A self-sufficient lifestyle is fulfilling, but not as simple as it first appears. Someone who visits your homestead might see your garden, chickens and compost pile and think to themselves, “This doesn’t seem so complicated,” but as you know, it takes a lot of work. Especially when you’re on a budget and still need to save money on the homestead.
With this in mind, what money-saving measures can you employ around your property? What actions can you take to reduce your expenditure? Here are five simple strategies for the cost-conscious homesteader.
1. Recycle Your Seeds
You should set aside time to collect and store seeds from plants and crops that perform well. Recycling seeds is easy, saving you money on gardening expenses. You’ll save even more if you start your seeds with pods early in the spring, rather than purchasing plants that are already growing.
If you start planting around the beginning of March, you’ll have plants the same size as store-bought varieties by the time you need to get them in the ground. In doing most of the work yourself, you’ll decrease your dependence on suppliers and offset the costs associated with expensive plants.
2. Work on Your DIY Skills
A positive attitude and the proper tools are all you need to manage a wide range of repair work. You can contact a repair person if you have significant problems, but with day-to-day maintenance, it’s best to depend on your own two hands. Though it might take a bit longer than you’d like, it’s well worth the savings.
Even if you don’t have much DIY experience, the internet is full of articles that will guide you if you’re stuck. When the faucet starts to leak or the floorboards start to creak, open your web browser and click on any one of a thousand tutorials. You’ll likely find exactly what you’re looking for without any trouble.
3. Make Your Own Cleaners
Among other money-saving methods for homesteaders, you’ve likely heard this one before. The cleaning products you pick up at the store have cheaper, nontoxic alternatives, easy to mix with just the ingredients in your pantry. You have a diverse variety of homemade cleaners for any and every occasion.
If you want to clean windows, all you need is vinegar, water and your choice of fragrance. With a one-time investment for a spray bottle, you’ll eliminate the costs of store-bought cleaners almost entirely. Research the different types of cleaning solutions you can make yourself and always put safety first.
4. Make Wise Equipment Investments
If you need to work your land on a larger scale, the equipment you employ to manage your property can prove expensive. These costs aren’t always easy to mitigate, as skid steers and other types of machinery are indispensable for handling tasks for a farming-intensive business. Plus, when you have acres of land and piles of snow to clear, a shovel isn’t enough.
Fortunately, you have the option of buying used equipment. When assessing the value of used equipment, you’ll find it’s more than just a method for saving money. Beyond reducing your expenses, you’ll also enjoy stable resale value for used machinery after purchase as long as you have proof of maintenance.
To save even more, consider the possibilities of pooling costs with neighbors or renting equipment just for the season it’s needed. A budget breakdown can help you decide what the best investment is for your business.
5. Invest in Extra Insulation
Homeowners lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs each year because of poor insulation. It doesn’t take much money or effort to address the problem, and a quick trip to your local home improvement store will supply you with everything you need. As you browse, search for inexpensive insulation.
Use the materials you’ve purchased to cover all the areas in your homestead where heat might escape. Weather stripping for your doors and windows is cheap and easy to apply — a simple way to save on energy costs that won’t break the budget. Review your options and see what other changes you can make.
Save Money on the Homestead
You’ll see it’s easy to save money around your homestead as long as you implement some of the strategies above. If you’re ready to reduce your expenses and cut costs, start with something simple like homemade cleaners. Soon enough, you’ll have far more expendable income to spend elsewhere.