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If you’re dreaming of going off grid soon but are waiting until you save enough money to do it, there are ways to do it on the cheap. There are many properties in the USA you can buy for a few hundred dollars or a thousand dollar down. So lets say you put $1000 down on a couple acres of land. A good small 500 Watt solar power system can be had for around $1000 depending on the manufacturer. About Off Grid WorldAll about off grid living, living off the grid, sustainable living, homesteading, prepping, survival, solar power, wind power, renewable energy, permaculture, hydroponics, recycling, DIY projects, and natural building.
Between high energy costs (which are expected to keep rising) and the uncertainty in the world today, the idea of going “off-grid” is gaining popularity.
Those that do end up saving a bundle on their monthly budget, as well as gaining the security of not having to depend upon our aging infrastructure. A lot of this depends on where a home is located, as it has always been much easier and more acceptable to have an off-grid lifestyle if one is living in a rural environment, rather than an urban one.
While it is possible to forgo electricity and return to the ways of our great-grandparents, most of us don’t really want to do that.
With that in mind, the first thing to do is to design a home that is energy efficient in all ways. While it won’t totally eliminate the refrigerator, it’s possible to get away from much of our dependency on refrigeration by building a root cellar.
A deep freeze for the frozen food will save money as well, as they are more energy efficient, especially if it is installed in the already cool root cellar. A clothes dryer is an unnecessary luxury, as clothing dries just fine when it is hung out on the line. The two most common means of producing electricity for an off-grid home are solar and wind. Some places don’t have enough wind to operate a wind generator, making it a waste of money to buy one. The second major area to consider is water and sewage; or we could say incoming and outgoing water.
By putting in water efficient appliances and learning water efficient ways of doing things, we can greatly reduce our water consumption, without having to make major lifestyle changes. Don’t try to go off-grid without making your home more efficient, you’ll wear yourself out trying. About the Author Latest PostsAbout Bill WhiteBill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. I am surprised that you recommend using toilet waste in compost that you would use on food.
Admittedly, the sludge from your own toilets would not necessarily have so many toxic chemicals, but I understand that there is a possible connection to health problesms using human waste for food fertilizer.
I might just add that the best source for building up the mineral content in the land with incredible results is using products from the sea. As to water usage in toilets, almost all toilets in super-dry outback Australia are "dual flush".
As for collecting water for storage, we bought a cheap 5-foot plastic kiddie pool that collects the rain and then I dump it into rain barrels for storage until rain stops happening daily but garden still wants water. Another upgrade we did to our 55-year-old house a couple months after moving in was window replacement. Hi preppers, I realize that most people cannot do what we have accomplished but it is food for thought. While this whole subject is sort of nauseating you have to realize that after a SHTF scenario the fertilizer truck won't be coming, nor will the Home & Garden store be open. Living sustainably means using the resources that are at hand, not running to wallyville to buy some more CHEMICAL FERTILIZER when you have exhausted your garden plot of nutrients.
All comments, messages, ideas, remarks, or other information that you send to us (other than information protected according to the law) become and remain our property. New York interior designer Scott Newkirk spends his weekdays living and working the hectic big city lifestyle, but on weekends, he escapes to his 300 square foot off grid cabin the woods.
Newkirk uses an outdoor propane water heater for occasional hot showers, though the stream running near the cabin provides the perfect spot for summertime bathing. The interior of the cabin is finished in aged wood, including old hickory planks for the stairs, and plenty of windows and screened areas for an indoor-outdoor feel. Read more about Newkirk’s cabin at New York Magazine, and view the slideshow for more images. Solar powered housing, a garden that produces your fruits and vegetables, and a stress-free lifestyle are not something that takes years of planning and research. How to build a nice small cabin powered by solar panels: Lamar Alexander built this cute little 400 square foot cabin for approximately $2000, and powers it with a 570 watt solar and wind power system.
These houses may not be very big, but the families have all their basic needs met and now have financial freedom and free time to live the lives they want.
With the all white interior and plenty of exposure to the outdoors, The Shack appears larger than it is.
This tiny cottage with gorgeous views of the surrounding wilderness is an inspiring example for those wanting to build their own sustainable off grid home.  Very nicely done! Off the Grid is a weekly outdoor food truck bonanza staged every Friday from 5-10 pm at the historic waterfront campus of Fort Mason Center.
In 2016, Off The Grid features nearly 30 food trucks, food tents and dessert carts, plus a cocktail bar, wine bar and beers  all coming out to Fort Mason Center, rain or shine. Join the 95,000+ San Franciscans and get our picks for the best Bay Area free & cheap events and deals each week.
There are properties you can purchase for only a few hundred dollars down and a couple hundred per month with little or no credit.
This means you can purchase a good used travel trailer, RV, or build a small cabin or tiny house fairly simply.

This system is simple and easy to build, and you could probably figure a way to build it for about $250 or so if you scrounged for recycled and reclaimed materials. Ultimately you’ll need a property that already has water on the land in the form of a well, natural spring, stream, river, lake or pond. This is more than enough power to power a small refrigerator and your laptop computer, maybe a small LED TV and LED lighting.
If you’ve got a travel trailer or RV, then propane is probably going to heat your home. Preppers aren’t the only ones who are thinking in these terms, as others are seeing the potential benefits of getting off-grid and not having to pay their monthly utility bills. Some merely think of it as becoming self-sufficient in energy requirements, while other think of totally eliminating their dependency on utility services and becoming self-sufficient in all areas of life.
Farmers have always been somewhat self-sufficient, so it’s no surprise when they pull the plug.
Making the transition to living off-grid isn’t easy for any of us, especially if our home isn’t designed and built for it. Either we can adopt the idea of living without electricity all together and returning to the ways of the 1800s, or we can reduce our electrical consumption, so that we can live off of the electricity that we produce ourselves with our own power generating equipment. For example, building an underground home with passive solar heating will go a long way towards reducing both heating and cooling costs.
Three of our top energy users are in the kitchen; the refrigerator, the stove and the microwave oven. We’ve gotten used to using a clothes dryer, simply because it saves us from having to walk outside to hang up the clothes and take them back down again. I would recommend using both, unless you are living in an area where one of them won’t work at all. Always use a battery backup system with any power generation you do at home, so that you can have electrical power even in those times when your system can’t produce any. Of that, about 30% is used for watering the lawn, 25% for flushing the toilet, 17% for bathing and 37% for other cleaning.
While I don’t think that we all want to change our lifestyles that drastically, I think it’s safe to say that we aren’t all that efficient in our water usage. That will allow us to use our off-grid water much more efficiently, reducing our risk of running out of water. The best and easiest way of making use of this is to put in a composting toilet or to capture this waste and put it into your compost bin, composting it along with your kitchen scraps, weeds and grass clippings.
The average person with some basic carpentry and mechanical skills can do all of that themselves, making their home energy and water efficient and making it possible to go totally off the grid. Start with making things more efficient and then work on generating your own power and water.
The high cost of energy and water efficient appliances will be more than offset by the savings you will have in installing your energy producing equipment. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. Half the windows didn't open and the other half were drafty and rattled when the wind blew. We are trying really hard to do this but land is hard to come by unless you have a lot of money. I personally dont want anything in my garden that comes out of the backside of animal or human. Energy doesn't need to be high cost; this is the plan by the "greenies' and Obama promised high energy cost after he was first elected. Work at home mom, designer of pretty graphics, perpetual perfectionist, passionate about simple and sustainable living. I was sat in darkness on the roof of the van looking out to the flickering city lights in the distance when I had quite an overwhelming feeling; I am off-grid, I’m doing it!
Realistically speaking, even with $10k it would be tough, but very doable. OK, so you have $10k, where do you invest the money that makes the most sense? Many land owners will finance the land themselves, or offer a lease option or contract for deed.
While it is possible to convert pretty much any home to an off-grid home, it is much easier for a home that was designed with that in mind. While we’re working on solar, we can also put in a solar hot water heater and eliminate the electricity we’re spending on that. While refrigeration may be difficult to do without, we can easily eliminate the electric range and microwave, cooking over gas or wood. The nice thing about having a well is that if it is properly drilled, you’ll always have a good source of water.
However, if you don’t have a septic tank, there are still ways of going off-grid with your water disposal. This doesn’t necessarily have to be disposed of; it can be used for flushing toilets and watering your garden. In this way, the waste becomes fertilizer to help your vegetable garden grow better next year. When we moved back to the US, we spent 30 bucks per kit at the hardware store to convert all our toilets to dual flush. Cut so much has made a big difference but rent and bills still drag us down so there is not a lot left over.
But the question is, whats the difference between animal manure and human manure in that regard? It was written by a fellow who has used his family's waste for fertilizer for over 20 years with no ill effects.
I felt like I had just learned to ride a bike without stabilisers all over again – a huge sense of accomplishment and a crazy feeling of freedom.Being off-grid probably isn’t the easiest way to live but it does seem to offer choice and much freedom with no white lines or boundaries. Contract for Deed might be a better deal for both you and the landowner depending on your negotiating skills, and the amount of homework you do. You simply need to make arrangements with the local septic company to haul away your waste. You could also get a composting toilet. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them.

We have a large greenhouse and a large garage and workshop we have been off grid for about 30 years now it has been very economical living we also have room for many more homes like this if anyone is interested in building one give me a shout. Trying to get the things we need to be self sufficient can be expensive, but worth every penny. And if the weather’s right, you might be able to see the Sausalito fireworks as well from the piers.
I can position the van, my home, wherever I want; I can have the sunset in the back window, the mountains in the front window AND I can live here comfortably with everything I need (apart from a good internet connection).
If the answer is yes, then it can still be used after proper theromphillic (sp?) composting. It is (temporary) freedom and I cannot believe my luck.Electricity, water and gas are vital things I need to live comfortably with Internet now being quite a luxury. There are ways to build a filtration system, but that will probably come later once you’re settled onto your land. I can spend about 12 days off-grid before having to get more water and probably over a month if I am near a spring or well. I have been living for 3 weeks now using 2x100W solar panels to power all the my electrical needs via two big 220Ah batteries. After some tweaks, the solar powered electrical system is completely self sufficient and almost maintenance free.  I’m not exactly frugal with the electricity either and there have been 3 of us living in here for more than half the time.
I estimate the usage to be about 60-70Ah a day (24hr).I do have a backup in place to charge the batteries from the alternator or mains hook-up cable but have not yet had to use either. Water supply is something I just didn’t really think about in a house and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  My water tank in the van is 70L, which is used for cooking, shower, coffee, washing dishes, and drinking if we have no bottled water. Learning how to be frugal with water is an on-going challenge, although I think I’ve come far in the last few weeks.
OK, showering was at a bare minimum (there is a hot spring and river for washing) but making 50L last a week between two people has required constant care and thought whenever you reach for the tap.
I’ve always been able to get connected Internet everywhere I go – its just there, like water. There have been countless times when I just need to check something on the Internet but have not been able to get any connection or I’d have to drive around looking for a WIFI signal, pointing my antenna at apartments, cafes, hotels, Mcdonalds (always have WIFI). This usually means I have very limited online time since I cannot be hanging around at the side of a road in the van for too long.At the moment I am using a 14dB directional Yagi antenna, which does work well (distance wise) but I still have to rely on there being a WIFI connection. If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations then please let me know. I never really thought it was possible to be this disconnected. I’m sorry for the emails I haven’t yet replied to and to the people checking my site asking where I am and why I haven’t posted anything in a while. I have a backlog of posts on my computer but I guess they are useless without an Internet connection. PS we thought you may have been locked up and that was why you weren’t posting you position. Gonna head to Portugal today… see what happens matt campbellppps we (me lewis jose and a few others) are going to be in Benidorm on the 26th till the 28th of september.
I’ll probably be East by then- wanna be near Berlin for end of summer if I can Camper Van ThingsNot sure if you have a smartphone with wifi, but it is fairly easy to set up tethering with an iPhone or android phone so your phone becomes a wifi access point. Me and Dawn have been out in Europe in our Convoy since the start of July, 7000 miles in to our tour. We have spent the passed month in Croatia staying on a camp and picking olives and grapes but now have the urge to move again. My waknes is electronics and no matter how much headscratching I do can’t seem to fathom stuff out, maybe you could help?
I plan to buy solar panels and kit soon, gonna look at prices out here, fancy a meet up and a bit of ‘paid’ installation work? Sorry about this being longwinded keep it lit Trevor and Dawn (2 fifty somethings who are loving the life) Mike HudsonHey Trevor, I’m still waiting to see another Convoy on the road in Europe. I think there are a few people on forums like Wildcamping and SBMCC who will come to you or meet you to install panels. I’ve been getting on well with buying a local SIM, putting it in my phone and setting my phone as a wifi hotspot. I found Spain and France really bad for mobile internet though but everywhere else is great (Romania being miles ahead with their comms infrastructure)Give me a shout any time if you need any help and come back with the electronics questions (if you still have them). Trevor BennettHi Mike, The Bimbletron (our Convoy) runs as sweet as, our only problems have been operator error and a flat battery in the immobiliser key. I have found a few places local to me who can provide panels but have yet to come back with prices so for now I just wait. Further research into Sat Int shows the footprint is no good for eastern Europe but I have not checked East Europe suppliers. I think we to will go for the local sim card option too but buy a network signal booster to use if we can find free wifi.
Heading home at the end of Nov but will be back out early next year when we have cleared my lockup (I hate having to pay to store stuff) now we have made the decision to do this travel thing full time. I like good stories about LDV Convoys going round Europe and never having a problem ??How come they don’t have prices? It’s almost impossible to deal with problems when you have to send panels back to China. Although, they do rarely go faulty.Yeah I also have a signal booster with a really high gain antenna.
Just look at how many business offer free wifi… Clive Adams3 allow you to use your allowances in a number of European countries with no extra charge. The further East I’ve gone though, the less of a problem with internet there has been. It would be nice to have just one SIM that would work everywhere though (and fairly priced) camper manI travel all over the US like you do (but in stealth mode to save money in a Vanabode).

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