How To Homestead With Little Or No Money
If you have wondered how to homestead, you are probably already a homesteader. The terms homestead and homesteader have changed greatly over the years. I view a homestead as a home, an apartment or any other type of family dwelling. I think anyone who is self-reliant or self-sufficient is a homesteader. You may have 1/4 acre or 50 acres or maybe even more. If you do any of the following things you are indeed prepared for the unexpected.
A homesteader is someone who can take care of themselves without being dependent on other people or government assistance. It’s really quite simple, let me know how many of these things you’re already doing or have taught your family to do. P.S. It’s not too late to learn any of these skills. Skills cost little or no money to learn.
How To Homestead
1. Learn to Make Bread
Please learn to make bread, biscuits or crackers. You can survive almost any disaster if you can make bread. If you know how to make bread please teach the youth in your neighborhood, we cannot lose the skill of making bread with the next generation. I promise you will love the feel of bread dough and the joy of pulling hot bread from your oven. Here are my tips to make my n0-fail bread: Linda’s Bread Tips
Gardening takes practice, but you CAN grow just about every vegetable in your yard, and even in pots. If you grow potatoes you will never starve, you can grow them over and over all year long if the weather cooperates in your area. Be sure and buy organic Non-GMO seeds so you can save seeds every year. There is nothing better than a freshly picked red tomato!! Each year you will learn something new to keep your garden going the next year.
3. Cook From Scratch
If you learn to cook from scratch you will save so much money. Plus, your food is healthier than the drive-through food you may pick up.
4. Food Preparation/Pantry
If you slowly fill your pantry you will rarely have to go to the store. The more often you go to the grocery store the more money you may spend because we tend to make impulse purchases. Plus you will save on your gas and car maintenance budget.
5. Bake Without A Conventional Oven
If you can learn to cook with a Dutch Oven you can cook when the power is out. If you have enough sunshine a Sun Oven would be awesome. Sun Oven or Dutch Oven Be sure and store fuel like briquettes and matches to cook outside.
6. Make Butter
When I was a young girl I made butter when I was whipping some fresh cream. It was not on purpose, it just happened. I have seen recipes telling how you use a mason jar with 80% or higher heavy whipping cream and start shaking the jar with the lid turned tightly on the jar. Some recipes say to strain the butter, I never have. I use my hand mixer. If the power is out you can always use the mason jar trick.
7. Make Yogurt
All you need is a half gallon of whole milk or 2% milk. Whole milk makes it creamier, but both will work. You need Greek or regular non-flavored yogurt with LIVE ACTIVE Yogurt Cultures. Grab a 3-quart Dutch Oven and place the milk in the pan and bring it up to right before boiling or about 200 degrees. You can use a candy thermometer. Use a whisk to keep the milk from burning. Cool the milk to 110 to 112 degrees. Scoop out a cup of milk and add one cup of yogurt to thin it. Then pour it back in the pot. Let it set up with the lid for about four hours. Transfer to containers to store in the fridge.
8. Make Jam and Jellies
There is nothing better than harvesting your own fruit and making your own jam or jelly. Yes, it has a lot of sugar, but it tastes so good on homemade bread. Freezer Jam is my favorite. Have you tried it spooned over tapioca pudding?
9. Plan Meals With Foods In Season
I wrote a post about buying various food items in season. This is the best time to buy the best tasting fruits and vegetables. Foods In Season
10. Use a Vacuum Sealer
If you grow your own food, raise small animals, or buy food in bulk, you can use a FoodSaver to extend the life of your food and have zero freezer burn. FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer
11. Make Laundry Detergent
If you haven’t tried making your own laundry detergent you may want to try making some. You will save lots of money. Laundry Soap
12. Use a Clothesline
Do you remember hanging sheets with your grandmother outside? I can still picture them blowing in the wind. If we lose power you may want to have a clothesline ready along with some good clothespins. Lehman’s has some really good ones.
13. Learn to Sew/Mend
I have a Bernina sewing machine and I know there are other great machines available. My granddaughter took sewing lessons using her Janome machine. It cost less than $300.00 at the time and was a really sturdy machine. If you want to buy a second-hand machine to help save some money, just have it serviced by a good repair company and you should be good to go. I have my machine serviced twice a year.
14. Plant Fruit Trees
15. Plant Fruit Bushes
If you have space please plant fruit trees. It may take a few years before you harvest enough to feed your family, but it’s fun to see the trees mature. It’s totally worth learning how to prune and shape your fruit trees. You may some years where you have a bumper crop and a year or two when the flowers freeze. There is nothing better than canning fresh peaches, in my mind.
If you have room for raspberries, blackberries or strawberries then plant some. You can feed your family with fresh fruit and make jam or jelly. Life is good when you make your own jam!!
16. Raise Chickens
I live in an HOA where chickens are not allowed. I’m not sure I could kill a chicken anyway, but I know people who do raise them and they love gathering eggs every day.
17. Raise Meat Rabbits
Meat rabbits are great to raise according, to my friend Tiffany over at Imperfectly Happy (.com).
18. Raise Goats
Here in Southern Utah a lot of people raise goats for the milk. I know some who eat the goat meat as well. I couldn’t do it, just giving you the heads up here.
My husband goes fishing about twice a month and loves it. It’s a great way to lower your grocery bill. All you need is a fishing license and the necessary fishing gear. He loves his golf too, but fishing is cheaper!
20. Hunting Game
I have a nephew who goes hunting every year and the family has a freezer or two full of meat. No, I can’t eat deer, it’s not going to happen. But I know a lot of people who love it.
21. Know First Aid/CPR
If you can take some classes on first aid and CPR you will be prepared for the unexpected. You may save a life. Be sure and rotate your first aid supplies.
22. Learn Natural Remedies
Have you used colloidal silver? I use it if I go visiting the sick or have been somewhere where everyone is coughing and sneezing.
I love green tea with honey and lemon juice for a cough. Green tea has a lot of antioxidants which are awesome to help keep us well.
23. Learn About Essential Oils
I love essential oils, I need to state they will not cure anything or the FDA may insist I take down my website. Yes, I have blogging friends that this happened to, trust me it’s not fun. My favorite essential oil company is DoTerra. Do I sell it, no? I love Breathe, OnGuard, Lavender, Lemon, Wintergreen to name a few. They are fabulous and I highly recommend them.
24. Learn to Preserve Your Bounty
You may know my husband and I have been canning food for over 50 years together. We both took some classes through our state extension service through the USDA to receive our Master Canning and Preserving Certificate. Please do not buy a canning book off the internet, they may not be safe to use. I highly recommend this book USDA Canning Book for safe canning. You may be able to receive your certificate through your local state extension service.
25. Live Below Your Means
If you can start out living on less than you make you will be so much farther ahead. If you get a raise, put it in a savings account. Stay out of the stores, you will save money. We as the consumer see over 5,000 ads per day to entice us to buy something. It may be on billboards, the TV, the radio, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it. I call it taunting or tempting us. We do not need stuff. We need to live on less and buy less stuff.
26. Pay off your Home
If you can pay just one extra payment a year you will cut down your mortgage big time. You will save so much in interest. Just take the principal amount of your monthly payment and divide by 12. Next, you add this payment as EXTRA PRINCIPAL to your payment. If you can set up an automatic payment and have your payment taken out as close to the 1st as possible, you will save even more interest.
27. Stay out of DEBT
One trick that may work for you is to buy a used car or truck with cash. If you don’t have cash then take out a loan for the least amount you can and when this loan is paid off you keep “making the payments” by putting that dollar amount in a savings account for your next car purchase when you need one. Never buy anything with a credit card, it’s not worth it. When in doubt don’t buy it.
So, do you know how to how to homestead with little or no money? I bet you do. Please be prepared for the unexpected and be safe and stay well. May God bless this world.
Vegetables: AdobeStock_66262008 by NOBU
11 thoughts on “How To Homestead With Little Or No Money”
O.k. Linda you knew I would have to write on this one. I can do or have done 14 of these. I need to do more of them I know.
If people want to learn how it was during the depression and how people lived read a series
of books if you can find them called “Our Folks” they are really good. There is another set of books I haven’t read yet but my dad ha books called ” FoxFire” and it told stories or how to do things. Lastly check out some of the hardback copies of books from Reminisce. One title is ” When the banks closed we opened our hearts.” those will tell you how to truly make do with what you have or don’t have. Kids were happy to get a quarter for Christmas, not a 500.00 computer game. This goes back to your number 27 …Stay out of debt. I think people were happier back then too.
Hi June, I totally agree with you, people were happier back then. I think we can tackle as many of these skills that we feel inclined to do. You noticed I’m sure I do not raise chickens, rabbits, or goats. It’s not going to happen. I will become a full-fledged vegetarian eating from my garden!! LOL! I love it when my grandkids come to visit, they know the meaning of a dollar, 15 out of my 17 grandchildren are minimalistic kids. They do not WANT things. My daughters have done well raising them not to expect stuff, like a $500.00 computer game for Christmas. Life is good without the stuff. May God bless families to learn to give less and give more time. Hugs, Linda
Linda, something for you to maybe try to replace meat protein: try growing peanuts! I live northern MN so you’d think we couldn’t because of short growing season but I bought 2 peanut plants as a whim. Stuck them next to cukes (high watering need plant), and I got almost 3 lbs peanuts/plant at end of summer! I’m not sure how to repeatedly grow more peanut plants. As that year was a drought, I kept them and the cukes watered well by hauling out my dish and bath water. I have sandy soil, and use only compost to fertilize. Just something interesting to try!
Hi Wendy, I have got to see if I can grow peanuts here!!! I love this idea! Thank you!! Linda
June, I’ve heard about the Foxfire books but never seen any. Dang, I suppose the internet is only place to get copies. My library doesn’t have. Your suggestion may spur me to find! I too have lived doing most of Linda’s suggestions.
This is the third time I’ve tried to leave a comment. My Norton anti-virus is having a fit. I’m not sure why. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that there is this homesteading paradox. A lot of young people who are physically able to do really hard work on a homestead can’t afford a homestead. And a lot of older people who can afford a homestead, often can’t do the hard work.
I knew of a young man who wanted to homestead. He had no savings, but he had a good entry level job in a small city, and he was desperate to be in a homestead lifestyle. So he approached several farmers, one after another, asking to rent a small space on their farm for a travel trailer and a garden, just so he could start because he didn’t want to go into debt. Eventually he asked an elderly couple, and they were impressed with him, and they allowed him to rent a couple acres on their farm. The price was WAY cheaper than his apartment in the city. So he moved out there and tended a nice garden and a small flock of chickens.
He became friends with the elderly couple and helped them when they needed a younger and stronger person to help. They also were happy to receive the rent money to supplement their income. Because he would help them out, the wife often brought a home cooked dinner over to him so he could tend to his homestead chores before dark since he was still working (and saving) for the time he would buy his own place.
Without going into debt, it is possible to circumvent the homesteader’s paradox.
Hi Debbie, oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment today! What a blessing to the young man AND the elderly couple. This shows you can do anything if you put your mind and hardworking skills to work. This is such an awesome story!! I hope 1000’s of people see your comment. I LOVE it!!! Linda
Debbie O: what a great story! I’ve looked hard to find people who want to garden/have chickens, to no avail, at my rural place in mn. Yet I see people on internet complaining they can’t afford rural land. I used to sharecrop with a neighbor for him to do alfalfa on 20 acres of my place. He’s since retired so my acreage sits idle now. I’d be happy to have people planting a garden, even having chickens, at no cost if they just wanted to maybe mow for me. I did have one person interested until they found out they’d need to drive 40 miles out of Mpls! Geez, yet she called herself a prepper?!?
Wendy, I wish I lived by you!!!! Linda
Linda, yes, I’ve got to comment on your whole blog. I think you are correct in separating homestead from homesteader. Historically, a ‘homestead’ was when a person could lay claim to land from simply living on it. Think 1800’s here. My grandpa, his sisters and parents homesteaded land in black hills of sd back then. It wasn’t always acres of land, btw. My great-aunt ‘ homesteaded’ just a small parcel of land in Deadwood, where she built a house, from the proceeds of making beer for the miners! Once my grandpa’s place was established, he gave her honey for her beer. A lot easier than her having to find hives in the timber, lol. But, they really were homesteaders…found ways of surviving/thriving in a very rugged land. It’s kind of cool, our family has a now-paved road named for our family up there. I guess this history is why I don’t doubt that even my kids could make-do should our life change.
Hi Wendy, oh how I loved hearing about your family’s homestead!! Great story!! Linda