Frugality, Weekly Frugal Wins

Weekly Frugal Wins // Spring Officially Arrives (Along w/ All the Bills)

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!

Whew, things are getting busy around here! We’ve had a nice string of sunny, warm days, which has meant lots and lots of spring prep for the flower farm. In addition to all the seed starting, transplanting, and bed prepping that we do in the spring, we also put in the majority of our orders for the year for everything from the compost we use (and also sell) to the plugs we’ll be planting to the equipment we’ll need.

It’s been a pricey, pricey week, but luckily we’ve been able to sneak in a few frugal wins–both big and small–over the past several days.

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I used up some wrinkly carrots in baking

As I mentioned in Sunday’s Homestead Weekly post, with last week’s somewhat gloomy weather (on top of my slightly stressed out state of mind), I got a lot of baking done. Any gluten-free baking I do period is going to save money, as GF baked goods bought from a store are terribly expensive, but there was one bread recipe I made that I was particularly proud of. Not only did I use up some frozen shredded zucchini that had been in our freezer for about a year and a half, but since I didn’t have quite enough zucchini to go around, I subbed in a cup of grated carrots, which were getting rather wrinkly in the crisper. Double frugal win!

Matt repaired a bed frame

With all the stuff that broke the other week, this last week has been all about trying to see what we can repair ourselves, what we need to hire a professional for, what we can do without, and what we have to replace. Luckily, my son’s toddler bed frame was something that Matt could repair by simply screwing on a new board where the other one had split. Considering he used wood and screws we already had on hand, this ended up being a frugal fix, indeed!

We shopped around for different freight options on a large bulk order

Some of the orders we’re putting in now for the flower farm are quite large, and one such order was for a whole pallet of 5-gallon buckets. We’d already shopped around quite a bit on the buckets themselves to find a good company to go through, and when the company gave us a quoted freight price, we also cross checked it using a source that Matt knew about from his previous employment as a fulfillment and operations manager to make sure we were getting the best price. Turns out that the price they quoted us was more than fair, so we ended up going with it, but the different freight quotes varied by several hundred dollars each, so it was definitely worth looking into and double checking!

Matt unloading the first semitruck of compost for the year! We ended up being able to work out an exchange with a friend of ours — he’s letting us borrow his forklift for the season, and we’re giving his wife a full bouquet subscription 🙂

We went for a cheaper irrigation option

One of the bigger things we have to pay for this year is drip line irrigation for the new rented land we’re growing on this year. We had originally planned on going with the same type of irrigation that we used on our own beds last year, which is meant to last a good long time, but when we calculated up the cost, it was going to run somewhere in the realm of $7-8K, which just wasn’t a possibility right now.

So instead, we decided to go for a “good enough for now” option that should hopefully give us at least 2-3 seasons and hope that when it comes time to replace it, we’re in a more secure financial position to do so. The new option only ran us about $1300, which is quite the savings, indeed!

We took the time to figure out how to get an Amazon replacement

If you read my latest Homestead Weekly post, you’ll know that we’ve been dealing with a massive aphid infestation in our high tunnel, which is where many of our most expensive crops are. We were on the verge of losing a good majority of them if we didn’t act soon, so we ordered some live ladybugs to try and take down the problem. Unfortunately, the first batch arrived dead. Since it was a live product (and not exactly something we could return), we ran into quite the little wild goose chase with all the Amazon AI stuff in order to try and find a way to contact the seller directly. However, thanks to Matt’s expertise with Amazon, he was able to find a back way in, and he contacted the seller directly, who agreed to not only ship us a replacement, but who also doubled the amount they sent us. (If you’re curious, these were the ladybugs we bought, and they’ve already worked wonders! They’ve almost totally eradicated the problem in just a matter of days.)

Other Frugal Wins

  • I used Rakuten multiple times when ordering things online to get cash back
  • I used a combination of rewards and their current 50% off Easter sale to get Easter clothes for the kids from Old Navy for nearly free (as well as a pair of jeans for myself) using my typical credit card hack
  • Matt tried to repair our water heater himself first before hiring it out, and when we called the plumber who helped us out before, he informed us after doing a thorough check of it this morning that the fix is actually going to be quite expensive and probably not worth the cost, since our water heater is on its way out anyway, so we’ll be having to budget for a new one 🙁 However, I just about cried when he didn’t even charge us for the visit out! Small business owners here are amazing.
  • Matt figured out a clogging issue in our bathroom sink and fixed that

What kinds of frugal wins have you had lately? (And happy first day of spring!!)

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