7 Veggies You Must Grow in Your Fall Garden

Even though it just turned summer (officially), it is time to think about a fall garden! To have a great fall garden, you have to start planning right now. The first step is to think about vegetables for a fall garden. There are quite a few that grow well.

Before you make your selection, you have to think about what veggies your family eats the most. Another consideration is what veggies may have not done so well in your spring and summer garden. Many of those can grow again in the fall, giving you an extra chance to harvest more produce.

7 Veggie Plants to Grow in Your Fall Garden

Most of these plants do very well, even if you experience a light frost. If you need to take extra precautions against frosting, I noted that for you.

  1. Broccoli: While broccoli might need some precautions against frost, it is one of the top choices for a fall garden. It is important that you start broccoli seeds in the end of June, in preparation for a July/August planting.
  2. Carrots: I might be biased, but I feel as if you can never have enough carrots. They freeze so well. We dice and flash freeze our carrots for easy soup making. Most carrot varieties need 10 to 12 weeks to grow. Count back from your first frost date to discover when you need to sow the seeds for a fall harvest.
  3. Brussel Sprouts: Many people think brussel sprouts are gross, but they couldn’t be further from wrong. When grown and cooked correctly, brussel sprouts are tender and delicious. It is one of our favorite veggies. Like broccoli, you must start your brussel sprout seeds inside if you intend to have a fall harvest. You should count back 12 to 14 weeks from your first frost date to discover when to start the seeds.
  4. Radishes: If you are a lover of radishes, you can grow them right into the fall. Depending on the variety you select, you may be able to grow them directly through the entire growing season. I sow a new planting of radishes each month because the variety I use matures in 18 to 20 days.
  5. Lettuce: In the right conditions, you may be able to have a year-round supply of fresh lettuce. Lettuce is an ideal choice for a fall garden. You should directly sow the lettuce 10 to 12 weeks before your first frost. You can also plan to sow lettuce 8 to 10 weeks and 6 to 8 weeks prior to the frost, ensuring you have a great supply leading up to cold weather.
  6. Spinach: One of the best fall crops is spinach. All you need to do is directly sow it in the ground 8 to 10 weeks before your first frost. You could also start spinach inside a few weeks earlier. I tend to have better luck with spinach when I start it inside.
  7. Peas: Typically, peas are planted two weeks prior to the last frost, during the spring. Peas also make a fantastic choice for a fall vegetable. You will want to make sure it is an earlier variety. I pick an heirloom pea variety that produces within 60 days. Plant peas 10 to 12 weeks before the first hard frost.

Fall gardening is a great way to extend your harvest, along with succession planting. While there are plenty of other choices for veggie crops, these seven are my absolute favorite. If this is your first time having a fall garden, you can guarantee success with these seven crops.

Do you have a favorite fall veggie for your garden? Let me know in the comments.

 

20 Ways to Make Money on a Homestead

Are you looking for ways to make money on a homestead with small acreage? You might think that, since you only have a few acres of land, there is no way to make a profit. You are wrong! There are so many ways to make money on a homestead, no matter the size!

Those of us with only a few acres of land typically can’t have too much livestock, but that doesn’t mean we are incapable of making money while homesteading. There are so many fantastic ways! Homesteading CAN be a money maker.

This list is FAR from exhaustive. These are just a few ways I know you can make money on a homestead. Many of them I have tried myself successfully!

20 Ways to Make Money on a Homestead

  1. Sell Your Eggs: Chances are you will have extra eggs if you have chickens. Remember to always feed your family first. People love to purchase farm eggs. You can easily sell them for $2.50 to $4.50 per dozen, depending on what they eat and your location.
  2. Sell Your Surplus Fruits and Veggies: More than likely, you produce some or all of your fruits and veggies your family needs. Once you have secured all of your food for your family, you can sell your surplus at a farmer’s market or a CSA. People love to purchase veggies from a fresh source!
  3. Offer Seasonal Activities: People love seasonal activities. If you have the space, plant a u-pick strawberry or raspberry patch. You can plant a small apple tree grove. In the fall, offer a pumpkin patch. The kids can come, pick pumpkins and paint them. Parents and kids love these types of activities.
  4. Sell Compost: Compost is expensive in the stores, priced between $6 to $10 per bag. If you create too much compost for your garden, try bagging and selling the compost. Make sure you do it correctly. No one wants to end up with tons of weeds because you created the compost wrong!
  5. Cut Flowers: Believe it or not, cut flowers sell just as well at farmer’s markets as veggies and fruit. People love beautiful bouquets of flowers. If your passion is flowers, don’t fret. You can easily sell create a flower garden instead. There is a fantastic book about this, called The Flower Farmer. You’ll find great information there.
  6. Sell Fresh and Dried Herbs: If you are at the market selling vegetables, try selling bundles of fresh herbs. Basil, parsley, oregano, sage and more do wonderful at farmer’s markets. You could also try drying and selling your dried herbs. Medicinal herbs sell great as well, so don’t forget the lavender and chamomile!
  7. Teach a Class: Learning new skills can be hard if you don’t have a mentor. Once you feel confident with your skills, offer classes. People will pay to learn with a hands-on instructor to properly can their foods or how to start seedlings at home. Make sure they have something to take home with them as well!
  8. Sell Started Seedlings: The average gardener goes to a store like Lowe’s or a local nursery to purchase their started seedlings. Instead, try selling your seedlings. I don’t know about you, but I always tend to start more than I need. Take advantage of this. If your plants are organic and heirloom, you can price each seedling between $2 and $4, a great price if you are selling over a 100 seedlings each year!
  9. Chicks or Fertilized Eggs: If you have a flock of chicken, you can sell your own day-old chicks. If you have the space, you could also wait a few weeks and sell them for more money. Chicks sell for between $2 and $4, depending on breed. You could sell a started pullet for $7 to $10. If you have the market for it, some farmers prefer to purchase fertilized eggs. You would sell them for the same price you sell your eggs, unless they are special breed chickens.
  10. Herbal Teas: For those of us who use herbal remedies, try sell your own homemade herbal teas! There are a few steps involved, such as growing the herbs and drying them. However, people love herbal teas and you might be surprised how much you truly sell, especially at farmer’s markets!
  11. Homemade Soap: You don’t need a goat to make soap, even though goat’s milk soap sells wonderfully. Using melted soy, you can make your own soap. Best of all, you can find ways to use items from your homestead in the soaps, such as herbs (lavender) or cucumber.
  12. Growing and Selling Mushrooms: If you are looking for crops that sell for higher prices, mushrooms will be on the list. Most farmer’s don’t grow their own mushrooms. Because you can grow specialty varieties, you can make a large profit on mushrooms. Not too many people think of growing mushrooms when thinking about how to make money on a homestead.
  13. Jellies and Jams: Customers LOVE homemade jellies and jams. I sell a huge range of variety, from simple recipes like strawberry jam to more creative kinds like dandelion jelly. Remember to check your state’s cottage laws before selling jellies and jams.
  14. Crochet or Knit: In all that spare time you have, try selling crochet or knitted items. I crochet, and I find that many people love handmade items, especially close to Christmas. While I do sell some throughout the year, I try to make sure I have a large stock available to sell to customers around Christmas.
  15. Save and Sell Seeds: Once you have the whole gardening thing down, it is time to start saving those seeds. You will want to make sure you use heirloom seeds for this. Not only does saving seeds help save you money while gardening, it also can earn you a profit. Each seed package sells between $2-$3.
  16. Maple Syrup: Not everyone can sell maple syrup; you clearly need maple trees on your property. With only one acre of land, we typically produce just enough maple syrup to last our family a year. However, if you have a bigger piece of property, you can easily have surplus. Maple syrup is pricey and eats up some of your time, but you will make a profit! A gallon sells for $40 to $50, but it also takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup!
  17. Woodwork: If you love to create things with wood, woodworking is for you. People LOVE handmade items like tables and benches. Those take time. For quicker items, try making shelves and signs.
  18. Bake Bread and Rolls: Another item you can sell at a farmer’s market is bread or rolls. You can also make fruit bread, like banana bread, or cookies. Customers will buy homemade bread. You can price between $2 to $4 per loaf, depending on your location and ingredients used.
  19. Specialty Hot Peppers: While this does go under number one, there is a special market for hot peppers. Peppers such as Ghost Peppers, Thai Hot Peppers and Carolina Reapers are famous for their high heat level. You can price these peppers higher than you would other varieties.
  20. Honey and Honey Products: You may or may not have bees. If you do, you have the option to sell the honey and any products from the bees, such as beeswax. If bees intimidate you, remember it is legal in most cities. Bees are natural and important for our food cycle!

Making the jump to homesteading can feel scary. It takes money to start, so you want to make sure you have money coming in as well. No matter the size, there are ways to make money on a homestead quickly!

Do you have different ways you make money on your small homestead? I would love to hear them! Share in the comments.

The Easiest Strawberry Jam Recipe

Strawberries signify June in our house. Our small strawberry patch goes crazy, and strawberries come out of our ears. After years of practice, I found my favorite strawberry jam recipe.

I typically need to make 12 to 24 half-pint jars of strawberry jam to last our family one year. We eat PB&J sandwiches a lot. I also like to give away jars of jam and jelly for gift baskets. I make a lot of different jams; strawberry just happens to be our favorite.

I once tried freezer jam, and that didn’t work for us. Our power went out, and I lost five jars. I was so sad. After that incident, I decided to stick with what I knew. Canning strawberry jam is just something I love! I use the easiest strawberry jam recipe I know, and it’s perfection. If you are looking for a recipe to can for the very first time, try this one!

strawjam

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of hulled strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 box of low sugar pectin

Directions:

  1. Prepare the strawberries by hulling and cutting up into pieces. Put strawberries and lemon juice into a pot. Turn on medium-high heat. Allow them to heat up. As the strawberries heat, I use my spoon to mash them as they get soft.
  2. Mix 1 cup sugar with the box of pectin. Once the strawberries are boiling, mix in the sugar and pectin. Stir well. Add the rest of the sugar to the mixture.
  3. Bring to a boil. It should be a rolling boil that doesn’t slow down if you are stirring. Allow to boil (as you stir) for one minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Ladle the jam into prepared jars waiting for you. Use a water bath canner and process the jars for 10 minutes. Let the jars sit for 24 hours before removing rims and labeling the cans!

Everyone seems to have different methods for making strawberry jam. I wanted mine to be as simple as possible. The results are always the same – amazing and delicious. If you are looking for some other strawberry canning recipes, check out a few creative recipes I listed.

Do you have a favorite recipe for strawberry jam? If so, please share it with us in the comments!

Maximize Your Harvest with Succession Planting

It is a mistake we all make a first. You know you want lettuce for salads this summer. So, you plant the entire seed packet. A few weeks later, you have so much lettuce you can’t eat it all. Some of it goes bad. Was there a way to solve this problem? It is called succession planting.

What is Succession Planting?

Often called succession sowing, this practice involves planting a crop several times throughout the season rather than just once. Doing so spreads out your harvest time. Instead of harvesting 500 carrots at one time, you can harvest 50 to 100 multiple times throughout the season.

Succession planting makes preserving much easier. It also is essential for those who sell crops at farmer’s markets.

I’ve made the mistake before of sowing a whole bed of carrots. I then spent hours trying to preserve them. If I had known about succession planting at that time, it would’ve been much easier to ensure everything was preserved successfully.

Tips for Maximizing Harvest with Succession Planting

  1. Pick the Right Crops: Some crops aren’t meant for succession plantings, such as tomatoes or peppers. Instead, there are some crops that are ideal. Let’s take a look
  • Crops that grow fast, within 1 to 3 months, are perfect for succession planting. Examples are radishes, leaf lettuce, baby turnips, baby kale greens, and spinach.
  • If you need to harvest your crops quickly, those plants may work for succession planting as well. Examples are bush peas, bush beans, and baby greens.
  • I sow carrots multiple times throughout the season, but it isn’t necessary. They keep growing larger if I leave them in the ground. However, beans will go bad if I forget to harvest.
  • Pick varieties that harvest faster. For example, my radishes harvest typically in 18 to 25 days. Some radishes take 30 days. While that doesn’t seem very long, you can get an extra harvest this year by selecting earlier varieties.

radishes

  1. Group Similar Crops Together: To make it easier for yourself, you should dedicate each bed to a certain family type of crop. It makes it easier to rotate your beds each season when there was only one type of family in that bed. Each plant type has different watering and fertilizing needs.

If you can, pick some beds to use for succession planting and mark others for crops that take all summer to grow, like potatoes or peppers. You can sow these beds and harvest crops at one time. Then, add compost and amend the soil. Next, you’ll sow more seeds. This process continues throughout the season growing.

carrots

  1. Plant transplants: While some crops don’t transplant well, such as carrots or radishes, you can start lettuce or spinach ahead of time in containers. As your lettuce grows in the garden beds outside, start some inside for the next sowing.Some plants struggle to germinate and grow correctly if the temperatures are too hot. Starting inside in controlled temperatures and slowly introducing them to the weather outside (called hardening off) gives you the best chance at a large harvest.

peas

The first year that you garden, you may not be ready to practice succession planting. It does require more planning and thought process. However, those of us who spend each year gardening and preserving our harvest greatly benefit from succession planting. You can easily double or triple your harvest with succession planting. It is worth the effort.

So, tell me. Do you use succession planting? If so, do you have a successful harvest? Let me know in the comments.

9 Super Cheap Fertilizers You Have at Home

*This post contains affiliate links. They come at no extra costs to you, but it helps the cost of running the site.

fertilizers

Once your plants are in the ground, the work has just started. Gardens need cheap fertilizers. Yes, you can run out and purchase your own fertilizers, but then you are spending unnecessary money. There are plenty of ways to save money while gardening!

Many of the things you have in your own home can be used as fertilizers. The first thing that you need to know is plants need three essential nutrients to grow: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K).

  • Nitrogen is essential for leaf and green plant growth.
  • Phosphorus is necessary for flower and fruit bearing.
  • Potassium is necessary for the growth of the entire plant.

Of course, your plants depend on other important micronutrients for their growth. Calcium, magnesium and sulfur are just a few other ones.

It is important to remember that plants are also affected by the acidity of soil. Some fertilizers can increase the acidity in soil. While some plants enjoy extra acid, many don’t. You will need to ensure you don’t increase the acid too much. You can use a soil tester that determines the pH balance of your soil. They’re relatively cheap.

Cheap Fertilizers for Your Garden

coffeegrounds

  • Coffee Grounds
    If you’re like me, you have no issues gathering coffee grounds. Instead of tossing out the k-cups or coffee filters, put the grounds into a bowl. Coffee grounds are an awesome sort of nitrogen.However, coffee grounds do add acid to your soil. You must be careful not to add too much. Some flowers, such as roses or magnolias, love extra nitrogen. There are veggies that thrive in soil with additional acid such as radishes, sweet potatoes, peppers, rhubarb and parsley.
  • Banana Peels
    If you have kids, you probably have a plethora of banana peels in your compost or trash can. Banana peels are rich in calcium, phosphorus and potassium, making them excellent for plants that flower, such as zucchinis.There are a few ways for you to use banana peels. You can chop them up and bury them in the dirt surrounding your plant. As they decompose, all of the nutrients leech into the soil.If you want to make a banana spray fertilizer, soak banana peels in water for two to three days. The water absorbs the nutrients.
  • Epsom Salt
    I love to soak in a tub with Epsom salt, so I typically have a bag laying around the house. Bags of Epsom salt are less than $5, super cheap! Epsom salt provides magnesium and sulfur to your plants. I typically sprinkle Epsom salt around my tomatoes; they love it!You can water your plants with Epsom salt. Simply mix one tablespoon of the salt with a gallon of water. I just put it in my watering can. Plants love it and it helps to increase their greenness.eggshells
  • Egg Shells
    Whether you have chickens or not, you probably have egg shells laying around at times. Instead of tossing them away, you can add them to your compost OR use them directly in your garden!Egg shells are rich in calcium, promoting cellular growth in your plants. Tomatoes love and need calcium for proper growth. If you bury them around your tomato plants, you help to reduce blossom end rot.Another way to use egg shells in your garden is to make a spray but boiling 20 egg shells in a gallon of water.
  • Grass Clippings
    Chances are you cut grass each week. You have tons of grass clippings, either left behind the mower or in the bag. Grass clippings are high in nitrogen. They also make a great mulch!There are a few ways to use grass clippings! Try mixing the clippings into your soil. You can just sprinkle them around the base of your plants. Another method is to fill a five gallon bucket of grass clippings then fill with water. This mixture has to sit for three to five days. Strain and spray!
  • Compost
    Without a doubt, compost is one of the best ways to fertilize your garden for free. Once you have a compost set up, you can put all of your brown materials, such as leaves, weeds and grass clippings, and green materials from your kitchen. You can add egg shells, fruit scraps and veggie scraps.You should mix your compost with your soil as you plant your veggies. You can also make a compost tea by soaking compost in water and then straining it. Compost is free, and it helps to reduce the amount of trash your family outputs.clay-knight-185433
  • Fish
    When the Pilgrims arrived in North America, they struggled to grow food in the soil. The soil near the coast lacked vital nutrients. Once the Native Americans, such as Squanto, decided to help the pilgrims, they survived and thrived.One trick the Native Americans taught the pilgrims was to bury a fish with their seeds. While you don’t have to bury fish with your plants, you can take a similar approach.Fishermen can keep the scraps of their fish and blend them with water and milk. If your aquarium needs emptied, be sure to use that water on your plants. It provides multiple different vitamins and nutrients to your plants.
  • Milk
    Do you have milk, or powdered milk, in your kitchen that is nearing expiration date? Instead of tossing it away, use it on your garden. Milk is a source of calcium, along with protein, sugar and vitamin B, which aids the overall growth of the plant.You mix milk with four parts water. It helps with blossom end rot, commonly experienced in tomatoes and zucchini.
  • Fireplace Ash
    Ash contains calcium carbonate and potassium. You can add the ash directly to the soil and mix it with your hands. Be careful with fireplace ash because it will boost the acidity in the soil.

5 Creative Ways to Can Strawberries

strawberries

It is June, and your strawberry patch is probably overflowing. Strawberry fields are blooming. There is a good chance you have strawberries coming out of your ears. If you don’t, there are hundreds of u-pick strawberry farms you can visit throughout the country.

Besides freezing strawberries, I always try to can our strawberry harvest. Our family uses 12 to 24 half-pints of strawberry jam per year. I also like to find some creative recipes and ideas. Here are some of my favorite ways to can strawberries. Your mouth might water!

strawlemon

  1. Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate
    Remember those frozen cans of juice concentrate your mother would make throughout the week? You can make your own varieties right at home with your canner. I love to make strawberry lemonade concentrate. It is easy. To reconstitute, you just mix equal parts water. It is so easy and delicious!pie filling
  2. Strawberry Pie Filling
    Do you like to make strawberry pies? I do! I actually prefer pies with graham cracker crusts, but that’s just a personal preference. It is easy to can almost any pie filling. We can apple pie filling each year!strawberrybasil
  3. Strawberry Basil Jam
    Sometimes, you want to make a unique type of jam. Most people don’t typically include herbs in their jams. Basil has a delicious flavor that pairs well with strawberries. You can definitely taste the basil, but it won’t overpower the sweet and tartness of the strawberries. This would make a great jam for gift baskets.strawberryjam
  4. Strawberry-Lime Vanilla Jam
    As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I’m a huge fan of vanilla. The strawberries and lime pair well together. The lime adds a hint of tartness while the vanilla keeps it sweet. It is divine over top of some ice cream. We’ve added it to unsweetened yogurt in the morning with some granola. Yum!strawsauce
  5. Strawberry Sauce
    Everyone needs to have a few jars of strawberry sauce (or syrup) on your shelves. It is the perfect treat. We use it to sweeten our yogurt. You can top your ice cream with it as well. Best of all, you only need a few cups of strawberries to make this recipe happen!

Do you have a favorite way to can strawberries each year? I would love to hear (or see) your recipe! Let me know in the comments.

Watermelon Jelly

Watermelon

Summertime is here. When I imagine summer, I think of my blooming garden, hours swimming at the lake, picnics, and watermelon. Watermelon is, by far, one of my favorite fruits. It is juicy, sweet, and messy, the perfect combination for a treat.

A year ago, I knew I wanted to preserve watermelon, but how? You can’t can watermelon slices; it just won’t work. Then I realized, why not make a jelly out of watermelon? It is amazing.

You do need a juicer or at least a way to get the juice out of the watermelon without the pulp. That could mean blending and straining the watermelon. We just happen to have a juicer, making the process easy. Start to finish, it takes me less than an hour to make watermelon jelly.

watermelonjelly

*It is important to note that watermelon is higher on the acidity scale, which means you must add acid to the recipe to safely water bath this recipe.

Watermelon Jelly Recipes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups watermelon juice (typically one half of a watermelon)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 box of low sugar pectin
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Juice the watermelon or blend then strain the mixture. Put the juice into a pot and turn on medium/high heat to boil.
  2. Allow the watermelon juice to below, stirring frequently. Since watermelon contains so much water, you need to cook it longer than normal.
  3. Next, Mix the box of pectin with one cup of sugar. I use low sugar pectin because 8 cups of sugar for the regular pectin is just too much. You’ll lose the flavor of the watermelon.
  4. Stir in the pectin and sugar mixture. Then, slowly add the rest of the sugar, stirring well after each cup. .
  5. Let come back to a rolling boil and boil for 1-2 minutes while stirring continuously.
  6. Remove from heat and ladle into jars. You will typically get 7 to 8 half-pint jars with one recipe.
  7. Finally, Water bath can for 5 minutes.

Have you ever tried watermelon jelly? It is a top seller for me because my friends and family love it for its unique flavor.

Most of all, let me know if you try the recipe and what you think!

Beautiful Feet Books – Early American Primary: An Honest Review

*I received no compensation or free products for this post. These opinions are my own.

BFBEAP

History is a passion for me. I have a B.A. in history. When Caelyn reached kindergarten,  I wanted to introduce some type of history, but I didn’t want it to go above her head. I was ready to introduce something, anything, to my first child.

After days of researching, I stumbled upon Beautiful Feet Books, and I am so thankful that I did. Beautiful Feet Books follow a literature-based style of learning, easily adaptable to Charlotte Mason or other styles.

BFB5

I purchased the two-year program for the Early American Primary. You have the option to purchase one or two years. The two-year is a bigger pack and more expensive, but you get double the amount of books. I figured we would utilize the books at one point.

This package is meant for K-3rd graders, and I think it would work perfectly for all of those ages! They also have an immediate pack you could use to allow an older child to tag along with the program.

BFB4What I Loved about Beautiful Feet

Beautiful Feet Books stand out because of the books they select. They are top quality. We added so many lovely books to our collection.

Instead of a boring workbook, your children learn through living books. They learn about Jamestown through a diary about a man living there. It allows the children to engage and become more excited about the topics.

The guide given breaks the reading down into lesson amounts. If you want to finish the jumbo pack in one year, you would complete 3 lessons per week. For a two-year program, you complete 2 lessons per week. We did the 2 lessons, and I added some extra readings. However, it would work fine without anything extra added. My daughter just found some periods fascinating, so we expanded even further after the second year.

BFB3Each lesson includes notebooking prompts. You receive a notebook with the program, and the website has downloadable coloring pages. The instructions tell you what picture to color. There are questions to ask your child for them to answer in the notebook. The first year, we mainly did oral questions. The second year, we took turns writing out of the answers.

I love notebooking! It is a great way for the kids to express some creativity and have fun with learning. It also allows them to go back and review the things they learned earlier.

BFB2I love this program, and I plan to use it with my two boys as they reach this age. I do have two things I would change if I could.

  • More independent readers: I found some Magic Tree House and Imagination Station books that worked perfectly for a few of the time periods. I would’ve liked to see more independent readers for kids in the upper age range. My daughter is an advanced reader for her age. It could even be an add-on purchase option!
  • More Projects: It would be nice to see more additional project ideas included in the program. My daughter loves hands-on projects. We completed a few that were my idea. It would be nice to see a “suggested project” section. They would just be supplemental and not an encouraged or large part of the program.

 

BFBI wouldn’t change anything else, and I simply just added what I wanted to the program. Because of the Beautiful Feet Early American History program, we spent hours cuddled up reading. My daughter always wanted to read more. The books were that good!

She relates things back to what she read. We were able to visit Mount Vernon as we studied George Washington. We visited museums to learn more about Native Americans. Our two-year journey through this package prompted thousands of questions, rabbit holes that we studied, and two years of great memories.

Now, we are using their Geography Through Literature package and loving it!

I hope this review was helpful for you. Have you used any programs by Beautiful Feet Books? What was your experience. Let me know in the comments!

7 Ways Homeschoolers Can Save Money

*This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products I use for my own family. They don’t cost you anything extra. It helps with the cost of the website.

Homeschooling can be expensive. Some curriculums can cost upwards of $800 per student. If you have more than one child, it can be daunting to consider the overall cost of homeschooling your children.

For our family, homeschooling is at the forefront of priorities. That doesn’t mean I have all the money in the world to spend. In fact, we try to stick to a budget closely and not overspend, which is very easy to do.

homeschool

Here are some of my practical tips for homeschooling on a budget.

  1. Use a laminator: I’m addicted to laminating everything. If you search Pinterest, you can find some awesome FREE printables. I have found things from free Montessori cards to tracing pages. If you think it is something you want to use later, laminate it! We laminate flash cards so that they don’t rip. You will save money not having to reprint things for each kid!
  2. Rent Books from the Library: I am a book nerd, and I want to own all of the books. However, I can’t because I will go broke. Take advantage of the library. Many libraries offer long rental periods for homeschoolers. If you truly love a certain book, then buy it!
  3. Shop Used: You can find almost any curriculum out there that you want used. There are dozens of groups on Facebook. Attend a curriculum swap near you. Check out library sales for books. Yard sales are fantastic places to score readers for your kids.
  4. Buy Non-Consumable Curriculum: If you have more than one child, you may want to consider purchasing a curriculum that has more non-consumable items. If the entire program is workbooks, you will need to shell out a lot for the next child. If the curriculum is primarily book based, you can reuse those books for the following kids, reducing the overall cost of the program when you divide it per kid.
  5. Make Your Own: There are many things that you can make on your own. If your child needs to work on his handwriting, make your own copy book with proses and poems to copy. Create your own worksheets for your child! You could plan out unit studies for science and history.
  6. Get Memberships: One of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to go on field trips as much as you want. However, that can add up in price really fast. Instead, invest in memberships! Pick one or two places that your kids love and will benefit from the most. Many offer monthly payment plans. It is also a great way to end a day that is hard for everyone.
  7. Purchase in Bulk: You are going to need supplies. Paper, pencils, construction paper, markers, printing ink and more are just items you need as a homeschooling family. Price compare and purchase in bulk. Look at Sam’s Club, Costco and Amazon. Is it cheaper to buy a huge box of pencil in bulk? Look at the price per pencil. Is it cheaper to buy ink in bulk? You are going to use the items, and every penny saved helps!

The 5 Best Inspirational Homesteading Books

*This post may include affiliate links where I would receive compensation from items purchased. My reviews are honest and my own. I have read all of these books. You are not charged because of the affiliate links.

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Homesteading is a way of life. You never stop learning, and that is an appealing part of homesteading for the educator inside of me. Skill development is just part of your daily life.

Years ago, I had no idea how to tend a garden. I had no idea how to grow radishes or how to prune brussel sprouts. I learned. My husband, Andrew, learned how to tend to a flock of chickens and enhance his woodworking skills.

Learning skills can come from personal experience or mentorship with someone more experienced. Andrew fixes our vehicles almost exclusively after years of working alongside his father.

The other way to learn skills is through reading books. I am a book fanatic. If I could fulfill one dream, it would be to have a complete, personal library with every book I could want to read. You probably can imagine I have read quite a few homesteading books, whether on an e-Reader or a book in my hands. Here are my 5 best and inspirational homesteading books.

backyard homestead

  1. The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan
    Years ago, I needed inspiration. We only live on one acre. What could I possibly do on ONE acre that would make a difference for our family? Carleen convinced me that I can do more than I ever imagined. She gives plans for people who only have 1/4 of an acre! There is no reason why you can’t find ways to homestead on any sized land.

    encyclo

  2. The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery
    Everyone needs a resource that they can use to find answers. Because we believe in being prepared, I prefer to have a resource in my hands. Carla Emery answers every question you probably could have. From canning to butchering, you can find answers in The Encyclopedia of Country Living. Plus, it is budget friendly and HUGE. The size was surprising to me when it arrived.

    weekendhomestead

  3. The Weekend Homesteader by Anna Hess
    Many of us have real jobs outside of homesteading. Anna Hess gives real, applicable tips for every month of the year. She talks about skills like choosing mushrooms and growing a no-till garden. I like books that are divided by months. It gives you tasks to think about and focus on during that time period. I find that I am more driven and inspired.

    madefromscratch

  4. The Made-from-Scratch Life by Melissa Norris
    I recently finished reading the Made-from-Scratch Life and I loved it! I am a long time listener to her podcast and the book was fantastic. First, it is Christian based and I loved how Melissa incorporates her faith throughout her book. She has excellent recipes and advice, especially about preserving and gardening. If you pair the book with her podcasts, you will gain a lot of knowledge. I sure have.

    handbook

  5. The Homesteading Handbook by Abigail Gehring
    I purchased The Homesteading Handbook on my kindle. It is a fantastic resource! There are hundreds of ideas, from building doghouses to learning about solar energy. Homesteaders need these types of research and resources so we can make the best decisions. Abigail even includes a fantastic chapter about making candles that I found very helpful.

If you take a look online, you’ll see that there are dozens of books about homesteading, along with hundreds of e-books and websites. There is more information out there about homesteading than ever before.

Do you have a favorite homesteading book? Let me know about it. I need no excuses to add more books to my shelves.