That being said, I did spend the weekend on some frugal projects that I'm happy to share. I'm also going to include a few things I did the week before last, which I didn't get around to writing about because we were gone.
1. Groceries: we bought $30.00 worth of groceries in Washington D.C.; bread, mayo, salad/lettuce, apples, carrots, cereal and instant oatmeal. I thought we would buy these things at Walmart here in MI before we left, but instead, we decided to start early and didn't get a chance to buy groceries until we were in D.C.
2. Gardening: This week I started tomato, hot pepper, thyme, lavender and delphinium seeds. I also pruned one of our peach trees and used the trimmings for a table centerpiece, and started some sweet potatoes in water. I am SO excited to be gardening again!! It's still way too cold to plant anything, but just being outside is a balm to my soul.
I also got my new beehive in the mail and painted some of it. I chose to get the bottom part assembled and the honey supers (top stacking parts) unassembled.
3. Books: I received two books from the library's interloan system:
4. Cans: before we left on vacation, we had some spectacular warm weather. I was able to go on three walks and pick up over $5.00 worth of cans (as if getting some fresh air wasn't benefit enough!). As I mentioned last week, my can money this year is going to extra cloth diapers.
5. Diapers: speaking of diapers, one of Baby's cloth diapers busted a seam. I left a review and picture on Amazon, and the company offered to give me a refund. So that's another $5.00 that I can put in the "cloth diaper account." I did end up fixing the diaper then (it was an easy fix, but I wanted to leave a review for mamas who don't sew) so I can still use it.
6. Vacay savings: we reserved a cheap hotel ($80/night), and I brought food along for breakfast and lunch. Bringing food from home saved at least $20.00 per day, but probably more. Plus it was more convenient to have lunch on the go than stop for an hour to eat. We also took the metro inside the city instead of paying for parking all day. This saved at least $20.00 per day, plus we didn't have to waste time finding a parking spot.
As far as sight-seeing, most of the things we did were free. Mount Vernon was $20.00 each, and the Bible Museum was $15.00 per person. Otherwise, the Smithsonian museums, Arlington, and the different memorials were completely free.
Baby did fantastic during the whole trip. Hubs carried her in the front pack most of the time, and I carried our backpack-turned-diaper-bag. By the end of the three days we were TIRED from so much carrying and walking, but that didn't make it any less fun. Since Baby is still nursing, food for her was cheap and easy. She did have a major blowout our second night there. I ended up hand-washing her outfit (one of my favorites ! 😔 ) in the toilet, then scrubbing the stains out in the sink with a bar of hotel soap. Then I let it dry overnight and put it in the window to sun. When we came back later that day, I couldn't believe how much the stains had disappeared!
You would think that washing poop off in the toilet would be nasty, but when the water gets dirty, you can just flush. Voila, new clean water! A pair of rubber gloves would have been nice though. Of course, I rewashed the outfit in a real washer when we got home, but I couldn't have baby poop in with our other laundry for three days. Overall the toilet and hotel hand soap did a great job.
For the most part, I have quit buying souvenirs when we travel. Sometimes I get a small trinket or functional item (blanket, cookware, etc.) but most of the time I browse the gift shops and don't buy anything. I did get a wax seal set at Mount Vernon for $16.00. I could have saved a few dollars by purchasing the set on Amazon. But I didn't.
There are plenty of meaningful "souvenirs" that you can get or make for free without filling your home with junk coffee cups, shot glasses and decorative plates that hang on the wall. I've made shadow boxes, Christmas ornaments and jewelry, as an example. You can also take home recipes (or just the name of a dish, then Google the recipe) or find a favorite local plant and buy it when you're back in the States. Most of the time, souvenirs are cheaper on the internet or if you don't buy them at a gift shop. My favorite thing to take home is ideas, which I found plenty of.
So... that's what I've got for last week!
Til next time,