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If I Were Just Starting Out Building a Well-Stocked Pantry ...

I recently received a comment from a reader basically asking me where to start when building a well-stocked pantry.  Since I get this ques...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Ways of My Household ... 8/7/2016

I AM DOING a HAPPY DANCE … okay, as much as an old woman can do with a broken toe!  Why am I doing a happy dance … because we are getting a reprieve from the excessive heat we’ve been having for the last 6 weeks.  The heat in our area has been brutal!

Before I share my pantry building … frugal living … Vicky challenge week though, let’s talk about rain checks.  Do you know what they are?  Do you take advantage of this great way to stretch your money?  I surely hope you do because they can be a great way to add to your pantry.  If a grocery store is out of an advertised item, ask for a rain check.  This means you can get the same item (often multiples of the same item) for the sale price after the advertised sale is over, on your time table. This means you have time to search for a coupon(s) for that item which makes it an even better bargain, or you have the option of waiting for a time when you have more money and can purchase multiples.  What have you been able to add to your pantry using rain checks?

Okay,  here’s how I ‘looked well to the ways of my household’ this past week …

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

I picked up some CVS shopping tips HERE.  

Chickens laid 2 dozen eggs this week:  Saved $6

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

Got a couple of rain checks from Food Lion for shrimp they had on sale BOGO free. They were all out so my husband and I each got a rain check!  Love me some rain checks!

We had a day earlier in the week when the feel like temperature outside was only 99 so we headed out to the garden, cleaned it up and planted our fall garden!  We  gave the peas some nitrogen, the okra some fertilizer, pulled up the old squash plants and tomato plants then planted cabbage, collards and some more squash using seeds we had on hand. 

If you like having pantry mixes on hand this is a sight you will want to visit. I found several that will be useful to me. 

I harvested the overgrown squash before I removed the plants from the garden and placed them where they will continue to dry. When they are dry, I will harvest the seeds for next year’s planting.  Saved $20 for seeds … there is going to be a lot of seeds!

We’re also harvesting okra and the pods that have gotten too big are being placed in the same place as the squash to dry.  This will be our seeds for next year.  Saved $20 for seeds and another $10 for okra we've been eating this week.

I can’t leave out cucumbers.  We are no longer harvesting any from the garden but there are a few that we allowed to get BIG so we could save seeds for next year.  These cucumbers are keeping the okra and squash company in our drying area.  Saved $10 for seeds.

We are still saving seeds from tomatoes as well. Saved $10

Another thing that was ready for harvest this week was our elderberries.  They started out so good but I’m afraid all the rain, hot temperatures and humidity have taken their toll on them.  We were able to harvest some but, not near what we have in past years.  We are thankful for what we were able to harvest and have (after drying) set them aside for medicinal purposes.  Saved $5

Saved $.48 using coupons, shopping sales and loss leaders for pantry and non-pantry related items.  Yep, that reads 48 cents … I guess you can tell that we didn’t do much shopping this week!!!!

Added compost material to the compost bin. 

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

I started watching ‘Tales from The Green Valley’ on Youtube Here.  Here is the trailer for the series …. In this BBC documentary series we get to follow a small group of historians and archeologists as they recreate farm life from the age of the Stuarts. They wear the clothes, eat the food and use the tools, skills and technology of the 1620's for one year.  I am a history buff and enjoy learning from the past.

Not working a job outside my home savings $100.

I began harvesting grapes from our grapevines this week.  I was able to harvest about half of a gallon … there are many more to ripen, but I want to beat the birds to them so I’m watching them closely.  (There are lots and lots of grapes, enough for us and the birds, but if I don’t beat them to them, I won’t get any!)  I am making juice using the steaming method and freezing it until I have enough to make jelly.  Saved $6

Book(s) I’ve read this week …… Wartime Farm.  I have watched the series on Youtube and am so happy that I now own this book. I learned a lot from watching the series and now I have all that knowledge to refer back to in the book.  I only paid $.96 for this huge book plus $3.99 shipping. (This is just one way I stretch the Swagbucks and Bing money that I earn!)   

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge Savings  savings/earnings have been $10,009.69, add this week’s amount ($237.56) and I/we have saved $10,247.25.  

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

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

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!

If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button I would be very grateful!  

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23 comments:

  1. Deals I found this week with groceries included buying 6kg of sugar (just over 13lb) for $2.90, a bag with 2 very ripe pineapples in it on clearance for $2 for the bag (that $1/pineapple!), then bought 6 more pineapples for $1.49 each at another store, 1 package each of Genoa salami and cooked, seasoned roast beef “end pieces” (sliced sandwich meat) for $3/1 kg pack, 2 packages of hot crossed buns on 50% discount making them $1.25/pack of 8, 1 pack of hamburger buns for $1, 3 packages of sliced Swiss cheese for $2/100g pack and 2 bags of potato wedge fries for $6/1.8 kg bag.

    I immediately cut up the 2 very ripe pineapples, put half of one in the fridge for fresh eating and froze the rest. I plan on canning the other 6 pineapples on my days off this coming week. The large packages of sandwich meat will be divided up into smaller amounts, packaged up using the food saver, then froze. We then thaw out the smaller packages of cold meat as needed for sandwiches or other meals.

    I harvested heirloom spinach seeds from the garden to use next year and a couple vine ripened tomatoes for fresh eating. I finally gave up on the peas and beans as the heat was inhibiting the development of flowers. I left whatever produce was on the heirloom plants to dry out and I will collect the seeds from them as well for next year.

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    1. Rhonda, what a great week you've had! I've canned pineapple before and they are very good. We use our foodsaver for lots of things including doing what you did with the sandwich meat. They are a great little invention! Thanks for commenting Rhonda!

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  2. I only have a minute but have a question...did you ever get the Tumeric root to grow? Where do you buy turmeric root! :) How do you get it to be powder etc... I was reading a 2015 post where you mentioned trying to grow the root. sorry I guess this is more than one question. :-)))) Sarah

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    1. Sarah, yes, I got the turmeric to grow and am growing more this year. I'll get some pictures and do a post on it this week. Thanks for the comment!

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  3. I recently used a rain cheque at a local electrical store. They had 6L slow cookers(crock pots) going for $31. I retired our old slow cooker to use for soap making and got a new one for the kitchen two weeks after the store had sold out. To me this was a great deal.
    All those seeds you've saved are going to give you a great head start in next years garden. I leave mine to go to seed in the garden. We're lucky to live in an area where we can grow all year round. As I have been letting things go to seed since we moved to this property three years ago, I have lots of things that just appear. It's a bit of a lucky dip and one I really enjoy.
    You have had a great week.

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    1. Jane, we have a long growing season here but not year round so saving seeds is a necessity,either that or buying them and I prefer to save my own and keep my money. Rain checks are not just for food are they???? You did good! Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Hi Patsy,
    I had a question on seed saving. Do you dry the whole squash, okra, etc. and, if so, how do you do it? Thanks so much. Dorothy

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    1. Dorothy, I dry the whole thing, but they need to be very mature. I just put them in a box and set them in a very hot area ... like a greenhouse or shed or even in a vehicle. They need to be somewhere where moisture does not get to them. And of course they need to be heirloom. There are other ways of drying them but this is my simple no fuss way! Hope this helps! Thanks for commenting!

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    2. Thanks Patsy. The shed would be a perfect place except with our humidity as high as it is I wonder if that would spoil the process. Dorothy

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    3. Dorothy, our shed is where I store ours and humidity is a major issue for us. It gets so hot in there and we've just not had a problem thus far with rotting.

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    4. Thank you so much for sharing the information. I'm going to give it a try. Dorothy

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  5. Hi Patsy. When you let the squash, okra and cukes to dry, They actually dry? I can buy squash at the grocery and in a few days (if I don't eat it) it will start to rot!! I must be doing something wrong, lol. Anyway, you are the woman! Always so busy and saving so much! I don't know why, but we do not have those grocery deals around here. We do have rain-checks and I have used them, but a lot of the deals you write about we just don't have in our area. :( Sometimes I feel like moving where the deals are, lolol. I LOVE reading about your garden and deals though so keep going please. :)

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    1. Yes Barbara, they actually dry. See my comment above to Dorothy for my method of drying for seeds. So far this method has not failed me. Just a note, the squash you can purchase at the grocery store are not mature enough to dry for seeds and unless specially stated are not usually heirloom. As for the deals, they are getting fewer and far between but I am a sleuth and take advantage of every opportunity to search one out. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

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  6. Seems like once a year our local grocery runs the Hormel meats on sale for $1 a 5 ounce can, and we usually purchase the maximum several times during the week. This last sale, they were out of the ham and the chickem breast before we made it to the store the first day. We ended up with two rain checks, and filled the chicken one the next week. Their rain checks are only good for 30 days, and we were closing in on that and they would only have a couple of cans of the ham, not worth using the rain check, so we waited. Hubby stopped in there Friday, and we ended up with 18 cans of ham to be added to our home pantry and our church food ministry pantry. I love rain checks!

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    1. Now that's what I'm talking about Janie! Way to think smart and use that rain check to the best advantage!

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  7. Hi Patsi!
    I love all of the things you do each week. It is so inspiring. I have stacks of rain checks LOL! Some places they are only good for 30 days and some never expire. They are a really good way to save especially when the store is out of what you wanted to get. We have been so busy here with the cellar and the gardening. I will be one happy lady when it's all done! I have not added my totals yet, but with all of the veggies we grow ourselves we have saved quite a bit. Plus we are getting ahead. One big thing I like is with what we save by growing things the grocery budget goes down and the money we do spend is usually to stock up on good meat deals so meat and veggies are covered LOL! I hope the rest of your week is good you are getting lots done!
    XOXO
    Vicky

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    1. Vicky, we've done the same thing this summer with out grocery budget. Being able to eat out of the garden means we can use our grocery money for meats. I can't wait to see pictures of your cellar. I have rain checks that are a couple of years old but they are still good ... no expiration date. We used one one time for ground beef. The rain check price was $1.99/lb and the price in the store was $4.98/lb. The store manager was not happy but he had to honor the rain check. I also have rain checks that have expiration dates. The key is to keep an eye on those dates.

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  8. My freezer was getting overfull of the fruits waiting to be made into jelly and a lot of chicken I could can. So I am thawing and processing all the yumminess. In my immediate future is canning blueberry jelly, strawberry jelly, chicken, apple butter, squash and vegetable beef soup. The squash and soup are being canned right now. QUESTION....were the directions for canning the dried beans, 1 cup of dried beans for a quart jar and 1/2 cup for a pint jar? Wanted to make sure before I did that task! Happy Homemaking! donna

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    1. Donna, if I'm canning them dry, that is the measurements that I use. You are one busy lady! You go girl! Fill up that pantry!!!!

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  9. Hi Patsy, how fun to see you link to my blog. I truly believe CVS deal shopping can really build a stockpile with a low expense.

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    1. Rhonda, I've been a CVS shopper for a long time and it's nice to read what other seasoned CVS shoppers do as we can always learn if we're of a mind to.

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  10. Dear Patsy,
    We have rain checks here. I love them. But this is a reminder to use them more often.
    I ordered the antibiotic cream online. So far so good it seems I can freely get in online while not her without a prescription. It is different. It has actual antibiotic in it and our creams don't. So now I will be keeping this.
    Thank you for that! With love Annabel.xxx

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    Replies
    1. Annabel, so glad you were able to order the antibiotic cream. It's a staple in the medicinal part of my pantry.

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