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Another frugal Weekend is under our belts, Picky peeps! We managed to keep ourselves busy, but also made time for plenty of vegging. Since being easy on myself is one of my 2018 resolutions, I think a little bit of weekend leisure is a fine place to start.
Of course the two days were far too short, but we made the most of our time away from work with a few frugal activities. See how we saved (and spent) our money this weekend.
Let me know yours in the comments!
I focused on bulk cooking this weekend. I put a lot of focus on cooking proteins ahead of time, since they take so long to cook on the weekdays. We make bulk batches of meat and then vacuum seal them for maximum long term freshness.
Next week we’re cooking macaroni casserole with pulled pork. Pulled pork is a protein that needs to simmer low and slow for several hours, making it a challenge for week nights.
We spent $13 on a monstrous cut of a bone-in cut of pork (it barely fit in my crock pot!). I seasoned it with chopped poblano, onions, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, and (the secret ingredient) Dr. Pepper. The soda gives it a slightly sweet taste. This suckah cooked for five hours in the crock pot on high before it pulled apart with a fork.
Although it was a big upfront cost, we now have enough pulled pork to last us six months. And you know what? It’s already cooked and ready for eating! We’ll save the pork bone to make a batch of stock.
We ran out of pre-cooked sausage patties last week, which put a bit of a wrench into our weekday breakfast plans. Not to be surprised again, I bought four packs of breakfast sausage at the store and cooked ’em. These are much cheaper than the frozen breakfast sausage patties and take minimal extra effort.
I was able to crank out four tupperware-fuls of sausage patties. Two stayed here at the Picky Palace, and two will go to Mr. Picky Pincher’s work freezer for just-in-case work breakfasts.
We were supposed to eat this bisque last week, but ate out instead. Oops! We had the ingredients for the bisque, so I threw it together as our Sunday lunch.
Although I like the taste of flame-roasted peppers, I broiled the poblanos to quickly char the skin for flavor.
I cooked onions, garlic, and chicken stock and then added in my poblanos before blending the whole concoction in our Vitamix. After stirring in cream, it was done.
The flavor was on point, but this was SPICY. And I like spicy food, mind you. The poblanos we get usually aren’t hot, but this batch 100% came from the depths of a volcano. That’s how hot they were.
We topped the bisque with sliced avocado and cilantro. The avocado cooled it slightly, but the soup was still inedibly spicy. The flavor was great, but next time we’ll let it reduce and turn into a spicy cream sauce for tacos.
It was at least worth a try!
This was too funny not to share with you guys.
We cooked the pork and drained off the fat. It’s definitely not frugal (or smart, for that matter) to pour fat down the drain. We looked around for old containers to safely dispose of the fat. We poured it into an old bourbon bottle.
I had a good chuckle because it looked like bourbon from far away. Kinda wanted to keep it for April Fool’s Day.
Wine about it!
Last month we made both apple and blackberry wine. This weekend was time to siphon off the wine and bottle it. It took twice as long to bottle everything because I had to film it for a YouTube video I’m making.
But the result was pretty good!
I absolutely love the blackberry wine. It’s very dry and you can still taste the blackberries. The flavor was smooth, too. The apple, on the other hand, tasted like watered down alcohol with a hint of apple. I was really disappointed because I thought the apple would have more flavor.
Oh well! Wine is wine, right? We bottled the wine in swingtop bottles because it was much easier than corking. They’ll be good for drinking for another 1 – 3 months.
Hopefully the apple will continue to mature and get more flavor.
DIY dryer balls
I’ve been wanting to get some Dryer Balls for a while but never pulled the trigger. I got an itch to do easy crafting this weekend, so I decided to finally make these dryer balls.
Dryer balls are supposed to improve the dry time of your clothes, saving in energy costs. I’ve heard they can also soften your clothes, too. I plan to add a few drops of essential oil to mine to give my clothes a nice spring smell. Since our homemade laundry soap is scentless, this is a great way to have that fresh laundry scent.
I used this awesome tutorial and the dryer balls came together perfectly.
I scored wool yarn for $5 at Michael’s and bought a $1 set of pantyhose at Walmart. For $6, I got five dryer balls. When I’ve found these in store and online they usually go for $10 – $15, so there was a slight savings for minimal work.
I haven’t gotten to use the dryer balls with clothes yet, but I’ll report back and see if it was worth the cost! Do any readers use dryer balls? Have you noticed a difference?
I find it hilarious when people comment about how clean our house looks. I hide a shameful secret, y’all. Our showers and bathrooms just look … horrible. It’s mostly because the previous owners of our home didn’t take care of them, but also because I don’t clean them often.
However, I suffer from really annoying mold allergies. I read an article that suggested regular bathroom wipe-downs can kill some of the mold in our homes and help with allergies. I didn’t have anything to lose, so I gave it a shot.
I mixed 3/4 cups baking soda with 1/4 cup bleach. I know people in the natural Cleaning circles don’t like bleach, but sometimes you just need to use bleach. Particularly when you’re trying to remove black stains/mold from your grout. Plus, I’ve tried the baking soda and vinegar solution in the shower, and I haven’t found that it works. Ditto for Dawn and baking soda.
I used a scrub brush and applied the baking soda-bleach paste to the shower tile and tub. It was so flippin’ gross. I let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, scrubbed again, and let it sit again before rinsing.
Our bathroom doesn’t look super awesome, but I could tell a difference. As an added bonus, I haven’t been sneezing and coughing as much. Hopefully I knocked out some mold in the process, eh?
We also had an issue with hair in our pipes last week. I ordered these Tub-Shrooms (Amazon link here) to prevent hair from going into our sink drains and bathtub drains. It’s not the most glamorous thing in the world, but it will save us big headaches down the line.
Mr. Picky Pincher and I have both been trying to do more deep cleaning. We’ve only lived in our house for a year, and we’re already seeing gunk pile up! It’s important to do regular cleaning and maintenance around the house to avoid costly repairs or really sucky emergency cleaning jobs.
Mr. Picky Pincher was a total sweetheart and scrubbed down the kitchen today. It’s so nice having a clean range!
K&N air filters
Mr. Picky Pincher also got to work cleaning our K&N reusable air filters in our vehicles (Amazon link here to one). We pay about $5 per air filter cleaning with cleaning kit costs, which is still cheaper than disposable air filters.
And hey, we’re throwing away one less thing, and that’s a win.
We took Zap to the vet on Friday to treat an ear infection. We have to give this little fluffernutter drops in his ears twice a day for the next ten days. But don’t feel sorry for him – he got into extra mischief this week to make up for it.
I left the closet door open for one second and Zap took full advantage of it. He scaled to the ceiling and surveyed the world from atop our Christmas ornaments.
Whenever Zap is going to the vet, I leave out his carrier. It gives him time to get used to the carrier and he freaks out less when it’s time for the appointment. He definitely knows something’s fishy when the carrier comes out!
Mr. Picky Pincher left a bag unattended on the bed. When he returned, we found Zappo napping inside.
We want to know: How did you spend or save money this weekend?
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