Friday, December 19, 2008

Festive Frugality

Well, it is a regular Winter Wonderland up here in frosty Michigan. It started snowing last night and it looks like by the time it is all done we may be getting anywhere from 10-12 inches of snow and ice. This morning going into work was literally some of the worst driving conditions I have ever dealt with. Not one road that I drove on had been plowed. I got stuck twice.

Tonight I have a gig working part time temp job #1. It is my last night for the year. If the roads are still bad, I'll just bring my car home and then walk down. I've done that before and it is pretty easy way of dealing with the weather. Looking at the calendar ahead, the next gig will be at the end of January. Part time temp job #1 will have some work then, and part time temp job #2 will have a nice week of work in February.

I haven't been updating this blog as much as usual, there has just been so much going on, it feels like I haven't had the time I normally do. On top of that, a lot of my money this month has come from working second jobs, so not a lot of really interesting things to report. However, I did have two absolutely perfect winter evenings this past week that were so much fun and cost practically nothing:

Frugal and Fun Winter Outing #1

Going to look at Christmas lights! One of my friends and I have done this the last few years. We both love Christmas lights (though we differ on opinion on which is better - colored lights or the classic white lights.) Tuesday night he picked me up and off we went. The roads were pretty bad, but for driving around super slowly in residential neighborhoods, they were fine. Our first stop was to my neighborhood Starbucks. Yes, I know Starbucks is the frugal woman's nightmare, but I do have a fondness for their peppermint mochas - especially during the holidays. My friend had a Starbuck's discount card and I had a gift card my friend Tracey gave me, so total cost of my mocha? $0. Is there anything more festive than driving around on a cold snowy night, looking at Christmas lights and listening to Christmas songs and drinking a hot peppermint mocha? I tell you, there is not.

The funny thing was that while we were at the coffee shop we ran into a friend and his girlfriend. They asked what we were up to and we told them that we were going to go drive around and look at lights. They both looked at us like it was an incredibly odd thing to say. In fact, so did some random customers who happened to overhear us. Doesn't anyone else drive around and look at lights anymore? This was a Christmas tradition when I was a kid! I love it.

After a couple of hours of lights it was back to my house for popcorn and a couple of Christmas classic cartoons. It was great!

Frugal and Fun Winter Night #2

I had to change my heading, because my other wonderful winter evening wasn't going out - we stayed in....

On Wednesday one of my girlfriends came over for pizza, wine and girl talk. We both were in our comfy clothes, hanging out on the couch, splitting a veggie pizza and a bottle of wine that she brought. The pizza and everything cost a bit more than my free mocha from the night before, but overall we spent a lot less than we would have had we gone out to a restaurant - and we certainly wouldn't have been as comfortable and I don't think it would have been as much fun. This reminded me of getting together with girl friends during high school, and it was so nice to be able to talk as late as we wanted, not be interrupted by waiters, and not go home with smokey smelling clothes.

You know, I have always really enjoyed going out to restaurants, and back when I was flush with cash, I went out a lot. Now I have been viewing it more as a treat, and I find I value it more. I also have found that frequently staying in and just relaxing at home with friends is just as (if not more) rewarding.

Photo of Christmas Lights by: Donna Grayson


J. Money said...

Starbucks AND xmas lights? talk about seeeeeexy time! love it.

Dawn said...

J. Money - Right?!? It was the best!!

passivefamilyincome said...

Dawn - I love the frugal tips. I actually miss snow a little right now, especially around Christmas. But I don't miss the 0 degree days. Stay warm!

Dawn said...

PFI - I just heard on the radio that we have received more snow in December this year, than we have in 50 years in December! It is crazy up here right now - and we have somewhere between 4" - 10" hitting today. I'll be happy to send you some. :)