Tips for Living a Self Sufficient Lifestyle

My family is trying to learn to live a very self sufficient lifestyle. Why you might ask, well because I feel that the government sees enough of my money. We are a society that feels the need to be moving at a very fast pace. We rely on prepackaged, pre-made, who knows what is in them, food items. Yes, do you really know what is in that deli sandwich that you ate for lunch? How hard would it have been to grab some cheese, crackers, and an organic apple before you left the house for lunch.

Well, here is what we are doing to give corporate America less of our money, and hopefully make our environmental footprints less than those other middle class American friends of ours.

We started slow, first by planting a garden and preserving the food from that garden. Now each year we plant more and more and preserve more and more.

Then we began taking our own bags to the grocery, now we take our own bags to every store. We have reduced our use of paper bags and plastic bags. If we do have any lying around my hubby uses these to carry his lunch back in forth in.

We pack our lunches for work, this includes our sons lunch, even though we home-school I do work outside the home. My son goes with me, so we take his lunch also.
During the summer and fall, we buy locally and support our farmers market, this is buying what we did not grow. We buy our milk locally, and we raise our own chickens, therefore have our own eggs.

We have chosen to shop one time a month for groceries and that is it. Yes, it takes some planning, if you plan wrong you do without until the next trip. Do you know just how much money you will save by only grocery shopping once a month? We spend $400 a month to feed a family of three. This is three meals a day, seven days a week, and this is organic food, not fast food.

We do not buy anything prepackaged or pre-made. This means everything from cake mixes, graham crackers, tortillas, bread. You name it I make it, I refuse to feed my family the preservatives that will keep a loaf of bread “fresh” for over one month.

Here again as you can tell, we buy organic. All of our meat comes from a local butcher, his meat is organic and locally raised.
During the winter we turn our heat down, we have a programmable thermostat (the best $20.00 we spent) during the night it is set at 55 degrees, when we are gone during the day 55 degrees, when we are home it is 63 degrees. We have not even had the slightest cold this winter, it is due to the thermostat and healthy eating, by the way it is not like 60 around here outside either, last night it was 8 degrees.

I make all of our soap, not melt and pour, no I use lard, and lye.

I make our own cleaning products, and our own laundry soap. The cost breakdown on this is about 1 cent per load of laundry.

We have now embarked on a quest to do away with paper products. We are not using paper napkins, paper towels, tissues, and we are using less toilet paper. How are we doing this? Well, we have replaced the paper napkins with cloth, the paper towels with organic flour sacks, the tissues are replaced with handkerchiefs, and the toilet paper with the family cloth. Now the family cloth is not used for every bathroom need, right now just the number 1, but hopefully soon we will be brave enough to use it for number 2.

We are planning our garden soon and will be expanding it.

We just purchased a few more oil lamps and will be using only oil lamps to light our home instead of electric.
During the spring, summer, and fall I hang all of our clothes out to dry.

Are these things that I list hard to do, no not really. Do they take a lot of time, some, but the more you get used to doing them, no they do not. Do I feel less dependent on corporate America, oh yes I feel a lot less dependent.

We do not switch things all at once, we try each thing for about 1 month, we are creatures of habit, therefore the more you do things, the easier they become.

I can not wait until next month when we decide what our next goal will be. Each baby step brings us closer to being self-sufficient, living off the grid, middle class Americans.

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