Bathroom Remodel: Drains Plumbed!

We’re currently mid-remodel on our”master” bathroom here in the big Day Coming household. Last week, I was out in Silicon Valley California for a business trip, so when I returned Friday my father and I set up Saturday as another bathroom remodel working day. We’re trying to get as much work done on free days as we can before he and my mother head south for the winter. Here’s hoping we have a sustained Indian Summer to keep them up here longer…
Continue reading

An Old School Barter: Beer for Wood

Two years ago for Christmas my brother-in-law bought me a great gift: a homebrew beer brewing kit (he bought me a kit without the extra carboy, but I wasn’t able to find that). Since that time, it’s been a nice hobby, though I don’t know that I’d recommend it as a way of saving money on beer. You can’t beat the prices of cheap mass-market beer by brewing at home – though when you compare to craft brews it comes out in your favor, which is a more apt comparison for these more complex beers. At least until you start buying more equipment like a kegerator, cornelius kegs, wort chillers, more fermenters, bottles, or even a mash setup.

I’ve been sharing bottles of my homebrew with family members as I’ve brewed various recipes: Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Stout, American Ale, Wit, Hefeweizen. They’ve turned out pretty well and had spurred the interest of a cousin who has since brewed a couple batches. So it wasn’t unusual when he asked me two weeks ago whether I had brewed any new batches. I told him I’d been too busy with various projects.

Continue reading

Landscaping and Gardening the Cheap Way: Free Plants

Here in Western New York we’re getting very close to our typical first frost of the Fall. This means every gardener is scrambling to make sure they get their gardens and yards ready. It’s the time of year where people start thinning and splitting their perennials: Hostas, Irises, Lilies, even Rhubarb. Which means that for someone who is very frugal and has a bare yard it’s a great time to scrounge for free plants and get your landscaping and gardening started off nicely on the cheap.

Continue reading

Vegetable Garden Update

Back in August, I detailed the new vegetable garden raised beds that my wife and I put in our backyard. The garden beds were set up primarily for next year’s Spring/Summer planting, so there hasn’t been too much commotion – but we did get the rhubarb plants split and transferred. Those suckers must have been pretty old because they had huge roots but yielded very little, though we did manage to get a couple strawberry rhubarb pies out of them. I’m guessing the previous owners never split them – and I know the soil there certainly was not great.
Continue reading

Master Bathroom Demolition

We here at the Big Day Coming house tend to be in a constant state of construction. You see, we bought a nice big house in a nice good school district looking ahead to starting our family. The house was way under market because it needed some serious remodeling and no one was willing to put in the work. The house list price dropped from $220,000 all the way down to $169,900 over the course of a year and two realtors until we came upon it when casually browsing the listings. A house in a nice neighborhood and good school district? With cheap electric?! And passive solar heating already hooked up? What gives?

Continue reading

DIY Savings: Building a Vegetable Garden

Here at home we tend to buy a lot of veggies now that we’re eating healthier and slimming down. One of our favorite snacks is a little homemade salsa and chips. But it’s a pain in the butt to run to the grocery store to get a little cilantro or a single jalapeno, and buying more of them just leaves us with rotted veggies from not using it all quickly enough. Plus we’ve received herb gardens as gifts, and we’ve been interested in starting our own tomatoes, peppers, beans and other veggies. It certainly helps considering the costs of tomatoes are getting pretty high around here. So, we’ve decided to build a vegetable garden. I thought I’d share the process, things I found, and also break down the cost. This is more of a hobby pursuit so we’re not really expecting to come out ahead financially – though maybe I’ll do a retrospective and see over time. In any case, the largest costs will be the upfront cost of supplies and labor in getting the garden set up.

Continue reading