Friday, October 24, 2014

Frugal Friday

Benjamin Franklin ~

"Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship." 

I haven't done a Frugal Friday post in a few weeks and I can certainly relate to this quote.  Ever since I opened the shop, I feel like our expenses are out of control.  It's time to plug up those small holes before this ship sinks.

Because of all those small holes, when a major crisis hits (which it did this week), we are struggling to figure out how to deal with it.  Our car is on the fritz again and the repairs are going to cost $1,400 which we don't have.  Automobiles are so frustrating because you definitely need them in a rural setting and yet, when something goes wrong, it's costly.

One of the bad habits I have slipped into is not planning ahead in the meal department.  On the days I'm at the shop, it's been so easy to grab fast food at the end of the day because I didn't have a plan for dinner and I'm tired.  Trying to juggle multiple balls is an adjustment.

The other thing that's happened is that my business account is in the bank that we had before we moved.  The only branch is about 30 minutes away so each week I travel to the bank to make a deposit.  Then while I'm there I think, "I've driven all this way, I should probably pop into JoAnn Fabrics or Hobby Lobby to pick up fabric while I'm here."  Usually it's to pick up something for an order, but of course because things are always on sale, I'll pick up extra fabric.  All those "extras" add up.

Someone will ask me for a particular scent of soap and I'll purchase the fragrance oil for that and while I'm ordering I'll get a couple extra things to make the shipping worthwhile.  And on and on it goes.


I told Dan last night, that I'm not purchasing anything else until I've used up a lot of my stash - whether it's soap supplies, fabric, or anything else.  I'm working hard to plan ahead for the days I'm at the store so I'm not tempted to buy fast food.  I'm even thinking of making the bread I bake for the shop each week available only once a month because I spend much of my entire day off, baking for that instead of focusing on my house which is what I want to be doing. 

The art of frugal living is an ongoing process.  I've done well over the years but new circumstances are always a time to reevaluate and adjust.

Here are a few ways I've been frugal lately:

$ Someone dropped off an almost 4 foot lake salmon to us.  I didn't have time to gut it and cut it up so Dan offered it to our neighbor.  They don't eat fish but did take the time to fillet it for us.  A loaf of bread and jar of jam is on its way to them this weekend as a thank you!

$ Bartering - my hairdresser and I have worked out a deal where I don't pay for cuts or colorings or nails being done in exchange for sewing projects.  I got a hair cut and color this past week.  I'm in the process of making some costumes for her.  It has been a good arrangement.

$ I cut Dan & Nathan's hair myself.

$ Someone told me about this app for the phone called Retail Me Not.  It's great because when I'm in the store, I look up the store on the phone and find whatever coupon is being offered.  The clerk scans the barcode on the phone at checkout and I get the deal.

$ I made my own wreath for the front door.

$ Picked up a 1 lb. bag of yeast for $4.00 at the Mennonite store I go too.  It is so much less expensive than yeast you purchase in the supermarket.

$ Bought the olive oil I used for my soap making at a local store.  Again, a lot less expensive than the online soap company.

Those are the ways I can think of right off the top of my head. 

I need to keep plugging the holes up!  Our ship is listing a bit and I need to straighten it out! :-)