In the Frugal Paradise household, most of our Saturdays are spent cleaning the house, buying groceries, and performing various other errands. Super exciting, we know! However, this week Mr. Paradise had Friday off due to the holiday, and while he still went in to catch up on some work stuff, he was able to come home early. Instead of passing out on the couch in front of the TV as I might have done, he cleaned up and made a meal plan for next week, then we went out and got groceries / other supplies after I finished up with work. Due to his diligence, we woke up Saturday morning with a blessedly open schedule and energy to burn.
Our city has an online calendar of “things to do” for each day of the week. We used the entries to map out a day in the life of Frugal Paradise. We packed in a full day of mostly non-errands and spent a frugal grand total of $24.35. Here’s how we did it:
9:00 am: Wake up. As we’ve already established, I hate getting up early.
9:30am: Plan out our exciting day!
10:15am: Fight over who gets to use the bathroom to get ready.
11:00am: Beginner CrossFit class.
Here’s where things start to get exciting. The first entry on the “things to do” website that caught our attention was a free introductory CrossFit class at a gym only a couple of miles from our house. Being completely naive, we both thought CrossFit “sounded like fun”. Today as I write this and can barely move, I may have over-estimated my athletic abilities.
As we were pulling up to the gym, we observed a stream of scantily clad men and women running back and forth in the parking lot carrying giant medicine balls. A couple of them were doubled over in front of the building, presumably unable to stand the sheer joy that one can obtain by working out until you want to throw up.
At this point I declared that “maybe this was a bad idea” and that we could go home and do laundry instead. Had Mr. Paradise not been driving, I think it’s very likely that’s what would have happened. Instead, we deftly avoided the queasy looking gym-goers, parked, and went inside. After signing waivers that essentially said we couldn’t sue them if we died inside the gym, we were introduced to the instructor and met a couple of other people who were joining the class.
Although I was nervous, admittedly our instructor was fantastic and very encouraging. He spent a significant amount of the class explaining how to do the movements correctly, and how to adapt the moves for certain types of injuries. We rowed and did squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and assisted pull-ups with rings (see picture, although it’s not so great, I was trying to be stealthy!). I admitted my pull-up goal, which our instructor seemed pretty enthusiastic about. We left sixty minutes later with shaky arms and legs, but feeling good.
Total Cost: Zero dollars!
12:00pm: Lunch at home, with as much protein as we could manage. Mainly bacon and eggs.
1:00pm: Drive both cars to tire shop 1 mile from house to switch out winter tires for summer tires. Drive one car back home to get the bag of lug nuts we forgot. Drive back to tire shop. Thankfully they do this for free each season, since we bought the tires from them.
1:30pm: Head to local humane society to pick up a med refill for Apollo. Since we were still waiting on the other car, and we are almost never there without a cat in tow, we decided to take a tour around the shelter. We met this little guy named Honda (on the right), and the friendliest Akita around, Bacon (on the left). Our humane society does an awesome job taking care of their animals and trying to get them adopted out as soon as possible. We can’t say thank you enough for the great work that they do!
Total cost: Zero dollars!
2:15pm: Stop at McDonald’s for two hot fudge sundaes. Hey, we did CrossFit, obviously it’s time to eat ice cream.
Total cost: $2.70
2:30pm: On our way back to the tire shop, we drove by the Natural History Museum which is part of our local university. Some of their new exhibits were featured in the online “things to do” list. We hadn’t been there in a while and we had some extra time so we decided to stop in (Mr. Paradise happens to be a big dinosaur fan). Here he is checking out the Sinonyx jiashanensis. Did you know that most dinosaurs were vegetarian? And that most were human-sized or smaller? You probably did.
Total cost: $10 donation
3:30pm: Pick up car from tire shop, including bag of lug nuts. Drive home. Label bag of lug nuts and store with tires.
3:45pm: We live within a mile of a giant indoor “ice and fitness” facility which has public skating sessions on weekends. Mr. Paradise, who hails from the Great White North, was born knowing how to skate and play hockey. When we first started dating he bought me a pair of hockey skates and got them professionally molded to my feet. So even though my skating motto is “just try not to fall down”, I can still fool people into thinking I know how to skate because of my sweet gear (as long as I’m not moving). This one hour skating session probably also contributed to the fact that I am having trouble walking today.
Total cost: $8.00
4:45pm: Conveniently, the skating rink and our public library share a parking lot, so we strolled over to see if we could find a movie to watch for the evening. We picked up Source Code and The Men Who Stare at Goats on Blu-ray for free, which I still find hard to believe. This saved us a couple of dollars and a driving trip to find a RedBox.
Total cost: Zero dollars!
5:15pm: Arrive home, eat crazy amounts of snacks, followed by dinner (leftovers) plus movie plus not moving on the couch.
8:00pm: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective with long-lost grad school friends over Skype. We use Skype to keep in touch with some of our friends who don’t live in the area anymore. The call quality is pretty good and it doesn’t cost anything, so we are willing to put up with a few dropped calls. When they moved away, we both bought a Sherlock Holmes game which consists of 10 murder mysteries that are solved cooperatively, and your final score is judged against how Holmes himself did. We consider any score above zero to be a success (if you try it, you’ll know what I mean…). The game was $30 when we bought it, so we can call this $3.00 of spending.
Total cost: $3.00
10:00pm: A little bit of Amazon Prime TV before bed to wind down.
Our total spending for the day was $23.70. If you include gas, that brings us up to $24.35 as reported by the car. By the end of the day we were completely exhausted, and definitely had had enough “frugal fun”, but it’s nice to know we can go out on the town for an entire day and spend less than $25.
What do you do for fun that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?