Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pantry Challenge #28 … 2016 plus The Vicky Challenge and other frugal things we’ve done this week!

I am happy to report that all our hard work is paying off as our pantry is filling back up nicely after having eaten out of it almost exclusively since January.  I am so thankful for all the produce we have grown or been given this summer.

So, what did I get done this week …

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

My to-do list from last time:

Can pecans.  Recipe can be found HERE.   Done!  I canned 15 pints of pecans.

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 Didn’t get done!

In addition:

Stitched up these moth repellent sachets using fabrics I had on hand and herbs I grew.  Saved $6

Started cuttings for rooting of rosemary, sage, peppermint and basil.  I will use these to make herb garden pots for gift giving.

I also started cuttings of a purple heart flower for rooting too.

I earned a $25 Walmart gift card through Swagbucks and a $5 Amazon gift card through Bing .  

Harvested 30 Roma tomatoes from our garden. Saved  ($.99/lb) $14.85

We started harvesting okra from our garden this week.  We harvested approximately 5 lbs. Saved ($2/lb) $10

Started an infused oil of lemon balm and peppermint for a future project using herbs from my herb garden.

Harvested and/or were given 20 cucumbers.   Saved (.52/cucumber) $10.40

Was given 118 ears of corn by a neighbor, they had harvested their field of corn and didn’t want the entire harvest.  We gladly accepted their surplus.  Saved (.33/ear) $ 38.94

We added 8 more quart freezer bags of corn to the freezer part of our pantry.

We found some marked down beef suitable for turning into stew beef so we purchased it, brought it home, cubed it ourselves and canned it.  We added 14 quarts of stew beef to our pantry.

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

Made more kefir Saved: $4.08 ($2.04 per batch)

Purchased 12 lbs of yellow onions for $4.81.  Regular price was $7.98.  I will chop them and freeze them in half cup increments for future use.

Saved $42.81 using coupons, shopping sales and loss leaders for pantry and non-pantry related items.  

Added compost material to the compost bin.  One bin is full and now we’re working on the other one.

Planted 3 rows of purple hull peas.  These should be ready to harvest in September.

Added 2 gallons of water to the freezer in preparation for hurricane season.  Saved $1.76

Yard work/gardening/landscaping (does not include mowing) (3 hours x $10 per hour for labor):  Saved $30

Mended a pair of pants for my husband.

I had to throw in a little ‘fru-fru’ this week by putting together this cute way to display my collection of buttons.  Most of these buttons have been removed from articles of clothing that have been recycled.

Here’s a savings area that I had not thought of until this week, but it is the savings of not working outside my home.  We save by not eating out in the evenings when I was too tired to cook after a long day at work, which was at least once a week and sometimes more; by not buying lunches 1 – 2 times each week when working outside my home; by not having to purchase additional gasoline for the automobile to get back and forwards from work and the extra clothing needed for a wardrobe suitable for working outside the home.  Being very conservative and using the estimates of what I/we spent when I did work outside the home several years ago, I’m estimating that I easily save $100/week by not working, so that’s what I’m going to start counting as a savings.  Not working outside my home savings $100

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge savings/earnings have been $8,841.76, add this week’s amount ($294.84) and I/we have saved $9,136.60.  

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

Can banana pepper relish.  Recipe can be found HERE 

Chop and freeze 12 lbs of onions we purchased on clearance.

Can salsa.

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

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  1. You are amazing! Love the free corn; what a blessing!

  2. What a week! And love how your sachets came out! Very cute! :)

    1. JES, your instructions were simple to follow, thanks for posting them on your blog!

  3. Patsi I am so glad to hear your pantry is filling back up. Keep going you can do it. I am currently working on household projects and I'm switching rooms and one of them has been the current pantry room so I have a big mess. I have not started canning yet the garden is beautiful so far, but I worry about it since the next weeks we are supposed to have the heat dome thing that raises the heat index. I pray my gardens don't burn up. I attended my nephew's graduation party and brought home some of the extra food, coke points and some plastic trays and foil pans that I washed up and will come in handy for something. I added to the pantry with items on sale and using coupons, I cashed out from coke points and my points for $10 Walmart gift cards and think I can get another $5 one this week plus some from swagbucks. I hand clothes out everyday it's nice and I love not having to use the dryer. My chickens have not been laying as much so only a dozen eggs this week. I have been emptying the water from the dehumidifier into buckets to water the garden and get about 2 gallons a day after it rains so that saves me about .89 a gallon. I groomed the cats I am not sure how much that costs I need to look that up, but they are pretty now. I added to my compost bin and made some chicken poop tea, but if it gets too hot I am not going to use it just to be sure the roots don't burn. I hope you have a great week mine will be busy with more pantry room stuff!

    1. Vicky, We've been dealing with extreme heat and humidity a lot this summer and it does take some close monitoring to keep from losing the harvest. Good luck! Be careful and don't over do it with your room switching. I love reading how you save and stretch. That's a very important tip about the chicken poop tea!

  4. Patsy, you would have to know that I would LOVE your! A very pretty way to display all those sweet buttons. As always, reading what you've been up to would make a strong man weep, and when I grow up, I want to be just like you ;-) Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi ... LOL ... I did think of you while I was frou-frouing! A girl's just got to have some frou-frou in her life!!!

  5. Well I have never heard of banana pepper relish before. LOL! It is interesting reading about what you clever ladies get up to in the Northern Hemisphere. Since I gave up sugar I haven't done much preserving at all.

    1. Nanna Chel, we've cut way back on our sugar consumption too, but there are just some things that we're not willing to give up yet. This is one of them and since we eat it in such small amounts when we do have it, we don't feel too bad about it. Most of the things we preserve though, have no sugar in them at all.

  6. Always encouraging to read your posts. Great getting good corn free?
    A word on the fru fru buttons, a few years ago on a blog I read not to seal up your buttons in jars because of the gases that release from the plastics in them, that it will deteriorate them by being sealed up. I don't know if it is true or not, but I keep mine unsealed in my mason jars. You could take a nail and put holes in a regular mason lid so it would allow the jar to breathe. But I would not want to ruin a nice zinc lid like you have in your photo by doing that. I know ladies have stored them for years in tins, and no problems, I have tins like that too, but just letting you know.
    Something to consider, I guess.
    I have been able to get good buys on meat after July 4th, not large packages, but several of them.
    Hoping to can some blackberry jelly out of some stored juice from the freezer. I need more room in my tiny freezer.

    1. Annie, I have never heard that about buttons before, I'll have to do some research. Thanks for the heads-up! Blackberry jelly ... yum ... there's always something to do isn't there?

  7. Patsi, Your pecans and stew meat look wonderful! What great additions to your pantry. Do you hot pack or raw pack meat? I'm asking because I have never raw packed any meat and would like an opinion about the quality comparison of the finished product between the two methods. Also, do you have a link for those sachets? Donna

    1. I raw pack and process for 90 minutes at 10 lbs of pressure. Here's the link to the sachets ...

  8. Patsy, why do you pressure can the pecans verses putting them in them in jars and using the food saver to suck out the air? Do they keep that much better on the shelf canned? Our house is not cool and I can't keep that many nuts + so many other things in the freezer so I try to learn how to best keep some outside on shelf too. I use my Foodsaver like the black one you feature all the time. Could we also just use the Foods saver bags instead of the jars to keep the nuts? Mainly I wondered about using the Foodsaver verses canning. Which is best to keep the nuts on the shelf? I take it walnuts might not keep as well as they have more oils??? Sarah

    1. Sarah, Pecans, like most other nuts, have oils in them and they will go rancid if you just use a Food saver and vacuum seal them. They need to be toasted and pressure canned to prevent the oil in the nuts from going rancid. Hope this helps!

  9. It is so wonderful to see your pantry filling up again and stores being replenished. And there is still some summer and harvest time left!
    Well done on all the savings Patsy. When I read your blog and see the words"she looks well to the ways of the household" I feel so happy and inspired. That is exactly what we need to be doing. And it all gets us there. As you say all your hard work is paying off.
    This week I added quite a bit to my pantry. We are in winter so not harvesting... but cooking, crafting, planning and organising.
    Much love,

    1. Annabel, There is a season for all types of pantry building isn't there? The key is to take advantage of them all!

  10. I believe $100 a week for work expenses is very reasonable. I work a part-time seasonal job and would agree with you. There are other expenses I would like to add to your list. In addition to gasoline, there is wear and tear on the car and tires, extra oil changes plus paying for parking in a city. Your car insurance is cheaper when you drive fewer miles. The time spent commuting is wasted time and wasted money. Plus you may not need two cars if one person is not working.
    You said clothes but added to that is pantyhose, makeup, nail polish, perfume, hairspray and deodorant. No, I don't wear deodorant nor do I spray my hair when I am home alone by myself all day.
    When I work at my part-time job I am meeting the public and handling their money. Sometimes I end up catching a cold or whatever bug is going around. I never get sick when I am at home.
    When you are working you do not have time to cut out coupons, shop different sales at different stores or plan what to cook. You end up throwing a blouse with a missing button into the donate bag because it is easier than sewing on a button. All these little things add up.

    1. Jeannie, I found everything you mentioned to be true for me.


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