Monday, May 30, 2016

The Vicky Challenge: May 30th, 2016

I/we had a better week in the saving department this week, read on to see what I mean ...

I/we saved/earned $502.87 this week in The Vicky Challenge!  

Here’s how it breaks down:

We were given this whole trailer load of wood, cost to us … gas to go get it:  Saved: $400 (When this is split and stacked it will be enough wood for our heating needs next winter. We stand in awe of God’s provision for us!)

Harvested 70 spring green onions ($.92 per bunches of 10); one and a half pints of raspberries ($4.64 per pint); 3 medium cucumbers ($1.30/pound); 1 ounce of lavender ($2.06/ounce) ... Saved$ 20.82

Was given fresh from the ground potatoes, squash fresh off the plant and broccoli cut fresh from the plant. Saved $12.56

We were also given 2 loaves of bread. Saved $5

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Saved $12.50 by taking advantage of sales, coupons and clearance items. 

Downloaded Lovely Lavender, the Universal Herb for free.  Saved:$5.99  

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

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $6,550.45, add this week’s amount ($502.87) and I/we have saved $7,053.32.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn through being frugal!

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.


From the Garden: May 30, 2016

Over the years, in order to harvest our garden produce at it's peak, I've developed a routine. Today, I started that routine for this year ...

 Immediately after breakfast I headed out to the garden to see what needed harvesting and began the task of gathering.  Garden produce is at it's peak early in the morning.

After all the gathering/harvesting was completed, I brought the produce in and started preserving or preparing it for use.

Today I gathered the following ...


I peeled these cucumbers, sliced them up, sliced some onions, put them in a bowl, added salt, water to cover and just a tad of vinegar.  I put them in the refrigerator until dinner tonight when they should be ready for eating.


I picked these raspberries from our vines this morning (one and a half pints). I washed them up and then put them in the blender along with some water.  After they were well blended, I set them to straining.  When they are through straining, I'll fill up ice cube trays and freeze them.  When they're completely frozen, I'll pop the cubes out of the trays and freeze them in a freezer container.  I'll use them in smoothies or to flavor water.


I harvested some more spring green onions, cleaned them up, chopped up the blades and put them in the oven to dry.  The white parts of the onions went into the refrigerator for future meals/use.

I also harvested some more lavender which is in the oven (with the light on) drying.

This will be my routine most every morning for the rest of the harvesting season.   Some mornings there won't be anything to harvest, and I don't harvest on Sunday as it is our day of worship, but other than that you'll find me most every morning in the garden harvesting produce to add to my pantry and feed my family.

Do you have a harvesting routine?


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!


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pantry Challenge #21 ... 2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

We have more bluebird eggs!!!   My husband came in with this photo this afternoon after deciding to check the nest.  Looks like the bluebirds like this spot for hatching out their young!

My to-do list from last time:

Continue harvesting and dehydrating spring onions. Done!  Actually, this is an ongoing process and will continue until the onions are all harvested.

See what I can add to my pantry for $5.  Done!  I was able to score a  CVS deal for much less than $5.  You can read about it HERE.

In Addition:

Chopped and dehydrated some leftover raw carrots.

Chopped and dehydrated some leftover bell peppers. 

Gratefully received some fresh from the ground potatoes, fresh from the vine cucumbers and fresh from the ground onions from some friends.

Added compost materials to the compost bin I emptied a couple of weeks ago.  It’s time to start the process all over again!

Browned a large package of ground beef we purchased on sale.  Froze two meal size portions from it for future cooking and used the rest to make spaghetti sauce for dinner one night.

In The Garden we have …

Tomatoes blooming

Baby cucumbers on the vines

The second planting of cucumbers we planted is up and about an inch high. In another week or so it’ll be time to plant a third planting.  By planting them in stages, it insures that we will have cucumbers to eat most of the summer.

Bell, banana, jalapeƱo and cayenne pepper plants are thriving

Spring green onions to eat

Squash plants are about a foot tall

Second planting of squash is pushing through the ground

Parsley is growing (thank you Annabel)

Basil, cilantro, rosemary, sage, spearmint, peppermint, lavender, lemon balm, nettles and dill are growing

Garlic will be ready to harvest soon

Turmeric is up and growing well

Rabbit tobacco is taking off

Bunching onions are growing

Okra is coming up

Zucchini has baby zucchini

Blueberries are just before ripening

Elderberry bushes are blooming

Raspberry bushes are loaded and ripening

Grape vines are full of promise

Peach tree is hanging full of baby peaches

Pear tree is hanging full of baby pears

It looks to be a good gardening year.   I surely hope it is!

Here are some things I want to get done in the upcoming week:

Start harvesting raspberries

CVS shopping

Continue harvesting spring onions

Harvest zucchini


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.


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, May 28, 2016

Container Gardening: Cucumbers

This year we're experimenting with container gardening and I thought you might like to see how our cucumbers are doing ...



Here's a picture of the overall pot ... want to see what's underneath all those leaves?




baby cucumbers ...




more baby cucumbers ...




and yet, more baby cucumbers!

There are many more that are not shown.  We are so pleased with how the cucumbers are producing.

Here's what we did and are doing to get these results ...

We took a really large pot ...
filled the bottom with some rocks for drainage ...
filled the pot with garden soil and some of our homemade compost ...
planted straight eight heirloom seeds and as soon as they were up and growing, added a tomato cage to the pot ...
when the cucumbers started running we wound the vines in and around the tomato cage ...
water daily (container gardening requires more water than traditional gardening) ...
fertilize with a liquid fertilizer about every two weeks...

and you're looking at the results!

We expect to be harvesting cucumbers in the coming up 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.


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.




$5 or Less Pantry Challenge: May 28th, 2016

We had some errands to run in town today so I gathered up my coupons and CVS Extracare Bucks and off we went ... here's what we scored at CVS (and Sam's Club) for less than $5!!!


Total out of pocket for everything shown was $2.13 (this total includes taxes)!

In addition, we earned $2.50 in Extracare Bucks that we can use on our next CVS shopping trip.

(The two travel size toothpastes came from a kiosk at Sam's Club ... they were free!)

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.


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, May 25, 2016

The Vicky Challenge: May 25th, 2016

This past week has been my lowest ‘saving’ week thus far, but it’s still something!

I/we saved/earned $82.17 this week in The Vicky Challenge!  

Here’s how it breaks down:

Planted the following plants that I grew from seeds (I am averaging each plant at $1 per plant):  8 tomato plants. Saved:  $8

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $$6

Saved $16.17 by taking advantage of sales, coupons and clearance items. 

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

Made four 12 x 12 inch design boards:  Saved $12

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $6,468.28, add this week’s amount ($82.17) and I/we have saved $6,550.45.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn through being frugal!

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!

Sewing/Crafting Day: May 25th, 2016

I've wanted a design wall for a very long time, but we just don't have room for one in our home.  So, when I came across this post, I knew that I wanted to make some of these smaller design boards.  They are by no means a replacement for a design wall, but they will enable me to play around with quilt block designs without the pieces sliding around.

Following the instructions in the above mentioned post, I set to work ...



I started out with 2  inexpensive foam boards that were 20 x 30 inches each ...


and cut them into 12 x 12 inch squares (I saved the 'leftovers' for future projects)


I cut out pieces of cotton quilting batting (from scraps I had on hand) and glued them to each board (around all four sides) using a hot glue gun ...


Here are all 4 boards, trimmed and stacked waiting for the next step


I stitched up the edging and glued it on  ...  I was all set to complete all 4 of them yesterday, but let's just say that yesterday didn't go the way we had planned so, I still have 3 more to edge.


Take a closer look at the fabric I'm using for the edging ... it is perfect for the project and it came from my fabric stash!

I am excited about these design boards and am planning a quilting project so I can put them to use!

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.


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, May 23, 2016

Free Pantry Items: May 23rd, 2016

With our reduced grocery budget this year we’re getting creative in ways to keep our pantry well-stocked while eating almost exclusively from it each day.  

Today, I ordered two more free to me, meaning no money out of my pocket, pantry related  items to add to my pantry and here’s how I did it.

A few days ago I redeemed the Bing points that I had earned and got a $10 Amazon gift card.  I added it to my account and left it alone.  I knew that I had some Amazon affiliate money coming ($16.98) and planned to combine the $10 with the affiliate money.  It came today and so I combined the two amounts and ordered the following …



Total for both items was $25.38 … cost to me $0. 

Where there is a will there is a way.  These are not huge amounts but every little bit helps when you’re building, using and maintaining a well-stocked pantry and I am so thankful to have these avenues open to me.


A big thank-you to all who shop Amazon through my affiliate links.  Your purchases make it possible for me to earn affiliate money.

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, May 22, 2016

Pantry Challenge #20 ... 2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

It has been a wet, rainy and for the most part a dreary week weather wise, but it didn’t stop the pantry building …


My to-do list from last time:

Make more turmeric capsulesDone!

Make vitamin c capsules.  Done!

Plant more tomatoes.  Done!  I finished planting all the tomato plants we grew from seeds in our greenhouse.

In Addition:

I started harvesting our spring green onions, cutting the blades half off and dehydrating them.  I will grind them up into powder and use as I would white onion powder.  (Of course, we are eating the other half of the onions.)

Planted okra, several varieties of peppers and more squash








I took $5 and added 4 bottles of Dawn dish washing liquid ($.97 each) and 2 tubes of toothpaste (after coupons we paid $.50 for each tube).  It is quite possible to significantly add to our pantries with as little as $5 per week.   


Yoo whoo?  Is anybody home?  These were the words we heard Saturday afternoon shortly after returning home from an outing.  I looked out the storm door and saw an older lady from church coming up the steps to our porch.  In her hand she was carrying this beautiful jar of flowers which she handed me as I greeted her.  She wanted to know if we wanted to go junking with her to her deceased brothers home place.  Of course, we said yes and off we went.  We came home with a #3 wash tub (in very good condition), canning jars, 4 x 6 picture frames which I needed, some corelle ware plates and saucers, 3 t-shirts, a milk crate, an old flat iron and the thing that thrilled my soul the most was 2 large round cheese boxes complete with their lids (in excellent condition).  I have been wanting the cheese boxes for several years!  You want to know the best part, none of these items cost us anything.   The dear lady gave all of it to us just to get it out of her and her family's way!  We consider ourselves to have been blessed! 

Here are some things I want to get done in the upcoming week:

Continue harvesting and dehydrating spring onions 

See what I can add to my pantry for $5

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.
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