How to cut homestead costs is an important consideration for any homesteader. Homesteading can surely save us money overall but it isn’t free. There are a few secrets to saving money on the homestead or hobby farm that I’d like to share with you. They are not hard to implement and many we cut your homestead costs immediately.
How to Cut Your Homestead Costs
So how can you cut your homesteading costs? Let’s get beyond saving money through gardening and raising animals. I assume, in this article, that you’re already doing the basics. This is a nitty-gritty lists that covers inside and outside homestead costs.
If you’re a vegetable gardener, especially an organic/heirloom/non-gmo one, you know how much seeds can run you every season. Consider saving the seeds from your own garden fruits and vegetables. The bonus is the longer you saves seeds (year after year) the more the plants that grow from the will be adapted to your area.
Start Your Own Transplants
If you prefer to plant transplants in your garden, considering starting your own. You can do this in the house, in a greenhouse, garage or in a cold frame. You’ll get a jump start on the growing season as well.
Watering your gardening isn’t cheap. One way that you can reduce your costs there is to collect the free water that falls from the sky. Check your local ordinances on rain water collection; believe it or not it isn’t legal everywhere.
Processing Your Own Livestock
If you’re currently paying for someone else to butcher your meat animals, you need to consider the cost. You can save a lot by processing them yourself. I know it isn’t easy and no one looks forward to it but you can do it. There are some great instruction videos on YouTube if you can’t find a local mentor to help you.
Trading or Bartering
Trading and bartering for services, goods and garden produce can be a great way to cut your homestead costs. If you have a special skill to offer, an abundance of a certain vegetable, handicrafts or really anything you have a commodity to offer. Considering being part of or starting a Homestead Exchange where goods and services can be traded. Remember even if you can’t get the other item you need for free, it may greatly reduce your cost.
Buy in Bulk
Most of us will not be able to grow every single thing that we eat. There are some staples that you can save quite a bit on by buying in bulk. Consider beans, grains, sugar and other items that can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling. This can be done at some of the big bulk stores but also look into cooperatives that may offer better prices, more organics or locally purchased items as well.
Cook from Scratch
Pre-made and pre-packaged foods not only cost your wallet they’ll cost you your health. Consider making all or most of your foods from scratch. Check out 10 Amazing Reasons to Cook from Scratch for more information.
Yard Sale Shopping
I have been able to find amazing bargains at yard / garage sales, thrifts stores and occasionally Craigslist. From canners to garden tools, the deals are plentiful…but you have to be patient. You may not find the items you want or need the first weekend you go out shopping. I suggest keeping a list of the current items you are on the hunt for; this will help you remember and keep you from making impulse buys.
Looking to make money with a yard sale? Check out my tips here!
Wash in Cold Water
Friction and soap have a lot more to do with items being cleaned than the temperature of the water. Unless you have something you know has a germ that must be killed through heat, you can wash it in cold water. This can really save your electricity bill every month! Or take it a step further and do your laundry without electricity at all!
Bonus! Make your own laundry detergent for pennies per load!
Hang Your Clothes
This seems like a no brainer to me but I know lots of people are still not hanging their clothes out. This can save you HUNDREDS of dollars every year. The biggest argument I hear is that people don’t like the way things feel after they are dried on the line. If that’s you, may I suggest that you dry on the line and then do a quick 10 minute tumble in the dryer to soften? You’ll still be saving a ton of money compared to doing a full dry inside. Here are some more tips to fall in love with drying outdoors!
Make Your Own Toiletries
You’ll be amazed how much you can save on making things like soap, shampoo, lotions, toothpastes and more. The bonus here it that most will be better for you too! I have all sorts of DIY recipes on the blog for you.
Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting & More
Making your own clothes isn’t always the most cost effective means of clothing yourself or your family; when compared to thrift shopping. But knowing how to repair clothes or re-imagine them can be a huge savings. Knitting and crocheting will also help you to make items, repair them and even off you a more cost effective way to give gifts. Make sure to check for sales and thrift for machines, tools, fabrics and yarn.
Learn Herbal Medicine
Learn to treat minor issues at home with herbal medicines. This can be beneficial to your health and your bank account. With the rising costs of health care it will be a very useful way to cut your homestead costs by simply taking care of minor issues naturally at home. I highly recommend taking the Herbal Academy classes.
Teach Yourself Minor Home & Auto Repairs
One of the most costly things home and car owners face are repairs. As homesteaders we often rely on other machines as well. If you can learn how to do some of your own minor repairs around the home and to your car you may be able to save a lot of money. BUT be careful not to do something to end up costing you more money in the long run; sometimes the cheapest fix is letting an expert do it.
Well there you have it, 14 ideas on how to cut your homestead costs. Have more ideas? Please share them in the comments.