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!
Well, the frost finally showed up, taking most of our flowers down with it.
I am not sorry.
Even though I love flower farming passionately (and will talk flowers for hours to anyone who will listen), there is still the undeniable fact that I NEED the winter season in order to reset and recharge. The forced rest makes it so I can no longer keep pushing through the fatigue that inevitably sets in around the constant abundance of August and September, and it allows me a chance to dream, plan, and plant for the year ahead.
So once I harvested my last custom orders and a large arrangement for myself, I gladly let the rest go, and we’re now ripping out the spent annuals and top-dressing all the beds in a rich mushroom compost. While I love the look of a garden bed spilling over with blooms, I find just as much beauty in one that’s laid bare and then nourished for next season…it speaks only of possibility and that delicious promise of the next growing season.
If you are a gardener, you will surely understand that never-ending chant in your head of, “But next year–next growing season–will be EVEN better.”
On the home front, I’ve been cooking up lots of rich soups and homemade bread (gluten-free, of course), which has definitely helped to add to the richness of the new season. I’ve always loved fall, and it comes second only to spring in my list of favorites.
Here are some of our frugal happenings lately:
Note: There may be affiliate links to books and products mentioned.
My husband finished a flooring project
A few weeks ago, we did a trade-out with some new friends where I helped them with their business’s social media, and they helped us complete a tricky section of flooring that was beyond my husband’s skill set when he put in the floor three years ago. Once the tricky section (a new top stair) was laid, we still had the old carpet to cut and staple underneath.
Since we went to a bigger city over the weekend that had a Home Depot, we made sure to pick up some staples so that Matt could button up the last of the stair project, which he did over the weekend. We’ve had wonky flooring the entire time we’ve lived here, so it feels pretty crazy to finally be completing these long-procrastinated finishing touches!
I cut a fall arrangement for our kitchen table
I don’t often make big floral arrangements for us to enjoy because we usually sell every single usable stem that I grow, but with the oncoming frost, I gave myself a big permission slip to just enjoy the last couple days of flowers myself (even though I’m sure I could have tried to sell them). Perhaps some would call that a frugal fail, but I don’t feel one bit sorry for it!
We harvested in buckets of fruit before the frost came
While I would have ideally liked to harvest in EVERYTHING before the frost came, I knew that it just wasn’t realistic to think that I was going to suddenly be able to have the time/skill set/bandwidth to preserve 500 pounds of apples and peaches. So we harvested in several buckets of fruit and all the pumpkins, and we let the rest go.
All of us have been enjoying loads of fresh apples and peaches, and I also made gluten-free crumbles, one of each kind of fruit (served with ice cream, of course). We also took in a big bucket of fruit to friends and offered for them to come get more if they wanted.
I bought a pair of work Wellington boots on clearance
Both Matt and I have discussed a lot how we’re going to spend the $6,100 I won in award money for the farm. At the top of the list is a floral cooler, but also near the top of the list is better footwear for both of us. The fact is, farming is hard, dirty work, and we’re forever wearing holes in our shoes and having to buy new ones. We decided that it’s worth spending more money upfront for better-made shoes that will last longer, so when I hopped on the Carhartt site and saw that they had their women’s waterproof Wellington boots on clearance ($87.49 instead of the usual $174.99), I immediately ordered myself a pair!
I also made sure to go through Rakuten for cash back (and checked Coupert first for a better deal elsewhere) before putting the order through. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again — if you ever shop online and aren’t using a cash back plug-in like Rakuten, you’re leaving money on the table! I’m really not a huge shopper by any definition, but I’ve still gotten over $330 back from Rakuten over the years just by using it every time I submit my online grocery order to Sam’s Club, as well as any time I do Christmas or gift or clothes shopping. You can also get a free $30 just by signing up through my referral link and then going through Rakuten to make a purchase at any of their retailers. It’s totally free, and once you add the plug-in to your browser, you’ll be automatically alerted any time you’re on a retail site that offers cash back, and it’s just one click to activate it. Super easy!
We found some brand new towels and a throw blanket in a bin in the basement
I’ve been continuing on my quest of becoming a minimalist by 2024, and before I made a trip to the donation store, I decided to go for a super easy win and get a plastic tote out from our storage room that I knew would be ripe for the picking (since I knew I hadn’t gone through it in years). Well, while I was able to declutter much of it immediately, I was pleasantly surprised to find brand new bath towels and a brand new soft throw blanket that we’d gotten as wedding gifts! I remember the towels hadn’t matched with the one bathroom we used to have when we first got married, so I’d put those aside, and I’m assuming we just didn’t need another throw blanket at the time. Now after adding four more kids to the mix, we definitely can use both! (And then declutter the old, ratty ones we were holding onto!)
I’m thinking I should tell every newlywed couple to put aside a bin of linens and towels to open up at some future date when their other new ones will have gotten all worn down. Best surprise ever! 🙂
Other Frugal Wins:
- I continued to read through the unread books on my shelf (mostly from my Book of the Month subscription and from the new flower farming/arranging ones I got for my birthday, but also I’m trying to read through ones on my Kindle app, too)
- I’m taking advantage of us having met our out-of-pocket for the year on my medical stuff, and I’m scheduling a few doctor’s appointments to get a couple non-pressing things checked out
- I baked more gluten-free bread
- We combined errands on our trip out to one of the bigger cities
- I uploaded a grocery receipt to Ibotta on my phone to get cash back
Has fall arrived in your corner of the world yet? (Or spring, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere?)