~ from my home to yours, living the Working Pantry lifestyle ~

Monday, June 10, 2024

A Journal of My Days 2024: 6/10/23

The theme for this year is “Laser focused, hunkered down and spending as little money as possible.” 

We're talking gardening, bargain shopping and pantry building and how we utilize all three to keep us feed and cared for without breaking the bank!

So, how did we do this week?

First off, we finally got some rain, not a tremendous amount, but some and every 'some' helps!

(picture:  baby green tomatoes ... it won't be long until we'll be enjoying tomato sandwiches!!!  Hoot!  Hoot!)

In the Garden:  I've been stealing snips and bits of time to work in the garden.  There is really so much to do it is almost overwhelming.  I have to remind myself to baby step my way to getting caught up.

I was pruning the bottom leaves off of my tomato plants and noticed some 'sucker' sprouts growing where the leaves meet the stem.  I removed four and planted them in other containers.  If they take root, then I'll have 4 more tomato plants to harvest from later this summer.

I continued to harvest from my herb garden: mullein flowers, plantain, echinacea flower heads, grape leaves and yarrow.

I also got all the garlic harvested this week.  It's curing on my front porch right now!  My front porch serves many uses at our house.  Every single inch of our entire home serves multiple purposes.  That's just the way it is in a small home!

The October beans that I planted recently came up beautifully and were growing so well ... until the rabbits found them!!!  It's on!  Beware rabbits, I'm coming for you!!!  You may not have my October beans!

I took each of the seed packets I mentioned winning in last week's post and noted in my 'to-do' planner when each should be planted.  My 'to-do' planner is such a help to me in doing the things that need to be done in a timely manner.

(picture:  baby pears ... the tree is loaded right now)

When I mowed the yard this week, I mowed down the weeds that had overtaken the row garden.  Now to see if I can harvest anything more from the potatoes, beets and onions!

In the Kitchen:  I made banana nut muffins; hubby made a fudge pie and a pecan pie.  We cooked a Boston Butt Pork Roast in the oven and turned it into barbeque and finally I made some ham pinwheels.  What was all this food for ... we kicked off our VBS on Sunday with a potluck meal after morning worship.  There was quite a bit of delicious food for everyone to enjoy!   When choosing what we would make and take, we considered what we had in our pantry ... 95% of what we brought came from what was already in our pantry.  Keeping a well-stocked pantry has so many benefits and being able to cook like this for an event like this without worrying about financing it is definitely a benefit!

Thrifting, Bargain, and/or Loss Leader Shopping at the Grocery Store, farmers market, etc:   None this week!

In the Pantry:   My medicinal pantry came to the rescue for my hubby twice this week!  He got stung by a wasp two different times in two different outside areas.  Both times I applied plantain oil on a cotton ball (held down with a band aid) and within minutes the pain was much better and not long afterwards the swelling was gone along with all the pain.  Plantain infused oil and or vinegar is a staple in the medicinal part of my pantry.  Here's how I make it ...

Fill jar half full of dried plantain
Finish filling jar with oil or vinegar, do not add oil and vinegar to the same jar
Let sit at room temperature for about 4 weeks
Shake daily or as often as you think about it.
After 4 weeks, strain, bottle and wait until needed ... which I hope is never!  Stings are quite painful!

Here's where I have to add that I am not a doctor or have any kind of medical training.  I'm just sharing what I do for my family.

(picture:  future lima beans ... I planted these right before hubby got sick.)

In Other News ...  

As I sit and work on this post, I notice that the farmer who owns the land around us is busy fertilizing and planting.  It's really dry and a trail of smoke follows the tractor as it goes from one end of the field to the other.  Scenes like this are soothing to my soul and I drink it in, it really is the simple things.

Click HERE to read what I've been up to in the sewing/creating world this week!  I'm loving sharing what I'm doing on Grandma's Got a Sewing Machine.  It has re-energized and awaken my love of sewing and creating.

I started reading and looking through one of my birthday gifts (a book) this week and selecting a couple of items I wanted to make.  The book is The Big Book of Homemade Products for your Skin, Health & Home by Jan Berry.  One of the things I want to make is called Plantain & Yarrow Heel Balm.  It's sandal wearing time and I'm trying to keep my feet looking the best they can!  I have everything on hand and or am growing it to make this product, so I put it on my to-do list.

I spent some time creating a Kahoot game on the Fundamentals of Christ's Church (the Church that was started on the Day of Pentecost and that the Apostles worked so hard to get on its feet) for the tweens and teens Bible class I teach.   I would encourage you to do something every day to grow your faith in the Lord.  It might be praying, reading and studying His word, fellowshipping with other faithful Christians, listening to biblically accurate preachers and teachers, reading biblically accurate books, articles and or devotions or it might be as I've done this week prepare lessons to teach.   At the end of their lives, I've never encountered anyone who didn't wish that they had been more faithful in their walk with God.

Let's close out today's post with an update on my physical fitness journey.  I had a good birthday celebration; it was quiet at my request, with lots of well wishes from family and friends.  One thing I did as part of my morning routine was to weigh myself.  Then I flipped back to my birthday in last year's fitness planner to see how I was doing in my maintenance journey.  (I weigh most every day and record it in a fitness journal.)  I was delighted to see that there was a two tenths pound difference from my birthday the previous year.  I also had blood work done at a routine doctor's appointment in the month of May and all my numbers came back good.

My hard work and determination are paying off.  I find maintenance to be harder than losing the weight but when I see the consequences of my choices, I'm glad I stayed and am staying the course.  I remind myself often, to choose my hard ... losing weight was hard for me, maintaining my weight loss is hard ... but being overweight was hard too.  I have to choose daily which path I want to be on for that day.

That's it for me this week, what has your week looked like?

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

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

You can view my privacy policy HERE.

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, and it helps keep in sewing supplies.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be 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. 

Friday, June 7, 2024

Hunkering Down 2024: Week # 23

Hello June!  This first week we regrouped, adjusted our financial plan and got right back to working on our goals!

Rising up out of the ashes of the financial setbacks April and May brought, we're ready to move ahead!

So, what did this week look like?

We paid our bills on time ... more and more I realize that being able to do this is a blessing!  So many are having to make difficult choices between paying their bills and providing food and shelter for their families.  While I realize that our choices play a big part in being able to pay our bills, I'm also seeing more and more those who are having their ability to choose taken away by our current economy.

We stayed within our grocery budget ... almost all of what we are spending at the grocery store right now is being spent on bargains, loss leaders and clearance.  Since we weren't able to do a summer garden this year, we are going to plan B, which is to utilize the grocery store, farmers markets, etc for the best deals we can find to keep our pantry stocked.  Keeping a well-stocked pantry is a high priority for us, it has literally been a HUGE help in achieving our financial goals for this year.

Our financial goals for the upcoming week are ...

Stay within our grocery budget

Have as many no-spend days as possible (Exception:  food/groceries, fuel for vehicle and bills that are due.)

Pay extra on our targeted debt

I'll report back in the next post and let you know how we did!

How did your week go and what financial goals are you working toward next week?

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

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

You can view my privacy policy HERE.

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, and it helps free up more disposable income in budget which we use to help meet our financial goals for the year.   

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be 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, June 3, 2024

A Journal of My Days: 6/3/24

The theme for this year is “Laser focused, hunkered down and spending as little money as possible” while continuing to keep our pantry well stocked.

How did we do this week?

This has been a busy week with lots of 'going' involved.  Both of us had eye doctor appointments and hubby had another doctor appointment.  In and around those appointments' life was busy and full of non-medical things as well.

Whew!  I really am ready for life to slow down a little, but as that's not likely to happen for a while, let's talk gardening, bargain shopping and pantry building and how we utilize all three to keep us feed and cared for without breaking the bank!

In the Garden:  I harvested more mullein flowers!  Aren't they pretty, their yellow color is so vibrant.

We have cabbage ready for harvesting and preserving. That's on the to-do list for this upcoming week!

The flower seeds that I planted in the tractor tires are coming up!  As soon as they get big enough to see well, I will post a progress picture.

I know that a lot of people are having way too much rain, but we could use some.  Our pitiful row garden could use some moisture from the sky!

I won these wonderful gifts in a herbal class I'm taking.  

I had planned to order several of these herbal seeds when I learned that I had won.  

The wooden spoon/spatula is of highest cherry wood quality.

I was so excited as I almost never win anything when it comes to this sort of thing.

God is so good to honor our efforts by providing what we needed in this instance without us having to spend money!

In the Kitchen:  I made a strawberry dump cake! I used frozen strawberries from the freezer.  It was delicious served warm with ice cream!  (pictured)  

This was my birthday cake for this year!  Yum!  I may or may not have eaten more than one serving of this deliciousness ... hey, it was my birthday!

Thrifting, Bargain, and/or Loss Leader Shopping at the Grocery Store:   Hubby and I went bargain shopping for food this week and found boneless chicken breast on 'manager's markdown' for $1.19/lb.  Score!  

We also found rolls of sausage on 'manager's markdown' for $3.10 per/1 lb roll (regular price $5.49/1 lb roll).  Score again!  I can remember a time not too long ago when $3.10/lb for sausage was considered a really high price, now it's considered a good sale price!

In the Pantry:   As mentioned, we're focusing on hunting down bargain foods that can be preserved.  This week we added more overripe bananas, sausage, chicken breast and chicken gizzards to our freezer.  We do this when we come across food bargains that we don't have time to preserve, we just add them to the freezer until we do.   As soon as time permits, I'll be canning the chicken breasts and gizzards ... separately, of course.  Every little bit helps!

I learned how to make a medicinal salve that I'm going to try out on mosquito bites.  I sure hope it works because mosquitoes are already out and pesky in our area.  If this works, I'll be making more and adding it to the medicinal part of my pantry.

In Other News ...  

I finished Lesson 3 of our ladies Bible study on Mary of Bethany and posted it on my blog, From This Heart of Mine.

I also created a separate place for my sewing/creating journey, Grandma's Got a Sewing Machine.  Click HERE to read what I've been up to in the sewing world this week!

Like I mentioned earlier, it's been a busy week with lots of away from home time so that’s all I have, what has your week looked like? 

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

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

You can view my privacy policy HERE.

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, and it helps me keep my pantry well-stocked! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be 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. 

Friday, May 31, 2024

Hunkering Down 2024: Week # 22

Here we are at the last day in May and the burning question to be answered is, 'did we meet our financial goals for the month?

The short answer is no, we simply had too many unexpected medical expenses!  We were though, actually able to pay half of our goal amount toward our targeted debt.  Honestly, we really feel good about this as it was a tuff financial month.

Are we bummed about it, yes and no.  We know that we did the best we could and if we were faced with the same decisions again, we wouldn't change a thing.  This is called LIFE and LIFE happens!  We have no intention of throwing our plans out the window along with the towel!  No ma'am!  

So, where do we go from here and what is June going to look like?

Where do we go from here?  We keep on keeping on ... there's no such thing as a perfect financial journey and the month of May for us just proves it.  We're digging in and keeping on keeping on!

What is June going to look like?  June would have been the month we would have been able to pay off our targeted debt had it not been for the medical expenses.  So, we're going to divide the remaining balance by two and move our goal of paying off this debt to July.  In addition, we're going to work like it all depends on us and pray like it all depends on God.

That's our plan and we're sticking to it!  ~ smile ~

The lesson from the month of May for us is, pay as much as often as you can on your debt, or add as much as often as you can to your savings ... because you never know when LIFE is going to throw you a curve ball!

On a sidenote:  things really are looking up; we're getting answers regarding hubby's medical emergency and a treatment plan is being put into place.  More on that later!  

One more thing:  For those ladies who are following along with our ladies Bible class over on From This Heart of Mine, Lesson 3 in our study of 'Mary of Bethany: Choosing the Betterhas been posted HERE.

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

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

Sharing 45 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine, where I share my love for God and His Word through my personal Bibe study.  Physical preparedness is important, but not near as important as spiritual preparedness.  Ladies, join me over at From This Heart of Mine and study God's Word with me.

You can view my privacy policy HERE.

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, and it helps me keep my pantry well-stocked! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be 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 27, 2024

A Journal of My Days: 5/27/24

The theme for this year is “Laser focused, hunkered down and spending as little money as possible.” 

(picture:  these bees are busy on this onion flower head.)

How did we do this week?

I was able to get in some garden time several days this week and man oh man, did it ever feel good!

In the Vegetable Garden:  I harvested the last of the carrots, cleaned out and replanted the area with October beans.

I also planted a few squash seeds.  I know in my heart that it's too late, that the heat and humidity will destroy them before they can produce, but mentally, I needed to try.  I hope that makes sense!

In the Kitchen:  hubby grilled steaks and we had fresh from the garden potatoes that I stewed, and broccoli harvested from our garden as well.  We haven't had steaks in a long time, so we dug into the freezer and pulled out a couple.  The meal tasted so good! 

In the Pantry:   I canned the last of the carrots from our winter garden.  We found fresh corn on sale for $.25/ear and purchased a full box which was 52 ears.  We saved enough for a meal and then cut the rest off the cob for creamed corn and preserved it in the freezer.

Health/Fitness:  I'm still keeping up with my fitness journal, it's a really helpful tool for me.  By sitting down at the end of the day or first thing the next morning and recording what I've eaten I'm able to see what the problem might be when I'm not reaching my goals or when I start sliding backwards!  I record:

what I ate

the amount I ate

exercise I did for the day

amount of water I drank

Thrifting, Bargain, and/or Loss Leader Shopping:   In addition to the above-mentioned fresh corn, I found marked down bananas for $.32/lb.  I purchased several with plans to peel, cut in half, flash freeze and then bag up in zip lock bags for the freezer.  I use a half of one in my morning kefir smoothie.  Here's how I make it ...

1 cup kefir milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon maple syrup
one half of a frozen banana

Whiz it all together in my Nutribullet and enjoy!

Bible Study:  I finished Lesson 2 of our ladies Bible study on Mary of Bethany and posted it on my other blog, From This Heart of Mine.

In the Flower Garden:   Hehehehehe ... I got my 'flower garden' planted!!!  It's not the one I had originally planned, but it's planted.  I will love it and tend it and enjoy it just as much as I would have had it been my original plan.

Yes, I planted my flower garden in 3 huge tractor tires!  What did I plant ... a variety of wildflowers, cutting flowers, cockscomb, zinnia's, etc.

In the Herb Garden:  My herb garden is exploding!  I harvested yarrow, plantain, comfrey, dill, mullein flowers and more elderberry flowers.  They are all drying.  My small house looks like an apothecary with all the herbs drying ... and I love it!

I also planted 3 new herbs:  self-heal, wild lettuce and ... dandelion!  Yes, you read that right, dandelion ... in a pot.  

From my Sewing Nook:   I'm going to leave this here as a category, but truthfully, now that gardening season has started, there will be little time for sewing.  We'll just take it one week at a time and see how things go!

Nothing to report this week except that I continue to add to my list of things I want to sew.  Here's how I keep up with sewing inspiration ... when I find an outfit I like or something I want to make, I snap a picture of it and add it to a sewing folder set up on my laptop or phone.  It's that simple and I always have inspiration at my fingertips ... now if finding sewing time was that easy!

Continuing Education/Skills:  I'm still delving deeply into learning more about growing and using herbs.  This week my focus was on making salves.

How do you like my makeshift 'double boiler' ... an old one-quart size pyrex measuring cup hooked over the side of a pan of hot water.  All the red measurements are worn off the outside so it's days of measuring are over, but it works beautifully for this purpose!

Update on hubby ... he continues to improve but is still on light restrictions; all the test results are back in except one.  As soon as we get the results for it, I'll share the diagnosis.  If what we suspect at this point is confirmed by the last test, you may be surprised, as we were, at what started this domino of health issues ... or maybe you won't be!

Thank you to all who have prayed and reached out to us with care and concern, it has really meant a lot to us as we navigate this unexpected bump in the road.

One more thing, I received this cute birthday card from a friend, isn't that the cutest thing.  It came with a variety of tea packets.  Thank you again, you know who you are!

That’s it for this week, what has your week looked like? 

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

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

Sharing 45+ years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine, where I share my love for God and His Word through my personal Bibe study.  Physical preparedness is important, but not near as important as spiritual preparedness.  Ladies, join me over at From This Heart of Mine and study God's Word with me.

You can view my privacy policy HERE.

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, and it helps me keep my pantry well-stocked! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be 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.