Cost vs Return and Pros & Cons
We like to think that homesteading is a great way to live more authentically while also saving money. The truth is that while some things are cheaper, others are far more expensive and labor-intensive.
Look at a loaf of bread, for example. At a store, a loaf of whole-wheat bread is about two dollars. Or, you could make one over the course of several hours. If you don’t already own bread tins, you’ll need to buy those. Have you milled your own flour? If not, buy some, along with yeast, salt, sugar, and oil.
What about milk from your cow or goats? Okay, you have the ingredients. Then mix and knead the dough. Let it rise. Knead it again, then let it rise again before baking.
Your bread will be healthier, tastier, and more nutritious than the store-bought version. But how much did it cost in time, energy, and resources?
Be Realistic About Creature Comforts (and the Lack Thereof)
If you’ve grown accustomed to going to your local cafe for a latte or cappuccino, be aware that there may only be one within driving distance. And it probably won’t be open all the time. Your internet connection is likely to be weak and unreliable if you’re quite rural.
Additionally, remember that in rural locales, emergency health care might take a while to reach you. You’ll have to know emergency first aid so you can keep bad injuries or illness stable until an ambulance arrives. Same goes for veterinary care, if you’re raising animals.
Are you comfortable with the idea of going without certain conveniences? Learn backup skills like how to cook on a wood stove or in a fireplace, if needed. Or how to melt snow into drinking water.
You never know when you’ll have to draw upon ancient skills.
Homesteading Can Be Very Difficult
Are you dreaming of an idyllic, pastoral life out in the countryside? Homesteading does have many aspects of that, sure, but it can also be very, very difficult.
You will get injured. Perhaps not seriously, but expect at least your fair share of cuts, scrapes, bruises, and insect bites. Expect that some of your crops will fail at some point, and your animals may get taken out by predators or illness. You’ll have to deal with power outages, severe storms, and immense frustrations.
That said, you’ll also be able to spend a lot of time outside in the sunshine instead of stuck behind screens. You’ll get exercise, fresh air, and whole, healthy food. If this is a path that’s calling you, then yeah. You can absolutely do this.
Be sure to take advantage of our many resources to help you along your journey. We have you covered on topics like growing guides, canning, barn building, and more.