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Making the Most With What We Have
Welcome to our brand new 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 we are following along with Joanie’s Story…
Where Do You Live?
We live in the suburb of a larger city in Arkansas. We have a big backyard, and a house with plenty of space. We have lived in a smaller suburb and in the country, but my husband’s job brought us where we are now.
What Are Your Dreams and Goals for Your Homesteading Journey?
Our goal is to simplify our lives no matter where we are. We had great dreams of owning acres of land, but have since learned we can simplify our lives no matter where we are. We are slowly adding raised beds to our backyard and plan to eventually get a few chickens. We had chickens in the city limits at our first home, but this city has stricter chicken laws. Our neighbor told us the first woman who lived in this house had a huge garden, so we have hope we can grow several things ourselves, too. We also have clothesline poles already up in the backyard, so my goal this spring is to get my husband to put up the line for me. I would also like to continue learning how to make several items myself, such as lip balm, and I want to learn to can.
What Are Some Things You Have Learned So Far?
I do make several things myself such as laundry detergent. We know how to care for chickens, even though we do not have any right now. My husband is the gardener. He can grow just about anything. I love a garden, but I’m not the best at caring for it when I’m so busy with little children!
We are a homeschooling family, and I love how simple our days are because we spend our time together. We lean toward the Charlotte Mason way of home education, so we spend a lot of time outside exploring nature.
One of the best things I have learned is how to live with less. We are constantly simplifying our lives. My husband finally decided to cut our satellite (yay!) and we strive to pay cash for our vehicles, though we do have one car payment right now. I love to pare down our belongings and get rid of things we don’t use.
How Are You Making the Most With What You Have?
I make our laundry soap. Our daughter has eczema, so we cannot use commercial products anyway. We make sure to use up the last bit of everything. I turn leftovers into new meals. We are also very careful when making large purchases. We discuss our options and try to make sure we buy for quality. I also re-use containers. We use old ice cream containers to store things like our homemade laundry soap. I save jars from store-bought sauces to use as storage, too!
Share Your Favorite Recipe!
I love peanut butter pie. It’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s a yummy treat every now and then!
Share With Us One Unique Tip That Has Helped You
We have sold a lot of things we do not need anymore to help us make extra money. We also recycle aluminum and metal and make a little extra money here and there off of that!
Your Favorite Useful Homesteading Item
I love my Kitchenaid mixer. I was so hesitant when my husband bought it because it is not cheap, but it makes mixing up a loaf of bread so easy. I also have attachments that allow me to easily shred blocks of cheese and grind meat. We even use it to make ice cream!
Anything Else to Share?
You don’t have to live in the country with acres and acres of land to make the most of what you have and live a simpler life. Start where you are right now! Learn how to make things you normally buy. Start baking even if you’ve never baked before! Learn a new handicraft, such as knitting. If you can’t grow everything you eat, visit your farmer’s market. Just start somewhere!
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.