Frugality, Weekly Frugal Wins

Weekly Frugal Wins // Way Too Many Medical Appointments

This is a series in the style of The Frugal Girl’s Five Frugal Things, where I post weekly 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!

This last week looked like a long string of (mostly medical) appointments. I ended up being out of the house four weekdays out of five (and taking long trips for them–we’re talking everything being at least an hour and a half away). It was a lot of traveling, but it was to get some important health things squared away, so I guess I’ll try not to complain too much 🙂

We were able to fit in fun things too though, like our beginning-of-the-season Christmas tradition of having the kids unwrap a new Christmas picture book every night for 9 nights (3 books per (older) kid), and we also did one of the kids’ favorite traditions last night of decorating a gingerbread house together. Our kids are in the perfect magical age right now, so even the smallest efforts we put in to Christmas traditions are met with unbridled and unmatched joy and enthusiasm. It’s such a fun time! I try to make sure I don’t wish any of it away or just rush through it thoughtlessly because I know it won’t always be like this.

Here’s how we were able to do all of that frugally(ish) this week:

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We set up a telehealth visit rather than making a 4-hour round trip

We’ve needed to have some follow-up visits for Naomi by other specialists, most of whom have clinics that are at least 90 minutes away, if not more. This latest appointment was supposed to be a two-hour trip away from us (so four hours round-trip), but we were able to request a telehealth visit instead since it was just an initial consultation and he didn’t necessarily need to do any in-person checks on her.

The latest news is that her heart stopped healing on its own (she had some congenital heart defects at birth), so a surgery is looking more and more likely, although we won’t probably schedule it until she’s at least 2 or 3 unless the hole in her heart starts causing problems with her lungs, which is why we (virtually) met with the pulmonologist this last week. He recommended she go back on oxygen at night based on a sleep study we did (which was kind of a bummer), but there weren’t any big red flags at least for major problems — it’s just more of a precautionary thing right now.

Anyway, having the visit virtually meant we saved the $40 in gas, not to mention over four hours in the car.

I got in some (other) medical appointments before the end of the year

Since we’ve met our out of pocket maximum on our health insurance this year, I decided I might as well take care of any lingering medical appointments I had so that I could get it all done at no cost to us. Since I’ve been dealing with an autoimmune flareup for a few months now, I decided to go get some of the more stubborn symptoms looked at. Still no definite answers on anything, but at least we’ve ruled out a few things.

It’s always tricky going to doctors about my AI disease though because I choose to control it through diet exclusively and not go on medications, which I know is frustrating for them. Since this flare-up is being pretty stubborn, I’m assuming I’m going to have to do a full-on elimination diet again. I’ve been putting it off though because it just so happens that the LAST time I did an elimination diet was over the holidays, and I remember how awful that was. Ah, well. Guess we’ll see what happens.

Yep, this was everything I got rid of out of the pantry. Some were expired, others I decanted into better containers

I cleaned out our entire pantry

This is kind of both a frugal win and a frugal fail. A frugal fail because I chucked a TON of stuff (some of which I’d for some reason moved to our current house even though it had already expired at that point), but a frugal win because now I can super clearly see what we’re running low on and which things I accidentally overbought because I didn’t actually know what all we had before.

This is the lesson I keep learning over and over again as we move to minimalism — if we have more stuff than I can personally manage, we end up wasting money because I can’t keep track of it all, and I end up overbuying. Having only what we’re using right now means I always know where we’re at with everything, and it saves us SO. MUCH. MONEY.

I entered a business grant competition

I guess this isn’t a frugal win or fail at this point because they haven’t announced yet if I won one or not, but I figure that anything that can help us pay for the upfront infrastructure costs of drastically increasing our growing space for our flower farm is something worth pursuing and could be a massive frugal win if it ends up panning out.

If you’re a woman and you own your own business and/or are starting a business, the process to apply for one of the grants is super easy, and they give out multiple awards every month. You can find all the information for applying HERE.

We used leaves and grass clippings to mulch around our perennials and roses

Mulching is one of the best things you can do for so many reasons, and it basically just consists of putting a barrier (often plant-based, but not always) at the base of your plants, particularly before going into the winter. This helps in at least three ways: 1) it protects your perennials and shrubs from extreme cold and also from extreme temperature fluctuations, both of which can sometimes damage your plants; 2) it keeps in moisture, meaning you need to water way less (and worry less about if your area is getting enough precipitation), and 3) if you use organic matter like leaves or glass clippings as your mulch, those things will break down themselves and then “feed” your soil with nutrients for the next growing season. Win-win-win!

Other Frugal Wins

  • I took my own 7 month pictures of Naomi using my DSLR (I own this one)
  • I used Rakuten multiple times to get cash back when ordering groceries online and buying Christmas gifts

Now it’s your turn! What were some of your frugal wins for the week? And anyone else trying to jam in all the medical appointments before the end of the year? 🙂

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