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What a weekend! This was the first weekend we had since the holidays to really buckle down and do fun projects around the house.
Check out all the frugal happenin’s from the weekend and add your own in the comments!
I’m aiming to post one new video to the Picky Pinchers YouTube channel every Wednesday. And that means I need to get my butt in gear and film lots of videos for y’all! I did my best to document all of our frugal to-dos this weekend on film so they can become videos. 🙂
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I started making my own kombucha last month from a half-full bottle of storebought kombucha. I used this guide to make a fresh batch of kombucha, after letting my SCOBY mature for a while. And that means in 2 – 4 weeks I’ll have kombucha, my friends. 🙂
It’s an awesome way to integrate more probiotics into your diet, and making it at home is dirt-cheap compared to the $3-per-bottle highway robbery grocery store prices.
Bacon mozzarella bites
I rented a lot of books from the library last weekend, which means my head is teeming with new recipes! I tried out a recipe for prosciutto parmesan muffins.
First of all, I didn’t have parmesan, so I subbed that for mozzarella. Second, I hate cooking with prosciutto. It’s really expensive and, in my opinion, it’s best cold out of the package. Instead of prosciutto, I opted for the more affordable option of bacon.
These came out incredibly light and fluffy thanks to a secret ingredient – homemade yogurt, of all things! I think the muffins could have taken a touch more herbs or bacon for flavor, but they’re really good.
I’ll freeze these suckahs and we’ll have them on hand for both snacking and breakfast.
Cherry chocolate homemade froyo
I received an ice cream machine (Amazon link here) for Christmas and I love it already!
I made a vanilla bean ice cream last week. It was good, but the recipe called for way too much heavy cream, so it coated your mouth. I love butter, but not that much.
I looked through the recipe book that came with the ice cream maker, and decided to make cherry chocolate froyo. It helped that I had a crazy amount of yogurt in my fridge that needed to be eaten. Yesssss.
The base was super-easy to put together. It was essentially a ganache with cherry juice and 4 cups of yogurt added afterwards. I stirred in chopped cherries during the churning process, and this sucker is so tasty!
I think I’ll make froyo instead of ice cream from now on. It’s slightly healthier and helps me use up yogurt, to boot. 🙂
I know, this sounds totally weird. When I first read about breakfast meatloaf in an eBook I rented, I thought, “Oh holy hell, no.”
But the more I thought about it, I realized this would be a really creative breakfast! I didn’t like the recipe in the cookbook because it called for cream cheese (in meatloaf? Yeah, no.). Instead I made my own version.
I smushed these ingredients together in a bowl and baked it at 350 for 40 minutes:
- 1 pound breakfast sausage
- 4 chopped green onions
- Half an onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons almond flour (you can use breadcrumbs; I just didn’t have any)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Mexican cheese
- Dash of salt and pepper
It was pretty tasty! I plan to serve this on a bed of fluffy scrambled eggs, or maybe some oven-roasted sweet potatoes for a savory, awesome breakfast.
The best part? I can whip up a big batch of this breakfast meatloaf, freeze it in portions, and have it ready to go for faster eatin’.
Homemade bone broth
Mr. Picky Pincher went for a run Sunday morning. His knees were pretty achy afterwards (we’ve had overcast weather). I defrosted our homemade bone broth and gave it to him after his run. The collagen really helps his joints feel better. I need to be better about eating a serving once a day!
I tossed in some sliced mushrooms and home-grown green onions for added flavor.
Cauliflower hash with pastrami
This is a riff on something Mr. Picky Pincher ate during our weekend jaunt to San Francisco.
It’s a simple hash I put together with:
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 pound pastrami, chopped
- Dash of salt and pepper
Of course, I did cook the cauliflower in some leftover bacon fat from making the bacon muffins. Waste not! 😉
I love that this recipe is heavy on the veggies. If I didn’t cook it in bacon fat I’m sure it would resemble a healthy meal. The best part is that it should reheat well, so we can freeze any extra servings.
Bam, freezer cooking game on lock, y’all.
Spiralized butternut squash
Thanks to the spiralizer I was gifted for Christmas, we’re now able to spiralize veggies. This has been an awesome way to trick myself into eating more vegetables. Who knew shapes would matter so much??
Unfortunately this spiralizer is really rinky dink. It takes two of us to spiralize things since it wobbles like crazy. I think we should upgrade to a metal spiralizer, or even the KitchenAid attachment.
Anyhoo, I’m glad we were able to spiralize three butternut squash. I didn’t spiralize the ends because the seeds make it a little tricky. I decided to save the center portion of the squash with seeds for making butternut squash and apple soup later this week. Waste not. 🙂
Amazon Prime membership
This past week we crunched the numbers and realized an Amazon Prime membership could be a good deal. We order quite a lot of stuff from Amazon and hate having to meet shipping minimums.
We signed up for a free 30-day trial of Prime and signed up for the $99/year option. We saved money here just by changing the billing setting. Amazon automatically sets it at $10.99/mo, which adds up to about $40 more per year for Amazon Prime.
Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
It’s usually much cheaper to pay an annual fee instead of monthly fees if you have the option!
We now have access to tons of free eBooks on the Kindle app, which I’ve already used to score plenty of cookbooks. We’re also using it to stream music and video. I’ll do the math, but I think this’ll be a good option for us. The key is to use the services enough to make your money back (and then some) after the fees.
Phew! Freelancing has been super busy lately. I just got a bit of a reprieve after turning in some work. And that means payday, baby! I use freelancing to partially fund Picky Pinchers adventures.
Mr. Picky Pincher came up with a clever Roomba hack that we wanted to share. I’ll eventually do a full-on honest Roomba review, but so far it’s been pretty good.
One downside is that the Roomba can bump into your furniture and cause damage over the long term. A few people suggested putting buffer pads on our furniture. But then we thought, “Wait, why can’t we just put a buffer pad on the Roomba?”
So that’s what we did.
Mr. Picky Pincher bought $8 weather stripping at Home Depot and attached it to the Roomba. It works just fine and now we don’t have to worry about it causing scratches.
Our water is super hard, which means we have to be mindful of buildup. We can tell when our dishwasher needs a cleaning because all of our dishes emerge COVERED in white powder from the calcium in our water.
It’s so annoying.
Dishwasher cleaner packets go for $2 apiece at the store, but I just toss one cup of vinegar in it and run on an empty cycle. Cleans it up just fine. 🙂 I need to make it more of a habit to regularly clean it for maintenance.
Mr. Picky Pincher brewed beer on Friday. He’s also made some crazy improvements to his beer-brewing rig and I’m so proud of him!
I don’t fully understand the mechanisms of beer-brewing, but he set up a badass homemade keezer. It’ll enable him to brew his own beer and serve it nice ‘n’ cool ‘n’ carbonated on draught. Woohoo!
DIY bang trim
I’ve been growing out my hair, but my bangs have been bugging me lately. I decided to do a nifty DIY trim for my bangs, which I recorded for YouTube posterity. 🙂 I do want to learn how to trim the rest of my hair, but trimming my own bangs saves me a lot of moolah each year!
Ice cream Groupon
We needed to use up an old Groupon for Marble Slab. For $8 (half price) we each snagged a big cup of tasty ice cream with toppings. It was nice to go out and window shop in the mall.
It was super cold on Monday night and I didn’t have clothes that were warm enough. Well, I take that back. I had one outfit that was warm enough. Zap was a fan, although he kept turning around and staring.
While I was filming, Zap found a box and cozied up inside it. Little sploot. 🙂
We want to know: How did you spend or save money this weekend?