When my husband Frank and I decided to start homesteading, it was truly a decision to get back to the basics and become self sufficient. In a world where our economical security is questioned every day we decided to be less dependent on others for our family's survival. And in doing so we can be better caretakers of the land, resources, and animals that have been entrusted to us by our creator. Getting back to basics requires the utilization of unusual resources and requires us to be creative in how we obtain and utilize resources.
We have gotten very creative in how we fund our projects. For example when we built our chicken coop we used materials from an old dilapidated barn. The only thing we purchased was galvanized wire fencing to make it predator proof. Everything else was repurposed. Keep in mind our objective was not to create a cute chicken house, but a functional and long lasting chicken house as inexpensively as possible. Inexpensive should not mean cutting corners on projects and creating things cheaply and that aren't built to last. This in the long run costs you more in time and in resources. Time is a commodity that I believe many small farmers and homesteaders fail to take into account when determining cost. My time is valuable and when I am using my time I want to work as efficiently as possible. Sometime this means I need to bite the bullet and go purchase something from the local store. But there are many things that are completely logical to repurpose from someone else or yourself. The following are some ways we have cut costs on our homestead.
1. Utilize the FREE listing on Craigs List: We often find building materials, fencing, wood, pallets, concrete blocks etc, for use on one of our many projects. It is important to take in account how far you will drive to get something because sometimes the gas can cost you as much as it would to just go down the street to the store. Sometimes you can find people who just want to get rid of something but you have to come tear it down and move it.