Frugal Win Friday

I'm trying to maximize our happiness while minimizing our spending. Being frugal doesn't mean you can't have a little fun! Here are a few simple ways that we saved money this week:

Sew cool

We had a few items in need of a little TLC around the house this week. One of my tank tops had a small hole in the arm pit area and my husband's long sleeve t-shirt had a rip on the front of it. Along with those two small items, our comforter had a mystery rip either from its recent go in the wash or our dog's talons, so it was in need of a repair too. I spent maybe a total of 20 minutes repairing these three items, and with a guesstimated replacement cost of at least $225 (tank $10, t-shirt $15, and comforter $200) that means I made a whopping $775 an hour (in savings)! Is this what it feels like to be Bill Gates?

Milk it for all its worth

We're trying to clean up our food sources, and we made the permanent switch to organic milk earlier this year. While we don't drink a lot of milk, organic is much more expensive than its conventional counterparts and I've cringed when we've had to toss milk when it's past its prime. Well, waste not want not no more. I used milk that was about to cross to the other side (of the drain) to make paneer! 

Paneer is a soft cheese that is used quite often in Indian dishes, our favorite is paneer makhani. It's a once or twice a month staple in our household, and I was dying to give it a spin in our new (free) instant pot. Here's the recipe I used to make the paneer. You can tell that I'm new to the blogging game because I didn't take photos! I lined a strainer with cheese cloth, squeezed the curds and tied the cheesecloth together, then pressed it down with a round storage container filled with water for about two hours.

I tweaked our usual slow cooker recipe and made some changes while I was at it. I sautéed the onions in the pressure cooker then added the spices (I upped the garam masala to 1/2 tbsp, although next time I think I'll add more). Instead of pureed tomatoes, I added in one can of tomato sauce and one can of diced tomatoes. I then turned on the pressure cooker setting and let it do its thing for 8 minutes. I diced the homemade paneer and sautéed it in a pan and then poured the sauce from the pressure cooker on top and simmered it while I made rice in the miracle machine/instant pot. The last step was adding 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup yogurt to the sauce. It was better than takeout and much cheaper! 

I'm considering purchasing a nut milk bag to make it a little easier to make the paneer the next time. Because we often don't have huge amounts of milk on the verge of spoiling (the recipe calls for nearly 8.5 cups), I'll probably freeze it and make paneer when I have enough. This will affect the texture of the curds, but I'm hopeful that allowing it to stay in the press longer will make for a firm texture.

What frugal wins did you have this week?