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!
After the craziness that was last week, when we were dealing with the immediate aftermath of my husband’s unexpected job loss, this week seemed a lot more tame. A lot of it was spent in phone calls trying to get our baby’s health insurance sorted out (still) as well as doing all the verifications for unemployment insurance, but I’m thinking we’re mostly beyond the most pressing things now. We’ve also gotten some excellent leads on jobs that seem like a great fit, and my husband had a promising interview yesterday morning, so we’re excited to see what the future holds for our family 🙂
I’ve also kept insanely busy with flower farming. August and September are always nuts, but adding a newborn into the mix has just made it that much crazier. I’ve also added two more florists into my regular wholesale rotation (I was already selling to one and doing some wholesale for occasional events on the side), which has been a great way to make money on the abundance we’re enjoying right now, plus it’s a great resource for them to be able to source so much locally. At first I was nervous about the cancellation of the farmer’s market this year, but this is actually a much more viable business model going forward, not to mention a huge time savings for me. We’re definitely feeling blessed by a lot of community support.
Let’s get on with our frugal wins though, shall we?
Note: There may be affiliate links to products and books mentioned below.
I lowered our Internet bill
The debit card we use for the autopay on our Internet bill expired, so the company gave me a call so I could update our payment information. While I was on the phone with them, I asked if they happened to have an assistance program, just in case our unemployment stretched on and I needed it in the future. While she was looking into it, she mentioned that we could also lower our bill immediately anyway if we cancelled our landline charge. We’d never actually wanted the landline anyway, but it used to be required to get Internet through this particular local company, so even though it only saves us $8 or so by cutting it, it’s still $8 we won’t need to spend going forward.
I accepted help
I used to be the kind of person that often denied help even when I needed it, just because I like to take care of everything myself. However, I’ve come to realize that that does both me and the person offering me help a disservice, and it denies us both blessings (not to mention does nothing to foster a closer relationship). For many years now, I’ve just tried to let myself accept help when it’s a specific offer for help, and we’re so fortunate that we have a wide support net that has been going above and beyond this whole year to serve our family.
Since Matt lost his job, we’ve accepted food from neighbors, a huge amount of groceries from my mom, as well as some cash gifts from our families. It is deeply humbling to have been on the receiving end of SO MUCH HELP this year, but I will say it has completely solidified our resolve to be open-handed and generous as much as we can in whatever ways we can throughout the rest of our lives. We do not take our beautiful community and support network for granted, and we will forever try to pay it forward.
We had a friend of my mom’s look over Matt’s resume
One specific offer of help that was particularly useful in moving us forward was the offer from one of my mom’s neighbors to help with Matt’s resume. Now, we thought his resume was pretty good before, but WOW, this woman with decades of experience in this exact thing transformed what we had into the kind of resume that will definitely get noticed.
She saved us so much time and effort, not to mention money if we had had to hire someone else with that particular skill set. We think the updated resume is a huge reason we’ve already gotten an interview, and a very promising one at that.
My husband is finishing up some extra training
Matt’s former employer had paid for him to get some extra training and certifications through the local college, which he hadn’t quite had a chance to finish. Thankfully he is still able to complete those on his own, so he’s been going to our local library daily to finish those up.
I foraged some bouquet ingredients and plants from my in-laws’ property
Our last big summer hurrah as a family was driving up to my in-laws’ property in one of the local canyons to enjoy dinner with them one night. While we were up there, I discovered several native flowers, grasses, and foliages that I wanted to cultivate on our flower farm, so we dug some up (including goldenrod and common white yarrow) to plant back at home. I’d actually been searching for goldenrod for years because it makes such a stunning bouquet filler in autumn, so I’m really hoping that that one takes.
Other Frugal Wins:
- We set our chickens to work in the flower farm to try and reduce the massive grasshopper population that’s taking over right now
- I accepted free vases for my floral arranging from my husband’s aunt
- We continued to enjoy plums from our own tree, as well as apricots from my neighbor’s that they offered to us
- I got some cash back through Ibotta on a recent grocery trip
- I got my quarterly check from Rakuten (which is a free app that gives you cash back at most online retailers)
What late summer produce are you currently enjoying? And what are some of your own frugal wins?