11 ways to be more self-sufficient in the new year

person holding basket full of vegetables in a garden

Self-sufficient living is all about providing for your own
needs— and the needs of your household— without resources or
help from the outside. To become more self-sufficient, you need
knowledge and skills, plus motivation and a spirit of

The reasons for living a self-sufficient lifestyle can be
political, social or personal, but whatever the motivation may be,
learning how to become self-sufficient can offer a feeling of
security, even in the event of a disaster.

There isn’t a handbook for becoming self-sufficient, but once
you change your thinking about dependency, there are things you can
do to start living life off the grid in the new year.

hand harvesting vegetables

Plant a Garden

Not only can you grow your own food and
save the seeds
for next year, but you can also plant herbs
in pots in your windowsill and use them
for medicinal purposes
or create your own spice

cutting board with chopped vegetables

Cook From Scratch

This goes hand-in-hand with planting a garden. Cooking from
scratch instead of pre-packaged meals in plastic or take-out is a
big step towards becoming more self-sufficient.

food storage with jars

Make A Food Storage Plan

Gardens are great, and not having to rely on the grocery store
to feed your family is a fantastic goal. But, that will mean that
you need to have a plan for storing your food. After properly
storing the fruit and veggies from your garden in a freezer or
cellar, make a plan for acquiring basics like flour, sugar, water,
salt and powdered milk. You can do this
one week at a time
, and after a year, you will have plenty
of essentials.

cleaning bucket, spray bottle and rag

Make Natural Cleaners

Ditch those store-bought cleaners that are filled with
potentially toxic chemicals and instead switch to making your own
cleaning products
. You can also make your own laundry
detergent and set up a clothesline or drying rack for your clothes
instead of using a dryer.

person sewing fabric

Learn To Sew

This is a big one. Back when our grandparents and
great-grandparents were young, there was always someone in the
family who knew how to sew anything and everything. Not only could
they mend their clothing, but they could also make entire outfits
instead of buying clothing from the store. But it’s not always
about clothing, as you can sew a number of things like blankets,
curtains, towels, napkins, wipes and handkerchiefs. Sewing is a

skill that is essential
for self-sufficient living.

person opening empty wallet with credit cards, calculator and paper in the background

Get Out of Debt

When you owe people money it’s impossible to become truly
self-sufficient. So, cut up those credit cards, make a budget and
put together a plan to get out of debt. It’s not easy, but
neither is living a self-sufficient life. Drastically cutting your
spending to pay off your debts can be a great experience on what it
means to live a self-sufficient life.

In addition to getting out of debt, stash some cash in a safe
place in your home. Having an emergency fund is a huge advantage
when unexpected things happen.

emergency aid kit

Start an Emergency Kit

Stock up on
basic medical supplies
like band-aids, gauze, rubbing
alcohol and OTC pain meds, but you want to be prepared for more
than just medical emergencies. You also can prepare for power
outages with an emergency
candle kit

collected rainwater with yellow hose connected to container

Collect Rainwater

Having access to your own water source is a big part of becoming
self-sufficient. If you don’t have a well, but want to use your
own water to take care of your property,
set up a rain barrel
with a hose to water your garden.

motor oil being poured into vehicle's hood

Basic Car Maintenance

If you don’t know how to change your own oil or replace a flat
tire, now is the time to learn if you want to become
self-sufficient. Also, washing your car at home instead of taking
it to a car wash is another step you can take when you want to rely
on yourself instead of outside sources.

person sitting on floor with weight and water container near by

Start Exercising

If you aren’t in good health it’s difficult to be
self-sufficient. Eating food from your own garden and cooking from
scratch are big steps towards living a healthy life. Once you add
exercise into your daily routine, you will become your healthiest
self, which makes it much easier to be self-sufficient.

outdoor solar powered lights

Solar Lights and Windmills

One of the biggest ways to move towards a life off the grid is
to produce your own power. You can install solar lights outside and
put up a windmill on your property to help generate the power you

The Real Farmhouse

Images via Couleur,

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
11 ways to be more self-sufficient in the new year