Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Ways of My Household ... 10/23/2016

We finished with the first phase of the disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Matthew after caravanning to and delivering to one of the hardest hit areas with supplies on Monday. We continued to deliver and distribute through Wednesday to other areas that were hard hit as well.  So many people have lost everything!  

Here’s how my week shaped up …

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

I needed to free up some freezer space in our refrigerator freezer so I pulled out the ‘T-Bone steak bones’ I’ve been saving and made a big pot of bone broth.  I used some of it to make a pot of beef stew for supper and then canned 7 quarts for my pantry.  Saved $14.56.

I harvested cayenne peppers, jalapeƱo peppers and bell peppers.  I’ll chop these up using my handy dandy non-electric chopper and freeze them in ¼ cup increments.  Saved $15

I also harvested plantain, rosemary and comfrey.  I have the rosemary in a couple of paper bags drying. I used a hole-punch to punch holes in the bag for air circulation.  The bags are sitting in the window that gets the most sun in our house.  It’s the best non-electric food dryer!  Saved $8

While unloading and loading trucks for delivery of disaster relief aid this week, a lady and I were talking about various things and we got on the subject of fire ant bites.  She told me that as soon as possible after you were bit, if you would rub a bar of lye soap across the bite really good, that the bite wouldn’t blister.  I filed that information away in the back of my mind until I could get home to write it down.  After writing it down I forgot about it until … I got bit by a fire ant!  Immediately, I remembered what this lady had said and headed inside to get a bar of lye soap.  I rubbed down the bite really well and the area around it and waited.   The next morning I got up and checked it.  If you have ever been bitten by a fire ant you know that they make a hard blister so that’s what I was looking for … guess what?  There was no blister!  There was a slight pink spot but no blister!  This remedy will go in my herbal/homeopathic book as a keeper!

We were able to reduce our auto insurance monthly premium by $21/month.  That’s a savings of $63 for the rest of the year!

I had a few ends and pieces of bread left over from eating sandwiches during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew so I’m making bread crumbs out of them.  Right now they are torn into small pieces and lying in a flat dish in the same window that the rosemary is sitting in.  (I have a really wide ledge for this particular window and it is perfect for drying herbs and bread crumbs!)

I found this post on how to use garlic as a natural antibiotic.  It has some really good basic information, some of which I’ve used on more than one occasion.   I printed it out and added it to my herbal notebook. 

I used the clothes line instead of the clothes dryer this week to dry our laundry:  Saved $6

We saved $14.80 using coupons and shopping sales for food and non-food pantry items.  (We’re not spending much at the grocery store right now, I’m so glad our pantry enables us not to have too.)

I earned $27 from affiliate links.  Thank you to everyone who shops Amazon through my affiliate link.  Every little bit helps!

I added compost material to the compost bin. 

I’m back at my 100 Day Crocheting Challenge after having to take a break due to Hurricane Matthew.  I am now at day 37.   It sure felt good when I was able to pick up my crochet hook again and get back to it.   I now have 2 more washcloths waiting to have grub roses embroidered on them.  Then they will be ready for my gift trunk.

Did you notice that I mentioned 'grub roses' above?  I’m learning how to embroider them.  I simply love the way these little grub roses look!  I’ve learned the technique, now I just need to continue practicing. I hope to be able to show you some of my work in next week’s ‘the ways of my household’ entry.  Thank you Annabel for your tutorial HERE and HERE and for  the package of straw needles and threads you sent to help get me started! 

Not working a job outside my home savings $100. 

Thus far this year my Vicky Challenge Savings  savings/earnings have been $12,763.81, add this week’s amount ($248.36) and I/we have saved $13,012.17.

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!

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.


  1. Hi Patsy!

    In the last week, we did a little camping. When invited for a restaurant meal, we changed it to a home meal, instead, and we contributed a homemade meat pie. Some of Dad's mulberries went into recycled jars as preserves for baking into simple tarts over time. In this way, we have had some precious experiences without extra spending. My husband has just replaced the fan belt on the car himself, and is doing other mechanical work. This all helps to keep us going!
    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel, I love to hear this kind of thinking and doing ... it is so inspiring!!!! Thank you for sharing!

    2. P.S. I love your frilly crochet!

  2. You are doing so well to be back to normal things and savings after the hurricane and helping so many people. You must have been so tired. I would think emotionally tired as well as physically.
    And I am glad you have time to embroider! I hope it is going well and you can see roses forming! I can't wait to see! Have another good week Patsy! xxx

    1. Annabel, I knew I would be physically tired, but I was not prepared for how emotionally exhausted I was as well. It affected me in ways I can't explain to see so many people with so many needs. This is still something I am thinking through. I am enjoying learning how to make grub roses. They are not hard, I am working on thread tension and placement for the effect I want to achieve right now. I have several wash cloths waiting for their little rose in the corner that I hope to be able to share pictures of next week.

  3. Do you save steak bones from meat that has been grilled? I wonder about how the flavor would be. I need to start thinking of ways to make beef broth, too. Chicken and turkey are easy for me but not beef.

    My husband repaired the cruise control on my van by researching the problem online and ordering the part online for much less than buying it through the dealer. It was a quick cable replacement but we feel sure we saved at least $200 by him doing it himself.

    On Saturday we emptied flower pots and placed all the ones that we will over winter on a dolly made from an old piece of stockade fence and some wheels our neighbor was getting rid of. They will be stored in the garage and come out on nice days in the winter for sunshine and water. They do well if they get a deep watering every two weeks. I have learned not to cut anything back or fertilize them. This allows them to rest and survive the winter very well. Some of my pots of geraniums are 10 years old.

    Three of the five Aldi in our area are closed for renovation so there are hoards of shoppers and cleared shelves in the two remaining stores. Saturday we got up early and were waiting when the store opened and were able to get all but two items on our list. We had resolved ourselves to stopping at another grocery to purchase what we could not get at Aldi and were happy not to have to spend too much extra money since we had gotten out early to shop.

    Have a good week!

    1. Lana, yes, we save steak bones from meat that we've grilled. We like the flavor. Don't you just love it when you don't have to pay a mechanic to fix your auto problems! Hats off to your husband! Thank you for those tips on wintering over your flowers. I am going to try that this year! Sounds like the early bird gets the groceries ... smart planning!

    2. Thanks for the reply on the steak bones. Now I just have to remember to save them!

      When you pull your geraniums back out in the spring all you need to do is give them a scoop of compost and some time release granular fertilizer and cut them back. Your cuttings can make more pots of geraniums by putting the cuttings in more pots of good soil and keeping them watered. They will root within a week and you can gift them if you want or just have more flowers. I am up to 35 large pots and I started with just 6 inexpensive plants. I give away a lot of cuttings every Spring to friends, too. I also over winter an azalea tree and several bromeliads. New Guinea impatiens sometimes make it if the garage does not get too cold but I just consider it a bonus if they do. Hope all that helps!

  4. That is a good tip about the fire ant bites. I discovered that plantain works well on ant bites as well as bee/wasp stings and bug bites in general. I want to add comfrey to my garden next year. Did you buy a plant or start seeds?

    1. Dawn, I know that plantain works really well on bee/wasp stings but had never thought about using it on fire ant bites. Thanks for the tip! I grew my comfrey from seed that I purchased from Horizon Seeds.

  5. Oh no. I read the article on using garlic medicinally and it said not to use elephant garlic since it is milder than the other types. I only grow the elephant garlic since I like it the best. At least I found out now and can buy some other types and get them planted quickly.

    1. Jeannie, you're not alone. I've had great success growing and using elephant garlic. I can only imagine the potency of the other kinds ... I too will be planting non-elephant garlic this time!

  6. Every time I was busy this week and considering just picking up take out for the 3 of us, I'd remember how much we had at home in the freezer and on pantry shelves and how quickly dinner could be ready to eat that way and I just used what we had! Saved tons of money and time this way! I made chicken pot pie in a big disposable foil pan when we had company for dinner and brought up spiced apple rings from the basement pantry that I canned over 10 years ago! I figured I would open them and, if they were no longer good, I'd toss them and have another pint jar available! Imagine my delight when I discovered that they were tasty and still keeping their shape and texture!
    I am commited to using up and rotating our food storage so that we don't have things that sit on the shelves looking nice but never eaten! We had some commercially canned Chunky soups this week for dinner from our pantry along with sourdough bread too!
    I finished a product test and was given a $175 Visa card and today was called by another research company here in our city who want me to do a 1 hour survey next Monday at their facility about banking and I will be given $100!! That makes a nice side job! I received $6 in pine cone surveys this week too!
    Canned 7 more pints of teriyaki sauce. Froze another 12 pounds of bananas and 6 pounds of hot peppers.
    Made a baby quilt for new grandson and another one for our new granddaughter ( born a week apart) and Friday I started a twin size quilt as a Christmas gift for one of my granddaughters. I will finish quilting and binding it tonight! The quilts were all made from materials in my sewing stash- fabrics, batting, backing, thread!! No OOP cost at all!!
    We've combined trips and planned routes to save on gas for the cars!
    I returned an impulse purchase to Sam's Club and was surprised at how nice they were and how easy it was! My budget was happier too!!
    Hubby bought and installed both side mirrors on a car we just got, which saved about $200!!
    Grateful for his skills and talents and willingness to work!
    We have been truly blessed this week!!!

    1. gardenpat, I'm tired just reading your accomplishments ... you go girl!!!!


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