Being frugal is one of my specialties. I feed three boys, my husband and myself with $300 or less each month. I learned to do it out of necessity. Frugally feeding hungry kids if a feat every single day. They seem to be starving about every thirty minutes or so.
Frugal Tips For The Homestead
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- Reusing – We reuse a lot of things instead of going out and buying something. For example, I made these gorgeous fabric covered tin can organizers for organizing around the house. I also reuse plastic zip bags, unless they’ve had raw meat in them. I just wash, dry, and reuse. You can make a rug with old clothes, or you can make them into a new bag, or even a quilt. Baby food jars are perfect to use as a water cup to clean small paint brushes with.You could also use them for storing spices, rubber bands, or other desk supplies. You could cover them in pretty fabric using Mod Podge too, just like I did with the tin cans.
- Grow your own food/Gardening – Growing your own food is a great way to save money. Check out 40 things to read before starting a garden, and 5 tips to Starting a Garden to help get your started!
- Raise your own animals – Some animals are expensive to raise, and initial start up costs can be pretty high too. Living quarters being the most expensive. Many people are finding a way to repurpose items like pallets to make chicken coops, and other animals living quarters. Chickens are fairly cost effective to raise yourself. They are pretty easy also. They require minimal work on your part also. Other larger animals such as cows, and horses are not as beneficial as they are more expensive to raise. You want to choose an animal that can provide food for your family. Chickens can provide eggs and/or meat. Check out
How to Care For Chickens post to help you get started.
- Buy Used – Most of the clothes we have, were given to us. We rarely ever buy clothes, and when we do, we wait for back to school sales, or for coupons. Many people give us bags and bags of clothes, instead of giving to a thrift store. We are pretty lucky! You could check Freecycle, to see if there any clothes available in your size or children sizes. When we absolutely need new clothes and cannot find it for free, we will go to the thrift store, or yard sales. Doing this helps us save a ton of money!
- Homemade items – You can make some items instead of purchasing. I make my own chap balm for my chapped lips. I also make my own antibiotic ointment, Shea butter moisturizer, and laundry detergent too.
- Preserve your own food – A great way to have the most flavorful herbs is to preserve herbs at home. Other great ways to preserve is fermenting, canning, and freezing. I also make my own jellies, jams, and chutneys.
- Compost – Having a compost is a great way to make your own nutrient-rich soil. Soil can be costly. The bags at the store can be anywhere from $6 to $20. Or sometimes you can get a truck load for around $35. We got a truck load to start our new raised beds this year, and I can tell you, it was full of weed seeds.I’ve had to pull a ton of weeds out of that soil, what a pain!The bagged stuff’s downside is that it might have been treated. The whole reason to start gardening is to regulate how they are grown and what you treat them with. Another great reason to compost is volunteer plants.
I have a few volunteer plants in my compost right now. They are in a shady spot and I’m not sure how they will survive or even what they are.They look like onions, but we won’t be sure until they grow some more. I have a friend who has 8 tomato plants all for volunteer compost plants!This happens after you throw lets say a slice of tomato in there. The seeds start to grow, and become strong healthy plants because of all of the nutrients they are getting from the compost.
- Find a use for everything – Lemon and orange peels can be used to make DIY Citrus Enzyme Cleaner. It works even better than my favorite (for the last several years) vinegar cleaner. Vegetable scraps are not just for the compost, you can use them to make your own vegetable broth and bone broth.
- Use depression era techniques of stretching your food supplies. We stretch beef, using only one ingredient here. You could also make cheap bread, like they made in the depression era. Other things they did during that time is have soup every week, eat simple breakfast foods like eggs, yogurt, or cottage cheese, fruit. Oats, and toast are pretty cheap too.
- No vacations – This might seems little crazy, but homesteading to me is a life that I don’t usually need an escape from. By living a life that you love, you may not need a vacation. This can save thousands!
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