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How much does it cost to go Off-Grid and to live on the Land?

how-much-money-does-it-take-to-go-off-grid

How much Money does it take to Go Off Grid?


There are 10 things that you need to consider when going off grid and living on the land.


  1. water
  2. land
  3. shelter
  4. food
  5. communication
  6. power
  7. warmth
  8. transportation
  9. protection
  10. waste


Cob Cottage

how-much-money-does-it-take-to-go-off-grid

Building a Cob Cottage

WATER

1. One of the most important items to find when preparing to go off grid is land with running water on it. Everything else can be brought in but water is essential, one must have a good water source. Ideally, it would be nice if you also had a well on the land. It doesn't matter if there is a house on the property because you can build your own house for as little as $1,000 or for as much as you want, but water...running water would be a nice luxury. Not only do you need water for drinking but you also must have it to irrigate plants, support animals and if you have a decent running stream of water you can have all the electricity you want for FREE! However, even if you can't find a tract of land that has a stream or creek on it you can still set up a water catchment system so don't despair if you can't find water on the land...it's still in the sky!

LAND

2. Regarding land, some people say that the least amount of land you can get by with is ½ acre. Personally that seems rather small to me. I think 5 acres is more like it. You want to make sure the land is habitable, that it can grow crops, that it's not in a flood zone and that it is relatively flat enough to put a house on and farm. As I mentioned previously having running water on your land is like having a gold mine, that is very important. You can find land for as little as $1,000 an acre and less but it probably wouldn't have water on it. I'm thinking it might cost about $5,000 to get a decent amount of land with some water on it but it's an educated guess from what I've researched. I recently did a little research on Craigslist and found a beautiful tract of land that was $123,000 for 160 acres of beautiful land. It was about one hour south of Portland, Oregon. If you went in with 16 people that would be approximately $7,500 for 10 acres of land in a great area! You could even divide it into 5 acres for less than $4,000. So you might have to look a bit but deals are out there and believe me the prices will continue to go down.

SHELTER

3. When it comes to shelter most people think that that is the most expensive part of the equation, but I have recently discovered Earthen houses and Cob Cottages. What are Cob Cottages? Cob Cottages also known as earthen houses are homes made out of mud, sand, straw and lime. They do not require wood framing although you can use it. And you do need some rocks for the foundation. But, the main advantage of cob is that anyone can do it and the materials are very cheap and in many cases completely free. I have included a website that teaches you how to build with cob. They say you can build a house for as little as $1,000, but I am conservatively estimating about $5,000. I am not sure if their definition of house is the same as mine but nevertheless, watch the videos and learn. People have been building cob houses for millenniums, some are still standing. They are much more durable than houses made out of wood and plaster and it's easy to repair them. And...they are so cute!

FOOD

4. It goes without saying that food is very important. A greenhouse is a must as well as a garden. There are books on how to build underground self-heating greenhouses for as little as $500. With all the chem-trails in the sky a greenhouse makes a lot of sense, not to mention having a food source year round. Animals also provide non-GMO, fresh food. Chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks and cows all replenish themselves and take relatively little care. They also provide other products like wool, feathers, and lanolin. The cost of your animals will vary as well as the cost of seed but I would estimate it to be about $2,000.

COMMUNICATION

5. Communication is also very important. Satellite Internet Services are one way to go and they are relatively inexpensive. Also ham radios are another source of off grid communication. I think communication is very important as you need to protect yourself and how can you do that if you don't know what is going on. The cost for this is about $300 start up and $60 a month. However, if no satellite service is available or if you just don't want the government knowing exactly where you are via your computer or cell phone you can always opt out and get a CB or ham radio and save the $60 bucks a month.


POWER

6. These days there are many different sources of off grid power, some of them are solar power, wind power, hydro-power, and human power. All of these cost money, but I think that hydro-power is your best bet. You can buy a “backyard” hydro-power generator for about $2,000 and they say it will generate more than enough electricity for a good sized household. Of course if you are up north the water may freeze over the winter so you would have to have a back-up plan like a windmill or solar panels but if you are not up north water runs constantly (unlike the wind and sun) and you can meet all of your electricity needs with one source. Most of you are well aware of wind turbines and solar panels but there are also human powered bikes out there that can also help in a pinch, besides why work out on a treadmill that doesn't generate any electricity when you can work out and generate electricity at the same time?! Hydro-power is the most economical of the three, it provides the most power for the least amount of money. Wind turbines only work when the wind is blowing and solar power only works when the sun is shining and both are more expensive than micro-hydro power. Having said that, conserving power is one of your best bets while living off-grid. The less power you need the less you have to get. So before you do anything your home should be positioned and created in such a way as to require LESS power in the first place.

HEAT

7. In some areas of the country you might not have to worry about staying warm, but in others it will be a factor. If you build a cob house you will already be ahead of the game as they are very warm and it's easy to build a fireplace in them. In some states (like Ohio) you might be able to find a piece of land that has free natural gas on it, that would be a great boon as you wouldn't have to worry about finding and chopping wood. I think the most important factor regarding warmth is to make sure you build a house that keeps the warmth in in the first place. After that you can consider, wood-stoves or solar panels. I have just included this in the price of the house for a fireplace. However, if you do need a wood-stove, a really good one will cost you about $5,000. They have some at Lehman's hardware that are just wonderful and will heat your water as well. Personally, a wood-stove is on my must have list.

TRANSPORTATION

8. Personally, I would like to never own a car again as they require too much invasion of privacy. You have to get a license, register it, get insurance and on and on it goes. So my preferred method of transportation would be a tricycle. They have storage ability and are more stable than bicycles. I know, I know it might be difficult to go without a vehicle because of what could come up but another method might be to actually have a couple of horses or even a donkey on your property. At least animals replenish themselves! A tricycle costs about $1,000 to $2,000 dollars. Another alternative is to make your own solar car (you can find them on You Tube), however to do this would cost about $5,000, you can also buy a diesel engine car and grow your own vegetable oil but again the cost would be up there at about $5,000.



PROTECTION

9. Protection: Well, there are several ways that you can protect yourself. The first thing that comes to mind are fire-arms and I'm all for that but you'd better know how to clean them and use them before you get them. However, there are other methods to protect yourself as well. One method is by hiding. If you put a living roof on all your buildings it might be difficult for anyone flying over to notice that you are there. If your greenhouse or even your main house is partially underground it also would be difficult to know if you are there. Offense is just as important as defense. Dogs are also good sources of protection as are security cameras and security fences that are invisible. These costs will vary but should be minimal.

WASTE

10. Waste: Hopefully you wont have too much waste because you will use it. The absolute most wonderful book in the world (OK maybe that was a slight exaggeration) is The Humanure Handbook. Anyone who is even thinking of going off grid should buy this book. It tells you how to set up a humanure (composting human waste) toilet system that is incredibly cheap and will provide you with the best fertilizer your dirt has ever had! This is a MUST read and is listed above if you want to purchase it. If you dont' want to go the humanure composting route the next best thing is an incinerator toilet that doesn't use any water (therefore no need for a sewer system) and reduces human waste to non-toxic ashes. It can be put anywhere including on a boat or on the highest mountain. They run about $2,000 which is a lot less then putting in a sewer system but certainly $2,000 dollars more than using the humanure system.

Regarding income and property taxes. I have tried to construct a scenario that you could live without a job (considering so many people in this country are unemployed). One could easily sell a couple of pigs and some produce to acquire the needed money for property taxes. In some parts of the country 1 pound of wool goes for about $150. You do the math...a handful of sheep would more than pay for your taxes or other monetary needs. Cottage industries like making woolen articles from sheep, selling heirloom seeds and plants or eggs, milk and cheese would be more than sufficient. In order to get the things you need without paying any income taxes you could barter items. An idea would be to set up a bartering store and list items you have and items you need and then negotiate with your neighbors.


Finally, I haven't gone off grid yet but as you can see I've done a lot of research on it and hope to do so someday. I do think that if you can form a community and go off grid together that that would be optimal. And, I am also hoping that this way of life is viable in America in the future. Things are getting so bad so quickly that I'm unsure about whether it will be safe to stay in this country much longer. I hope this helps anyone considering going off grid and if you know of other inventions or other helpful suggestions please comment. I think that you could go off-grid for about $25,000 very nicely.

how-much-money-does-it-take-to-go-off-grid

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Comments

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 28, 2018:

Thank you for commenting, I am glad the article was of some help.

Valerie Byron on January 06, 2018:

Thank you for all the information. I was

glad you mentioned

the green roof. l plan to use an alternte fuel namely rabbit manure then you add the ash to the underground garden. It will be a while before l get where l am going but your article here has been a great help. Thank you

Rebecca Long from somewhere in the appalachian foothills on March 22, 2017:

Sounds like you and I have the same dream. Very interesting article.

Sam Boothe on December 10, 2016:

Greetings once again Brie.

In your top Ten countdown should medications not be considered a high priority? We do have a vast amount of elderly here in West Virginia and so many are, such as I, in dire need of medications. Which turns us toward our extremely high Veteran population.

Thanks

Summersville, West Virginia

Jennifer Mugrage from Columbus, Ohio on November 19, 2016:

Thanks for the useful article and links. You make it sound so doable. I don't have time to read all the comments, but it looks like there is plenty of good advice there as well.

IMO, living off the grid is a lot harder than we city dwellers imagine. Look at Charles Ingalls ... omnicompent, cool-headed, brave ... and look at how in Little House on the Prairie alone, his family almost died in almost every single chapter.

Corruption Free on January 22, 2015:

Let there be a law that the rental on buildings be remain static in a year with no growth in India, Let continuous no growth or zero growth freeze rentals. let the rental decrease by 10% every year in a year of negative growth and let 50% of rental revenue be used for upkeep of the building.

Tracy on January 17, 2015:

I am addicted to these small homes and living off grid.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 13, 2015:

I think if you are in good shape with some help you could.

Elena Picado on January 13, 2015:

Hi Brie!

I will be 60 this year. Do you think I can build my own cob house by myself? Or am I just dreaming?

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 26, 2014:

Thanks for the pointers "Margy".

Margy on November 26, 2014:

I live off the grid for the majority of the year. I agree with all of your points. I would add two other things to consider. My husband and I have chosen this lifestyle and it fits us. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. Everyone involved needs to be sure it's a lifestyle that will work for them. The other factor I would add is entertainment. Daily living does take up a lot of time: wood gathering, gardening, maintenance, going to town for supplies, etc. But there is a lot of free time (especially during winter when our days are short and the nights are long). We have chosen to have to Internet or TV, but love reading and writing. We love outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, quad riding, and exploring. Thinking ahead about what you like to do helps you find the right location for your off-the-grid home.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on October 10, 2014:

Yeah, it gets difficult when you start climbing those numbers!

Snakesmum on October 10, 2014:

Although I dream of living off the grid, at my age I don't think it's likely to happen. I did enjoy reading your article though, and particularly liked the idea of a green roof, as in your intro picture. That would help with insulation, for sure!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on October 08, 2014:

Thank You "ImproveBallet", it is a pity that something like that would prevent you from living a more natural life...maybe someday eh.

And, Thank you "colorfulone" you don't know how much that means to me.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on October 08, 2014:

This is one of the best living off the grid articles I have stumbled upon and I have read several. I would like to go more green using solar power, but first there are several huge trees that would need to be cute down to the south, and I'm just not ready to see them fall.

Magietha du Plessis from South Africa on October 08, 2014:

I love this article and the whole idea of living off the grid. I live in South Africa and I only wish it was possible here but it is not. With our farm murders the general thinking is that no one older than 55 should even consider it. What a pity.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 18, 2014:

The only place I've actually gone off the grid is in Manhattan and yes I wrote about that.

PhoenixV from USA on September 18, 2014:

How is your off the grid experiencing going? What are some things you have learned, like things that worked and mistake made if any? Do you have a hub that goes into detail about all those experiences?

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 07, 2014:

Thanks Tracy :)

tracy on July 07, 2014:

You are awesome!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 03, 2013:

Sorry but if I post it here it's public and I don't want that. The fan mail is there, other people have managed to find it and send me private messages but if you are having a hard time..that's ok, it's not the end of the world.

bob marley on June 03, 2013:

Spent 15 minutes ,couldn't find fan mail. Why not just send it here as not for posting. My laptop needs work. Very slow.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 01, 2013:

To send me a private email you go fan mail..then once in there you can send a private email message.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 01, 2013:

Bob, you can write to me using the link in the top right corner. Send me your email address and I will have it in case anyone wants to write to you.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 01, 2013:

Bob, you should put an email address on because it's not easy to find you through this website.

bob marley on June 01, 2013:

Im sure some of your followers would be interested. I'm flying out to Belize this wednesday for 3 weeks. I'll be O.G. (off grid). I won't be on line that often( once a week maybe) Anyone wanting to contact me or come down to Belize during this time, can get in touch though here. With your permission of course Brie, I'll be glad show them the ropes.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 31, 2013:

Ok, thanks Bob.

bob marley on May 31, 2013:

Yes Brie , you won't find land for sale over the internet cheap, in Belize ,Chicago, or Idaho. You would either need to know some who knows Belize or go there yourself and find people who wants to sell their land or knows someone who wants to sell. Stay away from realestate agenceys. There are times when they will give land away you have to clean it ,and pay a small servay fee. I pick up 3 acers that way.Cheap

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 31, 2013:

Yes Jesse, if the spring water that you have has no force to it ..you wont be able to generate electricity. However, spring water is a great source of fresh water so that is good in and of itself. There are ways to create more force by digging and redirecting the water but that is above my pay grade. Good luck in your ventures, I'm trying to make a go of it as well.

Jesse on May 30, 2013:

Brie when you mention running water are you talking about a stream of water? i have spring water running down the mountain on my dads land he bought but its no where near as much as the guy in the video. Im thinking it may not generate much electricity... But nonetheless i keep hope in someday i may have the chance to live like this, its been on my mind for years now... Nice information btw!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 30, 2013:

Bob, I just checked out the price of property in Belize..it seems to me that it is just as expensive, if not more so, than in certain parts of the states...where is the cheap property?

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 30, 2013:

Well Bob, if it doesn't work out for me here in Idaho..I may join you.

bob marley on May 30, 2013:

I am not crazy about the very hot. In winter its not so warm. I have to sleep sometimes with a blanket at nite.It does make it easy not to worry about heating you houe . Crime, they have there share. Mostly against each other. and in the city. They have cruise ships nealy everyday. Belizeans don't want to mess with Americans. The point, is you can build what you want where you want. No permitt. or building codes. Yes .I just pick up 10 acers more. Brie, they have so much land and so few people. I'm happy

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 29, 2013:

Yeah..I thought of going to Belize but I'm not crazy about tropical climes. They do speak English and you can get to it by land and they will allow you to bring your pets.

What's the crime rate like? Do you have a good link for property?

bob marley on May 29, 2013:

BELIZE

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 26, 2013:

Where?

bob marley on May 26, 2013:

It's nearly imposible to live off grid hear in the USA , I ch0ose to go outside the country. I can drive there in two days, and they speak english. I can rent my house,save money, go and live like most Americans would call , the adventure of their lives. I love it. Plenty of fresh water, food, non GMO's. The best thing about it is you can own land without being a citizen. Oh! that wasn't the best thing. The land is dirt cheap. I mean acres for less than $1000, DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 24, 2013:

Thanks for the encouraging words "LongTimeMother", everyday it gets a little closer.

LongTimeMother from Australia on May 24, 2013:

My family and I love living off the grid. I'm pleased to see your adventure will begin soon. With the right attitude, you'll find you face challenges, not problems. There's a lot of fun and a wonderful sense of achievement associated with meeting a challenge.

There is also a great sense of community among off-gridders. It doesn't matter where a person lives. We all offer each other advice and support, whether that be in person or on the internet.

Your real education in off-grid living will get underway the moment you actively start living the lifestyle. There will be lots of surprises, but I trust you'll enjoy it

:)

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on May 23, 2013:

I don't know about you but I'm going to pursue the off-grid life..I'll let you know how it goes.

foreignpress from Denver on May 23, 2013:

I'm glad you updated this hub from two years ago to include cob dwellings. My great-grandmother lived in a sod hut on the prairie. She had almost nothing and lived a long life. What you suggest, though, is very demanding, hard work. There's no "easy life" to this even if land, water, and other necessities are acquired. Still, we only get one life on this planet. So how are we going to live it?

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on March 14, 2013:

No one ever said it was easy, I just believe it is much more fulfilling than driving for an hour, sitting in a cubicle working for someone else in some meaningless job, driving back home, sleeping and doing it again! So, as you can see there are downsides to both scenarios. I will be starting my off-grid adventure very soon so I'll let you know, become a fan and you will get my articles as they are written. I'm also going to put them on You Tube.

Utopia on March 14, 2013:

Why is that many folks, especially city folk think that off grid living would be so much easier today then let's say the 1800's?

I'm only one generation away from dirt floor cabin farm living. Grow up in the city , but now live in the country. Not far from my grand parents farm. My home is over a hundred years old. Five acres. We have a spring, creek, well water, and natural gas well. The gas well sucks in the winter. Got the wood burning stove - used it the past to winters for heating the house. Lots of work keeping the wood burning. Not to mention a sh!t load of wood.

Yes, were on the grid and TSHTF we can go back to living in the 1800's.

I would encourage those that are interested in off grid living to take a month off and volunteer your services to those that are already off grid. Many will welcome your help. Better yet lease land like steves for a 1000.00 a year. Go work it for a year. Build a tiny cob home. Experiment with off grid living before commenting all your resources.

It's easy to romanticize living off grid, but doing it is not as romantic as one might think.

Or forefathers were a lot more talented then we give them credit for. If the SHTF then you can kiss them solar panels goodbye. They don't last long and take batteries to store the power. How long would they last?

I know people that moved to the country with dreams of the simple life only to find out the hard way that life ain't so simple. They bought the farm and are miserable for their efforts.

With all this said, I love my life on the farm, it has it's perks. Lots of work. The work is never done. Even when you think it's done. I learned a lot about death as one does when they raise farm animals. This part I don't like. You get attached. Some animals I won't kill. I won't nor can't kill my chickens. I love my chickens. So I just enjoy their eggs. I butchered a pig. I can't do this again as pigs are very smart. I can kill and butcher / dress a deer because the deer is like a stranger.

If I had it to do all over again... I'd have moved to another country. I'm fifty and hubby had a stroke. So I would imangine that I'll stay where I'm at til I'm to old to do it.

Good luck and hope you can make that off grid utopian dream come true.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 10, 2013:

Thank you for commenting, please feel free to re-post the article on your Facebook so that others will be informed.

pramodgokhale from Pune( India) on February 10, 2013:

Modern lifestyle and building large cities is a matter of pride for governments but it is going expensive. In India we are on course of urbanization under the name of rapid progress and development but it is done by rich politicians of our country.

The rising expenditure on urban amenities , it is difficult to cope with it.

I appreciate Americans with such low cost innovative ideas to get relief and a self reliant model of living, Secondary we live in contaminated atmosphere , it further increases our health expenses and carbonized cities only add more health disorders, cob houses should be satisfying human needs but GREED!!! is a devil.

Thank you for innovative ideas and interaction.

pramod gokhale

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 09, 2013:

Thanks "Little Grandmommy", feel free to repost on your facebook page and spread the word.

Gail from Small Town Tennessee on February 09, 2013:

This is great! I have learned so much reading this. I can't wait to go to the website and find out more about cob houses. Terrific hub. Thanks!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 08, 2013:

Enjoy the Cob houses, I'm hoping to build mine next year..oh and thanks for the kind comments.

Lizolivia from Central USA on February 08, 2013:

Concise and well written. Thank you for sharing the well thought out and unique information you have obtained about living a self-sustained lifestyle. Going to look into the cob houses.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 08, 2013:

Great, thanks. I am hoping I can do it so that others will see that it can be done.

Joanne M Olivieri on February 08, 2013:

I am pretty much in the same boat as you, only a bit older. I will definitely stay tuned and I am following you so I can get the latest news. Thanks.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 08, 2013:

Well Joanne, I'm going to do it myself next year and you can be sure I'll be writing about it so stay tuned. I am a 51 year old woman and I don't have very much money so if I can do almost anyone can do it!

Joanne M Olivieri on February 08, 2013:

I certainly like this idea and have been thinking about something like this for years. I however have that self doubt that I don't know if I could do this on my own. I really enjoyed reading all of this info and will check out your links. Being self sufficient and hot having any bills would be a dream come true :)

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 04, 2013:

The reason I want to do this has nothing to do with wanting to separate from everything..I just don't want any bills AT ALL! To me it's a lifestyle of freedom.

Kyson Parks from San Diego, CA on February 04, 2013:

Glad to know how to do this if ever I wanted to give living off the grid a try! It sure would be nice to feel a little separate from everything!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 04, 2013:

Actually MarieAlan1, I have! In fact, I am really hoping that once I get the house built and the farm up and running that I will be able to have people come and stay..sort of a B&B thing to see how it's done. :) I'm leaving NYC next month and should be able to move to Idaho where I want to do this within a year or so. I will also film my adventure on You Tube under Brie217.

Marie Alana from Ohio on February 04, 2013:

This is a great hub. It is something that truly interests me, but I don't think I could do. I spent a term of college in ecotourism and learning a little about these types of things. Have you ever thought about building an "adventure land" where people can come, spend a week, and learn about how they might go about "living off the grid?"

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 04, 2013:

Thanks, "wallflowereys". I will be following through to some extent either this year or the next.

wallflowereyes from New York on February 04, 2013:

This is a great hub. This topic is something that has always intrigued me. Thanks for being so informative. Looks like you have spent a lot of time doing your research. If or when you follow through, I wish you the best in your journey!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 27, 2013:

I have the book and it's the best.

AJ Long from Pennsylvania on January 27, 2013:

Okay thanks so much! I will have to look into it.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 27, 2013:

If you get the book I have for sale above called "The Hand Sculptured House", the author Ianto Evans will tell you everything you need to know. His telephone number is in the book and I have called him and he was extremely helpful.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 27, 2013:

If you get the book I have for sale above called "The Hand Sculptured House", the author Ianto Evans will tell you everything you need to know. His telephone number is in the book and I have called him and he was extremely helpful.

AJ Long from Pennsylvania on January 27, 2013:

My son has extreme sensitivities to mold. We have heard of cob houses before but haven't met anyone with experience building, living in one. Thought you might know...

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 27, 2013:

Why are you worried about mold with Cob Cottages?

AJ Long from Pennsylvania on January 27, 2013:

Brie Hoffman, thank you for the informative Hub. Off grid living will become increasingly important, I'm afraid. I have question, maybe you know the answer to it. "How can a cob cottage be built to be mold free and to stay that way?" Please let me know. Thanks again!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 12, 2013:

Thanks Kaiyan717 for your very uplifting comments.

kaiyan717 from West Virginia on January 12, 2013:

Hey Brie, seen this linked to one of my hubs, love the thought and research that went into it. Like you I hope to go off grid completely one day, although like you I know there is alot to learn, but we have to start somewhere. I lived off grid for several months after Katrina, although it really wasn't my choice, although I could have moved to another area for a while like many others did.

I am sad to see so many debbie downers personally, I read some of the post, but they just kind of bummed me out. As of now I live in an apartment, but I do what I can. like you, I research and try out new things, while trying to lower my current use of the grid, I use a third of the electricity I used to, as well as gardening on my balcony and preserving food. Gardening is not so hard, I mean you are probably not going to plant acres of food, realistically I produced 85 percent of my produce in the warmer months on a small balcony porch in buckets and pots, not to mention a nice stock for winter. I hope you dont let the negativity get to you!

I also believe we in America are in for a rude awakening and all this knowledge will merely put you one up on those that have not learned. I think it is hard for many to fathom such a way of life, so they flip their nose to your positivity. Crafts and even content writing are a great way to procure extra money, think clothes making, crocheting, knitting, all these things can be sold locally or you can use Etsy, I do and it is a great platform to show your goods. One of the top earners on hear writes a lot about homesteading activities fro her house. Keep up the positivevibe and I wish you luck in your endeavors! Dont let the debbie downers get you down!

Elvis Jackson from All around the world! on January 07, 2013:

Luckily though zombies don't fly planes or use binoculars.:)

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 07, 2013:

Yea but I'm planning on using galvanized steel in order to collect rain water for drinking. I figure they can always use heat sensitive binoculars if they really are looking for you.

Elvis Jackson from All around the world! on January 07, 2013:

I love the part about a living roof to go undetected. I'd probably throw me a few goats up there.;)

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 07, 2013:

Thanks Dan, it's very exciting isn't it..I mean the possibility of living a good healthy life that is doable.

Dan Barfield from Gloucestershire, England, UK on January 07, 2013:

This is a fantastic hub!! What a pleasure to read! I particularly love the idea of cob houses - I'm a bit of a hobbit at heart and dream of earth-houses with turf roofs. It's good to know that this kind of living is affordable as well as doable :)

Interesting, voted up!!

Britney from Southern California Desert on January 06, 2013:

What an awesome Hub! Seriously. I love the photos and videos and the style of writing is so personal! I feel like a friend is chatting with me. :) Great job. Voted up and everything!

Sarah Campbell from Liverpool, UK on January 06, 2013:

Interesting article, it's not something I've ever thought about but it would be nice to try - it seems like a much lonelier existence though which isn't really for me. As an extended retreat I could see this as a great way to get back to our roots so to speak!

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on January 06, 2013:

Too funny- I did not realize all these comments were yours because the article was yours, lol. I liked what you said above and wanted to make sure I friended you before I read further along the line of comments... only to discover you wrote this excellent hub. Oh dear.

I did have a suggestion for transportation. I have taken to renting a car when I need one. Right now I am renting a Mazda 6 for $9.95 a day. I don't have car payments or high insurance payments and I get a car in great working order. I am returning it in a week, after I run all my errands...

greencha from UK on January 06, 2013:

Your welcome Brie . Very best wishes. Chas

Better Yourself from North Carolina on January 06, 2013:

Wow, you've definitely thought this through! Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

Elvis Jackson from All around the world! on January 06, 2013:

Looks like you've done your research! Great! Thanks!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 06, 2013:

If I ever get to the UK again I will contact you! Thanks for writing.

greencha from UK on January 06, 2013:

Excellent article. There is an old established community in USA (I think first one in the States),called Twin Oaks,my friend used to live there and found it an excellent community with luvly folk.

If you ever in UK contact me I will show you around the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. I agree with what you infer-our so called established society is breaking down fast, I think we all got to get back to the land and work with nature best we can now. Blessings

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 05, 2013:

You're welcome "thost"

thost from Dublin, Ireland on January 05, 2013:

You have given me food for thought. Thank you.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 05, 2013:

Good to know "LongTimeMother".

LongTimeMother from Australia on January 05, 2013:

Hey Brie, I am racing outside with my camera now and will post some encouraging photos. It is summer here and my solar system is at 100% charge, plus my extraordinarily easy vegetable garden is looking good. Good news for you ... being off the grid is not the same thing as being off the planet. I live just one hour's drive from a major city.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 05, 2013:

Thanks "Smartbuyproducts" and "FreezeFrame34". I hope to start my adventure soon.

FreezeFrame34 from Charleston SC on January 05, 2013:

Very interesting hub!

My friends and I once stubbled upon a small house as you described in the middle of the woods while we were riding our ATV's.

It would definitely be different than city living, that's for sure!

Smartbuyproducts on January 05, 2013:

That's a lot of good ideas for going off grid, keep it up.

Alana Nicole on January 04, 2013:

Wow I love it !!

lesliebyars on January 04, 2013:

Interesting hub

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 04, 2013:

Thanks "iammrnathan".

nathaniel from tagum city on January 04, 2013:

very good!!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 04, 2013:

Thanks "Deltachord", I'm glad you liked it. I hope you voted it up.

Deltachord from United States on January 04, 2013:

Very good article that is a lot of help to people wanting to be self-sufficient. Enjoyed reading it.

A Driveby Quipper on January 04, 2013:

How much does it cost to go off the grid?

Nothing . . . lose your job, and face the challenge.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 03, 2013:

Thanks "jainismus". And, I agree "Natashalh".

Natasha from Hawaii on January 03, 2013:

I would love to do this! I genuinely enjoy having to participate in my everyday life in ways we don't tend to think about any more.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on January 03, 2013:

This is one of the great articles I found at Hubpages.....

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 02, 2013:

Thanks for commenting Elisha. You might watch some of Dan Rojas' vids, he does a lot with solar heating. I have added one of his at the very bottom of the article.

Elisha on January 01, 2013:

Thank you for the article, very informative and well thought out. I live in northern Canada, any resources you could point me towards to living off grid and staying warm in the long cold winter?

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