Every winter our local zoo puts on a 5K, 3K, and kids fun run. It is a great way to support the zoo, get outside after a forced hibernation, and see the zoo.
This was the second year that Frugal Boy ran the kids fun run. It meanders through the zoo grounds past exhibits before finishing just outside the gates. Every participant gets a medal and a baggie of apple slices.
Frugal Boy did a great job this year and finished somewhere in the middle of the pack. I was proud that he didn’t wipe out on the concrete like some of the other kids. He is not the most graceful so that was a big accomplishment in my book.
After the kids fun run, it was time for the 5K to start. Shae pushed Frugal Girl in one jogging stroller while I pushed Frugal Boy in a second stroller.
I finished in 25:02 and Shae finished in 36:47. We were both satisfied with our times considering the stroller handicap and both recuperating from illness.
Afterwards we had a little picnic lunch at the park. Post race food always tastes so good. It must be a running thing.
It was such a lovely day that we went to the zoo afterwards. Part of the race registration fee included a ticket for admittance to the zoo. Frugal Girl found someone as stubborn as her.
And later on, I found a couple of chicken nuggets.
Cabin Fever is at 200% at our house, so when the mercury rose to a balmy 44° on a sunny Saturday we did not hesitate to bundle up and go for an adventure picnic!
You cannot hike on an empty stomach, so the first priority was to make sure everyone was fueled up. We utilized one of the local school fundraiser coupon cards that we purchased last year from a neighbor to get a 16″ sub sandwich for free. Yay! Half of the card cost has been recouped so far.
With our bellies full, we set off in search of adventure and education.
Frugal Boy had fun crossing this little stream and then gave tips to his parents on how they could cross it.
Later on, he made a stream of his own.
And then he made two more streams later in the hike. He’s a regular Niagara Falls!
The hike was interspersed with teaching moments.
Frugal Boy learned that some plants have thorns to keep animals away from them. Thorns hurt. I thought that might be obvious, but sometimes you just have to learn from experience.
We also examined different footprints. Dogs, people, and deer were very common and easy to spot in the muddy conditions. An osage orange provided a nice distraction from tired legs as we kicked it, smelled it, and broke it in half to look at the inside. There were several mole tunnels. I learned today that the surface tunnels that you commonly see where the sod is lifted up is called a runway tunnel and are used for foraging/feeding.
The days are already getting longer and it won’t be long until flowers start blooming in our yard!
Frugal Girl turned nine months old and had another round of vaccinations.
She received her final Hep B vaccination, along with a flu booster shot. She also had a toe prick for lead/iron levels. Everything seems to be on course and she is now 28.5″ tall (70% the nurse didn’t stretch her out so I think the measurement is a bit under), 19 pounds even (88%), and has a big head measuring 18″ (88%). She is up to 6 teeth and has a couple of new ones ready to come in on the bottom. The separation, stranger/danger phase has come home to roost and there is a clear pecking order of who she prefers. Here is a hint, Dada is not at the top.
In other news, we opened up Frugal Girl’s first savings account. Thank you to everyone who has gifted money to the little saver. We are that much closer to a dowry! 😛
Also she will likely be getting her first passport as soon as those lazy parents get their act together.
If you have kids, you probably have a mountain of candy from trick or treating and Halloween parties. You could eat it all right now, or maybe you did last night, but that would be a tad gluttonous and bad for your health. So after you’ve picked out a few pieces, what do you do with the rest of it?
1. Dentist Buyback
This was the first year that I had heard of it, and it is genius! Simply find a participating dentist or company in your area that is offering a buyback. The idea is that the dentist buys candy from the kids to get some of that sugar off the street and the kid benefits by getting some sweet cash instead!
Frugal Boy brought in a pound and a half of candy and the dentist gave him $5 AND a fidget spinner. Honestly, they could have just given him the fidget spinner and he would have been tickled pink.
2. Take it to Work
I’m not a huge fan of this common practice but it is very effective in getting sugar out of your house. The reason why I’m not a fan of it is that you’re promoting bad health habits amongst your coworkers, ya know, the people you share health insurance with.
3. Freeze It
If you want to be really frugal, throw it in the freezer and dig it out next year to hand out to trick or treaters. If that idea is to scuzzy for you, then consider reusing it personally for easter egg hunts in the Spring.
4. Make Gingerbread Houses
The stores have been promoting Christmas since the beginning of October anyway, so why not get a head start on making gingerbread houses. You’ll have something pretty (or sentimental if little kids are participating) and you can simply toss the whole affair when you are tired of looking at it.
5. Chuck It
It is okay to throw out junk food. I give you my frugal permission to not feel bad about it. If you really want, you can make your own ‘buyback’ program to sell it to your kids and have them bring their candy to you and you supply the cash to them. Next year try to buy less and maybe call trick or treating over a bit earlier. You don’t really need to hit every house in the neighborhood. I try to limit how many houses we visit and usually stick to ones of people that we know. Even keeping the list short, we still end up with a surplus of candy, so use a combination of the above methods to keep the sugar intake to a minimal. We still have Thanksgiving and Christmas to get through so your body will thank you in the Spring if you practice some self restraint now.
Leave a comment with your favorite ways of using that mountain of Halloween candy.