Monday, April 30, 2018

The Ways of My Household/Vicky Challenge: 4/30/2018

Look what I'm enjoying right outside my front door!  (Ooops!, I think my steps need sweeping!)

Let's see what did we get done this week ...

We worked on our shed a combined 8 hours this week.  At an average of $23 per hour we saved $184  by doing the work ourselves. 
Our chickens gave us 8 dozen eggs this week:  savings $24  (my husband took 10 dozen to the early voting workers this week and shared with them.  He’s also working early voting which means a bit of extra money for our budget … yeah!!!!)
I made a batch of home-made yogurt.  Savings: $15.12  (I’ll share how I made yogurt in a different post later this week.)
I emptied one of our 2 compost bins and got a wheel barrel full of healthy compost to use in my gardening beds and pots.  Savings by making our own compost: $171.80.  I have 2 compost bins and each year I concentrate on filling one while letting the other ‘cook’ all year long.  In the spring I empty the one that has been 'cooking' and is now ready; once it's empty I use it as the one I fill in the current year.  The remaining one is full of last year’s composting material and will ‘cook’ this year and be ready for use next spring.  By having 2, I always have one in the work and one ready for use.
I sorted and organized our garden seeds.  It makes it so much easier to find what you’re looking for if they’re organized.
I spent a couple of days doing some intense pillowcase sewing which I'll be adding to my shop, Pillowcases by patsi, this week.  It was all about the color pink last week!!!
I harvested the first nettles of the year.  I have them hanging by the window drying.  Having recently organized and inventoried my herbs I’m now ready to start replenishing them.  Here’s the first one of the year!
I went on a planting frenzy on Saturday and planted the following:  more pickling cucumbers; transplanted cockscone flowers out of the greenhouse; transplanted armanian cucumbers out of the greenhouse; planted French marigold flowers; planted more plantain, planted calendula, burdock, sage and more cayenne pepper seeds.  I transplanted jalapeño pepper plants out of the greenhouse and into the ground in the garden.  I planted some Kings Lima beans and some more multiplying onions.  I also planted some mini decorative pumpkin seeds for later this fall … gotta think ahead!!!  I told you I went on a planting frenzy!!!  I’ll show pictures in my gardening update this week!  All of these were from seeds I had saved myself or had on hand.  Savings on seeds:   $30
I made up roller bottles of essential oil blends this weekend so look for a post on those later in the week.
The USDA’s ‘moderate’ Food Budget for a family the size of ours is $589.70 monthly.  In April we spent approximately $200 (a good part of that was for sandwich fixings for my husband’s lunches while he is working early voting during the month), that’s a savings of $389.70.

Not working outside my home:  Savings $100.

We continue to cook from scratch, feed the compost bin and do all our normal money saving things that are second nature to us.
My Vicky Challenge savings this week comes to ... $914.62.  Add that amount to the total of $2548.30 since March 21st, 2018 and our savings thus far are ... $3462.92.
That's it for me this week, how have you built up your pantry or saved money this week?
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Want to see how I’m doing on my April’s t0-do/goals list … go HERE
Come follow A Working Pantry on Facebook HERE.
You can also follow me ... on Pinterest!
Check out my little cottage industry:  Pillowcases by Patsi

If you are blessed by what you read here and would like to help financially support my writing, you can do that by making a small contribution by clicking on the donate button. I would be very grateful! 

 Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay and it helps me keep my pantry well-stocked! 
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may be 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. Wow you did plant a lot Patsy! Great savings too! I need to empty my other compost bin this morning. I wonder if I ever did that last year because somehow they both are filled to the brim. Have a great day

    1. Vickie, I hope you got your compost bins emptied today!

  2. I really enjoy your Vickie Challenges, helps me to keep in mind what I really save by doing things myself. Plus I get satisfaction from having done a good day's work. I love the USDA's family food plans--we are always way below their estimates for a family our size.

    1. Evelyn, we are usually below the USDA's food plans as well unless we do a big stock-up during the month. You just can't put a price on that feeling of a job well done, can you???

    2. I know, and its fun to prove the 'experts' wrong!

  3. You did very well last week and your roses are lovely. I cannot imagine a $589 food budget each month. We have had a $250 budget ever since the kids all left home and we rarely spend it all. That is wonderful that your husband is able to work at the polls and add to your income. I am sure the other workers were thrilled with the gift of your eggs.

    We saw a billboard for the lottery winnings amount the other day and my husband asked what we would do with that much money. We went through a list of charitable donations, building a house to grow old in, buying a motor home and things like that. Then we realized that other than some big purchases we would not change our ways one bit because we are who we are and our kids would inherit the money. :)

    I earned $75 in Amazon cards on Swagbucks in April. We will only be home 11 days in May so earnings will be far less. We stopped at Bi-Lo for a few deals last week and they had dozens of packages of natural, no added junk, boneless, skinless chicken breasts marked down to $1 a pound. We stocked up. We had a must spend money week to renew my driver's license, new wipers for the car but on a great sale on Amazon, new outdoor chairs to keep in the car since our 15 year old ones were falling apart and other such things. It was all in the budget since I just let those dollars roll over from month to month until we need to spend them. My husband finished phase one of the painting project which saved us $1500 over hiring out the work. He was able to paint the 2 story stairwell without any incident and I am so glad it is done. It looks great! We are pinching ourselves that it is actually finished. We want to keep working on having our house ready to sell should the time come that we can downsize. It is all in God's hands as to when and where.

    On Friday we are off to our house at the lake for two weeks. We reimbursed Mom and Dad for their maintenance fees for the Spring week with reward money from our credit card so we have our week and theirs to enjoy. But, we have a ton to get done this week before we can go. We are blessed to have that place to go to and rest.

    Have a good week! Looks like warm weather is finally going to arrive!

    1. Lana, I hope you enjoy your 2 weeks away and that they are restful for you. I'm also glad that the stairwell painting is completed, we are closing in on getting our renovation of the shed done too. It already feels good to be this close to finishing. Don't wear yourself out getting ready for your vacation!!!

  4. Hello Patsy and everyone :).

    Patsy both you and I had a mammoth gardening effort this week by the looks of it although we are both tired it is truly worth the effort in what we harvest in produce from our gardens.

    Staggering revelation and eye opener for the week after reading your post is I looked up what the average monthly grocery spending was for a couple with no children at home such as us, and it was $239 per week in Australia. Here I was thinking our grocery bill including gardening was high at $90 per week including our gardening budget that we also count in our grocery budget as it supplies us food. Looks like I am far from needing to panic about our grocery expenditure :).

    Our Vicky challenge savings last week including monthly grocery shopping expenditure and power savings added up to $933.84. Our total Vicky challenge to date adds up to $5675.86 from March 21st 2018.

    Finances, bill & grocery savings & internet listings -
    - Listed 20 handmade and saved seed items on the internet using a free listing promotion saving $33 on usual listing fees.
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bringing us up to 24.92% of the way there.
    - Made and downloaded $14.29 from seed sales which I put into our pantry stocking budget.
    - DH earned $50 from doing a gardening job which he put into the home cash emergency kitty.
    - Saved $40 in power costs the last 2 quarters by only turning on our electric hot water system when water needed heating twice a week (we had an estimate bill last quarter) so only worked out the savings now.
    - The average monthly grocery spend of a family of 2 in Australia according to ASIC is $956 a month - what we spend including the gardening budget is $360 a month = a saving of $596 for the month of April.

    Gifts and blessings -
    - Received 1 bag of free lemons from a friend saving us $9.18 over purchasing them.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 6 x new short sleeved white shirts for DH on clearance for $21 total saving $39 on usual prices. He will now be set up for a few years for going out and church shirts.
    - Bought 7 x pairs of new summer shorts and a pair of embroidered 3/4 jeans on 74% off normal prices clearance saving $145 on usual prices. Likewise I will now be set up for summer shorts and jeans for a few years. Had to buy more since I grew out of the others as finally I have put on some much needed weight :).

    Fuel savings -
    - Purchased fuel at a wholesale fuel outlet whilst out of town on a function saving $11.25 on usual price here in our country town. This made our trip free for a nice day out where we packed our own lunches and drinks and stopped at a lovely park on the way back.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Juiced and zested previous bag of gifted lemons and saved the zest and juice for future meals etc in the freezer.
    - Made 5 jars of orange and lemon marmalade (1.682kg) from gifted lemons and discounted oranges purchased whilst shopping saving $22.41 over purchasing an equivalent no preservative brand of jam in the shops.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 4.5 bunches of silver beet and 6 cobs of corn from the gardens saving $22.95 over purchasing them.
    - Planted a 6mt row of broccoli, 2.4mt row of cauliflower, and a 6mt row of snow peas in the gardens.
    - Separated 26g of dried lavender we picked from the gardens saving $4.42 over purchasing it and picked some more lavender blossoms to dry in the home.
    - Out of saved seeds from our previous crops we planted a 12mt row of broad beans, and a 6mt row of early Massey pea seeds in the gardens saving $10.85 over purchasing them in the garden centre.

    Hoping everyone else has had a wonderfully frugal week last week and the week ahead.


    1. Sewingcreations15, I love the way you allocate your extra earnings into specific categories. You've had another good week!

  5. Great job with all of your planting. I hope you get a bumper crop. Your chickens are doing great. That was very nice that you shared so many eggs. I had a very busy week. Keep up the great work

    1. Thank you Making Cents Of It All, I'm planning another planting frenzy this weekend and that should about do it for now!!!

  6. I love making compost. Right now, I just have a big pile where we dump our weeds and scraps. But, my husband has plans to build me bins out of free pallets as he did at our old house. The last set-up was a 3-bin system, but I may have 2 here. No matter what, I love being able to just dump things in there and leave it alone, then have beautiful compost the following year.

    1. Becky, my mom gave us our compost bins otherwise I would be just dumping it into a big pile too! Making compost is easy, I like you literally dump it into the bin and forget it! It just doesn't get much easier than that!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...