Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pantry Challenge #5 ...2015

My week started off so good, I was busy at home … my favorite place to be … getting things done, everything was going as scheduled … until mid week when everything started changing and my time at home came to a screeching halt! 

What happened … two funerals and an emergency call to take someone to the hospital that turned into an all day event.  As a result I didn’t get much done and those low-carb super bowl snacks I planned to cook, well, they didn’t happen either.  My husband was so sweet; it was his idea for us ‘not to worry about making any super bowl snacks.’  He said we could just have our normal after church Sunday night meal.  I love that man!

Before we get to what I got done this week please allow me to say thank you to everyone who purchases anything through the affiliate links on A Working Pantry.  When you make a purchase through a link you click on on A Working Pantry, I earn a small amount at no cost to you.  It does not add anything to the price of the item for the buyer.  I am feeling my way around trying to make a small income through blogging.  It was not my desire to turn my blogging into an income source but recent financial events have made us have to look at things differently.  Like I said, I am going slow, I don't know what I'm doing ... I'm reading and researching.  I do not want A Working Pantry to be full of pop-ups and advertisements.  I ask your prayers in this endeavor and I thank you for your support.

Let’s see  now, what did I got done this week before things started happening….

My to-do list from last time:  
Continue canning pinto beans?    Didn’t get done!
Get those collards out of the garden and into my pantry via canning!  Didn’t get done!

In addition:
We used the last of the orange juice in the refrigerator and I simply opened the freezer and removed a can of concentrate to let thaw and make into another jug of orange juice.  I am so thankful for our well-stocked pantry!
My husband found some coupon packets from last Sunday’s newspaper at the post office.  He brought them home to see if there were any we would use.  Some of the coupons had already been clipped but I was still able to get some that we can use.
I started a jar of ginger tincture. 
I added more newspaper to our compost bin.
I made up some more vitamin c capsules using this capsule machine and this vitamin c powder.  I knew I was getting close to running out but it was one of those things that I just kept putting off until a more convenient time … well, I ran out!  So, I stopped everything and made up some more … with it being cold and flu season and with me having ongoing respiratory issues I didn’t want to not be taking my vitamin c capsules.  Am I the only one that keeps putting off things that must be done until you can’t put them off any longer?
I earned enough Swagbucks for a $5 Amazon card and am well on my way to another one. 
I completed 2 Pinecone survey’s this week.    
I got this quiet book page all completed except for the little bit of handwork that needs to be done.

I’ve got another God is soooooooooo good update regarding our current situation.  Last week I told you that due to paying off one of our medical bills, we now had $20/month that we could budget for groceries each month.   Well, we received a reward offer … no strings attached … for being a loyal customer … in the mail from our cell phone company this week.  My husband called and sure enough there were no strings attached … it truly was a reward for being a loyal customer … what was the reward?  It was $20 off of our bill every month!  We’ll take that $20 and add it to our grocery budget every month. 
In addition I mailed in the last payment on two more medical bills which means beginning next month we’ll have $40 more to add to our grocery budget. Our grocery budget has now grown from $20/month to $80/month and we are praising God!   
I contacted our insurance company and was able to get our health insurance premium lowered $272/month starting in March.  The increase that went into effect the first of the year was over $400/month, getting it lowered $272 was an answer to prayer ... I did a dance of joy and thanked God profusely when I got off the phone. 
I’m not done … my husband was unexpectedly given a donation for conducting a funeral this week.  My husband is a minister and never charges for doing funerals and turns down offers of ‘payment’ when they are offered.  When he was offered ‘payment’ this time, as was his norm, he refused it.  The ‘giver’ wouldn’t accept his refusal and insisted that he take the ‘donation.’  Little did we know that the very next day we would need it while helping a 97 year old lady that needed us to take her to the emergency room.  God is so good and His provision is right on time, every time!  
So where do we stand in our financial crisis?  With the increase in our health insurance the first of January and with the loss of one of our sources of income, also effective the first of January ... we were facing an $863/month income change not in our favor.  With the $272/month health insurance adjustment and ... with the $60/month from making the final payments on 3 medical bills we've been paying on and ... with the $20/monthly reduction in our cell phone bill reward ... our $863 reversal is now a $501 reversal.  We continue to work and pray to offset this amount.
Here's hoping next week gives me some more of that wonderful time at home so I can get back to my pantry to-do list!

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Continue canning pinto beans
Can collards

Make turmeric capsules

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?
I want to leave you with this thought ... when I looked into the faces of those I came into contact with this week who had lost their loved ones to death and saw the sadness and sorrow in their eyes, I was reminded all over again of what I try so hard to live.  People are more important than things, building a well-stocked pantry or anything material that we might find to fill our life with.   While I didn't get anything done this week toward adding to my pantry I did get to reach out to others in their time of need ... you just can't put a value on that!

I'm posting this a day early so I can have tomorrow evening to enjoy the super bowl with my husband.  I'll be watching the commercials and working on a hand stitching project while he gives me a play by play account of each thing that happens ... and we'll be enjoying our normal after church on Sunday night meal ...which is EMFH otherwise known as 'every man for himself' thanks to my wonderful husband.

Are you following along with my ‘This is Why!’ series.  The comments from the last entry, part 3, are fantastic!  If you haven’t read them, do yourself a favor and go do it right now!

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