Frugal Friday Week #21

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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.

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Little House Living celebrated 14 years this week!

Frugal Friday Week 21

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!

I just had our first real garden harvest before the storm. I picked these things on Tuesday morning.

Meals We Ate

I didn’t keep track of much of our food from this week but here’s what I remember!

Yogurt and Granola, Pancakes, Sausage and Eggs, Egg Sandwiches, Doughnuts, Banana Muffins, Chef Salads, Chicken Meatballs, Sausage and Sweet Potato Fries, Marinated Flank Steak and Green Beans, and Egg and Sausage Sandwiches.

Shopping I Did

The only shopping we did was to pick up a few things for camping, although we mostly used what we had at home for food. We also paid to visit the 1880 Town in central South Dakota, which despite having lived here my whole life, I’d never been to! It wasn’t the coolest place we’ve ever been but it was a nice place to walk around in the middle of a road trip.

Some of the hail that was still left in the morning when I got up. This used to be squash plants.

Outside Projects We Worked On

This week was a sad week on our homestead. We had a huge hail storm on Tuesday night without any warning. It all happened within a span of about 15 minutes, and the only time I had to do anything (at 1am) was the 2 minutes I used to close the windows to the house, which we leave open at night.

Wednesday morning was spent picking up the pieces and figuring out what to do next. I’ve exhausted my budget for seeds and plants this year so I dug through my older garden seeds and replanted everything that I thought still has a chance to make it in the time we have this summer. The tomatoes and peppers were mostly protected by the greenhouse as was one row of cabbage.

Everything else will be a waiting game to see what survives and what isn’t going to make it. In about a week, we should know better what the garden situation looks like.

Hail Ground
This is where the hail hit the ground. You can see how hard it was coming down and it dented the earth.

Inside Projects We Worked On

Sunday and Monday we took a road trip/camping trip to visit friends and get away from things for a short amount of time. It wasn’t really an inside project but we did take our camper that we’ve been working on. The new triple bunk system worked well.

I also rearranged the house this week and moved the living room into the dining room space and the dining room into the living room space. Now we have a cozier living room and I’ll have more space this summer for canning projects (if I get to do them!).

Raspberry Bars from the side showing layers.

Blog Posts I Wrote

  • No Cook Meal Ideas – This post has lots of ideas on how to make meals this summer without turning on the oven.
  • 10 Uses for Cilantro – I updated this post as my cilantro in my hydroponics system is finally ready. Lots of meal ideas here on how to use it up!
  • 12 Uses for Mint – I also updated this blog post because herbs are in full swing right now!
  • Homemade Catalina Dressing – This is a yummy recipe to make right now for all of the in-season lettuce. It also make a great taco salad.
  • Gluten Free Raspberry Bars – Brand new recipe on the blog this week. This is a very simple dessert that’s easy to customize.
What will now be the last of my rhubarb for the season. I only put up 2 gallons before it was hailed out.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

I’m not sure what next week looks like just yet. If the garden pops back up, there will be weeding and back to business as usual. If it doesn’t, we aren’t sure yet. I’m thinking I will plant some of the items that I’m still able to plant in one of the greenhouses. It’s a waiting game right now.

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. I enjoy reading about all you accomplish. We had the 3 little great grandkids for a day, that was very exciting! We had two doctors appointments and one small grocery shop. Hubby worked on a chair caning commission and I made a stained glass panel. We tried out a rain plan for our craft shows. There is one scheduled for tomorrow that we have paid for but will not attend because of weather. Not a frugal decision but a smart one. Not complaining , the garden needs the rain! I baked nine loaves of banana bread from marked down bananas and stocked the freezer. We were given lots of cherries and made two cobblers, freezing one. Today I’m scheduling 18 FB posts to promote the craft show I co-manage . Busy week!!

  2. So sorry to hear about the hailstorm damage. I hope all or most of your garden plants pull through!

  3. Gardening is always subject to weather. We have been battling squash bugs and Japanese beetles. Have lots of putting up to do thus weekend.

  4. We also had a garden changing hail storm last Tuesday here in Oklahoma. We lost the green beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, and some of our squash. Also laid our corn down. Corn made a comeback only to be blown over again with a strong storm on Saturday night.
    I have been able to salvage a few of our peaches and canned them as pie filling. Also made 14 jars of mixed fruit jelly this week and canned 7 jars of soup mix (mixed veggies).
    We are getting lots of cucumbers, potatoes, and a few squash.

  5. Hi Merissa:
    I’m so sorry to read about the hailstorm damaging your garden. It is a sad event and very frustrating for those of us who garden. Here in Calgary Alberta hailstorms are a frequent summer event. We are part of what is known as “hail alley” in Western Canada. Not a very nice moniker. I usually get some hail damage so I understand your feelings. You put in a heck of a lot of work to get that really big and very nice garden set up going. And yes, it is a wait and see to figure out what will survive. When I’ve been hit, I spend time going through my plants, trimming off broken leaves, branches, vines etc. If the main plant is okay, I suggest leaving it to see if it will sprout new leaves, vines etc. I’ve had pretty broken up tomato and zucchinis surprise me. That being said, you may need to replant whatever possible despite it getting late in the season. One thing I learned from living in Calgary is to plant in more sheltered areas to minimize damage from hail. When you feel more like yourself after the shock wears off, I suggest studying the direction the storm came from and figure out if that is a main storm direction and maybe see if there is a way to reconfigure the garden locations for next year or find ways to set up wind breaks with trees, fencing, more greenhouse cover or whatever. It will be worth the extra work if you figure out something feasible. Hopefully, this storm is a rarity for you and the rest of the summer will be okay. (((HUGS)))

  6. Merissa’
    I am so sorry for what you lost in your garden
    Hope it will turn out okay for you
    I did keep track of what I did for the week
    Have a good one and really enjoy all your posts and the comments

  7. I have spent the last few weeks on several projects that I was able to wrap up this week! My daughter graduated from college and won’t be coming back home to live, so her room was packed up and furniture upgraded to make it a nice guest room. The friends of my teenage son that were renting my small guest room moved out, so that room got an overhaul, which meant moving and switching dressers and mirrors and chests to and from the large guest room to more evenly space stuff out. With my 18-year-old living in our 40’ 5th wheel in the backyard, I am down to only my 15-year-old in the house … leaving me with 3 guest rooms! It’s a little overkill, but I won’t complain about all the open space! We also ordered, assembled, and installed a large hutch in the dining room, and replaced the 8 person dining table with the poker table from the game room. The dining / kitchen space looks so sophisticated and sleek now! And with only 4 chairs, there is so much more room to move!

    A local Mercado in my closest town offers discounted packages of almost-expired, nearly bad fruits, veggies, and dry goods. For one price, you have to take all that is on the list. Ok! Whenever I go, it fills my entire 4Runner with only room for myself and one teenage helper. So I spent 2 days sorting through the good and the bad. My house backs up to a flood wash that is used as a “highway” by the local wildlife, so we throw all past-prime fruits and veggies out there. Some will hopefully take root! Most get gobbled by javelina. At least it keeps them out of my garage! And if I put that food into my trash, they would take it from there instead, causing havoc in their wake, and compost piles call the critters, too. So this week, I washed, sliced, and froze 2 crates of gorgeous mushrooms, sorted and froze a case of mangos, 4 malia melons, and 2 cases of blueberries. Most of the blueberries were moldy, but enough were still good to make it worth all the work. I now have 10 pounds of just-past-the-expiration-date oatmeal, a case of spicy popcorn, a box of Mexican chips, 6 loaves of bread + various bagels, muffins, and buns to use up quickly, some energy drinks and 2 2liters of soda, a case of avocado (most went to the critters), a ton of garlic, 2 whole pineapples, 4 bottles of syrup, 10 pounds of frozen fryer chicken pieces, 5 frozen burger patties, 2 packages of Mexican donuts, and a whole case of perfect key limes to figure out what to do with. All for $40. I am very thankful that I have an extra refrigerator and a standing freezer in my garage! All of this food will help stretch my super-tight budget and keep several teenagers struggling to live on their own fed. And I hit the food bank tomorrow for a drive-thru haul so I can share even more with the teens too embarrassed to go on their own.

    I love reading your posts. I am sorry about the hail damage! I hope some of the stronger plants survive.

  8. I’m so sad to hear about your garden loss through the Tuesday night hail storm. I’m praying that no matter what the outcome, if the crop is lost or not, you and your family are mightily blessed in unexpected ways. I’m grateful that you realize God is good.
    I’m newly re-retired and feeling incredibly blessed to again have time! I need to sew four items, two boys shirts and two girls dresses, in about two weeks. These will be gifts for our grandkids in Australia, who we’re visiting in a month (for 6-weeks). One set of clothing is for birthdays and the other to be left as Xmas gifts.
    Monday, my husband and I drove back from a So. Cal. trip (we’re in Northern California) seeing family. Tuesday and Wednesday were a dentist and doctor appointment respectively. Thursday was finishing monthly letters (started on Wednesday) that go to ten ladies at a local convalescent home (I deliver to the director), and three that go to a couple of my old youth girls, and a niece (mailed). Today, I’ll drop off the ten letters and I’ll cut out some of the clothes I need to sew.
    Meal highlights: for a dinner a chicken Caesar salad with homemade anchovy dressing (yum), and lunches Homemade Vietnamese rice wrap rolls (I’ve got IBS gut issues and these work great).
    Thank you, Melissa, for the years of encouragement and enjoyment you’ve given me since I discovered you through your book, Little House Living, (a gift from one of my two daughters, years ago). God bless you guys!

  9. I really like this format! And I like to see what you ate in one section. I feel uninspired and unmotivated sometimes when planning meals and like to know what other people are eating! I am afraid our garden won’t ever pop up. We have had an abnormal amount of rain and humidity with completely overcast days for a month! This is HIGHLY unusual in Casper, WY. I have replanted a few times and either we will have next to nothing or I will have three times the amount of plants we need coming up late!

  10. Real life is when your husband goes out of town for a week and the battery on your car dies! My neighbors came to help and we discovered an old battery with corrosion, so it would not take a charge. Thankfully, I still have my husband’s truck to drive and he will get a new battery when he gets home. I also got a call from a friend who is house sitting for some owners that have moved and are trying to sell their property. They have chickens and my friend saw that one of the chickens was broody and sitting on a bunch of eggs. She asked me to come over check it out since she knows nothing about raising chickens. One of the eggs was in the process of hatching and the rest had cracks. I had just gotten an incubator for my quail, so I got the new chick and eggs home. I quickly got the eggs in the incubator and put the new chick in the brooder pen. Woke up the next morning to 5 chicks in the incubator. This was all on the first 2 days he was gone. Now I have to scramble and build a grow out pen for the chicks. Who knows how the rest of the week will go!

  11. I’m sorry your garden got hit by hail. That is always so sad after spending so much time and money to plant. I hope some of it will be ok.

  12. So sorry to hear about the hail. Here it is still warm and dry, but our clay soil prefers that. We bought 2 jersey mix for raising for meat. Our other 2 jersey mix were unhappy. I fed them watermelon rinds and petted them to soothe them They love tChriso beller for attention.
    I baked 59 cent per pound chicken. Husband got several bags of 10 lb chicken at different locations.
    Weeded entire gardens but few weeds…..just dill that grows. Take care!

  13. I am so sorry about the hail and your plants. All that work gone. I love your gluten free recipes. On occasion I eat “real” bread but the itchy scratchy skin afterwards is just not worth it. Chin up and hopefully the coming week will be MUCH better.

  14. Mother Nature really can do some damage. I know it is hard to rally back but try to stay positive!!! What a pick me up for you with the swapping of dining/living areas. And for the amount of canning that you do, it will really help maximize your space. I mentioned previously that we purchase most of our produce from the Amish. So we made two trips the past two weeks collecting fresh produce. I’m sewing baby items using my baby material stash for charity. We started lavender plants this past week. We experimented with our inside “lettuce grow” tower and planted cukes a few weeks ago and they are starting to produce which we didn’t think it would work!! Saw an idea for natural mosquito repellant. Create a plantar with lavender, rosemary and tall marigolds for your patio. Going to try this out. The marinated flank steak really made me hungry!! Everything will work out 🙂

  15. Hi Everyone, Sorry about your hail Merissa we have been getting pounded with rain. I started some seeds but most are hit and miss and my pumpkin plant buds are getting eaten, so I’m not sure about growing plants this year as we have been having some hard times and money will be needed elsewhere. I did get a good deal on bread cheaper than I could make it so I froze most of it. We have been utilizing our pantry/freezer for months and it is getting low I am glad we have it though and hope things turn around soon. Happy weekend everyone and many blessings to all.

    1. HI Gina:
      What zone are you in? DO you have room for root crops? I have always stocked my pantry with carrots, radishes and beets. You should still have time to start a late summer-fall crop. I have seeds to share!

  16. Merissa, I tried doing Frugal Friday posts for about 5 years on a frugal bulletin board and never got very far. Most times, there were no comments. So often, most of what we do is the usual frugal stuff and we think no one else will be interested. I don’t know about you, but I always learn something!

    I’ll admit, most of my week was just the same old, same old. The only things that seem worth mentioning were that we got a little rain one day and I turned off my watering system the next! I have been able to do this 4 times in the last month.

    Also, I get GCs from my insurance company for completing wellness activities. I always use them for gifts. Sometimes I give the card to someone, sometimes I use them to buy a gift. A few weeks ago I received a $20 card for Ace Hardware for having a bone scan. I gave it to my son for one of his birthday gifts. Last weekend, I received a $50 card for Macy’s for having a physical exam. I will use it for my daughter’s birthday in September or save for Christmas.

    The Buttercrunch lettuce is starting to look like it is going to head up, but we are already eating the outer leaves. I can start harvesting the Swiss chard by cutting leaves and leaving the roots in the ground. The bush beans and butternut squash are going great guns but harvest is a long way off…especially the squash. The zucchini didn’t bother to come up. Good idea to plant your leftover seeds. I’m sorry you had to do this!

    Frugal fail: I accidentally ran my husband’s cell phone through the washing machine. I can’t even try to dry it out because it’s all busted up. We use cheap prepaid phones so we don’t insure them, so this one’s on us.

  17. Merissa,
    So sorry about your garden. That is always frustrating. I live in Alaska. Can be great growing or not. Right now we are having a lot of cool rainy weather. Sometimes it makes the garden hit or miss. we still like having a garden. Have a great week. Vickie

  18. My husband and I live in a small town in Minnesota. We have a garden plot in the community garden and another small bed in our yard. This week we had to water a lot due to lack of rain and high temperatures. We are fighting “varmits” in the garden in the yard. My husband built 2 Adirondack type chairs for our front porch. We still need to stain them soon. We have had lettuce, spinach and kohlrabi from the garden.

  19. Our garden was almost destroyed by lack of rain. It then proceeded to rain non stop. ( Feast or famine around here). I’m keeping 4 grandkids and an extra little boy who’s dad had no daycare for him for the summer. He’s a difficult child and has almost exhausted my patience! My husband and I have started a diet 🥺, so we’ve been eating mostly home made vegetable soups and fresh vegetables from the garden. I really hope your garden revives and you have a bumper crop! We are going to buy cases of tomatoes tomorrow so my Sunday will be spent canning!

  20. Merissa, it is so heartbreaking about your garden. Praying that it springs back better than before. Just a thought: maybe someone you know has excess seedlings or small plants they need to thin out that they can share?
    I went out yesterday morning and found my whole crop of robust spinach plants infested with leaf miners. I admit I cried; then I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, removed the affected leaves, and treated them with some organic stuff. I don’t have much hope. I know that at least I’ll be harvesting enough garlic for a year within the next two weeks. Tomatoes, squash, melons: it remains to be seen. I grow mostly by seed, but this year I splurged on pepper plants from a well-known company and they are all yellow and stunted. The ones I got from Home Depot are looking decent.
    We are an eat-together-every-night family, but this week my husband had three dinners out this week for work, two were continuing education and one was a memorial for his mentor. My daughter is on her own, so my son and I practiced what we call bottom-feeding: eating whatever was in the fridge. Two of those nights I had burritos made from tortillas, canned refried beans, chopped peppers and onions, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and a little hot sauce. They took all of two minutes to make and were fantastic!
    I’m looking forward to starting a bible study this week with my pastor on call for assistance. In our crowded suburban area there are multitudes of churches. Last year we joined a local one that’s been around since the late 1800’s: Half Hollow Community Church. We are in the original church building and it looks like it’s right out of an old-fashioned story, a little white church with its steeple holding the original bell that we take turns ringing come 10 a.m. Sundays. If we have twenty people at services on a Sunday, it’s a lot! We are a mix of all types of people and we are family. That family will lift YOUR family and garden up in prayer this Sunday.

  21. As I’m in recovery from a Depressive Episode, this week has been resetting to baseline. I’m 90% of the way there. Looking forward to moving forward on deep cleaning and creative outlets.

    1. I just wanted to let you know I saw your post. I hope the weight has lifted and you’re feeling better. Hugs.

  22. I’m so sorry about your garden, Merissa! I bet there’s folks around you and some of your readers who would pitch in to help you get some seedlings. You are probably at the tail end of the garden shops for the year as it’s getting later in the season. I’m in Iowa but have seeds I’d share!

    My garden is so much smaller than usual as I had my right knee replaced in March and just wasn’t able to start seeds or get things planted like usual. And what I did start and put in the garden got eaten by rabbits. We purchased 4 tomato plants after that, but didn’t want to buy more than that. Plus they aren’t my heirloom favorites. I’m working on a medicinal herb garden too, so focusing more on that this year.
    Hang in there! Thanks for sharing your week!

  23. so sorry to read about the hail and the damage it did. We have been having either hot, muggy days or days of rain. It is still better than the awful wildfires that have been happening in the north of my province( I live in Canada). I hope this week is better for you. oh , and i plan on making the gluten free raspberry bars this week.

  24. Good morning Merissa sorry i havent written in a bit been busy with a lot, started replacing the fence around my garden last fall and have been working on it when i have the money ,its about done now. Got my garden in FINALLY the 17th of june and now things are coming up. Hoping to start mt month +haying season this week. This weekend im hosting our 4th of July family party so this week its lawn mowing, weed wacking, food planning,game set up for me and hopefully start haying week!!!!! Will let you know how it goes ! Have a blessed weekand a fun week!

  25. Hi Merissa.
    I tried to leave a comment this weekend, but I guess it didn’t go through. Just wanted to encourage you to hang in there and that all of us at my small church prayed for you, your family and your hail-stricken garden. Hag in there!

  26. I am sorry I am late in posting! Sorry to hear about damage to your garden. It is always so discouraging to see this happen. My week was still a bit of organization. I now have a second freezer that doesn’t appear to be freezing well. And I have no other option but to purchase another one. Time to downsize and eat what is in the freezer! Last week we enjoyed spending time with friends celebrating a birthday! Lots of great food–Jambalaya, crawfish dip, mexican cornbread, cheesecakes for dessert! Enjoyed our time! Father’s day was quiet and hubby got a nice meal after church services Sunday. Our weather has been extremely hot and humid, so my projects are inside work! Organizing, downsizing. My time outside is just keeping my plants watered so they can survive! This week is still the same with 100 plus temps and heat indexes in the 115 range (Louisiana). No oven cooking for me! Working on piecing a quilt so scrap busting is in the works as well!

  27. Hugs for your garden. I have had similar events happen several times in the past few years. Consider getting root crops in and re-start your brassicas for the fall. 1 year I only had root crops survive a hail storm, but I was able to trade root crops with those that had an over abundance of tomatoes, peppers, squash etc. One side of our town was hit with the storm and the other side was left untouched. Your giving spirit in the past will be blessed this year by others sharing with you. God bless!