For many startups, bootstrapping is the best method to build your company your way, without having to take investors’ interests into account. It also means stretching your resources as thinly as possible, and lends new meaning to the term “sweat equity.” It’s a difficult road, but well worth the struggle: bootstrapping gives you unparalleled control until you get to the stage where finding outside capital won’t risk compromising your vision.

But what happens once you reach that point? As your company scales, so does your spending. Hiring new talent and expanding your office space all come with associated costs, which is necessary for successful growth. As a CEO – and a self-confessed extreme bootstrapper – I know how hard it can be to loosen the reins. Stepping back to focus on the big picture means letting go of some of the more granular ways to save money.

Case in point: a couple of years ago, I snuck into an e-commerce conference to research business idea. At the time, it was a necessary measure: the company had a grand total of zero customers, and my co-founder and I had not generated enough revenue from our other ventures to get us out of his parents’ basement. Paying thousands of dollars to get into the conference was not an option, despite the opportunity that lay inside that conference hall.

This year is a different story. We raised $7 million dollars in venture capital financing and will be exhibiting for the first time at the upcoming Shop.org Summit in just a few weeks. We are investing in building out a trade show booth, the event team, and the presence. Although the inner bootstrapper in me still looks for ways to cut costs, I’ve come to realize that the experience will be worth the investment.

We’re technically no longer a bootstrapped company, but I believe the principles apply to companies at all stages of growth. As your company scales, bootstrapping might not mean not spending money, but spending it wisely. Invest in what matters, but think strategically to limit unnecessary costs.

Here are five ways to keep that bootstrapped edge, even as you grow:

1. Be a smart shopper – and ask your friends for help.

Comparison-shopping isn’t just for your customers. Look to sites like Craigslist or Overstock for furniture or other office accent pieces. Shop around instead of going for the first option you see. Ask your friends on Facebook for hook-ups to Apple company discounts – you’ll be surprised at the response you might find.

2. Don’t spend on a fancy website yet.

Professionally curated corporate websites are great, but can run you thousands of dollars just for the design, let alone the maintenance. Chances are, if you’re still scaling, you’re not ready for that kind of commitment. Instead, look to free platforms like WordPress, which offers thousands of free themes and plugins. If you’re set on a fancier site, try lower-cost options like Squarespace, which allows you to build high-quality websites for as little as $7/month.

3. Ask for special pricing for events.

Event organizers are people too – they understand what it means for startups and entrepreneurs to pay their way into conferences and networking events. Many events offer special discounts or rates that are not widely advertised. Or do your homework, and take advantage of early bird rates when it comes time to sign up.

4. Manage your own books.

The worst part of managing your books is starting – the setup and data input isn’t fun, but once you’re on track, it’s not that difficult to keep track of your spending. Plus, looking at your numbers at the end of every month helps you keep that bootstrapper attitude, because you’ll just how quickly your money leaves the bank.

5. Don’t use recruiters – or at least negotiate.

Recruiters and job boards save you time, but often the leads aren’t worth the cost. Look at university bulletin boards or job fairs instead, and always look for referrals from friends, family, and colleagues. If you must go through a recruiter, make sure to get your money’s worth by negotiating for more options or a longer period of time.