It may be disheartening when you’re renting and dreaming of a lifestyle that seems so far away. It can sometimes feel like it will be forever before you have the life you’ve always wanted. However, you’re closer to having it than you think. There are so many ways that you can reduce your costs and live a healthier, lower impact life. Here are 15+ ways that you can save money, even while renting.
1. Mill your own grains
Whether you have a hand cranked mill or a machine, it will always ensure that you have fresh flour on hand. Flour has a shorter shelf life than grains, even when stored correctly. Instead of having your flour go rancid or learning how to preserve it, you can store grain and mill it yourself.
2. Bake your own bread
You just can’t beat a loaf of fresh bread. The smell alone can drag even the heaviest of sleepers out of bed in the morning. Bread really doesn’t take that long to make. If you can find a good recipe, you can leave it to rise as you carry on with the rest of your morning routine. If your family goes through a lot of bread, consider having a “baking day” and putting some in the freezer to make it easier on yourself.
3. Start a sourdough culture
If you are baking your own bread, then you need yeast. Right? Wrong! If you create your own sourdough starter, you can continue to make fresh bread day after day without the need to buy yeast. You know, as long as you remember to feed it… A well cared for sourdough culture can live for decades!
4. Preserve your food
Canning, dehydrating, freezing…there are many ways that you can extend the life of the food you grow. You don’t need expensive or fancy equipment to do so either. Learn the best way to store your harvest and ensure that your family has home grown food all year round.
5. Make your own candles
Candles aren’t just for romantic nights when your other half is trying to make it back out of the dog house. When the grid goes down and the lights are off, you’re going to need something to keep you from kicking your toe on the bed frame.
6. Prepare simple cheeses
Cheeses such as ricotta, quark and mozzarella can all be made at home and they’re actually pretty easy! Find a recipe online or pick up a cheese making kit. Start making your foods from scratch and you’ll be eating healthier and saving money in no time.
7. Grow vegetables in containers
Growing your own food while renting might seem impossible, though it may seem that way at first. You don’t need to have permanent garden beds to be able to grow vegetables. Almost anything can be used as a pot, as long as it has some way to drain at the bottom. I’ve seen old baths, broken crockery or even footwear used as a garden pot! How many times have you looked in the fridge and cringed because the salad mix is wilted. You just can’t beat being able to step outside and pick your own.
8. Make your own soap
Soap making is not only a fantastic skill, but also a really fun hobby! You can get as creative or fancy as you like, or create a really simple soap using the basics. Soap can be used as the base in a lot of other recipes such as laundry detergent or house cleaning products. It can also be a source of income if you really get passionate about it!
9. Learn basket weaving
Baskets are one of those items that are severely underestimated regarding their usefulness. I’m not particularly fond of having to use plastic buckets or containers, but you have to carry things somehow! Baskets are beautiful, sturdy and definitely better for the environment. Using baskets also gets you one step closer to getting rid of the plastics in your home.
10. Cook from scratch
If you looked in your cupboard right now, how many products could be replicated at home from scratch? Probably the majority. There are so many reasons to cook from scratch, including knowing what is in your food and saving money.
11. Use cast iron cookware
Cast iron cookware will last forever, when properly looked after. Even neglected cast iron pans can often be restored. Rather than scratching toxic non stick flakes into your food, get yourself a reliable set of pans instead.
12. Learn how to use and cook a whole chicken
Again, nothing should go to waste! You may not be able to have chickens while you are renting, but don’t let that stop you from learning how to use it. There is so much more to a chicken than its breasts (huh, huh!) so learn how to use the whole bird.
13. Make bone broth
Another nutritionally rich food that gets overlooked. Chuck in all of those wilted veggies from the fridge and you’ve got yourself a meal out of practically nothing.
14. Reduce your waste
Every time you go to throw something into the trash, take note. How can you avoid having to do this in the future? What products can you use instead to cut back on the amount you have to throw out?
15. Learn basic sewing skills
Even if it is just sewing buttons back onto a shirt, basic sewing skills can save you money and extend the life of the items in your home.
16. Dye natural fibres and spin them into yarn
You might not be able to have your own sheep. If you can get your hands on wool, you can start practising using it for now! Make yourself a drop spindle and you can make your own rainbow coloured yarn.
17. Knitting and crocheting
18. Learn to barter
Having a community is critical. No one person can be completely self sufficient, even if we all may try. Even if you are renting, you can still build a community and get involved with others. You will be able to trade skills and surplus for items that you may not be able to make or grow yourself.
Have you have these mastered and you’re looking for even more ways to save money? Jump on our mailing list and grab your copy of our eBook “50+ Ways You Can Save Money Now!”