Official SS Poll: What do you do to eliminate bills / cut down expenses?

What do you do to eliminate bills / cut down expenses?

  • Make your own ______ (e.g. bread, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc.)

    Votes: 42 67.7%
  • Maintain a vegetable / fruit garden

    Votes: 52 83.9%
  • Raise my own livestock

    Votes: 41 66.1%
  • Use discount coupons

    Votes: 21 33.9%
  • Recycle / Repurpose

    Votes: 52 83.9%
  • Buy at Thrift shops

    Votes: 44 71.0%
  • Can / Preserve / Freeze your own

    Votes: 51 82.3%
  • Cook at home and avoid eating at restaurants

    Votes: 54 87.1%
  • Others: (Please specify)

    Votes: 17 27.4%

  • Total voters
    62

Mini Horses

Super Self-Sufficient
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While some tweeking would be needed, I'm able to feel ok and could go off-grid if it came to it. I have oil lamps, washboards, 2 man saws, axes, how-to knowledge. It is a different lifestyle but you adapt and I could feel comfortable. I remember doing all of this into my teens, WV taught me!

My well is over 500'. While I have a hand pump, too deep. But there is an old well at the back of my property, dug & stone lined, & stone barrier at top about 3' above ground, which has ample water. Downhill from house and would need to be tested, probably boiled -- but there! A river is about 4 miles. Again....fish like it but boil for me. :D Have wanted to test the old well for a while but not on priority, just "to know". Have soap making oils & lye on hand. Plus know HOW to make lye from ashes & rainwater. I can, have raised own food, meat & veggies.

A solar set-up to pump my own is a "look into" in a year or so.

I have a septic and could work an "outhouse affair" to tap into the lines going to it. Catch rainwater to flush on down :D

Heat. I have propane, kero, wood, available when needed. And huge generator...gas, of course. If the need became permanent, yes, I can re-install the wood heater inside - all the chimney, etc is there. Just pulled it out & put in a "look like wood" propane heater several years ago.

Wood is available at the back of my farm. Daughter uses for her fireplace in winter, plenty there for the cutting. I've hauled, cut and split my fair share!!

I'd miss my computer for a while because of connection to this stuff:lol::love
 

Lazy Gardener

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
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Central Maine, Zone 4B
Don't overlook the options of a vermiposting toilet, and grey water recycling, rain barrels. Build an outhouse. Doable in some situations, I'd be hard pressed to do it here b/c of high water table and our crazy rocks mixed with a bit of soil/clay terrain.
 

Hinotori

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
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Washington
The vermicomposting toilet is great for high water table areas. Traditional septic tanks and outhouses don't work so well in those spots.
 

Carla D

Lovin' The Homestead
Joined
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Ellsworth, Wi
We buy everything needed that we possibly can from auctions and Craig’s list. We see no benefit to buying new/newer if there are used and well broken in items available. Many “old” items work perfectly but were discarded for a new model. Some items will work just fine with a minor repair or adaptation. We have had a whole lot of luck with used farm and garden equipment and supplies. We are forever building things for either farm, cabin, or personal use. We have found that free pallets or scrap lumber fits the bill for most things. We do dismantle our free pallets, even when we hit the jackpot and found several huge cargo crates that took 3 trips with a huge trailer to bring them home. They were filled with used and free pallets as a bonus. We have yet to run out of free 2” x4”’s, 1”x4”’s, even find some 4”x4” occasionally.
 

Carla D

Lovin' The Homestead
Joined
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Ellsworth, Wi
While some tweeking would be needed, I'm able to feel ok and could go off-grid if it came to it. I have oil lamps, washboards, 2 man saws, axes, how-to knowledge. It is a different lifestyle but you adapt and I could feel comfortable. I remember doing all of this into my teens, WV taught me!

My well is over 500'. While I have a hand pump, too deep. But there is an old well at the back of my property, dug & stone lined, & stone barrier at top about 3' above ground, which has ample water. Downhill from house and would need to be tested, probably boiled -- but there! A river is about 4 miles. Again....fish like it but boil for me. :D Have wanted to test the old well for a while but not on priority, just "to know". Have soap making oils & lye on hand. Plus know HOW to make lye from ashes & rainwater. I can, have raised own food, meat & veggies.

A solar set-up to pump my own is a "look into" in a year or so.

I have a septic and could work an "outhouse affair" to tap into the lines going to it. Catch rainwater to flush on down :D

Heat. I have propane, kero, wood, available when needed. And huge generator...gas, of course. If the need became permanent, yes, I can re-install the wood heater inside - all the chimney, etc is there. Just pulled it out & put in a "look like wood" propane heater several years ago.

Wood is available at the back of my farm. Daughter uses for her fireplace in winter, plenty there for the cutting. I've hauled, cut and split my fair share!!

I'd miss my computer for a while because of connection to this stuff:lol::love
I’d miss my computer as well. It is one of my main sources for quick information. But I could visit Dewey (system) at the local library or rely on the experience of family and neighbors if I had to. I’ve often fealt that I would like to live a modified pioneer lifestyle.
 

flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
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mid-Michigan, USoA
share, barter, trade, scrounge, simplify, use the library, recycled via the worm farm (my livestock :) ) all paper and food scraps which then turns it into fertilizer, if i had a bone grinder or outside sink disposal unit i would use that to deal with bones to get them broken into smaller pieces faster, recycled anyone's planters for the soil used in them, plus the root balls will eventually get broken down into worm food too.

when i needed furniture for a new apartment i was at a place within view of the dumpster and a lot of people were throwing away furniture. i pulled out what i could get at and fixed it up repainted to fit my tastes. so for about $50 total i got a small bookcase, two tables and a chair. all but the chair i brought with me when i moved. i loved doing that and thought of doing it to pick up some extra cash but found out how reactive i was to wood dust/sawdust/wood shavings and so had to abandon that.

my biggest saving last year came from getting rid of my old car. i wasn't driving it much anyways and it would have needed a lot of fixing to get it back into shape. i put a for sale sign on it and a young guy with some mechanic skills wanted it so badly that as soon as i started it he said he'd take it. the motor in it was still in excellent shape (Honda Civic with about 140,000 miles on it). i do miss having my own car a little, but not all the expenses that were coming so it really was a good thing for me to do, but i had bought it brand new all those years ago in '97 and we'd shared a lot of adventures together and it was a fun car to drive.

another thing i did last year was to replace my ancient computer. it was a hand me down from my brother and very noisy and probably used a lot of juice too. the new one probably uses 1/4 the juice and it is quiet (only has one very tiny fan). i've been very happy with it. :) when i did that it was also part of my cleanup/declutter plans to get rid of the many old computer parts i had in the closet and the very old large computer monitor i had been using. so that freed up a lot of space in the closet and also on the desk. all of that was given away or recycled.

make our own chocolates. i wanted to open a small candy, bakery, used book store, coffee place, etc... *sigh* just can't do it. too hard on my body to stand up or sit for long periods of time. when i'm here writing away on the computer i'm sprawled out on the futon. no pain from sprawling. :)

for home canning we put up dill pickles (111 quarts this year), bread and butter pickles (12 pints), tomato chunks (93 quarts), and i do strawberry freezer jam and roasted peppers for going in the freezer. we grow squash, some of which gets roasted and then frozen, old garlic if i have extra will get ground up in the mid winter (in the meat grinder) doused with lemon juice and packed in small jars for later use. dry beans are easy to store and will last indefinitely if properly stored. when we get low on them i cook up a large pot (2-3 gallons) and then we freeze them in quart jars so we don't have to cook them often. when we cook anything larger we often make a lot of it so we end up freezing portions in the quart jars for later use. nice to have.

to me it is a very bad thing to waste food so we are very good at not having things spoil or not get eaten. i think that is the proper way to respect the resources of this planet and the animals which have given us their lives for our food. once in a while if something does spoil it goes into the worm farm so it is not wasted completely.

if i run the music through my computer and speakers it is a big power draw difference than running the larger stereo system we have.
 
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flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
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Wowza!!! Y'all eat a lot of pickles, Flower!!! :th Good car, those Honda Civics...held their value and even to this day they make a good car.
i sold it for $1100, i could have likely gotten more but i felt bad that i was selling him a car that was going to need a lot of work soon. i told him everything i knew was wrong with it. he didn't care. he wanted that motor. my initial price for it was $13,500. so not a bad return for all those miles driven. had i garage to keep it in and a place to work on it myself i would have kept it. but the insurance was so high for how little i was driving it and themice kept getting into it and it stunk! before i sold it i tore out most of the carpet lining and washed it all down a few times with bleach water. i could not get into the dash to get everything the mice had done in there, but i think the guy who bought it could take care of those things. yes i told him about that too. he said i was them most honest car salesman he ever met. lol

yes, we eat a lot of dill pickles, i can use a whole quart of pickles to make tartar sauce every time we make a batch of fish sticks in the oven (which will last several days). we also give away a lot of them to my brother and other people. almost all of the fresh cucumbers were given away, everyone likes those and they are easy. the tomatoes we put up last year are almost already gone. we have one case left in the closet/pantry.

a few years ago we had that closet packed so full of things that we were not using them very well so we gave away 15 cases of quart jars of things to clear it out. now we only keep pickles and tomato chunks in there and i don't put up things that we don't use enough of. i have a case of bread and butter pints in my closet here in my room. that is now all we have in storage for canned goodies. i couldn't say how many lbs of beans i have around, maybe 50-100, but i've gotten better at cooking and eating those too the past few years. like i got rid of the 44 lbs of soybeans i had for a while at last. :) the worms ate those up.
 
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flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
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Folks appreciate that, FB. I know I do....I get ripped off quite frequently as a single woman, especially when it comes to cars, both in buying them or getting them repaired.
our local mechanic retired last year, we're still heartbroken... he was a decent guy. he also liked to garden so i kept trying to get him and his wife to come over for coffee and look around. they've not done that yet, but i'll press it again next year after the dust settles for him. :) it was funny that we knew both of them for almost 5 years before we knew they were married.
 
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