Robbing the Bank for $50

I realize I haven’t posted in (ahem…) a while. To be fair, I’ve been busy. I’ll probably write a more in depth life update post at some point. But, in summary, since my last post: I’ve finished graduate school (Master’s in Social Work), got divorced, got a cancer diagnosis, bought a used car, and did some traveling. Some of those things weighed heavier than others but I’m proud to say that I am happier than I’ve ever been. Aaand I’m so excited to start writing blog posts again and revisit my love for mindful spending and playful adventures in frugality.


IT’S THE END OF THE YEAR, MOTHAS! That means I get to take these friends off the shelves and see what they have to offer me:

Porky and Peacock? I’ve never named them until this second. They faithfully hold my loose change and put up with me shaking it out of them every other year.

I realized that I hadn’t counted their holdings last year. So it’s been two years of random change tossing with the rogue loose dollars getting dropped in the mix. I don’t have a strict system. When my purse, pockets, or work bag gets too jangly with coins, I off load them into either Porky (who lives upstairs) or Peacock (who lives downstairs). Whichever is closer to me at the moment.

Blessings abound! These pigs were full of jangle!

So I grabbed one of these bags of coin rollers, which you can get for $1 at your local dollar tree, and I started the satisfying child-like process of counting and rolling. It was a lovely way to spend an hour.

All rolled up! Robbing the bank never felt so good.

I had $51 in rolled up coins and bills! Plus about $3 of leftover jangles that I will replant into Porky and Peacock so they don’t get too hungry. I will then put the bills safely in my wallet and the rolls of coins will go promptly to the bank. DO NOT TAKE THEM TO COINSTAR! They will take nearly 12% of your earnings. Your bank or credit union will pay you out for free. So walk these adorable rolls to your local bank teller like you’re an adorable eight year old and explain that you just cleaned out your piggy bank and this is what you found. There — you’ve beefed up your bank account AND channeled the whimsy of your inner child. What a deal!

Bonus points if you also find some fun foreign currency. Especially if you find it right before your visit there next week (thank you piggies for the pesos)
I think the handsome profile of JFK is worth more than the half dollar it’s worth. This cutie is going back in the piggy bank for fun future ogling.

It’s the end of the year — rob your piggy banks! Or mason jars or desk drawers. Wherever you keep your annoying jangly loose change (no judgement).

Tuesday Happy Thought: People still read books, y’all!

When Barnes & Noble released the nook in 2009, I thought it was a hilarious joke. Who the hell would want to carry around a light digital pad and forego the satisfaction of holding an actual weighty book with a colorful cover and crispy pages and that sweet paper smell?

Clearly I was wrong. So so SO super wrong. People LOVE reading on their little digital pads. It’s minimal. It’s easy. It’s affordable. It’s eco. I get it.

But I really like books. Luckily, I’m not alone. People still buy books!


And they’re willing to throw down a nice sum of money for the rare goodies. When I visit thrift stores, I don’t stand for too long in the book section. I do a once over and see if anything catches my eye. This puppy caught my eye not long ago:


I peeked inside to make sure it wasn’t a dreaded book club edition as those can be tough to resell. Once I was in the clear with that, I took a gamble and bought the little guy without looking it up online. The worst case scenario is that it’s worthless and I have a new Hemingway book in my library and am out $1.25. Not a terrible situation.

….And then it sat on my bookshelf for almost a year b/c I forgot about it…funny how often that happens…

When I finally did get around to researching this gem for resale, I found that I had a first edition on my hands! Ideally with books, you’ll snag a first edition and first printing – sometimes noted as 1st/1st on eBay listings. It’s unclear whether my copy was a first printing, but I still made a buck off it.

Mine’s the one in the middle:


An easy peezy $177 was made. Not bad at all. This photo also illustrates how much listing details matter in netting a fair profit. The first photo is a well cropped close up and boasts “True First Printing” whereas mine is a little less confident in boasting the exact printing but the photo shows off the fair condition and the front and back of the book. And then we have that last one that didn’t even try – the photo looks cluttered and it’s not even right side up!

The lesson here is to always give a once over to the books in the thrift store. If it’s older, clean and not a book club edition, you can make a nice low stress profit. No extensive measurements to record, simple photos, and so easy and cheap to ship.

It’s almost too easy…

Exceptions to the Dollar Store challenge

Okay, so a few exceptions have come to light since I started the challenge a week ago.

1. Reddit gift exchange. I almost forgot that I had signed up earlier this month for the Reddit Secret Santa gift exchange. I go all out at secret gift exchanges because they make me super happy! So I will not confine my gift shopping to the dollar store.

2. Trader Joe’s wine. Aka “2 buck chuck”, although we frugal folk know it ought to be referred to as “3 buck chuck” since it’s $2.99/bottle and therefore closer to $3. Apparently The Beard thought that Trader Joe’s wine was not included in the dollar store challenge. I don’t drink much wine but The Beard enjoys a glass most nights so he has requested that Trader Joe’s wine be allowed.

The rest of our shopping is dollar store budget material. We’ve done okay the first week with just a few minor slip ups. May we keep it up for the next two weeks!

Dollar Store: Deal or No Deal

I last posted about my Dollar Tree shopping trip the other day:


It was a simple trip, only 9 items: 2 glasses of wine, a bottle of foot powder spray, a plastic soap saver dish, Blistex, Carmex, Vitamin C supplements, a splatter guard, and a two pack of ankle socks.

I left the dollar store feeling happy at the deals I got. It wasn’t until I got home that I felt a plagued by whether or not I was duped into a purchase because “Everything’s a Dollar!” so it must be a great deal, right?

And so I ventured to my local Target to seek out the exact same items and compare prices. The results were pretty surprising to me.

1. Foot powder spray. Yes, let’s start with the good ole’ foot stuff. I paid $1 for 3.5oz with the same 1% active ingredient. At Target:


Target’s off brand sells it in 4oz bottles for $3.79. Which makes it 28 cents/ounce at Dollar Tree vs. 94 cents/ounce at Target. Savings by buying at Dollar Tree: $2.79.

Dollar Tree: 1          Target: 0

2. Vitamin C supplement drops. I paid $1 for a pack of 30 drops, each at 106mg of Vitamin C. That’s a little over 3 cents/drop. At Target:


Target’s off brand Vitamin C drops sell for $2.04 for an 80 pack of drops. That ends up being about 2 and a half cents per drop. Savings by purchasing at Target: 62 cents, approximately.

Dollar Tree: 1          Target: 1

3. Soap saver. Make that bar last longer! Of course, it was $1 at Dollar Tree. At Target:


1 cent cheaper is still cheaper. It’s worth noting that it’s the exact same soap saver in different packaging.

Dollar Tree: 1          Target: 2

4. Blistex lip balm. $1 for one Blistex lip balm stick at Dollar Tree. At Target:


I didn’t see them for sale individually, but a 3pk is $3.04 which makes each one slightly more than $1.01. And so it goes…

Dollar Tree: 2          Target: 2

5. Splatter guard. In case you’re as unfamiliar with the concept as I was when I first heard about it, a splatter guard is just a convenient little wire mesh flat circle that you can place over a pan when pan frying food to help prevent oil from splashing all over and making a mess. I think it’s a little unnecessary but worth a $1 to give it a try. However, at Target, the only splatter guard for sale is this:


A fancy schmancy one for $20 more than what I paid for mine. Of course mine is much lesser quality but it will get the job done for my infrequent frying needs. It’s tough to compare, given the huge difference in quality of product, but I say Dollar Tree wins this one for offering a cheap yet effective product at 20x less the price.

Dollar Tree: 3          Target: 2

6. Wine glasses. Having taken my Dollar Tree wine glasses for a test spin the other night, I can review with confidence that they are thick, weighted, and sturdy wine glasses. I’ll even bet that people would be surprised to learn that they’re dollar store material once they’ve handled them. Target had a pretty wide selection of cheap wine glasses:


The above glasses seemed as close a comparison in quality as possible to the dollar store ones. These end up being $1.49/glass which isn’t bad. Alternatively, Target also offers $1 wine glasses:


But they just feel so flimsy, lightweight, and cheaper quality that it just doesn’t seem fair to call it a draw. And so I’m giving this one to Dollar Tree for offering a better wine glass at a cheaper price.

Dollar Tree: 4           Target: 2

7. Carmex lip balm. $1 at Dollar Tree for a single 0.25 ounce pot of lip balm. At Target:


Even ignoring the really great promotion for the gift card, the regular price for a 3 pack of the Carmex lip pots is only $2.79. That makes it 93 cents each at Target compared to $1 each at the dollar store.

Dollar Tree: 4          Target: 3

8. Ankle socks. 50 cents per pair is a pretty good deal at Dollar Tree. At Target:

IMG_1595 IMG_1597

$1.50 per pair. A value pack on Black Friday is the only thing that brings the price down to the dollar store prices, otherwise the value pack just brings it down to $1.04 per pair. If the quality of the dollar store ones seemed despicable then I’d consider a draw, but the quality seems quite comparable. And so it goes…

Dollar Tree: 5          Target: 3


Dollar Tree for the win for this shopping trip comparison! I do think it’s worth noting that the price differences were so minimal that I’m sure utilizing sales and coupons at Target would beat out Dollar Tree prices by a long shot. I was quite surprised by how close Target prices were to dollar store prices.

I’m definitely going to be more discerning about my dollar store purchases for the remainder of this challenge.



Day 2 thru Day 4: Dollar Money Challenge

I semi-purposely chose to do this challenge during Black Friday week in order to tame my compulsion to get the BEST deal on everything. Historically, I don’t usually participate in black friday and the deals never seem to justify the early rising and pushing through crowds – but it’s all the damn online deals leading up to Cyber Monday that really get the better of me! It’s not without shame that I’ll admit that I’ve already cursed this challenge more than a few times in the handful of days it’s been active. I see things like a Real Simple magazine subscription for $5 or an Amazon deal that features a Kindle for $55 and I immediately start rationalizing the savings in my head. Real Simple magazine has a lot of coupons in it, even if I just use only 3 or 4 of those coupons then the magazine PAYS FOR ITS SELF! And if I get a Kindle, I can download books for only .99 or even FREE instead of wait for them to be available at the library or to go on sale – this will save me at least twenty bucks a year and in no time at all the Kindle will PAY FOR ITS SELF!

I have to catch myself trying to justify the spending, call myself out, look around and notice that I have pretty much everything I need.

That being said, I finally ventured out to Dollar Tree to peruse their dollar store deals and get a feel for what I have to work with for the next three weeks.

I kicked myself when I saw that they had the EXACT SAME thermometer for $1 that I had bought for $4 at Walgreens because I assumed that the dollar store wouldn’t have a thermometer. It’s these assumptions about the limits of dollar stores that make us little toads for paying more. But that’s a post/rant for another day.

I loaded up my basket with the following:


Let me explain.

Two wine glasses: Although The Beard and I received about two dozen Riedel wine glasses when we got married a little over two years ago, all but one has shattered. Ya, we handwashed them and everything, I don’t know what their problem is. One even spontaneously shattered in my hand last year. It was weird. But these $1 ones are sturdy and thick. Plus they come in two of my favorite colors – green and plum.

Foot powder spray: Because we’re all out of it and it’s important to keep your feet dry when wearing unbreathable winter boots.

Ankle socks: Because when I asked one of my sisters what she wants for X-mas, her response was, “I don’t really need anything. Except I’m all out of ankle socks so send those.” Right.

Soap saver: It’s an elevated plastic thing that has holes in so your bar soap can drain. Yes, I use bar soap. What brand? Dial. It only took one hospital trip with MRSA for me to convert from sweet smelling shower gels to no fuss antibacterial bar soap.

Blistex & Carmex: Because I want my lips to smell like my mom’s did in 1989. And b/c I’m all out of chap stick and it’s getting really dry outside. Cracked lips, be warned.

Vitamin C drops: Because I have a real citrus candy problem. And didn’t I already mention that I’m a hypochondriac?

Splatter guard: Because although we rarely fry anything at our house, whenever we do it gets everywhere and then The Beard insists that we need to drop $10 for a splatter guard and I argue that it’s not worth it when we’ll hardly ever use it and so here I’ve paid $1 to appease The Beard whilst proving my point – I suspect we’ll only have the need for it once in the next year.

I had a fun little curious adventure at the dollar store and guess how much my loot cost me?! $9.77

I’m well aware that Dollar Stores can be terrible “value scam” places at times. (Case in point, right beside the 30 pack of generic Vitamin C drops was a 14 pack of Halls brand drops, also for $1. That’s like 7 cents per cough drop! You can get a 120 pack at Target for less than $6, bringing it out to a little less than 5 cents per drop which is clearly the better deal if you have an undying devotion to Halls brand drops!)

However, the same exact shopping trip would have cost much more at Target…I think. I’m going to test out this theory tomorrow.

Day 1 of Dollar Store Challenge: First Failure is Out of the Way

Awoke this morning to The Beard hurling his poor little guts up. Poor guy has the flu.

Being slightly hypochondriac and a definite catastrophic thinker, I quickly took his temperature with my 6 year old $5 Hy-Vee brand digital thermometer: 100.6 degrees.

Then I dropped the thermometer in the sink and it broke. True story.

In an effort to monitor his temperature (and my own!) I whisked off to Walgreens and bought one of their thermometers to replace mine.

I spent a whopping $4 and thought little of it until I left the store and remembered the Dollar Store Challenge.

I thought about returning it to remedy the situation, but health anxiety got the better of me. How can I just NOT have a thermometer for the next three weeks while my poor husband has the flu?!

And so it goes. My first failure with this challenge is out of the way. Hopefully it will be the last!

Dollar Store Challenge and Blogging More!

Okay….I’m a bad blogger. I’m really good at coming up with articles to blog about and even drafting them out — but I’m terrible about starting and finishing and publishing blog posts. I get too self critical and give up. The last few months have been particularly tough to blog through – I’ve taken vacation, started a new job, got wrapped up in home renovations…

But I’m committed to blogging more! And I think what will help me the most is….*drum rollllll*….a new MONEY CHALLENGE!

This is one that I’ve been thinking about for a while now – at least a year.

When I was a case manager for homeless women, there were countless times that clients would come in to strategize a budget. In creating budgets with impoverished folks, you learn a few “frugal life hack” things pretty quickly:

1. Wash your clothes with powder instead of liquid.

2. “Mend and make do” when something rips or breaks as opposed to quickly replacing it.

3. You can get A LOT of your daily needs met at your local dollar store.

Of course, I also learned a lot of valuable “don’t ever do what they did” lessons from impoverished folks.

But I must say, working with a vulnerable population encouraged me to visit my first Dollar Tree and the first time I set foot in a Dollar Tree I felt like I’d been short changed all of my life. Who knew that the same glass vases at Pier One for 4.99 could be had for only $1?! Who knew that cleaning supplies with the same ingredients as pricier brands could be achieved for only $1?! And who knew that even some of the same foods I bought at grocery stores were elsewhere sold for only $1?!

Perusing my local dollar store, I was amazed at both how cheap things could be and also how people could be duped into believing that they were getting a deal by purchasing something at a dollar store. It’s something of a paradox. Yes, it’s cheap to get a 2 pack of party streamers for $1. But it’s also a sham to pay $1 per apple when you can get a 5lb bag for $3 at the grocery shop.

Furthermore, I’ve been exhausted with figuring out how to get X-mas presents for everyone in my family while living on a budget. ‘Tis the season…

And so…I’ve decided to embark on a new money challenge:


That’s right. If it’s more than a dollar, then I can’t have it. Whether it’s Dollar Tree, Dollar General, The Spot at Target, The “Everything’s a Dollar” lane at Price Chopper, or the less than a dollar produce at Aldi, there are dollar deals to be had. And I intend to have only them for the next three long weeks.

Some things that I can buy at prices above a dollar:

1. Gas for the car (although, as usual, I’ll try to limit my car use)

2. Mortgage and utility bills

3. Up to THREE nights at Bier Station – our favorite beer bar.

That’s all I can come up with. Everything else is fair game.

Tomorrow will be Day One of this challenge. The Beard is biting his nails over it right now. I happen to think it’s going to be way easier than we imagine, save for the whole coming up with X-mas presents bit…but I’m sure we’ll manage and it will work out just fine.


Psst! People still buy VHS tapes?!

It’s obvious that I enjoy little more than buying stuff for next to nothing and selling it to a broader audience for some nice pocket change.

One of my new favorite blogs that I stumbled across last week is written by a guy who sells his thrift store treasures on eBay to help fund his Roth IRA: Flipping a Dollar

While perusing his blog, it got me thinking about stuff that I usually pass on looking at when I’m in a thrift store because I assume it won’t sell and, therefore, isn’t worth my time. Like that super soaker he made $65 on?! I would have walked past that without a second look.

So last week, during a thrift store adventure, I decided to stop by the VHS tapes. Yes – VHS. There are always loads upon loads of VHS tapes at thrift stores. And for good reason! NOBODY watches VHS tapes anymore, right? RIGHT!

However…having been to film school, I know that there are tens of thousands of features which never made it to DVD distribution and can only be found on VHS. Most of these features have no business being on DVD anyway as nobody would watch them. But there are gems – insanely bad horror movies, 70s kung fu movies, low budget action movies, and quirky melodramas – that have a cult following small enough to prevent DVD distribution but large enough to return a nice eBay profit!

A quick online search leads to film geek forums and obscure media uploads that prove that a quick buck may be had for plenty of VHS tapes.

The great thing about VHS tapes is that they are dirt cheap – typically 50 cents. Also, you can typically judge the condition of the tape by looking at its cover. If the cover is all beat up and torn, the cassette probably won’t play so great.  (Just make sure you check that your VHS cassette matches its cover!)

Anyway, I decided to stop by the VHS selection – several hundred – at a local thrift store. About two dozen VHS caught my eye as being in fair condition and sounding just weird or nostalgic or rare enough that they may be profitable. So I stood there on my phone, scouring eBay for search results – turns out most of them weren’t so rare and didn’t sell for more than a few dollars. Until I saw this little nugget of peculiarity:


That’s right – it’s a bowhunting deer video with a bit of twang. It’s marked EXPLICIT and entitled “They’re Goin’ Down”. A quick glance at the back of it revealed that it was independently produced by the guy who stars in the video, distributed by some small town in Michigan. Even better, it looks to be in great condition!

IMG_1405 Did you read that?! That is cult following GOLD, my friend! I

So I paid 89 cents for it and immediately listed it on eBay for a short auction. I kept the starting bid low – 99 cents.

Within a day, 4 people were watching it and 2 people had sent me questions about it. One guy wanted to know if I had any other hunting videos as he already owned this one….

By the final third day of auction, 8 people were watching it and there was an all out bidding war which climbed the price to $27 + $2.76 shipping/handling.

Price I paid: – $0.89

Sold on eBay: + $29.76

Fees & shipping: – $4.45 shipping; -$2.98 eBay; -$1.16 PayPal

Profit/Loss: + $20.28

Normally, that’s not a profit to hoot & holler over. But let’s remember that this was a VHS TAPE!!! Also, I’m very aware that I have stolen the other blogger’s outcome tracking idea with my little red and green profit/loss summary, but it just works so well.

So there you have it, I’ll be glancing at the VHS tapes a little more carefully the next time I’m in a thrift store.



Food Stamp Nation – Get a SNAP budget

I’ve worked in social services for about 7 years now.  Three of those years were spent working as a Case Manager for single parent families living within the poverty spectrum. I would say “living below the poverty line” but it’s not really a line and phrasing it as such is a big pet peeve of mine. You get weird pet peeves like that when you work in social services.

The term “food stamps” is a mild pet peeve also. Food assistance has been on electronic cards in most states of the nation for around 10 years now. Keep this in mind the next time your cousin drinks too much wine at the party, gets on her tipsy socio political soapbox, and starts telling the story of how she recently witnessed a drunk bum trade his filthy crinkled food stamp dollars for a fifth of whiskey and that’s why the poor can’t be trusted with tax payer blah blah blah…. It’s all on plastic credit cards linked to your social security number. Yes, it can still be exploited with some planning and effort but no, your cousin did NOT see that happen last week. But I digress…my social work rash is starting to flare up.

I live in the state of Missouri where the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Program aka government food assistance) is about $128 per month per person in a family that qualifies. That means about $4/day is how much you can spend on food for yourself. Yes, just food. The card doesn’t work if it recognizes non-food bar codes. Diapers, paper products, and beer will not be covered by the EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. Again, your cousin was lying and now might be a good time to schedule that intervention for her binge wine habit – now who’s the one needing services?

Some people think this amount is too much. Some people think it is not enough. There’s fun blogs and articles out there of people claiming to thrive on $4/day for food and other articles of people barely scraping by.

The Beard and I will tell you that it’s worked just fine for us.

No, we’re not receiving food assistance. We just follow the guideline of $4/day/person for our grocery bill and it’s worked out fine. Of course, we also go out to eat approx. 2 – 5 times per month so it’s not an accurate depiction of the success of the SNAP rate.

I used to be a Whole Foods/Natural Grocers junky. I’m not sure how it started but I realized it was a problem when I looked over the bank statement back in 2011 and saw that we had somehow spent $525 on a month of groceries for just the two of us. Stunned, I immediately denied that any frivolous spending had taken place and joined the choir of Americans chanting the outrage over expensive food prices, poor economy, wild food industry conspiracies and shameful farm distribution practices.

Not long after, I was meeting with a client to go over her budget goals and I saw that her family of 4 received SNAP – around $515/month. This was a single mom with three growing boys between the ages of 9 – 15. I asked her what additional money from her job went to cover her food expenses and was surprised when she said that SNAP usually covered all her food costs for the month – some months they didn’t even use all their SNAP funds!

Feeling gluttonous and ashamed but HIGHLY motivated, I revamped the grocery budget to $250 – about what it would be if we were on SNAP. We stopped shopping at the nice overpriced grocery stores and also started shopping with more of a meal planning mindset instead of a “Oh this looks good, throw that in the cart” mindset.

We didn’t even feel deprived. Looking back, it’s been the easiest “frivolous to frugal” transition we’ve made. It helps that we buy meat sparingly (2 – 4 times per month) and shop at ALDI and Costco. Some months we come in at under $250 and some months we go over by $20 or so. But the baseline budget is the same.

It also helps keep perspective in limiting going out to eat. That $12 order of biscuits and gravy at the restaurant suddenly seems ridiculously luxurious and over the top when you consider that the price is THREE DAYS WORTH OF FOOD for one person by government standards.

I would highly encourage making the switch to SNAP standards. Not for the politics or the bragging rights, but just because it’s sensible grocery shopping and food preparation on a budget that works for most of America.

Now the naysayers are whining – “No! It’s not working for most of America! This is why the US has an obesity problem! Because eating healthy is way more expensive than $4/day!”

I used to just dismiss that comment when a friend gave that feedback. Now, I’m armored with this:

Does this look unhealthy?

What about this?

Do you get the idea yet?

All of these images come from THIS:

That’s right. This genius lady Leanne Brown had the revolutionary idea to create a cook book to show the naysayers what we knew to be true all along: glorious, healthy, delicious food can also be dirt cheap and affordable. Even on a SNAP budget of $4/day/person.

Even better, this cook book is FREE in pdf form by clicking the following link:

Yep, pretty soon all the cool kids will be SNAP budgeting their grocery bills and reaping the rewards. Trim your budget and sharpen your cooking skills!



My First Brew – Ready to Taste

So I’m a little late in posting the results of my first brew. It sat for two weeks in the basement where it stayed at a fairly constant temperature of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.


It had a rotten fruit yeasty smell – it was about as nasty an aroma as one can imagine juice sitting in the basement for two weeks might smell but with a lingering yeasty scent. In a word, it was off-putting. And not in some kind of delightful “I’ve made jug wine!” kind of way – it smelled closer to moldy tennis shoes than to wine.

But I persevered and stuck on the spigot and plastic tubing for the transfer.



Transferring the liquid is necessary b/c there’s A LOT of frothy yeast in that jug and I don’t want to drink any of it. Rather than go through the mess of a cheesecloth and funnel, I’m going to siphon the liquid into a sanitized brewing bucket, leaving the clumps of yeast behind in the jug. Then I’m going to clean out the jug and siphon the liquid from the bucket back into the clean jug. This process serves two important functions: 1. Filter out as much yeast as possible from the juice and 2. Use the jug as a pretty and practical container for keeping the juice refrigerated and easy to pour.

The other side of the tube goes into the brew bucket for the transfer.



Now the tube just needs a little bit of suction to promote the siphoning from the jug into the brew bucket. It was pretty tough to do this job with how gross the concoction smelled. I really didn’t want to end up with a mouthful of clumpy yeast juice.


Don’t I look nervous? It’s a scary job.

Alas, the siphoning began! And I managed to avoid tasting the stuff.

IMG_1174  IMG_1175

And then it was siphoned back into the jug.

IMG_1177 IMG_1180

The second transfer is definitely important. Look at how much stuff was still left at the bottom of the bucket.


And now the pretty jug of juice wine! I decided to let it sit in the fridge for a few days to help it carbonate just a little.


When I first tried it, I was pleasantly surprised that it actually tasted like wine in spite of its initial off-putting aroma. But it tasted very dry and not so flavorful.  Like church wine….kind of.

So I let it sit for another week and a half in the fridge to experiment with the taste differences of bottle conditioning it for a bit longer. Mostly I just didn’t want to drink it again for a while.

Tonight, I decided to give it another try. There is no off-putting odor anymore. It’s slightly carbonated, which is nice. (Takes another sip) Still dry, though. Very dry. Like a slightly sweet, very dry rosè wine with teensy hints of blackberry. I think next time, I’ll just do straight up apple juice although something citrusy might be just perfect – like grapefruit or mango.

All in all, though, it was a fun experiment in easy, frugal home-brewing fun.