Friday miscellany: In the mountains

This week started with a bang. Monday morning, I received the photo illustrating this post. A friend of ours climbed Mt. Everest (talk about a bucket-list item!) and took a photo on her climb of…Juliet’s School of Possibilities! (The jacket…you know…weight!) We were nervous when the news of the various tragedies came out of Everest but she was very well trained (and former military too) and made it down just fine.

I took a trip this week to a much more accessible set of mountains: The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. I flew into Knoxville and then stayed at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort (where I was giving a talk for a conference). The whole place was done up in total Dolly Parton style, from the word “Dream” on the lamp shades to the inspirational quotes in the hallway. And a treasure chest which contains a song to be taken out on Dolly Parton’s 100th birthday in 2046. Can’t wait!

My flight back to Philadelphia was delayed, but I raced right from the airport to my son’s middle school and got there in time for his performance of Antigone. Good thing I was on time as the show was only 20 minutes! It was nice to cap the first half of the week with a work/life win.

Actually, this week has featured a lot of extra stuff to work into the schedule. Two Little League playoff games, the preschool picnic, the third grade wax museum and poetry reading, the kids’ end-of-year swim team party. Everybody got to everything. But I’m ready for school year logistics to be done!

In other news: Sarah and I are recording two Best of Both Worlds episodes this weekend. One is on frugal parenting tips, and the other is on kids at different ages and stages (with a summer focus). If you’ve got frugal ideas, feel free to post them here (or on our Instagram page).

7 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: In the mountains

  1. Lots of parents know the $-saving, time-saving, healthy benefits of prepping and freezing food ahead, but I only recently got hip to it. I hate cooking in the morning, but buying pre-made breakfast fare gets pricey fast. So I started making breakfast burritos and freezing them. That’s branched out to lunch burritos (rice, beans, etc.) and other stuff too (e.g., chili, muffins). It’s time-consuming, no doubt, but depending on kid ages, assembling the meals for freezing is a good, kid-friendly activity. Also a good time for podcasts/audiobooks if I’m prepping solo.

  2. While it can be a bit of an investment up front, we got (or were gifted) memberships to the zoo, botanic garden, and both children’s museums (in Dallas) when our kids were little. We could go anytime for however long we wanted (and did!). So if one of them had a meltdown and we had to leave early, it wasn’t a big deal (as opposed to paying the OMG price and only staying an hour). We also took advantage of free days at the local art museums.

  3. I am so excited for the frugal post! I’m not a mom yet but I’m a 30 y/o Canadian and the housing prices even for small starter homes here are quite high (in comparison to Indiana, which is my husband’s home state). Super looking forward to what you and Sarah have to say!

  4. A couple time neutral or saving ideas, that are big ticket ones: 1) Public school. Private schools in our are are 2-3k/mo per kid. 2) smaller homes provide both more time and money. 3) Vacations you can drive to and/or AirBnB, to places in nature- kids don’t go crazy in a small hotel room, you can eat in a few meals, and roaming in nature is free! This dwarfs anything we could do with meal prepping, shopping sales, etc.

  5. Hi Laura! I love your podcast, and your books!
    I am a stay at home mom, but I’ll try to use universal frugal parenting tips…
    1. Use the local library for books, our library let’s us request books through their app, then I just pick them up once a week or so. Then we can buy the books we love, but we can read tons of books for free!
    2. Childcare swapping for date nights! We have 2 children and often swap with other friends who have 2 children so one couple can go out to dinner. Our kids are 2 and 4, so this gets easier as they get older.
    3. Facebook buy/sell/trade pages for things such as dance shoes, swim suits (we live in Ohio), costumes, boots, winter coats, and things that are only used for a short time before they are outgrown. I can get really nice quality things for my kids without buying everything brand new. My daughter only wears her tap shoes for 30 minutes once a week!
    4. To go along with zoo (and science museum) memberships, most memberships have reciprocity at zoos throughout the country. Sometimes it’s free, and sometimes it’s half off, but on long road trips we will often find another zoo where we can stop to take a break and the price is reduced because of our home zoo membership.
    5. Costco- goldfish crackers and applesauce pouches in bulk 😉

  6. This is not super frugal, but it is more frugal than buying cut flowers: My mother always decorates with large clear or ceramic bowls filled with limes or lemons. It is a great pop of color and they last pretty long. And then you have lemon for your Diet Coke too.

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