Frugal Friday Week #1

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I always feel like I post many how-to’s and not many “real lifes”. Although I do try and incorporate that into my newer posts, I’ve often thought that it might be even more helpful for my readership to get a better glimpse inside of what our simple/homestead/from scratch/frugal life really looks like.


Frugal Friday Week #1

So I’m going to start a new series called Frugal Fridays and I need your help. My idea for this series is to share some of the projects/recipes/things that we worked on this week and in general, just what life looks like.

I need your help though because yes, I’ve tried something similar before and I gave up after a while. I got bored, felt like no one was reading it or cared, and I moved on to other projects. So what I need you to do each week is to share what your week looked like in the comments section. I think it could keep us ALL accountable and may serve as an encouragement to others.

Kids and Chores

So let’s dive right in to this week!

Meals We Made This Week

Breakfasts – 

Eggs in Toast
Egg Sandwiches with English Muffins
Yogurt with Granola
Kids Choice (varies each week, this week was frozen waffles, yogurt, and oatmeal)
Cinnamon Muffins with Gluten Free Muffin Mix
Potatoes with leftover ham and pepper skillet hash

Mexican Lunch

Lunches – 

Mexican Lasagna (I just made this up. I layered corn tortillas with leftover taco meat, corn, black beans, cheese, and red enchilada sauce. Baked it for about 25 minutes until warm and bubbly. The kids loved it!)
Corn Dogs (Recipe in Taste of Home Meal Planning Book)
Quesadillas (canned chicken mixed with leftover enchilada sauce and cheese)
Sweet Potato Loaded Fries
Easy Chili
Big Plate (a very unfancy charcuterie board)

Stir Fry

Suppers – 

Stir Fry with Beef
Stir Fry with Chicken (I have a new stir fry sauce that is SO good! It’s basic but if you want the recipe let me know and I’ll get it posted next week!)
Chicken Wings (Ended up having these twice because we had fresh ones to use!)


Food Processor

Shopping I Did

I got to get out earlier this week and do some this shopping, which I haven’t done in about 3 months. I actually made a full video on it here if you want to see what all I got.

The Tupperware Food Processor in the picture above didn’t make it into the video clip (I forgot and it was at the end of my shopping day!) but I was excited to find it. I’ve been looking for a food processor but not wanting to spend $50+. This one was still a little spendy but when I looked it up I saw that it retailed for over $70! (It must be because of the brand.) Now I have a little food processor and it doesn’t even need electricity.

This past week was our coop truck delivery week so we restocked on groceries again! Right now I’m only getting groceries from our truck and am working for them so we don’t have any added grocery expenses. We get groceries every 3 weeks.

Outside Projects We Worked On

We are currently working on building a “sheep shanty.” But of course, my husband likes to build everything better than it really needs to be so I’m afraid it’s becoming more of a sheep palace. I’ll take a picture of it next week when it’s all enclosed.

On Saturday we will add 2 dairy sheep (yes that’s right!) to the homestead. The girls are due in March and we will start milking after that. We are excited about this new endeavor. Part of the Sheep Shanty is a milking shed which will be finished in the coming months before the lambs get here.

Typically we get more projects done in a week but this has been a big one so it’s taken all week. We also had sub-zero temps at the beginning of the week and that set us back a few days on projects.

Beef Broth

Inside Projects We Worked On

I made up a batch of beef broth with some old soup bones I dug out of the bottom of the freezer. I made a short video on how I do it and posted it here.

Bulk Chicken

I also packaged up 60 pounds of chicken thighs to put into the freezer for future meals. I pack a few bags of whole thighs and the rest is all cut into pieces (for stir fry) and strips (for chicken fingers). We are so lucky to have a great source for bulk meats now through our coop. If you are in South Dakota or Wyoming, be sure and check it out.

Books Homegrown

We stopped at the library this week which we only do about once or twice a month to get books for school. Here’s what I’m reading right now:

Six Ingredients with Six Sisters Stuff – Honestly this is not a book for me. I’m glad I just borrowed it from the library instead of buying it! The recipes are not ones that appeal to my family and there are too many store-bought items for me to make them.

A Year Without a Grocery Store – I haven’t started this one yet but it sounds interesting. The book is much smaller than I thought it would be when I put it on hold.

The Me Me Me Epidemic – I thought this sounded like an interesting read. Hoping to dive into it this weekend.

Homegrown and Handmade – This is much more about raising animals than I thought it would be. Perfect during this period in my life but just an FYI to anyone wondering about it.

30 Days of Skillet Meals – This isn’t a book that I’m reading but rather one that I put together myself and am using right now!

Garden Seeds

I took a LOT of time during the cold days at the beginning of the week to map out my garden for the year. I know now how many starts I need, when I need to plant them, and the outline of the garden. If you are interested on a full blog post on how I do this, let me know.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

I have quite a lot of eggs right now so I need to do a few things to use more. We will have a couple more extra egg breakfasts and I will probably make things like Angel Food Cake for dessert.

We are building another animal shelter next week so I can share that as well…all kinds of creatures on the farm now!

Finally… I thought it’d be fun to have a little “incentive” to comment each week and what better way to do that than to do some giveaways! This week I’m giving away a few copies of my brand-new ebook, 30 Days of Skillet Meals. See the form below to enter to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So tell me….what did life look like for you this week? What did you do, make, or plan to do?

Me and KadyMerissa has been blogging about and living the simple life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to the 100-acre farm and ministry on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.


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  1. This week I changed companies. This will actually allow me to have more time to do the things I enjoy, like planning my garden!

  2. Didn’t do much this week. Stayed busy but didn’t accomplish much, just one of those weeks. Hope you keep up with the new series. Reading about your week, may help me do more during my week…😂😂😂

  3. I’m not much for doing comments but I do read and enjoy your blog, So thank you for all that you do and providing us with great recipes, tips, etc.
    Especially enjoy the mixes in a jar. They do make really great gifts.
    Looking forward to reading your Frugal Fridays.
    Once again, Thank you for all that you do.
    May you have an enjoyable weekend.
    Stay warm and stay safe

  4. I learned an important lesson this week. Wednesday we were without electricity for 10 hours starting at 4am. We had no water in the house except for a little in a teapot. We had some in plastic containers out in the shop, but I could not get to them. We have 2 rain barrels full so was able to use it for flushing toilets and watering indoor plants, but nothing for drinking. So, this weekend I will be canning water to put up for the next time we have an emergency!
    I got a new Dutch Oven so 2 nights ago I tried out a new recipe for Goulash. The Goulash was good and I enjoyed using the Dutch Oven. Will probably bake some bread in it this weekend.

    1. Last week a friend reached out to ask if I’d be interested in some fabric from the stash of her friends grandmother. Tuesday night my husband went with me to pick it up. One large bin, one huge bin and a large bag, including a quilt in progress that needs to be reworked and finished. There are enough materials for several charity quilts and the pillowcases we make for children in Foster Care.

    2. I don’t normally comment. But you and your blog/website has been a source of information for me. Even though live in the South, it is a very rural area. A Berkey water filter was bought on recommendation of your site. Your book also. I often use it rather than drive to nearest grocery 10 miles. Make it myself.
      Thank you for your time and effort in sharing.

    3. Rose I have been thinking the same thing—putting together emergency supplies—I am making a space in my entry because we have a huge closet.

    4. We were recently without power for 52 hours… Power was actually out longer than that, but we sucked it up and bought a generator… Never had this happen before. Was SO VERY BLESSED that I’d canned a huge batch of chicken-vegetable soup last year!!! No, we didn’t have power to HEAT it, but it was filling, and nourishing, even if it was a room temperature!!! Consider pressure canning soups/chili/stews, if you have leftovers… A LIFESAFER in a power emergency, or a need for a last-minute supper, unexpected guest, etc! (I discovered canned/cubed roast in its cooking juice with a little flour/cornstarch and water becomes the most delicious beef tips and is on the table in minutes! And with meat prices the way they are, I’m processing all meats: grinding chicken, slow-cooking or pressure-cooking beef/pork, etc., so that I’m always feeding my family at the lowest possible cost/lb/meal…).

  5. Sorting through freezer…canned green tomato curry with frozen green tomatoes from garden. Used ham bones to jar ham broth & freeze ham plus make delicious potato ham egg bake for dinner! Reorganizing & defrosting freezer…updating inventory. Counted full jars of canned food & dehydrated food sorted by protein, vegetables & fruit. Right now making 3 batches of zucchini bread with frozen grated zucchini from garden. Smells yummy!

    1. I never seem to have much luck with frozen shredded zucchini for making bread, muffins, cake, etc. Do you drain off the liquid? Thawed zucchini is SOOOO wet! TIA

  6. Good morning. What a life you have. I really enjoy your posts as they make me think about how I make our home a bit self self sufficient. You seem to get more done in a week than I do in a month. Keep posting your good ideas.

  7. I would be interested in learning how you plan out your garden. I’ve been a backyard gardener for years but last year we almost tripled our space and will be adding two more beds (eeek!) this year. I enjoy your recipes and really enjoyed your new Frugal Friday post! Have a great weekend!

  8. Hubby and I provide church services and Bible messages on YouTube in French. So we published one service and one message this week and worked on our microphone technique. It was fun.

  9. I am reading A Year Without the Grocery Store. I also thought it would be bigger. I just started it, but I think it will have some good information in it. I have been trying to meal plan and limit our grocery shopping , so I went to a website called and put in what food stuffs I have on hand and it gave me a list of recipes that I can make from what I have. It took more time than I expected, but it yielded so many recipes and is helping me to not only save time in meal planning, but save money by not going to the store. I am also starting my garden seeds this week. And my parents and my family are making plans to get a hog butchered and split it.

    1. This week I started a goal of cleaning out both of my freezers. Whatever I pull out that is what I have challenged myself to make a meal out of. Ground beef and zucchini noodles with several spices and sour cream added ended up being one of our favorites. I also started working on organizing my sewing room. It is a work in progress. I get really sidetracked working on a sewing project. In time I hope to have all of my projects put neatly together so that I can just grab it and work on it. This coming week will be much of the same. Thank you for sharing your life and recipes. I eat gluten free and have several other food allergies so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes I can use. We have been enjoying using our zucchini I dehydrated thanks to your blog on it.

    2. I just tried, too, and you are so right that it took longer than you think! And, then I had over 97,000 recipes to choose from! LOL

  10. What a lovely way to start my day in snowy cold Western New York! Thank you for starting Frugal Fridays, we are catching up with chores after coming home from a visit to our grandchildren in Delaware area. I have both your books and most of your ebooks, I would love a copy of your newest skillet meals. We are a 8 allergy free family, but I have found your recipes easy to adapt and delicious. Thank you and blessings in your week to come.
    Mary Grace Almleaf

  11. I love this post and found it very interesting and informative ! I look forward to your posts and like this new idea. I would like to see a post on how you mapped out your garden!

  12. Hi , busy week for u. Work In health field, special needs, go to their homes ..6 days a week. This week get an extra day off. Treated myself bought a great wheel spinning wheel. Dehydrating onions for onion soup batch(large…and revamping /organizing my badement….large job

  13. I love the idea for these blogs.
    I finally made a menu for a while month long and gather all kinds of (already printed) recipes that I am using. I finished a book in a series I am reading written by karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley. The redemption series excellent books I highly recommend. We cleaned out our up right freezer and I’m working on re-sticking it again. I am also working down on eating up stuff in the pantry that needs to be used. My third attempt in Bread making n i finally gave a load of bread i love! So excited 🙂 n proud it’sa whole wheat bread. I guess those are a few of my high lights haha

    1. If you don’t mind a dense bread, the EASIEST recipe, EVER is this!!!:
      3 c. self-rising flour (or flour with baking soda/salt added)
      12 oz anything fizzy (Truly!! For “bread,” I use selzer water; for sweet breads, I use diet generic Sprite! You can alter the flavor profile by altering the carbonated beverage!”

      Mix; turn into a pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray; bake at 350 for about an hour. I use this with dried chopped up trail mix and diet “twist up” from Walmart but it BARELY registers as sweet. I also do garlic/cheddar cheese; cheddar/dill, etc. It’s literally stir and dump; bake. It’s NOT a yeast bread – it absolutely rises, but it’s not airy like a yeast bread. But, for our “farm-raised family,” it’s hearty, dense, and satisfying!! Enjoy!!! PS For St. Patrick’s Day, the recipe uses 12 oz of light beer! Cead Mille Failte!!!

  14. Wow! Your week was packed! Mine was fast and included baking, sewing, cleaning and watching one of my grandchildren. I would love to see your stir fry recipe!

  15. Love the post and the series. Love reading your blog, keeps me inspired and gives me ideas of things we arent doing yet. Ill be interested to see how your dairy sheep go. We have sheep, but not dairy sheep.

    This past weekend we were gone and this next weekend I am taking courses so the goal is to eat completely from the freezer of all our premade meals for 2 weeks. Clears out some stuff, minimal groceries for a few weeks and almost no prep involved.

    Just completed our shelving for our pantry. We turned a downstairs bedroom into a pantry/storage area and loving it.

    Keep up the posts, love to see them.

  16. I so enjoy your blog and am excited for this new Friday series! I would love your stir fry sauce recipe and tips on how you sat down and mapped out your garden for the upcoming season.

    A few bits of home & frugalness here this week:
    ~Used saved water in buckets to flush the toilet (had prepared in case of ice but it ended up going south of us and I didn’t want to just dump the water!)
    ~Baked bread and cooked all meals from scratch with trying to use up whatever was needed
    ~Started seeds for greens in my little greenhouse. I’m trying to see if I can actually grow greens in the winter in it so I don’t have to buy them.

  17. Last week a friend reached out to ask if I’d be interested in some fabric from the stash of her friends grandmother. Tuesday night my husband went with me to pick it up. One large bin, one huge bin and a large bag, including a quilt in progress that needs to be reworked and finished. There are enough materials for several charity quilts and the pillowcases we make for children in Foster Care.

  18. I’d love the stir fry sauce recipe, please!

    Just a normal week for us here – cleaning, taking care of our little boys (one was sick this week), cooking meals, and swapping out kids’ clothes. It was rainy, but we were still able to get some outside time in. Hope you have a great weekend!

  19. Meal prep on Sunday. Grilled chicken to be used throughout the week. Emptied the big freezer, thawed and cleaned it out. (It was cold enough to put things outside) Had some frozen tomatoes so cooked and canned some sauce for another few meals. Made a batch of ginger peach jam from frozen summer peaches. Winter is wonderful for canning 🙂

  20. Yes. Gardening and how you decided how many starts you need. Even general on when to start – don’t forget your zone. Dad is 80 this month and he seems interested in starting seeds in a (very small) green house. I’m likely to start some container gardening.

  21. it has been extremely cold here this week , so i havent done a lot outside, except shovelling snow!
    While staying warm inside, i did do some cleaning of closets and spots where stuff had piled up, and now have a load of stuff to go to our local thrift store next week. as well i did use my dehydrator to dry some veggies for soup.

  22. Hello, my week was not as busy as normal, with typical Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts, Confirmation, Handbells, and a daughter in college and working (she’s still in high school) plus the start of the 8 birthdays in a month starts today. Neverthless we mostly ate out of the freezer so I could have some space, it’s full of venison and I can’t even get a loaf of bread in there.

  23. Good morning. This has been a very slow week for me as I’m on week 3 post-COVID. Was tested for pneumonia on Wednesday and thankful it was negative!
    Lots of soup, hot tea, knitting and reading.

    Please keep up Frugal Fridays! Even though it’s just me in my household, I’m loving your site & recipes. Sustainable living isn’t just for families – although the bulk buying doesn’t make quite as much sense for me.

    The Little House books were my favorite growing up – time to re-read them. Have a safe, blessed week!

  24. I tried two new recipes during another week of little time to cook—lasagna soup and nacho casserole. Both were big hits with them fam!

  25. This week I finally got around to pressure canning some potatoes that looked like they were going to sprout, so they didn’t go to waste. I also cooked beef neck bones for the first time and they turned out great!

    1. OMG, that is SO SMART!!! What do you do??? Just cut them up, cover with water and a little salt, or what??? I pressure canned beans and beef for the 1st time this year, but it never occurred to me to pressure can veggies that are on their way out!!! Can you do carrots, etc., too??? I suppose that sounds silly to anyone that knows a doggone thing, but I’m so proud I canned chicken soup, as a Chicago girl, I was positively flappy!!! I HAVE the pressure canner, but I guess I just don’t think, like, “Oh, hey, if you’re not gonna use this, preserve it!!” I’d love any tips, etc., that you have, as far as preserving!!! Blessings!!! ~Chrissie

  26. I started a full time job this week. For the first time in eight years. The commitment might drive me to full time homesteading life 😀. I was intrigued by your packaging up of 60# of chicken thighs. Inspiring. I’d love to see your chicken fingers recipe and your new stir fry sauce. Thank you

  27. Would appreciate the stir fry sauce recipe! We do not eat very much meat (I do not eat any), but I prepare a “ton”😉 of veggies!

  28. I enjoy your mixes. I am trying to get away from the packaged mixes. I live on an island in the Caribbean (Barbados) so most packaged foods are imported and are quite expensive. (No, I do not go to the beach every weekend!) Hubby and I have gotten back to working on our “retirement home” – a 40 foot container on our 5 acre property on the south east of the island with a lovely view of the ocean a few miles away. We are enjoying the cool nights and mornings (low 70’s)

  29. This week I finished sewing 18 tote bags and filled them with diapers & wipes and delivered them to a local shelter. It was a fun, satisfying project and helped with my goal of destashing my sewing room.

  30. I made four loaves of bread this week. We were out and the ice storm kept us in, so I whipped some up on my lunch break while working from home. I always make more because my family will blow through a whole loaf to have “hot bread and honey” and I’m totally okay with that.
    I love your tips. Thank you.

  31. I’m always inspired by all you accomplish and share with us!
    This week we sewed memory bears for our local Hospice. We cooked all meals from scratch from what we had on hand. We also put 40 lbs of chicken into our freezer for future meals. We made spaghetti sauce out of tomatoes we grew this summer and stashed in the freezer because we had SO many. That sauce is going to be used to make lasagnas today for future meals. We baked new bread recipes and made pumpkin muffins. Rearranged the pantry and freezer space. Managed to knit two hat’s from yarn leftover from another project. Read a little and some stained glass pieces for upcoming shows. Busy week!

  32. This week I planned the garden and ordered seeds. We have a very shady lot, so much of it is in containers. We repurpose old buckets from kitty litter for those containers.

  33. This week – I like the idea of sharing what we did this week. I like that you tired to keep each area short too (and had a link for more data). So briefly, Isaiah came over and helped prune our apple trees (we have 6). I need to do some reading on the other fruits on our farm – I want to make sure I’m doing what’s best for good fruit production. We have 4 cherry trees (too small to worry about right now), 5 blueberry bushes – might need pruning? not sure on these yet, 4 rows of raspberries – get pruned later in regular spring, the strawberry patch is new this past fall – so will need a lot of attention early spring, the asparagus ferns won’t get cut down until early spring. We took inventory of what seeds we have this past week – and are starting to plan the garden. Thinking on what seed starts we will want to begin – maybe even a few in late February, but usually not until March or April depending on what we are planting. My daughter lost her favorite rabbit to EM (a rabbit disease) and then got a new one at the State 4-H rabbit show. We met with some friends who will be coaching my daughter on her feeder calf fair project this week – it went well. The shelter area she set up was approved and we will be looking for a calf (born after Jan 1) very soon. As for family meals – we are still trying to figure out what works best for everyone. I often joke that a balanced meal is the meat, veggies and starch – and we get it all in with the meat for my husband, the veggies for me and the starch for my teen. LOL This is a long enough of an update on us this week. I enjoy your column! thank you!

  34. Work from home around 32 hours a week. Hubby lost his job in Dec so we are trying to redo the budget on a lot less money, one 12 yr old at home. One daughter and her family moved in with us in August trying to get back up on their feet after moving back from Mexico. Chaotic house to say the least. Between my daughter and I every meal is cooked from scratch as much as possible. This week we had vegetable beef soup, pork tenderloin w/brown rice, veggies, chicken alfredo w/salad, leftovers one night. Tonight I am taking the little bit of pork that was left over, adding to another loin I have in the crockpot for pulled pork sandwiches, probably will make french fries from scratch and the rest of the salad.

  35. I love this new series! Our family has some serious financial goals this year, after a lot of medical issues last year. Please keep it up!
    Your post inspired me to find a couple of cookbooks at my library I’ve been thinking of looking at. I am also learning to budget and cook again after developing allergies to gluten, almonds, sunflower, and soy last year. I’ve been spending too much on groceries just for me! Any tips would be welcome!!

  36. This week I baked a cake with the leftover bulk lemons I purchased last week. I buy my eggs from my neighbor and they are so much better than store bought. We tend to eat eggs every day so I get 18 every week. I also took out my seed packets to see if I need to replace any.
    It is quite cold here up in Ontario so thinking about the garden keeps me warm. LOL

  37. I really like your posts. We have been living like this for most of my life. I’m in my seventies. In fact I just turned seventy five. My husband and I still live on a farm in Arkansas. I’m so happy to see young people interested in frugal living.

    We milk a cow, and I make cheese and freeze dry milk to use when she is dry. We butcher our meat as well as let our kids buy beef to butcher for themselves. Our garden provides our vegetables. I canned and froze vegetables in the summer for years until we bought a freeze dryer several years ago. Now I don’t worry about the vegetables being stored too long. I did have to clean out the food from my freezer to make room for the year’s new food.

    Our hens provide our eggs as well as enough for me to freeze dry for later. I pickle boiled eggs to use in salads.

    I hope all of you learn the skills necessary for self-reliance. It is satisfying to know you don’t have to rely on the grocery store for existence. Have a nice day.

  38. Merida,
    I like your Frugal Friday posts and am looking forward to more. Like many others I’m amazed at all you get done in a week while home schooling and raising your children. You motivate me to get more accomplished. Thank you for posting last week about mapping out your garden. You reminded me I needed to do the same thing. I started my planning and then got side-tracked. Your post this week is getting me back on track so I can start our seeds. My husband and I grow veggies via hydroponics and because we are in Colorado we have to get our seeds started soon so they’ll be ready to plant in late May/early June.
    Please do post your stir fry sauce recipe.
    Thank you for blogging and posting. I know it takes time but you are helping and encouraging so many of us across the country. You are an inspiration to many and handle life’s set-backs with grace and remarkable composure. Thank you for being you!

  39. Good morning, this week we made bone broth; chicken and beef. The chicken broth was used last night in our corn chowder. We’ve been drinking the beef broth this week since my husband has had bronchitis.
    My daughter made an apple tart for dessert and it turned out delicious. She’s also been making egg sandwiches in the morning.
    Thursday each week we deliver eggs to a few local customers. The chickens have slowed laying production…they are not enjoying the cold plus some are molten.
    Tuesday is our day we clean at my mom’s house. My husband always said it looked like I took in laundry, well now I do, my parents. They’ve been helping other family members so we’ve been helping them. It’s what family and friends are suppose to do…love God and love others.
    We’ll, that’s a little bit of what our week looked like. Hope you have a peaceful weekend.

  40. I started sprouting some seeds, went through the pantry and found items that were about to expire and used them and I cooked all of our meals. I went to the grocery store and filled in some gaps–the store had a coupon too.

  41. We haven’t been shopping since August, except for a few (a couple of peppers, lemons, onions) veggies. What I have loved are using all the things everyone said I couldn’t can. Butter, cream cheese, milk, etc. My water glassed eggs are holding up well, all the hundreds of bottles of meat, veggies, soups, sauces have been so easy, and I am continually watching for any good deals left at the stores and canning those. When I have enough jars ready to fill, I just watch and when something comes along, I fill them back up. Butter loses is creamy texture (yes, I do have Ghee), but frying an egg in that full fat butter is divine. Have something on hand always. Mine has been gathered over the years on a very, very tiny budget, and we are eating better now than we did before! Just pick up and extra bag of beans, soup, or noodles when you hit the store. Saving food doesn’t take as long as you think to make a real difference.

  42. I am going to try your Mexican lasagna! I am usually pretty silent but I want you to know I appreciate all the effort you put in to provide is with great recipes and ideas!

  43. I made all our meals this week, and it seemed like an extra long week. So just the accomplishment of not eating out was a small victory.

  44. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and it has been icy cold this week which means thawing out the chicken’s water every morning. My frugal method is to use the water that I run as I warm up the shower.
    I am also planning my garden. I just got a copy of “The Family Garden Plan” by Melissa K. Norris and it is just awesome.
    In the life of parenting a child with Autism, my 4 year old had his evaluation with the school district, and I am weighing out some decisions and next steps (they are offering 8 hours a week of speech and OT).
    The new thing I am doing is having my 2 teenagers each take one night a week to make dinner. It is definitely an opportunity for growth, we will leave it at that.
    I am looking forward to making beef stew on Saturday. I work full time, and love the days that I can take a little more time to prepare a meal.
    There are definitely trials right now, but God gives us strength and wisdom.

  45. Loved this post! We’ve been empty nesters for a long time, but I enjoy your blog greatly. We live in a small town and just yesterday found a source for eggs at a great price. My husband (of 50+ years) helps lots in the kitchen when needed and eats leftovers with joy! I am blessed . . .
    I look forward to more posts like this one!

  46. I love this so much-so nice to read through all of the comments as well. My week went by so fast. We have been prepping for our barn build tomorrow. A work in progress over the last 6 years, and we are finally ready to put the trusses up. We have a crew of friends coming to help us, and are so grateful to them. Today I am making a lot of food from scratch to feed them all throughout the day. Our frugalness has been our desire to not take out a loan for the barn, pay cash, and do it ourselves. Very hard to do, but feeling so grateful for everything!

  47. Hello for Louisiana! Was a very rainy week for us! In Louisiana, sometimes we can have all 4 season in one week! This week was cold and rainy, but no worries, next week will be sunny and warm. Planning on planting potatoes this week, but will wait just a tad bit longer, as I am afraid it will still be too wet! My husband and I own a business, and have been affected by the freeze in Texas (freight delays because of ice) so it is causing a hiccup. Working on paperwork/taxes, yuk! Many things going on in my family right now, so I am stressed, upset, worried, sad…..but trusting God 100 percent! Thank you for your blog! I enjoy it very much! So thankful to follow along your journey!

  48. Today my oldest turns 13, so a lot of our week was spent preparing for her birthday! I also had a dentist appointment on Monday, we babysat for a family from church on Tuesday, and we homeschooled all week! We had pretty basic meals all week, and my daughter requested spaghetti with Italian sausage for her bday meal, and we will also have homemade chocolate cupcakes!

  49. I made homemade bread and some split pea soup with a ham bone I had in the freezer from Christmas today. Our chickens are still laying 5 to 9 eggs a day. I’m so thankful for that. Thank you for all your hard work and sharing all your wisdom. I got one of your books at our library about 12 years ago and knew right away I needed my own copy.

    I have been cleaning out closets this week and packing up things to go to goodwill. That’s a great feeling when you finally get an area cleaned out & organized.

    I am excited about frugal Fridays. What a great idea!

  50. This week I started a goal of cleaning out both of my freezers. Whatever I pull out that is what I have challenged myself to make a meal out of. Ground beef and zucchini noodles with several spices and sour cream added ended up being one of our favorites. I also started working on organizing my sewing room. It is a work in progress. I get really sidetracked working on a sewing project. In time I hope to have all of my projects put neatly together so that I can just grab it and work on it. This coming week will be much of the same. Thank you for sharing your life and recipes. I eat gluten free and have several other food allergies so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes I can use. We have been enjoying using our zucchini I dehydrated thanks to your blog on it.

  51. This week our family, consisting of grandparents, parents and grandchild are traveling from AZ to Eastern Texas. Two trucks and 2 5thwheels. We are exploring with the intent to find land and get back to the life we enjoy, a DIY life.

  52. I would love a post on your garden planning. Breakfast in my house is a “feed yourself” type meal. My husband goes to work early and my daughter goes to college early. I drank coffee at home. Lunch is usually leftovers or a sandwich. We had take out 1 night. My husband and I are taking 1 WWII veteran and 1 Korean veteran to a fancy gala in a town about 2 hours away tonight.

    I went to Bible study and a quilting club at church this week. I do have to buy my book for bible study but it is not too expensive. In the quilting club we use donated material to make quilts for babies in the hospital or foster care.. Had a dentist appointment for 6 month cleaning which is paid by insurance. I received a gift card to Bakers Creek Seeds for Christmas. I am trying to use wisely.

    I am following the organizing/decluttering challenge at A Bowl Full Of Lemons to try to eliminate unwanted clutter. In the past 2 years I have lost both my oldest sister and my mother so I have a lot of items from both of their houses. It is a very hard process!

  53. Hi
    Love you photo recipies and ideas!
    Iam mostly empty nester . So jsut mostly cooking me and my husband
    I bought an old farmhouse built 1930-1960 on acre lot we love it but it’s patch patch patch

    Outside – we built wood shed for our wooden stove since our heater broke coldest winter in tennesse history!
    We also built a shed for lawnmower wirh extra wood we had . We also built a garden gate, around my garden boxes compost and chickens coop wirh pallets .. we
    Got most of them free off side of the road or construction sights .

    Inside – we redid kitchen counter old tile re did counter feom Home Depot . Painted oven black match fridge , added island, painted walls put up wall in big bedroom make a den and. Quest room and added on side of hosue for husbands work room & storage .

    Woo now I write it down it is alot we have sone in 8 months and working full time jobs

    I try to cook from scratch and cann food . Enjoy life and your ideas ♥️

  54. Merissa-

    I love this post and look forward to seeing more like this one!

    Garden: I organized my garden seeds using a recycled large binder notebook and gallon zip bags (as pages) to hold the seed packets and any notes about that item. Starting onion seeds this weekend in a sunny window sill. Maybe leggy onions won’t really matter since I don’t have room for grow lights. I also need to get another sweet potato in a jar for growing starts.

    Meals: Breakfasts: Made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, also HM granola w/ yogurt & berry jam that I canned last summer. So fresh and good!
    Lunches: Mostly PB sandwiches w/ home canned dill pickles (I love that combo!);
    Suppers: Hobo packets in the oven (big burgers, sliced potatoes/vegetables); pizza using no knead dough; crockpot turkey breast w/ homemade Stovetop using chicken broth, sage, parsley, onion, browned butter, and croutons and made cranberry sauce.

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

  55. It’s super cold here this week, it’s minus zero at the moment. I am a retired mom with grown children and grandchildren living out of the house and live in suburbia but always dream of living back out in the country. (I married a city boy haha.) I enjoy your posts and other material even though I am not living the country life. I strive to live a frugal life and love your content! Keep up the good work!

  56. Great Tubberware find.
    Going to try the gf muffin mix. Hope to find a good gf bread recipe, I’ve tried many and just sick of spending the money on ingredients and they don’t turn.
    Sounds like a productive week 🌻

  57. I always look forward to your emails. I’ve learned so much from you. I have your first two books.
    I’m making all of my cleaners except laundry soap. I also give them as gifts and friends love them. Thank you

  58. Hi Marissa, This week I found a new recipe that my family loved. This was a surprise as they can be picky and not enthusiastic about meals without meat in them. The recipe is called One Pot Brothy Beans with Herbs and Lemon.
    It is delicious and I will be making a big pot frequently. It reminds me of Ma in the Little House books. In The Long Winter where she cooked beans while the wind howled around the little house.

    Thanks so much Marissa. I am enjoying your site!

  59. I just picked up “A Year Without the Grocery Store” too. I was also shocked at how small it is. I haven’t actually dived into yet so I don’t know if it would be a recommendation or not. I love seeing your take on books!

  60. I saved a great deal this week, as we were under a winter weather warning. Lots of ice in North Texas, which made the roads impassable. I’m heading out for a few top up items, as the ice has finally thawed a bit. The quiet time at home was spent mending and ironing. Not all bad, and luckily the power stayed on! 😉

  61. 1st time commenting. Happy Friday! Thanks for all our great ideas and the work that goes into bringing them to us. Favorite Frugal Friday Fare at our home. One of the easiest most frugal dinner my family loves is rice with eggs. Works best with long grain rice. Cook rice the way you normally would. Pan fry eggs in plenty of olive oil just until yolks are still runny. Add eggs along with cooking oil to warm rice and mash in with a fork. You want the egg white to break up into relatively small pieces while the yolk and the oil coat the rice like a sauce/dressing. season with salt, pepper and grated parmiggiano or cheese of your choice. You can dress this up with fresh herbs of your choice, parsley, basil, thyme or spices like paprika, turmeric… Cut-up apples tossed with cinnamon make a great dessert. If I’m feeling eager I pan sere the apples in a small amount of coc0nut oil. sometimes I add a splash of coconut milk along with cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg…. all easily customized.

  62. 1st to tell you a little bit about myself. Married, mom of 4 boys, grandmother of 7, great grandmother of 1. Retired. Live in FL in 55+ on a golf course. (No we don’t play golf) Have 2 cats.

    My husband is recovery from open heart surgery so most of my time this week is helping him. Dr appt 1 day (all is good). Designed a chart for the back of the kitchen cabinet door with cooking measurements. Made a gift for my brother in law. Made a shepherds pie. (Husband hasn’t been eating, nothing taste right) Today took my son & DIL to airport, stopped & bought flowers to plant this weekend. I have a load of cloths in the dryer & just put my feet up. No plans for the rest of the day.

  63. This week I got out my sourdough starter to feed her and get her ready for bread. I make 6-8 loaves each time and freeze them so the starter gets refrigerated in between uses since it can be a few weeks. I did a big shop (ooof so expensive) but have food all ready to go for the next week or two. Lastly I helped my husband and son prep for a Scout camping trip this weekend which means quiet time for Mom:) But I am always very happy when they get back as I am done with quiet time after a day.

  64. I unravelled a sweater I had crocheted a few years ago that my husband no longer wears. The yarn is a deep green and will be repurposed into something new, although I haven’t yet decided what it will be. This morning I hemmed some new uniform pants I got on sale for 60% off! While I was at it, I made a few adjustments in some other uniforms. I’ve been feeling the need for creativity lately so both these projects filled that spot. I plan to make some ghee this afternoon with some of the frozen butter I have. Butter has gotten so expensive! I work 12 hour shifts this weekend so I have to get things done today. Hope you enjoy your sheep. God bless.

  65. Brrrrr. Cold here in Minnesota. So I’m baking! Making homemade bagels today! Made yogurt and cranberry apple crisp and hickory bread. Looking forward to your posts!

  66. I love the idea of Frugal Friday posts! I think that many of us are craving a sense of connection and normalcy these days, and Frugal Fridays will definitely provide that.

    You asked readers to share their weeks in the comments. Well, our week hasn’t been very exciting (I’m recovering from pneumonia, and two family members in other states are quite ill). But I am so excited to think about direct seeding some early greens for the first time ever (we live in Zone 8) and resuming meal planning.

    Yay for Friday, and for February, and for spring being on its way!

  67. I enjoyed your blog today! I am interested in some of the books your reading as well. I have been canning for the past year and am still learning so much, would love to hear your canning tips and tricks if you have any!

  68. I got back into yogurt and bread making this week. I am utilizing my left over liquid whey from straining my yogurt, to replace the milk/water in my bread recipes, and it’s working out great! I am also eating down my freezer and pantry. With everything so high, it feels good having the know how to make do, and be resourceful. Thank you for all you do, you have been a blessing to me! I enjoy your post, and keep your book handy at all times. Please share how your mapping out your garden too!

  69. Loved reading this post!! You always inspire me to want to be more self- sufficient. I did a lot of cleaning, tried some new recipes, and baked a few treats for the kiddos. I am anxiously awaiting gardening season too! Would love to hear your garden plans!

  70. I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate all the hard work you do to live a simpler frugal life. I would love to have the recipe for your stir fry sauce!

    I work for Hallmark so I go into several stores each week to straighten, inventory, and put out cards and gift wrap. This is a busy time of year for me because as soon as we take down Christmas, we put out Valentine’s and then before you know it, it will be Mother’s Day! My four children are grown, but I spend time each week keeping in touch either by phone or in person. My husband and I still do a lot of cooking just because we enjoy it, but there were no outstanding recipes this week. I also attended bible study and prepared for that. We are studying Isaiah by Melissa Poelstra. If anyone is in a season of waiting on God and needs to trust Him more, I highly recommend it!

  71. Sounds like a good week! My week consisted of making yogurt, granola and all of our meals of course! We rarely, if ever, get take out or eat at restaurants. I did some bulk food shopping for things like nutritional yeast, quinoa, collagen powder (seeing if it helps with my arthritis, I am 53 and have had it since I was in my teens) I did buy some seeds and two apple trees. I keep at the gardening, but between our elevation and weather extremes, gardening in the mountains of AZ are kinda iffy each year!But i keep at it! I also did some re-arranging of rooms, my last baby left for college last august and I am finally switching things around..I needed empty nest sad mom time!!! (been a stay at home mom for 24 years, this is weird!) Thanks for the blog! Have a great weekend!

  72. Merissa,
    I would LOVE for you to do a blog post on both the stir fry sauce AND how you outline your garden.
    We eat a lot of stir fry, so your sauce would be very welcome.
    I am a beginning gardner (at 72), so am somewhat (or a lot) intimidated about the ins and outs of gardening. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
    Love your blog!!!

  73. Frugal Friday is a great idea! I look forward to reading about your week and comments from others too. It is very inspiring. This week I have been busy planning my garden. I have already started some seeds for things that are slow growing, like celery, onions, and some herbs. This will be our first summer in this house so we are planning where to put raised beds and such. I borrowed some books from the library to help, along with videos on YouTube.
    We are trying to be more conscious of food waste and using things up instead of throwing them out. We used to have chickens to give things like stale bread and odds and ends to, but now we need to be more intentional and try to use them ourselves. We are meal planning more than we ever have, and it does help.
    I would love your stir fry sauce recipe please!

  74. Thanks for the blog post. Lot’s of information and inspiration. I was able to start warping my weaving loom to for kitchen towels. It’s been awhile and it’s nice to get back to it. And it will be wonderful to have fresh, custom, towels for the kitchen and bath.

  75. I’ve just started milling my own grains for bread and baking. It’s a whole new world of food prep and I am already noticing improved health over the last two weeks as well as the improved flavor in the food. Although I don’t have a grain mill, I use the dry container on my Vitamix and that works for now. I have been examining my lifestyle since the beginning of the year and am trying to figure out how to make even small improvements using what I already have or with a minimal purchase cost to make my life easier and better. Every step in the right direction is a good thing even if it is only a baby step.

  76. Along with battling frigid temps, this week I made low carb enchiladas and spaghetti with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I am going through this pain management program which has me going to the gym twice a week and working out, so on those days, I like to have something easy on hand or leftovers, so these two meals provided that also. I’m trying to implement a “clean one room each day” plan so I also cleaned the bedroom and the bathroom this week. There again, not on days I go to work out. I try to keep those days free of much other obligations.
    I enjoy reading about your homestead experiences and wish we could have a country place too, but for now, we’re stuck in the city. Maybe someday….
    Have a good weekend!

  77. Good week! Our school is having a teacher Enrichment Day so made up that menu and shopped for it. Spent part of a day with my old neighbor lady who fell a few weeks ago. Baked bread this morning. For years my mom would dry apples and fruit puree under her woodstove but our woodstove didn’t get as warm underneath as hers so she’d dry treats for us. I got a dehydrator free recently so I cut up apples to try it out today. Homemaking is a priviledge!

  78. This week I worked on some kitchen organization and cleaning through cupboards. Deep cleaned my master bath and procrastinated another week of bookwork. I also felt like I was cleaning muddy dog prints off my floor every time I turned around.

  79. I appreciate your write ups. This week was a bit lazy for me so we had easy meals. Started off Monday with pan fried pork chops with potatoes and onion. Tuesday I made homemade veggie Samosas, baked rather than deep fried along with Smoked Salmon in penne pasta with a homemade creamy tomatoe, basil sause. Wednesday for my husband, 2 kinds of homemade thincrust pizza – italian sausage and pepperoni, loaded with peppers, onion and fresh tomatoe and the other with sausage and bacon. I ate leftover samosas and coleslaw. Last evening we had (homebrewed) beer marinated steak and fried potatoe wedges along with creamy coleslaw. Our meals are often varied because my husband and I eat differently. lol So what can look mixed up to others works well for us. A little extra work but keeps us healthy and happy. Our projects were limited but we did sort out our freezer and moved it into a better place. And this weekend it is seed sorting time here too. I alphabetize and sort according to inside/outside starting time of year. Just a small garden for us now, but always an exciting prospect.

  80. Reading about your week makes me feel so lazy, but I’m reminding myself that our seasons of life are different haha… This Week I helped my husband paint our baby’s room, started a sourdough starter, ordered veggie seeds, and hung out with a friend. Of course there’s always the mundane day to day homemaking stuff that needs done. 😁

  81. I recently retired and moved just before the holidays so unpacking was put on hold until this past week. I am unpacking while helping to take care of my 4 year old granddaughter. I am learning to make yogurt and wanting to get started with some sourdough starter. Husband is working on some shelves in my pantry and I am organizing my granddaughters bedroom.

  82. Hello Merissa!

    This is wonderful – your new dairy sheep on their way!

    I love sheep, and intend to be milking sheep some day! More people need dairy sheep!

    Thrive in this!!


    P.S. I read a post of yours on oil lamps years ago! We have enjoyed countless hours with the light of oil lamps, particularly with homemade floating wicks which simply sit on the oil at whatever level it sits at!!

  83. It was ice weather here this week and my husband and children were off for three days. So, did we play outside? No, we are on the tail end of a 1 year house remodel. Both children wanted to make their beds and built in book cases and desks. Lol, we cut lumber in the living room and ran the vacuum to help with dust. But we are almost, finally ! Finished with their rooms. Now on to the master bedroom/bathroom, living room and kitchen.

  84. This week I met with some of my retired co-workers at a coffee shop in a town nearby (Wednesday). Had a nice chat and caught up over coffee and sandwiches. On Thursday – met with my fellow knitters at the coffee shop in town here. That’s always a good time as we enjoy conversations of a wide variety of topics as we knit and we also “show off” what we’ve finished since our last knit session. That evening we had guests for supper and again got caught up on all the news because for some reason it’s really difficult to keep in contact with old friends. This weekend promised to be a busy one as we will be spending most of it at church attending an “Everyone Outreach” workshop both Saturday and Sunday.

  85. This is a perfect blog series to keep me interested and motivated! Just a little info about me- I am disabled but blessed to be home full time, so I am able to juggle health issues with our dream of full time homesteading. This week I worked on my side gig, took a quick look at my freezers to see what needed to be used up- processed 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters (small potatoes compared to you!), changed my mind about a crocheting project- but got myself going on it again, and realized that scrambling duck eggs takes much more energy than chicken eggs. My favorite new recipe is Totcha- a tater tot-taco casserole. It’s from Tastefully Simple- (my side gig)- but let’s be honest, you can make it with the seasonings you have at home. Sorted my seeds and started a mental list of what needs to get started soon. OH- and since our laundry is solar powered, I did 5 loads of laundry when we finally had sunshine several days this week! Have blessed weekend!

  86. This week was a bit of a slower one for us, too. I switched kids’ bedrooms, did some more organizing/homemaking around the house and did a lot of cooking.

  87. This week I have decided to plant herbs and plants in pots this year, hurricane season has been hard in our state and it disappointing. Our house is not much on breakfast and since we start early here taking care of animals we will be looking for hearty grab and go, breakfast freezer burritos have worked well I will probably make those again. I have cooked and froze many turkeys and put meat in bags. This weekend is homemade KFC Bowls, and a sheet pan dinner dessert is homemade chocolate muffins and we had pasta for lunch. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and everything you do. Would you mind sharing the stir fry sauce? Thank you and have a great weekend everyone.

  88. We are homesteading in the desert of southern Arizona. We just got our first goat and today he managed to escape his pen. We discovered this when we heard him walking on the roof of our house! Of all the things he could have gotten into on our five acres (and the gate was open too), he chose our roof. 😂 Our one-story house is built into the side of a hill so one side is only about 3 1/2 feet above ground level, in case you were wondering “how??”

  89. Hi Merissa! I spent this week planning for monthly shopping and then bought items needed to make frugal meals. Also, made my own baking powder. Hoping to start a garden in the spring. I have yellow squash, corn, broccoli, etc. seeds that I plan to plant. I made Asian stir fry with ramen noodles for dinner today.

  90. As a School Bus Driver, this week was thrilling with IceIceBaby…Texans are Not equipped to deal with ice covered roads!!! They cancelled school 😀
    Since we didn’t work, both my husband and I drive, we got a few chores done during the week that are normally reserved for weekends.
    Since my older sister moved in with us last September, I’ve been doing much more cooking at home than before. I’ll get recipes in email. And, if they look interesting or not too complicated, I print them and give them a try. Next up on the trial is Pizza Soup! Sounds sooooo interesting!
    Thank you for including us in your Family!

  91. I meal prepped this week and only made one trip to the grocery store. We had extra eggs so we sold a couple dozen.

  92. I’m a new reader — yes please, continue your Frugal Friday series! (I even went and watched your vlog on shopping.) And yes on the sauce recipe too, please…

    This week I am recovering from flu — just like last week — so stayed home. We ate up some old pea soup — and had to throw away the remains of a rotisserie chicken that went bad. (Extra-quickly too, in my opinion. Think I’m going to bring that up with the Sam’s Club people.) We had a lot of canned soup, with a recipe of ‘angel biscuit’ dough that could be kept in the fridge over 5 days. So instead of biscuits once (and going hard), we had fresh ones for three meals!

    Otherwise, worked on reports, spent some on Ebay bargains — and bought 3 dresses on sale at Amazon for an upcoming cruise. (I NEVER buy clothes, except at the thrift shop – so this was a boost for me. They were on sale, too.)

    Really enjoying your blog!

  93. Hi,
    So my week was busy. I still homeschool my youngest but my two oldest are moved out and decided (without telling me) that I would prepare their taxes for them.
    I started all natural shampoo this week and honestly my hair kind of feels like crap lol but it’s supposed to get better after two to four weeks so fingers crossed.
    I sorted out all my maple tapping equipment to get ready for tapping on the 6th.
    Also this week I’ve been planning out my garden seed tape. It helps me plant lettuce, carrots, and similarly small seeds evenly. It’s a life saver.
    I’m also expecting baby goats soon so I’m constantly running back and forth to the barn to check on my five pregnant girls.
    That’s all for this week and next week promises to be just as busy.
    God bless you all

  94. This week was half off day at our local thrift store. Got the kids some clothes, books, a puzzle and a pair of roller skates. We had some missionaries visit at our church on Sunday. Took 2 of the kids to the dentist for fillings 😭. Otherwise normal things like homeschooling, cooking, cleaning and paper crafting.

  95. I love the Frugal Friday idea! Here is what I did in the same categories you listed:
    Meals – planned meals around using up what is getting close to (or past!) its best-by date.
    Shopping – bought a few food items to complete meals as needed. When to a thrift store looking for some specific items which I didn’t find. I left without buying anything – which rarely happens!
    Outside Projects – not much in this category since our temperatures have been below zero for days, but I did work on cleaning the ice/snow off my front sidewalk. I also did a volunteer shift at a nearby library, attended my weekly ladies’ Bible study, and watched one of my grandchildren play in a school basketball game – these were all inside activities, of course, but outside my home!
    Inside Projects – organized several cupboards, purged some old files, did some mending, sewing, and reading, and I always have a jigsaw puzzle going.
    Looking Ahead to Next Week – more sewing and organizing, planning out garden.
    Glad you are feeling better!

  96. This week was very cold and icy in our area. The dangerous weather kept me home and inside.
    I tried out some new recipes, canned beef and chicken broth, and organized the kitchen.
    I Shopped online for garden seeds and large buckets to store flour and sugar.
    I have plans to expand my herb garden. I have been looking at raised beds. Now, I just have to get my husband involved.
    A quiet and good week.

    1. Stay safe. The weather has been brutal. I’m semi-organized in my kitchen but I think you’ve given me the push I need. lol.

  97. I just about live on my Instant Pot: Mac and Cheese, today’s Pot Roast, Italian Pork Sauce, and Beef Stew.
    Today, I made Madeleines for the first time. I LOVE Entenmann’s Madeleines but they’re >>expensive<<! Mine turned our DE-licious and all the ingredients were natural.
    Also giving my bread machine a work out, too. I'm going to try and copy a sausage loaf at my local Italian delicatessen. I adore theirs, but not for ELEVEN dollars a loaf!

  98. I would love to see a blog post about planning your garden. I tend to go into each season without a plan, and I’d like to try and do better with it this year.

  99. It’s been another busy week. Taught my two weekly classes to a homeschool co-op (Physical Science & Composition), shuttled kiddo to and from dance (5 out of 7 days a week and we live 30 miles away!—lots of time in the car), visited my Amish friend, cleaning; it’s hard to remember it all! Made shredded chicken enchiladas for dinner this evening. Looking forward to a little thaw in the Midwest this weekend.

  100. I do a lot of volunteer work — homeless/warming shelter, pantry/food bank, library — so that’s always a lot of my week. I’ve also been using stash yarns to knit up hats. Someone else from the Pacific NW (I’m in the Willamette Valley, which is western OR) mentioned how cold it’s been here. No kidding. Several hard freezes overnight so along with the hats, I’ve been working to keep humming bird feeders swapped out so the nectar is in a liquid state, bird feeders, indoor and outdoor animals, etc. I used to answer my phone, “Wild Kingdom,” LOL. I’ve recently begun fixing dinner once a week to take to the warming shelter, so if you’ve got any good ideas for feeding 8-10 people something hot, tasty, and substantial, send them along. 😊 I love your blogs (and your store) and this new Frugal Fridays is a fabulous idea. It’s so much fun to scroll through and see what everyone else has been up to. Thanks for all you do!

  101. I gave up my caffeine addiction habit. I truly don’t remember much of this week because I felt like I had the flu and bad headaches. But it’s been 1 week and I actually felt good yesterday for the first time.
    I live in PA and it was Turkey Hill Iced Tea I was hooked on in case you are curious.

  102. We’ve had an ice storm here, but I got out yesterday and found marked down produce at the grocery store. Mushrooms, asparagus, red peppers, and spring greens found their way into yesterday’s stir fry. The remaining peppers were chopped and frozen. The asparagus will be roasted today. Salad is on today’s menu and the mushrooms can hold for another day or two.

  103. Love the new ideas, especially the library reviews. I’ve promoted libraries for years. Most people in my area forget about them and what you can get for free

  104. I’m learning frugal living and looking forward to reading more of your blog. We have started cooking more but need to learn more about scratch cooking.

  105. Our house is torn up and mostly empty due to remediation but we managed to make gluten free molasses cookies, brownies and coffee cake.

    I’d love for you to share your new stir fry sauce!!

  106. I accomplished very little this week. I am hopefully that by this time next week I will be out of my cast on my right arm. I know I then have work to do as I will need to do therapy but I am getting really tired of my husbands cooking. Luckily this week our neighbor brought us a meal to thank him for splitting wood for them. It made for a very nice change.

  107. I recently changed jobs and took on a special education teaching position. This week I spent organizing my student files and scheduling ktikes to work with them out of their regular classes. At home I am working on figuring out a way to have a laundry station with a hanging rack and room for baskets to put away laundry. There isn’t much space and I feel like it makes the dining room too cluttered. I also am working on cooking up freezer and pantry foods to keep things fresh. I would love to read more about garden planning! It’s almost that time here in California!

  108. This week I have made meals at home. I have been reading books from the library. I had some thank you cards to write so I made them from brown cardboard paper I had and used a thank you stamp I had. I like to handwrite little notes to people when I give the cards. Notes and letters are a lost art!

  109. I decided I needed to start cleaning out freezers so that we will have space when we buy her chickens in the late spring. I made several gallons of beef bone broth from the cow we had butchered last year. I found some potatoes that were needing processed before they went bad, so working on canning those and 20 lbs of carrots. Our fridge broke, so instead of buying a new one, I found a used one about an hour from our home. We combined the trip to get the fridge with picking up groceries and running errands in this town since we don’t travel there often. I put an order into azure for bulk grains. Our family homeschools and we decided to try unschooling for this season. Instead of buying a bunch of books, I was able to source some from the library and was able to find several tubs of books for free from a retired homeschool mom in our town. Love the encouragement of your week in the life videos! I hope you and your family stay warm up there in the north. Blessings from Texas!

  110. I looked at the blog and it seems like all their recipes lean very heavily on jarred/canned sauces or premade packaged seasoning mixes. I don’t mind doing that occasionally, but not for every meal. The only thing I saw that was from scratch was a spiced apple cider recipe! Good to know I can skip them.
    Let us know how the food processor works, please! I’m looking for a hand crank kind.

  111. Last week I worked on the budget, and finally balanced it, and I also got our taxes done! My goal for today and tomorrow is to choose some recipes that will work with my budget, create a meal plan, and make some healthy snacks for the week. I also picked up 3 packs of 8 washcloths I found in the baby department at Target (4 colors, 2 of each) for $5 each. I plan to get some fabric and make 4 sets of 6 pretty cloth napkins using your instructions. I figure it won’t take long to recoup the cost since I will no longer have to buy paper napkins!

  112. I had a very busy week. I work full time at a library and do a lot of volunteer work at my church etc. I would like to live a simpler life style so I look forward to any of your tips. I would especially like to know how you plan your garden. Every year I plant but it does not work out as well as I hoped.

  113. I have read your bliss. For a very long time! I admire everything you manage to accomplish! This week I have been sorting thru paperwork and cleaning and organizing my desk. My husband is being treated for lymphoma and had his 2nd chemo this week. We are praying for a full recovery. My daily schedule has certainly changed from the time involved spent in caregiving. Today is our 56 th wedding anniversary!

  114. We got the brooder set up for chicks next week. Also re-potted the tomato, tomatillo and pepper plants we are starting in the house. Deep freeze week outside so not much going on out there.

  115. I just found your blog again after many years and very much enjoyed you our post. Your menus sound wonderful and are full of ideas. The stir fry sauce recipe would be much appreciated.

    We had a big spoonful of leftover taco meat so I stirred a tablespoon of green salsa into it and made quesadillas. That salsa really made them good. We bought a ten pound boneless pork loin and canned 5 pints of carnitas, 3 quarts of pork stew, 2 pkg pork strips for stir fry and a 2 pound roast. We took dinner to a friend on Wednesday which made me realize that we were out of home canned great northern beans so we did a canner full of pints. Today we made a pan of cookie bars from as mix that was 75 cents at the salvage store. Being a little out of date in a raggedy box did not effect their yumminess.

  116. I have been working on making little personal sized sourdough bread for my guests at a table setting luncheon coming up this weekend. Also made some little bread sticks for part of the wine, cheese and bread I’ll be serving at my table as well. And finally putting the finishing touches on the table setting theme we’re using. Cant wait to see all the different table themes.

  117. This week I continued on my goal of clearing out my freezer of food that’s been in there a while and not adding to it. We are eating very well because of my stockpile bought at rock bottom prices. Knit some hats for charity. Worked 40 hours.

  118. I have been following this blog or email that you’ve posted. I’m not one to write much but I absolutely love ❤️ what you share…. It’s simple and easy and love the resources of natural foods! I have been trying to do more natural foods and I come from the “old school” where everything was made from scratch, so am thankful for all the great information! Thanks for doing a great job!

  119. Hi Merissa,
    My focus right now is to use up things from my freezer and pantry and any produce from the garden. We live in New Zealand, so our gardens are still growing 🙂 Last week I was using up the plums from our tree. I bottles some, made plum chutney and lots of plum jam. This week I was making more soap as I have a small business with that. I have also been trying to get to a whle lot of ‘little jobs’ that need doing, filing things – recipes :), cleaning, fixing, mending etc. Yes, so that’s me. Blessings to you and thank you for all you do and your great money saving ideas and tips. ~ Linda

  120. I lo e this frugal Friday idea! And would love to know how you pls. Out your garden. I see my boxes have disappeared with all the snow we have here in Northern Ontario Canada. Every year I try to start seeds and they don’t survive to the plant. Any advise on a frugal way to start seedlings would be much appreciated!

  121. Oh, love it!
    I was gifted a heap of carrots, so creatively thought of ways to use them up this week! I am trying something new to me this year…winter sowing. I set out a bunch of jugs mostly the flowers that do well with this method, along with some herbs and seasonal vegetables. Still more to do, but I’m looking forward to seeing how this new experiment turns out! 🙂

  122. I have enjoyed reading your blog, but I don’t usually comment. I like the frugal Fridays idea. This week I purchased ten pounds of hamburger for 2.39 a pound. You had to buy 10 pounds. I also purchased boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 1.49 a pound. You also had to buy 10 pounds. When I got home I packaged the meat in one pound portions for meals. Then put it all in the freezer, except one chicken breast that I put in the crockpot to make chicken soup. It feels good to have meat again. Thank you for this encouragement. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and learn from each of you.

  123. I’m not much for comments either but as others said your weeks inspire me. We’ve been homeschooling and raising kids in a sometimes frugal and sometimes not so frugal lifestyle for over 26 years. We are suburbanite quasi homesteaders with a foot in both worlds. Our kids are athletes and sports oriented so we are pretty protein heavy eaters.

    I have used so many of your tips and drawn on your inspiration from the beginning of your blog, so this is for you, Melissa: I’ve finally started drying greens from my garden; fertilized my onions (I am in a subtropical zone): grilled pounds and pounds of chicken and fish, making simple salad with homemade dressing every night and add whatever is around apples, raisins, sunflower seeds etc, put a list of what needs to be used up on the fridge so I can use it on the fly, helped our neighbors move, got oodles of sports paperwork filled out, appointments for my daughter to get her driver’s permit, son to get his drivers license and am shopping for dresses for my oldest son’s wedding., started to grow my soil with a book called: How to Grow Your Soil and shared it with a friend who’s son is interested in gardening, graded lots of Earth Science papers for my online job, trying to deep clean a little; only wiped down the microwave so far and am looking into the co-op Azure you emailed about. I run a little and weight lift because of my sons:” Come on Mom, it’s good for you”. I am reading aloud from Herodotus’s Histories and doing an ocean zones project with my youngest son. And just like you to turn this into a lift for me. I always feel like I’m not getting anything done.

    Of the very few bloggers I ever followed you are the only one I have stuck with. Your genuine sweetness and drive are truly an inspiration. I love hearing about your family, animal additions and life style. You may not feel like it right now but you are still a young chickadee and have accomplished an amazing amount, with sunny days ahead. Thank you Melissa and remember to rest in God’s love for you!

  124. Last week I was in a chair with my foot elevated most of the time. This was the result of some surgery on my ankle. It gave me lots of time to read and knit. My husband was doing most of the cooking and I kept trying to come up with easy meals. My son-in-law brought us a roast chicken dinner on Tuesday and late in the week we had chicken enchilada casserole from the leftovers. Things are looking up and I am getting back on my feet. Yes, I would like the recipe for stir fry sauce. So glad that you are doing better

  125. I just got to look at Week 2 this morning & backtracked to find & read Week 1 also. This is a great idea – I love to read about the things you’ve shared. Thank you for the meal ideas & book references, too; I saw 1 recipe idea in this 1 I want to try out – the Mexican Lasagna. We’ll love that! Seeing these ideas helps me get organized in my mind with what priorities we want to pursue with intention! Thanks!

  126. Hello. I recently came across your book at my local library and subsequently found your website. Thank you you for sharing your story and for your great ideas and recipes. I enjoy your blog so I hope you continue doing them. Have a wonderful weekend.

  127. Dear Merissa,
    I’ve given myself a present of time reading your blogs so am catching up starting with this first one. Loved seeing all you did this week and especially enjoyed your thrift shopping video. So glad you are feeling better and got to get out.
    Know you do inspire us with what you share!
    I’m a Grandma, dreamer of having a farm ( currently in LA living in a guesthouse with many pots of plants and my husbands little woodworking shed)and Long-time supporter (since I discovered your Little House Living book in the library and have since purchased my own copy).
    Take care of yourself and your beautiful family, Leslie

  128. I would like to see your stir fry sauce recipe. Also the ideas for planning your upcoming garden sound interesting. I always think I am going to do that and then all of a sudden, it’s time to plant.