Friday, April 1, 2011

Frugality, Minimalism & Homesteading

I was looking at YouTube videos on how to make inexpensive chicken coops last weekend, and stumbled across Becky’s Homestead   She has some great videos, so I decided to check out her website.  I have been trying to watch all of her videos since!  It’s a great video blog if you are interested in keeping up with her.

Then I started thinking (yes, THAT’S what you smell.)  Todd and I love log cabins and nature, but we also really enjoy where we live now.  It is quiet, we have an acre of land, a manageable mortgage, no one ever bothers us, we have great neighbors, and we can get to Aldi’s and WalMart with a 15-20 minute drive.

As I have mentioned numerous times before, I am obsessive compulsive.  I get something stuck in my head and I research the heck out of it.  I also talk about it constantly until the newness calms down (or I have a bit of a breakdown.)  I had a “homesteading” obsession last year.  I’ve had a “minimalistic” obsession as well.  And, well, we live the frugal life.    

What do we want out of life? 
We want a little bit of each category.  I feel they all pretty much use the same principals but vary in the ways of accomplishing them.

By definition (according to Wikipedia):
  • Frugality – “prudence in avoiding waste”
  • Minimalism – “extreme spareness and simplicity”
  • Homesteading –  a lifestyle of simple, agrarian self-sufficiency”

As I mentioned, we are pretty frugal.  Yes, there is always room to improve, but we are pretty good about pinching pennies and making the most out of our money.  I would like to minimize the amount of waste we create, not only with the landfill, but with resources such as electricity, gasoline, oil, etc.

I like the idea of minimalism; however, we have SO MUCH STUFF!  I would love to pare down a lot of our belongings, but I am part of a team.  Todd seems to attract “stuff!”  I guess I am just as guilty.  But this is something I am definitely working on personally.  I’m hoping I rub off on Todd so that he does the same.  I am not looking to get rid of everything and live in a hut.  I am also not looking to have one piece of furniture in our home.  There has to be a happy medium, and I am striving to find what that is.

Last, but not least, is homesteading.  I really like the idea of homesteading.  There are two pitfalls for me though.

1.      I do not want to raise my own meat.
2.      I don’t necessarily want to make everything we eat homemade.

I love animals.  I couldn’t have a cow or pig, raise it for several months and then butcher it.  No way, no how.  We have our 4 chicks that we are raising for eggs.  That is good enough for me.

I enjoy making homemade bread (artisan bread,) and I enjoy cooking meals for my husband and me, but I don’t want to churn my own butter or make my own cheese and peanut butter. That is just not something that interests me right now.  That could change in upcoming years, but for now, I will buy these types of items at the store. (Since writing this post over three weeks ago, I have changed my tune on making my own butter and peanut butter! I am going to try making them both in the upcoming weeks!)   We go out to eat two, maybe three times a month and I am OK with that.

My point is that we can be a little bit of all three without going anywhere or moving.  We just have to take small steps to getting to where we want to be.  We have the land, we have the means and we have the ability to be a semi-homesteading, frugal, quasi-minimalist.  And darn it, that is what we are striving to be.

1 comment:

  1. The key to eating animals you raise is buying future meat to eat, not pets. You can treat them well and still eat them. You really want to eat meat from animals that are treated well, don't you? That said, I don't raise my meat either because I live on a city lot and a dozen other reasons. If you and I HAD to, we could forego eating meat since we have eggs.I do want to make cheese and yogurt for the thrift.