My Weekend Money Diary #5: The Bomb Cyclone Edition

My Weekend Money Diary #5: The Bomb Cyclone Edition

What happens when someone who’s “good at money” tracks their spending the old school way? With a pen and paper and not using an automated system like Mint?

Inspired by the Man Repeller and Refinery29 money diaries, I thought it’d be fun to see what happens when I track my spending for a weekend. Although I’m conscious about my overall spending, I’m at a point where I don’t feel the need to review purchases line by line. But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for surprises.

***

Long time, no money diary. It’s unusually cold here on the East Coast, and mid-last week everyone was talking about the Bomb Cyclone. With the snow and cold continuing into the weekend, here is today’s money diary theme: Hibernation, Travel Deals, and Cooking with Luxe. Spoiler alert: Sunday’s where all the action is.

Friday Night

It’s 5:30 pm, my coworkers are long gone, but I’m not ready to leave work yet. You see, it’s cold outside. The kind of cold I haven’t experienced the whole seven years that I’ve lived in New York City. Even though the subway is a three-minute walk, my irrational brain dreads the cold so much I sit at my desk, working on the blog and messing around on Twitter. All of a sudden I look up and it’s 8pm. Well, that got out of control fast.

When I get home my husband has saved a dinner plate for me: a burger with a side of potato chips and sliced cucumbers.

We’ve also officially run out of paper towels, and I’ve made no moves to buy more just yet. I feel like we’ve gotten overly reliant on paper towels for even the smallest messes, so I want to test out doing without for a bit.

Friday Total: $0

Saturday

My husband makes waffles topped with strawberries. No coffee for me because I don’t drink it anymore.

Waffles with strawberries

I just got Dining In, the cookbook I ordered last week. You know I rarely buy books, so when I do actually buy one, I can’t wait to check it out. I spend the morning browsing through the recipes, picking out the first recipe I want to make. Alison’s recipes are exactly the types of dishes I’d order at a restaurant, and I love the idea of recreating the dining out experience at home. Elevated dining while I’m in my sweats? YES. Since I’m not an amazing cook, I decide to start with something easy: The Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Bucatini, with a few modifications. Time to go grocery shopping.

Dining In Book by Alison Roman

Subway to Trader Joe’s. I buy the anchovies and a red onion for the recipe. Instead of making the sauce from scratch like the recipe tells you too, I buy a tomato sauce base instead. Homemade sauce would have taken three and a half hours, and I was going to be hungry in about two hours, soooooo, premade sauce it is. I also bought lunch ingredients for the week, plus some staples to have in the freezer for when we’re lazy and hungry. $48.48

I lug the groceries onto the subway, and make my way to the Italian deli for the fresh pasta. The pasta is $3.99, but when I get to the counter I see that there’s a credit card minimum. So I grab two more boxes of pasta to make the minimum. I almost never carry cash around, ever, because cash is too hard to track. When I get home, I tell my husband the story, and he taunts me, “That will teach you about carrying a little cash around.” Womp womp. $12.97

The finished product, which we paired with white wine bought earlier in the week.

Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Bucatini
OK, so nighttime kitchen lighting makes me cringe. But this tasted really good!

We try out an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime and are instantly hooked!

SATURDAY TOTAL: $61.45

Sunday

In the morning, my husband rolls over and tells me he’s been up for hours with a stomach virus. Approved foods for stomach viruses are Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast (BRAT). I go out to get a bagel for his breakfast, then I make myself some toast with a fried egg on top. $1.15

Since my husband is sick, I’m picking up his son from a sleepover in Manhattan. I don’t do well with cold and had no intentions of leaving the house today. But now that I’m going out anyway, I decide I might as well make a Soho pitstop to return some clothes at Aerie and REI.

After I pick up my husband’s son, we hop on the subway to Soho. But before returning the clothes, I want to shop at Muji and CB2 first. I have some specific things in mind that I want to pick up.

Muji shopping
The zen-ness of Muji.

Muji is a such a fun, yet dangerous (to me) place to browse. In case you’ve never been, Muji is like IKEA, but the Japanese version. There’s nothing there that I don’t want to buy, but I have a purpose in mind: I want to get a refillable bottle to use as a bathroom soap dispenser. Our current one has a broken cap. And I want the new one to be pretty–duh. I love the minimalist yet elegant designs of Muji products. I pick up a green bottle for $4.50. But then my mind starts wandering: should I buy more bottles for shampoo and conditioner? I decide to just get the soap dispenser for now. Then I see an employee giving out free samples of something. It’s sweet potato cake—the texture’s kind of like pound cake, but made out of thin layers. And it’s delicious. “Where can I buy these?” I ask him. Impulse purchase alert! I grab one by the cash register. $8.40

Muji refill bottle and sweet potato cake

Oh, and can I say that in just two days I’m in LOVE with the new soap dispenser? The green color matches well in our bathroom, and the pump is so smooth. It literally makes me happy every time I walk into the bathroom and see it.

Next up, CB2. The other night I drank white wine from a cocktail glass, because all of our wine glasses broke. The horror, I know. But wine glasses don’t cost much and make you feel a little more fancy. CB2 usually has designs I like for reasonable prices, so that’s my go-to spot to pick up new wine glasses. I find two vintage-y ones for $4.50 each. $9.80

CB2 White Wine Glasses
I’m in and out at Aerie and REI to do my returns. I usually don’t bother looking for items to exchange because I’m pretty specific with what I want.

Take the subway home. For lunch I eat the pasta leftovers from the night before, and I make toast for my husband.

So, we’re not borrowing anyone’s car anymore. I check car rental costs for the upcoming long weekend holidays this year: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. I have no idea if we’re traveling anywhere for those holidays, but I’ve discovered that the key to saving money on car rentals in the city is planning ahead. If I randomly check far ahead, I can find prices for $50 or less per day, rather than waiting until I have a concrete plan and paying $80+ per day. It costs me absolutely nothing to reserve the cars in advance, so I make reservations for all three holidays to lock in prices. If I see a better price later, or don’t need the reservation, I’ll just cancel.

We have very little food in the house, plus my husband is sick, so all signs are pointing to ordering takeout tonight. I make rice for my husband to help soothe his stomach, then order Japanese takeout for his son. Since I went shopping today, I don’t feel like spending money on takeout for myself, so I’m going to cobble something together with what I have around the house.

Halfway motivated by the cold weather, and halfway motivated by a deal, I buy a plane ticket to Los Angeles for next month. Earlier in the week, I was talking to my friend who lives there, and on a whim, I decided to check Google Flights for ticket prices. The price was right, so I pulled the trigger. I’ve been meaning to go to LA to see my friend and her son for the longest time, and thanks to a good deal, it’s finally happening. I have a $300 travel credit from my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, so this flight should pay for itself. $237


Readers: what are your favorite things to do in LA?

Time to figure out what to make for dinner. We have rice, eggs, onions, fish cake cubes, and sesame seeds. So if I just buy a green, like spinach, and a handful of shiitake mushrooms I can make myself a veggie bowl, inspired by Korean bibimbap. I also have some gochujang sauce leftover from some takeout a while ago I can use.

And because I’m in an inspired mood, I note that we have all the ingredients to make ginger molasses cookies. I’ve made them a couple times in the past, but was never happy with the recipes I tried. I hit up the grocery store across the street to get the veggies for dinner and butter for the cookies. Again, there’s a $10 credit card minimum, so I grab an extra item I know I’ll use (soup), since I don’t have enough cash. $13.96

I make enough of the veggie bowl for leftovers the next night.

Veggie bowl

And below are the cookies. They might not look that awesome, but they tasted really good! My best batch yet. They’re thin and buttery, almost like those Tate’s cookies. I used this recipe from The Vanilla Bean Blog.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Sunday Total: $270.31

Total Weekend Spending: $331.76

Frugal Fails

  • It always sucks to have to buy more items, because I never carry enough cash around. I don’t think I’ll end up changing this much, because using a credit card still makes it easier for me to track my spending.
  • Some of the staples I had to buy at my neighborhood grocery store were expensive, so I could do a better job taking inventory whenever I’m going to a cheaper grocery store.

Frugal Wins

  • Car rental prices in the city are always a source of stress, so I’m happy I at least set myself up with the best options I can.
  • Yay for not eating out and for buying lunch ingredients for the week.

What are your frugal fails and wins lately? Do you have inexpensive ways you jazz up your home? Any favorite spots to hit up in LA?

Image: Unsplash

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  • Frugal Asian Finance

    Ahh I LOVE your money diary! It’s full of life and interesting stories! I’ve read the money diaries on Refinery29 , but yours is SO much better! $331.76 is for the whole week, right? That’s awesome!

    I’m also loving all the food photos. The strawberry waffles and bibimbap look SO tasty!

    • Hey, thanks, FAF! Yeah, I try to add more context to mine instead of just listing expenses. I find I like more detail when I read other diaries, so I figured I’d do the same for mine.

      Ha, no, $332.71 is just for the weekend. I don’t spend much during the week, so that would be boring!

  • Melissa

    The hardcover version of Dining In is sold out on Amazon. Obviously this is the type of influence you have!

    • Ugh, no!!!!! I’m sorry, that sucks. I just checked and it’s not sold widely anywhere else really. I hope it comes back in stock soon. And ha, I WISH I had that kind of influence.

    • It’s back in stock as of today!

  • Dave @ Married with Money

    Where in LA area are you staying? I could recommend a few spots for food n such. Anything I should know (particular foods you like/dislike, anything you won’t try, budget, etc.?) !! I’m jealous haha

    • Hey Dave,

      Not a done deal yet, but probably around Eagle Rock or Los Feliz-ish. I’m definitely partial to Asian food, and I know LA is known as being one of the best places in the US for that. I have a pretty diverse palate so there isn’t anything I wouldn’t try. Wait–I don’t like watermelon. So anything except for that.

  • Dr. Curious

    You have inspired me to NOT track my spending like this, as I am afraid what I might discover!

    In L.A., check out Zankou Chicken, a fast-foody chicken place with a middle-eastern twist. The chicken was excellent, but I admit I first heard about because of murder/suicide:

    http://www.lamag.com/longform/the-zankou-chicken-murders/

    • Man, I’m becoming more and more surprised about all these PF bloggers who don’t track their spending! Doing it on the fly really makes you consider your purchases.

      Ooh, Zankou looks like a must–knew I could trust your taste 🙂

      And that article was crazy.

      • Dr. Curious

        I have a strange mix of shame and pride that I don’t track my spending, sprinkled with a healthy dash of laziness 🙂

  • Great idea re: the rental cars…and I feel you on tracking cash.

    Frugal wins: one night of takeout. No fails yet. But that might be arrogance on my part.

    • Where I live, all those rental car deals just don’t really apply. Rentals are cheaper at the airports, but airports aren’t conveniently located.

      Ha, if you have to think hard about a frugal fail, then you probably don’t have any, so kudos to you!

  • I can’t bring myself to watch all of MMM, because it got pucker up when another show I LOVED didn’t, despite having the highest user votes. I’m petty when it comes to TV.

    If you’re ever doing a weekend rental that’s not a holiday weekend,check out Enterprise. I’ve been a huge fan of their 12.99 a day Weekend special.

    • Ha, you spiteful TV watcher, you! I think it won a few Golden Globes, too. What was the other show?

      Oooh, I love those Enterprise deals. Unfortunately, that deal don’t apply in NYC…However, I’d always capitalize on it when I’d go to visit my friend. The total for a three day rental always ended up being crazy low, like $30! I’m pretty sure I bankrupted that specific Enterprise.

  • Bethany

    Oooh have you tried using AutoSlash to track your rentals? I *always* save off my original rental prices, even booking in advance, from Costco.

    And ditto another comment, where in LA for recs? Sawtelle on the West side has the best ramen and udon…

    • Hmm, if you use Autoslash, will you get multiple notifications and keep having to cancel reservations?

      I don’t mind driving around, but I’ll probably be around Eagle Rock or Los Feliz. I love Japanese (particularly obsessed with udon), so I’ll add Sawtelle to the list!

  • Alicia McElhaney

    hardcore considering buying the alison roman book with some christmas money. buttttt i have a couple of cookbooks on my shelf. Going to set a goal: if i cook a specific number of recipes from those cookbooks, I can buy dining in. Motivation for cooking is key!

    Also i ADORE muji…i’ve been eyeing their diffusers for over a year now…

    • I love the idea of completing some goals first before buying the new book. Solid plan!

      Muji is so DANGEROUS. So many adorable things. And now they’re just dominating, with the food, diffusers and homecare goods. I think Ikea has gotta watch their back.

  • GYM

    Your husband should start a food blog or food instagram account, seriously! Those waffles look AMAZING!!!! Hope he is feeling better!

    When you say you are picking up your husband’s son, does that make you a stepmom?

    Awesome you travel hacked to LA with your points! We are going to LA too in February 🙂 only were able to get one way covered by points so it’s not very travel hacking worthy.

    • Teddy Luxband

      Thank you, GYM!

    • You DO have so many comments, haha.

      Oh, don’t encourage Teddy. He already bothers me on Twitter and having him on IG would be too much management from me! But yes, you’re right, I am very lucky I have a husband who can cook resto quality meals. Nope, there’s no rice and beans at home.

      Yes, I am a stepmom!

      I still do have to find a way to pay for the car and hotel, so that will be the ultimate test! Plus, it’s easier since I’m going by myself. It’s def harder to travel hack when you have more people to cover. Hey, if we are in LA at the same time, we should meet up!

      My favorite part of Muji is all the stuff they sell to organize. And the refillable bottles! I didn’t even know they sell bathing suits, but they’re on the path to world domination so I guess I’m not surprised.

      Yeah, I always thought CB2 was so much more than stodgy Crate and Barrel!

      • GYM

        I love organization stores! Oh, this was Muji like 15 years ago so it’s probably something they didn’t continue to pursue if you don’t see it in Muji now lol.

        Yeah, i’ll message you to see if our LA dates line up!

  • Hope Teddy is feeling better!

    I had a major frugal fail last week…I went into Union Market (the most expensive grocery store ever!) and got a $6 loaf of bread that Vadim and I both hated. We didn’t even know how much it cost until we got to the counter and while I’m good with putting it back, Vadim is less inclined to do it. So, we ended up with sucky bread and you know how I feel about my carbs. All this because I didn’t want us to drive around some more…convenience cost $$.

    Frugal win is going back to Trader Joe’s on Sunday and buying my favorite sourdough at half the price…the universe it alright again haha

    During the Golden Globes I was like what’s up with this show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-and now with your stamp of approval, I might give it a go tomorrow!

    I always thought CB2 had only expensive things so I never went in but we really need some new plates and wine glasses too! Also, I love MUJI. I could live there.

    So cool that you’re going to LA next month. You’ll get to escape the cold! I’ve only flown into LA to get to Coachella but next time I want to explore more!

    Loved reading this as per usual! I could go on and on but it would be a blog post on its own 😉

    • Teddy Luxband

      Whoa, gonna duck down into my underground shelter to wait out Luxe’s nuclear take on Union Market. Stand back, everyone!

      • Haha standing back and going to grab a snack…can’t wait 🙂

    • Union Market is the bane of my existence. And I feel you on expensive yet gross food. Teddy bought like $6 coffee cake loaf from Whole Foods once, and it was disgusting. Really expected more from Whole Foods. But yay to Trader Joe’s. I swear they have the best snacks.

      CB2 is actually pretty affordable–plates are around $4-$5. It’s geared towards a younger market, so the stuff will be a little trendier and cheaper than Crate and Barrel. I’m also going to Boston next month, and they have a newer Muji, which I’m pretty sure I’ll just camp out in the entire time.

      I’m excited to eat food and enjoy the milder weather in LA for sure

      Let me know what you think about the MMM show! I’ll prob catch you watching it on IG stories, anyway 🙂

      • Yea, I’m definitely never stepping foot into the money black hole that is Union Market ever again. Whole Foods sometimes have some serious misses-I am definitely team Trader Joe’s.

        Have to go and peruse CB2 now! Excited to see what goodies you end up with in Muji.

        I will be living vicariously through your LA adventures.

        Haha you probably will see what I think about MMM on instastories 😉

  • I’m going to have to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I’d never heard of it before watching the Golden Globes so now that’s twice in a couple of days.

    I’m bad for never carrying cash too, luckily though there are very few places around here that have minimum purchase amounts.

    I had a pretty frugal weekend, we’d been so busy over the Christmas break that we mostly stayed home. We did go see Molly’s Game but that was with a gift card I got for Christmas. I’m trying to do as little spending as possible in January. I’m not on board with a full shopping ban but no frivolous purchases.

    Hopefully Teddy’s feeling better, there’s been a bad stomach bug going around here too but we’ve been safe so far.

    • Hey Sarah,

      Yes, if you like Gilmore Girls, then you’d probably like the MMM show because it’s created by the same person. At least that was the appeal for me.

      Hmm, maybe the minimum credit card thing is a US thing? I get why they do it, because the credit card fees on such a small amount are hardly worth it, but I’d pay higher prices if they need to make up for it. It’s always the mom and pop shops, too.

      Have I been living under a rock? I had never heard of Molly’s Game, but that looks pretty good. I think you’ll do well on your January goals. With the new year as extra motivation!

      I’m happy to report that Teddy is 100% better now, so thank you for asking! And I guess it’s contagious, but I don’t have any symptoms so far.

  • I’m obsessed with Muji! They got me with that cake at the same location too – it’s so good.

    I recently discovered Pearl River Market in Chinatown, they have some cute house things for pretty cheap.

    My frugal win this week was getting a Rite Aid shopping trip from $45 down to $12! Planned my purchases based on flyer deals, Rite Aid online coupons, and flyer coupons…I legitimately felt like I was on that Extreme Couponers show.

    Frugal fail was accidentally going below the daily balance on our bank account so we have to pay the monthly fee this month 🙁

    • Yes, whenever I go to Muji I get so many home-makeover thoughts, it’s crazy. And glad I’m not the only that got suckered by the cake. It WAS pretty delicious, though. I took it to work the next day for breakfast with my tea.

      Oh yes, Pearl River Mart. It’s close to Muji, but I haven’t been there in years probably. The last time I checked they had a lot of novelty type stuff (paper lanterns and things), but I’m their merchandise has evolved since.

      Rite Aid is my fave pharmacy in NY! I’ve found it has the best merchandise and also the best sales for stuff I actually buy. I lived close to one once, and I’d pop in after getting off the subway just to see what was on sale. If I saw bathroom tissue on sale, I’d just buy it, instead of waiting until we were actually low on paper. $45 down to $12 is impressive! I don’t think I’ve had a “haul” that was that good, so that might very well qualify you for one of those TLC shows. “Extreme Couponers in NYC”

      Ah, booo to bank fees! If you’re open to an online bank, there are def ones where there’s no balance fee, and no ATM fees. I use Charles Schwab. I got a wedding check recently and all I have to do is take a picture of the check to deposit it with their app.

  • The Wallet Moth

    Mmm that pasta you made has me thinking about dinner!

    First time reading one of these posts from you and thoroughly enjoyed! 🙂

    • Oh hey Yaz, miss your updates on IG! Veggie bowls are such a great way to use up the random stuff you’ve got in your fridge.

      Glad you made it over here and enjoyed your first TLS post! Hope to see you around 🙂

  • Oh, I think we’re halfway done season 1, and agree, the fashion is part of the fun! I also love seeing an approximation of what NYC looked like way back when. I didn’t know the designer handmade everything, but that’s even more impressive! Good luck with the vintage fur 🙂

  • Thanks, Will! I had some bad lighting conditions (nighttime with overhead light-ewww), so I did the best I could.

    I thought we had tomato paste at home, but we totally didn’t–otherwise, I would have used. Next time I’ll build in more lead time so I can actually make it exactly like the recipe.

    Oh wow, I’m drooling reading your description of the choux. There are very few ingredients and they seem easy enough. I’ll def give it a try!

  • Yzzy Gonzalez

    Hi Luxe!!! I’m a huge fan from LA! Some food recommendations: Commissary in Koreatown, Partido in Highland Park, Szechuan Impression in Alhambra, Cliff’s Edge in Silverlake (which is also close to Clare V), Malibu Farm in Malibu, one of the many Guisados locations. For things to do, my go to spots are Griffith Observatory and the Broad! Also for funsies, gotta check out Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles 🙂 have a blast!!

    • Hey Yzzy,

      Glad you’re here, and thanks for taking the time to comment! Wow, I’m so excited to research your recommendations. I have never heard of The Broad, but it looks awesome! Looks like I missed the Yayao Kusama exhibit (missed it here in NYC, too), but I’m sure there will be some other interesting exhibit when I’m there.

  • Awesome, I’ll check out both Autoslash and that udon place–thank you!

  • Erin @ Reaching for FI

    Luxe, when are you going to LA? I’ve got some Google Flight tracking happening right now for a potential trip in Feb too!

    Brb, checking to see if my library has Dining In…

    • I’ll DM you! Oooh, it would be fun to be there at the same time. So we can walk super fast together.

  • First I just want to say that all of your food pics are making me hungry!

    I went to LA twice last year to visit my dad, who lives in Pasadena (about 40 minutes outside of LA). We did a ton of stuff the first time, and went to Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier. Both beaches were really cool, but the one in Santa Monica was a little less crowded than Venice Beach.

    Another fun place to go was the Griffith Observatory. It was a lot of walking for me (I’m pretty lazy, so keep that in mind), but the view was beautiful and we took some nice pictures of the Hollywood sign.

    I’m sure your friend has a lot of other interesting places to show you, but those are just a few of my favorites from our trip. Hope you have a blast! 🙂

    • Oh yay, so even pictures taken under bad lighting still look tasty, eh?

      I’ve been to LA a few times, so I think this time I’m looking to do the old standbys (The Getty, etc.) plus some food spots, maybe a hike here and there. And of course, shop! I wish it were warm enough to go to the beach, but it is what it is. I’ve never been to the Griffith Observatory, but I’ll check it out!

      Thanks for the warm wishes–I just booked the Airbnb and now I’m getting more excited!

  • May

    LA museums: MOCA, the Broad, Getty Museum/Villa, LACMA (there are certain times where there’s free admission to some)
    Food: Grand Central Market (foodie’s dream come true), Hollywood/Santa Monica farmers markets for the freshest produce (love markets in general), Pizzeria Mozza. I second Guisados. Eater LA is a really good resource for food by category & neighborhood.
    Of course Little Tokyo, Thai Town (Aura Thai), Koreatown (KBBQ!) for their respective specialties.
    Chinese food – go directly to San Gabriel Valley, do not accidentally detour to a hipster place when you can get the real deal at a much more reasonable price.
    Shanghai No. 1, Atlantic seafood, Huge Tree Pastry, boba at Half & Half or anywhere
    Desserts: Salt & Straw, McConnell’s, Scoops, Ponchik (Armenian donuts) at Papillon, Milk, Bottega Louie
    Sights: Griffith Park for the views, Echo Park lake is cute, Santa Monica/Venice, Malibu beaches
    Shopping:/browsing Melrose street, Abbot Kinney road, Beverly Center, Glendale Americana, Camarillo outlets
    Have fun!! Let us know where you end up going. Weather is sunny, clear, 70s this week 🙂

    • Hi May,

      Thank you for basically write a city guide within the comments section! Maybe I should do one for NYC…Anyway, my friend mentions Bottega Louie a lot, so I’m sure I’ll go there! I’ve got a huge sweet tooth 🙂 And I’ll def check out some shops on Melrose–I remember there being some vintage-y places. And wow, 70s is amazing. I think last time when I was there in March, it was maybe in the 50s? I’ll share snippets of the trip in Insta stories, so see you there.

      Thanks again for the suggestions 🙂

      • May

        Would love to see one for NYC! I know there’s a gazillion things to do/places to eat but it’d be cool to hear what some of your favs are!

  • Saving with Sense

    Wow! I can’t believe you got tickets to LA for that cheap!! Also, that’s so smart to book rental cars so far in advance to lock in good prices. It never crossed my mind to do that!

    Omg, your food pics look so good! I love ginger molasses cookies. Craving one now. 🙂

    Tips for LA:
    – Visit The Broad. You can only reserve tickets starting one month in advance. I’d advise reserving your tickets as soon as you can. The museum is free, but having reserved tickets will let you skip the lines. Also, if you go in the morning, you’ll have a better shot at getting tickets for the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit. I went at 1pm and we could only get on the waitlist. :/
    – If you like Korean food, go to Koreatown! There are so many good K-BBQ restaurants there!
    – LA has a ton of art museums, such as The Getty, The Getty Villa, and the LACMA. The Getty and Getty Villa are free admission, but parking costs $15.
    – Visit the Bradbury building and Angel’s Flight in DTLA. Scenes from Bladerunner, 500 Days of Summer, and La La Land were shot there.
    – Visit the Griffith Observatory and Runyon Canyon, especially at sunset if you can!

    • Hey Cyn,

      Yeah, I figured since the flight was so cheap I didn’t want to waste points on it. And us city folks needs to strategize to make sure we get the best deals. Some deals, like car rental discounts, just don’t apply here.

      The ginger molasses cookies were SO GOOD. I’ve made batches before that were chewy and thick, and I didn’t like them as much. These are definitely thin and crunchy and are less molasses-y than previous batches, which I think is why I like them better.

      These tips are awesome!
      I just checked the Broad and unfortunately, there are no reservations available for when I’m there. It’s strange to me that you have to reserve tickets for general admission. How long is the line usually? And I missed the Yayoi exhibit already, since I think it ended this month. Ooh, the Bradbury building seems like a cool find–I’ll add to the list, and sunset hikes sound amazing!

      Thanks again for the helpful suggestions!

  • Love how you doing these money diaries helps you analyze how you do/don’t keep your finances healthy. And though I normally cook without recipes, I may have to give that book a look!

    • Hi Daisy!

      Yeah, I think looking back at why we made certain decisions can totally help to not make that same decision again. Or maybe I just live in an interior world 🙂 I noticed we were getting takeout a lot lately so I bought a bunch of pre-made food for the freezer. It’s stopped us from buying out twice recently!

      My mom never cooks with recipes either, but the result is her cooking is wildly inconsistent! Anyway, I’ll def post more pics to IG if I make more stuff! I’m eyeing those chocolate chip cookies next.

  • Gina Carpellotti

    The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel is marvellous!