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I'm into radical frugality because I'm a cheapskate and a tad mentally unstable. This is like my OCD addiction to see how cheaply I do stuff.

My latest project is the mattress for under $40 project. I used to have a cotton futon and I loved it. But I sold it and then found out that one about the same would cost $1,000...shit. About a year ago I was able to get my hands on a large number of alpaca fleeces for nothing off my local version of craigslist. So for about a year my home stank of alpaca's and I never could figure out how to properly clean up the fleece (it was raw with dags and burrs attached), which is a shame because I found an online tutorial about how to make a traditional wool mattress.

In the meantime I've been sleeping on an inflatable mattress....but PVC inflatables and cat claws don't mix and for about the last month I've been having to pump up my bed everynight and then roll out of a half flat bed with a backache in the morning.

Today, I found an online thing that hippy parents do....make a straw mattress. Sounds awful, like mice or something might live in it and what about body sweat....ew! Until you realise that most people are sleeping on industrial foam soaked in body sweat and flame retardants. That's pretty gross too. So I had a hard time finding a bale of straw in the middle of a metro zone, but I did find two. I stuffed one of my old quilt covers with two bales of straw and whacked it on the bed. Actually very comfortable, I like a hard mattress and this one is very similar to my old futon. I pulled the bales apart and then stuffed the loose straw inside. It was ridiculously tall until I rolled all over it and squashed it down again.

I now have to make a tick (mattress cover), and I'm thinking this fabric will give a nice traditional mattress look. It's also very tightly woven and strong.

EMMIE RAND Fabric - IKEA

Next week I'll make a box sided cover with a velcro opening on one end so the straw can be stuffed in and taken out easily. Apparently you should be able to get 6 months use out of the straw before you need to mulch your garden with it and put new stuff in. I like this idea because....

I hate sprung mattresses, they are never firm enough for me
I hate the idea of a mattress that can't be cleaned. This one you just tip the insides out, throw the cover in the wash and restuff it with clean straw.
I hate having to move a bulky and heavy mattress when I move home. This one will be easy to transport empty and fill at the other end.
 

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Been sleeping on this mattress for two nights, it's awesome but it does have a problem. Straw is so insulative that actually I get very hot at night. Total difference to an air mattress which is cold as all get out. It's only autumn here so I guess my wool quilt is a little too much with the mattress, but deep in winter it should be pleasantly toasty.

I bought the fabric today for the tick. Don't have time to cut and sew it tonight, will have to wait until later in the week. Bugger. I like getting onto projects quickly, less chance I'll procrastinate.
 

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I would buy a mansion if I had enough money to maintain that purchase.
You know what, my delusions of grandeur include an English styled country house with 98 rooms and acres of formal gardens. I was a big fan of Country House Rescue at one time. I would probably trade my soul for a crumbling wreck. I suppose my tightarsedness is a reaction to that. Like I can save myself from this particular type of lemming impulse by going miles in the opposite direction.
 

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You know what, my delusions of grandeur include an English styled country house with 98 rooms and acres of formal gardens. I was a big fan of Country House Rescue at one time. I would probably trade my soul for a crumbling wreck. I suppose my tightarsedness is a reaction to that. Like I can save myself from this particular type of lemming impulse by going miles in the opposite direction.
I disagree. I think a small house with a lot of expensive electronics is ideal. I think I will do that.
 

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You know what, my delusions of grandeur include an English styled country house with 98 rooms and acres of formal gardens. I was a big fan of Country House Rescue at one time. I would probably trade my soul for a crumbling wreck. I suppose my tightarsedness is a reaction to that. Like I can save myself from this particular type of lemming impulse by going miles in the opposite direction.
It was one of my impractical dreams, too, an English country manor. ;-) Since I fantasized in reality therefore I started to itemize upkeep......and realized unless I had an unlimited bank account, it's highly unlikely I could keep the house and the land surrounding it.
 

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Cutting out the pieces for my mattress cover today. Decided to make it with a wool tufted pillowtop since I have a really old wool quilt that I no longer use anymore. Waste not, want not. A few months ago I turned an old mattress protector into a patchwork quilt and seriously depleted my stockpile of unused fabrics in the process. It adorns my chaise. Another useful thing made! I love repurposing.

Thought I'd write an instructional on roasting coffee beans while I was here. I'm a coffee drinker but worked out I could cut my cost of coffee down to 60 cents per cup if I barista'd up on this. So I bought a vintage lever espresso machine, and learnt how to roast my own beans.

Roasted beans = $40kg
Home roasted beans = $15kg

Savings of 60% and fresher roast. Takes about 15mins to roast a tray of beans. I oven roast.

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees celcius
2. Tip 2 cups of green beans onto a large baking tray, and spread them out. Tip the beans in the corners roast faster than those in the centre even if the layer is completely even. So push more beans into the corners to compensate for this otherwise you'll get burnt beans in the corners.
3. Put cold tray with green beans on it in the oven, shut the door.
4. After about 5 mins, pull tray out and turn the beans over with a spatula, mixing in the more cooked ones with the less cooked ones. Then spread them back out over the tray and put back in the oven. Be quick about this you don't want them to cool down. Repeat this 3 times at 5min intervals. Be careful not to allow too much hot air to escape the oven. You need to keep the oven temp even.
5. When it sounds like you've got popcorn in your oven, that's first crack. Stopping the roast at any time after this will result in drinkable coffee. However the less roasted they are the more acidic they will be. I roast until all beans are mid-brown in colour and have smooth satiny sheen to them. The backs of the beans are completely smooth rather than wrinkled. If they go black and oily you've roasted too far. I typically remove them close to second crack which sounds like breakfast cereal once you've put the milk on it.
6. When it's ready, remove the beans and tip them into a colander and stir vigorously. This will help to both quickly cool the beans so they don't continue to roast and also remove the silver skins, which are now dehydrated and separating from the roasted beans. You want to remove as much of this as possible prior to putting them in a container. It's messy I put my colander in the sink so the debris is easy to wash out when I'm done. Spread the beans in a thin layer on a chopping board and let them cool completely before putting them in an airtight jar.

Caution The smell of roasting coffee is pretty similar to burning toast and it's just as smokey. When you open the oven to turn your beans a large amount of smoke will also exit the oven. Keep your head clear of this and turn on an extractor fan if you have one. I haven't set off my smoke alarm yet. A roasting coffee bean is hot enough to start a fire or melt plastic. Don't tip cooling beans onto a laminate benchtop.
 

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I usually sleep on a mattress of my own vomit in the drainage ditch outside Chili's. Frugal as fuck.
 
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