Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Using What I Have to Make What I Want: Hanging Basket


I love my big wrap-around front porch and this time of the year, it just begs for hanging baskets.  

So, I looked around at what I had on hand and came up with the basket you see in the picture.

I took ivy from another pot that had wintered over and some trailing variegated vinca from yet another pot that was coming up after it's winter sleep and combined them into this hanging basket. I already had the pot and soil on hand from last year.  

I'm thinking I might add some color by planting some 'blooming' flower seeds among the greenery, what do you thing?

The basket is nice and full and it didn't cost me anything. 

I'm very pleased with the way it turned out and thus far, it is doing really well.


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.

This post linked to:  Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #45

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Pantry Challenge #12 ... 2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

I did good with my ‘to-do’ list this past week ….

My to-do list from last time:

Chop onions I purchased on sale and freeze them.  Done!  I added 36 snack baggies (1/2 cup onions in each) to the freezer part of my pantry.

Make another batch of crockpot yogurt.  Done!   I have had great success using the crockpot method of making yogurt!

Make vitamin c capsules … Done!

Make turmeric capsules … Done!

Start seeds in greenhouse.  Done!   I planted the following seeds:  tomato, cayenne pepper, stevia, cockscone, yarrow, soapwart and jalapeƱo pepper.

Pull together another hanging basket using what I have on hand.  Done!

Transplant baby aloe vera plants into their own pots.    Done!  I created 3 more pots!

Transplant lemon trees into bigger pots.  Done!  I am so happy that I was able to get them the winter!  They are now in the greenhouse where they will stay until the weather gets a bit warmer.

In addition:

I earned a $25 Walmart gift card through Swagbucks.

I earned $10 in Amazon gift cards through Bing

I completed two Pinecone Surveys this week.

I saved $268.35 this week in The Vicky Challenge!  Here’s how it breaks down:

Purchased gas while running errands in another town cheaper than what’s in our area: Saved $7.56

Made yogurt: Saved $5.72

Make 2 quarts kefir milk:  Saved $2.04 per quart … total savings:  $4.08

Chickens laid three dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Used neither heat nor air conditioning 1 day this week: Saved $13

Downloaded this kindle book for free, First Dawn by Judith Miller:  Saved $6.99   

Created 1 hanging basket using flowers I had on hand:  Saved $12

Made up a set of baby burp cloths for a future baby gift using what I had on hand:  Saved $8 … I’m counting these toward the ‘Gift Giving/Christmas Challenge’ that I’m participating in.

Stitched up a sixteen inch throw pillow cover using what I had on hand:  Saved $5

Pruned fruit trees and grapevines (3 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $30

Worked on cleaning up yard from winter debris (1 hour x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $10

My husband made 4 carpenter bee traps using items on hand.  These sell for$20 each so 4 x 20 equals $80 saved.   

Made 2 cheesecakes to take to two different events.  Saved $45

Earned $35 in gift cards.

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $2836.90, add this week’s amount ($268.35) and I've saved $3,338.60.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I save/earn from home.

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

Plant basil, cilantro and rosemary in my tiered planter

A friend asked if I would be interested in some of the flowers in her yard and of course I said yes, so, I need to go to her house this week and dig up some ‘starts’ to transplant to my house.  She has some beautiful flowers and I am excited about this opportunity.

Finish my ‘free’ grocery shopping  (I will be doing a full post on the ‘free’ shopping I was able to do this month and what I added to my pantry as a result the first of April.)

Continue working on cleaning up the yard from winter debris.

Shop after Easter candy sales.  I have used the after Christmas candy sale buys on numerous occasions for gift giving and baking and have depleted what I had purchased.  It's time to restock!

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!


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;  Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #45

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pantry Challenge #11 ... 2016

There’s a yellow film on everything outside my home!!!!   

Its pine pollen!  

Our vehicle has a yellow film on it ... 

Our patio furniture has the same yellow film ...

The edges of water puddles are yellow ...

At times there is even a yellow mist in the air … 

Do you get the picture, it’s everywhere ... and it's giving everyone a headache ... literally!

Okay, pine pollen aside, let’s talk pantry building ….

My to-do list from last time:

Start seeds in my greenhouse.  I know I’m behind schedule for doing this, they should have already been started … just one more thing I’m blaming on that nasty case of flu!  Didn’t get done!

Start a bucket of nettles compost tea.  Done!

Plant comfrey in various places in yard such as by trees, clothes line, etc.  I want to get lots of comfrey growing so I will have plenty to keep comfrey compost tea available for fertilizing my garden all summer long.  Started on this!

In addition:

I made yogurt in my crockpot.  I’ve made yogurt using my oven many times, but never in my crockpot (that I can remember).  It was a huge success and I’ve been eating it lots trying to restore the good bacteria in my digestive system after being sick.   

I made a batch of kefir.  I ran out while I was sick and now I really need to start consuming it to help my body recover from all the meds I’ve had to take over the past 2 – 3 weeks.

I found onions on sale at Aldi’s for $.29/lb. We purchased 9 lbs.  I plan to chop them up using my handy dandy chopper and then freeze them in ¼ cup increments in snack baggies.  

I pruned my rosebushes and took the clippings and stuck them in the ground where I wanted a new rosebush to grow.  I did several so maybe some of them will take root and grow.  I do this every year with the clippings and can usually get them to take root and grow in their new location.  

I took a few clippings from our forsythia bushes as well and stuck them in the ground where there were some bare spots.  We have a beautiful spread of forsythia bushes in the front of our front porch and I got it by using this method.  Clip, stick clipping in the ground where I want a new bush to grow and let it do its thing.   Sometimes it takes root and sometimes it doesn’t, but either way, I’m not out any money!

I planted a petunia bush that I purchased last spring.  At the time I brought it home and babied it through our hot summer but thought that it had not made it. Guess what??? It did make it and is now about 6 inches tall!   I am so happy as there is not room in the budget this spring for any new flowers.

I transplanted the dwarf maple trees that I started growing from seed over a year ago.  They are now 1 – 2 feet tall and needed to come out of their pots.  I now have them planted in two different places and I’ll continue babying them through what I’m sure will be another hot and humid summer, then hopefully they will be okay on their own with just regular yearly maintenance.

I removed the old cane from our raspberry bushes. They are beginning to wake up and put on baby green leaves.   Last year we had a bumper crop of raspberries and I hope the same thing happens again this year.

My porch just begs to have hanging plants hung in various places on it and I love the look, but …. this year I’ll have to get creative and come up with my own hanging baskets instead of buying them.  I’m looking at this challenge as a way to get creative with what I’ve got.  I pulled one hanging basket together today using a vine that my mother gave me last fall.  I also have a couple of really healthy ivy vines that I can turn into another hanging basket.  Where there is a will there is a way and I’m determined to not let this season of reduced budget interfere with my desire to make things as pretty as possible!

I cut back last years’ patch of lemon grass.  Oh my, did it smell good!

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks that will be redeemed for gift cards, am doing Pinecone surveys whenever I can.  I am also working on earning points through Bing which I’ll also redeem gift cards and MyCokePoints.  It all adds up over time and will be used to help keep our pantry stocked.

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

Chop onions I purchased on sale and freeze them

Make another batch of crockpot yogurt

Make vitamin c capsules

Make turmeric capsules

Start seeds in greenhouse

Pull together another hanging basket using what I have on hand

Transplant baby aloe vera plants into their own pots

Transplant lemon trees into bigger pots

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!





 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, March 17, 2016

Daybook Entry: March 17th, 2016

Outside my window ...  it is a beautiful day!  There is a gentle breeze blowing and the temps are in the lower 80’s!

I am thinking ... ‘can it really be spring already!’

I am thankful ...  to have my pantry reorganized and ready for this year’s additions.

I am stitching ...  baby burp cloths for my gift trunk!

I am going ...  to run errands and out to lunch with my husband.  We have gift certificates to a local restaurant which makes the meal almost free!

I am wondering ... if I can declutter 1000 items in my home in the next 30 days????

I am reading ... another great article on oil pulling!  Oil pulling is a part of my morning routine but after reading this article I may try to add it in 2 more times during the day to help my body recover from being sick recently.

I am seeing … all the beautiful colors of spring … red, pink, yellow, green, white ...

I am hearing … the basketball game my husband is watching!

I am hoping ... the crockpot yogurt I am making turns out well!

I am learning ... that sometimes just sitting still and being quiet is the best medicine.

In my garden ... there is a lot of work to do to get it ready for planting!

In my kitchen … there are eggs ‘fresh from our chickens’ to be washed and added to the egg bin in the refrigerator.

One of my favorite things ...  sitting on my front porch soaking up the quietness and sounds of nature.

Around the house … there’s only a little bit of 'spring cleaning' left to do!


A picture to share ...  the view from one end of my front porch looking out ....



patsi

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To read Day Book entries of others go HERE.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Vicky Challenge #7 ... 2016

These savings cover a two week period over which a good part of the time I either had full blown flu or bronchitis.


Purchased gas while running errands in another town cheaper than whats in our area: Saved $6.74

Purchased Disney Princess fabric to make my youngest granddaughter a pillowcase and brads to make mini Easter baskets for Sunday school children, (paid for total purchase from money earned doing Pinecone surveys … nothing out of pocket):  Saved $18.76

Used coupons and sales on above order:  Saved: $8

Downloaded An Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling, on my kindle for free:  Saved $15     

Used coupons and sales on groceries: Saved: $28.66 

Baked 2 loaves of sourdough bread that I made from scratch:  Saved $8

Baked a big batch of cookies for my husband’s co-workers during early voting:  Saved $12

Enjoyed a meal out gifted to us by the lady who did our taxes:  Saved: $24.75

Baked a buttermilk pie and a pumpkin pie using ingredients on hand: Saved $16

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

Had 2 days where we neither needed heat or air conditioning:  Saved $26

Chickens laid 5 dozen eggs over the past two weeks:  Saved $10

I made a batch of floor cleaner for my swiffer using basic ingredients on hand:  Saved $5.43

Total earned/saved (over the past 2 weeks) in The Vicky Challenge … $218.34
Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $2618.56, add these past two week’s amount ($218.34) and I've saved $2836.90.  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, March 13, 2016

Pantry Challenge #10 ... 2016

(I drank quite a bit of this 'good girl moonshine' from Trim Healthy Mama to help me stay hydrated this last week.)

I don’t have much to report for my pantry challenge this time.  I’m all recovered from having one doozy of a case of the flu which left me with a secondary condition of bronchitis that had to be treated as well.  I am happy to report that I am finally beginning to get close to feeling like normal again.  (It’s been 2 weeks and counting!) Trust me; you do not want a full blown case of the flu!!!

So, let’s see what I was able to do …

My to-do list from last time:

I’m not going to set any goals for next week as I’m still recovering from the flu. ... Good thing, because I wouldn't have been able to get them done if I had.

In addition:

I started a bucket of comfrey compost tea. It should be ready to use in about a month.

When I could think, I did some garden planning (the fever from the flu really muddled my brain for a few days!)

I cleaned and reorganized my pantry in two days … once I started feeling better.  I now know what I have on hand and what areas I need to focus on this year.

I made a big batch of cookies for my husband to share with the election workers while he was helping them with early voting.  Everything to make them came from my pantry.

I sent some of the same batch of cookies to a family in the community who had a death in the family.

That’s it!  I didn’t add one thing to my pantry!  I didn’t do any shopping!  I didn’t barter, swap, glean, coupon or shop sales!  I did absolutely nothing to add to my pantry last week and that is okay … ‘mama said there would be weeks like this’ … and she was right.  But when you have a well-stocked pantry, these kinds of weeks don’t present problems. They are just little bumps in the road that you’ve planned and prepared for through your pantry.

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

Start seeds in my greenhouse.  I know I’m behind schedule for doing this, they should have already been started … just one more thing I’m blaming on that nasty case of flu!

Start a bucket of nettles compost tea

Plant comfrey in various places in yard such as by trees, clothes line, etc.  I want to get lots of comfrey growing so I will have plenty to keep comfrey compost tea available for fertilizing my garden all summer long.

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.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pantry Challenge #9 ... 2016

I love it when the mail brings me packages!  Don’t you just love a surprise!  Last week I gratefully received a surprise package in the mail from Annabel over at the Bluebirds are Nesting.  Annabel has such a sweet spirit and giving heart and every now and then she surprises me with a gift package all the way from Australia.  You can see in the picture what she sent me this time.   I love the way she discerns from my writings the things that I enjoy doing and chooses her gifts accordingly.  These items have been added to my pantry and will be used in the near future.  Remember, our pantries are more than just food!  (Thank you again Annabel!)

My to-do list from last time:

Can chicken and chicken broth … Partially done!

Finish vacuum sealing the dry pinto beans I have into jars.  Done! I added 8 quarts and 4 pints of dry beans to my pantry. In the future when we start running low on canned pinto beans, I’ll open these jars and can them.  Until then the dried beans will stay safe from insects and varmints that would like to enjoy their goodness!

In addition:

Baked a buttermilk pie and a pumpkin pie for an upcoming event.

Made a sourdough starter and then made sourdough bread for the same upcoming event mentioned above.

Printed, clipped and loaded coupons on reward cards for my upcoming ‘free’ grocery shopping trip (planned for the end of the month).

And then … I came down with the flu and everything came to a screeching halt!  I haven’t had the flu in 30 years but it hit me hard this week … chills, aches, headaches, eyes hurting, fever, coughing, dizziness, nausea, near fainting, weakness … but the most dangerous was fighting the dehydration that has come as a result of the fever.  Over on the A Working Pantry Facebook group we’re discussing how to prepare your pantry to be ready to combat dehydration.  Dehydration can be very serious.  You’re invited to come and join us or feel free to leave your comments in the comment section below. 

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

I’m not going to set any goals for next week as I’m still recovering from the flu.  I plan on doing very little … and here is yet another reason why having a well-stocked pantry is so helpful …when you’re sick you don’t have to worry about needing to buy groceries, etc.  You can stay home, take care of yourself and not infect others!

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.


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