Sunday, January 10, 2016

Pantry Challenge #2 ... 2016

Look at my lemon trees; they are surviving the move from outside to inside quite well. (Remember, I started these from seeds back in the summer.)  I made up a solution of 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts to 2 quarts of water and gave them a good drink.  It’s supposed to help with their magnesium needs.   I also set a couple of cups of water amongst them to help keep the humidity up in the area where they are sitting; having the heat on can make the air a bit dry for them.

Well, cold weather has finally arrived and it actually feels like winter in our area, which means I am busy working inside where it’s warm and cozy ….

My to-do list from last time:

I have a canning/preserving marathon planned for January so I’m going to get started on that.   I have the following that needs to get done in January:

Can pinto beans.  Didn't get done!

Can white beans.  Didn't get done!

Can kidney beans.  Done!   I added 14 quarts to our pantry.  This will be enough to last us for the rest of the year.

Make bread crumbs.  We don’t use a lot of bread crumbs since we are low-carb eaters, but I’m not about to let these stale pieces of bread, etc go to waste!  The bread crumbs will last us a very long time at the rate we use them!  Done! I added 2 quarts to my pantry.

Make turmeric capsules.  Done!  I made up a month’s supply.  I purchase turmeric powder from a Mennonite store and capsules like these from Amazon. (affiliate link) 

Make vitamin c capsules.  Done!  I made up a month’s supply.  I purchase vitamin C powder here. (affiliate link)

Make a batch of laundry powder (The last time I made it was in November 2013 … the last batch lasted over 2 years!!!).  Didn't get done!

In addition:

We used the cash rewards we earned from shopping at Sam’s Club last year to renew our yearly plus membership for another year.  We didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket.

We  used gift cards to help pay for the groceries we purchased this week, we had$35 in gift cards, so our groceries for the week cost us $27 and some change out of pocket which is just $2 plus the change over our weekly budget of $25.

We purchased 10 lbs of ground beef as part of the above mentioned grocery shopping trip.  After getting home we vacuum sealed it into 1 lb size portions and added it to the freezer part of our pantry.

As part of the same grocery shopping, we found these on clearance at Sam’s Club for $2.91 per box.  Each box contains a bag of chocolate kisses and 3 packages of individual cookie mixes.  This was a really good deal as the bag of chocolate kisses alone would have been the price we paid for the whole box!

We made sausage balls during the Christmas holidays and purchased shredded cheddar cheese to use in the recipe.  I took what was left of the bag, divided it up into ½ cup increments and put it in snack baggies.  I then put the snack baggies inside quart freezer bags.  I added 14 snack baggies to the freezer part of my pantry!

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

Book #2 in my attempt to read at least 25 books this year is Mama’s Bank Account (affiliate link).  I purchased this book used, which I often do if at all possible. 

I like books about The Great Depression and when the book, The Worst Hard Time:  The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great  American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan, which was set during The Great Depression, was recommended to me I went in search of it.  I searched Amazon and found it new for $9.41 but that was more than my budget would allow so I checked for a used copy.  I found one in good condition for $.01 plus $3.99 shipping.   This was still more than our budget would allow so I set to work on earning a $5 Amazon gift card through Swagbucks.  Within the week I had earned the $5 gift card and placed the order.  Now, I am anxiously awaiting its arrival so I can start reading.  

I am participating in this getting ready for Christmas/gift giving challenge!

I saved $108.90 this week in The Vicky Challenge!

Here is something I didn’t do:

I received an invitation in the mail to subscribe to the magazine Mary Jane’s Farm … at a reduced price.  I love Mary Jane’s Farm so I immediately, without thinking, filled out the return card, sealed it in the return envelope which by the way was included and set it with the mail to be taken to the post office.  And then … I regained my senses and ripped that envelope up and promptly put it in the burn bag (we do not put anything with personal info on it in the trash).  I didn’t spend the money to purchase the magazine subscription … it was a want, not a need … I was tempted but came to my senses before it was taken to the post office.  I think that impulse thinking can be just as dangerous as impulse buying when it comes to wrecking havoc with a budget!

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

I’m continuing to work on this month’s marathon canning session

Can pinto beans

Can white beans

Make a batch of laundry powder (The last time I made it was in November 2013 … the last batch lasted over 2 years!!!)

Thaw frozen turkeys and can

Make and can broth from carcasses of turkeys after canning meat

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?

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

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