Tuesday Frugal Things

Frugal Things:

We are almost finished painting the fence. We need one more can of spray paint ($6), which will bring the total cost to $186. We put about 24 hours of labor into it, too, between the two of us. Of course a professional might have been able to complete the job in less time, but no matter who did it, it's a labor-intensive activity, and paying someone else would have undoubtedly cost us more. On the other hand, if Eric didn't already own a grinder, it would have either taken a LOT longer or required the purchase of a tool. Or not have been as nice when it was finished. If you do a lot of work around the house, it's easier to justify tool purchases. Or so Eric says...

On the left: the fence a couple years ago when we were getting ready to replace the sidewalk. On the right: the fence today, along with the new sidewalk.  

On the left: the fence a couple years ago when we were getting ready to replace the sidewalk. On the right: the fence today, along with the new sidewalk.  

Mmmmm....

Mmmmm....

I made hamburger buns and they were awesome! I used this recipe for 40-Minute Hamburger Buns, with a few modifications. Is it possible to cook from online recipes without modifications? I don't think so. These had ome terrible reviews, but I didn't have any problems with the recipe. My modifications included putting a 1/2 cup of flour in with the yeast and hot water, so we used almost four cups of flour total. I accidentally added 3 tablespoons of butter, in addition to the 1/3 cup of oil the recipe calls for, because I started prepping a different recipe, then realized it was going to take too long, so I switched to this one. I also doubled the rising time to 20 minutes and put the dough on top of the stove while the oven was warming, so they were in a very warm place. Next time, I'm going to put an egg wash on them. This same recipe could be used for hotdog buns, if you shape them differently. 

Sometimes I lose my mind and think I'm going to take up selling things on the internet again (almost a decade ago, I sold a lot of books and other things on Amazon and Half.com). So, a couple months ago I read about a good deal on some office supplies from Office Max/Depot that could be resold on Amazon for a profit. So I ordered them. And they just sat here. So I finally returned everything to the store and got my money back. I ended up making $3 because the store manager couldn't scan my receipt and the tax rates were different. I guess this is a combination of misjudging what I'll actually do and then taking care of it in a way that feels frugal, but probably isn't really. Or something.

Not so frugal things:

We drove two hours each way on Saturday to attend a brunch hosted by some friends in Columbia. True, it was a free meal, and we took homebrew as our hostess gift, but still, that's a lot of driving (half a tank of gas in my little Civic, which would otherwise get me through almost a whole week of commutes). But it was fun. 

I think I'm going to join "Food Waste Friday," which I first read about at Frugal Girl. Here's her introductory post to the whys behind the idea. As I find waste in my freezer cleanup this week, I'll be sure to take pictures. Not frugal, but important.