You can start homesteading today without spending a lot by using these simple hacks I’ve learned over the years.

Long before we bought our farm, we knew we wanted to start homesteading. Lifestyle is important to us, and we wanted the freedom homesteading brings.

We started from scratch, and built our farm up by taking some key steps.

That’s not to say we didn’t make mistakes – we made plenty, trust me. Probably the first mistake, and one this article will help you avoid, is to not plan out your homestead. 

We’ve had to go back and fix crucial errors we made our first year in order to improve the overall functionability of our farm.

We also learned how to start homesteading with no money, and all told, we haven’t spent that much on our farm over the years.

Through my journey, I’ve learned that to start homesteading today, there’s some key decisions you should make and most of all, you should realize it’s a journey, and not everything will happen at once.

Solar Panel

But if you want your life to look different 6 months from now, you need to start homesteading today, and not worry about making mistakes.

Here’s how we started homesteading!


First, some decisions.

To start homesteading today, first decide what’s important to you. Are you more interested in raising livestock or growing your own food? Do you dream of baking your own bread from scratch?

While none of these are mutually exclusive (we do them all!) starting with what really gets you up in the morning is the best place to start homesteading today.

If you start with what interests you, you will be motivated to continue on your journey.

Similarly, look at what you’re good at. If you have a green thumb, start with gardening. If hunting is your thing, start with harvesting meat. When you have small successes, you’ll remain motivated.

After a while, small successes start to add up, and you’ll look back in 3, 6, and 12 months and realize how far you’ve come in your journey to start homesteading today.



Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category.  Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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  1. An easy indoor winter food growing option is peas. I love to snip the vines and roughly chop the greens for salads, or you can saute them as a fresh, “pea tasting” side dish of greens. Come spring, the plants, which you’ve been pruning back during the winter indoors will be bushy and ready to bear a nice spring crop of fresh peas. I pre-soak my peas before planting in loose garden soil (with some home-cooked compost), give them a nice sunny window, a tomato cage to grow up onto, and regular water. One packet of peas will feed you again and again!

    1. KD Dunbar, I’ve never thought of trying peas this way! GENIUS! Thank you!

      Maat, my strong points are gardening and canning. I live in suburbia hell, pardon the expression, so livestock isn’t really an option. Have you any suggestions on obtaining land on the inexpensive side?

  2. im trying to keep a urban homestead, increasing as i go… via my veg garden and small fruit ie… strawberries, blueberries… and id love to add some espalier fruit trees. I have two new Zealand, 1 red, one red/white cross rabbits, they are my fertilizing machines, not sure if im up for breeding and making my own meat source, but i support others that do… looking at adding some fruit trees this year…. but i do not have the greatest set up for them, so we will see…

  3. Great article, really enjoyed it. We live in a senior community, but have some like minded neighbors who micro homestead, gardens, canning, sprouting. This year we are planting a orchard (10 trees), on a lot the city owns next door. They were glad to see it used. We will also try sweet corn, and possibly wheat or oats. Wish us luck!

    1. Hi Ben, thanks for stopping by. Seems like a great plan! Thanks for sharing, and definitely keep me updated!

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed the article! I’ve been trying to grow my own food for several years now and have made many mistakes but still determined to keep planting. I struggle working full time and coming home to pigs, chickens, cows and 3 boys who don’t have much interest in farming. Homesteading is my dream!

  5. I am ready to do this. But, scary to leave Main stream city lives and jobs. It is my dream though. Soon, very soon, I will take the risk. Thanks for the insight!

    1. I lived on the 2nd floor apt. I did container gardening. I had blueberries, determinate tomatoes, carrots, peas, cucumbers, cantaloupe and watermelons on my balcony. Cucumbers, cantaloupe and small watermelon will run up a trellis. I got ideas from a book called “Square Foot Gardening”. The buckets I decorated with Pinterest ideas. I couldn’t have rabbits as a pet there but I really wanted one so I could make compost tea. Where there is a will, there is a way. Good luck!

  6. This is such a brilliant article, so clear and with such good information and links. I want to start growing vegetables and keep chickens and ducks (as well as rabbits, which I’ve always done as a hobby). Now I just need a patch of land to start, and your article really answered some questions I had and raised new ideas I’d like to try.
    Do you make jams? And have you tried bee keeping?

    1. Thanks for the compliment, I’m glad you like the article. I do make jams, but I haven’t tried bee keeping. I’m interested in it, but want to be better educated before trying it. 🙂

  7. Hi I would love to start homesteading but I dont own my own property I rent and I dont make much money and cant get a loan any tips for someone like me

    1. Hi Ryan – one way to start is with container gardening. Use 5 gallon buckets for tomato plants, for example. That way, if you have to move, you can take the plants with you. If you want to make your own cheese, see if you can buy milk from a local dairy, or use store bought milk (which is fine for cheese making). One thing I’ve started learning is how to make my own bread and pasta so I don’t have to buy them anymore. Hope this helps!

      1. How can you make cheese from store bought milk and can you make butter from store bought milk? I am a single women in my 60’s taking care of my elderly mother and special needs daughter. About 4 years ago I bought a house on 2 acres of land (first time on my own). This is what I wanted because I wanted to become more self-sufficient. Trouble is I don’t know how. Last year I bought about 6 chickens and a small coop and pen. I wanted to free-range my chicken but I lost them all in about 4 months. Now, I want to try again but don’t know where to start. I loved your article and I have book-marked it so I can keep referring back to it, but the part about facebook I need help on. Thanks for all your advice and tips. Hopefully, I will be on here more often.

        1. Hi Linda, congrats on getting your home. If you poke around the blog, there’s a lot of articles about raising chickens and protecting them from predators, as well as cheesemaking. You can’t make butter from store bought milk, but you can from cream. However, it’s probably cheaper to buy store bought butter if cost is a concern. The key with starting to homestead is to just pick a few things to start with (like keeping chickens and making cheese), get those skills down, and then start on the next few skills. In 6 months, you’ll look back and your life will have changed. But don’t try to do it all at once – there’s still stuff I’m working on. It’s a process. 🙂

  8. I love your post but I am not too good with facebook. You mention joining groups on facebook, the only problem is I don’t know how. I always get lost on facebook, therefore, I never get on it but joining a group like you mention sounds very interesting. How do you do this?

  9. This article was extremely helpful and really helped me realize that just by starting small at least it’s a start and was really inspiring to help keep me going. At 22 yrs old I feel that this is a dying lifestyle and has always been a dream of mine and the article really helped push me forward !!!

  10. We’re in our second year developing our beginning homestead. At almost 60 years old, it’s a little daunting to consider truly homesteading. I worry we aren’t being smart about what we will be able to do physically in 10 short years. Both of us are healthy, and fit, we work out regularly, and take care of ourselves, so, we think about what we want to do and it feels as if there are no boundaries, but, then I think about the future and how we will handle things at 70 and wonder if it’s a good idea.

    Right now we live in a mostly rural area, in a bedroom community really, where there are subdivisions surrounded by farms and pastures. We have a third of an acre, nearly all fenced, and we’re raising 14 chickens, three turkeys and two large garden patches, along with a few fruit trees. We love it and wish we had more space to raise more. I would love to have a rooster but the neighbors wouldn’t love it.

    Anyway, just kind of wondering how many people our age successfully start the whole homesteading thing.

    1. Hi Teri, I know you wrote this comment a while back, but I just want to let you know that I’m 48 right now and planning to buy my land in 2 years. I’ll be 50 when I have the land and start my homesteading dream. Physically speaking, I’m in pretty good shape. I think that exercising regularly, especially a little weight training and lots of stretching can keep the body limber and strong for homesteading duties! I envy your lifestyle! I’m not at all worried about starting at 50. But I’m going to plan as I go along for the future…I’ll do things like incorporate raised beds for easier gardening, acquire tools for easier maintenance, plan my homestead for function and ease. I think that if you do all of these things, there should be no worry. My philosophy is that age is a number only if you take care of yourself. None of us can avoid the aches and pains of aging, but it doesn’t have to rule us or make us fear following our dreams. Remember, at any age, at any time of life, we can become unable to do things, so I wouldn’t let age stop you.

  11. Hi Maat, thanks for writing this article. My bf and I are on the homesteading path. Our master plan is to rent for 2 more years then buy our land. We are lucky that we are kind of on our way. We rent a cottage in the mountains and I have some land for gardening. I started last year and you are right, plant what you eat. I basically used my dill and mint as compost last year. I’m learning though. This year the garden will be bigger and contain only herbs and veggies we regularly eat. I envy that you can butcher your food, I don’t have the stomach for it, but I would like to raise egg laying chickens in the future. Congrats on your homestead and your successful lifestyle.

  12. This is a great artical. I am an inspairing farmer that also interested in gardening, lifestock, hunter, fishing & foraging. I want to learn as much as I can about making my own things and living off the land as much as possable. Thanks for this artical I have leaned alot and saved your website.

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