Saturday, April 2, 2016

Pantry Challenge #13 ...2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

Look at the bluebird eggs that my husband came upon one day on our property! There were 5 in all.  Aren’t they just marvelous!  My husband didn’t disturb the nest but he did take this picture!

Several of the seeds I planted last week are coming up in the greenhouse:  cucumber, basil, cocks cone, tomato, cayenne pepper and soapwort are all about ¼ inch high. Gardening season is here!  (Some of these seeds date back to 2008 and they are still viable.)

My to-do list from last time:

Plant basil, cilantro and rosemary in my tiered planter.  Didn’t get done!  We’ve had a lot of rain this week and a lot of my outside ‘to-do’ list didn’t get done.

A friend asked if I would be interested in some of the flowers in her yard and of course I said yes, so, I need to go to her house this week and dig up some ‘starts’ to transplant to my house.  She has some beautiful flowers and I am excited about this opportunity.  This didn’t get done either due to the rain!

Finish my ‘free’ grocery shopping.  Done!  (I will be doing a full post on the ‘free’ shopping I was able to do and what I added to my pantry for the month of March that didn't cost me anything as soon as possible.)

Continue working on cleaning up the yard from winter debris.  Worked a little more on this, but there is still much to be done!

Shop after Easter candy sales.  I have used the after Christmas candy sale buys on numerous occasions for gift giving and baking and have depleted what I had purchased.  It's time to restock!  Done! I added jelly beans, peanut butter and chocolate shaped eggs, robin eggs, and Cadbury chocolate caramel filled eggs to my pantry … at half price!  (I froze some and vacuum sealed the rest in quart jars.)  You can see a picture further down in the post!

In addition:
My husband surprised me with a ‘set amount I could spend’ trip to Michaels while we were in another town on a work related outing.  I found several small giftable items for 70% off and have added them to my gift trunk.

I saved $456.18 this week in The Vicky Challenge!  Here’s how it breaks down:

Ordered the fourth in this series of books, Stories and Recipes of the Great Depression of the 1930’s, Volume IV, by Rita Van Amber .  Used Amazon gift card and paid nothing out of pocket. Saved $23.76    

Downloaded this free kindle book, Life Without Refrigeration by Susan Gregersen.  Saved: $3.99     

Purchased this Castile soap using Amazon gift card I earned through Bing.  Saved: 7.00  

Purchased the book, You are Loved by Sally Clarkson, used and paid for it with an Amazon gift card.  Saved $1.25 for the book plus $3.99 shipping.  Total Saved: $5.24  

Saved $54.84 using coupons and shopping sales ... this does not include things listed in this post!

Purchased gas while running errands in another town cheaper than what’s in our area: Saved $4.81 

Purchased mostly chocolate candy at after Easter candy sale:  Used $25 Walmart gift card earned from doing Swagbucks …. Saved $50  (Yes, I used it all on mostly chocolate!)   

Saved $ 20.00 on the gift items I found at Michaels for 70% off.

I purchased scrapbooking paper for 40% off at Michaels.  Saved:  $6.60 

Was given a box of little girl’s shoes for my granddaughters.  This is just a small sample of what was in the box.  I’m averaging the cost of $10 per pair if I had purchased them at a consignment store. (There are 15 pairs in all.)  Savings:  $150.00.  (Aren’t these shoes just so cute … and they are in good to excellent condition! Feeling so blessed!)

Made 1 quart of yogurt: Saved $2.86

Make 2 quarts kefir milk:  Saved $2.04 per quart … total savings:  $4.08

Chickens laid two dozen eggs this week:  Saved $2

Used neither heat nor air conditioning 2 days this week: Saved $26

My husband trimmed my hair for me: Saved $25 (This is the amount that a trim at a salon costs in our area.)

Worked on cleaning up yard from winter debris (5 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $50

Gathered up a wheelbarrow of twigs to use for fire starting kindling in our wood stove next winter:  Saved $20

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $3,338.60 add this week’s amount ($456.18) and I've saved $3794.78.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I save/earn from home.

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

Plant basil, cilantro and rosemary in my tiered planter. 

A friend asked if I would be interested in some of the flowers in her yard and of course I said yes, so, I need to go to her house this week and dig up some ‘starts’ to transplant to my house.  She has some beautiful flowers and I am excited about this opportunity. 

Can chicken from the freezer … maybe!

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

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

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Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.


  1. Wow Patsi you had a great week really good finds! And you saved over $50 with coupons (clap, clap, clap!) I can't wait to see what you got for free! Unfortunately I actually have 2 infections going on at the same time so I don't have a lot to report this week, but keep going your doing really good and I am so proud of you!!

    1. Vicky, please take care of yourself. Rest and help your body heal by not overdoing. Let your pantry carry you through this time!

  2. Patsy I was blessed with a 10# of white rice, 4 container of oats and 4 boxes of macaroni. Can I vacuum seal these in quart jars, do I need to add oxygen absorbers.

    1. Sue, I have vacuum sealed all three of those, separately of course, and have had great success. I didn't add oxygen absorbers.

  3. I may sound particularly stupid, but I did not know that Bluebirds laid blue eggs. They are utterly gorgeous! I love it when wildlife come to visit. We have a mating pair of magpies that bring their babies to show us each season. We of course help by giving the rascals a little bit of food. They sing or rather they warble to us to let us know they're there. It is such a pleasure. I have been on a cleaning binge this week. My house is emerging as a clean and lovely place to be. It wasn't that dirty but I wasn't happy with the piles of bits that seemed to be growing in cupboards. I have one cupboard left to go and then I'll start on my little shed(20' container). To the pantry I have added three large jars of fiery hot sweet chilli sauce, two jars of mint sauce and two bottles of passionfruit cordial. Hubby got a great deal on a whole rump. He's cut this up into roasts, steaks and has minced up quite a bit as well. This is in the freezer and we had a delicious cold roast beef and salad meal for dinner last night. I grow most of my salad veg over winter here so have quite a lot coming on. We have the most delicious capsicums and lettuce right now, with the tomatoes and cucumber coming into flower. There are many other veg coming on. The passionfruit has decided to have another major fruiting. Brazilian cherries are coming in each day. I'm freezing these and will make cordial for winter flus and cold from this fruit. It has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in fruiting plants that I can grow here in my slightly more tropical than sub tropical garden. I have used up the emergency fund once again and will be working on rebuilding this. My computer died and I bought a new laptop. I'm still working out how to use all the bits and bobs on this machine. We'll be living as much as we can out of the pantry and the garden whilst we build our emergency fund up again. That's three times this year this fund has been there to allow us to do as needed straight away. It's worth the effort to have one. Life is good.

    1. Jane, so glad you had the emergency fund to cover your financial emergencies. For the last several years the bluebirds have laid their eggs in the same location and we were delighted to find that they were back again this year! The color of the eggs is beautiful! You added a lot to your pantry, way to go!!!

  4. Patsy, that's a great week. I love the bluebirds eggs. I always imagined that this was a storybook idea, so what a surprise to find they are real! Love, Mimi xxx


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