The trick to off-grid living is energy conservation and efficiency
The starting point in planning your system is to first reduce demand. Most people can easily cut their electricity consumption in half. Reducing your family's energy consumption by conserving and investing in watt saving home lights and efficient appliances means you are putting your money in your pocket and can substantially reduce the amount of off-grid equipment and or battery bank. As you begin your journey towards freedom from the grid, start by conserving as much as possible first. Its always cheaper to save electricity than to generate electricity. Most off-grid generation is used for lighting, appliances like refrigerators and water pumping. Lighting is the easiest to tackle. Don't stop at compact florescent lights, go all the way to LED which can use 1/6th the watt consumption of compact florescent lighting.
Build your home or refurbish it with heat in mind
If you live anywhere that gets cold in the winter, you should consider fireplaces and insulation. Some building companies specialize in using efficient and green building materials.
Limit the number of electrical appliances in your home
Get rid of blow dryers, clothes dryers, microwaves, video game consoles and anything else that is not essential. Wearing thermals clothes. Breathable thermal clothes are amazing at keeping you warm during the cold days and nights. It will also eliminate your need for an electric heater.
Washing clothes, vacuuming and charging phones/tablets/laptops during the day
Make sure you are using energy from the sun instead of your backup batteries.
Check for the weather forecast for the week
Sunny weeks you can use more energy and cloudy weeks you can conserve your energy usage.
Energy efficient appliances
LED television, LED lighting, high efficient refrigerator, fans and evaporative cooling are the way to go if you aren't willing to give up the comforts of life. Make sure check the energy consumption of all appliances before you buy it.
Finding new Hobbies, good selections of game boards, puzzles and books
There are different ways to entertain yourself and your family without the use of a television set.