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This is Why! part 4

Parts 1, 2, and 3 can be found here . In the last entry we talked about how to use leftovers to help stock our pantries. This week ...

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Ways of My Household ... 11/13/2016

You’ve heard the old adage, ‘I’m saving the best for last’ … well, not today! In this post, I’m going to start off with the best …

I’ve recently shared about another huge increase in our health insurance premium that we had been notified would go into effect in January putting our monthly premium cost at almost $2000/month.  Many of you have been praying for us and with us and helping us to search out new ways to save in order to be able to meet this expense each month.  We have not asked anyone for any kind of monetary help, just prayers and advice.  This week my husband received a phone call from someone in another state telling him that the monies to cover the increased part of our health insurance premium for the first 6 months of 2017 were being given; my husband cried and I cried.  The caller on the other end of the phone had no idea the burden they had just lifted off our shoulders.  We feel like we can breathe again, it has given us some more time to figure out what to do long term.  Needless to say we are praising God for yet again looking out for us.  Let me just say that over the past 4 months we’ve seen some pretty amazing things happening in our lives that can only be attributed to God.  We stand in awe of Him!

Psalm 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Okay, on to the ways of my household this week …

Note:  My Vicky Challenge Savings are added in at the appropriate places.  

I dried our laundry without the use of a dryer … Saved $3

I planted some rosemary pieces that I had rooted. Saved: $5

I did the same thing with some basil pieces.  When the weather gets cooler I will bring both the rosemary and basil inside for the winter.  The goal is to be able to winter them over and not have to start over with seeds in the spring.  Saved:   $5

I harvested the last of the peppers and pulled up the plants.  Our pepper plants did really well this year.  Value of peppers harvested $5 ... Saved: $5

We saved $400.44 using coupons and shopping sales for food and non-food pantry items.  

We discovered a while back, that there’s a Kroger about an hour’s drive from where we live … oh happy day!!!  I’ve been watching their sales flyers ever since and learned this week that they have their Land O Lakes butter (the real stuff) on sale for $1.99/lb.  We worked in a trip to that area and did some ‘stocking-up’ for the pantry kind of shopping.  We purchased enough butter for a year (yes, we did), several cans of green peas … on sale for $.49/can, several cans of whole kernel corn … on sale for $.49/can, a few boxes of cake mixes … on sale for $.49/box,  several boxes of spaghetti pasta (1 lb boxes) … on sale for $.49/box and a few jugs of 2% milk … on sale for $.99/half gallon.  Beginning total, $283 … price we paid after discounts … $110. This was a big chunk of our grocery budget for the month but it is well worth it to have these areas of my pantry well-stocked again and at such good prices.

I received orders for 2 more cakes for Thanksgiving.  So thankful!  Can we just  say some more pantry stocking funds!!!!

I added compost material to the compost bin. 

 I’m on day 53 of my 100 Day Crochet Challenge.  I crocheted 5 more dishcloths with one more on the hook (while riding in the vehicle on various days) and started on this summer swaddling blanket for babies using this thread and muslin for the blanket part as muslin is what a lot of summer swaddling blankets are made of.   I want to do 1 more swaddling blanket and then I will have 2 winter blankets and 2 summer blankets in my gift trunk that I can use for baby gifts when the occasion arises.  I’m counting $3 per dishcloth as savings (after subtracting out the cost) since these type of dishcloths are selling for $4 and $5 each at several different places online … saved $18.

I started reading Sarah’s Seasons by Martha Moore Davis last week and continued it into this week. It is the diary of an Amish wife and mother.  I am really enjoying reading this book and have already gleaned a few things from it.

Not working outside my home … Saved $100

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge Savings  savings/earnings have been $13,787.08 add this week’s amount ($536.44) and I/we have saved $14,323.52.
Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry, care for your household or live frugally this week?

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




Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button.  I would be very grateful!  

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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.

A Working Pantry is more than just about food! It's about household items needed to keep my home running smoothly readily available when needed.  It's about keeping a gift trunk so that I'm ready for any gift giving occasion.  It's about a lifestyle.  It's about keeping my home and looking well to the ways of my household and it's about doing it all as frugally as possible.  I hope you enjoy what you read here.

35 comments:

  1. Praise God for the amazing blessings coming you way. I still can't get over how much you pay for health insurance in America. Those premiums would almost swallow up our entire monthly income. Patsy, have you thought about opening up an Etsy shop to sell your crafts ? As you probably have read on my blog, I opened up an Etsy shop with a group of friends. I desperately needed more income and God is providing a few sales here and there.
    Here's what I've done to save money in my home


    * Rescued a half dead tomato plant from Bunnings for 50 cents. After cutting off the dead bits and giving it a good drink of water all week, it's looking much better.

    * Saved all the washing machine rinse water for each next load. Saved the shower water for our pot plants and fruit bushes. Poured drink bottle water into the watering can.

    * Kept the heater off as much as possible. With the changeable weather we're getting, the heater is only put on every now and then.

    * Used a couple of Flybuys vouchers to get bonus points at Coles.

    * Sold two dozen eggs and lots of white choc and raspberry muffins to my cleaning client.

    * Mended holes in three socks.

    * Picked silverbeet from the garden for three meals.

    * Fed the compost bin with kitchen scraps.

    * Picked up another fortnightly cleaning job this week. I'm very grateful for the work and God is certainly supplying our needs.

    * Posted off a few Etsy sales from my shop.

    * Made a batch of double strength Miracle Spray. I dilute it down to it's correct strength when filling up the spray bottles.

    * Made a creamed rice dessert and egg custard dessert using mostly ingredients that were given to us. I'll be posting the recipes shortly.

    * Dried the washing on the line. I'm so glad the weather has changed and I can put the clothes horses away ( most of the time )

    I have a few photos on my blog of some of these frugal task. http://myabundantlife07.blogspot.com.au/2016/11/this-weeks-frugal-tasks-saturday-12th.html

    Have a blessed week Patsy

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    1. Wendy,those health insurance premiums take a large part of our income ... I just don't see how people are going to continue paying these huge premiums. I haven't given much thought to an Etsy shop, maybe it's something I should research and look into. As usual you had a great week of savings. You are such an inspiration!

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  2. What an awesome blessing for someone to be so generous! I know you are so relieved for a few months of that extra burden of increased insurance premiums. I'm so happy for you. God fills our cup til it's running over. I also hit Kroger in the last couple weeks. I got 12 lbs of butter (in the mix & match 10 items to get the sale price) and also price matched at our Walmart to get 10 more. So my freezer is loaded with butter. Also it's loaded down with half the beef we just picked up. We split the other half with some friends. It was worth taking care of the steer for 6 1/2 months to have a year or more worth of meat in the freezer. Like you I also loaded up on the pasta, a week or so back their stuffing and cranberry sauce was on sale at a really good price. This is my favorite shopping month of the whole year. Good job on all your savings. And again so thankful for the monetary blessing. I have been praying for you. I haven't posted in a while, but want to say that I appreciate all the work you put in with Disaster Relief, they are a great ministry of the Church. I never got to go to Nashville to help them, but some retired friends used to go regularly to pack boxes down there. You inspire me to do more and more. Thank you. Vicky in Ky.

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    1. Vicky, Sounds like you are ready for winter too, great job! Disaster Relief was a lot of hard work, but being the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth sometimes can be hard. They are still sending trucks to surrounding areas, this whole area got hit pretty bad. Please tell your retired friends 'thank you' from those of us who have seen what a difference what they do makes in an area that has been devastated. Thank you for your prayers!

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  3. Wow! I am glad you didn't save that for last! Truly amazing news Patsy. I am also hoping by the end of that six months these ridiculous premiums will be made history but the new President as there must be lots of people unable to pay them and in all sorts of trouble and worry. Now you can enjoy Christmas and the New Year without all this worry! I am so happy for you!
    Your crochet is going so well! Would you believe I am working not he exact same thing, a while muslin wrap with pink edging! I have two white wraps and one pale pink one. They are a big area to crochet around but it will look very pretty.
    What a good amount of savings and good news! with love Annabel.xxx

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    1. Annabel, Yes, now we can enjoy the upcoming holidays. I don't think I realized how burdensome this whole thing had become until I felt the burden lifted. Such sweet relief! You inspired me with the photos of your beautiful muslin wrap and I knew that I just had to do one. Yes, this is a large area to edge but that's okay. I'm enjoying the journey! Can't wait to see your finished wrap, I know it will be beautiful!

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  4. Hi Patsy!!
    We share the wonder and relief in your monetary news!
    As for butter, it provides vitamin D in winter (the vitamin that sunshine provides), as well as vitamin A and butyric acid (for lower bowel, anti-polyp health). Your food is your medicine! Good buy!!
    Your crocheting is going well, and "Sarah's Seasons" sounds interesting.

    As for me, I finished preserving our lemons in jars. We now have small jars (& these are all free, recycled supermarket jars!) of lemon juice, a few tallish jars of lemon cordial, two batches of Myer lemon 'jam' & lemon-vinegar cleaning solution on the way! Some are tithe, and some are gifts. We are looking after the dog's cut under his eye by bandaging him with part of a soft, stretchy sock over his head (with ear holes!) A bit of string holds the sock up for his good eye. All this stops him bumping/scratching it while it heals. Then there is the supply of part balls of crochet yarn that my parents gave me. I think I'm all set for summer crochet learning!!

    With very warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

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    1. Rachel, I was so happy to be able to purchase the butter at that price. We did the same thing last year only we purchased the butter while traveling in another state as we did not realize that there was a Kroger an hour away from where we live. Lemon juice ... how do you preserve it? So glad that you were able to take care of your dog's cut, how smart to think of using a sock! You are one creative lady! Do you have a summer crocheting project in mind?

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    2. Patsy, in Australia, our preserving/'canning' system, using the water bath method, is called Vacola. Not being a pressure canning system, we can only preserve acidic (pH 4.6 or less) foods. I discovered that this includes mulberries (pH 3), pears, etc. Lemon juice is, of course, very acidic. I simmer my supermarket (with metal lids) jars in hot water, to sterilize and heat. I pour (simmering) hot lemon juice (the hot pack method!) into the hot jars, and then process in an olive oil can hot water bath! Da-Da, that gives preserved lemon juice, since I do not have the freezing option. I did the same with lemon cordial. My collection of useful, refreshing preserves is growing!!

      When I was a young child, a lady started me on basic crochet, to the extent that I later used it to bind school assignments. Now I need to revise what I know and identify the stitch names, and add the other basic stitches! My summer project is learning basic crochet!! - maybe kitchen towel edgings (I have a light blue chenille bedspread to cut up!) ...... maybe raffia coasters for the table ..... whatever we can use, made from what I have on hand (my sister just offered me raffia!).

      With very warm regards,
      Rachel

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    3. Oh my! You're going to cut up a chenille bed spread? Isn't that against the law or something? (lol) I love chenille!!!

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  5. Patsy I am so pleased for you. This breathing space will allow you to find a pathway. We have welcomed a new baby boy into my extended family this week. I have some gorgeous muslin and some blue crochet cotton. I am going to use your example of a baby wrap to give this little fellow a gift. Where this little fellow lives, there have already been some damaging bush fires. It is looking like being another hot and dry summer. A light swaddling cloth is just what is needed. Thank you for the inspiration.

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    1. Jane, yes, we now have a little breathing space and we are so thankful! A new baby boy, oh how wonderful! I hope you will share a picture of your muslin wrap when you are finished. It certainly sounds like something light and swaddling will meet the need perfectly.

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  6. It's wonderful to read about the generosity you experienced in helping to cover some of your health insurance. That's quite some hike in cost! In Australia, our premiums for health insurance keep rising each year but ours is nowhere near the amount you have to find. It's lovely that in helping the person who has covered some of your costs will know that they've not only lifted the burden of payment for a while but also the stress of having to find that extra money in your budget. Meg:)

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    1. Meg, that is how we feel, so, so thankful!

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  7. Oh Patsi, I'm just so happy with tears for you! I haven't even finished reading your post! I just read about your insurance and was filled with so much joy that I felt I wanted to comment. I'm so thankful our Heavenly Father has blessed you! It's always so humbling to see his work in action through people that have listened to the spirit to answer a need for someone. We have been on both ends many times and it's absolutely wonderful and faith building to see that miracles continue to come true. I'm just so happy for you! Now I can read the rest of your blog, which I always enjoy. Thank you for always being a wonderful example of faith and patience through trials.
    Sincerely,
    Melody

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    1. Thank you Melody, we are enjoying a time of rejoicing! God is faithful!

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  8. The Kroger sale is my favorite of the year. I always buy a year's supply of canned veggies, pasta, and other items that vary from year to year. This year it started on the first Wed of the month which is a senior savings day here in our Phoenix stores. They took the 10% off of the sales price of .99 before they took the discount off for buying 10 items so each can only cost .39.

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    1. Susan, you did even better than we did! Way to go!!!!

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  9. Praise God. What an amazing answer to prayer.

    $2000 a month for health insurance??? Wow!!! As a Canadian, I cannot even begin to comprehend how anyone apart from the rich can afford that.

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    1. Theresa, it just doesn't make any sense does it? We and so many others that are being hit with these high premiums are not any where near rich which is why it is creating such a hardship. We too, are praising God!

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  10. What fantastic news, Patsi! Glory to God for the blessings he is given to you!

    Kroger is my favorite store. I have one not too far away and it is where I normally shop. I have been enjoying this sale! They also have Honeysuckle turkeys for .59/pound with a $35 purchase (limit one, unfortunately). I have bought three (each around 14 pounds or so), with the intent of getting a few more next week. You really can't beat less than a dollar a pound for meat. I'm going to save one to roast around Thanksgiving time (my MIL is hosting...I just want the "leftovers"!), probably one for Christmas time, and the rest I will pressure cook and then can. I used the sale to stock up on butter, hot chocolate mix (.89/box), and Progresso soup (.99/can).

    Did you use a pattern for your swaddling blanket? That is such a nice gift!

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    1. Jenn, Yes, glory to God! We are so thankful! I didn't see the turkeys while at Krogers! I am using the pattern that Annabel shared on her blog in this post ... http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-christmas-challenge-crochet-edgings.html ... I hope mine turns out as pretty as hers!

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  11. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Great deal on the butter and I feel that brand keeps very well. We recently got a Lowe's Foods in our area and they double up to 99 cents so I need to see if that store could help us to save some grocery money.

    After last week's shopping we are fully stocked on all baking mixes, flour and mayo. We also are stocked on TP for the holidays. Many items were actually free with coupons. All foods are on hand now for Thanksgiving except the turkey which hubby gets free from his employer each year. We also added to our gas gift card stash with extra fuel rewards this week and a $50 card for $40. I also cashed in my October Swagbucks for $75 in Amazon cards. Yes, that is more than usual for sure but I can usually do $45 easily. I am thankful for this income. I ordered our grandson's birthday gifts from Amazon and had them shipped straight to him which saves me postage. I put the grandchild's name and then HAPPY BIRTHDAY in the address line. They know it is their birthday box when it comes. I also save on wrappings that way. I feel that this helps cover a chunk of our Amazon Prime each year.

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    1. Lana, you have done very good! I also use Amazon Prime to shop and ship my grandchildren's gifts. It does indeed help pay for the cost of having Amazon Prime. I know many look at having Amazon Prime as a luxury but in our situation it actually saves us money. Praise God indeed!

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  12. What a wonderful blessing! Patsy, have you shared your dishcloth pattern? I need to stock up on the butter too!

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    1. Angela, I'm working on writing up the instructions for the dishcloths I'm crocheting.

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  13. Patsy, I am so happy for the blessing you received. Your shopping trip sounds wonderful and I am glad you were able to stock up on butter for a year. I found butter for $2.50 each and bought several which will last me about 6 months. Your 100 day challenge is going well and you are getting a lot accomplished. I still have quiet a bit left to get done and the days are going by way to fast. It is hard to believe it is the middle of November already. Have a great week Patsy. Paula in Kansas

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    1. Paula, I can hardly believe that this year is almost over! I'm really enjoying learning how to crochet. This 100 day challenge has been a good way for me to learn without feeling overwhelmed. I'm already thinking about what my next '100 Day Challenge' will be when I finish this one!

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  14. Praise the Lord! How great to know that burden has been lifted; even if for only a moment. Let hope and pray that we some wonderful changes to the cost of healthcare before you must assume paying for it once again.

    I have a Kroger near and love shopping their sales!

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    1. Wendi, we will still be paying $1543/month that we've been paying each month this year but the new additional increase is what is being paid for us for 6 months in 2017. We are so blessed and thankful!

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  15. What's on your Amazon whishlist

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  16. I am very happy to hear of how God is taking care of you. Those are really high insurance premiums, and I'm sure you still have co-pays, etc. to pay. I can testify that God is bigger than all that, as well. As in my situation, we have just finished an entire year of my husband's unemployment (he's back to work now, as am I) and I can sincerely say that God provided each and every need we had during the entire time. We did not lack for one single thing that we really needed. Now, we have some catching up to do, and I know He'll be with us through this time as well. So, I'm sure it's so wonderful to be able to have another story to add to what I know must be a long list of times God has cared for you through the years. Isn't it nice to have a time of rejoicing? I'm glad you can put worry aside and have some room to breathe. It will be good to see what else God provides for you in the future.

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    1. becky, you said it so well! Thank you!

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  17. Patsy I just read off the beginning of this post to John. We cried, too. We're always so blessed when we read of the blessings of others! We know how mysteriously and wonderfully God will work if we'll just pray and expect it. About Kroger. Go on their facebook page and you will see a Free Friday download. I realize at an hour away it's not a trip you'll make often but if you've got the members card you can sign up for an account on their home page and link it. Then you can automatically load coupons and the Free Friday item to the card. When you are in the area you can pick up the free items. I live about 40 miles away and don't get over there often enough, but anytime I can I pick up the free items! I keep a running list in my purse with the expiration date of each item so I know what to look for when I go in.

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