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Saving Money on the Homestead
Getting out from under debt and living within your means is a huge part of the sustainable lifestyle that homesteaders are working for. Part of that is finding ways to save money so that you can reduce your reliance on the outside world. There are many different ways to help reduce costs and save money on your homestead. We’ve pulled together a list of 5 ways ANYONE can save money on their homestead. Whether you’re struggling with homestead chores, living in the city, or already established, there is something in our list that will help you out!
5 Ways to Save
Repurpose, Reuse, Salvage, and Restore
There are a number of things you can repurpose, reuse, salvage, and restore on your homestead. But you should also keep an eye out when you go shopping. One of the best things you can do to save money is to shop second-hand. Check local second-hand stores for clothing, small kitchen appliances, and other household items! You can even find construction supplies at places like the Habitat ReStore! Don’t be afraid to buy some things (like furniture) that aren’t in great shape either. Take the opportunity to hone your refinishing and restoration skills.
We needed turkey roasters for a big event one year. Purchased brand new from the store they were $65 each… and I needed three. We decided to check the Goodwill stores in our area and found all three roasters for a grand total of $22!
Resist the urge to throw out things like old clothing and sheets. These can be repurposed into rags, curtains, different clothing, and even reusable grocery bags.
Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk helps to reduce the cost of groceries and other household items that you can’t make, grow, or supply yourself. It’s even better if you can get them as close to wholesale as possible! One way to do this is to reach out to places like the local butcher. If you buy half a cow from the butcher you’ll pay almost half what you’d get for equal cuts of meat at the store. Be warned, however, buying in bulk means knowing how to protect and preserve your supplies so they don’t get wasted. This is especially true with food that can spoil! It’s not saving you money if you have to buy it twice.
One of our favorite homesteading resources is the Homesteaders of America Homestead Management Printables Bundle. You can find it here! It’s a great, comprehensive resource that you can use to manage many aspects of your homestead.
Apply for a Homestead Exemption or Exclusion
Every state has some kind of homestead exemption or exclusion that they offer the people that live in their state. Homestead exemptions are most often used to describe legal protection that prevents creditors and taxes from taking someone’s home in the event of certain circumstances – most often those of sudden death. These protections vary by state, but in almost all cases they will provide a decrease in property taxes for properties that are declared a homestead.
Learn more about managing your finances on your homestead with our post on building a basic budget!
Learn How to Negotiate, Barter, and Trade
Learning how to negotiate, barter, and trade will provide you cost savings. Your homestead does not need to rely solely on established stores to provide for things you need. Connect with people in your community. Trade everything from mechanical ability to hay! Build your own economy within your community and use your skills in negotiation to establish useful trades with others.
Husbando frequently does this with a mechanic that we know. He will trade his skills with computers and software engineering in exchange for work performed on our cars. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement with both parties receiving something they need (the foundation of bartering) in a way that benefits them both.
Eat What You Have and Grow What You Need
While this one may seem obvious, it’s often hard to stick with. However, eating what you have is one of the most important ways you can save money on your homestead. It starts with meal planning and making sure that you only stock up on foods you’ll actually eat, not just on foods that are cheap.
This was a hard lesson for us to figure out with our food storage. It’s so tempting to buy whatever is on clearance at the store in large quantities but if you’re never going to eat it then all you’ve done is waste money.
And when the time is right and the growing is good, grow as much of your own food as you possibly can. During the winter months sit down and figure out what you eat and how much of it you need to grow in order to feed your family. All of these steps will work together to help you pull together your homestead and save money on a regular basis.