This Week in Frugality: An Anniversary Celebrated in Style

We celebrated our sixteenth anniversary last week.  A year ago, when we hit the big fifteen, we got a little nostalgic.  This year there was less time spent reminiscing, but still acknowledged the day in our own way.

Call us cheap, if you will.  Tell us that we are crazy, boring, or just plain weird.  We do not mind.  Because we know that even if our anniversary celebration may not be appealing to anyone else, it worked for us.

Todd was done early with work on the big day, so we dedicated the afternoon to hanging out.  Due to the needs of the kids, evening “dates” do not fit our lifestyle very well at this juncture in time.  Instead, we left in the afternoon and promised the children we would be home before supper.

We went out for coffee at Starbucks.  And we paid for it with a gift card we already had on hand.  I really wanted to go to the self-serve frozen yogurt place.  They have soy yogurt, too, and I almost feel like I am eating normally when I go there.

But alas, it was about seven million degrees below zero and frozen treats seemed ridiculous.  So instead of paying for froyo, we had free coffee instead.  Kind of gross coffee, actually.  Todd and I laughed about that.  Even my Folgers at home would have been better.  Oh well.

After coffee, we did what all normal people do on their anniversary: we ran errands.  First, to Costco.  Where I discovered that my favorite tortilla chips on the planet have. been. discontinued.  Sad, crying emojis all around.  I had a mutually shocked and devastated moment with the cashier.  Todd helped me feel better on the way out of the store, reminding me that my relationship with the Costco chips would end when our membership lapses this summer anyway.

This was followed by a trip to the hardware store, where we looked for supplies to be used on the basement remodel.  The lights Todd wanted were not at that particular location, but at another one clear across town.  We did successfully buy a few other electrical items, though.

Finally, we took a trip to one of my favorite thrift stores to hunt for jeans.  Todd knew that one of my goals for the year was to procure a couple new to me pairs, but he feared I would never follow through.  So, he called the jeans an anniversary gift and brought me to the store.  He is so smart.

I found two pairs (one is even a little bit fancy) and some sunglasses.  Yay!  This was a real accomplishment, because I lost my sunglasses this fall and had yet to find an inexpensive replacement pair.  The glare from snow while driving has been a real problem lately, which left me with two options: borrowing neon blue sunglasses our youngest daughter got as a prize from the orthodontist or wearing these flashy beauties that my parents gave me as a gag gift many years ago.

The gag sunglasses in the picture have sharp edges that hurt, so I avoid them unless it is a sunglasses emergency.  I tried the blue ones, but after getting very obviously stared at by another mother at our girls’ dance studio, I decided they were no longer an option.  I do not embarrass easily, but that day was an exception.  So anyway, the “new” ones from the thrift store were a very nice surprise.

When all was said and done, we still had about a half hour before we were due home.  So I suggested an extravagant purchase: French fries.  Todd and I ate so many McDonald’s French fries when we were dating in high school I should be sick of them.  And rarely do I crave them.  Except maybe when we are aimlessly tooling around town together.  Because it reminds me of days gone by.

Which is what we were doing on our anniversary.  So we ate the fries.  And they were good.  When we were done, we went home.  Straight back to the noise, chaos, and love that defines who we are today.

Our relationship was built when we were young, broke, and easy to entertain.  We just wanted to hang out and be best friends.  Not much has changed, really.  We have gray hair and our finances are better, but it does not take a lot to enjoy the company of one another.

Getting away from the kids for a few hours, shopping in peace, and sharing fries and coffee with my best friend?  Honestly, that is a picture perfect anniversary afternoon for me.  The fact that it was frugal just makes it better.