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How to Start Homesteading with No Money

If you have a passion for homesteading, don’t hesitate to get started. Although homesteading has traditionally been a form of self-sufficient living on a plot of land, “modern homesteading” is a way to get started even if you’re broke. Modern homesteading is simply a way of partaking in the aspects of homesteading that are accessible and realistic for you and your resources. Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or even a plot of land, there are plenty of ways to get started where you are, right now. Then, while incorporating more homemade things into your routine, you can work toward building the homestead of your dreams. 

bowl of acorn squash, harvest bowl, swiss chard and clippers

Create a Vision Board

If you’re interested in learning how to start homesteading with no money, chances are, you are not short of ideas or vision for how you would run your homestead. However, writing your vision down and taking actionable steps toward bringing it about is a way to turn your dreams into reality. 

First things first, find images and ideas that inspire you to work toward your dream. Once you gather these, hang them on your fridge or a bathroom mirror to see each day. Remember your dream daily to keep yourself motivated for when it’s hard! Another great way to build a vision board is to use Pinterest. 

bushel of flowers with a barn in the background

Create a Detailed Plan

Next, there is no way to bring your dreams about without a realistic plan. Determine your end goal, then build actionable steps toward it to learn how to start homesteading with no money.To build a lucrative homestead, you’ll probably want land. Ideally, you can rope others into your plan and build a homestead with some friends or family who desire the same lifestyle. So, determine how much land you’ll need, how you plan to turn a profit on your land, and work toward this goal until it becomes reality. 

  1. Decide what you will raise, grow, make, and sell from your homestead.
  2. Determine how much land you will need and how much it will cost.
  3. Enact a monthly saving goal toward your land and startup costs.
  4. Begin homesteading practices that you can do immediately.
hands harvesting a banana pepper from a garden

Don’t Wait to Get Started Homesteading

Once again, there are a number of ways to get started on homesteading at this time in your life. Plus, many of these tactics will actually save you money and make buying a piece of land more accessible. Begin with thinking about the ways that you consume. What do you buy? What do you eat? What do you wear? What do you use your time off doing? How can you cut back on consumption in these areas and start creating more? 

Learning how to start homesteading with no money can be as simple as becoming more frugal and more creative. Whether it be growing and foraging more of your own food, or learning to sew and keep animals. Here are some of the best ways to get started, no matter where you live or how little money you have.  

closeup of garden bed with parsley and broccoli plants

Start a Garden

If you’re thinking: “I’m living in a high-rise apartment. No way can I start a garden!” Think again. Not only is hydroponic gardening changing the game for city homesteaders everywhere, but many apartments allow for rooftop and curbside raised beds with landlord permission. You just might be holding yourself back. Talk to your landlord about the possibilities of starting a garden in whatever space you share with others.

Plus, you can always get involved with a community garden. Most cities have ways for people in the city to rent a small plot in an urban garden. Get involved in your city’s green spaces and grow your own food while renting an apartment. 

If you are having a hard time getting in on a community garden, consider starting one. If you are in any way connected to a church, store, restaurant, or school, petition to get one started! Those who ask, receive. 

If you have a small space to work with, learn the benefits of raised beds, how to prepare soil, and how to plant starter plants. Get started! 

cloesup of sewing machine and fabric

Learn to Sew, Quilt, and Knit

Learning to sew isn’t as hard as it may seem. Start with a few beginner-friendly sewing patterns on Etsy. Invest in a sewing machine—and get stitching! It takes awhile to get comfortable with the techniques, but with consistent practice you can learn to sew your own essentials and even sew gifts for those in your circles. 

An easy starter sewing project is this DIY coffee filter. Start small: napkins, tote bags, and curtains. If you start to get the hang of sewing, begin to learn other domestic arts: weaving, quilting, and knitting.

soaked fabric in bucket of soapy water next to castille bar soap

Go Zero Waste or Low Impact

One of the quickest ways to cut reliance on big corporations and to start becoming self-sufficient is to stop buying packaged goods and start making things for yourself, or buying them locally and package free. A lifestyle that minimizes waste consumption is often called “zero waste,” or more realistically “low impact living.” Swap single use paper and plastic products for reusable products to get started.

There are a few easy swaps to cut back on and start homesteading with no money. Store-bought salad dressings can easily be swapped with homemade vinaigrettes and toppings. Swapping out cooking habits for zero waste kitchen habits can make a big difference. 

canned banana peppers in serene lake setting

Preserve Food

One of the basic tenants of homesteading is preserving the remains of your garden through fermentation, pickling, canning, and making jams, sauces, and pastes. Even with an indoor farmstand or farmer’s market produce, it’s possible to pickup this hobby. Although homesteading can sound like an expensive venture, many tricks like food preservation actually make every dollar stretch a bit further.

Some popular ways to can and preserve food are through making jams–we suggest experimenting with raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry jams. In the fall, try apple butters and pumpkin butters. You can also make and can highly-acidic sauces, like tomato sauces. We’re big fans of using up the herbs on our Lettuce Grow to make homemade pesto and homemade chimichurri sauce.

Pickling your own peppers, carrots, and cabbage is a great way to save money and stock up on yummy grain bowl toppings. Use what you grow in your garden, or simply get started when you have an abundance of farmer’s market produce that you want to make stretch.

cows grazing in a field

Raise Animals

Depending on where you live, raising your own chickens for eggs just might be feasible. Check with local ordinances for your area, and if you get the green light, get started! All you need is a small chicken tractor or coop (we suggest checking out FB marketplace) and a few chickens. Although this requires a bit of cash to begin with, eventually, it will save you money on buying eggs. If raising your own chickens doesn’t seem feasible, support a local farm near you by subscribing to their eggs.

For those with small plots of land, consider sheep, goats, and dairy cows. If raising animals isn’t practical in the near future, support local butchers and farms that are following ethical, natural farming practices by paying a bit more to support their quality products.

cloesup of beehives in a field

Start Beekeeping 

Beekeeping is no urban legend! Many city-dwellers are experimenting with beekeeping nowadays. Brands like Flow Hive make the homesteading craft accessible to those in small spaces. Just remember to research your city’s guidelines and to follow good safety practices at all times. Although there is a bit of a startup cost to beekeeping, it is a great way to start small with your homestead and learn the skills you’ll need to know down the road.

brick wall with large pumps of soaps

Support Local Co-ops 

One of the least intimidating ways to become a modern homesteader is to support local farmer’s markets, CSAs, and bulk stores. Rather than buying cleaning, bath, and grocery staples at grocery chains, discover a local spot near you that focuses on natural products and reducing packaging and transportation. This lifestyle change requires no extra funds and can even save you money as you cut back on unnecessary items.

coconut, babys breath, homemade conditioner on white background

Make Beauty Products, Cleaning Products, and Gifts from Scratch

Although it can be daunting, swap out dilluted, potentially-toxic cleaning and beauty staples for homemade ones, like homemade cleaning spray, homemade conditioner, and homemade candles. Over time, making your own products becomes a habit that requires minimal effort, and it will definitiely save money over a period of time.

chantrelle mushrooms

Learn to Forage

Foraging is a very practical way to begin homesteading when you have no money. All you need is a little background knowledge and a whole lotta patience. You can learn the basics of mushroom foraging or learn to forage herbs, berries, and medicinal plants. Remember to research thoroughy before you go.

Disclaimer: We are not medical experts. Use caution and forage at your own risk.

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