Have you ever thought about what era you would have enjoyed living in had you not been born when you were?
Am I alone in this pondering?
Gosh, I hope not. That would just be weird.
Well, I’ve always pictured myself in the days of the pioneer. Maybe it was the joys of playing The Oregon Trail in my childhood, but I could always picture myself as a prairie wife. You know, a real Sarah, Plain & Tall in a Little House on the Prairie setting.
Maybe that’s why this idea of self-sufficiency is so appealing to me. I’m sure it’s why I love the country life so.
Now that you are all caught up on the why, today I’m sharing with you the how.
Become A Bit More Self-Sufficient
All right, so here we go…here are a few ways in which you can become a bit more self-sufficient. Check it out, try it out, and let me know what you think!
- Grow your own food: It really is a simple as starting a garden. And, no, you don’t need a plot of land to be able to garden. You can simply start an herb garden or a container garden for a few vegetables. Whatever you grow, even if it is just a couple of plants, reduces your dependency on the grocery store.
- Learn to preserve: This lesson has been huge for me since we moved to the country. I’m still learning when it comes to canning and dehydrating, but we freeze everything. Just trying to reduce kitchen food waste by preserving is a method of self-sufficiency. Plus you’ll always be well stocked with options in an emergency.
- Live off the land: What resources are available to you where you live? What can you hunt or fish or collect? Do edible mushrooms grow in your area…or berries…or apples? What is Mother Nature offering to you for harvest? Look around; you may just be surprised at how resourceful you can be.
- Raise animals: If you have the space, consider raising animals that can provide for you. Chickens are pretty easy and you can raise them for meat or eggs or both. And I can honestly say, once you’ve eaten farm fresh eggs, you just can’t go back to store bought. If you are feeling adventurous you could try your hand at beekeeping. And there’s always goats or cattle for dairy and meat, depending on what you have for space.
- Utilize local resources: Maybe you can’t see yourself growing a garden or raising chickens. But that doesn’t mean those resources don’t exist for you locally. Go to a farmer’s market and meet those that are providing eggs, meat, dairy, or produce. Develop a relationship with the farmers so that you can call on them if you ever need to. Find something you can offer them in a trade or barter as a bonus.
- Learn to cook: Reduce the number of convenience food items in your grocery cart the next time you go shopping. Challenge yourself to cook meals from scratch. Not only will you be moving away from processed junk toward a more real food diet, but you’ll also gain the knowledge base needed to cook just about anything in tight times.
- Tap into nature: Explore the world of natural remedies or try making your own cleaning products with essential oils. Not only will your health benefit, but also what you make at home is less you need to buy from the store. Plus you’ll be teaching yourself the ability to be resourceful in nature if needed.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: This throwback to my childhood school lessons on recycling is quite valid actually. Reduce your waste by composting food products or repurposing recyclables like glass or plastic containers. Recycle what you can and reuse what you can. It’s amazing how much just starting to recycle will cut down your trash waste.
- Go off-grid: I’m not saying you need to go fully off-grid, but there are several options you can implement to reduce your need for basic utilities. You could add a solar panel to your roof if it makes sense for your geographical location. You can get a rain barrel or set up a system to recycle grey-water. And of course, if you have the option you may want to have a generator on hand for emergencies.
- Conserve resources: Be aware of how much water and electricity your household uses. And then cut back. Or at least know how to make these things last if you are ever in a scenario in which you would need to conserve them.
- Limit your driving: I know this might be a stretch for some, but take a look at how much you are driving on the daily. Could you ever ride your bike instead? Or walk? Is there anyone that you could potentially carpool with? In the name of conservation and reducing your carbon footprint, it’s worth at least assessing what your options for transportation are.
- Become a DIY-er: Learn the basic skills you need to DIY. Don’t be afraid of power tools or picking up a hammer. Try your hand at fixing home repairs and DIY projects to improve your skills and work on problem solving. Let go of being accustomed to buying everything; see if you can make it yourself instead. Picking up skills such as sewing or crocheting can be a great new hobby too.
- Hone your basic survival skills: I don’t consider myself a prepper, I really don’t. But I’d be lying if I said the whole concept didn’t intrigue me at all. And I think there are some lessons to be learned from the prepper culture. Stay up on First Aid and CPR training. Learn how to purify water and build a fire. Put together a few first aid kids, vehicle repair kits, and a home emergency kit to be prepared for anything. Stock up on the basic necessities by buying in bulk and storing items at home long term. Develop a family emergency plan for the unknown. Be prepared. Get prepped.
I know I just threw a lot at you. Please don’t feel overwhelmed. Maybe this blog post has served its purpose if it has at least planted a seed of thought in the direction of self-sufficiency.
Or maybe you are a bit more gung-ho and willing to give one or two of these a try.
It really doesn’t matter where you live or what your situation is, I am certain you can put some of these tips into practice. Whether you pick a handful to attempt over the next month or you devise a valiant 30-day challenge for yourself to try them all, you are choosing be just a bit more self-sufficient then you were yesterday.
So, I made this post into a little checklist for you. Go ahead and click the Download button below, print it out, slap it on the fridge and give it a go! Here’s to becoming a bit more self-sufficient!
And, perhaps, just a bit more like a pioneer woman prairie wife! 😉
Would you consider adding to the conversation by commenting at the bottom of the page? I’d love to hear your take on this topic…
Do you think of yourself as self-sufficient? What tips can you share?
Which of these tips seem most doable to you?
Just for fun (and to prove that I’m not the only weirdo with this thought process) what era do you wish you could have been born in and why?