Are you struggling to make ends meet? You are not the only one. In the last few years, the economy seems to be going from one bump to another and we are the ones to suffer the consequences. Self-sufficiency and homesteading can be of great help to beat the economic crisis. In this blog post, we’ll share some general ideas to reduce unnecessary costs and guide you through the best eco-friendly products on the market, that will help you save money and become more self-sufficient.
From creative projects to products to help you reduce your environmental impact, we’ll provide you with the information you need to successfully start homesteading in difficult economic times. So join us in our eco-friendly hunt and start your journey to becoming self-sufficient today!
Understanding the importance of self-sufficiency in times of crisis
During times of crisis, it becomes even more crucial to prioritise self-sufficiency. Whether it’s a natural disaster, economic instability, or a global pandemic, self-sufficiency gives you a sense of empowerment and security. It allows you to rely less on external systems and resources, and instead, become more self-reliant.
One key aspect of self-sufficiency is saving money and cutting unnecessary expenses. By reducing your reliance on shop-bought products and growing your own food, for example, you can significantly decrease your monthly expenditure. Urban gardening is a fantastic way to achieve this, even if you don’t have a large backyard. Terrace projects and vertical gardening techniques can help you make the most of small spaces and grow fresh produce right at your doorstep.
In addition to saving money, adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is essential for a sustainable future. By choosing products that are eco-friendly and toxic-free, you contribute to the overall well-being of the planet. However, it’s essential to shop smart and find affordable eco-friendly products. With a little research, you can discover sustainable alternatives that don’t break the bank.
Overall, self-sufficiency not only helps you save money but also provides you with a sense of control and resilience during challenging times. It’s about taking charge of your own well-being and embracing sustainable living practices. So join us on this homesteader’s journey as we explore various aspects of self-sufficiency, from terrace projects to composting tips, and learn how to live a more eco-friendly and fulfilling lifestyle.
Ways to save money and cut unnecessary expenses
1. Do It Yourself – Repair & Renovate
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Making your own cleaning products, personal care items, and even home decor can be fun and cost-effective. There are plenty of online supplies, resources and tutorials available to help you get started on your DIY journey.
One effective way to save money is by taking on improvement projects yourself. Instead of hiring professionals, try your hand at basic home repairs or renovations. You will be surprised at the amount of advice you can find online, from fixing leaky taps, repainting walls, or even renovating or building furniture.
Not only will this save you money, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency.
If you feel up to the challenge, you can give this Annie Sloan Starter Set a go. It allows to paint without sanding first and can be used on many materials. It includes chalk paint, varnish, a couple of brushes and hours of fun!!
2. Make your own household products
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be limited to just buying eco-friendly products. In fact, one of the best ways to reduce waste and embrace sustainability is by making your own household products. Not only is it fun and rewarding, but it also allows you to have complete control over the ingredients you use and eliminates the need for single-use packaging. Here are some easy and effective recipes for making your own household products:
- All-purpose cleaner: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. You can optionally add some dishwashing liquid too. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil*** for a pleasant scent and extra disinfection. Lemon and Tee tree are my all-time favourites. This simple yet effective cleaner can be used on surfaces throughout your home, from countertops to windows.
- Laundry detergent: Combine one part grated castile soap, one part washing soda, and one part borax. Use one tablespoon per load of laundry. This homemade detergent is gentle on clothes and the environment.
- Air freshener: Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil***. Shake well and spritz around your home for a fresh and natural scent. You can make your own essence mixes and
- Dish soap: Mix equal parts liquid castile soap and water. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil for extra grease-cutting power. This gentle yet effective dish soap will leave your dishes sparkling clean.
- Hand soap: Fill a soap dispenser with water and add a few tablespoons of liquid castile soap. Shake well and use as you would any other hand soap. You can customise the scent by adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
By making your own household products, you not only reduce your environmental impact but also save money in the process. Give these simple recipes a try and enjoy the satisfaction of creating your own eco-friendly alternatives.
If you are struggling with time or to find all the ingredients, you can get this DIY Cleaning box or DIY Washing Powder box, from Hello Simple. They already include all the ingredients and instructions needed to make your own natural cleaning products, easy peasy!
3. Ditch single-use items
Another way to cut unnecessary expenses is by embracing durable options Reduce your costs and your reliance on single-use products by investing in reusable alternatives. Companies like Less to Zero***, Hello Simple*** or For Vegans*** offer a wide choice of swaps. You can, for example:
- Replace disposable plastic water bottles with stainless steel bottles***
- Ditch cling & aluminium film and use waxed or oilcloths instead. These are not difficult to make but if playing with melted wax is not your thing, try this 3 piece set*** from Less to Zero. They are reasonably priced and have beautiful & colourful designs.
- Switch to reusable shopping bags***.
- Invest in durable lunch boxes*** for school or for the office. They also work great for picnics and camping.
These small changes may seem insignificant, but they add up over time and help save money in the long run.
4. Save energy and even better, generate your own
Electricity and gas costs can account for over 50% of your utility bills. That is why it is important to look for opportunities to save on energy costs.
Consider installing energy-efficient light bulbs, using natural light whenever possible, and reducing water usage. Small adjustments in your daily habits, such as turning off lights when not in use or unplugging electronic devices, can lead to significant savings on your utility bills.
With the high surge in gas prices, thousands of people are making the switch to clean energy sources. In Europe, many countries subsidise the installation of solar panels for hot water and in the last couple of years, the number of photovoltaic installations has grown dramatically. Companies like Kleines Kraftwerk*** in Germany, are offering high-quality plug-and-play systems to generate your own electricity on your balcony or roof***.
5. How to shop for eco-friendly products that are affordable
When it comes to shopping for eco-friendly products, affordability is often a concern. Many people assume that going green means spending more money, but that’s not always the case. It is true that conventional products are cheaper because their producers are not bearing the cost of their less environmentally friendly practices: short life, chemicals, plastic…
Doing things right for us and the planet has indeed higher costs, but with a little research and smart decision-making, you can find affordable options that are also environmentally friendly. Keep an eye out for certifications like Fairtrade, organic, or cruelty-free, which ensure that the products meet ethical and environmental standards. In our Green Cloud Nine shop, we research these for the products we recommend so feel free to check those out.
Firstly, you can consider buying second-hand or refurbished items.
Whether it’s furniture, electronics, or clothing, shopping second-hand not only saves you money but also reduces waste. The good news is that it has become very trendy, so there are plenty of charity shops, online marketplaces, and local buy-and-sell groups that you can check for great deals on pre-loved items.
Look for bulk and budget-friendly options
Another tip is to look for eco-friendly brands online that offer budget-friendly, bulk or saving options. Hello Simple*** for example, has usually many products on offer and you can get bulk sets too.
Additionally, buying in bulk can save you money and reduce packaging waste. Look for local shops that offer bulk bins for items like grains, nuts, and cleaning supplies. By bringing your own containers and buying only what you need, you can save money and reduce single-use plastic waste.
6. Grow your own food to beat the crisis
The increasing pricing of fruits and vegetables, especially if they are organic, has turned these crucial foods into luxury items for many people. The good news is that we can grow your own organic & tasty food even if you have limited space. Whether you have a small balcony or a rooftop terrace, there are numerous creative projects you can undertake to create your own mini-garden and become more self-sufficient.
This is a big topic so we have covered it to quite some extent in this article: Homegrown Vegetables: The Simple Pleasure from Seed to Table. From DIY planters to more sophisticated vertical gardens, there are plenty of options when it comes to growing at home.
With a little creativity and conscious decision-making, becoming self-sufficient can help you cut unnecessary expenses and free up resources for your homesteading journey. By taking on improvement and DIY projects, embracing eco-friendly living, being mindful of your energy usage, and shopping eco-friendly you can save money while working towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
So go ahead and make sustainable choices that are kind to both the planet and your wallet!
Lola is the founder of Green Cloud Nine. Nature lover and environmental activist since she was a teenager, Lola has always been a great fan of homesteading and she is continuously experimenting and finding her own way to be more self-sufficient and sustainable.