I’ve always said that the little things add up to big things. A few pennies pinched here and there can become a few dollars in my wallet later.
Every so often, I like to take the time to celebrate those small frugal things that are helping me save money and live more simply. Taking time to think about our frugal efforts and share them with others helps affirm our actions. It keeps us on the straight and narrow, moving forward, even if it’s slow going sometimes.
So with that…. here is my list of 6 frugal things making me happy right now:
A garden that grew in spite of me.
I took a part-time job at the exact time of year that I normally would have been planning and planting my garden. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but it was at that exact time that all of the end-of-school-year activities ramped up. I honestly didn’t know if I would even have a garden.
My mom ended up giving me some tomato plants, and even planted them for me while I was at work. She later added a few bean plants. I had some cilantro seed pods I got as a free sample, and then filled in the rest of my two small raised beds with more bean, lettuce and basil seeds.
If it weren’t for my dear husband and a rainy summer, the garden probably wouldn’t have gotten watered. I ignored the garden most of the time until I noticed that the weeds were slowly killing the tomatoes.
The garden really did grow in spite of me. We enjoyed fresh green beans, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, and lettuce despite my lack of effort.
Fresh food with little expense was a blessing this summer. My garden didn’t exactly flourish (it was downright ugly), but it did produce, and it reminded me of why I still garden even when I’m lousy at it.
And as they say in baseball, there’s always next year.
Amazing end-of-season clearance sales.
I stumbled upon a major end-of-season clearance sale and scored 13 pairs of shorts and 2 t-shirts for my boys for next summer for just $41. I saved nearly $100 on my purchase. I also snagged two nice beach towels for just $3.98 each. The summer gear will get stashed away until next spring and I will appreciate not paying full price for our summer clothes. It’s just one way to make clearance sales work for you all year.
Books to borrow without a return date.
I love, love, love my library, but sometimes life gets so busy that I don’t get my library books read before they are due. My mom is an avid reader, who frequently picks up best-selling novels (on sale, of course), and then lends them to me when she’s done with them. I don’t have to wait for a copy of the new best-seller to become available at my library or worry about when I return it. I just try to make sure that I return the favor on those rare occasions I do buy a new book for myself.
Still no soda nearly 8 months later.
I’m proud to say that I have not had any soda since February 15, 2016. I have had a few of what some would call “soft drinks” (i.e. sparkling water, lemonade, or raspberry iced tea), but no pop in almost 8 months. I feel better, and I can certainly say I don’t miss the expense at all. It hasn’t been easy to give up soda, but I’m here to tell you it is possible.
A new life for my old mattress.
Our mattress has been showing signs of its age and causing rather restless, uncomfortable sleep. We priced new mattresses, but quickly realized that with other upcoming expenses (new tires for both vehicles, winter boots for the kids, and fuel oil), a new mattress wasn’t our budget.
Instead, I cashed in some Swagbucks for some free Amazon gift card money, and used it to purchase a new memory foam mattress topper for our bed. This purchase was worth every penny! Our bed is comfortable once again, we’re sleeping better, and now we have a little bit more time to save for the mattress replacement.
Gorgeous fall weather.
Fall is my favorite season here in northern Minnesota. The colors that sweep the landscape are amazing, and I love the crisp fall air. I love fresh pumpkin and roasted pumpkin seeds, warm sweaters and homemade soups. I also love that all-too-brief sweet spot between the air conditioning season and the heating season. It’s so nice to see my utility bills go down this time of year, even if it’s just for a little bit.
Life is good when you can take time to enjoy the simple pleasure of life on a budget. Celebrate the small frugal things!
What frugal things are making you happy right now? Please share in the comments!
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