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It really isn’t all that hard to figure out how to save money around the house. Small changes here and there (with just a few large changes) can add up to real savings. Save some cash in the bank by fitting in these easy money-saving ways.

Do It Yourself

Paying others to do jobs around the house constitutes a large chunk of the money spent in renovating your home. Doing these jobs yourself, from minor repairs to installing windows is a great way of saving money. There are some jobs that might require some skill, but you can save a considerable amount of money. For the budding do-it-yourself enthusiast, the Internet is a fantastic place to find a lot of resources. You could also get some books from the library. If the project is going to be complicated, then attend a workshop at a home improvement store or at a local education center. The cost of attending the workshop is small and adds to the savings in the long run.

Maintenance

Learn how to change your heater and air-conditioner filters. Clean out the gutters in the spring. Replace shower heads and faucets. Change the air and oil filters in your car regularly.

Repair – Don’t Replace

The tendency for most people is to throw away things that break. But instead of immediately throwing out the broken item, try practicing frugal living by attempting to repair the item. For instance, a small sewing kit can be used to repair lost button on clothing, torn knees and ripped hems. A few nails and some wood glue can take care of a broken chair leg. If the item that is broken is something that you yourself cannot repair, find out if your neighbor or a friend has the necessary skills to fix it.

Repay the labor with another service that you can do

For example, you can offer to do several hours of babysitting in exchange for fixing your car by a mechanically-inclined friend. It’s a win-win for both of you.

Figure out what you can do without

You can, of course, simply try to live without something that costs too much money. The idea may seem a little odd at first, but you will find that there are many items you think are “necessary” but later on find that you can live without it.

Combine the ride

Your car is usually the second most expensive item aside from the house. Some families have found that sharing car rides with a neighbor is a great way to save money, and there is less maintenance to keep up with.

Move to a smaller home

Just because you can afford it, does not mean you have to spend all your money on a large house. This doesn’t mean frugal living equals living in a small closet, just that a larger house may not be necessary. If you’re renting, take into account the cost of insurance and maintenance when buying your first home. Make sure it’s a sound investment first, and whether you’ll be able to continue saving money even after the bills are paid.

Dine out less, eat at home more

You have probably heard of this one before, but maybe you don’t realize how expensive it really is to eat out all the time. Think about it, the average salad (even at a fast food restaurant) costs about $5, but the average bag of salad at the grocery store is $2.50. Grow your own? Now we’re talking pennies. So really consider this one carefully. A simple home-cooked meal is easy and way cheaper.

Go ahead, change the way you think about living a more frugal lifestyle. Then let the savings begin!

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6 Reasons to Consider Raising Quail on Your Urban Farm

Would you like to have chickens or ducks on your urban farm, but you’re worried about the noise bothering your neighbors? Or, maybe you just don’t have enough space for larger birds. It may not even be legal to have chickens or ducks if you live within town limits. When considering poultry for the farm, people often forget about quail. But these fascinating and productive little creatures can be a great addition to any farm, but especially an urban farm or homestead. If you’ve never thought about adding quail to your farm, here are six reasons why you should!

They’re Efficient Meat Producers for Small Spaces

If you want to increase your self-sufficiency by raising your own meat, then you should definitely consider raising quail. Although you won’t get as much meat from a quail as you would a chicken, one quail will feed the average adult. Since they are small birds, you can raise a lot more of them in the same amount of space.

They also mature much faster than chickens so they can be ready to harvest at eight weeks old. Meat chickens are typically harvested at around 12 weeks old. Once you learn how to manage your space and hatching program for maximum efficiency, you might even be able to end up harvesting more meat with quail than chickens. And, you’ll get it faster, too.

They Lay Delicious Eggs

Almost everybody loves eggs, and they are incredibly versatile. Quail eggs are absolutely delicious for everything from breakfast to baking. Although the eggs are smaller than chicken or duck eggs, quail are efficient egg layers, and they start laying eggs as early as six weeks of age. You won’t see eggs from a chicken until she’s about six months old. If you’re just starting out on your farm or homestead, you could be collecting eggs in less than two months, instead of six. That’s quite a difference! In my experience, you can expect an egg a day from each mature quail hen for most of the year.

Although it takes about four quail eggs to replace a chicken egg in a recipe, when you factor in the earlier production and the fact that you can raise so many more quail in the same amount of space, they are certainly worth considering. Quail eggs taste pretty much the same as chicken eggs, but they are actually better for you. They contain a bit more protein, healthy fat, vitamins, and minerals than chicken eggs do. Many people who have allergies to chicken eggs find that they can eat quail eggs without any issues.

They Can Be an Extra Source of Income

It may surprise you to find out there’s a pretty good market for quail. People love them for all the reasons we’re talking about in this post. They’re cost effective to get into and cost-effective to raise, as well. Of course, the cost of a breeding pair will vary greatly depending on your area, but generally, you can buy a pair of Coturnix quail for less than $10, and hatching eggs are even cheaper. Rarer breeds will cost more, but the investment should still be quite small.

If you wanted to make a little money with your quail, you could breed them and sell hatching eggs, hatchlings, or raise them up and sell breeding pairs. Of course, you could also sell your extra eggs and extra adult birds, too. Some breeds are a little rarer than others, making them more desirable, so do your research to see what’s available (and wanted) in your area before you get into breeding quail to sell.

They’re More Cost Effective Than Chickens

Quail are more cost effective to raise than chickens and other larger types of poultry. No matter what you plan to use them for, they won’t cost as much to raise because they mature so quickly. That means less money spent on food, bedding, and other necessities, and less of your precious time invested, too. Since they are small birds, they don’t eat nearly as much food as larger birds, and they don’t require as much space.

On average, quail only need about one square foot of space per bird, while chickens who don’t free range need 10. Quail aren’t greedy birds either. They usually will only eat what they actually need in a day, which isn’t nearly as much as a chicken. Their housing won’t cost as much to build either. All this makes them very budget friendly.

They Hatch Quickly

By now, you’re probably noticing a trend! Quail do everything faster than chickens, and that includes hatching. Some breeds of quail hatch in as little as 15 days! That’s at least a week faster than chickens. If you let your quail hatch out their own eggs, they will have about 12 per clutch. That means you can increase your flock, or even double it, very quickly. That makes them very productive if you want to use them as a food source.

You Can Raise Them in Town

Although most towns/cities will have an ordinance preventing you from raising chickens and other poultry in town, quail don’t usually cause a problem. They’re much quieter, and chances are good your neighbors won’t even know they’re there. You could also raise them in a garage or on your porch if you wanted to. I’ve even heard of people raising them right in the house. Of course, you should always check your local ordinances before you get started, but in general, you’ll find them much more widely accepted than chickens.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my chickens, and they will always have a place on my homestead! But for the homesteader looking to raise meat and eggs, or make a little side money, in a small amount of space, quail are a viable option worth considering. They provide numerous benefits without requiring a lot of work or space. Since they’re so quiet, they’re a perfect addition to the small urban farm.


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