Monday, November 12, 2012

Holday Challenge: A Parsimonious Christmas

This Christmas, I have decided to see just how frugal I can possibly be. This is mostly a challenge for challenge's sake, but because it seems like it's going to save me quite a bit of money I can't completely discount that as incentive. This year, my goal is to make all of my gifts for friends and family. Cool, huh?

Alright, that's not all of it. My goal is to see if I can keep from spending over $100 total on all of my supplies for making gifts this year. Parsimonious Penny-Pinching! This will be the perfect way to save money, but it'll also encourage me to use what I have around the house: stashed fabric and fiber, half finished projects, things like that.

So... If you're a friend or family member following my blog, you may want to read sparingly over the next several weeks. You're welcome to follow me in my adventures in frugal holiday spending, but just know that I'll be posting updates and tutorials here. Of course, I have several things planned, so you could always follow along and try to figure out what it is I'm planning for you!

If you're not a friend or family member, follow along! Join me, even! If you do join me in my ridiculous challenge, or if you run a similar challenge, let me know and I'll be happy to share information on your challenge here as I blog. 

Are you planning any fantastic challenges for the holidays this year?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Buying Local: Biercamp, Ann Arbor

On the south side of town, tucked adorably between a mom an pop artisan grocer and a mom and pop furniture store you'll find Ann Arbor's Biercamp. The shop is run by a young couple and specializes in in-house smoked meats, unique jerkies, pickles, deli meats and more. Riding on the sort of northwestern woodsy type (date I use the word "hipster" in a positive sense?) aesthetic wave, the shop is lined in knotty pine and the walls are scattered with old photographs of farmers and cows.

This place has the most amazing selection and quality I can imagine. From lamb bacon to hotdogs, from pickled green tomatoes to deli sandwiches. It's all there.

Our last trip we even tried their olive loaf (I mean seriously, who even likes olive loaf?) and, well, amazing. Subtle, not too salted, but definitely briney enough.

I strongly suggest a visit next time you're around. They're located in a charming little house on State street, south of the stadium and just across the railroad tracks. Check them out!