Category Archives: Entertainment

Monday 106: A Summer Weekend

Monday, 26 June 2017

We spontaneously left town for most of the weekend.  It was a great way to enjoy the summer, to see friends, to spend time with each other.  Summer, more than any other time of the year, is our favorite time – and most convenient time – to just do things.

Saturday morning I was sick of looking at the familiar areas of the neighborhood.  New scenery, a different place to be, a desire for something outside the usual weekend were on the agenda.  The problem was what to do, where to go?  With temperatures in the low 90s, there was no desire to go someplace possibly hotter and little desire to go where there would be unruly crowds of people, all attempting to escape the heat.  Mr. 182 suggested the zoo!

And off to the zoo we went.  There are two zoos near us – by near, I mean within an hour’s drive.  We chose the smaller of the two, the one on the coast, the one we could get to without driving into a congested city.  And off we went.  Total cost (not including gas) was about $64.00, including a sandwich for each of us.  We spent the day wandering around a beautiful park-like setting, enjoying the sea breezes, and not feeling crowded and rushed as we got there when they opened.

While driving up, we thought of calling up some friends who live halfway along the route.  One day, they invited themselves to dinner, and since then it has been a running joke about inviting them to invite us to dinner.  We didn’t do that . . . but I chanted as we drove past their neighborhood, “Invite us!  Invite us!”

I’m not sure if that had any influence, but that night we got a call:  “Come up for a beach day and a barbecue!”  Sunday we did, and the cost was gas and a couple of bottles of beer.  $7.00.

Our total expenses for our weekend were $71.00 for a lot of fun.  There were no motel rooms or expenses for fancy meals.  We could have packed a lunch and saved $18.49.  We could have brought some home brew and saved $7.00.  The weekend was a mini-vacation spent outside, with friends, at the beach, with each other.  I feel like I’ve been off for a week!

Monday 111: Taking a Day (or Two) Off

Monday, 22 May 2017

After a crazy week at work, I decided to kick back and do nothing too hard.  Instead, I am spending it with family and friends, doing things I enjoy, and not thinking overly hard about frugality and its place in life.  The weekend will be filled with cheap and / or free thrills that won’t be impinge upon the finances more than a couple of bucks!

Cheap Thrills in Entertaining

Picture of Picture-Taker

A couple of weeks ago we decided to have a bread-baking party.  It was our first one, but we knew from past experiences that a party surrounded by making food would be well received!  We have done pie-crust baking parties, and cake-baking parties (which turned into a surprise party for one member).  The results were tasty and included  Finnish Wheat Bread, sourdough with real sourdough starter, cinnamon rolls, challah, and strozzapreti (“strangled priest”) pasta.  Today, as further cheap thrills, and for a new experience, I decided to make some crackers.

Cheap is good!  Quality is better than boughten!  It usually is, if you know what you are doing, and if the effort – in your opinion – is worth it.  We enjoy bread here – especially Mr. 182.  We also like pasta, but have never made it before.  And the same with crackers.  If I were to weigh in on what is worth repeating, I would say the bread (always) and the pasta.  Crackers are a bit of work for what you get.  The crackers I made were a bit salty, and as I don’t care for salty food, that may be the reason why.  I plan to try to make them again, as with the pasta, just because the experiences are too new to really be something to judge as worthwhile or not.  A party to make them, though, is worth it, as everyone chips in and goes home with a lot of food for very little cost.  Community in action!

ChallahCinnamon RollsWhole Wheat Bread

Entertaining does not need to be expensive, and our bread-baking party was not.  Between all of us, we had yeast, flour, mixers, pans, seeds, pans, sugar, spices, nuts.  We decided that chipping in for a pizza would be smart, so for about $5.00 each we got pizza for five, and that included leftovers.  The results were we ended up with about five loaves of bread to keep, and enough pasta for two or three meals.