This article will teach you how to homestead anywhere. Simple tips that you can use to get closer to your goal of self-sufficiency.
Take these homesteading tips and use them to get control of the food you love and eat no matter where you live.
When you hear the word homestead, what do you think of? Do you think of a man in coveralls out in a field sowing corn? Or a woman living in the suburbs gathering eggs from her 3 chickens for breakfast? How about a family living in an apartment in the city that grows tomatoes on their terrace?
In today’s world, there are so many variations of homesteading from large farms to urban gardening in the city,. but the core belief is the same. Make it. Grow it. Raise it. Get more of what you need at home, instead of running to the store.
It doesn’t matter if you live on 100 acres in the country or in the middle of a large city. The “where” isn’t the important part. It’s the “how” that matters.
Learning to make more so you buy less is a way of life. A thought process that guides you through your days.
Homesteaders live with intention at all times. They do not blindly spend or shop just to shop. They go to the store with a specific need in mind and a list with only enough money to cover that list.
Shopping with intention is a life changer and one I highly recommend to everyone….whether you homestead or not.
So, if you want to be more self-sufficient here are a few quick tips to get you on your way to a life of a homesteader.
15 Ways To Homestead Anywhere
These tips will work for just about anyone. From the young to the retired and folks in between. I suggest you do one tip at a time adding another one on as you go. The more you can do, the more you can save and that is always the goal of a homesteader.
Tip #1. Stay out of the stores
Whether it be shopping for food, supplies, pet food, or clothing, learning to limit your trips to town is a huge part of homesteading.
One of the biggest perks of living this way is the ability to save money and the easiest way to save money is to simply stay out of the stores.
How do you do this? You need to plan your trips and shop with intention. Remember, you are there to purchase something you NEED and cannot MAKE so get in, get out, and save money each time that you do.
Tip #2. Pare down on what you own
If you don’t treasure it, love it or use it then you don’t need it. I have “declutter” on my to-do list every single week.
I hate random stuff lying out all over my house because it makes it impossible to find things. If I can’t find what I need I end up buying what I already have.
Pare down what you have, clean out what you no longer need or use, and quit wasting time looking for things. A bonus side effect of decluttering is you will now have more time and more space to create things. To work on projects and achieve goals.
Not sure how to start? Read more here to get awesome simply tips on how to take that first step.
Tip #3. Start a garden
This is my favorite way to homestead. I love LOVE gardening. If you are new to gardening, my best advice for you is to start out small so you do not get overwhelmed.
If you keep it simple you will grow with your garden. Diving in off the deep end planting rows and rows of vegetables will only set yourself up for failure.
But don’t think small is not worth the effort. You will be amazed at how much you can grow in a small space. The secret to this all is that you really don’t need a lot of space to grow enough fresh produce to feed your entire family.
Good news, right!?
If you live in the city, container gardening is the perfect solution for you. Boxes, buckets, even bags will work perfectly in a small space like a patio or terrace. As long as you have drainage, plenty of sunshine, and room for the roots to grow you can use it for your garden.
No more excuses, it’s time to get your tomato on!
Tip #4. Make it don’t buy it
Making what you need instead of going to the store multiple times a week is especially true in the kitchen.
Sure, convenience foods save you loads of time but try not to rely on them. Keeping a few staple items in your pantry for days when you need dinner fast and easy is fine. Just remember to use those items for what they were intended for. Convenience.
The trick is not to rely on them for every single dinner. Make a meal plan so you can map out a dinner schedule for each day of the week. A weekly menu is a huge way to not only save time but money as well.
Fall back in love with your crock pot. Dig it out and dust it off.
I adore my crockpot and aim to use it at least once a week year round. Toss some frozen meat in at breakfast time and have a full meal ready to go at dinner time.
Easy. Fast. Super delicious!
Making what you need is more than just food. You can make so many things right from home. Things like:
Tip #5. Store more, waste less
Learning to preserve what you grow is a huge reason to homestead.
We all want to be more self-sufficient and what better way than to get the food we eat from our own homes. If you are new to canning and just don’t want to try your hand at it just yet, there are other ways to preserve your food.
Dehydrate, freeze and cold storage are all easy and efficient ways to keep food for your family.
Make a goal to work throughout the summer months filling your freezer for the winter. Most produce will freeze wonderfully and it’s so simple to do. Berries and peppers fill our freezers along with diced onions, shredded zucchini, and sugar snap peas.
Food Preservation Resources:
The trick here is to plan.
For example. Chocolate Zucchini Bread is a fast and favorite breakfast for my family. I know it takes about 25-30 loaves to get us through the winter. To keep that huge chore more manageable I try to make 6 loaves a week until my quota is filled. Having a game plan helps stop the overwhelm.
Tip #6. Conserve water.
This is so simple to do and whether you are on a well or in the city, it can benefit you to conserve water whenever necessary.
If you use a dehumidifier in your basement, don’t dump the water out, use it instead to water your herbs and patio plants. I dump the water into old milk jugs as my humidifier fills up. In the lid, I have holes punched out creating a perfect watering can.
Remember, do not use this water for animals because it can be dirty and undrinkable. Save this type of water for your plants only.
Another tip is one I use every day. When you are filling your sink with warm water to do dishes, don’t let that cold water go down the drain as you are waiting for it to warm up. Instead, fill a couple of clean milk jugs with the cool water. This water is clean so it can be used to water animals or you can put it in your fridge to drink later.
Finally, you can a rain barrel out by your garden and use it to catch rainwater. Any container will work for this but if you want to purchase one to get started, this rain barrel is a good option to look into.
To use this water, cut the top off of an old milk jug making sure to leave the handle intact. This is the perfect water scoop that you can use to water your garden plants. You can also use the barrel water to do a quick hand wash after a weeding session.
Tip #7. Use it up, wear it out, do without
I am sure by now you are seeing an underlying theme here. Buy less so you can save more.
- Tear in your shirt? Mend it rather than replacing it.
- Broken zipper? It is much cheaper to buy a new zipper and replace it rather than a whole new coat.
- Do you have a hole in your barn boots? A little duck tape can extend the life for a few more weeks, or even months if you do it right. 🙂
- Hole in the finger of your gloves? Cut off all the fingers and use them when you need warmth but don’t want your hand covered.
The point is to completely wear it out before you replace it. Hey, clothes are expensive especially good quality clothes. Make sure they last as long as possible. Sew and mend just don’t throw away!!!
Tip: Don’t have a sewing machine? Maybe it is time you invest in one. Yes, the upfront cost will be a hit but the savings you will have over time will be worth every penny spent. You don’t need an expensive machine to do the trick, I love this machine and the cost is very reasonable and you also get an instructional DVD if you are new.
Tip #8. Learn to use your Mad Macgyver skills
My favorite part of having a homestead is honing my red necking skills to a point of masterdom.(is that even a word?)
I have learned to create something out of nothing so much so that I now feel a master in my field. There is nothing I cannot do with a couple of zip ties and some baler twine. I really should do a redneck farm tour for you all!
Even though Hubby cringes at my cheapskate projects, I have found him a time or two pointing out my creations to visitors when he believed I was not looking. 🤣
Tip #9. Make your own cleaners
Another homestead skill you can do anywhere is making more of what you need.
Even thought companies have tried to offer safer cleaners, many of them can be toxic to our families. Learn to make bathroom cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, even dishwasher, and laundry detergent and control what chemicals you allow into your home.
Tip #10. Hang it up
Nothing soothes my soul more than clothes on the line.
The site and sound bring me back to a simpler time. I have a line in my yard and even in my basement. Not only does drying your own clothes save energy, but it also saves the life of your clothes as well.
Our system is an old broom handle suspended from the ceiling that I use to hang up clothes to dry in our laundry area. No, not pretty but super efficient! You would be amazed at how many shirts you can fit on the hanger to dry this way.
Tip #11. Compost
Composting is such a great way to cut down on food waste and to help your plants at the same time. It is surprising how little room you need to compost. I have a small metal bucket under my sink for food scraps and a large pile outside our barn.
The key to a good compost pile is all in the layering.
Alternating green and brown matter keeps things in sync and helps it to break down more quickly. You can read more about composting here. The good news is that you do not need a lot of room. A small container will make enough for your patio garden. Things like an old trash can or plastic tote.
The material from your compost setup will help to jumpstart your backyard garden so you can grow really healthy vegetables.
Tip #12. Buy locally
This tip is simple no matter where you live.
With the increasing popularity of farm to table, more and more cities are seeing the benefits of farmer’s markets. Nothing is more relaxing than strolling through a market on a Saturday morning purchasing a bounty of fruits and veggies. You will be amazed at the colors of freshly grown fruit. Bright, beautiful and delicious.
Another great option is to join a food or garden co-op. My brother lives in the city and is a member of a garden co-op. I was able to visit once and I was just amazed at the quality and ease of getting their freshly grown food. Call your extension office to see if one is available in your area.
Tip #13. Recycle more
Not everything you have can be used again, I get that, but don’t just toss it in the trash.
Whether it be in a recycling bin, sold at a yard sale, placed into a donation box or given to a friend. Try to get more life out of your things either by you or someone else. Do your part to keep the trash out of the trash bins.
Tip #14. Barter, trade or borrow
You don’t always need to own a tool especially when it requires a one time use.
Ask around before you purchase and offer the use of your own tools while you are at it. Homesteading is a community and communities work as a team and help each other out. Don’t just ask for help, offer it too.
You will be amazed at what you have to offer others. Don’t keep your talents a secret. Baking, weeding, planting, canning, laundry, are just a few ideas of what you can do for trade or barter.
Tip #15. Learn from a simple people
I am amazed time and again from the Amish and how they are able to live a simple life in such a modern world.
Even if you adopt just a few of their tips you will not regret it. Their sense of living off the land, making use of what they have and extreme sense of community are all qualities I try to emulate daily in our own home.
You can read more about the Amish here and hopefully gain some inspiration for your own lives.
Whether you live on 100 acres or in a high rise apartment, homesteading is simple to do at any stage. Follow one or all of these tips to not only achieve your goal of homesteading but also to gain lasting benefits for you and your family.