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I recently received a comment from a reader basically asking me where to start when building a well-stocked pantry.  Since I get this ques...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pantry Challenge #15 ... 2015


This week was all about visiting with my mama and walking down memory lane together and my picking her brain on how she kept us all clothed and fed growing up.  I learned the foundation of what I know about keeping a well-stocked pantry from her and this week was so precious to me as I listened and gleaned as we visited and talked.  (We’ve been on a working vacation for the last 2 weeks which included visits with my mom and children.)

This week was also about friends … best friends … friends that let you stay, visit and come and go in their home whenever the need arises.  Friends that you laugh with and shop with and make things ‘pretty with’ and can totally let your hair down and be yourself with.  Friends that asked nothing of you except your friendship.  We have been blessed over the last 2 weeks to get to spend time with friends such as this, in their home, coming and going as we needed.  B and J, you make our trips home doable and we love you. 

My to-do list from last time:   

Bargain shop.  Done!  I found a full set of queen size sheets and pillow cases at Goodwill for $7.99.  They were 100% cotton and I’m pretty sure they were new.  I was so happy to find these as we only have one set of sheets for our bed and they are getting worn.

We found shortbread cookies on clearance at Sam’s Club … regular price $7.94 … on clearance for $1.91.  We won’t eat them because we eat low-carb, but they will make good snacks for the little ones in our lives.

We also got free sample travel size bottles of hand sanitizer from a kisosk at Sam’s Club.  These are just the right size to carry in a purse.

That wasn’t the only free things we got from a kisosk at Sam’s Club … at a different Sam’s Club we got sample size bottles of Finish dishwasher rinse aid.

We hit the after Easter candy sales and got several packages of chocolate candy.  I brought them home and vacuum sealed them in jars.  Go HERE and click on Preserving Candy to see what I do with it.


In addition:

My husband was able to get in some fishing while we were away and we brought home most of what he and his brother-in-law caught.  Of course, these were added to the freezer part of my pantry.


Our daughter gave us an almost full box of Carbquick.  We were glad to get this as we’ve been out for a while and just had not ordered more.

I took advantage of a 50% off coupon I had from JoAnn’s Fabric and added more ‘on sale’ fabric to the sewing part of my pantry.  One of the pieces I purchased was some ‘Mickey Mouse’ fabric to make a pillow case for my grandson as he is now sleeping on a big boy pillow.  He loves Mickey Mouse!  They were having a sale on Butterick patterns … 3 for $5 … so I picked out 2 little girl play clothes patterns and 1 blouse pattern for me.  I never pay full price for patterns.

I completed a Pinecone Survey.

I didn’t work on Swagbucks while we were traveling but carried over from last month some 1200 points which gives me a good start on this month’s personal goals.

We added $17.60 to our change jar.   This is actually 2 week’s worth of change.

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

I have so much to do I’m not sure where to start!

The garden needs planting …

My herbs need planting …

The Cheerios we purchased on sale right before we left on our trip need to be vacuum sealed in jars …

Tea bags that we purchased on clearance right before we left on our trip also need to be vacuum sealed in jars …

I have ginger tincture that needs to be strained …

I need to finish vacuum sealing the oats that I started before we left on our trip …

Our yard needs to be mowed … you can image what it looks like with it not being mowed at all this year yet!

My mom gave me two compost bins that I need to get put together and start using …

I want to make a low-carb freezer breakfast casserole that a dear friend served us while we were at her house.  Our chickens are finally laying again and I want to make several breakfast casseroles to add to the freezer part of my pantry while I have plenty of eggs … this is the first one we’re going to try.

While we were at our friend’s house, her daughter who is also a dear friend of ours, made some spicey mixed nuts for us to snack on.  (These two dear ladies are so accommodating to us in our low-carb lifestyle.) The nuts were delicious and we want to try to duplicate the taste.

My lemon balm is ready to start harvesting as is my nettles …

The new fabric I purchased is itching to be stitched up into something …

As you can see, I have plenty to do! 

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

 patsi
A Working Pantry

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This post linked to:   A Tray of Bliss; Homemaking Monday

15 comments:

  1. The week didn't go as planned. I did get 16 quarts of potatoes canned. I got sidetracked with trying to get my garden planted. Lowe's had a sale on garden plants, so I bought this year instead of starting like I normally do. I wasn't able to start plants due to having foot surgery. It took me 4 days but my garden is completely planted. I don't have a huge garden, just 6 raised 4 x 4 garden beds. But I was able to fit 20 tomato plants, 2 cucumbers, 1 zucchini, 1 butternut squash, and 9 assorted pepper plants in. One bed is herb only, lavender, basil, oregano, yarrow, and parsley. I also planted some sunflowers in the center of the herb bed. I have never grown them before, so I wanted to experiment this year.

    I am 200 swag buck points from a $25 dollar Amazon gift card and also will be hitting another Bing $5 Amazon card this week. I also still have 20 pounds of potatoes to can and 4 of the huge bags of cranberries to vacuum seal. I also need to can more kidney, black and lima beans, but unsure if I will get to that this week. I just noticed my pantry is running low on rice also, so I need to start building that back up. We leave for the beach on Saturday for a week so if I get the potatoes and cranberries done I will be a happy gal.

    So will be a busy week! With my foot it takes me about twice as long to do things as I need to sit and rest because of the pain. I am just so happy that my garden is in!

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    1. Cindy, we plan to get our garden planted this week. It is later than normal for us but the weather has been wacky! Love your comment ... it is so inspiring. Take care of your foot and give it time to heal properly! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. You made your trip fruitful in many ways! That was wonderful. Glad to have you back!
    My week was really good. I posted my whole long list on Bluebirds on Friday but the short version is I did quite a bit of cooking, found some great specials, sorted my wardrobe over to things for cooler weather, cleaned all my windows and had a house keeping blitz and made myself a scarf. This week I hope I get as much done as last week. I did get a lot of cards and small gifts made over the weekend.
    I know what its like after being away... so much catching up to do! So I hope you have a good week this week and that we all do! xxx

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    1. Annabel, I need to have a house cleaning blitz after using a wood stove as our main source of heat all winter. I love your cards and am working towards making my own as you do. You are a great inspiration!

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  3. Hi Patsy. What a great list...the found, the done AND the to-do! We have a seasonal business and we are moving into our quieter time of the year here. So I am doing, as you have done, and building up my stores. Over the weekend, I prepped and froze 4kgs (about 8lbs) of sweet potato, and trimmed, blanched and refrigerated string beans, asparagus spears, fresh herbs, and roasted some red capsicums, all got at the bargain bin at the fruit market. We have a fair plot of land, but our rainfall is not always conducive to growing produce and it's very expensive if we exceed our quota of water useage, so I have greater savings being the Eagle Eye at the markets. Today I found several very beautiful remnants of fabric at the haberdashery, including baby pink plush velvet, another strip about 14 inches wide that is sequinned to look like peacock feathers, some long fibre polar fleece printed with very cute space ships, and two toning lengths of silk jersey large enough to make my daughter a full length evening skirt and two lovely tops to wear on our cruise later this year. The velvet will be made into a cushion of the kind I just blogged about, and the sequinned fabric will become gifts of some sort....perhaps little evening purses. I see the polar fleece becoming a shrug or poncho for my girl to wear after ballet lessons now that our weather is cooling down here, or perhaps there's even enough a snuggly throw rug for the end of each of my granddaughters lounge chairs. All of that came to $35, so I was pretty thrilled! I know that's not 'pantry' as such, but I include gift stores in my pantry stash, as it's previously been something that was a huge drain on our budget. Thankyou for helping me stay on track and be accountable. Mimi xxx

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    1. Mimi Mama, I consider my pantry to be much more than food, it includes all the things that keep my household running smoothly. Fabric and gifts are definitely part of my working pantry. I like your description ... Eagle Eye ... I have those too. I get so inspired reading your blog and your comments.

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  4. Your to-do list sounds a lot like mine. So much to do, mostly good things, but just things that need to be done! I guess the only thing to do is "just do the next thing" :)

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    1. MamaHen, 'just do the next thing' is right!!!! So thankful that I am able to do that!

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  5. Wow Patsy! Great job on your working vacation! This week I was able to pick up some 50% off chocolate bunnies that I plan on chopping for chocolate chunk cookies this Christmas.
    I also found chicken leg quarters for 49 cents per lb. I got a 10 lb. bag and plan on making chicken noodless soup and canning. I should get quite a bit of broth and cooked chicken out of the bag!
    I found small bagels reduced at Wal-mart and was able to share with my DS#1 and his girlfriend. They are just starting out and every little bit helps! I picked up 3 extra hams the week of Easter and put them in the freezer along with another pork tenderloin I found for $1.79 per lb. My freezers are now full so I need to concentrate on the canning part of the pantry. I am looking for great deals on fruits to get my jelly/jam levels built back up.
    Blessings,
    Lisa

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    1. Lisa, you scored some great deals! It is so encouraging and inspiring to hear of others great finds!!!

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  6. Hi Patsy! How wonderful to see your new grandbaby they are so precious! And all of those good bargains! Bargain hunting can be so much fun! This week I sold a tutu dress and used that for gas. I got 3 kids books in the mail that I used codes from my dumpster diving experience. Those went into my gift trunk. I started more seeds of things that hopefully will be planted in a few weeks: lettuces, spinach and more cabbages for a later crop. I sorted through my reuseable shopping bags and any with holes I set aside to grow potatoes in. I got 2 tubs of cool whip free at the store and found 4 cents to add to my change jar. Since we are working on becoming debt free the change I am going to use for pantry stuff. A friend asked since my hubby is unemployed how we are going to become debt free. Well at first he did not get unemployment and we sold some things to pa the bills, but then unemployment approved his unemployment after an investigation so now we have a little extra to work with. I a devoting any kind of extra we can get to either extra payment on debt or pantry. And thank you for that Patsy because you helped to keep me sane and focused! I am still drying laundry on the drying rack until I can use the line again. We are talking about getting a cow this year, but I'm not sure if it will happen or not. Oh and I got a blackberry and a red raspberry bush to plant if I can keep them alive until they can be planted. I hope to do a small section of berry bushes, but haven't had much luck keeping them alive. Other years it was too hot and the small plants didn't make the heat. I also rounded up my small collection of old hankies. Ladies hankies. I am going to make a small quilt for my granddaughter or niece.(my daughter in law is young and is one of those who is a little jealous of my son's relationship with me so I rarely get to see my grandbabies. I pray and wait and give her time to mature, but we still always treat her with love and kindness.) I also took a huge bag of stuff to Goodwill and hope to have more rounded up this week! I hope you have a relaxing week after all of your busy-ness!

    Vicky

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    1. Vicky, your comment makes my heart sing! I am so thankful that things are working out for you and your husband. Stay the course and you will be debt free in no time. I'm proud of you! You go girl!!!!

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  7. Love to read your blog. We are trying to eat more low carb. I would love to hear more about you and your husband eat to keep it from being boring eating the same things. I never heard of Carbquick until you mentioned it. I googled it to see what it was. What all do you make with it? Is it as great as it sounds (in taste and keeping sugar levels down)? Thanks for the info.

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    1. Vicky, I've begun a new category on low carb eating here on A Working Pantry (you can access it on the sidebar). Each week I'm sharing things we're eating and what we're doing. We use Carbquick to make waffles and pancakes and to bread chicken in when we want fried chicken.

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  8. Love reading your pantry posts Patsy! Thank you for sharing with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays ;)

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