[UPDATED 2022] What Every Beginner Should Know About Homesteading

Nothing would define the 21st century better than instant gratification.

Think of anything you want to buy—clothes, food, or even animals—and there’s no doubt you could get it with just a few clicks.

But, express shipping and other conveniences of modern life aren’t always what they’re cut out to be.

Eventually, you may feel like there’s something missing from your life. Free time? A connection to nature? A sense of purpose? Whatever it is, homesteading may just be the solution you’re looking for. 

In this article, we’ll tell you what homesteading is, why you should become a homesteader, and how you can start a homestead. Here are the things you need to know:

What Is Homesteading?

The term homesteading isn’t something new to many preppers and maybe some average joes. Chances are, these folks have already sworn commitment to a life of self-sufficiency.

We say commitment because, to the experts, homesteading involves A LOT of work, and if your mind and heart aren’t 100% into it, then don’t even dream about starting a homestead.

It is all about growing and preserving your own food, raising livestock, creating energy and a waste disposal system, making your own fabric and clothing, producing handmade goods, and so much more.

Long story short, homesteading isn’t for everyone. But if you’re serious about it and thinking of switching to a more sustainable lifestyle, this way of life could just be for you.

If you see yourself running a farm and possibly growing a business out of it to sustain everyone living in your land, go ahead and begin your journey.

4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Off-Grid Living

Of course, you won’t decide on completely turning your life around without knowing the benefits of what you’re getting into, right?

Well, we have 4 practical reasons to share if you’re still on the fence about living off the grid. Here are some benefits that might nudge you in the right direction:

You Save Money on Electricity

Let’s be honest; purchasing a whole solar energy system hurts the pocket, but it’s worth it. You only have to shell out a considerable amount of cash at the start. Once you have solar panels or inverters installed, you’ll save money in the long run. This kind of setup means your electrical bill will drop significantly.

Power Outages are the Least of Your Worries

We all know how inconvenient it is to have no power at home, and what’s worst is it can happen without warning. What’s even more stressful is that long-term blackouts are possible, too, especially after a major disaster.

You can call yourself lucky if you live in an off-grid property. You most likely have a solar energy system ready in case of disasters and emergencies, making power outages the least of your worries since your home will remain lit.

You Cut Down on Unnecessary Items and Expenses

Part of living off the grid is letting go of needless things like your fine china that only collects dust in the cabinet or availing a gym membership where you consistently fail to show up.

What makes off-grid living fulfilling is that these luxuries won’t matter anymore because you have all the essential things right within your property. Plus, you’ll be far away from social amenities and establishments anyway, so there’s no reason to use any of your credit cards.

You Sharpen Your Survival Skills

Living far from civilization means giving up access to public utilities, so you only have your survival skills to rely on most of the time.

Off-grid living will teach you how to grow produce, preserve food, cook from scratch, raise animals, sew and mend clothes, hunt for food, fix a pipe, and much more.

If you wanna make the move and welcome a life of self-sufficiency, here’s how you can begin:

How to Get Started on Self-Sufficiency

Wanting to live off the land is easy and completely understandable. But turning that wish into reality?

Now that’s gonna be a HUGE challenge.

Still, it’s not impossible. Just follow the steps below and you’ll be well on your way to starting your new lifestyle:

Step 1: Assess if Homesteading Is Really for You

Are you willing to spend a considerable amount of time growing plants and maybe raising animals?

Then, there’s your family. Even if you feel that this lifestyle is right for you, consider their needs. Will it be in their best interests?

 If not, rethink becoming a homesteader.

It’s not a problem if you stay where you are. It’s another story, though, if you want to go off the grid. Think about the adjustments everyone has to make with school, work, and life in general. 

But if you believe your entire household can benefit from relocating, have several discussions about it. At the end of the day, it should be a family decision.

Step 2: Figure Out Your Goals

If everyone’s onboard, the next step is to think about what you’d like to get out of self-sufficiency.

Here are some questions to help narrow down your goals:

  • Do you want to stop relying on grocery stores?
  • Will you raise animals, grow veggies, or both?
  • Are you gonna be on the grid, entirely off the grid, or partially off-grid?
  • Will you stay where you are or move away for more land?

Setting objectives helps you know where to focus your energy, saving you lots of time. 

Step 3: Decide Where to Settle Down (If You’re Going Off-Grid)

Homesteading is possible even when you’re smack dab in the middle of the city. You can grow a hydroponic or vertical garden from your apartment, for example.

But if you want to live off-grid, you’ll need to find a new home base. 

Many factors come into play when you’re choosing where to settle down. Thinking about it can be overwhelming, but doing your research will help. 

Step 4: Budget, Budget, Budget

As much as you wanna take the plunge and buy several acres of land, DON’T. Make a budget first.

Remember, besides saving up for your new property, you have to think about:

  • Equipment and renovation costs
  • Utilities
  • Taxes
  • Emergencies

Let’s face it; you’ll still need cash even if you’ll be completely off the grid. This brings us to ask: how will you make money?

In case stuff happens, it’s best to have different ways of generating Benjamins. Learn trades like sewing, making soap, or milking cows.

You can also barter these skills in exchange for certain goods when SHTF.  

Step 5: Embrace the Simple Life

Homesteading is all about living a simpler, more minimalistic life. If you’re the type of person who loves ordering takeout or buying the latest gadgets, start adjusting your mindset. 

You don’t have to do a complete lifestyle overhaul. Make gradual changes, like only ordering food once a week and getting rid of your gym membership (you’ll stay fit anyway if you stop using your car all the time).  

Step 6: Start Practicing and Building Your Skills

Do activities like planting a whole acre of crops and having a farm that rivals Old MacDonald’s sound daunting? Scale down and start small. Grow an indoor garden or try raising chickens for starters. Once you’ve gained the confidence, you can take on bigger projects.

It also wouldn’t hurt to learn how to:

You can join forums to ask for advice. If you’re already living on your property, you can also befriend your neighbors and ask for tips. Plus, building a relationship with them is beneficial for things like bartering.

What Are Some Homesteading Skills to Learn?

As a homesteader, your goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible. Learning some or all of these skills can help you get there. Now, it’s normal not to master these skills right away. Just keep reading up on the topics, watching helpful videos, and practicing. You’ll get there in no time.

Gardening

Knowing how to plant your own fruits and veggies is a key skill for those who want the homesteader’s life. By having a garden abundant with crops, you can keep your entire family healthy and fed.

Food Preservation and Storage

Who needs the grocery store when you know the art of canning, preserving, pickling, and drying? These skills help keep your pantry stocked and your family’s bellies full.

This article talks about food preservation in further detail.

Baking

Make your dear grandma proud and get baking.

Baking your own bread, pastries, and desserts from scratch ain’t just fun. They’re also healthier and better-tasting than the preservatives-laced goods you can find at Costco.

Besides, who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread wafting around the house? We sure can’t.

Raising Livestock and Chickens

Call it what you want. Noise. Music to your ears, maybe. In any case, a homestead wouldn’t be complete without animals.

Even the smallest homesteads can raise a few animals if you know how to pick ’em. You can raise chickens, cows, rabbits, goats, and other critters. These animals will give you something in return, like eggs, milk, and a whole lot of company.

Obviously, you can’t raise animals right away. Unless you’re Doctor Dolittle. We suggest researching which animals are right for you first before you make any decisions.

Crafting

Sewing, crocheting, and quilting aren’t just activities for your grandma. These skills can come in handy around your homestead. Plus, you can sell the stuff you make online or at craft fairs for extra cash.

Making Natural Remedies

Why rely on mass-produced medications when you can use what Mother Nature has to offer? You can cure a lot of common ailments with items you can get off the land. Full disclosure, though, we’re not doctors. So, please practice caution with natural remedies.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot involved in self-sufficiency, but if you really wanna make a lifestyle shift, you can make it happen.

You don’t have to move states right away. You can start small. Do your homework. Learn skills. Have the homesteader’s mindset of living simple.

Once you get the hang of things, that’s when you can entertain the idea of living off grid. 

Are you ready to take the ultimate step? Let us know in the comments section below.

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