When you are living on a one income tight budget, you learn to be frugal with your money. Especially when you have a large family. Over the years, we’ve learned how to cut costs and save money in several different ways.
12 Ways For a Homestead Family to Cut Costs and Save Money
1. Cutting hair at home-
When Farmer Derek and I met, he liked to have his hair cut
like everyday quite often. I realized that I could buy a pair of clippers and learn to cut his hair for less money than two haircuts would cost us. Now that we have four sons and Derek needing their hair cut, I’m so glad that we made that choice over fifteen years ago. We’ve saved over $7,000 in hair cuts on just the Derek and the boys. I also trim the girls hair and have my mom trim mine. Cutting hair at home = cut costs and save money!
2. Cooking at home-
Besides that fact that eating out can be difficult when you are a real food eater and deal with food sensitivities, it’s very expensive! There are a lot of mouths to feed in our house so eating out is just not in the budget.
3. Growing what food you can-
Another way to save on food is by growing what you can. Even if you have a small space, you can grow at least some of your food. We grow veggies, meats, have our own dairy goats, we also want to grow fruit in the future. We can’t really shop sales and coupons because organic real food doesn’t usually work that way. We also grow an heirloom garden so that we can save seeds for the next year.
4. No cable or satellite.-
We quit watching main stream television in our home many years ago. Money was a factor but the biggest reason is the unwholesome content these days. We prefer to watch family friendly movies. We even have an impressive VHS collection. We’ve saved almost $7,500 in 6 years of no tv programming. This was a great way for us to cut costs and save money. We like to watch homesteading YouTube channels (like ours 😉 ) for free entertainment.
5. Limiting your outings-
We like to make a plan to only grocery shop once a month or so. We also like to get all of our errands done at once. It doesn’t always work out but it helps the budget when we do. By taking less trips out, we save on gas. We also save on impulse buying because we have a list and stick to it.
6. Meal planning-
Ugh, planning ahead is not exactly my forte’. When we do sit down and make a meal plan and then shop accordingly, we definitely spend less money on groceries.
7. Re-evaluate gift giving-
We used to go overboard on giving gifts for birthdays and Christmas. What happened was that we had so much stuff that no one was really enjoying any of it. Over time and adding more children, we had to reign in the gifts a lot. Our children are by no means deprived for birthdays or Christmas but we focus more on things that serve a purpose, a few wants or fun items, but most importantly, spending time together.
8. Doing for ourselves-
Doing things instead of paying others to do them for us like mowing our grass, changing our oil, fixing our vehicles, and repairing things that we can. There are times when we need a professional but we always at least try to do it ourselves first. We also make our own deodorant and udder balm.
9. Butchering our own animals-
We have also butchered our own chickens, turkeys, and pigs to save money on butchering costs. We will have to send the steers to a butcher because we aren’t equipped to do it ourselves…. yet. When we have the equipment we need, we will also butcher our own beef.
We have found that bartering is a great way to save money. We have bartered work for fence posts, we have bartered animals for other animals, we have bartered items for animals, and many other things. This really helps cut costs on the homestead.
11. Buying Used-
Sometimes you can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars buying used equipment. You can also save money buy thrift store or yard sale shopping for clothes and household items. I’ve found clothing and items that are brand new with tags on for a fraction of the cost of new by shopping this way.
12. Canning and Preserving Food at Home-
In addition to growing your own food, learning to can and preserve food (freezing, dehydrating, freeze drying, curing, etc…), You can not only save money but provide nourishing food for your family year round. You’ll also be prepared with stored food for emergency situations. You don’t have to grow your own food to preserve either, you can purchase bulk foods, buy at farmers market, or pick your own and preserve these foods as well.
What are your tips, tricks, and secrets that your family uses to cut costs and save money?
Here are some more frugal tips and advice from some of my friends:
Crazy Ways To Save Money from Victoria at A Modern Homestead
Can You Ever Be Too Frugal? from Jill at The Prairie Homestead
Return to a Frugal Life from Tiffany at Imperfectly Happy Homesteading
What are your best frugal tips?
More great frugal posts:
Lou Anne says
Excellent suggestions! These are good for those who don’t homestead as well! We have tried (unsuccessfully) to grow our own food, but shopping at farmer’s markets during the summer, picking up the culls and putting that up would still be a significant savings over grocery store prices. I think that’s what we’re going to try to do this year. I had no idea we were saving that much money avoiding paid TV services!
Thanks! I agree with you on being able to use these for any family. I was shocked too when I did the math. 🙂
Great tips. Buying used cars and equipment can save thousands. Bought a used SUV crossover for $12k that was four years old that went for $28k new. Serious depreciation the first couple years. We put up an antenna and get free local channels for news and weather and even an oldies Antenna TV station with classics, no cable tv gouging rates. Canning and freezing saves me big $$, bought a vacuum sealer that makes the meats keep longer in freezer without freezer burn.
Eat most meals at home, made from our own canned, frozen produce and locally taken venison. Great eating, lower costs. Restaurant meals cost as much as half a week’s food budget.
Home haircuts save us big $$ each year. Hubby is the family barber/stlylist. Boys get monthly haircuts, I get a trim every other month. Always great results and it saves me hundreds a year, not counting time and transportation costs. He does his own and he also gives haircuts to my mom and a couple friends, they like his work as well as the price. FREE. We insource where we can and consolidate shopping trips, i figure 60 cents per mile added to my cost when running errands, shopping, doctors appointments, etc. fewer trips is less wear and tear on my vehicle, it will last longer and less maintenance costs of tires, brakes, etc. wise use of my resources. We try to plan smart to ensure our financial independence.
Aryn @ The Frugal Virginia Farmhouse says
We’ve been without cable for 3 1/2 years and it’s amazing how little we miss it! My son was the one who had the biggest adjustment but that only seemed to last a few months! We also give very few gifts in our family and prefer to focus on experiences. The last two years for Christmas instead of buying gifts, we’ve taken a family trip to either Disney or a cruise which have both been AMAZING! The other awesome benefit is that there is far less “stuff” cluttering up our household which is a huge plus.
Feels so good! 🙂
LOYAL ADAMS says
I am impressed by your lifestyle and you beautiful family. Your husband is a very lucky guy. I look forward to following you. I will be purchasing you e-book in the very near future.
Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the book. 🙂
I have just go through your article and I must say this is very helpful for me at least most of the time I spent more in a month than I planned to do so, now I’ll keep these tips in my mind and try to manage things accordingly.
Thanks Again 🙂
These are very excellent suggestions. All the tips and suggestions you mentioned in your article is very great I want to explain everyone here but it’s too long so I just want to say thank you for sharing such a nice piece of tips.