Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pantry Challenge #8 ... 2015



If you missed the A Working Pantry Facebook kick-off festivities on Monday, you really missed something special.  We played a point game that had 12 clues which were given one at a time throughout the day.  Each clue had participants doing different tasks.  By the 12th clue, we had visited, chatted (I laughed so much my husband asked me twice what was so funny), did math, counted multiple items online and in our homes, discovered that empty jars can be a downfall, learned new things and bonded into a community.  If you participated or cheered others on, I want to say thank-you from the bottom of my heart for making the event everything I hoped it would be.  

The weather has been so unusually cold for our area this week that much of our efforts have centered around just staying warm and taking care of the animals … and trying to keep my asthma under control (these frigid temperatures are not an asthmatic’s friend) 

So let’s see what I got done … 
 

My to-do list from last time:   

Can collards … Didn’t get done! I’m not sure these survived our unusually frigid temperatures this week.  I need to venture out to the garden and check on them. 
Make turmeric capsules … Didn’t get done!

In addition:

I earned enough Swagbucks for 2 more $5 Amazon gift cards.  I’m holding on to the points until next month when I’ll be eligible for the 450 Swagbucks for $5 again (instead of the 500 for $5 deal after you reach a certain limit).


I used the last of my green tea bags so I went to the part of my pantry where I keep tea bags vacuumed sealed in jars and replaced the empty jar with a full one.  My husband drinks black tea and his tea bag jar was empty as well, so I just reached into my pantry and pulled out another jar of black tea bags that had also been vacuum sealed.

I used some toilet paper rolls stuffed with dryer lint that I had made earlier to help start a fire in our wood stove this week.  Like a lot of others, our area has been experiencing some unseasonable cold, cold temperatures and we have been utilizing our wood stove daily.

I opened up some home-canned chicken to use in the casserole I told you about in this post.  The recipe didn’t call for using the broth so I pulled out a freezer container, poured the broth in it and froze it.  I also froze the leftover chicken that I didn’t use in the recipe.

I added more egg shells to my growing supply that I’m saving in the greenhouse.  I should have plenty when it comes time to plant tomatoes.

We stopped in at Sam’s Club while out running errands one day but didn’t find any bargains, however we did walk out with 2 more of those huge 'free' muffins that we got the last time we went.

I found mushrooms on sale at Aldi’s for $.79/package.  This is a really good price so we purchased 12 packages. We brought them home and I canned them.  I added 7 pints to my pantry.  If I get any more money before the sale goes off I’m going to buy more and can them as well.

While at Aldi’s we found 15 oz cans of organic tomato sauce on clearance for $.59/can. We bought 10 cans and added them to our pantry.  Here again if I get more money, I’m going back and get more to add to my pantry.

One of the members of our A Working Pantry Facebook group mentioned a method taught by Wendy Dewitt about knowing what you should have in your pantry.   I thought it was a really good way of making sure you kept in your pantry what you would use instead of taking up precious space with things that got left on the shelf past the expiration date!  So, I started a list this week of everything we ate and every ingredient we used to prepare for it.  I’ll do this for a week, make a master list and then do it for another week.  I hope to do this for a month and by then I should have not only a really good idea of what should go in my pantry, but I’ll also have a list of a month’s worth of meals to do my menu planning from.

God has been at it again!   Praise for my Heavenly Father has been flowing from my heart all week!  I told you in this post that we had been able to reduce our financial deficit from $863 per month to $501 per month.  This week we are jumping up and down with joy as we tell you that that deficit has now been reduced to $101 per month.  The source of income that we lost has been temporarily replaced from another source through the end of this year. This gives us more time to work on a permanent solution to our loss of income/increase in outgoing expenses.  God is so good!  You can bet that we’re going to be very diligent to build our pantry up even more than it was before our sudden income reduction and to work harder to pay off as much of our debt as possible for the rest of this year.  Can I just say it again … God is so good!  Thank you for laboring with us in prayer.

New on A Working Pantry Blog this week:  I added a new item to the Free Bible Studies and Devotionals for Women Page … Mary Rose and Me!

I also added two new ‘free’ downloads on the download page, Freezing Bulk Bacon and Preserving Candy, HERE!

We’re starting a new series on A Working Pantry Facebook group tomorrow (Monday) titled ‘Where Do I Put It?’  It will be about finding a place in our homes to put our pantry items.  You’re invited to come join us HERE.

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Make turmeric capsules
Check on the status of the collards and hopefully can them!

Here’s to a week of ‘NOT’ frigid temperatures ... we hope!!!!!!!

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

 patsi
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15 comments:

  1. Patsi I am so thrilled about the reduction of "the gap" you were facing. That must be a huge relief! Now to close the last bit of that gap!
    I have been quite busy on my pantry. In fact I asked my husband to get me something from the cellar last night and he said "you just want me to see how good its looking and be impressed" well I genuinely wanted something from down there but then he was genuinely impressed by how far it has come!
    Because you inspired me with your trunk I did up mine over the weekend and now it is useful household storage. I lined it all with pretty rosy paper. I will post pictures on my blog on Wednesday. I have been doing a lot of re arranging, tidying up and generally creating space and making space more efficient. In my kitchen cupboards I had so weird random things that I have re homed, freeing up pantry space. Progress. Each week is progress! (thanks to you) xxx

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    1. I can't wait to see your trunk Annabel. Creating space is what I will be doing this week too! I'm looking forward to your pantry post on Wednesday!

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  2. Patsy, I am so happy for the income increase for you.
    Why do you vacuum seal teabags? I have several boxes on my shelf, but they do not expire for quite a while. Does it just keep them fresher?

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    1. Janell, I vacuum seal them to protect them from the occasional insect, mouse, etc that gets into my pantry. It also helps with keeping them fresh.

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  3. I too made a "Gift" box this weekend. I quilt/sew and have several items that have been completed but not gifted or sold so I basically inventoried them and placed them in a plastic bin. Now it is tucked away in a corner neatly and I can add to it.
    I can't wait for the mushroom tutorial (and potato). I love mushrooms and have dehydrated some, but would love to have them a little "fresher" lol. I have read your potato canning tute but love re-reading it. :) I haven't gotten my PC yet though. I am saving now and hopefully by the summer I will be able to get one.
    Thanks so much for the fun on FB This past week. Loved it!

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    1. Yeah for your 'gift' box! It is a very handy thing to keep around! The mushroom tutorial is planned for tomorrow!

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  4. Hi Patsy! You always amaze me! I love reading about all of your blessings and successes! I took your advice from last week and have been just working on what I can do and praying about the financial issues. So I have been organizing more things and getting rid of things we don't use anymore, still a long way to go on that. We went to the store finally because they had chuck roasts on sale and we bought 2 which if you factor in leftovers will be 8 meals for us and tuna was 50 cents a can so we bought enough to last 6 months and not much else. My husband and son think I've been a little nutty this week, but I have been bringing in buckets of clean snow and melting them on the wood burner and using some to water my animals and the rest I have been filling up jugs and 2 liter bottles. Silly, but should we have an awfully hot summer I will use it for extra water for the gardens. I can't wait to see how you can your mushrooms, my husband loves mushrooms and I have never done them before.
    Vicky

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    1. Vicky, you'll be glad you have that water this summer if you have a hot and dry one! Praying and staying busy are the best things you can do. Mushroom tutorial is coming tomorrow! Thanks for commenting!

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  5. I am so happy for you both. God is so good. I look forward to the challenges you are doing. Do you save your egg shells in a container then bake them? Or how do you save them for the garden?

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  6. So happy to hear about your increase in income!

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  7. Hi Patsy;
    I just love A Working Pantry! It really makes my day! Altho today I have been so busy, its nearly 8pm est and I am just checking my email! Oh my!! I am so very glad you got your increase in income. God is indeed good!! He supplies all our needs in his time. (Which usually is not my timing lol.) Hugs, Doreen

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  8. Replies
    1. I vacuum seal tea bags to protect them from the occasional insect, mouse, etc that gets into my pantry. It also helps with keeping them fresh.

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