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 used a 10% off promo code on my big fall bulb order
Most home gardeners probably think this is crazy, but the majority of flowers farmers order all their tulip bulbs for the fall before their spring bulbs for the year have even bloomed. This is mostly to ensure that you get the varieties and quantities you need, but it also definitely helps with planning. I ended up ordering 3,600 bulbs for this fall, some of which I plan to resell to the public in October for their own gardens, and the majority to be planted by us for spring sales in 2024.
Another upside to ordering early is that it’s one of the only times all year my wholesaler ever offers a discount code. By using the 10% off promo they were running, I ended up getting about two-thirds of the shipping cost paid for (which is hefty).
Matt took a frugal vacation with his brothers and dad
My husband and his brothers have been talking for a long time about taking a “man trip” together, and they finally made it happen this last weekend. Matt works so very hard for our family around the clock, so I was happy (at least most of the time, lol) that he got the chance to go off on an adventure for four days.
We kept the costs for the trip super low by splitting the cost of the Vrbo with his brothers and dad (who ended up coming too) and having them prepare almost all of the meals back at their home base rather than going out to eat. With his dad treating them all to a dinner out one night and also covering the cost to enter one of the nearby national parks, the whole trip only cost us about $215 for four days and three nights, which included the Vrbo, two tanks of gas for him to drive there and back, and one burger-and-fries meal he ate while on the road. (The food for meals came out of our grocery budget.)
I signed up for a free trial of Discovery+
Since Matt was gone and we couldn’t keep watching our regular shows together, I decided to sign up for a free trial of Discovery+ in order to rewatch Growing Floret, which is on the Magnolia Network (and coincidentally one of my favorite shows, as it’s about flower farming). I’m not super into watching new shows or much t.v. at all, so a one-week trial is the perfect “snack” for me, and then I’m good for another year or so.
It’s been a long time since we’ve subscribed to any streaming services (other than Disney Plus, which was given to us as a gift), and honestly? I don’t miss them. The kids do like Disney Plus and it’s nice to have as an option, but we also went without it for a long time and did just fine. Since we don’t have any streaming or subscription services like Amazon Prime, I estimate that we save around $20-40 a month based on what a typical household might pay.
I took the kids out to eat on a Friday rather than Saturday
We couldn’t very well let Matt have all the fun on the weekend (plus I desperately needed an excuse to get out of the house), so I took a trip up north to the “big city” to do a monthly Sam’s Club haul and take the kids out to eat.
I’d originally planned the outing for Saturday, but then I saw that Pizza Pie Cafe (my kids’ favorite option since it includes plenty of gluten-free choices for Mathias and Matt) was actually cheaper on Fridays rather than Saturdays. Since Raven had no school Friday and our schedule was flexible, I just switched the day we went in order to save a few bucks. I also made sure to fill up our van with gas while we were up there, as it’s about 35¢ cheaper per gallon than where we live.
We tried out this weather strip for our front door to cut down on cold drafts
I was commenting to my mom the other day about how our heating bills are still astronomical even after replacing a lot of the windows on our main floor, and she was nice enough to order some further options for us to use to try and cut down on as much cold air flow coming into the house as possible. We’d tried to get a rubber door draft stopper in the past, but it didn’t fit our front door, and we never ended up trying any other options.
She found and ordered this one for us, which ended up being a much easier and better option since it’s like a special tape-like thing you unroll and just stick on rather than a bulky rubber piece you have to try and wedge in underneath the door. Verdict is out on whether it will make a noticeable dent in our heating bill, but I can at least say that it definitely made a noticeable dent in the amount of cold air that was able to come into our house. (Also, bonus — it’s almost 50% right now.)
Other Frugal Wins
- I bought some medicine on clearance at Sam’s Club (I made sure the expiration date was still a couple years away), and we also got some children’s ibuprofen for a steal at Walmart because they’d mis-shelved it but still honored the lower price.
- Note: You also might be noticing that now that we’re heading out of the major cold/flu/covid seasons, several common medicines are finally going on sale. Now is a great time to stock up if you can afford to!
- I used my February Grocery Spending Report to inform my shopping habits for this month, and I’m pleased to report I’m already quite a bit under where I usually would be, mainly by prioritizing buying way more fresh produce and really watching the convenience options. I also made sure to use Rakuten for cash back when I did my usual online grocery order at Sam’s Club.
- I’m still in good habits from my Zero Food Waste Challenge, and I’ve noticed we’ve been wasting far less food overall. This week that looked like prioritizing leftovers, doing frequent fridge sweeps, and using up older apples in this baked oatmeal recipe (twice) so we could use those up before they went too wrinkly.
What are your frugal wins this week?