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!
I feel like each week lately has come with a ton of new things for our business as we consciously work to scale up, and this last week has been positively incredible to see one of the first big parts of our new business plan (selling compost) come together! While we thought that selling the compost that we source by the semitruck load might be a decent part of our business strategy for next year, we had no idea just how immediate the demand would be for it. We ended up selling our entire first load in about 24 hours (including the 12 bags or so we’d meant to keep for ourselves!), and we’re waiting on a second semitruck and might even need a third if the nice fall weather holds out.
Things have been crazy, but we’re feeling so blessed by the opportunity to be going for our flower farming dream full time. We can’t believe the community support we’ve seen (and continue to see), and we are giddy with excitement as we make plans for next year’s growing season. If you want to follow along with our farm on social media, you can find us on Instagram HERE.
But onto the frugal wins for this week!
Note: There may be affiliate links to products, books, or services mentioned in this post.
We expanded our business offerings
Frugality is more than just saving money — it’s also maximizing our earning potential where we can with the resources currently at our disposal. So that’s exactly what we did this week. We already needed to source a lot of compost for our own needs, and the cheapest way to do that is to have an entire semitruck’s worth delivered. We didn’t need all that compost for this next season, so we sold the excess. It’s a win-win for everyone because people here needed a reliable source of high quality compost (because you can’t find it anywhere else locally), and we made enough money to make it worth our while to become that source for people. We’re actually working with the compost company now so that we can become an official distributor for them up here!
We borrowed a forklift from a friend
The bags of compost we ordered are huge — they weigh right around 1,000 lbs., so there was no way we could manually load them into people’s trucks. Thankfully, we had a very generous offer from a friend with his own construction company who offered to let us borrow his forklift for a song. This is the same friend who I helped out a few weeks ago with his business’s social media (which got him more business) and who helped us install the rest of our floor in our kitchen.
I’ve said it lots of time before, but I’ll say it again — the best thing we can do to live a frugal life is to invest into our relationships with other people. It might seem counterintuitive because a lot of frugality centers around being self-reliant, but we were never meant to be solo islands. I’d say about half (or more) of my “frugal wins” center around the friendships I’ve tried to cultivate and the network I’ve worked to build. Of course, mindset matters with that — if we approach relationships or “networking” with only the mindset of what’s in it for us, we won’t keep those relationships for very long. So we personally try to live by our family motto in this, which is: “Onward and upward, with hands wide open.” I’ve definitely noticed that the more generous I am, the more generosity comes back to me a thousandfold. It’s amazing.
I got a partial scholarship/discount to Floret’s Online Workshop
In the flower farming world, Erin Benzakein is basically the queen — she now has her own show on Magnolia Network (which is amazing–you should totally watch it!), she runs an extremely successful seed business, she’s the author of multiple books (her book on cut flower gardening is literally what started the whole thing for me), and she’s basically created an empire around flower farming. And she’s also an amazing and beautiful soul who is unbelievably generous.
Random note: While I was linking Erin’s book above, I saw that it’s currently part of a 3 for the price of 2 deal that Amazon is running on popular books, movies, and games. They run this deal a few times each year before major holidays, and I’ve been able to get a lot of stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts this way!
I’ve wanted to take her online workshop for many, many years, but it just was never in the cards financially for us. It didn’t really seem to be financially in the cards for us this year, either, but two factors came together at just the right time in order for me to have the exact amount I needed to register. First, I applied for a scholarship for the program about a month ago. Although I didn’t win a full-ride scholarship, she did offer me a voucher for $300 off the course. It still seemed a bit out of reach, but we ended up selling just enough compost at just the right time in order to cover all of our other costs AND leave me enough to register. I’m beyond excited to see how taking her class is going to help me take my farm to the next level!
I’ve found that when you find the right education (ESPECIALLY from someone who is doing or has done exactly what you want to), it is worth every dollar you can invest into it.
We got in our annual well checks/physicals to get the insurance payout
I don’t know if other insurance companies typically do this, but our insurance has been doing this thing for the past few years that if you schedule an annual physical each year, they’ll pay you in gift cards right before Christmas. They called about a week ago to remind me to set up our family’s appointments, and now all of us have gone except Matt, which means we’ll be getting something like $100 or more in gift cards.
I’ll take it!
I picked up some frozen GF pizzas for busy nights
Now that we’re working so hard to turn our flower farm into a full-time gig that will fully support our family, I’ve had a lot less time to focus on things like meal planning and housework. I’m so thankful that I’d already minimized so much before this point as part of my “Minimalist by 2024” Challenge because that makes our housework about a million times easier, but I’ll admit that dinner has still been a challenge on a lot of busy nights.
Rather than naively thinking that those nights are never going to happen (or relying heavily on takeout when they do), I decided to just stock up on some gluten-free frozen pizzas so that we have an easy, quick option on insane nights.
Other Frugal Wins
- I took my own 6-month portraits of Naomi Jean (YOU GUYS, this baby is unreal!)
- I filled up at the (much) cheaper gas station when I made a long trip up north last weekend (only $3.39 a gallon! We haven’t seen that in ages!)
- I searched for a promo code using Coupert before ordering corms and seeds, which saved me about $35
How’s life in your neck of the woods? And what are your frugal dinner go-to options for those particularly insane nights?