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This is Why! part 4

Parts 1, 2, and 3 can be found here . In the last entry we talked about how to use leftovers to help stock our pantries. This week ...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

$5 or Less Pantry Building Challenge: July 30th, 2015

How did you do with our $5 or less pantry building challenge this week?

Here’s what I added to my pantry for less than $5 …


... a 10 lb bag of long grain white rice for $4.44.

It will go in the freezer for a few days to get rid of any insect eggs that could hatch out later, and then I'll vacuum seal it in jars.

Now, it’s your turn, what did you add to your pantry last week for $5 or less?

Update:  Make sure you read the comments, there's some great $5 or Less examples being shared!



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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pantry Challenge #30 ... 2015

My husband has been very sick this week so I didn’t get much done until Friday and Saturday.  As a result of his sickness he had to be put on a specialized bland diet.   He could eat baked potatoes, bananas and rice; all of which are very high in carbs and which we did not have in our pantry … we eat low-carb due to my husband being diabetic so we don't normally keep these items in our pantry.  Let me just say it has been an interesting week! 

(My husband is better and is able to start eating his regular diet again.)

So, given the week that I’ve had did I get anything done in my pantry ….

Let’s see …

My to-do list from last time:   


Can tomato sauce.  I canned tomato juice instead … 7 pints.   Due to my husband’s illness and ongoing condition any future tomatoes that I preserve will be in the form of sauce or juice. 

Harvest and dehydrate herbs.  Done!  I harvested and dried basil and comfrey.

Complete $5 or less weekly pantry challenge.  Done!  I added fresh ginger. You can read about what I did with it HERE.

In addition:

I harvested and dried some more elderberries.

I dehydrated some Roma tomatoes and the pulp and seeds that I strained from the tomato juice I mentioned above.  When all this was completely dried, I ground it up into tomato powder.  I have half of a quart jar full from something that would have normally been considered waste!  Pretty good if you asked me!!!

I had some lemons that I had purchased on sale that needed to be used, so when I saw this post from The Blue Birds are Nesting blog that talked about making lemon butter I knew I had to try my hand at making some.  My husband and I both thought it was delicious and I can assure you that I will keep an eye out for lemons to go on sale so I can make some more!

By the end of the week my husband was feeling some better and wanted to get out of the house so we went to Sam’s Club and found these chips on clearance for $.91/bag.

I made crystallized ginger to be used for nausea and indigestion.  My husband and I both thought it turned out really well.

With my husband being sick I wasn’t able to get to the garden where our tomatoes are, so when a neighbor drove up to our house with 1 and ½ five gallon buckets full that she had picked for us (from our garden) … she had heard that my husband was sick and thought it was something she could do for us,  we have some very good neighbors … I turned them into 13 quarts of tomato juice and added them to my pantry.

I found mushrooms on sale for $.69/carton and purchased enough to can 7 pints.

I finished one of the two throw pillows I’m making.  You can read about my weekly ‘sewing day’ HERE.

With my husband being sick, I didn’t have much time to work on Swagbucks this week but I did earn a few points.

We added $2.70 in change to our change jar this week.

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:

Harvest and dehydrate herbs

Add rice to my pantry for medicinal purposes when a bland diet is needed

Complete $5 or less pantry challenge

We were given about a gallon of fresh figs tonight so I will need to preserve them asap.

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

patsi
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Thursday, July 23, 2015

$5 or Less Pantry Challenge: 7/23/2015

How did you do with our $5 or less pantry building challenge this week?

Here’s what I added to my pantry for less than $5 …




I purchased this fresh ginger root for $3.58.

Here’s what I’m adding to my pantry with it:

A portion of it will be used as an ingredient in cider fire ...

A portion of it will be used to make crystallized ginger which is good for nausea and indigestion ...

A portion of it will be used to plant so I can grow my own ...

And any peelings, scraps or leftover pieces will be dehydrated and turned into ginger powder!


Now, it’s your turn, what did you add to your pantry last week for $5 or less?



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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pantry Challenge #29 ... 2015

We’ve been put on alert … the intense heat is coming back!  It will more than likely finish off what is left of our garden so I’ll have to turn my thoughts in other directions in order to continue stocking my pantry.  

Before we look ahead to next week though, let’s see what I got done last week …

My to-do list from last time:   

We’re starting $5 or less pantry stocking challenge on the A Working Pantry Facebook group and here on the A Working Pantry blog and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can add to my pantry for $5 or less.  Done!  I purchased 2 (1 lb) bags of navy beans for $1.72 per bag.  I canned them and added 9 pints to my pantry.


Can this mustard.  Done! I added 9 pints of this delicious mustard to my pantry.
Inventory the stationary part of my pantry and make a list of what I need to replace.  School supplies are going on sale in our area and this is when I restock this area of my pantry.  Done! This area of my pantry is now stocked until next year ... and all at a fraction of the regular cost!

In addition:
It seems like all our cantaloupes (remember, we thought we were planting cucumbers) ripened at one time … and it was this week.  So we’ve been giving them away and eating our fill of them.   They are so good!


I crushed more cans and added them to our aluminum can collection.

I started harvesting and drying elderberries.  I'll use these in herbal remedies.

We found blueberries on sale for $.99/carton and purchased enough to add 5 quarts to the freezer part of our pantry.

We found fresh asparagus on sale for $.99/lb and purchased enough to make some pickled asparagus.  I added 8 pints to my pantry.

I had a ‘food preserving marathon’ Thursday and Friday, to see what I accomplished go HERE!

I shopped from my gift trunk this week for a bridal shower gift.

On my weekly sewing day this week I started stitching on envelope style throw pillow covers.   You can read about my weekly ‘sewing day’ HERE.
I’m working on earning enough points through Swagbucks to get a $25 Amazon gift card.
We added $6 in change to our change jar this week.
Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Can tomato sauce
Harvest and dehydrate herbs
Complete $5 or less weekly pantry challenge
Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?
patsi
If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!



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Friday, July 17, 2015

Food Preserving Marathon!

Want to know what a 'food preserving marathon' looks like?  I'm in the midst of one ... it actually started last night ...

I didn't set out to do a 'food preserving marathon' but several good deals fell into my lap at the same time plus our regular garden harvesting ... the end result ...  lots to do before it ruins, hence a food preserving marathon became a necessity!

(This 'marathon' will last through tomorrow (Saturday) or until I run out of things to preserve!    I'll be adding to this post throughout the marathon so check back often!)


8 pints of pickled asparagus  (Thursday night)
We found asparagus on sale for $.99/lb and purchased enough to can these plus the dehydrator is humming with the end pieces.  When they're dried I'll grind them up into asparagus powder!


9 pints of navy beans (Friday morning)
I purchased the beans as part of our $5 or less pantry challenge here on A Working Pantry this week.



9 pints of sweet pepper mustard.  



I had some sweet peppers left over so I chopped them up using my manual food chopper and froze them in 1/4 increments to be used in soups, stews, casseroles and omelets.  But wait, I'm not through with those peppers yet, after I deseeded them, before chopping them up, I saved the seeds.  I'm going to label them with the info of what I know about them and plant them next year.  (The link to a manual food chopper similar to the one I have can be found at the bottom of the page.)


The asparagus ends finished drying and I ground them up using a spice/coffee grinder.  This will be used in soups, casseroles, etc.  (The link to the spice/coffee grinder I use can be found at the bottom of the page.)



We found blueberries on sale for $.99/carton and purchased enough to fill 5 freezer quart bags. I froze about half of them in 1/4 cup increments to be used in smoothies.




Our elderberries are starting to get ready for harvest and I had two bunches that were ready on Friday.  I harvested them, removed them from the stems, washed them and set them to drying in the dehydrator.  These will be used to make herbal remedies.


** This brings us to Friday night ... stay tuned for Saturday! **

Saturday p.m. ... Due to an unexpected event, I did not get to continue with my food preserving marathon today. I'll have to work the rest of it in as I have time.

I hope this entry has been helpful!


patsi


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Thursday, July 16, 2015

$5 or Less Weekly Pantry Challenge: July 16th, 2015

How far can you make $5 or less stretch when it comes to adding to your pantry?  It's our new weekly challenge!  

So many times the reason I hear from others for not having a well-stocked pantry is the cost. While it is a legitimate concern, a well-stocked pantry is not built overnight but little by little, step by step and the purpose of this challenge is to show others just how much you can add to a pantry with just $5 or less each week. 

You're invited to join me in this weekly challenge.

Here's what I added to my pantry this week for less than $5 ...


... two 1 lb bags of navy beans!   Each bag cost$1.72 which made this purchase $3.44 plus tax.   You could put them in a sealed container until ready for use but I'm going to can mine.  I think I can get 8 - 10 pints to add to my pantry.  I'll let you know after I've gotten them canned!

Now, it's your turn, what have you added to your pantry for $5 or less this past week?

 patsi


If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!



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Monday, July 13, 2015

Day Book Entry: July 13th, 2015

For Today ... July 13th, 2015

Outside my window ...  I see a huge field of sweet potatoes growing.  This will be the field we’ll glean from this fall … with the owner’s permission of course.

I am thinking ... about the pillow covers I want to stitch up during my sewing day tomorrow.

I am thankful ... to be using up most of my fabric scraps making a scrap quilt.

I am stitching ...  on a baby quilt!

I am going ... nowhere!  I am such a homebody and when I get to just stay home it thrills my soul!

I am wondering ... how long it will take my FitBit replacement to get here.  My FitBit wouldn’t hold its charge and the company is replacing it free of charge.  Having arthritis means I need to exercise regularly and the FitBit helps me to stay motivated to keep moving.

I am reading ... a message from my son!  Technology is a wonderful thing when your loved ones live far away.

I am seeing … the Christmas cross stitch project that I’ve been stitching away on for several weeks.

I am hearing … thunder … we’re getting some much needed rain.

I am hoping ... for lower temperatures soon.  This heat is dangerous!

I am learning ... so much from the folks in the A Working Pantry Facebook group!

In my garden ... the cantaloupe are ripening.

In my kitchen …. the window seal is filled with ripening tomatoes!

One of my favorite things ...  home grown, fresh from the garden cantaloupe! Yum!!!!

Around the house … you’ll find buckets of produce waiting to be preserved. 


A scene from my day … garden produce … notice our sandy soil!



patsi


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To read Day Book entries of others go HERE.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pantry Challenge #28 ... 2015

Want to know what 100 degrees feels like?  It feels like you don’t want to be out in it any more than you absolutely have to so we’ve been trying to get our outside work done as early as possible and then heading inside until early evening.   These really hot temperatures started about a month earlier than normal for our area this year which means we’ve had about 6 weeks of this kind of heat.  We and our gardens are ready for a break!   (Our gardens are not producing well at all in this heat.)


My to-do list from last time:   

Vacuum seal dried milk into pint jars … Done!  I added 8 pints of vacuum sealed dried milk to my pantry.  Each pint contains 1 and 1/3 cups of powder with a note on the side to add 3 and ¾ cups of water to make a quart of milk.

In addition:

Our okra has started producing and I canned 8 pints of pickled okra.
We opened a jar of the squash pickles I had canned a couple of weeks ago and we enjoyed them so much that I canned 9 more pints.   The recipe can be found here.
 I canned 14 quarts of squash and added them to our pantry.
I harvested and dehydrated the following herbs: lemon balm, basil, comfrey, lavender, sage, plantain, and spearmint.
I froze extra eggs we didn’t use from our chickens this week.  With the price of eggs and with holiday baking coming up in a few months and … anticipating our chickens going into molting later in the year, I thought it was time to start freezing eggs for future use.  You can see how I did it here.
Remember when I shared with you that we thought we were planting cucumbers but planted cantaloupes instead.  Well, we harvested the first of the cantaloupes this week … they turned out really well, but alas, they are not cucumbers!!!
I’ve started saving seeds for next year’s tomato planting.
After reading this post, I got myself in gear and started getting serious about making tomato powder.  (I'm dehydrating tomato peelings and then grinding them into tomato powder.)  Making tomato powder is not new to me but it just never clicked with me all the things you could do with it.  Now why didn’t I think of that!
I picked up some new to me dehydrator tips while reading this post too!  I love learning and then implementing what I learn!
I ordered 2000 “00” size Gelatin capsules to add to the medicinal part of my pantry using gift cards earned through Swagbucks last month .  My out of pocket cost was $0. 
I'm making a concentrated effort to use my calendar (the big one that’s on the front of my refrigerator) more effectively in my home keeping and pantry building.  This week I added a note on each Monday and Friday to check leftovers.   If I find leftovers in the fridge on either of those days it’s time to either freeze them or turn them into another meal.
I’ve been watching Wartime Farm shows on Youtube … they are free … and have been learning and gleaning from them.
I stitched up a pillow case dress for a little 4 year old girl this week and worked some more on the scrap quilt I’m making using my fabric scraps.  You can read about my weekly ‘sewing day’ HERE.
I earned enough points through Swagbucks to get a $10 Amazon gift card.
I completed a Pinecone survey.
We did not add any change to our change jar this week.
Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
We’re starting a weekly $5 or less pantry stocking challenge on the A Working Pantry Facebook group and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can add to my pantry for $5 or less each week.  I’ll be sharing it here on A Working Pantry blog as well.
Inventory the stationary part of my pantry and make a list of what I need to replace.  School supplies are going on sale in our area and this is when I restock this area of my pantry.

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

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How To Freeze Eggs

Have you noticed that the price of eggs is increasing?

Did you know if you find a good sale on eggs that you can purchase as many as your budget can afford and freeze them?

Here's how I freeze eggs ...




Crack one egg in each section of a muffin tin, gently break up the yoke and place in freezer for 24 hours  ...




When 24 hours are up, remove from freezer and set muffin tin on counter for 2 - 3 minutes before removing eggs.   Pop each egg out of its section and place in snack baggies.  I put 2 to a baggie.




Put the snack baggies inside a freezer bag. I have 3 sets of 2 baggies in each quart size freezer bag and return to freezer.  When I get ready to use them I will open the freezer bag and take out the number of baggies I need, then close the freezer bag back up and return it to the freezer.  The frozen eggs should be good for up to 6 months which will get me through the holiday baking.  I plan to freeze some egg whites separate from the yolks as well.

When ready to use, thaw in refrigerator and use as you normally would.


 patsi

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This post is linked to:  Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

This post was featured on Our Simple Homestead ....

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pantry Challenge #27 ... 2015



Another busy week has come and gone ... this time of the year is there any other kind of week!  In addition to our normal routine, we've had 4 year old twins staying with us this week.


My to-do list from last time:   


Can potatoes.   Done!  I added 7 quarts to my pantry!  Can you believe I finally got them done!!!!


In addition:
Our tomatoes are not doing well this year.  Lots of blossom end rot, even though we’ve been diligent to add calcium and lime on a regular basis, and sunburn from the extreme heat we’ve been having.  Despite this, I canned 7 quarts of tomatoes this week and added them to my pantry.



For snacks for the twins one day I made cookies instead of spending money on store bought ones. 






We got a phone call from a friend wanting to know if my husband would be interested cleaning some fish that had been caught that morning for half.  My husband said ‘yes!’ We added enough fish to the freezer part of our pantry for 3 meals plus had fish for dinner one night.








                                                                        



Like I've mentioned earlier, we’ve had the twins most of the week and we used what we had on hand to keep them occupied …


butcher paper, glue sticks, stickers, crayons, foam shapes ... they had fun with these items ...


(I taped the butcher paper to the table with painter's tape.)

 In addition we went outside and drew on the concrete drive with sidewalk chalk, we set them up at the kitchen table to play with modeling clay and play dough, we blew bubbles outside, rang the dinner bell numerous times and played matching games with Bible character cards to name a few.  

The little girl and I painted our finger nails and her toenails and cut some Rose of Sharon bush blooms to make a pretty flower arrangement for the house.  All these activities, except for the play dough were things we had on hand. 

I added 4 packages of ground beef to the freezer part of my pantry.

I also added a box of dried milk to my pantry.

I planted some more horseradish this week.  I’m starting to think about a fall garden which will need to be planted the end of this month or the first of August.  You can read more of my 2015 gardening journal HERE

I stitched a little more on my scrap quilt this week.  You can read about my weekly ‘sewing day’ HERE.


I earned enough Swagbucks to get $28 in Amazon gift cards.


I’ve almost earned enough points through Bing to get another $5 Amazon gift card.

We added $3.65 to our change jar.

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:

vacuum seal dried milk into pint jars


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

 patsi
To Learn More About My E-Book, click on the link:  Yes, You CAN Have A Well-Stocked Pantry!

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!


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This post linked to: Home-Making Monday  
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