Frugal Friday Week #16

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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.

We decided to camp out one night in our meadow. It’s still a bit cold at night!

Frugal Friday Week 16

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

I need your help because 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!

So let’s dive right into this week!

Meals We Ate

As I mentioned before, this summer, my meal plans will be more of an overview because they aren’t as much meals as pieced-together things that we eat from the garden!

This week the only thing we had ready from the garden was a little bit of rhubarb, which we used to make Rhubarb Crisp. It was tasty! I should have greens ready this week.

Almost every meal this week was something very simple that we put together quickly like hard-boiled eggs, summer sausage, fruits, carrots and ranch dressing, etc. We simply gathered up whatever was on hand and easy and made a meal from it! For breakfasts I made French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal, and we had cereal for a day on the go. Lunches were picnic style, quesadillas, or on one of the cooler days…soup.

Shopping I Did

I’ve been home working all week. Besides buying some plants and flowers on Mother’s Day I skipped the shopping!

Hard to see but this is our banty frizzle chicken that wanted nothing more than to take care of the chicks we hatched out. She’s doing a great job!

Outside Projects We Worked On

This was a big week of outside work, just like next week will be. I worked hard on cleaning up the house gardens. I planted flowers, corn, rhubarb, and will get the raspberries in soon too.

Then it was a LOT of weeding. We had a bunch of rain at the beginning of the week so the grass and weeds have come up like crazy. I worked on getting sun burnt getting the beds weeded. I think I’ve done all but 2 in the house gardens.

I’ll be working on planting all weekend now that it’s slightly drier. Corn, beets, and carrots all going in the ground finally!

Inside Projects We Worked On

The only time I was inside this week was to eat and sleep and work on the blog!

Grow a Garden

Blog Posts I Wrote

I’m making an effort to be a bit more seasonal with my blog posts, here’s what’s new and updated this week!

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Lots of planting in my future! We only put in 6 beds in the new garden so far so I’m hoping we can get more in this coming week to keep planting. It’s that time of year!

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. Hi Merissa – I really enjoyed your blog today and apologize for not commenting more in the past. I always love your posts! We live in SW MN and have our garden all planted. We repurposed a couple cattle feeders to have an elevated garden near the house too which I am excited about. I don’t see a way to attach a picture of the cattle feeders but they look pretty cool!

  2. Hi. I read your blog posts, but am guilty of not responding. So, this will be a challenge for the summer. Here goes… this week my son and his wife are visiting for my third son’s graduation. So, chaos has been the order of the week. Lots of going and eating on the go. I did make fresh green beans and new potatoes for dinner one night. 😀

  3. You mention that you and the fam had Rhubarb Crisp. Sounds pretty good to me. In fact, I need to find a recipe for it I already have a lot of rhubarb coming!
    Like the new format. Thank you for everything you do. Kelli

  4. Hi Marissa!
    My week consisted of basically decluttering my closets and drawers and getting items ready for handing down or donating. I also reframed some prints I’ve had for some time to revamp my decor. The frames were inexpensive Dollar Tree frames or Ikea frames I’ve had. I also took stock of my pantry and freezer. I’ve decanted my Stevia, baking soda and granola into jars ( collected or thrifted) and am preparing to make your home made soup base, taco seasoning and others. I am also catching up on my reading and finishing up some embroidery projects in order to start my Christmas projects!
    I live in an apartment with no outside space and I have a cat, so gardening is out for me, but I do as much as I can otherwise!

  5. Hi from Bermuda. Here on my mini homestead of one, its been a busy week. I splurged
    On two lavender plants in small pots. They were $4each, with one for me and one to gift
    In July to a friend for her birthday. I found a nice container at the thrift store for $2 and replanted it
    In that. By July it will be impressive, for a $6 gift. I also found a yard of pale green watery looking
    Fabric for my yo yo quilt for $2, so need to cut circles next. I am continuing the clean out of
    My husbands hoard of stuff, and my driveway is now clear, thanks to my kids, who hauled what
    I trashed away. Lots of gardening has gotten done, and my lettuce is doing really well. I have been
    Freezing snow peas which my daughter has a deluge of. Egg shells are being crushed and sprinkled
    Around my plants as a calcium booster. I am eating lots of salad meals as it gets hotter, adding
    Whatever protein I have on hand. Live well. Regards from Bermuda

  6. Hi Merissa:
    I had a big week getting the last of my veggie garden beds planted and my front yard flowers in. On Tuesday and Wednesday we were dealing with thick fire smoke from forest fires north of us so I didn’t go outside at all. Yesterday was better so we went and got some groceries and stocked up so if the smoke returns we won’t have to go outside for a while. I still have to clean up by my picnic table and BBQ area which I used as a bit of a dumping ground while planting.
    I will do that once the smoke stays out for a bit. With the smoke it has been difficult to keep the gardens watered well. It has been so dry. As for cooking, my youngest son found me some new recipes that are East Indian based so I had fun learning about new spices and creating my own mixes to season the chicken. The chicken turned out yummy and very tender. Before the smoke came I got my windows cleaned and the curtains and drapes washed. That was the last of my big spring cleaning plans.

  7. This week we went camping in central Pa, a few really chilly nights with wonderful sunny days. Moments to remember next winter for certain.
    Meals for camping; last week chicken was on sale so I made ‘ a shake and bake mix,’ coated enough pieces for multiple meals. Then I found mini meals ( pork with potatoes and carrots on the side), tuna noodle casserole with mixed vegetables that were frozen to complete the menu. Breakfast was easy with your pre-made oatmeal, dry cereal or frozen scrambled eggs and then added fruit. Lunch peanut butter & jelly with fruit or salad in cups.
    Love reading the blog.

  8. Great information! I planted my garden early. So when we got a frost, I covered my plants with the sheets of plastic that I bought at a garage sale. Worked great

  9. Melissa,
    My week was a bit strange. I cleaned out our chicken coop out the beginning of the week and thank the good Lord I did! The very next day I was reaching over a roost that wasn’t secure for an egg on the floor and wham it gave way and i landed hard on my knee and twisted it and my hip. After about 5 minute the pain subsided and I limped ito the house. Thankfully no chicken poop where I landed. : D Ice and heat for the night. Chiropractor the next day who said that I had not torn a ligament. Yay! After 2 days I thanking God I can walk without a limp! But 2 days after my mishap I went out tin the morning to find the roost down again and one of my young hens not being able to walk. It looked like she had injured herself. I was also concerned it might be Marecks disease so I am keeping a close eye on her but today she was able to walk some and last night some how she got up on the other roost with the rest of the gang. so I’ll take a wait and see approach with her for now.
    I guess I will help my husband next week with getting the garden prepared it seems a Safer place then the coop for me. : D
    I am glad to hear you have started planting. It is encouraging. We won’t start till the 30th because it is still cold here even with black plastic covering the ground. In Maine we usually don’t plant until Memorial Day except maybe peas and spinach.
    Have a blessed week.

  10. Hi,
    This is probably my third week visiting this site. My husband is the budget shopper and gardener. He got lots of 99 cent deals since all that is ready is small radishes. I made barley soup with leftover round steak and frozen veggies like snap peas and green beans. Ramps were in the woods to footage for the onion.
    My husband and son love meat so we have animals raised and butchered. It is fun to watch our animals. It is still cold here so most of the garden is waiting for warm temps to transplant or plant. I was spring cleaning, tying quilts for disaster relief and reading books from Left Behind series this week. My son had frosted birthday brownies I made. I am doing well on not eating sweets. Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Hi Merissa.
    A strange event this week. My compost is not ready yet, so to prep my garden beds I bought six 2 cu. foot bags of Vermont Organics Raised Bed Recharge to mix with my soil. Stored it on the side of my house and a few days later, when I went to use it, it was gone. My son just reminded me that we set up cameras on that side of the house when we had animals getting into our fairly secure trash bins so I’m going to see if we have any video of what happened to it. On the bright side, I used my new machete to do battle with a huge clump of invasive thorn bushes and I won :).
    You mentioned simple throw together meals: I threw together a perfect chicken parmesan meal for my husband in ten minutes using leftovers. Starting from scratch, it’s time consuming. However, with fried chicken cutlets, homemade tomato sauce, and a hunk of mozzarella staring at me from the fridge, I just layered it and popped it in the oven for 10 minutes. Paired it with some leftover escarole and white beans for a side and it was perfect. I had just escarole and beans with some chicken and grated cheese. White beans and greens are heavenly.
    This week I am finally getting my jalapenos in; my seeds never germinated so I ordered some starts. I am also going lay cardboard boxes in my beds for weed suppression. I learned the technique last year helping at a food bank’s organic garden and it worked very well.
    Peace to all!

  12. I also got some weeding done this week. I planted my tomatoes, a few strawberries and some flowers. We added 2 more raised beds and I have some grow bags I need to get soil for still. I’m hoping to get everything planted this coming week.
    As far as meals go I kept things simple also. I made some ham steak, roasted potatoes and green beans, BBQ pork meatballs with rice and roasted broccoli, leftovers one night and I can’t remember what else. I’m trying to be diligent in using things up and pulling meat from the freezer to make dinners easier! I’m looking forward to read your new posts.

  13. I had a very quiet week. I wasn’t feeling well and spent a good deal of time on my bed. I did a bit of housecleaning/decluttering, but not much else. Next week will be better as I can inject the needed medication on Monday — it isn’t holding me 3 weeks any more, only about 2 weeks so the 3rd week is kind of a “down week”. However, to get 2 weeks out of 3 to feel well and accomplish things is good! I want to start a herb garden but it has to be indoors as I live in an apartment. I have grown herbs indoors in the past so will do that again. I love fresh herbs for cooking — and they are easy to freeze dry for use during the winter. Hopefully I can get that done next week. I also want to get some sewing done next week. So much to do, so little time 🙂 The sad song of everyone at this time of the year! Thanks for the idea of french toast — I haven’t made that for a long time and its a great lunch brunch or supper meal 🙂

  14. Hi Merissa, We have so many projects waiting to be done….we’re just not nearly as productive as you! My hubby ends up having to do most of the physical part of doing these projects due to health issues on my part so I hate to push too much since he’s the one who has to do it all. We have started revamping our flower beds (hostas mostly) in front of the house but it’s stalled out right now. I need to fertilize my blueberries and raspberries. We did manage to fertilize the rhubarb earlier this spring and now for the first time since we planted it about 3 or 4 years ago, it’s coming with some nice thick usable stalks. We also need to set up our rain barrel. Last year we didn’t get any rainwater as the down spout that was plugged got cleaned out and since then, the water does out where it’s supposed to instead of out the back where we were collecting the rainwater. We need to relocate and cut into the downspout so it can go directly in the barrel. I’m only planning to plant acorn squash and peppers in containers this year. Last year I tried a variety of things but I don’t feel the return was worth the $$$ or the time and effort we put in. Anyway, we need to recharge our dirt from last years containers and get planting very soon.
    Keep up the good work! I keep trying. You are an inspiration to us all.

  15. You’re an inspiration, Merissa. I don’t know where you get the energy and motivation to do all that you do. Thank you for sharing your life and many useful ideas.
    I’ve been retired for almost 2 years and my main hobby is herbs, flowers and gardening vegetables.

  16. Loved the picture of your banty and the chicks. Banty hens are great mothers, as they were used at raising ducks and geese also. My Mother would put 3 or 4 duck eggs and/or 2 goose eggs under a banty and she would hatch them for us. Then when the ducks would go to the little kids pool for a swim, momma banty would have a clucking fit because her babies were in the water and she could not be with them.
    I enjoy your Friday blogs, and other tips and tricks you offer. I also had rhubarb crisp a week ago for Sunday lunch, oh how good! This next week will be planting garden. I buy some plants from local Amish greenhouses, as the plants are so cheap (4 pack for $1.80) and beautiful, healthy plants. Cauliflower and broccoli will not be planted until July 1st, as an Amish man told me if I wait till then to plant I will not have to deal with worms, and he was right. I live in Southwest Wisconsin on the Wisconsin River.

  17. Hello, this is my first time reading your blog, and I loved it! Sounds like the life I am trying to transition into 🙂 I know it can sound fun, but is really so much work!! Thank you for your frugal tips and inspiration. This Friday night, yesterday, I really didn’t feel like cooking and wanted to buy a ready made meal or go out. BUT, I knew we had lots of food in the refrigerator to use up so I rallied and used some chicken and vegetables we had to make a chicken cobbler ( homemade biscuit to which I’ve never done but turned out great), and then felt inspired to do a dessert to make it special. Found some apples in the garage refrigerator from fall (!yikes! I guess I never got around to making applesauce) that were still good and picked some rhubarb from the garden to make a quick crisp. Our special dinner tasted great and we couldn’t have gotten anything close to the quality of what I made anywhere in town, plus it cost us nothing extra, and we had enough to share with my father in law when he stopped by. Win win win situation! Can’t wait to read about what else your family has been up to, and use some ideas. Many thanks from West MI!

  18. We’ve been weeding the garden most of this week, in the UK (as with most places), you get a little bit of rain and everything goes into overdrive! We’ve mostly been getting rid of briars that have sprung up everywhere. Also eaten chicken, with a few meals from 1 bird! It’s surprising what you do with a small amount of meat.

  19. It’s kinda hard for me to do stuff out in the yard I have a broken hip I hate not being able to do things outside

  20. Our week started off by going fishing (we’ve been incorporating fresh caught fish into some of our weekly meals to try to save money on meat at the store), and while we didn’t get perch like we’d hoped, we ended up with two lovely bass that got breaded and pan fried. We ate them alongside garlic, leeks, and herbs from our garden.

    I spent much of the week listing items for sale on my resale platforms (I’m an online reseller) and trading books on and helping the hubby ready the garden for spring/summer planting.

    I also did a grocery stock up trip to get some dry goods and fresh produce. I’m trying to keep our budget down to $75 weekly (family of four) and it is quite a challenge at times. Luckily I’ve been able to use up things like stale bread by making homemade croutons, turned a forgotten muffin mix into delicious blueberry biscuits, etc. Every last bit helps this frugal lifestyle.

  21. I so enjoy your blog weekly! Lately, I’ve been a bit late checking emails…..always too much to do and I am so behind on work. Will focus this week on cleaning my house (spring, well summer cleaning for Louisiana). This week my meals will be leftovers or remakes! We spent the weekend in Broken Bow Oklahoma with friends, and we each brought a meal for dinnertime. So I have plenty of leftovers. I was also blessed with home grown cucumbers! So very good! I am so thankful we have friends that garden and share their bounty! One day I will have the same. My garden at this time is large container gardening. I do what I can! Thanks Merissa!