The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 15 May 2016

The Vicky Challenge. A guest post by Teri.

Last week wasn't really a big week of savings for me. 
I had the usual savings from making all the lunches, the fishing day picnic etc
And I used a free $5 voucher at Spotlight.

So my Vicky Challenge total I make at around $155.
That is my worst week of the year! 
But, as we all know, there are big weeks and small ones and they all add up over the year.

I did more "home building". I cleaned, organised, painted out of the way spots and so on. 

I hope your week was good and with lots of savings!

This weeks extra savings tips are from Teri. Every way you can build your pantry is a good thing. I have had several letters just recently to tell me how a well stocked pantry has made a whole world of difference in challenging times.
For this to be the case we have to work hard on them while we can and take every opportunity.  
Over to Teri... I hope you are inspired!

PANTRY BUILDING—Rotating, making do and re-stocking.

As we are all regularly working on your pantries and supplies, and doing a great job, we all need to keep a steady pace with filling our shelves. Things in the world are more uncertain than ever and many of us have/are experiencing less income to use for pantry building and weekly grocery shopping. Where we live, we are seeing daily price increases of food/non-food items as well as utilities, water, housing and gasoline. So, I wanted to share some ways that I have been saving to fill our pantry. (I have gleaned many ideas from Annabel, Patsy, Brandy; and other comments on all of their blogs; thank you so much).

So today, I would like to share some ways I rotate and refill my pantry. Hopefully, you will find a way or two to use your food/supplies and continue filling your pantry shelves, even if it is just one or two items! Being creative is important, as well as substituting ingredients, and making your own mixes and other convenient foods. I don’t like to feel “trapped” by all the advertising (“buy this or that- it’s new, improved etc.”) plus getting into my car to get one or two items just isn’t an option. Spending a bit of time re-packaging bulk items, making our own freezer meals/or components for meals, canning/freezing/drying extra food to waste less, or filling clean jars with our own mixes for easy meal times, are all ways I save money and have healthier options. Read Annabel’s recent post on using scraps to stretch our food! Scraps!

One way I save a lot is using my powdered milk. I wrote a post last year that will give you some ideas. (See here )This rotates my supply and saves trips to the supermarket for milk. I bake with it, use it to make rice and other puddings, and custards, I make “white rice” for breakfast using left over rice and a bit of cinnamon and sugar, I make my own granola and use reconstituted milk for that and I stir it into my coffee daily. I prefer non- instant powdered milk, although instant dissolves quicker. Just use it on a regular basis!  A couple of weeks ago, I needed to use up some frozen chicken broth, so a made a double batch of homemade cream of chicken soup. I measured the amount of powdered milk I would need and stirred it into 2 cups of the cold chicken broth, whisking it until dissolved. (normally I dissolve it in warm water for this recipe but using the broth gave my cream soup a much richer flavor). I also used my dried herbs and it tastes so much better, too! I use this for gravy, casseroles and any recipe calling for a can of cream soup. (Add mushrooms, sautéed veggies, chunks of chicken, etc., if you desire).

A couple months ago, I ran out of celery salt in my cupboard shaker and the pantry jar was just about empty. So, I made up a new batch adding my dried lettuce and spinach to the celery and celery leaves and just grabbing salt from the pantry. This made enough for my shaker and two jars in the pantry. I recently made a thank you basket of homemade jams, salsa and added a shaker of celery salt to give to a co- worker, who gave us a wonderful gift of 14 boxes of canning jars!!! This was a wonderful blessing, and opening each box was so fun!!

Along with making my own celery salt, I use all my powdered herbs and veggies to make spaghetti sauce, chili, meatloaf/meatballs, and soups. It is so nice to have these in my pantry. Often the veggies and herbs I dry are because we have more than we can use at once, and this saves a lot of waste plus fills our jars!
Two weeks ago, our son came up for dinner. He brought a red velvet cake he had baked the night before, and had asked if I would make some fluffy frosting for it. I was just adding the vanilla extract (which I make) to the finished frosting when he asked me to add a little almond extract too. I went to the pantry to get the almond extract and my little bottle was almost gone. (We used what was left and the frosting was yummy). This is something I don’t use often and so hadn’t noticed that I needed to replace it. So, we looked up how to make our own extract and I now have a pint jar “brewing” in the food storage room!! (I used almonds gifted to us). I’m also making my own peppermint extract with our dried mint and I plan to make lemon and orange extracts when I can get good deals on citrus fruits. (I just read how to do the citrus extracts on Jes'’ blog). And after straining my last batch of vanilla extract, I dried the vanilla beans and have been using them to flavor my coffee! I just break off a small piece and add it to the coffee filter. Delicious!!

Having your pantry stocked with daily meal items, baking supplies and even non-food items not only saves money but it helps build the skills you have, and you learn new skills! When our kids were little, I wanted to learn all I could about being prudent and using our resources wisely. I was intimidated by baking my own bread but knew I wanted to learn that skill. I loved to bake homemade goodies but wanted to learn more. So, I tried and tried until it was easy. (I made several loaves a week, and then made quick breads, cornbread, muffins, etc. to supplement and give variety). Then, I wanted to learn more about wheat, and grinding my own and from there, researched (in books, not the internet LOL) how to store food for longer than a few months.
After that, I wanted to learn how to pressure can, make my jellies clear and make my own mixes. Each time I learned something new, I was not only adding to my “skills” but I was excited about it and wanted to share my knowledge! I’m still learning with so much more to accomplish but it’s a way of life and I enjoy making more and more from scratch.

Last week, my husband brought home a fresh turkey (which had been marked down to 59 cents/pound), so we went to the pantry for herbs, seasonings and several jars of homemade BBQ sauce and brined it for two days. We baked it over the weekend, using some for dinner and dividing the rest for meals during the week. We put the bones in our slow cooker, which made delicious broth and used that for soup the next day. This is one way we save a lot by stretching one turkey into multiple meals, extra for the freezer and keeping costs way down. It’s nice to just have a well-stocked pantry to make yummy meals with. (Plus, I’ve learned to substitute many ingredients, saving more time and money).

One way I learned early on was to use half the amount of meat called for in a recipe. (Even using one piece of chicken to feed our family)! Using extra veggies, beans and pasta helped to stretch a pot of soup, chili, casserole, etc. Also, having my SOS mix made up and handy, helped to cross off several items from my grocery list. (Recife can be found here
Shopping from my food storage room to replace the items used in my pantry by the kitchen, there is always a meal to fix on a hectic day or when the meal plan doesn’t get used that day. Meal planning is so helpful. I use mine as a guide as we sometimes mix it up because of how the day goes. Either way, there’s always a meal at dinner time, with leftovers used for lunch the next day.

Coupons don’t get used very often, since most are for products we don’t buy, and buying in bulk (such as sugar, flours, baking items, vinegar, etc.) from a warehouse store, coupons aren’t generally offered on those products. When I do shop at our Kroger store, I use electronic coupons if it is something I already buy and works for the store brand.

Another area I’m working on is increasing our water storage supply. I fill my empty vinegar bottles and 2 liter bottles with water. When thinking about washing clothes in a bucket or sink (if I’m unable to use my washing machine), I decided to buy a couple 99cent bottles of liquid detergent since dissolving my own powdered detergent might be hard to do in cold water. I would be able to boil water but would rather not worry about that if I’m also trying to cook and do dishes with limited resources. (I’ve made my own liquid detergent in the past, which worked great, but decided to buy it this time). Trying to store water for cooking, drinking and washing dishes/clothes has required us to be creative with our storage options.  

We recently re-organized and made more space for water. We are also working on putting some type of protection on all our shelves, (to keep jars from falling off), and (from a commenter on Brandy’s blog) I’m going to start collecting apple/fruit boxes, cutting them down to size and use to store filled jars. This will help to keep from stacking my jars and I will label these boxes with the contents.

We are all working hard to fill our pantries. Whether it’s planning and preparing meals, making gifts or sharing with others, this all helps our budgets, and I also feel good about what I am doing. During some stressful times recently, we have been using our food storage/supplies and only replaced things we needed or meat that was marked down. We have been gifted food, also, and this has been a true blessing. We haven’t really done anything different, since this is our way of life, but
have just been more careful. It’s surprising how many things can be left on the store shelf and never be missed!

Annabel has been mentioning job losses, downsizing and companies closing shop. This is heartbreaking, as it is happening here in the US as well. When this happens, or other things come up, we are all able to use our pantries/supplies and not worry about feeding our families. Stay strong ladies!! I was really touched by a blog I recently read (sorry the name slips my mind). She didn’t have much money for groceries but she still had a great week adding to her pantry. She was canning apples, making jam, and using the food on hand to add to her pantry shelves! I recently did something similar. I had a handful of strawberries that needed to be used. So, I added those to some blueberries and a partial bag of strawberries/bananas (both from the freezer) and made a batch of berry jam. Berries that would have otherwise been tossed, and made a bit of space in my freezer!! Yum!!
I make my own “spray and wash” (as many of you do). Recently, our local grocery store had a special on ammonia for 59 cents/bottle! You had to purchase 5 to get that price but that was ok, as the extras went to the storage room!

Books are another way of finding ideas. I don’t spend a great deal of time on the internet but I do enjoy finding alternative ways for food prep, cleaning, laundry, etc., keeping me out of the stores. I use my older canning books, old cookbooks, and our local extension center also has lots of great information. Some years ago, their handouts were free or maybe a nickel but well worth it! I read and re-read my books, looking for ways to save/reduce waste. The library is another great resource. And, of course, all you wonderful ladies! Experience is the best way to learn.

Thank you Teri!  
I can't encourage you to build up your pantry strongly enough. If you are newer to the blog see the Pantries and Preparedness section in the index. There are so many ways to add to your pantry and many are free or very inexpensive. Just keeping at it is the key and making the most of every opportunity!

Have a really good new week!  I hope I have better savings to report next Monday! 
How did you save and get ahead?  Every little bit helps! xxx


  1. Annabel and Teri, what a great post!!! Thank you! I'll be printing this one out so I can study it more!

    1. Dear Patsy, That is a true compliment to Teri. When I really want to keep something and study it I print it! Like your e book, I printed that out and refer to it.
      Have an excellent week! With love,

    2. Patsy, Thank you!! I, too, like to print information that I can refer to over and over.
      Teri :)

  2. Thank you for sharing all your tips Teri! Substitutions are key in our home cooking too! I have been busy clearing out our freezer space of bones and transferring it into broths via pressure canning. It is very rewarding to stretch the meat in many ways like you mentioned! :) When simmering the broths I added all my frozen veggies scraps and was delighted to have 28 quart jars of nutritional broth to add to our panty out of items many people throw away. Have a lovely and productive week! :)

  3. Thank you Terri for your inspiring guest post. I have printed out the booklet for the SOS mix and can see this becoming quite a pantry staple. We use cream soups as a base for many of our meals, especially pasta based meals. Mind you we only purchase the soups when they are on special. However we will know all the ingredients in this homemade mix. I have been keeping a fairly well stocked pantry for many years, and this started as it was a necessity. We lived a long way out of our nearest town and on roads that often were cut off by flood waters in the Wet season. We have since moved into a town where we have a corner store about 250m from us and a supermarket about 1km away. We still tend to keep our pantry well stocked with staples. Its now a case of saving as much money as we can as we have a very limited income. I now enjoy this challenge knowing we can live well as a result of our efforts.
    Annabel I think maybe you saved more than you really know. However like you say there are weeks of good savings and then weeks of moderate savings. I wont say bad weeks of savings as any savings are good savings.
    Bluey and I did quite well with our savings this past week. Bluey did most of the savings. He picked up another four pool filters from the tip and these are now 8 pots that are huge in size, waiting for the potting mix and plants to go into them. I was in Bunnings today and priced the pots. These pool filter pots alone provided us with a saving of $600. Amazing! With everything else that we both did we saved just over $1000. Mind you our trip to Brisvegas last weekend used up a lot of these savings. Having said that, the spending on our grown children was worth everything! Had a brilliant weekend so should count this a saving. If not economic, then as a wonderfully uplifting emotional saving!
    Our little dog has to have more cancer cut out this week. The emergency fund will cover all her vet costs and post operative recovery. This is going to be a week of living off what we have and feeding any savings back into the emergency fund.
    Need to go and do a bit of potting up and have a relaxing play in my garden. Life is good.

    1. Dear Jane,
      I am glad you had such a great weekend! That all sounded wonderful.
      It is good to compare things like the pots to Bunnings and see what you have saved. There are ways and means of doing things and such huge savings are the reward! I love looking in Bunnings too!
      I hope your dog is ok and goes well. They are usually very slow and sooky after time at the vet.
      The pantry means www are not at the mercy of the prices. We can wait until a great special. Really it basically means half price food plus the security of back ups. Now that I have got ahead enough I can wait for the big markdowns. It is really good. I am in control more now and less at the mercy of current pricing. I feel its better than money in the bank. With current interest rates it probably is!
      Have a great week! with love

    2. Jane, The SOS mix has come in handy so many times for us! I'm glad you found this useful. Having a well stocked pantry sure helps and saves so much.

      You had a great week also. I hope your dog heals well! Teri :)

    3. Jane, Thank you! I did comment to you a couple days ago but guess my comment is "floating" somewhere! LOL I hope your dog is feeling better

  4. Teri excellent! Thank you for sharing! You are an inspiration!
    Annabel I didn't have a good savings week either about the same amount as you, but big or small it's all good! Thank you for sharing Teri's words they are so true! A good pantry provides so many things! I have been very blessed to have mine!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I hope we both have great weeks this week and I have a ton to report next Monday. I got off to a good start today. made huge pot of soup, Mum gave me a duck to cook, grocery shopped... cooked fish Andy caught for dinner.
      Now for tomorrow... I think I can call into an op shop on the way to somewhere I have to go... fingers crossed. Many thanks, with love,

    2. Vicky, Thank you! I'm always learning from you as well! Teri :)

  5. I love this post on dried milk powder, it is so useful to have in the pantry. Mind you we use it in place of regular milk, have done for over 30 years.

    Something I found on the internet a couple of years ago was 'uses for dried milk'.

    Recipes for a few items that we normally purchase and possibly change our mind when we do not have them in the pantry.

    Sour Cream - simply mix 1/3c dry milk with 3/4 cup plain yoghurt to replace sour cream. This works great for low fat dips. If you are planning to bake with it add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to stabilize the yoghurt.

    Evaporated Milk- Mix 1/3 cup dry milk with 1/2 cup of water. This replaces a small (5oz) can of evaporated milk.

    Sweetened Condensed Milk - Mix 1/3c dry milk & 1/2c cold water. Microwave until hot and steamy. Then add 1/2 c sugar. Let stand in refrigerator 4 hours. This replaces a 13oz can.

    White Sauce - mix 1/3 cup dry milk, 3 teapsoons melted butter and 3 Tablespoons flour to form a paste. Slowly add cup water or milk and whisk until smooth. You may add onions, cheese, mushrooms etc and serve over pasta.

    I have used the evaporated milk recipe but not the others.

    Have a great week everyone. I am off to see my brother for a few days - keeping costs down as much as possible.


    1. Dear Lynette,
      Thank you so much. I think getting into the swing of using powdered milk especially in cooking and to replace canned items is a big saver. Since many people run down the street especially for milk the saved trips alone would make a difference to life and the budget.
      I love to do the white sauce this way and I add finely chopped fresh parsley at the end.
      Have a good trip, I hope things go well for your brother. I am sure he appreciates your support so very much. With love and thanks,

    2. Lynette, Thank you for sharing your recipes. I have used plain yogurt in place of sour cream but never stirred powdered milk into it. I will be writing this down! More than once, I used plain yogurt for a veggie dip and no one was the wiser! LOL When I make white sauce, I use reconstituted milk, I will be trying your suggestion!
      I'm always learning from those who comment! Thank you. Teri :)

  6. I loved this post! Can you possibly share how you make the peppermint extract? I have tons of mint growing in my yard and I will love to try my hand at this. Thank you so much!

    1. Dear Debbie, I will let Teri help you with the extracts but thank you for commenting! I am so glad you enjoyed the post! With love

    2. Debbie, I made my peppermint extract by taking a handful of mint leaves (washed and well dried), crushed them a bit and put them in a small jam jar, then filled the jar with vodka. This will need to sit for several weeks. Then, strain it well and fill your jars. Teri :)

    3. Thank you Teri for sharing your recipe for the extract. I will have to pick up some vodka at the store so I can make some of this!

  7. Dear Teri and Annabel,
    Thank you, Teri, for the post and sharing such good information.I will have to try making my own extracts.
    We shopped some good sales this past week for additions to the food storage. Other than that, we didn't do alot in the savings area.
    Love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      The first extract I tried was Vanilla. It worked so wonderfully well that it gave me confidence to try others. Time is the thing. However one time I dropped a whole bottle of vanilla extract after about two months of shaking it daily! It smashed everywhere. I was so upset. But the house smelled divine for about two weeks!
      This week I am trying to get better savings! But some weeks there is only so much we can do and if you added to food storage then that is very good. Have a great week, with thanks, love

    2. Glenda, Thank you! It sounds like you had a good week adding to your food storage! Love, Teri :)

  8. Thank you, Teri and Annabel!
    This week I was grateful to find the pants my son needed for his summer job and the shorts my daughter needed for summer casual wear at the thrift shop on half price day. I also found some new items at the store for much less than I’d anticipated paying.
    I delivered a care package and a benevolence meal this week. Both were “shopped” from my pantry, which included items purchased on sale & clearance, so I saved on not only the initial purchase of ingredients but also the difference between delivering a large home-cooked meal that provided the family with plenty of leftovers and giving a gift card for carry-out (takeaway).
    Now that the weather is warmer we must fertilize and mow the lawn again. My husband and son usually do this work, but since my son earned money for university by mowing lawns I know that they are saving the family quite a bit by doing this job themselves rather than hiring help, and I’m grateful for their willingness to do it!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh,
      Here is a funny story for you! I love the idea of the care package. Love it so much. I had never heard of this until many years ago (I was still at school) I saw this on an episode of days of Our Lives! Yes thats how I learned what a care package is. Well I have made them ever since.
      Your thrift store finds were excellent. I also had a couple of great bargains this week that will really improve my Vicky challenge! So happy! Many thanks Leigh, with love

  9. Hi Annabel and Teri,

    What a well-thought out and informative post. I, too, am thinking that homemade extracts would be a lovely thing to try, especially for gifts!

    Our week was fairly big as we sold our two goat kids. As our doe is also giving lots of milk, I was able to make a batch of ricotta and a batch of ultra-divine dulce de leche...not to mention all the milk we do not have to buy at the moment for drinking and cooking.

    I did some repotting of some seedlings, but our weather has been too wet and windy to get anything outside. My husband saved us a fortune, though, by fixing the rototiller, so it's all ready to go once it's dry enough!

    Otherwise, just the normal things...making all meals from scratch, hanging laundry to dry, etc.

    Thanks for the motivation!

    xx Jen in Nova Scotia

    1. Dear Jen, Sorry for my slow reply! This has been one big week!
      I hope you will have more baby goats in the not too distant future! Ricotta and dulce de leche... oh my goodness yum. And all that milk. Really that is wonderful and so healthy. What abundance!
      It was great that your husband could fix the rototiller. All these kinds of repairs usually amount to a lot.
      Thanks so much for sharing this. I think everyone has experienced a weird season that goes back and forth as if it can't decide. Here too. For you I hope spring settles so you can plant lots!
      With love,

  10. Dear Annabel,

    Thank you for posting this. A very informative post! Thanks so much to Teri for taking the time to explain what you do. I am also printing this out for reference.

    Last week I used my "Vicky challenge" savings to purchase a food vacuum sealer and a dehydrator. Hopefully, they in turn will help me save even more! Saving all of our resources (food and other things) can REALLY add up I have found.

    Thanks to Lynette also for the info on making sour cream alternative. A new one to add to my list. :-)

    I have learned so much from this post and from you all in comments as well.

    Thanks everyone!

    Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      Thank you! I am very interested in the food saver. I don't have one and have considered getting one. Please let me know what you think and how it goes. I think Aldi sell food saver bags.
      This would be a good example of an investment to get ahead!
      The dehydrator also... you will be having fun trying both these out.
      I hope its a great week Kaye, many thanks, With love

    2. Great purchases Kaye! Annabel I have a food saver and I use them a lot! It extends the life of meat I have meat that is a few years old and no freezer burn or taste at all it still tastes really good. I also have tons of bags of oatmeal and dried veggies that I vacuum packed. It is great to help with space saving also.

    3. Kaye, Thank you! I love being able to seal my dry goods in jars with my food saver. Years ago, I used it to seal the bags with meat and veggies/fruits for the freezer. The bags got to be too expensive, we didn't buy as much meat and so I decided to change how I freeze beef, chicken, etc. I now use the wax paper cereal comes in (I collect these from our kids, since we don't buy prepared cereal and washing them well), cut to size and wrap meat individually, place in a freezer bag and put them into the freezer. This works well for us and I use plastic containers for my fruits and veggies now. Since we purchase freezer bags from a warehouse store, they work out to be less expensive.

      I know you will enjoy your food saver and dehydrator! Teri :)

  11. Thanks Teri and Annabel for this very informative post. I am only beginning to learn the benefits of having powdered milk on hand. I am loving using it for making yogurt and for making creamy rice. I am yet to try using it for white sauce or sour cream (thanks Lynette). The vanilla essence sounds divine. I'd like to try and make it. What great gifts for Christmas. I am loving learning about being as prudent and being as resourceful as I can. It makes my heart sing. Thank you. Love, Bridge

    1. Bridge, I'm glad you are learning to use powdered milk. It's been a huge help to us, saving both time and money. So many ways to use it! Thank you! Teri :)

    2. Dear Annabel, You had a great week! Never underestimate the things you do daily! :) And even when it seems like we don't save, we do!!!

      I had to laugh at your story about dropping the bottle of vanilla extract! Oh my goodness! That would make me upset also but the smell would be divine!! :)

      Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share with you and all your wonderful readers! Have a great week! Love, Teri :)

  12. Dear Annabel and Teri , where do I start !, thank you so much what a wonderful and informative post , this has given me so many new ideas I must make a list and start checking things off slowly. I can see areas for improvement which will save me money with just a few simple changes.
    I am late reporting in this week because I had a tooth removed at the dentist yesterday and wasn't up to commenting then.
    My vicky challenge has been full of little savings which add up . My savings this week include my regulars and a few extras :
    Subsidised cleaning $36 saving (2 hours compared to professional company)
    My parents were cleaning out their freezer and fridge and gave me a chicken breast, some sausage rolls, some bake bread rolls, a sweet potato some carrots , plus some lemons from their lemon tree and some fruit from my grandmas trees , total approx saving $25 to $30 ( there might have been a few more things too but
    I cannot remember now) .
    I bought 2 kg bag of potatoes to make bulk mashed potatoes , it was reduced to $2.94 for the 2 kg bag , the loose potatoes were $3 a kg , a $3 saving,
    I had two visits to the dentist both for free , one to check on my tooth(X-ray ) and prescribe antibiotics (last week ) and then yesterday to remove the tooth . I reported a saving of up to $260 last week but an X-ray at the dentist costs about $50 add a consultation fee so I am adding $100 total savings this week for lasts weeks visit ( I kind of reported backwards!) . I made savoury muffins again 15 @$3 each compared to a coffee shop ( my approximation taking out cost of ingredients) so a $45 savings, used meals from the freezer twice , $15 saving approximately, made fridge pizza using leftovers, froze half a pizza and had 1/2 for a large meal , savings approximately $10 , used cards as a thank you gesture 4 cards @ $5 each approx for an embossed and decorated card , $20 saving. I guess typing it all out it is a better week than I thought . Total savings thus week are : about $260 plus the savings helped me get ahead by adding to my pantry and will lower my grocery bill next week. Thanks again Annabel and Teri , do you mind if I bookmark this post/ add it to my reading list on my iPad?. I would like to save it and cannot print as I have an iPad only. Take care Annabel, have a lovely week. Love Barb W.

    1. Dear Barb,
      The things from the freezer were wonderful!
      Your savings were so good Barb. It is great that you are ahead with food and meals. I am glad you have the tooth removal over and done with! It is good to take it easy after that.
      I think its great you want to come back to this post. Teri is full of information that helps with the pantry both in abundant times and lean times. Many thanks Barb, with love,

    2. Barb, Thank you! I'm so glad this post has helped you!! Teri :)

  13. Hello everyone.

    In regards to storing water I was told to fill every jar etc. So often jars are stored for when they may be needed later in the year, in a particular season. I know I have many jars just tucked away. It is amazing how much water that adds up to. No extra room required for water storage.

    1. Dear Lorax,
      That is a really practical tip. We have empty containers sitting around! Which made me realise I even have empty water bottles and a large esky type wear container....empty. No more space taken up to have them full of water. You have reminded me of another container I have that I really should fill. It would just be sensible! Many thanks! With love

    2. Lorax, Thank you for telling us how you store water. It is a great way to add to your water storage. Teri :)

  14. Thank you for all the tips. I have not saved money this week except by taking lunch to work. I have just gone gluten free and it seems to be helping the third trimester reflux. And with all the other foods I've had to give up it means the only way to eat is home made. I also retrieved $269 back from a company which sold me a faulty mobile phone thanks to a Fair Trading complaint. Otherwise I have spent money on a piece of sale jewellery for my birthday (I barely own any) and some second hand books although nowhere near the amount of money I got back.

    Soon I will look at stockpiling meals so there is homemade food when #3 is born and packing my hospital bag. Just waiting for husband to finish his studies next week and normality to return. Oh and we purchased him an early birthday present as we managed to find him a proper second hand kilt and kit at 1/10 the retail price (he's Scottish).

    Thanks again for the blog post. I will be looking to save money for the school p and c by baking soon.


    1. Dear Allie,
      Taking lunch to work is probably a big savings in itself. I am glad the diet is helming as reflux is so uncomfortable.
      Getting ahead with meals will be a huge help for when the baby is born. I find the crock pot helps as the meals cook themselves like soups and casseroles and you have left over meals to freeze.
      Well done on the birthday present I hope your husband loves it! With love and thanks,

  15. Great post Annabel and Teri. Fi

    1. Thanks Fiona. I hope you have some good pantry additions this week! xxx

    2. Fiona, Thank you!! Teri :)

  16. Teri, Thanks for the post! Have you tried leaving your vanilla beans in your vanilla and just refilling the bottle with vodka? I keep two bottles going all the time and both have the beans in them. Wile I am using one bottle for 6 months the other one is steeping and then I refill the bottle and switch. I don't use the bottle down more than about 1/2 to 2/3 and then refill. I have been doing this for several years and it is still working well.

  17. Dear Annabel, I think I messed up on my comment to you! LOL It's with my comment to Bridge. So sorry!! Love, Teri


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