It can mean those things. But, if that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea you don’t have to go that far.
Instead, here are 10 easier ideas for more self sufficient living.
Get Backyard Chickens
My new chickens are actually what sparked the idea for this post.
My husband and I recently purchased ten laying hens on a whim. At first I was a bit freaked out by the thought. I wondered, would taking care of chickens be hard? Did we just screw up?
When the chickens made their way to their new home (which is my front yard) I figured out that I was wrong. The chickens have been a breeze. Very easy to take care of. (Especially if you have dogs. Or kids, for that matter.)
The feeling of walking out to the coop each day and gathering eggs is like none other. This has already inspired me to look for more ways to be self-sufficient.
Understandably, everyone cannot do this. But if having your own laying hens is something you’ve always wanted I think you’ll find it well worth it.
Grow a Garden
Planting a small garden may be one of the simplest ways to get started on sustainable living. Especially, since you can start very small.
Even if you live in the city or in an apartment building you can still grow a few tomatoes (or whatever you like) on your balcony.
Learn to Fix Things Yourself
A little DIY skills can along way. Both in the self-sufficiency and frugality department, which seem to go hand in hand.
Instead of throwing things away or immediately calling a repairman start taking on little projects. Learn how to fix your screen door, your leaky faucet, or your child’s bicycle.
A great amount of satisfaction can stem from doing things yourself.
Plant Fruit Trees
Another must-do on my list for next spring is planting fruit trees.
I have some amazing memories of picking peaches and apples at my Grandma’s house and want my kids to have these same kinds of memories.
It normally takes 3-5 years for the tree to produce after being planted so it’s a good idea to start sooner rather than later.
Get Rid of Debt
If you want to be more self-sufficient a more common idea is to get out of debt. Stop racking up balances your credit cards that you can’t pay. Pay cash for a car. Pay off your existing debt balances.
Learning to live within your means is probably the greatest money saving self-sufficiency move you can make.
Learn How to Cook
This is funny coming from my mouth (or fingers, I should say.) I’ve never been one that loves to cook.
However, in the middle of last month I started the Whole30 challenge in which you eat nothing but whole food for thirty days. Since starting this challenge I’ve been cooking like a crazy person and actually enjoying it.
I’ve found it amazing how many different meals I can make out of the same few ingredients.
Cooking yourself and not relying on take out and packaged food is a great step in self-sufficiency direction. (And one I’ll be continuing to work into my life.)
Learning how to compost is one skill I haven’t yet attempted but is high on my list. Composting turns waste into fertilizers. That’s a double win.
Here’s an article on composting if you want to learn more.
Reuse and Recycle
Since buying a little farm a few months ago my family has quickly adopted the reuse and recycle mantra.
We’ve managed to acquire several animals since moving here and have reused items like crazy. For instance, an old bookshelf became nesting boxes for the chickens. Scrap wood was turned into shelter boxes for the rabbits. An old shed became a house for the cats.
When you need something think creatively and try to use what you have on hand. I promise, it’s much more rewarding than going to a store and buying something to solve the problem.
Bartering is awesome. You have something you don’t need but is valuable to someone else and that person has something that is valuable to you. So trade.
I’ve done a lot of bartering lately. It has all come very naturally and turned into fantastic win-win situations for all parties involved.
Save Your Money
If you want to be self-sufficient you need to money to fall back on.
We’re not living in the olden days where you can trade for absolutely everything you need. No, you still need money in a very real sense.
Save your money. Save for emergencies. Save for retirement. Save for a car.
Put all of your personal finance knowledge to work.
Are you interested in self-sufficient living?