Alright, serious question here…Who doesn’t need a few extra hours in their day?
We’re all trying to do so much all the time! I know I feel super busy and pressed for time more often than not, so when I come across something that either saves me time or saves me from some stress, I’m all over it!
So, in thinking about a few of the tricks I’ve figured out over the years, I thought I’d ask few of my friends for their tips and tricks for getting things done faster / easier / cheaper and see what it all adds up to.
Oh man did they deliver!
So, without further ado, I give to you the best of the best Homestead Hacks!
Chickens and ducks and geese, Oh my!
- Bulk Chicken Feed
- Homemade Chicken Feed Recipes: Soy-free, corn-free, fermented, sprouted
- How a Simple $2 Latch Saved My Sanity
In the Garden and Around the Property
- Make Your Own Seed Tape
- How to Kill Squash Bugs, Squash bug Eggs, and Nymphs
- Quick Hoop House DIY
- Pallet Projects
- Turn an old milk jug into a watering can!
- Add a latch to your garden gate!
In the Kitchen
- Homemade Kefir Without Dirty Dishes
- How to Skim Milk (the Hands-Free Way)
- 2 Tips for Making Perfect Goat Cheese
- Easy Peel Hardboiled Fresh Eggs
- Making Your Own Yogurt is Inexpensive & Healthy
- How to Make Brown Sugar at Home
- Growing Onions from Scraps
Around the House
- How to Make Your Own Hot and Cold Packs
- Mel at the Faulk Farmstead made this wonderfully simple (and super cute) Bottle Opener to allow for cracking open a cold one while juggling whatever else is in your hands. Brilliant.
We Speak from Experience!
- Jennifer from Cluck n Hoe says, “I use my Bread Machine to mix, knead and do the first rise on my bread dough. Then, all I have to do is shape it, allow it’s second rise, bake & EAT!”
- Rebecca from Letters from Sunnybrook reminds us that Laziness is the Daddy of Invention (especially when it comes to teenagers!)
- Jo from Homestead Chronicles has a couple of tips for us: 1) Easiest way ever to melt crystallized honey … set the honey jar in a crock pot filled with hot water (no lid on jar or crock pot) and set it to high and walk away for an hour. When it is melted and looking like honey again, turn the crock pot off and walk away again to let it cool slowly. No double boiler, no stirring. 2) Never seem to have enough pots for all your plants and seedlings? Start saving coffee cans and drill holes in the bottom. Use the lids as trays to catch leakage after watering. You can also use coffee cans as mini-compost cans with lids to keep fruit flies out. When full, carry them out to the heap. Also, use more than one to help separate out eggshells and used coffee grounds that are going directly on the garden rather than in with the rest of the compost. Mark the lids with “compost, eggshells, and grounds” so you know which is which.
- Tessa at Homestead Lady says, “Get yourself a nice set of glass bowls with lids for fermenting, soaking sprouting. Juuuuuuussst don’t put them in the oven.” Case in point: Melted Lid Flop
- Chris at Joybilee Farm says, “To repel ticks from animals and people, Make a mixture of tsp. peppermint essential oil, 1 tsp. eucalyptus essential oil, and 1 tsp. tea tree essential oil. Put it in a 500 ml spray bottle and fill to the top with distilled water. Spray the topline and legs of llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, and dogs. Omit the tea tree if using it on cats — tea tree is toxic to cats and rabbits. Works for humans, too, spray on shoes and pant legs. Tick season is bad this year and ticks can be deadly. Stop them from climbing up.
- I love to freeze every liquid possible in ice cube trays for easier storage and use later. Leftover buttermilk? Freeze it! A plethora of herbs? Freeze them in oil! Red Chile? Lemon juice? Yep, freeze ’em all! Once frozen, just throw them into freezer bags and label! Not only does it take care of any potential waste up front, but a little bit of prep now will save you tons of work later!
Now it’s your turn! Please share any hacks you have in the comments below in the form of links or stories! If we all work together, we can make our lives a whole lot easier!