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!
These mid to late September weeks are always crazy because I’m usually trying to frantically finish up all our bouquet subscriptions before the frost hits, and this year is no different. I’m hoping that the frost holds off one more week, but there is a possibility we’ll get our first frost this Friday, which, while not unexpectedly early, is still earlier than I’m wanting this year.
In addition to the usual end of season madness with everyone else also trying to source their last flowers from us, I’ve also been doing lots of other (exciting!) things for the business, like teaching a workshop, preparing for a business pitch competition, and collaborating with the college to promote my cut flower class that registration is almost open for.
As for Matt’s work search, we’re currently playing the waiting game. He had final interviews with one company and is waiting for the final interview to be scheduled with another company. We’ve been told not to expect any decisions to be made until next week.
In the meantime, we’re working hard on farm prep and trying to dip into our savings as little as possible. Here are this week’s frugal wins:
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My husband cut and washed our dog’s hair
We’ve never tried to do Onyx’s grooming ourselves before, but since we need to cut out any extra spending while Matt’s out of work, we had Matt give it a try. It took him awhile to figure out how (the clippers from our home haircutting kit didn’t work with the dog’s tight curly fur, which easily gets matted, so he had to use the scissors from the same kit), but once he got going, he did a pretty good job! The dog looks waaaay better than before (not to mention smells better!), and we saved $50 by not having to pay a groomer.
We’re getting pumpkins from seeds we saved last year
We’ve tried pumpkins in the past, but our harvest has always been lackluster, so I tend to not want to spend a ton of money on specialty pumpkin seeds (if any). Last fall, each of my kids brought home pumpkins from various field trips and events, and even though they were specialty hybrid pumpkins, I still saved the seeds from them anyway to see what would happen this year. And you know what? We’re having the best pumpkin year we’ve ever had by far! We should definitely have plenty of pumpkins for all the fall decorating I want to do, as well as three that the older kids can carve. And all without spending a penny 🙂
We usually have a $50 budget for mine and Matt’s birthdays (which are both this month), but with how things stand this year, we’re just doing $25/apiece, which is plenty, especially since we’re in the middle of trying to completely minimize our stuff before the end of the year. While I was looking up different things to get Matt, my Coupert browser extension alerted me to a lower price than what Amazon was currently offering, and then I bought it through a retailer that gave me cash back through Rakuten. With the two browser extensions, I saved an easy $5-6 that I was planning on spending anyway. Not too shabby!
I gave a presentation at a networking event
This year has taught me over and over again how important having a good community and network support system is, for so many different reasons. This last week, I was asked to give a (free) presentation for other entrepreneurs, and I was able to make a lot of great connections at the event that will not only help me to know how to grow my business better and smarter, but that will also likely bring me future customers.
To me, frugality is not just about being wise with the resources we already have — it’s finding a way to increase our access to resources (including more income), and doing events like this will only help me with that.
I offered to trade goods/services with two fellow small business owners
I LOVE doing trade-outs with fellow business owners, and it’s something I’ve been doing for years. I love how both parties benefit, but you don’t have to just come up with cash on the spot for the service, which isn’t always in the budget. I’ve traded photography services, copy editing, flowers, and other skills in the past for preschool tuition, family photos, music lessons, and more. This time, I traded some plants I have coming in for several divisions of a perennial I’ve been searching for forever, and I also made an offer to trade photography/social media skills for some home repairs we need.
Other Frugal Wins
- We accepted fresh corn from a neighbor
- We harvested plums, tomatoes, and the first of the apples from our garden
- After checking with our doctor, we used the prescription eye drops we’d bought for our son’s conjunctivitis to now treat the baby’s, saving us about $15 (since we didn’t have to buy a new bottle of the same stuff)
- I joined a new Buy Nothing group on Facebook that just opened in my town. I’ve only gifted stuff so far (a formal girl’s holiday dress and swim diapers), but in the future, I’m sure it will be a valuable resource for things I’m looking for.
I’m curious, have you ever done trade-outs before? If so, what for?