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Old 10-19-2008, 04:07 PM
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Are You a Homesteader?

-- Inflation Fighter --
Homesteading Mindset
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to the majority of the population, it seems that in the twenty-first century homesteading may appear archaic and outdated.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 ( http://www.millersgrainhouse.com/store ), 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 <http://community.stretcher.com/blogs/homesteadmindset/>
hosted right here at The Dollar tretcher.com.
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.

Visit "The Homestead Mindset Anywhere" blog at <http://community.stretcher.com/blogs/homesteadmindset/>

Roberta
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:16 PM
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I would say I'm a homesteader though not DH by nature.

I grow some of our own food and freeze for the winter.

Shop thrift store, garage sales first before buying new.

Use something else at home that will work.

Stock up on sale and use coupons to make the money go farther and teach the kids to do so as well.

Bake several things in the oven to save the electricity later in the day/week.

Barter with others when the opportunity shows itself.

Roberta
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:36 PM
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RobertaD, had to chuckle we both read The Dollar Stretcher.

I pretty much do the same as you do in
everything.

My Dh does hunt too but I'm not crazy about the Deer meat. I will eat elk though.

We fish and I can stuff.
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:04 PM
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Roberta,

I never thought about it, but I could have that type of mindset. I would rather get my clothes and some other things at the thrift stores instead of wasting money on new. I like to try and re-use things at home. I find that for the most part trying to be frugal is more of a game then a burden.

Blessings,
Dawn
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:14 PM
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Never thought of this as having a name before ... a homestead huh, must be me?
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:51 PM
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Interesting article!

We have never grown our own food. Once or twice we tried to have a garden, but the bunnies always enjoyed our vegetables before we had the chance to! I guess we were never that motivated to make it work.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:01 PM
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oh me i read the dollar stretcher too. I use to can but haven't had any garden in the last several years but i still like to buy on a bargin bin price. i have found items where it is as cheap to buy as to can yourself time you count the work and jars and fertilizer and all but canning use to be fun to me.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:44 PM
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I love going to garage/yard sales, thrift stores. The nite gown I have on now came from thrift store and most of my long skirts I wear to church likewise came from yard sale or thrift store.
I always think twice before I buy something new to see if I really need it or have something at home that I can use instead etc
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:54 PM
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I really enjoyed having a garden this year. I miss it already. I had one roma tomato plant that was so awesome I saved some seeds to use next summer. I also want to try growing some different things. Sweet potaotoes for one.

My mindset is anyone can walk into a store and pay top dollar for the same look that so and so has. I like doing things my way, making, reusing, using my mind.
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:24 PM
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We have not gardened in years like j says you can buy vegetables in the grocery store as cheap as canning.I buy them in the bulk bags,with just two at home(1 most of the time) they last awhile.I buy my clothes at the consignment store.I hate paying high prices for things I can find there for less than 1/2 the price.I do sew some clothing so if I needed I could sew anything I wanted to wear,but the price of material makes the consignment store a good buy.hubby hunts we do like deer.I think if I really need to homestead I can do it without any problem.
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