Want to try homesteading before you commit? Here are 13 simple ways to start homesteading right now. Even if you live in the suburbs.

14 Half-Ass Ways to Try Homesteading Before You Commit

Let’s face it, most of us look at new, trendy ways of living, like homesteading, and feel like we either need to go all-in or not even try. Instead of falling victim to feeling overwhelmed, why not consider finding little ways to start homesteading right where you are? Remember, you don’t have to go all-in with something right way. There is no shame in inching your way a little closer to the kind of lifestyle you want to be living. In fact, jumping all-in on homesteading might end up causing you to overspend and add clutter to your home, only for you to realize this lifestyle isn’t really for you. That’s why, I’ve put together a few half-assed ideas on how to start homesteading, so you can test the waters starting right now, without the full-term commitment.

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How to start half-ass homesteading

I know it can be tempting to fully commit to starting homesteading, with all of the ideas that are shared below. Instead of feeling obligated to do them all, my recommendation is that you pick three things and intentionally work them into your life and routine. If any of these things stick, add three more and keep going from there.

Start with the areas that feel like they would be the simplest to implement, especially if you already have a jam-packed schedule. Remember, if a habit doesn’t stick, it doesn’t mean you failed. Try out another one and see if it fits into your life a little bit better.

Avoid fast-fashion and trends

One of the first and easiest ways anyone can start inching their way closer to a homestead lifestyle is by becoming more intentional about the things they already own. This might not necessarily mean decluttering all of your possessions, but rather working not to be tempted into always adding more.

The consumerism-driven world we live in does not support a sustainable lifestyle. If you hope to slow down, and begin a life more aligned with homesteading, I encourage you to stop trying to keep up with the ever-changing trends.

If you struggle with feeling a constant need to keep up, your desire for homesteading may very well be tied to an underlying desire to do exactly that. Keep up. This is why being more intentional about these desires can help you understand if homesteading is truly a lifestyle you want to create, or if it is merely another trend you are trying to keep up with.

Need more ideas on how to create space in your home, and become more intentional with your things? Grab the ebook, The Gentle Art of Letting Sh*t Go that is designed to help you clear clutter, create space, and be more intentional with the things you bring into your home.

Living a more minimalist lifestyle can allow you to start a homesteading lifestyle

Regrow your plants

Chances are you have seen posts on social media or online about how you can re-grow certain plants using nothing more than a small dish with water and a window sill. Our family personally regrows the following plants:

  • Celery
  • Green onion
  • Lettuce
  • Cilantro

These are vegetables we frequently eat, which is why being able to regrow them is so nice! Learning to regrow foods that you can buy at the local supermarket is a really great way to begin practicing homesteading. You don’t have the commitment of a full garden, but you can begin to regrow your own food in a way that creates a little more sustainability.

Make rotisserie chicken bone broth

If your family is anything like ours, there are those days when you can’t help but giving into the temptation of scooping up a rotisserie chicken for dinner. There are so many different meals you can create with a rotisserie chicken and it makes getting a healthy dinner on the table much easier.

What you might not be aware of is that you can use the remaining bones, after you’ve eaten the chicken, to create bone broth for future use. For our family this looks like simply putting the chicken carcass (ew, I hate that word) into our large crock pot, cover it with water, and let it simmer for 24 hours.

After we make bone broth, we transfer it to a large Mason jar and reuse the broth later to make noodles, potatoes, or other yummy dinner dishes. We also use a small splash in our senior dog’s food in order to help soften it up.

making bone broth from rotisserie chicken is a simple way to start homesteading

Start an indoor garden

Alongside your regrown vegetables, another way to start homesteading, right where you are, is to start a small indoor garden. Naturally, you will want to be mindful of the best vegetables to grow indoors, while also cross-referencing the vegetables that your family eats the most.

If you have a large sliding glass door, or plenty of natural light, your home is probably a good candidate for growing food indoors. This can be a great way to find out if transitioning to a larger, outdoor garden is something you think you want to do.

Build a compost bin

In the last 10 years, I have experimented with different ways to compost our food. Learning to compost can be a great way to begin practicing homesteading, while also reducing the amount of waste you have.

When I first tried composting, I did it with a Rubbermaid container and a box of worms that I bought on Amazon. There is a sentence I never thought I would say. The process was relatively simple, and we stored it in our garage (you know, so our house wasn’t accidentally swarming with worms one morning).

After we downsized our house, we made the decision to have a more permanent compost outdoors in the backyard. Our outdoor compost bin is relatively simple and looks very similar to the one shared below.

Your beginner compost kit

Skip prepackaged meals

If you’re not currently in the habit of making meals from scratch, why not start testing out the waters? Instead of buying prepackaged meals, work to find recipes that allow you to make them from fresh ingredients.

Even something as simple as chopping your own lettuce and making your own salsa and seasoning, for taco night, is a great place to start living a more homestead lifestyle.

Learning to make meals from scratch takes time and effort, so start with one particular meal and work to perfect it before moving on to another. This can be a simple step that will naturally snowball into creating more meals from home using your own ingredients.

Mason jar meal prep

Another great way to practice homesteading, while skipping prepackaged meals, is to look into meal prep ideas that you can do in Mason jars. Our family’s personal Mason jar meal prep go-to items are:

The great thing about prepping meals in Mason jars is that you can have a week’s worth of meals neatly stored in the fridge and you only have to do the work once. Since a homesteading lifestyle usually involves canning food, this can be a low-maintenance way to get started.

No, you’re not fully equipped to can and store veggies fresh from your garden, but you can begin putting yourself into the habit of putting foods into jars to be stored for later use. It’s a good starting point, if you ask me!

Plan 1 meal dinners

Gone are the days when I would try to make 5-7 different dinners for my family in one week. Hells to the no. This method may align more with minimalism and slow living versus homesteading, nonetheless, I promise it is still a life-saver.

Homesteading, while seen as a simpler way of living, still requires work. If you want to start a homesteading way of life, a great idea to help you get started is to minimize the amount of work you are currently doing. Ya feel me? That’s where making 1-2 dinners per week can come into play.

No more scrolling Pinterest trying to find the best 18-ingredient gourmet recipes to feed your family. Instead, start with your few favorite meals and begin fully indulging in them. Our family personally opts for 5 days of tacos throughout the week. We make our own pico, guac, and seasoning and choose taco salads over wraps. With these small shifts, we still are eating healthy and reducing the amount of time that is spent slaving away in the kitchen.

Simplifying meal time can be one of the best ways to create space and allow for more homesteading techniques to make their way into your life. Not only that, but you’ll no doubt reduce the amount of clean up, water, and electricity you use throughout the week.

making one dinner for the week is a great way to save time and start homesteading

Start with low-maintenance vegetation

We have berry bushes in our backyard and they have been an amazing, low-maintenance way to inch ourselves a little closer to homesteading.

Instead of a full-fledge garden that requires a lot of up-keep and maintenance, try starting with plants that are more low-maintenance and come back annually on their own. This provides you with the opportunity to adapt the habit of checking on your garden regularly, bringing in home-grown foods and maybe getting your hands a little dirty (in a good way).

Make your own take-out

When it comes to your favorite fast-food or take-out meals, could you find a way to make your own at home? This is a similar concept to avoiding prepackaged meals. By giving your food a little labor of love, you start to eat those same foods with a little more intention and appreciation.

If your goal is to reduce how much you spend on takeout, limit your waste, and start living a more homestead-aligned lifestyle, grab a copycat recipe for your favorite take-out food and see if you can make it yourself!

Imagine the fun you could have with a family pizza night, where each member makes their own personal pizza with fresh ingredients? There are even outdoor pizza ovens you can buy that help create that fire-baked pizza taste at home.

Shop with reusable bags

By now, you probably know that a more sustainable way to shop is by using reusable bags when you go shopping. You might already have some of these on hand, or you could reuse current paper or plastic you might already have stashed under your kitchen cupboard.

Not only can you opt for reusable bags to reduce the amount of plastic waste, but there are reusable produce bags you can use, too, so you’re not wrapping all of your fresh produce in thin, plastic baggies. Our family uses Lotus reusable produce bags and it feels so much better when shopping for fresh fruits and veggies.

@renee.benes I tend to be someone who forgets my reusable bags a lot but because these stand out and are so functional, I really feel like they become impossible to forget! @Lotus Trolley Bag #sustainableshopping #lessplasticwaste #groceryshoppingcheck #shopwithmeattarget ♬ Ooh Ahh (My Life Be Like) [feat. Tobymac] – Grits

Opt for farmers markets over the supermarket

Another way to skip the plastic baggies is by shopping at places where they aren’t as necessary. When shopping a local farmers market, you are not only getting fresh, local vegetation, you also get the chance to connect yourself with people who might know more about homesteading than you do!

When visiting local farmers’ markets, remember to bring your reusable bags, as some farmers will have plastic bags on hand for those who don’t have any. This helps reduce waste for them, for you, and for our environment.

Connect with local farmers

If you’re not quite a farmer yourself, a good way to get closer to homesteading can be by finding a local farmer in your area and working to buy their products. Plenty of farmers will work with locals to sell meats, eggs, and milk.

This way you can have a clearer idea of where your food is coming from, without you having to grow it yourself. Find a local farmer near you!

Follow slow living/homesteading accounts on social media

Lastly, I am a big believer in surrounding yourself with people who are living lives aligned with the one you want to be living. If you are smack dab in the middle of the suburbs (like me), finding homesteaders might be tricky.

Thankfully, because of the internet and social media, we now have endless access to people living all different types of lifestyles. If you want to begin learning more about how to homestead, start searching your favorite social media outlets for people who are already doing it.

Remember to be mindful about implementing the things they are doing that currently work with your lifestyle. Slow your role before you leap into any big changes or purchases. There is nothing wrong with sitting back and observing before making any major lifestyle shifts.

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Want to try homesteading before you commit? Here are 13 simple ways to start homesteading right now. Even if you live in the suburbs.

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