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What A Frugal Weekend! June 4

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, Picky peeps! I was admittedly a bit of a blubberbutt this weekend, but we still managed to fit in a few money-saving (and money-spending) adventures. See how we tried to save money this weekend and add your own in the comments!

Bikes!

I totally forgot to mention the bikes in last weekend’s post!

Last Sunday we purchased two bikes for $75 on Craigslist. They just needed a bit of air in the tires and a rinse. Good as new!

We did buy two new bike helmets and two new seats. The original seat hurt my butt SO BADLY. The bike ride didn’t make me sore, but the seat definitely did.

Once I got my new seat, though, it was like sitting on a cushion of clouds. Ahhhhh.

bikes

P.S. You can tell which helmet is mine because I put “BETCH” on the side. Keepin’ it classy.

It sucks to spend $150+ on this, but cycling has been a really fun evening activity for us. Some days we prefer to walk through our neighborhood and other days we prefer to bike. It’s a good way to get some exercise and bonding time. πŸ™‚




Free stuff

I like to keep my ears low to the ground so I can sniff out free stuff. This week I caught a break! One of my sorority sisters is moving into a new apartment. She offered her stuff up for grabs on our sorority Facebook pageΒ or it was going to be donated to Goodwill.

I leapt at her offer for a pair of never-worn BRAND NEW white Converse sneakers and two t-shirts (I am woefully lacking in casual shirts).

converse sneakers

My parents would never buy me proper Converse when I was a kid (how deprived I was!), so I’m living out all of my punk rock fantasies right now.

I washed the shirts and spritzed the shoes with my vodka-tea tree mixture for good measure. The Converse were a particularly good find Β (they retail at $45) and they’ll be a wonderful addition to my wardrobe. These shoes are built pretty well, so they should last me a while. And they were fuh-reeeee.

Aw yeah.

distillery tour

I finally lost steam after a busy Saturday morning. It was three in the afternoon and Mr. Picky Pincher and I were sitting on the couch and staring at each other in boredom. We were sleepy, bored, and unmotivated. It was too late to take a nap, so we decided the best thing would be to leave the house and have a bit of fun.

I do enjoy doing frugal prep during the weekends, but sometimes you just need to have actual fun outside of the house.

I located a $9 Groupon for a rum distillery tour for two people (it also included two rocks glasses too!). I got the Groupon and away we went!

get the free 30 day frugal cleanse

I had a few drinks and forgot to take pictures (sorry!) but we had a ball. I don’t know of any other local rum distillers in our area and their shiz was ON POINT. Best rum I’ve ever tasted. I considered buying a handle of rum, but at $40 apiece, that was quite the commitment for a casual drinker like myself.

We might be back later, though! Gotta love local producers. πŸ™‚

Afterwards I was a little tipsy and demanded fried cheese, so Mr. Picky Pincher drove my drunk ass to Culver’s, where we got fried cheese curds. It was a dark day for my “I’m going to eat healthy and stop being a blerch!” goals, but it was oh-so worth it.

Food

What’s a weekend at the Picky Palace without a bit of pre-cooking? I did most of my cooking on Saturday morning and straight-up lost motivation to cook any more after that.

Smoothies

I didn’t have any healthy snacks in the house last week, which meant I ate a lot of chips. Chips are good, but not by the fistful. So I decided to get some cheap produce and use it to make tasty smoothies.

I made two smoothies: carrot cake (recipe here) and spiced apple crumble (recipe here). I think I prefer the apple one, but they’re both good. I added some unflavored whey protein to both of these so I’m getting a li’l somethin’ from the smoothies at least.



I blended the smoothies in our Ninja blender and froze them in silicone mini cupcake forms. Once they froze, I put them in a Ziploc bag. This is a great thing to do if you like to buy pre-made frozen smoothies from the store. You get the same convenience and way less cost!

Goat cheese leek muffins

Mr. Picky Pincher prefers savory baked goods, so I whipped up some goat cheese leek muffins. I found this recipe in a cookbook from the library and was itching to do some hubby-approved baking this week. πŸ˜‰

goat cheese leek muffins

Like a dingus, I forgot to add the goat cheese before baking, so I cut the muffins in half and added the goat cheese afterwards. It’ll be nice ‘n’ melty when we eat these for breakfast, so I’m not too mad about it.

They kinda taste like Red Lobster rolls but with the fluffy texture of a muffin. Delish! Next I want to make some chorizo-cheddar muffins.

Granola

Somehow we acquired two gigantinormous boxes of oatmeal again. How does this keep happening?!?! We don’t even like oatmeal!!

At any rate, I had a lot of oats to use up in a house that hates oatmeal. We do, however, love granola, so I used the oats to make this granola recipe. I was out of quinoa, so I added extra ground flax to make up for it. Here’s the recipe I use. I put raisins in mine because I don’t have the budget for dried cherries. And no one knows the difference. πŸ˜‰

granola

It’s a little “well done” but it tastes good.

I store my granola in either the fridge or freezer, depending on how soon we’ll eat it. If you leave homemade granola at room temp, it’ll go bad pretty quickly because of the oils on the nuts.



Beans

Mr. Picky Pincher made a pot of beans this weekend. We like to cook these all at once, cool them, and freeze them for later. No canned beans for us! πŸ™‚

Chickens

Mr. Picky Pincher also made his signature grilled chickens (I’m still on him about making a blog on this, y’all!). We like to pick the meat off the chickens, portion it, and freeze it for easy dinners. It’s like getting a rotisserie chicken from the store, but without the ridiculous markup.

Cookie dough yogurt

In my quest to make not-horrible-for-you snacks, I found a recipe for cookie dough flavored yogurt. I eat cookie dough by the spoonful, so this sounded uh-mazing. Here’s the recipe I used.

I didn’t quite follow the recipe, but it tastes good! It still tastes tangy because it’s yogurt, but it’s nice to have a change. If anything, it tastes like chocolate peanut butter yogurt.Β Yum!

I made three containers of this stuff and labeled them. Now I have the same convenience of storebought yogurt cups without the waste, cost, preservatives, or unnecessary sugar.

Here’s my thirty-minute yogurt recipeΒ if you want to make your own yogurt too!

Window tinting

I was smugly joyful about my winter electric bills thanks to the mild Texas winters.

But now it’s the time of year that everyone in Texas dreads: summer. It’s not uncommon to have a $150+ electricity bill. We haven’t been through a full summer in our house yet, and we’re pretty anxious about the energy bills.

window tint

It’s not super-noticeable in a photo, but the tint is awesome!

To make things a little less awful, Mr. Picky Pincher tinted a few windows in our house. It’s not an ideal solution, since tint doesn’t last forever, but it’s a good Band Aid to get us through the hottest parts of summer. We’ll add the tint to our bedroom, future-baby-room, and living room. It’s already up in the living room and it’s making a big difference!

Hopefully the tint will prevent some heat from entering the house. Fingers crossed!

Staples storage

I totally forgot to show y’all this! At the height of my baking obsession, we went through a sack of flour every two weeks. This was annoying and a little expensive.



Mr. Picky Pincher got some buckets and Mylar bags so we could store bulk quantities of flour. We also store bulk flour and rice in these giant bins. It’s been awesome! We can take advantage of bulk prices and store the foods safely for a long time.

staples storage

Apocalypse-approved storage.

Garden

The garden is producing like crazy! We actually got a lot more tomatoes than pictured here, but it’s been awesome! Mr. Picky Pincher made a tasty salsa from our garden tomatoes and it was divine. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten this many tomatoes in my life! We’ll probably start using them to make our homemade marinara sauce.

We’re slowly but surely collecting purple hull peas as they ripen, too. I’mΒ freezing them and waiting until we have enough to do a pot of peas. πŸ™‚

the cornucopia

As my fellow ladies will attest, it’s only polite to offer sanitary products in your guest bathroom. I was looking for a basket at the thrift store to hold said sanitary products in my guest bathroom, but couldn’t find anything that worked.

But then…

tampon cornucopia

I found a TAMPON CORNUCOPIA.

Why not have a little humor, eh? πŸ˜‰ This puppy was $1 and still makes me giggle, so it’s worth it.

Zap’s Adventures

Zap’s made a habit of hanging out of my office window. I’m greeted by this cute little heart-shapedΒ heinie every morning.

Scenic.

He’s also taken to bringing sticks in through the window. He was particularly proud of this stick, which was so big that he snapped it in half to bring it inside. Goob!

“Mahm, why you no pay attention to me??”

Sun’s out, buns out.

Look at this li’l grumpypuss. πŸ™‚

 

We want to know: How did you spend or save money this weekend?


36 comments on “What A Frugal Weekend! June 4

  1. Speaking of bikes, I need to get my bike fixed. My father messed with the seat of it years ago and now it is too high for me. πŸ™ I need to find the right tool to lower it now so I can ride it without getting saddle sores. πŸ™ And I thought you were banned from baking by Mr. Picky Pincher? πŸ˜› I guess the ban has been lifted, haha. πŸ˜€

    I was frugal this weekend though! I scored a set of small glass cups for water for a buck at a yard sale (my mother bought them for me πŸ™‚ ) to replace our other set and I went to Dollar Tree and bought two cards for 50 cents each and 3 different colored washi tapes. πŸ™‚ I have so much washi tape, but I can always use more and for a dollar each, what’s not to love? πŸ˜‰ I also went to a graduation party for one of my cousins and she got a lot of good presents! Mostly money, haha. πŸ˜› But I got her a bouquet of balloons from Dollar Tree plus a stand for them for 6 bucks. πŸ™‚ Not bad, if I do say so myself! πŸ™‚ I also got to hold their guinea pig, Buster! ^ u^

    Have a beautiful week! ^ o^

    1. Hahaha, the baking ban was lifted only when I promised to bake something he wanted. πŸ˜‰ Funny how that works, huh? Awwww, Buster is a cute name for a little squeaker; I love it!

  2. Those muffins look divine! I’ve just scored some silicon muffin trays and I’m so keen to bake everything possible. Mini quiches. Choc muffins. Bacon and egg ‘rolls’. So keen

    It’s amazing that we’re on opposite sides of the world and freaking out about power bills at the same time. It’s coooold down here, my house is super drafty and my heater is so very old. Winter bills are normally double summer ones, blergh.

    1. Thank you! Man, those silicone muffin trays are a godsend! I have an old-timey cast iron muffin tin that I inherited, but it’s honestly so hard to use compared to the new ones. Oh, that’s right! It’s chilly in your half of the world right now! Ugh, I hate energy bills! I saw how to DIY draft-protectors under doors; have you looked into those to retain a bit more heat?

      1. we have proper weather strips on the bottom of our doors, and I’ve started rolling up rugs and putting them against the doors as well. It just hurts cause our whole house is tiled apart from the two bedrooms and they radiate cold. I’m watching Gumtree (we don’t have a good Craigslist community down here) and trading sites for some rugs. Covering the floor will make the biggest difference!

  3. The picture of Zap half in/half out the window is hilarious. Can’t get enough of the cat pictures πŸ™‚

    I went to a dance recital on Saturday for my friend’s 2 kids (ages 4 and 6). The ticket was $15 but covered all the dance studio classes/ages so it was really fun to watch.

    Sunday was a potluck brunch at a friend’s house. I used my bread machine to make cinnamon raisin bread (it was so good!). Loving that machine so far πŸ™‚

    1. I looked at my phone and half of the photos on there are of this damn cat. And of that half, another half are just of his tush, hahaha. Sounds like you had a fantastic weekend! Ohmygosh, I love homemade cinnamon raisin bread. It smells divine when it’s baking. πŸ™‚

  4. I have a real problem with your blog — it makes me want to eat and drink all the time!

    I think we spent under $3 this weekend on ice cream in McDonalds. That was after a brutal walk in 90+ degrees and humidity. I don’t know why we end up taking our walks mid-day, but we do.

    We met The Green Swan, his wife Lucy and the 2 kiddos for an early lunch on Saturday. JW insisted on paying but I’m hoping to reciprocate with some free babysitting.

    1. Ha! Imagine being in the house when all of this stuff is cooking. That’s part of the reason we’re exercising so much more now–we’ve had a few muffins too many. πŸ˜‰ That sounds like a wonderful weekend!! πŸ™‚

  5. We blew the eating out budget at a Mexican place, of all things. It was $40 including tip, but we budget much less for that, because we usually use the grocery store deli after church on Sunday. We will be eating out again this weekend for a birthday, so we’ll have to rein it as we can.
    Our weekend frugality was pretty dull. We took the dogs to the low-cost clinic that raises funds for the local animal shelter (which is moving by leaps and bounds toward no-kill and has made many site improvements). We got their nails trimmed for 1/3 the normal price, and helped the shelter.
    We needed a couple of decent, but not expensive, flower pots to put out at our entry — most of ours are in use raising herbs and veggies — so we went to Lowe’s where my husband gets the veteran’s discount. Home Depot told us they no longer give discounts to veterans unless they are retired career military, service-related disabled, or active duty. Boo. So we go to Lowe’s. I wrote to Home Depot and pointed out that my father, who got a purple heart and an Air Medal of Honor, among his other medals in WWII, would, by their definition, not be entitled to a veteran’s discount. I hope they will change their policy, and I am doing my part to encourage that!
    We kept the grocery bill down, at least, since we went over the budget on eating out. I think it was less than $50; I don’t have my receipts on me.
    Rain kept us from our much needed yard work, so frugal fail there.
    I made my fourth batch of sourdough bread, trying a new recipe. This one was better yet. I’m very, very close to a full-on loaf of bread, instead of a brick, which is what I got in my first attempt. The recipes can be so different and even contradictory, and I keep thinking, come on, people in the old days didn’t have to go through all this to get a loaf of bread on the table! My goal is to make sourdough every week with my home-ground flour.
    I used thawed persimmon puree that I put up in the fall to make persimmon pudding, a cake-like pudding that was perfect to go with homemade ice cream. It was so, so good!
    Suggestion for those extra tomatoes — cook them down, strain them and make tomato sauce for later use. Add a little fresh basil or oregano for flavor if you want. I can mine, so I don’t have to take up freezer space or wait for it to thaw when I use it. I put up a pint or three at a time in a thrifted stockpot tall enough to cover a pint or half-pint jar with an inch of water, and set the jar on a thrifted rack I got for a dollar. You can also set the jars on some unused jar rings. Or you can peel and can the tomatoes whole or diced. I know some tomatoes are better for canning, but I’ll can any variety, rather than let them go to waste, and I think the results are plenty good.

  6. I bought some plants a few weeks ago and they stated blood meal and bone meal would make some of them healthier. since whole chickens have both, I recommend looking for the articles about making both of them from home. Pump up your veggies before they come in the house.

    1. Oooh, thank you for the tip! Do you think blood/bone meal will still work if we use the chicken bones for stock first?

      1. I would think you could do so. If you want full effect for the plants, I would forgo putting vinegar into the stock as that pulls calcium out.

        1. Thanks for the tip! I’ll tell the mister about it so he can use the bone meal. πŸ™‚

  7. Budget blown this weekend – son’s birthday party (though a smallish affair) was at a laser tag / bowling / video game place, and of course they wanted to do whatever was not included in the fixed price / wristband option we bought for everyone. Ugh. And of course the best part of the party was everyone shooting the old man with Nerf guns back at the house – the best fun is often free!

    Nice work on the bikes – I need to get a bike for my wife and will try Craigslist too.

  8. Hey, Mrs. PP. I love you guys. Rum, cheese curds, cookie dough yogurt–you really know how to live. Have you ever considered opening a B&B? And I love the tinted windows idea. Let me know how it works. I’m in the process of putting a radiant barrier in my attic. It’s supposed to lower the attic’s summer temperature from 140 to 100. We’ll see. Thanks for another great post, Mrs. PP.

    1. I only think about opening a B&B about 34,882 times a day, hahaha. πŸ™‚ I’ll let you know how the tint goes! We also want to insulate the hell out of our house before August hits. That’ll cost about $700, but it’ll save us money in the long run, so it shouldn’t be too terrible.

  9. I’m interested in those Mylar bags. Are they food grade? What size are they and where did you find them? Really cool idea!

    My yogurt hack: I add either a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder or a teaspoon of PB2 powdered peanut butter along with a teaspoon of honey when I want a change of pace. Yum.

    1. The bags are indeed food grade! I believe the ones we have are five gallon and Mr. Picky Pincher got them on Amazon (I think the link is in this blog). He got the idea from a few prepper blogs he follows; I think the Prudent Homemaker also stores her bulk foods in Mylar as well.

  10. Budget well and truly blown Mrs Picky, cos that’s what you tend to do on holiday isn’t it?

    I got to see Roger Waters (think Pink Floyd) here in Denver, which required some pre and post feeding and watering downtown. But well worth it.

    Currently loving my stay here in your country and staying with my bruv does keep the travel costs down.

    Good stuff buying the bikes. I got a trailer for mine (the kind you put small kids in) and now will often do the weekly shop and other chores by bike. It means that the car can sit in the garage for days, even weeks, as I get around by bike and get some much needed exercise as well.

    1. Denver is indeed the place to be in the U.S. of A! I’d like to visit Colorado again; it’s been a while. How was the airfare getting here? I love the idea of the mini trailer for bikes! We’d like to get some as well, but we’re a little nervous about how hilly our area is. I’d hate to go 30 mph down a hill and have Picky Baby take a tumble. Yikes!

      1. Well, in the spirit of the frugal traveller, I got here (and back) mostly on frequent flyer points and a little AU$400 top up for taxes etc so I reckon that’s pretty low compared to fronting the cash for it.

        Yes, Colorado is definitely high on the natural attraction checklist and the people are pretty laid-back and friendly too. Loving it.

        I’m still looking at travel to other places but my ‘get home’ booking may get in the way. Seems points travellers are a bit second-class with the airlines and they are not making changes very possible.

        As for bike trailers, I notice that car drivers show a huge ‘respect’ for me and my ‘baby’. I guess no one wants to take the risk of running over someone’s child. And don’t worry about the hills, get better brakes hehe.

    1. I really do like working from home, but there are a lot of problems with the company/work/expectations that were a bit of a nasty surprise. I’m working through things, but hopefully I can muster up the courage to write about it. πŸ˜‰

  11. We checked out a new to us brewery within ten minutes of our house – awesome – on Saturday.

    The same day I found Mr. Need2save’s wedding band in our compost bin which he lost over 4 years ago! What a thing!!

    I also saved over $100 by cleaning my DSLR camera myself with a $20 kit from Amazon. So stoked about that. It was a pretty great weekend!

    1. Wow, I’m jealous that you have a brewery so close. πŸ˜‰ And ho-ly cow, how lucky is that to find the wedding band in compost after all these years? That’s got to be a good omen of some kind. πŸ™‚ Congrats on a wonderful weekend!! πŸ™‚

  12. So much yum in this post! I’m off to click ALL the recipe links πŸ˜‰

    As for your windows, where are your curtains/blinds? Were they taken down for the tint job? We regularly get 40-45^C (104-113F) days in summer. It doesn’t look pretty, but I’ve learned to peg woollen blankets to my curtain rods to add an extra layer of protection from the heat. It does an excellent job.

    Zap is a total crack-up. So much personality in one little kitty.

    1. Bahaha, welcome to the House of Calories. πŸ™‚ We do have blinds! We just took them down to put up the tint. We have custom fabric blinds that are double-walled. They keep out the heat a little better than plastic blinds. You know, I’ve had plenty of friends who just buy spray foam, of all things, and spray foam their windows shut with reflective foil over the window. I guess it works, but it’s so freaking ugly.

    1. Not bad, right?? They do make screens you can put outside the window and those work better. But we’re just not up for the cost/challenge of that yet.

  13. There is talk of a Picky baby once in the post itself and once in the comments. Are you sharing something with us or am I over reaching?

    1. Oh no no no no!!! That’s at least a year away for us since we want to pay off the student loans and do a few home improvements. There is no plan for a Picky baby right now, hahaha.

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