Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pantry Challenge #31 ... 2014

Writing just once a week instead of daily is really working well for me; it is allowing me to find the balance and peace in the blogging world that I had lost.  Thank you for understanding my need to pull back and for all the encouragement you’ve given me.

Since there is so much that I want to share with you and since I’m only writing once a week now, starting with this week, I’m going to be stretching my writing to include some non-pantry doings.  Read on to see what I mean.  I hope you like the additions ... and the new header!
My to-do list from last time:  

Plant garlic.  Done!  I planted 79 cloves of garlic.
Make vitamin c capsules using the vitamin c powder I purchased last month … hmmm, do I even need to say anything!!! 

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.  My husband reminded me that we had 2 turkeys stored in the freezer at a friend’s house (I totally forgot about them … can we say out of sight, out of mind!), so I won’t be buying anymore this year.  We’re not big turkey eaters anyway, so the 2 we have will be plenty.  Update … Never say never!  I was at Walmart in another town later in the week walking through the grocery section when I found Riverside turkey's on sale for $.46/lb. There were no strings attached, no coupon was required and you didn't have to buy a certain amount to get this price. Even though I already have 2 in the freezer and even though turkey is not our favorite meat ... I bought 2 more. I paid between $6 and $7 for each ... I just couldn't walk away from it! Anyone else ever done anything like that????
I had a coupon for $.75/2 cans of Libby’s pure pumpkin so I added 2 cans to my pantry.
In Addition ….
I cooked a roast for dinner one night for my husband and I … it was good … but it was way more than we could eat in one meal and we really weren’t in the mood to have it again within the week.  So … what did I do … I slipped it into a freezer bag and froze it (I labeled it so I would know what kind of meat was in the bag.).  When the weather gets a bit colder, which seems to be forecasted for the near future, I’ll take it out, thaw it, chop it up and make a pot of soup!  What do you do with leftover roast?
I harvested the 3 pots of ginger I have been growing since spring.  I was really pleased with the yield this year. 
Remember last week when I told you that I had frozen some stuffed peppers?  Well, this week I needed to work outside for a good part of the day so before I headed out I reached in the freezer and pulled out a gallon bag of stuffed peppers.  I opened the bag and took out the number of the individually wrapped stuffed peppers I wanted to cook, closed the gallon bag back up and returned it to the freezer.  Freezing stuffed peppers this way gives me the option of using what I need when I need them without having to cook the whole package.  How do I freeze stuffed peppers?  I make a mixture of ground beef, ground pork or whatever kind of ground meat I have, add ground up pork skins, shredded cheese, seasonings and chopped onions.  I mix it all up real good and then stuff the bell peppers that I have blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes.  After the peppers are stuffed, I wrap each pepper individually using plastic wrap, then I fill a gallon freezer bag with the individually wrapped peppers, close it up and add it to the freezer.
We were bargain shopping in Food Lion one day and saw that 73/27 ground beef was on sale for $3.49/lb.  We talked about how expensive meat had gotten and then I remembered something … I had a rain check in my little coupon holder in my purse for 73/27 ground beef for $1.99/lb from Food Lion.  We scooped up 4 packages with a total weight of 16.58 pounds and headed for the check-out.  Instead of paying $66.04 … $3.49 on sale for it, we paid $33.66 … $1.99/lb using our rain check.  That was a major savings!  Never underestimate the significance of a ‘rain check!’  We brought the ground beef home and I vacuum sealed sixteen 1+ pound packages of ground beef and added them to my pantry.
On the same bargain hunting trip we went into Walgreens, right next door to Food Lion, and found Vlassic Kosher Dill Spears (24 oz. jar) on clearance for $1.99 per jar.  The regular price was $3.98 per jar.  We purchased 3 jars.
We were able to get a rain check for Libby’s corned beef from Walgreens this week as well.  They were running a sale on it for $3.39/12 oz can and they were out … so, we requested a rain check!  I put it in my ‘carry in my purse’ coupon holder along with my other rain checks and coupons that I use.  We love corned beef and cabbage and since our cabbage will be ready to start eating from our garden soon, having these rain checks will make it more economical to purchase the corned beef for this meal.
I entered more receipts onto the Walmart Savings Catcher program … thus far I’ve not saved/earned any money using this program.
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 … added 4 (1 lb) packages
Sugar-free chocolate chips … added 6 bags to my pantry this week
Almond flour … I’m removing this from the stock-up list because after doing inventory I discovered I have enough to get through the winter months.
Coconut flour … I’m removing this from the stock-up list because after doing inventory I discovered I have enough to get through the winter months.
Coconut oil … added 2 (15 oz) jars
Olive oil
Stevia … I’m removing this from the stock-up list because after doing inventory, I discovered I have enough to get through the winter months.
Here are some other things I did:
I got all of our winter clothes out of storage this week.  In addition to washing and putting them away I also checked to see what, if any, additional clothing we would need for the winter months.  I am happy to say that we won’t need to purchase anything!
I cut buttons off of clothing headed for the rag pile and/or trash. 
We planted several maple tree seeds that we got for free in a big pot.  Hopefully, in the spring they will come up and we’ll be able to grow our own maple trees. We love maple trees especially in the fall when their leaves start turning.
I finally got accepted by Pinecone Research to do surveys for them.  I am excited about this as I’ve been trying for quite some time to be accepted into their program.  I won’t get rich, but every little bit helps!
I finished earning enough swagbucks for another $5 Amazon gift card!  Now I have $10 in Amazon gift cards.
I used a 60% off coupon at JoAnn’s Fabric to purchase a yard of silk fabric.  The final cost to me was $2.15.  My oldest daughter has ‘hinted’ that my sweet little granddaughter needs a silk pillowcase.  Guess what I’m going to be stitching up with the silk fabric???? 
That same granddaughter is having a ‘kitchen themed’ Christmas this year so I purchased some Doc McStuffins fabric using a 40% off coupon to make her an apron and some cute little cup cake fabric to make her some pot holders and oven mittens.  I used a 25% off coupon for that.  (Doc McStuffins is one of her favorite characters right now!) 
Here are some things I didn’t do …
I didn’t buy the magazine that I wanted or the same book that I’ve picked up twice in the last couple of weeks at the same store thinking it would be a good book to read.  (I did put that book on my Christmas gift list though!)
I declined a shopping trip to one of my favorite stores because I knew it would be hard for me not to spend money there.  Sometimes you just have to stay away from temptation!
Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Make vitamin c capsules using the vitamin c powder I purchased last month.
Watch grocery store ads for sales on ham and pumpkin.  
Juice lemons and freeze the juice in ice cube trays.
Juice limes and freeze the juice in ice cube trays.
Zest the lemons and limes mentioned above.
Make Kefir milk.
Divide and repackage bulk bacon we purchased last week.
Divide and repackage bulk sausage we purchased last week.
Start another batch of cider fire.                                      
Grind up pork skins. 

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

Patsi
A Working Pantry

 
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