Read along for the best ways to be more self sufficient in our modern world of convenience and consumerism.
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In recent years it seems its come to most people’s attention how reliant we are on other systems, people, governments, grocery stores, etc.
Whether you’ve had the self-sufficient bug all your life, or your eyes have been opened up to it in the last few years, this post is for you. Here are 26 ways to be more self-sufficient. Depending on your circumstances some of these will work for you, and some may be totally not possible. And that’s okay!
Everyone is in different situations. If you want to become self-reliant, just start where you are with what you can.
Self-sufficiency and learning how to provide for yourself is an awesome skill that I think EVERYONE can benefit from, not just the homesteaders of the world.
In no particular order, here are 26 ways to be more self-sufficient that you can start practicing today. ENJOY!
Ways to be More Self Sufficient
1. Heat your home with firewood.
There’s nothing like cutting your own firewood and using it to heat your home in the cold months. It will make you feel amazing! Even if you can’t heat your home completely you can supplement with firewood heat. Of course, this depends on your home and situation, but if its possible its something you can consider!
2. Grow Your Own Fruits & Vegetables
Gardening is the ultimate self-sufficiency skill to learn. You can keep your gardening as simple as growing a tomato plant on your back patio to as involved as a whole kitchen garden. Its a skill that’s learn over time through lots of trial and error.
3. Learn to Can and Preserve Food
Ditch the grocery store and rely on food goods that you’ve preserved yourself. You can can, freeze, dehydrate, pickle and ferment ALL different kinds of food. Make it a challenge of yours to buy as few things as possible from the grocery store, and instead stock your pantry with things you’ve preserved yourself.
4. Grow Your Own Herbs
If you can’t grow a full grown garden, you can very well grown your own herbs in a windowsill. Its an easy, beginner friendly skill to learn that will help you to be more self-sufficient every day.
5. Keep a Milk Cow for Dairy Products
You don’t have to rely on the grocery store for your dairy products when you have a family milk cow! If you’re enjoy the goodness from a milk cow you can make everything from yogurt to hard cheese, buttermilk to ricotta. So many options, that you’ll be making ALL YOURSELF. So neat!
6. Homeschool your kiddos
This might not seem like a normal self-sufficiency skill, but homeschooling your kiddos is an awesome way to take things into your own hands. Of course, this isn’t for everyone. But, if you’re on a trek to become completely self-reliant AND you have kids, homeschooling will be right up your ally.
7. Bake your own bread.
By bread I mean every kind of bread product you can think of! Making soup for dinner and want rolls to go with it? Make your own! Bake biscuits to eat with biscuits and gravy in the morning, tortillas for burritos, the options are endless. Baking your own bread products can be one of the most fulfilling ways to become self-sufficient in our modern, convenient world with all of those in easy access at the grocery store.
8. Learn how to fix things around your home.
Instead of hiring a handyman to come fix the leaking sink or remodel the bathroom, or anything else around your home, do it yourself! We live in a really cool time period where we can learn nearly ANYTHING we want to. Google and Youtube are right at our fingertips, so if there’s something you want to do around your home, but you don’t know how, you can figure it out.
9. Raise, butcher, and process your own meat.
Raising animals and butchering and processing them for meat to feed your family is an amazing way to be more self-sufficient. You can raise beef cows, meat chickens, pigs, sheep, etc. So many options!
10. Collect and utilize rainwater.
This one is kind of different! If you live in a city and are paying for your water through the city, consider being more self-sufficient by learning how to collect rainwater. You can then use this water to water your landscaping, garden, etc.
11. Learn to start a fire.
Do you know how to start a fire? This is a great, self-sufficient skill to learn, and most people in our modern world probably don’t know how! Even if you won’t be needing to start fires on a regular basis, its a good thing to learn.
12. Learn to cook and bake on a wood fire.
Capitalize on your fire building skills by learning how to cook and bake on a wood fire using cast iron pots and pans. This is how people used to cook, and most people don’t know how to today!
13. Make your own dairy products: cheese, yogurt, etc.
If you have a dairy cow that’s providing you with all that yummy goodness, utilize it by learning how to make anything and everything that’s dairy related. You won’t regret it!
14. Tap maple trees.
Do you live in an area with maple trees that you can tap for maple syrup? Do it! This is a really cool way to be more self-sufficient. Of course this depends on where you live.
15. Learn how to to fix your car.
Do you take your care into the shop for everything little bit of maintenance that it needs? Learn how to do all of that yourself. Again, use Google and Youtube! You can learn how to fix minor issues (or major ones if you really put your mind to it). Be more self sufficient by cleaning your car yourself if you’re someone who gets car washes or car details on a regular basis.
16. Make your own cleaning products.
Another way to become self-reliant is to learn how to make your own cleaning products. Believe it or not most things in your home can be cleaned with a FEW simple and natural cleaning supplies.
17. Make your own bath and beauty products.
You can also make your own bath and beauty products if you’re wanting to be more self-sufficient. This can include things like body lotion, makeup, bath salts, shampoo, etc.
18. Cook all of your food from scratch.
Learn how to cook any and all food from scratch! This is such a fun and filling;) way to be more self-sufficient. Get cookbooks from the library, and challenge yourself to cooking from scratch as often as possible. Challenge yourself to cooking ANYTHING that you might buy prepackaged or canned from the store.
19. Repair and mend your own clothing.
Instead of throwing away torn or ripped clothing items, learn how to repair and mend them yourself. Once you get a sewing machine the options are endless for what you can do.
20. Knit & sew new textiles for your home.
Along those same lines, you can learn how to sew anything and everything around your home. Curtains, pillowcases, quilts, duvet covers, aprons, kitchen towels, etc. can all be made at home with your sewing machine.
21. Compost kitchen scraps, cut grass, dried leaves, etc.
Composting is a great way to be more self-sufficient and create good, quality soil for your homegrown garden. Its also sustainable, and less wasteful than just throwing all that stuff away. Start with a small compost bin under your kitchen sink for kitchen scraps, and as you want to move forward with it you can have a whole compost system outdoors.
22. Learn to fish.
My husband fishes and he stocks our freezer every spring with enough fish to last the whole year. Its amazing. If you like eating fish, learn how to fish so you can catch it yourself. THEN, learn how to cook it good!
23. Do things yourself.
Pretty vague right?! But I wanted to add this on here to the end to encompass a WHOLE bunch of little things that you might be hiring out or going to someone else for, that you can actually do yourself.
Here are a few examples: cut your own hair and your family’s hair. Paint your own nails. Change the oil on your car. Mow your own lawn. Wash your own windows. Paint your house yourself.
I hope you found this list helpful and you’re ready to jump into the world of self-sufficiency. Remember, start where you are with what you can. You can do it!