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.
We started potty training our youngest
Our biggest frugal win by far this week (because the value of it compounds over time) is that we finally started potty training our youngest, who’s 3. Ideally I would have started a little earlier, but he didn’t seem ready at all and I was feeling super sick from my pregnancy, so it got pushed to now when I’ve reached the “it’s now or never — or at least until after the baby comes” stage. I despise potty training and this third time around is proving to be harder than my first two, but I just keep reminding myself that it will be worth it on every level once we’re finally finished…in a month or two :-/
Whining aside, I figure that every month without having to buy diapers saves us around $30-35 at this point, and there’s the savings of having to use far fewer wet wipes in general as well.
The only price to pay for potty training is my sanity.
I got the kids’ Easter outfits for $1.48
In much more fun news than the amount of poop accidents I’ve had to clean up in the last week is the prep I started doing for Easter in the form of getting the kids’ Sunday Easter clothes for a steal. I noticed that Old Navy was running a 40% off sale on pretty much everything (even sale items), and I’d saved up $40 of rewards using my favorite credit card hack. By stacking the great sale on top of my rewards, I got coordinating button-ups for the boys and a dress and new church shoes for Raven for $1.48 (with free shipping).
I also went through Rakuten and got further cash back from that.
Not too shabby.
We converted the crib to a toddler bed and bought ourselves 8 months before needing a new mattress
Since we’re now ALL IN on all things with potty training, we’re also attempting to night train Hyrum at the same time. However, we quickly realized that the fact that he was still in a crib that he’s never managed to crawl out of was a problem.
We know that we’ll have to buy a new mattress at some point later this year once the baby graduates from a bassinet by our bed to her own crib because it will leave our now-youngest without a bed of his own. The plan eventually is to have him take Mathias’s toddler bed and for us to buy Mathias his own big twin bed.
However, since we didn’t work a mattress into this month’s budget, we needed to find a different solution. Matt remembered that the crib we’d bought had the option of being converted into kind of a daybed/toddler bed just by removing the front, so he took the front off and found the piece of board that went with the crib that we’d saved for years and never knew what it was for (apparently it was for the very conversion we were trying to do). Long story short, we were able to make the conversion basically for free, and it bought us another 8 months or so before we’ll need to budget for a new twin mattress.
We salvaged the tubers we could from our Great Dahlia Storage Fail
The learning curve in flower farming is steep, and I’ve notched plenty of failures in my belt thus far. However, mistakes are a part of the process, and sometimes you make expensive errors despite your best intentions.
Last year was my first year growing dahlias from tubers, and overall we were successful with it. We sold enough of our surplus tubers upfront (we’d put in a big wholesale order) and sold enough bouquets with the dahlia flowers once they bloomed to easily recoup our initial costs. We were planning on storing those tubers over winter to build up our stock even more over time (and thus get an even bigger return on our initial investment), but we just flat out chose a too-cold place (our uninsulated workshop/garage) to store the tubers, and almost all of them ended up freezing and rotting.
It was (highly) tempting once we took a peek in the bins and saw/smelled all the mold and rot to just chuck both bins without looking further into them. But we did want to see if we could salvage anything, so Matt and I spent a very gross/smelly hour or two going through the two bins and inspecting each tuber. While we did end up chucking about 85%-90% of our initial stock, we were able to save several tubers that we think are still viable, which will then produce more tubers of those same kinds for us if we can grow them successfully again this year.
Only time will truly tell if this time investment of going through the bins will pay off, but I’m thinking it probably will.
I put on my big girl pants and didn’t give in to a hamburger and fries craving 🙂
Last week was a little rough. Not because of anything traumatic or super high level stressful or anything, but just because it was a really looooong week with the potty training since I basically never left the house other than for school pickup and then I was actually dealing with my older two kids being sick on top of that. By Saturday I was pretty over potty training since we saw a regression when we tried to introduce pants back into the question (we loosely follow the Oh Crap Potty Training method, if you’re interested). I just wanted to put the kids to bed ridiculously early (thanks for nothing, Daylight Savings) and then have Matt go get me a burger and fries from the local diner around the corner and zone out the rest of the night.
Sometimes I give in to such urges, but this time I thought instead about how I’d rather spend our eating out budget on a meal or two we would be enjoying together, and then I let out a deep, dramatic sigh, reminded myself that we have plenty of food at home, and made myself a quick egg salad sandwich. Sometimes the greatest wins are the victories over our own will 🙂
And that wraps up this last week! Send me all your good potty training vibes (and chocolate, if you’re local), and then let me know what you’ve been up to lately!