How to Homestead and Cut Costs
It’s a new year and we’re all looking for new ways to cut costs on our homesteads. I work for a personal finance comparison website so I’m constantly thinking of budgets, pinching pennies in every and any way, and finding new ways to cut costs in general. This all transfers over to the outside portion of my homestead because, let’s face it, homesteading isn’t always cheap. In fact, my husband and I wracked up an unbelievable amount of debt when we started homesteading because we had no idea what we were doing and what we were doing to need. Since then, we’ve learned to do a few things on our own in order to save money and we have saved hundreds of dollars. Here are a few ways you can cut costs no matter what type of homestead you’re on (with the exception of small, apartment homesteading).
In this day in age, there’s really no reason to buy things brand new for the most part (certain things should always be bought new, but that’s for a different day). When it comes to our homestead, we cut costs by first searching for things to use at multiple thrift stores. One of my favorites and most widely spread is Habitat for Humanity. I’ve bought so many different items from thrift stores from outdoor furniture to plywood! You’d be surprised what you can find, especially if there are other individuals in your area doing the same thing you are. I’ve found some beautiful gardening tools and even power tools at thrift stores. You just have to look.
As stated earlier, there’s really no reason to buy things new anymore. By borrowing from friends, you’re not only cutting costs on the homestead, but you’re also making them non-existent. I’ve borrowed pressure washers, vehicles, power tools, casserole dishes, etc. and haven’t spent a penny. If you borrow clothes from your sibling, family members or friends, why not a screwdriver?
Maybe you don’t know anyone with power tools or such. Your next step could be to rent these items and cut yet another cost on your homestead! Home Depot offers truck rentals, nail gun rentals, pressure washer rentals, you name it! If you need an item for one project and don’t see yourself using the item again, renting is a great way to pinch a penny. Instead of buying a $100 dollar staple gun, you could rent one for $30. Just be sure to plan your time out so you make the most of your rental.
Pool an item!
This isn’t one I’ve done before but I’ve read about it and talked with my mother-in-law about it. Have you ever thought of going in and splitting the cost of an item to cut your cost? For example, I know eventually, I’ll need a riding lawnmower and my mother-in-law is also interested in one so we’ve talked about going in half and half on a used rider one day! If you know somebody who also has a homestead with larger equipment you might need, cut the costs by buying together.
Preserve Your Food
My husband loves a green smoothie in the morning so I used to buy a lot of frozen fruit. Last year our loquat trees produced enough fruit for me to freeze for a whole year, along with a few bags of mulberries! I just recently ran out of loquats, actually. We also bought self-picked strawberries and peaches in bulk and froze them when they were in season. By preserving and freezing my homestead fruit, I cut the cost of buying an $8 bag of fruit every two weeks. That’s almost a $200.00 savings per yer!
Grow your own
Growing whatever food you can help cut back your grocery bills costs quickly. We raise almost 100% of our own meat, are working on growing enough producing fruit trees to cut production costs and are steadily improving our gardening game on our little acre and quarter piece of homestead heaven. Our largest expense right now is definitely fruit because the hubby loves, loves, loves all fruit. I dream of the days our almost 20 fruit trees are all producing fruit. On my bucket list for the homestead this year is a mango tree!
Meal plan and freeze leftovers for later!
Planning ahead for meals is great for a few reasons.
- It saves you time which I would argue saves money.
- It cuts back on waste which cuts back on cost.
- It helps you shop accordingly, cutting costs on items you don’t actually need like impulse buys.
I admit we are terrible on my homestead at meal planning, mostly because my mother-in-law lives nearby and we eat dinners at her house often so it makes it a little harder. A new year’s resolution of mine is to whip out my crockpot and pressure cooker and have homemade meals on the table at least 4-5 days a week. We’ll see how it goes!
That’s right, cut those homestead costs by doing as much yourself as you can. I cut my husband’s hair (not often enough probably) but roughly once a month. In my area, the average cost of a simple man’s haircut is around $15. That means by me cutting my husband’s hair once a monthI’m saving $180 a month. You can sprout your own fodder or ferment your chicken feed to save more money. When I ferment a bag of chicken feed, it doubles! I usually buy two bags of feed a month when I’m not fermenting, costing about $30 a month. By fermenting feed I cut that cost in half to $15, multiply that by 12 and I’ve saved another $180 a year.
How do you save?
How do you save money on your homestead? I’d love to hear about it! The best way to learn is to chat about it and you know how to find me!