What a lot of folks forget when discussing cruising budgets is that the more self-sufficient you are the lower the cruising budget is going to be.
As much as I try to keep our food budget frugal and while saving ten cents a pound on carrots or eating cheaper cuts of meat does add up to a chunk of change over the course of a year, by comparison, it is a tiny amount when compared to the savings made on doing all of my own work on the boat.
Take sails for instance. I needed another mainsail as well as a storm trysail. A relatively inexpensive sailmaker I respect quoted around $2300 for the mainsail and a Sailrite kit would go for around $1000…
In this case what I am actually doing is I bought a cheap used but like new sail and recut it into two sails. So for $300 and a bit of cunning sweat equity I wound up with a “new” main and a trysail which saved us between one or two thousand dollars on just one needful project depending how you think about it.
Being able to sew and having a sewing machine able to handle heavy materials and sailcloth allows us to save some serious money on a pretty regular basis. It has even become an income stream when needful.
Same goes for rigging, engine work, being able to do electrical, carpentry, and fiberglass work, none of which is rocket science, because any time you’re not throwing $50-$90 an hour (that’s a lot of carrots or chicken thighs!) to some guy to fix it for you, your budget is doing a happy dance.