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.
My husband installed our new dishwasher
Our old dishwasher broke back in December, and I quickly realized that I am, generally speaking, not very good (not very good at all) at staying on top of the dishes when I’m having to hand wash everything. We attempted to repair the dishwasher ourselves first, but when that didn’t work, we made sure to do a lot of research before we finally decided to 1) purchase one new rather than sinking more money into our old one, and 2) purchase the nicest one we could afford right now so that we hopefully won’t have problems down the road.
To further save money, we didn’t pay for delivery (especially as that would have cost around $200 since we’re rural), and we also had my husband install it for us this last week. He’d never installed a dishwasher before, but he’s become fairly handy over the years and can figure out most things between YouTube and the instruction manual, so that’s just what we did. And we love it! I’m in heaven having a working dishwasher again, and our house has been so easy to keep clean as a result.
I threw a frugal(ish) birthday party for my oldest
Before last week, I had never thrown a friend birthday party for any of my children, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Often when my kids have been invited to other birthday parties, it seems like fancy blow up houses or other such things are involved, but we definitely didn’t have something like that in the budget. So we just went super old school with our games (think: pin the horn on the unicorn — which my daughter had drawn and made herself), I made the cupcakes and bought cheap streamers and decorations for under $3, and we did prizes from the dollar store. All told, we spent just under $50 for everything.
Other inexpensive activities we did were decorating cupcakes, printing off free unicorn coloring pages from this favorite free coloring site that we then converted into headbands for each girl to wear (after they’d colored them, of course), doing a timed game to see how many cotton balls they could get into a bowl while blindfolded using a spatula, and playing pass the present. All in all, it seems like everyone had a fun time.
We converted some old pants with knee holes to cut-off shorts
After a very long winter, we seem to be cruising right into shorts-and-sandals season (or maybe it’s just because anything above about 45 degrees feels balmy and tropical at this point). Several of us had pairs of pants with holes in the knees, so we just cut the bottoms off and turned them into knee-length shorts for us all. I would like to say that I’m going to hem them and everything, but I can already tell you that we’ll all just roll them up once or twice and call it good 🙂
I scored the best Old Navy deal ever using my favorite credit card hack
In this post, I talked all about how we rarely pay much money for our kids’ clothes thanks to hand-me-downs and thanks to my favorite Old Navy credit card hack. I’m frequently getting insane deals through getting this, but I think that this week’s took home the prize for lowest amount ever spent. So the way that Old Navy rewards points work is that they can only go towards the merchandise — they can’t be put towards shipping or taxes. So even when I have plenty of rewards, my total usually is at least $1-2 just because I need to cover at least taxes out of pocket (since I have a code that will always work for free shipping thanks to my cardmember status).
This last time, it worked out just perfectly that the sale price of the six (!) pairs of toddler boy shorts (these ones, if you’re interested) that I was purchasing coincided nearly perfectly with my rewards points so that my entire total came to just 4¢. That means that each pair literally cost me less than a penny. #thisisnotahumblebrag
Feeling pretty good about myself right now 🙂
I bought chicken on double clearance
I had another doctor’s appointment up north (as I will frequently from now on until the baby comes), and so I made sure to stop at Sam’s Club while I was “in the big city.” I’ve rarely seen chicken breasts go below $2.99 a pound for a long time now, but I was able to not only find a package that had been marked down by one of the “Manager’s Special” stickers (so that it was around $2.39 a pound), but the store was also running an additional $2 off any package of chicken because they’re currently celebrating the store’s 40th anniversary. (BTW, If you happen to be considering a Sam’s Club membership, there has literally never been a better time to become a member, as they’re running a special I’ve never seen before. Thanks to the aforementioned anniversary sale, you can join for just $10 a year if you sign up by the end of the day on Wednesday, April 19.)
Other Frugal Wins:
- I enjoyed the too-short stems from our flower farm in a little arrangement on our kitchen counter
- The stems I harvested from our farm that were too short to sell used to drive me crazy, but now I love them because they’re pretty much some of the only flowers I personally get to enjoy 🙂
- We stocked up on gluten-free bread at Trader Joe’s when we were in the area where one is located
- Gluten-free bread costs about $6 a loaf at Walmart (the only major grocery store in our area), but at Trader Joe’s, it’s consistently about $1 or $1.50 less than that.
- I drove our car that gets better gas mileage to a doctor’s appointment that was far away
- We combined errands on every trip we took to a further away city
What are your frugal wins for this last week?