Monday, December 14, 2015

Pantry Challenge #49 ... 2015

I had a sinus procedure done this past week called Balloon Sinuplasty, so my to-do list was barely touched.  In fact, I did very little but give myself time to recover.

My to-do list from last week:
Repot small maple trees we are growing from seed.   Didn’t get done!

Make a batch of Scrabble for the holidays.  Didn’t get done!

Finish preserving sweet potatoes.  Done!

Try at least one new recipe from my new Pieces of the Past cookbook.  Didn’t get done!

In addition:
We’ve been using the eggs I froze earlier in the year this week.  (Our chickens are molting which means they are not laying.)  We haven’t been able to tell a difference in the taste at all.  I thawed them in the refrigerator overnight, then mixed them together with my mixer and they were ready for use.

We got cover crops planted in our gardens.  We were beginning to think we weren’t going to able to get it done this fall but a warm spell gave us the opportunity!

I gladly received quilt scraps that belonged to a 98 year old woman.  Her daughter was clearing out some of her mother’s things as her mother is no longer able to quilt and asked if I would like to have them.

I also gladly received 5 really HUGE ferns that were given to me because the owner was getting ready to go out of town for an extended period of time.

I used a $20 Amazon gift card I earned by saving up my points and cashing them in from PineCone  and purchased a one lb bag of THM Sweet Blend and this used book, Bubbly On Your Budget by Marjorie Hillis which is the same book as Orchids On Your Budget by the same author.  When I found out they were the same book I opted for the less expensive one.  I was able to get both the Sweet Blend and Bubbly On Your Budget for just a bit less than the gift card amount!   I first learned of the book Orchids On Your Budget through Mimi’s blog, A Tray of Bliss.  I knew I wanted the book, it seemed to be singing my song with the financial challenges we’re facing in 2016, but there was this little problem called … our budget!  I am committed to sticking to it as best I can!  When my Amazon gift card was ready, I knew I needed to use it to purchase something we needed, not something ‘I’ wanted so I placed the Sweet Blend in my cart and there was a little less than $5 of it left.  I started searching for the book Orchids On Your Budget and found that it was more than what I had left … hmmm … then I started reading the reviews and found a comment that said Orchids On Your Budget was the same as Bubbly On Your Budget by the same author.  Now, things were getting interesting! I did a search for Bubbly on Your Budget and found it.  I previewed the sample pages of it and then I previewed the sample pages of Orchids on Your Budget and they WERE the same book.  Now, I was getting excited … the price for a good used copy of Bubbly on Your Budget was $.49 plus $3.99 shipping!  You know what I did don’t you, I added that book to my shopping cart all the while calculating in my head and wondering if my $20 gift card would cover it.  (If it didn’t, the deal was off!)  It did, it covered the item we needed (Sweet Blend) and the item I wanted (Bubbly On Your Budget) with a very small amount left over.  Is that some ‘fancy/creative’ shopping or what!!!!!!

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks which can be turned into gift cards.

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

This will be the last pantry challenge for 2015.  I’ll begin anew in January, 2016 with Pantry Challenge #1 … 2016!

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

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

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  1. Congratulations on your shopping skills! I saw the post on Mimi's blog and am delighted to learn the book is available at such a good price. Now I'm off to see if I can find a copy and do as well on the price.

    I've started giving some of my homemade gifts and they have been very well received, which of course only encourages me for next year!

    I shopped ahead for most of our Christmas goodies so I've been doing a lot of cooking from the freezer and pantry, which has left room in the grocery budget for some last-minute gifts and treats.

    I found a box of lasagna noodles, which are not generally the best price per pound for pasta, on clearance. We were also gifted some ground venison. So I used the leeway in the grocery budget to purchase the necessary cheese and am planning to make a pan of lasagna while my son is home from university to help us eat it.

    I'm also hoping to keep back some of the grocery budget so I can stock up on items after Christmas. Sometimes candy (the red ones work beautifully for Valentine's Day), shaped pasta, and that sort of thing will be available at dramatic markdown and I want to be ready!

    I hope you recover quickly from your sinus procedure and that you enjoy your family time over Christmas!


    1. Leigh, don't you just love it when you can work your grocery budget to have some wiggle room???? Good luck on chasing down a low price on the book!

    2. Indeed I do, and I rejoice when it works out. Speaking of rejoicing, I clicked through your link and was able to get the book for the same price you found. Thank you!

    3. Yeah, achatovercoffee! Glad you were able to get it for that price!

  2. Patsy, How did you freeze your eggs? My chickens are laying up a storm and I need to freeze some. I would appreciate help with that. Hope you recovered well from your surgery. Merry Christmas!

    1. Donna, here's the link to how I freeze eggs ...

  3. Patsy, You hit the jackpot when you got your book. Not .49 anymore! As of today anyway. Will be doing some research on it.

    1. LaurieS, oh no! glad I was able to get it when I did!

  4. Patsi,
    Great shopping! I hope your sinuses heal soon! We cleaned out a nasty rental for someone and made $350 and the same day I sold an ugly ring that I didn't think was worth much and got $500 for it! That is all going to stock the pantry. I have decided tires and anything else can wait for now. I did my normal looting when we took our recycling to the dumpster and got more coupons, Kellogg's codes and Coke codes. I was able to gift bags and baskets for Christmas almost all with freebies I've gotten over the last several months. This last week I got 3 tubes of Blistex, a loaf of bread and 2 yogurts for free. I also used a $25 Walmart GC from swagbucks and $5 and picked up some small gifts so to date I have only spent around $15 cash for Christmas! I am using any wrapping paper, bags, tags and ribbons that I have on hand. I hope you have a great week!

    1. Vicky, this makes me so happy for you!!!! There was a time when we cleaned out some nasty rentals too in order to earn some much needed money when my husband was unemployed. They really can be nasty, can't they? You can do a lot of pantry stocking with that amount! So, so happy for you!

  5. Mrs. Patsy,
    I just love your blog. It always inspires me. I also love reading the comments. It always gives me those "light bulb" moments. Like, "Why didn't I think of that?" :) On another note. I am totally new to stocking and building a pantry. I am trying to get ready for the new year as this is my challenge. If I want to set a weekly challenge to start my pantry stocking where would you begin? Do you have a previous post? I am still new here. :) Thank you. Speedy recovery on your sinus'!

    1. Mrs. Chrissy T, thank you! Check out this post for some ideas to get you started...

      Also, you can follow along with my weekly Pantry Challenges for ideas and hopefully some inspiration.

  6. My husband brought home two cases (24 boxes per case) of saltine style crackers from work that were going to be thrown out from the OS&D (overages, shortages & damaged) section. Perfectly good crackers for free, don't think we'll need any for a good few years. Just need to finish getting them put up.

    Have a great weekend, Sandy


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