Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sewing Day Accomplishments: September 29th, 2015

It's been a few weeks since I've been able to have a sewing day and I have missed it.  

Today however, I was able to get back to my normal sewing day schedule. 

 Take a peek at what I stitched up ...


... a travel pillow for snoozing while riding ...
(Kathi, do you recognize the fabric?)



I wanted a really absorbent towel so I backed each one with terry cloth that I pulled from the fabric part of my pantry.   I then top stitched each towel with three rows of stitching.

Each towel measures  10 -12 inches wide by 15 - 16 inches long.  I wasn't concerned about each one being the exact same size.

I love the way they feel and can't wait to get started using them.
I have 12 more in various stages of completion ... all together I'll get 16 hand towels from the table cloth!   

Each of these hand towels would cost $5 each at a department store.  The table cloth cost me $2.99 and the terry cloth was purchased back in the spring for approximately $6 .... 

... $9 verses $80 ... hmm, I'll pay the $9 and do the work myself!

What's the last thing you stitched up?

patsi

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Getting Ready for the Holidays ... Week# 1

In order to reach our goal of being ready for the holidays we’ve got to start … at the beginning!  This week we need to make our gift list. Write down everyone you plan to give a gift too.  Include the mailman, garbage pick-up man, friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, church family, etc ... everyone you give gifts too no matter how small the gift. Don’t worry about what you’re going to give them; we just want to get a list this week.  

How many are on your list?   Do you need to pare your list down?  If so, now is the time to do it.  Be realistic!

Patsi

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pantry Challenge #39 ... 2015

Happy fall to all our U.S. readers!  The temps in our area are finally getting cooler and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!  Lots of fall things are and will be happening at my house over the next few weeks:  fall decorations come out of storage and get put up, garden gets cleaned up and put to bed for the winter, fall cleaning gets done and a few outside jobs completed … now that the weather is bearable to work outside.    

Do you have a ‘fall’ to-do list?

My to-do list from last week:

Harvest herbs … Didn’t get done!

Make Gwen’s bread … Didn’t get done!

Get a jar of cider fire started … This didn’t get done either!

Make some elderberry syrup for cold and flu season … hanging my head in shame … no, not this either!

Shop sales and loss leaders.  Done!  I added V05 shampoo and conditioner on sale for $.77/bottle to my pantry this week!  You can read about it HERE.

In addition:

I harvested dried okra from our plants and started saving seeds for next year’s planting.


We were given some raw peanuts fresh from the ground.  There were quite a few of them so after my husband had boiled himself a big pot, I canned the rest.  I added 28 quarts of boiled peanuts to my pantry.  My husband loves these ... me, not so much ... I canned them for him.










I made a big batch of granola.  I love this stuff! 












I also made a big batch of spicy mixed nuts.  Hmm, good snacking food!

I restocked our supply of Nutribiotic Nasal Spray Plus this week.  Both my husband and I use this for our sinuses.  

Now that gardening is mostly over for us for this year, I have more time to read.  This week I started reading the new Trim Healthy Mama book and the new Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.  As I’ve said before, I don’t follow the THM plan per say, but do use some of their low carb recipes and tips in both books.

Around the first of October I usually start getting serious about completing and mapping out our holiday plans and gift giving.  This week on our Working Pantry Facebook group we’re going to start a ‘getting ready for the holidays’ series where we’ll be helping each other get ready for the holidays in the most frugal way possible.  The first assignment will be posted Sunday night.   I know that some of you do not do Facebook so, would you like me to post the assignments here on the blog as well?  Let me know in the comments if you would.

Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

Harvest herbs

Make Gwen’s bread

Get a jar of cider fire started

Make some elderberry syrup for cold and flu season

Shop sales and loss leaders

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

Patsi
A Working Pantry

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AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thrift Store Finds ... part 5

After reading this post by Annabel over at The Bluebirds are Nesting, I knew I wanted to find some decanter bottles. So, I added it to my thrift store shopping list and waited.  

Every time I visited a thrift store on our recent travels I pulled out my list and start looking.

And look what I found ....


... aren't they pretty!  

I got all 4 of them for right at $10. 
 I need to change the corks in the two front ones but other than that they are ready for use!

Score!!!

What would you use these pretty bottles for?

patsi



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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

$5 or Less Pantry Building Challenge: September 23rd, 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 …


CVS has V05 shampoo and conditioner on sale for $.77/bottle so I purchased 5 bottles of shampoo and one bottle of conditioner for $4.62 plus taxes.  This will be enough shampoo to last us for several months and I'll use the conditioner to make fabric softener.

What did you add to your pantry this week for $5 or Less?

patsi



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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pantry Challenge #38 ... 2015

(I had looked everywhere locally for these large, long handled wooden spoons but had been unable to find them.  I wore out the ones I had!  While at a little non-electric Mennonite store recently I found them and purchased 5!!!  You just can't beat these for stirring things in deep pots!!!)

We’ve been babysitting 4 year old twins most of the week so my pantry building didn’t get a lot of attention, but that’s okay!


Here’s what I got done …

I canned 11 quarts of pears.  The pears came from our pear tree.  We love these fried up with a little butter and sweetener.

I took the peelings and cores from the pears I canned and turned them into 4 pints of pear juice which I will freeze.  I will make pear jelly with it when things are a little less busy at my house!

I got the bread I was air drying last week turned into bread crumbs and added 1 pint to my pantry.

I asked at the bakery section of Sam’s Club if they had any empty frosting buckets for free.  I was told that I could have only one … and only occasionally could I get one!  I don’t know if this is the policy at all Sam’s Club’s or not but I felt like I had been thoroughly grilled by the time I got the bucket.   It’s just a bucket and it’s the first one I had asked for … I don’t know why I was given the 3rd degree … I’m not sure I’ll go through that again for a bucket!  Has anyone else experienced this kind of treatment?  Maybe the lady was having a bad day!

My husband and I had been out mowing and doing yard work one afternoon and when we came in it was supper time!  I reached into the freezer and pulled out 2 of my homemade freezer dinners (made from leftovers and frozen in divided plates made for freezing, microwave heating and eating), micro waved them and sat down to a delicious, nutritious dinner!  I love having homemade freezer meals on hand for times like this!

I started the task of cleaning out our raised beds and getting them ready for winter.

I shopped a few sales this week and found:

2 (3 bars to a package) packages of Ivory soap which I paid $.47/package for after coupons.

This package of 2 bottles of dressing on clearance for $.41 at Sam’s Club.  We purchased one package.  We’ll use it for marinating purposes.


We saw this sprouted 7 grain bread on sale for $.51 a package in the freezer section of Sam’s Club but didn’t purchase any as we don’t eat much bread anymore.  (About the only bread we use anymore is Joseph's Bread or I make Gwen's Bread)



Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

Harvest herbs


Get a jar of cider fire started

Make some elderberry syrup for cold and flu season

Shop sales and loss leaders

Harvest rest of okra and lay out to dry for next year's seeds


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

Patsi
A Working Pantry

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AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Sewing Part of My Pantry Got a Boost Today!!!

A dear reader, that either volunteers or works part time at a thrift store ... I don't remember which, sent me the following items that they hadn't been able to sell.   (She had previously asked if I would be interested in them and I told her I most certainly would!)


Just take a look at all these treasures ... there's that soft pink flannel in the upper left corner, the red sequinned piece on the right, hooks and eyes, snaps, hemming lace, fabric rosettes, a miniature bumble bee, a balloon applique, earring kit, some ribbon ... look at that adorable little tape measure on the lower left hand side. All those zippers made me almost jump for joy (fear of falling kept me from it!) and in the center just look at the Modern Homemaker magazine.  It contains 12 actual lessons on canning food.  I can't wait to delve into it!

Thank you Kathi, it was like Christmas in September at my house today!

patsi
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Learning To Depend Less Upon The Grocery Stores: Cake Mixes

Cake Mixes used to be one of those things that I searched and saved coupons for ... but not any more!  

As a child we hardly ever purchased store bought cake mixes, we always made our cakes from scratch so, in my attempt to be less dependent on the grocery store, I decided to go back to cooking the few cakes that I do bake from scratch.

And then I found this 'homemade' white cake mix and this 'homemade' yellow cake mix  and this 'homemade' spice cake mix and this 'homemade' chocolate cake mix ... which means I can have the convenience of a store bought cake mix without being dependent upon the grocery store for them!

For us low-carb eaters, here's a 'homemade'  vanilla cake mix and a 'homemade' chocolate cake mix.

I printed these mix recipes off and added them to the Food section of my notebook. Then I turned to the Basics list in my notebook and added the ingredients to make all these cake mixes:

all purpose flour
sugar
cocoa
salt
baking powder
baking soda
brown sugar
corn starch
ground ginger
pumpkin spice
non-fat dried milk or powdered buttermilk
oat fiber
coconut flour
stevia powder
Glucomannan
vanilla why protein powder

If you look at all of the recipes you will notice that several of them share common ingredients ... I like stocking my pantry with ingredients that can be used to make more than one thing!


patsi
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thrift Store Finds ... part 4

I love reading cooking magazines, but I don't subscribe to any nor do I purchase them off the newsstand ... because of the price.  So, when I go thrifting I'm always on the look out for them and I hit the jackpot on this thrifting expedition...


Each bagged package contains 5 issues of cooking magazines.  The opened package on the bottom left also contains 5 issues.  Each package had a sticker price of $1.99 which would have been a good deal for 5 issues of one of my favorite cooking magazines but due to the color of the price sticker, I was able to get several of the packages at half price ... $.99/package.  Score!

This winter, you'll find me curled up on the couch carefully reading and dissecting each issue.  I should be able to add several 'new to us dishes' to our menu list as a result.  
Love me some thrifting!!!

There's one more thrifting post to come ...

patsi


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Monday, September 14, 2015

Inquiring Minds Want to Know ... What Are Your Favorite Preserving/Canning Books?

What are your favorite food preserving/canning books, other than the Ball canning book?

This is a question I hear a lot ...

Here are mine ...

Stocking Up by Carol Hupping






These 3 books cover just about everything I've ever encounter when it comes to preserving/canning food.

What are your favorites, other than the Ball canning book?

Patsi

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AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pantry Challenge #'s 34, 35, 36 and 37 ... 2015

(My niece created this beautiful arrangement from scratch for her brothers wedding. It was even more beautiful in real life. She is a very talented young lady!)  I think I'll take her idea and write 'be thankful' on the side and fill it with fall things ... for a thanksgiving arrangement.  What do you think?

This pantry challenge entry covers 4 weeks because that’s how long it’s been since the last one.  I took a blogging break to rest and do some traveling.  Here’s what I did before, during and after I got home that added to my pantry.

We butchered and froze 5 chickens

From those 5 chickens I canned 14 quarts chicken broth and froze 2 quarts of meat from the bony pieces I used to make the broth.

I canned 5 half pints of hot pepper jelly

I also tried a new to me canning recipe and canned 3 pints of onion relish

I harvested enough grapes to can 7 quarts of grape juice

I harvested a 5 gallon bucket of pears that I plan to can in the upcoming week.

I had some left over bread from our trip that I’m air drying.   When it is dry enough, I’ll grind it up, toast it and turn it into bread crumbs.   Anything that I can let air dry, I do because it saves on electricity.  (Unless I’m in a ‘I need to get this done yesterday mode.’)

The cayenne peppers I’ve been letting air dry are finally finished drying so I took them from the window seal and jarred them up.  I'll add them to soups and stews this winter.

I did the same thing with the last of the elderberries from our bushes for this year.

I did some thrift store shopping while traveling.  There are no thrift stores near where we live so this was a treat for me!  You can read about what I found and how I plan to use the items HERE, HERE and HERE.  (There are 3 different entries thus far.)

I hit a really good sale at JoAnn Fabrics and walked out with approximately $120 worth of merchandise for approximately $37.  I had some really good coupons that I was able to use which also helped.   The fabric/sewing part of my pantry got a good boost!

I gratefully received some really nice new to me clothes from a friend and from my sister-in-law.  Thank you Ms B and Ms B!  (Both of these ladies names begin with a B!)  I’m all set for quite some time in the wardrobe department.

We gratefully accepted a used well pump from a friend after we got home from traveling and discovered that our well pump had stopped working. (It could not be repaired as the motor had burned up!) Thank you Mr. and Mrs. H!

I gratefully received a big tub of crafting supplies from a friend that I’ll turn into Christmas gifts for this year.  Thank you Ms B!

Another friend had 3 more popcorn tins for me that I’ll repurpose like I did these and turn into storage.  I gratefully received them from Ms P.  Thank you Ms P!

I had lots of laundry to do after we got home from our trip plus all the thrift store finds needed washing, so I spent 2 days doing laundry and letting all of them, except 2 loads, line dry … after we got our water working again.

I added 5 containers of shelf stable milk to my pantry that I got at a Dollar Tree for $1 per container.

I purchased a 25 lb bag of pinto beans. We cannot find this size bag locally so whenever I travel I look for it.

We attended my nephew's wedding and the favor was a packet of wildflowers. Both my husband and I each got one.  I brought them home and added them to my flower seed collection to plant in the spring.

I got to visit my mom while we were away and she sent me home with several strawberry runners that she was going to throw away and a start from a huge wondering jew plant that she had.  The strawberry runners will help me expand my strawberry bed and the wondering jew plant will be a nice addition to my flower collection!

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

Patsi
A Working Pantry

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thrift Store Finds ... part 3

Part 1 can be found Here.

Part 2 can be found Here.

I keep an ongoing thrift store list so that when I'm near where one is I am prepared and know what to look for.  While I'm not one to purchase 'stuff' I do see thrift store shopping as an opportunity to purchase what I need at a much lower price than retail stores sell.

For instance, we needed a second set of sheets as a back up for our bed.  Retail store prices are way to high for my budget so sheets has been on my thrift store list for a while.



... and I found this set for $7.  There were no pillow cases with the set but I can stitch up a set from fabric I have on hand.  The sheets are 100% cotton and in excellent condition.  I brought them home, gave them a good washing and line dried them.  They are now folded and tucked away in a drawer ready for use.


I found this sturdy strainer for $.99 ... this one is a nice size and fits several of my bowls and pots.  I use strainers quite a bit in my food preservation.


This is a 100% cotton tablecloth I found that I plan to turn into dish drying towels.  The fabric is thick and soft and since it's 100% cotton it will do great for drying dishes.   I think I paid $2.99 for it. I estimate I can get a dozen hand towels out of this tablecloth.  Not bad for $2.99!

I'm still not done ... stay tuned for part 4 of my thrift store finds!

patsi


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Friday, September 11, 2015

Thrift Store Finds ... part 2

In part 1 of my recent thrift store shopping, I showed you the Tupperware I found.  In part 2, I'm going to take you in a totally different direction and show you what I found and what I plan to do with them ...


... lace curtains!  
I brought them home, washed them and hung them out to line dry.  

The two panels on the left of both lines are now hung on the windows of our bedroom.  

The remaining panels will be used to make a table skirt, herb drying bags and gift bags.

I plan to start stitching on the table skirt, herb drying bags and gift bags on my next sewing day!

They are all in excellent shape and I got all of them for $12 plus tax!

I love thrift store shopping!

There's more ... part 3 will be coming soon so stay tuned!

patsi


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