Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pantry Challenge #29 ... 2016 plus The Vicky Challenge and other frugal things we've done this week!

(The pictures of the hanging baskets in this post are the ones I put together from cuttings and from what I had on hand in the spring.)

This week my husband had a day of medical testing and on another day we had visitation for a dear lady who passed as well as her funeral the following day.  

In addition I’ve been helping do some of the behind the scenes prep work for an upcoming chalking class that I’ll be attending in August.  And oh yes, did I mention that we had a power outage this week too in addition to temperatures that hovered around 100 degrees almost every day with the heat index/feel like temperatures well over 100!  

And we won’t even talk about the extreme humidity that makes your glasses fog up when you walk outside!  It’s been a week of ‘just doing the best you can’ with what’s happening in your life!

So, with all this going on, did I get any pantry building done  … well, let’s just see …

Note:  My Vicky Challenge Savings are added in at the appropriate places.  

My to-do list from last time:

Can banana pepper relish.  Recipe can be found HERE Done!  I added 9 pints to my pantry.

Chop and freeze 12 lbs of onions we purchased on clearance.  Didn’t even get started on this!

Can salsa.  Didn’t get done!  The tomatoes are past being in the best condition for making salsa so I’ll just can them up into tomato juice this coming week.  (Waste not, want not!)

In addition:

Harvested more Roma tomatoes, squash and cucumbers from our garden (some of the cucumbers were given to us by a friend.).  Saved $10

Saved seeds from Roma tomatoes.  Saved $2

Saved seeds from our E and E heirloom tomatoes.   My mom got me started raising these tomatoes many years ago and I have kept saving the seeds from year to year.  I don’t know the official name of the tomato so we call it the E and E tomato (in honor of my mother and her now deceased husband).  It is a huge tomato and delicious!  Saved $2

re-potted 4 cayenne pepper plants into a larger pot.  I need to grow lots of cayenne pepper to make cayenne tincture, cayenne pepper powder, pepper vinegar, dehydrate some and use it as an ingredient in making herbal remedies.

Was given a 5 gallon bucket of tomatoes from a neighbor. All we had to do was harvest them, which we did.  Saved $20

Was given 2 five-gallon buckets of over sized squash which we fed to the chickens over a several day period of time.  Our chickens have been getting lots of garden scraps and over mature produce lately which saves on our feed bill.

Made up 60 turmeric capsules.  I use turmeric to help control inflammation. Saved($.15/capsule) $9  

Made up 60 Vitamin C capsules. I use these to help boost my immune system.  Saved($.15/capsule)  $9      

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

I took the $25 Walmart gift card I earned last week through Swagbucks and purchased Borax and Zote laundry soap to add to my pantry.  These are both ingredients I use when making laundry detergent.   (I’ve included Amazon links to both the borax and soap, but in our area they are much cheaper purchased locally.)  

Chopped and froze 6 large Bell peppers. 

Found whole chickens on mark down at Sam’s Club for $.79/lb and purchased 6 to add to the freezer part of my pantry.  Saved $15

Saved the inside cereal bag from 2 boxes of cereal.  I cut them open, cleaned them and hung them up to dry.  I’ll use them as wax paper when needed.

I strained up the plantain tincture I’ve had in the works for several weeks (for bee and wasps stings, etc), labeled and dated the jar and added it to the medicinal part of my pantry:  Saved $10

Made more kefir Saved: $4.08 ($2.04 per batch)

Saved $59.01 using coupons, shopping sales and loss leaders for pantry and non-pantry related items.  

Added compost material to the compost bin. 

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (2 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $20

Not working a job outside my home savings $100

Received $12.74 from Amazon for affiliate link earnings.   Thank you to all who shop Amazon via my affiliate link. 

I always carry a book with me in my purse and when I have a few minutes of down time, such as waiting at doctor’s offices, etc I pull it out and do some reading.  I am currently reading two books:  (1) Katie’s Way by Marta Perry (loaned to me by a friend) (2) Compost Everything by David the Good  (I’m really trying to help our gardening soil and this little book, thus far, has had some really good information.)

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $9,136.60, add this week’s amount ($278.83) and I/we have saved $9,415.43.  

Here are some things I want to get done in the upcoming week:

Start seeds for fall garden … cabbage, broccoli, collards, carrots, squash

Chop and freeze onions

Can tomato juice

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry, live frugally or save this week?

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pantry Challenge #28 … 2016 plus The Vicky Challenge and other frugal things we’ve done this week!

I am happy to report that all our hard work is paying off as our pantry is filling back up nicely after having eaten out of it almost exclusively since January.  I am so thankful for all the produce we have grown or been given this summer.

So, what did I get done this week …

Note:  My Vicky Challenge Savings are added in at the appropriate places.  

My to-do list from last time:


Can pecans.  Recipe can be found HERE.   Done!  I canned 15 pints of pecans.

Can pepper relish (during my pantry reorganization and inventorying I discovered that we are completely out of this!   This just will not do as we love this relish on peas!) Recipe can be found HERE Didn’t get done!

In addition:

Stitched up these moth repellent sachets using fabrics I had on hand and herbs I grew.  Saved $6

Started cuttings for rooting of rosemary, sage, peppermint and basil.  I will use these to make herb garden pots for gift giving.

I also started cuttings of a purple heart flower for rooting too.

I earned a $25 Walmart gift card through Swagbucks and a $5 Amazon gift card through Bing .  

Harvested 30 Roma tomatoes from our garden. Saved  ($.99/lb) $14.85

We started harvesting okra from our garden this week.  We harvested approximately 5 lbs. Saved ($2/lb) $10

Started an infused oil of lemon balm and peppermint for a future project using herbs from my herb garden.

Harvested and/or were given 20 cucumbers.   Saved (.52/cucumber) $10.40

Was given 118 ears of corn by a neighbor, they had harvested their field of corn and didn’t want the entire harvest.  We gladly accepted their surplus.  Saved (.33/ear) $ 38.94

We added 8 more quart freezer bags of corn to the freezer part of our pantry.

We found some marked down beef suitable for turning into stew beef so we purchased it, brought it home, cubed it ourselves and canned it.  We added 14 quarts of stew beef to our pantry.

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Made more kefir Saved: $4.08 ($2.04 per batch)

Purchased 12 lbs of yellow onions for $4.81.  Regular price was $7.98.  I will chop them and freeze them in half cup increments for future use.

Saved $42.81 using coupons, shopping sales and loss leaders for pantry and non-pantry related items.  

Added compost material to the compost bin.  One bin is full and now we’re working on the other one.

Planted 3 rows of purple hull peas.  These should be ready to harvest in September.

Added 2 gallons of water to the freezer in preparation for hurricane season.  Saved $1.76

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (3 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $30

Mended a pair of pants for my husband.

I had to throw in a little ‘fru-fru’ this week by putting together this cute way to display my collection of buttons.  Most of these buttons have been removed from articles of clothing that have been recycled.

Here’s a savings area that I had not thought of until this week, but it is the savings of not working outside my home.  We save by not eating out in the evenings when I was too tired to cook after a long day at work, which was at least once a week and sometimes more; by not buying lunches 1 – 2 times each week when working outside my home; by not having to purchase additional gasoline for the automobile to get back and forwards from work and the extra clothing needed for a wardrobe suitable for working outside the home.  Being very conservative and using the estimates of what I/we spent when I did work outside the home several years ago, I’m estimating that I easily save $100/week by not working, so that’s what I’m going to start counting as a savings.  Not working outside my home savings $100

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $8,841.76, add this week’s amount ($294.84) and I/we have saved $9,136.60.  

Here are some things I want to get done in the upcoming week:

Can banana pepper relish.  Recipe can be found HERE 

Chop and freeze 12 lbs of onions we purchased on clearance.

Can salsa.

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry, live frugally or save this week?

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!


Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link 
when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pantry Challenge #27 ... 2016, The Vicky Challenge and other thrifty things we did this week!

(We're still enjoying our beautiful view!)


We've had excessive heat everyday this past week with the ‘feel’ like temperatures well over 100 degrees.  The humidity has been so high that when you step outside your glasses ‘fog’ up! It is projected to be this way for the entire month of July so I need to take some precautions for our container gardens, raised beds and animals.  Here are some things we have done or will be doing as soon as possible:


Move our container garden pots to a shaded area of our yard.

Give the plants in the container garden pots a weekly drink of comfrey tea or nettles tea in addition to daily watering.  Do the same for our raised beds.  They need more than just water to get through this kind of heat. (I make the comfrey tea and nettles tea using comfrey and nettles that I grow.)

Our lemon trees will get a mixture of Epsom salt and water to give them a little boost. (Yes, our lemon trees are still surviving!!!!)

and …

Add electrolytes to the chickens watering system.

Do you do anything extra for your plants and animals when the temperature soars?

This week in my pantry, I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the massive pantry inventorying and re-organization that I started last week. It feels so good to have this job almost completed! 

What else have I gotten done pantry wise?  Let’s see …

Note:  My Vicky Challenge Savings are added in at the appropriate places.  

My to-do list from last time:

Start a third toddler quilt top.  I thought about it … a couple of times … but just didn’t get around to it.

Work on hand quilting 1st toddler quilt top.   Didn’t getting around to working on this either!

Complete $5 or Less Pantry Challenge.  Done!  I purchased back to school specials for the stationary part of my pantry. In our area the back-to-school supply sales have begun and as in years past, I will try to anticipate my needs in this area for a year and purchase accordingly.  Sometimes, like this year, it is necessary to make the purchases in small monetary increments, but it is and will get done.  I'm thankful this sale lasts several weeks!

In addition:

My husband got paid for a small ‘on the side’ job he did last month.  Earned $238.80  And of course, every time we get/earn any extra money we use a portion of it to help restock our pantry.

Harvested and/or were given 45 cucumbers.   Saved (.52/cucumber) $23.40

These cucumbers are in partial shade and are thriving!

Harvested Roma tomatoes from the garden.  Saved $7

Saved seeds from Roma tomatoes we enjoyed this week. Saved $2

Were given 5 large tomatoes from a friend’s garden.  I saved the seeds from those as well as they were a different variety than we grow. Tomatoes plus the seeds:  Saved $6

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Enjoyed this huge arrangement of sunflowers on my dining room table.  We have permission from the owner of the farm around us to cut a few for an arrangement.  The picture does not do it justice.   The arrangement is simple and beautiful! This arrangement would have cost at least $25 in a florist so that’s what I’m counting as a savings.  Saved $25

Made more kefirSaved: $4.08

Saved $32.74 using coupons, shopping sales and loss leaders for pantry and non-pantry related items.  

Added compost material to the compost bin.  One of the compost bins is already almost full!!!

Added 3 gallons of water to the freezer in preparation for hurricane season.  Saved $2.64

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (2 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $20

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $8,474.10, add this week’s amount ($367.66) and I/we have saved $8,841.76.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn through being frugal!

Here are some things I want to get done in the upcoming week:

Can pecans (we purchased enough this week to do a canning with some of the extra money my husband earned mentioned above.) Recipe can be found HERE.   
Can pepper relish (during my pantry reorganization and inventorying I discovered that we are completely out of this!   This just will not do as we love this relish on peas!) Recipe can be found HERE
Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry, live frugally or save this week?

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

Thank you for using my 
Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Pantry Challenge #26 ... 2016, The Vicky Challenge and other thrifty things we did this week!


(This is the view that I'm waking up to every morning right now. God's beauty ...)

Another busy week has come and gone …


Note:  My Vicky Challenge Savings are added in at the appropriate places.  

My to-do list from last time:

Continue chopping and dehydrating garlic.  ... got some done, but still working on this.  I should have a nice supply of dehydrated garlic when I'm finished.  I use dehydrated garlic in cooking and in herbal remedies.

Inventory pantry … still working on this!

In addition:

I’ve been diluting and stretching things this week thanks to reading some of Wendy’s post over at
My Abundant Life. I took a half empty bottle of shampoo and finished filling it up with water.  I also diluted a bottle of dishwashing detergent as well!  Saved (half the price of the bottle of shampoo and dishwashing detergent.) $3.50

Harvested and/or were given 100 cucumbers.   Saved (.52/cucumber) $52.00

Harvested a little more basil.  All those little bits add up!

We’ve started harvesting a few tomatoes from the garden … 7 to be exact this week.  Saved (.99/lb) $3.96

Made 9 more quarts of hamburger dill chips using cucumbers mentioned above. Saved $25.29

Make 9 more pints of sweet pickle relish using cucumbers mentioned above.  Saved $18.72

Made another jar of refrigerator pickles using this recipe given to me by a friend: (Saved $10)

7 cups sliced cucumbers
1 onion chopped
2 TBSP canning salt
Put all this in a gallon jar or container
Mix 1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 tsp celery seed 
Stir until sugar is dissolved and pour this over cucumbers.
Refrigerate but do not stir until after 24 hours.
Then stir or shake container. 
Ready to eat after a couple of days.

Harvested 5 lbs zucchini/squash ($1.28/lb).  Saved $6.40

Was given 4 loaves of bread from a neighbor who gets day old bread from someone he knows.  (The bread was still soft and fresh. I froze it so it would stay fresh until we need it.)  Saved $12 

Was given a plastic grocery bag of okra from the same neighbor and enjoyed fried okra with a couple of meals.  Yum!!!  Saved $8

Harvested 182 ears of corn.  We were given permission to glean in a friend’s corn field after they were through harvesting all they wanted.  We are blessed to live in an area where several of us share our surplus produce with each other.  Saved (.20 per ear of corn) $36.40

Turned those 182 ears of corn into 14 quart bags of cream style corn for the freezer, 2 packages of corn on the cob for the freezer and a couple of meals that included corn on the cob.

My husband was given several LARGE catfish which he promptly cleaned and dressed.  We added 4 quart bags of catfish strips to the freezer part of our pantry as a result.  Saved ($5.99/lb) $35.94

Read articles by Sarah Latimer on Using Canning Jars for Food Stores and More, Here and Here.

Saved $9 using coupons, shopping sales and loss leaders for pantry and non-pantry related items.  

Added compost material to the compost bin.

Added 3 gallons of water to the freezer in preparation for hurricane season.  Saved $2.64

Chickens laid 3 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $9

Worked out our ‘row’ garden.

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (3 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $30


Prepped this toddler quilt and got it ready for quilting.










Stitched up another hand puppet from set that I’m working on.  I discovered an Old McDonald Had a Farm coloring book in a catalog that is going on sale in September for $.77.  I made a note on the calendar to order it then.  The puppets and the coloring book along with a box of crayons that I will wait and purchase when school supplies go on sale in August, will go in my gift trunk as a ‘children’s gift.’

The USDA’s ‘moderate’ Food Budget for a family the size of ours is $589.70 monthly.  In June we spent $382.00, that’s a savings of $207.70 

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $8,003.05, add this week’s amount ($471.05) and I/we have saved $8474.10.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn through being frugal!

Here are some things I want to get done in the upcoming week:

Start a third toddler quilt top.

Work on hand quilting 1st toddler quilt top.

Complete $5 or Less Pantry Challenge

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry, live frugally or save this week?

One more thing ... have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You'll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!
If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button I would be very grateful!  




Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.
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