Having a homestead can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, like a lot of things in life worth doing, it is going to take a lot of work and some financial investment.
Unfortunately, I cannot crawl through these pages and help you with the physical labor, however, I can offer some common money-saving tips for the homestead.
Most of the suggestions on the list are not going to save you big bucks individually (some might) but cumulatively the savings will add up.
9 Ways to Save Money
Stop Buying Seeds
As a homesteader, you probably have a garden and grow your own food. Arguably, purchasing seeds may not add up to a whole lot depending on the size of your plot, but every bit helps.
If you have already bought seeds and planted them, that’s okay. But when it comes time to harvest, consider taking the time to collect and save the seeds from your garden to replant the following year.
Another option would be to trade work or goods for seeds with another homesteader or farmer.
Keep Your Trash
Okay, so don’t keep all of your trash as that poses an entirely different problem.
However, take a minute to think about items that could be repurposed before throwing them out.
For example, a lot of plastic containers are thrown out each day that are still perfectly useful. I reuse coffee containers for all sorts of things. From organizing tools and hardware to a temporary planter or as a small bucket for winter salt and moving soil.
Here are a few more examples of useful items to keep:
- Pallets- Useful for all sorts of projects and can be broken down for raw building material.
- Wire- Makes great cordage and can be used for repairing a wide variety of things like fences and cages.
The real trick here is saving useful items and keeping them organized to avoid being a “hoarder.” Speaking of trash…
Composting is another great way of dealing with the cost of trash removal and fertilizing your garden.
A lot of food and kitchen scraps can be saved and added to a homemade compost pile. A compost pile will take a little bit of effort to build up, but once it gets going it will provide a rich growing medium for all your garden needs.
Container Treasure Hunt
As a homesteader, you most likely grow your own food, have some land, raise animals, and are engaged in a lot of different projects.
One item that is in need around such a property is a lot of containers. They can be used for gardening, moving materials, carrying water and feed, and organizing supplies just to name a few.
However, good containers and buckets can start adding up in the old pocketbook. A way to cut costs here is to jump in your car and start visiting local restaurants and businesses. A lot of times they throw out good containers that could be yours for cheap or free. All you have to do is ask.
Buy In Bulk
Over time, buying in bulk will save money over buying small purchases over and over.
The best way to do this is to sit down and create a list of the items you use most often and add those to your bulk inventory. Of course, you will need to have the storage space available for this to work.
Buy Whole Meat
This obviously will not apply if you raise and butcher your animals, but if you do not and consume a lot of meat then listen up.
Generally speaking, the meat offered in grocery stores is quite pricey, not to mention the health concerns associated with it.
Instead of buying ground beef or chicken from the store find a local farmer willing to sell you a whole cow, pig, or chicken that can be taken to the butcher.
There will be a large upfront cost (several hundred dollars) but the price per pound will be much lower than store-bought meat. Plus, the quality is so much better!
If the price of the whole animal is too much or if you have limited storage, ask friends or family if they would be interested in splitting the cost and the meat. This way you still get a good deal of meat at a cheaper price.
Do The Work Yourself
As a homesteader, you are probably already self-sufficient to some degree. But we all have areas that we wish we were more knowledgeable or better at.
Instead of sourcing work out, take the time to learn new skills, such as small machine repair. Learning new skills has never been easier with the accessibility of online resources.
Learn to Barter
Bartering is a system of exchanging goods or services without using money, so this method can certainly you some money.
The key to a successful barter is to know what each person needs or wants.
For example, let’s say you want some solar panels installed but do not know anything about it. However, Bob down the road knows all about them and he needs some vehicle repair.
You repair Bob’s vehicle and he installs your solar panels. You both get what you need without spending more money than either of you has to.
Generate Your Own Power
Unless you are living on a traditional homestead, we all need power to some degree and use it daily. Monthly power bills can add up quickly, so finding a way to reduce that cost can put keep more money in your pocket.
While there is an upfront cost to using alternative energy, once installed, it will begin paying for itself. Here are a couple of popular methods for generating your own power:
- Solar panels
- Hydroelectric generators
- Wind turbines
- Thermoelectric generators
I know that I did not hit on every single way to save money on a homestead because frankly there are a ton of different ways to do so. Also, since every homestead is a little different I wanted to use this article to present methods that could be used by almost everyone.
Maybe this will be the start of a series and I can come back with even more ways to keep your hard-earned money in your pocket.
Thanks for reading!