Frugal Friday Week #27

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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.

Peaches picked from our trees this week. They were a tasty treat!

Frugal Friday Week #27

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!

White Bean Soup
White Bean Soup

Meal Highlights

I mentioned last week that I was going to make a White Bean Soup. It. Was. SO. Good! Luckily I made a huge batch and we ate on it for a few days. I will make it again so that I can make sure I can replicate the recipe and get it posted on the blog sometime. So yummy and so frugal!

I also made a big batch of black beans for tacos and we ate that for a few days as well.

If you can’t already tell…we are eating less meat (to stay more frugal) right now and I’m also making bigger batches to eat longer. This is working well for us right now with our schedule.

We also had one night where we picked up pizza because we were out later than I expected so I didn’t pack food. It was a nice little treat the kids enjoyed!

The current state of the camper. It’s going to be amazing…just a lot of work to get there!

Shopping We Did

We finally made it to town and got paint and some wall-fixing supplies for our RV. I will probably start painting this next week, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

We have one wall we have to add (took out an unnecessary indoor door) and some dry rot in an interior wall. (Did I mention the camper was cheap?) Everything else in the camper has been gutted (bathroom sinks, carpet, kitchen, etc). We are so excited to make this the perfect tiny home for us and I can’t wait to show it to you!

I made a quick stop at Target while in town this week as well and picked up a few things I wanted for food for the coming week (yogurt, celery, eggs, etc). We are still trying to mostly eat from the pantry and freezer.

How We Lived Frugal This Week

We stayed mostly at home to work on the camper so simply by not going many places we stayed pretty frugal.

We are also having a yard sale this weekend so hopefully, that will bring us in a little more spendable cash to continue to get the things we need for the camper. We are going to try and keep track of the total that it cost us to buy and re-do.

Tomato Juice

Blog Posts I Wrote

I’ve been working super hard on updating blog posts and putting out new ones so this *should* always be a big list from now on. In case you missed something this week, check it out.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

I’m not sure what the next week will bring for us. Our house will finally be on the market, so we are praying for a quick(er) sale to the right family. We will probably continue to stay home and work on small projects here. We are back to school now as well so we have that to do too!

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. I finished up a bag of potatoes by making cheddar cheese potato soup. We ate a lot of leftovers this week. I made dog food for my chihuahua. I live in a mountain community with two outdoor pools and one indoor pool. The outdoor pools generally close around Labor Day. The community club reopened my favorite outdoor pool during the heat this week. We pay a fee for a club membership, and so I used the pool twice so far this week. I always try to get the most out of our annual membership. I am currently drying corn silks because I want to try corn silk tea. I have been running my dehydrator a lot over the past two weeks as I dehydrate lots of fruits and veggies.

  2. Hi! Just a quick message to tell you that I read and care about all your tips and ideas! I’m in Canada, I’m a mother of two who likes all things simple living and I try to incorporate frugality in our habits as well. This white bean soup seems delicious, I would really love the recipe! 🙂 And for our plan this weekend, I’m going to try to do some apple jelly, and freeze or can it 🙂 Have a great weekend and thank you! (Oh and I’m listening to your podcast today, on my way to work and back! )

  3. Berry season has passed, and we are now drying figs; The ones that the local wildlife allow us. Our fig tree is the favorite hang-out for the neighborhood deer, birds, and squirrels, so we get what we get after they get what they want. Spoiled figs go to our hens and often to Tommy and Daisy, our yard pigs. Tommy is deaf and nearly blind (common for pot-bellied pigs) and needs a little extra help sometimes, but is a great fig-forager in spite of her special needs.
    The temps in our region are still reaching the high 90’s, so my work as a full time farrier is pretty exhausting. I’ll be 61 years old this October, and don’t tolerate the heat as well as I once did. It’s been affecting my progress in other homestead projects. The forge is still not rebuilt, and the winter planting boxes are still on the to-do list. Hopefully things will cool and slow down a bit and I can get ready for winter-time activities.

  4. I picked up several gallons of ‘managers special’ milk at Kroger for less than $1 a gallon with a week left until expiration! I will make cottage cheese with at least one gallon.
    As always, I am thankful for my clothesline, especially in this heat. Even with a quick 5 minute per load tumble in our dryer, hanging the clothes to dry is such a money-saver for us!
    A friend received a food donation box and passed on a few things she didn’t want. I gladly took the gleanings and put them to good use. One was a can of plums that I added to a pork roast in the crock pot. It turned out delicious!
    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  5. Hello, It has been a busy week here of deep cleaning closets; shoes, purses, clothes. It has been years since that was done and it took me 3 days to finish, I can’t stop looking at them now. Our garden is still producing like crazy, and so I am still harvesting something every few days ( herbs, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions). I made a big batch of sun-dried tomatoes (in the oven) this week , and will be preserving jalapenos, Cubanelles, and banana peppers today. The cooler weather is supposed to hit Dayton next week, so I am prepping for soup and bread weather. I bought a 12 lb. bag of flour (I still have about 8 lbs. leftover from the last bag), sugar, oats, raisins, and yeast. Now I can make plenty of loafs, scones, muffins, and crusty peasant breads. I also started cleaning my craft room, prepping it for sewing. I have lots of projects lined up for the Fall and Winter.

  6. Thank you, as always, Merissa, for your great posts and for doing the Frugal Fridays, which I enjoy and are a highlight for me. I especially appreciate hearing about your family’s exciting plans. Praying the sale of your homestead goes well and the RV rebuild also.

    I’m excited to try the pizza recipes: a crust with regular flour (hubby) and a crust with GF flour (for me) plus homemade sauce. We are JUST home from a 6-week Australia trip (we have a daughter and her family there) and Aus has managed to do GF bread products really well, including premade crusts. One of my coming home goals was to find a HM GF crust recipe AND sauce, so thank you for making that easy! I follow a low fodmap diet because it helps tremendously with IBS issues, so that means no onion and garlic, including powders. I can tweak your sauce recipe to make it work for me: garlic infused olive oil and an essence of onion salt will work.

    I’m excited to look into your other posts this week, too, specifically the Great Depression tips and your influencer podcast.

    We try to be good stewards with our money but really we were only “frugal” because the US dollar has a great exchange to the Aussie dollar. The best we’ve seen and we’ve been traveling to Aus for nearly 20-years.

    One last thing, on one of your early summer posts, I’d commented that I wanted to get four items sewn in time for our Aus trip. I had just re-retired from a very busy job, and had a short window to complete these in. Thank you, God, that happened! I got two boy size 14 button-down shirts made and two dresses, one a summer dress. One set was for birthday gifts which we watched our grandkids open, and the other set were left behind to be opened at Christmas.

    God bless your plans, Merissa! Thank you again!

  7. My weeks don’t look like much. They are dependent on weather, how everyone is feeling, and sometimes a big mess. When we hit our fall routine perhaps I’ll be able to share, but I DO like reading your emails and blog posts.

  8. I’m an “old” girl and live in the city so I don’t do a lot of stuff I used to do in raising five kids on a teacher’s salary! But I do practice frugal living because I think I’ve done my share of polluting our planet! I do a lot of thrift store shopping and almost always find everything I need if I’m patient! I purchase lovely cloth napkins from there and designate them to the no-paper-towel drawer when they get to raggy for the dinner table! I make the BEST dishcloths by purchasing from the thrift store thermal-weave baby blankets. I cut them up into 12-16″ squares depending on how heavy the weave is, and serge twice around the edges. Even though I’m single I do not run dishwasher, laundry until full load. I make every trip to run errands count by clumping together – no runs to the grocer just for a quart of milk! |
    Living frugally can sometimes mean spending more. For a single person it is not economical to purchase “super-size” packages if you are unable to finish it before it spoils. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn raising a large family, and I still find myself struggling to resist the “but it’s so much cheaper this way” syndrome!
    Earlier this summer a neighbor had lots of rhubarb to give away so I took a bunch and, since it was in height of strawberry season, I made strawberry/rhubarb jam with a recipe I found using jello instead of pectin. It is fabulous! I’m waiting on same neighbor to have extra zucchini so I can make my Favorite relish, which I use in sandwiches in place of bad-for-me commercial mayo. It is similar to bread and butter pickles. I’ve been making it for years. A couple of weeks ago I made a lovely chicken taco bean soup – a recipe I got from my Granddaughter. It’s packed with nutrition and only 135 calories per serving. In the winter I make large batches of veggie beef soup and seal it in quart jars. Since I don’t process it, it must be kept in frig, but sealing prolongs freshness. Best of living, everybody!

  9. Reordering the house. Meals are simple. Using products to keep moisture away from areas. This saves money on rusting canned goods. I recently bought a used fiberglass glass milk bottle carrier. It will work perfectly to carry red plastic cups for my plants to transplant/harden off. It has 24 areas for the plants. I am pleased with this used purchase. Setting up or changing the stations in this home to reflect where we are now.

  10. Both the peaches and white bean soup look delicious. Our peaches and apples aren’t ready yet. Both my husband and son love meat so the less meat meals wouldn’t work here. Husband and son enjoyed an event last weekend in Escanaba. I read Remarkably Bright Creatures and The Christie Affair for book clubs. We are making stuffed pepper soup with some of our tomato products that didn’t seal. My son doesn’t care for this so he will have 59 cent per pound chicken. The $1.99 beef sticks my husband bought on sale are now $7.99. We grow our own celery. It is cooler here. Quilting resumes next week and lots of fun activities like a women’s event making feminine products for women in other countries.
    Have a nice weekend!

  11. This week I made your bean and bacon soup and as there are only 2 of us we had it for several meals. I am making the Hot Chocolate mix tomorrow. At this time we are looking at a hurricane that may hit our area. It is still very hot here. Thank you for all of the recipes and blog posts.

  12. We prioritize meat in our diet so this week I took advantage of a sale on beef and bought bulk packages which I then broke down into smaller ones for the freezer. I traded eggs for some vegetables so are using them up.
    My husband is still processing honey so I’m experimenting with infused honey using herbs I have on hand.
    I also harvested seeds from my garden this week. We’ll have lettuce, cilantro, peas, carrots, radishes, purple kale, and more from our own seed next year.

  13. That soup looks good. Will definitely keep it in mind for this fall and winter. I have been working up the last of my herbs and mints. Still picking tomatoes, peppers and beans. Watching and waiting for my pumpkins and winter squash to be ready. Oh, and my raspberries decided to bless us with a second harvest this year! Hope you have an uneventful week, and get much done. Praying God sends the appropriate family for your home.

  14. It has been so hot here the past week that I didn’t do much baking. I’m looking forward to cooler temps next week so I can get back to it. I have 2 teenage sons, and a third pre-teen son, so we go through a lot of food. One of my sons wanted to try a driving range at a local park. I was surprised to find it was only $6 for my 3 boys to golf. Considering how expensive most activities are, I thought that was quite a deal.

  15. For some reason I had a glut of brown onions so before they turn I made up a big batch of French Onion soup. So delicious and cheap.

  16. The garden is still keeping me busy. It has slowed down a little bit. My dehydrator runs all day now with herbs. I grew cayenne pepper this year for the first time. The plants produced many peppers. Turning the peppers into cayenne powder was a much more time consuming than I had anticipated. I think that I am finished canning. There is only two of us here now. I don’t need to overdo. I am still going to do some freezer storage.
    I broke down and ordered a fancy popcorn popper. My husband is against microwave popcorn ( unhealthy) and I was not happy with my hot air popper. I look forward to good popcorn on chilly evenings.
    I tried a new recipe. Eggroll in a bowl. Several people on you tube bragged about this recipe. I was a little skeptical, but we really liked it.
    Next week I am going to try and start fall clean up. I am hoping to start early and not have such a big job in a month or so.

  17. This weekend was my weekend to put the beets up. I canned 32 pints and 8 quarts of pickled beets, several pints of plum butter, and next I get to dig in and pick the cherry tomatoes and can them so I can put those in egg or pasta dishes later this winter. We have a garden full of potatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers that we had been munching on the last several weeks, plus shared with the neighbors.
    Wood and hay is in for the winter, weather forecast is a harder and colder then normal so I feel good about that.
    love reading your blog. thanks for sharing

  18. Your bean soup looks like chicken chowder soup (yummy!). Made me think I need to check on what soup is in pantry.

    Frugal things this week–
    1. Running errands at same time as much as possible, helping with less gas (which has gone down about 30 cents/gallon in last 2 weeks when I last filled up truck).
    2. Went to Target to (finally) get new microwave & found one close to what I really wanted $20 cheaper than one on sale in ad. Teen super happy to finally get microwave & first thing teen made was popcorn. Got new Target bonus before purchase, so now only need one more $90 purchase to get $15 gift card.
    3. Meijer still had spring water gallon on sale so picked up more & have enough to get through few months. Teen drinking more water since doing weight training this fall.
    4. Missed mums on sale at Lowe’s (5/$10) but ended up getting some really nice perennial purple flowers on clearance (just needed watering & trimmed) for half off & bigger plants. Picked up small /short flowers & medium/taller flowers. My few cheap annuals getting close to end of time so replaced (in pots/urns) with new purple flowers until November when they will need to be planted into ground for next year.
    5. Went to local home tour (this weekend) vendor’s market & was hoping to find small glass house/terrarium but was not successful BUT found large heavy glass candle containers with metal handles gallon sized & purchase for $10 (instead of $12) each. Vendor said had more at home & would bring more for me tommorow if can find them all. Thinking possibly terrarium or candles or twinkle lights or fairy garden. Lots of possibilities.
    6. Picked up few more cloth/cotton large plate holders(?) from local craft show at 7/$35 ($5 discount since purchasing 5 at time). Will come in handy when get last countertop for kitchen & able to put more pots/pans/bakeware away. Keeps from sticking together.

  19. We had our 2nd and hopefully last heat wave las week- temps over 100 for 5 days so I was in the house most of day due to my immune disease. Sunlight & heat triggers it horribly. SO i id gardening at 6 AM and spent the rest of the days shelling drying beans & peas and do several kinds of pickling. Sold some of my excess veggies- not looking for huge profit, just want to cover the cost of my seeds, etc. This year is my first growing various different drying beans & peas- 1st lesson learned- stagger the planting so you aren’t trying to shell all at the same time! Starting to get cooler – looking for fall temps. Also pulled out some plants which were near their end of usefulness- such a great feeling at the end of the season. Would love to see your recipe for the black beans for tacos- I know have 4 quarts of dried black beans!
    Have a blessed week!

  20. I have been canning, canning, canning. I’m making more meals in jars. These are so quick and handy when are out later than expected. Our foraging season doesn’t end even when the garden starts to succumb to the fall temperatures, so there is still much to do. Harvest time is the busiest but also the most rewarding. We rarely go to town, but when we have to we make sure to go for more than one reason. Thank you for this opportunity to share ideas.

  21. Hi
    Fall is here and Your soup looks so yummy !
    I Canned butter squash my neighbor gave me . I made 9 quart jars and made soup, & cobbler so yummy.
    I also made elderberry syrup for winter just in time we all have colds ..
    Enjoy fixing up your camper 😍
    Jeanette from Tennessee ❤️

  22. Thank you so much for providing these tips and articles to live frugally. We are trying to get out of debt, so I am signed up for your newsletter and have been gobbling up the articles! I have been trying to incorporate a meatless meal at least once a week. Question: Did you use cloth diapers for your babies? Formula? Just wondering about money savings as I am getting ready to have my 2nd child. Thank you!

  23. I have got to try that white bean soup! This week, my husband’s eye doctor recommended some eye-lid wipes @ 70 cents each! Did research and will move toward a moisturizing baby shampoo, instead. This is a savings of $233 a year! I had been buying the occasional birthday cake when we were very busy last year. Now, I have moved to boxed mixes in their favorite flavors, instead. Boxed cake mixes are not the best. However, this is the only processed food we eat around here, except for a very random canned soup. We make our own soup and chili, much of the time. I took two trips last week. Conserving gas by going to multiple stores. I bought some clear spray lacquer to renew the sensors on our outside solar lights that we getting cloudy. Like new, and lighting up the dark!