Homesteading 101: A crash course for the beginner

Homesteading 101: A crash course for the beginner

Homesteading is something that is gaining more ground these days. Most of the people that desire this way of life, do so for different reasons. However, a lot of the reasons stem from an unstable future, and not wanting to depend on anyone else. That’s our deal. We don’t want to have to go to the store and depend on someone else to provide our food. Obviously, we couldn’t grow everything that we consume, but we could drastically reduce what we buy at the store, that would be great. And, if the poo hits the fan, we could live off the land, if we had too.

So, while this site is about survival, it is also heavily about homesteading. Why? Because it is how Jesus intended for us to live. When the earth was made, we were given the tools that we needed to live off the land. Adam and Eve were given a garden that they were supposed to take care of. Now, however, we just go to the store and buy what we need. That’s great, and everything, but not necessarily right.

So, what exactly is homesteading? Good question:

In my opinion, homesteading is all about using what you have, and living off the land. Guess what? We don’t throw anything out. Really. Why? Because you never know when you might need it! Some people call that hoarding. And, I guess that it is, in a way. But the difference, is that hoarders don’t use the stuff that they stockpile.

Homesteaders do. I have plans for most of the stuff that I hold on to. We have a couple of trashed riding lawnmowers. I have plans for those. We have empty containers and bins, I have plans for those. Any old clothes of ours that aren’t worthy to be donated, get recycled–somehow. As a matter of fact, our dog destroyed her bed. So, our old clothes are going to her right now.

That is the beauty of homesteading. And, it also helps with the landfills. I’m not going all green on you, because I have different views about being green than the average person does. I do, however, believe that we were given this planet, and called to be good stewards of it. We should be taking care of our home. Now, I don’t believe in global warming. Personally, I think it is a joke– no amount of science can tell me differently. I’ve done the research and my mind is made.

Before I go off on a tangent about that, let’s change the subject. Very briefly, I’m going to give you your first tip. This is something that we do.

We do not use heat in the winter. We are completely self sufficient with our own heat. Why? Because we have oil, and it costs a fortune to use.  It would cost us roughly $300 each month to heat our home. And, that’s not the worst of it, we would have to pay that $300 each and every month. That’s 12 months for those of you who stink at math. That comes to about $3,600 a year for heat.

For HEAT!!!

Why should we have to spend that much to stay warm? That’s 2 extra mortgage payments a year! What a joke!

So, instead we fill up diesel containers each paycheck. We spend around $80 per month on fuel, and I put it directly into the tank myself. That is just for hot water, mind you, but it is much better than the other number. Eventually, we will upgrade our system, and use a different energy source altogether. But for now, we heat our water with diesel fuel.

We heat our home with a mixture of wood and electric space heaters at night. The heaters don’t run constantly, they are set on a timer. Either way, it is much cheaper than having to spend an extra $300 on oil each month, and is barely even noticeable on our bill. Especially since we usually run the A/C during the summer–which also tends to cost  a small fortune.

We also roll through about 3 cords of wood each year. We buy the wood at about $200 per cord, so it adds up to about $600. I’m hoping to find a wood source that I can actually go harvest myself, but there are laws that I’m not willing to just go break. So, the grand total that we spend by being self sufficient and not molding to the norm is $1560.

The wood stove is great, and I suggest you go get one if you can. The stove is downstairs, but the heat slowly travels up. The upstairs is cozy between 65-67 degrees depending on how cold it is outside, while the downstairs is between 78-82. If you want to get a stove, do so while you still can. There are rumors about the EPA making them illegal to buy in the near future.

How do you heat your home in the winter? Some people like to use a few different options like we do. What is your homesteading model look like?

 

 

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