Friday, November 11, 2011

Building Your Homestead on a Dime

  Building up a homestead takes a lot of time and work. It can also take a lot of money. If you have ever looked through a farm supply catalog, you know what I mean. We have lived on our homestead for seven years now, and before we lived here we were on another piece of property for another seven years. We still don't have everything we would like to have. But we do have everything we need.

There is a way of getting around the high prices at the feed store. It involves a lot of time, and you may not get what you need right away, but the savings pay off in the end.

Craigslist is where I find the majority of farm items I need. You can find people near you that may be trying to sell the very item you have been looking for. While everything is not in mint condition, you may find a bargain. For several years I have been trying to find a good horse round bale feeder. They run around $400 new at the feed store. I found one on craigslist for $200. Then, when I got there I talked them down to $150. That is a huge savings! It isn't brand new, but it works for what I need.

Don't stop at the housewares or farm and garden sections though! Make sure you check out the antiques and barter categories. Put up a list of items you would like and items you have to trade. Another man's trash is another man's treasure! 

The Local Newspaper
This is a good place to find deals too. I haven't had as much luck with this as I have with craigslist, but it's always worth a quick glance.

County Based Websites
Everyone may not be so lucky to have one in their county, but if you do, take advantage of it! My husband and I found a great kitchen table and china hutch for our house through our county website.

Estate Auctions and Auction Houses
This is a great place to find anything you are looking for, but unfortunately is the most time consuming of all the methods. Be ready to spend the whole day waiting for the item you are looking at to go up for sale. If you are patient enough though, you can find anything from housewares to farm equipment. A great website to find auctions near you is


-Always carry cash, and in different amounts. You know that round bale feeder? I ended up paying $160 because I only had $20 bills on me.

-Have a list of items you are looking for and the condition you want the item in. This is especially helpful for auctions.

-Know the value of what you are looking for. Don't end up being the guy that just bid 2X what the item is worth.

-Be comfortable talking people down on a price. Unless the ad says they won't take any less than the said price, it's probably expected. When I post an item, I always make sure to price it a little high because I know someone will try to talk me down. Others say not to, but in my opinion it never hurts to ask.

-Network. Get to know people nearby that may be able to help you find what you are looking for.

-Be safe. A lot of people say not to go to a seller's home. This is good advice, but unfortunately most of the time I can't avoid it because many items are too large to have the seller meet me in town. Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you'll be back. It's even better if you can take someone with you. Most of the time though, the people I meet are great people. I even got a tour of the last person's farm. (They had some adorable Scottish Highland Cattle ;)

Do you have any favorite websites for farm purchases? I'd love to hear it!

This post is linked to:
Barn Hop 66


  1. Great tips. Flea markets too...Blessings from Wisconsin

  2. I agree, flea markets are great places to look too! Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. Great tips here Nichole! I just love your blog:) This post is so informative and I think my subscribers would really enjoy reading this. I would love for you to come share it at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable this Wednesday. And, I really hope that you will put Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on your list of carnivals to visit and link to each Wednesday!

    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable
    Here's the link:

  4. Thank you so much! I would love to share it :) I really enjoy reading your blog also, it's one of the first ones I visit everyday!

  5. You are so right! I have learned my lesson over much time that I always regret starting with retail. I got my pressure cooker for brand new at an auction for $2.00 but you really found some huge savings! Thanks for linking up @ The Ole' Saturday Trading Post blog hop!

  6. Thanks for the tips! We have not yet started a 'homestead' and have pretty stiff HOA rules in our community, but I always love to gather information for someday!

  7. Kristen - It's always great to keep learning about things, even if we aren't able to do them right away! I do that all the time.

    lilsuburbanhomestead - That's a great find!

  8. Thanks for linking this post as well:) You're an inspiration!!!

  9. Great information. I am just beginning my homesteading journey. I am new follower. I would love for you to visit me @!

  10. Thank you for following! I am headed your way right now :)

  11. I feel like we never can find good deals in my area, but then friends of ours or my in-laws will ring us up and tell us about an amazing deal they just got on such and such. Apparently I don't look hard enough!

  12. It takes a lot of searching. I do a lot of my shopping on Craigslist. I typically check the Farm and Garden section once a day, or every other day. It depends if I'm really looking for something or if I'm just keeping an eye out. Happy Deal Hunting!

  13. Awesome tips! We have a lot of junk auctions down here that usually occur at the same time as cow/horse auctions and you can find a lot of used farming equipment there as well.

  14. All true! I think a lot of people also forget the fine art of waiting for the right thing to come along. If it's not what you need at a price you want then you probably need to look around and wait a bit longer. The most right thing will make it's way to you at the most appropriate time.

  15. Love the post. Now following. Hopefully you can stop by sometime over at

  16. Hi, I would also suggest for La. & Ms. residents to true market bulletins put out by those states dept. of Ag. They are not very expensive, monthly issues, include everything from farming to livestock. In my opinion every single state dept. of Ag should put out one of these circulars, it is so handy for everyone. Plus nearly every state has some type of agricultural production.

    P.s. I think you can order issues even if you live out of state.

    Pam from La.