Frugal Friday Week #3

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.

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.

Sheep Shanty
Our almost finished “sheep shed”. The wide with the windows will be the milking area, the rest is for a winter pen for the sheep (has a corral out front) and the back has an overhang to store straw.

Frugal Friday Week #3

So I’ve started 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 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!

So let’s dive right into this week!

Kids Decorating Cookies

Meals We Ate This Week

If it seems like there are a couple of meals missing, it was just that I couldn’t remember what it was or we just had leftovers! We also had several things multiple times during the week because I made extras.

Breakfasts – 

  • Waffles
  • Pancake Muffins (Pancakes mixed with pieces of sausage in a muffin cup. Not our favorite and probably won’t make again.)
  • Blueberry Muffins
  • Cereal (on our to-go day)
  • Yogurt and Hard Boiled Eggs

Lunches – 

  • Bratwurst
  • Leftovers (we did mostly leftovers this week for lunch!)
  • Picnic Lunch for Valentine’s Day at my sisters (we both brought things and shared the meal) We also decorated Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies for this lunch.
  • Sunbutter and Jelly Sandwiches (for our day in town)

Suppers – 

Vitacost Cans
I only buy “convenience” foods like these when they are rock bottom prices. They are nice to have in the pantry for fast meals!

Shopping I Did

I did a very small Sam’s Club/Target run this week to get cat food, animal crackers (treats for the goats/sheep), and a few other random things. Cat food is so hard to find right now in the big bags!

I also got my Vitacost order from last week when all of the Simple Truth brand was buy one get one 50% off. I order from Vitacost fairly often when they have sales like this.

Tomorrow will be my grocery day (once every 3 weeks) from our coop so I don’t have a picture yet but will have one for next week. We own our own local coop and I get most of my groceries that way so I don’t have to spend much at the store.

Our new pigs. They are a mixed heritage breed.

Outside Projects We Worked On

We got 6 pigs this week and got them all settled into their forest pen. They are all a nice size already, at least 50lbs. They aren’t used to eating food scraps yet but you can be sure they will be soon enough! We plan on keeping a few of the females to breed for piglets next year so we don’t have to buy them anymore.

Since this is what we call our “work week” with our coop, not much else happened for outside projects this week. I’m not sure how much we will do next week either since they are calling for snow again.

Homemade Bagels
Homemade Bagels and Homemade Strawberry Cream Cheese (despite the label that says BBQ sauce!).

Inside Projects We Worked On

I was given some raw milk from my sister so I made cream cheese, fresh mozzarella, and butter with it. All of the whey was fed to the pigs who happily cleaned it up for me. I wasn’t thrilled with the results of the cream cheese so I won’t share the recipe here until I figure it out a little better.

At the beginning of this week I did a big make-ahead baking day. I made some Zucchini Cookies to use up dried zucchini from last year and I made the bagels, waffles, and pancake bites we had for breakfast this week. It was very nice to have all of that done at the beginning of the week and I plan to do it again this week.

Shampoo Bars
Homemade Soap I Made. These are Shampoo Bars

I made my first batch of cold process soap this week! These are shampoo bars, or at least, they will be in about 4 weeks after they cure. It was easier than I expected it to be but I still need to work on my recipes/methods. I think it’s a project I will enjoy. I want to make a lard soap in the coming weeks with all of the lard I have from our pigs from last year. I have this book on Natural Soapmaking that I really enjoy.

I also made a few more smoothies to stick in the freezer. I have these Juice Bottles that I fill and freeze. I pull the smoothies out to the fridge the night before so they can thaw. I made the smoothies with some frozen fruit (this time peaches) that needed to be used up from last summer. I always add Collagen to the smoothies as well for added protien.

Nourishing Traditions

Books I’m Reading

Nourishing Traditions – I pulled this book off my shelf and was reading some of it when I had time this week. Honestly, I haven’t looked at it for quite some time. It’s good to read again, though!

Home Dairy – My sister has this book and let me check it out. It has quite a few how-to-make homemade dairy recipes and would be a good resource if you have access to a lot of milk.

Homemade Italian Dressing

Blog Posts I Wrote

I will add this section so you can also catch up on the latest blog posts I put up in case I missed sharing them in my newsletters this week!

Old Fashioned Cinnamon Muffins – I promised this recipe last week! We really love this one.
Homemade Dish Soap in 10 Minutes – This was an update of a recipe that I posted many years ago. It’s a good read if you want to make your own or are looking for natural dish soap.
How Large Families Can Save Money – An update on a post that my friend wrote for me. I know the larger families out there will find this encouraging!
What To Do When Your Chickens Stop Laying – My mom actually wrote this post many years ago with some “old fashioned” tips. I updated it this week to give more info. 🙂
A Beginner’s Guide to Azure – I updated this post as well this week in case any of you are looking to order some food in bulk.
Easy Italian Dressing Mix – Brand new recipe from my mom. This one is for the dry mix to keep in the pantry as well what what to do with it!
How to Make Your Own Shampoo – I updated this post this week with even more frugal options for making homemade shampoo.
How to Freeze Heavy Cream – As you could see from above, I did a lot of work with dairy this week! That reminded me to update this post on how we freeze heavy cream into useable portions.

Rhubarb Starts
My Rhubarb starts are doing very well. Most of them have come up in the 50 that I planted.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Looks like we are in for possibly significant snow next week so I’ll likely spend the weekend getting the animals ready for that. It’s possible that our sheep are due to give birth at the beginning of March so we need to start prepping their space for that as well.

I plan on doing meal prep with all of my fruits and veggies too from the coop tomorrow. I *hope* to make a video of a “day in the life” for some time next week. I also still hope to get a video up to YouTube this weekend of how I plan out my garden since many of you asked.

I also need to start some more plants inside. I have it on my list to start the apple seeds that we are currently cold stratifying. My rhubarb is coming along nicely. The onions I planted last week aren’t up yet.

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 of the Ball Blue Book. (You can give one to a friend if you already have it!) Leave a comment and then enter to win below!
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.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Support Little House Living by Sharing This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I just found your page/blog and I’m so happy I did! We haven’t had a garden in a few years, but we’re laying out the plans now, also hoping to get a few chickens in the veey near future. And I’m learning to make sourdough with my daughter who loves baking. We homeschool, so it’s really fun to add these things to our day. I appreciate your posts! Keep them coming!

  2. My week was ok. I was in a lot of pain and busy with grandkids so didn’t get as much done as I had hoped.
    I mostly did a lot of paperwork, appointments and budgeting things on the computer.
    I have put my sour dough on hold until I can get a grip on proofing! So frustrating. I THINK I am doing everything right and boo.
    I saved some seeds from some baby tomatoes and hope to plant this weekend. probably a little late but…Florida! lol.
    That is about it really.

    1. This week was a catch up week for me. Was able to do a bunch of housecleaning and even had time for a bit of sewing!

  3. I was busy this week homeschooling my kids. My husband is traveling right now. I got some new bird seed and feeders for a project my son is doing to observe birds. The birds don’t seem to have found the feeders yet. I tried a homemade apple cider vinegar wash on my hair for the first time. Not sure I have noticed a difference yet, but I will continue. I only wash my hair 2x a week, I am trying to get to 1x a week, maybe the ACV will help me get through the greasy stage better! I seem to have a lot of friends and neighbours going through hard times right now, and it’s on my heart to make them some meals to help them through these times, so I a, planning ahead for what to make for them. Thanks for your post! I enjoy reading about your homestead and your frugal finds and practices very much!

  4. I’ve been cleaning and purging in preparation for our youngest son and his wife to move in at the end of the month, bring our household total to 6 adults and 2 kindergartners!

    Next week I’m trying my hand at pc’ing chicken, looks pretty simple, hoping it goes well…

  5. Thank you for writing about how to freeze heavy cream! I have some leftover that I will freeze today.
    This week was busy with work, but I did manage to make some plans for seeds and the summer garden. I’m not quite sure what the weekend holds, but I might make the cinnamon muffins you shared. They look yummy!

  6. I started some rhubarb seeds. Also got all the materials to try doing hydroponics for some lettuce. I hope to get that set up this weekend. We got snow yesterday so I will be shoveling today although it’s supposed to warm up again and all of it will probably melt. Have a great weekend!

  7. Nice post thank you. I didn’t get a lot done this week except working on paying bills, going through all the paperwork and attending some workshops with the Senior center. I did learn how to make some desserts with beans that I hope to try this weekend. It’s more economical and healthy than using flours. Love your posts wish I had a small farm like you. Instead I have 2 rescue dogs and 3 feral cats that I take care of!

  8. Thanks for the post. This week you inspired me to buy castile soap and use it in our foaming dispensers and I am going to try to make shampoo as well! Also, am reading your post on Azure and figuring out if we can make this work for us. Thank you again!!

    PS favorite homemade recipes we make weekly are homemade yogurt, sauerkraut, sourdough bread/pizza crust/bagels, naan, and kombucha.

  9. Here in New York it we had an early run for maple sap, so I have been collecting and cooking down the sap into syrup. We are getting another cold spell so that will pause until the temps get back to ideal.
    We have been doing our garden planning and getting everything set up for seed starting. I started geraniums from seed for cemetery pots. It’s still too early to start on the vegetables. We are looking into ideas for a new garden fence and possibly some raised garden beds.
    We are adding chickens this year to our little homestead so we are making plans for the coop and run. We are thinking of having an extra run on the outside of the garden fence.
    A lot of things going on, but limited on time since we both work full time jobs outside of the home. I have been trying a lot of new recipes and cooking from scratch as much as possible.
    Have a blessed week. I look forward to reading more of what’s going on at your home again soon!

  10. Most of the week has been spent recovering from bronchitis but I made a big pot of chili that saved the day! Had lots of time to plan my next sewing project.

  11. We got our wood for seven new raised beds this week. Next week we will be putting them together and will start filling them.
    I am writing the first book in our Ozark Grannies’ Secrets series with a friend. We did most of the final editing this week and next week we’ll be preparing the pdf format and doing the final touches on the print version. After that, we will be finishing the ebook format. I was hoping to have them ready to publish at the end of the month. We’re still waiting on the logo and book cover designer and we’re looking for someone to create the PCIP block.

    We ate some of the soup I canned last summer as well as some of the salsa. We’ve also been using the food in the freezer. The chickens are laying so we are eating a lot of eggs and I have been doing quite a bit of baking.

    One more pint jar emptied and I will be doing a canner load of canned dried beans. Great to have during the summer when it’s too hot to cook them all day or to have ready in case the power goes out. Also, it’s good to can because beans can dry out and become difficult to cook if left too long. (Old beans can be ground and used for making refried beans though too.) Any quart jars I have I will be filling with soup make of veggies and meat that’s in the freezer. We’re always using the oldest food first but end up buying new jars the following year thereby adding to our homecanned stock every year.

  12. Thanks for sharing what’s happening on the farmstead. Reminds me of our farmstead in West Virgina. Love the book Nourishing Traditions. The sheep shep is awesome.

  13. Well my week started out a little crazier than normal… I normally work one day a week in town at the coffee/flower shop but with Valentines Day we needed all hands on deck for a few extra days. But I am finishing out my week with a big batch of breakfast burritos (my husbands favorite) to throw in the freezer and made some laundry soap for my first time!

  14. Love your post on what your life is like on the homestead. I remember a couple of years ago you shared the letters from your Grandmother & what her life was like. I think we need to share these stories so our future generations how our histories. So many today what to erase history & yes some of it is bad but if we don’t we don’t remember what not to do and we don’t honor the people before us. My week in sunny FL was average. My husband had open heart surgery a month ago so his taste is off so not a lot of cooking. Bought a roasted chicken & had dinner & lunch a couple of days. I’ll take what’s left today & put in crockpot with onions, carrots, celery, water & spices & cook all day for broth & will make chicken & noodles with some of the broth & chicken I pick off those bones. I’ll freeze the both. I’m going today to buy a freezer. Even though there’s only 2 of us it’s so much cheaper to buy something’s in larger packages & divide up. I have a turkey in a friends freezer because it’s cheaper than buying just a turkey breast. I’ll cook the Turkey & split it with her. We do the same for ham at Xmas. Hope you have a great week & look forward to reading your post next week.

  15. Hello Merissa and all, Decided to join the discussion since I am always enjoying your posts! Enjoy reading these Friday comments, and the recipes and activities from the week. Watching my greens and carrots growing in containers on our deck. We are chilly now but expecting 80’s next week! A little soon even for here in SE Texas. May grab some shade cloth sooner than I thought. Like Margaret I’m just now over bronchitis and happy to be getting back in the swing of things. Right now I’m practicing using up “throw-away” veggies and fruits as well as bits of this and that in our freezers, and starting some early spring cleaning. Will be organizing and dating our food storage area next week. TGIF!

  16. We were in recovery mode from a previous busy week! But I did check out the discount produce at a local grocery store, and found some bananas that I added to the freezer to turn into later smoothies. I also planted seeds for tomatoes.

  17. I got 2 frugal things, both are fabric related. Today I finished a rag rug. I live down the street from several tailor shops that toss their scrap fabric. So, a big fat Zero cost. The second are fabric napkins and cleaning rags. I noticed the kids food on paper towels, which aren’t all that expensive. But the cloth ones can be reused. Although if you have a wood burning stove, the paper would make great fire starter.

  18. I read your posts, but so often don’t comment. It’s kinda like sitting down and reading a good homestead book…. when I finish, I don’t really discuss it, I just get up feeling better with a little more inspiration to get to work! Your blogs are like that… I don’t always comment but I always feel motivated and inspired after reading them!

  19. Hi, i retired last year and love it.With rising costs i stock up on items i will be using..I give away items others can our thrift store. This week i cleared out stuff and donated..It feels so good..Love your blogs..blessings to you and your family..looks like a peaceful place…

  20. We are worlds apart but I love reading and getting advice from them.
    I am an 80 year old retired RN. Celiac, now a caregiver to ladies with dementia/Alzheimer’s. We live in NC no snow here.
    I believe I’m never too old to learn and since we are on a TIGHT budget everything helps.
    Thank you for sharing.

  21. This week, I got to visit and have tea with a friend and a few doctor appointments. Made a new to me recipe, Colcannon, or irish mashed potatoes. It was good. It consisted of homemade mashed potatoes with cooked cabbage folded in, topped with butter and bacon. Spent time creating some jewelry to sell at a local market this evening.

  22. We had some warmer days this past week so I worked in the garden in preparation for planning. I also have been cleaning my craft room and getting rid of unnecessary items. We picked up our Azure order and also went to Aldi’s. I made strawberry gelatin from strawberries I froze last year.

  23. Loved your post today. I wish we had a business like Azure here in Atlantic Canada. We did used have a co-op but was not geared to bulk foods at all its more like a standard grocer. The Sheep Shed is vary nice. I wish we were able to have more livestock on our property. Although we own a good size rural acreage its been classed as a “sub-division” lot (a subdivision surrounded by farms interestingly enough!) so we can’t get away with anything but chickens for the time being.

    Here is a little note from my family: We had a busy week. Its wood season here so we have been cutting wood, stacking and burning the small leftover branches in preparation for next winter. Lots of work for all of us, the kids aren’t a huge fan of the annual late winter wood process, but it does result in a few fun outdoor roasted hotdog suppers and smore’s which they do love. One of the benefits of branch burning is makes fantastic cooking coals! I managed to get a few days of bread baking done and some homemade treats made for the kids in-between the chores, work and running kids to classes. So it was a good week all in all. Our youngest daughter (she’s 11) is enjoying how to do sales, bookkeeping and expense budgeting now that the hens are in full swing with their egg production. She’s really taken to the job of “hen house manager”, especially the part of designating which of her “annoying” brothers get the weekly coup cleaning duty! Ha!

    We meal plan weekly, and this week because it was so busy I had a much less adventurous and thorough plan. On top of the outdoor hotdog dinners we made a few of our favorite ‘fast prep’ and slow cook staples: Chili Mac (, Porky Pot Pie with Cheesy Drop Biscuits (, Country Chicken and Gravy ( PS: we use the country gravy recipe in this one a lot for Pork Chops too, it’s a kid-approved favorite!

    I saved your Onion soup mix recipe today and I’m hoping to put a batch together this weekend for the pantry. I use a lot of onion soup mix for different recipes so I’m excited to try your mix out!

    Happy Friday!

  24. Hi Merissa,
    I so enjoy your writing and have both of your books and your ebooks. Your Gluten Free ebook is so helpful for my grandchildren who are GFDF. We have made the oat/jam bars countless times! I would love a copy of the Blue Ball book. Thank you for all you do, and for starting the Frugal Friday blog ❤️
    Mary Grace Almleaf

  25. Good morning I’m new to your group I love reading your emails and I have tried a couple of your recipes also. This week I went to work then I came home and beaded. I never have a menu for dinners its just what I can find at the moment. I know that’s really bad. I hope you have a great week and cant wait to read more of your post. P.S I use some of your frugal ideas for my low income families I work with. I hope that this is ok

  26. We continued to eat from the pantry this week and only bought milk and cheese and such. We organized another room where we can put some seedlings in front of a large south facing window. This will save me from having to buy more grow lights. We started some more seeds and repotted some that are growing well. We are trying something new this year, we are using milk jugs for winter seeding and they will be put outside until spring. We are doing this for some of the flowers, hope it works!

  27. My week!!!Monday was out of this world busy ,work in the a.m rushed home had to get the cows fed hay in an hour then to school to pick up the 2 granddaughters home did the rest of the evening chores fixed a pizza for dinner then off to a 4-h meeting till 8:00 took the grandkids back home a long and wild day. Tuesday my daughter invited me up to their house for valentines dinner we had steak,shrimp baked potatoes,and cheesecakefor dessert,and even a beautiful boquet of flowers!! Experienced a real blessing at the same time when Iwas at their place ,dad had just gotten home ahead of me arriving Iwaen inside after about ten minutes dad came in and blessed each of his daughters with a white rose tipped with pink and glitter on the pink what a blessing to me that was!!!

  28. The focus for me this year is to ‘lighten up.’ Our two youngest moved out in the last year, so we are transitioning from a family household to just my husband and myself. I have been steadily de-cluttering but there is more to do, and this month and for March I am doing a pantry challenge, since we will not need to be storing as much food. There are some new projects in the works, as well, including garden related tasks. I made many things this week, including bread, raspberry tarts, and a sugar-less wartime cake recipe that came out very well!

  29. Sheep for milk huh? I’m intrigued. Why sheep and not goats? I made pancakes from my sourdough starter-first thing I’ve made from it!! They were super thick! I’ll keep trying my hand at this experiment called sourdough.

    1. We got sheep and goats. 🙂 I’m more interested in the sheep though as they produce a richer milk that is supposed to be better for cheese and we will raise some of them for meat as well.

  30. You had an ambitious week. I am trying to reduce my fabric stash and am making “string” from strips of leftover fabric. There are lots of YouTube explanations for how to twist these pretty and useful balls of string. It will make pretty ribbon for gifts or trivets or mug rugs for gifts.

  31. I make homemade meals 5-6 times a week for supper. This week we had meatloaf, chicken quesidillas, cheddar chicken potpie, scalloped potatoes and ham, and Mexican rice bake with ground venison. (All with side dishes or veggies.) Oh a failed 2 layer fudge turned in to frozen fudge balls because it didn’t set. 😉

  32. Even though I don’t normally comment, I love your posts! They are uplifting and inspiring and give me many new ideas of ways to do things. I’ve been enjoying the beautiful weather this week in NC. Thank you for all you do!

  33. Wow! You did a lot this week Merissa! Thank you for sharing all of the things you did this week.

    For entertainment this week, my husband and I took several long walks. We also played cribbage
    with our daughter, and watched a few movies.

    We live where the local grocery stores are almost double in price for most items, and the teenager wanted something that was $9.00 here locally, and only $5.98 at Walmart about 28 miles away, so we are doing a Walmart run today and stocking up on the things we will use that are much less expensive. Getting frozen fruits this time of year instead of fresh as it’s about half the cost where we live. We are blessed with a local scratch and dent store that has saved us a ton of money this year, and they have received a large portion of our grocery budget. They don’t have produce (yet), but hopefully soon. They just added sourdough bread at $1.00 a loaf and that was good. The only thing about this type of store, is that if you find an item you like, it might not be there next week, so my husband and I have stocked up when we find something we like and we have made due with items we might not have tried or used in the past if it is less expensive. My husband and I try to shop just once a week and we did shop at our local store. Only purchased items on sale that we needed. Saved about $20.00. I know Merissa shops once a month, and I could do that, we just like to get out. It’s our “date” time. We are seniors now, so we try to shop on senior discount days if stores offer them.

    We made an excellent cheese/potato soup this week and I had some russets that I needed to use, so we made a twice baked potato casserole (recipe from the Pioneer Woman) that we fantastic.

    I prefer to cook and clean up in the morning, so I make a lot of casseroles and soups to heat up for dinner. My husband cooks the meats. We don’t eat out. Maybe twice a year. That has saved us a lot of money over the years, and really, it’s probably healthier most of the time, and we know how our food has been handled.

    Thank you for sharing Vitacost. I did not know about Vitacost and it looks like they have some good deals on items that we would use and they ship.

    We have been living a frugal life (or trying to), since 2008 when the housing market crashed.
    We sold almost everything we had that was financed and downsized. We followed Dave Ramsey. If you don’t know about Dave Ramsey and are looking for some additional financial/budget information, he is very helpful. He has a radio show that I always found uplifting. He has tips on how to be debt free.

    I am older, and I will share…I wish that I had saved more when I was younger. I encourage
    anyone reading this that can save to do so. Start now, even if it’s a little bit. Put aside
    money for an emergency…put it aside for your future.

    This is not on living frugal, but it is on saving and helping build your wealth…High yield savings accounts and cds are paying pretty good interest now. Some online banks are offering 3.75% interest rates for high yield savings. Better than just having your money in a brick and mortar bank with .01% interest. Every bit helps.

    I am excited to start working on my bucket garden this year again, and hopefully, I can find something to use for a taller garden as well. I am only going to grow lettuce, tomatoes and carrots, and maybe kale, but it will all help in the budget and it’s nice to have fresh vegetables.

    My husband and I did go for a drive last week (very rare to do that anymore). We work from home, and the price of gas is still almost $5.00 a gallon where we live. While we were in a neighboring town, we stopped at their local grocery store and bought some items that were much less expensive than our local store. We even got 18 eggs for $1.80 (they are $9.80 locally).
    We will do that again when we go for a drive.

    We have a local thrift store that has free items at the back and this week I got several plants,
    a planter and a really unusual sculpture that I am going to put outside. I also get free books there often as well as many other items. I encourage you, if you haven’t used a thrift store, visit one.
    They often have what we need at a fraction of the cost.

    I would like to say that I use our local library to save money, but I like having the books for as long as I want them. Sometimes, it takes me time to read them. I do seem to find free books often and have accumulated quite a library of free books.

    If I have to purchase something, I check my local thrift stores first, then prices online before buying, because you can save a lot shopping around. If it’s a want rather than a need, I try to wait 3 days to buy it to see if I really do want to buy the item. I read somewhere that you can use Google Lens to compare prices. Just take a picture and it will check prices.

    I also look around my house first to make sure that there isn’t something I already have that I can use.

    I just think that for my husband and I, it feels much better to live a frugal, simple life.
    I think we are happier…

    Thank you for sharing your tips on frugal living. They have helped us.

    1. What a great post! You have so many great ideas, thank you for sharing them. I particularly agree that it’s important to start saving as early as possible. I sure wish I had saved more when I was younger!!

  34. I love reading your blog. I’ve been reading it for years. It was a dream of mine to have a little homestead. Unfortunately my husband was not of the same mind. Now we are retired, but he has cognitive memory issues and I care for my 84 year old mother and her apartment. So, alas no homestead. I do some gardening, but haven’t worked it out where I live now. My garden was awesome in California. I sew and cook. So I live my dream in posts. Thank you. 💖

  35. I am a Girl Scout Troop Leader and this week has been hectic! We are smack dab in the middle of Cookie season! I haven’t gotten much down around the house this week. Hoping to get more done this weekend!

  36. My week was WATCHING videos on survival tips and jar canning, hoping to find time to apply and prepare having certain items and to do some canning. I have been preparing to work as a online tutor for k-6 grade foster children. For
    I’m excited about, and probably will take my extra time. Prayers that my fiance finds a farm to buy too! New York state farmland is hard to find, with a farm that is workable…

  37. Hi Merissa,
    My week was derailed by my husband coming down with covid. After going through this whole time with neither of us getting sick with anything, it finally caught us. I’m hoping I can avoid getting it too. We’re in a small house…..close quarters with no place for him isolate himself so….hoping and praying.

  38. For Frugal Friday:
    I found an old hymn book at our Church that was going to be thrown out because of the bad shape it was in, and I turned it into a beautiful wreath (the pages) and hung it up in our chapel! So satisfying!

  39. Busy week as usual – homeschooling, chores, and some work. But warmer weather than usual so lots of walks. Thank you for sharing that soap making book. I’ve made goat milk soap for years but we no longer have goats and I am having trouble consistently finding raw goat milk to buy. So just yesterday I thought “I need to find some good soap recipes without goat milk.” Then today you answered that need! Thank you! 🙂

  40. I’ve gotten your e-mails for a while now, but just recently started to really dig into your site and I am really enjoying it. I always thought simplifying my life and living frugally were impossible, but your blog is full of great practical ideas that I can apply right now. I look forward to exploring your past posts further.

  41. I made some egg muffins and added in some veggies that needed to be used up. I store them in the freezer for some easy breakfast options for the week.

  42. I’m enjoying your frugal Friday posts! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I checked out the natural soap making book you recommended from the library and enjoyed reading it – not sure if I’ve gotten up the nerve to try cold press soap yet though lol.
    This week I’ve been cleaning out and organizing! We just found out that baby number 3 is a GIRL (we have 2 boys) and I think I’m in nesting mode! Or maybe reverse nesting mode since I’m getting rid of stuff lol.

  43. Hello!
    I’m still concentrating on using up the food I have stored/frozen. I still have peaches, tomatoes, and peppers from last year, as well as some beef and pork from my meat CSA. I’ve been doing some tutoring for extra money, and one of my parents gives me fresh eggs, which is a great bonus!

  44. A friend offered me a large amount of fabric from her friend’s grandmother’s stash a couple of weeks ago. I received two large bins and a trash bag full of fabric including an “almost finished” quilt. I ended up taking the quilt apart to remedy a number of construction issues that had prevented it from being completed. I salvaged the squares and as much of the border fabric as possible, recut the squares so they were square, cut setting stones from a red fabric that was also in one of the bins and added sashing strips. It’s now kitted up to go to my next quilt group day with me.
    Some of the donated fabric has been passed along to other friends. Some has been put aside for projects and some will be passed along to other quilting groups.
    Following that huge sort out I started sorting the bags and bags and bags of fabric selvage strips that have been coming to me from my friends who make charity pillowcases. I have several selvage strip projects coming up including recovering an office chair for home use and a bag to be donated to a fund raiser for the venue that donates space to our weekly quilt group.
    Beyond my sewing life, I babysat my granddaughter and we made Crispy Rice heart lollipops that were decorated with frosting and sprinkles and individually bagged as a treat for Daisy Scouts the following day. Two days later I was back at their house and the activity was making syrup that would go on Snow Cones the following day for the inaugral meeting of the homeschool bookclub. They had read The Very Very Far North and several celebratory activities that accompanied the theme had been planned. I had found my daughter’s Ice Shaver machine in our basement, cleaned and tested it, and delivered it to their house along with snow cone cups, straws and syrup packets.
    I’ve also been trying some of the ideas you have shared about using what is in my freezer and cupboards that needs to be used up. Hamburger, frozen vegetables, and potatoes went into Shepherds Pie bowls which gave us dinner one night and a planned over dinner for another night.

  45. Hi, hope I’m in the right spot . This week I am making emergency candle from cat/tuna tins, card board roll in them then fill with wax and a wick. Cheap and great when power goes out…which is a lot where I’m at. Dehydrating veggies for 4 types of stews and planning this year’s garden

  46. Please continue to do Frugal Fridays. I really enjoy them and it brings up projects I may have missed previously. Plus it’s nice to see what you are doing during the week 🙂

  47. I like your frugal friday posts! I made a shredded chicken taco soup this week and chocolate caramel bars. I made the caramel sauce in my crockpot, so it was extra yummy!!

  48. This week was pretty average. Found 1/2 off steak at Aldi from Valentines Day so the family had a restaurant quality meal for cheap! Also found local, free range organic whole chicken 1/2 off so grabbed a few of those for the freezer which will be many meals and stock! Leftovers, chicken nachos, homemade mac and cheese, and appetizers for dinner rounded out the week. There’s a friend birthday party for my son this afternoon with Costco pizza so I’m off the hook for dinner since they are eating around 3. Husband and I will just forage the fridge/freezer. Have a few ideas I’m trying out for starting my seeds this year so I’m going to be doing that soon.

  49. Life this week was teaching the responsibility and rewards of chores. Trying to simplify and declutter as well as use up all the random things. Thanks for this post. I’m always looking for new ideas in the kitchen.

  50. Also… are you going to be sellling your soap and shampoo bars online or anywhere in the Black Hills area? I would love to purchase. We vacation in the Black Hills occasionally. so beautiful there!

    1. I’m hoping to be able to sell at the farmer’s market in the Southern Hills this summer. Message me before you head this way and I can keep you posted 🙂

  51. So glad you are doing this- I love to read what you and others do to give me ideas on how to be frugal. Here’s what I accomplished this past week:
    1. Made a big batch of mexican salsa for Super Bowl and froze the extra.
    2. Used a gift certificate to a nice italian restaurant for Valentine’s Day and got enough food to feed us thru the week (lunches included) and adding just a few stuff from stock.
    3. Signed up for an “ugly veggie and fruit” company to help with my NY’s resolution to help cut down on food waste. Love it because they deliever to my door and the eggs are cheaper than I can get in the store. (Autistic son loves eggs and it’s his main source of protein.) they have a good selection of stuff-besides fruits and vegs and I can plan meals for the future and get free shipping if I make an order over $40.
    4. Received free coupons for food items and samples in the mail.
    5. Went thru pantry stock out in the storage building and brought in stuff to help restock the pantry inside the house.
    6. Made a batch of pancakes from a Christmas present (breakfast kit with coffee) from my big brother. Us siblings decided long ago that we would send each other food gifts for presents. My sister sent a big tin of flavored popcorn. I sent them some pears.
    7. Had fires in the wood stove a couple of nights to offset the heating bill. Weather in central NC is freaky lately.
    8. Gifted free OTC meds and glasses thru a community service called NCMED Assist. They go all over the state and set pop up stores. Since son is on SSI, we get invited to the ones in our county plus the surrounding ones. I usually fill out the form on what I need/want and drive up and they hand it to me. It’s been a blessing with all the “crude” going around lately.
    9. Went thru fridge and gathered up all the “use now” veggies and made 4.5 pint bags of stir fry veggies for future meals. I just whirled them up in the food processor to make cooking easier. Also made up some Lo Mein veggie mix. All went into the freezer.
    10. We usually go to Sam’s Club about 1-2 a month for stock up and I got the membership free after a deal ad from last year Super Bowl game but the membership has gone up to over $100 this year and we are trying to decide if we want to bite the bullet to get it or not.
    I hope everyone has a great week ahead!

  52. So glad you are doing this- I love to read what you and others do to give me ideas on how to be frugal. Here’s what I accomplished this past week:
    1. Made a big batch of Mexican salsa for Super Bowl and froze the extra.
    2. Used a gift certificate to a nice Italian restaurant for Valentine’s Day and got enough food to feed us thru the week (lunches included) and adding just a few stuff from stock.
    3. Signed up for an “ugly veggie and fruit” company to help with my NY’s resolution to help cut down on food waste. Love it because they deliver to my door and the eggs are cheaper than I can get in the store. (Autistic son loves eggs and it’s his main source of protein.) they have a good selection of stuff-besides fruits and vegs and I can plan meals for the future and get free shipping if I make an order over $40.
    4. Received free coupons for food items and samples in the mail.
    5. Went thru pantry stock out in the storage building and brought in stuff to help restock the pantry inside the house.
    6. Made a batch of pancakes from a Christmas present (breakfast kit with coffee) from my big brother. Us siblings decided long ago that we would send each other food gifts for presents. My sister sent a big tin of flavored popcorn. I sent them some pears.
    7. Had fires in the wood stove a couple of nights to offset the heating bill. Weather in central NC is freaky lately.
    8. Gifted free OTC meds and glasses thru a community service called NCMED Assist. They go all over the state and set pop up stores. Since son is on SSI, we get invited to the ones in our county plus the surrounding ones. I usually fill out the form on what I need/want and drive up and they hand it to me. It’s been a blessing with all the “crud” going around lately.
    9. Went thru fridge and gathered up all the “use now” veggies and made 4.5 pint bags of stir fry veggies for future meals. I just whirled them up in the food processor to make cooking easier. Also made up some Lo Mein veggie mix. All went into the freezer.
    10. We usually go to Sam’s Club about 1-2 a month for stock up and I got the membership free after a deal ad from last year Super Bowl game but the membership has gone up to over $100 this year and we are trying to decide if we want to bite the bullet to get it or not.
    I hope everyone has a great week ahead!

  53. Wow, seems like the week went fast. This week we took cows to market. Big answer to prayer…all 4 cows loaded into horse trailer without a hitch. We also celebrated our daughters 24th birthday. We enjoyed a night out for Italian. Last Saturday my husband started tomatoes, peppers, and flower seeds. We’re already seeing sprouts. We also got a new hog feeder and got that installed into the pig shed. We’ll planning on pigs in March or April. This week my daughter has planned 3 of our meals. Tonight we’re having Risotto, tomorrow night is a Prosciutto pizza and on Monday she’s making tomato soup with grill cheese sandwiches.
    Hope everyone has a great weekend.

  54. We had a pretty nice week, weather-wise in central Illinois, so all our running around went pretty smooth. My retired husband and I keep an eye on 8 of our 18 grandkids ranging from age 18 months to 15. The 15 month is all day, one catches a pre-k bus and the rest have sports and after school activities. We help the parents with shuttling them around, feeding snacks and helping with homework. When our 5 kids were young, we didn’t have much help and we are happy to help our kids with these tasks.
    We had a Super Bowl watch party and everybody brought snacks and we made a big batch of meatballs plus a big pot of chili. We ate leftover chili over spaghetti noodles and meatball sandwiches for some dinners this week. We always have “breakfast” for supper in the middle of the week.
    Whew! There’s so much more going on but it almost makes me tired writing this. But it’s a good kind of tired! Have a great weekend! Sally

  55. Looks like you had an awesome week. Love the soapmaking. I haven’t ventured there yet, but jarred some rosemary tincture, one an alcohol base and another with an apple cider vinegar base. I have them slotted for bottling mid march. I also make homemade skin creams, bug spray, sun screens and pain balms. Love the products and making them is such a pleasure.
    Pretty simple meals this week. Had a get-together with friends and cooked smokies over the fire with buns and made an applesauce/pear and chocolate chip cake for dessert. And that also came with guitars, songs and a lot of laughter. The other dinners: we had a one dish hamburger goulash with potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. Another night made some loaded homemade beef tortillas. One soup and sandwich night. And then we had a chicken leg fry with panroasted potatoes. My husband and I also bottled a large batch of white wine. Love to do our own. I also have some mead and red wine aging.
    And then, the dreaded tax time is coming up so got that all prepared and ready to go for when our federal tax system opens up. Hate doing them, but it’s all over but the delivery now.
    Our weather is getting better all the time with the sun finally peeking over the mountains. What I have planned for the coming week is to go through all of my food storage and make sure I use up anything that is reaching it’s expiry date. I do so much canning, so have to really keep a close eye on all that. Also wish to finalize my garden growing chart. This year there is a shortfall of seeds so I am studying proper storage and intend on saving my own for the future. Love your blogs. It is encouraging to see everyone’s comments and goals too.

  56. Hello! My week has gone well. We made pancakes, baked oatmeal (pumpkin, coconut, and cinnamon roll, respectively), and quick bread for breakfast. For dinner we had chili and rice, stir fry vegetables with ramen noodles, and garden rotini with lentils. Still planning my garden at this time. I learned how to make my own baking powder and powdered sugar (it is so much cheaper and doesn’t have the additives store bought ones have; it tastes better).

  57. This week I worked on sewing my own bread bags. I recently started baking most of our bread instead of buying it. I’m also trying to cut back on my dependence on plastic baggies, so my husband had the idea to do linen bread bags instead ☺️

  58. I can’t wait to see how your shampoo bars come out. I’d really like to try to make some myself. They’re very expensive to purchase.

  59. This week was a little busy, but good.
    I finished helping my mother-in-law clean and organize her house. A big job, but well worth the effort.
    A family member gave me some flannel sheet sets that she doesn’t like. I am going to make flannel quilts out of the material. I have made these quilts in the past, and they are a favorite in my family. They are warm and soft.
    I made a new bread recipe this week. The name of the recipe is Everything Bagel Bread. It was messy to eat, but tasted good.
    We had one warm day sandwiched between several cold days. I took advantage of the nice weather to do a little yard clean up.
    Next we are supposed to be a little warmer. I am hoping to organize a corner in my garage that needs attention.

  60. What a crazy week!!! Idk if anyone is following the Supreme Court race here in Wisconsin, but yesterday I catered a NONpartisan event where all 4 justices up for possible Primary election were invited. It was a VERY large group of people, and I was able to use up about a gallon of 2 summer’s ago canned tomatoes/San Marzanos, a half-gallon of canned (from dried) Great Northern beans, frozen jalapenos/serranos/poblanos making 2 gallons each of chili, goulash (like chili, without chili powder/cayenne/peppers, as there were children in attendance; wanted a non-spicy option), and chicken chili (no tomatoes, thickened with masa harina).

    Also, baked a triple batch of homemade GF cornbread (corn meal and masa harina), and half-sheet pans each of pumpkin bars (homemade canned pumpkin), lemon bars, oatmeal-strawberry bars (I get oats in large quantities from a local Mennonite market), and banana “bread” bars (our local Kwik Trip had bananas marked down to $.20/lb!!! TWENTY CENTS!!! I came home with 10 pounds of freaking bananas!!! Anything I didn’t use got mashed and put into Ziplocs, in the freezer, for banana muffins/pancakes later!.

    But I put on an affair for 100 or so people, and I paid for a lemon cake mix, 2 pounds of elbow noodles, sour cream and shredded cheese. I had the chicken and ground meat in the freezer, as well as frozen corn for the chicken chili. This was a last-minute thing (the caterer got CoVID and I said I could handle it) and I had 24 hours to pull it all off!!! Could NEVER have done it if I hadn’t the stock of canned things, frozen things, etc., to draw from; we simply couldn’t have afforded it.

    ZERO sleep, but it was VERY well-attended, and I think folks across the political climate appreciated a NONpartisan event, at the local library (an unbiased venue), and a chance to reach across the divide for some good conversation!!! We need more of these (but if I’m gonna cater them, I need more sleep! WHEW!!!!!).

    Have a great weekend, everyone!!! 🙂 ~Chrissie

  61. Hi! I made my usual Gluten free sandwich bread and did some grocery shopping, deep cleaned my kids room including mopping! Company coming this weekend, Church on Sunday. Hope you have a great week!

  62. We had a pretty busy week with work and the kids school activities. But, this weekend I hope to go through my seeds and plan for what we will plant this year.

    1. Yes they are. They didn’t turn out the greatest so I’m going to try again and will post when I have a better recipe. My kids thought they tasted good but they weren’t quite the texture I was looking for.

  63. What an excellent life!

    I’m putting out proverbial fires. I’m also trying to prepare for a move that may or may not happen, and I don’t have a timetable for at all. I’ve decided to just parse my belongings one item at a time for now. I’ll be moving a long way, and I don’t believe I’ll be able to make two trips, so I have to be ready for that.

  64. Hey! I love the frugal fridays 🙂
    This week was a strange one for us, as we navigate a new food allergy in the family- so my grocery bill skyrocketed this week while I try to navigate how to cook with this in mind (past the frustration and devestation I’m feeling for my daughter!)
    Meals we had this week:
    Potato Patties & melon
    Bacon & apples
    Strawberry pancakes

    Gluten free pasta salad

    Chicken & green beans with homemade potatoes
    Spaghetti (triple batched a cook all day veggie loaded meat sauce to freeze some) with homemade GF vanilla biscuits
    Chicken soup & garlic toast
    Taco salad

  65. Hi Merissa!
    This week I began simplifying my meals and meal prep. Your book “Living Slower” made me realize that I had fallen into the trap of making meals more complicated than necessary. My dinner prep had devolved into complicated ingredients and multi-step techniques that took away time better spent on other things. Obviously, I did other things this week, but that was my “step forward” for the week.
    I am also trying to live more and more in the realization that God’s love, his very nature, continues unchanging, totally separate from and despite my emotions at any given moment.
    A possible failure of mine this week was an impulse buy. I rarely impulse buy, but we had a day in the low 70’s and I purchased an 8′ x 2.5′ x 2.5′ mini greenhouse to start my seeds in. I did this without doing research and I don’t even know what I don’t know about growing in hot boxes and greenhouses. And I could have built one for free, because you have a post for doing so. Nothing left to do but learn and turn this impulse buy into something good.
    Hope your week is filled with love.

  66. Thanks for the post. Love the sheep shed. Can’t wait for warmer weather so we can get outside and do more projects without freezing. This past week we sold my daughters car, I made granola, canned some tomatoes that I had stored in my deep freezer, Cleaned chicken’s nesting boxes, hung a coat rack in our mudroom, celebrated Valentines Day at our homeschooling co-op, used up some ripe bananas in banana bread, and had my vehicle towed for repairs after it died while out and about. That was a nice chunk out of the budget!
    The books I’ve been reading are:
    Edible Wild Plants
    Southeast Foraging
    The Homeschooling Handbook, by Lorilee Lippincott
    Although I’ve been homeschooling my kiddos for over 15 years, sometimes I just need a little inspiration and encouragement from others. I would recommend it to anyone new to homeschooling or a veteran like me.
    This coming week I plan to sort through my garden seeds and start ordering more of what I’d like to plant this year. We have some things in our basement and garage that we’ll haul away , and
    I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making homemade soap, so we’ll see how that goes.

  67. Let’s see, this week was mainly frugal but part was not… I make all our meals and followed my meal plan quite well. The part that wasn’t frugal was it is my daughter’s 24th (?!, how did that happen? I am NOT old enough!) birthday today so I took her, my son and her boyfriend out to lunch. We had a good time catching up so to me, worth it! I don’t eat out but maybe a couple times a year if that. I am planting some seeds today and cleaning my mom’s house, that one saves her money. Line drying my laundry while I can because we are going from 60 degrees to 30 with snow in two days!! The weather is nuts. Have a great weekend!!

  68. Not a frugal week. We went out to dinner at a nice restaurant on Valentine’s Day. We don’t do this very much, and so I don’t regret it it.

    Our elderly chihuahua became very ill, which has entailed a two-night stay in the animal hospital. We are waiting to see if her blood work comes back normal so that we can bring her home today. I gulped when I saw the estimated bill, but I was crying yesterday because I was afraid we might lose her. I am 70 years old, and Tildie will probably be our last furry four-legged family member. Therefore I don’t begrudge the bill.

    Because of the unexpected bill for Tildie, we will have to really stick to our budget. I have been cooking from items that we have on hand.

    I like to make birthday cards for our daughters and their families and they like to receive them. I am working on cards for the birthdays that run through May right now.

  69. I have really enjoyed reading your blog lately, sometimes a good old fashioned blog is a breath of fresh air these days. Thank you!

  70. Love reading about what others are doing in their day to day lives. It helps to keep focused on what matters in our homes- loving our families well!

  71. You had a busy week! Loved the meal ideas & projects you have going on! In Southeast Ohio this week, we had temperatures in the 70’s middle of the week & in the 20’s early in the week & end of the week, so alot of our time was spent managing all of those fluctuations for meat chickens we raise. Meat chickens have to be maintained at very narrow temperature ranges for success & their survival. We also had a recognition evening to take part in for our middle son for Senior Night in his basketball team. We homeschool, but our kids have always participated in the school district sports programs. Our meals were simple – soups & sandwiches & cereals & fruits & veggies. We also still had to deal with some sinus infection & colds, so getting rest & getting well was also a focus last week! We did make a couple YouTube videos to add to our channel, & we sold some of our poultry to a local restaurant here. That was exciting for us! We enjoyed church together this morning, & we are resting & visiting friends today. This coming week will be very busy, as we have a flock of chickens leaving & a flock of chickens coming in, too.

  72. I like to drain plain yogurt to use as cream cheese. I just put it in a colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth and drain it for 24 hours in the fridge. It is delicious.

  73. I didn’t have a very frugal week, but it’s because we were setting up a home office for my husband and needed a few things. However, I’m still happily making all of our bread, so that’s my frugal bit!

  74. Reading this on Wed, 2/22 since we had no internet for 6 days. I’m always ready for a power outage, but what a lesson in under-preparedness when we lost the internet! So many times I went to do something- recipes, knitting project, read a book, directions to make our homemade chicken feed- were all stored on the internet. Pay bills, send a birthday card at the last minute- you get the idea. By the 3rd day, I started making a list of all the basics that I want to either print off, or find a “paper” resource to have on hand. I did “find” a few more lost food packages in our freezers that end up as meals, and it was warm enough for 1/2 a day to let the ducks walk around outside. I really appreciate the recipes, especially how you use the various ingredients to extend meats for more meals. You are probably in a blizzard today, and we have the high winds and a little blowing snow in northeast NE. Stay warm & safe!

  75. I’m glad for the reminder about Vitacost. I need to remember to check them more often.
    I baked 4 loaves of bread which might last two weeks and a keeping a close eye on my mini greenhouse with flowers and herbs and peppers that I started last week. I’m trying this year to grow most or all my own flowers from seed.
    I am interested in your smoothie recipe and was hoping you could share it with me.

  76. Hi Merissa! I have set aside some leaves in bags to mulch and put in next year’s leaf mold bin for new garden. I have bought apples from a nearby orchard and plan to continue because we will not be planting apple trees. However, we smoke all our meat and it lasts all week or gets frozen. I am fine tuning many areas in food prep. This week repackaging much in mylar bags and 5 gallon buckets. I have a plan to get bunny dropping for my first year garden in a town nearby. I had a bunny, once, and now know the awesomeness of this fertilizer. I want to start long season onion seeds in a terrarium setup on my back porch. I heard they are hardier done this way, instead of under lights.