what a frugal blogiversary weekend!
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What A Frugal Blogiversary!

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?


62 comments on “What A Frugal Blogiversary!

  1. Congratulations!
    I found your blog through another blog I read. I thoroughly enjoy your posts. May I also say you have accomplished SO much for your age. You should be proud!

    Looking forward to more posts!

    1. Thank you so, so much for reading! Seriously, it means so much to have you here. 🙂 And thank you so much! I have plenty of fun things planned for Year 2 and I hope it’ll only get better. 🙂

  2. Happy Blogiversary! Your site is one of my must-reads every week and I am so impressed/inspired by how much you have written this year (although I totally think it’s an awesome goal to write less – sustainability is key). Keep up the amazing work and can’t wait to see what’s in store for your second year.

    1. Thank you so much!!! I can’t believe how much I wrote either. …Except I kinda can, because in real life I never shut up. It’s a perfect fit. 😉

  3. Happy blogiversary! That’s super exciting! And so is the dirt, I don’t know what it is about dirt but gardening is always so soothing on the soul. Which is good because my food forest is a tangled mess, but it’s producing like crazy.

    Also what happened to Zap! He looks like a big grown up cat. I swear he was a teeny baby just last week.

    1. Thank you! Oh my gosh, I forgot how good it felt to dig in some dirt. I took out plenty of pent-up aggression and weeded a 12-foot bed to plant butterfly garden plants. Ahhhh. I’m gonna be blown away once we actually get food from the garden. I am SO SAD that Zap is growing up so fast. I pick him up nowadays and he’s so heavy. So sad that he’s a teenage-cat now, but he’ll always be my baby. 😉

      1. Oh dear, not a cat teenager. My three-nager is just settling down but I remember the very painful teenage years. My friend is going through them now, might I suggest wearing the gardening gloves around the house!

        For the garden, if you haven’t already get started on the compost pile. I found no matter what dirt I bought it didn’t last very long before it got sad and stopped growing. You can make a great lazy ‘compost tower’ by sinking a PVC pipe with some holes drilled in the side. Just stuff your compostables straight in and let the worms do the work for you. No turning the pile, no shovelling from the bin to the garden.

        1. Hahaha, he’s so mean to me now–for absolutely zero reason. Boooo. Oh yes, I forgot to showcase our compost bins! That was the first thing that Mr. Picky Pincher built when we moved in. Hopefully we can get some good dirt by the time we have to plant our fall garden.

  4. Happy Blogiversary! ^ o^ What I would like to see to help organize your “What’s For Dinner?” and “What a Frugal Weekend!” posts are a date in the title picture or in the title of the blog post. I know the blog post is dated in small font at the bottom, but seeing the date in the title would be wonderful for better organization, imo. 🙂

    Since the weather was heating up, I saved money this week by taking my new pants back to Torrid for a refund. $94.00 back! $20.00 of it for my mother since she helped pay for them because she is so nice. ^ o^ So now, I am looking at buying capris online at Torrid’s website, but they are basically sold out of all of the ones I want. I’ll have to wait until they get more in stock… Womp Womp. :C

    And I made the Fried Rice Omelet, followed the recipe to a T, and it had a slight ketchup flavor to it and more ketchup on top. I didn’t like it very much and if you like ketchup or a strong tomato flavor, then I would recommend the dish. As for me, it was meh. : / I think it was authentic though since I followed the instructions as much as I could, but I wouldn’t make it again. Womp Womp… . _____.

    1. Thank you! Oooh, thanks for the suggestion! I probably need to give those posts their own category too; it’s just a matter of making time, of course. Booo. Oh nooooo! I don’t think a ketchupy taste would do well on an omelet. You know, sometimes you just get a lemon of a recipe. But way to go for cooking it yourself and trying something new. 🙂

  5. Congrats on the one-year!! I didn’t realize that we started up so close to each other, mine is next week! What an amazing first year, I can’t imagine posting that many articles. Great work.

    And super impressive raised garden beds, Mr. PP…super impressive.

    1. Thank you! It’s funny because there are so many blogiversaries happening right around now. There must be something about March. 🙂 Hopefully I’ll have some pictures of things actually growing in the raised beds in a few weeks. 🙂

  6. Congratulations! That’s quite an accomplishment. I love reading your posts each week, they are the perfect mix of funny and informative. I’m excited to see your garden adventures! It’s still too cold here to actually start doing anything in the garden, but Mr. Daisy and I have been scheming. Our tomato plants completely overtook our garden last year and hogged the sunlight, so we’re thinking of planting them in pots since they are one of the plants that survives will in pots!

    I think that the posts you’re writing now are perfect. I like to come to a blog and see the actual things someone is doing to save money or navigate life.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so happy to have you here. :3 Ugh, unfortunately we didn’t get much of a winter here in Texas, so all of the plants think it’s spring. It kinda sucks because we had to really hustle to get the raised beds thrown together. And thanks for the encouragement! I always want to make sure I’m delivering some good stuff for everyone. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I’ve learned a lot just from reading your blog, so thanks for all of the inspiration. 🙂

  7. Aw yay. Happy Blogiversary! You have motivated me with how much you guys accomplish on your weekends. It’s so hard around my house because my fiance only gets two weekends off a month due to his rotating shift schedule. So the weekends we do get together I don’t want to spend it cooking and cleaning the house haha

    So I followed a page from your book and planned a freezer restock weekend while he was working. I think you’d be proud.

    I made 2 dozen copycay mcmuffins, cornbread, garlic bread, and buttermilk biscuits. As well as burrito casserole and eggplant parmesan for lunches all week! I’m feeling very prepared 🙂

    Thank you for all that you have done and I think you’ll be successful continuing on this path.

    1. Thank you so much! Ooh, that’s rough with his schedule–I wouldn’t want to spend my weekends cooking for three hours either if it was the only time I could hang with Mr. Picky Pincher! Oh my gosh, congrats with all of the wonderful freezer cooking! I’m drooling over the thought of garlic bread. Why in the hell haven’t I cooked garlic bread for a freezer meal yet? I might have to copy you. 🙂

      1. Go for it! It is delicious. Garlic bread and cornbread are sides I have to always have for my fiance because he loves them so much! You can tell we’re from the south 🙂

        I use this easy BudgetBytes recipe.
        https://www.budgetbytes.com/2015/03/homemade-freezer-garlic-bread/

        My tip is I use garlic salt that already has parsley in it instead of them individually.

        I wait until my local grocery store has the french bread BOGO then I stock up.

        1. I love ittttt. Thanks for the recipe! Mr. Picky Pincher told me I can’t bake any more bread until I eat the bread I have (it’s a freezer full; I’m not even kidding). Great idea on the bread! I know Jimmy John’s serves those long French-style loaves for 50 cents apiece, too!

  8. Awesome year for you! I’m excited to see where you take it in year 2. I’m looking to do some similar things on my blog – exploring affiliate marketing and ways to monetize.

    Traffic is the name of the game, 21k views in a year is pretty good. Recently, what are your numbers?

    1. Thank you! I poked around in Analytics and it looks like my February unique users were 4,341 with 26,700 total page views. Not too bad. 🙂

  9. Happy Blogiversary! I have been impressed with how many interesting posts you’ve been able to put out each week, while cooking so much delicious food. So impressed, that I even dreamed about your blog over the weekend. I dreamed that you made a video blog (vlog? is that what it’s called) and I was super excited about it.

    1. Thank you so so much! Oh my gosh, you must be seeing the future!! I just wrote a script for a bread-making video. 😉 Damn, great minds think / dream alike!

  10. Happy blogiversary! Mid March seems to be the best time to start a blog haha.

    About this FinCon thing……. I might have to have you (and the mister?) stay in my apartment for the week if you cook! That trifle looks SO GOOD.

    1. Thank you! Isn’t it crazy? So many people are having their blogiversaries right now. I wonder why that’s the case. Yeehaw!! I’ll try to bring up some food samples for you. 🙂 I have family in Dallas (I’ll be staying in Terrell) so we should totally hang!

  11. Congratulations on the blogiversary!
    For the life of me I can’t remember how I stumbled here almost right after you had started. But I stayed, because of your funny, honest and personal style.
    I really like how you’ve formatted posts as series (what’s for dinner and what a frugal weekend). It just makes reading so much easier. Also, it’s been fun observing Mr. Picky Pincher’s (and yours) very hipster-y fermenting experiments (another reluctant hipster here raising a hand). Learning to preserve food really does cut costs in the long run. And it’s so rewarding learning new age-old skills.
    May year 2 be full of new adventures!

    1. Thank you so much! Oh my gosh, thanks for sticking around for so long. It’s good to see I haven’t scared everyone away. 😉 Hee hee hee, it’s funny because Mr. Picky Pincher HAAAAAATES hipsters, and yet he’s very much into hipster shiz. Thanks again for reading all of our crazy antics. 🙂

  12. Congrats on 1 year!! I am super impressed with those garden beds! It is on my to do list every spring/summer to get raised beds set up, one of these years we actually will make it happen.

    1. Thank you! I couldn’t believe Mr. Picky Pincher built those things. They don’t look it, but they’re HEAVY. Luckily once you build the raised beds you won’t really have to build them again, so that’s a bonus. It’s a lot of work, so I don’t fault you for delaying it!

  13. Congrats on the one year blogiversary! Impressive stats… I’m pretty sure you have more than 24 hours in your day. 🙂 Joking aside, I think what you’ve done over the course of a year is amazing. Looking forward to year 2 and beyond!!

  14. Congrats on your blog anniversary! I love the raised beds. Just one thing, remember to check the growing heights of your tomato plants. My boss planted non-determinate tomatoes in his raised planter bed, and had to get a step-ladder to reach the tomatoes at the top!
    I also love the cat pictures. I wish I had been ready to snap a photo the day my cat thought the toilet lid was down, when it wasn’t, and she jumped up on it…..
    May next year be even more fun and more productive!

    1. Thank you! Hooooly crap, I didn’t even think about the tomato height. I’ll make Mr. Picky Pincher pluck them with his long arms. 🙂 I miss so many adorable / evil Zap moments, even with my camera at the ready.

  15. Yay and many congrats! You remind me that my year blogiversary is coming up too, although I certainly have nowhere near those stats😉. I love reading your escapades! I’m envious; FinCon sounds great. Love the garden beds and little Zap too. Cheers to year #2 and good things to come!

    1. Thanks! Man, so many blogiversaries are happening during this time of year. I wonder what it is about spring that makes people want to write. 🙂 I only was able to pay for FinCon with six months blog ad money, but dammit I did it. I hope to see you there in the future. 🙂

  16. Congrats on the one year anniversary! I’m glad I found your site and look forward to hearing more from you in year 2 🙂

    I have also been looking into the course on affiliate marketing, so it was nice to hear your feedback. I’ve also been contemplating connecting with others in regards to guest blog posts. However, I haven’t taken it any further 🙁

    Also, your raised beds look like they will be pretty awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing more photos of your garden and other yard projects!

  17. Congrats on the one year blogiversary!!! Plus you have almost 500 email subscribers??? That’s incredible. It sounds like you are getting ready to take off and really do some big things. I can’t wait to see more 🙂

    1. Thank you! I always feel self-conscious because everyone else seems to have MASSIVE email lists. But I love all of my subscribers. 🙂

  18. Congratulations! I really enjoy your blog! I found it when you commented on another frugal-type of blog that I read. I really like your content and your sense of humor. You take on some impressive projects, and I enjoy reading about it. Your kitten is adorable. He looks like he’s a handful!

    1. Thank you so much for sticking around and reading! It means so much to have you here. 🙂 Oh my gosh, Zap is such a pill. It’s tough because we can’t leave him unsupervised any more or he’ll slash our blinds or eat vintage Beatles records. Sigh.

  19. I really like your blog. I find you very funny. I
    Laugh out loud at a lot loud at alot of what you say! I began looking at your blog from another blog. Keep it coming you are awesome! I love what your post! Good job!

    1. Howdy! Hmm, I think I changed it back during the holidays, but I added the new background picture for a bit of pizzazz. Glad you like it!!

  20. Happy blogiversary! I’m starting to approach six months now myself, and can’t believe it’s been that long. Like you I’ve been writing a lot, mostly to get myself into the habit. Also the more time I spend writing, the more ideas I have. But I don’t want to burn out, so once I’m in the habit maybe I’ll cut back a bit. Maybe not- who knows? Here’s to another great year!

    1. Wow, only six months for you? You go, girl!! You still have a lot of time to make big things happen. 🙂

    1. Thank you! It’s funny because I referenced your Frankensquash while perusing the nursery. We decided to stick with one variety of squash in the hopes that it won’t get cross-pollinated, but we’ll see!

  21. Congrats Mrs.PP! You are doing a fantastic job! You are funny and inspiring and I’ll continue to tune in for the shenanigans of the Pincher family’s! That Zap, OMG he’s adorable! Likes one of your shoes it seems! Hope it’s thrifted! 💐🎉💐🎉

    1. Thank you so much! Ironically the shoe wasn’t thrifted since I bought it before our frugal overhaul. Oops! At least it lasted a while, although that may change if Zap has anything to do with it.

  22. Congrats Mrs. PP on your first year. Love your blog. I found your blog through another blog and love your content. Keep up the great work. As a new blogger myself, I hope to inspire others as you have inspired me. Looking forward to reading your posts for year two.

    1. Thank you so, so much for finding your way here! I just followed your site and can’t wait to see what you do in your own first year. 🙂

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