Homesteading is a mind-set and a lifestyle. It spills over into everything you do. And one of the best virtures you can have is thirfty-ness. This winter we built a new greenhouse/sunroom with 80% salvaged materials. My dad is a pack-rat and that helped! We had half our supplies already. He had collected steel girders (which he’s had as long as I’ve been alive!) we used for the rafters. Now I don’t consider these are entirely free because I worked mighty hard in scrapping off the rust and dust! We had the paint already for the rafters left over from some project and I’m sure years ago we bought it on sale (buy full price? not my family!). The panes of glass for the roof came to us when my dad’s plumbing company moved into a rent space previously rented by a glass company. My dad volunteered to get rid of the glass. And the rest of the glass came from a resturant which replaced their glass paneled doors and windows with a less breakable kind. My dad had his eyes on them for months. After talking to the employees, managers, then finally corporate… he hauled then home. In the end we bought mulch for the floor, pli-wood, roofing materials, two bags of cement for the piers, and screws. It took us a weekend to build with my brother-in-law’s help. Is it worth being a pack-rat and saving materials for twenty years? Yes, yes, yes!