Saturday, July 2, 2016

Pantry Challenge #26 ... 2016, The Vicky Challenge and other thrifty things we did this week!

(This is the view that I'm waking up to every morning right now. God's beauty ...)

Another busy week has come and gone …

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

My to-do list from last time:

Continue chopping and dehydrating garlic.  ... got some done, but still working on this.  I should have a nice supply of dehydrated garlic when I'm finished.  I use dehydrated garlic in cooking and in herbal remedies.

Inventory pantry … still working on this!

In addition:

I’ve been diluting and stretching things this week thanks to reading some of Wendy’s post over at
My Abundant Life. I took a half empty bottle of shampoo and finished filling it up with water.  I also diluted a bottle of dishwashing detergent as well!  Saved (half the price of the bottle of shampoo and dishwashing detergent.) $3.50

Harvested and/or were given 100 cucumbers.   Saved (.52/cucumber) $52.00

Harvested a little more basil.  All those little bits add up!

We’ve started harvesting a few tomatoes from the garden … 7 to be exact this week.  Saved (.99/lb) $3.96

Made 9 more quarts of hamburger dill chips using cucumbers mentioned above. Saved $25.29

Make 9 more pints of sweet pickle relish using cucumbers mentioned above.  Saved $18.72

Made another jar of refrigerator pickles using this recipe given to me by a friend: (Saved $10)

7 cups sliced cucumbers
1 onion chopped
2 TBSP canning salt
Put all this in a gallon jar or container
Mix 1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 tsp celery seed 
Stir until sugar is dissolved and pour this over cucumbers.
Refrigerate but do not stir until after 24 hours.
Then stir or shake container. 
Ready to eat after a couple of days.

Harvested 5 lbs zucchini/squash ($1.28/lb).  Saved $6.40

Was given 4 loaves of bread from a neighbor who gets day old bread from someone he knows.  (The bread was still soft and fresh. I froze it so it would stay fresh until we need it.)  Saved $12 

Was given a plastic grocery bag of okra from the same neighbor and enjoyed fried okra with a couple of meals.  Yum!!!  Saved $8

Harvested 182 ears of corn.  We were given permission to glean in a friend’s corn field after they were through harvesting all they wanted.  We are blessed to live in an area where several of us share our surplus produce with each other.  Saved (.20 per ear of corn) $36.40

Turned those 182 ears of corn into 14 quart bags of cream style corn for the freezer, 2 packages of corn on the cob for the freezer and a couple of meals that included corn on the cob.

My husband was given several LARGE catfish which he promptly cleaned and dressed.  We added 4 quart bags of catfish strips to the freezer part of our pantry as a result.  Saved ($5.99/lb) $35.94

Read articles by Sarah Latimer on Using Canning Jars for Food Stores and More, Here and Here.

Saved $9 using coupons, shopping sales and loss leaders for pantry and non-pantry related items.  

Added compost material to the compost bin.

Added 3 gallons of water to the freezer in preparation for hurricane season.  Saved $2.64

Chickens laid 3 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $9

Worked out our ‘row’ garden.

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (3 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $30

Prepped this toddler quilt and got it ready for quilting.

Stitched up another hand puppet from set that I’m working on.  I discovered an Old McDonald Had a Farm coloring book in a catalog that is going on sale in September for $.77.  I made a note on the calendar to order it then.  The puppets and the coloring book along with a box of crayons that I will wait and purchase when school supplies go on sale in August, will go in my gift trunk as a ‘children’s gift.’

The USDA’s ‘moderate’ Food Budget for a family the size of ours is $589.70 monthly.  In June we spent $382.00, that’s a savings of $207.70 

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $8,003.05, add this week’s amount ($471.05) and I/we have saved $8474.10.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn through being frugal!

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

Start a third toddler quilt top.

Work on hand quilting 1st toddler quilt top.

Complete $5 or Less Pantry Challenge

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

One more thing ... 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!

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

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