Is it possible to become completely self-reliant? In this episode I answer that question and talk about how to become more self-reliant right now.
Episode 25 Prepping Positively
What Exactly Does Being Self-Reliant Mean?
Being self-reliant seems to be quite a popular goal now-a-days. However do you know what it really means to be self-reliant? And just how self-reliant can we actually become?
In todays episode we will talk about what it truly means to e self-reliant and just how self-reliant you can actually become. Are you ready?
HI and welcome back to the Prepping Positively Podcast! I’m Annie and today we are talking about what it means to be self-reliant and just how self-reliant you can actually be.
What does being self-reliant mean to you? When someone tells you that they are trying to be self-reliant, what are you visualizing?
To some it means living in the most rural property, being completely off-the-grid and growing and doing everything themselves, from raising their own food from their gardens, and their meat from their own animals, to making their own home remedies and cleaning products.
But self-reliance is so much more than that.
The true point of being self reliant means that you do as much as you can to provide the needs of you and your family. But what are those needs?
Let’s look at things one at a time.
Let’s start with the first three needs everyone must have. Food, water and shelter.
Can you provide your own food? Of course! Grow a garden! There are so many ways to do this!
An indoor garden for herbs and even some veggies! A greenhouse for year-round food production, an in bed or raised bed garden on your property. With any of these “gardens” in place you can provide herbs, vegetables, fruits and berries for you and your family.
How about meat? If you have any property at all you can raise your own beef cattle, sheep, goats, ducks, pigs, and chickens.
Even you don’t have a lot of property, you may be able to raise at least chickens, quail, or even rabbits.
And while you are raising a beef cow and goats, why not raise some dairy cattle and goats for milk and other dairy products?
So now that we have covered food, let’s talk about water.
Unless you are lucky enough to have a natural spring with good clean water on your property, water can be somewhat complicated.
We have a well for example on our property, but it requires electric to power it. Now that we are solar, but still on-the-grid, we plan on placing off-the-grid-solar for the well only so we always have access to water.
If you live in a suburban or urban home, providing your own water can be next to impossible. Stocking cup on bottled water may be your only option. Unfortunately you will have to depend on someone or a company though to provide water for you and your family.
One option would be to include rain barrels and have the water purified through a system of filters. However, some towns and even states do not allow rain barrels either.
Some rural places that do not have a well collect rain water into large tanks buried in the ground and then filter what enters the home. Again, regulations may stop you from doing this.
The third major area is housing or shelter.
Now while its true that you could live in the middle of the wilderness in a tree house, that really is not that common.
However, many purchase property that has no zoning restrictions which allows you to live in an RV, a tent, or even a home you build yourself. This works great for many people, but it is more common to own your home traditionally through having a mortgage.
Although taxes and insurance are pretty much a mandatory thing, paying for your house doesn’t have to be. Double up those payments and get out from that mortgage.
So now you have your basic needs covered as much as possible. What’s next?
Let’s talk about what you do within your home.
Let’s start with laundry. Do you make your own laundry soap? How about softener or dryer sheets? This is a great way to stop depending on the stores to provide your laundry needs. Youtube and about every blogger has recipes for these products.
How about your appliances? Wanna go old school? Buy yourself an old ringer washer or a modern quick wash system and ditch the electric washing machine.
When it comes to drying your clothes, hang them on a line. And don’t worry, you can do so in the winter too! Just string a line in your laundry room or in your bathroom.
Then you can ditch the electric or gas dryer!
How about being more self reliant in the kitchen?
Do you cook from scratch? This is a great skill that not only you should know, but you should be teaching your children too! Bake your own bread. You can grow wheat, grind it in a mill and make the best tasting loaf of bread you ever had!
Make your own pasta. Make your own cheese, butter, yogurt and condiments!
Dry your own herbs and spices. Make your own sauces. These are all great ways of depending on yourself and less on the stores.
Stop cooking on that electric stove and start cooking over a fire! Get outside and cook on a grill or an open fire. Too cold? Try cooking on a wood stove instead!
Learn to can! What a great way to preserve your harvest every year and it provides a ton of food for the months you cannot grow anything because of the weather.
Learn to use a solar dehydrator. Of course there are electric ones too. I have one and I use the crap out it.
Use a root cellar if you can have one where you live.
Now how about in the bathroom?
Do you make your own natural remedies? Many illnesses and symptoms can be treated safely with home remedies. Do your research please. But things like mullein tea for lung health and chamomile for sleeping work wonderfully.
Even the soap, shampoo, and deodorant your family uses can be made at home! I have so many jars and containers with soaps I make myself. I make my own toothpaste, mouthwash and hair products.
I have recently started to make simple makeup! Do you know how much that saves me from buying?
I know women who make their own pads and toilet paper. I have not reached that stage yet though. There are just some things I can’t bring myself to do, and washing what we use for toilet paper is definitely on of them.
Other ways of being more self reliant is to learn to sew for making alterations or repairs for your clothes. Crocheting and knitting can allow you to make blankets, throws, scarves, hats, and mittens. Weaving skills allow you to make your own rugs. And quilting skills can turn out some beautiful quilts for your bed and to sell for making an income.
Lighting by candle light and using oil lamps can be a real money saver. Making your own candles is relatively cheap and easy to do now-a-days.
You can go even a step further. Turn off the tv and the cable. Not only will it save you money, but it may force you and your family to spend some quality time playing games, reading and best of all, talking!
There are so many things you can do to become self-reliant. But there are still things we cannot replace completely.
I cannot grow cocoa beans so I couldn’t have chocolate. I can’t produce my own salt. These are things I will have to go completely without or I have to buy them from a store.
Not everyone can do all things, whether it be because where they live doesn’t allow it, or they don’t have the skills or equipment to do what they need.
Self-reliance is different for everyone. What’s important is to look at what you do and what you use and think of ways you can start doing those things yourself instead of buying them.
In a perfect world, true self-reliance is possible, but there is no perfect world. However, by learning new skills, doing more and more things yourself, and thinking out of the box, you can become more self-reliant and save some money in the process.
I can tell you this…everything you do yourself and every skill you learn will bring you one step closer to the self reliant life you want.
So what are you waiting for? Start learning something new today. And let me know where you are in your self reliant journey!
Until next week….Stay safe and start learning.