frugal off grid geothermal and water tower

Three and a half years, off grid and alone in the high desert of Arizona.

I am comfortably sitting in my camper van this morning, drinking a cup of black coffee as I do every morning. The curtains are open and I can see the sun coming up over the distant mountains.

southwest sunrise off grid homestead

Right this moment I can say I have everything I need and I don't really want for much but three and a half years ago, when I moved off grid, I parked in this exact spot my first night on my property and I was really rolling the dice.

frugal off grid camper van build

At the time I only had my camper van, a cheap trailer and a one year supply of canned food. 

frugal off grid first month


By the time I built my shop, I had no money left and I was betting on people being interested enough in what I was doing to support my homestead through my website. And slowly but surely people bought my eBooks, Courses and tuned in to my YouTube channel which all helped me build my modest homestead. 

frugal off grid books

frugal off grid products

Before long I built small structures to help me live as sustainably as possible. I built a geothermal greenhouse and learned that it can snow pretty hard in the high desert of Arizona. 

Arizona high desert snow

I built a root cellar although many told me it would never work here and I began to learn that there would be many nay sayers but more often than not, what I tried, worked. 

high desert root cellar build in arizona

An abandoned dog wondered onto my homestead for food and water, I looked for the owner but no one could accurately Identify her and I've had her for years now. I named her Helga and fed her. She's currently sleeping at my feet. 

abandoned dog in arizona desert

The first time I saw a tarantula was pretty wild. I thought they would be scarier but they move so slow they're almost cute. 

arizona tarantula

As more people began to support what I was doing, I was able to build more infrastructure. I built an area for my tea business in my shop and I expanded my rain harvesting system. 

 frugal off grid tea shop

rain harvesting system

I harvested my own meat, and grew much of my own food. 

skinning a boer goat

I tanned a goat skin to later make moccasins and I made sausage with the meat. 

tanning goat skin

frugal off grid goat sausage

frugal off grid moccasins

frugal off grid beets

frugal off grid greenhouse

Over time my homestead became a home. 

frugal off grid

I successfully built a pond which filled naturally from monsoons, I cut native grass and bailed my own hay and my homestead became more and more comfortable. 

frugal off grid hay

frugal off grid van build

After you finish reading this blog, you can join my mailing list and get my first eBook FREE! It's an Amazon best seller in multiple categories. Thousands of copies have been downloaded and read. But I'm giving you one for free. 

frugal off grid pond

I created my own tire shop on the homestead, since I'm so far from town. I expanded my rain harvesting system to harvest and store nearly 20,000 gallons of rainwater and I build a water tower to provide gravity powered automatic water to my entire homestead. And my homestead just continues to become more like a home. 

frugal off grid water cistern

frugal off grid tire shop

frugal off grid

Most recently I've grown enough livestock to keep 400lbs of meat on the homestead. I can usually harvest enough vegetables or a salad every day and I added a round pen and stable for a couple beautiful horses that I will do my best to train so they can pull a wagon, work around the homestead and be good transportation. 

frugal off grid water tower

frugal off grid pigglet

frugal off grid horses

Gambling on my homestead success has been the best decision of my life and sharing it with you all has been both challenging and rewarding and I'm grateful for every one of you. 

I have uploaded over 500 videos on YouTube documenting the process if you'd like to see them you can click here

If you'd like to support my homestead you can visit my website here

If you'd like up to 25% off of my website or you would like to be notified of my YouTube videos you can join my mailing list here

Thank you all so much for your support. Please leave a comment below and I'll try to respond to all of them. 

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Island Buzzy, glad you like the blog. I try not to be too repetitive in my videos but a lot of new people find my channel so I try to make a video that gives these kind of details every 6 months.

Frugal Off Grid

This is a great blog! I’ve been referring your site to friends and I always try to give them a little bit of your background, this is a perfect way to introduce them to you! 🤠 I never knew that about Helga…I just adore her! I used to have a red pittie named Keahi, which means fire in Hawaiian. One of the best dogs I’ve owned.
Keep on keeping on…
The best to you always!


Mercedes, I’m happy to hear you’re inspired. I hope you find what makes you most happy and act on it.

Frugal Off Grid

You are an inspiration in this artificial world ,we live in .
Although your Life style isnt for
Everyone,It could be a solution
For many,I intend to be around
Following your progress,gracias

Merche Alonso

Shelly, I’m happy you found my channel. I wouldn’t say the land your renting is MORE harsh that the high desert I live in. It’s all a matter of building the correct infrastructure. If I slept on my picknick table while it was -5 outside, I might very well die, while you’ll simply be hot. Once you have the proper infrastructure, you can sit comfortably in your temperature regulated earth home or air conditioned RV. Or you could do your research and find the right climate for you. That’s what I did. I’m glad that you’re getting along and living your dream. I wouldn’t worry too much about comparing yourself to others and focus one what you can do to make your personal homestead the best it can be.

Frugal Off Grid

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