This is About to Get Personal: How Far Are You Willing to Go to Feed Your Family Real Food?

Sacrifices for Nutrition

Sacrifices for NutritionIf you’ve been hanging around EN for any amount of time you may recall that the site was originally started as a way to support our family while my husband was in seminary and only able to work part-time.  A lot has changed since then.

The site took off like wild-fire and began to get so big that I needed to either do it full-time (which was really out of the question, since I homeschool the kids and do a myriad of other things), or I had to scale it back. We ended up choosing the latter and preserved our sanity and our family. At the time, it seemed wise, but we didn’t foresee what was down the road for us.Frozen Dinner

Unfortunately, our decision also resulted in a loss of income from the site, which we assumed would happen. But that, along with the dwindling (previously abundant) side jobs my husband could now barely get to make up for the lack of full-time work caused us to prayerfully consider something that others would outright call crazy. In fact, they did. But I won’t get into all of that craziness right now.

Health and life are pretty up there on our priority list for our family. Even with awesome suggestions for cutting a real food budget down to size, like those I got from the Everything Beans ebook and countless blog posts from my blogger friends, it still just wouldn’t cut it. When we checked the budget numbers (and checked them again!), staying in our home meant eating Top Ramen and other nutritionally void, yet cheaper food like those Swanson dinners….eew. I was sick to think of it. Sure we could eat beans and peanut butter for every meal, but how healthy is that?

Instead, we made a careful and calculated decision to live within our means, however small they were, and still preserve our family’s health through nutrition. What did we do? Inspired by the Tiny House Movement, we bought a bus! Yes, we bought a school bus on eBay and converted it into a home to live it without going into debt. For real. It’s actually quite cozy and we are loving it! I’m not just saying that. We really love it. We haven’t even been able to travel in it yet for lack of funds (though she runs like a champ!), but we will be taking several trips in the coming months. This accounts for our absence around the site for the last few months.

Skoolie
Our Skoolie home. Bus sweet bus.

You can read about our conversion and see photos of the process on our Skoolie blog. Here’s my Pinterest board with some ideas for a skoolie home. Also, Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS did a podcast interview with my husband and I when we were mid-conversion where she asked us all sorts of questions about how we would do real food in a small kitchen (especially since our family cooks together), how would we homeschool, organization, and more! Listen to it here (just click play in the player below to stream the podcast):

Watch for a follow-up podcast interview with us coming soon where Wardeh gets the scoop on what it’s like for a real food family of 5 to live in just under 300 sq. ft.

You can support our efforts here on Eat Nourishing  to provide free Real Food recipes by using any of the affiliate links throughout the site. We get a small commission and it doesn’t cost you any more. Also, please visit our sponsors and affiliates in the sidebar!

Got any questions for me?

Tell us, how far would you be willing to go to feed your family REAL food? Would you ever consider living in a bus?

14 thoughts on “This is About to Get Personal: How Far Are You Willing to Go to Feed Your Family Real Food?”

  1. Congratulations! I, too, live in about 300 sq ft as a fulltime RVer. An excellent resource for additional tips on doing so is Escapees.com. Just click the “wannabe” button for more info. Our club has many families who live in RVs of various sorts, including Schoolies, and travel following work, doing all homeschooling and other family activities within the freedom of small space. On the other hand, I’m parked in one of our Club Parks where I have a flourishing garden of raised beds, providing food for me, for my friends, and for others here in the Park. My hat’s off to you; may you live well and prosper in this wonderful choice you’ve made! Here’s another excellent resource for the technicalities of living in spaces like ours: Poop Sheets by phred Tinseth http://manmrk.net/tutorials/RV/phred/phredex.html

  2. We converted a Bus , as well , close to 15 years ago . Lived in it for awhile and then moved out of state and gave it to our grown kids and they lived in it for awhile as well. My husband used Oak throughout, it was really nice. I will have to look up our photos of it and share with you.

  3. We JUST moved our family of 6 into an RV 33 days ago! we feel great about our “tiny house” and are currently parked but plan to start traveling soon and then settle in NM and build our sustainable home and farm. its all so exciting and so scary. we will probably be in Houston until Oct because we have job commitments that we have to honor before we can go. This is what we had to do to afford to accomodate our diet of sustainable foods and I am totally cool with it. I don’t know what kind of kitchen set up you have in your bus, but we have had no problem cooking and preparing REAL food. As we speak I have a half gallon of raw milk culturing to make into cheese and whey so that I can do some lacto fermented veggies, and getting ready to make vegan “cheesy” lentils and rice wrapped in collard leaves for dinner. It’s doable. our biggest challenge is making space for bulk foods and we are still working on that right now. I am making more store and farmers market trips than I would like, but it IS do-able! Kudos to you and your family! I can’t wait to read about your adventures!

    1. How exciting! It certainly is doable. Our fridge is small at 10cuft, but that works just fine for us. Weekly trip to get produce and our raw milk supplies is what we have done. We actually have quite a bit of space for bulk storage! I’ll be talking about it in a future post. Blessing to your family! Please keep in touch as it’s nice to know others in the same situation 🙂

      1. Will do! Can’t wait for your post about bulk storage! Surely if I got rid of some stuff I’d have more…. That’s another issue though!lol

  4. We have a 26′ bus that was a bookmobile, and now is our RV. We don’t live in it, but we use it to travel a lot for business, which we started doing mainly so we didn’t have to eat lousy road food!

    On the solar- when you’re ready to do that, call around and look for flexible solar panels. They were invented for military use, to stick to tents in the field and provide power. That’s what we have on our bus, and they’re awesome!

    They are about 1/3 inch thick, and mount with an adhesive, although we also framed them in with aluminum stripping. They were easy to install ourselves, we just had to pay someone to set up the electric part. They are incredibly durable, they can be slashed with a knife and still work! They don’t stick up from the roof at all, which is great.

    The ones we got were leftover from a house conversion project, so we got them cheap. Often, just a couple panels that aren’t enough for a house are perfect for an RV, so ask around.

    Congratulations on building such a great home for your family- our time in our bus is always so precious and wonderful!

      1. Jami,
        Our bus still says bookmobile, so its former life is pretty obvious. I left it that way because I have very happy memories of the bookmobile when I was little. But, when we pull in to a campground, kids come running and then are disappointed when it’s not really a bookmobile! It’s beautiful inside, the person who had it before us was a cabinet maker, and used all the wooden shelving to create the furniture. We travel the west coast with it mostly, although we did drive from Oregon to Chicago to get it, and then back through Yellowstone on an epic and wonderful trip. We saw many families living in RVs, and I was happy for them, the kids who get to learn by seeing such natural beauty and important history on the road.

  5. We (my hubby and I) will be moving this fall into a 312 square foot cabin from a 1300+ square foot house. It’s amazing how people look at you when you tell them about it. I think everyone should do it. We all and I mean all of us have tooooooooo much stuff. What do people do with 4000 sf houses? It’s crazy. We’ll have a garden and the cabin is located near Amish so I can get a lot of produce from them too. Just saving up money for a well and electricity connection. O to be rich instead of good looking ROFLMAO!

    1. How marvelous! I’ve seen those tiny cabins. Is yours a tumbleweed home or did you build your own?
      We would love to buy land soon, but are kinda waiting until my husband is done with seminary to see where we will settle. Congrats on your tiny home! It is so freeing! We went from about the same size home to where we are now.

      1. We had an Amish man build it. It was cheaper and it is really well made. It is just the shell though so we can decide where we want to put the kitchen, etc. It doesn’t have a loft because my hubby is claustrophobic so everything is on one floor. We have about 6 acres mostly wooded but enough space for our chickens we have and pigs we will have one day and a large garden along with my herb garden too. Hope you get to move to the country! It’s so quiet and calming.

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