This resource page lists services, products, and companies that we personally use and/or know have proven valuable to others. Here you can quickly find the recommendations mentioned in our posts. You may save thousands of dollars from just one page!
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links included, but they are to products/services/companies that we highly recommend.
Homestead Money Savers
Nest Learning Thermostat: At both our country homestead and our metropolitan home we use Nest Learning Thermostats. We have been using these thermostats since their initial release in 2011. We believe they are the best programmable thermostat available today. There are considerations to make when using Nest Learning Thermostat with a millivolt HVAC system, and we’d be happy to help you understand them. Our Nest Learning Thermostats have saved us thousands of dollars in utilities over the years, so are a top choice for Weekend Homesteader Money Savers. We love the custom schedules and location aware updates recently introduced. A full Nest thermostat review with connectivity, scheduling, features, and compatibility considerations will be added to our blog soon.
Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm: Our metropolitan home has an embedded alarm for smoke and carbon monoxide, but our country homestead was built in the 70’s. Our insurance provider, American Family, offered a discount on our homeowners insurance if we installed a Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. The clear voice alerts are much more effective at expressing what the alert condition is when compared to the sirens found on other alarms. Also, self-tests are performed and texts are sent to our phones to inform us if any follow up action is needed. No more forgetting to test batteries, ensure the sensors are cleaned, etc. With the incentive offered from our homeowners insurance we’ve saved hundreds of dollars in just a few short months.
Amazon Prime: We have been using Amazon Prime for several years. As weekend homesteaders we benefit most from the FREE Two-Day Shipping, especially on items we realize we need for the next weekend when we return to the homestead. Additionally, we participate in the Subscribe & Save program, whereby items are shipped automatically to our address on a predetermined scheduled, and this saves us up to 15% on products we consume every month (think TP, cleaners, diapers for the baby, etc). There are additional benefits to the Amazon Prime membership too, like unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes, free music, and more, but we haven’t taken advantage of those other perks, except for the Prime Music benefit (see our Amazon Echo recommendation). But the FREE Shipping has saved us hundreds of dollars on items we use regularly around the homestead. Some of our startup maple-syrup-making supplies were acquired through Amazon Prime and many of the items we needed to start raising chickens were too. Note: Sometimes you may find a better deal at your local farm-supply store. Don’t neglect comparison shopping your local retailers. Depending on your location, however, you may not have to pay tax on items purchased through Amazon and no local retailer we’ve approached have honored lower prices found online through Amazon.
The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself: I love this book. It covers everything you could possibly imagine regarding homesteading, A-Z.