Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pantry Challenge #30 ... 2014

Let me just start off by saying ‘I love getting your comments and last week’s were especially encouraging.’  Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to share and encourage me … it goes a long way in my ability to keep on keeping on!

My to-do list from last time: 

Watch grocery store ads for sales on turkey, ham and pumpkin.  I’d like to be able to add some of all three of these to my pantry.  My hoped for sale price for the turkey and ham is $.99/lb.  Last year I was able to find turkey at $.79/lb but with the way prices have increased, I’ll be surprised if I find turkey that low this year.  Still watching and waiting!

Preserve the peppers we harvested by making stuffed peppers for the freezer, chopping, dehydrating and grinding some into powder and chopping and freezing some for soups, omelets and casseroles.  Done!  I added 16 snack bags of quarter cup increments of chopped bell peppers, 4 snack bags of half cup increments of sliced bell peppers and 1 pint of chopped and dehydrated bell peppers which I’ll ground into powder when I’m ready to use it.

Can sauerkraut that has been in the works for the last 6 weeks.  Done!  I added 14 quarts of sauerkraut to my pantry.

Make vitamin c capsules using the vitamin c powder I purchased last month.  Nope!  I was all set to get this job done when we got a phone call from a neighbor/friend who had a medical emergency requiring surgery.  I will get to those vitamin c capsules eventually!!!!

In Addition ….
I ran out of salad dressing right in the middle of making a bowl of cole slaw … however, I didn’t have to run to the store or substitute something else or make it from scratch.  What did I do?  I walked over to my closet converted to pantry and pulled another jar off the shelf!  (We found it on a really good sale for $.99/jar several months ago and added several to our pantry.)  Taking advantages of sales is just one way I keep my pantry well-stocked.

I opened up my ‘pantry’ of candles this week and started burning them; the weather has gotten cool enough to enjoy them.  My favorite brand is Yankee candles and right now I am burning the harvest scent in one room and pumpkin spice scent in another. I have several other scents to choose from as well.   How did I accumulate a ‘pantry’ of candles?  I watch for sales and I also put them on my mother's day/birthday/Christmas gift list.

In the midst of cleaning I ran out of my homemade all purpose cleaner.  I whipped out the ingredients, made some more and kept right on cleaning.  I like to have a spray bottle of it for the kitchen and one for each of the bathrooms.   It saves me some steps and everything is in the room where I need it when I need it.  Here's the recipe that I use:
Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 teaspoon Dawn dishwashing liquid
Pour these two items into a spray bottle
Finish filling spray bottle with water
Give it a good shake and it's ready for use

We were given a five gallon bucket of peanuts in the shell that were grown locally.  We roasted them and let them cool completely.  After we eat all we want of them I’ll package the rest up into meal/snack size portions and freeze the rest.  Why freeze them instead of oven-canning or vacuum sealing them … because the oil in the peanuts will cause them to go rancid.  Freezing them will prevent this from happening.

We were given 4 BIG catfish.  My husband cut them up (they were already dressed) and froze 4 meal size packages for future use.  YEAH!!!!

I inventoried my pantry to see if I had everything we needed to get through the winter months should the weather make it necessary to have to rely on what we have on hand for a period of time.  I’m happy to say that with a few exceptions which I’ll be working on, we’re in pretty good shape.

I started collecting coupons and taking note of black Friday sale ads this week.  I’m hoping to score some good deals as well as some freebees!

I’m within just a few swagbucks of having earned enough for another $5 Amazon gift card.  This one plus the one I’ve already earned will give me $10 in Amazon gift cards that I can use toward groceries.

The excel spread sheet I created to keep up with what we spend on groceries tells me that we spent $7.20 on food last week.  We ate well all week and didn’t feel deprived at all.  This is just one of the many things keeping a well-stocked pantry does for us … it allows us the privilege of not having to go to the grocery store every week.
 
I'm re-reading some of Laine's Letters on ways she stretched her food budget.  Sadly, Laine is no longer writing and her website has been taken down.  (I have most all of Laine's Letters printed out and preserved ... so glad I did that while she was still writing.)  If you have any of her letters and want some good, basic and very helpful information on stretching your budget, pull them out and re-read them.  You won't be sorry!

The specific area of my pantry that I’m focusing on restocking for the months of November and December is baking supplies.  This time of year most stores run sales on their baking supplies, so it’s a good time to do some replenishing.   Here are the items I will be watching sales for:
Butter
Sugar-free chocolate chips
Almond flour
Coconut flour
Coconut oil
Olive oil
Stevia

 
Here’s my to-do list for this week:
Plant garlic

Make vitamin c capsules using the vitamin c powder I purchased last month

Watch grocery store ads for sales on turkey, ham and pumpkin.  I’d like to be able to add some of all three of these to my pantry.  My hoped for sale price for the turkey and ham is $.99/lb.  Last year I was able to find turkey at $.79/lb but with the way prices have increased, I’ll be surprised if I find turkey that low this year.
 
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 Barn Hop
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