A Tiny, Efficient, Affordable, and Inexpensive House

It’s often argued that providing homes to people will alleviate poverty, the problem is that homes are insanely expensive. Many attempts at making cheap house have happened but most meet with little success because of a litany of reasons. The material cost of a building aren’t the burden – instead it’s everything else. A new house that costs only $20,000 (USD) is looking to change all of that.

Years of architecture students, and their advisors, have spent more than a hundred thousand hours tweaking each detail of the house to optimize both the function and the price. But the bigger challenge is fitting a house that’s completely different than normal into the existing system of zoning, and codes, how contractors do their jobs, and even mortgages.

“The houses are designed to appear to be sort of normative, but they’re really high-performance little machines in every way,” says Smith. “They’re built more like airplanes than houses, which allows us to have them far exceed structural requirements. … We’re using material much more efficiently. But the problem is your local code official doesn’t understand that. They look at the documents, and the house is immediately denied a permit simply because the code officials didn’t understand it.”

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Tips to Live Healthier for Cheap

There’s some good ideas in this collection of tips about how to live healthier and not spend much money. It’s a good list, but I think it could do without the premise that one must buy things in the first place. That being said, if you buy exercise DVDs or gadgets this article would be a money saving read.

Skip eating out
Cooking a meal at home that serves four to six people will cost as little as $7 to prepare, compared with the average restaurant meal, which is $40.78 per person in New York City. That’s if you’re a smart shopper and buy a month’s worth of groceries at a time, says Nanci Slagle, author of The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet. For meal-plan ideas, visit 30DayGourmet.com.

Waste not
Embarrassed by how much past-its-prime food you toss each week? That waste can add up to hundreds of dollars a year! Cut your losses by using the Reynolds Handi-Vac Vacuum Sealer ($9.99 for starter kit; retailers nationwide), which preps meats, fruits, and vegetables for long-term freezer storage. Simply defrost the frozen ingredients when you’re ready to use them. Or stock up on EvriFresh sachet disks ($3.99): They neutralize the food-spoiling ethylene gas that produce releases in the fridge as it ripens.

When to buy big
If you have a freezer buy good-for-you grass-fed meat straight from the farm; use a site like EatWild.com to find local farms.

“You can buy a quarter, half, or even a whole cow for an average of $5 to $6 per pound—far less than what you would pay for naturally-raised meat at the grocery store,” nutritionist Amanda Louden says.

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