Thursday, May 25, 2017

5 Frugal Things: Cake & Wine

This post is inspired by The Frugal Girl, who regularly posts five frugal highlights from her week. I like this series because it's a good reminder of the opportunities, small and large, to be mindful about my consumption and thoughtful about my choices while still enjoying my life. Now, on to the cake! 

This week I... 

Birthday cakes demand sprinkles.

1. Gave a frugal birthday gift. 

I'm a notoriously bad gift giver, but I'm trying to get better. Last week my dear friend and fellow blogger Kat had a backyard birthday bash and I wanted to give her something thoughtful without busting my budget. I ended up baking a cake to bring to the party, made from ingredients I had on hand (including eggs from my ladies!). I also cut some hydrangeas from our bush and arranged them in a pretty bouquet. Flowers and dessert - what could be better? 

2. Fed the chickens their own eggshells. 

Laying an egg every day requires a lot of calcium, and in the warmer months, when production is at its highest, the girls can get depleted quickly. This can result in weakened bones and super fragile eggshells. An easy to way get more calcium into the chickens' system is to save their eggshells, crush them up, and feed them back to them. The other option is buying crushed oyster shells, but since I already have the eggshells it's much more cost-effective to go this route. So I did!

Just call me Ofwine.

3. Embraced Trader Joe's boxed wine. 

At the end of a long day, there's nothing nicer than settling in with a glass of wine and the latest episode of The Handmaid's Tale. My budget, however, disagrees. Thus we've found a compromise - Trader Joe's boxed wine. Although I've sung the praises of boxed wine in the past, my price point had begun creeping up and it was time to get the old booze budget under control. The box from Trader Joe's is just $12.99, contains the equivalent of four bottles, and is the perfect beverage to sip while watching a feminist dystopia come to life.

4. Found a cheaper dog food. 

Our older dog, Seamus, had a sensitive stomach and required a very specific (and very expensive) brand of dog food. After he passed away in February, I kept buying the same food for Calvin, our younger dog. Then I remembered Calvin will eat literally anything and switched to a cheaper version. And when I say "cheaper," I should point out that he's still eating non-GMO, wild caught salmon that is free of wheat, corn, soy, and other weird additives. I'm cheap, but I'm not a monster.

Me, as seen by YNAB!

5. Got into YNAB's beta referral program. 

As we all know, I'm obsessed with YNAB. I'm so devoted to their budgeting method that I even wrote a guest post for their blog. I also managed to worm my way into their brand new referral program, which means I can finally benefit from all the people I've sent their way. If you subscribe through my referral link (and I hope you do!) we'll both get one free month of budgeting bliss. What could be better? For this frugal gal, not much.

Have you found a new way to rock a champagne life on a beer budget? Don't hold back - tell me all your secrets in the comments! Lord knows I need them.