Saving money to move off the grid? If so, you're probably looking for ways to cut costs and in every area of your life so you'll be ready to purchase that cabin in the woods, or off grid homestead you've been dreaming about. A healthy savings account is important because you never know what repairs or investment you'll need to make in your new off grid home.
Although you may already be couponing or buying things on sale, there are a whole lot of things you can do that not only help you save money.
The truth is, saving money to move off the grid does more than just build your savings account. It also gives you a chance to build your self-reliance skills. It forces you to strategize, plan, and think creatively.
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The Number One Way to Save Money Right Now
If you've been thrown into an unexpected financial situation and need to save money right now, start with your grocery bill. With a little planning and preparation, chances are you can lower your costs immediately.
Take the time to organize your pantry. List all the food you have.
Then list all the food in your fridge, freezer, and other cupboards. Use what you have to create a short-term meal plan. I did this last year when we took part in a 60-day pantry challenge.
Look for recipes to make meals from leftovers, like this Chicken-Black-Bean-Salsa Bake. This helps you to use up what you have and limits your spending at the grocery store.
One of the cheap and easy meals to make from canned goods is rice and beans. And one of the easiest ways to use up leftovers is in a soup or stew. Some of our favorites include Turmeric Lentil Soup, my Vegetable Soup Recipe, and my White Bean Kale and Sausage Soup.
The Number One Way to Save Money Long Term
What can you create or grow on your own? When you do-it-yourself, you save money and you could set yourself up for a new income stream.
Learn a new DIY skill such as sewing, knitting, gardening, canning, foraging, or even woodworking. Learn how to freeze vegetables - from your garden, or from buying seasonal vegetables from local farmers.
DIY skills help you save money and become more self-sufficient, but they also give you marketable skills to help you make money once you move.
For now, here's a great big list to help you get started.
66 Things To Do When You're Saving Money to Move Off The Grid
- Stop buying paper towels (and maybe toilet paper - consider these 21 toilet paper alternatives instead)
- Use knitted or crocheted dishcloths
- Cut down old towels to make more cleaning cloths/dishcloths
- Use a menstrual cup instead of paper feminine hygiene products
- Replace cleaning products with vinegar and baking soda
- Bake homemade bread and muffins from scratch - buy your bulk dry yeast on Amazon (and freeze it in sandwich bags to keep fresh for up to a year)
- Save leftover rice, pasta, cooked vegetables, and meats to make homemade soup
- Buy fruit and veggies in season when cheap and then freeze or preserve
- Only give handmade gifts
- Use powdered milk instead of regular milk in baking
- Plan your meals weekly to shop the specials
- Make double batches of dinner and freeze the second batch for fast dinners
- Eat leftovers for lunch
- Eat rice and beans (many great rice and beans recipes online)
- Use just one vehicle - sell the second one
- Walk to work and/or school
- Combine errands to limit gas consumption
- Brown bag your lunch
- Turn your thermostat down in the house in the winter
- Stop using central air or turn thermostat up in the house in the summer
- Cut your cable or satellite bill
- Bundle your internet and smartphone services
- Stop wearing pantyhose and nail polish
- Cut and color your own hair
- Start saving seeds from fruit and vegetables and try to grow your own
- Grow your own vegetables in a garden
- Grow your own herbs indoors
- Learn to forage for edible greens, berries and mushrooms
- Dry your clothes on a outdoor clothesline or indoor clothes rack
- Learn to sew on a button, fix rips and patch clothes to avoid buying new ones
- Use a cold water wash only
- Use cloth diapers
- Breastfeed your babies!
- Make your own baby food
- Fish - in the summer or try ice fishing in the winter
- Barter or trade
- Use Amazon prime with free shipping to shop sales
- Reduce your family's meat consumption if you can't/won't hunt. Beans, legumes, and eggs are cheap and nutritious
- Stop buying sandwich bags and saran wrap
- Use a power bar and shut it off at night to reduce phantom power usage - a good way to get ready for experiencing off grid electricity!
- Downsize to a smaller home
- Choose free or cheap entertainment
- Borrow books and DVDs from the library
- Join a toy lending library
- Learn to darn your socks!
- Cut down little worn adult clothes to fit kids
- Use hand-me-downs from older kids, family and friends
- Save your soap scraps in a mesh/onion bag to use them up
- Don't buy packaged cereal. Eat oatmeal instead - not the instant packets either
- Brew your own coffee at home and take it to work in a travel mug
- Stop buying lunchmeat (remember the leftovers from tip #13?)
- Eat more soups and stews to stretch the meat
- Comparison shop for house and car insurance
- Take advantage of any alumni/profession group rates/discounts on insurance
- Review your bank account charges - look for free online accounts
- Consolidate any credit card bills to one low rate account to cut interest costs
- Get rid of interest charges by paying off any kind of debt
- Call to see if you can renegotiate your internet/cell phone contract charges - especially when your service provider's competitors are advertising promotions
- Buy good quality second-hand clothes from a thrift shop, garage sale, or local Facebook swap group.
- Install CFLs or LED lightbulbs where possible
- Drink tap water instead of bottled water (filter it if needed)
- Stop buying juice and pop
- Turn down the thermostat indoors in the winter and either avoid using central air in the summer or turn the temperature up two degrees to save on electricity bills
- Redeem credit card reward points for grocery gift cards and save the cash you would have spent this week at the supermarket
- cancel your gym membership and your yoga studio membership
Saving money to move off the grid can give you a taste of what your future life will be like. It gives you the opportunity to live that old saying - "use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without."
How are you saving money to move off the grid or pursue your homesteading dreams? Let us know in the comments below.
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