Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Vicky Challenge: April 24th, 2016

I don’t have a lot of savings/earnings this week to report, but we did start several things (fig tree starts, rose starts (pictured on the left), things we planted in garden, etc.).  I’ll wait to count their value when we start harvesting from the garden, when we see if the starts are going to make it, etc.)

I/we saved/earned $107.07 this week in The Vicky Challenge!  

Here’s how it breaks down:

Made 2 quarts kefir milk:  Saved $2.04 per quart … total savings:  $4.08  (I enjoy a kefir smoothie almost every day so this is a weekly savings.)

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Saved $5 by taking advantage of a sale on avocados.  (We did very little grocery shopping last week!)

Baked banana bread using overripe bananas:  Saved: $16  ($4/loaf)

Downloaded A Cabin Full of Food:  Filling Your Pantry and Using it by Marie Beausoleil for free.  Saved:  $4.99  

Made a pound cake using ingredients on hand.  Saved$ 15

Used neither heat nor air conditioning 1 day this week: Saved $13  (The weather is getting warmer and warmer so this is a savings that we will lose in the not to distant future.)

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (4 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $40

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks that will be redeemed for a Walmart gift card, am doing Pinecone surveys whenever I can and am working on earning points through Bing which I’ll redeem for Amazon gift cards. At the end of the month I'll take what I've earned and do some 'free' shopping!

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $5,226.47, add this week’s amount ($104.07) and I/we have saved $5330.54.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn from home!

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, April 23, 2016

Pantry Challenge #16 ... 2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

Look at the latest picture of our baby bluebirds! They almost have all their feathers and are filling out.  The best we can tell there are 3 in the nest.


My to-do list from last time:

We’re being allowed to get some cuttings from a friend’s fig tree this week so we’ll do that.  We are going to attempt to root them and grow our own fig trees.  Done!  Read about it HERE.

Make banana bread using overripe bananas.  Done!  I made 4 loaves and added them to the freezer part of my pantry … after having a slice or two!!!

Complete my $5 or less challenge.  Done!  Read about it HERE!

Work on planting more of our garden.  Done!  I planted rabbit tobacco, replanted bunching onions, tomatoes, zucchini, dill, basil, and cherry tomatoes.

In addition:

I transferred my homemade liquid soap that I'm making to a larger bottle as it continues to increase as I add more soap slivers and well water to it.

I dried some rose petals from fragrant rose bushes in my yard with the intent to make potpourri.

I started another ‘soup bag’ for the freezer.  This is where I add little bits of leftovers, including broths, to make soup next fall/winter.

I propagated some rose cuttings using the same method as we used for figs.

We purchased 6 quarts of strawberries.  Blended enough of them to freeze 72 strawberry cubes for use in smoothies and sliced the rest to enjoy over a homemade pound cake.  

I did more direct composting.

The spring onions I planted last week are about finger high.  It won’t be long before they’ll be ready to eat!  Yum!

I strained up the comfrey tea concentrate, for fertilizing my garden, that I’ve had brewing.

I also strained up the nettles tea concentrate, for fertilizing my garden, that I’ve had brewing.

The rosemary cuttings that I started rooting last week are growing tiny new roots.  It won’t be long before they will be ready for planting.


We have 'a bit larger than marble size' peaches on our peach trees and 'a bit larger than marble size pears' on our pear trees.   I’m hoping for a good harvest of both this year.



I strained up a gallon of pure vanilla that I’ve been brewing for 5 years.  When I opened the jar, the most delicious smelling vanilla scent wafted out.  When my husband walked into the house, he commented that the house smelled like vanilla.  Guess I should start another jar so it’ll be ready when I use this batch up!  (The best I can remember I used about 30 vanilla beans to make this gallon of vanilla.)

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

I’m not setting any pantry related goals for the upcoming week as 2 of my grandbabies, along with their mommy and daddy, are coming for a visit.  YIPHEE!

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.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Making My Own Potpourri!

Recently, I cut two roses from two different rose bushes in my yard.  

Did I mention that they were fragrant roses? 

I brought them inside, put them in a small vase and enjoyed their beauty and fragrance for several days, and then the petals started falling off ...




.... so I carefully picked them up and spread them out on a plate.  




The plate is now sitting on a window seal where the rose petals will dry.

Once the petals are completely dry I'll put them in a jar and add dried lavender flowers that I grew last year as a fixative.  (A fixative is something that will hold and preserve the scent.  There are other things that will work as a fixative, but lavender is what I have on hand right now.)

At this point I have the option of adding other dried herbs or flowers and a couple drops of essential oil (of your choice).  Here again, I'll use one of the essential oils I have on hand.

Next, a lid will go on the jar and a good shaking is in order.

I'll leave it for at least 10 days giving the jar a good shake occasionally.

Then, I'll place the potpourri in a dish to enjoy or give it as a gift.

patsi

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


This post linked to:  Five Star Frou-Frou


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, April 20, 2016

$5 or Less Pantry Challenge: April 20th, 2016

Here's what I added to my pantry this week for $5 or less, in fact these are the only food items we've purchased this week.

I didn't plan to purchase them ...

I knew they were on sale for $.49 each but I wasn't going to make a special trip into town to purchase them, and we really didn't need anything else ...

But things changed at the last minute this morning and we found ourselves in the town where our Aldi's is located ...

and I remembered that the avocados were on sale and so we stopped in ...


this is the result ...

10 avocados @ $.49 each which equals $4.90 without taxes

What will I do with 10 avocados?

I could freeze them, I've done it before but ....

not this time ...

This time I plan on refrigerating them and as they ripen, I'm going to enjoy homemade guacamole!

What would you do with 10 avocados?

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

 patsi

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.


Monday, April 18, 2016

The Vicky Challenge: April 18th, 2016

Want to see what I/we did with The Vicky Challenge  this week?

Here you go ....
  

I/we saved/earned $514.67 this week in The Vicky Challenge!  

Here’s how it breaks down:

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

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6 (I discovered this week that fresh from the chicken eggs are selling for $3/dozen in our area.)

Made yogurt:  Saved $5.72

Used neither heat nor air conditioning 5 days this week: Saved $65

We’ve had quite a bit of wind this spring so there have been quite a few twigs/small branches to pick up from the trees all over the yard.   I picked up another wheel barrow full for kindling again this week.  Saved:$20





Gratefully received some hostas, lilies, black-eyed susans, azalea’s, creeping jenny, canna’s, and two that she didn’t know what the name was from a friend.  Saved: $100

Filled up six 5-gallon water jugs at a neighbor’s house for free instead of taking them to a water filling station and paying to have them filled.  Saved $ 11.10 plus $5 in gas to go to the place to get them filled.  Total Saved: $15.50

Homemade compost (it’s been composting for almost a year) that I added to our raised beds:  Saved $ 24.95.  ($4.99 per cubic foot x 5)

Saved $91.93 using coupons, shopping regular sales and clearance sales this week.

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (7 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $70

Purchased rabbit tobacco seeds using a $5 Amazon gift card I earned through Bing.  Saved $4.49 (includes shipping).   

My husband was paid $107 this week for a ‘one time’ job he did last month.  Earned:  $107 (We used most of it to purchase additional foods for our pantry.)

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks that will be redeemed for a Walmart gift card, am doing Pinecone surveys whenever I can and am working on earning points through Bing which I’ll redeem for Amazon gift cards. At the end of the month I'll take what I've earned and do some 'free' shopping!

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $4,711.18, add this week’s amount ($514.67) and I/we have saved $5,226.47.  

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.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pantry Challenge #15 ... 2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

If you've been following our baby bluebirds saga, here's the latest photo taken today ... it looks like there are at least 3 babies, possibly more, in the nest. Can you see their feathers starting to come in?  


My to-do list from last time:

Complete my $5 or Less pantry challenge.  Done!  I purchased 4 cans of mushroom pieces and 4 cans of tuna in water for $5.52 … a little over the $5 but some weeks I’ll be a little over and some weeks I’ll be a little under.

Continue to work on raised beds.  Done! They’re almost ready for planting!

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. Done!  I received hostas, lilies, black-eyed susan, azalea, creeping jenny, canna, and two that she didn’t know what the name was.  I am so thankful!

In addition:

I planted cucumbers, basil, cilantro and rosemary.   All the seeds were saved from last year or in some cases even earlier except the rosemary.  A note about the rosemary, while at our local mom and pop feed store with my husband, one of the owners saw me admiring the rosemary plants and went, unbeknownst to me, and cut some cuttings off of another rosemary plant. She gave them to me with instructions to put them in some water on a window seal and let them root … and then to plant them.  I was so surprised.  There are a lot of good and thoughtful people in this world!!!

Removed part of the compost from our compost bins and added it to raised beds, the cucumbers I have planted in a big pot and around our blueberry bushes.

I had some overripe bananas that I mashed and put in a jar in the refrigerator to make ‘banana liquor.’   You just let the mashed banana's sit in the refrigerator for a couple of days until a liquid forms and then it's ready for use.  Stir the mashed banana's before using and add to recipe in place of fresh banana's in recipe.  This is supposed to make your baked goods even better.  There is no alcohol/liquor involved in this method … I learned about doing this on the A Working Pantry Facebook group.  I learn so much from everyone there!

I planted some spring onions.

I started direct composting into our raised beds.  Direct composting is when you add compost materials directly to the soil for decomposing instead of into a container or bin. I'm hoping this will encourage earth worms to take up residence in my raised beds which will do wonders for the soil.  I’ll also continue using my compost bins as well.

We found the brand of cola my husband drinks on sale this week for $.79/bottle ... regular price $1.38 -$1.99 each so we purchased several to have on hand for him.  (I gave up drinking cola when I got the flu several weeks ago and only drink it when we go out ... I don't allow myself to have them at home.  I have been doing this for several weeks now and do find that I feel better.  However, this is always going to be a struggle for me because I do enjoy the taste.  But for now, I'm on the upside of this battle and with every day that goes by that I don't drink one, my will power gets a little stronger.  Let's hear it for small victories!)

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

We’re being allowed to get some cuttings from a friend’s fig tree this week so we’ll do that.  We are going to attempt to root them and grow our own fig trees.

Make banana bread using the ‘banana liquor’ I mentioned above.

Complete my $5 or less challenge

Work on planting more of our garden

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!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Pantry Challenge #14 ... 2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

This week has been a week of weather extremes!  We’ve had some warm sunny days and then we’ve had some cooler days with freezing and below freezing temperatures at night.  Tonight we’re supposed to go below freezing again.  The plants, trees and bushes don’t know if it’s spring or winter, some were damaged by the freeze earlier in the week and I’m a bit concerned about tonight’s predicted below freezing temps as well.  I’ve brought everything inside that I can!

At any rate, life goes on and we do the best we can with what ‘mother nature’ hands us.  With that thought in mind let’s see what I was able to get done in my pantry this week!

My to-do list from last time:

Plant basil, cilantro and rosemary in my tiered planter.  I deliberately put this off until after the forecast freeze for tonight.

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.  I deliberately put this off too until after the forecast freeze for tonight.

Can chicken from the freezer … maybe!   Didn’t get done!  Has nothing to do with the weather, it just didn’t get done!

In addition:

I harvested plantain and made plantain tincture for stings and bug bites using apple cider vinegar and fresh plantain leaves.

I harvested nettles, dehydrated them and started a jar for 2016.

I made wool dryer balls using 100% wool yarn I purchased last year.

We went grocery shopping this week for some meats to add to our pantry and while out shopping I found a store that still had some Easter stuff on clearance and was able to add several things to my pantry for $5. You can read about it HERE.

I spent several hours working on our raised beds getting them ready for planting.  I have 7 raised beds to get ready and several more hours of labor before me.

I/we saved $916.40 this week in The Vicky Challenge!  Here’s how it breaks down:

Our vehicle needed more repairs and thankfully my husband was able to do it himself. We saved $36 on the parts and $340 on the labor.  Total Saved: $376

I made 2 wool dryer balls out of a skein of wool yarn I had on hand.  Saved: $6.48

Downloaded the Kindle book, Yoga by Thatcher D. Godwin, for free:  Saved $2.99 

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

Chickens laid 3 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Used neither heat nor air conditioning 3 days this week: Saved $39

The little ‘mom and pop’ co-op where we purchase our animal feed has a program that earns you a free bag of feed after you purchase 8 bags.  This week we purchased one bag of dog food and picked up our ‘free’ bag as well.  Saved $24.75

Had 29 pictures developed at Sam’s Club for the sale price $.10 each; normal price was $.17 each.  Savings:   $2.03 

Saved $89.74 using coupons, shopping regular sales and clearance sales this week.

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (4 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $40

The USDA’s ‘moderate’ Food Budget for a family the size of ours is $589.70.  In March we spent $264.37, that’s a savings of $325.33. (Our grocery budget is $25/week.  If we have any extra money or gift cards that I’ve earned or been gifted we also use that to add to our grocery budget.)

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks that will be redeemed for a Walmart gift card, am doing Pinecone surveys whenever I can and am working on earning points through Bing which I’ll redeem for Amazon gift cards. At the end of the month I'll take what I've earned and do some more 'free' shopping!

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $3,794.78, add this week’s amount ($916.40) and I/we have saved $4711.18.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn from home!

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

Complete my $5 or Less pantry challenge.  

Continue to work on raised beds.

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. 

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.

Friday, April 8, 2016

$5 or Less Pantry Challenge: April 8th, 2016

It's been a while since I've posted a $5 or Less Pantry Challenge entry, the goal is to see how much I can add to my pantry for $5 or less.

Here's what I did this week ...




3 family size bottles of Suave shampoo for $.75 each

10 bags of green Easter grass for $.09 each
(will be used as filler for Christmas baskets)

Bunny silicone ice/candy pan for $.09
(for next Easter)

Bunny tail for $.09
(for next Easter)

Green pompoms for $.25/pkg
(for Christmas)

Red pompoms for $.25/pkg
(for Christmas)

Blue and white twine for $.09
(for gift tags)

Removable velcro for $.50 each (x 2)
(for various projects)

Total spent:  $4.92 plus taxes

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

 patsi

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