If you like the idea of being self-sufficient and not dependant on other people to help you survive, you might have considered moving off the grid and living a more natural lifestyle. While that’s a great idea in theory, it’s also true that it’s an incredibly difficult decision to make. There is so much isolation when you choose that lifestyle and it’s not for everyone. However, if you want to incorporate off-the-grid aspects into your daily life, there are plenty of ways to do it without actually leaving civilization and going without electricity and running water.
Harness The Sun’s Energy
Solar energy might have seemed like science fiction even thirty years ago, but today it’s easier than ever to make your home dependant on solar energy. By installing panels on your roof or on mounts in front of your house, you can take the natural energy that the sun puts out and use it to power your home.
Since no two families are exactly alike, there are a couple of options when it comes to installing solar panels on your home:
- Monocrystalline silicon, which is the most common and most efficient type of solar panel.
- Polycrystalline silicon, which is similar to monocrystalline silicon has a less intensified development process
You might be wondering why you should bother making the switch to solar energy when electricity has been serving you perfectly well all these years. The benefits of solar energy are numerous, but some of the best perks for making the switch?
- You will end up saving on your energy bill and have a very small electricity bill every year — which means more money in your pocket every year.
- Your carbon footprint is being reduced. Using fewer natural resources means that you’re making less of a negative impact on Mother Earth.
- Homeowners love seeing green touches in prospective houses, so solar panels help to get you the best possible resale value out of your home in the future.
How Does Your Garden Grow
One of the most ancient practices of civilization, gardening and harvesting plants for consumption is another great way to practice your homesteading skills. If you find yourself spending way too much money on natural and healthy foods at the grocery store, have you considered growing your own?
Whether you have a black thumb or a thriving green one, it’s not hard to learn how to grow your own vegetables and fruits. Consult the good-old-fashioned Farmer’s Almanac and learn what the best seasons are for planting and harvesting plants. Fill your garden with the vegetables that you find that you and your family eat the most of. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save on your monthly grocery bill, and there’s something so satisfying about eating a dish prepared with vegetables and fruits you grew yourself.
Start Making Things
Look around your house and think about all the things that you spend money on that you could actually be making yourself for pennies on the dollar. The world of advertising would have us believe that we need to buy, buy, buy all the time, but the truth is that there is so much money to be saved by DIYing things. Look in every room for inspiration:
- Kitchen: Bread, broth, cake and cookie mixes, hummus and French fries
- Bathroom: Perfumes and colognes, sugar scrubs, body butter and leave-in conditioner
- Household cleaners: All-purpose cleaner, wood conditioner, dust cloths and wiping rags
Once you’ve started to get a feel for what you can make yourself, pretty soon you’ll be making more than just a few items here or there. The more you know about how easy it is to save money by making things yourself, you’ll never go back to store-bought again.
Save Your Pennies
Learning to budget is way less fun than spending all your money how you want to spend it, but it pays off in the long run. If you’re trying to live a more simplistic lifestyle, one way to do that is to cut costs every month and put your money towards other, more responsible things. If you need some ideas on ways to cut costs in your life, try these tips:
- Rather than waste hundreds of dollars on a costly cable package, cancel service and use Netflix or Amazon Video instead. Streaming services provide so many titles that there’s no way you could watch them all.
- Swap from name brands to generic brands. Sure, Cap’n Crunch has been your jam since childhood, but Colossal Crunch Berries do the job too.
- Turn off lights and unplug small electronics when they’re not in use.
Living a sustainable life doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Our forefathers and mothers lived this way for thousands of years and blazed the trail for us to do the same. While certain modern aspects like high-speed internet and hot water are luxuries that might be a little harder to give up, learning to live a simpler life can help you to feel freer and less tied to the physical world.