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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