25 Ways Homesteading can Save you Money

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Money Jar


People get into the homesteading life for all kinds of reasons. Some want to be more self-reliant or self-sufficient, while others come to homesteading for political or conservation or environmental reasons. Regardless of how or why homesteading appeals to people, they all seem to have one common denominator—living on less money.

I know as I have gotten older, stuff, toys and material things have taken a back seat to more simple pleasures, fun experiences and building great relationships. As I age I also think more about what my retirement life will look like and how I want to live when I stop working. All these considerations usually send my brain to thoughts of cutting costs or reducing expenses. But, when I sit down to make notes and charts of areas to cut expenses I realize my life is pretty inexpensive as it is. If I look at things more closely I can definitely say that homesteading saves me a lot of money.


Check out these 25 homesteading activities that can save you a ton of money.

1.  Composting – creating your own soil from kitchen scrapes, manure, chicken coop bedding, spent veggies, grass clipping and yard trimmings will save on expensive potting soil.

2.  Gym Memberships – all the fresh air, sunshine and physical work of a homestead is much better than any gym machine or cycling class.

3.  Heating – cutting or gathering firewood to use in a fireplace or wood stove allows you to use your heater less.

4.  Growing Herbs – the cost of herbs at the market is ridiculously high for what you get. Grow your own in pots or in the garden and you’ll never buy herbs again.

5.  Grow a Vegetable Garden – I once read where growing even a small portion of your produce can save a family over $400 a month on their grocery bill. Start with the veggies you eat most often and expand from there.

6.  Healthy Living – when you work outside, get lots of fresh air and sunshine, and eat wholesome homemade meals you get sick less frequent, which means fewer trips to the doctor.

7.  Home Cooking – cooking from scratch at home will save you hundreds of dollars over eating out.

8.  Seasonal Eating – if you purchase what you don’t grow, buying in-season fruits and veggies will cost less than buying them out-of-season.

9.  Forage for Food – check out what grows in your area, whether suburban or rural. You’ll be surprised at what you can harvest from neighborhood fruits trees, wild berry patches and forest mushrooms. Educate yourself first so you know what to harvest and what not to harvest.

10.  Supplemental Feeds – spent veggies, kitchen scrapes and trimmings are great for chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits. They get variety in their diet and you use less feed.

11.  Lower Cable TV – when you spend a lot of time outside working in the garden, playing with animals or just enjoying the serenity of your homestead, you fall away from watching mindless TV programs. Cutting the cable is the first step to a more enjoyable life, in my opinionJ

12.  Free Entertainment – simplifying your life and cutting costs spills over into entertainment as well. Many libraries and museums, even Parks Departments, offer enjoyable free programs like concerts, lectures and movies.

13.  Homemade Fire Starters – with a bit of old melted candle wax and a handful of dried leaves, herbs or potpourri you’ll be starting fires for free and cutting out the gas.

14.  DIY – homesteader types tend to be lifelong learners, picking up skills that others have to hire out, like plumbing, carpentry or electrical will save you a lot.

15.  The Three “R’s” – self-sufficient living promotes reusing, repurposing or recycling items so they don’t end up at the dump. Scrape lumber for nesting boxes or shelves, pallets for fencing or broken down to make rabbit hutches or chicken coops, cast offs crafted into décor items, the skies the limit when you use your imagination.

16.  Make Your Own??? – from laundry supplies, health remedies, beauty products and cleaning products, the projects will be fun and save a ton on chemical laden over-the-counter items.

17.  Go Second Hand – thrift stores are a great place to find useful items from tools and equipment to clothing and household items. Just don’t go overboard, even a good deal can be a waste of money if you’re buying what you don’t really need.

18.  Line Dry – every homestead should have a clothes line. Not only is hanging clothes on a line therapeutic (well, at least to me) it will save on the electric bill. Rig up an indoor line for winter use as well.

19.  Clothing Repairs – sewing, knitting, crocheting and darning are common homestead skills people want to learn. It’s also a great way to save on tailoring or repair costs when you can do it yourself.

20. Big Batch Cooking – take advantage of a cold day and make big, or multiple big batches of soups and stews, freezing them for later use.

21.  Extend the harvest – if you live in colder areas, you can still harvest fresh produce by building a few cold frames…out of scrape lumber and reused windows of course.

22.  Hunt and Fish – these two skills can put pounds of food in the freezer and keep hundreds of dollars in your pocket.

23.  Home Dairy – if you have the space and are allowed, consider keeping a dairy goat. The gallons of milk and pounds of cheese and yoghurt will more than offset the cost of feed.

24.  Grow a Medicinal Garden – growing medicinal plants and making them into teas and tinctures can help stave off colds and flues, ease sore muscles, relieve headaches and help you fall asleep. It will also save on the cost of drugstore remedies.

25.  Wearable Warmth – bundle up in warm wool sweaters or blankets and keep the thermostat low, saving on heating costs during the colder months.

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