Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pantry Challenge #27 ... 2016, The Vicky Challenge and other thrifty things we did this week!

(We're still enjoying our beautiful view!)

We've had excessive heat everyday this past week with the ‘feel’ like temperatures well over 100 degrees.  The humidity has been so high that when you step outside your glasses ‘fog’ up! It is projected to be this way for the entire month of July so I need to take some precautions for our container gardens, raised beds and animals.  Here are some things we have done or will be doing as soon as possible:

Move our container garden pots to a shaded area of our yard.

Give the plants in the container garden pots a weekly drink of comfrey tea or nettles tea in addition to daily watering.  Do the same for our raised beds.  They need more than just water to get through this kind of heat. (I make the comfrey tea and nettles tea using comfrey and nettles that I grow.)

Our lemon trees will get a mixture of Epsom salt and water to give them a little boost. (Yes, our lemon trees are still surviving!!!!)

and …

Add electrolytes to the chickens watering system.

Do you do anything extra for your plants and animals when the temperature soars?

This week in my pantry, I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the massive pantry inventorying and re-organization that I started last week. It feels so good to have this job almost completed! 

What else have I gotten done pantry wise?  Let’s see …

Note:  My Vicky Challenge Savings are added in at the appropriate places.  

My to-do list from last time:

Start a third toddler quilt top.  I thought about it … a couple of times … but just didn’t get around to it.

Work on hand quilting 1st toddler quilt top.   Didn’t getting around to working on this either!

Complete $5 or Less Pantry Challenge.  Done!  I purchased back to school specials for the stationary part of my pantry. In our area the back-to-school supply sales have begun and as in years past, I will try to anticipate my needs in this area for a year and purchase accordingly.  Sometimes, like this year, it is necessary to make the purchases in small monetary increments, but it is and will get done.  I'm thankful this sale lasts several weeks!

In addition:

My husband got paid for a small ‘on the side’ job he did last month.  Earned $238.80  And of course, every time we get/earn any extra money we use a portion of it to help restock our pantry.

Harvested and/or were given 45 cucumbers.   Saved (.52/cucumber) $23.40

These cucumbers are in partial shade and are thriving!

Harvested Roma tomatoes from the garden.  Saved $7

Saved seeds from Roma tomatoes we enjoyed this week. Saved $2

Were given 5 large tomatoes from a friend’s garden.  I saved the seeds from those as well as they were a different variety than we grow. Tomatoes plus the seeds:  Saved $6

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Enjoyed this huge arrangement of sunflowers on my dining room table.  We have permission from the owner of the farm around us to cut a few for an arrangement.  The picture does not do it justice.   The arrangement is simple and beautiful! This arrangement would have cost at least $25 in a florist so that’s what I’m counting as a savings.  Saved $25

Made more kefirSaved: $4.08

Saved $32.74 using coupons, shopping sales and loss leaders for pantry and non-pantry related items.  

Added compost material to the compost bin.  One of the compost bins is already almost full!!!

Added 3 gallons of water to the freezer in preparation for hurricane season.  Saved $2.64

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (2 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $20

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $8,474.10, add this week’s amount ($367.66) and I/we have saved $8,841.76.  I'm really enjoying seeing how much I/we save/earn through being frugal!

Here are some things I want to get done in the upcoming week:

Can pecans (we purchased enough this week to do a canning with some of the extra money my husband earned mentioned above.) Recipe can be found HERE.   
Can pepper relish (during my pantry reorganization and inventorying I discovered that we are completely out of this!   This just will not do as we love this relish on peas!) Recipe can be found HERE
Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry, live frugally or save this week?

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

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook!

Have you read this series, This is Why! and this free e-book, Yes, You Can Have a Well-Stocked Pantry?  And don’t forget to check out the ‘Free Downloads’ page.  You’ll find some helpful pantry building stuff available for free!

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  1. Would love to see a picture of your pepper relish. I didn't raise hot banana peppers but have a lot of sweet banana peppers, I will use them. Thanks for the recipe on canning pecans. Have a great week!

    1. Sue, I should be able to post a picture of our pepper relish in the next pantry challenge.

  2. 45 is a lot of cucumbers. Did you make pickles? It's wonderful that things are growing so well there. I've never had to contend with such excessive humidity, though. I'll bet that isn't the most fun part of the summer:)
    I'm glad your husband picked up a side job. That helps so much when a little extra comes our way. I'm sure you were delighted!
    I'm off to help can green beans for my sister today. It's the strangest thing to not can for myself this year, but it's not possible while living in an r.v.--plus there is no way to store it properly. I will use up my large backlog this winter once we get settled, and start afresh next year. I'm already looking forward to it because I LOVE to can and preserve food.
    We have looked at multitudes of houses, and have been outbid on one and declined another once we saw the full disclosure--too much to fix--structural problems, etc. and so will keep hunting. It's taking longer than we thought it would.

  3. Becky, unfortunately buying a home is a long drawn out process and as you well know you don't want to hurry the choosing process and wind up in something that is not suitable. It is definitely an opportunity to grow in patience!

  4. Dear Patsy, That was a busy week. I love the sunflowers! They will be good for the chickens when they are finished.
    When it is in the 100s here I cover our birds and chickens with old sheets and hose that down every coulle of hours. It makes evaporative air conditioning kind of. Just now its hard to imagine as we have had such a cold week and terrible winter storms.
    Your husbands extra income was fantastic. I hope you get thise pecans canned! With love,

  5. Patsy Kroger has their canning lids $1.79 each that's a 60 cent saving. I got 10 boxes and K-mart has their canning supplies buy 1 get 1 half price. Have a great week:) Sue

  6. I made muscadine jelly, 6 pints and a 1/2 pint, made and canned 6 pints and 1 quart of salsa using our tomatoes. And straightened pantry shelves.


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