Finding ways to save money here and there can be hard, and I think we can all use a little inspiration now and then in our lives, so every month this year, I plan to publish some of the things we did to stay within our budget during the previous month. Please enjoy, and feel free to add your own frugal deeds in the comment section!
October was a fun month. We started planning our eventual trip to Argentina (and you know, half the fun is anticipation!), our town had a wild west festival, complete with a sheriffs and outlaws gun fight (not real bullets, but enough noise to scare my dog into hiding under my arm :P), and I won my first 5k medal (more on that later), plus the weather was mostly beautiful, and the puppies have gotten big enough to be loads of fun for the kids – like baby dolls, but real. Kind of scary actually, and we’ve had more than one discussion with Haddassah about picking them up by the neck. Not cool, two-year-old.
So, how did we save money this month? I’m glad you asked!
4 Ways We Saved Money In October
Picked up Pecans
There are so. many. pecan trees in this area. A lot of them are native, which bear small (and I mean tiny!), but delicious nuts, and there are some other varieties planted by the city – and by private citizens on their own land). Picking up pecans is kind of a community-wide thing here in our town, and some Saturdays, there will be whole families out in the city park carrying pails around.
I love that the city has planted food bearing plants, and not just decorative trees! (although they’ve done some of that too!)
We have two native pecan trees in our backyard, and just about every time I turn around one or both of the kids are bringing me a pecan to shell for them. Cheap (but time consuming!) snacks! 😉 It also makes volunteering to bring pecan pies to our family Thanksgiving dinner super cheap.
Made Apple Sauce From Cast-Off Apples
You would not believe how many apples go to waste every year! I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to pick up some that were headed for a dumpster, and turn them into some lovely applesauce. My pantry is not big though, and I’m having to get creative in finding places to keep my canned food. It’s a good problem to have!
Thrifted Baby Gifts
Guys, if you don’t already know, most babies don’t really wear out their clothes, and in fact, newborns often have so many outfits, that they only wear some of them a few times, and grow out of them while their still practically brand new.
Call me a cheapskate, but in my opinion, that makes baby clothes the perfect gifts to pick up at Goodwill. Yes, you need to look them over really well, to make sure that they are indeed in tip-top condition, but you can buy several outfits at a thrift shop for the price that you would pay for a simple once at Walmart, so I’d call it a good deal!
Ate lots of Frozen Veggies
Buying frozen produce is so much cheaper than buying it fresh -and maybe even better for you! We’re trying really hard to focus on eating more colorful veggies, and if it wasn’t for frozen produce, I don’t know how we would afford it!
Ways We Splurged
So I thought it might be fun to include a few of the ways we splurged this month, as well as the ways we saved – after all, you know that we can’t possibly save, save, save all the time!
And when I say “we” I mostly mean me – I know that my husband splurged on a few things this month (I saw those boxes from Amazon!), but I honestly don’t remember what was in them.
Ran a 5k
Yes, I spent $27 dollars for the privilege of driving thirty minutes away from home to run 3.1 miles with a group of people. It sound laughable, and I admit that it did feel a little foolish! But I am a very goal driven person, and having this 5k to look forward to gave me something to work towards. Plus, much to my surprise, I won first place in my age group. Woot!
It’s a stepping stone on my journey to running a half marathon (hopefully). The next step in my plan is to run a 10k this Thanksgiving – which will technically be free (except for the donation of canned food for the charity who puts it on).
Bought The Dressing Your Truth Course
I did it. It cost me nearly $100, but I did it, and I’m glad. I actually feel like it’s already starting to save me money, and I know it will in the long run, because now I know what to wear, but more importantly, what not to wear, which means that I’ll be able to have fewer clothes in my closet, and stop spending money on things I won’t wear – even though I think I like them. Ugh. How did I ever get along without knowing my beauty type!
I won’t be one of those gals with a dramatic transformation, because I can’t justify throwing out all of my old clothes and shoes, but my style is changing, slowly and steadily, for the better, and I’m so happy to have ended that perpetual closet full of clothes but nothing to wear struggle! (You can check out the course here)
And… well, that’s all I can think of right now. I’m going to try to keep November’s splurges down to a minimum because those two were pretty pricey for something that only benefited me.
Now it’s your turn: What did you save or splurge on this month?