About quarter acre lifestyle

When I started this blog it was to record how we managed to cut our living expenses by $300 per week so we could save on the mortgage and have some money in the bank….something that just wasn’t happening. We have always grown alot of fruit and vegetables and we have chooks but it wasn’t really till last spring when my husband got work on a farm that we realised we could probably live from the garden, eggs and the free meat that goes with his job. He also gets free firewood which is great with winter coming on.

Things have changed a little now in that we decided I should give up my job, and that $300 is my wages we will be losing. Down to one wage (and not a great wage) we will be living off the smell of an oily rag. In past years lack of money has felt extremely stressful but we are actually thriving…never eaten better! and are pretty sure we’ve got this covered. This will be interesting πŸ™‚ No money for wants, just needs and alot more time to do what is important for us is sounding more than ok.

I consider us extremely fortunate by some other people’s standards in that we get some free meat – not a huge amount but enough to eat an adequate diet. I believe growing our own fruit, vegetables and eggs has given us a lifestyle, one that enables us to eat well, one that enables us to only buy staples which has saved us a fortune, one that provides interest, better health and a sense of self reliance we never had before when dependent on supermarkets for our diet. Our garden has evolved by frugal means, it certainly has not been expensive to do. No-one needs expensive kitset gardens and fertilisers. I believe when families hit hard times this is a way of at least supplying food, leaving money for other things.

We purchase locally grown food if we can to supply what we haven’t got just yet – eg nuts, honey etc. We believe in buying from others directly keeping money in our own community. We also buy everything secondhand and recycle, we live well but as frugally as possible.

54 thoughts on “About quarter acre lifestyle

  1. jaderenee says:

    I admire your resolve and will be following your ongoing efforts at “subsistence living” and the handmade lifestyle. For the first time in many years I will be gardening once again this summer and intend to make the most of it. Your blog is inspiring and I will be chronicling my return to the earth in my blog as well. Cant wait to try some of your delish recipes! If you have any recipes for bar soap I would be interested in reading them. All my best …
    Jade {Cloudwalk}


    • Thank you Cloudwalk πŸ™‚ I saw something on your blog this morning I intend to return to later when more time, I liked your “About” too! Not an easy lifestyle but one that makes more sense to us than any other, though others may think us nuts – we are certainly finding out more about ourselves and our own priorities in life, what’s really important. Thanks for the comments, watch this space in regards to soap….will be TRYING it πŸ™‚


  2. A great improvement in lifestyle from my point of view; sure beats an office job! And, as you say, you can raise much better food yourself and for less money. I’m very interested in your progress.
    ~ Linne


    • I believe it’s a great improvement…I work in mental health so there will be a great difference in stress levels for me…just doesn’t compare ay?!
      Thanks! I will be interested in our progress also lol. Like the look of your blog too πŸ™‚


  3. Welcome to the penniless hippy guild! πŸ™‚ Cheers for following Serendipity Farm by the way. We sound like we are both on the same wavelength together and even though stepping off the security of a double wage might be initially terrifying the rewards are amazing. You have “time”. Time is a precious commodity that people on the 9 to 5 treadmill just don’t have. They get weekends and we get “Time”. Admittedly they get “MONEY” and we get bugger all BUT even that has an up side…if you have to save up for something it suddenly takes on a lot more appeal and value to you. We recently had to save up for a good camera as part of our latest course of study (you can add “student” to our penniless hippy moniker there πŸ˜‰ ) and after scrimping and saving up and doing an amazing amount of research over what was and wasn’t the best value we are waiting for our camera to arrive with an overwhelming sense of anticipation and excitement. It is actually something that we had to do without for so suddenly it has become important. We were incredibly lucky in that when my dad died he left us 2 houses. One in the city (Launceston) where our 2 adult daughters live and one here out in the sticks, 50km down the Tamar River and 4 acres of weed infested rocky dry aridity that has become our home and our passion. We went from urbanites (Steve hadn’t ever lived in the country in his whole life coming from the U.K. and big cities) to bewildered country dwellers. Growing your own food gives you a sense of satisfaction that is palpable. It’s one of those life moments where you just “know” you are doing something right :). I guess we need to all learn to get those moments of incredible pleasure from simple things again and that’s what this aging student penniless hippy existence is bringing us. So glad to have found your wonderful blog and am just about to tuck you gently into my RSS Feed Reader. You will sit between “Punk Domestics” an amazing blog that shares homesteading and preserving recipes and gardening tips and “Quirky Cooking” a wonderful vegan food blog. Hopefully you will get along with your new neighbours and as number 389 in my RSS Feed Reader blogs, welcome to the neighbourhood! πŸ™‚


    • Hi there πŸ™‚ Thanks for the welcome! You were on my page as being followed by someone else and as soon as I saw your blog I thought, wow, these people sound just like us lol. Your weed infested, rocky, dry 4 acres sounds great, I would agree very lucky. Roger and I have both lived and worked on farms, in prior “lifetimes” and both enjoy the lifestyle, sooo wish we could afford something bigger but….. Roger gets the benefits of farm life without the price tag, that will do πŸ™‚
      I enjoyed reading how you met and love the name of your blog, I’m a great believer in Serendipity, love the word – Roger and I also met in a serendipitous way.
      Will check out your reader, both those names sound rather interesting!


  4. Hello! I’m excited to find this blog – I’m a minimalist, and trying to be in every sense of the word – so that means cutting expenses to a minimum. A life goal of my wife and mine is to own a self sustained ranch, all bills except taxes eliminated – it’s a heck of a goal, but blogs like yours do wonders for our hope and inspiration – thank you!

    I’ll be around (:



    • Yours looks pretty interesting too πŸ™‚ Wow, that would be the ideal wouldn’t it?! I would love some land but I can’t see that ever happening. I follow some very good blogs on similar lines…we all can learn alot from each other πŸ™‚ Best wishes!


  5. You have managed to do what a lot of us who are trapped in the city for one reason or another only wish we could do. This is a type of lifestyle I have thought about for a few years now.


    • Hi there πŸ™‚ I thought of it too for many years but in fact, after we moved here we didn’t really realise just what we could do for a few years. I have a link on my blog for The Urban Homestead, they are an inspiration, self sufficient on 1/10 acre. I hope you can fulfil your dreams one day.


  6. Good morning!

    I just woke (we’re in Borneo right now so it’s just gone 8am here).
    We’re about to get on a bus to traverse the island a bit and I’m quickly checking messages before going. I see you enjoyed Fran’s message about Serendipity Garden.

    I clicked through to read a bit more about you and have only had time to read your ABOUT page – but I love it! And sorry, I didn’t even get a chance to find your name – but wanted to write to you quickly before we head out…(as I don’t know what connectivity is going to be like where we’re going; jungle).

    I would love for you to get in touch if you’d be interested in sharing your story.

    I’m becoming more and more passionate about the kind of lifestyle you’re talking about. Yesterday we were wandering around a few large grocery stores in Kota Kinabalu to find what we needed for the next few days and the only thing I could continuously think was: ‘This is how you kill a nation!’

    I’ve taken photos of the excessive processed goods on the shelves, and the sad fresh fruit and veg section – and will do an article about this at some point. We’ve been in Asia for many months and the problem, from what I can see, is endemic. It’s sad and depressing – and the worst is that nobody around me seemed to notice that corporations in search of a profit are willing to sacrifice their lives to get it.

    Long story short, I would love to share your story of opting for a lifestyle of living by your own cultivation. I would warmly welcome you to get in touch if you might be interested.

    Warm regards,


  7. Just discovered you! And will have to go through all your back numbers to catch up on all your delicious nutritious sounding recipes and good ideas !
    I think you life-style was called ‘chosen simplicity’ in the eighties… it sounds lovely…


  8. Very interesting blog. A gardner of plants I am not. Self sufficiency is such a worthy goal. We seek it in a different way than gardening, but the spirit I see here is so similar, for this I am enjoying the reading of your blog.
    Thank for having visited mine.


    • Thank you πŸ™‚ We are in New Zealand. My husband does alot more in the garden than I do and he plants in Spring, spends probably an hour or two in the summer evenings after work and a few hours over the weekend – but he loves his garden and pottering so I don’t really know how many hours are actually NEEDED πŸ™‚ I just do light weeding and picking. Preserving food takes a lot of hours and late summer and early autumn are a really busy 3 month period for me. It is a commitment but we save so much money and eat really well that I can’t imagine ever going back to eating from a supermarket. Thanks for your comments πŸ™‚


      • Yes, you’re right. Producing and living off our own food saves money and makes us so much healthier…and also more independent than relying on supermarkets. The time investment is worth the positive consequences! Thank you for your reply, it’s really inspiring. I hope to do the same in a few years!


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