In order to live sustainably you have to learn to live within (or even under) your means. Being frugal can eventually become second nature, but you have to start somewhere! My bestt tip for becoming frugal is to start out slow! Pick tips you want to try and once you get the hang of them add a few more. That way you can learn what frugal tips work for you and you can drop the ones that do not.
- Frugal living starts at home. How big of a home do you really need? And, learn how to think long term (and stay put if possible!).
- Don't spend any more on your monthly bills than you have to. Learn to use a kill-a-watt and smartstrips to learn where your power leaks are and stop them. Get a learning thermostat (or at least a programmable one) so you are not spending as little as possible on heating and cooling, while keeping your family comfortable. Consider switching your light bulbs to LED (or at least CFL) in order to save even more.
- Stop being a slave to the stores and drop those disposables! You do not need disposable products. Using cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and cloth bags will reduce your dependence on stores and the amount of trash your homestead produces.
- Ditch those toxic cleaners and save money in the process. Natural homemade cleaners are easy (and cheap) to make. Here are some recipes for homemade shower cleaner, homemade disinfectant, a frugal homemade glass cleaner, and a natural wood cleaner.
- Get gardening. Gardening provides your homestead with food that tastes better and is cheaper than the store. It is also good for your health to have an activity. Here are a few tips on frugal gardening and making a cheap raised garden bed.
- If you can, raise homestead animals. Having your own meat and eggs might cost you more, but you will have less reliance on the stores. Not everybody can raise animals, but chickens and rabbits are good options for a small lot.
- Harness free power. Using the sun and wind to dry your clothes and solar power to run your home will save you lots of money in the long-run.
- Cook from scratch. I have been posting quite a few dinner recipes that cost less than $10 to make.
- Make your own bread. Homemade bread is delicious, simple, and does not have the same additives as store bought bread.
- Make your own yogurt. Just like homemade bread, homemade yogurt is healthier than it's store-bought counterpart. And, you can choose your own additions.
- Buy in bulk. When you do have to purchase items from the store, buy in bulk. I love Costco for yeast, sugar, flour, etc. You can also try Amazon for bulk food purchases.
- One of the biggest questions I am asked about frugal living is if you can be healthy on a frugal budget. My answer… of course!! Nutritious meals can be served on a budget. You can even get organic on a budget (here are seven organic tips to help you out). Shopping at ethnic stores and farmer’s markets can also help.
- Sometimes you need to bring in a little extra income and that is what Homesteading on a Dime is all about. I work on online sites for 40 minutes a day and I average about an extra $120 each month. It comes out to $6/hour, but there isn't a job in the world that allows you to work for 10 minutes in between tasks or during a movie or tv show. Here are the sites I use:
- Swagbucks. This is my biggest money site. I spend 30 minutes here each day. I earn for searching, surveys, games, and occasional offers. I make about $90/month with them.
- IRazoo. I spend less than a minute each day on this site. I search until I get one win and watch the facebook page for codes. The points slowly add up and I get a $5 card every other month.
- Bing Rewards. This is another quick one. You are capped at earning about 42 points each day and it takes 475 to get $5. It takes just under 5 minutes to earn the max daily points and I make about $15/month.
- Fusion Cash. This is a new one for me and so far it is going well. I have not posted about it yet because I will wait to review until after I get my first check ($25 minimum). So far I like the site. I earn $0.22/day by opening an email, clicking on a couple ads, and searching. It takes just under 5 minutes. I also let videos run in the background when I am doing other things. I've been trying them for just over a month and I am at $18.
- Cashcrate. I spend less than a minute on this site as well. I check in, which gives me $0.03 and then do any bonus videos ($0.02 each) while working on other things. I make about $5/month with them.