Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Porky and Penny are on Hiatus

No, we haven't disappeared. But we have been busy elsewhere. So for the time being, we're taking a break from Fat and Frugal. Please visit us at our primary blog.

We'll be back when things settle down, so don't forget about us!

Porky and Penny

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summertime, When the Living is Easy (and sometimes free!)

I love summer on several levels. First, my carpool duties are significantly less. Which I guess I can count as frugal since I save on gas costs. Better yet are the benefits to the food budget when some of my more industrious friends share the surplus from their gardens. I usually stay pretty well stocked with tomatoes and cucumbers and the like without having to break out my wallet. They taste better than the grocery store variety, too.

I also have more time to hit the Farmers' Market for local produce and vegetables, which puts it into the healthy living category as well. 

Now, if I would just learn how to can like my grandmother used to do it, I would be even better off.

Penny (who is doubling as Porky today, too)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pest-free, Naturally!

It's summertime, and most of us are dealing with summer critters. It's one thing to see them outside where they belong, but it's quite another to have them running rampant inside where they apparently think they belong. If they're inside and troublesome, then you have to figure out a way to get rid of them, and it would be nice to do so without poisoning the entire family in the process.

This article reveals nontoxic ways to get rid of pests safely. The methods utilize common household items and ingredients (well, maybe not the stale beer!) and are relatively cheap. The highlights of the article:

1. ANTS (thankfully, MOST of the ants here are currently content outside)

Vinegar, straight or diluted, to eliminate the trails

Cinnamon or black pepper, dusted on the ants' nests

Borax added to sugar, starting out with only a small amount of borax so the ants will take it back to their nests. Gradually increase ratio.

Baby powder or talcum powder, dusted on the ants/trails

Liquid soap diluted with water; can be used as spray outside

Bay leaves, cloves, or cayenne pepper, placed at entry point

Peppermint, sprayed around home's perimeter and at ants' entry point


Remove ripe fruit droppings and take out the trash so they can't lay eggs!

Apple cider vinegar, poured in a glass with a paper funnel to attract FF but prevent them from finding their way out

Cheap wine mixed with a bit of detergent in a glass.

Fly paper, which you can make by boiling water, sugar, and corn syrup together and spreading on paper bags.

Basil oil mixed with water; spray around kitchen.

Old hair dryer, used for sucking up (through the back). Oh boy.


Soda bottle trap (neat idea!) - cut off top 1/3 of the bottle; invert top (going into remainder of bottle) and tape in place. Fill bottle part way with soda or fruit juice. Wasps go in and stay.

Remove nest (at night and carefully!!!). Read more for details.


Stale beer, grape juice, or a tea made from yeast, honey, and water, poured into small bowls and set around wherever they're being pests.


Years ago, when we lived in an area with a flea problem (regardless of the type of flea collar the dogs wore), I mastered the art of flea-picking. Impressive, I know. I learned that if I squirted some Dawn dish detergent into a glass of water, fleas would sink to the bottom immediately. I mentioned that to our vet's receptionist not long ago, and she said they recommend bathing dogs with Dawn dishwashing detergent (I used the original blue liquid), letting the lather sit for a few minutes, then rinsing off. That helps gets rid of fleas already present; an application of Frontline Plus (what we use), etc., should help keep them off. This might work on ticks, too, but they're in a class by themselves. Blech.

Green, pest-free (wannabe, anyway) Penny

PS - If you know additional pest-control tactics, please share them!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Got Chocolate? Not Sure...

I got the coupon for a chocolate bar today!!!

I would show it to you or at least quote from it, but I'm not sure where hubby put it after retrieving the mail, which he got with a smile on his face. I thought it was just because he's usually working and not home when the mail comes.

Hmmm.... Come to think of it, I do believe he claimed he had an errand to run.


Penny and Porky, cause they're in this chocolate thing together

Friday, June 19, 2009

Very Berry Bake

Hubby brought home big bags of frozen blueberries and strawberries from Sam's, along with a package of Pillsbury pie crusts. He donned his chef's hat, and what he whipped up was easy (especially since I didn't do it!) and tasty.

Ignore pan; definitely not Martha Stewart here...

The fruit used can vary in all kinds of ways - fresh, single fruit instead of a combo, etc. This is just what he used. Today, anyway :)

Very Berry Bake

1 pkg Pillsbury pie crusts (2 pie crusts)
8 cups frozen blueberries
8+ cups frozen strawberries
1 tbsp corn starch for each 4 cups of fruit (he used 5 tbsp because of extra strawberries)
1 tbsp stevia for each 8 cups of fruit (he used 2 tbsp)

1. Thaw out fruit, blueberries in one bowl, strawberries in another.
2. Place one pie crust in bottom of baking pan (9 X 12, etc) and bake at @ 400 for @ 22 minutes (until brown).
3. Place half the corn starch and half the stevia into pan (he used a large skillet); heat and stir until the mix has dissolved. Add just enough fruit juice (there was plenty from the blueberries) or water to keep it 'liquidy' - @ 1/4 cup should be plenty.
4. Add blueberries to the mix, stirring well to a boil until it thickens. Pour in pan over the baked crust.
5. Put the remainder of the corn starch and stevia into the pan; heat and stir until the mix has dissolved. Add just enough fruit juice or water to keep it 'liquidy' - @ 1/4 cup should be plenty.
6. Add strawberries to the mix, stirring well to a boil until it thickens. Pour in pan over the blueberries.
7. Place second pie crust on top of the berry mix and bake at @ 400 for @ 22 minutes (until lightly browned).
8. Let cool.
9. Go get ice cream if you don't already have some (just kidding. We didn't have any and still managed just fine!).

This picture doesn't do justice and, in fact, looks a bit gory,
but it's pretty and delicious in real life!