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This is Why! part 6

Previous entries can be found HERE . Thus far we’ve talked about how I use leftovers to help stock my pantry, how I shop to fill my...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Pantry Challenge #2 ...2015

I finally got all the Christmas decorations back in storage this week.  Taking them down and putting them away is not near as much fun as getting them out and putting them up! 

So … besides getting the Christmas decorations back in storage, did I get anything else done this week?   Let’s see …

My to-do list from last time:  
Can collards from our garden.  Didn’t get done!
Continue canning pinto beans.  Didn’t get done!
Continue canning potatoes.  Done!  I finished all the potatoes we purchased on sale week before last and added another 21 quarts to our pantry.  All together we got 74 quarts plus a meal from those 100 lbs of potatoes.
Freeze shredded cheese we purchased in bulk.   Done!  I added 6 quarts to the freezer part of my pantry plus left one quart in the refrigerator for immediate use.

In addition:
I started  another jar of cider fire this week … not because I needed it but because I still had horseradish left from the last time I made cider fire as well as fresh ginger from my garden.  The other ingredients I had in my pantry so it was just a matter of chopping and mixing it all up.  We can never have too much cider fire at our house!
Since any grocery money we have to spend has to be earned separate and apart from our regular income, I’ve been exploring more options for earning money online and have created a weekly to-do list … I won’t get rich, but every little bit will help …
Swagbucks … I’ve almost earned enough points for another $5 gift card!

Pinecone Survey’s … I changed my settings to ‘unlimited’ so maybe I’ll start to get more surveys.  I got to do one this week!
That’s my weekly to-do list for earning money online.  Separate and apart from my weekly to-do list I signed up for a few affiliate programs.  Purchasing from the links won’t add to the purchase price of the item but I will earn a small percentage.
I want to check out ‘Inbox’ but haven’t yet.  Does anyone have any experience working with Inbox?
I’ve also been busy writing a new e-book that will launch soon.  Stay tuned for the details. 

 We were at Sam’s club one day and saw that they still had their 29 oz cans of Libby’s pure pumpkin on clearance for 3 cans/$1.91.  We purchased 3 more cans and then found these boxes of Stovetop stuffing on clearance for $.61/6 pouch box … yes, you read that right.  We had $5 that we could spend so we purchased these 4 boxes of stuffing and 3 cans of pumpkin … total with taxes … $4.41. One single pouch/box of the stuffing is almost $2 at the grocery store ... each of the above boxes contained 6 pouches! That's a $12 value for each box for $.61! (We won’t eat the stuffing ourselves, but will use it when preparing dishes for meals to take to others or for fellowship meals at church.)
A note about the pumpkin … my husband made a crust less pumpkin pie this week using a can of the  pumpkin we bought substituting the sugar for Splenda.  It was delicious and had no effect on his sugar level numbers!  Win!  Win!
I strained up bacon grease from a meal of hog jowl (hog jowl is basically the same as bacon only cut thicker.),  I’ll use it for seasoning purposes.
We needed milk so I went to the freezer and pulled out one of the gallons we had frozen several weeks ago.  I let it thaw in the refrigerator and it was good as new!   (When I freeze milk, I take out about a cup to allow for expansion and then freeze the whole carton.)
I saved ribbon from a box of candy.  It was beautiful and in good shape so I rolled it up and added it to the gift wrap portion of my pantry.
A friend from Tennessee called this week and asked me if I was still looking for popcorn tins … I said yes … she was at a thrift store and found some … the price $.25 - $.50 each!  She purchased them for me and I will get them in August when I see her.  What do I want popcorn tins for?  To store dry and dehydrated foods in, craft supplies in, sewing items in … the list is endless!

I made book marks this week using ribbon, pony tail holders and buttons that I had on hand.  Some were for me and some were to put away in my gift trunk for future gifts.  This picture doesn't do them justice ... they are really cute... here is a much better picture along with instructions.  (I stitched mine up in such a way that the pony tail holder does not go looped around the button.)  The materials I used in this picture are pink ribbon with white dots, a black pony tail holder and black buttons.  I need to work on my lack of photography skills!!!!!
I needed another ‘magazine holder’ for the magazines that I keep long term but since we’re on a really tight budget right now buying one was out of the question.  So I did the next best thing, I made one using a Carbquick box.  The Carbquick boxes are sturdier than most cereal boxes so it was the perfect choice.  Here's a tutorial on how to do this.

Our Sam's Club rewards account was accredited with the points we earned last year from shopping there.  We earned enough to renew our membership fee for 2015 and to purchase one for our children.
Here is a question I received 
Question:  I have recently begun looking at my sewing supplies stash and wishing to be able to be more prepared in that area. Have you or would you share your strategy for stocking and what you stock in your fabric pantry?

Answer: I stock my fabric pantry the same way I stock my food pantry ... by shopping sales, clearances and using coupons. If I have any money, whether I need the fabric or not, if I can get it cheap by taking advantage of sales, clearances or coupons I buy it. I keep it in tubs until I need something then I shop from what I have on hand.  I stock fabrics of all kinds, threads, notions and patterns.  I also save portions of fabric from worn out clothing and add them to my fabric pantry. The same goes for thrift store clothing.  If I like the fabric of a garment and it's in good condition, if even it's not the right size and if it's cheap enough, I buy it, bring it home, cut it apart and add it to my fabric pantry.  I hardly every pay full price for fabric!

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Continue canning pinto beans
Can collard greens

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

patsi
A Working Pantry


26 comments:

  1. I do Swagbucks, Bing, Instagc, Cashcrate, Inboxdollars, and Gifthulk for Amazon Gift cards. This paid for my children's Christmas and birthdays this past year. Some days I would really work on it and then others I could not, but between them all it was very profitable. It takes a long time to build up points for Inbox and cashcrate, but that just may be me and the options I choose to do. I have read that some people do really well with them. Instagc is super-easy to do, just clicks is what I do and watch some of the videos. There is also a site called Chat About that I made a good bit from, but somehow I lost all the passwords for it and I have just never started it up again. It was very easy to do though.

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    1. Thank you MamaHen! I'll be checking out your tips!

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    2. Patsy, your are such an ispiration to me! This week I have make fire starters with empty toliet rolls and dryer lint. I go grocery shopping once a week and each time I pick a new item to add to my pantry. Not big ticket items but it does add up. I have started saving all $5 bills I receive and put it in my fund box. I only paid SH&H on a car seat blanket for a future baby shower.
      Keep up the good work!

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    3. I've heard about making fire starters out of empty toilet paper rolls and dryer lint but have never tried it ... you've motivated me to try it since I have a ready supply of both items! Thanks for sharing and for the encouragement!

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  2. Hi Patsy. I am really loving drying clothes on the rack indoors. I went through all the plastic containers and got rid of a lot of them and the lids that I can't find the bowls to I have no idea where they go! I got a set of Pyrex for Christmas to replace some of the plastic. A friend gifted us with a bag of deer burger since my guys haven't gotten one in a few years. My teenage son is eating me out of house and home so I had to venture out to the store. I checked out the meat on sale, but I'm holding off until a better deal. I hope. My husband may be losing his job we will find out tomorrow. If he does we will really have to get creative to make ends meet. This is where my well stocked pantry will be a huge blessing! I am going to take inventory of pantry and see what needs restocked and make a list. I love your bookmark that is very pretty Patsy!

    Vicky

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vicki, I hope your husband doesn't lose his job ... will say a prayer! The bookmark really is much prettier in person than in the picture. Sounds like you've been doing some de-cluttering ... you go girl ... de-cluttering is a continuous thing at my house! Our well-stocked pantry is earning it's keep right now too ... so glad to have it! Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I bought a scrap bag of old embroidered linens at a shop for $2. I always cut them up and use in my quilting and crafts, I have a suitcase full. I also cut off any old crocheted lace. On thing inside the bag was a large stamped linen picture to be embroidered. It had a number on the botom and said Erica Wilson 1973. I googled it and found a finished picture for sale on Etsy for $50. I downloaded the picture to use as a guide and I have been embroidering it to hang in my living room. It has retro things in it that are popular again such owls and mushrooms. Plus I can stitch it in colors that are more popular today. PS. I wrap my fire starters in wax paper and tie the ends. They look cute in a basket and flame up nice.

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    1. I like the idea of wrapping the fire starters in wax paper. Started one today and was pondering how to keep the lint from coming out/hanging out ... I like things neat! The wax paper is perfect! Thanks! Old embroidered linens ... what a find! Thanks for commenting Gloria ... love what you shared!

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  4. also sendearnings is a sister company to inboxdollars and unique rewards i like

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    1. Thanks Debbie ... I've never heard of that one!

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  5. I went to Sam's Club last week, and found 1 lb. canned hams in a 3 pack, for 51 cents each. I bought 3 of the 3 packs. They didn't have a lot left, and there were several ladies there all excited about them. I had to laugh when one lady picked one up, then asked me what she would do with it? I told her, soups, potato dishes, macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, etc.

    I also love popcorn tins. I store pasta in them, and chocolate candies.

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    Replies
    1. That's an excellent deal on the hams ... I would have bought as many as I could have afforded!

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  6. Hey Patsi. As always, you inspire me. I have been working on restocking my pantry. The holidays pretty much wiped me out. This past week I was able to find toilet paper (with my coupons) for .38 a roll and paper towel (with coupons) for .43 a roll so I stocked up on both of these. I couldn't get as much as I wanted but it will keep us going for a while. Also I was able to get 10 cans of soup for .60 ea. Other than that I've just been working on getting my house organized. Oh, I did find a huge ball of yarn at Goodwill. It is literally the size of a basketball. It was only 3.00. so I will be crocheting some wash cloths this week. Thank you for keeping us all inspired. Have a great week!

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    1. Saundra, you scored some good deals!

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  7. I am looking forward to your new e book! When its finished and for sale I will link to it in my own pantry posts as I know it will be good!
    I am very fond of tins ((and jars) as they keep things so fresh and crisp. I just love them and we dont have popcorn tins here so I will hope to see those when you get them.
    I hope Vickys husband doesnt lose his job... there seems to be a lot of job losses and all kinds of things that just remind me to build up my pantry.xxx

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    1. You honor me Annabel ... thank you!

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  8. I get tee shirts and sweatshirts for free or for 10 cents. One thrift store has a "less-than-perfect" free rack, and another has a 10 cent markdown sale once a month. I only get 100% cotton ones and cut them up for rags. We haven't bought paper towels in years.

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    1. Good idea for replacing paper towels. Wish we had a thrift store closer than an hour away!

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  9. Hi Patsy,I just found your blog, have enjoyed reading some this morning..
    I love the idea of pop corn tins..[had never thought of that?].You said, you stored dry igredients.. Do you
    mean , like flour /sugar /meal?? I would not need them for sewing/crafting supplies..I have a sewing room, and it
    is already FULL [too full, ha] of containers and FABRIC.lol Love that sewing..
    Would love to hear what all you store in the tins..thanks, Judy
    kennycoke@ripleycable..net

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    Replies
    1. Hi Judy! Welcome! Here are a few things I store in popcorn tins ... pasta, dry herbs, seeds, bags of flour, sugar, cornmeal (after they've been in the freezer for 10 days), dry beans, dry peas, dehydrated vegetables - vacuum sealed, etc.

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    2. Thank you Patsy.. Such a great idea.. I have several Christmas ones..
      I have been keeping my flour/meal/sugar in deep freeze,but it uses up so much needed space..
      Once I take it out of freezer, do you open up the bags or just sit the bag in the tins?.. Sorry to be
      so much trouble.. Just really wanting to try this.. How long will it last in the pop corn tins.? thank you
      for your help..

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    3. Judy, Here's a document that shows how I preserve flour/meal ... https://www.dropbox.com/s/htt8f2j93f1bkxk/Cornmeal.pdf?dl=0

      It's also listed on my free downloads page under Storing Cornmeal Long Term.

      It will last a long time ... I have some done this way that is 2 - 3 years old and it is fine!

      I don't mind questions at all so feel free to ask away!

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  10. Patsi, I have a quick question. Can you freeze yogurt? If so how long will it last? Sorry if this shows up twice. My computer is having another hissy fit.

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    1. Saundra, yes, you can freeze yogurt. The longest I've frozen it is about 3 months. Your computer throws hissy fits too!!!!! LOL

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  11. Patsy, Just a cider fire question. I'm going to try making some tomorrow. Do you put it in the refrigerator for the four weeks? After you strain it, is the stuff left over good for anything other than the compost pile? Thanks for all your hints and tips! Donna

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    1. Donna, No, do not refrigerate the cider fire during the four weeks. After it is strained, I throw the left overs in the compost bin. It is pretty well used up. Good luck!

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