Frugal Friday Week #35

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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.

Kitty in a Bag
My little cat found a place to sleep (or maybe get in the way) all over this week. This was the spot he chose in our new first aid bag before I filled it. I put together this extensive first aid kit with the help of my aunt who is an ER nurse. If you’d like me to write more about it in the future, let me know in the comments.

Frugal Friday Week #35

So I’ve started a 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!

Side Note: If you missed the last weeks, I reshared that we are currently in the process of moving into a tiny home (camper) to travel and do ministry work in rural places for now. 

Honey Oat Bread
Honey Oat Bread (gluten-free) that I made this week. Needs a little more tweaking before I share the recipe but it’s good and EASY! We used this to make garlic bread with spaghetti and the kids just ate all the rest with jelly.

Meal Highlights

We are on the home stretch of eating up all the random stuff in the pantry and freezer. I wasn’t sure about it before, but now that we are almost done, it feels WONDERFUL to be down to the basics with very few “random” ingredients and foods. I decided that going forward, I always want my pantry and food storage to be this way. I’ll post more on this someday… 🙂

Some of the meals I made this week were:

  • Spaghetti and Meatsauce
  • Lo Mein
  • White Bean Soup
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Balsamic Maple Roast Beef (This was new…pretty good too! I used up 2 old roasts.)
  • Pineapple Bars (my son made these to use up a can of pineapple!)
  • Oatmeal with Canned Pie Filling on top
  • Plus lots of leftovers

Today will be a big baking day…I’ll share on that more below.

Shopping We Did

No shopping for me this week, we just finished getting in a few random Amazon orders that I’d done last week. I needed more pantry storage containers and a few other storage things to get organized.

Veggie Cubes
Vegetable Broth Cubes that I made. The recipe is linked below. We love these!

How We Lived Frugal This Week

This week was almost all at home, so I didn’t have time to spend any extra money. I love how much we’ve cleaned out and simplified over the last month or so. Even though I felt like we were fairly minimalist before, I think it’s much more true now, and I love it. There is so much less to worry about!

I made some different types of bread this week to go with the meals that I made. Some worked out ok, but others I will make again. Gluten-free bread is terribly expensive, so any savings on that is helpful.

I made a batch of Vegetable Bouillon Cubes for the freezer out of vegetables I had that really needed to be used up. These are so helpful!

Today is going to be a big baking day as we prepare for the first leg of our upcoming journey. I will be making: cold pasta salad, lemon quick bread, Blueberry Muffins, granola, pancakes (for the freezer), dairy/gluten-free Chex Mix, and some kind of cookie to use up quick oats and white chocolate chips.

sugar cookies in a jar

Blog Posts I Wrote This Week

Thanks to the time change, I’ve been up extra early this week, which meant I had plenty of time for writing! Here are some of the blog posts I did.

Old Lock
A cool old lock that we found this week on the old homestead. I think it may have actually been for an apothecary building but I’ll have to do a little more digging (literally) to find out. 🙂

Looking Ahead to Next Week

It’s finally a travel week for us! Don’t worry, Frugal Friday will still be up at its regular time. I’ll share more about how we are going to travel for a week and only spend $50 on places to stay! I’m excited to also be able to write about living frugal in other situations and places as well as gleaning info from other homesteaders that we meet along the way. I know I haven’t shared yet exactly where we are headed but…it’s Amish country!

I’ll also get up that Bean Dip recipe I promised I could write up. I didn’t get time this week but I’m making more tomorrow, and I’ll work on the blog post. 🙂

Me and Kady

Merissa Alink

Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple and frugal life on Little House Living since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to freedom on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.

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  1. Happy Friday to you and may God Bless your work and your family as you go about blessing others. You answered one question I had in the article, and that was “go time”. This past week I took my husband to the commissary with me, and we set out to buy three weeks’ worth of groceries, give or take. We are in our second week of using them. Meatballs for the freezer is something I have been doing for about 6 months now. I cannot believe how much better they taste than the store-bought variety and how easy they are to make. Not sure why I never thought to do this before! I looked at your recipe this morning and thought I might try some of the variations you posted next time. Super excited to hear of your travels when you get time to post them! I recently stopped blogging as much as I had been. Like you it seemed like, well, nobody reads it so why bother. I hope you do not get to that point as so many of us look forward to reading a “letter” from someone who is a friend we have never met, yet we love to hear from! Be safe and we will keep your family in our prayers as you minister to those whom you are called to visit.

  2. Neighbor brought a bushel of apples for son to eat. So many bushels he brought for juice, crisp, and pie. Tied quilts for disaster relief. Looking forward to making items for days for girls Saturday and Monday. Have a great weekend!

  3. Please share you 1st Aid info, I’m always looking for ways to improve ours and I find that there are still things we need to keep on hand.

  4. The first aid kit post is a great idea! One thing I recently learned that’s good to have on hand is Tylenol suppositories for when my toddler has a fever/vomiting at the same time as a sore throat and won’t swallow liquid Tylenol.

    Congrats on stating the first leg of your journey!

  5. i bought a apple peeler/corer/slicer. how i lived without it all these years. its wonderful i put in the freezer two apple pies and can’t wait to get more apples. i will try it with potatoes tonight. i miss not having a garden but the kids are all grown and on their own. but i love reading about your garden, homesteading, and the recipies. it takes me back when i was doing what you are doing. hang in there, i know your readers love hearing from you

  6. Hello Merissa,
    You have asked readers what we are doing through the week. Well, I, too, am working toward living more simply. I am a single mom of two: Jacob, 23, and Violet, 21. We live in a SMALL 2 bedroom apartment. Am hoping to find a home once the prices drop. I have been cleaning out under the stairs and my closet. I am surprised how much is accumulated, how much I forgot I actually had this/that, which tells me I really do not need it. So, I donated or gave away. I love to cook. I am working on getting all my recipes together to put into a book for my kids, and hopefully to publish. I retired in September and realize I now need to get a part-time job! The money I am used to is not there now, so I am also researching passive income opportunities. Frugal things I am doing is not going out to eat and cook it at home, AND, get up timely so I can stick to it. It is easy to get into the “I’m running behind so I will go through fast food.” Meal planning is the way to go. I have obtained your e-book. LOVE IT!
    Another frugal thing is I have lowered my thermostat to 68 degrees. I run a tower heater upstairs and downstairs. With cooking and living between neighbors (live in the middle of a quad-plex), our place usually stays at 70 degrees (which is still too warm for me). Now that I have a little more time on my hands, I am re-reading the homestead and craft books I have accumulated. For the rest of this year it will be tweaking what works, get rid of what does not, and have a plan in place starting January ’24. My big task, which I am putting off till the last, is thinning out my books. I worked as a therapist and have 8 bookcases with books. I may start something on the side – who knows right now.

    I would also like to see your emergency bag list. There are many varieties of putting one together, however, I would like to utilize simple functional items for an emergency bag.

  7. Enjoy yourself in Amish Country. Those ladies really know how to cook and bake, and those men/boys really know how to build some beautiful furniture. Check out the quilts, too. They are a sight to behold, true works of art. Our weather in Ohio has been fluctuating between highs of the 40’s-60’s, so we have been eating a lot of soups and breads, my favorite. We had Tortellini Soup, Chili, and Pasta e Fagioli just this week. I have White Chicken Chili, Bean Soup and Loaded Corn Chowder planned for the coming week. Next week is also my baking week, gotta get started on the breads, pie crusts, and cakes for Thanksgiving weekend. I was very frugal this week and so proud of myself for it, then I ran out of my favorite quilting thread, and had to go shopping. $80 dollars later…haha. I love the picture of your kitty in the emergency kit bag(such a cat thing to do). Please post a list of your items, I would be very interested in that information. Have fun this week!

  8. I just began a frugality mindset. This week I have made all of our meals from scratch. I used to love cooking and even had a cooking blog that had a decent following. However, over time and some life changes with family moving in with us, cooking became more of a chore and I lost my zeal for it. This week my cooking mojo has returned! I’ve been having so much fun! Our grocery bill was majorly out of whack and our going out to eat was out of control so I’m so glad that I am enjoying cooking again! It’s fun tracking sales and seeing how much bang for my buck I can get.

    I’m interested where you’re going in Amish country. I grew up in northern Indiana and still have family there. Three of my four grandparents were previously Amish and left the Amish church. The Amish way of living is so simple and admirable.

  9. Safe travels with Smiles on your Miles. Prepping for the Thanksgiving holiday has been the major focus here. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  10. Sounds like your pantry reduction has been very successful! and I love the cat picture. I swear they always know the most inconvenient spot to sneak into! I would love to learn about your first aid kit packing list. It’s actually a “to-do” item for our “go-bags” should we have to leave the house in an emergency. Thank you in advance. Becky

  11. I have been trying to find the best gluten free sandwich bread, so this week I tried one yeast bread recipe I found on Pinterest. So, I am really excited that you are working on a new gluten free bread 😊. I am trying to consume fewer preservatives and save money on gluten free foods. This weekend I’ll be making some oatmeal buckwheat pancakes, a vegetable bean soup, and a pan of GF cornbread.
    Thanks for your posts and inspiration.

  12. Hi,
    Your Honey Oat Bread looks yummy. Could you give instructions on how to make it if it isn’t gluten free? I am not a baker and I don’t know if I can just replace the gluten free ‘flour’ with all purpose flour.
    Thank you!

  13. I am interested in how to make meals with bulk foods and your recipe for how to make vegetable bouillon cubes. Thanks! Amish country is about 40 minutes from here. I save money, occasionally, at some of their stores. Mennonite country is even closer. Amish and Mennonite differ in their beliefs, but both tend toward the frugal side. So, you asked how I have saved this week. Dusted off several crock-pots with plans for chili, stew, etc. Re-organizing after a son moved out saves me money and time with future cooking, gardening, etc. I am learning how to use my grain grinder this week. However, first project is grinding dried yellow peas for protein powder. It will be about $5 for five pounds instead of $55 for five pounds. We use this in smoothies, maybe home-made bars.

  14. I would also love to hear more about the first aid kit! I failed miserably this week at getting anything done. Almost 2 weeks ago I woke up and couldn’t move my head, the pain was excruciating. The only way I can be in even a little less pain is to lay down flat, no pillow. So, unfortunately I didn’t cook much or get much of anything done except taking care of the dogs. Hoping to get better soon so I can tackle some projects and get back to cooking. I usually host Thanksgiving, so I need to improve quickly! 🙂

  15. I am excited to hear about your adventures and how you are able to stretch your resources (money, food, where to stay, etc).

    I appreciate your time putting together your posts and love your cat pictures.


  16. I’m looking forward to the bean dip recipe that’s coming soon as well as your bread recipe that you shared about.

  17. I just want to say I love these recipes!I loooove what you did every week to stay frugal.Everything here is pure inspiration especially when prices are sky high!

  18. I just made 10 jars of the Apple Pie Jam and we love it. Doubled the receipe to put up in pint jars. Enjoy you Frugal Fridays