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Would you like to spend less? Of course, you would! The good news is that there are many ways to save money by being more self-sufficient.
It’s all about finding the right balance in life, isn’t it?
Anytime we buy something that has been prepared or even partially prepared for us it will cost more then if we do the work ourselves. The tradeoff is time because when we try to save money by being more self-sufficient it does take more time to make and do things for yourself.
This is why simple living is a little different for everyone. You need to decide what your simple living goals are and then make choices to be more self-sufficient based on your goals. When doing this you will enjoy the time spent on these activities because they are saving you money and supporting your core values.
- Ways To Save Money By Being More Self Sufficient
- 1. Grow Your Own Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs
- 2. Be Self Sufficient With Natural Resources
- 3. Raise Your Own Food
- 4. Practice Food Storage
- 5. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Ways To Save Money By Being More Self Sufficient
1. Grow Your Own Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs
One of the best ways you can save money is to start growing your own food. Are you thinking that you don’t have enough room to have a garden? Growing your own food doesn’t take as much room as you might think!
Using intensive gardening methods like square foot gardening or the French intensive method will help you to grow a lot of food in a small space. If you don’t have a yard area that you can make your own garden in then you can grow in containers on your deck or patio.
Another option is to rent space in a community garden. Even with the rental fees you will save money and be enjoying fresh, organic produce.
2. Be Self Sufficient With Natural Resources
After food, what are your biggest expenses?
It’s probably your utility bills right?
Look for ways that you can save on water, electricity, and heating. Even small changes can add up to big savings!
Start collecting rainwater for your garden. Rainwater is the best way to water your vegetables, it’s also great for watering your lawn and any outdoor cleaning that needs to be done.
Rainwater is also free to use, unlike municipal water. Even if you have your own well you still need to use electricity to pump the water. Rainwater is easy to collect into water barrels.
Saving Money On Wood Heat
Heating your home with wood is a good way to save money but you can save even more by cutting your own firewood. If you don’t own your own bush then find someone who has a good hardwood bush and barter with them. You could cut your own firewood in exchange for helping to cut their wood as well.
This is a great way to save money and help elderly neighbours who might not be up to cutting their own firewood anymore.
Did you know you can also buy your firewood in whole logs? Yup, you can save a lot this way when you have uncut logs delivered and do the cutting and splitting yourself.
Using Solar Power
Replace or supplement your electricity use with solar panels. It’s a long-term investment but as electricity rates keep increasing here in Ontario I’ve seen more and more people adding solar panels to their roofs and yards.
Use A Clothesline
Instead of using a dryer use your clothesline whenever possible. You can get clotheslines to fit in many spaces from long lines perfect for big backyards to smaller fold out drying racks that are great for small yards and decks.
To save even more on laundry try making your own laundry soap. It’s very easy and I’ve been making our own for 16 years and loving it!
3. Raise Your Own Food
Did you know that no matter where you live you can likely raise your own livestock?
Even if you living in an apartment you can raise a few rabbits. They are very quiet and easy to care for.
When I first started raising animals I didn’t have a big farm. I was still able to raise my own rabbits, pidgins, and quail in town.
Eggs, Dairy, and Meat
Chickens and ducks give you wonderful eggs, meat, manure for your garden. Ducks are also wonderful for eating slugs and other pests out of your garden.
Goats and cows will give you milk, you can also learn to make your own butter and cheese.
You can raise your own pigs for bacon. Pigs are also very handy when you want to till your garden. They can be fenced in the garden area and they will overturn your soil, mixing in compost and manure and eat any leftover vegetables, weeds, and grubs in your soil.
Raising your own animals gives you the best quality organic eggs, dairy, and meat at the lowest price possible.
That’s not the only reason to raise your own animals though. You can use their manure in your garden to help build your soil. Animal manures are some of the best fertilizers you can get for your garden.
Spinning Your Own Yarn
Do you have an interest in knitting or crochet? Raising sheep, goats or angora rabbits can also provide you with beautiful fibers that you can learn how to spin into yarn. Handspun yarn can be sold or used to make finished handmade items for sale.
4. Practice Food Storage
It doesn’t matter if you’re are growing, raising or buying your food storing it properly will save you money.
Store It Safely
Use good quality storage containers to keep your food in. If you’re using large buckets make sure they are food grade and have tight-fitting lids. It’s an awful feeling to open your food storage containers and find that bugs or mice have gotten at it.
Keeping A Root Cellar
Think about building a root cellar or find an area in your basement that can serve as cold storage. We are very lucky to have a huge root cellar in our home!
I remember my grandmother’s home from when I was young had a large basement but just a tiny root cellar. Although it was the size of a small closet it could still store a lot of produce for the winter.
Learning Food Preservation
Learn how to can, freeze and dehydrate your harvest. If your growing your own food or buying in bulk to take advantage of sales preserving will help you to make the most of your savings.
5. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Learning how you can reduce your need for store-bought things, and repurpose things you have laying around your home is always a good way to save money.
It takes getting creative but once you get started you will be amazed at all the projects you can do with spending little to no money.
Online classifieds are a great place to look for free windows and building supplies. Many times we’ve been able to get older windows and scraps of lumber from people who have finished renovating their homes.
We’ve been able to repurpose these into raised beds for our garden and greenhouses to grow our plants in.
Pallets are often given away for free and are wonderful for building fences, animal pens and yes even for firewood as long as they are not treated.
Buying At Auctions And Flea Markets
Auctions and flea markets are amazing places to find tools and supplies for your homestead at a good price. Older tools are often a much higher quality then new ones and if you take good care of them will last a long time.
I also love looking for vintage dishes, pots and pans and kitchen tools at flea markets. You never know what you will find but it’s usually at a better price than new.
There are so many ways you can save money by being more self-sufficient, these are just a few things that will help you get started. The more you can repurpose and make for yourself the lighter your impact on the environment, your money and your health.
Have you found a creative way to be more self-sufficient? Leave a comment below to share.
Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.
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