Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pantry Challenge #17 ...2015

The weather has been beautiful in our area this past week and we have spent our available free time working outside.  There is always so much to do in the yard and with planting in the Spring!

Do you like my old fashioned dinner bell?  I do!!!!  We purchased it 3 years ago at a Mennonite auction sale such as the one we attended this year.  Life kept happening and it has set waiting all this time to get settled in at its new location.  This week we gathered all the materials we would need which included a tractor and a portion of an old discarded telephone pole that we had been given.  My husband worked hard for an entire day getting it set … it now sits in front of one corner of our front porch.  It has a cord attached to it that allows me to ring it without ever having to leave the porch.  Looking out at it transports me to a less hurried and busy mindset … I guess you could say it is my reminder to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life!
My to-do list from last time:   

Finish planting garden … We’re still working on it!  This week we replaced blueberry bushes that didn’t survive the winter, made and planted an asparagus bed and started a tub of rhubarb.
Plant herbs … Got this partially done!  I planted rosemary, basil, spearmint, peppermint and sage.

Vacuum seal Cheerios … Didn’t get done!
Vacuum seal tea bags … Didn’t get done!
Strain ginger tincture … Done!
Finish vacuum sealing oats … Worked some more on this, still not done but I’m getting there!  I added 4 more quarts of vacuum sealed oats to my pantry.
Add 1 low-carb freezer breakfast casserole to the freezer … I am going to remove this from the list for the time being.  With so much outside work to be done and with me nursing a messed up knee … honestly, this is not on the priority list right now!

In addition:
I started another jar of plantain tincture.   You can read about it HERE.
I made some lavender scented carpet/rug deodorizer using this recipe. I also started a jar of lavender medicinal oil using this recipe from the same site.  I want to make some of her lotion bars using this recipe as well.  I really like the smell of lavender and when I saw these recipes I knew I had to try them.
We were in the garden center at Lowe’s one day and as usual I found out where the clearance items were and was looking them over.  A sales associate came by and told me that I could have any of them I wanted for $.25 each.  I brought home 6 containers of creeping phlox for $1.50!  Score!!!  I planted some in an old pair of boots my husband had worn out, some in an old broken watering can and some in a willow planter box.  I can’t wait for them to start cascading down the sides of their ‘containers’ and putting on their pretty pink flowers!
Our Sam’s Club finds this week are … 2 free muffins and double stuffed Oreo cookies for $1.91/ package. Regular price for the Oreo’s was $7.98 / package.  We’ll be donating the Oreo’s to our church’s VBS in June.  (The expiration date on the Oreo’s is September 2015  so they’ll still be good!)

I found this Leappad game for preschoolers on clearance for $3 … regular price $19.98. Remember the deal my son and daughter-in-law helped me snag that I told you about last week?  I purchased 2 of the games and added one of them to my gift trunk as I know someone else who is getting a LeapPad for Christmas and will need accessories to go with it.
I needed to clean out our worm composting bin as I’ve ordered worms that will be here soon but instead of just dumping the worm casings leftover from the old worms I sprinkled some around our blueberry bushes, elderberry bushes, added some to my pots of lemon balm and nettles and made compost tea.  I filled two 5 gallon buckets ¼ full of worm casings and then filled the buckets to the top with water. This will be my composting tea.  I’m letting it sit for a few days then I’ll use it to water my ferns and other flowers.
For those who are interested this is the kind of ‘worm bin’ we have.
I diluted a new bottle of dishwashing liquid by dividing its contents into two bottles and finished filling each with water.  I shook it up really well and started using it.  The dishwashing liquid was still strong enough to do the jobs needed and I was able to stretch it into twice as much.  Yeah!!!!
The lemon balm that I harvested last week is dried and in a jar.  My herb harvesting for 2015 has begun!
I’ve earned enough Swagbucks to cash in for a $25 Amazon gift card.
We added $4.50 to our change jar.  
Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Continue planting garden and replacing items that didn’t survive the winter
Continue planting herbs
Vacuum seal Cheerios
Vacuum seal tea bags
Vacuum seal oats

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

A Working Pantry

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This post linked to:  The Art of Homemaking Mondays
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