Homesteading is all about self sufficiency, sustainability and lifestyle change. It is about no longer being reliant on service delivery but being resourceful and living off the land and with nature. These ten hacks will have you homesteading for cheap!
Planting a Vegetable Garden
This is the first thing to do for successful homesteading. Community living has become the latest trend, and don’t feel shy about asking your neighbors for a trade. You also do not need to have a huge garden to be a vegetable gardener.
Prepare a small area and plant your leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, some underground vegetables like carrots and potatoes. There are all sorts of things you can grow, but I’d start with the basics; they’re cheap, and usually easy to grow.
If you do not have a garden, you can make wooden planters and grow your veggies there.
Trade Your Veggies
Once you have your vegetable growing, you’ll notice that you will usually have a surplus. This is actually really great. You can establish trading partners around your community who grow different fruits or vegetables. Let the community know what you are growing and make trades open to anyone.
Know Your Neighbors
No matter which way you live, sustainable or not, you should know your neighbors. Apart from trading fruit and vegetables, you can share other resources. Maybe you have solar and they have gas. Maybe they keep a cow and you keep a goat. Manage your chickens together, share the chicken coop and share the eggs. Your expenses will go down immediately and your benefits will increase.
Be Wise with Water
Install a rain tank and collect rain water every time it rains. Recycle the bath water by building pipes leading to your vegetable garden. Keep a bucket in the shower to collect excess water instead of it going down the drain. Never leave taps running, especially when you brush your teeth and wash your face or wash the dishes. Only flush the toilet when necessary. There are all little things you can do to save a ton of water.
Bake, Don’t Buy
We all know how nice it is to wander down to the bakery to buy your family a loaf of delicious fresh-out-the-oven bread. But it is even more delicious to bake your own and your entire house will smell fantastic.
You know what you are putting into your body and can use only natural or organic ingredients, it is cheap once you get into a rhythm; you can make bread and trade it too. Watch your grocery bills go down, immediately. If you have a big enough plot, you can also grow your own wheat and make your own ground flour.
Invest in Livestock
This is a tricky one as keeping a cow or a goat is a big responsibility. You need to do it humanely and ensure you have enough space, grazing area and knowledge. Read up on livestock farming and do some research.
You can have just one cow or just one goat. If it is too daunting, get yourself some rabbits. You can feed them the leftover vegetables, and have rabbit meat every few months. Rabbits breed quickly. You can also look into having your own chickens for eggs.
Replace Your Electricity
This is the one part of homesteading that can be expensive initially. But once you have got over the expensive outlay, your bills will go right down. Install solar panels. If that is impossible, use gas. A combination of solar and gas works too. Also, keep the lights off when possible. You can use more natural light, or invest in a reliable flashlight to use only when you need it. Jack Neely explains more about that here.
Everything has value. Keep your plastic, paper and glass. Hand it in at the recycling depot. You will get money in exchange or you can keep it and use it around your house. Here are a few things your can recycle for cash:
- Recycling cans
- Recycling Clothes
- Recycling Ink Cartridges
- Recycling Hair (believe it or not)
- Recycling Mobile Phones
- Recycling copper/lead/aluminium (You could even smelt them into ingots for easy storage)
Your lifestyle will change completely. The process of homesteading as a whole seems a bit daunting, but each task individually is relatively easy and cheap. Also, your quality of life will increase because you’ll eat better, more natural food, you’ll get plenty of exercise, and you’ll save money. Give it a try![x_alert heading=”About the Author” type=”muted”]Jack Neely is a fitness expert, survivalist, and world traveler. He’s been in several life or death situations, and he’s making an effort to spread his knowledge around the web to help others survive these situations as well. He’s also on the content team at The Tactical Guru.[/x_alert]