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Frugal Living

41 DIY Frugal Farmhouse Decor Projects and Tutorials

While trying to create that farmhouse look in our own home, I realized just how expensive farmhouse decor can be! So I went on the hunt for some cheap and easy DIY farmhouse decor ideas.

DIY Budget farmhouse decor

These frugal farmhouse DIY projects range from super easy to a bit more involved, but you are sure to find inspiration to create that farmhouse feel in your home.

If you’re looking for some serious inspiration and some beautiful decor this list is for you. You’ll find everything from mason jar planters to a kitchen island made from an old desk!

The best part is that everything on this list is made with inexpensive materials or re-purposed items you probably already have in your home!

Related: 60 Farmhouse Decor Ideas on A Budget


DIY Wooden Vase Holder

Farmhouse-Style DIY Flower Vase Holder Using Dollar Tree Milk BottlesSimplicity in the South

I love this simple vase holder using materials from the Dollar Tree. It doesn’t get much more frugal or farmhouse than this!

DIY Faux Shiplap

$15 DIY Faux Shiplap WallMaking Manzanita

Adding a shiplap accent wall is a great way to achieve that farmhouse look. Use these tips to create a faux shiplap wall for only $15!

DIY Mason Jar Bathroom Organizer

DIY Bathroom OrganizerCrafts By Amanda

Keep your counters free of clutter and add a farmhouse accent piece with this DIY bathroom organizer using mason jars.

DIY Blanket Ladder

DIY $10 Blanket LadderA Turtle’s Life For Me 

Have you ever seen the price of a blanket ladder at Pottery Barn? We’re talking $300. You can make your own for only $10 with this tutorial!

DIT Farmhouse Detour Succulent Tin

Farmhouse Magnetic Succulent Tins – Kimspired DIY

These totally adorable magnetic succulent tins are made from materials from the dollar store. They are simple to make and are the perfect farmhouse accent.


DIY Farmhouse Candles

Simple DIY Farmhouse Candle Hack – From Honey, I’m Home!

This hack will create a farmhouse look instantly. Using simple cheap materials you can update your candles to complete your farmhouse look!

DIY Farmhouse Windows to the Past Photo Frame

“Windows to the Past” PhotoframeThe Good Hearted Woman

If you’re looking for a unique take on a photo wall you will absolutely love this! Re-purposed from old window frames, this is a great farmhouse twist on the classic photo wall.

DIY Farmhouse Gnome

DIY Farmhouse GnomeRuffles and Rain Boots

This adorable little gnome looks much more complicated than it is! Another super simple DIY project that is the perfect farmhouse accent!

DIY Farmhouse Decor Mason Jar String Art

DIY Mason Jar String ArtChaotically Yours

If you love all things mason jar (like I do) you’ll love this wall art. Using string, nails, a wood board and flowers, you can create this gorgeous mason jar string wall art!

DIY Wall Mounted Mason Jar Planters

Wall Mounted Mason Jar PlantersPop Shop America

These wall mounted mason jar planters are perfect for indoor and out. Use them in your kitchen to plant herbs or outside on your patio.

DIY Farmhouse Burlap Placemat

Burlap and Ribbon PlacematSimply Saving Savvy

Create the perfect farmhouse table setting with these simple burlap and ribbon placemats!

DIY Farmhouse Jewelry Hanger

DIY Rustic Jewelry HangerThe Flying Couponer

This is such a creative and beautiful way to organize your jewelry and get that farmhouse look.

DIY Spring Wreath

DIY Spring WreathOur Happily Ever Home

Wreaths are expensive, ya’ll! And anytime I can find an easy DIY alternative I am there for it. This wreath is no exception. It’s a twist on the classic wreath and can be hung anywhere, not just your front door.

DIY Farmhouse Photo Gallery

DIY Farmhouse Photo GallerySouth Lumina Style

Check out how to create this classic photo wall.

DIY Wall Art from An Old Window

Turn an Old Window Into Wall Decor with Fresh Paint and a Quote – Chic and Savvy

Window wall decor is a big part of farmhouse decor. This tutorial is simple to follow and you’ll have a beautiful piece of wall art.

Easy Concrete Planter

DIY Easy Concrete Planter – Jolly Slice

If you’re looking for a unique planter, check out these easy concrete planters. They are beautiful and simple looking and are the perfect farmhouse accent for your home or patio.

DIY Ship Lap Market Sign

DIY Ship Lap Market SignLove My Simple Home

This DIY shiplap sign is perfect for any room of the house.

DIY Framed Burlap Grateful Sign

DIY Framed Burlap Grateful Wall Decor – Uncommon Designs

This is such a simple DIY project but one that has a great wow factor.

DIY Mason Jar Bathroom Set

DIY Mason Jar Bathroom Set  – Consumer Queen

This bathroom set is the perfect touch for creating a farmhouse look in your bathroom.

DIY Burlap Curtains

DIY Burlap CurtainsChicken Scratch NY

You don’t need to do a lot of sewing to make these simple burlap curtains. They are thin enough to let the light in but thick enough to block anyone from seeing in.

No Sew Farmhouse Curtains

DIY No Sew Farmhouse Style Curtains – Thirty Something Super Mom

If you don’t know how to sew (or don’t want to sew) check out these no sew curtains. You can add your own design using the fabric marker to create a custom farmhouse look for your home.


DIY Hydrangea Wreath

DIY Hydrangea WreathOur Happily Ever Home

You can create the perfect farmhouse porch with this beautiful and simple hydrangea wreath.

DIY Mason Jar Photo Frames

Frosted Mason Jar Photo FramesCrafts by Amanda

This is a great alternative to simple frames. Using frosted mason jars you are able to display your family’s memories in a unique and fun way!

DIY Farmhouse Wall Signs

DIY Frame For Printables (+ Free Bathroom Printables) – Making Manzanita

You can print out these beautiful pictures for free and then create your own simple frames with this tutorial.

DIY Farmhouse Memo Board

DIY Farmhouse Memo BoardCrafts by Amanda

This farmhouse memo board is a perfect piece for your family command center and a great way to keep you organized.

DIY Sharpe Shiplap Wall

DIY Sharpe Shiplap WallMust Have Mom

If you have been dying to install shiplap but haven’t been able to because it’s not in your budget than this is a great alternative.

DIY Amazing Grace Sign

DIY Amazing Grace SignBlessings by Me

This wall art uses supplies from the Dollar Tree to help you get the farmhouse look you want and stay way under budget!

DIY Farmhouse Curtains

Farmhouse Style DIY CurtainsMust Have Mom

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Make these simple farmhouse curtains to create that soft farmhouse feel in any room in your home.

DIY White Farmhouse Pitcher

DIY White Farmhouse Pitcher From Tacky Thrift Store FindMaking Manzanita

We have some old tacky pitchers sitting in the garage and I can’t wait to transform them with this simple tutorial. These white pitchers are a great way to re-purpose old pottery and get that farmhouse look.

DIY Noodle Board

DIY Noodle Board We Three Shanes

Help give your kitchen that farmhouse feel with this simply noodle board.

DIY Faix Galvanized Metal Sign

Faux Galvanized Metal SignOur Craft Mom

Galvanized metal is central to achieving that farmhouse look. With this tutorial you can get that galvanized metal look without having to pay top dollar for it.

DIY Vintage Market Sign

DIY Vintage Market SignSmart Fun DIY

No need to go hunting through antique stores to score that vintage look. Make your own Vintage Market sign and add that farmhouse charm to your kitchen.

DIY Tulip Wreath

Tulip and Sun Hat Wreath – Chicken Scratch NY

This wreath provides the perfect pop of color! It’s super easy and quick to put together.

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Island

DIY Kitchen IslandSimply Today Life

This project is a little bit more involved but the outcome is amazing. Using an old desk and a pallet you can create the perfect farmhouse island for your kitchen.

DIY Farmhouse Window Sign

DIY Vintage Cottage Window SignMy Wee Abode

Using an old window you can create this beautiful wall art to help you achieve that farmhouse look.

DIY Citrus wreath

Citrus and Greenery Easy WreathGlue Sticks

This fresh and beautiful wreath is perfect for the front porch!

DIY Fall Mum Bucket

DIY Monogram BucketMama Cheaps

Getting anything monogrammed can be expensive. With this DIY monogrammed bucket tutorial you can create the perfect monogrammed planters for your porch.

Blessed Printable

Blessed Wall Art with Free PrintableHappy Deal Happy Day

Print out the blessed sign and make your own frame for farmhouse inspired wall art!

DIY Farmhouse Clothes Hamper

DIY HamperShe Holds Dearly

This simple hamper on wheels will complete that farmhouse look in your bathroom or laundry room.

DIY Farmhouse Pallet Laundry Shelf

DIY Pallet Laundry Shelf – Cook Eat Go

Organize your laundry room with this simple DIY Pallet Laundry Shelf.













farmhouse decor on a budget
Frugal Living

60 Farmhouse Decor Ideas On A Budget

Farmhouse decor can get very expensive very fast. You can cut the costs by bargain hunting or trying a DIY frugal project but if you’re short on cash and time you’ll love these cheap farmhouse decor ideas.

With some of these simple accent pieces and a great coat of the right paint color you can easily transform any room to achieve that farmhouse look a la Joanna and Chip.

Related: 41 DIY Frugal Farmhouse Decor Projects and Tutorials

The best part is that everything on this list is under $20 and will help you create that cozy farmhouse look and stay on budget.

I’ve separated these items out into several categories for easy browsing. You can skip to any category by clicking on of the categories below.

Cheap Farmhouse Decor

Wall Decor


GBtroo Rustic Wall Sconces – Mason Jars Sconce, Rustic Home Decor,Wrought Iron Hooks, Silk Hydrangea and LED Strip Lights Design for Home Decoration (Set of 2)


TIMEYARD Arrow Decor, Set of 2 Arrows, Rustic Wood Arrow Sign Wall Decor – Decorative Farmhouse Home Wall Hanging Decor

Vintage Bath Advertising Wall Art | Americana Collection | Bathroom Laundry Room Decor | 7 1/2 x 14 Inch

Barnyard Designs Farmhouse Retro Vintage Tin Bar Sign Country Home Decor 15.75″ x 4″

Deco 79 Rustic Wood and Metal Arched Window Wall Decor, 10 by 20″ Textured Ivory White Finish

Cast Iron Native American Arrow Wall Decor

Comfify “Love” Decorative Wooden Letters – Large Wood Letters for Wall Décor in Rustic Blue, White and Grey – Rustic Home Decoration for Living Room – Rustic Home Décor Accents – Farmhouse Decor

Personalized Vintage Distressed Look Farm House Metal Room Sign

Gather Word Galvanized Metal Wall Decor, Farmhouse Decor, Farm Decor

Barnyard Designs Vintage Florals Botanical Wood Plaques, Primitive Country Farmhouse Home Decor Sign 16″ x 12″


P. GRAHAM DUNN Be Still & Know White Wash 3 x 12 Inch Solid Pine Wood Farmhouse Stick Sign

Chiaravita Vintage Rustic Torched Wood Hanging Wall Mount Floating Shelves – 3 Piece Farmhouse White Washed Home Decor Shelf for Kitchen, Bedrooms, or Bathroom

VGIA 3 Pack 21 Inch Cotton Stems Farmhouse Style Display Filler – Floral Decoration

KINGSO 2Pcs Industrial Black Iron Pipe Bracket Wall Mounted Floating Shelf Hanging Wall Hardware Decor for Farmhouse Shelving Hardware Heavy Duty

Small Galvanized Metal Olive Wall Half Bucket

14″ Rustic Galvanized Metal Distressed Style Heart Shape Home Wall Decor (Silver)


Fahrendom and So Together They Built a Life They Loved Farmhouse Style Sign Cotton Linen Home Decorative Throw Pillow Case Cushion Cover with Words for Sofa Couch, 18 x 18 in

Burlap Farmhouse Decor Buffalo Checkers Plaid Cotton Linen Decorative Throw Pillow Cover Rustic Cushion Cover Pillowcase for Sofa 18 x 18 Inch, Set of 2 (Black/White, 18″×18″)

Acelive 18×18 Inches Vintage Farm Truck Hen Rustic Country Style Retro Farmhouse Quote Gift Cotton Linen Home Decorative Throw Pillow Case For Valentine’s Day Gift Christmas

Meekio Farmhouse Pillow Covers with Home Sweet Home Quotes 18 x 18 Inch for Farmhouse Decor Perfect Housewarming Gifts

Fjfz Family a Little Bit of Crazy a Little Bit of Loud and a Whole lot of Love Rustic Farmhouse Quote Cotton Linen Home Decorative Throw Pillow Case Cushion Cover with Words for Sofa Couch, 18″ x 18″

Leaveland Love You Hug Sweet Home Life Quotes Set of 4 18×18 Inch Cotton Linen Square Throw Pillow Case Decorative Durable Cushion Home Decor Sofa Standard Size Accent Pillowcase

Phantoscope Set of 2 Beige Button Linen Decorative Throw Pillow Case Cushion Cover 18″ x 18″ 45 x 45 cm

HOME BRILLIANT Retro Checkers Plaids Farmhouse Tartan Soft Cotton Linen Home Spring Summer Decoration Throw Pillow Covers Shams Cushion Cases Cover Sofa, 2 Pack, 18×18 inches(45x45cm), Beige White

Anickal Decorative Throw Pillow Covers Set of 4 Cotton Linen Cushion Covers 18 x 18 Inch

Phantoscope Set of 4 New Living Series Coffee Color Decorative Throw Pillow Case Cushion Cover 18″ x 18″ 45cm x 45cm

All Smiles Throw Pillow Covers Case Decorative Farmhouse Cotton Linen 18×18 Set of 2 Love Home Quote Inspirational Words House Decor Outdoor Cushion for Couch Sofa Bed



SheeChung Mason Jar Bathroom Apothecary Jars – Rustproof Stainless Steel Lid,Farmhouse Decor,Bathroom Vanity Storage Organizer Holder Glass for Qtips,Cotton Swabs,Ball,Bath Salts (Bronze, 2-Pack)

Colonial Tin Works Chicken Wire Toilet Paper Holder

KAF Home Classic Farmhouse Stripe Kitchen Towels | Set of 12, 15″ x 25″, 100% Pure Cotton Dish Towels | Perfect Bar Towel Dish Cloths for Cooking, Cleaning, and Dining (Charcoal)

mDesign Farmhouse Metal Wire Bathroom Wall Mount Hair Care & Styling Tool Organizer Storage Basket for Hair Dryer, Flat Iron, Curling Wand, Hair Straightener, Brushes – Holds Hot Tools – Bronze

MyGift 6-Inch White Porcelain Petite French Country Style Claw Foot Bathtub Vintage Flower Pot Planter/Soap Dish

LB Rustic Barn Door Grey White Tan Brown Painted Barn Wood Decor Shower Curtain for Bathroom, Western Country Theme House Decor, Mildew Resistant Waterproof Fabric Decor Curtain, 70 x 70 Inch

Colonial Tin Works Galvanized Steel Vintage Dalton Wall Box with Towel Bar, Galvanised

AuldHome His and Hers Towel Hooks (Set of 2); Cast Iron Rustic Farmhouse Decor Door Wall Hangers

Park Designs Antique Toothbrush Holder



Farmhouse Salt and Pepper Caddy Set | Galvanized Decor, Rustic Weddings, Restaurants, Vintage Shabby Chic | 3-Piece Set | Easy to Clean, No-Mess Refilling

Kitchen Utensil Holder – Farmhouse Decor for Home – White Crock Organizer Caddy – Great for Large Cooking Tools by H+K Designs

Creative Co-op DA1985 Metal Containers with Lids, Coffee, Tea, Sugar, Set of 3, White

Mason Jar Organizer, Office Farmhouse Bathroom Kitchen Storage, Mason Jar Wall Decor Planter Caddy Organizer with Brown Holder

Eat Red Wooden Farmhouse Kitchen Wall Plaque

Primitives by Kathy Tea Towel – Everything Is Better in a Mason Jar,White

Red Ceramic Mason Jar Kitchen Sponge Holder – Adorable Home Retro & Farmhouse Kitchen Decor | Amazing Rustic Accessory | Vintage Gift for Friends, Family and Collectors by Goodscious

White Ceramic Mason Jar Measuring Spoons – Set of 4 Spoons with Cotton Ribbon Tie | Measuring Dry & Liquid Ingredients | Rustic Farmhouse Kitchen Decor | Cooking and Baking Supplies by Goodscious


mDesign Farmhouse Decor Metal Wire Food Storage Organizer, Bin Basket with Handles for Kitchen Cabinets, Pantry, Bathroom, Laundry Room, Closets, Garage – 12″ x 12″ x 6″ – Graphite Gray

Dishwasher Magnet Clean Dirty Sign- 2.5″ Rustic Farmhouse Theme Flip Indicator Black and White with Chicken and Pig

Accent Pieces

Mini Mason Jar Night Light in Rustic Brown Metal Color

Blossom Bucket 131-36733 Small Rectangle Decorative Metal Basket with Three Glass Bottles

VANCORE Shabby Chic Metal Jug Vase Pitcher Flower Holder for Home Decoration

IDoall 7.5″ High Decorative Vase with Unique Heart-Shaped and Rope Design, Galvanized Finish- Rustic Decorated for Living Room, Bedroom, Kitchen (Grey)

Park Hill Home Decor Farmhouse Glass Bottle with Chicken Wire Wrap (7″ x 3.75″)

The Bloom Times 2 Pcs Fake Plant for Bathroom/Home Decor, Small Artificial Faux Greenery for House Decorations (Potted Plants Updated Version)

MyGift Rustic ‘Flowers & Garden’ Bucket Design Small Metal Succulent Plant Container w/Twine Handles

Bwbg7 Galvanized Washboard (Wbg7)

Stonebriar Rectangle Slate Metal Serving Tray with Rust Trim & Cutout Handles, Industrial Butler Tray, For Serving Drinks & Snacks, Centerpiece for Coffee Table, Document Organizer for Desk or Office

Shabby Chic Cast Iron Decorative Wall Hooks – Rustic – Antique – French Country Charm – Large Decorative Hanging Hooks – Set of 3 – Screws and Anchors for Mounting Included

Stonebriar Small Aged Wire Bird Cage

Enamel White Farm Fresh Milk Jug Decor Metal Black/White

Stonebriar Galvanized Metal Serving Tray with Rust Trim and Metal Handles, Unique Butler Tray, Decorative Centerpiece for Coffee Table or Dining Table, Rustic Accessories for Weddings and Parties

Jill holding Simply Earth Boxes for Simply Earth April 2019 Review Featured Image - Holding up Subscription boxes
Frugal Living

Simply Earth April 2019 Recipe Box Review

I received this product for free in return for my honest review. All opinions in this post are 100% mine!

I’m super excited to share with you my review of Simply Earth essential oils and their subscription box. I love essential oils but often struggle with the high price point of quality oils.

That’s where Simply Earth comes in! These super affordable high quality essential oils are what I have been looking for.

So check out this complete review of the company and their products and find out what I like (or didn’t like) about the April 2019 recipe box I received!

Simply Earth April 2019 Subscription Box Review

But before I go any further….

Simply Earth is not another network marketing company. I will not try to recruit you onto my team or invite you to parties to sell you oils.

The prices on their website are the prices for everyone. You can order as much or as little as you want and they offer a 365 day money-back guarantee.

I will tell you that if you decide you love their products after reading this review you can use this code OTOASTFREE when you order a $39 subscription box and you’ll get a $20 gift certificate plus a big blue box for free!

Simply Earth Essential Oils in Box


Simply Earth Overview

Simply Earth is a relatively new, small, family run oils company based in Wisconsin. They sell 3rd party oils at an affordable price.

What does this mean?

It means the plants for their oils are grown all over the world in optimal and ethical conditions.

Once the plants are harvested, they extract the oil through either cold-pressing or steam distillation. Every batch of oil then undergoes quality testing to ensure 100% purity using GC/MS analysis reports.

Things to Know About Simply Earth and Their Products

  • Simply Earth has a full online shop and carries over 60 single oils and over 25 blends.
  • They offer several different starter packs all under $50 including a wellness box and a cleaning box.
  • They offer a $39 monthly subscription box called the “recipe box” which can be cancelled at anytime. Each subscription box is carefully put together and has a theme for the month.
  • Shipping is free for orders $29 and up anywhere in the United States (there’s a flat $5.99 shipping fee for orders under $29).
  • All orders arrive within 2-5 business days.
  • They have a 365 day Simply Earth return policy, which means if you aren’t completely satisfied with these oils within 365 you can return them for a full refund in the form of store credit.
  • 13% of profits donated to organizations fighting human trafficking

I also want to point out that their website has lots of great resources. In addition to their blog which includes recipes and how to’s they offer a free ebook.

I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the ebook.  It gives great information on how to apply essential oils, safety, clear dilution amounts (which I always get confused about), a quick reference guide for all the oils uses along with some basic recipes to get you started.

April 2019 Simply Earth Recipe Box Review

Each Simply Earth monthly recipe box contains 4 big (15 ml) sized oils, accessories and 5-6 recipes for those oils. Each month’s box has a theme and April’s theme is “clean home”.

In the April recipe box you get:

  • Nutmeg Oil (15ml)
  • Lemon Oil (15 ml)
  • Tea Tree Oil (15 ml)
  • BO Be Gone Oil Blend (15 ml)
  • Castile Soap Oil (2 oz bottle)
  • Aluminum spray bottle
  • 6 Recipe Cards. This month’s recipes are:
    • Natural Laundry Detergent
    • Foaming Hand Wash
    • Laundry Stain Remover Roll On
    • Natural Home Diffuser
    • Lemon and Nutmeg Dishwasher Detergent
    • Tea Tree and Lemon Surface Cleaner
  • Recipe and Oil Bottle Labels

April 2019 Recipe Box Essential Oils Contents

With your first subscription box you also receive a Bonus Box FOR FREE. You’ll get a free Bonus Box every sixth subscription box to replenish your stock. In the Bonus Box you get:

  • Beeswax
  • Coconut Oil 6oz (solid)
  • Almond Oil 4 oz
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil 4 oz 
  • 6 roller bottles
  • 6 blend bottles

Simply Earth Bonus Box Contents

The price of the bonus box and the subscription box is $39 and shipping is free!

If you use code OTOASTFREE, you’ll get all this PLUS a $20 gift card!

I have to say I’m impressed with the Simply Earth Oils and their subscription boxes. I have been using essential oils for a more natural home and lifestyle for about 4 years. I’ve used both Young Living and DoTerra and can say the Simply Earth Oils are at the same level in terms of quality.

Despite having purchased and used oils for several years, I never got into making my own blends or recipes. The two main reasons was that I needed to purchase all the extras and because hunting down recipes was time intensive. I know, I know it sounds lazy even as I’m typing it. But really, it’s the truth.

This is why I love the subscription box along with the Big Bonus Box. I don’t need to figure out where to get amber bottles cheap or hunt down recipes and try to figure out what oils I need to purchase or don’t have.

Everything is laid out for me and this month’s theme of a clean home is perfect for our lifestyle.

Favorite Things about the Simply Earth Recipe Box

The Oils Are Awesome

Lemon, nutmeg and tea tree oils are not the sexiest oils out on the market, but they are foundational to so many recipes and have such versatile uses. I’m so pleased that these were the first ones I got because they are so important and I use them frequently in our house.

The BO Be Gone blend smells great. I used a few drops of it in my laundry just to see what would happen and all my laundry came out smelling fresher than with my regular unscented laundry detergent. I also diffused it it our bathroom while we had company and it helped to get rid of bathroom odors.

4 Simply Earth Essential Oils Bottles Lined up

Informative Oil Labels

I also have to point out the labeling. I love love LOVE that on the bottle it tells you whether it is safe to use with children.

For example, the tea tree oil is marked safe for kids 2 and up and provides the dilution percentage for topical use for children. (Their free ebook gives you a an understandable rundown on dilution).

For the BO Be Gone, the recommended age is 10 and up.

This makes it so easy to use these oils safely with the kids.

The labels also tell you where the plants were grown and what part of the plant they derived the oil from.

Having this information on the bottle is so useful for understanding the oils and for safety. It shows this company’s commitment to both!

Back Label of Oil Bottle


The Recipes Are Simple

In this month’s box there are 6 recipes. This month’s recipes are:

    • Natural Laundry Detergent
    • Foaming Hand Wash
    • Laundry Stain Remover Roll On
    • Natural Home Diffuser
    • Lemon and Nutmeg Dishwasher Detergent
    • Tea Tree and Lemon Surface Cleaner

Simply Earth Recipe Cards Lined Up

Two of the recipes did not require any additional ingredients. The other 4 required some additional ingredients. I had most on hand. These ingredients included things like vinegar, epsom salt and borax.

I’ve never made any of my own cleaning products before and I was a little intimidated to get started. These recipes were so easy and only took me a couple of minutes to mix.

I made the Tea tree and Lemon Surface Cleaner and I love it! It’s great on my kitchen counter tops. It didn’t leave any streaks. My husband even noticed how shiny the counters looked, and he doesn’t typically notice those kinds of things!  I also used it on my glass shower doors and it cut through the soap build up better than any other product I’ve tried up until now. 

Ingredients for Tea Tree Surface Cleaner Recipe from Simply Essential Recipe Box

I thought the 4 oz bottle would be too small and I would have to make a new batch everyday. However, the 4 oz lasted me about 5 days of cleaning the kitchen counters multiple times a day and using it on my shower doors.

All purpose surface cleaner recipe from Simply Earth April 2019 Subscription Box


I also tried the Laundry Stain remover and was equally as impressed.

Simply Earth Laundry Stain Remover recipe from Simply Earth April 2019 Subscription Box


I like how sturdy the recipe cards are and I will absolutely keep them in a recipe box for future reference. 

Low Prices Compared to Competitors

Hands down you cannot beat the price. I compared the prices of the oils alone to both DoTerra and Young Living and I couldn’t believe how much I saved with Simply Earth. DoTerra didn’t even have nutmeg available (and that’s too bad because I think it’s one of my new favorite scents!)


Oil/Blend Simply Earth Young Living DoTerra
Nutmeg Oil 15 ml – $12.99 5ml – $17.43 Not Available
Tea Tree Oil 15 ml – $9.99 15 ml – $35.20 15 ml- $28
Lemon Oil 15 ml- &7.99 15 ml – $15.13 15ml -$14.67
Purifying Blend BO Be Gone- 15ml -$11.99 Purification – 5 ml – $20.72 Purify – 15ml – $26.67
Total $42.96/ + tax and free shipping OR

$39/subscription box

$88.48 + tax and shipping $69.34 + tax and shipping


There Are So Many Extras

The big bonus box is chock full of so many extras!

The almond and fractionated coconut oil along with the roller bottles by themselves are so great to have.

And for anyone that loves labeling and making sure you keep your oils organized the labels are great. Not only do the oils and blends have labels but you have a label for each recipe too! 

I mean, look at all this for only $39!

Contents of Simply Earth April 2019 Subscription Box

Things I Disliked About the Recipe Box

While there isn’t a whole lot I don’t like about the recipe box and the oils I received, I did find a few drawbacks.

You Can’t Choose What’s in the Box

This might seem obvious but it’s important to point out. In April’s recipe box I got another bottle of lemon so now I have 2 bottles. Will I use them both? Absolutely! But I didn’t need an extra bottle right now. 

I do like that it forced me to try different oils like nutmeg that I wouldn’t have thought to try.

You Need to Purchase Additional Ingredients

While a couple of the recipes didn’t require extra ingredients, and I did have some on hand for a couple of the others, I didn’t have all the ingredients to make all the recipes.

Should You Try Simply Earth Products?

Yes! If you are looking for high quality oils at a fraction of the cost Simply Earth oils are for you. 

The April subscription box is also a great way to start incorporating more natural cleaning products into your home in a really easy way!

When you order, remember to use my code OTOASTFREE to get your Big Bonus Box and $20 gift card for free!

Simply Earth Promotional Code For Subscription Box OTOASTFREE


Pantry shelves with glass containers
Frugal Living

Save Money and Declutter with an Eat Down the Pantry Challenge

An eat down the pantry challenge is a great way to use up the things in your pantry and save a bit of money. This week I took on an eat down the pantry challenge for both reasons.

An eat down the pantry challenge is committing to eating what you already have in your pantry or freezer for a specified period. It means meal planning without grocery shopping and sometimes putting together meals reminiscent of an episode of Chopped.

A couple weeks ago I opened my pantry and realized just how full it was. It was all things we use. But we aren’t using them because I keep buying more groceries each week!

I also was looking for a way to save a little on our grocery budget. We have family coming in to town next week and I know our grocery budget will be much higher because we’ll be cooking for a larger group.

So I decided it was the perfect time for an eat down the pantry challenge. This is the first time I have ever done one of these challenges. I shopped from both my pantry and my freezer.

I’m not huge into stockpiling and I don’t shop at big box stores like Costco and Sams so I rarely have huge amounts of food in my pantry and freezer.

With that said once I started looking into the pantry and freezer it shocked me at how much food we actually had.

It turns out I’m not as good to sticking to my meal plan and shopping list. While I’m usually on budget, it’s clear that I am still buying extra, and it has added up.

An eat down the pantry challenge is a great way to save money on groceries and clean out your pantry and freezer! #budget #frugalliving

Getting Ready For the Pantry Challenge

I knew that if we would be successful with this challenge I needed to plan and plan well. Here are the steps I followed to get ready for the eat down the pantry challenge.

Take An Inventory

First thing is first. Get into your pantry and freezer and create an inventory. This is also a great time to get rid of anything expired or that can’t be used. I took a notebook and wrote down everything in the pantry and freezer and how much of those items I had.

pantry inventory list for eat down the pantry challenge

Pick Your Time Period

Deciding how long your eat down the pantry challenge will be based on your inventory and how much money you want or need to save. The most common time periods for an eat down challenge range from 1 week to a month. I chose one week, but I could have probably done 2 weeks if family wasn’t arriving at the beginning of the second week.

Create a Meal Plan

Based on your inventory come up with a meal plan! See what you can combine that makes sense. This might require some creativity and maybe some searching for new recipes. You can also try sites like and You can enter the ingredients you have and it will provide you with recipe ideas.

The planning part is absolutely crucial to your success in this challenge for 2 reasons:

  1. You know you won’t run out of food by the end of your specified time period. As I was planning I tried to make sure I had better meals mixed in with the shabby meals. Initially, I had all the good stuff at the beginning of the week and towards the end of the week it got sad.
  2. You won’t be tempted to go to the grocery store.

Here was our meal plan:


  • Pancakes
  • Oatmeal/Cereal
  • Hard boiled Eggs and Toast
  • Scrambled Eggs


  • Frozen Pizza
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
  • Leftovers
  • Salads


  • Penne Pasta, Vodka Sauce and Sausages (this was meant to be one dinner but turned out to be a lot of food so it was 2 dinners. Yay!) Served with salad and frozen vegetables
  • Grilled Chicken with Rice and frozen vegetables
  • Split Pea Soup with Quesadillas (the kids cried about the soup but ate it anyway)
  • Macaroni and cheese (for the kids) Leftover soup
  • Chicken Paprikash with rice and frozen vegetables
  • Ravioli with side salad topped with leftover grilled chicken

Decide If You Need Anything From the Store

For our challenge the answer was yes. I needed milk, some fresh produce and lunch box necessities for the kids (things like sandwich bread and lunch meat). I set myself a $40 budget for these items and I squeaked in at $39.41. I did not buy anything that would be required to make a meal work based on my inventory. If I didn’t have an ingredient for a specific recipe I either left it out or had to think of a different recipe.

These are the only groceries we purchased for our eat down the pantry challenge

Lessons Learned From the Eat Down the Pantry Challenge

First off, we successfully completed the challenge for the week. A lot of the things I learned this week surprised me.

  1. Just like when you go on a no-carb diet and you know you can’t eat carbs all you want is carbs. It took a lot more resolve than I thought it would to not just run to the grocery store and pick something up that would spice up the admittedly bland meals we had a couple of times. I also craved all the things I didn’t have that I normally buy.
  2. The kids were cool with it. They didn’t even seem to notice the bare fridge and hodge podge dinners.
  3. Even when I felt like we had no food, we had enough food. Having a detailed meal plan reassured me we in fact had enough even though our fridge and pantry seemed bare.
  4. I realized just how many extras I buy that we end up not eating. I am huge on meal planning and am (mostly) good at sticking to our grocery budget. But it seems that I am still purchasing extra pantry items I don’t end up using all of or any of! This was an eye opener.
  5. You can save a good chunk of change with this challenge. I spent $39.41 this week and my normal grocery budget is $125 a week. So I was able to save $85.59. I also saved by using up what we had before it expired or went bad because throwing out food is wasting money too!

I will absolutely do an eat from the pantry challenge again, though next time I would like to try two weeks!

Moving forward I also will be much more mindful about my weekly grocery shopping!


A pantry and freezer challenge is a super easy way to save money on groceries. This frugal tip is easy and effective!
A pantry and freezer challenge is a super easy way to save money on groceries. This frugal tip is easy and effective!
How to do a no spend challenge
Frugal Living

How To Do A No Spend Challenge

Are you ready to save money and make some serious headway to reach your financial goals?

Then a no spend challenge may be just what you need.

What Is A No Spend Challenge?

A no spend challenge is when you commit, for a specified amount of time, to not spend any money beyond what is necessary (we’ll talk about what’s necessary a little further down).

Rather than trying to just cut your spending to bare bones forever, a no spend challenge allows you to save extra money with a finish line in sight. This is a huge motivator and will increase the likelihood of you committing to cutting your spending and saving money.

Why Should You Do A No Spend Challenge?

To save money, right?

Well, there’s more to it.

A no spend challenge is also great for

  • Developing strategies to curb unnecessary spending habits;
  • Figuring out what you can live without;
  • Jump starting a healthier financial lifestyle.

A no spend challenge will not only save you money, but will also open your eyes to what your spending habits are, as well as what triggers you to purchase beyond what you actually need to spend. It will provide you an opportunity to take a closer look at your spending habits and reveal what you can actually do without.

It also requires you to come up with routines and strategies to do without. When we embarked on our first no spend challenge, we learned that making coffee at home actually saved us time and money. Now, we prefer our home brewed coffee over any coffee shop!

How to rock a no spend challenge. Find out how to set yourself up for success for a no spend challenge and how to stay on track during the challenge! #moneysavingtips

Before You Get Started

What is your why?

Think about why you are doing a no spend challenge. Are you running out of money by the end of the month and need to plug up holes in your budget? Are you saving for a vacation or other big-ticket item? Whatever the reason, having a clear “why” will help you stay motivated and committed to the challenge.

What are your expectations?

Consider how much money you want to save and what you can reasonably save. Do these two match? To figure how much you can reasonably save, look over your bank or credit card statements for the period you choose to do the no spend challenge for and add up how much you are currently spending on everything beyond necessities. This will give a ballpark figure of what you can hope to save.

Make sure your significant other is on board

This seems like a no brainer, but it’s important to talk about a no spend challenge with your partner. If you are the one initiating the no spend challenge make sure you share your why and your expectations for both the challenge and their spending habits.  It’s also important to get your partner involved in planning out the next few steps.

Man and woman saving money in piggy bank #nospendchallenge

Pick a specified time period

The most common no spend challenges last:

  • Weekend
  • Week
  • Month

I’ve even seen folks take on a 6 month no spend challenge!

You’ll want to choose a time period based on your saving goals and expectations. If you want to save more money, you’ll want to choose a longer challenge like a week or a month.

When we were saving up for a big-ticket item, we challenged ourselves to a no spend month. Other times, when we wanted to get ahead or make extra payments towards debt, we did a series of no spend weekends.

Whichever time period you choose, I recommend that you check your calendar. Make sure you don’t pick a time when you’ll be on vacation or around holidays. This can be a recipe for failure.

I also recommend starting with a shorter challenge like a weekend or a week challenge before tackling a month or longer.

Set Some Rules

Before the challenge starts you need to establish rules. There are lots of opinions on what the ground rules for a no spend challenge are. However, this no spend challenge is yours and you get to set the parameters for your spending.

I’ll share with you some of the most common rules out there. Use some, all, or none of these! And create your own if these don’t suit you.

money on the counter and in a wallet #nospendchallenge

Rule #1: Only Purchase Necessities

Necessities include what Dave Ramsey likes to call the four walls. These expenditures include:

  • Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Car payments
  • Insurance
  • Credit Card Payments
  • Student Loan
  • Daycare Costs
  • Groceries

Rule #2 No eating out

That means no coffee, no snacks at the gas station, no meals out.

Rule #3 Basic Toiletries Only

Shampoo, soap, and toothpaste are allowed, but no makeup or extra hair products.

Rule #4 Medical Items are Allowed

Dr.’s visits and medication are ok.

Rule #5 Birthday Presents for Family Are Allowed

You may choose to only purchase birthday presents for family members. This might mean you decline an invitation to your child’s classmate’s birthday party or other birthday party.

Rule #6 Fix first, replace later

If something breaks, always try to fix it first before replacing. If it can’t be fixed and you can wait to replace it even better!

One thing you will notice about these rules are they are specific! Whatever your rules are make sure they are clear and well defined.

Research free activities

Even if it’s just a weekend challenge, make a list of free activities you can do instead of spending money.

For example, if your family goes out for breakfast on weekend mornings, replace that activity with a hike or a visit to a park. You can also see if any museums in your area have free days each month you can visit without paying admission.

Plan these activities ahead of time so you’re not tempted to pay for activities because you or the kids are bored.

Make a meal plan

You’ll want to have a plan for your meals during your no spend challenge so you don’t end up running to the grocery store to get something for dinner or stopping to get coffee in the morning. Even if eating out is still an allowed expense, make a plan for when and where it is ok to eat out from.

Write out your plan

Write out each of these steps so you can refer to your plan. I like to use a notebook where I include my why, my savings goal, and my rules for the challenge. This is also where I track my progress.

For longer challenges, I’ve used this notebook as a sort of financial journal, taking notes of what worked and what didn’t.

women writing her no spend challenge plan

While You Are Doing The No Spend Challenge

Track Your Progress

You don’t need anything fancy, but track your spending and your savings! This is a great way to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable.

Avoid Temptation

Friend, don’t go to Target if you always spend more than you should there. Keep your plan handy and remember your why!


Final Thoughts

A no spend challenge takes some planning and thought ahead of time but can be a great way to jumpstart your savings and begin a new and better financial lifestyle.

If you mess up during your no spend challenge DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP. Figure out why it didn’t work and reconsider some of your rules or your plan and then keep going!

Need more money saving tips? Check out

31 Simple Ways to Save Money

Must Read Getting Debt Free Books for Your Debt Free Journey

3 Simple Steps To Reach Your Financial Goals

yoga mat rolled up
Frugal Living

No Gym Required – How To Workout At Home For Free

We all have heard exercise is important and that many of us don’t get enough. But what if I told you there is a way to get enough exercise with home workouts for FREE?

Did you know that according to a recent study by the World Health Organization, a quarter of the world’s population doesn’t get enough exercise. There are geographic discrepancies in this study which show depending on where people live the percentages vary. In the U.S. only 23% of Americans are getting the exercise they need!

There are tons of reasons for this. Most people cite either time or money as the major reason they don’t get the exercise they need. Mixed in with those reasons is gym intimidation and the discomfort of working out.

Before you read any further, I want to be clear with you: I do not love working out. I’ve gone through various stages in my life where I exercised at a gym doing the elliptical FOREVER or only doing yoga classes.

I always ended up quitting these exercise regimens because, you guessed it; they took up a lot of time and money.

Then I had kids.

And I had even less time, money and motivation than ever.

But I started to feel the effects of not taking care of my health properly. So I decided I needed to start exercising.

I knew I didn’t want to go to the gym, and I knew any running or biking just wouldn’t fit into our family’s daily schedule.

So I turned to free at home workouts. Most were from YouTube.

And friends, let me tell you. It has been awesome. So much so that 3 years later, I am still committed to a regular exercise program. That’s the longest exercise relationship I’ve ever been in!

So I’m sharing my tips for getting started with free at home workouts in the hopes that you find your exercise groove and enjoy all the physical and mental benefits of working out!

No Gym Required! Build a workout routine at home for free and crush your fitness goals! Learn how to stay on track and find a free workout routine that is right for you! #athomeworkout #exercise #freeworkouts


How To Start An At Home Workout Routine

Start Slow

If you haven’t worked out in years (or ever) do not start by trying to run 5 miles or do an HIIT workout (high intensity interval training).

Start by finding some way to move your body, increase your heart rate and get your blood pumping. This might just mean going for a walk, doing a 15 minute yoga/stretching video, or finding a dance workout and just shaking your booty.

As you get stronger, you can incorporate more strenuous workouts. Remember: Your workouts don’t have to look like anybody else’s!

Find A Time That Works For YOU

Just because that girl you follow on Instagram wakes up at 4:30 to get her workout in doesn’t mean that’s when you have to.

I tried working out at 5 am and guess what? I was exhausted by the end of the week and I felt worse than when I wasn’t working out. Instead, I find pockets in my day to get my workout it. Sometimes it is before the kids wake up. Other days it’s before I cook dinner or even after the kids have gone to bed.

I recommend looking at your weekly schedule and finding those times before the week starts. It may be different times on different days and that’s OK.

Focus On What It Will Feel Like Once You Are Done

I can tell you I never regret doing a workout once it’s done. But sometimes starting is the hardest part.

This is an actual conversation I have with myself on those days I don’t feel like working out.

Me: I don’t feel like working out. I could probably skip it today.

Also Me: You’ll hate yourself if you don’t.

Me: I’ll get over it.

Also Me: You know you always feel better after.

Me: Yeah, you’re right.

Instead of dreading the workout focus on the after workout feeling! Focus on how good you will feel about yourself for getting it done.

Create a Workout Space

My workout space is in the living room. I keep my mats, my weights and my sneakers all in the storage space under the TV. I have the TV to play my YouTube videos on and I have a good line of vision so I can keep an eye on the kids.

Having a dedicated space (even though it’s not really a workout room) helps me get into the right mindset to knock out a workout.

Pair Your Workout With Something You Love

This is a great way to get yourself to workout! Maybe that means listening to certain music while you get your workout in or having a tasty smoothie after. My husband likes watching his favorite show while he’s on the treadmill. I like turning the audio down on my videos and putting on my own tunes. Whatever it is, find something you love and make it part of your workout routine!

Have a Plan

I mentioned this earlier but I can’t stress this enough: schedule your workout times for the week and pick out what workouts you will do. On Sunday when I sit down for my weekly planning sessions, I write out when and what workouts I will do that week.

This way I don’t have to waste time trying to figure out what workout I feel like doing that day.

Don’t Give Up If You Don’t See Immediate Results

I worked out twice this week and I still don’t have abs! Actually, I’ve been working out for 3 years and I still don’t have a six-pack.

What I have noticed is that over time I have become stronger and can push myself more. But it took time.

So even if you don’t lose all the weight immediately or you feel like the exercise is “not working” just know a lot of the benefits of exercise are not immediately visible. You will get there and you can do it. If you need help with motivation check out “ How To Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals”.

No Gym Required! Free At Home Workouts and tips for building a workout routine! #freworkouts #athomeworkouts

Free At Home Workouts

Now that you have a plan to get your workouts done, check out all these free exercise resources.

I’ve included a wide variety of workout plans. I recommend you try all different types of workouts until you find the one that works for you. Just because one workout doesn’t suit you doesn’t mean they all won’t! 

Jessica Smith TV

Jessica Smith has a really good variety of workouts including Barre workouts, 10 minute or less workouts, pre and postnatal workouts, and low impact workouts.

Fitness Blender

Fitness blender has lots of free videos for a variety of levels. Workouts range from Cardio, HIIT to weight training videos. Just be aware that not everything on this website is free. Some videos and challenges are fee based.

Spark People

I love the Spark People workout challenges. If you are just starting your workout groove, I totally recommend the 30 day Jumpstart Your Workout Challenge. It actually took me more like 60 days to finish it since I wasn’t working out every day, but I loved how I didn’t have to think about what I needed to do on my workout day! This challenge doesn’t include videos, but i just put on some motivating music and got it done!

Livestrong Woman

In addition to some great workout videos, there are a number of great videos about nutrition including a video on healthy treats and immunity boosting foods.

Popsugar Workouts

When I think of Popsugar, I don’t normally think of workouts. However, their workouts are so fun and it feels like you are hanging out with your girlfriends while you get your workout in!

Cosmo Body

So many good videos here, some of which are done by celebrity trainers. You can choose from beginner workouts all the way to “get shredded” workouts. My favorite workouts are the dance cardio ones! (The kids love doing these with me)


Fightmaster Yoga

I loooove fightmaster yoga. She has a ton of videos for a variety of skill levels. She also has 30 day and 90 day challenges that start out super easy and build as you move through the challenge.


Not only are the workouts perfect for all levels, She also includes free workout planners along with lots of other tools to set you up for success.

Yoga By Candace

I love the Yoga By Candace videos. She has lots of great short videos to help you get started. I love her Heart Opening Practice. It just makes me feel happy every time I do it!

Yoga with Adrienne

With over 4.3 million YouTube subscribers you know Adrienne has got some great yoga videos. She has a great beginner series and 10-15 minute yoga practices for busy people.

Do You Yoga

I really like these videos because there are a variety of instructors to choose from as well as 30 day challenges to get you started.


Final Thoughts….

Now you have all the tools you need to start with at home workouts for free.

Remember: Exercise is not meant to be stressful. It is one of the best forms of self care! Find an exercise routine you love and make it your own!