Rising costs have homeowners stretching their budgets and being forced to make tough decisions. Cutting back on what you buy and becoming more self sufficient can put you on a path toward greater financial freedom.

Grow Your Own Food
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential for good overall health, but popular forms of produce can be expensive, especially at certain times of the year. You can save a lot of money by growing your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

You don’t necessarily need a large area in your yard. A small space on your deck or patio can be enough. You can grow food in containers or use an intensive gardening method to make the best use of the square footage that’s available. You can even grow some vegetables indoors.

You’ll probably get a lot more food than you can use all at once. Learn how to freeze, can, and dehydrate food to keep it from spoiling.

Some foods are only available at grocery stores at certain times of the year. If you grow seasonal vegetables in your own at-home garden and store them, you’ll be able to incorporate them in your favorite meals, no matter the season.

Raise Animals
Depending on where you live, you may or may not be permitted to keep animals such as chickens, ducks, and goats in your yard. If owning livestock is allowed in your area, you can have access to fresh eggs, milk, and meat and cut your grocery bills. Before you decide to move animals into your backyard, research local laws.

Switch to Solar Power
For many homeowners, utility bills are an endless source of stress. Costs keep creeping upward, and fluctuations from season to season can make it difficult to budget.

Installing solar panels on your roof can provide you with your own energy source and reduce your family’s impact on the environment. You’ll have to pay an upfront cost for installation, but the long-term savings can more than make up for it. Solar panels can also make your house appealing to potential buyers if you decide to sell it in the future.

Use Things You Already Have
Often, people purchase new clothing, furniture, and other items they don’t actually need. Before you head to a store or an online retailer, ask yourself if you can use an item you already have instead of buying something new. If you look through your closets or garage, you might discover something that’s been sitting there for years and realize that you can repurpose it for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a new product.

Being More Self Sufficient Can Transform Your Life
Reducing your living expenses can free up money that you can use to pay off your mortgage faster, take a vacation, or save for retirement. You’ll feel less stressed, enjoy the personal satisfaction of being more independent, and possibly discover some new hobbies.

Published with permission from RISMedia.