Homesteading is becoming more and more popular, but many people are worried about the cost. How can you start homesteading without any money? The answer is that it’s possible with a little creativity.
This post will go over some tips for starting your own homestead even if you’re on a tight budget.
What is homesteading?
Homesteading is the act of living in a self-sufficient manner, usually by producing much or all of what one consumes. The term can refer to subsistence farming and might also involve raising livestock for either food or other products such as wool.
How do you start homesteading?
There are many different ways that people choose to live off the land, but they all have one thing in common: living without relying on others for food.
Here are 5 ways to start homesteading with no money:
1. Start planting a vegetable garden
Start by planting a garden. You will need a small area of ground to start with, or if you don’t have any land available on your property but still want the experience, find someone who has space and can share the harvest from their own plot.
The best way to get started is by starting out in containers like pots or window boxes to get a feel for the work and how much produce you can reasonably expect to collect.
This will give you an idea of what’s involved with farming, but it also gives you the best possible chance at success because all a seedling needs is some care in order to take root. For now, you don’t need a huge piece of land. Start where you are.
You also don’t need any money right now. To get started, you may want to save seeds from any fruits or vegetables you have in your in kitchen.
If not, find your nearest gardening center, buy some seeds or seedlings, and get started. You can get a few packs of seeds for less than $5.
If you do have space you can grow things like fruit trees, berries, and vegetables. It will be hard work but you’ll save a ton of money growing your own food.
In the first year of homesteading, it might be wise to not commit to a large piece of land until you’re sure that this is what you want to do.
2. Get chickens and learn how to raise them
If you’re looking to get your hands dirty and grow some of the things that fuel your body, chickens are a great place to start. You can find hens at most feed stores for under $30 apiece. Chickens will give you eggs (a meal source) as well as fertilizer for plants in their coop or pen.
Can’t afford to buy a chicken?
Check craigslist for chickens in your area. Chances are someone will post they’re giving away some soon-to-be, or already hatched chicks to get rid of them.
If you cannot find anyone on Craigslist to get a chicken then try local Facebook pages. You can also check to see if there’s anything available near where you live.
You’ll need some things before taking your new feathered friend home: A chicken coop, food, and water containers. You can get these at a feed store or make your own with some chicken wire or supplies you have around the house.
If you’re feeling crafty, consider making nesting boxes using old milk crates! How cool is that?
You will also need to check your local state or city laws to make sure that raising hens in your backyard is okay.
3. Learn how to identify edible plants native to your area
If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area with a rich natural environment, there’s no need for expensive equipment or fancy grown produce.
With a little education and practice, you’ll be able to be resourceful with what you have around you without spending any money!
Start by talking to someone who knows the plants native to your region. They might be able to identify a few edible plants you can start with. This is also the best way to start foraging because you’ll be getting your information from someone who already knows what they’re talking about.
If you don’t know anyone, check out a local nursery or bookstore and do some research on edible plants.
You can also learn how to find wild edibles from books or online resources. Be sure to take the time for research before going out into the wilderness though. Some ways of identifying plants don’t work in all regions.
It’s easy to mistake poisonous ones for useful ones if you don’t know what you’re doing! Once you’ve learned to identify edible plants, your next step is trying them out.
Some wild edibles can be eaten raw (like dandelions and cattails), but many should first be cooked or dried before eating. This removes toxins from plants that might give you an upset stomach.
4. Practice basic skills like sewing and cooking
Now that you’re working on your land, practicing basic skills like sewing and cooking are the next step. They may sound easy but they’ll make a huge difference in your life and help reconnect you with food too!
For example, sewing clothes from scratch will save you lots of money and teach you how to tailor your clothes for a perfect fit.
If you don’t have money to purchase a sewing machine, you can start sewing by hand to get the experience.
Cooking from scratch is easy once you get the hang of it. It teaches kids where their food comes from, and it’s also healthier since you would have grown it yourself!
5. Look into community gardens
Community gardens are available in most communities and can be a great way to grow herbs, fruits, vegetables, or flowers.
Community gardens are places where people can rent a plot of land and grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, or other plants. Renting a spot in the garden costs around $50 yearly, and most have tools and a water source available for use.
Community gardens are great because they can help you meet new people, teach your kids about gardening practices, or give you access to fresh produce year-round!
If you’ve already got some time on your hands you may want to consider volunteering at the community garden instead of taking up gardening duties for yourself.
Most people who volunteer their time with the community garden will get a share of the produce, so you’ll be able to have fresh vegetables and herbs without having to take on all the work yourself.
You just need to get in contact with the community garden coordinator to find out what services they offer.
6. Collect rainwater from your roof
You can use gutters and downspouts then store them in barrels or large pots on the ground level of your home.
This will help keep water bills low while also reducing stress on public resources that are often overtaxed during droughts.
You can also collect rainwater from your roof to use for things like watering plants and cleaning.
It’s important that you only use water in these ways, as drinking it untreated may lead to health risks such as parasites or infections.
7. Start composting
This will help fertilize your soil as well as reduce waste going into landfills or burned up in incinerators.
Composting also produces nutrient-rich soil that will actually help your plants grow.
You can start by just collecting scraps from around the house and then using them to fertilize a small garden or pot of flowers. This is a great way to reduce waste in smaller increments!
With time, you’ll be able to expand compost areas as more and more materials are collected.
Composting can be done in a large bin or by simply setting up small neat piles of organic waste on the ground outside your home. Whichever you prefer!
8. Learn how to can food
Canning food is a great way to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables for the future.
You’ll need jars, lids, special tools called canning tongs or canning funnel that are available at most home stores or even on Amazon.
Many things you might want to learn how to can include tomatoes, pickles, jams, fruit sauces, and many others.
You’ll need to follow a recipe for the food you want to can so that it is safe to eat in the future!
Always research before beginning any new project in order to make sure you stay safe while doing these projects.
9. Use a clothesline instead of the dryer to save money on energy bills
The clothesline is an easy way to get started living a more sustainable lifestyle. It is also cheaper than using the dryer and other high-energy appliances which can really add up if you’re not careful.
The clothes that you dry outside will also get the fresh air and sunshine which is also really good for them.
10. Sell your old stuff to make money for new things
You can make money by selling your old clothes, furniture, or anything that you no longer use.
There are many online sites like Craigslist, Letgo, and OfferUp where people buy and sell second-hand items for a reasonable price.
You can also offer to sell your old items on Facebook or in person if you’re feeling brave!
Some other ways people do this when they don’t have a lot of money are by holding garage sales or selling to other people in the community.
You’ll want to research prices for items that are similar and ask around before you sell them so that you get an idea of what they might be worth.
11.Sell your product at farmer’s markets
If you have been able to grow enough fruits and vegetables and have some left over, consider selling them at your local farmer’s market.
This is one of the easiest ways to make some money or make back some of the money you may have spent on your gardening efforts.
Plus, you’ll be supplying your community with healthy food and while making enough money to support your family.
I hope that these tips will help you get started on the right foot for living a more sustainable lifestyle. The most important thing is not to be intimidated and just start by making small changes in your life like using reusable bags or bringing your own water bottle with you wherever you go.
It doesn’t matter how big of an impact one person can have, it is the cumulative effect that will make a difference.