Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pantry Challenge #17 ...2015

The weather has been beautiful in our area this past week and we have spent our available free time working outside.  There is always so much to do in the yard and with planting in the Spring!

Do you like my old fashioned dinner bell?  I do!!!!  We purchased it 3 years ago at a Mennonite auction sale such as the one we attended this year.  Life kept happening and it has set waiting all this time to get settled in at its new location.  This week we gathered all the materials we would need which included a tractor and a portion of an old discarded telephone pole that we had been given.  My husband worked hard for an entire day getting it set … it now sits in front of one corner of our front porch.  It has a cord attached to it that allows me to ring it without ever having to leave the porch.  Looking out at it transports me to a less hurried and busy mindset … I guess you could say it is my reminder to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life!
My to-do list from last time:   

Finish planting garden … We’re still working on it!  This week we replaced blueberry bushes that didn’t survive the winter, made and planted an asparagus bed and started a tub of rhubarb.
Plant herbs … Got this partially done!  I planted rosemary, basil, spearmint, peppermint and sage.

Vacuum seal Cheerios … Didn’t get done!
Vacuum seal tea bags … Didn’t get done!
Strain ginger tincture … Done!
Finish vacuum sealing oats … Worked some more on this, still not done but I’m getting there!  I added 4 more quarts of vacuum sealed oats to my pantry.
Add 1 low-carb freezer breakfast casserole to the freezer … I am going to remove this from the list for the time being.  With so much outside work to be done and with me nursing a messed up knee … honestly, this is not on the priority list right now!

In addition:
I started another jar of plantain tincture.   You can read about it HERE.
I made some lavender scented carpet/rug deodorizer using this recipe. I also started a jar of lavender medicinal oil using this recipe from the same site.  I want to make some of her lotion bars using this recipe as well.  I really like the smell of lavender and when I saw these recipes I knew I had to try them.
We were in the garden center at Lowe’s one day and as usual I found out where the clearance items were and was looking them over.  A sales associate came by and told me that I could have any of them I wanted for $.25 each.  I brought home 6 containers of creeping phlox for $1.50!  Score!!!  I planted some in an old pair of boots my husband had worn out, some in an old broken watering can and some in a willow planter box.  I can’t wait for them to start cascading down the sides of their ‘containers’ and putting on their pretty pink flowers!
Our Sam’s Club finds this week are … 2 free muffins and double stuffed Oreo cookies for $1.91/ package. Regular price for the Oreo’s was $7.98 / package.  We’ll be donating the Oreo’s to our church’s VBS in June.  (The expiration date on the Oreo’s is September 2015  so they’ll still be good!)

I found this Leappad game for preschoolers on clearance for $3 … regular price $19.98. Remember the deal my son and daughter-in-law helped me snag that I told you about last week?  I purchased 2 of the games and added one of them to my gift trunk as I know someone else who is getting a LeapPad for Christmas and will need accessories to go with it.
I needed to clean out our worm composting bin as I’ve ordered worms that will be here soon but instead of just dumping the worm casings leftover from the old worms I sprinkled some around our blueberry bushes, elderberry bushes, added some to my pots of lemon balm and nettles and made compost tea.  I filled two 5 gallon buckets ¼ full of worm casings and then filled the buckets to the top with water. This will be my composting tea.  I’m letting it sit for a few days then I’ll use it to water my ferns and other flowers.
For those who are interested this is the kind of ‘worm bin’ we have.
I diluted a new bottle of dishwashing liquid by dividing its contents into two bottles and finished filling each with water.  I shook it up really well and started using it.  The dishwashing liquid was still strong enough to do the jobs needed and I was able to stretch it into twice as much.  Yeah!!!!
The lemon balm that I harvested last week is dried and in a jar.  My herb harvesting for 2015 has begun!
I’ve earned enough Swagbucks to cash in for a $25 Amazon gift card.
We added $4.50 to our change jar.  
Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Continue planting garden and replacing items that didn’t survive the winter
Continue planting herbs
Vacuum seal Cheerios
Vacuum seal tea bags
Vacuum seal oats

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

A Working Pantry

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This post linked to:  The Art of Homemaking Mondays


  1. We have a like bell and our children could hear it all over the neighborhood when they were growing up. My husband spotted it at an antique store and was excited because he had always wanted one. Now the grandchilden enjoy ringing Papa's bell.

    1. When our grandchildren get old enough, I'm sure they will want to ring ours as well!

  2. Hi Patsy! I love your dinner bell! It is still not nice enough yet so no gardening for me. My goal is to restock my pet supplies so I did get to add 46 pounds of cat litter that by combining coupons I only paid 3.98 for. I also got some cheap cleaning supplies. I used coupons, bought what was on sale and got a $5 gift for buying the items. I'll use that gift card to buy sale items this week to add to the pantry. Oh I also got 2 boxes of cat food free and I have 2 more coupons that I can use to get 2 more. I will be babysitting a lot over the next 2 weeks so I may not get a lot else done when I have a 1 year old for over 10 hours a day. I am slowly getting my pantry inventory done so I can add to my stock up list. I am always planning for the next winter! Books are something else I need to find some bargains on! I hope you have a blessed week!


    1. We're always planning for the next season Vicky! You snagged some good bargains this week.

    2. If you are near a public library, perhaps they have annual or semi-annual sales to sell their "less popular" or older books to make way for new books. Our libraries around here do this - some are annual and some are semi-annual. Some sell their books really cheaply and some just take donations. Either way, you get good bargains. I like e-books, but if we lose electricity, "real" books will be needed.

  3. I am curious if the nettles you have are stinging nettles. If yes, for what do you use them?

    1. Yes, they are stinging nettles and they are good for allergies.

  4. The dinner bell is a really romantic thing to me. I love the idea of ringing that bell and everyone knowing its time to run in!
    I was thinking how we have to work wisely according to the season we are in. So its spring time for you (autumn for me) and planting is number one as this is your opportunity! I just recently went through the time that using up all my fruit etc was number one so none was wasted and it was all either used, frozen, preserved or made into jam. If we miss these times doing something else then we will lose out in a big way.So I hope you have another great week planting!
    My season is my daughter has two weeks before she has her baby! So I am just stocking up on easy meals, frozen meals and being organized so I can help in any way I might be needed. This week I am making soup, meat pies and muffins to freeze.
    My current pantry goal is to build up my battery supply as well as try and add some food!
    Have a wonderful week! We have had some rain and the garden is soaked. Very pleased. xxx

    1. Annabel, we are coming out of our slow season (winter) and are in one of the busiest times of the year trying to get everything planted, cleaned up and replaced where applicable. The summer season will be a very busy one too as that is when most of the harvesting is done. I am so excited for you and your first grandchild. Be prepared to be in awe and to have your heart stolen. Life will never be the same again ... in a good way!

  5. I love your dinner bell.... I have a similar one in my garage... just waiting for when we move to more property! It has been waiting for a few years so far. sigh. :) There is so much to do to keep everything running... your life sounds so busy also. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of it with us. :)

  6. Oh dear, I too love your dinner bell! We have been wanting one of these and I have resorted to clanging a miniature goat bell of some sort :) Thank you for sharing our lavender links too! The carpet deodorizer can also double as a gentle cleanser for your sinks! I will have to add making a plantain tincture to my list. Thank you for sharing this inspiration on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  7. I added tuna and 9 dehydrated meals from mountain house to my pantry.

    I joined the subscribe and save program on Amazon.

    I still need to plant corn.

    1. We take advantage of the subscribe and save program at Amazon too!


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