Anyone who is interested in living frugally can learn a lot from those who are living a homesteading life. But what exactly is homesteading, and how can we adapt some of the usual homesteading practices to our frugal lifestyle? Read on for the basics.
While homesteading refers to anyone who wants to live a self-sustaining lifestyle and get “back to the land,” there are different degrees of homesteading. Some homesteaders choose to live completely “off of the grid,” providing for their families by raising, growing, making and trading the things they need. Others adapt some homesteading practices but do not completely rely on the land and livestock to provide all that they need.
Living a homesteading life is very frugal, since you produce much of what you need yourself.
A good example of a homesteading lifestyle is the Amish community. Living not too far from Lancaster, Pa, a large Amish area, I am always inspired by the Amish practices, such as hanging laundry (as jonesx6 pointed out in a reader comment on that article) and canning preserves.
A current movement that is gaining interest is “urban homesteading.” Many people living a frugal lifestyle already practice some parts of urban homesteading without even realizing it. You can look at urban homesteading as living a simple lifestyle that incorporates a bit of agriculture on a small scale in an urban, or city environment. This includes suburbia living. Growing your own tomatoes and baking your own bread are two ways that you can practice homesteading. Even growing herbs, such as basil leaves and using them fresh or drying them out is a great way to homestead.
With urban homesteading, you can adapt as many homesteading practices as is appropriate for your lifestyle. I know of a family, for example, who actually keeps a small amount of chickens in a pen on their fire-escape in New York City. Believe it or not, this is perfectly legal, although they did have to ask for a permit. They appease their neighbors by trading fresh eggs for baby sitting and other favors.
For more information about homesteading, check out a wonderful homesteading community by clicking here.