Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Ways of My Household/The Vicky Challenge: 4/1/2018

Sometimes I am just blown away by the generosity of A Working Pantry readers!  This week, unbeknownst to be, a reader mailed me a package.  I received it and was just overwhelmed by its contents.  Take a look at the goodies I was blessed with … thank you again Paula!  (Yes, two of the fabric pieces are little house on the prairie fabric, can you believe it!!!! And just look at that retro camper piece of fabric, this will be turned into two pillowcases per Paula’s instructions that will be offered in my shop but not the little house on the prairie fabric … sorry folks, that’s mine!)

Last week I mentioned that our Aldi’s had butter on sale for $1.99/lb and that I was going to try to get by there before the sale went off and buy some.  We did it!  In fact, we purchased enough for a year!  Regular price was $2.99/lb, we purchased it for $1.99/lb.  Regular price would have been $143.52, we paid $95.52.   Savings:  $48   (This purchase took a chunk of our grocery money for the month of March, but that’s just one of the perks of having a well-stocked pantry, you can take advantages of sales when they come along!)
I signed up to take the free mini-course offered by Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine titled Handcrafted Herbalism.  Laura M., a reader of A Working Pantry, shared info about the class with me.  Thanks Laura M.!
 My husband ran to the grocery store for a couple of things and found asparagus on sale for $.79/lb, regular price $2.49/lb.  He purchased 4 lbs and was told that the sale lasted until Tuesday.  We went back and got 22 more lbs.  Savings:  $37.40
I downloaded these free e-books this week:  Cast Iron Cooking for Men: 30 Outdoor Recipes Made On Fire by John Banner.  The paperback version lists for $8.95;  Amish Brothers Boxed Trilogy:  A Three-Part Amish Series Bundle (Vol. 1, 2,3 – Ahab, Elam and Cain) by Melaine Schmidt.  The kindle price lists as $5.95   
We worked on our shed 22 hours this week.  After several commented on how low I had estimated carpentry work value last week, I went back and rechecked the prices.  I’m glad I did, it seems the average going rate for carpentry work in our state is $12 - $34/hr.  I took the average and am changing it to $23/hour so 22 x $23.   Savings: $506
I went to JoAnn’s this week to replenish my pillowcase making fabric and saved $81.53 by shopping sales and using coupons.

I planted the rosemary cuttings I had been rooting on my window seal.
I worked some more on one of our raised beds getting it ready for planting within the next 2 weeks.

The potatoes I planted in some of our raised beds a few weeks back have starting coming up, can you see them?  
We continue to cook from scratch, feed the compost bin and do all our normal money saving things that are second nature to us.
Total saved in my Vicky Challenge this week: $679.83.  Add this amount to last week's savings ($104.99) = $784.82 total savings since March 21st, 2018

Want to see how I did on my March’s ‘to-do’ list?  Click here to find out!

That's it for me this week, how have you built up your pantry or saved money this week?

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

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  1. I do love that Little House on the Prairie material. Wonder what store carries it. I also like the camper material too. Fatigue been bad so have not accomplished much. Nancy

    1. Nancy, I hope you start feeling better soon! Maybe Paula can tell us where you found it!

    2. My sister and I were out on an outing and we stopped at a quilt shop in Wellington, Kansas called Field to Fabric. That is where I found the Little House fabric for Patsy. The camper fabric we have in our quilt shop in Marion, Kansas.

  2. How will you preserve the asparagus?

    1. Lana, I plan to blanch and freeze some, make stock out of the tougher pieces, can some and pickle some. I might even dehydrate some to throw in soups and stews or to go in frittatas.

  3. Hello Patsy and everyone and I hope you have all had a good week :) .

    How awesome you got all of the butter for a year and asparagus and lovely to see your husband also keeps an eye out for super specials as my DH does or alternatively I give him a list of things I have seen in sales brochures to pick up. God bless the lovely lady who sent you the fabric such a sweetie :).

    Our week was wide and varied in activities and our Vicky Challenge added up to $1114.50 in savings, we are happy :).

    Here is how our week went -

    Home organisation-
    - Restocked the kitchen pantries with tinned lychees and pears, diced tomatoes & tinned champignons from the food storage room and re-organised it according to dates oldest to the front. Amazing how messy and disorganised a pantry can get and it feels terrific to have extra stocks here already paid for :).

    Finances -
    - Because I just have to share this mammoth home deposit saving achievement for the month of March we saved 61.37% of our combined after tax incomes including bank savings interest including paying rent for the home we are in now :).
    - We deposited more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 24.46% of the total cost to purchase our land, have our home, garage and verandas built and to purchase a second new car as we will be out of town.

    Purchases both clothing and food specials -
    - Purchased 2 new flannelette shirts for DH on special and 2 new web belts for DH saving $45.90 on usual prices.
    - Whilst in town on other errands we purchased on special 2 x 2lt BBQ sauce on half price special and 5 deodorants and coupled this with a further 5% off using our roadside assist grocery card saving another $14.93 on usual prices. We are saving our pantry stocking budget until later in the year and these were items used we were going to purchase on our next shopping day anyway.

    Trading -
    - A friend gave us 14 lemons for a future trade for silverbeet growing in the gardens saving us $9.10 over purchasing them.
    - Processed our herbs picked and dried from the gardens making 70g of sage and 55g of thyme saving $13.88 over purchasing. Some we will use for home supplies and the rest I listed on the internet for sale.
    - Made a 2.192kg batch of double chocolate walnut brownies for us (our Easter chocolate treat) and a quadruple batch of honey, almond, oat, sultana and coconut granola saving $147.86 over purchasing commercial premade items in the shops. Can't believe how expensive commercially made brownies are here in Australia to buy :O .
    - We cooked all meals and bread from scratch from items we had here or grew.

    In the gardens -
    - DH and I planted a 7mt row of onions and capsicum seeds, a 5mt row of carrots, a 2 mt row of silver beet and a 10mt row of green bush beans in the vegetable gardens.
    - I harvested more French lavender from the gardens and hung it to dry.
    - Harvested the last 25 of our cucumbers from the gardens saving $62.50 over purchasing them and we are slowly going through them for juices for the two of us.
    - Purchased another 3 cubic metres of cow manure from our local livestock transport company for $25 saving another $557.85 over purchasing it bags at our local garden centre.
    - We spent 4 hours unloading, spreading and ploughing the manure on 2 garden beds saving $203.68 over getting a gardener to do it.
    - We purchased a replacement and spare cord pull mechanism for our whipper snipper and DH installed it saving $95 over sending it in to our local garden repair centre.

    Have a wonderful money saving week ahead everyone :).


    1. Sewingcreations15, you had another amazing week but your home savings account was outstanding!!! That is quite an accomplishment!

  4. I love the fabric! What a nice gift:)

    I just planted my potatoes yesterday, and I'm sure mine will come up soon, like yours have. I love gardening! I also got several other things planted, such as a few cabbage and broccoli starts, carrots, beets, 3 kinds of lettuce, snow peas, and spinach. I'm so excited I was able to get into the garden and till up a little bit of ground and plant a few things before it started to rain again.

    1. Becky, glad you were able to get in the garden, do you normally have so much rain?

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE the fabric!!!!! I can see you making a great big tote bag to carry all your fabric stash for your pillowcases! I can't wait to see what you do do with it. You are so creative!

    1. Thank you Wendy! Actually, I was thinking of using it to make a giant tote bag!!! How about that!!!

  6. I love the camper fabric! You could have a real market for pillowcases from that fabric if you can find more. People with RV's may go crazy for them. That is great that you could restock your butter. Our Aldi has had $1.99 butter ever since Lidl opened here which is about 8 months now so we have gotten spoiled. I just kept buying it and buying it thinking the price would go up until my husband finally said that we had 40 pounds in the freezer and did I realize that. LOL.

    The painting project continues. Woot had Rev a Shelf products for half off and I have long wanted a double slide out drawer for my pots and pans so we jumped and grabbed one. Hubby will install it this week. He needed a special saw to notch the shelf in the cabinet and bought one with his Swagbucks Amazon cards that he has banked. He wanted that saw anyway and had an excuse to go ahead and get it. :) Soon we will not have to stand on our heads to get to the pans in the back. Food Lion had hams for .69 a pound so we bought one for Easter. I have a spiral one in the freezer but I wanted to put it in the smoker and a spiral will dry out in there. We smoked the ham with hickory chips cut from downed branches from our own hickory trees. It was crazy good! The spiral ham will keep for another time right where it is for now. I got two boxes of Rice Krispies for 50 cents each with coupons and also a free bag of marshmallows for buying the cereal. We are all set to make rice krispie treats which we have really been liking lately. We had a bunch of freebies this week. Free donuts, drinks, candy bars and coffee. I am really hoping the grocery deals will slow down for a bit or we just need to ignore the deals for a bit.

    We are working on getting our container garden pots ready with coffee grounds and egg shell and our homemade compost but the weather is still too chilly and many nights still in the 30's. For the last 3 years we have had a hard freeze right after our frost date so we have learned to just wait.

    Little joys last week included a few warm sunny days to be outside on the porch swing. A sweet video of the grandchildren in Germany receiving their Easter cards from us. Pictures of our stateside grandchildren on Easter. Dear friends who shared our Easter meal and made all the side dishes. Our youngest son starting a new job and liking it so much already. Hearing that the church plant in Germany is off the ground and growing and they are really loving their time with the new friends there.

    Have a great week all!

    1. Lana, LOL, I want tell you how much butter we have in the freezer ... let's just say it's more than 40!!! You really got some good deals this week, good for you. I laughed about 'standing on your head to get to your pans,' there have been times when I could relate to that!!! It sounds like you had a great Easter!

  7. I hope you had a wonderful Easter. That is an amazing price for asparagus. I just bought 4 pounds for 99 cents a pound and was very happy. That fabric is so cute. That was very nice of her to send it. The shed should be coming along nicely. The last time you posted photos it looked almost done. Carpenters are a fortune around here. So glad I have a Handy Hubby like you. My frugal list is at

    1. Making Cents of It All, I'll be giving an update on our shed renovations soon. We're getting closer and closer to finishing it up.

  8. I've been down and out for the past 10 days with bronchitis but a few days before I came done with it I went to a local thrift store. I found 10 all white brand new pillow cases for $.25 each, took them all. I'll be busy embroidering some pretty flowers on them this summer for Christmas giving.

    1. tealady, that is quite a deal on the pillowcases. Embroidery pretties things up so!!

  9. Aldi has only been in our town about a year so we are getting used to the cycling of goods. Our butter only went down from regular $2.99 to $2.89. Others said the mint cookies were always 95c at their stores in the states but ours has always been $1.39. So like all stores they charge what they need to for each area. Still we do shop there 95% of the time. :)
    Your posts are always inspiring and informative. Thank you so much. I appreciate the commenters too.
    We are planting out our garden. We cut down the last couple year due to our age. I can't imagine though Not having a garden to tend!! I really enjoy the puttering more than the planting and picking to be truthful. Just to be out in God's beautiful world. :-) Sarah


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