Monday, September 5, 2016

The Ways of My Household ... 8/15 through 9/4/2016

Did you miss me? 

We’ve been on a working vacation … and boy do I have a lot to do now that we’re home!

Where do I start telling you about our adventures?

Do I start with the 6 thrift stores we visited in 2 states and the bargains we found?

Do I start with the Mennonite settlement we visited and the produce we purchased and brought back?

Or …

Do I start with all the things we found in our garden and orchard upon our return home that need harvesting?

Hmm, let’s just start at the beginning …

Here are some things I accomplished before we left on our trip …

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

Harvested and froze more okra for my pantry.  Saved $16

Added compost material to the compost bin. 

I earned a $5 Amazon gift card through Bing.

I earned $34.96 from my Amazon affiliate links.  Thank you to everyone who clicks through to Amazon on my affiliate links.   I so appreciate your willingness to help support my writings through this avenue.

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

While we were gone we …..

Purchased a box of fresh from the garden Roma green beans

Purchased a box of yellow squash

Purchased a box of jalapeño pepper

Purchased a box of cayenne pepper  

Purchased a small box of a different kind than we have of a yellow heirloom tomato, we really wanted the seeds for our own seed bank.

Purchased a box of spaghetti squash

Purchased a braid of garlic

Purchased spices that I needed to restock the spice part of my pantry.

Purchased herbs I needed to restock the herbal part of my pantry.

(All of the produce. Spices and herbs were purchased at the Mennonite settlement mentioned earlier.)

I added travel size soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, coffee and Styrofoam cups to my pantry from the hotel we stayed in for 7 days.  Housekeeping at the hotel restocked every day when they cleaned our room and every day what we didn’t use, went in our luggage to come home to my pantry.

I also added several free dishwasher pods and liquid laundry detergent from several different Sam’s Clubs we stopped at while traveling.  The dishwasher pods came from kiosks and the liquid laundry detergent packets came from demonstrators demonstrating the product and giving out free samples.

I crocheted a wash cloth while riding as my husband did the driving on part of our trip!  I am really enjoying teaching myself how to crochet!  In fact, after reading about Annabel’s 100 Days challenge I decided that I would do a 100 Day challenge myself, only my challenge has to do with crocheting.  My challenge is to crochet at least 15 minutes each day for 100 straight days.  By the end of the 100 days I hope to be a much better crocheter!

After we returned home ...

I canned 18 quarts of green beans from the box we purchased

Started a jar of cayenne tincture

Refreshed the jar of cayenne vinegar we keep in the refrigerator all year long

Fertilized my ferns and flowers using comfrey tea

Fertilized my lemon trees using an Epsom salt solution

Harvested cayenne pepper, jalapeño pepper and sage

Took enough cuttings from my hydrangea bush to ‘hopefully’ root 4 more hydrangea bushes.

In addition …

Saved $460.26 using coupons, shopping sales and loss leaders for pantry and non-pantry related items.  (This amount includes ‘sale’ shopping and coupons we used when eating out while traveling.)

Not working a job outside my home savings $100.

The USDA’s ‘moderate’ Food Budget for a family the size of ours is $589.70 monthly.  In August we spent $298.78 (This includes what we spent on food/eating out/groceries we used while staying in the hotel. We brought part of the groceries for this week from our home pantry which helped with our out-of-pocket expenses!), that’s a savings of $290.92 

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge Savings  savings/earnings have been $10,247.25, add this week’s amount ($927.14) and I/we have saved $11,174.39.  

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

Note:  I’ll share about our thrift store finds and our garden/orchard harvest in future posts.   This post would be way to long if I tried to get it all in this one post!

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!
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  1. So glad you are back. I did miss you. Sounds like you found some really good bargains. I went to the farmers market to get tomatoes so I could can some. They were pretty expensive so I only purchased enough to can soup mix. Our tomatoes did not produce this year. I did get 7 pints of soul mix canned. Welcome back!

    1. Our tomatoes didn't do well either!

  2. Wow, Patsy, You had a very prosperous trip! I, too , was on a trip , but mine was to the UK to visit granddaughters and my son. I finished my strip quilts - 2 quilts in 3 days - and brought them with me. My "so called savings" was redeeming the lost $100 I spent when I sent over a box with my granddaughter's gifts(thrift store finds and tea party in a bag that I sewed) and it wasn't delivered and sent back. I carefully folded and packed it all in a suitcase and brought it with us as one of the "free" bags. We opened gifts every day as a fun part of our time together. Of course I "had" to visit the charity shops while there and brought home a few "memory" items for kids, grandchildren and even one for myself. You have 2 very interesting ideas that I've never heard of. Would you mind explaining how you make your comphrey tea and how long you let it set before it becomes ripe for use? Also, would you mind explaining your cayenne vinegar that you keep in the fridge and uses? I usually deal with cayenne powder, but tried to grow cayenne peppers this year and wasn't successful. Many thanks, Tracy

  3. Dear Patsy, You sure hit the ground running since you got home! And you came home with loads of beautiful produce and made the most of this trip!
    As you know I have been painting and spring cleaning. Really I am trying toget to December with as much done as possible.
    Glad you are home safe and sound! Your savings are winderful! With love Annabel.xx

  4. Fantastic trip....and you are always missed. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your adventures! donna

  5. Yes you were missed. But I love hearing all about your adventures. I will be waiting(tapping fingers on table)!

  6. You have been busy since you returned! I am so sorry I didn't get to meet you. I went to the chalking area twice and once, they said you had just left. But I did learn to chalk and ordered some pastels through your link. We also saved by taking a lot of our own foods for the week long trip. I wanted to thrift shop, but we had so many people and so much luggage, I couldn't get another thing in the car!
    When I returned home I had ripe pears on my tree and canned a lot of pear sauce last week. This week I'm taking inventory of what I have in my pantry and freezer, as next week we will be feeding out of town guests for five days.

  7. Yes I missed you. Glad you enjoyed your working vacation. So glad you were able to add to your pantry in so many ways. Welcome home and I look forward to reading about your thrift store finds too. Cindy from Alabama

  8. You did awesome Patsi! I am so glad your home! Produce is such a wonderful thing to pick up on our travels. I hope you had a wonderful time and I like that you will be crocheting 15 minutes a day as part of Annabel's 100 day challenge! that is great!

  9. Hi Patsy,
    You really had a productive vacation. I noticed that you purchased a box of spaghetti squash and was wondering if you preserve by either freezing, drying or canning or just put it into cold storage? I really enjoy reading your blog and look forward to seeing the next installment regarding your home. Blessings. Cookie

  10. Yes, Patsy I did miss you. A few times I would start to go your blogspot and then remember you were gone. You amaze me with all the produce from your working vacation as well as what you found upon return. I think I will join you and Annabelle on the 100 day challenge. Glad you are back to inspire me.


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