25 Easy Homesteading Skills We Need To Be Self-Reliant

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I’ve been thinking about 25 easy homesteading skills we need to be self-reliant, at the very least. It’s really all about taking care of ourselves and not depending on the government or anyone else to take care of our family. We have all been homemakers in different ways. It doesn’t matter if we have worked professionally outside our home to put food on the table or not. We do what we can to teach our children and grandchildren to be self-reliant.

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It’s a little frustrating when I hear there are so many people that have been living in low-income housing for 10-15 years or longer. Many families are on food stamps. I get it if someone needs help occasionally, keyword, occasionally. Please do not teach your children that receiving food stamps is a way of life. I know a few families that have been on food stamps for 10-15 years. Can someone please explain this to me? Were they not taught how to support themselves?

I wish the schools still had Home Economics classes, you know like cooking, sewing, etc.? If the schools are not teaching it, are the parents? Are these easy homesteading skills a thing of the past? I believe we would have fewer families on government assistance and less enabling if people were taught to take care of themselves. I may sound very strong today, but we have got to teach the world they CAN take care of themselves.

Mark and I have always been self-sufficient, has it been easy, no it has not. But, we need to bring back the skills to teach people to save money, budget, cook at home and so much more. Please tell me how many of these simple skills you have taught yourself or your family. I love hearing your stories.

Easy Homesteading Skills

1. Budgeting Income

Let’s be perfectly frank here, if families would teach their young children to spend less, buy less and live on what they make, we as taxpayers will hopefully pay less in taxes. As you know, there are so many ways to budget, but the easiest is to write down what you make and monitor what you spend. If you make this much——-you spend less than that amount.

2. Eat At Home

If we can learn to cook from scratch, just think of the money you can save. LOTS of money. Plus, it isn’t hard, and you know what you are eating. You can borrow grandma’s cookbooks and start today!

3. Learn To Sew

If you can learn to use a sewing machine you can at least mend the clothes you have when you need to repair a seam. If you can afford to send your children to sewing classes please do it. Sewing is a skill they can use their whole life.

4. Quilting

Do you remember your mother or grandma quilting? I remember my great-grandmother using every scrap of an old dress, shirt or blouse to make a “pieced” quilt. It was so fun to see a bit of my old dress that I loved built into a quilt here or there. A quilt tells a story, right?

5. Gardening

If you learn to grow just even a few vegetables really well and practice year after year you can be self-reliant. Just think about picking freshly grown vegetables from your garden for almost every meal. If you plant some fruit trees and bushes, can you just imagine the harvest? Prepare Your Soil 

Read More of My Articles  Which Chicken Breed Is Right For You?

6. Learn To Make Bread

By now you know that I love making bread, any kind of bread. I would have to say my favorite bread that I make is freshly ground whole wheat bread. Here is my post to help you make bread.  Linda’s Breadmaking Tips  I promise that YOU can make bread, any bread, if you have the right ingredients. They MUST be fresh ingredients.

7. Fishing is Awesome

Have you ever gone fishing? Oh my gosh, my grandkids love throwing the fishing line after they have hooked the worm on the end. I have such great memories of my little daughters fishing and learning to filet a fish to cook.

8. Chopping Wood is an Adventure

Mark and I were lucky to have a wood burning stove for many years. We taught our daughters to haul and chop wood. It didn’t stop there. We taught them how to heat the house with chopped wood and coal. Great memories and teaching them skills at the same time.

9. Learn To Use Tools

If you learn to use the various tools available to us, you can save so much money by fixing your car, finishing a basement or even helping to build a home. You can “fix” just about anything, one item at a time.

10. Learn to Store Food

If you learn to store the right food you can cook from scratch, it’s like having a grocery store in your home. These are the basics that may help you get started. Pantry Items

Junk K. mentioned Carnation Instant Milk, great one!

11. Learn To Store Water

In order to be self-reliant, we must store water in case of an emergency. It could be our water lines that are contaminated, or a major water line break. If you have at least one gallon per person per day for your family stored you can survive for as long as the water lasts. I personally store four gallons of water per person per day. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected.

12. Preserve Your Bounty

If you have one book it should be this one for canning or preserving your food. I have my Master Canning and Preserving Certificate. It is the ONLY one I would trust or recommend. Trusted Canning Book

13. Learn to make Jam and or Jelly

If you can grow strawberries or raspberries you can make jam!!! There is nothing better than freshly baked bread with butter and homemade jam. Linda’s Recipe

14. Cook From Scratch

If you have the tools you can cook from scratch. If you stock your pantry you can easily make just about any meal from scratch. Cooking from Scratch

15. Learn to cook with Cast Iron

Cooking with cast iron is awesome! They make food taste even better! I grew up watching my mom fry everything in a cast iron pan. Please don’t be afraid to use cast iron, those pans will last a lifetime. If you have issues with your cast iron pans please read this article Cast Iron Pans by Linda.

Read More of My Articles  How To Homestead With Little Or No Money

16. Learn To Use A Vacuum Sealer

If you want to have less waste with your groceries try using a Food Saver. It removes the air from the jars or bags and keeps the food fresher in the refrigerator or freezer. How to use a Food Saver

17. Make Your Own Laundry Soap/Detergent

You can make laundry soap for pennies on the dollar, literally. Have some friends over and make it a fun night. Laundry Soap/Detergent

18. Hang Your Clothes Outside

Can you remember seeing your grandmother’s sheets blowing in the wind on the clothesline? I sure do!! I finally found a clothesline that I love.

If you are looking for the best clothespins, these are the ones I recommend: Kevin’s Clothespins. I also found the best clothespin holder made by Praire Pin Pouch (.net)

Compare clothespins by Linda

19. Learn How To Deal With Weeds

If you start with organic soil and keep on top of the weeds, you may never have excessive weeds.

20. Build a Fence

I must say one of the best things to teach your kids to work is to build a fence. They will learn how to dig a hole, place a post (vertically straight) and fill the hole with a concrete mix. Then you hang the rails and then the fencing. Yay, for teaching the family to work.

21. Build a Fire

If you can build a fire, you can survive. You’ll need some kindling to help start the fire, some small pieces of wood or shredded paper, then some larger branches, and finally a few logs to keep the fire going and to stay hot. Always have some matches around the house to use when starting that fire. Be sure to only set fires where it is safe to do so. This is also a good time to teach kids cooking on an open fire, but also fire safety tips.

22. Cook over a fire

If you have a Dutch oven you can cook over a fire. If you have some long sticks you can also cook over a fire. The possibilities are endless. And oh, so fun!! If you can find some used cast iron Dutch ovens or skillets at your local thrift store, buy them. Dutch oven cooking

23. Learn Natural Remedies

I use essential oils and try my very best to figure out what I need before going to a doctor. Let’s be honest here, there is a time when you MUST see a medical profession. These are my favorite essential oils. Favorite Essential Oils

24. First Aid Kit

If you need a list to fill your first aid kit, here is the one I put together. Linda’s First Aid Kit I highly recommend this book for emergencies. The Survival Medical Handbook

25 Easy Homesteading Skills We Need To Be Self-Reliant

25. Learn CPR

You can learn to save a life by learning this skill. Please check your local American Red Cross or some local government agencies for classes that are available. American Red Cross CPR Classes

Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. Today’s post gives you 25 easy homesteading skills you can learn or teach others. May God bless our world.

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Sewing machine: AdobeStock_109112259 by Smiltena

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18 thoughts on “25 Easy Homesteading Skills We Need To Be Self-Reliant

  • August 10, 2018 at 7:31 am
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    Linda,
    I agree with you about people on Food Stamps. I was on Food Stamps for a year or so after my husband passed away and I was trying to get on Disability but as soon as I could I got off of them. Yes it is a easy thing to have them but to know I can provide for myself is so GREAT. People don’t teach their
    kids anything. Like I have said before I work at a convenience store and it is nothing for a parent and
    kid or 2 come in and they spend $20.00 or more and usually the parent doesn’t even blink. I look at the junk they buy and I think WHY???? Oh a donut every once in a while is fine but everyday. And they buy
    drinks that are WAY overpriced. I remember getting up and getting dressed and going to my grandma’s to wait for the bus and I ate breakfast there. Pancakes made from scratch or bacon and eggs. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!! Our world is a mess. People are to busy bologna there is as many hours
    in the day as there was when I was a kid. Don’t put your kid in every after school sport. They can
    live on one. When people say they don’t have enough time with their kids….why? Who signed them
    up for 5 different sports????? Pick one and then teach them things at home like having a garden or
    cooking from scratch.
    I was wondering about an item to add to your Food Storage list, What about Carnation
    Instant Breakfast. It can be made with water or milk and it is pretty good. Just a thought.

    Reply
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:23 pm
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      OH June, I LOVE your comment!! You are so right, I do not get the spending money on crap for the kids. Pay off your house people!!! Every $20.00 squandered is money flushed down the toilet. It’s funny June because when my girls were young and living at home we only had them in piano lessons. We didn’t have the money to spend on more than one lesson or sport. My girls learned to work because they were expected to can food, grow a garden, etc. It was a way of life. Food stamps are for people just like you and I if we have a rough patch in the road. You did not abuse it. You rose above the trial you were given, pat yourself on the back, girlfriend. If people knew how bad that soda is for their bodies they would never waste their money on it. Stay well and be safe, hugs, Linda P.S. I added the Instant Carnation Milk to my post. Great tip.

      Reply
    • August 17, 2018 at 10:41 am
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      June K, you are correct on so many points! I lived in Mpls many years and saw this too many times…people almost afraid of making more money because then their food stamps would be cut. And it sort of made sense, wierdly enough. It was the sense of stability they needed. My childhood was often very poor, there were No foodstamps, and I think my mother would have been damn grateful to have some stability even if only for food. Unfortunately, this now through foodstamps has become an intergenerational way of life. And it is way more easy to get hooked than people think! I got foodstamps a few months into my cancer care (over a year) after my savings were wiped out. While I did report when my dad would send me a couple hundred bucks, I was always scared my foodstamps would be cut. Because, what about ‘next month’? The money he sent me was needed for gas to go to doctor appts, my car insurance, laundry soap! The foodstamps were stability in a very unstable world. People don’t get this. I only needed them for a short time, but I think families who have intergenerational poverty have a hard time envisioning a life where there IS economic stability.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2018 at 8:56 am
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    These are such excellent points to make. My husband and I are self reliant specialists at our church and about every three months we have classes such as these. Skills will be necessary will the bull hits the fan. Tomorrow classes will be on ham radio and how to distill water and how to build a distiller. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:28 pm
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      Hi Judy, oh I love hearing that you and your husband are doing this! Could I send you some of my books for your class? I wrote the book “Prepare Your Family For Survival”. Please send me your name, address and phone number to foodstoragemoms@yahoo.com Wow, I wish my neighborhood was teaching classes on getting your ham radio license, and how to distill water and how to build a distiller. You both rock!!! Linda

      Reply
      • August 11, 2018 at 7:08 am
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        Sure Linda – mailing address is 3279 Lawn Oak Orange, Texas 77632. Looking forward to viewing your books. Thank you.

        Reply
  • August 10, 2018 at 1:49 pm
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    Linda,
    This is a good list, and I personally really like lists. I’m a retired engineer, and facing any problem or set of problems works best for me with a list, that allows you to check off trivial or completed things, and prioritize and attack things that need to be completed.
    Commenting on your list item by item keeps me on track, so please excuse the long post.
    1. Budgeting Income
    We not only budget income & expenses; but, keep track of cash flow in a spreadsheet where you can get an instant look at your situation. We are cash flow positive in our retirement; but, that’s mostly because the kids are all gone, we have no mortgage, and we have a budget and plan all large purchases. We use a single credit card regularly; but, only for managing cash flow, and of course the gift cards we get from the rewards points don’t hurt. We use the card for the cash flow extensions and always pay the balance in full. I’ve never been on any welfare program; but, was on unemployment twice, all the while either looking for work or working part time to supplement and cover my medical costs.
    2. Eat At Home
    We only eat out on occasion and most of the time it’s some place like Wendy’s or Burger King. We cook& eat at home, sometime something simple like grilled cheese and soup from a can, or French toast; but, occasionally it’s pancakes or fried mush from scratch. Our freezer still contains most of a half an Angus, purchased from a local farmer and eggs come from our own hens.
    3. Learn To Sew
    The wife can sew with either her new machine or her old converted treadle machine, that has a small motor where the treadle used to be. I can replace buttons and darn holes in a pinch; but, it ain’t pretty, LOL.
    4. Quilting
    My mom and wife have done some quilting; but, we are generally content with kjust using layers of wool or fleece blankets or one of many sleeping bags.
    5. Gardening
    While our garden this year was a bit of a bust; due, to torrential rains, we’re still doing some later fall vegetables in our green house, and planning on getting started early next year, by early seed starting in the green house.
    6. Learn To Make Bread
    We’ve made bread from scratch and with a bread machine, and have found the easiest way is to use the machine to do all of the mixing, kneading,, and rising, and then bake in the oven. Some might think it’s cheating; but, it saves time, and we can do it the other way if we really had to. Self reliance doesn’t have to be hard on purpose.
    7. Fishing is Awesome
    We have a creek on the property and I do occasionally drown worms and other bait; but, it’s not something I really enjoy, when the same amount of time with a rifle or shotgun can yield more meat.
    8. Chopping Wood is an Adventure
    When we first moved here as a rental 32 years ago we heated only with wood for a few years. Now we use propane; but, always have the wood heat and a supply of wood as a backup. Multiple ways to heat are a necessity.
    9. Learn To Use Tools
    I’ve collected tools for 50 years and have very primitive tools like a draw knife, as well as first rate battery powered tools. You also have to know how to use the tools; but, there are almost always people around who can teach you if you ask.
    10. Learn to Store Food
    We have everything from cans of grains to dehydrated and freeze dried food, along with the equipment to make our own. Canning & dehydrating are easy and inexpensive; but, freeze drying is within the reach of most if you save for the goal. Everyone should look at some grains and once again, know how to prepare them.
    11. Learn To Store Water
    We keep some water on hand; but, mostly rely on a well and a whole house generator. Even that can have problems, since a few weeks ago the pump quit working; but, a new backup pump, still in the box saved the day.
    12. Preserve Your Bounty
    See #10
    13. Learn to make Jam and or Jelly
    Also part of #10 and canning. Pretty much the same equipment and skillset.
    14. Cook From Scratch
    See pancakes & mush in #2 above. A good chunk of roast with some potatoes, carrots, and onions can also feed a family quite well, with little real effort.
    15. Learn to cook with Cast Iron
    16. Learn To Use A Vacuum Sealer
    We have several food savers and they are amazing devices, especially when packaging for the freezer. No freezer burn ever.
    17. Make Your Own Laundry Soap/Detergent
    We have tried this and it works OK; but, now we just purchase the inexpensive scent free in bulk.
    18. Hang Your Clothes Outside
    We do this in the summer all of the time; but, it will actually work in the winter if need be. The clothing freezes and the ice sublimates.
    19. Learn How To Deal With Weeds
    Commercial weed barrier, newspaper and cardboard can take care of these at little expense and less work.
    20. Build a Fence
    We’ve built numerous fences around our horse and goat paddock and the chicken yard using Steel Fence U-Posts and welded wire fencing. On the corners you use real wooden posts where it helps a lot to have a neighbor with an auger to dig the post holes. It’s also a good idea to have a come along (hand powered winch) to stretch the fence tight.
    21. Build a Fire
    I’ve taught all of my kids to do this with numerous ways to ignite the flame. From matches to lighters, to flint & steel and ferrocerium rods, with the latest being rechargeable plasma arc lighters you recharge from a USB port, just like your phone or tablet. I also carry cotton balls and some fat wood in all of my kits & EDC.
    22. Cook over a fire
    We’ve done this many times; but, my favorite is always with a Dutch oven. The classic is of course hot dogs and marshmallows on a freshly cut green stick. We’ve also cooked corn on the cob and fish, right on a bed of coals. These all take practice; but, are good things to know how to do.
    23. Learn Natural Remedies
    This is probably my weakest skill; but, one we’re slowly learning.
    24. First Aid Kit
    We have a very well stocked kit and we’ll leave it at that, other than to add that you can find a lot of pieces for your FAK @ Dollar Tree.
    25. Learn CPR
    You also need the refreshers and usually can find first aid at the same time. If you can find a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) course, that is also a good one to take.

    I think another addition (#26) should be added. Communications, since when the system fo down, you’ll be left in the dark.
    Battery, Solar, or hand crank powered radios to hear what’s going on.
    If you are willing to take the time, a ham radio license is now very easy to get, and radio’s start @ under $40.00. Without a license, a set of FRS (family radio service) radios can still keep you in contact with your local group. You do need a way to charge the batteries, which is another resource to consider.

    Reply
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:38 pm
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      Hi, Ohio Prepper, oh my gosh, I LOVE your comment! I love reading what other people do worldwide, it’s something I love hearing. You are amazing!!! I just wish you were my neighbor or I was your neighbor!!! I can’t get people around me here in Southern Utah to understand the need for preparing for the unexpected. I know several cities around me are BIG into preparedness. I wish I lived in a different subdivision. I LOVE LOVE your comment! Linda

      Reply
    • August 11, 2018 at 7:12 am
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      Great ideas! However I would learn more about them there weeds. I know a lot of people see them as a “oh another weed” but a lot of weeds can be used for medicine and food. Just ‘food for thought”.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2018 at 6:20 pm
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    Love your book that I won and you sent me. I am trying to teach the basics in our church em. prep. monthly classes since most coming now are fairly new to em. prep. tho they have food storage. We have been doing this for 9 yrs. so I changed to pot lucks where each one tells what they used from food storage to make their dish…I am trying to get them to USE it. This seems to be working pretty well.

    Wondering if it is possible to get about 12 of your books for some in the class….what would the cost be? Thank you for your great info daily.

    Reply
    • August 10, 2018 at 6:45 pm
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      Hi Sandra, oh my gosh, I love hearing you are teaching classes AND you are having potluck dinners with food storage!!! What a great idea!! Please send me your name, address, and phone number. Let’s work something out for the books. I love it when I hear people are teaching classes. Thank you!!! Linda Please send me the information to foodstoragemoms@yahoo.com

      Reply
  • August 10, 2018 at 7:33 pm
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    I sent my info inthe other e-mail you sent.

    Reply
  • August 17, 2018 at 11:17 am
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    Linda, you have such great suggestions. I wish there were more young people reading your pages. I do have to say that one of the things that really hurt people financially is this ‘need’ they seem to have to get the most up to date electronic things. Like ‘smart tvs’, a better cell phone, a better laptop…let alone a refrigerator that hooks into a cell phone, lol. Too many of these things are put onto a credit acct! My thing is, if I can’t Save to buy it, maybe I shouldn’t buy it. I’m harkening back to one of your blogs where you talked about car buying, as you were right on! Obviously, for like a home loan, most people couldn’t save enough to pay both rent and save monthly cost for a home. But, they sure could save a lot using your tips to have a substantial down payment. Lol, I’m in an ongoing argument with my 19 yr old who thinks he needs to move closer to a community college, get out on his own with roomies. And I ‘get’ why he wants to set up housekeeping on his own. But, between him and i, we could pay for tuition outright, no loans or grants needed, if he commutes. When he transfers to a bachelor degree program, yes, then he will need to move out. Lol, I think I haven’t made him live poor enough to appreciate this foresight…

    Reply
    • August 17, 2018 at 11:41 am
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      Hi Wendy, I totally hear you on this. I remember a long time ago when someone said: “it’s really easy to write out a check, rather than to teach them the skills to live on their own.” I have never forgotten that……Linda

      Reply
  • August 20, 2018 at 1:19 am
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    Linda, To continue, another thing, I don’t ever eat out. When I had the money to, I only did on a special occasion, which was rare. I cook at home. Much better for me and less expensive. Thanks, Faye

    Reply
    • August 20, 2018 at 7:50 am
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      Hi Faye, I’m the same way now that I’m not working outside the home. It’s so expensive to eat out and then I have to drive home. LOL! Life is good eating at home and it saves us money!! Linda

      Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 5:19 pm
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    I wish you had your materials in a PDF. I have vision problems and it would be good to download the materials and not have to read the small print on your website (well small to me)

    Reply
    • September 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm
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      Hi Jackie, I have a PRINT button if that would help. My readers use it all the time and file them for later. Linda

      Reply

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