Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pantry Challenge #28 ... 2014

Life is just plain super busy right now, but since I consider building and keeping a well-stocked pantry very important and my work-from-home job, I must find ways to work it in around this super busy season.  So, let’s see what have I gotten done since we last talked …

My to-do list from last time:

Make Miracle Healing Salve… I found the missing ingredient but haven’t got the salve made yet!  What was the missing ingredient … beeswax!

Make vitamin c capsules using the vitamin c powder I purchased last week.   Didn’t get done!

In Addition ….

I harvested nettles, lemon balm, sage, basil, stevia, plantain and cilantro from my herb garden.

Since we’ve pretty much eliminated white sugar from our diets as well as anything with sugar in it, I decided I needed to start working on getting it out of my pantry.  So, I made a double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, divided it into 4 portions, bagged them separately and froze them.  (I wrote cooking instructions on each freezer bag so I wouldn’t have to go in search of the recipe when I’m ready to bake them!) When I need a treat for someone or something to take to someone I can take out a package, thaw it, shape into cookies and bake them.  I’ll not only be freeing up space on my pantry shelves but I’ll be blessing others as well.  Win!  Win! 

We are still harvesting a few peppers from our summer garden.  This week I chopped up some, flash froze them and then froze them in ½ cup increments in snack baggies.  I took the snack baggies and put them in a quart freezer bag.   When I need chopped peppers for a dish I’ll open up the quart freezer bag, take out a baggie and close back up the quart freezer bag.  I did this with pepper slices as well which we’ll use in stir-fry dishes.

We had onions left over from a meal so I chopped them up, put them in a snack baggie and then bagged them in a quart freezer bag.  I added 3 snack baggies with ½ cup chopped onions each to the freezer part of my pantry.

We have been searching and searching for sugar free chocolate chips that didn’t cost ‘an arm and a leg’ as in almost $12 for a 9 oz bag.  We found Hershey sugar free chocolate chips in 8 oz bags for $3.48 each.  We purchased 6 bags and added them to our pantry.

We found bacon for $2.60 a pound again and purchased 10 more pounds to add to our meat pantry.  This will make 19 meals for us.

My husband found chicken livers on sale and purchased 4 cartons.  He loves fried chicken livers so this will be a treat for him … 4 different times!

CVS has their VO5 shampoo and conditioner on sale this week for 2/$150 so we purchased 2 bottles of shampoo and 2 bottles of hair conditioner.  The hair conditioner will be used to make fabric softener that I mentioned making in last week’s pantry challenge.

We purchased a large sirloin beef roast at Sam’s Club and had them cut it up into 4 roasts.  We had them leave the end pieces of the roast so we could make beef tips for dinner after we got home.

We had fried chicken for dinner one night and since we don’t care for chicken breast I left them out along with the neck, wing tips and back.  I seasoned up the chicken breast with Cajun seasoning and cooked them on the Panini grill (this is the only way I like chicken breast) and then put the wing tips, neck and back in a pot of water along with a dash of vinegar and some whole garlic cloves and made chicken broth.  Since it wasn’t enough to can, I froze it instead.  I used some in a meal and added 2 quart freezer cartons to the freezer part of my pantry.

The cider fire that I’ve had in the works for a month was ready to strain up so I got that done.  I added 4 quart bottles to the medicinal part of my pantry.

I also strained up some hawthorne tincture and added it to the medicinal part of my pantry.

I signed up for Walmart’s Savings Catcher program and entered my first receipts this week.  Every little bit saved will help us stretch our grocery budget further.

I also earned enough swagbucks this week to get a $5 gift card at Amazon.  I’ll apply it towards my monthly subscribe and save grocery order next month.

I started an excel spread sheet this week so I could start tracking the amount we’re spending on groceries each month.  This is another tool that I’ll be using to help find ways to stretch our food budget a bit further.

I also read this post.  It has some good grocery shopping tips!

The Specific Area of My Pantry That I’m Focusing On This Month is … Meats.  I'm watching the sales ads and checking closely for bargains.  My goal is to add one month’s worth of additional meat for meals to my pantry above our normal usage.  Here's what I've added thus far this month ...

11 packages of fresh catfish nuggets ... my husband had to clean and dress the fish but other than that they were FREE!

30 lbs of bacon

4 one pound cartons of chicken livers

4 sirloin beef roasts

Here is a question I received from the last pantry challenge and its answer. (This is where I’ll answer questions received each week.)

Please post your re-mineralizing toothpaste you mentioned.  
Here's the recipe I use ... re-mineralizing toothpaste.

Here’s my to-do list for this week:

Make Miracle Healing Salve.  Now that I’ve found my beeswax I can get this done!
Make vitamin c capsules using the vitamin c powder I purchased last week.   I need to be taking these, I need to hurry up and get this done!
Grind up pork rinds to use in low-carb cooking

Vaccum seal the tea bags that I purchased through Amazon's subscribe and save program earlier this month in quart jars.

Now it’s your turn, what pantry related things have you done since we last talked?  How do you save money at the grocery store and stretch your grocery budget?

patsi
A Working Pantry

This post linked to:  Homestead Blog Hop; From the Farm; Thrifty Thursday

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pantry Challenge #27 ... 2014

I went to visit my granddaughter for a few days last week so I didn’t get a lot done in regards to my pantry but that is OKAY!  When I get an opportunity to visit with my grandchildren, if there is any way possible, I intend to be there!

So what have I gotten done since we last talked?

My to-do list from last time:

Make vitamin c capsules using the vitamin c powder I purchased last week.  Didn’t get done!

Make re-mineralizing toothpaste.  Done!  I started using it as soon as I got it made.  I plan to use this for several weeks to see if I can tell any difference.  (FYI, I really like the way my mouth feels after brushing with this toothpaste … really clean and fresh.)

Make Miracle Healing Salve … I got everything out to make this salve … except I couldn’t find one of the ingredients … I know I have it … I searched and searched.  Until I find the missing ingredient this project will have to be put on hold!  Do you ever put things up so well that you can’t find them?

Make this herbal decongestantDone!  I have a pint jar of this decongestant labeled with instructions ready for usage.  

In Addition ….

I added 6 boxes of green tea, 6 boxes of oolong tea and 2 jars of coconut oil to my pantry via the monthly subscribe and save service through Amazon.  Each month I choose different items to restock or add to my pantry through this service at a cheaper price than I can get locally.

I like to wash all my fruits and vegetables that are purchased from the grocery store before eating them.  I had used up my homemade fruit/vegetable wash the last time I washed lemons and limes so when I needed more last week I had to make another batch.  Here’s the recipe I use: 

Fruit/Vegetable Wash
½ cup tap water
½ cup white vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
This will make one cup (enough for one wash)

 Mix water and white vinegar then carefully add baking soda a little at a time as it will react with the vinegar creating a volcano effect.  To use fill up sink with water and add 1 cup of fruit/vegetable wash, stir it all up and add vegetables and or fruits.  Let soak for at least 1 hour.  Double, triple or quadruple, etc, this recipe to make a big batch to have on hand.


The cayenne pepper I’ve had sitting on my window seal drying for the past several weeks reached the stage where it was dry enough to vacuum seal.  I added 4 pints to my pantry. 

I started trying to root some turmeric root.  If I can get it to root and start growing my own, this will be one less thing I’ll need to buy at the grocery store.

I used the last of my homemade fabric softener in the midst of doing laundry last week so I quickly grabbed the recipe and ingredients and made another.  Here’s the recipe that I use and have been using for quite some time.

Homemade Fabric Softener
6 Cups Water
2 Cups Hair Conditioner (Any kind… I buy the really cheap stuff when it goes on sale.)
3 Cups White Vinegar

Mix together and use as desired. (I use approximately 2 tablespoons per load of laundry.)


A note about the recipes I use for my homemade cleaners, toiletries, etc … I have a notebook with my recipes set aside specifically for this purpose.  When I need to make something, I reach for my notebook and it’s all right there in one place.

My fall garden continues to do well.  We are harvesting squash and cucumbers from it now.  In a few weeks the cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and collards will be ready for harvesting.

The Specific Area of My Pantry That I’m Focusing On This Month is … Meats.  I'm watching the sales ads and checking closely for bargains.  My goal is to add one month’s worth of additional meat for meals to my pantry above our normal usage.  Here's what I've added thus far this month ...

11 packages of fresh catfish nuggets ... my husband had to clean and dress the fish but other than that they were FREE!

20 lbs of bacon

Here are some questions I received from last week’s pantry challenge and their answers. (This is where I’ll answer questions received each week.)

What brand of vitamin c powder do you use?  This is what I use.  

Can you take dehydrated ginger root and grind it into powder?  Yes.  I use a spice grinder/coffee bean grinder to do the grinding.  It literally turns it into a powder.

Here’s my to-do list for this week:

Make Miracle Healing Salve
Make vitamin c capsules using the vitamin c powder I purchased last week. 

 
Now it’s your turn, what pantry related things have you done since we last talked?

patsi
A Working Pantry


This post linked to Homestead Barn Hop #180; Thrifty Thursday

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pantry Challenge #26 ... 2014

If you’re following along with my monthly pantry goals you’ll see that I was able to complete September’s goal of preparing for cold and flu season.  It will be so nice to have the things needed on hand before we get a cold or even worse the flu.  It means (1) at the first sign of sickness we’re prepared to go into treatment action (2) it allows us to not have to go out and purchase what we need at a time when we feel the worst and (3) it keeps us from spreading our sick germs to others.

My October pantry goal focuses on adding meat to our pantry.   The goal is to add an additional month’s worth of ‘meat’ for meals above what we will normally eat.   We’ve been blessed with a ‘head-start’ already.  Read on to see what I mean! 

My to-do list from last time:
Order vitamin C powder to make vitamin C capsules  … Done! 
Make a big batch of low-carb zucchini muffins for the freezer.  … Done!  I made low-carb pecan muffins instead.
Make re-mineralizing tooth paste  … Didn’t get done!
Make Miracle Healing Salve … Didn’t get done!

Here’s what else I got done ….
Someone gave us several large catfish that they had caught while fishing.  My husband cleaned and dressed them and we added 11 packages of catfish nuggets to our pantry at no cost to us.  This will help me reach my pantry goal for October!
I ordered licorice root from The Bulk Herb Store.  I needed it for an herbal remedy I already have in the making plus the herbal decongestant I want to make.
I found clear page protectors and ball point pens on clearance and bought them.  I added them to the stationary part of my pantry.
I had some fresh ginger left from making cider fire last week so I grated it up and dehydrated it.
While running an errand for a friend we came across a sale on Dove’s Coconut Milk soap bars, 14 bars per box, regular $14.98 per box on clearance for $4.91 per box.  We grabbed up 2 boxes.  These 28 bars of soap will last us for a very long time! 
Our bulk purchase for the week was 20 lbs of slab bacon that we purchased for $2.60/lb.  I divided it up into meal size portions and froze it.
I cooked a small ham the end of last week and we’ve had it for a couple of meals since.  One morning toward the end of this week, I made hot ham and cheese sandwiches for breakfast leaving 2 slices remaining.  Well, we were kind of getting tired of ham, the sandwiches were meal number 3 in one week’s time, so I took the 2 remaining slices and chipped them up into ¼ inch cubes and froze them.  We’ll use them in an omelet  … later!!!!
I had left over raw onion rings from a meal we had earlier in the week and since I didn’t have anything on the menu that needed onions, I chopped them up and froze them.  I added 2 (1 cup) packages to the pantry part of my freezer.

Here’s my to-do list for next week:
Make vitamin c capsules using the vitamin c powder I purchased last week.
Make Miracle Healing Salve

Here’s some questions I received from last week’s pantry challenge and their answers (this is where I’ll answer questions received each week instead of in the comments section)
What are pecan waffles? We take our waffle recipe, chop up some pecans and add them to the batter before cooking them on a waffle iron. They are delicious!  They freeze well too and reheating them in the microwave is super easy!
Where do you order vitamin c powder?  I order it from Amazon.



The Specific Area of My Pantry That I’m Focusing  On This Month   I like to set pantry goals each month that allows me to focus on a specific area of my pantry in addition to the more general pantry building that I do each week.   For the month of October, I'm  focusing on adding as much meat to my pantry as possible. I'll be watching the sales ads and checking closely for marked-down meats. I'd like to add a month’s worth of additional meat for meals to my pantry above our normal usage.  Here's what I've added thus far this month ...

11 packages of fresh catfish nuggets ... my husband had to clean and dress the fish but other than that they were FREE!


20 lbs of bacon

 
Now it’s your turn, what pantry related things have you done since we last talked?

patsi
A Working Pantry


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