Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Ways of My Household ... 12/31/2016

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas!  We did!  All our Christmas wrappings, trims, decorations and tree have been put away until time to bring them back out again in 2017.  My gift trunk is ready to start filling again, goals are being set for 2017 and we are ready to move forward, but before we do that we need to close out 2016.

Let’s see how the last 2 weeks of this year have shaped up …

I ‘woke-up’ a sourdough starter that I purchased and am now ready to start making sourdough bread.

My husband’s cell phone stopped working, thankfully when we took it in they said it was a manufacturer problem and replaced his phone free of charge.   Saved:  $150

We saved $36.70 using coupons and shopping sales for food and non-food pantry items.



I printed out my Food Preservation Log/Journal and got it ready to start entering information onto and not a minute too soon either because, we purchased hog jowl (pictured above)  for the freezer part of our pantry this week.  We brought it home, sliced it and added 7 packages/meals to our pantry and 3 packages of scraps which we’ll use for seasoning purposes.  I put my Food Preservation Log/Journal on a clipboard and placed it where I would have easy access to it in the kitchen.


In addition, we were at Aldi’s one day and found a $5 off each ham sale (limit 4).  We purchased the limit and added them to the freezer part of our pantry (with the $5 off each ham, we paid between $4 and $6 for each).

 I turned this men’s shirt into fabric using this method to ‘de-bone’ it.  (The shirt was given to my husband in November and he couldn’t wear it.  The giver had lost a lot of weight and couldn’t wear it either … it was brand new with the tags still attached!)  I loved the fabric so I decided to keep it and turn it into an addition to the fabric/sewing part of my pantry. Savings:  $10 worth of fabric!   See how much brand new fabric I got out of this shirt ... plus the buttons ... you know I saved the buttons!  Here's what was left when I got done that went in the trash can ....  Waste not!  Want not!


I found this post  on preserving lemons and thought ‘duh, why haven’t I thought of that!’ You can bet that I will be watching for sales on lemons a little closer now that I’ve discovered this little tip!  This, along with juicing lemons and freezing the juice in ice trays, are two ways to preserve fresh lemons.  Don’t throw out the lemon peels either, you can make lemon rind or use them to make citrus vinegar which can be used in cleaner recipes.
I made some low-carb burritos and added them to the freezer part of my pantry.  The recipe called for 4 large eggs scrambled … season to taste, chopped onions and peppers, 1 pound sausage and 1 cup shredded cheese.  I doubled the recipe. Cook sausage with onions and peppers. Place mixtures and cheese in burritos, roll up, flash freeze, wrap each in plastic wrap, place in a gallon ziplock bag and put in freezer.  When you’re ready to use, take out of the freezer, heat and eat!  This made 8 burritos (approximately 10 carbs each) for us.  Both my husband and I liked these, so I’ll be making more.

I earned $19.95 from affiliate links in December.  Thank you to everyone who shopped Amazon through my affiliate link.  Every little bit helps!

I downloaded free from Amazon the e-book, Pinch Like You Mean It, 101 Ways to Spend Less Money Now by Dr. Penny Pincher.   Saved: $3.99

I also downloaded for free from Amazon the Proverbs 31 PrepperSaved $4.99

I’m on day 87 of my 100 Day Crochet Challenge.   I completed 5 more dishcloths for my use.  I now have new dishcloths to use in my kitchen.   I had to join yarns in each of them at least once in order to use up all the partial skeins I had.   I’m counting this as a $25 savings (5 dishcloths x $5 each).  I have already deducted the cost of the materials for an earlier project and since I’m using the leftover yarn from that project there is no cost to deduct.
I also added 4 dishcloths to my gift trunk with 4 more to finish off.  Adding these gives me a good start on my 2017 gift trunk!  Savings $24

I set up a 2017 Goals: Season by Season page, be sure to check it out!  I seem to get so much more accomplished if I have a plan a.k.a. goals.
I had another flare-up with my back and had to take time out for several sessions using my castor oil pack.  Yet again this method has saved me a visit to the doctor and the subsequent round of steroids, both pill and shots, that are the usual standard treatment.  Savings to us:  $75
Not working outside my home … Saved $100 (x 2 weeks)
The USDA’s ‘moderate’ Food Budget for a family the size of ours is $589.70 monthly.  In December we spent about $300, that’s a savings of $289.70

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge Savings  savings/earnings have been $18,444.96, add this week’s amount ($839.33) and the final total for 2016 comes to $19,284.29.  Being home gave me time and energy to pursue deals and savings, make things myself instead of buying them and do things myself instead of paying someone else to do them for me.  For the season of life I’m in and the skill set I posses; I could not have cleared $19,284.29 had I been working outside my home!  Yes, we made the right choice for us!

This post ends the Pantry Challenges/Ways of My Household posts for 2016.  Next week, we’ll start with 2017.  Thank you for being a part of our journey this year!

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry, care for your household or live frugally these past 2 weeks? 

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!  

 https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

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.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Countdown to Christmas ... 12/22/2016

Santa and I went out delivering fudge cups today to the employees of our Sam's Club!  (We do this every year with management's permission.)

What fun we had ...

little children came running up to Santa ...

adults wanted their pictures made with Santa ...

children wanted to hug Santa ...

people waved at Santa and honked their horns while we were driving down the road ...

people pointed and smiled ...

children starred with eyes growing wider ...

Santa was watched ...

Santa was followed by little children and their parents ...

Santa was given lots of 'high five's' ...

It was hard to tell who was having more fun ... Santa or everyone else!

This is the last entry in this series and the last Working Pantry post until 2017.

Tomorrow and Saturday we will deliver more fudge cups to individuals in our community, deliver homemade gifts and do our best to spread a little more Christmas cheer.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what a simple Christmas season looked like at our house this year! 

Why do we do things like we have done, are doing and will be doing?  

Because we enjoy seeing the joy in peoples faces and the twinkle in their eyes ... 

Because we don't have any family living any where near close to us and we need something to focus on other than the fact that we are so far away from our families at a time that focuses so much on family ... 

Because God is the great gift giver, He gave His only begotten Son to be sacrificed for our sins.  Jesus, the only begotten Son, gave His life for our sins.   God gave, Jesus gave, we want to be givers too ...  we want others to see Jesus living in us and giving is one way that that can be done.  It doesn't have to be big gifts, expensive gifts or even physical 'hold it in your hands' gifts, sometimes the gift of time or a kindness is the best gift we can give someone.  This holiday season let's reach out to others and remember that God/Jesus is the greatest of gift givers.


Merry Christmas Everyone!  

Enjoy the holidays and I'll meet you back here in 2017 ready for a new year of learning and sharing!

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

My other blog:  She Hath Done What She Could

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.



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Countdown to Christmas ... 12/21/2016

Today, we made up fudge cups and got them ready for deliveries ....


... and I wrapped the gifts we had for the twins and delivered them to their mama tonight with the instructions that they could not open them until Christmas Day!!!!


We're on the home stretch with Christmas preps!

What did you do on your journey toward Christmas today?

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


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.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Countdown to Christmas ... 12/20/2016

We've been out and about most of the day today so our Christmas cheer came from listening to Christmas music, singing along and enjoying a box of chocolates together while waiting in our vehicle for something to get ready that we needed to pick-up.

The box of chocolates was one of those mixed variety types that are so popular this time of the year.  It was on clearance and we had to look at the insert to know what each piece was. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, trying what sounded good to each of us and sharing with one another when we came across one that we really enjoyed.  We enjoyed ourselves, excercised restraint (see, we didn't eat the whole thing) and made a memory that we will cherish ... while we listened to Christmas music and waited!

The simple things!

What did you do on your journey toward Christmas today?

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

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.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Countdown to Christmas ... 12/19/2016

Everything is in the mail that is going in the mail!  All the gifts and cards have been postmarked!  It feels good to have these two tasks completed!

Today was also fudge making day!  My  husband makes homemade fudge once a year and we give it as gifts to friends, neighbors, church members, etc. This is an all day task and while I help him do the 'support' things, for the most part this is completely his project.  He has people ask him for his fudge for Christmas every year with reminders all year long.

Here's the link to the recipe he uses.  He does not drop the mixture but spreads it in a pan instead.

We plan for the expense several months in advance as he makes several trays just like the one in the picture.  (Today, he made 4.)

What did you do on your journey toward Christmas today?

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

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.

The Ways of My Household ... 12/18/2016

I hope you are enjoying this final week before Christmas!  Things are surely busy at our house as we put the finishing touches on our Christmas preps ... thankfully, it's not a harried stressful kind of busy!
Here’s how my week shaped up …
The hearth is finished … including the mantels!  My husband did such a good job!  Savings: $90  Yes, we are using an old wash tub for our wood bin and the fully curred cypress boards we are using for the mantels were given to us ... Savings $100
We saved $78 using coupons and shopping sales for food and non-food pantry items.
My husband had an episode with one of his knees one day this past week.  He couldn’t put any weight on it at all when he got up one morning and in fact had to hobble around using one crutch.  I convinced him to let me put a castor oil pack on it and he agreed.   By lunch time he could stand on it without the assistance of the crutch and after another afternoon session, he was pain free.  The next morning he got out of bed with no problems and was still pain free.  It has not given him any trouble since.  The best we can figure is that it got irritated while he was working on the hearth and that the inflammation was what was causing the pain.   Savings to us by not having to go to the doctor and subsequent treatments they would have done:  I’m estimating about $100 out of our pocket.  (Please note, I am not a doctor and have absolutely no medical training.  I'm simply sharing what is working for us.  You should consult a physican for medical issues.)


I’m on day 78 of my 100 Day Crochet Challenge.   I’m currently doing a marathon of dishcloths as I’ve decided that my old ones need to move onto the ‘rag’ bag!  I used most of the ones I had already crocheted as gifts.  Here’s what they looked like all prettied up and ready for gift giving.  Savings:  $40  Here's where I found the free printable crochet labels!

The ladies Christmas party that I hosted at our house Friday night was a success and cost me less than $10 out of pocket.  You can read more about it here.

Not working outside my home … Saved $100

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge Savings  savings/earnings have been $17,936.96, add this week’s amount ($508) and the new total comes to $18,444.96.

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!  

 https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

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.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Countdown to Christmas... 12/18/2016

Today, in and around worship services, I finished getting the Christmas cards that we mail ready to go in the mail.  I hand delivered all the ones that went to the members of our church so now I'm all done with this part of Christmas preparations.

I received a pair of really cute Christmas socks from a friend at church!  Thank you Mrs. J.!

My husband and I received some goodies from some of the children at church.  Thank you sweet children!



It's the simple things that carry with it some pretty big Christmas cheer!

In and around worship services I also got the crocheted dishcloths I've been working on ready for gift giving.  I think they made cute gifts!

What did you do on your journey toward Christmas today?

Patsi
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!  

 https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

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.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Countdown to Christmas ... 12/17/2016

The holiday baking has started at my house!!!  

Today, I made our home made version of what is commonly known as nuts and bolts ... we call it Scrabble!  We make a big batch once a year at Christmas and munch on it until it's all gone.  (It keeps good in air tight containers.)

(Photo:  Scrabble spread out on a towel cooling before being put into air tight containers.)

I had never heard of Scrabble until I met my husband.  It was a family favorite in his family and was made every year sometime either right before Thanksgiving or before Christmas.  After my husband and I married we brought that tradition into our family and now our children are enjoying the same tradition in their families.  

Making Scrabble at our house signals/screams 'Christmas!'  Is there something that you do that signals/screams 'Christmas' at your house?
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.
I also worked on the Christmas cards that will be hand delivered at church tomorrow and with my husband's help got them ready to deliver.
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What did you do on your journey toward Christmas today?

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

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.

Countdown to Christmas ... 12/16/2016

Our  church's ladies Christmas party was a success!  Nine of us gathered in my small little home and we partied!

Everyone brought finger foods, deserts and a beverage ... yum, there was some good food at my house ... just saying!

Everyone brought a gift to exchange.  This year we decided to stuff Christmas socks with stocking stuffer type things and exchange those. (We have a $10 spending limit.) 

(Photo: Most everyone showing off their christmas socks.)

We played games ... Christmas Bingo, a Point Game and I had everyone to guess how many decorations were on my tree.  Of course there were prizes for all the winners as well as a 'take home/thank you for coming' gift as well.  (These are the gifts/prizes I've been wrapping and pretting up this week that I purchased all year long at clearance prices.)
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.

Everyone seemed to have a good time ... I know I did!

What did you do on your journey toward Christmas?

Patsi
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!  

https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif

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.

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