Many have been thrown into a strange world of doing their best to stay out of the stores and away from crowds. They’re trying to figure out how to provide things for themselves that they used to be able to buy. Sometimes such a drastic change can be frightening.
But take a deep breath. Today I’ll share with you the simplest self-sufficiency steps you can take now to begin providing for your own home and family. These were the easiest steps for me when I first started on the path to Voluntary Simplicity. And if you’re just starting out I think they can help you too.
RancherMan & I are able to live & work right here in a place we love. We hated city life, long commutes, office politics and the daily grind. But now living this life in the country means we need to be extra mindful of our financial resources.
The good news? It’s super easy and isn’t a sacrifice at all. It’s just a different way of looking at various circumstances.
Take this week for instance. Here are 5 frugal things we did to effortlessly save money.
RancherMan loves his iced tea. I love that it’s a healthier drink option for him than many other choices. And brewing our own tea means no trash. Plus it’s super cheap.
All. Good. Stuff.
But did you know it doesn’t necessarily have to be hot outside to brew tea? All you really need is sunshine. There are a couple of ways I’m able to provide RancherMan with that delicious beverage he loves. Brewed in winter or summer: No purchased energy necessary!
We’ve been dealing with quite the heatwave here in NE Texas. And much of the country is in the same grip of summer heat too.
When it’s this hot outside I try to keep the cooking heat out of our home. For me, that means I’m using my solar oven almost every day. (have I mentioned how much I love that thing??!!)
Today I’m sharing how I used my Cook-Once, Eat-Twice method of cooking to whip up two large loaves of meatloaf.
Sure, I used my solar oven to do the cooking. But my recipe below uses a conventional oven. So whichever method you choose, you’re guaranteed to get a delicious meaty comfort-food entree with plenty leftover for the freezer too for quick heat-n-eat suppers another night.
I love my solar oven. I’ve said it time & time again, I hate to fire up my electric oven during the heat & humidity of our Texas summers. Not only does it cost fuel for the stove to operate, but boiling eggs adds even more heat inside our home. That requires our air conditioning to work overtime cooling it back down, therefore costing even more money.
Several years ago I bought a solar oven and I absolutely love it! What a great item in your Emergency Preparedness toolbox! Then at a Mother Earth News Fair I attended a few years ago, a solar-cooking seminar presenter told us how easy it was to cook ‘hard-boiled’ whole eggs in the solar oven without even using water. Color me intrigued!
I come from a long line of cleaning neatniks. Not just tidy, but CLEAN! We used to tease each other that grandma’s house was clean enough to eat off the floors if we wanted to! (and I’m thinking we probably COULD HAVE!)
Even with today’s fast-paced lifestyle we can all learn a thing or two about cleaning from grandma. These days the grocery store shelves are filled with all manner of specialty cleaners. Heck there’s a different cleaner for each different surface! But are they really needed?
I wonder why we’ve complicated cleaning these days?
We just seem to be too busy to keep a tidy house anymore. But can we learn to clean like grandma did? Here are a few things we do on our Homestead that grandma would surely approve of…
When RancherMan & I bought this piece of NE Texas paradise we were enamored with the rich history of the property. Apparently over the decades it’s been home to several homesteads, I’m assuming one of the first was in the 1880’s when our barn was built! The most recent home was located at the front of our property but it burned down in the late 1950’s. We’ve discovered whispers of their past lives that they left behind – so amazing!
There were two deep cement cisterns located where we think were either side of the house. One had to be covered up when we moved here, but we preserved the deeper one to use as our Outdoor Irrigation for my veggie garden.
At the time we were living in the big city. Someone had a small cedar fence that they pulled down – it was almost brand new. That would be PERFECT to frame in our little cistern! So we brought it here and constructed a cute little wishing well with that discarded fencing & some leftover metal roofing. It looked cute & kept the cattle out of trouble when they were around the cistern.
Last week I shared a two-part segment on how RancherMan & I make ends meetwhile living and working here on our homestead without the comfort of a regularly-scheduled corporate salary infusion. Those posts were wildly popular! There are lots of you hungrily looking for ways to cut back! Whether planning to make the leap to self employment or just looking for ways to stretch your dollars.
Now last week I pointed out that researching for the lowest cost on anything you buy is important. But it’s doubly important to research & reduce your month-to-month obligations. Those bills are going to come around not just once, but Every. Single. Month.
Think about your recurring monthly bills for a moment. Have you just been paying them when the bill arrives without giving them another thought? Are you getting what you paid for, or Paying Extra For Nothing? Well it’s time to take a good hard look at them. Oftentimes you can cut out wasted money spent. Today Let’s Look At Electricity.
RancherMan & I both live and work right here on our ranch. While this lifestyle is blissful & absolutely amazing for us, it also means there’s no regularly-scheduled corporate paycheck for either of us. We’re often asked,“How in the world do you DO IT?”
It’s true, as any self-employed person will tell you there are many more hours of work necessary for often much less income. And while it’s also true that we don’t have near the disposable income we used to have when we worked in the corporate world. But that world just didn’t work for either of us.
We were both weary of the concrete jungle and hustle & bustle of the city. That citified world is not what spoke to our hearts. We longed to live away from the rush and the noise. Both of us longed to slow our lives down and enjoy nature. And we longed for our work to be personally meaningful for us. WE wanted to be the ones who called the shots for our jobs. But how? How can we possibly make it without that regularly-scheduled corporate salary infusion? HOW??!