Scrimpalicious Anniversary Giveaway - CLOSED

Hey friends! I just checked my calendar and I'm shocked and amazed to realize that it is almost the two-year anniversary of the beginning of Scrimpalicious.

The first logo was nowhere NEAR
as cute as this

This has been a wonderful two years and I've loved writing my blog and sharing my thoughts, projects, recipes, and ideas with all of you.

So, to thank you for sticking with me through it all, I've decided to have a giveaway. There will be one winner, who can choose one of the following fabulous prizes. Each one of these has been chosen to celebrate one of my favorite blog entries from the last two years.

So, what do you need to do to enter?

Facebook: How to Get Likes, Blogs, and Site Pages Back on Your Feed

With the recent Facebook redesign, I've noticed something. Scrimpalicious facebook posts that were being seen several hundred times are now being seen only 10-15 times on average. Basically, because of the new facebook algorithms, if you don't comment on the Scrimpalicious facebook page, you're never going to see when new posts come up.

If you ask me, it sounds like someone broke it.

For some of you, who follow Scrimpalicious in a reader or via email, this won't be a problem. For the rest of you, there are two things you can do.

1. Comment! Visit the Scrimpalicious facebook page and do some interactions with it. Leave comments. Answer questions. Ask questions. Share photos of your food or craft projects. Whatever it is, the more you do it, the more likely you are to be notified when new posts come up.

2. Make a list. This is what I did to make sure that I can still follow my favorite facebook pages and blogs. On the left-hand sidebar of your facebook page, you should see a section called "Lists." If you click on this, it will take you to the List page, and you will see that facebook has given you the option to create a list by clicking the "+ Create a list" button. If you click this button, you can create a new list (I called mine "Blogs and Sites") and manually add the blogs whose facebook posts you like to follow. Some of the ones I added were Cheeseslave, Real Food Whole Health, and Food Renegade, but there are more. They will not always show up on my facebook feed because of this, but the Lists sidebar will now alert me with a little (#) if there are new posts by those people.

And as always, if you're not yet a fan of Scrimpalicious on facebook, I'd like to ask you now to consider going to the page or clicking the "Like" button on the right hand side of the blog. You will be able to access syndicated blog posts, extra links and content, questions and discussion. Plus, you'll make me feel good and increase the likelihood that Scrimpalicious will be able to offer more giveaways and guests posts in the future.

Showdown: Store-bought vs. Homemade Broth or Stock

Time for another Homemade vs Store-bought showdown! This time we're going to look at broth and stock.

I spent time gathering data on both broth and stock. You'll notice I'm using these terms interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same thing. Broth is made by boiling meat and vegetables in water without bones. Stock is made by boiling meat, bones, and vegetables. I always make stock rather than broth. It has a higher nutritional content and better flavor.

I found some things out that really surprised me. For instance, did you know that it costs 2/3 more to buy broth than it does to make it at home? Yep. I have specific numbers under the cut.

And now, the showdown.

Menu Planning Monday: Week of September 26

Another week is here! We're having lots of beautiful fall weather and it's making me want soup and casserole and other warm, cozy foods. You may see that reflected in my menus this week. :)

To download a high-res, printable version
of this menu planner, go here

I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately, looking at gloriously delicious fall recipes and beautiful pictures of leaves and frost, and thinking about sweaters and slippers and swishing through leaves.

Have I mentioned how Autumn is my favorite season? I feel like I have, but I thought I'd remind you all. Do you love it as much as I do?

Five Dollar Decor: Wreaths

Fall, for some reason, always feels to me like the beginning of wreath season. Perhaps because when I was growing up, hanging a wreath was part of the late-fall preparation for Advent and Christmas. Perhaps because trick-or-treating meant seeing a lot of doors and a lot of wreaths. Whatever the reason, I think about wreaths most when the days start to get shorter and the weather starts to get colder.

Coffee filter wreath by Craftberry Bush

It's hard for me sometimes to find wreaths that I like. Too much clutter or kitsch and I'm instantly turned off. But a lot of people are out there finding ways to make beautiful wreaths with not a lot of clutter for not a lot of money.

A New Arrival + DIY Book Boxes

Last week, Mother in Law Scrimp took me to a new antique shop that opened up by her house. It's amazing. Everything in the store is purchased cheaply at estate sales and re-sold just as cheaply. I just had to take advantage of it.

Are you ready to see what we bought? Are you? 

Ok. :)

Excuse the grit on the floor underneath it. I didn't sweep up after Mr. Scrimp and his brother carried it inside. 

It's a lovely art deco-style buffet, with beautiful old hardware. There are some dings and nicks here and there but really it's in excellent condition. 

I think the thing I am most in love with is the beautiful, simple woodwork:

Home Remedies: DIY Cough Syrup recipe

Well, it's that time of year again. The students are back at school and the teachers are coming home with colds and giving them to their wives.

"But Mrs. Scrimp," you may say, "you told me that you take elderberry extract religiously and almost never get sick!"

Oh yes. You're right. I said that. It's even true. Except, I hadn't started taking it yet because I'm a dummy and don't always follow my own good advice. Do as I say, blog readers, not as I do, or you too may end up like me--sick and sad.

But, if you are sick, there are lots of things you can do to make yourself feel better! Consider buying some Yogi Cold Season tea, or Gypsy Cold Care from Traditional Medicinals. Or, you can make cough syrup at home.  And I can tell you how.

Menu Planning Monday

Oh my goodness, is it Monday again already? Unbelievable! This weekend went by like a flash.

We made it to the farmers market this week, which really helped supplement our food supply since we didn't get much meat from our CSA. The produce available at the market is starting to change and we're seeing fewer delicate, summery vegetables and more apples, squash, and other hardy plants.

For your own free, downloadable menu
planner, go here

That's ok with me, though. We're halfway through September, and I am looking forward to eating more fall foods.

Showdown: Dried Beans vs. Canned Beans

Mr. Scrimp and I eat a lot of black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and pinto beans. We recently made the switch from canned beans to dried, and I'm here to tell you about why we did it, how it worked, and whether we're going to stick with it.

I had my doubts about this, and so did Mr. Scrimp. Dried beans require so much time. So much extra work. They are so much less convenient. And as far as taste and health benefits... well, there isn't really a difference, is there?

Turns out, I was wrong.

Five Dollar Decor: Decorative Letters

It's back! After a nice, long, break, and by popular request, Five Dollar Decor has returned. I'd like to thank Pinterest for making it possible for me to once again return this feature to the blog. Without it, I'd still be stuck in the doldrums, with no inspiration for what to write about next.

And then... inspiration struck!

Everybody seems to be really into decorating with letters lately, and I am totally ok with that. You could go to Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters and pay beaucoup bucks for them, or you could go to your local craft store, spend an hour with some mod podge or paint, and whip up your own on the cheap.

I, predictably, favor the latter. Want to know how to do it? Here are five different styles for you to try.

DIY Old-Fashioned Book Covers

Have you ever had a pile of books that looked like this...

and found yourself wishing that instead, they looked like this?

Well, wish no more, my friends! It is now in your grasp to have many leather-bound books, and an apartment that smells of rich mahogany. Ok, well, maybe not quite, but you can transform your bookshelf into a beautiful display of faux-antique volumes with this awesome and easy tutorial from Hydrangea Girl.

How to Succeed at Homemaking Without Really Trying: Tools

Welcome to Part 3 of How to Succeed at Homemaking Without Really Trying! Follow the links to find part 1 and part 2, where I cover ways to stop psyching yourself out and how to use lists to keep yourself organized.

This time, I want to talk about making sure that you give yourself the right tools to accomplish your goals. For me, these tools include organizational materials, good cleaning supplies, sturdy appliances, lists (covered elsewhere) and charts. In fact, I've created another Anthropologie knockoff for everyone--this time, it's a chore chart (for adults!). Honestly, I don't know why I didn't make one of these sooner just for my own use, because I've been needing one.

Full-size printable download
at the bottom of the post.

Honestly, a chart is just a list by another name, so I'm not going to focus too much on that particular tool. Instead, I'm going to talk about the homemaking tools that I've found I just can't do without. Stock up on these, and homemaking will become just a little bit less of a hassle.

Menu Planning Monday

Wow. The response to last week's printable menu planner was way bigger than I expected! Thanks for visiting, everyone!

This week we weren't able to make it to the farmers market, and our CSA didn't include any meat, so things are a bit slim on the in-stock provisions side. Toward the end of last week we sort of fell away from following the menu plan strictly (read: I didn't bother thawing the tongue) so there are some unexpected leftovers for me to work with, and the rest I'll supplement with a quick trip to the grocery store.

Recipe: Liver and Onions

I know some of you read the title of this blog post and immediately wrinkle your nose in disgust (hi mom!). Well, wrinkle no more. If you've tried liver and you hate it--well, fine. To each his own. But I maintain that this is a delicious thing to eat. Mr. Scrimp and I enjoy it on a fairly regular basis.

This is a simple recipe and most of what it requires is time... and an enjoyment of liver. I first started eating liver because I was anemic, and it turned out that Mr. Scrimp and I both had a taste for it, especially with onions. Make sure, by the way, that you have enough onion to go with your liver. The sweetness of the onion compliments the richness of liver perfectly.

Reversible Napkins and Placemats

Centsational Girl shares a great tutorial on how to make quick and easy reversible napkins and placemats, to add a personalized touch to your dining room.

I love the patterns and colors she chose. I also love the idea of having placemats that, when they get dirty or boring, can just be flipped upside down for a quick change. Or, you could do an "everyday" fabric on one side and a more formal, prettier fabric on the other. Have company? Don't go rummaging through your linen closet for the pretty table linens. Just flip the placemats upside down!

For the tuturial and a lot more beautiful pictures, visit The Centsational Girl.

Recipe: Pickled Onions

Want to feast your eyes on something beautiful? Look no further. Behold and gaze upon one of the most beautiful sights known to the food preservation world:

I had to make it extra-big. It's just so pretty.
I know they look a little bit like strawberries. I know they look like Valentine's Day in a jar. But those, my friends, are pickled red onions about to be processed in a water bath.

As you may remember, I like canning in small batches. It takes the fear out of it for me, and makes it a fun, quick project instead of a long, tedious one. I filled three half-pint jars with pickled onions, processed them, and had the kitchen tidied up and from start to finish it only took me about an hour.

If you love pickled onions but don't love canning (or just aren't ready to try), this recipe is for you. Pickled onions can be made without canning and will keep just fine in the fridge for several weeks.

Elderberry Extract: How to Make it, and Why

Do you know what this is?

It's medicine. But not just any medicine. As you may have inferred from the reused bottles (salad dressing, curry paste, and jam, respectively), this medicine is 100% homemade. 

The three bottles above hold three different kinds of extract. Just like vanilla extract (which you can make by this same method, by the way), the method can be simplified down to "add some plant matter to some vodka and wait."  Today, what I'm going to talk about is the tall bottle of elderberry extract--how to make elderberry extract, and why you should.

Raw Milk Ohio: Part 2

For Part 1, go here.

When we last saw our intrepid heroes, Mr. and Mrs. Scrimp were on their way to the market to meet the mysterious "Joshua," a raw milk distributor who was to weigh them in the balance and see if they were worthy of receiving his goods. 

In all seriousness, though, we weren't really expecting things to be that crazy. Maybe a five minute chat about the summary of the contract, a few minutes reading it over, a signature, and we'd be on our merry way.

Well, not quite.

Menu Planning Monday & Free Menu Planner

Every Thursday, we get a big load of food from our CSA. On Saturdays, we go to the farmers market and fill in any gaps that we feel like our CSA didn't fill for the week. Then, it's time to eat!

However, if we don't plan out what we're going to do with all of our delicious produce, I know we're going to lose some of it to rot. Food from a CSA usually doesn't last as long as food from the grocery store, because it is almost always perfectly ripe when picked. So, it's important to have a plan for how we're going to use the delicious bounty of our local harvest without letting any of it go to waste.

I used to plan a menu and then go grocery shopping based on that plan. Now that we eat almost exclusively local, seasonal foods (at least during the harvest months, when the only non-local things we eat are organic canned beans and coconut milk), I have to reverse the process. Someone else picks the food I'm going to get, and I have to be creative to make it all work for us. It's been an exciting adventure trying to figure out how to do that.

Eventually what I did was to come up with a dual-function shopping and menu planning list (as you see above). It works in either way--you can fill in all your available ingredients and then make a menu plan from those, or you can write a menu plan and choose the ingredients you'll need to buy to make it. But it's all there together so you always know exactly what food you have or need, and what you're going to be eating.

I've included my list (a knockoff of the Anthropologie style "What to Eat" and "All Out Of" notepads) at the bottom of this post as a downloadable file so that you can print it out and use it too! It's been formatted to fit a full 81/2 x 11" page so you have plenty of room for writing and can store week-by-week copies in a binder if you want.

Want to see how I do it? Below the cut, I've shared this week's food supply and the menu I made out of it so you can see what I'm talking about.

Anthropologie Rosette Bedspread Tutorial

I am almost speechless with admiration over this beautiful Anthropologie-inspired duvet made by Kirstin of kojodesigns. I don't know what I love most about it--the awesome low price? The fact that it completely captures the beautiful appeal of the much more expensive original? The simplicity of the project?

Nope, I can't decide. I love everything about it equally.

Kirstin used jersey (pillaged from t-shirts and some king-sized sheets). Sarah at This Crazy Blessed Life recreated the look using Kirstin's tutorial, white muslin from Wal-Mart, and an Ikea duvet for a total cost of (brace yourself) $53!

Compare that to $288 for the king-sized version at Anthropologie and you can color me totally impressed.

Ballard Hacking: Homemade Weathervane

One of the things I love to see more than anything else is ideas and inspiration for how to copy upscale, expensive things accurately and on the cheap. For instance, I cannot even handle the way that Tracy from Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures created a free  version of Ballard's $149 horse weather vane.

Tracy's horse is made out of wood and paper. Ballard's horse is made out of wood and cast iron. But, displayed on a shelf out of reach where it isn't likely to be damaged, does it really matter if your weather vane is just cardstock?

I think not.

Check out the whole process over at Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures.

Raw Milk Ohio: A Thrilling Tale of A Covert Operation, Part 1

Recently, as those who follow us on Facebook are already aware, Mr. Scrimp and I purchased an interest in a local dairy herd. We did this because we really wanted to start drinking raw milk. But, because Ohio raw milk laws prohibit sales of unpasteurized milk, we had to work pretty hard to find a safe, legal source.

Photo credit

I am going to share the story of how we came to be investors in a cow (or group of cows), because I want everyone to know what we had to go through here in Ohio to exercise our rights to food choice and food freedom. Sadly, I will not be able to share the real names of anyone involved in this story, because even though no laws were broken, the ODA have still been known to open investigations that often end in the unjust arrests of farmers involved in providing raw milk here.

The whole thing felt like some sort of drug deal or espionage. And, although everything we did was legal, according to our state and federal governments, it sort of was.


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