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How to Live Better on Less

Whether you're an apartment-dweller in the city or a suburbanite, with some creative thinking there are plenty of ways to live better and more self-sufficiently off the land. Eat better for less with home-grown fresh food.


  • Step 1: Learn how to grow self-sufficiently. Learn how to pickle and can your food. Try your hand at raising chickens for farm-fresh eggs and meet. If you love honey, consider tending a beehive. But always talk to those in the know for tips and information before you dive in.
  • Step 2: Share your knowledge and your harvest. Take extra veggies to the local food pantry. Discuss your gardening habits with others. Fill them in on the secret of urban homesteading. Inexpensive living can actually result in high-end meals that would make any food connoisseur proud.
  • FACT: Odwalla, Inc., a community- and health-conscious juice company, was formed in 1985 in California.
  • Step 3: Think outside the box for cost-effective solutions. Use a clean, old garbage can as a compost bin. Abandoned toy pails or discarded pots can serve as re-purposed gardening containers.
  • TIP: Examine seed catalogs to choose from a wide range of vegetables and fruits that can't be found in stores.
  • TIP: Check with your local government to see what ordinances or zoning codes you'll need to follow before you build that chicken coop in the backyard.
  • Step 4: Start small before you try your hand at something major. Try making your own household cleaning agents with common household ingredients, like vinegar. It's cheap and environmentally friendly to boot. Or try growing a small herb container garden -- using some terra cotta pots, fertilizer, soil, and herbs -- on the deck or window sill.
  • Step 5: Attend meet-ups and skill swaps that focus on the aspects of homesteading you're interested in. Most are free or charge only a nominal admission. Also look for pertinent classes at area farms and nurseries.

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