I was browsing through the treehugger website and came across this that was just impressive. A man in Southwest Texas built a home totally off grid for only $1600. It is what he calls his field lab.
You should totally check out this guys site and learn about his adventures, how he lives and what he does. This is so awesome. Imagine! He lives debt free, pays no electricity bills, harvest rain water and gray water and lives strictly within his means as oppose to the rest of that spend money like it grow on trees.