Well now by being here you can find ways to cut things down. Keep a journal $1 at the dollar store of what you USE and how much. I planted Okra but we don't really use Okra so instead I should plant something else.
Too, starting your own tomatoes and other plants is much easier than you think. There are many options other than buying trays and peat pots and all that. Seed starting soil isn't that expensive.
I plan to start only enough for what I need. Share a packet of seeds with a friend or offer to buy unused seeds.
I'm setting up now to start my tomatoes. Then will be my other things. I plan to make my own paper pots. Not all but I'll give it a try and see how things work out. Too, if you dump your plants out of the those peat pots you can reuse them. Tomatoes come out just fine. They don't break down as well as we're led to believe. I always break them up when planting the plants.
Some folks don't know this, but tomatoes are easy to propagate. One leggy plant can be used to start many new ones. Google it and see what I mean.
I plan to start flowers and have checked into how to save seeds. One tomato can be enough for the next year.
I've been asking DW how much of this or that do we use.
Use your public library as much as possible. There are some really good and not so good books on most of what you need. Too Youtube is a great source of information.
So I advise you to get that journal or tablet of paper and make that list of what it is you need to get you through the year. Come back and here and ask whatever questions you need.
I wish you well,
Rancher, older than sixty, Hicks.
Everyone thinks that but it's just not so....my folks had nothing but a chainsaw, some hand tools and a tiller when they went off grid and we never did put in "alternative power" in those years of living off grid. We heated with wood, got our water from a spring at first(also where we kept out food cool) and then from the hand dug well, and eventually got a propane fridge that ran off bottled propane. The thing is, you really don't need electric power at all if you don't want it and you can live just fine without it.
My folks went off grid and started homesteading when my folks were in their late 40s, early 50s and were still off grid in their early 60s(finally got basic electric back there but still had no running water or plumbing), so it can be done with minimal equipment and expense. Just got to work smarter and not harder.
Thanks for the advice and tips, folks! Nothing like learning from those who are doing it on the cheap. That's one reason why I am hanging out more here in the DIY/Self Sufficiency part of the forum. I also recently joined SufficientSelf.com, but for 5000+ members, there isn't much activity. I also started the thread here about Your Favorite Homestead Source to get sources. I realized a while back that the real valuable information is from those who are doing it, not those television shows and magazine articles about those who left big corporate jobs with a bank roll and have bought their way to self sufficiency and being off grid. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but when resources are scarce, you have to work smart. I appreciate feedback from you.