the freezer" weeks, and reduce our grocery shopping as much as possible. 

Here's what we're eating this week:

  • Friday - M & I ate at the lounge, before our flight. The teens ate snacks from home & a sandwich
  • Saturday - we ate mostly at the wedding, and ordered Dominos for afterward, as not everyone was "full" enough ;-) 
  • Sunday - I made the last of a bag of chicken from the freezer, and served that over a salad. M had salmon
  • Monday - salmon for M, a frozen delivery dinner for me (last 1 of 2!) 
  • Tuesday - last delivery dinner for me, and a burger for M
  • Wednesday - grilled chicken salads
  • Thursday - picking up the boys at the airport. Spaghetti & meatballs
  • Friday - gyozas & wings, most likely
What about you? What's on your menu this week?

Friday, June 23, 2023

Frugal Friday

Another very, very busy week, with the boys working & M & I working more than usual. We did have Monday off, which was so lovely, after being gone over the weekend. It was nice to catch up! 

Saving on things we buy

  • Our flights last weekend were in & out of separate airports (because of the cost difference on the return flight - so much cheaper to fly home via SFO), so we weren't able to park. We priced out the least expensive option (Lyft) & used that both ways. We get a small discount as well via our credit card. 
  • I bought discounted travel gift cards at Costco. 
  • I buy 2-3 pair of running shoes a year, and discovered that my current favorites (Brooks, Ghost 14) were on sale. Additionally, my credit card was also offering 10% back at Brooks, and I clicked through to Rakuten first, saving an additional 2%. 
  • Uploaded a few receipts to Fetch & iBotta, saving $.35 on raspberries. 
  • I used a $20 grocery store reward (earned buying gift cards) to offset the cost of: two bags of salad, hamburger buns, a loaf of bread & two packages of cheese for the boys sandwiches, plus oat milk. I paid $5 out of pocket. 
  • The boys are done from camp earlier than expected on Fridays, so I was able to move up our flight for the wedding we're attending. We will need an additional night in a hotel, but even with that, it's a $400 savings. Bonus, the hotel repriced my first night reservation & increased the rate by $40 when I added the second night, but I caught it  & they adjusted it for me. 

Earning money

  • I sold a pair of shoes on eBay

Avoiding spending

  • M & I used our free lounge access app & had two free drinks + dinner at the lounge. We received the lounge access app with our credit card, & will be tracking the cost of the card vs the perks this year, to see if it's worth continuing. The sign up bonus paid for the card for the first year, but we'll want to see how the cost plays out after the first year.
  • Brought snacks from my parents house, for the return flight on Sunday. 

Eating what we have

  • Rather than takeout, we found dinner options in the freezer, after we flew home on Sunday

For others

  • Sadly, I can't think of anything this week. This is a good reminder to focus on this next week.
What about you? Any wins to share?

Monday, June 19, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

We had a great weekend, celebrating my nephew's graduation. We flew back yesterday afternoon, & M & I both have the day off work. The teens, on the other hand, are both working today. 

Here's what's on the menu this week:

  • Friday - M & I ate a few things on the lounge, & bought Sam a sandwich at the airport
  • Saturday - there was lots of party food available to enjoy
  • Sunday - when we got back from the airport, I defrosted barbecued chicken & served that with fried rice
  • Monday - M is grilling burgers, since we have the day off today, & more time to cook
  • Tuesday - chicken fajitas (prepped & in the freezer, just need to be baked)
  • Wednesday - leftover burgers
  • Thursday - leftover fajitas
  • Friday - we are flying to a family wedding, so something at the airport
What about you? What's on your menu this week?

Friday, June 16, 2023

Frugal Friday

Work is whizzing along, and this week I needed to be in the office by 8:30 all five days, which is unusual. A couple of the days it was even earlier. It was also M's birthday, and Sam's first week of work. Nick is visiting my parents, and having a fabulous time. 

Saving on things we buy

  • Used a $10 reward to buy a bralette for myself, for $5. 
  • M bought me a few pair of my favorite work shoes (Rothys) for Mother's Day last year. They were the same size I've always worn, but were so much smaller. I've stubbornly tried to wear them, and they hurt my feet every time. I should have returned them at the time, but that ship has long since sailed. Instead, I'm listing them on eBay, and used a coupon code + Rakuten to order them in a size up. So, this is definitely a combination frugal fail/win. 
  • Uploaded Fetch & iBotta receipts, and saved a bit here & there.
  • Used $5 of Rite Aid rewards, before they expired. 
  • Contacted the grocery store for $6.50 of rewards that didn't apply on a recent purchase (their loyalty system was down).
  • Earned $30 in rewards at the grocery store, buy purchasing Home Depot gift cards. We use the gift cards for various home maintenance tasks that come up. 

Earning money

  • I worked at my normal W2 job, but Sam worked last weekend to get ready for the first week of camp, and worked as a counselor this week. 

Avoiding spending

  • M taught Sam how to change the oil in his car, so they worked on that this weekend. 
  • All of our cars were washed at home
  • Carpooled to a volunteer event

Eating what we have

  • I've continued to eat the leftover delivery meals (stored in the freezer), as a good "in a pinch" meal option for myself. It's also helping to clear out the freezer, which is always a win. 
  • Used up garden lettuce, basil & a small handful of tomatoes
  • We also took advantage of a few freezer dinners (kebabs, grilled chicken, etc), as we had fewer diners this week, with Nick out of town. 

For others

  • Gave away a bunch of teen clothes via Buy Nothing
  • Volunteered at a clean up event at a local school, and then had my time matched by my employer
What about you? Any wins to share this week?

Monday, June 12, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

 Nick is with my parents this week, so there are just three diners at our house. Here's what we're having this week:

  • Friday - went out to dinner, to celebrate Sam becoming a senior. We had a fabulous meal (pizza, salad, wings) & lots of laughs.
  • Saturday - A delivery dinner (freezer) for me, M had salmon. Both served with caprese salad
  • Sunday - Philly cheesesteaks + coleslaw
  • Monday - chicken fajitas
  • Tuesday - Philly cheesesteaks
  • Wednesday - chicken fajitas
  • Thursday - any remaining leftovers, or delivery dinner (freezer) for me, and meatballs for the boys
  • Friday - at the airport, on my way to my parents for my nephew's graduation party
What about you? What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Sunday Things

 I made some progress on my to do list yesterday, but opted to work on cleaning out Nick's room, vs some of my other cleaning chores. Much was done, but quite a bit remains. 

Here's what's on my list for today. 
  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Laundry
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean kitchen
  • Try out new steam mop
  • Go to workout class
  • Organize my schedule for the week
  • Work with Sam on his schedule for the week
  • Work in the garden
  • Run a couple of miles, try out new watch
  • Continue working in Nick's room

What about you? Are you having a productive weekend? 

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Saturday Happenings

We dropped Nick off at the airport yesterday, and he flew to Portland to spend a week with my parents, and attend my nephew's graduation. Sam has to work next week, so he stayed behind with us. 

I got a few things taken care of (new passport photo, as I'm out of pages & need to order a new passport) & then we took Sam out to dinner to celebrate becoming a senior. We had a hilarious & lovely conversation. I'm trying to remember to make time for lots of mom/boy occasions this year, as we close in on the home stretch before Sam graduates.

Here's what's on the to do list today (I always hope to get most of it done, but often some stuff carries over to the Sunday to do list):

  • Make a menu plan
  • Grocery list
  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Laundry
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean kitchen
  • Try out new steam mop
  • Go to workout class
  • Meet a friend for coffee, after class
  • Find a stapler, as I need to staple my passport photo onto my application
  • Get application sent off
  • Organize my schedule for the week
  • Buy lunch items for Sam, as he has to pack a lunch for work next week
What about you? What are you up to today?

Friday, June 9, 2023

Frugal Friday

 The busy season of end of school is upon us. Combined with some really busy work days, this was about all I could manage. 

Saving on things we buy

  • I've continued to upload receipts to Fetch, and found a $.10 receipt offer on iBotta, so uploaded a receipt there as well. 
  • Used Target rewards + a few gift cards I don't remember having to slightly offset the cost of the steam mop I purchased. our entire house is either hard wood or tile (no carpeting) & getting the floors cleaned is a struggle. My mom has this mop & loved it, so I figured it was worth a try to make life easier. 

Earning money

  • I have a bunch of stuff to list on eBay, but have so far made zero progress. 

Avoiding spending

  • Thought long & hard about getting takeout 2x this week, but instead, I cobbled together a dinner one night, and M did the same on another night. 

Eating what we have

  • Grilled an (enormous) artichoke from the garden, and had that with dinner on Saturday. I made a delicious lemon aioli to go with it.
  • I made eggs a few times this week for meals, and served as an open faced sandwich with whatever I found in the fridge (1/2 a bun one day, and the end of a loaf of bread another day). I topped both with sliced pepper jack cheese (leftover from Sam's sandwich making) & sliced tomatoes.
  • Nick had friends over for lunch on Monday (they brought a pizza with them), but underestimated how much food it would take to feed 5 hungry teen boys. I offered them the chicken I made myself for lunch, plus chips & cookies from the pantry. 

For others

  • Gave away a bunch of PSAT books & other prep material in BN, as well as sporting equipment, some clothes, etc. 
What about you? Any wins to share?

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Last day of school

For whatever reason, I'm a little emotional today, as it's the last day of 10th & 11th grade. Next year, Sam will be a senior! It's such a milestone, we've been thinking about it forever, and known it was coming, but.... it's here!

Work is absolutely crazy, with calls starting at 8, and wrapping up at 6, and I slept through my workout. So, I've left the boys $20, with a promise that they would take the traditional last day of school pictures for me. Pretty convinced my bribe will work!

Nick flies out tomorrow, and Sam starts his job on Monday, so things are already moving quickly. 

Monday, June 5, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

 I'm late, but I do actually have a menu planned for the week! Here's what we're eating at our house.

  • Friday - M & I had grilled burgers, the boys had chicken sandwiches, & we all had caprese salad
  • Saturday - grilled chicken & rice + a grilled artichoke from our garden, with lemon aioli
  • Sunday - barbecued chicken + coleslaw + more artichokes
  • Monday - M is making salmon for himself, I'm having a leftover meal delivery meal (freezer) & the boys are having pasta & meatballs
  • Tuesday - leftover grilled chicken & rice
  • Wednesday - barbecued chicken, coleslaw, and if the boys need carbs, pasta
  • Thursday - any remaining leftovers
  • Friday - We're taking Nick to the airport, to visit my parents. Sam has to work next week, so he'll be with us. Maybe we'll do a dinner out, just the three of us. Or, more realistically, he'll have plans with friends. ;-)
What's on your menu this week? Anything from your garden making it onto your menu?

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sunday Things

I made good progress on my to do list yesterday, but a few things have carried over to today (my usual weekend approach). M made delicious barbecued chicken and rice, which we had with our first artichoke from the garden. He grilled it, and I made a lemon aioli to go with it, and it was fabulous. We need to tweak the cooking time a bit, so we're going to practice with more artichokes. I like this kind of practice. ;-) 

It's going to be a very intense work week, with lots of early morning starts. M & I planned our schedules, so we understood the overlaps, the boys schedules, late days, etc. I'm glad we took the time to do that yesterday, as it makes the week ahead a bit easier.

Here's what's on the list today:

  • Meet a friend for a hike
  • Vacuum (M did part of this yesterday, as my back has been bothering me.)
  • Practice Duolingo
  • Water plants
  • Go to Sam's soccer game (last one of the season)
  • Make coleslaw (we opted for the artichoke instead last night)
  • Make protein balls for Sam
  • Read by the pool
  • Sweep
  • Order steam mop
What about you? What's on your to do list this weekend? Any tips to share of what you do on weekends to make the week ahead easier? 

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Saturday Happenings

 School is out in just under a week, so the boys are working hard on finals, studying & last minute catch up work. No one is really having that much fun, and people are a little...stressed, shall we say. :-) 

I'm getting back into the groove, after a shorter work week, having guests, and lots of soccer last weekend.

Here's what I'm up to today:

  • Workout class this am
  • Shopping list & menu for the week
  • Workout schedule/running training plan
  • Laundry 
  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean kitchen
  • Make coleslaw
  • Run to the store
  • Help the boys with emails to their teacher. For whatever reason, both of them get very uncomfortable with this, but there is some chasing to do. (Assignments that were submitted but not graded, etc.) 
  • Sit by the pool & read my book
  • Water the plants
  • Duolingo
  • Make protein bars for Sam
A lot's going on at work (in a good way), so I'll provide an update about that in the next week or so. Just when I locked on a date to leave, something really crazy happened in my broader organization that's making me interested in staying at least long enough to see what happens, and whether I'm interested in leading a team. We shall see!

What about you? What are you up to today? 

Friday, June 2, 2023

Frugal Friday


Saving on things we buy

  • I had a $20 Dicks sporting good reward to use that was expiring. I combined that, ensured I had enough to get free shipping, and of course clicked through Rakuten before I made the purchase. I was able to pick up: two pair of running socks for M's birthday, a water bottle for me for traveling, & a light weight water bottle for Nick. I was short on the amount needed to get free shipping, so I added two containers of Nuun (an electrolyte water bottle drop in). Nick uses Nuun when it's hot, to prevent getting migraines. I needed a water bottle that was small enough to fit in the side pocket of the backpack that M bought me for my birthday. It's an awesome backpack, but all of my current water bottles are too wide. In related news, we only have three water bottles left at our house. Maybe five years ago, we had 6-10. They ever so slowly disappear at sports practices... 
  • Used a $10 reward to order pizza one night when my mom was visiting

Earning money

  • I volunteered at the soccer tournament last weekend, earning $100 off of my club dues for one kid. My mom was in town and offered to help volunteer, which was awesome, as I needed another chunk of volunteer hours for the second kid. All told, we volunteered for two hours & I saved $200. (I did take her out to dinner on Friday as a thank you :))
  • After a long drought, sold a workout tank on eBay. 

Avoiding spending

  • Instead of going to the local winery for a wine tasting, we opted to do something similar at my house. I bought a nice but not terribly expensive bottle of wine at Trader Joes, as well as some fun nibbles. We had that by the pool, where we sat & caught up. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, which made it especially nice. 
  • Drove our electric car to an away soccer tournament (x2), which was quite a distance, saving on gas. We charge the car for free at our office. 

Eating what we have

  • I didn't have any good lunch options, so made a quick scrambled egg wrap, using a mini tortilla leftover from a meal delivery dinner, and some grated cheese from taco night. Easy & filling. 
  • My mom & I had leftover Chipotle for lunch one day. We had to eat on the run, between soccer games on Saturday, and had plenty of leftovers on Sunday. I reheated the tortilla chips, added diced tomato to my burrito bowl to make it more filling, and we were good to go.
  • Ate lettuce from the garden in salads, and used garden basil for a caprese salad. 
  • Ate a leftover dinner delivery meal, from the freezer 

For others

  • Gave away some garden goodies to neighbors (lettuce, spinach, herbs)
  • Helped my neighbor order a mouse (the computer variety) that would meet her needs
What about you? Any wins to share?

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June Goals

June is full of lots of family celebrations (my nephew's graduation & my cousin's wedding) & travel, so things will be interesting this month! 

Here are my goals. 


  • Stick to our budget
  • Use 6 "hard to use" freezer or pantry items (including meal delivery leftovers)
  • Make $200 in side hustle
  • Start working on college funding plans


  • One fun activity with the kids
  • Plan birthday lunch with M + our shared day off
  • Have two dates with M
  • Survive finals week (teens) & plan a few fun surprises for them
  • Help boys with college prep (Sam) & tutoring (Nick)
  • Get back on track with running training plan
  • Track calories & average below 1500/day
  • Complete June Orange Theory Fitness challenge (15 class workouts + other assorted daily challenges)
  • Meditate 10x


  • Do something social with friends
  • Practice French on Duolingo
  • Land on timing for French trip (time in various areas) + hotels & activities
  • Give away 20 items on Buy Nothing
  • Trim back herbs & give away what we won't use
  • Try one new recipe with garden goodies
What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish in June?