Frugal Friday Week #48

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

One lazy cat and dog enjoying all the sunshine this week that melted the snow.

Typically, I share our weekly frugal living here each week. At the moment, I’ve decided to take a little sabbatical from Frugal Fridays for a few weeks after dealing with criticism and certain comments. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with something new soon. I’ve just decided that a short break and a little breather will be good for now. 🙂

In the meantime, I have plenty of “frugal life” from you to share, as well as special deals I’ve found this week. Let’s dive in!

I’ve also got some questions for you too…keep scrolling down!

Air Fryer

Question of the Week

Do you have an Air Fryer? If so, which one?

Let me know in the comments your answer to this! I realize I’m a late adopter of technology but I’m trying to decide if this is something we will use or not…what are your thoughts? Do you have one? What do you make with it?


Deals I Found

Here are a few good deals I found this week!

Here’s the most recently updated list of deals from Auguson Farms.

This pack of classroom posters is 50% off when you clip the coupon! I’m getting some new posters for our homeschool room and stumbled upon this deal while I was looking.

Spend $60 and get $15 in Amazon credit when you buy select cleaning supplies. Use the coupon code STOCKUPSAVE at checkout. There is a lot included in this sale like toilet paper, sponges, and more.

100 More Easy Meals in Jars is a free Kindle ebook right now. You can also download the Kindle app to read for free on your computer.

New Blog Posts I Wrote

Coming Up Next Week on the Blog

Here’s a preview of a few blog posts I’m working on that will be up on the blog next week. Check back soon!

  • Frugal Spring Recipes
  • Quick Bread Recipes
  • Essential Oil Based Gel Air Fresheners
  • Homemaking Skills Everyone Should Know
The kids and Grandpa (and the dog) had fun in the snow this week before it melted.

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 next week’s post.

Yesterday I bought 2 pounds of ground hamburger meat and chicken drumsticks. I will be making meatloaf with one pound of ground beef and goulash with the other one. I will fix oven fried chicken with the drumsticks. I never eat restaurant food anymore. I like cooking my own food. I think it has something to do with my grandpa. He was a chef. – Brenda

I saved this week by combining car trips. I made stir-fry from frozen raw whole shrimp for Valentines day. I also made a Keto cake box mix, on Monday, for Valentines day. We skipped cards and texted each other. I am making my own granola this week. I am exercising in basement over a large $4.99 sq. yard $100 Ollies store zany, colorful, zigzag carpet. I turn on old CD’s music I have and exercise. I decided not to get any more knitting lessons and use You-Tube, etc. I am knitting with acrylic more often and have joined a church knitting group. Who you spend time with does affect how you spend! For instance, I was infrequently going to a little (wool) yarn store in the past. The women who often go there spend a lot of $$ on yarn, etc. They go to an annual New York fiber festival by bus. They even buy extra tickets for newbies to buy from them because they assume some newbie will buy it! – Pamela

I did a stock up on meats (for people and the dog (I make his food, find it is pretty easy and saves a little money, and he’s a picky bugger!) and pantry items. I save it for when I get my $20 off coupon from the store. They send one about every 6 weeks. Spend 200 get 20 off. I figure I will spend that over two weeks to stock up plus weekly items, so I save up my list for that coupon and sale items. Timing is key! To the person who was nervous about posting the Taco Bell sauce tip, YOU ROCK!! That is a great tip because it satisfied the craving for take out (and um, as healthy as I eat, can’t beat a taco bell taco sometimes!)and you saved money! Win Win!! I love making copy cat recipes, but that simple one item addition is a great time and money saver all in one! – Michelle

Hello Little House friends. Sorry I have been MIA the last couple of weeks. I’ve been sick. And we traveled to help our daughter in Dallas. I am on my “no buy” kick. Trying to only purchase what I NEED. Funny thing is right now I’ve misplaced my list. Yea, I am a list person using recycled used paper of course. And so I am not shopping until I find my list. Driving me a little crazy right now, and yes, I started another one, so I should find the missing one soon, haha! With this week and Valentine’s Day, my husband and I opted to celebrate this weekend were we can enjoy the day longer! Scored two free tickets to an upcoming movie! A free date afternoon! Was able to purchase local meat at a very good price, so saved in the freezer for later. Was able to score free paint/paint supplies on a Buy Nothing facebook page. Was perfect for my daughter’s home. So very thankful and was just the colors she needed. I was gifted fresh green onions so I am cutting them up and dehydrating them this weekend. Also drying shrimp that I purchased on sale. Good for our gumbos and my husband eats them as a snack. Dried shrimp in our area are very expensive, even though we are on the gulf of Mexico and many shrimpers not too far from us. I purchased an AeroGarden, try this out. I will gift it to my grandson but I first want to try it out. I purchased it from a friend that does fundraisers for Foster the Love children. I paid $30, and it looks like it sells for up to $100. Whether it works or not, it is helping an excellent cause. Thrift store shopping scored summer tshirts for my grandson. I purchased a used Yogurt machine. Will try that out this weekend as well. I believe, Marissa, you have a recipe on file. Will search for it shortly! Busy weekend for us! Until next week! – Debbie

We had snow upon more snow this week so I didn’t do any driving. It’s been about 2 weeks since we did any grocery shopping but I’ll head out this weekend for Milk and fresh produce.

I winter sowed more Foxglove, poppies, phlox and a few other older flower seeds.

Inside I’ve started begonias from seed, 22 out of 50 seeds have germinated so far. We have 1 room in the house with a heated floor and I put the begonia seed starts in that room on the floor with a light above it. I am eagerly awaiting inside starts of herbs and veggies.

Propane is up 25cent a gal since December. Instead of increasing the thermostat during these super cold days, we wear wool socks, an extra layer and frequently drink hot water.

Breakfast has been mostly PB oatmeal with 🍌 and Chia seeds.
On Valentine’s day, I made homemade pizzas in the shape of hearts. Other meals have been soup, chili, tortellini, lots of soft boiled eggs and various leftovers. I purchase bountiful baskets produce every other weekend and that covers about 60 % of our monthly fresh produce needs in winter. Tonight’s meal is veggie soup with homemade bread, I’ll use cabbage, carrots, celery and onion fresh and stock and tomatoes previously canned.

I re- grew green onions in a cup of water, using the tops on potatoes and in soups and salads. After purchasing head Lettuce, I carefully wrap the whole head in previously used aluminum foil and store it low in fridge, this allows it to stay good for at least 2-3 weeks. I use this same method to store celery.

I mended several items of clothing, unsubscribed to several constant (salesy) email lists and read several books using our Library’s libby app.

I used our treadmill to walk most days ( until the snow melts) and also did cross fit workouts, snow shoveling and yoga (via YouTube videos) for exercise.

Hope everyone has a frugal, happy week ahead. – Jennifer

I really enjoy all the Frugal Friday ideas! No criticisms here ❤️
There’s just one of me at home now, although several animals and I do cook for our local Shelter. One of my weekly volunteering “gigs” is at our local food pantry. We have a couple of “volunteer shelves” in the back and are encouraged to check them out and take home whatever we can use. These are items that legally cannot go out on pantry shelves but are more than fine to consume. If your area has a food pantry, you might be able to get some extra groceries for helping out just a few hours a week (for me, it’s three). I’ve gotten many items that I’ve been able to incorporate into meals for myself and others (LOVE the dried blueberries!). Such a win-win! – Beth

We’ve probably had more “pantry challenge” (only buying absolute necessities fresh but almost entirely eating from my much-appreciated food storage) months than not this past year. I haven’t added it up, but I’m sure those months have saved us hundreds of dollars that we could then use to pay other bills.

Yesterday I ordered some seeds I need for this year’s garden. I needed quite a few types of seeds so it felt like a bigger purchase (especially after a couple no-spend months), but I had to remind myself that any food I can grow from those seed packages is likely cheaper than buying those same foods at the store or buying plant starts. Since I needed the seeds to start seedlings so they’re ready to plant in time, I didn’t get them ordered during a sale, but I did get them ordered when the company (Baker Creek) was doing a promo of extra free seeds with your order, so hey, getting free seeds counts as frugal, right? – Morgan

Thanks for all of the frugal tips this week. We shopped at our local community store, and I didn’t put a thing in the cart! I was going to buy some dehydrated potatoes, but my husband told me he didn’t think they were a good price, so I put them back. I was happy to hear that he is learning prices. I think that is one way to be frugal…Know your prices. My husband found some things at a good price, but I decided I didn’t really need anything, that I would use more of what we have on hand. I know you make your own sauces, and we make our tartar sauce, but we have never made ketchup or salad dressings. I am almost out of both and am excited to try making homemade this weekend. It will be healthier and probably taste better. My husband needed a haircut and we don’t have a barber here in our small community, (I don’t dare cut my husband’s hair; he is very particular about his hair – even though it would save us $20), so he went to a nearby town and while he was there he did a pick-up order for us at Walmart and also shopped a bit at Grocery Outlet. This also worked into our practice of combining errands into 1 run to save money on fuel. I like doing pick-up orders at Walmart and Safeway, because it saves time shopping in person in the store, I don’t make impulse purchases, and I can see how much I have spent and adjust my order to stay in budget. (Sometimes, I do a pick-up order at Walmart and Safeway. You just need a $35 order minimum to do a pick-up order and I price comparison as I shop and load either my Safeway or Walmart cart depending on the price). My husband needed a new white noise machine, and I used a store reward to pay for most of it. I have been surfing new Facebook groups that have images of small space living to get ideas for down the line if we move to a smaller home. It’s been so cold here, we’ve all been staying close to home and not doing much. Playing games, reading, watching movies, listening to music. We did go to the library for some more books and DVDs and our librarian showed us audio books that have all in one – little compact cassettes about 2″ in size, and she gave us each a pair of headphones, so we can listen to audio books. There isn’t a lot to do where we live. For fun, we usually go to the store on senior day, the library and the thrift store. At the thrift store I found a free picture frame, a binder, and a book. I am going through things and starting to put together items for a spring garage sale. Tomorrow is Saturday, and I shop at Dollar General because they have a $5.00 coupon on Saturday if you spend $25. Before I go I make sure I have my coupons loaded on the app. They also have cash back. Tomorrow, I’ll get $2.50 back. I’m going to make a big pot of split pea soup in the crockpot. I have a popover pan that I have been wanting to use, so I think I will make some popovers too. I am trying to wash a full load of clothes when I do laundry. I checked our cable bill to see if there was anything I could cut. Nothing right now. While I did I also checked to see if they had any free offers. Someone told me that you could purchase pet medicine online from Canada and save a lot of money. I am going to see if I can find the website. – Amy

Busy making maple syrup. Not a frugal hobby to start. But this was son’s FFA project one year. My husband continued 5he hobby. We gift jelly jars of maple syrup each year. – Chris

What have you been up to this week? Leave a comment about your frugal living this past week to help and encourage other readers!

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. Yes, I have an air fryer. Go wise USA.
    I use it A LOT.
    I’ve made ( at different times)
    bacon, cookies, cake, reheated foods, grilled meat, air fried meats, cooked veggies, cooked sweet potatoes,
    Made canned biscuits, rolls, It dehydrated, grills air frys.
    YES,I like mine.
    I used it more then my oven. Or with my oven.

  2. Hi,
    We have a Crux Artesan Series air fryer that air fries, roasts, broils, bakes, and dehydrates. Our kids are grown, so it’s just the two of us, and we often use it instead of the oven. We’ve baked cookies, reheated frozen appetizers, and made 2 person casseroles in it. Roasted veggies and bacon work well. We’ve also made hamburgers and marinated chicken thighs that come out juicy and perfect, which was a treat in the winter when it’s too cold to grill. We’ve not used the dehydrate feature yet, but I’m curious. My husband loves kitchen gadgets, and I just kind of roll my eyes when he wants one, but the air fryer is a keeper.

  3. I have an air fryer option with an all in one counter top oven. I had a separate air fryer before and it went up. I don’t see much difference between the counter top one and the stand alone, and it’s one less large appliance to store and take up cabinet space. I do use it often, I used it way more when I had kids at home. I don’t normally fry foods but this gives a healthier option than frying. French fries are yummy and you can do chicken and fish well in there too.

  4. Happy Friday from Nova Scotia, Canada!

    It makes me sad to hear your getting negativity to your wonderful posts. Don’t listen to those folks! I love your Frugal Friday’s and will miss them while you take a break.

    I unfortunately don’t have an Air Fryer, we have a very large family so I find a lot of fun appliances just don’t fit the amounts we need to make. Plus storage space for gadgets is an issue too!

    1. I worry about that too. It’s only 5 of us but my kids are big eaters! I’m not sure if it’s worth the space it would take up. I’m open to ideas though!

  5. My son and husband prefer the deep fryer over the air fryer gifted to us by my mom. The door on air fryer has to be duct taped to stay shut.
    Got insurance through Marketplace. Husband has Medicare and son has work insurance. Got dental for first time for cleanings and exam. Will see if it beats the 20 percent discount I was getting for paying cash.
    I miss work, but the new 12 hour shifts were too brutal since COVID. I liked my 7 or 8 hour shift.
    Been reading books while doing volunteering making feminine hygiene items and disaster relief quilts. Libby app saves me so much money. Plus, I enjoy Christian fiction or mystery.
    Prepare food for son’s work lunch since he works 11 hours as a lead in a factory. It is rewarding to see my son who has a permanent shunt and mild disability do well as a hard worker. His peers mentor and encourage him at work. He graduated at age 19. It is wonderful to see him with a checking account, savings account, and credit card. He is careful with money.
    I made a spring string vase art with flowers glued from yarn stems using materials leftover from other projects.
    Love your blog.

    1. Hi Chris B.
      I too read a lot of library e-books. I’m also a Christian that enjoys fiction and especially mystery. I can recommend a prolific writer from predominantly the 1930-40’s named Grace Livingston Stone. I first found her finding free ebooks on Amazon.
      The mystery writer I love is Lorena McCourtney. I especially like her Ivy Malone series.

  6. This week…I worked on our taxes. Something I didn’t know when I was younger was that you can often reduce your taxable income and thus sometimes your taxes owed by opening a Traditional IRA. You will get taxed when you take the money out and if you take out before a certain age, there is a penalty, but it does normally reduce your taxes. Nerd Wallet has some information. I like Nerd Wallet, because they also have other information on banking that has helped us – such as finding higher yield savings accounts, better credit cards, etc.
    This is a link to an article on Traditional IRAs.

    We cooked from the pantry…thinking about maybe making a move down the road and want to use up what we have just in case. I’m going to try a Chicken Bruschetta Bake recipe I found on the back of the Stove Top Stuffing Box I bought at our local scratch and dent store. Looks like a good pantry meal. I am going to used canned chicken I think instead of our frozen chicken breasts. Here’s the recipe: 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (undrained), 1 pkg. (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for chicken, 1/2 cup water, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1-1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces, 1 tsp dried basil leaves, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Heat oven to 400, mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water, and garlic just until stuffing is moist, layer chicken, basil, and cheese in 3 qt cassorole sprayed with cooking spray, top with stuffing mixture, bake 30 minutes or until chicken is done.
    We have really been using our local library for entertainment. It’s been cold and damp here, so we have been watching movies and reading books. Our library even had a free arts and crafts day, but I didn’t participate. Was busy. I have been trying to find a shelf for a senior citizen in our community. I have been patiently (impatiently) looking on our local buy/sell pages. The old me would have purchased online and delivered right away…The frugal me is still looking for a free one. Fortunately, the senior I am helping is patient too. I have been trying to find things to donate…hard for me to do. I did find 5 items. Trying to work up to 10 a day. Not much exciting here lately. Just trying to stay home as much as possible. That seems to save money. Trying to appreciate what we have and shop at home first. Hope all of you have a great week.

  7. Forgot to mention on my last post…If you purchase ink for your printer Staples OFTEN has 50% rebates on ink. It’s a reward rebate, so you use it at Staples. You have to wait a month for the rebate, but today, I have a Lodge Cast Iron Grill 10% skillet coming and it didn’t cost me a thing! We also got free Tully’s Coffee and dry roasted peanuts for free this month.

  8. Hello…It’s awful that folks need to complain or send you negative messages. Everything you do on here is free, all one has to do is subscribe. The info about downsizing, the recipes, the gardening tips, the patterns…I love and use lots of them. You know the truth, and all of the people who come back so often to your website know the truth and appreciate your hard work, please don’t allow the few rotten apples to ruin the batch.
    We are working on emptying out the freezers and the pantry, and at the same time stocking both of them for a big 4 day family get together in April. It feels counterintuitive…haha. The only shopping we did this week was for fresh produce, dairy products, and toilet paper.

  9. Answer to your question about an air fryer. We had a small one that I bought at Aldi and tried it several times and we didn’t like the taste or texture so I donated it

  10. I have the Cosori 5.5 quart and really like it. My daughter with4 to feed including 2 teen boys has the same one. My other daughter has an 8 quart because she has more to feed. It is a time saver and much healthier than frying on the stove.

  11. Made a batch of potato salad for husband. Potatoes are low in price, and our garden supply is gone. Have a volunteer event and book club Saturday. Get desserts Tuesdays and Fridays from food pantry in animal feed boxes. So much waste. Cows eat the bread. Cats eat prepared bread with grease. We have healthy, happy barn cats who love to be petted before eating. Then the cows want petting too…. Bread helped lead the cows home when they escaped. Only a little though.
    Got some Belgium waffles in feed box. Those were good with our syrup for 3 meals.
    Found some good items for food pantry at Dollar Tree.
    Take care,

  12. I love your kitty in the window! Please don’t let the naysayers get you down, many enjoy and appreciate your newsletter as do I. Please keep up the good work!

  13. Merissa,
    I am new to your newsletter and very excited to read your “frugal Friday” posts! I hope you won’t allow negative comments from some to affect the great finds you are sharing for the rest of us who have to stretch a dollar to its limits to make a living. It is your “frugal Friday” post that made me sign up to your newsletter! I’m sure I will love the rest of your content too!
    Thanx for helping the little folk!!

  14. Hi Merissa – I’ve got a Ninja Foodi Digital Pro. The #1 reason I like it is because it has a bigger cooking area. I had gotten an air fryer instant pot lid set and although that was okay, the batch size was small and even though it is just the two of us, dinner prep was taking much longer than it should for us both to eat. It was messy to clean, too.
    I also like this Ninja because it folds up against the wall when not in use (they advertise it as “flips up & away”). I don’t like appliances on the counter but I do keep this one out because it is less obtrusive. Shape-wise, it’s like a toaster oven. It is not only an air fryer but also: broils, air toasts, bakes, has a “pizza” setting, toast, bagel, reheat, dehydrate, and keep warm settings.
    I’ve used mine for air frying chicken thighs, and chicken wings, fries, baked potatoes, frozen battered shrimp… it’s been awesome. My gut can’t handle fried foods as I’ve gotten older so this satisfies that craving. I also use the bake option and the pizza option.
    Cost-wise, we got it at Costco when the price was reduced. We’d been keeping an eye on the different air fryer options and their prices. I’m very happy with it and often use it in place of my oven.
    Hope you are able to find the perfect one for your family!

  15. I have a counter top convection oven (toaster oven) with an air frying option. A friend’s air fryer died and I took the basket, removed the handle and now have a no stick basket to air fry in the oven. It works great! I use it more than my oven to make small batches of baked goods (there is just 2 of us). I find I also use it to keep foods warm while making large family dinners.

  16. I have an air fryer and have made some very good shoe leather in it 😂. I figured I should stick with what I know. I have both your books and always appreciate your newsletter. If I don’t need or can’t use the advice I scroll on and appreciate having someone who has put pen to paper so to speak and is willing to share.
    It’s easier said than done but please don’t listen to them. Remember who you and Whose you are and know that a lot of us appreciate your words!

  17. As for air fryers, we have one, it sits on the counter like a toaster oven but flips up for storage and counter space. It’s by Ninja, it is long and thin, so when flipped up, it is a counter space saver! I don’t use it as much as my husband, but it does have a dehydrate feature, which I did not know about and I will go ahead and use that! I tend to use the stove top and oven but if I was limited on space, I would be using this all the time!

    Also, as far as trolls go, I was watching a video by ‘Cooking with Brenda Gannt’ this morning on Facebook and she mentioned trolls. She said ‘boy they just need to get a job!’ I thought that was funny. Anyway, I look forward to your FrugalFridays!