~ from my home to yours, living the Working Pantry lifestyle ~ surviving today's economy ~ a can-do spirit and attitude ~

Monday, March 4, 2024

A Journal of My Days 2024: 3/4

The theme for this year is “Laser focused, hunkered down and spending as little money as possible.” 

Let’s see how we did this week …

In the Vegetable Garden:  A friend gifted us with 2 blueberry bushes, and I planted them in the orchard at the end of two of our raised beds.

I also planted some cabbage seeds and did some weeding … yes, weeding!  One area of my parsley needed weeding as did some of my containers in my container garden.  (I have parsley sprinkled around in various places on our property!)

(pictured:  strawberries blooming in one of our strawberry barrels)

In the Kitchen:   I made 2 loaves of potato flake sourdough bread as well as brownies using potato flake starter discard.  I also made another batch of hoagie style rolls to replace the ones we used from the freezer.

The recipe for the potato flake sourdough brownies came from the Potato Flake Sourdough Learn & Bake group on Facebook.  It's listed in the files section.

In the Pantry:  I made a batch of chicken broth with the chicken feet I purchased a while back and put in the freezer.  I used the onion peels and discards I had stored in the freezer from an earlier project as well. 

I had some garlic that needed preserving as well, so I made some garlic oil with some of it and froze the rest of it.  To make the garlic oil, I simply washed and cut the garlic cloves in half, put them in a quart jar and filled the jar with olive oil. Make sure the cloves are completely dry before adding them to the jar and covering them with oil.  I then put it in the refrigerator.  In about 2 weeks it’ll be ready to start using in cooking, basting, and making vinaigrette salad dressings.

To freeze the remaining garlic cloves, I simply washed up and flash froze the cloves.  After about 24 hours, I bagged them up, labeled the bag with the date and contents and added it to the freezer.  By flash freezing them, the cloves won't clump together, and it will be easier take out what I want and reseal the bag as needed.

Health/Fitness:  February was a transition month for me from counting calories to dedicated intermittent fasting.  In January, I played around with intermittent fasting but wasn’t fully committed.  In February, I decided to go all in and reassess at the end of the month.  Here are the end results: (1) I had a doctor’s appointment about the middle of the month that included blood work … all my bloodwork came back normal.  That made me feel good as I was a bit concerned that this change might affect some aspects of my bloodwork. (2) My energy level has increased … if I were not experiencing it myself, I would not believe it (3) Overall, I feel better and (4) I lost a total of 3 inches in body composition.  The scales, for the month of February show a marginal weight loss, but my body composition changed.  My clothes are looser, even though the scales haven’t changed that much.  Nothing else changed that could account for the inches lost, in fact, there were a few days I couldn’t do my normal exercise routine due to the fall I took.  I had read that intermittent fasting would change your body composition, and had been told that it could/would, but seeing is believing.

Bargain and/or Loss Leader Shopping:  Nope, didn’t even set foot in a grocery store! 

From my Sewing Nook:   I stitched up jar covers and worked a bit every day on my log cabin Christmas quilt.  I’m making progress!

What I’m Reading: I listened to an ebook on Libby the library app titled, A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall.  I listened as I did household chores.

Bible Study:  I completed and posted lesson 20 in our ladies Bible study on Esther.  It can be found HERE.

Our church’s youth rally is coming up next month and I’ll be teaching a teen girl’s class.  The theme this year is God’s promises using the rainbow as a symbol.  I’ve started preparing to teach that class.  Teen girls are such a lovely group to teach and as anyone who knows me knows, I enjoy teaching, especially the Bible.  I am looking forward to it and want to do the best I can to plant God’s Word in the hearts of these teen girls.

Continuing Education and Skills:  This month I want to focus on all things dairy … Yogurt, kefir cheese, kefir, mozzarella cheese, other types of cheeses, etc.  I want to refresh and learn these skills.

In the Herb Garden:  I started some moringa seeds inside.  I want to plant some in a sunny spot in our orchard to see if I can winter it over.  I already have some growing in a pot that I move inside the green house during the winter months but really want to try growing it outside as well.  This setup acts as a small greenhouse.  As soon as the seeds sprout and push through the soil, I’ll remove the pot from the bag and set the pot in a window that gets lots of good strong sunlight until the plants get big enough to go in the ground outside.

In the Flower Garden:  I’m waiting for the weather to warm up enough to plant a row of flowers in the row garden.  I have various flowers planted along sides of out buildings, around clothesline poles, along the sides of the house, one end of the chicken coup as well as other places.  As soon as our pump house is completed, I plan to plant flowers along its sides as well.  Flowers just make folks smile and we all need reasons to smile, don’t we!

This week's frugal quote … 'being frugal means you're careful and wise with what you have."

That’s it for this week, what has your week looked like?

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

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

Sharing 44 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine, where I share my love for God and His Word through my personal Bibe study.  Physical preparedness is important, but not near as important as spiritual preparedness.  Ladies, join me over at From This Heart of Mine and study God's Word with me.

You can view my privacy policy HERE.

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. Patsy, it looks like you had a GOOD week, other than recuperating from your fall. Hope you're fully healed quickly. Thank you for the garlic instructions! I'm thinking gift jars of garlic oil would be nice in a basket of treats for someone. And it's so nice that you'll be teaching a group of teen girls next month. Their lives today are so different than many of ours were. Harder to navigate, I'd think. Will be praying for you and your students!

    Our end of Feb./beginning of March involved much of the same as the rest of this year so far. Since good meat sales are rare, I did stock up on a few things at good prices, but passed on another (turkey). Realized yesterday it's time to rotate freezer stock again. Walmart had 2 gallon jugs of white vinegar for under $4. We've had shortages of white vinegar here, so I bought one. Keeping the house not just tidy, but clean has been part of 2024's goals. Vinegar is a great cleaner, but it also helps remove hard water sediment, so I use it regularly. We're eating less overall, and yes, the intermittent fasting has changed our body shapes--less tummy girth. Oddly enough, we noticed our dogs are eating nothing in the morning, only tiny bits during the day, with one main meal per day. Food is always available to them. Are they mimicking mom and dad? I'm interested to follow along with your dairy projects! Both dogs get 2 T. homemade yogurt twice per day and--if they've been very good--a few bite sized pieces of cheese at night. Have you noticed the increase in dairy prices? I'd be happy to learn how to make cheese.
    Have a blessed week, everyone! --Elise

    1. Elise, thank you for your prayers. I'm about 90% recovered from my fall. Still a few twinges in the back when I forget and overdo but overall, much better.

      Yes, I've noticed the increase in dairy products which is why I'm trying to learn and or improve upon my dairy product making skills. If I can make it myself, the cost will be less.

      It sounds like you made some wise for your family grocery shopping decisions! Good for you!

  2. I hope you have recovered from your fall.

    We have another mouse. Traps cleaned off and tripped overnight. Nuff said!

    1. Lana, thank you, I'm almost fully recovered, my back still has a bit to go before it's back to what it was before the fall.

      Bless your heart. We deal with mice when the farmers start plowing up the fields around us for planting time. It happens every year and we, like you, set out the traps. Not fun or pleasant, but a necessity.

  3. Patsy, Would you please share the potato flake sourdough brownie recipe? I’m also looking for a potato flake sourdough pizza dough recipe if you know of one. Love your blog!

    1. Marley, thank you. I'll get back to you on the recipes. I want to make sure I credit the right sources before I share them.

    2. Marley, the potato flake sourdough brownie recipe came from the 'Potato Flake Sourdough Learn & Bake Facebook group. The recipe is located in the files section. I'm not comfortable sharing the recipe without the author's permission. Here's the link to the group ... https://www.facebook.com/groups/622747682386419

      They also have lots of hints on using the potato flake sourdough for making pizza dough in the group. Just do a search for pizza dough.

  4. Terri from BHJ here. I attempted to make some cottage cheese today. I came out with a product more similar to ricotta . Since the milk I used up was not fresh I think it did okay. I was thinking that when milk goes on sale at the grocery here I'll stock the full allowable amount and use some of it to make cheese and yogurt. It would be a far cheaper product than buying ready made.

    1. Terri, cottage cheese and ricotta are on my list of cheeses to learn how to make. I make yogurt from dry milk.

  5. We've had a mixed bag of weather here, but during the dry and warm days we've been out walking in the sunshine. In the kitchen -- I baked cookies for DH, no roll crackers and some healthier candy. It's made with just pumpkin seed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and maple syrup, baked in the oven until crisp and then melted dark chocolate spread over top and cooled before cutting into squares. It sure is yummy. To early to start the garden as even though it's warming up we've had 10 inches of snow in May. Craftwise, I continue to embroider the flower sack towels and am working on Easter cards with a new technique I learned on youtube that's very art deco looking.
    No shopping of any kind this week. Reading "Miracle at Promise Lodge" by Charlotte Hubbard and continue reading "All that She Carried." Cookie

    1. Cookie, Your 'goodies' sound delicious!

      Charlotte Hubbard is one of my favorite Amish authors. I checked Libby for it, but it's not available. I put my name on the list though should it come available. I continue to read "All that She Carried" too. I am reading it in small increments, for me, it's that kind of book. I need to pause and absorb as I read if that makes sense.

  6. Please forgive me for a semi-off-topic comment, but it could be important to everyone. Our local Safeway has changed some of its pricing in the weekly ads. This will vary from region to region, but some of the produce is now listed as 99 cents EACH vs. per pound. That word--each--is in very fine print. So, onions, lettuce, citrus fruits are now all priced per piece. And for the digital coupons, in print so tiny I needed a magnifying glass, there's a new little note: "Limit ONE digital download per household." I capitalized the word, one, because it wasn't there before and changes each shopper's final grocery total. Looks like our local Safeway comes off our shopping list.
    P.S. Patsy, you don't need to publish this. I was simply stunned looking over this week's flyer very carefully. It might just be our store, though?

    1. Elise, I hope you don't mind that I approved this post for publishing. I thought it was very pertinent for what we're trying to do in our frugal journey. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Folks, we had better start reading the fine print in the store ads if we want to avoid a surprise at the check-out and stay within our budgets.