Psst, I make money on some of the links in this post at no cost to you. It keeps the lights on around here.

Hey hey hey, Picky people.

Today we celebrate the grandest of occasions: the one-year anniversary of Picky Pinchers! On March 12, 2016 I published my very first post, All The Cool Kids Are Doing It: How To Pack Your Lunch.

And look how far we’ve come since then! Here are some fun stats:

Total subscribers: 458  (~Thanks, guys~)
Total blogs posted: 247 (so that’s where my sanity went)
Total comments: 2,947

Total visitors: 21,685 (I love each and every one of you)

A Big Shoutout

Soooo, this is awesome, guys.

I couldn’t be happier with how my little pet project has grown so much in just a year. You guys have listened to my weird ramblings during our journey to financial independence, and that means so much. Seriously, I love seeing your comments on the blog; it’s almost surreal. It feels like I have a big circle of good friends!

So I just wanted to give a big shoutout to everyone who’s reading this, whether it’s your first time here or you’ve been around for a little while.

This blog has not only been a stress-relieving outlet for me, but it’s also been crucial in our journey to get out of debt. You guys keep my butt in line, and for that, I salute you. 🙂

I also wanted to thank all of my fellow personal finance bloggers. Y’all write some amazing stuff and it’s been so, so great to meet so many of you. You’re awesome people. 🙂

I’ll be at FinCon 2017 (which I’m super nervous about—eek!), so I hope to meet many of you in person!




Future Goals

Mkay, sorry for all that mushy crap, but it had to be said.

I have big dreams for the future of Picky Pinchers. I’m not sure where it’s going to lead for sure, but I’d love to turn the blog into a full-time job. Ahhh, a girl can dream.

Here are my goals for Year 2 of Picky Pinchers:

Year 2 Goals

Write less

It’s funny because most bloggers want to write more, but my goal is to write less. I put out quite a few posts in a year. That’s a good thing I guess, but it was a lot of work and I don’t want to burn out my readers. Quantity doesn’t always equal quality, and I’m trying to put more effort into writing longer, better-researched pieces.

Guest blog more

Half the fun of blogging is meeting other kickass bloggers. I’ve gotten to work with several amazing folks. I’d love to do more guest blogging in the future so I can meet even more Picky people!

Monetize the blog better

Another goal is to monetize the site better. Right now I run a lot of Google Adsense ads and I’d like to minimize or remove them. I just need to find a replacement for them first.

I’m trying to focus more on affiliate marketing for things that I already use and love. Hopefully then the display ads can go kaput.

And these things aren’t making me rich, by the way! I get small kickbacks that support the costs of the site so I can keep writing for you guys. 🙂

P.S. I took the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course last month and it really did whip my butt into gear with affiliate marketing. You can peek at the program through my affiliate link here to learn more. 




Organize my time better

Right now my approach to blogging is, “OH SWEET LAWD JUST GET IT ALL OUT RIGHT NOWWWW.”

Obviously that is stressful.

So for Year 2 of the blog I want to structure my time wisely. I think this goes hand in hand with intentional living. If I can maintain more focus, I can be twice as productive in the same amount of time. Hopefully this means I can grow the blog without turning all of my hair gray.

Frugal Weekend Update

I know you guys like to see what we do over the weekend (and it was a good one), so here’s a quick recap of our frugal weekend, too!

Lots of cooking

Even though it was a CRAZY-busy weekend, I snuck in some fun cooking projects.

  • Danishes: The last time I attempted danishes was over a year ago. They came out tough and gummy and I vowed to never bake them again.

A year later, I made them again. They actually came out tasty! I used a storebought strawberry jam for them. If I make them again (and that’s a big IF), I’ll fill them with a homemade cheese filling.

Danishes are a LOT of work. They require folding layers of dough with butter over and over again. This dough was chock-full of butter!

danish folding

Anyway, danishes are a fuss, and that’s why most people buy them at the store. I honestly would prefer to buy them at the store for 50 cents instead of baking them. But I like to stretch my limits and it’s good to do different projects now and again. But yeah. Danishes aren’t for the faint of heart.

And yes, I know the jam looks ugly on them; I was in a hurry to eat them. 😉

danishes

  • Bulk plums: Plums were on sale for 98 cents a pound, which is as cheap as they get in our area. I stocked up on four pounds of plums, processed them, and froze them. I plan to make plum jam with them when I have extra time on my hands. It’s my fave!
plums

Mr. Picky Pincher labeled them as peaches and I found that most hilarious.

  • Citrus trifle: I’ve never made a trifle before in my life. The only reason the idea even popped into my head is because I made a lemon curd on Saturday to avoid wasting egg yolks and lemons. I couldn’t think of anything to use it for other than flavoring homemade yogurt until I watched The Great British Baking Show.  They made trifles and they looked heavenly. I had zero ingredients for an actual trifle: sponge cake, lady fingers, whipped cream, etc. So I made it all from scratch. 🙂

I’ve never made sponge cake or lady fingers before, but they came out great! They were airy and delightful. I layered the trifle with the lady fingers, lemon curd, homemade whipped cream, walnuts, homemade orange marmalade, and sponge cake. Yum!

lemon trifle

I am not one to be trifled with.




Gardening!

Gardening was the labor of love this weekend.

Mr. Picky Pincher built a few raised beds last week and finished a few over the weekend. Then it was time to fill them with dirt! In total 2,400 pounds of dirt were dumped into the planters.

It was a pretty back-breaking task and all hands were on board! Picky Nikki and Picky Toddler came over to assist and we made quick work of the second batch of dirt. Poor Mr. Picky Pincher took care of the first truckload himself!

We also swung by our local nursery and purchased seeds and a few starter plants. We are SO. EXCITED. to have a garden.

Here’s what our garden looks like so far:

raised beds

Woohoooo!

Crafting

I finished my rainbow headband from last week and…

rainbow headband

I look like a fortune-teller.

I made it entirely too thick and it ended up looking like an odd turban sort of creation. I started a second, thinner version with leftover yarn. The turban is still super cozy and warm, so I’ll keep it around. 🙂

Zap’s Adventures

Zap naturally had plenty of fun this weekend!

He found plastic packaging and enjoyed romping around with it. With supervision, of course.

He posed oh-so-elegantly after clawing our kitchen chairs.

How regal.

Zap mocked me after he bit my eyebrow while I was napping.




Psssst!

In honor of the Picky Pinchers first blogiversary, I’m selling my eBook, Slash Your Grocery Bill In 28 Days, for just 99 cents! Keep a look out for the promo in your inbox next week!

the bottom line

I hope to have a long, wonderful road ahead with this blog. I’ve gotten such a sense of purpose from running this site and I love everything about it. Thanks again for coming across this blog; it really means a lot. I’ve gotten a stronger sense of purpose writing here and look forward to see what Year 2 brings.

We want to know: What kind of content or topics would you like to see on Picky Pinchers? And how did you save money this week?


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