Friday 23 November 2018

Saving Money

My frugalness partly stems from desperation born out of the fact that I am certainly NOT a guru of having a budget and staying within it. So, let me suggest right now that you search out Amanda's "Finance Friday" posts at her Bel Jour blog if you want real advice on financial planning with horses.

I did a little spring fall cleaning at the barn today, and realized something: I'm unreasonably cheap sometimes. I thought it might be fun to share some of my more embarrassingly cheap habits along with some more useful, practical ones. Plus a short list of the few things I don't mind paying for.

Filed under "Why?"

- This cardboard bridle number from a show, that I reused 3 times. A cheap number holder is what, $2? And yet, I used this. And saved it, too, for an unknown future use.

- Friend with a sawmill: "Hey T, I will load up my giant dump truck and deliver shavings to you for $50". Me: "No, it's fine, let me just fill up all these old feed bags my other friend gave me and I'll store them in my car port at home. It won't look untidy at all, and it won't be inconvenient to take those tiny bags to the barn every day. Or to recycle a million old feed bags.  I'm saving $50 for a winters worth of shavings, after all!"
I didn't want to park here or anything.

- Multiple used saddles that theoretically should have fit. I've been lucky and didn't take a financial loss, but the inconvenience is ridiculous.  Lesson learned. When Sophie is grown, she is getting a mid priced saddle bought directly from a fitter or built custom. Still risky, but I'm done with guessing.

- The manure fork with the missing times. A new plastic fork costs what? And yet it's been a year now with the stupid broken one, waiting for it to "really die"

- Hay nets made mostly of baling twine. Another item that rarely needs replacing and is cheap, and yet I get all crafty with the baling twine and spend way too much time creating intricate repairs.

Filed under "I'm not one of the cool kids, but it's worth it."

- Buying pretty browbands to update my old bridles, rather than replacing them.

- I'm the person that bags up or throws in the trailer the clean shavings from when I strip stalls at shows.

- First aid kit made up mostly of generic brand drugstore items. Stored in a reused bag from a rainsheet I bought.

- I sweep out my hay room at least a couple of times a week and put the sweepings in hay nets for Bridget. I didn't realize this was cheap until I saw everyone else just leaving theirs on the floor and throwing it in the manure pile when they get a new load of hay.

- Bedding pellets from the hardware store. They're actually wood stove pellets...they take a little longer to fluff up than the ones marketed for horses, but they're half the price.
Mixed with about 10 bags of sawdust :)

- Bathing supplies that are actually just my shampoo and conditioner from home. Oh, and dish soap for grungy tails.
I buy sulfate/silicone free stuff anyway, might as well share it.

-Detangler/leave in conditioner that's again, actually just watered down human product.

I went crazy and bought this stuff once. It's amazing. Even more amazing is that 6 years later, with multiple refills of homemade conditioner,  the spray bottle still works great!

-Only blanketing if I don't have time to groom. In this climate, blankets aren't necessary if your horse has their winter coat and shelter. Blankets = $. My horses aren't kind to blankets. So, they each have a rainsheet I use only if I know the weather is going to be awful and my time for grooming limited. Oh, and I didn't clip this year - I have the time to cool B out and therefore save $ on clipping and blanketing.
This year's blanket

-Reusing the above rainsheets once they're old and not able to hold waterproofing. They're my stable blankets at winter/spring shows.

- If I don't truly need it, it had better be priced at <$100 and >50% off original price.  It would be better to not spend at all, but I allow myself one of these things per month.

Filed under "Not negotiable"

- There are a few things I do not cheap out or compromise aon. Good quality hay and feed being the first.

- Good vet, farrier, saddle fitter.

- Excellent coaching.

-A safe, healthy place for the horses to live.

And, that's about it?

Oh boy, reading this over, apparently I have serious issues with wood shavings, lol.



  1. The things our brains insist make sense sometimes make me giggle.

    1. Every time I drive up the driveway and see my pile of sawdust and wood pellets taking up my side of the parking I:
      1. Am embarrassed for myself
      2. Am grateful my husband still loves me

  2. I sweep up the hay on the floor too - it's usually the small leafy good stuff :)

    1. It's my horses favorite bit! I was shocked that everyone here lets it pile up until it gets dusty/moldy and then throws it out.

  3. Yeah I feel like a total hoarder, I can't throw anything away just keep as "backups".
    Not horse related, but my favorite was when I was buying my house, $1M and they ask if I want to wire transfer or cashier check the deposit and I pick the one that is $10 cheaper to save some money :p

    1. That's me too...if there is a dollar to be saved, I'm usually on it!

  4. I resemble this post. Lol...... all far too relatable (tho tbh I did spring for the bridle tag numbers and it’s one of my all time favorite $8 purchases.....)

    1. I bought one finally and kind of kick myself for not doing it sooner every time I use it - so simple! so easy! looks so tidy!

  5. i do the hay sweep up and feed to the kids when I am done. They love it and i dont want to waste anything especially the alfalfa....I wish i had someone to deliver me shavings here for 50 bucks. OMG. I pay 4.25 for a bag (HUGE though) of shavings...they last about a week or more depending on the idiots and how much they pee inside). I would sell my soul for a good pitchfork, I have 3 i have bought now and the one that I had for my trailer that is too small is still the best one. Also I am cheap with blankets and sheets too (Tho Remus wears his sheet more than anything). But I havent paid more than a 100 bucks (most often a lot less) for any of them!

    Cheap no...frugal yes :)

  6. I hate wasting hay, I always try and save every bit I can LOL

    1. Glad I am not alone in the hay saving - our hay is $$$$ so I'm actually shocked people at my barn waste any. Even when I sweep out the barn aisle if there are bits of hay I put the sweepings in one of the horse's paddocks for them to pick through

  7. i also sweep out hay (within reason, so long as it isn't super dusty). i bought a nibble net for the very reason of reducing hay wastage, ahha. my horses kinda hate it, but it saves me money in the long run!!

    i am also pretty "cheap". i still have my $4350 wintec jump saddle that i bought several years ago, haha.

  8. I feel like we all keep those fucking forks for far too long because we buy it and then within a week to a month a tooth breaks.

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