Sunday, October 19, 2008

Homesteading Mindset

Article from the Dollar Stretcher Website by Donna Miller
Get your family through tough financial obstacles

Some of us can remember reading books like "Little House on the Prairie" or "Swiss Family Robinson" and having the pioneering spirit awaken within our hearts. The human tenacity to beat the odds, the miraculous provision in times of need, the close family bonds that brought the characters through tough times are all themes that are woven into those books. The "homesteading mindset" is somewhat romanticized or stuck in a time warp in these books' settings, but the pioneering spirit of the homesteader is still very much alive in the population of today. The necessity to develop a pattern of thinking and acting like a homesteader is central to getting a
family through tough financial obstacles.

Homesteading can mean so many different things to people. To some, it suggests making or growing all their own food, from milling grains at home to butchering meat they've raised themselves. To others, homesteading means living "off-grid" and supplying all of their own electric and power needs via alternate sources (wind, solar, water, static or a combination). To other people, homesteading is almost a
"hippy" lifestyle of simplicity and communing with nature and doing away with the conventional means of making a living.

Some homesteaders have varying degrees of each of the different methods mixed in to their own flavor of a homesteading lifestyle. Yet, regardless of the definition of
homesteading, to the majority of the population, it seems that in the twenty-first century homesteading may appear archaic and outdated. The truth is that the homesteading mindset has never been more necessary than it is now in our present
economic time.

Developing the mentality of a homesteader doesn't mean one has to live on 40 acres and collect eggs, or have a huge garden. It is something that anyone can do, anywhere and anytime. It is a simple as developing the habit of thinking differently.
With a few tweaks of our current way of thinking, we can develop the "homesteading mentality" and use it even in the most packed urban environment. No matter the homesteading style, there are a few things that are common in the mentality that can benefit suburban and city inhabitants alike.

To people who are accustomed to purchasing items because they're used to having enough money, making the shift to the homesteader mentality involves one main little secret habit. This trick covers the whole mindset of a homesteader. The secret habit is to avoid the feeling of depravity by thinking of it as creativity.

Before purchasing anything (clothing, food, household item, equipment, etc.), there are several questions that run through the mind of someone who considers themselves a homesteader. These questions help decide whether he or she should make the
purchase. Here are just a few examples:

- "Can I make it myself for less than it costs to buy it?"
- "Do I have something already that works in place of this item just as well?"
- "How often will I use this new item?" (Hint: If it's not used regularly, don't purchase it.)
- "Can I do without this item?"
- "Do we actually need it or do we just want it?"

When choosing to do without or make do or make it myself, the homesteader looks at the whole event as a way to be creative. Creativity is central to this new mindset, not just a budget or skimping, but creatively finding new ways to do things, new
ways to make things, and new ways to use, reuse and recycle things. It's a challenge and a game to someone with a homesteading mindset to see just how happily and simply we can live.

As the days ahead are filled with stretching our dollars and becoming good stewards of our time and money, think of the spirit of those beloved books. We can find joy in being creative and change our way of thinking to a homesteader's mindset, no matter where we live! Enjoy the journey.

Donna Miller is a work-from-home wife and mother. She delighted to share her trials and triumphs of learning to homestead. The Millers own and operate Millers Grain House ( ), which offers Organic and Chemical-free Whole Grains, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more. She also writes "The Homestead Mindset Anywhere" blog> hosted right here at The Dollar

Lucys Note: You don't have to be a tree hugger to appreciate some of these ideas. I think many of use would be a little better off to use our own mindset to save money and energy in this day and time. I went to this ladies website and read many of her things and found it refreshing. I watched several of her videos and thought they were good ways to teach basic principals. Since I do grind my own wheat and make homemade bread, I enjoyed her videos in this area of self help. I hope some of you take heed of these wonderful teachings and give them a try.

Take the Next Step:- Begin your journey of seeing things through the eyes of a homesteader. To avoid feeling deprived, enjoy the creativity of finding new ways to do things and make things.
- Subscribe to our new weekly "Inflation Fighters" newsletter here.

- Visit "The Homestead Mindset Anywhere"


At 9:14 PM, Blogger Jess said...

Enjoyed your post...Hope all is well with you, and have a blessed week ahead!

At 7:25 AM, Blogger Granny Annie said...

Lucy, this is a great post and very helpful. You share perfect things and this one is timely as we contemplate our futures through difficult economic times. I never knew a thing about homesteading until Ron and I married and I have learned so many things about maintaining a good life off the land.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Putz said...

3??????where?????where?????where?????did i miss something/???3

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Leslie said...

I do something similar with saving money and living simpler. When I go to the store, I now ask myself "Do I really NEED that, or is it just something I WANT?" A lot of times it may make my life simpler, but it's not necessary to run my home. Examples: I no longer buy paper napkins, just paper towels since I have other uses for paper towels. I no longer buy liquid handsoap for the kitchen sink since a drop of Dawn does the same exact thing for your hands as it does your dishes. These aren't huge steps, but it does make things simpler, and there's always one less item on the shopping list.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I wish I could get my kids in this mindset. Their generation has had quite a bit handed to them. (It's partly my fault.)

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Oh great One said...

I'm on my way to check it out. Many of my friends tease me because I like to do things from scratch. I'm just gonna tell them I'm a "homesteader"!

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

I'm with Fred here. I still don't have a cell phone, don't see any reason to get an IPOD, and what the heck is HD radio anyhow.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Cliff said...

Living 9 miles from town my whole life I've found that the pioneer spirit came necessity. It takes 30 minutes of driving to get to town and back with out even stopping.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger hennhouse said...

I'm going to write those questions down and lay them right inside my wallet.


At 8:13 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Great words of wisdom Lucy! I usually hit the yard sales but this summer I haven't. I figure I'll just be tempted to buy something because it's such a good bargain.

I know there are other areas I need to cut back on too. I'll have to check out her blog. Sounds very interesting! I did get a homesteading magazine once upon a time... and it was so interesting to read about the homesteaders!!

At 12:40 AM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Those questions are really good ones to ask yourself wether you are a Homsteader or not. They are applicable to anyone who is trying to cut back. Great tips, Lucy!


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