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One of the biggest things about homestead living that I enjoy is that we are saving money. Homesteading has start up costs that hit the pocket book. Once everything is established, homesteading saves money.
The other day, I was writing out my bi-weekly grocery list. I realized I knocked off a lot of what we used to purchase in-store. Things like eggs, bread, peanut butter, jam. All of those things I’m making and raising at home. I’ve even saved a lot of money using Thieves cleaner by Young Living. I don’t have to buy different cleaners anymore for windows, toilets, showers, etc. It is an all-in-on purpose cleaner that gets the job done and smells amazing.
Homestead living has always a dream of ours. Even in our small apartment I container gardened and canned. Now that we are living on a little bit of land, it has become a lot easier to get things done and save money homesteading.
Here is a list of some of the things we are doing to easily save at least $200 a month in our grocery bill alone. Even just a few of these things will save you money. Plus, being self-sustainable outweighs its worth in gold. It is good to be stocked up, prepared and have knowledge of how to feed your family no matter what.
Homestead Living and Saving Money
Farm Fresh Eggs
If you have the capabilities, get chickens. They run around $2-$5 a chick at local farm supply stores; like Tractor Supply. You will never eat a better egg. With organic and/or free-range eggs costing over $5 a dozen, you will be saving yourself a lot of money. I currently own six chickens (more soon) and I get over a dozen a week. That’s at least a $30 savings per month.
Make Peanut Butter
It is so simple to make your own homemade peanut butter. Peanut oil, peanuts and honey. Those are the only three ingredients you need. You can get a gallon jug of peanut oil for around $6. A bag of 15 ounce peanuts will make roughly a pint and a half of peanut butter. Depending on how creamy you like it. For around $5, you can make a jar and a half of peanut butter without all of the junk in it.
There is nothing easier to make at home than bread. Purchase a good bread machine and electric knife, and the rest is easy. Plus, the house smells amazing.
Learn to Can
Learn to water bath and pressure can. It will be a skill you will not regret. The Ball Canning book is a great resource to begin learning to can. Remember that with low-acidic foods, like vegetables and meats, you will need to pressure can for food safety. I purchase a flat of produce from my local farm and easily make 30-50 jars of canned goods. I picked up pickling cucumbers to make pickles the other day for $11 a flat. I brought home two flats and made 55 jars of pickles. How’s that for stretching a dollar? Around $2.50 per jar.
Buy Bulk From Local Farms
Speaking of purchasing flats; this is a great way to save money. Local farms, produce stands and farmer’s markets can all offer great deals on produce. By purchasing flats of your favorites to make jam, salsa, chili and other great foods to have on hand, you can easily save over $100. Even freezing a flat of green beans can last through the winter months. I can usually get nearly 30lbs of green beans for just under $40. That will last me months when I can and freeze them. We all know how expensive produce is these days. Easily $3 a pound.
Grow Your Own Garden
I cannot express enough how wonderful it is to have skills of growing your own food. I pride myself in this. I know where my food is coming from, I know that my family will be fed. Even container gardening can help cut costs by producing your own produce. For $2-$5 a bag of seeds, you can make well over 20 plants of certain foods. Plants like tomatoes and zucchini go a long way in production. Base ingredients for zoodles, salsa, chili, spaghetti sauce.
There are a handful of other things you can do to cut costs. Dry your clothes on a line, have other livestock that produce foods and help landscape. Our goats help use mow the lawn. It sounds like a lot of work. Some days, it is. However, it is worth every moment of my time. I’m providing healthier options for my family without hitting the pocket book with how expensive organic items are anymore. Which in turns make me appreciate my food even more because I know why the dollar is so high in organic foods with all of the work that goes into it.
I hope some of these tips are helpful in getting you started in homestead living. Even just a few of these changes go a long way! Best wishes on your journey. I’m always here to answer any questions I can.