today i decided not only to write about being frugal, but also to attempt being as frugal as possible while still having fun with my boy. first, we stopped at k-mart where i returned 2 plastic storage bins, receiving $32 back. they were purchased yesterday and i brought them back to see if we could find something cheaper. sure enough, i was able to purchase 3 plastic storage bins that weren't quite as fancy for a total of $17.
upon stepping out of k-mart, my son hightailed it for the mechanical horse that sits outside the door to the store. i lifted him up into the saddle and allowed him a few moments of pretending to ride while fondly remembering the horses that my brother and i used to ride at the super-value store when we were kids. there were 2 horses side by side and it only cost a dime to operate both of them. this horse, however was asking for 50c to which i said "no way!" thankfully, tristan is still at the age where he doesn't care one way or another if the horse moves or not. he happily followed me next door into a tiny little donut shop.
i ordered 2 donut holes for 15c each plus a small coffee and we had a seat at a greasy table. tristan, unaccustomed to sugar, began getting the "sugar giggles" while i, sipping on my micro-mini styrofoam cup of coffee, began getting the "caffeine giggles". we giggled and nibbled and watched people come and go. there were plenty of very friendly older folks who gave me a smile and tristan a wink. there were a couple of other moms that came through with their pre-schoolers and one grandmother who purchased her granddaughter a cake donut with pink frosting and sprinkles. when the grandmother presented the little girl with her very own bottle of chocolate milk complete with a straw, the little girl's eyes danced as she exclaimed "oooh, a donut AND chocolate milk?" as if she had won the lottery. tristan was quite smitten with her and kept a close eye on her in between enthusiastic bites of his treat. as we were leaving, i got a bit of free advice from the asian owner. in her broken english, she advised me to talk to my son "arl of a time" to ensure that he'd begin speaking soon. i think she believed, like most strangers do, that he is at least a year older than he actually is.
next stop was the park. the cost for parking is $3 so i, of course, parked down the street where it doesn't cost a penny and put tristan in the stroller to walk to the pond. we fed the ducks our old heels of stale bread. well, i shouldn't say "we" because i've learned not to give tristan stale bread to feed the ducks with. inevitably, he'll get tired of throwing the bread as hard as he can, only to watch it fall a few inches from his feet, so he'll give up and eat the rest of it himself. morning snack issue solved! after waving bye-bye to the ducks and praising tristan for doing the sign for duck so well, we walked to the playground where he practised going up the stairs and down the slide all by himself, which is new for him.
finally, we got back into the car and drove to the thrift store to donate a few old toys and clothing items and to see what's new this week. there were a ton of nice board books for only 39c each, so i gathered up a few of those, plus a bundle of children's clothes hangers for 99c. i splurged a teensy bit on a hand towel holder for $1.99 and found a few children's paperbacks for the church library.
a cheap snack, free advice, free parking, and great deals.....plus we came home with more money than we left with, thanks to that return. not bad at all!