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Homesteading isn’t the easiest job in the world, and it often comes with unexpected costs. To make the most of your homesteading efforts while guarding your finances, it’s important to put everything to use. Here are a few of my favorite tips for keeping homesteading easy on the wallet. Add yours in the comments!

Get outwheygeous

I’ve been making my own yogurt for several years. I like to strain the whey from my yogurt for a thicker, Greek style yogurt. But what to do with the strained whey? Don’t toss it! You can use whey as a substitute for water in bread recipes (hint: it also results in a nicer crumb structure and rise). Livestock like pigs adore snacking on whey and will eat it up.

Snout to tail

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but if you raise animals for food, it’s so important to use every bit of the animal. It respects the animal’s sacrificed life and ensures you get the most bang for your buck. For example, all parts of a chicken, including the feet, beak, and feathers, can be repurposed.

Deep freeze

Canning and preserving are fantastic ways to enjoy your summer harvest all year round. But freezing is also a great option to preserve your food, particularly if you raise animals for meat. Invest in a high quality vacuum sealer to preserve your ham hocks for next Easter with zero problem. You don’t want to go through the trouble of raising an animal, only to have the meat ruined by freezer burn!

Think scrappy

Do you have vegetable scraps left over from making dinner? Great! Don’t throw them away. You can compost vegetable scraps, as well as feed them to chickens or turn them into homemade vegetable stock. Don’t let one carrot shaving go to waste; every cent matters on the homestead.

The bottom line

There are so many ways we can keep costs low when raising animals and plants on the homestead. Use these quick tips to rein in costs while enjoying the simple life!

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5 Things Not to Do on Your Staycation

Vacation or staycation? Many stressed workers are opting to save money and unwind at home. If you’re one of them, avoid the following five no-nos during your staycation to make the most of every precious moment.

Forget to Make Plans

If you don’t make specific plans ahead of time, your staycation will probably look like this: Wake up. Go back to sleep. Finally get up at 11 a.m. Watch TV for a while. Realize you are hungry. Eat leftovers while watching TV. Feel bored. Call friend to hang out, then realize everyone is at work. Watch TV. Play video games. Get dressed. Drive to mall to get take-out. Watch TV. Fall asleep in front of TV. Instead, make sure you have at least one or two specific activities planned for each day.

Eat Every Meal Out

There’s nothing wrong with eating out a few extra times during your staycation, but it can get boring. Plus, you can go over budget quickly. Wouldn’t you rather spend money on making memories? Pick a few local restaurants that you’ve been wanting to experience, then make plans to go with friends or family during your staycation. Make home-cooked meals more exciting by planning more adventurous menus and trying out unfamiliar grocery stores.

Answer the Door

If you work outside the home, your staycation will be a new experience for you in that you’ll be spending time at home during the week. This means that you’ll be a target for door-to-door salespeople, religious proselytizers, petitioners, and other strays. If you answer the door to every knock or ring, you’ll waste a lot of time. Instead, ignore the doorbell altogether or screen your visits–you’re not obliged to open the door even if they saw you peeking through the curtains.

Check Email Obsessively

Do not check your work email at all or answer work calls. If you were truly unreachable, your employer would find someone else to hassle, so don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of just because you’re accessible. You’ve earned your time off and you have the right to enjoy an uninterrupted staycation. If you really must check email, set specific days and times to do so and stick to your plan. Avoid overchecking personal email too.

Spend Too Much Time Alone

Although you might think that a week or so away from other humans is just what you need, spending your entire staycation alone can leave you feeling lethargic and distant. Take advantage of the time off to reconnect with friends and family. Meet up with local friends for lunch or on their day off. Spend some time writing emails or talking on the phone to those old friends you never seem to have time for.

While some of the five above items may not apply to you, you know the ones that do. Unless you want to head back to work feeling as if you’d never been away, pay attention to these tips and plan your staycation accordingly. You deserve it!

by Antonia Anderson


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