Friday, March 18, 2016

Saving on the Homestead: Part 1

As my husband and I have found out staying financially stable isn't always about how much money you make but more about how much money you spend and save.

Saving seems to be a gray area though. For example, if you go to the store and buy a hundred dollars worth of stuff and only pay sixty dollars because it was on sale you might think that was a great deal because you saved forty dollars. I would argue that you could have saved sixty dollars by not making a purchase in the first place. 

The further I dive into homesteading the more I am drawn to a simple lifestyle and away from consumerism. Looking back, I can't believe some of the things I wasted money on. Things that I didn't need or love. Sometimes I bought them just because they were on sale! In the moment it didn't seem like I was wasting a lot of money but those little mindless purchases can really add up. 

Of course there are times that we do need to spend money. However, now we only try to make purchases that we need or absolutely love. This means that while we mainly stick to buying the essentials we do treat ourselves every once in awhile. For example, I don't stop by the gas station for mediocre coffee everyday since I can make a perfectly fine cup at home but, every so often I will stop by a local coffee shop to get a made-to-order latte I truly savor. 

Saving does take some work but it doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself of everything you love. This series is going to highlight some simple ways to save money on the homestead. 

Part One: Trash

Just about everyone generates garbage. Some less than others but the garbage is still there. What do most people do with all of this garbage? They pay a company to come and take it away. In our area the yearly price for a garbage service is about 300 dollars. I can think of a lot of things I would rather spend 300 dollars on!

I have a secret for you though. 

You don't have to pay someone to take away your trash. In most areas, it is perfectly acceptable to take your own trash to the dump. The dump may charge you a fee but it is generally much less than what you would pay a garbage company. I realize going to the dump doesn't sound like fun but think about the money you will be saving.

What will make this plan even better is if you also reduce the amount of garbage you generate. This way you won't have to make the trip to the dump very often. We try to limit the amount of trash we produce and usually take our garbage to the dump between 4-6 times a year. 

Some ways to limit the amount of garbage you produce:
  • Be intentional with your shopping
  • Avoid buying products with excess packaging
  • Food scraps can be composted or fed to chickens/pigs/etc
  • Recycle/Reuse
  • Use reusable bags and containers 
  • Try to avoid single-use products and buy reusable ones instead

I know taking a field trip to the dump doesn't sound like fun but I really think it is worth it. It saves us money and also forces us to be more conscious of the amount of garbage we generate.

P.S. This post may be linked up with the following blog hops: Monday- The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Tuesday- The Homestead Blog HopTuesdays with a Twist, Wednesday- The Homemaking PartyHomestead Blog Hop, Thursday- Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Friday- From the Farm HopAwesome Life Friday, Saturday- Simply Natural Saturdays.


  1. This is a great idea, but I think it challenging for someone who does not yet own a pick-up truck. We did burn some trash for awhile, but now our landlord denies us that opportunity. It seems, until the truck comes, we will have to pay. I do like that you are starting a series to help people rethink things.

    Please drop by and say hello!
    Harvest Lane Cottage
    ...doing what I can with what I've got where I am
    on a short shoestring budget!

    1. Yes, it can be tough without a truck or trailer. We are lucky that right now we can borrow my FIL's trailer when we need to. We have done trash runs in my sedan.... but it is a little more tricky and then we have to make the trip more often. The key for us was really cutting back on the amount of trash we generate.

      Thanks for stopping by! I'll have to check out your site.

  2. That's definitely a creative way to save! I don't think that would work for our family of 7 right now, but will keep it in my back pocket for the future.

  3. Great ideas! We burn our trash but sometimes that can be challenging! Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)