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?

A Working Pantry

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