How to save money by going off the grid (sort of…)

For quite some time I have been researching what it really means to “Get off the Grid”. It turns out there are many ways to get off the grid, and various severities as well. The most extreme being Homesteading and providing everything for yourself- power, food, shelter, education, etc. While this lifestyle isn’t for some, there are many ways for people to save money and minimize their dependency on the grid. It’s all and all a win win. You learn to do things for yourself, which is empowering. You also will save a ton of money on bills. I’m going to use this post to share as well as be my checklist.

  1. [DONE] Stop eating out and learn to cook at home. Cook healthy and simple meals like hearty potato soups, red beans and rice, vegetable scampy, homemade burgers, and PB&Js. I pay about $25-30 per week average for meals I cook at home. Most meals I make have 6 servings and cost less than $3 per meal. Spaghetti and Potato Soup are normally about $2 per meal (with bread sticks and  meat of course!). Rice and gravy is also pretty cheap!
    • I do eat out on occassion, and sometimes at work because I don’t always have time to prepare lunch. For the most part, my eating out meals are more of a cheap entertainment expense rather than a weekly bill.
  2. [In Progress] Loose the internet, cable, and pick one phone bill
    • Internet [Thinking about it]
      • This one isn’t for everyone :/. The internet is an amazing tool! But it can also be a timesink… I have internet right now, and I am considering my options.
      • Most people think: “ok, I’ll just stop paying for internet and use public WiFi or my wireless data”. This is a great start and you will save a ton (depending on your phone plan), but at the cost of high speed internet.
      • Save common reference websites to your hard drive. This internal / external hard drive is 4tb and costs $122. That’s less than most’s monthly  internet and cable bill. Use a tool like HTTrack to download informational websites. You can also download all of wikipedia. This will not work on social media sites or sites that require javascript. It will work on php/html driven websites.
      • Use sites like Videater and KeepVid to download videos!
      • Share internet with a neighbor. Don’t do this with more than one or two, and always get it in writing. This will cut the cost drastically!
    • Ditch Cable! [Ditched]
      • I don’t really know if I have to make much of an argument here. Cable sucks and there is no way it will survive in it’s present form.
    • Ditch A Phone!
      • Landline [Ditched]
        • Handy to have for communication, net needed with a cell phone though.
      • Cell Phone [Have]
        • I have to have a cell phone for work mostly. It’s convenient to have for sure, but I could certainly do a home phone with an answering machine.
  3. [In Progress] Invest in Cheap Solar Power! You can still use broken Panels, and they cost a fraction of the price! You can also look into wind power for your home.
    • This is definitely a bigger challenge for some. Also, It’s only possible if you have a home or property. There’s also a large upfront cost, but the benefits are great!
  4. [In Progress] Grow your own food! Save on your grocery bill and grow veggies and fruits in a home garden!
    • I don’t own any property yet, but want to do this as soon as I have some land. When I was a child growing up my mom tried to grow in our back yard, but it wasn’t always fruitful. This is not as easy as it may sound and will require effort and much research, but it will save you a ton of money. Potatoes are a great vegetable to start with!
    • You can also grow on your apartment porch, but you won’t yield as much.
    • EDIT: I’m starting this weekend!

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