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 got a free haircut and grooming for our dog
Our local pet groomer offers a loyalty program, but this particular free groom and haircut was because of an issue we had after the last one. We didn’t know if it was a newer employee or what, but our dog got a bad cut during the last haircutting process that we weren’t alerted to, which led to some issues. When I mentioned it to the owner, she apologized profusely and offered us a free groom and haircut next time we came in (and I believe did the whole grooming herself this time to make sure we’d be satisfied).
I’m always appreciative of the many businesses who go the extra mile to make sure that you’re satisfied with the end result, and who are willing to try and make amends for an honest mistake.
I bought advance admission tickets to the aquarium
We completed Week Two of potty training this last week, which was kind of a two steps forward, one step back kind of thing (mostly because Hyrum got really sick halfway through the week and we had to halt it and fall back on pull-ups a few times). However, despite the discouraging nature of this particular potty training go-around, I still feel confident enough that we’re making (slow) forward progress that I went ahead and scheduled the aquarium trip for next month that we’d promised him once he’d completed his training.
Scheduling the trip in advance saved us quite a bit of money, as did scheduling it for a weekday when the admission prices are naturally lower. We also planned it for the same day as our daughter’s birthday, when we already had plans to travel up north to meet family for a little party in the evening at a restaurant. Booking the trip in advance saved us nearly $25, and stacking two events in similar locations will help us to save probably another $30 or so in gas.
Now we just need to make sure he actually completes his potty training by then 🙂
I stacked future appointments to lessen the distance we’d need to drive
Speaking of stacking appointments, I actually went all out and took a complete look at our plans for all of April to try and minimize the number of long car trips we’d be needing to take as much as possible. Normally my OB’s office wouldn’t allow people to schedule prenatal appointments this early, but since we live about an hour and a half away, they made an exception for us. I went ahead and scheduled the two expected prenatal appointments for April that we’d planned on (for 32 weeks and 34 weeks along), and I made sure to schedule them on days when we already needed to go north anyway for other appointments or things.
Every trip to the next big town that we can avoid making saves us around $30-35 in gas and around three hours of driving time. We also frequently need to get some kind of meal whenever we go because we’re almost always guaranteed to hit a mealtime whenever we’re there, so we also save the additional $20-50 from not needing to eat out.
I used a promo code at Papa Murphy’s
After some serious potty training regression once my youngest was hit with the same icky virus my older have had (plus me starting to not feel very well myself), I was pretty done by Friday night. We did still have some money in our eating out budget, so I decided to spring for some pizza. We like Papa Murphy’s because they have gluten-free options for my husband and son, and they also pretty much always offer promo codes if you order online (so you should never pay full price with them).
The usual coupon I use is for 25% off a $25 order, which means we get a couple gluten free pizzas (often one to freeze for later) and a large regular pizza for around $25 even. If you didn’t have special dietary needs and were just getting regular pizzas, you’d spend even less and get just as much.
I signed up for some free (print) magazine subscriptions
I used to be hugely into magazines, but my interest has waned significantly in the past several years, to the point when I wasn’t subscribed to any. However, I’ve missed having some to peruse in the car on long drives when Matt’s at the wheel, so I decided to look around and see if I could find some free deals. I was led to this cool freebie site, and they have a whole section devoted just to free magazines. Many were for free digital magazines (which I don’t care about as much), but I did find a few print subscriptions I was interested in. Obviously I haven’t actually gotten any of the magazines yet, but I did receive email confirmation of the orders, so that will be fun to look forward to in the next month or two.
Other Frugal Wins
- We had an inexpensive “Green Feast” to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, which is just where we made sure all the food we ate for our special dinner was green in some way.
- Since we made the meal ourselves and only needed to purchase a few inexpensive produce items to round things out (cucumbers, green grapes, asparagus), the whole thing cost us less than $10 to pull off. We also squirted a few drops of green food coloring into the kids’ toilet and sink to show that a leprechaun had come in the night, and we pulled some M&M’s from the stash we already had and left them leading up to the “leprechaun trap” our son had made in preschool. Simple things, but the kids love it.
- We mostly ate oatmeal and leftovers for our lunches.
- Since our breakfasts aren’t usually the most frugal option (considering we do cold cereal the vast majority of the time, other than me and sometimes my youngest, who have toast and scrambled eggs), it’s nice to know that our lunches are definitely saving us money. The boys have been on a huge oatmeal kick lately since they’ve both been sick and have sore throats, and I’ve also been super good at going through leftovers lately and not wasting food. I’m not officially doing a Zero Waste Experiment right now, but I bet if I was that I’d be awfully close to that target!
Do you do anything to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? And what are some of your best frugal wins this past week?