Saturday, April 9, 2016

Pantry Challenge #14 ... 2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

This week has been a week of weather extremes!  We’ve had some warm sunny days and then we’ve had some cooler days with freezing and below freezing temperatures at night.  Tonight we’re supposed to go below freezing again.  The plants, trees and bushes don’t know if it’s spring or winter, some were damaged by the freeze earlier in the week and I’m a bit concerned about tonight’s predicted below freezing temps as well.  I’ve brought everything inside that I can!

At any rate, life goes on and we do the best we can with what ‘mother nature’ hands us.  With that thought in mind let’s see what I was able to get done in my pantry this week!

My to-do list from last time:

Plant basil, cilantro and rosemary in my tiered planter.  I deliberately put this off until after the forecast freeze for tonight.

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.  I deliberately put this off too until after the forecast freeze for tonight.

Can chicken from the freezer … maybe!   Didn’t get done!  Has nothing to do with the weather, it just didn’t get done!

In addition:

I harvested plantain and made plantain tincture for stings and bug bites using apple cider vinegar and fresh plantain leaves.

I harvested nettles, dehydrated them and started a jar for 2016.

I made wool dryer balls using 100% wool yarn I purchased last year.

We went grocery shopping this week for some meats to add to our pantry and while out shopping I found a store that still had some Easter stuff on clearance and was able to add several things to my pantry for $5. You can read about it HERE.

I spent several hours working on our raised beds getting them ready for planting.  I have 7 raised beds to get ready and several more hours of labor before me.

I/we saved $916.40 this week in The Vicky Challenge!  Here’s how it breaks down:

Our vehicle needed more repairs and thankfully my husband was able to do it himself. We saved $36 on the parts and $340 on the labor.  Total Saved: $376

I made 2 wool dryer balls out of a skein of wool yarn I had on hand.  Saved: $6.48

Downloaded the Kindle book, Yoga by Thatcher D. Godwin, for free:  Saved $2.99 

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

Chickens laid 3 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Used neither heat nor air conditioning 3 days this week: Saved $39

The little ‘mom and pop’ co-op where we purchase our animal feed has a program that earns you a free bag of feed after you purchase 8 bags.  This week we purchased one bag of dog food and picked up our ‘free’ bag as well.  Saved $24.75

Had 29 pictures developed at Sam’s Club for the sale price $.10 each; normal price was $.17 each.  Savings:   $2.03 

Saved $89.74 using coupons, shopping regular sales and clearance sales this week.

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (4 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $40

The USDA’s ‘moderate’ Food Budget for a family the size of ours is $589.70.  In March we spent $264.37, that’s a savings of $325.33. (Our grocery budget is $25/week.  If we have any extra money or gift cards that I’ve earned or been gifted we also use that to add to our grocery budget.)

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks that will be redeemed for a Walmart gift card, am doing Pinecone surveys whenever I can and am working on earning points through Bing which I’ll redeem for Amazon gift cards. At the end of the month I'll take what I've earned and do some more 'free' shopping!

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $3,794.78, add this week’s amount ($916.40) and I/we have saved $4711.18.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn from home!

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

Complete my $5 or Less pantry challenge.  

Continue to work on raised beds.

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. 

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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  1. I love reading your posts about frugality...a cause near and dear to my heart, too! One of the things I am doing is preparing for Christmas and adding to our Christmas crate, as I can. This way, Christmas is so much more peaceful in our home! God bless you, Patsy!

    1. Cheryl, I prepare for Christmas all year long too and you are so right, it makes for a more peaceful holiday season!

  2. Sounds like you had another great week.
    I started out with a flat tire while on the road, called AAA and the kid they sent couldn't figure out how to change my tire (REALLY?) He called a tow truck. Luckily I didn't have to pay any dollars.
    Tire repair was $25, but better than buying a new tire.
    I did get 2 hair dye kits on closeout at Kroger for 2.99 each vs. retail of 7.99 ea.
    Received a $50 WM gift card in the mail thanks to hubs annual physical.
    Meals from the pantry. Bought NO actual food again for the 2nd week.

    Have a wonderful week.

    1. Cheryl, so sorry about the flat tire, but like you said it was better than having to purchase a new tire. Sometimes we just have to look on the positive side. You've had a frugal week too, congrats on the $50 WM card ... free money!!!!

  3. Two questions:
    First, what is a wool dryer ball? I had to Google it. Can you share how they work in your dryer?
    Second, I have purchased nettle seeds but have been hesitant to plant the seeds for fear they will reseed everywhere. How do you contain your plants to keep them from being invasive? I have never grown them before but would really like to try them.

    1. jmorrrris, the wool balls are used to be replace fabric dryer sheets in the dryer. They last a long, long time! Just toss them in the dryer with the wet clothes and dry your clothes as usual. I have my nettle seeds planted in a big pot that sets on a concrete slab/drive.

    2. I will be looking for a wool sweater at Goodwill this week to unravel. Next I will be looking for an old pot to use for the nettles. Thanks, Jeannie

  4. It must be the week for cars breaking!!!! Our Rav4's transmission went out last week. Our friend, a mechanic with a shop, fixed it for the price of the parts. That was so kind of him. There is still one more thing that has to be done to it, but he's going to get to it as soon as he can.

    We are able to eat at home more this week, since we aren't having to leave for showings at this time. We accepted an offer on Saturday!!! Hopefully, the sale of the house will go right through and we will never have to show it again:)(which would be fine with me!) That saves a bundle right there.

    We plan to have a big shop sale this weekend--hopefully we will make enough to pay for the parts for the car, or at least part of them. Transmissions are rather expensive.


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