Hey friends, how was your weekend? We checked out a local farm, Ben went to my brother’s bachelor party, and we also had a family party. Poor Marvin is struggling with recurrent hives, so send some positive vibes our way.
I’ve had a ton of people message me over the past few months about wanting to start a homestead, but the timing is never right. It seems like timing issues are usually tied to financial concerns. Trust me, I get it. The initial start up cost for a homestead can be really expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Below includes our tips for homesteading on a budget.
Use what you already have
When Ben and I started talking about starting a homestead, our main concern was about cost. Ben wanted to start off with chickens, but I really wanted goats as well. We were newly pregnant with Beckham, and we couldn’t afford to spend a ton of money. We decided that our only option was to utilize what we already had – an awful,raccoon infested shed. I wasn’t totally on board with this option, but seeing as it was our only option at the time, we decided to give it a shot.
Depending on where you live, you probably don’t have a spare shed in your backyard. No worries – use anything you have on hand. Do a quick Google search and you’ll notice that a ton of people build chicken coops and goat shelters from spare pallet wood that they acquired free of cost.
To be totally honest, I suck at starting small. I tend to lean towards extremes – if we’re going to do something (like homesteading!), then I want to go all the way. Although this worked out for us so far, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this mentality when you’re homesteading on a budget.
Rather than starting a full fledged farm overnight, start small. Perhaps you decide to start off with a garden, or maybe you want to get a couple chickens. Either way, slow and steady is your best option when homesteading on a budget.
Shop second hand
Maintaining a homestead is super cost efficient (no need to buy eggs ever again!), but starting a homestead from scratch can be expensive. Before feeling overwhelmed by the cost and deciding to throw away your homesteading dreams, consider purchasing items second hand. When we decided to get beehives, we scored some free beehives from a local farmer. The tradeoff? The beehives needed some work, but we saved hundreds of dollars.
Take your time and search for deals on Craiglist, Ebay, Facebook marketplace, etc. If you take your time, then you can find some amazing deals, which will save you a ton of money.
One project at a time
Rather than taking on multiple projects at once, take it one project at a time. There’s no reason to rush, especially when you’re homesteading on a budget. Our goat house/chicken coop was unfinished for months, but we needed to prioritize other projects at the time. Homesteading is (hopefully) a long-term goal – slow and steady is the way to go.
It’s so tempting to get swept up in the “pretty” parts of homesteading, especially as you’re searching through homesteading images on Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, I really want to make our little homestead look pretty, but the reality is that homesteading is filled with poop and dirt.
I fully recognize that I’m very lucky that Ben works in construction and has the skill to build/remodel projects. With that being said, resist the urge to spend a ton of money making your homestead look perfect. Instead, spend your money of function and safety. What fencing will keep your animals safe? What housing will keep your animals warm during below zero temps? You can always add the fancy bells and whistles later, but focusing on function is always helpful when homesteading on a budget.
DON’T buy inexpensive/unregistered animals
Even though this entire post is dedicated to homesteading on a budget, there’s one area that you don’t want to skimp on – animals. You can find super inexpensive animals online, but they probably aren’t registered. Don’t risk the health of your other animals because you come across a good deal. Do your research and find a reputable breeder.
Homesteading on a budget: questions
Do you have any other tips for homesteading on a budget? Let me know in the comments below!