Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pantry Challenge #28 ... 2015

Want to know what 100 degrees feels like?  It feels like you don’t want to be out in it any more than you absolutely have to so we’ve been trying to get our outside work done as early as possible and then heading inside until early evening.   These really hot temperatures started about a month earlier than normal for our area this year which means we’ve had about 6 weeks of this kind of heat.  We and our gardens are ready for a break!   (Our gardens are not producing well at all in this heat.)

My to-do list from last time:   

Vacuum seal dried milk into pint jars … Done!  I added 8 pints of vacuum sealed dried milk to my pantry.  Each pint contains 1 and 1/3 cups of powder with a note on the side to add 3 and ¾ cups of water to make a quart of milk.

In addition:

Our okra has started producing and I canned 8 pints of pickled okra.
We opened a jar of the squash pickles I had canned a couple of weeks ago and we enjoyed them so much that I canned 9 more pints.   The recipe can be found here.
 I canned 14 quarts of squash and added them to our pantry.
I harvested and dehydrated the following herbs: lemon balm, basil, comfrey, lavender, sage, plantain, and spearmint.
I froze extra eggs we didn’t use from our chickens this week.  With the price of eggs and with holiday baking coming up in a few months and … anticipating our chickens going into molting later in the year, I thought it was time to start freezing eggs for future use.  You can see how I did it here.
Remember when I shared with you that we thought we were planting cucumbers but planted cantaloupes instead.  Well, we harvested the first of the cantaloupes this week … they turned out really well, but alas, they are not cucumbers!!!
I’ve started saving seeds for next year’s tomato planting.
After reading this post, I got myself in gear and started getting serious about making tomato powder.  (I'm dehydrating tomato peelings and then grinding them into tomato powder.)  Making tomato powder is not new to me but it just never clicked with me all the things you could do with it.  Now why didn’t I think of that!
I picked up some new to me dehydrator tips while reading this post too!  I love learning and then implementing what I learn!
I ordered 2000 “00” size Gelatin capsules to add to the medicinal part of my pantry using gift cards earned through Swagbucks last month .  My out of pocket cost was $0. 
I'm making a concentrated effort to use my calendar (the big one that’s on the front of my refrigerator) more effectively in my home keeping and pantry building.  This week I added a note on each Monday and Friday to check leftovers.   If I find leftovers in the fridge on either of those days it’s time to either freeze them or turn them into another meal.
I’ve been watching Wartime Farm shows on Youtube … they are free … and have been learning and gleaning from them.
I stitched up a pillow case dress for a little 4 year old girl this week and worked some more on the scrap quilt I’m making using my fabric scraps.  You can read about my weekly ‘sewing day’ HERE.
I earned enough points through Swagbucks to get a $10 Amazon gift card.
I completed a Pinecone survey.
We did not add any change to our change jar this week.
Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
We’re starting a weekly $5 or less pantry stocking challenge on the A Working Pantry Facebook group and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can add to my pantry for $5 or less each week.  I’ll be sharing it here on A Working Pantry blog as well.
Inventory the stationary part of my pantry and make a list of what I need to replace.  School supplies are going on sale in our area and this is when I restock this area of my pantry.

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

If you’ve found this post to be helpful please share about it with others or PIN it.  Thank you!


  1. My goodness Patsy, you always give me the kick in the pants I need! We've just returned from the Northern Hemisphere Summer, so I hear you on the high temps! There is very little growing here just now apart from herbs, but I have grand plans for Spring. Lovely work on your part. Love, Mimi xxx

  2. Very hot here, too. My geraniums are loving it though. I have never seen them so beautiful.

    We were near Trader Joe's which is rare so I took the opportunity to restock on garlic olive oil and dried fruit. We also bought some of their wonderful chocolate which was not at all a necessity. :)

  3. Hi Patsi! We get a day or two of dry weather and then more rain! I may get to can some beans this year, but I'm not sure what else. That's ok because I have lots canned beans that I got when they were .25 a can and some jars left that I canned last year. I like to have a back up for my back up like beans, tomato products and potatoes. My carpet cleaner broke so me and my husband fixed it so as long as I get a few more good scrubbings from it that will save getting a new one for awhile.I know that I had told you we made the final payments on the debt except for the house and just in time! My husband's unemployment runs out in a few weeks and I don't think there are any extensions. He can repair mowers and tractors so he has lined up some repair work for about the time his checks stop. We are still mostly living from the pantry so I can't really report much on that end, but after we are able to pay off the house is when I plan to really get it in gear again. We got 6 more chickens this week free and I did get some more cat food with coupons since I'm still trying to stock the pets' winter pantry. Hope you have a wonderful week!

    1. So glad you had a well-stocked pantry to carry you through this season!

  4. I took the 5 dollar challenge and bought 10 cans of tuna for my new pantry shelf.

    1. Yeah ... and that's how you build a well-stocked pantry!

  5. Patsy, since I don't have a facebook account, will you be doing posts on the $5 or less a week pantry challenge? I didn't know if you had a list for each week or if it's just random? I've canned jam these past few days, so maybe that counts! lol

    Thank you so much for linking to my dehydrating post! And I looked at the tomato powder link. Lots of good ideas! I also make my own tomato powder, even using the dry tomato skins. And I also think I will make that pepper mustard. So, thanks! Teri

    1. Teri, yes, I will be doing posts here on the blog on the $5 or less weekly pantry challenge. I learned so much from your dehydrating post and look forward to gleaning more from your writings! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge.

  6. Hi Patsy. Here are my frugal tasks for the week -

    * Cleaned the inside of the dishwasher with bi carb and vinegar and wiped it down with Miracle Spray
    * Made muffin sized quiches with tomatoes given to us and silverbeet from our garden.
    * Made some apple rose pastries with apples given to us. The pastries were for a church lunch.
    * Made chunky roast beef and vegetable soup using left over roast beef and vegetables given to us.
    * Megan made a double batch of lunchbox chocoalte choc chip muffins for school and home snacks.
    * Picked a big bowl of lemons from our tree. I'll let them sit for about a week before juicing. I did juice some older lemons and froze the juice in ice cube trays.
    * Picked silverbeet to put in a spag bol sauce. My girls were not happy about this as they don't like silverbeet. I'm in the process of having major dental work done and I can't chew things very well so the shredded silverbeet was perfect for me.
    * Megan made a big pot of chunky chicken noodle soup to help me feel better after the dental work on Tuesday. She used chicken stock I'd made in the slow cooker and frozen months ago. I lived on this soup for a few days. Very yummy.
    * Picked a bunch of daisies from the garden to brighten up my kitchen.
    * Mended and altered two tops for Megan.
    * Only spent $4 at the shops on milk. This is the third week running that we've only needed milk. We still have plenty of fruit and veg in the fridge and freezer plus we have been blessed with some.
    * Did the usual frugal things with saving the washing machine water and drying clothes on clothes horses..


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