Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Ways of My Household ... 9/25/2016

(The pictures from this week's post came from one of my sister's home.  She really has a creative touch when it comes to decorating.)

Twice last week we pulled up to a gas station only to discover that they were out of gas. We are in the area that has and is being affected by the pipeline leak and subsequent bypass repair.  Not only have we experienced gas shortages but have also had a 20 - 25 cent per gallon price increase.

We've witnessed people being rude and throwing an old fashioned hissy fit because they couldn't get gas.  This surely has made me contemplate what a long term gas shortage would be like!  This is the second time in the last couple of months I have witnessed a person's actions or been directly affected by someone not getting what they wanted ... and it wasn't pretty either time!

Okay, on to this week's doings ...

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

I chopped and dehydrated some of the jalepeno peppers that we purchased when we were traveling and made hot sauce with the rest.

I had some banana’s that were getting overripe so I sliced them, flash froze them and then packaged them into smoothie size portions and froze them.

I made a batch of granola.

My husband was given a 5 gallon bucket full of big catfish.  After cleaning and dressing them we added 23 pounds of catfish nuggets to the freezer part of our pantry.  (23 lbs @ $3.50/lb):  Saved $80.50

We came across a sale on T-bone steaks for $2.99/lb if you purchased them in bulk.  We purchased enough for a meal to see if they were any good before we went back and purchased more.  They were good so we pooled our resources and did some creative financing and came up with enough money to add 42 lbs of T-bone steak to the freezer part of our pantry.  Regular price for T-Bone steaks in our area is $7.99/lb. We paid $2.99/lb.   That’s a $5/lb savings.  Total saved:  42 lbs x $5 = $210

I found kidney beans on sale for $.50/can.  I purchased 10 cans.  Regular price $.89/can.  Saved: $3.90

I also found pinto beans on sale for $.50/lb. Regular price … $1.50/lb.  I purchased 20 lbs. Saved $15.00

In addition to the above mentioned savings we also saved $214.17 using coupons and shopping sales for non-food items.

I earned a $10 Amazon gift card through Swagbucks.

I added compost material to the compost bin. 

I canned 7 more quarts of purple hull peas we grew in our garden.  Saved $12.50

I started another batch of cider fire. 

I made 2 more batches of kefir.  Saved $4.16

I made elderberry syrup (I told you last week this was going on my to-do list!)  Here's the recipe that I use to make elderberry syrup.

I made up 49 turmeric capsules and 51 vitamin c capsules. Saved $10

I planted the one surviving fig tree that made it from the starts we began during the summer.  (The excessive heat from the summer killed the rest of them.)  It started out as a 4 inch twig that we rooted and now it’s between 3 and 4 feet tall!  Saved $15

I’m still working my 100 Day Crochet Challenge.  Minus the 3 days I was sick and recovering puts me officially at having crocheted for at least 15 minutes each day for 19 days!  This week I did a lot of practicing an edging that I fell in love with over at The Bluebirds are Nesting.  I hope to have the finished product ready to share next week.  This is the yarn that I am using for this project!

Not working a job outside my home savings $100. 

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge Savings  savings/earnings have been $ $11,403.61, add this week’s amount ($675.23) and I/we have saved $12,078.83.  

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

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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Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.

A Working Pantry is more than just about food! It's about household items needed to keep my home running smoothly readily available when needed.  It's about keeping a gift trunk so that I'm ready for any gift giving occasion.  It's about a lifestyle.  It's about keeping my home and looking well to the ways of my household and it's about doing it all as frugally as possible.  I hope you enjoy what you read here.


  1. Wonderful savings there Patsy! Isn't it amazing how even a simple thing like making your own Granola, can save substantially. Love, Mimi

    1. Yes, Mimi ... and it was delicious too!

  2. Dear Patsy,
    I can't wait to see your crochet! I am so glad you are doing this and enjoying ti with you! Grub roses next!
    I think the gas station story tells us if there is a longer shortage or crisis it wouldn't even be safe to be out and about. People just seem to lose it. Its quite scary. I knew about this shortage but didn't know it was in your area!
    I think the bargain on the steaks was great! And the fish were even greater!
    Your savings are wonderful. I am really enjoying seeing mine grow. I have learned a lot so far this year doing this!
    My main savings last week were doing my own painting, fixing and spring cleaning. This week will be a bit different as I have a fair few projects on the go!
    Have a wonderful week! With love

  3. Annabel, from what we've seen, an even longer shortage or crisis would be worse. The poor gas station attendant was the object of the hissy fit but he couldn't do anything about it, he couldn't give something he didn't have. The whole scene said volumes about the mindset of a lot of people. Yes, we were blessed this week with our savings finds, we were sure to be thankful and to share with others. I am loving my 100 day crochet challenge, this has been such a fun way for me to learn that I am contemplating what my next 100 day challenge will be. Just 15 minutes a day is not too much for my simple thinking mind and it's enough that I feel like I have accomplished something! Have a great week!

  4. Hi Patsy!
    One thing I did was make what I call 'Dad's Citrus Jam'. This is for the pantry, adds whole-citrus goodness to our diet, and was very inexpensive in monetary costs. This is also for a little summer refreshment!
    Further, I didn't spend anything at the op shops. Rather, I obtained some free magazines - featuring wool crafts, rustic cookery and country themes. I hope to learn something more about making life beautiful from these!!

    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel, can you share your 'Dad's Citrus Jam' recipe? I love free magazines!

    2. Here we are, Patsy!

      Annabel kindly included 'Dad's Citrus Jam' recipe at the above link.


  5. It is such a good feeling to get stocked up on protein! We love buying 1/2 beef each fall, but that price on steak beats even the bulk price around here, by the time you factor in cut and wrap fees. It starts out at $2.50/lb, but that is hanging weight. It's still worth it to us to have a boat load of beef to work with. I'm thinking that we are going to need to cut back to 1/4 beef soon--not only will it be less expensive, but there is still quite a lot left over this year as the family is smaller and I am stretching it more.

    I hope the catfish were larger than the ones we caught one time. We caught 55 fish, but they were extremely small, so it took my husband an entire morning to clean them! They were sure good that winter, though, and they are long gone. We've never had that good of luck catching them again.

    It's too bad about the gas shortage. We are not suffering effects from that out here in Oregon, at least not yet. I was just a girl in the 70's, but I well remember the gas shortage then. I lived on our family u-pick peach farm back then, and there was a canning jar lid shortage one year, as well. I still remember extremely long lines of cars of people wanting peaches to can--all trying to get stocked up--all snatching huge boxes of fruit--showing up at the crack of dawn--memorable.

    1. Becky, all the catfish were huge, one weighed 15 pounds! Shortages, no matter what they are, are not fun. We are a society that is used to having what we want when we want it and as such do not handle shortages well.

  6. Patsy, I have a question that I have been wondering about, so I decided to ask. I think your savings through the Vicky Challenge is awesome but I was wondering when you have a fail (like something you forgot in the refrig spoiled or had to eat out) do you subtract that from your savings amount? Just wondering. Thanks!
    Paula in Kansas

    1. Paula, that is a good question, I'm glad you asked it. From time to time I do let something stay in the refrigerator too long, but not often. And even then it can go in the compost bin or to animal food so it is not a complete loss. So, no I do not subtract those failures from my savings. As for eating out, my husband is a minister which means we are subject to having to eat out at any given time. Hence, we include those times in my husbands 'work expense budget' so those times are not subtracted from my savings either. If we are going out to eat and it's not work related those times ARE subtracted from my savings. I hope I've answered your questions, if you have any more please feel free to ask!

  7. You've had wonderful savings this week, Patsi! I think you especially did well on the fish and meat!

    When I stopped at my favorite place to get gas on Friday, there was a sign that said they did not have mid-grade or premium. A blow to me as my car (used) only takes premium and that is my favorite place because I can get a discount. Now I will have to go somewhere else and pay more.

    Here is what I did this week...a slow start, but I hope to really think on it and contribute more next week.

    1. Jenn, the only type of gas that most gas stations have around here is regular. We were told that they were not getting any premium in.

  8. Patsy you made some wonderful savings this week. All that gorgeous fish and meat in the freezer and pantry staples, will see you through any shortage in style. We have been making it a habit of filling up our two vehicles when they are at 3/4 full. We're coming up to our storm season so doing this means we can get out in a hurry if we need to.
    I've been adding to my gift pantry. I've been making a set of three hot pads to go on kitchen benches(fabric trivets) with applique. This is using what I have in my stash.
    Cant wait to see your crochet projects.


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