Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pantry Challenge #13 ... 2015

This week it’s been all about getting to visit friends!  I have some of the best friends and it is such a treat to get to actually visit with them in their homes … read on to see what I mean!
My to-do list from last time:   

Continue vacuum sealing oats.  Done!  I added 3 more quarts of quick cook oats to my pantry that we got on clearance at Sam’s Club a while back.

Bargain shop!  Done!  We found Skinny Girl stevia extract on a half-price clearance sale at Walmart. We purchased 12 bottles and added them to our pantry.

 In addition:
Our Sam’s Club purchases this week include some things from the damaged/clearance section in the back of the store.  We found a double bulk box of Honey Nut Cheerios for $4.02 (We won’t eat these but they make great snacks for the little ones in our life), a bulk box of parchment paper for $4.02 and a bulk package of Lipton tea for $7.02 (It appears that .02 is a popular number in their markdowns!)  The packaging on all three of these items was damaged but the contents inside was still sealed and intact.  I’ll vacuum seal the Cheerios in jars as well as the Lipton tea bags!  SCORE!!!!

We visited a dear friend and her husband since I last wrote and she and I did some swapping.  I got popcorn tins and she got empty amber vinegar bottles. (She had been saving these popcorn tins for me for a while.)  She also gave me a pretty bottle that we’ll use for saving our change in and a book on sewing dolls.  I was so glad to get those popcorn tins, I love old bottles and of course with 2 precious little granddaughters this book will get lots of use!  Thank you Pama … yes, she is a member of this group … and by the way her pantry rocks!!!!

I purchased this book … Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails: A definitive guide to essential oils that could save your life during a crisis using  Swagbucks I had earned.   This book was recommended by a member of the A Working Pantry Facebook group and I was delighted to have enough Swagbucks to convert to purchase it without having to spend any money out of my pocket.   (The link to this book can be found at the bottom of this entry.)

We visited a non-electric Mennonite store and I restocked my spices.  They have a wide variety and I can buy larger quantities at better prices.  I also got some dehydrated ginger and a couple bars of lye soap.  I’ll use the lye soap for stain treatment and to have on hand in case we run into any poison oak or ivy.

I added 2 bottles of clove essential oil to the medicinal part of my pantry this week purchased at this same non-electric Mennonite store.  We learned about the benefits of clove essential oil and oral health in our discussion last week on herbs/essential oils/home remedies in the A Working Pantry Facebook group This upcoming week our studies will take us in a different direction.

I got the idea for the cutest little Christmas favor from another friend.  She had purchased it at a craft fair.  I think these will be fairly easy to make!  What do you think?

This same friend and I went shopping at JoAnn’s and then to Hobby Lobby.  We shared the coupons we each had and when we didn’t have coupons we found them online.  Shopping with like-minded friends is so much fun!   I found self-adhesive vinyl to make letters for my gallon pickle jars turned canisters, added some ‘on-sale’ fabric to the fabric part of my pantry and treated myself to a cross stitch magazine that I had never seen before … it was way more than I usually pay for magazines … I have been devouring it’s pages since purchasing it.  It’s an Australian publication titled CrossStitcher and I don’t regret spending $11.99 for it one bit.   I’m planning several projects from this magazine in the very near future.  Sometimes you just have/need/got to treat yourself!

We added $4 in change to our change jar!  

I completed a Pinecone Survey this week.

I borrowed the book, The  Color of Grace, How One Woman’s Brokenness Brought Healing and Hope to Child Survivors of War by Bethany Haley Williams, from a friend and am reading it.   I am thoroughly enjoying it.   (The link to this book can be found at the bottom of this entry.)

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:

Bargain shop

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



  1. This week I found dried cranberries at BJ's for 3.99 for a HUGE bag. I vacuum sealed 15 pints of them and added to my pantry. For this coming week my plans are to buy potatoes at Aldie's when they go on sale Wednesday. They are supposed to 1.49 for 10 pounds. I will can up some to last until the fall when they usually go on sale again. I am hoping to get enough canned for myself and my mother who can no longer cook much. I also have 3 large bags of chicken bones in the freezer that I need to make broth and can. But unsure if I will get to it with the potatoes. Going to be a busy week!

    1. Yes, you are certainly going to be busy but just look at the reward!

  2. Patsy I am one a different device and don't know if my comment last night worked... This is a test ... My computer is pretty much died... :(

    1. So sorry about your computer ... this comment came through without any problems.

    2. Thanks Patsy, one comment went to God first :) but I have worked it out now I think.
      Most recently I have added some great specials plus a gift of honey to my pantry. Also my shampoo and conditioner supplies are really healthy as there have been great specials several weeks in a row. I have a cupboard full! Now I want to do the same with toothpaste.
      I have still been planting and moving parsley babies... I have hundreds I just need to nurture them. Having been away I didn't get so much done but still made progress. I am trying to get heaps done this week before Easter! Hope you have a great week xxx

    3. It's nice to be able to fill our cupboards via sales, isn't it? It increases our buying power. I love reading how you add to your pantry! Don't work to hard this week!

  3. Hi Patsy. What wonderful bargains you've found this week, and isn't that a good feeling. I find it so motivating to read what other like minded souls are achieving, and it really helps me feel I'm among friends. As for me, well I've made Greek yoghurt for the family amongst other things. I use a really frugal recipe that stretches the packet mix so that it makes five times the suggested quantity. For a family that loves yoghurt, that's a bargain as it works out to about 80c a litre....that's a bit shy of two pints. I propagated over one hundred little succulents and echeveria to continue beautifying our garden at not cost too, and I'll be using some of them to make the little terrariums that Annabel has pictured on her blog. They're all trendy again, and I'm old enough to remember them from back in the 1970s! I made some cards, and some fizzy bathbombs for my daughter to gift to her friends for Easter, and baked a pie to cheer a friend. Shopping wise, I managed to avoid the supermarket altogether as we're well stocked for dry and canned goods just now, and visited the fruit market only, buying armfuls of fragrant stone fruit, berries, lush herbs and greens and salad ingredients. My fridge is conspicuously empty of anything naughty, as my husband and I are on a health kick...again....hehe! I also discovered from Nanna Chel at Going Grey and Slightly Green, that you can make your own lemon essential oil, so I have some of that brewing too. It's so expensive to buy! So different to your list, but same-same if you know what I mean. Have a great week Patsy!

    1. I am just devouring your comment over and over. So much good inspiration! I will definitely be checking out the essential oil reference. Thanks!

  4. We didn't so much add to our pantry, but just bought some basics t add to what we already had for meals. It was the first time I had been grocery shopping in 3 weeks! The cross stitch magazine sounds great! A treat every once in a while is awesome! What was the brand of the Clove Essential Oil you bought at the store (just curious). donna

    1. The clove essential oil I purchased was the 'Now' brand.

  5. Found potatoes on sale again-20 lbs for the price of 10. Bought 4 bags.
    Added six swagbucks to my account and did a survey for a free subscription to Dwell magazine.
    Scored fragrance tabs for my oil burner for free, matching coupon with clearance.
    Got garden planted!!!
    Found packs of girls underwear half price and bought two packs for my daughters.
    Won a book thru a contest.

  6. Hi Patsy! This week I got paid for babysitting so I will be hitting the new sales this week. We are still pretty much living from the pantry so I am just adding to it as I can. The unemployment was finally approved, but it takes the bulk of it to pay the bills with little left over. I am working on a tutu dress this week and when I deliver it will get paid for that as well. I dehydrated some chicken that I cut into tiny pieces and some vegetables and made the doggies some kibble since it will be getting warmer and I will need too slim them down now. They are hunting beagles so I try to keep them in tip top shape and make all of their food. I made rice krispy treats from items I needed to use, made all meals at home and have been using some of the water from the snow I melted to water my seedlings that I started. I made cookie dough and put it in the freezer for Easter cookies I intend to bake. I took some of my dehydrated cucumbers and made a small bowl of pickles just to use some of them and made more acorn pancakes. It is going to be a challenge, but we are hoping to be debt free before the year is out so I am making sure things are turned off and limiting driving to save gas and drying as much as I can on the drying rack, so a penny saved is another penny I can use for bills.


    1. What a blessing it will be to be debt free! I wish you God speed and that His blessings abound on your every efforts.


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