This is a new series in the style of The Frugal Girl’s Five Frugal Things, where I’ll be posting weekly(ish) about what I’ve done lately to save money and make things stretch in order to further our financial goals, which currently include us paying off a decent hunk of debt. I encourage you to play along and post your own weekly frugal wins in the comments section below!
Note: There are affiliate links to the books, products, and services mentioned in this post.
I didn’t have any cavities at my dental checkup last week 🙂
Something I haven’t mentioned in these weekly frugal wins yet is the importance of taking care of our health and teeth, since those things can add up just about faster than anything if they go downhill. All we do is the basic brushing and flossing every day and going in for a cleaning every six months, but boy, has it made a difference — we’ve avoided so many extra bills this way because our kids haven’t had any cavities, and dental work has been minimal for Matt and me.
The only time I’ve ever had cavities in my adult life has been while I’m pregnant (which I’ve heard is not unusual at all), but luckily, everything came up clean in this last appointment. Super happy that I didn’t have to shell out an extra couple hundred bucks to get any of those taken care of!
The few times we have had to take care of cavities, they’ve cost us around $150-$200 even after dental insurance, so by just taking the basic steps to take care of our teeth daily, we avoid having to pay that extra bill every time. (For the record, we also saw a decrease in dental issues–including plaque and tartar buildup–when we switched over to using electric toothbrushes several years ago. We use these ones and love them.)
We piggybacked two health appointments to conserve on gas
Now that I’m pregnant again and having to travel much farther for my prenatal appointments than I used to need to, I’m trying to be a lot smarter about how I plan out those appointments. I always look to see if I can hit two birds with one stone by planning any trips I have up north to hit multiple things I need to take care of.
This last weekend, I had a prenatal appointment in the town an hour and twenty minutes north of us, and then I also scheduled my specialized massage therapy appointment for that same day right after, which was another 45 minutes north of that. Before I was usually doing those appointments on different days, which was not only a waste of gas but also meant I was spending more time driving than I strictly needed to. The plan from hereon out is to always double up those appointments, as well as any other appointments I have in those cities that are north of us.
We also purposely tacked on some flower farming tasks while we were up in the bigger cities so we could write off the mileage. We needed some new equipment for the farm and also needed to pick up a bunch of vases and other things (more on that below), so by making sure we took care of those things during this same trip, we could get a tax break on the mileage we spent getting up there.
I got a free calendar from my mom
I’ve been asking around to see if anyone had a free calendar since the beginning of the year, but I wasn’t having any luck. I almost just gave in and bought a cheap one, but then my mom said she found one at their credit union that I could have. Sometimes patience pays off!
(Background: I actually used to get a ton of free calendars in the mail every year, but since we’ve moved, those places stopped sending them to us since they didn’t have our new address, and I feel like not as many businesses or local establishments are offering free calendars like they used to. Maybe that’s just around here?)
We accepted more free donations of things for the flower farm
My husband’s aunt is always on the lookout for vases and other floristry things for us to use as part of the flower farm, and we just picked up another huge load from her this last weekend. Thanks to her, we’ve saved hundreds of dollars on vases and ribbon and other wrapping materials, and she just does it out of the kindness of her heart and wanting to support us. We love having so many people around us who look for ways to keep our farm going.
I also did a social media post on our flower farming account that talked all about how mistakes are a big part of the process and how we’ve already made two big mistakes this year, one of which was not storing our dahlia tubers properly over the winter and losing about half as a result. When a local friend saw the post (who is an avid cut flower gardener herself), she kindly offered to let us have some of her extra tubers that she had. Considering that dahlia tubers usually run $6-20 a pop, she’s saving us a ton of money. People are amazing!
We found a local guy to service Matt’s bike rather than going to a pro shop
My husband is heading off on a short trip with his brothers and dad soon, and they’ll all be going mountain biking while there. It’s been a couple years since he had his bike tuned up and we knew the tire was flat, so we were asking around to see about local places that might offer bike tune-ups. Lucky for us, we found a guy who offers insanely good prices, although he is a 55-minute drive away. Since he lives in the same town that our nearest major thrift store is, Matt took the opportunity to make a large donation at the same time since we’ve been decluttering like mad over here.
All in all, even with the extra gas costs, the bike tune-up was still a steal at just $20.
Other Frugal Wins:
- I did some online grocery shopping and used Rakuten for some easy cash back. I also used Rakuten when making a small business purchase.
- Total cash back earned from Rakuten this week (from purchases I was going to make anyway): $2.50
- We had my in-laws order some hoses we needed from Costco (since they have a membership and we don’t) for us, and we just paid them back
What are your top frugal wins for this last week? Any tips on where to get free calendars for future reference? 🙂