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Ever wondered what it would look like for a family of 5 to live in a tiny space? Today I’m sharing a tour of our current tiny home!

Our Tiny House Tour

We’ve been living in our new home for several months now but it’s taken me quite a while to get this tour posted. You will see why below…fair warning…this post is long!

A while back I posted a little bit about our camper and some of the “before we moved in” pictures. If you missed that post, you will want to go back here and read it first.

Our New Home – Before Tour

And if you aren’t sure just why we are living in an RV right now, feel free to check out our ministry blog here.

I won’t keep you waiting any longer like I said, this post is going to be long enough the way it is! Without further ado…here’s a tour of our current tiny home.

Here’s the original floorplan for some reference of how the inside is laid out.

Here’s the view towards the upstairs right as you walk inside. The large cabinet to the right is a coat closet. I love having this! We each have 1-2 light jackets and they all fit in there. The top cabinet is where I store tissues, toilet paper, and paper towels (we’ve chosen to not do cloth rags while we travel just because of the logistics of washing them). I bought this awesome Stair Basket which holds all of our shoes so they don’t have to stay outside or right in front of the door. You can also see our Berkey here. It’s a lifesaver…I’d never travel without it!

As you head up the stairs, you will see this space. The door hiding behind my “hanging office” goes to the kids room. To the right of that is the bathroom. Behind the first 2 cupboard doors you will find my husband and my clothing as well as our laundry basket. Behind the other 2 doors is my washer/dryer combo. When we have full hookups it’s very handy to have!

As you head into this hallway, if you were to turn around and go back down the stairs, you will see this wall. It used to have a large mirror and now it holds a map of our travels and a bulletin board where we put up school projects, notes, and anything else we want to remember.

Turn just a bit more and you can see the stairs going back down to the main part of the camper and to the outside door. You can see how my Berkey is tucked nicely next to the stairs so it’s not sticking out and in the way.

If we head back downstairs, you will find the dining room table. Having a real table and chairs instead of a dinette was a requirement for me. We love this table! It has a little drawer on one end (we use it to store pens, tape, scissors, etc) and the other end extends out to make the table longer. We store our fold-up high chair (from Ikea) behind one of the chairs so it only has to be out at meal times. Plus each of the chair seats lifts up and has storage underneath. We have all of our card and board games in those! In the storage above the table we have a box for extra batteries, a box for random electric things and cords, a box of home therapy tools for the kids, and a small totes with toys. (Duplo Legos & Playdough)

Moving along you will find our bedroom/living room/office/toy room. The futon folds down and makes into our main bed. We removed both of the chairs (and the couch thing) that the camper came with and put in that futon, a chair from our home, and a small desk from Ikea. In the storage above this area we have a large amount of books and several more small totes with toys. (Wedgits Set, Schleich Animals, and a Playmobile Farm Set) I also have some mailing supplies up there as well.

Here you can see the desk a little better. The ottoman underneath I use for a chair and it also opens up to hold all of the baby’s little toys. We keep the Activity Cube in the camper for her as well. I’ve had that through 3 children and it still hasn’t lost its fun factor! You can see here that we put up some blackout shades over the large window in the living room. It gets HOT in there. In the storage in this area I have my slow cooker and a soft side lunch bag for day trips.

This single toy has provided the most entertainment for all 3 of our children, it’s stood the test of time! It’s not about having the most toys, it’s about have a few, well-selected toys that will keep the littles busy for a long time.

Here’s the rest of the living room. Our camper has a fireplace! (So nice for chilly mornings). It also has a tv that pops up from behind the fireplace. I LOVE that we can have no tv at all or we can get it out if it’s rainy and we want to watch a movie. I very mush dislike campers with massive tvs that you can’t get away from. Next to the fireplace we store our movies and music cds (and more books!). I don’t have anything in the upper cabinets. You can see my little mini garden on top of the fireplace.

If we continue along the fireplace wall we will run right into the kitchen. Having a good kitchen was very important to me when we picked out this RV since we love to cook with fresh foods. Many larger rvs now have a double fridge but this one only has a single. It’s not ideal but we make it work. I do have more than enough food storage space in the kitchen cupboards as you can see here! The white thing in the front of the pic is our trash can.

Here’s my much-used oven and stove top. I keep a large cutting board right on top of it for extra counter space when I need it but it’s easily removed when I’m cooking. My knives are held up with a Magnetic Strip. Yes, I have too many and need to pare them down! I also keep my spices up on the wall with Magnetic Spice Containers. I wasn’t sure if I would like them but I do!

Here’s the rest of the kitchen countertop and the sink. It’s a double sink but I keep one side closed off because I never use it and I’d rather have the counter space. The big cabinet on the wall holds all of our baking goods, plates, cups, etc. I’m sure by now you’ve noticed the pictures (purple) on the walls. I let the boys create new drawings whenever they’d like and then when hang them up for our “art”. It makes it very homey in here and it’s also an inexpensive way to decorate! I keep my cleaning supplies under the sink.

A closeup of the area. I have a basket on the wall that we use for fresh produce that doesn’t go in the fridge. This is great for keeping it off the counters and so it doesn’t roll around when we travel. The bottom cupboard that you can see here holds our open snacks and some baking bowls, random cooking tools, etc.

One more pic of the kitchen so you can see a bit more of the storage. These are 2 pull-out pantries that add a lot of extra space in here! I like to use them to hold some of our “quick” food for traveling and day trips.

My least favorite part of the RV, the bathroom. This was not my favorite bathroom layout. It’s not the worst I’ve ever seen but it’s pretty close. This is looking in from the big hallway. The door doesn’t open any further because the shower is right behind it. All of our bathroom things fit easily inside the cabinet in here.

This is looking into the bathroom from the door that opens into the bedroom. We added extra hooks so we can all hang up our towels and you can also see the shower. I do like that there is a pocket door on this side, it’s makes much more sense!

The shower, which is actually bigger than it looks. It also has something of a tub at the bottom which works well for cleaning the baby. At least this tiny home has lots of light!

Now into the bedroom or the bunkroom as we call it! This room is really hard to photograph so hopefully it will make sense. We removed the queen bed and sidetables and built a bunk bed (full twin size beds!) and still had room for the baby’s crib (which you can’t see in this pic). We wanted to build these bunks next to the wall but all of the pipes for the washing mashine are on the floor in here so it had to stick out. It’s not spacious but it works for us! Behind the mirror is all of our “hang-up clothes”. There is also a plastic drawer thing that contains our art and craft supplies.

And this cupboard contains all of the kid’s clothes, all our swim gear, and a small amount of cold weather clothing. If you want to spy in my clothes cupboards (it’s ok, I know you want to!) you can read this post — How to Create a Minimalist Wardrobe.

Next to the beds is a dresser and here you can see the path back into the bathroom. It looks tighter than it is. I also found those cute lantern lights at Target. I love that they are battery powered! There is a tv in here but we’ve never used it.

Here’s the dresser and another shelf unit. The dresser holds all 5 of our underclothes. The shelf unit is for all of our school books.

One more cupboard up here in the bedroom. I didn’t need it for..

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Last week I began a new series here on Little House Living, my own personal prairie story! Well, not mine, by my family’s story. My great-grandma and grandma’s stories to be more exact. If you missed last week with the introduction and the first part of the story (where Anna, my great-grandma, talks a bit about her mother), you can catch up here on Part 1 of the South Dakota Prairie Story.

A South Dakota Prairie Story – Part 2
Anna’s Younger Years

–If you missed it, be sure and read Part 1 first!

In 1896, when I was 4 years old, my father sold his farm in South Dakota and moved to Houston, Texas to make his new home. He had heard there was wealth there. The trip was made by railroad car and he took horses, cows, machinery, and some grain. I think it was some city slickers like real estate men that made it sound so good.

Mother followed with 8 children and she went by passenger train. My 2 oldest sisters did not go. One was married and the other stayed with her because she was minus one foot and she had been doctoring there. Years ago, people had cellar doors going into a basement from some room in the house. One day the door was left open and she fell down, landed on a barrel, and broke her leg below the knee. After 2 years of suffering and doctoring, my sister died at the age of 18. It was while we were in Texas but my oldest sister and other relatives arranged the funeral and burial.

Sometime after Mother arrived in Texas with her 8 children, they realized it was impossible to make a living there for such a large family. Moneyless, they decided to return to South Dakota. My Uncle Jim had a farm and he rented this out to my folks. The nearest town was 30 miles away. Now there is a town close by to where the farm was but in those days, it didn’t exist. The trips into town had to be made with horses.

Most of South Dakota was open country and not settled much. Dad had to break land and at one time, he sold hogs for 2 cents per hundredweight. There were plenty of snakes and coyotes. Some night the coyotes would howl so. They were so near to our house and we kids were scared to death of them.

Dad’s help was my sister’s Emily and Josie. They worked like men wherever Dad needed help. The rest of us were only good at a full table of food. My first brother was born 2 weeks after we returned from Texas and my other brother was born 2 years later. We lived at my Uncle Jim’s farm for 3 years and then moved to a different farm. There, Dad was glad to have open spaces for his stock and he could farm more land.

Image Courtesy of Whitewood Public Library

About this time, the railroad was being built through the southern part of the state. We kids used to sit on top of a hill and watch people work on it with horses. There were no tractors. Many lived in tents and they would keep moving as the work was done.

Watch for Anna’s Childhood coming soon…

The post A South Dakota Prairie Story Part 2 (Anna’s Younger Years) appeared first on Little House Living.

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Over the last few years, I’ve “inherited” my family’s genealogy on both sides. I guess the writer in the family is the natural home for those? Either way, I’m happy to hold onto things and to further research them as, of course, I’m an avid history lover.

A South Dakota Prairie Story – Part 1
Anna tells Mary’s Story

My family history is rather interesting. I’m actually a 6th generation South Dakotan. My family came here to South Dakota from both Germany and Bohemia in the 1800’s and they’ve been here ever since. Some members have moved out of the state here and there, but mostly we’ve lived everywhere from the eastern side, to the middle, to the north west, and now in the western side. Perhaps that’s normal for a family to stay in the same area for so long? Either way, I always thought it was interesting.

I recently received some very special family stories. Handwritten stories by both my grandma (currently 95 years old) and her mother who passed away in 1974. My great-grandmother also wrote a little bit about her mother, my great-great-grandmother. I’ve found the stories to be fascinating. Not only the parts about my family and state history but just how they survived such a long time ago and some of the things they had to go through. We are so lucky in this modern age. (Of course, in 100 years someone will probably say the same thing about us and this day and age!)

With permission from my family, I will be sharing some of these stories with you. Occasionally sections may be modified to fit within the blog post, but the stories I will be sharing will be coming to you straight from the prairie from more than 100 years ago. My grandma and my great-grandma were extremely brave and courageous woman and I look to them for encouragement in my own journey.

Perhaps, you will too.

I’m going to start these stories at the beginning of what I have and will continue to publish more as time allows.

Photo Courtesy of the SD Historical Society Anna Tells Mary’s Story

I was the 9th child born to Mary and Micheal in February of 1892. There were 12 children in our family. I will begin my story by telling of my mother, Mary, who was born in Bohemia. She and her mother arrived in the United States when she was 14 years old and came to a town in South Dakota. She got a job there working in a hotel and washing clothes on a washboard for $2 per week. Every two weeks, her step-father came to get the money to go towards the support of the family. When the first wash machine came in, my mother cried because she thought she wouldn’t have a job any longer.

When Mary was 17, her mother and father arranged a marriage for her. It was just one of those things in those days, the parents chose a husband or wife for their children. What a life she must have had, one baby after another, and in those days, women had to work in the fields.

One time when Mary came in from the field, she found one of her babies choking on a mouth full of bread. Another time she came in and the kids had her best dress cut up for doll clothes.

Image Courtesy of Table Rock Historical Society

My mother told us stories about those that died in the blizzard of 1888. She talked about when babies were born in those days and there was only a midwife to help because doctors were scarce and far away at the time. Besides, it was only horses and buggies getting around in those days. Many women died in childbirth.

Watch for Anna’s Younger Years coming soon…

The post A South Dakota Prairie Story Part 1 (Anna Tells Mary’s Story) appeared first on Little House Living.

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Making the Most With What We Have

Welcome to our series here on Little House Living, “Making the Most With What We Have”! This series will showcase individuals and families all over the US (and even outside the US!) that are making the most of what they have. We know that you can be a modern homesteader without 160 acres of land and a mule so this series will share the stories of these families so we can get a peek into their lives and learn from each other.

Today enjoy this interview with God’s Wilderness Forest Homestead about their experience with Making The Most With What We Have!

Where Do You Live?

We live in Northern Minnesota, near a township called Holyoke, Mn. We live in a log cabin, with a loft. The square footage of the cabin is 1000 sq. Ft.We live on forty-five acres of forest and a little bit of pasture for our horse. We garden, we use one ingredient food, and we cook from scratch.

What Are Your Dreams and Goals for Your Homesteading Journey?

Right now, we are working on Permaculture, We are also challenging ourselves to provide most of our food in 100 days.

What Are Some Things You Have Learned So Far?

Homesteading can be hard work, but if you zone your homestead in a manner, and have your animals work for you, it can be less work, and so much more enjoyable.

Have your chickens near your Kitchen garden, so that they can “till” the garden ( before planting) and fertilize the garden too. Then when you weed the garden or have spoiled vegetables, feed those to your chickens.Your zone one should be where you have your bird feeders, kitchen garden, and your chickens. So when you want to make your morning omelet you can go to collect your eggs, and your fresh herbs, all collected from zone one, but if your slippers get wet from dew, then they were placed too far from home.

So you plan your zones by how frequent you make “visits” to your zones.

Share Your Favorite Recipe!
Garden Vegetable Salad

Ingredients:
• 2 large tomatoes
• 1/2 cucmber
• 1/2 medium red oinion
• 1 yellow bell
• 1 red bell
• 1/2 cup herbs, such as Italian parsley, cilantro, or a mix
• zest of 1
• lemon juice ( start with 1/2 a lemon, more to taste)
• 4 Tablespoons olive
• salt and pepper, to taste

Method:
1.Chop the first 6 ingredients into very small fine dice.
2. Place in large bowl and toss with the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
3. Serve with Grilled chicken.

We like Grilled Shawarma with ours.

Share With Us One Unique Tip That Has Helped You

I have discovered “One Ingredient” food. Since most packaged foods have so much sugar, soy, hydrogenated oils, I make my own mayo from my chicken’s eggs, my own ketchup, from my garden tomatoes. We are eliminating processed foods. So finding this method of “One Ingredient” foods has helped us eliminate processed foods, soy, sugar, and chemicals. We are all feeling so much better eating “One Ingredient” food.

Your Favorite Useful Homesteading Item

My two homemade shelves that I store our fruit and vegetables on.

How Are You Making the Most With What You Have?

We forge our property for wild berries, hazelnuts, wild weeds, wild Sun Chokes, to add to our meals and preserve. I make most everything from scratch even our mayo and ketchup. I made two shelves from wood we had and pipe fittings. The cost was Free. The shelves are always in use for our fruits and vegetables, and our items in glass jars.

Anything Else to Share?

We also homeschool, and our homestead is our classroom without walls. My daughters, ages eight and twelve, help garden, take care of the chickens, and now we are getting goats to make cheese, goats milk soap, and drinking the milk. We are becoming more self-sufficient on our homestead.

Want to be a part of the Making the Most With What We Have Series? You can read about it and fill out the interview questions here.

Thank you God’s Wilderness Forest Homestead for sharing your story with us! 

The post Making the Most With What We Have: God’s Wilderness Forest Homestead appeared first on Little House Living.

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Since my birthday is tomorrow (it’s the big 3-0 if you had to know), I have desserts on the brain. We don’t make desserts often but they are such a fun treat when we do. Who doesn’t love a tasty treat at the end of a meal or a special snack in the middle of the day? And let’s face it, sometimes us parents just need a little treat now and then for no particular reason (even if you do have to hide in the closet to make sure you get to eat the whole thing before little hands find it!).

The Best 7 Easy Frugal Dessert Recipes to Try

Desserts can be a rather spendy part of the meal. When you are on a tight budget and every penny counts, you want to make sure that each meal is as frugal as possible and sometimes a dessert just doesn’t fit into the plans. But then again, sometimes you just need a little dessert, to celebrate a special occasion, to finish off a special meal, or just because. Today I thought I would share some easy frugal dessert recipes with you so that you always have a good resource on had for delicious desserts, even when you are on a tight budget.

When I first started Little House Living 9 years ago, I was very much into making all kinds of desserts so thankfully we have a huge bank of them to draw from here on the site! If one of these recipes doesn’t catch your eye, be sure and check out the full list that I have here: Desserts and Treats. Most of them are still very budget friendly.

Below you will find my very favorite dessert recipes to make when we are on a tight food budget. Obviously, the estimated costs will vary depending on your area’s grocery costs and if you buy specialty brands but this still should give you a good idea of how much each recipe will cost to make. Happy baking!

Chocolate Banana Bars

This is such a fun recipe and the perfect way to use up an over-ripe banana and help prevent food waste. You can leave out the chocolate portion of the bar and just do a plain chocolate chip banana bar if you don’t have any cocoa.

The ingredients are:

  • 1/2 cup butter –$0.50
  • 1 cup sugar – $0.34
  • 1 egg – $0.16
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla – $0.17
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana – $0.50
  • 1 1/2 cups flour – $0.60
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder – $0.12
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda – $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt –  $0.01
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa – $0.25
  • 1 cup chocolate chips – $1.10

Total: Around $3.76 per 9×13 pan (12 bars, $0.31 per bar)

Get the Chocolate Banana Cars recipe here

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Yes, these are cookies which aren’t necessarily in the dessert category but more of a snack. However, these Oatmeal Lace Cookies are so rich and have so much flavor, they make a perfect dessert. The chocolate drizzle on top is optional.

The ingredients are:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour  – About $0.20
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar – About $0.17
  • pinch of salt – Negligible
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder – About $0.03
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats – About $0.13
  • 2 tablespoons milk – About $0.10
  • 6 tablespoons butter About $0.38

Total Cost = Around $1.01 per batch (12 cookies, $0.08 per cookie)

Get the Oatmeal Lace Cookies recipe here

Frugal Ice Cream

Looking for a yummy cold ice cream treat for those warm summer days? Most ice cream recipes use a large amount of heavy cream and eggs, both which can get very expensive. When we lived without air conditioning, ice cream was my summer must have and it got so expensive! That’s when I came up with this recipe. Not as creamy as traditional ice cream but if you are looking for a cold treat, this will do the trick.

The ingredients are:

  • 4 cups Half and Half – $3.00
  • 1/2 cup Sugar – $0.17
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract – $0.17

Total Cost: Around $3.34 per batch (8 small servings, $0.42 per serving)

Get the Frugal Ice Cream recipe here

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

If you are looking for a frugal dessert that can be simple or fancy, pudding is always a great option! If plain vanilla isn’t your thing, Chocolate Pudding is another delicious option.

The ingredients are:

  • 1 cup milk – $0.13
  • 1/4 cup sugar – $0.09
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon flour $0.04
  • pinch of salt – Negligible
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla – $0.09
  • 1 Tablespoon butter – $0.06

Total = About $0.41 for batch (2-3 servings, $0.14 – $0.21 per serving)

Get the Homemade Vanilla Pudding recipe here

Yellow Squash Doughnuts

This recipe will not be a frugal one if you don’t have squash growing in your garden or some in your freezer that you can use, however, if you do have some that you were given or grew yourself, it’s a perfect frugal treat recipe! If you don’t have a doughnut pan, make these into muffins using a muffin tin.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 1/4 cups Flour – $0.90
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa Powder – $0.75
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder – $0.24
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda – $0.01
  • 1 teaspoon Salt $0.02
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar – $0.72
  • 1/2 cup Butter – $0.50
  • 2 eggs – $0.32
  • 3 cups Yellow Squash – free
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream – $0.23

Total = About $3.69 per recipe (12 doughnuts, $0.31 per doughnut)

Get the Yellow Squash Doughnuts recipe here

Eggless Brownies

No dessert list would be complete without a yummy brownie recipe! Although I have several here on Little House Living, my all time favorite is for these Eggless Brownies. Most brownies contain eggs which help to give them a nice fudgy texture but somehow this recipe manages to do that without them. Perfect since eggs can get expensive if you don’t have your own hens!

The ingredients are:

  • 1 1/3 cups All-Purpose Flour – $0.53
  • 1 cup Sugar – $0.36
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – $0.33
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder – $0.06
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt – $0.01
  • 1/2 cup Water – Free
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil – $0.18
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract – $0.09

Total = About $1.56 per recipe (9 brownies, $0.17 per brownie)

Get the Eggless Brownies recipe here

Pumpkin Pie

This one might seem a little odd, but Pumpkin Pie is one of our favorite desserts to make year around. If you freeze pumpkin from your garden, this dessert recipe can be incredibly inexpensive! On the blog, I show making this recipe in jars but one recipe is the perfect amount for one regular pie.

The ingredients are:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar – $0.12
  • 1/3 cup white sugar – $0.12
  • 2 eggs – $0.32
  • 1/2 cup cream – $0.59
  • 1 cup pumpkin – $0.75
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg – $0.05
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon – $0.03
  • pinch of salt – Negligible
  • Butter Crust –$1.00

Total = $2.98 per pie (8 slices, $0.37 per slice)

Get the Pumpkin Pie recipe here

If you need a yummy dessert recipe but need to stay on a tight budget, hopefully, you will give one of these recipes a try the next time you are baking! At under $0.50 per serving, these desserts can easily fit into your budget for a special treat.

Which of these frugal dessert recipes have you already made? What are your favorite frugal desserts?

The post The Best 7 Easy Frugal Dessert Recipes to Try appeared first on Little House Living.

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Have a moth problem? Here’s a simple, no chemical solution to keep the little creatures from taking over your home!

Creating a Moth Trap

I don’t know about where you live but the moths here on the South Dakota plains are just awful this year. Last night we snuck into the house in the dark without turning any lights on and still had over 30 moths in the kitchen when we finally did flip on the lights. A swarm of moths attacks our heads every time we head out to the garage.

I have to give my hubby all the credit for this idea. While I was still wondering what to do, he thought he’d heard of something to try so he set up this moth trap.

What you need to create it is dish soap that will foam up, water, a bowl, and a light. (Note: Homemade Dish Soap will not work well for this trap since it usually does not foam up very much.)

Place the water into the bowl and add in the dish soap. It would help to add in the soap while you are filling with water so the soap foams up. You only need a few inches of water.

Place the bowl under a light. In the house, we put the bowl on the stove and turned the stove light on above it. Turn off all other lights in the area.

Here’s our bowl the next morning. The suds are gone but the moths are there. No chemical sprays used and easy to set up but it works! And nothing extra to buy, you can easily set this up with what’s already in your house!

Update: It’s now been several years since I made this post and since we began using this solution for removing moths from our home and I’m happy to say that it’s still working! It’s wonderful to have easy, low-cost solutions to common household problems.

Have you ever had a moth problem and tried this moth trap?

The post Creating a Moth Trap appeared first on Little House Living.

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Want to be a seamstress but are shocked by the high price of fabric? Here’s where to buy fabric so that you can make the most of your crafting budget.

Cheap Places to Buy Fabric

I’m not a big-time sewer but I do like to buy fabric occasionally for certain crafting projects and for miscellaneous mending needs. The trouble is that most of the time the fabric you can get at regular fabric stores is way too expensive to make it worth buying and making anything out of! Now I’m sure that many of you that are bigger sewers than I am and you have more tips than this so make sure to share them with the rest of us in the comments section as well.

As far as price goes, I’ve found that your non-traditional fabric buying options are best, however, as far as selection goes you may need to stick with a regular fabric store and just rely on the coupons they provide. Here is a list of cheap places to buy fabric to check out.

–If you are new to sewing, first check out my list of 7 Tools Every Beginning Seamstress Must Have!

Where to Buy Cheap Fabric Garage Sales.

This doesn’t happen all the time but occasionally I will be able to find fabric (mostly scrap) at garage sales. I’ve noticed that if a sale is going to have a good amount of fabric it is generally advertised in their newspaper ad. If you don’t see any ads that speak directly about fabric, look for garage sale ads advertising a “nick-nack” or miscellaneous sale or sometimes even craft items. Garage sales that are advertising children’s clothing and similar items are generally not the place to look for fabric. If you find a large amount of fabric that you want to buy, don’t forget to ask for a bulk price!

Senior Center Sales.

This one is similar to garage sales above but one put on in a senior center. We have one of these sales yearly in my area at a large senior center and it usually has a huge table full of all kinds of fabric! If you like to repurpose old fabric for projects this is also a great place to look for that. Many older clothing garments were made of a more quality fabric than you can find on clothing now and it works well for repurposing projects. Many of these senior center sales can be offered on a donations basis which means you might be able to find a great deal!

Free Simple Sewing Patterns

Thrift Stores.

This is usually a fairly reliable source of inexpensive fabric. All of the local thrift stores I can think of have a nice “crafting” section that usually has at least a dozen of bundles of fabric. These bundles are a little more expensive than the previous 2 options, but as I said, if you have a good local thrift store, you have a pretty good chance at getting fabric whereas rummage sales and senior center sales can be hit and miss. I’ve even found some fairly large amounts of fabric at thrift stores not just scrap pieces. Thrift stores (and garage sales) are also a great place to find old sheets which, if you think about it, is an awesome source of fabric for crafts! You get a large piece of fabric that is usually priced pretty low. I love making Rag Rugs out of old sheets.

Free Printable Sewing Patterns

The Fabric Store.

Wait…didn’t I just say that fabric stores were expensive? Well, they can be, but like in all stores, there are always ways to find a deal! Look for clearance racks of discontinued patterns. Some fabric stores also hold sales were you can find half price deals on the “regular” fabrics, however the best luck I’ve had at finding deals is shopping the clearance. Check online at the store you are going to first for coupons.

 Big Box Stores.

Yes, even stores like Walmart and Hobby Lobby have good deals on fabric! Search around until you find the remnant bin and you can get deals on scrap fabrics. I’ve even found some remnants that are several yards long, enough to make a large project with! Also as I mentioned above, if you need a very specific type of fabric this is going to be your best option since they will have the largest selection. Hobby Lobby always has a weekly coupon (that can be used on up to 10 yards of a single fabric) that you can print and take with you to the store. I’m not much for buying fabric at Walmart for several reasons but I do like to get my notions like elastic and ribbon there since it’s a pretty good regular price.

Sewing Projects that Take Under 1 Hour

These are just a few of the places to buy fabric that I’ve regularly been able to find a deal at for my little projects! Since we don’t live very near any of these places I’ve also started ordering fabric online from stores like Fabric.com. They often have sales going and it’s a cheaper option than driving all the way to the store for what I need.

Some of my favorite projects that I’ve been making lately with my cheap fabric are:

What are some of the places that you buy cheap fabric from? What projects are you working on right now?

The post Where to Buy Cheap Fabric appeared first on Little House Living.

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Have you ever wanted to try to make your own marshmallows? Our family just loves this homemade gourmet marshmallows recipe!

Homemade Gourmet Marshmallows Recipe

Last summer we decided to create a firepit for our family to enjoy in our yard. What goes better with a firepit than a good marshmallow? We struggle with finding a marshmallow that our family can enjoy from the store because of our allergies and I’ve made them before in the version of Homemade Peeps so I was pretty sure that I could figure out how to make them!

While our homemade marshmallows aren’t perfect for roasting over the fire (they tend to melt pretty fast, although they are still SUPER good this way), they are a delicious treat that we can all enjoy together.  We also like to melt them on top of a yummy fruit crisp (like this Peach Cobbler). Oh, my mouth is watering….

Homemade Gourmet Marshmallows Recipe

What You Need:

In a small bowl, combine the water and gelatin and let it bloom, set aside until later.

Prepare your pan now because you won’t have time to do it later. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, heat the maple syrup over a medium/low heat. Use a candy thermometer and continually stir the syrup until it reaches 240 degrees. A candy thermometer is essential in this recipe to help it set up. You can find them for less than $5.

As soon as it reaches this temp, remove it from the stove and pour it into a large bowl. Add in all of the other ingredients including the gelatin mixture.

Use the electric mixers to whip the ingredients together. You will need to continue to whip the mixture until semi-stiff peaks begin to form (about 10 minutes).

Pour the mixture into your 8×8 baking dish and even it out as well as you can. Place the pan in the fridge and let it set for at least 30 minutes.

After your marshmallows have had time to set up, take them out of the fridge and sprinkle some arrowroot powder on the top. Pop the parchment paper out of the pan and then use a sharp knife to cut into marshmallow-sized pieces. Place the pieces in a bowl or bag, and sprinkle with more arrowroot powder so they won’t stick together.

Your marshmallows are ready to enjoy anytime!

Have you ever made homemade marshmallows?

The post Homemade Gourmet Marshmallows Recipe – Maple Marshmallows appeared first on Little House Living.

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Making the Most With What We Have

Welcome to our series here on Little House Living, “Making the Most With What We Have”! This series will showcase individuals and families all over the US (and even outside the US!) that are making the most of what they have. We know that you can be a modern homesteader without 160 acres of land and a mule so this series will share the stories of these families so we can get a peek into their lives and learn from each other.

Today enjoy this interview with The Carew Family about her experience with Making The Most With What You Have!

Where Do You Live?

Ontario, Canada in a farmhouse on 2 acres in the country.

Where Do You Live?

Ontario, Canada in a farmhouse on 2 acres in the country.

What Are Your Dreams and Goals for Your Homesteading Journey?

We just moved here last Summer, so we are fairly new into our journey. We have chickens, but we want to start our very first garden this year, along with adding Nigerian Dwarf Goats, pigs, and a farm dog eventually. I make soap (something I’ve learned since moving out here) so I want to grow lavender for the soap and use our very own goat’s milk for it as well one day. We want to be more self-sufficient and hope that each year we achieve more of our dreams and goals. We want to do more canning, and eventually, raise some of our meat here on our homestead.

What Are Some Things You Have Learned So Far?

We have learned how to care for baby chicks and chickens. We have also learned what not to do, like how you should NOT build mesh sides on a brooder box. Those baby chicks made such a mess! We have learned how to use our woodstove for our primary heat, and how to layer up to stay warm! I didn’t even know how to start a fire before I moved here, and now I am the primary “fire-keeper” while my husband is at work.

We also learned how to make an ice rink for kids with only snow and water -no liner! We couldn’t afford a liner so we had to make the most of what we had, and what we had was water and snow!

I have also learned to make soap and even plan to take it to a local market to sell.

After driving into a ditch one night on our country road I discovered that I have to learn to take care of myself out here because help can be very far away. That sometimes means taking precautions and having plan in case of emergency.


Share Your Favorite Recipe!

We love our homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza. We use leftover chicken from a whole roasted chicken for the pizza.

3 cups warm water
5 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp honey
7 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup oil (I use canola)
1 cup cornmeal
For toppings
1 cup BBQ Sauce
5 cups grated marble cheese
sliced red onions
leftover chicken
pineapple

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425F
Mix together your yeast, honey, and water. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast to “proof”. You will know it is ready when it gets foamy.
In a separate bowl mix 5 cups of the flour, and the salt.
Add the yeast and oil to the flour mixture. Stir until all mixed. Add the rest of the flour a bit at a time until it is no longer runny or sticky. You don’t want it too dry though. When the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl is when you’ve added enough flour.
knead it on your counter top for a few minutes, then roll it into a nice ball, place it back in the bowl, and cover it with a tea towel. Let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
Spread some oil on 11 x 17 cookie sheets to grease them.
Pour the cornmeal on the pan. While holding the pan over your sink on an angle, tap the back of it gently to spread the cornmeal all over the pan.
Divide your dough into two balls.
Roll your dough out on the counter until it is close in size to your cookie sheet. Transfer the dough carefully to the cookie sheet.
Put sauce, cheese, and whatever toppings you want on the dough.
Stick it in the oven and cook at 425F for 14-16 minutes.

Share With Us One Unique Tip That Has Helped You

Every mistake on the homestead is an opportunity to learn. It is easy to beat myself up when I make a mistake with the chickens, or when I am cooking from scratch, or if I mess up something in the old farmhouse. But each time I make a mistake I get to learn from it and improve for the next time I am confronted with a similar issue.

Your Favorite Useful Homesteading Item

Our Wheel barrel. It makes bringing wood into the house a lot easier.

How Are You Making the Most With What You Have?

We buy whole roasted chickens and divide it into three meals instead of using it just for one. We use the divided chicken in stews, soups, and stir-fries. We make most of our own bread. I wash out milk bags to use in place of storebought Ziplocs. We don’t have a dryer so we hang our clothes near the woodstove, using the woodstove heat to dry them in the winter. Our woodstove doesn’t heat all areas of the house the best so we close off a portion of our house in the winter to avoid using our backup oil heat as much as possible. We used chicken wire as decoration in our kitchen because it was already on our property and free to us. We shovel by hand our insanely long driveway because a snowblower just isn’t in the budget anytime soon.

Anything Else to Share?

When I make the most with what I have I discover that it gives me peace. It allows me to be creative, to provide for my family, and to avoid taking on unnecessary debt. I love this simple life we are living and wouldn’t want it any other way.

Want to be a part of the Making the Most With What We Have Series? You can read about it and fill out the interview questions here.

Thank you Carew Family for sharing your story with us! Read more about their lives on their blog here.

The post Making the Most With What We Have: The Carew Family appeared first on Little House Living.

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