When you hear the word “homestead” what comes to mind? Is it acres upon acres of land? Living off the grid? Livestock grazing? A homestead can be all of those things, but it can also be none of them. My homestead is on 6 acres. We have electricity & running water so we are not off grid. We do have livestock, but only what our land area can sustain. Some people homestead on less than an acre of land and others work on their homestead skills while living in a city apartment. With these 5 basic skills, you can learn to homestead wherever you are.
5 Basic Homestead Skills
If you have enough space to garden outside, you can plant straight into the ground (I prefer the Back to Eden method) or into a raised bed. If you do not have the land to garden outside, you can plant a window garden or a vertical garden. Growing Plants indoors is convenient and it helps to purify the air in your home.
Window or Wall Garden
2. Food Preservation
So you don’t grow your own food yet… that doesn’t mean that you can’t stock your pantry and freezer for the winter months. Make jams & jellies, wine & mead, apple butter, pickles, and more through canning, dehydrating, and freezing fruit & veggies from your local farmer’s market!
You can learn to can by asking someone to mentor you, reading articles, or watching video tutorials. If you don’t know anyone who can teach you face to face, then I highly recommend using video tutorial or a webinar in addition to reading articles. I also recommend starting out with hot water bath canning before moving onto pressure canning.
3. Cooking from Scratch
Even if you don’t grow your own produce or raise animals for meat, you can start cooking from scratch. Replace pre-packaged and processed foods with homemade goodies! A good place to start is with these recipes for biscuits and bread.
Keep your pantry stocked with staples that will allow you to make just about any food from scratch without needing to make a trip to the store.
4. Making Household Supplies
I started making my own household supplies because I ran out of cleaning spray and I couldn’t get to the store to purchase more (we live way out of town). My all-purpose spray is my favorite homemade cleaner and I use it on everything from counters to floors to toilets.
Paper towels, napkins, wipes… all of these contribute to a huge waste epidemic and they cost you money that you don’t really need to spend. You can replace the disposable products with reusable cloth to help your wallet, your home, and the environment.
Bath & Body
5. Budgeting & Frugal Living
Frugal living isn’t limited to homesteaders, but it is vital to living a homestead lifestyle. Be conscious of your spending habits and make sure that everything you spend money on serves a valuable purpose.
- Start out by creating a budget. Make sure that you set realistic numbers so that you don’t get discouraged as soon as you start. You will want this budget to work for you, not set you up to fail.
- Implement a cash envelope system for your monthly spending categories. This will help you avoid frivolous spending and overdraft fees.
- Plan your meals and stick to a grocery list. Don’t buy anything that isn’t on your list. Download grocery rebate apps to give you cash back for your shopping trips.