Is DIY Kitchencraft Really Worth It?

Sometimes when you are up to your eyeballs in berry juice and the whir of the food dehydrator has been going on so long you are hearing noises that aren’t really there, you gotta wonder – is it worth it? Is it really worth it to, say, make your own jam when you could just [Continue Reading…]

No Spend Month: Week 2 Review

Updated tally for this week: Last Week’s Total: $95.76Yet more strawberries (I’m done, I swear): $26 Birthday present for a kid’s party: $6.25* Pitcher of beer at a company farewell party for a coworker (Nick): $13 TOTAL: $141.01 REMAINING: $108.99 *Actually the present for the kid-friend was more than this but I had a $14 [Continue Reading…]

Frugal Friday: The Budgeting Process And Advanced Fun Card Techniques

Last Friday I talked about our household’s budgeting tool, the Fun Card. It’s a very simple idea that helps keep our day-to-day expenses in line. But, like any tool, the value comes in the use, not the having. Homebrew Husband and I used to think budgeting was the act of making a budget. That’s like [Continue Reading…]

No Spend Month: Week 1 Review

Well $250 is going to be a lot harder than I anticipated. I managed to forget about provisioning berries for the year, and with the late spring, all the mid-June strawberries ripened in early-July. I’m looking at blueberries and raspberries coming down the line in the next few weeks and I’m wondering if I blow [Continue Reading…]

Frugal Friday: Fun Card Budgeting For Non-Budgeters


I spent most of my post-college years with a checking account that was perpetually overdrawn by $300. I once went on a three-week trip to Scandinavia and spent the entirety of my food money on my first dinner outside of the U.S. In my defense, food in Reykjavik during the holiday season is unbelievably expensive. [Continue Reading…]

No Spend July: Be A Cheap Bastard For A Month

It’s July and that means our No Spend Month Challenge is in effect. If you’ve been following along on Facebook or on the blog, you know that June is a spendy series of weeks for us and July seems like a natural month to reign in hard on the spending. That’s where NSM comes into [Continue Reading…]

Hope In A Bottle

For the first 30ish years of my life, I enjoyed stuff as much as the average American. I bought a lot of it, and used it, and got pissed off when I had to dust it. When my stuff got a little long in the tooth, I tossed it out and bought more stuff. Several [Continue Reading…]

Can You Get Arrested if You Kill-A-Watt?

My local library system has partnered with my local power company to make Kill-A-Watt energy meters available for check-out, just like a book or video. A few weeks ago, I checked out a Kill-A-Watt. These things look like a remote control and a power strip had a baby. You plug your appliance into the Kill-A-Watt, [Continue Reading…]

Friction: Lessons From The Days

Fuel prices are up, food prices are up: pretty much everything except for a Costco hot dog costs more these days. So thrift is on our minds – the Northwest Edible Life Facebook page recently posed a question: with food prices on the rise, what are people doing to try and keep budgets under control? [Continue Reading…]

Sometimes Preparedness Isn’t Just About Emergencies

Nick the Homebrew Husband works at T-Mobile. He has a pretty typical “good job”: a long commute, a forthright and supportive boss, meetings that make him want to poke his eyeballs out, and a nice middle-class paycheck with an above-average benefits package. Thank you very much, T-Mobile. Yesterday morning AT&T announced they were buying T-Mobile. What this [Continue Reading…]

Homemade Biodegradable Pots From Toilet Paper Tubes


Our household generates plenty of toilet paper rolls. We’ve switched to cloth on just about everything else, but I’m not ready to make our house a TP-free Zone just yet (sorry, No Impact Man).   I save up toilet paper rolls (by the simple means of not emptying the powder room garbage nearly as often as I should) [Continue Reading…]

When Is A Hobby Not Just A Hobby?

Hi, I’m the Homebrew Husband, Nick. I’ve had the good fortune to be married to Erica for coming up on ten years now, and to be her partner in this pathway towards urban homesteading and all that means for our family. She’s been kind enough to encourage me to share some of my own thoughts [Continue Reading…]