17 Ways to Become More Self-Sufficient

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Do you think you are self-sufficient? Think about the things you rely on…do you use electricity in your home? Do you pay a gas bill? Do you pay a mortgage? Do you buy your food at the grocery store? This means you are not completely self-sufficient. Of course, many of us are not able to become completely self-sufficient, but you can begin the process. Here are 17 ways to become more self-sufficient. In case you missed this post, 101 Homesteading Skills We Need To Teach

17 Ways to Become More Self-Sufficient

17 Ways to Become More Self-Sufficient

The more self sufficient you become, the better it will be if SHTF! Here are some things you can do to become more self sufficient over time!

#1 Grow Your Own Food

Start a garden, even if it’s small at first. Think tomatoes, potatoes, peas, cucumbers, zucchini, corn, plant some apple trees, or anything you think your family would enjoy growing and eating. This is where I buy my garden seeds, SeedsNow

Please Check Out What To Plant Each Month:

#2 Start Saving Seeds

When you first start out, you may need to buy seeds from the store, but that makes you reliant on the store. So, save your seeds so you don’t have to buy more from the store in the future. 

#3 Compost to Become More Self-Sufficient

This is a great way to use your kitchen scraps without needing trash pickup. It also eliminates the need for you to go to the store to buy fertilizer for your garden. You can make your own fertilizer. 

#4 Preserve the Food You Grow

If you are growing more food than you can eat, it is a blessing to be able to preserve it. This helps build your stockpile in case something happens where you can’t grow what you need for a season. There are 3-ways to preserve your food: freeze it, dehydrate it, or can it. 

#5 Cook From Scratch

Boxed food is easy and awesome, but who knows if it will always be there. The more you learn to cook from scratch, the less dependent you will be on buying things from the store. Here are some great recipes:

#6 Start Using Cloth Instead of Paper Products

Unless you know how to make your own paper products, you may want to switch to cloth. Reusable cloths can eliminate things like napkins, paper towels, wipes, cotton balls, etc. You can also stock and store these items, but if you don’t want to be reliant on the stores, look into reusable clothes. In case you missed this post, How To Save Money On Your Paper Products

#7 Get Some Farm Animals to Become More Self-Sufficient

If you live in an area where you can have animals, consider the prospect of getting some. I have a friend who always has chickens, 2 pigs, and 2 cows. They would sell one pig and one cow and butcher the other one. Having chickens gives you eggs and chicken (meat). Having a pig and cow gives you beef and pork. This makes you less reliant on the store for your meat and eggs. A dairy animal such as a cow to milk would be good as well. 

I know this sounds like a real stretch, but families have been raising animals throughout history. It’s not practical in the city, but if you have a rural home location it may be an option. It’s also a great learning opportunity if you have children who could share doing the chores.

#8 Learn to Hunt and Fish

Hunting and fishing are great skills to have. If something happens and you can’t buy food, you will know how to find your own food. 

#9 Forage for Food to Become More Self-Sufficient

This is basically just knowing how to find food in the wild. Our ancestors would have starved if they didn’t know how to do this. In fact, there are many weeds in your backyard that you can actually eat. Here’s a list:

#10 Collect Rainwater

If you have city water, you are relying on that water to be there. If it’s not, you will be out of luck. You should always stock up on water, and if you can’t, you can always collect rainwater if your state allows it. (I could never understand the rationale for municipalities to not allow collecting the water, but whatever.)

Related: How to Find Other Water Sources in an Emergency

#11 Air Dry Your Clothes to Become More Self-Sufficient

Not only does this save you money, but it extends the life of your clothes. If you don’t have electricity, you will need to air dry your clothes. This unit is similar to the one I purchased years ago so I could hang up my wet cleaned clothes. Pennsylvania Woodworks Clothes Drying Rack

#12 Consider Alternate Energy Sources 

Right now, most of us pay an electric bill, but what if you had electricity without paying someone to give it to you. Using solar energy is a huge step in becoming self-sufficient. If you don’t want to go full solar, you should invest in some solar items like solar chargers, solar ovens, or solar flashlights

#13 Bring in Income

Even if you have a job, you are reliant on that business or company to stay in business. Think of ways you can make money if you don’t have that job anymore. Sell produce, honey, eggs, meat, or handmade goods for profit. Your vocational training could possibly qualify you to become a consultant who would support other companies or individuals in various industries.

#14 Learn to Do it Yourself to Become More Self-Sufficient

Instead of calling a plumber, mechanic, or drywaller, try to do it yourself. There are tons of Youtube videos for just about everything. I learned how to fix a leaky sink, cutting the piping, and sealing it. I got help just by asking my local hardware store. The more you can do on your own, the more self-reliant you are. 

#15 Get Out of Debt

When you are in debt, they own you. The best way to be self-sufficient is to not owe anyone anything and that includes the mortgage you took out. Try to save some each month an set goals to pay down your debts. If you make an extra principal payment on you mortgage each month it’s surprising how many years can can reduce from that 30 year mortgage, particularly early on when smaller amounts are doing towards principal from each payment.

#16 Be Content with What You Have

If SHTF, you could be without a lot of things you thought you needed. The truth is, we can live with a lot less. To become self-sufficient, live smaller, and want less. 

#17 Make Your Own Clothes

If you don’t know how to sew or make a shirt, now is the time to start. If you can make your own clothing, you won’t have to worry about buying them at the store. Another great place for clothing is your local thrift store for gently used clothing. I made my girls many of their clothes when they were young, and before they felt the need to be “trendy.” Early on I even made some of my own clothes, it was fun.

Final Word

When it comes to being self-sufficient, you don’t want to rely on anyone except yourself for many of your needs. This means you have to learn to do things you may have someone else doing now. Check out my post “30 Pioneer Skills We Cannot Lose” to become even more self-sufficient. May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Sewing Set Deposit photos_19188717_s-2019

18 thoughts on “17 Ways to Become More Self-Sufficient

  • November 6, 2020 at 7:29 am
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    Extremely good post today! Thank you so much for posting this. We do most of these, but not all. We do have seeds, and are planning on gardening next year. I’d love for us to have a well.

    Reply
    • November 6, 2020 at 8:49 am
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      Hi Deborah, thank you, my friend. The list is to remind us we can do some or all of the skills. We all have different situations. God bless our Country, Linda

      Reply
  • November 6, 2020 at 7:52 am
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    I do most of these things and I made sure I was debt free before retirement and that I continue to pay off any credit card bills each month. That’s made a huge difference! Unfortunately I live in a north facing apartment so growing my own food is a bit tougher. I am able to grow a fairly good amount of rhubarb in planter boxes as well as a small selection of herbs.

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    • November 6, 2020 at 8:52 am
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      Hi Alice, you grew rhubarb??? Oh my gosh, my mom loved it!! She would make a pie with it! We all have different situations. I wish I had a good Farmer’s Market here, I don’t. I grow as much as I can. Being debt-free is a way of life we must live. Stay safe, Linda

      Reply
  • November 6, 2020 at 8:10 am
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    I am learning some of these skills right now. I can not have a garden as I live in an apartment but I’m looking into other alternatives. I crochet dish cloths and blankets to sell. I do not make a lot of money doing this but every little bit helps. It would be interesting to learn how to make my own clothes! I will have to look into that.

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    • November 6, 2020 at 8:55 am
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      Hi Audrey, I used to make my own clothes and my daughter’s clothes. Now, Target makes clothes cheaper than I can buy fabric to make them. Sewing is a great skill. I grew up sewing everything. I love crocheted dishcloths, that is a great skill!!!! We all bring different skills to the table so to speak. Linda

      Reply
      • November 6, 2020 at 9:55 am
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        I love crocheted and knitted dish cloths. I have sewn clothes for myself and my children. I do love sewing. I make a lot of sewn gifts, now.

        Reply
  • November 6, 2020 at 8:19 am
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    Good Morning, Linda: As you know, I live tiny and debt free. Unfortunately, where I live I can’t raise a garden without it being in a greenhouse. I live in a 5th wheel and thought about building a small one, but just can’t afford it right now. I’ve been self-sufficient my entire life, but now that I’m older (74), I find that I do need help on something, which really angers me because I know I can do it myself. Oh well. I’m researching a rainwater catchment and wind generator as I’d like to eventually build both of them but until that day happens, I’ll do all the research I can so that maybe I’ll know what I’m doing when the time comes.
    Have a great day!
    Pam

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    • November 6, 2020 at 8:47 am
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      Hi Pam, this is how I see it, my friend, we can only do what we can. I would love to live in a 5th wheel, my husband is not ready for that. I am. I would love a greenhouse, it’s not going to happen. I live in a crazy HOA that will not allow them. Oh well, I have raised garden beds in my very small yard. I love hearing you are researching rainwater catchment. I have been looking into this as well. I can’t afford the barrels yet, but maybe someday. We all have talents, you have been self-sufficient your whole life. I have to. That’s a BIG deal in my mind. Keep doing what you’re doing. I can’t do everything I would like to do but it’s okay. Life is good, stay well! Linda

      Reply
      • November 7, 2020 at 2:36 pm
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        I can’t picture you living with a crazy HOA. I thought I was the only one with one of those!! My husband wanted those black fake hinges for the garage door, so we got them and put them on……that brought 3 letters from the HOA threatening to hire a contractor and Bill us if they were not removed….At midnight on the last day we removed them…..they were magnets!!!….lol….. the next day the holier than thou board members were trying to figure how we fixed the screw holes….. Sometimes it helps to take them down a peg!!!!

        Reply
        • November 7, 2020 at 3:34 pm
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          Hi Chris, oh my gosh the HOA! Ours is over the top crazy. The letters……..wow! Mark and I have had a letter or two. We had to move our custom made shed. It cost us $1100.00 to have lifted and moved. It’s never been the same. Oh well. It’s so hard when they send out letters about weeds (not us-we spray them before they sprout) but several of our neighbors could have a brush fire in their yard. This is the best, you know those Mercedes Vans that you can convert to a Motorhome/traveling van? They are too pricey for me but our HOA will let you park one in your driveway IF it’s not a custom buildout. The buildout is inside. If you are going to “camp” you have to park somewhere off the subdivision. It makes no sense. The joys of an HOA. NEVER EVER AGAIN! And I was an HOA President up north. This group, there are no words. Stay safe! Linda

          Reply
          • November 8, 2020 at 1:56 pm
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            There is a lot of craziness going on right now, and I seriously think things will get worse. I know it is vitally important we continue to prepare, but I need your help, and that of your readers to find peace in all of this. I believe in prayer, but I also need to find joy and calm. Can you help?

          • November 8, 2020 at 4:19 pm
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            Hi Chris, I think I understand your feelings because I feel the same way. This country is going to need a lot of prayers to get through the next few weeks if not months. My husband grabbed my hand yesterday after I said, I’m really worried about our country. He said things will be okay. I’m not so sure. Then he reminded me that we have to trust in God, he has the answers. I literally turned the TV off. I cannot watch any more news at least for now. I’m taking a lot of walks these days to feel the air blowing in my face. It sure beats the news. Have faith, we must, hugs from Utah! Linda

          • November 9, 2020 at 1:28 am
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            Hi Linda:

            I agree with you. If I can’t find anything worth watching on TV I turn it to a Christian Radio Station has Gospel Music. I just can’t take the news anymore. They said for years Trump was not president but he won fair and square and now the Demon Rats are doing anything and everything they can to keep him from getting another 4 years. I think Biden is not a true president. Besides he won’t last 4 years in the job.

          • November 9, 2020 at 5:12 am
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            Hi Jackie, I’m still in shock over the election. There are no words. Linda

  • November 7, 2020 at 8:32 am
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    Linda, yesterday, I found a good article on building an underground cistern. I believe it is really close to what my grandfather had when I was a kid. The article was on the Mother Earth News website. Good read. I may not be able to have one where I now live, but I do have that info now for when the opportunity presents itself and I can find land to live on that doesn’t have restrictions on what you can live in or how small it can be. I sit during our winter and think up projects to do in the summer. Last year, I almost bit off more than I could chew, but I got them done, lol. If I can afford it, this summer I’m thinking about putting insulation under the floor of my slide hoping that will help with keeping the floor warmer in the winter. I just don’t know if I’ve got the will-power to crawl under my trailer to do the job or not. Gotta think on that one a little more, lol. Have a Great weekend. Later…..

    Reply
    • November 7, 2020 at 8:56 am
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      Hi Pam, oh the crawling under the trailer, whoa. I would have to think for a very long time about that one. LOL! Happy Saturday! Linda

      Reply

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