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Cheapest Way to Live – Top Tips for Frugal Homesteads!

As the cost of living increases, many people are looking for ways to live more cheaply. Frugal living is a lifestyle choice for some people.

For others, it is essential for survival.

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to live? Whether on your own or with your family? You’ve come to the right place!

We’re brainstorming the cheapest ways for homesteaders and off-grid enthusiasts to live.

We know the cost of everything is skyrocketing – so we help these tips help!

What Is the Cheapest Form of Living?

Do you ever feel that your paycheck instantly disappears on living expenses when it hits your bank account these days? 

If so, you are not alone! The increasing cost of living has led to a massive rise in people trying to live for less, and the frugal living movement is now a huge trend.

The cheapest form of living reduces your monthly outgoings to as little as possible. Some people achieve total self-sufficiency, living on no money at all. However, before you go to such extremes, there are some great ways to live for less without overhauling your whole lifestyle.

tiny alaskan cabin with alaskan sourced building materials
Want to reduce your cost of living? Shrink your home! Less home equals more cash in your pocket. Some new homesteaders think that tiny domiciles are impractical. But – they aren’t! There are endless options for jumping into a humble cabin-like abode that would make legendary off-grid icons like Henry David Thoreau proud.

What Is the Cheapest Living Option?

Embrace a frugal lifestyle. The cheapest living option for most people is to cut the most significant monthly outgoing – rent or mortgage – to as little as possible, or even zero. Many of you might feel that you are stuck in the system because of these restrictions, but with some alternative thinking, you might be able to make some massive cost savings.

And to prove feasibility, have a look at the number of blogs written by people living this way! Many off-grid homesteaders – myself included – have drastically changed their lifestyles to enable them to live more cheaply.

Frugal living means never buying anything unless it is necessary. Instead? We make, create, repair, swap, barter, or find an alternative.

Our desire for self-sufficiency is why I spent two hours last night patching another rip in my husband’s work jeans rather than forking out on a new pair!

How Do I Live Free of Cost?

Find a work exchange opportunity! Homesteaders can strive to live free of cost by exchanging their time and skills for accommodation rather than cold, hard cash. Bartering your labor is such a massive phenomenon now! Several organizations dedicate themselves to matching up volunteers with people who need assistance.

The benefit of bartering with your labor is that you can potentially earn meals and accommodation. Many people travel around the world on this basis, requiring money to fund only their travel costs and any luxuries they desire.

At the same time, you learn new skills and get to experience freedom that many people can only imagine in their dreams!

Read More – Starting a Homestead on a Tiny Budget – or Zero Money!

How Can I Live With Very Little Money?

Slash your living costs. Another way that people have found they can live with very little money is to ditch the house altogether and live in an alternative type of home. These tiny homes or cabins are often much cheaper and give you a better chance of owning your home outright.

Freedom from rent and mortgage – the homesteading dream!

Here are some great alternative home options to escape from bricks and mortar.

  • RV, Campervan, Or Caravan – if you have a home that can move anywhere, the world is your oyster!
  • Boats – many boat dwellers live rent-free, cruising along inland waterways or even across oceans.
  • Yurt, Tent, Or Teepee – nomads have lived under canvas for many years. It provides a comfortable way of living for many people in modern times, too.
  • Manufactured House – more commonly known as a trailer, a manufactured house gives you a secure place to live, no worries about finding somewhere to park.

Living in a mini home is also much easier due to the growing trend and availability. We forecast that more technologies will emerge over the coming decades to make tiny homes increasingly desirable, stylish, accepted, and fun!

community vegetable and herb garden
Growing fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to lower the cost of living. We recommend crops like zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, kale, and fruit trees. Short on land? No worries. You can always research community gardens in your area! You may be able to contribute, lend a hand, or sow seeds even if you live in an urban setting.

How Can I Live Alone With No Money?

If you live alone, it can feel like an uphill struggle trying to find a way to escape from the rat race. Without a partner or friend to share the bills with, monthly living costs are higher, and saving money becomes more difficult.

The first option is to find someone to help split your living costs. Splitting the cost-of-living means finding a lodger or roommate or renting out a room occasionally via a platform such as Airbnb.

If your place is too small to share with others, look at other ways to cut costs. Could you cycle to work to cut commuting costs? Or buy bulk food items to reduce your grocery bill? (Large shopping clubs like BJ’s and Sam’s Club can help Americans save cash when food shopping. But – the food packages come in large quantities.)

If you are single, there are ways that you can live alone with no money. An off-grid lifestyle is within reach by many people who live alone. So don’t be put off! The great thing about the off-grid and homesteading community is that everyone is always happy to help others, so assistance is never far away.

What Is the Cheapest Type of House to Build?

That depends on your definition of a house! I’m always amazed at the ingenious ways people find to build houses and other structures for very little money. By using freely available natural resources, it is possible to slash the costs of a building project by a tremendous amount. Plus, you end up with a breathtaking and unique home at the end of it, created with your own hands.

Straw Bale House

A straw bale house is incredibly cheap to build, and the result is a cozy family home built with your own hands. Even with the increased cost of building supplies over the last few years, a straw bale house might be your cheapest lodging option.

Log Cabin

log cabin is an ultimate dream for many aspiring off-grid homesteaders who want to get away from it all and live in the forest. Building your log cabin is not as tricky as it might sound. Though, we fear that the cost of lumber and labor may increase in the future. Maybe now is the best time to build?

Tiny Home

If you’re not confident about building a house, then a tiny home kit can be a great option! These kits contain everything you need to construct a small living space, perfect for off-grid living. For a real-life sample of a tiny home – look at our article! (We wrote how to build an epic DIY cabin. From scratch!)

Alternative Building Materials

Whatever you build the exterior of your home with, there are other materials freely available for some lovely interior design features.

One of these is a cob – a mix of clay, straw, sand, and water. It molds into fabulous shapes.

Another great alternative building material is one that fully embraces upcycling – empty glass bottles! These can help build or adorn incredibly-beautiful walls, both inside and outside.

Buy a Fixer-Upper

If you are not committed to building a house, a renovation project could be much cheaper. In underpopulated areas, many homes have fallen into disrepair.

And – you may get a better deal if the homeowner isn’t interested in repairing their home – or inviting nosey inspectors to tear apart their life’s work. (Metaphorically speaking.)

Read More – Five Homegrown Veggies that Save You the Most Cash!

What Is the Cheapest Type of House to Live in Without a Budget?

The cheapest type of house to live in is one with no bills! Some bills, such as government taxes, are unavoidable, but you can reduce or eliminate others.

Electric Bills

The cost of electricity seems to be skyrocketing worldwide. Luckily – the natural resources are all there to generate electricity. 

All you need to do is tap into them! Natural energy may require some initial investment, but this should (hopefully) pay for itself over the long haul. 

Options for generating electricity include solar, hydro, and wind.

Water Bills 

Getting water is tricky and expensive, depending on where you live. A borehole, well, or a natural water source is a good option, or you can collect rainwater to use for washing and toilet flushing.

Cooking and Food Bills 

Gas and electric stoves cost a ton of ash to run. But we’ve investigated abundant resources to help us cook for free! If you’ve got a supply of firewood, you can cook on an outdoor grill or indoor log burner. Or take a look at these lovely solar cookers – I have a friend who cooks for free every day on one!

What to Do When You Want to Move Out But Can’t Afford It

The best advice is to save, save, save! Now I know this isn’t always easy. But by adopting some frugal living strategies, you can soon cut down your monthly outgoings.

We spent years dreaming of buying a fixer-upper with some land, and one day we decided to try and make that dream a reality. The following two years consisted of earning as much as possible while spending as little as we could manage. Not much fun, but the rewards were more than worth it!

old sewing kit with scissors thread fabric and needles
Sewing is one of the most underrated skills for homesteaders! We’re not saying that you have to become a fashion clothing designer or guru dressmaker. But – knowing how to replace a ripped zipper or sew a button can save you big over the long haul.

Find Ways to Cut Your Homestead Expenses.

  • Can you make or repair second-hand clothes, rather than buy new ones?
  • Cooking from scratch and batch cooking are great ways to cut down on food bills. No more takeaway dinners!
  • Could you reduce your entertainment budget?
  • Add up your mobile phone, broadband, TV, and music streaming costs – these days, they can amount to a significant sum of money!

Find Ways to Increase Your Homestead Income.

  • Sell, sell, sell! If it isn’t essential? Then get it sold and stash the money away in your moving-out fund.
  • Do you have a skill or product you can sell? I topped up my income by making and selling zero-waste skincare products – unlikely to earn enough to live on, but a nice boost to the off-grid dream fund!
  • Could you rent out a room in your house, or consider a flatshare? Many people also need to cut the cost of living, which can be a great way to save some money.

We also recommend growing ample fruits and vegetables. You can reduce the amount you spend on food by growing your own.

You can also leverage extra fruits and veggies for bartering. Or – you could sell your harvest outright. Or – give them to friends and family.

In addition to fruits and veggies – we also recommend chickens for eggs. The cost of eggs doesn’t seem to be getting any cheaper – so your hens will pull their weight around your homestead. 

For sure!

Best Homesteading Gear for Frugal Living

We’re so sad to see the cost-of-living increase for homesteaders worldwide.

Whether you’re homesteading in Australia or Maine, we bet you’ve noticed the surge in prices.

(I think at this point – we all have.)

But no worries! We’re about to share our best list of homesteading gear to help save you money.

These ideas aren’t game-changers. But – we believe that they add up and help.

We at least hope some of these ideas can make your day less expensive – and more rewarding.

  1. 20 Heirloom Seeds for Planting Fresh Garden Veggies
  2. 20 Heirloom Seeds for Planting Fresh Garden Veggies
    $19.99

    Growing homemade vegetables is one of the best ways to lower your cost of living. Here's an excellent vegetable starter pack crammed with everything you need for delicious food.

    The seed kit includes cauliflower, radish, kale, beets, broccoli, spinach, onion, cucumbers, plus tons more. The seeds come from the USA and are non-GMO. The reviews are also spectacular - great reported rates of germination.


    Get More Info

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/01/2022 02:08 am GMT
  3. Sewing Kit for Adults Needle and Thread Kit
  4. Sewing Kit for Adults Needle and Thread Kit
    $29.99 $20.89

    We think sewing is an excellent skill for modern homesteaders who want to live frugally. This portable sewing kit includes 36 color reels and five rainbow reels.

    You also get scissors (stainless steel) and sewing needles. Next time you tear your pants, break your zipper or rip off five buttons on your shirt, you don't need to throw it away. Instead - sew it up and save some cash.

    Get More Info

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/01/2022 08:29 am GMT
  5. The Frugal Homesteader - Living the Good Life on Less
  6. The Frugal Homesteader - Living the Good Life on Less
    $24.99 $20.49

    The Frugal Homesteader by John Moody is one of our favorite guides for saving cash around the homestead. With the cost of gas, fuel, and food skyrocketing out of control, we think the guide can help anyone get by with less. The book is comprehensive. It includes money-saving tips for your home, farm, animals - and garden.

    Get More Info

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/01/2022 04:38 pm GMT
  7. Canning Essentials Box Set | Norpro
  8. Canning Essentials Box Set | Norpro
    $19.99 $16.82

    If your homestead is serious about saving cash - we encourage you to learn all about canning. And quickly! This canning kit has the essential gear for dehydrating and canning food.

    You can capture the essence of summer vegetables and fruit and preserve them for later. The kit has green vinyl-coated handles, jar lifter, lid lifter, tongs, mouth funnel, jar wrench, and bubble popper.

    Get More Info

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/01/2022 12:33 pm GMT
  9. Regular-Mouth Glass Mason Jars, 6-Pack, 16-Ounce
  10. Regular-Mouth Glass Mason Jars, 6-Pack, 16-Ounce
    $16.99 $16.00

    Mason jars are the best way to properly store dried herbs, nuts, kidney beans, tomatoes, pickles, and more! They're also perfect for overnight oats, sweet jams, soups, plus fruit.

    We also love using them as glasses and cups for drinking water, tea, and smoothies. The size of these jars is 16-ounces. Mason jars are superior to others we've tried and contain self-sealing lids and airtight protection. 

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    10/01/2022 12:08 pm GMT
  11. Goat Milk Soap Making DIY Kit
  12. Goat Milk Soap Making DIY Kit
    Get It at Grow and Make

    We may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Conclusion

Homesteaders everywhere realize that the cost of living keeps increasing!

I hope you’re feeling inspired by all the ways to live for less.

Every person will take a different path when finding the cheapest way to live, and it can be a struggle at times.

But, let me tell you, it is worth it!

If you have questions about frugal homesteading – or if you have money-saving tips for us – we invite you to share.

Thanks for reading.

Have a great day!

Read More – Making Money Farming Five Acres. Or Less!

Author

  • Kate moved to Portugal last year and lives with her husband, two cats, six hens, and a glorious Brahma rooster called Mary. Earlier this year they purchased a half-hectare ‘quinta’ – traditional terraced land with olive trees, grapevines, and a house to renovate. They are currently living in a small campervan which is a challenging but fun experience! Kate has over 15 years of experience in the UK veterinary industry and is also a passionate gardener – turning a grassy field into a productive vegetable patch in just three months. Future plans include more animals, particularly sheep and goats for milk production to make cheese, butter, and yogurt! Kate and her husband are aiming to create a self-sufficient off-grid life on their quinta, fulfilling a life-long dream.