My new little farm is growing quite rapidly in the animals department. The last time I did an update on this I stated that we had gone from 1-9 animals in about three months. Add a few more weeks to that and we’ve went from 1 to 22 animals. (Counting the ten chickens.)
I haven’t done this by spending gobs of money either. It’s all happened pretty inexpensively.
There are three things that have helped tremendously.
# 1 – ISO
Facebook Yard Sales – ISO (fill in the blank)
It’s amazing the free stuff those three little letters have gotten us.
It started with the rabbits for the girls. I woke up one morning randomly thinking this: I’m going to get both of the girls rabbits to teach them some lessons in responsibility. (Because I couldn’t have accomplished the same thing with the dogs or cats, right? Obviously this was another very impulsive animal acquisition.)
Okay, so it started with the rabbits.
First, Jamie contacted the wife of one of his friends to see if she had any rabbits for sale. She messaged him back saying that she did not have the lop eared bunnies we wanted but had two Dwarf Netherland rabbits she’d be more than happy to send to a good home for free.
Totally fine with me.
Before we could take them we needed rabbit hutches. Jamie put an ISO rabbit hutches on our local Facebook Yard Sale page. Within a couple of hours we had several messages.
Two were from coworkers of his. One co-worker gave us a rabbit hutch his kids no longer needed and refused to take money for it. Another wanted to do a trade for some ammo. (My Dad owns a sporting goods store.)
We got our two rabbits hutches the day we put the message on Facebook for practically nothing. (Okay -it was nothing. My Dad gave me the ammo I needed. Thanks Dad!)
Then a few weeks later a friend of a friend wanted to get rid of his rabbit hutch. He didn’t want anything for it, just wanted it gone. We took it. It was super nice + free. Now we have a total of three rabbit hutches for nothing.
# 2 – Bartering
The next thing is bartering.
We bartered for one of the rabbit hutches by trading ammo. We also bartered for the chickens, trading a dog kennel for them.
This works out fantastically for every party involved. If we have something we don’t need and got inexpensively, we can trade to these people and they still feel like they’re winning because buying the item themselves would cost way more. Bartering for the win.
Best thing ever.
# 3 – Used and Repurposed
Last, is getting used and repurposed items.
Instead of splurging on a brand new chicken coop that was going to be inhabited by dirty chickens, we bought one used at an auction.
It’s not the prettiest thing in the world but it definitely gets the job done. And $50?! From my research that is a pretty unbelievable price.
Other things we’ve done:
- Built nest boxes for the chickens out of an old book shelf
- Built a roost for the chickens out of scrap wood and saplings
- Used an extra dog kennel door as the chicken coop fence door
- Use old pots and pans as feeding dishes for animals
- Built a box for one of the rabbits out of scrap wood
Being Creative Feels Good
Our largest expense concerning the animals is by far, food. But we’ve also proactively stocked up on food when we see good prices so that cost isn’t nearly as much as you’d think.
It’s fun being creative and watching our little farm grow without having to spend much money.
It’s so much more rewarding to take the time and find great deals, trade with people, and creatively come up with solutions than it is to run out and spend a ton of money buying brand new. Plus since we’ve been on the recieving end of so many nice people it makes me want to pay it forward.
I think it’s completely possible to frugalize anything if you really wanted to.