How did you start being more self sufficient?

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by Minutiae Manor, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Minutiae Manor

    Minutiae Manor In the Brooder

    Jun 29, 2017
    I am interested in how you first began your journey into a more self sufficient lifestyle! What are some things that someone could do to become more self sufficient?
    Thank you in advance!
    CapricornFarm and rjohns39 like this.
  2. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Enabler

    Aug 20, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    I started by growing and preserving my own food. I developed a network of local farmers who grew thing that I didn't or in quantities I couldn't achieve. And then slowly started replacing the grocery store with my pantry. I also started buying in bulk to get significantly better pricing. I've learned to make my own "boxed" foods, so I have the convenience without the chemicals.
  3. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road

    Apr 9, 2013
    Phoenix AZ
    My Coop
    Keeping chickens, buying in bulk, growing as much food in the garden as possible.

    If you don't know how, learn to make bread, make your own cleaning supplies, sew, animal husbandry and butchering, go off grid if you can. Save seeds from your heirloom produce.

    Check out the Foxfire series, I think there are 15 volumes, excellent books full of knowledge about skills modern man lacks.
  4. Nardo

    Nardo Crowing

    Sep 26, 2014
    North Texas
    My Coop
    Check out the Foxfire series, I think there are 15 volumes, excellent books full of knowledge about skills modern man lacks.[/QUOTE]

    Exactly, they are also out on CD but, to me, that is sort of ironic.
  5. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Enabler

    Aug 20, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    When I first started down this road, I started a spreadsheet and every time we'd come back from the grocery store I'd put the items we bought into the spreadsheet. After a year, I was able to see what I was consuming, which gave me a baseline of what I needed to grow. I also tracked it by month, so for example: I use a lot of fresh herbs during the holiday season, but I can't grow them then. So a greenhouse was definitely a must.
  6. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

    Sep 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Keep chickens for eggs or meat I’d so desired. Plant your own vegetable garden. My mom recently took up sewing with my sisters.
  7. Junochick

    Junochick Songster

    Jun 10, 2017
    Globe arizona
    Hi, I bought a 1940s house in a rural area, I installed a mini ductless split system, I can heat or cool rooms in use. Also installed a wood stove to cut down on electric. I planted fruit trees and try to grow lots of my fruit and veggies. I also have chickens I do sell some of my eggs to cover feed costs. I collect rain water , I make my own laundry soap and hang clothes to dry. I also sell some of the plants I grow. 95% of the time I prepare my own meals and freeze some for later. Recycling is the best we have a humane society thrift store in town , run by volunteers my favorite place for shopping. I compost anything I can.
  8. Morrigan

    Morrigan Free Ranging

    Apr 9, 2014
    Like everyone else, planting a large garden, fruit trees, and raising animals were my first steps. Then, it was learning how to preserve what a I grew and raised. A pressure canner is a must. I also try to reuse and recycle things, rather than buying new.

    I'm not sure I'd calling buying in bulk, self-sufficiency, because I'm still going to the store, but it is very cost-effective and satisfying to have bins of dry goods always available and make my own bread, soups, baked beans, etc.

    I've still got a long way to go and will never truly be self-sufficient, but every year I learn more and do more by myself. It's a work in progress.
  9. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    The journey began by purchasing property in a rural area, where it seems to be easier to do many of the "self-sufficient" types of things.

    Raise chickens for eggs and meat.
    Produce your own chicks by breeding from your own flock.
    Hunt and process the meat (e.g., venison) yourself.
    Cut your own firewood and use a wood-burning stove or furnace for heat.
    Grow some of your own food.
    Plant an orchard and fruit-bearing bushes (e.g., blueberries).
    Learn to process (can, freeze) fruits, vegetables, soups, etc.
    Learn to bake your own bread and bread products.
    Learn to make your own medicinal salves using plants from your garden.
    Mend your own clothing.
    Pay off all your debts (including house and car) as soon as possible.
    Collect rainwater for the garden and livestock.
    Use animal waste for fertilizer.
    Make your own cleaning supplies.
    Purchase things from flea markets or yard sales instead of retail stores.
    Sell things you grow, raise or make.
    Avoid the temptation to have the most and latest gadgets and technology (phones, computers, games, etc). A flip-phone is sufficient.
    Buy a good, used car rather than a new one. Keep it maintained, and use it until it's not economical to repair it any longer.
    Set aside part of your paycheck every week to pay off debt, save for emergencies, or save for long-term goals/expenses (retirement, car, home/property).
    Track your expenses, distinguish "wants" from "needs", and cut out some of the things in the "wants" category (e.g., frequent trips to restaurants or the coffee shop, expensive cell phone plans, expensive television packages). Replace them with free or low-cost activities (hiking, reading, talking with friends, gardening, baking, etc.).
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Spend less than you earn. Think long and hard about every purchase. Answer this question: Is this item a need, or a want. Prioritize. When you do buy, buy quality. Learn to delay gratification. Make the meal away from home a rarity, not a regular occurrence. First financial goal is to become debt free.

    Grow a garden. Don't have much land? Start small. Even an apartment dweller can have a mini garden with land lord's blessing. Hay bale or container gardening can be done as long as you have adequate sun light.

    Don't be big meat eaters. It's surprising how little meat it takes to "make a meal". The less processed food you use in your diet, the healthier the diet should be and the less it will cost you. Even such things as starting with a pound of dried kidney beans instead of cans of kidney beans when you make a pot of chili.

    Shop the sales, and base your weekly menu on what you already have on hand, or what is on sale that week. Keep extra meals in your freezer for those nights when you just don't have it in you to cook that night.

    Learn how to do things yourself. It cost less to buy power tools than it does to pay some one to do the job for you. Sure, there's a learning curve. But, I'll take the occasional mistake made during the learning curve over the never ending expense of never learning a skill and always paying some one else to do it for me. Become a scavenger. A trip to my Town Mall (aka town dump) can be a shopping experience for me. Thermopane windows and doors, wood for building projects, truck loads of wood chips.

    Gardening: Feed your soil, and it will feed you. Permanent mulch will save on work, fertilizer, water. Grow what you like to eat and learn how to process it. Grow heirloom varieties and save the seeds. Even hybrid seed is worth saving. It may not breed true, but on the other hand, you might get some pleasant surprises: Case in point: One year, I saved seed from very large buttercup squash bought at a neighborhood veggie stand. Planted those seeds the next season along with my favorite: Red Kuri. The buttercups harvested from the saved seeds weighed up to 22#! I saved seeds THAT year. The following year, I harvested a lot of 22# bright orange-red buttercup squash.

    Barter: Trade produce, chickens, chicks, eggs for the bounty from your friends and neighbors. Even when I give my stuff away, folks "give back".

    Home made laundry detergent: I can make a years worth of detergent for less than $5.00. And it is IMO better in quality than what I would buy.

    Hatch your own chicks, build your own incubator!

    Every dollar not spent brings you closer to being self sufficient.

    And of primary importance: Place God at the top of your priority list. Realize that it all belongs to Him in the first place. Give from what you have, and He will bless the remainder above and beyond what you can imagine.

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