mary jayne richmond wrote:hi permies, i've been looking on the internet about frugal ways of life and it all seems to be the same.... turn down your thermostat.....i don't have one of those, 2}use coupons... they never have coupons for 50 lbs of spelt berries, 3} dump your cable.... cable?? really, 4} buy the store brand its always cheaper,... so far i haven't noticed any brands on my vegies in the garden or on my sheep or chickens. so, this is the kind of stuff i've been finding... what i really need is frugality for the off grid homestead... here a few things we do 1} family cloth... 2}we cook and our hot water is with wood, or solar... 3} our electric bill is about 30 dollars a month and we have a solar electric, we wouldn't need the grid except for my husband welds,.. 4}we grow all of our own meat and most of our veggies, grain is a problem. and of course things like salt , spices, and oils are bought.... so i would like to know what other permies do to help cut costs.
Sounds like you already do bulk buying. If you can find a prepper group in your area, sometimes they group together and all get a huge bulk purchase so they can each get more discount. A local group does hard red wheat, but I'm in the spelt camp myself.
Also, there was a time when I simply didn't eat grains. (Tummy troubles, not money troubles.) It can be done quite naturally after you find tasty dishes that are grain-free...you just kind of forget why you liked bread and pasta so much.
Salt-bulk celtic sea salts is what I do. Still more expensive than sodium chloride but so worth it.
Spices...if you have a veggie garden, I hope you have an expansive herb garden. I miss my fresh herbs SO MUCH. Who needs spices when you can grow your own chives, basil, dill, oregano, cilantro, spicy thai peppers, etc?
Oils....I hear duck fat is superb, and is a by-product of delicious roast duck (developed a taste for that in China-not sure what western recipes are like).
Where is your water coming from? I've learned to clean myself 2-3x weekly with about 1 gallon of water, and I have nearly butt-length hair. If you can reduce your water usage, maybe you can go off grid with that if you don't already.
Also, on the subject of cleansing yourself, I shave with a bar of natural soap as "shaving cream" and actually use biodegradeable dawn dishsoap for my hair, then rinse with a white vinegar/water solution. Very cheap, and no more skin irritations, weirdly enough. (I used to have to pay out the nose for natural shampoos and special creams.)
Laundry...I washed small loads in a 5 gal bucket with dishsoap diluted in the water. Just drizzled biodegradeable dishsoap, poured water in, dumped an armful of clothing in there and used some elbow grease. Single rinse. Hung it on paracord with clothespins outdoors. Total water usage for laundry was around 10 gal a week for my husband and I. Natural fibers will not need washing as often. If you have a bunch of baby diapers....probably not ideal.
I haven't been using a refrigerator/freezer for....about 9 months now. Zero issues, even with storebought foods. Better to preserve in other ways.
What are you cooking on? Wood might be free depending on your situation, next best is propane. Electric is a wallet killer with anything hot.
We share 1 cheap cell phone, get our internet for $2 at Panera once a week or less, and have never owned a TV.
Missed the clothing part in your post. I'm guessing you frequent thrift stores? I got an off grid treadle machine and am learning to sew. My hope is that it will give me more flexibility with cheap thrift fabrics and old clothes so I can save on clothing, blankets, towels, cleaning rags, etc.
I'm not sure if having no debt counts as frugality, but I do spend less in the long run by living debt-free, and I'm not paying a "bill" to the bank or anyone else for the priviledge of using their money. I have never paid interest to anyone.
Reducing vehicle runs as much as possible, and making efficient runs with a planned route can save on gas and wear on the car. We use our gas sipper for townie runs and only pull out the platypus (a baja) when we really need to.
That's all I can think of.