Self sufficient living -here we go

feather and mountain man

Corn fed Indiana farmgirl
10 Years
Jan 17, 2010
We are taking one more step in that dirrection. When given the choice it was easy to decide (for me anyway) internet or cell phone. We are raising chickens for eggs and meat. We grow our own veggies and many fruits. Now we have been talking about cell phone use for a long time. I complain about the bill because we are paying for more than we need. So we sat the kids down and told them that we are not paying for cell phones anymore starting in April. We told them that if it is something that is important to them they can pay for their phones themselves. We are not going to have phones and spend money on something we don't use. Well do you want to know what the kids reaction was...................................Not what you would probably think. They said ok. They said they are not allowed to have them at school or on the bus and we don't get service at the house so it doesn't matter to them.

So we will cancel all cell phones at the end of the contract. I never though it would go over so well. We are all on bored with the ideal. It was awsome to be so much in agreement with the whole family.

This all came about with wanting to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Then we took it a bit further and decided to become more self reliant, then started leaning in the dirrection of self sufficient. I can't believe the progress we have made in the last 3 yrs.

We have done a lot of research and reading on this area of subject and are always open to more ideas. So if you have a suggestion or hint please share it with me and I will try to do that for you BYCers too.
I got rid of my cell phone about a year ago. I missed it desperately at first, and wanted another one, but guess what?!!? Not anymore! Now I'm GLAD I don't have one!

We have our own meat rabbits, meat chickens, meat quail, and egg laying chickens, gardens and fruit trees...

But here are some "standard" things we have given up in lieu of self sufficiency...

1. TV. we don't have any cable or anything, not even the 12 free local channels. Granted we still do watch movies, but we don't pay for TV anymore! Again missed it at first, now I could care less! It's WONDERFUL what you can accomplish w/o TV!

2. Air conditioning/ heater... we ONLY use the Air conditioning if it's an EMERGENCY and we are going to DIE lol. We also switched to a wood burning stove instead of the heater. Our last electricity bill was like 50 bucks.

3. Dryer, only use it when ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO, other than that we line dry.

4. Solar oven. BF built a solar oven and we are in the process of switching to cooking at least several meals a week in it! Did I mention it's FREE!

5. Pressure canner, buy in bulk, cook in a crock pot, then can your leftovers! Cheap food!

6. Basic other things we do ourselves (don't pay someone); yard work and cleaning, vehicle repairs, oil changes, washes etc...

I also wrote an article on saving money for a contest and got honorable mention... I can send it to you if you want!

Let's see... there's probably more, I'll have to add them if I think of them...
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Solar Oven? Wow! Does your BF have plans he's willin to share? I'd REALLY be interested in that!

We're just about completely self sufficient here. We've got cows for beef and dairy, pigs for pork, chicken for, well, chicken and eggs, dairy and meat goats, meat/fur rabbits, big garden for veggies and we're working on the orchard. Canning/preserving what we don't immediately use, food wise, helps a bunch, as well.

Our A/C doesn't work, so we don't use it, and we use a woodstove for heat.

I've got plans to put in a clothes line, once the spot it's at gets dry enough to set posts, another will go on the deck when it gets redone (its rotten and 20ft up off the ground, yikes!)

We've even talked about what it'd take for transportation, using horses. We've put together general plans for a buckboard style wagon, I can do leatherwork, and we could piece together a good harness set for a team of horses. We'd also use the horses to drive the cattle from winter pasture back here (20miles away), but thats a little ways off.. well, depending on fuel prices! Might be sooner then we think! We've not got the horses yet, but they're everywhere around here, for dirt cheap.

Our biggest thing is electricity. The house is ALL electric, including our well. Worst case scenario, we take the 4wheeler out to the back pasture, where there's an everflowing creek that has water in the hottest dryest times of the year here. We also have a generator to use, for power outages. Though we'd like a bigger one to run the house on, its not financially feasible. Neither is solar panels. By the time we'd pay em off, they'd need to be replaced anyways.

As far as things like TV, we had sat tv for maybe 6 months, a few years ago, otherwise, nope, just movies we have collected, and Netflix gives some variety.

Cell phones, we keep. We absolutely NEED the commo capabilities, due to location and business. Our bill balances with our usage.

Internet is a must. The information at our fingertips is beyond useful, and cheaper then driving to the nearest library 3 times a week to check emails, research, etc.

The only monthly bills we have are cell phones, internet and vehicle insurance.
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I wish we knew how to repair our own vehicles but we do the maintenance on them.

I wanted to add a new thing we did last year to reduce our heating bill and it really helped we added insulation to the attic and around the crawl space under the house. Our electric bill was on average $100 less a month even with the rate increase. Woo HOO
Simple tips for the day.

Change your light bulbs to energy saver 13 watts all the light you need and easy on the wattage use.

Also unplug every night and when your going to be gone. I use power strips with surge protection for all my electronics so I I have to do is flip the switch.
Here is something that saved me money,..I keep all things unplugged that has a light or clock,...ex. microwave, TV, DVD player,..etc.,...been doing this for over two months. Made a HUGE difference in my power bill,...I saved $50 this month alone. It will be even better when I get my clothesline up and the weather changes to hang clothes out.
So many things a person can do to make life more simple.

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