Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pantry Challenge #15 ... 2016 + other thrifty things we did this week!

If you've been following our baby bluebirds saga, here's the latest photo taken today ... it looks like there are at least 3 babies, possibly more, in the nest. Can you see their feathers starting to come in?  

My to-do list from last time:

Complete my $5 or Less pantry challenge.  Done!  I purchased 4 cans of mushroom pieces and 4 cans of tuna in water for $5.52 … a little over the $5 but some weeks I’ll be a little over and some weeks I’ll be a little under.

Continue to work on raised beds.  Done! They’re almost ready for planting!

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. Done!  I received hostas, lilies, black-eyed susan, azalea, creeping jenny, canna, and two that she didn’t know what the name was.  I am so thankful!

In addition:

I planted cucumbers, basil, cilantro and rosemary.   All the seeds were saved from last year or in some cases even earlier except the rosemary.  A note about the rosemary, while at our local mom and pop feed store with my husband, one of the owners saw me admiring the rosemary plants and went, unbeknownst to me, and cut some cuttings off of another rosemary plant. She gave them to me with instructions to put them in some water on a window seal and let them root … and then to plant them.  I was so surprised.  There are a lot of good and thoughtful people in this world!!!

Removed part of the compost from our compost bins and added it to raised beds, the cucumbers I have planted in a big pot and around our blueberry bushes.

I had some overripe bananas that I mashed and put in a jar in the refrigerator to make ‘banana liquor.’   You just let the mashed banana's sit in the refrigerator for a couple of days until a liquid forms and then it's ready for use.  Stir the mashed banana's before using and add to recipe in place of fresh banana's in recipe.  This is supposed to make your baked goods even better.  There is no alcohol/liquor involved in this method … I learned about doing this on the A Working Pantry Facebook group.  I learn so much from everyone there!

I planted some spring onions.

I started direct composting into our raised beds.  Direct composting is when you add compost materials directly to the soil for decomposing instead of into a container or bin. I'm hoping this will encourage earth worms to take up residence in my raised beds which will do wonders for the soil.  I’ll also continue using my compost bins as well.

We found the brand of cola my husband drinks on sale this week for $.79/bottle ... regular price $1.38 -$1.99 each so we purchased several to have on hand for him.  (I gave up drinking cola when I got the flu several weeks ago and only drink it when we go out ... I don't allow myself to have them at home.  I have been doing this for several weeks now and do find that I feel better.  However, this is always going to be a struggle for me because I do enjoy the taste.  But for now, I'm on the upside of this battle and with every day that goes by that I don't drink one, my will power gets a little stronger.  Let's hear it for small victories!)

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

We’re being allowed to get some cuttings from a friend’s fig tree this week so we’ll do that.  We are going to attempt to root them and grow our own fig trees.

Make banana bread using the ‘banana liquor’ I mentioned above.

Complete my $5 or less challenge

Work on planting more of our garden

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. Patsy your posts always inspire me to look more carefully at what I'm doing and how I'm going about my day to day life.
    This week I purchased some powdered mustard and curry powder. I'm going to count this as my $5 pantry challenge. I used these products, along with what I had in the pantry and the garden, to make 5 large jars of choko pickles.
    I have started to cut out 4" squares from various small leftover bits in my fabric stash, craft pantry. I'm going to make these squares up into a mat and back with an old, stained towel. I plan on making two of these to be floor mats for the bathroom. My current bath mats are starting to fall apart and really do need replacing. Two new mats that will be useful, colourful and made from what I already have. Cheap, frugal and fun. Life is good.

    1. Jane Allan, now that's an idea for a floor bath mat I hadn't thought of ... going to add that to my repurposing idea list. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Patsy, I had gastric bypass surgery a few years ago and had to give up drinking all carbonated beverages afterwards. Apparently, carbonation causes leaching of calcium and now that I've had the surgery, I cannot absorb calcium and other vitamins properly.

    It wasn't too hard to stop for me after the surgery as it just irritated my stomach anyway. However, I do still crave it sometimes, so I allow myself to drink a swallow of my husbands soda once in a while. It seems to satisfy this craving just enough for me. I am now very much in the habit of asking for ice water (or sometimes milk if I think of it) when I go to restaurants. This was probably the most difficult habit to break, because everyone expects you to drink soda with a meal in a restaurant. I can tell you, though, it's a much cheaper option to have ice water!

    1. Rhonda A., I'm drinking a lot more water and on the rare occasions that we go to a restaurant I drink water or tea. Giving up soda is a hard habit to break. It is very addictive! Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Yes, the soda habit is a hard one around here, too. There have been times when I've gone off it for years at a time, only to resume my habit when times get tough. We jokingly refer this as "driving me to drink!" I am thankful that diet Coke is the worst thing I turn to when I drink:) (To clarify, we don't drink liquor at all) I also drink a tremendous amount of water, as well. The problem for me comes when I'm really tired and want that caffeine boost, and I don't care for coffee. Hopefully, things will calm down enough for me to start focusing on my diet again--sometimes in life I can only think about so many things at once, and it's easy to put that on the back burner, since I kind of like justifying it! However, I do get actually sick when I drink too much, so that keeps me in check.

    We are loving the baby bird pictures. My Patsy loves that your name is Patsi, too, and she has been following the birds' progress and growth.

    1. beckyathome, I couldn't have put into words my battle with diet coke any better, you just described my journey with it perfectly. I feel so much better when I'm off of it, but I like it and it's hard to give up something that you like. We're not coffee drinkers either and if diet coke didn't have adverse effects on me, I wouldn't even consider giving it up. Tell your Patsy hello from a fellow Patsi! I'll be updating our bluebird saga again in a few days!


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