Many of my readers I’m sure are already the homesteading type. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been trying to get really intense on little ways to make or save a little money here and there so we can put it towards our goal of living on the homestead. We have the property, but no job in the area and not a whole lot more than water on the land as of yet. This past summer we put a little money into getting a bunch of trees cleared from our homesite, and we invested in a good Stihl chainsaw. The chainsaw is awesome, I might add – I can still lift it to cut, though I am a bit too weak for my own comfort. But it is a nice powerful saw and still usable for me if I ever had to take over the tree-cutting-down duty from Mr. Hot Stuff.
Anyway though, the point of this post is this – I’ve probably read page after website after article on different ways to save money and cut your budget. But it’s always stuff that I already do and HAVE been doing forever! It’s stuff like… cut back your cable package (do you really need all the movie channels) or stop eating out 3x per week or quit getting lattes every morning, etc. Well… yeah. We don’t even HAVE cable, we rarely eat out and I get a latte once in a BLUE MOON. So what about people like me?
Well, I guess I will start my own list. So here’s the start of it. I’ll make new posts as I think of them.
- Since I moved out to the property, I am separating my trash and being militant about it. Our trash usage has probably gone down by 60% and that INCLUDES still using disposable diapers. I burn anything that is paper-ish. Any and all food items get burned or composted. All cans get rinsed and put into a bin on the back deck for recycling. I also have another bin for plastic recyclables and glass recyclables. So now, we don’t pay for trash pickup – we just let it accumulate till there’s enough to be worth a dump run. It doesn’t get too stinky because what’s in our trash is 90% plastic garbage, I don’t have any food in there to start rotting. It’s a bit early right now to see how much the savings will be, but if it’s anything like our previous bill that’s around $35/month or so.
- Bake your own bread. For those of us who are at home, it is really a fun project for kids, makes the house smell incredibly nice and homey. Maybe not so feasible when it is 90 degrees outside, but for the most part it is just really nice. It’s much more filling than storebought bread, and MUCH MUCH cheaper. On that same note, it is actually pretty easy to make tortillas, too! It’s a bit labor intensive if you are trying to make a lot, but a tortilla press comes in handy. I have one on my Christmas wish list. The other day I made homemade corn tortilla chips using my own tortillas and they were excellent.
- Make your own convenience food. When I was a working mom that was the thing that killed our budget – constantly eating out or eating frozen food, etc. No more! Now I keep my pressure canner in the kitchen and I will can up just a few jars of the extras. Just canned 3 quarts of spaghetti sauce and then 6 pints of taco soup yesterday, and that was just the “leftovers.” That way, your leftovers last much much longer, and it’s sure a lot easier to open a jar of spaghetti sauce and cook up some noodles than it is to make it all from scratch! Yet, it is still homemade. The Mexi-beans that I have in the canner (just pinto beans canned with some salt and taco seasoning) are an easy meal – mash them with a potato masher and voila! Refried beans. Mr. Hot Stuff’s favorite food is bean burritos… so you can see that will go a long way around here!