Many years ago, a good friend of mine gave me some great advice: "The best way to save money is not to spend money." Now mind you, one of my hobbies is not spending money, so he was preaching to the choir. I'm so cheap that my dad once referred to me as a tightwad who squeaked when I walked.
I wanted to share my top seven ways to not spend money on the homestead.
1. Reuse stuff. This should be a no-brainer. I've built entire chicken pens out of reused materials — roof tin from an old barn, nails I straightened after pulling them out of old lumber, etc ... Every nail, nut, screw, or bolt I find anywhere gets picked up and evaluated. Good ones get sorted into cans for easy access, not-so-good ones go in the can to recycle (more on recycling later).
2. Free stuff. Another no-brainer. If somebody offers you something for free, take it! Free pallets, free samples, free things you find on the side of the road ... Free stuff can be really good! Well, maybe except for free roosters when you already have too many.
3. Recycle stuff. It's like being given free money (See number 2). Recycle anything and everything you can't reuse. Beyond the greenness of recycling, you get some free green in your pocket.
4. Fix stuff. YouTube is an amazing place to learn how to make repairs. I've learned how to fix ovens, dryers, trucks, iPhone headphone jacks — it's all there for the viewing. And it's free!
5. Eat stuff. Grow, hunt, or raise your own food. It will be better for you, it will taste better, and it will save you money. You can combine several of the previous suggestions here. Saving your own seeds means free seeds next year. Canning your produce in the same jars year after year means you are reusing stuff.
6. Creative stuff. Don't be afraid to get creative on the homestead. Find ways to combine the principles outlined above.
7. There is no 7. I told you I was cheap! When you are trying to save money, you have to economize every chance you get.
Photo by Fotolia/Futro
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