Frugal Friday Week #7

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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.

One of several ponds that popped up this week due to the snow melt.

Frugal Friday Week 7

So I’ve started a new series called Frugal Friday and need your help. My idea for this series is to share some of the projects/recipes/things we worked on this week and, in general, just what life looks like.

I need your help because I’ve tried something similar before, and I gave up after a while. I got bored, felt like no one was reading it or cared, and I moved on to other projects. So what I need you to do each week is to share what your week looked like in the comments section. I think it could keep us ALL accountable and may serve as an encouragement to others!

So let’s dive right into this week!

Sausage Sandwich
A “double decker” sausage sandwich. Egg, cheese, and sausage patties on a GF bun. Served with fruit.

Meals We Ate This Week

This week was pretty boring for meals. I didn’t make the time to prep ahead and we had some busy working days. Here are some of the things we had:

Breakfasts –

Eggs and Sausage
Yogurt and Granola
Bagels and Cream Cheese
Cereal (I save this for on-the-go mornings)
Banana Muffins

Lunches – 

Big Plate (an unfancy charcuterie board)
Loaded Nachos

Suppers – 

Beef Stir Fry
Leftovers from last week
Breakfast for Supper
Sausage Sandwiches

Getting the red wigglers set up in their new home.

Shopping I Did

I ordered Mealworms from Uncle Jim’s to start a mini mealworm farm. My red wigglers arrived as well. More on that below.

I shopped the Amazon deal of 20% off $50 of basic staples and I stocked up on freezer bags. Looks like they still have the sale going if you want to check it out here.

I also ordered this bun pan from Amazon. Not sure how well it will work but I’d like to be better at shaping my gluten-free hamburger buns that I’ve been making. It was a splurge and I could have probably done without it but I really want to make the buns pretty so I’m going to try it!

I took advantage of the $10 off $50 food sale at Vitacost and ordered a few things I was out of like carob powder and more puffed corn to make Honey Puffed Corn. They don’t have that sale anymore but when I looked this morning they have a 13% off deal if you download their app.

Finally, I ordered from Thrive Market because I had $40 in free credit. I used that to stock up on more Sunbutter. You can get 40% off your first order if you use this link.

Seedling Shelves
My seedling shelves. This was an inside project this week but the tunnel they will go in is an outside project!

Outside Projects We Worked On

We worked on expanding the current sheep pen to make room for all of the bottle babies and the new babies that are coming. I can’t wait until spring and snow melt to get these out in the pasture!

We haven’t worked on this project yet (again, waiting for snow melt) but we did buy all the supplies to set up a cattle panel tunnel greenhouse. I’ve always used low tunnels in the spring for cabbage and broccoli but with the volume I’m growing this year it just didn’t make sense. The tunnel will be 50 feet long and 8 feet wide. We will be setting it up soon and I will share pictures!

Today we will also be getting a temporary roof put on our greenhouse. Last fall we had a terrible hailstorm that went right through the solid polycarbonate roof and our insurance has been a pain to work with. For now, we are putting on a temporary plastic roof.

My somewhat organized pantry. I filled up more of these plastic containers that I found in the dining room. I like glass jars but these are so easy to grab if you have young children!

Inside Projects We Worked On

My worm farm arrived this week, as did all of the worms. I spent some time setting up my Vermihut and getting them all comfy. I also ordered mealworms and they arrived as well. I’m *hoping* to have something of a mealworm farm so that we can start raising our own chicken feed. We will see how things go.

I also had to repot some of my indoor seedlings which were getting too big. This took me a large portion of a day and I’m not done quite yet. I also noticed that the peppers are finally up and we set up a second seedling shelf and all of the lights that I ordered last week.

Finally, I started working on some spring cleaning and organizing. If you’ve seen my videos you know that I have a large cupboard on one wall in my dining room and it’s very much in need of some organization! I started on there, got distracted halfway through, and cleaned out the pantry, and now I’m back to the cupboards.

Books I’m Reading

None this week as we returned everything to the library and I didn’t pick up anything new yet.

Soft Lard

Blog Posts I Wrote

You can tell how much I was working on other projects by how few blog posts I wrote this week! Here are a few, though if you missed them earlier.

Old Recipe
One of my great-grandma’s recipes.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Since our ewe has not had her babies yet we are still hoping for those lambs this weekend! Also now that I’ve started working on some spring cleaning I plan to continue that.

I also am working on a “secret project” involving my great-grandma’s recipes. I will let you in the loop soon!

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.


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  1. That sausage breakfast sandwich looks delicious. I’ve been working on organizing sewing and quilting projects for most of the week. I’m also starting a freezer meal challenge which includes cleaning the freezer, taking inventory and making a number of freezer meals for future use. These projects are part of getting prepared for hip replacement surgery in May.

  2. You have a very well organized pantry.
    Your double decker breakfast sandwich look Delicious.
    Thank you for all that you do and may you have a wonderful and enjoyable weekend.
    God Bless

  3. Projects over last month for me and my sisters: Built cattle panel greenhouse. Put pea gravel throughout garden pathways. Filled last year’s leaves into the garden beds. Collected this year’s leaves. Planted seeds in the beds and also in the greenhouse.

  4. Hi everyone, I am now a great grandmother (retired middle school special education teacher) who homeschools my special needs grandson via zoom as he lives in another state. It seems not so many years ago I looked for things to do with my kids that didn’t cost money. Marissa, you mentioned the library. That was my go to activity for the kids. Not only did we spend time together, they were happy that I took an interest in their favorite topics. We even rented videos! The library is so much more than just checking out books. Now, being older (71), every week I check out sales adds at our local stores for the most affordable, healthy meals as my husband has multiple health problems that need multiple special diets. Marissa, I love your ideas for frugal meals! Please keep up your Frugal Fridays. I know many of us, of all ages, get ideas from your posts. I thank you and appreciate you for your time and work that you put into your posts.

  5. I haave been pretty busy this week myself. I am the caregiver for my husband and he has had a couple of rough weeks-he is getting better. I canned taco meat, and sloppy joes. I did the grocery shopping thing and got a good deal on 25 pounds of carrots so will be dry canning those today. Am working on getting some seeds started. Since we moved last fall, there are so many things I cant find-like my grow lights. Hoping to go out to the storage unit and dig around there, hoping to find them and a few other things!

  6. Hi Melissa my name is Sabine ,yes my week was we establish some new gardens,and my vegetables patch is thriving best year yet but my dogs have a fascination about my gardens, this year has flown, hoping your week goes well.

  7. I am sorry the ins. has not been helpful for your green house, not ok :/ I will say a prayer right now that gets resolved. Recipes look great! I will be going back to work seasonal at a green house and I wont be able to look at my email on fridays untill maybe sunday.. So I am hoping to get into a routine , because I love your blog and posts and emials. I have been trying (trying is a good word for it) to stay away from facebook, so I am not seeing all the great stuff on there. I have not caught you instagram untill just this moring for some reason, haha.. So I did a cooking day with my sister this past week and we made pretzels, and bagel bites! delious, oh my goodness I am gonna try maybe today to make some with GF flour.. We also made homemade hashbrowns, so that i could freeze them and serve one to hubby with his breakfast sandwich on sunday mornings. I am gonna work on getting some seeds planted today to put in the window I dont have a grow light, so we shall see how well it goes.. thankfully I work at a greenhouse in the spring, haha.. so I am able to get seedlings sometimes for free as we call them up 4’s (up for free items ) God bless you melissa and I appreciate your blogs and emials. even if I dont respong always in a comment. Thank you thank you Mary Beth W. From Maine <3

  8. Well this week was long. I work full time as a legal secretary but thankfully three days a week I work from home so that helps. This week I accomplished 5 loads of laundry, did the food shopping and got to CVS to pick up three months of my husband’s prescriptions. With the new insurance we have three month supply of his medication turns out to be cheaper than having the prescriptions filled each month. I completed one of the knitted Easter Eggs that I am making for my children for their Easter Baskets. 3 more to go but its a good start. I also started knitting another hat for our son. I sent a package to our youngest away at graduate school in Ohio for St. Patrick’s Day. So I made brownies and Irish Soda bread and got that out to her which thankfully arrived on time. I also sent out a few cards for St. Patrick’s Day to my brother, my dear friend and to our oldest daughter who is a teacher living in PA. She is coming home for the weekend so I have her soda bread and such to give to her when she comes home. I made six loaves of Irish Soda Bread this week and left the house this morning with the Corned Beef in the crock pot which I will finish when I get home from the office. The chicks we have are getting bigger and doing well and our miniature dachshund is finally over his virus and back to his normal self so that has helped. Tried two new recipes, Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes and Stove Top Taco Soup, both were hits with the men at home. That’s been my week basically.

  9. I’m going to add sausage patties to my shopping list! Yum! Today is seed starting day for me. This week I baked bread (we’re new to gluten free sandwich bread baking), organized our game cupboard and continued to chip away at my craft area that I’ve been cleaning up this month. I designed our Easter card (never did get Christmas cards sent!) and my son’s graduation invites. My goal for March was to work on building more good habits so when the snow melts and I can do yard work again I’ll be disciplined with inside chores/meal planning and not let the house go.

  10. This is our first year starting a garden from seeds and I feel like I know nothing! Do you have a post where you’ve linked to all your favorite treats, lights, shelves, and info like do you start the seeds in a tray and then transplant them to bigger pots before in ground? If I have a greenhouse will I need lights and heat mats? So many questions.and the internet is a bottomless pit of varying information.

      1. That’s awesome, thank you! I used the search too and brought up some of your past ones so I’ll keep looking for those!

  11. I look forward to this email each week. Thank you. I can’t remember, what zone are you in for gardening?

  12. Good morning, Merissa! I’m fairly new to your blog and have it linked in my RSS feeds. I’m in suburban Chicago, moved to a townhome from a 100+ year old home within the city borders after my husband passed (2014, all is good now). Our one-time goal was to move to the country, live smaller, and become more self-sufficient. While that dream has passed me by, I still try to live more simply, and be more self-sufficient and frugal in my ways. This week started with our annual St. Paddy’s day “gathering of the clan”, so last week was tiring from all the preparation. It was so good to see everyone and celebrate our family’s Irish heritage, and it’s also become symbolic of the end of our winter season. This week has passed by too quickly and with little to show for it. Perhaps it’s let-down after all the go-go-go of the previous week. I attended our book club luncheon, but otherwise just layed low and recovered. Food wise, it’s been corned beef after corned beef after corned beef, so none of the leftovers went to waste. The last of it will be used in a dip/spread recipe I found this morning. I’ve put some of the left-over cookies in the freezer and made a second batch of soda bread early in the week and will make another this afternoon. I can’t wait to be able to get into my deck-rail planters and get some healthy greens growing outside. Always looking for tips and other information to incorporate into my household of one.

  13. We have been working on getting my new building dried in. It got roofing and siding in the last 10 days. Ready for doors and start the interior. This will be my canning shed so that all of my canning and preserving supplies, jars, etc will be organized in one place with a dedicated kitchen for canning. We also have started adding a greenhouse to the front of the new building. Hope to have it up and running by Fall.
    Our garden is coming along nicely. I have lettuce in my cold frame. We have potatoes, onions, radishes, beets, and sugar snap peas growing in the garden. We have a cold snap coming for the next couple of nights, so will have to cover everything. Hoping to get my cabbage and broccoli in this weekend or early next week. We will have to wait about 2 or 3 more weeks to plant the remainder of our garden.
    Meals this week have been freezer/pantry cooking along with FINALLY mastering a couple of sourdough loaves. I have been trying to use what we have and only buying milk and cheese as needed.

  14. let us know how the bun pan works out !! i have a whoopi pie pan that looks like that , but i measured it and the buns would be about an inch smaller (too small).
    and your sausage egg sandwich is making me hungry, yummmm.

  15. Your pantry looks great. This week was a much needed rest after my aunt and uncle helped sort things out of trailer ready for a garage sale. I am back back ready to roll. I printed out 7 recipes from Pinterest and went shopping and got a few things needed for them. I made a copy cat recipe of Panda Express chow mien and it was delicious that’s on the menu again. Skillet lasagna was good also. I stopped by Kohl’s and they’re having 50% of clearance priced items. I got 2 tee shirts and used my $5 birthday money and paid $6 for two not bad. Started mowing the yard now that’s it growing like weeds too. Costco has about 5 deals on organic vegetables I get every time I go in.

  16. Hi Everyone.
    Another busy week.
    Winter has made another stop in my hometown. When the weather is this cold I get hungry for soups and stews. That is pretty much what I prepared for our meals this week. One of my meals was chicken and dumplings. My husband likes to pick out the dumplings and eat them. Unfortunately, this leaves me with only the soup for the next night of leftovers. Faced again with a no dumpling soup, I got a little creative. I took several sheets of phyllo dough, brushed a little melted butter between each sheet, sprinkled with a small amount of salt, and baked until lightly brown. The result was soft flakey croutons. They were good in the soup and allowed me to dress up a leftover.
    I visited my favorite second hand store and found a few needed summer shirts. I ordered some whole nutmeg.
    The only outside work was protecting my saffron from a late freeze with straw.
    I finished my flannel quilt. I am glad to have that done. I can move to other projects now.
    I started Marissa’s Living Devotional. I am really enjoying it. It really has had contentment on my mind this week.
    I am hoping for a warmer week and looking forward to seeing pictures of your new baby animals. I hope all the births go well.

  17. Well we finished painting wall 3 of 4 in our living room. My husband has one more wall to finish sanding and we will finally have a nice living room. We are going to start polyurethaning pine boards for the ceiling next. We need to wait for warmer weather so we can do it outside. We are in Michigan and that may take awhile. I ordered a new kitchen aid mixer this week. Sams club had them $90 off. I’ve had my current mixer for over 20 years and it’s starting to die. I overload it sometimes when I make dough. I’m cooking for 8 people and the mixer really takes a beating. I also tried a new recipe this week, breakfast cake. I used cassava flour in it as I cannot eat gluten. Turned out good. Cassava substitutes really well in cake recipes. I also tried a recipe out for subway style herb and cheese bread. Everyone liked it. That was not gluten-free of course but I would make it again.

  18. Man, you’re super woman- so many projects getting done!!
    I have a 1yr old and an 11wk old puppy. we got her last week from a friend who couldn’t handle her due to allergies… so it was quite spontaneous. I have been cleaning nonstop after them and tackling my mound of Laundry. Prepping to go back to work in a few weeks and had people over for dinner a few nights this week. Finally got to cleaning and organizing my sons room (we moved 2 months ago). The ongoing project that’s be taunting me for 5 weeks almost is carpet cleaning my 2nd floor… and figuring out how we will setup our spare room.

  19. LOVE the photo’s you share of Homestead Life. I do not comment, & since you have I asked for comments I will share that the recipes, photo’s and Homestead Ideas & farm animals and plants are greatly appreciated.

  20. I love reading about how productive you are. I am not like you at all, I don’t have the energy to do all that you do. But, I very much enjoy reading about your weeks. I’m a fan.

  21. I picked up my Denver Foods co-op order this week. They sell damaged box, discontinued items, or past best buy date items. the discounted food prices have been great! I was especially excited to get Pacific Foods organic pastured chicken broth for 74cents/quart, riced cauliflower for about 40cents/lb, and due to a shipping error I got a really good deal on organic grassfed beef for $2.55/lb.

    My husband and I went on a spur of the moment cheap date. We went to our local Hyvee (grocery store) that has a Starbucks inside. I used a gift card I had been given to buy a drink to share and we wandered the aisles looking at products and prices and chatting. It was a much needed break and didn’t cost us a thing 🙂

  22. Life was hectic this week! Lots of repurposing leftovers and pulling from the freezer. I did manage to make some pumpkin bread (trying to use the canned pumpkin before it goes bad, eventually), some hamburger buns (need to work on those), two loaves of French bread, and a loaf of rye bread (first time making it, so we’ll see how it turns out).

    I got the book form the giveaway this week, too! I can’t wait to dive into it! 🙂

  23. Thank you so much for the heads up on the freezer bags. I just put in an order. Since my husband is an avid hunter and fisherman and we usually try to raise a garden the bags usually go pretty fast in our house. Again thank you! NickiB.

  24. I successfully made your Hummingbird Bread recipe without eggs this week – subbed 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt to replace the egg. My egg allergic son even helped me make it, and it turned out really well! Definitely a keeper. Will try the hashbrown casserole soon.

  25. I live in southwestern Ontario, Canada and though we have a few bare patches of grass we are expecting another 20 cm of snow tonight or tomorrow so no gardening here yet. Spent today prepping apples – most went in the dehydrator and used the rest making apple crisp and buttermilk apple oatmeal muffins in my new USA muffin tin that arrived today from Amazon. This USA pan is amazing as it didn’t require any pan prep as far as oil so just scooped batter in, baked it and the muffins came out very easy followed by a quick dishcloth cleaning with soap. I have been reluctant to make muffins because cleaning the pan was such a chore, but I see lots of muffin baking ahead because this pan is a game changer.

  26. Merissa, what do you do with all your sheep once they are grown?
    Sheer them for wool? Eat them? Sell them?
    Do you have goats?
    Your pantry looks so organized and pretty!

    1. We plan on breeding them and using them for both meat and milk. They are also wool sheep so we will use that as well…I’m just not totally sure what all we will use it for yet!
      We do have goats, their milk will be extra and mostly to provide a protein source for our pigs. We may also sell babies.

  27. I have not seen your blog for a while. Winter is a busy work time for me. I am a part time librarian at a small rural library, but I sub for another library for one of their “snowbirds”. My day off is filled with all of those catch up chores, and baking. A few more weeks, and back to the part time hours. Reading through Jinger Vuolo’s “Becoming Free Indeed”, and listening to audios, “Hinds Feet in High Places” and “Harbinger 2”.

  28. Hey, there. I love hearing about everyone’s week. Our week was busy & demanding. I had a big volunteer project to coordinate, so that required chunks of time throughout both the day times & the evenings. Our Southeast Ohio outdoor temps were all over the place, so it was also very demanding to keep our meat bird flock comfortable. Thank goodness the egg layers are so much more adaptable to temps; with the eggs layers, we had the egg count from our Isa Brown hens steadily increasing daily! We had good egg sales, & I still got to fit in 2 social visits with friends, one Monday & one on Thursday. That was really, really refreshing! Oh, also I took a make-&-take painting class & made a Happy Easter canvas painting. It was fun! Suppers were ground beef & veggie casserole, taco salad, pizza burger soup, chicken & veggie soup, & fish with side salad. Breakfasts & lunches for us this week were sandwiches all week. Shopping was getting a pallet of feed & more brooder lamps for our next batch of the meat birds, as well as receipt books for the farm business. Shopping also was just picking up some household supplies & pantry staples we had run out of over the week. We were able to do all that locally. We made 3 videos for our YouTube channel Twin Oaks Farm Poultry, & we worked on some signage ideas & merchandise ideas. I took some time to read; I actually am rereading all the Little House on the Prairie books, just ’cause I enjoy them.
    The previous week had been a week for poultry pick-ups for our chicken customers, so that was the priority in that week before last, & I work around customer pick-ups when we have poultry come in from the meat birds we raise.
    We will have a very busy week coming up, so I am trying to plan on cooking large batches tomorrow to prepare for the weekdays. It helps so much!

  29. Merissa, I love the Frugal Friday posts. And I am looking forward to the secret project you are working on. I love surprises! You can clean sheep wool and use it for batting in quilts. So very light weight and so warm!

  30. I really enjoy these ” Frugal Fridays” posts!! I’m recovering from a sprained ankle and enjoying more (not less:) snow in Maine. I tried the Breakfast Casserole and portioned it out for days:) Thanks A bunch–It reminded me of a “potato pizza” I used to make where you slice and steam some potatoes/onions and layer them in a greased baking pan and then build the pizza from the potato “crust” up. Yum:) I’m enjoying online herbal, homeopathy, and scripture learning too. Plus, being grateful I can elevate my ankle and my spirits–so much to be thankful for–like you and this oasis of love with like minded folks to pray for:)

  31. Hopefully, these new recipes from your grandmother will start a new book. I love your book.
    I too have been eyeing that hamburger mold, since you bought one , I did as well.
    I’m starting my green pinions and spinach outside in my kitchen garden this week, I live in Cali. Also my mustard and collards are up and ready to eat. I’ll be cutting them, throwing them into a pot with z ham hock, season salt, onion and a jalapeño pepper . Yum yum.
    Also, I’ve been making some new hotpads for my baking using this insalight to prevent burning my hands.
    I’m on my third muffin bake with your gf recipe mix. Just love it . Apparently, I’m out of cranberries until Fall. Oh well.

  32. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet and simple life with us. New fur babies on your homestead are so exciting! I got next to nothing done this week because the flu is going through our home and I’m just trying to maintain the very basics to not allow the house to fall into shambles!! We went to the beach last week, and although it was chilly and quite windy, we still were able to relax and had a great time.

    The only meal I made this week was soup, using leftover rotisserie chicken, vegetables in the frig that needed to be used up and some opened bags of veggies from the freezer, bow tie rice pasta and chicken broth.

  33. I love reading your frugal Fridays. I have been having a busy week dogsitting for my niece. I actually stay at their home. This was after 3 weeks watching my pastor’s dog and nine chickens and then on Wednesday I will be staying with four of my grandchildren and one dog while my daughter and son-in-law go to Florida for a conference. I will get to go home on Monday but am still letting out 2 dogs three times a day until April 16th!
    I have some beautiful crocuses poking through in my yard that have made me smile! I live in Escanaba, Michigan in the beautiful UP. We are called Yoopers up here!