Monday, February 29, 2016

The Vicky Challenge #6 ... 2016


Ordered and received this wide skip rotary cutter blade for my rotary cutter for crocheting purposes.  Cost to me was zero as I used an Amazon gift card I had earned to pay for it.:  Saved $7.99

Stitched up this cute little pillow case for our oldest granddaughter who has a birthday coming up real soon.   She’ll be 3 and she loves Mickey and friends! Saved: $10

Wrapped birthday gift for oldest granddaughter using what I had on hand:  Saved $5

Filled four 5 gallon water jugs at a friend/neighbor’s house for free instead of having to pay to have them filled at the place we normally get them refilled:  Saved $7.40 plus the $5 in gas that it would have taken to drive there.  Total saved:  $12.40

Baked cookies and muffins this week for snacks:  $Saved $10

Purchased gas while running errands in another town cheaper than what is in our area:   Saved $2.04

Was given 4 loaves of bread:  Saved $11.80

Used wood stove to heat house for 3 days:  Saved (3 x $13) $39

Total earned/saved this week in The Vicky Challenge … $97.23

The USDA’s ‘moderate’ Food Budget for a family the size of ours is $589.70.  In February we spent $157.45, that’s a savings of $432.25. 

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $2088.08, add this week’s amount ($89.24) plus the ‘food budget’ monthly savings ($432.25) to that and I've saved $2618.56.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I save/earn from home.

How have you earned or saved money this week?  I would love to hear what you’re doing.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Earn cashback by shopping through EBates! (affiliate link)


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pantry Challenge #8 ... 2016

Signs of spring are all around our yard.  The elderberry bushes are budding out as are the blueberry bushes.  Jonquils are popping up in our flower beds and the camellia bush is starting to show off.  Before long it will be planting time, then harvesting will begin and pantry building will kick into high gear.  

But for now, here’s what I got done …

My to-do list from last time:

Finish vacuum sealing the dry pinto beans I have into jars.  If it’s going to be a while before I can can dry beans or use them in other ways, I vacuum seal them in jars to prevent insects, varmints, etc from getting into them plus it helps retain their nutritional value a bit longer … didn’t get done!

 I want to make up several jars of this muffin mix I found on the Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth blog.  I love the recipe kit that Jes made to go along with the muffin mix!  I cooked up a batch of these and they are really good.  However, I decided not to make up several jars as it is very easy to just mix them when we want another batch. But, should one want to give them as gifts, making up several jars with the labels and instructions attached would be beneficial.

In addition:

We were given 4 loaves of bread that were beyond their ‘best by date.’   The bread was still soft and in good condition, so I wrapped each loaf in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil and froze them. When we get ready to use a loaf, I’ll take one out, let it thaw in the refrigerator and use as normal.

I had some fresh garlic that needed using so I minced, dehydrated and added it back into my pantry in a form suitable for longer term storage. 

I started reading Stories and Recipes of the Great Depression of the 1930’s, Volume 1, Rita Van Amber this week to get some inspiration on ways to live a more frugal life.   

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

Can chicken and chicken broth

Finish vacuum sealing the dry pinto beans I have into jars

That's it for me this week, now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally this week?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Earn cashback by shopping through EBates! (affiliate link)

 Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Using What You Have!

In this post I showed you the Minnie Mouse pillow case that I stitched up using what I had on hand for my oldest granddaughter's birthday.

Today, I want to share how I used what I had on hand to make the package look festive


Our little granddaughter is really into Mickey and Friends right now so since I had stitched her up a Minnie Mouse pillowcase, I thought it would be good to package it in similar wrappings.

The wrapping paper is actually 'christmas wrapping paper' left over from the holidays this year ....  (Perfect don't you think!)

I used fabric/silk ribbon to tie the big bow ...

and you see the cute little Mickey and Friends cut out ... well that came from the back of a coloring book!  I cut it out, glued it onto cardstock and then trimmed around that leaving 1/4 border.  I attached it to the package using tape on the underside.

I think the wrappings will fit her birthday theme perfectly and I was able to use things I had on hand to complete it!

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

 Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Earn cashback by shopping through EBates! (affiliate link)

Disclaimer:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you.  Thank you for your support through these means.


This post linked to The Art of Homemaking Monday

Sunday, February 21, 2016

How We Plan to Start Earning Free Groceries and Other Pantry Related Items ...

That sounds like a title to a get rich quick scheme or some kind of gimmick doesn’t it?  I can assure you it is not!

I mentioned in this post that I had been chatting with Vicky from the Vicky Challenge about a fiscal fast that her family does twice a year.  I also mentioned that I had a ‘duh’ moment and realized that the some of the things she shared with me would be a way to get ‘free’ groceries and other items for my pantry.  So, I made a plan, got myself organized and got to work!

Here’s my plan …

Redeem Swagbucks that I earn for Walmart gift cards. 

Earn Amazon/Walmart gift/CVS gift cards by using the My Coke Points program, Bing, and My Points.  

Earn Amazon gift cards through my Amazon affiliate link . (This neither cost those who use my affiliate link anything nor does it increase the cost of the items.)

Earn cash back through my affiliate link at EBates.  (This neither cost those who use my affiliate link anything nor does it increase the cost of the items.)

Earn cash back by using Ibotta and Savings Star

Earn cash by completing Pinecone surveys when they are available.

I can conceivably see earning an additional $100/month which I will work hard to turn into $150/$200 per month by shopping sales, using coupons, price matching and shopping loss leaders.

How much time do I spend each day doing these things … 30 minutes to an hour.   I really don’t have any more time than that to commit right now.

None of these things will make me wealthy but they will supplement our grocery budget nicely!

I realize that this kind of thing is not for everyone, but then again … it is something that everyone with a computer and internet service could do!

Starting in March, I’ll be sharing what I get in ‘free groceries’ and other pantry related items using these tactics!  I’m up for this challenge, how about you?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

 Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Earn cashback by shopping through EBates! (affiliate link)


Disclaimer:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you.  Thank you for your support through these means.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Vicky Challenge #5 ... 2016

It’s been a week of ‘light duty’ as I’m still recovering from my dental procedure however, here’s how I saved/earned even on a ‘light duty’ week …

Downloaded The Passive Income Book by Steve Pavlina for free onto my kindle: Saved: $9.99  

Canned 7 quarts of turkey broth:  Saved:  (7 x $2.08) $14.56

Used wood stove to heat house for 3 days:  Saved (3 x $13) $29

Made homemade spray stain treatment using ingredients I had at home (I did have to purchase a bottle of ammonia which cost $1 but I estimate this will be enough to make  at least 10 bottles of the spray stain treatment.):  Saved ($2.74  … price of store bought spray stain treatment… - $.10 for the ammonia I had to buy and the savings equal $2.64.

Made jar of homemade gravy mix using ingredients I had at home:  Saved: $28.89  (I was astonished at how much this stuff cost in the grocery store!)

Baked a homemade carrot cake for someone …cost of ingredients I did not have on hand $1.00, minus the selling price of the cake earned me $24.

Made a batch of homemade soap using ingredients I had on hand: Saved: (11 bars x $4) = $44

Earned $25.69 through Amazon affiliate link usage.  Thank you to all who shop through my affiliate links!  It really does help!  

Earned $3 for doing a Pinecone Survey.

Total earned/saved this week in The Vicky Challenge … $ 181.77

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $1906.31, add this week’s amount to that and I've saved $2088.08.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I save/earn from home.

How have you earned or saved money this week?  I would love to hear what you’re doing.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

 Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Earn cashback by shopping through EBates! (affiliate link)


Disclaimer:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you.  Thank you for your support through these means.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pantry Challenge #7 ... 2016

 Look at the egg on the left, that is one huge egg and yes it came from one of our chickens as did the middle one.  The one on the left had a double yoke.  We get a double yoke egg several times a week and as you can see they are huge!  The one on the right is a store purchased egg.  Look at the difference in the size!

I’m way over due for posting this pantry challenge but life has been ‘happening’ at my house lately, so, here goes ….

My to-do list from last time:

Until I get this dental issue taken care of  I won’t set a pantry to-do list but will just do what I feel up to doing in this area.  Got it taken care of and have been in recovery mode all week.  I am feeling better and am ready to get back to working on my pantry.

In addition:

I canned 7 quarts of turkey and 7 quarts of broth from an 18 lb turkey that we had frozen in the freezer.  With the 7 quarts of turkey and the 7 quarts of turkey broth, that takes care of that turkey and did I mention that it was one we had gotten on clearance for less than half price several months ago???





I made up a jar of this gravy mix (the first recipe is the one I used) and added it to my pantry for convenience sake.  I had everything on hand in my pantry!  I need to get some labels printed for the jar but for now this temporary one will do.

I made up a bottle of homemade laundry spray stain remover from a recipe one of the members of the A Working Pantry Facebook group shared.  I’ve also seen this recipe several other places and had just never tried it but when I read the rave reviews from those who use it regularly, I knew it was time to get some made and start using it!  I had to purchase the ammonia, but I had everything else in my pantry.  I need to print out a label for this bottle too!

Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover

2/3 cup Dawn dish soap,
2/3 cup ammonia
2 cups warm water
6 Tbsp of baking soda

Dissolve the soda in the warm water and add it to the soap and ammonia in a spray bottle.

I made up a batch of soap after reading this post over at The Blue Birds are Nesting blog. With substituting castile pure soap bars (grated) for the Lux soap flakes, I had everything in my pantry to make this soap.   I'll let you know how making the substitution worked after I take the soap out of it's mold.  So far it looks great!


Update 2/19/2016 on the soap:  the substitution of Castile pure soap bars (affiliate link) in place of the Lux soap flakes worked beautifully. I grated 3 bars in order to get the amount the recipe listed.  The only thing I did differently was use 2 cups of milk instead of 1.  I followed the recipe exactly in every other way. The log of soap came out of the mold really well and sliced nicely.  It is creamy and silky looking.  I'm planning my next batch already!

We are doing well at sticking to our reduced grocery budget.  In fact, this week we only spent $4.66 of our $25 weekly food budget and that was spent on 1 gallon of marked down milk, marked down bananas and marked down chicken livers (my husband loves fried chicken livers).  We continue to eat well living out of our pantry!

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

Finish vacuum sealing the dry pinto beans I have into jars.  If it’s going to be a while before I can can dry beans or use them in other ways, I vacuum seal them in jars to prevent insects, varmints, etc from getting into them plus it helps retain their nutritional value a bit longer.

I want to make up several jars of this muffin mix I found on the Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth blog.  I love the recipe kit that Jes made to go along with the muffin mix!  

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

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Earn cashback by shopping through EBates! (affiliate link)

 Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Have You Noticed?


Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.  Proverbs 6:6

Have you noticed that things are a bit different here at A Working Pantry this year?

Have you noticed that you are no longer reading about big killer deals we’ve found?

Have you noticed that you’ve been reading the phrase ‘I used what I had on hand to _____’ a lot more?

I hope you’re not disappointed but things have changed.

We no longer have the grocery budget we had to work with in 2015, it has been greatly reduced which means we just don’t have the resources to take advantage of those killer deals.  Does this mean that we have given up on shopping for deals and bargains?  Absolutely not!  But we are much more careful to use our grocery budget for killer deals on necessities and basics.

We are getting creative in substituting what we need for what we have.   In other words, there is a whole lot of ‘making do’ with what we have on hand going on at our house.

I am learning how to get ‘free groceries’ for my pantry (no, this is not a gimmick or some kind of get rich quick scheme).  After chatting with Vicky from The Vicky Challenge about a fiscal fast that her family does a couple times a year, I was inspired to use some of the tips she shared with me to add ‘free groceries’ to my pantry.  I’ll be sharing more about the ‘free groceries’ and other ‘free non-grocery items’ I was able to get and how I did it later in the month.

We are looking for new ways to stretch our smaller grocery budget all the while keeping our pantry well-stocked. 

So, you see things have changed here at A Working Pantry.  I still have a well stocked pantry and will continue to work to keep it that way.  However, out of necessity, the pantry that I have at the end of 2016 will look a bit different than the pantry I started out with in 2016. 

I’m excited and have accepted the challenge of keeping it well-stocked while eating out of it almost exclusively every day.  

It’s going to be an adventurous year!  

I can do this and so can you if you're in a similar situation ... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Earn cashback by shopping through EBates! (affiliate link)

 Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Vicky Challenge #4 ... 2016

In spite of being down several days with a TMJ/tooth flare-up and subsequent emergency dental work, I was still able to save and earn a bit ….

Saved $1.37 using a coupon combined with a sale at Michael's Craft Store.

Price matched groceries at Walmart:  Saved: $7.60

Purchased sausage on clearance:  Saved $3.40

Used wood stove to heat house for 9 days:  Saved (9 x $13) $117

Made 2 more cheese cakes, one for Super Bowl snacks and the other for Valentine’s Day: Saved $52.

Canned 7 quarts of turkey:  Saved ($7.80 per quart x 7) $54.60

Made valentine goodies/treats for children in Bible classes I teach and for all children in church using items I had on hand … value $2 each:  Saved:  (32 x $2) $64

Earned $10 in Amazon gift cards through Swagbucks.

Earned $50 through EBates.

 Total earned/saved this week in The Vicky Challenge … $ 359.97.

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $1546.34, add this week’s amount to that and I've saved $1906.31.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I save/earn from home.

How have you earned or saved money this week?  I would love to hear what you’re doing.

patsi

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!


Disclaimer:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you.  Thank you for your support through these means.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Last Minute Valentine Treats!

Here are three last minute valentine treats that I made up today using what I had on hand ...

I made peanut butter cookies and packaged them in the following ways ....



This saucer (given to me by a friend last year along with several other craft items) of cookies has a sheet of waxed paper that I cut to fit and the cookies arranged on it.  I wrapped the whole thing in plastic wrap and used ribbon and bows that I had purchased at an after Christmas sale in 2014 for $.10.   The heart was cut using my Sizzx machine and a heart die cut.

I did up a couple of these 'plates of cookies' to take to two neighbors.




The Air Heads Bites were some that my husband and I got out of a kiosk at Sam's Club for free on one of our recent visits. The Hershey's candy bars were some more of our 'Christmas candy' purchases and the scrapbook paper that I made the headers with was some I had on hand.

These will go to some 'tweens' at church tomorrow!



Back to the cookies ...  Each of these little 'packages' contain 2 homemade cookies.  I laid them on a piece of waxed paper (cut to size), laid the the piece of waxed paper with the cookies on it on a piece of plastic wrap.  Brought the corners together, tied it with a piece of ribbon, and added a heart that I wrote "Happy Valentine Day" on.  They turned out so cute!

These are for the children at our church who are in the Kidsing class!

All the 'valentine treats' we've given this year have been made using things I had on hand. No money was spent out of pocket.

Go here to see the other homemade valentine treat I made earlier in the week using what I had on hand.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Earn cashback by shopping through EBates! (affiliate link)

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