Yesterday was a rainy day, so a trip to the Children’s Museum was in order. Frugal Boy is old enough now that he would actually enjoy it and not put every single toy in his mouth. Our museum offers memberships for $95 that give unlimited visits for the entire family for 1 year. That isn’t a bad price considering a daily ticket is $7 per person two and older. We splurged and got the membership plus level for $130. The extra cost includes one free guest pass for each visit and access to the ACM reciprocal network.
Now we have 12 months to get another $109 worth of value out of our memberships. It should be good motivation to get out of the house and go places.
Yowza! Where did the time go?! Last weekend we visited Santa and that involved getting dressed up in actual clothes (something of an obscurity in these parts).
Frugal Boy wasn’t entirely thrilled with the idea, but I thought he looked mighty handsome.
While we waited in line for Santa I tried to get him excited. I explained what the other boys and girls were doing. “He’s sitting in Santa’s lap”, “She’s telling Santa what a good girl she’s been.” Ever since the yard decorations have started going up around town Frugal Boy has been on a Santa babble. I thought there might be hope for a great photo this year.
Hmmm… He’s not too sure about this. Maybe if we had let him wear his snow boots like he wanted he would have felt better about the whole situation.
Shae got a couple of photos before it turned into a “SAVE ME DADA”.
Oh well. The whole process is rather creepy. Hey, go sit on that strangers lap while everyone looks at you and takes pictures. There was another pair of parents with a similar aged girl and she noped right out of there.
We took a few more photos with the props, but we could tell his heart wasn’t in it, so we called it a morning.
A week later, this afternoon, his Christmas present arrived in the mail. He has been glued to the Duplo block table that we built him a month ago.
Duplo is the Lego brand building block for ages 1.5-5. They are compatible with the smaller Lego pieces and unsurprising are expensive. I used to think that Lego was expensive, but Duplo is even worse! At retail, it costs about $1 per block! ¡Aye caramba!
With a little shopping though, it is possible to find good deals on building sets. I purchased a 123 piece lot from eBay for $20 with shipping. That comes to about 16¢/block.
If you have the patience you could also find good deals at yard sales or on your local Craigslist. Finally, if you are concerned about the cleanliness of used bricks, you can put them in a mesh bag in the top rack of the dishwasher. Just make sure not to use high heat otherwise you might melt them!
It has been a jam packed weekend for us with lots of freebies!
A Free Chair
Here is a free chair that I found on Friday. The upholstering is a bit rough but it is a solid chair. The label on the bottom says Fairfield, so someone probably paid a few hundred bucks once upon a time.
Free Movie Rentals
Redbox is running a deal right now (PLKMP982) where you can get five free DVD rentals for each account that you have with them. The deal runs until 4/30 and you must reserve your DVD online (the code won’t work at the kiosk).
So far we have watched Interstellar and The Imitation Game. Both excellent movies that you should watch if you haven’t already!
Free Laundry Detergent +
On Saturday, there was a cloth diaper expo in town. The first twenty people got goodie bags. We happened to be walking nearby so we stopped in and got a large bag filled with detergent, an insert, various balms, and literature.
Free Charcoal Grill!
Also on Saturday we won a free charcoal grill as part of a city wide scavenger hunt.
Our local library has been promoting National Library Week and the rollout of their brand new bookmobile by posting a scavenger hunt on Facebook every day for the past week. It has been really fun to try and figure out the clues and race across town to get to the destination before other treasure seekers. The prizes were usually claimed within 10-20 minutes of the first clue being posted and twice we were in sight of the goal line just to see someone else get their first. The last prizes clue started with:
Subtract the number of dwarves from a baker’s dozen
Add the number of blind mice to the loneliest number
Subtract the number of calling birds from the number of gold rings
My gut told me that it was a call number so we went to the library. We had books to return and they were having cake to celebrate the new bookmobile so even if I was wrong we would still score some free cake!
After getting to the library the second part of the clue was posted
Add the value of two quarters to Walter Payton’s number
“Bam!” You got it!
I’ll leave the answer at the end of the post so you can see if you figured it out.
Here was Shae with the prize envelope. We were so thrilled to have found one and win a prize!
Then we took a group selfie to commemorate the occasion. Frugal Boy was obviously not as excited as his parents, but he’ll come around after he gets to eat some meat seared over red hot coals.
After eating some free cake and checking out the snazzy new bookmobile we headed home.
Free Garage Door Fix
Arriving home I pressed the button to open our garage door and the door shook a lot on the way up and then stopped 3/4 of the way. In the words of Frugal Boy, “Uh Oooh!”
The culprit was easy to spot. One of the rollers had dragged and bent its hinge completely out of alignment.
I grabbed some tools and pulled the broken hardware off the door.
My first attempt to fix the door was to go to Lowes and buy a new hinge and ten new rollers. Our garage door dates back to the 70s and as this little incident proved, it is on its last legs. Returning home, I lined up the new hinge where the old one was and discovered that it was incompatible. The replacement hinge was far too tall and if I screwed it into place then the roller wouldn’t line up with the track. I would have to move the entire track back at least 1/2″ to accommodate the replacement parts. To add insult to injury, the new rollers are too thick to fit into the old hinges.
In a last ditch effort, I resorted to Great Depression tactics and laid the old hinge on the garage floor and beat the snot out of it with a four pound hammer until it was straightened out again. I also tightened up and replaced any missing nuts that had shaken loose from 40 years of operation. So far so good and the fix was free!
Free Car (Blocks Sold Separately)
Saturday night, Shae asked me if I wanted to come with her to walk around the neighborhood to find any curbside deals. A couple of blocks away we found a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. I asked the man outside of the house if we could have it and he was more than happy to let us drag it away. He said that they had inherited it with the house and his kids had ridden it pretty hard. The front wheels were bent and one of the columns had been ‘repaired’ long ago.
This morning we went back to Lowes to return the incompatible garage hardware and to pick up some new wheels for Frugal Boy’s pimpin ride.
A couple of casters, long carriage bolts, some scrap wood, and a little ingenuity had Frugal Boy’s ride back on the street, err alley, err garage (it was raining today).
So there you have it, our freebie filled weekend! I still have to assemble the grill and break it in sometime, we have three more redbox movies to rent, leave a recommendation down in the comments, and our garage door is running on borrowed time.
Scavenger Hunt Answer
641.5784 which refers to a section of grilling cookbooks in the Adult Services Department. The reference to “Bam!” was intended to narrow down the options to Emeril Lagasse’s cookbook “Emeril at the Grill: A Cookbook for all Seasons.”