I love winter time because it gives you the time and motivation to reflect on the year and to plan for spring and summer. I get so excited thinking about gardening, new animals and projects I want to do around the homestead.
But here’s the catch: most of that stuff takes money. Money is a commodity I am low on right now.
So what do you do when your homesteading goals are bigger than your budget?
1. Do it for cheaper (or free)
An example of this is with our garden. We are building raised beds with leftover lumber we have laying around. We are getting free wood chips from a tree cutting business in town. Those 2 things alone are saving us a lot of money in garden setup.
2. Find ways to make more money
Can you earn money from things you already have in place on your homestead? Maybe you could sell fresh eggs, manure, baby rabbits or vegetables out of the garden. This money could go to other projects on the homestead.
3. Scale back on your plans
We had to do this just recently with our bees. All the expert advice says to start with several beehives at once so you can compare and see what works and what doesn’t. But when we began to buy all the stuff required for the bees, we decided we could only afford one hive this year. That’s okay! We will learn from this one hive and hopefully get more hives next year. You do what you can and hope for the best.
What should you not do?
1. Go into debt
You should not go into debt (except maybe the home and land) for your homestead. Do what you can within your means and do more as you get more money. It isn’t worth going into debt over.
2. Give up
Don’t give up! Do what you can and plan for more later. There are many skills on the homestead you can learn without much money.
Homesteading skills that don’t require much money:
1. Cooking from scratch
Cooking from scratch is cheaper than eating out or boxed foods and it’s healthier too. Check out some videos on Youtube and get cooking!
Sewing is a great skill to learn. All you need to start is a needle, thread and fabric. Later if you can find a used sewing machine, that would be even better.
Instead of throwing away your kitchen scraps, add it too a compost pile. It is free and it will make your garden healthier too.
4. Repurpose Items for your homestead
I love to repurpose items from around the house or from garage sales. This is a cheap way to add fun and function to your homestead.
5. Bake Bread
Baking bread is an extremely satisfying skill to learn. It doesn’t cost much and your family will love it.
6. Knot tying
Grab a rope and start learning to tie knots! You can find tutorials on YouTube. This skill will help you all around the homestead.
7. Line drying your clothes
This summer, forget the dryer and line dry your clothes. It saves money and they smell so good afterwards.
8. Cooking with a dutch oven
We love to cook on a dutch oven when we are camping. It is also a great survival skill to learn for emergency preparedness.
Bartering is a good skill to have and can save you money. If you have something your neighbor needs, maybe you can switch it for something you need in return. Everyone wins!
10. Getting out of debt
Homesteading will be a lot easier if you are debt free. This is a big stumbling block for many people, but it will be worth it in the end.
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Homesteading may be more expensive than you thought it would be or people made it sound like it would be. Start up costs can be huge but they average out over time. But take things slow and add one or two homesteading skills at a time. You don’t have to do everything at once. All of those little things will add up over time and be a big asset to your family and homestead.
How do you save money on the homestead? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!