Frugal Friday Week #25

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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.

Peach Trees
My peaches are almost ready! Most of our blossoms froze off this spring but we still got a few.

Frugal Friday Week 25

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!


Yes, I have not published Frugal Friday in a while. We’ve been busy making big life choices on whether or not to move, what to sell, etc. I published a podcast on this to update and ended up with a bunch of unsubscribers :(. I plan to do a follow-up soon! Just know that right now, nothing has changed for us. 🙂

Black Strawberry Tomatoes that I’ve been growing. They are so prolific!

Meals We Ate

I’m sure that many of you can relate, but it’s been HOT this week. We’ve hardly had any heat all summer, so these are the first days we’ve had 90-degree temps. Watermelon and fresh veggies have become my meals of choice lately. There were some real meat meals in there, but the heat has fried my brain and I don’t remember them.

No, it’s not a fancy meal plan, but there will be time for all that later. For now, I’m sticking to my Forestburg Melons. (South Dakotans, you know exactly what I mean!)

For our “campfire fellowship night” we are having organic hot dogs with all the fixings (we do this every other week with many other families!) and I think I might even feel motivated enough to make bars or brownies. We shall see. 😉

Taking a break from the heat to draw a picture inside. Accompanied by the cat who think’s he’s a people. 🙂

Shopping We Did

It’s been well over a month since I’ve done shopping, especially grocery shopping. We’ve been working on eating what we have and trying to eat up things in the freezer since we took our pigs up to the meat locker last week.

This past week I shopped at Costco, Aldi, a sale at Vitacost, and a few other small places to stock up on some pantry and fridge essentials. (None of the stores are in my local area, the kids and I took a mini trip and got our shopping done as well!)

One thing that I’m working on having more of is some healthy snacks for the kids. With the sale at Vitacost I stocked up on some things they can have like gluten-free pretzels but I also bought lots of fruit that is always an easy, healthy grab-n-go snack for them.

School Books
I’m trying to get my mind organized around school for this year. I think I have everything so we probably just need to get started!

Projects We Worked On

We’ve been working hard on actually finishing up our house. I’m proud to say that after 3 years, I finally have doors on my closet in my bedroom!

We also added the trim that was missing, had to replace 2 windows because of hail damage, and we painted the kids’ room so that we can reimagine them.

We began work on our new camper (our other one was totaled out by hail this summer). I tore out all the window coverings and a bunch of unnecessary bulky cabinets. Next is the old carpet!

Needless to say, we’ve been very busy working on projects. None of them major, but all need to be done.

As for my garden….after the 3rd major hail storm, I left it be. No more watering or weeding, I just left it alone. To my surprise, much of it came back and is producing! Not everything will get a chance to produce before our first frost but for now, we are thankful for all the green beans, tomatoes, peppers, and occasional zucchini that comes up.

Propped Open Mini Greenhouse

Blog Posts I Wrote

One thing I have been working hard on is new and updated content here on Little House Living!

Peppers I picked this week. They REALLY love my greenhouse. I used a bunch in salsa and am going to pickle the rest.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

It looks like it will be much cooler next week so I’m looking forward to doing a little more baking then. I also bought some tulip bulbs from Costco and want to get those planted for next 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 now on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.

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    1. Can’t wait to hear about all your new adventures! We too are considering a move within the next year and a half. My garden has been subpar this year. For the last 2 years I haven’t been able to coax a zucchini or squash to produce to save my life. I have beautiful plants and blooms, but then nothing. I have grown these my whole life and never had any problems until now. We have been doing a lot of outdoor repairs/updates this summer. Looking forward to cooler weather as the heat in Alabama has been unbearable.

      1. Vickie, we once had similar squash issues here in Ohio. My sister in California told me that they had to perform “vegetable husbandry” on their zucchini plants to get them to produce. So, we did and it worked like a charm. Now my husband does it every year. When your zucchini starts flowering, find the flowers that have a tiny zucchini started. If that particular one gets fertilized, then once the flower falls off, the zucchini will grow. If it does not get fertilized by the bees or by you, the flower will fall off and the tiny zucchini will shrivel up and die. To fertilize, you need to rub a Q-tip on the stamen of the flower(s) that do not have a tiny zucchini. Then transfer the stuff on the Q-tip to the flowers that have a tiny zucchini. It’s just that simple, and you will see your zucchini plant produce.

  1. Aww, sorry about the unsubscribers! I for one am very excited to hear about your coming adventures! That is what sets you apart from other bloggers, you moving around and changing things up. Keep up the great work.

  2. Glad to see FF back! It has been a very busy Summer here without much from the garden. 5 tomatoes all summer long. 3 green beans. 10 marigold flowers. We too have been looking to relocate and we found a place, put down earnest money and due to many things could not go in time to inspect after things were fixed and lost 12,000 dollars. Broker is refusing to give it back, so do be careful and read all the fine print about time limits and such. We still have much to fix on our current home and who knows maybe we will fall in love with the heat, then cold, then the heat and the forever blowing wind of the prairie and just stay put. For now, the wind and hail have damaged more than we can repair in a year at this rate. Time to go get branches out of the pool and start repairing the fence. Happy Fall!

  3. Thank you for sharing about your family’s life update on the podcast! I found it really encouraging to hear about your courageous step out into the unknown into what you feel God is calling your family to do. It was also encouraging for me to see that your family had not “arrived” since you have a home and homestead, but that you’re still on a journey that has twists and turns and changes in store. Even though you won’t be blogging about gardening and homesteading as much, I think it will be great to show how simple living can be done in a non traditional way, especially for those of us who don’t have a lot of land or a house of our own. Thanks for sharing!

  4. So glad to have Frugal Fridays again! No worries about me unsubscribing. I’m here to stay! We are in Louisiana, so the heat is record breaking! Since my husband works in our shop building with no a/c, by early afternoon we are closing shop and heading indoors. Heat is one thing that can kill an appetite as well. So small simple meals from the freezer is what we are having. I can finally say that I am making a dent in frozen foods! Labor Day activities may be quiet as heat will still be hovering around 100 for us. Homemade ice cream may be the only activity we do! It is too hot to even swim!!! Our meals are simple, salad, fruit, and little meat. Will be trying your body scrub as well!

  5. I’ve been starting brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kale, and collards) for the fall garden. I’ve also been prepping the garden. Husband had a stroke in February so the garden went to weeds. It’s slow going but cathartic. I get to go outside while he naps in the morning (taking the monitor in case) and work a couple hours getting sunshine and digging in the dirt. Next to start are bok choi, mustard and lettuce.

  6. I am excited to hear about your new adventure, and praying for you all. No unsubscribing here!
    We were traveling and camping for the last two weeks, so now I am glad to be home and to get back to being frugal. We returned to an overflowing garden, lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and especially zucchini. Time to make relish and probably some more loaves of zucchini bread 🙂

  7. We are in the Pacific NW and had a heat wave. Salads from the garden and sammies were our go to dinners and lunches. Planted my fall garden: cabbage, chard, broccoli, pea pods, romaine lettuce, zucchini and cucumbers. Picked blackberries to freeze, plums are coming on strong and tomatoes. Harvested the basil, made pesto and froze in ice cube trays to transfer to ziploc bags.
    Harvest and freeze corn next week.
    Bought dried beans, GF oats, sorghum and stored in gallon glass jars in the larder. Making apple cider vinegar, apple sauce, sliced apples for the freezer for fried apples this winter. Hosting a neighbor bbq and pressing apples for cider for entertainment.

  8. Hey Merissa, it’s been hot here in Dayton, too. This week we’ve eaten lots of fresh fruit, all kinds of salads, BLT’s, and hoagies. Although, I did saute some chipotle chicken breasts in a skillet on top of the stove last night, as we were craving something hot for dinner. We, too have been eating out of our garden…tomatoes, green beans, radishes, zucchini, peppers, and all the herbs. As you can imagine, with a garden comes the opportunity to preserve food for later. I have been doing that about once a week, too. Summer is almost over, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their bounty.

  9. So wonderful to have your updates again. Just do what is best for your family. Sorry about all the hail. Here it was a dry summer at first; now it is wet. I made beef jerky from our meat for son’s work lunch. Husband finds it for a reasonable price in stores too. We got Pennsylvania peaches through Mennonite store too. We froze some. Son likes fresh peaches; we may be able to can our first batch of spaghetti sauce soon. We made lots of crock pickles and canned many jars. Shared garden produce with many since we have acres of garden. Froze lots of corn with corn and milk by baking it first. Made round steak barley veggie soup with our own celery, onion, carrots, etc. Drying lots of basil. Reading Neil Plansky dog series. County fair is this week. My mom has been doling out school supplies for three weeks at food pantry. Son has OT at his job in food production each week. Have a great weekend!

  10. So sorry to hear you had so many unsubscribes too bad for them, their loss. We have not had hail to contend with but heat. I live in Texas and the heat has been so bad here. (Sometimes, for us it has gotten to 108. Some sorrounding areas have gotten a bit higher.)
    I have tried to grow a garden but the heat just wouldn’t let much come of it. I feel like this has just been a big test no matter where one lives to just keep on keeping on and to trust in God. I hope y’all have a great school year. Homeschooling is awesome! As far as the week I have been painting the bathroom in our house and trying to keep the veggies I do have on the porch alive. 😁

  11. I won’t be unsubscribing! I enjoy reading and using the ideas you share. I live in Texas and this summer has been one of temps between 102 and 110 every day for almost 3 months. We live in a major urban area but frugal living is important to us. We no longer have grass in our yard and nothing grows in our small garden these days. We are on water saving plan and only water on two days of the week, if at all. Also the Texas power grid is maxed right now and we have been asked not to use large appliances (oven, dryer, etc.) and turn off power using items (if safe) between 4 PM and 10 PM. This has only been for 2 days and we expect a bit of a cool down next week. So we stay inside, eat light meals and have major cabin fever! Looking forward to Fall.

  12. Hi Merissa! I’m not unsubscribing for sure. Will be praying for you and your family as you embark on your new path.
    Here on Long Island, we’ve only had one heat wave, but it’s been humid. Foraged and froze a gallon of wild raspberries and a quart of blackberries. I love nature’s freebees!
    Glad to hear about some of your garden bouncing back. The garden I had despaired of early in the season is thriving. I pickled 2 jars of early jalapenos this week; one more week and we’ll start harvesting for real. Roma tomatoes are the bumper crop this year and I am looking forward to canning them. Have been feasting on spinach, beet and radish greens, and lamb’s quarters.
    Traveling with my husband tomorrow to San Sebastian, Spain tomorrow for a week. I would appreciate prayers because while I am not an anxious person, I get terrible anxiety before travel. Of cousre I take it to the Lord in prayer, but it’s always nice to know others are praying for me!
    Thanks for all you do for your online community.

    1. Be careful eating so many beet greens, spinach and Lamb’s Quarter. They contain high amounts of Oxalates! They give me all kinds of negative side effects so I can’t eat them.

  13. It has been very hot here. We do not have a garden and must rely on the grocery for all of the fresh fruits and vegetables. At the price of dried beans per can I think that I would can some if I had a canner. This week we ate taco salad and Catalina dressing from you recipes, skillet meatloaf with pan gravy,BLT’s and salad. My project has been to clean out the closet in the sewing room and take machine to be serviced. Thank you for sharing.

  14. So so sorry you had peeps unsubscribe:(

    I’m here for the adventure. It’s hard for me to imagine leaving what you have but if God is telling you to leave then you need to follow where he leads.

    I enjoy reading about your weeks. Wish I could add exciting things here but I felt under the weather all week with bad allergies and can’t remember a thing I made beside corn on the cob and cinnamon crumb cake.

  15. Sorry you said you had a lot of people unsubscribe! I am excited to continue to hear about your big life changes. It’s encouraging to hear about Christians trusting God in a big way and following the Lord’s leadings.🙏💕

  16. I’ve had a couple major health problems the last few years and I lost my husband suddenly. It has all left me exhausted all the time. So I’ve been working on getting my grove back. Each accomplishment is a celebration.

    1. Life can surely knock us down. Walking through trials and pain each day IS an accomplishment. Sending love and prayers.

  17. This week, I walked to the corner store. First time walking there. I’ve lived here almost 7 years. A bit painful but I did it! Long story, long illnesses.

    Best wishes.

  18. I worked on getting documents to our banker for a redo of our Home equity loan. It’s so stressful but it will be worth it.
    I never made it to the gym or my sewing room.
    We are picking lots of cucumbers and I’ll make refrigerator pickled this weekend.
    Went fir a dr. Appt today. Just a checkup. They did not call me back so I asked ang they said they had called me, I didn’t answer and so the dr left. So no appt today.

  19. Our week plan focused on recharging our personal batteries; this year has been trying in a couple ways.
    We rustic camped in a small out of the way very vacant campground. Quiet and peaceful everyday with deep forest to hug us. Our meals- I make meals ahead and freeze them all year long; thus camping meals, quick meals on hectic days are available any time. As our last evening is upon us the goal is met. Bring it on, we are ready. Thank you for your posts.

  20. Glad to see FF back. This week with the heat has been a hot one this week temps from 102-112in Mississippi. Trying to mow our main yard 2 acres. Working on canning blueberries I picked in June and canning spaghetti sauce for pantry. Our garden fried so trying to get some veg of eom Amish but it has been so hot and dry they have little harvest. Waiting on pears to pick and can. Getting ready to can meats for the winter pantry. Bring on the cool so I can hopefully get a small fall garden. Looking forward to many more FF and your journey and life updates. We all need encouragement and guidance. Bless you for all you do. God Bless.

  21. This week there’s a lull between canning beans and when the corn will be ripe for me to start canning them. So I’ve been dehydrating some sage and parsley, and something new for me – – right now I’m dehydrating carmelized onions. Can hardly wait to try them when their done!

  22. I really enjoy your “Frugal Friday” posts – I always look forward to reading them.

    We’ve been enjoying “Salad Bar Suppers”. I chop a variety of lettuces and fresh veggies from the garden. I add bowls of “extras” – chopped chicken or ham, summer sausages, cheeses, nuts, fruits, and (of course) croutons. Everyone enjoys making their own salad bowl, topped with their favorite dressing. It’s a cool, refreshing meal at the end of a hot day!

  23. We just got back from 2 months on the road to Alaska. Where we canned 5 cases of salmon. Got back just in time to buy 12 dozen ears of corn, 50 lb russet, 50 lb yellow potatoes, 50 lb white onions. Was given some cucumbers so I canned 5 pints bread and butter pickles and 14 pints of cowboy candy from the jalapeños from our garden. I’ve been freezing the tomatoes from the garden and I will process those after things calm down plus the temperature drop will be better. I’ve been trying to find recipes for new things to bacon onion jam. A nephew made some in Alaska and we had it on burgers.. it was so good!
    Overall, its been a pretty busy month! Aren’t you glad you asked? Lol
    Debi Brothers

  24. So glad to see frugal fridays back again!! Been a busy August,went to the minnesota state fair yesterday with my daughter (8-25-23) was a fun day with alot of walkingtried a new food ,flowering onion and it was so good! Watched the 4-H beef show and came back later to watch the picking of the grand and reserve champion beef animals and after they were selected the judge spoke a few words to the kids and he presented gods word to them to keep HIM first and formost in their lives and how they need to remember HIM . What a blessing that was to hear him speak and the applause the judge recieved after his words.
    My garden is just starting to come in picked a basketfull of peas last saturday got them blanched and froze then pick almost another basketful this am. The beans are next.

  25. We did well with Hillary hitting Southern California desert. Lots of rain late Friday night and early Saturday morning with an awesome lightning storm. Cleaning up the backyard where the water rush thru and driveway.
    The Black Strawberry Tomatoes look delicious. Not much in the food department.

  26. I canned 30 pints of salsa and made wild elderberry jelly. I have many more tomato things to make and process like soup, juice and pasta sauce.

  27. You have been busy! WHEW
    My garden didn’t turn out all that great this year as we didn’t properly fertilize; hard lesson learned. I have been extending my knowledge with canning, dehydrating, and fermenting the crops that I did manage to grow. I’ve been surprised on how many things I can dehydrate, although it’s harder when you live off grid and need to manage your energy expenditure. I have been using the sun as often as I can. I live in Oregon and have an abundance of black berries this month. I’ve been preserving and baking everything black berry and to be honest after this morning of putting up blackberry jam (the rest of my picking loot), I don’t want to see a bucket of black berries for awhile.

    Happy last day of August,