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When you think about being self-sufficient, do see a house sitting out in the middle of nowhere, living off the land and off the grid? This type of lifestyle can sound daunting when you see and read articles on the subject. The truth is, becoming self-sufficient is more of a “work in progress” lifestyle. And for many of us it means making small changes a little at a time and working toward becoming more and more self-sufficient. And, if you are reading this post you may already be doing one or two of the things that people living this lifestyle have been doing, you just didn’t know it!
In the dictionary, the definition of “self-sufficient” is needing no outside help in satisfying one’s basic needs, especially with regard to the production of food. Hmm! The term Basic needs is a very broad term and will mean something different for everyone, right? The point here is self-sufficiency shouldn’t be daunting or overwhelming if any way, especially if you approach it in small steps that work for you.
In fact, here are a few questions to ask yourself as you read the rest of this post:
- Are you already doing any of these things?
- Do you know how to do any of these things?
- Are you interested in doing any of these things?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions after reading this post, then you are either already on the journey to self-sufficiency or getting ready to start it!
The 5 things you may already be doing:
Growing and foraging for your own food:
Are you growing fruit, vegetables, and/or herbs at home? This is one of the easiest things to start to becoming more self-sufficient. If not, you can start with easy plants like tomatoes, peppers, beans, and/or squash. All these are a great first step and can be easily stored to use throughout the year. In addition, wild berries like elderberry and edible plants like Stinging Nettle and dandelions can be foraged and harvested for use in the home. Just do an internet search for any of these and you will get tons of recipes and uses.
Hunting and Fishing:
These are great ways to add meat, poultry and fish to your freezer and store to eat throughout the year. If you do any of these, you will save money and reduce your spending at the grocery store. In fact, you already know that meat and cleaning products are the largest expenses in your grocery budget!
If you are not doing this one yet, I highly recommend starting with small animals like chickens or rabbits. This may be necessary especially if you don’t have a place to raise large livestock. Raising livestock is not something to be afraid of. It is not as grueling as it sounds and definitely has more advantages than disadvantages. With that being said, I would not add livestock as a first step toward self-sufficiency. By far, there are much easy things to start doing before jumping into this one.
This means basically making it from scratch or doing it yourself. Do you know how to sew, quilt, knit or crochet? Have you canned, frozen or preserved your own food? Can you make your own bread, cheese, or yogurt? Or How about this one. Do you make your own soap, household products (laundry detergent, cleaners, etc.) or beauty products (face cleanser, sugar scrub, etc.)? If you are doing any of these, you are already on that journey and you may not even have realized it!
Have you made something out of pallets, re-purposed a piece of furniture or painted an old item to give it a fresh new look? Re-purposing items and using them in the same or different ways is one of the cardinal rules of self-sufficiency. You will hear and see the term “waste-not” used by people who are living this lifestyle.
As you can see, self-sufficiency can certainly be done in small steps. As a matter of fact, I recommend it. I certainly didn’t start off doing all of these things at once. And to be honest, my journey to becoming self-sufficient is far from over but with each small step, I get a little closer and you know what, you will too! Remember make small changes, get used to doing them and when they become part of your regular routine, then add something new. It really is that simple!