About Melissa Norris

Melissa K. Norris writes inspirational historical romance novels. Her stories inspire people to draw closer to God and their pioneer roots. She found her own little house in the big woods, where she lives with her husband and two children in the Cascade Mountains. She writes a monthly column, Pioneering Today, for the local newspaper that bridges her love of the past with its usefulness in modern life. Her books and articles are inspired by her family’s small herd of beef cattle, her amateur barrel racing days, and her forays into quilting and canning—without always reading the directions first.

9 Ways to Preserve Apples at Home

9 Ways to preserve apples at home. Frugal and easy ways to preserve apples for year round use and healthy homemade recipes, plus food storage. Read now to take advantage of the low apple prices and get your fall food storage in shape.
We’ve all heard the saying an apple day keeps the doctor away, but my apples don’t grow all year round. Our goal is to put up as much food as possible when it’s in season to keep our food bill down and increase our food storage. It’s apple season ya’ll. (When I get excited a little bit of southern kicks in, it’s just how I roll) Continue reading

Podcast #40 8 Depression Era Tips to Save Money Now

The Great Depression was a time when people learned how to make do with very little, something we could all benefit from. I share frugal tips from my grandma (via my aunt) that they used to get by during the Great Depression and beyond in both the kitchen and the home.During the Great Depression people learned how to make do with very little. Hearing about how her grandmother and family used the lessons they learned going through the Great Depression through the rest of their life opens my eyes to some things we need to change. Great tips on a frugal mindset and living. Read this now if you're trying to save money.

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5 Preparedness Tips You Need to Do Now

Being prepared is something a lot of folks think about after the fact, or when you watch a news clip about a disaster somewhere else. Preparedness is a lifestyle for us, and not because we’re getting ready for some type of Doomsday disaster.

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I believe in being prepared for more likely events, like long power outages (we went almost 2 weeks a few years back), extreme weather, financial hardships, or being unable to get to grocery stores. Plus, I enjoy learning traditional skills and merging my modern life with that of the pioneers.

In honor of this amazing giveaway we have going on, like I want  half of  okay, everything listed. Here’s my 5 preparedness tips you need to implement now. Continue reading

Podcast #39 Building a Great Depression Era Pantry

During the Great Depression, people learned how to get by on very little. Learn how to create a frugal pantry like they did during the Great Depression. I love the story of her father growing up during the Great Depression and how it still forms how he does things today. We could all stand to learn from those lessons. These handed down recipes sound awesome and very frugal. If you're trying to create a frugal and healthy pantry and kitchen, you need to read this now!

During the Great Depression people lived on extremely frugal budgets. My father was raised during the Great Depression and it shaped the way he brought us up and lives today. Learning from those who have lived through hard times and their lessons is important. I share his tips and how to create a Great Depression era pantry with frugal tips and recipes.

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11 Ways to Cook Off-Grid Without Power

One of my favorite things about the pioneer days is their ability to accomplish so much without electricity. It’s amazing when one looks at how they lived and what they did. Many of us would be hard pressed to make it a few days, let alone years, without our electricity and stores.11 ways to cook off-grid without power. Learn which is best for you before the winter storms hit so you won't be caught without a way to cook for your family.  If you don't know how to cook without power you need to read this immediately.

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Podcast #38 Fall Gardening Prep 10 Tips to Improve Your Soil

The best time to improve your garden soil for spring planting is in the fall. These 10 simple tips will have your soil in its best shape ever, without you having to do hardly any work. Learn how to improve your soil today and what you need to get started.
Fall is the time to improve your soil for next year's crop. Use these 10 tips now to improve your soil for spring planting. Super easy, but you need to do them now for the best benefits.

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How to Make and Can Tomato Sauce- Waterbath and Pressure Canning

If you’re anything like me, any time you purchase something ready made from the store, you wonder if you can make it at home. (Can I get an amen I’m not the only one who has these thoughts?)How to make and can tomato sauce. Love the instructions for using the water bath or the pressure canner. A girl can never have to many canning recipes!

So if you ever opened a jar of store bought tomato sauce and thought, “how can I make tomato sauce at home” then you’re going to love today’s post. And if you ever wondered how to make your own cream soups for recipes instead of the condensed chemical filled ones from the store, then you’ll love my processed replacement make your own cream of soup replacement. Now that’s a whole lotta foodie love happening.

You might think organic tomato sauce isn’t too expensive to purchase from the store, but all of the tomato sauce in my neck of the woods from store, even organic, is in metal cans. And we all know tomatoes are a bit acid, which means the bad chemicals in the metal cans is leached out at a higher rate than regular vegetables. You can read Why You Should Never Use Canned Tomatoes here.

So what’s a person to do? Make their own tomato sauce of course. And I’ve got just the homemade tomato sauce recipe for you, with canning instructions for both the water bath and the pressure canner. Yep, because a girl can never have too many options or canning recipes. Right?! Continue reading

Podcast #37 10 Tips for Creating a Budget

How to create a budget for your homestead. While creating a self-sustainable lifestyle can help you live more frugally and cut store bought expenses, it can also cause livestock costs, or other unforeseen expenses. Creating a budget is crucial for the well-being of your homestead and building up a savings account. Not to mention it can help you sleep at night instead of worrying over where you’ll find money or how you’ll make ends meet.10 Tips for creating a budget. Great tips for saving money, creating a budget, and being prepared while building up savings.

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8 Foods You Should Be Storing and How

Everyone knows we should be storing some kind of food in our home pantries for both emergencies and preparedness. But how do you know where to start or which foods to store? I see lots of lists on foods folks think you should be storing for your long term food storage. Some of them I agree with, but a lot of them, they’re not practical.8 Foods You Should Be Storing and How

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Podcast #36 Seed Saving How to Save Garden Seed

Seed saving is one of the lost arts to many modern gardeners. It’s my aim to change that. Learning how to seed save is one of the most important things you can do for you self-reliance, preparedness, and frugal nature. It’s also an important tradition we’re in danger of losing.

Learn how to save your garden seed. There's nothing like never having to buy seed again and upping your self-reliance and preparedness level. Great tips, her family has been saving several strains of seed for over 100 years.

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