Frugality is always a good idea. When you practice the principles of frugal living, you can make the most of your resources, save for a rainy day and live happily in the here and now. In these challenging times, frugality is a virtue whether you live in the city or on a farm. In this article, we’ll share some smart tips for frugal living on a farm. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
- 15 Tips For Frugal Living
- 1. Save Consistently
- 2. Create A Reasonable Budget
- 3. Make Good Use Of Your Resources
- 4. Manage Your Space Effectively
- 5. Garden Smarter, Not Harder
- 6. Say Goodbye To Processed Food
- 7. Establish A Menu Plan
- 8. Manage Your Food Resources Wisely
- 9. Make And Save Money At Your Farmers’ Market
- 10. Shop Wisely
- 11. Stay Hydrated
- 12. Reduce, Reuse And Recycle
- 13. Declutter
- 14. Ask Yourself “Am I Making Wise Choices?”
- 15. Don’t Look At Frugality As Punishment
15 Tips For Frugal Living
1. Save Consistently
One of the first steps toward successful frugal living is to decide how much you can save and commit to doing so. Whether you start out with an empty coffee can, a safety deposit box or savings account is up to you. Just be sure to set an amount that is significant, reasonable and consistent.
If you do start out squirreling away a few dollars at a time at home, understand that this is a short-term solution. You don’t want to have large amounts of cash sitting around for a couple of reasons.
- First, money hidden in your home is subject to theft and destruction.
- Second, cash stowed away in a secret hiding place cannot earn work for you by earning interest.
Once you have a significant amount of money saved, you should make it a point to open a savings account so that you have a good clear record of your money, the ability to earn a bit of interest and some guarantee that it will still be there even in the event of natural disaster.
You’ll also find that if your money is secured in a bank and you have to go through several steps to get it, you will be far less likely to draw on it unless you have a real emergency or genuine need.
As you learn to live frugally, strive to pay off any debt that you may have and strongly avoid creating any new debt.
2. Create A Reasonable Budget
At the outset, go over your monthly expenses and figure out exactly where you are spending money and where you can reduce or eliminate expenses. Write out a new budget, review it with your family members and then post it in a prominent position for all to follow.
When you budget, be sure to set aside a little money for entertainment, fun and games. There are plenty of things you can do with your family for free, such as reading aloud, playing games, going for walks, bike rides, fishing trips, picnicking, camping, visiting the library and much more.
Even so, it’s nice to have a dinner out, go to a movie (or in these pandemic days order a pizza and rent a movie online) at least once a month.
When you’re learning how to can your fruits and veggies, make it a point to learn how to make jellies and jams as well. Homegrown, homemade canned goods, jams and jellies make excellent special occasion gifts.
3. Make Good Use Of Your Resources
In addition to making wise use of the money you have, you should also cultivate your other resources. Living on a farm, you have many opportunities to save money by growing your own food, gathering eggs, milking your dairy cow or goats, slaughtering livestock and perhaps even hunting.
You may also be able to save money by providing your own heating with wood harvested from your own land. Remember that chores like chopping wood and farming are good exercise and have the potential to improve your overall health and well-being, saving you money on trips to the doctor.
4. Manage Your Space Effectively
Even if you are an urban farmer or homesteader, you can grow quite a bit of food in a small space. A standard family garden in a small backyard can produce a large harvest. It’s even possible to grow significant amount of produce on an apartment rooftop, patio or balcony.
If you live on a small country homestead, you can grow a significant amount of food in your veggie garden.
Keeping just a couple of dairy goats and a small flock of laying hens can contribute significantly to your family’s food resources. Raising one hog a year and/or harvesting one good deer or wild boar can keep your family in meat for quite a while.
For produce that you cannot grow on your own property, look for good deals in season. You can get some great buys on produce in season at farmers‘ markets or at your local grocery store. Buy it in bulk and preserve it by dehydrating, canning or freezing.
5. Garden Smarter, Not Harder
- Be sure to make a plan for your garden that also includes planning for dehydrating, freezing and/or canning your produce. Good planning will ensure that you have plenty to keep yourself and your family fed for the entire year.
- Save money on pesticides and grow stronger, healthier fruits and veggies by making your own, natural products using inexpensive ingredients such as insecticidal soaps.
- Grow sprouts of all sorts to add to smoothies, salads, sandwiches, soups and stir-fries. Sprouts are easy and inexpensive to grow, and they are loaded with nourishment.
- Grow your plants from seed. It is much less expensive than purchasing seedlings at the garden center.
- Save even more money by saving seeds from your produce rather than buying seed each year.
- Grow a few extra seedlings to share with your friends and family and to give his gifts.
6. Say Goodbye To Processed Food
One excellent way to save money is to learn how to really cook. These days, many people rely on frozen food and take out and simply don’t know their way around the kitchen.
Invest a little time and effort into reading cookbooks, looking up recipes online and watching informational videos on how to cook your own food and make the most of the food you have.
Learn to bake your own breads and other baked goods. When you do this you will save an astonishing amount of money while treating yourself and your family to fresh, healthy baked goods which include only the ingredients you put in them.
7. Establish A Menu Plan
Save time, energy and money by planning your menus carefully so that you can use leftovers from one meal to prepare an entirely different meal. This will help prevent becoming bored with the foods you have.
Creating simple menus of foods that you can cook up in large batches, such as:
… will ultimately save you time, energy and money in preparation. Cook up these sorts of foods in large batches and then separate them into smaller units to freeze and use later.
Center your menu plan on the foods that you can produce on your own farm. Eat lots of fresh produce in season, and learn how to dehydrate, can it and/or freeze it to preserve it for the cold winter months.
8. Manage Your Food Resources Wisely
During the growing season when produce is abundant, be sure to make smoothies and/or to juice your veggies for powerful nutrition boost.
Establish regular mealtimes and teach your children to eat a reasonable amount at mealtime and be satisfied with a single, healthy snack in between meals.
Eating in moderation and avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks is a frugal way to save money at the grocery store and at the doctor’s office.
9. Make And Save Money At Your Farmers’ Market
Buy and sell at your local farmers market. Not only can you make money selling your own produce, baked goods and craft items at the farmers’ market, you can also get some great deals purchasing from your fellow farmers.
Farmers’ marketing is a good opportunity to build strong community relationships which will add to your overall health and well-being and create opportunities to make and save money in the future.
10. Shop Wisely
Mark shopping off of your list of things to do for fun. If you’re trying to save money, window shopping and recreational shopping are not wise endeavors.
Of course, there are some things that you’ll have to buy at the grocery store. Be sure to make a list when you go to the store and stick to it. If you walk into the grocery store with no specific plan in mind, you’re sure to overspend on impulse purchases.
Look online for excellent value in bulk purchases. You may be able to buy canned goods, dry goods and cleaning products at a steep discount online.
Bulk purchases can always be divided up into smaller units to be frozen or kept in dry storage until needed.
Save money on cleaning supplies by learning to make inexpensive, natural cleaners with products such as baking soda or vinegar.
11. Stay Hydrated
Make water your drink of choice, and avoid bottled water. Instead, invest in a whole house water filtration system or a simple countertop filtration pitcher. Fresh, filtered tap water is the most affordable and healthiest beverage available.
Be sure to drink plenty of it because staying hydrated will help you stay healthy and energetic. This means fewer doctor visits and greater productivity.
12. Reduce, Reuse And Recycle
Don’t be shy about purchasing clothing and household items second-hand or setting up a swap with your friends and relations to make the most use of hand-me-downs.
Adults and children can benefit from making good use of inexpensive thrift store clothing and gently used items from people you know.
One way to get a start on your savings is to de-clutter your farmhouse, homestead, and outbuildings, attic, basement and more.
Decluttering is an excellent way to reduce stress in your life and give you a little nest egg that you can use to start your savings account. Reduced stress contributes to better health and fewer doctor visits.
One caveat about decluttering, though, don’t sell things that you will need. Store away seasonal items that you know you’re going to use, but sell off the things that you very seldom use or that are duplicates of items you truly need.
Having more space and less to care for and little change jingling in your pocket will lighten your load and put a spring in your step.
14. Ask Yourself “Am I Making Wise Choices?”
When you do need to purchase something, think it through carefully. Will the item in question fill a genuine and ongoing need, or is it just something you want in the moment? Does the item offer you real value for your dollar, or could you make a better choice?
These kinds of questions are especially important for large purchases, but it’s helpful to make a habit of this sort of consideration for every purchase.
Of course you don’t want to dither around and waste time in your consideration, but you do want to carefully consider the ways in which you spend your money.
15. Don’t Look At Frugality As Punishment
Focus on cultivating frugality as a way of taking control of your life. Frugal living doesn’t have to be hard, stringent or miserly.
When you are successfully frugal, you think outside the box and come up with clever, creative solutions to the financial challenges you face. Frugal living on or off the farm is satisfying and empowering.
Practicing successful frugal living on or off the farm is simply a matter of learning how to manage your resources and your money carefully and make the most of everything you have.
When you learn to do this, you’re no longer controlled by advertising and corporate interests steering your wants, desires and purchases. Frugal living helps you gain control of your own life.