Living the Country life!!
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  1. #1
    Registered User momof2joys's Avatar
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    Default Living the Country life!!

    My wonderful dh and I are living a dream of ours to be living out on an acreage! We are only renting right now, but as newly weds, with my two children it's what works best for us! I am looking for any tips you guys have about living out in the middle of no where! Haha! We do live within a few miles of my in-laws (his parents and brother's family), so anything we might need or run out of usually someone has! During the summer saving on gas is easy we just stay home and do things around the acreage, but during the school year it's a little harder, I work at the school so I am driving 15 miles each day both ways! I am trying to limit my runs into the "big" town to only a couple times a month!!!

    Dh and I have bought a quarter of beef from a friend so our freezer is stocked with plenty of meat, and because my dh works for family who deal with hogs, each year we get a full hog for free, so full of pork too! We also have his family very close by so we do a lot of trading and switching of things if needed!

    We are approaching winter soon, so any tips would be great!!! Thanks in advance for any helpful things that work, or even things you have found that don't work!!

  2. #2
    Registered User shp1055's Avatar
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    Start a stockpile. Look up our threads on it. If he's a country boy, he knows all about drawing up water in case of freezes. Is the house all electric? If so, you'll need to have a Plan B if the power goes out in the winter. If it's propane, make sure the tank is topped off.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Keep a list of things you need for when you do shop in a bigger town. Add to it as you think of things, so when it's time to do your shopping you don't forget things. We used to make that run (110 miles for us) only about every three months. We had five teenagers at home yet then so had to go that often for various things. These days, we rarely make the trip because our needs are far less with the kids gone.

    If you enjoy wildlife, plan for bird feeders over winter and buy ahead if prices for sunflower seeds and other bird food is cheaper in the bigger town. We generally pick up about a thousand pounds of whole corn for the deer and several hundred pounds sunflower seeds, peanuts, and niger seed for the squirrels and birds for a season, split into two shopping trips to a town fifty miles from here. If you want to feed deer, make sure it's legal in Iowa. Since you're in farm country, you may be able to buy some of the feed in bulk. Deer also love hay but it's prohibitively expensive to buy it where we are.

    Amazon is your new best friend, but be sure to compare prices.

    I agree with above, build up your pantry and freezer stockpile so you can go at least a couple weeks without relying on anyone else for food or other supplies.

    Shop and run errands locally only once a week. We live seven miles out and with our vehicles, every trip is a gallon of gas. We are careful not to make too many extra trips into town because it does add up. I will often have Husby pick up things since he is in town for work every day. I could have him get groceries too and some weeks I do, but I need to get out of my cage every now and then, so we usually do our errands once a week.

    Develop inexpensive hobbies for your family so you don't feel the need to drive somewhere to be entertained. Make sure the kids have warm clothes so they can play outside, and invest in winter toys such as sleds.

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    Registered User madhen's Avatar
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    If you heat with a woodstove, keep about twice as much wood as you THINK you'll need for the next couple of days inside in a dry place. You'll go through it faster than you think, and there is nothing quite as miserable as being cold and trying to start a fire with wet wood!! (With the possible exception of having to go outside when you are cold to collect wet wood in the rain, THEN having to try to start a fire with it.)
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Registered User madhen's Avatar
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    ...and save up for a chest freezer. Best investment I ever made!
    DH aka Mad Hen
    (http://mad-hen-creations.blogspot.com/)

    Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe

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    Registered User larabelle's Avatar
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    Learn to sew/patch/mend any and everything!
    Buy a sewing machine. Learn how to patch quilt and save all those old clothes for their material value.
    If you have to buy material..then buy it online by the bolt.
    Blessed and Highly Favored!!!!
    From $78K in debt to debt free and purchased a house and used car with 100% cash...God is sooo Good!!!

    Goals:
    New to me vehicle

  8. #7
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    Learn how to garden and can if you don't do either already. (Which you probably do.) I agree with learning how to sew and investing in a sewing machine if you don't have one. Learning how to knit or crochet is always a good thing as well. Invest in homesteading/gardening books (as in physical books and not just Nook or Kindle versions). Get to know the neighbors and other local farmers, not just for trading goods but for trading tips and ideas.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    When our kids were little, they had clothes for school and clothes to wear at home. When they got home from school, they had to change immediately. Then I didn't have to care if they ripped or stained something, and they didn't have to hear me constantly telling them to be careful. This is especially important if your kids like to play outside in the mud and dirt.

    Before you buy books, try to get them from the library first to see if they're worth having. I've done that a lot over the years and I'd say I buy less than ten percent of the books I think would be worth having, once I've seen them from the library and can tell if they are worthwhile for me. If I do think I want to own them, I try to get them used from half.com or eBay.

  10. #9
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    Great suggestion about checking the library before buying a book, Spirit Deer. The local library will probably have annual or semi-annual book sales. Check those out to see if there are any books you'd be interested in. And not just homesteading/garden books. There should be some interesting general reading books for the winter season as well, especially if the power goes out and all you have is some candles or lantern. Especially if you want to save your laptop and phone batteries.

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