Are you thinking of becoming a homesteader?
If so, there are a few essentials most homesteads will need. Today, I want to share with you a few items that I use on a daily basis.
These are pretty versatile so whether you are a large-scale homesteader or an urban homesteader, they should still apply to your situation.
Let’s get started:
1. Bread Machine
I know, I cheat on making bread most days. There are some days I have the time to knead the bread by hand but a lot of days I don’t.
This little contraption makes my life so much easier. It helps me to never have to buy bread at the store and does the work for me so I can move onto something else. Other functions of bread machines that I rarely hear mentioned are how they can help you with other baking needs.
My bread machine makes the best cinnamon roll dough, jams and jellies, a killer pizza crust, and pretzel.
This is the actual bread machine I own. I have had others but this is my all-time favorite.
So go ahead and make the plunge into being the proud owner of a bread machine.
2. A Blender
No, I’m not some super healthy person that lives off of smoothies.
Man, I wish I was, though!
But back to reality, I use a blender for a bunch of different things.
It is perfect for making homemade tomato soup from my fresh canned tomatoes. And other than food, one awesome use for my blender is when I make homemade laundry detergent. It is an easy recipe, and my blender helps to get things mixed up like they need to be.
This is the blender I use. It is really great at chopping, mixing, and blending. I even bought the red one because every girl needs a red kitchen appliance.
I can also attest to the fact that this blender can make some seriously creamy and delicious milkshakes.
3. Handheld Mixer
I love my little hand held mixer. Let me explain why.
The first reason is because it is so easy to store. See, my house is still a huge work in progress. We purchased it almost 5 years ago. It had to be gutted just so we could move into it, but we got it at a great price. We're currently remodeling it.
My kitchen has yet to be remodeled, so I have very little storage.
This little gizmo just fits right inside a drawer and doesn't take up the precious space I have.
My second reason is that it comes with many neat attachments.
I’m really a ‘mix with a wooden spoon’ type of gal. So for me to begin getting comfy using a hand mixer, it has to be an awesome one.
And this one is.
It came with a bread hook, whisk, and regular beaters.
To be honest, I have to use a hand mixer when I bake because what kid doesn’t love the memories of licking the beaters after mom gets done making a batter?
Well, I’m a mom, and I want my kids to have those memories too.
So here is the magical little handheld mixer that I have really enjoyed having in my kitchen. And again, I bought the red one because it adds a little splash of color in my old, outdated kitchen.
4. Mason Jars
I am a Mason jar fanatic.
No, seriously, like if they had a support group I’d need to join.
Mason jars are so multi-purpose. How could you not love them?
I’ve gone so far as to replace my outdoor light fixtures with Mason jars, some of my indoor light fixtures with Mason jars, I’ve made salt and pepper shakers from Mason jars, and I store my spices in Mason jars.
That is barely scratching the surface of all of the ways I use them just in my kitchen.
I am also a canning fanatic.
I love to preserve anything that I'm able to, so I know what’s really in it, and so I don’t have to buy it.
So the long and short is my kitchen is filled with Mason jars, and they are extremely versatile in most any situation.
You can purchase them by hunting them down on yard sale sites or here on Amazon.
Having a good place to store them in a kitchen with no storage is important. I don’t like clutter, and I don’t like drawing bugs, so canisters are my friend.
I use my canisters for storing my different flours, cornmeal, and sugar. We raise bees so I always keep a ton of sugar on hand.
Glass canisters are my preference just because they are easier to keep clean, and I like to see what is going on inside.
You can make your own canisters or buy them.
These are the canisters I use. They have lasted me for years and years, and I have baked many delicious treats from them.
6. Pie Plate
I am the pie lady. Since we were just talking about the canisters that hold most of my ingredients for pies, I have to mention this one too.
Once I learned how to make the easiest yet perfect pie crust, I was hooked on them.
If you don’t have the right style of pie plate, it makes it very difficult to create a beautiful pie.
Some of my favorite pie recipes are cherry pie and apple pie. I usually can my own pie filling, and it makes for an easy, quick dessert.
So what makes the perfect pie plate?
A circular, glass dish. That is all.
It makes it much easier to cut the excess pie crust off the edges.
Now that we’ve talked about pies I’m going to have to make one. I hope I’ve encouraged you that you need more pie in your life too.
7. Measuring Cups And Apron For Baking
I’m on a baking spree all of a sudden, but I actually bake a lot. My kids love the sweet treats, and it is fairly inexpensive.
So when I get on a baking spree, watch out because the flour will be flying.
Believe it or not, I actually grew up not knowing how to bake. I thought baking was opening up a boxed cake mix.
After I had my own children, and we dove into the life of homesteading, I began to research. I taught myself how to cook and bake all from the internet.
One thing I’ve learned through this process is that having the right equipment makes the difference.
And always cover your clothes when baking or you’ll come out of the kitchen looking like a giant powdered doughnut.
I prefer to use metal measuring cups. They hold up a lot better and though they cost more upfront, you rarely have to replace them.
What I look for in an apron are comfort and coverage.
8. Pressure Canner
I’ve already mentioned I am a canning fanatic, to put it mildly.
My mother-in-law began teaching me how to can about five or six years ago, and it became one of my favorite things to do. I love getting everyone in the kitchen on hot summer days and preserving all of the food.
It is a lot of work and it gets hot.
However, I love the bond it forms within the family and knowing my family will be fed over the winter. You make a ton of memories standing over that canner.
I actually love canning so much that I took my laundry room that was attached to my kitchen and turned it into my canning kitchen.
Now, I have a second stove and a place to store my canners. I also built a pantry in there as well because of the massive amount of food I can.
Because I can so much, I use a pressure canner.
I like them because they can pressure can and water bath too so you only need the one type of canner to preserve most anything.
I actually prefer the jiggler because then I can listen to the pressure rising instead of having to stand there and watch a gage.
I am so fortunate to live as close to my mother-in-law as I do because, as I’ve already mentioned, my kitchen lacks storage space. Well, it lacks counter space too.
However, it is also great to have her so close so we can share gadgets since I just don’t have room for them all.
One of her gadgets that I use frequently is a dehydrator. When we first started raising all of our food I never thought a dehydrator would make the list of something I used regularly but it did.
The reason is because our kids love jerky, and you can use dehydrated fruits and vegetables for a lot of great recipes.
They take up less room to store that way too.
10. Meat Grinder
We had a family member that graciously bought us a meat grinder for Christmas this year.
It is truly one of the best gifts we’ve been given.
When deer season comes, we are constantly processing deer. My husband’s cousin loves to hunt but no one in his household eats the meat.
So we are the benefactors of his love for hunting and are very grateful for it.
If you love to hunt, it will certainly make your life much easier.
11. A Meat Slicer
I don't have this one yet, but Meat Slicer an item that is high up on my list of priorities to purchase because my family is meat eaters.
And I love sandwiches! There, I said it. I am a hot sandwich fanatic.
(I’m a fanatic about a lot of things I’m noticing.)
Anyway, after being outside working some nights I need a quick and easy dinner. Hot sandwiches are my go to item.
I love hot ham and cheese, roast beef and cheese, reubens.
I could go on and on about this.
But it is hard to make those delicious sandwiches at home without a meat slicer. I have one I borrow during deer season to process jerky with and it makes me want one that much more.
They are also great for being frugal.
I’ll buy a whole ham sometimes from the store when they’ve marked them down on Manager’s Special. I did this the other day, as a matter of fact. I bought a 12-pound ham for around $5. You can’t beat that.
But because of a new law in our state, they won’t slice the ham at the store anymore because it has been precooked.
So now I really need a meat slicer so I can have tons of sandwich meat to feed my sandwich addiction for very little money.
Well, now that I’ve gotten on a sandwich kick, this is the meat slicer I hope to buy in the very near future.
You would not think you would use buckets as much as you do around a homestead, but we use them for everything!
They are great to use as waterers. I actually use them to water my chicken. I bought our chickens the fancy waterer with nozzles, but chickens prefer to gulp water.
I shoved a bucket in their coop one day, and I had never seen them so happy. So out with the fancy stuff and in with the basic.
Buckets are also handy for carrying dirt, carrying freshly harvested crops, carrying feed, and also carrying weeds out of the garden to feed to the chickens and other animals.
You can use them for all sorts of things so I highly recommend having a fresh stash of buckets on hand at all times.
You can purchase buckets here, or you can find them sitting on the side of the road at times.
We actually have a painter that lives up the road from us. He doesn’t use his old buckets. So we collect them, wash them out, and reuse them. They work wonderfully and cost us nothing.
2. A Hoe
A garden hoe is one of the most important tools you ever have on a homestead.
I know you are probably thinking, “Jennifer, a hoe? Really?”
Why? Because of all of its uses. It is great for knocking down weeds without breaking your back.
It is also great for killing snakes.
Yes, I have guineas and they do a great job, but I still run across a snake every now and then. I’m petrified of most snakes so in order to keep from getting too close, I can kill them from a distance.
I know some snakes are good, but I also have some bad ones that hang around my property. Those are the ones that really have to go.
That is all thanks to my hoe.
I also use my hoe to clean out my nesting boxes, rabbit hutches, and goat lot. I’m able to get the hoe in tight spaces and clean out all of the mess. It makes my job a lot easier.
Finally, a hoe is great for reaching stuff that I can’t. We have one homemade rabbit hutch that truly wasn’t designed all that well, but we lived and learned.
Either way, we still keep a buck in it. He always shoves his food bowl to the back of the cage where my arms aren’t long enough to reach. So I just pull out my trusty hoe and am able to reach the food bowl so I can feed him.
Who knew a garden hoe had so many uses? You can buy one here and start putting it to good use.
3. Chicken Feeder
I know you see people just throwing chicken feed wide open in the movies and all of the chickens come gather round. But I’m too frugal for that method. I don’t want to waste any more food than I absolutely have to.
So I use a chicken feeder.
I love my animals, but I want them to help sustain me not make me go broke trying to feed them.
You can actually grow a lot of your chickens’ feed but for those that choose to feed their chickens grains a feeder works great.
I do both methods because my chickens are happy like that. And as we all know, a happy healthy chicken is also a great layer.
4. Rabbit Waterer Nozzles
I love these nozzles. The reason is because my rabbits drink A LOT!
They are all nursing as we speak, and they go through large quantities of water. If I had to depend on a basic waterer, I’d be attached to their hutches.
Thankfully, some ingenious person invented these nozzles that can attach to 2-liter bottles. We gathered old 2-liter pop bottles and attached them to their hutches with zip ties.
I know, it sounds a little ‘homemade’ and it is.
But it works great.
Now, when my rabbits are nursing I only have to fill their waterers up 1-2 times a day. When they aren’t nursing, you only fill them up every few days.
It means a lot less work for me and constantly hydrated rabbits. That's a win-win.
5. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is so versatile and that is why it is so amazing.
I use it to worm my goats. I sprinkle it on their grains or in their hay, and they eat it. It naturally takes care of any worms they may have.
I also use Diatomaceous Earth to worm my chickens. I sprinkle it in their feeder, and they eat it with their grains.
You can also sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth inside your chicken coop and nesting boxes to deter pests from setting up shop in there. It will protect your chickens in a natural way.
6. Bee Suit
If you are a beekeeper, welcome to the club.
My husband and I jumped on board a couple of years ago and have never looked back. We love bees and all they do for our property. If you aren’t familiar with bees, check out their many qualities and purposes.
Anyway, when you keep bees a bee suit is a must. And when you have bees with great genetics (like ours seem to have) you work in them quite frequently.
With that being said, you need a bee suit (you can purchase one here.)
Although most times bees are pretty docile little creatures,you never know when one will get a spur up its tail and decide that you have become an unwelcome visitor
In those instances, you’ll want some protection.
Bee suits help protect against those untimely bee stings that you simply try to avoid as a beekeeper.
7. A Smoker
Not the one you use to cure meat. Smoker is necessary for a beekeeper.
A smoker can help deter the bees from being where you need to put your hands.
It also helps protect you from further bee stings if you get stung. When you get stung, the bee releases a pheromone that lets the other bees know it just stung an enemy. The other bees then want to come and protect the hive too.
If you have a smoker handy, you can just smoke where you got stung and it will disguise the pheromone and deter the other bees from following suit.
A smoker also makes it much easier to go through the hives. It kind of lulls the bees so they aren’t so angry about you pulling out their frames with brood and honey on them.
All the way around, if you decide to keep bees (which I would recommend at least considering) these are a few items you will definitely need.
You can purchase a smoker here.
8. Hopper Popper
We raise rabbits for meat. I love my rabbits. They are cute when they are born and just very docile creatures for the most part.
They provide us with a ton of meat and genuinely do their part to take care of us. You say you aren’t going to get attached but let’s get real, they are cute and fuzzy. Even if you try to not get attached, it is still going to tug at your heart when you have to cull them.
Enters the Hopper Popper.
I was so distraught when I YouTubed how to cull a rabbit. You have people beating them over their heads and all kinds of things to knock them unconscious.
I understand it works (and if that’s your method, I understand. No judgment here.) I just
I just really didn’t want to do that.
So we did a little more research and found this great little tool. It is very discretely attached to the outside of our woodshed. We are able to easily cull them with no fuss (or tears on my part.)
I know, I sound like such a chicken, but I promise I’m actually just a tender hearted tough cookie.
So if you are a tenderhearted tough cookie too then this might be a great tool for you to use. It will allow you to provide a lot of meat for your family too.
You can purchase your Hopper Popper here.
9. Soaker Hoses
I love soaker hoses. Let me say that again, I love soaker hoses.
We used to water our big garden with sprinklers. They worked well, but they had to be hooked to our well and caused a lot of dirt to splash up on our plants.
If you raised tomatoes, you know they can easily become diseased by something as simple as dirt getting on their stem.
Soaker hoses are the solution.
Beyond that, soaker hoses are also able to be easily attached to our water catchment system. We have them running downhill as much as possible and gravity does the work for us.
10. Garden Hose
Everyone can always use a good garden hose. If you don’t have a water catchment system or if you are like us and have stuff planted everywhere then you need a good garden hose.
It enables you to water all of your beloved plants that you worked so hard to grow. Once you get them on the ground, the biggest component to their survival is water.
So be sure to invest in a hose that will stretch to all of the places it possibly can. Mine won’t stretch to all of the places I need it to, but it does for most places.
This is important because trying to water large sections of plants by hand is not fun. Although for the few areas that I do have to water this way, my buckets come in handy.
You can purchase a great water hose here or at any general merchandising store.
11. A Weeder
I did not invest in one of these tools until recently. I don't know why, they aren’t that expensive.
I’ve already mentioned that I love my garden hoe because I don’t like snakes. Well, I hated pulling weeds because I was never sure if a snake was going to latch onto my hand in the process.
I always had that thought in the back of my mind.
Now I don’t have to worry about that anymore thanks to my trusty weeder.
I don’t have to break my back either.
And anything you can do to save your body is always a great thing. Homesteading is not easy. It is a healthier lifestyle, but it will take its toll on your body too.
So making sure that you make wise investments to help preserve your body as much as possible while homesteading is always a smart choice to make.
If you’d like to purchase a weeder, you can do so here.
12. A Tiller
A tiller is not something I use per se. However, if you do not practice no-dig gardening, then you’ll need one.
I say this because it sure makes turning the ground of your garden much easier.
Now, if you are a large-scale homesteader with a monster-sized garden, you might use a tractor with attachments. That is a wise decision.
But if you don’t have a large garden or if you are an urban homesteader, a tiller will save you a lot of back-breaking work.
If you are in need of one, you can purchase a tiller here. You can also search for second-hand tools on sites like Craig’s List as well.
I believe I’ve discussed with you all before how I let our chickens make our compost for us. If I haven’t, I’ll give a quick rundown.
I save all of our scraps in a galvanized pale. I then feed them to the chickens. The chickens eat, scratch, and poop. This creates an amazing compost that I put out in my garden every year.
But what if you don’t have a lot of chickens or if you allow your chickens to completely free range?
That option might not work very well for you.
In that case, you need a composter. This will allow all of your scraps to make a rich compost and a compost tea which will help you garden out tremendously.
Composting is a great way to avoid creating waste. If you can avoid waste by reusing what you’ve already got, then go for it.
14. Hay Feeder
A hay feeder is a great thing to have if you have larger farm animals.
My husband actually built a hay feeder for our goats out of an old easel and a racecar windshield. Talk about upcycling. They love it and use it daily.
A great feature my husband actually gave this hay feeder is a lid. It is great because the hay can sit out in the open in any kind of weather. It shields the hay from the elements and eventually from molding too.
However, my ultimate love for our hay feeders is because it prevents waste. Animals will waste food. They are just as bad as humans in some ways.
So it is important to give them feeders that hinder them from wasting as much as possible. This will save you a lot of money in the grand scheme of things.
If you’d like to purchase a hay feeder, you can do so here.
15. Galvanized Buckets
Galvanized buckets can be used for many things.
When I gave up my washing machine for a year, they made great rinse buckets.
And when I’m harvesting the garden, they make great buckets to collect food in. I am actually using one large galvanized tub right now as a big water trough for my goats.
You can use galvanized tubs to plant flowers in and add country charm to your home too.
The list is pretty well endless for their purposes. So if you’d like to join the Galvanized Tub Club, you can purchase them here or look for some second hand locally.
Either way, I would say you’ll find a million and one uses for them and be so glad you purchased them.
So those are my 26 essential homestead items.
What are some items you use daily around your homestead?