Frugal Friday Week #46

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

Welcome to Frugal Friday, where we share updates and all kinds of fresh new frugal tips!


The current format of Frugal Friday is under construction as I’m currently receiving a large amount of criticism of my family’s life and personal choices. I guess it’s just that hard for some to understand that other’s lives are different than their own and they are allowed to make their own choices.

I will update these Frugal Fridays the best I can at this time until I figure out the best way to proceed with these weekly posts.


How We Lived Frugal This Week

This week, we lived on next nothing off the grid, and it was wonderful! We didn’t do any shopping, celebrated a birthday, and did plenty of free activities like hiking.

We’ve been working on only eating up the food that we have in the freezer and pantry so our meals have been eclectic but filling. I’m due for a trip to the store this weekend, but we did a great job eating things up.

Please be sure to share how you lived frugally this week in the comments section!

Deals for FF 46

Deals I Found

Here’s the latest best deals on Auguson Farms Emergency Foods.

This 52 piece storage container set has a coupon for $15 off making it a great price! I don’t have this particular set, but the reviews look good, and the price is right.

Here are a ton of deals on “Valentine’s Day treats”. I was looking through the list and I even saw things like fruit cups and other basic snacks that would be good for packing lunches. They also had Clif Bars on sale, which are great for hiking or your emergency food stash.

The lower sugar Oatmeal Bulk Pack I posted last week for $10.77 is still an active deal. It’s discounted and then you can get an extra 15% off with Subscribe and Save.

Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips are 20% off here plus an additional 15% off with Subscribe and Save. These aren’t the cheapest chocolate chips, but they are wonderful if you need something allergen-free. Store extras in the freezer so they last a long time.

DelMonte Gold Canned Pineapple are as low as $1.36 per can. The Gold pineapple is so rich and flavorful and this is a great deal to stock your shelves! They are on sale and if you use Subscribe and Save you get another 15% off. I grabbed these to stock up.

Vintage Baking Recipes is free right now for Kindle! You can download the Kindle app to your computer to read for free if you don’t have the device.

Cream Cheese Danish braid.

Blog Posts I Wrote

How YOU Lived Frugal This Week

This is your place! Leave a comment on the post here about how you lived frugally this week. I will paste some of the replies here on the post and one random commenter will win a pack of organic Vanilla beans next week!

Hi everyone, well this last week was super busy still recovering from C—d but the RV had to be packed or finished for our three month trip. I like some easy meals to grab while travelling so a cheesy leek quiche, bolognese sauce and cooked chicken. We’ve had these with fried canned potatoes and salad, nothing too exciting but healthy and light for two old codgers on the road. We don’t tend to spend much on food in restaurants. It’s better for us to eat home cooked. We’ve only paid for one camp site so far. Another we should have but free as they’re having building work carried out and tonight we are on a free air in Burgos Spain. Should arrive tomorrow.

We’ve not been super frugal this week but we haven’t spent any money either only on fuel which is ghastly here! We’ve brought a lot of staples and pantry items with us. The one thing I can’t wait though to buy is fresh oranges when we arrive, the oranges at home (UK) now don’t keep and if not black inside in days they’re dry. I assume it’s the refrigerated transport to bring them over. I feel cheated when I have to waste one. Hope you all have a good week. Blessings. – JulieP

This week brought us proof positive that frugal living pays off. I had mentioned in another post that we have very suddenly developed flooding on my property when it rains (which it’s been doing heavily and frequently this year. Well, we found the source. My property (one acre) has about a 1/2 acre of wooded hillside, sloping down to our garden/ grass and then to our house. The neighbor that sits above our property illegally installed two pipes that drain all the excess water from his property onto ours. While the town is now notified, it will be a long time before the pipes will be removed.

Now the benefits of frugality. After some mistakes when we were very young, my husband and I have always lived below our means. Because of that, we can afford without a second thought to pay someone to mitigate the water problem until all the red tape for the pipe removal is waded through.
Living frugally started with hardship for us, and then grew into a peaceful joy. Now it has paid off. – Susan M.

Frugal Meal

This week we had a bit of a false spring, now we’re 5 inches deep in new snow. I took advantage of the warmer weather and was able to clean out several garden beds. I went through all my old seeds and chose flower seeds that were languishing and decided to winter sow them. The seeds sown were hollyhocks, milkweed and poppies. I’m in zone 4 but things like winter sowing, garden planning on paper and starting seeds indoors helps me feed my gardening need until the calendar and weather are conducive for outdoors gardening.

We ate all meals at home, utilizing our bountiful baskets order from last weekend. I volunteered to help pack baskets and was given an extra head of Romaine for assisting.

I was mindful each day to open the drapes and blinds on south facing windows to let the sunshine in and warm those rooms. Our propane tank was filled (replacing all that fuel used during the frigid -35 days). The rates have increased 25 cents/gallon since December, so every bit of extra ☀ is greatly appreciated.

I read several free books using my Lbby app that’s connected to our public Library. I love that when our week is super busy and I have no time to go to the Library, the Libby app has so many options for books and audio books. – Jen B,

This week has been all about trying to find the best grocery deals, I have been trying to shop more local store deals, and scored pineapple for $.99/1ct, and strawberries ($1.99/lb), the only catch was you had to buy 3 of each, which is fine because we eat alot of fruit; we also scored 10ct small oranges for $1 and 12oz bacon for $1.99 (I loaded up on this and bought 12 for us-as we seem to use 1/month) and then grabbed 2 for my parents as my dad loves bacon. I feel we got some good deals!

I will say I went to one of the stores a day early (the 3-day sale didn’t start until the next day); I blame this on mom brain. I got up to the cash register and we couldn’t figure out why it was ringing up correct per the sale ad, then the manager informed me it started the next day. My husband was so kind as to go grab the items the next day so we could still benefit from the sale and the cashier was so nice.

Of course things like this happen on the busy days (we had a dr appt for our baby boy this day and I was planning to quickly check out and get to his appointment, I just had to take a breath and try to relax. I just said “Well we’ll get to your appointment eventually”, but luckily made it pretty much right on time). We also started shopping at Aldi recently and love the savings-check out the sale on Maple syrup this week! – Isis B.


My friend always wants to go out to eat with me. I am too frugal for that cost. So we had a packed picnic lunch of sandwiches, chips, and fruit/ veggies. We played a card game she taught me……golf. We played 3 games after tying quilts for disaster relief and picnic lunch. We also volunteer for Days for Girls making feminine hygiene items. – Chris B.

This week, I’ve been keeping it simple and wallet-friendly. Cooked up a batch of homemade veggie soup for lunches that are cheap, healthy, and delicious! Also, tackled some DIY projects at home, like upcycling old furniture with a fresh coat of paint. – HarleyEngland

Susan M is our winner for this week! Susan, could you please email me at [email protected] to claim your prize? I’ll get that mailed right out to you!

What have you been up to this week?

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.

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. This past week we went through our freezers to see what we already have. This weekend I will go through the pantry and make meal plans !
    We found a new Amish store with discounted groceries and lots of Amish goods not too far from where we live!!
    We celebrated our 24th anniversary, but I was sick, so we will go out to dinner tonight…using a gift card that I have had for a while.

    1. I am nervous about posting this one. I am apply many frugal ideas, but rarely come up with my own. Sometimes my family gets cravings for eating out. This week I bought a bottle of taco bell taco sauce to put in our quesadillas. It tastes like we are eating out, but saving so much money, by staying home.
      I also wanted to add, I am sorry that you are experiencing negative feedback for your family’s choices. I appreciate your blog and admire what you do. Please don’t lose heart!

  2. I do not see any reason to change your site for other people. If someone doesn’t like the lifestyle you live, they can unsubscribe. I personally have found your site to be VERY helpful. While you live a different life than I do, the tips, recipes, etc., you give us can work for anyone. Please stay your sweet self and don’t give in to the nasty comments some people leave for you. This is YOUR LIFE and I personally enjoy reading about it.

  3. First, I must say, I’m sorry you are getting criticized. I have enjoyed reading how your family is trying to follow the path you feel is right and help ministry at the same time. It is too bad people feel they must judge others.

    We have been working hard to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet. I tried something new last night. I microwaved a whole spaghetti squash. When cooled, shredded the squash. I then cooked spaghetti noodles and added the spaghetti squash to the cooking noodles about 3 minutes before the noodles were done. Stirred and drained the spaghetti mixture. Topped with meatballs and sauce from Aldi. It turned out great and we ate lots of vegetables in our spaghetti! We will be eating this more often as it was quick, inexpensive and full of extra vegetables.

  4. Hi Merissa:
    I don’t blame you for changing up Frugal Friday if you are being criticized. Your choices are nobody’s business but yours. I don’t have anything related to share re frugality this week. I just wanted to wish you well in your endeavours. Blessings,


  5. Love your blog. Ignore the haters please. Go where God is leading you.
    I cover my stove burners with pot and kettle lids when cooking hamburger or bacon so grease doesn’t go on burner elements. Then wash lids when doing dishes.
    Had fun eating picnic lunch with friend. She wants to do it again.
    After days for girls volunteering, we hope to buy items for food pantry.
    We had 99 cents per pound chicken thighs and mashed potatoes. Veggies were from the freezer. Neighbor has abundance of eggs so upgraded a box of brownie mix with chocolate chips and sprinkles for son. We had scrambled eggs and 79 cent per pound ham.
    Husband is working on 8 x 8 greenhouse in workshop attic. He has onions started. We have an acre of garden at least.
    Take care
    Chris b

  6. Merissa,
    Thank you for your website. I love the information and experiences you share. You’re articles and tips on frugal living encouraged me to do a “no spend” event. When I talked to my husband about it, I planned for a week but hoped for a month. We weren’t 100% successful, but we were able to stay fairly focused for a month. For me, it was a great learning time. I was able to break some habits that I just couldn’t before, and get back in touch with some better ways of doing things that I hadn’t done for way too many years. BONUS! More savings than I expected.
    I am hoping the motivation remains so we can continue to live and enjoy the simpler life we are finding. It can be done in.
    Thanks again for all your sharing.

  7. I am so sorry people have been negative on your comment section. I don’t understand why, other than ignorance at best, and mean spiritedness. I always enjoy your updates, and appreciate how you shine Christ’s light in this dark (and foolish, unkind) world. Prayers to you and your family and ministry.

  8. I’m sorry you are feeling criticized. I think you are doing a wonderful job taking care of your family and this community.

  9. I love the pictures! Well, we were not so frugal this week because we made the 1 hour trip to my very favorite grocery store…Jungle Jim’s. We try to only hit that store about 4-5 times a year because it’s way too easy to buy everything you see. I did buy a ton of produce, and then I spent the next 2 days prepping a lot of it for the freezer. We recently did an inventory of our freezers, and then challenged ourselves to make meals only from the freezers. The veggies needed replacing after that, so I don’t feel so bad. Now I just need to get baking again and replace all the special breads that we polished off. We eat lots of soup and bread dinners, especially when it’s cold and snowy here in Ohio.

  10. Hang in there, Marissa,
    Your e-mails are informative and interesting.
    I think at this time in our world we need to be more like ducks and let “stuff” roll off our backs. The spirit of criticism is running amuck all over the world it seems because everyone wants to share their opinion ( including me it looks like. : D ))
    As my Lord says “be strong and courageous .
    Blessings, L. Leslie

  11. Don’t listen to the nay sayers. There will always be those with negative intentions and energy. They don’t like themselves so they don’t like others. The internet is full of them. Remember we would not be here if we did not like your site. You are serving God and family, which is a very good thing! I live off grid. My goal is to increase my garden this year (my garden got washed away last year in the torrential rains), so that I can be more self sufficient and not be hurt with the raising grocery cost. Also I want to eliminate as many chemicals found on store brought items as possible. I love your recipes. I have a turkey breast I plan to cook on Sunday along with your recipe for easy cranberries. You may not please everyone, but you inspire those of us that are here.

  12. It boggles my mind that people actually take the time to subscribe or find a blog, read it , only to take even more time to trash it? Hello, if you are doing this, go get a hobby, find Jesus or re evaluate the way you spend your time…. Anyway, I am still on my low/no buy challenge. I skipped the store this week and will miss my fresh produce (I eat mainly fresh produce daily) but will survive on frozen or canned. Changes up what I eat as well and I am a creature of habit. I did get swayed by two braided rugs that were on an amazing sale, but I took a second look at the rugs I have now and they still are in great shape. So, I didn’t hit order now and deleted the app! Have a great week!

  13. It seems living frugal each week is a challenge for sure. I receive an increase in a monthly expense, so I cut something we in our budget and now I am down to really having a difficult time finding where to cut. Once I cut something and I’ve “balanced” the budge, I receive an email from some other monthly expense that is going up in cost…I sure appreciate all you share with us on how you live frugally and how we might save money.

    I try to use sweaters, blankets and throws and keep our heat turned down. We turn it completely off at night and sleep with comforters. We also use LED candles and lights.
    I use power strips and turn them off when not in use.

    We are blessed with a small grocery discount store in our community. I was able to buy a senior veteran I am helping bananas for .39 a lb. The owners are thoughtful of our community members and helping us stretch our dollars. They often have a graduated monthly sale on groceries. When they do, I stock up and sometimes save as much as 40%. I was able to get a lot of canned soups, canned beans (many varieties), and also treated us to some beverages at a 40% discount (off of already discounted prices).

    When we do “go to town” we stock up at a Grocery Outlet store and this week we saved $175 on groceries. We also fuel up and save .80 a gallon on fuel “in town.” My husband and I try to run all of our errands in the same day, and we don’t drive every day to save on fuel.
    We go on Wednesday when it’s senior day at our discount store and Thursday when it’s senior day at our larger grocery store.

    I also purchase quite a bit of our groceries online and comparison shop on pricing normally between Amazon (subscribe and save if I can), Walmart+ (includes Paramount) and Target 5% off with Red card.

    I always check our grocery fliers each week too.

    I am going to do a bucket garden again this year. I am hoping to raise enough for our family and a bit for our community members in need.

    Our daughter wanted ice cream, and we didn’t have any. It was too expensive at the store when we went last time, so we didn’t buy any. We had some frozen bananas and used our Yonana maker to make soft serve frozen bananas. She also baked a cake and made homemade frosting because that was all we had on hand. It turned out beautifully and was delicious. She is a great cook and made it her own by adding a bit of vanilla and almond to the mix and almond flavoring to the frosting. It tasted like a frosted glazed donut.

    My husband and I plan on eating from the pantry as long as we can. I usually do a search of recipes on the internet based on what I need to use up. We’ve found some really good recipes this way. We normally plan our meal in the morning over coffee.

    I remember my grandma lived through the depression and used to darn her socks. I do the same. I find it reminds me of my grandma and is relaxing. I try to make it through the winter season without buying new and buy in the offseason.

    I shopped our house this week too for things that I haven’t used for awhile. Used some plates I had in the cabinet for years and never really used. Dug through my clothes and pulled out some I am wearing that I haven’t for awhile. I also found some adult coloring books and colored pencils tucked away and I think I might try that this weekend or maybe some cross-stitch that I have had for years.

    I am really trying to shop our house before I make a purchase. We also have a buy nothing community page on Facebook that I use. I was able to get a very nice free dresser for that senior I am helping. All it cost us was the gas to pick it up. I encourage you if you haven’t tried it, find a local community page on social media. I have found so many great items for free or very low cost. I have also learned about free entertainment in our community.

    I use every last drop that I can of things like toothpaste and shampoo. I purchase what is on sale not brand name.

    We live where there is bad internet service so we pay for satellite cable and stream a bit instead of going to the movies. I am cutting streaming services and switching over to watching dvds from the library. I also found some free magazines for each of us at the library. I even got a large print western for my husband that he is reading. We play a lot of card and board games in our house. It’s fun and brings us closer together.

    I found a recipe for homemade cat treats I am going to make this weekend. Our cat likes expensive treats and I am hoping she will enjoy these and I can cut out the store bought treats.

    We try to find the joy in the small, every day living. Walking, reading, cooking, games,
    music…a nice cup of coffee or tea.

    I am excited to read the meal plans shared on your Facebook page. Thank you.

  14. Thank you so much for the deals. I know they take a lot of time to find. I’m so excited about the gold pineapple. It’s so good, but I haven’t bought it in a long time because of the cost. What a great deal!

  15. I have been subscribed to Little House Living for more than a decade. I love it! I have even pointed two sons and one daughter in law to you as a resource. Please be encouraged! Also know that there is a general attack against the family in America. Don’t take these negative comments personally. You can unsubscribe them if they are negative. Two strikes and they are out! This is how I deal with all toxic people now. In person and online. Praying for you.

  16. Merissa,
    I connected with your website because of how you presented ideas and shared the choices you and your family have made for a reason. Finding your website was an answer to my prayers.
    It is sad that there are some who are so afraid of transparency. Perhaps your openness hits them too close to home.
    Stand strong. Do what you need to do.

  17. I don’t have any frugal tales for the last couple of weeks beyond the daily, unless you count space. I’m reorganizing most everything stored in my place, which includes going through some of the boxes and trying to make more fit in each box. Believe it or not, this will include photo albums, some of which are needing replacements and are really bulky. I’m getting older, so these boxes of albums need paring down both in weight and bulk. Space is at a premium in my little place, so, I guess I’m trying to be more frugal with this resource.

  18. Dear Merissa, I follow you from Italy 🇮🇹 I landed on your website a couple years ago for a mistake, while I was searching for Little house on the prairie books, but… how a lucky mistake! I appreciate all the contents very much and admire your beautiful family! Don’t care about others’ opinions: you and your husband know best than anyone what is good for your children. I think that growing children in God’s love is the greatest gift you could give them!
    Hoping that my english is good enough, I try to talk about my frugal week. I work out of home ad cook almost all meals. Bringing lunch from home saves me almost 120 euro/dollars a month and ensure healthy food every day. For breakfasts, I cooked 2 low sugar an low fats gluten free cakes with doubled ingredients, to obtain 12 big servings for each one: I took out a few and put the others in the freezer, ready to grab in the hurry mornings. In order to save on electricity, when I heat the oven, I cook almost 2 things together if possible or in sequence. Another little tip is preparing coffee by using moka and coffee powder instead of espresso machine with ready capsules, that are quite expensive. Some foods and ordinary living is a little different in Italy but in your blog I find a lot of useful tips for saving money and living a healthy life, and interesting receipts! We use to prepare “minestrone” that litterally translated sounds as “big soup”: just put inside all different vegetables you like or want to eat up like external hard leaves, then boil and blend. I let this last soup less thick than usual and added rolled oats at the end. Part of that big pot was freezed in single servings for future lunches. To save on car fuel, I drive trying to maintain a constant speed and to avoid rapid acceleration, but only when possible and always taking the safeness at the first place.
    God bless you and your family!

  19. Good morning Merissa !! Its been a busy few weeks here,trying to get tax stuff done for the past year and trying to find a new tax accountant dealing with a tractor that was leaking fuel ,work outside the home the list keeps going!! But on the positive side im gettins to see my daughter husband and 3 grandaughters 2 xs a week so am doing more cooking than in the
    past couple years . they have me up for dinner on sunday nite and they come tuesday nite to my place for dinner. Spring had returned again until this past thursday when it got cold again-oh well its still technically winter yet!!!Have a blessed week this week!! LOVE YOUR WEEKELY REPORTS AND CRAFT IDEAS!!!

  20. Hi! Sorry this is late. Merissa, you have encouraged us and helped so many of us. You have shared your WEALTH of knowledge, your successes, your failures, and once even shared (with discretion) a deeply painful loss with us. In the world of the internet where fake personas abound, you are a quietly shining light. God is with you in every moment. I’m sorry the people that don’t understand that is an honor when someone shares their life journey. You and your husband are giving your kids an upbringing that is wonderful.
    Now for the trivial We were took a family vacation last week (my husband and I, my grown son and daughter, and my elderly in-laws). My husband and I had a full kitchen in our unit and we bought groceries. Obviously we were not as fully stocked as at home, and I created some meals that are so crazy-sounding I’m embarrassed to admit I made them. They were delicious.
    The first was a breakfast. I took leftover spaghetti with butter and diced broccoli and topped it with a poached egg. The runny egg made a sauce and it was really, really good! The second meal was a lunch I whipped up. Sliced deli roast beef is a guilty pleasure for my health-conscious husband, and we buy it once yearly on our family vacation. I am unimpressed with it, but it was protein and was on hand. I diced up several pieces and sauteed them in a pan, lightly browned a good amount of thinly sliced onion, threw it all over spaghetti and topped it with grated parmesan. It was amazing. My husband said tasted luxurious, and I agreed.

  21. Keep you chin up, Merissa. There are always trolls about who take pleasure in putting people down. I find your frugal Fridays with its reader participation great fun. I live in Northwest England where we have had a cold (not by US standards though) and wet winter. I have three lots of potatoes chitting on the dining room table, Sharps Express, Ulter Prince, and Maris Bard, all types which do very well in this fertile but chilly part of England.
    and have a load of onions already showing good root growth and green shoots which I grow in the greenhouse in trays, I will put them out when I have finished rotavating and composting the main vegetable garden. I also have been saving toilet paper tubes all winter to start my broad beans and peas off to a good start. We have switched to bamboo TP which is much better environmentally, and their tubes are quite stout. They make excellent long seed-growing pots. The beans are in them now. I will set them out with the first potatoes around Easter and the first broad beans should be ready to eat by late May.
    On the poultry front, the main flock of laying hens are laying very well, and we have plenty to spare. An honesty box at the gate provides us with enough casual sales to cover the cost of the hens’ food. We have about forty in the flock of cockerals and hens altogether as my husband shows both chickens and eggs.

  22. Just ignore the critics. Your children are getting and awesome education in geography and social studies. Continue the good work.

  23. Please don’t change your site/blog to please other people!! I am sure I am not alone when I say how much I love your posts and all of the frugal information you provide. If people do not like it, or the way you are living YOUR life, then they can unsubscribe… don’t let the keyboard cowards run you out!! Hang in there 🙂