E arrived home from his last trip of the whirlwind, six-week off-and-on travel schedule on Friday and I couldn’t be happier. Not only is he home for a while (I hope, anyway…his employer has a tendency of springing trips on him at the last minute), he’s taking this Wednesday until next Wednesday off. We’ll be looking for a new truck for him, getting some stuff done around the house, and doing some fun things together as a family. Father’s Day is on Sunday and I’m planning on making pulled pork and cole slaw, which we’ll probably bring on a picnic.
I love summer. 🙂
In line with my love of summer and No-Spend Month (as well as the need to replace both a car and a water heater in the last three weeks alone), I’ve been looking at ways to save us money this summer but not sacrifice too much fun. We generally do try to get out more during the summer, but this desire is all the stronger now that B is walking and observing more. We want to give him good memories as well as just a fun time.
For all of us as a family, I was able to get some free tickets to a local dinosaur dig site through our library culture passes program, which we’ll be doing next week. It has other places too such as local gardens and museums, so I’ll probably be using that a lot this summer. We’ve also been going on Sunday afternoon picnics lately, which has been really nice. It was sort of a last-minute whim the first time, but we had such a good time that we decided to keep doing it. Not only does it get us out of the house, but we can also see what kinds of parks we have around here and maybe pick one for B’s second birthday party in August. We’re also going to try and take a few camping trips this summer at National Forest campgrounds which are typically around $14/night, though it’s not hard at all to find ones that are cheaper than that. We’re planning our first one in two weeks, which will be our first camping trip with B. I’m excited. 🙂 Then in late August, we’ll be taking a sort-of staycation at an entire cabin that we got for the same price we would’ve paid for a single hotel room through VRBO. Lots of things to look forward to!
For E and I, we have a summer full of Netflix movies and TV shows to watch. We don’t have cable and found it difficult to sit down and watch the broadcast shows that we like simply because B doesn’t go to bed until around 8 and when he wakes up, we stop whatever it is we’re watching so one of us can attend to him. So last fall we bought a Roku box and subscribed to HuluPlus so we could watch our shows whenever we want and be able to pause them as well. At $8 a month, it was definitely worth it as we had access to a lot more than just broadcast television shows. Now that the TV season is over, we suspended the HuluPlus account and switched to Netflix so we can watch what they have. The price is the same so I don’t have to re-work the budget. When shows start up again in the fall, we’ll switch back. The Chinook book (which we picked up at Sunflower Market for $10) has been a good source for us as well and has actually introduced us to a few places we wouldn’t have otherwise gone to. We’ll be using that a lot this summer as well.
For me, the avid reader, I’ve been able to take advantage of free audiobooks through the library, which I play on my iPod while I’m nursing B to sleep (this is just about the only time I have to be able to actually pay attention to a book). A bonus is that the library is having a summer reading program with a prize of an iPad if you log so many hours. I’m definitely entering that contest as I’ve been wanting one of those for a while. Aside from the prize, though, I’m really looking forward to reading (or listening to?) some great books this summer.
Here’s to a fun, but frugal summer!