We tend to have this conception of saving money as something extraneous, something you do to make your normal style of living a little more affordable. But this kind of thinking really plays into the trap that mainstream society has set for everyone. They convince you that living in a certain way is normal, and once you are living that way it is up to you to make decisions that will save you a few dollars here or there. The dominant way of doing things is never seriously challenged with this way of living, as you are always operating from within the context set up by the multinational corporations and their government minions.
Living off-the-grid is based on the idea of overturning this paradigm. But even those of us who have made the decision to remove ourselves from the mainstream in search of more security and a higher quality of life have often absorbed so much of the propaganda of the society we grew up in that we may be unconsciously limiting ourselves in the lifestyle choices we make.
The Power of You
One outstanding example is transportation. Cars and trucks are expensive to purchase, fuel, maintain, and insure, and yet like everyone else we tend to depend on them to take us everywhere. But what about bicycling? Here is an activity that is easy to do and excellent for our health, but how many of us are regularly using bicycles to do our shopping, or to travel to see friends? Cheap used bikes are not hard to find, and there are many options for racks or carriers that can be attached to the front or the back of the bicycle to help you carry things. A used child carrier, for example, is easy to purchase, and can be used for carrying bags of groceries or other items just as easily as it can carry a little one.
Human power is the ultimate off-the-grid transportation option, and there is no reason you shouldn’t be using a bicycle to make trips that are within a distance of, say, 15-20 miles or so. Besides saving money on gas and car maintenance, taking up bicycling is an excellent way to improve your conditioning and health. And, because you aren’t racing against Lance Armstrong, you can pedal as slowly as you need to and still make pretty good time. This is why you will see senior citizens out pedaling around on bicycles, because it is an activity that does not necessarily have to be strenuous and difficult.
Building Your Own Solar Power Units
All of us are attracted to the idea of alternative energy, such as wind and solar, because of the de-centralized nature of these power sources. Unfortunately, because the government has spent so much time and money coddling the petroleum and nuclear industries, the development of these superior energy sources has been held back. Consequently, alternative energy systems can still be terribly expensive to purchase and install. But the power of the sun and the wind is provided by God for free, and there are a lot of clever people out there working to develop cheap and easy methods to harness that energy.
Did you know it was possible to buy damaged solar fuel cells on eBay? A man named Mike Davis found a way to manufacture his own solar panels for electricity using damaged cells, plus a few more inexpensive items including plywood, Plexiglas, electrical wiring, and some basic equipment for home construction and repair. Davis was able to make a functioning solar panel that provided usable electricity out of parts and supplies that cost just a little over $100.
Recycled or recyclable materials of all types can be found just about anywhere, and they usually cost next to nothing to acquire. All across the Internet, it is possible to find do-it-yourself guides that will help you learn how to build many different things and undertake many different projects that will help you save money and become more self-sufficient. Another way to save money using the sun is to build your own water heater, which can be done for less than $50. The key component is an old coolant grill off the back of a refrigerator, which you should be able to pick up for free at a junk yard or any other place they accept old appliances for disposal. All you need is some scrap wood, a plate of window glass, and a few other handy items (such as duct tape), and you will be able to put together a hot water heater that works quickly and efficiently.
Growing your own crops is of course one of the best ways to save money while at the same time providing your family with food that is more nutritious than the packaged and processed junk that most people buy in the supermarket. The only problem is that growing seasons usually cover only about half of the year. However, if you set up a hydroponics system in your home or garage, you can have fresh and healthy foods all year long. It is incredibly easy to create a home-made hydroponic growing station – all you need are such items as an aquarium pump, some plastic tubing, some old two liter bottles, and a few more cheap things you can easily find around the house or in a gardening store. With just these items, you can set up an automated hydroponic system that constantly circulates fresh nutrient-filled water to your plants.
Saving Money by Setting Yourself Free
The ideas presented here are just a sampling of the ways you can live more inexpensively by using your imagination and being steadfast in your determination to live off-the-grid. The primary goal of mainstream political and economic institutions is to make you dependent on them for everything. When they can do that, they can get away with charging more for everything because they have you trapped in their web. Escaping from that web is critical if you want to regain your independence – the fact that you can save a lot of money doing so is really just a nice fringe benefit.