Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pantry Challenge #47 ... 2015

There has been a lot of harvesting going on around my house this week.  The hum of a tractor can be heard when outside and the sight of truck after truck of soybeans going by my house is a common occurrence.  This is the last crop of the year in our area to be harvested and is the signal that winter is just around the corner for us.  Everyone is busy working on those last few jobs that need to get done before cold weather drives us inside.

So, what did I get done this week …

My to-do list from last week:
Work on vacuum sealing candy in jars that we got for half price in the after Halloween sales.  I worked on it, I’m still not finished, but I worked on it!!!!

In addition:

My husband wanted some ham for sandwiches this week so he went to the freezer, got a ham out and cooked it.  It was way too much for him to eat before it spoiled so I set to work preserving it.   I froze some slices, then I froze the chunks and bone and finally I froze the drippings and broth from cooking the ham.  The slices will be used in future meals or for sandwiches, the chunks and bone will be used when I start canning pinto and northern beans in January and the drippings and broth from cooking the ham will be used to season a pot of soup.  Waste not, want not!

One Sam’s Club find this week was these Nutrisystem bars … regular price $12.98 …. on clearance for $2.91/box (15 bars per box).  These are really good and have a high protein count ... which is something I need right now while we’re trying to figure out this meat allergy thing.

The other Sam’s Club find this week was these …  regular price ... $5.48/bag!

Here’s some freebies we got during our visit to Sam’s Club …  the orange juice and muffins were given to us as we entered the store and the candy came from a kiosk.  The muffins will be frozen and brought out during the week of Christmas, the orange juice will be used in taking my daily dose of cider fire and the candy will go to some little people in our lives.  All were free!

I brought my lemon trees in from the greenhouse, you know the ones I started from seeds back in the summer … yes they are still living, and set them on a windowsill on the south side of the house.  I sure hope I can baby them through the winter!

I signed up for EBates this week.  I can earn a small cashback amount when I purchase through EBates … and every little bit adds up and helps!  

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks which I turn into Amazon gift cards.  

I stitched up some 'Christmas‘magic pillowcases’ for my grandchildren this week. 

I've been looking at planners for 2016 and just haven't found anything that was in my price range that met my needs so, ... I’m making my own.  I’m almost finished with it and when I get it completed, I’ll share what I did with everyone.

I took down the fall decorations and got the Christmas ones out of storage.  I’m hoping to get the tree up this week!

I planted turmeric in a pot back in the summer just to see if I could grow it and …. drum roll please …. I had success!  I harvested 5 roots 2 – 3 inches long this week!  I also replanted some of the smaller ones to see if I can keep it going. 

The garlic I planted about a month ago is 3 – 4 inches tall and growing well.  This week I covered the beds in straw in preparation for colder temps.

I removed my hanging ferns from the front porch and hung them in the greenhouse.  I’m going to try really hard to keep them alive through the winter!   Wish me luck!

I dug up a ‘rose of sharon’ off shoot from a larger plant and put it in a pot.  I’m hoping it will survive the winter and live when I replant it in the spring.

I took advantage of the special Amazon is running this weekend of 30% off of any one book by using the code HOLIDAY30 and purchased Mother’s Book of Home Economics: Remembrances, Letters and Essays from a New England Housewife by Mrs. Sharon White.  

Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

Repot small maple trees we are growing from seed.

Repot small trees that my mom and I dug up from her yard back in the summer.

Put up my Christmas tree.

Continue working on vacuum sealing candy in jars that we got for half price in the after Halloween sales.

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


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This post is linked to:  Home-Making Mondays


  1. It's amazing that they hand you free items when you go into Sam's club. We don't have one here where I live in Oregon, so I have no experience with that store! That's awesome.

    1. beckyathome, if you have the plus membership and get there before 10 a.m. (when it opens for all members) they are always handing out some kind of goodie!

  2. Patsy you had a good week and got alot done.

    I made 5 TV dinners from the thanksgiving leftover
    Then vacuum sealed and froze 4 packages of turkey for casseroles or soup
    I froze 2 pints of turkey stock from roasting the bird
    Cooked the bones and got another 4 quarts with some meat for soup.

    1. Kim, now that is using those leftovers to the max! WTG!

  3. The grocery store had snack crackers on sale this week, $1/box. I stocked up and bought 12 (the limit). Pasta was $1/ 900g package, so I bought several. We didn't necessarily need it, but the school will be doing their Christmas food drive soon, so I thought the extra would be a good idea. I also bought our first case of clementines for this year, $3.97/ 5lb box. Everyone is really enjoying the citrus treats!!!

    I was hoping you would give us an update on how your diet changes are going. Have you found any good recipes yet? I'd love to hear about your struggles and successes with eliminating meat from your diet. My family is very entrenched with eating meat, but I'd love to try incorporating a few more meat free meals. I feel like I could really learn a lot from your experience, so I'm hoping you won't mind sharing your journey with us.

    1. Rhonda, I will be glad to share my journey of going to meatless meals. I have to admit, I am struggling but am giving it a good fight. Stay tuned ...

  4. I have to laugh at you repotting maple seedlings. This yr our whole town was blanketed with maple seedlings, and I pulled them out of my garden by the wheelbarrow loads. I also have Rose of Sharon seedlings by the dozen. Different locales I guess. You are so lucky to have a Sam's close. I would have to drive an hr to get to the nearest one.

    The biggest thing I have done recently for my pantry is to work on a shelf design to hold all my goodies. New shelves are in my future. Mainly just shopping sales, as there are not many needs right now. Going to start on the holiday baking this week.


    1. Kathi, isn't it funny what one considers trash another considers treasures. In the area where we live we are surrounded by evergreens ... huge pines and ceders. There is just not much color ... other than green. In the area we lived before we moved here, our falls were full of color and that is something we have greatly missed. We are mainly shopping sales too as our pantry is well-stocked with our getting ready for a lean 2016. Would love to see a picture of your shelf design.

  5. Patsi,
    You have been busy and got some great bargains too! You would be embarrassed of me if I lived by you because I would be looking in those fields or following those trucks to see if they dropped any! My husband laughs at me when I get my wagon and head down the road because he knows the farmers have dropped hay and I'm going to go gather it! I usually come home with a wagon full of stuff! LOL! Hay, cans or corn they dropped. I consider it exercise since I am lazy in that department! I got freebies this week using store rewards the best being an outfit for my grandson and a tin of popcorn. I thought the outfit was $2, but when I got home it had rang up at a different price and was actually free! Using some things from the pantry Thanksgiving dinner was under $25 this year. I was really happy about that. I will be making stock this week after I strip the carcass, I roast the bones first before I simmer them with the veggie scraps. My son loves buckets so I am taking one of my free buckets with a lid and making it Christmas pretty with paper and then filling it with some of his favorite food and snack items. Most I already have in the pantry. I got more store rewards so I will go this week and get a few things before they expire. I love free money! Have a great week Patsi!

    1. Vicky, We don't care for soybeans or I would probably glean from that field too! I love gleaning! The bucket idea is a good one! Roasting the turkey carcass will help enhance the flavor! We didn't cook thanksgiving dinner at our house this year so no turkey carcass here.

  6. I only shopped once this week at Aldi. I love when they have special items and they don't sell out, they mark them down. I stocked up on lunch items for my girls school lunches. One was 10 granola bars for .99/box. I bought 4 of these. Another item for the pantry was boxed potatoes with cheese sauce. I bought 4 of these for 50 cents each. I was able to find some nice hot red peppers pickled in sweet broth. They are really good for $1/jar.
    My shelves are looking good. My husband is really appreciating all the stocking up I have done at low prices. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. It is always so inspiring to hear of your productive work at home! Thank you for sharing with us! :)


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