Frugality, Weekly Frugal Wins

Weekly Frugal Wins // Homemade Strawberry Jam + Plumbing Fixes

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 bought two flats of strawberries for just $1/pound and made homemade jam

I haven’t seen strawberries at this low of a price point for years, so when I saw that our local market had some in stock for just $8/flat, I sent Matt to the store immediately to buy two. I’ve long wanted to be more confident and adept at preserving our own food, and I figured that homemade strawberry jam was a great starting point.

Although I think that next time I’ll go with a recipe that calls for pectin (I opted to go for just a basic 3-ingredient one this time that called for lemon juice instead since we had that on hand), we still came out with several large jars of relatively tasty strawberry jam/syrup, and I’m sure that our future attempts will only get more and more delicious. At any rate, we have enough to last us a good long while, and since I’ve been spending between $7-8 a month on jam to keep us in supply for daily pb&J’s for school lunches and for our frequent waffle nights, this should be a money saver for sure!

P. S. If you have a delicious homemade strawberry jam recipe, I would LOVE for you to share it with me below.

I drove our more fuel-efficient car to a farther-away appointment

I had my latest prenatal appointment an hour and a half away last Friday, and since our youngest was still pretty iffy on his potty training, we decided to just have my husband Matt stay home with all the kids rather than have the whole family go together (as we usually do). Because of that, I was able to take our much more gas-efficient Mazda (easily 30-35 mpg on the highway) as opposed to our minivan (where we only get about 20).

Having the rest of the family stay home meant that I also only needed to buy a cheap lunch for myself rather than for everyone while I was there, and I just picked up a bite from Sam’s Club for all of about $3. All in all, I estimate that we saved about $25 from the change of plans.

I planted lettuce, pepper, tomato, and snap pea seeds

I’ll admit that since becoming a flower farmer, our vegetable crops have drastically suffered because they tend to get totally neglected in the craziness of flower harvesting that is August and September. However, I am determined to at least try once again, so this week I sowed lettuce, pepper, tomato, and snap pea seeds inside. I’ll transplant out the peas and lettuce in the next few weeks, and I’ll let the tomato and pepper plants hopefully get pretty big and established before they get put out in early June or so.

While I’ve done lettuce and peas from seed for years, I usually just buy my tomatoes and peppers, so this should save me some money that way too (especially since I already had the seeds).

We found a reasonably priced local plumber (finally!)

I’ve been trying for months to find a local plumber who would bother to return my calls, and I finally found a newer small business owner who just started his plumbing and mechanical business a couple years ago. Not only did he return my call within a couple of hours, but I also had an appointment with him just a few days after that. He did an excellent job, and not only that — his prices were super reasonable.

We had three main leaks/areas to look at plus a problem with our water pressure throughout the main floor, and when I’d asked for a quote for just ONE of our leaks, I was told it would likely cost around $600 from one of the big plumbing companies in our area. The plumber I found took care of ALL FOUR of our issues for just $450.

To say I was intensely relieved would be the understatement of the year.

I canceled a massage appointment

I have a long-standing appointment for a monthly rehab massage with a specialist who helps me to keep my back functional (which I injured pretty severely about 4 years back). He lives two hours away, so with the gas + the cost of the massage (and the occasional additional cost of a meal on the road thrown in), the whole thing usually comes to around $175-200. Since this is the only method I’ve found (and I’ve tried a LOT) to keep my back in line and my mobility at its highest, I think it’s worth the price if I need it.

However, we were all sick last week (and have just now started coming out of it) and my back had actually been feeling pretty decent since my last appointment, so I decided to cancel it for this month.

(Random, but I actually did a cost analysis of going to this specialized rehab massage therapist as compared to all the more traditional medical things I’d been trying before, which you can read about HERE. While it might seem like the massage option is crazy expensive, it actually is reasonably cost effective when you see what I was paying for chiropractic work, medicine, physical therapy and possible steroid shots/surgery options before. I also don’t need it every month but rather about every 2-3 months, so I’d say that paying $800-$1,000 each year is worth it for me to be totally mobile and not in pain constantly. Just saying.)

Other Frugal Wins:

  • We’ve stayed on top of all the eggs our chicken are laying
    • And this is not an easy feat, considering that we’re getting around 8-10 a day!
  • We watched some free shows on the Roku Channel
  • I used Ibotta after my Sam’s Club run this week to get some easy cash back
  • I paused my paid email subscription service for the blog
    • Apparently my email subscription service for the blog no longer offers me the option of downgrading back to the free plan, so I’ve had to put a pause on it. Since I haven’t been emailing out regularly for quite awhile now, I figured this wasn’t worth the expense at the moment. If you’re currently a member of my email list, just know that I won’t be communicating through that medium for the foreseeable future. (If you want to email me directly, you can always contact me through [email protected]). You can still subscribe to get updates to your email every time I publish a new post though by subscribing to my blog’s RSS feed via entering your email address in the box over on the right sidebar that says “Wanna make sure you never miss a post?”).
  • I made an extra $100 payment towards our credit card
    • Since part of the reason I started this series is to look for ways to further cut our expenses and pay off our credit card debt faster, I figured I might as well share any (extra) progress I make towards that here as well 🙂

What are your frugal wins for this last week? (And don’t forget to share your best homemade strawberry jam recipes and tricks!)

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